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Friday, July 22, 2016

The LDS ARP 90 Day Program...No Bueno

There's this thing in PASG/ARP called the “90 Day Program”. It is different than the 90 Day Program of AA and SA where you go to 90 meetings in 90 days.

     The 90 Day Program of ARP is a program of going through and completing the steps and becoming a sponsor in 90 days. If it sounds insane, it's because it is.

     In my time going to PASG meetings I've met plenty of guys who work the 90 Day Program. There is almost no one among them who has any amount of sobriety and more importantly, positive behavior change. I've seen a lot claim such things, some claim to have large amounts of sobriety, all of them I trust about as far as I can throw a piano.

     I know, I know. First off, we're all addicts at these meetings and all of us are liars. Definitely true. But I do know when someone is being humble and there is huge character change and growth. You can't help but see it. I'm not talking about the, “He doesn't yell at the kids anymore!” Type deal. I'm talking about the guy that changes behavior so much that he begins to learn empathy. Who doesn't just stop yelling at them, but learns to understand them, feel their pain with them, and comforts them.

     At first my feelings for the ARP 90 Day Program were just confusion. Why shove through it at break neck speed? If we are going to be doing this for the rest of our lives, why try and get through it as fast as possible. Why work a program that makes you use the internet morning and night? You want me to email you every morning and every night? When I first started in the program, just seeing a computer with internet access was triggering for me.

     Then I began to see a pattern. Guys would either a) work the 90 Day Program and change, but not for the better. They got cocky, prideful, and more dishonest. They turned into the robots at PASG meetings that talked about the “right"way to work the program and nothing was wrong with them ever after. They turned into the vast majority of guys in my elders quorum. Or b) they'd relapse right around their 90 Day mark.

     Friends of mine who had worked it and then failed or stopped would say, “ya but it really did good at forcing my to do my dailies.”


     “Yeah, forcing me to get up and do the dailies, or else I'd have to tell my sponsor that I didn't and then get chewed out.”

     Chewed out? Forced? Didn't sound great to me. When I asked, “Shouldn't a good sponsor try and help you do the dailies anyway?” They'd get this confused look on their face. “Yeah I guess so?”

     Since those early days I've learned a lot more. Some if it small stuff, some of it quite huge to me.
     In the ARP 90 Day Program, there is one guy in charge of everything. The creator of the “program" is the decided on who can sponsor and who can't. In fact, everyone in the 90 Day Program has to send him their step 4 inventory. He judges you on your worthiness. This didn't sit right with me. I'm a big believer in the saying, “absolute power corrupts absolutely".

     I'll tell you a secret. I'm a Lust/porn/sex addict. This also means that I LOVE no LUST for positions of power. I'm prideful. I think I'm right and everyone else is wrong. I need to be in control.

     AA went through a lot of errors shortly after it began. There's a book called “12 Steps and 12 Traditions”. It explains why they created 12 traditions for AA to live by.

One of those traditions is in place so that the program is run by a voted on committee, not a singular person. Bill, one of the founders of AA sry this position in place to protect the program from people like him. He was also self-centered, prideful, and wanted power. He knew the dangers of having one man in control of a whole program, knowing the danger it possessed.

     In the ARP 90 Day Program, they tell you that toy have to have a resentment list of over so many hundred. If your don't, then your are lying and need to rework the list or drop out.

     Thus doesn't sit right. We're obviously going to have resentments, that's a given, but I'm the one that feels the resentments. If I can't think of anyone else I'm resentful toward after I've put forth an honest effort and it doesn't come I up to the amount someone thinks it should, that's ok. Because guess what? I'm going to be revisiting this step over and over throughout the rest of my life.

     I'm also not okay with the 90 Day Program relapse policy. If you “slip" or relapse, your “sponsor" technically had to dump you. That's a bunch of B.S. In my opinion.

     We learn as addicts, at least I did and continue to learn that God loves me and wants me to succeed. And no matter how many times I fall, if I'm willing, His mercy is sufficient for me. Rejecting someone as a sponsie after they've relapsed is a very damaging thing. A sponsor is supposed to be there for support, encouragement, and love. If I was perfect enough to not ever relapse I wouldn't be an addict in the first place.

     After completing your 90 days, you are set free to sponsor others.

Sponsor others after 90 days of sobriety….

Through the muscle of modern advansenents in the medical field, we now have the ability to do brain scans to see what areas in a person's brain are working and functioning.

