Sounds of Freedom

The much awaited movie about the underbelly of humanity is about to be released on July 4.  It’s playing in your local theaters and the tickets are free for one day only, July 4, 2023.  (See link for free tickets below.)

It has a pay-it-forward option where so you can purchase future tickets for your family and your friends or donate to the cause by paying-it-forward for someone who cannot afford to purchase them.     

It’s about child trafficking.  Not a subject anyone wants to talk about or see.  I get it.  But I think we need to see it and I’ll tell you why:  You may have already encountered it and didn’t know it.

Like the 14-year-old black kid I saw standing like a little soldier in the pouring rain on a corner in our neighborhood in CA.  No umbrella.  No jacket.  Nothing to protect him from the elements, although heavy rain was expected.  So I circled back and held open the passenger door.  Using my “mom” voice I insisted he get in the car.  I think I told him I wouldn’t leave until he did.  He later told me, in tears, that he was from NY and was in CA because some kids told him a man would pay for their tickets to CA if they sold some magazines for him.  What kid wouldn’t want to go to CA?!  He thought it was going to be a vacation for a few weeks.  He wouldn’t tell me who the man was but said he had to go back to the corner and wait for him, in spite of the deluge of rain.  If he wasn’t there by 4:00 on the dot, he would be in trouble.    

It was around 5:00 by the time I saw him and he had been standing out there for an hour as close to the curb as possible so the guy could pick him up before being spotted.  All day, he had been trudging door to door in the rain.  He had been unable to sell a single magazine, which at this point was one, big, soggy mess.   If he didn’t sell a certain number he wouldn’t eat. 

I asked him about his parents.  He said he lived with his aunt.  I contacted her right away.  She started to cry when I said I had him.  She told me he had disappeared months before and the “police did nothing.”  I asked her if it would be alright to just send him home.  That poor woman was crying and praising God so much I could barely understand her when she gave me her permission.  I gave him some dry clothes of my son’s to wear, fed him, and slipped him some money in case he got hungry along the way.  I then drove him to LAX and put him on a direct flight back to NY, where his aunt was waiting for him.

What was this “selling magazines” all about?  I don’t know and he wouldn’t tell me.  There was no way to find out.  He said there were other kids and they all slept in one room going from motel to motel, city to city, never staying long at the same place.  They traveled in the back of a big truck and were dropped off on various corners during the day.     

I’m sure I must have called the police after I sent him on his way.  What they didn’t or didn’t do is anybody’s guess.   In our community there were two types of officers most of whom were very good.  A few, not so much, and I didn’t want to risk this poor kid going into protective services until they figured everything out.  They could call his aunt’s house if they wanted to talk with him.  I just wanted him home.  


In 2014, I lived in an apartment over by the Queen Mary in Long Beach.  The walls were not thin, but I could hear a small child crying all night, every night.  When you’re a mom, you know the difference between the whimpering a child makes when he doesn’t feel good, a scream when a child is hurt, and the woeful cries a child makes when both frightened and hurt.

These were woeful cries, punctuated by muffled screams, coming from the apartment next to me where some new tenants had moved in.  At first, I thought the child might be sick but when it went on for a week (God help me, it may have been longer), I became so worried I knocked on their door to see what was going on with this kid. 

A woman, maybe in her late twenties, answered the door.  She wasn’t an American.  She had foreign accent, maybe Russian or Ukrainian, and spoke in individual words rather than in sentences.  She looked tired and spent, which is the only word I can think of to describe her.  Not so much sleepy or tired, as much as emotionally exhausted, which can happen when your child is sick and is up all night crying.  She was strangely unapologetic when I told her why I was there.  No expression to speak of.  Like she expected it.

There was a much older man standing some distance behind her.  He was a surly looking man in a “wife beater” (that’s what they call the t-shirts in L.A.).  He just stood there with an annoyed look on his face.  I had presumed he had been taking a nap and I woke him up because his clothes were wrinkled and his hair was uncombed.

I told the woman I could hear a child crying at night, though I was certainly not there to complain.  I wanted to see if I could help.  The woman mumbled that he was fine.  I knew he wasn’t fine because of what I was hearing, which suddenly stopped when I knocked on the door, so I asked if I could see him.  An odd request on my part, but I had to see him for myself.  I expected her to say, “Why do you want to see my son?  What business is it of yours?”  But she didn’t.  At this point, I wasn’t even sure the kid I was hearing was her son.  A caretaker, maybe. 

