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Saturday, September 5, 2015

LETTER TO CATHOLIC BISHOPS AND SALVATION ARMY

Sex Workers Anonymous (formerly Prostitutes Anonymous)
(702) 468-4529 Telephone

September 5, 2015

Re: Life and Death Communication Issues

Catholic Bishops & Associates
Via Email

Salvation Army
Human Trafficking Division
Via Email

Hello:

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Jody Williams. I was involved in the sex industry from the late 1970's to the mid-1980's. During that time, I not only was a victim of sex trafficking myself, but I also was witnessing many different types of trafficking as well. As well as witnessing trafficking – I was also witnessing people trying to leave these various situations – only to find either nothing to help them or even outright barriers in their way.

When I was arrested during a very high profile scandal in 1984 I was dubbed the “High Tech Madam” (www.hightechmadam.com) – I found I was unable to mount a defense for myself because I was viewed as a criminal by our legal system who had no way of understanding I was being “forced”. I knew there was no point in trying to explain my plight because I'd already seen Linda Lovelace try to tell the world how she'd been forced to film the XXX “Deep Throat” at the point of a gun in 1980.

She was not believed. What did happen to Linda however was she got scooped up by the anti-porn people who used her to try and teach people about the evils of porn rather than trafficking. People would hold up pornography not made by trafficking victims and used that to diffuse the real issue. The issue wasn't about the evils of porn, or whether porn should be outlawed. The issue was that she was forced – and our legal system wasn't set up for anything like this to have found help to get away.

I said to myself I would not repeat that mistake when I set out to do something about this. Another mistake I felt she made was she sold a book about her story called “Ordeal”. People used that to discount her story – saying she was “only trying to sell a book”. To try and keep the message on point – I refused over $1,000,000 in book and movie offers after my arrest which are offered someone like me after such a high profile arrest. I also formed our group as a 12 step group – instead of a nonprofit.

The point of the 12 step structure was for many reasons. One major one was that we “have no opinion on outside issues”. Meaning we would not get caught up in the whole anti-pornography debate where we would get our message lost as Linda had been through already. Because no hotline had been set up before for us to call, and because the eyes of the law viewed us as criminals – we set up the first hotline ever for people to call for help, or to report trafficking without fear of being arrested as an accomplice.

Why? Because the only people really witnessing trafficking were also considered “criminals” in the eyes of the law as well. Customers, or “johns”, are the ones who know where the trafficking is happening. Only they can't call the cops either because to admit they've seen this activity is also incriminating themselves. To encourage calls from these “johns” - we therefore promised complete confidentiality, and the assurance we were not associated with the cops, in order to generate tips.

Why? Because in our experience, the hard core victims of trafficking are not allowed to call for help. They're usually kept locked up in a house. They are often not taught English if they don't speak it. They are not told where they are. They're not even left alone for two minutes. So the only person who usually sees them, knows where they are, knows how to get to them, knows how the security is set up – is the “john”. The show “8 Minutes” on TV recently was inspired by the fact that to get to these victims we've been staging rescues by sending in “johns” in a sting operation to get the victims alone where we can then get them out away from the traffickers out a back door, or a back window, etc.

Our program took off like a shot. We were the only game in town so to speak when we launched our campaign in August of 1987. The only other program around besides us was two – there was the Children of the Night hot line and house for teens. There was also the Mary Magdalene residential shelter in Reseda, California.

However, there were major problems with just those two programs from my view. First, I couldn't go to Children of the Night because I was of legal age. I also couldn't go to the MMP because I was escaping men who were involved in heavy duty trafficking in connection with Iran Contra. Men who were scared of what I'd tell the police so they were trying to kill me. In other words, it was not safe.

Case in point about why “traditional” shelters and even “safe houses” are not properly set up for our types of victims and what I was wanting our country to change was the fact that shelters like the Mary Magdalene Project were not set up properly for our needs is best illustrated by what happened to Margo Compton. This was a woman married to her trafficker/pimp who also was a Hell's Angel and Aryan with “connections”. She had two small children by this man and again to run without telling him where the children were would leave her open to kidnapping charges against her. No shelter or law enforcement is going to deny him his legal rights of visitation. So what to do?

She turned to another biker in the gang for protection at first. All he did was pimp her at his strip club for a while. When she threatened to leave - this man threatened to pimp out her two twin daughters. Finally in desperation she turned to the legal system thinking if she did prosecute her trafficker – she'd be protected. They put her, and the two twins, into a “safe house”. But they failed to understand that the modern day sex trafficker isn't just some “Huggy Bear” pimp on a streetcorner. The police have also REFUSED to allow me to fully train them in how modern day pimps operate in this country.

So what happened? Read here about her murder, and the murder of her two small children for yourself to see what happened to her in exchange for her trusting the system - http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/When-Jailbirds-Sing-It-was-the-pure-savagery-of-3018647.php Now when I was escaping trafficking – I didn't trust the system and I survived. I also created a different kind of system for these types of victims that works. You will not ever hear of any victim who came to us for help being found murdered like this because we haven't lost one yet. But yet when I've tried to open up dialogues with your groups, and safe houses you fund, on how to set up help for women like Margo - you shut me down every time. Which doesn't hurt me – but it does them.
There were other issues with just the MMP. No they weren't set up to help trafficking victims who would have people looking for them, but they also didn't take in men and/or transgenders. They had no outpatient program either, nor would they take in anyone with drug problems or mental health issues. In my experience, those fresh away from traffickers would be suffering from usually both. They would have been kept on drugs by their traffickers, and also be suffering from severe PTSD, as well as things like Stockholm Syndrome, or even brainwashing.

I had seen that many traffickers brainwash their victims. This would be very frustrating to police, social workers, etc. because the victim would literally fight to return to their captor. If their captor(s) had been arrested – this victim would then go and recreate an almost identical situation.

This was where these victims got the false reputation they “wanted it” that at that time had cops, social workers, probation, etc., all throwing up their hands feeling it was futile to try and pull us out of these trafficking situations. They just couldn't understand why, usually within 72 hours, of being freed – they would either return to the same house or they'd go and find a new pimp, or even return to the same organization. Most would refuse to testify against their pimps – further confusing the system.

Remember, the system used to have some of the same viewpoints about domestic violence back then also. Back in the 70's and 80's many cops would refuse to even go on domestic violence calls for the same reasons – the victim would even sometimes attack the officer when they'd try to arrest the attacker, refuse to press charges, etc. Some because they'd been brainwashed, some because their abuser had blackmail against them, others because they knew he'd just be released in a few hours and then would come back for them if they did. There was also very little understanding of the laws with respect to child custody and visitation being a factor also.

In other words, I knew a 1000 Mary Magdalene houses wasn't going to solve the problem. This country had to change the way it responded to domestic violence, rape, and child abuse if anything were to be different. It also had to change the way it responded to sex trafficking also. The problem was our whole country wasn't set up to handle sex trafficking because they didn't even believe it existed anymore. I know because whenever one of us would try and talk about what we were seeing, and what was happening to us – they thought we were hallucinating. Now how are the legal system, and the mental health system, as well as the drug treatment system, going to help us if they thought we're “tripping” every time we try and talk about what was going on.

I saw it in my own program in Narcotics Anonymous. I was told “you're as sick as your secrets” and that I'm supposed to “practice vigorous honesty”- but when I'd try and talk about seeing women loaded onto diplomats' planes to be sold for a drug or oil deal by our own CIA – I would have people ask me if I'd gotten high. Especially when I started talking about how the CIA had been working with people producing TV shows where it was actually just a cover for sex trafficking.

I refer to a film that wasn't released in 1987 about Chuck Barris in his book “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”. Yes he talks about being a CIA operative while producing the “Dating Game” in the film. But what he left out was how the show used itself as a cover to scout attractive single women. How the “dates” were expanded into other countries as a cover for transporting women. How women who appeared on the show were also working for an escort service being co-ran by local cops. So you can imagine what counselors or drug treatment centers would respond when someone would try and talk about these things - they'd lock us up for 72 hour observation!

I mean think about it back before Chuck's film was released with me talking about the “Dating Game” being a cover for CIA trafficking in women and you have an idea what we were up against.

The only solution was the country had to change. I had a “warehouse two blocks from the police station” that I had been using as a “safe house”. When the police arrested me however, they just assumed all our security was there to run a brothel – not for security to hide trafficking victims. So the only way I was going to be able to continue to help rescue others was to set about getting the world to first of all believe us this was real and happening and not some urban myth.

I had gone to the governor of California back then explaining how I wanted to see these victims, like myself, to stop being arrested and treated as criminals. We needed to be able to call for help and not only be believed – but also get help that was properly set up for us.

He told me that we would never see it decriminalized – and that my best bet was to form a 12 step group. Which was another reason we chose a 12 step structure – he told me we could start out offering alternative sentencing to victims without any special laws, or special courts – under the laws that AA had already established. Thus Prostitutes Anonymous was born. So in 1987 when I stepped up on that first talk show stage – it was not to tell my story or to sell a book, but to let people know we were real, that victims could call our hotline until more people, and the police believed us, get that help, and so victims could appeal to the judge for an “alternative to sentencing” when they were arrested.

Our program took off like a shot. We set up the first official alternative sentencing program in Los Angeles by 1988 through then mayor Tom Bradley. By 1989, we got asked to set up one in Allentown, Pennsylvania. By 1991, we got asked to set up the first Canadian program which included a drop-in crisis center in response to a serial killer that was targeting prostitutes up there. By 1999, we had a chapter of our program in every major city in the USA.

Since just about every Catholic Charity and Salvation Army had prostitutes in a residential program – we were holding our meetings there so these women didn't have to arrange transportation. We did this as a courtesy to these centers, and so they didn't have to arrange transport for 20 women at a whack. Our members on the outside had cars – so they could come to the women in your shelters easier than your women could come to an outside meeting. So we agreed to meet at your shelters for years.

