BYU-Idaho video tells students to avoid addiction to porn

broberts@idahostatesman.comFebruary 5, 2014 

This Brigham Young University-Idaho video warning students of the dangers of pornography has drawn national attention - and is being misinterpreted, school officials say.

BYU-IDAHO

A Brigham Young University-Idaho video warning students of the dangers of pornography has drawn national attention for carrying an anti-masturbation message. But school officials say that is incorrect.

The nearly four-minute video warns of what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints calls the addiction to pornography. “Any other interpretation of the video is inaccurate and unwarranted," school officials said in a statement.

Some Internet sites are saying the school is encouraging students to inform on friends who are masturbating. Spoofs and edited versions of the video are making the rounds on the Internet.

Tonight Show host Jay Leno poked fun at the video Tuesday night, playing off its theme of soldiers caught in a great war. The video’s title, he joked, is “Saving Ryan’s privates.”

Masturbation is never mentioned in the video.

The video says students have an obligation to help anyone they know who struggles with any kind of addiction.

“A lonely, confused young man gets addicted to pornography. His roommates know, but they do nothing to help him,” says Kim B. Clark, BYU-Idaho’s president and the video's narrator. “He stops going to church. There is darkness in is eyes. The young man is spiritually wounded on the battlefield of the great war.”

The video was produced several months ago by a student employee in the school’s Housing and Student Living Office, said Marc Stevens, BYU-Idaho spokesman. It was posted on YouTube and an in-school channel.

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