Saturday, April 30, 2016

Weathering the storm: We've been here before. What are you willing to do about it?

Fellow activists,

No doubt a few of you are worried about how the news of Galen Baughman's arrest may affect the fight to reform registry laws. My personal thoughts on this guy wasn't positive to begin with. Quite frankly, I felt he was arrogant and more concerned with self-promotion than on promoting the cause in general. At the same time, I don't revel in his arrest, or the arrest of any reformist, because obviously it has the potential to negatively impact our movement as a whole, even though the rest of us aren't getting arrested for allegedly reoffending. Also, he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If he's guilty then that is his own fault. 

The SLATE website has a lengthy article on this development, and once again the comment section is filled with the same tired "kill them all" rhetoric that we are used to hearing. One clown even went so far as to try to make that tired NAMBLA connection:

We've heard these outlandish connections before.
Folks, most of you haven't been in this movement a long time. I have. There are a few of us who was aaround when RSOL was little more than an online petition and SOSEN was a Yahoo! Group. Back then, the main organization was "SOHopeful International." If you even remember that name, then congratulations, you're a true veteran of the anti-registry movement. 

If you remember SO Hopeful, then you know we've been here before. 

Back in late 2007, a major rift occurred in our movement as the result of a rally held in Columbus Ohio (The 'Silent No More" Rally), which protested the first state to adopt the Adam Walsh Act. The brass at SO Hopeful did not support our rally, and as a result, a mass exodus of registrants and their loved ones left SO Hopeful and migrated to SOSEN and RSOL, and both groups benefited from it (as evidenced by the current status of the group today). SO Hopeful remained in business, but only a few loyal members remained. The remaining BOD elected James ("Jim") Freeman, who went by the screen names "Mystik Warrior," "Mystikal," and "Orolan," as the interim leader of the group. 

In March 2008, there was a much hyped arrest of an so-called "international pedophile ring" (translation, a handful of losers trading illegal images). You have to love how the media hypes up such stories. But one of the arrests were of James Freeman. People without our movement panicked. Lots of rumors swirled around, and folks were fearful we'd be targeted by more than just the vigilante groups poking fun at our misfortune. 

But we are still around today. RSOL and SOSEN are still around. Our movement weathered that storm, and we'll weather this storm as well. I'm still here as well. 

There are a few lessons from the Freemen incident that we should remember as we watch this latest development:

  1. We should not remain silent about it: One group made the mistake of trying to hide the arrest from the public forums but the online vigilante groups were aware of the news and used the news as ammunition against us. We should not shy away from discussing the current issue because other folks are already discussing it anyways. The disclaimers sitting on our websites today are the result of my lobbying the various groups to post such a disclaimer on their websites that we are not affiliated with websites that wish to legalize sexual activity with children.
  2. The media will move on to other things, and so should we: In time, all news stories fade. The current controversy pales in comparison to "Int'l CP ring' headlines but who among you even heard about Freeman up till now? The media shitstorm will blow back to Trump or the Trans bathroom flap or whatever stupid stuff Kanye West-Kardashian will say tomorrow. We can discuss this issue, then we can move on to the other pressing concerns of our activist front. 
  3. Don't deviate from the game plan: To cite the Slate article again, "But regardless of what Baughman may have done, it’s still the case that the majority of sex offenders who are released from prison don’t reoffend, and it’s still the case that life-ruining sex offender registry laws have not made children safer. Those ideas shouldn’t lose their credibility just because Baughman has lost his." 
We will endure, of course. To invoke the Slate article once more, "Given how few people are willing to step forward and become a face of this particular movement, Baughman’s interest in going public made him a consequential figure in the fight to reform America’s sex offender laws. That fight will survive Baughman’s alleged probation violation, but his arrest will inevitably distract from the ideas he was trying to spread."

It is only a distraction if we allow it to be one. 

I love the words of Roger Lancaster: "Roger Lancaster, the George Mason anthropologist, believes reform movements would be better off if they leaned less heavily on 'perfect victims.' As he sees it, the tactic of using individual stories to build support for reforms originated with tough-on-crime politicians and victims’ rights advocates in the 1980s and 1990s."

