Book Club Channel
God in a Brothel: A Book Excerpt
Kelvin then drove me to a secluded parking lot where he introduced me to a pimp by the name of Michael. Kelvin had told me beforehand that Michael preferred to meet at a destination of his choice so as to avoid any monitoring or surveillance by local law enforcement. Michael duly arrived in a black late-model SUV. He was a charming African American in his early thirties, well-spoken and immaculately groomed.
After exchanging pleasantries we got straight down to business. Michael said he was proud of the fact that he ran the largest amateur escort agency in Atlanta. He confidently assured me that he could access as many girls as I required and from whatever race and ethnic background I desired. When I expressed amazement and stroked his ego accordingly, Michael said that he routinely recruited girls from the shopping malls, high schools, universities and college campuses in and around Atlanta. He boasted that he could spot a girl a mile away who was down on herself. When I asked how he actually recruited the girls, he replied with a large smile, "I sell dreams."
As Michael talked, it became apparent that he was indeed a very good entrepreneur, pursuing the all-American dream. He said it did not take much effort and only a small investment on his part to gather together a group of girls. Michael said he then had each of the girls sign an employment contract, a ploy that was common among pimps. This fooled them into thinking and believing that they were somehow "legally bound" to fulfill their duties to the pimp.
As I shared a little more about my fictitious proposal, Michael explained how he could personally guarantee every woman and girl who worked for him. With little emotion and without any compunction, Michael said that he held a prescreening session with every girl. This involved him and some other men having sex with each girl to see how she performed. He then pulled out his cell phone and showed me a video of two very young African American girls engaging in oral and anal sex with different men in the same room and at the same time.
After some negotiation around the price and terms for the purchase of each of the girls, Michael agreed to meet me again the following evening to show me some of his best "products." I agreed to pay each girl $100 for her time.
As arranged, the next day Michael duly arrived at another apartment used by Kelvin for his photography business. At Michael's command, each of the girls paraded in front of me before removing their clothes and adopting provocative and seductive poses. While each of the women were of age, it was apparent from their demeanor and from the way they quickly moved when Michael spoke, that they were under his power and control.
I paid each girl and thanked her for her time. Michael was pleased with the many compliments I paid the girls, and we sealed our agreement on behalf of my imaginary clients with a handshake.
As Michael drove away, waving from the front seat as he did so, Kelvin looked on and expressed admiration and envy for one who was so clearly making a lot of money while at the same time enjoying all the pleasures of the flesh. He had obviously not seen or identified in any way with the women sitting in the backseat, their smiles now gone and their tired eyes staring vacantly back at us as the vehicle disappeared. This information was passed on to the local authorities.
All of the information I gathered during my time in Atlanta was given to the law enforcement authorities: federal, state and city. All were aware of the sex slavery occurring within their respective jurisdictions, and each one expressed the same frustration and sense of powerlessness at doing anything about it. They each recounted the many meetings they had attended in order to communicate their concerns to the Atlanta Visitors Bureau and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.