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Showing posts with label National Trafficking Hotline. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Trafficking Hotline. Show all posts

Saturday, February 3, 2018

OPEN LETTER TO LARA POWERS

Jody Williams, Founder & Director
Sex Workers Anonymous www.sexworkersanonymous.com
SWAN – www.swan-fellowship.us
Trafficking & Prostitution Services
3395 S. Jones Blvd., #333
Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 488-1127


February 2, 2018

Lara Powers c/o
Polaris
Via Email

Re:       Your Recent Statement about the IKEA Article

Dear Lara:

I don’t know if you’ve seen any of Rose McGowan’s recent appearances on TV, but I have to say I’ve found them very enlightening.  One of the great things about the 12-Step process I’ve found to be very healing is that we often don’t understand what we’re going through until we see ourselves mirrored in a stranger across the room.  Seeing this “mirror” helps us to differentiate between what is “part of the process” of the experience we’re going through from what is “us” personally. 

But this “nirrror” is also our “healing empathy” that Jimmy Kinnon talked about in the Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text of what he found to work for addicts as to why they had to break away from AA to find healing for them.  Because not everyone has the “same” pain, even though we share pain as humans.

For those of us who have been through certain types of trauma, especially sexual trauma, and even more so especially when that trauma has been exploited for money, there is a common “anger” with us I see in Rose.  An anger people who have been through what we’ve been through don’t understand.  But then again if you haven’t walked in our shoes – you wouldn’t understand. 

So you may not understand our collective anger within Sex Workers Anonymous when some of our members came across your article about the woman who was in the IKEA store where you claimed she was “spreading disinformation” about what sex trafficking “really is”.  Like many of the women Rose is speaking for, actresses who don’t want to ruin their career by speaking out directly, but instead through her, I’m also in that position.  One where the members come to me and ask me to be that point of contact between their feelings and the outside world.  One that I think gets me a reputation of being “angry” when in reality I’m carrying the voices of many many people who are yes very very “angry”.  

Voices that want to be heard.  So please understand this letter is not “personal” from me, but representative of the voices of our members who contacted me asking me to speak to you about taking such a position as an “expert” on what “sex trafficking really is”.  Now I don’t know when you became an “expert” on this subject, but you’re way off base here by making the statements you did about such a type of thing “not being real” for one thing as we found in this article  http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-powers-ikea-mom-sex-trafficking-20170331-story.html

From what homework I was able to do on you, it seems you’ve been the hotline manager for the National Trafficking Hotline for about five years.  I’m sorry but that does not make you an expert on the various forms of sex trafficking in America.  ESPECIALLY when your perspective is coming from running the National Trafficking Hotline.

I say this because my biggest complaint against your hotline since the day you started it is the fact that by the very way it’s been set up – it literally EXCLUDES any REAL victims of sex trafficking from even calling you.  Therefore, I have to ask you what on earth would you know about the subject to take a position on someone else’s experience as being “inauthentic”? 

First, you probably have no idea who I am, so let me tell you where I can get off getting in your face about making such a reckless statement as you did and the dangers I see also in what you did as well by publishing such a statement. 

I was an odd kid growing up for sure.  I was in the Mentally Gifted Minors program they had in Los Angeles in the 1960’s, so I had a lot of problems in school.  To try and deal with these problems, I took a special test to get out of high school and into college when I was only 16 years of age.  I had the money to pay for it, but then my father ripped me off so suddenly I had to find a way to keep paying for school or lose my place and become just a high school drop-out. 

The only kind of job I could see that would let me continue school, but yet make enough money to pay for it, was to go to work at a local nightclub to where I lived.  That of course meant lying about my age because they served alcohol, so that’s what I did.  I got myself a job at this club which I didn’t know at the time was a front for money laundering for Richard Pryor’s family “business”.  Richard’s been open about his mother working at his grandmother’s brothel.  The men in the family were dealers, while the women engaged in prostitution. 

With Richard’s connections, they opened up this nightclub to be a sort of “one stop shop” where Hollywood celebrities could stop in and pick up whatever vice they felt like at the moment.   Remember, this was a time before cell phones and the internet – so the club was a local “connection” point between Hollywood and their drugs and prostitution needs. 

This became not only my first introduction into what “pimps” were, and how that whole world operated, but it also put me in a position where I saw just about every form of sex work as well as sex trafficking was at a time when we didn’t even have a word for it.  What was worse was that I was coming from “straight society” who didn’t believe any of these things were even real.  Believe it or not Lara – there was a time when our society didn’t believe the mafia existed either.  People used to laugh and joke and say the “cosa nostra” was just an “urban myth”. 

I can point you to things like the 1968 film, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” with Julie Andrews where they not only joked about Asian sex trafficking, but they even made a musical satire out of it.   So not only were there not any words for many of the things I say, but if you talked to anyone outside of the tiny circle of people who were involved in these things – they would not even believe you that what you were talking about was “real”. 

So the concept of “getting help” didn’t even exist because our society didn’t even believe “it” was a problem.  Which is why we didn’t even have laws on the books for “it” because “it” didn’t even exist. 

I’d like to invite you sometime to check out this clip I have from the unedited version of Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PGjCWpbt4U&t=17s  In what was a fictional movie, this was actually a very real attempt I believe at explaining that domestic sex trafficking in 1973 (when this filmed premiered) was actually very real and happening today – not extinct years ago like the popular culture tried to make us believe back then.

If you look carefully at the film, you’ll see the “victims” of this were very blond American women while the traffickers were the ones who were Asian.  My point here is that the CIA inspired character in this film who was explaining what was happening  - American women were being tricked onto planes to go to this island, then hooked on drugs, and sold to the highest bidder, was literally NOT illegal back in the 1970’s.  Had Bruce not died three weeks before the film opened, I think a lot of discussion about the subject would have been sparked back then.

So the people who were engaging in this right under our noses in broad daylight were enjoying 100 % immunity.  To illustrate how horrifying this was, I would like you to think about Linda Lovelace’s story and what she went through. 

This woman got up on national TV and poured her heart out about being forced at gunpoint, with the threat of her parents being murdered, and with daily beatings so severe you can see the bruises on her legs in the film even (bruises they didn’t even bother to cover up with make-up), to film “Deep Throat”.  A film that was financed by mob money and made them millions of dollars virtually overnight mind you.  The public couldn’t wrap their head around what she was saying.  Most tried to think of it like a typical domestic violence situation for that reason.  But a few brave law makers “got it” about what she was saying. 

The problem was however that there were literally no laws on the books against what was done to her.  It didn’t help that most of the porn industry, like you did in that article, were responding by saying “these things don’t happen”. 

California’s Attorney General at the time, Edwin Meese, however took what she said seriously.  This is one reason why the Meese Commission was put together to investigate the porn industry, and why everyone on the film was charged with “obscenity”.  Lacking anything else to even attempt to charge people on the film with, it left them with that. 

Of course the public again couldn’t even understand and because it wasn’t “obscenity” all the charges were thrown out of court.  But Linda was trying to explain to the public about how many women were being forced into porn also at gunpoint, forced into prostitution, and like with her case, they weren’t being allowed to be alone even to urinate because of the way the traffickers operated.  But what she was saying at the time was so “alien” of a concept to the public, the best that the public were getting out of it was “porn was bad”. 

I watched as the public received what she was saying as virtually on the same level as if someone stepped up and said “I was abducted by aliens and we need to do something about it”.  The public wasn’t going to “do anything about it” because in their minds “aliens” didn’t exist.  In other words, she was getting a lot of people to agree with her porn was bad, but she wasn’t getting anywhere in convincing the public that sex trafficking was real, and we needed to do something about it to help the victims. 

Why?  Because I saw the plight of the victims.  If they reached out for help to law enforcement THEY were the ones arrested and treated like the criminal.  Even the police didn’t understand what they were seeing.  I knew of one place where the women were all trafficked for example.  The owner would bring in women who didn’t speak English and ran basically a brothel.  One day the cops came in and did an undercover sting and then arrested all the WOMEN as “prostitutes”.  I watched as these women tried to explain they were there against their will and the cops were like “oh yeah yeah you’re innocent – I get it “ and just ignored them completely.  Again, it was about the same as if they’d said that “aliens were making me do this”.  