If there is one real, glaring problem with our anti-registry efforts, it is that so few of us are willing to speak out and we support even fewer among those who do. I didn't have the resources and support that Galen got, despite being far more dedicated to our cause than he was. (He told me in an email he was far more focused on gay issues and rarely, if ever, discussed registered citizens and did not support public activism.) This attitude of waiting for a messiah to lead us into the promised land hinders us more than helps us. When we rely on a few people to be the faces of our cause, then we suffer more when one of the few fails us.

I am encouraged when I see a concerted effort by a large group of folks and not just a few, as when large turnouts of activists arrive at statehouses in California and in Ohio to stop bad legislation. It does not matter who you are, or how great you speak. (I'll be the first to admit I'm not that great a speaker and I get nervous as hell when I have to do it.) What matters is that you speak. One of the best speakers of the day could barely speak without crying. To me, that raw emotion had the most impact, more than any fact or figure. What matters is they did not wait for a perfect spokesperson, they got up and spoke. No one asked if the speakers were only "R&Js." 

The best way to deal with this latest controversy is to, to use a cliche slogan, "Keep calm and carry on." We've been here before and we will endure. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

ARM official review of the "Untouchable" documentary at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival

Listen to the full commentary and synopsis of the film here:

https://youtu.be/o-U4LYan4Ik

Tom Madison of Oregon Action Committee and Derek Logue from Once Fallen took a bite out of the Big Apple and watched the much-hyped film "Untouchable," playing at the Tribeca Film Festival.

On a scale of 1 to 10, Tom gave it a 6, I gave it a 4.9. I found the film to be lacking in criticism of the Book family an catered to the Books. Tom found it somewhat valuable because Ron Book makes an ass of himself.

David Feige himself stated his intent wasn't to "talk solutions," and he felt the message of ARM was "too harsh." in the end, the film fails to deliver some hard-hitting truths. On the upside, a number of researchers were in the film (Jill Levenson, Eric S. Janus, and others), and last year's Rally in Tally does make an appearance, albeit in an incomplete form that stressed the Book family rather than our message of reform.

Quite frankly, it wasn't worth the $25 I spent to see this film.


Monday, April 11, 2016

The Once Fallen Police Compliance Check Survey

https://eSurv.org?s=LCHKFH_2a407aff -- Take the Once Fallen Police/ Compliance Check Survey

Dear registrant or loved one of a registrant,

Perhaps one of the most stressful experiences we face as those forced to register as “sex offenders” is having a uniformed member of law enforcement coming to your house to perform a “compliance check” or “address verification” operation. This survey is designed to gauge the experiences of registered citizens or their loved ones while subjected to one of these “random” compliance/ address checks. (For purposes of this survey, I prefer to use the term “registered citizens” or “registrants” as opposed to the term “registered sex offender.”)

QUALIFICATIONS: You must be either a registered citizen OR someone living with a registered citizen AND experienced an at-home or at-work compliance check at least once since being forced to register or, if you are the loved one of a registrant, have personally witnessed the check of the registrant. If you have NOT experienced an in-home or at-work compliance check, then DO NOT complete this survey.

If you have questions about this survey, contact me at iamthefallen1@yahoo.com or call me at 513-238-2873.

Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

ARM at the Miami-Dade Homeless Registrant Camp, March 26, 2016



https://youtu.be/a0d_ZM2s3Lo

Members of the Anti-Registry Movement visited the "s*x offender" homeless camp in Miami-Dade County (Hialeah warehouse district) on March 26, 2016. While there, we met a man named Felix, who was one of the newest arrivals to the camp.

The camp has no running water or toilet facilities. In fact, after talking with the residents at the camp, toilets and TP would be the most desired items. Some residents have tents and cars but some do not. Camping gear, water, food, and clothing would also be appreciated.

Unlike the days when Miami's homeless registrants were forced to live under the Julia Tuttle Causeway, the media and local charities don't visit this camp. Out of sight, out of mind is the mantra. The Lauren Book Child Safety Ordinance, the 2006 law covering Miami-Dade County, is still in effect. Ron Book is still head of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, yet he rarely, if ever, has any contact with his camp.

This place is truly "Lauren's Kingdom."

