Young man on computer

Does My Son Really Need Advanced Training?

The 4 Levels of Pornography Use and What to Do About It.

It would be nice if we could hope that our loved ones will never be exposed to inappropriate media. Unfortunately, we have reached a phase in technology where it is no longer a matter of “if” but “when” and “how much”….

Read about our methods of recovery; a unique blend of spiritual and scientific principles in the free ebook version of Like Dragons Did They Fight.

We are increasingly seeing those as young as 11 and 12 years-old with first time exposure.  

It is unlikely that they are hooked at this level, but likely that they are seeing more than you ever wanted them to see.  

We are also seeing that, contrary to popular belief, marriage and appropriate sexual activity does not take away pornography or sexual addiction.  So, adults just as much as teens are at risk.  

Here is what you do.

Ask your loved one (or yourself) about once a month, “When was the last time you ran into something inappropriate in the media?”  This carefully crafted question helps decrease defensiveness.  

If he or she feels like you are blaming them or attacking them, they are likely to misrepresent the truth to you.  

Adults, please don’t be offended if your loved ones ask you these same questions.  

In this day and age all who rely on you have a right to know, and you have the responsibility to be accountable to those who trust you. Asking as if it was an accident allows them to tell you the truth while saving face.

As you read through the 4 Levels of Pornography Use, you may want to evaluate where you or a loved one may be on the scale.  

Here are the 4 levels of use:

1. Almost Never’s

How can you tell if your loved one is an “Almost Never”?

  • Usually performs at normal levels in academics, social situations, sports, music, employment, etc.
  • Rare moments of unusual moods.
  • Quickly admits to any exposure to inappropriate material if confronted, or voluntarily reports exposures.
  • Will not react with negativity to block being put on electronic devices and rules regarding use of and/or possession of media devices.
  • Will proactively decide and can avoid exposure to inappropriate material for long periods of time. (At least 3 months)**

If you feel your loved one is being truthfully when telling you that exposure is “almost never”, then usually a simple, brief review of values (“Why is it important to you to avoid sexual misbehavior?”) should be sufficient, for now.

2. Experimenters:  

These are those who are using pornography (or other sexual misbehaviors) more frequently, but are not considered hooked yet.   Natural curiosities are to be expected, but can lead to a much more significant struggle.

How do you know if your loved one is an “Experimenter”?

  • The frequency of exposure is increasing (or you suspect it is increasing) even if accidental.
  • Mood shifts are becoming more frequent.
  • Secrecy is becoming more frequent.
  • Misrepresenting the truth is becoming more frequent.
  • Performance in academics, social situations, sports, music, etc beginning to be affected.
  • Decreasing respect to authority figures.
  • Verbalizes increased apathy toward activities that are usually interesting.
  • Reluctantly admits to inappropriate behavior.
  • Values avoiding inappropriate media, but still “slips” more than once every 3 months, but less than once every other week.

If you fear your loved one is now an “Experimenter,” you are going to want your loved one to be trained to identify and overpower the impulse to do things that are against their values system.  Review of what they should and should not do is no longer going to be sufficient.  

Special Note:  The moment in time when exposure becomes an “almost unstoppable” compulsion is impossible to predict. Remember those Oriental bamboo fountains?  Which drop of water causes the next bamboo cone to tip?

How many exposures to pornography before one gets hooked? We are never quite sure, but it could be the next one, or it has already happened.  As with the many different forms of cancer, catching it early is key to minimizing training costs and maximizing positive outcomes.

As with cancer, simple home diagnostics and remedies can be insufficient. Pornography addiction is a medical condition.

To avoid the pain and complications of other compounding conditions, a brief yet thorough screening can make all the difference. This is true of any fear of pornography addiction. 

Please, if you have any fear your loved one could be slipping toward becoming hooked on pornography, have them screened.   Email our office or call 877-HERO-877 and let us know you would like your child screened. Be sure to mention the age of your loved one and what city/state you live in. 

