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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

SWOP'S IDEA OF A "MEETING" FOR SEX WORKERS

For those of you "old timers" in this community, you will remember that I've had a long term relationship in the past with both Sex Workers Outreach Project, otherwise known as SWOP, as well as Tits & Sass the blog.

Why?  Because SWA wasn't designed to get people out of the sex industry.   We were designed to help people get out who needed help to do so and couldn't get it from traditional sources like calling the police for help.  We were also designed to provide "alternative sentencing" for victims of sex trafficking who were being convicted as criminals - so they could come to our meetings instead of being forced into a jail term because of mandatory incarceration laws.  Remember, American women didn't have federal recognition they could even BE a "victim" until the Trafficking Act of 2000.  Up until then you were viewed only, and totally, as a "criminal" by our legal system.

Our hotline and program was instead designed for women like those who were being forced to work for DEA agents who owned a strip club in New Jersey.  I ask you - who do they call for help if they're being raped, trafficked, pimped, exploited, or otherwise abused by men with badges?  

Especially when back in the 1980's THEY are the ones viewed as "criminals" by the legal system - NOT the DEA agents.  There was a presumption that anyone who is a stripper is a "criminal" whereas when it comes to a cop, FBI agent, or DEA agent you then have the presumption they're not.  It slants the playing field for every minute prostitution is illegal in this country.  http://nypost.com/2015/05/20/dea-agents-secretly-owned-strip-club-with-illegal-immigrant-dancers-feds/

I myself was in that situation where I was being forced to do things illegal and dangerous I didn't want to do by men who were CIA, FBI, DEA, and also local cops in LAPD.  Some of those cases became the infamous RAMPART cases.  Others like mine were such I knew I'd never make it alive to testify in a court room so I instead created a "safe house".  It was I later learned the first safe house for adults in this country for what is now called "sex trafficking victims".  You can read about it at www.hightechmadam.com

So, how would I know if someone needed help?  They're going to call me for help?  HOW?  Again, take a look at the situation of these women being trafficked and exploited by those DEA agents in New Jersey.  Can they call me for help with the language barrier?  How would they know they could call our hotline for help?  The owners of the club are going to tell them?  

They're kept isolated in lives where they're supervised 24/7, being shuttled from home to the club daily.  I've got an interview from a victim like this who talks about how it took her a year just to get her traffickers to trust her enough to go to the store by herself at www.leavingtheliferadio.com

Meaning to me I think the whole premise of the Polaris National Trafficking Hotline is like a government "oxymoron" like "government intelligence".  I ask you how does a victim "call herself" for help when she's going to be under constant surveillance by her traffickers or pimp?  I know I didn't have any privacy when I was in that situation.

SO for years I relied upon phone calls from people in the community who knew I wasn't going to involve the police UNLESS that's what they wanted.  Referrals to us of sex workers who needed help of some kind used to come from sources in other words like SWOP or even the Tits & Sass blog, The Erotic Review, Redbook, Rentboy, and other such sites and people who have now all been busted and otherwise shut down.

EXCEPT SWOP who is flourishing AFTER their founder, Robin, died in 2012 for some reason.  http://www.nswp.org/timeline/event/death-robin-few 

Usually groups die when their founder does.  I mean look at Gabriella's work in Columbia as a case in point.  Since she died of cancer, everything started dying off in her group/work. http://www.akissforgabriela.com/?page_id=2742

But SWOP has been growing, flourishing, and for some strange reason chasing anyone who is a friend of mine, or has anything positive to say about SWA or myself right on out of their group and social media.

In fact, after Robin died, they at one point were even offering grants of $500 to "organize a chapter".  If you were verified as a sex worker by another sex worker, they were giving out $500 to cover things like refreshments for you to organize a local chapter of sex workers.   This was so you'd invite out local sex workers to come out for coffee, meet and greet, and get to know each other.  I was floored.  I mean let's all be bank robbers and put up an announcement on social media "hey the meeting of bank robbers is happening this weekend - come on down".

I still can't believe my eyes here what I'm seeing.  I moved to Las Vegas in 1996.  So I have lived in Las Vegas since 1996.  I'm a recovering addict so I'm "in the rooms" all the time in this town.  Anyone coming into recovery who is also a sex worker is usually told by anyone with any time in the rooms "you need to go talk to Jody".  

Why?  Because they know I run Sex Workers Anonymous and I've been clean since 1985.  They also know I sponsor a lot of men and women in this town who get, and stay, clean.  So many that I have a weekly meeting of just my sponsees where we get together and work on our step work.

So I got to tell you when I started hearing about THIS - I was wondering "wtf?"


Mind you when it comes to "recovery from addiction" for sex workers - I get referrals from the local mental health center, social workers, the local treatment centers, local therapists, and other old timers in other 12 step programs, and the list goes on in Las Vegas of the referrals I get.  By the way, no I don't get referrals from people who are trying to stay clean while STILL working in the sex industry.  

