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Sunday, September 25, 2016

I'd like to attend a meeting please

Attending Meetings

Let's go back to the very beginning for a moment shall we? Because just about anyone in today's world has a preconceived image in their mind about Alcoholics Anonymous – the parent of 12 step programs. In other words, they immediately compare us with their image of what AA is now.

However, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935 in the USA. Contrast this with the fact Prohibition was repealed in 1933. So for two years, alcohol was a legally purchased and consumed product in much of the United States. Of course there were some local municipalities who wanted to keep Sunday a “dry” day, as well as others who wanted to shut the bars down from serving alcohol after certain hours. If a store wanted to sell alcohol – they had to obtain special licensing, just as restaurants did who also wanted to serve alcohol to the public. Every state also adopted a minimum drinking age. But overall alcohol was no longer considered “illegal” two years before AA was created.

Even so, the reason the program adopted a policy of “anonymity” especially at the level of “press, radio and films” was because the world at large did not consider them as having a “disease” yet. If you look back at popular media back before 1933, you'll see horrific images not only demonizing someone with this disease, but also media making this an almost exclusively “male vs. female” problem. Many comedians even used to create characters poking fun at alcoholics such as W.C. Field's film persona represented.

There were countless stories in churches across this country about men who were drinking up their paychecks on a Friday evening, then coming home to beat up and abuse their helpless wife and kids, who now couldn't pay the rent or buy food because all the money was gone. Politicians used to base their whole platform of Prohibition. Churches everywhere were blaming the “devil” for this. Alcoholics were painted therefore as “demonically possessed”, or in the least as “having no will power” to “stick to the pledges” or “stay on the wagon”. In other words, it wasn't something people could just “own up to” without risking family shunning them, being fired, even being denied housing.

Alcoholics Anonymous was also started by Bill Wilson in Akron, Ohio. For years, AA was developed by people either making a pilgrimage to Ohio to work their steps with Bill in the basement, or by those taking the “Big Book” and working the program as best as they could on their own where they were anywhere in the world. Many went off to WWI with only a “Big Book” in their kit bag. Not easy to stay sober in some towns which lacked refrigeration, proper water sanitation, and where even children were served alcohol with their meals.

When Narcotics Anonymous was created in 1956, addicts used to be arrested when attending meetings because it was illegal for felons on parole to congregate with each other. Stories abounded about addicts coming out of meetings to get carted off to prison on a probation violation. For this reason, NA tried having “rabbit meetings” where you'd call in to a phone number to find out where the meeting was held on that night in that town. No wonder why the man I called my “grandsponsor” for many years had a chapter in the “Basic Text” entitled “I Found The Only Meeting in the World”.

Which was the case for the longest time in NA. Before the Basic Text was published, there was only 150 meetings in the whole world. In one year after this book was published, they had over 1500 meetings. But for NA to grow into the program it is today, laws had to be passed to make that happen. Not just to meet freely either. Greg P. told me a story once of how it used to be against the law for them to even advertise their program's hotline in the phone book. They had to literally file a lawsuit from what he told me just to simply post their phone number in the information directory.

So I want you to understand that whatever you think of a 12 step program in today's terms, please understand every group has gone through a growth process. That said, we were first launched in 1987. By that I mean designed as a 12 step fellowship, not as just one meeting in Los Angeles. If you don't know what I mean by that, then you have to understand the difference between a “program” and a “meeting” of that program.
When I was first getting out of the sex industry myself, I turned to my uncle. My uncle belonged to a group founded by a man named Clancy. Clancy created “Pacific Group” in Los Angeles, California. This group held an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting every night of the week. Each member of this home group was required to attend a mandatory Wednesday night meeting in Santa Monica.

On Thursday nights, we were to attend a meeting where the focus was our finances, and working on making our “amends”. Sundays were reserved for a volleyball BBQ at Clancy's house which was “mandatory”. There was a jar on each picnic table where you'd put a quarter for each time used a swear word. I lost a lot of money on those Sundays to those jars!

Women had to wear dresses, heels and hose to meetings. Men were to be clean shaven. Clancy also had a job working at the skid row mission. So Pacific Group was a place where one could meet a Hollywood celebrity, a homeless wino, and all inbetween at any given meeting.

One night, my uncle was taking a cake for five years sobriety. I came to the meeting from work wearing pants because I had to work late that day. He had asked me to present his cake so I raced through traffic to be there on time for the meeting – not caring at all what I was wearing for clothing to celebrate such an honor with him. A group of women rushed me to the back of the room and informed me I would not be “allowed” to present him a cake until I had changed clothes.

The next thing I know I'm being rushed into the bathroom where I'm given a five minute “make-over” complete with being handed a dress they wanted me to put on so I'd be “presentable” enough to give my own uncle his cake and medallion. These women wouldn't even let me leave the bathroom until I had on hose, heels, and full make-up even.

I left that meeting with an overwhelming urge to go out and “turn a trick”. I'd gained enough recovery by that point in time to sit down and ask myself “why am I feeling this way?” I realized that all of the Pacific Group's emphasis on my appearance was triggering into my prostitution issues. My feelings I wasn't “good enough” unless I was wearing expensive clothing, driving a late model car, and walking around with a huge wad of cash in my designer purse. Not to mention the sense of “power” being in sex work gave me of never having to worry about being “broke” again. We all know that the demand for our services is an ever constant flow. We stand on a corner or call up a regular and “bam” - we got money. To people out looking for “jobs” - this is a tremendous feeling of security for us.

I became angry. So angry I decided to go complain to Clancy directly. I went and made an appointment to come spend the day with him down at the skid row mission and talk over my feelings Pacific Group was making it impossible for women like myself to get, and stay out, as well as clean and sober. To say he was gruff with me was an understatement. Clancy bragged to me Pacific Group regularly donated the largest amount of money to the AA General Office every year, and that they had the highest rate of sobriety in the country and how “dare” I challenge what he was doing as “wrong”.

I explained I wasn't saying he was “wrong” for the “alcoholic” there at the skid row mission clearly. He showed me by taking me on a tour of the facility these were people who needed to learn things such as personal hygiene, dressing properly, being clean-shaven, how to work a job, handle finances, and all of the skills I was seeing being taught through Pacific Group. The celebrities attracted into the group were clearly providing the resources needed such as the jobs, housing, and the opportunities for the lowest members of the group who had hit the hardest “bottoms” to work their way back up.

At this point, Clancy said to me “maybe you need to start your own group” where we would invite only those seeking to leave sex work. Of course pointing out how easy it is to criticize another person than it is to create something yourself. I got his point and reached out to contact the AA General Office in New York to do this.

They sent me a “new meeting kit” along with a listing of their meetings worldwide. What I found was shocking because I couldn't find the Pacific Group even listed in their World Meeting Directory. This didn't make sense. How could their largest, most successful, and even most prosperous group, not be listed in their directory?

I then called the AA General Office to ask if I had somehow gotten a misprinted directory. I was informed flatly “Pacific Group is not a recognized meeting of AA and therefore that's why they're not listed in our World Meeting Directory”. I was speechless. What were they saying? Was this some kind of “scam” meeting? I was walking into the Wednesday night meeting with so many people at this meeting they had to meet in the school cafeteria in order to hold all the coffee pots they had going. There was easily 500 people at any time in these meetings.

The AA General Office informed me that an AA meeting is one where there is only “one requirement for membership” which is a “desire to stay sober”. They told me that since Pacific Group did put so many restrictions, conditions, and even a dress code on those attending, that this was not an “official” AA meeting. I still was having trouble wrapping my head around what they were saying. Especially since this group was clearly pulling in a lot of cash just in the basket on anniversary's. They had a “tradition” if someone was celebrating say five years of sobriety, you were to contribute five dollars into the basket to show your appreciation to the program for that sobriety. To not do so was considered “ungrateful” by the group at large. I was seeing Treasury Reports coming out of these groups in the five digits. Clearly they were making money.

It was then the AA General Office told me “each group is autonomous” and they can basically do whatever they want as long as they honor certain legal guidelines. Meaning they have a current version of the Big Book for sale on the table, along with currently approved literature also. That any surplus donations above and beyond their “reasonable reserve” was sent on to the General Office to pay for their operating expenses.

But that said, if AA felt this group was “affecting AA as a whole” or not complying with their traditions, or service structure, they also had the right also to not “recognize” that meeting as one of their “official” meetings carrying their message. I asked them pretty flat out then “well why don't you get a lawyer and shut them down them if you don't approve of how they're representing AA to be?”

At that point I was informed AA did not believe in “entering into public controversy” and further to sue Clancy would possibly risk the “anonymity” of “real” members of AA through the courts, especially since some of the “trusted servants” working there were also members of AA entitled to “anonymity”. I also got a lecture in how they are but “trusted servants” and they “do not govern” and thus they didn't feel it was their job to “go around stomping out rogue meetings”.

So I clarified with them this – that any meeting which was not listed in their official “World Meeting Directory” was not therefore an “officially recognized meeting of AA”. Considering the number of celebrities, media, attorney's and politicians I saw attending these “Pacific Group” meetings, I could understand why they might not want to tangle with them legally. I also understand that if I wanted a “true official AA meeting” then I needed to only attend meetings listed in their World Meeting Directory.

I was so confused frankly by this conversation, I decided maybe I needed to just go start an NA meeting subgroup for us, not an AA group. Maybe things would be “simpler” in NA so I reached out to their main office for a starter kit. They were located right in Van Nuys where I was living then so they were even closer for me to reach out than Pacific Group. When I said why I was calling, I got transferred to Bob Stone. Bob Stone was the Executive Director of the Narcotics Anonymous “World Service Office”.

Bob then clarified to me they were the “World Service Office” NOT the “Narcotics Anonymous World Service Office” when we first spoke. I asked him to please explain why this corporate office perceived by the world to be the center of power for NA was not called by their name Narcotics Anonymous. In the phone directory they were listed only as “World Service Office” back in 1987. I did not understand the distinctions.

I really got a shock when I learned Bob Stone was NOT even an “addict in recovery” but a “normie”. At that point I said I needed time to understand this more and could I set up a time to come in and talk to him more about this whole thing. I mean how could a non-addict be running Narcotics Anonymous?

