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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

OPEN LETTER TO BRADLEY MYLES OF POLARIS ABOUT PIMPS IN MEXICO


I read this article today by Bradley Myles of Polaris about how he's "discovered a town where pimps are raised". My first instinct was to call Bradley. Only I know from many many past attempts to communicate with him about this article he won't return my calls or answer my emails. In fact, not one of my attempts have been responded to. Shame. Maybe if he were to consider opening up a dialogue with someone who is not only a survivor of American sex trafficking, but also the founder of the oldest and largest group of recovering survivors of the sex industry he wouldn't be sounding in this article so shocked by what he saw down in Tenancingo, Mexico. Because this sort of thing is not only nothing new – it's the sort of thing that was part of my story and it's going on right now in the United States.

Maybe if he wasn't spending his time talking to “faux survivors” like Samoly Mam, Chong Kim, or Wilthema Ortiz Pettigrew he might have heard about this sort of thing before now. These are just but some of the names that are being paraded around luncheons, fund raisers and the media by a group of powerful people trying very hard to convince America the sex industry and sex trafficking are one in the same so they can pass some laws, advance their careers, line their pockets, and increase their social ranking by exploiting us without even giving us the common respect of returning our phone calls while saying how much they care about us.

For those of you who don't know – Bradley Myles is not a survivor, neither is his wife. That I'm aware of anyway.  The National Trafficking Hotline they formed was launched in 2002.  A report I read last month stated they've answered collectively about 100,000 calls to date.  I don't know how many of those calls Mr. Myles has taken personally but I don't think he answers the hotline himself.

I answer our hotline personally and when ours was launched in 1987 I didn't have  choice but to be the person answering the hotline.  You know why?  Because people who had not witnessed what goes on in "the life" don't believe you when you describe this world.   So who else was going to launch the hotline but me? Besides – I'm the one who got the “call” (wink wink). If you don't know what I mean by that – you can read John Quinones' interview with me about how our work got started and why in more depth.

That outsiders didn't believe us was proven to be the case when Linda Lovelace released her book "Ordeal" in 1980 to audiences on talk shows yelling "boo" and "liar" or "crazy" at her for revealing she had been forced to film "Deep Throat" while her pimp pointed a gun at her head from off-camera.

I read somewhere that Polaris brought in about $10 million dollars in grants and donations last year. You know how the first hotline for adults who wanted help of any kind to leave for any reason in this country got off the ground? We didn't have money for commercial answering services in 1987.   There were not grants or fund raisers because again NO ONE BELIEVED US except a few insiders who knew these things to be true. Again, Lois had opened up Children of the Night for the teens. I already got smacked for opening the first safe house for adults in 1984 by getting arrested. Been there done that. So I was going to go the “outpatient” route now.

Which meant paying a fortune to have an 800 number.  Back in 1987 we didn't have VOIP or internet.  Meaning I had to have a landline phone to get an 800 phone number.  To get an 800 phone number, one had to have a business phone.  To get a business phone, one had to have an office.   The phone company wouldn't install business phones in residential property. So I was paying $100 a month for the office, another $100 a month for the phone, and then $1.00 a minute for the incoming calls.  Our monthly phone bills were over $1000 a month.  I had to work two jobs to keep on our hotline. Children of the Night was able to get the bills paid for the kids through social services because they were kids. But for adults to have a hotline – I took out a second job.  

We were the only hotline there was to call if you were over 18 years of age.  Meaning if you were being held captive by your pimp handcuffing you to the bed and you managed to break free one night and escaped by running down the streets with no clothes on to a pay phone to call us for help - we were who you called.  

We had to help because victim services didn't recognize us as victims, hospitals refused to admit us, domestic violence and homeless shelters refused us, and there was not one single safe house for us anywhere in the country if you were over 18 years of age back then.   Do you have any idea what it's like to be told there's no “place for you” at a homeless shelter? Or to be like the woman I took in back in 1984 – she had a broken arm, a broken nose and two black eyes but the domestic violence shelters refused to take her?

So if a porn performer found out she/he was HIV/AIDS positive and couldn't work in the industry any longer - we'd get the call. There were posters up at HIV testing sites saying “if you want help to quit the sex industry for any reason – call XXX”. Before the Telecommunications Act of 1995 – we had PSA's with Frances Nuyen running all night on TV and cable where she'd say “do you want help to leave? Call XXX-XXXX” and it was that simple (we didn't want to upset anyone either so we kept it simple).

