Yesterday I did a search for the term “backpage” in Google News and found pages of news articles concerning recent arrests that involve ads on Backpage. Today I did the same search and found additional articles of arrests made in the past day. Village Voice Media, the owner of Backpage, is under serious attack by anyone and everyone that hates adult business of any type. Cops are using the website for stings all over the US now - really - search for yourself.
Before continuing here, I would like to go ahead and establish my expert status on the topic. While I am not an expert on sex trafficking, I do consider myself an expert on the so-called “sex trafficking experts” that are demanding Backpage remove its entire “adult” category, which includes the sub-categories: escorts; body rubs; strippers & strip clubs; dom and fetish; TS; male escorts; phone & websites; and adult jobs. I have dealt with one form or another of these experts with an agenda since 1992, and that is longer than any one of the so-called experts have tackled sex trafficking.
The religious groups involved in attacking Backpage are still cheering with delight over their victory at Craigslist. To clarify, it wasn't really a victory as those type of ads are now spread-out through many categories on Craigslist – participants in adult business manage to find the ads. Beyond this, Craigslist only lost in the court of public opinion and not in any actual court. In fact, if anything threatened by so many state attorney generals had actually gone to any court, Craigslist would have won and they all know it, which is why they choose the court of public opinion.
I would also like to establish that I have no horse in this race. I placed ads promoting my books in the “adult jobs” sub-category for close to a year ending over a year ago. So, I have no personal or business need for the “adult” category of Backpage and in fact, quite the opposite as many that purchase my Blueprint books start an escort service and follow instructions in the books and have websites and local listings online. There is no advice in any book to advertise services on Backpage or Craigslist and there never has been. There is an option discussed to place an ad in the sub-category “adult jobs” if one has any trouble finding independent escorts for the business, but then all advice is geared to working only with escorts over 21 years of age and even this option is updated to exclude such an ad anywhere on the Blueprint Blog.
The “adult” category ads on Backpage interfere with escort businesses that operate properly with websites and local listings, so I do not have any reason whatsoever to defend Backpage or the crowd that advertises in the “adult” category. Who really wants all these independent escorts advertising a $100 special? Not me or anyone that bought my books to enter the business. You can conclude that I have no horse in this race. My interest is based solely on the First Amendment rights of the publishers and an unequivocal disgust for the anti-adult business crowd.
The Print Publishing Agenda
When anything and everything adult went online many years ago we all realized that there would be good and bad. The world has progressed beyond print ads and this is true of any category. Is there anyone out there that actually believes that there were no sex traffickers that actually exploited children in operation before adult business went online? There were pimps on the street. There were underage prostitutes that worked for businesses that advertised in mainstream newspapers, independent news publications, and yellow pages. Nothing at all has changed except the delivery of the ad.
Print publications that include “adult” or “entertainment-adult” categories that have not succeeded in the world of online publishing and marketing would love to see the “adult” category of Backpage eliminated. Those inept advertisers not capable of creating and publishing a website or not interested in putting forth time and effort in their businesses to list online locally would probably flock back to print and they'd be back in the money – and make no mistake – it was big money for the print publishers. My print ads in the Reuben H. Donnelley (now Dex One Corporation) yellow pages in Central Florida total was around $50K back in 1996. These days one could accomplish the same by spending less than $1K a year online. Hopefully you understand the point here.
The Sex Trafficking Expert Agenda
These so-called sex trafficking experts disseminate false information to the naïve general population and most fall for it hook, line, and sinker. More often than not, people do not even bother to question the source agenda. You do realize that the DOJ passes out major grant money and funding to all of these so-called non-profit groups, right? They are non-profit” only in the sense that they do not show profits or pay tax on profits, but in reality all participants are collecting serious money in the form of paychecks and research grants. Do include local, state, and federal law enforcement in this agenda.
They have all formed task forces for what has existed forever by giving it a new label – the sex trafficking label. The pimp from the street moved online and now they all need $millions+ to find him – have you ever heard anything that absurd? I could pick out the pimps and underage prostitutes online easily in much less time and for much less money. These people are inept idiots that have managed to give themselves long-term paychecks at the expense of adult business, the US taxpayer, and the First Amendment.
