APRIL 2006 NEWSLETTER

by John L. Harmer

 

On Thursday and Friday, March 29 and 30, the Lighted Candle Society and the Legacy Law Foundation sponsored two events of significant and hopefully historical benefit in the war against obscenity.  On Thursday, March 29th, we held an all day symposium at which we brought together from various locations around the United States recognized experts in several specific areas of judicial prosecution in which a producer or distributor of pornography was the defendant.  With audio microphones and digital video cameras recording the proceedings these experts presented various ways in which government prosecutors around the country could improve the effectiveness of their efforts to indict and convict the producers and distributors of obscene materials.  Former deputy United States Attorney Marcella Cohen Auerbach, one of the panel participants, said at the end of the day, “…I only wish I that what I have heard and learned today could have been available to me when I was prosecuting the ‘MIPORN’ case in Florida.”  All of the other experts on the panel voiced similar plaudits for the personal benefit that they experienced in having been present during the panel presentations and deliberations.

This event was made possible through the generous assistance of the Eccles Foundation, the Sutherland Institute, the Foundation For the American West, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation, and the generous contribution of Dr. and Mrs. Kim Bertin.

The Lighted Candle Society is now in the process of editing the proceedings in order to print a handbook for prosecutors that will be distributed to various law enforcement offices throughout the country. 

Of equal significance was the all day conference sponsored by the Legacy Law Foundation, held on Friday, March 31st.  Topics presented by various nationally respected experts included “Decency and Community Standards, Education and Parental Rights, Marriage and Family law, Religious Liberties, and the Law and Bioethics.  These presentations were also video recorded and will be made available through the offices of The Lighted Candle Society. Because of the enthusiastic reception by those who attended these two events both organizations anticipate presenting similar conferences next year.

 

 

STAND UP, STEP FORWARD, AND SPEAK OUT

One of the most frustrating factors to those who are attempting to stem the tide of obscenity in our culture is the fact that so few citizens will have the courage or make the effort to “stand up, step forward, and speak out” against offensive materials being presented by commercial enterprises.  In many a gathering of local prosecutors that this author has attended, when the question was asked, “In the past year, how many of you have had anyone in your community contact you with a complaint about a sexually explicit product or presentation within your community?” seldom did more than two or three hands get raised in a room of thirty to fifty elected county or District Attorneys.  Thus, we appreciated receiving from one of our Lighted Candle Society members a copy of this recent letter sent to Delta Airlines.

            “On Wednesday, April 5th, I flew Delta from SFO to TPA.  The in-flight movie, “Rumor Has It,” was in exceptionally poor taste.  Even the promotional trailer was needlessly offensive.  Loudly broadcast throughout the aircraft was the story line:  the same man slept with both the protagonist’s mother and grandmother.  The movie begins with a couple trying to have sex in an aircraft lavatory.  (Do you really want to promote that sort of behavior?)  I regularly take my family, including four children, on Delta flights.  For Delta to expose them to such material is deeply disturbing to me as a parent.  For that matter, I don’t want to be exposed to it myself.  

            “To say that one need not watch the movie evades the issue; the video broadcast is inescapable.  Even without headphones, the audio is inescapable too;  the sound issues from the headphone sockets in vacant seats and from the headphones of passengers who have left their seats.  As a matter of policy Delta should only broadcast ‘G’ or “PG’ rated movies…”

 

It is highly probable that of the thousands of passengers who saw that same motion picture on Delta Airlines, the writer of the above letter was the only one to take the time and effort to voice his objection to the demeaning and offensive content of that motion picture.  Why is it that in a society that enjoys the blessings of freedom and dignity because of the courage of our founding fathers so few have the courage to “stand up, step forward, and speak out?”  Where would we be as a people today if that same reticence to oppose evil and extol virtue had been the character of our founding fathers?

On Wednesday, May 3rd, the Lighted Candle Society will honor two women, Dr. Judith Reisman, Ph.D, and Mrs. JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton, because they have the courage and commitment to “stand up, step forward, and speak out.”

