Hopefully, Sound of Freedom will help encourage people to speak out. However, the exploitation of children is not just about Epstein and secret Hollywood parties. The film will shock ordinary people and show them how nefarious worldwide networks operate and what it takes to battle them. When Ballard thought of quitting his job and going it alone in the fight against child trafficking, he feared for his family and was wracked by doubts. But his wife Katherine – played in the film by Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino – dispelled them, saying, “You have no choice. You have been called to do this. You know it’s the right thing to do.”
Meanwhile, JPMorgan itself reached a $290 million settlement with some of Epstein’s victims.
The two incidents do not just highlight Epstein’s vast network; they remind us of the horrific crime of child trafficking, believed to yield annual profits of $32 billion in the U.S. and $150 billion worldwide. It is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, in competition with drug running and the arms trade.
One man, Tim Ballard, has made it his life’s mission to fight this evil and rescue as many of its innocent victims as he can. A former undercover operative for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Ballard worked on its anti-child-trafficking teams but felt frustrated by the limitations of a government agency. In 2013, he and some colleagues quit to set up Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), which now has 150 employees, 80 contractors, and 70 trained dogs. Ballard and other staffers, who pose as customers to infiltrate child sex rings, have so far been involved in 7,000 direct rescues, resulting in 5,000 arrests. They also provide therapeutic aftercare to rescued children and train law enforcement agencies in five regions worldwide.
Indeed, there’s an Epstein connection: Jim Caviezel, who plays Ballard, says the film features an Epstein island allegory, and wonders how the “three-letter agencies” could not be aware of the extent of the child-trafficking problem. He hopes the film will motivate more witnesses and whistle-blowers into speaking up.
In the film’s dramatized storyline, a boy whom Ballard has rescued while a government agent tells him to also rescue his sister, handing over a necklace to help identify the girl. Unable to do much in his official capacity, but not having the heart to ignore the boy’s request, Ballard quits his job, teams up with some other agents, and against great odds rescues the girl from Colombia.
While there is no denying that multiple factors encourage the sexual exploitation of children, the real-life Ballard believes that one major contributor in our times is the woke political atmosphere in the country. The irony, he says, is that 20 years ago, people could be arrested for giving pornography to minors, but today, teachers supply what is essentially pornography as part of the curriculum. He warns of the harm teachers and school authorities inflict by manipulating children into gender confusion and gender transition treatment without parental approval. “If you can consent to genital mutilation, you can consent to sex with a 50-year-old,” he says, adding that there are attempts to normalize pedophilia by portraying it as “child liberation” rather than abuse and viewing parents as the enemy for limiting access to their children.
In a parallel development, pedophiles are insinuating themselves into the LGBTQ movement, reinventing themselves as an alternative orientation – Minor Attracted Persons (MAPs).