Sex, Slaves, and Spas

I have an article in the Telegraph about slavery in Macon; not the 1860’s variety, but the 2008 variety. Yes, all the evidence shows pretty positively that slavery still exists in Macon.

You can read my op-ed here (scroll down to the bottom). Here is an excerpt:

According to a 2006 San Francisco Chronicle article, “sex trafficking is now an $8 billion international business . . . . Relying on research from the Central Intelligence Agency, the State Department estimates there are 14,500 to 17,500 human trafficking victims brought into the United States each year.” If you think that is high, consider that in 2000, the number was 50,000. …

The most common route into slavery is kidnapping and smuggling. In 2006, the Department of Justice charged nine people connected to an international sex trafficking ring. The ring smuggled women into the United States either with promises of a new life or against their will. The women were forced to work in brothels, usually in Asian themed massage parlors or spas. The network ran throughout the United States. The profits were funneled back to the Northwest and funded Asian organized crime operations.

Between 2005 and 2008, there have been numerous raids across the nation turning up the same pattern: Women held against their will who are forced to perform sex acts under the cover of giving massages. The women are frequently abused or drugged and are told repeatedly that if they seek help or talk to the police they or their families back home will be harmed.

The funny thing is that I listed a number of “progressive” countries that have legalized prostitution only to see the rates of human trafficking skyrocket.

“Legalize prostitution,” is the most frequent retort. The Netherlands has legalized it, Australia has legalized it, New Zealand has, Sweden has. It is time for a new argument. Those countries are now at the top of the slave importation list. In fact, all of these countries, libertine symbols for the pro-prostitution crowd, have begun dramatically curbing or ending legal prostitution because of the connection between legal prostitution and increases in human trafficking.

Amsterdam has become so alarmed by the rates of human trafficking, it is actively considering shutting down the famous red-light district.

Kyle8 over at RedState offers up the typical response to the fact that countries that legalize prostitution are at the top of the list of slave importers:

You cite nations who have problems through legalization. Well, they did it wrong. If you legalize a vice you have to spend nearly the same resources you once spent trying to stop it.

Funny, that’s how they always explain communism too — it’s just that everybody who has tried it has done it wrong.

This totally ignores the fact that Sweden and Holland are always the two examples given as places that did it right. Except they haven’t done it right, they know it, and the result has been an increase in slavery in the country to satisfy the otherwise legal sexual appetite of their citizenry.


  1. Rick Day says:

    ERick, your logic is so convoluted it defies logic.

    How about 100% of countries legalize prostitution? Will that solve the problem?

    How about 100% of countries prohibit prostitution?
    Will that solve the problem of human trafficking?

    100% of all countries that have human trafficking problems also have some fluoride in their water. Could there be a connection??

    Connecting legal prostitution to human slavery is like comparing viewing Playboy to producing and starring in child porn. The connection is tenuous, at best.

    You (and the article) erroneously assume that prostitution is the main recipient/ benefactor of human trafficking. I’ve got some diamond mines in Africa I’d love to sell you. Also more than a few sheiks and other wealthy pervs wish to introduce you to their ‘extended’ families.

    Such a pretty little boy, you are

    Oh, and he ‘alarm’ coming from Amsterdam is from the current CONSERVATIVE intolerant freedom-haters, who who rose to power on racial prejudice ‘immigration’ concerns. To them, EVERY social issue looks like a ‘problem’.

    Sound familiar, comrade?

    I just returned from Amsterdam. If anything, there are less ‘red lights’ glowing than there were, say, in 1996 when I first visited there on honeymoon. For whats that worth.

    When in doubt, prohibit! Right? Right??

  2. Rick Day says:

    Sidebar: I am very impressed with the way you guys have refrained from typical negative commentary on all Demolition’s by laying off Sen. Kennedy’s condition.

    My only comment is that it seems there is some evidence the government has been hindering studies that suggest cannabis my help extend the life of sufferers of this type cancer.

    Not that it is true, but if so, there is some irony in that situation. Karma?

  3. Romegaguy says:

    So how much, uhh, “Research” did you do on the subject of massage parlors in Macon metro?

  4. IndyInjun says:

    Legalize it and tax it? We can call it the AFFAIR tax.

    It seems that California is toying with a 25% tax on the production and distribution of porn.

    Of course if they make it a tax inclusive deal, they will be getting 33 cents on the dollar.

  5. liberator says:

    Of course there is no evidence offered of any trafficking problems in Macon. The Spas have caused no problems and greatly help tourism in Macon. Amsterdam,Costa Rica,and Nevada have greatly prosperd from legalizing prostitution by increased tourism,low crime rates,and low STD Rates. The DOJ studies were done under disgraced AG’S Ashcroft and Gonzales. The Clayton example is flawed as there have been no convictions and Sheriff Hill is the subject of numerous lawsuits. I’ve been to all the Spas in Macon numerous times and investigated and found no evidence of slavery. This is just more of the same nonsense from the Theocratic Fascist Wing of the GOP that is causing the party to collapse.

  6. liberator says:

    What we should do is legalize prostitution and casino gambling in Macon. The revenue generated would fund the police budget alone. We also need Nude Bars in Macon. The Pink Pony South which just opened in Forest Park which is in Clayton County will bring in 50,000 a year in revenue to the County.

