Connecting with Pixels

By way of full disclosure, I volunteered to write this post because I have personal experience with the topic.  I’ve viewed online pornographic movies both before and since I joined the church.  I felt no guilt associated with viewing it before joining the church (which was also before I was married), but when I began to view it after joining (which was also after I had been married), I desired to repent and have since studied the topic to better understand it.


When I use “pornography” in this post, I will be referring to video or photographs of adults engaging in sexual relations.  Currently, there are more than 300 million pages of pornographic material on the internet, an increase of 1800% over the last five years.  More than 70% of American men, ages 18 – 34, visit a pornographic website in a typical month.  Further, in 2006, the pornography industry netted just short of $100 billion – more revenue than that of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple, and Netflix combined.  The state that contributes the most to those profits – Utah.

The inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Porneia is rendered “fornication” all 26 times it is used in the New Testament.  It is from the word used to designate the temple prostitutes the Gentiles used for fertility worship.


The popularity of pornography relies on dehumanizing the subject, which is typically a woman.  The characters in pornography are not depicted as children of God with intellects and personalities – but as a collection of anatomical features that can be used to induce a physiological response.  Ask a man who watches pornography if he would want his wife or daughter to be in videos like the ones he watches – and 68.2689492137% will say, “No.”  (Note:  this figure was edited from 100% per comments below)  They want somebody else’s wife or daughter.  They prefer to do unto others’ daughters what they would not want done to their own.

The sexual climax is intended to be the sequel of the unification of two real persons.  The fact that the pleasure associated with the discharge can be produced in solitude demonstrates that the feelings are designed to conclude the sexual act – and are not a part of the unifying aspect of sex.  This is what I find most troubling about pornography use.  The release that ends sexual unification is designed to bind a person to the other person he or she is having relations with.  What are pornography users binding themselves to – a computer screen, pixels?  Humans are meant to make real connections with real people.


Recent discussion indicates that Satan introduced the concept of shame for nudity.  It is the same with sexuality.  Satan either covers up sexuality, teaching that it is too private to discuss openly, or he teaches only the physical biology of it, leaving out the spiritual connection that takes place.  He motivates sinners to hide from God and from others.  On the other hand, God sees all things, and thus He motivates sinners to be open, in full-fellowship and intimacy with Him and with others.

Sites like FightTheNewDrug promote addressing pornography by letting it into the light to be seen for what it really is – much like the “Truth” ads did for changing the discussion on cigarette smoking.  Having progressed, we can now look back on old cigarette ads as a deceptive venture to make an unhealthy practice popular for the sake of making money.  FightTheNewDrug focuses on addressing pornography by reducing demand – not supply.  When something is banned – rather by states, religions, etc. – without addressing the underlying motivations, the behavior is just pushed underground, becoming darker in the process.  When people learn that, for example, the reason for pornography actors shave their pubic hair is to make them look more like large children – people can choose to turn away from such perversions.  Instead of demonizing sexual expression or victimizing “porn addicts”, the rhetoric should focus on re-humanizing the people involved with pornography and re-emphasizing the sexiness of humans connecting with humans.

Intimacy is the opposite of what Satan suggested Adam and Eve do when they discovered their nakedness in the garden.  Before he found them, they were naked and were not ashamed.  Adam was fully exposed to Eve – and Eve to Adam.  This is the light that pornography should be seen in.  Humans are not meant to experience sexuality in front of computer screens, alone, feeling cycles of shame and guilt.


Boyd Packer told members during the most recent General Conference that:

The priesthood holds consummate power. It can protect you from the plague of pornography—and it is a plague—if you are succumbing to its influence. If one is obedient, the priesthood can show how to break a habit and even erase an addiction. Holders of the priesthood have that authority and should employ it to combat evil influences.

