Friday, September 6, 2019

Why am I the only one who takes to heart the phrase "If it seems too good to be true it probably is?"

I know a young woman (18) that may be getting targeted by a female human trafficker (of about the same age if not the same generation) looking for sex slaves to sell in eastern Europe or the Middle East (take your pick). I know that sentence is not what you expected to read when you came to my blog, but I have no other way to say it. I've thought about why I think this, and also, please know that I have not been vague at all in expressing my concerns to the mother of this girl and to the girl directly and as bluntly as possible. Thus far, I've been dismissed, in the similar way that a crackpot or the boy who cried "Wolf!" might also be dismissed. That doesn't bother me. However, what does bother me is that I'm the only adult in a group of older women who are observing the behavior with any red flags going up. Here's the situation:

This young woman (I shall call her Bee for purposes of this blog post) is attending the University of Utah as a freshman for the first time. Bee's classes (as of this writing) started approximately two weeks ago. Anyway, Bee met another young woman who sat next to her in a Biology class. They started talking, Bee followed the other woman on Instagram, and they've hung out some. Within the first week of knowing each other, Bee's new "friend" told her that her father was super rich, the owner of a Marriott hotel that overlooks the water in Athens, Greece, and that he has a private yacht. She's invited Bee to go to an all-expense paid vacation to Greece for spring break. This offer has since been sweetened to a tour of Greece, Italy, and Jordan (where the woman's mother lives). I was flabbergasted while Bee and other adults were overjoyed at Bee's "good fortune." I was the only one that said, "Who is this woman? Is she a human trafficker?" And then I expressed that this sounds way too good to be true and probably is.

I said, "You will be in a foreign country and can't speak the language," directly to Bee who was horrified that I was being so serious about this. Her response, "Well I would be with this woman." And my response was, "She IS the kidnapper. She could discuss your sale price, which could be $10,000 to some Arab that she plans to pass you off to right in front of you and you'd never know. One man could overpower you, grab your passport, then push you into a van and off you go to Eastern Europe to be gang raped by ten guys a day and then they get you drugged up and addicted to heroin (in your off time) while you are chained to a bed. As for your mom, she'll never see you again."

I should point out that Bee is quite a lovely girl. I think all of you would find her attractive. She is tall, slim, very fit, blond, and with blue eyes, and I don't think she has had sex yet, though that is none of my business. However, I'm just throwing that all out there so you can at least see where I'm coming from and what my concerns are. In the least, she is a bright-eyed girl who dreams of going to medical school and becoming a doctor and doing humanitarian work. However, she's got this desire inside her that wants to derail all that because what she REALLY wants is to be a woman like Kylie Jenner. She wants to be famous without really having any kind of talent that justifies the fame...and I think ultimately she wants to be famous because it would mean super acceptance among the most beautiful people that walk the earth. It seems like a really shallow want to be able to date the most handome bachelors like Tom Holland or Shawn Mendes and to pick and choose and have young, handsome, rich men fight over her. Bee's favorite show is called "The Bachelorette," which should tell you something about this girl. Her mother, by contrast, lives a poverty-stricken life mostly because she doesn't work. Most of her waking hours are spent pursuing a polyamorous lifestyle and social connections and then having situational anxiety over money flow and facing the fact that age is happening. I'm not sure where her daughter picked up the desire to be "like a Kardashian," but she sure did.

And here's the thing: Bee is not the only one I know who shares her similar desires. Bee (and other girls) want only the cream of the crop of the youngest most handsome men the world has to offer. They actually did very little dating in high school because none of those boys that asked them out were good enough. Seriously, I heard their conversations (gay men are privy to all kinds of things that get said in front of them). Get this...I will even dare to say that every young woman I know in the State of Utah has the same desire. They all watch "The Bachelorette," they all have no skills whatsoever unless "fashion" and "makeup" counts as a skill, and they all just want rich, good-looking, young men to fight over them. These women are too proud to take the bus. I know one that absolutely complains that she has to take the bus anywhere, trying to blackmail her mother into driving her places when she's perfectly able to take the bus to any destination (Salt Lake City has excellent public transportation), and they complain that they have to get up in the morning (I've gotten up at 6:50 a.m. five days a week for as long as I can remember). They want to be able to snap pictures of themselves and post them on Instagram and make tons of money so that they can be invited to the Oscars and wear the latest fashions. What the actual f*ck is going on?

