“……kill myself…..” I’m not sure what I would have done with that book if I hadn’t noticed those words. I probably would have thrown it in the garbage.
It had fallen between the counter and refrigerator; it was someone’s diary. When I moved the refrigerator in the recently-vacated house to work on it (part of my job at Beale Air Force Base military housing), I picked it up. The diary fell open to where a page was wrinkled, perhaps by the dampness of the unknown writer’s tears. Much of the content was smudged, but the words, “kill myself”, clearly stood out. My heart sank as I struggled to read the tear-stained page. The author of the diary wanted to kill herself because her husband was in their bedroom looking at pornography and pleasuring himself. She believed that her husband loved the images on his computer more than he loved her. How sad, I thought. I closed the book, put it in my service truck and later arranged for it to be given to a chaplain.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Kevin B. Skinner, Ph.D., author of Treating Pornography Addiction: The Essential Tools for Recovery, wrote in the December 12, 2011 issue of Psychology Today:
“My heart hurts for individuals caught in the web of pornography. When you see grown men crying in your office because they can’t quit and when they tell you that porn is costing them everything, you quickly realize that pornography is not just a leisurely activity. Then, when you meet a woman who feels rejected, not good enough, and unloved by her partner because of porn, you want to change something about the way things are being done.”
On September 19th, 2014, my wife and I attended a presentation given by former pornography producer, Donny Pauling, at Saint Isidore’s Catholic Church in Yuba City, California. Pauling, who travels the world, sharing his testimony about how he was transformed from porno-promoter to porno-opponent, tells a heartfelt story of experiencing God and finding the strength to abandon the allure of riches for a higher calling.
Pauling began his talk with some disturbing statistics which showed how pornography is adversely affecting marriages, intimacy, and our young people. To hear that 56% of the divorces in America are primarily related to pornography addictions was especially alarming. (More statistics concerning the destructive effects of pornography can be found on Pauling’s website: www.donnyPauling.net.)
Pauling credits XXXChurch, a ministry dedicated to liberating men and women from the sex trade and porn addiction, for helping him to walk away from the industry. www.XXXChurch.com
Screams of agony until they get the scene right, young women curled up in fetal positions sucking their thumbs after their performances, genital warts, herpes, surgeries required to repair sexual organs and men acting “gay for pay” are just some of the ugly truths of the sex industry that are normally hidden from the public, according to Pauling.
However, he has been contacted by several women pleading and begging him to help get their sexually explicit images off the internet.
One of those women, who only worked two days in the porn business, had to give up her life-long dream of becoming a police officer. She was kicked out of the police academy after her pornographic images were discovered during a background check.
A father anonymously receiving an envelope containing incriminating images of his daughter; a member of the military worried that her career could be over if her past activity were to be discovered; a newly-engaged woman whose fiancé took back his marriage proposal after her secret history was brought to his attention; these and many other tragic stories were shared by Pauling that Friday evening.
As I sat in the pew with my wife, in this (unfortunately) sparsely-attended event, I wondered what it must have been like to hear the testimony of John Newton, the former slave-trader who wrote the hymn, “Amazing Grace”, after he became an Anglican priest.
In 1778, many years after giving up the slave trade, Newton published the popular pamphlet, “Thoughts Upon the Slave Trade”, in which he wrote:
“It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me, that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders.”
John Newton and Donny Pauling are truly brave and honorable men. If more brave and honorable men would simply refuse to consume pornography, could we then put an end to this soul-destroying industry once and for all?