Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Research Shows Connection

Research Shows Connection Between Excessive Internet Use — Pornography — CyberSexual Addiction

By Carol Wiley, Director
A Way Out Victim Assistance Program
A Ministry of Citizens for Community Values of Memphis

Cybersexual addiction is a sub-type of Pathological Internet Use (PIU), a term coined by Dr. Kimberly Young, Psy.D, who is considered to be an authority in the field of internet addiction. In 1997, Dr. Young, presented a paper to the American Psychological Association (APA) reporting the results of her study of 396 people who where PIU affected. With the presentation of her paper the APA classified excessive Internet use as addictive, in the same way that drugs (including alcohol), gambling, video games, and some types of eating disorders are considered addictive.

Dr. Young found that 90% who became addicted to the Internet became addicted to the two-way communication functions: chat rooms, Multi-User Dungeons, newsgroups, and email. She reported that one surprise result was the addicted population were not computer savvy individuals but actually held low-tech jobs. Only 8% of the participants in this study came from high-tech jobs while 42 % indicated they had no permanent job and 39% held low-tech jobs.

A major finding was that the attraction of the Internet revolved around its perceived anonymity, which provides a comfort zone for people to act out in ways they would never consider in real life. Dr. Young is quoted in an article by Evan Schuman in TechWire, “One can easily become involved in the lives of others almost like watching a soap opera and thinking of the characters as real people.”

The ability to remain anonymous, the freedom to invent your own reality, and the chemical changes that take place in one’s body when viewing pornography makes one vulnerable to turning to the Internet to fulfill his or her sexual desires and fantasies, and it has the potential of turning curious seekers into on-line pornography and/or cybersex addicts. It is easy to enter cyberspace porn sites as your imaginary self and live out your fantasies to the fullest, but it is impossible to keep the body’s biological responses to pornography from occurring. Research shows biochemical and neurological responses in individuals who are emotionally aroused, regardless of the stimuli. The adrenal hormone epinephrine is released into the brain, explaining why one can remember pornographic images seen years before. Chemicals called opioids are released by nerve endings in response to pleasure, and then reinforce the body’s own desire to repeat the process (J. L. McGaugh, “Preserving the Presence of the Past” American Psychologist, p. 161).

The reason cybersex is so addictive boils down to accessibility, control, and excitement. Sex on line is available in more than 70,000 sex-related Internet sites. This makes it easy to fall into an obsessive pattern of Internet use for sexual gratification. One can develop a sense of being in complete control of their world with no checks and balances as to what they say or do. With no one to see them a curious person can enter any of thousands of dominance and submission rooms, fetish rooms or bisexual rooms. This uncensored buffet allows one to pick and choose anything they feel they want. The emotional rush supports the illusion that others appreciate the addict’s sexuality. Research supports the assumption that sex is a function of the mind, not just the body.

The reason cybersex is so addictive boils down to accessibility, control, and excitement. Sex on line is available in more than 70,000 sex-related Internet sites. This makes it easy to fall into an obsessive pattern of Internet use for sexual gratification. One can develop a sense of being in complete control of their world with no checks and balances as to what they say or do. With no one to see them a curious person can enter any of thousands of dominance and submission rooms, fetish rooms or bisexual rooms. This uncensored buffet allows one to pick and choose anything they feel they want. The emotional rush supports the illusion that others appreciate the addict’s sexuality. Research supports the assumption that sex is a function of the mind, not just the body.

Indulging one’s self with cybersex is not a harmless pastime as the “Adult Entertainment Business” would like one to believe. M. Douglas Reed, author of Pornography Addiction in Media, Children, and the Family writes, “The use of sexual media is clearly associated with sexually aggressive behavior…Some believe that it facilitates, maintains, or reinforces it… Mr. Reed cites pornography that is arousing coupled with physical sexual activity and fantasies and pornographic stimuli as catalysts for promoting sexually aggressive behavior, especially if exposure occurs during puberty and the 10 to 24 months afterwards because this is an important time period in the formation of one’s sexuality. Also, statistics show that hard-core pornography is directly related to the skyrocketing rape rate. In the United States rape has increased 500% since 1960.

