Sunday, March 19, 2017
CONSPIRACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY LAWS
Things are not as they appear. Since Robin died, there has been a disturbing trend for groups like Abeni, SWOP, and others to be clearly just being used to gather information on sex workers. One of the reasons we choose to be a 12 step program is because of the issue of confidentiality - as well as "probable cause" with respect to conspiracy laws.
If you were to start up a group of bank robbers, and then to announce you're having a meeting for those bank robbers to get together to talk about the beauty of being a bank robber - guess what? The police can then use that as "probable cause" to get a warrant to tap the phones of the people organizing that meeting, the people attending that meeting, and to try and gather evidence to charge the organizers of that group under the "conspiracy" laws which became even broader under the Patriot Act because of George W. Bush.
Calls to our 12 step hotline are protected under the confidentiality laws. Things said in an SWA meeting are protected under the confidentiality laws. Even if an informant were to be sitting in one of our meetings - they can not enter into evidence anything they'd heard at a SWA meeting legally because we are just as protected with respect to confidentiality as AA is. That goes for putting wire tapes on our members' phones, their social media, and also our meetings and communications between members. Having a meeting is also not "probable cause" for the police to get clearance to photograph anyone at this meeting, nor eaves drop in any fashion.
These laws came about because there was a time when cops used to bust addicts for going to NA meetings. They would bust them for "violating probation" because of "congregating with other felons". special laws were passed which made going to a 12 step meeting NOT violate one's probation also.
Now that pisses off some people who would like to know more about our membership, as well as to eaves drop in on our members. Something which can't be done legally so there are some who are resorting to illegal methods. But we're confident no one is going to be arrested under the conspiracy laws for organizing our meetings, nor can anything said within our group context be used against anyone in a court of law because it's all protected with respect to confidentiality. Something important to know because many victims might still have things outstanding they were involved with where statutes may be running against them still.
For example - we had a member who died some years ago who was a teenager when sold to a pimp. This pimp would make one of the kids kill another one of the kids every month not only to establish his power, but also to gather blackmail. He would keep the evidence in a "safe place" and threaten the kids with them being arrested for murder if they ever thought of running from him, or trying to testify against him for his trafficking of them. In this man's case, he turned the gun on the pimp and murdered him when he was only 13 years old.
But the fact remains other victims in that trafficking ring had murdered someone because of being forced to do so by this pimp. Just because they're a juvenile, and just because they were a victim, doesn't exempt them from possibly standing a trial over the murder of that other person. Something which they might want to talk about in a meeting, or with their sponsor during a 5th step. Something for which we wanted to make sure they could share in their 5th step as part of the recovery process without having that sponsor then slapped with a subpoena demanding they testify against that person about what was said to them.
Just because some group claims they're a "sex trafficking" group or rescue doesn't mean they have the same confidentiality laws protecting their clients as we do in our program. Also, this goes for sex workers activist groups who want to push towards decriminalization. We had the same problem with COYOTE meetings - the predecessor to SWOP.
Which was why a lot of COYOTE members were also SWA members, and we'd organize things during SWA meetings to give those activists protection. Otherwise, we'd see people in similar situations drug off on a conspiracy charge and threatened with felony arrests and jail time.
If you don't understand what I mean by any of this - then please consult an attorney with respect to the conspiracy laws, as well as the confidentiality laws. Do not forget for one moment that just because sex trafficking domestically has received now federal recognition finally - that does not automatically mean prostitution suddenly stopped being a crime in 99 % of the USA. Nor has pimping and pandering gone off the books where I once saw someone convicted of a felony simply for giving a girlfriend of hers the phone number of a good regular. Receipt of a $1.00 from the "earnings of a prostitute" is a felony. That INCLUDES DONATIONS by the way.
Meaning that if a group or cause is soliciting donations from prostitutes - they could be charged with felony pimping. Now since we also accept money from prostitutes who buy our literature - this is again why we choose a 12 step program for legal protections not afforded us otherwise. I don't have to worry about the DA or IRS stepping up and demanding our financial records on our members for this reason. Again, something not afforded non-12 step programs.
There's also a little thing caused the 5th amendment. You have a right not to incriminate yourself which you are essentially doing if you go to some of these other groups and admit to some of the things you've done which may be illegal. Including if you admit to being involved in an illegal career in order to be accepted as a member to that group. Again, something which our members to our group are protected from such things.
Now if you want to go around waving a banner saying essentially you're a criminal and you want to organize a meeting of criminals and to do so without partnering with us in some fashion to afford yourself the benefits of these protections - then you need to ask yourself why someone would deny you that protection?
Yes there is a site up attacking us that was set up by Maxine Doogan, Domina Elle, and Norma Jean Almodavor. There is also a tracking cookie on that site. If that site was set up to attack us as a warning to sex workers - why the tracking cookie? Why target for identification people who are thinking about contacting our program for help to exit the sex industry? Why do they care who is contacting us enough to set up this trap to try and capture that information?
Good questions and something to think about. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the grant I traced from Swanee Hunt to Domina Elle's art gallery in Denver, the government's grant to Meg Munoz in Orange County, nor Maxine's recent over-turning of her felony conviction for pimping suddenly. Nah - not a thing to do with any of that . . . .