And you know what? All of that "desire" to be famous for just being you and not even stretching yourself beyond that is resulting in some disastrous behavior. For one, these girls all think that getting invited to stay on a yacht for Spring Break that is all expenses paid (off the coast of Greece) is perfectly normal. It happens to Kylie Jenner, right? So why not me? Well for are not Kylie Jenner! Without the ability to recognize when you are being lied to by someone, there is a strong chance that you will be taken advantage of in a serious way (human trafficking being the ultimate bad scenario here). Second, a lot of these girls will never ever be famous. A huge percentage of them will fail. If they hold onto this desire to be famous through their adult life, they will never commit to perfectly fine average partners with mediocre jobs (which will result in them probably realizing they've gotten old someday and don't have anyone) and they will experience profound dissatisfaction with life and end up depressed with anxiety and on meds to manage it all while they draw social security because they don't want to face the shame of working for a low wage (because that's all they're qualified to do). So instead of being in the middle class, they actually land in the lower class or even homelessness. Instead of having a home of their own...they don't even have a trailer park at the age of fifty to call home. I've seen this scenario happen over and over, so I'm not making it up. The party only lasts so long folks, and you've got to commit to something or you miss being the last one there.

Bee is in a hurry to have it all (incredible house, nice clothes, yacht, fans, invites to exclusive parties, sex with the handsomest men on the planet, and glamour), and it's very frustrating. She has no idea how much any of that costs at all. Whatever happened to her wanting to be a doctor? feels very much that the career of "doctor" was merely a catch phrase because she couldn't envision a path to this "other career" that she wants very much. I've known a few doctors and 1) they got lucky to even get to medical school and 2) it required extreme focus at the expense of everything else. And I would point out that there's a reason why "becoming the next Kardashian" is not taught in school. It's not a path that most people are able to follow. It's like trying to get winning lottery numbers ahead of the lottery. Not a whole lot of people are able to do that.

I should note that my concerns have found some ground with the mother, so we'll see if it actually goes anywhere. But in the aftermath of me almost pointing a finger at Bee's newly found "Jordanian" friend and shouting "human trafficker" (I suppose I stopped just shy of this), I can tell that my comments ruffled some feathers (I honestly don't really care because I like to call things out as I see them). I did stalk the new "friend" on Bee's Instagram follow list. It was the most peculiar Instagram I have ever seen. There were exactly 60 photos all going back to 2016 where they just stop. Each picture is staged, and there are no other people. No pics with friends or family. Just one person...this girl...and someone behind the camera (who is taking these pictures?). They are not selfies. Each picture has between 50 and 100 comments, but no words. Every picture is just filled with users who are posting emojis. Multiple lips or hearts or kissy faces. Every...single...picture. Like...that isn't a red flag for anyone but me? Every instagram I follow has people posing with friends. Even the Kardashians do that. Bee says, "I think this girl is lonely, and I'm just lucky to become her friend." Yeah...lucky...or you've got a huge bullseye on your back and can't see it.

This "friend" also doesn't live on the University of Utah campus. Bee lives in the dorms, this woman lives by herself in a two-bedroom apartment that is close by, and she lives by herself. The rent on this thing has got to be $1600.00 a month. I also checked with the University of Utah, and although they have an international campus for countries like South Korea, they do not have one for Greece. Which makes me wonder...why the hell is a woman who has the resources to go to school anywhere find herself in Utah of all places?

Anyway...I may never get answers to all the questions that circle in my head. Bee certainly doesn't ask any questions of her new friend. She's afraid to, as it may chase her away and cost Bee these beautiful opportunities that she is eager to pluck with greedy fingers. I can see Bee's mind churning at the thought of posting Instagram pics of herself in exotic locations looking good and making her friends from Utah jealous. I can see herself thinking, "I'm going to be a rich social media influencer and everyone will see how ignoring me was a bad thing to do! I can't wait to meet Taylor Swift so we can be besties!"

