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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jenny McCarthy & HIV

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

Press Release – Jenny McCarthy & HIV

Dear Ms. McCarthy:

First of all, please let me register my “fandom” of your work, your sister's work, your husband's work, etc. As someone who came out of Playboy and made a career for yourself outside of being a sex object – I have often referred to you as a “role model” when working with our newer members to show these members the endless possibilities of how they can leave a career in the sex industry in any fashion – whether that be posing for porn, stripping or even prostitution, I refer to people like yourself who have expanded their careers into one using their “other” talents such as your many talents for acting, comedy, modeling, etc. I've even pointed to your marriage when trying to convince some of our new members there are good healthy solid relationships out there where one's past isn't held against them.

I first came to live in Philadelphia, and Allentown, for a while back in 1989 when I was asked by the people in the region to come there to duplicate the work we'd done in Los Angeles. We formed the Program for Female Offenders because the tiny Allentown jail built for 200 inmates was literally stuffed with 2000 prostitutes – many of who were also suffering from HIV/AIDS at a time when such a diagnosis for a women often meant she was dead within a year or even less. These were causing a huge drain on the budget even and in seeing the success we were having on the west coast – ithe area nvited me to come back there to help. I left the area in 1990 to have my daughter. I hope is to move back there actually once I'm done with my work here in Los Angeles.

I agree Charlie Sheen “should be required to tell you he was HIV positive”. A lot of people felt that way when this virus was first raging in the 1980's. But you know Hollywood – everyone is worried not only about their marriages, and their “reputation” but also about their careers and even whole studios. As you also know, some of these film projects involve millions of dollars and employ sometimes 1,000's of people.

Which is why those of us working with this issue on the front lines back then knew that you could pass any law you wanted – it didn't mean that people were going to do the “right” or even 'legal” thing like tell you ahead of time they were sick, or even take precautions to protect your health. Knowing that real people just don't do that ESPECIALLY in Hollywood where the industry is built upon the hiding of many many “dirty little secrets” - laws were passed to protect people like yourself, and the many others who have been affected by Charlie's decision and behavior.

The first part of the steps taken was to require mandatory HIV/AIDS testing of all men, women and transgenders arrested for prostitution. For those who weren't in positions where they were going to find themselves arrested for prostitution, but were out there possibly spreading the virus - the mayor of Los Angeles at the time, Tom Bradley, put together an innovative board working together to create a revolutionary outreach to the sex industry as a whole. It was an outreach that reached out to the whole sex industry whether working in the illegal or legal side of the industry and also addressed the problem trafficking presented.

Traffickers in other words are going to put their prostitute out there on the streets, and if the customer requests to pay more not to use a condom, then that's exactly what they're going to force her to do.

I was very aware of Charlie's HIV status back in the 1980's because of a woman I wound up caring for who had the virus who came to our program once she found out she was sick. This was a woman who had known Charlie when they were dating in high school, and after breaking up from him became a high class escort. This I felt explained to me his fascination with them – but that's another issue .

This woman had been in a residential program to help her quit prostitution, but she couldn't stop escorting behind the back of the Reverend running the program. When she found out she was sick however that was a whole other issue. She therefore came to us for help. But at one point she became too sick to continue working at a “9 to 5” job. The 1980's was years before even sex trafficking received federal recognition. I'm working as a paralegal, she's an adult, and we can't even afford health insurance for her. She had turned to Charlie for financial help at one point – only to be turned away. Now through our work with Tom Bradley and this board – we were able to get her the care she needed.

But that left the issue of all the other prostitutes to be worried about now. Charlie was not alone. These escorts are selling the “girlfriend experience”, which is a nice term for “no condom” to a lot of people. People with wives and children. If you remember Paul Michael Glaser brought the virus home which resulted in the death of his wife and child even.

So knowing men like Charlie are still out there going on TV promoting the use of escorts almost like an “inphomercial” for other men to do the same, as well as escorts who think they're going to get big fat checks from men like him for their trouble who I'm hearing is ordering sometimes five escorts in any weekend – we had a practice in SWA to take new members down for HIV testing as soon as they come into the program. We aren't like AA where you just stop drinking. We have to plan a whole new future. One that's impossible to plan unless you know the health status of someone.

This combined with the various outreach projects going on reaching out to the sex industry itself was showing a true impact. Within one year in 1988 we had studies showing an 80 percent infection rate year later dropped down to below 8 % - lower than the figures for non-prostitutes. But then things began to change – change dramatically. When Las Vegas got a study back showing 80 % infection of their prostitutes – this was at the same time the legal brothels were trying to expand into where the Mob Museum now stands. Frankly, this result was to quote then Mayor Oscar Goodman “bad for business”.

That's when Vegas, and other cities who also wanted to make it APPEAR the HIV/AIDS rates were dropping started doing what's called a “hold” on prostitutes. Instead of arresting them for prostitution where they are then required by law to test them for HIV/AIDS – they put them in jail for 24-48 hours and simply “hold” them. There's not even a record created for them in the computer system. The reason for this is so researchers can't even get any type of accurate numbers for how many prostitutes there are based on arrest records to then compare with CDC rates of HIV/AIDS to try and get some estimate of how many prostitutes are out working in the industry (not just the streets) infected.

You'd think the HIV vaccine would have had us out giving it away to all sex workers, including those working at the legal brothels. Only something happened in 2003 to turn this whole field on it's head Jenny. In the process – it's created what I feel is another HIV epidemic that everyone is covering up. Something where even the author of the Trafficking Act of 2000, Michael Horowitz, has also said the movement has been “hijacked”. People who don't have our “best interests” in mind. To illustrate my concerns, there was a huge “No Such Thing” campaign kicked off in the media about a year ago. As part of this campaign, no juveniles were arrested for prostitution in 2015 in Los Angeles county. I've been taking a lot of heat for registering what appears to be the lone objection to this program but I'll explain one of the reasons WHY I objected.

Without those juveniles being arrested for prostitution – there is no mandatory HIV/AID tests being done that can be accessed without their consent as would be needed if they had a test done privately. But if those same juveniles were arrested and then were tested by the jail, then if found to be positive – an investigation then starts into who they could have infected for the sake of public health and safety.

Because we learned Jenny in the 80's people don't do the “right” thing. They don't even do the “legal” thing. Worse, some people are working out emotional issues at the expense of others like maybe an anger towards escorts they might be trying to kill off by infecting with HIV without one thought for who else is going to be harmed in the process. Which thankfully you didn't get – but who did?

So to try and protect people we combined approaches to cover all bases. Approaches that included not only taking those arrested for prostitution and testing them for HIV/AIDS, but also which included the police, courts, social workers, probation, the jails, and the health departments referring sex workers to Sex Workers Anonymous where we would then pair them with “sponsors”. Sponsors who would then personally make sure they got transportation to free HIV testing sites. Then if found positive – we were right there at “ground zero” to do everything necessary to make sure they stopped exposing anyone to any disease they might be carrying by making sure hey got the help they needed without fear of breaking their “anonymity” because our sponsors could speak for them.

Approaches that included funding for the hiring of HIV + ex-sex workers to go out doing outreach to find others. Only all of that was “hijacked” out from under us in 2003. Something we've been trying to get repaired through things like the ACLU v. Catholic Bishops lawsuit that was won, the Supreme Court decision that was won in 2012, and other steps we've taken to try and get back into the position where ANYONE in the sex industry, whether they identify as a “trafficking victim” or not, is included the system this country is trying to help on all levels – not just the pursuit of their pimp. But an approach that is concerned about all of the needs of these as they go through recovery.

But even after these legal wins, we STILL are being blocked from even being heard when I have a stack of emails from people within the major media who report to me they'll be fired if they even so much as print our NAME let alone anything we're saying. Which is the reason why I relocated back to Los Angeles last year is because we're seeing a HUGE upsurge in the number of those calling our program for help who are HIV + who are least are finding us by going onto Google.

