Somaly Mam, the poster child of the child sex trafficking hoaxes, has been debunked. Children were trained and auditioned to tell heart wrenching false sob stories of childhood sex slavery, rape and torture in brothels. Even her own childhood rape, slavery, prostitution and trafficking stories were proven false.
Somaly "Mam was one of Time’s 100 most influential people in 2009 and has over 400,000 followers on Twitter", spoke in the White house and admitted to lying to the UN General assembly.
Feminism, political correctness and sex repressing traditionalists lie to the entire world press and world elite, presidents, Oscar winners.
Unfounded sex repressive laws regarding age of consent, prostitution, are based on such lies and hoaxes. The lies caused Cambodian prostitutes to suffer raids, abuses, prohibitions, to be thrown back into poverty.
Another of Mam’s biggest “stars” was Meas Ratha, who as a teenager gave a chilling performance on French television in 1998, describing how she had been sold to a brothel and held against her will as a sex slave.
Late last year, Ratha finally confessed that her story was fabricated and carefully rehearsed for the cameras under Mam’s instruction, and only after she was chosen from a group of girls who had been put through an audition. [Newsweek]
You may be amazed about the profundity of these world changing lies. We are amazed that they actually got uncovered and published by mainstream press.
According to a close acquaintance of Mam’s in Phnom Penh, who insisted on remaining anonymous for fear of retribution, there have been doubts about Mam’s life story for years, but “it’s all about image, getting to the big shot who has a lot of money and who feels sorry for this kind of story. They’re very successful, and they have been very successful in an incredible way because they connect with the right people, and they have all the movie stars, famous rock stars and famous people supporting them, and [all those people] are still being taken for a ride now.” [Newsweek]
WITH a sensational story of surviving child sex slavery in Cambodia, Somaly Mam became a worldwide icon, the best-selling author of a memoir and the head of a foundation raising millions in the name of saving girls and women from the sex trade, victims she recounted rescuing in dramatic brothel raids. Last year, introducing the State Department’s annual “Trafficking in Persons” report, Secretary of State John Kerry called Ms. Mam “a hero every single day.”
But all this wasn’t true. […] The Price of a Sex-Slave Rescue Fantasy | New York Times:
The consequences of her fables will prove harder to correct. Ms. Mam and her foundation banked on Western feel-good demands for intervention, culminating in abusive crackdowns on the people she claimed to save.
Imagine you landed a great job that pays 10 times more then your old job. And then you get raided by police claiming to save you, and thrown into joblessness.
The International Labor Organization estimates that more than three times as many people are trafficked into work like domestic, garment and agricultural labor than those trafficked for sex.
If we were to combat such trafficking with equal vigor as the invented sex trafficking hoaxes, we would prohibit use, sale, and depiction of shoes and clothes not only in Cambodia but world wide and go about barefoot and naked. We would outlaw the garment industry in Italy, due to sob stories about poor women who have to toil in shoe factories to earn a living. Just as we condemn socially inept male losers to a sexless life, and prevent young women from earning big like belle de Jour.
I’ve interviewed human-rights advocates in Phnom Penh since 2007, and they raised concerns about Ms. Mam’s distortion of this reality. Her portrayal of all sex workers as victims in need of saving encouraged raids and rescue operations that only hurt the sex workers themselves.
In 2008, Cambodia enacted new prohibitions on commercial sex, after the country was placed on a watch list by the State Department. In brutal raids on brothels and in parks, as reported by the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers in a 2008 documentary, women were chased down, detained and assaulted. The State Department commended Cambodia for its law and removed the country from the watch list.
