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The Forerunner

Dial-A-Porn Stopped

By Editorial Staff
Published January 1, 1988

Telephone executives at AT&T began “promotion compensation” services – otherwise known as “900 numbers” – several years ago as a marketing ploy to allow companies to run pre-recorded messages for customers. Stock market reports, sports information, and even recorded prayers were typical services provided. But since 1983, 900 numbers have been dominated by pornographic recordings … and “dial-a-porn” has proliferated into a multi-million dollar industry with an average of 100,000 to 200,000 calls per month.

Dial-a-porn’s popularity was heightened by the circulation of its phone numbers on high school and junior high campuses across the nation through High Society and Penthouse magazines. Students would get the phone numbers, but usually didn’t know there was a fee attached for hearing the messages. One parent complained about a phone bill as high as $5,000.

But it wasn’t just the high phone bills that pivoted this service into national focus causing lawmakers to enact a ban which goes into effect July 1. Researchers have documented the addictive potential of dial-a-porn. Dr. Victor Cline, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, recently published a report demonstrating that dial-a-porn is a harmful force in our society.

Dr. Cline was commissioned by the U.S. Justice Department in January of 1985 to study the effects of dial-a-porn on children. “With every one of the children we studied, we found an addiction effect in making these calls.” He wrote, “In every case, without exception, the children (girls as well as boys) became hooked on this ‘sex by phone’ and kept going back for more and still more.

“The children did not stop making the calls until they were discovered. In several cases more than 300 calls were made by a particular child. Disclosure usually occurred when the parents received an enormous phone bill. In nearly all cases there were some problems and tensions generated in the parent-child and family relationships because of their making dial-a-porn calls.”

Cases have also been filed across the nation because of the damaging effects of dial-a-porn on families. A Michigan father’s ten-year-old daughter was raped by a 12-year-old boy and 15-year-old boy after they listened to several messages. “This phone call has damaged our lives,” he wrote Sen. Jesse Helms. In another recently reported case, a four-year-old was raped by a 12-year-old in Hayward, California, after he listened to two and a half hours of dial-a-porn.

Community Protest

The nationwide ban culminated after months of grassroots protest and furor within communities across America. Cases such as the Michigan rape case, and parental complaints of high phone bills due to the ignorance of their children, were fuel for the fire.

The American Family Association (AFA) was one of the key organizations to spearhead protests against dial-a-porn services. Alan Wildmon of AFA said, “I cut my card in half in January (of this year), and wrote them (AT&T) a letter saying if they didn’t get out of dial-a-porn then we would begin sending 500,000 letters a month to their clients telling them about AT&T’s support of dial-a-porn.”

On January 14, AT&T filed for a change of tariff with the FCC which would allow it to cut the service. Since then, the FCC has also fined two operators in California $600,000. “It’s time we took steps. The ultimate in sleaze deserves the ultimate … penalty,” FCC Commissioner James H. Quellos said. “They need to know we mean business.”

The order was the result of an investigation triggered by complaints alleging that unimpeded access to the messages resulted in the molestation of one 10-year-old girl and so disturbed one teen that he had to enter weekly psychiatric therapy.

The companies, Audio Enterprises, Inc., and Intercambio, Inc., were each fined $600,000 for violation of the statute banning the interstate transmission of obscene material and failure to restrict such transmissions from minors and non-consenting adults.

Both have 30 days to respond, but haven’t to date, according to Gregory Vodt, FCC Chief of Enforcement Division. Vodt said in the last two years there have been “well over 1,000 complaints” and 40 related to access of children to the numbers.
Congressional Action

Additionally, the multi-million dollar industry was dealt a harsh blow by Congress with passage of a bill on April 19 which enacted a nationwide ban. The U.S. House passed the bill with a vote of 395-1 and the Senate followed suit the next day by approving the measure with a voice vote.

The bill was an amendment to the “Educational Improvment Act,” a multi-billion dollar measure which extended federal power in education. It was added as an amendment after democrats rejected a leadership proposal that would have restricted dial-a-porn calls to adults who subscribed to the service through their local phone companies. Critics of that plan said it would amount to government legitimization of dial-a-porn, and would not keep children from gaining access to the telephone filth by calling from a subscribers’ phone. The Senate approved the measure quickly.

As of July 1, 1988, dial-a-porn will be outlawed. Vodt said he didn’t know if FCC would be involved in implementing the new law because it was “too soon to answer. We’re aware that the law passed and certainly supported the bill which affects banning obscenity on interstate communications.”

Vodt said prior to the new law, there were three defenses used to support dial-a-porn: if it was paid by credit card pre-payment; received through access codes; or through “message scrambling.” “In ‘message scrambling’ the receiver has to have a ‘descrambler’ to decipher the message. Under the new law, those defenses are thrown out of the window,” he added.

The ACLU has threatened to file a suit to test the constitutionality of the new law. “No court has ever upheld a complete ban on non-obscene, so-called ‘indecent’ speech,” said Barry Lynn, legislative counsel for ACLU. Proponents of the measure assert that it is supported by legal precedent and that there is no legal obstacle to its enactment.

Four years of the “free exercise” of the “freedom of speech” by dial-a-pornographers has cost the ruined lives of a 10-year-old girl and a Michigan family. Pornographic magazines, such as Penthouse and High Society were partly responsible for the propagation of dial-a-porn’s phone numbers. If audio-pornography can cause so much devastating ruin, how much more can visual pornograhy?
The new ban will surely be tested by ACLU’s string of cases, which is a clue to the interests of the organization. But while the new ban is being tested in court, the challenge is now before the American people to assess the damaging impact that visual pornography is having on our families and children.


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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

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Running Time: 28 minutes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

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Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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