Thursday, May 12, 2016
NEW YORK'S ABOLITIONIST EXHIBIT
I saw your photography project on abolitionists http://www.photoville.com/2015-exhibitions/new-yorks-new-abolitionists/ and I was curious how you did your research for the project. I say that because I must be missing some huge gaps in our social media. Not hard to have happen since 99.99 % of my time is spent only working with victims of sex trafficking directly. I don’t spend time in things like fund raisers, awards, etc., because the work is just so demanding of my time I don’t have a spare moment.
The only time I am not working directly with victims directly is when I’m trying to address the traffickers, or the sex industry itself. For example, from 1984 until 1987, I had to “lay low” because of being on probation. Why? Because I set up the first safe house for adults in this country. I took an old warehouse I still had a lease on when I left the sex industry myself, and converted it into a safe house. I had to as victims had nowhere safe to go if over 18 anywhere in this country. The fear of HIV/AIDS, combined with a total lack of recognition sex trafficking was even real, had drug treatment programs, homeless and domestic violence shelters all completely shunning us from being admitted for any reason – running from traffickers included long before the term was even invented. So to the term “safe house for adult survivors”. None of these terms existed in 1984 I assure you. Not when if you called the police back then for help you’d be arrested, and if you called someone in the mental health field they would literally try and lock you up for psychiatric observation on the idea you were “hallucinating”.
After we launched our 12 step program and the first international hotline for adults to call when they needed help for ANY reason, including what’s now called sex trafficking, to get help to leave the sex industry (which encompasses more than just prostitution as it includes porn, stripping, webcams, etc.), and set up the first outreach into the sex industry to get help to get out to those who included those needing help to leave traffickers, the first alternative sentencing program which recognized some of those arrested for prostitution might be victims of force, and the first HIV testing site which had a physical set-up with security and a back-door so those who were being trafficked could ask for help to go out the back door while their traffickers were sent flying out the front door, etc. – we no sooner had these programs set up when we had to take on a full scale battle with the legal brothels out of Nevada.
Joe Conforte, then owner of the Mustang Ranch, bought himself a staged HIV test out of the University of Berkeley. He literally set up the results so it would appear none of his brothel employees had any HIV infection (just like how big tobacco used to buy their research results before that trick got exposed), and then after putting up $1,000,000 into a PR firm in California – Joe embarked upon the media trail to get prostitution legalized in California by parading around that test result proclaiming “none of his prostitutes had HIV/AIDS”. This was prior to the Telecommunications Act of 1995. Meaning he couldn’t go on TV without an “opponent” when it came to something being voted on. Which also meant the only person who would go up against Joe on TV and oppose him after having murdered a famous boxer in cold blood without serving one day in jail was me. It was great publicity for our hotline and we got literally 1,000’s of phone calls.
We also won. California did not legalize prostitution in 1988.
This didn’t stop Joe from trying again in 1991. I think there’s maybe one line about the whole thing mentioned somewhere in the media – but it happened. Joe went into the Nevada legislature with the proposal he wanted to expand his brothels in to Las Vegas. I was there talking about how badly this would affect property values if it passed and it didn’t.
Then we had Dennis Hof, owner of the Bunny Ranch, and ex-mayor Oscar Goodman with his idea of “magnificent brothels” as he was quoted as saying during his many interviews he gave trying to get the whole project approved. Not for trying, the mayor brought in potential investors such as Gene Simmons from KISS, and even took a showgirl on trips with him trying to find support for the whole idea of legal brothels in downtown Las Vegas.
It was not an easy fight to push back the brothels from being on the site where the Mob Museum now sits. We had people like Aubrey testifying about being forced to work in them.
www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk/2013/07/08/hear-from-a-nevada-brothel-prostitute Which led to the press conference we gave with Melissa Farley calling to “abolish” them, along with revealing that yes trafficking did also exist within the legal sex industry openly advertised – not just on street corners and dark alley’s. In fact, Bob Herbert’s interview with us in 2007 resulted In not only him being physically threatened with a “baseball bat to the head” by Oscar Goodman, but also in every Metro officer, university professor, and social worker in Vegas to be fired if they even looked at the report “Making the Connections” about Nevada sex trafficking
We even got letters from major top Fortune 500 companies about how much money they were NOT bringing to Nevada in conventions BECAUSE of the brothels operating in Nevada submitted to the Legislature to show them how much money these brothels would COST the economy, not boost it as the mayor was promoting. It wasn’t until the President made a crack in our favor that we were able to top the scales on that project and finally they agreed to put the Mob Museum where they had once had an architect draw up plans for a legal brothel.
