That the late Jeffrey Epstein was one of history's arch-villains is to point out the obvious.
Nonetheless, like the narcissistic psychopath in the White House, Epstein is merely emblematic of a profoundly sick society, and not a one-of-a-kind bad guy. The illness for which Epstein was a symptom won't go away after November 3, nor will the world be purged of sexual predators with the breakup of Epstein's massive estate in favour of his so-called victims.
As child abused by the Christian Brothers in the late 1950’s (see https://www.francescorizzuto.com/blog/what-s-wrong-with-pedophile-priests), I’m surely the last person you’d expect to defend the Epstein/Maxwell team or Donald Trump over allegations of raping underage girls; or raping anyone for that matter, even mature women in Bergdorf dressing rooms (https://www.francescorizzuto.com/post/she-s-giving-dirty-old-men-a-bad-name).
But I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here. Please stick with this thread because going against the grain of popular opinion can be challenging both for the writer and the reader, and especially so for a self-professed coward like myself.
An adult male or female having sexual relations with a minor may not be guilty of rape per se; nonetheless, he/she may still be guilty of having engaged in sex acts with an underage person where prohibited in a particular jurisdiction. How ‘underage’ is defined varies from state to state and country to country. These two so-called crimes, rape and sex with a minor, are not the same, although rape can involve both definitions. The underage party may have consented to the sex acts, while rape always implies a lack of consent on the part of at least one participant, hence, ‘the victim.’
In today’s confused world, the only sure way to avoid the slammer and being forced to register as a sex offender and life-long pariah is to ensure that 1) both parties are past the age of consent, and 2) each party signs a mutual consent agreement outlining exactly what is to be enacted and how/by whom, including a specific time limit on the action, or at least a ‘planned start’ and ‘planned finish.’ To be absolutely bulletproof, this written agreement should be confirmed by the signatures of three witnesses and sealed by a notary public. Sound kinky? Well, it’s perfectly legal and advisable. After all, you wouldn’t think about having unprotected sex, would you?
The recommendation comes from personal experience.
In my youth, I had a BFF (Best-Friend-Forever) called Lorena (not her real name). Lorena was a municipal social worker and single mother, slugging it out among the prostitutes and drug addicts of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, the notorious DTES. She was a person of great compassion who wanted more than anything to be loved with the same intensity and dedication to purpose that she brought to her day job. I’m certain that if one could contact her former clients, many would attest to Lorena’s influence and personal sacrifice having turned their lives around. If you were ever in a jam, Lorena was the one to stand behind you. Like I said: BFF.
Lorena often commented that her clients were not bad people, but that they just made bad decisions, over and over again. Many were underage girls from native reserves as well as middle- and upper-class homes in upscale districts. They came in all colours. They all had troubled backgrounds. Given a different start and some nurturing, most would not have become her clients.
But Lorena always seemed to get short-changed in the love department. Her own parents were estranged. She and her husband were estranged. She had issues with her father, a philandering alcoholic with too much money. She’d been a teenage runaway herself. In short, her own story wasn’t very different from those of her clients or the sagas recounted in the mass media by Jeffrey Epstein’s and Donald Trump’s accusers.
Lorena and I were friends for over 50 years until her death of natural causes in 2017. But there’s one incident that’s pertinent to this post, if only to throw light on the plight of young, underage girls and the choices they make. And not just underage girls.
One Saturday morning over coffee – since we were both friends and neighbours, it was our habit to visit each other for coffee – Lorena recounted the details of her date of the previous evening. I practically choked on my Java when she complained that she couldn’t decide if she’d been raped or not. Did she report the incident to the police? No. Did she want me to go over and kick the livin' shit out of that arsehole? No.
Now, if a mature woman can’t decide if she’d been raped or not, then how is a court of law supposed to do it? Here we are at the thin edge of a very ugly wedge dividing men and women into opposing camps. Men quite naturally tend to side with the male version of the story, women with the female version. But these stories usually have more than a few elements in common.
First, there is usually money and/or alcohol/drugs in the picture. There are longer-term (female) versus shorter term (male) goals and expectations. And there is that inexplicably complicated and mist-enshrouded human drive to reproduce, a force that compels people to take unmitigated risks to achieve what are usually rather short-term satisfactions.
This was exactly Lorena’s dilemma on the morning after. She couldn’t decide if her personal needs and objectives had been addressed or, if not, whether she’d been raped. It wasn’t as simple as going into a Bergdorf’s women’s change room with Donald Trump. No, it was infinitely more complicated and primal than that.
