When The Expose Boomerangs On The Exposee: Cameron Rowe's Hackery Of The "Porn Industry" (Part Four — Cameron Flunks Obscenity Law 101)

……Aaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnddddddddd, we’re back with more of our series of debunking Cameron Rowe’s mountain of crap he calls a “porn expose”. Feel free to review the first three segments at your convenience.

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Having finally gotten his fangs out of Sharon Mitchell’s neck, Cameron moves on to take on the briar patch that is obscenity law and its impact on the porn industry. He begins with an attempted dissertation on the infamous case of one Paul Little…also known and hated in some quarters as Max Hardcore.

Max Hardcore was a crusty old geezer in a cowboy hat that violated federal obscenity laws a jury found. The St. Petersburg Times, on October 4, 2008, reported Paul F. Little, aka Max Hardcore, was sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in federal prison for violating Obscenity Laws. He also has 3 years probation after his prison stint. Jurors convicted him on 10 counts of selling obscene material on the Internet and 10 counts of mailing it to Tampa via the United States Mail. The Judge didn’t give him the hardcore sentencing he deserved but he had to forfeit 3 websites to the government, pay a $7,500 fine, and Max Hardcore Entertainment was ordered to pay a $75,000 fine. Little was worth as much as $1.4 million but is now broke. The Judge did not care. In fact, the Judge went easy since he faced 4 years and 9 months in jail and between $1.2 to $2.4 million in fines.

The porn he produced was described as “messy” and violent. Some of the women in his videos claimed they were underage, one said 12 years old actually, then subjected to some violent, near rape actions at his hands. The fifty year old Max loved the “school girl” image and even put “Euro” on the label. He claimed that meant to be only sold in Europe not America but the Judge said that label “Euro” meant it was more hardcore than usual and only the naïve would believe otherwise. Some of his videos were “pretend rape with underage girls”. All the women in his videos were 18 or older but the Judge and Jury threw the book at him. Even Hustler’s Larry Flynt refused to help Max Hardcore in court.

Now…I’m pretty sure that old Max Hardcore did  manage to fit the definition of “crusty old geezer”; and his brand of porn wasn’t exactly pleasant to the ears and eyes. Nevertheless, the fact that he was tried and convicted for obscenity charges as part of a political initiative to go after porn in general, seems not to even bother Cameron at all. Even those who probably would have vomited at the sight of Hardcore’s scenes and his treatment of the women involved, nevertheless were able to sense the danger of this prosecution not only to what was still legal and consensual, if pretty brutal, acts.

As to Cameron’s charge that Hardcore used underage girls in his movies….well, none of the prosecutors in that case actually made that accusation, otherwise, they would have added stautory rape and child pornography charges (not to mention sex trafficking charges to their original arsenal. More than likely, he used legal (or barely legal) girls to play “underage” roles. Disgusting??? Unless you are into that, probably. But…still not illegal on its own.

Also…Cameron complains that Max didn’t get the “hardcore” sentence he “deserved”…even though for the counts of obscenity he was convicted for, the sentence he got was probably the maximum offered by law. And, the fine he got was greater than even the assets that was seized by the government, so that’s not quite letting him off the hook.

The 1973 U.S. Supreme Case Miller v. California was used to convict Little. It says obscenity occurs if the work lacks “literary, artistic, political or scientific value” in a “community”. See CNBC’s video. Patrick Trueman, the former US DOJ Chief of Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, said porn producers violate obscenity laws everyday if they were enforced by state and federal laws. Cities use zoning laws to keep porn out. Watch the video for more.

Ahhh….not quite, Cameron. The actual “Miller standard” states that a work can be declared obscene on three basic principles:

1) If it appeals solely to the “prurient interests”;
2) if it lacks “artistic or redeeming value”; and
3) if it goes against “community standards”.

The problem is, though, that the third principle is rather flexible, and can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and even from jury to jury. What might be “obscene” in Northern Alabama might not be in Northern California, and historically some state constitutions have offered more protections for sexually explicit material involving consenting adults than others. The only material that is universally found to be held as obscene is child pornography; otherwise, it is a crap shoot.

Now…right-wing Christian activists and “leftist” antipornography “radical feminists” for their own reasons have a more restrictive standard on porn — the former based on the larger “obscenity” standard that any depiction of sex outside of Biblically ordained reproduction within marriage amounts to promoting “sexual sin” and threatens Western civilization; while the latter base their opposition on the notion that porn is the main vehicle for men to “degrade” and “dehumanize” and thus rule over women via the “patriarchy”. Both sides would love to use the power of the State to push to “enforce” the obscenity laws nationwide and wipe porn off the face of the earth.

The primary arm of the Porn Police has been the US Department of Justice’s Obscenity Task Force, of which Pat Trueman was at one time a director. Trueman happens to favor the Religious Right’s POV that porn should be censored as obscenity in its own right, but he’s willing to exploit the radfem “harm to women” argument when it suits him. (Thusly, he invites folks like radfem “leftist” Gail Dines and “ex-slut” Ministeress Shelley Lubben to his press conferences to join forces to slay the savage porn beast.)

Therefore, it’s not all that surprising that Trueman would boast about the Max Hardcore conviction, and would also attempt to say that it applies to all forms of adult sexual media, even the not-so-violent (or even non-violent) forms of erotica. That Cameron takes Trueman’s words as fact rather than mere opinion or political spin says more about Cameron’s innate biases than it does about the truth.

BTW…for the record, this is the video Rowe was talking about. You will note, though, that the vid is actually taken from a segment of a CNBC news documentary on porn, that was republished on You Tube by Max Hardcore’s website before he was convicted.  Fascinating that Cameron would attempt to spin it in the exact polar opposite direction.

New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani used zoning laws to clean up all the porn shops in Times Square. If it can be done in New York, it can be done anywhere. Also, apartment complexes and similar businesses can put a “no-porn clause” in the lease, which is perfectly legal to do. Zoning laws such as no adult business within 1,000 feet of a school or church can effectively kick porn out of a community.

OK…except that Giuliani’s (come on, Cameron, an expert journalist like you should be able to spell his name correctly) drive to “clean up” Times Square actually was began under the administration of previous mayor David Dinkins; that the “clean up” didn’t get rid of all adult businesses, just the most visible; and that even with zoning laws and other means to limit the locations of adult-oriented businesses such as strip clubs, adult bookstores/theaters, and adult moviehouses, they are still existing and easily accessible. Also, VCR’s, the Internet, and online commerce has pretty much rendered much of these businesses obsolete, anyway. It really does depend on the attitude of the neighborhood here.

Neesa, a porn actress, claims she was raped by Max Hardcore (see her YouTube video) in the summer of 2002. She also claims 12 other police complaints of rape were filed against him by other female performers. He’s rather infamous in the porn industry with only a few wanting anything to do with him; Hustler’s Larry Flynt didn’t. The other 12 police complaints could not be found, since rape complaints are usually protected till a prosecution, but Neesa is not releasing names. No proof but her claim so it is up to you to decide.

.But…I guess that proof isn’t really needed, right?? If no complaints against Hardcore can be found, and even Nessa decided not to file a rape complaint against him; and there are other performers who happened to perform with Hardcore who swear on a stack of Bibles that they were never coereced into doing films with him and that everything they did was consensual, then why bring this up to begin with?? And, of course very few people liked his brand of film; but, in the name of defending their own right of free speech, many were more than willing to swallow their objections to defend his rights. Even — and especially — Larry Flynt.

John Stagliano was charged with crimes with his companies associated with Evil Angel porn production company for trafficking obscene material in interstate commerce in 2008. Politico said, “U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ordered the acquittal of Stagliano and two companies related to his Evil Angel studio…” on July 16, 2010. Some say the DOJ under Eric Holder blew the case. We’ll probably never know.

Of course, as the world now knows, Stagliano’s case was thrown out of court before his side even got the chance to defend themselves when the presiding judge effectively dismissed the case and threw out the charges, citing the obvious lack of any substansial evidence provided by the prosecutors. That may have been because unlike Max Hardcore, Stagliano (aka “Buttman”) actually made nonviolent hardcore erotica that actually catered to a somewhat sane audience, though the prosecution attempted to use some of the more exotic scenes of fisting (whole hands in woman’s vaginal area); anal sex, enemas, and “golden shower” scenes to freak the jury into convicting. Problem was, the materials used were so poorly reproduced and the transmission of the films in question was so badly botched that the prosecution’s case simply proved too poor for the judge to accept.

