Search This Blog

Friday, November 20, 2015

SURVIVORS APPEARING FULL FACE ON CAMERA

Let me point out first of all that predators do everything they can to control you and isolate you.  They try and tell you who to hang out with, who to be friends with, and they do everything they can to make sure that you don't have friends outside of their sphere of influence.  They want to make sure that you don't have anyone that would back you up against them right?  My father kept me isolated from all the other kids at school.  He kept my mom isolated from having any friends.

So I'm going to warn you that if ANYONE is telling you who to talk to, what group to go to, who to hang out with, who to like, don't talk to this person, that's not a cool group, etc.  then you need to be running like hell.  If ANYONE threatens you with "social shunning" if you don't do what they want say what they want, hang with who they want you to hang with - you need to realize that's how predators work and get the hell away from them.

Now when I speak about being photographed full face for interviews - I'm not going to say "no".  I'm going to let you know our "experiences" so you might learn from ours and then make your own decision.  But as a general policy - we don't do full face interviews with anyone.  It's not necessary anymore to pay the price tag that comes with what happens when you appear full face in the media these days.  Not for us anyway as the person being photographed.  If you look around our site and media - you won't find one full face interview with anyone online.

I've got a lot of pressure right now for us to do this but I won't bow to it.  That's our policy and we're sticking to it.  As far as we're concerned we're seeing way too much pressure to try and identify survivors and then once identified I'm seeing them being pressured into being exploited - so I'm not buying it.  It's not necessary anymore to do this type of interview.  Not in our opinion anyway for us - it's just not needed anymore.   People point out that we "used to do it".  Yes we did - but things change.

So I need to just weigh in on this issue for anyone thinking about appearing "full face" on camera with respect to doing interviews, documentaries, etc., to "tell their story" speaking as the founder of this modern day movement itself.  If you don't think I am the founder first of all - check out the news clips at www.hightechmadam.com

What you will see in the first clip dated 1984 is what appears to be me arrested for "running a brothel".  That's what the pissed off pimp reported it as to the police when he realized he wasn't getting his victim back.  There were no "safe houses" for adults in 1984.  The only other safe house in the whole country was for teens at Children of the Night.  If you were over 18 -  you had nowhere to go.  Yes there was a program to rehabilitate street prostitutes called the Mary Magdalene Project. But this was not a program set up to rescue or protect you if someone was coming after you.  All the MMP project was at that time was a house in Reseda where you stayed while you went to school and got some therapy and transitioned out of prostitution.  I know because I was looking for a place for myself to go and nothing existed when you had big bad dudes coming after you with guns and you were over the age of 18 years old.

Back then, you have to realize no one believed sex trafficking was "real".  If you were to call up the police today and tell them that "little green men were forcing you to prostitute" their response would be the response we got in 1984 and pre-1984.  They would laugh and hang up the phone.  I know we tried it.  We tried going to their offices and were thrown out.  If we tried to speak about what we were seeing back then to a mental health professional - they would start proceedings to have you committed for hallucinating.  Again, I know because I tried and so did many others.  That was the response we got.  Can't blame them because if you look in the textbooks that cops, social workers and psychologists had back then they had absolutely NOTHING about sex trafficking back then.

After some bad experiences where I had tried hiding out some of these women in my home, I realized people could get shot.  I had a shoot-out in the driveway of my apartment, and I had another rescue where I had a pimp come up behind me with a gun.  Motels were not safe because the traffickers had FBI and CIA as well as cops on their payroll.  They would literally go to every motel in the area flashing photos of the women they were looking for - so even motels were not safe.  We rented the warehouse because it was in an industrial area next to the police station.  That cut down on a lot of problems right there.  The reason why they dubbed me "high tech madam" was because of all the high tech security equipment.  I had put a woman in the warehouse whose pimp had broken her nose and her arm.  She needed time to heal.  When the pimp realized he couldn't get into the place - he made a tip to the police it was a brothel.  When they knocked on the door at midnight she was in her nightgown.  Guess what the cop thought when a hooker answered the door in a nightgown?  Bingo.

Now - she sorted all of that out and testified against the pimp because he was a drug dealer.  So they agreed to arrest him and his little plan backfired on him.  I of course had to explain to the police and the DA that all of this security equipment was not what one would have in a brothel.  We got it all sorted out and I realized I didn't want to do this again.  That's when I went to talk to Edwin Meese - he was the Attorney General at the time for California.  He had said if we put together a 12 step program we could go to the courts and offer an "alternative to sentencing" meaning the judge could court order those who were being forced to do this to our meetings instead of jail.  So we launched the hotline and the 12 step program in 1987.

