As a guitarist and lead singer in the rock band Clutch, Neil Fallon couldn’t have predicted his future in working to unmask child predators. Clutch has released a dozen records and gone on several tours around the world, so he wasn’t exactly looking to join the fight. However, it all began a few years ago when Chris Hadnagy asked Neil to be a guest on the Social-Engineer Podcast. They kept in contact, and Chris invited him to be a board member of the ILF. See Neil’s account of the joining the ILF and more below.
- How did you get involved with ILF?
A few years back, Chris Hadnagy asked me to be a guest on the Social-Engineer Podcast. We kept in touch over the following years (often in the late hours following a Clutch gig). Early in 2017, Chris asked me to be a board member of the ILF. I was incredibly flattered. And I was confused. My initial thought was what could I possibly have to contribute. I’m not an I.T. guy by any stretch. Chris replied that most boards are comprised of people from intentionally diverse backgrounds. Even though that made sense, I was still reluctant. Like many people, I found the idea of child predation horrific, and I didn’t want to get close to it. It’s repulsive. I spoke to my wife about it and this was her answer, “Now that you have the chance to help, how can you not?” She was absolutely right. I just needed someone else to help verbalize what I already knew, but was too afraid to admit. Once that bridge was crossed, my reason for participating became crystal clear. It’s simple. I think humans should help other humans, especially the most vulnerable.
- How did you chose the ILF rather than another foundation that also works to end child pornography?
Chris Hadnagy. This type of work requires a massive amount of trust. I would not have agreed to be involved to this degree had I not known Chris as well as I do.
- What do you do as a board member for the ILF?
I reach out to people I know in the entertainment business. It’s a difficult subject to broach. But I’ve found that people are very eager to help. It’s the follow through that’s Difficult. Other than that, I participate in board votes and brainstorming sessions. Working with the ILF has been a real education for me. As I said, I’ve been doing one thing for 26 years. The languages of I.T., board votes, fundraising, networking, etc., were completely foreign to me. I’m getting a better understanding of it, though.
- What are your goals for the ILF?
I want us to complete the mission statement – “Unmask anonymous online child predators to help bring them to justice.” If I can be a part of helping end even just one child’s nightmare, then all the time and effort will have been worth it.
- What has surprised you most since getting involved with the ILF?
Two things come to mind: First, how prevalent child predation is and how adept the predators are. This is a dark world I knew nothing about other than the occasional news story. It’s terrifying. Second, how eager people have been to volunteer to help the ILF in its mission. As I write this, we’ve had hundreds of volunteers offer the ILF their talents. Frankly, it’s overwhelming.
- Where do you see the ILF in 5 years?
First thing we need to do is raise capital. I can’t speak on numbers, but I can use an analogy. This is a big vehicle and it needs a lot of power to get that first gear rolling. But once that happens, it gets easier to reach the momentum we hope for.
- Do you feel as if the topic of combating child pornography receives enough attention? Why?
I don’t. It’s ugly. This is not a topic people talk about comfortably. I understand that. I don’t want to talk about it either. But the kids that are beholden to these monsters have no choice. We do. When the ILF board gets together we speak in very clinical terms. Sure, sometimes it gets emotional. But to cope with this topic I think it’s necessary to be somewhat clinical. I know that sounds cold hearted. But to get too emotionally engaged can be traumatizing. And that can result in running away from this. That’s a natural instinct. But again, the victims can’t run away. We owe it to them to do what we can to help, even if that means speaking about it in somewhat of an emotionally divorced fashion.
- What is one thing all people should know about this issue?
It’s vastly more prevalent than they might imagine. And it’s more horrific than they might imagine.
- What is the best way to get involved with the ILF?
Visit www.innocentlivesfoundation.org Read up on what we do and how we do it. What we really need now are donations. Amount does not matter. If one is not able to donate then simply spreading the word is valued assistance. Whether it be on social media platforms or good old fashioned analog speech, getting the word out is invaluable.
Neil’s assistance on the board has been an integral aspect of the ILF’s success. His fresh perspective provides an insightful addition to our team.
So, how can you help?