AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2004 NEWSLETTER
by JOHN L. HARMER, CHAIRMAN
One of the many blessings of living in the mountains is the joy of a summer evening. From a balcony on my home in Bountiful, Utah I can look out over the Great Salt Lake and watch the evening sunset. It is a beautiful experience to see the sun sink behind the western mountains and then to watch as the twilight grows dimmer and dimmer. In the summer time it often takes as much as two hours for the twilight to finally end in the darkness of night. That is a wonderful time for quiet meditation, reflections of the past, and hope for the future. My many friends who live in the great coastal cities on both the east and the west coast never have that sweet experience. When the sun sets over the ocean darkness soon follows.
It was forty years ago (1964) as a young attorney in Glendale, California, that I became involved in my first court appearance against a distributor of pornography. In the forty years since that most unpleasant initial experience I have been engaged in every possible forum in the battle against the production and distribution of pornography. Alas, whether it be in the courtroom, the legislative chamber, the media, or the arena of public opinion, as though watching the twilight turn to darkness over the Great Salt Lake, I have watched the cultural change in our nation that has resulted in the increasing presence of spiritual and moral darkness.
In our courtrooms and legislative chambers, from the most humble city council to the halls of Congress, the basis of our laws has shifted from the biblical morality upon which our nation was created to an acceptance of governing principles derived from eclectic humanism and science. Insofar as the prosecution of the production and distribution of pornography is concerned, we can no longer rely upon reference to biblical morality or even the wisdom of the past. Judges and legislators now pride themselves in their reliance upon so called “replicable science” in order to justify their decisions. Even in our efforts to protect those least able to defend themselves from the predatory efforts of the pornographers, the children and youth, we are told in very specific terms that unless and until we can provide “scientific” evidence of the harmful effects of pornography we cannot expect to prevail.
In our last newsletter we gave some historical documentation as to how this sunset and twilight of the moral foundations of our culture began with the junk science of Alfred Kinsey some fifty-five years ago. The criminally fraudulent and perverse lies presented by Kinsey in the name of science can not withstand any rational or objective scrutiny. However, the “feathers have been tossed to the wind,” and with the benefit of the enormous financial powers of the pornography industry Kinsey’s junk science now dominates courtroom and legislative approaches to obscenity. The pornographers have primarily used the all powerful American media in their manipulation of the American people by the secret combination of those who reap billions of dollars in profits from the sexual exploitation of the innocent.
And so the twilight grows dimmer. For the LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY the questions before us are how long until total darkness will overwhelm any moral values left in our society as a whole, and, AT THIS STAGE OF THE BATTLE, WHAT CAN WE DO TO YET SEEK VICTORY?
The fight against obscenity has two battlegrounds: one, the minds and hearts of individuals; and two, inside the public institutions which have been created by the body politic for their mutual protection. In the battle for the minds and hearts of individuals, families, and communities, THE LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY continues to provide educational tools, testimony of experts and victims, and a variety of other resources to inform, guide, strengthen and protect against the predatory tactics of the pornographers.
In the fight within the courtroom and the legislative chamber WE NEED A NEW FRONT AND THAT FRONT HAS TO BE BASED UPON REPLICABLE SCIENCE. Happily for us the last ten years have produced evolutions in technology that now make it possible for us to develop sound scientific data, capable of withstanding the most critical independent scrutiny, showing the enormous damage to the brain and mind of the individual who has become addicted to pornography.
In pursuit of structuring a very rational and prudent strategy to obtain that scientific data, on August 26th and 27th THE LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY organized and hosted a two day workshop at the University of Utah. We gathered together medical doctors, behavioral scientists, Ph.D level experts in the use of the most modern technologies, and legal experts. Out of those two days of intense discussion came an initial protocol for a research project that will be able to demonstrate and scientifically document for even the most skeptical judge or elected official the actual physical and mental harm that takes place in the human body caused by pornography.
Those who were present left our workshop with a renewed conviction that our battle against the forces of darkness can yet be won. We are not naive enough to think that there will not be opposition, ridicule, and derision of our efforts. Let it come. With perseverance and an intense determination to plan our work and to work our plan the scientific evidence of the addictive and destructive nature of pornography will be documented. We estimate that our research project will require two years and cost between three and four million dollars. Compared with the enormous financial power of the pornography industry that is a minuscule budget of time and talent. But as David slew Goliath with a small smooth stone taken from the bed of a dried up stream, we remain confident that we can win our battle against the Goliath of hedonism with our modern smooth stone of truth and light.
THE MORAL IMPERATIVE REMAINS
Under the current mandates of the United States Supreme Court an essential element of winning in court against the production and distribution of pornography is that the prosecutor must show that “...the obscene material being produced or distributed is ‘patently offensive’ to contemporary community standards.” It will do little good to find scientific evidence of the addictive and destructive nature of pornography if the downward trend in “contemporary community values” continues. This is the battleground for the minds and hearts of honorable people everywhere. Here too the powers of darkness continue to make progress that is cause for great concern.
Several recently published articles bring the issue into an ominous perspective. From the 24th of August 2004 issue of the New York Times in a column written by Edward Wyatt comes the following:
“Every generation has a book or two that sets pulses quickening and generates frantic debate about pornography, community standards and the lowering of the bar for what is acceptable. But the latest flurry of sex books, coming at a time when sexual images dominate advertising, entertainment and the Internet, is clearly finding a wide audience.
A wave of confessionals and self-help guides written by current of former stars of pornographic films is flooding bookstores this year, accompanied by erotic novels, racy sexual-instruction guides, histories of sexual particulars and photographic treatments of the world of pornography.