Nowhere in Bee's mind does she picture herself being knocked out and raped in some dungeon in Jordan and then sold to ISIS soldiers in Syria looking for a bride. The thing is, there's a word for this: desperate. So I ask you, what are parents doing these days that are raising girls to be so desperate for fame? Why do girls even want fame? Is there anyone left that just wants to be a refrigerator repair person? That's a respectable profession? I thought about learning to repair HVAC systems before I got hired in Assistive Technology. Whatever happened to just grinding away at something and finding success over many years? That's what I did. Was the path that I walked so bad? It makes me feel like no one wants to put in the time anymore because there's something shameful about that. But walking the slow path is also a much safer path, especially given that today's world is so filled with everyday dangers.


  1. I agree that there's a lot of red flags there.
    Can we blame the media for making a big fuss over people like the Kardashians and Paris Hilton? Should the parents expose their kids to reality sooner? If they are exposing them at all. I know a lot of kids who live sheltered lives and yes, they will be in for a shock when they they hit the real world and just enough to get by doesn't cut it. Or get you a medal.

  2. That does sound like the premise for a Taken movie and unfortunately no Liam Neeson will save her if it does go bad.

    As to the rest being poor sucks. That's why so many play the lottery. It's why people turn to selling drugs or robbing liquor stores. You see people with everything and you have nothing and you'll do anything for a taste of that life.

  3. YES SHE'S BEING TARGETED BY A TRAFFICKER! How stupid, naive and shallow is this 18-year-old? And her mother has (feces) for brains. You are so very right about this, Mike. Yes, there's only so much you can do, but perhaps you could also contact the FBI or authorities on campus regarding this scam artist who's targeting her. And finding out who really owns the Marriott Hotel in Athens should be easy. FYI, Vanity Fair recently had an article by a young woman who was taken in by a fake European heiress who went on shopping sprees and an outrageously expensive vacation funded, unknowingly, by her new "friends." But if your young friend doesn't come from money and is gorgeous and especially blonde, then yes, her only worth to scam artists is sexual.

    I myself didn't know that so many young women are so obsessed with looks, fame and money, but then I count myself lucky for the quality of people I know. The snobbishness of not wanting to marry anyone who isn't rich! News flash: there are many plumbers and mechanics who are great guys and earn very good money, and they've got better job security than a whole lotta college grads.

    On the plus side: the issues you raise here could make a really good novel. Maybe that's something I should think about...

  4. Definitely a situation where an extensive background check is called for.

  5. I agree that the situation as you call it is highly suspicious and from the extensive research you've done you are most likely right.

    I do, however disagree with your analysis on the girl's character. And even on the character of the girls in your state in general. Is it shallow to want to date someone more than average? To desire a better life, even if it seemingly requires little work? To have a "good life" as some would say? I would argue it is not, because there is no such thing as an easy route. Having such desires can lead to a lot of pain as reality at times fail to match but this does not make them impossible to achieve. Even the Kardashians worked hard to get where they are, immensely, they just make it look easy. And working on Instagram or Facebook as a Social Media Influencer can be and is a legitimate route towards a successful life. You note that perhaps she is desperate, you lightly note her family background, and the influence of her current media, and I admire that. But I think you are letting your own presumptions of this girl influence too greatly your perception of her.

    Look, my point is simply that while I agree with your assessment of the situation, you are judging this girl too harshly and letting your own prejudices colour your analysis. Just because the slow and steady way worked for you doesn't mean it will work for others. Perhaps you are right, who am I to say, but perhaps closer inspection (and greater empathy for her situation) is required.

    Anyways, Thanks for reading this! It was rather long. I hope with the right support she becomes brave enough to take your advice, question this "opportunity" and avoid a disaster.

  6. I like Helena's response. Is there some authority you could contact to let them know about this girl? Because even if you do get Bee away from her, what other girls is she targeting?

    As for the emojis thing--that's pretty typical for teens. Occasionally I'll peruse the comments on my niece's Insta (she's 18), and it's a lot of emojis and random words.

    As for the shallowness, I think that's typical of the age. I can't tell you how many kiddos nowadays have "YouTube celeb" as their career goal. We all want the easy way out. If we survive the stupidity of our teen and early twenties years, we tend to find our way.