Religious based organizations exaggerate to the point of insult, example, the Catholic Health Initiative

I stumbled across another another shocking example of misinformation passed off as fact.   And it is from a group associated with the Catholic Church, an organization that is well known for their intimate experience with sexual exploitation.   The website of an anti-trafficking group called the Catholic Health Initiative offers to help you understand the trafficking issues and uses outrageous claims to do this.  They resort to “facts” that defy all common sense.  You should resort to ignoring them.

Let me explain:  

Take a look at my YouTube to the right.  When it is done you will have several more choices available to you mostly from the aniti-trafficking industry.  One YouTube residing next to mine is titled “Human Trafficking: Understanding a Complex Issue.”  Because both videos have the word “understanding” we will forever be linked.  For that reason I will “Speak up”

I feel for their passion to help someone, but I must reject their blatant exaggeration to further their mission.

They pass this off as “facts” and claim to inform you in an academic sort of way, of course.

Common sense challenges trafficking facts – –

I draw the line when information presented as “facts” makes my common sense stand up and take notice.  As I have said several times on this website when you start to think about what so many other websites, movies, news stories and so on say a lot of it defies common sense.  In other words you quickly smell the baloney.

For example, 5 minutes and 10 seconds into the Catholic Health Initiative YouTube video they quote another organization which is the source of that smell, but they quote it anyway.

They say this, “The average age of entry into the commercial sex industry is twelve and both boys and girls are victims.”   Think about that – 12 – !  And “average” ! ! !  Take away the world “average” and the smell at least begins to fade.

I know that is completely false because I have met hundreds of sex workers on their job most recently in Thailand.  The subject of their age at various points in their life story  is one of the subjects I am currently researching in conjunction the sociology department of a Thai university that will remain nameless for now.

I do not expect you to believe me based on that statement.  Let’s exercise your common sense for a moment and see if you  decide for yourself if this organization is feeding a crock of baloney.  (This is done to tug at your heart strings so you will anti up donations that pay the salary of many people who, otherwise, might be dropping out of the American middle class for lack of a job.)

But what are they saying?

Again, the Catholic Health Initiative wants you to believe that the average age a woman become a prostitute is 12 years old – special note to AVERAGE.

So, what does “average” mean?  It means that half of all sex workers “entered the commercial sex industry” art an age younger than twelve years old – right?  Half.  And half entered sex work at an age older than 12 years old.

Mathematically that means that for every woman who enters the sex industry at age 16, at least two who are age 10 or one who is age 8 must enter the commercial sex industry to maintain that average – right?  Does that start to seem ridiculous?  To me it does.

What is pedophilia?

First, within the context of the anti-trafficking industry the word pedophilia so such a highly charge, powerful word that it starts the cash registers ringing all by itself.  If this organization is going to do anything at all to stop any pedophilia then they will get donations.

Do not mistake anything I say as being in any way in favor of pedophilia!  Do not make that mistake.  But I am in favor of honesty regarding the highly distorted issue of trafficking and it is dishonest to fall back on the demonized word “pedophilia to get that job done.

Note: in British English the word is spelled “paedophilia”

The word “pedophilia” originated as a medical term but has been branded and stollen by those who use it to further their mission to attack prostitution.   Here is the definition of pedophilia:

psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children, generally age 11 years or younger. As a medical diagnosis, specific criteria for the disorder extends the cut-off point for prepubescence to age 13.

It is important to keep this in mind:

“The prevalence of pedophilia in the general population is not known,but is estimated to be lower than 5% among adult men.”  Source, Wikipedia 

My point in even mentioning pedophilia is that 95% of the male population is thought to have no sexual interest in children under 13 years of age.  I certainly agree.  I certainly have no sexual interest in children.

And yet  blogs, websites, and seemingly respected organizations wish to claim that the AVERAGE age women enter the commercial sex industry is TWELVE years of age.   And, also therefore, it should also be clear that, since 95% of the male population does not have a dysfunctional medical condition they will most likely do the right thing and report indications of child sexual abuse to police – and they do.  I certainly would.  There is simply no market for sex workers ate the young that these blogs, including the Catholic Health Initiative want us to believe is common, almost universal.

The subject of 16 and 17 year olds is a different story and the main element of that story is that the UN and first world countries have drawn a magic line in the sand at 18 years of age.  Under 18 is a child.  On the 18th birthday  everyone is officially an adult.  It does not matter what the third world condition or third world culture might think.  It does not matter if the 16 or 17 year old child is a mother or homeless, or in a refugee camp, and is very likely to be as desperate as any 18 year old to find a means to feed her children.  There is no room at the inn for the 16 or 17 year old.