(If you want to help gather supplies for these guys, please contact Derek Logue at iamthefallen1@yahoo.com or 513-238-2873)

Monday, March 7, 2016

What I actually do at Once Fallen and why even independent activists need funds. (Yes, I'm fundraising, BTW)

A flood of inmate letters I responded to over the holidays.
Look folks, I have to admit that I not only hate the concept of fundraising, I'm flat-out terrible at it. I couldn't sell water in a desert. However, it is one of those necessary evils. But since I'm an "independent" activist, not affiliated with anyone else, there are times I struggle to raise the funds needed for various projects. 

Recently, I contacted a certain individual (I won't name who, I'll just call him "Ted") to discuss the idea of having a protest in DC. Ted obviously didn't support the idea of public demonstrations (much to my chagrin) and proceeded to try to sell me on HIS way of doing things. Ted sent me a list of things he had done since May of last year, talking to me as if I just sat on my duff since returning from the Rally in Tally. Well, Ted TALKS a big game (about himself, mostly), but to belittle me because I am an independent and doing something else besides promoting his personal well-being just ticked me off. 

Since Ted likes to talk about his "accomplishments," perhaps I should take the time to tell you folks what Once Fallen has accomplished in the past year. I guess I'll borrow a page from ol' Ted and tell you what I've done in the past year:

  1. In April, I successfully completed organizing and hosting the Rally in Tally (with help from a few other groups), taking on the Book family in their own state of FloriDUH. I'm sure you've seen the recent trailer for "Untouchable." I have also engaged in protests in Oregon and I even dropped in on Parents For Megan's Law unannounced (and was escorted out but that's a story for another day). I'd also like to add that support for the Rally in Tally far exceeded expecttions, raising enough money to cover the full expenses!
  2. Since this time last year, I've been in the media at AL.com, the Tallahassee Democrat, the Sacramento Bee, the Florida Politics and the St Peters Blog, The University of Buffalo Spectrum, the Dr. Drew show in HLN, and the Alex City Outlook. I was also in the Emily Horowitz book, the Prison Legal News, and on RSOL's "Tales From the Registry" site. 
  3. Added three new Once Fallen research papers to my main site, in addition to the constant updates. I wrote a history of our movement, a legal article on the confusing definition of Child Pornography, and about International Megan's Law.
  4. Created the Informational CorrLinks Newsletter (The "ICoN") specifically for users of CorrLinks, a correctional email service, now being sent to 80 inmates. The latest edition went out March 1. 
  5. Answered over 70 letters by mail, 350 emails, and 500 individual phone calls. Typical phone calls can last up to an hour, and I make constant referrals to other state affiliates. 
  6. I recently completed collecting over 300 responses to the Job & Welfare Survey, the first study to directly study how registrants find work and financial assistance. The study should be out soon. I'll be starting another study on compliance checks soon. 
  7. I'm also trying to assist in stopping bad bills in my home state of Ohio as well as other states, as well as my attempts to stop IML. 
  8. I took in a fellow RSO after his release from prison and helped him get ID and his retirement benefits. 
I do all this and more without constantly hounding you for cash. I live off $753 a month and food stamps, so money is always tight with me, but I am very good at budgeting. When I travel, I ride a bus, use public transportation, stay in the cheapest hotel I can find, and eat granola and Chef Boyardee (I never add food to my expenses anyways since I'll eat no matter where I'm at). 

Since my planned demonstration in DC was cancelled, I have my sights sent on another big city. Unlike the DC event, this demonstration is etched in stone. However, because of the sensitive nature of our plans, I am not publicly listing the plans. In addition, this is the month I pay my annual $120 fee to keep Once Fallen online. So as much as it pains me to ask, don't forget us independents. I'm not asking for a Hundred Grand (unless we are talking about the candy bars). My needs are far more modest. I can only ask those able to give to give what you can. 

So, if you are willing to donate to make my next project a success, send donations to:

Derek W. Logue
8258 Monon Ave., Apt. 3
Cincinnati, OH 45216

If you have Paypal, you can send a donation to iamthefallen1@yahoo.com

Also, if you wish to donate to another independent, I suggest you send some funds to Mary Devoy from the state of Virginia, who is fighting a stupid sex offender law aptly numbered SB666. Click the link below to learn more. 



