Anti-trafficking Advocate & Founder of the Pure Hope Foundation
Disclaimer: Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative awareness and education organization. While the guest in this episode references religion, Fight the New Drug is not religiously-affiliated.
Kathrine Lee is a life coach, business strategist, and anti-trafficking advocate. After having several experiences in her life that highlighted the negative impacts of pornography, she decided to take action. She and her husband sold their dream home and founded the Pure Hope Foundation, an organization working to strengthen families and restore the lives of sex trafficking survivors. Now, they run the Hope Home, a place where sex trafficking survivors are able to transition out of exploitation through trauma-informed restoration programs.
You can learn more about the Pure Hope Foundation here.
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Garrett Jonsson: My name is Garrett Jonsson, and you’re listening to Consider Before Consuming, a podcast by Fight the New Drug. And in case you’re new here Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects, using only science, facts, and personal accounts.
We want these conversations to be educational, uplifting, and hopeful. As we sit down with experts, influencers, activists, and people with personal accounts, we cover a wide variety of topics that may be triggering to some, you can refer to the episode notes for a specific trigger warning- listener discretion is advised.
Like I mentioned earlier, Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative awareness and education organization. While the guest in this episode discusses religion. Fight the New Drug is not religiously affiliated.
Today’s conversation is with Kathrine Lee. She’s the Co-Founder and CEO of Pure Hope Foundation. After learning about the realities of sex trafficking, Kathrine and her spouse sold their dream home in California, moved to their family to Texas, and built The Hope Home, a place where survivors are empowered to transition out of the life of sex trafficking and become the best version of themselves. With that being said, let’s jump into the conversation. We hope you enjoy this episode of Consider Before Consuming.
Well, we want to welcome to the podcast, Kathrine Lee. So welcome to the podcast, Kathrine.
Kathrine Lee: Well, It’s an honor to be here.
Garrett Jonsson: It’s an honor for me to, I think it’s kind of cool to remember how we got in contact with you. Didn’t you call the office?
Kathrine Lee: Yes. I actually was on another podcast, a different podcast, and I wanted to both reference your website and some of your material, but also they wanted to connect a blog to the podcast in their show notes. And I don’t think there’s a better resource out there on this topic than you. And so I called the office asking permission for that and that’s how we connected.
Garrett Jonsson: Oh, cool. I thought it was something like that. Um, and then I reached out to you social media and I was impressed by all of the things that you guys are accomplishing. So we are, we’re honored to have you on.
Kathrine Lee: Oh, it is. And I love that you’re aware, you know, anytime the voice of, uh, of a organization or businesses out there, I think we all want to say it is not me. And I’m certainly, um, just the voice piece for, like you said, a lot of advocates out there.
Garrett Jonsson: Right. Well, one of the cool things, as I did some research to prep for this conversation was I found out that you were on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Kathrine Lee: Yes.
Garrett Jonsson: Which is pretty, uh, that’s a big deal and that’s a cool experience. How did that come about?
Kathrine Lee: Yeah, it was amazing. You know, I just submitted my story to her back in the day. I always sound old when I say “back in the day”, [laughter] but truly it was before so much of the connection that was so virtual. It was back when you wrote letters. And I, um, people kept saying to me, as they heard my story, “You know, you, you should tell Oprah. You should share with Oprah.” And to be honest, I, I had always thought I might be on her show. I have zero desire to be famous, but I do want to have influence. And she had a great platform of influence. And so, um, one day I literally was on the beaches of Southern California. And I, I, um, was kind of just in a prayerful state, I guess I would say, and just in the flow of life. And I just felt it was time and sent her a letter and they contacted me.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s cool. So you just sent a letter and it actually worked. [laughter]
Kathrine Lee: Yeah, it did. I S I like to say God’s the best PR person you’ll ever, that’s the way I feel personally.
Garrett Jonsson: Gotcha. And just to clarify, your intuition was telling you that you would be on the Oprah Winfrey show at some point before you went?
Kathrine Lee: Yeah, actually that’s a strange thing. And I really feel like it was almost a precursor to this story we’re going to get into later of how I was taken into this trafficking thing. But yeah, I had kind of, it sounds kind of, kind of out there, but I had almost had like a vision and I only know how to describe this as it seemed like it was a memory, it was that vivid, but I, it hadn’t happened yet.
Garrett Jonsson: Oh, wow.
Kathrine Lee: And so I thought, “I think I’m supposed to be on that show.” And to be honest, I really believe that happened because, um, later I was going to have that same experience. It’s only happened twice in my life of, um, the work that we’re doing now. And I really believe that the whole Oprah thing came together so that when that bigger thing happened, which was what I’m doing now, that I would believe it and it, that it could happen.
Garrett Jonsson: Wow. What was your story about, by the way?
Kathrine Lee: Yeah, it was really… you know, Oprah and I have had parallel paths with, um, weight in the way that, you know, in body image and, and learning to love yourself and knowing you have an impact, um, in, in life, no matter it. So I would boil it down. In fact, her team and staff boiled it down, um, when they wrote about it on her website to “loving yourself at any size”, um, you know, and I’ve been every shape and size, you know, just because I, I have the, I know that the know-how of the wellness part of things and, and, um, but then the history of other things. And so it, it was a conversation that she and I got to really have about identity, honestly, like, “Who, who do you believe you are? And what do you allow to shift that?”
Garrett Jonsson: That’s really cool. And I bet those experiences help you… Well, just so our audience knows that Kathrine is a life coach and a business strategist.
Kathrine Lee: Yes, that’s correct.
Garrett Jonsson: And I bet some of these cool experiences that you have help you as a life coach, right?
Kathrine Lee: Oh, yeah. No question. I think that, you know, both being a part of her audience, but also my own journey, you know, when we have walked through a lot of different things, which I have in my life, both painful and incredibly joyous, um, it gives us bandwidth to relate to other people. And I think that that’s really cool. And then when you’re exposed to so many people, I, I literally, because of her audience, there’s millions and millions, right. And you get responses and feedback, you start to realize there’s commonality and humanity. And, um, it’s a really powerful thing when you can say, “You know what, me too.”, you know, it’s not a, in a one-up or a comparison. It’s simply “I get the struggle.”
Garrett Jonsson: Right. It’s through empathy.
Kathrine Lee: Exactly.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s powerful. Well, how cool is that? Well, Kathrine, other than going on the Oprah Winfrey Show, what is one of the biggest accomplishments that you’re most proud of?
Kathrine Lee: Yeah. Great question. I really, honestly, I think it’s being a wife to my husband and a mom, to my kids. There’s a lot of, you know, on paper accomplishments that, that I’ve had the privilege of walking through, but really that is my greatest joy.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s cool. One of my favorite sayings is that moments of bliss are not free. And I think when it comes to those meaningful relationships, I always relate that, “moments of bliss are not free” to raising my kids, to helping raise my kids, um, because it’s challenging and rewarding at the same time. So…
Kathrine Lee: That’s right. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of, um, foreboding joy, you know, it’s that part of our brain, that’s always looking for survival. So you have this moment of incredible joy. And then if you’ve ever noticed that following that will come like a worst case scenario. So Brene Brown. Um, you know, we’ll talk about how you’re looking at your kids in bed and they’re so perfect and they’re safe and they’re beautiful. And then you script the something terrible happening to them. And that’s called normal. Like sometimes we think “What’s wrong with me, that I would have that thought?” But it’s our protective mechanism in our brain to say, “How can I keep them safe? This is so good that I also need to counter to keep it this way.” And it’s, it’s just one of the things that, you know, we have to have the ups and downs in life in order to appreciate both ends.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s cool. I’ve never actually heard of that. What is it, what is it called?
