Friday, December 2, 2011

LA Porn Panic 2011/2012: The Series Continues: Mike Weinstein Gets His Condom Mandate Initiative On LA Ballot For Next June

Things are now about to get real, folks.

Yesterday, Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation released a press statement and had a press conference announcing that his proposed initiative mandating condom usage for all porn shoots in the greater Los Angeles area had gotten past the necessary 48,000 signatures to appear in the ballot for June of next year.

The presser was done to coincide with World AIDS Day (yes, because you know that only porn stars and gay men get HIV/AIDS, get it???) and to give Weinstein yet another chance to play verbal roulette with the truth.

Using his dedicated front group, the oxymoronically acronymed "F.A.I.R" ("For Adult Industry Accountablilty"), Weinstein was all a flutter about getting his precious initiative going, even with the progress of Cal-OSHA's making their own regulations on mandating condoms and other "barrier protections" for porn performers against their stated will.

So much so, in fact, that he wasn't even willing to wait until the vote next June; he wants the L. A. City Council to use the sigs to enact the proposal NOW. As in, before Chiristmas.

Don't believe me??  Here's a direct quote from the AHF press release (via here):

“Producers of adult films are required by California Code of Regulations Title 8, Section 5193 to use barrier protection, including condoms, to protect employees during the production of adult films,” said Brian Chase, Assistant General Counsel for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “However, many producers of adult films in Los Angeles consistently violate the worker safety provisions of this Code. In addition, pursuant to Section 12.22(A)(13) of the Los Angeles Planning and Zoning Code, producers of all films within the City of Los Angeles, including adult films, are also required to obtain film permits. Such permits issued may contain conditions ‘consistent with public health, safety and general welfare.’ We believe the city already has the authority to tie film permits to condom use—this ballot measure will allow Los Angeles voters to weigh in and make certain this happens.”
 And here's a direct quote from Weinstein himself at the press conference, as captured by AVN's Mark Kernes (full article here):
Perhaps the most important point for the adult industry, aside from the announcement that AHF had apparently collected more than enough signatures to put its mandatory-condom initiative on the ballot in June, was the claim by AHF president Michael Weinstein that if city clerks, doing a random check of petition signatures, find that the initative has qualified for the June ballot, that enacting an ordinance needn't wait for voter approval.


"At that point [after the signatures have been checked], the city council will have 20 days to enact the ordinance as is, or else it will go to the June ballot," Weinstein said. "We're very confident of victory in the election. Certainly, we think it is primarily the responsibility of the city council to enact this measure, and we hope that their consciences will be pricked and they will do the right thing and do that, but we're perfectly prepared to move forward.... We will be making an announcement shortly about actions we're going to take to move the agenda along at the county level as well."
 Of course, Weinstein seems to have forgotten that the second the condom mandate even becomes law, it will be hit with a tsumami of lawsuits challenging its legality...never mind the fact also that I'm guessing that LA doesn't have anywhere close to the funding to effectively enforce such a broad-reaching law. But, then again, all those potential condom dollars from Lifestyles and Durex must still be affecting his brain cells.

To further buttress his case, Weinstein bought out his crewe of sycophants and "several former actors" in the adult industry" (at least, that's what his press statement promised)...which turned out to be two actors. But oh, how interesting they were.


Testimonial #1 was from none other than Derrick Burts, the eye of the 2010 "porn scare", who waxed real good about how easy it was for him to get all kinds of STI's from unprotected sex and how only condoms would have saved him. (From Kernes again)
Burts, who "works alongside the AIDS Healthcare Foundation" and claimed to have been infected with chalymdia, herpes, gonorrhea and HIV after performing in adult movies (straight and gay) for just four months, opined, "I think it's very safe and fair to say that in this industry as a worker, when you're not wearing barrier protections, the likelihood of you getting an STD is extremely high."

Perhaps more interesting was Burts' claim that, "One thing I always point out time and time again, is that testing is not enough because there's too big of a time frame where we can go out and have sex with someone in the general public—you know, a lot of performers, female performers go out and have sex in the general public—male performers as well—and we go back to work on a porn set and we can easily spread that before testing again."
Ahhh, yes...the old "we porn stars are just too slutty to protect ourselves, so we need the State to intervene for our own good and jam condoms down our throats" card. Funny, but having someone who managed to infect himself in a scene WITH A CONDOM INCLUDED, who openly boasted of being an active bisexual swinger, and who even managed to use a negative AIM test to pimp himself for Rentboy.com, is hardly the best person to use to promote sexual restraint. (Also, go here and here to see more of DBurts playing fast and loose with the facts.)

The other former actor to take advantage of AHF's crying towel was Darren James, whom at least has a bit more cred as the centerpiece of the notorious 2004 HIV outbreak that actually did claim 4 female performers (Lara Roxx included).Like Burts, James pitied the fact that his life essentially changed after his HIV infection, and naturally, he blamed not having a condom on during the scene:
"People are going to buy porn regardless," James argued. "The fans that I've seen on the street, they could care less. They just want to see performers. If that means that a guy can't use a condom, you get a better actor that can use a condom... It's gonna sell. Don't believe all the directors talking about—they try to use every kind of scapegoat they can to get out of it, but it all comes down to the same thing: You gotta stick by the condom. The condom is the only way because just testing—that's what I thought: Just getting a test was saving me. And look at me now: I'm HIV-positive. The tests don't mean nothing; it's after the fact."  (excerpted from Kernes)
So, Mr. James...why weren't you willing to stick to your own words when you had that tryst in Brazil before doing that scene?? Or..why didn't the obvious anal sores on Lara Roxx's buttocks raise the red flag that something was more than a bit wrong and that maybe it should have been time to bail out?? Viruses don't invade by themselves, you know..you have to get them and spread them.

And don't even begin to start me on the claim that James and/or Roxx might have been infected before that infamous shoot, due to they shooting in Canada..see this story.

The other spokesperson there was Brian Chase, AHF's chief legal counsel, who riffed on how the condom mandate would be enforced if the initiative was ratified or passed. Apparently, he thinks that FilmLA, the organization that permits movie shoots in Los Angeles, can be induced to enforce the law:
"Everyone knows that when you go the city to get a permit, that permit comes with some conditions," Chase stated. "If a mainstream film studio wants to get a film permit and there's going to be pyrotechnics, then they have to have safety measures; they have to have the fire department involved. When you get a construction permit for your house, that means you've got to follow all the rules regarding workplace safety for construction workers. It's the exact same thing in the adult film industry. We have regulations saying that when workers might be exposed to the threat of disease, they have to be protected with barrier protection. In the context of adult films, that means condoms. This is a law that already exists, but this industry seems to believe that it's above the law, that it can just ignore the law and get away with it. It can't, and we're going to continue to do whatever we can, including going to the voters, to put pressure on this industry to start protecting its workers."
 Yes. but FilmLA does not have a charter to impose rules for condoms on porn shoots, and I don't see LA giving them the money to do so (otherwise, that would be called an "unfunded mandate", which is a no-no politically). But, Chase and Weinstein have an out for that: just let either the LA County Dept. of Public Health or Cal-OSHA take over the enforcement. The former, though, wants out of the condom police biz altogether after being burned far too often, and the latter already has enough powers through fines and raids (and is currently seeking to change the regs to force the mandate via "barrier protection" enforcement".

Just as interesting as who was there, though, was who was absent.

Like, for example, any active current porn performer, even though there are more than a few who do support the idea of more condoms in porn.

Also...no females this time; you'd think that Weinstein would want to avoid the stigma of having men lecture female performers on protecting themselves.

But the biggest absence of this drama?? No Ministeress!!!

Apparently Shelley Lubben has become much too radioactive for even the folks at AHF to recruit her ministry for propaganda's sake, thanks to the allegations that "Madelyne" (the former Michelle Avanti) raised against her and her Pink Cross Foundation. Either that, or Shelley's decided to focus her audience for her book on her fundamentalist Christian roots, and palling around with a liberal gay organization would get in the way. (Not that she's not doing her deeds en rogue, her YouTube page just put out a video of the presser, albeit altered to make it seem as if she was there.)

And if you remember, Clones, Shelley and Pink Cross was all over the original presser in June announcing the initiative; she even had her present protege Jan Meza pose in the background.Whether this is a permanent break or simply part of the strategy of divide and conquer, we shall see.

In any rate, maybe it's time for the industry to get past their differences and pull together and fight this nonsense. It's only your profession, you know.


Friday, November 4, 2011

How NOT To Sell Your Own Book: Ministress Lubben Offers Free Copies Of Her "Truth Behind The Fantasy Of Porn"...Yet Her First Story Turns Out To BE A Fantasy

[Crossposted from my Red Garter Club blog]

Well...it seems that either sales are not going so well for Shelley Lubben, or she's that willing to expose herself to even more criticism about her tactics..because she just announced that she's giving out free PDF copies of her book "The Truth About The Fantasy Of Porn" to anyone who visits her site (of course, if you want an autographed hard copy of the book, you will still have to pay).