People who are afraid to break their anonymity – and even worse being sued by someone like Charlie's legal team. Or Snoop's before his confession also. Now I ask you how we, or anyone, could report something like what Charlie was doing without risking be sued for defamation or even criminally charged with blackmail before he had said something himself? Knowing this, these members have asked me to speak out for them – only no one will even return my calls lately. Which means not a doubt in my mind there's a cover-up going on here on a very large level. Only now that maybe Charlie's made this confession and people aren't afraid of being sued or arrested or blacklisted – maybe I can get someone to talk to me about this issue.
Because while you were lucky not to be infected Jenny – I know others who weren't so lucky. The bottom line is there is a horrible problem going on right now with this virus from the reports I'm getting. I've been knocking on the doors of the AHF, the CDC, the health department, the media, and our elected officials – and I'm getting nowhere.

Maybe you can help me break this barrier. If you'd be willing to talk to me about this – of course your call would be confidential unless you said otherwise. Please contact me at the above.

Sincerely,

Jody Williams








OPEN LETTER TO SEX WORKERS' RIGHTS AND SEX TRAFFICKING GROUPS

If one checks my news clips at www.hightechmadam.com one sees some articles which have appeared about me since 1984 to present day.

Anyone who has ever appeared in the media in any way, as well as anyone who has even been bullied, knows that you can't judge another person based on not only media you might read about someone online, but especially through rumors said behind someone's back.

For example, the news clips which dubbed me the title "High Tech Madam" were because the media was confused about why a brothel would have such sophisticated security and surveillance equipment for one.  Also, why it would be in a warehouse next to the police station.  The answer is because it wasn't a brothel.  While I was a prostitute, madam, stripper, and porn performer at the time of my arrest, as well as a trafficking victim and witness - the warehouse was in reality a "safe house" I'd put together for trafficking victims.

The woman inside the brothel was a prostitute I had gone to pick up after her pimp beat her up so badly he broke her nose and her arm.  She had two black eyes.   She called me for help and I went to pick her up.  The pimp, like many pimps, was also a drug dealer who would let her sell his drugs for him to further protect himself from prosecution.  When he realized where she was at and that he couldn't get inside to get her out nor could he threaten her out - he called the police to make an "anonymous tip" the warehouse was a brothel.

When the police knocked on the door - she answered it in her nightgown because it was midnight.  Now in the mind of the police if you're a prostitute and are wearing a nightgown - you must be hooking.  She was on probation for prostitution also at the time.  The LAPD had been dying for something to arrest me over and saw this as their opportunity.  They pressured her to say that I was "pimping" her out of this warehouse which was a little hard to sell was a brothel.  That's actually why the arresting officer paid the reporter at the LA Times $50 to publish the article - thinking public pressure would help get me convicted for pimping.

Only the woman stuck to her story.  Not hard when she had a broken nose, two black eyes and her arm in a cast.  She offered to testify against her real pimp for his drug dealing and the case against me was dismissed.    My mother was arrested for "pimping" me - not her.  LAPD had a photo of me handing my mother a $20 bill for a bucket of KFC chicken she brought me one night.  Under the law, that is "receipt of earnings from a known prostitute".  However, I had no previous record for prostitution.  So what made me a "known" prostitute?  The word of a cop?  Doesn't work that way.

So the reality is that I'm a lot of things.  First of all, I'm a retired sex worker.  I've been in prostitution, madaming, stripping, porn, phone sex, etc.  I don't mean just "prostitute" either.  I have the distinction of being the first person to also open a 900 phone sex line in the country.  Without having sex with anyone, our phone sex operation was clearing $30,000 a week.  Have I turned tricks?  Yes.  During my step work for my recovery, I went through some records and I estimated about 15,000 tricks in fact.

Meaning I am a recovering prostitute.

Meaning I'm a retired sex worker.

I'm also a survivor of sex trafficking myself.  I was lured into a sex trafficking operation where I was forced and exploited to do what I had done. When I broke free of this "family", I then went "independent".  From there, another type of trafficker connected to Chuck Barris, Iran Contra, and our own government as well as mob got ahold of me and I barely escaped with my life.  A lot of people weren't so lucky.  Those people made the street pimps I'd been connected to before look like kid play.  After breaking away from them, I went independent again because my PTSD was so bad I was too dysfunctional to work at anything else.  I got no help from the police.  I got no help from the mental health fields because either they didn't believe what I was talking about - or they viewed me as a criminal who didn't deserve help.

To the sex workers' rights groups like SWOP, Red Umbrella, Desiree Alliance, and others - I was friends with Margo St. James who founded COYOTE.  We believe that women had the right to control their own bodies and careers.  We had the right to do whatever we wanted to do for work whether that was a job, or marry for money or prostitute for money.  We had the right to do whatever we wanted without being called a "whore" either - hence Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics.  Which is why I belonged to COYOTE from the year it opened until the year it didn't.

Now when I retired the sex industry and formed our 12 step program and hotline - Margo did meet with me to see if I was going to attack the sex industry in the process of trying to help.  I explained to her that other careers had exit programs set up for them - why didn't we for one?  If you're a football player and get too disabled to play ball any longer - people have stepped up to help you transition out of football.  If you're an actor and you stop working - you can get unemployment.  You can also get vocational rehabilitation.  On top of this, if you're in any other industry and someone forces you to do that work there are labor laws to prevent this.

She understood that I believe if we were demanding the freedom to engage in sex work - then we should also have the freedom to stop, and support if we wanted to retire.  Previously, if you tried to leave sex work it was like rejecting a family.  The sex industry would feel betrayed and then shun that person like they did Linda Lovelace when she wanted to quit.  In any other industry but sex work if you decide you want to retire - you are not shunned by that industry.  If I own a hotel and I decide to go off and become an accountant - every other hotel owner doesn't shun me and shut me out like some "traitor".  Nor do they gang up and force me to keep owning a hotel either.

Every sex worker I know wants to cry that it's a "respectable profession".  Fine.  Treat it like one.  Meaning also if I make a choice not just as a woman, but as a person, to leave the sex industry then I should be supported in that choice also.

Because guess what?  I can't go and take it back.  I'm never NOT going to be an ex-sex worker nor ex-prostitute. That tail will follow me for life.  I have been out of prostitution for 30 years now and to this day people still call me a "whore" and hold it against me.  Just because I stopped doing those things 30 years ago  - I'm going to be viewed as one until the day I die.  If I go on a date, or a job interview - it is going to count against me to most people.  Right or wrong that's the way it is.

When Linda Lovelace stepped out to say she had been forced to film "Deep Throat" the industry not only didn't stop her from being forced when she was on the set - but the industry did not step up to shun the pimp Chuck Traynor.  In fact, he was allowed to continue making movies and to manage Marilyn Chambers.  No one stood up to his feeding her drugs either while she made those movies for him.  Not until she came into NA did people step up to him to back the predator off of her.

The industry sided with the pimp against her and against Marilyn.  Just as it sided with the men making the money from behind the scenes when Jenna said she wanted to quit making movies at the AVN.  The audience "boo'd" her decision.

Just as it did me.  The ONLY person who stood behind my decision was Margo and for a time I had the support of members of SWOP and even the bloggers like Tits N Sass, Maggie McNeil, and others who are focal advocates for the sex industry.

But something happened when Domina Elle, Bella Robinson and Norma Jean Almodovar started approaching people in 2015 and directly, openly, and aggressively, not only attacking me personally, and the other members of SWA, as well as our hotline for those who also wanted help being the only hotline for adults to call for help operating since 1987 answered by another ex-sex worker AND trafficking survivor - but they further started attacking ANYONE who was our friend, a member of SWA, or even so much as spoke to me.

This reached an unheard of level when Sherry Slew, the leader of the San Antonio chapter of SWOP, was threatened to her face that if she so much as even spoke to me, let alone reached out to SWA for support for her to leave the sex industry, that not only would she be shunned by others within the industry, but that they would make sure she was "drummed out of her position within SWOP".

To my shock - SWOP did nothing that I saw either officially or unofficially to let them know this was unacceptable behavior.  When another sex worker, Mistress Tiffany, was not only threatened, and harmed, herself by Domina Elle, but further, when a tape recording of a private call between her and I was taken without either of our consent and published on another site attacking the program of SWA, and every other ex-sex worker who belongs to SWA - again SWOP DID NOTHING to let Domina Elle know this behavior towards others within the community was not acceptable.