Kathrine Lee: Foreboding joy.
Garrett Jonsson: Hmm. I’ll have to do some research on that. That’s really cool. So that’s your biggest accomplishment that you’ve achieved and the most meaningful that’s the next generation, right? It’s a future generation. So that’s important.
Kathrine Lee: It’s huge to me. I, it’s interesting that you would use that phrase because I so believe in legacy and, um, passing that down. And it’s part of my connection with you guys, um, is sometimes there’s what I call “life-limiting lies” in our family line that, that hold us back. And then there’s things that can be “lasting legacy.” And when we can learn to, to turn those life-limiting lies that drag us down or make our family legacies less, and then we can replace it even in use pain for purpose. That’s one of my greatest joys is to help individuals and families do that.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s powerful. I like that “life-limiting lies”. Wow. I just got a little bit giddy, like nerding out over that.
Kathrine Lee: It’s good stuff. [laughter]
Garrett Jonsson: That cool phrase. Have you ever heard of the book called the Strength? Oh, what’s it called? Strength Finders? Strengths Finder?
Kathrine Lee: Yeah, I love Strengths Finder.
Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. I read that and one of my strengths is, um, ideation. Yes. So like how the ideas and how phrases come together. And so I geeked out about that a little bit.
Kathrine Lee: That’s cool.
Garrett Jonsson: “Life-limiting lies.”
Kathrine Lee: Yes.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s awesome.
Kathrine Lee: It’s and it’s profound. And it’s interesting. I’ve, I’ve mentioned that like this to people and they will later go, “I didn’t really get what you said.” but, but they remembered it. Like you just said, like it stuck and then they would be walking through life and go, “Ooh, there it is.” They start to see them once you identify them. Right. It’s the cool part of our brain called the reticular activating system. You know, the part of your brain that we basically programmed to tell it what to look for. So kind of like when you decide you want a new car and you decide on the make and model, and then all of a sudden you see him everywhere on the road, right?
Garrett Jonsson: Right. Right. [laughter]
Kathrine Lee: [laughter] It’s like, there’s no more of that car on the road than the day before, but you told your brain to look for that. So it found it. And so if we go, “Hey, I want to know what the life-limiting lies are in my family line or in my life.” All of a sudden you start to see them. And it’s so cool. Cause once you see them, you can rewrite them.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s that’s awesome. Um, you’ve used a couple of phrases already, or a couple of terms that I’m not familiar with. So it’s making me realize that you’re way smarter than me, Kathrine.
Kathrine Lee: I don’t know about that, Garrett. [laughter]
Garrett Jonsson: [laughter] So I just wanted to, I wanted to get your history in regards to education and maybe certifications that you have.
Kathrine Lee: That’s so good. So here’s, what’s, I’ve had the privilege of working with and studying under some of the greatest minds of our time and being face to face and eye to eye with people like Oprah. Right. But I have a high school education and it’s great. Sometimes when I talk with some of these incredible people, like there’s a doctor called Dr. Bill Sears and he’s, you know, a great pediatrician, but he’s a wellness advocate cause he’s in his eighties now and probably been on every TV show in every magazine you can imagine, but we have the privilege of speaking together often and he always describes, he may be an MD that I have an LE degree and he calls it a “Life Experience” degree.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s great.
Kathrine Lee: And so that’s, yeah, that’s my that’s my, um, degree is like my own personal life experience, but also the life experience of the thousands, if not millions, if you count the Oprah audiences, of talking to other people and bringing our experiences together.
And, um, you know, when you talk about Strength Finders and ideation, I don’t know what it would be called, but my brain is wired for and has an ability and capacity to just see commonalities and bring out and equip people with solutions to it. So that’s been, um, just kind of a natural gift. And, um, I do have, you know, certification in a thing called Highlands, which is a really cool thing where you go on and you, um, play games, you know, literally just play games, but then it, it reports what your brain is naturally wired to do your natural abilities and, um, personal style. And that helps in career. And also, um, the way you interact with people. And it’s fun to be able to say, “Wow, look at the way your brain is wired and that’s why you respond this way or, or do this thing.” So I definitely have some of those things in my, in my pocket. Um, but really it is my love for people and curiosity of humans and really compiling that over. Gosh, I’m 50 years old, I just turned 50. And, um, I’d been doing this kind of work since I was about 24 years old. So 25 years of experience of human behavior tells you a whole lot.
Garrett Jonsson: Well, it seems like we’ve gotten to know you pretty well, but I do want to know what’s one thing that you have yet to accomplish, but you are fighting for?
Kathrine Lee: Yeah. Great question. And I would have to say this global issue of, um, trafficking and, um, my heart around that is to create a global training center, both online. You know, we have great access to, to globally make an impact, but also in person and where we can have some real powerful in-person training, but to create a global training center where we can equip more humans that have an incredible heart and a hero’s heart. And the using the power of women for, to quit competing and comparing and start completing a work that only the united voices of women can do. If we could bring that together and train people both in prevention and in how do we restore those that have been victimized by trafficking? Um, I’ve had the honor of, um, working with those, um, survivors and with, um, people on the front lines. And there’s some real clear training that needs to happen, how to love and guide really the heroes of the story, which are the, the women that, and young women in particular, there are men too. I have not worked with the men, but that have survived. This they’re the strongest human beings you will ever meet, but they do need love, guidance, and resources to gain their life back. That was originally theirs before it was stolen from them and help them, um, then step into that life and thrive.
Garrett Jonsson: And it seems like you’re attacking this goal already. You’re in the process of accomplishing it.
Kathrine Lee: Yes. I believe everything is working to come to the moment where you are right now today, everybody listening. There’s not a thing that is wasted, not your pain, not your mistakes, not there’s nothing that’s wasted when the time comes that it’s going to be used for purpose. If we will just look for that opportunity. And so there’s some crazy parts of my story leading up to, you know, the, the business success, you know, I was a 24 year old high school graduate that didn’t believe in myself at all. Um, I really couldn’t even understand what a future would look like. I was living day to day. Um, no self-confidence um, and then I had a friend of mine die, um, tragically. She was, uh, 31 years old, beautiful nine months pregnant. And she had an aortic aneurism and we lost her and her baby and her name was Kelly. And the baby’s name was Sydney. And this is legacy to them that there would be purpose come out of that horrific pain. Um, and that there, that loss would not be for nothing. Because the day that I went to their funeral to their funeral and saw that precious baby line in the casket next to her mama. So the first time we saw the baby, obviously they did have an open casket. She just, that little baby looked like it was sleeping. You know, when you’re 24 years old and you see something like that. And I know many people listening have had radical tragedy happened in their life. It leaves you at a crossroads to either numb out or get on your knees and say, “What am I supposed to do with this?” And, um, I don’t know why I didn’t I’m out cause I’m a really good numb out person. I know what that is.
Garrett Jonsson: I think we all are. That’s our human tendency.
Kathrine Lee: Completely. Absolutely.
We want to avoid pain. Right. I get it. I, and I, and I deal with that daily as we all do. But for some reason that pain compelled me to ask that question, “What do you want me to do with this?” And to be honest, I cried out to God. I didn’t even believe in, um, I have a very personal faith now. I wouldn’t call myself religious. Um, because I think that’s an institution, but, but faith is about a relationship that started with that question and authenticity of anger and the end of myself to be that vulnerable, to ask for help, because we’re not all good at that either as human beings, because we’ve been taught to be so independent and isolated. And I literally said, “What, uh, what am I supposed to do with this?” And that was a moment in my life that changed everything because in that moment too, radical things kind of happen.
