Jonathon Van Maren

Middle Schoolers are Now Using AI to Create ‘Deepfake’ Pornography of Their Classmates

The pornography crisis is being exacerbated further by AI, once again highlighting the unfortunate truth of a joke in tech circles: first we create new technology, then we figure out how to watch porn on it. The porn industry has ruined an untold number of lives. AI porn is taking that to the next level. We should be prepared for it. 

A recent news story out of Alabama should be getting far more attention than it is, because it is a glimpse into the future. Middle school students are using artificial intelligence (AI) to create pornographic images of their female classmates:  
A group of mothers in Demopolis say their daughters’ pictures were used with artificial intelligence to create pornographic images of their daughters. Tiffany Cannon, Elizabeth Smith, Holston Drinkard, and Heidi Nettles said they all learned on Dec. 4 that two of their daughters’ male classmates created and shared explicit photos of their daughters. Smith said since last Monday, it has been a rollercoaster of emotions.
‘They’re scared, they’re angry, they’re embarrassed. They really feel like why did this happen to them,’ said Smith. The group of mothers said there is an active investigation with Demopolis Police. However, they wish for the school district to take action. They believe this is an instance of cyberbullying and there are state laws and policies to protect their girls.
‘We have laws in place through the Safe School’s law and the Student Bullying Prevention Act, which says that cyberbullying will not be tolerated either on or off campus,’ said Smith. ‘It takes a lot for these girls to come forward, and they did. They need to be supported for that. Not just from their parents, but from their school and their community,’ said Nettles.
The school hasn’t given many details yet, with the Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Tony Willis saying in a statement that there is little they can do: “The school can only address things that happen at school events, school campus on school time. Outside of this, it becomes a parent and police matter. We sympathize with parents and never want wrongful actions to go without consequences –” 
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Cruelty Cloaked in Compassion

It is cruel to lock women behind bars with violent rapists. It is cruel to force teenage girls to change in front of young men in their locker rooms. It is cruel to force traumatized rape victims to sleep in dorms with men. And it is cruel to demand that women accept their own demotion and dehumanization, reduced to crude terminology to avoid offending the cross-dressers in charge. You can put a man in a dress, and he is still a man. And you can dress up cruelty in a cloak of compassion—but it is still cruelty, and we should say so. 

A November 3 post on X (formerly Twitter) from J.K. Rowling caught my eye recently. It was her comment on the decision of an Australian court to mandate that the ‘preferred pronouns’ of people identifying as transgender be used as a “matter of respect” to ensure “public confidence in the proper administration of justice.” As Rowling noted: “Asking a woman to refer to her male rapist or violent assaulter as ‘she’ in court is a form of state-sanctioned abuse. Female victims of male violence are further traumatised by being forced to speak a lie.” Indeed, forcing a woman to refer to the man who abused and raped her as ‘she’ seems a particularly grotesque form of gaslighting.
Rowling’s comment gets to the heart of something that is not commented on often enough: the manifest cruelty of the transgender movement. I’m not referring here to the mobs of trans-identified men that so often threaten violence towards women who dare to speak out—or, as in the case of Posie Parker’s visit to New Zealand earlier this year, actually perpetrate it. Nor am I speaking of the torrent of vile threats of rape that women like Rowling face from these vicious men in dresses. I mean the cruelty of the practices and policies imposed by those in power on women and girls in the name of the transgender movement, which have swept virtually every Western country in under a decade.
“Sad, Powerless, and Confused”
Many manifestations of this cultural shift have a sinister, totalitarian air about them. Scenes of men like Dylan Mulvaney winning female awards—Virgin Atlantic’s “Woman of the Year” is the latest—while being applauded wildly by men and women in the audience remind me of the crowds forced to give minutes-long standing ovations to dictators for fear of being recognized as dissidents. The cultural overlords are watching, and you’d better think this is fair and good and a bold step forward for ‘transwomen’ if you know what’s good for you. Mulvaney isn’t a one-off example, either—as of March, nine men have won ‘Women of the Year’ awards.
Then there are the high school males winning prizes like Homecoming ‘Queen,’ once reserved for those Walker Percy memorably described as “football girls in the fall with faces like flowers.” Now we are treated to photographs of pretty girls clustered around a jut-jawed gangly young man in long hair and a dress—it seems sadistic, somehow. The girls must smile; must affirm that this young man—who is so obviously a man—is a pretty girl, prettier than they are, a flower among flowers. The press and the LGBT movement and the idiots who chose him, of course, are wild with celebration—and there is more than a little warning in their cheers. Say he’s beautiful. Say it like you mean it. If you don’t, we’ll make you a national news story.
Of course, that only happens after the girls have been forced to share changing rooms and bathrooms with these young men. Girls have risked urinary tract infections rather than use the bathroom with boys. Girls have pled with adults to keep the boys out of their changing rooms, but even their tears do not shake the idealogues in charge.
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The Post-Christian Media Is Enormously Ignorant about Christianity

