Review of Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada, Making the Connections

By Barbara Brents

I read Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada, Making the Connections by Melissa Farley this weekend. From the statements of others on the back cover, this report is being read as an academic study on the extent of trafficking in Nevada. However, I have to conclude that Dr. Farley must not have intended this particular report to be the main presentation of scientific research findings. She presents none of the elements contained in social scientific peer reviewed research. There is no systematic explanation of research methods, a rather unclear set of research questions, and it is difficult to generalize from the data presented here to the findings. For example, the report offers no empirical evidence to support the existence of sex trafficking in Nevada outside of that provided in newspaper articles. Instead she broadly defines trafficking as any movement of prostitutes across borders, and starts with the assumption that prostitutes do not consent. With that definition, all prostitution is trafficking.

She has conducted 45 interviews with women in legal brothels, but for the most part she discounts their comments saying, “I knew that they would minimize how bad it was” (p. 22) and “Most of our data offer a conservative perspective on the dangers of prostitution” (p. 23). She explains that her data did not fully support her conclusions for several reasons: managers were listening through devices to interviews, women are likely “ignore bad things or they pretended that unpleasantness will go away, or they call the degrading abuse of prostitution by another name that sounds better” (p. 22). Most researchers would then turn to other research methods if they determine their interviews were so flawed. The goal of scientific research is to make sure there is no evidence out there that might disprove one’s hypothesis. Instead, in the chapter on Nevada brothels, she reports findings from interviews in tables without systematically stating what the survey questions were, or how surveys were administered. And she runs regression with an N of 45. There is no statement of the sampling techniques. And for most of that chapter on brothels, she selectively uses quotes that do support her belief that prostitution is degrading while ignoring those that don’t support it.

She also relies very heavily on secondary sources to support her arguments. In a careful reading of many of her footnotes in the chapter on legal brothels, I found that she takes quotes out of context, without stating the overall conclusions of the sources. For example, of the seven of 10 or so sources that I was able to find where she drew quotes on Nevada specifically, five concluded their research with recommendations against an abolitionist approach to prostitution and with qualified support for legalization. The two who did not included a book written in the mid 1980s by a journalist and a documentary. She also draws several times on an unpublished paper written by a student at UNLV’s law school. I have not seen that paper yet.

Farley’s report also relies extensively on research on other countries’ prostitution without establishing empirically that this is true for Nevada. For example one of her primary findings she states that “Prostitution and sex trafficking are linked in Nevada as elsewhere: sex trafficking happens when and where there is a demand for prostitution and a context for impunity for its customers. And further on, “The links between legal and illegal prostitution in Nevada and the profound harms caused by prostitution to all women are much like those in other countries where legal prostitution exists” (Farley p. 12-15). (Bold is mine.) The evidence she draws on to support this in other places in the book quite frequently describe not the case of Nevada, but research results from other countries. Unless one carefully reads the footnotes one might miss this.

Finally, her non-profit organization, Prostitution Research and Education received research funding from Grant #2074-610001 from the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons of the U.S. State Department. (Farley p. vi) to “better understand the predatory, survivalish nature of prostitution and trafficking in Nevada” (Farley p. 5). Prostitution Research and Education is organized primarily to advocate. The endnote to that section details the purpose of her organization “to abolish the institution of prostitution while at the same time advocating for alternatives to trafficking and prostitution- including emotional and physical healthcare for women in prostitution. The root of the problem of trafficking for prostitution is men’s demand for prostitution,” (Farley p. 220). Findings about prostitution and its solution are stated in the organization’s purpose. That they could conduct objective research where the methods allow findings that potentially disprove this conclusion is highly unlikely.

Thus I conclude that Dr. Farley could not have intended this particular document to be presented as scientific research. Rather this report must be read as a series of essays drawing on facts as they support her organizations goals and positions. Should Dr. Farley choose to publish scientific work from her findings, I will look forward to seeing these in other peer-reviewed venues.

