The following post contains excerpts from Week 4 of the Fortify Program. To find more useful tips to aid you in recovery, check out the full program.


One reason porn has spread across the world is that its core “message” is so attractive. It goes something like this:  “No matter what you’re feeling or facing, come join the fun! Why waste time with the dreariness of normal life, when you can join in so much happiness and good times with simple click of a mouse?”

If that were all true, it would be pretty hard to resist accessing all of that with a simple click. Pretty no-brainer, right?
Maybe that’s why the industry works so hard to convince people this is all true— “preaching” the message that porn is all about happiness and fun.

Unmasking the Industry’s Secret

From the outside, pornography certainly looks like a fantasy world of pleasure and thrills with participants seeming to experience constant bliss and rapture at the highest of levels.

But check out how one porn star described her experience of working in this[the] “industry of pleasure”:
“I got the *&%$ [crap] kicked out of me . . . most of the girls start crying because they’re hurting so bad . . . I couldn’t breathe. I was being hit and choked. I was really upset and they didn’t stop. They kept filming. [I asked them to turn the camera off] and they kept going.”

Wow. Really? That sounds extreme. Maybe this is an exception—just one bad porn studio?

Or maybe it’s not.

You wouldn’t believe how many personal e-mails we’ve received from former porn stars confirming what we’re about to tell you. One participant of pornography films told us that she had personally witnessed “victims and survivors who have been drugged and forced into this ugliness against their will” adding, “I realize that this statement flies in the face of the mainstream … mentality that porn is voluntary and that ‘she likes it,’ ‘she asked for it’,  ‘she chose it.’  Although that may be true for some, many are coerced into agreeing with whatever their [agent or pimp] says just to stay alive. We have been humiliated beyond description and carry that with us 24/7. Our minds are numbed and, in many cases, drugged into stupor…for the painful [use of] our bodies…to be filmed.”

A Trend of Violence and Exploitation

Let’s be very clear—this person is not an unusual, isolated case. This kind of experience shows up over and over and over in the industry—and not just in “fringe” porn. In fact, an analysis at the University of Arkansas of 50 best-selling adult videos showed that 88% of scenes showed aggression towards women – and in many cases physical aggression and violence.
One woman told us: “The abuse that goes on in this industry is completely ridiculous. The way [people] are treated is totally sick … I left due to the trauma I experienced…[after being] beaten half to death.”

So if porn hurts people this bad, why would people ever get involved in the first place?

For some of the actors and actresses, they are told this is their ticket to high-class living and even celebrity status. Once they start filming and getting involved, that’s when the forcing starts. Many former porn stars talk about being booked to do a scene only to have conditions changed on the spot, which often led to horrific experiences with brutal, unprotected sex.
In order to prevent the police and the public from finding out about these situations, we’ve been told that it’s common for agents or pimps or employers to use intimidation or blackmail as weapons to silence the participants. They also crop out the especially severe physical and emotional pain actors experience.

Doctors are also employed by the industry to “watch over” the actors and actresses – and prescribe whatever they need to numb out and suppress the pain.  Former participants told us:

“It’s an empty lifestyle trying to fill up a void…. Seventy-five percent [of porn stars] . . . are using drugs. They have to numb themselves to go on set. The more you work, the more you have to numb yourself.”

Understanding the Magnitude of Global Slavery and Trafficking

You might be thinking, “OK, so if it’s really this bad, why would anyone stay involved?”

This is where it starts to get shocking to the point of almost being unbelievable. But we need to talk about this…
By now, you’ve almost certainly heard of human trafficking- the trading of actual human beings who are coerced or forced into a literal modern slavery for different reasons – including and especially for sexual purposes.

It’s hard for most people to understand how something like this can exist in the modern world. Didn’t we get rid of slavery in most parts of the world a long time ago? Sadly, rather than fading into history, sex trafficking only seems to be growing. The overall human trafficking problem is estimated by the United Nations to be a $32 billion per-year industry that ensnares many millions of people around the world—including young boys and girls. The majority of trafficking victims (79%) are exploited sexually in different ways, including being forced into doing porn.

When these individuals experience pain in the filming, their lives are often threatened if they show pain on camera. So they are again forced to make it look like they are enjoying what they are doing.

You Can Make A Difference

If this is where the pain stopped, it would be bad enough. But think for a moment about how many people who end up watching a video like this decide to try it out with vulnerable people in their own lives. I mean, let’s stop pretending it’s a mystery where some of this abuse is coming from.

Of course, not everyone in the industry experiences these same awful things. And obviously yes – for some, it is a conscious decision to get into the porn industry. But what about those who did not choose this life?
What are we going to do about them?

How about this:  let’s stop fueling this horrific problem.  Rather than spending another day or hour or minute supporting this industry, let’s take a stand and do whatever it takes—for as long as it takes—to say goodbye forever to a system that is literally destroying and enslaving human lives all around the world.

Let’s do this. It’s too important to ignore.