Ben Johnson

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Pimpin’ Soros-style: Soros-funded UN report says legalize prostitution, drugs worldwide

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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NEW YORK, August 1, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) –  A new report for a United Nations agency, underwritten in part by George Soros’ foundation, calls on the governments of the world to legalize prostitution and drug use, blasts “conservative interpretations of religion” about sexual morality, demands nations open their borders and state healthcare systems to AIDS-infected immigrants,  and argues that the spread of AIDS would be reduced by repealing laws against the intentional spread of HIV. Nations should end all laws against pimps, because women willingly go into prostitution for reasonable purposes, such as “a drug habit,” it claims. But leading experts tell LifeSiteNews.com the report is misguided and its prescriptions could lead to an increase in sex trafficking and deeper human misery.

Two years after its launch, the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Global Commission on HIV and the Law issued its first report this month, entitled, “HIV and the Law: Rights, Risks, and Health.”

The report insists the law “dehumanizes many of those at highest risk for HIV: sex workers, transgender people, men who have sex with men (MSM), people who use drugs, prisoners, and migrants.” This is particularly true in “governments influenced by conservative interpretations of religion,” where “people suffer and die because of inequality, ignorance, intolerance, and indifference.” It disparages laws based on “morality.”

It concludes nations could fight AIDS if they “repeal laws that prohibit consenting adults to buy or sell sex, as well as laws that otherwise prohibit commercial sex, such as laws against ‘immoral’ earnings, ‘living off the earnings’ of prostitution and brothel-keeping.”

The report’s authors attempt to distinguish willing “sex workers” from victims of sex trafficking. “The difference is that the former is consensual whereas the latter coercive,” they write. “Sex work is not always a desperate or irrational act; it is a realistic choice to sell sex – in order to support a family, an education or maybe a drug habit. It is an act of agency.” (Emphasis added.)

Making prostitutes illegal denies them the “human rights available to others,” including “the means by which others can make claims on elected officials,” such as through registered lobbyists.

The UN report suggests officials “shut down all compulsory detention or ‘rehabilitation’ centers for people involved in sex work or for children who have been sexually exploited.”

Nations, they insist, should “recognize the sexual autonomy of young people” by providing “sex education, harm reduction” – defined as condom and syringe distribution – “and comprehensive reproductive and HIV services…to youth.”

The report was underwritten by such major funders of the Left as George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation, as well as the American Jewish World Service (whose new vice president for communications, Stuart Schear, recently held the same position at Planned Parenthood), Australia’s AusAID, and such UN offices as the UNFPA, UNICEF, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UNAIDS Secretariat.

Its commissioners include Rep. Barbara Lee, the only member of Congress to vote against toppling the Taliban after September 11, and former Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, a founding member of an internationalist organization known as “The Elders” with Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu.

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The report states its conclusions “do not necessarily reflect the views” of the UNDP. However, UN officials suggested repealing laws against homosexuality, trangenderism, and “laws that inappropriately criminalize HIV transmission” at the group’s launching in June 2010

In a seemingly counterintuitive assertion, they state laws outlawing knowingly exposing others to HIV help spread AIDS, because they “discourage people from getting tested or treated, in fear of being prosecuted.”

The world’s leaders should also distribute clean needles to drug users, give condoms to prisoners, end “bias” based on “HIV status,” and assure every “migrant” – legal or illegal – receives AIDS treatment. (George Soros has long funded efforts aimed at the legalization of drugs.)

Until this becomes reality, the agency encourages lawmakers to “creatively use traditional law in progressive ways.”

A prominent picture in the report encourages legislators to “Criminalize hate, not HIV.”

They should refrain from “shaming” prostitutes with STDs and “prohibit the mandatory HIV and STI testing of sex workers.” Instead, police should be put “to work alongside sex workers in enabling wider safer sex practices”; for example, they could “talk about improving condom distribution in venues where sex is sold.”
 
But many social scientists question whether it is possible to separate “willing” prostitutes from unwilling ones.

The British Crown Prosecution Service has found sex workers are subject to a variety of pressures, including physical and sexual abuse, and noted “strong links between street prostitution and the drug markets, particularly crack cocaine.”

Dr. Mary Anne Layden, a psychologist, pornography expert, and director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania, told LifeSiteNews.com there is no “bright line of demarcation between prostitution and sex trafficking and child prostitution. These are all flowing, one into the other.”