When I showed up to meet Bob, he first took me on a tour of the office. We started in the warehouse filled with literature, books, and key tags. He then explained the “World Service Office” was nothing more than a “subcommittee directly responsible to those they serve” to fill literature, book and product orders.

I was like “What are you saying?” Bob then explained the “World Service Office” was nothing more than an office designed only, and solely, to fill literature orders for the fellowship of NA, who “may”, or “may not” hire members of that fellowship as a “special worker”. That as a “special worker” in the position of Executive Director – the NA fellowship had agreed to hire a non-addict to run the office because of his experience running a nonprofit before he took this job elsewhere.

I again repeated “You mean they hired a non-addict to run the fellowship?” He said “Look Jimmy was your founder of the program. However, Jimmy didn't know how to run the office. Jimmy wasn't taken out of position as founder, but he was removed as Executive Director of the office. He knew how to work with addicts to get them clean but he did not know how to run a corporation with a $15 million dollar budget. I was hired to take over that job.

So you're confused. The office is NOT the fellowship. That's where you're not being clear. If you look at our service manual every addict is responsible for the direction of this program. Their voices are carried into the World Service Convention every year by group conscience through their home group - who then hands us over the money and the power to carry out their wishes for them.

But that said, we still have to operate within the law. We need business licenses, leases, property needs to be owned, deeds have to be registered, and taxes need to be paid. Things have to be done which can't be done by an “anonymous” member in order to conduct the business of NA. That's where I come in.” By this point, I was so confused I thought I was going to faint. I must have looked like it because Bob invited me to come back into his office and sit down to continue talking more.

So I walked past the receptionist, past all the offices where the NA newsletter was written, and into Bob Stone's office. Bob then handed me a stapler. “Okay what do you want me to do with this?” I asked him. “Do you know who owns that stapler?” I responded “Well Narcotics Anonymous does don't they?” This is when Bob countered “That's where you're wrong. NA doesn't “own” anything. We do however own that stapler. That belongs to the World Service Office of which I'm the Executive Director meaning I can do with that stapler whatever I want WITHOUT asking the fellowship what they think of it.”

Then he walked over to a filing cabinet and pulled out a stack of copyright papers, business licenses, utility bills, even a copy of the income tax return for the “World Service Office” sans the Narcotics Anonymous name. He then showed me things like how the power bill for the office was in the name of the “World Service Office” NOT Narcotics Anonymous or individual members listed off in roll call.

“Now your Traditions state that NA can not accept 'outside donations' right?” he asked me. I nodded affirmatively. “Okay then how do you sell your Basic Text in the local book store or treatment center? Does someone stand there and ask every single customer before they pay 'are you a member of NA?” I nodded negatively this time. “Of course not. To 'carry your message' as far as AA does, or any message for that matter, you've got to be able to sell your book anywhere a book sells. This means that money has to come into this office that's outside the parameters of the 12 step fellowship. We are nothing more than a corporate entity created in order to conduct business and comply with the law in such a way as to also protect the individual members' “anonymity” also” he went on.

Then he handed me a service guide to the fellowship. It seems the seat of power in Narcotics Anonymous is with the individual addict. That each addict is to pick a “home group” where they go to register their votes on group conscience matters affecting not just their group, but other groups, and NA as a whole. Money is taken at each meeting as donations, along with the sales of literature. This money, and the group conscience, is then taken to the next level up of the service structure by the group service representative.

This GSR then attends either an area, a regional, or even a state meeting once a month in order to buy more literature, books and chips, turn in any surplus money after the rent is paid, coffee is bought, and the literature is paid for. At this meeting, the GSR also brings with them any concerns or wishes brought by the group, or the area, or region, they represent, as well as reports on how each group is doing, news of any new meetings, and a treasury report.

Then the higher levels of service from each state, or large region, attends the yearly World Service Convention. At this WSC, the money collected is then turned over to the “World Service Office” along with any instructions on how to spend that money, the yearly budget is approved, and group conscience votes are turned in, as well as requests are made for the fellowship at large to also consider. So basically the true seat of power is with the individual addict whose voice is carried all the way up to the world level at this convention, and then handed to the office Bob runs to carry out their wishes.

This was how Bob went about explaining the copyrights NA currently held for the Basic Text. He showed me pamphlets Jimmy Kinnon, or even Greg P., had written when NA was first created. These copyrights were held by a company called Carina. Bob explained this was Jimmy's copyright. But then he asked me to look carefully at the wording of the copyrights on one of these pamphlets vs. the copyright for the “Basic Text”. The wording on the Basic Text said clearly “to be held in a fiduciary duty for the fellowship”. I asked him what this meant. He then explained this meant the book could not be rewritten, or altered, in any way without the fellowship at large agreeing it it through the service structure he showed me which had been originally called “The Tree”.

Then he showed me the yearly operating budget for the office. This includes things like salaries, the utility bills, cleaning bills, printing costs, the basic things one needs to operate a business. Bob explained “Each year this budget is approved by the fellowship at large. The money they give us is then transferred into our account so that we can pay out these expenses without also risking any liability or exposure of any individual members so as to protect their anonymity also.”

“What do you think would happen if someone was injured in this office or while attending the World Service Convention? Who do you think they would sue? Would they sue Narcotics Anonymous? How could they sue NA without this then meaning every single member of NA would have to be named as a defendant? This is why we even have a separate corporation we form for the World Service Convention just to protect the fellowship from any potential liability or exposure of the names of any individual members” he explained further.

I was still very unclear. I was attending meetings where I doubted they had any of this legal infrastructure. Most meetings I attended didn't even have half of their service positions filled, and it was a challenge just to get coffee made in time for the meeting. This is where Bob explained in more detail “no the NA groups 'ought never be organized but should remain forever nonprofessional” but if a group decided they want to hold a fund raiser or a convention, then they would file papers to create a special corporation in order to conduct business, and reduce liability for members, but that this was what they were talking about when they said “service boards or committee's formed directly responsible to those they served”. Like janitors for the World Service Office.

Bob asked me “Do you think it's feasible for me to hire carpet cleaners, truck drivers, receptionists, secretaries, etc. who are all addicts? What about attorney's to give us legal advice? Are we limited to only hiring addicts to provide us with expert legal advice or accountants to do our tax returns and bookkeeping?”

This was how he explained to me NA also had two boards – the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors. The BOT was truly elder members of NA who were there to advise on matters from a fellowship and addict perspective. However, those on the Board of Directors were advisers who were experts in their field such as the doctors, attorney's, and accountants they had on the BOD. That between them the larger decisions were made with the BOT having the final say in a tie.

He could see I had absolutely no idea how a 12 step program was structured as far as the “real world” was concerned during this meeting. I was completely out of my depth. This is when he offered to take me under his wing as a mentor and “show me how it's all done”. This way I would have a clear understanding of what the differences were between a meeting, a group, the fellowship itself, and the corporate legal entities created to carry out the business of the fellowship or group.

Which led to a long friendship between Bob Stone and myself for a few years until we parted ways over philosophical differences in the way I disagreed with how he was leading the program once I did fully understand what was going on. *

Now why am I talking about all of this when all you want to know is “How do I find a meeting of Sex Workers Anonymous to attend?” Let me first preface this by saying our members consist of anyone working in any part of the sex industry. This includes strippers, and porn performers but also prostitutes, pimps and madams.

However, working as a prostitute, pimp or madam isn't exactly legal everywhere in the world. For that matter, there are places which employ strippers who don't exactly comply with all the local laws, as well as porn shoots that aren't exactly “legal” either such as seen in “snuff film” productions considered a part of the porn industry or simply some films produced in cities where it's not legal to shoot porn or distribute it. Out of those who may be working in perfectly legal jobs in the sex industry, many of those might be engaged in other illegal activities such as drug sales, child pornography, gun dealing, etc.

In other words, many of our members are engaged in activities which may be less than legal. Some of them might even be under investigation with every move they're making being monitored by a police or federal agency. In the United States, after the passing of the Patriot Act, it became a “conspiracy” to actually have two “criminals” meet to discuss that “crime”.

Technically, it means if someone in law enforcement wanted to – they could come in and raid a meeting by saying the members were there as part of the operation of a “conspiracy”. This is why we say in our meeting formats “we don't care what you did, how much you made, or who you ran with”. Also, I'd like to know how we're supposed to “guarantee” complete and utter “anonymity” to our members when someone attending a regularly scheduled meeting like AA and NA currently hold might be either under investigation, or even an undercover police officer, or worse an “informant”.

I bring this up because I started seeing “faux” groups being set up inviting members of the sex industry to attend to come get support to exit their profession. Some called themselves “trafficking groups”. Others represented themselves to be “sex worker advocacy groups”. They were quite hostile to us when I made contact which didn't make sense at first.

When I pressed further, I was told “off the record” by organizers of these events they were being set up to gather information in a public place where the laws allowed them to not only record the participants, but further use this information in a court of law against them, and that's why they didn't want our involvement in any way with those attending their groups. Modern technology now means anyone can smuggle in a recording device to a meeting, even past a metal detector. I mean what are we going to do? Strip and body cavity search every person wanting to attend a meeting to make sure they're not wired with a recording device? How can we as a fellowship truly offer now absolute and complete “anonymity” and “confidentiality” in today's world like we used to back in the 1980's? Or how can AA or NA even for that matter to be perfectly honest. There has been more than one lawsuit for violating just that already served upon AA in fact in recent years.

Understand it like this. There is such a thing as a “meeting”. This is defined as a regularly scheduled meeting in the same location each week, or even month, where those wanting to be a part of this program come together for the purposes of “carrying the message to those who still suffer”. There are laws grandfathered in by Alcoholics Anonymous which guarantee anything said at this meeting is considered as “confidential” as anything said to a doctor, lawyer or priest.

Anyone can attend this meeting that is allowed to do so by the decision of the group's trusted servants. Meaning they can decide if only “members” can attend, or outsiders such as family members and friends can attend also. The difference between this is called an “open” or “closed” meeting. The servants to this meeting also decide upon the location of the meeting, as well as what security measures, if any, they want to take with respect to those attending. Therefore, each meeting will be different depending upon who is organizing the meeting. Meetings can call themselves anything they want like the “Meditation Meeting of Sex Workers Anonymous”. It's their choice.

