Along the lines of a TED talk (or an “idea worth spreading”), without actually being a Ted Talk (but still “an idea worth spreading”), here is a riveting You Tube presentation from a panel discussion of just two months ago at the University of Notre Dame. The topic is pornography. This talk is not done on an academic or theoretical level. These four panelists (two on the production side of the pornography industry and two on the consumption side) talk about the impact that pornography has had in their lives:
1. Donny Pauling- a successful producer of porn, eventually being offered a contract from Playboy to develop a lucrative new line- and how the industry not only ruined the lives of those he seduced into it (many young, naive 18 year old college freshmen), but also how it ruined his life.
2. Chrissy Moran- a model who earned $15,000 a month just from her pornographic website alone and was considered one of the most desired, ‘successful’ and beautiful porno ‘actresses’. She shares how she came into the business, what it was like in the business and how and why she got out. Her testimony dispels the common myth that women who do this do so freely and happily- and the myth that porn hurts no one because the women who participate are ‘consenting adults’.
3. Sam Meier- a married man who struggled with pornography for years, beginning in college. His testimony highlights the innumerable destructive consequences of simply viewing pornography. He talks about the degradation in his relationships especially with his wife (Beth)- how it almost destroyed their marriage and ruined his life. Sam now works to help other men who find themselves feeling compelled to turn to pornography
4. Beth Meier – Sam’s wife. She shares how pornography affected her own self worth (“Why am I not enough?” “Why does he tune me out and not want me but wants strangers?” etc. etc.) She asked for a divorce. Her testimony banishes the theory that porn is ‘harmless’ and hurts no one outside the viewer.
These are real people and real stories. As the gentleman introducing the panelists states, this discussion delves deeply into the topics of intimacy, freedom, power and longing-
According to one panelist, pornography is a $14 BILLION per year revenue industry, exceeding in dollar amount that of the NFL. The frequency of use of porn is higher than the frequency of use of iTunes. The statistics show that the average age of first exposure to pornography is 11, and brain studies show that it impacts neurologically — watching porn, scientific studies have shown, actually produces male brain shrinkage.
I found this so compelling. Please watch and share-
Other links worth checking out related to this topic:
-Watching Pornography Damages Men’s Brains- here.
-Jason Evert- “Love vs Lust” and The Chastity Project
Jason and Crystalina Evert (Their website, Chastity Project, here)
-Matthew Fradd’s site to help you overcome pornography. Includes a “battle plan”, “ask an expert” and “encouragement” - here.
Matt Fradd (His website is here)
Matthew was addicted to porn at a young age. Matthew is from southern Australia. At age eight, he found pornography in his grandfather’s shed and became “hooked.” By age 12, he was stealing porn from neighborhood stores, and by his teen years had acquired a vast pornography collection.
He commented, “No one had to tell me it was a bad thing. I knew it was shameful. I was hoping I’d grow out of it.” Matthew’s teen years were sad; he recalls how he dressed all in black and wrote suicide poems. His father discovered his porn collection, but only expressed mild disapproval.
In 2000, Matthew spent two weeks in Rome for World Youth Day, and was inspired to become Catholic. In the confessional, he admitted his addiction to pornography, and received mixed responses from the priests to whom he went. Some suggested it wasn’t that serious, but he recalls one who told him, “That’s a terrible preparation for marriage.” Matthew said, “That’s what I needed to hear. I didn’t want to justify my porn addiction, but admit that it was wrong.”
In fact, Matthew stressed, the first thing someone who wants to get away from pornography must do is admit that it is wrong, stop blaming others, and make a commitment to change. For Matthew, now 27, the struggle to be porn-free has been “brutal.” He related, “Every day I wake up and decide what kind of man I want to be. Purity is not a destination one arrives at, but a daily battle.” -From Catholic World Report, Jan. 21, 2011
-The My House Initiative: Archbishop Joseph Naumann’s anti-pornography effort – here.
