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Showing posts with label Aston Kutcher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aston Kutcher. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

OPEN LETTER TO ASTON KUTCHER FROM FOUNDER OF SEX WORKERS ANONYMOUS

Jody Williams, Founder & Director
Sex Workers Anonymous (formerly “Prostitutes Anonymous”)
(702) 488-1127 Cell/Text
February 21, 2017

Aston Kutcher
Via Twitter/Facebook

Re:                         Your Sex Trafficking Testimony

Dear Mr. Kutcher:

Thank you for the words you expressed about who we are in this fight.  Now maybe a white male with money has stepped up to defend our cause – now maybe someone will listen to our voices.  I agreed with you when seeing the same things – we are not “whores”, nor “prostitutes” but in fact the product of those around us in power.  I learned from Noam Chomsky the power of not only words, but the power of who is saying them.  You Mr. Kutcher are not “one of us” and in fact are part of the problem.

You expressed how the child had her experience defined for her as "playtime" by her abuser.  The system of abuse itself involves those in power over us defining for us our experience.  Choosing even the very words we call our experience such as when that child was taught to call it "playtime".  Which is what you're doing Mr. Kutcher when you're the one speaking at the Senate for us about what our experience is also - you're still someone in a position of power defining for us what our experience is by YOUR choice of words FOR us.  

The fact the press will cover your testimony and not my letter as not only a survivor myself, but the founder of the world's oldest, and largest group of survivors is proof of how far we've left to go here also.  

When Linda “Lovelace” Boreman stepped up to tell us sex trafficking was real – she was written off as a “jilted ex-lover”.  Known for the rest of her life by one film she was forced to be in “Deep Throat”.  When a Chinese man, Bruce Lee, tried to tell us sex trafficking was real in his way with “Enter the Dragon”, it was written off as “just a martial arts film”.  When I stepped up to provide the courts with a legal way to stop treating us like criminals – I’ve been written completely out of history entirely.  In fact you’re the one asked to speak for us like we can’t speak for ourselves.  Like our word isn’t “good enough”. 

You see Mr. Kutcher – I was the first one who not only provided our legal system with a way to legally stop treating us as criminals by starting the first hotline for adults to call when needing help to leave any part of the sex industry after having escaped myself, but also a way to stop incarcerating us as criminals.  It was our group who started bringing the first survivors onto national live TV to tell our stories by tricking producers into thinking we’d go along with their agenda to glamourize our plight in order to get on camera and heard.   It was our group who convinced the public this was not a “victimless crime” when the legal brothels were attempting to expand into California, Las Vegas, and beyond.   Legal brothels who behind their doors it becomes virtually impossible to get help to those who are forced. 

Please allow me to introduce myself.  In many ways, I’m sort of the “Bill Wilson” of the modern domestic sex trafficking movement.  Let me try to explain – you had told the story of a young girl who had been trained from such a young age on as to think sex was “playtime”.  This was her framework of the world.  Now imagine all the other young boys and girls who are also taught to call certain behaviors as “playtime” also.  As they get older they start making friends with other kids who also call these things “playtime”.  They then develop a whole social network of friends who all refer to this as “playtime” as do the adults surrounding them.  The magazines, music, sculpture, even posters on the wall all also support the use of the term “playtime” for these behaviors YOU know to not be “playtime” at all.

Now imagine putting up billboards in these areas where this is happening calling out not to offer help to those who want to stop having “playtime” but instead let’s call it “sleeping”.  All of those other children, even those who have now reached their teen years, maybe even their 20’s who all call this “playtime” are seeing billboards going up all around them, public service announcements coming onto TV, and posters going up at their doctors’ offices asking for people who want help with “sleeping” to contact this hotline number given.  What’s going to happen is all of these people who have been raised calling this “playtime” are going to see the term “sleeping” and think – that’s not me.

But you have all these “do gooders” who insist “it’s not playtime – it’s sleeping”.  They insist to call it anything but “sleeping” will “legitimize” it and so they refuse.  The problem is however Mr. Kutcher is that to reach the victims ears you have to use the language THEY understand.  Otherwise, the right choice of words becomes a barrier to that help.  You only are reaching those who will call it “sleeping” and not “playtime”.  Which just causes help to be even harder to reach.  That’s what happens when our hotline and program, Sex Workers Anonymous, chooses to use the language that makes contact with those we’re trying to reach help out to.  www.sexworkersanonymous.com

Many years ago this country tried to deal with the disease of alcoholism by outlawing it.  By turning those suffering from the disease into criminals, it condemned almost all suffering from it to “jails, institutions and death”.  It was only when Bill Wilson stepped outside the church, outside the criminal justice system, and created a way for them to help themselves through the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous, one helping another, was hope for a life made available for the first time to them. 

