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Saving Sin City
April 14, 2009 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Two Christian ministries, Hookers for Jesus and JC's Girls aim to "save" Las Vegas sex workers from their professions by introducing them to Christianity.

Their founders, Annie Lobert and Heather Veitch (respectively,) both ex-sex workers, have been the focus of various interviews & documentaries, and have produced an outreach video series on YouTube: "Saving Sex City: 1, 2, 3, 4. (The series has a MySpace page, as well.) Also see XXXChurch, which targets porn addiction and has been featured previously on MeFi.

Lobert recently participated in a rather surreal ABC Nightline "Faceoff" debate regarding the existence of Satan.

Predictably, not everyone is thrilled with the groups' names or methods.
posted by zarq (35 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I included the "NSFW" tag even though I don't think any of the links contain nudity or porn.
posted by zarq at 11:53 AM on April 14, 2009


At least according to a book I read about the Mustang Ranch, and an article from Harper's (couldn't find a free link, but the essay also appears in the Submersion Journalism anthology), lots of Nevada sex workers are already Christians.
posted by box at 11:59 AM on April 14, 2009


More power to them.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 12:00 PM on April 14, 2009


I wondered why she kept saying: "Oh God! Jesus! Oh God!"
posted by Floydd at 12:02 PM on April 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Aren't these groups going about their business the wrong way?

What you do is, you found a group with a non-cute, non-controversial name. Say, Prostitutes Anonymous. You put a 12-step program in place, along the lines of AA. Then you cut the same sort of deals that AA does with judges or counties. The judges offer the girls a choice between jail and PA, they go to PA, get saved and everyone is happy.
posted by topynate at 12:08 PM on April 14, 2009


The judges offer the girls a choice between jail and PA, they go to PA, get saved and everyone is happy.

Prostitution is legal in Nevada.
posted by zarq at 12:10 PM on April 14, 2009


“Hookers for Jesus” sounds like a group of prostitutes who get together and talk about how they prostitute themselves for Jesus. Let me say that I know that is NOT the case with this ministry because Lobert is a former prostitute. By the grace of God she is no longer living in that destructive lifestyle!

Indeed.

From the "not everyone is thrilled" link: I will not encourage men in particular to visit Heather’s website, JC’s Girls, and I will not link to it. (JC supposedly stands for Jesus Christ.) I can tell you that for most men, make that all men, the photos would be a stumbling block.

Maybe I missed something, but there was one picture with a lady in a full, solid (as in not transparent or made of net-like material) top and jeans. Are you afraid of her made-up appearance? The neon lights behind her? Are Christian men that easily lured by a pretty smile and bare shoulders? If they've survived the temptation of beer commercials on TV, they'll be fine on this site.

Snarky tangent: one MarcuSands on MySpace left the following comment on Heather Veitch's profile - Just passing thru to wish you a Happy [Belated] Easter (and if you're Jewish, Happy Passover). I think it's pretty safe to assume she's not Jewish, unless she's a Jewish Hooker for Christ.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:11 PM on April 14, 2009


Predictably, not everyone is thrilled with the groups' names or methods.

And yet there are umpteen stories about religious conservatives getting caught using the services of hookers. Now they've become one. This is like the ultimate feedback loop.

Thinking about this, there must be something so unbelievably satisfying, to the hypocritical religious conservative, about paying to have sex with someone whilst thinking that they're going to hell. I suppose this is why Republican politicians like rent boys so much, it's a sort of two-for-one type deal.
posted by ob at 12:13 PM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can tell you that for most men, make that all men, the photos would be a stumbling block.

I read it more as the photos would make prostitutes seem attractive and human to the average guy. So... a different form of temptation, perhaps. I could be wrong, though.

I think it's pretty safe to assume she's not Jewish, unless she's a Jewish Hooker for Christ.

"Jewish Hookers for Christ" is a great name for a band, though. :D
posted by zarq at 12:21 PM on April 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is transparently just another way to make money. Ugh.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:22 PM on April 14, 2009


Prostitution is legal in Nevada.

The article in the Telegraph says that the organizations are active in Las Vegas itself, where, as your last link shows, prostitution is illegal. It certainly doesn't sound like they're focusing on licensed sex workers.
posted by topynate at 12:25 PM on April 14, 2009


I think "Christians for Hookers" would appeal to a broader demographic.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:33 PM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's a name: COYOTE. Come Off Your Old Tired Ethics. Oh, wait, that group already exists and it's pro-prostitution!
posted by parmanparman at 12:35 PM on April 14, 2009


World's oldest profession meets world's oldest con.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 12:38 PM on April 14, 2009 [6 favorites]


The article in the Telegraph says that the organizations are active in Las Vegas itself, where, as your last link shows, prostitution is illegal.