According to calls being received at Citizens for Community Values, the problem of Internet porn and cybersex is growing in families across the board, churched and unchurched. Marriages are being destroyed and incest and abuse rates are growing. It is imperative that we become informed of this growing social problem that has the potential to affect each and every one of us to varying degrees. There are warning signs that signal the need for help everyone should know and take seriously.

The Warning Signs of Cybersexual Addiction

  1. Regularly spending long periods of time in chat rooms and private messaging with the sole purpose of finding Cybersex.
  2. Preoccupation with using the net to find on-line sexual partners.
  3. Frequently using anonymous communication to act our sexual fantasies that are not typically carried out in real life.
  4. Anticipation of the next on-line session with the expectation of finding sexual arousal or gratification.
  5. Frequently moving from Cybersex to phone sex, or even meetings in person.
  6. Hiding on-line activities and interactions from a significant other, including sneaking on-line when spouse or family members are not a home, with a sense of relief.
  7. Feeling guilt or shame from these interactions.
  8. After accidentally being aroused by Cybersex at first, now actively seeking it out after logging on line.
  9. Masturbation while engage in erotic chat on-line.
  10. Preferring Cybersex as a primary form of sexual gratification (investing less time with a real-life sexual partner).
Citizens for Community Values of Memphis was born out of a mandate to help educate the public about the harms of all avenues used by the adult entertainment industry which cause harm to children and families. In keeping with that mission CCV is one of the sponsors of the seminar “The Wolf at Your Door (Internet Pornography Stalks the Family) to be held on February 26, 2006, at Second Presbyterian Church. If you would like more information call our office at 685-1493.

Greatness Is Serving

Greatness Is Serving

By Carol Wiley
Director of Victim Assistance
Citizens for Community Values

In Matthew 20:26-28, Jesus contrasts how the Gentile’s view of greatness with His own. He says, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you: but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

This same message is woven throughout Scripture; we are called to be servants. It is also very clear that Jesus came to serve those trapped in undesirable lifestyles. Citizens for Community Values Victim Assistance Program’s mandate is to do just that, help young women leave the undesirable lifestyle of topless dancing and meet the One who can change their lives permanently.

As the Director of Victim Assistance I have a burning desire for Christians to know the truth about how the enemy is working through topless clubs, escort services, massage parlors, and porn vendors in video stores, bookstores, and via the internet to entrap and devour real flesh and blood human beings like a spider entraps a fly and then has it for dinner. Only the spider is much more civil in its approach to killing its victim. Victims of the porn and sex industry aren’t devoured quickly. They, for many and different and desperate reasons, step into a perpetual slow death that starts inside their soul and encompasses their minds, their spirits and finally their physical bodies. The cycle is complete and the haunting emptiness is reflected in the mirror of the soul, their eyes. They only know survival—life has passed the by.

Some may say that these women deserve what they get because they choose to do what they do. Granted consequences to the choices we make are inevitable and often just, but I for one am so grateful for God’s grace in my life. Constantly He has poured out love and grace and truthfully I have never deserved it. Therefore, I am called to offer that same love and grace to others even at times when they don’t necessarily deserve it. The joy of allowing Christ to love others through us is available to anyone who has the heart to serve as Jesus served.

Here is what one young women wrote as she shared her heart about the ordinary people involved with CCV as mentors.

