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.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reasons NOT to support a tiered registry, or ANY registry period

Despite what some of you may think, I haven't had much of a problem with Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL). I'm not exactly a great fan of certain people in it, just as some of you are not great fans of mine, but  we all have opinions. My opinions are my own. I joined their Oakland protest, obviously, have their conference up on my main website as requested, and I refer anyone who contacts me in California to go check them out. No one can claim I haven't offered my support in the past. But I certainly won't offer support to their latest harebrained scheme. 

In light of one of ACSOL's most recent posts, I have to speak up because I feel this approach is compromising the Anti-Registry Movement. Some of you are already aware of my criticism of ACSOL. In fact, I've posted it in the comment boards, and it seems that quite a few people share my sentiment. I am wary of the idea of our movement supporting the registry in ANY form. Allow me to say this as clearly and boldly as possible, so that there is no misunderstanding as to my take on this silly idea of backing a tiered registry scheme:

If you are advocating for a tiered registry, YOU ARE ADVOCATING FOR THE REGISTRY!!!!!

It seems ACSOL is still advocating this Sophie's Choice approach to the issue, so may be best if I make my counterpoints to the points ACSOL posted on their site as reasons to support a tiered registry. [NOTE: The numbering system is mine for the sake of reference.]


1. Tiered registry bill (Senate Bill 695) introduced on Feb. 17; Senators Ricardo Lara and Holly Mitchell authors; Bill supported by CA Sex Offender Management Board

Counterpoint: Why should the fact that CASOMB approves of a tiered registry be a valid reason to support it? Other things CASOMB approves of are polygraphs, the "containment model" of registrant management, and a "victim-centered" approach. The CASOMB sure loves their junk science. Maybe someday they'll support witch dunking and tea leaf gazing as acceptable methods for predicting recidivism too. 

Guess what else they advocate? The SARATSO committee. They chose the Static-99R as their preferred test and that's a really big deal.

The old Static 99 and Static 2002 categorized risk like this: "Based on total scores, Static-99 had four named risk categories (0 –1  low; 2–3  low-moderate; 4 – 5 moderate-high; and 6  high) and Static-2002 had five (0 –2  low; 3– 4  low-moderate; 5– 6 moderate; 7– 8  moderate-high; and 9  high). When the scales were revised, we did not alter the risk category labels or their associated cutoff scores, with the exception that it was now possible to have scores less than zero." [p.3]

But this same scale was revised under the Static 99-R: "New names have been announced for the risk categories on the Static-99R: 
Very Low Risk, Category I, scores -3, -2; 
Below Average Risk, Category II, scores -1, 0; 
Average Risk, Category III, scores 1, 2, 3; 
Above Average Risk, Category IV-a, scores 4,5; 
Well Above Average Risk, Category IV-b, scores 6 and above."

A person could be classified higher risk under this convoluted scheme. But hey, lets support it just because CASOMB says so. 

2. "Current registry provides public with 'False Sense of Security'"

I could say the same thing about the 45 states with a tiered registry (Oregon hasn't transitioned to three tiers yet so they don't count.). 

3. "More than 90 percent of those who assault a child are family members, teachers, coaches, clergy and are NOT on sex offender registry."

The inefficacy of the registry just as valid of an argument for not having a registry of any kind. 

4. "Less than 1 percent of sex offenders on parole commit another sex offense – CA Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation; Only 5.3 percent of all sex offenders commit another sex offense – U.S. DOJ"

Again, the same argument can be used to argue abolition of the registry. Also, the DoJ numbers are misused. The exact number is 5.3% rearrest rate after 3 years, but only 3.5% were reconvicted after three years. That's quite a discrepancy. BTW, the DoJ released more recent numbers that found a 5.6% rearrest rate after 5 years, so you could mention the fact that the overall number of arrests only increased 0.3% in years 4 and 5. 

5. "Tiered registry for sex offenders would increase public safety and save $115 million annually for state and local governments."

I love these rather arbitrary numbers but it seems Oregon, the state currently transitioning to a tiered system and whose sex offender management folks share similar beliefs, is having some growing pains trying to make that transition. They're already having to scale it back two years, and already lawmakers are exploiting this opportunity to increase the number of folks who land on the public registry. I can't imagine those reevaluations are saving money in Oregon. 

