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Ashton Kutcher Delivers Powerful Speech On Human Trafficking & Sex Slavery To U.S. Congress (VIDEO)

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Let’s get one thing straight: Ashton Kutcher isn’t “just an actor.” As Chairman and Co-Founder of Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, an international organization that fights against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children, his work is changing the fates of thousands upon thousands of human trafficking victims.

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So, why would Ashton go before U.S. Congress to discuss human trafficking? For two main reasons: to educate, and to call to action. The government has the power to be part of the solution, to change the way we treat victims and perpetrators of human trafficking and sex slavery, and Congress has the power to help eradicate human trafficking by financing projects like Ashton’s, implementing stricter regulations, and making victim and perpetrator mental health treatment a priority.

The Sad Truth About Human Trafficking 

Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons states that “exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million human trafficking victims worldwide and 4.5 million people trapped in forced sex trafficking around the globe. At least 100,000 children are prostituted annually in the U.S., adding to the $9.8 billion U.S. sex trafficking industry. This is an extremely lucrative business, as pimps typically make between $150K and $200K per child annually and they usually exploit 4-6 girls, on average.

The number of people trafficked against their will and the level of interest amongst buyers grows every single year at an alarming rate. In 2013 alone, NCMEC reviewed 22 million images and videos of suspected child sexual abuse imagery.

Many children in sex trafficking rings aren’t even conscious of what’s going on around them. They’re so conditioned by their handlers that “they think they’re just playing,” as Kutcher puts it. If you know anything about the government program MK Ultra, it’s easy to imagine how these children can be manipulated and brainwashed into thinking that pedophilia is okay.

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How Thorn Is Using Technology to Fight It

Thorn has designed different types of software to help fight human trafficking, one of which is Spotlight, a web-based tool that can be used by law enforcement to prioritize their workload, and which gets smarter and more efficient the more it’s used. Spotlight is currently being used by 4,000 officers in the U.S. and allows law enforcers to reduce investigation time by 60%.

There’s been a lot of controversy recently over the use of AI, and more sophisticated technologies being used in the workplace, as some have the potential to threaten jobs. However, this technology could mean the difference between saving a little girl from living her life in child sex ring and not finding her at all. One of the greatest obstacles law enforcers face with these cases is time; children can be raped and forced into these underground rings in a matter of hours, yet many of these investigations take months or even years.

In Ashton’s speech to Congress, he points out that since technology is currently being used to enable slavery, why shouldn’t we use it to help end it as well? The dark net is a dangerous hub that allows pedophiles from all over the globe to engage in these types of activities. But, it wasn’t always this terrible place; it can and still is used for whistleblowers to communicate, and acts as a safe community for sensitive subjects to be discussed. As Ashton points out, technology is powerless without human will, and we have an opportunity here to use this technology to improve society immensely, as long as we will it.

Another tool that his company developed is Solace, which is being used in beta by more than 40 agencies worldwide now to help law enforcers free sex trafficking victims, and just like Spotlight, it’s getting better and better. Solace is anticipated to be able to cut down investigation time from three years to only three weeks. 

Although the technology clearly focuses on finding the victims, a huge issue that Ashton sheds light upon is the pipelines that allow these industries to thrive. Why are so many people on this planet sexually attracted to children and how did this problem become a global epidemic?

Well, one of these pipelines is actually through the foster care system. In 2016, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimated that one in six endangered runaways reported to them were likely sex trafficking victims.

Ashton states, “I was astonished to find out that 70% of the inmates in the prisons across this country have touched the foster care system and 80% of the people on death row were at some point in time exposed to the foster care system… Foster care children are 4 times more likely to be exposed to sexual abuse. That’s a breeding ground for trafficking, I promise you that.”

Another pipeline he mentions is the lack of mental health support offered to both victims and perpetrators. We cannot just hand people prescriptions and assume that this will put an end to their nightmares. Anyone who is subject to this kind of abuse will likely require long-term counselling and therapy, and so will their perpetrators.

This isn’t just an issue of search and rescue. Human trafficking can only be stopped if we work toward fixing the entire system. This means understanding why this happens in the first place so we can prevent it from occurring, as well as providing better support to victims and perpetrators after the fact.

You can watch the full video of Ashton Kutcher presenting to the U.S. Congress below:

The U.S. Government Is Part of the Problem

In 2016, there were 7,572 cases of human trafficking in the U.S., most of which were sex trafficking victims. If you can believe it, that’s actually a 35.7% increase from the previous year. Keep in mind that these were only the victims who were reported, so this number is much lower than the actual amount of people in the U.S. sold to the human trafficking trades.

