Friday, February 9, 2018

OnceFallen's Opposition Statement to SB 1226 & HB 1301
In response to the FAC Call to Action, here's my letter I'm sending in the mail to the FL legislators (Except Lauren Book, because what's the point?):

From: Derek W. Logue
Registered Citizen Advocate
Founder of

To: Members of the Florida Legislature
RE: SB 1226 & HB 1301

Dear Florida State Legislators,
I am writing you today to oppose both SB 1226 and HB 1301, similar bills which will have a detrimental impact on the lives of thousands of individuals.

These bills will impact both the ability of free humans to travel as well as shackle individuals with costly and ineffective electronic devices that will cost the state tens of millions of dollars. I will address each of these parts individually.


I am an advocate for the restoration of individuals forced to register for life as “sex offenders.” I live in Cincinnati, Ohio but I have taken numerous trips to your state in order to assist those on the registry improve the quality of their lives. I have engaged in a peaceful protest right outside the State House while Lauren Book completed her march across the state in 2015. I have visited (and stayed at) the homeless registrant camp on multiple occasions in order to report on conditions at the camp as well as provide much-needed supplies to the camp.

I know for a fact that “Senator” Lauren Book came up with this idea of lowering the time I can visit before registering specifically to try to deter me from visiting Florida to help the homeless registrants of Hialeah, the camp a law named after her was responsible for creating. Unfortunately, Senator Book has become a master of using the law as a weapon of vengeance against those who are forced to register. It is important to keep this in mind since I am currently engaged in a legal battle with Lauren Book. She is filing vexacious litigation against me trying to prevent me from exercising my 1st Amendment right to protest and speaking out against her reprehensible actions. This bill is just another attempt to bend the law to her will. Justice isn’t supposed to be about vengeance!

Of course, even if this bill passes, I will continue to engage in protests against the Book family, as I already live in a state that requires me to notify my travel plans, so forcing registration when I . Quite frankly, I would not want to visit your state much less live there, but many registered humans have ties to Florida and this would impact them as well. I am well aware of the fact that only 45% of those listed on your registry actually live in Florida communities. However, you force individuals to register for life even if they haven’t lived in Florida for years. You are also one of the only states that allow registry info to pop up on a Google search. This encourages vigilante violence against registered citizens. I have endured vigilante violence, including harassment by associates of Senator Book.

It also raises concerns that individuals not publicly registered in one state will have their registry information plastered all over the Internet. For example, Washington and Massachusetts are among the states that do not post registry info online. If one were to visit from those states, then they would be forced to register for life and be placed on the internet even though their conviction state does not do either.

Finally, it should be worth noting that there is already a lawsuit in the works over keeping out-of-state registrants on the Florida registry, so passing this bill will add the number of people eligible for this costly class-action suit.


When I had visited the homeless registrant camp (Lauren’s Kingdom) in Hialeah, I was shocked to see the number of homeless registrants wearing these bulky, uncomfortable, radioactive devices. Imagine the time it takes recharging your smartphones, only with that smartphone strapped to your body. I imagine it would be hard to do things like go job hunting or shop for groceries while recharging. Imagine trying to find a place to recharge at a homeless camp. Who is paying for this? Your constituents, that’s who!

I am concerned the GPS devices are costly and ineffective in reducing sex crimes, as well as constituting such a great burden to both law enforcement and to the former offenders who have served their time and are struggling to successfully reintegrate into society.
It was estimated back in 2007 that the cost of GPS is around $10 per day per device. (I imagine that number is higher now.) If the law was applied to 6,660 offenders currently on the list, the state will have to shell out $24.3Millions dollars per year just to maintain the devices by the $10 a day rate. The chances of passing the expenses onto former offenders is unlikely, as most former offenders struggle to find steady employment in a slumping economy and employers hostile to people with criminal records.

The use of GPS devices should be reconsidered, as the technology suffers from numerous limitations. Among the common technological problems: “Geometric Dilution Of Precision” (GDOP), meaning if the angle of the receiver to the satellite is too small, the satellite may give a false reading; satellite visibility- buildings, metal, and other terrain obscures the signal; speed limits- if it is going above a certain speed, it will not work; and temperature limits- will not work in extremes of temperature.

Washington state did a test run with “passive” devices (passive devices merely record where the person has been and must be uploaded to read, whereas active devices send out constant signals), and found 4000 “notices of violation,” the vast majority of which were false alarms due to technical difficulties [Jonathan Martin, “GPS tracking beset by problems of terrain, technology, and time.” Seattle Times, Sept. 28, 2005].

The batteries could fail to charge, be defective, or possibly leak or even explode. What about the health concerns? There is growing evidence that these radioactive devices can negatively impact your health. The overall health of those struggling with homelessness is already poor to begin with, so these devices can exacerbate an already existing problem.

GPS use also raises a number of ethical and constitutional issues. One senator who voted against the Wisconsin bill stated it would create a “big brother bureaucracy” and was unnecessary [Steven Waleters et al. “GPS tracking for sex offenders OK’d.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 25, 2006]. Most states are imposing the devices on all offenders, even low-risk offenders. It raises questions on the limits states can invade in the private lives of freed citizens. There is also a question of whether the devices violate the fourth amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

With all the concerns and limitations regarding GPS, it makes little sense to pass such sweeping legislation. Both the state and the offender will be burdened with the number of false alarms, as noted in the Washington study. Furthermore, GPS does not monitor the offender’s actions, just location, and can easily be removed by an offender who is determined to re-offend. In other words, GPS will not prevent crimes, but places an undue burden on the registrants who cannot afford to pay and state taxpayers/ constituents who will end up footing the bill. . Former offenders are concerned of being “branded for life,” a mark of infamy which lowers his chances at successful rehabilitation and reintegration. Such expenses would be better spent on prevention, treatment, and reintegration programs that are proven effective in reducing sex crimes in general and reducing recidivism rates for registrants.

