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Posts Tagged ‘BDSM’

[Pandemic] measures [seem to] constitute the fulfillment of preexisting authoritarian tendencies.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I hope this makes Swedish criminalization fans extremely uncomfortable:

A…[typical and representative] Toronto [cop]…solicit[ed] a sex…worker…[Travis Houston implicitly threatened her with a gun] and told her that he was a [cop, but instead of submitting she]…demanded that he leave…He was charged with weapons dangerous [sic], obtaining sexual services and mischief [but also rewarded with a paid vacation]…

The More the Better 

Even lurid gawking by creeps at the New York Times can serve the greater purpose of demystifying sex work to squares:

…financial domination [is] a form of B.D.S.M. [sic] that has flourished during the pandemic, when many sex workers and their customers have migrated online because of social distancing..The concept is simple, even if the allure is not immediately self-evident: “finsubs” (short for “financial submissives”) send monetary “tributes” to a financial dominatrix…in exchange for being humiliated and degraded…

Rough Trade (#448) 

Can we not all agree something is wrong without giving the state another excuse for violence?

…antics now considered merely caddish or immoral—like lying to a prospective sex partner about one’s relationship status, social standing, or future intentions—would count as criminal sexual misconduct…[under a] bill…sponsored by [a gaggle of]…New York [politicians which would criminalize sex]…”obtained with…the use of…deception, fraud, concealment or artifice”…Women could be guilty for lying about contraceptive use or menstrual cycles, and men for lying about having a vasectomy.  Trying to win over a date by saying you have a better job than you actually do, live in a nicer place, or went to a better school could become a crime if that date sleeps with you…Someone might try to sue or press charges based on the idea that makeup, Botox, boob jobs, and similar measures to enhance one’s appearance should count as illegal artifice that negates consent.  It also seems likely that people could attempt to use the law against transgender…people…

As I pointed out in the subtitle-linked article, this would make prostitution stings legally rape, but no cop would ever actually be prosecuted for it.  Overbroad laws, no matter how good they may sound to some, are only ever used to increase the power of those who already have it at the expense of those who don’t.

Little Boxes (#865)

Forced sexual contact with strangers is “trust building”, but voluntary sexual contact with strangers is a “crime”:

A former employee of…Panda Express…was required to strip down to her underwear and hug a partially clad co-worker during a “cult-like ritual” at a 2019 training seminar sponsored by the company as a prerequisite to promotion…At the start, attendees were told to sit down and not talk, and were left in isolation for a full hour before a man stormed in, yelling in Spanish and berating them for sitting there and doing nothing…participants were prohibited from using their cellphones, there was no clock in the room and the doors and windows were all covered with black cloth…the woman…was forced to strip down to her underwear under the guise of trust building…while, Alive Seminars staff were openly ogling the women in their state of undress…Attendees…were confined in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation…[and not even allowed] to use the restroom…[even] to throw up…

HIV Cure (#920)

Another silver lining for the COVID pandemic:

new HIV vaccine, based on the Moderna COVID-19 inoculation, has shown a 97% antibody response rate in Phase I clinical trials…If approved, this vaccine could become the first stage of a multi-step strategy to combat HIV and other viral diseases.  The vaccine successfully stimulated the production of rare immune cells needed to generate antibodies against HIV…

Like Houses (#1031)

Government can always be counted on to use any excuse to expand tyranny:

…the…world that is more-policed and less-free than it was a year ago…Protests continued across the U.K. over…a proposed law that would increase police powers…[after a cop] murder[ed] Sarah Everard…[in] France…[t]ens of thousands…protest[ed] legislation that would restrict people from publishing identifiable images of [cops]…police have [brutalized] demonstrators in countries including Belgium, France (again), Greece, Germany, Italy, and elsewhere.  Mounted police in Brussels trampled a woman at an anti-lockdown party, before opening up with water cannon.  In Athens, [a cops beat]…a man…to enforce a…lockdown…”Across the world in 2020, citizens experienced the biggest rollback of individual freedoms ever undertaken by governments during peacetime (and perhaps even in wartime),” [wrote] The Economist…and…at least some countries want to permanently increase the status and power of police…

To Molest and Rape (#1127)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative New Jersey cop] and [known lecher has been] sexually assaulting a [girl] for five years, starting when she was 15…Tyrone Rolls…was charged…with sexual assault [but also rewarded with a paid vacation.  As usual, “authorities” are weirdly fixated on whether]…he was [wearing his magical clown costume while committing the rapes]…The [victim finally gathered the courage to] report…Rolls [after he slapped her]…and knocked her to the ground…

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Fuck Polaris.  –  Cathy Reisenwitz

Tales from the Dark Side

It’s a bad idea to even discuss such fetishes in writing with any amateur you don’t literally trust with your life:

…unverified screengrabs of…lurid text messages allegedly sent by actor Armie Hammer between 2016 and 2020 were posted by the Instagram account @houseofeffie…In one, Hammer professes his desire to “bite pieces off of” the recipient and eat her heart; in another, he says, “I am 100% a cannibal. I want to eat you. Fuck. That’s scary to admit. I’ve never admitted that before”…the screengrabs have not been verified, and Hammer himself has denied that they are legitimate…[NYC dominatrix] Empress Wu says…she was relatively unperturbed by the alleged…sexts: “they seemed pretty typically male dom-y, if not a slight bit extreme.”  (For what it’s worth, Hammer has talked openly about his fondness for kink in a 2013 Playboy interview, and was [criticiz]ed for liking a rope-play tweet in 2017)…But…[because] Hammer’s exes have come forward to allege inappropriate or nonconsensual behavior…Empress Wu says that the discourse surrounding [his] transgressions should focus less on his alleged kinks and more on the alleged consent violations

Original Sin (#321)

This steaming pile is such a sad regurgitation of all the usual anti-porn nonsense that I’m not even going to bother to quote it, but the link is there if you want to look for yourself.  It’s all there: the claim (rooted in US Evangelical Christianity, as you can see by clicking on the subtitle for the state of this propaganda eight years ago) that “sex trafficking” is caused by porn; the numbers pulled out of some prohibitionist’s rectum (though, interestingly, not up to date with the latest impossible “Walk Free” fantasy); the cop sharing his misogynistic masturbatory fantasies with anyone gullible enough to listen; the claim that all sex workers were molested as children (or that we still are children, sometimes both); the uniquely Floridian innumeracy (such as referring to two cases as “countless”); the mindless repetition of the latest high-profile propaganda from some arch-prohibitionist; the quotation of obscure fanatics in non-peer-reviewed publications as “experts”; the wholesale infantilization of adult women and the accompanying invalidation of our economic, sexual and psychological agency; and of course the usual list of astonishingly-vague “signs of trafficking” that could apply to half the human race.  For more of the same, peruse the tags “The Puritan Recrudescence” and “The Pro-Rape Coalition“.

