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Jun-09-2010 17:16printcomments

Multiple Deaths in Porn Industry in One Day Underscore Need to Enforce Obscenity Laws

A briefing for Members of Congress and their staffs featuring recognized experts and the personal experience of a former porn star

Shelley Lubben 2009
"Nothing will stop me!: Nothing will stop me. I will fight to protect women and men stuck in the sex industry and show them the way out! "Shelley Lubben 2009

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - On June 3, two porn performers in separate incidents, were involved in heinous murder/suicides, illustrating a little known dark side behind the fantasy of adult hardcore pornography. Former porn actress Shelley Lubben will discuss this reality at a timely briefing, "Pornography Harms: What Congress can do to Enforce Existing Laws" at the United States Capitol Visitors Center ~ HVC-201 at 11 a.m., June 15.

The recent murders underscore the intent of the event - to educate elected officials on current law governing illegal pornography and the dangers the industry poses to its customers and those employed in it. The briefing will feature recognized experts from a variety of scientific, academic, social science, and law enforcement backgrounds. They will address attendees on the four leading harms of pornography, how existing laws can and should be enforced against illegal material, and what Congress can do to protect citizens and prosecute offenders.

According to news reports, porn-star-turned-prostitute Sunny Dae was arrested for murdering a client during a private session, stabbing her client in the back and beating him with a sledgehammer, stealing about $6,000 cash and electronics. Five years ago as a "porn-star," Sunny Dae could have made $6,000 in a week in the porn industry. On the same day, in an unrelated incident, Steve Driver, another porn performer attacked three people with a Samurai sword on a movie set, killed one of them and started his escape that turned into a media circus ending days later in his suicide.

"Sadly, stories of death, suicide and destruction are common in the porn industry," said Shelley Lubben, former porn actress who seeks to shed light on the pornography industry and its harm. Her web site details story after story of the industry's victims: shelleylubben.com/pornstars.

"We need the Justice Department to aggressively enforce federal obscenity laws against large-scale distributors of obscene materials," Lubben said.

In addition to Lubben, the lineup includes:

Dr. Mary Anne Layden of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania who will address the addiction to pornography;

Forensic pediatrician Sharon Cooper, M.D. of the University of North Carolina who will address the harmful effects of adult pornography on children who view it;

Internationally acclaimed speaker and author Gail Dines, Ph.D., Professor of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock College in Boston who will discuss her studies on how pornography debases men, women and the culture.

Attorney Laura Lederer, perhaps the leading voice in America on human trafficking, who will discuss the link between pornography and sex trafficking.

Donna Rice Hughes, the leading voice on internet safety for children in America and Enough is Enough President, who will address the urgent need to protect children now from the harm of Internet pornography internetsafety101.org.

Patrick A. Trueman, former Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the US Department of Justice, who will close out the event discussing the fact that NONE of the Federal laws against illegal adult pornography are currently enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice and what Congress can do to enforce these very laws.

A growing body of research suggests that the habitual use of pornography - especially Internet pornography - can damage people of all ages and both sexes, negatively impacting their relationships, productivity, happiness and their ability to function in society. Event information may be found at Porn Harms Briefing. For additional research and resource information on pornography, visit www.PornHarms.com and SocialCostsofPornography.org.

About The DC Group on Pornography

The Coalition for War on Illegal Pornography is an effort associated with the Pro-Family Forum on Pornography, a group of national and regional organizations which collaborate for the purpose of education, strategic planning, and action on the issue of illegal pornography. The group has met on several occasions with the Department of Justice (DOJ) asking for enforcement of the current Federal Laws prohibiting interstate transportation of illegal pornography.




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Chuck U. Farley June 17, 2010 9:04 pm (Pacific time)

You are horribly confused. For starters there wasn't "multiple deaths in one day"... and secondly, as if enforcing "obscenity" laws would make a difference?? That argument MIGHT hold water if the murders were committed by FANS not ACTORS of porn AND if it was a proven fact that watching porn directly causes violence. But it doesn't. If porn is such an epidemic then why aren't there murders every single day??