If you are going to discuss money, perhaps someone in Cali will bring up all that money they missed out not adopting the Adam Walsh Act, and if they're going three tiers, why not just adopt the AWA and screw all those risk assessments? On the other hand, at least those witch doctors pushing polys and peter meters will be out of a job. 

6. "The registry includes many individuals who pose little threat to society such as those convicted of the non-violent crimes of “sexting” on a cell phone, urinating in public, and engaging in consensual teen sex."

Yup, and most of them live in those 45 states with a tiered system. Just saying...

7. The registry also includes individuals who pose significant threat to society such as those convicted of multiple sexual assaults against children and adults.

See above. Also, do you know why I made the type bigger, underlined it and italicized it? Because the victim cult will zero in on this for future reference. You know, for when they want to strengthen the registry. I'm sure nothing satisfies our adversaries more than quoting us acknowledging their claims. Tust me, this will be the only thing they hear. 

8. "Tiered registries exist in 46 of the nation’s 50 states and successfully protect the citizens of those states. California is only 1 of 4 states with lifetime registries along with Alabama, South Carolina and Florida."

For any serious registry reformist to utter the words, "successfully protect the citizens of those states," in regards to the effects of the registry is pure blasphemy. Is California that desperate to "potentially" remove a few folks off the registry that they are willing to spew the same rhetoric that we've spent years debunking? It has been a central theme of anti-registry reformists to expose the fallacies of the registry, particularly efficacy, and ACSOL comes along and says, "tiered registries are effective at protecting children." WTF? 

No, the registry in every state is a complete disaster. Ohio has had a Tiered system since 1997 and it is an even bigger wreck because of the AWA. 

9. "Tiered registry would end a life-time sentence for registrants who do NOT pose current harm to society." 

That is merely an assumption. Risk assessments are far from perfect as they are prone to overestimate risk. Consider that even under the simplistic Static-99 your traditional R&J offender scores a 2 off the top. (Coincidentally, I also scored a two.) In Ohio pre-AWA, risk assessment evaluations could still be disregarded through judicial discretion. (Trust me, I've experienced this travesty of justice firsthand.) Of course, when the AWA was adopted, the number of folks who were classified high risk skyrocketed from about 18% to about 54%. Nothing changed but the method of classification. 

The very definitions of offenses are problematic. An R&J "sexually assaulted" his willing participant because she was below the age of consent, and therefore a "violent" offense. 

I'm also willing to bet some high risk individuals "slip through the cracks" and reoffend and then there will be a push for more 

10. Registrants often lose their jobs and/or housing solely because they are registrants.  Section 8 housing not available to individuals listed on a lifetime registry (like California).

Those Tier 3s that remain will still have the same problem with Section 8. Registrants will continue to suffer regardless of tier level. Criminal records remain after you drop off the registry. Background checks will pick it up. 

I had some interesting results from last year's Job and Welfare Survey in regards to tier levels. I do have my concerns because the survey results indicated an increased probability of negative effects of being classified as a "high risk." 

Tier Levels: While there is surprisingly little parity between the Tiers (or for states with no tier system), those considered “High Risk” or Tier 3s were most likely to report being unemployed/ not in the labor force, living in a rural area, making over $50,000 last year, being denied a job, being on welfare at some point, and identifying as an anti-registrant activist, but least likely to report being homeless, having a full time job, living in poverty, and being harassed on the job.

11. Some registrants are physically harmed, even murdered, by vigilantes.

Gary Blanton, the man from Port Angeles murdered by vigilante Patrick Drum in 2012, was classified as a Tier 2 registrant in Washington state. The 2005 double murders in Washington state, the 2006 double murders in Maine and hundreds of other reported acts of vigilantism were in tiered registry states. 

Washington state doesn't list registrants publicly, but private citizens like Donna Zink fought to post the names anyways. Then you have private online registries like Family Watchdog and Homefacts, mugshot magazines and websites, extortion websites like Chuck Rodrick's Offendex/ SOR ARchives/ BarComplaint/ SexOffenderNewswire and affiliated websites, and the like. 

