Sandy Frost Interview - Shriners' Shame
Sandy Frost Interview with
Newsvine.com's Scott Butki
Scott: There are so many positive things I can say about Sandy but I think I will just quote from the introduction I wrote for her just released book, Shriners' Shame:The Dark Side of The Worlds Greatest Philanthropy.
Sandy Frost is a perfect example of what citizen journalists can be on a site like Newsvine - focused, ethical, empathetic but then not giving an inch if and when those displeased by her work try to hijack discussions at Newsvine.
She takes the classic journalism motto of afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted and applied it to the Shriners.
Like many I only knew the Shriners as those guys in tiny cars in parades who donate to good causes but Sandy has opened the metaphorical windows of what is really going in with some shriners.
For, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
I will tell readers here what I told Shriners who came to object to her articles: Yes, there may be other groups who are also doing bad things but that's no reason for her to stop her reporting--rather it means there should be others like Sandy Frost exposing other groups's questionable deeds.
Put a different way, if one uses the argument that one should not write about the Shriners because most Shriners are good and well-intentioned then it's not a stretch to suggest other groups (be it the Red Cross or the United Way) should also be offlimits along with corruption in government and, well, I think you get the idea.
Sandy, how did you decide which pieces to include?
Sandy: There are 44 chapters, one for each online article, arranged chronologically. The readers will learn what I learned as different news articles and editorials were written. Ten of the sixteen articles published this year alone covered the Shriners’ secret sub-group, the Royal Order of Jesters, and their east-coast network of sex crimes.
Why did you decide to collect this material into a book?
This is one of the most underreported story of the year, if not the decade. One of the main reasons I decided to publish was to provide a resource for other editors and reporters to help them learn about what I’ve found.
Last Human Rights Day, I contacted my publisher, Carol Adler, president of Dandelion Books, and we decided to donate $1 per copy to ECPAT-USA, which stands for “End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking in Children for Sexual Purposes-United States.”
The sooner things get going, the sooner we can support this important group and raise awareness about the horrific crimes of human trafficking, sex slavery and child sex tourism.
This investigation began because a Shriner asked me to. I want to give voice to those hundreds of thousands of hard working Shriners who believe in helping the kids. Instead, they are kept in the dark by those leaders who abuse their positions of public trust for personal gain.
Elders should be honored, not used. Many of those concerned Shriners I’ve interviewed are also military retirees and vets, some highly decorated. These men are heroes and should be treated as such by their brothers who, instead, use the politics of punishment to protect their secrets as if they are above the law.
I also want to help other editors and reporters identify resources and get mentally prepared to report on the epidemic crimes of human trafficking and child sex tourism. I was not prepared and kind of hit the wall and went a little crazy after reading documents included in a federal defamation case between two fishing tour operators.
These included a witness list for the defense that named 19 Jesters who were expected to testify about their first hand knowledge of drug use and sex with minor prostitutes while in a fishing trip to Brazil.
Also included were depositions given by five Brazilian girls to their federal police that describe how they were lured from their Indian reservations to work on fishing boats as underage prostitutes for North American tourists. One was left pregnant at age 13.
Then there were the depositions of two Brazilian fishing guides that described drug use and identified Jesters, who preferred to be called Masons, having sex with underage prostitutes because they allegedly asked for girls over 13.
I was doing research for another Jester case and read an FBI request for search and arrest warrants and realized things were way beyond prostitution. I realized that these guys had been caught by the FBI in a human trafficking sting and when they pleaded guilty, further realized that the Jesters who were at the weekend parties in New York, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada appear to be involved in some sort of prostitution network. In other words, these “pillars of the community” were caught taking sex slaves to their weekend Jester stag parties so their brothers could have sex with them.
I’ve singlehandedly uncovered the biggest nonprofit scandal of our time and it’s time to share my findings with the world.
Sandy Frost - Newsvine.com Interview Continued
Shriners’ Shame investigates allegations of crime and corruption associated with the red-Fezzed fraternity best known for their $8 billion network of 22 non profit hospitals that provide free medical care to burned and crippled children.
Embezzlement, tax fraud, human trafficking,
sex parties, and more
Shriners’ Shame is available through Dandelion Books, Amazon Kindle and Sandy Frost’s and Dandelion’s blogs, lenses and ezines. It is distributed through Ingram Digital Group to fictionwise.com, powells.com, eBooks.com and other Ingram ebook retailers.
Read an excerpt of Shriners' Shame
The Cassandra Frost Collection
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