One was I, there was a surrender that allowed the flow, um, of the design of my life to come in what I was meant for. And, and I heard, I don’t know how to describe it. It just, all of a sudden the words “pure hope” went through my mind and I knew it wasn’t my own thought. I that’s the only way I know to describe it. And what’s so super cool about that is my name Kathrine means pure. And my middle name Nadene means hope.
Garrett Jonsson: Whaaaat?
Kathrine Lee: Yes. And it was like, “Whoa.”, like I felt seen in that moment in a weird way, it was like, “Whoa, I have a purpose.” Like, I, I don’t know how to describe the way that made me feel except to say, I knew that there was purpose to my life. And, um, and then second, I knew that there was something about those words that meant something that had to do with the purpose of my life.
So it was very personal, but also very purposeful right. At the same time. And I didn’t know what it meant and I didn’t really feel like I had to figure it out at that moment. I just sat in it and went, “Okay. All right.”
And then, um, I shifted to this place of living expectantly to opening my eyes, to see both whatever, whoever at that time, I didn’t really understand what that was that had put that in my heart, but also, um, to live expectantly, to open my eyes, to see, um, every day what blessings could be there and what challenges and be curious about it instead of, you know, having to either run from it or figure it all out, but to get in a posture of curiosity and when our brains are in a place of curiosity, um, it’s one of the most powerful places to be, um, to just be curious, I always say it’s like, pretend like you’re a movie camera.
If you can imagine your mind outside of your head, and it’s a movie camera just observing right. And filming your life. And if you can look from that perspective, it there’s a old 80 song that said “Things that make you go. Hmm.” Right. [laughter]
Garrett Jonsson: [laughter] I remember that song. Dude, I forgot about that song.
Kathrine Lee: It makes you want to Google it. I mean, it’s like, “Oh, I got to hear that song again. Cause it’s pretty catchy.” But, but it’s like, if we could just have that “Hmm.” Posture, that’s interesting, intriguing, right. Instead of judgment and the self-condemnation and the judgment of others, right. Shame and blame, like that’s where we tend to get in hard times. And if we could instead get curious, I believe personally it opens up compassion and empathy, both to ourselves and to others.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s powerful curiosity over judgment. I love it. So from that, um, that life altering experience that you had of losing your friend and her daughter, um, you you’ve, you learn two things and that was to surrender and then to live expectantly? Is that…
Kathrine Lee: Yes. Authentically. To live authentically and expectantly.
Garrett Jonsson: Okay. So my original question was going to be, how did you go from life coach, business strategist, speaker, to, um, fighting sex trafficking. And is that the, is that the event that it was that changed it?
Kathrine Lee: Nope. So, so that event was getting me on track to figure out who I was right. To embrace life. Right. And so then that “pure hope” thing was always there. So this, this is the other thing, the lesson in this, right? Like we all can learn lessons from, from our stories. One of the hardest things for me right now, Garrett is not to ask you questions back about your life. Right. Cause I’m naturally curious, like you mentioned kids, I want to know about that. I want to know how you got into this. And so, so again, that curiosity piece is so huge, but, but for me, I got in that place of, :Oh, you know, it’s never too early, never too late. Like you’re not going to figure it all out today.” Like never, none of us are going to figure it all out today. I can look back and say that, but at the time, because I just got curious and I like to say, think about life as puzzle pieces. Right? There’s each piece is being laid out, but it’s part of a bigger picture. And even the painful things, even the struggles aren’t going to be used for purpose, if we will allow them to stay in the picture, but reframe them with the bigger story. And so here that Kelly passes away and precious Sydney and I get on my knees. I feel that moment. I start pursuing that personal relationship with God. I start, um, you know, opening that daily, like morning is my time to just sit and say, “What’s the adventure today?” right? Like that’s my posture in the morning.
Like I sit and say, “Okay, God, here I am love me.” Right. “Fill me up so I can love others.”, and “What’s the adventure for the day?” And the adventure sometimes can be rest. And sometimes it’s going out and fighting the issue of trafficking. Sometimes it’s strengthening families and individuals, and sometimes it’s, you know, my own family. Um, and, and knowing that priority daily is, is so important. And so I was going through all that in these early years in my twenties and I started getting platform, right. I started getting opportunities to speak. I started, you know, uh, virtual business that allowed me to have some residual income, which gave me some time I began to, you know, really see and have success. Right. For whatever that’s measured successes, I think mostly internal. Um, but there were some external successes with platform and income and I just hit tend to be a person that I’m like, you know, that same moment of surrender. I would hold all that stuff out of my hands and look up and go, “Okay, you did this, what do you want me to do with it?” Right. Like what is this?
Meanwhile, that pure hope thing was still there. So I, and I, you know, I wrote curriculum, I wrote, I spoke globally. I would do all these things, but nothing seems sacred enough for that pure hope name until one day I got on an airplane. So you want to hear the story of how I ended up in trafficking here it is. Right. Um, I was on an airplane one day. And when I fly, I’m an introvert by nature, which simply means I need to be alone to recharge my battery. You know, work introverts are kind of like your cell phone, you plug them in, you, you, they charge up to a hundred percent. They have a hundred percent battery and a hundred percent capacity. Right. And then their battery goes down, but capacity is still a hundred percent. You might have 50% battery, but you still have a hundred percent capacity of use of your phone.
Well, for an introvert, if we get to zero battery, we have no more capacity. And then we need to get alone plug in recharge. And so that’s where I was this day. I was at zero when I was getting on an airplane and I was so excited. Cause I’m like, “Okay.” I put on my headphones. I happened to upgrade to first class that day, you know, just push that button. No, it’s only a hundred extra bucks go to first class because that’s the best place to recharge. Because if you notice, notice next time on an airplane, nobody in first-class talks to each other. [laughter]
Garrett Jonsson: [laughter]
Kathrine Lee: Which for an introvert’s a great thing.
And so I got on an airplane, put on my headphones, just in case nobody got the memo. Right? To not talk to me. And then I, I had a faith-based book on my left. I always liked to joke around if you don’t want somebody to talk to you on an airplane, put a Bible on your lap.
