HOW TO SHUT DOWN PUBLIC OFFENDERS

The United States of America is a nation of laws.  In order for laws to be enforced, violations of the law must be reported to the proper enforcement body.  For example, in the event of fraud (i.e. a diploma mill offering worthless diplomas or non-transferable credits) and false advertising/misleading marketing, you report that to your home state's Attorney General and/or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  You can find links to file online complaints with both and more at http://www.heal-online.org/report.htm. And, in the event of any crime such as rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment, human trafficking, assault, battery, or even threatening intimidation you report that to the police of the jurisdiction where the crime occurred.  HEAL has found when such crimes are reported within the Statute of Limitations public offenders (even those operating segregated congregate care or cults) often get shut down within 6 months to 2 years depending on how extensive the investigation is before arrests are made.  Some examples of frauds and criminals on the HEAL watch-list that have been closed as a result of such reporting include: Midwest Academy, Northwest Academy, Restoration Youth Academy, and Blessed Hope Boys Home.  The owners of Blessed Hope Boys Home were arrested and indicted on charges of human trafficking.  This is the most effective way to shut down offenders who violate the law.

Below is listed legal ways to shut down offenders (be they individuals or businesses of some sort) in order of most effective to least:

1.  Report criminal and civil violations to the proper law enforcement agencies in a timely fashion and be prepared to testify if a direct witness or victim to the criminal or civil violations.  Enforcement agencies can't investigate without probable cause which requires a judge find reason to warrant an investigation which if otherwise investigated would violate the civil liberties of the party/parties to be investigated.  There is no pre-crime unit and regulation doesn't work like that either.  The government believes everyone is acting in good faith unless there is ample evidence presented to the government by a member of the public (witness or victim) warranting investigation while the accused retains the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and then penalties are assessed or offenders shut down.  For a list of "schools" closed in Arizona, click here.  In Utah, you can now "Submit A Concern" about a segregated congregate care facility online by clicking "Submit A Concern" and filling out the form following directions at this link: https://hslic.utah.gov/concerns-incidents.  To see what facilities Utah has disciplined and closed in the last 5 years as a result of such reports, see: https://hslic.utah.gov/notices-of-agency-action

2.  Civil lawsuits if publicized can help shed light on violations while resulting in some financial loss for the offenders/defendants.  The issue with civil lawsuits is that if you are a victim and choose to sue, your attorney will want you to pay the retainer if you plan to go to trial to cover the expenses of going to trial which may be recovered should you win attorney's fees and court costs as part of your judgment.  Lawyers rarely will go to trial at their own expense to assist their clients.  No matter your job, if someone hired you to work and you knew the job might take 2 years to complete, would you accept their assurance that someone else will pay you when the work is done?  Even if you would, could you afford to take that risk and go without income for 2 years even if you fully believed you'd get paid when the job was complete?  That's the position most lawyers are in and why they will represent you to settle your case out of court on a contingency basis where they usually won't go to trial on a contingency basis.  Typically such settlements involve non-disclosure agreements and result in silencing plaintiffs from further speaking out.  Many offenders continue to operate, defraud, and harm others knowing that most will sue civilly and choose not to go with option 1 above.  But, if enough people sue it could injure them financially to the point they go bankrupt like CEDU

3.  If you believe something should be illegal that is currently legal like consuming animal products, then that's when you talk to legislators.  You need to know the existing laws before doing that and track current legislation to then recommend changes to the legislation or new legislation to either make something legal that currently is not or something illegal that currently is legal.  And, to work on legislation responsibly, you need to consider all reasonable perspectives and arguments for why the law currently reads as it does and why your suggested changes may be unreasonable or unfeasible.  This way you are not wasting the time of legislators and have a chance to be remotely effective in changing the laws you seek to change.  HEAL HQ spent a year researching the misuse and abuse of IEP (Individual Education Plan/Program) funding in Washington State public schools.  Once we had the data highly suggesting some corruption and misuse of public funds, we reported it to legislators.  The Washington State House Ways and Means Committee opened an official investigation based on our research.  It confirmed the problems we alleged existed with our evidence as presented.  The official investigation lasted a year.  It took another year or so before legislation was introduced and passed to address those issues which included more explicitly barring public school administrators from illegally accepting kickbacks for private IEP placements and enrollments.  That legislation also required due process hearings open to the public before any public school student could be placed or enrolled in segregated care through the school district.  But, that took a lot of patience and due diligence.  So, if that sounds boring and like too much work, then, stay out of legislative reform because that's how to do it effectively and in a meaningful way.

