Saturday, July 10, 2010

Charity Thinketh No Evil: Pornography vs. Nudity

In my New Year's Resolution post from last weekend (Charity Thinketh No Evil: A Totally New Thought For Me), I wrote about a new thought that had never hit me previously. It was that:

Perhaps, just as sound might not exist without the ability to hear, wickedness and immorality might not exist without the ability to harm.

In other words, perhaps "thinketh no evil" might be translated more clearly as "thinketh nothing that would harm others if actually done to them"


I want to focus today first on the concept of harm as it relates to thoughts, then turn to actual examples of thought types that constitute "thinking evil" as it relates to harm.

The first thing that jumps to mind is the need to reiterate that causing harm can be done both to others and to self. Thus, "thinking evil" can apply to thoughts that would harm others if put into action, but it also can apply to thoughts that would harm one's self. The most obvious danger in considering this line of thought is that establishing what constitutes "harm" is a subjective exercise. The clearest example of this for a blog focused on religion, spirituality and righteousness is the fact that thoughts about how to preach the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ as understood within the LDS Church would not be considered harmful in any way to a member of that church (or to many people who are members of other churches or religions) - but it would be considered of utmost harm by those who believe Mormons are destined for Hell. Thus, establishing exactly what constitutes harm to others and, therefore, thinking evil is, by nature, not an objective pursuit.

That does not relieve me, however, of the need to attempt to consider the question. If, as Paul asserts, charity includes thinking no evil, then it is critical to attempt to understand what he meant by that statement - and, if harm is tied intrinsically into that prohibition, how to define harm is a central issue. I turn, therefore, to the dictionary again to start.

"Harm" is defined best for this discussion as:

injury; damage; injustice; violation; negative distortion; degradation; abuse


So, "thinking evil" would constitute actively considering ways to injure, do damage, cause injustice, violate, distort negatively, degrade or abuse.

As I contemplated these examples, the first thing that registered was something I had not considered in the context of charity - at least not that charity is the primary principle being "violated" by it. That thing is pornography. I do not want to go into explicit detail in this post, but I do want to explain why that issue came to mind immediately - with a careful distinction between nudity and pornography.

1) I am bothered almost as much by the idea that all nudity is pornography as I am by pornography itself - and the thought process that led me to consider pornographic thoughts as something that is counter to charity led me also to make the clear distinction I mentioned above.

Nudity, in and of itself, is natural. It can be beautiful, although it certainly is not so in every instance. Most importantly for this discussion, however, there is nothing harmful (injurious or damaging) in simple nudity. It is what we do with nudity that makes it harmful - how we think about it with relation to others, particularly, that leads away from charity and toward harm.

2) Pornography can be defined to encompass various presentation methods, but I want to focus this post on the type of presentation method that is harmful in nature.

There are obvious examples of physically harmful presentations, and thinking actively of them probably constitutes the worst violation of charity with regard to this issue, but I believe there are other areas where harm is both real and profound. As I have spoken with people who view pornography of various kinds, I have been struck by how much of what they view is degrading, abusive, injurious, damaging, etc. to their perception of the type of people who are the objects of the actions being portrayed. In other words, many people start to view the people they see in pornographic presentations in the same way those people are portrayed therein.

Objectification is the most insidious result I hear described. Thinking of these presentations literally advances objectification as an acceptable, natural practice - and objectification (the act of impersonalizing people in order to use them for a selfish purpose) is perhaps the worst example of harm that can be done to human beings. This is true especially if one considers humans to be children of God. Removing that divine nature and creating mere things to be manipulated is the height of harm when viewed from a spiritual perspective.

Some people might say that there is no harm done if the people involved are consenting adults, but that argument ignores completely the effect of internalizing some people as those who act and other people as those who are acted upon. It also ignores the central message of Paul's focus on "thinking no evil" - in this case, not a presentation of nudity but a presentation of harmful practices and ideas and perspectives.

In summary, the key, it appears to me, with regard to this aspect of charity is that one's thoughts remain free from those images that, if acted upon, would harm someone - whether someone else or one's own self. Would those thoughts, if acted upon, cause harm in any way? Would they objectify in any way? Would they damage someone's perception of herself or himself as a child of God - of someone of infinite worth? If I allowed myself to do so, I could think of images that would do so; I can think of many images, however, that would not do so - that would not be pornographic or evil in that way.