Natalie June 13, 2010 2:08 pm (Pacific time)

There's a very simple way to figure out if what you're doing is moral or not without going into all that religious stuff for those who get irritated hearing the word "Bible". Just ask yourself whether you want your daughter/son to behave, treat others or be treated the way you do. Would be proud?-Go ahead and do whatever you have doubts about. Feel embarrassed or hide behind the "it's not illegal" sign?- well, you get the picture. Something tells me that beaten down feeling of guilty consciousness would be in agreement with Biblical standards. Ooops, did I mention the Bible? Sorry. Didn't mean to turn anybody's stomach.


Osotan; June 12, 2010 7:55 pm (Pacific time)

Luke Easter,who wrote that stuff? Where did god and the idea of god come from? It came from Rome in an attempt to unify the various belief systems into one for political control of the entire population.,and so it persists thru today. And what the hell is "sexual purity"? What of the multiple deaths in Iraq?,Afghanistan?,Pakistan?.,Darfur?.,Kyrgystan?., I think it's better we "learn war no more" and I'd agree to that scripture even if Shakespear translated it from the original text.Do you think he was fluent in Aramaic?.,Hebrew?.,or Greek? Check that out would you? And does your name have intentional religious signifigance?Just curious.


Luke Easter June 12, 2010 2:39 pm (Pacific time)

Enforce the laws? What about the laws of God's word from the bible? No sexual inpurity, indency, immorality, fornication. Judgment Day will only be based on God's Law, not man's.


Douglas Benson June 12, 2010 8:17 am (Pacific time)

I knew it .After looking who is behind this guess what? Catholics and other assorted religous nuts . There is good reason these laws havent been enforced ,thank you Larry Flint . They are unconstitutional but remain on the books .


jeff June 11, 2010 6:59 pm (Pacific time)

unreal. sex is sex.. this stuff is not connected. its purely a coincidence they happen to be pornoteers. why not write about all the other, more heinous, tragic, and brutally violent crimes that happen worldwide. all the time. in the time it took you to read this, the likelihood is that at least 5 people around the world - people that SOMEBODY loves , were just killed brutally and with prejudice. because - it doesnt fit the agenda. ridiculous. murder has no address. crime has no address. we're human, we're one step from monkeys, and two from crocodiles. we kill. and it may be sad, but the truth is - these people had something in them and chose a path that led them to that moment where they chose to kill. porn didnt do it. they did. get real people and start taking real responsibility for the things that we do in our homes, our communities and in our heads. vilifying the porn industry is a waste of time. target something worthwhile - like the oil industry. i wonder how many people are killed in a direct path leading to the oil industry and its big money. There's a real story.


Douglas Benson June 11, 2010 8:59 am (Pacific time)

Why do these puritanical nutballs persist with trying to vilify what is natural? These folks have it backwards and I bet they are the product of the religous right. How do these folks explain the fact that prisons that dont allow porn have a much higher rate of prison rape than those that do [and these guys are pretty much all predators] ? Women and men who use thier bodies for profit are not victims if they willingly participate . I say the predator is the person using thier body to get what they want. When I go to the strip club a couple of times a month mostly with the wife I am a willing victim and its a lot of fun . Why not? If I could get paid to take my clothes off or for sex I would be right there .Anyway Im out . Peace


P Smith June 10, 2010 1:52 pm (Pacific time)

I am no fan of pornography, finding it both boring and unappealing, but the claim that

Editor: Your comment was cut off, sorry.  Feel free to resend, listing links tends to make this happen though not always, thanks!