     After 90 days of sobriety, your brain begins the process of rewiring.

     This means that the brain STARTS the process of developing new pathways to think and react that don't lead back to porn and masturbation.

     This is also when we get to go through that wonderful thing called WITHDRAWAL.
Can I just say that withdrawal sucks. Like, for real. It sucks. I never expected to go through them. I mean, it wasn't like I was addicted to alcohol or drugs. Hahaha. For me withdrawal was the mental/emotional equivalent to having kidney stones, of which I've had a few. It sucks. It really really sucks.

     I can honestly say I was not in my right mind. It was like my body and brain were aware that I had not used these neural pathways (looking at porn, masturbation, sex, and lesser lust drive) to satisfy anxiety, stress, and my chemical dependence on them, and since I didn't know a knew way to relieve all that fear anxiety stress, all the warning bells, whistles, alarms were sounding and my insides where desperate to find some way to “survive", because I'd taught myself that without my drug I'd die. My brain didn't know what to do. I couldn't think straight, I couldn't make decisions, I couldn't hold normal conversations. All I knew was that to continue  acting out was going to make me live and die alone and miserable.

     Calling and spending time with my sponsor helped a ton. It was a salvation. Talking to other guys in the program was also a huge help.

     I can't tell you how messed up my thinking was, and how much my addict tried to weave ideas into my head to get me to act out. I literally could not trust my own thoughts.
And here's a program that demands addicts to be sponsors after 90 days of sobriety when the brain is in this state? That is insanity. That is complete insanity.

“It helps them stay sober,” I've been told. This is impossible. I was in no shape to be giving anyone advice. Especially for the fact that my addict was trying everything to get me to relapse right at the critical time when my broken yrt partially functioning brain was at its weakest.

     It makes sense why so many of these guys have been told by their 90 Day Program sponsors, “Don't talk to your wife about it.” “If you've looked at porn and haven't masturbated it's okay. The struggle is real.” “Your wife isn't safe to be around" “it's okay" “all is well in Zion”. “If you don't ejaculate you are okay.” Because these “sponsors” are talking crazy talk!

     I know this post is going to ruffle feathers. I've not spoken about this sober because the whole LDS community is obsessed with the 90 Day Program and I feared purple would come after me and kill me! Haha.

     But guess what? The 90 Day Program is not supported by the church. Contrary to popular belief is NOT a church website. It's not affiliated.

     The ARP groups are being overrun by these 90 Day Advantists who claim the program works. That's mostly all I hear when I go to ARP meetings. That's probably why the church keeps doing the ARP program the way it is, because ask they no is period say it works great.

     I go to an SAL group largely comprised of LDS guys who have needed more than what ARP has been able to give. I've seen huge character and behavioral change in them and myself. If you want more info please feel free to reach out to me.

    I know lots of people don't agree with me. I know this isn't for everyone, but I can only survive, I can only grow, and I've only seen bits (I'm still new and don't have years of sobriety) of reality and happiness and true connection in working a program of SUPPORT, not rejection; of HONESTY, not deception; of SURRENDER, not control; of LOVE, not fear.

     That other stuff I've been doing for the last 20+ years and I can tell your it doesn't work.

     Sorry again, I'm long winded. I hope you have hope and light in your lives. God is Good. I hope you have connection with Him today.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


SOMEONE’S COMMENT TO MY POST “DALLEN H. OAKS ARTICLE and ADDICTS” and my following response. I am sorry but I’m long winded.

I don't agree. I believe the article was written to all people who have a problem viewing pornography, young and old, male and female.

I think the "addict" label gets thrown around way to much among porn viewers, which I think is why Elder Oaks was inspired to write this article. It's almost as if these so called addicts want everyone to throw them a pity party. It has become a crutch for some, because "hey, I can't help it. I'm an addict".

In the psychology community there is debate on whether pornography is even a real addiction, as they define the term. I've known drug addicts and how crazy they can get, even dangerous, when they don't get their fix. I don't know any pornography users that act that way when they've been without.

