Transcript of RM195: Steve Whitsett

Listen to RM195: Steve Whitsett

Registry Matters is an independent production. The opinions and ideas here are that of the hosts and do not reflect the opinions of any other organization. If you have problems with these thoughts, FYP.

Andy 00:17

Recording live from FYP Studios, east and west. Transmitting across the internet, this is Episode 195 of Registry Matters. Good evening, fine, sir. How are you?

Larry 00:27

Just doing fantastic. How are you?

Andy 00:30

I am very well. Let’s just dive right in. What do we have going on this evening?

Larry 00:35

Well, we have a guest from across the pond and I’m looking forward to it.

Andy 00:39

Yeah, it should be a great interview I’ve been trying to schedule this thing for many, many months, and just between different schedules and whatever was going on, couldn’t quite get there. We are interviewing Steven, who goes by River Whitsett. And he spent some time in the Florida criminal justice system. And then he even ended up doing some time in civil commitment and has now relocated himself to Germany. He recently released a book. And I think, unless there’s anything else, without further ado, let’s just move right on over to that interview with Mr. Whitsett.

Larry 01:10

Let’s do it.

Andy 01:12

Cool. We are super privileged. The reason why we’re recording this out of band is because we have an incredibly special guest. There are a bunch of you that have been following this guy on YouTube. And he’s kind of like something of an internet sensation. But yeah, I know you’re over there like why are you doing this? But joining us is, is Steven Whitsett, going by River, correct? (River: Correct.) And you’re a Florida native, and you’re championing the rights of PFRs. You’ve battled with prison guards, croocked psychologists and government destined to destroy your humanity, which has led him to become one of the most outspoken advocates for the rights of PFRs. You are familiar with the term PFR now I imagine? (River: I am now. Yes, I have been educated.) Excellent. We spoke a couple days ago and figure this all out. So welcome River. I really honestly and like truly, I’m very humbled that you decided to join us and graced us with some time. I know you have a family visiting you. They’re out in the other country across the pond. So thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it. Welcome.

River 02:15

Thank you. It really is my privilege. This truly is an honor. Thank you for inviting me. I don’t know why… this is Episode 194. I’m not sure how you got 193 guests before me but.

Andy 02:28

We don’t normally do guests. (River: I’m teasing.) Well, the nexus of the program is I reached out to Larry and said, look, I don’t know anybody that knows the legal stuff, the policy stuff. No one knows it as a lobbyist the way that you do. And so we need to do a podcast. And Larry goes, Larry, you want to say it the way you normally say it? (Larry: What is a podcast?) Yeah, yeah. So that’s where I was like, Okay, we got a long way to go. But then over the next handful of months, tried to put things together. And here we are 193 episodes later. But we don’t normally do guests is really what I was getting at. (River: Really?) Yeah. (River: Oh, okay.) So usually there’s very frequently there’s some kind of court case that directly impacts us, or Larry uses his mojo and voodoo skills to figure out some sort of angle that this law could have positive or negative consequences for PFRs in the States, whether that be things like polygraphs or registration or… they just they actually kind of keep coming like almost on a weekly basis. Larry, is there something in the in the backfield that that’s coming down the pike that we are going to talk about here soon? Or did I miss something?

Larry 03:43

Well, I would just give an example. We receive questions since I participate with another organization, and production of the newsletter. I received question all the time from people who are in prison or not in prison, but more are in prison. And we select those questions. And we do our best to try to answer those questions for people. And we’ll answer them on the podcast because if it’s a question that is going to impact beyond the person’s conviction, we try to provide that information to others. So an example would be I’ve got a question that I’m going to answer in the upcoming edition of the of the newsletter. It’s called the Digest. But here would be… if I can get my computer, my ancient computers to actually open. But here’s a question that I’ve got to answer. And Andy, you need to be talking while I’m trying to find this question. But yeah, we try to come up with stuff that’s exciting that would enlighten folks with knowledge that they don’t have and I do that on a regular basis. On the podcast, we’ll answer questions.

Andy 04:46

And I would then need you to like step aside so I could say something. We’re trying to even find things that are novel because if everyone’s like, do I have to register in this state? The answer is probably yes. And we’ve answered that 400 times before. Hey, so let’s look for something that’s kind of neat and that we could explore that something interesting to talk about. We don’t want to talk about the same things over and over.

River 05:06

I assume next week, you’ll be talking about the new amendment that’s been proposed to the international Megan’s Law?

Andy 05:12

That is definitely something on the radar. (River: Okay, just a question. Just a question.) That is totally, totally on the radar.

River 05:18

I’m still on vacation, but it still managed to come across my desk today.

Andy 05:22

And the source that I got that particular article from, I don’t want to call them out, then the article then disappeared. I sent it to Larry and Larry comes and goes, I get a page: can’t be found. So then, like, maybe someone just made this up, but… (River: No, no.) That Chris Smith piece of crap in New Jersey is trying to make it where if I understand right, he’s going to try and make it so that we can’t leave the country.

River 05:47

That’s not my understanding. However, because I had an hour-long conversation with one of my legal analysts right before I called you this afternoon. But I’m one of those people that would rather not talk about something until I have actually read the text for myself, had a chance to dissect it and, you know, speak with a couple other people. It was only a question of if you were going to deal with it. I can tell you that the summary that I was given today, Europe would laugh in the Americans faces. I’ll just leave it at that for the moment.

Andy 06:17

Right. Larry, did you did you pull up your example?

Larry 06:22

Finally did and this is going to be in the newsletter. What is the law for visiting another state? How long can you stay there before you must notify authorities? Can you provide me with a list of all the states that have no registry? Well, the third one will be the easiest one to answer. There’s no state that doesn’t have a registry. But what I’ll do is I’ll dig into it. For example, I’ll say well, there’s not a US state that doesn’t have a registry. But there are states in the US that do not display. There’s like Minnesota, only a small fraction of the people that are registered are publicly displayed. But they do in fact, have a registry in Minnesota. But that’s the type of thing. But on these two questions, it’s kind of nuanced. So I’ll end up spending 700 words answering these questions. And it’ll be helpful to more than just the person. If you write about your case and say, How can I undo my conviction? We just, we don’t have the resources to get into that.

River 7:18

I agree.

Andy 07:20

Let’s begin. Tell me a little bit about the book that you just released. As soon as I saw it, I guess you sent out a message over Patreon that you had released a book and you were all excited and elated and all that. Tell me about the book real quick because I mean, certainly I’m honored that you’re here, but certainly go plug the book too.

River 07:38

Okay. Well, thank you. The book was an accident, believe it or not. I don’t remember – my mother who is visiting right now was asking me about this the other day, and I actually cannot remember why I was in the captain’s office that particular day. But after I got off death row, after I got out of isolation, they put me in general population in the most violent prison that Florida has to offer. That’s where they dumped all their bad children. And I was in the maximum-security dorm. And we were only allowed out of our dormitory to go to the chow hall and come back. That was pretty much it. Once a week we were allowed to go to get haircuts. But for some reason that I just can’t remember I was in the captain’s office one afternoon, and just he and I, and he was telling me that he was getting ready to retire. And that he was thinking about writing a series of books about all the things he had seen in the prison system or had himself done in the prison system. And he told me that I should write a book about it. And I laughed it off because who really wants to read about this stuff, really? And he told me that he thought I was mistaken. That he thought that there would be quite a few people that would like to hear what really happened. And so I think I would say it was the final four or five months of my prison sentence as I was, you know, almost at the door, going home after 22 years, that I started sitting down at my bunk every afternoon and writing.

