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A Pawn in the Game:
Curing Your Porn Addiction with LSD

By John Treblanc

What is it about pornography? It draws so many of us to crouch, haggard, in darkened rooms, massaging our genitalia to lonely climax in the cold glow of an LCD computer-screen. Then, in the horrid aftermath, with towel in one hand and the evidence of our strange foray strewn in windows across the screen, with the other hand we reach into menus. Click. History. Click. Delete history.

View All History

I was, as a child, filmed by the men who sexually abused me. Others, including my father, took photographs of the abuse. My acceptance and processing of these early experiences has now freed me from my pornography addiction as an adult. This was a long journey. I am now porn free.

As an adult I had unconsciously used pornography as a way of temporarily escaping from the world and into a place where I had complete control. A place where endless streams of beautiful women reassured me that I had value; that I was desirable. I regularly flooded my dopamine receptors with the cocaine-like rush that high-speed internet pornography dispenses. I would then fall into a bleak stupor. The cycle repeated.

I used pornography, as an adult, for the same reason the heroin addict loads up his little spoon, heats it up, and shoots it into his cardiovascular system: I was in pain. Pornography was self-medication for that pain.

As Dr Gabor Maté famously said, “Don’t ask: Why the addiction? Ask: Why the pain?” Pornography is one of our most powerful and readily available painkillers. For most of the time I was using it, I had no idea this was its function for me, because I had not taken the time and space to investigate my own past. Instead of meditating deeply into my feelings of loneliness and inadequacy, I would seek to block out those feelings. I was repelled by the idea of tracing them back to their origin. I was scared of opening the basement door to find myself, a lost, hopeless child crouched there in the shadows. Much easier to click. Click. Click. Delete history. Everyone’s doing it, right? Right?

Delete History

If the primary psychological purpose of pornography could be expressed in just two words, it would be these: Delete History. Deleting my own history was the reason I reached for pornography, and deleting my browser history was the way I hid from myself the extent of my addiction.

Like Gollum, in Lord of the Rings, I desperately hoped that just one more encounter with porn would bring me the satisfaction I craved. Couldn’t I use it this one last time? Could Precious really be killing me when it felt so good for that brief moment when we were reunited? But, what was I looking for in wearing the ring of porn?

What I actually needed was something pawn-o-graphy rarely depicted: A hug; some kind words; compassion; friendship and closeness. All those things that I was rarely given as a child. This was everything that pornography promised, and everything it could never provide. Pixels can’t hug you. Pixels can’t love you. But they promise they can.

“Just wear the Ring of Power one more time,” they say. “This time it will be different.”

Choose your category

Take a look at the categories available on the average porn site, and you’ll see the deleted history of humanity: Violence; incest; exploitation; domination. I wonder now if a psychologist could accurately map the repressed early sexual experiences of a person simply by observing their preferences in pornography.

As is widely known by depth psychologists: What is not talked about is acted-out. And so much is acted out in the realm of pornography. Both by the adult performers (the majority of whom are survivors of childhood sexual abuse) and by the consumers of porn (many of whom are unconsciously reliving abuse dynamics from their own childhoods). Of course, if you are still using porn, I don’t expect you to accept this. I wouldn’t have accepted it either. Much easier to just click. Click. Click. Delete History.

Remember, or Repeat?

A friend of mine told me she was often drawn to watching porn videos of women being handled roughly. She later came to realize this was because this same thing had been done to her by an ex-boyfriend, and by her father when they sexually abused her. Unconsciously, she had been watching these videos to place herself in a position of power during a scene in which she had originally felt so helpless. But, now, in remembering and feeling these difficult experiences, she no longer feels the need to repeat the experience by watching porn. Remembering meant that she no longer needed to repeat.

The porn we watch watches us

Associative conditioning likely underlies the bulk of porn preferences in the general population. When a child is subjected to sexual abuse, the child’s brain begins to connect sex with violence, or with specific objects or experiences. As neurologists say, “What fires together, wires together.”

