SOSEN, Alliance of registry reform activists at the SMART Office Symposium

On July 17, 2019, the SMART Office held a symposium to promote strategies to prevent sexual violence, a strategy which included promotion of the public registry. The Alliance formed of various registry reform organizations, including SOSEN, believes that prevention of sexual violence is important, but we remain skeptical that a publicly accessible registry is part of the strategy. Thus, we felt it important to attend the symposium held by the SMART Office.

About a dozen members of various organizations, including Women Against Registry, OnceFallen, SOSEN, CURE-SORT, FAC, ACSOL, and other groups attended. (NARSOL backed out of the alliance.) Most of us wore red shirts as a sign of unity; the front read “All In,” the back read “The Registry Does Not Protect Children.” We also wore buttons with the words “SORNA” with a red line through the letters. These shirts and buttons made it easy for us to approach people to discuss our position on the registry. Curious people had no reservations asking us about our shirts and buttons. It gave us opportunities to speak to event attendees throughout the day.

The day began with intros from various dignitaries, including Jon R. Lausch, Jr., the US Attorney for the North District of Illinois, who stated sex crimes are all “reprehensible crimes” and victims are “damaged forever.” Statements like this harm victims because it tells them they can never heal; victims hearing this statement may lack motivation to heal.

John F. Clark, current President and CEO of NCMEC gave an intro focused on discussing increasing technology in modern society. He made a comment regarding today’s technology as “George Orwell on Steroids.” I found this statement very profound. I did hear a good idea from Mr. Clark. NCMEC has a wall mural in which visitors can scribble messages; perhaps we can incorporate a similar strategy for future Anti-Registry Movement art events. Also worth noting is his statement that 38% of cybertip line reports of the 20 year history of this tip line occurred in 2018. Perhaps it was due to the high-profile media stories, or perhaps there was an increase on cyberbullying (also mentioned) by Mr. Clark offered no reasons for the spike, so we can only speculate the reasons.

Katherine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, invoked the Larry Nassar case. Ms. Sullvan stated that while most “sex offenders” are “NOT future threats,” she added “it only takes one like him” to destroy “untold lives.”

Stacie B. Harris discussed the PROTECT Act’s report on the “National Strategy for Child Sexual Exploitation and Interdiction,” a public document published first in 2010 and 2016, and the 2020 version is under review. Those at the event were asked to contribute to this paper through public statement.

After a short break, there was a discussion about the use of DNA to solve a 1988 rape/ murder case of April Tinsley. The killer had no prior adult arrest record (but had a juvenile sex offense arrest), and lacked records in the DNA and fingerprint databases. The investigator used the term “pervert” a few times throughout the lecture and engaged in some typical police chest-thumping., like bragging how he would have “taken him down” if the suspect entered a nearby park. (It is also worth noting the presenter described a minor who found and a note taunting the police as a “victim.”) This case had 1300 suspects, but was only able to eliminate 900 cases due to jail records or DNA

Throughout the two-day symposium, we would hear this prevailing theme of stating few statistics but plenty of anecdotal examples utilized to promote the need for SORNA. Unsurprisingly, the few statistics presented were all favorable to SORNA

Gini and I spoke with a number of people throughout the day. Gini spoke with NCMEC President/ CEO John F. Clark. Gini presented Mr. Clark with the position statement created by SOSEN and OnceFallen and expressed our desire for a system based upon evidence rather than fear. I was stopped by two different law enforcement agents curious about my shirt during the first break of the day. The first cop was from Niagra NY and he was unashamedly pro-registry, but softened up a bit when I reminded him about how a NY study found most sex crimes were committed by those with no prior sex offense arrest record. A second LEO agent from Southern Indiana expressed his skepticism to the registry, noting those skeptical of the registry don’t often talk about the skepticism because of concerns people will state they’re “lousy” at their jobs. Gini spoke to a cop from the Chicago PD that shared the skepticism of the Indiana cop. My personal experience is that many LEOs working directly with registering folks share this skepticism.