Were we successful? I'll cite just one case that's public information now – Kathleen Mitchell of Dignity. She wrote us from jail in 1989 after something like 50 arrests. After her release, she took a PA meeting back into the jail. By 1991- she founded Dignity where she had weekly PA meetings in Phoenix. Research done on her clients cite our program as what turned them around. So yes – we are effective.

Did it all pay off? When the Trafficking Act of 2000 passed giving us federal recognition – then yes. Up until then, I had to pay for everything myself. Our 800 hot line was at a time when I was paying $1.00 a minute, or $1000 a month. I spent over $400,000 researching, writing and publishing our “Recovery Guide” from members all over the world contributing. I paid for all our printing, bought our safe houses, our outreach vehicles, our commercials, etc. So yes it was important to get federal recognition so I could start getting some help to pay those bills. I had been assured by founders of other programs like AA and NA – that it “would take about 15-20 years before you'd get federal recognition – and then the sale of your book and your donations would then start paying your overhead.” So yes, I had been waiting for that day of federal recognition and the hope of being financially self-sustaining once we got that federal recognition. Many of the things we'd been having to pay for out of pocket to launch this movement – we had now hope we could get the government to pick up the tab on finally.

Little did I know what that really meant when the Trafficking Act was passed. Because about April of 2000 – I start getting calls from all over the USA telling me “they just kicked us out”. I'm like “what do you mean?” The chairs of these meetings were telling me they were told their meetings there in these facilities were shut down. Further, we were banned from the property to even speak to our “sponsees”. Our “sponsees” were banned from calling their sponsors – and we had no idea why.

Our program was not only effective – but they were accomplishing many jobs. Most major cities had our members working at outreach. We had them sponsoring these women – taking them to AA and NA meetings. Our meetings were being used as “alternatives to sentencing”. They were running diversion programs. They were staffing local hot lines. They were working there as counselors. Our members were not only getting recovery – but they were heavily involved in helping others as volunteers.

What was even more difficult to understand was if our members were identified as such but worked within these two programs – they were fired. Honestly, it forced us to understand why “anonymity” was so important. Because of what felt like a house cleaning or witch hunt – our members had to start denying they were in SWA in order to simply keep their jobs. We had worked for so many years for recognition - only now we were being shamed right back into the woodwork again for some reason.

I honestly was so stressed by suddenly having 1,000's of members calling wondering what was going on – I had a major stroke in July of 2000. So there's a few years that are a blur. I started seeing grant applications going out to hire people to do jobs our members had been doing for free. So I remember trying to appeal to some of the local SA's and CA's to hire our members back to do jobs we were seeing advertised working with prostitutes – only to hear “no”. It made no sense to me why someone in recovery, with experience, would be fired only to hire total novices who weren't even survivors.

By 2004, things got really crazy. I didn't know for a long time why. With time, I learned about the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act that was passed in January of 2003 spoken about here on this link. https://libtool.ulib.iupui.edu/myul/node/2872 I understand the intent of this – but when we were asked what our “stance” was on things like prostitution, pornography, and HIV we had to repeat that we have none. Just as Alcoholics Anonymous does not address the alcohol industry, nor does Narcotics Anonymous address the subject of medical marijuana – we officially can not take any stance against, or for, anything with respect to pornography, prostitution, HIV nor even abortion.

However, I'd like to point out that this does not stop your groups from allowing your clients, or congregation, from attending these programs. Only it's now seriously affecting our program. We reorganized and continued to try and operate. We found new meeting locations, and continued to do what we do. Only now we're having new problems developing. We're having women in your programs, housing, obtaining your services, also coming to us for help. Only now the minute it's discovered they're talking to our group – they're being cut off, kicked out, rejected, from your programs. Why? We were being called a “group of prostitutes” for one thing. That to me is like saying you won't refer an alcoholic to an AA meeting because “they're just a bunch of drunks”. But now this has turned into a situation where our members are having to remain “anonymous” not only to work in the field – but now to even receive services.

By the year 2007 – things are completely out of hand. Since 1987, I've been able to find placement within your programs for anyone leaving prostitution, whether trafficked or not. I even got a visit from Adam Freer with the Salvation Army asking me to lead ATLAS (the first Nevada sex trafficking task force) in 2007. I agreed. He told me to my face that I was the only one with as much “experience as you do” and also that I was the only one willing to work in Nevada because of the legal brothels.

Only to find that the Salvation Army then took a $375,000 grant from Metro to “restructure” the program I'd helped set up where EVERY prostitute arrested was questioned, instead to one where the only victims “offered help were those referred by Metro”. I even found out I was replaced in the job by opening up the newspaper to read a school teacher was taking the job with NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE. Further, when I reached out to her after reading this article – she HAD NO IDEA WHO I WAS.

Oh that's interesting. The Metro where I've got members saying they're part of a trafficking ring that was connected to Operation Dollhouse, the Crazy Horse Strip Club, Chris Butler, Kemp Schiffer, just to name a few that came to light after 2007. All victims I couldn't help because Terri kept saying “Metro had to refer them”. Now please explain why you put in a SCHOOL TEACHER WITH NO EXPERIENCE who when I tried to bring her cases of real trafficking in Nevada – BLEW ME OFF. Who when I came to her with fresh information in the Jessie Foster case she BLEW ME OFF. Who when I tried to go over her head to get help for victims in Nevada that year I was then threatened by an FBI agent, ignored by Terri Miller, and then banned from even attending trafficking functions and trainings? A woman who did things like spend $80,000 on a billboard that didn't get one phone call – while turning down my request for a translator to help me go into massage parlors like Operation Dollhouse highlighted. Who wound up with ZERO CASES at the end of the year I should add.

After she got done bad mouthing me – by 2008, I'm now finding that MANY groups are refusing even calls from us to place victims into programs. Like the day I had four victims sitting in my house. One had rebelled against her pimp and rose up and knocked him out. In fear they'd be arrested for attacking him – they all ran to me for help. I don't offer residential services, never have. I've always placed them somewhere. But in this case– I'm now calling everyone saying “I have four victims here on my couch and they need placement” and I'm being blown off. Thinking it might be me – I had the victims themselves call and they were ignored. Now I don't mean just the Salvation Army or the Catholic Charities. I mean ANYONE we called – including the “trafficking task force” and the lists of programs that are supposed to be taking them in.

Why? I don't know. You tell me. By now, our members have been rehired within your programs by not revealing their membership in SWA. So I call them and ask what's going on. Why is everyone not only returning my calls – but now something else is happening. These groups are now giving interviews saying “nothing exists”. Now that doesn't only deny our program exists – it also denies programs like Children of the Night, and even the Mary Magdalene Project. So this isn't personal.

What I was told was it had to do with the Catholic Bishops. I was told that money was being given to these programs that were ignoring us entirely on the condition that they act like we didn't exist. When I asked why – I was told that it was because of two factors. The first being that I don't stand in the doorway blocking members from obtaining abortions, and the second was because they believed the name of our program, which had been changed in 1995 to Sex Workers Anonymous “legitimatized” the sex industry as a career. That's like saying “Narcotics Anonymous” legitimizes drug use. It's about as ridiculous too.

So things came to a head in 2007 over the report Melissa Farley asked me to help her with. Up until then the trafficking efforts had been focused on street prostitution. However, sex trafficking exists within the legal parts of the sex industry. It exists in strip clubs, it exists in porn sets, it exists in webcam studios, massage parlors, and even the legal brothels of Nevada. We had one woman specifically who was being trafficked in a legal brothel owned by the Hells Angels who was unable to access help for being a victim through the Salvation Army for two reasons.

The first being that she was in a legal brothel so she was considered as having given “consent”. The second, because she had two small children with her pimp who she was trying to, and the Vegas branch was not only 800 miles away – but they wouldn't take her in with her two kids. So she came to us.

We were having a lot of problems with trafficking in Nevada for a variety of reasons. Women were being brought to Nevada from all over the country because the legal age is 15 years old. The Hells Angels owned the Shady Lady brothel. Meaning there were women being brought in from all over the USA to go to work there starting at 16 years of age. Melissa Farley had told me we weren't going to get any help about it until we first proved to the country it was real. For that reason, I got involved to help her write “Trafficking in Nevada – Making the Connections” by providing her with people we had been rescued from these brothels to interview. No other group had recovering brothel prostitutes they'd rescued because we were the only one working with them going clear back to the 1980's.

Which is what I mean also when I say there's all forms of trafficking going on in this country - some of which is within the so called “legal” industries. The Hell's Angels owned more than the Shady Lady. They also owned massage parlors, escort services, porn production companies and even many ADT Security Companies. If you'd like evidence of their involvement in trafficking – I refer back to the case of Margo Compton. Another woman who wasn't able to “just leave” because of having two children by her husband who was one of the traffickers. They can't go to a Salvation Army or Catholic Charity shelter to escape because your shelters frankly aren't set up to deal with this kind of heat. Your shelters are also not set up to deny legal visitation of the kids if you were to admit them either.

So you can see some of our problems being created by your groups, and groups being funded by the Catholic Bishops, suddenly putting us on some kind of blacklist. But your programs still found the need for 12 step meetings. Because after I gave that press conference in 2007 – I get calls from the few remaining places that were holding Prostitutes Anonymous meetings under our original name. Like Dignity as one example. I get this weird phone call from Cathy Bauer informing me they will no longer be ordering books or materials for the resident Prostitutes Anonymous meeting – nor will they be holding a meeting any longer. Okay – that's their choice.