I’m preparing a longer more detailed review that should be available soon. Barb Brents
Department of Sociology
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV 89154-5033
web: http://www.unlv.edu/faculty/brents

37 Responses

  1. Thank you for this analysis. It explains why her work wasn’t published through an academic press.

    XX

  2. Unfortunately, to a major portion of the media and to most casual readers, whether or not rigorous scientific methodology is used is irrelevant. The danger of this is that undoubtedly, this work will be used as source material for people pushing towards certain policy goals and political self-interest.

    As an academic, I believe that passing such literature as “scientific” to justify policy decisions is a cardinal sin.

    It must be nice to have one’s own non-profit that is at least partially funded with public money to advance personal ideology. I really need to think about getting out from under this oppressive university system that makes me account for the scientific validity of my writing.

  3. One more thing: every letter written by Farley in response to her critics begins with a sentence like the following: “All science is infused with values. In my article, my values are made transparent.” What she doesn’t say following this is: “Therefore, I choose to forgo the entire scientific process.”

    Yes, she is correct – all science IS infused with values. There is no such thing as true objectivity. However, one thing that distinguishes a good researcher from a fraud is the measures they take to identify and eliminate (as much as possible) those values.

  4. Another thing about Farley’s report is its utter lack of availability. There’s no electronic copy that’s been made available for download and it hasn’t been deposited in any libraries (an OCLC search, plus searches of the online catalogs of public and university libraries in Las Vegas and Farley’s home base of San Francisco fail to turn up anything – not even an “in process” citation, like libraries typically have for books they’re in the process of receiving).

    Right now, if one wants to see the report, one has to buy a hard copy direct from Farley.

    Usually, a major report that’s meant to influence public policy is typically published in an academic journal, or by a government agency or NGO, and typically the report or journal is deposited in libraries and/or an electronic copy is made available over the web.

    Given this lack of availability, its more than a little irksome when Farley’s proponents shout down those opposed to the conclusions of this report as not having read it.

  5. I hate it when they make unfounded conclusions about why they aren’t getting the answers they want. We hear it all the time from the anti-trafficking crowd when a series of raids on Asian massage parlors results in the detention of 100+ sex workers, and every one claims to be there of their own free will… “they’re afraid that the traffickers will kill their families back home if they come forward, so they have to lie to the police” or something to that effect.

    How can one argue with one who refuses to listen? It is tragic, really.

  6. Stephanie, are you saying that trafficked sex workers are NOT afraid something will happen to their families back home?

    How many trafficked sex workers have you talked to?

    Why would you want to minimize the violence going on in trafficking? Is that actually a question up for debate? You feel there’s no evidence of violence in sex trafficking? I’m kind of astounded.

  7. I believe this book was not submitted to any publishers at all. Farley wanted to self-publish. You’ll have to ask her why.

  8. Yes, the scale of sex trafficking is up for debate, as is the conflation of any and all sex work with trafficking. Abolitionists routinely cite huge numbers of trafficked women in the sex industry, but give no basis on how they even come up with such numbers. I will post a paper later that challenges many of these figures.

    That is not to say that sex trafficking isn’t a real phenomenon and that it doesn’t do real harm. However, much of the rhetoric about sex trafficking is exaggerated and alarmist.

  9. Josie- I am not going to claim that they aren’t afraid of what could happen to their families back home because frankly, I can’t speak for every woman who may or may not have been trafficked here. That would be doing the same thing I’m complaining about your camp doing, but with the sides switched.

    I will, however, point out that it is highly unlikely for several reasons. Based on the reading I’ve done, it appears that the proprietors of the massage parlors here pay the “traffickers” in full for the women who come to to the US to work at their establishment. At that point, any obligation to the person who smuggled her into the country is transferred to the brothel owner.

    In Operation Gilded Cage, only the brothel owners and a car service were charged as traffickers. There was never a Korean sex trafficking ring made up of gangsters that could find the workers’ parents and threaten to kill them for not paying off a debt. Any one of the women could have easily told the police that they were sex slaves at the massage parlors; and they would have been given T-Visas and government grants to help them adjust and prosper in their new homeland. Instead, they were treated as criminals and then deported, most quickly, while some were forced to stay and testify about debt bondage to the brothel owners. But they said they entered the agreement willingly, so the feds had to grasp at straws to hit the accused with any law that was applicable.