But it wasn't that easy.  We had to explain to the judges what we meant by "when someone was forced".  To the judges if she said "yes" then she was guilty.  So we had to set up panels to educate the judges about how she might be saying "yes" because the pimp is back home holding her kids hostage.  This also meant educating the arresting officers about obtaining information at the time of the arrest to see if she was there by "choice" or whether she was being forced or not.  We were having a hard time getting everyone on the same page - so then mayor Tom Bradley, along with Chief Gates and Sheriff Block set up a board where an officer from each office was on the board.  This meant we had a cop, a judge, a probation officer, a social worker, someone from the health department, the mental health department, etc.  We had someone from each office come together to plan how we could all work together.  This was because we were at odds with each other.  We had the health department telling prostitutes to carry condoms - but then the cops and the DA considered that "evidence of prostitution".  So to make sure we weren't at cross purposes - that's why we had the board to get everyone on the same page.

However there was still the fact that no one was getting any blue ribbons or awards here.  To the eyes of the public we were still "criminals".  Worse "disease carriers".  There had just been Proposition K which had wanted to take all prostitutes and put us on an island to "quarantine" us from "decent society".  So there was a large amount of press at that time coming out that we were a "health threat" to people and should be literally carted off to an island and cut off from society.  So the people on this board were not exactly being praised for what they were doing.

We had no federal recognition, meaning no money.  So we had to do two things and do it fast - we had to swing public opinion over to what was going on AND we had to push for federal recognition. Now the world was a different place in the 1980's.  The only other person who had stepped up before me trying to convince America sex trafficking was real was Linda Lovelace.  She got nowhere.  It didn't help that when she got sick and needed an organ transplant that all the anti-porn people who were more than happy to let her speak to help them ban pornography and help them raise money all walked away from her the minute she needed help.  She didn't get paid one dime for her speaking because she was being told it would "help".  No one bought her book because they didn't believe her.  Then when she needed an organ transplant she had no choice in her mind but to do another porn.  The minute she did that porn to pay for her transplant - that was the minute everyone said "aha!"  They pointed out she had done the movie without anyone forcing her and thus the whole thing must be nothing more than her trying to sell a book.

So we knew two things gearing up to start to do our media - the first was that we weren't going to ask for a dime.  Not sell a book.  Not make a movie.  So every book and movie offer that came my way I saved the offers but refused them.  The second was that we had to go onto the camera "full face" so they could see our eyes and hear our voices and know our sincerity.  When you're in  "he said she said' battle where the sex industry is lashing back at you saying something isn't true - what have you got but the fact people can look in your eyes and know you're telling the truth.

That's why when Joe Conforte would come on with four prostitutes with him laughing up on stage for an hour about how "fun" being in the sex industry was - the only thing I could do to counter them wasn't to call them a "liar".  But to tell my experiences and my story with the camera being able to see into my eyes and hear my voice.   For the first year - I was the only one who would go on national TV.  I wouldn't even dream of asking our newer members to go onto TV until they had more time.  The older members had jobs and husbands and no one knew - so they weren't going to endanger those new lives by going onto TV.  I wasn't married and hadn't had a kid yet - so I could do this.

Now mind you - I was going onto shows my bosses wouldn't see.  We didn't have DVR's and the internet.  Meaning I'd go onto a Jerry Springer or Geraldo or Maury or Donahue - and working people didn't see me on TV.  We didn't even have Tivo.  So when my face went out onto the airwaves it was to people who were at home.  Not in the office working.  Which was who we wanted to see us - the working girls most of them watching these afternoon talk shows and any of my bosses weren't going to see this because they were at work.

I would dye my hair different colors each time I'd go on TV.  For the first year I went on TV under the name I was arrested under - not my "legal" name.  So working under the name "Jody Williams" people didn't connect it was me.  Now once in a while a wife of my boss would see me on TV and confront me about it and I would deny it.  There were no tapes then remember so what proof was there that had been me?  Back then when you appeared on national TV once the show was over it was over.  Very few people would record things back then like that and play them back.

