Thursday, March 31, 2011


A friend of mine overheard a customer at McDonalds ordering a McGangRape. The fast food worker never missed a beat and filled the man's order. According to Urban the "McGangRape" is a sandwich from McDonalds similar to the McGangBang (Double Cheeseburger split with a McChicken inside) only you add an apple pie. The subtle difference, the site explains, being that "you know the apple pie doesn't want to be there."

The site even adds context clues for the uninitiated:

"Hey Mike did you get the McGangbang for lunch today?"
"Nah, I upgraded to the McGangRape!

(This is different than the "McGangRape" that occurs "
when someone or a pair of people do some serious killing online while playing any type of online game, preferably COD [Call Of Duty]." And again in context, "Dude we just did a real McGangRape on them mother f@*%ers." )

McGangRape the sandwich on the other hand, is a double cheeseburger from McDonalds with a 4 piece McNugget in between the two patties and Sweet &Sour sauce drizzled on top of the Chicken nuggets. Again, similar to the McGangBang minus the extra bun, lettuce, and mayo.

The McGangBang

Recently COH interviewed Actress Shannon Ivey about the brutalization of an eleven year old girl in Clevland, Texas. Last November 18 men gang-raped the child, filmed and posted the footage online.

Gang-rape is a vicious, hate-filled, unconscionable crime. NOT a fast food sandwich!!!!

Every year, around the world, as part of their conditioning, trafficked children are gang-raped by their pimps to break the child's will.

Gang-rape is twisted, demonic, sexual dehumanization. NOT an especially rousing round of video gaming!!!!

When words like gang-rape are emptied of their true meaning. When they are divorced from reality, or re-appropriated for some other use, they cease to be able to affect, to shock, to facilitate change. When words like slavery are used to refer to our jobs, when our bosses become slave-masters, when our spouses our ball and chains, those words are emasculated, sanitized, and become completely useless.

As people with a conscience, as modern abolitionists, we must take these words back. We must re-connect them to the horrific reality they denote.

30 million people are enslaved today in the world. Some in very real chains, daily terrified by their very real slave-masters. To lesson the impact of those words is to dilute the tears of the victims, to marginalize their suffering and to make mockery of their pain.

A terrified child enslaved. Picture by Amnesty International.

We must ask ourselves, if our
girlfriend was gang-raped, if our child was enslaved, would we be so cavalier about using those words so carelessly? Would the bitter sting of those words ever leave us? No. Every time we heard them they would sucker-punch us with shock and make us sick with sorrow.

Just like they should now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hollywood Actress Shannon Ivey Speaks Out About The Gang Rape Of A Little Girl

Last Thanksgiving an eleven year old in Cleveland, Texas was gang-raped, repeatedly, by at least 18 and maybe as many as 28 men. Her attackers even filmed the incident and posted it online. But although 18 arrests have been made, many in the community have rallied, not around the victim, but the attackers, even going so far as to suggest that the eleven year old may have had it coming to her. Disconcertingly, many in the local, and national media seemed to mirror those sentiments.

But not Hollywood actress Shannon Ivey. Mrs. Ivey gave the attackers, the town, the media, and the rest of us a fiery piece of her mind. In an online article she lambasted the attackers, demanded justice
be sought "relentlessly" for the victim, and made some very poignant statements about the way we treat the most fragile among us. Conspiracy Of Hope had the opportunity to interview Shannon and to ask her about this vicious crime.

In your recent excoriation of the Cleveland 18 (I believe the word you used was “bastards”),
you minced no words about their “demonic brutality” against an eleven year old girl. Were you most offended as a mother, a citizen, a human, a female, or a as person of faith?

All of the above, as my spirit encompasses all of these labels at once. I, like most of us, am offended to my core. Acts of violence elicit fear and fear is paralyzing. As a mother – I fear for my own child. As a citizen – I fear that our system has failed, again. As a woman – I fear the life long physical and emotional repercussions for this young girl. I fear the inevitable vulnerability as a woman to a faceless attacker. As a person of faith – I fear for her relationship with God. I fear that she will blame God. I fear that her heart may be too wounded to hear God.

I refuse to live in fear, which is why I wrote as candidly as I did. (Funny, I re-wrote this article three times. The first two were rated ‘R’.)

When an act as grotesque as this is possible, what does this say about the state of our society, our families, our world?

