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Sunday, July 26, 2015

SHELLEY LUBBEN - PINK CROSS

On June 19, 2014, I submitted a link to Shelley Lubben about a woman who had been found dismembered in a lake. Instead of asking us if we knew anything about this woman personally, instead of reaching out to her family, instead of seeing if anyone else on the porn shoot might be in danger - Shelley Lubben responded by putting the link up on her website, crediting someone else for submitting it to her on June 20th entirely, and then she solicits people to "buy her CD". 


Wow - profiting off the death of a porn star. Sounds just like a pimp does it? In Sex Workers Anonymous we recognized that just like how AA has their "dry drunk" or someone who acts just like a drunk without drinking - there are people who can act just like a "whore" or "pimp" without being in the sex industry. It eventually leads to relapse. Which based on her blond hair, excessive makeup and her husband having just lost his job - I would not be surprised if this one walks the same road I saw Linda Lovelace walk. The porn industry used her up too for their fund raisers - and once she started actually needing some help back for her kidney transplant they kicked her to the curb literally. 


Just as I understand other groups are starting to distance themselves from her now that she's showing some signs of needing help as well. When are people like Shelley going to realize that these "armchair Christians" are only going to accept you while you're raising money for them - not at their dinner tables or into their real lives. We are the only ones who understand "us". 


Shelley you need a meeting because flushing the pills down your toilet is what addicts do instead of going to a meeting. It last what three days? You said yourself that you'd "sit around talking about God and using meth" with your current husband - honey you've just switched to booze and pills. You both need help. 


Please get to a meeting. They have NA meetings online if you can't get to one in Bakersfield. Then again - this might just be a ruse to get some porn company to pay her a lot of money to "come back out of retirement" like they did Linda Lovelace. I've seen it all before folks. This whole Christian thing could just be to get your address contact and then when she does her "coming out of retirement porn video" then she gets paid more money than she would if she'd just stayed in the biz where young girls do rule the internet. If she cared about these women for "real" - then she would have asked us what we know about the woman, reached out to the family, or checked to see if anyone else on the shoot is in danger LIKE WE DID. www.sexworkersanonymous.net





I guess I should address why I'm even talking about this.  Remember we formed in 1987.  Shelly formed the Pink Cross about 1991 if I remember.  So when she first started up - I tried to reach out to her.  I wanted to know more about what she was doing so I could give referrals out to people who call the hotline.  So I requested information on what her group was doing.  I got basically no response at all.  Which I didn't understand.  If she was building a group to help people leave the porn industry - certainly she must know how hard this was going to be.  We'd just spent YEARS trying to find solutions that worked.  I had just been traveling the USA, doing experiments and research, and thinking about all the work we had to put into creating a program that was effective and was working here I was seeing this woman just opening up an office, turning on a phone, and thinking it was all going to work by magic.  Just as I had originally before I got a rude awakening.  So I also wanted to help is why I reached out.  Certainly she'd want to have other ex-sex workers around her?  Women who had been out a while and she could lean on rather than always having people lean on her I thought.  


But I was wrong.  I got no response back when I'd call.  No one would even explain to me what it was that her program did.  Then I remembered seeing her at the AVN awards on a TV show.  She was there literally right before this woman was going to find out if she'd won.  Her "pink cross" women were actually looking like a cult to me.  They had their pink t-shirts on, they all looked alike, they sounded alike, I mean it was creepy.  They were asking this woman to leave her hotel room and "come with them" but they weren't explaining what that meant.  It looked like they were pressuring her.  I could tell that the porn actress wanted to see if she won.  Of course she wanted to see if she'd won.  I mean you're not going to get her to leave five minutes before they announce if she's won or not.  No one I can think of is going to walk away before they find out if they've won an award.  I mean heck it's why they invented the awards in the first place!  


Because I remember the porn industry BEFORE the awards.  Men and women in porn were looked at like freaks.  They would have people spit on them as they walked down the street and they would be called "freaks".  Porn stars were looked at like total deviants and perverts.  I mean "how could you even think of letting a camera film you nude and then splash it all over a screen?" was the general culture view back then.  You couldn't rent an apartment, buy a car, or even get a part-time job if they recognized your face.  You were considered the absolute scum of society.  The money wasn't enough to put up with that kind of nonsense.  The producers were the ones making the money - not the stars.  So what was the pay-off here?