I myself experienced various forms of being “trafficked” myself.  The people who introduced me into the sex industry were so polished at their “game”, I didn’t even realize I had been simultaneously brainwashed as well as coerced at the same time into this whole lifestyle with them.  It was kind of like that story of the frog in the hot water – where the water temperature is increased so slowly you don’t even realized you’re “cooked” until it’s too late.  The only reason I ever made it out of that situation once I’d gotten sucked into it was because of how the cocaine the men in charge were doing broke up the family system.  This allowed me an opportunity to “break free” if you call it that.

Because I soon found out that once I’d crossed that line, it’s not so easy to cross back.  Like many victims, once I tried going back to a “normal” life, “normal” life wasn’t so easy to go back to.  I had to leave with nothing but the clothes on my back and rent still has to be paid.  So I remained in the industry as an “independent” for some time after that.  Which is when it really became dangerous.  I say that because once I was away from the “family’s” control, I was also away from the family’s “protection” as well.  And the streets look at “outlaws” as “fair game”.

This was when I learned about what they called “gorilla pimps”.  So I’m sorry Lara, but there are pimps and traffickers who will absolutely kidnap someone right off the streets in broad daylight.  I say that because I stopped to make a phone call at a pay phone one night, and a van stopped and three men threw me into the back of a van. 

The next thing I knew, I was being held in a crackhouse – which was a house with literally iron bars on all the windows and doors.  There was no way out of that house unless someone let you out.  And trust me – what happened to me for a few weeks in that house was the stuff of nightmares as I was forced to “service” gang members who liked pretty young white girls from the valley.  I am only alive probably because they left me alone one day in the house and I was able to convince one of the neighbors, who didn’t speak English mind you, that maybe they should call the cops to come help the naked white girl stuck behind those doors crying and begging for them to “call 911” to let me out.  The head of this house collected $10 from every guy who came to have his way with the “snow bunny” – so that is a form of sex trafficking.

This was not unique either.  If you have seen my Donahue tape, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeG_CO06O2o&t=1389s you’ll see we came on with a pimp who used to operate out on Sunset Boulevard.  He had been a pimp since he was 13 years old and learned the “game” from other pimps who taught him how to kidnap a woman, rape her, brainwash her, and “turn her out” was the street term for this back then. 

This technique is something a lot of street pimps use.  They call it you “look you choose” and to them if you just make eye contact with them, that makes you fair game to be kidnapped, raped, and then turned out into street prostitution.   Many of these types of victims never leave prostitution once they’ve been “broken in” – they just get passed from pimp to pimp until they’re worthless or dead. 

Which is what the “Pimp N Ho” ball used to be about in fact.  Again before the internet or cell phones, the street pimps would gather for their version of a trade convention and swap women like football players.  This annual meeting was how they stayed connected and also how they could put out an alert when a woman went “rogue” and tried to escape. 

To show you how organized they were – I had a woman call me from Los Angeles on a Monday for help.  I told her how to disguise herself so when she came off the plane she wouldn’t be recognized.  She of course didn’t believe they could have someone in Omaha within four hours looking for her, but I insisted she disguise herself anyway because I knew better.  That year I had been setting up safe houses outside of Omaha – so that’s where I had them coming. 

I was married to my second husband then who also could not believe the stories I was telling him, but I assured him to trust me.  Sure enough, by the time we got to the Omaha airport to pick her up, he saw the two very obvious pimps roaming the airport holding a polaroid photo of the girl looking for her.  He went into culture shock thinking that these pimps were that organized as to literally have pimps at all the major airports looking for an escaped woman like that.  So she was lucky I’d advised her to dress like a boy, buy some crutches (to disguise her walk), and to have a bandage on her nose like she’d just had surgery.  The disguise allowed us to whisk her out of the airport and right past the guys who were looking for her as a female.

We had to do this Lara because back then if you tried to explain to airport security that you were trying to get a woman past organized pimps in a national ring of traffickers – you would be the one they’d call out the psychiatric team to have locked up for a mental examination as “crazy” because there was a time when the American general public didn’t even believe this stuff was real, let alone did they have words for this, or laws. 

And when one of us was famous enough to actually get onto a national forum and talk about these kinds of things, she was brushed off as a “hysterical jealous female” and basically it did nothing to change the situation.  Because after Linda escaped Chuck, and the industry, Chuck grabbed ahold of Marilyn Chambers.  Then the industry started countering back that Linda’s accusations were just that she was “jealous of Marilyn being more popular than her” and minimized. 

What that did Lara was tell other victims not to even bother trying to explain what was going on with them because no one would believe them.  When victims tried talking about what was going on – they were the ones shamed, ignored, called crazy, or arrested.  There’s a reason why things really started coming to a head in the 1980’s and it was because of two men that were called the “Hillside Strangler”. 

These cousins didn’t just run an auto body shop, they started out their murder career as pimps.  They were also “gorilla pimps” and they would kidnap women right off the streets just walking home from school or going to the store.  Then after raping and torturing them for a while, they’d then take them to a motel room.  For about two weeks they’d send johns to the rooms and force them to act as prostitutes for these guys.  They’d collect the money of course.  But the real point was to spread the word on the streets that they were prostitutes. 

Why?  Because it worked.  When the women would finally break free, they’d go to the police and tell them what had just happened to them.  The police then ignored them.  Poof!  That’s it.  They were told to get out of the station or threatened with arrest.  Some of these women even went to the news and the news aired their stories.  The police said they “didn’t want to get involved in disputes between pimps and prostitutes”. 

It was not until they started murdering girls, and then escalated into taking women who really were not in any way someone who could be portrayed as a “prostitute” that the police started taking the complaints seriously.  What changed things was that they learned that it was safer to call escort services and have the women delivered like pizza.  The services all went to the police and the police did nothing.  No missing persons report.  Didn’t care.  Literally a team of mothers even took to the streets protesting how LAPD was doing NOTHING while all these women were just disappeared and they did nothing – and they STILL did nothing!  I mean look at the Grim Reaper case where 100’s of women were disappearing and the LAPD wouldn’t even investigate back then into these womens’ disappearances! 

Lara, if you go onto Google you’ll find that every single high level madam in the country was arrested that year.  Not 1983.  Not spread out over a few years.  But all within about the same time frame.  Coincidence?  Not to us madams it wasn’t.  You’ll also find along with that research that Alex Adams was a known FBI “informant”. 

You may have also heard about Iran Contra by now.  That’s where it’s not finally come out to the public that it was our government who was organizing the importation of cocaine to the street gangs, who then processed and distributed the drugs in crack houses like burger places.  Only anywhere you have drugs – you’re also going to have horny drug dealers wanting prostitutes.  Pablo Escobar used to have them brought to him weekly when he was in jail in Mexico. 

So we were used to the CIA and FBI asking us to bring prostitutes to some of their parties and business meetings.  We were fine with making money that way.  But not when they started asking us to help them find women who would be getting on a plane and not coming home again who had no family to ask questions about their disappearance.  If you look up now at Chuck Barris’ confession he was once a CIA operative, then you’ll also understand that Chuck was also producer of the “Dating Game” back then.  A show where women would win a prize of going to another country no one ever heard of.  And many of those women didn’t come home again. 

Well at that request all of us madams balked.  Because we refused, we were all arrested, stripped of all our money and property, our faces spread all over the media so we couldn’t escape or get a job anywhere.  Then we were asked that question again if we’d cooperate.  If you look at my clipping at www.hightechmadam.com you’ll see the headline I was arrested for supposedly running a brothel. 

Only why would I have a “brothel” in a warehouse with high tech security and surveillance equipment next to the police station?  Well the reason is because it wasn’t a “brothel”, but what I later learned was the first safe house for sex trafficking victims in the USA.  Once some very high level traffickers who were connected up to the LAPD, realized I was hiding out victims there for safety, and they couldn’t get in – I was framed.  They set me up with a “fake victim” asking me for help to stash her somewhere safe, and when I did, I got arrested and charged with pimping.  The whole thing was to get me to be compliant, as it was with the other madams as well. 

If you cross-check you’ll also see all the other madams arrested that year made a movie that was like an inphomercial to try and recruit women to come to them completely glamourizing the industry.  You won’t find my movie.  Instead, you’ll see I waited until 1987 once I completely shook loose any possible statutes against me and I came out and announced our hotline.

