Mary O’Neill

The Florida launch of our Get In The Fight nationwide campaign to end child exploitation and trafficking was a great success, and plans are in the works for mobilizing more communities in states across the country. In this edition of the PDPC Bulletin, you’ll learn more about our training program for parents, including tackling social media use by teenagers, and you can read about research connecting social media and its influence on gender dysphoria in children. We also address online pornography, an entry point for child predators, in an interview with one of our expert trainers. Awareness is the first step, but training is vital to ending this crisis. I invite you to watch a recap of the kick-off summit here and our 10-Point Community Call To Action prepared by another expert trainer on our team. Thank you for getting into the fight with America’s Future. – Mary O’Neill

Exposing The Social Media-Gender Dysphoria Connection
Boy With Laptop

This summer, detransitioner Chloe Cole made waves in the nation’s capital when she testified to Congress that medical treatments to change the gender of confused children are horrific. The 19-year-old activist said the drugs and surgeries that changed her body led her to become suicidal for the first time. Cole says it was social media that introduced her to the idea that she could be a boy at the age of 11. Her story is all too common with transgender children.

Research shows that the majority of those who transition were persuaded to do so through social media and that a correlation exists specifically between the spike in teens using social media and identifying as transgender.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration’s evidence-based studies exposed the influence of social media platforms on gender dysphoria, particularly the rapid onset gender dysphoria among children.  Their research concluded these points:
  • Adolescents who have no history of displaying typical gender dysphoria characteristics go through a sudden change in identity following intense exposure to peers and/or media that heavily promotes transsexual lifestyles.
  • Considering that social media is rife with individuals promoting gender-affirmative drugs and surgeries, children are making self-assessments based on feelings they may not understand and believing they require treatments that can lead to deep regret in the future.
  • This has led to Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD). The majority of cases appear to occur within a cluster of peers and in association with increased social media use, especially among people with autism or other neurodevelopmental or mental health issues.
The push to pressure children to transition is not just coming from social media.  There’s a rising problem in schools with teachers and other staff members secretly encouraging children to transition, sometimes under school programs, unbeknownst to the parents. However, with more incidents of schools encouraging children to transition, the blowback is mounting. Parents, along with Republican leaders in multiple state are taking a stand and fighting back against these radical and sinister programs forcing the trans-agenda on vulnerable children in the education system.
  • Virginia mom, Michelle Blair, recently filed a lawsuit against a school board in Baltimore claiming that the staff kept her daughter, Sage’s, transition to male a secret before the teen was reportedly kidnapped, raped, and trafficked across state lines.
  • This month California mom, Jessica Konen, and her daughter, Alicia, were awarded $100,000 after claiming teachers and staff at Buena Vista Middle School in Salinas coached the 11-year-old to socially transition to a male gender identity.  
  • Earlier this year, 21 Republican-led states took legal action on behalf of Florida parents who sued their daughter’s school after teachers launched a transgender support plan for their 13-year-old. January Littlejohn said school bosses had spoken to her daughter about changing her name and which bathroom she uses without her parental permission. Gov. Ron DeSantis highlighted this case to help pass his parental rights bill that bans teachers from giving classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through the twelfth grade.  

Parents Are The First Line Of Defense Against Grooming
Learn What You Can Do To Protect Your Child

Boy with Hands On Head

Michelle Peterson suspected years ago something was not right when her son received a late-night phone call from one of his high school teachers. Peterson discovered that her son’s teacher had been grooming her son for months and had offered him money in exchange for sex. Due to Peterson’s quick action and by listening to her gut, she was able to prevent further sexual grooming from occurring to her son by the predatory teacher. (You can learn more about Peterson’s story by watching an interview on last month’s Not On My Watch podcast here.)

Not all parents are able to pick up on the signs of grooming as Peterson did, that’s why it’s vital for parents to learn red flags of grooming to protect their children.

In this digital age, most grooming takes place through a child’s devices. “A predator can recruit hundreds of kids to interact using social media platforms, whereas in person restricts them to one kid at a time,” National Child Sexual Exploitation Trainer Jo Lembo said in an interview with America’s Future for Project Defend & Protect Our Children.

Lembo regularly speaks to junior high and high school students, and she said that when she asks how many of them have been approached online by someone who makes them uncomfortable, 90% of the students raise their hands. However, when Lembo follows up and asks how many told their parents about the encounter, only 20% raise their hands because their parents would “flip out.” Lembo also said that a lot of children fear their parents will take their devices away, so she helps educate parents on how to have open conversations with their kids to keep them safe online.

“We work to build bridges so they can have a flow of conversation about the issues that could be dangerous in the digital world,” Lembo said. “A trust must be built between the child and the parent so they don’t feel the need to hide things to maintain their online freedom.”

Lembo emphasizes that changes in a child’s behavior can indicate a predator is potentially grooming them. “Caring adults can watch for changes in behavior that may indicate they are hiding something,” Lembo said.

Parents can learn more about what grooming is, the traits of groomers, and what personality behaviors in their children to watch for if you suspect your child is a grooming victim by attending her Parents and Caring Adults Training Program on October 5th in Sarasota, Florida. To learn more details and to register, click here.

Putting An End To The Demand For Pornography
Nick Lembo

Nick Lembo has been combatting human trafficking since 2012 and specializes in recruiting men to join the fight. He also has expertise in the dangers of pornography and how it’s an entry point for child predators. On top of that, Lembo has helped men overcome pornography addiction. He’ll be holding a seminar on the Pitfalls of Pornography on October 6th in Sarasota, Florida. We spoke with Nick about his involvement in putting an end to the demand for pornography. To register for his seminar, click here.

How did you get in the fight to end human trafficking?