12. "All individuals required to register under Penal Code Section 290 would remain on the registry for at least 10 years; Those convicted of low level offenses could leave registry in 10 years; Those convicted of moderate level offenses could leave registry in 20 years." 

That's not to say they can't be reclassified. One way would simply be adopting the Adam Walsh Act. Another way would be to do what NY has done-- move the goalposts. In 2006, NY increased registration period of tier 2s to life with a petition process available after 30 years and tier 1s increased registration from 10 years to 20. Now the state is looking to do it again, raising tier 1 registration from 20 year to 30 years, an effort spearheaded by Parents For Megan's Law. As I previously stated in point #5, Oregon is already seeking ways to increase 

13. A tiered registry would continue life-time registration for those who pose a current significant harm to society.

This is similar to point #9. This line of thinking requires us to assume that the state will somehow get it right and reserve Tier 3 status for repeat offenders with multiple victims; however, the state will err on the side of caution lest they have any bad PR like the state of Florida had after the Sun-Sentinel accused the state of missing too many "sex predators" in the months following the Cherish Perrywinkle case

In ACSOL's push to POTENTIALLY get off the registry, (no guarantee even one is removed), they're willing to throw tens of thousands of people under the bus! It is already having a detrimental effect on morale in the movement, and already the attitude is spreading. Here is one comment posted on the ACSOL comment section:

February 19, 2017
A lot of people are not going to like this comment but I don’t care all the people who know they’re going to be labeled a tier 3 registered citizen if this Bill were to pass your the type of registered citizens I’m trying to keep from being labeled with no offense but tier 3 registrant are the ones that make it hard for everybody else with there multiple convictions and God knows what else I’m a father and I have three kids and I wouldn’t feel safe with them not being publicly displayed Megan’s Law website and if and eighteen-year-old guy hooks up with a fifteen-year-old girlfriend in high school I don’t think he should be on there for the rest of his life maybe 10 20 years okay for Life that’s insane

This idiot already assumes that Tier 3 equals multiple convictions; he sounds just like a shill for the victim cult. I am happy someone pointed out his flaws in thinking:

judgmental much?
February 19, 2017
To correct you, it will still be very much possible to fall into Tier 3 as a first time offender w/ no other criminal history. All you would need is a high enough Static 99 score. Things like being young at the time of a crime and release, being homosexual and having a male victim, having a non violent offense (oddly enough) and not having lived w/ a significant other for a minimum of 2 yrs. are enough to get someone enough points to fall into Tier 3 regardless of crime. The Static doesn’t take into account offense free years after conviction, therapy, remorse, etc.

I don't have multiple victims and I have the most petty of contact offenses, yet I landed as a Tier 3 because the judge believed all registrants have a high risk. I scored a 2 on the Static-99 (should've been a 1) but the judge ignored it and made an assumption that I came to Ohio just to shirk registration duties (a belief as absurd as anything else I criticized here). The bottom line is I got labelled a Tier 3 because a judge with prejudices against registered citizens had the discretion to be the final authority on my fate, and he chose to ruin my live. So Judge Steve Martin can go to hell. If you don't believe Tier 3s get it rough, come talk to me some time. My life has been ruined. 

In summary, I find the strategy of ACSOL to be repugnant to the core beliefs of the Anti-Registry Movement. We aren't here to advocate for any registry. Sadly, some folks have allowed defeatism to get in the way of our mission. What if slavery abolitionists took this "incremental" approach to abolishing slavery? "Okay we'll never abolish slavery outright so lets devise a system by which a select few can earn their freedom while the rest have to work harder." There are times where incrementalism just doesn't work. The real solution is abolishing the registry, but defeatism has forced those in Cali to choose who will be sacrificed to save a precious few to get off the registry. Those people sacrificed will suffer MORE. 

Three JEERS for ACSOL's three tiers. 
--Derek W. Logue of

Friday, February 24, 2017


Below is a statement of opposition to a Nebraska bill that eliminates all statutes of limitations on civil lawsuits against people accused of sex crimes. You may find it useful against similar statutes in other states.