That we are all completely disconnected from one another and from God.

The trailer where the "un-named 11 year old was brutally gang-raped.

You blamed ego for the filming and subsequent release of the gang-rape footage on the internet. Could you explain that and maybe tell us what else you believe could have motivated these men to think this was acceptable, even brag worthy behavior?

I grew up in a small Texas town, so I fully understand what it is to glorify the manipulative machine that is Hollywood. In an age where amateur sex tapes have garnered Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and countless others multi-million dollar careers, it’s not difficult to understand why these young men would think that documenting this event would be appealing. We live in an age of instant fame and sadly, everybody wants a piece of the pie.

You wrote that one would assume that the community would reach out to this girl, protect her and demand justice. But not only did that not happen, they actually blamed the eleven year old girl, scrutinizing her "wearing [of] provocative clothes", "wearing of makeup" and "hanging out around high-school boys". Is this just a case of people distancing themselves from their own complicity? Or does it say something more sinister about human nature?

Human beings have always been sinister and corrupt; they just haven’t had the mass communication capabilities to broadcast it to the world. I believe the sinister problem inherent in this tragedy has more to do with being fiercely loyal to your label. “The Quarters” is the label that the Cleveland locals have placed on the area of town where this event occurred and where many of the accused are from. When you watch footage taken from the community – the folks from this neighborhood were extremely loyal to one another. It is a case of us vs. them and stick with your own. It’s bizarre – the label means more to them than this 11 year old girl.

Conspiracy Of Hope has found that one reason people don’t respond to the horror of Child-Trafficking and the sexual abuse and exploitation of children is because they can disconnect those victims from their own children and grandchildren. You wrote an ambitious open-ended exhortation for the entire nation: “To We the People: this girl has a name. She is your daughter, your mother, your sister, your aunt, your cousin and/or your friend. She has the same name of every woman you know and love. She breathes, fears, loves, cries, screams and bleeds.” You say a connection to this girl is the only way to “right this savage wrong”. How can “We the People” be compelled to do just that?

We must begin by facing the truth that we are all just one tragedy/choice/situation/circumstance away from ending up in the unnamed girl’s shoes. We must quit consuming the news with a shell around us. We must filter news stories such as this one with an understanding that this girl has a story, a pulse, a family. Until we connect with one another – this problem will remain at a distance.

iMurders(2007): Shannon Ivey & Charles Durning Photo Credit: Keith Krebs

Unlike many of your peers you spent a considerable amount of time in your article talking about the “un-named” victim and asked people to consider her in all of this. If you had 5 minutes alone to talk to her, what would you say?

I wouldn’t say anything. I would listen. Then I would act.

As a TV and movie actress, do you feel that those industries in some way encourage this type of deviant behavior with their sexual objectification of children and romanticizing of violence?

Absolutely, and to suggest otherwise is naïve.

What does your faith require of you by way of justice and why?

My faith requires me to follow the lead and listen to the voice of my Creator. He speaks to everyone regarding justice – sometimes His voice is small and still, sometimes it’s loud and clear, sometimes it’s just a nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach. My faith requires me to seek out the weakest link in our community and provide God’s welding torch. At this moment, my torch just happens to be writing and creating.

What’s next for the exceptionally versatile and artistically ambidextrous Shannon Ivey?

I watched my son suffer in NICU for the first 10 days of his life; it was the worst 10 days of mine. The experience inspired my first children’s book called, ‘Mama’s Kisses Are Magic.’ (Illustrated by: Scott Line) We have been working on getting it published for the sole purpose of using the proceeds to help abused, hurting and discarded children. (You can imagine how receptive the publishing industry has been – “You want to give money to who? Why!?”) These children don’t give up, so neither will we! I have faith that someone will get it – if not, we will find a way to self-publish. I have included the cover – it really is a beautiful book!

I’m also busy writing columns for (BTW – I’m not even Republican, which I find hilarious!) and we are just about finished with our sci-fi/action adventure screenplay called, ‘The Eight’.

Beyond that I’m gonna enjoy kissin’ my boy’s fat cheeks.

Any parting thoughts….

When I began researching this article, my soul wept. I can’t imagine the stories that you all have encountered and the lives that you have changed by doing what you do. May God bless your organization and thank you for welding the links!!!


