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The School of Greatness

Tim Ballard on Fighting Back Against Child Sex Slavery EP 1469

Sat Jul 15 2023
Child Sex TraffickingUndercover OperationsInternational OperationsDark Web AccessOnline SafetyHealing from TraumaRaising AwarenessRescuesThe Nazarene Fund'The Sound of Freedom'Standing Up for Children


The episode covers various aspects of child sex trafficking, including its prevalence, the work of undercover operators and law enforcement agencies, international operations, the emotional impact on rescuers, aftercare for survivors, the dark web and online safety, educating children about sensitive topics, healing from trauma, improving justice systems and aftercare services, rescues and the Nazarene Fund, the movie 'The Sound of Freedom', three truths learned from experiences, and advocating for children's rights.


Child Sex Trafficking

Child sex trafficking is a global issue with millions of children forced into commercial sex trade or subjected to slave labor and organ harvesting. The United States is a major consumer of child exploitation material.

Undercover Operations and Homeland Security

Undercover operators play a crucial role in fighting child trafficking, infiltrating criminal organizations through social media platforms. Homeland Security's child trafficking unit was instrumental in raising awareness and prosecuting offenders.

Emotional Impact and International Operations

Rescuing children from trafficking has a profound emotional impact on the rescuers. International operations involve gathering intelligence, building rapport with criminals, and supporting domestic and foreign operations.

Dark Web Access and Online Safety

The dark web has seen an increase in child pornography, highlighting the importance of online safety for children. Parents should be aware of the apps their children use and have age-appropriate conversations about online safety.

Healing from Trauma and Raising Awareness

Childhood sexual abuse causes long-lasting trauma that requires healing and support. Raising awareness is crucial for improving justice systems and aftercare services.

Rescues and The Nazarene Fund

Rescues involve saving children from dangerous situations, including adoption by rescuers. The Nazarene Fund works to rescue children from regions affected by sex trafficking and organ harvesting.

'The Sound of Freedom' and Taking Action

'The Sound of Freedom' is a movie that sheds light on child trafficking. People can get involved by visiting the website, purchasing symbolic necklaces, or participating in anti-human trafficking events.

Three Truths and Standing Up for Children

Serving others brings light into one's darkness, connecting to a higher being helps personal growth, and having genuine love and support is essential. Adults must stand up for children's rights and ensure their well-being.


  1. The Summit of Greatness
  2. Child Sex Trafficking
  3. Undercover Operations and Homeland Security
  4. Emotional Impact and International Operations
  5. Undercover Training and International Missions
  6. Mastering Persuasion and Dark Web Access
  7. Rescues and Aftercare
  8. Dark Net Child Pornography
  9. Educating Children and Healing from Trauma
  10. Improving Justice Systems and Aftercare Services
  11. Rescues and The Nazarene Fund
  12. 'The Sound of Freedom' and Taking Action
  13. Three Truths and Standing Up for Children
  14. Advocating for Children's Rights

The Summit of Greatness

00:02 - 06:37

  • The Summit of Greatness is a transformative event that brings together a community of conscious achievers.

Child Sex Trafficking

00:02 - 06:37

  • The issue of human trafficking, particularly child sex slavery, is discussed in an interview with Tim Ballard from Operation Underground Railroad.
  • Sex trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world and rivals drug trafficking in terms of numbers.
  • There are approximately 30 million estimated slaves worldwide, with about 10 million being children.
  • Around 2 million children are forced into commercial sex trade, while others are subjected to slave labor or organ harvesting.
  • The United States is the number one consumer of child exploitation material and ranks among the top three destination countries for trafficking.
  • Traffickers aim to bring slaves into the US to cater to the demand within the country.

Undercover Operations and Homeland Security

06:10 - 12:04

  • Child trafficking often starts on social media platforms and then leads to private phone calls and in-person negotiations.
  • The internet crimes against children task forces and local law enforcement are fighting child trafficking by infiltrating criminal organizations.
  • The guest has worked as an undercover operator for 17 years, buying and selling children on various social media platforms.
  • The guest originally started working in the CIA to fight terrorism but later transitioned to Homeland Security.
  • Child trafficking was not widely known or discussed before the creation of a child trafficking unit in Homeland Security.
  • The decision to commit to fighting child trafficking came after realizing the importance of protecting children's childhoods.
  • A significant moment that solidified the commitment was rescuing a five-year-old boy who had been kidnapped and sexually abused by an American man.