Frankly, the inclusion of nudity, in and of itself, really has nothing to do with the difference between the two - and I believe, for this post, that is an important conclusion to make clear.

34 comments:

R. Gary said...

Papa D, your post reminded me of this warning:

"Young women, please understand that if you dress immodestly, you are magnifying this problem by becoming pornography to some of the men who see you." (Dallin H. Oaks, “Pornography,” Ensign, May 2005, p.87.)

Are you also "bothered" by the idea that public immodesty is pornography?

Papa D said...

R. Gary, I am bothered by the way that the quote has been misinterpreted and misapplied by many members.

Elder Oaks never said that all young women who dress immodestly actually are pornography - and he never defined "immodestly" in that quote. What he said goes well with what I've said in this post - since he said they "become" porn to SOME men who see them. The DIRECT result of that wording is that those exact same young women do NOT "become pornography" to other men who see them.

Think about that for a moment, and I think you will see what I mean. Those young women are NOT pornography in and of themselves. SOME men who see them turn them into pornography due to how those men use the image they see. It can be argued that the young women "magnify this problem" - but it CANNOT be argued, based on Elder Oaks' own statement, that the problem lies in the young women. It is clear that the problem lies in SOME of the men who see them.

Elder Oaks didn't say otherwise.

Papa D said...

Oh, and just to be totally clear, Elder Oaks didn't say that "public immodesty is pornography". Those are your words, but it's not what he actually said.

R. Gary said...

Public immodesty is pornography. This is how our entire Judeo-Christian culture previously identified pornography. Until 1957, the word obscenity was defined in all English dictionaries in terms of its offensiveness to modesty or chastity. It was only after the U.S. Supreme Court introduced its legal definition in 1957 that dictionaries began to define obscenity without regard to modesty or chastity.

The new liberalized definition of pornography is not the result of modern enlightenment, it is the result of moral apostasy. Elder Oaks was clearly speaking in support of our society's six-thousand year old tradition of Judeo-Christian decency.

Papa D said...

R. Gary, I'm not arguing that Elder Oaks wasn't supporting traditional standards of decency. I've never said so, and I never will. He was - but it's so obvious I have no idea why you think I am saying he wasn't.

However, you provided a quote which I parsed for its exact meaning - and Elder Oaks didn't say young women who dress immodestly ARE pornography in and of themselves. He said they BECOME pornography to SOME men who see them. Those are his exact words.

Are you really arguing that he didn't mean what he actually said?

Papa D said...

One original question, and some related questions:

Where do you draw the line between objective public immodesty and objective public modesty?

What constitutes each?

How much skin can be visible, and what area can be visible, without constituting pornography?

I'm NOT opposed to public standards of decency in dress. I never have been, and I never will be. However:

Who gets to make the call as to what exact definitions are used to make the distinction?

R. Gary said...

Papa D, as Latter-day Saints, we have a clear standard of modesty. It is defined by the temple garment. The garment covers nakedness that should not be exposed in public. Keeping our bodies appropriately covered is modesty. Wearing insufficient or tight, revealing clothing is immodesty. The essential characteristic of pornography from a gospel perspective is its offensiveness to modesty or chastity. That is why I disagree with removing Elder Oak's words from their gospel perspective and parsing them to agree with your post.

Papa D said...

R. Gary, I can't argue against a position I'm not taking. How in the world are you reading what I've written and coming to the conclusion that I am opposed to codes of decency in dress? I'm not, and I never will be.

Try re-reading my actual post and comments again - and try showing how my parsing of Elder Oaks' actual wording is wrong.

Let me repeat: I didn't "interpret" his words when I discussed the quote. All I did was quote his actual words for what they actually mean.

Let me even more clear:

I never said immodesty is a good thing - and I never said young women (OR young men, for that matter) can't become pornography to some of those who view them. I agree totally with what Elder Oaks said - and I encourage everyone to dress modestly. How in the world can you read what I've actually written, without prior assumption based strictly on the title of the post, and reach the conclusions you've reached?

I'm not saying what you claim I'm saying, and I won't defend what I haven't said.

You still haven't answered my very direct question, and I'd like an answer:

Are you really arguing that Elder Oaks didn't mean what he actually said - that maybe he mis-spoke in his choice of words?

If you aren't arguing that, please use his own words (not your interpretation of them) to show me that he meant to say something other than what the words themselves actually mean. Be direct in your quoting of him; use his own words, as I have done.