This is not in my opinion any longer a sex worker RIGHTS group.  Not when there is the slighest toleraance of bullying of any kind.  I pointed out some time ago that if it was tolerated in the way I was treated - then it would spread like a cancer.  It appears it was tolerated when Mistress Tiffany tried to seek some kind of help and support from SWOP when she was attacked.  It seems it was tolerated two years ago when Bella attacked Sherry.

This happened in 2013 when I tried to talk to Jennifer Reed about partnering together to try and defeat AB67.  Jennifer reported to me that if she did this that she would "never hear the end of it by Norma".  We lost AB67.  The fact that Jennifer's decision about her behavior was being dictated by the coercion and threat of another person being tolerated by SWOP is what's at issue here.

I was a member of the online group of SWOP who has very clear stated written policies that one is not to be ejected or blocked without FIRST receiving a warning.  Yet when another person who is on the payroll of Dennis Hof, and whose husband produces porn, demanded I be removed - the moderator of the group went against your own policy to remove me.  Why?  Because they were being bullied.

So this isn't just about me.  This isn't just about SWA.  It seems to me a LOT of sex workers are being bullied, threatened, coerced and shoved around and SWOP is doing nothing about it.

Including Kamylla.  When Kamylla came to me in April of 2015 - I had her a job, a free attorney, and I could have easily made sure she didn't have to pay a penny in rent because of her apartment being "uninhabitable".  The women had clearly expressed in EVERY interview that SHE WANTED TO QUIT SEX WORK.

She was then approached by Maxine Doogan and Domina Elle and also THREATENED about what would happen to her if she spoke to me.  As a result of not speaking to me, she did not get work, her husband did not get work, $1,000's of dollars was put into an attorney's pocket that could have been better spent getting her a car, custody of her children was endangered, and she might have even been deported by not having access to our connections at Immigration had it reached that point.

I have text messages showing in writing that things were being said supposedly by her by Domina Elle that were not her feelings.  They show she was being threatened by these women into being afraid to take any help from SWA - including to take work outside of the sex industry we had offered her . I have other text messages reporting the attorney she was provided almost screwed her over, and that the money is now gone and she still has no work.  The messages report the money has been spent instead of on helping these sex workers getting to what they say they want - which is working outside of the sex industry - has instead been spent on drugs.

I have approached SWOP about looking at these text messages Kamllya has sent me reporting she has been victimized by these women, and that her desire was to leave the sex industry and to receive help from SWA but that she was threatened off even speaking to us - and I have not even been asked to review this information as of today.

I have further tried reaching out to other groups such as Desiree Alliance and Red Umbrella about these issues only to be told that they are "so afraid" of these women and their tactics and bullying that they will not lift a finger either about any of this.

Meaning that we have not advanced one inch from the type of industry that would stand by and ALLOW Linda Lovelace to have a gun pointed at her head during the filing of an adult film.  The people on that set went home after the shoot and slept at night because they said to themselves "well I didn't point the gun at her".  No but you allowed him to do it just the same.

As for the so called "abolitionist" and "anti-trafficking" field - I am a trafficking survivor.  I have been rescuing trafficking victims since the early 1980's when the world didn't even know we existed.  I spent 13 YEARS of my life, and considerable expense and sacrifice to step up to tell the world this was real and to keep talking and keep talking until we saw the passing of the Trafficking Act of 2000 giving this federal recognition.

Now that we have federal recognition - it means there's now money to be made in this field.  Whether that money is through federal grants, fund raisers, or even speaking fees as a survivor - money is now on the table.  Ever since money came onto the table - I've been the victim of what is called "economic interference".

Meaning when survivors like Beth Jacobs advances her career, and lines her pocket, through fund raisers and bookings and grants she's obtained while telling anyone who will listen to her that I've "gone back to pimping" it's NOT just her spreading rumors.  It's a violation of the law and it's a crime.  It's actionable by law.  If we were two bakeries in town and she was to run around telling people that my kuchen had roaches - again this is not just spreading bad gossip or even back stabbing nor is it "jealousy".  It is "economic interference".

Just as it is when I used to speak at conferences FOR FREE, and people who want to now get PAID to speak at these events in some fashion want to start spreading around rumors about me in order to advance their agenda's - it only appears to be "personal".

When I have other survivors telling me IN WRITING that they are receiving phone calls telling them NOT TO SPEAK TO ME then guess what?  They are being controlled and bullied and threatened.

Those who have defied this "shunning" by others with a financial agenda in this field have in fact been shunned, blocked, and out right attacked.

That means guess what?  I'm not the only one being harmed here - but SURVIVORS are being harmed.

It is control and coercion and force - something many victims of trafficking don't know  well how to stand up against sometimes until years into their own recovery process.

So if you're a survivor and someone comes at you telling you not to speak to me or call SWA or speak to another SWA member - that person is HARMING SURVIVORS.  They are no different than any other pimp in that they are trying to control, bully, harass, threaten survivors, and they are doing so for financial reasons.  In every single case I've checked where this person has been telling another to "stay away" from Jody - they have been holding a fund raiser, applying for a grant, trying to sell a product - or had some other financial motive.

The prevailing gossip seems to be "don't talk to Jody because she's trying to get money".  Really?

Where?

We do not charge for what we do.  I don't pass the basket at a meeting.  I am not applying for any grants and I'm holding no fund raiser.  I give away our Recovery Guide and I do not charge for the interviews we have up of survivors online for anyone to listen to for hope.

Think it's not a big deal?  Try to find tapes of trafficking survivors anywhere in the 80's or 90's and tell me again that's not a big deal.

On the website of every person bashing SWA and myself - I see them promoting their book, their nonprofit, their name, their face, etc.  However, I have interviews with other members of SWA we have helped.  There are quotes from them on our clips page.  They are at www.leavingthliferadio.com

Why am I doing this?  To let people know about a program they can join to find recovery that does not charge them anything.  Not to sell my book.  Not to do research.  Not to carry out a grant.  Not to advance my career in the field.  I don't even work in the field.  I'm disabled.  What career am I advancing?

But boy I sure see a lot of others advancing their by walking over my back.  What's not being discuss here is the other survivors who are being bullied in the process of this advancement.

I was raising a stink about Exodus Cry back with "8 Minutes".  Now they've plastered the face of a woman all over the media claiming she's turned 43,000 tricks - oh now people are running off at the mouth that I'm the bad guy?  What about Kevin Brown who was the fake preacher behind "8 Minutes"?  What about Pastor Benny Perez who pocketed $1,000,000 plus that was donated to build a recovery home in Las Vegas when he filed bankruptcy?

Has anyone bothered to wonder why no one is sitting down dialing up the phone and filling up the emails of anyone who will listen about what bad guys these people are - but they sure are me?  If you ask me - while everyone is focusing on SWA and me - a lot of bad guys are getting off the hook.  Until I see HALF of the campaign waged against me waged on Kevin Brown and Relativity Media for "8 Minutes" or Snoop Dogg for his pimping of women for YEAR across the USA during his pimping revival or even Charlie Sheen for infecting escorts who now can't even work in porn and can't come forward in the media without risking being arrested - then I'll believe this isn't a DELIBERATE attempt to take the eyes off the real bad guys and ONTO THE ONE PERSON TRYING TO HELP THESE WOMEN!!!

Like most victims of pimps - I think you have who is a victim mixed up with who the real predators are.  You're EXACTLY why we formed our program - because I was seeing women who had been pimped for most of their lives were continuing to be pimped and exploited once out of prostitution in the same manner as an alcoholic can become a dry drunk if they stop drinking without working the steps also.

And what are you doing?  Turning on one of your sisters IDENTICAL to the pimping dynamic.  Isn't that the dynamic of the "pimp whore" relationship?  It's not just one woman one pimp - the pimp's whole operation is based upon the dynamic of getting the women attacking each other so they aren't attacking him.  

I'm not seeing anyone going after Dennis Hof, Lance Gilman, Snoop Dogg, or even Charlie Sheen, for what they're doing to harm us - yet people are sitting around dialing up anyone who will listen about "let's not talk to Jody".

