Lying to someone is not a crime. Lying in order to take something you otherwise would not get is.
Yes, people GIVE things to scammers all the time. But their act of giving is invalidated by the deception that caused them to do so. The victim’s consent is considered ineffective under the law. A crime, not just a lie, has taken place.
We don’t consider being scammed “changing your mind,” when you discover that a hoax deprived you of your assets, but when the scam is about sex, people seem to think that upon recognition, the victim simply changed their mind about having given their permission.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Just as in all crimes of fraud, they never gave their knowing consent in the first place.
In 1962, the American Law Institute expressed illegal consent the following way:
“Consent is ineffective if induced by force, duress, or deception.”
Many states across the country, including the state of NJ, where Assembly Bill #3908 is currently pending, have adopted the terminology expressed by Model Penal Code as the law in their own jurisdiction.
Why is society blind to rape by fraud?
Somehow, when fraud is used as a tool to undermine a person’s self determination over their sexual sanctity, an act of rape or sexual assault when committed by any other means, most of society does not recognize that a crime is occurring. Drug someone, force someone through coercion or violence….. we know they were raped. Dupe someone? To many people, it’s just “puffery”.. the business as usual of conducting seduction.
The fact that the offender sexually penetrated the victim by usurping their consent through an illegal means is irrelevant to them. They are people who feel manipulation is their right. When they manipulate you for your money, they’ll go to jail. When they manipulate you to sexually penetrate you, that’s perfectly okay.
It’s not! When they defraud you to sexually penetrate your body, they are sexually assaulting you, not seducing you. And if rape by fraud laws exist in your jurisdiction, whether or not they will go to jail depends on whether or not you can prove that a crime took place.
Here’s the definition of fraud that everyone in law school learns in their very first class on this topic:
The offender lies
The offender knows they are lying
The offender expects the person to rely on their lie
The person relies on their lie
The offender takes what the person values based on 1-4
As it does every day, fraud figured prominently in today’s headlines.
In Fargo, ND, two farmers, Aaron and Dereck Johnson, defrauded the government by deliberately destroying their potato crop and cashing-in on a federal insurance plan.
Even our government leaders seem prone to scamming
In NY, deeply entrenched Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a fixture in the state’s legislature for over 20 years, was recently charged with a fraudulent hoax that put over $4M in his pockets. How can we expect legislators who use their law practice to mask illegal kickbacks to possibly understand the harm in wearing a mask to conduct sex?
Society has lost its moral compass
People are defrauded of sex each and every day. They feel defiled. For many, their lives are shattered because one person felt that their entitlement to get sex, any way they could, was more important than their victim’s self determination over your body. They violated. They don’t give a damn. This needs to stop.
Editor’s Note: A recent comment by my FL buddy, Lauren, who’d fallen prey to a relationship hoax, reminded me of this post that I’d written about a year ago. She confided that she affectionately told her boyfriend that he seemed to be dosing her with “Love Potion #9.” Little did she know that sociopaths are masters at stirring up our brain chemistry to attract and hook us to them.
Romantic “chemistry” really does attract us and link us to a mate.
Love Potion #9 was one of the most popular songs of 1959. It was written by Lieber and Stoller and originally recorded by The Clovers. It was published by the Aberbach brothers who owned Hill & Range Songs Inc. It’s been covered by over twenty five other artists since its original release. Although it’s a spoof on a chemical concoction that makes people fall in love, it’s not so far from the truth.
Addicted to love
Romantic love has recently been shown to be a chemical addiction, similar to drugs and alcohol, but, when all goes well, it supports our love life instead of diminishing it. The chief chemical component in romantic love is oxytocin, a neurotransmitter. Produced in the brain, it creates a sense of trust and cleaves us to our love interest.
When love goes very wrong
When we’re betrayed, although we may feel abused and defiled, we might continue clinging to the offender because we need to replace the “loved” feeling oxytocin, and the other neurotransmitters, created. The immediate cessation of the chemicals we recognize as love, may cause us to bond more powerfully in an addicted-like fashion that we’re unaware of. Just like an alcoholic craves a drink when they attempt to abstain, a person experiencing betrayal can feel a heightened sense of attachment. The result could be described as being stuck in toxic glue.
The best exit strategy
Having “no contact” with the offender is the best way to free ourselves of destructive loving bonds. Doing so enables us to get rid of the desire and longing that accompanies separation. But it’s extremely difficult for the victim to undertake this type of hyper-separation and it’s all too easy for a predator to misuse brain chemistry to wangle back into their life.
Victims must be able to see the forest, not just the trees, that are blocking the big picture.
The irony in a song
Interestingly, the Aberbach fortune existed in the backdrop of the personal harm I endured from my ex. Hill & Range Songs owned a 50% share of Elvis Presley, 10% of the Beatles, and 75% of the music coming out of Nashville. They owned the lion’s share of all the popular hits of the ’50s and ’60s.