 When Jeane Palfrey, the DC Madam, was arrested and had her name and face plastered all over the internet so she couldn't run a service any longer - we got the call. She was a trafficking victim – but not one that could call the Trafficking Hotline.  Just as we got the call from a woman whose pimp threw her out of the car while it was going 75 mph when she told him she was pregnant and wanted to quit.  Just as we got the call from a hotel room where one woman had knocked out her pimp with the iron from the room so she could break free.  We had to get her out of there before he woke up.  Could we have called the police?  They would have charged her with assault probably so the answer is we thought it was better to get her out of there first.

We launched our hotline because sex workers had nowhere to go for help.  We couldn't go to the police or the mental health professionals because we'd either incriminate ourselves, or not be believed, let alone helped.   Back in the 1980's we were even turned away from hospitals, homeless and domestic violence shelters.  We welcomed calls from anyone in any part of sex work for any reason because if we turned our back on them - it could mean a potential death literally of someone.

 We didn't have federal recognition so there were no victim services.  We didn't have trafficking task forces either.  It was because there was nothing in the way of other resources I plugged in that hotline, took on two jobs, and tied myself to a 100 foot extension phone cord day and night so that we would have somewhere to call for help.  I didn't have the luxury I might add of making distinctions between who I helped by saying our hotline was ONLY for “trafficking victims”. In other words, if you needed help to leave for ANY reason – you called us then as you can call us now. The line of who is a trafficking victim vs. who isn't is in reality a very blurry one sometimes that can take sometimes years to figure out in reality.

Which means I've witnessed and experienced the sex industry from many levels while I was in that world in the late  70's and early 80's.  In fact, I've have answered an estimated 500,000 calls into our hotline from 1987 to 2014. I mean by that I've  personally answered those calls myself to protect callers  anonymity and confidentiality.  I also couldn't hire a professional answering service - because commercial services all refused to take incoming calls of such a volatile nature.  No one wants the legal responsibility or liability should someone sue.  Which by the way - no one has filed any lawsuits against us for doing bad work to date. 

We don't refer women who call us over to law enforcement except in a few rare cases. In the world where Bradley Myles lives the cops are who you call for help. That's not my world nor the world many sex workers, nor those who are trafficking victims live in. Why? Because sometimes the very person they're running from is law enforcement. I point you to the Chris Butler case where I was having to help women escape active duty highly respected police officers who also happened to own massage parlors where they were also selling drugs they'd taken from the evidence rooms. I can also assure you Oklahoma prostitutes were aware of Daniel Holtzclaw before news of him reached the press.

Maybe it's because our current legal system isn't set up properly to protect us from the enemy. Margo Compton tried to stop a domestic trafficking ring by going to the authorities to inform on a ring being run by the Hell's Angel's. While she was testifying against over 180 traffickers – her and her twin daughters were savagely murdered in her home. They were left in her home because safe houses for trafficking victims aren't set up to take in women with their children. She testified before the Trafficking Act of 2000 was passed - so the police couldn't authorize an officer to guard her at the house. The message was sent – testify against us and you die.

A recent article in the Guardian proves also what I've been saying – these women aren't safe even in jail as a form of protective custody. Not when the guards in the Kern County jail were sexually abusing the female inmates there so routinely they had a standard contract they were offering the women not to sue in exchange for $200 and a bag of chips. Silence can be bought cheap in Kern County when you're afraid to say “no” to a cop anyway. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/08/the-county-kern-county-california-sexual-assault-secret-payoffs

Leaving the sex industry, whether a trafficking victim or not, often means entering drug treatment. Not being us, Bradley also doesn't understand we can't just hand out referrals to just any drug treatment program without having carefully checked them out first either from our point of view. Why? Show me one case of rape that's been won where the victim is a prostitute in this country. Along with prostitutes telling me stories of being raped by “johns”, pimps, and cops – I've also heard 1000's of stories of them being raped by drug counselors - http://www.laweekly.com/news/a-drug-rehab-mogul-built-an-empire-that-s-now-being-probed-by-the-fbi-da-and-state-of-california-6390686 Just like this director said “why believe the word of a junkie prostitute?” So we don't just refer prostitutes into “just any” drug treatment program unless we've checked them out from OUR point of view first.

One of the reasons why we like to have one of our members go to court with each other is because we can even find ourselves raped right in the courtroom – and I don't mean figuratively. You'll notice in this case the courtroom staff just looked the other way while this woman was being abused. I don't know if the victim was a prostitute or not – but does it matter?

I'm glad Bradley is waking up and realizing young boys are groomed to be pimps and they need to be factored into the equation when it comes to helping the victims of sex trafficking in Tenancingo, Mexico.  Only Bradley - it's going on in Mexico TOO - Tenancingo is not a pocket or an anomaly.  Nor is it anything new either.  