Gini and I stayed together for the two afternoon workshops. For the first afternoon workshop, we chose the workshop “Library of Congress Research on SORNA.” It seems the Library of Congress also has a vested interest in promoting SORNA. Their presentation was a wholesale denial of the impact studies. They claimed nearly every study regarding skeptical of efficacy of the registry, the collateral consequences, and the cost of SORNA were considered invalid by their standards. Interestingly, they used a 2008 Adam Walsh Act cost study as an example. They claimed a certain study estimating a cost benefit analysis was invalid for Ohio because they used a formula based on a Virginia cost study, but considered an Ohio legislative report that only considered the cost of the Offender Watch software in their cost analysis. I confronted them with a number of facts about the true cost of the registry in Ohio due to increased number of lifetime registrants. I also asked them if they treated SMART’s choice of research with the same skepticism, bringing up the Prentky study as an example. Judging by the reaction to Prentky, it seems the Library of Congress did not give the SMART propaganda the same degree of skepticism.

Gini and I chose to sit in the workshop on “Investigating and Prosecuting FTR Cases in Indian Country.” Tribal laws are rather complex, so I was learning something new. But I still had the opportunity to pepper a US Marshal about their claims of having authority to conduct compliance checks. He could not cite a specific statute, stating it was some administrative decision. (He’d give me a different answer the next day that is was somewhere around 18 USC 500 and I’ll just have to Google it, and federal law gives them the authority to create “task forces.”

I believe the most infuriating discussion I had during the entire event came after the last workshop of the day. As Gini and I waited for the rest of our team, a very large Native American from Montana struck up a conversation with us; he started of by gloating that anyone who hurts their “precious ones” are exiled from their tribal lands. I told him how appalled I was and said it reminds me of the Old Testament. He also told me how much he hates Christians, especially Catholics, because “all priests are pedophiles.” (Incidentally, I happen to be both Native American and Catholic.) On the upside, he told me that the Crow nation has a reintegration program, so my faith in my Native ancestors was at least partially restored.

After a full day of dealing with SMART Office propaganda and personal biases of numerous symposium attendees, Gini and I weren’t as excited about day two. Gini decided to attend the workshop on “Psychopathic Sex Offenders” while I chose the workshop for “Investigating State and Federal Failure to Register Cases.” The highlight of the presentation I attended was watching Angela Serafin, deputy of the Bernalillo Co NM Sheriff’s Department, was completely schooled on her presentation by a member of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. It shows many of the local police have no clue about the actual laws they are paid to enforce.

Gini suffered through probably the worst of the sessions, full of discussions about “predators and pedophiles.” Gini told me one of the presenters was Marnie Dollinger, who worked at the Moose Lake MN Civil Commitment Center. We both sought Marnie; upon finding her, Gini and I took turns criticizing the program; Gini told her the center was both a waste of resources and a concentration camp, and I had told her that if her program only released their prisoners in body bags, then her program needs to find a better strategy.

Gini and I stayed near the main ballroom during the lunch break; since we still had a few fliers left, we left a few on random tables, particularly the “reserved tables.” We had a nice chat with a man who runs a prison outreach group connected to the Wayside Cross Ministries. We stayed for one last presentation on “Using Analytical Data to Assist With ‘Sex Offender’ Based Operations.” (Or, if you prefer, how to Data-Mine.) There was nothing significant to note except for one slide used in discussing investigating whether a registrant is dead. The slide used a fictitious address of “666 Dead Sex Offender Lane.” This was yet another subtle, passive-aggressive swipe at registered persons.

To review, I feel like the event went the way we expected it to happen. There were over a dozen activists working to speak with a diverse number of people. The shirts were conversation starters. Not every conversation we had were met with dismissal or skepticism. We also heard a fair share of pro-registry propaganda. I did not hear many stats, only plenty of anecdotes. It was also good to work in cooperation with other organizations working for a common cause. SOSEN was well-represented at this event, as were the other organizations in this alliance. I believe going to this event was also a worthwhile investment. I am certain the other groups in this alliance would agree.

Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com

16 comments for “SOSEN, Alliance of registry reform activists at the SMART Office Symposium

  1. AKA Wonder Woman
    July 20, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Re: 666 Dead Sex Offender Lane. How unprofessional can a person be?

