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Posts Tagged ‘Pimps Ahoy’

What you probably know about human trafficking is horseshit.
–  Laura Lemoon

Lack of Evidence

A teenage girl riding in a car now constitutes “evidence” of “sex trafficking”:

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking after a car transporting a 17-year-old girl was stopped in Preston…the…girl, who is from Romania, is now [in jail]…

Against Their Will

Sunitha Krishnan is a fanatic & compulsive liar who claims all sex workers are “victims” who are “raped by a hundred men a day.”  Is it any wonder that a person who quotes her as an “authority” finds sex workers’ desire for individual rights “surprising”?

…Prajwala…headed by Dr. Sunitha Krishnan, is [a prison compound in which] hundreds of women and girls [abducted by cops] from brothels around India [are locked up for brainwashing]…The facility, funded by several [wealthy white prohibitionists], is surrounded by 20-foot high walls with barbed wire atop; its address is not publicly listed.  Dr. Krishnan explained that this level of security was needed [to keep] the women [imprisoned there from escaping with the help of friends outside]…What is surprising is that a number of women wanted to go back to their previous life as a prostitute…

It Looks Good On Paper

Another bullshit story touting bullshit “safe harbor” laws that allow “perfect victims” to expunge their records of prostitution charges after going through the hell that is the US “justice” system:

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee…signed into…law…a bill that…allows victims of human trafficking to clear prostitution convictions, even if the person convicted has been found guilty of committing other crimes…the “new measure states any motion filed to vacate a prostitution conviction must prove ‘by a preponderance of the evidence’ that the applicant’s conviction, along with any other crimes committed, was a result of being a ‘victim of trafficking, promoting prostitution in the first degree or promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor’”…

The Mote and the Beam

Two stinking piles of filth want to cut sex workers off from the banking system:

U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren…and Marco Rubio…introduced legislation to aid financial institutions in identifying and reporting instances of [sex work]…so that offenders can be prosecuted…The End Banking for Human Traffickers Act would direct federal banking regulators to work with law enforcement and financial institutions to combat the use of the financial system for [sex work]…The bill would further increase collaboration between law enforcement and experts in financial crimes by adding financial intelligence and regulatory officers to the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and require the Task Force to…strengthen anti-money laundering programs…

Divided We Fall (#427)

Though Gay, Inc pointedly ignores the connection between queerdom & sex work, some Canadian writers refuse to follow suit:

…[In] conversion therapy…psychiatrists would attempt to suppress same-sex behaviour…by redirecting it toward the heterosexual norm.  In other words, the dominant culture sought to impose itself on sexual expression deemed morally objectionable…”John school” has now replaced conversion therapy as a form of state-sanctioned brainwashing that attempts to label purchased sex as a repugnant, unnatural vice…john school engages in psychological repression…Ottawa Citizen…editor Tyler Dawson accurately refers to these therapy sessions as “creepy re-education nights run by the Salvation Army”…For anti-prostitution activists, it’s not enough that johns change their behaviour: they must also change their preferences.  Men are told not only that their sexual choices are wrong, but that no “normal” adult would engage in this kind of depravity…advocates of john school continue to stigmatize paid sex between consenting heterosexual adults in private in the same way that the state once stigmatized sex between consenting homosexual adults in private…

Cardboard Cutouts

Liz Brown discusses “Why Is Everyone So Willing to Believe ‘Fake News’ About Sex Trafficking?”

All Wet

Better headline: “Korean Men More Honest About Sex Buying Than Western Men“:

More than half of Korean men have paid for sex at least once in their life, a government report showed…Nearly 26 percent of them had engaged prostitutes in the past year and did so 8.46 times per year on average.  The majority of men who had paid for sex, or 53.8 percent, first did so when they were aged between 20 and 24, followed by those aged 25-29 (27.6 percent), 30-34 (10.2 percent) and those under 20 (3.9 percent)…According to a survey of 174 sex workers, 75.6 percent of them were in their 30s.  Nearly 48 percent of prostitutes first turned to prostitution in their 20s, while nearly 22 percent began as teenagers…

Fallen Idol

Serial rapist & consent violator James Deen is trying to reframe himself as a protector of children:

…In the last 10 years we have had more free pornography at your fingertips than ever before, to a point where people are no longer learning about sexuality…This is something that is made for a purpose, this is not an example of what sex is, this is people having sex for entertainment…Now, a child, an 11-year-old child, anyone at any age could go to a myriad of places on the internet and be exposed to endless amounts of content…8- or 9-year-olds are not able to properly process what this is.  Especially when it’s not just, “Here are two people kissing and some standard sex.”  It’s some crazy stuff.  And I think now that people…are…seeing these examples, regularly, for years and years and years, of what they believe to be sex…

Droit du Seigneur (#641) 

It’s been an astounding week for abuses of power and sexual violence committed by state agents“:

…In New York City alone, one former cop is on trial for running for running a prostitution ring, another was sentenced to federal prison for soliciting child pornography from mothers he met online, and three others have been indicted on suspicion of trading gun permits for sex, travel, and cash…in…Atlanta, Georgia…arrests continue in a police take-down of two escort services…that also ensnared Gwinnett County Assistant District Attorney Christopher Quinn in January.  Quinn was caught on camera paying for and having sex with a woman who worked for one of the escort agencies….[in] the U.S. territory of Guam…Paul John Santos…was found guilty this week of criminal sexual conduct, bribery, and official misconduct after threatening to arrest a sex worker if she didn’t have sex with him…The judge sentenced him to 21 years.  That sort of punishment for sex-predator cops is rare…In Memphis, Tennessee, Sergeant Erskine Caldwell…was reported to Internal Affairs by his fellow officers after they spotted him several times with a known sex-worker in his patrol car…Caldwell had harassed her until she complied with his sexual demands…

Just Another Day in America

A Truthout article echoes what I said in the original of this title:

“Our collective focus on police shootings overshadows the reality of what is going on for women on a daily basis,” said Jacqueline Robarge of Power Inside…”The way the police engage women, especially Black women and sex workers, creates a culture of violence.  The police use a variety of tactics, including harassment, physical and sexual violence, medical neglect in police custody”…The DOJ investigation prompted by [Freddie] Gray’s killing revealed a number of instances in which Baltimore police officers extorted sex from women they alleged were engaged in prostitution or drug-related activities.  The women’s complaints were poorly and partially investigated, if at all, with little or no consequences for the officers involved…a 2014 study by Johns Hopkins University found that 6 percent of…Baltimore [sex workers] had been [raped by cops]…within a given month.  In Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color, I summarize the sizeable body of research revealing that the police sexual violence found by the DOJ in Baltimore, and committed by now infamous Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, is alarmingly commonplace across the country…

Pimps Ahoy 

The rescue industry is nasty from every angle:

…Cisgender men, trans folks and anyone who is gender-nonconforming are not going to receive help from these organizations because they don’t fit the stereotype of the sex-trafficking victim in a way that lets these “rescuers” be rescuers.  The involvement of government in the suppression and oppression of trafficking survivors also cannot be overlooked…government sanctioning of the maltreatment and exploitation of trafficking survivors is an example of how the current…rescue system is allowed to proliferate…An astonishing 80 percent of survivors who go into [one particular Midwest] shelter end up getting kicked out with a “red dot” status, which means they can’t come back or even engage in any other services…Amber Paulina of Seattle…shares…how two church elders, with no experience or education, opened a residential facility for trafficked girls.  She was forced to call the executive director “Mom” and her husband “Dad” — they called all the girls their “daughters”…Amber was grilled about her masturbation habits and was forced to write book reports on “famous” survivors like Rachel Lloyd.  “I made bracelets for five bucks a pop that were flipped over at nine bucks a pop en masse at anti-trafficking events and at local boutiques.  All material donated.  ‘Made by trafficking survivor’ bracelets.  All the time.  For money.  Unpaid,” Amber says…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now (#696) 

Another case in which a filthy vice pig tricks a desperate survival sex worker with an offer of money plus food so as to ensure public ridicule by the bootlicking press:

Florida [pigs] have charged a [desperately poor] woman with prostitution after she agreed to perform a sex act on an undercover detective for $25 and chicken McNuggets…Alex Direeno was being held…without bond at the Manatee County Jail on charges of prostitution, possession of drug paraphernalia and on outstanding warrants…It’s unclear whether Direeno has retained an attorney.

