By Alvin Erickson

If a Person is a Regular Viewer of Pornography, Has That Person Also Been a Victim of Trafficking?

© 2023 Adults Saving Kids

To answer this question, we first must learn how a trafficker works.  Here are the steps.

  1. The trafficker scopes out what is of interest, what is the hot button to be pushed of the potential victim.
  2. Presents himself or herself in a positive manner to the potential victim.   No red flags!
  3. Finds ways to engage with the potential victim in a non-threatening way with just the subjects where the victim has key interest. 
  4. Now presents a winsome opportunity that will build on that interest of the potential victim.
  5. Has now got the potential victim thinking how compelling and exciting this opportunity  is.
  6. Asks for a choice to be made when he or she senses the potential victim is ready to grab the hook.
  7. Hidden behind this choice is an agenda of consequences only known to the trafficker.
  8. Laid out before the potential victim are all the immediate benefits that will satisfy the victim’s desire for immediate gratification.  Future severe hardships never mentioned.
  9. Once the potential victim decides to go along with the opportunity offered by the trafficker, a process begins which will lead to more and more control by the trafficker and less and less ability to control any outcome by the victim.
  10. This process leads to a state of helplessness as the victim is now in like an 80 foot hole and nobody like friends or relatives have more than a 20 foot rope.
  11. At this point the trafficker has become the master and the trafficked person is now his or her possession.
  12. The trafficker now gets paid because the victim is now bringing in the money to support him or her.

Pornographers Leading Victims into Compulsive Use

Now let review these steps as they might apply to someone caught in persistent use of pornography.

Step One: The pornographer looks and realizes quickly there are people out there who have different desires that involve seeing members of the opposite or same sex naked and performing sexual acts.

Step Two:  The pornographer does not reveal his or her identity but does in a positive way invite this person to focus on and view without pay or concern the tantalizing possibility of viewing what that person desires to view or might just be curious about. 

Step Three:  Perhaps the potential victim runs across a pornography site while doing homework or something like that.  No danger signs are shown.  Only what is attractive.

Step Four:  The potential victim is struck by seeing young attractive people who seem very willing to share their bodies and looks with the person viewing.

Step Five: Here are people of different looks, different body shapes, some reminding the viewer of people they know or have seen but would never come to them in a state of undress.

Step Six: Even though all of this started possibly as just stumbling on to a porn website, the viewer is now put into the position of choosing or not choosing to get back again to such a website or other porn websites.

Step Seven:  At this point the viewer has no idea where this is going for what the pornographer is seeking to accomplish which is ongoing compulsion is never mentioned but remains hidden from the viewer.

Step Eight: All the focus is on the immediate.  Nothing is ever shared about the dangers and long term consequences of getting involved.  It is all about immediate gratification.

Step Nine: As the viewer gets more and more involved, it now becomes apparent that what is to be viewed has no end.  There will always be the possibility of newness, of videos, movies, hard core porn, other looks, other bodies.

Step Ten:  The brain of the viewer has now reached a point where turning away from what is there to be viewed becomes nigh onto impossible.  The viewer is now in a helpless state having lost control of his or her ability to leave all this forever. 

Step Eleven: The pornographers have won.  They now have control of the viewer’s secrets, sexual appetite, future actions.  Of course, this is not said openly, the pornographers are never seen but remain invisible to the viewer.  In fact, the viewer may never consider that it was pornographers who deliberately set all this up in the first place.

Step Twelve:  In one way or another, the pornographer is benefiting financially from this viewer’s compulsive or addicted behavior and this will be ongoing.  Of course, because of the thousands of pornography sites, many pornographers are thereby involved instead of say one or several traffickers. 

If we look at this, even though being trafficked involves face to face relationships and viewing porn does not, does it seem possible to you that the end result has many similarities?  Traps are laid and people get caught in those traps.  It is all intentional and well thought out.  In either case, the actual welfare and well-being of the victim is not considered at all.  Both the trafficker and the pornographer have had to choose to manipulate a person’s life to the point that they gain total control and the person has been reduced to a helpless state.  In essence, this means the pornographer has had to choose to perhaps ruin someone’s life in exchange for money to be made and possibly sexual opportunities also with those being viewed.

The Rape of Tamar by Her Half-Brother Amnon Who Fools His Vulnerable Dad, King David

There is a Bible story that gives us some similar understandings of how this process works.  We find it in II Samuel 13.  In this case the schemer not unlike the trafficker or pornographer is Jonadab.  He is the one who skillfully formulates the plan to get what he wants which seems to be satisfying his own ego while staying behind the scenes. He is the architect of the plan but never gets personally involved in the action, remaining an invisible manipulator.  Traffickers and pornographers work to stay out of the public eye as well.  Jonadab has three people with strong desires to work into his plan.  One is Amnon, David’s oldest son who it seems has a great desire to have sex with his half-sister, beautiful Tamar who is being kept in seclusion.  Secondly there is King David, who has had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba, leading her to become pregnant and bear a son.  David’s desire to keep from being discovered as the father brings on two serious matters.  One is he has her husband, Uriah killed.   Either he still wanted people to see Uriah as the father or he just didn’t want to deal with Uriah when he would have discovered King David had used his wife, Bathsheba for himself.  The second matter is the son birthed by Bathsheba dies in spite of King David’s prayers. 