    Why force women into sexual slavery when there are ample women who will gladly take the work, and plenty of money to be made without forced labor? I’ve always been an independent sex worker myself, but I can certainly see why some women would prefer to do it that way.

  10. I’m sure the woman sleeping on a dirty cot after being raped by 10 men today appreciates your dismissal of her reality because you can’t prove the numbers.

    Do you not even read the newspaper? I mean, this information is not hidden. Yes, it can be hard to get close enough to a trafficking operation to count the victims, but operations are ongoing, busts are frequent. Check out the open source intelligence and then dig just a tiny bit deeper and you’ll start getting the picture. You can do it!

  11. [...] been no independent peer-review of this study, a fact that does not speak well for it. (Barbara Brents review makes clear that this work contains many of the same flaws that her earlier work [...]

  12. It’s interesting to note that the people who are “reviewing” Melissa’s book seem to focus on slams against what they feel are her “methods” for obtaining the research. It’s real simple – she talked to the women. Every quote and every word from me in her book appeared exactly as I said it or wrote it. The women I personally know she quoted in the book were quoted exactly. Not one lawsuit has been filed against Melissa for improperly quoting anyone. Again I see people arguing over something they don’t know anything about. If you don’t know how Melissa compiled the interviews and data – that doesn’t mean the results are wrong – it means maybe you need to ask her some questions if you’re unclear. I see another woman who hasn’t been trafficking or know anyone who was talking about trafficking like she knows something about it. It’s clear she doesn’t. And yes I’ve witnessed what goes on with trafficking not only with my own eyes – but know many women who have been as well. Women I’ve helped to escape. HOW MANY OTHER WOMEN ON THIS SITE HAVE ACTUALLY HELPED A TRAFFICKING VICTIM ESCAPE BESIDES ME? I also note no mention of the writing I did in her book. What’s the matter – can’t find something to argue with out of a real prostitute writing her own words about her own experience? I notice the research being condemned – but not one word about my writing of my experiences even mentioned. Oooops – shouldn’t have said that – now I’ll have people saying because they don’t know what model computer I used to write with that my writings must be completely “suspicious”.

  13. Josie:

    “I’m sure the woman sleeping on a dirty cot after being raped by 10 men today appreciates your dismissal of her reality because you can’t prove the numbers.”

    No one here is dismissing her. Most people here, in some way or another, adovocate and participate in helping unwilling women out of the sex industry.

    However, those who are not in her situtation are routinely dismissed by those like Farley.

  14. Jody: “If you don’t know how Melissa compiled the interviews and data – that doesn’t mean the results are wrong – it means maybe you need to ask her some questions if you’re unclear.”

    I understand your point and I do not wish to invalidate anyone’s personal experience. However, simply talking to people does not constitute scientific research. Policy decisions should be based on scientific research – not just people’s personal testimony. The way you interview someone for research and the way you find people to interview and the way you analyze the results of the interview all are important to the quality of the research. Hundreds of years of scientific inquiry have produced methods of analyzing information in a way that is as free from personal bias as possible (although there is no such thing as value free research, it is important to try to minimize the impact of such values).

    An important part of sharing the findings of research is showing how you arrive at your conclusions. Someone reading the research should not have to ask the author for clarification – if they do, there is either a flaw in the reporting or a methodological problem.

    I am a researcher in a different field – one that also studies human social behavior. I have good friends who have turned me on to the sex workers rights movement, so as of right now, I do not study this problem, but who knows what the future will bring.

    The reason I am harping on research on this blog is that this information is stuff that generally, people do not know (although many think they do). Knowing the nuances of research design and methodology takes years of training – this training is the coursework and related activities that people go through to get a PhD. If it was common knowledge, there wouldn’t be a need for PhD’s. It is important that people who get such degrees remember to use the training they have undergone.

    Jody – I think your posts reflect your true passion for helping people.

  15. “Jody – I think your posts reflect your true passion for helping people.”

    I agree, thank you for stating that Daddy Mention. I don’t think anybody here is bashing Jody’s efforts with her organization. We are defensive because the work that we do is being wrongfully conflated with rape, abuse, trafficking, etc. The prohibitionist approach is very threatening to sex workers.

