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Ignorance Is Bliss: A 'Porn Harms' Briefing in D.C. (Reprise)

Ninety minutes of misinformation scheduled for the new Capitol Visitors Center

Ignorance Is Bliss: A 'Porn Harms' Briefing in D.C. (Reprise)

WASHINGTON, D.C.AVN covered the last "Victims of Pornography Summit," held five years ago in the nation's capital, and now that the country's attention is focused on the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the soaring unemployment rate, the Texas textbook scandal, the issue of discrimination against gays in the military and the battle to rein in "too big to fail" banks and stock traders, apparently it's time for another one.

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"Pornography Harms: A Briefing," sponsored by the "Coalition for the War Against Illegal Pornography"—apparently a front group for former Justice Department prosecutor Patrick Trueman and his supporters, who recently inaugurated the website pornharms.com—will be held in Room HVC-201 of the Capitol Visitors Center on Tuesday, June 15, beginning at 11 a.m., with a panoply of anti-porn zealots as scheduled speakers.

First up will be Donna Rice Hughes, who came to national prominence as the gal on then-presidential candidate Gary Hart's lap but then went on to co-found (with the late Andrea Dworkin) "Enough Is Enough," which recently launched its "Internet Safety 101" program to "immunize" kids against online predators, cyberbullying ... and, of course, anything remotely sexual.

"In the digital age, every child is just one click away from obscenely graphic and addictive pornography," the site claims.

Next will be University of Pennsylvania psychotherapist Dr. Mary Anne Layden, co-author of the unscientific pseudo-study "The Social Costs of Pornography," and a frequent witness for congressional conservatives like Sen. Sam Brownback. Among Layden's more whacked-out views are that all female adult performers were sexually abused by their fathers; that "they have to be drunk, high or dissociated in order to go to work"; that porn sets are a "toxic environment"; and that porn viewing "increases the likelihood of sexual addiction."

Also on board is Dr. Laura Lederer, a longtime anti-porn activist who in 1977 founded Women Against Violence in Pornography and Media with another pro-censorship "feminist," Diana Russell. Lederer was also the senior advisor on human trafficking to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice under the George W. Bush administration. Lederer's topic is titled "Pornography's Link to Sex Trafficking," and deals with the incidence of children trafficked to appear in child pornography and to become sex slaves—none of which, of course, has anything to do with the adult entertainment industry.

The next 10-minute slot will be given over to Dr. Gail Dines, who'll claim that "Pornography Debases Men, Women & Culture," a topic she's been writing about for more than a decade, most notably in the book she co-authored with Robert Jensen, Pornography: The Production and Consumpton of Inequality. Dines will be coming to the briefing fresh from her annual anti-porn conference at Wheelock College in Boston.

This year's event, titled "Stop Porn Culture," will be held June 12-13. Among that conference's topics will be "The Pornification of Our Culture," "Racism in Pop Culture and Pornography," "Porn and Capitalism" and "Hooking Up: The Porn Culture on Campus." Also speaking at that conference will be Prof. Chyng Sun, co-creator of the anti-porn pseudo-documentary The Price of Pleasure, and Dr. Sharon Cooper, another speaker at the Porn Harms briefing—and a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.

And of course, what anti-porn conference would be complete without Pink Cross Foundation founder Shelly Lubben, who's described as "a former porn performer and now an activist against the illegally operating porn industry in California"? Lubben was a speaker at the 7th Preventing Abuse Conference on Human Trafficking, Internet, Pornography and Child Abduction last September, where she spoke of women forced to perform in adult videos, and more recently at a board meeting of Cal/OSHA in Costa Mesa, where she and two other "recovering" performers testified in favor of requiring condoms in sex scenes. Lubben herself, a veteran of just 12 movies in the early 1990s, claimed that she "suffered much at the hands of the porn industry and their illegal activities and hazardous work conditions I was subjected to." Here, Lubben will speak on the "Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn."

The "blow-off" speaker, of course, will be PornHarms.com founder Patrick Trueman, who'll undoubtedly plug his own website as well as the "good work" of all the other pro-censorship organizations out there—but certainly, as we noted in our article on the original Victims of Pornography Summit, the devil (so to speak) will be in the details of what these speakers say during the briefing—so AVN can only encourage any adult entertainment fans in the D.C. area to attend this important event for an up-close-and-personal look at the forces allied to prevent porn viewers from indulging in their harmless enjoyment of watching adults fucking each other.






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Mark Kernes

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