Only I keep hearing that the meeting is going on by people who are attending them. I would call Cathy only to have her deny it – and hang up on me. Prior to Catholic Charities taking over Dignity – the staff had been begging me to come train them. I was coming to Phoenix the year Catholic Charities took over, and I'd wanted to meet you, so I offered to come and do so free. I was denied.

But I kept hearing from people they were going on but with a few weird changes. I'm hearing for example the meetings are now being held using our old literature. For another, the members are not being told I'm the founder, nor how to reach the main office. Those who do know about me are told they can't speak to me – and they're to deny these meetings. Further, I'm hearing that our program is being completely distorted. I'm also not hearing anyone recover after this happened either.
I'm hearing things like how prostitution is being bashed, that porn is being bashed, and instead of being called “members” - they're being called “trafficking victims” even when they say they didn't have a pimp or were they trafficked. It's so bad that I'm getting calls from women telling me they want to attend our “real” program - only they're “afraid” to the point of one woman who had anxiety attacks over what will happen to her if she did.

Further, these meetings are appearing now in grant applications you're submitting to federal sources. Okay now we have a real problem. We've gone beyond kicking us out of your programs. We've gone beyond kicking our members out of your employment. We've gone beyond not returning our phone calls and refusing to help us or anyone who even knows us. We've gone beyond people telling us they're going to lose their jobs or their funding if they speak to us. Now your programs are holding “faux” meetings of ours and using your “faux” meetings as part of your grant applications.

As if that's not enough insult to injury – I'm hearing a basket is being passed at these meetings only I'm not getting any accounting, let alone a portion. In AA, NA, and other 12 step groups – there is a treasurer at these meetings. Those reports are turned in monthly to the next level up until it reaches the main world level. Whatever is left over after paying their expenses is then forwarded to the world service office of these programs. Only all of our financial flow has been cut off by this whole thing.

In other words, our income has now been completely cut off. We are not getting donations now. We're not getting book orders, or orders for t-shirts, hats, keytags, medallions, or other literature. We are now even having problems holding meetings in the same towns you're holding these “faux” meetings in.

It's so bad - we're even hearing of fist fights breaking out. We're hearing those coming to our meetings are being physically threatened by those going to “your” meetings. Why? Because we're having people trying to start up new SWA meetings only to be told “we already have a meeting in town” like they're some kind of gang and we're on their turf.

When these members go to find out what's going on – they're encountering someone saying they're holding meetings in connection with your programs that are applying for federal funds. They say they don't “even know who Jody Williams is” and I'm hearing not only about fights breaking out and prostitutes being threatened - but now I'm hearing about downright physical attacks of our members.

By about 2009, a trend starts which is escalating. Our members connected to our program are now having people calling them up. They're being told that they need to stop speaking to me, having anything to do with us here at the main office, but instead they need to come over to “their” meetings instead which are being held at programs you're funding. When these people balk – they're told horrible stories that I'm “madaming again” that I'm a “pimp” and a “trafficker”, and even an “imposter”. In Chicago, more than one physical fight has supposedly broken out by people insisting that “Brenda Myers-Powell is the true founder” of the program. This is insane!

As our groups continue to try and meet in peace – the stalking, harassment, and even now outright threats escalates. By 2013, all of our members online are now being stalked, harassed, and threatened. To protect ourselves – we had no choice but to shut down our online forums, online chat rooms, online meetings, online groups, and we've had to advise our members not to even mention my name in a post. A few who think I'm overreacting, go ahead and post they're in SWA or know me online.

Sure enough – within two days or so – they get a email or call with some kind of threat or harassment. They each are asked to “turn over copies of all the emails between Jody and you” like I'm being investigated or something. One woman had a book launch tanked. Another got chased out of every group she belonged to online because she wouldn't “denounce” me or SWA. Another woman who worked as a counselor at a jail was fired and another woman who had been a social worker for 12 years got fired. There are more stories than this - but it becomes clear that someone is tracking anyone who even mentions my name, or SWA, and they're now being threatened by a handful of people I can trace back to programs that are funded by your programs.

By 2013, it's now extended to new nonprofits that help trafficking victims. As new groups open – I call them to see what they offer for our hotline. I introduce us and ask questions about what they do. They're very nice to me when I call. Within two days or so, I am told “please don't call here again”. When I ask why – I've been told they've had their funding threatened, their licensing threatened, and the ever popular threat that they “will be shunned by the anti-trafficking community”. A few will also throw in they've been told I'm “pimping” or “trafficking” or one woman was even told I was “running a child prostitution ring” currently. The rest make some snotty remark to me about how “offensive” they find our name of “Sex Workers Anonymous” and they won't even “speak to someone who feels sex work is a career”. Which is NOT the meaning of our name. We changed our name in '95 because adult filters were blocking the word “prostitute” as well as search engines when the internet was born.

Is this working? The groups I see being cut off from our 29 years now of experience, and our pool of recovering members, working with this community I see struggling. Many struggle so badly they'll call me for help in deperation. They're so glad to reach me and grateful when I start sharing solutions. So grateful they mention to someone they're talking to me and how I'm helping them. Only to then either be fired – or cut me off in fear of being fired. Those not fired get the message – don't call Jody. From what I'm hearing – they're not doing too well at helping these victims without our help.

In desperation, the “faux” meetings keep popping up. Only problem is that a copy of our outdated book by itself does not a program make. Anymore than you can throw a copy of the Big Book into a bar full of drunks and they're going to magically get sober. It doesn't work. In fact, it turns into a zoo. I know because again I'll get a call from someone saying “help....”. Only the minute I try – they're shut up, fired, shut down, or threatened by someone connected to you because they called us for assistance.

The victims themselves in desperation go online to try and find help. They find me. I help them. Then what? How about the brave woman who helped me win the battle against the brothels in Nevada? Not only did she leave her pimp with her kids, but she helped us get the Shady Lady brothel shut down. On top of that, the brothels were trying to expand into Las Vegas using an illegal meeting of the Nevada legislature. She appeared at that meeting by herself and told them the reality of what goes on at the brothels. They voted against the brothels and they lost.

In retaliation – her power, phone, TV, cable, were all cut off (like mine was after our 2007 press conference). Her car was stolen and her home trashed. We help her move out of state and set up a new life. By now, we have her working from home, helping us do outreach, she's clean and out of all prostitution for a few years now, her kids are doing well, and she's in counseling. She notices the counselors are having other clients who are prostitutes also. So she tries to tell them about SWA and invites these other women to come to a meeting she wants to set up in the new town she's living in. She asks to post a flyer for the meeting at the center - only she's refused. She gives a copy of our Recovery Guide to her counselor – who ignores it. When she asks for help to find a meeting space for a SWA meeting and to invite the other clients – she's literally kicked out of the center! In other words, after achieving great recovery, and then reaching out to help others - she's shunned!!!

She is not alone. By 2013, I'm now getting more calls like this. I was working with a young woman in Las Vegas who was also attending counseling at the mental health center there. The day after she tells her counselor she's attending our meetings – she's kicked out of not only the center – but even out of the apartment they'd been providing her with. We had a counselor who was working at a mental health center in San Jose, California tell us practically every client there is a prostitute. So she tells her boss she's going to let me run a meeting there I agreed to do – she's fired. The same with a counselor at a jail in Seattle. The minute she says she wants to bring a SWA meeting into the jail because all of her clients are reporting they can't talk about these issues at an NA or AA meeting – she's fired!

It's now extended to the media by 2013. Noticing reporters keep writing stories like we don't exist -we start contacting these same reporters to tell them that we do. They get excited and interested. They come meet with us, meet our members, see our work for themselves – and get worked up about writing a great story about our work. Only the minute they go to their editor – they're shut down. One reporter who had been on the Review Journal for 15 years told me that I had been “black listed for life”. Another reporter felt there should be an article on our work very strongly – so he put together the story and went to his publisher. After working there for 12 years he assured me he “could get the story printed”. They turned him down. When the photographer jumped in to support the story should be published as we were the only program that would physically go and pick up women from anywhere in Nevada, especially the brothels in our outreach RV we'd shown them – they were both fired. By 2015, I had five papers tell me if they even printed our name they'd be fired.

Because our members are having to now stay virtually hidden in order to find work, and not be stalked and threatened by people working in the trafficking field – it appears we don't even exist. I'm now having more and more new members coming in say “I can't find anything online about your group but you.”. I'm now having reporters tell me “you don't exist online because you have no followers”. It's now gotten to the point where we can't even set up new meetings without running into these problems.

Now look – I can understand that you've been working with this policy that's forbid government funding of programs that don't specifically state they anti-porn and anti-prostitution. I can understand you want to keep your members separate from anyone who might recommend abortion. But two things have happened – first is the lawsuit of ACLU vs. USCCB validating that you can't separate trafficking victims from outside programs they choose to seek help from in trying to protect them from abortion mills. I personally am not for abortion. Personally, when we've had members find out they're pregnant we've even had other members adopt their babies. So while personally I am not for abortion – I have to first obey the law. I also can't physically block every door. Second, our program can not express an opinion on anything other than what we do. Since we do not provide medical care – we can't express an opinion either way on abortion because it's against our traditions just as it is for AA and NA.

The other is the Supreme Court decision in Agency for International Development vs. Alliance for Open Society International where the court upheld that in the interest of “free speech” one can not be forced to speak out against prostitution or be considered “in support of trafficking”. No offense guys - but I'm the founder of the modern day sex trafficking movement. Do you really think I'm pro-sex work or in support of trafficking simply because of the name of our program – or because I can't take a public stance with our 12 step program on these issues? Again, because these points of contention doesn't stop you from referring and cooperating with AA and NA – I'm not seeing why you do with me.