"It’s me! I’ve been thinking of you a lot. CCV has changed my whole life. And, I have no idea how to repay you all. I’m out of the INDUSTRY! And I’m staying out. I was very lost after I found out I was pregnant. You helped me find a doctor, when I didn’t have one. A comfortable ,stable home, when I didn’t have one. You helped keep my car running, when it was down. You helped bring back my self-esteem, when it was gone. You also taught me how to dress my baby, when I was afraid that I wouldn’t do it right. So, NOW, I have a very good job, confidence, self-love and worth, a beautiful healthy child, and YOU on my side. And you actually got me wanting God in my life. You, also, taught me about lobbying. I didn’t think I would be interested in doing THAT! I realized that I could do so much more. I can make a big difference. Thank you for putting me back on the right road. I will always be beside you, willing to do almost anything you ask of me. Thank you, to me is not enough…. "

We have four young women at the present time who want to come into our program but can’t because we don’t have mentors for them. This is heartbreaking because when they finally get the courage to say enough is enough and reach out for help it is imperative to offer immediate help. We are convinced that the most important thing we can offer a woman is a Godly woman to mentor her and point her to Christ because apart from Him there is no permanent healing and change.

If you have been looking for an opportunity to serve as Jesus served by reaching out in grace to those who are broken and hurting. Your search is over! Call me, Carol Wiley at 685-1493 or email me at carol@ccvmemphis.org.

Porn Industry Thrives

Porn Industry Thrives While America’s Economy Suffers

By Carol Wiley
Director of Victim Assistance

September 11, 2001 is a day that is engraved on the minds and hearts of America. The enemy struck quickly and without warning killing or injuring close to seven thousand people. All who watched as New York and Washington were under siege experienced shock, heartbreak and fear. The personal impact of the barbaric act of attacking us in our own backyard and killing and maiming our friends and neighbors has affected all who live in this country and cherish the precious freedom and prosperity it offers. Also, the looming threat of biological warfare has resurfaced and the decline in America’s economy has accelerated.

Our economy was dipping before the fatal hits, but now it is in a nose-dive and people are talking recession as the government moves to help keep our commercial planes in the air and other major companies and industries are suffering financially. With all the talk of layoffs, unemployment, and falling stocks an amazing fact was brought to our attention at CCV. The one industry that is flourishing is the pornography industry. It was reported by Family News on WCRV Radio that when the owner of Rick’s Cabarets located in the Houston area was interviewed he reported that his business has not suffered at all. He stated that in 2000 his net profits were $180,000 and in the first nine months of 2001 he netted over $1,000,000. His businesses include several topless clubs and several adult websites. He stated that since September 11th he has had no decrease in his business.

Another report we received was that on the internet for three days after the attack on America the most visited websites were those with information about Bin Laden with sex-oriented sites dropping to number two. On the fourth day sex sites regained their number one rating.

In due time more stats will be forthcoming, but these two were enough to convince Citizens for Community Values that we were under siege before September 11th by an enemy that is destroying thousands and thousands of our fellow Americans on a consistent basis. The pornographers are subtle, silent, seductive killers that have no boundaries, no regard for human life, and no more scruples than the terrorists. They have been successfully involved in germ warfare for years and the disease is spreading while most Americans live oblivious to the attack until it strikes at home.

The patriotism that has resurrected since the destruction at the WTC and the Pentagon is long overdue as is the emphasis on God and prayer. Not many Americans are complacent at this point about the need to fight for the safety of our homeland. My prayer is that we will get just as serious about fighting for the safety of our children and families’ mental, emotional, and spiritual health by taking just as strong a stand against the pornography industry and its germ warfare.

JOIN US IN THE BATTLE! Call 685-1493 or email carol@ccvmemphis.org.

New Name — New Life

A New Name — A New Life — A Dire Need

By Carol Wiley
Director of Victim Assistance
Citizens for Community Values of Memphis

The Victim Assistance Program sponsored by Citizens for Community Values now goes under the name, A WAY OUT. The program will continue to operate under the umbrella of Citizens for Community Values of Memphis and its board of directors. The ministry focus will remain helping victims to recover from the harms of pornography and the sex-oriented businesses. A Way Out Victim Assistance Program sponsored by CCV has been providing a way out for these victims for about seven years now and has to date assisted 55 victims leave the world of topless dancing and escort services. Of these 55 victims, only 3 have returned to topless dancing as their career. The others have made or are in the process of making the transition from the subculture of the sex-oriented businesses and are now integrated into society pursuing other professions, managing homes and marriages, as well as seeking to grow in their faith. In most cases one would never suspect they had ever been a part of the “music of the night.”