So, let’s cut to the chase and put Epstein and Trump under the lens. And we'll throw in Prince Andrew and Alan Dershowitz for good measure. They'll sue. Except Epstein, of course. He’s dead.
There’s nothing more despicable and degrading to the participants than trying and condemning a person in the social media, and it gets especially vicious among the mob of righteous Twitterites hiding behind their social media handles. Like @realDonaldTrump, who stirs up the idiot fringe shouting “Lock her up,” and “Send her back,” and publicly accuses a woman of colour and elected member of Congress of having married her own brother. Twitterites level charges of rape as casually as if they were tossing away peanut shells at a Trump hate rally. Witness how the #MeToo witch hunt has destroyed Senator Al Franken. And there will be other innocent victims to come. These hooded avengers refuse to reveal their real names, a lynch mob fuelled by hatred for anyone of a different colour, religion or gender, the modern face of an old and deadly institution: The Holy Inquisition.
Nonetheless, and despite the anonymity and questionable validity of social media in general, the accusations against Jeffrey Epstein and friends are serious. Whether or not the charges are based in fact, the mere act of spreading unfounded propaganda, lies, and innuendo, is demeaning and unworthy of people who purport to live in a free and just society. Freedom of speech doesn’t necessarily include the right to engage in hate speech or character assassination, despite POTUS45’s rather poor example. We have courts of law because there is often no other, or better, means of reaching the truth.
But let's get back on topic.
Whether or not an underage girl (or boy) is incapable of consent under any and all circumstances and therefore free of all culpability in their own supposed rape is a very serious question. Like my friend Lorena, none of 'Epstein's girls' considered the implications or repercussions of what they were doing before willingly and, in some cases, enthusiastically, providing blow jobs a-la-carte and full-menu intercourse to the wealthy individuals now being fingered in the media (not a pun). This is not to imply that the accused are not sleaze balls. But even the sleaziest of balls have certain rights which include the right to sue their accusers for defamation in the civil courts. It’s a much more complicated game than simply hunting down bad guys and hanging them from the nearest Twitter branch.
Epstein’s so-called victims are defined as having been under the legal age of consent with respect to sex acts, a definition that may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Nonetheless, what most have in common is the fact of their having consented to attending sex parties and accepting money to perform sex acts or having engaged in questionable activities that led to them performing these sex acts on adults. And given the extreme wealth and power of these men, what woman with a conflicted past would not be tempted to seize such an opportunity for personal gain? After all, that’s how they got involved with Epstein in the first place. Easy money.
I recently viewed the Netflix documentary 'Filthy Rich' that claims the whole goods on the amazing Mister Jeffrey Epstein. But I was disappointed. Why? Because by the end I still didn't know how Epstein actually got all that money which, in my view at least, is pertinent to explaining how he was able to recruit so many underage girls, as well as adult women, into a well-crafted pyramid scheme. Money empowered him to not only avail himself of all the flesh he craved, but to supply friends in business and government with the same. In terms of blackmail potential, the guy was an absolute genius. Yet, without the megabucks, Epstein would have been nothing but a small time crook. Like they say: follow the money.
Epstein and Trump and the Prince and the former President and the Harvard professor and a lot of their cohorts should go down. They need to go down because they have broken the law, that is, if a court of law determines this beyond a reasonable doubt. The charges involve sex with underage girls and/or having trafficked in women for the purpose of prostitution. How they got their wealth and how they currently use it may involve other crimes. And those around them, like Ghislaine Maxwell, may need to go down for aiding and abetting. But before they do, let’s all open our minds and look at some serious peripheral issues.
The most serious issue of all is the responsibility and role of the accusers’ parents. What was the underage girls’ parents’ or guardians' involvement? Where were they while their daughters were selling their bodies for money or promises of a career in ‘modelling’ and basking in a jet-set lifestyle? In America, where everyone considers himself/herself a victim of something (rape, fibromyalgia, the IRS), nobody has even mentioned parental culpability for the bad decisions taken by their underage daughters or their crimes. Some believe that parents should be held responsible and punished for unlawful acts committed by their children. Yet in the case of Jeffrey Epstein, they remain profoundly silent. Like Trump himself, the parents take no responsibility while the public focuses only on the lurid details of Epstein's sex life. There is no parental culpability whatsoever.