I went on a journey to find ways to involve ordinary civilian men in this arena. I did what I could getting involved in doing awareness presentations and eventually presenting at national conferences. I inserted the dangers of the pornography industry and how it eventually leads men to purchase sex.

You’ve helped men who have struggled with pornography addiction, how often are trafficking victims used in pornography and do you think that most people even realize that pornography videos may use trafficking victims?

Yes, trafficking victims are used in pornography. Many lawsuits against the largest supplier of pornography on the Internet called, Pornhub, have been initiated by former trafficked victims. This alone shows the reality of pornography-using trafficking victims on these sites. The reality that these girls are being used in these pornography videos and pictures is very verifiable. We personally know a number of survivors who have told us their stories — this is not hearsay. Those using pornography are clueless about this occurring, and certainly, the general public is also unaware.

Can you please explain how the pornography industry enables trafficking?

Men are being groomed or prepared through the use of pornography in many ways. They’re having their minds over-sexualized by its constant use. It then creates a normalization of beliefs about women or any individual as being objects for their use for their gratification. It doesn’t start out in immediate purchases of sex, but after a while, they are no longer getting the pleasure out of the pictures or videos and need a stronger fix or release. Their tolerance to pornography is built up, and therefore, they want and need something more satisfying. It can lead them to feel very free to purchase a child, a woman, or any gender, for that matter, for sex because it is all about getting their “fix.”

Why is it important for more men to take a stand and join the fight to combat human trafficking?

99% of the buyers of sex are men. Men create demand for sex buying, and better men can help end it. The silence and inaction of men on this issue show tolerance for this heinous crime against humanity. We need good men to stand up and say this is not going to happen in my family or my community. 

What will attendees walk away with after taking one of your courses?

People will learn the dangers of pornography, the proliferation of online pornography websites and how pornography is an entry point for child predators. They will gain an understanding of the causes and solutions to sexual exploitation. Civilian men will learn ways to become freedom fighters.

ARC Training Program Takes Comprehensive Approach

The deep knowledge and wide-ranging experiences of Bazzel Baz, founder and president of the Association of the Recovery of Children (ARC), and his wife, Tina, Human Trafficking Program Director for ARC, offer an extraordinary training opportunity to gain the skills required to help end the war on children in communities. Their “Fight Child Sex Trafficking Comprehensive Equipping Course” will be held from November 6 through 11 in Sarasota, Florida at the Sarasota Fairgrounds Ken Clark building.

The six-day comprehensive program will equip attendees with the knowledge and skills to combat sex trafficking effectively in the areas of prevention, intervention, rescue, advocacy, or direct services to victims/survivors. The program is part of America’s Future Get In The Fight campaign and if offered in collaboration with ARC. To learn more about ARC and to register for the Sarasota training program, click here for details.

PDPC Advisors Notebook

America’s Future Project Defend & Protect Our Children Little Flower Advisory Board have dedicated their lives to educating, helping, and inspiring others through their professional work and personal lives. As a unified team of experts and leaders of this important Project, they have pledged their time and talent to the future of America – our precious children. Our Executive Director Mary O’Neill and Board Chair General Mike Flynn lead the advisory team that includes Board member Lara Logan, Liz Crokin, Mike Smith, Lynz Piper-Loomer, Bazell and Tina Baz, Brian Gamble, Tara Lee Rodas, Silvia Almond, and Attorneys Alicia Kutzer, Ben Moore, and Bill Olson.

In this edition of the Bulletin, our PDPC advisors open their notebooks to share their “reader’s choice” selections to watch, read, listen to, and learn more about why it is critical for all Americans to stay informed and get involved in eradicating child exploitation, abuse, and trafficking in America and worldwide.

MUST WATCH MOVIE: Out of Shadows director Mike Smith’s new movie Into the Light exposes that psychological operations are present and active in today’s society. The bombshell film features experts in psychological operations and media manipulation, such as General Michael Flynn, Lara Logan, Boone Cutler, and Brian Gamble. You can watch the movie here.

MUST WATCH SERIES: In July, it was reported that the FBI will exhume the body of Joyce Malecki, possibly to collect DNA evidence. Malecki was found murdered in a river in 1969, days after a nun, Sister Catherine Cesnik, vanished. Both cases are featured in the Netflix docu-series The Keepers. The series explores the theory that the two cases are related because both women knew Father Joseph Maskell – and possibly too much – who had been accused of running a Baltimore-based elite pedophile ring.

OVERCOMER SEMINAR – TRAINING WITH PURPOSE:  “I Am Silent No More” author and overcomer, Lynz Piper-Loomis, will hold an online seminar on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (EST). The program is designed for individuals who have felt the horrific pain and suffering of child abuse and exploitation and who want to leave brokenness behind, take back their lives, and step into the light as an overcomer. The faith-based program will provide survivors of abuse with motivational and strategic tools and steps to reach inward to rediscover their core identity and take action as an overcomer. Participants will learn to understand a traumatized mindset, how to navigate the healing stages of the overcomer, and the role of destiny in one’s life journey. For more details and to register, click here. 

Reminders and Updates

SPREAD THE WORD: Share the PDPC Bulletin with family members, friends, and neighbors to help raise awareness about how to prevent child exploitation and trafficking in Americans. Encourage others to join the PDPC network to expand the grassroots community of Americans, helping to end the war on children. And visit the PDPC News page for informative articles and other resources, and to watch Not On My Watch podcasts.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: Help support the PDPC initiative by shopping online in the AF Store. Check out the assortment of Project Defend & Protect Our Children tees for the whole family, and a wide range of accessories like coffee mugs and totes. Thank you for your support!

 If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. – Matthew 18:6

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