THEREFORE, I strongly urge you to not advance this terrible piece of legislation. Both of these bills will end up costing constituents millions of dollars without offering any benefits. For those who are religious, remember, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:20. This is not about preventing sexual abuse but about vengeance and harming an unpopular group of people. That was why we created a Constitution in the first place. No victim advocate turned State Senator should advance laws based upon hatred and revenge, lest we return to the days of inquisitions, trials by ordeals, and witch hunting.

Derek W. Logue of
Registered Citizen Advocate

Monday, January 8, 2018

Who would Jesus leave out in the cold? Calling out ministries turning away registered humans

[Note, if you have not taken my disaster preparedness survey for registrants and their loved ones, pleasev do so now -- . This issue certainly falls into the natural disasters that would cause one to seek shelter.]

Much of the USA has been stuck in the freezing cold for the past couple of weeks. There's still snow on the ground from Christmas at my home in Cincinnati. We are finally going to climb above freezing for the first time in two and a half weeks, so relief is in sight. During these cold weeks, a number of stories came out with smiling shelter directors proudly proclaiming they have shelters open to ANYONE* who needs it. Of course, the asterisk was for those on the registry.

NARSOL members had contacted a number of shelters in the news stories, and while all cited the shelters accepting children and being too close to schools as reasons for turning away registrants, not one shelter gave specifics on alternative housing for registrants. Read their efforts by clicking the link below:

I had a computer crash this week but was able to contact two ministries, one from Alabama (Christ-N-Us) and one from tennessee (MATS, Inc.). Below was their responses.

Christ-N-Us, a ministry from Mobile AL, responded through a FB post after deleting numerous comments from anti-registry activists.

"We do not make the law, but we do have to abide by it. We will give them a hot meal, a hot shower, warm clothes, coats and blankets. We will also find the somewhere they can go. There are numerous other shelters available. They simply cannot reside in our facility, we are a family shelter, a great deal of our clients and children are under safety plans through DHR and the court system. Jesus would not kick them out into the cold and neither do we. We do the very best we can do within the limits of the law we must abide by. Perhaps if more people would get involved something could be done to rectify the situation and open a facility that will allow these individuals more help and resources. God Bless you and Happy New Year!"

In the comments section, Donald Anthony Floyes Jr, who runs a ministry called Joy Unspeakable Ministries, praised the shelter for not taking in registrants, adding, "Don’t apologize for turning away potential threats/predictors. Pastors have to watch over the flock!"

It took a week to get even a vague answer from MATS, Inc. of TN Director Gary Brewster. He didn't understand what I meant by "registered citizens" (even after putting an explanation of the term in parentheses) and it took nearly a week and a couple of emails to receive a response, and didn't exactly help by passing along any useful information.

We have two other shelters they can go to that are merely blocks away. One for males and one for females. Also, we have a shelter down the road that we can drive them to. In addition to this information, we only had one person who fits your description who did not want to go to any of the shelters in the area and we were able to find a home for him.

Thank you for your compassion and hard work for your fellow man. Please discontinue correspondence with MATS. We will continue to be diligent and faithful to do our job here and I'm sure you will do yours there. But I see no reason for further correspondence. 

Dr. Gary Brewster
"Mats" <>

These ministries turning away registered humans are not truly standing up for Christ as far as I am concerned. Christ would not turn a registered person away any more than he turned away murderers, prostitutes, tax collectors, and other ruffians when he walked this earth. But it seems some of these ministries need to be reminded the Scripture that the mission of helping others in need is of the utmost importance to Christ.

James 1: 22-27 - English Standard Version (ESV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. 26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Matthew 7:21-23 
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Matthew 25: 41-46
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Finally, those of you who do not want to listen to my words yet claim to follow Christ, I leave you with what I am doing to your "ministry." I hope others do the same. 

Matthew 10:14-15
 14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Thankfully, there HAVE been programs willing to stand up for their right to minister to those in need. 

Triumph Church in Clanton AL sued under religious freedom laws with help from the ACLU (yes, the same ACLU many Christians deride as the the "Anti-Christian Liberties Union") to run a halfway house for registered persons. The ministry reopened after a long legal battle in the spring of 2017. 

CrossRoads Shelter in RI (a secular program) is also getting help from the ACLU in stopping the state from enforcing a new law limiting the number of beds for registrants to 10% of available bed space. 

I don't want to hear any more excuses from churches. It is not Christian to turn away the "least of these." Get behind me, Satan!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Once Fallen' 2017 Annual Report -- Request for assistance greatly increases, contributions greatly decreases


OnceFallen celebrated 10 years of operation on December 5, 2017. In time for our 10 year anniversary, we reached 1 million visitors and had the biggest year ever in amount of assistance offered by OnceFallen.

Doing more with less could be the unofficial motto of the 2017 OnceFallen annual report. While financial support decreased by a third for OnceFallen, requests for assistance from OnceFallen increased by the largest amount in its 10 year history (roughly 40%). Thankfully, a donation surge at the end of last year following the Xmas at the Camp event kept OnceFallen from plunging into debt (barely). Expect to see a decrease in activist activity for OnceFallen in 2018 as support for this organization has dried up considerably since the early part of the year.


This stat covers how I was initially contacted by a new contact during the year:


2016 total contacts and difference: 297 (+125 or 42.1% increase)

Total Number of States: 38 plus DC: 35 FL, 28 OH, 26 PA, 26 AL, 25 TX, 22 CA, 17 IL, 16 NY, 15 NC, 14 GA, 10 WA, 9 IN, 9 MI, 8 MO, 8 TN, 6 AZ, 6 NJ, 5 AR, 5 OK, 5 OR, 4 KY, 4 LA, 4 MN, 4 SC, 4 WI, 3 MD, 3 NE, 3 VA, 3 WV, 2 KS, 2 UT, 1 AK, 1 O, 1 DC, 1 IA, 1 MA, 1 MS, 1 RI, 1 WY
Include 3 UK, 1 EU, and 71 who did not specify a location; 11 were from the media

First contact locations:

Email 152, Phone 138, Mail/ Letter 70, Corrlinks 25, Texting 23, social media 10 (all from FB)
By Month: Jan. 45, Feb. 32, Mar. 32, Apr. 60, May 32, Jun. 27, Jul. 47, Aug. 36, Sep. 31, Oct. 34, Nov. 26, Dec. 24

Total Inmate Letters: 180 (2016- 121 letters, + 59, 48.76% increase) A number of letters are of ongoing correspondence, and dozens were merely requests for printouts of 50 state spreadsheets from ACSOL and CCRC. To offset the costs, OnceFallen has requested prisoners send two stamps for each of the printouts. Even then, some prisoners cannot afford the stamps but requests are still fulfilled.
Corrlinks Mailing list as of 12/31/17: 221 subscribers (2016- 155 subscribers, + 65, 41.7% increase)

Media appearances: Eight (down from 13 in 2016), though one documentary won’t be released until next year.


