Maurice Vellacott now has even more evidence that we need to address this porn problem.
For the good of society.
The Conservative Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin warned fellow MPs and senators of the ongoing societal failure via chain email — a practise of sending preachy moralistic messages to every single person in your address book that fell out of favour in the early part of the millennium with the rise of Snopes. A bemused Hill staffer forwarded the email to this journalist.
Vellacott, a noted social conservative who has openly lamented the rise of "homosexual propaganda," forwarded the email, adding "attn MPs and Senators." What followed was a 1200-word salvo on the dangers of pornography, citing noted quack Donald L Hilton Jr.
"Some threats to the family are overt, and are trumpeted in the daily news headlines. Others are more subtle and insidious," the message begins, under the dark-red headline "The stealth threat to families."
It begins, as so many cautionary email tales do, with the story of a woman named Lynn, who realized her husband of two years was addicted to pornography. His crippling addiction to lewd pictures of naked people kept him in front of the computer late into the night. It was so bad, the email goes on, that he lost his job due to repeated tardiness.
"Depressed, confused, and frustrated, Lynn sat in the same room with him, holding their little child, and trying to get her husband's attention, who ignored them both."
Lynn eventually divorced the hopeless pervert, but not before she was sexually abused, or so the email casually mentions without explaining this point.
"It is unbelievable that pornography is often marketed as a harmless or even healthy pastime," it continues.
The email then introduces Hilton. "Pornography wants you. It wants your husband or wife, it wants your son and daughter, your grandchildren, and your in-laws," it quotes him as saying. "It is a cruel master, and seeks more slaves."
Putting aside the BDSM-flavoured imagery involving the in-laws, Hilton lays out a scientific-sounding explanation of how pornography "shrinks the frontal lobes of the brain, similar to the brain damage caused by car accidents and drug abuse." The manifesto even quotes Tom Wolfe: "the bigger pornography gets, the lower the birthrate becomes."
It's unclear if the email is citing celebrated American author Tom Wolfe or talented gay pornstar Tom Wolfe. Ostensibly the former, but this journalist could not actually find another source attributing that quote to the author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
Nevertheless, Hilton accepts that sardonic quip as fact and warns that allowing porn to suppress our birthrate will destroy civilization.
"Cultures that had no restraint on sexuality, without exception, deteriorated in mediocrity and chaos," the email reads, citing Cambridge anthropologist JD Unwin (who died in 1936).
The email implores readers to "articulate it's [sic] dangerous effects not only to the individual but also to the family and to society" and to "lobby for laws in your community that help limit the exposure and harm of pornography."
Laura Bunker, president of United Families International, signs the message.
Vellacott even took the time to translate half the email into French, so that all of Canada's legislators could understand the imminent dangers posed by pornography.
A quick Google of Hilton quickly brings up fawning over his work amongst fundamentalist American social conservatives, and not much else. Hilton's work is not peer-reviewed by any respectable medical journal, and his "science" appears limited to fostering a confirmation bias in the arch-conservative community.
He is also notorious for claiming that homosexuality is an unfortunate byproduct of pornography and the overall moral decline of civilization. Hilton bases this theory on a study performed 40 years ago that shows that the normal mating patterns of male gypsy moths can be disrupted by spraying a pheromone at them. This journalist could not find that study or understand how it could be the basis for such an elaborate theory.
Three neuroscientists took on Hilton's theories, writing that he and his co-author "seem intent on skewing findings from the studies they cite to support their perspectives rather than evaluating several plausible explanations for the various results reported by study investigators."
But Vellacott is no stranger to the world of controversial social conservatism. He has long been a vocal member of the Conservatives' small anti-abortion caucus and recently outed himself as an opponent of homosexuality, as well.
After REAL Women of Canada went after Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird for his opposition to homophobic policies in Russia and Uganda, Lee Berthiaume at Postmedia News asked Vellacott his thoughts.
"I don’t think we have to be promoting that in other countries. We have far too much and far more important things to be doing,” he said.
"That," of course, being homosexuality.
Though he was nice enough to say, "As much as I would disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, there should be basic protections for them.”
But Vellacott isn't the only one in the Conservative caucus who is worried about the growing dangers of widely accessible videos of lovemaking. MP Joy Smith proposed the idea of a porn firewall to Xtra.
Vellacott did not respond to Xtra’s request for comment.