Andy 09:02

Okay. So you were doing this while you were still gone? You started taking notes.

River 09:06

Yes. Yeah, and I’m one of, you know, for anybody who’s followed my videos, I’m one who believes in substantiating what I say. Anybody can get in front of a YouTube camera and say anything. That’s the easy part. My training is as a lawyer, and I still think like a lawyer. If you say it, can you back it up? So in my book, when I talk about certain incidents, I give the names. I give the dates. I give the exact locations. When possible, I give you the report numbers. You know, if there was a disciplinary report that I write about, I give the disciplinary report number, told you who wrote it, what day it was written, where it was written, and oftentimes quote it. Those kinds of things are very important for me. And I was a meticulous record keeper in prison. I mean, really, what else did I have to do all day? And so I had a plethora of documents that I was able to draw from including court records so that when I say something in the book, I can back it up. Or you can go on the internet and yourself very easily find it. So that’s kind of how it started. And then I finished it right before I got out of prison, and then did not do anything with it for the next six years. It literally sat in a box.

Andy 10:21

Okay, so you were able to go back and find all the notes you wrote, though.

River 10:26

Well, I had the text. I had the actual documents, and then I just sat down and typed them, and I cleaned. When I say cleaned up some things, cleaned up my language in a few places. I try very hard to be objective. I don’t think that there’s a point in being subjective. I don’t think that we ever make good decisions when we’re overcome by our emotions. We always make bad decisions when thinking emotionally. So I try to think of things objectively. I try to see them from multiple viewpoints. Because for every person who says, oh, I’m a victim of the system, there’s somebody out there saying the system didn’t do enough to you. And we need to try to consider both aspects. Because I mean, obviously, it’s a spectrum. People fall on a spectrum. And if I could just make one more point before I try to finish my answer, I probably said too much. I know for a fact, most people in prison are not innocent. I know some people are. And then there are some people who are guilty, but they’re just not guilty of what they were convicted for, or vice versa. And I tell people, that you can use the rule of thirds in prison when trying to understand people. A third of the guards that go to prison, to work in a prison, are psychopaths looking for an outlet for their personal issues. A third of those guards are just coming to work to do their jobs, get a paycheck and go home at the end of the day. It’s nothing personal. And then there’s a third – and of course, I say third, it blurs. And I’d say there’s a third that actually come in trying to do some good, that actually tried to help people. Not all guards are maniacs or assholes. Certainly not all of them are saints. Everybody falls somewhere in between. But the same is true with inmates. A third of them just are incorrigible and are always looking for trouble and are always going to find trouble. A third of them are trying to… just, they’ve accepted they’ve done wrong, they’re trying to do their time and they’re trying to go home. And then you’ve got a third that, you know, they’re doing the absolute best they can to clean their lives up, get the hell out and stay out. So I think we need to keep that perspective. Sorry.

Andy 12:38

I think that’s fair. That’s fine. That’s, no, that’s perfect. We don’t really necessarily have much of a time limit. If we have to split this across into multiple interviews, I don’t care. I want to get this out because I’m super happy that we have you here. (River: I don’t want to bore you, either.) Um, tell me this: why do you think the registry is something worth fighting against? And why should the roughly – we can quibble about this number – 750,000 people, 280, whatever, I don’t care what number we want to pick up with. Why do you think that the people, the PFRs, should step up and fight back against the registry?

River 13:10

Okay, I agree with you that there’s no firm number that we can use. So if it’s between 250,000 or 850,000, I don’t care. If it’s one person, we still have to fight the registry. Now I’m a student of history as well. I have always enjoyed World War II history. I’ve always enjoyed trying to understand the Nazi mentality. And yes, I’m going to go there. In Nuremberg, they enacted approximately 19 laws. Depends on how you want to interpret which laws because some of them blend together. But let’s say they enacted 19 laws that over time took the Jews out of society, took them out of social life, made them outcasts. The Nazis were able to blame the Jews for everything wrong with Germany, in the economy, and this, that, and the other. And these 19 laws went from something as simple as they cannot share the same parks as other people to they have to wear identifiers on their ID cards, just like the Florida drivers license, they have to have signs in their yards. They were not allowed to travel. Their passports were revoked. At one point, their passports had a stamp on them, identifying them with capital J. At the end of World War II, we executed people. The people that passed those laws were executed for human rights violations. If you read those 19 laws, and I have in both German and English, and you compare them to the American Sex Offender Registry laws, we in the United States have enacted 18 of those 19 laws. Are we supposed to sit back quietly and wait until we get to the 19th and they start putting people in boxcars? We already have concentration camps. They’re called Civil Commitment Centers.

Andy 14:56

Right. Now there was a boat that got turned away by the US coming from Poland if I’m not mistaken, and we turned it back somewhere in World War II.

River 15:04

So are we supposed to wait until people are being dragged out of their street out of their homes in the streets and beaten by mobs? Are we supposed to wait until they’re standing in front of firing squads? The answer is no, no, no. I will not tolerate it. And if nobody else does anything about, by God, I’m gonna be there.

Andy 15:21

Like you’re getting a little heated about this.

River 15:23

It pisses me off. But I live in a place where these people were actually rounded up and shot. In the town that I live in right now, there’s a plaque in a little Plaza where we have a café, that actually says on this date, in this Plaza, 140 men, women and children from this town were rounded up, put on a boxcar and sent to their deaths. It’s reality here. It’s not hyperbole. I live in a place that still marks where these things happen. No.

Andy 15:51

I saw in one of your videos that you think you went by a monument that represented like, “We want to remember this.” And it was: we want to make sure that we do not forget this past so we don’t repeat it. Not to revere it. (River: Absolutely.) I’m drawing a direct comparison to something in the US that we have.

River 16:13

It’s ironic, though, that arguably, the Germans, and I’m using that term very loosely, because not all Germans were Nazis, let’s be clear about that. But that Germany was the worst violator of human rights in the last 2000 years. Now, it’s where people come to protect human rights, because they are determined to make up for what happened. You cannot make up for the, you know, the random deaths of up to upwards of what 13 million people if you include all the Eastern Europeans and whatnot, you’re never gonna make that up. But by God, they’re gonna try. Love it.

Andy 16:51

So in your case, though, you were listed as an SVP or a sexually violent predator. And as I was reading your book, it doesn’t sound to me, like you did any of the things to be classified as an SVP. What exactly is the legal definition of SVP? And what exactly did prosecutors have to prove to have you be classified as SVP and are predators – like the actual ones… well, I guess not the ones that are classified as, do they get separated from the general population of PFRs?