I think the evidence on this site should make it clear that you do not have to do anything with your bishop if you have viewed pornography.  A person that has viewed pornography has most likely committed adultery in his heart – if he were married, then confession to a spouse would be warranted.  But whether or not a person chooses to talk to his or her bishop is a personal decision – and it should be made in light of what will be the most helpful to the person.  When confession to a bishop is not expedient – as it would be in cases of unrepentant sin brought to the authorities by witnesses – then confession should be treated only as a tool to help the person.  One should weigh the risk of opening up grounds for a witch-hunt from an unprepared or unrighteous priesthood leader with the comfort that being completely open with a trusted and capable bishop can bring.  For example, I spoke with my bishop in the past when I had fell into a habit of viewing pornography – because I knew him to be a man of integrity and Godly love.  I received no formal or informal disciplines.  It was hard to speak openly about it with my wife, and I used my time with him to get many things off my chest.  I, unlike Packer, would not recommend confession to a bishop to everyone.  Many bishops are unprepared for dealing with such a nuanced situation and have been conditioned to use extreme measures with pornography because of inflated rhetoric about the subject.  So tread carefully.

Moving on:

I don’t mean to say porn can’t be a problem for some people.  However, it is more often the symptom of a different problem – e.g. poor socialization by parents on sexuality, unaddressed childhood abuse, an addictive personality, or feelings of insecurity.  The visual depiction of a man and women engaging in sexual relations is not, in and of itself, sinful – not any more than shopping is, or spending too much time on the computer.  The current state of pornography is a complicated issue and calling it evil or a plague doesn’t help anybody.  All you do is demonize something that, unless you have some dependence on it, isn’t bad for you.  Proclaiming some moral absolute on a mental health issue is just harmful to those involved.

We should take comfort in the fact that, for our generation, pornography is largely a problem of technology.  Just 30 years ago, to obtain pornography, a man would don a trench coat and sunglasses and go to the back of a dimly lit store to secretly purchase a VHS tape, hoping no one would see him walking back to his car – then he’d have to keep the tapes hidden at home, hoping kids or spouse didn’t find them.  However, today, I can type in a URL in the privacy of my home or office, instantly steam hours of free videos, and then delete my browsing history.  That’s it.  The reason this is a good thing for anyone who finds themselves habitually viewing pornography – if technology is the reason it is so available to you, then use technology to make it less available.  Effective webfilters are as readily available as free porn sites.  Humans should choose to connect with people — not pixels.

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Monson and his constipated physics redux; or, how electric gravity makes hollow earthers happy

I’ve mentioned Milton W. Monson and his curious book once before on this blog, but without really explaining its impact on me.  Whatever you think of him, after reading the book, it is hard to get it out of your mind.  A look at the reactions to it by the physics boys who’ve actually read it shows that although most give it a bad review (as in bad physics and bad mathematics), they all concede that the book is unforgettable.  How could it not be?  His was the first book, that I know of, that attempted to tackle physics using algebra alone, as well as to unite the sciences.  Plus, it was really funny.

I was one of the few individuals (actually, I don’t know the precise number of individuals) who contacted the author after reading the book.  It was then that I learned that he sent out S.T.R.R.I.P. Tease bulletins to those who contacted him, free of charge.  (S.T.R.R.I.P. = Society To Restore Rationalism In Physics, or something to that effect.  Yes, he was a dirty old man.)  The S.T.R.R.I.P. Tease bulletins were further physics lessons that he had not included in his book.

Monson was/is (I don’t know if he is still alive) an atheist and dedicated an entire chapter to debunking religion, but despite that, I had to send him some emails concerning the similarities I found in modern revelations with the physics he was proposing.  Needless to say, finding a spiritual counterpart in his theory didn’t make him very happy and he tried to convince me of the errors of my ways.  I had fun corresponding with him and I think it was fun for him, too, as he was getting up there in age and most people just thought of him as “old Monson with the crazy space balls.”  (Space balls was a theory he invented to help explain physics phenomena.)

Monson was set in his irreligious ways, and accepted a great deal of mainstream science, while attempting to debunk the rest that he felt did not hold up to rational, physics scrutiny.  He either wasn’t aware of the plasma scientists and their experiments, or chose not to consider their results in his model of the Universe.  I believe that he simply didn’t know about it.  I also believe that if he had known about it, he probably would not have liked it, as the discoveries plasma scientists make tend to confirm the scriptures, and he, being an atheist, probably would not have liked that very much.  Also, as he tended to ridicule everything he felt was wrong, if plasma science was available to him, and he thought it was erroneous, it probably would have gotten a mention in his book.