Safe Position

Though this is becoming a safe position, we still have a long way to go:

[Politician] Tishaura Jones…in…her campaign [for mayor of St. Louis]…said she wants to “destigmatize and decriminalize sex work.”  Her campaign political director, Matt Rauschenbach…[appears to think all sex workers are drug-addicted, homeless survival workers; her opponent Lewis] Reed [shared his disgusting sexual fantasies about]…children…[candidate] Andrew Jones [bloviated about]…human trafficking and [compared women to inanimate objects, and]…fourth candidate…Cara Spencer, said [consensual sex is]…a serious problem [and emitted Swedish-smelling mouth farts]…

Held Together With Lies (#996)

Cathy Reisenwitz on the awfulness of Polaris:

Polaris is a Washington, D.C.-based [NGO that]…operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline (est 2007) which ostensibly exists so that sex trafficking victims can call for help and rescue.  In reality, the majority of the calls to the hotline are from “community members”…[and] most…are either nothing or adult, consensual prostitution.  When Polaris gets a tip…they send the information to [cops] and ICE.  Every “rescue” of sex workers through Polaris is an arrest by police or federal agents…Polaris forces women to stop doing sex work through arrest and the threat of imprisonment or deportation…Polaris [has] claimed, without any evidence whatsoever, that “all” of the 9,000 [Asian] massage businesses across the US “have some element of trafficking”…This is part of a growing racist assault on Asian business owners in the US…Polaris…“strongly opposed” a bill to decriminalize sex work in DC…Not only are they lying about their actual goals, but their tactics actually work at cross purposes to their stated goals…

Incidentally, this heading was rather arbitrary; Polaris is one of the most aggressively dangerous of the rescue industry propaganda mills, and its “National Human Trafficking Hotline” generates the absurd numbers quoted extensively in copaganda and puritans’ wanking fantasies by the simple expedient of counting every single call, whether from a cop, prohibitionist, reporter, hysteric, or anybody else (no matter what the reason for that call), as a “sex trafficking case”.  It’s also one of the chief culprits in promoting the racist myth that sex work is somehow akin to historical black chattel slavery; its name derives from the fact that escaping slaves in the antebellum South followed the star Polaris to keep moving northward toward freedom.  If you’ll search “Polaris” on this blog you’ll get scores of hits across many headings.

Stupor Bowl (#1017)

This pathetic public promotion of misogynistic masturbatory material appears to be all that’s left of the once-popular “gypsy whores” myth:

[Lying pigs] in West Florida have a[bduc]ted more than 70 people [over the past] month…[using the bogus excuse of] human trafficking …[they absurdly claimed it had something to do with] next month’s Super Bowl game [even though that is still weeks away]…the sting…[involved male cops fantasy-role-playing female sex workers] online…and [sows badly cosplaying] as prostitutes, resulting in the arrest of 71 men who [failed to exercise due diligence in seeking consensual adult] sex…[Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad] Chronister [then embarassed himself by loudly oinking creepy sexual fantasies involving women]…”forced to sell their bodies against their will”…[and made furtive movements in his pants while talking about] sex workers…being raped [but omitted the fact that most such rapes are committed by his own herd of swine]…

Winding Down

France becomes the first European country to start this conversation:

France is Europe’s biggest cannabis consumer, despite having some of the continent’s toughest laws against the drug…[so] a group of [politicians]…have launched an initiative to…encourage the French political class to be more open to the idea of legalising [it]…a citizens’ consultation [was] launched on January 13…[and] more than 175,000 people responded…compared to an average of 30,000 responses to such consultations…[the] objectives…[are] to better understand the French public’s views about cannabis, and to understand what government policies on the drug people want…

Social Distancing (#1094)

Another example of how “lockdowns” cause far more harm than good:

In Colorado’s three largest cities, rising number of homicides…attributed in part to the COVID-19 pandemic…tell a startlingly grim story of domestic violence…More than a quarter of those who died in Colorado Springs were victims of domestic violence…In Denver…aggravated assaults tied to domestic violence jumped more than 40%, totaling more than 1,000 in 2020…New Orleans-based data consultant Jeff Asher analyzed crime rates in more than 50 [US] cities.  Using data through September, he saw a 36.7% increase in murder rates…the largest one-year increase in murder in the nation’s history…

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I make way more money per hour playing a professor in the dungeon than being one in real life.  –  Mistress Snow

Aggressive Ignorance

In Florida, you can now get a “certification” in racist, misogynistic propaganda:

Florida State University has launched a new certification in human trafficking prevention and intervention…to [indoctrin]ate [authoritarians in the approved]…human trafficking [propaganda]…the Tallahassee Police Department [recently] charged over 170 people [with various misdemeanors it pretended were linked together]…into a sex trafficking network…[authoritarians and profiteers] who seek to get the certification can use what they learn and apply it to…[profiting from the] crim[inalization of consensual acts and inventing propaganda]…just like [the cops did with] this one…

Buried Truth

I think we have enough evidence to start calling this “McNeill’s Law”:

An anti-LGBTQ+ Hungarian politician has resigned from the European Parliament after being caught in what’s being described as an orgy involving 25 men.  József Szájer, who has spoken proudly of writing a ban on same-sex marriage into Hungary’s constitution, acknowledged…that he had been at what he called a “house party”…in Brussels…[which was] raided [using the excuse of] violation of Belgium’s COVID-19 restrictions, banning gatherings of more than four people.  Szájer was caught “shimmying down a drainpipe” in an attempt to escape police…He had no identifying documents with him and had drugs in his backpack…[but] was released with a warning after [cops] escorted him home and he produced his diplomatic passport.  Police, however, “have opened a case against those present for violating lockdown rules, as well as against Szájer for possession of drugs”…

Shame, Shame

The state believes it’s OK for its operatives to dox you, but not vice-versa:

French President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling party agreed…to completely rewrite a draft plan that would have c[riminaliz]ed the…shar[ing of] images identifying [violent cops], after large protests over the weekend against police violence…More than 133,000 people, including 46,000 in Paris alone, demonstrated against the draft bill and in favour of free speech…The rallies followed the publication of video footage of a Black man being beaten up by three [cops] inside his own music studio…Macron…branded [the evidence] “shameful” for France [and therefore tried to prevent it happening not by controlling the pigs, but by criminalizing the act of revealing it]…Article 24…[would have] made it a crime – punishable by a year in prison and a 45,000 euro ($54,000) fine – to share [pictures of cops] with an “obvious intention to harm” [as determined by authoritarian bureaucrats]…

Imaginary Evils (#737)

Remember, huge police operations have never found more than a single-digit number of “sex trafficking” cases anywhere in the UK:

[Cops fantasize that] nearly 100…woman were [magically] trafficked into Scotland and forced into prostitution despite the ­lockdown restrictions…Fil Capaldi, head of Police Scotland’s National Human Trafficking Unit said: “[Pimps are magical ninjas who can walk through walls and pull screaming children through computer monitors, so naturally they have no trouble with travel restrictions]…Slavery is not a thing of the past, it’s happening in every local authority throughout ­Scotland…When ­international borders open up again, we will see a spike in trafficking”…he said Covid rules may have helped the traffickers keep their vile trade hidden…

So “sex trafficking” increases under restrictions, and it also increases when there are no restrictions.  It’s easy to make contradictory statements when nobody expects you to provide even the most rudimentary evidence of anything you say.

