I mean, unfortunately I have to be somewhat vague given both contractual and legal confidentiality…
Peter Ghattas
11

Peter, good stuff and a terrific comment, though I have to admit everything you’ve described is straight out of a Russian mob film. I suppose what I am arguing about is the idea U.S. kids are kidnapped off the streets and forced into a sex slave trade. Certainly trafficking exists, and certainly women are brought over from other countries and forced into the trade. It’s unfathomably seedy to contemplate, and I suppose I should peruse a site like Backpage to see for myself. The great irony of such articles like this, while superb, is it will boost traffic to the sites, such is human nature. I have visited such sites before and find them so deeply disturbing as to be depressing. I was a crime scene photographer for 18 months back in the 1990’s, and saw enough for a lifetime, and this was in a medium market, not a huge urban center. What I noted during that stint was law enforcement authorities would exaggerate the menace with inflated numbers that did not follow common sense and thus, funds were shelled out for imagined battles against crime phantoms — Satanic cults sacrificing animals, organized gangs with initiations of murdering innocent citizens, secret Mafia organizations and, of course, the child slave sex ring. Many of these fears were rooted in public complaints and flights of dark fantasy, and law enforcement authorities had to act to appease a terrified populace, and from such seeds myths grow like so much mold. I personally saw nothing organized, just complete random chaos having short life spans. Now, mind you, this was before the rise of the Internet which frankly, in and of itself creates fearful crime phantoms (and inspiring the questionable entrapment of a lot of men, sometimes for prime time consumption), and perhaps the rules have been changed in this modern age of Backpage, where every perversity is reachable through a few clicks. Perhaps the numbers are now skewed, long-term organization possible, the public living in and contributing to the abject terror. I will admit if there is one thing I learned during that stint (which I actually went in to believing it would be fun) was a simple mantra — stay off the streets after midnight.

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