According to the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection, the U.S. has the largest share — a whopping 50% — of commercialized child pornography websites in the world. Tons of Americans each year will also engage in sex tourism, which is when someone travels to countries with less strict or no laws surrounding prostitution and child sex slavery.

There has also been a lot of speculation lately on child sex rings being used by the U.S. government. You may be familiar with the PizzaGate scandal, which unearthed a very high-level elitist global pedophile ring the U.S. government was involved in. If this is true, which would be unsurprising, then the U.S. government isn’t just part of the problem, they’re at the very heart of it.

This isn’t the first time people were concerned over sexual abuse by government officials. Ted Gunderson, former FBI special agent and head of their L.A. office, worked to uncover years worth of information on high-level pedophilia, sexual abuse, and satanic rituals performed by the elite. You can read more about that in our CE article here.

Former U.S. representative Cynthia McKinney also knew about the government’s relationship to human trafficking, and she actually addressed it in 2005. She grilled Donald Rumsfeld on DynCorp’s child trafficking business of selling women and children (source).

Sex trafficking isn’t the only issue at hand here. Human trafficking includes labour trafficking and slavery, to which U.S. corporations directly contribute. These companies take advantage of less strict labour laws in under-developed countries, paying unfair wages to employees with poor working conditions.

If the U.S. imposed stricter laws on corporations, not only would it reduce slavery globally, but it could also benefit the U.S. economy as well. Theoretically, if corporations stopped employing so many slaves abroad and started giving those jobs to American citizens instead and paying them fair wages, unemployment rates might improve.

Why Both the Survivors and Perpetrators Deserve Help

We tend to dehumanize pedophiles, child molesters, rapists, and abusers, demanding punishment for their crimes and responding to their actions with hate and anger. However, if we fail to recognize the humanity in them, how will we ever learn why these violent acts occurred in the first place?

Have you ever made a mistake that forced you to really question your humanity? In reality, everything we do is human; our mistakes don’t dehumanize us, they’re part of what makes us human in the first place. Unfortunately, these “mistakes” include violent acts such as rape, pedophilia, and enslavement.

We shouldn’t be encouraging trafficking victims to hate their perpetrators, but rather to forgive them. By choosing hate, we end up bottling up anger, which ultimately hurts no one but ourselves. If we choose forgiveness instead, we can learn to better cope with the more difficult events in our lives. Even if you feel the perpetrator doesn’t deserve forgiveness, I’m sure you can agree that the victim deserves freedom. And forgiveness can give us the type of freedom so many of us desperately seek.

Ashton finishes his speech perfectly, summing up the belief that everyone deserves to be happy, regardless of the horrors they’ve faced. He says:

“Happiness can be given to no man, it must be earned. It must be earned through generosity and through purpose, but the right to pursue it? The right to pursue it is every man’s right, and I beg of you that if you give people the right to pursue it, what you may find in return is happiness for yourself.”

 

 

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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How We Can Deal With The ‘Chaos’ Of Elite Pedophilia, ET Disclosure, & Other Big Truths (QA)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    At the moment, many truths are rising to the surface of our society that is bringing up a multitude of emotions. In this weekly Q&A, we discuss how we can effectively handle and move through learning these truths on a collective scale.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you taking the time to truly understand and process what is rising to the surface of ourselves as we learn about what is happening in our world? Are we dismissing this as negative and ignoring the opportunity to grow?

This week the question that came up was about how we deal with many of the big truths or revelations that are collectively coming to the surface in our society. Things like corruption, the cabal, elite pedophilia, ET disclosure, sexual abuse and so forth.

It also seems like each day we are learning more truths related to these topics, and they are also becoming hard for us to ignore and continue to pretend they are just ‘negative’ things to discuss. So the question of “how do we deal with the internal and collective ‘chaos’ that sometimes comes as a result of learning these truths” becomes a big one.

For some, fear arises. For others, anger, despair, worry, and confusion. In some ways, on social media we see huge wars taking place surrounding these topics, and through the mainstream media, societal divides are being fuelled. But I have also seen that for some, including myself, learning these things can create feelings of relief, understanding and freedom as we realize we were not crazy in what we thought and felt about what really goes on in our world. We may realize that life actually makes more sense when you begin to understand how our world truly works.