“Retained an attorney”?  Really?  With what currency?  The $25 they promised her, then stole as “evidence”?

The War Goes On (#711) 

The profound stupidity of lawheads is a marvel to behold:

[Sleazy] vice [pigs] in Metro Atlanta say Backpage.com is still a marketplace for prostitution, despite the fact that Backpage removed its adult escort section…in January…[stenographer] Mark Winne spent days [masturbating while following] the DeKalb County…Vice Unit and [is parroting cop propaganda about] how Backpage is still the go-to website for sex trafficking…[Head] Vice [pig] Curtis Williams told Winne that ads for prostitution…simply moved to elsewhere on the site…Winne…asked [one of the cops’ victims], “How come you turned down that officer’s offer of help?”  “Cause I don’t want it!” She said…

“Offer of help”.  Is Winne a grown man and university graduate?  This is the level of critical thinking I’d expect from someone who still believes in the Easter Bunny.

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[Sex worker] distrust of law enforcement…is well earned. – Kate Mogulescu

Surplus Women 

Imagine the murder of any other businessperson being described as a “scuffle”:

A 25-year-old Ugandan woman was…stabbed to death [in Bengaluru, Karnataka] in a scuffle over payment for sex…Ishan…has been arrested for fatally stabbing Florence Nakayaki…the deputy commissioner of police…PS Harsha [said]…neighbours called the police on hearing screams…Harsha [otherwise repeated the murderer’s version of events as though it were fact, casting blame on the victim for asking for her fee]…

Worse Than I Thought

A perfect storm of stupidity, sex fantasy and authoritarian violence:

A plan that would expand capital punishment in Utah so that [people] convicted of aggravated human trafficking or child sex exploitation that leads to death could be executed…[was passed by a] law enforcement …committee…despite concern from both [politicians] and [normal people]…sponsor…Paul Ray [fantasizes that] human trafficking is a big problem in Utah, so…“I want to be able to pull down a cartel kingpin or somebody and put them on death row if women or girls are dying in their trafficking rings,” he [bloviated]…The proposal is only the latest effort by Ray to institute hardline death-penalty plans…

Property of the State 

Authoritarians’ latest dodge for getting around civil rights: encouraging profiteers to file civil suits instead:

…Arkansas Act 45…bans dilation and evacuation abortions, the most common abortion procedure during the second trimester of pregnancy.  Rushed from filing to law in less than two months, the legislation effectively blocks abortions after 14 weeks by making the safest procedure a felony.  The earliest current abortion bans block the procedure after 20 weeks.  With no exception for rape or incest, and a clause that allows a woman’s spouse or parent to sue an abortion provider, the law potentially allows the fetus’s [sire] to sue even in cases of spousal rape or incest, abortion rights activists say.  The law could go into effect as early as spring…

Business As Usual deblasio-wife

Prohibitionists just can’t understand why sex workers refuse to believe that clients and imaginary “pimps” inflict the most violence on us, and that the police are our “rescuers” from it:

…[politician’s wife] Chirlane McCray urged [sex workers]…in New York City to trust the police to investigate, prosecute, and punish [our sources of income]…”We are already hearing that victims are afraid to come forward for fear of being deported,” McCray said. “If you are being forced to engage in any sex against your will, we want to help you…Please, do not be afraid”…[but in reality] prostitution-related charge[s] can land a non-citizen in a database accessible to federal immigration agents…NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill described [his own cluelessness by thinking sex workers want our clients persecuted]…But [in reality, as] Immigrant Defense Project attorney Genia Blaser said, “the city has investigated sex trafficking by arresting people…for…sex work”…between 2012 and 2015, the NYPD arrested 1,300 people…for allegedly “loitering for the purposes of prostitution”…631 people were arrested and charged with practicing massage without a license last year, up from just 31 in 2012…91 percent of the 2016 cases are against non-citizens…

Safe Targets (#452)

A profile of Tara Burns, with emphasis on her activism in Alaska:

…“people in the media were saying that they were using [a 2012 Alaska] law to ‘save’ the poor trafficking victims” Burns tells me.  But…“the law was only being used against us and not…to protect us…I was familiar with all of these different issues – police having sex with people and then arresting them, and people being turned away when they were trying to report crimes,” she tells me.  After studying for a Master’s Degree in Social Justice at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and conducting her thesis, Burns resolved to fight for change – using her research to find out the percentages of people who had experienced this.  “I brought that research to the Alaska legislature to tell them how their law was working and when I got down there I found out that I had to register as a representational lobbyist – so I was the first person in the history of Alaska’s legislature to be a representational lobbyist representing sex workers”, she explains.  Now, Tara is a founding board member of the organisation Community United for Safety and Protection, which works for safety and protection in Alaska’s sex industry…

Checklist (#514) 

More absurd “air hostesses vs pimps” nonsense:

…former flight attendant Nancy Rivard, founder of Airline Ambassadors, is trying to [indoctrinate] airline staff across the nation…[in] human trafficking [propaganda, using fake stats such as the fabricated claim that] U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims last year…[and promoting myths about] the Super Bowl…[prohibitionists like Rivard fantasize that] sex work and human trafficking often go hand-in-hand…Airline Ambassador Sandra Fiorini, 69, testified before Congress in 2010 about [her BDSM sexual fantasies about]…girls…flying from Moscow to the United States…

Vendetta (#523) 

A female “contributor” to GQ is paid to fellate Peter Qualliotine, the deeply misogynistic prohibitionist who runs Seattle’s “john school”, where he attempts to indoctrinate normal men in the dogma that their sex drives are pathological because women are too stupid to make sexual decisions for ourselves:

…Peter Qualliotine [is] a co-founder of the Seattle-based Organization for Prostitution Survivors [and a prohibitionist for many years]…In plenty of cities and counties around the country, men busted for buying sex get sent to a class known as “john school”—usually just a scared-straight afternoon with [propaganda] about STDs and jail time and the harms of prostitution…Peter had taught those classes and didn’t think much of their effectiveness.  He had something [more grandiose] in mind…In class, throughout those first weeks, a number of the men showed with their body language that they [understood] the whole exercise was bullshit, a waste of their time.  Several…made it clear that they [understood] it was nonsense that prostitution was a crime at all…

Naturally, Brooke Jarvis consulted no actual sex workers for the article, despite there being plenty of very public members of our community right here in Seattle.

A Woman’s Point of View 

As with cannabis legalization, if enough of these are thrown at the wall one of them may eventually stick:

Hawaii lawmakers are considering decriminalizing prostitution…after House Speaker Joseph Souki introduced a bill…Transgender activist Tracy Ryan says she’s pushing the bill because transgender women in the sex trade are disproportionately impacted by criminalization laws… Souki says he takes no position on the bill, but he introduced it as a favor to Ryan.  House Majority Leader Scott Saiki says this and a bill to decriminalize marijuana may be part of a push to reduce the prison population.

Gorged With Meaning (#639)

It’s so nice to see sex work treated as the normal thing it is:

…Portland State University’s (PSU) Women’s Resource Center… “supports the right of all students to seek and access safety in all aspects of life, including in the workplace.  For students working in the sex industry, this can be a unique and isolating challenge.”  Adrienne Graf is Portland State University’s Sexual and Relationship Violence Response Program Coordinator…and…created Portland State University’s Student Sex Worker Outreach Project…Graf’s been personally connected to sex workers since she was 18- or 19-years-old, when she first was starting her career in social work…“When I went into getting my Masters in Social Work, I was really intrigued and also disturbed by how social workers did and did not interact with the sex industry, and I became increasingly more involved in sex worker activism as a result”…

Pimps Ahoy wannabe-pimp-chef

I predict we’re going to see a lot more rescue industry dudes pretending to have been reluctant pimps:

[Self-proclaimed] pimp turned do-gooder Kaushic Biswas…is now teaching the sort of women he once exploited how to cook their way out of sex trafficking… in the 1990s…Biswas earned big money as a pimp, managing and selling women for sex after they had been trafficked into prostitution.  “Every night I broke down and cried…because I was part of the exploitation,” Biswas [fantasized]… “Sometimes they forced me to watch”…Biswas bought a plane ticket to Thailand to escape Mumbai, working once more as a chef, first in a 5-star hotel in Thailand, next under his mentor in Hong Kong…he found solace in a church and joined fellow believers…

Cooties (#703)

