Donny's Ramblings


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Don't Call Craig Gross Fat!

From an email I received, sent by someone close enough to me to feel comfortable saying such a thing:

Each side was equally split. Each had one piece of eye candy and one fat guy.

Hee Hee. 🙂

Monique Alexander, Ron Jeremy, Craig Gross, Donny Pauling

Monique Alexander, Ron Jeremy, Craig Gross, Donny Pauling


8 Comments

Fleecing the Saints, and Other Random Thoughts

I’m flying home from Orlando, Florida at the moment.  The GPS map on the seat in front of me says the plane’s path will soon cross the Oklahoma/Kansas border and continue slightly south of Pueblo, Colorado.

Last night Craig and I watched the Nightline Debate from our hotel room, not long after receiving an instant message from a friend letting me know that someone on a porn message board had started some “board drama” about me.   It turns out a former business acquaintance of mine, a man named “Lightspeed” Steve Jones, offered a $100 reward, payable instantly via paypal or similar payment option, to the person who could find a particular discussion thread I started a few years ago , a little over 7 months before surrendering my life to God, where I told my fellow porn colleagues that I had an “Evil Plan to Go Mainstream” where I’d become a Christian and make a career out of fleecing the Saints.  Steve thought this would be a fun bit of information to pass along to X3 and ABC, as if it would derail the message Craig and I shared on Nightline’s Face Off.

Craig’s response?  “Tell us something we don’t know.”

Because the thing is, this has never been a secret.  For years I’d rant and tell people that I was going to con Christians.  It was a fun thing to laugh about while plastered from alcoholic beverages at parties.  I used to say a lot of really hurtful, stupid things.  I spit venom in the faces of Christians all my porn producing career, and said things much more horrible than the message Mr. Jones offered payment to find.  At one point I even told my “Evil Plan” to a XXXChurch staff member during a conversation at their booth at a Las Vegas porn convention, mocking them and telling them Christians are gullible and stupid.  I did the same with dozens of other Christians with whom my path crossed during my years of ultimate rebellion.  If only I’d been reading the message board where Steve made his offer a few moments after he posted it, I’d be eating sushi with his money tomorrow.  I’d have given him the link he wanted rather quickly.  Think he’d have paid up?

There are still a handful of people who read this blog and have been constant readers since before I became a Christian.  I’m sure you remember my rants against Christianity.  Even the very night before finally asking God to take control of my life I posted a message about how Christianity was a bunch of crap based on ancient greek myths such as Dionysus and Mithra and questioned how anyone could believe such garbage.  If you’ve heard me speak, the “ancient myth” post was made during the two week time period I talk about where I’d offered God a deal, informing Him that if He answered all the questions I had about Christianity I would dedicate my life to serving Him.  As you know, He didn’t take me up on the offer of surrender on my own terms.  But once I came to Him anyway I’ve since found many of the answers I sought.  The “Greek Myth” answer came courtesy of books by Rob Bell and Lee Strobel, along with a lot of prayer and time with God.

I enjoy sharing these things.  It excites me to see how much my mind has been rewired by having a real encounter with the Creator of the Universe. In fact, even during this morning’s Porn and Pancakes event, Craig read the very letter Steve Jones paid to find.  You get an “A” for effort, though, Steve.  And I still like you despite what you may feel about me.

—–

The church hosting P&P this morning had a great atmosphere and the men who attended were receptive.  I love talking to people afterward.  LOVE. IT.  I can’t speak for Craig, but the feedback we receive really fuels me and reassures me that we’re doing the right thing.  One man walked up and said, “You have no idea how much we needed this!   God really spoke to us today.”  Even though we hear the same response over and over all across the country, it never gets old hearing it.