It’s an important discussion to explore how we can TRULY handle, individually and collectively, the truths that are coming forth and not end up at each other’s throats, but instead be able to truly process this stuff maturely – something that seems difficult at the moment, but not impossible. In the video below, we have that discussion.

Weekly Q&A For Oct 18th – 13th

03:03 How We Deal With The ‘Chaos’

Support Collective Evolution here: explorers.collective-evolution.com/cmm/

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If you have any questions for future videos, email us at contact@collective-evolution.com

Links/Sources:
Collective Consciousness Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZZuQxRvjXU
Sign Up to Email: http://explorers.collective-evolution.com/email

Video hosted by: Joe Martino, founder of Collective Evolution.
IG: https://www.instagram.com/joemartino29

 

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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Reader Email: Is Trump Legitimately Working To Take Down The Deep State?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A reader sent a passionate email after reading one of my articles. This email contained many important questions about how we look at Donald Trump (and others like Hillary Clinton) that I felt would allow me to give clarity and nuance to my message.

  • Reflect On:

    Is it necessary to ignore one person's character flaws in order to get behind efforts to take down the Deep State? Is it important to identify a 'savior' here, or can we see it as more of a collective awakening within which we are all participants?

The following email came from a reader who brought up some very important concerns about Donald Trump and his role in fighting for justice on behalf of women (combating sex trafficking, for example) and taking down the Deep State. I thought that it would be worthwhile to publish my response to this email since I thought that many readers may have similar concerns and questions, and Sharine graciously consented. Below, I have broken up her email into several sections so I can respond one section at a time, but please note that her words were all sent in a single email:

Hi Richard!

My name is Sharine and I am fairly new (summer 2018) to the Collective Evolution site. I became a member last month.

Today, I read your article “Many Insiders Believe Military Tribunals For Deep State Will Happen Any Time Now,” and I have some questions and concerns that you may or may not have time to address, but I feel compelled to share anyway!

First, I feel that I grasp a basic understanding of the Deep State, mostly from reading on CE and watching both David Wilcock’s “Disclosure” interview and Joe Martino’s video about the illusion and the cycle of the cabal in politics.

Second, I want to disclose that I am a cis-gender female survivor of sexual assault at the age of 52, sexual harassment throughout my whole life, and an attempted rape at the age of 15. This is important to my concerns.

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That said, here goes:

Why would enlightened beings set up our world so that men as hideous as Donald J. Trump and possibly Brett Kavanaugh would be the people I am to trust to take down the Deep State and begin to cripple the cabal?

R: First off, the contention that Donald J. Trump is ‘hideous’ is a matter of opinion, and when you say ‘possibly’ Brett Kavanaugh, I take you to mean he is ‘possibly’ hideous (rather than ‘possibly’ someone you should trust). Nonetheless, let’s focus on Trump for this question: is it likely that Donald Trump has had sex with prostitutes, been unfaithful with partners, acted and spoke in a ‘macho’ way at times, lied in business and in relationships, cheated on his taxes and otherwise did many unethical and illegal things in business? Yes. Some people may feel this makes him hideous, fair enough. But we have to look at the context.

In the article you read, we were discussing a Deep State that indulges in sex and slave trafficking, human mind-control and experimentation, the sexual abuse, torture and murder of children, as well as war, genocide and mass disease creation in the world. Assuming, as I do, that Donald Trump does not do any of these things, and his greatest crimes are those mentioned above, then if we call him hideous then have we left ourselves with any proportionate adjective to describe perpetrators within the Deep State?

To your main question about enlightened beings, who I take to refer to higher-dimensional positive beings that are fostering human evolution from a higher density, I would say: Why not Donald Trump? If it were some kind of perfect Jesus-type character, would we not feel somewhat disconnected from any positive actions that would be brought, and simply have a new idol to follow? True, some people do idolize Trump, but that is the unhelpful extreme in the other direction, because we have to move past idolatry and see ourselves as all being in this struggle together, each having to acknowledge our own darkness and inadequacies while not giving up our push towards enlightenment. In having a fallible, flawed person leading the charge to take down the Deep State, we may not have an ‘inspiring’ leader at the helm, but it becomes much easier to look past him and see the takedown of the Deep State as the fruits of the collective efforts of thousands, if not tens of thousands of patriotic men and women of integrity, an effort ultimately grounded in the collective consciousness of humanity as a whole.