My hotline was the first one in the country telling victims there was some place for them to call for help.  Sure I also offered anyone who for any reason wanted to get out of any situation involving the sex industry could call us for help – because we didn’t make “distinctions” between someone wanting out for this reason or another wanting out for another.  We couldn’t.  We were the ONLY hotline at the time for EVERYONE who wanted out for ANY reason.  Which is why we’ve probably clocked about five times more calls to our hotline than yours over the years.

My point being that your hotline is set up to where ONLY THE VICTIM can call you for help.  Sure you get “tips”.  But the problem is that by the very definition in my book anyway of what a true sex trafficking victim is – they CAN’T CALL YOU FOR HELP DIRECTLY.  When I was locked up in that crackhouse behind those iron doors do you think I could have gotten to a phone and called someone for help? 

Frankly, if I could get to a phone and call for help – the first person I’m calling is 911.  Only I didn’t in my day because they would hang up on us when we’d try to call for help.  Again, I know because I used to try and call 911 when I came across situations where I knew someone was being trafficked.  911 would tell me “call vice”.  I would try and explain that this person was not hooking for “choice” and they’d just laugh. 

Meaning the ONLY way we were going to get anything changed was to elevate the American consciousness that this was real.  Which is why starting in 1987 I embarked upon going on every talk show, news show, etc., that I could get myself booked on to talk about the subject and try and raise consciousness.  Only they didn’t have shows on “trafficking” back then – only “prostitution”.  So I’d have to use my notoriety as an ex-madam to get onto the show, and then I’d have to try and steer the conversation over to the subject of what’s now called “trafficking” to try and get the public to understand what we were saying. 

Geraldo believe it or not was actually very helpful.  He could see I was having trouble getting the public to really grasp and understand what we were trying to get them to understand, so his producer (who was his wife) sat down with me after my first show with them.  They suggested that people were just having such a hard time believing me that what I needed to do was bring on some survivors.  That was no easy talk to ask someone to go on national TV believe me – but the producers assured us they would really work with us.  Thanks to CC, (his producer), we did three more shows where we brought on survivor after survivor who was someone we’d rescued out of a different type of trafficking situation who would tell their stories.  It was actually because of those Geraldo shows I started getting calls from some Attorney General’s interested in talking to me about what became the people who wrote and passed the Trafficking Act of 2000. 

But you see Lara, many real, very real, trafficking victims CAN’T call your hotline for one reason or another.  So you probably aren’t aware of how exactly they’re being trafficked for that reason.  For example, did you know Jeane Palfrey, the DC Madam, was a trafficking victim?  I don’t mean she had a pimp – I mean someone who was forced by a network of organized traffickers into doing what she was doing.

Remember those CIA men I was telling you about that asked us madams to do something we didn’t want to do one year?  We had no “proof”.  We had no way to record calls coming into our phones back then for one thing.  Even if we did – who would have believed us back then?  Iran Contra wasn’t even considered “validated” until Gary Webb broke the story years and years after the fact.  It was only even hinted at before then and even then ignored. 

If you watch “New Jack City” you see Ice T joking about how “cocaine didn’t come from America” because he knew.  I mean what do you think the LA Riots were all about really?  The riots were because a whole group of people KNEW that they were being blamed for those drugs by the media and the cops when in reality they were the scapegoat.  With no internet and no free press, the riots were the only way they could even attempt to express that kind of frustration this community was feeling.  Ice T, being an old pimp from the day, knew very good and well that those drugs weren’t smuggled into the country in that large of a quantity in someone’s suitcase.

This is one reason why Larry Flynt had offered $1,000,000 reward to anyone who could PROVE this sort of thing – because many people knew about these things but PROVING it was a whole other matter.  Only Jeane could.  You see the CIA had been coming to her every six months and debriefing her, also instructing her in what they wanted her to do for their own purposes, and using her to get what they wanted.  Only they came to her one day with the same request they’d come to me and the others with in 1984 – and she also refused.  She also decided she wanted to just quit the whole thing entirely and retire in Germany.  So she went to go get on a plane and leave the country and retire – and she was busted at the airport.  They took everything from her too hoping she wouldn’t be able to hire a  good attorney. 

But she decided she was going to reveal that it was the CIA who had been forcing her to be a madam and she had PROOF.  She had phone logs – something none of us “old school” madams didn’t have.  We all warned her to keep her mouth shut, but she was determined to get that million dollars prize money and to also reveal to the public that she too was being “forced” and that trafficking wasn’t just about street level prostitution.  That the focus on street pimps was very one sighted and short sighted actually – that true trafficking went very high up.  Just like bootlegging was back in the day with Al Capone also went to high places. 

Now let me ask you something – do you think Jeane would have called your hotline?  What would you have done for her?  The case against her as a madam was being manufactured to try and force her into silence.   They even told her repeatedly they’d basically drop the case if she’d “shut up” and “stop talking about the names in her book”.  Her face was plastered all over the media.  What would you have done for her?  Put her in a shelter?  Send a cop out to make a report?  I mean seriously – what would you have done for her?

NOTHING. 

Not in her mind anyway.  I tried to help her as best as I could.  I tried to urge her to shut up and back down.  She didn’t want to.  I offered to help her change her looks, get a new identity and escape to Canada.  She refused.  Finally all I could do was offer her empathic emotional support – something your hotline can’t offer. 

What about the type of victims we’ve been encountering since 2009?  Because after Jeane’s death, trafficking went high tech.  We started hearing reports of victims who are tracked with GPS everywhere they go.  Every phone call they make gets reported back to the pimp instantly.  I know because we had to start creating ways for victims to call us for help without alerting the pimp they were calling us for help.  You have your phone number broadcast on billboards.  I’m sure if it comes up on their phones it’s either blocked automatically, or it will alert the pimp they’re calling you. 

Then guess what?  Then they’ll lose the phone completely or worse.  I know because I’ve also been on the other end of calling for help and the pimp finding out about it.  They either take the phone from you entirely, or make sure you never try that move again.  That or they escalate their surveillance of you or make sure you’re never left alone again.

We started getting victims who were literally under surveillance on cameras broadcast back to the pimp 24/7.  So the pimp knows where they go in their car that has a GPS on it.  They know who they’re talking to on skype because all the calls are sent back to them on their computer.  Every key stroke they type is sent back to the pimp.  So tell me – how would they contact you for help at your hotline in this circumstance?  Knowing that their family who may be back in China would be murdered before you could even dispatch someone to them to help?

Again, I know about this because we’ve had to get creative about how to get help to that type of victim since 2009.  These are women who don’t have a gun to their heads.  They don’t need to have a gun to their heads.  But they exist Lara and they can’t call you directly for help by calling your hotline themselves as you’re set up to take.  So I don’t know if you know about these types of victims.  But they’re real and they exist. 

And for your information, there ARE traffickers who roam around and look for kids to kidnap right out of stores.  I don’t know if they’re “traffickers” in the classic sense – but I know they’re real.  I know because a gang of men were touring around LA when I was pregnant who would get into elevators with women, mace them when the doors closed, grab their babies, and then flee with the babies.  It was so real that the news had to put out alerts to women to be careful getting into elevators back then.  I know I also got into some elevators back then with some strange looking dudes – but I took the precaution of dying my baby to me with a rope so that if I were to be maced I’d still be able to hold onto her. 

But that didn’t stop a woman from trying to grab her right out of her stroller in the mall.  Cute blond babies are a premium Lara.  One day I was in the mall and a woman literally reached down and tried to take my baby right out of her stroller.  Again, being careful I would tie her into the stroller with rope so you couldn’t just unhook her like that.  The woman struggled with the rope, gave up and rang off.  So if I hadn’t of tired her into the stroller that day, she might have been stolen from me in a mall. 

Do they traffick the kids they steal?  Who knows.  But I do know that yes sometimes kids are targeted in public places and their kids are taken.  I can’t believe you’d say such a thing to that woman when kids are taken right out of stores and malls every day in this country.  I mean do you read the news?  But you in your whole five years of managing the hotline there suddenly you think you know about every type of sex trafficking there is? 

You’re wrong and like many people at Polaris you think you’re the “expert” in a subject you know only a small fraction of. 

But you clearly are in a position to have a much more focal platform about your opinions than we are because the people I work with aren’t acknowledged by anyone over there as even existing.  So it would just be nice if you would use that platform to raise more awareness about what is really going on out here rather than so much of your personal viewpoints.  If you did, we might be able to really save a lot more of those who really need the saving. 

