Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sheer Disgust

While I do not usually watch Oprah I did catch today's episode and was absolutely sickened to the core of my soul. The title was "Seduced in Cyberspace" and the more I watched the more unbelievable and terrifying that it became.

I can't decide what is most horrific about this story;
1) the fact that children are exploited so heinously
2) the fact that it happens in the confines of a home
3) that the people soliciting this type of thing are "regular" people who interact with children(doctors, lawyers...all kinds of "professionals")
4) that it is common place REALITY. Ugh.

This story really is a tragic story that is just one of countless thousands. It makes my heart ache. Justin was a young successful boy who was an honor student and class president. He became involved in creating websites, started his own little business and was literally "lured" into this awful, awful underground world. Let's face it, if he went from creating websites to becoming a porn star overnight it would be obvious and would have never happened.

As it was it started with small and simple requests that "seemed harmless". Some sick bastage asked him to take his shirt off for $50. Over time it escalated and he lived another life with quite a following and making a lot of money. His Mother had no idea. All of this took place from the confines of their home and from within his room. IT MAKES ME SO SICK.

It is such a strong reimnder of temptation. If you have a choice between robbing a bank and heading to the office for the day the answer is quite obvious to most. However, if small measures are taken over a period of time you become desensitized and something you would have NEVER done becomes who you are. I'm talking about far more than just child porn (which again just makes me want to barf).

In life in general this is a common principle. Isn't there a story or parable about a frog in a pot? Something about the frog never jumping into a boiling pot of water BUT if the water is luke warm and seems comfy that's a different story. Over time the temperature is increased it it is ultimately to the demise of the frog. I promise that I didn't make that up and while I didn't do it much justice you get the jist.

Justin's story left me aghast and just kept getting worse the more that he shared. I won't go into any more of the tragic details as you can read the story on Oprah's site. It honestly reminds me of this talk by President Monson from 2004 and also this talk by President Uchtdorf in 2008. They are both great reads that help us to protect against the lures and also help us realize how seemingly simple errors can lead us down a completely wrong path.

On the B Side: I am grateful that despite the death threats Justin is able to share his story. I am grateful for the reporter (and people with this type of integrity and heart) who intervined and took an interest in the life of this young man. I am grateful that there are good people with pure intentions in this world. I am grateful for those who are willing to do the right thing and those are are willing to readjust their course when they find themselves off by just a few degrees.

4 shout outs:

The Lingwalls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin said...

So true! It's getting so scary out there. One more reason to not let your kids have a computer in their room and to always have the computer in your home where everyone can see it.

Also, you go the frog story right.

Kaci said...

Oh man I missed it but maybe it's good I did. How scary!

The Lingwalls said...

So true, I just read Uncle Jeb's story of the frog in The Host! Is that where you got it from???