Anti-Porn Profiteers: What They’re Selling

With a sexy fetish boot on the cover that teases you with kinky sex imagery, Gail Dines’ new book “Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality” looks primed to validate everyone’s wildest fears about pornography. Dines prefers to shock people into trusting her opinions and beliefs about porn and human sexual relationships at face value, and so far it seems to be working. Remember: her talk has been required in college feminism courses, and the students are not prepared for the graphic imagery they are shown.

And since “Pornland” got a Fox News-style feature in Guardian UK (an article that was run without alternate viewpoints), we can expect the political astroturfing she’s laying down to pave the way for plenty of book sales. The Guardian is, in fact, presenting her book as if it is an accurate historical reference. If Dines has a low-scale contract, we can guess that she got between $10-25K as an advance on sales, and when those are met that she’s likely to get between 7-9% in royalties off the sale price for print and 25% for digital sales. Add to that Dines’ $5K a pop speaking fee, and a cottage industry is fluffed.

But traumatizing people into buying your products isn’t just for anti-porn feminists. This year has also seen quite a lot of “female porn addict” hysteria. Organizations such as Dirty Girls Ministries (a female-targeted version of XXX Church profiled May 2010 in the New York Times) offer to heal so-called female porn addicts. It’s interesting to note that like Dirty Girls, the same orgs who are pushing the female porn addiction scare are simultaneously crusading against masturbation. This should raise a lot of red flags at the very least in terms of credibility, especially before such an organization gets prime endorsement in the NYT. But what caught my eye was seeing that Dirty Girls Ministries is making a tidy profit off of the sexual disorder epidemic they’ve helped to manufacture.

Each of the high-profile anti-pornography organizations and pundits are profiteering quite conveniently off of “pornography’s victims.” It’s a never ending revenue source for shame merchants: curing masturbation has been lucrative for centuries as patients can never actually be “cured,” and porn’s so-called victims will exist as long as humans have the capacity for sexual fantasy. So when these victims are viewers that are shamed and exploited by the anti-porn message and shock tactics, it’s worth it for everyone to take a closer look at how anti-porn organizations are profiting from fear.

Make no mistake, I’m a big fan of people making money. It’s business. But what are these FUD-based (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) businesses, exactly? Most interesting is to see that the sources anti-porn organizations cite as basis for scientific research and proofs for porn’s harms are selling “cures” and other products as well:

Profiteer: Dirty Girls Ministries (dirtygirlsministries.com) / XXX Church (xxxchurch.com)
Products: Their own porn and masturbation cures and products. X3WATCH “accountability software,” Safe Eyes filtering software, X3PURE 30-day online porn addiction cure. Also L.I.F.E. Minsitries’ Workbooks.
FUD: Cures women and men of “porn addiction,” masturbation and erotic fantasy.
Cost: X3WATCH app: (iPhone $1.99/Android $4.99), Safe Eyes ($49), X3PURE ($99 each course). L.I.F.E. Workbook for Women ($24.95), Workbook for Couples ($40.95), Teacher’s Workbook ($68.95).
Additional: Claim for Dirty Girls that “X3 is downloaded 500 times a day” and 100 workshops sold a month.

Profiteer: Candeocan (candeocan.com)
Product: Porn and masturbation cures. Candeocan is the “brain science” website and porn study resource cited by “Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media,” Christian anti-porn organization “Pink Cross Foundation” (Shelley Lubben), “Porn Harms” (Patrick Trueman), and “Stop Porn Culture” (Gail Dines).
FUD: Self-generated papers such as “The Science Behind Pornography Addiction” “The Brain Science Behind Internet Pornography Addiction” “How Adult Pornography Contributes to Sexual Exploitation of Children.” Cures for masturbation and porn addiction.
Cost: $47 a month with 6-month minimum (recommended).
Additional: Candeocan recently launched Candeocan Weight Loss (candeoweightloss.com).

Profiteer: The Social Costs of Pornography (socialcostsofpornography.org)
Product: Manufactured research. Self-published book “The Social Costs of Pornography: A Statement of Findings and Recommendations” and self-published DVD “The Social Costs of Pornography: A Consultation.”
FUD: Pornography addiction is the same as heroin addiction (actual statement). Anti-porn psychologists.
Cost: Book $5; DVD $9.95.
Additional: Sponsored by The Witherspoon Institute (seminars, courses and publications on faith-based morality, religion and the Constitution) and The Social Trends Institute (STI is a “research center” with publications such as “Embryo: A Defense of Human Life”).

Profiteer: Pink Cross Foundation (thepinkcross.org)
Product: Shelley Lubben’s 501(c)3 nonprofit to save porn performers from their work.
FUD: Premise that porn creates and actively promotes disease, sexual abuse, addiction, secondary effects such as rape.
Cost: 501(c)(3) that solicits donations.
Additional: On examination of Pink Cross’ 2009 tax return, of $125K in donations only $13K went to porn star help and “outreach” (only non-admin category).

Profiteer: Enough Is Enough / Donna Rice Hughes (enough.org)
Product: Instructional materials on saving children from pornography. Internet Safety 101 Program.
FUD: Pornography creation and use creates child rapists and facilitates child predators.
Cost: Internet Safety 101 Program Kit ($39.95), DVD Teaching Series ($19.95), DVD Teaching Series Booklet ($24.95), Facilitator’s Edition ($69.95), Workbook & Resource Guide ($24.95), Booklet Multi-Pack ($29.95)
Additional: Solicits donations to protect the children, solicits vehicle donation, solicits donations from eBay sales.

* “Not For Sale” is listed as an anti-porn and “anti-slavery” organization endorsed by Porn Harms. Not For Sale has a “Freedom Store” where visitors can buy everything from bath and body products to Converse high-tops. Patrick Trueman’s “Porn Harms” website solicits PayPal donations. L.I.F.E. Minsitries “globalized God’s army to battle sexual addiction” with a complete store.

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