One of our graduates actually has a career as a ballroom dance instructor with Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Her dream was to be a dance instructor and to compete in Ballroom Dance Showcases. She came to “A Way Out” in 1994, a young dancer who was pregnant, broke, afraid, and not knowing how she would survive. She was given the immediate help she needed which included housing, pregnancy care, financial support, and job skill training and she was sent for ongoing counseling. She was mentored and surrounded by a loving support system and was faithful to attend her counseling sessions. After giving birth to a beautiful baby boy, she worked in an office to help provide for her new baby. She never gave up her dream of ballroom dancing.

In 1998 “A Way Out” paid for her to attend Dance Vision Camp in Las Vegas. While at camp she was discovered by the current American Rhythm Champions, Bob Powers and Julia Gorchakova. They recommended her to Bill Wynn, Arthur Murray Franchisee, who offered her an instructing position a few weeks after she returned to Memphis from camp. She has been instructing since September 1999, and placed 4th in her very first professional competition. She recently transferred to the Manchester Studio to be closer to her home so she could spend more time with her son, now six years old.

This precious young woman returned to Memphis this month and put together a Ballroom Showcase which was held in the gym at Christ Methodist Church. She invited everyone who had supplied support and encouragement for her in her path from dancing in the dark to living and dancing in the light. She is not only a talented dancer, but she is an excellent mother, friend, and growing Christian.

A Way Out desires to help any victim who wants to see God’s love and grace change their lives. We are in dire need of Godly women to help mentor and work in varying degrees with those desiring a changed life. Call Carol Wiley at 685-1493 or email carol@ccvmemphis.org.

Experiencing God

Experiencing God’s Heart

By Carol Wiley, Director
A Way Out
Citizens for Community Values’ Victim Assistance Program

Most of the clientele who seek help from “A Way Out” are employed in topless clubs, but a few months ago the Lord literally dropped a precious young woman in our lap, challenging us with an opportunity to expand our ministry to victims who work in other sex-oriented businesses.

This young woman, who will remain anonymous, is nineteen years old; she was homeless and working on the streets to make money to eat. She shared that she had been in trouble and a ward of the state or on the streets since she was twelve years old. This was disturbing enough, but as her saga unfolded it became more and more evident that she was terribly neglected as a child. It started when her mother, a drug addict, abandoned her at birth. She was dropped off at her grandmother and great grandmother’s home. Her grandfather lived close by.

She remembers her grandmother and great-grandmother fondly stating that they tried to raise her and love her, but they were old and sick and very poor. The great grandmother died when this girl was twelve and the grandmother died when she was fifteen. She carries a dark horrifying memory of her grandfather sexually abusing her from age eight until age fifteen. To add to this, her physically abusive father was in and out of her life. She remembers him yelling and even beating her with a bullwhip when she was only eight years old.

She summarizes her story this way, “It was going pretty good till about eight, then it felt like it was all just took away from me. I didn’t have no childhood. At twelve I grew up before my time. I was in and out of trouble since great-grandmamma died.”

It didn’t take long for us to know we could not turn this wounded young girl away. The woman who first met her became her mentor and helped her get into the Salvation Army. The mentor picked up her new friend daily and brought her to our office where another volunteer began to tutor her while she was waiting to get into Job Corps. Her mentor, now affectionately know as “mama”, took her into her home for a few weeks before the opening at Job Corps became available. Using our victim assistance funds we were able to help her with food, clothing, medical needs, and attorney fees. We also sent her to a psychologist for assessment.

