This was the early 1990's – I got clean in 1985 so I had about five years clean in 1990. I left Los Angeles in 1994 for a variety of reasons – one of which was I wanted to set up some safe houses for trafficking victims. I could buy a house with a yard back in the midwest for $5,000. I would have victims come from both the east and west coasts and we'd hide them out back there where they could start whole new lives. It was far away from the reach of the organized trafficking rings and it worked for a while – until the internet was born.
I mean do you have any idea how angry I get when I watch "Mad Men"? I was a young girl when I got clean in 1985 trying to find legitimate work to keep probation happy. Everywhere I tried to find work I was sexually harassed. Everywhere I worked had smoking in the offices and I was allergic to cigarettes. To be able to find work, I had to first find a non-smoking office which was practically impossible back then to find. Then once I found a non-smoking office - I had to cut off all my hair, dye it brown, put on glasses, and nun-dresses with flat shoes to make myself look like I was damn near a lesbian - and then I was able to find work were I could be left alone instead of my boss exposing himself to me or chasing me around the desk at work. To achieve a smoke-free work place, where I could sue for sexual harassment, and where I wasn't obligated to go to office parties where booze was served WAS MONUMENTAL. It only took 1,000's of people and years to achieve that - and now it's like it's all been swept away when I read about things like what happened at American Apparel. I mean people still buy his clothes after what he did to women? Really?
The thing is however I'm old enough to remember when the governor of California, and others, told the treatment centers they weren't going to continue to pay them with these failure rates until they got their numbers up. That's when my phone started ringing off the hook with the program directors hiring me to train their staff. They knew where to go when they needed to create long term numbers. Meaning that when it's important to the people in power - they can demand excellence. However, right now - there's more money to be made in jobs at treatment centers and in building new jails. In other words, there's more jobs if we don't get clean and stay clean.
It took me years to get the evidence they were holding these meetings behind our backs. I tried asking them if they would please consult with me on how to run these meetings as they should be in order to “work” and be effective. They didn't have the time or interest. They had their money and it was all they cared about. It's so bad I asked one woman in Indianapolis where there's now an HIV outbreak to spend 15 minutes with me to get an idea how to run the meetings so they would "work" before I'd give her the copyright release to run a program there - and she refused. She was too "busy". I said "honey if you're too busy to give me 15 minutes to learn how to do it right - then you're too busy to give these men and women the time they need to learn the program and I won't give you the release". Boy she showed me by walking away and not started the meeting there. Now the news says there's an HIV outbreak there. The answer to the problem is here - but no one wants to take the time because I'm not handing out grant money.
As for the rest - I have no idea. It took a lot of people dying that a lot of people cared about, and that insurance companies were tired of paying for problems on the sets, to get things turned around. However, even Hollywood has changed. Instead of being stars like Elizabeth Taylor or Robin Williams - they have the Housewives of Orange County who sit around over drinks and lunch bashing a woman who is trying to raise money for juvenile diabetes because she didn't invite the right people to the event.
I don't have a clue. But I'm going to just keep working my program and we'll see. Isn't that how it is anyway?