I"m mean I'm the elected bad guy here?  Really?  And yet again not realizing that the pimp is getting his whores to do his dirty work for him.  Because from what I remember - the pimps I knew would never lift a finger to beat up their own bitches.  They got their bottom bitch to do it for them.

So you know what survivors?  Get a program.  If you don't know how - that's why www.sexworkersanonymous.com was born.   Do you remember why cops didn't like to go on domestic violence calls back in the day?

BECAUSE THE VICTIM WOULD TURN ON THEM WHEN THEY'RE TRY AND SAVE THEM IS WHY.

Because I saw the same thing happening in Catharsis back in 1986 - another room of survivors who were being pimped in recovery and didn't even know it.  Now if you don't know what I mean by that - well that's why I'm working on our history right now "Anatomy of a Movement" which will be done in a few more weeks.  http://anatomyofamovement.blogspot.com/2015/11/catharsis.html

CHARLIE SHEEN AND HIV INFECTION OF ESCORTS & PORN STARS

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

Press Release - Charlie Sheen & HIV

TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Friday, November 20, 2015

PROSTITUTION IS JUST ANOTHER VICE SO LET'S LEGALIZE IT

http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/17/prostitution-is-just-another-vice-so-legalize-it/

Dear Lucy:

Prostitution in YOUR opinion may be "just another vice" but pull your head out of the stone age.  I was combating that same logic on talk show stages in 1988 when I was going toe to toe with Joe Conforte, the then owner of the Nevada Mustang Ranch legal brothel.  I sat there on the first show I did against him while four other women got up there and insisting they were having the "time of their lives".  Then when the camera stopped rolling one of those women ran up to me and pleaded with me to save her life.  She told me they had been drugged and forced at gunpoint to get onto a private plane to come to Chicago to take that show.  They did it because women were "disappearing into the night" and they were too scared to oppose him.  Luckily I was working with a program in Chicago called Genesis House.  We staged a fake episode and called an ambulance and got those women out of there into the Genesis House program.

I was living in Los Angeles at the time - this was 1988.  After word spread from her back to the ranch other women started calling me for help.  Women who can't leave the brothel on foot.  They will literally be arrested if they try and leave on foot.  There are no cabs out of there either. The only way out is to be physically picked up and taken out.  So I would come and pick one of them up as needed.  It was not an easy drive to where these ranches are.  You may not realize this but one can obtain a brothel license at 16 years of age.  Too young to smoke, drink vote or even drive a car - but they can work at the ranch.  So they're too young at 16 to even get another type of job.  That's why we take them to www.childrenofthenight.org

We gave a press conference in 2007 which you can read about at www.hightechmadam.com and put out a report on the subject verifying that sex trafficking is existing in legal brothels.  What's worse is that pimps are now driving in from all over the country to put their girls to work there so they can escape prosecution.  Why?  Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a prosecution against a pimp for trafficking someone within a legal brothel?  We found one brave lady who was forced to go to work up there before she was even 16 years of age.  The brothel owners knew she was forced and didn't lift one finger to stop her victimization.  Even worse, the cop who was coming to take their HIV test results was raping her.  The customers were raping her.  And who is she doing to call for help?  We looked and the head of Internal Affairs was the very cop raping her.  So we got her out of there and then once she was strong enough - we set about to file a landmark case.  You can hear her story at www.leavingtheliferadio.com

There's something I want to point out to you about her interview Lucy - that is the ONLY interview in existence by someone who worked at a legal brothel in Nevada who is entirely out of the sex industry, and clean and sober from all drugs.  You will not find one other interview anywhere by someone who was in a brothel and now is out of the business entirely and clean and sober.  Do you know why it makes a difference?  Because if you had a shitty boss would you tell him to his face if you wanted to work again?  Nope.  In the sex industry if you ever want to work in the industry anywhere doing anything - you can't cross one of these owners.  Not when one of them has shot down a famous boxer in cold blood and not done one day in jail you don't.  Also if you have a drug habit and you want to get drugs again - you can't piss them off either.  As it was - for this interview and her efforts against them she's in hiding today.  When word spread she was building a case against her pimp - the Shady Lady brothel was shut down.  All evidence and witnesses have scattered.  As for her - after having her power, TV cable and phone cut off for 3 days to show her their power - then they came in and robbed her apartment, stole her car and then threatened her life and the life of her children if she spoke up again.  The father now has legal custody because of her prostitution arrests - and threatens he will put the children into child porn if she tries to speak out again.  So take that interview for what it is - a very rare look into that world by someone is isn't trying to keep the door open for her to return.

Amsterdam legalized prostitution and they had to shut down the windows districts in 2007.  Do you know why?  Trafficking.  All of it - drugs, sex and even money laundering.

Would you like me to go down the list of what's happened to the last brothel owners that shut down?  Like the one that got shut down because the owner was caught with child porn.  Or the one that got shut down for income tax evasion.  Lance Gilman now is being sued for defrauding investors out of millions of dollars.  I don't care what you say Lucy - "reputable" men don't run brothels.

I am the biggest supporter of decriminalization there is.  I think it's the only way to get an effective case going against a trafficker.  But when you legalize prostitution - you basically provide a "get out of jail" card for the trafficker. Then what?  I ask you who Aubrey could go to for justice?  She was raped by the customers.  Raped by the police.  Raped by everyone.  She had to sleep with the owner to get hired even.  That's how Dennis hires his prostitutes - they have to come up and spend the weekend with him "auditioning".

I could go on and on about the stories the women tell me that we have helped to get out from under legal brothels and the problem is not only do they compare with any story coming out of an illegal brothel - it comes with the fact we can't get a case going to defend her for rape or trafficking the minute she sets foot inside the brothel.  That's it - it's completely up to them then what happens to her.  Then if they catch HIV as independent contractors - they get nothing.  There's no pension.  There's no disability.  There's no vocational rehabilitation - nothing.

I have talked at length to Joe Conforte when he wanted to expand into Califonia and to Dennis Hof and Oscar Goodman when they wanted to expand into Las Vegas.  I have told each of them I would not oppose them and in fact would support them if they would set up (1) an orientation that warns women what they're about to walk into before they can't go back about long term consequences, (2) if the women were provided with phone numbers to call for help if they wanted to bail - like our # and Children of the Night, our number and the National Trafficking Hotline, and (3) if they would set up an exit plan where if they wanted to leave, or go sick or hurt that there was a system set in place to get them onto their feet.  Because they can't even get unemployment insurance if they catch HIV while working at the brothel and they're told they can't refuse a client and they have no idea what the clients HIV status is walking in.  They've all told me to fly a kite.  In fact, Dennis has told me he doesn't want them to have an exit plan because he "spends too much money on recruiting" and Oscar told me that he wants them not to find services in Nevada so they'll leave the state after leaving  their employ.

I did an economic study on prostitution in the brothels for Nevada I provided to the legislature back in 2007.  For every dollar they bring into the system - they take $3.00 back out.  When these women get worn out, sick, disabled, and they just can't do it anymore - guess what?  They wind up on federal disability.  It's what happened to me.  I got older and my body crapped out and now I'm on disability.  Only many of these women have more than one kid.  The average is three children of school age.  They wind up on disability also.   I've got numbers in Nevada of how many of these women wind up on disability when they can't work any longer and the drain they put on the system - and it literally is for every dollar it APPEARS is going into the system - the cast-offs are costing $3.00 out.

That's not even counting the crimes against the johns either.   Read about the G Sting arrests and how Rick Rizzolo was drugging his customers and then maxing out their credit cards.  Well I have calls from "johns" at the legal brothels also reporting to me they got  stolen from.  Lamar Odom?  He had $75,000 cash in his pockets when he went into the brothel.  He winds up overdosed and facing possible drug charges.  Which is what the johns tell me happens when they complain about the theft - they get threatened with something back.  i haven't heard a word about that $75000 since he woke up and got threatened with drug charges.  Do you really think Lamar is going to fight over $75000 and go to jail on drug charges?  No - he'll eat the loss and walk.  Well I got a list of callers of men who say they've been robbed for up to $100000 by their cards maxed out, their bank accounts hacked  and every time they try and get help from someone in authority - they get threatened.  Oh well the Chief then steps down and another one steps in.  Which is what happened with Chief Gillispioe.

