Cults and Sex Trafficking

On April 16, 2016 ICSA conducted a one-day conference at the University of Southern California entitled "Cults and Sex Trafficking."  The agenda and speaker bios can be found on the conference page.

This page contains links to Power Points used during this conference and to other resources pertinent to the conference's topic. 

Cults and Sex Trafficking (Vogler, A.) [report on conference]. ICSA Today, 8(1), 2017, 12-16.

Cults: A Brief Overview (Jonibeth Whitney, PhD)

Employing Trafficking Laws to Capture Elusive Leaders of Destructive Cults (Robin Boyle Laisure) 

Impact of Cults on Members, Children, and Families (MaryJo Cysewski, MA, LMFT. Sickness prevented Ms. Cysewski from presenting, but the gist of her presentation was given by Drs. Whitney and Whitsett.)

Treatment of Cult Survivors:  Issues and Interventions (Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW)

Trafficking: Overview and Trends (Annalisa Enrile, PhD)

Cults and Sex Trafficking: Context and Comments on Polygamous Cults (Andrea Moore-Emmett, MA, MFTI)

Supporting Human Rights by Testifying Against Human Wrongs (Alan Scheflin, JD, LLM).  A published paper with the same title can be found here.

Video: Human Trafficking as a Commercial Cult Mind-Control

Additional Resources on Sex Trafficking

2015 Trafficking in Persons Report (U.S. Department of State)

Fact Sheet: Sex Trafficking (Office of Trafficking in Persons, Office of the Administration for Children and Families)

God's Brothel: The Extortion of Sex for Salvation in Contemporary Mormon and Christian Fundamentalist Polygamy and the Stories of 18 Women Who Escaped (Andrea Moore-Emmett)

Human Trafficking (The FBI)

Human Trafficking (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

National Human Trafficking Prosecution Best Practices Guide, White Paper.  National District Attorneys Association Women Prosecutors Section, January 2020

Sex Trafficking of Minors: The Impact of Legislative Reform and Judicial Decision Making in Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan Communities -A Final Summary Overview. National Institute of Justice Grant 2015-MU-MU-0009. Jennifer Cole, Ginny Sprang

Sex Trafficking of Minors and Safe Harbor: Recommendations for Juvenile and Family Courts. National Institute of Justice.

The Avery Center   The Avery Center—formerly Free Our Girls—was founded in 2014 to address the gap in direct services for adults experiencing commercial sex trafficking in Northern Colorado and across the United States.

The Coercion of Trafficked Workers (Kathleen Kim). This legal studies 2010-53 paper from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles isn't about sex trafficking, but its legal argument is relevant to sex trafficking and cults: "Theories of coercion exist across multiple disciplines to explicate the ability of one actor, the coercer, to diminish the free will of another, the coercee, in the absence of overt physical force. A valid claim of coercion places legal blame on the coercer or relinquishes the coercee from legal responsibility for a coerced act or omission. Defining the point at which coercion occurs, however, is the conceptually more difficult task. Recently, coercion has emerged as a significant source of analytic concern in a developing area of the law—contemporary involuntary labor or human trafficking."

Voices for Dignity (Voices for Dignity, Inc.™ is a non-profit organization founded to speak out against the abuse, exploitation, oppression and humiliation of human beings, to help the victims heal, to empower the survivors, and to restore their sense of dignity. To accomplish our goals, we put a strong emphasis on the power of proper storytelling. Specifically, we empower survivors of patriarchal polygamy, cults, ecclesiastical abuse, human trafficking, prostitution, rape, cyberbullying, media humiliation and other forms of trauma, including psychological violence.)