If a 13-year-old boy can be indicted and sentenced in adult court, how then can underage girls not be cited for prostitution which, in many jurisdictions, is still a serious crime? And why is nobody suggesting that they should not be tried and punished now, after having publicly attested to these crimes? Is it the statute of limitations that gets in the way? According to their testimonies, there was indeed pressure on the girls to perform; yet the ultimate decisions were theirs. Despite the naivety displayed in some of the video taped testimonies, and a deluge of fake tears in others, many of his accusers worked for Epstein for years, having willingly recruited dozens of other girls in the pyramid scheme. They followed the money. When it comes to selling sex, or worse, recruiting other young women into the trade, that's a second degree felony.
Yet the media and its following treats them as heroines, instead of criminals.
Where were the physical restraints (handcuffs, locked rooms, etc.) that kept the underage and overage women in captivity? So far, nobody has been able to point out any physical restraints whatsoever. Epstein may have uttered threats against girls who broke with him, but nobody has yet managed to document any actual retaliation. They participated in Epstein’s schemes of their own free wills and remained free to go; yet many, if not all, came back for more, time after time. In my own era, the age of reason was seven (7). Child prostitutes were not set on pedestals and worshipped as victims. They were sent to reform school instead.
I’m not advocating a return to a Dickensian era; but I am suggesting that there is no absolute age before which one is incapable of committing crimes, including the selling of one’s own body or the bodies of others as these girls did so enthusiastically. Laws by their nature must make definitions and set limits but real life is not like that. Children commit murder. They also engage in prostitution and trafficking in drugs and sex.
After viewing the Netflix offering, I came away with the same impression I'd had after having viewed a similar documentary on the wealth of Adolph Hitler, that is, the producers had not convinced me of their premise. My own conclusion was the exact opposite.
In Netflix's Filty Rich, I could not identify any likeable characters. Except the sisters Maria and Annie Farmer, who at best might be excused as pitifully naive, none of Epstein's other accusers deserve the label 'victim.' They all very willingly participated in availing themselves of what they deemed an easy mark, an older 'philanthropist' who they expected would give them something for nothing. Scholarships to fashion school, a masseuse certificate, a translator’s course in Spain, a job at Victoria’s Secret, cash, you name it. None had learned what most working people know from the get-go: that there is no free lunch.
As far as having come mostly from troubled backgrounds; well, folks, that describes most of us, even Donald Trump himself. But our backgrounds don't excuse us from the consequences of our own bad decisions, especially when it comes to criminal acts. Those sympathetic to the claims of Epstein's so-called victims are outraged when his defence lawyers ask one of the accusers why, after having experienced three abortions, she claimed to have been shocked when seeing a middle aged man naked on a massage table. I could go on, but WTF. These kids were not good people, not the kind of girls most parents would want their daughters to pal around with or their sons to date. And, perhaps with the exception of the Farmer sisters, they are not good people now. None have owned up to any capability whatsoever. All have their hands outstretched, ready to grab whatever bits of Epstein's estate their lawyers manage to tear off.
By far, the most repulsive among the alleged sleaze-balls has to be Alan Dershowitz. Just those hideous yellowed teeth merit a stint behind bars. I have to credit Virginia Giuffre when she says she had intercourse six times with Dershowitz but I can't fathom how anyone could stand it. Bill Clinton's denials of having flown aboard the Lolita Express or ever visiting 'Orgy Island' is simply more Monica Lewinsky-type 'alternate facts' and more reason not to ever credit either of the Clinton tag team. Trump needs to revise his chant from "Lock her up" to "Lock him up." The fact that Hilary actually sleeps with that creep is what denied her my vote in 2016.
Then there's the intrepid Prince Andrew of Windsor Castle. I won't comment on his denial with regards to the snapshot with his arm around Virginia Giuffre or her allegations of having had intercourse with him, never mind the techie who eye-witnessed the pair grinding at poolside on Orgy Island. There are the photos of Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, and Ghislaine Maxwell attending the 18th birthday party for Randy Andy's daughter. The Prince's long suffering mother must dream of implementing measures enjoyed by her namesake Elizabeth I ("Off with his head!" the queen was heard muttering). But which head? The big one on top of his neck or the little one between his legs which, by all accounts, is the one the Prince utilizes for decision making?