 

 

 

 

PLAN TO ATTEND THE LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY

“GUARDIAN OF THE LIGHT” AWARD DINNER

WEDNESDAY 3 MAY, 2006

Each year the Lighted Candle Society sponsors a fund raising event at which we honor one or two individuals who have been exemplary in their commitment to the cause of virtue and decency.  The funds that come from this event are used by the Lighted Candle Society to make possible such efforts as the symposium described above.  We desperately need this funding to support our various litigation strategies as well as the research and publication of materials that we believe are effective in preventing people, especially the youth, from becoming entrapped by the addictive nature of pornography.

The production and distribution of pornography is the most profitable business in America.  The best authoritative estimates are that last year the pornography industry grossed between fourteen and sixteen billion dollars in the United States.  World-wide that number is five times higher.  With such enormous financial resources at their command those who produce and distribute pornography are contemptuous of an entity so obscure as the Lighted Candle Society.

In ancient history a character named Goliath was equally contemptuous of a shepherd boy who confronted the giant’s size, power, and weapons with nothing other than a leather sling and “five smooth stones.”  The outcome of that miss-match is well known.  We believe that the Lighted Candle Society is capable of an equally miraculous victory over those who produce and distribute pornography. Like that shepherd boy, we must at least have something in hand with which to fight the giant pornography industry.

Approximately fourteen days remain before our event on May 3rd.  As of the writing of this newsletter, less than one half of the available tickets have been sold.  For one couple to attend the event would require a financial sacrifice of $300.  That is equal to $12.50 a month each for one year.  See the attached flier for details. It is discouraging to note that in the city of Salt Lake seventeen thousand tickets were sold for a rock concert in which many obscenities were verbalized. In that same city less than three hundred people are willing to make the same commitment to support our effort to research and publish the truth about the dangers to individuals and society of the pornographer’s wares.

 

 

 

“MY SPACE – THE NEWEST PORNOGRAPHY TRAP.”

Throughout the past several decades the pornography industry has been ever alert as to how to use the latest technology to market their perversions.  Their objective has always been to entrap teenagers into an addiction to pornography.  Thus, the “pay per view” cable television, the videocassette, the DVD, and the Internet have all become the means by which the pornographers have been able to market it directly into the home.

 

The latest move by the pornography industry has been to the cell phone.  A news article appearing in the Wall Street Journal of Tuesday, April 4th, 2006,  carried the following information that should cause serious concern to parents and ecclesiastical leaders:

“…the social networking sites (on the Internet) MySpace and Facebook, are going mobile.  Tens of millions of teenagers spend countless hours logging on to such sites, updating their profiles, posting pictures, writing blogs and exchanging messages…In February Facebook sites had 10.5 million unique visitors, compared to 37.3 million visitors to rival Myspace.”

 

The article explains how that both of these entities have now entered into contracts to provide their services, complete with full color photos, for cell phone users.  Young people all over the country are already using their cell phones to access pornography.  With the addition of these two Internet entities to the cell phone services everyone with a cell phone that has visual as well as digital technology will be able to view everything that is available on the Internet.

 

The Lighted Candle Society did a survey of the MySpace sites.  Of one hundred MySpace sites chosen at random, sites established by and for teenagers, more than one in five contained obscenity.  The most prevalent were color photos of close up shots of oral-genital sex.  There were sites soliciting young women to appear in “adult” websites “…in an industry where you can have fun and make excellent money.” (emphasis added)

 

WE URGE PARENTS WHO ARE PROVIDING THEIR CHILDREN WITH CELL PHONES TO BE CONSCIOUS OF THIS LATEST OPPORTUNITY FOR THE PORNOGRAPHY INDUSTRY TO ENTRAP YOUR CHILDREN INTO ADDICTION.   IT IS INEVITABLE THAT YOUR CHILDREN WILL SEE PORNOGRAPHY.  THEIR ONLY SAFETY WILL BE IF THEIR PARENTS HAVE TAUGHT THEM TO RECOIL AT PORNOGRAPHY AS THEY WOULD A COILED RATTLESNAKE.

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You can “light a candle” by visiting our web site at www.lightedcandlesociety.org.  There you can learn how you can join in the battle to reverse the tide of pornography.  If you wish to participate in our 3 May 2006 GUARDIAN OF THE LIGHT dinner please contact us at 801 532-4466, or complete the lower portion of the flier and mail to us at 109 East South Temple Street, Suite 6E, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111. (For email recipients you may send us an email with you credit card information including the  3  or 4 digit security number.)