Total Visitors: 228,275 (133,491 visitors in 2016, +94784 or 71% increase)

Sometime on 11/27/2017, logged its one millionth individual visitor. Interestingly, during the week of September 20-27 and for three days between 11/17 and 11/19, there were interruptions in the access logs, so some visitors for that week was seemingly not counted. It is possible there were unreported service interruptions to OnceFallen operations during that time or even online attacks on the site that went unnoticed.


Financial support for OnceFallen declined by roughly a third over last year’s totals, with 55% of support coming from just three contributors. Expenses exceeded donations by 35% this year but was offset by a surplus of funds left over from last year that came in after Christmas and a surge of support early in 2017. However, contributions have fallen off a cliff since May, so the surplus quickly dried up.

Travel is always the largest expense because travel is expensive, even on a budget. OnceFallen traveled to Nebraska, Florida and Oregon to engage in activism projects (and Washington DC to witness the Packingham v NC case in person), and though we strive to find the cheapest hotels and travel possible (we never count food, souvenirs or any personal purchase as “business expenses”), travel is simply expensive, especially to Florida. Thus, 56% of the expenses for 2017 came from travel.

Office supplies is the next largest expense, including phone, letters, envelopes, stamps, printers and ink, paper, and other supplies necessary for answering inquiries. This represented 21% of the 2017 budget expenditure for OnceFallen.

It is a little known fact that OnceFallen sometimes sends care packages or other financial support to some who are newly released from prison as well as homeless registrants. I do not advertise this because I would be overwhelmed with requests, and rarely do I have the budget to offer much to those who request it. Funds that went to this purpose included donations to other websites, cash or supplies for homeless or stranded registrants, and stamps or free info packets for those in prison. This comprised 20% of the 2017 expenses for OnceFallen.

The Shiitake Awards is a fun project but by far the least expensive project, save for costumes and props. Cost for props for two award shows (got the 2017 awards show finished early) only represents 3% of OnceFallen expenses.


OnceFallen will be slowing down operations for 2018. There are a few things that are needed for this year (new computer, possibly an upgraded website) but travel-related expenses should be minimal, as we are expecting to engage in fewer in-person public awareness events in anticipation of a larger project to be announced for either 2019 or 2020. The main focus will be on implementing new ideas for the website and a larger focus on resource-gathering for prisoners and the recently released.

Sunday, December 31, 2017


I wrote this for the ICoN Newsletter but I thought it would also make a nice end-of-the-year message as we enjoy the last holiday before the next round of legislative sessions begin. I needed this message this morning as much as anyone, as quite frankly, I've been depressed and grumpier than usual as of late.


I was trying to come up with a last minute idea to fill space for this month’s newsletter when I just happened to turn on CBS Sunday Morning. With December 31st falling on a Sunday this year, the show was filled with discussions of the events over the past year (as expected), but they discussed something interesting I felt was worth sharing. They discussed something called “Kintsugi.” Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi, which means “golden repair”) is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a special lacquer containing powdered gold (sometimes silver or platinum) which not only breathes new life into a broken vessel, but increases the beauty of the once broken piece. This repair method celebrates each artifact's unique history by emphasizing its fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them.

“Kintsugi art dates back to the late 15th century. According to legend, the craft commenced when Japanese shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent a cracked chawan—or tea bowl—back to China to undergo repairs. Upon its return, Yoshimasa was displeased to find that it had been mended with unsightly metal staples. This motivated contemporary craftsmen to find an alternative, aesthetically pleasing method of repair, and Kintsugi was born.

Since its conception, Kintsugi has been heavily influenced by prevalent philosophical ideas. Namely, the practice is related to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which calls for seeing beauty in the flawed or imperfect. The repair method was also born from the Japanese feeling of mottainai, which expresses regret when something is wasted, as well as mushin, the acceptance of change.” [From “Kintsugi: The Centuries-Old Art of Repairing Broken Pottery with Gold.” Apr. 25, 2017.]

We in America live in a throwaway society. If something is broken or has imperfections, we throw it away or donate it to a thrift store. Vegetables that do not meet a specific standard for shape and overall looks are rejected for sale in grocery stores. This principle seemingly applies to people as well. We are considered “broken vessels,” useless and ready to be discarded. However, those of us who are considered broken can not only repair our lives, we can strengthen what were once our imperfections and make them beautiful.

Two ways of applying Kintsugi on our souls is through personal healing and through an activist lifestyle. Whether you are still in prison or are in the “free world,” we all have great struggles to endure. You don’t have to face it alone. There are treatment organizations willing to help those still struggling with personal issues. There are online support groups like SOSEN that can help those in the “free world” but struggling with life on the list.

Even in prison, there are ways to prepare for life as an activist; activist organizations like OnceFallen help those adjusting to life on the registry and gain knowledge needed to navigate the confusing world of registration. (On a related note, OnceFallen turned 10 year old on December 5, 2017). This newsletter offers up resources and activist tools each month.

