WASHINGTON, October 27, 2014 — Human trafficking is the most critical social issue of our day.
Trafficking of people for profit encapsulates all of the other social issues that we are spending billions of dollars researching. America continues to examine the who, what, why, where and when of issues, but can’t seem to see the bigger picture. We have some serious cultural problems, yet we fail to address them for fear of offending those who are at the helm of the ships that are steering this country down a road to potential destruction from within. Noble proponents of restoration will put money into repairing lives, but we won’t spend a dime to prevent that destruction.
If we take those billions and put them into productive efforts to prevent trafficking, we can create the catalyst that will generate a substantial decline in criminal activity in the United States by providing a culture where people know their own intrinsic value.
America is operating at the three base levels of our being: survival, sex, and power. The commercial sex industry purchases a minimum of 10 million bodies – including children – a day, using victims at an average rate of 10 times each day. About 14 percent of American men, or 43,680,000, reported that they had paid for sex at some point in their lives.
Dutch children’s rights group Terre des Hommes revealed another dimension of this phenomena throught a ten-week sting operation in Amsterdam. Technical staff posed as ‘Sweetie,’ a computer-generated ten-year-old Filipina girl, who interacted with others in online chat rooms. Hundreds of individuals tried to solicit ‘Sweetie’ to perform sex acts on a webcam for them in exchange for money. In the 2013 creation of Sweetie, more than 20,000 potential buyers were lured to the site and 1,000 alleged sex offenders were identified. Researchers uncovered the identities of 999 men and one women who had chatted online to Sweetie by asking them questions and locating their profiles on social media sites and Skype. The solicitors included 254 from the US and 110 from Britain among the 71 countries identified.
Roots Fueling Crime in America
The seven root causes fueling human trafficking include corporate greed, societal conditioning, mass media, hyper-sexualized culture, violence and child sex abuse, poverty, broken families and fatherless homes. In fact, all of them fall under the first cause, corporate greed. When profit eclipses individuals as the top concern, everything else falters. Putting the corporate bottom line first causes unemployment. Unemployment causes poverty, prolonged poverty causes worthlessness and eventually hopelessness. Homelessness is also an effect of prolonged unemployment and then family breakup can be a result and in some cases, suicide.
Mass media fuels this greed at the expense of people’s lives, undercutting the value of both those who work for the corporation and those who purchase the corporate product. Societal Conditioning by mass media has given us a false sense of value. Although we fall for the traps of manipulative marketing campaigns laced with seductive innuendoes and blatant “in your face” sexual undertones that tell us appearance and wealth equals acceptance, and owning material possessions equals satisfaction, we are still left with a vacuum in our soul that leaves us wanting more.
Pornography is a 97 billion dollar industry world-wide. According to Adult Video News, an estimated 11,000 hard-core porn movies are produced in the USA annually.
FBI statistics show that pornography is found at 80 percent of the scenes of violent sex crimes, or in the homes of the perpetrators Two doctors noted in their research-based book, Pornography and Sexual Aggression, that “Certain [aggressive] forms of pornography can affect aggressive attitudes toward women and can desensitize an individual’s perception of rape. These attitudes and perceptions are, furthermore, directly related to actual aggressive behavior against women.” They also found that adult pornography was connected with each (100%) of the 1,400 child sexual molestation cases in Louisville, Kentucky, and child pornography was connected with the majority of them. Malamuth NM, Donnerstein E (Eds) (1984): “Pornography and Sexual Aggression.” New York: Academic Press.
What we Focus on Expands – Changing our Perception
When Mother Theresa, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, was invited to speak at an anti-war rally, she declined, explaining, “If you want me to come and speak for peace, I will do that; but to speak against war is just another form of war.”
When we speak against an issue we are engaging in a war such as the “war on drugs”, the war on poverty”, etc. But when we speak up for change, we are introducing an idea that can create the desired change and are essentially drawing people into the arena of actually thinking for themselves as opposing something they don’t agree with. We are presenting the steak without removing the hamburger, thus giving people a choice to change their own lives. We can create a culture of strong families and bring restoration to our economic system by practicing conscious capitalism, engaging people in reconciliation and peace, instilling the value of moral fortitude and commonwealth. It’s all about what we focus on.