DOJ-Funded Human Trafficking Task Forces – An excerpt:
“To facilitate multidistrict contacts and cooperation in sex trafficking cases, the U.S. Department of Justice has funded 42 jurisdictions and 36 trafficking victim services providers to form human trafficking task forces to identify and rescue victims of trafficking by proactively investigating such cases.”
Or could it be that it is not really a deep concern for a few underage prostitutes and their pimps and more of an anti-adult business agenda? Bingo. These people want to wipe-out all forms of adult business, but escort services and advertising websites used by escorts are the target du jour. They are happy that they'll put 200K+ adult independent escorts out of business with some lame pretense that they must stop a few minor girls from being sex trafficking victims. Bullshit – I have looked closer at many of their crap cases on this blog.
The fact is that they want no advertising venues to accept ads for any adult business or operator of any type. They have been at this for many years in the US, but have finally figured out out to get serious $$$$ for the agenda. Back when the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (MBI) went after Sprint Yellow Pages in Orlando there were no big funds available and few rallied to the cause – the MBI was on their own (with grant money from Disney) against the First Amendment rights of publishers and it was an ugly game. Read about the Yellow Pages Fiasco in Memoirs for more information on that mess.
More recently (2007-08) there was the MBI's lone pursuit of Orlando Weekly and its employees – a local Orlando newspaper: Well, Google the term “orlando weekly and mbi” to see the pages of results as all stories about the MBI in the Orlando Weekly are currently down or have been eliminated (http 500 error) or read First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza's thoughts: The Orlando Weekly Case
Now I am curious as to what is going on with the Weekly. All of the previously published stories about the MBI are unavailable, including The Morality Police, a major story published concerning many cases, including my own case. All stories that exposed the truth about the MBI have disappeared.
The Religious Agenda
This should be obvious to you. In the name of religious zealotry, the sex trafficking card is played often these days, but it isn't anything new for religious groups in the US to pursue the anti-adult agenda with any means available. A short story from Memoirs:
For an entire year I received about forty to eighty calls a month on my main toll-free number wherein the callers requested a free book about Jesus that they had seen advertised on a Christian program on television. I was always nice, and explained that it was a business line and I had no such ad. I advised them to call the program and question them about it. This was no big problem and only added about twenty or thirty dollars to my monthly bill.After about a year, things suddenly changed: The phone would ring off the hook with calls coming in from all over the country. The callers were responding to an ad for free phone sex that ran on USA Network affiliate stations everywhere. Some stated that they saw the ad in a magazine as well. The callers described an ad with ladies almost entirely nude except for a small piece of lingerie. They all repeated my number to me, and the phone rang constantly with this crap from around eleven in the evening until two or three in the morning.After about two months of these harassing calls I had the number disconnected. Every time I picked up the phone the billing started, and it was ten cents a minute. It was seriously running up the bill. I never actually saw the ad on television, but an escort that worked for me did and called me and described it to me. This was a toll-free number that I’d had since opening the business, and many repeat clients called it, usually from out-of-town numbers.When I thought about the situation I realized that the free book about Jesus ad had not served the purpose that someone intended: to get me to turn the number off. Regardless, someone dug into their deep pockets and finally achieved the desired result. I was never able to get a person on the phone at any affiliate station that could direct me to anyone that had the advertiser’s information. This was an intelligent maneuver deliberately used to prevent me from receiving toll-free calls from clients, and it was successful.
The Court of Public Opinion
I can see that someone wanted all of those articles from the Orlando Weekly removed and unavailable online to the general population. They do not want you to know how long this war has been going on here and would prefer that you believed it was an admirable agenda. Someone told me many years ago (1993-94) that Orlando was a testing ground of sorts – I believe it. What used to be an MBI agenda is now being pursued all over the US using any and all tools in the toolbox. Caveat Emptor. The goods they are selling the general population are indeed defective in this situation.