Recycled Satanic Panic 2: The myth of Stranger Danger & (white, child) Trafficking

Twitter thread, found here (minor grammatical fixes included for clarity. The twitter thread was an off-the-cuff first draft, not polished.)

1) It applies WAY more to the guys at Home Depot you hire for $30/day to tear out the weeds, not children.
2) And the women who sew all the cheap crap you wear.
3) And the people who pick your vegetables.
4) And teens thrown out of their parents’ home & forced into sex work to eat.

An anonymized NextDoor thread spreading fear that children shouldn’t be outside, lest they be abducted.

It’s not little kids.
Or at least, it’s not abducted little [white] kids.

The little kids who do get trafficked are generally trafficked by their parents or guardians. They’re sold or coerced into marriage. To pay a debt or fulfill a prophecy or just because it ensures purity.

Yes, there are parents who traffic their own children for sex. But it’s their own parents.
Not strangers.
The kids are raised to think it’s normal to go with Daddy’s friend at the pool.
Or to take care of Mommy’s friend, and there will be ice cream after.

Stranger Danger is🐂💩 bullshit.

The kids being trafficked in the United States right now?
Mostly LGBTQ teenagers from conservative/fundie families.
And teens who have been abused, and figured being on the street wouldn’t kill them faster than their abuser.


Less than 350 people under 21 have been abducted by strangers since 2010.
95% of the people reported missing are runaways — and there’s no follow-up. If a teenager turns up with their other parent/aunt/SO? The missing report isn’t resolved.


There are about 2500 Non-Custodial parent/relative abductions per year.
But that’s the ex, or the ex’s sibling, or the grandparents. It’s immediate family, usually in a battle over SOMETHING ELSE, but becomes about the kid.
These ALSO don’t get marked as resolved.

The teenager who runs away about once a month for a weekend? Twelve specific reports, zero resolutions.
The teenager who is done with foster care/group homes because when they’re not abusive, they’re negligent? Generates reports, doesn’t generate resolutions.

Put money into housing these kids, and getting them appropriate, trauma informed therapy & education, and going after their parents for support WHILE NOT PUTTING THE KIDS BACK IN ABUSE?

Teen trafficking disappears.

(Added) Most trafficking is labor trafficking — under the table work, wage theft, holding workers’ passports or documentation, loaning them extortionate amounts of money they can never repay, working to pay off a cartel for smuggling a family member. These are crimes of POWER, and they’re common in the US and around the world, wherever people with money can force people without to work.

To fix it? Open the borders. Grant asylum and work permits.
Close down the chicken processors and the field crop farmers and the dairies who keep workers in perpetual debt.
Close down the landscaping companies and the restaurants who don’t pay minimum wage.
Close the sweatshops.

(Added) Or, you know, force these companies to follow our duly elected and legislated, will of the people labor laws. Labor trafficking hurts everyone — it keeps wages artificially low, it transfers the greater bulk of value from work to the owners, it underfunds all social safety net programs. As well as abusing a hell of a lot of people.


No marriages for anyone under 18.
Parental consent cannot make that contract on their child’s behalf, just as a parent cannot sell a child’s kidney, or sell a child’s body.
Marriage is between adults and completely voluntary, or it is not a contract at all. And this needs to be federal law.

That’s the real trafficking.
Focus there.

(I have removed two comments regarding a liar. They’re in the original thread, if you want to see them.)

This dovetails with the thread from Saturday: Q displaces REAL anxiety with fantasies so that people don’t have to address their own culpability in the abuse of children.
If you believe mafias exploit children in care, you don’t have to advocate for money to keep families intact.

If it’s a cabal of all-powerful criminals with all the power and all the money? What could someone do?

This is a LARP. Live Action Role Playing. It’s a giant game of pretend to allow people who CANNOT bear to think about what’s happening nearby to push it far away.

I have homework for you all: Visit this antique website :

It’s been online since the early 90s. (I’m pretty sure it was my first bookmark when I bought dialup with cash by walking to the ISP & had Netscape running on my 486.)

Click around, read up, realize this is an ur-text of the internet.
And the stuff they were writing about in 1995 is still relevant.
The same lies being promoted by conspiracy theorists.
The same cultural-Christian urban legends.
Just turned into a bio-meme-weapon.

PS: if a kid is running away regularly, this isn’t the kid. This is something in the home. The adults are making that space unsafe & impossible.
The kid is acting out BECAUSE the responsible adults have failed in their job.
Most common fails: abuse, neglect, authoritarianism.

Sorry, I know parents of difficult children want to make it the child’s fault. It’s a form of displacing guilt. It is TRULY difficult to have to do retrospective psych work & incredibly difficult to give up on the sunk-cost of increasing punishment.
And yet, it must be done.

Adolescent substance abuse is almost always a means of self-medication. The child is trying to avoid/treat pain, manage mental illness, mask abuse, or just increase their tolerance for living with neglect.

DARE was wrong on many things, but especially this. Adolescent substance use has no more to do with peer pressure than adult substance use, when a friend mentions that an SSRI helped their depression, or HRT made menopause bearable.

And one last PPS:

The government lied. No, there was not a giant child sex trafficking ring broken in Georgia.
The term you’re looking for is propaganda.