When I was six, some curious boys explored an empty house that was being demolished, and I went with them. Inside, one of the older boys called us to see a mail order catalogue that he found. I remember we sat on the floor and a big boy showed us pictures of women in their underwear. I didn’t understand, but I knew we were bad boys and those were dirty pictures.
I still haven’t told my parents.
The world has changed since then. Now three things are true; 1) products are mass produced and mass consumed 2) sex sells everything and 3) any business that succeeds evolves and expands rapidly.
1) Success is Consumption:
Mass production and consumption dominate our economy, and all we need is money. For example, people everywhere eat fast food, made with mass produced sugar, salt, starch, fat, and additives. It’s bad for us, and it’s everywhere. We are struggling to manage this new set of rules.
Pornography is one of the most overproduced commodities in the world, and people consume it in vast quantities. The Internet owes much of its growth to sexual content, pornography. With this religious blog, we are just fringe users.
At least 30% of Internet traffic, and downloads, and advertising is directly related to pornography, with revenues in the billions.
The numbers are surprising: http://www.covenanteyes.com/pornstats/
2) Sex Sells:
Advertising is filled with pictures of attractive young women, and the message is clear; buy the toothpaste and get the girl.
Pornography takes this to a new level; it advertises the girl, and sells the girl. There is no toothpaste.
3) Success Explodes:
The world population today is equal to all the people who ever lived before; and we have money to spend. The result is explosive growth for anything that sells, which explains the success of Apple Computers, and McDonalds Hamburgers.
The Pornography business is vast and has graduated from magazines to the Internet, and now to a third market.
I wish we could avoid the next truth, but it is simply true that one of the most profitable businesses in the world is human trafficking. Pornographers can now buy and sell actual people, instead of just pictures.
Organized criminals own and move human beings in the millions, including vast numbers of children, and many are used for sex. Now real people are available, the prices are affordable, and social networking on the Internet makes the whole world a market.
The statistics and personal stories about human trafficking can be vague because criminals like to hide, but we know that revenues are in the billions, and victims are in the millions, including more than a million children, and this is the logical next step for pornography. The information that we have is shocking: www.stopthetraffik.org/the-scale-of-human-traffiking
I remember late one night when something woke me up. I got up and looked out, and I saw a window van parked across the street, and then another van stopped on my side of the street.
In the darkness, some men quickly herded a crowd of young Asian women from the first van to the second, and both drove away. It was like a silent dream; but I was awake, and I know what happened. If you are wondering, I was too far away and it happened too quickly to get information for the police.
One even stranger, religious variation of this story is the recent Internet slave auctions from extremists in Isis. Human trafficking crime networks fit their agenda, and young women from some religious communities are being offered for sale through social networking: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/05/31/isis-fighters-peddling-yazidi-sex-slaves-on-social-media.html
We have moved very far from little boys with old catalogues.
The convergence of economic trends is producing an amazing new world, and it’s coming on us like a flood. Some good things are happening, I like my computer and my reliable car, but also some monsters are among us. Human trafficking is modern slavery, and destroying other people for our own appetites is a few steps from cannibalism. Change is not always improvement.
There is a story in the Bible that I used to overlook. The fall of Babylon is predicted, and the collapse of its economy “the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no man buys their merchandise anymore; merchandise of gold, and silver, and [many things] … and slaves; and souls of men.” (Revelation 18: 11 to 13)
I used to think this was quaint because we don’t have slaves anymore; we can’t trade in the souls of men.
And then, in the story, God makes a new world because this one is beyond repair: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth … [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” (21: 1 to 4)
I am beginning to appreciate this Bible truth, in our brave new world.