Feminine Pragmatism (#970) 

It’s good to see that the media are beginning to grasp this:

More than half of all college professors are now “adjuncts”: part-time freelance instructors who…have the same PhDs as their tenured and full-time colleagues, but who get paid low amounts on a per-course basis, with few or no benefits and little job security.  Typically, adjuncts (also known as “contingent faculty”) string together gigs at multiple colleges, which pay an average of $3,984 per course…So, many adjunct professors now find themselves needing to find significant side-work to stay afloat…Last December, Mistress Snow…wrote a personal essay for the Chronicle of Higher Education, entitled “I Told My Mentor I Was a Dominatrix: She Rescinded Her Letter of Recommendation.”  The summer before the article came out, she found herself without a teaching gig—which is common for adjuncts…[so] she w[ent]…back [to] the sex trade…

Social Distancing (#1055)

So many “enlightened” countries still believe that disease is caused by “sin”:

On September 26, 2020 the Government of Ontario closed down strip clubs without warning or consulting strippers.  At the same time, other similar businesses such as bars continued to be allowed to operate.  Strippers are not demanding we be given exceptional treatment…we only want to be treated fairly.  This means being consulted about the implementation of prevention and other occupational health and safety measures at our workplaces, rather than government officials assuming we are vectors of disease that pose particular risk to public health…

Social Distancing (#1082)

Another example of how “lockdowns” cause far more harm than good:

…In sub-Saharan Africa, 16 countries have an HIV prevalence rate greater than 37 per cent among sex workers.  “To ignore HIV prevention and sex workers during an emergency is self-defeating,” said Innocent Modisaotsile…[of] the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.  “New infections and demands for ARV treatment will burden the health system.”  COVID-19 has brought hardships to sex workers in Africa…in terms of loss of income, police crackdowns, exclusion from social protection schemes, and increased violence…in the past two decades Kenya’s robust HIV prevention and care programme has reduced HIV prevalence among sex workers significantly…[via] drop-in centres (DICs) that provide safe spaces, healthcare and peer support…[but] under the lockdown [police roadblock are preventing sex workers from accessing the centres]…

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The 8-Ball was a psychic.  –  Stella Immanuel

The day after I found the “Bradbury” link, my favorite living animator, Amy Winfrey, tweeted this muffin film (if you’re unfamiliar with Amy, it’s one of her series) as a response.  The links above the video were provided by Kevin Wilson, Jesse Walker, Billy Binion, Ally Fogg, Franklin Harris, and Lady Vi, in that order.

From the Archives

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Sex workers tend to find [“feminist”] attitudes offensive, paternalistic and…detrimental to their rights.  –  Gabriele Koch

Japanese Prostitution

If Koch was really “surprised” by any of this, she isn’t much of an anthropologist:

Gabriele Koch’s new book Healing Labor: Japanese Sex Work in the Gendered Economy…is…a menagerie of “sex for sale” stories from one of the largest markets in the world.  An assistant professor of anthropology at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, Koch spent almost two years on ethnographic fieldwork, exploring how Japanese sex work is woven into a culture and economy that frequently puts women at a disadvantage.  Along the way, Koch says, she had to be open to surprises.  “I soon realized that the kinds of [unscientific fantasies and bigoted misconceptions] I had as an American about what sex work is, who’s involved and how (the women) think about their work didn’t really fit what I was hearing or seeing,…One surprise was how the sex industry is more or less accepted as socially necessary in Japan…But despite this…sex workers still face a lot of stigma.  Both in Japan and in the United States, people often think of the sex industry as somehow different from the rest of society.  But it’s an ordinary industry made up of ordinary people”…

Warning: the (male) reviewer insists on editorializing about how sex work is “sexist”, “problematic” and accompanied by “attendant ills”, despite Koch’s apparent rejection of these bigoted tropes.

Rotting Fruit

I wonder how long it’ll be before she conveniently “commits suicide”?

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, an ex-girlfriend of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, is facing charges in the US…includ[ing] enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and two counts of perjury.  She was…arrested in New Hampshire and…has denied any involvement in or knowledge of Epstein’s alleged sexual misconduct…

Moving Pictures

Apparently “sex trafficking” fetishists think all films about coercive sexual interactions must promote their specific fantasy narrative:

Netflix said…it will continue to stream the Polish film 365 Days [despite demands it be censored]…including by [a] British [pop star who apparently thinks it will undermine the sales of her own book about being raped]…the film…based on a bestselling Polish book trilogy by Blanka Lipinska…follows a woman…who is imprisoned by a Sicilian mafia boss…who gives his hostage a year to fall in love with him…

Stalkers in Blue

Hey female cops, how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

[Cop] Heather McWilliam was sexually harassed for years by her supervisors, including a sexual assault…part of a culture of sexual harassment that exists throughout the Toronto Police…However, the…[judge merely]…ordered…$85,000 as compensation…and…yearly…training…[on] dealing with sexual harassment…

Ordering cops receive more “training” is a popular way for judges to pretend they’re doing something while preserving the status quo.

