Helping Others Gain or Regain the Capacity to Love

Porn and Violence

Laurie Ishii

In recent months, I’ve been able to share a few moments of emails and texts with a wonderful woman named Laurie Ishii.  I’d like you to take a few moments to get to know her.

Laurie was born in a strict Asian family in the upper middle class suburbs where everything appeared conventional on the outside, yet very dysfunctional behind closed doors.

At age 15 she joined an Asian gang, left home and lived a life of drugs and crime. By age 22 after being shot in a drive by and addicted to cocaine, Laurie ended up pregnant and alone. After crying out to God, she managed to get clean, got married and acquired a cosmetology license – only to end up back in her addiction after 4 years.

Leaving her family, her year old son and career, she went on to live a life of a full blown heroin addict and prostitute while continually punishing herself over and over for destroying the lives of those she loved as well as her own.

After numerous visits to jail, hospitals and rehabs, Laurie decided that suicide was her only option and woke up in the hospital after attempting to end her life by jumping off the roof of an 8 story apartment building, landing on her head. More suicide attempts, brain damaged, breaking her back and eventually, ended up on Skid Row.

Currently, Laurie is in the process of completing her memoirs, a book about the heartbreaking (as well as humorous) journey of losing self, pride and self worth in the enslavement of addiction as well as learning that we each have a destiny and purpose. Laurie believes that, ‘The things we go through in life, whether be good or bad; never have to be in vain.’

There are hundreds, if not thousands of people from every walk of life who are living in addiction or who have friends and family who are. Laurie’s is a story of overcoming battles raging within and without, wanting to die and yet fighting to live at the same time.

People need hope in a dying world. Laurie was someone who most people wrote off as a “lost cause.” Jesus Christ has given her a new life and opportunities to reach out to numerous people from all types of backgrounds.

She has been interviewed on the 700 Club as well as the LA Dream Center T.V. and she speaks at churches, schools and recovery meetings. Laurie has been clean off of heroin, cocaine, alcohol etc. since March 9, 2001.

Against all odds, she is still alive and functioning as a productive member of society, giving all the glory to God. Laurie is so grateful to JESUS to be where she is at today – if not for Him, she would (should) be dead.

Laurie is in the process of completing a manuscript – her memoirs, titled “I’d Rather Be Dead than Dope Sick”…  take a look at this sample from those memoirs:

I was at home alone, trying to figure out what I would do for money. GOD PLEASE. THE LAST THING I WANT TO RESORT TO IS GOING TO SEE GEORGE. I made a few phone calls, and wasn’t able to reach anyone. I rubbed my nose with the back of my arm, snot spreading across my sleeve. DAMNIT! I’D BETTER THINK QUICKLY, BEFORE I’M TOO SICK TO DO ANYTHING. THINK, LAURIE, THINK!!! I grabbed my head, pacing back and forth. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, GOD. I CAN’T, I WONT. NOT HIM. The sun began to set; the sky a deep blue violet, tinged with different shades of mauve … such a contrast compared to my sick, black soul.

I began crying, knowing the inevitable. As much as I hated to see George, he was the only trick of mine who was almost always available; so in desperation, I usually ended up calling him. I did my best to avoid him for as long as possible, in the hopes that when I finally ended up calling, he’d be happy to hear from me, and when I saw him, he was more generous than usual. This time, it had only been two weeks since I had last seen him. Oh God… he might even turn me away…

Ever since George had found out that I was strung out, he took full advantage of the fact that I needed heroin. He knew that I was no longer a recreational drug user and he seemed to thoroughly enjoy seeing me suffer, mocking me, calling me degrading names. When I was still only doing coke, he was somewhat civil with me – nice even – giving me coke, Valium and money. Now I was lucky if he even paid me more than fifty bucks.

As it got later, I knew what I had to do; I was desperate. I couldn’t wait another hour; by then it would be too late, I’d be too sick. WHAT AM I GOING TO SAY? IT’S NOT AS IF HE’S GOING TO PICK ME UP … I DON’T EVEN HAVE A RIDE TO HIS PLACE. I picked up the phone, tears streaming down my face. GOD, ISN’T THERE ANY OTHER WAY? Grabbing the receiver, I dialed the number and quickly hung it up before it even had a chance to ring on the other end. I took a deep breath and tried to think of what I would say. I CAN’T LET ON THAT I’M SICK, OR ELSE HE’LL TOY WITH ME. PLAY IT COOL, ACT AS IF I CAN TAKE THE MONEY OR LEAVE IT. I took another deep breath and slowly exhaled. OKAY, I CAN DO THIS. I HAVE TO DO THIS, THERE’S NO OTHER OPTION.