I accept his choice of words as representative of what he actually meant to say. How would you prefer he have said what you think he meant?

R. Gary said...

Papa D, after rereading this thread, I think I'll just rest my case. I'm sorry to have upset you.

Papa D said...

Honestly, R.Gary, I'm not upset - but I agree it's probably good for both of us to walk away and admit we don't understand each other with regard to this discussion. I appreciate your insights, even in cases like this.

Louann and Bari said...

Papa D, I appreciate your separation between nudity and lewd behavior. I studied art, drawing, history, painting etc in college and never had a 'problem' with viewing or drawing (on assignment) nudes. However, I always got the impression from church members that I should not participate in those forms of art. To me, it was a discovery of pure form and beauty, nothing more. To me, it lacked maturity to suggest a nude drawing class was anything close to pornographic.
Anyway, I always try to read your posts although they are most-often OVER my head (so to speak)- so thanks for addressing this topic.
Oh- and congrats to Laura on her baptism. I sure miss her.

Louann and Bari said...

ps- that last comment was Louann, not Bari. I don't think he could draw a nude to save his life.

loquaciousmomma said...

Papa D. I completely understand your point. I will say, however, that in this day when so much of life has been sexualized it is much harder to look at innocent nudity and not make it pornography in our own minds.

Basically, my point is that 20 years ago the distinction between simple nudity and pornography was crystal clear, while today it is harder to hold to that old line even much of the time. It used to be that only those with 'issues' would make things like Michelangelo's David to be sexual, but today I wouldn't be so quick to say so. Especially teens who have grown up surrounded by public displays of sexuality in all of its forms.

It is definitely up to the individual to determine what is pornography, and I realize that is what you were saying about RG's comments, but I think that people like you who can look at simple nudity innocently are becoming the exception rather than the rule.

Great post!

thatgoodpart said...

I think that the comments here are interesting - especially considering your post was "Thinketh no Evil." There are instances when people aren't nude, but they are hypersexualizing themselves. In my opinion, that's when the situation turns to pornography.

It is as you suggested - the motive behind it - thinking evil.

My first marriage ended because of pornography and infidelity. Immediately afterwards, I found myself extremely sensitive to nudity/immodesty, but, I quickly noticed, it wasn't nudity itself - it was the motive behind it - to suggest sex.

Interesting post.

Papa D said...

So I don't have to type long names (*grin*), I will shorten them and say, "Thank you for your comments, Louann, lm and tgp."

I really do understand that immodesty (especially public immodesty) is not desirable - and I do understand that it is harder in our current society of hyper-sexuality for immodesty to not "become pornography" for many people. However, there is an underlying principle of which I simply can't let go.

I understand that Elder Oaks was talking primarily to the men in the talk that RG excerpted - so the sentence he used focuses on young women becoming pornography to some men who see them. As I told RG, I agree with what Elder Oaks said - and it is the ways in which the quote is misused, imo, that bother me.

I simply believe we MUST distinguish between "pornography", "modesty" and "nudity" - or we abandon an extremely important principle and lurch ever nearer harmful extremism.

Let me try to list some of the ways I believe Elder Oaks' quote is misinterpreted and/or misapplied - and why those misuses bother me:

1) It is used exclusively to discuss immodesty as it relates to women. Men can be immodest, also - every bit as immodest as women. However, I have NEVER heard the quote in question applied to how young men might dress - and how young men can become pornography to some women who see them. That is a fundamental, simple truth - that anyone can dress immodestly and be seen as pornography by someone of the opposite sex (or even the same sex).

2) As I said, Elder Oaks never defined "immodestly" in his quote. I am concerned that more and more people, even in the LDS Church, are starting to draw stricter and stricter lines to define immodesty. I am sure RG does not advocate burkhas, since he mentioned the temple garment as a standard (one which I respect generally), but does that mean a man or woman shouldn't wear a swimsuit that is more revealing than the garment? After all, the beach or pool is a public location. Should there be no modifications for public sporting events - like soccer, basketball, tennis or any other event for which shorts generally are worn above the knee? Should modesty be defined strictly on the basis of what we think will excite those who view us - and, if so, why is the strict Muslim standard not the best standard? After all, if someone might see a flash of ankle and turn it into pornography . . .