Topping from the Bottom

Every amateur “sex scandal” makes me even more glad I’m a professional:

A case against the creator of the “Shitty Media Men” list can move forward, per a federal judge’s ruling…in a lawsuit brought by…writer and director Stephen Elliott, best known [to sex workers for being a creep]…The issue at stake this round was whether Elliott is a public figure.  If so, the standard for proving defamation is higher, and the chances for [list creator Moira] Donegan’s motion to dismiss would have been much greater.  [The judge] ruled that Elliott is not a public figure for purposes of this case…Next up: figuring out what Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has to say about all this…Donegan argues that Section 230 applies here because she, as the creator of the list, is the provider of an “interactive computer service” and should not be held legally liable for potentially defamatory shitty-men allegations made by others…

Social Distancing (#1025)

So many “enlightened” countries still believe that disease is caused by “sin”:

Several dozen prostitutes…staged a protest in Berlin…against…restrictions…[that] are preventing them from making a living…sex work has been banned since mid-March [using the excuse]…of the coronavirus…[despite the fact that] “Hairdressers, massage parlours, beauty salons… fitness studios, tattoo shops, saunas, restaurants and hotels have been allowed to reopen”…[in Germany and] brothels have been allowed to reopen in neighbouring countries such as Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands…

Social Distancing (#1050)

Compare with Germany’s disdain for sex workers’ livelihoods:

With performers wearing facemasks as well as bikinis, Bangkok’s red-light districts reopened on [July 1st]…after more than three months of shutdown…Bars, karaoke venues and massage parlours were in the latest category of businesses allowed to reopen…It meant a return to work for some of the hundreds of thousands of people in the nightlife industry who have been struggling to survive…But Thailand’s economy is forecast to sink further than any other in Southeast Asia with the number of foreign tourists expected to drop 80% this year…

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Divided in this way, we all lose.  –  Kaytlin Bailey

R.I.P. Jack Hammer

The adult community lost a unique and intriguing personality this week with the death of veteran performer Jack Hammer XL…Hammer was…a former Marine who pursued his love of bondage and “sexual demolition” on his own website…this physically powerful performer also was a practitioner of Brazilian jiu jitsu, Muay Thai and crossfit…the 53-year-old…died at home unexpectedly of natural causes…The XL in Hammer’s name was not for “extra large”…it was the number 40 in Roman numerals…the year in his life that he started in porn…

Where Are the Victims?

Just imagine how much money was wasted to entrap a woman for the “crime” of introducing people:

A Dallas [escort service] owner was sentenced…to nearly four years in federal prison for agreeing to [provide very ordinary escort services]…to a group of [pigs pretending to be decent human beings looking for company]…Helen Kim…[took a] plea…[to avoid decades in a cage on made-up charges]…a number of foreign-born commercial sex workers [were arrested and deported in a scam involving]…about 50 [perverted pigs]…

Monsters

The Swedish model protects sex workers!

On the night of February 20-21, Jessyca Sarmiento was killed at her workplace in Bois de Boulogne.  She was struck by a car traveling at high speed….[which] did not even stop or slow…down…the attack [appears] deliberate.  Her murder is part of an increasing wave of attacks against the sex workers community in France after the “Swedish model” of clients’ criminalisation took place.  In the last 6 months, at least…10 sex workers were murdered…

All Wet

When a “study” claims only an impossibly-tiny fraction of men pay for sex, you can safely dismiss it as pure garbage:

On[ly one] in 15 men [admit] that they purchase sex occasionally — a 2% drop since [Swedish criminalization was implemented] in Ireland…77% of men [are to frightened to tell the truth even though 50% of men have paid for sex at least once, because]…purchasing sex is now a criminal offence in Ireland…[prohibitionist organization] Ruhama, [run by the same nuns who enslaved women in the horrific Magdalene laundries, was]…behind [the bogus study]…

Worse Than I Thought (#994)

Florida prohibitionists are completely out of control:

Jacksonville [Florida]…Mayor Lenny Curry…sign[ed] into law…a new bill that places tougher regulations on strip clubs [using the fashionable excuse of] sex trafficking…[prohibitionists vomited out “King of the Hill” fantasies about]…the bill [which raises]…the [minimum legal] erotic dance performer age from 18 to 21…increases the license fee for strip clubs…requires that everyone who works in a club…be [indoctrinated i prohibitionist sexual fantasies, and requires]…all clubs…to keep a file of everyone who’s danced there [so cops know which women they can rape with impunity.  The prohibitionists masturbated furiously while gasping that]…Jacksonville is a hub for human trafficking because it’s surrounded by water [and] has an airport and…interstate [highways]…

WATER CAUSES “SEX TRAFFICKING”!!!

The Course of a Disease (#1000)

The reaction of prohibitionists to rejection of Swedish criminalization demonstrates their sociopathic sense of entitlement to control others’ lives:

A group of 40 [prohibitionist] NGOs…hit out at…[plans by the government of] Malta…to decriminalise prostitution [instead of imposing Swedish criminalization]…The [prohibitionists are angry that]…the…government [is following]…science and [facts rather than anti-sex religious beliefs]…”How can…the…government [not] want…to continue facilitating [our control]…and objectification of women’s bodies?” the [prohibitionists whined]…

Safe Position (#1015)

Why we can’t have nice things:

A national organization that advocates for the decriminalization of sex work announced…that it has withdrawn a petition it filed…before the D.C. Board of Elections to place a bill to decriminalize prostitution in the nation’s capital on the D.C. ballot in November.  Decriminalize Sex Work…said strong opposition…by a coalition of local sex worker advocacy groups prompted it to withdraw the proposal…

Tyranny By Consensus (#1017) 

The typical politician’s response to criticism:  doubling down:

[Politician] Cristina Garcia…has no…expertise in sex work issues and…introduced [a sex worker surveillance bill without reading it]…she…[will] not entertain withdrawing [it, instead vomiting out idiocy about]…”basic training to identify human trafficking”…she has sponsored other bills mandating “human trafficking” training for “hotel workers”…”We want to i[ndocrinate]…folks t[o rat people out to the cops],” she added, confirming the suspicions of adult performers that AB2389 is a law enforcement bill disguised as a workers’ safety bill…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1019)

Still think this djinni can be stuffed back into its bottle?

Clearview AI…has been testing its facial recognition software on surveillance cameras and augmented reality glasses…under a division called Insight Camera, which has been tested by at least two potential clients…its website…was taken offline after BuzzFeed…was able to link it to [Clearview]…by comparing the code from Insight and Clearview’s respective log-in pages, which both shared numerous references to Clearview…

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Judging from the epic case of [“Super Bowl sex trafficking”] mass psychosis…Floridians could easily give the Flat Earth Society a run for its ducats.  –  Stephen Lemons

Not for Everybody

Another ex-sex worker thinks its her job to cheat her sisters out of money:

…dominatrix Francesca Freeman…has become a sex therapist [of the puritanical, exploitative kind and now claims she can]…straighten out men’s kinks…“thank goodness I had this spiritual ­­awakening or I could have ended up in prison.  The things I was doing to these men were becoming increasingly extreme and could’ve easily gone wrong”…[she claims she can “help” men] beat their sex addictions [even though there is no such thing]…“I had an ­incredible lifestyle as a…dominatrix and thought I was really happy.  But after I was dumped [by some dude] I was heartbroken and fell into depression…[she also claims that people are kinky due to] ­traumatic pasts [though there is no evidence for this, and wrongfully called consensual kink] “a cycle of abuse”…“Leaving the industry was an easy decision and I cried with disgust at the end of my last session”…

Sounds like somebody needs therapy, but it ain’t the clients.

