A Famed Anti-Sex Trafficking Group Has a Problem With the Truth - 2020-12-10

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F0.png A Famed Anti-Sex Trafficking Group Has a Problem With the Truth December 10, 2020, Anna Merlan, Vice News

When Tim Ballard himself took the stage, the hearts and comments professing love and an unmatched thirst for vengeance escalated yet again. Clad in a baseball cap, a blazer, and a white checked shirt, Ballard beamed at his audience. "The true heroes are you," he told them, "our supporters, those of you who have allowed us to take your light into dark places."

Ballard is the founder, former CEO, and the most public face of Operation Underground Railroad, or OUR, a charity founded in 2013 with a mission of fighting human trafficking domestically and abroad. OUR says its frontline workers include "former CIA, past and current law enforcement, and highly skilled operatives," and for years has described them literally snatching children and young women from the hands of traffickers in daring raids. It has, it says, rescued literally thousands of victims.

The specific stories that OUR tells are intensely cinematic: bold, heroic, and extremely difficult to fact-check. They are also not the entire truth. An investigation by VICE World News focused on OUR's operations identified a divide between the group's actual practices and some of its claimed successes. What we found aren't outright falsehoods but a pattern of image-burnishing and mythology-building, a series of exaggerations that are, in the aggregate, quite misleading.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Anna | last = Merlan | title = A Famed Anti-Sex Trafficking Group Has a Problem With the Truth | url = https://www.vice.com/en/article/k7a3qw/a-famed-anti-sex-trafficking-group-has-a-problem-with-the-truth | work = Vice News | date = December 10, 2020 | accessdate = December 16, 2022 }}