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Helping the Military Fight Porn Addiction

Helping the Military Fight Porn Addiction

Dustin Siggins is Associate Editor for The Stream.

Two years ago, an Air Force Judge Advocate General and a Marine Captain founded the Heroic Virtue Warfare Institute (HVWI), a non-profit to help Catholic servicemembers fight porn addiction.

In partnership with famed anti-porn counselor Dr. Peter Kleponis, the group crafted a "Smartpack" that one chaplain told The Christian Post is "'ammunition' for a personalized spiritual, educational, and psychological combined attack on porn addiction."

Designed for the rigors of the military lifestyle, the Smartpack "contains various resources ranging from pamphlets on sexual addiction to the story of St. Maria Goretti to CD's from Jason Evert and Fr. Larry Richards, and even a scapular and rosary," Marine Captain Jerome Lademan, himself a struggling porn addict, told Catholic Exchange. "All of these resources facilitate the user in implementing Dr. Peter Kleponis' program."

In comments to Aleteia, Kleponis described the Smartpack as a multi-tiered effort to help military servicemembers fight porn addiction.

"We talk about why pornography is harmful, what God and the Church say about pornography, and then we talk about how to protect yourself from pornography. Finally, we talk about what you can do if you find yourself struggling with pornography addiction, what are the resources out there, what can you do to rid yourself of this," he said.

Father Rory Pitstick has been a military chaplain for five years. He praised the Smartpack even as he acknowledged that its effect on full pornography recovery is unknown due to a small initial group size and the short time the packs have been available.

"The Smartpack clearly takes a 'shotgun' approach," Pitstick told The Christian Post. "Different elements prove more effective for different individuals. For example, some feedback [from counseled servicemembers] mentions how the educational components helped in understanding the seriousness of porn and what can be done to counter it. Other feedback focused more on the introduction to spiritual aids (rosary, scapular, confession resources, Angelic Warfare Confraternity) and CD's. My own sense is that Bishop Loverde's 'Bought with a Price' booklet presents a particularly effective and compelling sampling of spiritual and educational resources."

Pitstick stressed that "While I'm getting sustained feedback that the Smartpack is helping men curtail porn use substantially, I haven't yet specifically had confirmation of cases of absolute recovery. In other words, ideal recovery is a process that understandably takes time and patient perseverance. The Smartpacks haven't been available long enough, and the pilot group is too limited, to generalize about how long recovery usually takes."

Lengthy recovery from porn addiction is no surprise, however, says the chaplain. "I've heard many advocates of 12-step programs refer to themselves as 'recovering' addicts, even after years of sobriety, stressing the importance of eternal vigilance to avoid falling back into addiction."

Dustin Siggins is Associate Editor for The Stream, and formerly the D.C. Correspondent and Public Relations Officer for LifeSiteNews. He is also a public relations and media consultant.

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