Above the Law

If a non-cop had done this, he’d be facing “sex offender” registration:

A [typical and representative] federal [cop] in Arizona was sentenced to probation…after being caught on video smelling a 3-year-old girl’s underwear. The girl’s unnamed father received a motion alert from the nanny cam in his daughter’s room last May…when he checked the video recording he saw Deputy U.S. Marshal David Timothy Moon digging through the laundry hamper in the girl’s room and pulling out a pair of dirty underwear…[and] sniff[ing it] as he brought it to his face. He returned to the child’s room a second time just minutes later…[and] notice[d] the nanny cam.  “Goddamn it,” he can be heard saying while covering his mouth…the U.S. Marshals Service fired him when it heard the allegations…Moon’s girlfriend said “he threw out his computer” [probably to hide evidence of child porn] after learning police were looking for him…[he] was initially charged with two counts of felony trespassing with sexual motivation, but [the judge let him] plead down to misdemeanor trespassing [so he wouldn’t have to endure “sex offender” registration]…Judge Katherine Cooper [also] denied requests from prosecutors that Moon be subject to psychological evaluations and…said [the lenience was specifically because he was a cop]…

Guinea Pigs (#690) 

To flush civil rights, just apply a label like “prostitute” or “gang member”:

The [California] Department of Justice [claims it] has been working to fix CalGang for two years…but…state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra signaled last month that he may backtrack…[cops have repeatedly lied about how] additions [are made on mere] rumor[s and cop guesses] without evidence — until [long-hidden paperwork finally became available to public scrutiny]…CalGang…currently [even] allow[s] inclusion of people such as girlfriends or family members.  Its precursor began in the 1980s…and [cops]…can use anything from a sports jersey to a casual conversation with a [passerby to claim as supposed]…proof that a person belongs on CalGang…Concerns [were first publicly admitted by bureaucrats during]…a scathing 2016 state audit, which found it lacked oversight, and…could not substantiate the claims.  Auditors found records for children as young as 1 year old when their names were uploaded, prompting the Legislature in 2017 to put the database under the purview of the attorney general and demand new rules for its use…[but] thousands more [people] have been added while new rules are debated [by politicians]…

Think of the Children! (#696) 

“Community concerns” is a euphemism for “busybodies”:

Because of community concerns, Cary [North Carolina] police… conducted a [pogrom on two] massage businesses and]…arrested [two migrant women]…Both women are charged with practicing massage without a license…Moana Anderson and her husband brought their four daughters to the indoor playground next door…”That’s kind of scary because we wanted our kids to be safe [from sex rays, except for the sex rays generated by our barebacking often enough for me to pop out four brats]” Anderson [said]…”there’s no place for [safe sex] here in Cary”, said Angel Island Fun Park manager Cecilia Soto.  “Cary is a nice city…[where consensual sex] has no place [unless it results in spawn]…It has to go”…

Morality Lessons (#783)

Another Utah politician thinks he’s discovered a way to circumvent the First Amendment:

Any pornography distributed in Utah must carry a warning label describing [fantasized] negative impacts to youth, under…House Bill 243, sponsored by…Brady Brammer…The warning label would read:  “Exposing minors to pornography is known to the state of Utah to cause negative impacts to brain development, emotional development, and the ability to maintain intimate relationships. Such exposure may lead to harmful and addictive sexual behavior, low self-esteem, and the improper objectification of and sexual violence towards others, among numerous other harms”…the [label is intentionally] similar to California product label requirements…For videos, the [compelled speech] must be up for 15 seconds.  On printed publications, it must be prominently displayed…the Free Speech Coalition…[will] oppose the bill [as]…”compelled speech…unconstitutional on its face”…the bill…[is also unconstitutionally over]broad and could cover “basic nudity” and even “non-explicit sexual situations” such as a Kim Kardashian selfie or the TV show Game of Thrones…”It’s a lawsuit bonanza,” [FSC spokesman Mike] Stabile wrote…

Note that the censors are still pursuing the idea of using “public health” rhetoric, supported by nonsensical Gail Dines propaganda about “health effects” of porn, as a model for trumping free speech.

Traffic Jam (#905)

“Sex trafficking” hysteria is just a new excuse for persecuting the same groups as usual (sex workers, racial minorities, migrants, young people, etc), and as I have explained many times its mythology bears a strong resemblance to that of the Satanic Panic.  So it’s really fascinating to see prohibitionists comparing “sex trafficking survivors” to cult members; that is actually true, but in the opposite way prohibitionists claim.  This group appears to imagine that doing flexible work to earn a living is somehow cultlike, when in actuality it’s the process of stereotypic conformation and “reframing experiences” imposed on “exited” sex workers by prohibitionists which displays cultlike characteristics. Furthermore, take a look at the speaker list:  all cops and “rescue” profiteers, authority figures in the “sex trafficking” cult who can be counted on to belch forth the “correct” dogma and shut down independent thought.  Moral panics become increasingly extreme until implosion, and this one is from way beyond the Looking Glass.

A Broker in Pillage (#918)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

For decades, Detroit [cops]…and…prosecutors have systematically abused…drivers by [stealing]…and sell[ing] thousands of cars…from completely innocent owners…the Institute for Justice…has partnered with a group of Detroit drivers to…file a class action lawsuit in federal court seeking to end the cont[emptible] practice once and for all.  Melisa Ingram, [one of the] plaintiff[s, had]…her car [stolen]…by [cops] after she lent it to her then-boyfriend…[and cops claimed he] slow[ed] down in an area known for prostitution…he was never charged with a crime [but] police nevertheless [stole] Melisa’s 2017 Ford Fusion…[when] she explained that the car wasn’t his…the clerk explained that Melisa’s only option was to pay the city $1,800…she did not have…plus the cost of towing and storage…she was forced to give up her car and declare personal bankruptcy…

Prudesville (#954) 

Baristas are again appealing Everett’s legal claim that it has the right to police their clothes because “women who dress like sluts cause rape”:

…Everett’s bikini baristas and their lawyers [have] petition[ed] the Supreme Court…[to resolve the] issue [of] whether serving coffee wearing a bikini…is…free speech…the city of Everett [has been harassing] espresso kiosks staffed by [bikini-clad] women [for the past ten years.  Since November 2017, it has even claimed that the kiosks cause rape to justify]…ordinance[s] impos[ing] a minimum dress code on drive-thru food and drink stands…[and criminalizing the exposure of] specifically-defined parts of the butt or female breast…Two lower courts have…agreed [to pretend that the actual issue is]…the term “bottom one-half of the anal cleft” [rather than women’s ownership of our own bodies]…

Blunt Instrument (#963)