  7. IndyInjun says:

    “This is just more of the same nonsense from the Theocratic Fascist Wing of the GOP that is causing the party to collapse.”

    Says here that they are doing everything they can to stay erect.

  8. Interesting article. Rick, I only know of one country we have any legislative control over, that’s ours.

    While I don’t disagree with you, I would like to know what documentation there is that indicts Macon’s massage parlors to a human trafficking. If there is, why hasn’t the City Council or the County Commission offered ordinances that thwart this kind of operation.

    A year ago the Sheriff department raided these operations and shut them down, only to be re-opened.

    As far as tourism, I doubt any of these places are funding our Museums. I really don’t think these are the cultural experience that the come to Macon by the bus loads.

    If there is some constitutional protection for these businesses, then at least our Planning and Zoning, could create a red light district. These things are an eyesore and in close proximity to residential neighborhoods and schools.

  9. dorian says:

    This subject is funny really. The prohibition against prostitution is one of those classes of offenses which is supposed to represent our values as a society.

    Of course, that presumes our society has any values left. With the whole gay “marriage” thing, and our state sponsored destruction of the nuclear family – I dunno, I think I’d just pick my fights a little better.

  10. liberator says:

    Maurice,there is no evidence of slave trafficking in Macon period. Erickson has no evidence or he would have given it to the police by now. There were no convictions in those Sheriff Raids of a year ago and all 4 of those spas have indeed re-opened for business. Museums shouldn’t be funded by money stolen from taxpayers in the form of taxes period as they are non essential items.

  11. liberator says:

    Good point Dorian. Macon elected a clown for Mayor twice ie…C Jack Ellis. What kind of community standards does that show? Ellis is now under Federal Investigation. To state as fact Macon’s Spas are involved in the sex slave trade with no evidence to support it is libeleous and exposes city taxpayers as well as Erick to millions of dollars of damages if a suit happens.

  12. My point is that each year literally tens of thousands of tourist visit Macon for our cultural experience. We have phenomenal architecture that has been preserved, museums and parks that create a tremendous quality of life. None of these “spas” are what the masses travel here to view.

    They’ve sprung up all over town, in virtually every corner. Whether they are legitimate or not, I have no clue. I don’t patronize them and don’t know of anyone who does. However, in 2007 the Sheriff department did raid them. From my understanding, one investigator was “serviced” sexually 4 times before the arrest for prostitution. If they’re prostitution rings, they’re illegal, shut them down. If they are legitimate “spas” that’s free enterprise.

    Simply ignoring the current law is not appropriate. I don’t know of any movement in state government or any local ordinance that is pending that would allow prostitution.

  13. Tea Party says:

    “…I’ve seen the needle and the damage done…”

    N. Young

    From a real estate and property value standpoint , spas or as the newest and most savvy operators now call them, Chalet’s, are bad news. They depress the value of property around them. That’s the fact of a ‘jackshack’. No different than any other ‘blue use’.

    From a social policy standpoint, spa’s are bad news. Any woman working there is exploited, period. That this woman is a PROBABLY an illegal or unable to assert any basic human dignity is amoral.

    These type of uses ought to be contained in a district and regulated, just like a food service establishment. If it affects public health, monitoring is needed. Trying to eliminate them is a tough go, so make ’em accountable and controllable. (READ:TAXABLE)

    Anyone naive enough to suggest that spa’s that perform sexual services for a fee are harmless is ignoring basic decency and economics.

    Who stands up for those that have nothing and are helpless to power? WAKE UP!

  14. liberator says:

    Maurice,there were no convictions regarding those arrests for show. In fact all 4 of those spas re-opened days after the raids. Don’t think the masses don’t patronize the spas. Those billboards reel many in who need and demand the body scrubs,etc.. The Spas paying rent keep many of the buildings occupied.

  15. liberator says:

    Tea Party it is not government’s role to set decency standards,let the free-market determine that free of paternalism and nanny statism. The GOP is obsessed with sex I guess due to the David Vitter’s and Ted Haggard’s of the party.

  16. Tea Party says:

    A lot more than the GOP is obsessed with sex. IMHO, these places are bad news, political rhetoric aside.

    I agree that government ought to generally respect laissez-faire, but this argument is academic. Women who work in ‘spa’s’ that perform sexual services for money are exploited.

    There is a social cost, and the landlords don’t pay it. You do.

  17. Bill Simon says:

    What is wrong with people having to get massages? If most of you lunkheads would get off your asses and stop typing all day and go exercise, you TOO might have a need for a massage.

  18. Dawgfan says:

    You people are pathetic! This is not about sex, market forces, or libritarian / conservative ideological purity. It’s about innocent human beings forced to perform degrading acts living in servitude in 2008 in MY OWN COUNTRY. I find this intolerable and thank you Eric for bringing it to our attention.

  19. liberator says:

    Thank You Mr Grifdrift! There are already numerous laws on the books to prosecute slavery and trafficking. Get probable cause and make a case if the evidence is there. What the Puritans fail to realize is most people who work in spas and brothels are there voluntarily to make money. It’s about Freedom.

  20. dorian says:

    Tea Party you joining Indy with your John Jay writing style? How do you decide which words to capitalize?

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