Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Act to prevent release of Kayne West monstrous women hating music video

Dear Friends:

Melinda Tankard Reist, author of Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualization of Girls, has put out a call for the public to respond to the forthcoming release of the music video for "Monstrous" a song by Kayne West.
The outcry is in connection to a video teaser leaked by The leaked video is now being blocked, but you can get a sense of some elements of the video by watching this behind the scenes video: This behind the scenes video shows a "dead" woman laying spread eagle on a table in front of Rick Ross as he eats a plate of raw meat.
In just 30 seconds the leaked (but now blocked) video showed viewers image after image of eroticized violence against women:

· Dead women, clad in lingerie, hang by chains around their necks
· West makes sexual moves toward dead or drugged women propped up in a bed
· A naked dead or drugged woman lays sprawled on a sofa

The victims in this video are clearly women. Only women. And the men, Kanye West, Rick Ross, and Jay-Z are far from bothered by the female corpses. They seem to quite like being surrounded by lifeless female bodies, apparent victims of a serial killing. It is likely we can expect more brutal images in the full-length video.

For more about the video and efforts to stop its release (there is a petition you can sign) see Melinda's blog at:
Read more!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

US/Sudan: Book Release -- Passport Through Darkness

Life on the Edge
One Woman’s Extreme Journey to Finding a Life That Matters

Click here to view the Passport Through Darkness book trailer!

Each one of us longs to know we matter. We hunger to know that we have purpose, our life has meaning, and God dreams great dreams for us. In Passport Through Darkness: A True Story of Danger and Second Chances, Kimberly Smith invites us into her own struggles as an ordinary woman who feels those aches, asks those questions, and stumbles through a quest to find her place in a broken world.

Kimberly L Smith, co-founder and president, of Make Way Partners a non-profit mission agency that goes where women & children are at highest risk of human trafficking, forced prostitution and other forms of modern-day slavery and where little to no other help is available because it is considered either "too" dangerous, "too" expensive or "too" remote for most people to go.

Smith was an average American woman—a wife, mother, corporate executive, and faithful church member. But she knew something was missing from her life. When a bone-chilling experience awakened her desire to find true purpose, Smith and her family began a lifelong adventure serving those who never knew a greater purpose could exist.

Traveling around the world and deep into the darkness of her own heart, Smith’s worst fears collided with her faith as she and her family discovered the atrocities of human trafficking. But in that broken place a self-centered life was transformed into an international effort to save thousands from modern-day slavery, persecution, disease, and genocide.

As Smith and her husband risk everything for orphans at-risk to human trafficking in Eastern Europe and Africa, they see God work again and again in impossible situations, especially in their own lives and marriage. They see God change them—even in their exhaustion, marital struggles, and physical limitations. They see the beauty of living out God’s dreams.

This is a book of hope for anyone who longs to see God’s redemptive power heal broken hearts, fill empty bellies, and shelter uncovered heads. It is a call to take one more step on your own journey to know God’s heart and purpose for your life. It is a guide from one ordinary person to another to find a life that matters.

Smith writes, "My prayer is that God will use my wounds and my transgressions to encourage you to risk losing everything to discover the life God dreams for you. It’s life on the edge, where so much is uncertain, maybe even scary, certainly out of our control. But it’s also where true freedom lives."

Your story may be different from hers, but God’s hopes for you are just as big. "Your destination," Smith writes, "is the same as mine—an intimate encounter between you and your Creator. But your route will be filled with adventures, both mild and wild, made just for you. It will lead you to where God’s pleasure and your purpose meet."

Let Kimberly’s remarkable story show you the grit, the pain, and the beauty of letting go of it all to find the dream God dreamed when He shaped you in His Hands.

About the Author: Kimberly L. Smith is the president and cofounder of Make Way Partners, a mission organization committed to ending human trafficking. She is currently leading Make Way Partners to build the only private and indigenously based anti-trafficking network in Africa and Eastern Europe. A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Smith lives with her husband, Milton, in Sylacauga, Alabama.

