Question Related to Guideline D

Hi everyone,

I wanted to get some thoughts and opinions on my potential application to one of the three-lettered federal agencies, as it pertains to Guideline D. I have not submitted any initial application yet. A little bit about me: I am 27 years old, turning 28 in less than a month. I am currently a full-time graduate student. I don’t have a drug history, nor do I have a history with alcohol. I don’t have a criminal record, nor do I have any mental or psychiatric issues. My finances are in order - my credit score is 790+ and I am financing my graduate education without taking out a student loan (I do have a small amount outstanding on my undergraduate loan but I’ve been paying it off regularly). The only issue regarding my background is that between October or November 2016 to August 2017, I visited a massage parlor in my area 6 times, where sexual acts occurred. I wish I had a good reason, but I don’t. Chalk it up to stupid decisions and immature thinking. I was unmarried (and still am) and I was not in a relationship during the time. None of my friends know about this, including my girlfriend, though I am willing to tell them if that would be a mitigating factor. I haven’t gone since and I have no desire, urge, or impulse to ever go again. I am upset and frustrated at myself for making such dumb decisions, particularly because it just wasn’t characteristic of me. I wish I could go back in time and change it, but it is what it is.

So there you have it, guys. What do you think? Do I still have a shot or should I scrap the idea of applying? I’ve been on the fence as to whether I should even bother applying or not, so any type of clarification, advice, or opinions would be much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Thanks for posting. Kudos to you for achieving your education n a cost effective manner and not getting mired in excess debt. Honestly, there is nothing on the SF86 where you would openly address this. That is not to say it isn’t a concern. There are several areas where I do think this will come up. You currently are somewhat vulnerable to blackmail. That is a flag. How do you mitigate this? If you were already cleared you would report this, it might generate a Re-investigation, and if you are with an agency requiring a polygraph, it likely would be addressed there. In many locations these “massage” parlors are part of organized crime, even from foreign intelligence agencies. If they can entrap cleared or soon to be cleared people in a honeytrap…they will. Reporting it, steering away from it, swearing off it, not associating with the friend group you may have partook with…are all excellent ways to address mitigation. Service men and women overseas can also easily fall into a vulnerable area here as well. At some point in time as South Korea rose in economic power, their brothels no longer had South Korean women, they soon transitioned to imported (criminally) eastern European women. Is there a Russian connection? Yes. Is that a concern? You bet. But as I said self reporting to the BI person, letting it get scoped, reporting it again to the polygraph folks, allowing them to develop questions regarding this conduct…can help you clear your name. If moving forward anyone attempted to blackmail you…they have no power. I understand you are not proud of the behavior and it is what it is. If prostitution in and of itself prevented clearances…we would have a lot less cleared people. So in a nutshell, delicate as it is, I would report this during a BI and certainly during a poly. Get it on record, do not revisit the activity, and realize you escaped STD free and that is a good thing. Perhaps developing a degree of empathy for people who are trafficked into this life will help you understand it isn’t a voluntary life for most. It leads to all kinds of sordid people: traffickers, pimps, pedophiles, runaways, drugs, criminal enterprise and of course life ending STD’s. .

amberbunny - thank you for the detailed response! I have no hesitation whatsoever swearing it off. As I said I have no desire to engage in such acts again. I realize now that those so-called “massage” parlors are often part of criminal enterprises, but that was not something I even considered or thought of at the time. And I do realize, despite everything, how lucky I turned out in the end.

One follow-up question: I certainly plan on fully disclosing this behavior during the BI and the poly (if I happen to get that far in the process), but do you think it would help my case further if I disclosed this behavior to my close friends and family?

You already said that you would be willing to tell your family and friends. You don’t have to tell them but your willingness make you far less a blackmail risk on this issue. You were about 25, from what you said, so “youthful exuberance” is a mitigating factor. The fact that you were single also works in your favor.

On the other side, this was illegal behavior. The girls in these “parlors” are often the victims of human trafficking, drugs or other areas of organized crime or even directly involve in foreign intelligence. (Was the location across the street from an Air Force base?) These points are work against you.

On the whole, I don’t think that this will be a serious problem but it should be addressed in any case.

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Gee Ed, I would think Army or Navy…but having served at Clark Air Base in the Philippines…you may be right.

If you are thinking about a serious relationship, I would disclose this. Otherwise I would leave it between you, the confessional, the BI and polygraph department.

Thank you Ed and amberbunny for the further clarification and responses. It makes me breathe a little easier knowing that I still have a shot. And for the record, no - it was nowhere remotely near a military base or post or anything like that.

Unless you knowingly engaged in sexual acts with trafficked person(s), I think you will be fine. You might want to read Adjudicative Desk Reference for potential mitigating factors.

As for telling your friends and family members about this “sexual acts”, I don’t think you need to do so. This is especially if you are disclosing the information for the sake of security clearance process. So, I recommend you to be consistent.

As for the question of blackmail, this is where you need to be honest and come clean.

As you will see in this forum, adjudication takes a whole-person concept. It isnt designed to let in only pious individuals, but to weed out obvious distrusting individuals. Furthermore, it is designed to let in those who acknowledge and own up mistakes while do not plan on repeating the mistakes.

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