Fighting porn at BYU-Idaho


Kaitlyn Anderson said she was first introduced to pornography as a nine-year-old on her elementary school playground.

“A fellow student approached me and showed me a book with an image in it that was inappropriate. At the time I didn’t realize — as a little nine-year-old — that that image was wrong, but it sparked something in my brain,” said Anderson. “At the time I didn’t know anything about that kind of stuff, and I’d never seen anything like it but that image and that feeling that I got from seeing that picture stuck with me.”

Anderson said images like the one she saw continued to spark her curiosity.

“It was just a slow thing,” said Anderson. “When those feelings and those images come back into your mind, they just kind of take over and push everything else out, and you can’t really think of anything else.”

Anderson said she was not inspired to tell her story until she came into contact with Fight the New Drug.

“It was because of Fight the New Drug and other people telling their stories, learning that I’m not the only girl,” Anderson said. “I’m not the only person who struggles with this.”

Fight The New Drug is sharing its invitation to fight pornography with BYU-Idaho students as part of a stake-sponsored meeting on May 19 at 7 p.m. in the John W. Hart Building Auditorium.

Greg Palmer, a religion department faculty member, and Tim Rarick, a home and family department faculty member, invited Clay Olsen to come address the students about pornography.

“We know pornography is such a problem, even on this campus,” Rarick said.

Palmer said this issue is very important to him. He said he wanted to support it so the lives of husbands, wives and families could be saved.

Fight the New Drug is a worldwide, nonprofit organization whose goal is to change the conversation about pornography, according to the Fight The New Drug website. An update on the story is available here.

This generation is the first to experience the draw of pornography to this intensity, but we also have the science and facts to know its harm, stated the website.

“Many prophetic voices have accurately described pornography as a scourge, and all of us as priesthood leaders have seen really heart-breaking results of pornography in the lives of really good young men and young women whom we love,” Palmer said.

Anderson, a senior studying communication, has previously collaborated with Fight The New Drug to ensure events like this happen so people will hear the stories of fighters like her.

Rarick said the event itself is a community effort, evident in forthcoming donors who have made the event possible.

The mission of Fight the New Drug, which was founded by four college students, is to be sure people are making informed decisions regarding pornography by raising awareness of its harmful effects, according the Fight The New Drug website. They are impacting their audience by using science, facts and personal accounts.

As the four students became educated, they learned that pornography not only caused problems to the individual user, but it also tore apart families and that production of pornography was inseparably connected to the world of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, according to the website.

“Their start was very grass roots,” Rarick said. “I remember Clay telling me a story (about) how they went around getting donations from people to start the movement. It was slow, but it just got bigger and bigger, and now they’re one of the most formidable foes to pornography on the planet.”

Rarick said he knows the primary place for healing is Jesus Christ, but when it comes to pornography there is also a need to seek out the best programs and couple that with true doctrine.

“It will also help people who just really want to make a difference and just fight this,” Rarick said. “People who join the movement become a fighter.”

Students are invited to wear Fight the New Drug clothing to the Smith quad on Thursday, at 2 p.m. in order to represent the movement and to take a picture that will be sent to the non-profit. (Update: The location for the picture has changed. Students will now be meeting off campus on the field across the street from  the Windsor Manor apartment complex. It will be held at 2:15 p.m., according to Emma Zuniga, a supporter of the nonprofit, acting president of the Child and Family Advocacy Society and junior majoring in marriage and family studies.)

“Fight the New Drug has made it cool it be anti-porn,” Rarick said.

Anderson said hopes people will understand that everyone has their own battle to win by attending this event.

“I feel like every single person needs to hear this, whether they struggle with it or not,” said Anderson.

Anderson said for those who do struggle with pornography, she wants them to understand that they are not alone. For those who do not, she said she wants them to be understanding and supportive.

“What I really want is to inspire people who are struggling with it to come out and know that they can overcome it,” said Anderson. “It’s not easy, it’s really hard, but it is possible. There are people out there to support and who want to help. I want to help anyone that I can help.”



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