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In the News (#1181)

So many clowns.  –  an Afghan refugee expert, about the rescue industry

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

It’s always nice when filth like this feed on each other:

…Waco [Texas cop]…Willy Rafael Lopez was arrested…after…he [was tricked by another pervert cop named Joseph Scaramucci who was fantasy role-playing] as a prostitute…online…Scaramucci [has a long history of this kind of creepy behavior, and previously targeted Lopez [with] the same [trick] in 2018…[which is ironic considering that] at that time, Lopez was [playing the same disgusting game to trick others]…

For more cops eating each other, see the next item.

Droit du Seigneur (#885)

Cops fantasy role-playing pimps vs cops fantasy role-playing sex workers & clients:

NYPD [cops]…Thomas Diorio and Michael Sardone, both of [whom fancied themselves “pimps”, were tricked by fellow cops]…in a[n elaborate sex fantasy]…the two cops were convinced to come up to a hotel room to lean on…another undercover cop [playing out a stupid stereotype of a customer] who didn’t want to pay the f[ee]…The details of the sting operation [reveal the depravity of the stupid stereotypes about sex work cops usually masturbate to]…

This would be hilarious if they didn’t use these make-believe sex games to justify spying upon, robbing, raping, abducting and deporting actual sex workers.

To Molest and Rape (#940) 

Cops are just a gang of rapist thugs waiting for opportunities:

Hundreds of cases of sexual misconduct were made against [cops in] Scotland…over the last four years – yet not one resulted in dismissal…245 counts of sexual misconduct [were filed] against 166 [cops, yet every one of these dangerous sexual predators is still loose to attack more women]…The findings come as part of a wider investigation into sexual misconduct in police forces across the UK in the aftermath of Sarah Everard’s murder…by [typical and representative cop] Wayne Couzens

Cops and Robbers (#1071) 

The rescue industry provides many opportunities for white folks to play cowboy:

…following the shambolic departure of U.S. troops [from Afghanistan]…a wide ecosystem of private citizens and groups [has appeared,] claiming to be facilitating the evacuation of both American and Afghan citizens…Many of the[se are]…making unsupported—and, in many cases, unverifiable—claims about their work in Afghanistan a[nd] raising funds off doing so.  Some of these are well-known [rescue industry]…organizations, many of them QAnon-adjacent, [which] have grown [wealthy]…in recent years by making bold, heroic claims of dubious validity about their work rescuing women and girls from sexual slavery…[th]is…troubling, widening stratum of would-be fixers and self-appointed saviors…are in [many] cases potentially imperiling the lives of people seeking to flee a war zone, [just as they’ve imperiled the lives of sex workers and migrants for decades]…”There are like 500 nonprofits raising money but not doing shit,” said one person directly involved in exfiltrating refugees…

Given that the media is finally starting to pay attention to this scam after 20 years (thanks to the Trump connection), this could also be filed under “The Implosion Begins”.

Torture Chamber (#1139)

Funny how often people “die suddenly” while cops are brutalizing them:

A 42-year-old man arrested by [Houston cops]…died suddenly [in a cage after cops beat and repeatedly]…tased [him while oinking out the words]…“combative”…[and “]open municipal warrants[“.  The cops have announced they’ll be “investigating” themselves]…

To Molest and Rape (#1168)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative] Kentucky [cop named]…Joshua Eugene Preece [pled guilty] to [federal]…child pornography [charges in return for a maximum]…sentence of…no more than 30 years…Preece [was dispatched] to a domestic dispute between a mother and daughter in November 2018…He…offered to drive [the daugher]…to her friend’s home…[but] instead…he…stopped his [pigmobile]…near a barn, [where he molested her and demanded]…her…Snapchat username and contact information…the girl told her mother what happened and [cops rooted in]…Preece’s cellular phone [to find]…numerous “sexually explicit photographs and conversations”…with “seven self-described minors that [prosecutors were un]able to identify” between the ages of 13 and 17 and that [Preece had]…confirmed each…was underage before continuing to chat with them…Preece’s internet-based predatory behavior went on for “months if not potentially years” and was effectuated through the use of “at least two false personas–a teenage female and a teenage male,” fake identities which were used “to coerce the…minors to send explicit photographs”…

Decentralization (#1174)

Did you ever wonder why the government stopped harassing bitcoin?