Passport through Darkness: A True Story of Danger and Second Chances by Kimberly L. Smith
January 1, 2011/ISBN 978-1-4347-0212-8/224 pages/softcover/$14.99

What others are saying about Kimberly L Smith’s new book Passport through Darkness:

"Kimberly Smith voluntarily walks through the gates of hell. If you can read her accounts without being affected, you should check for a pulse."
- Philip Yancey, author of What Good is God? And What’s So Amazing about Grace

"I appreciate your efforts and those of Make Way Partners to rescue and care for the orphans of Sudan. I respect the ministry you lead and the fact that it cares equally for all children, whether Christian, Muslim, African, or Arab. By eliminating the divisors of religion and skin color you exemplify Christian peacemaking."
- Jimmy Carter, former US president and founder of The Carter Center

"Kimberly Smith has seen the desperation and powerlessness of people caught up in the struggle for life and survival. Her experiences in Darfur bring home the brutality and pain of those who suffer and the indifference of the world beyond. Yet the central message of this book is not despair, but hope. It is a powerful reminder that God forgives and renews and that His love stretches into the most hopeless situation in life and draws us into truth."
- Dr. Elaine Storkey, author, broadcaster, president of Tearfund, and ambassador for Restored

"If I didn’t know Kimberly well, I would have thought she was writing fiction. Passport through Darkness is real, raw, full of vulnerability—and is infused with much hope and love. But I do know Kimberly well and I know that she has experienced the darkest sides of humanity—and the brightest piercings of the light of God’s redemptive love. Reading this book will propel us all beyond our self-imposed boundaries, to the ultimate risk of finding and following Christ’s call for our own lives."
- Rev. Dr. Lauran Bethell, global consultant, Ministries with Victims of Human Trafficking and Prostitution, International Ministries, ABC/USA; coordinator, International Christian Alliance on Prostitution (ICAP); and former director, New Life Center, Chiang Mai, Thailand

"From her camp in the desert Kimberly L. Smith pulls back the canvas of her tent to show us the good, the bad and the ugly of our world today in Passport Through Darkness. She allows us to see into her ‘tent of meeting’ (Exodus 33:7) with God. The level of transparency and intimacy she reveals in her walk with God and her husband is encouraging, inspiring, motivating, and challenging. This book challenges Westerners about their contentment with insulated ‘secure’ lives—as we sit and sing our polite little songs in our pristine churches. How do we not stand up for our brothers and sisters thousands of miles away where human beings are treated without dignity—trafficked, bought, sold, and traded like animals."

- Tomi Lee "T.L." Grover, PhD, anti-trafficking consultant and founder
Read more!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Charlie Sheen's life provides WRAP Week object lesson . . . .

Dear Friends:

Here is an important message from our friends at Morality in Media relating WRAP week to tragic current events.



NEWS RELEASE from MORALITY IN MEDIA, INC.475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1264, New York, NY 10115
Contact: Robert Peters 1-212-870-3210

Charlie Sheen’s life provides WRAP Week object lesson in how addiction to pornography can harm marriages, children and some careers

NEW YORK (11/3/10): According to press reports, on Monday the 45-year old actor Charlie Sheen filed for divorce from his third wife, just days after an alleged alcohol and drug-fueled rampage at New York City’s Plaza Hotel. The rampage began after his 22-year-old “porn star date” for the evening allegedly refused to have sex with him until he paid her $12,000. Coincidentally, this year White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week runs Sunday, Oct. 31, through Sunday, Nov. 7. The goal of the annual WRAP Week is to heighten public awareness of the harms associated with pornography and the need to enforce obscenity laws to curb the proliferation of hardcore adult pornography online and elsewhere.

Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media, had these comments:

Following Mr. Sheen’s alleged rampage at the Plaza Hotel, I did a “Google search” for information about his use of pornography. What I found at"> was a “Declaration” (dated 4/19/06) that his second wife, Denise Richards, filed in her divorce case. It stated in part:

“Although Respondent told me that he only used prostitutes during the time he and I were separated, I didn’t believe him...Respondent promised that he would not be with prostitutes; however, he told me that he was not going to give up his...pornography habit and that I had to accept it[at p.10]...Respondent came into the house...I told him that I discovered some pornography websites that he belonged to which I found very disturbing (websites which promoted very young children, which looked underage to me with pigtails, braces and no pubic hair performing oral sex on each other). I also told him about other websites I discovered that he accessed involving gay pornography and also involving very young men who also did not look like adults. I also discovered that the Respondent belonged to several sex search type sites, which he looked for women to have sex with...When I confronted Respondent with this information, he did not deny it. I told him that as a mother, I found this information very disturbing because we had two young daughters and that I believed he had a serious problem...I later had an AIDS test which he was upset about[at pp.11-12]...Respondent and I spoke...on April 9, 2006...I told the Respondent that I was very concerned about the children spending the night at his house because of the activities he was involved in with prostitutes...and pornography...I confronted him with information...that he was still having prostitutes at his house. He did not deny this[at p.15]...”