My slogan for is “Through Knowledge and Wisdom, We Rise from the Ashes.” (It is by design my logo is a Phoenix).  Like a repaired piece of broken pottery or the legendary Phoenix, we can overcome and be made whole again. That slogan I shared was for a treatment-focused group I was forming with some prisoners called SOPHIA (SOs Pursuing Healing In Adversity). I believe that knowledge (“book smarts”) and wisdom (“street smarts”) IS power. You may not be able to stop every bad thing that happens from here on out, but you can make the most of your life in whatever life situation you currently face. Many of us find contentment, peace, and life a good life even in the midst of this persecution.

To me, there is no greater beauty than one who can rise from the ashes of a broken life. Your success, however, won’t be measured by income or material possessions, but in finding happiness in whatever situation you find. Imagine the looks on the faces of the “haters” when what were once cracks and imperfections now glitter with gold!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Remember, Remember the 5th of December: turns 10!

Long before I knew there was even a movement against the registry, one of my dreams while incarcerated was to create a resource for registered citizens. In Alabama, a registrant was not allowed to register as homeless; people who could not find housing before their release dates were being charged with FTR and sent back to jail. I remember when I was in the county jail, one man had lived there for months past his end-of-sentence date. I didn't have anyone searching for housing for me. I was at a disadvantage. I was a week away from an FTR charge myself when I found a church in Cincinnati willing to take me in, and I've been here ever since. 

Before I became an activist, I had already endured the similar struggles we all faced as registered persons-- homelessness, job discrimination, housing search difficulties, and harassment. Many local charities refused to help me get on my feet. I eventually found a menial job and a sleeping room, but eventually, the state of Ohio decided I didn't receive enough punishment, arbitrarily reclassifying me as a "predator" and forcing me to move away from a GED program for people ages 16-21 (16 is the Age of Consent but the GED program counted as a school under the law).

I first discovered an online network of registrants while looking for housing and employment online from a defunct site that debated the need for sex offender laws. I started chatting with a woman named Jan, who was a registrant, and through her I was introduced to a group known as SOHopeful. Jan helped me fight the residency restriction laws and even though I lost after a year-long battle in the courts, it bought me time to find a new place to live. However, no sooner than I moved into my new home, I was forced to defend it again, this time at Cincinnati City Hall (On December 5th, 2006). I won a partial victory, inspiring others to speak out against the bill and getting the city to water down the law to where it impacted fewer people. It was my first taste of activism, which I shared in a video:

I had shared an article I wrote as part of my battle against the city [CLICK HERE to read it], and people told me I should write an entire book. I spent the first half of 2007 writing, going to the law library at the University of Cincinnati, printing out researching before returning home to write up part of the book, and repeating. (I did not have home Internet back then.) During this time, our movement was small but growing. RSOL was a petition site, SOSEN was still a Yahoo Group but looking to create their own website, and there wasn't even an activist group in California. SOHopeful was the big dog at the time, but leadership was lacking. Having tasted street-level activism and seeing how it can be effective, I always found behind-the-scenes work to be dull and lacking impact. That is why I was excited to learn the organizations not named SOHopeful was having a rally in Columbus, a mere 100 miles away, I just had to be there. 

There was a lot of behind-the-scenes drama surrounding the event, of course, and SOHopeful was in utter chaos. While the top brass there hated the rally and didn't support it (in fact, they condemned it), many folks supported it. The result of the in-fighting was a mass exodus from SOHopeful to SOSEN and RSOL, and SOHopeful quickly faded into oblivion. I pretty much figured SOHopeful was on the decline, and I had already written a handful of useful articles, so I decided it was best to publish my writings elsewhere. I did a little research, and even though I did not have home Internet, I had a laptop, and I found what I thought was the best deal at the time. Thus, on December 5, 2007, one full year to the day that I walked into the Cincinnati City Hall to fight for my right to live in the city, Once Fallen went online. 

This journey has not been easy. For the past decade, I've had to balance my life as a voice for the voiceless with a personal life. I'm on call almost all the time, and since I'm a one-man operation, I have to do everything myself, from taking calls to speaking to legislators and media personalities. My operation continues to expand (as well as my website) as I continue to take on more projects like inmate newsletters and taking on more out-of-state legislation. I get burned out at times from the annoying aspects of life as an anti-registry activist, like dealing with drama from fellow activists (and with some that term is rather subjective), dealing with online idiots, and the overall lack of support from most of the other groups for even simple things like sharing my latest survey on disaster preparedness. However, I remain 100% committed to offering support services to those who needed, and unlike some other organizations out there, I won't ever shed my status as a grassroots activist or forget that support also includes resource information gathering and sharing. 

So here's to a decade of, and hopefully, I'll survive another decade of this. Better yet, here's to the hope that in a decade, there won't even be a need for a site like mine because the registry is abolished. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

A somewhat premature requiem for "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" and the right to a fair trial

"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer" -- William Blackstone in his seminal work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s.

Alas, poor US Constitution. We knew you well. Well, some of us did.

In particular, this requiem is for the parts of the US Constitution that deal with the right to a fair trial. We once placed safeguards to protect the rights of the accused because we recognized our system of punishment destroyed human lives to the point we wanted a high degree of probability of the guilt of the condemned. Obviously, those days have long since passed. Today, innocent until proven guilty is little more than a myth. 

I had a recent conversation with my doctor during a routine check-up and the conversation progressed to what I spend my days doing. My response was that I advocate for the rights of those who served time to become productive members of society. he brought up Brock Turner, of all people, as an example of the system not being "tough on crime," to which I brought up the fact that for every case like his, there are thousands more where the person gets far more time. We didn't even discuss the registry, a punishment even worse than prison. Stories like Turner's make the jobs of the victim cult easier. 

I've heard an old mantra that the US Constitution began eroding the day it was committed to paper. Perhaps it is true to some extent, but it had also strengthened. Numerous groups fought in the past to become part of that wonderful concept of all persons being "equal." Blacks, LGBTQ+, women, the disabled, Native Americans, Hispanics, and Transgendered people have fought for that right, as many of us that are placed on the arbitrary government blacklist known as the "Sex Offender Registry." While those of us condemned to a life of shame and discrimination struggle to fight for the right for opportunities to become equal members of society, thousands more human lives potentially face life on the list.