It’s always “gangs”.  Because you know women are too stupid to use AirBnB for ourselves:

More than 30 “pop up” brothels each week are being opened in Swindon, with foreign prostitutes renting properties for a few days before moving on.  Wiltshire Police said that every week, as many as 40 sex-workers, most of whom are eastern European, were advertising their services in the town.  It is the latest in a spate of reports across the country of temporary brothels, where rooms are rented for just a few days before women are swiftly moved on to evade detection…[cops fantasize] many of the brothels [are]…linked to organised crime gangs which traffic women from Poland and Romania…

The War Goes On (#707) 

The idea that women have free will is incomprehensible to the misogynistic sociopaths in “law enforcement”:

…The shuffling on Backpage is being watched closely in Miami-Dade, where prosecutors have been aggressive about going after pimps and traffickers, while [locking up women by pretending they’ve]…been coerced into selling their bodies…State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle dismissed Backpage’s widely publicized closing of its adult section closing as nothing more than a “shell game…They’ve all moved to the dating section…The same victims are being found there”…[this attitude among] law enforcement hasn’t gone over well with…some advocates for victims of [coercion]…“It’s a symbolic crusade,” said Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, a criminology professor at Georgetown University…“They’re trying to get some accolades and look like the heroes”…

Stupor Bowl (#709)

Barely a peep out of these fanatics this year, and even then only at the last minute:

Sex trafficking tends to increase during the Super Bowl and this year is no exception, according to…Nita Belles…of…In Our Backyard…The Houston Police Department [claims to be]…busy with multiple…sex trafficking [cases]…Belle said…”If somebody’s coming here for the Super Bowl [and has sadfeelz about sex work they should rat people out to the cops]”…

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I am an adult, and how I choose to spend my time and money is MY FUCKING BUSINESS.  –  Rick Pettit

Broken Record 

Sex workers on Twitter agreed we couldn’t think of a venue less conducive to selling sex than a state fair:

The New Mexico State Fair draws a huge crowd each year, but Street Safe New Mexico knows it’s not all about fun and games.  “You notice during the state fair, there’s new girls out here, right?” Executive Director Christine Barber said.  “They’re being brought in by the gangs and being forced to work…(The victims are) 15, 16 years old to anything older…I met a lady yesterday who was 47.”  The group says the victims’ pimps like to use the state fair as a hunting ground for willing johns…”Forty-two percent of them are beaten every single day by their pimps or their sex traffickers”…

Coincidentally, 42% of all “sex trafficking” statistics are made up on the spot, and 100% of them are bullshit.

Original Sin

I could also have filed this one under “Paint By Numbers”, since they “fight trafficking” by just standing around silently:

Since last December, activists have gathered monthly in front of St. André Bessette Parish in Northwest Portland in silent witness to the horror of human trafficking…Called modern slavery, it’s just one of the present attacks on the dignity of human life…Among them are abortion, euthanasia, cloning, the destruction of human embryos, genocide, torture, and the direct and intentional targeting of noncombatants in war or terrorist attacks…

I’m not sure it’s proper to use the term ACTIVist for someone who literally stands around, doing and saying nothing.crystal-edmonds

Monsters 

The body count continues to rise:

Just five days ago I wrote about a Black trans woman named T.T. who was viciously murdered in Chicago…Now, a…Black trans woman [named]  Crystal Edmonds has been shot in the back of the head and murdered in Baltimore.  She’s the 21st trans person that we know of who has been murdered in the United States this year…Police say…they have no suspects and very few leads…[but] reports are saying that people in the neighborhood are complaining about sex workers in their area, which makes me even more worried that this case will not be given the attention it deserves…

Paint By Numbers

“Dumb ‘awareness-raising’ stunts” is going to be the funniest appendix in my history of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Fifty people in teams of five…[followed] clues through various historic landmarks [in Lexington, Kentucky]…to raise money to help women..caught up in the human trafficking industry.  Participants raised money to support “Un-Shackled By Love Ministries”…the first group of women to join the program will stay for four months where they will receive counseling.  Eventually they will move on to a facility in Lexington the ministry [has not actually opened yet]…

Traffic Circle

Debunking of prohibitionist lies is spreading:

Denise Charlton of the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign…claimed the [new Swedish model] legislation [in Ireland] would protect sex workers by decriminalising them.  Does the bill really do that?  A group called Ugly Mugs, which facilitates information-sharing between sex workers, argues that the claim is false, and brought it to our attention on Twitter.  Claim: The new Sexual Offences Bill would decriminalise sex workers  Verdict: Mostly FALSE

  • The new bill would decriminalise public solicitation by sex workers, but…
  • It would retain the criminalisation of loitering by sex workers, and increase the penalties for it
  • It would retain the effective criminalisation of sex workers, under a provision on brothels, and increase the penalties for it.