Let me just say here and now to Monson, if you are still alive: I thoroughly enjoyed your book and am glad it was written, both for its witticisms and its portrayals of new concepts. And if he is not alive, then to his son and any other surviving family members: Your departed relative made an impression for the better upon at least one individual on this planet.  I hope one day someone takes up and finishes his foundational work.

Physics Is Constipated (Intellectually That Is)

That is the title of Monson’s book.  Even if the content was horrendous, the title alone would be hard to forget.  To his credit, though, it was engaging and fun.  Heck, even the front and back cover artwork and text were thought-provoking.  But it has been many years since I last read it.  So, what was my surprise when along comes an electrical theorist, Wallace Thornhill, proposing an electric gravity model in an electric universe and using words that seemingly conveyed the same types of thoughts as Monson?

Here is Thornhill’s shortened, but nevertheless interesting paper:

Electric Gravity in an Electric Universe

Gravity, Einstein and Scientific Saints

Gravity is the most familiar force. We are subject to it every day of our lives. Newton gave us his ‘law of gravity,’ which describes its effect but doesn’t explain it. “I frame no hypotheses,” he wrote.  (Thornhill, first paragraph of Electric Gravity in an Electric Universe.)

Unlike Newton, Monson actually attempted to explain gravity.  And his explanation, using only two material types,  which he called structured space and structured matter, made pretty darn good sense.  Thornhill seems to build upon this Monsonian base—has he read Monson’s book?—, including the all-important electrical connection.

Einstein wasn’t so prudent when he introduced his “postulates.”  Unfortunately, his unreal geometry doesn’t explain gravity either. The usual demonstration using heavy steel balls on a rubber sheet to represent ‘gravity wells’ relies on gravity as its own explanation!  (Thornhill, first paragraph of Electric Gravity in an Electric Universe.)

Thornhill throughout this article does the same thing Monson did: show the Einsteinian age as the death of rational physics.  Monson is a bit harsher in his denunciation of Einstein, whereas Thornhill at least gives Einstein the benefit of doubting his own words:

How has this situation arisen? In the 20th century technology perfected wireless communication and computers and got man into space, while fundamental science fell deeper into a ‘black hole’ of complication, illogicality and metaphysics. I consider the principal cause has been the usurping, since Einstein, of natural philosophy and physics by theoretical mathematicians. Meanwhile Einstein, perhaps to his credit, remained sceptical of his own work. (Thornhill, 6th paragraph of Electric Gravity in an Electric Universe, emphasis mine.)

Monson spoke of the scientific community with disdain as being made up of “scientific saints” and “scientific priests.”  In this paper, Thornhill quotes Mike Disney in his footnotes as saying:

The most unhealthy aspect of cosmology is its unspoken parallel with religion. Both deal with big but probably unanswerable questions. The rapt audience, the media exposure, the big book-sale, tempt priests and rogues, as well as the gullible, like no other subject in science.

The Aether and the Michelson-Morley Experiment

Monson was a believer in the Aether.  He rejected the concept that space was filled with nothing.  In his view, there were but two elements that made up the entire Universe: structured space and structured matter and the interaction between these two elements as they competed for the same volume of space accounted for all of the seen and unseen energy manifestations around us.  He believed in simplification as the key to the promulgation of the sciences among the masses.  The structured space was the motive element whereas the sctructured matter was basically just pushed around.  Each element was completely opposite in its qualities.  For example, one could be compressed and deformed like a hollow balloon whereas the other was a dense ball of super hard, indestructible stuff.  There was no volume of space that was not occupied by either structured space or structured matter.

Sound familiar?  When I brought to his attention Lehi’s writings of that which acts and that which is acted upon (see 2 Ne. 2: 13-14) or the Lord’s revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants about the Light of Christ filling the immensity of space (see D&C 88: 12), etc., he wasn’t too happy, but I was pleased to see that he had come to these conclusions on his own, independent of the word of God, merely by observing nature.

Monson’s major problem was the Michelson-Morley experiment, which had apparently failed to detect the aether.  His solution was a modification to that experiment that, in his estimation, would have shown that the aether does, in fact, exist.  (He believed that the experiment failed because the experimenters didn’t know what to look for.)  At any rate, as the experiment had been discredited as a failure, any newbie (such as Monson) contending that the aether was real was laughed at as a crackpot.