When one of those saved stepped out to create the National Council on Alcoholism, this was when research started happening which changed the very way this country addressed those suffering from this disease.  A disease that can affect anyone from any walk of life as we saw when Betty Ford, one of our First Ladies, bravely stepped forward to proclaim she too suffered from this disease.  This allowed other “respectable” people to step forward and be open about their disease as well.

We’re not there yet.  Not when you are the one allowed to speak at the Senate and the world about this but I wasn’t even invited to listen to this from the back wings.  The fact you don’t even know who I am shows how far we really have to go with how deeply this problem is being hidden from view.  Including the insistence on only offering help to those who call their situation “sleeping” and not “playtime”.

I’d like to invite you and I to open up a dialogue Mr. Kutcher.  I run the only hotline in the USA that is reaching out to adults in a way they will respond to the offer of help which is manned by survivors.  We do that by empowering our members to know they are “good enough” to be providing help to others – not cast aside while white people of privilege who haven’t been in our shoes try to “save” us further victimizing us in other ways.  The very fact YOU’RE trying to save us like we can’t – is more of the problem.  I thank you for trying to get our voices heard by acknowledging they’re listening to you. 

But that in itself is part of the problem.  You’re still allowing them not to realize they need to be listening to US.  If this were a civil rights movement would you understand then how insulting to us what you did is then because your skin is a different color?  But the issue here of sex trafficking is something affecting people of every color so the ones to speak for us are those who have survived the experience.  Which sad to say you’re excluding our voices just as much as they are.  

Let’s talk – please.  We have so much more we’d like you to hear other than what you’re being allowed to hear by the police, our government, and those who are part of the problem as Celeste Guap has shown usSo much so they even write laws providing them with immunity from all prosecution like Joohoon David Lee was afforded when he used the badge of Homeland Security and Immigration to traffick women.  

Please contact me.



Saturday, May 28, 2016

GENERAL SAM AND THE RED SAND COMMENTS - LOVE YOU!


THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU General Sam for https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCoiMWNOGvs I"m SOOO TIRED of feeling like I'm like the only person in the world who sent this woman a REALLY NASTY email cussing this artist lady out. Do you know why? Because it's way way way more than just "a complete waste of time, energy, money and social media energy". Oh no it's way more than that.
Let me see how I can be short about this explanation in support and gratitude to you at what you posted here because I was beginning to feel like the only person on the face of the earth feeling this same exact way but on a much deeper level and let me explain why. Thank you also for showing me there are still some sane rational people left in this world also because frankly lately I've been beginning to wonder. First of all, let me tell you who FUNDED this project. Ashton Kutcher. You may remember him from his use of social media to convince Target to install a baby changing table in the mens' bathroom as well as the womens' bathroom. Talk about another frigging useless project which completely wasted time, energy and money for no reason because even though Target did agree to spend the money to install those changing tables which I can assure you Aston was probably the only male in the whole USA who probably used them maybe once in his life - guess who paid the bill for those tables and installations? You guessed it. Single moms who are barely squeezing out money to pay for diapers who just saw a price increase on items carried by Target to pay for this grand social gesture to show support for all the supposed men in the country who are single dads taking their babies to Target and then stepping into the men's room to change their diapers because they've been in the store longer than the usual two hours it takes for them to need a change again. I'm sorry but I don't know one single dad who would take their baby into the MENS' ROOM to change a diaper. But let me tell you why I sent this lady and Aston a really nasty note about the Red Sand's height of absurdity. Because that envelope you just got which probably cost them about $10 in materials and postage to send out all over the country could have you some appropriately pointed out PUT OUR HOTLINE PHONE NUMBER ON THERE AND ACTUALLY DONE SOMETHING. Why do I say that? Because in 1980 I saw Linda Lovelace get up in front of this country and reveal she had been forced to film "Deep Throat" by her pimp/husband who had been pointing a gun on her from off camera. Why didn't anyone on the set stop him? Because it was a mob financed film that's why. Meaning everyone, including her pimp's new wife, Marilyn Chambers, who was so buzzed on the drugs he'd hooked her on she'd have danced around naked in a tutu to get the drugs (oh wait she did worse) he was supplying her with was denouncing Linda's claim. What's worse is it didn't matter if anyone believed Linda's claim because the truth is that there were no laws on the books back in 1980 against the trafficking of American women on American soil. Or any other country for that matter. If you catch the UNCUT 1973 version of Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon" released three weeks after his untimely and suspicious death (I wonder why), the opening sequence shows a CIA agent asking Bruce to go onto Han's island to gather information for them because he is "getting beautiful women (while showing American women on the screen as victims - not Asian's) hooked on drugs and then selling them to the highest bidder and without him using guns or selling drugs we don't have any laws to stop in and intervene". Meaning Bruce Lee was trying clear back in 1973 to warn us that American women were being trafficked by men not using drugs or guns and hopefully make the lightbulb go on in our heads to say "oh gee that's right - maybe we need to change that". Only for some reason every time I've seen that film on TV over the years, that sequence was cut. I only found it myself recently when I'd rented the disk to review the film for another project I was working on about people "ahead of their time" as he was. I have a link to it myself up at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PGjCWpbt4U Anyway, why does that matter to me? Because I was also witnessing, and experiencing various forms of sex trafficking myself in Los Angeles during not only the 1980's, but also right in the middle of what's now been nicknamed "Iran Contra". Short for when our government was wanting to raise cash off the books to buy guns for the Contra's (see the film "Charlie's War" for more info), they were the ones bringing cocaine into this country, then having the African American gangs sell it for them under threat of being arrested if they didn't do what they were told, all while being the perfect scapegoat for our CIA behind the whole operation in the first place. I know because sometimes the dealers wanted American women as "tips" for these deals, as did some of the wealthy oil men we were making oil deals with back then who were invading Beverly Hills back then like a bad rash. Only could we go to the police to call for help when trying to stop these women being sold like that? For that matter, when I had these same men insisting I help introduce the drug into the Hollywood parties from south central so producers would make films like "Miami Vice" making the drug look "cool" to encourage more sales who am I going to run to for help when I"m just an escort and madam myself? NO ONE. Because we weren't viewed as "victims" back then. Even if we did convince someone what was happening to us was even really true (think about what that sounded like before even Gary Webb broke the story), there weren't any laws applicable that could be used to arrest any of these guys. It was like trying to charge the butcher at your corner market with 2nd degree murder for killing the chickens for sale. There just was no such law so what was there to do? All I could think of to do in 1984 was take a warehouse and turn it into a "safe house". The first one for adults in this country. Only I had no sooner put a woman in there to hide her from her pimp who had just broken her nose and arm then he calls the cops and claims I"m running a "brothel". Guess who got arrested and charged with pimping her? Me. Sure I talked my way out of it with a good lawyer and after the law took every single thing and penny I owned leaving me completely destitute. And on probation on top of matters with a high profile arrest calling me a "High Tech Madam". Try and get a job with that on your resume. Absolutely insane. Something else had to be done. So I consulted with the Attorney General of CA at the time about what to do. Because I was seeing addicts and alcoholics getting out of jail by going to AA meetings - so why were we being locked up and treated like criminals when in most cases there was a pimp behind that woman forcing them to be on the stroll? I was even seeing child molesters getting out of jail and into treatment centers - but we're being carted off like criminals? It wasn't right but there was no laws nor alternatives for the courts to order us into anything but jail because guess what? No one wanted to come near us. Not in the 1980's when the HIV/AIDS virus was raging and there was no cocktail like today. Meaning if you got it - you were a dead man or woman walking. So what do I do? I launch the first hotline in this country for anyone, wanting to leave any part of the sex industry, for any reason, including if they were being pimped or trafficked or sold into "white slavery" as we called