That didn’t stop them from continuing to try however to expand into Las Vegas. In fact, right up to 2013 when they tried to push through an “off calendar” unscheduled hearing to get the brothels approved to operate in the downtown area. That’s when we brought in Aubrey again to testify about what really goes on inside the brothels to get a win there. http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada-legislature/prostitution-bill-not-nevada-legislatures-agenda Only you won’t find a word about her bravely going in there to testify against them by herself because they’re put a bomb in our outreach RV so we couldn’t make the hearing, and how they then threatened the lives of her and her children so badly after this win at the legislature, that she had to flee the state with them to stay alive.
Why not a word? Because Sheldon Adelson has been controlling the Review Journal for many years now before coming out in the open now about buying it. He had a reporter tell me after our press conference in 2007 calling to “abolish” the industry we had a “lifetime ban” on any publication he had any control over ever printing our name, or the name of our program or phone number “no matter how many women die for not knowing where to find help” was the quote delivered us from his reporter.
True to his word too. Now he’s got John Hambrick in as speaker of the house, he’s now got Dennis running for senator, and Ron Paul backing up Derek Ellerman, who helped put Polaris on the map (virtually ensuring no calls from the brothels go into the national trafficking hotline) while Polaris further keeps shutting down their competitor, and he’s spent a reported $100 million dollars trying to get Obama shot down at every turn over his work helping trafficking victims. I mean they’ve even now managed not just Samoly Mam to distract the public from the message of “real” survivors, but they even now got another “catfish” Lexie Smith put right into Obama’s home church so he’ll “think” he’s hearing from a trafficking survivor, but in reality he’s not. I mean let’s go on making more laws that already exist against pimps while making sure REAL victims who are being trafficked by men with badges not only stay immune from prosecution – but get to retire with their pensions. https://www.change.org/p/congress-hold-trusted-officials-responsible-for-crime
We certainly don’t want them seeing what’s going on right in front of their eyes what with Sheldon’s “prostitution policy” going into effect right now trying to get prostitution legalized like it’s a separate issue from sex work itself which is why not only has Dennis now started running for Senate, but it’s why Polaris has now partnered with Google and Palantir Technologies. What a great way to make sure that no calls reporting being trafficked while working at Oculus hits the media than to try and get everyone thinking Polaris runs the ONLY hotline victims call for help.
Because while one hand is putting all that money into focusing on “ending demand” and the “johns” – no one is realizing they’re just pushing the market right into Oculus’s front doorstep all in the name of “fighting trafficking”. An identical strategy to how big tobacco rolled out their “youth prevention project” to stop teens from smoking which was in reality a clever brainwashing to GET youth to smoke. I mean what’s the best way to get someone to think about a pink elephant? Tell them NOT to think of a pink elephant of course!
I mean why else celebrate women who got their recovery in the first place in our program, but not our program or the founder of it in the first place?
Because it’s all hoopla, bells, whistles, and a big brass band to distract from the message the actual founder has been saying since day one – that we’ve always been able to call the cops on pimps and get help for those victims. What we couldn’t get then, and still can’t, is to address victims of those who are like Joohoon David Lee, or the victims of that DEA owned strip club, or the NY cop pimp, or all the other traffickers like Chris Butler, Kemp Shiffer, etc., who STILL CAN’T CALL THE POLICE for help.
Now maybe when they stop pushing all the callers into calling Polaris so Palantir Technologies, i.e,. the CIA, can collect data on people instead of recognizing that REAL victims of trafficking CAN’T call Polaris because that’s essentially calling their traffickers, the very reason I set up that first safe house in 1984, and setting up some REAL help which includes either abolishing the whole industry entirely OR setting up a system for them to call which has a separate check and balance system for victims of men like Joohoon Lee, then we’re making some progress.
But most people don’t even have a clue that while they’re out focusing on “ending demand” – Sheldon is going to push prostitution to be legalized in this country right alone with medical marijuana he’s also pushing. Which is why he’s completely taken over the drug counseling training field while everyone was out chasing “johns” down the street thinking that’s some kind of solution suddenly when it wasn’t 30 years ago either. Or maybe no one has noticed that Polaris has refused to demand their hotline signs be in the legal sex industries such as the legal brothels, porn agencies and studios, strip clubs, massage parlors, etc., while making a big fuss about how they’re in truck stops! While I can assure you if they can get into a truck without their trafficker around – they’re not being trafficked.
Anyway, I was wondering if you had a way I could reach out and introduce our program and myself to the lovely people you’ve highlighted in your photography project. I only seem to know a few of them. Again, I guess I spend so much of my time either answering our hotline, or working with our victims – I don’t get out to events much to meet others in the field to meet them and was wondering if you could help me find a way to reach them?
Thanks for your time and assistance.
PS – any help with the petition signing appreciated!