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Saturday, November 28, 2015

WHO DO I BELIEVE?

The world of recovery is a very confusing world.  Well heck the world itself is a confusing place.  Let's say you're still "new" in recovery and you're trying to figure out what to do to help yourself get what you want.  You don't know what or who to believe.  I don't care who or what you are - you will always have people who love something and support it and others who attack it strongly.  You don't know who to believe.  I know exactly how you feel because I was the same way.  What made it even harder for me is the fact the outside world didn't even acknowledge most of what I was living was real - let alone did I have a clue what might help me or not help me.

Why?  Because I never saw anyone leave where I was.  In the early 1980's I was involved in a lot of things.  I was involved in the sex industry at a level way beyond the stereotypical image of a street prostitute with a street pimp.  I was literally watching women being sold and then loaded onto diplomat planes and flown out of the country.  I was watching Chuck Barris, the producer of the Dating Game and the Gong Show, asking madams to send over working girls to "audition" for the Dating Game.  I then saw some of those women being recruited to work for an escort service called "Talk of the Town" who was run by LAPD officers working undercover.  Were they "undercover" or were they actually using that as a cover for being traffickers?

So even in the streets - wondering what something really is and who you can really trust is just as much of an issue.  But out there - I always picked wrong.  I always seemed to think my friends were my enemies and my enemies were my friends.  So how do I go about trying to sort out who and what to believe about what or who I'm going to receive help from in order to get out of this and recover?

Let me give you an example.  We all know Bill Wilson founded Alcoholics Anonymous.  Now you think that knowing this fact that he would be some kind of universal "hero" in the eyes of AA and the world right?  Take a look at this video attacking him based on a letter written by the woman who introduced Bill Wilson to Dr. Bob - Dr. Bob being the 1st person he recruited into his concept of what was needed to help the alcoholic find lasting sobriety and recovery.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCkPahJ0z8Q

For those who don't know the story - Bill had gone on yet another binge.  He was trying to sleep it off when a man named Ebby approached him about the Oxford Church.  Put into the context that at this time in history alcoholism was a 100 percent fatal disease.  No one recovered.  There were literally sanitarians and drunk tanks and the system that existed at that time and the culture was this - alcoholics were viewed as having no "moral fiber" and "not able to control themselves".

They were viewed as winos who slept in alley's and losers.  The cops would put them into "drunk tanks" to sleep it off and then after paying a fine and doing some time would just release them.  The doctors put them into "wet farms" which meant they would drink until their livers would fail or their brains would turn to mush - hence "wet brain" where they would then go off to "wet farms" who would just care for them until they died.

So this church was a big deal back then by actually starting to get some kind of sobriety.  No one lasted more than a year however.  The alcoholic would be paraded around in the front of the church "testifying" until they're relapse.  Then the relapses would be shuffled off to the back.  Needless to say, Bill Wilson went on  a trip to find work and we now know that stress and travel can trigger the urge to drink.  So here he is in a strange town.  He's been arguing with the Oxford Group that they are missing a few key components to their program for one.  For another, he felt it should be taken out of the church and made into something "non-denominational" so that the Jews and atheists could also avail themselves of a system to get sober.

So at a whole whopping eight months of sobriety - the story goes he got a roll of nickels for the payphone.  Then he got onto the phone and started calling around town trying to find another drunk to work with.  He was told about Dr. Bob - a respected surgeon in town who was finding he was even operating drunk.  His wife, the church, his patients' trust - nothing was stopping his drinking.  So Bill went to go talk to him - or do the first "12 step call".  Dr. Bob then achieved a few months of sobriety and when he started having a hard time - they went to visit a man in the hospital.  The process repeated and AA came out of this process.

Now a lot of people have a lot of horrible things to say about Bill the man.  If you watch this video - it also says a lot of bad things about the man.

All of which may or may not be true.  Two facts remain - AA was born and today there are people achieving long term sobriety through AA.

When I was in ministry school when I was younger - I was taught something called "discernment".  Here's some verses on this - http://biblehub.com/matthew/7-17.htm  Because I also know God's Word doesn't contradict itself I don't believe something in conflict with the Bible as a guideline.  Meaning - you don't judge a tree by the tree.  You judge a tree by what?  The fruit.