Shelley's even gone as far as to break off an announcement to none other than LukeIsBack.com. expressing the hope that porn performers surfing there would be willing to read her book and go through all the changes and epiphanies that she went through on the road to peace and glory through the "salvation of Jesus Christ".

That's all fine and good, and her perfect right to do so.

Problem is, that if you are going to open yourself like that by offering your book to anyone passing by, Ministeress, you might want to prepare yourself that it will face scrutiny and constructive critique for its shortcomings and fallacies.

I just so happened to get my own PDF copy of the book, and have given it the once-over. I'll possibly provide a much more detailed fisking of the tome later on when I have more time to really digest what Shelley printed.

However, if the first chapter -- if not the first footnoted factoid  -- is of any measure, Lubben's still up to her old tricks of playing fast and loose with the facts.

Let's try this nice tibit from Page 2:

But the multi-billion dollar porn industry wants you to believe
the fantasy that we porn actresses love sex. They want you
to buy into the lie that we enjoy being degraded by all kinds of
repulsive acts. Creatively edited films and prettified packaging
are designed to brainwash consumers into believing that the
lust we portray on hot and bothered faces are part of the act.
But the reality is women are in unspeakable pain from being
slapped, bit, spit upon, kicked and called names like “filthy little
whore” and “toilet cunt.”

While filming the movie “Rough Sex 2,” porn star Regan
Starr described in horrific terms in an interview with Talk Magazine
in February, 2001, “that while sex acts were performed on
her, she was hit and choked until she couldn't breathe. Other
“actresses,” she said, “wept because they were hurting so badly.”
(1)

Now, I will defer for another time and a more detailed analysis Lubben's meme about how women are so degraded and abused in the making of porn, or the gall of a woman who hasn't made an active video in 20 years deciding to make herself the voice of ALL porn performers.

It's this reference to Regan Starr, though, that bears attention.

Here's the related footnote attached to the end of the book:

1. Regan Starr Interview. Talk Magazine, http://www.cwfa.org/articles/
3838/LEGAL/pornography/index.htm, February 2001.

It would be a very helpful link...if it worked. Problem is, it doesn't.

The actual domain is NOT to TALK Magazine, but to the site of the very antifeminist, and aggressively antiporn Concerned Women of America website...and not even their section on "Pornography" lists any such interview. (In fact, their articles only go back as far as 2009.)

Not even a Google search could find any reference to an Regan Starr interview with Talk Magazine...other than one reference to another infoblab found at another antiporn website called Against Pornography (www.againstpornography.org), which cites what is alleged to be testimony from Ms. Starr quoted from yet ANOTHER antiporn site (victimsofpornography.org):

"Porn performer Regan Starr, in an interview with Talk magazine in February 2001, described her experience while filming "Rough Sex 2" in horrific terms. She said that, while sex acts were performed on her, she was hit and choked until she couldn't breathe. Other “actresses,” she said, wept because they were hurting so badly. In the same article, a sex-film star notes how threatening the work is to performers’ health. “Nearly everyone has STDs [sexually transmitted diseases],” said Chloe. “If you’re a porno performer,” she continued, “your latest HIV test is your work permit. ... The tests we take test only for AIDS. We’ve contained AIDS in the industry, but what about all the others? You know we’re now up to hepatitis G?"
-- Source: victimsofpornography.org/

Well, now...you can't defend that, can you?? I mean, that's her iron clad story, so it must be as Shelley wrote it...right??

Not quite, Clones.

Long time serious TV journalist Linda Ellerbee had a consistent saying to warn people to dig inside the stories and not just take them at face value: "People say that the camera doesn't lie, but people can lie with a camera."

In this case, Shelley's big lie assumes that no one would ever actually seek to find the actual interview that Regan Starr made in which she made those remarks...and the proper context in which she made them.

Turns out that it wasn't Talk Magazine where the "choked" and "abused" comments originated; rather, it was an interview (warning: link NSFW) that Regan did do with the website of Excalibur Films, which interviews a lot of porn performers. They don't give out the exact date of the interview, but from the text of Starr's comments, that had to be right about that time of January 2001.

The interviewer was long time porn critic/commentator/director Roger T. Pipe, and from the looks of that interview, Regan sure didn't sound like someone who was so abused and victimized from her time in porn.

Roger T. Pipe Well, this is an interesting interview. We've just finished shooting Regan Star for the final scene of a pro-am movie and she's sitting here with me in the bathtub, naked.  I guess we don't have to bother with the whole topless requirement this time around. Regan, thank you for taking time out to talk with me and your fans on the internet, and thank you for letting me sit here and enjoy a bath with you.

Regan Starr But you're not in the bath with me.

Roger T. Pipe I know, but believe me, I'm enjoying it all the same.

Regan Starr Yes, and I'm enjoying some champagne and would love the company.

Roger T. Pipe Maybe later. You just shot a scene with…(To the man about to leave the room.) Hey you, what's your name?

Jay Jay Hitchcock.

Roger T. Pipe Oh yeah, Jay Hitchcock. You just shot a scene with Jay, how was it?

Regan Starr Very good. His dick was very, very hard and quite big. It grew a great deal from where it was when we started so I was quite surprised.

Roger T. Pipe There were lots of hard dicks on the set, you just couldn't see them all.

Regan Starr Well, I was concentrating on the scene and they were all concealed in pants so I missed them. Think you could show me one?

Yup..naked in the bathtub, right after finishing up a particularly satisfying scene. Yeah, a definite Pink Cross recruit right there.

"But, hold on, 'Dog," I hear you thinking, "She did say all those things about being choked and slapped during those porn scenes, right? Is Shelley lying, or what?"

Well...yes, she does..but it's not about porn as a whole, but about ONE particular scene in ONE particular video for ONE particular company...namely, the notorious Anabolic Productions, who has built themselves a reputation for being more than a bit aggressive with their female performers. THIS is in fact what Regan actually said (emphasis added by me):

Roger T. Pipe We'll get back to the sex life later, but we were heading towards a topic. We established that with Max it was all play acting, but you're in the middle of another situation that is a little closer to home, a little more real.

Regan Starr Right. I know where you're going with that, so I'll just take over. Anabolic has put out a second tape in their Rough Sex line. In the video the women are the victims and the men are the perpetrators. The men get direction to literally perpetrate and abuse women in the videos. Anabolic thinks that it's validated because they say that they talk to the women about the video before hand. They say that the women are told that they are going to be smacked and yelled at then asked if it's still OK. The difference between this sort of film and one by Max Hardcore is that Max is the type of person who will go with what you are feeling. He may ask kinky things of you, but he will not intentionally beat you or hurt you emotionally without a very strong indication that he is acting. With Rough Sex 2, where my scene appeared, they called me a week before the shoot to ask me if I would be interested in this sort of film. Having done Max's films, I figured I wouldn't mind being pinched, spanked or talked dirty to. That's pretty common in porn. Every video you see is rougher than at home sex. It's for effect and for the audience. I really don't think Anabolic is putting out a positive vibe to the audience because they are filling their movies with women crying and being hit full force by men twice their size. Even though they talk to women before the scene, the women don't expect to get the shit kicked out of them. No one wants that, so why would they have a video that is completely real and in your face. It's absolutely wrong and I stand by my statement that even though they told me what the video was going to be like, they didn't tell me it was going to be physical abuse and that I shouldn't do it if I was sensitive or faint at heart. They should have said, hey Regan, this is absolutely real. Mickey G is going to strangle you. Mickey G is going to pick you up by your hair. He is going to throw you to the floor and make you cry. He is going to do all these things and we are going to keep filming. If they had said this to me, do you honestly think that I would have agreed to film with that company? I would have walked my ass out. I had no idea that the video was real. I had no idea that I was going to walk out of there traumatized and crying. They have a disgusting line and I think that it should be banned. I think it's completely wrong.

In other words, Regan Starr's major beef is directed SPECIFICALLY towards Anabolic and their Neanderthalish violent attitudes towards their female performers...and she even goes on to praise none other than MAX freakin' HARDCORE for his remarkable restraint!!

What....you say that I'm lying about Regan's love for Max Hardcore?? Here's a money quote from earlier in the interview:

Roger T. Pipe Before we get into the whole Rough Sex thing, I have to ask you, what's the deal with you and Max?

Regan Starr Max Hardcore is a good friend of mine and I don't think I will ever talk badly about him because he always gave me the respect I deserved. His scenes are always rough and the scenes he did with me are probably among the roughest of anything he has done. However, we had an understanding that it was fake and we were acting. There is a big difference between acting and realism. Max was rough, he was kinky and he pushed the limits, but he was also able to stop the cameras and be Max off camera while I was taking a breather and preparing for whatever vulgarity might come next. I will never bad mouth Max because of the respect. He talks to me like a human being and like I have brains. He would never do anything to me that I didn't want him to do. There was nothing in those films that I wouldn't do for someone else.

