The photo on the right was taken December 4th, 2017. Just 10 months earlier, in February, I actually had a pretty decent 6 pack going on, as I’d been doing 1,000 situps per day. But on February 12th, 2017, I received some horrible news that took something out of me… I couldn’t stay motivated to keep working out, and was only able to motivate myself to run: it’s impossible to both run and cry at the same time. I ran 5-8 miles every day.
People are always going to choose to believe whatever they wish to believe: “What you look for, you will find!” That’s quite true, I think, even for what we look for within ourselves.
I don’t think there’s been a time when I’ve looked deeply into my own soul and imagined anything other than ultimate redemption, despite what others have said about me. Perhaps I’m far too optimistic. I believe God really can use all things for good, and I’m optimistic my personal situation is included in the word “all.”
When I look inside, I don’t see a bad person. Admittedly, I’ve had moments where I’ve wondered if something evil lurks within, but ultimately I’ve come to conclude that is not the case. I can honestly say that I don’t remember acting with purposeful malice toward any other individual. That doesn’t mean I’ve never harmed others… what a ludicrous idea… I’ve harmed many. But I really, never intended such a thing.
The person I’ve read about isn’t a man I know: he simply doesn’t exist. Donald Trump has used the label “fake media,” and I now know from personal experience that he’s correct. It’s indescribable to witness what the media-mob-mentality types will do for a sensational story. I’m not going to even try to explain it, because I’ve been on your side of the fence before, and when I lived on that side I, too, didn’t want to hear what was trying to be said. I can simply tell you that my perception of the world is very different than what it used to be, and that will have to suffice.
I loved deeply. I made choices based on hope that somewhere deep inside I must have known wasn’t going to blossom. There definitely exists a naïve man within me, but he is no monster. Five different psychiatrists and psychologists have led me down a path where I can conclude this to be true without doubt. Purposeful naivety it may be, and likely is, but pure evil? Not at all.
I’ve learned the hard way that “the wages of sin is death.” Sin costs so much more than is possible for any of us to pay. The last three years have drilled that into me.
The perception of others towards me has been forever altered. Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my head around that and truly understand it. Am I all of a sudden a different person from the man with whom you used to laugh, placing value on my words and opinions? Did something somehow drastically change in the moment when the proverbial crap hit the proverbial spinning air circulator? Of course not. Only perceptions changed.
Believe me, don’t believe me, this is true: I loved, DEEPLY! The ways in which it was said that I expressed this love are quite different from the reality of how I actually did so. That’s something with which I’ve got to come to terms of acceptance. What can I do about perceptions, really? Not much, of course.
Closing, Random Thought: the list of the people who’s feelings and thoughts matter to me has, by necessity, grown much shorter than it used to be.
Walking from my mother’s house to church takes 45 minutes via main roads. But that’s the boring route. Let me show you the 2 hour route, which is not only beautiful, but it’s a great walk to take with God in prayer.
(some of the pics are panoramas, and must be clicked on the fully appreciate)
Which would you take? The long and boring route beside highly trafficked city streets, or the slow and scenic route through nature?
I must warn you that what I’m about to share with you is very dark. If you are in need of a “picker upper,” this story is not for you. For some, this article might be quite depressing. For others, it might be a wake-up call, causing them to think of a side of pornography they’ve never before considered. The latter is my intent. There’s not much light at the end of this particular dark tunnel. Also note that I have Mindy’s permission, and indeed encouragment, to share her story.
When you tell a person what they can’t have, they’ll often try to convince you that you’re wrong. This is especially true for the college aged who have recently left the safety of the nest to try their wings out on their own for the first time. When recruiting new porn actresses, I understood this very well and used it to my advantage. Often working from a nice home, I let the house and our lifestyle do the selling for me. A new prospect would arrive after having driven through one of the better neighborhoods in town and, prior to sitting down to interview with me in my home office, would be shown around the property like a valued guest. My girlfriend and I had things the interviewee didn’t have, the photos of us were taken at vacations spots where she likely hadn’t been, the “famous” people with whom we posed were people she’d recognize but likely hadn’t met.
There were psychological reasons for this: I not only wanted her to feel comfortable in a warm, non-threatening environment, but I also knew she’d start painting herself into the picture. “Porn can give me this lifestyle?” she’d ask herself. “No, dear girl, this lifestyle isn’t for you,” I’d verbalize, “You can’t handle this business. What if your dad finds out you’re working for me?” The more a college aged girl was presented with questions like this, the more she’d argue that I was wrong and this life was something she could handle. When her life began falling apart, I could pat myself on the back for having warned her against getting involved in the first place.
