Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Bunch of Words About Chairem

So Chairem is having a sales contest (again). 

7 women, 21 videos, and you get to vote, with your money, for your favorite. Her prize is at least professional videography services, and sexy new lingerie. Maybe one day she can hope to afford a chair as nice as the one in the silhouette. Perhaps she gets a share of the profits too, though the flyer seems reticent to discuss that end of the deal. Mind you, my skepticism is not without warrant. Chairem is a company with a very shady history of abusing not only their models, but their customers as well.

For those of you who don't remember, Chairem originally operated under the moniker “GMRD” which stood for something like “Greenfield Medical Research and Development”. It was a company founded and run by Playboy's own Miss August 1987, Sharry Konopski, the “Broken Bunny” who sustained a career hampering spinal cord injury at the height of her fame.

They had more to do with developing photographs than medical research, a ruse they perpetuate to this day, though most devs didn't care. The name was weird, but others will use names like “Tropical Productions” so devs can keep their credit card statements relatively presentable. Theirs though proved to be more of a sham than others.

As an aside I do want to note that Chairem has never claimed to provide pornography to anyone. To quote from their front page, “THE MATERIALS PROVIDED HERE ARE FOR MEDICAL OR EDUCATIONAL USE ONLY AND CONTAINS NOTHING PORNOGRAPHIC.” The emphasis is all theirs, as are the logical inconsistencies. Officially pornography is defined as, “Pictures and/or writings of sexual activity intended solely to excite lascivious feelings of a particularly blatant and aberrational kind, such as acts involving children, animals, orgies, and all types of sexual intercourse”, or, “Material that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement”. How they can reliably claim this while selling videos like “Simone's Personal Foot Fetish” and “Delicia's Brace Erotica” or holding contests where the winner gets to record themselves wearing sexy lingerie for you is beyond me, but that's America for you.

Caveat: I don't have anything official to back this next part up. It's all rumor.

According to some people in my community, GMRD was run in Canada, on paper at least while it was primarily operated in the U.S. The Canadian birthright lit the way for legal chicanery which effectively held their models in more or less permanent and unnegotiable contracts. They weren't allowed to market themselves any way except for through GMRD, or with GMRD's prior approval.

It was in 2007, around the time all of this was rumored to have ended, that Madonna Long a.k.a. Venus left them and eventually launched Roll Modelz. Chairem was more than happy to “wish her well” with this email they sent April 4th of 2007.

Hey everyone, I hope you'll join me in wishing Venus good luck and good
health. She has agreed its time to venture out on her own.

If you have purchased a Venus video from Chairem INTERNATIONAL before
April 4th, please be sure to download your order before May 4th when
all Venus materials will be removed from our server.

As is the case with any model who leaves Chairem INTERNATIONAL, we do
not offer their materials for sale. Anything produced by Chairem
INTERNATIONAL has been destroyed and all original model materials
provided by the model has now been returned to them. Also, please
remember that any future purchases with any model, once they depart,
are no longer secured by Chairem INTERNATIONAL, the name you have come
to trust for over 7 years.

Best regrds Venus! [sic]

Best regards indeed. Her agency quickly absorbed a few of their other models, and eventually began recruiting some of their own. This was the first time Chairem had any competition from another agency outside from Gimps Gone Wild (GGW) which didn't have quite the same history of poaching their talent. At some point around this time they decided the best thing to do was rebrand their product, thus the name “Chairem INTERNATIONAL” (presumably a portmanteau of “Wheelchair” and “Harem”[and yes they always spell it like that with all caps, don't ask me why]).

Again, I can't confirm the validity of this part of the story about Chairem, it's just rumor. If someone wants to correct me on this then I am more than willing to listen.

Overtime, Chairem seemed to shift to providing more and more models from the third world, or at least those where it's still not uncommon to find people with polio (a disease which has been nearly eradicated across the globe). There was even one hilariously awkward point soon after Roll Modelz began poaching their talent and all the rumors about unfair, if not overtly exploitive labor practices, that Chairem produced a ridiculous group video with their entire stable of models south of the border which was titled something like “We're family and stick together.” Given the circumstance and what was flying through the air at the time it seemed less like a genuine statement from the models, and more like a veiled threat from the producers.

Ahh, the failings of the studio system again rear their head. Though thankfully it was much more hilarious this time round.

