One of the main organizations who is working to fight the many sex businesses disguising themselves as massage businesses is a non-profit called The Network. www.thenetworkteam.org
My research so far shows that this company was previously called the Heyrick Research Institute. Heyrick was the company that did the research for the Polaris Project Report on Human Trafficking and the massage profession. Much of that report has been found to be inaccurate. The massage profession just took it at face value and never did a study on it to confirm their findings. The report was taken off of their website after the shootings in the Atlanta Spa in according to Vice.com’s story about it all. The story says it was taken off of the website:
“A spokesperson for Polaris told Motherboard that they removed the page that contained the massage parlor report “in an abundance of caution on the off chance some white supremacist extremist might find a way to twist it into an excuse for violence.” They said that this reflects a “more holistic approach” to the organization’s sex trafficking reduction strategy, “that does not include a focus on the massage industry in particular (although it may wind up as part of the strategy in localities where it is particularly prevalent),” they wrote in an email”https://www.vice.com/en/article/7k9gb9/anti-trafficking-polaris-massage-parlors-atlanta-shooting
The Heyrick Research Group changed their name to the Network Team for some reason and are now continuing to move forward to collect data on the so called illicit massage businesses. The first thing they need to do though is stop calling it an illicit massage business. IT IS NOT a Massage Business. It is a Brothel Disguised as a massage business (BDAMB) or a Sexually Oriented Business (SOB). Just using the word massage in their report has made it look like that the massage profession is involved in these places. While there are some bad apples in the massage profession sexually assaulting clients…well that’s a whole other story.
So the Network Team hosted a get together in Los Angeles in Early January called the Convening. Only people invited were allowed to attend. Attorney Generals from states were invited and so was the Federation of Massage State Boards (Debra Persinger went). They are now hosting a series of webinars starting next week on various topics.
The Convening was a gathering of Attorney General’s, members of California Massage Council but did not include any of our professional associations like AMTA, ABMP or AFMTE. The Federation of Massage State Boards was there and had a display table and were in attendance of classes.
5 steps proposed by The Network to Disrupt Illicit Massage Businesses (CA)
- Update Massage Ordinances
Example from San Mateo ordinance 5.44 (PDF)
- Update Your Business Application Process
Create a very detailed application process something like the one created for Sunnyvale CA.
- Declaration Process: Create a process where law enforcement can report to the CAMTC who can then suspend their certification.
- Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training . POST Certified Training offered by CAMTC
- Commitment to Inspection – update ordinances, business license applications, declaration process, train and repeat.