Strangely enough, the Politico.com article that Cameron cited emphasized the political background of the case: namely, the battle between the then incoming Obama-led Attorney General Eric Holder and some of the Bush holdout attorneys on the DOJ-OTF who were pushing for this conviction hard, as well as pushing Holder for more obscenity trials.

Why it matters: Recent Democratic administrations haven’t been big fans of obscenity cases, preferring instead to work on child pornography prosecutions. The George W. Bush administration was eventually cajoled into setting up the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, which brought a handful of cases against purveyors of what the government viewed as “extreme” pornography. No such case has been newly filed since President Barack Obama took office, but the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder allowed the prosecutions still under way to continue.

Stagliano was arguably the most mainstream of the porn producers to face prosecution. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has been pressing Holder to keep the obscenity task force running and to allow it to prosecute big-business pornographers and not just fringe players. The prosecution’s stumbles and ultimate failure in the Stagliano case may or may not reflect the broader practicality of obscenity prosecutions in the Internet era. Indeed, the Justice Department did score one high profile win in this area with some guilty pleas just after Obama took office in the so-called Extreme Associates case. But Stagliano’s acquittal will probably give top Justice Department lawyers skeptical of such efforts cover to wind down the obscenity work on practical grounds

The Extreme Associates case was the one involving producers Rob Black and Lizzie Borden, who were successfully prosecuted in Pennsylvania on similar obscenity charges to those charged against Max Hardcore. The successful prosecutor in this case, Mary Beth Buchanan, was ultimately removed from her post by Holder as part of a purge of the more radical Right activists.

So…when Cameron Rowe thinly implies that the Justice Department deliberately tanked the Stagliano case because they were politically tied to the evil porn industry, was he relying on his usual skills of “fair and balanced” journalism…or was he simply making stuff up as usual??  As he himself said, we probably will never know.

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Let us call it another night right here, and pick things up next time with the LA County Health Services standards for STI protection that Cameron wants to have imposed on the industry. As well as…why they really might not be needed.

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When The Expose Boomerangs On The Exposee: Cameron Rowe's Hackery Of The "Porn Industry" (Part Three – The High-Tech Lynching Of Sharon Mitchell)

All right…back at last from the Christmas rush, and ready to continue with this bad boy. For reference, just read Parts One and Two.

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We now come to the segment where Cameron begins his assault on the person of Sharon Mitchell, former adult performer and main founder/spokesperson for the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM-MED or simply AIM), who is the principal agent for testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) within the LA-based porn industry.

In case you have forgotten, a rump coalition consisting of public health care officials aligned with the Los Angeles County Health Services Department (LACHS), the activist organization AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF, led by Michael Weinstein), and antiporn activists like former performer-turned-fundamentalist Christian activist Shelley Lubben, sincerely want to drive AIM and Sharon Mitchell out of LA on a high-speed rail, with the mission of replacing the existing system of standarized HIV testing and voluntary/performer chosen condom usage with a regimen of mandatory condom usage on all porn sets and stiff regulations requiring the use of barrier methods (condoms, dental dams, and even goggles and gloves and other personal protection equipment) more apropos to heavy industrial workplaces where far greater exposure to bodily fluids exists. Maligning Mitchell is central to this because she has been the lead spokesperson and the woman most identified with AIM and their testing system.

The actual system was born out of a major HIV porn outbreak that took place in 1994, when Marc Wallace was found to have infected up to 7 people after faking a false negative test. Back then, the actual test used was the ELISA test, which remains the standard for testing for STI’s used by most health care officials. ELISA tests for the antibodies within the blood stream that contain the HIV infection. It’s 100% accurate for locating people with full blown AIDS, but, because the antibodies can be masked initially in people who are infected up to 2 weeks, it is woefully ineffective in tracking people who don’t show the actual symptoms of AIDS, but may still carry enough of the HIV virus to infect others.  Mitchell went and introduced a qualitatively different test, the PCR-DNA test, that used a different mechanism (namely, the level of the HIV virus itself within the DNA structure of the bloodstream. That test proved to be far more accurate in tracking the HIV virus (as well as other viruses such as chlamydia and gonnorhea); so much so that the industry now accepts it as the “gold standard” for their system of testing and isolating away HIV infections.

Now, AIM is not the only testing service that is used; there are others in the market that may use variations of the same testing regime.  AIM’s service has proven to be so effective, though, that the level of infections from HIV have greately decreased, to the point that there have been no other cases of infection on any porn production shoot.

This isn’t to say that the system is perfect, of course: there was a breach that occured in 2009; and, of course, there is the Derrick Burts/Cameron Reid scare this last October. In both cases, though, the infections originated outside of the industry’s domain (the female performer who became “Patient Zero” of last year was found to have been infected before performing a shoot, but inexplicitly allowed the 30-day test period to laspe before going on the shoot; and Burts, while making plenty of noise right now about how AIM disrespected him, did admit that he did get infected on a gay male shoot totally outside the jurisdiction of AIM.)

Nevertheless, the prospect of back-to-back infections has empowered those forces who have been attempting to force mandatory condom usage down the throats of performers in the name of “public safety” and “performer protection” and “role modeling” (the latter refers to the hope that forcing porn performers to use condoms would help encourage the public at large to engage them as “safer sex” propolaytics).  It has also fueled the fire of politicians wanting to find any excuse to either regulate porn into submission or simply banish them out of LA altogether.

Given that context, one can plainly see why smearing Sharon Mitchell and AIM is Job 1 with AHF, Lubben, the LACHS, and their media supporters. Naturally, Cameron Rowe is solidly on board with this, and he pulls no punches indeed in joining the lynch mob.

He begins with a reset of the original 2004 HIV scare, and the scent of a “porn industry” cover-up.

Porn star Darren James sued AIM and some AIM officials in 2005 for invasion of privacy and his suicidal attempt after his name was released that he had HIV. The lawsuit was settled out of court with a confidentiality agreement. Usually, that means the plaintiff won. James did say he wished he was the only one that got infected. The LA Times reporter Rong Gong-Lin II covered the story. (Note: No link since I could not pull the article from the LA Times but I made a copy of it in 2009.)

Now, it’s so nice that the supposed “journalist” in Cameron can say that a settlement in a case is a clear sign that “the plaintiff won”…which means exactly….what?? That Darren James wasn’t in fact “Patient Zero”?? Probably not, since he has publically admitted to that effect that he was the one carrying the HIV virus to that infamous double-anal scene with Lara Roxx and Mark Anthony (but more on that anon). That AIM should not have listed him?? They are required BY LAW to release the names and medical records of any performer testing positive for HIV to the proper authorities.  Also, you would think that the industry would probably want to protect their performer assets by not having them do shoots with infected people, which is why there also is a quarantine list issued of those performers testing positive for HIV for them to avoid hiring.

Now…the LA Times article Rowe cited is more than likely behind the Times paywall and inaccessable online…but if Cameron happens to have the article, why not post it through other means?? Even I have a scanner/printer at home, you know.

It should be noted that Darren James is now an HIV counselor and a backer of the condom mandate….but, surprisingly enough, he is NOT publically affiliated with AHF or the LACHS’s current campaign. You would think that having him on board would be a strategic asset for the condom mandate folk…so why is he not behind the microphone and people like Shelley Lubben and Derrick Burts are?? Maybe Black men aren’t useful for the proper pathos in a public campaign the way a White gay/bi man and a ex-slut-performer-cum-fundie minister is??

The porn industry, Gene Ross of AdultFYI, claimed Lara Roxx was actually infected with HIV not James. This could be industry spin since they are not the LA Times. Gene Ross admitted to calling her and demanding an interview and claimed she wanted money for one. Now, that is his side of the story. He posted the conversation. The impression of his wording of the non-interview was that of being harassing. She hung up on him. He claims some picture was taken of her anus the same day she worked with James. Another shoot after James, was supposed to happen but she had a rash she claimed she got from working with James and Marc Anthony and waxing. She didn’t do the scene because the male performer refused to work with her. If the rash was herpes, Ross has no proof the picture was the day she shot a scene with James just someone’s word. Ross doesn’t even offer proof the picture was Lara Roxx’s either. Unfortunately for AdultFYI, Darren James ultimately claimed responsibility. That and it looks like horrible spin by Ross that should lead one to believe the LA Times and Darren James’s version therein.