Really though, when you get past all of the ridiculous titles and poorly written emails, it's not very funny at all. In the U.S. Being disabled comes with a serious set of disadvantages, and being female comes with its own as well. The intersection of these two categories combine to create something much worse. Furthermore, most of Chairem's models these days come from Central or South America. The brightest lights on that content are the up-and-coming Brazil whose gap between the rich and poor would make the U.S.'s 1% blush, the laughable Venezuela, and the once hopeful Mexico whose combined drug violence and lingering effects of NAFTA have done a lot to reduce the faith of investors hoping to make a quick buck off of strawberry yields. In short you have people who would be economically disadvantaged wherever they lived in the world, hailing from economically disadvantaged countries. Countries which may even be further behind in first world basics like accessibility and fair hiring practices.

For Chairem this makes good business sense. If they can reliably pull a profitable amount of capital from any given, marginally successful model, then they ought to take advantage of that in any way they can. It will maximize profits which will, with any luck, help them stay ahead of their competition.

It even seems sort of philanthropic in a way. Disabled women, an already doubly disadvantaged class are given the opportunity to make a tidy a profit considering the actual filming for each video or photoset might take an hour or two. This small amount of labor can, in theory at least, provide a stream of capital which though it surely winnows over time will be worth more than a full day's labor would have been otherwise.

Delicia Hermosa, is the shining example of this. She's produced a great body of work with marketing and delivery handled for her by Chairem for a share of her earnings. She's produced just shy of thirty videos, the most of anyone in the site's current stable of models, which ranges from polio and paraplegia, to amputations and birth defects. In fact she ended up gaining control of the company after a few catastrophes.

The problems with the philanthropic view are manifold and varied. The idea of behind this philanthro-pornography or “non-erotic educational materials featuring beautiful women in sexy lingerie” is that it looks to an imperfect world, and sees capitalism, a system which necessarily produces poverty, exploitation, and inequality, as the solution to issues of poverty, exploitation, and inequality. This more general notion of philanthropic capitalism has been debunked, and this isn't a blog about politico-economic systems so I'll continue past this diversion. However, everyone should pay attention to Slavoj Žižek.

In my opinion Chairem has always been the industry leader in tacky bullshit and promotional gags nobody really cares about unless they're giving something away, and even then it feels too contrived. They have a proud legacy of unforgivable typos and awkward phrasing littering everything they produce in writing. I do not exaggerate when I say everything. Some of the more recent silliness can be forgiven because I'm positive it's written by Delicia herself, and I'm pretty sure English is her second language. You be the judge.


It is March 31 and this year I chose to use the full leather and the legbraces with a short skirt and white stockings then I stepped outside for a walk.

This is a hilarious legacy that stretches back well beyond Delicia though. This is an email that was sent out to a devotee group in 2005.

Hello everyone. GMRD, Inc. is the only legitimate, incorporated
company that assists model in marketing materials to the devotee
community. We presently represent 12 models ( see attached web
adresses) and house a library of over 25 hours of devotee DVD's.

If your thinking about making the move to becoming a model, contact
us and we'll share with you the benifits of going with a Modelling
company that protects the content of our models materials, provides
documented records of all sales transaction that occure in your
behalf and most of all, we treat out models with the greatest

We have a customer base of over 2200 and growing and can provide you
with a positive cash flow.
Somehow upon my first reading I managed to quash the automatic reflex to delete this, and there it sat in my inbox for seven years until I dug it up a few weeks ago and had a laugh. I'm not going to name the guy who wrote all these but if you've followed Chairem at all in the past few years you're probably used to his flagrant abuse of text sizes and colors.

It was like that, but never ending.

Chairem INTERNATIONAL doesn't have to beg you to tell us what to
film... we know what you're looking for and continue to strive to make
it happen! We also know that our customers are gentlemen and dont
spend a lot of time talking about their attraction and that's what
truly makes Chairem INTERNATIONAL customers unique and respectable
” May 8th, 2007

They've always been unique and respectable what with their contests and trash talking that made them come across as little more than desperate, but the fun doesn't stop there. In January of 2008, they went for the big one.

When Rick contacted me about his idea for a devotee community he called www.NEWGENDEV. ORG He shared his vision for his forum. The forum was to be a community where people can share their (non commercial) material, open dialogues on different topics and could do so without being bombarded by SPAM. To achieve this he needed  sponsorship support. I wasn't quick to respond.