Our movement tends not to focus much on the rights of the accused, and that is understandable given the fact we're all struggling just to find jobs and housing or trying not to get murdered by vigilantes who thinks every human on the registry molested a stadium full of toddlers. However, our fight for our lives began the day we were accused of a sex crime. 

As everyone likely knows by now, there are already limitations on the right to confront accusers thanks to Rape Shield Laws, a concept that largely began in the 1970s. Now, states across America are trying to pass "Marsy's Law," a "victim's bill of rights" to amend state Constitutions across America. This bill is very dangerous because Marsy's law includes a provision that allows accusers "to refuse an interview, deposition or other discovery request made by the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused." The accuser under Marsy's law would not have to turn over potential evidence that could prove she was lying about the crime! 

Marsy's Law passed in Ohio by a margin of 82.5% to 17.5%, showing that people placed little value on the rights of the accused. Why would they, when our airwaves were flooded with commercials supporting Marsy's law, like THIS ONE:

Marsy's Law is a marvel of victim industrial engineering, funded by celebrity star power and one of the richest men in the world (Henry Nicholas). Marsy's law's key selling point, repeated in Marsy's Law ads, is ripped out of the victim industry playbook:

"Currently in the United States, the U.S. Constitution and every state constitution has enumerated rights for individuals accused of a crime and those convicted of a crime. Yet, the U.S. Constitution and 15 state constitutions do not extend enumerated rights to victims of crime. Marsy’s Law for All seeks to amend state constitutions that don’t offer protections to crime victims and, eventually, the U.S. Constitution to give victims of crime rights equal to those already afforded to the accused and convicted.

We can all agree that no rapist should have more rights than the victim. No murderer should be afforded more rights than the victim’s family. Marsy’s Law would ensure that victims have the same co-equal rights as the accused and convicted – nothing more, nothing less."

People bought it hook, line, and sinker. There weren't any ads warning people that Marsy's Law was designed to take away an important right to confront accusers. That provision is carefully worded and hidden deep within a ballot initiative that also included provisions like notifying crime victims of a convicted perpetrator's release or the right to restitution (something Ohio already had without needed to attach a name to a bill). 

Of course, that's official law, and we haven't even gotten to the "Court of Public Opinion" yet, where accusations pretty much equal guilt. I still remember the infamous Duke Lacrosse case and the infamous Wendy Murphy statement she made, stating, "I never, ever, met a false rape claim, by the way. My own statistics speak the truth." Once the accusations hit the airwaves, the presumption of guilt already permeates the conversation, driven mainly by feminists like Murphy. Feminists also use dubious stats to dismiss or minimize the notion that false allegations ruin lives by claiming only 2%-10% of rape allegations are false. (Using that mantra, then that means of the 861,837 registrants in the US, between 17,236 and 86,183 potentially innocent people are on the registry.) 

Now, as much as I've enjoyed seeing celebrities and politicians (both purveyors of Predator Panic) get a dose of their own medicine, it also illustrates this mantra in action. We've already condemned the accused without benefit of a trial. Surely having multiple allegations means that the accused is 100% guilty right? We've never been wrong on that before, right? (*cough*cough* Satanic Ritual Abuse *cough*cough*). It is amazing how we seamlessly transferred the same moral panic from roving bans of satan worshippers to "pedophile priests" or to Illuminati congressmen buying kids off a Pizza menu stored underground bunkers in DC. No matter how outlandish the story, we are taught the accused is to be believed until proven otherwise. 

This brings me back to the original premise of this article, the erosion of our rights. The current state of our system of justice has been influenced by the feminist media and by those with lots of money. The erosion of our rights comes packaged in the name of a person, much in the way a land was once conquered in the name of Jesus Christ. The religious imagery is relevant; after all, many victim's rights advocates look at their work as a Crusade, much like a tent revival preacher from the previous generation saw his work. But the Original Crusades were about conquering the Holy Land by the sword, not by preaching. The victim industry's crusade is no less of a bloody war. Human lives aren't destroyed in a movement but in a war. We're no longer allowed to doubt the intentions of these Victim Crusaders, mind you, that's pure blasphemy. And, much like the religious zealots of our day, victim advocates claim they are persecuted every time their stories are questioned or when one of their own are accused of lying.

Perhaps the Constitution isn't dead just yet, but rather on life support, but the victim advocates are seeking to pull the plug.

Marsy's Law is but the latest in a series of laws spanning a generation eroding the rights of the accused, nor will it likely be the last. Blackstone's formula no longer seems valid here is the "Land of the Free." We are becoming more willing to erode our Constitution. Many don't even know what they support (as in the case of Marsy's law supporters) because people are far too quick to believe an ad campaign featuring a celebrity like Kelsey Grammer. However, all hope is not lost and we are not doomed to accept this march towards a less balanced court system. At least Marsy's law was struck down in Montana courts. As advocates for the rights of former offenders, we have to take on these proposals -- and the cult of victimhood-- head on.

The right of the accused to a fair and impartial trial and the rights of the accused should never be compromised. Human lives are at stake here, and someday, that life at stake may be your own. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What does it mean to be an “Anti-Registry” activist? A primer on what it means to oppose the registry.

I have been an activist fighting so-called "sex offender laws" for over a decade; however, I've come to the realization a long time ago that most folks do not even know what I mean by "anti-registry activism." This piece has been long overdue, but I'm going to explain just what anti-registry activist does and what and anti-registry activist DOES NOT do. This ISN'T a message to those within the movement to "reform" the registry, but to outsiders looking in. 

First, consider about what Anti-Registry advocates DO NOT do. 