Derek W. Logue of, Anti-Registry Movement Activist

I, Derek Warren Logue, anti-registry activist and founder of the legal information and support site, am writing to you this day this statement of opposition to LB 300. 

Current state law has already been expanded to allow charges and civil suits against alleged sex crimes that may or may not have actually happened decades ago, and even these previous extensions of statutes of limitations are problematic. 

I’d like to direct your attention to the fact that we are still recovering from the belief of an entire generation of people of widespread satanic ritual abuse and the now widely debunked hypothesis of “recovered” or “repressed” memories. This belief began largely as the result of a single book published in 1980 called “Michelle Remembers,” and has been thoroughly discredited by a number of experts over the years. 

There are a number of cases we can discuss about this era—McMartin, Fells Acres, Country Walk, even the West Memphis Three—but none of these should strike closer to home than the Franklin child prostitution sex ring allegations right here in Nebraska between 1988 and 1991. As in other cases of the time, there were allegations of satanic ritual sexual abuse and murder of children, and like many of these other allegations were eventually proven false. However, given the climate at the time, I can understand why even this very legislature was led to believe in the truthfulness at the time. The slogan “believe the children always” is sacred dogma in our culture. Already, we’ve forgotten the lessons we had learned from this sad era in our culture. 

It is time that we recover the lessons that we’ve seemingly repressed from this era. I was a child of that era—the era of Satanic abuse stories, made for TV movies, and the formation of the victim industry. Over the years, this industry has become as powerful as any religion, with beliefs and dogmas that few dare question. It was at this time that the myth of “repressed memories” originated. Books like Beverly Engel’s 1989 book “The Right To Innocence” taught, “If you have ever had reason to suspect that you may have been sexually abused, even if you have no explicit memory of it, chances are very high that you were.” [p.2]. Thanks to the belief of recovered or repressed memories, numerous people were led to believe that a myriad of psychological issues or poor personal life choices were the result of sexual abuse. If you’re depressed, you were likely sexually abused, if you drink too much, you were likely abused, if you stink at your job, you were likely sexually abused, and so on. It certainly helps to have a way to deny personal responsibility when your shortcomings in life are the result of your own actions. 

Meredith Maran described her own false belief that she was sexually abused in her 2010 book, “My Lie: A True Story of False Memory.” Maran was a feminist reporter covering sexual abuse and repressed memories. After listening to others who claimed they had experienced “recovered memories” and after reading the book “The Courage to Heal,” Maran led herself to believe she was sexually abused by her father. But as the climate in America changed as we learned that these stories of satanic ritual abuse across America were false, Maran also concluded that our panicked culture had been the reason she believed she was abused. 

By the mid-1990s, we had concluded that repressed memory was a myth and the satanic ritual abuse allegations were false. Even Diana EH Russell, author of “The Secret Trauma,” one of the bibles of the repressed memory myth, had to admit that there was validity to the claims of those who stated they were falsely led to believe in the abuse. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation [] warns us, “Because of the reconstructive nature of memory, some memories may be distorted through influences such as the incorporation of new information. There are also believed-in imaginings that are not based in historical reality; these have been called false memories, pseudo-memories and memory illusions. They can result from the influence of external factors, such as the opinion of an authority figure or information repeated in the culture.  An individual with an internal desire to please, to get better or to conform can easily be affected by such influences.” 

Memory is far from fallible, and even when we remember significant events, we may not remember things exactly as it happened, which is especially problematic in court trials where eyewitness testimony is utilized []. Studies have shown that eyewitness testimony can be rather easily manipulated just by how the questions are asked []. These leading questions were at the heart of the satanic ritual abuse panics of the 1980s. 