As of today, I am accepting donations to oppose SB666 and HB 1190 from becoming law on July 1st in Virginia.
  1. You can send a donation through PaylPal at this link:  https://goo.gl/PNYUiI    to my email address marydavyedevoy@comcast.net remember my PayPal fee is 2.9% + $0.30 per every donation sent. Because I am NOT a non-profit and I am NOT a business I can NOT add a PayPal button to this website and I can NOT offer automatic monthly donations, I’m sorry I wish I could. 
  2. You can send a check or money order donation, please email me marydavyedevoy@comcast.net and I will then send you my mailing address, I’ve decided not to post it on the site and it’s not worth the money or time to rent a PO Box.

Not every activist is fortunate enough to have a large network with lots of financial backing, but that doesn't mean we are any less worthy of your support. Without your support, Once Fallen would not be around today. Once Fallen is used by tens of thousands of people every year, including attorneys, law enforcement agents, politicians, and even victim advocate groups! Most of all, YOU use it. It is a labor of love (mostly labor), but the point was to promote the cause and give you tools to fight back against these oppressive laws. So please offer up your support to Once Fallen (and other independents) today!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Once Fallen Job and Welfare Survey has officially closed. Here are some preliminary results.

First of all, I want to thank all 307 respondents to the Once Fallen Job and Welfare Survey. Thanks to the assistance from other groups like FAC, RSOL and their affiliates, Daily Strength, and SOSEN, I received a completed survey from at least 46 states and DC.

1. Florida, 54 (17.88%)
2. Arkansas, 25 (8.28%)
3. Alabama, 21 (6.95%)
4. Ohio, 18 (5.96%)
5. New York/ Texas, 13 each (4.30% each)
6. California, 11 (3.64%)
7. Virginia, 10 (3.31%)
8. Michigan/ Pennsylvania, 9 each (2.98% each)
9. Colorado, 8 (2.65%)
10. Georgia/ Maryland/ Nebraska/ New Mexico, 7 each (2.32% each)
11. Connecticut/ Illinois/ Louisiana, 6 each (1.99% each)
12. Oregon, 5 (1.66%)
13. Missouri/ Nevada/ Wisconsin/ Washington DC, 4 each (1.32% each)
14. Arizona/ Kansas/ Maine/ New Jersey/ Utah/ West Virginia, 3 each (0.99% each)
15. Idaho/ Kentucky/ Massachusetts/ Montana/ North Carolina/ Oklahoma/ Tennessee/ Washington State, 2 each (0.66% each)
16. Alaska/ Hawaii/ Indiana/ Iowa/ Minnesota/ Mississippi/ Rhode Island/ South Carolina/ Vermont/ Wyoming, 1 each (0.33% each)
17. Delaware/ New Hampshire/ North Dakota/ South Dakota, US Territories, Native American Tribal Lands, 0 (0%)

I know you are dying to get the full results, but crunching all of the numbers, writing the report, proofreading and editing the report, and getting it out there may take a little time. However, I created a preliminary result to tide everyone over in the meantime. I have written this as part of my Informational CorrLinks Newsletter (ICoN), a newsletter I make for prisons inmates that use the CorrLinks email system (You can download the lastest ICoN at oncefallen.com/icon). 

First, it should come as no surprise that a number of SOs have experienced significant unemployment and housing problems. Almost half of respondents are unemployed, though some are retired or on welfare. Only 31% had a full time job (4 respondents had 2 jobs). Only 26% reported making over $30,000 last year, and 31.6% reported living below the federal poverty line. Almost half answered they have lost a job due to their status; 82% reported being denied work due to status; half reported harassment at work. About 37.7% experienced homelessness at some point (though only 3.4% of respondents were currently homeless at the time the survey was taken); amazingly, one-third owned their own home; 23% lived rent-free with a relative or through a program; about 40% rent an apartment, with 15% sharing living expenses; only one respondent is receiving government housing (achieved through a lawsuit). This is interesting because 78% of respondents reported having at least some college, with 50% holding a college degree. (Also of note on demographics, 55% of survey takers were ages 41-65 and 8% were 65+; only a third reported being married and living with spouse; only half has children; only 17% have minor children living with them.)