Of course, not every female porn performer would agree with that sentiment regarding Max Hardcore....but it does tell how different performers may have different reactions to different things, and how you just can't reduce individual tastes to groupthink conclusions.

Naturally, it's a mystery why Lubben wouldn't actually link the original interview and show the world that Regan Starr had an real genuine issue with one particularly bad porn company which could have been legitimately accused of mishandling and abusing their talent.

Actually, it's not so much a mystery, because Shelley's only interest is in merely rehabitating the usual antiporn talking points, distorting Regan Starr's testimony about Anabolic to indict the entire porn diaspora and find herself more prime recruits to use for her own ministry.

And to think that this is only her first footnote. I hesitate to see what other distortions and errors are in store. And, I'm sure that with Shelley Lubben, I'm betting the over every time.

Update (11/20/11):

Well…turns out that my Google search skills might need some fine tuning.

Reader Matt Scott just commented that there was indeed a Talk Magazine column that featured Regan Starr’s original comments about her not-so-excellent experiences with Anabolic Productions. I’ll simply reprint his comment verbatum:

Taking your advice to not take things at face value, I decided to look for the actual article referred to in both cases as the ‘Talk Magazine article.’ There is in fact such an article; it was written by journalist and novelist Martin Amis, appearing in the February 2001 issue of Talk Magazine under the title “Sex in America” (February 2001, pp. 98-103, 133-35). The same article was republished under the title “A Rough Trade” in The Guardian newspaper on Sat. 17 March 2001 and also on their website: http://tinyurl.com/yeewyo4 The article has since been republished by the Vintage imprint of Random House under the title “Porno’s Last Summer” in a collection of Martin Amis’s work called Vintage Amis (2004, pp. 174ff.) The quotes used by both Shelley and the Against Porn website are verbatim excerpts from the Amis article and do not originate from the interview by Roger T. Pipe. I’m sure you’ll be interested in having this information at your disposal.

My sincere thanks and appreciation to Mark for making that correction to the record.

Now, it should be noted that the original citing used by Shelley in her book does NOT cite Amis or the Guardian article, but an excerpt posted to the Concerned Women of America website…which, unfortunately, can’t be found. Why the Ministeress decided to use that source for her citation, and not use the original Amis citing or the Guardian article (or even, the citing from the antiporn website VictimsofPornography.org that I cited from my own Google search), is a mystery only she or her ghostwriters can answer. Perhaps she didn’t want to cite a putative left-of-center source for fear of alienating her target audience of right-wing fundamentalist Christian men (many of whom might also have been the biggest viewers of her porn movies when she was still playing “Roxy”). Or..perhaps it’s simply just another case of slipshod analysis and sourcing. I guess we’ll never really know, shall we??
 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The HIV Porn "Scare" Redux: "Patient Zeta" Derrick Burts Attempts To Clear Himself, Yet Only Suceeds In Raising More Questions

A lot of 'ya may have been wondering about what would happen to Derrick Burts, "Patient Zeta" of last year's HIV porn scare, and current poster boy for the condom mandate.

In case you missed it, last time here we chronicled the fact that some matters of criminal procedings might prevent Burts from attending a proposed panel discussion over at UCLA concerning the representation and protection of porn performers.  If you remember, Burts was under an arrest warrant for violating not one, but TWO probations in the LA metro area, and it was seriously problematic whether he would be able to make it to the panel discussion.

And as it turned out, he was indeed a no-show on November 16th. The panel, though, according to tweets from Danny Wylde, who was one of the other panelists (NIca Noelle of the Adult Performers Association was there as well), was not nearly as mercurial as the last panel discussion they had, and not worthy of any breathtaking breaking stories.

That didn't prevent Burts, however, from making some news of his own.

Apparently, Derrick has been surfing the Internet and reading up on all the scuttlebutt regarding his behavior, because he decided to write an email to Cindi Loftus over at LukeIsBack.com, in which he attempted to, in his own way, clear the air finally about how he got infected with HIV while shooting gay porn during September 2010.

You will recall that Burts' explanations of how he got infected have pretty much changed with the Southern California weather. First, he claimed that he got infected in a hetero shoot; then he said that he was infected in a gay shoot with a condom, where the condom broke; THEN he slightly modified that story to say that there was no condom breakage, but that the other guy took off the condom and popped off on his back and butt, and some semen leaked into his anal cavity...and THEN he changed THAT to say that maybe it was a dirty and infected "cum rag" in which he wiped his butt off after the shoot was how he got infected.

Well with this iteration, the man also known as Derrick Chambers and Cameron Reid now takes a new tact. I'll just quote the email that Cindi posted to LiB in its entirity and let you marinate it for a spell.

You will notice that he figures he's addresses his letter to "Luke", as if he's unaware that the former Luke Ford is now in retirement.


Luke,

I typically don’t respond to articles that are written about me that are industry insiders or industry blogs. I do however want to clear a couple things up for you.

The reason I did not attend UCLA’s Porn Panel was do to the fact that I was in Orlando Florida on vacation with my family. I have always made my Facebook public for anyone to see, and I often post updates with my where abouts.


You are correct, I did attend my court hearing and I have a great attorney taking on my case. As far as outstanding warrants in Orange County and Los Angeles..those have recently been addressed. My warrant in Orange County was due to an unpaid court balance that I was un aware that I still owed for a wet and reckless I got almost two years back. The warrant for LA was for failure to appear to my last court hearing to give an update on my classes because again, I was out of state at the time. I am in no way a hard criminal and I have a total of two misdeameanors on my record.


In case you were never informed, or maybe you didnt read the press articles, Los Angles County Health Officials confirmed that I not only worked with one, but two HIV positive performers that were confirmed by my agency that I worked with. As a matter of fact, the Center for Disease Control did a huge report on the entire issue and did an in depth investigation.


The way I contracted HIV was through Oral because I had gonoreah in the throat at the time. Even AIM can confirm that I tested positive for gonorhea and I was given a couple pills to get rid of it. I did a gay shoot where testing was not required due to condoms being worn on set. If you do your research you will find that you are three times more likely to get HIV if you have an active std in your body. At that time I had herpes and gonorhea.. Making it very possible to get it oraly.


Regardless of how people think I got HIV doesn’t really matter. The fact is that I got it, I could have very easily given it to other performers in the industry before testing again, and testing is not enough.

I do take responsibility for my actions and of course I knew the risk of working in this industry. I am doing great and I am making the most out of my situation.


To clear the record… AHF is not paying me in any way, and it is the state that is paying for my medications along with the Ryan White Foundation.


Before posting stories please make sure you have your facts straight.


Thanks,
Derrick
Let us break it down piece by piece, shall we??

Yeah, right, Derrick...you bailed out on the UCLA panel because you were on vacation in Florida. Sure...I mean, you did ultimately resolve the issue of your active arrest warrants, but still...why schedule yourself to attend and participate on a panel if you aren't going to follow up on your promise??

Next...."an unpaid court balance"?!?!? Really, Mr. Burts?? Is that what felony burglary and laundering charges mean to you?? Especially when you are under TWO probations in TWO different jurisdictions?? That's pretty damn close to "a hard criminal" record there, D. Especially to those of us who have never committed such crimes.


But it's this latest and newest "gonorrhea of the throat" excuse that really gets me interested. Now, I do know that there is such a thing as throat gonorrhea, and it is somewhat possible for someone who has serious abrasions or throat infections (such as strep throat) to also contact STI's from someone who is infected via oral sex leading to swallowing spooge. Problem is, though...unless someone is deep throating to the extreme, isn't it pretty much a rarity for someone to become infected from oral sex?? And, if both partners in the act are infection free, then there should be really no issue whatsoever about oral sex being a possible risk of STI infection...right??

On the other hand, if in addition to doing gay porn shoots, you also happen to escort on the side and swing heavily with active gay sex partners who aren't so careful about protecting themselves, I'd guess that "gonorrhea of the throat" would be a much more probable threat for you.

But...who am I to question Derrick, when a far better person who has been on the case can do so.

Entre vous, Mr. Michael Whiteacre, who used LiB's comment section to rebut Burts' latest claims.


Michael Whiteacre Says:


Since AIM no longer exists — thanks to Mr. Burts’ buddies at AHF — it would be rather difficult for them, at this point, to confirm that he’d had gonorrhea of the throat.

But if he indeed had gonorrhea at the time of his last AIM test — September 3, 2010 — and was given antibiotics, why did he still have it more than 8 days later when he was shooting in Florida?

And if he was shooting scenes prior to the time the antibiotics required to run their course, it was HE who was recklessly and selfishly placing other performers at risk.

He writes, “Los Angles County Health Officials confirmed that I not only worked with one, but two HIV positive performers that were confirmed by my agency that I worked with.” That’s interesting because Burts’ agent for the gay shoots he did in Florida was a Florida agent, Howard Marr of FabScout. What was LA County doing investigating Florida shoots?

