Man creates a world according to his own image and it is pleasurable, captivating, seductive, but addictive. This behavior has disastrous consequences for the individual, family and society at large. The prevalence of pornography addiction and “cyber-love” are truly alarming and underestimated because of their “private” character. Corrupted worldview, perverted lust, social isolation, addictive cyber-sex are just different faces of the same problem, which can lead to disrupted families, social handicaps and personal dissatisfaction. This article is meant to bring a fresh perspective on pornography addiction and to offer an Orthodox Perspective on recovery options.
- 1 PREVELANCE
- 2 PORNOGRAPHY - A FAMILY ISSUE
- 3 ORTHODOX PERSPECTIVE ON RECOVERY
- 3.1 Hitting the Rock Buttom
- 3.2 Shame and betryal
- 3.3 The Call to Genuine Repentance
- 3.4 Recovery Through Couple Counseling
- 3.5 The Journey to Recovery
- 3.6 Prayer Life and Confession
- 4 CONCLUSIONS
Some relevant Numbers
According to the Internet Filter Review website, “Porn revenue is larger than all combined revenues of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises.” The same source cites that out of the total search requests made in one day, 25 percent of them are pornographic in nature . According to Robert Weiss, 60 percent of all the visits on the Internet involve a sexual purpose. Mike Genung is an ex-sex addict, who now maintains a website aimed against pornography and who presents detailed and yet disturbing pornography statistics. With 12 billion a year in United States and 57 billion worldwide, the porn industry is one of the leading industries and by far the most profitable industry considering the balance between initial investment and revenue. In 2000, 60 percent of all websites were sexual in nature and these numbers grew proportionally with the Internet expansion.
Currently, according to Family Safe Media, the average age of first Internet exposure to pornography is 11 years old! Most of the 90 percent of 8-16 year olds having viewed porn online was while doing homework, which leads to another painful statistic: the largest consumer of Internet pornography id the 12-17 age groups.
How did we end up here?
In his Harvard address, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn offers a critical and analytical perspective on today’s Western civilization and he traces its evolution (or rather regress) to the Renaissance period, which represents the birth of rationalistic humanism or humanistic autonomy . By removing any sense of responsibility toward God, the development of society became more and more materialistic and anthropocentric. “Freedom was given to the individual conditionally, in the assumption of his constant religious responsibility .”(Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. “A World Split Apart” P.4) Without this, the conscience of society is numbed by the spiritual mediocrity and unable to respond to human decadence. In this kind of society, we will find people like Anthony D’Amato, famous legal theorist, who praises pornography for its educational role in society and claims that access to pornography caused a significant decrease in the number of rapes in the United States (D’Amato, Anthony. “Porn Up, Rape Down”) (if only for a second, you are tempted to believe it, I recommend you to read: “Dangerous Relationships: Pornography, misogyny and rape” by Russell, D.E.H 1998, in which he proves that violent pornography often promotes and eroticizes rape as a sexual act that is enjoyed and/or desired by females ).
In this kind of society, 38 percent of all adults and 70 percent of non-religious adults think that pornography is “morally acceptable .”  The consequences are inevitable. Replying to the question: “How many porn addicts are in the Church,” Chuck Swindoll said: “The most recent studies available suggest that one out of every two people-that's 50 percent of the people sitting in our pews, are looking at and/or could be addicted to Internet pornography… Truth be told, that statistic could be even higher… .” Now, this is alarming!