A broader but equally important issue is the source of Jeffrey Epstein’s enormous wealth. As a person coming from a humble family and economically-challenged background who failed to finish college, his skills as a so-called financial wizard and consultant to the rich really don’t pass muster. What was Epstein’s actual role, along with that of equally wealthy socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, in safeguarding the ethos of the American one-percent, the movers and shakers, some of whom have been implicated in the current scandal? Who was Epstein really working for? What was his role in ‘Intelligence’ and when will the public demand real answers? You can be sure that the issue of sex trafficking and raping underage girls is merely a smokescreen for bigger things. Much bigger. In a society predicated on racism, greed, and never-ending warmongering, a good sex scandal is the perfect diversion and panacea. Those sitting on the power bases know what the emperor Nero pointed out almost two millennia ago, that the masses understand only bread and circuses.
Finally, the girls themselves have only come out against Epstein after they’d made other life choices, that is, having become parents themselves or at least engaging in more or less mainstream, adult relationships. Some are still no better off than they were before their Epstein episodes. Along comes the undeniably sweet smell of notoriety and possible financial gain that accrues from the never-ending soap opera revolving around POTUS45 and FLOTUS45 (see www.francescorizzuto.com/blog/first-lady-of-porn) and their despicable friends. Like these women did in the beginning, they smell money. Big money, this time.
When it comes to trafficking in women for the purpose of sex, there are rules for some and other rules for others. The current focus on the late Jeffrey Epstein makes the perfect red herring and a convenient diversion from much more serious ethical and moral issues plaguing the Trump Presidency.
In 2019, the Trump Organization proudly announced the approval by the Chinese government of its bid to operate escort services in that country. Although its website was taken down as Donald Trump announced his bid for high office, an agency called 'Trump International' https://web.archive.org/web/*/Trump%20International%20Escorts (active 2013-15) offered an 'elite courtesan introduction' at anywhere from $800/hour for a Three-Star experience to $3000/hour for a Six-Star encounter. What's the equivalent in Chinese Renminbi?
According to the Washington Post, Trump International Escorts, which has since changed its name to 'Mystique Companions' after a cease and desist order was received from the real Trump Organization, had nothing whatever to do with Donald Trump.
The actual stakeholders in the various Trump enterprises are often shrouded in mystery and make easy targets for 'Fake News.' Nonetheless, the President's involvement with the late Jeffery Epstein is quite clear, despite having now conveniently distanced himself from his one-time friend.
“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” Mr. Trump told New York magazine in 2002. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
Just when you think the sordid American Soap Opera can't get any more bizarre, it does. And like almost everything in America these days, this tale smells worse and worse the more it unwinds. On the morning of August 10, 2019, Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in a cell of New York's Metropolitan Detention Center, a supposed suicide. According to various media accounts, the guards assigned to monitor him were asleep. One guard was not a real guard, while screams were reportedly heard coming from his cell around the time of death. Even the medical examiners are scratching their heads. The impossible somehow happened. Or didn't happen.
Quite suddently, and perhaps conveniently for many involved with Epstein in life, the State of New York was left without a defendant, although the prosecuting judge later vowed that Epstein's so-called victims would nonetheless have their day in court. That is to say, they will enjoy the media exposure they crave and may even benefit financially from the breakup of Epstein's considerable estate. So, selling your body for money - at whatever age - can really pay off in the end. And that's a potent message going out to America's children.
Finally, there is the Waldo-esque Ghislaine Maxwell, wasting away in the same prison that housed her late benefactor. Twitterites are predicting she too will be 'suicided' and the case sealed up tighter than fish pussy, and that's waterproof. But this is the American Way, isn't it? I'm still waiting for Lee Harvey Oswald's tax returns to be unsealed after the 70-year limit imposed by the Warren Commission, just to find out whom he worked for and, by extension, who was behind the Kennedy assassination. A madman President with the Jeffery Epstein saga as a backdrop promises to be far more threatening to the Establishment than was JKF's stint in the White House, which is only more reason why we will never know the whole truth.
Okay, @MeToo enthusiasts, MAGAts and Twitter trolls. Unleash your shit-storm of abuse on me. Call me a despicable misogynist. But it won’t change the fact that Americans are fundamentally uninterested in truth, justice, and a better society, while fatally distracted by the lurid sex lives of the Uber-rich who are dismantling their democracy, disposing of a cherished value system, and poisoning the well.
Here's the point. In a society predicated on racism, bigotry and greed, the accusers in the Epstein saga are just as guilty and despicable as the accused. Try to find a single likeable character in this entire disgusting scenario.
Go ahead. I dare you.
Readers' comments and criticisms are welcome. Please visit my website at www.francescorizzuto.com to download sample chapters from my novels and short story collections.