The Unsinkable Liz Brown takes a deep dive into the ongoing racist government campaign against massage parlors:

…law enforcement agencies frequently go on fishing expeditions, searching for needles in a haystack and then arresting anyone in the vicinity of the barn…and…the people most harmed by the attention…are the ones cops…claim they’re out to save…[in this] carceral charade…the twisted “help” offered to “exploited” women includes jail, seized assets, and deportation…Federal law enforcement officials are being enlisted…to [help local cops] round up women for giving unapproved hand jobs or offering ordinary back and foot massages without the right paperwork…these workers—mostly middle-aged Asian immigrant women—are treated as victims long enough to get authorities in the door and then as criminals once law enforcement officials are done playing hero to the press…

Pyrrhic Victory (#984) 

They actually admit that part of the point is to normalize constant surveillance:

A campaign to ban facial recognition on college campuses has just been launched by the non-profit organizations Fight for the Future and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.  Facial recognition technology is already being deployed in some public school systems…[and] Vendors like FaceFirst and Ellucian are already offering biometric surveillance…Raja Saravanan…of…Ellucian…cheerfully [explain]s that facial recognition software can be configured to check class attendance while also monitoring students’ nonverbal reactions in real-time as they listen to lectures…[and] noted…”Beijing Normal University…[uses] facial recognition system to prevent intruders entering student dorms.”  That…is not…reassuring considering that China’s authoritarian government is deploying hundreds of millions of cameras hooked to facial recognition as a mainstay of its social credit surveillance state.  In order to “foster a culture of [false] trust around facial tracking,” Saravanan recommends that campus facial recognition be rolled out incrementally [so the frogs don’t simply leap out of the pot]…

Micromanagement (#999)

They didn’t refuse on principle, but because the warrant was “improperly served”:

Ancestry.com, the largest DNA testing company in the world, was served a search warrant to [let pigs root in] its database of some 16 million DNA profiles, but the company did not comply.  “Ancestry…challenged the warrant on jurisdictional grounds…[it] was improperly served…and we did not provide any access or customer data”…Ancestry and its main competitor, 23andMe…have publicly vowed to defend their customers’ genetic privacy, and say they will fight efforts to open up their databases to [rooting] by police…Until now, only two [DNA] databases…GEDmatch…now owned by the f[ascist copsucking] company Verogen, and…FamilyTreeDNA — have been open to search requests from police…[but] GEDmatch contains [only] about 1.3 million profiles and Family Tree DNA has around 1.1 million.  So if cops were to gain access to the much larger databases operated by Ancestry or 23andMe, it would make s[urveillance of everyone in the US] much easier…

To Molest and Rape (#1007)

Ever notice what a large fraction of rapist cops’ victims are teenagers?

A Las Vegas [cop] has been arrested [for rape]…Christopher Peto [raped]…two girls between the ages of 13-17…at Laughlin…High School.  Peto was arrested…on charges [rape]…soliciting a child for prostitution, kidnapping…[raping] a minor under 14 and child abuse…Peto has been [rewarded]…with [a paid vacation] pending official charges…

Stupor Bowl (#1011)

The Miami Herald‘s Chicken Licken act is at the center of this debunking:

Doubling and tripling down on the most debunked and disproven zombie lie of all time, politicians, the press, law enforcement and an array of money-grubbing non-profits plunged Miami, and Florida in general, into a bizarre state of paranoia and panic over the myth that the Super Bowl is “the largest human-trafficking event on the planet”…Alex Andrews…of…SWOP Behind Bars…says Miami-Dade County has been awash with legions of “rabid prayer people”…on the lookout for sex trafficked children, talking to the media, passing out promotional stickers, and in a bizarre, puritanical touch, bars of soap… According to the FBI’s own crime statistics, sex trafficking is a relatively rare phenomenon…but you wouldn’t know that to read or watch Florida’s mainstream media, particularly the daily Miami Herald, which has done its best to ramp up the anti-trafficking hysteria by trading in bogus stats and narratives…

Here’s one especially-horrifying example of this freakshow, in which local news station WPEC pretends to be surprised when prohibitionist rent-a-pig John Rode gets a lot of answers when he calls a bunch of mid-range escort ads (in other words, less-established ladies who don’t screen) pretending to be a client; that the women he slanders as “sex trafficking victims” deny to busybody reporters that “they were being forced to sell their bodies“; and that when the reporter tries to embarass the manager by shoving a camera in his face and demanding to know why he isn’t spying on his guests, “he made us leave the property”.

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People have such a need to cram others into little boxes.  Somebody recently asked me how bisexual I am (I can only presume they meant my Kinsey number).  Now, I’ve written before about the absurd inadequacy of any attempt to reduce human sexuality to a single one-dimensional axis, or even a two-dimensional chart that:

A) crosses Kinsey numbers with what the designers referred to as “attraction types” based on “lustful feelings” (that roughly a third of women don’t have);
B) ignores kink entirely; and
C) “gives a place of precedence to ongoing sexual ‘relationships’ despite the fact that many individuals aren’t interested in them.”

As I wrote in “East is East and West is West“,

Human sexuality is not like a standard light switch, which has two and only two positions; it’s not even like a dimmer switch, with an infinite number of subtle gradations along one linear path.  It’s much more like a faucet, in which two kinds of water can be mixed to produce many temperature gradations while the intensity of the flow can also have many levels.  In fact, if you can imagine a shower where the water can be directed to come out of either the lower faucet or the shower head or a movable nozzle or jacuzzi jets, that might be a model a bit closer to the truth…

But even ignoring all that, the very question of “How bi are you?” ignores the reality of female sexual fluidity.  As I explained in “AC/DC“, “women tend to move around the sexual spectrum depending upon their environment, circumstances and experiences,” and I probably wander more than most women.  So for me, the question is simply not answerable in any fixed, predictable sense.  I mean, are we talking now or at some specific past or future time?  What time of the month is it?  Hell, what time of day is it?  What did I have to eat last?  How many clients have I had recently, and when was the last time a busty redhead made eyes at me?  What was the gender of the last idiot who pissed me off?  Am I high, and if so on what drug?  Is it October?  Is it Tuesday?  Is it raining?  What music are we listening to?  Is there a dog or cat in the room?  Is there money involved?  Is there bondage involved?  How attractive does the person in question find me, and what are they doing to prove it?  And after all that I still probably couldn’t tell you how bi I am.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Coming after the client means they’re coming after…the person who pays my bills.  –  Kristen Cain

Rough Trade

Tara Burns on the, “But she’s a whore!” defense for rape:

In 2019, a Fairbanks District Attorney offered a generous plea – 5 years of actual time, amounting to little more than time served – to a man charged with kidnapping and [raping] a minor…[because] he claimed his underaged victim was a prostitute…Winfred Hipp…the victim and her father…were headed to a BBQ, but the father had a stop to make first. Mr. Hipp dropped the father off and…took [the girl] to his apartment…and [raped] her while she was saying no…Hipp [at first used] a condom, but then he took it off and continued [raping] her.  When the victim’s father arrived at the BBQ and realized his daughter wasn’t there, he went to Hipp’s apartment, where he could hear his daughter being raped through the door.  Hipp stopped when the father almost broke the door down…His semen was found inside her and in a condom found on his bedroom floor which also had the victim’s DNA on the outside of it.  At his sentencing, he [claimed] he’d been raped and robbed by the victim…The plea deal…came after the minor victim was labeled “difficult” and a prostitute by the prosecutor…

Surplus Women

Sex workers cannot cure violent misogyny:

Marylène Lévesque, a 22-year-old sex worker employed by a Quebec City massage parlour, was murdered by…Eustachio Gallese…[who was out on parole from a life sentence for the] 2006…[murder] of his girlfriend…Chantale Deschenes…[who was] savagely beaten to death with a hammer and repeatedly stabbed.  Gallese then took the time to scribble [“whore” multiple times]…on the bedroom wall before turning himself in to police…He already had a history of…violence with a previous partner in 1997.  Even though the Parole Board initially found that he posed “a high risk of violence,” they later inexplicably changed that to a “moderate risk” and…out on day parole since March of 2019.  While out, he was [officially given permission]…to see sex workers…[despite his] history of misogyny, rage and extreme physical violence against women…No one bothered to inform this young woman, or the massage parlour she worked at, that he was extremely dangerous and posed a risk to her life…

But please, clients, keep telling us about how you don’t need to be screened because you’re “taking a risk, too”.

If Men Were Angels

“The crime was sexually motivated”.  No shit, really?

A priest…admitted to holding a teen captive in a church janitor’s closet…Brian Stanley was sentenced to 60 days in jail with credit for two days served.  He will also serve five years probation and must register as a sex offender for 15 years.  Stanley was charged in August for the 2013 incident that happened at St. Margaret’s Church in Otsego [Michigan]…he bound the teen boy in plastic wrap and masking tape, also covering his eyes and mouth with tape…then left [him] alone in the closet for over an hour before freeing him.  The state Attorney General’s Office…said the crime was sexually motivated…

Count the Idiocies

The verbal equivalent of vomiting up gallons of toxic diarrhea:

A forum on human trafficking…featur[ed]…keynote speaker Ohio [politician] Teresa Fedor…“Poverty drives and fuels trafficking1.  When…you want to control the victims, you drug them2…the estimated U.S. share of the $99 billion worldwide industry is between $10 to $15 billion3…Research she has found shows that runaways are “harvested” by traffickers within 24 hours4…she is working to change the laws to prosecute those doing the “selling of the bodies”5…“Those buying rape can no longer hide their actions”6…modern slavery…needs to be tackled like it was in 18657”…”I knew I had to build a movement, because I’m a Democrat8,” Fedor said…

1It’s hard to imagine a clearer indicator that by “sex trafficking” she actually means “sex work”.
2It’s been a while since we’ve seen the magical pimp mind-control philter.
3The US share of this made-up number is a smaller made-up number, both of which disagree with other made-up numbers from other prohibitionists“.
4Down from the usual claim of 48 hours, but up from Seattle’s claim of 45 minutes.
5Usually, they at least pretend to recognize we have minds.
6The “paid rape” trope is one of the ugliest elements of prohibitionist dogma.
7The fact that prohibitionists can’t see how loathsome it is to invoke historical black slavery to promote a system which gives more power to cops is a sign of their dyed-in-th-wool racism.
8WTF?

Welcome to the Future (#916)

Don’t be fooled by this “shutdown”; it’ll soon be back in an even-worse form:

In 2012, Chicago PD collaborated with the RAND Corporation and the Illinois Institute of Technology to automatically generate “risk scores” for people they arrested, which were supposed to predict the likelihood that the person would be a “party to violence” in the future (this program was called “TRAP” — Targeted Repeat-Offender Apprehension Program” — seemingly without a shred of irony).  Now, that program has been shut down, and the City of Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General has published a damning report on…ways in which the program discriminated against the people ensnared in it, without reducing violent crime…people…assigned high risk scores…were subjected to “enhanced prosecutions”…and…your TRAP score went up even if were acquitted or had your case dismissed…

Loose Cannons (#947)

“Sex trafficking” hysteria’s impending collapse has been helped along by the excesses of Florida “authorities”:

On January 23, the Hillsborough County sheriff’s office announced the completion of “two undercover human trafficking operations”…[Sheriff Chad] Chronister, who was elected in 2018, has pledged to make policing [consensual adult sex] a priority, and said that the stings are going to continue…”until human [sexuality] is stopped”…An anti-trafficking operation in early 2019 by a slew of Florida law enforcement agencies…yielded similar results: busts of massage parlors, arrests for solicitation…but no trafficking charges…That hasn’t stopped prosecutors, however, from claiming [without evidence]…that “[state prying into people’s private sex lives] often yield evidence of more serious crimes”…Chronister has also [vomited out fascist poison that “citizens]…must always be held accountable [to the state]”…

Checklist (#986)

They’re trying to cut off sex worker access to travel worldwide:

Thousands of tuk-tuk drivers in Cambodia are to [be indoctrinated]…in [anti-sex worker propaganda]…under a [scheme] by the ride-hailing app Grab to tr[ick] drivers [in]to [becoming police informants]…Grab [will indoctrinate]…10,000 drivers in…Phnom Penh this month, as it launches a [scheme] it plans eventually to extend to millions of its drivers in Asia…Cambodia’s…a…[favorite venue for racist “saviors” like] the Walk Free Foundation [to claim as a “hotbed”] of…[“slavery”, which is invariably described]…as rising despite [a number of studies showing exactly the opposite]…Sean Sok Phay…[of] Child Helpline [said]…”We want to remove any barriers that stop [us] from [profiting from hysteria]”…

Business As Usual (#988)

What kind of sick mind thinks the way to “build trust” with women is to hunt, rape and cage them?