The most important point to make is that we aren't out to "normalize pedophilia" or are "pro-pedophile" in the context used and misused by the American public. To the untrained American eye, these two terms have often come to mean everything that rejects the notion that anyone convicted of a sex crime should be tortured and killed. This is because they think the terms "sex offender" and "pedophile" are interchangeable and many folks still believe everyone on the registry molested a bazillion kids and will not stop until they are tortured and killed (and possible prison raped). And no, that's not exaggeration or embellishment; just go to any comment section on a registry related story as evidence. To the Anti-Registry Movement, these terms specifically mean those who would advocate for the abolishment of Age of Consent laws. That is not something we strive to do, as we shall explain our reasons in the next paragraph. 

The Anti-Registry Movement DOES NOT advocate sexual abuse. Many of those who aren't a part of our efforts or who identify online as non-offending pedophiles will state they recognize that sexual abuse and rape harms victims. Yes, there are people who identify as "pedophiles" and recognize it is not okay to act on their attractions. [See Virtuous Pedophiles as an example.] You can be a pedophile without being a registered sex offender in the same way you can be a registered sex offender without being a pedophile. Pedophile is a clinical term while sex offender is a legal term. you cannot be CONVICTED (legal term) for PEDOPHILIA (clinical term). Understanding the difference is key to understanding the difference between advocating repeal of the registry and advocating age of consent laws. I support those who don't have a desire to reoffend, or in the case of the non-offending pedophile, the desire to never offend in the first place. One deficiency people engage in is thinking opposing one thing means you advocate for something else (A=B). But advocating against a public shaming registry is NOT the same as advocating for more child abuse, so A is unequal to B. If one were to say, "I oppose cutting off the hands of those who steal," but state they should be punished under the proper context of American jurisprudence, we wouldn't claim that person advocates stealing, would we? (Well, most rational people, I mean.)

The Anti-Registry Movement DOES advocate for fair treatment of those convicted of sex crimes. What do we mean by that? That does not mean absolving someone of wrongdoing; we believe that the justice system has a punishment system in place for a reason. However, punishment should be tempered with fair treatment. Those who committed sex crimes often did so because of poor choices and these poor choices can be addressed by a variety of treatment methods, such as the Good Lives Model, Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA), and other positive support groups willing to hold people accountable the right way. Most people who committed sex offenses are "situational offenders," and most respond positively to treatment because most recognize they engaged in harmful behavior. That's why reoffense rates are low. We also support groups like Stop It Now, the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center (Gundersen), and Safer Society Press, who promote treatment of victims and abuse prevention without using their organizations as platforms for advocating registries and other harmful laws. 

It is important to understand the meaning of PUNISHMENT before I get to the next point. Traditionally, incarceration, probation/ parole/ supervised release, and fines are forms of sanctions we call "punishment," or perhaps you prefer the term "punitive." Now, do you think the sex offender registry is a form of punishment/ punitive sanctions? f so, I agree with with you and I thank you for proving the United States Supreme Court wrong! In 2003, the Court ruled in Smith v Doe the registry was not "punitive" (punishment) but regulatory in nature. As John Roberts, then chief attorney for the State in the case, the registry was "no more intrusive than applying for a Price Club [Costco] Membership." But we all know better. It feels like punishment. You can't be arrested for not paying Costco fees, living too close to a Costco, or failing to update your Costco membership, nor does Costco keep an online membership registry. We all know the Sex Offender Registry, community notification, residency restrictions, fees, and other related sanctions are forms of punishment. But the state insists they aren't punishment, for now at the least. This brings me to the main point:

The Anti-Registry Movement believes PUNISHMENT should remain within the confines of the traditional justice system paradigms of incarceration, probation/ parole/ supervised release and treatment. This means we oppose the registry, community notification, residency restrictions, fees, GPS, and so on. Prison is not a nice place, but oftentimes, it offers no support to those soon to be released. Often, the newly released get a few bucks and a bus ticket to the county of conviction. But then the next wave of punishment begins in the form of these post-release sanctions. These sanctions have one goal in mind-- to trap as many registrants as possible back in the net of the "justice" system. In addition, we are ostracized, face discrimination, and even attacked by those who hate everyone on the registry. Those who harass or attack us are rarely punished because many feel it is justified. That is a primary reason for opposing these sanctions. I am of the belief that if a person has an end of sentence date, then it should really mean end of sentence. There should not be any post-release sanctions once your incarceration/ supervision period is up. Our system isn't perfect, but the laws were passed due to rare, high profile cases. Most who will live under these laws didn't commit the kinds of acts that inspired them. Honestly, they do not stop crimes anyway, which brings me to the next important point...

Finally, the Anti-Registry Movement believes that prevention efforts should be based upon a foundation of facts and evidence. To be put in a simplistic terms, we demand proof of effectiveness to justify any program's existence. We used to believe crazy things, like "pray the gay away" or "if I strap myself to a machine that shakes my belly, I'll lose weight." We learned over time these techniques did not work. We thought if only we discriminated against people enough, we could force them to stop adhering to whatever beliefs they had that we disliked, and that system was just as faulty when the ancient Romans fed the Christians to the lions. After all, it worked so well Christianity isn't a major religion with two billion or so adherents, right? The sex offender registry and other post-release sanctions have never been proven to work; in fact, there is evidence that 

Dehumanizing registered persons won't discourage those struggling with impure thoughts and feelings. The help I offer a registered citizen involves helping them understand the SOR and various laws in which they live by under duress (and if you think these rules are simple, try reading them sometime), helping them find jobs and housing, listening to their stories, giving them the best advice I can offer as a fellow registrant, and referring them to anyone I feel can best serve them. Doing this doesn't mean I absolve them from whatever they have done, but IT IS NOT MY PLACE to judge those who contact me for services. This separates me from some people and groups seeking to merely "reform" the registry, some of whom only advocate for specific groups or even just one person. I don't care if you are an R&J (for outsiders, that's activist lingo for cases of teens landing on the registry for consensual relations with other teens) and the so-called "Pillowcase Rapist," I want you to not only be offense-free upon your release, I want to to have a chance to become a productive member of society. As much as some of you outside the ARM hate registrants and wish they could all be in prison, raped, mutilated and murdered, we don't do those things, so many of those convicted of sex offenses WILL be released. The question is, would you rather they work, pay taxes, have a stable location and a support network, all of which are known to reduce the likelihood of recidivism, or you want to continue to reject all these things and increase the likelihood of recidivism. I prefer every registrant succeeds because every success means no more victims. 