    And I can see how our rights-centered approach can be threatening to others.

    I do think that ultimately we have the common goal of supporting worker who wish to transition get out. There seems to be some misinformation about how one person’s right to work does or doesn’t affect another’s right to stop working. I hope that we can process this concern compassionately and effectively so that we can work together.

    Thanks for your participation here Jody.

  16. >It’s interesting to note that the people who are “reviewing” Melissa’s book seem to focus on slams against what they feel are her “methods” for obtaining the research.>

    Yes; but you see if you’re going to be marketing your book as scientific research, then you kind of have to adhere to the basic principles of scientific research methods. Yeah, from a feminist POV the “personal is political,” and if what you want to do is showcase individual stories as an example of the -sort- of thing that -can- and -does- happen, that works great.

    If on the other hand you are supposedly -gathering data-, well, “the plural of anecdote is not data.” It’s not that esoteric, really, and it’s not a patriarchal plot; there are some ways that are better than others of finding samples that are truly representative of the people you’re supposedly talking to. And, there’s this really basic concept called “confirmation bias?” as in, you go in with pre-existing beliefs that color both how you design your study and how you interpret your results. The excerpts on display here alone make it pretty clear that she’s got a -lot- of confirmation bias, and doesn’t even seem to see anything wrong with it. This is not science. You can use the same methods to “prove” anything you want; creationists do this sort of thing all the time, as do bogus “researchers” like Paul Cameron.

    …or in other words, “what they said.”

  17. …so, yeah: you really don’t need something like this to help the woman who’s been raped by ten men and is lying on a dirty cot; you just need people to say, “hey, this person/these people need help; what’s the best way to get it to them?”

    What’s being proposed here is structural, policy change on a level that goes beyond “x people really are in desperate need of help, let’s help them.” That’s why people are concerned about her methods.

  18. Daddy Mention writes:

    “The reason I am harping on research on this blog is that this information is stuff that generally, people do not know (although many think they do). Knowing the nuances of research design and methodology takes years of training – this training is the coursework and related activities that people go through to get a PhD. If it was common knowledge, there wouldn’t be a need for PhD’s. It is important that people who get such degrees remember to use the training they have undergone.”

    I think its important to also look at what Farley’s qualifications are as a researcher and what her background is. She tends to inflate it a bit with statement such as claims that she has been “a clinical psychologist for more than 35 years”. Actually, most of that time was spent as a counciling psychologist – she only started doing psychological research in 1993 and had never published in a peer-reviewed journal before this.

    Farley, however, had established herself as a radfem activist by this time. She co-led a “National Rampage Against Penthouse” along with Nikki Craft in 1985, and had written an anti-BDSM piece “Ten Lies About Sadomasochism” in the separatist journal Sinister Wisdom in 1992. So this is somebody who went into her career as a “researcher” with some already strong pre-conceived notions on sexuality and sex work to begin with.

  19. I find it interesting that Barbara Brents feels the need to attack Melissa’s research – yet I’ve not seen one post on a blog, one interview or one word on her site from Melissa bashing Brents research.

    I work with prostitutes every day who are in crisis in Las Vegas Ms. Brent – and I haven’t seen you at anything I’ve been at where I’m helping them. I haven’t had one of them tell me of any thing positive you’ve done to help them either.

    Nor have I heard of you trying so hard to get to the truth behind an interview of a woman at a a brothel that you got a gun pulled on you. You know maybe if a brothel owner pulled a gun on you – you might have a little different view of them as Melissa has – and earned over the years.

    You know I’ve helped her research the book and even wrote two chapters in the book you criticized. Yet you never spoke to me or questioned me about any of it or the methods or the women she interviewed or anything before taking a stance on it as being “fake” and misleading.

    Doesn’t a good researcher ask questions before forming an opinion?

    Ooops sorry – I forgot you’re trying to lobby for the position that the brothel owners with money want as a front man for them – they want to be able to quote UNLV researchers as being behind them invading Las Vegas with their plans to pimp off more women and make more money. Makes me wonder where you’re getting all your funding from sometimes Ms. Brent.

