Posts tagged with "extortion"

Pimp Your Way to a Billion Dollars!

by Barclay Henderson

Jeff Epstein is a sordid, tragic but provocative story. A bright, good looking guy, Epstein owned seven multimillion-dollar homes and a private island. He traveled to these mansions in one of his two private jets. Keeping him company, celebs like Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Kevin Spacey, royalty, prime ministers, and other big wigs accompanied him on many occasions. 

How does a guy enjoy such success from a modest beginning? With that much to live for, why the need to assault, rape and injure very young girls, spend time in prison and finally commit suicide?

Is there any explaining a guy like this?

An addiction to sex? 

That’s possible but most of the guys I know who have a hot rod convertible seem to meet women without committing statutory rape. This guy had his own private Boeing 727.  

An addiction to power? 

Men abuse women for a feeling of dominance and surely there must be an element of that with Jeff. But again, one has to wonder why a billion-dollar guy with his jet, with friends in high places, would risk jail and suicide to enjoy and flaunt more power and dominance. 

How about extortion as a business model?

Even more worrying, did solicitation and trafficking young women become a business model to reach financial success? In other words, did underage girls give him access to a celeb Rolodex? Did his young girls allow Jeff access to royalty, and attract wealthy investment customers to his fund?

Were compromising film clips of moguls used for extortion and direct wealth transfer? The Epstein mansions were wired for active video-taping of the bedroom. What price would a mogul pay to preserve his reputation?

The Epstein criminal case was evolving, but with his death, it is closed. We will not hear testimony from Royalty, Presidents, Rothschild’s, film stars. None will be required to testify under oath. The unfortunate Prince Andrew is left to the paparazzi dogs. 

We all know enough “boys will be boys” and “sex is a victimless crime” excuses to become jaded. My inquiring mind doesn’t wish to know.

But with the Epstein case, if trafficking and pimping is a path to a billion-dollar success that is sobering. If heads of state, Ivy League Universities, Hollywood stars and royalty, all seem to have been enablers along a path to riches, it speaks to a depraved society.

I get the feeling of “a tripping point.” Like Lucrezia Borgias in the Vatican before the Reformation in 1517 or Rome after Nero and Caligula. 

 

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Author Barclay Henderson is normally a humorist, but he hates human trafficking. For more of his work (and it’s usually a brilliant combination of humor and philosophy), come to https://twitter.com/barclayhenders1

(Full disclosure: Barclay is my beloved brother.)

 

A System for Protecting Children from Trafficking

Lamont Hiebert

Lamont Hiebert

 

You want your kids to be safe, right?

“Start early,” warns Lamont Hiebert. “Traffickers have been known to start grooming children as young as eight years old.” As Program Director of UNITAS, the New York and Serbian-based anti-trafficking organization, he has more expertise on this than most people. 

He’s seen that traffickers can be patient and strategic about gaining the confidence of their targets. Let’s say we’re talking about a boy.  He could be ten or 12, and one day an older boy he knows and looks up to tells him, “Here’s $100, get your mom a bag of groceries.”

The boy is thrilled.  As Hiebert says, “Can you imagine how good he feels?  He’s a hero!”

The older boy stays in touch with the boy, acting like a mentor, doing small favors for him.  Then one day, when the boy is a couple of years older, his “friend” says, “Hey, I need a favor.  Run this errand for me.”

The errand involves something illegal, and the boy knows it, but he wants to look good to the older boy and agrees.  Helping out his older friend and getting paid for it becomes a habit.

So where does this lead?  Soon, the older boy asks him to help recruit girls for trafficking. He’s on his way to a life as a pimp.

Hiebert knows countless stories like this, but here’s what he does with them. He and his colleagues have created what must be one of the most comprehensive school-based trafficking prevention programs in the United States. Maybe in the world.

Tonya Turner

“It’s based on the lived experience of survivors,” his colleague, UNITAS Education & Training Director Tonya Turner explains. Kids relate to what others have gone through, and they learn the tools to recognize the threats and to resist them.

One of the truly impressive approaches UNITAS uses is comics. One of the comics, for example, tells of a high school girl who’s lonely and meets a guy on Instagram who truly “gets” her.  The story is gripping and relatable as you watch her fall in love with the guy.

The guy wants pictures of her naked, and she ends up going along with it. But then she tries to back off and doesn’t want to send him the more revealing pictures he’s demanding. He texts back that if she doesn’t send him even more explicit photos, he’s going to send all the photos she ever sent him to her whole school. “Everyone @ school will see yr a slut with tiny boobs and a fat stomach.”

The entire course is realistic, at times gritty, but the young people who take the course learn enough to be highly vigilant against the traffickers.

Todd Cavaluzzi

UNITAS Executive Director Todd Cavaluzzi has suggestions for things you can do to help prevent trafficking:

  1. The first thing you can do is to learn and spread the word.  
    • Keep seeking out information from reputable sources online like our website (www.unitas.ngo), as well as other organizations like Polaris, ECPAT, and Love146.
    • Then spread the word and help educate others in conversations with family and friends and colleagues to make sure that more and more people know what is going on with this important issue. Here is a link to seven downloadable infographics that help explain human trafficking in the US.  Download them, share them, post them, print them, whatever you need to do to help explain this complex issue to your family, friends, and colleagues.
    • Use this link to our digital comics that you can view and share with your social network. The comics  help make human trafficking easily understood even by kids. The latest installment deals with the issue of sextortion and how kids can get trapped by emailing sexy pictures of themselves to someone they think they know.
  2. The next level you can go to is to donate your time, energy and resources to anti-trafficking organizations that are doing good, smart, work to fight human trafficking.
  3. Finally, you can get involved directly with kids who are at-risk for being trafficked, by becoming a tutor, a mentor, or even a big brother or big sister and just being there for them.

 Visit Unitas at www.unitas.ngohttps://www.linkedin.com/company/unitas-north-america/ or write to Todd Cavaluzzi at: todd@unitas.ngo

Author Mitzi Perdue is a speaker, author, business owner, and organizer of the Global Anti-Trafficking Auction. She is dedicated to helping people learn how to prevent human trafficking.