LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY NEWSLETTER

DECEMBER 2005

                       

by JOHN L. HARMER, CHAIRMAN

 

THE PRIORITIES FOR 2006

 

SPECIAL REQUEST:

In order to help conserve our financial resources we would like to begin distributing our monthly newsletter by e-mail.  If you are willing and able to receive our newsletter by e-mail please send us your e-mail address at newsletterlcs@aol.com. The Lighted Candle Society will encrypt and protect these e-mail addresses and hold them completely private in our files.

 

When the Lighted Candle Society was organized we selected the metaphor of the “five smooth stones” as the priorities by which we would focus our activities.  This metaphor is taken from the Old Testament account of David selecting “five smooth stones” with which to fight against the giant Goliath.  Our “five smooth stones” for the Lighted Candle Society are:      
PREVENTION
ACTION PROGRAMS
RESEARCH
GUARDING THE LIGHT
and HEALING. 
During the past year all of our activities were intended to magnify one of these priorities.  In this newsletter we begin the coming year by sharing with you whose financial support has sustained the Lighted Candle Society our priorities for the years 2006.

PREVENTION

We will continue our past activities of publishing and distributing high quality professional research regarding the consequences of pornography in the lives of individuals, families, and communities.  In a subsequent newsletter we present some information provided to us by attorney Robert Alsop regarding a long range consequence of pornography that we have not heretofore considered.  We will upgrade the content of our web site so that those who are searching for this information can have access to our research.

ACTION PROGRAMS

On Thursday, March 30th, 2006, the Lighted Candle Society will conduct a symposium on the subject of “Community Standards.”  This symposium will bring together a cadre of nationally recognized experts who have been selected because of their professional experience in dealing with this issue.  (See the article on “Community Standards” in this newsletter.  We have solicited from our past and present donors the sum of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) which will be used to organize and conduct this symposium.  The proceedings will be video taped.  When the symposium is completed the video and audio will be edited, printed and provided to prosecutors, community leaders, government officials, and appropriate organizations for their use in the battle against the production and distribution of pornography. 

We also are continuing our preparation to engage in direct litigation with the producers and distributors of pornography over pay per view cable television.

RESEARCH

For the past two years we have struggled with the effort to obtain the financing necessary to conduct research on the physical and biological effects of pornography on the brain.  The critical factor for the ability to accomplish this research is obtaining the financial resources to utilize functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery (fMRI).  We have previously invested over thirty thousand dollars ($30,000.00) in creating the protocol for this study.  In the coming year we intend to continue the effort to obtain the financing necessary to conduct the study and to recruit the most competent professionals in the country to conduct the study.  (See our commentary on page 4 of this newsletter.)

GUARDING THE LIGHT

During the year 2005 we actively participated in the creation of the LEGACY LAW FOUNDATION.  This organization is developing a nationwide network of attorneys who will donate their time and talents to assist individuals, government officials, and volunteer organizations in dealing with all varieties of moral issues.  We have been gratified at the way in which outstanding attorneys from various parts of the country have come forward to commit themselves to participating with the Lighted Candle Society and the Legacy Law Foundation.  We now have half a dozen situations throughout the country where critical situations involving the protection of the moral climate of the community are being materially strengthened by the participation of these attorneys.

In 2006 we anticipate significantly expanding this network and the contribution that it is making to the preservation of the moral heritage of our communities.

HEALING

The Lighted Candle Society has been carefully reviewing the programs prepared by other individuals and organizations that can be used to “heal” the individual, spouse, and family that have been devastated by the intrusion of pornography into their lives.  We in turn have endorsed some of these organizations and have listed them on our web site.

WHY A SYMPOSIUM REGARDING“COMMUNITY STANDARDS?”

In a court trial against the production or distribution of obscene materials the prosecution must meet a burden of proof that comes from a decision of the United States Supreme Court called Miller vs. California,. (413 US 15, 24-25)  The “Miller Test” created by the Supreme Court has three parts, all of which a prosecutor must successfully establish in order to obtain a conviction.  The second of the three tests set forth in the Miller case reads as follows:

            “Whether the average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, would find that the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct…”

Because of this requirement a group of professional “expert witnesses” have been recruited by the defense attorneys for the pornography industry.  These individuals are primarily the progeny of the junk science programs created from the work of Dr. Alfred Kinsey at the University of Indiana.  Dr. Kinsey’s supposed scientific research has been undisputedly proven to have been fabricated.  Out of it however, have come curriculum programs on sex education in a number of colleges and universities throughout the country.  The graduates of these programs have infiltrated the public school system, and amazingly enough, a number of parochial school programs as well.  Some of these individuals also have “divinity” degrees, many of them from correspondence schools that sell the degree to anyone who will spend a few dollars and a few months to take a correspondence course.

When a local District Attorney attempts to deal with the prosecution of a producer or distributor of pornography they must meet the “Miller Test” in order to obtain a conviction.  In presenting evidence on the “community standards” requirement of the “Miller Test” the defense attorneys will bring in a variety of these “expert” witnesses, most of whom have never before been in the community where the trial is taking place.  The prosecution often finds it very difficult to  effectively refute these “pseudo-sexperts” with local academics of legitimate credentials.

On March 30th, 2006, the Lighted Candle Society will host in Salt Lake City a symposium of nationally recognized legal experts on the issue of the “community standards” requirement in the Miller case.  These experts are being brought together for the purpose of creating a resource manual that will assist local prosecutors, community leaders, and government officials in understanding the way in which community standards are created, quantified, and demonstrated in a court of law.

Because of the critical necessity that the participants be able to interact with one another the symposium will not be open to the general public.  Individuals who feel that they have an important professional or official purpose in being an observer at the symposium are invited to submit a request to the Lighted Candle Society for that purpose.

WHY AN FMRI STUDY OF THE BRAIN?

The Supreme Court has stated in very specific terms that any litigation to prosecute the production and distribution of pornography MUST BE BASED ON SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE.  The court has rejected the use of “moral values” as the basis for allowing local communities to control the presence of pornography.  In the past ten years since the scientific technology known as “functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery” has become available a number of studies of the brain have confirmed that various stimuli will actually change the way in which the brain works.  Several of these studies have focused on the frequent viewing of violent computer games as a precursor to violent behavior by the consumer.   No one in the academic community has been willing to do such a study of the effect on the brain of the pornography addict through frequent exposure to pornography.

 

The results of a new study regarding violent video games has just been announced.  Psychologist Bruce Bartholow from the University of Missouri-Columbia and colleagues have found that people who play violent video games show “diminished  brain responses to images of real-life violence.”   “People who play a lot of violent video games didn’t see them (real-life images of violent scenes) as much different from neutral (non-violent) scenes,” said Dr. Bartholow.  “They become desensitized.”

Dr. Craig Anderson, of Iowa State University, who has studied the effect of viewing violent video games said, “These brain studies corroborate the many behavioural and cognitive studies showing that violent video games lead to increases in aggression.”

 

For many years clinical psychologists and psychiatrists have testified in court that the addiction to pornography has been the primary causative factor in the commission of criminal acts of abuse, including rape and murder.  Their testimony has come from statistical correlation of numerous incidents involving such behavior by pornography addicts.

 

Only when a study specifically committed to measuring the effect of pornography on the brain has been successfully completed will we be able to go into court and hold the producers and distributors of pornography criminally liable for the damage their products have done to the addicted consumer.  Since no one else will undertake that effort, THE LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY IS COMMITTED TO DO SO.