This is called associative conditioning and was researched by the psychologist Pavlov. Associative conditioning is where one thing is paired with another thing in the mind. In other words, a stimulus is paired with a response. Pavlov would ring a bell before feeding his dog, and he kept doing this until the dog began to associate the sound of the bell with the arrival of food. Eventually, Pavlov could simply ring the bell and the dog would begin to salivate in anticipation of the food. This is associative conditioning at its most basic.

The same thing happens with sexuality. If a child’s sexual response is paired with an early childhood experience of abuse then, as an adult, that person may seek the same dynamic in their sexual encounters.

I know many survivors of childhood sexual abuse who were drawn to re-enact aspects of that abuse in adult relationships. They sought partners who were cruel and abusive to them, and they also sought out adult pornography that depicted aspects of their own abuse.

It is tragic that so many of us never wake up to the connections between our past and our present. If we did, the entire pornography industry, as we know it, would collapse overnight.

Porn is the commodification of disconnection

Our society has been largely shaped by international pedophile rings like the Catholic Church, the FBI and the CIA. If you are curious to learn more, look into Jeffrey Epstein. These type of authoritarian-regimes preach in the front-room that sex is shameful while they rape children on an industrial scale in the back-room.

By raping children, and then shaming adults about sex, the church, and other institutions like the CIA, have created the perfect storm: Psychosexually arresting the natural development of human beings and then selling the ‘cure’ back to them. The result is that many adults feel unable to have open, free sexual relationships with each other, and are ushered into spaces where sex can be sold to us.

In effect, what was in the commons—sexuality—has been privatized and sold back to the people. The natural function of adult sexuality: To bind communities, build connections and intensify existing intimacy, has been nominally outlawed by the priesthood, and then commodified for private profit.

Is some porn ok?

I wanted to address this question, because I think is a fair one to ask. I feel there may be a tiny subset of porn that is consensual, loving and educational. It is not impossible to depict more caring human relationships on film. But it is extremely difficult, not least because the entire dynamic of porn and the nature of a camera which (and the use of language here is interesting) 'shoots' people, is invasive.

Aside from the difficulty of sensitively depicting gentle human relations, there is the problem that this 'gentle' porn would sit within the troubled forest of all the current pornographic material. The users of even the most gentle pornography would find themselves walking though dense woodland with ghouls and ghosts lining the pathways, eager to usher them into the darkness. Personally, I feel no need to walk in that forest again.

Porn is for pawns

All the time that pawn-o-graphy was using me, I was a pawn. A pawn in a sickening game of chess played by master-psychologists. I have come to understand that it no accident that children are raped, then taken into the porn industry as adults and encouraged to unconsciously re-enact their abuse.

It is no accident that these porn videos are then used to build advertising revenue by luring millions of unconscious survivors of abuse into watching adult performers abused and manipulated on camera.

It is fair to question whether a group of people actively sat down and contrived this system.

But imagine if, as a group of rulers, you wanted power and control. What if you had observed on Earth that human sexuality forged connections and community? What if you had observed that loving, connected sex, was one of the most powerful means of joining adults and communities together, wouldn’t you seek a way of destroying it? Wouldn’t you seek a way to make people ashamed of it? Wouldn’t you find a way to profit from it?

Our ‘leaders’ have a long history of stealing community resources and then selling them back to that community. But, I’m no longer buying their product. For me, as a survivor of pornography, both as a forced-participant as a child, and using adult pornography for self-medication later in life, I see the truth of the substance: It masked my pain and hid my past.

I refuse to Delete History anymore.
Because awareness is freedom.
And history is worth remembering.

The Castalia Foundation received messages on this topic. These are posted below. If you would also like to ask a question, please submit it via our forum. Messages published here are edited for brevity and style, but we endevour to retain the spirit of your correspondence.

Dear Castalia Foundation,
Thank you for this article. I have been struggling with porn addiction for many years. I have recovered from over other addictions including gambling; food; and sex, but I cannot shift my porn addiction. My dad used to distribute porn, and i was involved in this process from the age of 12. I had access to it and watched it. I also have a lot of trauma beginning in infancy.I am healing that using psychedelics, but I can’t solve my pornography addiction. I would really appreciate a bit more detail on how you got through it?

