Men formerly addicted to pornography explain how they managed to stop

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Jesus said, “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin,” and no one knows that more than I, who once was enslaved to lust through pornography. I was a slave because I could not control my desires; they controlled me.

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Archdiocese of Chicago upcoming event for those who want to be freed from alcohol, drug, pornography or sexual addiction.

Complete information/flyer (PDF)

Submitted by Chuck H.

Best advice: Don’t start viewing pornography.

Jason King, chair of the theology department at Saint Vincent’s College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, wrote about the accessibility and damage of pornography in his latest piece at Catholic Moral Theology. King summed up the situation well when he wrote that people used to have to exert an effort to view pornography. Now you have to exert an effort to NOT view it.

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Former addict: Treatment and tough love work.

“The tough love shows you the consequences of addiction, and treatment shows you a way out. It’s not easy. I was in treatment seven times … what they call a ‘retread,’” he said. “I never want to sleep on another plastic mattress.”

He said hearing the crinkling of the plastic mattress cover takes him back to the misery of withdrawal.

Michael said his solution for staying sober is taking one day at a time and prioritizing what is important to him: God, Alcoholics Anonymous, family and service to community.

“Without the first two, I can’t have the last two, he said.

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Slave Master: How Pornography Drugs and Changes Your Brain


Pornography is a visual pheromone, a powerful, $100 billion per year brain drug that is changing human sexuality by “inhibiting orientation” and “disrupting pre-mating communication between the sexes by permeating the atmosphere,” especially through the internet. I believe we are currently struggling in the war against pornography because many continue to believe two key fallacies:

Fallacy No. 1: Pornography is not a drug.

Fallacy No. 2: Pornography is therefore not a real addiction.

As an illustration of Fallacy No. 1, consider the following statement by a Wall Street executive whose mainstream company discreetly profits from pornography: “I’m not a weirdo or a pervert, it’s not my deal. I’ve got kids and a family. But if I can see as an underwriter going out and making bucks on people being weird, hey, dollars are dollars. I’m not selling drugs. It’s Wall Street.”

Now consider both fallacies as elucidated in the following statement by an executive in the pornography industry:

[T]he fact [is] that “drugs, booze and cigarettes” are all physical, chemical agents that are ingested and can indeed have measurable, harmful, addictive effects. The mere viewing of any type of subject matter hardly falls into this category and, in fact, belittles the very real battles that addicts face over drugs, booze and cigarettes-all of which can be lethal. No one ever died from looking at porn. While some compulsive types can be “addicted” to anything, such as watching a favorite television show, eating ice cream or going to the gym, nobody suggests that ice cream is akin to crack cocaine [remember that statement] and should be regulated to protect . . . people from themselves-instead, these compulsive actions are rightfully viewed by society as personality defects in the individual. . . .

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For 80 percent of men and 30 percent of women, on-line pornography can be a powerful addiction

In a 2008 article entitled Pornography, Electronic Media, and Priestly Formation published in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Sister Weber warned of the “profound impact” of widely and instantly available pornography and its detrimental effect on the Church in North America.

Personal interviews, she said, have taught her that Internet pornography and “inordinate use of electronic media” are common among priests and religious, and therefore issues crucial to the Church’s holistic functioning.

“Pornographic images are imbedded into the memory, affect brain function, and never completely leave the memory where they are stored. Researchers describe the effect as addictive, as mind-altering as cocaine! As a psychiatrist I see the ruined lives and shattered vocations.”

Internet Addiction Disorder, she said, is slated to be added to the next edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatry, the official manual of recognized psychiatric disorders.

“Because pornography is addictive, once ingrained into the psyche it can thrive for years,” said Sister Weber. “Boys from 12-17 are large consumers, and for that reason, targets. Ninety per cent of these teenagers routinely view online pornography while doing their homework.” As bad as Internet pornography is for users, for victims it’s even worse.

“The industry,” said Sister Weber, “feeds on the vulnerable, poor, abused and marginalized. Exploiting the weak, especially children, is gravely sinful. Whether need, confusion, or alienation leads people to become objects, their choice to do so certainly cannot be seen as free. Producers and distributors of pornography leave a wide path of broken and devalued men and women in their wake. This destruction of the innocent is an unspeakable act of violence.”

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