In order to attend this meeting, one needs to call our “World Service Office” in order to be directed to the closest meeting to their geographic location, or to an online/phone or mail meeting. No “official” meeting of SWA is allowed to share their contact information or location publicly at this time. All calls need to come through the WSO first for screening. The phone at the WSO doubles as both their office phone and the hotline for the fellowship at this time to conserve money and also to ensure the phone is answered by another member in recovery at all times who is not paid for that work on the hotline. The current contact information for the WSO is listed in this book and can be found at www.sexworkersanonymous.com

To start a meeting, one needs to order a “starter kit” from the WSO, where they will be supplied with basic supplies along with a copy of our “service structure” to explain how to get these meetings started, how to operate them, and forms to use in order to conduct the meeting and send in monthly reports required to be sent to the WSO. The use of our current name “Sex Workers Anonymous” as well as our past name of “Prostitutes Anonymous”, and any version close to this like “Prostitution Anonymous”, are protected by copyright, trademark, common law trademarking, and all intellectual property to this program all belong to the founder personally, and individually, who is J. Williams. This is to ensure there isn't another repeat of what happened to the NA Basic Text in what's been known as the “controversy over the Baby Blue”. * It's also to prevent “faux” meetings of our program.

Therefore, any meeting using the name of, literature, products, or any intellectual property, of this program is legally the property of J. Williams, who shares the permission to adapt the 12 Steps and Traditions with Alcoholics Anonymous, who has granted her their consent to use their property under certain conditions and restrictions she has agreed to and honors. While J. Williams is the sole holder of the rights to all property and literature created by her at the time of this writing, the original 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, are only granted for our use by Alcoholics Anonymous' General Office in NY. They granted us consent to use their concepts for Prostitutes Anonymous in 1987, and again for Sex Workers Anonymous in 1995 when our name was changed.

Think back to what AA was like in 1937. It wasn't the program it is today, nor were there meetings on practically every corner of the world like today either. They didn't become what they are today alone either. They are supported by many other “connected” groups. One of the first women to get sober in AA, Marty Mann, rose up in her sobriety and founded the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism which is better known today as the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

Note that while alcoholism has been proven by medical science to in fact be a “disease”, the concept of “addiction” as a separate disease has not. Hence one of the reasons why the wording here is “drug dependence” and not “the disease of addiction” nor is it written as the “disease of addiction of which alcohol is a drug”. But clearly Marty felt the need for “something more” than just AA in the world to do this. This program was designed to support not only alcoholics, but alcoholics who had a “drug dependence”. It's well noted in history AA has not been very “welcoming” of “addicts” in their program. Many early groups in fact used to confine them to a separate room where the “animals” could listen in on their meetings.

There are also Alano Clubs scattered throughout the USA. If you look at their incorporation papers and by-laws, you'll read that their primary purpose is to foster the development of groups and meetings in AA – of which there is a difference. This allows them to take “outside donations” to do things like buy the property and land as well as fixtures for the Alano Club to provide a stable place to foster holding meetings. Our program has no other programs, or “clubs”, offering our members such support as AA offers the alcoholic at this time either.

A meeting again is just a “regularly scheduled meeting”. However, a “group” is a group of members who have “time”, who can set up any number of meetings anywhere they want. Again, “each group is autonomous except in matters affecting other groups, or (blank) as a whole”. So a group may set up meetings all over one city, or they might decide to set up meetings all over the world. They're only limited by their own ideas, resources, group conscience, and of course our service structure and the laws of the land. But yes two members of SWA can form a “group” which then sets about creating a meeting, or meetings, anywhere, and any way, they like, again as long as they abide by our basic service structure and the laws of the land. While meetings have to be registered with the WSO, groups do not register themselves.

Now when you saw you want to “attend a meeting” what you're really saying is you'd like to “start working a program”. In groups like AA or NA, to start “working a program”, you're directed to a local meeting. Once you arrive at a meeting, you're then provided their literature for sale, you meet other members, and you get the program explained to you there. That's the way it works in other programs however. Not ours. Our program has undergone a dramatic shift which started in 1996, and became an outright attack upon us starting in 2007. It's a long story, but let's just say there are very well funded, very large, and powerful, groups of people right now in the USA who do not want our program to continue in it's present form. To try and shut us down, or get us to conform to their ideas of what we should be about, they're made numerous threats upon the founder, and anyone starting a meeting of SWA in the USA. This has caused us to dramatically restructure our program, as well as our procedures for starting new meetings, as well as our outreach methods.

We can not conduct “outreach” in the way we used to pre-1996 when TV, radio and press no longer offer free public service announcements as they once had offered us. Nor can we organize groups when we have faith based charities trying to identify our new members like poachers in a jungle so they can parade them around their “fund raisers for trafficking victims”? Which most of the time make no distinction between a “prostitute” and a “trafficking victim” when warranted. I say that because sometimes a distinction exists, and sometimes not. However, trafficking groups don't believe there is such a distinction and how are we supposed to compete with wealthy socialites, politicians and churches offering free room, board, and press, while all we're offering is a 12 step program and talking about things like the 7th Tradition of being “self-supporting”?

Many of our outreach teams have been stalked by traffickers. Some threatened by lawyers with restraining orders. Others with police threatening to file for “trespassing” and even dragging outreach members off on 5150 charges. These 5150 charges have extended beyond outreach, to even be given to our program's members trying to make contact with public officials in order to simply discuss with them how they can work with those “still suffering”? Therefore, we can't even guarantee the safety, confidentiality and anonymity of even our group members trying to get a meeting off the ground in the USA at this point in time. Our hotline which covers both England and Ireland since we launched in 1987 – we now have other groups, and the press, acting like we don't even exist. Without acknowledgment, there's certainly not cooperation. Cooperation without which groups like AA and NA depend upon for their existence.

Meaning if you call our hotline, or WSO, and ask to be connected to a “local meeting' you will be referred to a local meeting after you've been screened to ensure you're not a reporter, not an undercover police officer, an informant, a pimp, a trafficker, or anything else other than simply someone seeking recovery personally. This is to protect the other members, the groups, and also yourself.

However, this does not mean you can't “work a program”. We have Step Working Guides, the “Recovery Guide” which is our “Big Book”, and we have phone numbers of members with recovery willing to work with you. If you speak to the operator answering the phone, you'll be paired off with a “sponsor” or someone who can walk you through the 12 step process like a guide, at no charge or obligation.

If you are in a facility such as a jail, prison, treatment center, detox, or mental health hospital, special “presentation” meetings can be arranged, as well as individuals can also be sent a “mail order step study” program to work while they're kept out of open society. There are ways “study groups” can connect within facilities to work on their recovery, and their steps, and you can find out all about that by talking to whoever answers the phone or email at the WSO. While there is no charge to help you on your path to recovery, there are charges for the products we sell. If you can't afford them, just ask. We usually have a way we can provide you with free materials thanks to modern technology.

One last thing, please keep in mind whoever answers our hotline, or the office phone, which is usually the same line and person currently, they are NOT the “whole membership”. At this time, we have a database of over 190,000 individual “members” worldwide. Within this range of members, we try and connect up new members with “sponsors” or where we do have local meetings in a way where we feel we're protecting our members from the police, press and pimps or the “three P's” as well call them around the office. There is no such thing as a meeting of any other fellowship where you're going to “get along” or even “like” every other person at that meeting. However, this doesn't prevent them from “working a program”. Meaning your feelings about the hotline volunteer have NOTHING to do with you starting work on your Steps, getting a sponsor, and either getting to, or even forming, a meeting. They're just a trusted servant and can be replaced any time one is found willing to do the job. Something you're able to offer to do yourself once you get some “time” together in SWA.

Hopefully, this answers your questions about “finding a meeting”. If not, then please feel free to reach out for more help to our main office or international hotline.




  • In the 1990's, the power structure in Narcotics Anonymous dramatically changed. The service guide “The Tree” where the seat of power resided in each individual member of NA, and their voice was carried in a “group conscience” up to the WSC to carry out their directives each year, was changed dramatically. NA adopted the service structure of AA which included “The Concepts”. This transferred power from the individual member to that of “trusted representatives” who instead became the voting members of NA instead of servants carrying the vote of each member as a form of service. This is a very simplified explanation from my view only, but it changed the seat of power dramatically within their program to that of being more like AA (instead of the “opposite” Jimmy Kinnon, their founder, along with early founding members, were spiritually inspired to create). Further, the Basic Text was altered from the “group conscience version” on the way to the printer. Words were changed in the 7th and 9th Traditions so new members did not learn the “world service office” was not NA itself, and anything but a trusted printing distribution outlet essentially meant to only operate at the directive of the fellowship at large. The office refused to repair the book to the “approved” version of the fellowship and a lawsuit erupted. The defendant, Dave Moorhead, died before the lawsuit could be completed. At the time of his death, the World Service Office was in contempt of the judge's order to repair the book back to the “group conscience version” originally authorized for printing. A new version of the Basic Text was written, then copyrights transferred to the fellowship, no longer being held in a “fiduciary duty” to individual members collectively. A series of motions were approved which altered the name of the “world service office” to now be the “Narcotics Anonymous World Service Office” which technically then transferred copyrights, trademarks, and also the money and power, then to the office away from the fellowship. The fellowship was TOLD this was to “save money” without the caveat we hear in the program “if the money isn't there then God's will isn't either”. Bob Stone, along with other men such as Chuck Skinner, confessed to starting what is essentially the “abduction of NA” away from the members in his book “My Life by Bob Stone” available at www.nawol.org We however at this time in SWA are instead operating by a version of “The Tree” adapted to our needs as we're still small in number.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

HELP AFTER SEX WORK

I got a call today on the hotline from someone saying "I don't ever think of going back to sex work BUT I am having these issues no one seems to understand or know what to do about. . . "  

I told her we are "not like Alcoholics Anonymous.  Their program is for someone with a DISEASE.  Prostitution, sex work, etc., is NOT a "disease".  Therefore, many of our members have no desire to return to the old ways.  

However, we are more like "Artists Anonymous" or "Divorce Anonymous", in that we do share a common desire to not only leave, and not return to sex work, but further we share a desire to find "recovery".  