Even so, I agree with Elder Oaks' measured approach in that pornography is addicting, just not in the same way as substance abuse. I used to think I was an addict until reading his article. And no, I don't rationalize my relapses. Evil is still evil no matter how many times you view it. All the levels are evil besides inadvertent exposure, but I identify with the "occasional use", because when I do slip it is intentional, but honestly it is far and few between, and Yes I do visit the bishop every time it happens, which thankfully is a lot less these days. I probably used to be an addict, but through a lot of work and God's grace, I've moved away from that. A lot of people like to paint pornography addiction like alcoholism, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. I totally disagree, at least that hasn't been my experience. I'm disgusted by what I used to view; not perfect yet, but I'm not an addict anymore. The reason I know this is because addicts can't do occasional use. They might white knuckle for awhile, but when they slip it lasts for awhile. Just think about it. Maybe cut yourself a break and stop calling yourself an addict. Don't stop what you're doing to overcome it, but drop the label. I guess some might say it's just semantics, but words are powerful, and there is a lot of meaning expressed by the word "addicted" which is harmful to those who really aren't.

I'm sorry you feel that way. I obviously disagree with you, but that's totally okay.

I believe that someone who keeps coming back to it, can't stop it, is powerless over it (shown by going back to it and not being able to stop it) is addicted. If I'm powerless over my drug of choice, I'm addicted. Whether I look at it a lot or a little, if I can't leave it, I'm addicted to it.
I also don't believe that someone can be an addict and then not be an addict. I agree with the term "Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic" because I know this to be true of myself. God has definitely worked a mighty miracle in me, a day of sobriety to me is as big a miracle as Jesus healing the blind, causing the lame to walk, raising the dead. Sobriety each day is a miracle of God's grace to me.
I don't believe the label "addict" get's thrown around enough. Not in a serious manner. Addicts that use such phrases like, "I can't help it, I'm an addict." Are also those who are not working toward sobriety and eventual recovery. They use it as a justification for their habit. That in no way show's any work towards sobriety. Including the 1st step, which is honesty.
I do say that pornography addiction is a low ball phrase for the much greater addiction, Lust. I don't need pornography to lust, I can use my head. I can lust in different ways. I can make the most basic things become pornographic to my broken brain. If you'd like some good insight into the destructive process lust and pornography and sex have on the brain, He Restoreth My Soul is a good book to read. We KNOW, yeah, know as in proven evidence, that an addiction to lust/pornography destroys the brain, especially the frontal lobe.
I KNOW the dangers of porn/lust addicts. I've met and talked to several who have planned out the murder of their wives and children. I don't know any porn addict who has not been abusive to his wife and kids. I know men who have molested their siblings, who have given their wives various sexually transmitted diseases, some of which have caused miscarriage. These are very very very dangerous things that sex/porn/lust addicts do when they need their fix. If Jesus himself said to lusteth after someone in their heart is the same as adultery, and that adultery was the second worst thing you can do, other than deny the Holy Ghost, then I put sex/lust/porn addiction at the top of the "dangerous addictions" list.
I have witnessed my own wife, upon finding out about my addiction, DOUBT GOD. I don't know if there is anything more damaging to one's eternal progression than to DOUBT their connection to God. Depending on what they choose at this juncture, this is worse than death. I personally know spouses of these addicts, who had experienced other addictions, drugs, alcohol, prescription pills, who would MUCH rather have their spouses addicted to those instead of pornography.
As the "White Book" or Sexaholics Anonymous book states, "Lust killed Love..." And that is true. Lust destroys the mind. Lust perverts and twists my view of reality SO much that I cannot see it clearly.
So for you to say that you do not know any pornography users that go crazy when they don't get their fix tells me that they aren't being honest with you, or you aren't being honest with me. Unless you are one of those people that have just a "little problem" and "can stop at any time". If you are one of those, I have no idea about anything you are talking about. I'm not a "normal person". I'm an addict.
I also believe that Dallen H Oaks wrote it for the youth because he said that he did. And I believe that since he's an apostle and called of God to be such, then in some way he must agree with Jeffery R Hollands talk about pornography
Titled "The Plague of Pornography" where he tells us all, if we knew how dangerous this was, we would really be treating it like the plague. It would be broadcast on every News source, people would be shouting it from the rooftops, warning their neighbors, etc.
So, Since Jeffery R Holland is right, and Dallen H Oaks is right, then pornography addiction is real and it is very very serious and DANGEROUS.
If you are one of the lucky few that can stop and stay stopped. That's awesome man. That's so great and I am so happy that you don't have to go through what I've gone through. Good for you.
I have loads and loads of materials by renown psychologists, scientists, psychiatrists, and smart people that can show factual proof of the dangers of pornography/Sex/Lust addiction if you'd like me to pass on the info.
Thank you for your comments. I appreciate you speaking what you believe. God bless.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Dallen H. Oaks came out with an article not too long ago about the several severities of porn addiction. There seems to be a lot going on about this article.
     1st, it was directed to the youth, those who have had far less time with a bad habit or “little problem" and not adults who have repeated this act over and over until it has become an addiction. Why post it in the Ensign then? Probably for parents with teens.
     2nd, IF YOU ARE USING DALLEN H. OAKS’S ARTICLE TO JUSTIFY YOUR LOOKING AT PORN AND MASTURBATION, YOU ARE AN ADDICT. If you are trying to find ways to justify to yourself, to your wife, and to others that you AREN'T an addict, then you are an addict.
     Clarification? Pornography and masturbation are bad. Remember Christ saying if you lust in your heart you've committed adultery? Remember somewhere else in the scriptures where Christ says adultery is second only to denying the Holy Ghost? If it's that bad, then stop it. If you can't you have lost your control over it and it controls you. That means you are addicted.
     There might very well be levels of porn lookers, I understand that. Dallen H Oaks talks about that. Once those porn lookers have read Oaks’s article and realized it was bad and stopped and stayed stopped, awesome. That means they weren't addicted.
    But if they stopped and where super strong at first and then felt crazy by 3 months, and then relapsed, they are addicted. If they struggled by the 3 month mark, but then overcame the trail and went 7 months, 12 months, 2 years, and relapsed, they are addicted, and if they are addicted the article by Dallen H Oaks is not applicable to them.
    Pornography addiction is cancer. It either grows or it is in remission. If you aren't addicted and you continue to look at porn, you will be addicted. Why? Because not following God's commandments brings guilt. We either do something positive with that guilt, or we run from it. Which means we generate fear over guilt inside of us and create this repelling agent called shame. Shame causes us to hide and keep doing things we shouldn't. The more shame we experience, the more we have, the more we have to do to run from it. it's cumulative, and the only way to get away from it is to accept defeat, accept the shame, accept guilt, confess, repent, NOT DO IT AGAIN.
      What do you call someone that keeps repenting over the committing of the same sins again and again? An addict, or at the very least insane.
     Sorry, I'm just really tired of guys trying to use an apostle’s article to justify them not being “that"bad.
     A recent article by about addict claims that some guys shouldn't think they are, or be told they are addicts when they aren't. I find it slightly laughable. Because what's the worst that can happen by going to SAL addiction meetings? You feel the spirit and love in a fellowship too much? You are taught how to better communicate with God? You begin to see positive character change? We wouldn't want that.
      Addicts lie, addicts hide, addicts deceive, manipulate, cover up, tell misguided truths. Addicts don't want to change, not at first. Remember we are riding shotgun for our addiction most of the time.
    Our addiction, or how many of us in SAL like to call it, our addict, really is like cancer, but it's a sophisticated concert that is self-aware and will do whatever possible to survive. Don't let yourself be conned into thinking “all is well".