After the 2nd Geraldo we STILL were not being believed by the general public.  So the producer, Geraldo's wife, said "bring on more people - they can't argue with you if you bring on more people".  Now by that time we had more members of our program then we'd worked with and many of them wanted to get the word out about our hotline to others.  But again, it was a different time.  We didn't have the internet then.  No one recorded these shows.  We could disguise people with wigs and make-up but as long as the eyes were visible - people could see and hear these people were telling the truth.
Then we found out about public access.  That gave us a free hour to put interviews with survivors on air that aired about Los Angeles.  Then we would interview members of what their story was - how they had been sold by an uncle or a foster parent or even their father.  We had one show where the women talked about how her father had got her pregnant.  So each week we had a different story of a man or woman who had been sold or forced or trafficked or pimped and just tried to cover as much of a variety of stories as possible.  But these shows were very very devastating on the individual.  We had a strong network of support around them.  We were in the studios with them.  We had meetings going on the outside .  These were done with a lot of support around them otherwise I assure you they  would have relapsed from the strain.

Each time we did this we did it with two goals in mind - one was to promote our hotline.  The second was we were going for federal recognition.  The world could not keep saying we "didn't exist" if I kept bringing survivors one the TV each week.  After we taped a show, we would duplicate the tape.  Then I'd send it to a public access channel in another city.  It would air there.  Then another and another . That's how we found our way to Allentown in 1989 where they asked us to bring our program up there which became the Program for Female Offenders.  We had sent a tape of the show up there to play on public access.

Now I personally stopped doing all TV in 1992.  My daughter was born and I didn't want to do anything that would affect her in school.  In 1992 we reached a saturation point.  I could not walk into a coffee shop or a gas station without people saying "I know you - you're that lady on TV show helps prostitutes".

Then it became a problem.  I started having people tell me they were afraid to be seen in public with me - that people "might know" why I was there.  I had people in church afraid to sit next to me for fear people would think they were a prostitute I was helping.  I also couldn't do outreach the same way because the pimps would recognize my face.  So my "notoriety" became a problem.   So in 1992, I personally stopped doing all TV appearances and was leaving them up to the members to do interviews.

But then guess what?  The world caught on.  I started getting calls from people all over the country who were "getting it".  I started speaking to the people who wrote the Trafficking Act of 2000.  I was talking to Attorney Generals all over the country.  Those Attorney Generals  I was talking to later got fired - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dismissal_of_U.S._attorneys_controversy

Each time I went onto TV however I was fired and evicted.  Someone would see me and tell someone who would tell someone - and it would happen.  Now I adjusted.  I went and signed up with a temp service who just moved me into another job when that happened.  I went and rented a weekly apartment that could care less what I did.   So I paid a very heavy price on many levels for those TV appearances.  But I was the one I felt got "called" to do this.  Now it worked.  We got recognition and the world now knows trafficking is real.

So as of the passing of the Trafficking Act of 2000 - us appearing "full face" on camera is not necessary.  We have proved it's real.  Okay check.

Now since then we made a policy within our own program that we do radio and we do interviews in print but we do NOT do full face interviews.  There is no reason to take the backlash.  Look I hate to be blunt here but each person we put up on those talk show stages I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt was "real".  Those were men and women I had personally pulled out of the situations they were in and I had walked them through the first rough nights where I had to sit up with them all night.  There was not a doubt in my mind those people were the 100 percent "real deal'.  That's another reason why producers came to us - they knew we wouldn't put someone on their TV Shows that wasn't 100 percent "real".

That's why when the state department wanted the report done on sex trafficking in the USA - the researcher for that report came to us.  They knew we were going to provide them with 100 percent "bonafide' survivors to interview.  We agreed to do that only because the report was supposed to validate that sex trafficking did exist within the legal sex industry - the legal brothels, the strip clubs, the webcam studios, etc.  We felt it was important to get that point across to the government so we agreed to make the exception and do that press conference in 2007 where the clips also are on www.hightechmadam.com

But as of now today - the point has been made.  Samoly Mam set a bad standard.  She paraded herself all over the media full face in order to get checks.  But she was a fraud.  Annie Lombert did the same thing with Destiny House.  She went on TV with the so called "reality show" with Bravo and the series "Saved on the Strip" only there was no house.  When we uncovered there was no house, and that Pastor Benny Perez had filed bankruptcy and all the media was false - Bravo backed up and yanked the show after only one episode aired.  Annie ran off to S. Africa for a year.  She couldn't come completely clean about the whole thing because she was married to Pastor Perez's relative.  I don't know if it was a cousin -but they were related.  So she just ran out of the country for six months to let the controversy blow over.

But people saw Annie and Samoly and thought "oh this is what you do".  Now this is not what you do.  That's what THEY DO.  

I assure you we took alot of steps also that might not have shown on camera - but no one went onto TV with us unless we were absolutely sure that no one was looking for them number one.  Number two - we made sure they were financially secure and that their landlord wouldn't kick them out.  We took a lot of steps to make sure there wouldn't be backlash.