Just as an alcoholic can be a "dry drunk" without recovery - we too can suffer from "whore mentality".  Meaning we need to go through a spiritual transformation.  As an example of this type of thing - look at all these so called "ministries" where ex-strippers, ex-hookers, etc., set up ministries where they're not only going into strip clubs and brothels directly doing outreach (AA does NOT go into bars and pull drunks off stools into their meetings), but they further conduct their "outreach" as a social club.  They don't put any restrictions on the people they're reaching out to to exit the industry.  In fact, they hang out routinely with these women who are actively working.  

They EVEN do things like bail them out of jail, pay for their dental work, baby sit their kids, throw BBQ's for them, and all sorts of other things to show "Christ's love" for them.  Only without asking them to exit the industry.  Now from my perspective, if you're going into bars and pulling drunks off stools, inviting them into your home without requiring them to stop drinking (i.e., meaning they're drunk), then paying their bail, their medical bills, and helping you to avoid the negative consequences of sex work - then I ask you "WHY  would they quit?"  

If you take an alcoholic who just had a DUI and you pay for his bail, get him an attorney, go to court with him, etc., and then you don't require them to stop drinking in order to provide help - then not only are you removing the incentive for them to exit sex work, but you are essentially now saying you're sober while hanging around a bunch of drunks and going in and out of bars.  

Especially when they take it to the next level of asking society to pay for them to set up a "recovery home" while going in and out of these strip clubs.  The damage done to someone requiring a recovery home means those who did the damage should be paying for it.  Not innocent society who has been paying the bill for us in our disease.  

Meaning make the strip club owners, the madams, the strippers, etc., pay for the safe house.  Just like actors and musicians set up retirement homes for when they know they might need one.  

But going into bars, brothels, massage parlors, strip clubs, etc., and "hanging out" to "show love", inviting them over socially, paying their bills, hanging out with them, getting them out of trouble with the law, all without requiring them to quit that lifestyle, and without forcing them to feel the consequences of our actions - then asking society to pay for the house for them to get residential help without asking the industry itself to set up this type of program - well that's not "recovery".  That's someone living the life of a sex worker!   

It's also "enabling" them to continue.  What stripper wouldn't love for you to come over and take care of their bills, fix their legal issues, hang out with them, etc., all without requiring them to make any lifestyle change IS  "enabling" them.   It's also the way someone who can't leave the lifestyle acts.

We also have what we've dubbed "post prostitution syndrome".  Now THAT is something we definitely have seen dramatic improvement over in members who come to our program.  You can hear more about that - 


So if you have the desire to not return and to "recover" - then you can call our hotline at (702) 488-1127.  www.sexworkersanonymous.com

Thursday, August 11, 2016

FACEBOOK

Why would Facebook be trying to disable Sex Workers Anonymous?

Last year, I was asked to provide my ID to them to keep our page open.  I did so and in two days our account was restored.

Over a month ago, when I had started talking about how Facebook helps people to find strip clubs, massage parlors, etc, in their area, including escort services, I found our account shut down again without warning.  I must have felt it coming because the week before I had pulled out all of our emails and contacts from my account and backed them up onto disk.  

Facebook had asked me for a copy of our ID.  I provided it to them.  However, it's now been a month and they STILL have not activated our account.  Our main account which also supports our local chapters also.

So why would Facebook want to shut down our account while that of strip clubs, escort services, porn performers, adult video producers, massage parlors, etc., are remaining up and fine?


Sunday, July 10, 2016

JOBS IN RECOVERY

We don't hire members no more than Alcoholics Anonymous hires their members.  Meaning they sometimes "hire special workers", but they don't "officially" run a job service so neither do we.  However, working a job, or starting one's own business, is part of recovery in our program so we do pass along tips as they come along.  We do not publish a list of companies we have a working relationship with who have agreed to hire workers who have a criminal record for prostitution, are on probation, or are leaving a pimp, for the obvious reasons.  We ask that if you need a referral to a job or ideas to start your own business that you call our hotline for proper screening and referral.  But we're seeing an increase in the number of people saying "there are no jobs out there" who are willing to hire survivors who DON'T call our hotline.  So we will list a company here or there to prove the point there are companies out there willing to work with getting someone in the door.

For example - truck driving jobs.  Schneider for example will work with training someone to be a driver in many ways where even if you're on SSI you can get through driving school and working https://schneiderjobs.com/company-drivers/truck-driving-career/pay-for-truck-driving-school

We know of one truck driving company in Indiana where they pay for your housing and schooling entirely, and then they hire you upon completion of their school.   Their advertising says their drivers make about $60,000 a year.  The drivers we know report making anywhere from $45,000 to $100,000 and up depending on if you own your own truck.

Most truck driving companies do not care about a prostitution record.  Like most companies they only really care if you have a fraud, drug, or violent crime on your record NOT a solicitation arrest.  I have yet to hear of a truck driving job being refused because of porn photos online either.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

HISTORY OF PROSTITUTES ANONYMOUS NOW SEX WORKERS ANONYMOUS

In 1984, there were no "safe houses" for adults to run to when trying to escape a pimp or trafficker.  If you tried to go to a domestic violence, or even homeless shelter, and they (the staff or clients) believed you were a "prostitute", then you'd be literally pushed out onto the street.  Even the county detox would refuse to admit us.  Once the ER refused to stitch up a woman who had been stabbed 51 times by the Hillside Stranger, as these two pimps who were cousins were called by the media before they were finally arrested, until I threatened to file a complaint with the AMA for allowing her to bleed to death because they were afraid to
"touch a prostitute".

Why?  Because of two main reasons - the first being the fear of HIV/AIDS was at a record high back in the early 1980's.   It got so bad by 1986, a law was considered which would have put us, along with anyone they felt was a "high risk" of being infected  such as an IV drug user, or a homosexual man, onto an island to "quarantine" them from "decent" society.  (It didn't pass.)  This meant everyone was terrified of catching HIV/AIDS from being within 10 feet of a prostitute.  

The second reason was because our society refused to believe sex trafficking in the USA was even real.  People used to laugh and say "white slavery" had died out.  Films even poked fun at the concept in the 1960's which you can see if you watch "Thoroughly Modern MIllie" with Julie Andrews.   The media at the time was bombarding us with "The Happy Hooker", Playboy's nightclub and mansion parties, and the "Best LIttle Whorehouse in Texas" selling out Broadway.  For the first time in our history, a third "archtype" was emerging in our culture.  We had the homemaker.  Then feminism brought us the career woman.  Women like Marilyn Chambers and Linda Lovelace brought us for the first time the idea a woman could make a career out of sexuality.    

While feminism's Achilles Heel was those women trying to be "Superwoman" trying to prove she could go out and get the bacon, then come home and "fry it up in a pan" perfectly while also being the perfect wife and mother which we learned was humanly impossible to "do it all" perfectly - so to was there the struggle for people to TRULY accept the concept of sex work BEING work.   Because we can't on one hand say it is truly "work" but then be in denial that if it is truly like any other type of "work" then trafficking, slave labor, and exploitation can exist within sex work no different than how it exists within the mining industries, farming, manufacturing, textiles, etc.  

All of this was embodied in Linda Lovelace.  This was a woman who did not have a "pimp" like the Bishop Don Juan stereotype.  She was married to Chuck Traynor, and starred in "Deep Throat".  This XXX film was the first one not to try and hide what it was from the film censors.  It unapologetically was an XXX file and also the first to be shown in a "regular" theater where mainstream America came to watch films.  No back alley super 8 behind a curtain in an adult theater for this film.   "Deep Throat" was the first XXX film where the "hip, slick and cool" went to see it just like any other Saturday date night out.  

But then Linda left Chuck and confessed to the world this "film" was in reality mob financed.  She had been forced to make the film against her will by her husband/pimp holding a gun to her head off-camera while no one on the set stopped him for fear of what would happen if prodution stopped.  To prove her claim she pointed out the bruises on her legs in the pool and tub scenes.   Being there were no laws at the time on the books against forcing someone to make an adult film by force - prosecutors charged everyone but Linda with "obscenity".  Which of course it wasn't "obscene" and thus the cases were basically laughed out of court.  

Rather than treat this as one would treat any other actress on any other film forced to perform under duress, threat and without pay and suggest some type of union or call for tougher laws governing how adult films were made to ensure future performers did not find themselves being forced to be filmed or perform while the rest of the et did nothing for fear they'd be harmed also (which is also often the case with domestic abuse/violence cases) - instead the Meese Commission arose turning this into a "moral" issue.  The Meese Report started pulling toether groups tyring to outlaw porn - which resulted in what always happens when you try and forbid something - which is the explosion of the adult industry.  

However, we STILL haven't addressed the issue of safety on an adult film LIKE we would if we treated it TRULY as any other job as evidenced by the recent accusations James Deen anally raped a woman during filming.  Worse than Linda's experience where no one stepped up to intervene - this female performer reports when blood started spewing everywhere from the forced pentration the whole set supposedly APPLAUDED James.   

To show further the true lack of treating the adult industry as just that - an "industry" - Stoya was told she HAD to co-present an award with James Deen after she reports he raped her also.  I know of no other industry where such a thing would be tolerated (except maybe the music industry where we're also hearing women are being forced to work in studios with me who they say have raped them also) - and this seems to be because society can't seem to truly make up it's mind whether sex work is truly "work" or not.   Nor are we able to sort out when exploitation, forced labor, trafficking, rape and abuse is something happening "on the job", in one's "personal life", or that there's even some kind of distinction.  

While our culture is trying to sort that out - without having sex work recognized completely as "work", then we're not taking the same steps and precautions as we  would  in any other industry.  This is why for example SAG has a separate health and safety manual and guidelines for "adult" films vs. those of mainstream Disney films.   When we saw how America refused to believe Linda's story about being forced into sex work - we also knew that no one was going to be stepping up soon with "safe houses" for us, let alone would the Dept. of Labor be setting up retirement plans, vocational rehabilitation for those of us who were becoming sick, or disabled.  We saw parallels between the way we were being treated by the courts IDENTICAL to how they used to treat the alcoholic during Prohibition - as a "criiminal" rather than some of thse drunks actually needing medical, mental health, and/or social services interventions.  

Taking a cue from how Bill Wilson with the founding of AA started changing the way the courts, and thus society, changed the way they viewed  people who drank.  Going at one time from the view that "anyone who drank the demon rum was a criminal" deserving to be locked up and viewed as a "moral degenerate".  To the view we have now where the courts go in on a case by case basis with an educated eye to sort out who is an alcoholic suffering from a disease requiring treatment who is not served, nor society served, by putting that person into jail vs. someone who truly did harm to society and needs to in fact be punished with jail.   

