Next week, God willing, I’ll have the privilege of meeting with some of the leading minds in North America on the issue of pornography addiction. It was exciting to watch as this little convergence of people fell into place. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to get to know each other more and pick each others’ brains as we come together at the Covenant Eyes headquarters.
Here’s the lineup . . .
Francois Driessen. He’s really the reason we’re all coming together. Francois produced the yet-to-be-released short film, Willful Entrapment, which creatively portrays the destructive effects of porn addiction. Since making this he feels moved to make something more, something that will help people who are in the midst of the struggle. He’s bringing his cameras to the Covenant Eyes headquarters to begin this new project, a documentary about pornography addiction. Francois is a great guy with a heart bigger than his talent for making movies . . . and he’s a ridiculously good filmmaker. You can learn more about him at FireTrigger.com.
Michael Leahy. Michael is a joy to be around. He’s traveled the globe to talk about his past porn and sex addiction. He’s been on over 150 college campuses, spoken in dozens of churches, and appeared on CNBC, 20/20, The View, Fox News, and even Playboy Radio. He’s the author of Porn Nation: Conquering America’s #1 Addiction and other books. Last time he was here we loved listening to him tell stories about his journey away from addiction and into a global ministry helping addicts. He also has a funny story about hanging out in a hot tub with “Porn King” Ron Jeremy. You can read more about Michael at BraveHearts.net.
Crystal Renaud. I first heard from this spunky, occasionally pink-haired girl over a year ago when she was getting ready to launch Dirty Girls Ministries. We were very excited to hear about someone trying to tackle the silent subject of women struggling with pornography. Crystal has been on a whirlwind adventure since then, interacting with many ladies who are or have been caught in the grip of addiction. She voluntarily counsels women who are fighting porn and cyber-sex temptations. She’s also working on a book, Dirty Girls: The New Porn Addicts. We featured her on a three-part podcast back in August. We are excited about our opportunity to talk with her face to face. You can visit Crystal’s blog at PinkHairedGirl.net.
William Struthers, PhD. I never thought much about how pornography affects the brain until I started working at Covenant Eyes, but recently there has been a swath of research on the subject. Struther’s latest book, Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, is a scholarly approach to that very subject. He is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College and is a neurobiologist who speaks with both authority and great clarity on this subject. In short, the guy is smart. To read more about him and his long list of scholarly papers and presentations, visit his faculty page at Wheaton.edu.
Dan Lohrmann. Dan has the unusual combination of having a big personality and a heart of humility. He first visited us at Covenant Eyes over a year ago after his book, Virtual Integrity, was published. He has been a major encouragement to us and others as he travels and speaks on the subject of “surfing your values,” helping people to make sure their online activities match their offline values. Dan is the Chief Information Security Officer for the State of Michigan and is responsible for safeguarding the computers of 55,000 state employees. In 2008 he was named the Chief Security Officer of the Year by SC Magazine. You can read about Dan at VirtualIntegrityBook.com.
Nicole Wick. Nicole has been blogging for EveryMansBattle.com and XXXchurch.com for the past 8 or 9 months now, mostly writing for wives of men who struggle with porn. She has a degree in counseling psychology and has experience working with everything from addiction treatment to juvenile sex offender rehabilitation. She writes not only as someone with expertise in family counseling, but also someone who has been through the emotional ups and downs of seeing pornography affect her own marriage. We are fortunate to have her living so close to us. Learn more about her at NicoleWick.com.
Noel Bouché. Few people see the connection between the pornography and sex trafficking, but Noel Bouché does a fantastic job filling that gap. He is the VP of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families where he oversees the development of educational materials, awareness campaigns, and strategic partnerships to pursue justice for victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. Noel is also a wealth of information about youth and technology, giving parents practical tips on protecting their homes in a XXX culture. Before coming to the National Coalition he practiced in an Ohio law firm. Learn more about him and the p.u.r.e.JUSTICE internship at the National Coalition’s website.