This is funny, because Gene Ross never claimed to represent anywhere near the mass opinion of “the porn industry” when he raised the question of whether Lana Roxx might have been the real “Patient Zero” or whether she might have gotten infected before then in Canada where she did another scene with James before the double anal scene mentioned. The main source that Rowe gives is an article that appeared at the AdultFYI website/forum where Ross cites some previous articles from AdultFYI to state his belief that Roxx might have been infected or may have gotten infected by James before that fateful shoot. The first of those articles cites a popular at that time online radio show airing on the website KSEXRadio.com on May of 2004, where host Wankus and actor Dick Tracey, who claims to have worked with both James and Roxx at the time, suggests that the latter might have been infected:

5/8/2004: Porn Valley- I’ve been suggesting to people all along that Lara Roxx, not Darren James, is Patient Zero in this whole HIV flap. And Wankus’ interview with Dick Tracey Friday night on KSEX, www.ksexradio.com gives me even more reason to believe that.

For one thing, Tracey lends credence to the Roxx ass picture that has appeared on Adultfyi.com- the one where Roxx’s anal tract appears to be housing a leper colony. Roxx is claiming she got that rash the day after she worked with Darren James which is utter nonsense. Roxx had that condition the day she worked with James, and here’s what Tracey had said to Wankus.

Noting that he hasn’t worked with any of the people who’s worked with the people on the quarantine list, Tracey said he got lucky in that instance. “But I’ve got a fucked up story,” said Tracey, referring to Roxx. Tracey said he could have worked with Roxx approximately the time she worked with James, that Roxx was a step-in for another girl who didn’t show up.

“She showed up on set and me being the picky bastard that I am, I’m, who the fuck is this? This wasn’t the girl I was supposed to work with.” Tracey’s woman Cailley Taylor who was also on The Wanker Show piped in by saying that Roxx was ugly and that’s why Tracey had his reservations. Tracey said another girl was also on the set talking to Roxx in the dressing room. Tracey was called over and the girl pulled Roxx’s pants down. “She [Roxx] had lesions.”

Tracey said he saw the picture on Adultfyi.com and confirmed that was Roxx. “When I saw that I said no fucking way am I working with that. I called Aria who was down the street. She saved my fucking life. I called her up and she came over and did the scene.”

Wankus wondered what was Roxx’s reaction to Tracey’s reaction. “She said that she got waxed and got this rash after she did a double anal scene with Darren. I’ve waxed my chest and stuff and I’ve never seen anything like that. It looked like the worst case of herpes I had ever seen.”

Wankus relayed the information that the Roxx picture was allegedly taken the same day she worked with James. However it was a photo shot during a “recreational” scene. Tracey said that Roxx supposedly showed up to “a certain interracial porn company” to do an interview to get work.

“They took her in the back and d.p.’d her off camera for fun and someone brought a camera in.”

Wankus said he had been told that Roxx had been turned down by other male performers, noting her condition but that James said he didn’t give a fuck because he was known to have herpes anyway. “This is what I heard.”

Tracey said he saw the Roxx picture before it got posted on Adultfyi.com and knew for a fact it was legitimate. “I know what I saw.”

Of course, I will remind you of the necessary caveat that this took place on an online radio talk show where hearsay sometimes tends to trump actual evidence.  But, it does give pause to the official “story” that Lana Roxx was the innocent who got infected by the dasterdly Darren James, who himself is alleged to have gotten infected in Brazil through sex with a male-to-female transsexual. And also, you can question why the studio in charge of that shoot would take such callous risks as to hire without testing first someone who had known lesions on her anal area to do a double anal scene….whether they were HIV+ or not.

And also note the fact that Tracey clearly in the interview identifies the woman in the aformentioned photo as Lana Roxx, and Ross openly states that in his opinion, Roxx was the woman described in the photo. A far cry from “there is no proof”..’ya think, Cameron??

This isn’t to diminish in any way the tragedy befallen on either James or Roxx…but it does go to raise some extreme doubts about whether or not “the porn industry” is covering up just to protect their assets.

According to NPR, AIM (Adult Industry Medical) HealthCare Foundation is being sued again by a mom and daughter who performed in porn and are alleging AIM allowed the mother’s results to go viral and someone posted her real name. The case is a class action against AIM. Highly doubtful lawyers would take on a class action unless they thought they would win. They claim AIM allows Much like the Darren James lawsuit, it’ll probably be settled out of court

This, for those of you who might not know, is the Diane Grandmassen/Bess Gerren (nee Desi and Elli Foxx) lawsuit that was filed against AIM due to their personal records being released and then posted to a blog. Interestingly enough, the primary instigator behind the suit (and the attempt to make it a “class action” suit representing all performers) just so happened to be…..Mike Weinstein of AHF, who just so happened to lead he tearful press conference where the accusers attempted to thrash AIM for deliberately destroying their lives by revealing their private information.

One small problem, though..the main claim of the suit was that AIM, by allowing porn producers access to the medical records of performers, was violating privacy laws and was solely responsible for the breach of privacy. Considering that most private companies who do drug testing also retain the rights to medical records of their employees as part of their mandatory drug testing, that’s a pretty weak claim. Plus, it was revealed that the records were taken from the production company, not from AIM’s office, and posted to the blog/message board from there…yet it was AIM that became the target, not the production company or the blog owner (It was later revealed that the blog/forum revealing the information was owned by producer/agent Derrick Hay, and ran by an associate of Donny Long, a former porn performer who has a history of outing porn performers.) Gee, I wonder…was it because AHF wanted to use these two women as part of their witchhunt against AIM and pull an Numerburg?? Even Darrah Ford, who is no supporter of AIM and who supports strongly the condom mandate, wasn’t buying into this..as quoted at her Porn Star Babylon blog:

Producers need access to the medical records in order to make sure who they’re hiring doesn’t have STDs. How else will they know who has whatever STDs? They could all wait till the day of filming and waste everyone’s time. But performers have the right to go into that database and see if who they’re working with that day has STDs. I’m no fan of either AIM or Sharon Mitchell. But if I’m a performer, you better believe I’ll be finding out beforehand if my future co-stars have STDs. AIM only tests for three STDs: HIV, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. That’s it!

What harm was done to Desi by having producers know her medical results? Don’t play victim without looking at what AIM did to the performers infected with HIV back in 2004. AIM released the names of Darren James, Lara Roxx, Miss Arroyo, and Jessica Dee to the media and that’s how many found out for the first time that their son and daughters were porn stars. So their families found out at the same time that their children are porn stars now infected with HIV.

[...]

I’m just trying to understand is there something that I’m missing here as to the harm caused to Desi and her daughter by having their medical results shown to producers. Or is this everyone involved just throwing whatever they can at the wall to see what sticks? Or did someone from the industry contact Desi and Elli in the outside world and make public to their family/friends/neighbors their past medical results?

Desi says her medical results are still available in AIM’s database. Well don’t they have to keep everything for legal reasons? They might also not delete anything because so many do come back into the industry. But I would think AIM can’t delete anything for legal reasons to not only protect themselves legally, but to also protect the performers from anything legal that might surface in the future.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation website doesn’t even mention that Desi and Elli are mother & daughter, doesn’t mention their porn names, performed in the same porn movies, and also worked together at the Bunny Ranch. Because would anyone take Desi Foxx serious in this lawsuit if they knew?

Also…it is just as highly possible that the information might have been pilered from the LA County Health Department, who also keeps performer records, .then released to the offending blog in a direct sting to implicate and entrap AIM. But…AHF is much too pure to engage in chicanery like that…right, Cameron??

It is here where Rowe starts to get personal in his high-tech assault on Mitchell. First, he typically slants to his and AHF’s favor the recent pulling of AIM’s clinic license.


AIM was created in 1988 by Sharon Mitchell and Dr. Steven York, an internist, according to AIM to test performers to make sure the porn industry was safe. Just this December, AIM was shut down by the LA County Health Department after its application for a “medical clinic” license was rejected. AIM had been operating under a “doctor’s office” license till California said they needed the other license. That alone should tell anyone AIM was either incompetently run or the LA County Health Department was incompetent. Mitchell still wears a white lab coat walking around like a doctor.

Now, hold on a sec, here…so the co-founder of AIM along with Sharon Mitchell was in fact a doctor (albeit an intern) with a real Ph. D. degree…yet Cameron has the gall to question Mitchell’s creds or AIM’s creds as a medical clinic or a testing facility??  (Remember, nowhere does Cameron ever question Dr. York’s credentials.) And of course, as the world now knows, the license was not denied, just suspended by the state Department of Health due to a technicality over the title of the organization…which AHF and LACHS duly exploited to exercise their coup.

