Fight the New Drug
|Legal status||501(c)(3) organization|
|Headquarters||Salt Lake City, Utah, United States|
Fight the New Drug is an anti-pornography nonprofit organization based in Utah. The group was founded by a team of Mormons, including its leader Clay Olsen, although it denies any formal connection with the LDS church. The group was founded in 2009, and has received statements of support from public officials in Utah. Fight the New Drug describes pornography as a drug and argues that it is a public health issue.
The group spreads its messages through presentations and video campaigns, and targets people aged 18 to 24. In a 2015 campaign, Fight the New Drug posted 100 billboards in the San Francisco Bay Area stating "Porn Kills Love". In addition, the group promotes its campaign via a social media presence and by selling merchandise, such as T-shirts and marketing kits. As of 2016, the group is allowed to present its material to students in public school districts within Utah. In 2018, the group released a three-part documentary film entitled Brain, Heart, World.
Gary Herbert, the Governor of Utah, said in 2010 that the group was "pretty bold" and "certainly revolutionary", adding that he was impressed that the campaign was undertaken not by the government but by concerned citizens. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff described the campaign as one of the best ways to fight pornography.
Although Fight the New Drug purports to present "just the facts" regarding the effects of pornography, this has been disputed. James Hablin of The Atlantic described their approach as "a just-some-of-the-facts approach", less transparent than an openly ideologically-driven ideology, and noted that evidence for a link between pornography and negative health outcomes was inconclusive. Samantha Allen of The Daily Beast described the group's message as "rooted in pseudoscience", criticizing the analogy of porn as a drug as contradictory to neuroscience research. Allen noted the campaign as an example of continued influence by Mormons over social issues, and pointed to the group launching the billboards in San Francisco as evidence of them intentionally targeting socially progressive regions. In an op-ed in The Salt Lake Tribune, a group of sex therapists stated that Fight the New Drug's leaders and presenters were not mental health nor sexuality professionals and did not have sufficient training to address these subjects appropriately, and noted that a claim by the group, that pornography affects the brain like drugs, is false because pornography does not introduce chemicals into the brain.
- "Nonprofit Explorer – Fight the New Drug Inc". ProPublica. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
- LaPlante, Matthew (February 17, 2018). "In Utah, the fight against porn is increasingly being framed as a public health crisis". Washington Post. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- Hablin, James (April 14, 2016). "Inside the Movement to Declare Pornography a 'Health Crisis'". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- Dickson, EJ (May 7, 2014). "Can a non-religious Web-savvy campaign against pornography work?". The Daily Dot. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- Allen, Samantha (October 20, 2015). "'Porn Kills Love': Mormons' Anti-Smut Crusade". The Daily Beast. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- "Group is fighting against 'the new drug' — pornography". Deseret News. January 26, 2010. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- Ley, David J. (July 25, 2013). "Your Brain on Porn – It's NOT Addictive". Psychology Today. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- Funaro, Vincent (July 30, 2014). "Is Porn Addiction A Public Health Issue? 'Fight the New Drug' Warns About the Dangers of Pornography". The Christian Post.
- Parker, Natasha Helfer; Hodson, Kristin; Bennion, Kristin Marie; Hickman, Shannon (October 2, 2016). "Op-ed: Utah students need real sex ed, not 'Fight the New Drug'". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- West, Perry (November 25, 2018). "New documentary shows individual, societal threat of pornography". Catholic News Agency.