Despite so many college-educated SOs, respondents reported the jobs they held since their release are those most associated with low-pay and high stress – unskilled labor jobs (day labor, custodial, other manual labor), skilled labor (trades), restaurant jobs, manufacturing/ warehouse, and retail/sales jobs were the most common responses. Job types with a medium amount of reported jobs held by respondents were truck driving/ delivery, construction, and Customer Service (stores or call centers). I may be encouraging to know that a handful of individuals have held jobs in nearly every type of job category, including government, legal, non-profits, research, banking, and even the scientific categories, and 10% reported having incomes over $50,000 a year. Very few (almost 20% of those holding a job) reported working for a “franchise” business like McDonald’s or Walmart; twice as many reported being self-employed; another third worked for a small business; the rest either worked for a business run by a friend/ family member or worked as a contractor (that included day labor). Nearly half of these jobs did not conduct a background check, according to respondents. 

Because some SOs have certain computer-related restrictions, it was encouraging to know that “old-fashioned” ways of job hunting are still useful. Employment offices, networking, walk-ins, and want-ads were still utilized by over half of job-seekers. The bad news is that it took 28% of respondents over a year to find a new job, & about 20% have estimated having filled out over 100 applications before either landing a job or giving up. 

About 53.6% reported being on some kind of welfare program. The most common kind of public assistance used were food stamps/ SNAP (27%) and assistance from friends and family (29%); 13% used food and clothing charities,9% used other assistance programs like community action agencies or churches, and 8% were on disability/ SSI. Only 2% received any kind of housing/ rental assistance programs. 

It is important to point out that less than half of respondents identified themselves as members of any online SO activism groups, a third of the respondents were classified Tier 1/ “Low Risk,” a third were classified Tier 2 or higher, and another third were from states with no formal classification system. Many of the respondents were from FL, AL, AR, & OH. Since this was an online survey promoted primarily through SO activist & support groups, this may not completely reflect the true unemployment rates, since some are barred from the Internet per terms of supervision. 

The full study will yield results I think most of us suspected from the start. The short answer is that finding employment as a registered citizen is going to be a slog. It is difficult, but not impossible, to find work. Based on this study, it seems employed SOs are most likely to work a “dead end job” or be self-employed, making a low wage, and with a fair chance of harassment problems at work. Also, expect to fill out lots of applications and spend upwards of a year or more searching for a job. However, there is hope of having a better life even as a registered citizen. A notable minority of SOs have good jobs and own their own homes. If you cannot get a job, at least you can qualify for a number of assistance programs, with the notable exception of housing (SOs are banned from Sec8 IF the registration requirement is lifetime). Though this survey hasn’t discovered anything groundbreaking, the goal was to help you understand the job climate as an SO. It isn’t hopeless, but obviously harder.

PS: I wrote an article about one of my recent job experiences, which has been published on RSOL's supplementary project 'Tales From The Registry." Please check it out. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Well, damn, Predator Panic didn't even make the top 10 fears in America...

So what did Americans fear the most in 2015?


They don't have a category for "registered sex offenders" but here are the stats for sex crime fears.

Rape by a stranger Crime 14.5
Rape by someone you know Crime 11.3
Talking to Stranger Daily Life 9.7

Read more here: https://blogs.chapman.edu/wilkinson/2015/10/13/americas-top-fears-2015/

The bottom line -- people fear our legislators more than the fear sex crimes. And with good reason...


Monday, February 15, 2016

Say THIS three times fast: My Poignantly Pugnacious Proclamation about the "P" word

Say THIS three times fast: My Poignantly Pugnacious Proclamation about the P word
Derek W. Logue
February 15, 2015

As I plod along at the prelude to my day, pandiculating and percolating the morning brew, I’ve been perpetually pissed while pondering the pathetically pedantic pontifications of pulpit-thumping pandering politicians (and Chris Smith in particular) in light of the perilous passage of “International Megan’s Law,” a perfunctory yet preposterous proposal that proliferated with pizzlos, pending the proofreading and passage by our President, probably poised to be penned in a public pageant. While the populace participates in pococurantism about the plight of people perceived to be “pedophiles,” perhaps the propriety of placing a pock on our passports should be probed. International Megan’s Law was promoted as a panacea for pedophiles procuring prohibited petting and procreation with prepubescents, a pulchritudinous pick for plugging their proposition for reelection. In palpability, by promoting the P word to pass this paedonymic law, this proposal is proportionately part poppycock, part paddy-donny, part phooey, and part piffle! This pernicious proposal is more panchreston than panacea. For the victim industry, this preposterous proposal produces posh, padding their pantagruelian pockets with Pactolian proceeds as the proletariats and the poor pay the price for our purblind perceptions of the paltry performance of presently prevalent preventative programs on the part of promoting public protection. The potential percussions of this proposal is picayune or piddling at best and pestilential at worst. IML is a pretext for the panoptic purging of protections procured by the passage of the US Constitution and a prerequisite for a totalitatian-controlled populace. 