Jennifer Knight…[is a sow charged with inventing propaganda to infantilize sex workers as a cover-up for the horrendous abuses committed by the Columbus, Ohio vice gang]…“I want them to associate the [rapist]’s uniform with someone who cares [enough to rape and humiliate them]” Knight says…It’s been a few months since…Columbus…[rebrand]ed their [vice gang with the Orwellian name]…Police and Community Together team, or PACT…[which] looks to…use “sex trafficking” and “end demand” propaganda when inflict]ing [violence on sex workers through]…increasing arrests…“One of the things we do in the secure staging area, after we [molest] them and [put them permanently into a criminal database]…is…give the [cops’ victims] a sack lunch provided by the Salvation Army…Knight [brags that] they expect to [deceive, rape and abduct] even more women as their [pogroms] ramp up…“we remove them from [freedom] and remove them from their [income]” Knight says. “At least giving ourselves a window of opportunity to [brainwash them in]”…CATCH Court…The months-long suspension of the [rape squad]…had a ripple effect on [those who profit from women being forced into their “re-education” scheme]…

Torture Chamber (#999)

“Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so I can lock them in dungeons”:

…ICE…released a new version of its National Detention Standards…which…has removed even basic, minimal safeguards necessary for adequate medical care…and…further weakens protections for [caged] immigrant[s] against the use of force and solitary confinement by [screws]…ICE no longer requires that…toilets [have] modesty panels, and removes [any minimum] ratios for the number of toilets per detainee.  ICE has removed language requiring…outdoor recreation facilities, meaning…detainees could be [locked in cages] for months or even years without time outdoors as they wait for their cases to be heard…

Panopticon (#1001)

The “security” system that isn’t:

…An investigation by EFF of the Ring doorbell app for Android found it to be packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information…analytics and tracking companies are able to combine these bits together to form…a fingerprint that follows the user…providing trackers the ability to spy on what a user is doing in their digital lives and when they are doing it…without…user…consent…Ring has exhibited a pattern of behavior that attempts to mitigate exposure to criticism and scrutiny…by leveraging an image of the secure home, while profiting from a surveillance network which facilitates police departments’…access into the private lives of citizens…not only does Ring mismanage consumer data, but it also intentionally hands over that data to trackers and data miners…

I Spy (#1002) 

The US is following in the footsteps of China:

New students at the University of Missouri will be [forced] to participate in a tracking program designed to measure and enforce class attendance…officials [absurdly] defended the [privacy violation] as one to…benefit…students…Individual professors have to opt-in to using the app, but once they do, students in those professors’ classes will not be able to opt-out.  SpotterEDU, developed by a former basketball coach, is designed to monitor a user’s attendance by “pinpoint[ing] students within a classroom until they leave”…[sales propaganda] claims it does not track students’ locations anywhere else…[but] the app is [fully]…capable of tracking students’ locations outside the classroom…

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Though I’ve always loved old-style science fantasy, I have an especial love for “lost race” and “lost city” stories, in which a modern (i.e., 19th or early 20th century) hero stumbles upon some ancient (and often previously-unknown) race of people hidden away in some remote part of the globe, cut off from contact with the modern world by some kind of natural barrier such as a treacherous mountain range, an impassable desert, a dangerous jungle, etc.  The works of Edgar Rice Burroughs are full of tales of such hidden places, and A. Merritt’s entire oeuvre consisted of them; Wakanda from the Black Panther movie is a famous example, but as one might expect they’re not common any more for the simple reason that global satellite mapping has made the concept of such a hidden land unbelievable.  Recently, I received as a gift the mid-19th century novel A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, which describes a lost civilization in the Antarctic; Amazon then helpfully informed me that Richard Shaver’s weird tales, out of print since the ’40s, are now available again in paperback.  Of course I had to put them on my wishlist, and a kind gentleman has already sent me the first volume.  But since most of you probabably have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m talking about, I’ll give you a quick synopsis.

Richard Shaver was an unemployed (and probably schizophrenic) Pennsylvania welder who believed that the Earth had once been ruled by a powerful humanoid race who discovered that they were being poisoned by solar radiation, and so moved their entire civilization underground.  They later decided to abandon the Earth entirely, fleeing to an apparently-healthier star in a huge fleet of spaceships and leaving the weak and inferior behind to give rise to modern man.  But their former slaves remained in the cities, degenerating into beings Shaver called “Deros” (short for “detrimental robots”) who were wholly evil and perverse and delighted in using the machines left by the ancients to inflict all sorts of harm on the descendants of their former masters.  They had various rays that could drive people insane (causing mass shootings and the like) or cause earthquakes and other natural disasters, and they used these for their sick idea of fun.  But their most terrifying behavior was to occasionally venture to the near-surface (subway tunnels, basements, etc) to abduct hapless surface-dwellers (especially women, of course), whom they would then use as sex slaves in sadomasochistic orgies in their underground cities.  Shaver wrote a plethora of stories based on this mythos, and from 1945 to 1948 he was the most popular writer in the pulp magazine Amazing Stories, whose editor Raymond Palmer (a bit of a latter-day Barnum in his way) promoted the tales, which Shaver insisted were true, as “The Shaver Mystery”.  Readers who preferred harder sci-fi (among them the young Harlan Ellison) criticized it instead as “The Shaver Hoax”, and eventually interest declined enough for Palmer to drop the series.  But while Palmer was a showman out for a buck, poor Shaver really believed in his fantasies and continued to (intermittently) self-publish a magazine called The Hidden World for most of the ’50s.  From the early ’60s until his death in 1975, he then devoted himself to photographing and painting what he called “rock books”, mineral formations he believed were something like primordial solid-state memory crystals in which the ancients had stored images and data with something like a laser (ironically, interest in his images of these “books” has increased since the early ’90s, and there have been a number of exhibitions of his work in this century).

I’m not just telling you all this as an amusement; as usual, there’s a connection to my larger body of work.  Whenever some kind of crackpot idea gets into the popular culture as Shaver’s did, there will always be people who embrace it to a near-cultic degree; compare the recent popularity of Zecharia Sitchin’s ideas about the alien Anunnaki from the planet Nibiru.  Shaver was no exception, and though his mass popularity faded in just a few years, “Shaver Mystery Clubs” continued throughout the ’50s and into the ’60s (and some may still exist, as far as I know).  But consider the basic elements of the Shaver mythos:  evil, malign sexual perverts with mysterious powers lurking around the world, abducting women in large numbers to use as sex slaves in hidden underground lairs.  Sound familiar?  How about if I tell you that Shaver claimed that he had been a prisoner of the Deros from 1934 to 1942, and that during the height of the “Mystery”, Amazing Stories printed a letter from a woman who claimed she had been captured by the evil creatures in a sub-basement in Paris and kept as a sex slave for several months until she escaped?  As I explained in “Imagination Pinned Down” and “Mind-witness Testimony“, some humans have always reported abduction (usually sexual, often with strong BDSM overtones) by and captivity among beings such as nymphs, fairies, goblins, witches, Deros, aliens, Satanists and “sex traffickers” with mind-control powers.  And while they serve as a good basis for fascinating tales and entertaining fantasies, they’re a terrible and dangerous foundation for public policies.

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