    With people like Joe Richard having been arrested for offering a bribe to Candice over a zoning issue – it has not escaped my imagination that you might be getting some “donations” for coming out in your position despite all the women I’ve talked to and know who are working in legal brothels who differ with your reports because of these mens’ desire to build more brothels in the state.

    Tax returns are public record and I think it’s about time we take a look into your financial sponsors Ms. Brent. These mobsters have bribed everyone from commissioners, to DA’s, to judges, and so on to get their positions advocated. So I’m going to think that you haven’t been approached to take your position and attack any opposition like you are with Ms. Farley’s research?

    I wonder what a financial investigation into you would bring to light.

  20. Below is a copy and paste I did off one of your own bloggers sites. And Melissa is lying about violence against prostitutes – please!
    _______________

    Why do they win the award for least favorite? First of all, 99% of the time they are cheap and I mean cheap. I have worked in Las Vegas for 4 years and until this morning I had never been tipped more than my bare minimum tip, if I even get that far. About 75% they want sex for one hour for about $100 and that I should be thankful for that money. Secondly, they are violent. Some of my most violent calls have been Russians. Once a guy grabbed my purse and dragged me into the hall of Treasure Island, snached my mace quick as lightening before I could use it, ran down the hall dumping out my purse grabbing the agency fee back but thankfully dropping the extra $100 that was already in my purse. I was barricaded in one room after entertaining the guy when I explicitly said the tip he gave me was “no sex”. He was upset for misunderstanding and wouldn’t let me leave. Thankfully I had a driver that night who was twice as tall as the client and I walked out safely. Several other instances I have had to run out because they were yelling or threatening me. The experiences go on…

  21. And I never experienced any such thing as an escort. Not even close.

    So does that mean one of us is lying? Or does it mean that we both have equally true experiences? If it’s the latter, then both sides need to be represented. It’s harmful for sex work to be viewed as one-dimensional — whether all-positive or all-negative.

    XX

  22. Well, it seems Melissa Farley is at best a biased, anti-sex man hating beasts, since from some things I’ve read about her, she seems like a toal, and incumbent asshole.

    I mean, she went in there, with a biased attitude, and saying to herself, and I quote:

    “No matter what is said, or that I find, I am going to be anti, and tell these people the so-called “truth” regardless if I enjoyed it or not.” It seems she had her mind set from the beginning, and would emply others, because of either peer pressure from the moral majority community, or because she was raised to believe sex is wrong. Either way, she really doesn’t have all the facts, or only wanted to present one side of the story, or maybe she turned it around, as do people like Tyra Banks.

    Food for thought

  23. Interested,

    The problem with Farley is that she gets listened to and influences legislation and public opinion. People can certainly see through her (like you) but not enough yet.

    XX

  24. Prostitutes on parade would work, prostitutes on the same page with the same message would work. The message has to be that laws pertaining to us have to be in fact self generated from actual currently working sex industry workers. If there is one message coming from us it ought to be a demand that our voice have to be at the center of anything that has to do with us. We have to take back our voices from these war on whore profiteers.

  25. Jody, is Farley paying you to be her press secretary. Or is it coincidental that you are another person who spends a lot of time “volunteering” while Farley does her research and donates “profits”.

    One last thing so that we are clear. Any further private emails of the nature you sent me on the 17th get posted publicly for the world to see. Since you are writing pre-emptive strike emails demanding responses and not bothering to ever read the response. Meaning you are throwing shit at me and then hiding. Don’t anticipate in the future that your private emails of this nature will remain private.

  26. Jody Writes:

    >>HOW MANY OTHER WOMEN ON THIS SITE HAVE ACTUALLY HELPED A TRAFFICKING VICTIM ESCAPE BESIDES ME? I>>

    Jill Writes:

    At least one. Me.

    Jody writes:

    >>What’s the matter – can’t find something to argue with out of a real prostitute writing her own words about her own experience?>>

    I could do like Farley or an array of her allies did to me. When they can’t argue the truth they just argue the victim must be delusional, lying or suffering from “a form of multiplicity” Thus Jody, it matters to Farley, who the victim is. And when it’s the wrong victim, a lot of effort went into trying to isolate and silence the victim. Not theoretical either. First person experience. Initiated by Farley before I ever even knew her name. And continued for over a decade because for Farley, political alliances and advancing her own career mean far more than any prostituted woman ever will.