When I picked the up receiver again and called George, I was so anxious that my heart felt like it would pop out of my chest. One ring, two rings, three… MAYBE HE ISN’T EVEN HOME …
“Yeah.” DAMN.
“Hi George, it’s me, Laurie. How are you?” I did my best to sound calm and collected.
“Ohhhh, it’s my trashy little slut. What are you doing, calling me so soon? Don’t you know that it’s only been a couple weeks since I last saw you?” His tone was syrupy sweet, patronizing me.
“Really? I didn’t realize that; I just wanted to see if you weren’t busy, you know…”
PLEASE GOD, PLEASE … I’VE GONE THIS FAR; PLEASE LET HIM SAY THAT HE’LL SEE ME …
“What’s wrong with you? You aren’t sick, are you?” He chuckles in the receiver, and I can imagine him smiling, like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. ASSHOLE. HE KNOWS DAMN WELL THAT I AM …
“Um… I just need some cash, that’s all.”
“Well, I don’t need to see you now, I’m busy.” Now he sounded cold.
“But I’ll be sick soon…” my voice began to quiver.
“That’s not my problem now, is it?” I started to panic…
“Come on, George. I’ll take good care of you…” I tried my best not to sound desperate. “Please baby, I promise to do you real good…”
Silence. OH GOD, PLEASE …
“How you gonna get here?”
I closed my eyes. “I can take a cab to your place…”
“Humph. And who’s gonna pay for the cab?”
I didn’t respond, hoping that he would offer to pay, holding my breath for what seemed like ten minutes before he answered.
“Hurry up and get your ass over here. I’ll take the cab fare outa whatever I decide to give you.”
“Thanks George, I appreciate it… see you in a bit…” I breathed a sigh of relief, set the receiver in its cradle, and immediately began to evaluate my situation.

I went into autopilot and called Beverly Hills Cab Company. I grabbed my Newport cigarettes and leather case full of paraphernalia and shoved them into my purse. Once I arrived at George’s apartment, I would quickly switch into the role of a prostitute, faster than Clark Kent changed into Superman. Long before that night, I had become an Oscar winning performer and best leading actress. I would transform into whomever or whatever George or anyone else wanted me to be, to complete the task at hand and get my money.

I anxiously waited on the sidewalk outside, and as soon as I saw the light blue cab turn the corner, I frantically waved. When the driver pulled up, I quickly opened the door and slipped inside.
“Take the 10 fwy and exit Lincoln” I said.
Staring out the window, I convinced myself that the night would turn out fine.

Later that night, after I finished performing for him, George walked me to the door, while he stroked my hair. Every part of me resisted his touch and made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
Smiling, he said: “I’m not paying for another cab. You find your own way home.”
“But … how much are you going to …”
He smiled and handed me a Ziploc bag full of coins: pennies, nickels, dimes and some quarters, to pay for my services – as if I weren’t already humiliated enough.


Shelley goes to Washington…


Pornography Harms: A Briefing What Congress Can Do to Enforce Existing Laws

Prayer people… tomorrow is the day that the United States Congress will have theopportunity to take part in a briefing on how existing laws can be enforced to clamp down on the harmful effects that the porn industry has on our nation and our world.
It’s not too late to contact your congress-person and encourage them to attend.
Here is some information that you will need to have as you pray for this event.
The briefing will be held on Tuesday, June 15th from 11:00am until 12:30pm (EST) at the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington DC.
Topics covered during this briefing:
  • The four leading harms of pornography
  • How existing law can and should be enforced against illegal material
  • What Congress can do to protect and prosecute

11:05 a.m. Donna Rice Hughes
Pornography Harms Children

Donna Rice Hughes, President of Enough is Enough, is an internationally known Internet safety expert and advocate and a leader of national efforts to protect children from sexual predators and Internet pornography. She is President of Enough Is Enough (www.internetsafety101.org).

11:15 a.m. Mary Anne Layden, Ph.D.
How Addiction Harms the Person Dr. Layden is a Psychotherapist and Director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania specializing in the treatment of victims and
perpetrators of sexual violence, sexual addicts and sex industry members. She has testified before the U.S. Congress on five occasions focused on issues of sexual violence, the sexual exploitation industry and the media.

11:25 a.m. Laura Lederer, J.D.
Pornography’s Link to Sex Trafficking
Laura Lederer is Founder of The Protection Project, a legal research institute at Johns Hopkins University devoted to combating trafficking in persons, and is a former Senior Advisor on Human Trafficking [to the Under Secretary for Global Affairs] at the U.S. Department of State. She is currently she is President of Global Centurion, a new NGO dedicated to fighting child sex
trafficking.

11:35 a.m. Gail Dines, Ph.D.
Pornography Debases Men, Women and Culture
Dr. Dines is Professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston, an internationally acclaimed speaker and author, and a feminist activist. Her writing and lectures focus on the hypersexualization of the culture and the ways porn images filter down into mainstream pop culture.