Our brains are not computers; neuroscientists have shown that each time we remember something, we are reconstructing the event, reassembling it from traces throughout the brain. In other words, memory is malleable. “We could say that, as a result, memory is unreliable. We could also say it is adaptive, reshaping itself to accommodate the new situations we find ourselves facing. Either way, we have to face the fact that it is “flexible.”  For most of us that usually means we recall a rosier past than we actually had, though some of us are tormented by memories of a painful past we can’t shake and that seems to get worse every time we revisit them. But for all of us that means an incomplete past. Nothing brings this home better than the memories of witnesses in trials, one of the cornerstones of our legal system. All too many people have been put behind bars on the testimony of witnesses, who when challenged by more objective data have been later proved to be misremembering. An extreme form of this is the unsettling phenomenon of those who confess to crimes they did not commit. According to a recent article in The New York Times, “False confessions have figured in 24 percent of the approximately 289 convictions reversed by DNA evidence.” (See, “Why Do Innocent People Confess?”) Obviously these are not just simple matters of misremembering. False confessions can be motivated by a desire to avoid painful interrogations, to curry favor with jailors, or the false hope of getting the nightmare over with. But, then, all memories are motivated. It is just a matter of degree.” 

“Human memory is notoriously unreliable, especially when it comes to details. Scientists have found that prompting an eyewitness to remember more can generate details that are outright false but that feel just as correct to the witness as actual memories. “A key rule about memory change over time is what we call fade-to-gist,” explained Dr. Charles Brainerd, a professor of human development at Cornell University, in an interview with Healthline. “That is, we lose the details of experience rapidly but retain our understanding of its gist much longer. After attending a baseball game, we may quickly forget what the score was, who pitched, and what we had to eat, but not that our team won and we had a fun evening.” According to the American Bar Association, of the 21 wrongful convictions overturned by the Innocence Project in 2011, 19 involved eyewitness testimony. More than three-quarters of wrongful convictions that are later overturned by DNA evidence were based on eyewitness reports. The legal system finally acknowledged this problem last year, when the New Jersey Supreme Court instructed judges to tell jurors that “human memory is not foolproof” when considering eyewitness testimony in a case. []

Yet, despite the lessons we’ve learned memories are far from infallible and that people can be led to believe things that weren’t true, we have been led to believe the same exact accusations once the attention was turned to the Catholic Church. Diane Vera reported in 2006 that even in 2005, a Catholic priest was convicted in 2005 on the basis of “recovered memories” alone. She also points out, “Among the people still pushing the SRA scare are some conservative and traditionalist Catholics, as a way to explain the recent clergy pedophilia scandals…Some of the more extreme traditionalist Catholics blame an alleged conspiracy of "Satanists" not only for clergy pedophilia, but also for all the changes to the Catholic Church since Vatican II, including changes to the liturgy and more tolerant attitudes toward Protestants.” (Of course, Vera assumes a celibate priesthood is the problem, which is also a matter of opinion.)

Famed historian Phillip Jenkins writes, “We have often heard the phrase "pedophile priest" in recent weeks. Such individuals can exist: Father Geoghan was one, as was the notorious Father James Porter a decade or so back. But as a description of a social problem, the term is wildly misleading. Crucially, Catholic priests and other clergy have nothing like a monopoly on sexual misconduct with minors. My research of cases over the past 20 years indicates no evidence whatever that Catholic or other celibate clergy are any more likely to be involved in misconduct or abuse than clergy of any other denomination -- or indeed, than nonclergy. However determined news media may be to see this affair as a crisis of celibacy, the charge is just unsupported…Just to find some solid numbers, how many Catholic clergy are involved in misconduct? We actually have some good information on this issue, since in the early 1990s, the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago undertook a bold and thorough self-study. The survey examined every priest who had served in the archdiocese over the previous 40 years, some 2,200 individuals, and reopened every internal complaint ever made against these men. The standard of evidence applied was not legal proof that would stand up in a court of law, but just the consensus that a particular charge was probably justified.