Thornhill in this paper brings up the same Michelson-Morley experiment, adding, though, that Dayton Miller repeated the experiment and found an aether drift! Monson, apparently, was not aware of that fact, as Miller was written out of the text books, which would have helped his case immensely.

Structure, structure, everywhere

As stated above, Monson believed the Universe was composed of structured material of two types.  Thornhill, likewise, addresses the Universe as structured, even taking the electron and breaking it down into smaller structures called subtrons.

Gravity, Electromagnetism and Inertia

Both men tie gravity, electromagnetism and inertia to the same common source: the aether.  Whereas Monson contended that the aether “deformed balloons” pushed back at structured matter to produce gravity, Thornhill explains that the minute, structural, electric dipoles align in one direction to produce gravity.  In either case, all manifestation of any type is explained from a single source.

Gravity is a Variable

Both Monson and Thornhill come to the same conclusion: gravity varies depending upon the aether environment. Monson described the aether environment in terms of compression and torsion and Thornhill describes it in terms of charge and electricity.

The speed of light and gravity

Both men also address the near instantaneous speed of gravity, no matter how far the distances, and the slowness of light.  Both Monson and Thornhill address the e=mc2 equation, including when the speed of light is put into the equation.  Neither man gets time slowing down or Alice in Wonderland Effects.  Everything remains based in reality and rationalism.  However, Monson, again, explains things using compression and torsion, while Thornhill explains it in electrical terms.  Both men, though, make sense.


Monson and Thornhill both explain mass in terms of the aether environment and not as “quantity of matter.”  As a result, this opens up the possibility that mainstream science’s expectation of fluffy, spongy or hollow bodies could turn out to be solid and dense while the expectation of solid and dense bodies could turn out to be hollow or spongy.

Thornhill, in fact, draws from recent cometary and asteroid evidence, which should have shown fluffy snowballs (the comets) but instead showed apparently dense rocks, suggesting that our models—of what type of a body ought to produce the gravitational field were are seeing—are inaccurate.  Monson, whose book was written in the 1980’s, never had this astronomical data to work from.

Electric Gravity and Hollow Planets

Electric, or aether-generated gravity opens up the very real possibility of the planets being hollow.  The current thoughts on gravity, that it requires a certain amount of matter to have a certain amount of gravity, preclude many planets from being hollow.  They must be solid in order to account for the amount of gravity detected.  So, if gravity is shown to have an electric connection, the main obstacle to hollow planets vanishes altogether.

Although Monson never intended to promote the hollow earth theory, his model could be equally applied to both solid and hollow planets, without destroying it (the model).  Likewise, Thornhill’s model is also consistent with hollow spheres or structures, both on the subatomic level and on the planetary or galactic scale.  The electric universe theorists usually do not categorically state that their model favors a hollow planets scenario, as they are marginalized by the mainstream scientists enough, as it is, but as one reads more and more of their findings, it becomes apparent that it does.

Black holes

The major break between Monson and Thornhill is their opinion of black holes.  Whereas Monson accepted that black holes do, in fact, exist, Thornhill and the other plasma scientists think it’s just a mathematical invention, an imaginary device that has no counterpart in the real world.  But, again, Monson didn’t have the plasma data to work with.  If he had, he might have discarded the notion of black holes, too.

LDS Scientists: Pay Attention

The plasma theorists and scientists are on the cutting edge.  Despite being largely ignored by the mainstream, they are forging ahead and breaking new ground.  It would be to our benefit (as an LDS community) to pay attention to their findings.  The day may come that we will have to rebuild society.  If and when that happens, a proper understanding of all physics findings will be needed to correct the errors perpetuated by the current scientific community, your non-LDS peers, otherwise we LDS will be no better off or no more enlightened than any other people on the planet, regardless of the gospel knowledge we possess.  The electrical connection may be the most important of all.

The keys to correcting the errors are the scientific anomalies, which invalidate many theories.  Often we don’t hear about these anomalies.  They are briefly reported and then swept under the rug.  Out of sight, out of mind and the current popular scientific theory remains intact.  Inform yourself about the anomalies. Bring them up, focus on them and seek to correct the errors.  A knowledge of the plasma research will help as that field of research addresses anomalies.

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