3) Perhaps most tellingly, pornography does not require nudity (OR EVEN IMMODESTY) to be pornographic for "some men (and women) who see" others. Some people can view beauty fully clothed and turn it into pornography. Again, if this is the case, why not impose burkhas for all men and women? Also, why not have different standards of modesty for different levels of physical beauty and appeal? Why not require physically attractive people to cover more of their bodies than those, like me, who will elicit pornographic thoughts from relatively few (if any) people?

4) Of the two problems addressed in Elder Oaks' talk - immodesty and pornography, it is crystal clear to me that pornography is the more serious. Again, I am not saying immodesty is not a problem, but Elder Oaks identifies that particular problem as "magnifying" for SOME the deeper problem of pornography. Again, I turn to the example of fully clothed images twisted into pornography by some. I would rather see a little more skin than is proper than to be presented with a pornographic image of fully clothed, obvious modesty. Modesty can "become pornography" through debasement - but pornography simply can't be raised to a state of modesty.

R. Gary said...

Papa D, sometimes it's hard to explain a concept in short comments. For this reason, I've posted a fairly long article about Pornography vs. Modesty on my own blog. I invite your comments.

Papa D said...

Thanks, R.Gary. I will check it out.

SilverRain said...

I know this is late to comment, but your premise is faulty, R. Gary.

Public immodesty was not defined as pornography. People were often stripped and beaten or otherwise humiliated as far back as written records. That wasn't making them into porn, that was punishment. In the Renaissance (and even before, with Madonna paintings, Greek and Egyptian art, etc.) people were portrayed with varying levels of nudity. Again, not porn.

Which I suppose is part of the point of this post. Nudity is not porn.

Complete modesty can still be porn, too. Look at the classic porn image of a Catholic schoolgirl. Case in point.

SilverRain said...

Or, rather, don't look.

You get my point. ;)

R. Gary said...

SilverRain, you make several valid points. I can see what you are saying. But the fact is that the dictionary definition of obscenity — offensive to modesty and chastity — was upheld as the law of the land in this country's courts until 1957.

Here's an example. On October 8, 1875, in Indiana, a man named Henry Ardery was arrested for public indecency. A jury found him guilty. Mr. Ardery took his case to the State Supreme Court. He claimed that the statute was not specific enough because it did not name any body parts. Therefore, public indecency was not clearly defined by the statute and that meant it was not punishable.

Here in abbreviated form is how the Indiana Supreme Court answered. Remember, this was criminal case and these were Supreme Court Justices explaining the law:

-------------- quote --------------
"Immediately after the fall of Adam, there seems to have sprung up in his mind an idea that there was such a thing as decency and such a thing as indecency;... and, since that time, the ideas of decency and indecency have been instinctive in, and, indeed, parts of, humanity. And ... historically,... the first ... exercise of mechanical ingenuity was in the manufacture of fig-leaf aprons by Adam and Eve, by which to conceal from the public gaze of each other their ... private [part]s. This example ... has been imitated by all mankind since that time, except, perhaps, by some of the lowest grades of savages....

"The parts of the body which are charged, in this case, to have been exposed, are the parts referred to in the statute, the exposure of which is declared to be public indecency, but which decency forbids should be technically named in the statute." (56 Ind. 328.)
-------------- end quote --------------

R. Gary said...

Here is another example. On February 14, 1890, a Valley Falls, Kansas man was arrested for depositing in the U.S. Mail an obscene newspaper. The defendant was ... a peaceable, well-conducted citizen. He was a married man, living in wedlock and was about 60 years of age. He was convicted.

He appealed, partly on the grounds that he had acted unwittingly, not realizing that what he had mailed was obscene. To this claim the federal appeals court judge responded as follows:

-------------- quote --------------
"There is in the popular conception and heart such a thing as modesty. It was born in the Garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge they ... `knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.' From that day to this civilized man has carried with him the sense of shame, — the feeling that there were some things on which the eye — the mind — should not look; and where men and women become so depraved ... that they will not veil their eyes, nor hold their tongues, the government should perform the office for them....

"The defendant ... cannot claim that he has acted unwittingly." (45 F.R. 415.)
-------------- end quote --------------

Let me say again that for centuries, there was no strictly legal definition of obscenity. It was simply against the law to offend modesty or chastity in public in any way and people were sent to jail for doing so.

Papa D said...