Served Cold 

For a change, it only took the mainstream media two years to catch up with me:

…Operation Underground Railroad…was founded by self-proclaimed “Man of God,” former CIA and Homeland Security official Tim Bollard…The organization receives allocated funding…and makes contact with local law enforcement.  An elaborate sting follows…All this is filmed so the [backer]…can watch, in real time and from the comfort of his or her office or home…From the perspective of a victim’s right to privacy, such actions are reprehensible…from a criminal justice perspective, there are even more pressing concerns…Why are police in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Colombia not arresting child sex traffickers if they are so easy to find?…Why is OUR not…raiding the brothels of Amsterdam or London?…Bollard and his rag-tag team would be arrested on the spot.  And any court in any [developed nation] would not hesitate to throw out a case that rests on the evidence of an OUR-type raid because of the failure to meet even the most basic standards of supervision and accountability.  It’s no surprise that the organization and its fellow travellers limit their activities to countries burdened by dysfunctional criminal justice systems that…in response to pressure from the U.S. government…agree to cooperate…Bollard’s operations say much about the man: they are arrogant, unethical and illegal.

The Last Shall Be First (#624)

Expect a lot more cases like this before potty hysteria is over:

Security attempted to escort a lesbian woman…out of toilets at a music venue after because they thought she was a man.  Mary Looper was at a Carrie Underwood concert with her aunt when security attempted to escort her out of the women’s restroom.  A female security officer stood outside Looper’s stall demanding…proof she was a woman…She took to Facebook to share her dismay…

SWOP Behind Bars

My friend Mistress Matisse has been applying her indomitable (see what I did there?) efforts to support SWOP Behind Bars, most recently by talking about them on Dan Savage’s Savage Love podcast.  Go have a listen!  And if you haven’t yet sent a book to one of the incarcerated sex workers in the program, hie thee thither and do so posthaste!

Sales Pitch (#642) ingeborg-kraus-tampon-collector-simon-haggstrom

Remember the creepy Swedish cop who collects used tampons?  He’s teaming up with a German neofeminist to spread the Gospel of Violent Busybodiness to Canada:

…Ingeborg Kraus, a [prohibitionist who pretends that]…Germany decriminalized the sex industry…[claims that legalization there has] fuelled human trafficking [and lies that literally]…”No German woman will work in those conditions anymore”…[pervert cop Simon Haggstrom pretends that] Sweden…decriminalize[d] the sale of sex…[fantasizes about a] connection between prostitution and organized crime…[and lies that sex workers who demand our rights] are a small minority within the sex industry…

Allied for Change

I truly hope many more clients are inspired to speak out like this:

My name is Rick Pettit, and I am a client of sex workers.  I am in my 60s, divorced, and unattached.  I run my own moderately-unsuccessful service business in a small town in New England.  I’m just an ordinary person…not particularly well-off financially, and certainly not a hub of criminal activity.  I am well-liked by my customers and in my town.  I am NOT a “pervert”…I do NOT abuse the women I spend time with.  Most importantly, I DO NOT “BUY” ANYONE’S BODY. (There’s not enough room in my closet)…

Pimps Ahoy

You can’t keep a bad organization down:

Courage Worldwide said today that after the appeal process…the organization is in good standing with state regulators and plans to rehire and train new staff to reopen Courage House immediately…“We are gratified that the state has…agreed cell phones pose a real danger to the girls in our care since they link these vulnerable children back to the people who trafficked them.  The cell phone is the preferred mechanism of the trafficker to market and sell under-age girls on the internet”…