…central bankers want to displace grassroots cryptocurrencies with central bank digital currencies (CBDC) of their own design that absolutely will not protect privacy, and that will let governments control private transactions…”Imagine your digital balance shrinking slowly over time to motivate rapid consumer spending,” warns Alexander William Salter, a professor of economics at Texas Tech University.  “Or the Fed blocking payments to politically disfavored businesses”…There’s really no doubt that governments dislike financial privacy and want greater ability to monitor where and how we use our money.  As I write, President Joe Biden’s proposed tax plan “will give the IRS the resources it needs to keep up with the lawyers and accountants of the super-wealthy,” insists the president…[but] the proposal…would apply to all business and personal accounts…[above] $600…I suspect that $600 is a definition of “super wealthy” that’s new to most of us…

Diary #590

I don’t normally give Cicero his breakfast peanuts on the front porch, because, as you can see, it makes a bit of a mess.  But now that the monsoon season is once again upon us, I don’t have the heart to make him eat his breakfast in the rain, so if it’s actively falling when I get up in the morning, I’ll feed him in the dry spot near the door.  You can see where that stops in this picture, and you can also see the peanut storage in that garbage can; we buy ’em in bulk because it’s cheaper, and the wooden frame is to keep him from knocking it over (it was originally built because Orville kept doing exactly that).  And you can also see a hand truck which someone apparently forgot to put away after bringing my new desk upstairs last week; Jae is starting to work on my office, which is good because I’ve wanted that for a while now and we’ll have fewer days to work on the bathhouse now that it’s raining half of the week or more.  I would’ve liked to have a good bit of roofing up before this started, but it didn’t work out that way; still, there should be enough dry days over the next couple of months to make some slow progress before the really heavy rain arrives with the winter.

Wicked Problem

I scan a lot of articles every day in search of material for this blog, so I simply don’t have time to read most of them thoroughly even if I feature them in a news column; even if they’re interesting I generally read most of them in a somewhat cursory fashion, stopping to read more thoroughly whenever I hit a point that seems important.  And if a piece is longer than 1000 words or so, I’ll generally start skipping at about that point to see if there’s anything of note further down.  So when I find myself reading an article in its entirety, that is noteworthy in itself, as in the case of this post:

The parents of the 1980s and 1990s were Baby Boomers…until recently…the most panicky and gullible generation in American History…They grew up sheltered, coddled, [and] emotionally stultified…by PTSD-ridden survivors of World War 2 in atomized nuclear families…without nearby relatives…disconnected from the filial and familial bonds that had historically characterized social institutions…under the most suffocating and paranoid propaganda campaign ever undertaken in the West up to that point…Is it any wonder that this generation fell for every conspiracy theory that could be cooked up to fleece them? Is it any wonder that, once they had children they got paranoid? Or that, as parents, they freaked out about the same sex/drugs/rock’n’roll culture that they enjoyed and championed in their youth? Or that they believed that the risk for child-abduction in the 80s was both new and ubiquitous? Or that they believed that there was a Satanist behind every bush and that one in four young girls are being raped in occult rituals so that their babies might be sacrificed at a Black Mass?…Gen X and the Millennials grew up watching this insanity, and the State power that followed it. When a child claims (or is claimed by others) to be abused, the State comes in and runs through a bureaucratic checklist, frequently resulting in long-term fracturing of families, sending children into a…system where they are more likely to be abused than if they stayed with relatives or friends, all while the State was willing and able to violate every point of law and civil liberties at the merest rumor of abuse, domestic violence, drug use, or sexual or religious deviance…They had to submit to more onerous interference in their personal lives…and/or submitting to the most invasive surveillance state in world history…People in such a situation don’t have many children, and tend to be too fearful as parents to let their children actually grow up…

That’s a good taste of it, but I think you’ll find the whole piece worth your time.

Links #589

Shut your mouth, boy.  –  “Officer” Hoover

As I was poking around YouTube, I discovered this live performance of Part One of Tubular Bells, which is not only seasonal (the first movement was used as the theme to The Exorcist, after all), but also happens to be one of my favorite albums of all time (and if you’ve ever seen me professionally, you may have noticed it playing in session).  The links above it were provided by Cop Crisis (x3), Scott Hechinger (x2), and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

In the News (#1180)

This…is just encouraging [prohibitionists] to bury us in paperwork that won’t accomplish anything.  –  an adult site webmaster

