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Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

It’s very frustrating to be a gynecologist in Texas.  –  Dr. Lauren Swords

Bad Girls

It’s an extremely bad idea to try to do the work of a professional, whether dominatrix or lawyer, without any training in the field:

After three days of often graphic evidence, sex worker Madeleine Joan Lewin offered no explanation about what happened…the night Brisbane businessman Anthony Brady died…the 34-year-old, representing herself at her manslaughter trial…sat…silently throughout the proceedings…she did not cross examine any witnesses and did not give evidence or make a closing statement to the jury.  It took the 12 jurors less than an hour to return a unanimous guilty verdict…Brady…[died] during a consensual bondage activity on the evening of August 12, 2020…[apparently from positional asphyxia as he] was found face down on the bed with a hood over his head, and handcuffs and bindings around his wrists and legs…Some of the bindings were difficult for police to remove…[and] Lewin had [fled the scene]…in a hurry…

Property of the State (#1149)

Women of childbearing age should avoid Alabama entirely if at all possible:

…Several pregnant women and new moms accused of exposing their fetuses to drugs have been [caged] for weeks or months in…Etowah County [Alabama]…under special bond conditions that require rehab and $10,000 cash…As a result…Etowah County…often [cages] several pregnant and postpartum women [at a time], against the advice of experts on maternal and fetal health…“The stress and conditions in jail and prisons, including lack of consistent access to standard prenatal care and mental health care, poor diets, poor sanitation, infestations with bugs and vermin, poor ventilation, tension, noise, lack of privacy, lack of family and community contact, can be detrimental to physical and mental health which can result in poor pregnancy outcomes for both the mother and the baby,” [said prominent OB-GYN Dr. Carolyn] Sufrin…It’s difficult to know how many…women…Etowah County [victimizes in this way.  Reporters]…found seven pregnant or postpartum women in a recent investigation of the jail log…National Advocates for Pregnant Women…have tracked more than 150 chemical endangerment cases involving women in Etowah County since 2010…

Legislators Gone Wild (#1198) 

The fanatical, unhinged Guinasso and his pet fantasist are at it again, now with the financial backing of Morality in Media:

…one of Las Vegas’ premier strip clubs, Sapphire Las Vegas…[and] the Chicken Ranch, an unrelated…[Nevada brothel, have been targeted by a nuisance law]suit [filed by]…Morality in Media…and [fanatical anti-sex lawyer] Jason Guinasso…[with the help of two professional “survivors” who hope to profit from the dying “sex trafficking” hysteria by pretending they were] “sex trafficked in Nevada through legal strip clubs, including the Sapphire Gentleman’s Club”…Conflating all legal sex work with “sex trafficking” has been one of the key strategies used by [Morality in Media] in its ambitious quest to outlaw all consensual sex work, one of the group’s core goals…the organization…also planned to sue Steve Sisolak, the governor of Nevada; Aaron Ford, the state’s attorney general; the city of Las Vegas; and Nevada’s Clark County and Nye County.  However, the court ruled that the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue those parties…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1199) 

The latest chapter in this nasty, twisted saga:

The FBI announced…that it had placed GirlsDoPorn owner Michael Pratt on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, and doubled the reward for information leading to his arrest from $50,000 to $100,000…On July 26, Matthew Wolfe, Pratt’s second in command for the shuttered GirlsDoPorn website, pleaded guilty…to a single count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking…Pratt, a New Zealand national, escaped the U.S. before federal charges against the company and its employees were unsealed in 2019…

The Cop Myth (#1236)

Why are people shocked when men paid and encouraged to behave violently, behave violently?

A…[typical and represntative] California [cop] has been charged [for] murder[ing]…a married couple…Devin Williams…was allegedly dating the female victim…Maria Tran and [murdered] her [and her] husband…Benison Tran [when he discovered she was married]…the pair’s 14-year-old-son…walked in on the crime in progress…Williams fled…but…turned himself in nearly 11 hours later…

Property of the State (#1259)

“Hard cases” are more common than forced-birth proponents want you to believe:

Kristina Cruickshank…lost her unborn baby…in her 15th week of pregnancy…[she] was frail, vomiting and in pain when she and her husband, John, arrived at Houston Methodist Sugar Land on…June 3.  She needed an abortion…but…it…was not clear whether Kristina was exempt from Texas abortion laws, which threaten providers with felonies and lawsuits for performing abortions except to treat a miscarriage or a loosely defined “medical emergency.”  Her fetus still had a heartbeat, and she did not yet need life-saving care…So over the next three days, a sick and distraught Kristina was stuck in limbo, waiting…while an ethics committee reviewed the case…

Winding Down (#1265)

Your “leaders” know what’s best, so shut up and obey:

Arkansas is one of a handful of states, and the only Southern state, that allows voters to directly pass laws and amend the state constitution by ballot referendum.  Placing an initiative on the ballot requires collecting signatures from registered voters equal to 8 percent of the total votes for governor in the most recent election.  Currently, that number is 89,151.  In July, Responsible Growth Arkansas…submitted a [legalization] measure with over 190,000 signatures, more than twice the necessary number…[but] the State Board of Election Commissioners…denied the measure’s title and, therefore, its ballot eligibility…Responsible Growth Arkansas sued Secretary of State John Thurston…The Arkansas Supreme Court preliminarily ordered Thurston to certify the measure for November’s general election ballot but noted that it would not ultimately be able to hear arguments on the case until September…

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Sex workers are collateral damage in th[e “progressive”] quest to build the perfect internet.  –  Evan Greer

The Missing Word (#570)

Notice what nobody calls this?