That's a lot to digest, but for those who just want the cliff notes version, here's the shorthand version. I can't make it any simpler than this, folks.

"The Anti-Registry Movement does not promote sexual abuse of any kind; we do, however, support positive treatment and support for those who offended so that they may live productive and offense free lives. We support evidence-based methods of prevention, education and treatment. We  believe the public registry, residency restrictions, community notification, registry fees, GPS monitoring, and other post-release sanctions are NOT evidence-based and are ineffective as methods to achieving an offense-free society. Thus, we will publicly oppose these oppressive sanctions until these sanctions are fully abolished.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

My take on the Oregonian hit piece as a SO Clear Response video

The full length audio response is here:

And here is a summary of the articles:

Below is a short article I'm writing for the ICoN Newsletter:


As the Oregon State University baseball team stood at the cusp of a historic run to the College World Series, one young man was credited as having led the team through his own historic performance—ace pitcher Luke Heimlich. Unfortunately, Heimlich also committed an offense as a juvenile and is forced to register as a low-level registrant. On the day OSU reached Omaha for the Super Regionals series against Vanderbilt, the Oregonian newspaper engaged in a targeted campaign to humiliate both Heimlich and the University. Initially, the paper released FOUR articles targeting Heimlich, including an article defending their actions. One reporter stated, “Our society decided long ago that sex offenders should carry the burden of their conviction well after their sentences end - and that juvenile sex crimes should follow offenders into adulthood.” Another stated, “"Can we start with the premise that human life matters? … The victim matters. She matters more than Heimlich…Some people, myself included, don't believe a registered sex offender has a place on a major college athletics team. I don't believe an athlete who has committed a violent offense, including domestic violence, belongs there either.”

And, of course, the biggest bomb of all—“ For those who say Heimlich has, "Paid his debt to society" or "Been punished for his crime," and should be left alone -- huh? An important part of his punishment is that he has to register as a sex offender. There's a reason a felony crime is a felony crime. The punishment is supposed to act as a deterrent.” I have to thank him for admitting the registry is punishment, despite the absurd claim in Smith v Doe (2003).

I believe this to be an act of vigilantism, NOT journalism, but it poses some questions—at what point can a RC ever be redeemed and allowed to become a productive member of society? And just what kind of jobs should we be allowed to have? Consider the fact Iron Mike Tyson had a successful career despite being forced to register. What about Ben Roethlisberger? He was suspended for 8 games (reduced to 6) on a sex crime allegation that was eventually dropped, but still plays football and the arrest jokes have all been played out. But both of these men were current players. Heimlich, on the other hand, was convicted at 15, years before going to college. He served his sentence and completed treatment. Even the original article stated juveniles are very amenable to treatment and less likely to reoffend than adult offenders. Yet, this paper made every effort to derail this kid’s career, and they appear to be successful.

Sadly, this brings me to a sad realization—As registrants, we will have to prepare for our lives to be derailed at any time, for any reason, by people who don’t believe we deserve second chances. They feel we don’t deserve any successes, or even a voice. We have to fight for our successes. It is up to you to find that strength, but you don’t have to fight alone. If you stand up and fight, I’ll stand with you, and hopefully, we will encourage others to take a stand as well.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Our Anti-Registry Movement has a far longer history than many of you realize

I recently got around to posting some really old videos yesterday. I posted two video interviews from 2014 (not that old), a video I made in 2009 (really old) and my first attempt at film from 2006 (virtually etched in stone), and it made my think about the significance of telling the origin story of this entire movement.

Were you folks aware I actually wrote an article on Once Fallen just on the history of this movement? Were you aware that it took years for use to come up with terms like "registered citizen"? Are you aware that even though I've been doing this online activism for roughly 12 years or so, there are some folks who've been fighting back before the ink dried on President Clinton's signing of Megan's Law?

I believe it is important for all of us to share the history of this cause. Up until now, I could only share what has been posted online along with my personal story. Tom has shared his personal experiences as well. There are some who've been around for many years but haven't shared their stories. Many of us may remember Mary Duval and David Hess, but there are others who paid their dues from behind the scenes but have been lost to the annals of time.

To paraphrase a popular saying, there's a lot to learn from our history. Our movement also had pioneers who made it possible (mainly through trial and error) for us to devise and employ more effective strategies. I've probably been in this longer than 90% of you reading this but there was a time when I had no real place to turn for help and I was just getting started. I learned from the few folks I found online who helped me with trying to fight local residency laws. And as you can see from my 2006 video, I still had a lot to learn. This has pretty much become my life now. I chose this life because I couldn't stand the thought of people having to put up with the struggles I faced. Looking back at how I have evolved in these past 11 years since I bought that camcorder (with work money, NOT SSI money) and started recording my struggles helps me to see how much I've changed besides gaining weight and changing my hair and accent.

This Movement has changed so much over the years. I may not agree with everyone and not everyone agrees with me but we've gone from being a novelty act to being a true force of change. I'm sure if Mary Duval were alive today, she'd be happy with the state of our movement for the most part, and I'm those who helped pioneer this movement who have retired or passed on in the 21 years since Megan's Law was passed.

I want to encourage everyone in this movement to tell their origin stories as well. I tell mine in hopes to inspire others, not for accolades and meaningless awards (no one really gets awards for our efforts anyways, unless your reward in life is helping people on the registry enrich their lives). Your story can inspire those who are on the fence about activism.

I still have more archive footage to share with you, though it is harder to find appropriate software to render Standard Def footage in 2017. For those who are interested...