The Price of a Sex-Slave Rescue Fantasy | New York Times:
- The Price of a Sex-Slave Rescue Fantasy | New York Times:
- Somaly Mam And The Cult of Glamourized Victimhood
- Somaly Mam, feminist anti-slavery activist, has been found to be lying about her own past as a sex slave (never happened), and misuses the children in her care. [108 comments]
Not even Mam can keep the story straight. In February 2012, while speaking at the White House, she said she was sold into slavery at age 9 or 10 and spent a decade inside a brothel. On The Tyra Banks Show, she said it was four or five years in the brothel. Her book says she was trafficked when she was “about 16 years old.”
Mam’s confusion isn’t limited to her book, or the backstory for some of “her girls.” In 2012, she admitted—after being confronted with some of my early reporting—that she had made false claims in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in which she said eight girls she had rescued from the sex industry were killed by the Cambodian army after a raid on her shelter in 2004.
Rights workers and police officials, including Deputy National Police Chief Lieutenant General Un Sokunthea, who was head of the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department in 2004, and a senior official at the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Phnom Penh, have also strongly denied highly publicized claims by Mam, in Glamour magazine and The New York Times, that traffickers kidnapped her 14-year-old daughter in 2006 and videotaped the girl being gang-raped in retaliation for Mam’s work. Legros and Aarti Kapoor, a former legal adviser to AFESIP, both say the young girl was never kidnapped; instead, they say, she had run away from home with her boyfriend. [Newsweek]
Mam is one of the world’s most compelling activists, brave and beautiful, and her list of supporters is long and formidable. Former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton and actresses Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon and Shay Mitchell, as well as New York Times Pulitzer-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof, have all toured AFESIP centers in Cambodia. Queen Sofia of Spain has for years promoted Mam’s cause and even visited her in the hospital last year when she fell ill. Mark Zuckerberg’s former PR guru, Brandee Barker, whom The New York Times recently described as “perhaps the most sought-after image consultant in the startup world,” is a board member for the Somaly Mam Foundation, and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is an advisory board member.
Mam has raised millions with a hectic schedule of meetings all over the globe with the good, the great and the super-rich—from the U.N.’s Ban Ki-moon to the pope. One day she will be speaking at the White House, and the next day she’ll be enthralling schoolchildren in a remote corner of Cambodia.
Mam claims to have rescued thousands of girls and women from sex trafficking, a dangerous and formidable feat. Her story becomes even more inspiring when you hear her shocking tale of being sold into sexual slavery. In 2005, she published her autobiography, The Road of Lost Innocence, which became an international best-seller. Mam was one of Time’s 100 most influential people in 2009 and has over 400,000 followers on Twitter.
She has done so much for so many, does it matter that key parts of her story aren’t true?
Yes, the famous anti-sex-trafficking activist fudged certain facts to gain attention for her cause—but this sorry tale should make us concerned about our own need for photogenic girls to save.
Somaly Mam, one of the world’s most famous anti-sex-trafficking activists, resigned as head of the Somaly Mam Foundation on Wednesday, after Newsweek published an expose by Simon Marks accusing Mam of lying about her background and fabricating some of the sob stories of underage sex trafficking she used to gain attention and funding for her cause. Marks detailed how Mam’s story of being forced into prostitution as a child—her age for when she first started shifted in each telling—didn’t jibe with the memories of her from classmates and family members. More troubling, Marks also accused Mam of encouraging young women who had not been trafficked to lie about it, coughing up lurid stories of rape and abuse in order to get wealthy donors to open their wallets.
Are there larger lessons to be learned from this whole sordid tale? Marks resists anyone who might use this to deny that sex trafficking is a serious problem, though he does argue that “the scale and dynamics of the situation are often misunderstood, in part because of lurid, sensationalistic stories such as those told by Mam and her ‘girls.’”
“A large number of organizations get sucked into using children to raise funds: making them talk about the abuse they survived in front of a camera, having their picture in a pitiful situation published for everyone to see. In worst cases, the truth is distorted or the stories invented to attract more compassion and money. The impact on the lives of these children is terrible: If they come from an abusive situation, such a process re-traumatizes them and in any case it stigmatizes them forever.”