And you want to expand this system?  It didn't work in Amsterdam.  It's not working in Nevada.  So please - before you want to go off talking about this system - try talking to some people who aren't trying to talk you into it.  Do you remember how big tobacco used to lie about their products until an "insider" leaked out the truth?  Well Aubrey did tell us the truth about what goes on there and I've heard much worse from women too terrified of retaliation to record their voices.

Now I'm seeing this whole argument gearing up again from the 80's because the medical marijuana lobbyist want to make this just as legal as the marijuana.  Well again it didn't work in Amsterdam.  Maybe the men who run these places and the customers want this - but the women DON'T.  They have no protection at all if these places are legalized.  NONE.

It's why I have to still drive into these places in the middle of the night and smuggle them out of there before anyone realizes they're gone.  The brothel owners are so powerful that Nevada is the ONLY state where I have to take the victims out of state immediately to get them to safety.  We've tried having residential programs in Nevada and they just target and threaten our volunteers and our landlords - so we just take them out of state now.

Please rethink your position.  If you want to read the report, or talk to me or talk to them - fine.  But this is not what the women who have worked up there want.

If trafficking didn't exist - that's one thing.  But it does.  Look I'd love to do drugs - but it's addictive.  That's reality.  In an ideal world I could sit around and get high and not become an addict.  It just doesn't work that way.

Prostitution is the same . I'd love it if trafficking didn't exist.  Honestly Lucy if trafficking didn't exist - I'd be the first one in line to go back to madaming again.  But it does.  I accepted that reality when i took my 1st step back in 1985 and I realized I had to let the business go.  So when you listen to this crap that this is a "victimless crime" you're listening to the denial of the addict because the reality is it just isn't so.

Jody Williams
www.sexworkersanonymous.com

ARTICLE IN CNN BY RAFAEL ROMO

In response to this article - http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/10/americas/freedom-project-mexico-trafficking-survivor/index.html When this was first released - I had written him immediately asking him to remove her face from publicity. I got no response. I then saw other survivors saying they had reached out to him about this - and no response. So I looked closer. I noticed this was Exodus Cry and CNN. Oh boy did the wheels click because we had just gone through this whole thing with "8 Minutes" and these same people. So I took another really close look at the photograph. Then I started doing the math - 30 tricks a day for four years. 
Now I'm sorry to be graphic here but many of you may not remember the porn done of a latin woman where she slept with 600 men. I do. I also remember she was in bed for two weeks after that and couldn't walk right for a month. About a year later she had to have corrective surgery. But I also remembered she had people having to give her ice packs for the pain. She had been wanting to do 1000 men but her body gave out at 600 men that took her three solid days straight before she says she couldn't handle the pain any longer and bailed.
I showed this photo to a few SWA members and got their reaction which was the same - "she looks too healthy"
I'm not saying she's not a trafficking victim. She has the pain in her eyes of a survivor. But I doubt the math and she didn't get to Congress to testify out of her own pocket. I am working on a Spanish translation of our book and maybe we can get the book distributed out there to these women. Once I get it done - of course we'd give it for free to them.
So I wrote to the author again the letter below:
Dear Rafael Romo:
What has been done to document the story presented here of this girl who was "forced to have sex 30 times a day for four years". I am a survivor first of all. I was force to turn over 15000 dates during my time frame. I was in my late teens and early 20's when this happened so I was strong. The body when subjected to that much stress and trauma turns on itself. The immune system starts to break down. Sore develop on the skin. My hair started falling out and so did my teeth. My teeth were literally loose. I was as white as a ghost. I hadn't had a bowel movement in four months because my intestines stopped working. It took months for the sores on my skin to heal. I was fortunate enough to have a doctor who gave me the right vitamins to help me heal because I had nerve damage that caused me to have an involuntary twitch. It took a year for that to heal with massive amino acids I was given to heal the nerve damage. I had been exposed to chronic fatigue syndrome so I also was so tired I couldn't feed or even bathe myself. Over 80 percent of trafficking victims now are exposed to chronic fatigue syndrome. HIV has made a come back. No one from the health dept. wants to hear it here in the states and everyone is trying not to hear it - but we're seeing an HIV epidemic coming back.
My mother was so horrified of what I looked like when she rescued me that she took pictures. I can assure you I looked like I was dead in the photos. Especially with the pale color and the dark circles under my eyes. I couldn't keep food down so I was down to 86 pounds. I was very obviously sick. The average trick takes 15 minutes to turn. There's only so many tricks you can turn in one day. If you're on your period - many tricks won't even deal with that. So that lowers your amount of tricks. When you don't sleep - your body will eventually force you to sleep which is bad for business so the pimps will let you sleep. I'm just letting you know that the numbers here, combined with the photo of what this young woman looks like - well just begs me to ask you if you know for a fact any of this information is true?
I also ask because I see Exodus Cry is involved in this story. Here in the states - that group has been connected with four "shams" now where they've appeared on so called "reality TV". Each time I've managed to get these shows taken right off the air because they were not just fake - but they were fake being used to raise money. That's a crime. The last one I'm putting together a federal investigation into because they defrauded the federal government out of money - not just private donors. So I"m not surprised they're moving into other countries. After I've had 4 shows taken off the air and have this investigation going here in the states - well they'd have to go to another country where people aren't wise to them.
Let me point you to this article here - http://www.latimes.com/local/great-reads/la-me-c1-prostitute-squad-20131002-dto-htmlstory.html Sounds legit doesn't it? They bank rolled that press right into a show called "8 Minutes". I didn't have proof it was completely fake until the show aired - and then once i had it I went to A&E with it. They yanked the show immediately. Now if the reporter had done a little bit of digging - they would have uncovered this was a fraud back then.
I'll explain why. Back in the 1970's and 1980's the world believed sex trafficking didn't exist anymore. But it did. Only no one believed it existed. Taking matters into her own hands Lois Lee founded Children of the Night in 1979. That was for teens. Only what about adults? I point you to www.hightechmadam.com Now that appears to be a brothel I was arrested over. Only that's what the police thought also. A woman we had rescued from her pimp was there hiding out at a warehouse we got for security purposes to protect victims. They interviewed her and saw her black eye, her broken nose and broken arm and she told them why we were hiding her there. They arrested him on drug charges by arrested him eiher way and I was cleared of charges. The security I had spoken of in the article was protection from the pimps. Once I had legal clearance - I stepped up in 1987 on national media and announced our hotline for Prostitutes Anonymous and our 12 step program. By the year 2000, we had chapters of PA all over the USA, in every major city and in three cities in Canada. We were the reason the Trafficking Act of 2000 passed giving us federal recognition.
So you see Rafael - I'm the founder of the modern day sex trafficking movement. Our program is alive and well and we renamed it to Sex Workers Anonymous in 1995. Now - these two cops were running around trying to do "outreach" but no one was mentioning a word about Children of the Night nor our program. Now - who would be coming out to a city where we're headquartered and doing this kind of outreach without involving us? Well normally reporters will contact us to ask that question. They might be taking a different approach - who knows. But the fact they didn't know we existed? Well that should have been a red flag to the reporter . Who goes out to do outreach for someone without researching what options are available? Would you go out to help an alcoholic without involving AA in some way? Of course not.
But these people used this press and this show to get themselves not only federal grant money - but the producers also got a big fat check too. Only now the investors into Relativity Media are suing them for being defrauded also. http://variety.com/2015/film/news/ryan-kavanaugh-lawsuit-relativity-fraud-1201548076/
So I would caution you not to believe anything out of these people's mouths. They claim to be "abolitionists". Only I've been the one fighting back the brothels here in the states from expanding - not them. We just beat them back from expanding into Las Vegas in 2013. They weren't there. We were there alone. I have a video of the hearing proving we were there testifying against the brothel lobbyist alone. http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada-legislature/prostitution-bill-not-nevada-legislatures-agenda I also beat them back out of California in 1988 and won. I gave a press conference you can read about on www.hightechmadam.com lashing out against the legal brothels in 2007. After that press conference I had our outreach car destroyed, my daughter was run over by a car and broke her back, and our outreach RV had a bomb found in it. I didn't see anyone from Exodus Cry there. We've asked to speak at their "abolition summits" but we're not invited. I'm not surprised why when every time I hear about some fake outreach - they're connected to it and having their hand out for money.
Look - the work we do we do for free. I can give you a hotline number they can call 24/7 and an email they can reach out to at www.sexworkersanonymous.com I'm working on a translation of our Recovery Guide in Spanish. I give away our Recovery Guides. Anyone can set up a meeting and our program works. We have testimonials at www.leavingtheliferadio.com We have members who speak Spanish I can connect them to. None of this costs anyone a dime.
Meaning if we can get you to write a story about our program and help us get the word out there - we can give the materials to anyone out there who wants to form chapters and they can organize and help themselves out there. But I have to tell them about us for us to get that information out there.
These people I can assure you are not doing what they say they're doing. We however are. We've had independent journalists come out and verify what we do. I don't mean outreach - I mean our program of recovery. Because once you get their attention - you have to be able to help them get out and stay out. I can assure you I've done 30 years of rescues and the look in the eyes is very distinct. I just don't see the terror in that womans' eyes that I see when we pull someone out of that type of situation. For them to even ask her to be photographed - how is she going to move on from this now? How is she supposed to find work? How is she supposed to find housing? We look to the long term and we don't want these women dependent. We want them working and in their own home. Now she's going to have to work against this press. Any group who asks you to photograph these womens' faces is not thinking of their best interest.
So if I can be of any help to you - please contact me.
Jody Williams www.sexworkersanonymous.com (702) 468-4529