it back then for adults to call for help. I then created a 12 step program, Prostitutes Anonymous, and went into the Los Angeles County courts in 1987 also and asked to be considered as an "alternative to jail" for those convicted of prostitution so we could address this issue. Remember again we didn't even invent the term "trafficking" until the Trafficking Act of 2000 was passed THIRTEEN YEARS after I launched this hotline, program, and the movement itself to have us recognized. Because to promote our hotline, and to get our PSA's out there, we also launched a major media campaign to "raise awareness" sex trafficking was real. That some of us were being forced to be out there and those people shouldn't be denied victim services, and treated like criminals. We pointed out however we weren't going to be able to get anyone to come forward to testify against the traffickers as long as they were afraid of being charged also. Meaning if they wanted to lock up the bad guys - they needed to also decriminalize prostitution so we could gather the evidence, and witnesses' together to get the bad guy, instead of the victims, locked up in jail. We kept bringing on one person after another after another on one talk show, public acccess show, news interview, etc., until we saw the Trafficking Act of 2000 passed. We had been told that once this issue had "federal recognition" then not only did we have the ability to have the victims treated as such instead of criminals, we could prosecute the bad guys, but also federal money could be issued for the first time. Kind of like how when a native American tribe gets federal recognition they can then open up a casino on their land kind of thing. Only with us - it meant that for the first time the government could actually be the one to pay for things to help the victims rather than it coming out of our personal pockets. Over $400,000 I'd spent personally on helping victims, running the hotline, setting up chapters across the country, writing our Recovery Guide, setting up alternative sentencing programs, etc. Now when the jails WANTED to clear us out of there because of the fear of HIV/AIDS - that's one thing. Because remember the private for profit jails started opening in the 1980's also. Now if you were a guard who would you want to work with day after day? A convicted prostitute or a violent offender? You got it because between 1987 and 1991 when we were setting up these alternative to jail sentencing programs we were taking out about 1800 prostitutes out of jails packed with 2,000 women. Meaning we were leaving them with about 200 on average to deal with and they weren't coming back the next day like before our program started. Only the for profit jails realized they were losing $150 a day on average for each person we took out of there. Not only that, but they couldn't get government funding to help build their new prisons to operate for profit unless they could create overcrowding to justify them stepping into absorb some of their building expenses. So the TVRA of 2003 was passed. You know what that did? It diverted all of the money we had spent 15 years now building for us to get to help us work with this community to "faith based groups" meaning the church. Oh like they had a clue what to do to help us. Only they didn't need to know. All they needed to do was get their hands on that money and the war cry became "raise awareness". Meaning from 2003 until today MILLIONS of dollars is being pumped into our country to do what? You got it - RAISE AWARENESS about human trafficking. You know that Lifelock commercial where it talks about how "useless" raising awareness of a robbery is over stopping a robbery? Well you just saw what about a million dollar donation to this artist from Aston Kutcher has resulted in to "raise awareness". Only when I thought about what I could do with that same time, energy, money, even postage to get out to people our hotline phone number, our website, to donate Recovery Guides to the men and women now being stuffed back into the jails we had once been getting them out of, I swear I feel like I"m losing my mind. You know why? BECAUSE OUR PROGRAMS WORKS. I've had investigative reporters check us out with flying colors. I've had a professor do a 10 year study on us in "Leaving Prostitution" who wrote it was our program that made the difference in once impossible cases she studied. We have interviews in our members' own voices talking about how we helped them at www.leavingtheliferadio.com I can't tell you how many men and women we've helped to exit the sex industry, including those who were being "trafficked", over 30 years now and still growing. Only guess what? Aston didn't just donate over a million dollars to this artist to "raise awareness" who frankly I think puts real pimps to shame. I mean come on - she's got herself a million bucks plus now donated by sticking red sand in the ground? Not bad work if you can get it General Sam. But he and Demi Moore also donated a ton of money to develop THORN. What's what? It's a company devoted to finding child predators and pornographers using computers, the internet and technology. Only guess what? I got a line of predators just waiting to be prosecuted who aren't? You know why? Because everyone is busy STICKING RED SAND IN THE CRACKS IN THE GROUND OR WRITING SOFTWARE TO FIND CHILD PORN instead of returning our phone calls for help about things we need for the victims who call us for help who we've love to turn over their traffickers to the law. ONLY guess what the kicker is the story General Sam? If they're an African American or Hispanic or even an Asian in some cases who is the pimp - they'll pop him and give him 20 to life so fast his head will spin for so much as giving a woman a sandwich when she's hungry and they'll call that "trafficking". Or worse, they'll just make the whole case up like the prosecutor, the FBI, and everyone else did with the Heather Weyker case where over $10 million dollars was wasted on phony arrests. Or how about films like "Taken" based on frauds who got arrested for fraud such as William Hillar, or "Eden" based on Chong Kim who was a fraud, or hey let's look at all the MILLIONS donated to Samoly Mam who was another complete sham. http://reason.com/blog/2016/03/04/the-somali-sex-slave-ring-that-wasnt But if you're a white cop who also happens to be a member of the trafficking task force victims are supposed to be able to turn to for help when being trafficked that San Mateo has received MILLIONS OF DOLLARS to set up a task force - why we'll just let you walk when caught red handed inside of an illegal trafficking operation where you were caught on the inside of the very date and time the trafficker were also supposed to BE making a drop in a cop car they claimed was being used to "avoid detection". Where ICE is supposed to detain any non-American's arrested for trafficking until they can determine their visa status - but we'll just break that law and send 24 victims back home with their pimps in "Operation Dollhouse" because two white cops, er trafficking officers, were "mistakenly" at the site when the raid was done TO find not only the victims, but the corrupt cops making the drop that day. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SAN-MATEO-COUNTY-Two-lawmen-caught-in-raid-of-2563465.php Oh but that was just a "one time fluke" right? http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/deputys-suicide-complicates-sheriff-joe-arpaios-racial-profiling-case-n120626 Arizona trafficking officer Or this one? http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/07/12/workers-trafficked-for-ohio-egg-farms-had-little-contact-lived-in-poverty.html Or this one? A Homeland Security and ICE officer. https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/former-hsi-special-agent-pleads-guilty-taking-bribes-korean-businessman-being Only after he's sentenced to two years for bribery (with no mention about his pension by the way), how come the case is "closed" when I haven't seen the guy who bribed him arrested yet? If Aston Kutcher wanted to find some trafficker's, I got a whole list I could give him with one phone call. Nope. Let's spend all this money building software which is not being designed by the way by those who know how they operate such as survivors. Oh no - let's staff THORN with a bunch of eggheads who have to build software to find these guys while Chris Hanson can set up a profile of a 12 year old girl on "Dateline" and start rolling them in one after the other after the other with one minute separations between them for free. But then maybe he doesn't want to find any either in reality being he was seen coming out of a massage parlor himself not long ago, but not any mention of doing "research" or "outreach" that's for sure. Now General Sam, when I've contacted women like this artist cussing her out for spending all of those resources on red sand when it could have been used helping us get our hotline number out there to real victims who really needed help and to fund resources they need when recovered because they'll come out with nothing at all to their names, and to Aston for funding this nonsense, I've been told "well the reason why people won't take your calls is because you're not nice to people" referring to the fact I cussed this woman out for such a completely absolute waste of resource's which could have been used to save lives. So yes she reports to people that we "aren't nice" to her and then others don't want to return our calls for that reason. WHICH IS EVEN MORE INSANE. Let me ask you something - do we have a policy somewhere that if you call 911 the ambulance won't be sent out to help you instead you said "pretty please with sugar on top" with the right "tone" of nice in your voice? Since when did that become some requirement that I "suffer fools" in order to have something useful done around here in this movement? The bottom line Sam is the cat's out of the bag now. We proved sex trafficking is real. So what's happening is the government is now treating this like a child who doesn't want to eat their vegatables before getting dessert. So he's hiding the peas under his napkin, and feeding his brussel sprouts to the dog, and doing everything he can to try and not do the right thing while still trying to get his hands on his dessert - the money. Because out of the $11 million dollars Google has donated to Polaris to help them "fight trafficking" do you know not one single victim has actually called to get help, and received it, to be broken free of sex trafficking to their hotline? That's according to their own media. Do you know why? Because they will only take calls "from the victim themselves". Now just think for a moment here - if the victim could pick up the phone and call the National Trafficking Hotline to ask for help for themselves themselves COULDN'T THEY CALL 911? Who by the way is who Polaris then refers them to essentially. They're either referred to the local police, the local task force headed by the local police, or some other group headed by a police officer, which IF THEY COULD CALL 911 THEY WOULD!!! We however acknowledge if they could call for help then they don't need help then do they? Isn't that the definition of "needing rescue"? I mean if I"m a cat up a 10 foot tree and I can't get down are you going to tell me you'll help me when I"m at down on the ground and don't need help but then refuse to help me while I'm at the top of a 10 foot tree and can't get down without help? I mean isn't that what "rescue" means? So yes we take calls from people within the sex industry all the time about where victims are who calls us with these tips because WE'RE NOT LAW ENFORCEMENT. Why? Because sex trafficking takes place where? Where there's illegal prostitution or legal sex work - either way no married guy or business man is going to put his name down as being the bell ringer here. Not like Lamar would have said a thing if he hadn't of overdosed to Kloe. Meaning where do WE look for victims? Yes you got it - in strip clubs, massage parlors, porn production studios, escort websites, and other such operations where one is likely to find them. Where does this chick have you looking? IN THE CRACKS OF THE SIDEWALKS! OH Jeez - just thank you thank you thank you because since 2003 I swear anyone I speak to OTHER than our members who call us for help in this field anymore have completely lost their minds. Want to help us? Paint a red x on your hand. What the hell does that do? Not a damn thing. But boy it makes the celebrities social media jump up a spike. So General Sam - you have also hit it on the head about 'useless advocates" anymore also. To further civil rights people fought in the streets, walked instead of taking buses, and even did things like stage "love in's" in heavily white parts of the country. People ran for office and even got murdered for standing up for their belief's. Do you know what I get told by people? I'm not going to talk to you because you're "negative". Do people really think I"m going to kiss their ass and say this red sand is "cool" so that I sound "positive"? I"m sorry but when I quit sex work is the day I stopped kissing ass for money or for material gain. So yes they're essentially telling me if I want help from them than I have to relapse on my personal program of recovery which in order to stay clean from drugs, booze, and most of all sex work for a living - I have to then relapse. Which I can assure you if I"m going to relapse back into stroking people's ego's for money it sure as hell wouldn't be this Red Sand lady but instead whoever's ego she stroked to get her cash money donated to be sending out red sand for people to pour into the the sidewalk and calling that "saving lives". I frankly don't know what to do about the whole thing anymore General Sam. I can't be heard over this lady. I mean google how much media has covered this project of hers and I assure you NOT ONE of them has printed our hotline number, or anything on our work at www.sexworkersanonymous.com. Oh hell let's not make this about us but about ANYONE who does real work with real people like say www.childrenofthenight.org Anyway, I have to get off youtube now. In the morning I need to go pick up a woman who I was told was found prostituting off Boulder Highway in Las Vegas this afternoon. Seems no one will answer the guy's calls for help he spent all day calling until he found our number. He said the others had "really pretty websites" but no one answering the phone. What we're witnessing is I believe a brilliant campaign by these traffickers to try and divert as much help away from us as possible thinking we're going to "give up and go away". Only I didn't "go away" when there were no resources because no one believed, so why would that deter me now? I just hope I don't wind up like Martin Luther King or Malcolm X who didn't "go away" and shut up either. Anyway, just thank you General Sam for letting me know there are still sane intelligent people in this world other than the victims who call our hotline. Because lately I swear the rest are absolutely nuts! Red sand. Priceless. What's the saying? About as useful as teaching a fish to ride a bicycle! www.sexworkersanonymous.com www.leavingtheliferadio.com www.hightechmadam.com

