by Tony Bennett, 24 November 2010
Article for The Madeleine Foundation
Myself and another Committee member of The Madeleine Foundation were privileged to be among over 100 people packed into the Grand Committee Room in the House of Commons on 22 November for the launch of a new campaign to combat the rising tide of adult and child pornography on the internet.
The group safermedia, formerly ‘mediamarch’, both descendants from Mary Whitehouse’s National Viewers and Listeners Association, has recently achieved charity status on the grounds of its ‘contribution to public health and safety’. The keynote address was given by U.S. journalist and author Pamela Paul, whose book ‘Pornified’ made a huge impact in America with its detailed account of how viewing adult pornography soon becomes highly addictive, causes broken relationships and sometimes turns people to crime, and frequently leads on to viewing child pornography.
Chaired by TV presenter Olave Snelling, the meeting heard that there are now estimated to be 200,000 internet sites worldwide where illegal child pornography is viewable.
Many churches and Christian organisations were represented at the meeting, including Dr Lisa Nolland of Anglican Mainstream, Simon Calvert of the Christian Institute and Dr Andrew Ferguson of the Christian Medical Fellowship. One floor speaker said that the appalling increase in the availability of pornography was a direct result of our nation turning away from God and called for national repentance. Several speakers lamented the early sexualisation of primary school children by the use of often graphic sexually explicit material in school lessons.
Pippa Smith, co-founder of safermedia, explained that estimates suggest that up to 23% of all internet searches are for pornography. She outlined possible technical solutions for controlling internet pornography, which she said were inadequate at present, particularly on mobile ’phones. Mobile ’phone manufacturers admitted that even they did not know what material was being sent to mobiles. She appealed for the British Board of Film Censors to be given the power to regulate the internet, and suggested that health warning labels, like those on cigarette packets, should be displayed on pornographic films and broadcasts.
Co-founder Miranda Suit read out a distressing list of murders, some of them mass murders, known to have been committed as a direct result of people viewing violent videos, playing violent video games, or watching films; some of the murderers had re-enacted specific scenes from certain films, including the Columbine High School massacre of 12 students in 1999 [please see Appendix below]
She closed the event by displaying a bunch of white flowers, symbolic of the purity for which the BBC once stood when it was first set up. She quoted the words inscribed on Portland Place in 1931 by the BBC’s first Director, Sir John Reith, and based on words from Philippians Chapter 4: “This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting…It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness”.
The Madeleine Foundation supports all endeavours which help to protect, support and enhance the well-being of children. safermedia certainly strives to do that and therefore we support it. You can find them at: www.safwermedia.org.uk[/size]
APPENDIX: Some examples of murders caused by watching films or violent videos etc.
(Warning: some of the references are graphic)
Ted Bundy, serial killer of over 30 women in America, admitted that watching pornography with his grandfather, who kept a large collection of pornography in his greenhouse, led him to commit his murders (source: Wikipedia).
Stefan Pakeerah was murdered by Warren Leblanc in February 2004. Repeatedly watching the violent video game ‘Manhunt’ was said to have impelled Leblanc to kill Pakeera. His father said: “It's a video instruction on how to murder somebody, it just shows how you kill people and what weapons you use. If we can stop another family having to go through what we're going through now, by taking this games and games of this nature off the shelves, then we would have achieved something and Stefan wouldn't have died in vain”. Leblanc had savagely beaten his victim with a claw hammer and stabbed him repeatedly after luring him to a local park. ‘Manhunt’ was withdrawn from circulation as a result of ther case (source: BBC).
2-year-old Jamie Bulger was murdered in Liverpool in horrific circmstances. It was said that Venables and Thompson had viewed the violent ‘video nasty’ Childs Play 3 and been inspired by it to torture and kill Jamie (source: Wikipedia).
Michael Moss was brutally murdered in 1999 when his three attackers re-enacted a horrific scene from the film Reservoir Dogs’, using a broken bottle to try to cut off his left ear. Allan Bentley and Mark McKeefrey, who were 15 at the time, and Graham Neary, 16, savagely battered Michael Moss and delibertaely re-enacted a scene they had seen from the film ‘Reservoir Dogs’ (source: The Independent).
Eric Harris and Daniel Klebold were addicts of violent video games such as ‘Doom’ and ‘Wolfenstein’ when they decided to kill 12 students at Columbine High School on 20 April 1999 (source: Wikipedia).
Jane Longhurst was kiiold by Graham Couuts on 14 May 2003. At his murder trial, Coutts confessed to a long-standing neck fetish and obsession with strangulation, having started to watch violent pornography including simulated strangulation, rape and necrophilia (source: Wikipedia).
The Virginia Tech massacre on 16 April 2007 was perpetrated by Cho Seung-Hui. Before the murders, he had photos taken of himself wielding a hammer, mimicking a scene from the violent Korean film ‘Old Boy’, which graphically depicts blooshed. This film won the Cannes Grand Prix prize in 2004. It was the second film in Park Chan-Wook's unofficial ‘Vengeance Trilogy’, which started with ‘Sympathy for Mr Vengeance’ in 2002 and ‘Sympathy for Lady Vengeance’ in 2005 (source: Wikipedia).
17-year-old Simon Everitt was murdered by Jonathan Clarke and two others. Jurors at the trial of Jonathan Clarke and two other co-defendants were played a scene from the violent film Severance, made in 2006 and told that, when Mr. Clarke had watched the DVD, “he made a comment to this effect: ‘Wouldn’t it be wicked if you could actually do that to someone in real life?’” The way Everitt was murdered was based in sequences in the film (source: Wikipedia).
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I agree that viewing porn can ruin relationships with a partner becoming dependent on it in relationships and it causes many rows.
I read some excellent articles from the Jehovahs Witnesses about this and I do believe that in latter years there has been an eroding of what certain broadcasters consider decent.
In the 80's I got my knuckes wrapped by the BBC for singing a Julie Covington version of "Only Women Bleed" written by Alice Cooper as it was deemed unsuitable for family TV. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptPfUQp76x4
I now watch women singers who look like they belong in a lap-dancing club singing their songs. Women referred to as "Bitches and HO's"
I recently heard an 11 yr old say of an overweight person "too much cushin for the pushin", the mother thought this hilarious wheras I was horrified.
We need to make a stand IMO.
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