Osotan; June 10, 2010 10:41 am (Pacific time)

I don't believe this got printed. "multiple deaths"? I think I'd better twist one and get back in touch. I won't be attending the briefing.Goood time to get rush limbaugh to open the lecture. He's not booked that day as far as I know.Ah,now I feel better., high quality herb!


gp June 10, 2010 9:56 am (Pacific time)

And this is another comment on the attitude towards women as sexual objects...Their Dangerous Swagger
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: June 8, 2010

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WASHINGTON
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

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It was set up like a fantasy football league draft. The height, weight and performance statistics of the draftees were offered to decide who would make the cut and who would emerge as the No. 1 pick.

But the players in this predatory game were not famous N.F.L. stars. They were unwitting girls about to start high school.

A group of soon-to-be freshmen boys at Landon, an elite private grade school and high school for boys in the wealthy Washington suburb of Montgomery County, Md., was drafting local girls.

One team was called “The Southside Slampigs,” and one boy dubbed his team with crude street slang for drug-addicted prostitutes.

The young woman who was the “top pick” was described by one of the boys in a team profile he put up online as “sweet, outgoing, friendly, willing to get down and dirty and [expletive] party. Coming in at 90 pounds, 5’2 and a bra size 34d.” She would be a special asset to the team, he noted, because her mother “is quite the cougar herself.”

Before they got caught last summer, the boys had planned an “opening day party,” complete with T-shirts, where the mission was to invite the drafted girls and, unbeknownst to them, score points by trying to rack up as many sexual encounters with the young women as possible.

“They evidently got points for first, second and third base,” said one outraged father of a drafted girl. “They were going to have parties and tally up the points, and money was going to be exchanged at the end of the season.” He said that the boys would also have earned points for “schmoozing with the parents.”

His daughter, he said, “was very upset about it. She thought these guys were her friends. This is the way we teach boys to treat women, young ladies? You have enough to worry about as a 14- or 15-year-old girl without having to worry about guys who are doing it as sport.”

Another parent was equally appalled: “I think the girls felt like they were getting targeted, that this was some big game. Talk about using people. It doesn’t get much worse than that.”

Landon is where the sons of many prominent members of the community are sent to learn “the code of character,” where “a Landon man” is part of a “true Brotherhood” and is known for his good word, respect and honesty. The school’s Web site boasts about the Landon Civility Code; boys are expected to “work together to eliminate all forms of disrespect” and “respect one another and our surroundings in our decorum, appearance, and interactions.”

The Washington suburban community of private school parents has also been reeling this spring from the tragedy involving former Landon student George Huguely V, a scion of the family that owned the lumber business that helped build the nation’s capital.

Huguely, who was a University of Virginia lacrosse player, was charged in the brutal death of his sometime girlfriend, Yeardley Love, a lacrosse player on the university’s women’s team who also hailed from Maryland.

The lovely young woman’s door was kicked in and her head was smashed over and over into the wall.

The awful crime, chronicled on the cover of People with the headline “Could She Have Been Saved?,” raised haunting questions about why Huguely had not already been reported to authorities, even though other lacrosse players had seen him choke Love at a party and his circle knew that the athlete had attacked a sleeping teammate whom he suspected had kissed Love. Huguely had also been so out-of-control drunk, angry and racially abusive with a policewoman in 2008 that she had to Taser him.

In The Washington Post, the sports columnist Sally Jenkins wrote about the swagger of young male athletes and the culture of silence that protects their thuggish locker-room behavior.

“His teammates and friends, the ones who watched him smash up windows and bottles and heard him rant about Love,” she wrote. “Why didn’t they turn him in? ... Why did they not treat Yeardley Love as their teammate, too?”

Some of the parents of girls drafted for the Landon sex teams think that the punishment for those culpable should have been greater, and the notification to parents should have been more thorough. Was the macho culture of silence in play?

Jean Erstling, Landon’s director of communications, said she was “aware of the incident” but that “student records including disciplinary infractions are confidential.”

She said that “Landon has an extensive ethics and character education program which includes as its key tenets respect and honesty. Civility toward women is definitely part of that education program.”

Time for a curriculum overhaul. Young men everywhere must be taught, beyond platitudes, that young women are not prey.
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on June 9, 2010, on page A25 of the New York edition.

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