11:45 a.m. Shelley Lubben
Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn Ms. Lubben is a former pornography performer and now an activist against the illegally operating porn industry in California where 85% of the world’s adult content is produced. She is the Founder and Executive
Director of the Pink Cross Foundation, (www.thepinkcross.org and http://www.shelleylubben.com) dedicated to reaching out to adult industry workers offering emotional, financial and transitional support.

11:55 a.m. Sharon Cooper, M.D.
Children Involved in Pornography Dr. Sharon Cooper is a Forensic Pediatrician and instructor and Board member of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. As a pediatrician for more than 3 decades, she is the lead author of the most comprehensive text on child sexual exploitation and Internet crimes against children and serves on the faculty of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

12:05 p.m. Patrick A. Trueman, Attorney At Law
Action Steps for Congress Mr. Trueman is the Former Chief, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice. While there, he supervised the prosecution of child sex crimes, child pornography, and obscenity. He is currently a legal consultant to non-profit organizations on child
sexual exploitation, sexual trafficking, pornography, indecency, and related matter.


Carol: Week 3

Hi Everyone!

I struggle with believing I deserve good things in my life. I know that Jesus paid the price and my sins are forgiven. Why do I listen to the lies whispered in my ear that I’m “dirty” and “undeserving?” When will I ever be set free?

I walk around saying out loud to myself that I deserve a new shirt or a pair of earrings. My sister thinks it’s strange that I talk to myself. She doesn’t understand that by saying something out loud, it helps me reinforce that I am worthy and deserve nice things in life. You can’t spend a lot of years being beaten down and then recover your self-esteem immediately. I’ve been working on this for 12 years now.

I came across a devotional by David Wilkerson (founder of Teen Challenge). It put things into perspective for me and I’d like to share what I learned.

David Wilkerson Today

THURSDAY, JUNE 10, 2010

CHRIST HAS WON THE BATTLE FOR YOU

In recent months, I have read many sad, pitiful letters from believers who are
still bound by sinful habits. Multitudes of struggling Christians write, “I
can’t stop gambling…I’m in the grips of an alcohol addiction…I’m
having an affair and I can’t break it off…I’m a slave to pornography.”
In letter after letter, these people say the same thing: “I love Jesus and
I’ve begged God to free me. I’ve prayed, wept and sought godly counsel. But
I just can’t break free. What can I do?”

I’ve spent much time seeking the Lord for wisdom on how to answer these
believers. I pray, “Lord, you know your children’s lives. Many are devoted,
Spirit-filled saints, yet they don’t have your victory. They don’t know
freedom. What’s going on?”

At one point, I studied the biblical passages containing God’s promises to
his people. I was reminded that the Lord pledges to keep us from falling, to
present us faultless, to justify us by faith, sanctify us by faith, keep us
holy by faith. He promises that our old man is crucified by faith, and that we
are translated into his kingdom by faith.

The one thing common to all of these promises is this phrase: “by faith.”
Indeed, all these things are matters of faith, according to God’s Word. So I
came to the only clear conclusion about these struggling Christians’
problems: somewhere at the root of their bondage is unbelief. It all boils down
to a simple lack of faith.

Are you struggling to gain victory by your willpower? Are you fighting the
battle in your old nature? Paul points out, “To him that worketh is the
reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but
believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for
righteousness” (Romans 4:4-5).

Your victory must come not through weeping or striving, but by faith that Jesus
Christ has won the battle for you.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:6). Indeed,
Paul says there is only one condition attached to God’s promises: “[That]
ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the
hope of the gospel, which ye have heard” (Colossians 1:23).

Christ surrendered everything to his Father, in order to be a totally obedient
Son. And we are to do likewise. We are to be totally dependent on the Father,
just as Christ was.

After reading this, I realized that nothing is too big for God to handle. He can heal me of my “unworthiness”. I just have to believe that He is “lord” of everything in my life. I will put my trust and faith in the only One who matters. He can take this broken vessel and turn it into something beautiful!


Carol – week 2

Hi Everyone!

Anything in life that is worth having is worth working for. I got tired of beating myself up! God forgives us so why shouldn’t we forgive ourselves? This seems to be very hard to do. I can forgive everyone else. Why is it so hard to forgive myself?

In trying so hard to please a man who had a great appetite for sex and porn, I forgot what was really important. I lost sight of the fact that God was supposed to be number one in my life. Every time I have placed something or someone worldly above God, my life is a mess.

I desperately wanted to be loved. I ended up hating and being hated. I was angry and bitter. The Bible says we are to forgive 70 times 7 and to pray for our enemies. How could I do that when all I could see was what this relationship cost me? It was like living in a black hole.