While many bookstores have long maintained a section devoted to erotica or sexuality, rarely have those books been as prominently positioned as some of the current crop, which have been elbowing their way into display tables at the front of the major chain bookstores.
Bob Wietrak, vice president for merchandising at Barnes & Noble, said that while erotica had been around for years, a big difference now is that it was written by name-brand authors rather than by the ubiquitous Anonymous.
‘What we’re seeing now in novels is that they-re sexy, but they-re very sophisticated,’ Mr. Wietrak said. ‘That sophistication has brought greater acceptance,’ he said, ‘and demand has generated better placement in stores.’”
The word “sophisticated” as used by the corporate vice president of Barnes and Noble is the same term that the major producers and distributors of pornography have been using since the mid-1990's to explain the explosion of the consumption of pornography materials. In the forty years of my own experience I have observed the “sophistication” of the production of pornography advance from the crude 8mm film produced in a garage to the most advanced technology available.
Now consider this commentary about the medium that does so much to seduce the unwary into pornography, so called modern “sophisticated” television. From a column by Fred Reed in The American Conservative comes this insightful analysis of how television is changing American values.
“Denunciations of television have become as routine as breathing: the programming is crass, stupid, propagandistic, so bad that only an idiot would watch it yet everybody does. Actually things are worse. They are much worse.
The content of television is neither merely banal nor merely commercial. This would not matter. Instead it is subliminally didactic, unendingly instructive. It has agendas unrelated to soap. Remember that the advertising and television industries are tightly entwined. Those commercials, seemingly almost invertebrate in their tiresomeness, in fact are the product of decades of manipulative experience by highly intelligent people who have studied the psychology of the audience.
If you want to change the behavior of an audience or a country, if you want to replace their deeply held values with your own, you don’t tell them what to do or what to believe. They might resist...No, you show the things being done - over and over and over. In the beginning you only imply the desired behavior or point of view, leave it in the background so that it is hardly noticed. Over and over and over you imply it. Gradually you make it more explicit. It takes years, but people come to accept what they see, and then to imitate it.
What does (television) promote? Toleration of foul language and a concomitant coarsening of society; hostility between men and women; truculent illiteracy and the values of the black ghetto; the elevation of homosexuality and promiscuity; disdain for religion; use of drugs, interracial sex, destructive feminism, eradication of the remnants of Anglo-European Christian civilization. It is not accidental...American society is being carefully, calculatedly sculpted. A small group of unelected people, having no obvious qualifications of morality or taste, now control the culture of the United States.”
The cash register speaks louder than the pulpit. The American people are putting their money where their hearts are, and their hearts are filled with adulation for the crass, carnal, lustful and devilish values found in books written by “porn stars” and television programs intended to extol their lives and values.
THE MISSION OF THE LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY
The LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY was created to provide leadership in defeating the “Goliath of Hedonism” that has become so prevalent among the American people. Just as David of the Old Testament used “five smooth stones” as his weapons of choice to defeat the Goliath he faced, the LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY gives to its members FIVE SMOOTH STONES by which they can engage in the battle to defeat the Goliath of perversion and death that has arisen out of the darkness of pornography.
We invite you to become a part of this great endeavor by committing yourself to utilize each month one or more of the FIVE SMOOTH STONES provided by the LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY. We know that there are thousands, even tens of thousands, of honorable people in this land who will be willing to participate in this program if they only know about it. Please become a modern David in the battle against the Goliath of our day by arming yourself and sharing the FIVE SMOOTH STONES of THE LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY with friends and family everywhere.
OUR FIVE SMOOTH STONES ARE:
`1. LIGHT A CANDLE each month.
2. Participate in one or more of our ACTION PROGRAMS
3. Become a GUARDIAN OF THE LIGHT
4. Help to HEAL the victims of pornography addiction
5. PRAY for America
1. LIGHT A CANDLE EACH MONTH
To participate in the “Light A Candle” program simply go to the website for the LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY (www.lightedcandlesociety.org). There you will find several options on how you can make a financial donation to the LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY. If you wish your donation can be made automatically with a credit card. The servicing bank has guaranteed that your payment information is encrypted so that your credit card information is kept totally secure and private. If you prefer, you can mail a check each month to the address given below and also found on our website.
2. PARTICIPATE IN AN ACTION PROGRAM
The current action programs of the LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY include:
a. Financing the “Brain/Body”research project studying the nature of pornography addiction.
b. Financing the legal defense of the “Family Flicks” defendants.
c. Filing civil actions in state and federal courts to remove the pornography from cable, satellite, and broadcast television.
d. Filing civil actions in courts to require libraries to use filters on their computers.
e. Persuading advertisers to cease supporting television channels that are pandering pornographic music and conduct to teenagers.
3. BE A GUARDIAN OF THE LIGHT
Volunteer to actively participate with others in your community to distribute materials that are made available by the LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY. Be willing to monitor and strive to remove any source of pornographic materials that may appear in your community. Be prepared to join with others in preserving the light of moral virtue in your community.
4. HELP TO HEAL THE SICK
Many who have become addicted to pornography desperately want to be “healed.” Because of shame and fear they do not know where to find help. There are many worthwhile programs that can “heal” the individual who has become a victim of addiction to pornography. The LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY will recommend and provide access to programs created to “HEAL THE SICK.” Many of these program desperately need volunteers to be a source of strength and encouragement during the healing process.
5. PRAY FOR AMERICA
WE appeal to all Americans to humble themselves in prayer to the Almighty for divine guidance and inspiration to be with our leaders, our educators, our ministers of religion, and our families that “the light of truth” may continue to preserve our nation and its people.
THE LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY
P.O. BOX 721
BOUNTIFUL, UTAH 84011