Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Toxic Exposure and Respect for Women

Recently a peer with international business experience told me of a visit he had about 20 years ago to chemical company in another nation, a nation that has long been praised for being progressive and for having protected women's rights in its laws. The company told him about their work with a particular polymer. Testing of this polymer, important for quality control, required putting it in a special solvent without any carbon-hydrogen bonds. My friend understood the technical challenges and was curious about what chemical they used because the most convenient suitable solvent is hexachlorobutadience, a very toxic compound. The man who was giving the tour acknowledged that they did use that dangerous material. "OK, so how do you manage the safety issues?" my friend asked. "Oh, no problem," was the reply. "We just use women as our technicians."

I am horrified at this story. Perhaps dozens of women were exposed to a compound that can gradually cause liver damage, neurological problems, cancer, and other disorders. But almost as if they were less than human, that was viewed as an acceptable "solution" to a safety problem, at least in the eyes of one man. They were just bodies to be exploited for pay and then thrown away--and this in a nation is that is praised for advances in women's rights and "equality." That kind of callousness, that kind of exploitation, that kind of toxic environment for women for the benefit of a man, makes me think of another person praised for being progressive and a champion of women's rights: Hugh Hefner. Not just Hugh, but all those who profit from pornography and from all the vices that exploit the bodies of women and treat them as objects to be used and then, after having been overexposed and used up, just thrown away like all Hugh's girlfriends.

There's an outrageous new movie out praising Hugh Hefner as a champion of women, as a rebel, as a cool and sensitive guy, when he's so repulsive and a shame to the male gender. This is not who we are meant to be. His perverted world is one we must flee from and utterly reject. We, men and women, are not pieces of flesh, but sons and daughters of God meant to be united in loving, lasting, even eternal relationships, not for momentary and selfish gratification, but for divine goals and the lasting joy found most fully in the sacred institution of the family. Reaching our purpose and finding that joy requires work, sacrifice, self-restraint, and giving, not just taking and never exploiting.

The false saints or demigods of our era, men like Hefner and the child-molesting Kinsey, are glorified with the greatest of lies. A quick peak under the covers reveals a diseased and grotesque reality. Pornography destroys relationships and makes men and women less, far less. It throws away real love and replaces it with cheap lust while damaging our perceptions of others and of relationships in ways that can harm people for years. How grateful I am for Church leaders who are teaching us to flee this danger in our midst. May we have the wisdom to see beyond the lies of those who build it up. Shame on those who recklessly exploit the bodies of men and women for corporate and personal gain.

I'll conclude with an except from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland at the last General Conference, from his talk, "Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul":
As Sister Holland and I recently disembarked at a distant airport, three beautiful young women getting off the same flight hurried up to greet us. They identified themselves as members of the Church, which wasn’t too surprising because those not of our faith usually don’t rush up to us in airports. In a conversation we hadn’t expected, we soon learned through their tears that all three of these women were recently divorced, that in each case their husbands had been unfaithful to them, and in each case the seeds of alienation and transgression had begun with an attraction to pornography.

With that stark introduction to my message today—one it is challenging for me to give—I feel much like Jacob of old, who said, “It grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech … before … many … whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate.” But bold we need to be. Perhaps it was the father in me or maybe the grandfather, but the tears in those young women’s eyes brought tears to mine and Sister Holland’s, and the questions they asked left me asking, “Why is there so much moral decay around us, and why are so many individuals and families, including some in the Church, falling victim to it, being tragically scarred by it?”

But, of course, I knew at least part of the answer to my own question. Most days we all find ourselves assaulted by immoral messages of some kind flooding in on us from every angle. The darker sides of the movie, television, and music industry step further and further into offensive language and sexual misconduct. Tragically, the same computer and Internet service that allows me to do my family history and prepare those names for temple work could, without filters and controls, allow my children or grandchildren access to a global cesspool of perceptions that could blast a crater in their brains forever.