Each of the following videos were videos I had filmed years ago, some as far back as 2006 (yes, I'm a procrastinator), so if you ever wondered what I look like skinny and with longer hair, there you go. These videos are all of historical significance to the cause, so I hope you enjoy them. -- 2007: The year of the protest -- Tom Madison discusses the first efforts of the anti-registry movement to engage in public protest, first in Miami in June 2007, then in December 2006 in Columbus OH. -- Origins of Once Fallen (2006):  I bought a Mini DV (Standard Def) camcorder to film a documentary. What I ended up capturing was a journey that led me to being the activist I am today. When I first started filming, I lived in a run-down sleeping room. I just lost my last job and started collecting SSI soon after. I was also fighting in court to keep my residence. I lost my case but found a new apartment. i stayed with my mom for two months, leaving Cincy at the end of September and returning just after Thanksgiving. After some issues moving back, I settled into my new apartment, only to learn that the city was looking to increase residency restrictions. I took the fight back to city hall and won the right to stay at my new apartment. This victory inspired me to write my book and, a year to the day after my first speech at Cincinnati City Hall, the Once Fallen website. -- This is a video I shot of a protest against a local rehabilitation center that helps registered citizens. I was the sole counter-protester. This video was one of my early attempts to be a citizen journalist as well as activist. I did interview the leader of the protest. I do not have a video of the TV interview, and I was lucky to find an article about it online. I thought I'd share it as a study on our opponent's tactics and mind sets. -- Tom Madison discusses SOHopeful: Tom takes me to the mailbox that served as the official address for SOHopeful Legal Defense Fund (fighting the Oregon registry), which later became SOHopeful International, the first nationwide (daresay, International) effort to combat the registry. We also discussed the state of our movement at that time (July of 2014).

Monday, March 13, 2017's 2016 Annual Report

Apparently, some folks still don't know what it is that I do with my time and the donations that trickle in to I do many things-- travel to testify against bad legislation or engage in other hands-on projects, run my website and an inmate newsletter (ICoN), and answer hundreds of letters, calls and emails. All of this stuff costs money, of course, and thus, donations help offset the costs. I am a one-man operation with no staff, Board of Directors or tax forms to deal with, which frees me to try many projects other groups can't (or won't) do. The fact that support for has grown exponentially over the past two years has encouraged me to increase my efforts.

It isn't exactly bragging to mention all I have done in the past year, because people who support should be able to see where their support goes. Thus, for all who are curious, here is my Annual Report of OnceFallen's work in 2016.

Individual Inquiries: 

From 291 different individuals (135 by mail, 103 phone, 40 by letter, 13 by phone text, and some from private messages on various websites). Many of these inquiries were of multiple responses.

Individuals corresponded from 37 states plus DC, Puerto Rico and 3 nations (US, UK, and Australia). The states with the largest number of inquiries were New York (29), Florida (27), Ohio (22), Alabama (21), Texas (TX) and California (17). 35 inquiries did not identify their place of residence. States represented: AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, Fl, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, WY. As standard procedure I direct them to state affiliate groups where one exists as well as directing them to national groups like SOSEN and NARSOL for support and further info.

Most inquiries are from registrants or loved ones of registrants; however, I received roughly 40 or so inquiries from college students, journalists, and others who are not registrants. made 14 Media Appearances, including two episodes of HLN's Dr Drew show. Not all my media inquiries lead to an appearance. Some ask for specific types of registrants or simply want some information.

In total, I received 121 letters in the mail in 2016. Many were inmate inquiries, and many asked for ACSOL's 50 state registration/ residency restriction chart of the relief from the registry fact guide from the CCRC, which are up to 20 printed pages each. I request inmates who can do so offset the costs by sending a SASE with 2 stamps for these spreadsheets, but not all can afford them. A few letters came from those not incarcerated but who were either unable to use computers or were not computer savvy.

The Corrlinks newsletter has 156 subscribers at the end of 2016. Corrlinks readers share newsletters with those who are unable to use the inmate email system, thus increasing exposure to our efforts to abolish the registry. individual visitor counter: 133,491 visitors in 2016, up from 110,762 in 2015

Fundraisers and Expenses:

OnceFallen engaged in numerous projects last year. Granted, not every project was as successful as we had hoped, but supporters kept us going for another year.

Trip expenses:

NY ARM protest against Parents For Megan's Law: $1000, which included travel for multiple folks, hotel, and supplies, including costs of sending out letters to 260 registered citizens in Suffolk Co NY.

Oakland Protest: $490, bus/ hotel (shared room with fellow protester) plus sign materials.

Two trips to Columbus Ohio @ $30 each to testify against legislation.

Ft Lauderdale: First visit to the homeless camp, $215 (hotel costs were split with fellow activist)

Atlanta; It only cost me $200 to go to Atlanta and spend two nights; Janice from ACSOL paid my RSOL conference fee (I had only planned to attend the roundtable meeting, and I bought a cheap hotel room under renovation to cut costs by 50%.)

Miami: Christmas at the camp: $934 raised to bring socks, underwear, and other needed goods to the homeless registrant camp, As promised, every dime I raised between October and December went to the camp. OnceFallen's end of the year balance was $0.

OnceFallen website annual fee: $120
New Modem to offset costs of cable company rental modem: $65
Stamps, envelopes, paper and other needed supplies: $335

These trips were only possible through the donations of those who support OnceFallen. Without their donations, I couldn't engage in these projects myself. My personal policy for travel is I find the cheapest form of travel possible and try to find the cheapest hotels, and I will share my room with a fellow activist to offset costs. I only include direct, unique costs related to the event (transportation, hotel, supplies, and even help compensate others who attend when possible.). I do NOT count personal purchases, such as food, clothes or souvenirs as expenses.

This is a one-man operation with an extremely small budget. I do not pay myself a salary with the donations, either. I receive not personal compensation other than the satisfaction of destroying bad legislation and helping those on the registry in need of guidance. This operation has been blessed enough to somehow raise just enough funds to serve its purpose, and I never ask for more than necessary. So to those questioning what it is I do, I'm very transparent. If you want to know what I do with the money, then ask. I also have folks who can verify that I am very low-maintenance and I am very good at trimming expenses.