Some of the men also shared with me their personal struggles with porn.  One young man told me he has contemplated suicide in the past due to guilt he’s felt and that he’s had trouble with it since he was in the 6th grade.  A group of us discussed how we can still remember the very first pornographic images we ever saw.  They are forever burned in our minds.  My first porn exposure, for example, was a magazine abandoned in a park near a friend’s house.   I still remember the words used to describe what was going on in the pictures.  None of these things are new stories.  At a past event, one man even admitted things his porn addiction led him to do, and it was rather shocking even for me.  Sadly, for many consumers, porn is progressive.  It’s not like a person can “just” look at “this” type of porn and be happy viewing the same thing forever.  The same ol’ same ol’ gets boring quickly, and it takes something new to satisfy.  That’s why XXXChurch mentions porn taking you places you never thought you’d go and keeping you longer than you ever thought you’d stay.  Getting conversations started is a good step toward overcoming problems.

I haven’t mentioned this yet, but when Craig and I debated Ron Jeremy and Nina Hartley at Ohio State University back in October I was really shocked at how “behind the times” Ron Jeremy seems to be.  Even after filming more than 2,000 adult films, he doesn’t seem to be aware of what’s really going on in porn.  I’ve heard him mention some of the more “kinky” porn (his term) as if it’s not really very prevalent.  At first I thought he was just saying that to try to prove his points, but I have come to believe that he really doesn’t fathom how hardcore porn has become.  When told what’s “popular” amongst porn consumers these days, he scoffs as if we don’t know what we’re talking about.  I haven’t viewed any of Ron’s most recent work, but I’m beginning to wonder if he just plays the same roles he’s always played.  He doesn’t seem to comprehend that porn has moved in a more hardcore direction.  Or maybe he does and he fakes a lack of knowledge really well.  I dunno.  I don’t think so.  What I can tell you is that Craig Gross is very correct when he says the research Ron uses during debates is pre-internet, and jokingly adds that it’s older than Craig himself.   🙂

When I was in the porn world and kept in communication with other producers and webmasters on a regular basis, it seemed as though some groups always wanted to “one up” each other by “raising the bar” to new levels of depravity.  I have to admit that what used to turn my stomach early in my career didn’t bother me by the end of it, and as each “new” trend rolled out I was not in the least bit shocked.  Once in awhile I’ll hear about something new going on in porn land and it still doesn’t shock me.  I just kinda shrug my shoulders and don’t give it much thought.  I guess I’m a bit jaded.  I don’t know if I should be saddened by that or if it’s just a fact of the life I’ve lived.

—–

There has been some great feedback coming in via text messages, phone calls, email and myspace to both Craig and I.  Thank you to all who have taken the time to contact us with your thoughts.  And I’d like to send a special “thank you” to Craig Gross.  You really showed Christianity in a favorable light during that debate and you were definitely very articulate in getting your points across.  Thank you for inviting me along, both for the debate as well as these P&P events.  You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.  I believe you and all the staff of XXXChurch are really doing God’s work.

We’re crossing the Rockies now.  The air is getting pretty turbulent.  I’m shutting down so my computer doesn’t keep bouncing into the lap of the passenger beside me.

Until later…


9 Comments

After Watching the Debate… My Thoughts

I don’t have a lot of time to write this at the moment, as I’m in Orlando, Florida for a Porn and Pancakes event that starts in a little over an hour. I’ll then be on an airplane home. But I wanted to write a quick note and give links to more of the debate.

To edit a two hour event down to less than 20 minutes of actual airtime is quite a challenge for anyone, I’m sure. I think ABC did okay at that. I do think some great arguments were left out. But overall, I’m okay with the final result. Just okay. I’m glad I wasn’t the one who had to decide how to edit for such a short time period.

Should you want to watch more, here is the debate ALMOST uncensored. The same commercial plays for 15 seconds before the beginning of each part, and there were still a few things cut here, but you get much more of the event by watching these:

Part 1:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4365288

Part 2:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4365373

Part 3:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4367518

Part 4:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4367795

Part 5:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4367956

Part 6:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4367990

Part 7:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4368158

Part 8:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4368160

Part 9:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4368248

Part 10:
http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4368272

All in all, it was a great experience and I’m glad I was able to be part of it. I hope a few lives were touched and hope some of the issues raised caused people to do some soul searching. One Yale student wrote this:

The Great Porn Debate with Ron Jeremy and Monique Alexander arguing the pros and Craig Gross of XXXChurch.com and Donnie Pauling arguing the con side may have been the most eye opening. Craig and Donnie were able to illuminate many of the dark sides of the porn industry that really challenged a lot of students’ common conception of the “glamorous” business of adult entertainment. Ron and Monique were able to make some interesting points about a woman’s choice to work in porn, and porn’s ability to provide an element of fantasy for healthy couples.

