John Jalsevac

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From Playboy Pornographer to Christian pastor: the unlikely story of Donny Pauling

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac
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November 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – It was the very same day that pornographer Donny Pauling was called in by Playboy and offered $4,000 a day to produce a new lesbian reality series, that he unexpectedly found himself at a moment of crisis.

Pauling had already made millions from pornography over the past eight years, ever since he began shooting porn part-time behind his wife’s back. But $4,000 a day was unprecedented, and there was something about the offer that made Pauling feel that if he took it, he was making his final commitment to the porn industry, and there would be no going back.

As he was driving home after that meeting at Playboy, suddenly he pulled over to the side of the road, and began praying. “I was like, God, it doesn’t matter what I do, you bless me,” Pauling told LifeSiteNews.com in a telephone interview. “And basically what I was saying was, ‘Thanks for the new porn contract.’”

But, he says, “as crazy as it sounds,” after this prayer he immediately felt as if he was “hit with electricity.”  The feeling was so powerful, and so unmistakable, that Pauling says he knew beyond a doubt that it was God.

Pauling had already been praying occasionally, after encountering members of the radically unconventional XXXChurch, who make it their mission to reach pornographers, porn stars, and prostitutes with the message of the Gospel. But it was several days after the experience in the car that he says he finally decided to give his life to Jesus, and to leave the porn industry. That was in September 2006. 

On September 28, 2006 Pauling wrote on his personal blog: “I’m scared. I really, truly am. Terrified. Petrified. All of those things.” But, he added, “I feel a huge sense of relief and happiness for the first time in a LONG, LONG time.”

The making of a porn producer

While Pauling clearly remembers his first encounter with pornography – it happened in third grade, when he stumbled upon a porn magazine - he doesn’t trace his subsequent problems with pornography to that experience. 

It wasn’t until after he got married that addiction reared its head. That was in the early days of the Internet - and easy access to pornography. Pauling found himself spending more and more time online looking at porn, either when he was at work, or late at night, when his wife was asleep. 

He became so taken with what he saw that he decided he wanted to produce porn himself. Pauling was self-employed, and worked at his own private office, so it was easy for him to start recruiting girls and doing photo shoots without his wife knowing.

It wasn’t until Pauling physically cheated on his wife for the second time, three years into producing and selling porn, that he finally came clean with her. He called her from a porn convention and told her about his secret life.

“She flipped out,” he says, and that was the end of his marriage.

But now that porn was no longer his dirty secret, Pauling was free to devote himself full-time to producing smut. After his marriage fell apart he moved into his office, quickly found himself another girlfriend, and in the very first month doing porn full-time, he made $50,350. 

He was hooked.

How to get out of the porn industry

Pauling ultimately worked as a porn producer for over eight years. During that time he says he made millions of dollars, lived a non-stop party lifestyle, recruited hundreds of girls into the porn industry, and was completely and utterly miserable.

In the first place, he couldn’t ignore the fact that his life’s work was literally destroying lives, especially those of the models he recruited and initiated into the brutal world of porn. When asked now if he finds porn appealing, Pauling responds: “There’s nothing appealing about a girl curled up in a corner sucking her thumb because her mind is so blown by what she’s been doing.”

But it also didn’t help, he notes, that he was motivated in large part by a burning hatred for Christians and Christianity. 

The former pornographer traces this hatred to his strict upbringing as the son of a Pentecostal pastor, during which he was taught a “legalistic” definition of God (“God was just a set of rules and regulations,” he says) and witnessed the abject hypocrisy of many of the Christian leaders his father knew.

After he started making porn, he relished running into some of his old Christian friends, who would ask what he was doing.  “I loved throwing porn in their faces,” he says.

But things began to change after he met members of the XXXChurch, who every year would set up a booth at the Las Vegas porn convention, and hand out bibles emblazoned with the words “Jesus loves porn stars.”

“Instead of being outside protesting and holding signs telling people that God was going to send them to hell where they would burn in torment,” members of XXXChurch “were inside setting up booths, doing makeup for girls,” Pauling said. “And instead of judging them, they told them that they were beautiful and that God loved them, and that there was nothing they could do that could change that, and that He wanted more for them.”

Eventually, Pauling says, he came to realize that if he were to be a Christian, “this is the kind of Christian I would want to be, and the kind of Jesus I would want to serve.”

The transformation didn’t happen overnight – in fact, it took over several years - but he credits the “love-based” approach of XXXChurch with bringing him to the point where he was able to send up that confused prayer in his car, and to listen to the response.

After that mystical experience in the car, “I quit, and I just walked away,” he says. “I knew it wouldn’t be easy, because I had a lot of bills. So I lost everything I owned. I had property I foreclosed on.” His girlfriend of five years also left him for a manager at Playboy.

“But I was never more at peace, even though it was a tumultuous time.”

How to beat a porn addiction

After leaving the industry, Pauling enrolled in school to become a pastor (mostly, he says, to “rewire” his brain - he has no plans for the time being to actually lead a congregation), and started up an Internet marketing company. He has also travelled the world speaking to millions of people about the reality of the porn industry, and about how to beat addiction.

He says he is convinced that the same “love-based” approach that brought him out of the industry is the same approach needed for those who are addicted to porn, and want out.

“So many people don’t ask for help because they’re sitting there feeling guilty about their actions, saying, ‘there I go, I’ve done it again,’” he says. “I think that they need to realize that, although sin does separate us from God, He still loves them. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing. His love doesn’t change. It’s not conditional.”

Practically speaking, Pauling urges those who are addicted to porn to be completely open with someone they can trust, and then to set up a system of accountability – someone they can talk to regularly about their struggles with addiction.

The trick, he says, is simply never to give up. “I’ve had people come up to me and say they heard me speak two years ago, and they haven’t looked at the stuff since,”  he says, “but that’s not realistic for everybody.”

“It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, He’s still there to pick you up and put you back on your feet.”

Pauling compares the experience of overcoming addiction to that of a child learning to walk. Just because the child falls over and over again, he says, doesn’t mean the father tells him walking just might not be for him.

“God who loves us that much is not looking for a reason to send us to Hell, he’s looking for every reason to bring us to Him,” he concludes. “So just stand back up. Stop letting your guilt get you down.”

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received more than $400 million in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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