The only valid reason for any LA County investigation would be because Mr. Burts chose to shoot a gay sex scene after returning from Florida, when he was at his most infectious, without bothering to update his test at AIM (because gay shoots don’t require a current test). He cared so little for the well-being of the performers he now claims to want to help and protect that he placed another male performer — and every other sexual partner — at grave risk by allowing his AIM test to lapse.

Could it be that among those “Los Angles County Health Officials” was Mr. Mark Roy “Wolverine” McGrath, who worked previously for UCLA and is now employed by AHF?

And, why did Mr. Burts’ his agent book him to shoot with HIV-positive talent? Maybe testing would have been a good idea. Mr. Burts, wouldn’t you have liked to know whether your scene partners were HIV-positive?

Burts also writes, “Testing is not enough.” That’s an odd statement to come from someone who CHOSE to have sex in a segment of the business that does not test, but relies only on condoms. Wouldn’t it be more logical — in light of the manner in which he claims to have contracted HIV — to state “Condoms are not enough”?

How did he contract gonorrhea of the throat? Since it’s far more likely to be contracted through fellating an infected male partner, and since the gay side of the industry does not test for STIs, isn’t it more than likely that he contracted it on that side of the industry?

IF — and it’s a big if — Derrick Burts contracted HIV while performing in front of the cameras, it was because of the glaring problems inherent in the wild wild west that is gay porn production.

So why isn’t Michael Weinstein going after the gay side of the porn industry to push for a testing regime instead of forcing condoms on the “straight” side? Because 1) he doesn’t want to (further) alienate AHF’s base, 2) there’s more juicy mainstream press to be had by taking on Larry Flynt and Steve Hirsch, and 3) condoms are an intrinsic part of the marketing of AIDS fear and hysteria.

Finally, Cindi, I have to take issue with your statement, “the only way to get the truth out is to talk directly to the person who is living in the situation.” With respect, that is nonsense. Getting an email from the subject doesn’t mean you’ll get the truth, it means you’ll get his side. The twain often never meet.

In any case, Mr, Burts has answered none of the real, troubling questions raised in articles published over the last month on various sites.
Now...let's remember, Clones, that during that classic presser last September where Mike Weinstein, DBurts, Ministress Shelley Lubben/Jan Meza, Darrin James, and the rest of the Condom Mandate Army were so busy milking the latest HIV "scare" for their LA condom mandate initiative, Weinstein had made note that the Free Speech Coalition had damn well better stop "stonewalling" and hindering the "investigation" over that particular scare. (You know..the one which turned out to be a false positive??) Maybe DBurts got his investigations mixed up.

Or....perhaps he's riffing it again. Here's Whiteacre, in a followup comment:



Here’s what Burts said in December 2010 about the shoot where he says he believes he contracted HIV:

“The particular shoot where I think I may have contracted it was with Bang Bros. Productions in Florida, Venetian Productions, for one of their gay companies. When they did the cum shot, they pulled the condom off and the performer pretty much did the shot on my back rear end, and when that wiped off, I could have come in contact with that. So there’s no knowing exactly where I got it….”

Here’s what he said in an interview published six months later:

“I did a shoot where I was riding [a co-star] on top, like a reverse cowboy. He had the condom on and at the end pulled the condom off and did the cum shot all over my butt and near my anus. I know that semen came in contact with that area. This is just an idea of how I got it. Either that or oral, because also the oral side of gay shoots is unprotected and it’s not like normal oral. You are doing 20 or 30 minutes of hardcore gagging. The cum shot was in my mouth. [It turns out that] I had gonorrhea in the throat during that shoot.

“When you have an active [sexually transmitted infection, or STI] it makes it a lot easier for you to contract HIV. That’s something that the public doesn’t understand. They say, “Oh, I don’t buy [his story]—the chances of him getting HIV from an oral scene or from semen on the butt are very unlikely.” And those chances are low—but [they’re higher] when you have an active STI. I had not only gonorrhea in the throat but also had gotten herpes [and chlamydia]. I gave this version to the media, but I’m sure you can see why they omitted it—it was probably a little too graphic.”

He tells two different stories at once, and like most con artists (including Shelley Lubben), he takes a kernel of truth (or at least events previously reported as true) — such as the fact that circa July 2010 he was diagnosed with those STIs at AIM and given treatment for them — and places it in the timeline at the most convenient spot. Burts’ original story was that he was diagnosed with those STIs one month into his career. His career began in June. He most likely contracted HIV in September.

A side note: as you know, AIM did not test routinely for herpes for performers entering the industry. There’s no way to know, at this point, whether Burts contracted it during other activities, like swinging, prior to entering porn. In any case, turning up with that assortment of STIs during such a short period of time — and where he made so few videos — likely reflects the reckless lifestyle to which Burts has already admitted (although he conveniently places it earlier in the timeline).
And then, Whiteacre adds this:



I have to agree that Florida seems to be the wild wild west. The recent Patient Alpha case, for example, demonstrates the problems inherent in a decentralized non-AIM system combined with the reckless nature of many productions there. The fact that Kaycee Brooks/Crystal found much work in Florida several months ago is also string evidence.

Fortunately, as far as I can tell, Burts did only one post-infection scene in LA (on October 6th), two days before his first positive test: a gay condom scene as a bottom.

Of course, had Burts been a responsible person, he would have not let his AIM test lapse and would have gone in to test on October 2nd instead of October 8th — and the performer from that October 6th scene would not have been placed at risk.

BTW, I LOVE Mr. Burts’ quote above, that he’s not a “hard” criminal. He is in fact an extremely reckless individual — shooting porn and escorting off Craigslist while he was working at a Christian Youth camp — who’s now facing the toughest criminal charges of his life: FELONY burglary and embezzlement. Let’s also not forget that he was originally arrested on charges of DUI and Domestic Violence. He pleaded down to Reckless Driving and Disturbing the Peace. And he’s violated probation and blown off court dates several times.

I love his excuse for missing the UCLA panel and his court dates: he happened to be out of state or on vacation. LOL I’m sure the judge said, “Oh, why didn’t you say so…” What a conniving little douche nozzle.
Fascinating that he's been chosen to be the stand-in example of the prototypical "victim" of unregulated hetero porn, and the reason why condoms must be shoved down performers' throats. Then again, consistency of principle hasn't stopped people like Michael Weinstein before when the principal (and the interest) matter, hasn't it. To recite a popular Daffy Duck phrase: "Frankly, it's not the principle of the thing....it's the MONEY."

Of course, Burts does have his backers...including one particular former performer who now claims that DBurts, along with Ministress Lubben and other fine proponents of the condom mandate, are the victims of a vast conspiracy of "stalking" and "harassment" which even goes as far as personal threats to their lives. Then again, this is the same performer who also flipped from prominent advocate for women getting into porn to fundie Christian talking open smack about "Satanic worship" in the porn industry...and who now is attempting to get her hands on the original Pornwikileaks database...all in the name of "truthseeking", of course. But, the story of "Not Sybill XXX" has already been told in another venue, and I don't want to tally too far here from the main story.

Obviously, as news breaks, we'll continue to follow and report.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Official State Of BPPA Address (Sort Of): Making A Good Thing Better

As you well know, this blog has now been going strong for over four years now since the lovely Renegade Evolution first founded it as a means of representing a pro-porn position. Since that time, many of its main contributors have come and gone, but the main objective has not changed one bit.

Now that I remain as the sole moderator of this blog, although I am still eternally grateful to people like Ernest Greene and Iamcuriousblue and Michael Whiteacre and even Ren Ev (whose spirit still oversees this blog even as she has moved on to other venues and topics), I'm in the mood for shaking things up a bit here by enlarging the focus of this blog a bit.

As you can tell, it's mostly been used for updating the latest news on the adult industry and especially the latest on the issues facing the adult porn industry. That, of course, will never change.

What I would like to do, however, is expand the base a bit to include more contributors, more featured commentators, and a broader array of topics and concerns. Not to mention, an additional moderator or two to help me lighten the load a bit, since my regular job schedule might keep me from doing regular updates.

If anyone is interesting in becoming a mod or a contributor, simply either tweet me at @Anthony_JK or email me at @anthonyk6319@gmail.com and I will hook you up. I would love to have more industry insiders, performers, or simply pro-porn intellectuals who want to use this blog to make a difference in the broader debate.

All I ask of you is that you don't bring any gossip or hateration or personal vendettas here, and that you stick to the broad directive of defending porn as an art form and a medium of pleasure.

Also...not that I absolutely hate Blogger, but I am a WordPress man to the hilt (all of my personal blogs run on WP, and have been since I first surfed the Internet), and I'm very much considering moving the blog over there as part of my Red Garter Club Network. If membership gets big enough, I might even be willing to use BuddyPress to form an active message board for feedback. (No, I'm not talking about cloning The Real Porn Wikileaks or anything like that; this would be a board strictly for debate and discussion of porn issues amongst performers, directors, intellectuals, and fans alike, freed of gossip or rumor mongering.)

At the very least, I'm may decide to make a mirror of this blog at WordPress simply to experiment with the many features that WP has to offer.

