Recovering Addict Gives Warnings, Shares Hope for Redemption with Students

“Porn Nation draws 500 students”
Jessica L. Brown – Marshall University, WVA Parthenon (student newspaper)
March 6, 2007

If promoters of Porn Nation were trying to capture the attention of students at Marshall, they did.

At 9 p.m. on February 28th, about 500 students filled the Don Morris Room to hear nationally renowned speaker Michael Leahy give his 90-minute multimedia and speaking presentation along with his own personal story to capture the controversial impact of pornography on campus.

Regardless of the different opinions of pornography, revenues show it is an ever-increasing business, bringing in more money annually than professional football, baseball and basketball combined.

According to Leahy, pornography brings in more than $51 billion worldwide every year, and $10 to $12 billion of it is from the United States. He also said Hollywood will make about 500 movies this year, while the porn industry will make at least 11,000 movies.

Concerning Internet pornography, Leahy said 40 million people will use the Web daily to watch it, and one out of every three is a woman. He said women are the new target for the pornography industry.

The second half of the presentation was mostly Leahy’s personal account ­- how he began a relationship with God and how it helped him overcome the addiction.

Leahy shared in detail his own experience with pornography, or what he calls his “mood-altering drug.”

Leahy said he is a firm believer in the quote “What you feed grows, and what you starve dies.” He said he fed his addiction to pornography and starved his family.

His addiction led him to an affair, with a woman whom was seeing five other married men at the same time.

The year after Leahy’s divorce, he had hit bottom and came to a realization. He said he thought about sitting down to write a suicide note to his two sons, but he realized he did not want to leave them with that legacy. He went to get help in support groups.

Michael Leahy is now 10 years into recovery.

He said he achieved freedom from the addiction by joining recovery groups that always talked about God. He wanted to check out why they were so content, and Leahy searched it out and decided to begin a relationship with God. He confronted who he thought God was and realized God loved him even though he knew everything about him.

“My greatest need used to be to be loved,” he said. “Now my greatest need is to love others.”

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