Thus the idea for a model for sex workers based upon that used for the addict/alcoholic was born.  Not saying that sex work is a "disease" BUT in fact treating sex work like one would treat alcohol or drugs.  Being that no - not EVERYONE who drinks or uses medication is suffering from a disease.  AA is the first to admit not all who drink have a disease.  But out of those who do, "one is too many and a 1,000 never enough".  If you watch the interviews on any of the "On the Point" series - you will hear women speaking about being "addicted".  Just as you'll hear some saying "I'm quitting this year" only to find them still "on  the corner" when revisited a year later.    That's NOT CHOICE. 

For sex work to BE WORK - then those within it have to (1) be there by choice,  (2) have the door open to leave when they want, and finally (3) be PAID for their work a fair wage.   Now without society recognizing many of us do not have these options, nor even the ability to get the same protections as any other woman by virtue (no pun intened) because we're not viewed as sex work being our "job" - but  in fact we are "prostitutes", i.e., "criminals" meaning we're not to be offered things like "safe houses" when being abused, exploited, beaten, raped, etc., and with none of these options being created by society for "us" - then it falls upon us to create this for us.  

Now in 1984, there was ONE safe house in the whole country for teenagers who had been involved in prostitution in the whole country then - www.childrenofthenight.org.  But if you were over 18 - you were screwed.  If you tried calling the police and didn't get one who was involved in trafficking or Iran Contra themselves - they would laugh at your danger and hang up the phone. 

If you'd like an idea how the police treated us when in mortal danger by a predator catch the film "Frozen Ground" with Nicholas Cage.  An EXCELLENT portrayal of how the police viewed us at the time.  In this film, based on a true story, the prostitute went to the police and described how the man had chained her up in hs mouth, then put her into a plane to take her to country ground so he could "hunt her properly".  This woman managed to escape and police refused to search his house.  

We had the same thing happen with our friend stabbd 51 times - the police threw us out of the station saying "We can't get a warrant based on the word of a whore" when she went to tell them who stabbed her.  She gave them the exact name and address of the men who were later caught as the Hillside Strangler.   When I asked why they wouldn't get a warrant to go check out the auto body shop while the blood might still be fresh -  the officer explained that because prostitution was/is illegal in all but a few tiny towns in Nevada - the law views us as "criminals".  No different than if an addict or bank robber came forward - their testimony would be considered "worthless" in a courtroom.
Since there was  no "safe houses" for one of us to run to if being abused by anyone for any reason - irregardless of who was doing it.  I was "retiring" and took an old warehouse I had used as a brothel and converted it into  "safe house".  The first in the country it turned out for adults.  I took in a woman whose pimp had beat her, broke her arm and nose, as well as blacked two eyes.  The pimp got angry and reported to the police I was "running a brothel".  I wasn't and the charges were later dropped after everything I owned had been confiscated and I spent over $250,000 on my legal defense.  The police had a hard time believing it was a "safe house" because again remember no one believed back then such things existed.    

You can see the clips about how I was arrested for this "safe house" at www.hightechmadam.com  Because the police couldn't believe this was a "safe house"  - it took me a while to get the legal issues about my arrest sorted out.  They had no "evidence" I was "running a brothel" BECAUSE IT WAS  A SAFE HOUSE.   But since they refused to believe that - this whole thing had me put onto probation for two years.  My conviction was "fraud" because the court couldn't believe my story about it being a "safe house".  

After that  - I realized I needed to do "outpatient" work.  I also needed to raise "awareness" of what this was because if the police couldn't understand this woman with a cast on her arm, a brace on her nose and two black eyes was not prostituting at midnight when they came knocking on the warehouse door and she answered in her PJ's because she was SLEEPING, and also found she was on probation for prostitution - then we certainly weren't going to get other help needed.  

So I approached Edwin Meese,  Attorney General at the time, and asked him what else could be done to stop having us arested like criminals.  He suggested I could  offer "alternative sentencing" to those convicted of pimping (madaming) and prostitution, if we used a 12 step format like how Alcoholics Anonyoous was offering help to the alcoholic when brought into court.  That we could do this without having to find, hire, and pay for a PhD, a doctor, or other professional to come in and launch a national program any other way which would have been impossible back then anyway.  So the 12 step program, Prostitutes Anonymous, was launched in August of 1987.   This was something "we" could run for "us" and thus our 12 step program and hotline was born.

Our hotline has taken over 500,000 calls to date.   This is because we've been answering  our hotline longer then the Polaris "National Trafficking Hotline", and  also because we take calls from anyone wanting help to leave any part of the sex industry - not just calls from sex trafficking victims.  So we get calls from Playboy Bunnies who have gotten so old they've had to hng up their tails, as well as strippers whose knees have just given out and explaining a G-String to the grand kids is just awkward.  We also still offer alternative sentencing to jail/prison, as well as diversion classes.   

The National Trafficking Hotline was created to ONLY take calls from "trafficking victims" in 2002.  Thus starting the first "distinction" between offering services and aid ONLY to those who identify as "victims".  The Trafficking Hotline also partered those services for the first time ONLY through "trafficking task forces" led by law enforcement such as you see with the OC Human Trafficking Task led by local police, and through religous shelters such as the Salvation Army.   This was an entirely different approach than ours being we were offering help to ANYONE who for ANY REASON wanted help to EXIT and RECOVER, not just only to those identifying as "victims" of force by another human.  Also in that they were putting people who then contacte their task forces into these shelters who most of the time had them doing things like we see in Atlanta.   There the local trafficking task force has put those calling them or help into a religioius based shelter where they are teaching them to make handmade journals, and then sell them online.  

This was completely different than our approach in that we were teaching our members about being "fully self supporting", i.e., a job.  We got them into their own apartment or house because that's part of being "self supporting".   We also didn't have our members identifying as "prostitutes" as an identity.  While they might have been forced to prostitute for money - that isn't who they are as people.  So yes we have then finding new "jobs"  and eliminating exchanging money for sex whether forced or not.   By modeling after AA - we didn't have to worry about things like funding for housing or staff anymore than AA did.  AA teaches the alcoholic to stay sober.  THEY then worry about how they pay the bills.  We were teaching our members how to find other ways to make money, and how to survive without a pimp in some cases running their lifes. 

But we still found those who had been raped for example were unable to access ny help through Victims Service because of being a "known" prostitute.  They were also being blocked from receiving assistance through HUD for the same reason.  We were told as long as we were viewed ONLY as "criminals" this would be the case because bank robbers for example were also being denied assistance through federal programs.   The only way to change this was to change our status from that of "criminal" to be in fact "victim".   We were even hearing of transgender prostitutes being murdered and their mothers being unable to pay for their cremation, even though a murder victim, because we had no federal recognition that some of us might not be voluntary "criminals".  

We were told once we got "federal recognition" with the passing of the Trafficking Act of 2000 that some of us were in fact yes "victims"  - then federal funds could finally be offered to do the things we were doing on our own dime from the launch of Prostitutes Anonymous until the Act passed giving this recognition as "real".  Which this "victim" status would then allow us to access money for programs through the Office of Victims of Crime which we were being denied previously ONLY because prostitution was illegal everywhere but Nevada. 

 However, EVEN in Nevada, legal brothel prostitutes, those working in legal strip clubs, and on legal porn eets were STILL being denied assistance through the Victims of Crime office.   Imagine Christy Mack prior to the Trafficking Act of 2000 being unable to access any help for the violent attack she suffered simply because she had worked on a legal porn set.  So we helped support the Trafficking Act of 2000 passing giving us "victim" recognition like any other for those reasons.  

But things didn't go the way we were told after the Act passed.  After talking to native American reservations who have also achieved federal recognition and them telling us how people rushing to create casino's upset their lives when this "recognition"  first hit them  and they found themselves stampeded by money interests looking to make a buck off that - I've a better understanding of what happened next where our movement then got "hijacked".  

Because victory was short-lived when wheels went into motion to then pass the TVRA of 2003 (the year after Polaris launched THEIR hotline so they didn't have to rely upon ours any longer for calls) - a "revision" which then took the federal money we had been trying to get for the programs we'd set up and had been running effectively by then and hand this over to the "faith based communities" as Randall Tobias and George W. Bush then launched into action to take over the trafficking movement and turned this into the "War on Women". 

 As well as use it as a way to deny any, and all, services to the LGBT, transgender & male sex workers.  They've also been using it as a way to generate lost income to their "single mothers' homes" which aren't needed today like they were in my grandmother's day.  In some places the SAME HOUSES were being used as "safe houses for trafficking victims" as well as "maternity homes" for their baby's to be adopted.   Some even had adoption applications right on the same websites.  

It's also been an excellent way of undoing a lot of the progress we'd made.  For example, even today in 2015, one STILL can't prosecute a man like Joohoon David Lee, for sex trafficking even when caught compltely red-handed by his superiors.   Why?  Because this man was a Homeland Security/ICE officer who would use taxpayer's money, and while "on the job" lew back to Korea, picked up the victim, and then walked her right by the airport security who we've now seen receive training in how to spot waht a trafficking victim looks like.  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/las-vegas-restaurateur-says-former-fed-manufactured-criminal-case-against-him  So he's been convicted of "bribery" but not of sex trafficking.  We're told they "can't" because there's "no laws on the books".  Well maybe if we hadn't found ourselves being excluded from the legislature we'd been an integral part of during the passing of the Trafficking Act of 2000 - maybe then OUR voices would have been heard that we STARTED this so men like him could BE PROSECUTED.   Want to leave a pimp?  Call 911.  Want to get away from a Homeland Security/ICE officer trafficking you?  How?  I ask you seriously HOW?  

HOW are we supposed to help women like this man's victim to get out of sex work, and find recovery, when the man who brought her to the USA, and who was not only forcing her into prostitution, but further had even convicted a whole innocent family of sex trafficking so as to appear to be "doing his job"?  How would we even get her into a meeting when a man with this much power to trace her movements AND drag her right back to prostitution?

