THE LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
by John Harmer, Chairman
HOW WE GOT HERE!
THE SECRET COMBINATION OF THE MOTION PICTURE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION AND THE SEX INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
Each time that I appear before an audience regarding issues involving pornography I am invariably asked the question, “How did we get here?” That is to say, what were the cultural tides that produced this inundation of our society with obscenity? The current Sundance Film Festival in Utah has generated several news stories that have also resulted in my being asked that same question. One of those news stories has to do with a documentary being shown at Sundance involving the motion picture rating system. The other has to do with a film entitled Hounddog, in which among other obscenities, the rape of a twelve year old girl (portrayed by a twelve year old actress) is vividly presented.
One of the few advantages of advanced age is the benefit of the “perspective” that it provides. Having lived through four decades of confrontation with those that produce and distribute pornography I have seen at first hand how various elements of corporate America have been active participants in the desensitizing process that has brought us to the brink of a saturation of cultural obscenity.
Both of the items noted above, the duplicity and hypocrisy of the motion picture rating system and the production and distribution of a motion picture in which an actress not yet twelve years of age is shown nude, or at least very scantily clad, and her face is shown in close-up during a rape scene are the result of decades of a well orchestrated strategy by the Motion Picture Producers Association of America (MPAA). I have been a personal participant in contending with the MPAA for forty years.
In 1968, as a member of the California State Senate, I introduced legislation (SB 372) that would create an entity in the state government to be known as “The California Motion Picture Review Board.” This state entity would have the responsibility of objectively rating motion pictures on the basis of their suitability for family viewing.
The MPAA moved quickly to mobilize every necessary effort to defeat the proposed legislation. The bill passed from the state Senate to the other house of the Legislature, the Assembly. At that point the MPAA brought in their most powerful lobbyists along with bags of money. When it appeared that the proposed legislation would also pass the other house of the legislature the MPAA came forward and proposed that if the legislature would defeat my bill they (the MPAA) would create such an entity within the industry. The industry would pay all of the costs associated with the rating system.
It did not require any great depth of intellect to see the obvious – the fox was offering to guard the henhouse at no expense to the owner of the chickens. I warned my colleagues of what would obviously take place. The MPAA would simply use and distort the rating system for their own benefit. Over the next four decades that is exactly what happened. The MPAA has consistently manipulated the rating system as a means of assisting in the marketing of motion pictures. There is not now, and there has never been, any effort by the review board of the MPAA to protect children and youth from exposure to motion pictures that were unsuitable for young impressionable minds. Rather the rating system has been used exclusively to enhance the marketing of motion pictures by use of the rating assigned to the motion picture. Producers and script writers have been specifically instructed to include certain scenes in a motion picture that would justify a rating that would tweak the audience’s interest in the prurient content of the picture.
That brings us then to the issue of a motion picture which uses an actress twelve years of age to be the central figure in a story of sexual perversion and the rape by a pedophile of a twelve year old girl. We set aside for now any comments about the values and mind set of a parent who would allow their child to be cast into such a role. That child actress will have been emotionally traumatized and raped no matter how skillfully the director may arrange for the scene to be portrayed. Law enforcement officials who deal with the sexual abuse of children can only shake their heads in dismay at the realization of the literal rape that will inevitably take place in the lives of thousands of young girls as a result of a film of this type being distributed.
For years the pornography element of the motion picture industry has produced pedophilia. These films, were produced using actresses that the producers insisted were of a legal age to consent to participating in the production of such a motion picture, but whose facial and physical appearance made them seem much younger. On many occasions, when an individual accused of raping a child has been arrested copies of these films that were in the possession of the accused have been confiscated by law enforcement officials as evidence of the pre-meditated nature of the crime.
For years the MPAA have been consistently providing legal support for the pornographers through the ACLU so that the pornographers could continue producing motion pictures of this type. As those pornographic motion pictures gained a broader and broader audience the resulting desensitization of our society then allowed the “mainstream” members of the MPAA to be producing motion pictures that were more and more sexually explicit in their content.
As mentioned above, I am often asked to explain how and why our society has arrived at such a state of pervasive hedonism. These inquiries are often prompted because people have become weary of the corrupt values and tolerance for the vulgar and carnal in our media. A similar version of that same inquiry is the frequent question, “…why can’t we just outlaw pornography and obscenity?” These questions reveal a sense of frustration and enormous anxiety regarding the “griminess” of our culture as revealed in everything from highway billboards to the presumably most “sophisticated” publications.
From my own participation in matters of public interest I can cite at least four “mega-trends” that have culminated in the sleaze that passes for entertainment and commentary in our media.
