Human Trafficking

Magazine Crews

October 26, 2016

Deeper LoveAmanda J. Seymour, Th.M. Deeper Love

Amanda’s Story

Through the years, young adults have approached me in a grocery store parking lot and asked me to buy a magazine subscription.  Something did not feel right, so I always said no.  One afternoon, a young adult came to my door and asked me to purchase a magazine subscription.   I noticed he was on-foot.  I wondered where his car was and why he was walking around our off-the-beaten-path neighborhood.

I asked him where he lived.  He said his grandma lived on the main road and he was visiting her.  I asked her name.  When he told me, I knew we did not have anyone in our neighborhood by that name.  I kept wondering what he was really up to.  I felt like something was wrong.  I couldn’t put my finger on it.

When he asked me to purchase a magazine subscription, I told him no thank you, I was not interested, and asked him to not come by again.  He asked again.  He seemed desperate to make a sale.

After he left, I still had a feeling something was not right.  That evening, I went to dinner with a friend.  When my friend dropped me off at home, I had an ominous feeling.  I didn’t know why.  I went to my room and got ready for bed.

All of a sudden, a white car drove very slowly down my driveway.  A cold chill went up my spine.  “Who is here?” I wondered.

The car blocked my car in the driveway.  A young adult girl got out and stonily walked to the front door.  I saw her through the glass.  Her eyes were wide and glazed.  “Is Dameon there?” she asked.

She was wearing a fur coat and mini skirt.  Yet it was 80 degrees outside.  I told her, “No one named Dameon lives here.  You need to go now.  I have called the police.  They are on their way.  And I am going to get my gun!  You better leave NOW!”

Very mechanically with wide eyes, she said, “But I have a baby in the car.”  I didn’t believe her.  She was very stiff.  Her body language was not convincing.  She turned around and stiffly walked to her car, almost robotically.

I watched her walk to the car.  As the car drove away, I saw another person driving the car.  It was the silhouette of the magazine crew guy who came to my house earlier that day.  Had he come to case my house?  Was he coming back to rob me?  I wondered.

I wanted to make sense of what was happening.   So I prayed and then sat down to the computer and started researching.  I found the following articles which are included below.

They shed light on what magazine crews are about and how they work.  I was surprised to learn they are another form of human trafficking, labor trafficking, and the recruiters lure vulnerable young adults into mag crews by giving them promises of an exciting career with travel, fun and good pay.

A Typical Ad

A typical ad looks like this:

All-Star Promotions Recruiting Ad

ADVENTURE TRAVEL: New York, Philly, Florida. Are you: 18 years of age or older? Free to travel to exciting cities and resort areas? Motivated, outgoing & witty? Exciting US firm has 10 immediate openings for sharp guys and gals to work in a fun co-ed environment! We offer 2 two week paid training. Transportation furnished, return guaranteed! For an interview for this great opportunity don’t delay – call Miss Jenkins toll free today: 1-866-686-0037 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

http://edumacation.com/AllStarPromotions

This ad was taken from All-Star Promotions, a magazine crew sales organization that recruited lots of young adults to sell magazines door-to-door across the nation but did not fulfill the subscriptions.

Mag crews target young adults who are looking for a job with good pay, adventure, and fun.  They often target young adults working at McDonalds or other fast food restaurants and students.

Once they recruit the young people, they lure them into being trafficked by giving them drugs, alcohol and treating them harshly with violence and threats.  They drive sales people from state to state.  And they do not pay them well.  In fact, they hardly pay them at all.  And the young people become desperate and sometimes try to commit robberies.  I saw all of these symptoms the night the magazine crew came to my house.  And once I learned the truth about “Mag Crews”, I was deeply saddened to know these schemes are out there.  If someone is trying to recruit you for door-to-door sales and you feel like something isn’t quite right, don’t fall for it!

Articles

To learn more, read these articles:

“Human Trafficking; Mag Crew Kid At Your Door Could Be Victim” Al Jazeera http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/2/24/human-trafficking-victim-mag-crew-kid-at-door.html

“Trapped Into Selling Magazines Door-to-Door” – The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/04/trapped-into-selling-magazines-door-to-door/388601/

“Sales Crews, Peddling & Begging Rings” – National Human Trafficking Resource Center https://traffickingresourcecenter.org/labor-trafficking-venuesindustries/sales-crews-peddling-begging-rings

“For Youths, a Grim Tour on Magazine Crews” – The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/21/us/21magcrew.html?_r=0

MagCrew Movie

http://www.magcrew.com/

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  7. I keep saying Scott needs to hurry his butt home so I can stop shopping… my wallet is hating me right now! 🙂 But, I agree, retail therapy does boost the mood and give you something to look forward to (like cooking with the new cookware for/with your hubby or wearing that perfect dress out on a date 🙂 )I can’t wait to start getting the kitchen stuff Scott and I registered for… it will make our “new” life seem real… finally!

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  18. Yes, that’s exactly the process I went through, Alex. At the time I felt uncomfortable, but then I thought – what on earth else COULD it be except intended for cyclists … still it would be great if there was a sign, or painting on the ground, so that all cyclists don’t have to wonder about it …

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  25. I am so jealous–I’ve been to Hawaii twice, and just don’t get the folks who think it is “too touristy.” Hawaiians really get how to treat tourists (well, except for the bellboy you met who apparently didn’t pay attention in class!)–it IS their principal industry after all. Did you get to Morimoto’s restaurant? Or did you even go to Oahu? It’s on my to-do list if I ever get there again. (And I have no intention of waiting to get married to go–it’s been 63 years and no PiC in sight for moi!)

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  29. There was an ad directed by a Swede lady called Emma Hvengaard that showed people on a night out being sick in reverse. Bit obscure and I’m certainly not berating the creatives but does anyone know what happened to Hvengaard? She was rather good I remember. And blonde. And Swedish.

  30. Tanstaafl, thanks for noticing that Auster ended up revealing that his attacks had to do in part with VA’s association with me. what I say about that.I thank Anonymous 11:06 for the compliment and agree that we should be useful outlets for discontent caused by Auster’s blacklisting.

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  34. Good stuff Nolan. I was with a pastor yesterday that was getting hassled by a wealthy family in his church about allowing some people to tell their giving stories. No numbers, just stories. I asked him if the wealthy family were generous to the church. As usual, they weren’t. Most people who squeak about a giving message are squeaking someone’s on their toes!

  35. about our “first love” of missions, I must beg forgiveness for a lack of clarity. That absolutely has been and is the greatest strength of our convention over these 170 or so years, far and away its greatest reason to exist and in my strongest opinion ought still to be its primary focus.

  36. None of those groups are fronts…….and if you were to do a little research some of them agree that the earth is warming some have not issued an opinion and if you dig deep enough the one of the biggest critics of exxon the Union of Concerned Sci……takes money from foundations that accept exxon money….not everyone has a hollywood….cause their not biased….to fund thier budgets

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  46. Replicante,Poi ok, possiamo dire che sia qualcosa di cattivo gusto, che sia una provocazione fine a se stessa, e mi trovereste d'accordo…resta il fatto che è appunto una PROVOCAZIONE e se la gente si indigna (e si iscrive al gruppo per insultarli) non fa che stare al loro gioco.Tra l'altro il tutto potrebbe essere semplicemente una mega trollata. I fondatori del gruppo incriminato sono gli stessi che poi hanno aperto il gruppo "contro".

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