When I fought back brothels from expanding into California, and when I fought back the brothels from expanding into Las Vegas – I didn't see any of your groups there. But I don't hold that against you either. Nor did I take that to mean you were “pro-brothels” either.

This has got to stop. I thought honestly it would stop when the ACLU won their lawsuit. Instead, all I'm seeing is a bunch of media and jockeying in retaliation. If anything, the situation is getting even worse. I can't even sell our Recovery Guide on Amazon because of this madness.

Why? Because now I'm getting anti-trafficking groups all over the country trying to get their hands on our book to set up more “faux” meetings without having to register them through me like we're back in grade school or something. I am now having to spend ½ of my time chasing these groups down!

Our income has dried up because of this entirely. The confusion is so bad that new members are afraid to send me book orders because I'm not on Amazon, and because these “faux” meetings are being set up in churches. They don't know who to trust yet – so I'm stuck sending out free copies until we can sort this out. I've even had people ask me to come speak at their events – only to call me back a week later making up excuses because of what they've heard from your people. This has got to stop.

Especially as this problem grows. As it expands to more and more young people - I've got more parents calling for help. Just as AA has Alanon – we've created SWAN for parents. I'm already having someone call us wanting to join SWAN – until they find out it's a sister program to SWA. I don't even run SWAN – but because it's connected - they're being shunned now also? Further, I've got people who work with your agencies telling me they're afraid to give SWAN referrals because they might get fired? Really? Are you kidding me?

I've been speaking to some attorney's. I've learned I have a lot of legal options. Not only for copyright and trademark violation, but also for “economic interference” and even “conspiracy to defraud the US government”. Harsh? When you have programs applying for federal money by claiming you're running “Prostitutes Anonymous” meetings that are in fact NOT only operating without my consent for the use of the name, but also NOT the program itself as designed, then you are yes in fact defrauding your grant sources as well as those attending those meetings, and donating money. Especially when a portion of their decision to fund you is based on you holding Prostitutes Anonymous meetings!

Those meetings are more than just not registered - they're NOT our meetings because of basic components missing. Including the lack of our current Recovery Guide. Our “official” program has been called Sex Workers Anonymous since 1995. The mere fact you called these meetings Prostitutes Anonymous proves right there those meetings were not “official” and therefore you were defrauding the grant donors as well as our office since we never received any of the money from these meetings from the donations generated from these meetings. We never even got the order for the “starter kit” let alone our books. People coming to those meetings were also told they were “Prostitutes Anonymous” meetings when they donated. So they got defrauded also in my opinion. Also, where's our money?

We have to come to the table to work out some kind of cooperative agreement – or I'm going to sue. I'm not going to tolerate any longer members of our program receiving phone calls from people running “faux” meetings at your facilities, or programs you fund, threatening to “kick the ass” of our members who are legitimate members. I'm not going to tolerate being exploited, ripped off, and people being defrauded in our name. I'm not going to tolerate our members being fired, kicked out of therapy, stalked, threatened, banned, shunned, or otherwise harassed because you don't want our real meetings making your “faux” meetings look bad.

Nor am I going to take any more bashing in the media by your representatives acting like we don't exist in the very movement we FOUNDED. All those years I was going on TV and saying this was “real” in the 1980's, and getting myself fired, and evicted, and laughed at for it – without those years there wouldn't be this movement we're talking about. I did it to get this program up and operational and right now the only person causing us problems keeping operating aren't pimps BUT YOUR GROUPS. Now I don't think any of this was your intent. But now I've traced where all of this is coming from – well you and me need to sit down and have a nice long talk about the future.

Frankly, when the Pope was inviting other religions to come and talk to him about sex trafficking – I thought my invitation was coming as the founder of the movement, the first hotline, and the first program for adults within the USA, and other countries.

But it didn't. Then I saw he hadn't invited any survivors and realized mine wasn't coming. Okay fine. I think my exclusion is quite symbolic of the basic problems right now in this movement. You're excluding Bill Wilson and Alcoholics Anonymous from helping alcoholics. It's not working. So that means I'm now sending you this letter giving you until the end of September to open up a dialogue with me about what's going to be done about this – or I'm going to sue and going to the press.

Your choice.

Jody Williams


cc: President Obama
Pope
Polaris
Shared Hope
Exodus Cry
US Attorney Loretta Lynch
Hunt Foundation
United Nations





LETTER TO NATIONAL REVIEW ABOUT ACLU vs. USCCB LAWSUIT

Dear Matt:  I read your article about the lawsuit of ACLU vs. USCCB.  http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417399/why-aclu-suing-stop-catholics-sheltering-women-ian-tuttle

You are far far far off base here and if you'd bothered to talk to someone in the field, or that knows the history of the issue you would not be writing the article this way.  For example, how about talking to the founder of the modern day sex trafficking movement itself?   Me.

Back in the 1970's and 1980's - the world viewed prostitution as a "victimless crime".  When Linda Lovelace tried to tell people she was forced to film "Deep Throat" with a gun pointed at her - no one believed her.   If anything, the anti-porn people grabbed ahold of her and tried to use her to outlaw porn.  But the message she was trying to say was lost when the religious right got involved.

Which was lots of men, women, and children, were being forced to do porn, stripping, and prostitution, while being viewed by the courts as criminals and the public as deviants.

When I stepped up demanding our legal system change in 1987 - I founded the first hotline, the first program, the first outreach,  etc.,  When people didn't believe my story - I brought on others we had rescued on national TV.  

By the year 2000 - we got federal recognition and a pink slip.   By 2000, our program, Prostitutes Anonymous, was part of every major city in the USA.  We were being used for alternative sentencing in courts.  Cops, judges, and DA's were being taught by us how to spot trafficking.  Because no one would accept us - Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army would.  We therefore held our meetings there because these women didn't have cars. 

But once money came onto the table - they threw us out overnight.  Suddenly over 2000 Prostitutes Anonymous meetings were thrown out of these shelters.  Our members who had been working doing outreach and as  advocates were fired.   Our volunteers were banned from the property. 

Why?  Because we did not take a stance on abortion.  Neither for nor against.  We would however advocate new members needed to get HIV testing.  It's hard to plan a new life if one doesn't know if they're HIV positive.  We also would use condoms in our outreach in RV's we'd send out into the street.

Therefore, because we were associated with "birth control", and because the doctors we sent them to, and the counselors we would refer them to, would not sign an anti-abortion agreement - we were shut off like we didn't exist. 

Polaris set up the National Trafficking Hotline for "trafficking victims".  NOT prostitutes.   Not strippers.  Not porn performers.  BUT ONLY trafficking victims.  Because there was another issue.  Our program made a distinction between those "forced" vs. those not "forced".  Those not forced who were working in "legal" jobs were not classified as "victims" - but instead those needing "exit" services.

Those "safe houses" you're talking about?  Trafficking victims are routinely impregnated by their pimps.  It ties them to the victim for 18 years and makes it impossible to escape.  Because for 18 years she can't not give him  a forwarding address because he'll claim she's "kidnapped" his kids forcing her to maintain contact with him.  Contact where he then threatens to pimp out the kids if she refuses.  The court will not side with the mother because she's often got priors for prostitution.

So these safe houses would convince the woman to give the child away just so happening to their adoption agencies who  also ran these homes.  Meaning I'm getting phone calls from victims put in these safe houses where they were ganged up on by the staff and coerced into adoption because they were "unfit parents" and under threat of being thrown into the street with no support, and then once the child was adopted they would be cast out into the streets.

The only counselors they were being allowed to see were pastoral counselors.  To maintain their licensing, they had to have 12 step meetings however.  But they'd thrown us out and cut us off.  What to do  then?  They started holding "faux" Prostitutes Anonymous meetings in violation of our copyrights and trademarks so they could continue to apply for federal grant money and get local licensing.

Now I ask you - how am I going to get an attorney to put a stop to these victims being cut off from help and shuttled off in isolation into adoption mills?   What money judgment can I offer an attorney and who wants to sue the Catholic Church?

That left me appealing to the ACLU.  Which I was right.  They won.   Did it stop them?  No - now they're fighting on a whole other level.   Also using reporters like you who don't bother to hear both sides of the story either before rendering an opinion.

Because what's happening now is I'm having to now wrestle them not just away from the street pimps, but now the religious ones using them for  federal grant money and donations too.  Then when they're done exploiting them and the money is gone and they've smeared my name (typical church tactics) - then I get the cast-offs without any of the money for our operating expenses.

What are the local safe houses supposed to do?  The Catholic Bishops sweep in with checkbooks offering to pay for everything - as long as we're cut out of the process.  What do we offer?  Only a track record of recovery. 

You look at any of their programs.  They aren't following anyone after they leave their shelters because they're returning to what they know - the streets.  They got their money so what do they care?

Well we care.  That's why I'm preparing another lawsuit against them as we speak.   You want to talk to me  about that?  Get in touch.




Sent from Windows Mail

Thursday, September 3, 2015

ANONYMITY

I'm becoming increasingly concerned about the anonymity of our members as I always am here answering our hotline, emails, and social media so that our members can remain "anonymous".  I'm getting more and more calls that I'm having to field with someone claiming they "want to come to a meeting" and representing they're a person "seeking help" only coming to find out they have alternative motives.  Either that - or I'm getting a lot of "catfish" issues from people claiming to be members of our program and talking to me like they are.  Only when I ask them questions - it's clear they are not.

The site that was created by Domina Elle at www.sexworkersanonymous.org is one prime example. This woman was online claiming that she "called our hotline and that I was mean to her and cut her off when she was in a life and death situation".  Okay well if that's the case then I asked her the name of the person she spoke to.  No one answers our phone as Jody.  We change the name of the person answering the hotline whoever is answering the line to protect their anonymity, and even mine.  The name is changed every month so that we can identify when a call was made to us. So I asked "what was the name of the person who answered the hotline and did this to you?"  The answer was a deafening silence.