One December day a girl named Mindy arrived at my house. She’d turned 18 barely a month before her interview. I wish I could deny playing the part I played in her story. For a long time I either didn’t want to talk about it, or I’d mention small bits of information. Mindy is the reason my cell phone number has never been changed. She has it memorized, and to this day she’ll call when she’s at her worst and has nowhere else to turn.
Back on that first day, I knew I had a money maker. I verified the age on her ID because, well, isn’t it obvious by looking at her pictures? She looks really young. I’d already been in the business four years by this time, so I had a pretty good handle on the demands of the market. I knew men would go crazy over this girl.
I initially emailed samples to clients who owned websites. Every one of them either matched their largest order size, or ordered more of her than they had of any other model I’d submitted. One client who specialized in the “teen” niche – which requires a model to be over 18 but look younger – started asking if I’d be willing to partner with him on solo-girl website. Such a site features one girl, rather than a variety of girls. We made a proposal to Mindy: she’d receive 25% of site revenue, I’d receive 25% and my new business partner would keep the remaining 50%. His portion was larger because he would be responsible for all website development, hosting and promotions.
Mindy was the easiest model I’ve ever worked with, at least when it came to porn production. She had a natural charisma, beautiful smile and a melodic laugh. She loved life, and enlivened any room into which she walked. At the beginning of her “career,” she could have been the poster child for “bubbly personality.” The second a camera was pointed at her, she’d just start posing. She didn’t need to be directed. I couldn’t press the shutter release quickly enough. For the most part, she’d pick out her own clothing and props, and she didn’t care where we shot, from rolling around in the dirt of a dry field to posing on railroad tracks, from taking over an aircraft hangar – and using the aircraft within it as her own personal props – to breaking into an abandoned sawmill, Mindy was up for anything. When it came to videos, no script was needed because you could be sure that whatever Mindy came up with would be something her “fans” enjoyed seeing. The one thing she didn’t want to do, however, was touch another person. I honored that… for a while.
I believe that into every woman is built a need to be desired. This desire can be used for the purposes of manipulation by guys like the one I used to be. With Mindy, we flattered her and praised the things we loved about her. Prior to the launch of her website, her fan base had already exploded due to the release of thousands of images of her on other popular sites. The feedback she received was shared with her. We used it to inflate her ego and prod her along. Her “fans” needed her, after all. With that positive reinforcement in mind, she was under the impression that she was going to become a celebrity once her solo-site launched. She told everyone about it.
When an 18 year old girl begins making $10,000 per month, she more than likely isn’t going to know how to handle that amount of money. Mindy was no exception. She wanted to take care of people by giving them money and buying things for them, and she wanted to have fun. Not being promiscuous by nature, she wouldn’t go home with fans, but she could be found passed out at parties. She was raped several times over the years. Sometimes I’d immediately be told about these rapes, and other times I would not, only having them brought up months later. I encouraged her to speak to police, but she never wanted to do so. I asked local law enforcement if there was anything I could do, and was told she had to be willing to talk about it herself. By this time, she felt as if all she was good for was to serve as an outlet for the “needs” men thought they had, either by entertaining them on her website, or letting them get away with taking what they wanted from her when she was passed out. The lifestyle I had saddled her with had drained all light and sparkle from her eyes. They reflected a soul that had died inside.
Where once a girl existed who would light up a room just by being herself, now there was a girl who would often literally begin a sentence laughing and end that same sentence in tears. She once broke down on a sidewalk after we’d gone out for pizza and loudly cried about how her website was destroying her life. Another time, I shot scenes with her in a hotel room at a local casino, and in between scenes she passed out on the bed. I let her sleep for hours, but by checkout time I still couldn’t get her to wake up. I had to call security to see if they could help, because God knows I didn’t want to pay for another day, and ended up witnessing a room full of hostile men badgering a naked young girl who was quite angry at having been forced awake, trying to dress and gather her things as strangers screamed at her that she had to leave.
The first time Mindy told me she’d given her life to Jesus, I was actually happy to hear it. The things I’d seen in Mindy’s life didn’t make me feel very good because I knew a big part of the blame was on me. Built into her contract was the requirement to keep producing new content if she wanted to keep receiving her percentage of sales, and I knew that she’d have quit early on if she could have just walked away while keeping residual royalties. Jesus entering her life meant I was going to lose one of my best-selling models, but at least I wouldn’t have to keep looking into those haunted eyes when she was around.