The reality is that Johnson’s comments – which are utterly normative for a traditional Christian – is merely evidence that he is just that – a Christian. Anyone who believes in the Bible believes that God punishes nations for sin; that same Bible defines sin very clearly. Ask any Bible-believing pastor if he believes that post-Christian nations will be punished for national sins, and he’ll agree. Indeed, one must be aggressively uninformed about the Christian history of the United States and the West more generally to be shocked by Johnson’s comments. The ignorance of the mainstream press about the Bible and Christianity in general is one aspect of this.

One aspect of the post-Christian era in the West is that ordinary Christian views held by ordinary Christian people are almost entirely unknown to a growing portion of our populations. It should not be news that Christians in public positions hold beliefs that virtually all Christians have held for thousands of years and yet, because of the monumental ignorance of the press and several successive generations cut off from their civilizational inheritance by a derelict and deformed public school system, many seem to treat these revelations with shock. 
It is difficult to overstate the extent of this ignorance. Thirty-nine percent of British millennials, for example, could not identify the baby in the Christmas story (that would be Jesus). During COVID, politicians and the public from California to Canada to the Netherlands appeared genuinely outraged that Christians believed worship to be more essential than theaters or sports games. Only 16% of Americans read the Bible daily (a number that has been dropping precipitously year over year); a decade ago, only 14 percent of Canadians even read the Bible once a month, a number that has since dropped to 11 percent (I suspect it is much lower).  
Thus, we are constantly being alerted by the press that Christians believing Christian things is scandalous, dangerous, and indicative of some terrifying new trend. A recent example I covered in this space was the media’s collective freakout over the “news” that U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and his family use the accountability software Covenant Eyes, which the leftist media had obviously never heard of (no surprise there). Since then, there has been more news. The Guardian reported on Johnson’s comment to Fox News that to find out what he believes “go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it – that’s my worldview.”
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CNN Reports that the Birthrate is Going Up in States with Pro-Life Laws

CNN actually goes so far as to claim that not being aborted negatively impacts the child: “Earlier research has found that there are many consequences of unintended birth, affecting the health and livelihood of the mother, the child and the family in general.” In other words, the child would be better off dead.

It is true that since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement has faced a series of challenges. Most notably, the abortion movement has won seven straight abortion referendums, highlighting their advantage in direct democracy initiatives. (I recently reviewed the flaws in the pro-life movement’s strategy for First Things and on the podcast.) I observed that despite these setbacks—which should certainly provoke a re-evaluation of our strategy—it is unwarranted to claim, as some do, that Dobbs was a “pyrrhic victory.” Tens of thousands of lives have been saved. 
On November 21, for example, CNN ran this headline: “Births have increased in states with abortion bans, research finds.” According to the article: 
Nearly a quarter of people seeking an abortion in the United States were unable to get one due to bans that took effect after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, researchers estimate. In the first half of 2023, states with abortion bans had an average fertility rate that was 2.3% higher than states where abortion was not restricted, according to the analysis – leading to about 32,000 more births than expected. The findings are based on preliminary births data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The research has not yet been peer-reviewed but experts say the data paints a clear picture about the direct impact of abortion restrictions. 
Abortion activists, as you might expect, see this rise in the birthrate as a negative thing. In their view, these are babies that would have been aborted under Roe, but have not been aborted under Dobbs, and thus their very existence is actually tragic. 
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There is No Room for Pornography in a Society that Cares about Its Children