If true, Ms. Richards’ account of her marriage to Charlie Sheen may illustrate several harms commonly associated with addiction to pornography, namely:
  • Acting out pornography fueled sexual fantasies with prostitutes
  • Progression from viewing hardcore adult pornography to viewing pornography that depicts actual children or performers who look like children
  • Children being exposed to a parent’s pornography
  • A wrecked marriage

Under normal circumstances, such behavior could also result in loss of a job, but Sheen is a Hollywood celebrity; and these days outrageous behavior often serves to increase an actor’s popularity and promote a career. According to a story in Sunday’s NY Post, a CBS “network insider” told the Post that Sheen’s bosses were “quietly thrilled,” thinking that his behavior will boost ratings for “Two and a Half Men.” And sure enough, according to a report in Tuesday’s LA Times, ratings for Monday’s program “soar[ed].”

In Hollywood’s Golden Age, there were standards for entertainment content and for actors’ off stage behavior. Today, content is often a moral stench, and actors’ off stage behavior often smells worse.

Read more!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

White Ribbon Against Pornography Week

Dear Friends:

This is a friendly reminder that this coming weekend begins White Ribbon Against Pornography Week. I hope many of you will take advantage of this opportunity to share about pornography's harms with your family, friends, and congregations.

For inspiration, here is what Captain Mark Czanderna of Gaffney, SC, plans to share about with his corps:

"This Sunday, I plan to talk about how Christians are not only to abstain from works of darkness, we are to EXPOSE them (Ephesians 5:11). Psalm 97:10 says that those who love the Lord are to hate evil. My primary objective is to thwart people from going down the porn road and to rescue those who are on that road (a road to destruction). My secondary goal is to expose how monstrous and enslaving the porn and trafficking business is... just as William, Catherine and Bramwell did so many years ago. While many media outlets normalize the pornification of people, our media outlets seek to protect them and uphold their dignity. We need to keep hitting this giant head on and trust like David did that one small person with God can take off a giant's head."

Additionally, Captain Mark has developed a terrific sermon outline that may be of help to those of you who want to attack this issue but feel ill equipped to do so. You can find his sermon notes (developed with resources from and the 2010 WRAP flyer attached below. For additional resources please visit:

2010 WRAP Flyer

Sermon Notes


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Highway killers are target of FBI

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Highway serial killers may be responsible for 459 killings in the last four decades on U.S. roads from Alaska to Key West, FBI statistics show.

The victims are often prostitutes, abducted in one state and killed and dumped in another, authorities say, and the suspects are almost always long-haul truck drivers.

READ MORE: Read more!

Monday, October 11, 2010

U.S. infected Guatemalans for STD tests

Dear Friends:

The story is disturbing on multiple levels: unethical medical experimentation on human beings is utterly appalling. However, I'm sadly not surprised that the study involved such experimentation on women in prostitution. As this article makes clear minorities, the mentally impaired, the imprisoned, and prostituting women are tragically often viewed as expendable.

As for the women in prostitution, not only is it outrageous that men in prison were supplied women for sex, some of these same women were purposefully infected with syphilis by putting "infectious material on the cervixes of uninfected prostitutes before they had sex with prisoners.

"This is a shame to our nation, and a tragedy for all those who these ruthless doctors exploited for their own ends.



By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 2, 2010

The United States revealed on Friday that the government conducted medical experiments in the 1940s in which doctors infected soldiers, prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The experiments, led by a federal doctor who helped conduct the famous Tuskegee syphilis study in Alabama, involved about 1,500 men and women who were unwittingly drafted into studies aimed at determining the effectiveness of penicillin.

The tests, which were carried out between 1946 and 1948, infected subjects by bringing them prostitutes who were either already infected or purposefully infected by the researchers and by using needles to open wounds that could be contaminated."

Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a joint statement apologizing for the experiments. "We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices.

"President Obama had been briefed about the revelations and called Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom to "personally express that apology," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said."Obviously, this is shocking. It's tragic. It's reprehensible," Gibbs said.

The Guatemalan government planned to investigate, saying it "deeply deplores that these experiments affected innocent people," according to a statement issued late in the day.

In addition to exposing another episode of unethical medical experimentation, officials said the revelations were concerning because they could further discourage already often-suspicious minorities and others from participating in medical research. They also come as U.S. drug companies are increasingly going to poor, less-educated countries to test new drugs and other therapies."

At a time when so much medical research is global, it behooves us to take account of what has been done in the past by American researchers in other countries," said Susan M. Reverby, a professor in the history of ideas and professor of women's and gender studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts who discovered the experiments while investigating Tuskegee for a book.

In Tuskegee, perhaps the most notorious medical experiment in U.S. history, hundreds of African American men with late-stage syphilis were left untreated to study the disease between 1932 and 1972. In the Guatemala case, the subjects were treated, but it remains unclear whether they were treated adequately or what became of them.

Reverby discovered the experiments while reading papers in the University of Pittsburgh's archives from John C. Cutler, a doctor with the federal government's Public Health Service who later participated in Tuskegee. He died in 2003.