For almost seven years, two Pennsylvania judges sent hundreds of [teens and] children—some of them as young as 8 years old—to privately run juvenile detention centers in exchange for financial kickbacks…[now] former Judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan [have been ordered] to pay over $200 million in compensatory and punitive damages to their victims.  Starting in 2000, the pair sent children into juvenile detention for offenses as innocuous as jaywalking, petty theft, or truancy.  In what became known as the “kids for cash” scandal, the [victims] were sent to two privately run detention centers whose builder and co-owner paid the men $2.8 million…over the course of the scheme…following the plot’s discovery, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court…thr[ew] out 4,000 juvenile convictions…[but] many of the plaintiffs still suffer from mental health problems.  Several…died by suicide or drug overdose in the years after their detention…Unfortunately, it is unlikely that any of the plaintiffs will [actually] receive [any] financial compensation…[because] Ciavarella and Conahan are now serving lengthy prison sentences.  Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years…and Conahan…17…though he was released to home confinement in 2020…[due to] COVID-19…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1009)

Another baby step toward recognizing sex work as work:

…a group of former Star Garden [exotic] dancers…filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, through the established actors union Actors’ Equity Assn…If the[y]…succeed, it would be the first time the century-old union that represents actors and stage managers on Broadway and venues such as the Hollywood Pantages Theatre would include strippers in its ranks.  Star Garden would become the first unionized strip club in the U.S. since…the Lusty Lady…closed in 2013…But…most of the strippers seeking representation said they have not worked at Star Garden since mid-March, when they raised safety concerns and were subsequently [fired]…Union lawyers will need to convince the National Labor Relations Board the strippers are Star Garden employees who were unduly terminated in order to be eligible to participate in a union vote and secure a shot at winning…

The Widening Gyre (#1116)

The latest iteration of “sex traffickers are EVERYWHERE!!!” has it all: the roses from the item linked in the subtitle, themselves only one example of the “valuable bait” trope, are loaded with the magic instant-overdose fentanyl of cop fantasies instead of the unidentified magic contact poison of earlier iterations of this myth.  Given that cops have recently started claiming that the magic fentanyl is being intentionally sprinkled onto $1 bills, the convergence is pretty clear; presumably the fentanyl-using “traffickers”, no doubt driving around in white vans, are also dropping the bait bills where cops can find them so as to stop their heroic anti-trafficking pogroms, or something.

A Broker in Pillage (#1147)

Absolutely nothing is “safe” if government actors know where it is:

The FBI [lied] to…a federal magistrate judge…[claiming] that it intended to open hundreds of safe deposit boxes s[tolen] during a March 2021 raid in order to inventory the items inside—but new evidence shows that federal agents were plotting all along to use the operation as an opportunity to [steal] cash and other valuables…the FBI also seems to have ignored limitations imposed by the warrant, including an explicit prohibition against using the…boxes as the basis for further criminal investigations…agents…were instructed to be on the lookout for cash…and to note…anything which [might give the government a pretext to steal it]…Agents [even] arranged to have drug-sniffing dogs present…which doesn’t do anything to help inventory items, of course, but makes more sense if the actual goal is to initiate forfeiture proceedings…

You Were Warned (#1218)

Looks like Reddit is covering its butt as a hedge against more FOSTA-enabled predatory lawsuits:

…adult content creator[s have]…recently found themselves abruptly removed or had their Reddit account limited without warning.  Sex workers have long been subject to deplatforming on most social media platforms…yet even though Reddit has a reputation for being relatively sex-positive compared to other Big Tech sites, sex workers are increasingly finding themselves restricted or even outright permanently banned on the platform, often without notice or…explanation…“The fact that sex workers are reporting an uptick on Reddit is particularly concerning because it has been one of the last places where this type of content is allowed,” says Evan Greer, director of the digital rights organization Fight for the Future, citing Twitter as the only other example of a platform that still continues to allow NSFW content…

The Vultures Descend

You can always count on my native state to out-Herod Herod:

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry…successfully urged the Louisiana Bond Commission…to delay a $39 million future line of credit for the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board–which the city needs for [a dedicated power station for] its flood response–until city officials agree to enforce the state’s abortion ban.  The move comes right at the start of hurricane season, on the same day New Orleans…issued a flood advisory…Even Republican state senator Bret Allain warned that because the sewerage and water board is a state-created agency, he finds it “problematic” to target New Orleans over their abortion stance…

The Last Shall Be First (#1244)

If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention:

After one competitor “outclassed” the rest of the field in a girls’ state-level competition last year, the parents of the competitors who placed second and third lodged a complaint with the Utah High School Activities Association calling into question the winner’s gender.  David Spatafore, the UHSAA’s legislative representative…said the association…asked the student’s school to…examine…the students’ enrollment records [going]…“back to kindergarten and she’d always been a female”…Spatafore said the association has received other complaints, some that said “that female athlete doesn’t look feminine enough”…

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Extortion, there’s no other way to explain it.  –  Marc Deldin

To Molest and Rape

Distorting a rapist pig’s image is almost as bad as hiding it:

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation arrested a [typical and representative] Canadian County [cop]…who…rap[ed a woman] he [had locked in a cage-truck]…David Wayne Loman [raped her]…three times at three different locations…at [least once anally]…

A Broker in Pillage (#918)

Wayne County, Michigan has openly extorted money for years with similar tactics:

…in December of 2020…the mayor…and…police chief [of Highland Park, Michigan] dropped by a 13,000-square-foot building owned by Justyna and Matt Kozbial [using the pretext of] an impromptu fire code inspection…[in reality, the politicians needed pretext to pretendto “find” a [state-licensed] marijuana grow operation…[in order to steal] the building…and h[o]ld on to it for 17 months without charging them with a crime…police never alleged there was any major criminal activity…[and] In…response to an interrogatory filed in the Kozbials’ subsequent lawsuit against Highland Park…they received a settlement offer from the town:  Stop growing marijuana and buy two [brand-new pigmobiles] for the [cop shop, for]…a…total…pcost of] about $70,000…after WXYZ Detroit reported on the fiasco, Highland Park informed the Kozbials that it would be giving them back their building.  Their lawsuit is still ongoing…

Quiet Genocide (#1157)

How much longer will the Western Establishment ignore this?