So it has become obvious to Jonadab that King David, having lived through all this, is now in the position of wanting to serve people and look like a good leader again, restoring his reputation again.  This makes him vulnerable to the ruse Jonadab sets up.  So Jonadab has looked with realistic eyes what King David desires, what Amnon wants which is to be alone with Bathsheba so he can have sex with her.  Now he also considers what it is that Tamar wants.  She probably is bored stiff living in seclusion.  She needs some freedom, something worthwhile to be doing.  All of these desires of three different people give Jonadab the favorable ingredients to set up a scheme that will in this case be totally successful because it will be fulfilling the desires of all three people at one time.   Jonadab is crafty and he knows how to use people against themselves.  Of course, he is so engrossed in creating his scheme that it does not occur to him or perhaps matter just what the outcome will be for the lives he is orchestrating or setting up to be jerked around like puppets.

  1. So, let’s go through these twelve steps of the trafficker or pornographer and see how they line up with what Jonadab is putting together and causing to happen.  We see he has already considered the interest, need, or desire of Amnon, King David and Tamar. 
  2. He now has Amnon pretend he is sick.  This is a positive ploy for who would think that a sick man would be thinking of raping a woman.  No red flags here.
  3. Once Amnon tells King David that as a sick man, he might feel a little better if Tamar were to come over and bake him some bread.  No threat to notice there.
  4. Tamar is called and this sounds great because she gets out of seclusion, can use her baking skills and actually in some way help her brother get better.  What an opportunity!
  5. Tamar is totally enrolled, excited about this little adventure to get out and be useful.
  6. Tamar now has choices to make.  Does she actually take herself out of seclusion like her father asked her to do?  Does she take someone with her or go alone?  She decides to go and go alone.
  7. Obviously, Amnon is not going to tell Tamar what his real intent is.
  8. Initially Tamar is there baking the bread, enjoying being free from seclusion.  She has no idea what major problems and consequences lay ahead of her.
  9. When she arrives, other people are in Amnon’s house.  It feels like a safe setting.  Amnon has little control with all these people around.  But then he has everyone except Tamar leave.  He now has more control.  He has her come to his bedroom, an inner sanctum and bring him the bread.  Being larger and stronger than Tamar he now has total control and in spite of her pleas, he can do what he wants.
  10. Tamar does not at first regard herself as helpless.  She has good thinking skills and proposes wise options to Amnon after he grabs her.  But they are all in vain for he has decided to rape her and she is helpless to change his plans.  He is in total control.
  11. Amnon is now the dominant one.  Tamar is just a piece of meat, his possession.
  12. Here is where this story has a very different ending than what we have been suggesting it might be ending like with a trafficker.  Amnon becomes disgusted with Tamar.  Perhaps forced sex was not as terrific as he imagined it would be.  He calls his servant and has Tamar kicked out of his house, totally humiliating her.   Of course, no financial benefit is involved.

What are the long terms consequences that come out of this story?  Tamar’s brother, Absalom has her come to live with him.  We hear nothing more of her.  It is suggested, however, that she will now live with stigma and stay in isolation.   Absalom waits for his father to deal with this horrible rape and with Amnon but he doesn’t.  King David’s affair with Bathsheba and then having her husband killed has left him in a kind of paralysis where he doesn’t have the communication skills to come to terms with Amnon and so no reconciliation happens.  

Seeing that his father has done nothing to deal with this and left Tamar to be forgotten, two years later Absalom takes this matter into his own hands and has Amnon murdered for what he did to his sister.  Later Absalom leads a revolt against his dad and he ends up being killed.  So crafty Jonadab brings great chaos and tragedy onto the family.  Many people suffer because of what mischief and violence he was able to cause.  Still, he is never tracked down and made to face the misery he caused.  The remarkable thing is that somehow the writer of II Samuel became aware of Jonadab’s role in what happened.

What we see here are the schemes of the trafficker, the pornographer and Jonadab all skillfully carried out as though nothing destructive will result.  Once older, if they have the opportunity to look back at how they were involved in ruining lives, they might actually reach the point of seeing that they were deceived.  They deceived themselves by becoming so engrossed in fostering their own “success”!  Still they may forever choose to deny the horrible outcomes they have caused, living out their lives caught up in the fantasy world they created.   But as we look at all three of these scenarios and the three victims involved, we see a common pattern where manipulation has led the victims into a miserable life pattern or prison they never anticipated.

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One response

  1. I like the mouse trap by the cheese. How many consider choices in life in terms of losing power, always thinking they are in control.

    Interesting parallel between the trafficker and Jonadab from the Bible. I have never read the story that way, and will have to go back to re-read it. So many crazy stories in the Bible we can learn from.

    Thank you.

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