Emotional Impact and International Operations

11:44 - 17:54

  • The speaker encountered a child from a video and had a strong emotional reaction.
  • The child spoke perfect English despite being with his captor since infancy.
  • The speaker found 11 other children during the operation.
  • After the operation, the speaker had to decide whether to quit or fully commit to this work.
  • Seeing his own children playing while knowing what was happening to the child affected him deeply.
  • The speaker's wife helped him realize the importance of continuing his work.
  • A necklace given by one of the rescued children became a symbol for the speaker's commitment.
  • The Adam Walsh Child Protect Act changed statutory requirements for prosecuting sex travelers.
  • Now, perpetrators can be held accountable even if they committed the act in another country.
  • There are different laws regarding sex with minors and paying for sex in each state and internationally.
  • Half of their operations are domestic, supporting operations within the US as well as foreign ones.
  • Canine units trained to sniff out digital media help find evidence hidden by pedophiles.

Undercover Training and International Missions

17:26 - 23:29

  • Half of the operations are domestic, supporting canine units that sniff out digital media.
  • The dogs are trained to sniff out thumb drives hidden by perpetrators, such as pedophiles.
  • The foundation has deployed a couple dozen of these dogs, including Cinnamon Bark and Spike.
  • After a law was passed, the speaker was put on a team to find Americans involved in illegal activities.
  • He attended an undercover school where he learned how to think and talk like a pedophile.
  • The curriculum for undercover operations was being created at the time, so he studied books about slavery and abolitionists for inspiration.
  • The foundation's name, Operation Underground Railroad, was inspired by the tactics used by abolitionists.
  • The speaker was sent overseas to countries like Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia to gather intelligence and build rapport with criminals involved in human trafficking.
  • It was a mental game for the speaker as he had to pretend to be interested in child exploitation while fighting against it internally.

Mastering Persuasion and Dark Web Access

23:13 - 28:50

  • Mastering persuasion against pedophiles requires practice and observation.
  • Instructors cannot teach how to do it, they can only determine if someone has the ability.
  • The work takes a toll on mental health and emotional well-being.
  • A case in Columbia involved over 100 children, but without American involvement, there was no jurisdiction to take action.
  • The decision to quit the job was made with the support of the spouse who prioritized saving children over financial stability.
  • With limited funds, preparations were made to go back to Columbia with a team of volunteers.

Rescues and Aftercare

28:32 - 34:43

  • The Marvel cast of Crusaders went on a mission to Haiti and Columbia.
  • They had success in both cases, rescuing over 120 kids.
  • After the rescue, the most important question is what happens to the kids next.
  • They have an aftercare department that partners with local non-government organizations for long-term support.
  • The aftercare centers provide funds, housing, fees, and education for the rescued children.
  • Sometimes there is no family waiting for them or the family is involved in selling their kids.
  • This cultural acceptance of child exploitation makes it difficult to break the cycle.
  • In many countries, laws need to be established or strengthened to combat child trafficking.
  • The US is the biggest consumer and producer of child exploitation material in the world due to easy access to technology and a large population.
  • Child pornography can be easily accessed on the dark net with some skill and knowledge of different networks.

Dark Net Child Pornography

34:20 - 40:18

  • There has been a significant increase in new child pornography on the dark net.
  • Child pornography is being sold and accessed through membership-based networks.
  • Parents need to be aware of the apps and social media platforms their children are using.
  • Online predators are taking advantage of the current situation with kids being out of school and spending more time online.
  • After-school programs and sports activities provide a safer environment for children compared to being at home alone with internet access.
  • It is important for parents to understand the apps their kids are using and seek help from internet service providers if needed.
  • Parents should have age-appropriate conversations with their children about online safety without scaring them. Customizing the approach for each child is crucial.