    When I manage to get past that part of your report, I’ll comment on the rest of it. Gini, I’m sure that you handled this a million times better than I would have.

    Good job, Gini and Derek

    • July 21, 2019 at 3:21 am

      Thanks.

      I forgot to mention that Niagra PD guy also bragged about registering dead registrants. I mocked him a bit, asking him if he registers the dead out of fear of zombie registrants. He said it gave people a sense of security, my response was he meant a false sense of security. He had to give me that one.

      On the upside, not every cop shared his sentiment.

      • Tim
        July 26, 2019 at 6:02 pm

        The appearance of efficacy- that’s all that counts for LE. Machiavelli called it availability in leadership- even for
        poor rulers in the ultimate demise neglected.
        SOR was justification for other uses of the machine database – to help advance the propriety of domestic electronic surveillance of the whole body. If you can electronic monitor 1 of many. Citizens falling into the trap daily – forever indicted here after. The OLDEST trick in the political book. But there is far more dangerous implications – speech as in NC V packingham , Continuous electronic search as in NC V Grady.(30*x, per sec SBM)! What about the sovereignty in vote and the electronic poll tabulation?
        https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/mitch-mcconnell-received-donations-from-voting-machine-lobbyists-before-blocking-election-security-bills/ar-AAEUGcx?ocid=AMZN

        Right about now the fine folks in Saratoga Springs are laughing their assets off with glorious jubilation holding the mega cache & IML – THE NOT SO PASSIVE BIG GOV ACTIVITY ON THE ISSUE.
        Fiat de compli on the crumbling remnants of the unionized democratic federo-socialist disguised as progressives. The permanent victim class clamoring for torts. FB just coughed up 5B! You see a nickel?I
        Privacy violation WTF is SOR if not a privacy violation?

      • LoneWolf
        August 6, 2019 at 8:04 pm

        Derek~

        Sorry I didn’t respond sooner to this (about the Niag PD guy) have had some other things to do here .. but .. as they say .. better late than never 🙂

        If the guy you are referring to is who I THINK it is .. (won’t mention name here ) It really DOESN’T surprise me at all about the way he was talking ..

        In the times I had to deal with him( for my pic and residential updates and occasional home visits) I mentioned to him as well about having a KNOWN(by me personally .. he was a good friend of mine and I attended his memorial) deceased RSO on the list .. (which that deceased person is still listed as of my checking tonight) he brushed it off as a “who gives a s#!T” attitude .. and he acts like he’s the “end all be all ” for this area. And any “bad talking” about him directly or interectly .. he thinks of as a “compliment” in a way ..

  2. July 21, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    I had the distinct ‘honor’ of unknowingly sitting next to the lady whose name I soon recognized as the individual who loves to make the lives of of the individuals required to register in Arkansas miserable. She said they lie about their cases. Before we ended our ‘discussion’ I told her she was entitled to her opinion but not to the ‘facts!’

    Vicki Henry
    Women Against Registry

    • Steve. B
      August 6, 2019 at 1:43 pm

      Vicky,you should have retorted: “You people lie about it being a public safety tool, then take false credit for protecting children.”

  3. Tim in WI
    July 22, 2019 at 6:56 am

    At your courage!
    Wow went right into the den of thieves! Noting the position of the library of Congress and their involvement may equate to a distorted revisionist history concerning the indenture of humans to machine. It was a good thing they did, when in fact it was not good for plain liberty at all. A few courts have already decided ex post application is unconstitutional. How it is time to start talking about its use – period.

  4. July 24, 2019 at 7:18 am

    https://ncjtc.fvtc.edu/training/details/TR00008362/TRI0008364/sorna-symposium

    The slides from the presentations made at the 2019 SMART Symposium is available for those who wish to download them.

  5. Sue in WI
    July 24, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you for being there. I wouldn’t be able to
    contain my anger at the propaganda and
    bullshit.

    • Tim in Beloit
      July 26, 2019 at 4:55 pm

      Sue,
      I’m facing FTR in Rock Co. WI, Aug. 1 I see the judge and attempt to set a trial date. I took forward to putting certain questions to Agent. I can’t wait to show a jury what an ex post facto law looks like.