This woman who wrote this letter about what an awful man Bill was?  What is the "fruit" of her tree?  Did she create the program of AA which was the basis for a whole revolution in recovery?  Because after AA was born - many many things changed.  Marty got sober and founded the National Council on Alcoholism.  Out of that, came research which proved that alcoholism is a disease that you can even find genetic markers for.  I've seen research proving the brain of one is even different than that of a "normie".  There are thicker, more twisted, bundles of nerves at the back of the brain for example.  The "lizard brain" or limbic system is bigger, the frontal lobe less developed - all proving there is a problem with impulse control.  The world stopped viewing this as a moral issue and instead now understands it's a disease.

Out of AA - other issues evolved.  When I first opened up our 12 step program I kept hearing the argument that it "couldn't be an addiction" for some because there was no "addictive substance" such as alcohol or drugs are.  Science has now evolved to where we have clinics in Japan to treat video game addiction.  So science has now evolved to show us that the "addictive cycle" can exist even on something like a video game.  I've watched "Strange Addiction" where people re addicted to eating baby powder, drinking paint and sniffing gasoline.  So it's not the "thing" or the "behavior" for some.
Which is why I do not address the sex industry as the problem in Sex Workers Anonymous.  Nor is even every member someone who identifies as "addicted" even.  SWA is designed to accommodate anyone for any reason who wants help to quit the industry and find recovery.

Meaning yes we do have some members who report they are "addicted" and "can't stop".  For them, we have a program to offer them that will get them off that gopher wheel.  For others, they are trapped by a person or persons making them do it such as a pimp or trafficker.  For them, we also have a system we can offer them to help remove them, and then make sure they don't return.  We say that because we saw over and over again that you could remove someone from a horrific situation and then suddenly blink and the victim had either returned on their own two feet or they would go out and find someone just as horrible, if not worse even, to return to, if there was not a proper "intervention" and "after-care" program offered them.

Which honestly is why many people are confused by us.  They keep expecting us to "be like AA" or even like other groups.  Last night I had someone on Twitter attacking us because we "don't offer services like other groups do".  Well I ask you - why would we offer "services other people are offering"?  We're different and designed to do what no one else is doing.  If there are other groups who do things like providing cash aid, or housing - that's fantastic.  But to attack us for not doing what someone else is doing is like attacking the local bakery for not "selling meat like the butcher does".  It makes no sense other than simply that person is just desperate for something to attack us over clearly.

Which is frankly what you have to examine.  I was taught that if I want to hear how awful Bill is and how AA "doesn't work" than just walk into any bar.  Every drunk at the bar will tell me a story about how screwed up AA is and how it "doesn't work".   While honestly, if I walk into an AA meeting - then I'm also going to hear how AA "saved their life".

So the truth of the situation is that it's not really about whether or not someone or something is good or bad - the real question you're asking at this point is "will it work for me?"  Bringing us right back to the fruit of the tree.

I can go onto Google and I can find 1000 "survivors" all doing the same thing - they have a book out, a ministry, they speak, they advocate, etc.  Bully for them.  I'm happy for them.  The question you have to look at is the "fruit of the tree".  Are they promoting themselves?  Or are they showing you a way out?  Are they showing you them as a person and asking you to be a fan and supporter of them?  Or are they showing you a program where you can improve your life and empower yourself?  If they're asking for money to "support their work" - do you see the work?  Do you see something for a person hurting or in trouble to call them for help?  If all I see on a website is a "donate" button and even 1000 testimonials - but I don't see a number for a victim to call and an invitation for those hurting to call not the National Trafficking Hotline to make a report (making a report is not a program).

Let me show you something at www.hightechmadam.com  The news clip says it was a "brothel" that I was arrested over.  However, it also says it was a warehouse with a lot of high tech security that was two blocks from the police station.  Now I ask you - what "brothel" is like this?  The truth is that this warehouse was the first adult safe house in the country.  I know because I set it up that way because nothing else existed for adults.  After putting a victim in it who had her pimp break her arm and her nose - he got angry when he couldn't break in to retrieve her.  So he called the police and made a "tip" that it was a "brothel".

Now I got it sorted out and regrouped to instead launch the hotline and 12 step program in 1987 if you read further down on those clips.  Meaning if you take a victim away from a pimp and they can't get her back . . . guess what?  They're going to retaliate.  You want to know if a program is effective against pimps?  THEY WILL RETALIATE.  If a program is rolling along and no pimp or traffickers are attacking them - then it's a safe bet they aren't DOING ANYTHING TO ANTAGONIZE the enemy.