“The average age of becoming a child prostitute in the U.S. is 12,” she said. “We call them a child prostitute until the day after their 18th birthday, and then we say it’s adult consenting sex.” She questioned whether someone in that position is really “making a free choice. Her brain has been raped as well as her body.”

“They way they get into this field is rape them as children. This is how you pipeline them into this.”

The radical feminist Andrea Dworkin once called incest “boot camp” for prostitutes. Israeli researcher Anat Gur believes the link between prostitution and childhood abuse calls into question a prostitute’s ability to freely choose a life in the sex trade.

“They’ve gone into this industry because it feels like home,” Dr. Layden told LifeSiteNews. “Now with the viewer taking the role of the perpetrator, we’ve got the whole cycle repeated.”

This is all too plain to the “sex workers.” One prostitute explained: “We’ve all been molested. Over and over, and raped. We were all molested and sexually abused as children, don’t you know that? We ran to get away…We were thrown out, thrown away. We’ve been on the street since we were 12, 13, 14.”

A survey of 50 young adults who are or were prostitutes conducted by UK’s Children’s Society found that half had been molested, 25 percent of them before the age of 10. Most were runaways. Two-thirds had used drugs before entering prostitution. 

The painful memories so haunt some women that they use dissociation as a defense mechanism.

The same kind of women “choose” prostitution as those forced into it: poor women in desperate straits. Melissa Farley, a psychologist who studies prostitution at a San Francisco nonprofit, wrote, “Prostitution is ‘chosen’ as a job by those who have the fewest real choices available to them.”

Yet some on the Left have hailed the UN report as a step forward for feminist liberation. Cheryl Overs wrote at RH Reality Check that the report “marks a significant advance for sex workers’ struggle,” fretting only that the very acknowledgment of white slavery “suggests that very significant numbers of sex workers are enslaved which is not borne out by  experience or statistics.” 

Dorchen A. Leidholdt, the Director of the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families in New York City, wrote: “The proponents of this distinction are sending the following message: ‘Don’t pay attention to the poverty, the familial pressure, the incest she survived, the battering by her boyfriend, the lack of employment options available to her. Just ask whether there is a gun pointed at her head or whether she is being overtly deceived. No gun, no deceit; then no problem; not only is she voluntarily in the sex industry, she is a ‘sex worker.’”

Far from solving the problem of the global sex trade, Dr. Layden told LifeSiteNews that legalizing prostitution would increase sexual trafficking, rape, and abuse.

“When you increase the demand in prostitution in a country,” she said, “pretty soon there won’t be enough prostitutes, so that means we’re going to have to get women and children and sex traffic them.”

“When you send a message to your culture that sex is a product you buy – if you can buy it, you can steal it,” she said. “In this particular context, the stealing is rape.”

The British Crown Prosecution Service revealed that female prostitutes “are often at risk of violent crime in the course of their work.”  One study found 85 percent of prostitutes in Minneapolis-St. Paul had been raped in the course of their “work.”  Another discovered that 12 percent of all strippers are slapped by the manager or other male staff, and 85 percent report being verbally or physically abused on the job.

This ignores the working conditions themselves. Shulamit Almog, a law professor at Israel’s University of Haifa, wrote in The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law: “A typical shift in a Nevada brothel runs from twelve to fourteen hours a day, every day, for three weeks. The woman has almost no control over the number of clients per day, their identity, or her working hours. One woman who has engaged in prostitution in one of these establishments testified that ‘it was like a prison.’”   

After the brothel owners take their cut, the prostitute takes home “about fifty percent of her earnings.”

Legalization has given some countries incentive to view prostitution as a jobs program.

The nation of Belize boasted in a November 1996 report to the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that “recognized prostitution in Belize is a gender-specific form of migrant labor that serves the same economic functions for women as agricultural work offers to men, and often for better pay.”

Justifying the trade has another side effect, as well. “When prostitution is assumed to be a reasonable ‘job option,’ women’s intense longing to escape it is made invisible,” Farley wrote.

Leidholdt agreed: “Those women fortunate enough to survive sexual exploitation emerge, usually in their 30’s, when they are no longer marketable commodities, with no job skills, traumatized from years of enduring unwanted sex and violence, and physically debilitated from sexually transmitted diseases and the substance abuse necessary to endure the sex of prostitution.

“What is available to these women?” she asked. “Destitution or a career as a madam or mama san, helping the pimps control the younger women who are marketable commodities.”

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PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received millions in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

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If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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