Only question in my mind will be in keeping as much of the present template as I can, if I can't find a similar one in WP. Oh...and the gorgeous header pic will remain as the foundation of the blog, if I do make the decision; it would be an act of criminality if it disappeared.

But...I will make no decision without you readers, since this blog was created for you, not for me. Therefore, the floor is hereto open to you for suggestions. Should I leave things as is, or may I tweak with things a bit and experiment to make this blog even better??

And for those of you whom have put up with me and who have been regular readers and commenters of this blog since its inception, I thank you for your support. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one blowing into the wind.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh, The Tangled Webs We Weave, When First We Practice To Deceive: Derrick Burts (2010 "Patient Zeta") Gets Exposed

Let's just say that today was not a particularly good day for Derrick Burts, the "Patient Zeta" of the 2010 HIV porn "scare".

Actually, tomorrow might be an even worse day for him...but I'll get to that later.

The fun began this morning when Mark Kernes of AVN released a new blog article on Burts and his current legal problems, as well as his being called by his mentors over at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the UCLA School of Public Health to participate in another seminar on health and safety in the porn industry, scheduled on October 11th.

Problem is, Burts might have a bit of a problem making that panel. Well..more than a bit. Unless they can do teleconferencing from his jail cell.

You see, tomorrow is when Burts is due to appear in Riverside County Municipal Court to be arraigned on some serious felony charges (burglary and laundering), for which he was arrested on July 31st.. And that's only the beginning of it, because those charges also put him in violation of not one, but TWO probations that he was serving for past offenses (one in LA County, and the other in Orange County, the latter of which is now repealed and an arrest warrant now active).

But it's not his personal life that is making the most headlines, his story about how he contracted the HIV virus is starting to unravel the way a house of playing cards collapses under the gentlest of breezes.

Also this morning, The Real Porn Wikileaks (the revised and legitimate version that replaced the racist/homophobic version first originated by Donny Long) ran their own article quoting emails that had been exchanged between DBurts and porn agent Mark Spingler, regarding the challenge issued by Spengler that Burts take a polygraph test to prove his accusations that he contracted HIV from shooting porn. At first, DBurts agreed, but then attempted to crawfish his way back from his commitment by attempting to set some conditions to the questions that would be asked him.

Some deets from the RPWL article (bolded emphasis in original):
Burts initially agreed to the offer, but the emails exchanged between Burts, Spiegler and the potential polygraph examiner reveal that Burts backed out after Spiegler refused to allow Burts to choose or substantially re-write the questions!

Regarding his alleged “escorting” activities – which came to light when his ad on the gay hook-up site Rentboy.com surfaced — Burts wanted to narrow the questioning to: “Did you ever meet or have sex with anyone from escorting on RentBoy?

Burts explained that because he had never acted on his RentBoy ad, there was “NO WAY possible for me to have contracted HIV from escorting….”

He also sought to alter a question about whether he had contracted HIV on set to “Did Jennifer Miller from AIM tell you that you had sex with a known positive gay performer while in Florida shooting?” In addition, Burts sought to narrow the question concerning whether or now he’d ever had bareback gay sex to whether or not he’d ever had bareback sex during a gay shoot.

“I would never risk having bareback sex as I am aware of the high risks involved of getting HIV from that method,” Burts wrote. “My agency is 100% against bareback porn and I never participated in a bareback shoot.”

Asking things like “If I ever did this or that” could refer to any point and time in my life before contracting HIV. I would like to stick to the time frame in which I may have contracted HIV which is between August and September as the widest gap. Based off the Western Blot test I contracted HIV around mid September. My last negative test was September 3rd… I tested positive on October 8th. There is a 60 day time frame for HIV to show in the body. So that would be all of August and September.

Yes, I did have sex with partners while swinging without a condom. Is it possible that I got if from swinging? No. It was outside of the time period and every girl I did swinging with was cleared on the quarantine list. Have I EVER had anal sex with a guy before? Yes… long time ago before starting porn…. If I am going to do this test then the 4 questions have to be specific and not broad.

On the next go-round, Burts suggested another configuration of the questions, including, “Did you have bareback anal sex with guys in any of your shoots in the time frame you may have contracted HIV?” [emphasis added]

Spiegler was flummoxed, and wrote the polygraph expert,
Please remind Derrick that the questions will be questions that I choose – not him. I am paying for the test and I want to have MY questions answered. Derrick cannot craft the questions to HIS liking.
Even more interesting is how DBurts attempts to explain away his belief that he couldn't have contracted HIV from anywhere other than on set.


After reading Spiegler’s ultimatum, Burts wrote a lengthy response — and also mentioned in passing both his “AHF Legal Council” [sic] and his Florida attorney, Norm Kent. Having previously stated, in his initial email, “I NEVER met with anyone from escorting PERIOD!” Burts now contradicted himself with some startling new admissions:

I had a posting for escorting during the time I got HIV, however, I did not meet with anyone from the ad. The reason I am time specific on the escort question is because back in May or June I met with a guy from Craigslist and gave a massage and a handjob on a guy… I classify that as escorting, however, there is no way I got HIV from that time since there was no sex and out of the time frame of being able to get HIV.

As for the anal sex question, there was a time I had unprotected sex with another guy while participating in a threesome at some point in June. I know I didn’t get HIV from that time as well because it was out of the range of time I could have got it and all people in that threesome have been tested since, it was also before I started porn….

Spiegler, interviewed the next day on AdultFYI, mocked Burts’ logic: “He goes, ‘I didn’t get it from [swinging] because they all tested negative.’ Like who gets everyone’s name and number at a swinger party?”
Many in the industry continue to speculate that Burts sought to alter the questions because he may have contracted HIV from someone involved with his Florida gay porn shoots with whom he had sex off –camera – perhaps even on set.
It's also interesting because since becoming AHF's point man for the trashing of AIM and the condom mandate (despite the known fact that all of the hetero scenes he did were condom-only), Derrick Burts' recollection of how he got infected has been, to say the least, more than a bit fleeting. Quoting from Kernes' article:


Indeed, since joining up with AIDS Healthcare, Burts has rarely told the same story twice regarding the source of his infection, claiming at times that he may have contracted the disease through oral contact (since the scene itself was condom), or that he may have become infected by having rubbed a towel coated with infected semen to clean up after his scene.

AVN has acquired much more information on Burts' pre-porn life as well as more complete background on the polygraph test that agent Mark Spiegler asked Burts to take regarding his statements about his HIV-positive status and how he acquired it, but Spiegler and Burts were never able to come to an agreement as to which questions would be asked, and the exam was never given.
Hold up here...isn't the prevailing rule that unless your throat or mouth happens to be infected with some way, there's no way you can contract HIV from oral sex?? And...even if you do happen to wipe yourself with a contaminated towel, you still would have to have open bloody sores in the anal passage in order for the virus to be transmitted?? Oh, and did I mention that that scene was a condom scene where the condom was deliberately removed for the pop shot on the back??

And then there is that infamous Rentboy.com ad that Derrick Burts made in September 2010..the one where he promotes himself as "AIM-TESTED", based on his September 3rd negative test.  Strangely enough, when Burts was exposed to be "Patient Zeta", he nuked all of his sexual contacts...except that ad. Coincidence?? Conspiracy??  You decide.

But wait...there's even more!! This afternoon, the blog LukeIsBack.com unleashed Part 1 of a two part essay documenting the life and times of Derrick Burts, and it does not paint a flattering portrait of him. The most troubling aspect was his flip-flopping between his early dream as a "Christian magician" and his...shall we say, his sexual experimentations.


However, his financial debts and troubles at home might not be the only reasons Burts left Hemet to take his magic act on the road. Two local parents, who did not know anything of Burts’ life after 2005 – including his porn career – and were surprised to hear that he’d returned to live in Hemet in 2011, offered an alternative explanation involving Burts and some minors at the Ramona Bowl Ampitheatre.

Burts moved suddenly to Hermiston, Oregon to live with his grandmother, and worked up a magic act. In April 2006, an article in the East Oregonian featured the heading, "Illusionist Never Runs Out of Tricks".

Burts, then 19, announced he planned to embark upon a nation-wide magic tour to_raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

It is a two-part tour. The first trip is simply to raise $20,000 in pledges_from businesses to finance the show. Burts and others will actually perform on_the second trip in towns where funds were raised. Donated proceeds from_performances will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Essentially, Burts was planning to use the charity’s name to raise money for his own magic tour; to later return and perform in those cities where enough money had been raised – and then send the charity some portion of the show proceeds.
Burts’ grandmother, Susan Dickens, was quoted in the article. "He was always a trickster," Dickens said. "He liked center stage."

Burts’ next stop was Spokane, Washington, where he partnered up with a young local magician called "Kenneth K." He adopted the stage name “Derrick Chambers”, and over the next few years he took work wherever he could find it: including the Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, Idaho in 2007. Burts later found stable work on a cruise ship, Norwegian Cruise Lines’ 2000-passenger Pride of Aloha, and eventually, settled down in Orlando, Florida.