R.I.P. Shane Petzer

Shane Petzer, co-founder of the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), has died following a sudden heart attack.  Petzer was renowned for his advocacy of sex work in South Africa…Dr. Gordon Isaacs…also a co-founder of SWEAT…became acquainted with Petzer during the 1983 AIDS pandemic…Petzer…[w]as a male sex worker…[who] attend[ed] the first international sex worker conference in Japan…[which] inspired him to start…SWEAT…in 1996 after Petzer [met]…Ilsa Pauw[, an academic studying]…violence against female sex workers in Cape Town. Together with Pauw, Isaacs and a group of other people, SWEAT began its fight for the protection of sex workers…As a man having lived healthily with HIV for 20 years, [Petzer] also advocated for the universal treatment of people living with HIV…

To Molest and Rape

Another sexual predator specifically targeted a traumatized woman:

A Toronto [cop] who [was dispatched] to a woman’s [domestic violence] call…returned to…he[r]…home the next day and sexually assaulted her…Conal Quinn [was charged] with sexual assault and breach of trust following [the] March 21, 2021…assault [and rewarded with a paid vacation]…

Sexcrime (#911)

Respite from UK porn censorship lasted less than three years:

U.K. media [censor] Ofcom…[has] issued “new guidance” for video-sharing platform providers regarding what the government considers “measures to protect users from harmful material”…the…“guidance”…applies to U.K.-based platforms such as OnlyFans, PocketStars, TikTok, Snapchat, Vimeo and Twitch…and…includes…“protecting…users” from “material inciting violence or hatred…terrorism; child sexual abuse material; and racism and xenophobia”…[but the fine print attempts to restore a ban on “]material which has been deemed, or would likely be deemed, unsuitable for classification (such as sadistic violence or torture)[” which was struck down in February 2019]…the “Guidance” is described as “not a set of compulsory steps” but merely as “intended to help guide providers in deciding how best to comply with the statutory requirements”…[but] also [resurrects the requirement for]…”strict age-verification processes” [which was essentially abandoned as unworkable two years ago this month]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1008) 

European politicians consider talking about taking a baby step in the right direction:

The European Parliament has called for…a ban on law enforcement’s use of facial recognition, as well as other surveillance tools commonly used in the course of [so-called] predictive policing…[cop shops] would be prohibited from conducting biometric surveillance in public spaces—and a moratorium would be placed on tech that scoops up personal data via stuff like “gait, fingerprints, DNA, voice, and other biometric and behavioural signals.”  The measure also suggests the banning of facial recognition databases operated by private companies—a stipulation that would seriously hamper companies like dystopian creepster Clearview AI from operating within the EU’s borders…Yet while that all sounds pretty good, Parliament’s measure is non-binding…

I Spy (#1082)

Curiosity offends the state, comrade:

The U.S. government is secretly ordering Google to provide data on anyone typing in certain search terms…such “keyword warrants” threaten to implicate innocent Web users in serious crimes…[including “sex] trafficking[“]…racketeering…[and] fraud…search term orders are effectively fishing expeditions, hoping to ensnare possible suspects whose identities the government does not know.  It’s not dissimilar to so-called geofence warrants, where [cops demand] Google…provide information on anyone within [a certain distance of some] location [labeled] a crime scene at a given time…Google is continuing to comply with such controversial requests, despite concerns over their legality and the potential to implicate innocent people…Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at…ACLU…[said] “This never-before-possible technique threatens First Amendment interests and will inevitably sweep up innocent people, especially if the keyword terms are not unique and the time frame not precise. To make matters worse, police are currently doing this in secret, which [hides] the practice from public debate and regulation.”

The Next Target (#1130)

This elaborate concern kabuki is the direct result of “sex trafficking” propaganda:

XBIZ has been able to review a suggested “Report Abuse” compliance form that is part of compliance packages that several major industry sites have received with instructions to customize before October 15 in order to continue processing credit card transactions.  The form features a checklist of clickable boxes that anyone visiting an adult site is encouraged to use to report what they [claim] to be…“underage material,” “copyright/trademark infringement”…“prostitution or trafficking,” “weapons,” “drugs” and “other”…[one] webmaster said…“They want us to put a link to this [checklist] in all the footers on every page…which is then [copied] directly to Mastercard.”  The webmaster pointed out that both ruthless competitors and crusading anti-porn activists are likely to flood the system with bogus complaints…The webmaster also noted that the form essentially forces all adult sites to add the words “underage material,” “prostitution or trafficking,” “weapons” and “drugs” to their metadata, which then puts them at risk of AI shadowbans or even state surveillance…

Stalkers in Blue (#1140)

A whole gang of sexual predators specifically targeting traumatized women:

A woman who[se] picture…[was taken without her consent while cops abducted her from a] Sarah Everard vigil [that the cops had tried to prevent w]as [harassed by] “about 50” [cops]…via a dating app, leaving her “terrified”.  Patsy Stevenson…said they knew she was “fearful of police” and had done it “for a reason”…Hundreds attended the vigil…in south London fo[r]…Ms Everard, who was [raped and] murdered by [typical and representative cop] Wayne Couzens after he abducted her while she was walking home…[even though cops tried to] cancel…[the event by claiming]…it w[as] illegal under lockdown restrictions…[just as Couzens himself had used those same tyrannical diktats to intimidate his victim into submitting to abduction]…the “sombre atmosphere… turned very scary very quickly” after police started t[errorizing] the crowd…[Stevenson] has since launched legal action against the Met Police over the arrest

Bathhouse 48

Early last week, we got the last of the five support beams for the western roof section in place, after which it was time to cut off the overlong portions so everything could be welded into place.  Grace taught me to use the plasma cutter, which was actually quite easy when I was working downward on a section of tubing placed neatly before me while I was seated comfortably with my feet on the ground.  But working above my head or in front of my face at the very top of that ladder without adequate space to move the torch freely was quite another matter; because of the narrow space I couldn’t always keep the plasma stream perpendicular to the surface of the metal, resulting in sloppy cuts that didn’t always penetrate all the way through.  The first beam was the worst; I even managed to give myself a rather painful burn on my left wrist just past the end of the sleeve of my overshirt.  But once I got that one done, the second was a lot easier and the third was almost as easy as if it were on the work table.  Though you can’t really see from the previous pictures, it looks a lot neater now than it did before, and it will look neater still after it’s welded into place (after the cee purlins are all welded in place, which was interrupted this week by rain).  Soon we’ll actually have a roof in this section, then once we’ve done the southwest section the hot tub will be completely covered; the northwest section will be more complicated, but once it’s finished we’ll be able to get to Chekhov’s cottage without getting rained on.

Puritans realized long ago that nobody is buying their “sex is evil” bill of goods any longer, so they’ve broken it up into bite-sized chunks to more easily cram it down the gullets of the Great Unwashed.  These bites include “porn is evil”, “pragmatic sex is evil”, “sex between people more than a few years apart is evil”, “sex a woman later regrets is retroactively evil”, “kink is evil”, “any sex trans people desire is evil”, “any sexual thoughts occurring even one minute before the thinker turns 18 are both evil and unnatural”, “wanting more or different sex than a monogamous partner is evil”, and many others.  And as each of these was accepted into the popular consciousness, the puritans worked to expand it like driving a wedge into a log, until laws and policies nobody would’ve agreed to if presented up front are suddenly a fact, and the conversation is being dominated by people who actually think Cosmopolitan and Sports Illustrated qualify as “porn” and rather bland sex education materials qualify as “obscene”.  Paradoxically, the anti-sex mob are those most obsessed by sex; they see it even where normal people do not.  Moreover, they reveal their specific fantasies & kinks the second they open their mouths, because as those of us who have studied the psychology of human sexuality understand, taboos, either societal or personal, are the biggest turn-ons.  So when Joe Arpaio goes on and on about bestiality with dogs, and Gail Dines goes on about triple penetration, and when other “feminists” go on and on about semen despite the existence of condoms, what they’re actually doing is revealing the specific nature of the fantasies which simultaneously obsess and bedevil them.

In the News (#1179)

It is difficult to imagine a situation in which parents would demand to see the driver’s licenses of neighbors handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.  –  Jacob Sullum

Crime Against Society (#609)

Courts are finally curtailing the worst of Louisiana’s nasty “sex offender” game:

The U.S. Supreme Court…declined to hear Louisiana’s appeal of a decision against its 2006 law requiring that people [condemned to] the state’s sex offender registry carry IDs or driver’s licenses that say “SEX OFFENDER” in orange capital letters.  A year ago, the Louisiana Supreme Court concluded that the requirement amounted to compelled speech and could not be justified by the state’s legitimate interest in protecting public safety…registries…are primarily punitive, exposing registrants to ostracism, harassment, and violence while impeding their rehabilitation by making it difficult to find employment and housing…Louisiana’s experiment in ritual humiliation, which branded registrants with orange letters they had to display in every transaction that required producing a government-issued ID, compounded those costs without offering any plausible benefits…

Louisiana even condemned sex workers to this “registry”; at one time, fully half of New Orleans’ victims of this monstrous punishment were sex workers.