Garrett Jonsson: There we go. [laughter]
Kathrine Lee: And so, so the truth of the matter is I genuinely wanted to read, um, and, and this faith-based book and it’s interesting because at the last minute this guy gets on the plane and I had had the seat next to me empty until that moment. But the second I saw him, I knew. And um, so sure enough, he slides into that seat. No problem. He’s a guy, right guys, don’t talk to you on the plane, whether you’re in first class or coach. [laughter]
Garrett Jonsson: [laughter]
And so I’m all good. Just go with the flow, right. I’m going to get my recharge time. I’m plugged in into the quiet really. I had headphones on, but I wasn’t listening to anything. It genuinely was a deterrent to somebody talking to me and I’m here, he comes, tap, tap, tap. He taps me on my shoulder. So I literally take the headphone halfway off because I don’t want to take them all the way off. And cause I want to put them back on and not talk. So I thought maybe he wanted to ask to switch Hile or window seat. You know. And uh, he asked me some random question and uh, I gave him a one word answer, put my headphone back on, tap, tap, tap. He does it again. And he asked me a random question. I did it again, gave him a one word answer, put my headphone back on. Third time, tap, tap, tap. And right then that same small voice that said “pure hope.” I felt “Talk to him.” and I was like, “Hmm, I don’t want to, you know, I really wanted to be quiet.”, but I had learned that whatever, that still small voice and I, I call it a personal God. But, but I just knew there was going to be a blessing for me or him. Probably both if I would just do it. And so I took off the headphones and started talking to this guy. Now he told me later when he saw the faith-based book on my lap, that he knew he needed to talk to me. And so we’re talking for like an hour laughing. We’re disturbing everybody in first class, because again, people don’t talk to each other up there typically. [laughter]
You know, we’re breaking all the rules and um, he ends up about an hour into the flight. I’m thinking, “Okay, this guy is handsome. He’s charismatic. He’s, well-traveled, he’s gotten resources. Like I know why I’m supposed to talk to him.” I’m making up the story in my mind. Right. I, I look, there’s no wedding ring on his finger. I’m like, “I’m going to set him up with one of my single girlfriends.” It’s going to be the coolest story of, I talked to this guy. Right. Cause he was just so cool. And he was handsome and everything. So I’m like, I’m thinking of all my single girlfriends, “Who can I set this guy up with?” I’m a little bit of a romantic that way.
And um, so again, he tells me that he talked to me, this is later he reflecting back. He, he had talked to me for that, how hour to set me up so that I would ask him a particular question and he set me up perfectly. And I asked, I said, “So what do you do?” And he said, “I own the second largest pornography company, um, in the world.” And I said, “Really?” So he told me later, he thought it would be funny to watch the “Bible lady”, right? Like him, and then find out what he did. And in his words, I was going to be his entertainment that he was going to watch me squirm or judge him the rest of the flight.
But instead, again, his words, I met him with love, grace, and curiosity. And he didn’t know what to do with me.
Garrett Jonsson: Interesting.
Kathrine Lee: Yeah, because what he didn’t realize was that number one, it wasn’t me really, that started that conversation. It was that voice going “Talk to him.” Right. But two, I think we all get, like, we don’t put ourselves in difficult positions because we’re scared. We won’t know what to say. And I really believe if we’re authentic and we come from a place of love, not who we gooey, romantic love, but just honoring humanity that will always have the words to say. And, um, and so I just responded to him and I said, “Really? Tell me about that.” And it was very disarming for him. And when I didn’t judge him, it was interesting. He started justifying what he did. He was trying to prove his point of that. It was okay. Um, that he did what he did. And that started a radical conversation that led me to where I am now.
Garrett Jonsson: Wow. That’s one of the wildest experiences I’ve ever heard of.
Kathrine Lee: It’s incredible. And here’s, what’s crazy is, you know, as he was talking and trying to, you know, tell me it was okay. I mean, he was saying things like, “You know, I mean, I don’t let the girls, when they’re on film, like do drugs and alcohol.” you know, like he was trying to make sure that I somehow accepted part of who and what he was doing because I wasn’t judging him. Then all of a sudden, he, like I said about like, he, I think he felt like he had to justify. And I said to him, “How do you get the girls? I’m curious.” And he said, “Oh, that’s easy. We just send Scouts out to high schools and malls and tell them, look for girls with daddy issues.”
As a girl that has daddy issues that broke my heart. Like, I, I just sat there for a moment and thought, “Wow, what’s wrong with that?” Like, from his perspective, like who, who says that to go take somebody’s vulnerability and weakness and then manipulate it. Right. Um, but also from my perspective, like, “Wow, that could, could have been me.” In that moment. Right. Right. With a lot of people don’t realize is that, that, uh, a lot of women that are, are, um, in pornography are trafficked. But also the exact same way of attracting somebody into that industry of pornography is the same methodology that they do for, for trafficking. It’s “Look for girls with daddy issues.”
That’s literally in pimping 101. When they’re teaching young men, how to be a pimp that actually exists, they tell them, “Go out and do the compliment test.” So Garrett, when you talk about body positivity, or even just a girl’s sense of identity that they have any positivity, not just their body, but “Am I smart? Am I beautiful?” And “Does anybody care? Does anybody see me?” Right? Like that’s what the answer that she’s looking for is, “Do you see me?” So if any men are out there and you have a daughter, um, or you have, uh, a young woman in your life that you care about a niece, you know what I mean? Uh, somebody like that, they just want to know that they’re seen not just for the, you know, “Oh, you’re so pretty today.” but you know, “Wow, that was so smart.” or their character.
I love the way you love people. And you care about people because that’s what these guys were preying on is a woman and a young girl in particular, not having our sense of her worth and identity. And I challenged him on that. I actually said to him, “Can I challenge you on something?” And I really believed at that moment, I had earned the right to be heard. You know, I listened and I, I, you know, was gathering information and facts and perspective from him. And, um, I believe I earned the right to be heard. Cause he said, “Yes.” You know, when I say, can I challenge you on something? And I said, and “I’m just curious, I hear you’ve justified what you do, but I’m just curious if ever in the middle of the night, like 3:00 AM when you’re not fully into the frontal lobe of your brain.” Right? Which is the part of our brain that justifies and, and the executive function of our brain.
I said, “I’m just curious if ever in the middle of the night, like at 3:00 AM, if your hero’s heart ever rises up on behalf of these young women?” And for the first time Mr. Charisma, couldn’t say a word, he kind of looked at me and he looked out the window for a long time. I don’t remember how long it was. But when he turned back around, I saw the real man there and he started talking to me about his wife. So he didn’t have a wedding ring on because then he started talking to me about his divorce and his daughter. And I said, “Oh no.” And he said, “What?” And I said, “So your daughter has daddy issues.”
And he he, he like his head just kinda jerked. And he had never considered his own daughter could be a target because here he is, this wealthy, you know, man traveling around the country has the, you know, he’s got the broken family. He doesn’t see his daughter as often. He had also told me earlier in the conversation that rich girls in particular, that don’t get attention from their dads are easy targets. And he was describing his own daughter. And when we were done with that conversation, and this is the pinnacle moment, he w we, you know, we were getting off the plane and he said, “Kathrine Lee, I’m going to tell you two things. Number one, I don’t think I’m ever going to sleep quite the same again.” And I said, “Oh good.” [laughter] You know, and we laughed. And, you know, cause we had a, we had a rapport and then he said, “Can I get your card, because I think someday these girls may need you.
Garrett Jonsson: Wow.
Kathrine Lee: And right then I knew what Pure Hope Foundation was for now. I didn’t know it was for all that. It was. But what I knew at that moment was, number one. And it had been 18 years since I heard that whisper. So it’s never too late. But number one would I knew is this was about raising up the hero’s hearts of men to see things differently, again, write about women and, and all these things. But to raise up the heroes, hearts of men, it was about women knowing their identity again, right? So uniting the voices of women that we would again, stop comparing and competing, but start completing the work, to know our value and to speak that into each other. And that I knew it had something to do with pornography. And okay, so here’s the crazy thing, Garrett.
So we talked about life limiting lies earlier, and I wasn’t even planning on that, but this intersects at this moment because here’s, what’s amazing. My grandfather was so radically addicted to pornography that after 50 years of marriage, so he and my grandmother were married for 50 years. I was exposed to pornography very young because they had it hidden in their house, but it was just in trunks and nightstands and, and other things that’s back when pornography was all just in magazines and books. Um, but he was, he was so radically addicted to pornography that after 50 years of marriage, we are standing around his death bed he’s he had lung cancer, he was dying of lung cancer. And he took his last breath and my grandmother took a deep breath and then opened her eyes and said, “Get that stuff out of my house.” After 50 years of marriage, the first words out of her mouth when he died was to “Get the pornography out of the house.”
