Video of a woman who inspired Citizens For Decency and other conferences.
BLACKFOOT — The tragic death of a man addicted to pornography has led a local organization to hold a conference focused on fighting pornography.
Craig Cobia, the co-founder and chairman of Citizens For Decency, and a staff of volunteers are holding the Unite to Fight Pornography Conference Saturday at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center from 1 to 4 p.m. With the help of several speakers and Bingham Healthcare, the organization is providing the event free of charge in addition to a concert with Jenny Baker and Family of Four at 7 p.m.
“I encourage people to come if they can,” Cobia said. “It’s nothing short of miraculous to have an array of speakers present in southeast Idaho.”
Citizens For Decency started around 10 years ago when a local woman approached Cobia with concerns about pornography. Her husband took his life and attributed it to his addiction to porn.
“We’re not suggesting that everyone that views pornography by chance or who is addicted or has a strong habit – that their behaviors will lead to this,” Cobia said. “But this one person did. He was a good person.”
The tragedy left the woman with eight children to raise on her own. With the death of her husband, she wanted to change the outcome and help prevent something like this from happening again.
“(She asked) Would you help create something that would protect families and individuals from pornography,” Cobia said. “I thought, ‘Wow. Okay.’ I didn’t really know anybody addicted and I thought let’s see what we can do.”
Over the years, Citizens For Decency introduced and passed multiple resolutions to declare pornography a public health crisis in Arizona and Idaho. The group has also introduced and passed legislation in Idaho requiring internet filters at libraries to protect children from pornography. In addition to their lobbying efforts, the organization holds regular conferences, like the one on Saturday, to educate the community on pornography issues.
“Pornography is the most exploitative industry in the world,” said Andrew Russell, co-chief of staff. “It is the most harmful industry in the world. We talk a lot about how drugs harm people and how the drug cartels and drug trafficking harms people. Pornography is way more prevalent, way more invasive and in terms how it affects even the brain, and especially family relationships, is way more harmful.”
Speakers of the Saturday event include:
Donald Hilton – a Texas neurosurgeon who will speak on effects of pornography on the brain
Dawn Hawkin – Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation
Clay Oleson – Fight the New Drug Co-founder
Travis Adams – local psychologist
Mervyn Arnold – Latter-day Saint General Authority Emeritus
“We understand we are few in this fight, but if we can provide information that people can grasp, then they become a committee of many to do whatever they think is best,” Cobia said. “No longer do they need to wait for somebody to come up behind them and tap them on the shoulder and say ‘Join my cause.’ They can determine what is needed and act.”
For more information on Saturday’s event visit Citizens For Decency’s website. </a