My estranged husband was harbored by Jean Aberbach’s widow while he abandoned our child and deprived me of child support. As related in my book, Carnal Abuse by Deceit, (rt click to link,) the irony of oxytocin’s relationship with Love Potion #9 is particularly poignant for me.
Editor’s note….. Here’s a new and interesting twist on a sexual hoax. This international scam artist entices women into marriage commitments so he can enjoy the luxury of their family’s homes when he globe hops to be with his “fiance.”
This story was supplied by an Asian woman we’ll call “Susi” about the man she aptly calls, “Demon.”
The “International Traveler” Sex Scam
I am a woman who has been physically, financially and emotionally abused by a serial fraudster.
I met a Canadian man, Demon, via an online matching service. He was a Pharmacy Manager at a retail giant. We started communicating by online chatting, phone calls and emails. On his personal profile, he clearly stated he was single with no children, and looking for a wife. He asked me if I was marriage minded. He also had brief conversations with my mother over the phone on several occasions. We first met face-to-face in France.
The perfect gentleman
Whenever we crossed the street or entered doorways, he would lightly touch my back, in a “ladies first” gesture. I thought he was being a gentleman. But as we were sight-seeing, he used that gesture to push me down the stairs of the train car we had just ridden, and I stumbled onto the platform. I was badly injured and still suffer orthopedic pain from this incident.
We had talked about our room arrangement before our trip, I had insisted on separate rooms. I booked and paid for my own accommodations for the evening of my arrival and the next night. He had not booked a room for himself and there was just one room left in the hotel. It was the busiest season in Paris because of the holiday and exhibitions; therefore, finding accommodations was quite competitive, The last room was taken while he hesitated.
His motive to injure me
I believe that Demon injured me in order to make me feel dependent on him. He emphasized that he was a medical professional and was capable of taking care of me. I was in a great deal of pain from the fall.
After the trip, he frequently talked about marriage, a wedding, and honeymoon. Demon wanted to come to see my parents and preferred staying at our place to a hotel so he could get to know us better.
The truth comes out
Shortly before his visit, I learned that the residential address he had given me actually belonged to a former employee (also a pharmacist) at his same company. When I noticed that he had lied, I spoke to him about it and ended the relationship.
I also learned that he misused his workplace phone for carrying-on a fraudulent relationship with me and with other woman who he met online. I discovered that he was a married pervert, with three children, who had exploited me and my family.
He establishes himself as a fiance to target a woman’s parents and use their home for lodging as he travels the world.
In pursuit of justice
My damages from the accident are serious. I still suffer from severe pain and have also endured depression both due to the injury and the deception he perpetrated. I wasted lots of money on a trip that was totally based on false pretenses. In addition, I have spent, and will have to spend, huge sums for my medical needs which include braces, rehabilitation and surgeries.
I filed a lawsuit in my country, against this con artist. A series of pleadings were held, however Demon failed to submit an answer to the claim or appear in court. A default judgment was issued, and he did not appeal. Accordingly, the judgment was confirmed.
I had sent letters (authenticated by a Notary) and my lawyer also sent a demand letter. Demon was informed about the possibility of enforcement of judgments from outside of Canada. He was given ample time to prepare for and enter his plea. He did not.
I am awaiting the result of the further action I must take to secure payment for the judgement. The policies of the Canadian government toward processing such claims places a financial burden on the victim that impedes justice.
Tonight, at 7 PM EST, NBC Dateline premieres their episode of The Mystery Man. The story chronicles a recent case of sexual assault by fraud committed in NJ. Problem is, there’s no NJ statute that makes conning a victim for sex a crime in The Garden State.
Tune in to learn more about “false personation” and how it’s used to defile and harm unsuspecting victims.
And, be sure to sign-on to the change.org petition to pass Legislation #3908, Sexual Assault by Fraud, submitted by Assemblyman Troy Singleton on November 14th. Your voice can make a huge difference!
I’ll be live-tweeting throughout the episode. My Twitter handle is @jm_short. I’ll be using the hashtags, #RapeByFraud and #Dateline.
You awake to a very large, strong man covering your mouth with one hand, making it difficult to breathe, let alone scream. In the other hand, he’s clenching a knife millimeters from your face. Terror seizes your entire body and you react…. but how?
Fight or flight is the response society expects in violent attacks. Your hypothalamus and pituitary take over, instantly flooding you with hormones to protect your sustainability.
Adrenalin arouses you to your circumstance.
Cortisol provides you with uncommon energy.
Opiods act like morphine to temporarily blind you to your pain.
Oxytocin attempts to stabilize your emotions.
Totally apart from your conscious control, you may be like millions of other sexual assault survivors who freeze.
