Here's an example of what I mean by this http://www.forbes.com/sites/retailwire/2015/04/13/amazon-lawsuit-takes-on-fake-reviewers/ and
Let's get real here - there is MILLIONS of dollars out there in federal funding and also donations to work with "trafficking victims". There are also traffickers at large who are like Chris Butler and Kemp Schiffer as well as men like Dennis Hof who are in the "legal pimp" game with a business to protect. I have called to "www.boycottsnoop.com" and "Shut Down Nevada Brothels". To think I would not have enemies out there using modern technology and social media is just ignorant.
Now take real good look at the site up at www.ratethatrescue.org. They're not even interested in honest reviews of anyone else and check out the date it was set up as well as the date on www.sexworkersanonymous.org BOTH sites were set up AFTER I exposed "8 Minutes" for being a complete sham. A show that was connected to millions of dollars of grant money being issued to southern California by grant donors who believed the articles about Kevin Brown in the Los Angeles Times, and the OC Register were "honest".
Now to give them the benefit of the doubt - I had contacted the site at www.ratethatrescue.org when I first saw them going up. I told them I was working on a directory and thus would be getting a lot of information on the other groups for that purpose and offered to give them a copy to publish. No response. I have a copy of the email proving this offer if anyone wants to see it. So the goal of that site is NOT about honest reviews.
That's why I treasure the three investigative reporters who have come to check us out with no axe to grind whatsoever. One of the was John Quiniones from ABC's "What Would You Do?". I was actually hiding out "off the grid" after Jeane Palfrey's death at the time so I was actually pretty nervous about meeting with him at all. But because I admire his reputation I knew he'd be honest and fair so I agreed to meet with him.
He flew to Las Vegas to meet with me, check me out, etc. John came to the house, took me to lunch, met my daughter, watched how I parent even. We even had a long talk about the fact I bought my daughter a pack of cigarettes during the lunch being that she was 16 years old at the time. I told him that people get fixated on things you deny them. I watched how my mother smoked more the more people told her to stop. I explained I had a theory that if I didn't make a thing about it, let her explore, that she'd let it go in a month. By the way, she let it go three weeks after that lunch. She hasn't had a cigarette since John in case you're reading this.
After meeting with me, he asked to speak to some members of SWA. I think people seem to think that I'm like the only person around here who works with our members. That's not the case. I just handle the "front" stuff like the phone, the mail, the book ordering, and interviews with the press. The only people I work with are those in the meetings I run. We have chapters of SWA all over the USA, in Canada, and in five other countries right now. I heard there was a meeting that started in a Costa Rico jail last year. I haven't been able to figure out where they are yet - but that's what I heard. The only thing I do really is I screen the callers to make sure they aren't press or a pimp. Then I refer them to the closest local meeting, or to a sponsor that can work on them "one on one" that has a common story like theirs. That's it.
So to give John a broad idea of how we operate, and to protect their "anonymity", I gave some members his phone number and asked them to call John. Some were people I sponsored personally in Las Vegas, and some ran groups in other states. They did call and spoke to him at length. As a result of that process - he devoted a whole chapter to us in his 2009 book "Heroes Among Us". Scans of those pages from his book are below:
Bob Herbert used to have a regular column with the NY Times when he flew out to Las Vegas to meet with me. We had a two hour long interview at my home also. He asked to see how we operate so I showed him how I run things. All I am is a glorified order taker phone answerer. To protect the members' anonymity - all incoming calls come through my phone in my name. Once I verify they are "real" and not reporters, or people like those who set up this "ratetherescue" people - then I refer them to the local group members in their city.
To be of "service" other members who have at least five years recovery out of the sex industry, and also clean from drugs, they'll take turns answering the phone that I forward to their phone. This way no one knows what number they're really calling or whose name that phone is in because I have it set up to go through at least three forward relays.
So while the phone is in my name and I answer when no one else is answering - the majority of the time it's not me actually answering the phone. Even when I do answer the phone - I never identify as "Jody". Each month we use a different name on the hotline. This is so we can weed out the "fake's". Anyone who says they spoke to "Jody" on the hotline in other words is lying. If they don't know the code name we're using that month - then they're also lying about calling us. We have pimps calling us up all the time trying to pump us for information - don't you think we have to use names other than "Jody" so we know who really called and who didn't for a reason?