    What do you think? You are the only person who has or is doing anything? Maybe we should all write you a check to cover the Jody Williams anointing oil while you rapture to your holy mountain………

    How many more women could I have helped escape if Farley and her allies not diverted their focus to trying to eliminate a project that was helping women escape. But could no longer do so largely because of the political pressure exerted by Farley and her allies which took 3 years to rebuild.

    Save the pretentious arrogance for your partisan crowds who will buy into it and hold you up on a pedestal. Here, the fact that you are helping people just makes you one of the crowd………..

  27. There should have been a break followed by “Jill writes after the end of experience and the brackets.

  28. yeah, it sounds like she’s looking for money and recognition. Either she’s getting money now or she’s hoping to get money….

  29. Maxine,

    Jody probably is about to claim credit for parting Lake Mead to rescue a trafficking victim and will have Farley verify the facts through comprehensive study,,,,,,,,

    Maybe Jody can run a john school using the SAGE model, then one doesn’t have to worry about balancing the books.

  30. I thought all those programs were already sucking off the tax payer tits?

  31. [...] Responding to Farley’s book on Nevada brothel Review of Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada, Making the Connections [...]

  32. Thanks for the link. It’s a wonder why academics continue to platform those that violate their own standards.

    http://sexinthepublicsquare.org/ElizabethsBlog/lessons-learned-at-harvard-law-school#comment-12279

  33. I wonder if this “Jody” character will return now that Jill Brenneman has turned up to show her “I’m the only person working with real abused women” boasts up? Hmm.

    On the notion of helping those in need, I found this snippet from an Indian article interesting:

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Women-rights-activists-to-watch-policy-makers/articleshow/18648192.cms

    Providing statistics on the rescue done by sex workers as compared to the cops, Tripti Tandon of Lawyers Collective said, “In 2008, the Self-regulatory Boards among sex workers rescued 113 girls from being forced into sex-work as compared to 31 rescues by the West Bengal cops. These figures only doubled with the passing years. The need is to strengthen the community rather than making them vulnerable.”

    I’ve never seen sex worker’s rights activists deny that violence and nonconsensual behaviour occurs in the industry. The objection really seems to be that the abolitionists exaggerate it in order to pass laws which are based on morality rather than evidence and which end up doing more harm than good. But I suppose it’s easier to argue with a straw man.