She looked at the older man and he nodded.  She called to the boy and he came out from one of the rooms.  I wish I could remember his name, but it wasn’t a name I was familiar with.  He was little, about age 5.  An attractive little boy, with light skin and dark hair, which is about all I could see clearly without my glasses.  The boy spoke to me in English and had no accent.  He said, “Hi,” in a tentative voice that surprisingly had a little lilt to it like he was happy to see me.  I said, “Hi!  How are you?” in the happiest voice I could muster.  I don’t remember his exact words but he said he was OK.  He was such a nice little kid.  He looked OK, as far as I could tell from a distance.  Nothing to explain why he had been positively wailing moments before.  I couldn’t see his face in enough detail to see if his eyes were swollen.  I was pushing the envelope by even being there, but I asked the woman if I could come in and make sure he was alright.  She said no.  I told her I was there because I didn’t want to have to call the police.  She said I couldn’t come in.  I mumbled my apologies.  As she was closing the door, I heard the man behind her say in an irritated voice, “I told you this would happen.”

When I got back to my apartment, I called the police.

A young officer arrived a few minutes later.  He went to the apartment and was gone about 15 minutes when he returned.  He couldn’t tell me much.  What he did say was there were no marks on the little boy and therefore he could do nothing.  As he left, he said, “You’re right.  He is a nice little kid.”  

I could tell that he didn’t believe everything was OK either.     

The next morning when I left for work, the door to their apartment was wide open.  The furniture was gone and there were boxes around.  A maintenance crew was in there.  When I checked with the front desk, they said they had moved out unannounced.  They left word with the front desk after they were gone.

So what happened?  What had I walked into?  I didn’t know.  I still don’t know.  All I do know is I think of that little kid often.  


I have seen other kids in distress.  A four-year-old in a nail shop whose mother just throttled her for picking up a bottle of nail polish, clearly within the reach of her tiny, little hands.  Any woman with kids would know a child would reach for something like that but she showed that child no mercy.  And the little girl didn’t cry.  You could see she was use to it.  –  Or this man on the plane, who was so abusive to his kid, he was swearing at him for what seemed like am eternity.  (Maybe the poor kid breathed or something!  Had to be something awful!)   In any case, the swearing didn’t stop.  I told the flight attendant who told me she had noticed what was going on and had been frequently stopping by their seats to see if she could get them anything just to give the kid a break.  Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.  But I had to do this right if it was going to work.  I went over and said, “I know how it feels when you want just a minute to yourself.  I’m sitting right over there.  I would be so happy to entertain your son and play some games with him to give you a break.”  I had hoped the man wouldn’t think I was judging him and tell me to buzz off.  He said no thank you and the screaming stopped.  Something in my voice may have told him I’d be back with reinforcements if it continued.  –  Then two boys in the airport literally not moving, looking straight ahead, until the younger one threw up and tried to clean it up with a paper cup.  He was so sick, poor little kid.  His older brother didn’t try to help him.  He didn’t even look at him.  I convinced the younger boy that I would have someone come and take care of it so he would sit down.  They both sat in their seats looking straight ahead like statues.  When I asked who was with them, the younger one said their mom was “working” and pointed vaguely in the direction of these rooms to the side of the terminal.  He also said she was “coming right back,” which she didn’t.  The entire time we waited for our plane, neither of the boys made eye contact with each other or anyone else.  These were boys the age of the kids in the “Goonies” or “Stranger Things” to give some of you a frame of reference if you have your own children.  Kids that age don’t sit still like that.  Knowing I would have to board soon, I told them I was going to go into the offices where their mother was and look for her.  When I said this, the older boy came to life and said, “Oh, no, don’t do that.  She’ll be really mad!”  Our plane was boarding at this point so I told a security guard about them and prayed all the way to Tulsa their mother was a half-way decent parent and just lost track of time.

All the result of poor parenting?  Maybe.     

Until Trump took office, I had never really heard of trafficking.  Sure, I saw the kids on milk cartons but the police were always saying if “they’re not found within 48 hours, they’re probably dead.”  As horrible as this sounds, being trafficked sounds a whole lot worse.    

Watching a movie about trafficking is going to be very painful for me for me to watch.  But if a kid can endure it, I can certainly stand to see a movie about it, especially if it helps me to recognize what it looks like going forward so I can help these poor children, one kid at a time if that’s what it takes.