But working first hand this past week with porn stars has swayed me towards the anti-porn side of XXX-Church.com. Steven Hirsch, co-founder of Vivid entertainment, is one of the most impressive businessmen I’ve had a chance to meet; it just sucks his business involves the degradation of young women. Most of us on the team are pretty disillusioned with the adult entertainment industry. They come off as normal people but the more you work with them the more you get an eerie sense of turpitude. Besides, who needs porn when Craig Gross is your pastor and is that hot?

Now… off to get ready for P&P.

Added 3/8/2008:

You can watch the the program that aired on Nightline here.
Or you can watch the entire debate in one file here.

If you have time, I suggest watching the part that aired (for all the exciting editing and commentary) and then watching the full debate.


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Nightline: Tonight’s The Night!

The debate we filmed at Yale University is finally here! It airs tonight on Nightline ABC after the evening news. Check your TV guide for times (usually 11:35pm). My favorite “TV Guide” is the one on Yahoo:

http://tv.yahoo.com/listings

Watch it. TiVo it. Tell all your friends, and half of your enemies.

Then come back tomorrow and tell me what you think!


4 Comments

Nightline: Tonight's The Night!

The debate we filmed at Yale University is finally here! It airs tonight on Nightline ABC after the evening news. Check your TV guide for times (usually 11:35pm). My favorite “TV Guide” is the one on Yahoo:

http://tv.yahoo.com/listings

Watch it. TiVo it. Tell all your friends, and half of your enemies.

Then come back tomorrow and tell me what you think!


3 Comments

Nightline Debate: Does "Set In Stone" Mean Set in Stone?

Face Off Now On Friday!

Sorry about this…but Friday is a good night for it. This date is set in stone.

Best,

Ethan

That’s the word I received two hours ago from the producer of Nightline ABC. So, if “Set In Stone” means Set in Stone you’ll be able to see the debate this Friday night, February 29th, on ABC. Check your local listings for times, but for most of you that will be 11:35pm. I say “most” of you because I thought Nightline came on at 11:35pm everywhere until visiting Minneapolis last week. The show came on on an hour earlier there.

Ron Jeremy, Monique Alexander, Martin Bashir, Donny Pauling, Craig Gross

Click to enlarge either photo…

Monique Alexander, Ron Jeremy, Martin Bashir, Craig Gross, Donny Pauling


6 Comments

Nightline Debate: Does “Set In Stone” Mean Set in Stone?

Face Off Now On Friday!

Sorry about this…but Friday is a good night for it. This date is set in stone.

Best,

Ethan

That’s the word I received two hours ago from the producer of Nightline ABC. So, if “Set In Stone” means Set in Stone you’ll be able to see the debate this Friday night, February 29th, on ABC. Check your local listings for times, but for most of you that will be 11:35pm. I say “most” of you because I thought Nightline came on at 11:35pm everywhere until visiting Minneapolis last week. The show came on on an hour earlier there.

Ron Jeremy, Monique Alexander, Martin Bashir, Donny Pauling, Craig Gross

Click to enlarge either photo…

Monique Alexander, Ron Jeremy, Martin Bashir, Craig Gross, Donny Pauling


15 Comments

Does My Heart Well: "Porn and Pancakes" and "Uncle" Ron Jeremy

Yesterday I was in Los Angeles for a Porn and Pancakes event at the Oasis Christian Center. When I arrived I was picked up at the Los Angeles Airport by Jeff Borkoski, an Oasis LA Associate Pastor. Jeff took me to my amazing room at the Orlando near Beverly Center.

Prior to arriving in LA, I’d received an email from Michelle (nice song playing on your profile right now Michelle – I like it), who handles all bookings and arrangements for XXXChurch. Michelle passed along a question from Oasis. Since I flew in Friday afternoon, what did I want to do Friday night? What a nice gesture! I haven’t been asked that question before.