Bob looked around, asked me some questions, and then asked to speak to some of our members. That was the weekend of the press conference - so he was able to talk to Brenda Myers-Powell and Kathleen Mitchell. These women have self-identified as members of our program themselves - that was not my choice. So I'm not violating anyone's "anonymity" by saying their names since they came out themselves already as members in news articles you can find online. After talking to them - he asked to speak to members who go to their meetings in their states - Brenda is from Chicago and Kathleen is from Phoenix. Which by the way - if our program didn't work than explain their success to me please?
To further test my statement about how many women were being trafficked in Nevada - he wrote in his interview that he picked a random strip club, went in and looked around, and claims within 15 minutes he found a woman who didn't want to be there. He then wrote how he took that woman to the airport, put her on a plane home, and watched her get on that plane (so it wasn't a sob story). For this validation of not only our work, but also that the problem is that common that you can "throw a rock and hit a trafficking victim" - the mayor then, Oscar Goodman, threatened Bob with a "baseball bat to the head if he ever sets foot back in Las Vegas" again.
Why? Because Oscar, Dennis Hof and Lance Gilman were on a campaign to build "magnificent brothels" in downtown Las Vegas where the Mos Museum exists today. The last thing he wanted was for some reputable reporter to validate our work, and this claim, while he was trying to get this mission accomplished. Well the Mob Museum is there today - so we won. Another proof of our success by the way.
Now I ask you - why is it that the Review Journal who sits right there in Nevada hasn't written about us? I mean John Quinones and Bob Herbert flew all the way out to check us out with their own eyes - so why go to that length? What made them so curious about the fact that here we are in Nevada - but the Nevada news won't print one word? You can see what these men wrote at www.hightechmadam.com
The reason why I have those on our site is because other people have been granting interviews either appearing to be us, or outright saying they're us, when they are not. Those bogus articles are not on those sites. So if you find an article claiming to be me interviewed, or appearing to be us, and they're not on our site - they're fake. There's a been a lot of that going around lately since money came onto the table with respect to sex trafficking.
But it's a good question that Tom Ragan decided to take on about why wasn't anything about us in the Nevada Review Journal being that we've been based out of Nevada since 1996. He's a staff reporter with the Review Journal. During the passing of AB67 he called me up for an interview. I told him not to waste my time. He was like "why?" I said "because you'll suck up my time interviewing me and then nothing will be printed so it's a waste of my time". He insisted I was being "paranoid" and that he had been there for 12 years and that he had enough pull to print whatever he wanted. So I agreed. I even agreed to a photograph since he said all "cover stories have to have a photograph".
Only I asked the photographer if we could take a picture of me doing outreach by the Nellis AFB from behind. She said "no it has to be only your face". Well that made no sense at all. I know that with face recognition software a lot of people in Nevada have been dying to get a picture of my face. It makes more sense to me to take a picture of me doing the outreach if that was what the article was about. So to test the waters and see what was going on - I went ahead and agreed. I was being promised a cover story and all for our work. I did want to see if it was for real or was it a smoke screen just to get my picture?
He asked to speak to some members - so I did the same arrangement. I had some members call him to protect their anonymity and be interviewed. His exact quote to me on the phone was "you're the only group out here I've found actually doing any work - the rest are completely bogus". The next thing I know an article was printed that didn't even mention us. Not one word. Guess I wasn't "paranoid". http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/nevada-movement-draws-line-human-trafficking
Now why isn't there one word? Even a bad word. Nothing. The photographer prints my photo on her personal blog. I contacted her saying "what's up?" She tells me that they insisted on something being printed on us in that story and that they both were fired. She says that Tom talked his way back into the job, but she didn't want to work there anymore if they weren't going to print the truth.
So I guess I'm imagining that certain people in the press want to either smear us or make it look like we don't exist right? But Tom assured me the time he spent checking us out would not be wasted. When this happened, he also told me he "felt bad" about what happened and swore to me that he was going to get my "name in the paper one way or the other" to honor his word about not wasting my time.
Which he did. In August of 2013 he did. http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/tv-producers-ogle-strip-joint-reality-show So I understand Tom needs his job - but his heart was with us. I must have impressed the guy pretty hard to have him risk his job again like this to skirt out name under the radar in the Nevada press. But he did. Thank you Tom.