  1. George Michalopulos says

    Stories like this break my heart. I wonder how many more stories there are out there like this.

    I hate to sound like a Johnny-One note but I have a feeling that when all is said and done in the Ukraine, we’re going to find out how deep child trafficking is in the world.

    Lord have mercy. And may God bless Jim Caviezel.

  2. Thank you for sharing this!! I had not heard about it and am VERY excited to see it. I’ve heard of Tim Ballard and the amazing work he has done, so I’m glad to see that is being recognized. And always a fan of Jim Caviezel!!

  3. Hilber Nelson says

    Go see this movie! Then become part of the solution by supporting the work of As a mental health therapist, I have treated several sex trafficked victims over the years. Treating trauma of this kind is especially challenging because of the repetitive brutality child victims endure at the hands of traffickers, some of whom were a neighbor, a brother, a boyfriend, or satanists. The US is one of the world’s largest consumers of human trafficking, with Mexico its provider.

  4. After reading this, Gail, I cannot praise you enough.
    But praise is not the point, is it?
    God bless you.

    • No, praise is not the point. Awareness is the point. Thank you for understanding that.

  5. My mom was abused by society a long long time ago. It’s been going on….I am 74 now. So think back…

    • That’s the horrible part. We (certainly I) didn’t know it really existed until more recently. There were stories of kids being abused, of course. MK Ultra, for example. But trafficked? Like a host of other things, the MSM didn’t talk about that.

      • Your so right. We have been able to learn a lot because of the internet. Years back, it was impossible.

  6. Who can check this out?
    Imagine what’s going on with unaccompanied migrant kids. One wonders if Biden checks on these kids in Greensboro NC?

    GREENSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed a school building that closed in 2019 will now be leased to the federal government for five years to house migrant children.

    WFMY in Greensboro reported earlier Tuesday that The American Hebrew Academy, a school that abruptly closed in 2019 after 18 years, will start housing migrants in July. The Unaccompanied Children program through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) will provide this transitional housing.

    It is for children who have come across the border from Mexico alone.

    WFMY said “leaders first discussed the idea with the federal government back in May of 2021” but nothing came of the talks until Tuesday.

    With the lease lasting five years, it will give the 100-acre school, as well as the government, time to also provide educational support, WFMY reported.

    The old school has 31 buildings and 35 resident staff apartments.

    • I don’t know that anybody is checking on these kids. Kids are just falling through the cracks. Some of have been sent to “benefactors” who are using them for what amounts to slave labor.

      • Unaccompanied migrant kids hidden from the public by government can be used by government for experiments and trafficked.

  7. Gail, thanks for posting this… I was not aware.

    In society, there are generally three categories of people… (1) Those who take care of and provide goods/services for others in some capacity or another, (2) those who need to be taken care of (like children and the sick, etc.), and (3) predators.

    It’s disastrously sickening how many predators are out there, and how much our government and public culture doesn’t seem to care.

    American churches of all varieties used to provide a healthy social fabric that made child trafficking and child predators socially despicable and not tolerated. Now that that fabric is gone, what will we have?

    Even former communist countries protected their children by and large.

    Yes Jim Caviezel is an awesome model of Christian masculinity – man, how we need more of that in this country.

    • RE: “American churches of all varieties used to provide a healthy social fabric. . .”

      This is a good point.

  8. George Michalopulos says
  9. Christine says

    Thank you, Gail, for writing this piece. Such powerful stories. I love you even more. One of the worst things about MSM is their unwillingness to confront and expose the overwhelming evidence of modern-day American slavery and human trafficking, and instead manipulate everyone’s focus and emotions into their shell games, such as their “institutional racism” racket. Children are disappearing at the southern border by the tens of thousands. This topic doesn’t consume our hearts like it should.

  10. I just returned from seeing the movie. It was very well done. It’s certainly a heavy movie . . . but they did a great job of walking the line between the horror of the topic and depicting it. This movie is in no way graphic . . . but still conveys the message. There’s a message at the end and it notes this movie was made 5 years ago . . . but took this long to get it released. I plan on seeing it again and promoting it to others. BTW, they are offering FREE tickets (that donors are underwriting), so there’s one less reason not to see it. It is still an very intense film, though, so it’s not for everyone. You can get the free tickets at

    • Thank you for this, Joel. We were not able to get tickets and were curious about how it was received.