To Molest and Rape

Prosecutors care more about magical clown costumes than about rape:

An off-duty cop has been charged with raping his girlfriend inside their Queens home…[on] Sept. 7…The girlfriend appears to have contacted police [last] week, with [rapist cop] Gilberto Salazar-Giraldo…arrested [on October 4th and]…suspended without pay…

Property of the State (#942) 

A rare rollback of state control of pregnant women:

[The Ohio Supreme] Court found that a woman can’t be charged with possession of drugs…just because she and her newborn had drugs in their systems…Kelly Foreman appealed her conviction on felony drug possession charges, which he was charged with after giving birth in March 2018…she was not “in actual or constructive control of any drugs”…and…the high court found that tests proving the presence of cocaine were “insufficient to prove that she possessed cocaine in Seneca County”…The court opinion said the argument that possession could be established through urine or umbilical cord testing leads to the possibility that a person could be charged with possession anywhere they test positive in the state, no matter where the drugs were when they were taken…

The Cop Myth (#1075)

Sleeping with a cop is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do:

…Matthew Kinne…a…[typical and representative cop] in…Oxford [Mississippi, knew that his mistress]…Dominique [Clayton] was home alone th[e]…night [of 18 May 2019], as her children were spending the weekend with a relative.  At the end of his shift, Kinne went…to a barn where the police horses were kept and left his mobile phone there…so that his movements could not be traced.  He…park[ed his pigmobile] around the corner [from]…he[r] home…[entered her bedroom] at around 2.05am…[and] shot her…in the head…Kinne [then] drove back to the barn to collect his phone and texted her at 2.20am as though nothing had happened…

Tissue of Lies (#1087)

The latest pig fad: collecting a bunch of unrelated raids, arrests & record updates and calling the resulting dog’s breakfast a “human trafficking sting”:

Ten…[legal minors officially missing in]…Ohio [records were located when] authorities conducted [a record review similar to one last year, bizarrely referring to it as an] anti-human-trafficking operation…[and linking it with] the [unrelated] arrests of 161 people [in typical prostitution stings.  Cops also abducted one sex worker’s]…2-year-old [child]…The weeklong [pogrom] involved over 90 [pigs and spooks, oinking, grunting, and rooting in people’s private business, ruining lives to get about 50] misdemeanor [charges.  Among those arrested were] 51 [legal minors, some of whom were accused of selling sex to survive]…

Ohio is especially invested in this kind of swine theater in order to call attention away from the rapes, molestation, robbery, extortion, and murders practiced by Columbus’ “vice” gang for decades.

Winding Down (#1133)

Is it too much to ask Seattle politicians to actually ban these arrests instead of merely “urging” cops not to violate people’s rights?

Seattle just became the largest city in the country with a hands-off policy for…natural psychedelics…[after] the city council unanimously approved a resolution that says “the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of anyone engaging in entheogen-related activities should be among The City of Seattle’s lowest enforcement priorities”…[but does not impose] that…as [SPD] policy…The new policy…[only] applies to…”living, fresh, dried, or processed plant or fungal material”…[but not lab-made substances such as LSD or MDMA]…Seattle joins several other U.S. cities in urging [cops to] tolera[te] psychedelic use.  In 2019, Denver voters approved a[n]…initiative that made adult possession of psilocybin the city’s lowest law enforcement priority and prohibited the use of public money to pursue such cases.  Last year, the city councils of Ann Arbor, MichiganOakland, California; and Santa Cruz, California, enacted similar measures…An…Oregon ballot initiative approved in November decriminalized low-level possession of drugs, including psilocybin and other psychedelics…

Seattle’s resolution, unlike Denver’s, does not deny cops funds to persecute drug users, which renders it dependent upon voluntary cop cooperation.

Censorship Ascendant

Censors are now pretending ideas they don’t like constitute a “crime”:

Local busybodies in Campbell County, Wyoming, are trying to brand children’s or young adult books about getting pregnant, sex education, and being gay as illegal obscenity…books reported to [the cops] include How Do You Make a Baby? by Anna FiskeDating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy…the teen sex-education book Doing It by Hannah WittonThis Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, and Sex Is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg.  The latter—an award-winning children’s comic book on the American Library Association’s 2016 Reading List—discusses concepts such as sex, gender identity, “privacy, safety, and respect,” “protecting yourself against unwanted sexual touch and abuse,” and “boundaries regarding nudity”…The…disturbing element here is…that [rather than leaving these matters to actual experts]…prosecutors are [actually] reviewing the case…

