Out of Pornography and Into the Light
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CBN.com SAD CHILDHOOD
Shelley Lubben was born the eldest of three children in Pasadena, CA, in 1968.
“The first eight years of my childhood my family was involved in a good church where Sunday school teachers taught me about Jesus,” Shelley recalls. “As a little girl, I loved Jesus very much.”
When Shelley turned nine, the family moved to Glendora, CA, stopped attending church and drifted away from God and each other. “God was no longer first in our home and our family began to suffer,” she says.
Shelley continued to attend the Baptist church down the corner with her younger brother and sister. However, with no spiritual support or encouragement, she lost interest by 14.
She had been introduced to sexuality when she was nine by a girl and her teenage brother. Sex became confusing to Shelley. Sex meant “love” to her, as it felt good to be wanted by someone and receive attention. At the same time, she felt dirty.
“I wanted my parents’ affection more than anything but it didn’t seem like I received what I needed,” Shelley says. “I started to feel resentment toward them, and anger entered my heart.”
Shelley became more involved in the party scene, and by age 16, she was sexually active, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.
“We fought constantly in our home,” she says. “There was nothing but yelling and nagging during my teenage years.”
Shelley felt her mother was mad at her most of the time, and her father was too busy to have a relationship with his eldest child other than to yell at her. So Shelley acted out to get their attention but her parents preferred to maintain peace. So they allowed Shelley to dress up as a Playboy bunny at 15, date boys they didn’t know, etc.
Her parents went through much anguish because of Shelley, and finally at their wits’ end, they kicked her out during her senior year of high school. With nowhere to go, she ended up staying with a guy she barely knew. “I had no money, and there was almost no food in the place I was staying. For the first time in my life, I knew what it meant to be really hungry,” Shelley recalls. “I became desperate for any help someone could give me.”
After a month Shelley met a man who said he could “help” her. He told Shelley he knew a man who would pay her to have sex with him. She was still so in shock and in such rage at her parents that she accepted his offer. At 18 she sold herself for $35, and she began a life of prostitution.
Soon Shelley moved in with a madam and worked as a professional escort making “very good money” on and off for eight years while continuing to work as a prostitute and exotic dancer.
At first it was exciting when men gave her money, jewelry and gifts but it soon became a life of slavery. She found herself having bizarre sex with strangers. Clients stalked her. One tried to kill her and hit her with his truck. She constantly had to lie to get out of very frightening situations.
“The whole time Jesus kept reaching out to me, but I ignored Him. I figured God wasn’t taking care of me, so I had to do whatever I could to survive,” she says.
By 19 Shelley was pregnant with a client’s baby and was devastated. “The reality hit me that I was pregnant from a prostitution act,” she says. But Shelley decided to keep her baby and at age 20 gave birth to her first daughter, Tiffany.
Shelley maintained her lifestyle of prostitution and dancing but the pressure was overwhelming. She turned to alcohol, cocaine and other drugs to cope. Her young daughter suffered terribly.
“Tiffany grew up a sad little girl who was neglected and whose innocence was often violated.” Lubben says. “I even gave Tiffany a beeper and made her to go to the park while I pulled tricks. She was only four years old.”
Shelley cried out to God often, desperate for an answer to her wrecked life. She felt guilty for her lifestyle but just couldn’t break the cycle. “I began to look at myself as a total and complete failure. I lost all self worth and hated myself for being a horrible mother,” Shelley recalls. “Many times I cried out to Jesus to help me, promising that if He did, I would serve Him. I sat in the ruins and ashes of my life wondering where is my Jesus?”
But Shelley was addicted to the money of her profession and her sin only got worse.
At 24, Shelley was introduced to the adult film industry by a friend promising “easy money.” “I figured it was more legal than prostitution, so why not,” she says.
She went to the studio, did one amateur porn movie and was immediately promoted to professional films with some of the most famous porn stars. Looking back, Shelley says, “There was a satanic anointing on me to do those films. It’s not something that the ‘average’ person could do without it.”
The last straw was when she caught herpes, and she wanted to end her life. “I tried overdosing on pills, slicing my wrists and drinking myself to death but it seemed no matter what I did, I couldn’t die. I was mad at God, mad at myself and hated my parents,” Shelley recalls. “There never seemed to be any break from the pain or any help to come along. I would cry out to Jesus for hours and give up my whole lifestyle, only to find that within a week I would be right back in the vicious cycle of sin.”
Shelley felt hopeless and was caught in the industry’s vicious and unforgiving claws. After she became infected with herpes, she quietly left the porn industry but went back to prostitution to survive.
In 1994 Shelley met Garrett at a bar. “We became best friends and hung out all the time together,” she says. “We’d talk about life, and one day we both brought up Jesus.”
