Home Pop Culture Guy Jacobson out to stop ‘human trafficking.’

Guy Jacobson out to stop ‘human trafficking.’



Perhaps one misconception that you would like to address is the definition of human trafficking; you have said that this term is a complete misnomer, and does more harm than good.

The word “traffick” suggests movement.  Around 90% of child exploitation and other forms of human enslavement occur on the local, regional, or village level.  This is true with any business.  Children are exploited within their own homes, in their schools. They don’t need to cross any border whatsoever to be a victim of trafficking.

When thinking of this issue economically, we inevitably place a dollar value on human life.  Do you feel that this marginalizes the deeper, more complex moral issues at hand?  Is every human life equal?

Look, let’s say a POW solider in Libya gets raped.  The UN gets involved, condemns it; the US gets involved, going further than simple condemnation—action is taken and war is a possible extreme.  It is easy to say that Eastern culture is less sexually inhibited than the West, or that poverty places these children in a high-risk category.  These rationalizations place too much emphasis on the type or quality of the victim.  We begin to confuse the character of the victims with the problem, and the solutions, more often than not, are completely counterintuitive.

So if the issue at hand is not the quality of the victim; i.e., skin color, economic background, location—what is the character of the collective?  Should we forget the micro issues, or the individual children affected, in pursuit of a greater victory—eradication perhaps?

Humans haven’t been able to eradicate genocide after thousands of years; we have to approach the issue practically.  The goal of Red Light is not to eradicate human trafficking, but to minimize it.  I know that I can save one child; I can raid the brothels by force, dump the “rescued” girls in a shelter, walk away and be labeled a hero by the press. I could wave a picture in front of your face and say “Look, I saved this girl!” But what about the two others that took their place? In essence, I did more harm than good.

The driving force behind any lucrative business venture is demand.  What do you think characterizes the sex offender?  Is pedophilia an ingrained trait, or is it organic, cultivated in toxic environments?

Look, human nature is human nature.  I can’t change the way we are born. The point of the legal system, of the social system is to encourage us all on an individual level to act in ways that are socially acceptable.  I always hear excuses like “oh, he was beaten as a child and, oh his father molested him.”  I’m not going to debate it because, truthfully, I don’t care. If there is someone attracted to little boys, maybe he can’t help it, but he can certainly control his actions.

So you don’t think that pedophilia is a sexual deviance; in other words, that the demand can successfully, and realistically, be minimized?

To call it deviance is to suggest that these people are committing very sick acts.  They aren’t sick; that presupposes the necessity of medical treatment. There is no way to change sexual preferences of a specific person. The one constant in this whole issue are the clients.  It is my job to control consumer behavior, to direct consumer action.

It’s interesting that you invoke “consumer behavior” in discussion of sexual preferences.  We aren’t asking these people to switch from name brand to store brand paper towels; we are asking them to repress a fundamental human desire. What external factors can possibly mitigate these sexual wants?

Fear, fear of financial and public ruination.  I can work with the top law firms in the country to prosecute offenders. These guys work pro bono on behalf of the victim; it costs money for the defendant to support his case.  Whether we win or no, the charges against the defendant are publicly documented. Unfortunately, there is no way to protect every victim, but there are many ways to impede the business.  It is basic economics.