"I almost fell out of my chair when I started reading this," Reverby said in a telephone interview. "Can you imagine? I couldn't believe it."

The studies were sponsored by the Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health and the Pan American Health Sanitary Bureau (now the World Health Organization's Pan American Health Organization) and the Guatemalan government. The goal was to assess whether taking penicillin right after sex would prevent sexually transmitted infections.

Cutler, Guatemalan health official Juan Funes and colleagues decided to study men in Guatemala City's Central Penitentiary because its prisoners were allowed to have sex with prostitutes. Some of the prostitutes tested positive for syphilis; in other cases, doctors put infectious material on the cervixes of uninfected prostitutes before they had sex with prisoners.

But because so few men were getting infected, the researchers then attempted "direct inoculations made from syphilis bacteria poured into the men's penises and on forearms and faces that were slightly abraded . . . or in a few cases through spinal punctures,"
Reverby wrote in a synopsis of the experiments.

They conducted similar experiments involving gonorrhea and chancroid and on soldiers in an army barracks and on men and women in the National Mental Health Hospital. In some cases, the subjects drank "syphilitic tissue mixed with distilled water," Reverby wrote in a synopsis of the testing. Doctors used needles to scrape the arms, faces or mouths of the women to try to infect them.

A number of high-ranking U.S. government officials knew about the research, including Thomas Parran Jr., who was then U.S. surgeon general, the documents show. "You know, we couldn't do such an experiment in this country," Parran said, according to Cutler. Parran died in 1968.

The gonorrhea studies involved 772 subjects, 234 of whom became infected and 233 of whom received treatment, according to an investigation by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The chancroid studies involve 142 subjects, including 138 who became infected and 129 who received treatment. The syphilis experiments involved 497 subjects who were exposed to the bacteria that causes the disease, 427 of whom became infected and 332 of whom received treatment. A total of 443 of the subjects actually developed syphilis; 331 received treatment, although only 85 could be documented to have received full treatment, the CDC found.

Gonorrhea can cause a variety of complications, including infertility. Chancroid can cause painful ulcers. Syphilis can cause blindness, major organ damage, paralysis, dementia and death.

Seventy-one of the syphilis subjects died during the study, including one from a fatal epileptic seizure, but it was unclear whether any were caused by the studies. The fates of the other subjects will be investigated, officials said.

The researchers also took blood samples from 438 children at the National Orphanage, but in that case, they did not purposefully infect anyone, Reverby said.

Cutler discontinued the experiments "when it proved difficult to transfer the disease and other priorities at home seemed more important," she wrote. The results were never published. Cutler died in 2003.

Reverby shared her discovery last spring with David Sencer, a retired director of the CDC, who notified current CDC officials, leading to Friday's public disclosure. Reverby describes the tests in a 29-page paper that will be published in January in the Journal of Policy History.

NIH Director Francis S. Collins condemned the experiment and said strict prohibitions are in place to prevent such abuses from happening today.

"This case of unethical human subject research represents an appalling example from a dark chapter in the history of medicine," Collins told reporters during a telephone briefing Friday.

Although Collins said it was important that the experiments had been made public, he acknowledged that the revelation could deepen entrenched suspicions about scientists and doctors. The Tuskegee experiment continues to be blamed for making many minorities reluctant to participate in medical studies or even seek medical care."

We are concerned about the way in which this horrendous experiment, even though it was 60 years ago, may appear to people hearing about it today as indicative of research studies that are not conducted in an ethical fashion," Collins said. "Today, the regulations that govern research funded by the United States government, whether conducted domestically or internationally, would absolutely prohibit this type of study."

The National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine will also investigate the experiment and the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will form a panel of international experts to "ensure that all human medical research conducted around the globe today meets rigorous ethical standards," officials said.
Read more!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

One Phone Call from Truck Driver Rescues Nine

One truck driver who noticed two young girls being worked at a truck stop, made the 911 call to police and an amazing set of events took place. The two girls, 15 and 14, were seen going in and out of the trucks and appeared to be distraught and at times, just simply afraid. Feeling something was not right, the alert trucker called police, informing them that the two girls "appeared pretty young."

Not only were the two Ohio girls minors, but they also turned out to be kidnap victims of human trafficking. The two minors were saved and returned to their families, but the story did not end there. Because of this one phone call from this one truck driver, seven other minor children were saved leading to the conviction of thirty one human trafficking offenders and led to the shutting down of a thirteen-state prostitution ring.

One phone call from one trucker . . . 9 lives saved . . . 31 offenders convicted . . . 13 state ring shut down . . . from one phone call.