  34. I hate to bust your bubble here Jill – but I’ve helped more than one trafficking victim in the USA since 1987. I had to organize my files to convert from a paper filing system to a computer database and the count as of 2007 was over 250,000 male and female victims we’ve helped in the USA, and other countries as well. We’ve done that without accepting one single grant, and without asking for, nor receiving one single penny of donations from any survivors, victims, etc. We have a Recovery Guide for Sex Workers Anonymous which is the same thing as how Alcoholics Anonymous has a Big Book and Narcotics Anonymous has the Basic Text. Not that this adds up to much – I think we donated over 5,000 copies last year to victims/members who asked for copies and said they couldn’t afford one but then only sold 20 copies for the full retail price of a whopping $10 for our printed copy and $5 for our ebook. Because of membership had a lot of women in it that we had either directly rescued out of the brothels here in Nevada that couldn’t get away without help of some kind because a lot of people don’t know that there are no cabs, or buses that go up to the brothels so there’s no way out of there except by private car, especially when the pimps will drop the women off at the brothels and then take the cars with them essentially leaving the women “stranded” up there, or who were afraid of angering the brothel owners by leaving, or who used to work in the brothels in the past, and Melissa Farley did come to us in 2007 and asked to interview these women for her report on “Trafficking in Nevada – Making the Connections”. She then said she was worried that people would “attack the validity and honesty” of what these victims said – so she asked me, and a few of these victims, to please appear at a press conference to back up that what we said was what we said and what was in the report – to which we agreed. Which is what we did – we appeared to back up what we said in the interviews with her. We were told that the results would be used to obtain government and private funding to set up a program of “after care” for trafficking victims in Nevada to which we were further in support of also because Nevada does use up the prostitutes, the sex workers, and the trafficking victims here, and then gives them no exit, or after care, or trauma, nor any type of recovery services here other than the Sex Workers Anonymous program that I’ve been running here on my own dime since I moved here in 1996 for all victims throughout the whole state. We were also told that the sales of the book would fund the putting together of such a program to provide direct services to those victims who needed it whether they were trafficking victims, or those who were exiting the sex industry and needed exit/support/recovery services to go through that transition. This meaning we knew that legislation would have to be crafted to create things like alternative sentencing programs for example where then instead of going to jail – victims could be offered treatment programs like we’ve been a part of in other states successfuly. I was asked to speak at a couple of churches about these interviews, and the validity of these members’ experiences which were valid and to which I did come and speak about what I’ve seen going on in Nevada under this understanding. I was told that NCAST was going to be created where I was a board member where I was going to be put in charge of “direct services” to trafficking victims in Nevada and even sent out looking for office space for our new headquarters. However, I was the only person on that press conference that lived in Nevada. Worried about the backlash that I knew I’d experience for being a part of publishing what these women had to say about their experiences in Nevada – I was scared. I was promised that everyone at NCAST “had my back” and would “take care of any retribution” that might befall me after this press conference. During the press conference – suddenly Melissa Farley went out into the hallway with some of the reporters. I did not know why until the next day when the press announced that I had become part of a panel that was “calling for the abolition of the sex industry in Nevada”. I never said that nor agreed to that nor had any idea she was saying I even said that – nor did anyone else on that panel besides her and maybe Candice Jordan. My phone was ringing off the hook the next day with people asking me “how could you say that?” to which I replied “I never did say that”. I don’t know why the reporters didn’t verify any of this with me or anyone else on the panel before printing this – but that’s just the new press I guess. The next day also found my phone, cable, internet, and TV lines had all been cut. My power had been turned off and when I went outside my $10,000 car had been completely demolished despite me living in a security building with even a gate and a guard. When I called the phone, cable, internet and TV companies to make the repairs – they claimed that “I had already cancelled service” which was strange. When I called my insurance company about my car – they said that I had called that morning to “cancel my policy” also. When I called the power company – they claimed I owed them a $2,000 bill for my deceased mother and grandmother suddenly and would not resume service without this payment. I have no idea how anyone got all my account information to pretend to be me to cancel all of these services – but that’s what happened. When I called Melissa about the power bill and my car and everything she told me “you’re a big girl and you knew what you were walking into – so deal with it” and hung up on me. Assemblyman Bob Beers had told me he would “have my back” from the retaliation – and he actually made a phone call to the power company and he my service restored within an hour. What I found out interestingly enough later was that Lance Gilman, who now owns the Mustang Ranch, is on the same boards as the power, cable, TV, internet, phone, and even my car insurance company. Does that mean anything? Interesting coincidence. I live on $600 a month in SSI so when I asked Melissa and Bob to help me replace my car because I use my car to do direct rescues on an almost daily basis and they know it – they blew me off. Which really wasn’t a big deal except that I also started getting phone calls from people wanting to know if I “got the check I sent you” in response to the book, the report, my speaking out, the press conference, news of our trafficking