Anti-Porn Crusader Rebrands as ‘Non-Religious,’ Initiates Civil Lawsuits

LOS ANGELES — Leading anti-porn crusader Laila Mickelwait — until last year a mouthpiece for the religious ministry Exodus Cry — has completed her rebranding with the full launch of a website called “Justice Defense Fund,” promoting “civil litigation and legislation” against adult content websites.

For several months, Mickelwait had curiously been omitting mentions of her ministry, Exodus Cry, and public records show that late last year she incorporated herself as “Justice Defense Fund” through a PO Box in a Colorado strip mall.

Late in December, Twitter suspended an account at someone’s request, claiming that the information posted about this supposed nonprofit, of which Mickelwait claims to be “the CEO,” was private. Her incorporation to receive donations under the name “Justice Defense Fund,” however, was public record, and as an anti-porn crusader and political campaigner, she is a noted public figure.

Today, Mickelwait used her personal Twitter account to direct people who have had issues with online billing to the new website for information on a class action suit organized by the firm Kaliel Gold. The lawyers promoted by Mickelwait ask potential plaintiffs, “Did you sign up for a free trial of an adult entertainment website, only to be charged for a full membership without warning? Did you have difficulties canceling your recurring membership? If yes, fill out the form on this page for a free lawsuit claim review.”

‘The Truth is Like a Lion’

Earlier this year Mickelwait was invited to testify before the U.S. Congress but failed to file a disclosure notice, required before her testimony, outlining her affiliation and conflicts of interest. XBIZ contacted the congressional representatives who appeared to have invited her and allowed her to present herself as “an expert” without filing that form, but received no reply.

Much like other anti-porn crusaders with clear religious inspiration and background, Mickelwait is now actively rebranding as “non-religious,” claiming right at the top of her website that the “Justice Defense Fund” is “a non-partisan, non-religious organization dedicated to empowering survivors of sex trafficking, child sexual abuse material (previously known as ‘child pornography’) and image-based sexual abuse to pursue justice through sustainable, strategic litigation funding. We also advocate for the adoption of laws that prevent sexual abuse and provide recourse to victims.”

A prominent button enables site visitors to donate to Mickelwait through this new nonprofit. The very small print states that “JDF is a non-profit 501c3 organization EIN 85-1451255. All donations are tax deductible.”

Although Mickelwait deliberately obscures her religious motivation during public appearances, and in this new endeavor as agenda-motivated legal coordinator matching law firms with anti-porn activism, her Twitter bio still leads with this quote: “The truth is like a lion. Let it loose. It will defend itself.” Consistent with her new stealth strategy, Mickelwait has left the quote up but notably fails to attribute it to its source: St. Augustine, the 4th-century propagandist who invented the doctrine of “original sin” and is ideologically responsible for centuries of shame-based Christian notions around sexuality.

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