I can go into a state right now that's having a horrible argument over an endangered owl.  One half of the argument is trying to "save the owls".  The other side says that this "saving" is costing them jobs which is causing the economy of the town to die.  Who is right?

What you have to ask yourself is what do you want?  If you are reading this and you want to (1) find a way out of the sex industry permanently, and (2) you want to find a way to have that life outside of sex work be happy and productive instead of being broke and depressed - then there's only one thing you need to focus in on.

The fruit of the tree.  A few days ago someone told me that they were approached by an abolition group to make a false claim they had helped them to help them manufacture fake articles.  We saw a lot of this "faking" with "8 Minutes" and Kevin Brown.  The whole story of his "outreach" was a complete act.  We now know they hired actors to play prostitute and pimp - and there was no "rescue program".  The whole thing was staged.  Someone spent a lot of money and went to a lot of trouble to make it appear that a rescue appeared that was bogus.  So how do you know what's real and what's fake?

Well in the case of every "bogus" reality show and faked rescues I've read about so far whether it was Kevin Brown, or Destiny House, or Samoly Mam, or Saved by the Strip, or other bogus stories that have come to light - two things always come up.  The first is the connection to Exodus Cry and the second is that neither our program nor Children of the Night have had anything to do with it.  So that's one thing - ask yourself if you've heard of our program or even Children of the Night attached to any of these bogus groups or bogus claims or even bogus survivors?

There was no money in this work prior to the year 2000.  Not a dime.  Why?  There was no federal recognition.  That meant no federal grants nor money from the Catholic Church or even fund raisers because the world had not agreed that sex trafficking was even REAL until the passing of the Trafficking Act of 2000.  So ask yourself - when did this other group start up?  Now does that mean that only groups founded prior to 2000 are legit?  Of course not.  But this is a way to sort things out.  Look at who they partner with.  Birds of a feather.  Then look to see what their motivation might be - were they there before money was on the table?

Next - follow the money.  Are they holding a fund raiser?  Applying for a grant?  Just got a grant?  Is someone running for office?  Were they doing the work before they got paid to do the work?  Are they donating any help or time?  Underage minors who can't go to groups to hear other survivors because of their age want to hear stories of recovery.  So I put together interviews at www.leavingtheliferadio.com for them to be able to hear any time any where - even if they're in Alaska or some tiny little town.   No one on that show was paid to speak.  I have asked, and still ask, every "survivor" out there to record their story for those young victims.  If you don't see a name there of someone like Theresa Flores, Chong Kim, Savannah Sanders, Samoly Mam, Beth Jacobs, Barbara Amaya, or any other name you can think of - that's because they refused.

Now I ask you - what in the hell have I personally got to do with that decision?  Those interviews have been listened to right now to date by over 18,000 teen victims of sex trafficking who write to me that they found hope for their lives by hearing stories of recovery on that show which can be heard for free any time any where 24/7.  Am I the one punished when Beth Jacobs or Theresa Flores for example don't record an interview for those young victims who are being put into foster homes, group homes, or taken home where they aren't around other survivors and they feel isolated and alone and maybe even like a freak and they're desperate to hear from other people they aren't alone and there's hope?

Someone whose focus and eyes are set on helping other victims and doesn't care about the money but only about helping - has granted us an interview.  If you want to know why others might have refused to be recorded - I won't speak for their reasons.  You ask them their reasons.  I will just say I've asked them to be recorded for this purpose and they've said no.  If there is one single survivor right now as of 2015 out there - I've asked them to be recorded for those young victims who may be surrounded by therapists and ministers and people - but need to hear from other survivors.

Many members of SWA have gone on to form their own programs.  Brenda Myers-Powell and Kathleen Mitchell for example have openly said in interviews they got their recovery through our program.  There are others I can't name - but they exist.  

I know churches that used to hold lectures claiming that Martin Luther King was "destroying the civil rights movement".  I know there are hate sights right now set up against President Obama.  Some claim he even lied about his birth certificate.

So please - stop looking for someone who is universally liked.  If anything, if they're that well liked you got to wonder what pimps are they pissing off?  Right now there are people who are throwing gas bombs at and even shooting people at Planned Parenthood - the last line drawn in the battle for control over a woman's body and free choice.  I personally don't believe in abortion.  But I also don't want someone else telling me what to do with my body either.  Like free speech - I may disagree with you violently but I will defend to the death your right to say your peace.  We are watching a "war on women" right now where Planned Parenthood AND Sex Workers Anonymous is now the new front lines.