Saturday, November 21, 2015

CHARLIE SHEEN AND HIV INFECTION OF ESCORTS & PORN STARS

Sex Workers Anonymous (formerly Prostitutes Anonymous)
www.sexworkersanonymous.com
(213) 262-9810 Telephone
November 21 2015

Press Release - Charlie Sheen & HIV

TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC:

My name is Jody Williams. I am the founder of not only the first hot line in the country for any adult to call for any reason to leave any part of the sex industry for any reason, but also the modern day sex trafficking movement itself. We achieved federal recognition of sex trafficking being “real” in today's world, and America, with the passing of the Trafficking Act of 2000. The 12 step program I founded originally called “Prostitutes Anonymous” was done so at the suggestion of Edwin Meese, the Attorney General of California in 1987. He had said until this country can change the laws to recognize that those arrested on prostitution charges did not belong in jail – we can as a 12 step group at least offer our program as an “alternative to incarceration” using existing laws AA had done for the alcoholic.

Back in 1987, the HIV virus was raging. A female prostitute back then contracting HIV would be dead usually within a year or less. However, not all infected could stop engaging in prostitution for a variety of reasons. For some, it was an economic necessity. They needed the sex industry in order to pay for medications which could cost as much as $10,000 a month back then which were not covered by health insurance. For others, the virus made them too ill to work at a “9 to 5” full time job or employment. Another subgroup, the sex trafficking victims had pimps refusing to allow them to even be tested, let alone stop engaging with as many as 15 “tricks” a day of unprotected sex as the clients' request.

To further complicate matters, prostitution is illegal. Members of the sex industry were afraid to come forward for testing for fear of self-incrimination. They were also afraid to carry condoms, or even have them in their homes, for fear the police/DA would consider them “evidence of prostitution”, i.e., a crime. To cut through all the red tape and move things forward in the fastest manner possible because lives were at stake – then mayor Tom Bradley, Sheriff Block, and Chief Gates formed a “commission” of people from every county department ranging from the CDC, the health department, social services, mental health, the police, prosecutors' office, probation, and myself to see what could be done to get testing and education out to members of the sex industry.

More important, something had to be done to get those infected with HIV “out of the business” immediately. A special project was set up where ex-sex workers who were HIV positive were hired to do outreach, testing, education, etc. and to reach out to the sex industry as a whole. More important, a special program was even set up to address sex trafficking. Assistance to get away from the pimp, and off the streets, was set up so that those infected with the virus could stop spreading it simply because of either economic need or by being outright forced to risk lives by their trafficker.

After setting this up, along with the first alternative sentencing program in Los Angeles that put a focus on those who were HIV positive first (we were taking those who were infected out of the jails and again into “alternatives as our first choices), I was asked to go to the east coast to set up a duplicate program back east there. That became the Program for Female Offenders.