I want the demise as much as any loving human, but that’s a big, nasty, jagged, bright “red pill” to swallow. It’s like saying it’s okay that Trump is an admitted sexual assaulter and racist, misogynistic homophobe but it’s not okay that Clinton turned a blind eye to sex trafficking (or whatever it is CE claims about her) because he’s going to save the day.

R: I would challenge your assertion as ‘fact’ that Trump is an ‘admitted sexual assaulter.’ I don’t think Trump has ever admitted to being a sexual assaulter. As far as being a racist, misogynistic homophobe: I haven’t seen any evidence that Trump is either a racist or a homophobe. Is he misogynistic? A misogynist is defined as “a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women.” I don’t get the impression that Trump is this way at all. Certainly, he may have long been an egocentric, macho, privileged white male who puts himself above woman, but I believe this stems from personal insecurity rather than an actual hatred.

Whether or not you have to be ‘okay’ with who Donald Trump actually is, is your own personal matter. You don’t have to be ‘okay’ with Donald Trump in order to want the Deep State taken down, even if you do believe as we do that Trump is serving a role (certainly not leading) this takedown. In the bigger picture, though, our destiny as human beings is to be ‘okay’ with whatever IS, with the TRUTH, and seek not to resist the truth, but fight against those whose agenda is to hide the truth.

Which brings us to Hillary Clinton. I have to say that personally I am ‘okay’ with Hillary Clinton, because as a matter of spiritual practice I believe that everything is as it should be in our world for the evolution of humanity to be served. That said, I strongly believe that revealing the truth about who Hillary Clinton is will serve that evolution, and if this truth is revealed then it will be plain as day that she needs to be removed from our society. It is only because of the immense power of the Deep State that Hillary Clinton is not in jail right now.

If the Deep State was not protecting her, you or I could have her indicted on several crimes simply based on the information that’s in the public domain, let alone the hordes of more sensitive information that is hidden. Just off the top of my head, evidence is out there demonstrating that she allowed diplomats to be killed at the Benghazi embassy because they were beginning to resist the gun trafficking operation there, leaked confidential information on an illegal private server to China which led to the death or incarceration of at least a dozen CIA officers embedded there, illegally took over the Democratic National Committee in order to defeat Bernie Sanders who otherwise would have won the nomination, was involved in (not necessarily ‘running’) a pedophilia operation in Washington, and is highly implicated in the staggering number of murders of people who were investigating the Clinton Foundation, which itself is well known to be linked to illegal activities.

Didn’t Clinton inspire women and men all across the USA to stand for things like universal healthcare and other good stuff, while Trump inspires hatred and anger?

R: Clinton may have inspired some women and men in her rise to power as a woman in American politics, but I don’t believe she cared about inspiring people except to the point that it got her elected and gave her power. There are many women in politics who fight for the truth and are positive role models, such as Cynthia McKinney and Tulsi Gabbard, whom I have written about. To equate supporters of Clinton as supporters of women and non-supporters of Clinton (or supporters of Trump) as non-supporters of women is one of the most egregious and sinister points of perception that has been carefully crafted by mainstream media, and easy to fall prey to. Plain and simple, I believe Hillary Clinton is a modern-day Lady Macbeth. I believe her whole public face is an act and a deception, that she is part of the Deep State and guilty of some of the most horrific crimes imaginable to humanity, including the sexual abuse, torture, and murder of children.

As for Trump inspiring hatred and anger, it is important to observe that since Trump came into office intent on helping a huge alliance of patriots take down the Deep State, all the Deep State flunkies in politics, Hollywood, and mainstream media have done is everything they can to invoke anger and hatred upon him. Earlier in his presidency, there were over half a dozen celebrities who all suddenly tried to seed the idea of Trump getting killed into the minds of people (you’ll recall the Kathy Griffin photo below among others). Who is truly inspiring anger and hatred here? If you can separate Donald Trump from the campaign to demonize him that has been relentless and ongoing through mainstream media, you may find that Donald Trump himself is not inspiring as much hatred and anger as it seems.

Isn’t the cabal in existence to restrict and eventually deny freedom and well-being for women, vulnerable populations, the poor, the Earth itself and its inhabitants?

R: They are not in existence to restrict and deny freedom as such, but only to the extent that it serves our evolution. That is why their ultimate plans of world domination will fail. From the point of view of the higher realms, when it gets to the point that the cabal no longer serves our evolution, then it is time for them to disband. But their disbanding is not going to happen if we stay asleep as a collective. Humanity must act, and take back its power through an awakening of consciousness.