I reached the point of forgiving my ex-husband. Did I have to forgive 70 times 7 in order for it to happen? You bet I did! There were days that I had to forgive him multiple times because of all the “crap” he kept doing. He tried really hard to destroy me. But, for the grace of God, I couldn’t and wouldn’t be destroyed!

He is behind my lack of relationship with my son. Do I hurt? Yes. Have I forgiven him? Yes. Do I wish bad things to happen to my ex? No. Do I pray for him? Yes. When he crosses my mind, I pray the seeds of salvation will come to life in him. This is a good example of how Christ expects us to pray for those who have hurt us.

My girls have suffered because of my choices. Even though they have forgiven me, the enemy still tries to throw it up in my face. Why? The enemy has lost my soul and he will do anything to get it back…including trying to make me feel guilty for past mistakes.

Romans 8:1-3 (NLT) states, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.”

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) states, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.”

God will always love us no matter what we have done. I’ve said, “I’m sorry” to my heavenly Father. He’s forgiven me and no longer remembers my sins. It’s been a process and taken a long time to do it but I can finally say, “I forgive myself.” The old me is gone and the new me lives!

Just let go and let God do His thing in your life! God bless you all!


John and Jane Doe

Anonymity feeds the sex industry. Faceless Johns solicit sex workers along a curb, while men who think they’d never visit a prostitute sit at home consuming pornography. Meanwhile, unidentifiable women lie in cold morgues with “Jane Doe” toe tags, victims of unseen, violent sex crimes.

No one wants to say that a 16-year-old boy who skims a Playboy will become a serial killer. In truth, most don’t. But statistics also show the growing relationship between pornography and violence against women.

Dr. Victor B. Kline describes the problematic escalation effect: “With the passage of time, the addicted person required rougher, more explicit, more deviant, and “kinky” kinds of sexual material to get their “highs” and “sexual turn-ons.” It was reminiscent of individuals afflicted with drug addictions…Being married or in a relationship with a willing sexual partner did not solve their problem…Material (in books, magazines, or films/videos) which was originally perceived as shocking, taboo-breaking, illegal, repulsive, or immoral, in time came to be seen as acceptable and commonplace….”

What used to be naked women becomes images of physical torture.

One article in the journal Women and Criminal Justice described the result: “Women in prostitution have described pornography’s role in their being coerced by pimps or customers to enact specific scenes… Customers show women pornography to illustrate what they want…Thirty-two percent of 130 people in one study had been upset by an attempt to coerce them into performing what customers had seen in pornography.”

The surge in availability of hard core pornography – that depicting violent or tortuous sexual encounters – means that those exposed to it are more frequently acting it out.

Things have only worsened since an L.A. Times article from the 80’s described the problem:

“In a room in the back of a Studio City restaurant, about 30 madams and call girls gathered to discuss a significant change in their business…[A] North Hollywood madam told the women that a number of customers had asked her to procure 12- or 13-year-old girls. And more customers, she said, were beating, torturing and even killing out-call prostitutes. An increasing number of customers are requesting violent or kinky sexual service and seeking younger girls, prostitutes and call girls say. Experts have many theories why violence and fetishism are on the rise, but few know what to do about it. Most of the women who have worked the streets for any length of time have also been assaulted and tortured. Although there are no
exact statistics on prostitute killings and abductions, most law enforcement officials agree that the problem has worsened. There are no definitive studies, but Grinberg is convinced that kinky sexual behavior is generally on the rise…There are several possible reasons for the change, Grinberg said. Our society is more violent now. Pornography is more graphic and readily available and some behavior displayed can become incorporated in one’s sexual fantasies.”

While an online John may not beat up a local prostitute, Protectkids.com reports that “exposure to significant amounts of increasingly graphic forms of pornography has a dramatic effect on how adult consumers view women, sexual abuse, sexual relationships, and sex in general. Male subjects exposed to as little as six weeks’ worth of standard hard-core pornography developed an increased sexual callousness toward women; began to trivialize rape as a criminal offense or no longer considered it a crime at all; developed distorted perceptions about sexuality; and developed an appetite for more deviant, bizarre, or violent types of pornography.”

Online sex videos of women in violent sexual encounters may be of prostitutes – some under the age of 18 – or even illegally trafficked young girls.

The Sydney Sun-Herald reports that U. of Penn psychotherapist Mary Anne Layden has found “the connection to sex trafficking is that increased use of pornography leads to increased demand for prostitution. When demand outstripped supply of local prostitutes, women and children were brought in from overseas, often against their will.”

And that’s how human trafficking enters the picture.

Not all Johns are Ted Bundy, and scare or guilt tactics are hardly a long-lasting solution to beating pornography. But it is increasingly clear that the more online Johns there are, the more abused women will walk past us in grocery stores, the more Jane Does will stack up in the city morgue.


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