  6. Mp
    July 30, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Thank you for reporting back on what happened and thank you to all who attended. Why no NARSOL?

    • Tim
      August 1, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      Why no NARSOL, very good question.
      Sometimes it is better to confront accusers directly that’s why I’ve admiration for those who did ” show up in person. ” Derek is a leader and could pin them all down on their blatant intellectual dishonesty. To presume posting online prevents attack, or possibly could, fails to consider the mind frame of determined attackers.
      Having a database is one thing, indenturing a mass of individuals to its upkeep is quite another. Their is human subservience in it, without guarantee of any kind with respect to appropriate affirmative restraint upon future attacks.( Efficacy )
      CP user\ downloader doesn’t actually commit an attack ; yet they’re registered to prevent future attack which they’ve not been found guilty of, nor proven capable of.

      The reasons the benevolent ones desperately cling on the the SORNA databases has more to do with their political security, than public safety. SOR AGENT is a high paid light duty job- supervision without effort.

  7. Tim in WI
    July 30, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Copy cats – another substantive outcome from database mania and overwrought incessant broadcasts!
    Here’s a story.https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/wisconsin-sheriff-draws-parallel-with-closs-case/ar-AAF4RpT?ocid=AMZN

  8. July 31, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Thank you for attending that… I know I couldn’t do it without ending up in jail myself.

    I am curious to what defense the director from the MN civil confinement place responded with after you berated her. Like others did you find that she is skeptical or has she been in that position for too long and like a hammer sees everything like a nail, sees every offender like a predator?

    All of you that attended have done a great job! Thank you for representing at a place that may not have appreciated it but had to deal with it.

  9. AKA Wonder Woman
    August 1, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    I wanted to go, but, after I read about that symposium, I realize that I couldn’t have been kind to those people who are in the business of destroying lives by promoting the registry. Not that they care about kindness, I understand that. And I guess it would be better to be more forgiving for their ignorance, but it doesn’t work in my head when they do everything that they possibly can to break up relationships, and destroy little children’s lives. To deny the basics of life such as a secure home, a job, and parents who can travel with their children, that is not rehabilitation, that is not protecting anyone; that is systematically and intentionally destroying lives.

    Kudos to those of you who went to represent us.

    • MARK S.
      August 5, 2019 at 8:46 am

      It is all true. You ever wonder why laws are being passed i.e.: just like sex offender laws right and left stripping Americans of their constitutional rights, civil liberties, natural rights, and freedoms. Why do federal and state courts make it more and more difficult to prove actual innocence or much lesser criminal charges or force innocent people to take false guilty plea agreements? Why are so many laws being passed turning America into a growing police state control grid? Why are tech companies trying to dictate who will get to become the next President of the United States in the future for America as another example?

      The truth is, for those who study psychopathic behavior and learn sociology; the horrible truths will be learned. The truth is that psychopaths and sociopaths have infiltrated governments across the world including the United States. They desire power and/or money; they want control over the common folk. They want to control the people.

      They are obsessed with controlling other people because they can’t control themselves. They are behaving, in a way, like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD]. They have a desire, whether sexual or non-sexual, a desire to control other people and dictate their personal lives just as the main stream media is complicit with them judging other people by how they live or have done in the past while acting perfect, hiding the skeletons in their own closets.

      Like an abusive husband or wife, the need to hit/kick/assault or utter abusive language to intimidate the other spouse into submission out of fear of retaliation.

      They use terrorism, the excuse of deterring crime through the criminal justice system (that of sex offender registration), or saving the environment by controlling human behavior, and other excuses. Excuses is all they have to try to control and dictate how humanity will develop, how humanity thinks and will think, how humanity will behave and will behave.

      The psychopathic control-freaks want to work for governments; they want to infiltrate it by either elections or by appointments. They want to run our governments and governing bodies so that they can control our personal lives, one way or another.

      Just my opinion which i fell buttresses Derek Logue’s commentary above. I posted this last month 7/7/19, with respect to the SMART office. I am judging from the comments in this post – I hit a home run with this slightly older post AKA Wonder Woman.

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