River 17:19

Okay, that’s a complicated question. At the moment, I have a case in front of the German court, a German Constitutional Court in which I am challenging the American Sex Offender Registry as being violative of international human rights law. And the judge there asked me what is the difference between – now this is Florida – a sex offender, a sexual predator, a sexually violent predator, and a mentally disordered sex offender? Who the hell can keep up with all that? And does the average person on the street know the difference between those things? Of course not. Everybody’s lumped together. The mentally disordered sex offender was a program they had back in the 80s and early 90s, it’s gone. So we can forget that. A sex offender in Florida is anybody who has been convicted of a sexually related offense, doesn’t have to be a sex offense. But that does not rise to the level of a forcible sex act. Forcible rape, or sex with a child younger than 13 gets someone designated as a sexual predator in Florida. Now, sex offender, sexual predator and mentally disordered sex offender were all criminal classifications. So Florida came along in 1999, and created this new category of sexually violent predator. It is a civil definition. It is not based on criminal law. And their definition of sexual violence is any sex related offense. Period.

Andy 18:55

Unpack that then.

River 18:57

Child pornography is considered sexually violent in Florida, under the civil law. Exposing oneself, distribution, streaking would be considered sexually violent, even though there’s no… soliciting someone online is sexually violent, even though you don’t actually come in any physical contact. And in fact, it may not even be a real person. It’s an undercover officer, which means it’s an imaginary victim. So non-contact with an imaginary victim is still considered sexually violent. Now, in order to be classified as a sexually violent predator, someone has to have a sexual offense of any sort including – I use this in my book, I think – including if I go to a store, to a grocery store, and I steal a banana which is retail theft, to take that banana home to us as a sexual toy with my boyfriend or girlfriend or what have you. That is a sexually related offense, which would qualify me for being a sexually violent predator. There are two criteria. One is the person is convicted of a sex offense. The other is that the person suffers from a some sort of mental disorder that predisposes them to commit acts of sexual violence. Now, what does it mean to have a mental disorder that predisposes someone to commit? What sort of mental disorders? Kleptomania? Insomnia? I mean, let’s be honest. And in Florida, well in the United States, a psychologist only needs to claim that the connection is there, in order for it to count. So, if the person is convicted of a sex offense, if a court appointed or state appointed psychologist determines that this person suffers from some sort of mental disorder, then they are a sexually violent predator who can be locked away for the rest of his or her life, for treatment, just like we treated the Jews.

Andy 20:55

Right. Larry, do you have anything to pile on there?

Larry 20:58

It’s fascinating, because that term, he used mental disorder. That’s a common theme in the 20 states that have sex offender specific civil commitment. And I want to clarify, I think all states have civil commitment, but the unique track that they use for people with sexual related offenses, that is common, boilerplate language, that they have a mental disorder. But what is a mental disorder?

Andy 21:23

Wouldn’t it have to be something identified by the DSM?

River 21:29

It can be anything. Pick something out of the DSM. Just flip through it, open a page, point your finger. Excuse me, Larry, for stepping on you.

Larry 21:38

So yeah, the mental disorder, the very reason – one of the reasons, not the only reason – but one of the reasons why the people who run the traditional civil commitment facilities, they don’t want PFRs in their facilities because they say these people don’t have mental illness that we can treat. They do not have anything in the DSM that covers them. We’re on number five now, right? There’s nothing in the DSM-V that relates to these people. And therefore, they’re not appropriately housed in a regular mental health care facility where you’re trying to treat a mental illness. Go ahead.

Andy 22:13

That kind of goes to the next question. Go ahead River.

River 22:16

I’m sorry. I was gonna point out, though, that this very question that we’re all three discussing at this very moment is the very reason that the European courts have already reviewed the civil commitment schemes in Minnesota and California and determined them to be human rights violations. Because in order to justify incarcerating someone for treatment, they must have a mental disorder that means they cannot even go about their daily lives unless they are an immediate danger to themselves or others. Immediate. So you don’t just get to pick something out of a book. And because the European courts determined that not only could that happen, but is happening in the United States, the European Union as a whole has already denounced these schemes as human rights violations.

Andy 23:02

Larry, this is kind of a question towards you. Does the US care about that designation from the United Nations?

Larry 23:10

I really don’t think so. I mean, we’ve been called out for our putting children on the sexual offense registries as a human rights violation. And I think that since Americans primarily do not go outside US sources for their news, they don’t hear this kind of thing. And they’ve been schooled to believe that America is the beacon of human rights. I mean, we are what the rest of the world looks to for protection of human rights. And I don’t think any of it resonates with the average person that we have all these human rights issues within the United States. I really don’t.

River 23:42

if I could counter and I very much agree with you that the average American doesn’t give a damn. And I think that the American government doesn’t give a damn. But the rest of the world, which includes the European Union, is not necessarily looking to the United States as a beacon of hope for human rights protections. I think where it begins to matter is once the EU – and we’re hoping that it will be by before the end of this year – declares that the sex offender registry also is a human rights violation. That would mean that any American citizen that could get onto foreign soil, by innertube, by bicycle, whatever, would be immediately entitled to protection by that government. And the US would not… (Andy: Really?) Yeah, that is what we’re after. Absolutely.

Andy 24:27

Um, have researchers ever figured out a link between the various mental disorders to tell them who would become an SVP?

River 24:36

As far as I know, no, and I cannot claim to be an expert in that particular area. But as far as I’ve read, or I have heard, no. No connection has been drawn.

Andy 24:46

Let’s move over to the treatment center that you were living, I’m sure lavishly, with palm trees, and people with like fans like making sure you were staying comfortable. (River: I appreciated the sauna.) What was the name of the place? (River: Martin Treatment Center.) Martin Treatment Center, MTC. How was it different? And how would you say it was similar? Like, tell me about the place as far as what… most of our people, I guess would have some level of experience with what the prison system looks like. So was MTC this, like awesome place to get treatment?

River 25:25

If treatment were provided there. Now let’s keep in mind when I was at this treatment center, and it has since my adventurous departure from that facility, they renamed it to the Florida Civil Commitment Center. It used to be called the Martin Treatment Center. The Martin Treatment Center was originally built as a jail and sits on the very same grounds as Martin Correctional Institution run by the Florida Department of Corrections. If I told you nothing else, that right there should tell you everything else you need to know. (Andy: It’s almost like an annex then.) It was. (Andy: Like a work detail outside the wall kinda of place?) At one time it was. (Andy: That’s what I was picturing.) This particular facility of course had the mandatory double perimeter fences with the motion detectors, the x-ray, the rolls of barbed wire – or not barbed wire, razor wire – on top, there were two armed roving patrols. In order to get into the facility, like if your family came to visit, they had to go through searches, they had to go through the metal detector, they had to be on an approved visiting list. And although the “treatment aids”, and I’m using air quotes, wore khaki pants and maroon shirts, every single one of those treatment aids was either recruited from the Department of Corrections next door or recruited from the local sheriff’s office. All of them were law enforcement. Treatment: none of them were qualified to give any treatment, again, if treatment were being offered. But inside of our dormitories, I think there’s it’s 55 square feet is what the laws require. They’re what the department is required to give each inmate in a prison setting. But because this technically wasn’t a prison, none of those rules applied. (Andy: You would think there would be more then.) You would think. And since there is no other type of mental health treatment facility like this in Florida, there was no law governing how much space a person should have, or what type of treatment they should be given. None of that was in the law. As far as I know, it still isn’t. So in a space that was, like, literally at one point I was in a dormitory that had maximum capacity – I don’t remember off the top of my head, I don’t remember – maximum capacity 18 people in this particular open bay let’s just say. There would have been about 36. The beds were packed in there so tightly that you literally had to turn sideways to get across the room to the toilets. Although, I should mention the toilets, the showers had no covers on them because they didn’t want anybody going behind these shower curtains and doing anything they shouldn’t. There were no doors on the pissers and sh*tters. Which means if you showered, sh*t, or masturbated, somebody was watching you. Because there were cameras in there, of course. And, of course, four times a day, they would come in and blow their whistles, which meant you had to sit up on your bunk, feet on the floor, no talking so that they could count you. Now, draw your own conclusions.