There simply is no market for sex with children that age.  Anyone offering a woman for sex under about 14 at an absolute minimum is going to be turned into police by those he expects will be his customers.  Simple as that.  It just ain’t true!

What is true is that young children at that age may indeed be subject to sexual abuse.  That is a thousand times more likely than that they would become sex workers.  That idea of child prostitutes being common anywhere is part of the most extreme – and false – narrative of the most zealous elements of the anti-trafficking industry.

Maybe it is true in America but not Thailand.

I live in Thailand and the most common story regarding this subject is when police arrest a bar owner or manager in a small town, one who might think he/she is under the radar I suppose, and is arrested for having underage prostitutes in the establishment.  The underage sex worker is usually listed in the news stories as being either 16 or 17 years old and very rarely younger.

Of course the anti-trafficking zealots will be quick to say that the Thai police are corrupt, and while that might be true to some extend, they seem to have no trouble making those arrests to protect sex workers under 18 according to their law.

Catholic Health Initive “facts” debunked in Newsweek expose

I reference the 2014 Newsweek Magazine expose:

Somaly Mam: The Holy Saint (and Sinner) of Sex Trafficking, by  / MAY 21, 2014.  Link to  it here:  

A quote from this article about discredited Cambodian anti-trafficking activist Somaly Mam said this:   For a long time, there has been a strong push to move away from using children to raise funds. “If your goal is fundraising, you actually have an incentive to pull out the most gory story,” Papi explains, “and so we get completely false realities of the world.”

“False realities of the world.”  Very interesting.

Cambodia is notorious – maybe unjustly so – for sex workers under 18 years of age, but that is a reputation largely based on stories that are 15-20 years old and books clearly written to titillate.  It also provides fodder for more exaggeration for the anti-trafficking industry bloggers like the Catholic Health Initiative.

I will conclude with one more quote from that same Newsweek article but this time from a leader of another religious organization:                  Mam said girls as young as 3 are being held in Cambodian brothels. Experts in the field say that is almost unheard-of.  Patrick Stayton, who formerly ran the Christian, faith-based International Justice Mission (IJM) in Cambodia, says, “They may have had a supply of younger girls between the age of 14 and 17,” but adds, “We’ve never seen prepubescent girls, or very, very rarely.”

Is your common sense ringing off the hook yet regarding this entire anti-trafficking industry?  Do you think maybe, just maybe, this whole issue of trafficking is starting to smell?

The year 2014 was a turning point.  More people are starting to realize that so much of they know about trafficking is based on exaggeration and sensation.  More are speaking up.  
So much of what American religious based organizations and the American government do to please them exasperates the problem of trafficking, drive it underground and into the hands of people who offer illegal help.
Trafficking is a symptom of population growth and a decline in unskilled jobs.  Treating trafficking purely as a criminal justice issue just makes things worse!  Trafficking should not be used as the long awaited tool to attack all prostitution.  Trafficking is NOT prostitution.  America’s sexual culture is neither common elsewhere in the world nor welcome.
Yet, as you see, even seemingly respectable organizations are feeding the public exaggerated stories.  There is a legitimate story to tell but it is the sensational story, the 10 year old prostitute, that gets the big donations.   
Workers at the Catholic Health Initiative may do this with complete personal innocence but they are misleading the public and their own common sense should tell them they are on questionable ethical ground.  


  1. ALL anti-sex trafficking organizations lie about the average age of victims, saying that most prostitutes are small forced children under 12 years old. The problem is that most people in America and in other countries believe them, even without any evidence. Including the President of the United States and most government officials. They NEVER research it, or check the facts – It is blind faith. They also say that ALL prostitutes are FORCED against their will and RAPED – 100% of the time. There are many organizations in the USA that believe that it is impossible for a man to have sex with a woman without abusing and raping her in the process – under ANY situation. They honestly believe that Sex with men (in any form) is rape. Since they believe females cannot consent to sex with a man. – The United States government believes this as you can tell by all the anti-sex laws in America. These laws include: city, county, state, federal laws, that outlaw sex between men and women. The result is many innocent American men are in prison for having consensual sex with a woman. Just look at the California “yes means yes” law which will become law all throughout the USA.

    Here is a good article about the average age of sex trafficking victims:

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