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The Pornography Industry - Bigger Than You Think

June 20, 2011
If you've listened to Pedro's S+L Radio program, you may have heard of Mark Matthews. He's a graphic designer/animator working in Hollywood.  Every three weeks, he's on the program with the feature "What's Good About Hollywood, with our Hollywood Undercover Missionary."  Now, he's bringing his segment to the S+L Blog.[singlepic id=10 w=220 float=right]
One of the advantages of living in Hollywood is that I’m right next-door to the pornography industry. That might not seem to be an advantage, but if you want to intercede for, sway, and hopefully eliminate a particular industry, it’s great to be on the front lines!Kitty corner to Hollywood is the San Fernando Valley, epicenter of the world’s pornography industry. It’s size is truly staggering. Annual revenue estimates are anywhere between $5-$15 billion dollars. That is more than the revenue of CBS, ABC and NBC combined (approx $6B). Even more surprising, is that you hardly hear about this industry out here in Hollywood. You would think that a lurking giant might give off a bigger stench, but you actually have to go looking for it.
Scripture says “… everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed” (John 3:20). I suppose it’s not really any surprise that the pornography industry likes to remain hidden. Let’s shine a light on it.
These statistics mean that the average North American is spends around $30/year on porn. Statistics also show that for 50% of men and 20% of women, pornography use becomes compulsive. For something so incredibly common, you think we’d be talking about it a lot more!
In the small amount of work I’ve done with men’s ministry I’ve discovered that this is the silent secret of almost every man out there. Many believe it’s the most shameful secret they have. But given how pervasive it actually is, it’s probably the one secret that really isn’t secret at all.
The best way to shine a light on this issue is simply to start talking about it. Satan loves secrets, and sins flourish in darkness. You’ve struggled with porn. I’ve struggled with porn. Pretty much every man I know has struggled with porn at some point in his life! And praise God if you haven’t. Simply find a way to talk about it. A trusted friend of the same sex is best. Talking about it is the first step widely recognized by every kind of recovery group that deals with porn and addiction.
Pornography will not be leaving us any time soon. Priests I’ve talked to say that it has become the pastoral problem of our age.  Hollywood films are slowly moving more into the realm of soft-core porn and the porn industry is finding clever ways to make their wares appeal more to a “main-stream” audience.
There are many things that could be said about this topic, but the things that need to be said are how it’s affected us. The words “Hey man, so did I ever tell you about my porn problem?” may be the craziest 12 words you’ve ever said, but I challenge you to say them. Crazy, I know. But so is our Faith.
Your Undercover Missionary,
Mark Matthews
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