But this is only the beginning of Cameron’s gnashing of fangs into Mitch’s neck. Onward to the “faked doctor degree from a ‘diploma mill’” meme:

Sharon Mitchell claims to be a sexologist. However, her Ph.D. in human sexuality comes from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. The Institute is still not accredited by a proper agency according to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Last year, it had no accreditation whatsoever including a state run one that really doesn’t count anyway. California’s Bureau of Postsecondary and Vocational Education clearly states it is up to the student to see the Institute is a diploma mill, degree mill and/or meets their academic needs. It doesn’t. Unless it is accredited under CHEA, employers won’t consider it. California is lax about kicking out schools without national accreditation that counts.

According to the American College of Sexologists, Sharon Mitchell is listed as having HIV/SEX/Drug-Alcohol Addition specialties. California does not regulate sexologists and neither does any other state except Florida. How Ms. Mitchell has those specialties is beyond the scope of an apparent diploma mill/accreditation mill. Even in California, that could be illegal to claim medical credentials if that is what she’s claiming. A serologist in Florida has to have a real degree and pass a state exam to be called a doctor of sexology or you are committing a crime. Florida did that because of basically prostitution and “therapy” that was not regulated.

Sharon Mitchell is no doctor, no medical professional, and has an apparent diploma mill degree. The American College of Sexologists will accept anyone if you pay the fees and have such a degree. If you go to their website, those sexologist in Florida are MDs, MSWs and so forth. One sexologist in California I looked up had a website that looked mostly like a porn video store. If Ms. Mitchell used that degree to apply for a job with a private employer, they would laugh at the degree since it is not accredited.

Well, well…so much for this notice that is on the front freakin’ page of the IASHS website:

The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS) is the longest standing graduate program in Human Sexuality with the largest resource library in the world. Considered the “Harvard” of human sexology study, The Institute is located in San Francisico, CA, and is approved by the State of California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education. Institute graduates are employed in a variety of settings, including medicine and nursing, secondary and higher education, research, the media, social work, counseling and therapy, the clergy, the humanities and administrative positions. The Institute offers five graduate degree programs for persons wishing academic training in human sexuality.

.Now…unless Cameron is accusing the institution that accrediates ALL higher learning institutions in California of allowing “diploma mills” everywhere, this (especially the bolded part I emphasized) should be enough to shut his piehole. California actually does have some stringent standards — a hell of a lot stringent than other states — for accrediation of its colleges and universities; and I’m sure that if IASHS was indeed the “diploma mill” that Rowe suggests, they would not have lasted one year….let alone 10. And, let him attempt to say to people like Dr. Carol Queen or Annie Sprinkle or Dr. Charles Glickman that their doctorates from IASHS are worthless byproducts of a “diploma mill”. (I’d add the honorary Ph. D in Sexology degree bestowed this year to Nina Hartley, but time is short.)

And as for Florida being the only state to have more “stringent” standards for sexology due to fears of “prostitution” and illegal “therapy”….well, how much of that is attributed to a right-wing anti-sex attitude from the politically dominant Religious Right which seeks to destroy any means of sexuality education not promoting the old saws of abstinence and monogamous marriage??

Oh…and that sexologist with the site that looks like “a porn store”??  Would Cameron mean….this site?? I mean..if he’s going to malign Dr. Susan Block for her sexology degree, then why not call her out by name??  What’s wrong, Cameron…chicken got your tongue??

Besides that, even if Sharon Mitchell might be overdoing it a bit by advertising herself as a doctor, there is no one dumb enough to question her professionalism as a health care specialist…and no one other than the politically motivated or the just plain stupid will deny her stewardship of AIM in doing the job in protecting performers in the midst of a major pandemic of STI’s.

On the other hand, only the plain stupid and/or the lowdown dirty person would go to this card:

She admitted she was addicted to Heroin for sixteen years. Not sure how many porn movies she was in since various places have said 900+ and over 2,000. Mostly in New York City’s tame porn industry. She did win awards for her work from AVN so she is a porn star just not a doctor of any flavor. Even she contracted STDs during her porn career including herpes. In 1996, which is sad, she was attacked and raped by a stalker who almost killed her. After that she basically quit the business and appeared only sporadically in porn. Mitchell was lucky since Chasey Lain has not beat crack (the person said she looked like a “crack whore”) according to reports.

Oh, yes…”so sad” that she was beaten and raped, but not so sad that she “admitted” to beating a heroin addiction?? And she was just “lucky” to overcome such a plight?? I’d say that beating such a rap and going on to help other performers get out of such situations would be a badge of honor for Sharon Mitchell..but who am I to say?? And the sources for such information, according to Cameron??  Sharon Mitchell’s Wikipedia page (as if the IAFD database wasn’t available, or he couldn’t be arsed to actually ioterview her personally).

Oh, and it gets much better (or worse). The source he uses for the crack on Chaisey Lain being a “crack whore”??  This blog entry by a J. C. Skinner titled “Keep your daughter off the pole” which basically resets the ranks of dead porn starlets (or those allegedly destroyed by drugs).  And..Cameron even manages to get that wrong; the actual phrase used is “crackpipe ho”.  Figures.

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OK….that’s enough digging into the shit for tonight. Wash down with a nice cold shower — preferably with double strength Chlorox — and we will continue this later.

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When The Expose Boomerangs On The Exposee: Cameron Rowe's Hackery Of The "Porn Industry" (Part Deux)

OK, Clones….break time is over…we proceed with Round 2 of my epic fisking of Cameron Rowe’s hackjob of the porn industry. If you need any background, see the Intro/Part 1.

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We begin the second round with Cameron kicking off his analysis of porn star salaries and rates.

The biggest porn stars are usually contract performers for a major production company like Vivid or Wicked. The average female porn performer working in one scene makes about $1,000-1,500 a day. The average male porn performer makes $200-$400. Both, in this case, are independent contractors not employees. Jenna Jameson, Shy Love or Belladonna can make more since they own their own production company. Residuals, getting a cut every time the scene is shown or sold, is not something porn production companies pay. Top stars can make a lot but most porn performers are your average ones chasing gold. Small studios probably don’t pay that much.

Jerry Butler’s book “Raw Talent” (circa 1980s) claimed the $1,000-$1,500 figure for women and $300-$500 a day for men. The legend Seka supposedly wanted $100,000 to do another movie. The late superstar Savannah supposedly made $10,000 a movie. This was in the 1980s but times have not changed for the average porn performer.

Now where does he get those stats?? From actually talking to performers? (Probably not, since there is an unwritten rule that rates are not discussed in public, as to protect the bargining rights of other performers.) From the studios themselves?? (Probably not, since they have a major disincentive as well from giving out rate structures.) More than likely, Rowe fishes these stats out of of thin air , or from quoting from hearsay sources.

From what we know about porn shoot rates, however, they can vary quite a bit depending on subgenre, studio, performer preference, or even specific act featured. Obviously, top-of-the-line contract models tend to get the highest rewards, since they tend to fetch the most for their brand names or studio’s reputation (as Ginger Lynn first did as the first “VIVID Girl” and Jenna would later do for both VIVID and Wicked). Most other performers not locked into contracts, on the other hand, are paid mostly by scene and degree of difficulty of sex act.

As is usually the case in a “free market” sitch, the high-risk/high reward acts are paid the most; with gangbangs, double penetration, and the more “circus sex” acts such as double anal and double vaginal paying the most. Standard anal, interracial (especially Black male/White female), and mild fetish porn (feet, mild BDSM, food, female ejaculation/”squirting”) tend to pay near the middle of the scale; followed by conventional boy/girl sex; solo masturbation, and girl/girl sex.

Of course, merely because an act ranks higher on the pay scale does not mean that it will become the most popular or most desired by either the performers or the consumers; it simply reflects the fact that very few performers will do the “circus act” sex exactly for fear of infection or simply because of personal preference. Most performers are more than satisfied with doing conventional b/g, g/g, and solo sex, with a few deciding to speialize in whatever fetish or special act (such as anal or fellatio) or genre (interracial, fetish) that pleases them the most.

Also…keep in mind that in the 1980s when folks like Seka and Jerry Butler ruled the industry, there was no “star system” or studio system that regulated rates, so the big  name performers with enough economic saavy could literally pick and choose their own rates. That is a far, far cry from what we have today, with an oversaturation of both performers and market.