4.  Boycotts and Consumer Advocacy Campaigns are helpful.  If you call for a boycott of a specific industry, business, product, or service, then those who join you or support that won't do business with whom you wish to see boycotted.  A call for a boycott is the more combative, militant, or aggressive side of consumer advocacy.  Consumer Advocacy Campaigns providing additional information and context to consumers before they make purchasing decisions (whether for services or goods) can help reduce the number of people making bad choices by providing that information and context.  One issue is we see marketing firms that advise boycotts of some while promoting competing products or services and they do that under the guise of activism.  Sue Scheff and PURE is an example of that.  So, while passionate about a cause, it is important to remember how you feel when approached by someone demanding you boycott a product or service (i.e. group tells you "no more ice cream because it hurts cows") and whether emotionally driven pleas are effective in changing your position where the activity is legal and you enjoy it.  Almonds are apparently bad for the environment and use too much water.  But, almonds are still legal.  So, where something is legal, the most respectful way to create change is by educating consumers to help them make more responsible decisions without demanding they adopt your lifestyle or enthusiasm for a specific issue.  And, where you don't listen to others, the others are not likely to listen to you.  So, if you aren't prepared to respectfully converse based on factual information in support of your chosen cause where you might have to acknowledge your own ignorance when presented with additional reliably sourced information, then you are likely in some kind of cult and not going to effectively get the majority to support your cause(s).  Now, you could argue that HEAL Kentucky used protesting/boycotting to shut down Pathway Family Center.  You'd be right that it helped bring attention to the issue and shut it down.  But, there were lawsuits, bankruptcies, and lost public contracts as a result of official complaints to the proper authorities that played a big part in that.  Boycotting and protesting alone does not change things and at times, depending on issue, can result in counter-protests.  And, when protesters and counter-protesters face-off, sometimes there are arrests because people then do illegal things in the heat of the moment.  So, reasonable discourse and public information campaigns is better if seeking to legally create change rather than opportunities for arrest and arguably injuring your own cause if people become afraid to support as a result of any threats or arrests.

Now, the above are legal ways to help stop public offenders.  And, the most effective is to report offenses to the proper authorities and enforcement bodies within the statutes of limitation.  All of the above ways require exercising honest reason, being honest, and consideration for the points of view of others to be effective.

If you want to do something legal that is other than any of the above to create change and want HEAL's help, visit http://www.heal-online.org/solidarity.htm for info on what we offer.  However, we believe the above ways are the best ways and that's what we focus on for success and real change.

An example of a HEAL Twitter Blog Article is below with sources cited.  It may help you understand how to consider additional information for greater understanding to broaden your perspective on a given issue for better advocacy results.

"Ignorant or Delusional?

By Angela Smith, HEAL National Coordinator/Co-Founder

 

I argue today that I was ignorant and not delusional, though misled into believing a vegan lifestyle was even possible, let alone healthy.  Vegan is defined as someone who does not eat nor use any animal products.  Organic fruit and vegetables are not produced without dead animals and animal byproducts in the fertilizer.  Now, if for food you only consume non-organic fruits and vegetables grown in synthetic fertilizer you need to understand the synthetic fertilizer causes more harm than good and is not therefore sustainable.  "Synthetic fertilizers have long-term negative effects. Synthetic fertilizers kill beneficial microorganisms in the soil that convert dead human [and nonhuman animal] and plant remains into nutrient-rich organic matter. Nitrogen- and phosphate-based synthetic fertilizers leach into groundwater and increase its toxicity, causing water pollution. Fertilizers that leach into streams, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water disrupt aquatic ecosystems. Synthetic fertilizers increase the nitrate levels of soil. Plants produced from such soil, upon consumption, convert to toxic nitrites in the intestines. These harmful nitrites react with the hemoglobin in the blood stream to cause methaeglobinaemia, which damages the vascular and respiratory systems, causing suffocation and even death... Synthetic fertilizers damage the natural makeup of soil in the long term. Plants that grow in overly fertilized soil are deficient in iron, zinc, carotene, vitamin C, copper and protein." [1]

 

Like many, I've mostly chosen organic fruits and vegetables.  To feed one person organic fruits and vegetables for a year you needs a 2000 square foot garden.[2]  To fertilize that garden year round you need up to 120 pounds of fertilizer which can contain animal/human waste, blood meal, and bone meal to feed the plants naturally so they can be nutrient-rich when eaten.[3][4]  So, regardless, vegetarians and vegans need animal products/byproducts to sustain their lifestyle.  Even if they ever use vinyl, or anything petroleum-based or derived, they are using dead animals/animal products.[5]  Therefore, being vegan isn't possible and even if it were it isn't sustainable as a lifestyle to be adopted globally by everyone.  If you want good nutrition understanding that's vital for individual health, you've got to participate in the use, directly or indirectly, of nonhuman animals.[6] "



[1] https://homeguides.sfgate.com/effects-synthetic-fertilizers-45466.html

[2] https://sustainability.stackexchange.com/questions/6878/how-big-a-garden-to-feed-one-person

[3] https://extension.psu.edu/calculations-used-to-determine-the-amount-of-fertilizer-needed-to-treat-turf

[4] https://homeguides.sfgate.com/should-fertilize-vegetable-garden-41648.html

[5] https://www.livescience.com/3400-chemistry-life-oil.html

[6] https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/jun/06/malnutrition-3-million-deaths-children

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