Not only is this something going on right under our noses right here in the United States both back in the 1970's when I was first witnessing it - but it has EXPLODED on our school grounds across this country to the point there are security guards, and high school principals and teachers, all having back room meetings right now trying to figure out how to keep these pimps off campus legally without finding themselves the victim of some kind of lawsuit for "racial profiling".  

When my daughter was eight years old in a Las Vegas school she had a pimp HER AGE trying to recruit her to work for him.  In her case however she just laughed and brushed him aside because my daughter knew better.   So please stop trying to make us think this kind of thing is going on "elsewhere" when in reality it's going on right in our own back yard and it's going on right now.

To go back to when I was first "turned out" in Tarzana, California - I knew about "boys being groomed into pimps" when the "family" that lured me into sex work was the same family Richard Pryor speaks about when he talks about his mother working in his grandmother's brothel.  In that "family", the young women worked as prostitutes, but they were trained and groomed in "the game" by their mothers and grandmothers.  

Then when they became older, or got sick or injured, they too would graduate up to madaming like they'd seen their mom and grandmother did.    This allowed them to stay in the "game" their whole lives.  Meaning the young girls were raised up in the "game" from birth on.  This way literally you could be in prostitution not as a “job” but as a “life” hence the term “in the life”. It was a “way of life” you choose for yourself, your family, your children, and you stayed in it from cradle to grave. This is one of the differences between one of these who are “in the life” and someone who views the sex industry as a “career” or a “vocation”. Those in the “life” also feel it's a personal identity as to who you are – not again just a job title – that's why it's called “the life”.

I remember the first family BBQ I went to where the young girls as young as five were being taught how to "trick" for quarters in exchange for dancing while the adults coached.   The boys in this family were taught how to be drug dealers and pimps.  To train them to be pimps they were first worked as prostitutes also. In other words the boys were taught not to give their quarters to the girls to dance because that made them “tricks”. The boys were taught they had really “won the game” when they could get the girls to spend their quarters on them.  The boys would engage in prostitution at a young age by doing live sex shows and/or pornography with the other young girls so no "statutory rape" occurred.  

Rock, the young man who was my age, was paired with me because he didn't want to pimp.  He preferred to be a drug dealer which was a choice the men were given. I had to take care of a man in the family to be admitted into the inner circle – so I took care of Rock. I didn't want a pimp – so I let him have his own room and he dealt out of that room.  Some young men eager to start pimping as soon as possible would often be given transgender or older prostitutes who would actually groom them in how to pimp them.  https://www.revealnews.org/blog/teen-pimps-increasingly-charged-for-trafficking-under-new-state-laws/  Yes you heard me - the older women would train the teen pimps in how to pimp on them like "training wheels" for when they moved on as they got older.  

The average age a man starts becoming a pimp is 13 years of age.  I invite you to listen to a man talking about going out to learn "the game" at this young age. 
 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk/2013/05/20/ex-pimp-of-32-years-tells-all-1  I invite you to listen to Aubrey speak about how her boyfriend/pimp turned her out at 13 years old while being taught how to do so by his father raping her while he watched.  Sort of "hands on" training in rape and "turn out 101" for pimps.  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk/2013/07/08/hear-from-a-nevada-brothel-prostitute

I invite you to look at the relationship between Montana Fishburne and Jeremy Pipes. 
 http://www.thisis50.com/profiles/blogs/report-laurence-fishburnes  This couple met online and were in school together.  They are about the same age.  To the outside world they looked like “high school sweethearts”.

The day Montana turned 18 years old, she was tired of being arrested for prostitution.  Jeremy marched her into the Vivid offices the day she turned 18 years old to sign a XXX film contract.   Snoop Dogg confessed to "pimping across the USA" during his 2003 tour in Rolling Stone.  The "johns" were NFL players.  After Montana's film debut, all kinds of athletes were hitting her up on twitter for "personal training sessions".  

She wasn't walking the streets any longer - but I assure you she was in the sex industry.  She wasn't being "trafficked" either.  Montana was being pimped.  There is a difference.   That difference and how pimps brainwash their victims is what I was certified by the FBI to testify about as an expert witness because a true pimp rarely uses force or threats.  These are facts that are being left out of many of these new trafficking laws and I'm finding that very frustrating.

Why don't “real pimps” threaten or coerce their victims?  Doesn't last. If you scared some one bad enough – then they'll find a way to leave. If they leave – game over. The “trick” is to get the victim to do it over and over, willingly, gladly, and then sign up for more. Think Hitler. People didn't get on the trains thinking they were going to be gassed – but because they believed they were going to get jobs.  

We're talking a generational culture for life some people are raised within.  These people aren't operating out of fear - but are "supporting the family" in their minds;.  This is also why when you train people like cops and social workers to come at a prostitute with this concept and attitude like "you poor victim of trafficking" they will look at you like you're speaking a foreign language.   They're not “victims” in their minds (these types of victims). In their minds they feel loved and cared for in fact.