It is estimated that 12 to 50% of rape victims will respond by freezing, and it is thought that the number is closer to 50% than 12%. Also, victims who experienced prior sexual trauma are more likely to experience this temporary paralysis.
The impacts on seeking justice
Policing is currently practiced under the misconception that victims will either fight with all their might to fend off brutality, or do everything in their power to free themselves. Absent evidence of doing either or both, they assume that the victim’s crime report is a lie. Approximately 86% of rapes, even those supported by a rape kit, do not make their way from the Patrolman to the Prosecutor for this reason. Yet data reported by the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women indicates only 2-8% of rape accusations are false.
A natural phenomenon
Freezing, Tonic Immobility, also known as thanatosis, is an automatic response to rape as well as other forms of trauma in humans. But we are not the only animal that experiences this phenomenon. The most widely
known is the
opossum,which is why “playing dead” is also referred to as “playing opossum.” Mammals are wired with the option to look and appear dead to their attacker for protection. In sharks, rolling onto their back and becoming paralyzed enables mating.
Other impacts on the victim’s post-rape “affect”
During rape, the cocktail of hormones surging through the human body block the ability of the brain’s hippocampus to organize and store thought. Many rape victims, who are interrogated shortly after their trauma, have yet to recover cognition. Police, who don’t understand their behavior, suspect that the victim is inventing the story as they speak, when they are actually attempting to puzzle together disparate pieces that were blocked from encoding by their brain’s hormonal overload.
Their ‘affect” or appearance, may not seem emotionally charged as one would expect after a heinous assault. They could remain under the influence of those same opiods that deterred their reaction and dulled their senses during the crime.
Undermining self esteem
Victims who freeze struggle with an innate sense of guilt. Their response defied their own personal expectation that if something bad happened to them, they would fight to the death or flee. We go through life taking comfort in the concept that we are able to protect our mortality, and we respond to rape as a struggle for life. Most of society sees fight or flight as being brave, because we don’t understand that freezing is the same act of self-preservation. People who experience the trauma of rape by fraud are also plagued with similar self-blame.
How tonic immobility factors in rape by fraud
I recall vomiting and collapsing on the cold bathroom floor, immobile, when I first learned the initial lie that was used to defraud me into a sexual relationship. Little did I know, there were far more lies behind it.
Defrauding someone of sex strips them of both fight and flight to defend their body. The victim could not react, because they did not know. Their behavior, throughout the time they were assaulted, which could span years, uproots their personal sense of being able to protect themselves. The recognition that a sexual assault by fraud took place can be a paralyzing trauma.
The victim’s failure to protect their personal sexual sanctity also obscures society’s recognition that a crime took place against them. And it undermines the victim’s self-esteem in much the same way having been immobilized does in violent cases. The victim suffers secondary victimization from society, family, friends, the authorities and themselves when dealing with rape by fraud. It’s little wonder that knowing you were deceived into sex is so terribly degrading for a victim, and why it is so difficult to heal.
Media should be paying far closer attention to Tonic Immobility, just as it should be identifying the heinous nature of rape by fraud and its impacts on victims.
Watch this TEDx Talk for the key to combating sexual assault!
Inspiration for this post came from information I received from a woman who comments under the name “Semi” on US Weekly. Unless otherwise linked, the source for the data and statistics is The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault,written and presented by Dr. Rebecca Campbell, Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University. I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to watch her scholarly presentation.
This morning, I was happy to see Donna Anderson at LoveFraud pick up on a position that I’ve advocated for quite some time, and focused on in my book. And I did so because when people understand the chemical mechanics of romantic addiction, it makes it easier to cut the chord.
How and why brain chemistry connects us
Mother nature provided us with brain chemistry to bond us to our lover. It enables us to create offspring and cohabit with the other parent in order to provide the nurture and protections needed for their development. Love, therefore, has to be a strong and binding glue because the children of homo sapiens are the slowest to develop on the entire planet. Oxytocin, a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain, that aids in trust, love and emotions, as well as other “love” chemicals, are what separates man from beasts.
Dr. Paul Zak describes the role of oxytocin in his book, The Moral Molecule. And Scientific American refers to it as love glue. Coupled together, with our brain’s additional chemistry, they serve us as both the bait and the hook. But when we enter a relationship with a character disordered person, instead of becoming fulfilled and loved, we become damaged and at risk. The chemicals we were provided fight with our conscious awareness to keep us embedded. They begin to function as a toxic glue.
And our code of morality, which evolves over many years, together with the influence of abundant experiences, also defines how we react in romantic situations. For many of us, we develop a code of commitment to a loved one, and we feel shame when we behave out of character with our own personal code, better known as values. A crafty emotional predator can use our own inherent value system to shame us into remaining.
