Sophie and Hans Scholl did it in Nazi Germany and were executed for high treason. Rosa Parks did it in segregated Alabama and sparked a revolution.
And some writers in America, outnumbered and overwhelmed by politics and public opinion about the sex offender industry, are doing it and daring to expose the truth.
The definition of what makes a hero differs and changes based on what and when and where. We used to require something in the way of sacrifice for others, bravery in spite of fears, or almost super-human abilities in emergency situations. Today a better-than-average performance on a football field or basketball court will suffice.
The willingness to speak an unpopular truth in the face of overwhelming dissent, however, has withstood the test of time as the mark of a hero, and it is refreshing to find this trait still in some journalists who hold themselves to the time-honored standard of truth and facts in reporting.
Lenore Skenazy, whose primary advocacy is the empowerment of children to have a normal childhood free from unreasonable fears, has spoken out often — here and here and here — about why the fear of stranger abduction falls into the unreasonable fear category.
Elizabeth Nolan Brown, a highly respected journalist for Reason, has recently written two well researched articles, one debunking the myth that high numbers of children go missing yearly in America, the other attacking the completion of the myth, that these massive numbers of missing youth end up being sold to sex trafficking rings.
And then there is Dr. Marty Klein. Dr. Klein, a family and relationships therapist, writes a blog entitled Changing the Way People, Politics & the Media Look at Sex. In his post of April 1, Dr. Klein attacks the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for, among other things, “driving the issue of sex trafficking as hard as it can.”
He notes that after years of pushing the “stranger danger” concept – indeed, they are the ones who popularized the phrase and are responsible for it being so firmly entrenched in elementary schools – the NCMEC is, finally, admitting the truth: That those most likely to harm a child sexually are those already in the child’s life as a trusted adult.
Dr. Klein boldly states, “NCMEC has been one of the single biggest drivers of parents’ fear in our lifetime. By conflating ‘missing’ and ‘exploited,’ they have panicked Americans into thinking the average child is ‘at risk’ of being kidnapped. By talking about ‘children,’ they conflate the experiences of five-year-olds and 17-year-olds. According to their own website, over 90% of ‘missing’ teens are not ‘missing,’ they have run away. Some are no doubt living on the street and risking their health and lives, but they have not been kidnapped.”
In giving the actual facts and statistics that debunk the child-abduction and sex trafficking claims, these writers are taking on the big guns: The powerful John Walsh and his son Callahan, now “Senior Specialist” and spokesperson for NCMEC; the SMART office (Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking) which grew out of NCMEC and is now overseen by the Justice Dept.; and, by extension, the entire multi-million dollar sex offender industry.
Scoffed at by some, disbelieved by more, they are heroes today in a world that prefers lies to truth and promotes fear for its own purposes. Our heroes.
Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.