He toyed with the idea of creating "Christian based magic ministries", but returned to California in March 2009, having found a job as Front Office Supervisor at Marriott Hotel in Anaheim, right next to the Disneyland Amusement Park.
And this Sybil-like dichotomy would only get more amplified later:


In June 2010 Burts and Crystal walked into the office of porn talent agency OC Modeling as a couple, and signed a two-year contract with agent Phil Mack. As Burts would tell later the world, they wanted to make some good money fast. What he didn’t mention is that there was another couple that approached OC Modeling at the same time – Crystal’s friend Hayden Winters, and Hayden’s boyfriend.  Of the four, only Hayden’s boyfriend was not signed by OC.

OC Modeling primarily booked performers for "straight" porn shoots, but had also been dabbling in gay porn bookings. "When he saw me, the agent said I had money written all over me in the gay business." Burts later told The Independent. Translation: uncircumcised, shaved smooth, now quite lean and standing a mere 5′ 7", Burts was the all-American "collegiate" type – and being "uncut" had a novelty appeal in gay porn.

Crystal, under the name "Kaycee Brooks" would work in "straight" porn, working with both men and women; Burts would do "crossover" work in both "straight" and gay porn, using different names for each side of the business.

But porn wasn’t Burts only part-time gig.

From June to August of 2010, Burts also worked as a counselor at the Salvation Army’s Wildwood Ranch Christian Camp in Ramona, California. The camp’s website states that it "strives to serve the physical, social, and spiritual needs of children from the ages of 7 – 12."
"It is our desire to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to all at camp; staff and campers alike! … Camp counselors help campers make good decisions, gain confidence in their own talents and abilities, grow in independence, and learn to have fun with other children in a nurturing, supportive, loving environment."
WOW.  A gay/bi porn performer/swinger doubling as a Salvation Army counselor. Not even Shelley Lubben could top that for mendacity.

The LiB post also chronicles Burts' entry into the world of Florida gay crossover porn, including Burts' attempt to play himself as being more comfortable as a gay male star, even as he tried to cross over into the "straight" side. It was during this time that he made his interview with gay male performer James Jameson....the one that would soon be released to the public as proof that Burts was using gay porn to infect others. (For the record, Jameson was and still is HIV-.)

The LiB post promises to go into how Burts ended up with AHF on their next segment.

So, what does all of this mean?? Well, it shows the depths to which some will go to pursue their agenda, and it shows that all that glitters might not be gold.

But, I'll just leave it to Lydia Lee (using her former porn altar ego Julie Meadows) for the proper perspective to all this:


What is amazing to me (and as Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals so eloquently points out in her own article on the .XXX sTLD), is that the adult industry is accused of profiteering and immorality (to name a few), yet no one questions the moral intentions of people and organizations from the outside who gouge the industry for their own profit. AHF’s Michael Weinstein has been unrelenting in finding any means necessary to insert himself into the Los Angeles-based adult industry in what appears to be an effort to take over and reap the financial rewards of policing the industry through condom mandates and clinical testing. It didn’t matter that their first personality for the ‘dangers of the porn industry’, Shelley Lubben of Pink Cross Foundation, is anti-gay, or that her own credentials and testimonies are dubious. (Lubben touts a theology degree from a non-accredited college and claims that god cured her herpes, though she has no medical data to prove she ever had herpes.)

And now AHF is using Derrick Burts to parade their campaign, even though it appears he is just as questionable at the core of his intentions. In fact, Burts is scheduled to appear on behalf of AHF at a UCLA discussion on performer health and safety this October 11th, 2011.

[...]

I have two questions.

How many questionable people will Michael Weinstein slap his brand name upon in the name of performer safety? And how many details is Michael Weinstein willing to overlook in his unceasing effort to mind the details of adult industry performers?


I guess that's what happens when you get caught in your own web of deception.


ADDEDUM:  MIchael Whiteacre has emailed me a timeline of the legal problems of Derrick Burts over the past couple of years, all of which are public record. Here it is for your review and background:


On March 18, 2010, Burts was arrested in Orange County and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving without a valid driver's license, straddling or changing lanes when unsafe, and reckless driving.

On April 19th, Burts failed to appear in court in Westminster, CA, and a warrant was issued. He was eventually arraigned on May 6th, where he pleaded guilty to reckless driving in exchange for all other charges being dismissed. Burts was sentenced to 3 years probation, as well as a 12-hour Alcohol and Drug Program, and ordered to pay a $250 fine.

Then, in August 2010, Burts was arrested in LA County and booked for domestic violence and misdemeanor-level assault. Burts pleaded to a charge of disturbing the peace in a Van Nuys courtroom on August 3rd, and he was fined and sentenced to 52 weeks of classes.

But this arrest constituted a violation of his Orange County probation, and it was reported to the court in mid-August (Orange County notes case activity on August 18, 2010, and his probation was revoked on that date). Following an arraignment on September 21, 2010 for violating the terms of his probation, probation was re-instated.

Back in the LA County court system, a progress report from January 2011 shows that Burts had paid his fine, and that he requested his court-ordered classes be moved to Riverside County.

He was supposed to show up in court in Van Nuys on July 6, 2011 to inform the court that he had complied with its order and taken his classes, but he failed to appear. A $50,000 warrant was issued in his name on that date.

According to LA County, that warrant is still outstanding.

On July 31, 2011, Burts was arrested by Hemet police and charged with felony embezzlement and burglary in Riverside County. He posted $5,000 bail through a bondsman on August 4th.

Due to his Riverside County arrest, Burts’ Orange County probation was revoked on August 31, 2011. The Orange County Superior Court website currently lists Burts' status as "Fugitive".
  
Burts is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, September 29th at Riverside County’s Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
Like I said at the beginning: tomorrow should be quite an interesting day.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Adult Performers Association: The Latest Attempt To Organize Porn Performers..But, Can It Suceed Where Others Have Failed??

Of all of the byproducts of the latest porn scares, the most obvious has been the historical lack of organization by performers to fight for their rights and their profession.

Earlier attempts at worker organization, such as the Pink Ladies Social Club of the 1980's, tended to fail on the same factors that haunted earlier organizations: the transient nature of porn work, and the fear from the producers of "unionization", where performers could collectively attempt to gain a larger share of the profits and proceeds from their work, as well as improved benefits and workplace conditions.


However, in the wake of the latest round of porn scares and activism to protect the free choice of performers, a new attempt at forming an activist group for performers is now arising with what they see as a different approach.

The Adult Performers Association is the brainchild of Nica Noelle, a former performer turned director, who was radicalized into action by the latest HIV porn scare and the strength of performers turning out to defend themselves against the threat of the condom mandate and the existing testing regime. Her primary goal, as noted by the organization's newly built website, is to provide alternative health services and other benefits that are typically provided by other worker organizations to its members, and to speak out for the freedom of choice and more flexible options for health care and privacy protection for porn performers.

Their "Core Metrics" page provides a nice summary of the kind of activism they would provide to their members, including:

-- a greater choice in choosing their testing facilities
-- a focus on education and mentoring for entry-level performers, and a system of etiquette and protocols for talent-producer relationships
-- balancing the goal of standardized testing for STI's with freedom of choice for performers in where and with whom they are tested with
-- a focus on retaining performer privacy protection
-- a development of a performers-only forum for feedback and discourse

The development of APA, though, has not been without some controversy. While the reaction by most performers has been greatly positive, there have been some degree of grumbling behind the scenes that the prime motivation for APA might be a backhanded slap towards the Free Speech Coalition, which remains the principal activist organization for the industry, and its Adult Production Health and Safety Services (APHSS) database, which serves to replace the previous testing regime formerly adjucated by Adult Industry Medical Foundation (AIM).

Nica Noelle, along with porn performer January Seraph -- who was also instrumental in the founding of APA -- had often been more than a bit critical of the FSC for not doing more to protect performer privacy, especially concerning the security of the APHSS database. In addition, Nica had been critical of FSC for what she saw during the latest HIV in porn scare as an unwarranted attack on Talent Testing Services, the independent agency whose testing of "Patient Alpha" had been called into question by APHSS after they obtained the services of "PA". (TTS had originally been the go-to replacement for testing after AIM was put out of business, but they were eclipsed by APHSS; also, TTS had refused to join APHSS' network of testing sites, choosing to stick with their own system.) By contrast, performers such as Darryl Hanah and spokespeople such as Michael Whiteacre have responded in defense of APHSS and FSC, resulting in some heated exchanges. For the record, though, Nica and January have praised APHSS for their inclusion of active performers in their organization...especially the inclusion of Nina Hartley as their Educational Advisor.

This organization is still in its budding stages, and it remains to be seen whether it can overcome the usual obstacles that has blocked every other attempt to unite and organize the vast diaspora of adult performers. Considering what's at stake, however, it is more than worth giving it a chance to succeed.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

One Important Reason Why We Exist: Tay Stevens' War On Cancer (And How You Can Help Her And Others Kick The Hell Out Of It)

This may be a bit of a tangent from what we normally do here at BPPA, but considering the importance of the message, I figured that now was a good time as any.