Andy 28:21

I’ve never understood the no talking part. Like is it really that hard to count if a couple of people are…

River 28:28

Have you seen the people they hired to work in these places? Yes, it’s that hard to count.

Andy 28:32

Come on, Larry. Who said, was it Paul Harvey that said, (River: Yes, he did) or somebody that said, you want to see the scum of the earth, go to any prison at shift change.

River 28:42

But it is true because when I was there, we had I think like 110 people. How do you have a recount on 110 people?

Andy 28:52

It’s tough man once you break into the double digits, when you have your two hands and when they’re fully covered…

River 29:00

Time to take the shoes off, yeah.

Andy 29:04

Yeah, right. So you were sent to MTC because you committed some sexually violent offense? (River: Yeah.) And I say that tongue in cheek.

River 29:11

I can’t say that I can laugh about it now, but I can certainly poke fun at it. Yeah, I went to prison. I was a 22-year-old university student studying psychology. And I was arrested for having a consensual relationship with a 15-year-old. Who, by the way, testified in court that absolutely everything was consensual and there was no violence. There was no question on the record.

Andy 29:38

But of course, the 15 year old can’t consent because they’re are minor. Right. Right, Larry?

River 29:47

That’s the law in the United States.

Larry 29:49

See therein lies the problem. How can you characterize that as violent? It is not violent. There was no violence if there was testimony and credible evidence that there wasn’t, and I really resent us labeling all the things like solicitation as violent. We destroy and weaken and dilute those who do experience sexual violence by calling things violent that aren’t violent.

Andy 30:22

Let’s move quickly over to when you finished your court assigned sentence. What obligation should and does a person convicted of some form of sexual offense, what should they be obligated to do in your opinion?

River 30:36

My opinion? They should be obligated not to commit a new offense. It’s that simple.

Andy 30:44

Right. So when you finished your probation or supervision, whatever terms you want to use, then you just go about your life?

River 30:52

I absolutely think it is a human right for someone to be able to rehabilitate their lives and move on. I think it benefits the community to encourage people to go back to school, to get good jobs, to become invested in the community. Because those folks who are invested in that community want to see that community protected. It’s that simple. If you kick someone out of the community and leave them as an outcast, they have no stake in society. If they have no stake in society, society is not safe from that person.

Andy 31:25

But what about NIMBY, man? Not in my Backyard. They can live over in that neighborhood, but I don’t want them living in this neighborhood.

River 31:31

Okay, well, that goes back to one of the founding principles that we’re arguing in the German court system right now. Under international law, you have a right to privacy. Part of what right to privacy means is when I’m finished with my prison sentence, I should be able to move on with my life. Nobody should be told that I’m a convicted felon. Because if people are told I’m a convicted felon, how am I going to get back into university? How am I going to get a decent job that’s going to allow me to support myself and pay restitution to the victim? Or, you know, pay my court costs or what have you. I think it is a gross injustice that people are not allowed to learn from their mistakes and move on.

Andy 32:14

I’ll let Larry chime in, I’m obligated to say you are here at FYP Studios for a reason, right? You know what that means now, correct?

Larry 32:24

That is, I mean, your view is consistent with mine. When people say, “Well, what will we do in lieu of the sex offender registry?” And I say it’s very simple. When people pay their debt to society, we forget about them. And if they offend again, we deal with them again, as a repeat offender.

River 32:40

I’ve had that exact conversation with German policemen and German lawyers. It’s no secret that I’ve been assisting some people in starting their lives anew in Europe. And we had that question. Should we filter or screen the people that we’re helping to come to Europe because we don’t want someone to come over here and commit a new offense and blow up the whole program. We’re trying to establish human rights, not destroy them. And my closest friend here in Germany, he’s a German, and he is not involved in the sex offender issue at all. His statement was clear, if someone has finished their sentence, they should be entitled to move to Germany and start their lives over. If they come over here and commit a new offense, then let the criminal justice system deal with it. It’s that simple

Larry 33:29

It’s a complicated concept. I mean, it really is. I don’t know why people have such a hard time understanding it. You pay your debt, you move on. You break the rules again… now we have a lot left to be desired in our American prison correctional system. We don’t do much in the way of rehabilitation. And sometimes they’ve never been rehabilitated to begin with. We’re very weak in that area. But whatever happens after they are released again from paying their debt, we deal with that at the time. But we don’t get into this predictive model of when they’ve done this before, the recidivism… I don’t care if the recidivism rate is 275%. When you’re done, we take it at face value that you have paid your debt, and you’re fresh again with a new start. If you break the rules again, we will deal with you when that day comes, if it comes.

Andy 34:23

And the court system, the judicial system would be able to reflect back and go, Oh, we’ve seen you before and obviously you didn’t learn from the kid gloves, maybe, that we hit you with last time so now we’re going to put on some big boy gloves, maybe?

River 34:36

Correct. Well, yeah, because the flaw in the logic is that if I buy a car on time and I make all my payments and satisfy the payment of the car, why am I continuing to pay for the car thereafter? In other words, if you say to me, this is the penalty you must pay to pay back society for you’re wrong. But then you continue to punish me for decades beyond then, then you should have just told me from the beginning that I’ve been given a life sentence. (Larry: Correct.) Stop playing games. If it’s a life sentence, call it a life sentence.

Larry 35:08

We were on a podcast recently where we had that very discussion. And I wish I would have been better prepared to have made that issue. But like if you get a DWI, the penalties, the community sensitivity in most states about DWI/DUIs are quite elevated now. But how would you feel after you have paid whatever that penalty was – If it’s ,000, fine, and an interlock license, and counseling and whatever – how would you feel if 15 years later, 20 years later, sometimes even more than 20 years later, they came back and say, Well, you know, we’ve decided that we really could have done a better job fashioning protection for the community. So here’s what we’re going to impose on you now. And you gave him a whole list of restrictions, you can’t drive, unless you’re going to work, we’re going to give you a new restricted license. You have to come in every six months to have this license renewed. And these are things that you never would have dreamed about. They’re now your obligations, and you have to pay to be monitored, because we feel that you’re a risk. We would not tolerate that. Not even for drunk drivers, we would not tolerate that. But yet, we have openly embraced that for people who’ve been convicted of sexual offences. They have exited the justice system, and they got knocks at their doors decades later. Decades later, that, guess what? You have to come down to the police station and register, you will now be restricted in where you can live, where you can work, who you can associate with and you’ll have to disclose a lot of stuff about yourself, your relationships, and we will put that on a public website. Except for maybe we won’t put your social security number, but everything else goes on this website. What you drive, where you work, we would never have tolerated that for any other offense.

