Liguori publications based in One Liguori Drive, Liguori Missouri published books and pamphlets for the Catholic Church. Many of the pamphlets were a common sight in the halls of Roman Catholic Churches all over Ireland. 

One such publication was Pornography a Psychiatrist’s Verdict by Melvin Anchell.

It tells us near the start that acceptance of porn “arises in some measure from the premise that pornography causes no social or individual harm. But my medical opinion is that this assumption, unrelentingly promoted by pornographers, is fallacious”.

Against those who claim that this is only true if the material is viewed by minors he says you may as well insist that a person suddenly cannot be poisoned by anything when they come of age.

“The cumulative result of pornography on a young person is practically equivalent to the sad effects felt by the victim of a child seducer. In later life, a youth so molested fails, frequently, to make a mature adjustment. He remains stunted in self-love which is satisfied with immature forepleasures.”

He warns that the young seeing oral and exhibitionistic etc. activities in porn “often allows these perversions to take precedence over his genital sex aim.” 

Many would feel that when he writes that adults are encouraged to become perverts by watching porn that this is true of some not all.

He goes on to argue that pornography has a regressive affect that causes the body to revert to a more primitive state. So it is not enough that it sows something in you, it does some kind of cell damage. His point is that this makes you like an animal more and more.

He would agree that a porn consumer who shows no signs of molesting people would if they lived long enough. He is not honest enough to tell us that if you know somebody is a user you will be assuming they have victims who have not come forward.

He writes, “Free lovers and sexual deviants are in a constant state of conflict with themselves. They project their conflicts onto others with sadistic vengeance.”

That is an attack on people cis, straight and LGBT who like a number of partners. By deviants he is definitely thinking of LGBT. I would insist that to claim that sex is only between a man and a woman in marriage for life you need an argument like his. You need to say they are damaged and damagers. Why else would you stress the place of marriage?

He says we all have deep religious and spiritual needs and if these are unmet they will try to deal with this by say Satan worship while “others find faith in corrupt ideologies which replace their religious beliefs.” One would think that if you want an all-loving God it would be easier to have one that makes concessions that suit you even if it’s is near enough otherwise to what God would be like. For example, why go to Satan or communism if you are gay? Why not just have a God who is a perfect match for the Christian or Jewish version of God but who differs only in permitting or condoning or even rewarding your gay relationships? 

The truth is human nature does not really care about God. God is just another crutch in the religious marketplace.

He dismissed the dictum of the porn industry that “nudity is an art form.” He says that it’s a lie for it cares only about sexual organs and sexual activity.

Now he declares that “concealment of the genitals in everyday life keeps sexual curiosity awake.” He says that is the reason why our sexual selves are so highly-developed. Surely then if porn movies and books all vanish forever we still have this internal porn going on! If we are not the creation of a loving God, then it stands to reason we are corrupting as soon as we know what sexual desire is like. Porn is only a catalyst. The rot is just going to take more time without it. So each person is their own internal pornographer.

He says, “Sex is an intimate affair. Two normal people in love seek solitude during sexual relations.” 

He outlines the case of Marty who was a porn glutton from childhood and had so much sex that soon he failed to get a kick out of it and ended up impotent. Ansell believes Marty’s development was stunted by porn and he lost the capacity for true sexual love. He said Marty would have developed proper respectful ideas of girls had he been chaste and now “his bitterness and disappointment with carnal sex devoid of spiritualizing have created such a reservoir of hate for females that his sadism is almost fiendish.”

He thinks Marty is typical of a vast percentage of people.

He brought up the case of a 23 year old woman who told him that sex is beautiful and she and her husband feel that so strongly that they let the children observe them having sex. He responded, “But we know that when young children observe sex between adults, it is regarded as a physical sadistic attack on the woman…This is a psychological fact. I have many patients who were exposed to this in childhood, and as result they have become exhibitionists-voyeurs and sadists-masochists.” So he is clear that no matter how bonding and beautiful sex is, it is debased if done in front of anybody else.

But do children need to see the sex to come to that conclusion? If as he says many adults have an arrested development in sexual matters, they will see it that way too. Many feminists do see sex as males attacking women and disguising it as love. Males who see it that way will avoid sex.

And as we are animals, could it be that those people including the children are merely seeing what it truly is? If God has wired sex up that way then God is evil. Sex is not a gift from him but a necessary evil for propagating the human race.

Ansell is clear that masturbation is harmful too for “without companionship and affection, the sex act alone produces frustrations that can lead to serious sexual maladjustments.”

He is clear that he is not telling us what is moral or immoral but rather what is correct and incorrect. He defines correct as whatever leads to your life flourishing. 

He believes the reason people are not taking action against porn is because when loads of persons and relationships are damaged it becomes normalised. He found Stalin’s saying that the death of one man is easily seen as a tragedy but the death of millions becomes a statistic. The human loss, the suffering, is clouded by the number. You just see the number and that is it. I would add that the same problem arises whether it is an act of God like the plague or a dictator being genocidal. There can be no truly good purpose for suffering when we are made to be blinded like that.


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