Many communities still do not take this issue seriously enough. Many people do not realize the current and future consequences of a generation raised on digital pornography. Plenty of people think I’m exaggerating. And so, to raise whatever awareness I can, I will take the opportunity to cover every story I come across to keep on driving this point home. The most recent is a profile in the Guardian of Chanel Contos, an Australian student and sexual consent activist who rose to fame in 2021 after she posted an Instagram story asking her followers if they, or someone they knew, had been sexually assaulted during their years at school. 

(LifeSiteNews) — I want to begin by noting that I realize some people will begin reading this column and think: “Here we go again. Another article beating the drum about how porn fuels sexual violence – again.” And on one hand, I get it. I’ve been writing about this subject for over 10 years and have published many columns in this space on the rape culture that has been metastasizing all around us as entire generations get addicted to digital sexual violence that has normalized deviant, degrading, and destructive sexual practices – normalized them. 
On October 6, for example, I reported on a wave of sex crimes among minors in the U.K., fueled by porn – as well as a report by France’s equality watchdog noting that 90 percent of mainstream porn content featured abuse so horrific that much of it constitutes sexual torture. On September 2, I covered the story of a major porn site facing a wave of lawsuits from those who had videos of their abuse posted to the site. For years, I’ve covered studies highlighting, over and over again, the connection between sexually violent behavior and digital porn use – as well as the crimes of Pornhub, one of the world’s largest porn monopolies. 
The reason I cover this beat constantly is because I see the effects of the porn pandemic all around me. I’ve spoken to over 2,000 students at middle schools and high schools on porn so far this year, and they tell me what they’re watching. They send emails describing the first time they saw porn – usually before the sixth grade – and the way the violent material that is on the main page of every porn site has twisted their minds. And more girls than I can count have told me that porn bleeds into relationships – that choking, anal sex, hitting, and other forms of sexual violence are now expected – even, horrifyingly, in many Christian marriages. 
Despite that, many communities still do not take this issue seriously enough.
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Euthanasia: Would It Bother Us More If They Used Pillows?

The term euthanasia literally means “good death”—the premises are built into the name. To mainstream the idea that medical professionals should kill patients, we must use terms that distract from that reality: end-of-life care; physician-assisted death; medical aid in dying. Euthanasia activists paint a picture of people being put out of their suffering surrounded by their loved ones as soothing music plays in the background, dying peacefully and with dignity. If you didn’t know better, you’d hardly think someone was being killed—and that’s the point.

This essay was first published at The European Conservative.
Nearly 3,000 people died by euthanasia in Belgium in 2022. One of them was 36-year-old Alexina Wattiez, who was suffering from terminal cancer. In 2021 she was told that she likely had less than a year to live; by March 2022, Alexina was declining rapidly. She decided to request euthanasia. A doctor and two nurses came to her home where she lived with her partner Christophe Stulens and his 15-year-old daughter Tracy to administer the lethal injection. After a brief sleep before the fateful event, a nurse woke Stulens and his daughter and asked if they wanted to say goodbye. 
After the farewell they left the room to wait on the terrace and the doctor went in with syringes. They expected Alexina’s death to be swift and silent. After a moment, they heard screams. “I recognized her voice,” Stulens said. “Afterwards we saw her lying on the bed with her eyes and mouth open.” A post-mortem examination revealed the truth: Alexina had been suffocated to death. Some news reports indicate that the doctor used a pillow when the drugs failed to kill her; others say that the nurses took turns holding the pillow over the young woman’s face until she asphyxiated.
The family is now suing, with their lawyer stating that they are seeking to ensure that this sort of thing—being killed via suffocation rather than lethal injection—never happens again. The Public Prosecution Service of Liège has also apparently opened a murder investigation, although they haven’t explained why one method of killing administered by medical professionals would be homicide and the other healthcare. In fact, Belgian politician Jacques Brotchi hastened to make the distinction. “What happened is not euthanasia,” he assured the press. “Such a definition of this terrible situation devalues the gesture of euthanasia, which accompanies a person to the end without pain.”
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Why You Shouldn’t Use “Preferred Pronouns” and Other Ideological Language