SURVIVORS APPEARING FULL FACE ON CAMERA

Let me point out first of all that predators do everything they can to control you and isolate you.  They try and tell you who to hang out with, who to be friends with, and they do everything they can to make sure that you don't have friends outside of their sphere of influence.  They want to make sure that you don't have anyone that would back you up against them right?  My father kept me isolated from all the other kids at school.  He kept my mom isolated from having any friends.

So I'm going to warn you that if ANYONE is telling you who to talk to, what group to go to, who to hang out with, who to like, don't talk to this person, that's not a cool group, etc.  then you need to be running like hell.  If ANYONE threatens you with "social shunning" if you don't do what they want say what they want, hang with who they want you to hang with - you need to realize that's how predators work and get the hell away from them.

Now when I speak about being photographed full face for interviews - I'm not going to say "no".  I'm going to let you know our "experiences" so you might learn from ours and then make your own decision.  But as a general policy - we don't do full face interviews with anyone.  It's not necessary anymore to pay the price tag that comes with what happens when you appear full face in the media these days.  Not for us anyway as the person being photographed.  If you look around our site and media - you won't find one full face interview with anyone online.

I've got a lot of pressure right now for us to do this but I won't bow to it.  That's our policy and we're sticking to it.  As far as we're concerned we're seeing way too much pressure to try and identify survivors and then once identified I'm seeing them being pressured into being exploited - so I'm not buying it.  It's not necessary anymore to do this type of interview.  Not in our opinion anyway for us - it's just not needed anymore.   People point out that we "used to do it".  Yes we did - but things change.

So I need to just weigh in on this issue for anyone thinking about appearing "full face" on camera with respect to doing interviews, documentaries, etc., to "tell their story" speaking as the founder of this modern day movement itself.  If you don't think I am the founder first of all - check out the news clips at www.hightechmadam.com

What you will see in the first clip dated 1984 is what appears to be me arrested for "running a brothel".  That's what the pissed off pimp reported it as to the police when he realized he wasn't getting his victim back.  There were no "safe houses" for adults in 1984.  The only other safe house in the whole country was for teens at Children of the Night.  If you were over 18 -  you had nowhere to go.  Yes there was a program to rehabilitate street prostitutes called the Mary Magdalene Project. But this was not a program set up to rescue or protect you if someone was coming after you.  All the MMP project was at that time was a house in Reseda where you stayed while you went to school and got some therapy and transitioned out of prostitution.  I know because I was looking for a place for myself to go and nothing existed when you had big bad dudes coming after you with guns and you were over the age of 18 years old.

Back then, you have to realize no one believed sex trafficking was "real".  If you were to call up the police today and tell them that "little green men were forcing you to prostitute" their response would be the response we got in 1984 and pre-1984.  They would laugh and hang up the phone.  I know we tried it.  We tried going to their offices and were thrown out.  If we tried to speak about what we were seeing back then to a mental health professional - they would start proceedings to have you committed for hallucinating.  Again, I know because I tried and so did many others.  That was the response we got.  Can't blame them because if you look in the textbooks that cops, social workers and psychologists had back then they had absolutely NOTHING about sex trafficking back then.

After some bad experiences where I had tried hiding out some of these women in my home, I realized people could get shot.  I had a shoot-out in the driveway of my apartment, and I had another rescue where I had a pimp come up behind me with a gun.  Motels were not safe because the traffickers had FBI and CIA as well as cops on their payroll.  They would literally go to every motel in the area flashing photos of the women they were looking for - so even motels were not safe.  We rented the warehouse because it was in an industrial area next to the police station.  That cut down on a lot of problems right there.  The reason why they dubbed me "high tech madam" was because of all the high tech security equipment.  I had put a woman in the warehouse whose pimp had broken her nose and her arm.  She needed time to heal.  When the pimp realized he couldn't get into the place - he made a tip to the police it was a brothel.  When they knocked on the door at midnight she was in her nightgown.  Guess what the cop thought when a hooker answered the door in a nightgown?  Bingo.

Now - she sorted all of that out and testified against the pimp because he was a drug dealer.  So they agreed to arrest him and his little plan backfired on him.  I of course had to explain to the police and the DA that all of this security equipment was not what one would have in a brothel.  We got it all sorted out and I realized I didn't want to do this again.  That's when I went to talk to Edwin Meese - he was the Attorney General at the time for California.  He had said if we put together a 12 step program we could go to the courts and offer an "alternative to sentencing" meaning the judge could court order those who were being forced to do this to our meetings instead of jail.  So we launched the hotline and the 12 step program in 1987.

But it wasn't that easy.  We had to explain to the judges what we meant by "when someone was forced".  To the judges if she said "yes" then she was guilty.  So we had to set up panels to educate the judges about how she might be saying "yes" because the pimp is back home holding her kids hostage.  This also meant educating the arresting officers about obtaining information at the time of the arrest to see if she was there by "choice" or whether she was being forced or not.  We were having a hard time getting everyone on the same page - so then mayor Tom Bradley, along with Chief Gates and Sheriff Block set up a board where an officer from each office was on the board.  This meant we had a cop, a judge, a probation officer, a social worker, someone from the health department, the mental health department, etc.  We had someone from each office come together to plan how we could all work together.  This was because we were at odds with each other.  We had the health department telling prostitutes to carry condoms - but then the cops and the DA considered that "evidence of prostitution".  So to make sure we weren't at cross purposes - that's why we had the board to get everyone on the same page.

However there was still the fact that no one was getting any blue ribbons or awards here.  To the eyes of the public we were still "criminals".  Worse "disease carriers".  There had just been Proposition K which had wanted to take all prostitutes and put us on an island to "quarantine" us from "decent society".  So there was a large amount of press at that time coming out that we were a "health threat" to people and should be literally carted off to an island and cut off from society.  So the people on this board were not exactly being praised for what they were doing.

We had no federal recognition, meaning no money.  So we had to do two things and do it fast - we had to swing public opinion over to what was going on AND we had to push for federal recognition. Now the world was a different place in the 1980's.  The only other person who had stepped up before me trying to convince America sex trafficking was real was Linda Lovelace.  She got nowhere.  It didn't help that when she got sick and needed an organ transplant that all the anti-porn people who were more than happy to let her speak to help them ban pornography and help them raise money all walked away from her the minute she needed help.  She didn't get paid one dime for her speaking because she was being told it would "help".  No one bought her book because they didn't believe her.  Then when she needed an organ transplant she had no choice in her mind but to do another porn.  The minute she did that porn to pay for her transplant - that was the minute everyone said "aha!"  They pointed out she had done the movie without anyone forcing her and thus the whole thing must be nothing more than her trying to sell a book.