The Castalia Foundation replies:

We're glad to hear the article was useful. we put your question to the survivor who wrote this article. He sent us this in response to your question:

"I can relate to the difficulty you are experiencing in treating your porn addiction. I feel that society is only just beginning to realize the extent to which pornography is a powerful drug.Of all the addictions I had to treat in myself, pawn-o-graphy was the hardest to cure. I was an alcoholic, but it was much easier for me to stop drinking than stop porn use. It seems very likely to me that pawn-o-graphy is similar to heroin in terms of the depth to which its claws dig into the human psyche.

You asked for more detail on how I treated my pawn-o-graphy addiction; First, it did not seem to help me to simply abstain. What I actually had to do was use softer and softer pornography; and then focus on only watching porn that depicted loving and gentle sex. This is difficult to find in the nightmare realms of most porn sites, but you might consider watching older porn movies from the 60s and 70s. This was a time when there was still some integrity to the filmmaking and certain standards had to be met, given the cost of the camera equipment and lighting etc.

This may sound like odd guidance: To quit porn by slowly walking out the door, but it seems to work.

Another extremely important part of treating my pawn-o-graphy addiciton was to fully understand that pawn/porn was engineered by the corrupt power-systems of the world to turn me into a pawn. Using low-doses of LSD and then 'watching myself' as I watched porn, allowed me to identify how I was drawn to themes in porn that (faintly) echoed the abuse I had been subjected to as a child.

With this awareness, it became increasingly difficult (absurd, even) to watch any material in which an unequal power-dynamic was depicted between the participants. In essence: I saw through my subconcious motives for watching porn: Once these motives became conscious, pursuing them became ludicrous.

Finally, I had to recognize that in the moments before I would usually be drawn to pawn-o-graphy, that I was feeling a strong emotion: Typically one of anger, sadness, or loss. In taking a minute or two before I opened my laptop to ogle other unconscious-survivors-of-sexual-abuse in the 'pawn' industry, I was able to meditate into the difficult feelings and accept them; rather than glossing over them in a dervish of flesh and mindless pounding.

In summary, what worked for me was:

1. Using LSD and MDMA safely and respectfully to heal childhood trauma.
2. Gradually tapering off my pawn-use by consciously choosing porn that depicted loving relationships.
3. Observing my feelings before using pawn.
4. Before using pawn asking myself. "are you feeling okay?"
5. Transitioning from gentle porn to zero pawn.
6. Not attacking myself if I fucked up on the way out. There will be minor relapses on the way our of the porn-dungeon.
7. Really looking into the performers' eyes and seeing them as wounded adults who were once abused children; like me.
8. Using low-dose LSD to watch myself watching pawn-o-graphy and to observe the ultimate stupidity and futility of the act.
9. Only using the computer for a pre-planned task and ultimately completely stopping pawn.

I also want to mention that when I quit porn, all my other senses became much more alive. Now I no longer engage in these sordid forays into the bleak underbelly of pawn/porn, the world around me has become much more erotic.

A simple smile from a woman, or the toss of her hair, thrills me more in everyday life than porn ever did. So much color drained out of the world while I was a porn-goblin. Now the color has returned in a phosphorescent glow.

You might also consider asking yourself in an MDMA session what would help you to resolve your pawn addiction. Everyone will have their own history, and your methods may be different. Good luck. You got this."

Dear Castalia Foundation, this is avery insightful article. It's so strange that things like BDSM are just blindly accepted as healthy and normal sexual expressions rather than seen as the trauma-replications which they are. It’s evidence of the standard dissociative-blindness of our society, I guess.

The Castalia Foundation replies:

You're exactly right. Interestingly: A large swathe of Earth's society in 2021 is currently engaged in a public display of BDSM. Depending on where you are in the world, you may currently be surrounded by people, in public, in bondage-masks, being threatened with forced penetration by their dominatrix (aka. The Government). Fortunately, we have located The Castalia Foundation in a free state, although we have visited a few BDSM states for research purposes, and to take photographs as evidence for the inevitable Nuremberg-type trials which will end this outbreak of BDSM.

This article originally appeared in Psychedelic Review, Issue Number 12. It was lovingly transcribed by volunteers at The Castalia Foundation in Florida, USA. If you notice any errors or omissions in this article, or have any questions, please let us know via our offical forum, here >>