I guess what I’m saying is, the physical world matters, too, so why would the forces of light and love in the Universe demand that I overlook abuse and corruption by one person, but not another? I’m confused.

R: I agree that the physical world matters too. The forces of light and love are not asking you to overlook one thing and not another; there is no need to overlook the ‘truth’ about either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but rather to separate the ‘truth’ from the propaganda and deception. In a way, it is a good practice of consciousness to embrace some ambiguity, because human life is filled with ambiguity and we need to embrace it rather than gravitating towards one polarity or the other. The idea that Donald Trump is a deeply flawed man who has done things in his past that would not endear him to women, and the idea that in his current position of considerable power he would like to do what he can for the freedom, safety, and standing of women in society are not mutually exclusive statements. There’s ambiguity, but not contradiction.

It seems to me that this premise is asking me to dismiss the very real-world fact that my teenage brother’s best friend tried to rape me in my own home, when what he did was wrong. His negative energy caused darkness in the Universe, just as it is wrong for Trump to openly mock a disabled person, and a woman who claims to have been sexually assaulted, and a female reporter who was simply asking him a question, and on and on.

R: It’s important to notice where you may be building a chain of assumptions on a flawed premise. You use the word ‘dismiss’ here, and nobody is asking you to dismiss something real that happened to you. You have the freedom to hold its ‘wrongness’ for the rest of your life. That being said, your only hope of healing from this event will be through forgiveness, and rising above the power you may still be giving to this event. I recently interviewed Anneke Lucas, a survivor of the horrors of Satanic ritual and sexual abuse within an elite Belgian pedophile network between the ages of 6 and 11. In the interview she is beautifully able to express and exemplify the need for forgiveness and acceptance in a healing process that is anything but a ‘dismissal’ of the experiences she went through. CE will be broadcasting this 4-hour interview in November and it may be one of the best and most elegant explorations into the healing process available for women who have been sexually abused.

In terms of the wrongness of things that Trump does, like openly mock a disabled person (which seems to have been presented out of context by mainstream media, but no matter) it is important to make a distinction between condoning and accepting. By standing firm in your principles you do not condone those acts which go against those principles, and when it is something that is directed at you personally it is important to take actions that appropriately show that you do not condone such behavior. However, to not accept that it happened, (whether it involves Trump openly mocking a woman who has been sexually assaulted, or your brother’s best friend’s attempted rape) by continuing to be angry and upset about it, or feeling that punishment needs to be meted out in order for you to let go of the power it has over you, is self-defeating. When you hold Trump’s words and actions to have emotional power over you, that is what you are doing.

Are you saying that disabled people ought to be made fun of? That Dr. Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh’s other accusers — and women like me — are lying? That women should be “negged”? That taking away a woman’s right to care for her own body is a good thing? Because I don’t know how this is light and love on any plane of existence. And if it is, can’t we also say that the cabal is okay, too? War is peace? Hatred is love? Rape is consent?

R: Of course I am not saying that disabled people ought to be made fun of. Having said that, I truly believe our course of action as evolving individuals is to work towards a greater sense of self so that we become immune to insults and slights. In my article ‘Let’s Discard The ‘Right’ To Be Insulted By Free Speech,’ I make the point that being insulted or made fun of does not say anything substantial about us, it only says something about the person saying the insult. Each of us having this clear perception is what will virtually put an end to ‘disrespectful’ speech.

Putting yourself in the same group as Dr. Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh’s other accusers is a dangerous leap, as it shows how you may be projecting your story onto other people and then suffering when they are not being believed. Do I think Dr. Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh’s other accusers are lying? On the strength of the evidence I’ve seen, yes. Either lying or having had their minds tampered with. Do I think you are lying? No. There is ample evidence and reasons to believe that Kavanaugh’s accusers were brought forward by Deep State forces to created a narrative out of either sketchy or even non-existent memories. There is no reason for you to lie and no reason for me to doubt you.

I assume I don’t need to answer whether I think women should be “negged” or whether taking away a woman’s right to care for her own body is a good thing. As far as us saying the cabal is okay? Yes, at the highest level we must accept that they are here to play a role in our evolution. And having said that, our evolution is now hinging on our capacity to defeat them and remove them from power. And that includes rejecting their Orwellian Doublespeak perception-benders like ‘War is peace,’ ‘Hatred is love,’ ‘Rape is consent’ and use our discernment of the falseness of these slogans to lead us to the truth.