You're correct. I didn't read carefully enough. Apologies. Mea culpa.

It certainly doesn't sound like they're focusing on licensed sex workers.

They're not.

Treating prostitutes like addicts is an interesting idea, however, that doesn't mean the other organizations are "going about their business the wrong way." Outreach to sex worker substance abusers at a "street" level has previously proven effective.
posted by zarq at 12:41 PM on April 14, 2009


Nest stop: cage match with the Ex-Masturbators

No, wait. That would be totally exploitative.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:42 PM on April 14, 2009


Man, this "Face Off" thing is like getting punched in the, well, face.

Deepak Chopra: You know, this whole Satan thing just doesn't make any sense.

Religious dude: Jesus! Git 'er done!

Crowd: WOOOOOO HOOOOOO





what
posted by Shepherd at 12:43 PM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


IIRC, Jesus used to hang out with hookers all the time. Are these groups trying to collect enough hookers to, uh, speed up the second coming?
posted by b1tr0t at 1:00 PM on April 14, 2009


They charge you again for the second coming, but it's worth it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:09 PM on April 14, 2009 [7 favorites]


HA!

Just last week I ran across the Hookers For Jesus, Annie Lobert and Heather Veitch articles and found out that one user (Cyndamuse?) had been stuffing the articles with copy off the official websites, as well as those of some other people and a band associated with the organization. There wasn't any smoking gun, but it really looked like Cyndamuse was someone from inside Hookers For Jesus- the article said HFJ was "Born from the heart of Annie Lobert". Talk of purple prose.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:19 PM on April 14, 2009


From one of those blogs (you know, the scary one with posts in such categories as "Abominations" and "Obamanations"):

... come-hither poses, midriff bearing slut outfits, big hair and seductive poses in her publicity shots are more worthy of calendars at truck stops than a website for a Christian ministry.

So ... big hair is an afront to the Lord? Man. Texas is in for a rude awakening.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:35 PM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


unless she's a Jewish Hooker for Christ.

That role's taken.
posted by yoink at 1:41 PM on April 14, 2009 [6 favorites]


Are these groups trying to collect enough hookers to, uh, speed up the second coming?

Speeding up the time a man takes to come is one of the first tricks you learn when you first start working in the business.

This lot should be bringing on the Rapture by next Friday at the latest.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:43 PM on April 14, 2009


midriff bearing slut outfits

So what does that involve? A coat hanger in the belly button?
posted by yoink at 1:43 PM on April 14, 2009


And when it comes to sex biz gossip, nobody does it better than Luke Ford.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:46 PM on April 14, 2009


This is why I internet.
posted by nola at 2:03 PM on April 14, 2009


I know. I just saw the pictures and internetted all over the place.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:43 PM on April 14, 2009


Prostitution is legal in NV on a county-by-county basis. Hence the big gambling centers (Reno, LV) made it illegal to keep up appearances to the blue-hair set coming in to pull handles, but neighboring counties a short drive away make it legal.

Once upon a time, prostitution and religion were one and the same. Appears there's nothing new under the sun.
posted by telstar at 3:31 PM on April 14, 2009


I think I want to start my own branch of Hookers for Jesus, but instead of trying to convert working ladies to Christianity, I think I want to start a full service brothel that caters people ready to accept that Jesus was the kind of guy that was ok with prostitutes.

And I'd be willing to bet it would be one of the most popular ministries around...
posted by quin at 3:38 PM on April 14, 2009


zarq, I'm snarking, mea maxima culpa. I was riffing on the idea that AA is a (genetically, at least) Christian organization that you can be compelled to go to in some places. The fact of the matter is that the groups you talk about in your post have saving souls as their primary aim, above even taking women out of prostitution. That's what sticks in my craw, just a little.
posted by topynate at 4:27 PM on April 14, 2009


The fact of the matter is that the groups you talk about in your post have saving souls as their primary aim, above even taking women out of prostitution.

Good point, I've been thinking about this wrong all day. Hookers for Jesus is saving hookers. They aren't trying to stop them at all. They want to make sure there are plenty of hookers in heaven.

I might have to start going to church again.
posted by b1tr0t at 5:17 PM on April 14, 2009


Whom Would Jesus Do?
posted by tapesonthefloor at 7:30 PM on April 14, 2009


I tire of meddling Christians.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:40 PM on April 14, 2009


tl;dr but unless they're hucking purses with gold coins through open windows, they're doing it wrong.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:23 PM on April 14, 2009


I'm sure a lack of religious conviction is the cause of prostitution.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:55 AM on April 15, 2009


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