How are we the front lines?  Read the lawsuit at ACLU v. Catholic Bishops.  Read the Supreme Court decision at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agency_for_International_Development_v._Alliance_for_Open_Society_International,_Inc.  Take a look at what happened to Harry Reid when he tried to uphold the court order in the ACLU v. Catholic Bishop's lawsuit where the court upheld the church could not block trafficking victims from getting help if it brought them into contact with someone who might even say the word "abortion" like a medical doctor or a licensed therapist.  We literally have right now trafficking victims being taken from the traffickers and put into a whole other hell where nuns are convincing these women they would be "horrible mothers" in order to get them to sign away their babies in baby mills pretending to be "safe houses".  Where things like this are happening - http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-immigrant-whistleblower-20151124-story.html

So yes - there is a war going on right now where our program is the target because we are the ONLY program in this country right now that (1) welcomes men, women, transgenders, (2) the LGBT victims, (3) doesn't focus only on street level prostitution who are primarily minorities because those at the escort levels of customers prefer to only have white escorts leaving minorities to work the streets, massage parlors, strip clubs, etc., (4) operates the only hotline where we do NOT work or report your calls to law enforcement or use your data for research nor are we paid informants, (5) we receive no federal grants, (6) we take no money from any church, (7) and we are all survivors volunteering our work, and (8) we encourage all new members to get a complete physical, including an HIV test.

We know for a fact that operators of residential programs have been asked if they would physically block their residents from accessing any services that might lead to abortion in order to receive large donations or even operating funds (again refer to ACLU v. Catholic Bishops).  Groups like Children of the Night do not receive federal funds nor funds from a church either.  Meaning there is no "second master".  The only focus with CON and also SWA is the work.  We're not trying to get a grant approved, nor money put into a Gofundme account nor trying to get press for political or ideological reasons.  Our ONLY purpose is the work.

Now that said am I, Jody, a "perfect" person?  Ask any celebrity, politician, or even large business owner if everything said about them is the truth.  Ask them if everything printed on social media about them is the truth.   You'll find them joking about how crazy outlandish and far out what they find printed about them is.  So probably about 90 percent of what you might hear about me and even SWA is going to also be the same as for anyone in the public eye - meaning mostly false and being the way the public is - meaning to "tear it all down".

So again we go back to the reason question - it's not about me as a person.  It's not about what someone said about me behind my back or on twitter.  You need to "look at the fruit" and then ask yourself what you want.

If you want to get out of the sex industry - asking someone in the sex industry probably is about as wise as asking an alcoholic how to get sober or a broke man how to become wealthy.   No matter what my personal faults may be considering I'm not only human but a damaged human also - is the fact I have been out of the sex industry, and clean from all drugs, including alcohol, since January of 1985.  Take a look at our site and blog - am I focusing on creating a fan club or selling you some jewelry or winning an award - or is the focus on the work?  Are other people finding recovery through SWA?  Those are the questions you need to ask yourself if that's what you want.

If you are under 18 - ask yourself - what other program can crank out alumni?  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/457748749599747070/  Now anyone can pay someone to pretend to be a survivor - we saw that with Samoly Mam and others.  But the money has to come from somewhere.  I have no money - so anyone offering us a testimonial for SWA I can assure you was not paid for that.  As for CON - I highly doubt she has enough money to pay all those adults to come back and speak about how CON helped them.  One or two?  Sure we saw that with Withelma Ortiz Pettigrew.   But now a crowd spanning generations.

Is Lois a perfect person?  Frankly I don't give a shit.  The fruit of her tree speaks for itself as does mine.

Now am I going to tell you to "stay away" from other groups that might be bad for you?  Am I doing that now?  Have I called you up and told you to "stay away" from so and so or have I printed a list here of people to avoid?  Or am I offering you up a lesson in how to discern for yourself how to figure out who to trust and who might be able to actually help you?

In my book - only pimps try and use fear to try and control you.  I share my "experience, strength and hope" with others.

People using a claim of disliking or disapproving of me as a person - ask them if they're (1) worked through the steps, and (2) how many people have they helped to escape trafficking, to find recovery, and then found their own programs helping others.

There's your answer.









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