I thank Andrew Shaffer for including my unusual case in this article.
In the last few days, this US corporation that pretends to be a bank, but is not regulated as such, has demanded that books categorized as "erotica" with specific sexual content that many consider to be abhorrent be removed from a list of online bookstores that sell with PayPal. The particular content at issue is nothing I'd ever read, but since when did Americans appreciate what amounts to book burning?
My situation is proof positive that this monstor censor won't stop there - they are after all that is adult. Does the Disney - Meg Whitman connection have any relation to the recent events? I think so, but then I know better than most what Disney is capable of in the pursuit of an anti-adult agenda and it is more than you can imagine.
Reflections on the Past
As a result of my past history as an adult business owner in the Orlando area, I find the recent actions by PayPal to be par for the course. An examination of the bigger picture here reveals a similar anti-adult trend in the US to that which I experienced for so many years in Orlando. I said it before and I'll say it again: Orlando was a test market to understand the level of toleration for censorship of the general population in the US. Welcome to my world.
Back in 1996, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (MBI), with Disney grants as one major source of funding, pursued Sprint Yellow Pages as a result of the publisher's refusal to remove the "escort services" category from its upcoming 1996 books. More on that story in Memoirs.
To better understand the MBI agenda over the years, read: Orlando MBI: The Long War on Adults
The Orlando area has been under siege for over 30 years by these pretend prudes that are now disguised by corporate America and as a matter of fact, many have now joined corporate America after retiring - (A big holler out to former MBI agent Ray Peters and a congrats on his employment as Head of Security at the Rosen Plaza in Orlando). I state "pretend" because as the party that owned escort services in the metro Orlando area for 10 years, I know what they really do. They may fool some of the people some of the time, but they'll never fool me.
I know why I was prosecuted and it had nothing at all to do with anything (95% pure lies and BS) stated in the arrest affidavit. You may note that there was never even enough evidence to get court orders to wiretap or search in my investigation and prosecution.
The Big Picture
What began long ago as a war on all that is adult in Orlando, Florida has now proliferated and is a War on all that is adult in the US. First they went after anyone they could find that looked like a viable target. This practice evolved into creating cases where there were none to begin with as the eye of government turned to the publishers of advertisements and websites for adult business.
One of the most known cases is the MBI arrest of several Orlando Weekly advertising sales executives and the civil RICO indictment of the newspaper in late 2007. Read what well-known First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza had to say about this case: The Orlando Weekly Case
Going after publishers is the first major step in the anti-adult agenda. Of course the great majority voluntarily caved and stopped selling advertisements for anything adult. The results of the Orlando Weekly case gave MBI the nerve to go national. Craigslist was attacked and shamed by the ignorant and many with an agenda, eventually caving also. The attack on Craigslist originated with none other than the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (MBI) in Orlando. Doubt that? Read these public documents with thinly veiled threats:
MBI to Buckmaster September 2007
MBI to Buckmaster November 2007
Buckmaster to MBI November 2007
MBI to Buckmaster January 2008
MBI to Buckmaster March 2008
Note that the MBI refers to the demand to Craigslist to drop the adult categories as Good Corporate Citizenship. I absolutely picture one of these whacks contacting PayPal and requesting that my account be frozen utilizing the usual tool box of lies and referring to my books as "obscene material". If I ever find out that they had something to do with my frozen account, I will sue the pants off of anyone involved.
Going after the publishers is not a new approach, but it is now used as a major tool in the anti-adult agenda toolbox. First Amendment attorney Lawrence Walters addressed the problem as it relates to adult business ads online in two recent posts:
Killing the Messenger: The Campaign Against Online Escort Advertising Sites; Part 1 - Setting the Stage
Killing the Messenger: The Campaign Against Online Escort Advertising Sites; Part II - Operational Policies and Legal Issues
When you read the two articles written by Walters, realize that this is a pursuit of any directory, classified ad seller, or online listings provider for these adults in the adult business. This has already existed to an extent, but the stakes are getting higher. As Walters states:
"Federal conspiracy, solicitation and money laundering statutes certainly don’t help an escort site’s plight. The epitome of broad and vague statutory language; these laws expose even the most tangentially involved individual/entity to potential legal liability."
Law enforcement agents around the US have managed to poison the phrase and business description of "escort services" by including street hookers and referring to any operator as a pimp. The reality is that most escort business operators market and book appointments and not much else. The general population in the US has fallen into their trap hook, line, and sinker.
Perhaps it is time for a new business title that omits the word "escort". They poisoned it - let them keep it! Changing titles for businesses and independents wouldn't be all that complicated. It was done back in 2000-2001 with the "hobbyists" and "providers" on message boards all over the world. One idea for the operator in a major city is "convention hostess" or we could all return to the "lingerie model" concept and the operators would offer model referrals or hostess referrals for conventions.
As one reader of this blog recently pointed out to me, the MegaUpload indictment is the beginning of the end. Mentioning that case, I was happy to read that Kim Dotcom was released on bond because as previously stated, I do not advocate any prison at all for non-violent activities. I do not like what these people did, but that doesn't translate to any desire to lock them in a cage. You can't believe that I would be happy that people steal what little I could have.
Today it hit the news that the US DOJ is now going after gambling websites even when the business is outside the US. From a blog reader:
"But NOW, they have dropped the pretext of being fair, and have gone after a gambling company not in the US, not registered in the US, and apparently not even banking in the US."Verisign seizes .com domain registered via foreign Registrar on behalf of US Authorities
I can envision the US government seizing adult websites of all types, especially if a Republican (other than Ron Paul) makes it to the White House in the 2012 national election. Well known First Amendment attorney Lawrence Walters states this best: The Politics of Porn - 2012
Make sure that you get out and vote. Realize which politicians are ready to kill your income, your reading material, movies that adults enjoy, your bingo parlor, and anything else that is adult in the United States. Mark my words - the MBI has gone viral with the anti-adult agenda and anything from bingo parlors to internet cafés to adult businesses and writers of adult material are in the line of fire. Now that they've reached out to the payment processors (PayPal, Visa, MasterCard), it won't be that complicated.
It is indeed censorship as it is all a part of a government agenda. Do not pretend that greedy corporate payment processors do not want the money.