Thousands of photographs from the heart of China’s highly secretive system of mass incarceration in Xinjiang, as well as a shoot-to-kill policy for those who try to escape, are among a huge cache of data hacked from police computer servers in the region.  The Xinjiang Police Files, as they’re being called, were passed to the BBC earlier this year…and…reveal…in unprecedented detail, China’s use of “re-education” camps and formal prisons…for Uyghurs – and…[makes it harder for Western politicians to pretend to believe its ridiculous] public narrative about…[the concentration camps being] “schools”…The documents provide some of the strongest evidence to date for a policy targeting almost any expression of Uyghur identity, culture or Islamic faith – and of a chain of command running all the way up to the Chinese [dictator], Xi Jinping…

Thought Control (#1210)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

[After the] Virginia Beach (VA) school…[board ordered the] remov[al of the book] Gender Queer from [school libraries]…a Virginia [ambulance-chaser seized upon the opportunity to]…fil[e]…suit[s] against [a] school [which stocked the book] and against the Barnes & Noble store in Virginia Beach…[because the book, and another one named] A Court of Mist and Fury are [available]…to minors…[shyster Tim Anderson,who is also (unsurprisingly) a politician, openly admitted his suit is intended as a nuisance and encouraged other wannabe censors to file] “suits like this…all over Virginia. There are dozens of books. Hundreds of schools”…Neither book fits the [legal] definition of obscene and neither book is pornography…

The Mob Rules (#1215)

This batshittery is virulent, and will only get worse:

The Oklahoma Legislature gave final approval…to a bill that prohibits nearly all abortions starting at fertilization, which would make it the nation’s strictest abortion law.  The bill subjects abortion providers and anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion to civil suits from private individuals…The measure is modeled on a law that took effect in Texas in September, which has relied on civil…instead of criminal enforcement to [circumvent] court challenges”…The bill makes exceptions for cases of rape and incest, but only if [the victims invite cops to gawk at them, ask disgusting questions, and pry into every corner of their lives]…

Oklahoma ladies: please allow me to aid and abet you in having a medication abortion at home.

Guinea Pigs (#1234)

Cops have been doing this for years, and platforms do nothing to stop it:

…a little-known [gang in the Chicago cop shop]…called the Social Media Exploitation…team…had been set up to [conspire with] the FBI [to] find [weak people who could be suborned] and [spy on citizens] using information gleaned from social sites.  The Intercept and Chicago-based transparency groups obtained more than 800 pages of emails and other documents about the [gang] through public records requests.  These show that the [gang members] were given broad leeway to [spy on] people across platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, using fake social media accounts furnished by the FBI, in violation of some platforms’ policies…

Stalkers in Blue (#1238)

This cop just keeps demonstrating what he is:

Matthew Dominguez…[the infamous Wanking Pig of] San Jose…[has] sexually harassed and assaulted…other…wom[en]n [in the past]…Dominguez…touched [one woman’s] breasts and thigh and kept trying to touch her even after she rebuffed his advances…she and her boyfriend…reported the…sexual assault…but [of course nothing was done]…Another woman…[w]as…[groped by] Dominguez…[while] arresting [her in December.  Conveniently]…the body camera footage [for the arrest is] missing…

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Is there anything they wouldn’t sell this mass surveillance for?
–  Jack Poulson

A Broker in Pillage

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

Carl Nelson and Amy Sterner Nelson…[w]ere…[forced to sell] their house and their car, liquidate…their retirement funds, and move…their family of six from a comfortable West Seattle home to Amy’s sister’s basement after the FBI s[tole] almost $1 million from them in May 2020…The[y looted]…nearly every corner of the Nelsons’ world, including…the savings Amy racked up from her decade as a practicing attorney…[even though] the[y]…never even suspected Amy of committing any crime.  It was…Carl—a former real estate transaction manager for Amazon—w[hom]…they accused…of showing favor to certain developers and securing them deals in exchange for illegal kickbacks…the…years-long investigation into Carl’s alleged fraud has not yielded an indictment.  Yet no such thing was necessary for the federal government to wreck the Nelsons’ lives…Last week, the government agreed to a settlement:  Of the original approximately $892,000 it seized, it will return $525,000…and…[keep] about $109,000. (The remaining sum has been depleted by court fees)…Carl is still a defendant in a massive federal lawsuit against Amazon, and they accepted the deal so that they’d have money for attorneys’ fees…

To Molest and Rape (#989)

I won’t be surprised if his sentence is shorter than this:

Cynthia Perkins…faces 41 years in prison after taking a plea deal…in exchange for testifying against her [child rapist cop] ex-husband, Dennis…[who] manipulated…her…[in]to commit[ing]…horr[ible] crimes [ranging from rape to child porn to mixing his semen into cupcakes which she fed to her students]…Cynthia…could have faced 72 years in prison.  However, 68 of the remaining charges against her were dropped…she has no possibility of parole…and…waived any right to appeal…

What was the advantage to her in agreeing to what amounts to a life sentence without parole?  Does she honestly think she’ll have any kind of life after getting out of prison at 77, assuming she lives that long once the other prisoners figure out who she is and what she did?

Something Rotten in Sweden (#1112)

California’s annual anti-whore pogrom did a lot more damage this year, thanks to federal collaboration:

More than 200 sex workers were arrested as part of an [annual pogrom] that police [sell to the ignorant] as an attempt to save people from human trafficking.  The arrests—part of a Super Bowl-adjacent collaboration between Los Angeles law enforcement and the feds—represent an all too common theme in U.S. law enforcement, where people claim to be helping sex workers while actually subjecting them to harm.  The…[pogrom is] christened with the creepy name “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild”…now in its seventh year…[Pigs merrily oinking about all the lives they ruined were] joined by representatives of…Morality in Media…214 people were arrested for allegedly selling sex and 201 people were arrested for allegedly trying to pay for sex…only 53 people were arrested for pimping, pandering, or supervising prostitution. And it’s unclear if any of these individuals were engaged in anything that we might think of as abusive or non-consensual behavior…most of the arrests—445—were for misdemeanors…

To Molest and Rape (#1142)

Imagine how many others like this are still out there, raping and murdering:

The suspect in a 1983 cold case murder is…a [cop] who worked in several counties…in Central Florida.  St. Lucie County…cold case squad found evidence that [dead] deputy James Harrison raped and murdered an 11-year-old girl…[and] could be responsible for more unsolved cases.  He died of cancer in 2008…11-year-old Lora Ann Huizar disappeared while walking home from a gas station.  She was found in a nearby drainage ditch.  Detectives… believe [Harrison] kidnapped, raped and killed her…witness[es] report[ed that]…Harrison [was] watching the girl…[Sheriff Ken] Mascara…[claims] he was concerned at the time that Harrison showed a pattern of inappropriate behavior with young girls…his complaint w[as dismissed by a]…supervisor [who opined] that, since Harrison was also a preacher, he was “spiritually mentoring children at risk”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1182)

