Fight the New Drug

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Fight the New Drug
FIGHTlogo.jpg
Formation2009; 11 years ago (2009)
Legal status501(c)(3) organization[1]
Purposeanti-pornography
HeadquartersSalt Lake City, Utah, United States
Websitefightthenewdrug.org

Fight the New Drug is an anti-pornography nonprofit organization based in Utah. The group was founded by a team of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), including its leader Clay Olsen, although it denies any formal connection with the church.[2][3][4] It describes itself as "a non-religious and non-legislative organization..."[5] The group was founded in 2009,[6] and has received statements of support from public officials in Utah.[7] Fight the New Drug describes pornography as a drug and argues that it is a public health issue.[6][8]

Activities[edit]

The group spreads its messages through presentations and video campaigns,[9] and targets people aged 18 to 24.[4]

In a 2015 campaign, Fight the New Drug posted 100 billboards in the San Francisco Bay Area stating "Porn Kills Love".[6] In addition, the group promotes its campaign via a social media presence and by selling merchandise, such as T-shirts and marketing kits.[3]

As of 2016, the group is allowed to present its material to students in public school districts within Utah.[10] In 2018, the group released a three-part documentary film entitled Brain, Heart, World.[11]

Reception[edit]

State of Utah[edit]

Utah governor Gary Herbert 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.[7]

Terry Crews[edit]

Terry Crews, a former football player and actor, has endorsed Fight the New Drug, and has also recorded an interview with Consider Before Consuming, a podcast by Fight the New Drug.[12] In his book Manhood (2014), he wrote about how he was first addicted to porn at the age of 12 years old and how it continued all the way into adulthood, eventually deeply affecting his marriage to his wife, Rebecca.[13]

Marisol Nichols[edit]

Actress Marisol Nichols has publicly supported Fight the New Drug on social media, and has also been featured on an episode of Fight the New Drug's Consider Before Consuming podcast, where she describes the work her work on combating human trafficking.[14]

Lamar Odom[edit]

In August 2019, former NBA star Lamar Odom said he had given up pornography as part of building a healthier lifestyle for himself and his future basketball ambitions. Lamar Odom appeared on an episode of Fight the New Drug's podcast, Consider Before Consuming, and has been spotted several times since wearing Fight the New Drug's signature "Porn Kills Love" T-shirt.[15]

Kansas City Royals[edit]

In March 2018, the Kansas City Royals became the first Major League Baseball (MLB) team to take a stand against pornography. The Royals held an anti-pornography seminar for players during their spring training put on by Fight the New Drug.[16] Dayton Moore, the Kansas City Royals General Manager, has been open about his concerns about pornography in the past, stating, "We talk about pornography, and the effects of what that does to the minds of players and the distractions, and how that leads to abuse of—domestic abuse—to abuse of women."[17]

Red Table Talk[edit]

In May 2019, Garrett Jonsson, a Fight the New Drug presenter, was interviewed in Jada Pinkett Smith's show Red Table Talk in an episode titled "Does Porn Ruin Relationships?"[18][19]

Elizabeth Smart[edit]

In an interview with Fight the New Drug, Elizabeth Smart recounts how pornography had played a role in her kidnapping. In a statement to Fight the New Drug, Smart said of her kidnapper, "I can't say that he would not have gone out and kidnapped me had he not looked at pornography. All I know is that pornography made my living hell ... worse." Smart has also been featured in a video created by Fight the New Drug, and continues to advocate against pornography.[20]

Chaz Smith[edit]

YouTuber Chaz Smith has been an advocate for Fight the New Drug.[21] Smith's May 2018 YouTube video, "What Was He Looking At?", shares statistics related to porn consumption and its effects on consumers.[22] Chaz Smith also accompanied Fight the New Drug to Guatemala, where they hosted an anti-pornography presentation for locals.[23]

Mainstream view[edit]

Although Fight the New Drug purports to present "just the facts" regarding the effects of pornography, this has been disputed. James Hamblin of The Atlantic described their approach as "a just-some-of-the-facts approach", "less transparent than an openly ideologically-driven strategy", and noted that evidence for a link between pornography and negative health outcomes was inconclusive.[3] 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 LDS Church members over social issues, and pointed to the group launching the billboards in San Francisco as evidence of them intentionally targeting socially progressive regions.[6] 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.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nonprofit Explorer – Fight the New Drug Inc". ProPublica. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b c Hablin, James (April 14, 2016). "Inside the Movement to Declare Pornography a 'Health Crisis'". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Dickson, EJ (May 7, 2014). "Can a non-religious Web-savvy campaign against pornography work?". The Daily Dot. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  5. ^ "About Fight The New Drug - Who We Are and What Our Mission Is". Fight the New Drug. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d Allen, Samantha (October 20, 2015). "'Porn Kills Love': Mormons' Anti-Smut Crusade". The Daily Beast. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Group is fighting against 'the new drug' — pornography". Deseret News. January 26, 2010. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  8. ^ Ley, David J. (July 25, 2013). "Your Brain on Porn – It's NOT Addictive". Psychology Today. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ a b 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.
  11. ^ West, Perry (November 25, 2018). "New documentary shows individual, societal threat of pornography". Catholic News Agency.
  12. ^ Stecklow, Sam (February 24, 2016). "Terry Crews Has Been Posting Intense Anti-Masturbation, Anti-Internet Videos on His Facebook Page for Two Weeks". New York Magazine. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  13. ^ "No One Wants To Be With The Marlboro Man: Terry Crews On 'Manhood'". NPR. May 17, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  14. ^ Consider Before Consuming.
  15. ^ "Lamar Odom 'got saved' Sunday, credits Jesus for keeping him alive after near-death incident". FOX 5 DC. November 1, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  16. ^ Gleeson, Scott (March 18, 2018). "Royals hold anti-pornography seminar for players at spring training". USA Today. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  17. ^ Dodd, Rustin (August 29, 2017). "Royals' Dayton Moore says club educates players about use of alcohol, pornography". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  18. ^ "Jada Pinkett Smith Revealed A Shockingly Intimate Secret About Her Sex Life". Elite Herald. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  19. ^ Hohman, Maura (December 5, 2018). "Jada Pinkett Smith Details 'Horrendous Fight' With Her Drug-Addict Father After He Relapsed". People. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  20. ^ Thomas, Evan (August 21, 2016). "Elizabeth Smart advocates against pornography". Boston 25 News. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  21. ^ Goins-Phillips, Tré (August 7, 2019). "YouTube Star Shares His Own Experience With Pornography, Why He's Now Fighting It". Faithwire. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  22. ^ Smith, Chaz (May 31, 2018). "What Was He Looking At?". Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  23. ^ Chaz Smith. Consider before Consuming. August 6, 2019.

External links[edit]