If the person perusing my proclamation is perplexed or puggled by the preceding paragraph, perhaps a pithy play-by-play of the preceding paragraph is paramount. 

Simply put, I spent my morning angry that International Megan’s law passed legislation and will be signed into law. I witnessed both both Chris Smith and some media outlets are using the P word (pedophile) to promote IML to our ignorant American society. Yes, it seems most folks don’t give a damn about our rights because they blindly believe that this law will prevent “sex tourism” or ‘sex trafficking.  Maybe they should consider what these “unique identifiers” mean for everyone with a US passport. This is stupid. The law is meant to be a cure-all, but instead, makes a simplistic, catch-all law that is ineffective and will cost taxpayers a lot of money. 

But if there is one “P” word that perplexes and perturb anti-registry activists seem to be the word PROTEST. It is obviously easier to pay a legal pugilist to make this all go away, yet we seem panic-stricken at the thought of engaging in a public protest. Someone recently stated we should parch our PASSPORTS, but how many of you would willingly PARTICIPATE? 

Protesting is one P word our push to put an end to the public pillory should promote. 

The ARM’s “P” Words:


As far as where I found many of the other P words in this proclaimation, peruse this page


We need more of this in 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bad News: HR 515 passed suspension of the rules. Prepare for the Kristallnacht next.


Well folks, it should come as no shock that despite our efforts, there was no objection to passing the Passport marks in HR 515. Now that this bill is passed, how long until we see the Kristallnacht?

I thank those who put forth an unprecedented effort to put a stop to this fascist law, but it appears our efforts fell on deaf ears. WE simply lack the resources to do anything at a national level. There should be thousands, nay, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of folks opposing HR 515. But no matter. I suppose the next step is in litigation (quite frankly, I have my doubts that will be effective).

So in my frustration and anger, I have targeted four Nazi representatives that spoke passionately to pass this fascist law --

Rep. Brendan Boyle
Rep. Chris Smith

Rep. Robert Pittenger

Rep. Ann Wagner
Rep. Brendan Boyle, Rep. Ann Wagner, Rep. Robert Pittenger, and most of all, Rep. Chris Smith, would make the Nazi regime proud. 'Murka has officially joined Nazi Germany by requiring a mark of infamy on the passports of an unpopular group. Quite frankly, everyone on the House floor should've been hanged as a traitor, but I'd settle for a public hanging of these four.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

ACTION ALERT! International Megan's Law is due up for suspension of the rules 2/1/16 @ 6:30pm!



ACTION ALERT! If you have a passport, you have just one day to oppose International Megan's Law (HR 515). If passed, you WILL be required to turn in your passports and have a new one marked with a "unique identifier" marking you as a registered sex offender. I shouldn't even have to mention how heinous that provision will be for us. This is a FEDERAL law, NOT a state law.

Paul Rigney of the Registrant Travel Action Group (a subsidiary of Narional RSOL), urgently requests that everyone please help with the following:

1. Everyone, call and have others call The Speakers office THIS Monday morning. 202-225-600, 202-225-3031.

David: We need to tell them that they must not vote on H.R. 515 under RULES OF SUSPENSION because the bill received an amendment from the Senate that is SUBSTANTIVE and HISTORIC. (U.S. passports have never been branded with criminal convictions of citizens before)

I would like to see 500 phone calls. Please put this up on Affiliates websites. Lets leave hundreds of messages on 202-225-0600 for them to sort through Monday morning
(202) 225-0600
(202) 225-0600
(202) 225-0600
(202) 225-0600
(202) 225-0600
(202) 225-0600
(202) 225-0600

2. Spread Josh Graven’s petition that should go directly to their representative.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/hr-515-international-megans-law

(This site will look up your Congressman for you! How convenient, right?)

3. Sign the Change.org petition at:

https://www.change.org/p/u-s-house-of-representatives-vote-against-hr-515

For those with Twitter accounts, tweet this , “Are you familiar with International Megan’s #Law, or IML? http://ow.ly/WITZv” sends to David Post’s article. Also, please TWEET the following image and message which can be found here (simply right-click and save the image to your hard drive and then insert it, along with the text message, into new Tweets):

https://twitter.com/IndividLiberty/status/691870334220423168

Also, you could help further by re-tweeting Tweets already sent to House members which have been sent from that Twitter account.

