Now Featured in the Patheos Book Club
God in a Brothel
An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue
By Daniel Walker
Adapted with permission from InterVarsity Press
This is the story of my infiltration into the multibillion-dollar global sex industry and the human slavery that supports it. It is an exciting story of danger and dramatic rescue. It is a tragic story of horrific exploitation, criminal abuse and gut-wrenching despair. It is the humbling story of a man who set out to follow God but ended up on the pathway to hell.
For the sake of all of those women and children who remain imprisoned and enslaved inside brothels all over the world, I hope this book will challenge and motivate others to bring them rescue and freedom.
Atlanta is famous for its huge convention centers and mammoth sports facilities. It is no surprise then that the city can boast one of the world's busiest airports. Every year more than thirty-five million visitors flock to the region to participate in all manner of conferences, trade shows, business expos, tournaments and competitions.
Like covert terrorist cells plotting their attack, every event held in the city of Atlanta is carefully scrutinized and planned for and targeted by organized criminal groups. Coinciding with the arrival of football players, basketball fans, businessmen and music fans is the carefully choreographed deployment of a small army of sex slaves. Women and children are once again placed for sale on Atlanta's auction blocks.
Posing as a foreign businessman looking to host a large corporate meeting in Atlanta, I was able to document a few of the many criminals vying for the opportunity to sell the sexual services of their slaves. My entry into this underworld was gained by befriending an erotic photographer. Kelvin Thomas was a black male who worked full time taking pictures for the many and varied porn sites, pamphlet distribution companies, prostitution rackets, and pimps selling women and children.
With large profits in mind, Kelvin eagerly invited me to accompany him on one of his jobs, and I readily agreed. We traveled together to an unused office block inside the central business district of Atlanta, where I was introduced to two men who were making money by creating an Atlanta sex guide on the Internet. These entrepreneurs eagerly showed me with great pride the many girls who were already on offer and available through their company.
A steady stream of women then began arriving for a photo shoot with Kelvin. The women came from varied backgrounds. Some were solo mothers looking for some extra cash. Others were completing a university degree and were struggling to make ends meet. All arrived with a sense of proud defiance and defensiveness in their eyes. However after only a few minutes in front of Kelvin's predatory eyes, with every flash of his camera they surrendered a little more of their dignity and their humanity. Finally, having removed all of their clothing in order to market their bodies to the highest bidder, they left with the same empty stares of vulnerable and desperate women I had witnessed the world over.
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.