Personally I think anyone who can call you can call 911 and therefore you aren’t even scratching the surface to get at those who need the help the most.  To me and my personal experience, the whole point is those who are truly trapped are those who can’t lift up a phone and call for help directly.  I mean I don’t see the point of selling wheelchairs to people who can walk.  But I guess you do but I would appreciate it if you in the process of that wouldn’t invalidate other people’s experiences.  We’re having a hard enough time getting the word out about what real sex trafficking is anymore without having to add your brick on the load.

Sincerely,

Jody Williams

PS – I personally would like to add that I found your advice in the article to be completely out of touch with reality.  You suggested people “get in touch with special interest groups” if they were interested in the subject of sex trafficking. 

Only that advice seems completely out of touch with the fact that very real pimps and even organized sex traffickers are part of some of these groups.  As well as some of these groups have been set up purely as informational gathering exercises for law enforcement, who then input the information they gather into a subscription based service.  Some are set up to “destroy the competition” by the legalized brothel industry, while others are there to recruit. 

Let’s not forget the YEARS that Joohon David Lee was simultaneously part of Homeland Security, ICE and the human trafficking task forces for California and Nevada ALL WHILE TRAFFICKING WOMEN PERSONALLY from China and then Korea before finally getting arrested for bribery.  Not sex trafficking mind you because he did his sex trafficking on company time and the company dime so he enjoys immunity for his actions.   A man who falsely accused a completely innocent family and destroyed their lives in the process.

Or how about we talk about the Celeste Guap case where the men heading up the local sex trafficking task force in her region were not only trafficking her, having forced sex with her while a juvenile, also while threatening her mother’s career as a 911 operator, and while telling her when to AVOID specific outreach campaigns of theirs.  Campaigns they were clearly designing NOT TO WORK because they didn’t want their actions to be uncovered. 

We can talk about Chris Baughman who was sleeping with the district attorney, AND the witnesses who were testifying against the men he was taking all the press in for supposedly “fighting sex trafficking’, all while hanging out socially with Molly Mall – one of the most notorious pimps in the country.  Meaning the men he was arresting was Molly’s COMPETITION. 

Or are you suggesting they frequent events like Samoly Mam used to hold where she was supposedly “educating” the public on sex trafficking while fleecing the public’s pockets?  Or William Hillar who was not only giving the public false information, but was also fleecing the public’s pockets?  For which he did go to jail because it’s against the law to pretend to be a veteran while raising money. 

Because I have to tell you Lara, what each one of these phony and frauds have in common is that we have been actively BLOCKED from doing our REAL outreach to REAL victims.  In fact, we made a list of every project, group, task force, safe house, program, etc., that’s openly blocked our group from being involved over the years – and so far we’re going 100/100 that each on of them has turned out to either be a complete fraud, or they were actively engaging in sex trafficking. 

Or maybe you don’t remember anything about the “largest sex trafficking hoax” that went down in Tennessee.  http://reason.com/blog/2016/03/04/the-somali-sex-slave-ring-that-wasnt  Only I do remember because on each one of these “phony” cases, we were aggressively shunned, blocked, banned, ostracized, excluded, and outright attacked when we tried to shine light on these situations AND redirect resources and attention to REAL CASES we were dealing with at the same time. 

To advise real sex trafficking victims to go out and make contact with groups that might send information on them right back to their traffickers as to their current location is also completely reckless.  Because in many of the cases we’ve worked on, many of the victims don’t know even the tip of the iceberg about just how far the operation as a whole reaches.  It’s one of the reasons why we had to go to the lengths of relocating some of the victims we worked with clear to tiny rural communities in the Midwest.  Because unlike what you’re doing, we make maps of where specific rings are operating, and then relocate the victims we help rescue to areas where they don’t have any reach, informants, or ways to find out where they’ve gone.  But then again maybe that’s why to date we’re the only group I’m aware of anyway who has relocated victims away from the legalized brothels who haven’t been found to date. 

Something I don’t think Polaris has done.  You know why?  Because you ask the victims to “call you directly for help”.  Only the SECOND  they were to call you from the brothels, or their cell phones for that matter, the owners would know about that call immediately.  That’s why I doubt you’ve ever received a call from one of them inside the legal brothels asking for help – yet we have through outreach projects we’ve set up so that if they need help they can SAFELY  ask for that help without fear of retaliation or discovery. 

Victims who according to your way of thinking don’t exist because they “don’t call you” Lara.  But just because they can’t call you doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  I can assure you that after having spoken to probably well over 1,000,000 men and women in the sex industry over about 40 years now of my life – I can assure you there are many many many different forms and versions of sex trafficking, as well as pimping. 

As technology grows, so too does the various ways of sex trafficking also.  So there’s even new forms being invented as we speak.  I know because over the years we’ve heard of new types of cases coming in, and we’ve had to develop new ways of addressing help to those new victims.  But you’re not going to be able to help any victims if you invalidate their experiences by claiming that “that doesn’t exist” as you did in your article. 

Is this letter long?  Yes it is.  But it’s because I’m taking the voices of many of our members who contacted me about your letter and I’m trying to pass onto you’re their sentiments.  Unlike you, I don’t believe my experience is the “end all be all” of knowledge and/or experience within this realm.  Yes I’ve personally experienced, and witnessed, many different types of coercion, sex trafficking, pimping, slavery, etc.  But I’ve also heard stories from our members of experiences I haven’t personally experienced.  That doesn’t mean I tell them their experience “isn’t real”. 

Nor would I recklessly encourage them to reach out to some of these groups after what I’ve seen they really are.  Telling me I think you’re in a bit of an ivory tower Lara. 

Anyway, just letting you know how some of us feel about your article. 



Monday, February 20, 2017

WHY YOUR CONFIDENTIALITY IS IMPORTANT AS A SURVIVOR

Please note what this article says - http://www.biospace.com/News/merck-kgaa-release-company-and-palantir-launch-new/444170/company_profile.aspx?CompanyID=1530

It states that Palantir Technologies is now working with Merck Pharmaceuticals.  If any of you follow my blog - you'll note I've told you I'm receiving a lot of phone calls from survivors who are being put into experimental research studies - some of which are considered "off label".  

Palantir Technologies is a company that essentially is the CIA today.   https://www.palantir.com/about/  They crunch data for them anyway.  Same thing.

Palantir has provided Polaris with a large grant.  https://www.fastcompany.com/3008097/where-are-they-now/google-palantir-salesforce-fight-human-traffickers  This article talks about how Google and Palantir are now considered "partners" of Polaris.  

Polaris runs the National Trafficking Hotline.  Please note their privacy policy with respect to people who contact them, or any of their "partners" with respect to information they gather.  https://humantraffickinghotline.org/privacy-policy  There are also a whole slew of websites up in the sex trafficking field which state they "share policies with our partners" who include Polaris who then shares with their "partners" and so on and so on.  

Please note further what it says here about what happens when you simply go to their website for information - 

Use of Website
Our web servers automatically collect non-personal information such as the domain name of the Internet access provider, the Internet protocol address used to connect the computer to the Internet, the average time spent on our website, pages viewed, information searched for, access times and other relevant statistics. 
With your IP address, they can track all of your online activity by the way.  I know because I've had private investigators following me using my IP address before when stalking me.  I'm sorry but if partners with Google, then having your IP address information means they can track every single thing you do online if you have Google or Google Chrome as your browser.
Note further what it says about their "policy" with respect to your privacy -
Notification of Policy Changes
We reserve the right to change, modify or add to our privacy practices and tips policy to protect the ethical standards provided or to meet the changing demands of digital advocacy. Notification of any changes to the National Hotline privacy policy will be posted to the National Hotline website or other appropriate location so as to adequately inform digital service users of these revisions. We encourage you to please review it frequently.

I have told many people that purpose for the website up at www.sexworkersanonymous.org is NOT what it appears.  I'll explain why.  This site has no privacy policy and I've been told it not only grab's your IP address, but it further attaches "cookies" which follow you.  Meaning you're sitting at home thinking about calling the Sex Workers Anonymous hotline.  You want to do a little research into us so you go onto that site.

WHAM - they got your IP address.

What that does is create a mirror of our traffic.  I've told people close to me and readers to this blog I have turned down substantial offers of money for the information on who calls our hotline.  It is because I have turned down those offers, and I've further refused to give anyone any information as to who calls our hotline, who emails us, or who reaches out to us for help in any way, that this is being done in order to try and either block people from calling us, or to then try and get an idea who is contacting us.  An IP address tells a lot more than a name by the way.  It can tell your address, it can even follow your movements, it may contain your billing information, identify all of your social media, and trace all of your online activity of who you speak to.  If you've seen Snowden - you've seen how deep that can go as to how far into your life these people can dig just from knowing an IP address.