So I'll take what three reputable investigative reporters write about us over a smear campaign any day. The websites at www.sexworkersanonymous.org and www.ratethatrescue.org were set up by the same person - Domina Elle. A woman who I've written about in this blog before who isn't living under her real name. A shill. A hired gun trying desperately to attack and smear us. And that was the best she could come up with was fake bullshit remarks by shadow anonymous unreal people. Which is honestly another reason I think the site is up in the first place. The people behind this are desperate to make it appear that I "attack sex workers". Only they seem to fail to realize that the object of their attack is me - a real bonafide sex worker. Not a fake like Samoly Mam. Not some informant living under a fake name claiming to be one.
As for the recordings I have up online - not one of the recordings I have online are from our hotline, a prostitute, or any SWA member. However, if you check on www.sexworkersanonymous.org - now where did they get that phone recording THEY posted with the voice of another sex worker on it? Not me. THEM.
Yes I have a recording up from an Internal Affairs Officer who called me. I have a recorder on my personal phone to record threats and for legal reasons when talking to officials who like to deny they even spoke to me. As a resident of Nevada I have the right to record and publish a call without that party's consent. Considering these sites prove I have been the target of an attack and smear campaign I'd be crazy if I wasn't recording calls. But frankly the only people I see trying to violate any SWA members' anonymity about what goes on in our program is them.
There is another reason why I record calls. Remember, I started the first hotline for those leaving the sex industry for whatever reason - including those who were running from pimps in 1987. Now the Trafficking Hotline by Polaris wasn't started until 2002. Everyone knows they work with law enforcement and everyone knows I don't. So guess what? I get calls where someone is running from a very dangerous pimp. I will point to Joe Conforte, Kemp Schiffer and Chris Butler who have been publically now found guilty of pimping as some examples. I can also point to Snoop Dogg NOW that he's made a public confession about his pimping tour.
Now sometimes when a victim escapes, or leaves, her pimp and/or trafficker sometimes they aren't too happy about it. Sometimes they figure out we helped them or are helping them and they know we know where that person might be. My very first "rescue" case before I even started our group was a woman that I offered a "trick pad" I had in N. Hollywood for her to stay at until she could get on her feet. I didn't know jack back then about that sort of thing - until I came out of my apartment to go shopping and he came up from me from behind and put a gun into my ribs. He wanted to know where she was at. Well we got out of that situation - but it taught me to "be prepared" for that sort of thing (I was a Girl Scout when I was younger).
Meaning that we get a lot of threats - and so too does the woman, or man, we're helping. Now I record those threats because, and God forbid, what if the person was to wind up dead. Read my clips very careful about my arrest in 1984. The media thought I had a "brothel" that was a warehouse two blocks from the police station with hidden cameras all over everything. That wasn't a brothel. That was the first "safe house" for adults that I'm aware of any way in the USA. It was on the 2nd floor with iron bars all over the windows too. The reason was in case there was any shooting - no innocent kids would get hit. The cameras were in case they got in - I wanted to be sure there was some evidence in case someone got murdered.
So yes you're damn right I record incoming calls. I also throw them away the minute I realize they won't have to be used in a murder trial. Any recordings I've posted online are not from one single member, nor anyone who is a sex worker calling for help. Now let me ask you something - if you were calling me to get away from a pimp and you were to wind up dead somewhere - wouldn't you want to have some type of evidence against that pimp to be handed over to the police? Okay now you know why the tape recording on my phone. Now mind you that's MY phone. When the hotline switches over to another member to answer - those are not recorded.
Those two sites set up to smear us don't have one word from an actual Sex Workers Anonymous member - you know why? Because they couldn't get past us to get at one. But then they claim that I "don't protect your anonymity". Well I must have done a pretty good job if they couldn't get to one actual member for an interview. Oh and they tried for about three months too to get past our security systems to get at the actual members - and failed. The attack of those two sites is exactly why we dismantled our online forums, our groups, and I "unfriended" every member of SWA. When the people behind these smears went looking for actual active members of SWA - THEY COULDN'T FIND THEM. The best they could dig up was fakes and lies. Screening out people JUST LIKE THEM is why you have to call our main # to get local information near you, and then further attend a phone meeting, BEFORE you're given local meeting or member information. You'll note not one single person on those sites has spoken to another member or attending a meeting BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T GET PAST OUR SECURITY. REAL members appreciate we go to that much trouble to protect our members anonymity.
And it is an attack when a real member comes to me and says she tried to post a positive comment about us - and it was not posted. That's not "review" - that's "smear". Those attacks PROVE WHY certain people are coming after us and they also prove they couldn't break through our security to get to an ACTUAL member or into an actual meeting. So actually I think they just proved we do a pretty darn good job at protecting our members' anonymity. Thank you!