First, during the past century in the religious and educational institutions of America, the authority of biblical values has been replaced by the authority of the revisionist philosophers such as William James and John Dewey. This has been a gradual but overwhelming transition that has thoroughly permeated our schools and our churches. From the atheistic Sigmund Freud to the agnostic John Dewey, any reliance upon revealed religion as a basis for human conduct was maligned, ridiculed, denigrated, and rejected.
Second, the discarding by the United States Supreme Court of moral values and centuries of legal tradition as the foundation for judicial decisions. The Supreme Court has eliminated the authority of God and religion as the standard for human behavior. So-called “science” has become the ultimate authority in our legal system. Much of the authority of that “science” that is repeatedly used in courts of law and in the deliberations of state legislatures and the national congress has come from the fabricated research of an otherwise deservedly obscure professor at the University of Indiana, Alfred Kinsey
Third, the fraudulent junk science of Alfred Kinsey provided a presumably scientific justification for unrestrained response to carnal appetites and passions. Kinsey’s fabricated research became the justification for the emergence of disciples who reaped enormous financial profits by exploiting the allure of lustful conduct. Just as Lenin and Trotsky provided the absurd concepts of Karl Marx with presumably justifiable conduct by government, so the advocacy by the slick magazine publishers of Kinsey’s perverted ideas of human sexual behavior have became the daily fare in the culture of western societies.
Finally, the emergence in America of the Sex Industrial Complex. This secret combination of enormously powerful business and financial entities have engaged in a conspiracy of mutual protection and deception. The Sex Industrial Complex has co-opted a variety of technologies which have made it possible to produce and then distribute directly into the home every conceivable graphic obscenity. The Motion Picture Producers Association of America has been and is now one of the principle participants in the Sex Industrial Complex. Other participants include such “respectable” entities as Rupert Murdock’s Newscorp, the major hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton, Comcast, AT&T, Time-Warner, the slick magazine publishers, the largest most powerful elements of the music industry, the video-game manufacturers, some of the largest retailers in the country, and the television and cable television producers and distributors.
It is the MPAA and the television industry who makes certain that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has all of the financial resources necessary to consistently defend in the courts and in the legislative chambers the producers and distributors of pornography. The ACLU is funded by the Sex Industrial Complex in order to allow them (the SIC) to hide the fact that it is they who are financing the legal defense for the pornographers. The Sex Industrial Complex exists for one reason-the enormous financial profits to be earned through the increasing addiction to sexually explicit materials.
These are serious allegations but they are based on fact and on significant research. The financial power of the Sex Industrial Complex allows them to dominate the media, the courts, and the legislative bodies who are supposed to be protecting the body politic from the corruptive influence of pornography.
Against these vast financial resources an entity like The Lighted Candle Society is of no apparent consequence. Yet, it is only through the efforts of the Lighted Candle Society and similar organizations that the light of truth regarding these matters will ultimately be allowed to prevail. We are literally in a battle for the survival of the Republic. In addition to the enormous financial returns that the Sex Industrial Complex obtains from pornography they have one other highly motivating passion for what they are doing to America. That passion is the lust for power. Addiction to pornography gives the producers and distributors of pornography enormous power. They obtain power over the individual addict. Their financial resources gives them power over communities, over other institutions, (particularly over research carried on in academic institutions) and even over judges and our government itself. When that power reaches a critical mass it will be able to overthrow the constitutional protections that our founding fathers created with the creation of our Republic.
IF THE LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY IS TO CONTINUE IN ITS EFFORTS WE MUST EXPAND OUR BASE OF SUPPORT. WE STILL HAVE TOO FEW WHO ARE WILLING TO STEP FORWARD AND PROVIDE THE RESOURCES WE NEED FOR THE WORK THAT MUST BE DONE. Following are some of the ways in which everyone who cares for the future of our society and our nation can help:
1. On Tuesday, May 8th, The Lighted Candle Society will sponsor its annual award dinner. The specific information regarding that event will be printed in next month’s newsletter. We need to sell a thousand tickets for that dinner.
2. Our “Light A Candle” program of making a monthly donation to the Lighted Candle Society is available for even the most modest size donation. Please go to our web site at www.lightedcandlesociety.org for information on how to participate in that program.
3. Our previously announced new book, which was to have been entitled “The War We Will Win,” is now at the printers. We have changed the title to read The Sex Industrial Complex, America’s Secret Combination. The book summarizes the several years of intense research made by myself and others with regard to the emerging scientific data of the actual structural harm that pornography does to the human brain and how the addictive nature of pornography takes place.
You can do an enormous service for the work of The Lighted Candle Society by purchasing copies of the book to distribute to individuals who need to know of The Lighted Candle Society and the challenge of pornography to the survival of our culture and our Republic. The book can be ordered through our web site.
THE LIGHTED CANDLE SOCIETY
109 E. SOUTH TEMPLE STREET, SUITE 6E
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 84111.