The studies were coming back positive – in Los Angeles we had taken an over 80 percent infection rate of prostitutes and brought it down to below 8 % - which was a figure lower than that of non-prostitutes.
Keep in mind our program, Sex Workers Anonymous, does not restrict itself to ONLY helping sex trafficking victims. Nor are we limited to only working with prostitutes. We changed our name in 1995 to “Sex Workers Anonymous” to reflect the fact we work with anyone; male, female or transgender, who is engaging in any part of the sex industry; whether that be prostitution, pornography, stripping, or even madaming, who has a desire to leave the industry for ANY reason. That reason might be because of being trafficked. It might be because they've discovered they're HIV positive.

Suddenly finding you're out of work no matter what profession you're in can be a very difficult process. This is why when the AIM Clinic was open, Dr. Sharon Mitchell, an ex-porn star who became a doctor, used to make sure those who learned they were “positive”, and thus now “out of work”, had our phone number to help them connect to others like themselves to get support to go through what was to come. It's also why anyone in the HIV/AIDS testing industry who was giving a positive diagnosis to a sex worker also gave them our number so we could help them transition out of sex work.

So you can imagine my concern when I thought we had a handle on this virus years ago. Only I start getting phone calls from our members in Los Angeles while I'm living in Nevada telling me they're seeing a sudden upswing in members who are HIV positive coming into the rooms. Only we aren't living in the 1980's any longer. These men and women are reporting back to us an environment that is being far from supportive or responsive to them. However, to do or say anything to anyone about what they're encountering means they are having to not only violate their “anonymity”, but actually incriminate themselves again in an environment that's looking for headlines saying “traffickers arrested”. Thus putting us back “at odds” with the legal and medical systems once again.

Because these people want to protect their “anonymity” but also need to see something done and a line of communication opened – they started asking me to relocate back to Los Angeles so I could become not only more involved again locally with this issue, but also so I could knock on doors for them being that I'm open about my past in that I'm not only an ex-sex worker but also a trafficking survivor.

Which I did. Starting in 2013, I started knocking on the doors of the CDC, UCLA, the AHF, Michael Weinstein's office, along with any other politician and elected servant I could find to report to them that we were seeing an alarming upswing in numbers of sex workers who were HIV positive. Unlike those being focused on by Michael Weinstein and his obsession with the porn industry - these people were not going to be in the porn industry because they knew they were HIV positive.

Of specific concern to me were the calls we were getting from two factions – the Asian prostitutes in massage parlors AND those of escorts who were not porn performers (because they were not passing the HIV tests required to shoot porn). I can produce copies of letters, emails, phone calls, etc. showing that I've been trying to get people's attention to the fact we're seeing an HIV epidemic from our view.

One that had Los Angeles police been arrested juveniles for prostitution like used to be the standard practice, then these girls would be getting mandatory HIV testing. However, if you look at the statistics for the number of arrests of juvenile prostitutes for 2015 you'll see a number of ZERO. Now people from the “No Such Thing” campaign are pleased by this number of zero.

However, I've been saying for a while now I find this very alarming from the point of view of how are we supposed to document the juvenile prostitutes who are telling us they have HIV – if no one is listening to us and we can't document their status either by using the mandatory tests required when one is arrested for prostitution IF NOT ONE IS ARRESTING THEM? I even remarked to a friend of mine who belongs to SWOP that this practice was sure a great way to hide any HIV positive cases of juvenile prostitutes while the law still in place requiring mandatory testing of those arrested for prostitution. Let's just not arrest them!

Now many sex workers claim the testing is an “invasion of privacy”. People who work in the food service industry are required to undergo Hep C testing in order to protect the public health. Those people like myself who have been trying to warn of a brewing HIV crisis coming out of the sex industry say it's necessary to test in order to alert, and thus protect, the public health.

I have known of prostitutes who have been with Charlie Sheen since the late 1980's. I haven't been able to say anything publicly because he hasn't. Also to protect the anonymity of those members who reported to me their stories. However, those women have now passed away. Meaning I haven't been able to say anything before without risking being sued for defamation by Charlie.

Well, now I can say something. Back in 1987 when we first formed our program, I took care of a woman who had been working as an escort who had gone to high school with Charlie Sheen. She reported to me she was his “first love”. She was residing in the Mary Magdalene Project when I met her through her coming to our 12 step program. When she became too ill to continue residing at the MMP, I took her into my own home and cared for her until her death. I witnessed Charlie coming to visit her more than once while she was still healthy both the MMP and my home.