Educating Children and Healing from Trauma

39:53 - 45:57

  • Parents should educate their children about sensitive topics like sex to prepare them and protect them from potential harm.
  • The timing and content of the conversation should be customized for each child, based on their readiness and intuition.
  • Having a close relationship with your child is crucial to know when it's the right time to have these conversations.
  • Ignoring the topic of sex can lead to someone else teaching children in a harmful way.
  • A pedophile actively seeks sexual interaction with a child, whether in person or not.
  • Child pornography viewers eventually want to become contact offenders.
  • There are approximately two million children in sex slavery globally, with a rising number in the United States.
  • Around 18,000 women and children are smuggled into the US annually for exploitation as slaves, involving both financial transactions and sexual abuse.
  • Personal experience of being sexually abused at a young age deeply shapes an individual's life and affects various aspects such as trust, relationships, and self-perception.
  • Sharing one's traumatic experiences with trusted individuals or professionals is essential for healing and preventing further abuse.
  • Childhood sexual abuse causes physical brain damage that requires both emotional and physical healing.
  • Raising awareness about this issue is crucial for improving justice systems and aftercare services.

Improving Justice Systems and Aftercare Services

45:27 - 51:13

  • The real damage of child exploitation is not reflected in current sentencing
  • Talking about the issue and raising awareness can improve the justice system and aftercare services
  • The process of deciding who to go after involves assessing dark web information and collaborating with law enforcement units around the world
  • Southeast Asia has a high number of cases, with both locals and US-based individuals involved in sex trafficking
  • Human trafficking as a whole is a $150 billion industry, with $35 billion attributed to sex tourism alone
  • The amount of money spent on buying and selling people every year could buy every Starbucks franchise, NBA team, and send every US child to college for four years
  • Addressing the issue is difficult because it hurts emotionally, but it's important to engage with it
  • Personal experiences led to a change in perspective and increased commitment to fighting child exploitation

Rescues and The Nazarene Fund

50:58 - 56:38

  • The speaker reflects on a past experience where they allowed themselves to fully engage emotionally with the children they were rescuing.
  • The speaker adopted two of the children they rescued during a sting operation in Haiti.
  • The cost of buying a child for a weekend or longer can be double or triple the price of an adult sex worker.
  • The speaker bought two children for $15,000 each during the sting operation.
  • In the Middle East, pediatric hearts can sell for up to a quarter million dollars on the black market.
  • ISIS made sex slaves out of Yazidi and Christian communities in northern Iraq and Syria.
  • Organ harvesting is prevalent in the Middle East, with some organs being sold for millions of dollars.
  • The Nazarene Fund, led by the speaker, works to rescue and extract children from these dangerous situations.

'The Sound of Freedom' and Taking Action

56:15 - 1:02:15

  • The movie 'The Sound of Freedom' tells the story of child trafficking and includes real-life scenes.
  • The mission is to end sex slavery, and an experiment showed that focusing on child crimes can have a significant impact.
  • People can get involved by visiting the website, purchasing symbolic necklaces, or texting for instructions on how to participate in anti-human trafficking events.
  • Tim Ballard has experienced sexual abuse and understands the trauma it causes.
  • He is praised for his work in fighting child trafficking and using his resources to make a difference.
  • In the final moments of his life, Tim would leave behind three truths he has learned from his experiences.

Three Truths and Standing Up for Children

1:01:49 - 1:08:25

  • The first truth is that serving other people brings light into your darkness.
  • Service releases serotonin, endorphins, and oxytocin in the brain, leading to better health, courage, and optimism.
  • Connecting to a higher being through prayer or meditation helps you become a better version of yourself and a blessing to others.
  • Finding at least one person you truly love and who loves you back is essential for personal growth and support.
  • The speaker's wife exemplifies doing the right thing regardless of consequences.
  • The speaker expresses concern about children being hurt due to decisions made without considering their well-being.
  • He questions whether the trade-offs of shutting down schools during COVID-19 are being adequately considered.
  • Teachers play a crucial role in protecting children from abuse, but they are also vulnerable to the virus.
  • The speaker emphasizes the need for adults to stand up for children's rights and ensure their voices are heard.

Advocating for Children's Rights

1:07:57 - 1:10:13

  • Kids are unable to voice their concerns and issues due to their inability to organize, protest, or march.
  • It is the responsibility of adults to stand up for children and ensure they are represented.
  • Finding a solution is challenging, but it is crucial as children are being harmed.
  • Greatness can be defined by the positive impact one has on others.
  • When faced with a decision, choosing the option that helps more people is a path towards greatness.
  • The episode aims to inspire listeners on their journey towards greatness.