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

The facial recognition company Clearview AI is telling investors it is on track to have 100 billion facial photos in its database within a year, enough to ensure “almost everyone in the world will be identifiable”…Those images — equivalent to 14 photos for each of the 7 billion people on Earth — would help power a surveillance system that has been used [to abduct] and [terrorize many] thousands of [people by cops, spooks,] and [other] government [operatives] around the world.  And the company wants to expand beyond…[fascist operations to purely corporate ones], saying in the presentation that it could monitor “gig economy” workers and is researching a number of new technologies that could identify someone based on how they walk, detect their location from a photo or scan their fingerprints from afar…With $50 million from investors, the company said, it could bulk up its data collection powers to 100 billion photos, build new products, expand its international sales team and pay more toward [buy]ing…poli[ticians so as] to “develop favorable regulation”…

Creepy Coppers

The only thing cops seem to love as much as raping kids is collecting kiddie porn:

In less than two weeks, two Sioux Falls [South Dakota cops]…have been arrested for child pornography…On Wednesday, February 16, Matthew Alan Jock was…charged with five counts…and…on February 8…Luke Schauer, a[nother typical and representative cop], was…[charged with] “attempted production”…[spokespigs fell all over themselves to distance themselves from the pair and oink about “bad apples”]…

Meanwhile, a few states to the southeast:

Ohio…[cop] Kevin A. Kovacs…pleaded guilty…to transporting and possessing child pornography…between April 2015 and July 2017, Kovacs uploaded more than 300 images and 2,200 videos depicting child pornography to his Dropbox account.  Videos featured the sexual abuse of children as young as toddler aged.  One video depicted a toddler…whose arms and legs were bound by black tape…In total…Kovacs possessed more than 780 images and 5,100 videos of child pornography…[his] plea…includes an agreed upon sentencing range of 60 to 240 months in prison…

The Mob Rules (#1209)

Until SCOTUS acts, this will only get worse:

A Texas-style abortion law is advancing in Idaho…SB 1309…would authorize the father, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or sibling of a fetus aborted after [fetal cardiac activity can be detected] to file a civil lawsuit against the doctor at any time up to four years after the abortion, and get $20,000 minimum damages plus attorney fees…”It’s unconstitutional on its face,” state Sen. Grant Burgoyne…said. “I think that the state of Idaho is in for another rough ride on…abortion litigation, and an expensive ride, and an unconstitutional ride”…

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The amount of child porn [on US government computers] is just unbelievable.  –  Daniel Payne

The End of the Beginning (#1015) 

The key to breaking these evil laws is recognizing that they are punishment, not mere “registration”:

A federal judge…had harsh words for Tennessee [bureaucrats and pigs] who continue to enforce retroactive punishments against [people illegally condemned to the “]sex offender[” registry]…some of whom [were] co[nvicted]…decades before the state’s sex offender law took effect…In April, a different federal judge, also in the Middle District of Tennessee, ordered two men be removed from the…registry, finding that it was unconstitutional to [retroactively] subject them to…laws that were written after they [were] co[nvicted.  Judge Aleta]…Trauger cited the April ruling and other similar recent rulings…[including a] 2016 rul[ing] against the retroactive enforcement of a Michigan sex offender law

All-Purpose Excuse (#1063)

Biden is trying to wrest control of the “sex trafficking” narrative back from the Trumpists:

The Biden administration…released an updated National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking…based on four pillars, prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships.  Prevention i[s actually a euphemism for “propaganda”], protection involves in[fantilizing sex workers] and [migrants], prosecution involves [more money to cops and other carceral mechanisms,] and partnerships involves strengthening [fascist collaborations with the rescue industry]…

Social Distancing (#1082)

Lockdowns just have one consequence…and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer“:

…with COVID-19 cases rising in Europe, several countries are implementing lockdowns all over again, often with clearly punitive motivations…Austria’s government announced that police would enforce a lockdown exclusively against unvaccinated citizens…in Germany…a new lockdown was announced…for unvaccinated people, barring them from almost all public places except for pharmacies and supermarkets…Though statewide lockdowns have eased in Australia, the country is constructing internment camps for those who test positive for Covid, along with their Covid-negative “close contacts”…Initially marketed to the public as a means to “flatten the curve” and “slow the spread,” lockdowns now represent one of the most draconian aspects of the perverse New Normal that has metastasized amid an atmosphere of seemingly endless emergency…an array of scientific studies and data demonstrat[e]…that they likely caused more deaths than they prevented.  The lethal impact of lockdowns was particularly pernicious in the Global South, where hundreds of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people were driven into a cascading humanitarian crisis. As the World Food Program warned in 2020, “135 million people on earth are marching towards the brink of starvation” as a result of their economies shutting down to supposedly inhibit the spread of COVID-19…

Above the Law (#1187) 

This subtitle is no exaggeration:

Over the past 14 years, the Central Intelligence Agency has secretly a[llowed]…at least 10 of its employees and contractors [to get away with] committ[ing] sexual crimes involving children…only one of the individuals was ever charged with a crime…few faced any consequences beyond the possible loss of their jobs and security clearances…CIA insiders say the agency resists prosecution of its staff for fear the cases will reveal state secrets…One [spook molested] a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old.  He was fired.  A second employee purchased [child porn]…he resigned.  A third employee…[habitually viewed] child…[porn] while on agency assignments…the CIA took [no action] against him.  A contractor who [interacted] with an…FBI agent [fantasy role-play]ing as a [teen] had his contract revoked.  [The] only one…[who] was charged with a crime…was also [already] under investigation for mishandling classified material…The CIA [refers to allowing spooks to get away with sex crimes as]… “tak[ing]…allegations of possible criminal misconduct…seriously”…

But hey, at least the CIA doesn’t run its own child porn sites as the FBI does.