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jenny-williamsonAlmost a month ago, I featured the story of yet another “rescue” scam shut down.  But as sometimes happens in such cases, the con artist behind it refused to cut her losses and move on; instead, she’s decided to fight to keep the gravy train coming in.  And it appears that her motivation is not solely monetary, though given her hefty salary that’s obviously a large part of it; no, it seems that a large portion of what’s driving this is a sick need to control other people without their consent.  The unsinkable Liz Brown tells it like this:

Once girls arrived at the house, they were expected to hand over their cellphones.  Internet access was also strictly limited—Jenny’s rules.  For “her girls” to stay in good graces, they were expected to do as she said, go where she told them to, and be available when she wanted to show them off in photos or at events.  It’s the kind of controlling, exploitative situation police warn us that runaway teens are likely to end up in at the hands of…traffickers.  But in this case, control came via the people ostensibly helping…under the auspices of an organization called Courage Worldwide…founded in 2011 by Jenny T. Williamson (on direct orders from God, or so she claims)…the girls were supposed to be able to heal in comfort and privacy.  Instead, they found themselves cut off from the outside world, with services and staff lacking (one former employee said she was told there was only money for two of the six girls per month to see a psychiatrist), while being subjected to the invasive publicity demands of Williamson…”who micromanaged her trained staff and…frequently…fired [staff] for raising questions about ‘the vision’“…Williamson acted more like the proverbial controlling pimp or madam than someone truly dedicated to helping exploited teenagers…the people who “rescued” them are employing the same sort of isolating and controlling techniques they [supposedly] escaped, treating them more like Courage Worldwide products than people, and publicizing their images and past horror stories to the whole community.  DeAnne Brining, a licensed therapist who had contracted with Courage House, described the situation as “abusive” and said Williamson routinely “paraded the girls around” for marketing purposes…

It seems like Williamson’s greed may have been more an extension of her narcissism and control-freakishness than a specimen of garden-variety avarice:

…For her work as CEO of the nonprofit, Williamson paid herself $115,000 in 2015…The group reported net assets of $1.4 million that year.  In addition to accepting donations from numerous local businesses, it received about $9,100 in government support per month per girl it took in……[yet] services and staff [were] lacking (one former employee said she was told there was only money for two of the six girls per month to see a psychiatrist)…”state inspections that found numerous violations, including inadequate staffing levels and no current administrator“…Courage Worldwide’s website still touts the organization’s expansion plan, which includes opening 10 new cottages for underage [girls labeled as] sex-trafficking victims…

threadbareIn keeping with her usual thoroughness, Liz doesn’t merely quote and comment upon the original Sacramento Bee expose as I did last month; instead, she also links another commentary on the item from Broadly, quotes Dr. Laura Agustín, reminds readers about arch-fraudsters Somaly Mam and Chong Kim, and calls attention both to Anne Elizabeth Moore’s Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking, and to her report in Truthout on the incredible amount of money taken in by US anti-prostitution organizations.  As I mentioned last Friday, I’m incredibly grateful for Liz’s hard work; she and other journalists like Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post have relieved me of the burden of debunking “that up until recently I was conducting almost solo, and have brought…anti-whore bullshit to the attention of far more people than this blog ever could.”  But apparently, some other writers on this topic are more concerned with something other than winning the war authoritarians have relentlessly waged against us for over a decade now; how else can one explain a tweet from a fairly well-known journalist (who was a sex worker herself years ago) in which she appears to accuse Liz of near-plagiarism (from Broadly), or at least laziness?  Part of this may be due to the fact as one of the (former) sex workers who has a weird and inexplicable attraction to socialism (despite that ideology’s consistent attacks on whores and whoring), the critic I speak of has issues with Reason (despite the fact that she herself has been published there).  However, given that Reason has consistently supported sex worker rights for years (and in theory, for its entire existence), while Vice (Broadly‘s parent publication) has been happy to enrich itself by frequently publishing anti-whore propaganda, this makes even less sense than the idea that said critic is simply envious that Brown is doing a better and more consistent job of reporting on sex worker rights than she’s ever done.  If we’re going to win this war, we’re going to have to set aside petty jealousies and foolish devotion to pie-in-the-sky ideologies; the only important thing is demolishing criminalization and the edifice of lies that’s been constructed to further it, and absurd criticisms of our strongest warriors only work against that goal.

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