For the first time in her nineteen years this girl experienced God’s heart of love for her through a healthy support system. “Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds—his name is the Lord—and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families; he leads forth the prisoners with singing…” (Psalm 68: 4-6)

This precious young lady is still is absorbing all the love and hugs her new family and support system wants to give. A Way Out has never had a victim who is more compliant and appreciative. Her eyes light up and her whole countenance shines each time she accomplishes another step toward putting her life on the right track.

She is now at Job Corps in a two-year program. Her goal is to get her GED and train as she says “for a career not a job.” I know God is smiling as He watches her experience more and more of his love. She has been a Christian about three months now.

As the Christmas and the New Year are approaching we would love for many to experience the joy of sharing Christ’s love with the hurting. If you are interested call Carol at 685-1493 or email her at carol@ccvmemphis.org.

Ex-Dancer's Plea

An Ex-Dancer's Plea

By Carol Wiley, Director
A Way Out Victim Assistance Program

Circumstances of life always present opportunities to trust God or to take matters into our own hands by trying to make our world work apart from God. Traumatic events such as physical, sexual, emotional, and spiritual abuse or abandonment program the victims make unhealthy choices based on the futility of their own minds and the deceitfulness of their own hearts. (Jeremiah 17:9) They become predisposed to believe the lies of the world (money and fame is the cure), the flesh (relationship at all costs is the cure), and the devil (God is your enemy and perpetrator). Lifestyle changes start when a person predisposed to make life choices based on lies is confronted with God’s love and truth. Here is one dancer’s story and challenge.

"I was introduced to the topless club by a friend who had been dancing for six months. I needed money for rent, food, my utility and phone bill, so I thought, Why not?” My friend told me how much money she made and sure enough, I made $600.00 the first night I danced. Needless to say, I got “Hooked”. I was making $400.00 to $600.00 a night. ”It gave me a false sense of security because I got so much attention. I made friends, a term I’ll use lightly. We went out to regular dance clubs and shopping to buy expensive furniture, clothes and jewelry. Sounds like a great job doesn’t it?

“Well, it wasn’t. While I had all the money to have the “nice things in life”, the price I paid with what dancing was doing to my mind was much higher. That’s why almost every dancer feels she has to take drugs or use alcohol to go up on stage. It got harder and harder for me to go to work, but I kept on dancing thinking this was the only way I could make money.

“A sadder aspect of dancing is seeing 30-40 year old women with no other skills dancing to support husbands and boyfriends who beat them and took their money and/or take care of their children. These women’s families turned their backs on them and they couldn’t think of any other way to make the money they needed to pay the bills, feed their children and give them a warm, safe place to sleep at night.

“We need as much help as we can to get these women and 17 and 18 year old children out of this destructive, exploitive business. They need help acquiring skills so they can work well-paying regular 9-5 jobs so they can go home, feed their kid and tuck them into bed at night. Then these women can get up in the morning look at themselves in the mirror and like what they see. Then they can feel like “normal” contributing members of society.

“I have stopped dancing and so have a lot of other girls that I danced with. I go to work and go to school. The other girls do one or both as well. We live comfortably and happily in nice, furnished apartments, we have transportation, and there’s always food in the fridge, but we need to help these other girls who are drinking, doing drugs, and selling their bodies. Without organizations like Citizens for Community Values and their volunteers I would still be in the business thinking, “There’s no where else to go.”

All sixty women helped in the “A Way Out Program” have suffered abuse and abandonment. All have tried furiously to make their world work apart from God, but the courageous ones have chosen God’s truth over the lies they once believed and are now living life, not just surviving.

Consider making a difference in a young woman’s life in 2002 by joining our volunteer force or by referring any young woman who desires to leave the sex industry or who has been harmed by pornography to us. Call Carol Wiley at 685-1493 or email: carol@ccvmemphis.org.