And I watched my father while grieving his father, carrying barrels of pornography out of the house and garage. And in this moment of talking to this man, it was part of why he didn’t shake me up because I wasn’t prude. Right. Just because you have faith and you have have a heart for people does not mean that you’re a prude. Right? Like I I’ve had all sorts of experiences in my own life that he didn’t rattle me in that moment. Right. He didn’t make me squirm. And in that moment, that pain of my grandmother’s life-limiting lies my grandfather’s life-limiting lies of our family line at the opportunity to be exchanged for lasting legacy. So I knew that I needed to look into the issue of pornography and the impact on the family and impact on individuals. And when I did that, that’s when I saw the impact of pornography on trafficking.
As you went through that entire experience, you said at one point, you said, “Now here’s the pinnacle of the experience?” Well, I thought I had already experienced the pinnacle because there’s like four different pinnacles. It’s such a wild experience. [laughter]
Kathrine Lee: Exactly. Um, I mean, honestly, people told me, that’s why I have a book it’s called Interrupted. And the reason why I wrote a book as people kept saying, because you know, people were in my life at different parts of this, witnessing it, right. I get off the plane and call a friend and say, okay, you will not believe what just happened. And people kept saying, “Okay, you have to write a book like this needs to go into a story.” I kept hearing that over and over. And finally, honestly, I wrote my book because I knew my kids and it’s written to my children. It is not super edited. It is written like a mom talking to her kids. I didn’t want to lose my authentic voice. Um, because I knew that my kids, you know, my older kids, we left our home in Southern California. That was our dream home.
I thought I was going to be 80 years old living in that house. Right. And they left, they lost their family home in a sense, cause we put it on the market to do the work that we’re doing now. And then my daughter, Hannah was younger and probably didn’t understand at all what was happening, even though she was right in the middle of it. But she didn’t know all the stories behind it that led us to that. And so I wrote my book for my kids. So they would understand why we’ve sacrificed, what we’ve sacrificed, which by the way is no sacrifice. I just want to say that it’s perceived as a sacrifice.
Garrett Jonsson: So from there, once you left your home in Southern California and moved to Texas, did you have the intention of fighting sex trafficking in that moment? Is that why you moved or did you not know yet?
Kathrine Lee: Yeah. Great question. So get off the plane. I call my husband. I say, you know, can you believe I just had this conversation, started doing the, the digging into the impact of pornography, um, and what it does. And then I saw this thing of trafficking that, that I kept seeing this phrase, that “pornography is the rocket fuel that creates the demand of trafficking.” And I was like, what helped me understand that? And that’s so much what Fight the New Drug and the work you’re doing, Garrett does. Is it starts to make sense of why that could be. Right? And so I started looking in what is trafficking, to be honest, I didn’t know what that was. This was seven years ago. Everybody’s talking about trafficking now, but if you think back seven years ago, nobody was talking it. And if they were, they thought it was it somewhere else in the globe, it was not in America.
Well, what I found at that time was it was the number two criminal industry in our country and the fastest growing. So drug trafficking is number one, trafficking of human beings is number two modern day slavery, number two criminal industry in America. So it’s an issue globally, huge issue globally, but in America, it’s the number two. And, and the question is why? And it goes back to, you know, the issue of pornography is so accessible and all of the things that you guys teach at Fight the New Drug and that you talk about with your guests on your show of what it does in the brain to shift both in demand. “Yeah. I want more, I want more intense.” I want, you know, all those escalating behaviors that can happen, maybe not for everybody, right? That just cause like everybody that drinks alcohol, isn’t going to get addicted, but there’s not always a positive impact, right?
But some people it’s going to drive and drive and drive and then their empathy breaks down. When you look at the brain and what happens seeing human beings and what sex should actually look like, sound like, feel like in the body’s ability to perform. Right? And because it’s had the stimulus over and over again. And then before, you know it, a man who never thought he would by a woman and especially a young woman, is finding himself thinking about it or finding himself doing it. And you know, these women are usually girls, not women. They’re being portrayed as women, but they’re girls. And sometimes they’re being betrayed as girls. And that’s what the pornography demand is creating for them. And so that’s where I started looking into, “Wait a second…” and I’ll have to be honest. I sat in what I call my prayer chair.
It’s my place in the morning where I would say, you know, “God loved me so I can love other people.” And then “What adventure do we have today?” And instead of that, I was sitting heartbroken. Like I was crying over people. I had never even met yet. Both those that were in trapped in this. And, and, and didn’t want to be in, were struggling. And the young women that were being, being sold and really raped for profit, let’s call it what it is, right. They’re being raped for profit and not their own profits. Somebody else’s profit, you know, anywhere from five to 20 times a day, that’s what we’re talking about. And I sat in that chair crying, and I like to say, you know, God will take you to the weeping room before he takes you to the strategy room.
Meaning he’ll break your heart over an issue. He’ll make you sad or mad, whatever it is, but he’s going to show you part of his heart about this. And then he’ll give you the strategy. If you’ll be open to it. But if I take you back in the story, so I’m crying, I’m weeping, but then all of a sudden, there’s the strategy. I start thinking, “Wait, what can I do?” That’s a very powerful question, right? Like if you ask that question, you will always find an answer. It’s our seat of control. It’s our ability to choose that gets activated at that time. And so I, I both thought that logically. Right? In, in, cause we all have gifts and talents that can be animated and make a difference.
But I also thought about it prayerfully. And here’s another airplane story, much quicker story, but I always tell people, I should either fly more or less. I’m not sure you can make a judgment on that, but. [laughter]
But so then I’m on an airplane, right? As I’m, I’m my husband and I are praying, like, what are we, you know, God’s given us all this success and platform and you know what God, what do you want us to do with it? You know, that’s kind of our posture and of surrender, right? And so, so I’m on an airplane flying to do a business strategy session with some, some corporations and all of a sudden the Oprah effect I would say happened again, right? That thing where I saw a memory, but it hadn’t happened yet. And again, it’s only happened twice in my life, but this time it was more like a movie playing.
And it was a place of abundant beauty and expansive ranch of a place of abundant beauty, where I knew two things were happening. And number one, it was, we were strengthening families. And we were restoring victims of trafficking, that it was a place of abundant beauty, where they could come and know their identity and they could heal and they could have fun, and they could figure out their impact and restore and exchange what had been stolen and have that be, um, reclaimed.
And that we would help do that. And I got, it was like, the plane took off the movie, started the plane landed, the movie stopped. I got off the plane.
Garrett Jonsson: When you say “the movie” you mean this “memory”?
Kathrine Lee: The movie in my head. What I think is a memory. It’s so vivid that, that it seems like a memory, like you’ve lived it, but it hasn’t happened yet. And again, it’s only happened twice. That’s why you can see, I think the Oprah thing happened, and it was a great experience, but I think it happened to say, “See, you did that. It happened now I’m going to do it again.” Right. And it can happen too. And I got off the plane called my husband, and I said, “You remember the Oprah thing?” And he said, “Yeah.” And I said, “It just happened again, but this is what it was. And I’m going to tell you about it now, because it’s so big that if I don’t speak of it now, I will never do it. And I need you to hold it.” Because he is my partner in everything in life. And I knew I could be strong if he aligned and, and not only did he align, but you know, he got stronger. And he said, I told him the vision. And he said, “I’m in.” And so we just started going, “We think we’re supposed to put the house on the market and start to look for land, start to look for a place where we can begin to make this impact.”