We then got an email from Meg at Abeni.  She said that a person saying they were a member of SWA had told her that we had "violated her confidentiality and her boundaries" by supposedly revealing her status as a member online to the general public.  Okay - well if that's the case how about a screen shot or something showing us where we supposedly violated this woman's "anonymity".  I asked for the name, phone number, or profile of this person so I could verify if she was in fact someone I even knew, let alone a member, and also proof of this "violation" with a screen shot, email, recording, something.  I got nothing back in response back about that.  But I did get Meg come back with a very weird statement. She said "no we're not going to partner with you".  Which was strange because I had never ASKED to partner with her.  When I said that to her - next thing I know she's online telling other people I'm "threatening her" and "she's afraid to leave her house because of Jody" and all sorts of weirdness that was so crazy I had to send her a notice that if it kept up - I'd sue for defamation.

I've been getting more and more text messages from people claiming to be members of SWA telling me that the name of our program is "offensive" and "insulting" and "legitimizes the sex industry" and that I need to change our name.  Okay here's what's weird.  Anyone who is a member of our program knows that if they want to change anything like our name - all they have to do is make a motion at their home group.  That will then go out to other members and other home groups and then a vote will be taken.  I then carry out the votes of our members.  In other words, real members know that I'm just a trusted servant.  I'm not responsible for making decisions like the name of our program.

It carried into our Facebook group.  I had two women join our facebook group I didn't recognize.  Then one asked me to remove her from the group because she was "not a sex worker but a prostitute".  Okay strange - because in our program and at our meetings we do not identify as a "sex worker" but as a "prostitute".  So why was she upset?   At Narcotics Anonymous members do not identify as a "narcotic" but as an addict.  We do not identify by a noun or an industry or a work function.  That would be like identifying as a "cashier" or a "secretary".  We identify by the core of the issue for us - which for us is prostitution at the core.

I've already had to tell anyone who is a member of our group they can't add us a friends or contacts anywhere.  The reason?  These trolls will start contacting anyone who is a friend or contact and "warn" them to "stay away". For those who haven't believed me - I told them to just add me and wait two days.  Sure enough - they get one of these threatening emails.  This means that no one who actually is a friend, or connection, or even a family member, can't connect to us on facebook, twitter, youtube, Linkedin, etc.  Until I can figure out a way to have these as connections without other people being able to identify who is in the group - I don't know a solution to this.

A show was on TV recently called "Escaping Polygamy". I had tried reaching out to someone who was claiming to be one of the producers.  They were claiming they were trying to rescue these girls from abuse and a cult - but they didn't know anything like firewalls on smartphones, or TOR or Wickr or Hushmail, etc.  I told her I was going to reach out to one of the main producers - which I located a profile for one of them on Facebook.  I sent him an email and got a response back saying he wanted to talk to me. As I went to respond - Facebook sends me an email saying that this was a fake profile and they'd shut down the account.

I had been storing a tape recording of a phone call on my computer that I was waiting to get permission from the other person to post this recording online. Before I could obtain her consent - the tape was published on www.sexworkersanonymous.com without either of our consent.

So I'm becoming increasingly concerned about the anonymity of people who are contacting us for help.  I decided to set up a more secure email account for us.  I then got onto TOR and tried to search for a more confidential email source. Funny thing was that Google refused to let me use their search engine from TOR.  I kept getting a screen saying I needed to "identify I was not a robot" before it would let me search for anything - even where to buy ice cream.

I remembered one confidential email company and went to set up an account there.  I set it up from TOR - however they insisted on verifying my phone.  There was no way to set up an email account there without using a phone number that could traced back to me through the phone.   But I figured that was private - so I went ahead.  Only when I set up the account from TOR - they wouldn't let me use the account.

Linkedin came to me and said they were going to shut down our account unless I showed them a copy of my drivers license.  We're running an anonymous program and I should not have to show my ID to have an account set up for us.  I kept trying to explain that to them and they would not budge.  I let the Linkedin account go.

Facebook TRIED to demand my ID shortly after that.  I balked and they backed down.   However, they did insist I verify it was me through a code sent to my phone.  That was okay - but they did drop the insistence on showing my ID card to use their service.

These blogs - they only tell me what page you're coming from in order to access us.  I don't get an IP address or personal information.

However, when you "like" my facebook account it does record your profile information.

Anyone who talks about talking to us on twitter - can easily be found by typing in our name.

I normally place ads on Craigslist and Backpage for anyone wanting help to leave the sex industry - to contact us.  I've been getting weird text messages letting me know whoever is stalking us is seeing these ads.  If I use their "anonyzing" email service - then they have a record of anyone who emails us off that ad. Therefore, I'm going to only give our phone number in the future to contact us by to protect your anonymity.

I've had to switch to using our land line in order to protect the confidentiality of your phone calls to our hotline.  The new laws about phone tapping allow law enforcement to access cell phone calls and even live conversations without a warrant or subpoena.

I want to point out the incident of Michael Weinstein from AHF trying to subpoena medical records of porn performers.  http://freespeechcoalition.com/alert-weinstein-subpoenaing-performer-medical-records/   First, this is why we don't keep records on our members or who calls us.  Nothing to ask for.  Second, this shows that even your doctors can be targeted by people wanting information on sex workers.  Do people always need a warrant to access your medical records?  Meaning if you see a mental health counselor for example about your issues leaving sex work and/or being a trafficking victim?

Nope. The IRS came in and pulled medical records illegally - or certainly without proper consent. http://www.infowars.com/irs-faces-lawsuit-after-stealing-60-million-medical-records/

Which is why I don't sell our Recovery Guide on Amazon.  I don't want anyone to be able to get paperwork to obtain lists of the people who buy that book from them - and therefore only sell our literature off our site.  This is why I use paypal for payments - to make sure I don't know your bank information and you don't know minute.

Here's a cherry on the sundae.  I got an angry phone call a few days ago by a woman wanting to know where her "starter kit" was to start  a meeting.  She said she had mailed us a check to cover the cost of the materials and hadn't received her order yet.  I explained to her that we don't just sell our starter kits and our website says to start a meeting you have to give me a call.   The reason for that is simple. If I don't let anyone into our program or meetings without being screened - I'm sure not going to let someone I haven't screened set up a meeting claiming to be us without screening them also.  Now - do you really think I'm going to be a correct address for me on our site?  I put in an address so Google maps can give people a general location on us and to help me gps. But that is not where I live!  Another reason why our site says if you want a starter kit - to call me first.

She tells me "oh I've got a meeting I promised people I was starting coming up in three days - can I get the materials in time?"  I assured her she could.  I gave her our paypal information and sat back to wait for her order.  Nothing came. I told her if she needed her order shipped - then I needed it by a certain time that day to get the materials shipped in time.  She said "I'm having a problem with paypal".

Okay fine. I told her a way she could send me cash or even send me a gift card she could buy online with a credit card. Nothing came.

When I went back to her - I told her time was running out.  She says to me "oh that's okay I'm just going to hold the meeting and order the materials later".

No - that's not okay I told her.  I told her I was not going to give consent to her to represent a meeting as ours until I had a meeting registration form from her in my hand.   Now if the issue was money - fine.  I'd send her free ebook meeting materials - but I needed a signed registration form and a treasurers form back to me before the meeting started if she was going to represent herself as leading one of our meetings.

She said "well I have a copy of your 1st edition - isn't that okay?"  No - using an outdated copy of our books was not okay. I repeated to her that it was not going to be okay to tell people showing up for a meeting they've been told is our meeting with an outdated copy of our book, and us not having the proper forms signed and returned to us in place. I'd seen something like that in Vegas - the police held a meeting at local church that appeared to be about helping men recover from sex addiction when in fact it was to flush out "johns" to sting operations they were organizing.  I saw this with Hempfest - they told the organizers no one would be arrested and told them to go ahead and promote  it - then the cops swooped in the show with drug dogs and were jacking up people even in the parking lot and other vendors at the show.  So no - if she's going to tell people they're coming to an SWA meeting - then she needs to show me she's holding an SWA meeting and also get me the right paperwork.

Suddenly her whole story changes.  She admits this was not going to be a SWA meeting she was holding and that she was "doing what her boss told her to do".   I'm like "who is your boss then?"  She then confesses her boss had told her to order the meeting materials and that this was not a SWA meeting - but something entirely different.  Who is her boss?  No idea.

So for some reason this anti-trafficking group her boss was running was going to have prostitutes show up thinking they were coming to an SWA meeting that wasn't about an SWA meeting.  That's why they didn't care about what version of the book they had, and that's why they didn't want to fill out our registration forms - and this my dear friends is why I say to you if you're not sure about if a meeting is really one of our meetings - then check with me.

THIS is why I want you to get meeting information about us from me.  Because anyone can set up a sign and say they're a SWA meeting otherwise and how would you know?  Well how you know is you check with us.  Does this mean I'm "controlling" the program?  Not at all.  Just protecting us and you from imposter meetings.

Look - I've heard of drug dealers who set up NA meetings.  A guy got busted in PA not long ago for just that - running a whole diversion program and NA meeting and then using it to sell drugs!   What's to stop a reporter, writer, researcher, or even a pimp from setting up a fake SWA meeting?

Me.

So listen - I'm becoming very very concerned about protecting your anonymity.  For that reason - I want you to please call me - not email me in the future.  If you call me on the cell phone - be aware that phone is our "sensitive" phone meaning don't say anything on there you are worried might be tapped into by someone else without a warrant illegally.  Our land line is safe as far as I know anyway.  Meaning I want you to be able to talk to me without fear something is going to come back to haunt you or your family.  This is not about you telling me something illegal.  This is about I want you to know if you call us - then your anonymity is safe and you can talk freely.

