Stryper Guitarist Oz Fox's Wife on Why She Founded Hookers for Jesus
When you name your nonprofit Hookers for Jesus, you're bound to piss some people off. But then again, that was probably part of the idea.
Founded by Annie Lobert, who also happens to be married to Stryper guitarist Oz Fox, Hookers for Jesus is an international, faith-based organization that addresses human sex trafficking, sexual violence, and exploitation linked to pornography and the sex industry.
"I grew up in Minnesota during the heyday of MTV in the '80s. I was crazy about music as a teenager and loved rock and heavy metal. I was heavily influenced by what I saw in those videos and I also wanted to have that lifestyle of fame, fortune and be part of the music scene," the 44-year-old Lobert tells Noisecreep.
"Years later I graduated high school and wanted to go to college for music and arts, so I started working three jobs to help pay for that. During that time, a girlfriend and I had some fake IDs, so one night we went out to a club and met these two guys who ended up being undercover pimps. We obviously didn't know that at first. We thought they were just businessmen. One of the guys ended up taking my girlfriend to Hawaii and turning her into a prostitute. I soon followed suit and went to Waikiki to do the same.
"After that I came back to Minnesota to work at an escort service and then went to Nevada and stripped at a club there. I met a man there who became my boyfriend, but he also turned out to be a pimp," says Lobert.
She then moved down to Las Vegas where she went back into escorting. "What was crazy about the whole thing was that I was in love with this man and he was my pimp. He was abusing me the entire time. He would bring home underage girls and sick things like that. So long story short, I was trapped. Here I was a slave to the sex industry and I did all of this because I wanted him to love me.
"Don't get me wrong, the first couple of years I was doing it, I loved it. I loved having sex and the money that came with it. I loved the attention that I got too. So there was definitely a honeymoon phase that I went through. But it then became a nightmare. I was also afraid to leave because all of the other pimps in the so-called "working circuit" would find out and I would be in danger. I knew girls working in that world – personal friends of mine – that were murdered or never heard from again."
Lobert finally broke away from her pimp, but not before falling victim to him one more time. "I managed to get away from him, but he ended up finding me and kidnapping me with his friends. So I went back to escorting for some time. I finally had a client rescue me from the industry and got out of it completely. "I started working outside of the sex industry and when that business failed, I got depressed and overdosed on drugs. After 16 years of working in and out of the sex industry I had reached the bottom. My background was going to church as a little girl, so I basically prayed to God and asked him to rescue me because I had a mess of my life [laughs].
"So that's when things changed for me and I got clean. I've been off drugs for eight years now. About two years after I got clean, I started reaching out to women in the sex industry and that's how 'Hookers for Jesus' began. It's been an organic thing. I just show these women how I got out of that life."
In 2010, Investigation Discovery aired a three-part series focused around Lobert and her crusade called 'Hookers: Saved on the Strip,' and she's also been a fixture on news programs on both secular and Christian television. "I am doing all I can to spread the word about what we're doing, but I've never tried to shove my religious beliefs down anyone's throat," she says.
Before our chat ends, Lobert tells Noisecreep how she met her Stryper axeman husband. "I actually met him on MySpace. He reached out to me and said he loved what I was doing with 'Hookers for Jesus.' From there we started talking and we hit it off right away. We instantly knew that we would be married. He even told his family that a couple of weeks after meeting me for the first time. We got married in June of 2009.
"I'm so proud of him and Stryper. Like me, they're not about preaching or anything like that. They're just nice people. I love being around them and their families. Even the wives all get along [laughs]. The band is going to be doing this cruise in February and I cannot wait to see everyone together again. I also want to see all of the other bands playing. When I was still a stripper, all I danced to was hard rock music. I'm obviously not doing that anymore, but I'm still a rock chick."
To get more information on Lobert and Hookers for Jesus, click on this link.