If there is anything that this blog stands for, it is the humanity of those who take the risks to work and live as erotic performers. It's very easy to see the glamorous side, with all the pretty faces and stacked bodies...and of course, all that smiley, happy, monkey sex goings on. It's not so easy to see the human beings behind the orgasms, the nakedness, the erections or erect clits. But, porn performers and erotic models, like most other regular people, have lives far beyond the webcam or the screen; and they suffer through the slings and arrows of life just as regular "civilians" do.

And, just as occasionally, they can get hit with the life-changing blows that test their ultimate courage and will to live.

Like, for instance, the body blow that erotic model/Internet big-breasted model Taylor Stevens is attempting to beat down right now.

On New Year's Eve of last year, Tay was found to have been diagnosed with lymphoma, a particularly dangerous and potentially lethal form of cancer. After a variety of tests and verifications, she is now undergoing radiation treatment to treat her sickness.

Most people would simply knuckle under to such a fate, and simply wait for the inevitable Grim Reaper to befall them.

Thankfully, Tay isn't most people...she's decided to go on an all out assault to survive this disease, through not only full treatment, but also education and support for all whom have suffered from not only cancer in general, but lymphoma in particular. She's still doing her regular online shows via her fan club site PlayWithTay.com, and she's still active with her fans via her Twitter page (@TAYSTEVENS).

However, for this month, which happens to be her birthday month as well as National Lymphoma Month, she has decided to go above and beyond the call of duty and mount a campaign in support of research and even towards a possible cure for lymphoma.

To that end, Tay has produced a video that is currently running at both her blog and her YouTube channel where she updates people on her condition, and puts the call out for support and education on lymphoma and the efforts for an ultimate cure. It's a testimonial to her strength in the face of calamity, as well as her inner beauty.

I'll simply repost the video here and allow you to see for yourself.







Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Porn Panic 2011: The Climax: FSC/APHSS Clears The Air On "Patient Alpha" Testing Process And Debunks Nasty Rumormongering

"Once a rumor spreads...the truth becomes the thing of the past."
-- Olivia Newton-John ("The Rumor", ["The Rumor",1988]) 


The thing about moral sex panics is that sometimes, when fear mixes with uncertaincy, it becomes possible for information not verified by real facts to be put out. This misinformation, whether accidental or deliberate, can really mess with the minds of the people affected the most in the panic, and even when legitimate attempts to seek the truth are taken, the rumor can take a life of its own and multiply itself for days. If not mitigated quickly, the damage of one exploding rumor/lie can do tremendous damage even long after it can be debunked by actual facts.

Fortunately, even the nastiest rumor can be quashed if the facts are made available as soon as possible, and clear-headed, sensible minds can be called on to relieve the frayed nerves of those seeking to separate facts from fiction. The best way to quash a rumor has always been to directly confront it from the beginning and not allow it to build up momentum to begin with. The absolute WORST way, on the other hand, is to simply be quiet and wish that a rumor would go away on its own.

Thankfully, in the case of the latest HIV porn scare, the people over at the Free Speech Coalition's Adult Production Health and Safety Services (APHSS) understand how to break rumors, and today they did the adult entertainment industry a much valued service in the face of one of the nastiest rumors recently raised against them.

The background, of course, is the most recent scare that a performer in Florida had been alleged to have tested "positive" two weeks ago for HIV (the virus most responsible for AIDS). News of that particular spread, and the subsequent fear that he had potentially compromised 13 other performers while mitigating and verifying that initial test, sent shock waves through the industry, especially considering it was the third consecutive year in which a performer had been tested "positive" for HIV...although, in the two previous cases in 2009 and 2010, it was found that no other performer was infected and that the original infections took place outside of porn production.

The latest "outbreak" had prompted and reenforced calls by some of the usual suspects (AHF spokesperson Mike Weinstein, ex-porn starlet turned fundie Christian activist Shelley Lubben, and some officials at the California branch of the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (Cal/OSHA) for mandatory condom usage in all porn shoots. The belief was that the consecutive outbreaks had proven one and for all that system of using testing to contain and screen out HIV+ people from performing in porn had utterly failed and that only mandated condom usage would better "protect" the performers.

And it probably would have worked, too...except that last week, the FSC, using its newly built APHSS system (which was designed to replace the system that had been adjucated by the former group Adult In Medical Foundation (AIM), which was effectively driven out of business last year due to a series of nuisance lawsuits bankrolled by AHF), managed to retest "Patient Alpha" using their own protocols...which resulted in a NEGATIVE test result for HIV this time around. (As you will see later on, the original tests were not from facilities under the APHSS umbrella, but from independent facilities not having the type of tests or the protocols that AIM or APHSS uses.) The announcement of the negative test can be found here.

Based on that info, APHSS announced back then that a week-long moratorium that had been imposed on porn production when the initial "reactive" test was revealed could now be lifted, and that further tests to reinforce and verify the most recent negative tests would be done on "Patient Alpha" and all of his first- and second-generation partners.

That by itself should have ended the panic right there.

Problem was, though, forces that were either quite skeptical or outright opposed to FSC's efforts, as well as the natural tendency of rumor mongering to take place, were not willing to bury this case...and they set in motion this weekend an alternative conspiracy theory implying that the FSC/APHSS was either mortally wrong or simply the tip of a horrendous coverup.

Ground Zero for the rumor was a blog by former performer Michael Vegas, who put out the notion that FSC was hiding the true nature of the tests done on Patient Alpha. Using as "sources" emails he claimed he got from a "PersonX" whom either knew Patient Alpha or whom had gotten the testing info from Talent Testing Services, Inc. (one of the other testing companies whom had initially tested Patient Alpha before APHSS got a hold of him), Vegas used an supposed email exchange between "PersonX" and an executive of Manwin, Inc. (the parent company of Brazzers.com, the porn production company for whom Patient Alpha was alleged to have worked), to belt out the following conspiracy theory:

1) PA allegedly had three straight "positive" HIV tests.
2) The three straight positive tests were allegedly all PCR-DNA tests, which were supposed to be the most reliable in detecting early sero-infection of the HIV virus.
3) The negative test used by APHSS to clear PA was (just as allegedly, according to Vegas) the ELISA test, an older test that is more reliable for detecting more developed sero-infections, but less so for new infections due to the latent period where antibodies can be cloaked within the bloodstream without detection (the period is usually 30-60 days).
4) How can APHSS clear PA based on the ELISA test which is less unreliable, especially when three PCR tests still came up "positive"??
5) Therefore, something's not right here (according to Vegas), and either APHSS is lying about the negative test and deliberately covering up an infected performer threatening others, or Manwin/Brazzers is allowing an infected performer to continue to work.


A few other commentators then spread the story around the porn gossip grapevine, raising thoughts of anything from accident to outright coverup, and even stating that this proved AHF's point that APHSS shouldn't be trusted and that only AHF's position for mandatory condom usage was the most doable position.

Of course, those who actually knew a thing or five about the testing process would attempt to chime in that the ELISA test is NEVER used as a follow up verification test exactly because of its latency window, or that it would be a serious violation of medical privacy laws for anyone to reveal testing results to any other person other than the patient without a waiver. But, before today, such logic would probably not be heard above the screams and howls of fear and smear.

Before today, that is.

Just this afternoon, FSC/APHSS, through the FSC blog, released a statement updating the process of the testing of Patient Alpha, and it pretty much blasts through the noise and the bullshit and clears the fog.

I will simply repost the statement in its entirity.



In the interest of providing accurate information to industry and media, Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has issued this update to explain the process of testing that took place for the adult performer identified as ‘Patient Alpha.’
In cooperation with the performer, FSC has reconstructed the process of testing for Patient Alpha, which resulted in what is now believed to be at least one false positive result and touched off a week-long industry moratorium on content production.
According to reports from the performer, the dates and sequence of tests are as follows:

Initial tests, administered by an unnamed testing facility -


  • August 20- PCR/NAT; results come back “reactive” (indication of HIV exposure)
  • Followed up with Western Blot and ELISA tests; both results negative for these tests

Secodary tests, administered by Talent Testing Services (TTS) -

  • August 29 – PCR/DNA test is reported to patient as “reactive”
  • Followed up with Western Blot and ELISA tests that produced negative result
  • August 31 – Patient is contacted by TTS and told that results of an additional PCR/DNA test on original blood sample is negative
Test administered by Advanced Medical Testing Centers (AMTC – an APHSS.org recommeneded testing facility) –

  • Sept 3 – PCR/RNA, Western blot and ELISA tests all return negative results; patient is informed
FSC would like to add that none of the results for tests taken outside of APHSS.org program can be confirmed at this time, except as reported by the patient. Talent Testing Services [is not a participant] in APHSS.org.

Patient Alpha  has signed a medical information release waiver and APHSS.org medical advisers have requested copies of the raw data of the test results from Talent Testing Services. There has been no response at this time.


