It came as no surprise at all when I saw news articles recently come out outlining Corey Feldman’s new book, Coreyography, revealing Corey was molested as a child. Corey describes the grooming process, how he was made to believe it was his fault, and how he was told that the sexual encounters were what “normal people do.” All of these things are stripped right from the same playbook of pedophiles. Having a very broken home life with drug-addicted parents, Corey was primed, as currently are millions of other children in this nation, to be a vulnerable target for abuse. Yes–sexual abuse of minors is even in Hollywood.
Corey believes that pedophilia is a huge problem in Hollywood, and that it is everywhere else too. He says, ” I think there’s a lot more of it than we’d like to believe and a lot more of it in all paths of life. The world is a very, very dark place right now. Right now, more than any other time in the history of mankind we need to have spirituality in our lives, we need to believe in a higher power and stay positive no matter what.” 1. Apparently, experts conclude that pedophiles are a bigger problem in Hollywood than in Corey’s day.2.
I would agree, too. Statistics show it is true. But so does experience. Recently, I met and prayed with a Christian man dying of AIDS who was from West Hollywood. I asked if I could ask him very pointed questions about life as a gay man, and he was very open and honest. What he described sounded more like a horror flick than reality. At the age of 49, he had outlived every one of his friends. Every single one. As a paramedic, he described routine calls for overdoses and suicide attempts in the San Fernando Valley, the porn production capitol of the world. His patients for those types of calls were almost exclusively porn actors. But he also told me something that had struck a nerve with me. He said, “Jimmy, all you hear about is the glamor of the gay lifestyle. As one who lived my whole life in this community, there are things that go on that you wouldn’t believe. And child molestation is wildly out of control here.” Before anyone rushes to blast me, these are not my words. I passed no judgment on my friend. I simply let him tell his story. As a man who was, for years, sodomized by his biological father when he was a young boy, he had the authority to speak on the subject.
Child pornography and pedophilia are everywhere. On lunch break today, the local news had a story of young minors who posted hardcore nude pictures on a pornographic website because their boyfriends told them to. Ironically my own website, which tries to combat child sex abuse, is bombarded daily with traffic from people seeking child porn. Just today the top searches which led people to this very site are “child sex site,” “very young teen hardcore porn,” and “pinay child phonography.” I know what you’re thinking, “What is pinay child phonography?” Pinay is a slang word meaning a Filipina girl but it’s also slang used to describe the most beautiful kind of girl alive. Phonography has appeared almost daily as a search term and is an intentional misspelling of pornography to sort of “fly under the radar” of illegally searching for child porn.
The bad news is that this is a pandemic. Corey Feldman is right that there is a lot more going on “than we’d like to believe.” That’s just it. We don’t want to believe it. So we deny. And the more quiet we are, the more enabled abusers are. It’s also bad news that the majority of abuse is not reported. And the majority of the abuse that is reported never gets investigated. Corey experienced this in December 1993 when he reported the abuse to the Santa Barbara Sheriffs department and they never investigated.3. I experienced it last year when I turned in a prominent person in the churches by handing over files of explicit pictures and comments posted online with young children, only to be told that there was not enough evidence. This happens all the time and it needs to change.
The good news is that more and more people are speaking out about abuse. Where it was taboo in the past, it is slowly gaining attention today. And it’s not just a fringe group quietly typing away at the keyboard. I’m encouraged by the people who have contacted me privately to join forces, who have their own books and websites to specifically educate others and speak out. I’m encouraged by people like Corey Feldman who take an unpopular approach and risk their careers to speak out. I’m encouraged by people like Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie, who is speaking out about her sexual abuse as a child. And I’m encouraged by Jaycee Lee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart who were brave enough to recount their horrible kidnappings and rapes from men who stole their innocence. I’m encouraged by former porn stars, prostitutes, and strippers who now have thriving ministries to help rescue women from the industry who’ve never known anything but abuse and exploitation. I’m encouraged by the National Child Protection Training Center for the war they have waged on abuse. And on and on it goes.
Finally, I’m encouraged by my readers who read these blogs, pray, and comment. This is not easy stuff to talk about or read about. But you all do it. And so we press on. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17 ESV).