Whih is why NO WE ARE NOT "run like Alcoholics Anonymous".  We can't be.  I don't know of one alcoholic who has the bar owner locking them up inside the bar and then threatening their family back home with death if they "don't drink".  So we aren't dealing with something like the disease of alcoholism forcing someone to drink against their will - but we are however clearly at times dealing with issues where are are finding ourselves forced to "act out" not by our own choice just  the same.

This Oakland case also illustrates to the public, and members, why we can't operate our program "just like AA even thought we are a 12 step program.  http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_30084402/oakland-police-scandal-prostitute-who-sued-city-recounts  Here we have a young lady who has been involved with prostitution since she was 12 years old.  She spoke in an interview about "running from a pimp" but I ask you HOW would she get help from the police when they're going to be covering their ass by making sure no one takes her seriously?   Over 28 police officers have now been implicated as having sex with her.

Which now shows the public why I've been saying our local chapters have been having to implement whole new security measures just to be able to hold a meeting.    Starting when trafficking task forces started partnering with local law enforcement - this was being used much like how the drug cartel would use their local political and law enforcement to alert them when someone was trying to file charges against them. 

If you've seen the film "Departed" with Jack Nicholson - you'd see how difficult it was to get a conviction against Whitey Bulger, being not only his brother a senator, but also how he knew most of law enforcement who would tip him off to when an investigation was coming.   Which we're already seeing how this translates when teens are already being exposed as being trafficked right out of the trafficking "safe houses".  http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ohio-immigrant-sponsor-20151115-story.html

We had three meetings running in Ohio  from our creation in 1987 to the year 1994 when "Second Chance" even used our program in connection with their court diversion and re-entry program at one point.   Yet today we can't keep one local meeting going in Ohio because of the way the people who run the meetings are phyically threatened to scare them off doing so.   The same happened in Phoenix, Arizona.   

While Kathleen Mitchell has been quite open in the press about using the "Prostitutes Anonymous" meetings as part of the whole program Dignity was using to churn out recovery in women for over 20 good solid years - http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/ex-prostitutes-who-proselytize-6431069  After the TVRA of 2003 passes, the Catholic Church comes in, sweeps out all of our existing and older members, plants in people they've trained "their" way, and worst of all, partnered with law enforcement to create Project Rose.  Hear from the mouth of someone who came into our program in 1991 describe what it was like when she first came into recovery vs. what happened when Project Rose took root.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_TD_X3uOiA  

Now for this Project Rose to operate, the woman running the local Phoenix meeting reported back to us she started being threatened to "back off" working with other women in the area - leaving them to the "system" to deal with without our involvement.  I myself running the World Service Office out of Las Vegas, NV at the time started receiving threats from local Phoenix Police to "back off" trying to help organize our older members from the area to get involved in outreach down there when I announced I was going to take a trip down there to see what I could do about helping them organize an outreach to review our meeting down there which had folded because everyone was too scared to now go what with things like gasoline being poured on their front porches, being followed, their homes and cars broken into, etc.   So we weren't at all shocked when we heard that another officer on a trafficking task force was found dead - supposedly of "suicide" (but of course done right before an investigation about corruption could be done.  http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/mcso-deputy-promised-to-expose-sheriffs-office-before-suicide-7649509

We had a Lansing and a Detroit program working in cooperation with the courts offering diversion and "alternative sentencing" programs in Michigan.  For YEARS, you couldn't get your probation signed off as complete until you'd completed your second year of recovery through court ordered programs if you were a prostitute without attending at least one year of our 12 step meetings.  Then the same thing started happening - the women running the local groups started reporting to me they were being threatened into "backing off" doing outreach. 

 My phone calls to the Probation Dept., the courts, and the prosecutor's office weren't being returned suddenly.  Not a shock here either when I read this guy started up his routine at the same time our meetings were being ignored suddenly.  It would have been impossible for this guy to terrorize women into having sex with him unless they were terrified of going to jail and couldn't aford a private attorney.   So of course this guy is going to make sure local prostitutes don't know all they have to do is ask the court to attend our program in leiu of jail and receive help with just having a poublic defender.  Of which Michigan wasn't the only town where we found opposition coming from the prosecutor's office for no good sound reason.   http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/03/ingham_county_prosecutor_alleg.html

When we heard about so many "victims" coming into the system at once, we were concerned they wouldn't find the number of properly trained mental health professionals to be able to afford each victim their own private therapist.  http://reason.com/blog/2016/03/04/the-somali-sex-slave-ring-that-wasnt  We were also frankly concerned the prosecutors' and judges might not have enough of a background or a sufficient amount of training to deal with this issue knowledgeably.   Even the smartest and highest trained judges, attorney's, prosecutors, etc., need to have proper training in domestic violnece, rape, child abuee, addiction, mental illness, and other issues which involve more than just knowledge of the law in order to treat the victims as a "whole" person.   

For example, when looking at a drunk driving case the judge is going to have to determine if this was just a one time thing caused by partying too much - or if this person is an alcoholic requiring medical intervention, AA meetings, a detox program, etc.  The same applies here with the issue of sex trafficking.  One also needs to be able to tell if this is just a case of prostitution or if in fact there is a trafficking ring operating.  This is important to even determine if the victim is going to need witness protection even during the trial or a good family law attorney so they can divorce their pimp and get custody of the children.  

So we contacted these people associated with this case offering to put our members, our program, and our expertise at their disposal, especially because we heard juveniles had been involved in the resscuing and to our shock we were rebuffed quite aggressively.  This one shocked us because we'd always been welcomed with open arms when we'd come in offering free services, support and even free copies of ouf "Recovery Guide" to the survivors.   It was like Bill Wilson calling up to offer to help a bunch of drunks who'd been picked up on a  nassuve DUI sweep - only to be shut out.   The press on this certainly explained to us why we found ourselves being shut out of situations we'd once been welcomed into warmly.

We'd set up a wonderfully effective program in Pennsylvania called the "Program for Female Offenders". back in the late 1980's.  This program worked so well we allowed them not to have to build a bigger jail which they would have had to otherwise.   HIV/AIDS rates plummeted down to well below that of even non-sex workers.    

We had graduates of this alternative sentencing program becoming social workers, counselors, even probation officers who were then carrying this to the next level - being there for the next round of "newcomers".  But then we found ourselves once again being shut out by groups who were connecting themselves to law enforcement, non-members of our program (or anyone in recovery at all), and the church - and not a surprise more rapes and trafficking of prostitutes by law enforcement there starts hitting the press.  http://www.policeprostitutionandpolitics.com/pdfs_all/COPS%20DAs%20JUDGES%20RAPE%20EXTORT%20PROSTITUTES%20RUN%20PROSTITUTION%20RINGS/Cops_rape_solicit_pimp_prostitutes.pdf

In Las Vegas, Nevada, where we're headquartered, and where I myself had been working at taking women out of strip clubs, legal brothels,  massage parlors, and right off the strip even since 1996 whe mewed there - it was a natural obvious choice for the Salvation Army to ask me to head up their 2007 launch of ATLAS  - a sex trafficking program and rescue they were wanting to set up there.  Especially since Sharnel Silvey and myself had been working effectively on Nevada's first formal alternative sentencing program there out of northern Nevada's courts AND I'd just helped Melissa Farley, PhD., to prepare here report for the State Dept. on sex trafficking within the legal brothels there in "Trafficking in Nevada - Making the Connections".  I had even spoken with the Salvation Army about needing a translator to help me with the Asian victims who didn't speak English.   

Only after presenting the Chief of Police then, Doug Gillispie, with a whole portfolio on a sex trafficking network which was multi-national, which involved the Triad AND law enforcement, that included names, addresses, how the network was using police officers to transport victims, drugs, guns, etc. so they wouldn't be stopped, asking him to help us get victims out of these private houses which were being used as brothels (so we couldn't go in with one of our usual "stings" pretending to be customer to get to the women, nor could the good cops go in undercover either as they weren't allowing anyone in the houses who didn't speak Mandarin (not many Metro undercover cops who speak Mandarin), and because they were further not letting anyone come into the houses who wasn't coming out of the Vegas airport and getting into their cabs flashing an airline ticket from China - this was leaving us with the only way to get these victims out was to have the Chief get some search warrants.  

So we'd gone to him with victim statements, along with information on how everything operated so they could shut them down and free these women - only to find that not only was everything cleared out by the next morning BUT we then learned Metro had given the Salvation Army a grant for $370,000 to "restrucutre" their ATLAS program so they would "only work with victims REFERRED by Metro to ATLAS".  Not a surprise then with the new "restructuring" this meant ATLAS didn't help ONE single victim. while our hotline had reeived over 3000 calls from Nevada allone asking for help

When Metro an the Salvation Army , teamed up to "fight sex trafficking" while also shutting our program out of the whole loop - the end result was a domino effect which started falling with the first tile of "Operion Dollhouse".  We'd contacted a reporter we knew and he'd arranged to do a "ride along" the very weekend we knew the police would be making a drop.  This reporter barely knew us and we had done this so we couldn't be accused of "setting anyone up".  This surprise raid led to two San Mateo, California officers being arrested who were also on the trafficking task force at home.   http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/four-indicted-after-brothel-raids

Now it wasn't just the cops who were released - but the 24 VICTIMS were released back immediately despite there being BAGS OF DRUGS found on the site, AND also in violation of our ICE laws which require any non-American arrested needs to be detained unti such time as their visa's are checked, and they're questioned to make sure they are in the country legally AND they're not being trafficked or threatened in any way.   It was later proven the cab company was involved in this http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/limo-ceo-aides-plead-guilty-las-vegas-racketeering-conspiracy
The man who was prosecutor at the time in Vegas later died of a drug overdose.  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/crime-courts/schubert-former-prosecutor-convicted-drug-charges-found-dead-home

It came out that Kemp Shiffer had been using his IRS badge to take girls who were over 15 years old and thus the "legal age of consent" by Nevada standards for sex.  When that got exposed, but wasn't technically "illegal", Kemp got himself a job at the University instead where he continued to target teenage girls out of the Oakland, California area and bring them into Nevada to work within the legal brothels and strip clubs so as to stay just on "this side" of the line of the law until he finally got convicted of sex trafficking after 12 years of doing this type of thing.  Which connected him up to Chris Butler, who was a retired cop who then opened up some massage parlors in California.  http://patch.com/california/sanramon/private-investigator-christopher-butler-pleads-guilty0df4c86437

Chris was recruiting other active duty respected police officers to be part of this whole operation who were then doing things like taking drugs out of the evidence lockers and then haing his "prostitutes" sell them at the massage parlors and the escort services.   