Now the question is why attack us like this? Were you aware that Sex Workers Anonymous is the ONLY group for adults that is (1) non-religious, and (2) we welcome members who are male, transgender, and LGBT. If you go onto our site at www.leavingtheliferadio.com you'll hear an interview with a straight male who had female clients, you'll hear from an African American transgender, and you'll hear a lesbian member speaking as well as a woman who is Jewish. Now do any of these church or federal funding programs work with these communities? No. I think that's sexual and religious discrimination and this is why they're fighting back to smear us.
The review site says we "don't provide housing". We're a 12 step group and our members have their own housing. We don't think putting prostitutes into our house so we can use them to go out fund raising is our idea of "helping" the women in that house. Nor do we offer "employment" because we're an international program. AA doesn't offer jobs so why would we? Our members have among them doctors, lawyers, stock brokers, realtors, artists, writers, film makers, etc. Why on earth would I put them into Section 8 housing, some minimum wage job under threat of arrest if they don't take these things - and call that "success"?
They also claim I'm "trying to make a living off sex workers". Gee that's funny. I haven't applied for any grants. I haven't had one fund raiser for our work. I don't charge any one any thing. New members with no money are given our little $4.95 book free. Sure I have Paypal button up for donations - that never come but they're voluntary. I've never received one dime of money from any group. I don't pass the basket at any of the meetings I hold. I don't charge anyone anything to attend a meeting. DominaElle however, and her little band however have had more than one fund raiser for someone who claims that wasn't even her posting as her online when I asked her why she was bashing us online. She told me "I don't have a computer nor internet access and that's not me saying those things against you". Happens all the time when certain people with big pockets are trying to fool the public.
Now you're getting an idea who is attacking us aren't you? It's not people who have really called us nor is it actual members of SWA. Because I can assure you that since we've been around since 1987 - if I was this horrible monster they're painting me out to be - I'm sure the complaints would have started long before I slapped Relativity Media with a "notice of intent to sue" that got "8 Minutes" canceled.
The review that complains "we're not like AA" is because we're not. Alcoholism is a terminal life-long disease for which there is no known cure. I don't believe being in the sex industry, forced or not, is a "terminal life-long disease". So why would we be like a program designed for people with a disease? I mean didn't it cross anyone's mind that we started SWA while AA was around and maybe, just maybe, we started it because AA didn't suit our needs? Therefore YES WE'RE DIFFERENT and for a reason. If AA's model worked for us - we would have used it. But we didn't because it doesn't - and anyone who has actually participated in our program knows we're different than AA because our program works for us - AA doesn't.
Which is another thing this is about. Deflect deflect deflect. Why was that show "8 Minutes" staged? The show was claiming to be Kevin Brown asking women to go with him into a residential program that in reality didn't exist. Considering the investors into Relativity Media were claiming they were conned (until they got hit with a lawsuit to back them up) - seems they have been lying to a lot of people. The bottom line is that those two sites were not set up by SWA members about how they were treated by our program. Of which has nothing to do with me. Anymore than anyone in an AA meeting has anything to do with Bill Wilson. Besides, sit around any bar and you'll find every drunk on that bar stool is going to bash AA.
These sites just bring who is attacking us out in the open so you can see what they're doing and how they're doing it - and proves our theory as to why. We beat them in the ACLU vs. the Catholic Bishops and the Supreme Court decision that you can't deny funding to someone strictly because they don't adhere to one specific religious belief. SWA will continue to welcome anyone - male, female or transgender, from any religion, or lack of religion, who wants to find help for ANY reason, trafficked or not, to exit any part of the sex industry. We will also continue to state any program who doesn't is being sexist, and using sex trafficking as a means of evangelism, brain washing, and to feed people into the racist prison pharmaceutical complex.
No I'm not going to sue the people running these sites. Nor am I going to take them down despite my legal right to do so. I want people to see who is coming after us - and that the attacks are real. Three reputable reporters investigated us for themselves and each of them wrote positive things for us. Hell one even risked his job to right about us.
So go look. See who it is that's behind the attacks. Learn how they operate. Just like I let my daughter explore smoking so she could see for herself what it was about. I don't tell people what to think - I think you're smart enough to figure things out on their own. I don't need to "control and manage" what you think out there. I don't need to manipulate our image or the image of others like they're doing. The whole purpose behind those sites is what? To tell you not to call us for help.
Now who would want you to do that?