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Monday, July 7, 2014

Lies, deciet greed and corruption, the industry of victimhood.

'Victims Can Lie as Much as Other People'

What the Somaly Mam scandal says about the media's treatment of humanitarian heroes

Margaret Sullivan, the public editor of The New York Times, is calling on Kristof to “give readers a full explanation” of his reporting on Somaly Mam, the celebrated Cambodian anti-sex-trafficking activist who, according to a recent Newsweek expose, fabricated parts of her story and those of some of the alleged victims she advocated for. The revelations have disillusioned many of Mam’s loyal supporters and left the press looking gullible. Just as importantly, they’ve highlighted the public’s seemingly insatiable desire for heroic narratives—and the willingness of many in the media to provide them.
Kristof was hardly alone in promoting Mam and her initiatives. Several respected outlets, including Newsweek, have played handmaiden to her celebrity. Consider just a partial list of media-bestowed accolades: Mam was named a CNN Hero and Glamour’s Woman of the Year. She was included in the Time 100, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women—the list goes on. When stories like hers crumble, however, few in the media pause to examine how they could have been so thoroughly duped. Fewer still acknowledge their complicity in perpetuating stories that were too good to check out.

Mam tells in her memoir and the one she has dutifully recounted (albeit with some discrepancies) in countless public appearances around the world, including at the White House and the UN. It’s also, as we know from Newsweek's story, largely untrue.
According to the article’s author, Simon Marks, during the years Somaly Mam was supposedly trapped in a Phnom Penh brothel she was actually attending school in her hometown of Thloc Chhroy. Her fellow villagers remember her as a happy, pig-tailed teenager. In her memoir, Mam claims she was orphaned at a young age and brought to Thloc Chhroy by a man she called “grandfather”—the man who sold her into slavery. The former commune chief remembered her arrival differently. “Somaly came here with her parents,” he said. “She is a daughter of Mam Khon and Pen Navy.” No one recalled the mysterious ‘grandfather’ figure.

One of the more remarkable of those stories involved Meas Ratha, a former charge of Mam’s who was sent to AFESIP because her parents were too poor to raise her and her sister. Ratha said she was auditioned by Mam and coached to lie on camera about having been trafficked. Referring to anguished testimony she gave on French television in 1998 when she was only 16, Ratha told the Daily, “The video that you see, everything that I put in is not my story.”

Ratha isn’t the only girl who reportedly lied for Somaly Mam. There is also the case of Long Pross. Kristof first told Pross’s horrifying story in a 2009 column headlined, “If This Isn’t Slavery, What Is?” He spared readers few details.
In fact, Pross appears to have never been kidnapped or enslaved in a brothel, and never had her eye gouged out. Rather, her disfigurement resulted from the removal, at age 13, of a non-malignant tumor. Until her operation, she had lived a sheltered life in her rural village.
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They say "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely", well the power of victimhood is been exploited to a point where those who are real victims eventually fall between the cracks....After exposing stories such as the one above, reporters who might be able to make a difference will be more restricted in writing about the true stories of victims, fearing they be made a fools of....
And when victimhood is used to benefit someones ego, popularity, and greed, the true victims become even more victimized because of it...
Lately, crying out "I'm a victim" can be a powerful attraction to free money, power, revenge and that pat on the back which those with an inferiority complex usually look for, they can always find the greedy willing to take their story on a whim, without looking or even caring to see if it's true or not.
Case in point, the conversation I had with someone attached to the local woman's shelter...
erin lee todd
"its not up to them to question if there is abuse in the home or not???"
How many were falsely accused under that policy, how many kids alienated from the fathers, how much money was wasted on false accusations, statements and accommodation which could have gone to "real victims"?
I interviewed a woman who explained to me a welfare worker told her (when she was 16 and pregnant) to claim abuse against her own mother, because she did not want her on social assistance...this way her mother could do nothing about it...
The lure of power over someone whether it be greed, revenge, or that moment of fame perpetrated by lies, is like a drug, once you are into it, one has to continue on lying to protect the original lie...and who suffer in the long run?
As I said, how will any reporter ever trust the next story of a victim when they got burned on the previous one...
How can you trust what comes out of this shelter for women, when their policy is based on how much money they can get,  instead of real victims? This "creates" more victims, the child separated from dad, the husband demonized unjustly and for what? 7 pieces of silver and 15 minutes of fame?
But the waste of resources doesn't end there, when someone makes a false accusation, emanating from this shelter, she gets representation, free of charge from a lawyer from the local legal clinic, those who are there to offer services to the poor, financed by the taxpayer of Ontario. Maybe not all of them agree with this type of policy, but by not exposing this act of greed, they are as responsible as those who do it.
False reports or accusations cost not only money but credibility, how can we trust lawyers who represents those whom they know full well are lying? How can we trust anything that comes out of a women's shelter, how can we trust the welfare worker if they offer kids a way out of the family home under false pretences? How can we trust child protection when their policies are based on how many kids go through their doors?
False Victimhood offers the person with low self esteem a way to elevate themselves for a few moment, pamper their egoes, get revenge on someone who left them, custody of the kids, quick access to welfare and housing over those who are in "real" need...
But worse of all, it promotes the doubt on those who are true victims, takes away support, financially or otherwise, corruption of this kind, makes further victims of victims....not to mention those who are falsely accused.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

When it comes to Sex trafficking the only people the media speak with are the anti-sex trafficking organizations or zealous politicians and no one else. This is a biased one-sided conversation. The media will never question, check or research any of the claims that these groups make. Always taking their word for it and never once researching or questioning their statistics or anything they say. This results in misleading and false reporting by the media and news organizations.

Prostitutes are NOT forced! They do sex work of their own free will. Prostitutes are NOT forced! They do sex work of their own free will. They keep the money they make. They are NOT slaves. They make a huge amount of money for one hour or less with a customer. The media, NGO’s and government officials will never admit this or ask the sex workers rights groups or prostitutes themselves about the sex industry. The media, NGO’s and government officials will never admit this or ask the sex workers rights groups or prostitutes themselves about the sex industry.

When a Anti-sex trafficking group states that millions of underage children (only girls, since boys are never included) are raped, forced, and kidnapped against their will into prostitution by evil men -Why doesn't the reporter ask: What makes
you think that? Where is the proof, and evidence?, can you prove it? Or do you just think that? Can you prove they are forced against their will, raped, kidnapped and beaten? Or do you just think and assume that? Can you prove that they were underage? Or do you just think they "look" young because they are petite and skinny? What makes you think that they were raped and forced? Can you prove it? Or do you just “think” that. Where did you get those stats on the number of forced victims? What are your sources? Where did your source come up with that information? What was the methodology? How did your sources get those numbers? What study did they use? Was it a peer - reviewed study? Why don’t you ever talk about transgender people, boys, men? Are all the victims young girls? Why don’t the reporters ever ask these questions? Why don't the anti-trafficking organizations talk about the transgender "lady boys" These are male sex workers. There are other male sex workers also. According to the NGO's and government officials they don't exist

Here are some good
websites about Sex Trafficking:
http://bebopper76.wordpress.com/
http://humantraffickingstatistics.wordpress.com/

The Native Canadian said...

Thank you for the comment and links...