The early producers of porn were not like today.  To make a porn back then required a lot of money.  You had to go around obscenity laws so usually attorney's were involved.  You have to make porn appear to be an "art" film so you wouldn't be branded "obscenity" and then people would get arrested and your film burned.  So you had to have some semblance of a plot which meant writers.  You had cameras that not everyone could operate and they were expensive too.  So you had grown adult business men who used to be in control of porn.  THEY were the ones making the money.  They also had a problem - how are they going to get beautiful people to agree to be filmed if the money was shit?


Now you could get interns to work for free in jobs where there was a future.  But there's no future in porn.  The older you get, the fatter you get, the less you're going to be in demand for your films.  So no intern system would work.  Yes you had the early victims of pimps being forced like Linda Lovelace and Marilyn Chambers.  But there just weren't enough of those maniac pimps around to make enough actresses to keep the system going.  Remember, you can't make one film that's played over and over again.  Now - the very industry demands "fresh meat" has to be supplied to it.  So how do you keep getting young girls to agree to make films?  


Now Playboy had it's mansion.  Their system worked because many of those women met and married rich husbands.  Look at Gene Simmons and his marriage to Shannon Tweed  They met at the mansion and had two kids and she got herself a rock star husband.  That was a walking advertisement for the Playboy empire.  Other women looked at her, or Barbi Benton and everyone beautiful flocked to Playboy.


So how are you going to get them into YOUR little film?  The AVN awards were created.  You'd be surprised at what people will do for a trophy.  I remember the first awards in a dingy little hall and the girls in tube tops.  But this is Los Angeles and there's 1,000's of fashion designers looking to crack into the business.   So they decided to dress the women up like for the Academy Awards.  Then they realized they could charge the fans to come and meet their "favorite stars" and it became a big money making event.  Sponsors wanted in for adult products.  This event became marketing central where careers were made.  Now you can't ask some woman who has been waiting all year to hear if she's going to win that award to just walk away.  They won't do it and the organizers know this.  It's another way to have "employee retention".  


So the last thing you want to do is come up to someone an hour before they announce the winner and ask her "come and leave with us" like some creepy cult.  It won't work.  So as I'm watching this on the TV I'm thinking - they need some help.  I called over there to talk about how we've done effective interventions to see if I could help.  Like suggesting for one thing that asking some women to leave right before she's supposed to get an award with a bunch of girls all wearing the same shirts like some cult might not be effective.  It wasn't either by the way - the woman threw them out of her room, lost the award, and then went back to her room to sulk.  Frankly that's when I would have gone to talk to her.  But again with the wall when I called offering to help.  No one wanted to talk to me.  So what I figured and went on about my business.  Funny - looking back I'm really glad I didn't partner with her and can see everything was for a reason.  But back then I had the mistaken idea we were all on the same team and wanted to help.  


I thought we were on the same team until I started hearing about events going on around town where they were having speakers come and talk about the industry, and leaving the industry, as well as sex trafficking.  I started calling the organizers and offering to come speak.  Now previously when I'd call organizer and offer to come speak they'd be very very happy and welcoming . Suddenly I'm getting this very cold reception and I don't know why.  I figured I'd go to these events and see what was going on - only when I'd arrive I'd have security tell me I wasn't ALLOWED IN THE BUILDING.


Like what?  You're kidding me right - not allowed in the building like I'm some kind of terrorist?  Of course even more curious now why I'm being blocked from even hearing what's going on - I ask around for some tapes of these events.  I get them and then I hear why I'm being blocked from the building.  I never heard such horse shit in my life.  What was even funnier was that each time Shelley is telling her story - it changes.  I mean doesn't she realize that people will remember her story and know when it changes?  So now I'm hearing she went from a porn star who used to literally walk into business establishments and then tell the owner she wasn't leaving until she turned a trick and got some money from him so she could supply her drug habit - to now she's a "trafficking victim"?  Then her drug dealer who became her husband - but now she's a 'trafficking victim"?  Okay who exactly trafficked her?  I'm not hearing about anyone but her and her now husband in the story.  I'm lost.  This is making absolutely no sense to me whatsoever and frankly she's becoming what I'm struggling against.