Why?  BECAUSE IT DOESN'T WORK.  Not during early recovery it doesn't.  You take someone with a week or month clean or sober and you put them in the industry and no they're not going to stay clean.  I won't engage in "insanity" when I know you can take a delicate "newcomer" and expect them to stay clean while undergoing the stresses related to the sex industry.  

Is that the "sex industry" only?  No it's not.  But if my sponsees, or people I work with in early sobriety, weren't getting, and staying, clean then I would understand the need for this meeting.  The thing is - I haven't even HEARD anything about this "meeting' in the rooms.  In fact, I don't know of one single "old timer" connected to some meeting on Saturday's for sex workers to "focus on their recovery".  

So I"m curious.  What's going on?  Who is running the meeting?  Why haven't I heard anything about this in the rooms of AA or NA?  Why didn't someone let me know about it so I could support the meeting?  I run a hotline based out of Las Vegas so if there's a recovery meeting going on in town then I need to know about it to provide referrals properly.  

For these reasons, I reached out to the person holding the meeting to find out more.  I was then BLASTED with an attack back.  Threatened, insulted, lied to, not exactly very "recovering" way of acting towards another recovering addict mind you.  So I got even more curious, especially when they tried to lie to me and say that posting the address, date and time of this meeting was "not a public notice" because it was "on social media".  Especially when everyone knows the courts have now ruled that something like Twitter IS "public".  

So I went to Google maps to see what this address was and look at this:

I would NEVER EVER hold a meeting labeled for "sex workers" at such a location and I'll tell you why.  Notice how you can see the license plates on every car in that parking lot for one thing.  For another, you can see anyone getting out of their car and going into that building clearly while standing on another public street.  Meaning you can be standing there as long as you want watching that building from a public street and not even a cop can come and move you off that property.  Even if you're standing there with a camera taking pictures.

I also would never label a meeting for "sex workers" either because in the eyes of the law it's the same as saying "bank robbers".  In other words, it is "probable cause" for law enforcement to get a warrant to surveille this meeting for information on criminal activities.  For another, for someone involved in illegal activities to host a meeting with another person in criminal activities under the law it's considered a "conspiracy".  Under the Patriot Act, it's illegal for members of an illegal activity to get together to talk about that activity by itself.  

I know this because in the 1950's addicts going to Narcotics Anonymous meetings used to get arrested for going to meetings.  Special laws had to be written to stop that which are on the books.  But the law states you are allowed to go to a 12 step PROGRAM, not a meeting, but a PROGRAM, and have the cops leave you alone.  If you look at the announcement for this meeting - it's an SWOP meeting if anything.  It's not a separate, distinct, "program".  All the more reason this meeting is not exempt from a search warrant, surveillance, or even being considered as being a meeting where people are "conspiring" which doesn't require any physical evidence of anything illegal for the people at this meeting to be arrested.  

THIS meeting is A COP'S WET DREAM.  Especially in Nevada now that AB67 has passed allowing the cops to videotape and surveille any thing that they "believe might involve sex trafficking".  The meeting was announced in a public forum, Twitter.  Plus you can watch the meeting, and who comes to this meeting, from a public street, even taking photographs.  No one can tell you that you can't stand on a public street and take photos.  

The courts when it comes to "confidentiality" are very clear that anything in the "public view" can be videotaped without the parties consent.  ESPECIALLY in Nevada where it's only a "one party"  needed consent to record anything.  

Meaning in 1000 years I would NEVER EVER host a Sex Workers Anonymous meeting, or even a meeting of my sponsees at any meeting set up like this one is.  I wouldn't be up at 10 am on a Saturday evening nor do I know anyone in the sex industry, or even retired from the industry, who would be up and around on a Saturday morning.  Telling me whoever put this together can't possibly be someone who used to be in the sex industry, or even is, who is in recovery and clean.  No recovering addict who used to be, or is in, sex work would have a Saturday morning meeting.

Especially since most sex workers I know in Vegas have kids.  I'm not going to say where we have our meetings, but I've had to make accommodations for everyone's kids at our SWA meetings.  My daughter has grown up knowing "her job" is to entertain the other sex workers' kids so the moms can talk freely.  I don't even see any type of place where the kids can go and keep themselves busy.  Another reason why I usually have our meetings either when the kids are in school, or after they go to bed.  If I don't, then I have to hold the meetings at places like Chuckie Cheese so the kids can play while the mom's talk.  