Andy 36:52

Larry, certainly you’re chiming in enough, and I love it. But what resonates with the public as far as what politicians can win points with their constituents? What gets their hackles up? Is it the burglars? Or is it the PFRs?

Larry 37:11

The heightened sensitivity of course with what sexual offenses, because the demonization… you take these high-profile cases, and they get repeated over and over again. And people imagine that that’s the norm. That this person who has repeated because the high profile cases sometimes are repeat offenders. You hear about it. Well, they had a prior conviction in 1994. And then they’ve done this again. Some people automatically… You have to admit, the average American is not that smart. They’re too busy watching NFL today. We’re doing a podcast today. But most people are focused on the NFL, because it’s Sunday. And they don’t know this stuff. And they assume that the scare tactics that our commercial media has told them about how bad crime is. Actually, crime went down for 30 years, but people just don’t know. So yes, the most serious thing that can scare people is people with sexual offenses. After that, there’s some sensitive crimes, DWI being one of them. Domestic violence. But sexual related stuff is the most heinous as far as politicians. That is the most frightening thing when it’s to deal with those who have been charged with sexual offenses.

River 38:23

I could not agree more. I absolutely could not agree more. But I also think that that shows the illegitimacy of the argument that they raise about protecting society because someone who goes to prison, and I’ve known several, for killing/murdering children are not on any register. They’re allowed to come out of prison and move immediately next door to a school. No public outcry. That’s absurd. Those are the ones that should be monitored. But and what’s the whole point? What’s the whole point of not allowing people to be next to a school when it is a crazy minority of those who are arrested commit crimes inside of the schools? It’s the teachers that are committing those crimes. So bar people from being teachers. Okay, fine. But who in their right mind – really? – who gets out of prison and immediately goes in into a school to sexually assault a child? Can you name a single case where that’s happened? Give me one. Name one.

Andy 39:23

But we’re trying to save one, Larry. Come on, right?

River 39:27

Oh, so we violate the rights of 1000s of people in order to protect one mythical child?

Andy 39:32

One potential. Moving over that. (River: Sorry, I need church band). Yeah, um, we aren’t a political show. But politics always enters into this conversation. Our policies are, after all, driven by politics. What does one political party do? Excuse me, does one political party do more harm than the other? I was reading a section in your book where you seem to have an actual like pointed conversation with some of your fellow gatherers about this subject. And definitely, Larry, I know that you’ll chime in with all kinds of fun stuff.

River 40:07

What I might have said 20 years ago, I don’t know if I… I can’t even remember what I wrote in that particular section. But I will say now that there is no political party which represents me, there is no political party that is out to make sure that my rights are being protected. No political party is going to stand up and say that these laws have gone too far. When these laws get enacted, proposed and enacted, is there ever a dissenting voice from either party? Because for the one person who votes against those laws, it’s almost certain political death. (Andy: I was just going to bring that up.) So and let’s keep in mind, and I, regardless of my political views, I can name democratic presidents who have signed these laws, these bills, into law, and I can name republican presidents who have done the same thing. So as far as I’m concerned, both parties have their hands dirty.

Larry 41:02

Well, I generally tend to agree. What I caution people, though, is, when you look at that… Political reality is when something makes it to a president, they’re going to have to sign it when it is of the sensitive nature. (River: Yep. Yep.) You have to keep it from getting there. It wouldn’t make any difference who was president when IML was presented, or who was president when the Adam Walsh Act was presented. But there were people who tried to oppose the Adam Walsh Act. And there were people who stalled the International Megan’s Law for years and years and years. I mean, I think it was stalled, for eight maybe 10 years. But those things, once they make it to the executive… I mean, we could have a whole program about the politics of veto overrides, and the nuances of that. And most people really don’t understand what goes into a veto override decision in terms of which way you’re going to vote. But yes, every president or every governor is going to sign this stuff. The key is what’s happening beneath the surface, and who’s running the legislative- who controls the chambers. The Conservatives are very likely to demonize progressives who want to do improvement. You can just find that over and over, and I challenge our podcast audience to show me democrats criticizing republicans for criminal justice reform, and we will bash them as harsh as we possibly can. Because it’s not about politics, it’s about policy. But that’s what happens. The demonization takes hold. And therefore, you’re afraid of that demonization, because you know that that’s going to happen to you. And unfortunately, the demonization really comes from the right. If someone dares to stick their neck out for criminal justice reform, they’re turning loose a tidal wave of crime on the citizens.

Andy 42:48

River, towards the end of your story, which you now live in Germany. And I want to cover in a separate segment how you may have arrived there in Germany, but we’ll cover that in a little bit. I’ve seen some videos where you have been testifying before the UN about human rights violations that the registry commits. This isn’t China or the Uyghurs, this is the United States. So what is happening in that avenue? In that arena?

River 43:24

When you say what’s happening in that arena, can you narrow that down for me Just a little?

Andy 43:29

I mean, the one that I started watching, I think it was like an hour long or something like that. And you were introduced, I’m pretty sure this was done over Skype or something like that. And you said, who you were, and how, like… what is your mission statement there?

River 43:43

Well, the mission statement there was I was specifically going after the involuntary civil commitment laws. As I’ve mentioned, I live in the EU at the moment. And the EU has already said that these civil commitment laws are human rights violations. So I was testifying before a United Nations crime Criminal Justice seminar. Not seminar. (Andy: Panel?) Panel. (Andy: Symposium?) Symposium. That’s the word I was looking for. Thank you. Yeah, well, my English is getting lost in learning German. And I was giving personal testimony as to what really goes on in these facilities and what’s really happening. And I did end my talk with a request for a formal condemnation of the United States for those human rights violations. (Andy: Was that received?) It was received. Unfortunately, these things move very slowly. Many things are hinging on my current court case here in Germany. A lot of entities are holding back their opinions or their own agendas until the German court makes this particular determination. If this court makes the determination that we expect them to, let alone hope that they will, there are a lot of doors that are going to be open to us. At this moment, we just have to wait and see. Just a brief update, what we’re waiting on is we’ve already had hearings in the German courtroom. And the judge in this case ordered the Embassy in Washington DC to conduct a particular type of investigation to verify all of the facts and statements that I made in the hearing. The German court system works a little different than the United States. But if on face value, everything I said was true, then the court is obligated to make a finding in our favor. Before the court makes that finding, the court wants to make absolutely certain that all of our facts and statements are 100% correct. Now, in a court case this important that’s going to have reverberations like this, particularly against an allied nation like the United States, you can understand why the court is going to tread very, very carefully.

Andy 46:03

I was just thinking about like, so obviously the US has massive ties with China. And they have like a million people on lockdown in western China with the Uyghurs. And as far as our relationship, I guess our number one relationship would be with the UK, with England. And then I’m thinking number two would probably be something like Germany, maybe Canada would be thrown in there, too. But there’s only like 25 people that live in Canada. So the next biggest relationship that we would have would be with probably Germany. Larry think about the political side, what would the ramifications be of a country like Germany throwing those darts in our direction? Like, they’re not going to cut off trade, we’re not going to stop buying beamers and whatnot.