Remember that those young wives said their husbands’ infidelity began with an attraction to pornography, but immoral activity is not just a man’s problem, and husbands aren’t the only ones offending. The compromise available at the click of a mouse—including what can happen in a chat room’s virtual encounter—is no respecter of persons, male or female, young or old, married or single. And just to make sure that temptation is ever more accessible, the adversary is busy extending his coverage, as they say in the industry, to cell phones, video games, and MP3 players.

If we stop chopping at the branches of this problem and strike more directly at the root of the tree, not surprisingly we find lust lurking furtively there. Lust is an unsavory word, and it is certainly an unsavory topic for me to address, but there is good reason why in some traditions it is known as the most deadly of the seven deadly sins.

Why is lust such a deadly sin? Well, in addition to the completely Spirit-destroying impact it has upon our souls, I think it is a sin because it defiles the highest and holiest relationship God gives us in mortality—the love that a man and a woman have for each other and the desire that couple has to bring children into a family intended to be forever. Someone said once that true love must include the idea of permanence. True love endures. But lust changes as quickly as it can turn a pornographic page or glance at yet another potential object for gratification walking by, male or female. True love we are absolutely giddy about—as I am about Sister Holland; we shout it from the housetops. But lust is characterized by shame and stealth and is almost pathologically clandestine—the later and darker the hour the better, with a double-bolted door just in case. Love makes us instinctively reach out to God and other people. Lust, on the other hand, is anything but godly and celebrates self-indulgence. Love comes with open hands and open heart; lust comes with only an open appetite.

These are just some of the reasons that prostituting the true meaning of love—either with imagination or another person—is so destructive. It destroys that which is second only to our faith in God—namely, faith in those we love. It shakes the pillars of trust upon which present—or future—love is built, and it takes a long time to rebuild that trust when it is lost.

11 comments:

Proud Daughter of Eve said...

I hadn't heard that about Kinsey. What do you base that comment on? And what impact does or should it have on his research?

Bookslinger said...

Kinsey interviewed active child molesters about the sexual response of children. He was aware of then-current ongoing child sex abuse and did nothing to stop it. Some say he was tacitly encouraging it in the name of research. Some say he actively encouraged repeat abuse by asking the molesters to do such-and-such and report back on the child's response. At the very least, he had guilty knowledge, and took no action to stop the heinous crimes.

Bookslinger said...

The Kinsey Institute (and Indiana University) have tons of unpublished raw material by Kinsey. From what I hear, it's only available in person to bona-fide "researches".

It's one of the big black marks on Indiana University. However, when people try to point out what's there, IU and the Kinsey Institute dismiss the protests as being unsophisticsated, anti-intellectual, and un-enlightened. Kinsey's research (ie, interviewing the child molesters) was all "scientific", you see.

Jeff Lindsay: said...

Of course Kinsey's perverse agenda affected his research. He wanted to legitimize sexual expression of all kinds and bring about a revolution. He did it - but not with objective science.

The child molestation aspect of his work is especially troublesome.

One of the leading scholars exposing the scientific and moral fraud behind Alfred Kinsey's work is Dr. Judith Reisman, whom I deeply respect and who, of course, is hated by the advocates of the sexual revolution. Here's a short description of her book, Kinsey, Sex, and Fraud:
"Kinsey Sex and Fraud: the Indoctrination of a People" describes the allegedly scientific research of Alfred Kinsey and colleagues, which shaped western society's beliefs and understanding of the nature of human sexuality. Kinsey's unchallenged conclusions are taught at every level of education-- elementary school, high school, and college--and quoted in textbooks as undisputed truth.

Kinsey's research involved illegal experimentation on several hundred children. The survey was based on a non-representative group of Americans, including hundreds of sex offenders, prostitutes, prison inmates, and exhibitionists. Because of this fraudulent research, Kinsey's brand of social "science" has led to one of the greatest hypocrisies of all time: the pretense of providing safe-sex instructions to children while in reality advancing Kinsey's agenda, including indulgence in high-risk lifestyles and behaviors.


He should have been arrested for his work involving child victims, but he is praised and glorified. He, too, has a movie about him by the Hollywood gang that makes him into a hero, a seeker of truth, a Mother Theresa bringing hope to the masses of the sexually repressed. Guy was a perv who needed to be locked up.