Garrett knew she was a prostitute and a drunk. “I never met any man like Garrett. He loved me and saw something in me despite my ugliness,” Shelley says. “He wanted to be a friend to a prostitute. He reminded me so much of Jesus.”
The whole time God was in their midst, working through each other’s pain (Garrett grew up in a Christian home and fell away from God due to his parents’ divorce).
On February 14, 1995, Garrett and Shelley got married at city hall. “We knew God had put us together, so we got married and turned back to Jesus.”
Shelley quit prostituting but, after Garrett lost his job, they had to go on welfare.
“Everything seemed to get worse, and the temptation for me to go back to the old lifestyle in order to support us was overwhelming,” she says.
Garrett joined the Army and returned from basic training a changed man with a new lease on life, no longer addicted to drugs. Shelley was still a mess with years of healing ahead of her.
She soon found out she was pregnant with her second child. After Teresa was born, Shelley dove into depression and reached to alcohol for help instead of God.
“I ended up visiting the Army mental health clinic regularly where I was prescribed Zoloft, sleeping pills and lithium for being bipolar, with impulse control disorder, alcohol dependence and PSTD,” she says.
Shelley was involved with church and seriously working on her relationship with God but she just couldn’t break the cycle of addiction. “I still had to face the demons of my past in order to step into my future,” she says.
For the next two years, Shelley battled alcoholism and nothing she tried seemed to help. In 2000, Shelley says she had a “divine intervention” with God, and He spoke to her loud and clear: “The next time you drink, you will die.”
“We returned to Washington from Texas after six months, and I was totally free from alcohol and cigarettes,” she says.
Attending a powerful church in Tacoma, Shelley says, “I did have to go through several hard years of grieving and healing from the devastation of my past. I had to fight the good fight of faith by applying the Word of God to everything. When Satan would remind me of all the old porn movies, I would remind him that I was this new creature who never did porn movies. Whatever I had to overcome, I would read what God’s Word said about it and that settled it for me.
"He has completely restored me. I am totally free from drugs, alcohol, bad memories, mental illness, sexual trauma, guilt from the past, and everything from the old life. He even healed me from the non-curable disease herpes,” Shelley proclaims. “Yes, God took a porn star and prostitute and made a champion out of her. He cleaned her up and taught her how to be a great mom, a loving wife and a minister. He restored my health, my mind and most of all He gave me a new heart."
PORN FILMS – LAST FRONTIER
Shelley says that as a prostitute she could have gotten killed, gone to jail or even prison but she could choose her clients who would spend money on her for meals, clothes, jewelry, etc. She says the porn industry is much worse, and she calls it "The Devil’s Final Frontier," because it is only about money and evil. She says it is all illusion like a magic show with the audience never knowing what is going on behind the scenes.
Shelley indicates that the scenes on the set of a hardcore porn film often involve one woman and six men, all of whom are doing degrading acts to the woman. And then the director will call “freeze,” and they have to hold those poses for five minutes while the lights are adjusted.
Shelley says there is no intimacy, and it is all mechanical and beastly. Often the women are vomiting off the set, and most of the actors are doing drugs and alcohol.
Shelley spent two years performing in hardcore porn and was in 20 films. When she did her first adult film something very “dark” came over her. And she says the devil told her, “See Shelley, I will make you famous, and THEN everyone will love you.”
PORN AFFECTS MARRIAGES
Shelley says watching porn with your spouse will not make for a healthier marriage. She wonders why you would want marriage advice from the “mentally ill and physically diseased?”
According to her stats, over 66 percent of the porn actors carry the herpes virus with many having Chlamydia and seven percent being HIV positive. It is standard to have sexual diseases in the porn industry.
Shelley says most often women begin to watch porn to please their spouses and also from the fear of losing their spouse. Women are usually more addicted to cyber sex found in chat rooms than to watching porn movies. She says this is because it feeds their fantasies of relationships.
HER WEB SITE MINISTRY
Eighteen months ago Shelley says the Lord woke her up and told her to put her testimony online. At that time Shelley had no idea of what she calls the “porn pandemic.” She is the only former porn actress that she knows that is publicly speaking out as a committed Christian. Now she gets thousands of hits each month on her site – many from sex addicts, Christians, and even from ministers.
She is most concerned that the Church seems to be ignoring the problem. The Church needs to wake up to the facts that close to 48 percent of the men in churches are viewing porn. Satan is smart and knows that the older generation doesn’t know how to operate computers, so he goes after the next generation.
Shelley has recently ministered to 400 youth from ages 12 to 23. Even kids in middle school have gone to church leaders but they are not prepared to minister to the deep needs. All they can say is, “I’ll pray for you.”
Shelley says there is power available to fight satan.
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