And finally on this segment….remember that there was no Internet to fall back upon for those performers who didn’t have the marquis attraction or noteriety.

Female porn stars that basically build a brand of themselves can make up to $1 million or more but that includes conventions, movies, stripping, endorsement, personal appearances, clothing lines, etc. A lot make in the $400,000 range for top stars. They do work a lot to do so though. Branding is the new wave in porndom because movies don’t make the money, all the other things they do brings in the cash. Some of those endorsements are well-known companies according to insiders.

That’s funny, since I know of no porn performer who has their own clothing line out…though many performers do endorse various T-shirt manufacturers such as Mofowear. Many of the top line performers do feature dancing tours across the nation, as well as signing apperances at conventions and at adult retail stores…but the main base of their revenue usually comes from either making videos or paid memberships to their websites.

It should also be known that contrary to Cameron’s assumptions, most porn performers do NOT reside in the San Fernando Valley or in metro LA proper; instead, they will often travel from their home bases TO LA  or “Porn Valley” to solicit and do scenes; while relying on doing camshows and “exclusive” scenes done for their sites for the majority of their income. Given the expense of living in LA, especially in the depressed economy, it’s an increasingly enticing option. Plus, South Florida is now emerging as a center of porn production as well, and Las Vegas (home of many porn conventions) is also moving up fast.

It is here that Cameron begins to start to go off the deep end. The subject this time: escorting.

A lot of porn stars are not hard to “date”. It is expensive. Websites even gave figures on how much it costs. It is also known that some porn stars prostitute on the side. You can even book them through an agency via a website for “VIP Members”. Lela Star was listed at $2,000 an hour and it said, “Both. Full Service”. One porn star was $2,500 an hour. They will come to your hotel in specific cities. Prostitution? I think “Prostate Massage” might say yes. Champagne ready before they arrive is required. And, tips are appreciated. No, the website will not be published. As far as is known, it is not required to be reported to the police. Sure they know about it already. “Dating” seems to be way more profitable than making a porn video. And, no taxes if cash unless they are honest.

The rigors of prostitution, and it happens among porn stars and performers, is well documented. Prostitutes have always run the risk of murder, beatings, rape, injuries and sexually transmitted diseases. According to Hookers for Jesus, there is sex trafficking in America so they porn stars that claimed they were forced into prostitution could be telling the truth. Not enough information to know. However, it is real easy to get a “Date” if you have the money. And, I doubt a “prostate massage” (and others) is legal. Of course, you might just find an FBI agent in that hotel room rather than a porn star.

Now…let us cast aside the thinly veiled assumption of Cameron that almost every porn performer is an escort who turns tricks on the side; or his assumption that most consumers of said performers only see them as potential “dates” to be paid and then fucked. Considering that most performers are basically either committed to relarionships or in the business simply for the money or the sex, and have no need for hooking on the side, we can basically cast aside that nonsense. Notwithstanding the obvious case of those few performers who do actually work part- or full-time in legal brothels in Nevada (see Mika Tan or Sunny Lane), most porn escorts generally are quite selective in whom they pick as clients, both as far as price range and in taste. And unlike regular street prostitutes, who have virtualy no protection from either STI’s or the police due to their socioeconomic status and not legal standing, porn escorts have the advantage of regular testing for HIV and other STD’s, as well as a ready made resume thanks to their video/movie credits.

Of course, since sex work outside of the Nevada brothels is still illegal, it is equally just as likely that that person offering a “date” might end up being an  FBI or local police agent looking for a free solicitation/pandering bust. Most legitimate escort services, however can use the Internet as well as refined local networks to maintain contact with clients and protect themselves from both abusive clients and police stings. “Caveat emptor” (“Let the buyer beware”) seems like the proper attitude here.

And, it’s not surprising that Cameron uses the very fundamentalist Hookers for Jesus (the ex-prostitute’s equivalent of Shelley Lubben’s Pink Cross Foundation for ex-porn performers) as his chief sourcing for his rant. Maybe Melissa Farley wasn’t available at the time, right??

Independent contractors have to pay their own taxes. If one makes $1,000, they have to deduct an easy forty percent to pay state, federal, and Social Security taxes. Again, male performers make a lot less. That leaves an amazing $600 left. Talent still needs to keep themselves fit, tanned, etc. so that would eat into that pay as well. Jenna Jameson clearly is an exception to how big the business can be for a porn star.

Really??  An exception??? Please, Cameron, please. It’s not as if they do only one scene a month, or that maintaining their figures, their faces, or their libidoes is nearly that difficult. Remember, runway models, mainstream Hollywood actresses, news/sports anchors, and even secretaries are under even greater pressures to maintain certain weight and beaury standards…and they get paid a hell of a lot less. (At least, the secretaries do…I’m not sure about the anchors.) And while raking it as big as Jenna Jameson is the exception, there are more than enough competent women in porn who, by planning wisely and saving up their pennies and doing the hard work and making smart choices, can actually thrive quite well on a respectable middle- to uppermiddle-class income. And some of them even leave in better shape than they went in. Ask Julie Meadows.  Or…Vicky Vette.  Or…Lisa Ann. Or….

Next up…Rowe takes on what actually happens in a porn shoot.

How Long to Shoot a Porn Video?

Ex-porn stars have said it takes four to eight hours to shoot a twenty to thirty minute scene. That makes that pay now $250 an hour to as little as $125 an hour. Remove forty percent for taxes and that is $150 an hour and $75 an hour, respectively. Small porn production companies might pay only $500 a day so that is $300 after taxes. The performer still has the other costs of looking good. For the average porn performer that doesn’t sound like a lot of money when you can “date” and make $1500-$2,500 an hour. Not bad for an hour’s work if you delve into prostitution.

In porn bulletin boards where porn performers talk about pay and where to go to make a video, some have stated “Dates” are far, far more profitable and you just do a few porn videos a year to keep your star status.

The average video of twenty to thirty minutes takes four to eight hours to shoot. Even on porn bulletin boards they have admitted to taking that long. Former porn star Jersey Jaxin said the four to eight hours was the normal shoot time.

Now…it’s interesting that Cameron relies on “ex-porn stars” to get his stats on the length of porn scene shoots, since with little or no effort he could just have googled an active performer and simply ASKED them how long a traditional shoot took.  He may be accurate on the 4- to 8-hour length, since it varies based on type of scene, venue, degree of difficulty, and other variables, and has to account for the typical issues of performer flaking, makeup, technichal setup, and competence of performer, director, and support crew..

And once again, Cameron gets it totally wrong when he assumes from “porn bulletin boards” that most performers prefer to do escorting to supplement their income. Those who do might…but as I said, the majority don’t; they’d rather make their money off their website subs or through more legitimate and less risky endeavors like feature dancing.

All righty…the appetizer is complete…now come the main course. In which, Cameron Rowe gets to get to the crux of the matter of how harmful porn really is.

Are Their Downsides to Working in Porn?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV do happen. The real figures on the percentages of STDs and other illnesses are not readily known. In fact, it was almost impossible to find out. In California, it appears STDs are ten times more common in porn than in real life. That could be wrong or correct. Here are some stats according to New Scientist quoting LA County Health Department figures since 2004 (to 2009):

22 performers have tested positive for HIV
2,378 cases of Chlamydia
1,257 cases for Gonorrhea
15 cases of Syphilis

The LA County Director of Public Health said, “Sexually transmitted diseases are rampant [in the porn industry]”. It is questionable if those statistics were from porn or elsewhere among porn performers. Still, those numbers are shocking.

WOW.  That’s some seriously shocking numbers indeed. That proves his point that porn is indeed a dangerous profession. But…haven’t I heard those statistics before somewhere?? I mean, weren’t they quoted in some…..hey, wait a damn minute!! Weren’t these those same numbers that Michael Weinstein  of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the folks at the LA County Public Health Services cited last year when we had that scary HIV outbreak?  And, weren’t those numbers proven to be so inaccurate that even the LA Times had to retract them??