So we knew two things gearing up to start to do our media - the first was that we weren't going to ask for a dime.  Not sell a book.  Not make a movie.  So every book and movie offer that came my way I saved the offers but refused them.  The second was that we had to go onto the camera "full face" so they could see our eyes and hear our voices and know our sincerity.  When you're in  "he said she said' battle where the sex industry is lashing back at you saying something isn't true - what have you got but the fact people can look in your eyes and know you're telling the truth.

That's why when Joe Conforte would come on with four prostitutes with him laughing up on stage for an hour about how "fun" being in the sex industry was - the only thing I could do to counter them wasn't to call them a "liar".  But to tell my experiences and my story with the camera being able to see into my eyes and hear my voice.   For the first year - I was the only one who would go on national TV.  I wouldn't even dream of asking our newer members to go onto TV until they had more time.  The older members had jobs and husbands and no one knew - so they weren't going to endanger those new lives by going onto TV.  I wasn't married and hadn't had a kid yet - so I could do this.

Now mind you - I was going onto shows my bosses wouldn't see.  We didn't have DVR's and the internet.  Meaning I'd go onto a Jerry Springer or Geraldo or Maury or Donahue - and working people didn't see me on TV.  We didn't even have Tivo.  So when my face went out onto the airwaves it was to people who were at home.  Not in the office working.  Which was who we wanted to see us - the working girls most of them watching these afternoon talk shows and any of my bosses weren't going to see this because they were at work.

I would dye my hair different colors each time I'd go on TV.  For the first year I went on TV under the name I was arrested under - not my "legal" name.  So working under the name "Jody Williams" people didn't connect it was me.  Now once in a while a wife of my boss would see me on TV and confront me about it and I would deny it.  There were no tapes then remember so what proof was there that had been me?  Back then when you appeared on national TV once the show was over it was over.  Very few people would record things back then like that and play them back.

After the 2nd Geraldo we STILL were not being believed by the general public.  So the producer, Geraldo's wife, said "bring on more people - they can't argue with you if you bring on more people".  Now by that time we had more members of our program then we'd worked with and many of them wanted to get the word out about our hotline to others.  But again, it was a different time.  We didn't have the internet then.  No one recorded these shows.  We could disguise people with wigs and make-up but as long as the eyes were visible - people could see and hear these people were telling the truth.
Then we found out about public access.  That gave us a free hour to put interviews with survivors on air that aired about Los Angeles.  Then we would interview members of what their story was - how they had been sold by an uncle or a foster parent or even their father.  We had one show where the women talked about how her father had got her pregnant.  So each week we had a different story of a man or woman who had been sold or forced or trafficked or pimped and just tried to cover as much of a variety of stories as possible.  But these shows were very very devastating on the individual.  We had a strong network of support around them.  We were in the studios with them.  We had meetings going on the outside .  These were done with a lot of support around them otherwise I assure you they  would have relapsed from the strain.

Each time we did this we did it with two goals in mind - one was to promote our hotline.  The second was we were going for federal recognition.  The world could not keep saying we "didn't exist" if I kept bringing survivors one the TV each week.  After we taped a show, we would duplicate the tape.  Then I'd send it to a public access channel in another city.  It would air there.  Then another and another . That's how we found our way to Allentown in 1989 where they asked us to bring our program up there which became the Program for Female Offenders.  We had sent a tape of the show up there to play on public access.

Now I personally stopped doing all TV in 1992.  My daughter was born and I didn't want to do anything that would affect her in school.  In 1992 we reached a saturation point.  I could not walk into a coffee shop or a gas station without people saying "I know you - you're that lady on TV show helps prostitutes".

Then it became a problem.  I started having people tell me they were afraid to be seen in public with me - that people "might know" why I was there.  I had people in church afraid to sit next to me for fear people would think they were a prostitute I was helping.  I also couldn't do outreach the same way because the pimps would recognize my face.  So my "notoriety" became a problem.   So in 1992, I personally stopped doing all TV appearances and was leaving them up to the members to do interviews.

But then guess what?  The world caught on.  I started getting calls from people all over the country who were "getting it".  I started speaking to the people who wrote the Trafficking Act of 2000.  I was talking to Attorney Generals all over the country.  Those Attorney Generals  I was talking to later got fired - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dismissal_of_U.S._attorneys_controversy

Each time I went onto TV however I was fired and evicted.  Someone would see me and tell someone who would tell someone - and it would happen.  Now I adjusted.  I went and signed up with a temp service who just moved me into another job when that happened.  I went and rented a weekly apartment that could care less what I did.   So I paid a very heavy price on many levels for those TV appearances.  But I was the one I felt got "called" to do this.  Now it worked.  We got recognition and the world now knows trafficking is real.

So as of the passing of the Trafficking Act of 2000 - us appearing "full face" on camera is not necessary.  We have proved it's real.  Okay check.

Now since then we made a policy within our own program that we do radio and we do interviews in print but we do NOT do full face interviews.  There is no reason to take the backlash.  Look I hate to be blunt here but each person we put up on those talk show stages I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt was "real".  Those were men and women I had personally pulled out of the situations they were in and I had walked them through the first rough nights where I had to sit up with them all night.  There was not a doubt in my mind those people were the 100 percent "real deal'.  That's another reason why producers came to us - they knew we wouldn't put someone on their TV Shows that wasn't 100 percent "real".

That's why when the state department wanted the report done on sex trafficking in the USA - the researcher for that report came to us.  They knew we were going to provide them with 100 percent "bonafide' survivors to interview.  We agreed to do that only because the report was supposed to validate that sex trafficking did exist within the legal sex industry - the legal brothels, the strip clubs, the webcam studios, etc.  We felt it was important to get that point across to the government so we agreed to make the exception and do that press conference in 2007 where the clips also are on www.hightechmadam.com

But as of now today - the point has been made.  Samoly Mam set a bad standard.  She paraded herself all over the media full face in order to get checks.  But she was a fraud.  Annie Lombert did the same thing with Destiny House.  She went on TV with the so called "reality show" with Bravo and the series "Saved on the Strip" only there was no house.  When we uncovered there was no house, and that Pastor Benny Perez had filed bankruptcy and all the media was false - Bravo backed up and yanked the show after only one episode aired.  Annie ran off to S. Africa for a year.  She couldn't come completely clean about the whole thing because she was married to Pastor Perez's relative.  I don't know if it was a cousin -but they were related.  So she just ran out of the country for six months to let the controversy blow over.

But people saw Annie and Samoly and thought "oh this is what you do".  Now this is not what you do.  That's what THEY DO.  

I assure you we took alot of steps also that might not have shown on camera - but no one went onto TV with us unless we were absolutely sure that no one was looking for them number one.  Number two - we made sure they were financially secure and that their landlord wouldn't kick them out.  We took a lot of steps to make sure there wouldn't be backlash.

But 1995 came and changed everything.  The internet was born.  Now this is a whole other animal because people can not Tivo your appearance on TV.  They can now record your appearance on TV.  So we stopped all full face media.  The need was over.  Point made.  Trafficking is real.  There just isn't anymore point now.  For people raising money using Annie and Samoly Mam - well that's people raising money.  That's not what our goals are or were.

Now something happened a few years ago that I'm still in the process of debating if we're going to sue.  Because I get asked about this all the time now - well you appeared on TV when you . . .

http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Jail-Inmates-Start-Prostitutes-Anonymous-Group-277845151.html

Yes Brenda Myers-Powell went and did a documentary called "Dreamcatchers" where she talked about Prostitutes Anonymous.  She did another documentary with Oprah where she talked about Prostitutes Anonymous and she went full face on that also.  She also did that piece above with NBC.  We had sent her a "cease and desist" order each time- on three separate times - we sent her a legal notice informing her she did not have the legal right to use our program name in the media.  Now if she wanted to go on TV and talk about herself that was not our program.  She could knock herself out.  But if she was going to drag our name into the media - she had to have our legal consent as copyright and trademark holder. She did not have the "group conscience" and in fact I took a group conscience each time asking them if they agreed with her actions and each time every one voted "no".  So she had the express "disapproval" of our members.