That's not in case law enforcement is listening by the way  - but in case your trafficker is.

So be careful out there.






LETTER I WROTE THE NATIONAL CENTER ON SEXUAL EXPLOITATION TODAY

I read your "Dirty Dozen" list that got the Hilton's attention.  Awesome. Now that you have their attention - maybe I can ask you for some help that I'd like to address with not only the Hilton - but with hotels in general.  Here's the three points I'd like to discuss with the major hotel chains.

1.   With all the cracking down on trafficking - comes another problem.  The modern day sex trafficker uses porn to not only promote the sale of their victims - but also to block their exit from the sex industry.  Once freed from the pimp - the victims can't find sustainable work outside of the sex industry because of being confronted with porn when job hunting or even apartment hunting.  They get rejected from jobs and apartments because of the porn.  Now I've been contacting many of the larger companies who say they want to fight trafficking and asking them "would you hire someone who has porn that can be found online or in print?"  To which I'm not receiving any answers.  I've even approached companies who are putting out scholarships for trafficking victims if they would hire one - and I'm getting nothing but the wall of silence here.  No one is listening to our members who say they are unable to find work because of their past being used against them in a way no record expungement is going to help them.  Christy Mack for example said she was not leaving porn after her attack by  War Machine.  I say "who would hire her?"  I don't mean say they will for the camera either - but actually would hire ex-porn performers.  And not fire them when porn photos of these trafficking victims show up on their bosses desk either.   I could use some help on this project - which is I want to put together a list of companies who WILL HIRE one of these victims.

2.  There is a conference being held at the Marriott in Burbank, California this month that I believe is a front for prostitution.  Known sex workers, one of who is a convicted pimp, are speaking at the Cataylst.com event.  They will be at a hotel.  Now - I read the federal law against pimping to be "accepting earnings from a prostitute". However, the hotel is taking money from the organizers who are known sex workers, and the speakers to pay for their rooms - also known sex workers.  When I was arrested in 1984 - the hotel desk clerk was arrested for taking my money.  Cab drivers in NY are arrested if they take money from a prostitute.  My mother was arrested for taking $20 from me when I asked her to buy me a bucket of KFC chicken.  The photo of this exchange for chicken was used to charge her with pimping me.  So - in my opinion the hotel taking money from the organizers and the speakers makes them guilty of pimping.  When I wrote the Burbank Marriott about my concern about them not only taking money from these known sex workers - but also in that their having an event there at the hotel was an absolute perfect storm to create situations where these prostitutes could take these men back "up to their room to see me sometime" I got no response.  So I'd like to see the major hotels adopt a policy of not taking money from either convicted pimps and/or "known" prostitutes as per the pimping laws.

3.  Remember the movie "What's Love got to do with it? with Angela Bassett about Tina Turner?  She escaped her abuse by going to a hotel.  I've been working with saving trafficking victims for well over 30 years now.  Here's the facts - many can't go to the typical homeless or domestic violence shelters for many reasons.  You want an idea why?   Look at the recent story that came out about the DEA owned strip club.  Now - tell me those victims could escape this trafficking and be put in one of those shelters?  Not happening.  Same for the victims of Chris Butler.  So that's one reason.  Another is because sometimes the pimps show up armed demanding their victims back.  The shelter will give them back to protect their staff and other clients.  They're not setup or equipped. Now - I've set up "safe houses" for many years.  The minute the traffickers identify where we're housing them = we get targeted with one building code violation after  the other after the other until the property is priced out of the market, sold, and/or shut down.  When we've partnered with landlords - they wind up losing so much money because of the targeting they sell the property and tap out.  I've had the same problem.  So the most effective method I've found is to place the victims in early recovery into a hotel/motel for a short period of time until they can get a job and into their own housing.  Now - we've been lucky enough to be able to find small motel owners willing to give us rooms for victims as needed when a room is empty. No one has a budget to pay for rooms - so I've been fortunate enough to find motels that have donated us rooms when needed.  However, as more and more of the chains are taking over, and the smaller mom and pop motels are shut down - it becomes almost impossible to find a smaller hotel willing to donate us a room for a week or two for these victims.  It's also harder and harder for the victim to call us - then we have to call around hotels to find one willing to put them up - and then get them over to the hotel - all safely while the pimp is out looking for them.

Therefore, I'd like to see a version of "Safe Harbor" for any abuse victims.  I'd like any victim of abuse, trafficking, violence, etc., to be able to go to a chain hotel and ask for a room.  From there, the hotel concierge or manager could contact someone at the appropriate hotline to then find that person assistance while the victim is safe and sound.  More and more I'm having victims standing in pay phones or all night coffee shops for hours until we can find them placement.  That's too easy for pimps to go driving around to find them like this.  I think it would be a wonderful marketing campaign.  By the next morning - the calls would go through to find this victim proper placement and in the meantime the victim would be safe and sound.  All he or she would have to do would be just go to any hotel with the sign (like how the 7-11's do), ask for a room and someone to place the call for them to get help and placement.  I also think it would make a great marketing campaign for these chains.

Now - if you're worried about  https://libtool.ulib.iupui.edu/myul/node/2872  Please know as the founder of a 12 step program I can not have any official "opinion on an outside issue".  That is the only reason I do not have an official policy in place opposing sex work.  Our name, Sex Workers Anonymous, is NOT a statement "legitimizing sex work" but only in fact identifying it.  Just as how Alcoholics Anonymous is identifying they help alcoholics by their name does not condone nor condemn alcoholism.  So as a 12 step group we can not take any official stance on the sex industry itself - therefore our name is NOT a legitimizing statement.   People who know they're being trafficked will call the hotline.  However, for many members this is a grey area they're confused, or even in denial about.  For them, they do agree they're in the sex industry but they'd like to leave.  This is why we get calls about 5 to 1 for the calls to the National Trafficking Hotline. But all the more reason why we need more help nationally - and why I'd like to talk to hotel chains about getting this help.

As long as prostitution is illegal - asking a trafficking victim to ask for help by identifying they are in fact a trafficking victim is a form of incrimination. This barrier is what prevents many from asking for help.  This is why we do not ask anyone who calls our hotline to identify as anything other than someone who wants help to leave and recover.  Another reason why we don't want people to have to identify as trafficking victims to get help from the hotel chains - but only as an abuse victim.  The type of abuse should be as personal as any medical records and left up to the counselors to handle.  The hotels can offer a safe place for the victims to run to, and wait inside of while help can be arranged.

What do you say?  Can we talk about these projects?

www.sexworkersanonymous.com

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

CONFUSION OVER ISSUES RELATED TO LANGUAGE

For a few years now, I've been getting an increasing number of posts, emails, phone calls, letters, etc. that have pretty much this sentiment from people I have no clue who they are.  These people have never read our Recovery Guide, nor listened to our radio show, attended a meeting, or spent five minutes on the phone with me.  But for some reason they come stomping onto my playground trying to tell me what I'm supposed to call myself.  This is what it looks like:



Notice this person joined our group first of all.  Then after doing so - she attacks me over the name of the program, and then demands we change our name.

On top of this, I've had problems with groups like Project Rose.  When they first started Project Rose, which was the same time Catholic Charities took over the Dignity Program in Phoenix, Arizona, I got a call from the new director, Cathy Bauer, when she came on board that "they would no longer be holding any Prostitutes Anonymous meetings" and I got a click after that.

Which frankly confused me.  Dignity was founded by Kathleen Mitchell who has been very open in interviews that after being arrested for the umpteenth time - she wrote us from jail.  We sent her the jail step study program we created for inmates that allows them to work the steps while not incriminating themselves that we send free to those who ask us to.

After her release - she then took Prostitutes Anonymous meetings (as we were originally called when we started in 1987 and this was 1990) back into the jail.  About 1991, some people came to her and helped her start the Dignity Project.  From day one, they had held Prostitutes Anonymous meetings in their program.  A program that I had personally put many a trafficking victim that needed help to escape her pimp into for those years that did a very good job at helping the members.  In fact, we still have many members who have come through Dignity who still attend our program regularly and have maintained their recovery since the early 1990's.  So having a PA meeting as part of Dignity clearly worked.  This was further validated by research done by professor Sharon Oselin who quoted interviews from these women in her book about how our meetings helped them make it "this time".  http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/ex-prostitutes-who-proselytize-6431069

But in 2007-2008, when Catholic Charities takes over Dignity  - Cathy told me they "won't be holding any PA meetings" and also refused to reorder new Recovery Guides for the new members.  Yet after telling me they were not going to be holding meetings - I get phone calls and emails from people who are telling me they've attended meetings there recently.   So yes this was very confusing.  I could also not understand why the very program that the founder of Dignity got her recovery in, and that their clients got recovery from - was now suddenly being 86'd now that Catholic Charities took over.

Only I find out it wasn't 86'd.  Despite telling me they had "discontinued" the meeting - they were in fact still holding the meetings while lying to me.  Not just them either - but again Project Rose also was using our meetings - but lying to me about it at the same time.  Here's proof - http://apaac.az.gov/images/stories/Agendas/CXL22113/Att.VII-Prostitution%20Diversion%20Program%20Articles.pdf

 Trying to figure out why - I asked some of these callers what was going on in these meetings they were clearly trying to hide from me.  The things they told me were being taught as what our program stood for had nothing to do with us.  So not only were these people violating our common law trademarks and our copyrights - but they were also defrauding people.  I'm sorry but that's what I call it when you represent you're one thing while asking for money but then aren't delivering what you're representing to be delivering - fraud.