So, R.Gary, I ask in all sincerity, are you saying that something is immodest only if it exposes the "private parts" referenced in the cases you mention (those parts that could be covered by an "apron") - which are the only things referenced in the cases you site as objectively immodest if uncovered? That definition is far more narrow than many would argue as being immodest now - and would exclude some outfits that many members of the Church, including myself, would find immodest.

Also, are you saying that there cannot be obscene or pornographic images that cover those "private parts"?

Papa D said...

Oh, and will you please explain what difference you see between immodesty, obscenity and pornography? I still haven't gotten a good idea of your view of those things.

R. Gary said...

Papa D, in a 1981 BYU Law Review article, Law Professor Robert E. Riggs explained that the United States Supreme Court in 1957 "adopted a definition of obscenity far less restrictive than the test then being applied in many jurisdictions throughout the country." The effect of the Court's decision was, he states, "to open the legal floodgates to a great wave of sexually oriented expression [and] stimulate the production and distribution of sexually oriented material."

In support of this he points to a post-1957 change in obscenity's explicitness. He quotes the authors of a technical report prepared in August 1970 for the U.S. President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography:

-------------- quote --------------
"The 1960s witness[ed] 'a shift of such major proportions that the degree of explicitness at the frontier in 1960 is now found in mass media widely distributed to the general buying public. During this period, the most explicit materials available on the market became more and more graphic. By August 1970, the most explicit materials available "above the counter" were approximately equivalent to the most explicit materials ever produced [prior to 1960]."
-------------- end quote --------------

It is not coincidental that during the late 1950s, Church leaders began condemning an increase of pornographic material in our society. Today, more than 50 years later, because of the tremendous shift in standards that has occurred, most (if not all) of the material to which they then referred would not even come close to being legally obscene. Yet the witness of those Church leaders remains just and true.

You are, without any doubt, absolutely entitled to interpret pornography according to how the U.S. Supreme Court now defines it. That is your right as a citizen. And that is clearly what your post does. But you've convinced me with your most recent questions that you probably don't even care what pre-1957 pornography looks like.

Papa D said...

"You are, without any doubt, absolutely entitled to interpret pornography according to how the U.S. Supreme Court now defines it. That is your right as a citizen. And that is clearly what your post does. But you've convinced me with your most recent questions that you probably don't even care what pre-1957 pornography looks like."

Nope. Not even close (actually, an incredible distortion) - but there's no way to convince you of that, so I will drop it once again. Really, your summary isn't even close.

I only asked to try to clarify - since the quotes you used in your comments made the argument specifying the showing of "private parts" only as obscene - and one of them came from 1890, not post-1957. I view a whole lot more than that as obscene, so I was surprised to think that you might define it so narrowly. You obviously missed the entire point of the questions, even though I tried to be clear that I interpret obscenity more broadly than your quotes did.

As I said in a previous comment, I will not defend a position I don't take - and you've consistently misread what I am saying, no matter how I say it.

Also, since you simply refuse to answer the actual questions I ask, we really do need to cease this and just let it go. Believe it or not, I respect you too much to allow both of us to keep slamming our heads against this wall - especially when I think we disagree FAR less than you think we do.

ji said...

I agree that nudity is not pornography. And pornography does not require nudity. Obscenity and pornography are not identical. A simple family swim or sauna in relative privacy is neither obscene nor pornographic. A simple group shower is neither obscene nor pornographic. But the same level (or absence) of clothing in other venues could be immodest.

ji said...

And since one's immodesty can be a stumblingblock for another, one should take some care to avoid immodesty where it could be such a stumblingblock for another. Romans chapter 14 may fit here. Meat bought in the marketplace isn't bad in and of itself, but someone weak in the faith might find it a stumblingblock because some of the meat might have been offered to idols. In such a case, I'll avoid meat in front of that person because of my love for him or her. But the meat isn't bad, and the my eating the meat isn't sinful. Purposefully and spitefully causing another to stumble is sinful.

SilverRain said...

R. Gary,
I believe I, too, completely fail to see your point.

Papa D said...

Something to consider:

"Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled."
(Titus 1: 15)

"Shame about the human body, its parts and purposes, is justified only when a person uses it for carnal purposes. Teach your children that they will find joy in their bodies when they use them virtuously after the manner taught by Christ."
(A Parent's Guide, p. 37, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

The "only when it is used for carnal purposes" is in line with what I am trying to say - that it is what we do with what we see that is critical.