Such thoughtfulness continued the entire time I was in Los Angeles. When I reached that VERY nice room I mentioned at the Orlando, on the desk was an impressive gift basket filled with so much food I couldn’t possibly eat all of it, which is why several items from it currently sit in front of me, here at home between my keyboard and my iMac, even as I type this blog entry.

While at the church I had a “shadow”, which was another staff pastor who kept me company and made sure I didn’t need anything. The church was amazingly beautiful and the men who attended P&P were some of the most friendly, down to earth people I’ve ever met. And very diverse. It really did my heart very well to be a part of this event this weekend.

Classy. Classy. Classy.

As for the event itself: I’ve been told lots of conversations have been going on afterward. I know I spoke with dozens of men and had some great conversations of my own. God really moves through these events!

—–

After the event, Craig Gross and his wife and two beautiful children headed off to Ron Jeremy‘s house to meet his turtle and go to lunch. Ron, who has two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in education, is called “Uncle Ron” by Craig’s kids.

I wish I could put into words how this makes me feel. Craig and his family have made Ron part of theirs. While some may question such a thing, I think it is a perfect example of Christians who are being Jesus in skin and loving without judgment. Shouldn’t that be how all of us act? Loving those who may not believe as we do, and may in fact be involved in activities we greatly dislike?

This… this is a type of Christianity I can dedicate my life to…

—–

Filling Up
After breakfast, the men begin filling up the main sanctuary at Oasis LA. Click to enlarge.


30 Comments

Does My Heart Well: “Porn and Pancakes” and “Uncle” Ron Jeremy

Yesterday I was in Los Angeles for a Porn and Pancakes event at the Oasis Christian Center. When I arrived I was picked up at the Los Angeles Airport by Jeff Borkoski, an Oasis LA Associate Pastor. Jeff took me to my amazing room at the Orlando near Beverly Center.

Prior to arriving in LA, I’d received an email from Michelle (nice song playing on your profile right now Michelle – I like it), who handles all bookings and arrangements for XXXChurch. Michelle passed along a question from Oasis. Since I flew in Friday afternoon, what did I want to do Friday night? What a nice gesture! I haven’t been asked that question before.

Such thoughtfulness continued the entire time I was in Los Angeles. When I reached that VERY nice room I mentioned at the Orlando, on the desk was an impressive gift basket filled with so much food I couldn’t possibly eat all of it, which is why several items from it currently sit in front of me, here at home between my keyboard and my iMac, even as I type this blog entry.

While at the church I had a “shadow”, which was another staff pastor who kept me company and made sure I didn’t need anything. The church was amazingly beautiful and the men who attended P&P were some of the most friendly, down to earth people I’ve ever met. And very diverse. It really did my heart very well to be a part of this event this weekend.

Classy. Classy. Classy.

As for the event itself: I’ve been told lots of conversations have been going on afterward. I know I spoke with dozens of men and had some great conversations of my own. God really moves through these events!

—–

After the event, Craig Gross and his wife and two beautiful children headed off to Ron Jeremy‘s house to meet his turtle and go to lunch. Ron, who has two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in education, is called “Uncle Ron” by Craig’s kids.

I wish I could put into words how this makes me feel. Craig and his family have made Ron part of theirs. While some may question such a thing, I think it is a perfect example of Christians who are being Jesus in skin and loving without judgment. Shouldn’t that be how all of us act? Loving those who may not believe as we do, and may in fact be involved in activities we greatly dislike?

This… this is a type of Christianity I can dedicate my life to…

—–

Filling Up
After breakfast, the men begin filling up the main sanctuary at Oasis LA. Click to enlarge.


4 Comments

Disappointed: Debate Postponed Due to "Breaking News"

I just received this email from the producer of Nightline:

Due to breaking news. It’s tentatively scheduled to air next Thursday 2/28/08. I hope you guys understand and thanks.

What the breaking news is, I don’t know. A “behind the scenes” preview of the show is online here and here (see videos on the right side of that second link).

Disappointing.

😦