Monday, June 20, 2016


Is Drinking Caffeine Helping My Addiction?
Yes. Yes it is.

I remember going on to the website and reading the article about the guy who decided to so drinking caffeinated soda because it was too triggering for him. I'd chuckled at it. Really? Soda was helping him relapse? What kind of weird fantasy did he have going on.
    Was I addicted to caffeine? Yeah. I'd been drinking it all my life. I was a Pepsi guy. I'd drink it all the time. We'd buy a 12 pack and it would be gone in just 2 days. I loved the stuff.
    I'd tried stopping before. Once I stopped drinking for at least 3 months and lost a lot of weight. So every now and again I'd try stopping it to try and lose weight. This would last for maybe a week. (Which in addict speak I'd like half a week.) But I'd always go back.
    I knew when I was addicted because when I would go a day without it I'd get headaches that were hard to manage with ibuprofen. It could make me a little irritable. I'd crave it during my working hours and stop at gas stations to get a 44oz. (They are only 79¢!) I'd lie about it. That is to say, I would not tell my wife when I'd buy them, even after she told me she wanted to know when I did.
    But I wasn't using! (i.e. Looking at anything pornographic or anything, no matter how innocent seeming, with sexual intent.) So why did I have to tell her this? She was just trying to manage my life! Haha.
    I've gotten kidney stones a number of times and the doctors agreed that it was probably from all the soda consumption. I've been basically dehydrated for most of my life. I had kidney stones because of soda!
    Did you know that doctors say that passing kidney stones are about as close to the pain of childbirth that a man can get? I've been told by some female doctors that kidney stones are actually worse. I couldn't tell you obviously, but I do know that they are the most painful thing I've ever had to deal with.
    Did the pain of kidney stones help me stop soda? I think the first time I stopped for maybe a week and a half. (Addict speak: almost a week). The next couple of times, none. I didn't stop. The thought of a world where I couldn't drink soda was insane.
    And besides, the caffeine didn't affect me anymore. I could knock back a few cans of soda and go right to sleep. Granted I have sleep apnea so it has never been the most restful sleep.
    The thought of caffeine helping my lust addiction was almost laughable. It wasn't like I was drunk or anything. Caffeine didn't hinder my judgment.
    I was a Damn fool. (I guess technically I still am.)
    Then one day I asked my wife a question that has destroyed my ignorance.
“What's the half-life of caffeine?”
    For those who don't know, the half-life of a drug or chemical is basically how long traces of it remain in your system.
    “12 hours.”
    If I'd been drinking something I would have spit it out. 12 hours? 12 hours! Holy Crap! That's half a day? So basically I had almost never been off of caffeine for the last 15 years.
    I then got to see what kind of webs spiders make on different drugs and then what kind of web they make on caffeine. The thing was messed up.