Larry 46:46

Well, it would depend on who the Chief Executive is at the time that comes out. With this current Chief Executive, there would be some receptivity to looking at these violations. I’m not saying that they would magically make changes. But if we had the prior chief executive, he would just simply bash the Germans and say that the system is rigged, and that they’re nuts, and he would do what he did for the whole four years. He would just be very condemning of them in saying that they don’t really care and understand, and he would blow it off. That’s what would happen.

Andy 47:19

We have a whole faction of people that want to have us removed from the United Nations anyway or fund it less. Like something along those lines.

Larry 47:25

That’s exactly what I’m getting at. He would use this as an opportunity to say that’s wrong with… I mean, he was bashing Europe for the whole time, you know, they weren’t paying their fair share of NATO. And he was fixing all that and taking us out of all these horrible treaties. And I’m not trying to be political, he asked the question, you asked the question, what would happen? It would depend on who the Chief Executive is. The current chief executive would at least be receptive. They would look at it and say, hmm, do we have anything? We need to put some kind of lipstick on this pig and we need to have a response. The response would be very diplomatic from this administration. The response from the previous administration would have been very condescending, and they would be very dismissive.

River 48:08

May I suggest that we also consider the ramifications on the other side of the pond? This side? (Andy: Yeah.) Because if this court case comes down, any person whose name appears on any of the American registries – arguably, the British and Australian registries as well – would be entitled instantly to asylum the moment their feet touch European soil. That has to be considered also.

Andy 48:35

I’ve not heard of this at all. So if that becomes a thing, any one of us 750,000 that are listed… So these are the people that are on the registry, very few of them have gotten off the registry. (River: Correct.) As soon as they stepped anywhere inside the United Nations…

River 48:56

It’s European soil.

Andy 49:00

European soil. Then we would be automatically allowed the political asylum? That we wouldn’t be extradited back?

River 49:06

Automatically. Think of it: when the European courts determined that Syria was a nation engaged in the Civil War, and the population was put at risk. German Court made that decision. Every Syrian citizen who touches European soil and can prove that they’re a Syrian citizen is automatically entitled to protection. They don’t have to present anything further. Here I am, here’s my passport, here’s my Syrian driver’s license, birth certificate, whatever. That’s it. There is no further discussion, and those people are generally processed in the immigration camps within two weeks. Now, that means they come out of the immigration camps with our version of a green card. You get this plastic card and it says this person has permission to reside in Germany indefinitely, to work in Germany indefinitely, to go to school, to do everything except vote.

Andy 50:01

Larry, you were gonna say?

Larry 50:04

Well, was gonna ask a question and you may not have fully processed this since it’s coming to you cold, but an American court system would be cognizant of the political fallout of making hundreds of 1000s potentially eligible for reaching land. This is similar to a Cuban – if they can reach dry land in America, they’re allowed in and they’re protected. Would the German court system be politically insulated from… I can only imagine that that even as progressive as Germans might be, that the thought of having 10s of 1000s of PFRs coming for asylum would be somewhat daunting. Is there enough political separation within the German court system that they could render such a decision without an adverse fallout like you would have in the US?

River 50:58

That is an excellent question. And yes, we’ve considered that. Let’s address first the issue of the possibility of 10s of 1000s of offenders coming over here, or registrants coming over here. I don’t think that’s realistic. I really don’t. How many of the – and I’m picking a number arbitrarily, but let’s say 750,000 registrants – of those 750,000, how many can afford the airline ticket to get over here?

Andy 51:27

I’m coming, man.

River 51:29

You’re a minority, then. You’re a minority.

Andy 51:32

And you say anywhere? It’s like 27 countries in the EU? 26? What is it?

River 51:35

I don’t know. 27, 26.

Andy 51:38

That’s a pretty large distribution of people. That’s roughly the same population as the US if I’m not mistaken.

River 51:44

But let’s also keep in mind that the German people are very well aware of what’s going on in the United States with a lot of this craziness. They’re not in the dark. You have people going to prison for soliciting 17-year-olds online. It is legal in Germany, and I’m not advocating people come over here and do this. But it is legal to come over here and have an actual relationship with a 14-year-old. Germany doesn’t give a damn about your imaginary 17-year-old victims online. Do you follow what I’m saying? They understand that United States is just out of control. Because you know, one thing we don’t talk about in the United States is the sexual rights of teenagers, as though teenagers have no sexual rights. But that’s a whole different ballgame. That’s a whole different ball of wax. So just to sum up, I don’t think they’re going to be that many people that would actually have the nerve or the financial backing to come over here and change their lives like that.

Andy 52:50

It’s a little disruptive. It’s not like moving into the next state.

River 52:52

No, it’s dramatic. It’s dramatic. And the second part of that is yes, I think the German people are, generally speaking – you’re always going to have your outliers – but I think by and large, the German people are smart enough to be able to figure this issue out rather quickly for themselves. I can tell you that every German I’ve run across without exception, including my colleagues, and the people that I work for all know exactly what my history is. And think it’s incredibly unfair.

Andy 53:21

Um, I want to move over to a different subject. And it’s not anything that we talked about, I want to I want to talk about your life in Germany. You got there. You went through immigration. I assume you went through, like, where they stamped your passport and so forth? You went through that whole… I mean, you didn’t like come in by boat in the middle of the night. (River: On an innertube? No, haha.) Um, and did you have issues getting through immigration with anything like that?

River 53:53

If I can approach this from two perspectives, separately. The first is when I came here, one of the reasons I came when I came is because a couple days after the legal challenge to the IML failed and we knew that the IML was going to go into effect, I felt that if I didn’t get out of the country then, there was a very real possibility It was never going to happen. That the walls or the, you know, the doors would be closed to me. So when I departed, there still was no International Megan’s Law for at least, I want to say I was about a week ahead of it. I’d have to look at the dates to be sure. So I left. I flew out of Fort Lauderdale, and flew to Oslo, Norway. And I will tell you, I sweated. I was so scared of being stopped by the marshal service that my family actually dropped me off at the airport a mile from the airport, because they didn’t want their car on the surveillance cameras in the parking lot of the airport. That’s how paranoid we were. And I don’t think we were wrong for taking those precautions. And I think it was like an eight-and-a-half-hour flight from Fort Lauderdale to Norway. And I could not sleep as you can imagine, I, of course, I was nervous. I’m thinking that the police are going to be on me at any moment. So, the next morning when we landed in Norway, got off the plane. And as I approached passport control, you know, in the Oslo airport, the guys smiled at me, reached out and he looked at my passport. He says, oh, you’re an American, opened it up, never looked at it, opened it up, laid it down on some scanner, then stamped it, handed it back and said, enjoy your stay in Norway. And that was the end of that. I passed through Norway, and eventually made my way down to friends who were willing to hide me, inside of Germany. And by the time I turned myself into the German police, I turned myself into the German police because I was terrified of the Americans snatching me off the street. And I wanted some kind of protection. And I was interviewed by the German Federal Police, which is their version of the FBI, for, I don’t know, five-six hours. And they did a very comprehensive examination of my situation. And at the end of it, the police actually wrote a report saying that I should be afforded political protection and forwarded it to the immigration office. And the lead investigator, actually told me that he was sorry that I had been born in the wrong country.