Which then allowed them to continue to work their influence on up to the highest levels of security in this country to where they then had a man who was a Homeland Security officer working out of both Las Vegas, and Nevada even going over to countries like China, and then Korea, to physically pick up these women, then walk them right past security at LAX who being trained at how to spot "trafficking victims" was unknowingly being trained to turn away the "competitors" to this operation. 

Was Joohoon some lone "bad applie"?  Not when there's a strip club owned in NJ by DEA agents who are going over to Coumbia and "partying with the cartel, and then bringing home women to work at this club is Joohoon some lone random "bad applie" here.   http://nypost.com/2015/05/20/dea-agents-secretly-owned-strip-club-with-illegal-immigrant-dancers-feds/  The same Columbia where we have Secret Service agents patronizing prostitutes also.  http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/10/29/investigator-in-secret-service-prostitution-scandal-resigns-after-implicated-in.html  

The woman who was at the center of that scandal by the way did not use the press to get herself a layout with Playboy - but instead she used it to raise money to open up an anti-trafficking program in Columbia because of how rampant she said the problem was over there.  Which I can safely venture to say our country couldn't be helping those victims much when we have our DEA and Seret Service Agents not only sleeping with them BUT BRINGING THEM BACK TO THE STATES WITH THEM TO DANCE IN THER CLUBS.

Now, do you see any addict or alcoholic having to go through this type of opposition just to get themselves into  12 step meeting for them like AA or NA?   Even when we're TRYING to get them help by calling the police - I myself have been threatened more than once to "back off" speaking to a victim, we've had our outreach campaigns  blocked by cops threatening to have me drug off on "stalking" charges, or even a "5150" insanity accusation.  Others have tried to call the police to help these victims - only to be ignored.  I've tried calling LAPD on behalf of some victims for YEARS only to be ignored.  The only way these women got any help was because a "Nehghborhood Watch" guy called instead of our program.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/02/18/2-los-angeles-police-officers-charged-with-repeatedly-raping-women-under-threat-of-arrest/  

Again, not just a "bad apple" anomoly of a couple of bad cops here in LAPD when it's happening in NY where the cop was PIMPING THEM HIMSELF.   http://thefreethoughtproject.com/pimp-cop-arrested-running-stable-prostitutes-work/  Other cops saw the guy pimping these women - but they turned away and did nothing.  This guy barely was exposed and brought to justice.  

Why is that?  Why are other cops SEEING this and DOING NOTHING?  Well maybe it's because they don't want anyone throwing stones around their glass houses.  http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/06/10/kpix-exclusive-teenage-woman-oakland-police-sex-scandal-speaks/

NOW you have an idea why I've been battling against this whole "end demand" campaigns going on in areas specifically such as Oakland, California.  http://toolkit.heatwatch.org/policy/files/EBAYC_2012_Ending_Oakland_Sex_Trafficking.pdf  This teenager was also having sex with cops from Alameda County according to the news.  Hunt's "End Demand" campaign gave an $80,000 grant to Alameda County to "end demand" by focusing on coming down HARD on the "johns" also - just like they did in Oakland.   http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/01/09/alameda-county-district-attorney-unveils-billboard-campaign-against-human-trafficking-child-sex-exploitation/

In fact, for those of you who follow our blog, you'll note that I raised a great deal of objection over these "End Demand" campaigns that did include THEIR outreach projects, billboards, bus signs, and various outreach efforts where the phone numbers which were posted for victims to call were all connected to law enforcement WITHOUT including either our hotline phone number for adults which is answered by a man or woman in recovery who is NOT connected to law enforcement, or the Children of the Night hotline for juveniles which is also not connected to lw enforcement.   

Which we've now heard out of this young lady's own mouth that when there were sweeps going on in the same area as her - she got a call tipping her to "stay out" of those areas.  Only this wasn't just for her not to be arrested now was it?  Because I'm going to ask you to think carefully now - if this young woman has been on the streets hooking since she was 12 years old, and she's had an experience at least once she's relayed where she was being chased by a pimp - I'm going to venture a guess that she's probably pretty willing to quit "the life" if she was given the right opportunity.

Only how would she get this opportunity if the ONLY outreach being offered to her is by those who are out there arresting girls like her?    Especially when these officers were making absolutely 100 percent sure she doesn't go into the area's where she'd then be arrested.   Because once arrested she just might venture to start talking about what she knows about these officers.   So no I don't believe they were "protecting" just her by keeping her out of those sweeps' area's for one.  Two - she will hear about these sweeps on the news who are going to report the hotline they're giving out goes to who?  THEM.   She already knows anything she says about them is going to be kept quiet.  Even if they got to make her quiet.  Which we all know can happen now with this Tanaka case  where a witness gets lost for three days and even the FBI AGENT CAN'T FIND HIM.    http://abc7.com/news/ex-lasd-undersheriff-paul-tanaka-found-guilty-in-corruption-trial/1279159/

All of which is why I don't blame just the officers in this Oakland case as to why this poor young woman has been unable to find help to get off the streets and away from not just the pimps trying to traffick her but the COPS who are trafficking her either directly like Chris Butler or INDIRECTLY by blocking her from accessing exit services because of their fear of the truth coming out.   

Because this goes way deeper than just their need to keep their dirty laundry hidden in the hamper here.  I'm working on a map right now showing the direct correlation between EXACTLY this type of thing where young teens, male and female, are being trafficked right out of the trafficking programs such as we've seen in the Ohio case, as well as how it's also happening in Oakland, Alameda County, and other areas where there's a common pattern of not only sex trafficking being in high numbers as to young juvenile victims, but also where there's a corresponding "End Demand" campaign operating which is concentrating in both the church as well as law enforcement being the front line of outreach to these victims, which I'm showing you now are part of their problem they're trying to escape from in many cases, but also could not be happening EXCEPT FOR THE EXCLUSION of groups like ours who are not dependent upon government grant money, donations from the church or private individuals such as Swanee Hunt, and even men like Sheldon Adelson, where they could be a DIRECT "conflict of interest" as well as outright competition for dollars blocking the REAL goal here which is these young men and women needing help.  

The EXCLUSION of groups like ours which are comprised entirely, or mostly, of REAL people who have "been there", combined with the need for some "appearance" of survivors being involved - has led to a booming indusry of "catfish" fake survivors such as Samoly Mam.  Samoly Mam did not roll out of bed one day all by herself and say "hmm I think I'm going to le about being a sex trafficking survivor".   

Samoly herself has stated she was approached by people who told her IF she was willing to make such statements they would get her a "lot of press and donations" which they sure as heck kept their word about.  Samoly Mam had herself quit an aware and lecture circuit going before she was finally exposed as a fraud.  Which is why you have to then ask why would I go knocking on doors like I did until I found people who had the means and interest in spending the year they did gathering the evidence and testimony to PROVE she was a fraud?   Was I rying to get her press and donations?  I wouldn't because I can't.  As a 12 step group we remain "anonymous at the level of press, radio and films" and also we don't "accept outside donations".  So no I did not want her "press" and "money" either .
I did it for the same reasons I partnered with some other people to expose Chong Kim as a fraud.  Again, did I do it because I wanted her "fame" and "money"?  I've had five films made about my work and three documentaries already - why would I begrudge her the one film "Eden" if that was the case?   The same with William Hillar, who was the fraud being the "Taken" series who also lied about rescuing his daughter from innational eex trafficker.  I certainly had no interest in touring the country speaking to ex-military men about fighting sex trafficking in Thailand.  I don't even have the means to go work with victims in other countries.  

I've been doing this because in areas where there's been this type of corruption, outright sex trafficking, and the denial of services to the REAL victims in need - we're being now blocked from doing our outreach to those like this Oakland girl from getting her numbers to groups like OURS WHICH WOULD HELP HER because we're NOT "connected with law enforcement" and thus aren't going to shut her out without services or try to silence her - but also because these operations are having to put FAKE VOICES up there to make it "appear" real victims are aprproving this kind of thing.   

By those cops telling this young woman to "avoid the areas where the sweeps" were going on - not only was she not arrested - but she also wasn't going to be speaking to the press nor anyone else who might be speaking to the press.  Because if SHE WAS - then she'd be talking about JUST THESE EXACT PROBLEMS.  Problems with the fact those who need the help aren't getting them because those preying upon them, trafficking them, using them, etc., are  the very people who have a vested interest in keeping them quiet.  I mean anyone who has studied the cases involving the Catholic Church and child molestations knows they also are the biggest funder of services to these young victims because it's also how they keep them QUIET.  

The dilemma this presents to our 12 step program is essentially this - let's imagine for a moment that all of the drug treatment programs, and the drug courts, training for drug counselors, and even the funding for the schools that teach drug counselors were all mostly being funded by the pharmaceutical companies who then of course would have a "conflict of interest" with Narcotics Anonymous being involved because of their stance on the belief recovery for addicts long term isn't possible without total abstinence from all "mind altering chemicals" along with their founder;s belief  recovery can only be found in the addict's "real life" and not within a residential program which is isolated and takes him out of his life into an artificial world - then how could that possibly work?  

It couldn't.  The addict would die.  

Now is NA of the belief they are ALL and ONLY what's needed for the addict to find recovery?  Of course not.  Their literature states they are only for those who found all those othr things "weren't sufficient" for them.    So the police have stopped arresting addicts for going to NA meetings like they used to do in the 1950's., and the Salvation Army's and Catholic Charlies have their clients also attending NA functions as part of their drug programs, and even the jails allow the hosting of NA panels within them -  and everyone benefits from this  cooperation - especially the addict.

Now the question remains of why aren't we being afforded the same spirit of cooperation here as that of AA and NA being that we're the ONLY 12 step program that works with those wanting to exit the sex industry who may or may not also be drug addicts, alcoholics, or sex trafficking victims?  I say this thinking about this young woman in Oakland specifically who by the grace of God should be dead after working the streets since she was 12 years old.  To know we have a group up there of strong recovering women who are not only out of prostitution, but also free of their pimps (for those who had one), but also drugs (for those who are addicts and/or alcoholics), and who would have loved to have been able to do outreach to make contact with this young woman YEARS ago - who have been BLOCKED from doing so by a completely organized wall of interference ranging from the press, to the trafficking task force team, to the local social workers, mental health centers, drug treatment programs, and even other police officers who HADN'T had sex with that young lady. 