Diary #589

We still have a way to go to finish the bathhouse, but once that awful awning was down and the GFCI panel was wired up, there was nothing to stop us using the hot tub.  So last week I filled it up and brought it up to temperature, and on Wednesday I enjoyed it for the first time, while playing music through a Sonos one of my gents bought for me (which currently resides in the wellhouse, though it will be more out in the open once the roof is complete).  It was just so awesome and relaxing and just plain nice that I’m even more excited about getting it all finished so I don’t have the break from perfection caused by having to walk through cold air to the back door when I emerge.  The control panel is not at all intuitive, but another of my gents owns a spa business and was able to talk me through the controls, so I’m beginning to get the hang of it.  Now I can’t wait for the opportunity to have several of my friends over, because if I can’t have a bunch of naked women hanging out in my hot tub while stoned, what is even the point of being a hooker with a hot tub in the first place?

I’ve mentioned my friend, Dr. David Ley, in this blog many times before, and he wrote a guest essay for me back in ’14.  I recently saw him tweeting about this, and upon my request he expanded those thoughts into this new guest essay.

In 2020, the world saw a tragedy unfold in Atlanta, Georgia, as Robert Aaron Long committed multiple murders at massage parlors.  Long later identified himself as a “sex addict” and claimed that he engaged in these crimes in order to rid himself of temptations.  When arrested, Long was allegedly also on his way to Tampa, Florida, in order to commit similar violent attacks targeted at aspects of the adult film industry.  Long pled guilty to some charges, but still faces trial in Atlanta for other murders.  In September, 2021, a former Marine burst into a Florida family’s home, executing and torturing the family of four.  The assailant identified to police that he believed the family held a kidnapped, sex-trafficked female child, and he was intending to rescue her.  In August 2021, Instagram influencer and former stripper Mercedes Morr was slain by an obsessed male fan, apparently enraged by the idea she had betrayed him to be with another man.  In December, 2016, a North Carolina man fired multiple shots into a Washington, DC pizza restaurant, having come to the restaurant in order to rescue children that he believed were held there for sexual-trafficking and exploitation.  This theory had abounded in conservative media, connecting Democratic politicians and public figures to conspiracy theories alleging rings of pedophiles hid throughout society and government, secretly abusing and exploiting children.

Sexual anxiety and fear is a favorite target of media hyperbole, as it serves as an easy means to create uncertainty and interest in potential consumers.  Suggesting to an audience that their spouse may be unfaithful, or even that the viewer/reader is not a skilled lover, are guaranteed ways to hook an audience, and keep them reading, watching or clicking.  Claims of sex-trafficking, and cries to “save the kids” are remarkably effective ploys to raise money, has been demonstrated numerous times with groups such as Operation Underground Railroad, where daring raids to save children are staged to raise donations, though the activities achieve little and may actually promote children being put at risk.  Unfortunately, while these tactics trigger donations, salacious interest or mild insecurity in many, these tactics can trigger intense panic, even delusions, in persons with severe underlying mental illness.  In the 1990’s, media sex panic over Satanic ritual abuse sex cults led to countless individuals developing false memories that they themselves had been sexually abused by secret cults of brainwashing Satan-worshiping doctors, daycare providers and neighbors.

Earlier this year, I appeared on The Dr. Phil Show, where a woman was interviewed who held beliefs that she had been sex-trafficked, raped, and brainwashed by a host of assailants, ranging from Beto O’Rourke to Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, and even her adult son.  My role on the show was to gently try to invite her to consider that her beliefs might be inaccurate, and less important than her desire to re-establish a relationship with her son.  During the recovered memory movement and the Satanic Ritual Abuse panic, families were destroyed as people developed false memories.  Many later recanted these memories, and had to try to restore their relationships, though sadly, many did not and families remained sundered on the basis of these delusional beliefs.  I found it fascinating how this woman’s beliefs in the men who had abused her reflected the names and headlines of sex scandals, suggesting how these names and stories had infiltrated her vulnerable thinking.

Media sex panics do far more than just sell books and commercials. They destroy lives, families, careers.  They affect the thinking of vulnerable individuals, who act based on those panics, and the degree to which those hyperbolic claims infiltrate their disturbed thinking.  Sadly, some of those individuals act in dangerous, violent ways.  We must begin to discuss ways to hold the media at large responsible for the consequences of their exploitation of sexual anxiety.  Perhaps then we can invite the media to temper their clickbait driven reporting with an understanding of the potential impact of their words on vulnerable minds, and people who become innocent targets of their sensationalism.