Andy 56:24

Larry and I have been somewhat dubious of how successful our people would be of just picking up and trying to land a plane somewhere over that way (River: … and everything will be perfect.) Well…

River 56:36

Well, let me say this. I said this was a two-part answer. Let’s talk about the second part. Let’s talk about the people who have come here after the IML went into effect, because that’s more pertinent. I can tell you that I personally have been to the airport to welcome four different people. Personally have been there to welcome them. Two of them flew into Frankfurt International Airport. And as they passed through customs, actually were stopped by the police. And both of them said, you know, well, the Americans sent us emails saying that these horrible rapists were about to enter the country. And in both instances, the police basically balled up the emails, threw them in the trash, stamped these guys passports and sent them on their way. And that was as recent as two weeks ago.

Andy 57:25

And these are people of modest means, these aren’t wealthy, wealthy people buying their way through the system. Just Joe Schmoes?

River 57:33

The four that have come so far, three were Joe Schmoes. One had the means but didn’t need it.

Andy 57:43

So just bought the five-seven-hundred-dollar plane ticket?

River 57:47

He flew into Charles de Gaulle Airport, and they didn’t even look at his passport.

Andy 57:52

That’s so weird. Larry, please, please, fill in.

River 57:55

I can tell you that there are two people who do have means who will be here next month in October, and a friend of mine who’s already been here once is coming back again. He’s coming this time to stay. So I’m telling you, I’m looking into the camera directly. Germany doesn’t give a ___ about people coming in.

Andy 58:14

What did you say? (River: My mom’s in the house somewhere) Okay, right, right. Right. Larry, go ahead, please.

Larry 58:22

No, I’m good. This is amazing stuff that the Germans are… And I can say from my experience that in my earlier life, I was a residential property manager. And I dealt with a lot of university students right near the university here, and we had significant European presence. And the Germans in particular were just so impressive to me always. Their organizational skills and how they would have a community car rather than an individual car. And they would organize the schedule of the use of that vehicle. Because in most American cities, with few exceptions, having public transportation as your sole source of movement is very limiting. And so therefore, they were always impressive, but their knowledge of America would exceed mine. They would ask me about some city I’d never been to or a government structure in a state that I’d never thought about. And they would say, well did you know that they did such and such in South Carolina? No, I really did. So their knowledge of us is far more than what our knowledge of… I mean, we don’t have much knowledge of people outside the US. We don’t really even understand what’s going on in the US. But as far as the average American, they don’t think about what’s going on other nations. The political system, it’s we’re the best at everything. Our health care is the best, our universities are best. Everything’s the best. If you don’t love it, leave it. I mean, the average American.

River 59:47

Okay, yeah, I left. Let me let me say this, if I may, just to add something. I personally don’t care for anecdotal evidence. So when I say four people have come here, this, that and the other, on our YouTube channel, we have already published one man who was willing to sit for an interview who looks directly in the camera and says I am a registrant from South Carolina. This is what happened to me and I’m in Germany. Here I am. With a picture of his passport that has the stamp in it. You know, the sex offender stamp in it. And we have an interview that we made two weeks ago with another guy that just came in, and we should be publishing that either tonight or tomorrow night. But we want to make sure that the public sees these are real people. This is not anecdotal. Oh, I heard this or there was a guy. No, no, no, here he is speaking for himself. So, because I’ve read things online where they say, oh, they’re pulling sex offenders off the planes in Europe. No, they’re not. Stop it. No, they’re not.

Andy 1:00:48

There is a website it’s the Registrant Travel Action Group, it’s registranttag.org, I believe and that individual, that group, it’s just self-report. What country did you go to? Did they let you in? Do they allow relations? What do their laws say? And you just get this basically a Google spreadsheet view of continent. (River: I’m familiar with RTAG) Yeah. And many places over your way in Europe, they’re letting people in as far as the way that is reported. I think there are a handful of countries that are not.

River 1:01:23

And anybody who wanted to challenge one of them, because… but again, part of the problem is I’m hearing this story. And if I hear it one more time, I’m going to choke myself to death, about this guy that was denied access to Greece. They don’t give us a name. They don’t give us a date. They don’t give us a city. They don’t give us an airport. Stop with it. If you’re not willing to put a name out there, if you’re not willing to give us details to check to see, because when you say someone was denied entry into Greece, why was he denied?

Andy 1:01:50

Yeah. Did he have weapons with him? Maybe that’s why he was denied.

River 1:01:52

Maybe he had an active warrant. Come on. So stop with this, “just because, just because.” No. there is no “just because.” There’s always other reasons.

Andy 1:02:03

Um, one thing that we brought up before we started recording was, so last night, we recorded an episode about polygraphs. And I wanted to get how the polygraph system works over in Germany in comparison to here where they’re using it – first of all, it’s Kabuki machine. Which I don’t need to go over this again about how much of a not-scientific tool- I hate this thing so bad, you have no idea. And but they use it as a witch hunt device here of asking you all kinds of very probing questions just to trap you into admitting that you did something.

River 1:02:37

And it makes you wonder if some of these people are just perverts that want to hear the private details of your life.

Andy 1:02:42

We’ve had conversations about that, too. There may be some kind of deviant attitudes behind it of the people that are asking these questions.

River 1:02:50

Correct. Don’t you ever wonder? I’m sorry.

Andy 1:02:53

So anyway, how is the polygraph set up, the regime in Germany handled?

River 1:02:59

It’s very simple. The law itself – we’re not talking about court cases. The actual written law itself, which anyone can look up online in English, says that polygraphs are forbidden in courtrooms. Period. End of discussion. One exception. The one exception is if the results of a polygraph tend to prove someone’s innocence. (Andy: That’s so weird.) That’s it. There is so no other exception.

Andy 1:03:24

That’s so opposite to what we do here.

River 1:03:27

But it’s written into law. So I mean, it’s not even up to a court opinion where a court could be overturned or you know, a court ruling. Precedents can be overturned. No, this is the written law, end of discussion. We’re not discussing it further.

Andy 1:03:39

So should we beat this dead horse or like no, can’t do it?

River 1:03:42

Can’t do it. Unless intends to prove innocence. And that’s part of the problem I have with the polygraph is because, you know, they were… something we didn’t talk about earlier is, and I don’t generally talk about it much, but my victim recanted 13 years later. So all those years that I kept saying, I didn’t do this. I didn’t do this. “Oh, you’re in denial.” (Andy: Right. Right.) So when the victim recanted, do I get an apology now? No, of course not.

Andy 1:04:16

No, and no. And the court won’t go back and reverse things. Larry, fill me in on this one.

River 1:04:22

No, the court would not overturn it. We did appeal it. The court said listen, you were convicted only on the testimony of the victim, therefore, was the victim lying in 1994 or is the victim lying today? And since we don’t know, we have to assume that the victim was telling the truth in 1994 because you must have found a way to intimidate or bribe the victim into recanting.

Larry 1:04:45

Gee, Andy that sounds exactly like what I say on the podcast when people say recantation. I say it’s not worth a bucket of spit.