Once we agreed that no commercial material from any active vendor would be shared and that our sponsorship would give Chairem exclusive rights to be the sole sponsor, We agreed to fund his community for three months.

This is why we agreed to sponsor it...

Your yahoo groups were once yours to share in. Chairem found them a great way to promote ourselves. Then as others vendors began posting promotions in the same fashion, it soon got out of control. Now your groups are nothing but billboards on the Internet highway. That's one of the reasons we ended our use of Yahoo groups for promotions. [Note: Every email transcript I've posted was received through a Yahoo group

So the end results are this, Chairem INTERNATIONAL is happy to provide basic funding for NEWGENDEV.ORG to allow you to return to having a community free of constant advertising.  Chairem INTERNATIONAL has no control over the content of NEWGENDEV.ORG and takes no responsibility for it's content.

The membership has grown to over 1005 members, you have been communicating with each other and posting. NEWGENDEV.ORG is fast becoming the most active group I have yet to see. Rick has done a good job of keeping most issues to a minimum and I have yet to see any of our material posted without our approval. Everything has growing pains and only mature business people look beyond small obstacles towards a positive future. You as active members have proven there is a need and demand for such a community.

We have agreed to fund NEWGENDEV.ORG for an additional 6 months. We will continue to be active sponsors and offer promotions and specials to www.NEWGENDEV. ORG members.

I want to congratulate everyone in creating a community for yourselves on the Internet.

www.NEWGENDEV. ORG , your devotee community on line.”

If ever the argument was to be made that devotees are inherently socially inept, one would have to look no farther devotee groups for proof. With the sole exception of the ParaDevo Boards, dev groups that aren't centered around sharing pictures etc. never last, and even the ones based around sharing don't always fare too well. NEWGENDEV.ORG was unique not in that it failed, but rather how.
Hello everyone.

Today, I regret announcing that I am retiring as President of Chairem

In the last 6 months, I have lost 2 friends, a family member and faced
difficult health issues with a member of our family. On Wednesday, 30th
of January I experienced a minor heart attack that took me to the
hospital. This coming week I will be undergoing major tests and all the
pleasures that anyone who experiences this encounters. I am releaving
myself of everything stressful in my life.

Over the last 2 years I have been fortunate to know a wonderful person
who is responsible and honest who I feel confident handing the
operations to. She has been involved with the operation of Chairem since
Dec 6, 2006.

Delicia stepped forward and has taken over all operations of Chairem
INTERNATIONAL as of Thursday Jan 31st. I will remain to assist in the
transition period and will continue to provide service maintaining our

All our models have been notified of what has happened and they remain
committed to working with Chairem INTERNATIONAL. The first model I
contacted was Sharry Konopski who assured me her commitment to our
goals and to Chairem INTERNATIONAL no matter how many times she is
contacted by others.

In closing, I want to thank all Chairem INTERNATIONAL fans and friends
for your support over the past nine years. I assure you that the legacy
of Chairem INTERNATIONAL, our original goals, our dedication to
individuals with disabilities and their loyal friends will continue
under the leadership of Delicia Hermosa.

My best regards,
” Feb. 3rd , 2008

This was continued...

To all members of this group.
I'd like to make a formal and public apology to the President of
Chairem INTERNATIONAL, Delicia Hermosa, all the models of Chairem
INTERNATIONAL and to you the general public.

In October 2007, I started a community called NEWGENDEV.Org under
the ownership name of Rick Shannon. The idea was for a community
for individuals to share their collections without having promotions
from commercial vendors.

It was my intent to create this community and be the sole sponsor of
the site in an attempt to block any other vendor from marketing in
the site. My goal was to have an exclusive location for the
community to share and also, to be able to post promotions on behalf
of Chairem where no other media outlets could respond.

I created the site without the support of Delicia or the models of
Chairem and hid that I was in fact the owner of the site. I
apologize deeply to Delicia, my friend and all those who have known
me over these many years. Those who know me best, know this is much
out of character.

Recently NEWGENDEV encountered a "suspect member" who used the site
to offer some of our legitimate members a "private file of his
favourite pictures." Those who accepted the file were asked for
their email address to send it to. The "suspect member" then started
sending thousands of spam messages. In turn, The same person has
gone into yahoo groups and gained access to other persons email
addresses and done the same. Be warned: When you post a message in
yahoo groups ( and a member has their account set to receive emails)
they can see your full email address. This person has used this
information to spam members in many groups.