And that’s when Pure Hope Foundation was formed.
Garrett Jonsson: Shout out to your husband as well.
Kathrine Lee: Yeah. He’s, he is quite an amazing man. I mean, he has been through, you know, when you talk about life limiting lies and his own mistakes, you know, we both are what we would say. “We’re both instruments of grace.”, right? Like we both have made lots of mistakes, right? They, we, we kind of shared, um, even cause we wanted our kids to know, you know, you may see this now, but this is who we were, but this is how it’s been turned and exchanged and pain is being used for purpose now. And so, you know, here we are in this time and, and yet wasn’t all easy. No, I literally had a time. We had put the house on the market. My father had passed away the day before, and we were supposed to leave on this road trip to look for the land.
And he, he super, you know, shockingly passed away. We weren’t expecting it. And I knew that he, that I still needed to get on the road. And so we, my dad passes away on a Saturday night, Sunday, we signed the papers to put my dream home on the market. That was not easy. And I surrendered, but I still grieved. I think that’s important for people to know. Um, I knew that there was a great exchange that it was going to be amazing, but I didn’t know what that was yet. So the, the void was filled and there was some grief, but there was also the sense of adventure and anticipation of what was to come. But here’s, what’s so amazing is that during that road trip, I literally had, I call a crisis of belief. Like, “There’s no way this can happen. Who do I think I am?”
You know, “This is too scary, too big. It’s a dark issue. Why would I want to do this?” I mean, I literally just almost had a mental breakdown and I went to my husband and I said, I can’t do this. Take, call the realtor, take the house off the market. I can’t do this. And, you know, remember I said, he’s a Texan, right? He’s so steady. You know, he’s got that cowboy heart, even though he’s not a cowboy, he he’s got that steady heart. And he just calmly said to me, “Hmm, honey, maybe you need to ask, maybe need to ask.” And I knew what that meant. Cause I teach a lot about asking for confirmation that it’s okay to ask for confirmation. Um, but, but if it’s a good thing, you don’t need confirmation, but sometimes there’s the big ask, right?
That we need that. And so I knew what he was asking. So I did, I prayed. I said, “Okay, God, I need a, a moment for you to prove that this is, this is what we’re supposed to do. And so we end up going to the next event. I was doing a speaking to her by the way, cause that’s part of what I do while we were looking for Land. So I’d go into a city, a town, a state, and we would, I would do an event. And then we would go look at property in the area. Cause we didn’t know where at this point where we want it to land. And so we were on an add on part of the tour. It was a small town. It was the smallest event that we did. It was College Station, Texas at this time. And somebody had seen my speaking tour and they asked, you’re driving right through here.
Can you just do an add on event? So it was a daytime event. We added it on I’m going in. I’m in this radical crisis of belief. I did not even want to do the talk. If I’m honest with you, I was not in the mood or the mode. And I went in any way. I did the talk and I was talking about legacy. And this talk about how, whether you have $5 a month or you have thousands, we can all leave a legacy and make a difference through simple acts of service. I call getting sassy, right? SAS, simple acts of service, get sassy. That leaves legacy on. Sometimes it’s bigger things. And I, when I showed the bigger thing, I showed the vision of this branch of a place of abundant beauty, where victims of trafficking could come be restored and families could come and thrive.
And in the, you know, I hit really part of what created my crisis of belief is on this speaking to her, people were compelled. They were crying. They wanted to help what we were doing and that, you know, when it was just me and my husband, that’s one thing. But when it’s other people watching and their money now I’m freaked out. Right? And so that’s what started the crisis belief. And sure enough, I’m in this little place, everybody’s people are crying and passing notes and I’m like, “Oh my gosh. So it’s, I’m just want to run.” I just want to get out of there. So the talk is over, I’m ready to get out the door. And these women in the front row said, “Can you come over here?” So I walk over and they say, “We’re so sorry that we were crying and passing notes while you were talking, but we have to tell you something.”
And I said, “What?” And they said, “We’re all victims of trafficking. And we got a day pass to hear you speak today. And we need exactly what you’re going to build.”
Now, Garrett, what’s crazy is the woman that invited them. She had no idea that I had anything to do with trafficking, nothing. She knew nothing. And yet she knew these girls had to come to that talk. And what’s amazing is this is when they said something to me that changed the trajectory that I never doubted again, not that it doesn’t get hard sometimes, but I never doubted again. And that’s what they said to me was, “You know, we need exactly what you have.” And this is the thing that killed me. And they said “The worst part of being trafficked was not the being raped by profit day after day, the worst part was thinking, no one cared and we know you haven’t done and set up what you’re setting up with, but you have no idea what it means to us to see that there you were in California, you didn’t even know us and you cared.”
Garrett Jonsson: I think that we can learn from that because I bet I bet you’re right. That a lot of victims of sex trafficking, they are under the impression that no one cares.
Kathrine Lee: Well they’re told no one cares. That’s actually part of the coercive, um, nature of,
Garrett Jonsson: Right.
Kathrine Lee: You know, first they’re brought into it by force, fraud, and coercion, right? Like that’s the definition of trafficking is force fraud and coercion. You know, if you talked to Homeland security, that’s what they’ll say. Human trafficking involves the use of force fraud or coercion to obtain labor or commercial sex acts. And, and or if somebody is under the age of 18, it’s always trafficking always. And yet the insidiousness of the coercion doesn’t stop with the recruiting. It continues with telling them “Nobody cares about you.” I have heard over and over from these young women that were, um, we have a home now in Texas, we are in the, we, you know, we’re doing the work. We don’t have the big ranch yet. That’s in the works.
We’ve got identified a property and we’re working on fundraising to get the bigger property. But we’ve had a home we’ve been serving young women for almost five years now. And what’s what gets me is how many times they’ll say, you know, “I can’t believe a woman like you cares about a girl like me.” That is the, that just, it makes me want to throw up even saying the words out of my mouth, because that’s what they’re told all the time. You know, they’re told horrific things and it’s what stops them from getting the help they need.
Garrett Jonsson: Right.
Kathrine Lee: One of the first things they do, Garrett in teaching these, these young men, how to recruit that are doing that part of the continuum of trafficking. They get young guys that are, you know, cute or, or whatever. And they tell them, “Go out to high schools and malls. And by the way, now on social media.”- there’s a lot of virtual recruiting going on. Um, and they, they have a thing called “the compliment test” and they say, here’s the thing, “Go compliment a girl. This is the test. If she says, ‘Thank you.’, then squares her shoulders and keeps walking. Leave her alone. But if she looks down and pushes the compliment away, keep pursuing her.”
What does that tell you? It’s a mental game from day one to see if you know who you are. And I always tell, when I speak to audiences, women, what, what did you do the last time somebody complimented? Did you square your shoulders and say, thank you. Or did you look down and push the compliment away? Because our young girls are watching. And that’s what I mean about us being standing in our identity and body positive, but also intelligence positive and, and our gifts and talents positive.
Garrett Jonsson: Right.
Kathrine Lee: Like we have something of amazing value to add into this world, right? Where we are, no matter what age, what size, what, what education we have something amazing to add to this world, stand in that confidence so that the next generation can too. And they won’t be coerced like this
Garrett Jonsson: A hundred percent. Over the course of the four to five years that you’ve been, um, helping these women, you work primarily with women. How many women have entered your home?