I Spy (#1188)

Why end-to-end encryption is only the beginning of security:

It is common to hear marketing language about “end-to-end encryption” and “private messaging” for basically every communications app out there…[but] not every “encrypted messaging service” is made equally…your message app may leak metadata, contacts, and even message contents.  A recently uncovered FBI document obtained by a group called Property of the People…illustrates just how important your choice of private messenger can be…Nine popular messaging applications are included in the document: Apple’s iMessage; Line, a Japanese message app; Signal, an open source encrypted chat platform popularized by Edward Snowden; Telegram, which originated in Russia and is now based in Dubai; Threema, a paid encryption chat…with servers based in Switzerland; Viber, which was developed in Cyprus and then bought by the Japanese conglomerate Rakuten; the Chinese Swiss army knife app WeChat; Meta’s WhatsApp; and Wickr [Me], which is a chat service that Amazon Web Services apparently owns…of the[se]…iMessage and WhatsApp are particularly susceptible to FBI snooping. Telegram and Signal score far better…Line and Viber are also relatively bad picks…

The article goes into detail about what information specifically the feds can get from each app.

Thought Control (Censorship Roundup)

Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars wasted to cater to a politician’s showboating:

A Texas school district pre-emptively pulled more than 400 books from its libraries for review following…[political grandstanding by censorious politician] Matt Krause…The school district said in a statement Tuesday that it was reviewing the books “out of an abundance of [fear]” to “ensure [none of our librarians can be prosecuted by violent lunatics with delusions of grandeur]…For us, this is not about politics or censorship, but rather about [protect]ing [our staff and covering our butts]”…

The Cop Myth (#1191)

Why are people shocked when men paid and encouraged to behave violently, behave violently?

A [cop] in Kenya [murder]ed his wife and five others in a rampage before taking his own life…Benson Imbasi…who was described as…”[typical and representative]”…first shot his wife in the neck with his AK-47 rifle before walking out of their home and “shooting at innocent members of the public”…Two other people who were wounded remain in critical condition…

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The key question we need to ask is why she was in prison in the first place.  –  Deborah Coles

The Lesser of Two Evils (#722)

Maybe the Church should delineate acceptable ways for priests to meet their sexual needs:

A Roman Catholic priest has been arrested for stealing over $117,000 in church funds to buy drugs for his gay sex parties.  Father Francesco Spagnesi…has been placed under house arrest while police interview 200 people who reportedly attended his lavish orgies over the past two years…when a parish accountant discovered that he had withdrawn [the money]…from the parish’s bank account…the local bishop…cut off [his] access to the funds…Spagnesi…the[n]…began taking money from the collection plate and soliciting money directly from parishioners, who were told he was raising aid for poor families.  The parishioners have now initiated legal action…to reclaim their money…

News flash: humans have sexual urges.  Deprive them of socially-sanctioned ways to meet their needs, and they’ll find other ways.  It really is that simple.

Full of Themselves (#787)

What is it about massage parlors that brings the puritans out of the woodwork?

In one of New York’s toniest neighborhoods…a shady massage parlor is hidden in plain view…[it] sees a steady stream of well-dressed male clientele late into the night.  The alleged illicit massage business in the upscale neighborhood is one of at least 629 others currently operating across the five boroughs — a network of illegal enterprises so vast, they outnumber Starbucks 2 to 1 citywide…this summer, a local [prohibitionist] in search of…a [way to drum up anti-sex hysteria supposedly sent her teenage son into one, then got him to parrot her ugly propaganda to a prohibitionist reporter for a yellow rag]…

When you see the word “illicit”, you can be sure you’re reading prohibitionist propaganda.

Torture Chamber (#1102)

British screws also love yelling “Stop faking!” at caged people:

A vulnerable 18-year-old whose baby died after her calls for help were ignored as she gave birth alone in a prison cell was not provided with bereavement support – but the prison guards who [refused]…her medical assistance were offered counselling…the [guards finally noticed her]…cradling her dead baby more than 12 hours after…[she told] staff…she needed an ambulance…

At least the UK press uses fewer copsucking euphemisms that that of the US.

Sex Rays (#1109)

Oh noes, they contaminated public places with their eeeevul sex rays!

A South Carolina couple, previously arrested in January over public sex videos they had uploaded to adult platforms, has once again been charged under local “obscenity” statutes after an anonymous [snitch] gave the police a USB drive containing their adult content…Eric and Lori Harmon…ar[e]…being held without bail…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1119)

It’s always nice when they feed on each other:

A [typical and representative] Jacksonville [Florida cop] has been arrested on charges of distributing…child…[porn]…Scott Matthew Yotka…faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted, as well as [condemnation to the “sex offender” registry]…Yotka…[was caught when he] used a social media app to [chat] with an…FBI [spook fantasy role-playing]…as the parent of a child…[he] was a[pparently offering to] Yotka [or some similar thing buried in the news report under prevarication and euphemisms]…

Safe Position (#1123)

I’ll be optimistic when she clearly repudiates the Swedish model:

[New York governor] Kathy Hochul did not endorse the decriminalization of sex work…but s[aid]…“It is absolutely something I’ve thought about and I’m considering”…[unfortunately there are] two competing bills…before the state Legislature….“We hope that when (Hochul says) ‘decrim’ that she’s talking about the real comprehensive decriminalization for sex workers that will ultimately lead to better outcomes for people,” [said] Jared Trujillo…[of the NYCLU; however]…the Hochul administration has had discussions with people backing a [Swedish model bill sponsored by [prohibitionist] Liz Krueger [which would treat sex workers as moral imbeciles and target their partners, friends, co-workers and families for persecution]…

To Molest and Rape (#1175)

So many words to downplay raping children:

A [typical and representative] Coos Bay [Oregon cop] has been indicted and arrested [for] child [rape]…Terry Scott Rogers…started [repeatedly raping] a child [under 12] in 2012…and…continued [regularly raping her] for six years.  Rogers was indicted on [five] counts of…[rape], eight counts of [molestation]…and [other associated] charges…Rogers’ attorneys argued his…background [as a rapist] is proof he can be released on his own recognizance…[but the judge set bail at] $50,000…and…Rogers [w]as [rewarded with a paid vacation]…