Now with this NBC thing she crossed the line.  We have begged NBC to take these pictures down.  They did try but it was too late.  People had liked and tweeted and Favorited and relinked and shared and these photos went out all over the world to 100 different sites.  There was no way to stop this.

Let me tell you this -in the past each time we went onto TV it was "group conscienced".  Everyone in the program supported it.  Each time we did things the "right" way - we would get slammed with calls.  We would get sometimes 5000 to 8000 calls after one show would air we did.

We got NOTHING off these shows Brenda did.  Oh sure we got a couple of "kick the tires calls" checking us out and asking questions - but someone really serious about getting help and getting out?  Not a one.  We did however get feedback and our fears were right.  The people who saw the show felt that if she was going to be this public as to show her face in today's age then they didn't trust her with their anonymity.  As I started getting more and more feedback from incoming members - they told me they didn't respond to what she did because they didn't feel they could step forward safely.

She only did this media after she got asked to join forces with the local Chicago police.  We had told her very clearly that our program is for those who CAN'T CALL THE POLICE.  That's our line in th sand.  If you can call the police - call the police.  But if you can't - that's where we can help.  Now knowing that - having Brenda go on TV full face and saying she's "working with the Chicago police' made no impact at all.

Now I have kept tabs on those "real" survivors who have been talked into doing these "documentaries".  It has almost universally come out that they were being exploited.  Just like Linda was being exploited.  Because you've got to really ask yourself something before you put your face on it today knowing that right now if you put your face out there - it's going to live on.

Here's what I want you to think about - traffickers today have access to facial recognition software. If you plan on doing any type of "undercover" work or outreach work - and you put your face out there on TV or the internet - forget about it. Once your face goes into their facial recognition software - you won't get past the front door of a trafficking operation.  So if you plan on doing any type of undercover work - you lose that the minute you put your face onto major media.

Now - do you want to work with survivors?  If you have a "known" face then they won't want to be seen in public with you.  They know your presence will alert others they might be a prostitute just by being seen with you. So you will actually scare survivors away from you who want to keep their anonymity and thus not be seen by you.

Ask yourself "who are these people?" trying to get you onto camera?  Did they help you to get out?  What do you know about them?  Because let me tell you something - our members are very "anonymous" but they're there.  I'm hearing from them they are being approached to sell all kinds of stuff.  One woman told me she was approached to sell make-up, self-defense equipment, training courses, clothing, journals, and the list went on of what they wanted her as a survivor to put her "name" and face on to help them sell their products.

Now here's one thing that really burns my butt - but I'm hearing from women who are being put into residential programs they're being pressured to do these fund raisers and interviews and be filmed full face. There is a subtle guilt trip like if they don't do this - then they could be kicked out.  They're told "if we don't raise the money then we're going to be shut down" and they're basically guilt tripped into doing it.  As survivors - we don't know how to say "no" to someone that something is not your problem.  That is not your problem they don't have money.  Maybe it's a sign they're doing something wrong LIKE ASKING YOU TO BE FILMED.

The really really frustrating one is the court programs.  There is a program in Vegas called WIN. They insist the women graduating have to be photographed full face taking their graduation award and then it prints their legal name.  Each and every woman has told me after that photo appears - they are fired and evicted.  Does the program care?  Hell no - they GRADUATED them.  They get to parade around this woman's photo as a "graduate" and do they care she just got fired and evicted?  Not their problem.

Now I jumped all over Marion Brooks the journalist for the NBC story and I reamed her ass about photographing those women in jail. Do you know what she told me?  "Well they gave permission".  Oh yeah right - they're in JAIL.  They were asked by the JAIL to be photographed now who is going to say "no"?  I'd like to know who in jail is going to say to the people who hold your fate in their hands "no"?

I told Marion that was an unfair question.  Of course they were going to say "yes".  You know why?  Division 17 that had hired Brenda to do that whole piece was going for a grant.  Only guess what?  The whole thing was staged.  I don't know if Marion cares or not.  But the whole thing was put together for her benefit so the people applying for the grant for Division 17 could look good and say they were running our 12 step meetings in the jail - only guess what?  That's not our meetings!  The whole thing was a sham.  It was a dog and pony show for the cameras which was to support them getting a grant.  The meeting that was filmed?  Was put together for the news.  The minute the cameras left - the whole thing was shut down.  Do these people think I don't hear from these women once they're released? I do.  I get a phone call once she's gotten out and I get an earful about how the whole thing was staged for the cameras.  Now could she be lying?  Sure.  So I check with the jails and sure enough - no more Prostitutes Anonymous meetings in the jail.  Do they have something else replacing it?  Nope.

So we're left with the fact that for these programs to get their grant money they're going to insist on survivors putting their faces onto camera.  Many of them can't say no or don't know how to say no.  That leaves us with the reporters.  We have got to start hounding the reporters this isn't cool.

THIS IS IMPORTANT.  They are going to keep doing it as long as people respond to it.  So to stop this practice we have to START OBJECTING.  When you see another survivor's face posted - whether you think it's real or not - you've got to start complaining to the reporter and publisher about this that it's not cool with you.  The ones being pressured into doing it - can't.  They need our help.

That's why yes when I heard about the latest production out of Exodus Cry and CNN - I wrote the reporter and told them to please take down the photo.  Now I don't know about you folks but I know what I looked like when I drug into recovery and I had calculated I had turned about 15,000 tricks.   I was sick.  I was white as a sheet.  People told me I looked like I was going to die.  My hair and teeth were falling out.  I had dark circles under my eyes.  I'm sorry but she just looks a hell of a lot healthier than anyone I've seen coming into recovery - myself included.

Now I don't know how many of you have done a rescue but the eyes on these women is that of a terrified rabbit.  You so much as make a loud noise and they will freak out.  I just don't see that look. I've done rescues for 30 years now plus and I know what the terror looks like in the eyes that sometimes takes years to go away.

Survivors - you are being targeted by a different kind of "pimp".  This pimp exploits survivors.  With millions of dollars coming in to trafficking programs they are getting DESPERATE.  I already have had them sweep into our program and make generous offers to women like Brenda to corrupt them.

She took their money and made their documentaries and got paid.  And that 14 year old girl that was trafficked by those cops in Chicago might have been able to get help sooner if she hadn't been distracted by those cops.  I've spoken to the women who were used in those news interviews where she pretended to have a program and they still think it was Prostitutes Anonymous that did that to them. I'm STILL trying to convince them that we had been trying to stop her and had nothing to do with it.

You're going to be the one who has to live with your decisions.  I have talked to many a survivor who has been talked into doing one of these films or interviews by someone - and they report back they were forced, duped, or even relapsed behind it.  One woman reported a charity used her for one interview after the other and when she told them she needed rest for her bipolar  disorder they kept pushing her until she relapsed.  Then they turned on her and threw her out into the street.  Same as Linda  - used up and then when you really need help from these people they are gone.

Ruth Jacobs has since come back to me saying that Rachel Moran had sided her to her and "made friends" and then pulled on her to launch a smear campaign against our program.  She says she did it because she thought "they were friends".  Friends don't have you turn on survivors.   When she started having second thoughts about what they were doing - she says Rachel dropped her like a hot potato.  She made an amends to us and I thank her for that. But the damage was done.  People trusted her word and those people got hurt.  Now they don't even know who to trust.

I don't tell people not to belong to other groups.  I just tell them to please remain "anonymous" and not mention they belong to our program.  But when someone is trying to cut you off from another survivor - danger danger danger.

Think back - what do predators do?  They cut you off from your support network that has your back don't they?  Just think - any predator molester pimp abuser - they cut you off from people.  They try and control you and tell you who to talk to, who to be friends with, who to hang out with who is "acceptable".

That's your sign if you're not sure about media.  If you're still not sure - pray on it.