Fear induced bonding
There is yet another strong chemically-related bond that forms in relationships where there is trauma. Misattribution Affect has been aptly described by Dr. Kristin McKinney. When people experience heightened fear, their adrenaline starts pumping. Going through a traumatic event makes us bond with people with whom we share this circumstance. For instance, riding the roller coaster at the County Fair sparked many a relationship. If the couple wasn’t holding hands when they embarked, they were likely to be when the ride ended. As we go through the roller coaster of a relationship with an offender, even though they have caused us harm, we can feel more bonded with them.
A toxic relationship provides the pain of a constant hook. It is damaging to live with, and excruciating to walk away from.
People will often settle for the relative peace and apologetic behavior that occurs between episodes of abuse. Marriages can take place as a result of a predator’s temporary contriteness between times of turbulence. The victim can easily confuse the offer of marriage, even when made by the offender as an attempt to curtail exposure, as a sincere commitment to reform. And it is easy for a victim to be persuaded when they fall within a calm portion of the cycle of harm.
There is no way to turn, in or out of the relationship with a predator, that is not painful. Victims must surmount their fear of the pain and loss, that they associate with walking away, in order to take that necessary step.
Because of the terrible pain we feel at the loss, only through consistent and repeated harm, or the discard of the offender, do morally committed people sever a romantic relationship. In cases like Reeva Steenkamp, it’s likely that she died at the hands of her lover, Oscar Pistorius, before she reached the point at which she could free herself from her emotional bond. Pistotius’s cruelty spiraled out of control prior to her reconciling the discrepancy between her “feelings” and the reality of her predicament.
The need for No Contact
Often, even once a victim pulls away, what they feel as a deep-rooted emotional appeal, can draw them back again. They go through a period of turmoil, ruminating about their circumstance, emotionally heaping blame on themselves for not being more of this or less of that. Their brain plays the “if only I had” game as if something they did made the psychopath an aggressor. They can fall into deep depression and need to grieve their loss like grieving over the death of someone close to them. While the offender did not die, their relationship with them died. Having no contact, guards against recycling the predator’s pull and helps assure separation.
When we drink alcohol, it makes our brain feel a certain way. Abstention makes us crave the way we felt to an even stronger degree. Abstaining from a toxic relationship can produce a similar result. Unless people know the chemistry behind their craving, they are susceptible to relapse, which takes the form of forgiving.
How to know we need to go….
Once we recognize that the person is devoid of emotional empathy, getting away from them is the only way to regain our life and equilibrium. Emotional empathy is the knee-jerk reaction we have to other people’s pain or circumstance. Without it, we can’t develop a conscience. A psychopath will not change. They are wired that way. And putting oneself back onto their pathway only puts us in harm’s way.
What happens if the relationship produced a child?
Unfortunately, victims who parent with miscreants will have a lifetime of toxic behaviors to deal with. Victims must do everything possible to build the oxytocin receptors in their children’s brains, early-on, because they are especially at-risk for developing without emotional empathy. They have a pre-disposition to a genetic flaw. Modern mental health professionals tell us that approximately 4% of the world’s population is comprised of psychopaths. Not everyone who is the child of a psychopath will become one. But they are seriously at-risk of doing so. Dr. Liane Leedom constructs a pathway toward character development for children in her book, Just Like His Father.
If you are experiencing raising a child with someone you suspect of psychopathy, minimizing your own personal interaction with the other parent should be done to the greatest extent possible. Be cognizant of the chemical pulls that could cause you to feel drawn back toward their appeal. Be sure to retain sight of the harm you were dealt and live in reality. While they can exude the charm that attracted you initially, they are toxic at their core. And when they recognize you are no longer fooled by them, they can and will try everything possible to undermine you, including alienating your children. Stay smart. Seek professional guidance.
OMG! When you cross the state line into Alabama, the sign should read, “Now Entering Alabama, The State of Enlightenment!”
Alabama’s not just noteworthy for the successes of The Crimson Tide. The Code of Alabama punishes the unspecified use of fraud in sexual intercourse as “Sexual Misconduct,” a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000 and/or up to two years in jail. The statute applies to both male and female offenders.
Here is the law:
(a) A person commits the crime of sexual misconduct if:
(1) Being a male, he engages in sexual intercourse with a female without her consent, under circumstances other than those covered by Sections 13A-6-61 and 13A-6-62; or with her consent where consent was obtained by the use of any fraud or artifice; or
(2) Being a female, she engages in sexual intercourse with a male without his consent; or
(3) He or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person under circumstances other than those covered by Sections 13A-6-63 and 13A-6-64. Consent is no defense to a prosecution under this subdivision.
(b) Sexual misconduct is a Class A misdemeanor.
(Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, §2318.)
Don’t defraud someone of sex in Alabama! What more can I say other than thank you, Alabama!