Now this confirms there IS a partnership between Polaris and Merck Pharmaceuticals.  This might have something to do with why I'm being told by survivors not only are they being used in experimental drug research, but I've had more than one tell me they are being FORCED into this research.  You want to know how they know WHO they can force?

We've just shown you there is a connection here.  Any proof?  How about proof in the Bill Cosby rape cases?  Can one always obtain "proof"?

But we can show a legal relationship and access.  




Friday, February 10, 2017

PHYLLISHA ANNE AND "ILLEGAL RECORDINGS"

Dear APAG Guild:

I came across this statement today on your site about supposed "illegal" recordings made by Phyllisha Anne you seem not only quite upset about, but seem upset that the IEAU board isn't doing as you're wanting them to do about the situation.  http://www.apagunion.com/a-p-a-g-defines-its-position-in-regards-to-i-e-a-u-founder-phyllysha-anne-and-the-disdain-and-inactivity-of-the-i-e-a-u-president-and-its-current-board/

Now I don't know either one of you in this situation but I do feel I know enough about such things as "confidentiality" laws and illegal recordings as to inquire a little more about something you feel so strongly about you're attacking a woman who founded the union in the first place from what I understand.  My understanding, maybe I'm wrong, is that in an attempt to whitewash the connection between James Deen and the Adult Performers Advocacy Committee, who had their president turn out to be a man accused of raping at least nine women who came forward, one of who is now dead from a drug overdose which we don't know if it was an accident, a suicide or something worse - you've basically repackaged yourself as this group.

I know about these sorts of things because for years when I had been answering the only hotline in this country for years I never ever recorded a phone call.  When I launched the hotline for Prostitutes Anonymous, later renamed to Sex Workers Anonymous, we were literally the only hotline for adults to call if they got into trouble, needed help, or if they needed to reconnect to people who were also from the sex industry.

You have to realize things have changed in the world as well as the industry.  I say that because in 1987 when I launched the hotline if you were a prostitute, stripper, or porn performer you were considered by this country and law enforcement as nothing more than a "common criminal".  That was including if you didn't have one single arrest even on your record.  That included if you were strictly an exotic dancer who didn't take "tips" for the Champagne Room.  That included if you were a porn model or performer but also didn't prostitute as well.  That included if you were working at a legal establishment at a legal job.

Back then if you were beat the shit out of by your husband, not a trick, but your husband - and you tried to go to a domestic violence shelter for help they would refuse you based on just the fact you were involved in the sex industry.  You wanted to go into a detox?  Forget it.  If they even suspected you were involved in sex work - you would be denied treatment.  I literally once took a girlfriend of mine I had rescued out of a house after she had been stabbed 51 times and chained to a refrigerator after I found her and got her out of there and we didn't wait for an ambulance because those men could come back at any moment - when I took her bleeding all over me to the ER they refused to even touch her!  I had to literally threaten a medical complaint against them and a lawsuit in order to get the hospital to stitch her up.  Even then they refused to admit her after they stitched her up.

Why?  Because back then anyone in sex work was considered literally UNABLE to be a victim by virtue of prostitution being illegal.  What this meant was if you were kidnapped, beaten, raped, and otherwise violated victim services was not able to help you because you were considered a "criminal".  If a guy robbing a bank gets shot - he can't sue for "personal injury" because he was injured during the commission of a crime.  Essentially when the law considers you a "criminal" you have no rights.

Meaning if a housewife got herself beat up, raped, kidnapped, or whatever then the Office of Victim Services would step in and provide that victim with medical care, counseling, even vocational rehabilitation should the injury be so severe they couldn't work any longer, and even relocation if they needed to get physically away from their abuser in order to be safe from them.  BUT if you were a sex worker back prior to the passing of the Trafficking Act of 2000 - you would be told by Victim Services to go kick rocks basically.  Now since they wouldn't pay for these services - no one would take care of us when we were injured or in trouble.

I remember calling 911 one time when another girlfriend of mine had her pimp lock her in the house, shutting me outside of the apartment, and then I could hear him beating the shit out of her.  So I called 911 and told them she was being held inside the apartment and her "boyfriend" was beating her and I needed them to come rescue her.  You know what 911 did?  Laugh and hang up on me.  Why?  They knew the woman at this address was a prostitute - so as far as they were concerned they weren't going to risk injuring a cop to help save her.

Now this was taking into consideration it wasn't the cop fucking with us.  Because I had a cop get a thing for me who kept insisting he wanted my "services".  I refused because he was a cop and I got myself arrested for that refusal.  He threatened to keep arresting me until I gave in and agreed to see him.  Some of my girlfriends have been raped by cops, even pimped by cops.  So who do you call when the guy hurting you IS a cop?

We had no one to call for help which made a lot of women feel like they needed a pimp for protection.  But in most cases of course that guy wound up being the problem to and then who do you call?  Until the Trafficking Act of 2000 passed which allowed us to be able to be legally classified as a "victim" - we had nowhere to go for help when we got into trouble.  You would call the rape hotline and the minute they found out you were a prostitute - click.  Why?  Because their donors wouldn't donate to help "whores" who got raped because that's actually considered "theft of services" by most courts.

Now don't get me wrong - the Trafficking Act of 2000 passing didn't solve our problems by a long shot.  It was going to work well until the revision of 2003 came down where Randall Tobias gave all that money we had worked to make available to help us be handed over to the "faith based" groups who agreed to the "prostitution clause" which is they wouldn't view prostitution as part of "work" that is involved in the sex industry.  Meaning we got a long way to go because they'll now fund services for "victims" but not "sex workers".  Causing any group who wants money to help sex workers has to now fly under the radar by calling us all "victims".

But back to when I started our hotline, I got some really desperate life and death calls from people who couldn't turn to the cops for help.  Of course I advertised "all calls are confidential" and meant that.  I had the police come to me once asking about someone who called and they tried to slap me with a warrant to be me to talk to them about what she said.  I refused and because I was a 12 step group I am able to afford callers the same confidentiality as AA or NA does through laws grandfathered in by them.  But the warrant was given to me before a court ruled that anything said in an AA group is considered "privileged" so to fight it I went and got ordained as a minister.  It was quicker than trying to become a priest, doctor or lawyer overnight to be able to fight back against their demand for information.

So I take confidentiality very seriously.  But as we grew bigger and older - things started happening.  I had a call come in with respect to the Jessie Foster case where this woman was telling me information about the man she believed killed Jessie and three other prostitutes in Las Vegas.  She was in fear for her life and I frankly was also after she told me about this man.  The call was because she wanted help to get away from him and he hadn't been prosecuted for Jessie's murder according to her because he'd turned into a cop's informant.  Meaning if she tried to run she knew he might get his cop friends to help drag her back.  How did I know if everything she was telling me might not be the last thing she says on this earth?  What if I went to pick her up and she was already dead?  What would I tell the cops about what she told me?

I remember that call got me seriously thinking maybe I had better start recording the incoming calls to the hotline.  As I started getting more death threats, suicide threats, callers talking to me about children who were being trafficked, etc. I started thinking much more seriously that some of these calls needed to be recorded in case it was something literally involving saving someone's life.

When the death threat calls we started getting became more pin pointed - meaning the caller knew about members in our program, where they lived, what their real names were, etc., I started thinking even more seriously that I needed to start recording these calls to protect someone.  The last straw for me was after I saw the ACORN hidden video where this reporter pretended to be a pimp and he went into the ACORN office claiming he was a pimp and he recorded the staff there advising him how to traffick women across the Mexican border.  Of course the video made it appear the guy was actually advising him how to do this.  In reality, the man said he was stalling this guy until the police could come so the video was made out of context.

I decided to start recording calls then.  I did this only in case of an emergency - and started deleting the calls once I knew there was nothing we needed to keep the records for.  Which I did just in time because a few weeks after we started recording calls we had a completely phony person pretending to be a sex trafficking victim call us up begging for help to escape her pimp.  We arranged everything for her to be picked up at the bus stop, taken to the airport, flown to the USA into a year long program, her papers were arranged, her flight was arranged and we had everything ready to go for her - and then SHE didn't show up at the pick-up point.

