Speaker Chronicles His Battle Against Porn Addiction

Cheree Longley

UT students crowded Fletcher Lounge Tuesday night to hear a lecture called “Porn Nation-The Naked Truth.” The event was co-sponsored by the Campus Crusade for Christ.

The lecture included a powerful 90 minute multi-media presentation including movies, music and interview clips that explained how harmful and controversial pornography really is.

Micheal Leahy, president of Bravehearts, an Atlanta-based non-profit organization aimed towards helping persons with sex-addictions, told The Minaret that the idea for “Porn Nation” came from his own experiences.

“I had gotten over my own porn addiction that was developed over 30 years,” he said. “I noticed that there was a real power in the story. There were a lot of people who could identify what I was going through. We[Bravehearts] just felt that there was enough there for us to create a prevention in sharing the story.”

Leahy said that he was first exposed to porn when he was 11 years old. He said that pornography had become his “new best friend,” even though was ashamed of his “relationship” with the matierial. The addiction followed him all the way through his adolescence and later intruded on his marriage, which ultimately ended in divorce.

After his divorce, Leahy turned to God to help him through his turmoil. He said that he completed four steps to be free of his addictions.

Leahy visited 60 schools in the US and also traveled to Canada, Bosnia and Croatia with his insightful message. He added that he also wants to travel to other countries and at least 50 more schools in the US.

UT is his fifth stop this school year.

During the presentation, Leahy also gave an in-depth definition of pornography stating that it is “anything that is designed to arouse a person.”

He then showed images of videos that promoted sexuality and pornography.

The first multi-media presentation answered the question, “Is society obsessed with porn?”

While students were mesmerized by the images appearing on the screen, many could not ignore the alarming statistics being brought forward by Leahy.

“Child pornography is a $3 billion annual revenue worldwide,” he explained. “The largest consumer group of pornography is 12-17 year olds.”

He added that “Last year, there were over 11,000 new adult film titles released vs less than 500 from Hollywood studios.”

Some UT students, like freshman Khristy Hallman, said that they had no idea the effects pornography has on their lives.

“I have always known porn was not the best thing in the world,” she said. “But I had no idea that it could actually take over your mind and cause you not to truly love someone.”

“The part with the statistics really left an impression on me,” she added.

Another student, Jason Taylor, said that the lecture “made sense” to him.

“It was basically showing you that sex is a part of our daily lives and that you have to be sure that you know yourself,” he said. “When he talked about his experience it made me think about how much porn is thrown at you and you don’t even realize it.”

These responses came as no surprise to Leahy who said that those were the reactions that he usually receives from his lectures.

He also told The Minaret what he hoped students learned from his lecture.

“[I want them] to seek truth in their lives, I have a spiritual message to share. Many people have a faulty belief system and they believe things that are not true about themselves or their world or their relationships,” Leahy said. “More than anything I want students to be looking for the myths and be looking for the lies and to focus on learning the truth.”

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