Jonathon van Maren

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Those porn stars you’re watching? Many of them are dead. Their ‘work’ killed them.

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January 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Earlier this year, 20-year-old porn actress Olivia North was found dead in Las Vegas, a girl who professed to be “lonely” and still grieving the loss of her boyfriend, who had died of a drug overdose.

In December, fellow porn actress Yuritzan Beltran also died from a drug overdose—and later that month, the 23-year-old August Ames hung herself after being viciously bullied online by social justice warriors who were livid that Ames had declined to shoot porn scenes with a male performer who also did gay porn in order to avoid the risk of STDs. Those reasons weren’t good enough for the progressives, who shrugged off her suicide as if she deserved it—and after all, what’s one more dead porn star?

There are many reasons not to look at pornography, and I’ve written many columns in this space detailing those reasons: The mainstreaming of rape culture, the creation of addictions, the destruction of marriages and families, and even the warp-speed spread of erectile dysfunction

But there is another reason not to look at pornography: Simple compassion for the women and girls who get chewed up by the industry and then abandoned.

Even Miriam Weeks—also known Belle Knox, the “Duke University Porn Star”—who once described porn as “freeing and empowering and the way the world should be” in an interview with CNN, later admitted in interviews that the porn industry had ruined her life.

It’s not surprising that the intense violence of the porn industry is ruining the women and girls who end up selling themselves to it.

“Once [the performers] are in the industry, they have high rates of substance abuse, typically alcohol and cocaine, depression, borderline personality disorder,” noted researcher Dr. Mary Anne Layden, an expert on the porn industry.

“The experience I find most common among performers is that they have to be drunk, high, or disassociated to go to work. Their work environment is particularly toxic…The terrible work life of the pornography performer is often followed by an equally terrible home life. They have an increased risk of sexually transmitted disease (including HIV), domestic violence, and have about a 25% chance of making a marriage that lasts as long as three years.”

Such things are an open secret inside the porn industry. One male porn performer who starred in 600 films with over 3,000 women noted that everyone in the porn world has herpes, both males and females. Dr. Sharon Mitchell’s estimate was slightly lower—she put the number at 66%, not including another 12-28% with other STDs and 7% with HIV.

To cope with this lifestyle, porn performers turn to substance abuse. Erin Moore, a porn performer, was blunt: “The drugs we binged on were ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana, Xanax, Valium, Vicodin, and alcohol.”

I asked my friend Jessica Neely, a former porn performer who is recovering from her time in the industry, if suicide was common in the porn industry. “Well, 100% of [industry] survivors I know have attempted [suicide], so I don’t know,” she told me. “I know of three alive from my era now.” When I asked her about the rates of substance abuse, her response was equally gloomy: “100%.”

Jessica has lost a lot of friends.

“At the end, with the HIV cover-ups, I just saw we were going to die one way or another,” she said. “HIV cover-ups were to truly take away the option of choice. It was murder. We were murdering our own.”

Consider this for a moment: Many of the actresses that porn users are watching are dead.

They are arousing themselves to the sight of women and girls who have ended up in coffins because the industry that exploits them for the pleasure of porn users drove them to drugs, to drink, and to death. There is something truly evil and truly vile about millions of men spending millions of hours in a state of sexual excitement over doomed performers who will destroy their lives in the few years they spend in the porn industry. Carnality leading to carnage.

If you look at porn, know that you are contributing to the exploitation and victimization of the girls you are using to "get off."

Know that when the director yells “cut” and you’re done watching the video, the miserable people going through the motions for your entertainment will probably be abusing drugs and alcohol to cope with their experience.

And know that at the end of the day, your habit is contributing to the suicides of young girls who cannot handle the strain of being a sex object for your pleasure each and every day. 

Is this something that anyone wants to be a part of in any way? It's time to end porn. This will only happen if demand dries up. It's time to stop the demand. Break the habit. 

Listen to an interview with former porn actress Jessica Neely. Neely recently shared the incredible and heartbreaking story about her life in porn with Jonathon Van Maren on The Van Maren Show, LifeSite's new weekly podcast.

The Van Maren Show is hosted on numerous platforms, including SpotifySoundCloud, and YouTube. It is also on iTunes and Google Play. For a full listing of episodes, and to subscribe via various channels, visit our Pippa.io webpage here.

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Jonathon van Maren

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.