One of the things they were doing, and why they didn't want our Recovery Guide, or literature, involved in their meetings they represented as us was the fact that they were opposing the sex industry itself which is what these funders were requiring of programs to get their money.  Different members were also reporting to me they were being told that "prostitution was a life long disease like alcoholism".  These are NOT our official views or policies in our program but it was what these programs handing out money were wanting you to say to get their money.  Now the picture is becoming clearer.  .

Now you might say "well anyone can start an AA meeting so what's the big deal?"  That's not really true.  To start a meeting, you are asked to get a starter kit from any other 12 step program.  Then they give you guidelines of how you're supposed to conduct the meeting you agree to.  On top of that, you agree to put out the literature they ask you to put out and sell.  You also can't apply for grants in their name without their consent, or even sell books they don't approve of without them also suing you.  You can check out the lawsuit of NA vs.Dave Moorhead or AA vs. Hazelton Publishing to see what I mean by this.

Because it wasn't just in Phoenix - but in 11 other states.  There were people holding meetings calling themselves "Prostitutes Anonymous" all over the USA that in fact were not consisting of what our program is or does .

How do I know?  Well for one thing - if they're not using our literature that's a good sign.  Since the literature is ordered through me - then I know they're not using our literature.  So tell me when's the last time you went to an AA or NA meeting with no book or literature on the table?  I mean what would you read from?  What would you study from?

That's a good question I'd like to ask the NY Anti-Trafficking Network.  There they are supposedly teaching trafficking victims yoga - but not even speaking to me about referring their clients to a Sex Workers Anonymous meeting.

Here's where I got really confused.  I sent these groups a meeting registration form.  There is absolutely no cost involved in starting a meeting.  I don't get a set cut of the donations in the basket either . If a group elects not to send the world service office a dime out of the basket - that's their right to make that decision.  But when I heard these groups were holding unregistered meetings - I sent them a meeting registration form.  I told them I'd give them permission to use our name, use our literature, etc., as long as they signed the form and returned it.  They all refused.  Even when I explained that them collecting money while holding illegal meetings could be considered the crime of fraud that they'd be liable for UNLESS they signed the form giving them my consent to use our name, our copyrights, our literature, our intellectual property, etc.  They all flatly refused to register the meeting with us.

So that was it - whatever they were doing was in total opposition to what's in our literature and even after informing them what they were doing was a crime - they STILL refused to even sign registration forms.  Why would these people insist on running our meetings illegally?

Check this out - https://libtool.ulib.iupui.edu/myul/node/2872   It states pretty much these people will not fund, nor associate with, nor support, in any way any program that does not SPECIFICALLY OPPOSE prostitution and/or sex work.  Because what each of these groups shared was a common denominator of accepting money from funds that required these "written policies".

Why bother with us at all then?  Well for a while - I had people coming to me asking me, no offering me, that if I'd change our "official" policy and literature that I too could get onto the money trough.  Only I explained that this would be violating our traditions and could not.  So they saw I was refusing.  Then the attacks started up with people I had no idea who they were attacking me about the name.  Only our members were a-okay with the name.

So why not just not have a 12 step program at all for these people?  I'll tell you why.  For the very reason I chose a 12 step program in the first place when I founded our program in 1987.  I had gone to the governor, the mayor, and the legal court system of California explaining about trafficking to them and how I felt it was wrong for these victims to be treated like criminals.  I was told that "we'll never see prostitution decriminalized" meaning not labeling these victims as criminals.  But that in the meantime, we could set up a 12 step program as an "alternative to sentencing".  They explained to me under laws already set in place by AA and NA - that if I formed a 12 step program that I could go into any courtroom anywhere in the USA and a victim of trafficking could ask the judge to order him/her to a 12 step meeting instead of jail, even when there was a mandatory sentence.

Further, that most government grants required a 12 step program in order to operate.  For example, a program to help alcoholics has to have AA as part of that.  To open a treatment center for alcoholics and to be able to take grant and insurance payments you have to have a 12 step program.  Many jails can't get a license without holding 12 step meetings.  So I was told that to offer these things without passing new laws - we could do so immediately with a 12 step format.  So therefore we became a 12 step group for that reason.

So frankly these people were trying to please two factions with what they were doing.  Getting the legal approval to offer alternative sentencing by having a 12 step meeting - and to get this grant money by making sure our literature which does not "oppose" prostitution was not incorporated.  Again, if you ask me - it's downright shady.

Because Houston we have a problem here.  Because Alcoholics Anonymous does not try and bring back prohibition.  Nor does NA get up and testify for tougher drug laws even though we're seeing an opiate drug epidemic right now in this country where the leading cause of death now seems to be prescription pain killers.  Neither too therefore does Sex Workers Anonymous have a "written policy opposing sex work and prostitution".

Why?  Because the traditions of a 12 step program specifically state that they do not "have an opinion on outside issues" for one thing.  But where did we get the idea that alcoholism and addiction was a disease then if AA did not have "an opinion on outside issues".  Well Bill Wilson and Marty Mann created the National Council on Alcoholism.  https://ncadd.org/about-ncadd/testimonials-from-the-media

Why didn't Bill Wilson take the founding role?  Because as founder of AA everyone knew that pretty much whatever would come out of Bill's mouth would be viewed as being the view of AA and not just his personal opinion.  So after achieving her sobriety in AA under Bill's program - Marty Mann created the National Council on Alcoholism (which was later adapted into the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.  Now THEY stated that alcoholism "was a disease" - not AA.

Now I've talked about why we had to change our name in 1995 to Sex Workers Anonymous before on other blog postings.   To repeat - IT WAS NOT TO LEGITIMIZE SEX WORK because that WOULD BE AN OPINION.  There were TWO REASONS and two reasons only why we changed our name.  First, because the adult filters on computers and search engines were blocking the word "prostitute".  That's not my fault and just a reality.  Meaning I was getting calls from people who were using college libraries to research us to find help - and they were being blocked when coming to us because of the name.  For some reason, those same filters did not block the word "Sex Workers Anonymous".

Now - to prove this point - you can go to Yellow Pages online.  When I try and list our program as Prostitutes Anonymous - we're blocked.  But we're not blocked when using the name Sex Workers Anonymous.  The same for the filters on Backpage and Craigslist.  I run ads for our program on those sites for anyone who wants help to call us.  The filters on those sites will block the word "prostitute" but not "sex workers" for some reason.

So 1/2 of the reason we HAD to change our name was because computers are stupid but we have to rely on them for people who need us to find us.  The computer and search engines block the word "prostitute".  Therefore, we have to have a name that will be seen by, and not blocked by, these computer programs.  For some reason, it does not block the words "sex workers anonymous".

Now the 2nd reason was because of the invention of the internet.  We were seeing new members coming in to see us who were working as webcam models or phone sex operators and insisting that it was not a relapse or a "transaction" because "no physical intercourse took place".  To us, that was like an addict saying "well I didn't get relapse even though I shot up heroin because I didn't get high on it".  If we limit the sex industry to only physical intercourse for money - there goes about 80 percent of the sex industry.  There goes pornography, strip clubs, and yes too webcam studios and phone sex operations - which are ALL part of the sex industry from which we need to abstain from in order to recover.

Now let's get something very clear here - human trafficking exists in ANY industry.  It's definition is that it's taking place when someone is forced to engage in some form of work where they are not given the money for that work, or forced to surrender the money.  In the clothing industry  - you have tailors and seamstresses and then you have sweat shops that employ trafficking victims.  In the mining industry - you have minors and then you have trafficking victims.  When it comes to maids - some are highly paid professionals while others are forced to sleep in laundry rooms and not paid any cash while being threatened with deportation.

Now when someone who was forced to be a maid is rescued - she does not shout out to have all maids outlawed.  When a person who was forced to pick grapes is rescued - he does not call out to have all farming outlawed.  But that's what these people seem to want to do when it comes to prostitution and/or sex work.

However, there is two teeny tiny little problems with this philosophy.  First of all, in many countries, and even in a part of Nevada PROSTITUTION IS LEGAL.  So when these people are stating you have to be "against" something - they're stating you have to oppose a legal industry as defined by our federal government or as other governments have defined it as legal.  So if I go standing in front of the Bunny Ranch, or at an Amsterdam or UK legal brothel and say I'm in "opposition" to that - I'm saying I'm opposed to something that was is legal in the eyes of the government.   To me, that sounds like it's breaking the law - something we also don't do in Sex Workers Anonymous.

The second thing has to be looked at like this - for an addict it doesn't matter if the drugs are street drugs or legally prescribed.  It doesn't matter if a doctor prescribed it or if he stole it off a drug dealer downtown - a drug is a drug is a drug.   For the alcoholic - it doesn't matter if it's beer, or wine, or hard alcohol or even moonshine.  For that matter, for the alcoholic it doesn't matter if it's alcohol in mouthwash or medicine either.  Alcohol is alcohol and therefore it must be abstained from.

Now in our program we have to define what we are "abstaining" from.  What our definition of "sobriety" or "time" is.  Now if I state that our only thing we're abstinent from is physical intercourse for money - then guess what?  I'm telling the drug addict that he can take a legally prescribed drug from a doctor and that's okay.

So I'm not defining sex work as something that's right or wrong - I'm defining sex work as to what our members have to be abstinent from in order to be in recovery and not having a "relapse".  FOR US, that means "any form of sex, or sexually related, activity, where there is an exchange of cash, and/or goods, and/or services" which includes any form of the sex industry.  This encompasses strip clubs, brothels, dungeons, webcam studios, phone sex operations, even right on down to sell dirty underwear to perverted Japanese businessmen off a website or in a vending machine.