This whole thing illustrates why anything involving a certain community should INVOLVE that community.  I have quite a few "sponsees" in Nevada and I can assure you there's no way any of us would be getting up at 10 am on a Saturday morning for one thing.  For another, the place isn't set up to help us watch our kids, nor at a good time where the kids are in school.  Most of them are working Friday or Saturday, and their husband's are home on Saturday's also.  It's why I don't host any SWA meetings of our program on a Saturday anyway.  Haven't in over 20 years.  

I asked around the local "old timers" in AA and NA and they don't know anything about this meeting.  The person behind it told me that I was only curious because I wanted to "be relevant" which is insane being I asked because I'm in recovery and I need to know about meetings for the purpose of our hotline.  They also tried to deny this meeting is one that's too "public" in my opinion to host sex workers in recovery.

Let me tell you about REAL sex workers.  If some people even find out you're in porn, stripping, let alone prostitution - you're liable to get Child Protective Services at your door wanting to take your kids.  Were you arrested for anything?  No.  Doesn't matter.  The current systems in this country view a sex worker as an "unfit' mother.  Men are suing for custody over this constantly on that ground and winning.  I see CPS taking kids right and left from our members who aren't doing anything even illegal.  

You don't know how the neighbors will act.  Just KNOWING WHERE YOU LIVE can be dangerous, ESPECIALLY IN LAS VEGAS.  https://downtrend.com/vsaxena/cytherea-raped-by-gang-of-teen-thugs

I know of a woman who took a cab home one night from working as a stripper.  The cab driver then swung back around after work, broke into her home and then RAPED  her.  If she had not had a gun in the house who knows what the guy would have done to her.  

Look at the way the public reacting with War Machine attacked Kristy Mack who resides in Vegas.  I have watched as 1/2 of her social media attacked her after that attack, and I have watched HORRIFIED as Jon's attorney went after her like she caused that attack.  A treatment I don't think she would be being subjected to if she was a secretary or a cashier somewhere.

REAL SEX WORKERS know there are DANGERS in just anyone knowing who you are, where you are, and especially to match a photo of you with your license plate and car make and model.  Anyone can run those plates and maybe even find out where you live.  Unlike California, Nevada requires you to list a home address on your plates and doesn't give you the legal right to protect that information in case you have stalkers.  

So who in their RIGHT MIND would put something out on social media saying "hey boys the hookers who are also coming off drugs are going to be at this address at this time come on down"?  

Certainly not anyone who has our protection and best interests at heart.  I know I go to a lot of trouble to find locations for our SWA meetings.  I have to scout for places where parking is "off street" and can't be seen from the street for reasons this meeting illustrates here.  I have to find ways to make it NOT apparent or obvious they're coming to our meeting like how for years I had one of our meetings in a public library.  This way if anyone was being followed it appeared they were just going to the library for a book.

PLEASE if you are in sex work, or used to be, and you're wanting to connect to others who are clean and sober - please contact www.sexworkersanonymous.com  We'll protect your anonymity and I have PLENTY of numbers of old timers all over the country who are there just to help you with your recovery who are more than happy to talk to you, work with you, and to do so where you are PROTECTED from any thing where you could be recorded, that information used against you, or who knows what's going on with this "data mining".  


Look - I was approached in Las Vegas by a vice detective back in 2007.  He offered me a substantial amount of money if I would become an "informant" about the types of calls we get in SWA, as well as tell them about what and who we're working with in Nevada.  I refused that offer.  

So trust me - information on who you are means money to some people.  Clearly someone is also trying to make sure they control your environment also if they're hosting a 12 step meeting about recovery when none of the old timers in this town know anything about this meeting.  

PLUS I'M ONE.  I am not only an ex-sex worker, with lots of friends still in the industry, working with our kind daily, but I'm also in recovery for years now and I reach out to these people and they ATTACK ME?  Threaten me with legal action and lawyers?  INSULT ME?  Okay if this is for real - that's the kind of recovery you want?

By the way, if you think there aren't people trying to identify personal information on people who are sex workers - think again.  

Here's an article about how Twitter was served with a legal demand to give them personal information on an account holder for no valid legal reason other than just being pissed off - https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/government-goes-after-critic-twitter-remembers-constitution-just-time

Do you think it's safe to be completely entirely open about being involved in sex work in some fashion?  Catch this article - http://www.africanindy.com/features/phones-protect-ugandas-sex-workers-from-police-harassment-5570964


If you need help and want to get it SAFELY - please call us first.  We know of many resources and people who are SAFE.  

As for "Tits & Sass" - someone came in and took over their site about two years ago, white washed every single comment by me or SWA, about me and SWA, and made it appear for some reason we don't even exist.  I ask you, how can that be a "sex worker community" forum when someone who has been a part of this community for over 30 years, has answered over 500,000 calls from sex workers on our hotline over that time, is "white washed" entirely off their site?  If I'm treated that way - then how much do they care about ALL of our voices?  Clearly it's only the ones they APPROVE of.  







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