Yes, they were…and yes, they were. At least, the alleged 22 HIV infections (originally placed at 16 last year, this year elevated to 22 to tack on the four infected in the Lara Roxx/Darren James scare of 2004) have been proven to be a crock. Quoting Ernest Greene, who happened to be on AIM’s founding committee during that period (via Blog of Post Porn Activism):

But none of Fielding’s cynical machinations sinks to the level of his false assertion, trumpeted by The Times, that AIM has “concealed” an additional 16 HIV infections in the industry since 2004. In fact, eleven of those cases involved male performers in gay porn who are not part of AIM’s client base and who do not test with AIM and four were private citizens not affiliated with porn who sought testing at AIM for personal reasons. As required by law, all HIV infections detected by AIM were reported to Fielding’s department, which is how he comes to know about them, but were not disclosed to AIM’s heterosexual porn industry clients because they did not involve het porn in any way. And yet The Times reported this deliberate and heinous distortion of the truth under the blaring headline: “More Porn HIV Cases Disclosed.” In point of fact, there is no way AIM, Fielding or anyone else can know that the cases involving the gay performers were porn-related, as AIM does not monitor that population. But then again, The Times also characterizes mainstream porn as a $12 billion dollar a year industry, an unsourced figure frequently repeated in mainstream media and universally scorned as a ridiculous exaggeration by industry insiders.

Remember that the way the testing system for straight porn works is this: AIM does testing every month for performers as part of their agreement with the industry. They also keep a database of performers who have tested negative and are clean. As long as a performer tests negative, (s)he is kept on the database and cleared for employment. The second a performer tests positive, however, by law AIM MUST notify both the LA County Health officials AND the industry, so that production can cease and so that first- and second-generation partners of the targeted performer (or client) can be tested themselves. Any performer testing positive, along with any first- and second-generation partners who are themselves performers, are also placed on a special quarantine list which is also shared with production studios, for the obvious reason of avoiding the risk of infecting others while testing is done.

On the gay side of the genre, of course, AIM has no jurisdiction, and there is no testing regimen; they tend to rely on condom usage and segregation of infected from non-infected performers doing “bareback” sex scenes.

And then, there is this, from Julie Meadows, who obviously might have a slightly better perspective thatn Cameron, having actually been a performer:

In all of the numbers produced from AIM by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, none is sorted and filtered by actual performer; how many times one performer was tested and which are people walking in from off of the street. And just because someone tests and is ready to work, doesn’t mean they ever actually get the chance to work. Many frustrated men try to enter the industry but rarely get a shot to work because producers like to hire men they know can perform, rather than take a chance on someone with no track record. And we’re assuming that the entire LA population tests, and tests monthly, the way adult performers test, but all of LA does not test for STDs and HIV and not all test monthly, like clockwork. It’s not a fair comparison. If you actually sift through the numbers accounting for how many of the same people test constantly and how many Los Angelinos test and the numbers still come out high for adult performers, fine, but without a fair comparison the data loses significance in making any kind of point. Any sexually active person runs the risk of STDs and HIV, and this article doesn’t cover gay porn, but gay porn is a very important side of the entire industry with it’s own set of rules. A full exposé would include both sides, or state that it is specific to the straight side. Many HIV-positive performers are allowed to work on the gay side. Mixing the numbers but then never making other distinctions is a definite spin of facts, whether it’s conscious or not, and I suspect is isn’t since it is borrowed from other sources, but those sources are making a conscious effort to spin the facts.

In other words, most definitely WRONG, and NOT correct. But, why let the facts get in the way of a good essay??

It gets even better when Cameron attempts to mine the depths of infected performers to prove his case. And he goes for the jugular:

Lara Roxx went to California from New York to make an “easy” $1,000 for a porn shoot that her agent advised against. She claimed she was supposed to perform straight sex but they said the needed a double penetration scene or they didn’t need her. Since she needed the money to even get home, she did the revised scene and contracted HIV from porn star Darren James. He infected her and two other female performers. This happened in 2004 and shut down the porn industry.

A tragedy, to be sure…but one wonders why Rowe doesn’t resort to using Darren James hmself as the ultimate victim?  After all, he didn’t ask to be infected any more than Lara Roxx did. But I guess that pathos works better with young White women than Black men…right?

That still isn’t enough for Cameron, though….not merely content with abusing the memory of the living, he then goes on to exploit the duly departed for his thesis. Here the anecdotes flow thick…and often.

Besides the STD fears, porn actresses have been murdered, raped and one was killed in a bondage scene. The legendary John Holmes died of AIDS (mostly because he was into sleeping with the lowest class of hookers). Many have committed suicide including porn superstar Shauna Grant and French porn star Karen Lancaume. Drugs seems to be prevalent even on porn sets. Former porn star Jersey Jaxin said, “85% of performers drink or use hard drugs before a shoot.” (paraphrase) She also said a lot of the men use Viagra due to the long shoot times to produce a video. Other ex-porn stars said the nearly the same.

Zoey Zane was murdered by Israel Mireles presumably in El Dorado after he raped her; the aggravated sodomy charge was dropped. She was found 50 miles from El Dorado after last being seen leaving a bar. He was convicted of capital murder and rape and sentenced to life in prison. He worked near the bar at an Italian restaurant and they found blood in his hotel room and his abandoned car. Emily Irene Sander, aka Zoey Zane, was only 18 years old.

Even Jenna Jameson has supposedly been gang raped three or four times. Porn superstar Haley Paige was most likely murdered by her husband after she disappeared for three weeks in 2007; her husband killed himself before police could question him. Ms. Paige’s father supposedly sent her to Asia to be a sex toy for men when she was in her teens. Vanessa Freeman was murdered by a prostitution client in 2007. Rebecca Steele died penniless from a drug overdose in a hotel room while dying of AIDS.

The worst might be Natel King, aka Taylor Summers, who did porn for college. She was murdered in a bondage scene by pornographer Anthony Frederick in 2004. She was found in a black fabric with duct tape, bound with straps, a ball gag in her mouth, and multiple stab wounds to her neck, chest and hands. Police said she struggled. She was found in deep ravine in Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. She was on her side but her chest was on the ground. Anthony Frederick was found guilty of murder in August, 2005 and sentenced to 24-51 years in prison. Some said it may have been a snuff film shoot. No video was found. It possibly could have been sold to a client if it existed. Frederick gave no motive for the murder. She was only 23.

It would actually be so hilarious if it wasn’t so macabre…and so distrubing. John Holmes died from complications from AIDS due to “sleeping with lower-class hookers”??? Like, you knew them, Cameron?? Like, if he had slept with higher class escorts, he would have survived?? Like, his infamous heavy drug usage had nothing at all to do with his getting infected?? (Remember, folks…sharing dirty needles was and remains the easiest means of transmission for the HIV virus.)

And…while porn performers are not immune to succumbing to the easy access to drugs, I’d hardly say that drug addiction and suicide is exclusively the domain of porn…it happens to be a national problem for all professions and all industries. And no, quoting  from the ubiquitous “ex-porn stars” does not make it any more accurate or any less misleading. Hell, Cameron, why not just come out and liberally quote from Ministeress Shelley’s “Dead Porn Stars  Memorial” and save us the bandwidth?? Nor, BTW, does restating the totally unreliable and totally cracked stat of “85% of all porn performers use drugs before shooting”. (How different is that from this direct quote from the Right(eous) Reverend Lubben: “Most porn stars are simply diseased women who use drugs to ease the pain of their degrading sex”???)

Never mind also the crackpot charges based solely on hearsay that he makes regarding the Paige and Freeman cases, or the very much unproven (and denied by Jameson herself) charge of multiple gang rape.

The Natel King matter, though, simply takes the cake for sheer hubris in indicting the porn industry for its alleged sins of killing young women. Let us see here: a woman known for doing hardcore BDSM scenes is lured by a serial killer to do a scene, only to end up not only raped but murdered by multiple stab wounds. In the porn mecca of…suburban Philadelphia. Yeah…definitely LA porn’s fault there.

I’d say that antiporn attitudes and slut stigma had a lot more to do with her tragic death (and those of the others as well) than any actions of “the porn industry”…but what the hell do I know?? I just rely on actual facts and sheer intuition rather than the far superior talking points of antiporn activists. Bad me.

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That ringing sound in my ear is not my sinusitis…it means the end of Round 2, sorry to say. Take a deep breath, y’all, back away slowly from your monitors; continue your Christmas decorations, get the kids snug in their beds so that Santa Claus doesn’t miss your house…and prepare for the continuation of this series later on.

And however you celebrate tomorrow (as Christmas, Festivus, the first day of Kwanzaa or merely the 25th of December)…make it the best and most joyous for you and yours.

If I feel like it tomorrow, I’ll complete this story then.


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How Exposes Can Boomerang On The Exposee: Cameron Rowe's Hackery On The "Porn Industry" (Introduction & First Movement)

I don’t claim to call myself an expert on anyting. I’m just a man with a cracked sense of opinion on things.