More than anything, I was a hate-filled, selfish man. My hatred was fueled by the hypocrisy I’d witnessed within the church during my teen years, as well as the perceived ongoing hypocrisy of Christians who would lecture me about the life I was living, yet want to see what new pornographic content I’d produced. While I was happy to see the lights return to Mindy’s eyes, I was not happy to be on the receiving end of her attempts to save my soul. She definitely wasn’t prepared to discuss such matters with me. Had she not decided to witness to me, I might not have made such an effort to drag her back into porn. But since the church ladies who met with her on a regular basis had encouraged her to “plant seeds” into my mind, I in retaliation decided I’d try to remove Mindy’s faith entirely. Already, she was having a hard time making ends meet, as income no longer came in from the site (remember, it depended upon her willingness to add new content). I asked her if she understood that old religious men were the ones who had made up the moral rules prohibiting her from participating in her website, which was still able to provide very well for her financially if she’d just give up the crazy religious stuff. I began pointing out inconsistencies in the Bible. I asked her what loving God would command that unborn babies be ripped from their mother’s wombs, as is mentioned in the book of Hosea. After having spent so much time with her – at one time she even lived with me – I knew how best to manipulate her into seeing things my way. She’d come back to the lifestyle every time, initially insisting that she’d only shoot lingerie at most, but quickly jumping back in full bore.
But now I told her she needed to do more. First we started with girls, then later with boyfriends. Eventually, I had her take on both visiting male friends and myself, often at the same time, although we’d film it so that it could technically be called a porn shoot rather than prostitution. The difference between legal prostitution and illegal prostitution is just that the former is labeled “pornography” and involves a model release and a camera of some sort.
Because someone she thought cared for her was now using her as a prostitute, she started identifying as one. Drugs had never previously been part of her life, but they became part of it now. I guess they made it easy to do what she was doing. I’d often pick her up for shoots from hotel rooms where it was apparent she’d been selling herself to others. She bounced from house to house, living with random older men who’d use her for a time and then send her on her way. She has no idea who her son’s father might be, because she didn’t know any of the men who were present the night she was impregnated while passed out at a party.
I wish there was a happy ending to Mindy’s story, but there’s not. Not many months ago, she called in tears, begging me to adopt her two kids. The state had taken them one time too many, and they were now no longer eligible to be returned to her. Her social worker had informed her that a close friend or family member could be given priority, and she wondered if I would be willing, as the rest of her family was not. I gave it thought and prayer, but realized I’m not equipped to take them on.
I’ve now known Mindy for almost 13 years, and there is far more to this story. I could write more than one book about her life alone. What is important for you to know is this: when I led her into pornography, her life was forever changed. Every single time I see her, she tells me that the website we created of her still impacts her life to this day. Random strangers still recognize her and make assumptions about her. She fights hard with the mental illness that was brought on while dealing with the numerous issues that have arisen from working for me. She is very paranoid most of the time, thinking people must be stalking her. When she is noticed by a man in public, she never assumes it is because he finds her attractive, but rather because he has seen her online somewhere without her clothes on.
There is nothing at all attractive about what happened to her.
I wonder if the men and women who found so much appeal in the images and video content we produced of Mindy would find it attractive if they knew what it cost her. I wonder if there would be any arousal if the reality was shown: often before a scene, Mindy would protest, but she knew she wouldn’t earn any money if she didn’t do it, so she’d put on her best game face and do what made her feel worthless, pretending she enjoyed it.
I put her in front of a camera and repeatedly convinced her to continue doing work that was dimming her eyes and killing her soul, but I’d like to point out that the Law of Supply and Demand means all of us who have consumed pornography are part of the cycle of broken lives, like Mindy’s, that result from this industry. This story is not unique; it happens in some form or other every day, repeatedly. Mindy is someone’s daughter. What if she was yours?
While there is an enormous amount of darkness in Mindy’s life, there are also things I find encouraging. Even though she was impregnated through rape, and even though she knew she might not be able to provide for a child, abortion was never an option that entered her mind. Her children might not have been afforded the best life possible with her, but they do have life, and I’ve no doubt whatsoever that they prefer that to the alternative.
I also take courage in the fact that Mindy never gives up. There are situations she has faced that are just as bad as or worse than those I’ve shared, but she doesn’t give up. She’s never once threatened to end her life, she doesn’t whine, and she reluctantly accepts handouts. Sometimes she goes to church, other times she does not, but she’s never blamed God for her circumstances.