5. Continue to call and email congressional members.

Use the banner at the top of the screen.
__________________________________________________________________
Below is my letter to Congress. You can use it as a template if you want.

On 2/1/16, the CONTROVERSIAL International Megan's Law is up for "suspension of the rules." This must not pass! IML as written will place a "unique identifier" on the passports of ALL registered citizens and will establish a new bureaucracy for expanded government control.

International Megan’s Law is an attempt at imposing the American way of thinking on the rest of the world, an act of arrogance that will lead to disastrous results if implemented. IML will attempt to force other nations to create a registry and raise the age of consent to conform to the American standards. This is a blatant violation of international law and a show of contempt for the governments of all nations who do not maintain close ties to the US.

Victim industry advocates have tried to justify International Megan’s Law using anecdotal examples, assumptions, unsourced statistics and non sequiturs to attempt to justify this bad piece of legislation. In reality, various government agencies have reported they have found very few examples of actual sex tourism, and even fewer examples of sex tourism from a registered citizen. It is estimated only about 10 convictions a year occur from Americans engaging in sex tourism annually. The GAO, the US Dept. of Justice, ICE, and the now defunct NDIC have all stated they have found few, if any, examples of Americans traveling abroad specifically to engage in sex tourism or sex trafficking. Key researchers studying sex crimes have repeatedly warned their own research or the research of others have been misinterpreted or distorted by those trying to promote human sex trafficking as America’s next social panic.

International Megan’s Law will be a costly and ineffective measure. It will cost millions just to establish a new bureaucratic agency and to revise the passports of registered citizens. It will cost millions more to enforce the various proposed changes to passports proposed by Congress. Passport limits run afoul of international law, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), by interfering with the free movement of citizens. The ICCPR was signed, ratified, and enforced by the US. In addition, 22 U.S. Code § 217a has been narrowly tailored to limit passports only to those registrants convicted in a court of law for sex tourism, thus nullifying the perceived need to pass IML passport provisions. As previously noted, very few cases of sex tourism/ trafficking are confirmed by government agencies, so the cost of investigating and prosecuting a mere handful of cases do not justify the need for a new bureaucracy, especially if the SMART office is passing IML notification provisions without the authorization of Congress.

The proposal to mark the passports of registered citizens is unprecedented in American history and is offensive enough that even mass media have made parallels between International Megan’s Law and Nazi law. In 1938, the Nazi government required all Jews to surrender their passports and have new passports issued with a scarlet “J” stamped on them. If IML passes, registered citizens will be forced to surrender their passports and have new passports issued with a “unique identifier” on them. In addition to the obvious parallel to Nazi law, this practice will obviously lead to travel impediments and denials of entry across the globe for all registrants regardless of offense. This mark of infamy could potentially lead to travel problems domestically as states struggle to fall into compliance with the so-called “REAL ID” system and thus requiring passports to fly within the boundaries of the US. Furthermore, IML could have an effect described as “humiliating” and “devastating” for individuals whose passports may be falsely marked as belonging to a registered citizen and would lead to costly litigation.

While certain provisions of IML imply that these provisions would be limited to “high risk/ interest” registrants, the harsh reality is this law will be applied to every registered citizen regardless of offense, even teens who engaged in consensual relations with other teens. The law is especially difficult for juveniles on the registry, who are assumed to be less likely to reoffend, more amenable to rehabilitation, and far less likely to become a “sex tourist.”

Finally, International Megan’s Law violates a number of constitutional safeguards, including the 1st (freedom of association) and 14th (Due process) Amendments, as well as the Ex Post Facto clause. In addition, protecting the reputation of American travels and their privacy is of great governmental interest, especially given the attitude of much of the world regarding American tourists. Unconsidered in this report was the potential chilling effect IML could have on ALL American tourists as the US gains a reputation for being a country full of “sex traffickers.” International Megan’s Law will ultimately do far more harm than good, not just in regard to registered citizens, but for the reputation of this nation as well.

For the full report and references for my assertions, go to http://www.oncefallen.com/internationalmeganslaw