The Liberal Sex Abuse Scandal

Beginning with the avalanche of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein a few months ago, each week has revealed more and more allegations primarily against liberal men in Hollywood and politics.

As women (and men) are encouraged to step forward, we’ve seen the rapid demise of moguls like Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, Ben Affleck, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Russell Simmons, Steven Seagal, Brett Ratner, Dustin Hoffman, James Toback, and Louis C.K.

It’s safe to assume that, ere the year ends, we’ll see another score of popular male actors and politicos accused of sexual assault, abuse, or harassment.

What’s shocking to me about all this is that people are shocked that these revelations are coming out. None of this is surprising. These reprehensible actions are the expected rotten fruit of a society ruled by lust.

From the Church to the Schools to Hollywood

When I entered the Catholic Church in 2001, the sexual abuse scandal was about to break open. I was not surprised or shocked. I knew what men were capable of, and that went for atheist, Protestant, and Catholic.

What surprised me was that people thought that this problem was unique to the Catholic Church. Growing up, my junior high and high school Spanish teacher, an incredibly popular teacher who had taught in the school system for a long time, was eventually accused of abusing students. Rumors had gone around for years but nothing ever came of them. But now the accusations were not being ignored or dismissed, and my old teacher went to his home after school and set it on fire with him inside of it. He burned to death.

A friend of mine has been afraid to have his children go to Catholic school and has been thinking about sending them to the local public schools. I told him that every week my google local newsfeed has stories of abuse, misconduct, and molestation occurring in public schools down the street, in our metro area, and in our state. And these are just the stories that happen to show up in my feed–I don’t even go looking for them to see what more there are. Our chat history just has link after link to news story about the men (and many women!) caught abusing students in the public schools.

My decision for my own family and my recommendations to my friends is: be vigilant, no matter if your children go to public school, private school, co-op school, and no matter which activities they are in. Know that there are predators out there, both sociopathic ones and ones that operate on circumstance.

And now Hollywood stars, directors, and producers are being outed for their lustful, abusive behavior. It’s disgusting, and yet you see the same thing as in all cases: cover-ups, people looking the other way, and people afraid to come forward, until finally the dam has burst and the skeletons are all falling out of the closets.

What Is the Problem? What’s the Solution?

The problem is the Fall of man through sin, and lust as the particular sin.

Conquering porn

How boring, right? Yet it’s the truth. These men were not virtuous. They were not strong in the virtue of purity. They were instead slaves to sin, slaves of their own lust, that seeks to use people as objects for their own pleasure.

Love seeks the good of the other, wills the good of the other.
Love sees the other person as a human being made for their own sake, in God’s image.

Love is self-gift, self-sacrifice, and one can only give what one himself possesses. If a man is not self-mastered, and these men are not, then they cannot love. Bottom line. Sorry, no soup for you, come back one year.

The simple yet difficult solution is to grow in virtue. To be transformed in mind, body, and heart by Jesus Christ. To follow the truth that He has revealed to us in divine revelation, safeguarded and promulgated by the Church.

None of these men have done this. They never learned the self-mastery of chastity, and so they hurt lots of people, mostly women.

There’s Hope

I have now worked with over 600 (mostly Catholic) men through my purity courses. I’m working with many as we speak.

These are men who 1) have acknowledged that lust is wrong, 2) are striving to overcome it in their own lives, and 3) who have chosen to avail themselves of all the graces God wants to give them to conquer this vice.

And yet even for them it is an uphill battle!
Even for them it takes months, years, decades to grow strong in purity.

Yet they are increasing in virtue, in faith, hope, and love, and gaining mastery over themselves, becoming noble men, saints. It is possible. God gives us what we need to do it, but it requires turning away from evil and to good.

These Hollywood liberals ought to try it.

The program they’ve been following has failed utterly. In fact it has produced the opposite result: women have been victimized by the very men who supposedly knew better, who supposedly championed their rights. It was hypocritical hogwash of the worst kind perpetrated by these guys.

The solution is to change programs. Follow the program of Jesus Christ, where women are created in God’s image to be cherished, respected, and sacrificed for by virtuous men. Imagine if every man chose virtue tomorrow: no more assaults, no more abuse, no more painful wounds inflicted by selfish men!