Yet, when I do decide to state my opinion or to make judgments of other people’s opinions, I at the very least make the least attempt to back up my opinions with fact and true statistics, and make definitely clear what is actual fact and what is speculation or opinion. That’s what’s called in journalism school “accuracy.”

I also make abundantly clear that whatever  my opinion may be, you, dear reader, are entitled to disagree and even point out where you might think I am wrong on the facts I provide to back up my opinion. That is called in J-school “fairness”.

And, on occasion, I reserve the right to thoroughly break down an entire statement if I feel that it is so aggrevious in its wrongness and stupidity that it’s deserving of a detailed analysis. That is called “fisking”. (That term is NOT a journalism school term, BTW.)

Usually, when I take to the fisk job, it’s usually a quick case of hitting and running on obvious misstatements, lies, and other preassumptions of fact.

On occasion, though, there will come a tract so supreme, so eloquent, and so concentrated in its massive stupidity, and so demented in its delusions, that even an average fisking simply cannot reveal the depts of ineptitude.

I’ve fisked many a tract (usually  from some wingnut or antiporn radicalfeminist) in my years as a blogger…but never have I had the pleasure of having to devote so much bandwidth to such concentrated bullhockey as I will be doing today.  Because, it is THAT BAD.

In other words…Cameron Rowe: step up into the dunking booth, sir.  Your ass isn’t next…it’s NOW.

This will be a long series, Clones, so batten them down.

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Cameron Rowe is a blogger from Los Angeles who pretends himself to be an investigative journalist, and his main area of investigation happens to be the LA porn industry.

Two weeks ago, Cameron did what he considered to be a “classic” expose series on our favorite ex-slut porn moll turned fundamentalist Christian antiporn activist, Shelley Lubben, mostly concentrating on her credentials as a Christian minister, her film credits as a performer (using the nom de’guerre “Roxy”), and the financial records of her foundation/organization for “ex-porn sluts” gone born again, the Pink Cross Foundation. His work was so impressive that people ranging from yours truly to former performer (but distinctly NOT born again) Lydia Lee (who performed as Julie Meadows; I will use both names interchangebly), used his stats freely in our own exposures of Ministresses Shelley and her shenanigans.

Based on that, you would think that Cameron would become a consistent ally defending the porn industry.

Alas….we were wrong. Big time. Turns out, the Lubben “expose” was just a cover for Rowe’s more sinister agenda, and his latest “expose” decided to shift the spotlight away from Lubben to the troubles of the porn industry itself. And, unfortunately, as you will plainly see, Cameron Rowe isn’t quite the ally we thought. In fact, it seems that Cameron is more than willing to swallow almost to the letter every single stereotype, talking point, just-so tale, whispered notion, and outright lie ever spoken about “the industry”…and even create some new lies all by himself.

And…he manages not only to rehash ans swallow these libels, but he does so in the most irregular, the most inarticulate, the most disjointed syntactic essay I’ve ever read, with little or no format other than a few source links, and his own deluded opinions that the porn industry is so broken that it needs either intervention from a benelovent government or abolition altogether.

As painful as it may become, I’ll go ahead and debunk his assumptions in detail, by paragraph. It’s a dirty job…but someone has to do it.

Begin at the beginning..shall we??

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The Porn Industry: An Expose
By Cameron Rowe December 20, 2010

Note: Porn in California is basically shutdown to the Adult Industry Medical HealthCare Foundation’s closing. Vivid has halted production for the time being.

Ahhhh…right off the bat, our first big error. Apparently Cameron was so busy with himself and quoting the talking points of the LA Times that he missed the basic fact that there was and is NO shutdown in production due to the AIM offices being “closed”. This is from Mark Kernes, via AVN.com:

But despite the county’s cease-and-desist order, AIM is still operating. However, performers who need their blood drawn and urine sample taken will have to do so at one of AIM’s “draw stations” which are located all over the city of Los Angeles, in several other cities around the state, and with contractors in all other states of the union. Performers can find the locations of these draw stations either by calling AIM, which will be open tomorrow and for the foreseeable future, or they may go online to AIM’s website, which lists all the addresses there.

“People can pay for the tests online, and pick up their tests at AIM, just like they always do,” said AIM general manager Jennifer Miller. “It’s exactly like coming in here and the price is exactly the same, and it’s the same turn-around time.”

[...]

Bottom line: AIM is open; they just can’t draw blood at their facility, so they’ve arranged for others to do it—and the county, apparently at the urging of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, has overstepped its powers in attempting to close the clinic down—because AIM wrote the wrong name down on its application!

And in case that isn’t explicit enough for you, there is this from VIVID CEO Steve Hirsch (Bolded emphasis added for Cameron’s benefit.):

“We have been in contact with AIM and believe that the current situation is temporary and will be quickly remedied. There are other alternatives that we can utilize in the meantime and will do so. We believe the current system of testing works. Our productions will proceed as scheduled.”

Ahhhhhhhhh…OOPS!!

If this was a football game this would be a fumble on the opening kickoff recovered and returned for a TD. Add the extra point and you have:  Truth 7, Cameron 0.

But, it’s early, and Cameron does get his chance to redeem himself.

Porn is a Big Business

The worldwide adult entertainment industry is estimated to be a $97 billion business with California holding only $10-13 billion of the revenue with a lot larger impact on California’s economy. According to 60 Minutes in 2003, it is a $10 billion business in California and they pay $36 million in taxes. In 2010, TMZ reported Vivid paid Montana Fishburne, the daughter of actor Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), $1 million for one video. Later they offered $5 million for a multi-year deal. In 2006, according to UK’s Daily Mail Online, Jenna Jameson sold her porn empire to Playboy for $30 million. Jill Kelly had to sell her Jill Kelly Productions for a mere $2 million to avoid bankruptcy but still the money flowed. Jill Kelly Productions used condoms and fell out of favor with audiences that wanted Gonzo.

A heck of a lot concentrated in that one paragraph.

First, is that $97 billion figure worldwide, or merely within the US??  Does it account for all porn venues such as movies, written erotica, and the Internet, and does it include softcore-type simulated sex scenes and mere frontal nudity that barely counts as “porn”? Which figure is the correct one…the $10 billion figure in 2003 or the $10-13B figure…and is that from LA-produced feature porn alone?? What about Internet porn, that can be produced almost anywhere, or the development of Florida abd Las Vegas as an alternative mecca for porn production?? (And…what happened to San Francisco and New York, which were themselves major production centers of hardcore during the late 70′s and 80′s??)

Second, on the subject of Montana Fishburne: did someone manage to tell Cameron that Vivid basically whitemailed her to publish a private sex tape that she made on her own? Or that she herself decided, in order to piss off her family in rebellion, to make more porn movies on her own??

Next, to Jenna: Of course, the sale of her ClubJenna assets to Playboy netted her a tidy sum, but considering that she had set the industry standard for marketing performers through her work via VIVID and Wicked and then as an independent, why make such a fuss about it? Besides, even Jenna couldn’t hold a candle to the biggest sale of individual assets in the erotic world: Danni Ashe’s $!00M deal with Penthouse via DHD Media. But, since Danni only does girl/girl and softcore porn, I guess that didn’t crross Cameron’s mind, now didn’t it??

And finally, Jill Kelly’s financial problems…which had probably more to do with bad financial decisions and the government’s war on porn than with the essential nature of porn business itself or JK’s personal preference for condom only scenes.

But, at least, Rowe’s on somewhat solid ground here.

Undoubtedly, production companies like Vivid Entertainment and Wicked Pictures are the most profitable. Vivid is a $100 million a year company. However, the 1972 classic porn movie “Deep Throat” was reputed to have made $600 million to $1 billion all by itself. If that movie cost $50,000 to make, the profit was so large it would boggle a calculator. The LA Times tried to debunk the figure but the article by Mark Hiltzik. The makers of the movie did claim $600 million or more but it was reputed to be made by the mob so who knows. It would be difficult to prove or disprove the figures since only a select few know. But, the $1 billion figure has been reported often.

Scrrrrreeeeeeeeeeech!!! Stop right there, please. Let’s get to this Deep Throat super profit thing.

It was not “the movie makers” that put out the $600 million to $1 billion potential sales mark. That was quoted originally from an HBO documentary, Inside Deep Throat, that aired in January of 2005 in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the release of that classic. And, that figure was tossed out as a potential figure of how the movie might have grossed out had it been available on video or on the Internet, with adjustments for inflation to then current 2005 values.