I say that because of the people who have called me from the Oakland area who are therapists and social workers in that region who told me they've received calls saying if they "gave any referrals to our program they'd be fired".  Three women at a drop-in counseling and crisis center IN OAKLAND in fact did just that - they organized a day for me to come in with a few of our local Oakland members to speak about our program to other counselors and social workers in the area.  Those women were then FIRED for their going the extra yard to try and help women like this young lady find help they weren't able to find otherwise for the same reasons she's not found help before now.  

I've received calls from good cops who aren't sleeping with young women like her, and who have told me they'd love nothing more than to give her our phone number, or a phone number to another program tat might her help like www.childrenofthenight.org who had she gotten their number before she turned 18 years old - they would have flown her down to Van Nuys on their dime, entered her into their program and she'd be in college most likely by now.  Our program has a whole pocket of women residing in Oakland now who used to work in the brothels and strip clubs of Nevada who would have gladly taken hr in once they knew about hr situation, entered her into school, and she'd probably have a degre by now.  

I've questioned these people who have called me up lamenting how they wish they "could refer those who need help to us" who are on the front lines and see girls like her when they're in trouble and most likely to want help then - such as the ER nurses, social workers, even the cops - and when I've dug just a little deeper to find out why they're being told not to give out our phone number to  those who  need help, ESPECIALLY in light of the fact we have PLENTY OF EVIDENCE OUR PROGRAM WORKS, and the answer seems to always be one of these FOUR reasons:

1.    Either it's fear of a loss of funding, such as grant money, insurance money, not being able to hold fund raisers, investment money, private donors, etc.    Right now every group I'm seeing in this field EXCEPT mine, or that of Children of the Night, is reliant financially upon either government funding, the Catholic Church, or that of private interests such as Sheldon Adelson or Swanee Hunt.

2.   Fear of dirty laundry hitting the fan - like for example this young woman telling us she's "slept with so and so" and then the workd leaks out and he gts fired.   Some of this is because an already burdened police force is not wanting to think about the potential for even MORE lawsuits should mor dirty launder be allowed to be aired.  So they want to "bury" these acts of wrong-doing to avoid a lawsuit or bad press - but they aren't realizing this means burying a person under this also - the victims who if they can't call the cops for help then WHO DO THEY CALL?  

3.    Our program is standing in the way of someone else's agenda.  Such as - there is a big lobby that's pushing to get prostitution legalized throughout ths country just as there is a big lobby to get marijuana legalized.    These people seem bothered we define our abstinence as including "webcam work" and even "pornography" and "stripping".  They want the country to equate illegal street prostitution with sex trafficking.  However, we stand firm sex trafficking can be in a legal operation just as much as it can also be on a street corner.  "Legal" has nothing to do with this than it makes a difference to an alcoholic if it's bought off the back of a moonshiner's truck  or a liquor store.   Therefore, we have strip clubs, massage parlors, porn production companies, adult stores, and even legal brothels in NV, who do not want to enter into any discussion about what THEY'RE going to do in order to ensure there's no sex trafficking goign on witn their companies.  Everyone wants to keep running around on the street corners as well as ignring the fact sex trafficking exists not only on sites like Backpage, but also Google, Twitter and Facebook as well.  

4.  The last reason seems to have something to do with the fact our program, being open to any human who wants help, is also open to men, women and transgenders, as well as the LGBT, the homosexual males, the lesbians, the heterosexual males, etc.  Further, we are not restricted to only the Christian religion.  As a 12 step program, we have members who are Chritian, Buddhist, Pagans, Athiests, Jewish, Muslim's, as well as we have white people as members as well as people of color.  If you look at any of these arrests, "outreach campaigns", news photos, etc., you'll find a HUGE emphasis on traffickers and victims both being people of color. We've even found ourselves excluded from media about US where because we appear white we were excluded out of even stories about US!   The "religious right" seem to want to make sex trafficking to be about birth control, abortion, and they further want to omit any discussion about the fact the majority of pimps who are in a relationship with a female prostitute have a child by that woman.    I have yet to hear ONE single word about the fact to leave these men - something needs to be done about the predator having parental rights they use againt the child, and their victims.  Parental rights which are STILL in effect even if the man is locked up for sex trafficking.  

5.   I've lastly got a "conflict of interest" financially with a few big factions.  I've got the "for profit" prisons for one thing whose bread and butter depends upon prostitutes being incarcerated - not sent into programs for help.  On average, when a facility has 2000 inmates - about 1800 of them are prostitutes.  If we come in offering them an "alternative" to incerceration - that's $100 a day on average times times 1800 equalling $180,000 a day per 1800 inmates going right out of their budget.  

The same for a depressed economy within the AA "halfway houses".  Prostitutes right now are being labeled as "sex offenders" on one hand while the other is trying to claim we're tyring to "help" them.  If that's true then why are they being labeled the same as a sex offender (child molester or rapist) where they then can't be released from incarceration without going into a specially zoned program where they go?   Of course this special zoning costs money and many of these programs now are shutting their doors because they're losing money.  I'm hearing from Alano Clubs, halfway houses, sober houses, and drug treatment programs where they've got massive empty beds and they're losing money hand over fist.  

The same for private criminal attorney's whose bread and butter comes from prostitutes afraid of jail who will pay on average a $1500 retainer who don't want to hear  all they have to do is "ask the court for alternative sentencing", nor about special programs where they're not needed becasue the judge isn't going to lock them up, with the same being the case if we got these women into online diversion programs all over the country.  

NOW IF WE CAN STOP BEING EXCLUDED FROM TALKING TO EVERYONE IN THIS FIELD - then we could address all of these issues head on and I'm sure everyone will be able to see what a HUGE asset we can be if we got back to the way things were pre-2003 and we start being utilized across the board again like we once were before the TVRA of 2003 was passed which started this whole thing turning upside down.    

Things like explaining "what's said at meetings stays at meetings" meaning if we have a woman coming in speaking about having 30 cops as her clients then that's left at the meeting.  We don't go out and report such things to the police and no one gives her the phone number to an attorney.  Our meetings are restricted to that of adults over the age of 18 yrears old so we're not required to report such things to th authorities like CPS either.  We do however have other programs we refer juveniles to who have their own sytem in place for such confessions.  But generally no matter how dirty the dirt is we hear  - it's not repeated outside of the meeting halls.  

We don't apply for, nor would we apply for, government grants or funding from the church or private interests.  Therefore, we're not in competition with anyone's grant or donation money.  Polaris wants to get $11 million dollars from Google - knock yourself out.  We're not going to get into that line.  As a 12 step group our integrity can be trusted because we're not taking money from anyone we have to then please.  .   I mean where would NA be if they took money rom the pharmaceutical companies?  
We don't replace professional treatment nor medications.  There's always going to be a need for professionals and doctors.   So we're no competition to treatment programs, halfway houses, or other professional programs or professionals.

As for prisons and criminal attorney's - there's other crimes these people get involved in all the time.  In fact, if you were to decriminalize prostitution and allow then for more witnesses to come forward and also more evidence to be brought forward to prosecute someone for trafficking - you'd create MORE of a need for beds in correctional facilities and more of a need for criminal attorney's to be defending these bad guys for trafficking then these women for prostitution.

Basically what I'm saying here is that if we all were to sit down and start openly talking about this issue with the focus of the victims who need help getting that help - then I see nothing but solutions here that benefit everyone and that none of these are problems.  AA and NA have been working just fine in this system helping the addict and alcoholic - and we're no different except on one major point.

Right now there is a HUGE need for outpatient, free, non-religious, services for thee men and women, as well as juveniles, and their family members, to be openly set up and welcomed so that these victims needing help can get help right now without jail being the gateway to that help.  As we've seen with this young lady in Oakland, and the victims of Joohoon David Lee, those who need help the MOST are the LEAST LIKELY to find that help by being arrested unlike that of the addict or alcoholic who almost always find themselves arrested.  A guy who is caught doing a DUI isn't going to have it swept under the rug by a cop who doesn't want people to know he say it.    Nor also can many victims call for help because in many of their cases they either can't call because the police are involved OR their traffickr/pimp is someone they don't want to call the cops on such as their mother.  In our program we have a large number of our members whose pimp/trafficker was a family member - not some stranger on a corner.  So they're unlikely to want to turn that person over to the police and have them arrested.

Our program, thanks to technology, can be utlized all over the country for free and without requiring special licensing.  Unlike the situation with social workers who are over-burdened with too many cases, and then burn out in six months and another one has to then take over from the top again, leaving juveniles especially with no help once they "age out" of the system as well as having no continuity of care while a juvenile receiving care, let alone any "oversight",   Imagine if this country's young alcoholics could only get care from a professional and how lost they'd be.  Our program can cross over the lines of the jails, prisons, treatment programs, courts, etc., as well as age, race, religion, gender, etc., and we can reach out help to ANYONE WHO HEARS ABOUT US.   Because shame, and the laws, prevent most from reaching out for help - we can offer it to those who don't want to expose themselves in any way for those reasons of shame and fear of incrimination legally.  

Yes we are a 12 step program "just like AA" in some respects.  In others, we're nothing like them for these reasons and we're having to invent the playbook here.  So if you are a man or woman, wanting help to leave any part of the sex industry, know this - we have a "Recovery Guide', safe confidential meetings on the telephone, and at secure locations where we've screened out anyone who we aren't absolutely sure is "one of us" and therefore not a reporter, a cop, or a pimp.   We have interviews with members up at www.leavingtheliferadio.com and cliips about us at www.hightechmadam.com.  So if we can offer you any help at all - just give us a call.   If we didn't know recovery was possible - why else would we keep going despite all this opposition just to get you that help?   Yes there may be people telling you not to call us.  Just as you probably had people warning you not to do "such and such" but you didn't listen to the either right?  lol  

Jody Williams, Founder of Sex Workers Anonymous formerly Prostitutes Anonymous

Also, if you are a family member concerned about someone else - know about www.swan-fellowship.us