work, etc. When I asked “what check?” I discovered that they had sent checks to Melissa for me c/o NCAST in California. When I added them up – they came to about $180,000 in donations. So I called Melissa and asked about these donations and she denied any knowledge of them. So I asked for an accounting of the money she did take from the whole event – to which she denied to give me any accounting whatsoever. Not quite sure what to think – I contacted a volunteer of hers I knew and asked about this – and she confirmed she’d seen at least $8,000 of checks come in that had been directly earmarked for me and my work there. When I went back to these donors and asked if they could please stop payment on these checks and re-issue them to me since they were meant for me and my work – then they accused me of “running some kind of shake-down” thinking her and I were in “cohoots” of some sort about this which was not the case. I guess they didn’t believe that a PhD would take money meant for me and then pocket it without telling me about it. When I demanded to see the accounting based on being a board member of NCAST – she then claimed that I had “misunderstood her and that I never was a board member of NCAST”. I recently sent a letter to the Nevada legislature about this issue of her taking money that was meant for my work and then not at least notifying me about it or even sharing it with me in any way – to which she sent out a letter to them claiming she “deeply objected” to this accusation. I then responded by sending out the response to everyone she did – that if I was lying that she could (1) sue me for defamation and (2) send me an accounting them of the money she took in that year. To which I’ve never been sued nor have I received an accounting either. About a month after her report/book was released, my daughter was struck by an SUV and it broke her back. She was in a brace and confined to bed rest. Then out of nowhere Shared Hope came in and completely plagurized word for word every bit of that report, slapped them name on it, removed my name from the report, and then released it to the press as “their report on trafficking in Nevada”. What shocked me at first was the interviews – they were word for word what we’d done. So I contacted these people and asked them “when did you give an interview for Shared Hope?” to which they replied “I never did”. Three people confirmed to me they never gave an interview to Shared Hope for that report on trafficking in Nevada in 2007. Guess that’s why they had to remove my name from it – so no one might stumble upon someone who actually had a part in the real authorship of part of it. I say “part of it” because of course they twisted it all up and around and did what they wanted with it to say what they wanted. I wondered why they would do this – until suddenly I start hearing about church after church after church that’s having a “meeting” about “trafficking in Nevada”. I thought since I’ve been working with Nevada victims directly since 1996 and was part author of that report that they might want to hear from me – so I contacted these churches and offered to come speak – for free too I might add. I was told that I was “banned from the premises”. I wasn’t even allowed to attend! Not sure why that was – so I asked a friend to go for me who reported back that at each one of these events not only were they lying about sex trafficking in Nevada, using “our” report like it was “theirs” to “back them up” as their “research” but they were gathering up checks like candy. At our last count they came into Nevada and walked out in three months with well over $1,000,000 from people who thought they were donating to a program that was going to help Nevada trafficking victims. All well and good is that’s what they were going to do with the money – but when I called them to help me with cases of real victims who needed airplane tickets, hotel bills, drug treatment, food, medical care, etc., I was told that “Shared Hope does not provide any direct services to domestic victims” and hung up on. If I had not been home without a car and a kid with a broken back and no money even for a cab while they were doing this to Nevada residents – I might have been able to put a stop to it. But for all my failings – I don’t think I desire any of those “cracks” Jill when all I’m trying to do is help victims that I don’t see anyone else helping. You say you “help victims too”. Really? I help at least one victim a day if not more and I haven’t heard a peep out of you to do any volunteer work with us – not donating – volunteer work. Easy to sit back and insult me – go ahead because everyone else does and the victims that I help can’t do anything about it because they’re too busy protecting themselves and their new identities. Unlike these other groups – I don’t parade them around on a dog and pony show either to raise money and “show off the work I do”. But you will find quotes all over the internet from victims I’ve helped – without one complaint so far. Not bad since 1987 actually. Instead of making a crack about the “one” victim you’ve helped Jill here where I didn’t see it for a few years – how about contacting us and helping out with a lot more we got coming in every day?

  35. So, I’ve read that really, really long paragraph, and I’m not getting much of a defence of Farley from it I’ll be honest. It sounds like you’re describing a manipulative and abusive profiteer. And yet you entered this comment thread defending her.

    It’s a little hard to follow exactly, but I believe you’re accusing Farley of plagiarising your work, and thus a defence of that work is ipso facto a defence of your work. That seems like rather an ass-backwards way to go about it to me. Particularly since you get uppity about Jill wondering what your motivation is but don’t wonder what extent her involvement in activism and volunteer work is.

    If Farley is that manipulative and dismissive of *you*, what makes you think she’s looking out for the best interests of others?

  36. Jody,

    Let me just cut to the chase and save you and everyone else some time. How you feel is meaningless to me. I have zero interest in your bullshit. Whatever you write whether that be about me, or about someone/something else. I lost interest in your rambling incoherent nonsense years ago.

    Not interested.

  37. […] so according to Dr. Melissa Farley, there’s some trafficking going on in the brothels. What do you think of her […]

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