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Authoritarian regimes are able to reach across borders much more effectively than they could in the past.  –  Ronald Deibert

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1024)

A natural 21st-century development for the brand:

Playboy announced…the launch of premium fan site Centerfold…expected to roll out in the coming months.  Centerfold will “build upon our long history of passing the mic to the most revolutionary voices of our day.  And true to our heritage, we will amplify their messages even further through digital covers, feature stories, interviews and, of course, striking and sensual pictorials…We will also arm our creators with access to content production, merchandise capabilities, blockchain integration and more”…

Safe Position (#1111)

Even prohibitionists like Holmes can tell which way the wind is blowing:

…a Seattle Municipal Court Judge approved a motion by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes to quash all outstanding warrants for misdemeanor prostitution, including some issued well over a decade ago…The City Attorney’s Office hasn’t prosecuted anyone for selling sex since 2019, when the Seattle Police Department ramped up arrests and sting operations targeting both sex workers and [client]s in response to…pressure [from idiots who thought sex work would magically vanish after]…the federal shutdown of Backpage…

Predictable Consequences (#1134)

Prohibitionism is an inherently violent belief system:

The FBI arrested a Michigan man [last] Monday fo[r]…threats of violence…against telecommunications companies, which the man had blamed for “broadcasting pornography, cursing and immoral content.”  Federal prosecutors charged John Douglas Allen…with “extortion and attempting to destroy a building”…Th[reat] letters were sent from a supposed “Coalition for Moral Telecommunication (CMT)” and addressed to several companies, including AT&T and Verizon.  The letters [threatened the imaginary group would] “begin distroying [sic] inner city tower communication”…unless several demands were followed…includ[ing] a $5 million payment and [total censorship of]…”immoral content”…

You Were Warned (#1135)

They should’ve done this years ago:

A trade organization for the adult entertainment industry has hired a D.C. lobbying firm to build its relationships with [politicians]…on behalf of…the industry.  Most notably it is trying to beat back major changes to Section 230…[which] is key to its ability to exist.  The same law that protects Instagram and YouTube from being sued over illegal content posted by its users…also protects sites like PornHub and OnlyFans…But [a majority of politicians] of both parties…have…[only been stopped from] strip[ping]…that protection away [by their inability to agree on what should be censored and who exactly should control Americans’ thoughts and speech].  The Free Speech Coalition…has enlisted two lobbyists at Clarity Consulting…Keith Nelson…and…Shawn Delaney…So far, [Nelson] has been meeting with [politicians] and their [lackeys] to address…“a huge vacuum of information” about the adult entertainment industry…

For the umpteen thousandth time: the bipartisan drive to censor the internet is not “Trump-fueled”, didn’t begin with Trump, and is being ramped up by Biden, who has repeatedly stated that he wants Section 230 repealed.  But I guess partisanism trumps facts in the modern yellow press.

Above the Law (1142)

A prosecutor is just a kind of cop:

…a tough-on-crime prosecutor…[named] Jeffrey Lynn Thomas…[raped a] woman…he…knew…in a professional capacity…[who] had for years rebuffed his persistent sexual advances…he…walked into the woman’s home with an armload of beer cans and…refused [to leave]…After she slapped him, Thomas hit her in the face and gave her a nosebleed…[then] raped [and throttled] her…Thomas finally left…after the woman promised him she wouldn’t report him to the police…She reported the rape to Pennsylvania State Police on [September 20th]…

Virtual Imperialism

Worst of all, Western governments are looking at this as a model:

Once Dan arrived in Canada and began adjusting to a new city and a new university, he continued to browse Twitter in his dorm room…He retweeted only three posts: the news that Nobel laureate and Chinese democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo had died, a short satirical video about…Xi Jinping, and a chart on levels of Chinese government corruption.  With only two followers, he wasn’t making a splash — but…then his father called him out of the blue, clearly disturbed. “Son, did you say something about the Chinese government on the internet? The public security bureau called us twice”…Soon after…a [Chinese cop] contacted him on the WeChat social media app…[even though] Dan hadn’t accepted a new friend request…“The police told me the Ministry of Public Security…tracked me by my IP address and knows where I live in Canada.  They have evidence the Twitter account belongs to me”…the [cop] ordered Dan to immediately delete the offensive posts [or] “You will face trouble.”  “Trouble” is a well-known euphemism in China for state persecution.  It can range from repeated visits and phone calls all the way to…house arrest [of relatives still in China]…

To Molest and Rape (#1172)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

Prosecutors…charged St. Louis [cop] Mark West with three counts of…molest[ing children]…younger than 12…[and] asked for a $100,000 bail “due to the number and serious nature of the offenses and because the defendant constitutes a threat to the victim and other children he may encounter”…

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Financial Times omits any mention of the nature of [the] groups…[who] inten[d] to “eradicate” an entire legal industry.  –  Gustavo Turner

Follow Your Bliss

Understand that people like this are the norm in policing sexual offenses, and always will be:

An FBI agent who investigated sex crimes against children has been arrested and charged with multiple sex crimes against children across several states…David Harris [got himself] tasked with investigating crimes against children, including child pornography…[so it’s no surprise that] in February…he…expos[ed] himself to a 14-year-old girl…while on vacation in [Florida]…but…the…investigation…led to other [sex] crimes committed by Harris [against both] minors and adults in…Louisiana and Texas…[snooping in Harris’ phone revealed] conversation[s in which he admitted]…his sexual preference [for] underage [girls] and [bragging about] his exploits…Harris was arrested earlier this summer in Ascension Parish [Louisiana] and…has outstanding arrests warrants…from East Baton Rouge and Orleans Parish[es and] Tyler, Texas…

Traffic Jam (#403)

By this standard of “evidence”, Johnny Cash is lucky he was never accused of murder:

A jury found Defendant, Jaimian Sims, guilty of sex trafficking a minor and…the…court imposed a life sentence.  Sims appeals…arguing [among other things] … that certain rap videos were improperly admitted into evidence and shown to the jury…He contends that the lyrics…were fictional and did not depict his real life…Although these videos speak only generally to the pimping lifestyle and are cumulative of testimony in that respect, the violence and weapons depicted in the videos are relevant to the force charge—that Sims sex trafficked by force, fraud, or coercion…[the judges declared they we]re satisfied that the videos were not harmful to the defense…