One of the biggest problems I had when I first started doing the alternative sentencing work where we'd take programs into the jails, and I was working with the probation department, and social services - was over coming their stereotypical views of us "never changing".  I used to hold these lectures where I'd be sitting in the audience as people walked into the meeting room.  Then I'd be meeting and talking with them over coffee until the event was ready to start.  Then I'd stand up and introduce myself and watch their mouths fly open.  I'd say "didn't realize it was me huh?"  I'd have them confront what it was they thought an ex-hooker would be vs. what I was now in recovery. People would admit that they didn't trust us and didn't want to work with us because in their experience we "never changed".  We'd show up to lectures stoned.  We'd rip people off.  We'd lie.  In other words, the dry drunk for the alcoholic is that we'd act like whores but say we were out.  


So I'm working against this stereotype by showing up dressed like a lady to events, being clean, acting responsible - and here I'm seeing her looking like a porn star, made up like a porn star, talking like a porn star, and falling around the stages like she's drunk and changing her story like a child caught in a lie.  Not a good image for us.  So I tried talking to her about this because I'm now seeing a lot of my work going down the drain.  Now I'm not only getting people blocking me from these events because she's said she doesn't want me there which means she's acting like we're two hookers fighting over a corner or something - and to top it off when she acts like this other people think I'm going to act like that.


Sure enough today one of my biggest problems is having to convince people I'm not like her or Annie Lobert.  When I call say a PR company and start to try to talk to them - I can hear this wall of ice and hostility.  So I just bring it out in the open - you're thinking I'm like Shelley or Annie right?  They sigh and say "yeah".  So I explain how we're different and then after I hear this visible sigh of relief - then we can move forward with our business.  But those are the people who are reasonable and I can get to talk to me.  I have 50 other people who won't even talk to me at all because in their minds I'm going to be like those two.  I mean I can't even open my mouth now and say I run a program out of Vegas without getting this weird look.  I then say "no I'm not Annie or Shelley" and then I hear the sigh of relief and a giggle.  Then they tell me how crazy they think these two broads are.  Yes they get on TV because they make for great TV.  They don't even realize the TV is putting them on there not because they're good at what they do but because they're good TV.  People point at the TV and laugh and that sells commercials.  But the reality is that it now has made my job 100 times harder because I can't open my mouth now to someone in the porn industry without first getting them to understand I'm not Shelley nor like Shelley.  It's so bad some people even tell me they checked out my page before calling and upon seeing that Shelley IS NOT on my friend's list - then they felt comfortable enough to call.


This isn't the only way my life has become harder because of Shelley.  There's her "minions" as I call them.  I don't know if she even knows about these people.  But they create face book profiles.  Then they ask to be added as a friend.  Next thing I know they're attacking me with bible quotes and telling me they belong to Pink Cross.  They just start lashing out at me and I have no idea what they're talking about.  All I can do is block them.  I've had to tell all of our members not to friend me because of them because they started attacking our members.  Anyone who would show up as a our "friend" they'd go to them and start attacking.  At first I thought they'd die down after a few months - but it's like years now and I still get these attacks.  Considering I haven't even spoken to Shelley in years I don't know why they're attacking me.  It got so bad last year that I had to report it to Shelley and the police.  I took the threats to the Bakersfield Police, and sent a copy of the letter to Shelley.  They did stop - for about a year.


Where it's really sad however is her leftovers.  Every now and then I get a call from someone who is "making an amends" to me.  They'll call me up and tell me they "want to apologize for what they did" to me.  They admit to horrible slandering and attacks.  I mean the stuff they tell me they did to me is truly awful.  They admit calling up other churches and telling them I was running child pornography rings.  I mean just sick crazy stuff.  They all insist that Shelley "made them do it" and now they've "seen the light" and "feel awful" and they "want to make amends" to me.  


I say "fine - make amends".  They go "what?"  I say "yeah - I want you to go to every person you lied to about me and I want you to tell them you lied and tell them the truth.  You want to make amends to me?  Go and fix the damage you did.  Because I can wipe my ass with your apology and it changes nothing.  The damage is done and I'm not going to undo it by going to these people and saying you lied and now you're sorry.  It won't fix it.  So YOU go to those people and YOU fix it."   Because an "amends" isn't "I'm sorry".  An "amends" is about repairing the damage - not apologizing and then walking away to leave someone else to clean up your mess.  It's about taking responsibility for your actions.  You break it - you buy it.  


I never heard from them again.

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