And in the end, then, what are we working toward, if not for true peace and love on our shared home, Earth?

R: True peace and love on Earth is certainly our goal, but in a deeper sense our goal is evolving towards that by choice, rather than having it given to us. Otherwise, we would have stayed in the Garden of Eden and not eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I wrote a 7-part series on Lucifer that goes into this matter in much greater depth. In our journey back to love and peace, then, the darkness is our ally, and helps us return to unity with greater freedom, and a greater ability to create a future world in our highest shared image.

Thanks for your consideration. I won’t bother you again!

Sincerely,

Sharine

Dear Sharine, thank you for your honest and heart-felt questions and the opportunity to respond to them. The time and space I have had to answer your questions is limited, and it’s difficult to say things in writing that are better served in a one-on-one conversation. I sincerely hope that I have not missed the nuance of some of your points, nor that I appear to be marginalizing the suffering that you have gone through in your life. I believe the healing of women who have suffered abuse at the hands of men will be one of the pre-eminent beacons for our collective evolution.

I wish you all the best of healing, light, and learning in this journey we are sharing together.

Richard

The Takeaway

It is important for each one of us to recognize when we are making assumptions that deviate from the truth, and thus lead to incorrect conclusions. Our battle is not truly a political one, though it is manifesting in the political arena. Our battle is one of consciousness. There is no need to hoist any particular person in the public eye into the role of ‘savior,’ or dismiss their human flaws in order to get behind their efforts to bring about the revelation of truth.

Our own awakening to the truth that lies beyond false perceptions is how we must participate. And part of this awakening involves acknowledging our pain, both our individual pain and our collective trauma, and recognizing our part of the responsibility in how we create and maintain this pain within ourselves. The brave act of healing, founded on forgiveness and a simple acceptance of that which is, inevitably will help us see the truth more easily and naturally, and will ground us in the creation of  a life of ‘true peace and love on our shared home, Earth.’

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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Some Cities Now Threatening Jail Time & Fines For Kids Over 12 Who Go Trick-Or-Treating

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Some cities in Virginia have reminded the public of the laws associated with Halloween night. Children over 12 caught trick or treating can be fined or receive jail time.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we robbing the innocence of children and their fun with laws like this? Is this truly a law we want to have in place? Will it lead to even more liberty loss? Are these laws a result of the fact they are happening in 'The Bible Belt' of America?

Halloween has adapted over the ages from once being an ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain (marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year) to being ‘Christianized’ in the west as a time that begins the three day observance of All Saints’ Eve (Halloween), All Saints’ Day (All Hallows’) and All Souls’ Day, that dates between October 31st to November 2nd. This trifecta is a time intended to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians.

Of course today, most in society have strayed far from the intended traditional sense of the day to a more commercialized, fun having approach.

We now choose to participate in Halloween as a family friendly time, dressing up and going door-to-door in our neighbourhood and accepting candy, otherwise known as trick or treating. Aside from the chemicals laden in the candies that are dished out, this time of the year can be pretty harmless for a child, given they are accompanied by an adult and not trotting around in a dangerous area.

Times, Laws, & Guidelines For Halloween in Hampton Roads Virginia

HrScrene is a website considered to be a hub for the people who reside in the Hampton Roads area in Virginia that keeps residents up to date on any happenings in local cities or important information news and even information. Earlier this month, hrScene notified Virginia of the local guidelines that residents are expected to abide by on the night of Halloween.

Each of the nine city’s guidelines explicitly state that no child above the age of 12 is allowed to participate in trick or treating and that no child can trick-or-treat after 8pm. A child of 13 years of age is allowed to accompany a ‘younger child’ but cannot participate in anything remotely similar to trick or treating, including dressing up if you’re living in Newport News,

Sec. 28-5. – Prohibited trick-or-treat activities.

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(a) If any person beyond the seventh grade of school or over twelve (12) years of age shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, such person shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting any parent, guardian or other responsible person having lawfully in his custody a child twelve (12) years old or younger, from accompanying such child who is playing “trick or treat” for the purpose of caring for, looking after or protecting such child. However, no accompanying parent or guardian shall wear a mask of any type.

In Portsmouth, if any child under the age of 12 is out trick-or-treating after 8pm, they can be guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor, a fine of not more than $500, while most of the other city’s will delve out a class 4 misdemeanor, a fine of no more than $250.

