Monday, June 2, 2014

My Life as a Fabricator by Somaly Mam

Here is a brief section from the recently released "as told to," Somaly Mam: My Life as a Fabricator, soon to be a major motion picture. “Even my claim that I unionized all the sex workers and then went on to steal from the pension fund was a fabrication. And now everyone has read Melissa Gira Grant’s Times Op-Ed piece, “The Price of a Sex-Slave Rescue Fantasy,” NYT, 5/29/14)  Ms. Grant said that, 'A Newsweek cover story last week found inconsistencies and flat-out fraud in Ms. Mam’s story of being abducted and forced to work in a brothel as a child-- instead, former neighbors said she came to their village with her parents and graduated from high school, later sitting for a teacher’s exam—and in the stories of women she said she had rescued by the thousands. Ms. Mam even said traffickers had kidnapped her teenage daughter—but the girl’s father said she ran away with her boyfriend.’ Why would I perpetuate such inaccuracies which as Ms. Grant goes on to point out caused even further hardships for those who actually suffered the maladies my foundation had set out to address?  The answer is quite simple. I’m one of the people who had seen the Kony 2012 video on You Tube about The Lord’s Resistance Army. The video was loaded with distortions. But it demonstrated how the ends can justify the means. That video got over 99 million hits. If Jason Russell, the flaky maker of the film, could do it so could I. In addition I wanted to be a bestselling author and if you think it’s difficult to sell books in the United States, you can imagine what it’s like in Pnomh Penh. Do you think for one minute anyone was going to buy a fictionalized account of sex slavery, when you could see the real thing on every street corner? Well, at the end of the day, I’ve concluded that what I did is not so bad. Look at Newsweek. They were the ones who got the goods on me, but everyone knows what they’re after. The magazine just restarted its print edition and the new investors who bringing it back to life are simply trying to scoop their old rival, Time.”

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