However, when she became too sick to work, and to care for herself financially, then I had to take her into my home to care for her. Not receiving any grant money nor being paid for my work in any way, and simply working as a paralegal - I tried reaching out to not only Charlie, but to the Sheen family for financial help to take care of her many needs. I was rebuffed. Not wanting to risk any hint of a blackmail accusation – I backed off the situation and handled things myself and at my own expense.

Thinking we were owed some kind of help – I have previously reached out to Charlie asking for help with public service announcements. I figured if he didn't want to help financially – he could at least support our work considering we now cleaning up behind his lifestyle choices. More specifically, I've asked him to consider the health of the prostitutes he was seeing at the time, and would see. More specifically, I was very concerned with what I felt was Charlie promoting his persona of being a wealthy generous “patron” of escorts in the media. I knew this image would encourage other prostitutes to be exposed to Charlie, and then what? How am I supposed to help those infected, and those who might get infected, when at same time he's also trying to cover everything up?

Services for sex workers who have contracted HIV who are not of the LGBT community have not only disappeared, they've even been actively “defunded” since the Trafficking Revictimization Act of 2003 written by Randall Tobias. What this did was essentially remove any type of HIV funding to any program who worked with those who identified NOT as a “trafficking victim”, but only as a “prostitute” or “sex worker” infected. In trying to bring to light this issue, Jeane Palfrey had released her “Black Book” showing Randall Tobias' connection to the sex industry and as the author of this Act which denied them services. However, before she could explain why she was revealing this name at the ethics hearing – she was found dead at her mother's home where she had fled to for safety the night before in fear because someone had been following her the day previous.

Because I couldn't find a lawyer, or politician, willing to do anything to change this situation, and bring back funding to heterosexual sex workers who were not identifying as “trafficking victims”, I contacted the ACLU for help. The result of this was the win of ACLU v. Catholic Bishops. This however was still ignored, so we pushed until we got the Supreme Court decision in 2012 stating basically that to limit assistance in the manner our government had been doing was a violation of our constitutional rights. When Harry Reid tried to enforce these findings – he was practically run out of office.

If you're wondering what I mean by any of this and it's connection to Charlie Sheen and HIV – I'd be happy to explain. The simplest way I can think of however is to state that I knew about Charlie's HIV status because of this woman I had cared for connected to Charlie when I first formed our hot line and 12 step program. I also knew that Charlie was hiding his status at the same time he was plowing his way through every escort in the country he could write a check for. More than his own use, he was creating an image that this was a practice to be encouraged among other men also.

So whenever a member of SWA would come through the door of our program, I try and encourage ALL of them, not just the trafficking victims, to get HIV testing done immediately. How can we plan someone's future outside of sex work until we know their health status? By 2003, SWA had chapters of our program in just about every major city of the USA. Almost all of our meetings were being held at local Salvation Army's or Catholic Charities because they were willing to allow us to meet on their property. Many other meeting halls are unwilling to allow us to meet on their property because our meetings are essentially still a meeting of “criminals” in the eyes of the law so this limited our options.

In 2003, we were handed a “pink slip” by the SA and CC to shut down our meeting space. We were even banned from coming back to speak to our “sponsees”. Any member of SWA who was working with their programs addressing prostitutes was fired. All referrals of prostitutes to us from the courts, social services, probation, mental health, the health department, etc. was blocked. When we investigated why – we were told the Catholic Bishops had come in with a checkbook in one hand, and in the other hand a threat to any federal funding (look at how they've attacked the funding of Planned Parenthood), as well as the financial support of politicians (again look to Planned Parenthood). The reason for this “hijacking” if you will of very field we helped to create was because they wanted trafficking victims NOT to be connected to any medical doctors and/or therapists who would be involved with HIV testing, nor any education involving “birth control” which includes condoms.

I'd like to add that when Planned Parenthood came under attack by virtually the same parties for a lot of the same reasons – this is a service where people can stand up proudly and defend. Actors, politicians, doctors, and any other supported of Planned Parenthood can stand up and defend them in a way members of Sex Workers Anonymous however can not because it risks their identity and may even possibly incriminate them. With Charlie spending his money and efforts to further conceal his secrets – this has been especially difficult for us to try and get any information out to the public.


All I can say at this point is thank you Charlie for finally stepping up with the truth. Now maybe we can start getting the rest of the truth out in the open as well. SWA members are reporting to me they are HIV positive and I need help from people just like we had in the 1980's to do something about this not just for their sake – but for the sake of the public health and safety.