But 1995 came and changed everything.  The internet was born.  Now this is a whole other animal because people can not Tivo your appearance on TV.  They can now record your appearance on TV.  So we stopped all full face media.  The need was over.  Point made.  Trafficking is real.  There just isn't anymore point now.  For people raising money using Annie and Samoly Mam - well that's people raising money.  That's not what our goals are or were.

Now something happened a few years ago that I'm still in the process of debating if we're going to sue.  Because I get asked about this all the time now - well you appeared on TV when you . . .

http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Jail-Inmates-Start-Prostitutes-Anonymous-Group-277845151.html

Yes Brenda Myers-Powell went and did a documentary called "Dreamcatchers" where she talked about Prostitutes Anonymous.  She did another documentary with Oprah where she talked about Prostitutes Anonymous and she went full face on that also.  She also did that piece above with NBC.  We had sent her a "cease and desist" order each time- on three separate times - we sent her a legal notice informing her she did not have the legal right to use our program name in the media.  Now if she wanted to go on TV and talk about herself that was not our program.  She could knock herself out.  But if she was going to drag our name into the media - she had to have our legal consent as copyright and trademark holder. She did not have the "group conscience" and in fact I took a group conscience each time asking them if they agreed with her actions and each time every one voted "no".  So she had the express "disapproval" of our members.

Now with this NBC thing she crossed the line.  We have begged NBC to take these pictures down.  They did try but it was too late.  People had liked and tweeted and Favorited and relinked and shared and these photos went out all over the world to 100 different sites.  There was no way to stop this.

Let me tell you this -in the past each time we went onto TV it was "group conscienced".  Everyone in the program supported it.  Each time we did things the "right" way - we would get slammed with calls.  We would get sometimes 5000 to 8000 calls after one show would air we did.

We got NOTHING off these shows Brenda did.  Oh sure we got a couple of "kick the tires calls" checking us out and asking questions - but someone really serious about getting help and getting out?  Not a one.  We did however get feedback and our fears were right.  The people who saw the show felt that if she was going to be this public as to show her face in today's age then they didn't trust her with their anonymity.  As I started getting more and more feedback from incoming members - they told me they didn't respond to what she did because they didn't feel they could step forward safely.

She only did this media after she got asked to join forces with the local Chicago police.  We had told her very clearly that our program is for those who CAN'T CALL THE POLICE.  That's our line in th sand.  If you can call the police - call the police.  But if you can't - that's where we can help.  Now knowing that - having Brenda go on TV full face and saying she's "working with the Chicago police' made no impact at all.

Now I have kept tabs on those "real" survivors who have been talked into doing these "documentaries".  It has almost universally come out that they were being exploited.  Just like Linda was being exploited.  Because you've got to really ask yourself something before you put your face on it today knowing that right now if you put your face out there - it's going to live on.

Here's what I want you to think about - traffickers today have access to facial recognition software. If you plan on doing any type of "undercover" work or outreach work - and you put your face out there on TV or the internet - forget about it. Once your face goes into their facial recognition software - you won't get past the front door of a trafficking operation.  So if you plan on doing any type of undercover work - you lose that the minute you put your face onto major media.

Now - do you want to work with survivors?  If you have a "known" face then they won't want to be seen in public with you.  They know your presence will alert others they might be a prostitute just by being seen with you. So you will actually scare survivors away from you who want to keep their anonymity and thus not be seen by you.

Ask yourself "who are these people?" trying to get you onto camera?  Did they help you to get out?  What do you know about them?  Because let me tell you something - our members are very "anonymous" but they're there.  I'm hearing from them they are being approached to sell all kinds of stuff.  One woman told me she was approached to sell make-up, self-defense equipment, training courses, clothing, journals, and the list went on of what they wanted her as a survivor to put her "name" and face on to help them sell their products.

Now here's one thing that really burns my butt - but I'm hearing from women who are being put into residential programs they're being pressured to do these fund raisers and interviews and be filmed full face. There is a subtle guilt trip like if they don't do this - then they could be kicked out.  They're told "if we don't raise the money then we're going to be shut down" and they're basically guilt tripped into doing it.  As survivors - we don't know how to say "no" to someone that something is not your problem.  That is not your problem they don't have money.  Maybe it's a sign they're doing something wrong LIKE ASKING YOU TO BE FILMED.

The really really frustrating one is the court programs.  There is a program in Vegas called WIN. They insist the women graduating have to be photographed full face taking their graduation award and then it prints their legal name.  Each and every woman has told me after that photo appears - they are fired and evicted.  Does the program care?  Hell no - they GRADUATED them.  They get to parade around this woman's photo as a "graduate" and do they care she just got fired and evicted?  Not their problem.