Then this "catfish" victim started telling everyone on social media we had "abandoned her".  We had supposedly "promised to help her" and "left her stranded".  Only I was able to identify this woman was actually one of Swanee Hunt's minions (Swanee Hunt is the mastermind of these "end demand campaigns") who was trying to get us discredited.  We traced the IP address back to Rachel Moran.  The cell phone was registered to Rachel Moran.  The utility bills for her house were in Rachel's name.  We spoke to the local police who confirmed that was Rachel's house and she lived alone.   BECAUSE I had recorded the calls - I was able to post the tape online next to a taped interview of Rachel Moran's - and then anyone could hear this was in fact Rachel Moran yanking our chain here.

Something we never could have exposed if we hadn't of recorded those calls.  Initially I recorded them in case her pimp killed her and we needed them to prosecute him.  Then it turned out we needed them to not only show people we didn't abandon this woman - but also expose how people like Swanee Hunt operate.  Swanee funded the "Stop the Red Light" group that Rachel was a part of when this went down is why I say that about her.  So we did not let down someone calling for help as they were trying to make people believe.  I also hadn't posted the tape of a sex worker calling us - but someone PRETENDING to be one.  Had I not recorded those calls - we would not have been able to defend ourselves nor expose these tactics.

I also use these tapes to train our volunteers on our hotline.  We have pimps who routinely will send in certain women to try and find out where our groups meet.  I know the voices of these people but our newer members don't.  So I'm able to play these tapes for them to train them as to who to be aware is fishing for information.

I have no choice but to have the recorder on all the time because when you pick up the phone - by the time someone says their death threat to you - they're gone.  You don't have time to hit the record button.  You certainly aren't going to be able to ASK them for consent to record them threatening to slice your throat or the throat of one of our members.  Thanks to the recording - I was even able to record a police officer threatening us.  So that leaves having a recorder on the phone at all times in case of that type of call coming in.  Now for us, we delete every file of every call once we determine that call wasn't a threat.  They are not used in any way to violate a members' confidentiality as all calls that aren't threats like that - are immediately deleted.

Now I know that Phyllisha has gotten calls for help over the years where she's had to help people in crisis situations.  People who knew her and turned to her for help rather than calling our hotline because they didn't know us but knew her.   So on that basis alone I can understand why Phyllisha might want to record calls on her phone.

Even now I think she's right to do so because she's talked about threats she's received in the past.   So all the more reason why it would be extremely prudent and wise of her to be recording calls.  I don't know much about unions but if it's anything like I've seen in movies like "Hoffa" then I would imagine a lot of people wouldn't be too happy about her forming a union.  I know Sheldon Adelson isn't.  He's notorious for not wanting a union, and especially not wanting a sex worker union because he uses them a lot in his casino business.  Just because I think a union is a good idea for the sex industry - that man has had people threaten me, he's told me I've been "blacklisted" in any media he owns like the Review Journal, etc.  So based on just knowing how many people really don't want a union in the sex industry - frankly she'd be nuts not to be recording calls on her phone because of the threats I'm sure she's receiving for trying to bring a union to us.

Now I didn't take the decision to record all incoming calls from numbers I don't know yet lightly. First of all, I've had a gun pointed at me literally by a pimp demanding to know where someone was at who had left him and I refused to talk.  So I take the confidentiality issues here at one of life and death and I stand behind them literally with my life on the line sometimes.  Because more than once I've a pimp track me down and demand to know where someone who left them has gone to and they don't get a word out of me.

One of the fundamental reasons we choose to go with a 12 step structure is because of confidentiality.  I had a BIG  problem when I started out hotline and that was over the issue of confidentiality.  Someone running from the law could mean I get a warrant slapped on me and how am I going to answer that demand?  There are only a handful of ways you can refuse to answer a subpena or a warrant - and I'm not a priest, doctor or lawyer.  Those are the three main ones.  The other is a reporter trying to protect his sources -but even that's been challenged successfully.

Domestic violence hotline and drug treatment hotlines are covered under confidentiality laws - but the hotline for us, especially a hotline where sometimes the callers are criminals engaging in criminal activity was one I had to figure out how we can protect ourselves from being compelled to talk by a court.  In doing our legal homework we learned that AA was covered under the confidentiality laws - meaning a 12 step group is covered under the confidentiality laws.  So this was one thing we factored into the decision on how to structure our group/hotline.  If we had not gone with the 12 step structure - then we wouldn't have a leg to stand on when hit with a subpena or warrant.

Or this - that of being asked to inform on our members by the CIA, FBI, NSA, and all those alphabets because I have been asked by all of these agencies to do just that.  I have been offered a nice monthly salary to report back on what those who call us say.   I have been more than "offered" but I had a cop in Nevada actually threaten me and demand that I relay information to him on what our members were saying, who they were, who they ran with, etc.  Let me tell you - it was a day that brought back such horrible PTSD memories it took me two weeks to recuperate from the day those three cops stuck me in a car and started threatening me if I didn't report back to them everything I knew going on with our membership to them and I refused.  When Jeane Palfrey died, I had a warrant served on me to get copies of her emails and text messages which I refused also.  The cops spent a year harassing me over this refusal.

Let me explain why also this is such an important issue to me - and that's of our constitutional rights.  How can I ask someone who may be engaged in a criminal activity to call me and talk openly to me if in doing so they're incriminating themselves?   Because for me to do that would be asking them to literally violate their constitutional right not to incriminate themselves.  I mean how would it be to say "call this hotline for help and tell me about your criminal behavior and oh by the way I'm going to report this back to the cops if you do".  No - I can't do that.  So by us being covered on the confidentiality laws, recording the calls or not, they're not going anywhere - then I know callers aren't violating their right to not incriminate themselves.

However - not so with the National Trafficking Hotline.  They are NOT a 12 step group, a domestic violence hotline, a drug treatment hotline, nor a priest, doctor, lawyer, or reporter.   The person answering their hotline is not an ordained minister.  So when you are calling them and you're engaged in a criminal behavior - you are literally being asked to violate your 5th amendment right because Polaris  - very reluctantly mind you - admitted that if someone does discuss a crime with them they are obligated to report it back to law enforcement.   So actually you're less protected as to confidentiality when calling the National Trafficking Hotline than in calling us.  Besides, they get paid by the CIA to report back to them the content of their calls.   Polaris has partnered with Palantir Technologies - who crunches data for the CIA.  We however do not.  We take no money from anyone to relay any information back to anyone.  So recording or not - nothing that comes into our hotline is revealed unless there is a child involved or in immediate danger.

Which raises the question by the way about the confidentiality of what your union knows about it's members if you ask me.  I don't see anything on your site posted addressing the confidentiality issues with respect to the calls to you, your membership, etc.  So like before you get all hopped up about Phyllisha's recordings - can we talk about your confidentiality guidelines for what is said about those who call your union for help?

Now you admit she's the "founder".   But yet I don't think you really truly grasp what a target that's put on her back.  A target for which again I know she's been threatened, she's had things happen to try and intimidate her, and she's had enough things thrown at her to try and stop her from forming the union in the first place I would think you would understand why she'd have to do this to protect not only herself BUT the union.  I mean how do you know someone wouldn't accuse her of something which could have shut down the whole kit and kaboodle before it even got off the ground?  Well you wouldn't understand that position would you because you weren't the person who did found the union then are you?  Real easy to criticize how Phyllisha did what she did after she did it and then you get to run off with it now because that's what it appears like to me is what you're doing.

It's easy to criticize someone who started something you didn't start.  It's not so easy to be the one to start it.  So yes maybe she had good solid reasons to be recording calls and conversations because I'm sure she's not only received threats, but I'm also sure she's had to deal with people setting her up for things.  Things I've seen a lot of in this industry over the years.  I've seen sooooo many of us set up to shut us down over the years - she'd be a complete idiot not to be recording every word she says.

Look at what happened to Dr. Sharon Mitchell and how the AIM clinic got shut down.  When people wanted to get her clinic shut down because they wanted the control she had taken away from her as a leader in this industry - she was framed in my opinion on that bribery accusation.  Something she probably could have defended herself a little better if she had recorded all transactions.