Seriously. Even the spider on LSD had a better web! So this was my brain. Well actually, it was worse!
       If a sex addict brain looks similar to someone who's been in a car accident and received frontal lobe trauma then what would my brain scan look like? How grossly messed up had my brain become?

So, we looked into caffeine. Holy poop. Did you know caffeine impaired your cognitive brain? Thus making it easier for the basic human instincts and Flight or Fight Response to take over?
      I mean, we've all known and debated how caffeine is “bad". I used to be great at defending my billion Pepsi's a day. And to tell you the truth, I can say that maybe healthy normal people can drink it, be impaired for a little while (at least a day) but not to the point of anything really self destructive. I don't know.

But I'm an addict. I'm a Lust addict, and my brain is ALREADY damaged and broken.
     It dawned on me that I was trying to keep my brain broken. Not on purpose, but I was basically letting a doctor (God) try and do brain surgery on me (to keep me sober) and then beat myself on the head with a hammer (soda). No wonder I was always stumbling about in a stupor. (Part of that being ADHD).
       No wonder things weren't changing faster, and that I was slow to pick up what was being taught.
       I realized that while yes, I'm an addict, relapse is always a possibility (should say a reality, addicts use. Without God a relapse wouldn't be a possibility it's just fact), but I was HELPING me make that more and more realized. I was HELPING me stay in addict mode. I was HELPING me have less empathy. I was HELPING me have less connection with God.
     So I stopped. I haven't had caffeinated beverages since February. And I try not to have sugary soda either. (I'm scared to find out what sugar in and of itself does to my already broken brain).
       I tell you what, it sucked at first, and sometimes still does. I had a headache for about 2 weeks. I actually got really sick right after, and I'm not sure if that was because of the detox or because I caught something. I went through a period of crawling out of my skin and being irritated.
       I know my brain is still healing from that abuse, but I cannot tell you how much it has helped me. I find it JUST as important as working the program and going to therapy. Maybe it helped so much because I've been working the program and seeing a therapist.
      But I have seen tremendous behavior change since I've stopped. I've had a huge HUGE increase in empathy. There have been hundreds of times now where I've walked into one of my kids rooms, or into their arguments, or whatever it may be, and actually RECOGNIZED the looks on their faces!
       I've been able to register, “He/she looks scared. What am I doing that makes them look scared?” And change how I look as i approach a situation so that they know I'm not mad.
       I've been able to say something to a child and see the look on their face afterward adds think, “they are sad. I said something that hurt them.” And then be able to assure them that I'm not mad and that I love them and give them reasons WHY I need them to stop screaming or pick up their mess and let them know they are good.
      It's been awesome. Other side effects, eating out just isn't as fun to do anymore. I don't care for it as much. The excitement is gone if I can't have my Pepsi.
      But it helps keep me sober. It helps me be in the present and enjoy life so much more. I interact with others better, I understand more. There is a level if clearness in my thoughts and brain that I haven't experienced before. I'm grateful for the clarity.

        As always, feel free to comment and ASK QUESTIONS. There's a soft and comfy blanket of obscurity over lust addiction. Let's take off the blankets, drag it out from the shadows, and let  light extinguish the dark. Shine out the dark.