The Daily Mail, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and others – all use female pronouns to refer to trans-identifying males, and vice versa. At times, readers are treated to the schizophrenic experience of reading an article making the case against gender ideology which uses the very pronouns that affirm the premises of that ideology. To call male swimmer Lia Thomas “she” while complaining that he is allowed to compete against women, for example, is to make your own argument ridiculous. Trans activists understand that, which is why they have placed such an emphasis on pronouns in the first place. 

The forced evolution of language is a key aspect of the LGBT movement’s colonization of culture. Those of you paying attention will have noticed that all sorts of new terms have cropped up in the past few years – new pronouns, neo-pronouns, new genders, and more. These terms are not part of the natural evolution of language, but are a top-down imposition, dictated by ideologues to the elite class, who obediently begin using them in politics, academia, and the press.
One of the most succinct responses to this shift in language came from the late comedian Norm MacDonald, when he was attempting to explain to another comedian what the definition of the term “cisgender” is. “Cisgender” is a term used by activists to describe a male who “identifies” as male. Or as Norm put it: “It’s a way of marginalizing a normal person.”
I’ve written on aspects of this agenda before – especially the issue of preferred pronouns. By adopting someone’s “preferred pronouns” or agreeing to declare your own, you are granting tacit approval to an entire ideology. Pronouns are premises, and by offering yours, you are affirming theirs – that is why Jordan Peterson fought so hard over the issue and was ultimately willing to lose his job. He realized that this was, in fact, a very big deal. The activists who insist it isn’t a big deal to force us all to do this think so, too – it’s why they respond with such viciousness when someone politely declines.
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Conservatives’ Bud Light Boycott has been One of the Most Successful in Recent History

The successful Bud Light boycott has already had something of a chilling effect on other corporations. For some companies, pushing LGBT ideology won’t be so readily seen as an automatic win. The fact that consumers could cost a major corporation billions of dollars to send them a message also revealed, once again, that the silent majority is not on board with all of this stuff. 

The verdict is in: the social conservative backlash to Bud Light’s decision to use transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney as a brand ambassador constitutes one of the most successful boycotts in recent political history. From the New York Post:  
Many Anheuser-Busch distributors say they are resigned to their painful Bud Light losses — and that they have given up on luring back disaffected customers following the Dylan Mulvaney fiasco, The Post has learned. After four months of hiring freezes and layoffs — with some beer truck drivers getting heckled and harassed even as Bud Light sales have dropped by more than 25% — Anheuser-Busch wholesalers have accepted that they have lost a chunk of their customers for good — and need to focus on a new crop of drinkers.
“Consumers have made a choice,” said an executive at a Texas-based beer distributor who did not want to be identified. “They have left [Bud Light] and that’s how it’s going to be. I don’t envision a big percentage of them coming back.”
In fact, industry insiders expect Bud Light sales to continue to decline, even after a few attempts at recovering a blue-collar image with more traditional advertising campaigns. Bud Light has become a symbol of woke over-reach, of corporate contempt for consumers, and of the relentless pushing of the LGBT agenda in nearly every aspect of society. Many people are fed up with it, and for once that frustration coalesced around a single brand.
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Everything Is Changing, and You Are Allowed to Object

Schools and public libraries and daycares organize drag queen events for children, but if parents dare to object, they are accused of violating the human rights of the LGBT community (that happened). These events were not happening just a few years ago. This is brand new. It didn’t used to happen, and now it does—and you are allowed to notice, and you are not crazy for objecting. Sex education curriculum, where it existed, used to be about the birds and the bees. Now, it involves LGBT books for kindergarteners, replete with books about transgender crayons.