I watched Sharnel Silvey get framed.  She was caring for an elderly man who was dying and he told her to use his card after he died to "buy herself some clothes".  Sharnel set up the first diversion and alternative sentencing program for prostitutes in northern Nevada.  She, at her own expense and at her own risk, was doing outreach within the brothels of Nevada when no one else was.  When someone needed help to get away from a pimp - we were able to go into action.  To avoid jail, keep custody of their kids, not lose their home - because of Sharnel they could go to meetings of her program instead of going to jail if convicted of prostitution charges.  She did a lot of things to help a lot of sex workers and in return she was framed.

After the man died, Joe Conforte asked Sharnel to come to Brazil and help him auction off virgins.  She refused and wanted to continue helping prostitutes in Nevada instead.  Out of nowhere the dead man's family pops up and accuses her of stealing that credit card.  Because she did not record him giving her permission to use that card - she was charged not only with theft but also elder abuse.  Because he was a senior - on her first conviction, with no prior record, she had to serve five years in prison with no parole because of that one accusation for which if she had recorded it - she'd not have gone to prison for five years.

In 2009, people were approaching all of the groups founded by ex-sex workers and offering them $10,000 in donations.  Those who took it, had the person later turn around and claim they were "conned" out of the money.  One by one by one I was getting calls from these women telling me how they had just been arrested for this supposed crime.  I asked each one of them if they had made any recordings of the conversation, was anything in writing - and not a one of them did.  A few of them went to jail and many now have records for phony accusations which were done to try and drive out groups led by actual ex-sex workers so these people funded by Swanee Hunt could instead take over who try and convince the world that porn is "evil" and should be outlawed.

So Phyllisha had better damn well be recording all of her conversations to protect her ass and that of the union.  Now I don't know what she recorded or where because I don't know her well, nor have I heard the tapes but your accusation that they were "illegal" may not be completely accurate.  There are MANY situations where it is in fact legal to record without all parties consent.  Here's a few of those exceptions talked about here - https://www.casp.net/california-anti-slapp-first-amendment-law-resources/statutes/civil-code-section-47/ and here https://oag.ca.gov/privacy/privacy-laws and there's more here - http://www.justanswer.com/law/7wbay-exceptions-ca-recorded-audio-two-party.html

Meaning it's not just flat out wrong in all cases to record someone simply because we're in California. One big exception to the law which gives her the right to record someone without their consent is if she's trying to collect evidence on something in order to put together a criminal case against someone.  No one is going to knowingly incriminate themselves - so the law does allow you to record someone who is trying to harm you.  If you think someone may be going to threaten you with harm - then yes you can record that conversation to get the threat on tape.

If you're in a public place, you have the right to photograph that person as well as record them.  I hate to say it but it's true.  If I'm out in a public restaurant it's legal to record without consent and we saw that in the Planned Parenthood video tape scandal.  Those people got the Planned Parenthood people out into a restaurant and recorded them and broadcast that tape and it was all legal because it was in a restaurant.  Why?  Because you are giving up your privacy when you're in a restaurant.  It's understood other people are going to see you and hear you so you are consenting to that by your presence.  That's how they were able to broadcast the tape - because it was recorded in a restaurant.  The privacy laws only protect you if you "take steps to make the conversation private" in other words.

What bothers me here is a union is supposed to be about protecting those in this industry yet here you are attacking Phyllisha Anne in a very public way.   So who else is going to do something you don't agree with and then you're going to blast them all over the industry?  I'm sorry but "scape goating" is the tool slave owners used to keep the slaves under control, and the Nazi's used also.  You pick out one leader, the strongest ring leader you can find and you hold them up to everyone else and you kill them, beat them, humiliate them or whatever and it sends a message to the rest - you better not piss me off or this is what I'm going to do to you.  First day in jail?  Find the biggest guy and beat the shit out of him and then everyone leaves you alone.  I'm sorry - but this is the tactic bullies use.  I sure don't see you printing any of Phyllisha's response to this accusation in the letter so you're not even allowing her to defend herself or her position here.

So frankly I don't care whether what she did was illegal or not right now.  What I do care about is that this very letter is a tactic used to try and control people.  It's to try and intimidate other people into following your lead and doing what you want them to do.  Frankly I don't think that's what the union is supposed to be about.  You took up a very public forum to attack another sex worker, someone who is trying to give workers more protection and more of a voice and you have openly attacked her.  This is a woman who has her face and name all over social media - yet I don't see even your name at the bottom of this letter so who the fuck are you even?

If you thought what she did was illegal - where's your lawsuit?  I don't see you've filed a complaint against her in a court of law.  I don't see you letting a judge decide if what she did was in fact illegal.  I don't see you filing for a TRO to stop her from recording.  So because YOU think it's illegal that's then just all there is to it?  Again - the way bullies think if you ask me.  

If you're going to attack someone - how about attacking the producers who are trying to get the performers not to wear condoms on a set when they want to use condoms?  How about attacking THAT?  How come I'm not seeing a "list of shame" of producers who have tried to bully and intimidate workers into not using condoms on a set?  I'd like to see that on this page - a list of shame for producers who have been trying to make films where performers are refused to be allowed to use condoms or protection.

How come I don't see you calling out James Deen for his rape of other women in this industry?  I've read that he raped a woman on a set anally until she was torn and was bleeding all over the set.  I've read that the crew APPLAUDED that man after he did this.  I've read one of his victims was threatened by the AVN with a breach of contract lawsuit if she didn't stand next to this man at the AVN instead of them paying for her a lawyer to sue the shit out of him for what he did to her.

Jennifer O'Hare is all over social media claiming she was raped by Dennis Hof.  I don't know if that's true or not but how come you're not talking about it?  There's rumors that Lamar might have even been deliberately drugged and then robbed of $75,000 cash at the ranch.  I don't see you addressing any of Hof's behavior in your forum here.  I mean if you're going to print rumors - how about printing those kinds of rumors?

I'm reading about women being sent home from a shoot because they were insisting they didn't want to perform without a condom.  How about calling out the producers that did this?  I do see you made a statement about Nicki Benz being abused and her 800,000 or so followers.  But frankly I think you did that because she's got over 800,000 followers and you're sucking up.   I mean you should say something - but why am I only hearing about her with all the followers?  How come I'm not hearing about those who have been hurt who have maybe 200 followers?

But what's going on in the James Deen rape accusations?  I'm not seeing a word about that anywhere on your site - but I see a whole page attacking Phyllisha Anne.

Oh and whose bright idea is it to have Melissa Hill leading your "support group" for those "out of the industry"?  Can you answer me that please?  The woman isn't "out of the industry" so how exactly is that supposed to work?  That is no different in my opinion than holding an AA meeting in a bar lead by the bartender who had a drink right before the meeting.  I mean what in the hell is that about?  I joined a "support group" once for ex-sex workers in 1986 called Catharsis.  Everyone in that group was completely fucked up and no one knew what the hell was wrong.

Are you people aware there's a very real thing that for lack of an official name we call it "post prostitution syndrome".  Here's a tape we have online about PPS to explain more about it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO-AVboR0eE  I interviewed over 4,000 ex-sex workers from all over the world, men and women, illegal and legal - and in almost every single case, over 90% of those ex-sex workers had very common symptoms.  Here - read the words of Airforce Amy describe what she went through when she tried to simply quit the industry "cold turkey" without proper after care:






Notice Amy talked about "being so depressed she turned to drugs and alcohol" because of the severe depression she went through.  But Melissa Hill wouldn't know about this wall sex workers hit when quitting the industry entirely because she's still working in the industry.  She hasn't gone off to be a doctor or lawyer or something removed from the whole industry.  Belle Knox wrote openly about the suicidal depression she went through when people found out she was in porn.  That's just found out she was in porn.  Other young women have left suicide notes about killing themselves because they couldn't cope with the stigma of people knowing they'd been in porn.

Are you aware that the FBI has changed their whole undercover policy ever since the first FBI agent went undercover into the porn industry?  He went undercover for two years and came out of the industry so mentally fucked up they now revised their own policy to not leave an agent in the industry more than six months - and then after they come out they get special aftercare.

Do you realize that people who are just EXPOSED to the porn industry sometimes need professional psychological treatment?  Here read this about a special therapy system that's been set up for agents who are just EXPOSED to our industry without actually working in it and they get fucked up behind it and need help - http://unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/Law%20Enforcement%20Work%20Exposure%20to%20CP.pdf

So let me get this straight - you have someone who is not out of the business at all yet leading your support group for people who have left the industry?  Soldiers coming back from Iraq need PTSD treatment just as they did during Vietnam.  It's not even all about war as much as it is about adjustment back to the American way of life after having been in another country.  It's about culture shock and believe me leaving the porn industry and going into the world outside of the industry is a huge culture-shock.  When I was on probation and had to stay out of the industry - I had to learn how to not only dress differently, talk differently, but even how to WALK differently!