Our licensed clinicians or specially trained mentors will carefully interview you and your loved one to observe how much concern you should have and we will make recommendations on how to proceed.

bamboo fountain

3. Hooked!

If your loved one is making promises to themselves and to you, but are slipping in their ability to keep those promises, you are dealing with someone who is losing their ability to maintain self-mastery.  

A layman’s definition of this is someone who has tried really, really hard to overcome something, and have been unable to do it.  They become moody, irritable, defensive, sullen, less-motivated, etc.  At this point, you are dealing with a psychologically complicated issue and the help of a clinician or a specially trained mentor is going to be needed.  

I have seen many families try to do the brain surgery that is needed at this point, but it is impossible to train parents and leaders with the skills and tools needed.  If you fear you might be dealing with something beyond your ability, it is time to acknowledge that training beyond will-power is needed.

How do you know if your loved one is a ”Hooked”?

  • Significant, unignorable mood changes, primarily irritable.
  • Significant, noticeable patterns of misrepresenting the truth
  • Sneaky, avoidant
  • Significant drops in self-confidence
  • Values avoiding inappropriate media, but still “slips” more than once every other week
  • No matter how hard he or she tries, he or she is unable to make measurable improvements

For young men (14-23) fighting sexual addiction, use Sons of Helaman training.

For adult men (24+) fighting sexual addiction, use Men of Moroni training.

For (young) women of all ages fighting sexual addiction, use Daughters of Light (split into separate groups)

4. In Recovery:

Those in recovery are those who once had to fight at the highest level, but since then have been able to gain mastery over their unwanted behaviors and still retain a respect for the process needed to maintain that success.  They feel powerful and cautious at the same time.  They just need encouragement to maintain the systems that are working for them.

How do you know if your loved one is “In Recovery”?

  • Individuals who used to be “hooked” but have gained the knowledge, skill and perspective necessary to avoid inappropriate behavior for significant lengths of time, possibly permanently.

All Life Changing Services self-mastery training systems are now available to you no matter where you live. We have both in-person and online groups.

Sons of Helaman is the self-mastery training system based on principles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints designed specifically to train young men to win the war against the onslaught of inappropriate material in the media which increasingly challenges the values-based decisions of our youth. 

Originated in Farmington, Utah in 2005, Sons of Helaman has successfully empowered thousands of young men with the skills and perspectives needed to identify and overpower inclinations that would have derailed them from important life events that are important to families. 

Due to the success of the Sons of Helaman program, other services are now available too.  Men of Moroni (for adult men), Daughters of Light (for women of all ages) and Eternal Warriors (for the loved ones of those fighting addiction) training programs.

Families in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints might have hoped that our loved ones would be sheltered from access to inappropriate media, but unfortunately, the power of technology makes access only a few clicks away on just about any electronic devise. 

Not only is the number of youth in our area who are exposed to pornography alarming, so is the number of youth who are becoming hooked on the material and its associated behaviors. 

The pain and humiliation associated with such values contradicting behaviors can be paralyzing for these youth. 

We want our youth to be trained to avoid the bondage in the first place, but if they are already enslaved, we want them to be empowered to conquer!  While blocks on technology help a little, to win this war, youth will need to be trained from the inside to be able to make quick and powerful choices.

Leaders from the Church in your area have been urgently searching to find or create a training system for those fighting this battle that is not only built upon the most powerful scientific methods of our time, but also openly integrates the Church’s values and principles.

It is our understanding that church headquarters leaves the responsibility of finding quality training systems to the local leadership and parents. With this in mind, we have created an introduction video for church leaders that can be shown for a 5th Sunday presentation and/or firesides.  This video does not have any elements of advertising or targeting, but is just for your education.  You are invited to share it with all who you feel would be served by it.

Written by Maurice W. Harker, M.Ed, Founder and director of Life Changing Services and Sons of Helaman.

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