Cameron’s source for all this?? A link to an article in a blog titled Museum Hoaxes that itself linked to two LA Times stories (unfortunately, archived behind their paywall) that challenged both the figures and the notion that Deep Throat was “the most profitable film of all time”. (As compared to..what?? The Blair Witch Project?? Star Wars?? E.T.??) Porn vids can make a huge profit due to both low production costs and the lack of having to pay royalties and residuals….but any porn film grossing anywhere near $1 BILLION would probably be the talk of the decade. Or..just the voices in Cameron’s brain.

Porn still makes a lot of money. If Vivid is willing to pay $1 million for a sex tape and sold 25,000 copies, it had to make a lot of money. The Paris Hilton sex tape made a fortune but wasn’t made by porn but an amateur. Porn videos are sold over and over again on different DVDs and websites. One scene could end up on hundreds of places making the figures almost unattainable. Basically, it is akin to cutting a scene from Star Wars and selling a twenty minute clip everywhere.

Really??  Porn makes a lot of money?? No duh, Sherlock!! Of course, the money made by VIVID through the Montana Fishburne video didn’t include the costs of the legal fees from settling with the Fishburne family who fought tooth and nail to stop public release of their daughter’s sex shenanigans. Also, the first sex tape by ‘Tana was amateur since it was a private tape; only after she signed the deal with VIVID and cut more videos did it become produced “by porn”.

As for the wonderment of compliations….well, Cameron, you do know that porn scenes are mostly short vingettes clipped together with a certain theme, unlike more traditional “legitimate” feature films, which include a moving and stable plot and character development. I assume that fans of Star Wars are probably not going to purchase a 20-minute clip of part of the epic climatic battle between Luke and Darth Vader/Anakin in The Empire Strikes Back… any more than porn fans are going to purchase every and all space-themed movie merely for the fun of watching  10 minutes of Vicky Vette deepthroating Ron Jeremy in Sex Trek: Where No Man Has Cum Before. There is a difference, you know.

So now, Rowe moves on from the makers of porn to the transmitters of porn.

DirecTV reportedly makes $500 million a year on pornography. DISH Network’s figures are unknown but both satellite providers have an adult channel ($30+ a month) and Video-On-Demand (VOD) can cost you $9.95 or more. Comcast, the largest cable provider, has VOD pornography and it cost $9.95 or more. The San Francisco Gate said, in 2004, Comcast was cashing in on porn. The article said porn was the half of the cash flow of VOD. And, that was in 2004.

Yes, cable and satelitte distributors do profit much from offering adult channels. Just as they do offering sports PPV, religious channels, nature channels, and mainstream movies via VOD or PPV. Only someone interested in censorship of adult media would find surprising that in a capitalist nation, capitalists would exploit greatest that which fulfills the greatest needs of those with money to spend. And, considering the profligacy of thievery from free “tube sites” and P2P uploading of porn for free, those who don’t have the money to spend can still get their needs fulfilled. And…THAT was in 2004, too.

Florida Governor-Elect Rick Scott has investments in porn Quepasa, know as the Playboy Mexico that is a social networking site, according to an Orlando NBC station named WESH.

Almost, Cameron…but not quite correct. The actual article from Orlando NBC-TV affiliate WESH tells a slightly different tale.Note also that the article was in fact in response to an attack ad launched by opponents of Scott in the Republican primary for the Florida governor’s seat, by a right-wing fundamentalist group supported by Scott’s rival, former state Attorney General Bill McCollum. It mostly consisted of debunking some rabid claims in that ad about Scott as not a pure Tea Party Republican.

The political ad also claims, “There’s nothing Republican about profiting from porn.”

Rick Scott has substantial financial investments in a company that works with an arm of Playboy magazine,

[R]ecords show.Quepasa is a company with offices in West Palm Beach that runs a social networking site targeting Latinos.According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission in June, Scott owns 13.8 percent of Quepasa — 2 million shares worth between $6 million and $8 million dollars, with an option on another million shares.

Quepasa has a partnership with Playboy Mexico to have Quepasa’s online community help feature and vote for “Cyber Chicas,” women interested in posing for Playboy Mexico.

The online version of Playboy Mexico alone features dozens of photos of nude women posing in an erotic fashion.

Scott is promoting a business with strong Hispanic connections at the same time he is supporting the Arizona immigration law that’s viewed by critics to be an attempt to racially profile and arrest illegal immigrants from Mexico.

So…a minority partnership with a online social messaging group that just so happens to offer its Latina customers a chance to pose for Playboy’s Mexican edition is tantimont in Cameron Rowe’s eyes to “profinting from porn.  Riiiight….in the same way that I am antiporn because I was quoted in an antiporn blog.

And then he concludes this section with this whopper.

Another company called AdultVest, Inc. was supposed to allow millionaires the ability to invest in porn secretly. Basically, you had to have a $1 million net worth to even get in to invest. According to Business Insider, they claimed a 50% return by investing in porn domain names. None have sold. According to the same magazine, the hedge fund is broke and accused of fraud. It is being investigated by the FBI and SEC. An investor claimed Francis Koenig looted the company according to the article.

A cautionary tale about the destructive value of porn, no??  Ahhhhh….no. Actually, more of a precautionary tale of how not to get hooked on flim-flam artists using the suposse inevitable profitablity of porn to fleece people.

Cameron actually links two articles to this segment, both from the Business Insider website Clusterstock. 

The first one raises some obvious concerns about the boasting of AdultVest owner Francis Koenig of a 50% return during  the depths of a recession: that was even hitting the supposedly bullet-proof porn industry hard:

But how could he get results like this? We know that traditional porn studios are hurting in the face of free online porn, and the public stuff like Playboy (PLA) and Rick’s Cabaret (RICK) (not porn, but strip clubs) have done terribly. For them, sex has not helped at all.

We asked Koenig what, exactly, he’s been investing in that’s bucked the trend, but he was unwilling to go into much detail. He noted AdultVest bought some porn domain names, which have been appraised at higher values, but which haven’t been sold. He also mentioned AdultVest’s stake in iPorn — a startup doing porn for the iPhone. But iPorn hasn’t launched yet so any value is going to be difficult to determine.

Until proven otherwise, we’re taking this claim of 50% gains with a grain of salt. We’ve been trained by the last year to be deeply skeptical of notional, mark-to-model values, and when you’re talking about valuing assets like iPhone porn startups and unsold domain names, our skepticism ticks up another notch.

Of course, it’s pretty hard to sell domain names when the already existing names are losing money; and the dream of iPorn basically got crushed with Steve Jobs’ “Freedom = NO Porn” policy.

And, as it turned out, those fears and concerns of Business Insider were more than justified. Cue the follow up article, please:

But perhaps our skepticism didn’t go far enough.

Sources speaking to hedge fund newsletter FinAlternatives accuse AdultVest of being a downright fraud:

Sources close to AdultVest Inc., which manages the Priapus Investment Fund, an adult entertainment hedge and private equity fund, say that it is spending investor money on more than just investments, and that what investments there are don’t account for the returns it claims.

A former investor says that founder Francis Koenig is looting the fund to pay for fine art, expensive wines, cars, personal trips and alimony. Meanwhile, a former employee tells FINalternatives “there was no capital being generated” during his time at the firm.

“There is almost no money left in the fund,” the investor, who said he was privy to some of AdultVest’s financials via a court order, alleges. “Koenig has an American Express black card through the company that he uses on partying, girls and high living. Most money is missing and iPorn.com is not worth what he says it is.”

“It just seems to me the whole time I was there that there was no capital being generated,” says the former employee, who left the firm last year because he felt uncomfortable working in an office shrouded with mystery. “And it seemed like money was being spent for things that didn’t need to be bought like cars, clothes and trips,” he adds.

The fund’s manager and founder Francis Koenig vociferously denies the accusation, calling it “slanderous.” He chalks the rumors up to a single, unnamed investor who wants to take his money out of the fund.

FinAlternative’s sources, meanwhile, claim the fraud has been reported to the FBI and the SEC, so we’ll be on the watch for developments.

Wait a minute…a hedge fund investor using sex as a means to seperate fools from their money?? Isn’t that what normally passes for capitalism these days??  And, the porn industry is responsible for this….HOW?!?!?!?

Oh, but we’ve just gotten started…next time, we watch as Sherlock Rowe goes after the actual performers..or at least, their buried bones.

Stay close….



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