So each day I’ll watch the news stories confirm all of this. I’ll watch the shock on female hosts’ faces as their male former colleagues get canned and come out with half-hearted, legal-squirming “apologies”.

And I’ll keep striving to help men grow, one at a time, in the virtue of holy purity.

Brotherhood of Virtue Catholic Men’s Small Group Program for Purity

The devil likes to keep us isolated, alone, and pick us off one-by-one.

This tactic works diabolically well, especially in the area of sexual sin and lust.

Catholic men in particular are ashamed to talk about this vice, afraid for others to find out about it, and so they remain isolated, without encouragement, without brotherhood and the fraternal sharing of proven actions that work to conquer it.

That is, until now…

Introducing the Brotherhood of Virtue

My good friend Gerardo and I have been involved in the men’s group at our parish for many years.

That program has been great: we consistently get 30 – 40 men coming every week. In the years we’ve done it we have gone through:

  • All of Steve Bollman’s “That Man Is You” programs
  • Father Larry Richard’s Be a Man program
  • Deacon Harold Burke Sivers Behold the Man

Each year Gerardo and I have been asked to present to the group about growing in purity and conquering pornography.

How to Start a Catholic Small Group Purity ProgramAnd we’ve done that, presenting the statistics on men addicted to pornography, the young age at which boys are exposed to pornography, the toll it takes on families, marriages, and souls, and so on.

We give men some good ideas for how to conquer these sins, but we knew that something was missing. One presentation, once per year, with some bullet points on a presentation wasn’t enough to make a dent in the problem.

So we talked to our parish priest and asked him if we could make a special men’s group devoted just to conquering these sins.

After a lot of discernment, our priest agreed, and the Brotherhood of Virtue was born. It’s a small group program for Catholic men to grow in virtue, especially in purity, to conquer lust, and to find fellowship and encouragement while doing so.

What a Catholic Small Group for Purity Looks Like

Gerardo and I ran into difficulties along the way: the parish was concerned about confidentiality for the men in the group. It was also concerned about the sensitive topics we were going to be discussing.

But we didn’t let that stand in our way. We worked with the parish to carefully understand each concern and address it. For instance, both Gerardo and I got certified under the Ethics and Integrity program that our diocese uses to help keep children and vulnerable adults safe from abuse.

brotherhood of virtueWe also scheduled the monthly meetings for the group to be at 6 am in the morning when no one else was at the parish, providing anonymity for the men.

Further, we specified that we would meet regularly with the parish priest to discuss what was happening in the group and what support we needed, especially if we had challenges we couldn’t address ourselves.

Finally, we addressed the biggest question: what would our meetings look like each month? What content would we use? How would we structure it?

After a year and a half of trial and error we came upon a formula that works well for our monthly, one-hour long meetings:

  1. Say a short prayer together: Our Father or Hail Mary, etc.
  2. Watch the next video in the Brotherhood of Virtue series
  3. Discuss the questions presented at the end of the video
  4. Resolve to do the action items from the video
  5. Pray the Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet together

The Video Program

Gerardo and I outlined what each meeting would look like, then recorded 15 – 20 minute videos about the topic. These videos are then played as the main content of each meeting.

They include us sharing personal stories, actionable strategies, and offering wisdom from the Church’s treasury of Scripture and Tradition to help men conquer this vice.

At the end of each video we give discussion questions relevant to the topic that help bring the men together to share their own victories and struggles.

You can watch one of the videos right here to see what it looks like.

What we have created then is a turn-key program that any man can bring to his parish, diocese, or Catholic organization.

How Do I Bring This to My Parish?

One benefit of Gerardo and I going through the process of hammering out what this program would look like at our parish is that we know, step-by-step, how one can be started at your parish.

To help men who are interested in starting a Brotherhood of Virtue program, I made a short course explaining what steps you need to take to start one.

This guide is completely free and takes you through the process of meeting with your pastor, showing him the program, explaining the benefits, answering objections, promoting the program, and inviting men to join it on an ongoing basis.

Most men will not be called to take this bold step of faith in starting such a program. But for those who are called to do something about this widespread problem and strengthen their brothers at their parish, we have made it much easier with the program. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, be an eloquent speaker, or reveal your own struggles.

Instead, you can use the Brotherhood of Virtue program and have an instant men’s group for purity at your parish or diocese.

God bless,
Devin