Jeff Lindsay: said...

Here's more from Reisman in Kinsey's hidden child abuse:
Unspeakable Crimes

Table 31 in Kinsey's own book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, clearly shows that babies as young as two months were criminally sexually abused. Gebhard, in his seminar with fellow sexologists Masters and Johnson admitted that what he, Kinsey, and their associates were involved in was "definitely coercion." However, Gebhard justified these activities with the claim that "coercion is acceptable in the interest of encouraging research participation."

Paul Gebhard wrote to me in 1981. I had asked where the Kinsey Institute had gotten these children. Who were the adult "researchers?" He answered: "Some ... were parents, mostly college educated. A few were nursery school owners or teachers. Others were homosexual males interested in older, but still prepubertal children. One was a man who had numerous sexual contacts with male and female infants and children and, being of a scientific bent, kept detailed records of each encounter."

The Kinsey Institute has refused to release the names of these child rapists. All of the successive directors of the Kinsey Institute--Kinsey himself, Paul Gebhard, June Reinisch, John Bancroft, and now, current director Julia Heiman, have perpetuated the cover-up.

Kinsey and his associates were guilty of unethical practice and would have been legally at risk of prosecution (as they well knew) even if they had only been guilty of encouraging and covering up the child sex crimes of Mr. X/Mr. Green and their other pedophile collaborators. The impression given by the Institute is that Kinsey only availed himself of the pedophiles' "research" in the interest of furthering "science." He is, therefore, supposedly insulated from moral or criminal culpability culpability because the deeds were done by others somewhere else, and he was merely recording it for science and posterity.

And it gets worse - go to the source for more insight into this monster.

Here's a short read from a different source:

KINSEY'S FRAUD AND ITS CONSEQUENCES FOR SOCIETY by Raquel M. Chanano

Anonymous said...

One of the very sensitive issues related to Kinsey's genuinely fraudulent work involves the issue of homosexuality. By using a sample population very heavy in prison inmates, the number of people who had participated in homosexual activity was greatly inflated. While numerous careful studies since Kinsey's day have shown that homosexuals might be from 1-3% of the population, Kinsey's 10% number has been touted as truth by the media and of course, gay activists, for political purposes. To me, the issues don't change whether it's 1% or 10%, but it's important to understand that the 10% number is not supported by careful scientific work. It's deceptive.

Anonymous said...

"LDS historian Todd Compton documented that Joseph Smith married several girls of age 13 or 14."
Mormons must be the only people in the world gullible enough to believe that JS wasn't having sex with any of these kids.

Huston said...

Anon, some of Joseph Smith's plural wives were also twice his age. Was he just scamming them for sex, too?

Proud Daughter of Eve said...

Anon, only the arrogant or ignorant apply the standards of one time to another. You think his enemies wouldn't have saddled him with child rape claims if they could have? Those girls were of marriagable age according to the standards of their community. That they would be considered far too young today has nothing to do with anything but your own prejudices.

Jeff Lindsay: said...

Certainly some or many of the plural marriages may have involved physical intimacy eventually or right away - we don't know. But what happens in marriage between those of marriageable age, plural marriage or not, is not the topic of this post. It's a topic that has been dealt with many times here and elsewhere, often started by threadjacking comments.

Yes, polygamy happened. We don't like it. Glad it's over. My take is that Joseph was trying, with imperfection, to carry out an ancient biblical concept that, gratefully, is the exception to the rule, as the Book of Mormon teaches, and thankfully is no longer in force in our day. Let's move on. I don't want to beat that horse any more on this posting.

LuckyMatt said...

Thanks Jeff, for being another voice of truth in a world that largely rationalizes, accepts, embraces, and/or celebrates pornography. The de-humanizing effects of it are a scourge on our society.

The Deseret News is running a series of articles about the effects of pornography. The comments of those defending porn are very enlightening, as are the heart-breaking stories of those victimized by this crime against humanity.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700066752/New-initiative-sheds-light-on-pornographys-impact-on-families.html