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Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News
Melanie Hall, left, and former porn star Shelley Lubben talk before a screening of "Traffic Control" in Provo.

PROVO — The first time Shelley Lubben walked into a porn studio, she said she felt a sense of evil wash over her.

"You could just feel this darkness," the ex-porn star said. "I remember I wanted to back out of it."

Lubben, who said she was sexually molested as a 9-year-old, turned to prostitution in her late teens to support herself. Three pregnancies and two miscarriages later, she entered the adult entertainment industry and soon sunk deeper into drug and alcohol addictions and contracted herpes.

"I turned my human spirit off and just became this zombie named Roxy," said Lubben in a new anti-pornography docu- mentary "Traffic Control."

The documentary, produced by Provo film company Living Biography, details the rampant increase in Internet pornography today, as well as the fight to stop it.

The film's release coincided with the Utah House of Representatives' decision on Jan. 30 to pass a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to curb Internet pornography. The bill passed unanimously in both the House and Senate and will encourage federal lawmakers to limit the accessibility of pornography for children and employees.

Access to pornography is a major issue for modern society, said Rep. Bradley Daw, R-Orem, the bill's sponsor.

"I can't tell you how many stories I've heard, how many lives I've seen destroyed (by pornography)," he said. "This is an absolute scourge on our society."

Utah's attempt will help push the anti-pornography cause forward, said Ralph Yarro, founder of CP80 Foundation, a Utah-based nonprofit that worked in conjunction with Living Biography to create "Traffic Control."

As for the Utah bill, "it will be the shot heard around the world," Yarro said. "Utah is standing up and saying, 'Porn is a problem."'

Utah is one of seven states attempting to pass resolutions to stop the prevalence of porn on the Internet.

"The most significant next to ours is Oregon's," said Yarro at a recent screening of the documentary.

The bill, if passed, would declare pornography a "public health emergency," he said.

"Traffic Control" reveals story after story of lives affected by pornography, from teenagers on the streets of major American cities to business owners.

The film examines various aspects of the adult-entertainment industry, which brings in more than $12 billion a year, according to estimates made by the Free Speech Coalition, the voice of the porn industry.

Teens interviewed in the film tell stories of their consumption of pornography — from viewing to acting out themselves.

"I know a couple people making porn," said a high school junior in an interview. "They're 14 or 15 (years old) probably."

The number of teenagers and children consuming pornographic material has increased at an alarming rate in recent years, according to some groups.

Focus on the Family, a Christian nonprofit organization, indicates the number of pornographic Web sites increased 2,000 percent from 1998 to 2003, and more than 47 percent of children who use e-mail receive pornographic spam on a daily basis.

While "Traffic Control" reports that close to 57 percent of 9 to 19 year olds with online access have viewed Internet porn, those in the adult entertainment industry say the figure is closer to 10 percent.

"We don't market to kids because, first of all, they don't have any money, and, second, they're not interested," said Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition.

But ex-porn star Lubben, now an anti-porn activist, told audience members after a screening of the film in late January that pornographers have told her they deliberately attempt to hook children.

"(One producer told me), 'We want the children — they're the next generation of consumers,"' she said. "They actually program their Web sites to have words that kids search for."

While many parents rely on filters to stop such Web sites from popping up, these devices are far from foolproof, said John Carosella, vice president of content control at Blue Coat, a California-based company that markets filters.

"The easiest way to beat a filter is to go next door were they don't have one," he said in the film.

Teens interviewed in "Traffic Control" laughed at their parents' attempts to block their access to pornographic sites and explained how they use anonymous proxy servers, like safelizard.com, to bypass filters.

And parents aren't the only ones trying to monitor computer use. Many companies spend large chunks of money trying to keep employees off pornographic sites.

"We've seen our customers desperate to solve this problem," Carosella said.

Realizing the faults of filters, CP80 founder Yarro created a new plan to stop children from accessing internet pornography.

The CP80 Internet Channel Initiative pushes the creation of two separate Internet ports, one for "clean" content and one for adult content. The ports would work like cable TV channels, Yarro says, and users would select which port to allow into their homes.

The solution's best asset, Yarro said, is that it sidesteps First Amendment issues.

In order to change the readily accessible nature of pornography, though, Yarro said action needs to be taken before members of a generation raised on porn become the country's political leaders.

For more information on "Traffic Control," visit www.trafficcontrolthemovie.com.


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