License to Rape (#652)

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by cops at will:

State officials say a new grant will be used to provide training for Georgia law enforcement officers to draw blood from drivers [without their consent so as to]…prosecut[e them for] DUI…

If you’re not horrified by the prospect of psychopathic thugs running around with permission to jam needles into people’s bodies without their consent on the side of the road, you must be new to this blog.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#799)

Expect the equation of human sexuality with pollution to become more common:

The editorial board of the Financial Times — arguably the world’s most influential news source for the banking, investment and overall finance industries — published an editorial…[which] compares sex work and adult content to…environmental pollutants, and parrots sensationalist pieces by The New York Times and the BBC alleging a non-existent “proliferation” of illegal content on adult sites…The subhead…soberly warns its readers…that working with the porn industry “can pose legal as well as reputational risks”…It’s the old circular argument favored by censors, prudes and well-paid religious anti-porn activists: reputable banks should not do business with sex workers or porn because they have been known to look for alternative forms of financing — which sex workers and porn are forced to resort to because reputable banks won’t do business with them…“The argument for banks to stay away from porn is, if anything, stronger than staying away from coal,” is the Financial Times’ take on that dubious comparison…

Scapegoats (#930)

It’s fascinating how the State has changed the excuse for these laws from “morality” to “animal abuse”:

[Typical and representative cop] Terry Yetman…was charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of animals…including filming sex with his own police K9.  This decorated cop was also charged with 31 counts of child pornography several months later.  Now, nearly 3 years after his initial arrest…Yetman — despite facing over 70 charges — pleaded guilty to just one count of possession of child pornography and five counts of sexual abuse of an animal…He faces a total of 45 years in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender…

Rough Trade (#1043) 

Gee, I wonder why this happens so often in Ireland?

A Dublin man [who] attack[ed] and violently h[eld] three women in his home against their will during separate incidents has been denied bail.  Aaron Barwell…[attacked] three [different]…escorts…on 29 January, 13 August and [27 August].  He is also accused of making threats to kill or cause serious harm to two of the women…[Barwell apparently believed that claiming] the third incident was prompted by a theft of cocaine, and the others arose after [he refused to] pay…[the escorts would somehow get the judge to grant him bail]…

A Moral Cancer (#1157)

Though the claim that certain foods can take “time off one’s life” is not new, I’ve never seen one this absurdly specific:

…[Nutritionists] at the University of Michigan…created a Health Nutritional Index which [claims to quantify] the nutritional impact…of almost 6,000 foods and calculated the health burden of each one.  Their findings [predictably singled out popular, pleasant foods, claiming] that every hot dog a person eats takes…36 minutes off their healthy life expectancy.  Soft drinks…shortened life by 12 minutes, bacon by six minutes…each double cheeseburger…nine minutes….[and] each portion of cheese…a minute off [the un]healthy [end of] life…the index also [claims] that it’s equally possible to [magically]  add minutes…each banana was [claimed] to add 13 and a half minutes…as was a portion of baked salmon…a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…[supposedly] adds a whopping 33 minutes to life…

The puritanical notion that lifelong deprivation of pleasure in the vague hope of adding a few extra minutes of senility and decreptitude to the far end of one’s old age – a time one has only a 50% chance of reaching in the first place, statistically – is so alien to my way of thinking, I’ve never been able to wrap my head around it, even as a concept for consideration.

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Civil forfeiture is an abomination.  –  Travis May

The Red Umbrella

As long as sex work is marginalized, sex workers will be targeted for violence:

…Over four days in May, the same man stalked seven women and sexually assaulted three of them across [Philadelphia] and [its] suburbs….he took [few] steps to evade detection, [even wearing]…the same clothing…[yet cops] from Mississippi to Philadelphia [let Kevin Bennett pull off] a…crime spree staggering in scope, spanning eight states over 50 days, until [they finally managed to arrest him] in late May.  He’s a suspect in at least five rapes, three jewelry-store robberies, and a handful of stalking and assault incidents…

A Broker in Pillage

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

…the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to permanently [steal] the contents of hundreds of safe deposit boxes, including over $85 million in cash and precious metals, jewelry and other valuables worth millions more…the boxes’ owners have not been accused of any crime and have not been told what the government thinks they did wrong.  Now, several of those owners are joining an existing Institute for Justice (IJ) class action lawsuit to stop the government’s forfeiture plans…“This is an $85 million cash grab by the federal government,” said IJ Senior Attorney Robert Frommer.  “The government has no basis to think any of these people have done anything wrong.  It just wants to keep their stuff”…

I first linked to this story in Links #563.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1003) 

The latest chapter in this nasty, twisted saga:

GirlsDoPorn…recruiter and male talent Ruben Andre “Dre” Garcia was sentenced…to 20 years after pleading guilty to sex trafficking charges against him in the case that also involves the site’s fugitive owner, Michael Pratt, and others…

Forward and Backward (#1058)

A good example of why “policies” not anchored in law are no solution:

…Leeds City Council…[ha]s deci[ded] to “step away from what has been a pioneering and compassionate approach to on street sex work” and scrap the Holbeck Managed Approach Zone…almost seven years after [it] was first launched…The zone was officially closed down temporarily last April, [using] the [excuse of the] pandemic…forc[ing women] to work in riskier environments and ma[king] it harder for them to get help in an emergency…[and apparently thepoliticians liked that result and wanted it to continue]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1090)

Puritanism is throttling the entire world:

[Politicians] in Hungary passed [a law] that prohibits sharing with minors any content that portrays being gay or transgender…supporters [of the ban projectile-vomited the word “]pedophilia[” a]t…human rights groups [who] denounced [the new censorship law] as anti-LGBT discrimination…The ruling Fidesz party has a parliamentary majority, and [politicians] from the right-wing Jobbik party also endorsed the measure…All other opposition parties boycotted the voting session in protest…Some human rights officials have compared it to the so-called gay “propaganda” law passed by Russia in 2013…[in order] to harass sexual minorities…