I know - I speak to them almost weekly now.  The social workers, probation officers, cops, therapists, etc., who are being taught in trainings (I was excluded from designing by the way) to approach this person like "you poor victim of trafficking" where there is this villain supposedly over them exploiting them, forcing them, harming them, deceiving them, etc. they need to be "saved" from tell me "the prostitute just looks at me like I'm speaking Martian" because if this person was raised in this culture then you are speaking Martian to them.  The person over them isn't a "trafficker" but may be their mother, father, husband, boyfriend, brother, or even child in their mind.

They aren't being "exploited" - they're "taking care of the family".  They aren't being threatened - they are "willingly giving" in their mind.  Listen to this interview with a SWA member - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk/2014/06/21/playboy-to-prostitution--sex-workers-anonymous-member This single mother feels she was putting her daughter through school without the burden of school loans over her head. If you talk to her about being a “victim” she won't know what you're talking about.

They aren't being "controlled" - they're being "cared for" or they're “caring for” someone else.  Now again is this every single prostitute?  Absolutely not.  There are of course victims who are being handcuffed to toilets like the one I pulled out of a house in Las Vegas and being told their family will be murdered if they don't comply to turning tricks without objection and all the money goes right into the hands of the trafficker. Every case is different and that's my point here.

The people behind this “No Such Thing” campaign are so focused on trying to brainwash all of us into believing there's only one type of victim, and one type of experience, as well there's only one type of “trafficker” that they are literally saying there is “no such thing” as something that does exist. It's actually a form of mind control they're trying to use on us so we don't see the problems that do exist right here under our own noses.

Because of the “No Such Thing” campaign, they did in fact just make a whole group of people disappear for 2015 – that of juvenile prostitutes. Go on and ask for the report for the number of juvenile prostitutes arrested for 2015 in Los Angeles and you'll see a big fat zero. Only one big problem with that. In California, it's the law that if you're found guilty of prostitution you have to be tested for HIV/AIDS. Juveniles included. Now if you're tested for HIV/AIDS under a prostitution charge the result are sent to the CDC. This way if you're found positive the state knows about it if you continue to prostitute because they'll call it “attempted murder”. Now for 2015 there are not only no numbers for the number of juvenile prostitutes in Los Angeles (a statistic needed in order to be able to allocate financial resources for them by the way) – but we now have no idea what the HIV/AIDS rates are either for the year.

As I'm writing this “Enter the Dragon” is on TV. This is a Bruce Lee movie from 1973. In the back story of the film – we see both sex and human trafficking that clearly Bruce Lee was trying to tell the audience existed back then. I was 13 years old then and growing up I was told that “white slavery” didn't exist any more when this film was released. Because I was told this, when I walked into the nightclub a few years later that this family had bought to launder their criminal money I was completely unprepared for what they brainwashed me into.

I walked into what appeared to be a normal family culture. Raised by a single mentally ill mother I had no other reference to go by to tell me any differently. When the police were trying to shut them down they countered with they were only being harassed because the cops were “racist”. Looking back now I know the cops who tried to pull me out of there and warn me what was happening to me weren't racist. But this family had generations of time to perfect their brainwashing and I assure you a few yoga classes wouldn't have pulled me out of there.

What I'm trying to say is the sex industry is just that – an industry. Like any industry there are many different cultures within it. Within that industry there also exists sex trafficking. There are many different types of trafficking, many different types of cultures, and a wide variety of pimps and traffickers. Not everyone in the sex industry is having sex and some pimps don't use force but in fact love. Now until those who say they want to do something to help this community want to start listening to this community – then we're going to continue to have men like Bradley running the largest non-survivor run nonprofit in this country acting surprised to come upon a culture that not only has been there all along, but also has been in this country since before he was born as well. You can't begin to solve a problem either until you understand that problem which you won't until you start talking to it's victims. ALL of it's victims – not just a few hand selected ones.

All those women who were raped by Bill Cosby existed but the world would not acknowledge them sadly until Hannibul Buress acknowledged them, a man. Once he did however, we have gained a lot of powerful preventive knowledge. I don't think women will be accepting a cup of coffee on auditions anymore now. Sex Workers Anonymous also exists, but I don't think until Bradley acknowledges us will the world acknowledge us either. Shame because there's also a lot of knowledge that we could gain now by realizing we have cultures right here in the USA today who are also not only raising their young boys to be pimps, but also their daughters to be prostitutes as well. Just like when Bruce Lee came out with “Enter the Dragon” though - maybe we're not ready for that dialogue yet.  

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