Kathrine Lee: Um, yeah. So this is the most challenging part probably of what we do. The healing is so complex that you really cannot have too many women together. Young women, you know, they’re typically between the ages of 18 and 24 because the healing is so intense in one triggers another. So we have four women at a time, but that’s why we want the ranch. As we want to build more homes and hire more people, train more people. That’s the global training center desire because we can’t help more if we don’t have people trained to help more. Right? So, so the ranch to have the training center globally, virtually and in person, as well as, um, the family camp and then more homes for these young women. So not only do you, can you not do too many at a time because of the triggering factor and as they progress as a new girl comes in, you know, it can, it can trigger another girl.
So it’s a very interesting dynamic, but also how long do they stay? It’s I thought it would be a year. It’s closer to 18 months, maybe even two years. So I would have to pull numbers, but I think we’re, you know, in the, if you do four, four times the amount of time, but with some overlap of some that stayed 18 months in two years, but what’s amazing to me is that we expect them to heal quicker and get their jobs skills in place. And most of them were trafficked between the ages of 12 and 14. I have, we’ve had a couple that were trafficked much younger.
So you have to think about that their education and the psychological abuse that’s happened over those years. How the time that it takes to turn that around. And again, as I talk to audiences, I always say “When was the last time somebody said something mean to you or criticized you? How long did it take you to get over it? Probably you’re still not over it.” Right?We tend to ruminate, I don’t know about men, but I know it’s true of women. Well, these women have horrific things that over them day after day after day, not to mention all the other things and we need to give them time.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s such a simple way to put it.
Kathrine Lee: It is it. And it’s so good,
Garrett Jonsson: We can all relate to that. Like how, how long does it take us to get over something? And then these circumstances are beyond anything most of us have experienced.
Kathrine Lee: Nor do you want to imagine. So, and we have, you talked about the recruiting people thinking, Oh, they’re just stolen. I want to talk to that purchase the second, just by giving you some profiles, like one of our young women was super sheltered. Her parents, you know, really, um, were very protective. Understandably so, but, but that’s why I say I really love that my kids can talk to me about sex. I can talk to me about anything and pornography and all those things. I mean, my son, who’s 25. We had almost an hour long talk about pornography the other day and what he’s seen and the struggles and what he’s been through and, and what you know, where the young other people that he knows and, you know, just talking about it, right. That curious.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s exactly what I was going to say. It goes back to the curiosity over judgment.
Kathrine Lee: Yeah. So incredibly important because that equips you to combat something, if you want to right. And make that, that powerful shift. And so, you know, this, I think of this young woman who was super, super sheltered, they never talked about anything. And then she got this quote unquote boyfriend who ended, they call it a “Romeo pimp”. It’s somebody who literally invests in acting like a boyfriend, meets parents everything, and then takes her to a party. But instead traffics her, they call it turned, the term has “turned her out.” And, um, and so that’s a story. We have another young woman who was trafficked by her parents. And it’s hard to imagine, right? It did again, all of these, you know, make your stomach turn, but it’s important to know that family trafficking happens because of drugs or whatever, purpose, another that was sold to a trucker by her mother, um, for drugs.
So, but then there’s foster kids that have been in and out of the system and they’re waiting till the day that they get out of the system or, or a runaway is a big thing. Um, they’ll watch for kids online that are dissatisfied, complaining about their parents, or look depressed, um, and start a relationship in a conversation. And then before, you know, it, they say, “Hey, let’s meet, meet at this park or this mall don’t tell your parents.” Right? “Because they’ll think that they’ll even say, they’ll think I’m a bad person. Um, but you know, I’m not.” And so, you know, that there’s all these different ways that this happens and it happens at all different ages, but the target age is 12 to 14. In fact, uh, it took, but to, to give you another, another book to read my friend Elizabeth Fisher’s good.
Who’s also a fellow fighter in this. She founded a nonprofit as well. She wrote a book called Groomed, with that exact. So she does the same work I do. Um, and she wrote a book cause we all have been groomed, right? Grooming used to be positive. You’d be “groomed” for college. You’d be “groomed” for a particular job. And there’s that positive side, but there’s a lot of negative ways of grooming as well. And again, it’s about overcoming the negative grooming and being able to identify it. So when it’s happening, that’s what I love to teach is, you know, so that a parent understands and they can talk to their kids about it and be curious, not judgmental and not terrified, right. Because that’s, that’s not a healthy posture to be in, but if you’re like, Hmm, what do you know about this? What have you heard of, but you’ll be shocked what your kids know both about pornography and about trafficking. And then if you say, “Have you ever heard of this?”, or “Have you ever heard of that?” If they haven’t now you’ve planted the seed. So when it happens, the alarm bell goes off like, “Oh, this is what they said. Is this that?” And so it just opens up dialogue.
Garrett Jonsson: Right. I’ll have to check out that book. Elizabeth Fisher Groomed, you said?
Kathrine Lee: Yeah. Elizabeth Fisher Good is her name. And the book is called Groomed.
Garrett Jonsson: Okay. Um, speaking of books, I’m reading a book right now, um, titled Paid For, have you read that?
Kathrine Lee: No. See, I love shifting resources. I’m going to have to look that up.
Garrett Jonsson: Yeah. She, the person who wrote it, her name’s Rachel Moran and I’m not all the way through. I’m about halfway through the book. But one thing I find interesting is, and also I’m not reading this book, I’m listening to it. And oftentimes I, as I’m listening to it, I’m working out or doing a house project of some sort. So oftentimes I will miss things, but I don’t think she’s mentioned sex trafficking yet.
Kathrine Lee: Yes.
Garrett Jonsson: So the title is my journey through prostitution and it’s paid for by Rachel Moran. Um, but I just have found it interesting that she hasn’t mentioned. And like I said, I could be wrong. She could’ve mentioned it by now. Um, but she’d, I don’t think she’s mentioned sex trafficking yet. And she talked about commercial sex act at the age of like, if I’m remembering correct like 14 or nine trafficking.
Kathrine Lee: Yeah. So that by definition that’s traffic, that, here’s what you bring up a good point. And I don’t know her story. Like you, you know, we could be finished, we can write and I’ll listen to it. But this is what I would say to her or say to any woman. And I have to say it to our young women all the time. One of the coercive issues with this, with this issue is they, the pimps make the girls think it’s their choice. The, the Johns that are buying them, make them think the person that is quote unquote, protecting them. Right? They, all of them all, almost all look at whoever’s trafficking them as a father or a boyfriend figure. And that’s very common and they really believe that they weren’t quote unquote traffic. They really believe that they’re a prostitute, not a trafficking victim. Um, I think some of it is there’s power in.
If I’m, if I say “I’m choosing this.”, I can survive it right there. There really is a protective mechanism of trying to come from that posture. We all do that in other areas of our own lives too. Right? Where we, where we do that. But, um, what I would say is I know that, I know that I know that by law and definition, if there was a commercial sex and she was under 18, it does not matter. She was, that is the definition of trafficking. And if she’s over 18, and this is something I always say, if somebody is over 18, we have just failed them. I would venture to guess you could line up, you know, 25 prostitutes that would call themselves prostitutes. That’s what they would say. And if we really got curious and talk to them about their story, and they got curious about learning the definition of trafficking, I would say that 90% of them would all of a sudden see that they were trafficked to.
Garrett Jonsson: Right? Yep.