By this low standard, the survey found that about 40 priests, about 1.8 percent of the whole, were probably guilty of misconduct with minors at some point in their careers. Put another way, no evidence existed against about 98 percent of parish clergy, the overwhelming majority of the group. Since other organizations dealing with children have not undertaken such comprehensive studies, we have no idea whether the Catholic figure is better or worse than the rate for schoolteachers, residential home counselors, social workers or scout masters. The Chicago study also found that of the 2,200 priests, just one was a pedophile. Now, many people are confused about the distinction between a pedophile and a person guilty of sex with a minor. The difference is very significant. The phrase "pedophile priests" conjures up images of the worst violation of innocence, callous molesters like Father Porter who assault children 7 years old. "Pedophilia" is a psychiatric term meaning sexual interest in children below the age of puberty. But the vast majority of clergy misconduct cases are nothing like this. The vast majority of instances involve priests who have been sexually active with a person below the age of sexual consent, often 16 or 17 years old, or even older. An act of this sort is wrong on multiple counts: It is probably criminal, and by common consent it is immoral and sinful; yet it does not have the utterly ruthless, exploitative character of child molestation. In almost all cases too, with the older teen-agers, there is an element of consent.” []

The point of discussing the issue of faulty memories is that people could easily be misled into using LB 300; even worse is the possibility of individuals taking improper use of this system. After all, accusations of abuse from 20 years, 30 years, 40 years ago or longer could not be substantiated. Recently, it was reported that Barbara Blaine, founder and president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, had stepped down amidst allegations that SNAP leaders referred potential clients to attorneys in return for financial kickbacks to the group. [] We don’t like to admit that the victim groups have a vested interest but they do. 

These dubious allegations form the justification for LB 300. In passing this legislation, you open the door to abuse of the law by manipulative individuals and victim advocates. Imagine someone decided to accuse YOU of an alleged sex crime from 30 years ago and decided to sue you in a court of law. Consider the fact that the number of false allegations is significant [] even in a court where the standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” LB 300’ standards are the lower civil standard. If we were willing to believe the most outrageous allegations of satanic sacrifices, flying children across the globe for Illuminati pedo rings, or non-existent underground bunkers either under a daycare or under some pizza joint in Washington DC without any tangible evidence of truth, what hope does the accused have to prove his or her innocence In a court where the burden of proof is far lower? 

LB 300 will merely be a tool to destroy the lives of numerous citizens by those who are convinced of events that may never have occurred, and will be fueled by victim groups like SNAP who are willing to engage in their own dubious practices to promote their personal agendas. We are too willing as a society to side with the accusers, no matter how dubious the claims, and those who falsely accuse are rarely punished for fear of “silencing victims.” LB 300 is bad public policy better left in Reagan-era satanic panic. 

--Derek W. Logue of

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Competition is (mostly) good: The benefits (and drawbacks) of competition within our cause

The past few months have proven to be quite a time of transition for the sex offender reformist cause. California RSOL broke away from the National RSOL and repackaged itself as the "Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws" (ACSOL). Even Reform Sex Offender Laws repackaged itself as NARSOL, or "National Association for Rational Sex Offense Laws." Now, ACSOL did state that they were "working cooperatively" with NARSOL but we all know that theory and practice are two different things. They're even having their respective annual conferences just a couple weeks apart from each other. (Apparently, WAR is having their open conference now, too.)

This isn't anything new. In fact, there was a major rift in late 2007 that helped mold our movement into the state it became now. Back then, SOHopeful International was the top dog. SOSEN was only a Yahoo Group, and RSOL was little more than an online petition. However, the top brass at SOHopeful were ultra-conservative and became too afraid to do anything to damage their fragile reputations. There were a number of people who felt that SOHopedul wasn't doing enough. 

In 2007, members of this movement decided that we needed to be more public. There was a hommeless camp in Miami under some place called the Julia Tuttle Causeway. We had heard the Department of Corrections had placed some people there to live. Thus, the first public protest was devised. However, the police blocked the demonstration from happening, so it was moved to the JTC campsite. Not deterred, the masterminds behind the protest formed a new protest against a new law in Oho called SB 10, which would make Ohio the first state to adopt a new federal mandate known as the "Adam Walsh Act." The protest/rally would take place in December of 2007. 