PCR/RNA is the only HIV test approved by the FDA for diagnostics in “primary or accute infection,” but also must be confirmed with supplementary tests. This is a more recently-developed test than the PCR/DNA, which is the industry standard for monthly testing of performers.


When test results were returned by AMTC and after consultation with APHSS.org medical advisers, FSC/APHSS.org was satisfied that the moratorium on content production could be lifted this past Saturday.
So, apparently, this is what really happened:

-- Patient Alpha tested "reactive" using a variation of the PCR test, but negative under the other tests (W-Blot, ELISA), using one testing facility
-- Probably scared shitless, he goes over to TTS, who does the full followup tests on him, with the same reported result ("reactive" PCR, negative W-Blot and ELISA)...but then gets the news that another PCR test on the initial blood sample turns up NEGATIVE.)
-- Now confused as well as scared, PA goes over to APHSS, who refers him to AMTC, who runs a third battery of tests on him..which all show up negative.
-- APHSS, now wondering what the hell that initial "reactive" test was all about, requests the raw data from TTS for their own analysis. That, apparently, is still pending.

(It should be noted that TTS is independent of APHSS, and at one time, after AIM was disbanded, was promoting themselves as the go-to testing facility before APHSS was formed.)

So, as it stands right now, the only truly verifiable tests done on Patient Alpha have proven negative...although the process probably won't be fully completed until the 30-60 day latency period is passed and followup testing is done, and all the other contacts can be tested and verified. If none of them are found to be HIV+, then the game is over.

And maybe, people will regain the ability to know the difference between truth and rumor.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Because Pride And Delusions Are Always Greatest Before The Fall Off The Cliff: Ministress Lubben Breaks Out The Tiny Violin Quartet On HIV Scare 2011..Before The Truth Blindsides Her

I'm probably guessing that somewhere in Bakersfield or wherever Shelley Lubben is domiciled right about now, she's probably hearing the news that the performer whom she thought had infected 13 other female performers turned out to not have had HIV after all.

Maybe, the limited syapses in her brain -- at least, the ones not warped by her fundamentalist Christian ideology mixed with her seamless drive for exhibitionism and undivided attention -- will kick in enough to actually have her feel some bit of remorse and empathy for the performer she and her associates defamed.  Perhaps, she will get a bolt of lightning inspiration from her God to actually understand that part of loving people is accepting that they can make mistakes and that they should be free to exercise their own free will and protect themselves in their own way.

And, perhaps, I will win the lottery tomorrow and retire a millionaire, and become Rush Limbaugh's chief assistant.

But while the charade was still on yesterday, the Ministeress decided to try her best to use her usual Godly womanly wiles to persuade the faithful about the deep harm of the latest "pandemic".

And as usual, Shelley was on her game.

Here's what she posted to the Pink Cross blog yesterday:


Another HIV Outbreak in Porn Industry


News is breaking in the porn industry that another performer has tested positive for HIV and possibly exposed a dozen or more performers before it was discovered.

This means that there have now been a total of 27 cases of HIV in the porn industry since 2004 - that we know of!  The last known HIV outbreak was in October of last year.

This comes only two weeks after a press conference was held in L.A. where former porn performers talked about the illegal and abusive practices of the porn industry.

And just last week the porn industry was bragging about their 'safe' health practices all the while they continue to flagrantly violate California law that mandates condom usage. Earlier this year, Hustler was fined $14,175 by Cal-OSHA for violating workplace health and safety law.

Lives are at stake. Pray that many men and women will leave the porn industry while they still can.  Porn kills!

If you are in the industry and want out, Pink Cross is here for you. You were made for greater things than porn! 
Oh, so much to break down here.

First, this notion of an "outbreak".  Usually, an outbreak implies that more than one person was involved. The 2004 HIV scare qualifies as an outbreak fully because one person (allegedly Darren James) got infected doing outside work, and then went in and accidentally infected
three other women with HIV. Not much of an outbreak, but it does qualify.

The 2009 scare, though, had only one person who got HIV from outside activity, and no one else was infected. Thusly, NOT an outbreak.

The 2010 scare (featuring Derek Burts) is a bit questionable because both Burts and some folks at Cal/OSHA insist that a second performer was infected with HIV, although they have refused to comment on exactly who that second person is and how exactly he managed to get infected. Two people, though, is still not an outbreak, which assumes a bit more people getting infected with the virus.

Now, a performer getting infected with HIV and passing it on to 13 women?? That would count as a bonafide outbreak. Provided that the person actually was confirmed to actually HAVE HIV, and was confirmed to have worked with and infected various women. Course, we now know that the performer has tested negative with a better array of tests, but even then, wouldn't it be worthwhile to suspend judgment until the tests are confirmed? Wouldn't the more prudent policy be to wait until the actual tests confirm the infection before going out on a limb and screaming about a mass outbreak pandemic??

Please. This is Shelley Lubben we are talking about. She's never been known to let patience or truth get in the way of a good morality scare play.

And speaking of truth..again with the "27 HIV+ cases in the porn industry since 2004" meme. You know, the one that leaves out the inconvenient facts that most of those cases were of either gay male porn performers totally out of the jurisdiction of the adult hetero porn testing structure (16), private non-performer civilians contracting out AIM for their own private testing (4), or people just blown out of Shelley's buns. (And remember when the original stat was 22?? Then upped by Mike Weinstein to 23?? Get your propaganda numbers in sync, Shelley!!)

And how nice of Ministress Lubben to add that nice little tag line, "that we know of"...because we all know that the industry can't be trusted to tell the truth about HIV, there must be hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of porn boys and girls around spreading their legs and inserting their diseased sex organs into each other and spreading AIDS like Halloween candy!!!

Now..to that truth-telling press conference Shelley was talking about...that would be the one where the Ministress shared the dais with AHF's Weinstein, Darren James, and a couple of Pink Cross disciples to announce their drive to put a condom mandate ordinance to Los Angeles city voters for a vote. A pretty nice job of propaganda, if you ask me..but a bit light in the actual fact department. No matter how much Shelley may rant about the illegality of condomless porn or the notion that "exchanging bodily fluids" is illegal under California law, or that, the official legal opinion of the LA city attorney be damned, the local film board can and should forbid permits for any adult production not totally wrapped up, the actual debate is still quite up for grabs...and tending not to their benefit.

Oh..and about that HUSTLER fine?? Never mind that $14K to Larry Flynt is like a dollar to most of us regular folk, or the basic fact that Cal/OSHA probably doesn't have the resources or the manpower to be stalking every single porn shoot looking for wrapped dicks or dental dams when there really is a legitimate HIV pandemic in the larger population of LA County...enforcing a "law" that has never been enforced merely to soothe her revenge for those who dissed her 17 years ago is far more important to Lubben than common sense. Besides, it's all in the name of Jeeeeeeeee-zus, who died for your sexual sins and cured her herpes to show the world how He gives salvation to those evil sluts who most need it.

The closer, is the usual altar call for people in porn to get the heck out because, in Shelley's mind. "Porn Kills!!!!" At least, porn stars get killed...of course, most of them aren't killed by porn, and many of them die of causes attributed completely outside of porn...but again, the Ministress isn't known for understanding nuanced thoughts.

And when you do get out, Shelley would very much love it if you consider joining her ministry. Of course, there are those pesky conditions of surrendering all your hard earned money and having to basically starve yourself financially and convert to Lubben's kind of holy rolling sex-hating religion...but that's a small price to pay for God's salvation.

The sidebar of that post includes some of the more whacked out stats about the wages of porn sin (like the 37 porn stars who died of HIV, suicide, or drugs, or the 100 "straight or gay" performers who died of complications from AIDS, or the nearly 2,400 cases of chlamydia and 1,400 cases of gonorrhea that has infected performers since 2000). Been there, covered that.

But, no Shelley Lubben promotion would be complete without the obligatory Serious Activist Pic, and this one's a dooze.




Yes, that was Shelley at the Weinstein presser where they unveiled their asstroturf (no pun, deliberate mispell) group, "For Adult Industry Responsibility" (FAIR, although I still think that Norman Solomon over at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting would probably not like their acronym abused like that). And yes, that woman in the background pointing at the "FAIR" logo happens to be Jan Meza, Lubben's closest protoge, who has a special history of whackadoodleness all her own. Gee, Ministeress...I thought that God didn't like women showing off their bare arms...didn't they attempt to condemn First Lady Michelle Obama for something like that??

In any case, now that it has been confirmed that all their efforts were essentially for naught, I'm seriously looking forward to when Shelley and the Pink Cross Foundation will post their official apology and retraction to the performer they accused publically of infecting 13 innocent people, or to the company (Brazzers) they claimed wrongly to have used him even though he "tested positively". I'm sure that it will happen. Ultimately. The same day pigs fly.

Prove me wrong, Shelley. Woman up, admit your mistake, and apologize....and if you do, I will give you...a bit more respect.