Winding Down

You know things are changing when Louisiana eliminates an excuse for caging people:

A bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana…in Louisiana will become law after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the legislation…Although…the bill [doesn’t legalize cannabis]…the penalty would be less than most speeding tickets…[it] would make possession of 14 grams or less…a misdemeanor in all cases and limit the fine to $100 with no jail time.  It takes effect Aug. 1…

Torture Chamber (#1141)

Your regular reminder that rapist screws are not confined to the US:

Cases of sexual assault and prostitution have been [anonymously] reported at a [prison] for unaccompanied migrant minors…in Spain’s Canary Islands…The complaint…also detailed “physical assault and sustained abuse” allegedly committed by workers at the center, as well as deficient sanitary conditions.  According to the complaint, these episodes of “negligence” have been “condoned and encouraged” by members of current and past management teams, who “have done nothing to stop it”…

What kind of sick mind thinks that voluntary “delinquent” behavior is the same as being raped, tortured and locked in filthy cages by brutal armed thugs?

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All moral panics blend real societal problems with the cartoon version.  –  Michael Hobbes

The Widening Gyre (#792) 

Trying to prop up the “Facebook pimps” myth with bogus “studies”:

…re[scue industry profiteers pompously branding themselves]…the Human Trafficking Institute [claimed] “The internet has become the dominant tool that traffickers use to recruit victims, and…Facebook overwhelmingly is used by traffickers to recruit victims”…[a bogus government] report showed that 30 percent of all victims identified in federal sex trafficking cases in the past two decades – since 2000 – were recruited online…and 65 percent of identified child sex trafficking victims recruited on social media were recruited through Facebook…

Blunt Instrument (#998)

The government’s latest sleazy trick: attacking with civil suits rather than criminal charges, because the burden of proof is reversed:

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed a civil lawsuit against an [Asian] massage business…in St. Louis County.  The lawsuit [is based in the “evidence” that] Royal Day Spa…has its front windows covered and that it’s open late…[cops made pretextual] traffic stops…[of] three [men, threatening them with nuisance charges to get them to parrot] Schmitt’s [racist claims]…about the…Spa.  Schmitt [masturbated furiously while vomiting out moronic phrases such as]…dark underworld…modern-day slavery…and…human trafficking in illicit massage businesses…[he also shared his shockingly-racist sex fantasies about how all Asian women are stupid and ignorant and need white men to “rescue” and deport them]…

The End of the Beginning (#1015) 

Maybe we’re about to witness the beginning of the end of these evil laws:

The S.C. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled the state’s lifetime sex offender registration requirement is unconstitutional and people who demonstrate a low risk of reoffending should be able to petition a judge to have their names purged…[until now] South Carolina [has] provide[d victims ofthe law]…no recourse to seek relief from a judge…Brooke Burris…a…Human Trafficking [fetishist, vomited out a lot of ugly nonsense about the so-called]…victims [of public urination or consensual teen sex]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1038)

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

In February…almost eight years after the state of Indiana s[tole] Tyson Timbs’ brand-new Land Rover over a drug crime, prosecutors argued that…the government should…be free to take everything you’re worth.  [Last week], the state’s highest court categorically rejected that…Chief Justice Loretta Rush likened the government’s chutzpah to “Captain Ahab’s chase of the white whale Moby Dick”…[But] Indiana p[oliticians haven’t yet learned their lesson]…also in February…the Indiana Senate passed a bill to [rob] people [cops accuse] of [attending] “unlawful”…protests…

The Implosion Begins (#1075)

I did not foresee that the “sex trafficking” moral panic would implode in such a spectacular and entertaining fashion:

…the women who share…pastel, mom-washed #savethechildren posts [don’t c]are that they [a]re spreading Q propaganda…The statistics [they] share…have been repeatedly and publicly debunked by NGOs…[and] researchers…But [they think that]…doesn’t matter…They [also follow]…Tim Ballard…of the Utah…rescue [industry] group Operation Underground Railroad…[who] has [prom]oted…the child sex trafficking panic [even in its most unhinged aspects].  As the Wayfair h[ysteria] took off [last] July, he released a video…claiming that “children are sold that way” and that “law enforcement will get to the bottom of it.”  Since then, the organization has publicly [distanced itself from] QAnon…But, at the time, Ballard [continues to claim] child sex trafficking is a growing global crisis…

See also “Served Cold” below.

The Cop Myth (#1118)

If they actually punished wife-beating cops, they’d lose half of them:

A Garda…sexual assault[ed his girlfriend], threaten[ed] to kill [her] and [exercised] coercive control…in a “grand scheme” to control her life…He was charged with 35 offences…includ[ing] four counts of assault…two [of] sexual assault…10 [of] criminal damage…a threat to kill, endangerment of life, four thefts, coercion…[and] harassment…the woman…was punched in the face, grabbed by the neck, held against the floor and…choke[d]…he pulled her hair out by the roots and kicked her on the ground…the…harassment…[included] 65,000 phone messages…a number of [which included] a threat to kill…her…

Served Cold (#1138) 

The schadenfreude is so very sweet:

[Prohibitionist actor] Jim Caviezel appeared [at a conference] in Oklahoma…to promote his newest role, in which he plays Tim Ballard, the founder…of the [rescue industry] group Operation Underground Railroad, [with “sex trafficking” fetishist Mira Sorvino as his wife]…there…he…[also] promoted…the…QAnon [branch]…of [“sex trafficking” hysteria, which]…was awkward at best for OUR, which has spent the better part of a year insisting that it…is not affiliated with…QAnon…[despite] Ballard…[himself endorsing the belief last summer]…After years of success…OUR[‘s]…carefully-crafted image is coming undone…several people have been interviewed about their dealings with OUR not just by [a Utah prosecutor], but by the FBI…IRS and Homeland Security…among the matters being looked into are whether OUR operators have [raped people they branded] human trafficking victims…and whether OUR has committed human trafficking itself…

QAnon weirdness is not especially extreme from an organization which gets “tips” from psychics and has claimed that “pimps” use magic padlocks to trap doll-like girls in cages.

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