The conservative SOHopeful condemned and distanced itself from this rally, but many members of the group bucked the SOHopeful brass and attended the event. The smaller groups who wanted to establish themselves in our movement stepped up to the plate, including RSOL and SOSEN. We braved the cold and a small but hostile crowd that included Bikers Against Child Abuse, Judy Cornett, and an online vigilante group affiliated with Perverted-Justice. About 50 of us attended this rally, some coming from as far away as the west coast. SOSEN and RSOL benefited greatly from this event, as disgruntled folks left SOHopeful to join two groups who wanted to do more. SOHopeful faded away into oblivion.

Ten years later, we are seeing somewhat of a similar situation unfold. There are quite a few people who believe, as I do, that our cause had stagnated over the years due to the conservatism of our movement. It reared its ugly head when I organized the Rally in Tally two years ago. The same arguments and the same conservative hogwash was spewed, and I received no support from RSOL or their affiliates. To their credit, WAR helped some but their leader was too busy trying to appease both sides of the issue and our target and was ineffective on all fronts. Because some of those involved didn't want their organizations outed should things go awry, we created a new label, the Anti-Registry Movement (ARM). 

A funny thing happened along the way to Tallahassee. The California RSOL group, who didn't support our efforts, decided to hold a protest of their own in Carson City. Lets be honest here-- it was little more than an attempt to steal the momentum the Rally in Tally was building-- but in doing so, CaRSOL did something I wanted our movement to be doing all along, namely, public demonstrations. Too bad for them that they chose a date and time that worked against their desire to be seen and heard and not drowned out by a far bigger event. But I give them an A or effort. (Of course, they WERE wrong in proclaiming that they were the first registrant protest in history, as there were three-- Miami, Columbus OH, and Coalinga CA-- before them.) The competition didn't hurt either rally, however. They may not have supported my rally, but the competition proved ahead of the Rally in Tally that there was no fear of being arrested. 

So now we have what many feel as a major rift in this movement with two competing groups, NARSOL and ACSOL (I guess three if you count WAR), and yes, there are drawbacks to the rift. Resources are few among registrants and their loved ones, and thus smaller organizations like Once Fallen get less needed support and thus are less able to complete major projects due to lack of funding. At times, those in need of assistance struggle to find resources because our competing movements don't freely share information, forcing me to send people on wild goose chases at times when doing referrals. It has even hindered projects that are beneficial to our cause, like the two surveys I conducted last year. We have had, and STILL have, a PISS POOR communication network, despite what the folks at the top of these organization claim. To top it off, most of the biggest groups are still hamstrung by ultra-conservatives. These are all major problems that hamper the movement as a whole at times. 

At times, I like to compare our movement to the path of the Cincinnati Bengals football team. For 15 years, the Bengals stunk. No playoffs, not even a winning season. Then they got a new coach and they grew to mediocrity, but compared to 4-12, 8-8 looked great. They got to 8-8 three years in a row, then they broke through with an 11-5 season and reached the playoffs for the first time in forever it seemed. Now, we're no longer content with 8-8 mediocrity. Now the Bengals had six good seasons in a row and made the playoffs 6 years straight, but lost in the first round. Well, now we're no longer content with being good enough for the playoffs. We want MORE. The common ground between the Bengals and our movement is that the same management has been around for years for the most part and that while we've improved our regular season records, we still haven't truly gotten over that hump of mediocrity. 

Out movement is also thirsty for more than what has been offered over the years. I can attest to that fact because over the past two years, support for Once Fallen has grown by leaps and bounds. 

There are benefits to having competition , and I feel that in some respects, these benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Monopolies in real life are never good because they stymie product quality; if you are the only game in town, there is little pressure to better yourself or your products. That is something that I think crept in over the years to this movement. I'm a big wrestling fan, and many wrestling fans will argue that pro wrestling was at the pinnacle during the "Monday Night Wars" of the 1990s. But once the WWE (formerly WWF) won and bought out the competition, the product slowly grown stale. Behind-the-scenes meetings don't generate as much excitement as a hands-on event. We are seeing a renewed interest in the value of demonstrations in recent months with that reality TV host turned president and the backlash from his nonsensical rantings. The support I've received from going after the victim industry over the past two years has shown people support my efforts. 

A little competition will help our cause so long as the existing groups don't try hamstringing each other. maybe it will inspire some people to do a little bit more toward their own salvation.