Now is selling dirty underwear to a guy for $50 considered physical intercourse for cash?  No it's not.  But in our program IT IS.  Meaning that if we continued to call ourselves "Prostitutes Anonymous" then we're saying that it's ONLY prostitution that we're to abstain from.   Which is why Narcotics Anonymous chose their name - they needed to cover both street and prescribed drugs in their program.  For us, after the internet was born and we started seeing new members coming in saying to us "well I'm not prostituting anymore but I am doing webcam sex on camera for money" we had to find a way to explain to them that this is also covered in our definition of abstinence.

All the old members used to do then was point to our name "well you're Prostitutes Anonymous so therefore it's only prostitution that I need to be abstinent from".  They had a point.  So in order to make sure that people understand that our definition of abstinence includes ANY form of sex for any form of exchange - we had to also change our name.

Now does that mean we're "legitimizing" the industry?  How can we when we "have no opinion on outside issues?"  We did not pick the name to make an opinion about anything OTHER then what our definition of abstinence is about - and we define it as any part of the sex industry - not just prostitution.

Now does that mean I personally "have no opinion on outside issues?"  Of course not.  I'm a very opinionated person.  For that reason, I did what Bill Wilson did in a sense.  He helped Marty Mann from behind the scenes form the National Council on Alcoholism to do the things they could not do within the parameters of AA.  He did not do it himself because people would get very confused about what his opinions were in the NCA vs. that of AA.

Now in my case - no one else wanted to break their anonymity and take such a position as to create an other separate program.   There are people who are very much interested in getting involved in changing the laws with respect to trafficking and prostitution.  I myself personally am so opposed to "legalization" of prostitution that I've been waging a one woman war on the brothels out of Nevada that from the looks of it appear that I'm winning.

When Joe Conforte put up a $1,000,000 into a PR firm in 1988 to expand the brothels into California - the only person I saw standing up to him to oppose that was myself.  I exposed his so called "research" that claimed "no brothel prostitute had HIV" as rigged, and I went on every TV show, radio show, interview, etc., he went on countering his statements about what really goes on within a legal brothel.

We won.  I see no legal brothels in California.

Do you see the Mob Museum in Las Vegas?  For years, ex-mayor Oscar Goodman had been inviting investors, businessmen, and even had an architect draw up some plans to build "magnificent brothels" where that museum is today.  I spent years fighting that campaign - and won.  Now not only is the Mob Museum where he had wanted to put a brothel - but we even have an Arts district there now instead of a red light district that he had wanted to create there.

The last time the Nevada Brothel Association Lobbyist, George Flynt appeared at the Nevada legislature in an "off calendar" meeting to ask their permission to open a brothel in Las Vegas - it was our group that found out about this meeting and got an ex-brothel prostitute who had been trafficked within a legal brothel to appear there testifying to counter his statements.  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada-legislature/prostitution-bill-not-nevada-legislatures-agenda

We won.  If you'd like a tape of that meeting where she blows him out of the water - I'll be happy to send it to you.

So I think our "opposition to legalized prostitution" is pretty clear here.  I don't have to run around talking about it because we've been busy fighting it back successfully in the USA for almost three decades now.

But I technically can't do this under our 12 step structure without violating our traditions.  So for that reason, I formed a separate group also called "Trafficking and Prostitution Services".  There I can express my personal viewpoints, and get involved in helping legislatures make up laws, or make decisions like they did about the legal brothels, etc.

Now in Alcoholics Anonymous - they are there to help alcoholics.  They can't call themselves "something else" because the word "alcoholic is offensive".  The word is not a statement of opinion - but rather a statement of who their members are, as well as what their abstinence is about.  The same for Narcotics Anonymous.

Now in Narcotics Anonymous - they don't call themselves "narcotics".  They do however call themselves an "addict".  The reason?  An alcoholic can call themselves an alcoholic.  However, in Narcotics Anonymous they can't call themselves a "narcotic" nor could they identify by their drug of choice - like I'm  pill head, and I'm a speed freak.  So to create a common bond - they call themselves "addicts".

Meaning that what the members call themselves is what they share.  Now we have members in our program who were not trafficking victims.  We have members who were.  We have some who prostituted - while we have some who merely worked at a phone sex line.  Some had pimps and some didn't.  Some were arrested for working illegally - while others worked all legal.

So what is our "common bond"?  In SWA we identify ourselves as "prostitutes" but not because of intercourse for money.  There are other definitions of "prostitute" that we feel define what it is that each of us have in common with the other.   That is this one "to put to any base or unworthy use".

ALL of our members do feel and share with each other the common connection and activity that they felt they were put to a "base or unworthy use" whether they were madams, or strippers, or porn performers, or street corner prostitutes.  Whether legal or not, whether trafficked or not - again they do all agree they have been put to an "unworthy use".  

Now here's where our governments, and some of these groups working in this field have got to start using a little logic here.  You can't help an alcoholic without an AA program.  You can't help an addict without an NA program.  It won't work.  Now in cases where someone was sexually trafficked, then rescued, and then that person went on about their business without an issue - then I'd say our program is not needed.  

However, the realities just don't reflect but maybe, maybe, a small percentage of those who have been in the sex industry in some form, have that experience.  The truth of the matter that many trafficking victims report to us - is that some engaged in some form of sex work prior to being trafficked, and many then fall back upon it when rescued because they were so damaged by what happened they were unable to find work.  

Here's a classic example of what many of our members report - take Michael's case.  He was sold at 8 years old to a biker gang.  When he hit about 10 years old he was sold to a NY pimp.  That pimp used to trafficking in only young boys.  He'd make one of the boys killer another boy once a month not only to maintain control - but also to have dirt on everyone.  Knowing his turn was coming - he turned the gun on the pimp and killed him to save him and the other boys.  

He was put into a group home where the people running the program would let in perverts at night to sell the kids to them.  Only this time he was locked down in a juvenile facility and had no where to go for help.  To save himself again - he ran away from this group home at about 15 years of age to hit the streets.   Now how does a 15 year old boy on female hormones support himself?

You got it.  He went out to a corner and started prostituting himself to survive.  We've talked to victim after victim where they've escaped trafficking - only still had to support themselves.  Whether it was because of their age, their criminal record, their disabilities, whatever the case - they went out and prostituted themselves in some fashion until they could find another way out.  Many do webcam until they can get through school or find their way into a good job.  

Just like finding a "pure" alcoholic these days (someone who only drank alcohol but did not abuse any drugs at all) is very very rare - so too is the sex trafficking victim that's been trafficked, then rescued, then never ever goes back to sex work.   The realities are that it's often very hard once they've escaped to support themselves, many can't prosecute their traffickers for one reason or another (I couldn't), and without proof of trafficking they can't get special services - so they've been on their own.  

So honestly -if we shame someone for being in the industry - then we're shaming the survivors.  Also, many victims are so brainwashed that they are there by choice - that to call them a victim means they don't identify with what you're saying.   

Take a woman I saw on an MSNBC "Sex Slave" interview show one time.  She was arrested for prostitution and the producer came to interview her.   Then she says "oh I've seen your show" to the producer.  The producer says "well then why are you out here getting arrested for prostitution then?"  To which the woman says "but I'm not a trafficking victim - I am prostituting".

So you have to realize that I'm dealing with the realities of our members.  I have to be able to have them find us.  I could have a name that everyone approves of - but if people can't find me online because I'm being blocked or left out of search engine retrievals - then what's the point if I can't be found?  So to bypass many of these filters and blocks - I found our name works.

The second reason is we have to be a word that all of our members can agree upon.  This is what our members agree upon and relate to.  They decided in a group vote we took of the whole program in 1995, and again in 2013 to use the name "Sex Workers Anonymous" for our name.  So that's what THEY decided - not me personally.

But if you were to apply this same logic to drug treatment - then you'd see the problems with this policy https://libtool.ulib.iupui.edu/myul/node/2872  Because Narcotics Anonymous does not push for harsher drug restrictions and Alcoholics Anonymous does not push to have prohibition brought back or to educate the public about the horrors of drinking.  They focus only and solely upon what each member needs to do in order for them to find recovery and also to not go back.  

Which is our job.  Our job is to help our members get out of, and stay out of, any part of the sex industry.  We're good at our job too.  I've got lots of testimonials up at www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk and also www.hightechmadam.com and frankly I'm the founder of the modern day sex trafficking movement.  When I got up demanding our government change the system to help us, and to stop treating us like criminals, and created the first hotline for victims to call for help at a time when society viewed this as an urban myth - that makes me the founder of the movement itself.

Making it even more ridiculous to keep hearing we're being blocked from helping victims because of the name of our program.  Now we're not trying to apply for any government grants anymore than AA is - but we are working with programs who are.  And when they are telling us they can't refer victims to us because of this policy - someone needs to address that this doesn't apply to us.  To make a public statement against anything - violates our traditions.  

At some point however, I have to consider some of this "economic interference".  Which under the law states when a "competitor" tries to illegally gain an advantage over you.  This is how I'm seeing this being used lately - by people who are stepping up to the plate saying "I'll sign such a statement" and then trying to take over the jobs we were doing, or should be doing. 

Now I do grant that for children - it is a different issue.  Any sex with anyone under legal age is rape.  So yes clearly I do agree that any sex with a child under age is rape.  Because of this - I have granted that our program for those under legal age should be different - but also should be available to them.  For that reason, we have decided to adapt our older name "Prostitutes Anonymous" to those under legal age.   I talk about that decision here - http://sexworkersanonymousmeeting.blogspot.com/2015/08/adult-members-vs-children-and-teens.html

That does not violate our traditions because even AA has programs like Alateen and Alatot - they acknowledge their program is different for children so we can take a lesson from them on that.  But until we see them take a stand against alcohol - then we can't take a stand for nor against any form of sex work.  Our name therefore is only for identification and abstinence - and not a "statement" or "endorsement".

(copyright 2015 J. Williams - All Rights Reserved)