What I need from you, dear reader, is a promise that you’ll pray for Mindy. Please don’t do so as a one-time thing. Add her to your daily or weekly prayer list. It has been almost 13 years since porn began affecting her life, and the images and video we created together will be around until long after she has departed this world. There will never be a time when prayers for her are wasted. If you’d like specific things to pray for, I’d suggest praying that her mind is healed and that her children are cared for in loving, nurturing environments. The most recent update I have of them is from a few months ago, and they were in foster care at that time.
And finally, please help share the message that pornography involves real people. One way to fight it is to decrease the demand for it. Let’s humanize those who are involved in its creation so that fewer consumers find it appealing. If you’re a consumer, please do whatever is necessary to stop consumption. Encourage your children to become warriors, fighting for those who aren’t willing to fight for themselves by refusing to ever become consumers of pornography. FightTheNewDrug has done a great job with their marketing campaign to sell products such as t-shirts, hoodies and wrist bands that are intended to make porn “uncool” for young people. Perhaps browse their store and make a purchase or two for the youth in your life. Let’s work to change the way porn is esteemed, transforming the attitude that “everybody uses it” to “it’s just not cool” in ways similar to anti-smoking campaigns. We CAN do it.
As I travel to speak, I’m often asked by parents and those who wish to protect themselves if there is any particular computer/mobile device software I recommend. It is my opinion that Covenant Eyes offers the very best software on the market, and does a fantastic job keeping it updated. Because the quality of their work demands a full time staff to keep it updated, they do have a small monthly fee. However, if you use my reference code, they’ll give you the first month free to try it. Click here to check it out or go to CovenantEyes.com and use promo code donnypauling.
Covenant Eyes has decided to give away the eBook written by Matt Fradd and yours truly. In this 30 page eBook, Matt and I discuss porn in a very open way that will open the minds of many. The short length of the book is done on purpose: this is for someone who needs to read what we’ve got to say, but doesn’t want to spend hours on end reading a full length book.
This book is a handy resource for anyone who wants to be able to help those struggling with porn, who want to educate those who think porn is “no big deal,” or those who want weapons in their own personal arsenal when fighting an attraction to pornography.
Click here to get your free copy: Hardcore Truth: An Ex-Porn Producer Reveals 10 Myths About Pornography.
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There are now two more “Saints” recognized by the Catholic Church. I know some of my Protestant friends are probably rolling their eyes and shaking their heads. I wanted to share some thoughts.
From the time I began arguing with Catholics five years ago about how wrong they were on so many different things, until I was confirmed into the Church on Easter Vigil, I’ve noticed something that I find difficult to put into appropriate words: everything seems “bigger.” What do I mean by this? I mean the Catholic Church really emphasizes how we’re all in communion with one another, as well as those who have gone before us and will come after us. All of the souls on heaven and earth who are in Christ are part of one huge family.
You know how some families are families, while others are FAMILIES? I mean, some families obviously love and respect each other, but there are others who seem to know everything about every family member and make huge deals about every single event relating to each one of them, from birthdays to ball games to graduations, but instead of only the parents celebrating all of that, the second cousins twice removed also show up and are just as into it all. Know what I’m talking about?
THAT is what the Catholic Church does. A faithful Christian from centuries ago is celebrated like we’d celebrate some family member, still walking the earth just across town, whose valiant acts are bringing worldwide attention and honor to our family name.
All of this comes from the rich celebration of Christianity past and present, and the belief that all Saints are still alive and well, just in heaven interceding for us. Christ’s Bride is a very deep, complex, amazing bride.
I’ve had those close to me roll their eyes and say skeptically some comment or other about statues or paintings or stained glass or… any number of things. I like pointing out that such traditions started at a time when most humans were illiterate. Statutes and paintings and stained glass were all teaching tools, which clergy used to share the stories of the faith with an audience that couldn’t read about it for themselves. I love it.
The Church acknowledges that God gave us five senses, and it firmly believes all five of them should be engaged in worshipping our Creator. Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste, and hearing are all important. This is why such things as incense and bells are used during Mass (which is a prayer to God, I might add, and contrary to the belief that Catholics don’t read their Bibles, each Mass has more scriptural readings than I’ve ever heard at any one particular service in my life prior to having attended Mass). Each of these things has a deep, historical meaning.
While some might not appreciate it, it is my opinion that such things make the big picture… even bigger.