Kathrine Lee: Can I end with a story that that is uplifting to cause some, I think sometimes this stuff gets you where I always tell people it’s so dark, but if you just bring light into the darkness, it’s no longer dark. And I can’t tell you how much fun we have at pure hope foundation. How much joy there is. Yes, there’s girls up in the middle of the night with nightmares and my staff that is living 24 hours in the home that, you know, they are my heroes and the great heroes of the story are the women that are willing to do the work to that. They survived it and they’re willing to do the work to get through it. Um, so I know it’s hard, but I want to share if you don’t mind, um, this one story of this one young woman, cause I want you to have a moment of the joy of a moment of healing that is so profound and how easy it can be.
Garrett Jonsson: Yes. We would love to hear that.
Kathrine Lee: So my daughter, when we first moved here to Texas, right? She was like, what nine years old? And she loved, fell in love with the cows. Cause we’re kind of out in the rural where there’s lots of rolling Hills and Oak trees and cattle and the cows are super general. Like I, I had never been around cows, right. I’m a beach girl, but they’re, they’re just amazing to watch. And they’re super gentle with this. This one cow had to cast who baby twin calves and this young woman, the one that I had mentioned before that was sold by her mother to a trucker. And she was dead behind her eyes. Like you can see there’s somebody that’s there, they’re functioning. They know how to act, right? Because they’ve been acting for years to survive, but they’re not there. And that was kind of the posture she was in. And then my little daughter comes running in the room at nine years old and says, “Hey, does anybody want to come kiss a cow?” [laughter]
Because my, my, my nine year old daughter had learned,
If she w she brought some grass over and we’d be like, come give me a kiss like that. And then the cows would come over and they bumped her nose.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s great. [laughter]
Kathrine Lee: Right? And so she comes running in “Does anybody want to kiss a cow?” and this girl goes, “I want to kiss a cow.” [laughter] You know, like who, like, what does that talk about adventure for the day? Right? So they, we go, we get it in the Polaris, you know, that’s kind of like a rubbed up golf cart. And we drive over to the where the cows are her. And she goes, how do I do it? Here’s my little nine year old going grab some grass. And all of a sudden this young girl that was so shutdown, skips over to the grass.
Garrett Jonsson: Oh, dang.
Kathrine Lee: Like her childhood is being restored. And that, like, it just still makes me want to cry in that moment. She skips over to the grass poles up the grass, right? Like I can’t even smell the grass. As I’m telling you this story and runs over. And then my little nine-year-old bends down and goes, “Okay, now go like this, give me a kiss.” And this girl does that. And this little calf comes over and bumps her nose and she turns around and she’s there, she’s there. I see the girl for the first time. And it was like, I get chose. I would sell my house in Southern California over and over and over again for that one girl. And that one moment.
Garrett Jonsson: That is amazing. That’s so cool. I hope that what’s your daughter’s name, your youngest?
Kathrine Lee: Hannah.
Garrett Jonsson: I hope that Hannah gets into animal therapy someday. Cause that would be, you know, the perfect story to show how it began for her.
Kathrine Lee: Oh, Garrett, let me tell ya. You already called it. Cause now she’s 15 and she’s who takes care of, we have six, um, horses that we use for equine. They impact of equine therapy and the connection there. And she’s the one that takes care of those horses. So I think, I think she’s on that path.
Garrett Jonsson: That’s so cool. That’s really neat. Yeah. That was a very hopeful and uplifting Kathrine. So thanks for sharing that. That’s really neat.
Kathrine Lee: It’s my honor.
Garrett Jonsson: I just got your text.
Kathrine Lee: Yeah, no problem.
Garrett Jonsson: And your text said that you needed to leave and that was about six minutes ago.
Kathrine Lee: That’s okay. We’re good. We can wrap up now and you can edit that out. I didn’t want to interrupt because I felt our flow was so good. I thought I might save time on editing. [laughter]
Garrett Jonsson: [laughter] I’m so sorry that this, uh, yeah. I wish we had more time.
Kathrine Lee: I genuinely could talk to you forever. You are a master interviewer because you’re so calm. And so curious. I just want to honor you in that. Um, I’ve been interviewed by some of the greatest, as you know, with Oprah and you have quite a gift.
Garrett Jonsson: Oh, thanks. I appreciate that feedback. Um, how can our listeners support you and support Pure Hope Foundation?
Kathrine Lee: Yeah. So thank you for that question because supporting Pure Hope Foundation is supporting a young woman whose dreams were stolen. It’s supporting, you know, that those young women that get to skip through the grass, right. Instead of what has happened to them in the past. So I, I really number one, you know, if you’re a prayerful person, pray. If you are watching pornography, stop the demand, right? That’s what it’s about. It’s about stopping the demand and we think, “well, we’re only one person.” But it’s, every person is one person that creates the crowd. That’s creating the demand. Um, don’t, don’t encourage and make pornography seem like it’s no big deal, right. And make it a joke. And all of those things, if you’re, if you know, the guys are joking around with it going, “Dude, you know, it’s, it’s actually not that funny.” like be courageous to stand up and fight that battle to start to shift that.
And then of course, financially, anytime somebody can gives, um, it, it is huge for us every dollar, if you think, “Oh, I can’t.”, there’s actually a, uh, program out there called dollar fund.org. That’s a partner of ours. So you can give there and they collectively give to different organizations in different realms all the time and to just a dollar a month. Um, and we’re in their rotation, but you can also give directly to us. And every dollar counts, it’s collective generosity that will make a difference in this. Um, and so that collective generosity adds up so that we can keep doing the work that we’re doing. And I, I do want to say this, cause I think it’s, it’s powerfully important is because my husband and I’s success in business, we have been able to do this without having to take any income for my husband and I. So he’s the CFO and does so many other things, you know, he goes over and fixes a sink when it breaks and things like that. But, but, um, you know, we’re both able to serve in this capacity without a paycheck, um, because of the book that proceeds from the book and the proceeds from, you know, the other business that we have. And so anytime you support that, it supports us being able to do the work, but it’s greater that your dollar, when you give directly to pure hope foundation goes to direct care.
Garrett Jonsson: Okay. Well, thank you so much, Kathrine. And thank you to your husband and to everyone involved with, uh, Pure Hope Foundation. We are so grateful. The world is a better place because of the work that you’re doing. So I encourage you and myself and our listeners to put curiosity over judgment. And, uh, let’s just, uh, yeah, let’s do it. Let’s do good in the world.
Kathrine Lee: That’s right. May that always be true that it, that what I’m doing is making the world a better place. And if that’s true of me and it’s true of you and it’s two of our listeners, the world will be a better place.
Garrett Jonsson: A hundred percent. Thanks for joining us today, kathrine.
Kathrine Lee: My honor, Garrett, we’ll be in touch.
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Garrett Jonsson: Thanks for joining us on this episode of Consider Before Consuming. Consider Before Consuming is brought to you by Fight the New Drug. Fight the New Drug is a non-religious non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful facts, using only science, facts, and personal accounts.
If you want to learn more about today’s guest and the conversation we had, you can check out the links included with this episode. Again, big, thanks to you for listening to this conversation. As you go about your day, we invite you to increase your self awareness. Look both ways, check your blind spots, and consider before consuming.
MORE RESOURCES FROM FTND
A three-part documentary about porn’s impacts on consumers, relationships, and society.
Fifteen research-based articles detailing porns negatively impacts.
Tees to support the movement and change the conversation wherever you go.
Successfully navigate conversations about porn with your partner, child, or friend.
A database of the ever-growing body of research on the harmful effects of porn.
An interactive site with short videos highlighting porn’s proven negative effects.