River 1:04:51

it’s not worth anything.

Andy 1:04:54

Yeah, that’s what you’ve said a bajllion times.

River 1:04:55

Under Florida law 794.022, the law says the victim’s testimony need not be corroborated in prosecutions for sexual battery. What that means is the victim’s testimony alone, if the victim tells a good enough story, it’s all the evidence they need.

Andy 1:05:14

Larry is there anything, River is there anything you want to cover before we close this part down? We’re going to do a little bonus episode. But I want to close this one out.

River 1:05:20

I feel like I talk too much. I’m sorry.

Andy 1:05:23

No, I love it. I mean, we can go for the next four hours if you have the time. I’m perfectly happy if we got to split this up. But I want to do this little extra bonus section of the things that we can’t release to the general population.

River 1:05:34

Oh, this is where I sing my favorite Christmas… Okay.

Andy 1:05:38

No. Larry, do you have anything that you want to ask before we move on?

Larry 1:05:43

It’s been amazing. It really has. And I hope we can actually have you back.

River 1:05:49

Oh, you’re too kind.

Andy 1:05:47

Oh, yeah, I would like to establish a relationship with you that we can cross-pollinate on a pretty regular basis, collaborate, whatever.

River 1:05:55

I like that: cross-pollinate. I like that.

Andy 1:05:56


River 1:05:57

You’re very kind. Thank you. If the schedules work out, I’m all in favor.

Andy 1:06:02

Well, you are on a slightly different time zone than we are.

River 1:06:05

Slightly. Six slightly different time zones. Oh, no, no, no, I think I’m eight ahead of Larry. (Andy: You are. You are.) Six ahead of you. And my job just changed a little bit to where I’m now going to have every Sunday free. Which means Saturday nights for me are very doable.

Andy 1:06:24

Excellent. Um, Larry, what were you going to say?

Larry 1:06:29

I don’t even remember. But it’s amazing. We’re gonna try to continue to poach your viewers and cross-pollinate because we do the same thing in terms of trying to inform people, which is what you’re doing.

River 1:06:40

Yeah, it’s not poaching. This is not poaching. (Andy: You can share this.) No, we are a service to the community. This is not a competition. I don’t see it that way. It’s not a scorecard. I’m not keeping track.

Andy 1:06:52

Oh, well, not to diminish that. But you have many, many more YouTube followers than we do. And we would like to have a similar number, not for monetization, but we’re trying to get the information out. And apparently, we are all swimming in the same pond and we keep getting the same fish. So the program we did a two or three weeks ago was a debate show about morality. And I had a connection with a YouTube host to get us in that arena to try and get stuff because he has almost 10,000 subscribers. Do the math. He has 20 or 30 direct PFRs is in the audience, let alone if you extrapolate out to friends, family and whatnot. So that’s what we were trying to do there. (River: Exactly.) River. I can’t thank you enough, man. Tell me the name of the book. Tell me the name of the book.

River 1:07:42

Just Facts Not Fear.

Andy 1:07:44

Excellent. And tell me how to… Go ahead.

River 1:07:46

No, I was gonna say the sequel is being written right now. And that is the other half of that story, which is my life in Germany. How I got to where I’m at today.

Andy 1:07:55

How fantastic. And you have a YouTube channel I understand? (River: Yes, sir.) And how would people find that one?

River 1:08:02

Type in my name: Steven Whitsett, or Common Sense Laws, or Just Facts Not Fear. But I suspect that if you type sex offender YouTube channel, I’ll probably pop up.

Andy 1:08:15

Maybe. Or us. (River: Pretty sure I will.) Those are good search terms for people but I think you’d end up finding every Sex Offender Registry on the planet too when you type in that.

River 1:08:25

You might. I don’t know. I’ve never tried to find my channel. So I don’t know.

Andy 1:08:29

Common Sense Laws is where it is. I don’t remember how I ended up finding it. Maybe someone just posted it somewhere.

River 1:08:34

See, I’m interested to know that. It surprises me that people watch my videos. I still surprised. It surprises me every time.

Andy 1:08:42

We feel the same way. Larry, wonders how we have people that support the program the way that they do. But this is the reason why is because you having the biggest cojones that anyone has ever imagined to do what you’ve done. That’s why you have followers is because you have a story that is unreplicatable.

River 1:09:03

Well, let’s see where we go from here. (Andy: Very well. I love it) I’ve done this much. How much further can we go? Because I am convinced that this truly is a human rights issue. I am convinced. And I believe that lives really, truly are at stake.

Andy 1:09:18

I can’t agree more. That is a perfect way to close it. And with that I bid you adieu. This has been a Patreon extra for our supporters and I cannot thank you enough. You are the bomb. I appreciate it so very much. Have a great evening and enjoy your time with your mother.

River 1:09:32

Thank you sir. I’ll very much do so. Auf Wiedersehen! [Goodbye in German]

Andy 1:09:36

Very well. Bye-bye. Larry, that interview was absolutely phenomenal. What did you think?

Larry 1:09:45

Oh, it was one of the best guests we’ve ever had in our – how many years have we been doing this? – almost four years now.

Andy 1:09:51

It’s coming up on four. We are going to move into our fourth year here shortly. He was phenomenal. He was very engaging. He was articulate. He was a lot of fun to have.

Larry 1:10:02

He really was. Actually, when you get ready to fire me, I think he would be a good replacement. He is so balanced and reasonable and very intelligent. I just really enjoyed having him on the program.

Andy 1:10:15

What are your thoughts maybe about him and his, shall we say, relocation? What I really want to know is do you think that’s a viable, let’s call it, a vehicle if you have the resources? Do you think he’s full of poopoo? Or do you think he’s legit?

Larry 1:10:33

I think he’s legit. I even thought about it myself. But I’m trying to figure out how I would have a skill that I would offer in that part of the planet, because I’m not sure that my legal skills would really transfer very easily. Unlike your computer skills that go anywhere.

Andy 1:10:51

They are very, very, very transferable. How about the part… what was I just going to ask you? I believe he’s absconded, and about the human rights violation part, that’s why I wanted to go. Do you think that the EU would actually label the PFR regime here in the US as a human rights violation?

Larry 1:11:19

They’re going to be under a lot of pressure not to. The US economic pressure of the United States is enormous around the world. And it would be very dissatisfactory to the American government if they did that. So we shall see. I mean, the European Union, when you combine the entire economic output, they’re on par with the United States. But the United States is the currency of the world, reserve currency of the world, and it’s gonna be a shocker if they do that.

Andy 1:11:52

If you’re hearing this, what you need to do is you need to become a patron because there’s about a 30- or 40-minute extra part of this interview that is released only to patrons, and you’re missing some really, really incredible content [accessible only online]. And I’d strongly recommend that you get yourself a hold of that. As always, you can find show notes over at registrymatters.co. You can leave voicemail at 747-227-4477. Email us at registrymatterscast@gmail.com. Of course, support us on patreon at patreon.com. That’s patreon.com/registrymatters. You can subscribe on YouTube. Follow us like us on YouTube and Twitter, and all of those places just searching for Registry Matters. With that, have a great night and I will talk to everyone soon. Have a good night.

You’ve been listening to FYP.

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