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|SO YOU WANT TO BE AN ACTIVIST?
HOW TO PREPARE FOR COMBAT
By: Derek W. Logue
Written August 6, 2010
Are you tired of waking up every morning afraid of the next legislation targeting you? Tired of harassment by neighbors,
police, and self-styled vigilante groups and websites? Many people are tired of the uncertainty in their lives and wish to
fight back, but they do not. There are many reasons why most people impacted by sex offender laws. Many of us fear
retaliation. Others simply feel like they are alone in wanting to fight, and many others sit and wait for someone else to
fight for them. Others do just enough for themselves and quit when their personal circumstances improve. We are at
times our own worst enemies.
There are 820,000+ Registered Former Sex Offenders in the USA. Out of those 820,000+ registrants are a small but
growing number of dedicated activists fighting to reform current sex offender legislation. Over the years, we have
accomplished great things with the few that have chosen to stand up, but the more dedicated warriors, the greater the
chances we can overcome this adversity once and for all.
You are not alone in this "war on sex offenders."
If you wish to become more active in the fight against over broad, ineffective, and counterproductive laws, there are
many ways you can help. Below are just a few ways to fight back.
TIP #1: JOIN AN RSO ACTIVIST/ SUPPORT WEBSITE (ENLIST)
I cannot stress enough the importance of joining a website of supportive individuals who are also seeking reform of
current sex offender legislation. Even the most resilient activists struggle at times to deal with the personal impact of
these laws, and having a support network helps us to share our burdens, discuss strategies, and gain encouragement
to continue the fight. We need more than an "army of one" here!
Many activist sites have forums to share news, ideas, or personal testimonies. Visit my LINKS PAGE for an exhaustive
list of activist and support websites.
In addition, there are a growing number of sites that focus specifically on one solitary state ("state affiliate sites"). Some
sites are independent (for example, Once Fallen also hosts the ReFORM Alabama state affiliate blog), while others are
affiliated with one of the national websites like RSOL. For a list of active state websites, visit my LINKS PAGE.
One important part to remember, verify each site is a site that is NOT affiliated with alleged "pro-pedophile" groups such
as NAMBLA or "boy/girl chat" type websites. Most activist sites prominently displays denouncing the promotion of illicit
sexual activity (for example, Once Fallen displays a disclaimer on the front page of the site)
TIP #2: GET EDUCATED (TAKE UP ARMS)
Perhaps the scariest part of activism is the prospect of being interviewed by the media without knowledge of a subject.
Every activist had to start somewhere, even me. My introduction into sex offender activism came through an old forum
and through the eAdvocate website. Thankfully, there is a wealth of research available on a variety of sex offender
issues, and activist sites including Once Fallen offer this education free of charge. There are also a number of
suggested readings on my LINKS PAGE for more info.
Below are a few recommended sites for facts, studies, and guides, our "weapons" in this "war:"
If you just beginning to learn the ABC's of apologetics, then I highly recommend the Once Fallen "Mythbusters" page to
familiarize yourself with the common myths
The latter two blog sites are great long-running news blogs and often offer helpful links to the latest news articles,
studies, and even videos. This brings me to my next tip:
TIP #3: STAY INFORMED (KNOW YOUR ENEMY)
If you do not keep up with the latest news, then there is a good chance you will miss something important. Remember,
the Adam Walsh Act sat stagnant in Congress for about a year before it was steam-rolled through Congress like a
freight train. Thankfully there are two equally wonderful blogs that are good at keeping you up-to-date with the latest
news and conveniently categorized:
In addition, search engines have "News Search" functions to help you find the latest sex offender headlines. For
example, using Google, I can search any sex offender news story within the past hour, which can be expanded to the
last day, last week, or last month.
TIP #4: GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY (BASIC TRAINING)
Few of us get opportunities to speak to the media or a large audience. Many activist opportunities come through one-on-
one experiences. There are many opportunities to spread the reform message. You can tell another registrant about
SOSEN, RSOL, or Once Fallen. You can leave pamphlets offered from these sites in random places. You can strike up
a conversation with someone you meet publicly and bring up key talking points. You can leave comments on a news
blog with a link to an activist site. You can send a letter to a legislator. You can participate in Verbal Assertiveness
Training classes offered by the activist sites. Each of these smaller experiences build our confidence and hone our skills
for those times we are called up to bigger tasks. I can tell a major difference in my own interviewing skills today as
opposed to my first TV appearance in 2006. Even my writing has improved as time moves on. Practice makes us better
You can print out SOSEN brochures and leave one at the registry office (or other random locations).
TIP #5: CONTACTING LEGISLATORS & THE MEDIA (THE FRONT LINES)
To kill a snake, you cut off the head and not the tail. Killing a law is far easier if it never gets passed in the first place.
Therefore, it is important we keep up with legislation that targets our very existence and fight back at the source.
Many politicians and media members do not stop to consider the impact of many of the laws they pass. Many blindly
pass it because it generates votes, others because they do not have the time or expertise in the field, and others do so
out of fear or apathy. It is easier to sign a law when they do not have to deal with opposition. Each of us have a story to
tell. Emotional stories are needed as much as the facts. Your legislator needs to know how you've lost your home/ job/
This nation is starving for a better solution to dealing with sexual offending in the country. The laws are failing. We must
emphasize healing for both victim and offender, treatment to compliment punishment for the offenders, and the option of
reconciliation and atonement to those they offended, rehabilitation and successful reintegration upon release from
prison, and sensible education and prevention programs, such as the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center & Stop It Now!
TIP #6: SUPPORT WAR EFFORTS! ("BUY WAR BONDS")
It seems the moment money is mentioned anywhere on a website, eyes glaze over and people get fidgety. After all, sex
offenders are very likely to be poor, unemployed/ on welfare, and/or taxed heavily by such obligations as registration
fees and fines. Even a small contribution (a few bucks or even a few stamps) to this site or one of the activist sites goes
a long way to helping spread the word. Many sites are funded by equally poor activists (I am on SSI/ Disability myself
and spend roughly 3/4 of my monthly income for unsubsidized rent and utilities).
There are many ways, however, to contribute to the war effort besides financially. Many of the actions I mentioned in the
"get your hands dirty" tip apply here as well. Word of mouth is a great advertiser. Activist sites have to compete with sex
offender registries, websites that advocate for stricter sex offender laws, vigilante websites, news articles, and various
personal blogs for attention. A person seeking support or legal advice is most likely to find a site like Family Watchdog
than one of the activist sites. Word of mouth is better than any advertising we could do.
VISIT MY CONTACT ME page to donate to this website.
These are merely my own suggestions for fighting back. We currently have less than 1% actively fighting back. If we
even had the 1%, we'd have over seven thousand warriors in the fight. If we've done this much with a couple hundred
warriors, imagine what a couple of thousand can do!
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