Over fifteen or so years of writing about the culture war for a wide range of publications, I’ve been frequently asked why I report on “social issues” so consistently. And it is true—sometimes, many of the stories I write seem to be remarkably similar: another story about the sex education curriculum; or Drag Queen Story Hour for kids; or mandatory Pride events for children; or parents being maligned by progressive politicians for objecting. That, and the fact that the ideology of the transgender movement has gone from fringe belief to unquestionable dogma in less than a decade with virtually no discussion or even explanation whatsoever to the millions of parents whose children are now taught these beliefs as fact in state schools.
There are many reasons I cover these subjects, but one of my primary motivations is a simple one: I write about these social changes to affirm to average people that they are not, in fact, crazy. The things they see happening around them are in fact happening. The sex education curriculum is including how-to sex manuals, graphic novels with explicit depictions of sex acts, and other “education” that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. It has, overnight, become mandatory to accept that boys can become girls and girls can become boys and that giving children sex change surgeries and puberty blockers is “gender affirming care” rather than dangerous quackery.
It is important to state these things because we are being gaslit. Everything is changing around us, but if we notice, we are told that we are part of a “backlash” simply for pointing out what is happening in front of our very eyes.
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The Return to Moloch’s Furnace

For years, pro-life ethicists and activists have been told that citing prestigious scholars advocating for infanticide constitutes the slippery slope fallacy. After all, we were told, one can find an academic to advocate for nearly anything, but nobody actually takes them seriously. But if the history of the 20th century tells us anything, it is that crackpot intellectuals can give us mountains of cracked skulls.

In 2017, Dr. Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago complained that the residual effects of Christianity were holding Western civilization back. How? It was Christian ethics, he said, that were preventing legal infanticide from making a comeback.
“The reason we don’t allow euthanasia of newborns is because humans are seen as special, and I think that comes from religion, in particular, the view that humans, unlike animals, are endowed with a soul,” he wrote. “It’s the same mindset that, in many places, won’t allow abortion of fetuses that have severe deformities. When religion vanishes, as it will, so will much of the opposition to both adult and newborn euthanasia.”
Many philosophers share Coyne’s views. Princeton bio-ethicist Peter Singer argues that only religious superstition is keeping us from killing infants, a practice he believes to be perfectly ethical. As he wrote in Practical Ethics: “Killing a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Sometimes it is not wrong at all.” For Singer, the baby-killing of our bloody pagan past is a source of nostalgia rather than horror.
Canadian cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker of MIT doesn’t go quite as far as Singer, but likely shares his views. In 1997, Pinker wrote in the New York Times that laws against infanticide were difficult to defend: 
To a biologist, birth is as arbitrary a milestone as any other. No, the right to life must come, the moral philosophers say, from morally significant traits that we humans happen to possess. One such trait is having a unique sequence of experiences that defines us as individuals and connects us to other people. Other traits include an ability to reflect upon ourselves as a continuous locus of consciousness, to form and savor plans for the future, to dread death and to express the choice not to die. And there’s the rub: our immature neonates don’t possess these traits any more than mice do.
In his test balloon essay, Pinker quotes the Michael Tooley’s 1972 essay “Abortion and Infanticide,” in which the professor of philosophy makes the case that personhood rather than humanity is what confers human rights, and that infanticide could be permitted “up to the time an organism learned how to use certain expression.” Tooley himself noted that he would establish “some period of time, such as a week after birth, as the interval during which infanticide will be permitted.”
Parents who find out that their child is ‘imperfect’ too late to procure an abortion should, in Tooley’s view, get another crack at it. He writes: “Most people would prefer to raise children who do not suffer from gross deformities or from severe physical, emotional, or intellectual handicaps. If it could be shown that there is no moral objection to infanticide, the happiness of society could be significantly and justifiably increased.” The happiness of the rejected infants, of course, is of no consequence.
Coyne, a professor of ecology and evolution, also proposes a change in policy. He implied that it is only because of Christianity that we are squeamish about infanticide. It is time we got over such superstition:
It’s time to add to the discussion the euthanasia of newborns, who have no ability or faculties to decide whether to end their lives. Although discussing the topic seems verboten now, I believe some day the practice will be widespread, and it will be for the better. After all, we euthanize our dogs and cats when to prolong their lives would be torture, so why not extend that to humans? Dogs and cats, like newborns, can’t make such a decision, and so their caregivers take the responsibility.
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