(b) If any person shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any name whatsoever after 8:00 p.m., he shall be guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.

In the City of Hampton, on the night of October 31st, if you’re under the age of 18 it is considered unlawful to be out past 10pm an in some cases 11pm.

It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of fourteen (14) years to be present on any street, road, alley, avenue, park or other public place in the city, or in any vehicle operating or parked thereon, between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by his/her parent or guardian or unless such minor is on an emergency errand or legitimate business directed by his parent or guardian or is engaged in a lawful employment or going directly to the place of such employment or returning directly to his place of residence from the place of such employment.

It shall be unlawful for any person over the age of thirteen (13) years but under the age of eighteen (18) years to be present on any street, road, alley, avenue, park or other public place in the city, or in any vehicle operating or parked thereon, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by his/her parent or guardian or unless such minor is on an emergency errand or legitimate business directed by his parent or guardian or is engaged in a lawful employment or going directly to the place of such employment or returning directly to his place of residence from the place of such employment.

Perhaps one of the worst city codes is that of Chesapeake, if you’re over 12 years old and/or 12 years old and still trick or treating after 8pm, you can potentially be confined in jail for up to six months.

Sec. 46-8. – Trick-or-treat activities.
(a) If any person over the age of 12 years shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both.

(b) If any person shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever after 8:00 p.m., he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than 30 days or both.

If you’d like to read the full list, click here.

Will This Actually Be Implemented?

Naturally, this information has a lot of parents and other young adults rearing in confusion. Since when was a 13 year old not considered a child, or even a 16 year old for that matter? Who decided that it was unacceptable for young people to participate in the most known Halloween tradition of trick or treating?

In my first year of college, a friend and I decided that instead of going to a party the night of Halloween, that we could instead go trick or treating. We threw together some form of a costume and trotted from door to door and were always met with happiness. We assumed this was because we were adults, not a likely sight to see on a doorstep reciting, “trick or treat!”

In none of the codes does it include what would happen in a scenario where a teenager with an intellectual or developmental disability went trick or treating. It also doesn’t mention whether a minor is expected to have a form of ID on them. Does this put children at risk of being interrogated and being fearful of law enforcement rather than allowing for a child to get a sense of community by witnessing their town coming together to celebrate Halloween?

Law enforcement of York County assured a mother who recently moved to the area that they will not be arresting anyone the night of Halloween, further confirming the lunacy of these laws.

I decided to question why these laws would be implemented to begin with. Virginia does fall into the ‘Bible Belt’ an “informal region in the Southern United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism plays a strong role in society and politics. Christian church attendance across these denominations are generally higher than the nation’s average,” according to Wikipedia’s definition. Christians seem to be divided when it comes to whether or not they should celebrate Halloween,  but Thessalonians explicitly states,

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

And then I thought to myself, well, perhaps these areas are considered ‘unsafe’ and known for teenagers wreaking havoc on the night of October 31st.

According to the article These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Virginia For 2019, published October 11th 2018, 3 of the 9 cities enforcing these laws (Portsmouth, Norfolk, Newport News) are considered ‘dangerous’. The basis of criteria they used to determine which city was most dangerous was violent crimes per capita and property crimes per capita.

Portsmouth made the top of the list by being number 1 with property crimes and number 2 with violent crimes. But when it comes to the night of Halloween, the worst they’ll give out to a child trick treating after 8pm or one trick or treating over the age of 12 is a class 3 misdemeanour.

The worst penalty, in my opinion, is that of the city of Chesapeake. The law suggests a child could actually go to jail if they don’t abide by the codes being enforced which would lead me to assume it’s probably not a safe place to live except that this article, Is Chesapeake Virginia A Safe Place To Live? actually uses the word ‘boring’ to describe the nature of the town, or more so, fighting that notion.

The Takeaway

The issue isn’t so much about these ordinances but rather what route our youth are being led to. Media today is exposing our children to a world that is hyper-sexualized and overtly emotional. The internet often pokes fun at millennials with memes giving examples of how awkward they were when they were 12 or 14, and how today’s youth is skipping that stage and going right into adulthood.

We don’t have to look hard to see how the innocence of a child is being hijacked by societal ‘norms.’ These codes being enforced is alarming because it’s exposing how obvious this governmental objective truly is. Should we have to fight for children to be children? Halloween is just the beginning and it’s up to us on whether not we’d like to participate in the robbing of our children’s innocence.

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