Of course, we must strive to be modest - according to our understanding of that term. Of course, we must strive not to be obscene. However, lust and immodesty and obscenity and pornography might grow and increase around us - but we can't place the blame on it if we respond lustfully, immodestly and/or obscenely - or allow others to become pornograhy to us. We can't be among the SOME whom Elder Oaks references in his quote.

Iow, no matter what is presented to my view, I must strive to "think no evil" as a result - not blame my own "evil" on others.

Anonymous said...

I have a complicated view on nudity. I like to browse on Deviantart.com and there are a lot of pictures of beautiful naked models. Looking at them makes me very relaxed, but I don't find anything wrong with that. I find nudity beautiful, peaceful and innocent. It's not like I'm doing any harm to anybody.

Btw, I'm a male 19 year old. The models on Deviantart are in my age group.

Anonymous said...

yea i just wanted to ask your opinion and advice on something. Pornography works in a very interesting way. see i would argue that majority of people get the idea that pornography, observing and potrayal of women in a lustful manner while nude, is wrong yet despite all attempts of remedy people still allow this parasite to feast on their lives. Why do you think it is so hard to stop and how would you advise someone to stop.. question is open to anybody

R. Gary said...

Anonymous, you'll find some excellent suggestions if you visit this "Library of Helpful Information" about Pornography at LDS.org.

Papa D said...

Wow, that's a great question, anonymous. If I had an answer that would solve the case and work for everyone, I'd be rich. However, I'll give it a shot, with the caveat that part of the reason I wrote about this in the context of charity is that I am one of the those who is drawn "naturally" to beautiful art of all kinds - AND that I was exposed to pornography fairly early in life and understand its physiological draw.

There are various answers that some would give, so I will lay out a few and add my commentary:

1) From a religious perspective, the first answer would be to "exercise faith and repent".

I think there is a strong aspect of validity to that answer, but I also think those who have never been truly addicted don't really understand often just how incredibly difficult it is to stop doing something that constitutes a true addiction - and I believe pornography really is addictive in an actual, physical manner for many people. So, telling someone to "repent" isn't getting to the heart of the issue, since "repent" simply means "change" and telling someone to change doesn't say HOW to change.

2) Therefore, one of the first things I believe is critical for someone who wants to stop viewing (or reading) pornography is to ascertain whether or not they are "addicted" in a real way.

Perhaps the best indication of this is if they have tried to stop more than once and find themselves returning to it even though they feel it is wrong and don't want to continue the "habit". If so - if it truly is or models an addiction, the 12-step process articulated in Alcoholics Anonymous would be my suggestion - and I would highlight a few things, using the generic "you" to mean anyone:

a) Find a "sponsor" - someone whom you trust who will not react with disgust or disdain. Tell that person of your addiction, then report to them regularly. When you find yourself in a situation where you are about to view or read pornographic material, call them and let them help you avoid the temptation. In other words, have a "sounding board" and "support system" so you aren't facing it alone. Much of the damage occurs through the isolation such an addiction causes, so break that isolation by leaning on someone else for support.

b) Realize that you might not be able to "quit cold turkey" - that repentance ("change") isn't always an instantaneous thing. Try not to trip and fall, but, if you do, try to remember that the Lord said he will forgive infinitely as long as we are striving sincerely to change.

c) Admit that you have a physiological problem and that you might just be a "potential addict" all your life. That is critical for alcoholics, since it puts the need to avoid alcohol totally squarely in front of their eyes. They can't enter a bar - period. They can't have a glass of wine socially - period. They know they always will feel the pull, so they avoid situations where that pull can be felt. So . . .

d) Move all computers into rooms where there is regular traffic. Put blocking software on all your computers. Let someone else check your web browsing history regularly - and let a cleared history be an indication of covering up browsing activity.

In other words, be open with someone about it and allow them to assist you in dealing with it.

e) Finally, PRAY to overcome - whether that is quickly or over time. Pray for a change of heart, if necessary - but at least for the ability to change your actions in the here and now.

f) If you are LDS, there is a good addiction recovery program in many areas. Find out if there is one in your area and attend regularly. At the very least, it will show you that you aren't alone.

I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Papa D said...

Thanks, R. Gary. That is a great link. As I said in my e-mail to you, chalk it up to a brain freeze on my part that I didn't include it when I mentioned the Addiction Recovery program.

I'm sorry your comment posted late. The link must have gotten it caught in the spam filter, and I didn't realize it was there until just now.