Destructiveness of Topless Dancing

The Destructive World of Topless Dancing

By Carol Wiley, Director
A Way Out Victim Assistance Program
Sponsored by Citizens for Community Values of Memphis

Most citizens don’t have a clear picture of the deceptive practices used by sex oriented businesses to lure, entrap, use and discard vulnerable young women? For years I would drive by Platinum Plus and say a quite prayer, “Lord, we don’t need this type of business in Memphis. Do something, Lord!” I would drive on never realizing the depth of human degradation inside those walls, until a stripper came to me for counseling. This beautiful young woman’s story broke my heart, and after she left, I cried praying, “Lord, she could have been my teenage daughter” Reality is that she is someone’s precious child and God never created her for the life she chose.

The following facts about the world of a topless dancer are taken from the testimony given by Mr. David Sherman, former Midwest Manager of Déjà vu, before the Michigan House Committee on Ethics and Constitution Law on January 12, 2000. Hopefully readers will be shocked out of complacency and provoked to action.

  1. Drug and alcohol use is rampant from the start. “The dancers call it partying. They don’t realize that they are medicating themselves in order to do the work that they do.”
  2. The abortion rate is extremely high. “…most have lost contact with family members do to what they do. They also feel they could never take the chance on flawing the body from carrying a child. Additionally, dancers believe they have no way to support a baby without dancing, and therefore can’t quit to have one. Basically, they are caught in a real, painful catch-22.”
  3. Girls are hired as waitresses even though waitresses are not needed. This makes the club atmosphere become part of their life. “At this point, they see it as a job, not as stripping and are converted quite easily to dancing. Once dancing, they get used to being objectified. It becomes important to them to hear how beautiful they are 200 times a day as it is to actually make the money from dancing.”
  4. Girls develop “BDA” (Basic Dancer Attitude). “This is when the dancer thinks that no matter what friends, children, husband and families think about her, it doesn’t matter. They can all be replaced because of the patrons around her find her attractive, beautiful and idolized.” “…With friends and family gone from their lives, they exist alone in this dark, subculture of sex, drugs, alcohol and prostitution. All of this perverse living, to the dancer, is now just part of her normal lifestyle.”
  5. After a few years at the BDA level, the dancer realizes she is getting older and attempts to fit back into society. “She tries boyfriends, school or really anything to cling to what is “normal”. Realizing that she cannot live in both worlds, she returns to the subculture of the Adult Business, actually despising the real world. This leads to more dependency on drugs and alcohol, which now makes her 100% lost to this life. The dancers will continue living like this until they realize they can no longer stay at their current level, and keep making money and getting compliments. Once they realize this, they begin to master more perverse things to make cash, to make up for fading looks and dancer burnout.”
  6. The cycle becomes more vicious with struggles with depression, drugs, alcohol and body mutilation to stay thing. “Finally, they realize they can no longer keep up with the new and younger girls and leave, going to one of five places.”
    • A filthy, nasty club where they perform and do some of the vilest and filthiest acts you can imagine to make money.
    • Some turn to prostitution, meeting customers outside of the club. The club now becomes a place for them to meet new “clients”.
    • Some marry just to be able to survive. But the addictions to drugs alcohol normally shatter and destroy these relationships.
    • Some actually do break away and go to school to become productive citizens, but the frequency of this is around 1 of 50.
    • They become society’s throwaway people. People used up, degraded, and even sold by the people who own these establishments.
  7. They are ultimately destroyed by a world that our communities have closed their eyes to. Every woman hired in a strip club is viewed by the club manager as a potential stripper. There is no limit to the strategies he will employ to convince his new prey to take off her clothes for the first time. Once this occurs, he proceeds to program her to become a professional, who ceases to be prey and becomes a passive/aggressive predator, who will say anything that it takes to get money from her patrons. Her whole world is now the topless club, wild parties, regular customers, and seasoned dancers.
It takes a lot of courage on a woman’s part to choose to walk away from the subculture described by Mr. Sherman to re-enter a world she barely remembers, but by God’s grace she can. You can help us change a precious woman’s future. Call Carol Wiley at (901) 685-1493 or email carol@ccvmemphis.org.