So are you really going to tell me that there isn't a huge adjustment process that happens when someone leaves the industry totally when for 30 years now I've been seeing people going through the exiting process and I have never ever ever seen someone just up and walk out of this industry who doesn't go through a HUGE adjustment crisis.

Are you even preparing people for that wall they're going to hit when they do quit the industry?  Now before a whole bunch of people STILL IN THE INDUSTRY want to climb down my throat and claim that this isn't true - save it.  You go and quit this business for longer than 24 hours and then you come back and tell me if it was just a breeze and you had no problems at all walking away from this culture.  This is one of the things these trafficking people have completely fucked up is they're making it appear that the only people who have problems and need help to adjust afterwards from sex work are trafficking victims and I'm sorry but that's not the case.

And I don't mean someone who quit the business but then is getting loaded every day either.  Sure I have met PLENTY of people who tell me "oh yeah I quit the industry and I haven't had one problem adjusting" while they're sitting there smoking meth, popping pills, or they're on five different medications while smoking medical marijuana.   I don't mean those who quit the industry but are stoned or drugged out of their minds so they wouldn't know a feeling if it bit them.  I mean quit the business entirely while also not being in a drugged state - then come tell me it's all a piece of cake to just walk out of this industry after it's been your identity for some years.

Why am I bitching about this?  Because one of the reasons I believe there's a need for the union is the very basic fact that those who do leave this industry need help going through that adjustment.  They need exit services.  Whether they were trafficking victims or not, whether they were addicts or not, whether they were sexually abused or not - there are those who aren't any of the above who still need help to go through the exiting process.  They may need vocational rehabilitation which I would like to see the union lobby the state to start doing something about this.

Think this isn't relevant?  You go spend 20 years working at a legal brothel and then one day you get told you're HIV/AIDS positive and suddenly your license is revoked.  Go on - put yourself in that person's shoes right now.  Imagine you just got told you're positive and your license to work as a prostitute is now revoked.  That's it.  No warning.  No pension.  No retirement plan.  No IRA.  Now what?  What the fuck you going to do now?  

That is a fundamental purpose for the union to exist is to make those aftercare and exit services available to members.   Now how are you going to do that when you think it's as simple as having Melissa Hill run a "support group" and that's it?  If you ask me the very fact you're acting like that's all there is is because whoever is running things over there at APAG now isn't Phyllisha.  Phyllisha is a sex worker.  She knows at the bottom of her gut that if she got mangled by a bus accident tomorrow, or became a victim of a horrible fire which disfigured her, or if she God forbid came down with HIV/AIDS - then now what?  What is she going to do?  She's planning on being in this industry the rest of her life.  I doubt she's got a back-up plan or a nursing degree or something to fall back on.  Even if she did have a nursing degree - what if the bus accident cut off one of her legs?  Then what?

Would vocational rehabilitation pay to retrain her to do something other than be in sex work?  I'm sorry but this is a fundamental issue for sex workers and where the union should be thinking about those very things.  So I'm actually deeply offended by this group making it appear that it's not a big issue when it's a CORE issue for why the union should exist - and that's to make sure employers in this industry realize that our careers are like that of dancers and athletes - it came be a short-lived one and one for which special considerations need to be built into the profession and that's where the union is supposed to be addressing those needs.

Which makes me think who is behind this APAG right now might be more for the "owners" than the "workers" in terms like that.  I mean question - how many who are back there are just workers themselves?  I'm asking because I also don't see a list of your officers on your website like I see on the IEAU website.    I see the board of IEAU is that of sex workers - not producers, not owners of companies, not people like Dennis Hof who owns a couple of ranches, not the owner of a string of strip clubs - but workers.  Workers who know the needs of the workers they're representing and defending and trying to make the field a better place for them.

So who exactly are you back there?  What are your roles within the industry?  How much do you know about how absolutely impossible it is to leave the industry should you have to suddenly due to injury or illness?  Christy Mack was horribly beaten.  After she announced she was staying in the industry.

However, she could.  What if War Machine, God forbid, but what if he had poured gasoline on her and lit her on fire as some women have had done to them in this industry?  What if she was so disfigured she couldn't possibly work in this industry again?  I assure you she would need special services to exit this industry even without being injured because there is a study out showing that literally 98% of those who try and leave sex work without the proper after-care fail.  They get clinically depressed, turn to drugs and/or alcohol, or even compulsive gambling as one study talked about, and they can't make the transition.

Those who can't go back wind up on SSI or welfare.  I know because 2/3 of the members of SWA have some kind of autoimmune disease they got from the industry and they're now living on SSI including myself.  I got chronic fatigue syndrome when it first hit the sex industry in the 1980's.  I spent my first year out of sex work laying on my couch because I was too tired to get up and go to bed.

But back to who are you over there running this "union" exactly?  I've learned how to tell red flags about abusers and exploiters and this form of intimidation and control you're exhibiting here is one of them.  You are attacking another member of the industry, a woman who created this very organization according to you out of nothing, at her own expense from what I understand, but I don't see a copy of a lawsuit along with it.

I also happen to know you're wrong - there ARE exceptions to when you can legally record someone in California and I don't see a word of that mentioned here meaning you're not only bullying, shaming, and intimidating another woman in this industry - but you're also misleading your readers and members by falsely claiming there are no exceptions to that rule.

Meaning you're lying to the industry in this letter.  That's all I got to know about the situation right here.  There are situations where one can legally record conversations in California and you aren't mentioning that at all here.  

What's worse is I don't even see a signature at the bottom as to who wrote this attack and misleading accusation.


To top it off, you're attacking her board for not "muzzling" Phyllisha simply because you asked them to.  Again - did you serve anyone with any legal papers?  Was a formal legal demand letter sent to anyone there at the  IEAU?  Can you please tell me what the other board members at the  IEAU have to do with what Phyllisha does?  What exactly is it you're calling them out for not doing?  Not what exactly?

Meaning you're not just attacking Phyllisha - you're attacking the whole board of IEAU over this something you say is illegal but I don't see you filing any legal papers about it.  I mean is this how you're going to represent your members?

Shame on you.

I don't see a signature here but I'm willing to lay down a $100 bet that whoever wrote this letter was a man.  Yet another man beating up on a woman in this industry and shaming her for protecting herself, and her baby, and then the other women who are standing behind her.   Which I'm sorry but I think that it's things like that why the union was started in the first place.  Meaning from where I'm standing it looks like some men came in and took this group away from Phyllisha and now they're trying to cover up what they did by victim blaming her.

If I'm wrong - then please please how about a statement about how exactly it was you're now running APAG and Phyllisha got shut out?  I mean I saw shit like this when the white man comes into America and kicks out the native American's for being "on his land".  Then I see all these westerns growing up where the white man is protecting himself from the "savage indian attacks" without addressing that it's the Indians who were the ones being ran off their land not the other way around.   So please - how about more of an explanation of how this split exactly took place because that's what this letter looks like to me - the white man talking about the horrible indians who attacked them!

Oh yes I know the tactics well.  I remember one time kicking the ass of a pimp who was beating up on my girlfriend and when the cops came he was crying how I beat the shit out of him.  I remember how my ex-husband went around all of our friends crying how "mean I was for taking his baby and leaving him" but of course leaving out of that whole conversation I did so after he broke down my front door and threatened to kill my daughter and myself.  That's what this looks like to me - so please - love to hear your side of what the break was about.

Along with a copy of the lawsuit against Phyllisha for these illegal recordings.  If you're not going to file a lawsuit then I think you need to retract that letter attacking other women in this industry while claiming you're there to represent their needs.  Also from a legal viewpoint.  Because I don't see the words "in my opinion" in these accusations.  Plus you're wrong - there ARE exceptions to the tape recording laws in California.  So what I see you're doing is defaming Phyllisha and even the IEAU which could also be considered a form of "economic interference".  In other words, you wouldn't be trying to steer prospective members towards your group over hers with these accusations now would you because that is also a crime.

You know how to reach me - so please enlighten me as to who is exactly the person who wrote this letter and what type of work they do in this industry?