I do not know where this person began this campaign of spamming or
why. I have since closed NEWGENDEV. Even Delicia Hermosa has been
effected by these email spams.

As many of you know, I experienced a heart attack in January and I
have retired from Chairem INTERNATIONAL. I have given full control
to Delicia Hermosa and I have no direction in the operation of the
organization. I ask for the forgiveness of my friends, for
compassion from vendors who I showed none too and that the devotee
community can heal from the damage I have caused. I have not been
active on the internet to be aware of the goings on, nore do I spend
time in groups any longer. This, like many things I have felt
passionate about I have set aside with no plans to return.

Please understand that this reflects on my poor judgement and should
no way be attributed to Delicia or any of the Chairem Models.

” Feb. 20th, 2008

So, in a ludicrous attempt to corner the "lucrative" disabled fetishist market, they accidentally dropped an a-bomb on the community they were trying to foster, in addition to any associated groups. I'm not sure how connected his heart attack was to all of this, but I felt like he included way more personal detail than was necessary for someone who was simply announcing his retirement.

Despite all of this I cannot fully shame Chairem. They've done some outright shady if not illegal stuff in their time. Yes they are annoying, but that's really just being competitive, and when they sell more the models do benefit; this is undeniable. More than that though we do share a common dream.

Sharry Konopski, Deeyana and myself are very pleased to share with
you this special announcement that comes with a short history lesion.

In Dec 1999, Deeyana, Sharry and I set forth to develop a modeling
group, that would allow a model the ability to create media for
individuals with a unique attraction in a fashion that was safe for
the model and dignified.

We established a Mission Statement which remains unchanged to this
day ( you may view out mission statement in our file section. Our key
objective was to eliminate the demand or desire to view media deemed
covert, "candid" or stalking. We three believed that if quality
material was made available by models with consent to being filmed,
that media collected by using a hidden camera would be of less
interest and would no longer be in vouge.

The internet is filled with shared clips of unsuspecting women,
transferring from their wheelchair to their cars, women with
disabilities walking through malls unaware they are being followed
and video taped. Mothers and daughters enjoying themselves with
family at Disneyland and other public locations became targets for
hidden video that was then sold and shared on the internet.

In May of this year, I was approached by the person who has spent
nearly 50 years collecting this material who told me he was no longer
interested in selling it (because it had stopped selling). He
approached me with the cost to buy his complete collection ( 640
hours worth approx) that spans from home movie 8mm taken in the
1950's to the high quality DVD video of today. Many of you own his

On April 1, 2007 I received a legal and binding agreement from Bob
Edmonds to sell to me the rights and all materials he has collected
that has become known as the Crutchman collection. In return for
payment, Mr Edmonds released all materials including the
original "Sharry Konopski devotee video" and a multitude of other
known models materials was presented to Chairem INTERNATIONAL.

Mr Edmonds as you have seen in many yahoo groups has retired from
selling video. The materials he sold in the Crutchman catalog has sat
in a large box beside my desk since early April. With over 60 video
tapes purchased at a premium, there was no question as to what I
would do with them.

I am happy to announce that all materials purchased from Bob Edmonds
have been received in good faith and have now been destroyed. They
will never be seen again and as agreed in our legal agreement, Mr
Edmonds will no longer be selling his collection on the internet or
any other marketing means. Let me be clear, these materials bought
from Mr. Edmonds have been destroyed by Chairem INTERNATIONAL.

While portions of this material is still being sold by Kroespage and
others, Chairem INTERNATIONAL and myself, NAME WITHELD remain
committed to ending the demand for covert video that robs a person of
their privacy and dignity.

I want to thank Bob Edmonds for discharging this material and ending
a long career marketing and covertly video taping in this fashion.
” May 26
th, 2007
Of the two of us, I'd say they've done more to combat candid filming than I have with my little blog.

1 comment:

  1. I realize your blog is now almost a year old here but I just stumbled on it and I agree with everything in it. A friend of mine was approached about becoming a model herself even though she is economically stable and lives here in the USA. I had already heard some fishy things about Chairem so I think I along with her own reservations kept her from getting involved, thank goodness. I don't buy devotee DVD's or videos and even if I did, I would stay away from these scoundrels who run this farce.