-US Church Helps Ex Porn Star Come Back To Christ- here
-April Garris, Ex Porn Star tells how the sex industry nearly destroyed her life. – Part one here (from Ireland’s “The Morning Show”) and Part two here.
“I don’t think they (people who watch porn) have the whole truth. I think that they are buying into the lie that the porn industry puts out there. . . because what you see on the video isn’t really what’s taking place. You know, you don’t see in between scenes where girls are physically sick because of the trauma … you know, you don’t see the porn stars out back snorting coke ….or getting high…trying to cope with it. You know, you don’t see the disgusting, gross stuff that goes on…the unhealthy conditions…what you see is just a small snippet…. on my first porn set the thought that kept going through my mind was ‘this will be over soon…this will be over soon…’ Once you’re done, you’re so relieved.”
“I suppose it (watching porn) would be an easy trap to fall into.… (but) Anyone who watches porn – even just clicks on the internet site- is actually contributing to the victimization and degradation of these women.”
“Drugs are a huge part of it (to numb and escape) and they drive you into a really dark, dark place.”
“After leaving the industry I actually went to a psychiatric ward because of the trauma I endured.”
-Christian Leader’s Dire Warning About Porn, Horror Flicks and Demonic Possession- here.
-Catholics Come Home- facts and help- here
-Integrity Restored- Helping Catholic Men Break Free from Pornography here
-Reclaim Sexual Health “Brain Science of Behavior in the Light of Faith” – here
-Catechism of the Catholic Church on sexual love and dangers of pornography- here
-The Serenellians Catholic Apostolate is composed of lay and religious who dedicate themselves to combat the evils of pornography and assist those affected by it to bring hope, encouragement and strength -here.
-Helping women escape from pornography and the ‘adult’ film industry: The Pink Cross, Treasures, We Are Cherished
-Porn: The Marriage Wrecker from Catholic Match – here
-Strengthen Your Marriage After Porn here.
-Rebuilding Trust in Marriage After Pornography: here.
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS :
“(the) porn generation (is) people 30 and younger who sit around and watch porn with their parents- but we just call it things like “Two and a Half Men”. We know what’s going on. They might have their clothes on but when you’re laughing about that sort of activity with your parents then it becomes easy to recruit you into porn….”
“We were very good at making it seem like it was their idea. ..Manipulation. I did that by telling them porn wasn’t for them when they first came into my office (but then) they’d be around my very lavish lifestyle…I started them off doing soft core and alone- get them used to the money then slowly (get them into harder things)… It was very easy to recruit.”
“I would slowly watch the lights go out (of their eyes). This isn’t the part of porn we like to see. We think this is the polished video..”
“On screen it is amazing and attractive, but we don’t see the girls curled up in a ball in a corner in a fetal position between takes or sucking their thumbs because their minds are so blown away by what they just had to do, or have to have surgery to repair damage done to their body.” – Donny Pauling, former porn producer of photography and film
A good society is a society in which it is easy to be good. By that definition, we do not live in a good society. With porn use at an all time high, the stability of families and our culture itself is threatened. Share this link. Share the video. Share the resources available. Support someone you know who struggles with pornography. If it’s you, today you can begin to a path of purity, healing and true joy in the ultimate enjoyment of sexuality that God intended. I’d like to close with a Bible quote from the Serenellian Catholic Apostolate website. More prayers can be found here. God bless you, your marriage and your family!
“When you come to serve the Lord,
prepare yourself for trials.
Be sincere of heart and steadfast,
undisturbed in times of adversity.
Cling to Him, forsake Him not;
thus, will your future be great.
Accept what befalls you;
in crushing misfortune be patient.
For, in fire gold is tested and worthy men
in the crucible of humiliation.
Trust God and He will help you.
Make straight your ways and hope in Him.
You who fear the Lord, wait for His mercy.
Turn not away, lest you fall.”
- Sirach 2:1-7