Now I jumped all over Marion Brooks the journalist for the NBC story and I reamed her ass about photographing those women in jail. Do you know what she told me?  "Well they gave permission".  Oh yeah right - they're in JAIL.  They were asked by the JAIL to be photographed now who is going to say "no"?  I'd like to know who in jail is going to say to the people who hold your fate in their hands "no"?

I told Marion that was an unfair question.  Of course they were going to say "yes".  You know why?  Division 17 that had hired Brenda to do that whole piece was going for a grant.  Only guess what?  The whole thing was staged.  I don't know if Marion cares or not.  But the whole thing was put together for her benefit so the people applying for the grant for Division 17 could look good and say they were running our 12 step meetings in the jail - only guess what?  That's not our meetings!  The whole thing was a sham.  It was a dog and pony show for the cameras which was to support them getting a grant.  The meeting that was filmed?  Was put together for the news.  The minute the cameras left - the whole thing was shut down.  Do these people think I don't hear from these women once they're released? I do.  I get a phone call once she's gotten out and I get an earful about how the whole thing was staged for the cameras.  Now could she be lying?  Sure.  So I check with the jails and sure enough - no more Prostitutes Anonymous meetings in the jail.  Do they have something else replacing it?  Nope.

So we're left with the fact that for these programs to get their grant money they're going to insist on survivors putting their faces onto camera.  Many of them can't say no or don't know how to say no.  That leaves us with the reporters.  We have got to start hounding the reporters this isn't cool.

THIS IS IMPORTANT.  They are going to keep doing it as long as people respond to it.  So to stop this practice we have to START OBJECTING.  When you see another survivor's face posted - whether you think it's real or not - you've got to start complaining to the reporter and publisher about this that it's not cool with you.  The ones being pressured into doing it - can't.  They need our help.

That's why yes when I heard about the latest production out of Exodus Cry and CNN - I wrote the reporter and told them to please take down the photo.  Now I don't know about you folks but I know what I looked like when I drug into recovery and I had calculated I had turned about 15,000 tricks.   I was sick.  I was white as a sheet.  People told me I looked like I was going to die.  My hair and teeth were falling out.  I had dark circles under my eyes.  I'm sorry but she just looks a hell of a lot healthier than anyone I've seen coming into recovery - myself included.

Now I don't know how many of you have done a rescue but the eyes on these women is that of a terrified rabbit.  You so much as make a loud noise and they will freak out.  I just don't see that look. I've done rescues for 30 years now plus and I know what the terror looks like in the eyes that sometimes takes years to go away.

Survivors - you are being targeted by a different kind of "pimp".  This pimp exploits survivors.  With millions of dollars coming in to trafficking programs they are getting DESPERATE.  I already have had them sweep into our program and make generous offers to women like Brenda to corrupt them.

She took their money and made their documentaries and got paid.  And that 14 year old girl that was trafficked by those cops in Chicago might have been able to get help sooner if she hadn't been distracted by those cops.  I've spoken to the women who were used in those news interviews where she pretended to have a program and they still think it was Prostitutes Anonymous that did that to them. I'm STILL trying to convince them that we had been trying to stop her and had nothing to do with it.

You're going to be the one who has to live with your decisions.  I have talked to many a survivor who has been talked into doing one of these films or interviews by someone - and they report back they were forced, duped, or even relapsed behind it.  One woman reported a charity used her for one interview after the other and when she told them she needed rest for her bipolar  disorder they kept pushing her until she relapsed.  Then they turned on her and threw her out into the street.  Same as Linda  - used up and then when you really need help from these people they are gone.

Ruth Jacobs has since come back to me saying that Rachel Moran had sided her to her and "made friends" and then pulled on her to launch a smear campaign against our program.  She says she did it because she thought "they were friends".  Friends don't have you turn on survivors.   When she started having second thoughts about what they were doing - she says Rachel dropped her like a hot potato.  She made an amends to us and I thank her for that. But the damage was done.  People trusted her word and those people got hurt.  Now they don't even know who to trust.

I don't tell people not to belong to other groups.  I just tell them to please remain "anonymous" and not mention they belong to our program.  But when someone is trying to cut you off from another survivor - danger danger danger.

Think back - what do predators do?  They cut you off from your support network that has your back don't they?  Just think - any predator molester pimp abuser - they cut you off from people.  They try and control you and tell you who to talk to, who to be friends with, who to hang out with who is "acceptable".

That's your sign if you're not sure about media.  If you're still not sure - pray on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.