As always, from all of us at Conspiracy Of Hope, thanks to all of you for caring about justice. And a very special thanks to Shannon for her compassion and candor,
for being a voice for the voiceless, and for not letting this nameless girl be forgotten, filed away, forever disconnected from love.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Facebook and Human Trafficking.

Recently Craigslist came under national scrutiny for its Adult services section
after several high profile cases involving the prostitution of minors. A recent study revealed upwards of 75% of prostitutes in New York advertised for potential Johns or contacted customers via Facebook. The dark reality is, that even legitimate sites can make everything easier, closer, attainable. Including child sex.

Last October, reported, “Facebook is failing to prevent child predators from posting suggestive and potentially illegal photographs of children on its website.” What may have seemed like a somewhat arbitrary and slightly inflammatory accusation has now proved true.

Tulsa’s Chapter Director for Stop Child Trafficking Now, Jason Weis, says graphic pictures are all over the social networking site. A quick search reveals a tiny girl tied up, one partially naked not more than 8 years old, and another little girl posing without her pants.

Then he clicks on the users friends and finds a whole network of potential child predators. "It's obvious, what he's into,” Weis points out a cartoon that’s posted on the users Facebook page and the caption in child’s bubble. ‘"Don't worry I won't tell anyone, Daddy. I promise. It's our secret. What do you think that means?"

He says pedophiles are everywhere, lurking and talking in code. "Look here, ‘13,14,15,16,17’, a taste for women. That's his ages," says Weis. "What I am surprised is that it is here and it is blatant, graphic, full color photos to see with no age restrictions."
In his brief investigation Weis says he found hundreds of disturbing pictures of children and potential predators on Facebook. He says, "Pedophiles have made child pornography, rape, bestiality, incest, mainstream on Facebook.”

Facebook says it does not tolerate child porn, “…Facebook takes down illegal material as soon as it is reported to us. In the rare case where we believe content may constitute child pornography, we take down the content immediately, use a sophisticated system to block any further sharing of that content, and actually pull it back from any users who received the content. More importantly, we share the content with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and then report the user to law enforcement."

“We have devoted significant resources to keeping offensive content off of Facebook — we have a robust reporting infrastructure and a large team of professional reviewers who remove thousands of photos a day [emphasis ours] from the site that violate our policies,” says Facebook Public Policy Communication Manager, Andrew Noyes.

And Facebook does police their site, through filters that pick up on terms such as “PTHC” — short for “Pre-Teen Hard Core” which is frequently found in connection with child sexual exploitation. But in a recent phone interview with Facebook spokesman Simon Axten and the company’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, the two executives were guided by to search for the term "PTHC" and then click on the first result, a public group Page called “PTHC,” with 197 members and a post directing users to a video supposedly featuring an 8-year-old boy being sexually abused.

Then, when they clicked on the profile of any of the group’s members, the executives were ushered into a subculture dedicated to using Facebook to traffic child pornography and to target and interact with children. reported "The executives were stunned that the group got through their filters, and vowed renewed commitment to purging that type of content from Facebook." And they are having some success.

AIDE, Australia — An international child pornography ring that operated on Facebook has been brought down with the social networking site's support, Australian police said Friday. Eleven people have been charged in Australia, Britain and Canada in connection with the syndicate, which involved people using Facebook to distribute and view graphic sexual images, police said.

It seems nowhere is safe from the reach of these wicked men and woman who profit from every type of sexual perversity and child exploitation. If you see objectionable content on Facebook please report it to Facebook right away using these tips provided by the site:

* Report a profile: Go to the profile and click the "Report/Block this Person" link that appears in the left column below the profile photo.
* Report a photo: Go to the specific photo and click the "Report This Photo" link that appears below the photo.
* Report an Inbox message: View the message and click the "Report Message" link that appears below the sender’s name. Note that you can only report messages from non-friends.
* Report a group or event: Go to its main page and click the "Report" link that appears below the group or event photo.
* Report a Page: View the Page and click the "Report Page" link that appears in the left column below the Page photo.

And check back frequently to make sure the content has been removed and continue to report the abuse until it is removed. Conscientious citizens can be the difference for these children. You should also report child porn to the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children online here or call 1-800-THE LOST.

Thank you for remaining vigilant, for speaking out, and for never being silent while children's lives are being destroyed.