Sargon of Akkad created a video about child sex trafficking rings. He did so in response to some readers insisting that he cover “Pizzagate”. Pizzagate is an internet conspiracy theory suggesting that Hillary Clinton and some of her aides operated a child sex trafficking ring out of a pizzeria. The accusation and wild reactions online led to an armed man taking it upon himself to investigate the Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria.
The accusations about child rape appear to be false. There is no evidence showing that anyone involved with the pizzeria committed any sex offense, let alone that they run a child sex ring or that Clinton is involved in any way.
Sargon argues in his video that some people have responded to this lack of evidence by saying that this sort of child sex ring simply cannot happen. He lists a number of well-investigated examples showing that to be false.
The reality of child sex trafficking is that it occurs more often than people think. It occurs at every level of a community, from the abuse of poor children to leaders of states using their power to run and cover up sex rings. Some of it goes unnoticed, while some of it is widely known yet rarely discussed.
Many of the victims have little recourse as it is difficult enough to talk about one instance of abuse or one individual abusing them. To tell someone that a group of people systematically and repeatedly abused you, sharing you with various people, often taking you to special locations for the abuse to occur, strains people’s credulity. It is not that these sorts of things do not happen. It is that they are so outside of the norm of what people hear and expect to hear that people are unlikely to believe them even when the evidence is right in front of them.
We saw this is the Catholic Church and Boys Scouts sex abuse scandals. While most people were willing to accept that some of the abuse happened, many would not accept the scale of the abuse until it was repeatedly laid before them. This took years of numerous investigations and court cases.
There is also an element of people ignoring abuse happening before them. We see this with the dancing boys in Afghanistan. The United States actively works with people who regularly rape boys as young as five. The US military and government knows the abuse is occurring, as does NATO and the United Nations, yet no one does anything to address it.
Another element, one Sargon did not mention, that affects people’s willingness to believe these cases is that there have been a number of false cases that made news. The 1980s featured a number of cases involving satanic rituals, child sex rings at daycares, and a number of other situations that later turned out to have been concocted by therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists who convinced people they had repressed memories about sexual abuse that never happened.
That certainly plays a role in whether people will take this seriously. However, in my experience, the primary reason people do not want to believe these sorts of cases is because they do not want to hear what happened.
I learned this the hard way by sharing my experiences and watching how people reacted. Even those who wanted to listen, even other male victims, were repulsed by the things I described. I responded by being more selective about what I share. I think many other people with similar experiences learn to do the same thing.
This makes it difficult to understand the scope of the abuse. We need to hear what happens, where it happens, and who commits the acts. It is not pleasant and it should not be. We are hearing about some of the worst things one can do to another person. It is particularly disturbing because the victims are children. They lack any understanding of what is happening to them and any means of protecting themselves. Quite often the people they should be able to trust the most are the ones abusing or exploiting them.
I commend Sargon for not playing into the aversion of the topic. Instead he showed the paintings of a woman who suffers from disassociative identity disorder. Many of her personalities paint, and one of them painted rather explicit depictions of the sex ring abuse Kim Noble likely experienced. Sargon notes that the images are disturbing, and they are. To be honest, I viewed them with little reaction because it is not the worst I have ever seen. I can understand that someone who has never seen anything like this could be emotionally compromised by the imagery. Take that as a fair warning before viewing the painting as some of them are very explicit.
I will agree with Sargon the smiling adult figures are indeed disturbing. It reminds me of some of the things I experienced, particularly how some people seemed to relish the suffering they and others inflicted. He also noted that the children often have etched or transparent copies of themselves that are separated from the fully rendered body. This also happens with some of the adults.
Sargon took this to mean that the adults were not themselves. I can see that interpretation and that is likely the intended meaning. However, I also took it to mean that the adults would compartmentalize their behavior. It is not so much that they are not themselves but that they need to enter a certain frame of mind to behave as they do. I also took it to mean some of the adults may have been victims themselves and were possibly forced to abuse the children.
The reality of child sex trafficking is that it happens all the time. People use the internet and secure connections to communicate and decide where to meet. People use their positions of political power to organize and cover up sex rings. Victims have few avenues to be able to break free of the abuse, and in cases in which the abusers are state officials, little hope of reporting it and anything happening to the abusers.
This does not mean that it happens everywhere or that no one ever lies about it. It only means that it can happen anywhere, that it is more common than people think, and it is often far worse than people imagine.