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Laura MacCorkle - Christian Dating, Singles

Online Recovery Program Targets Porn Addiction Among Singles

  • Laura MacCorkle Senior Entertainment Editor
  • 2005 9 Sep
  • COMMENTS
Online Recovery Program Targets Porn Addiction Among Singles

In an effort to help young adults, collegiates and teenage boys and girls who are addicted to pornography, PureOnline.com has launched a new recovery program designed specifically for singles. 

The Singles Edition was developed after a successful launch of the married Men's Edition which began last year and already has helped nearly 1,000 men from 18 different countries.  The online workshops provide a confidential, "e-Learning" program experience, including streaming video lessons (10 to 20 minutes in length) and workbook exercises.

Founder and CEO, Brandon Cotter, hopes that the Singles Edition will achieve the same type of results and help purity to be restored in many more lives.  Recently, we asked Brandon to share about Pure Online and why its new Singles Edition for young addicts was implemented.  Listen in. ...


Crosswalk.com:  How did Pure Online get started?

Brandon Cotter:  Pure Online began as part of a separate company called Pure Restoration. We were conducting pornography addiction recovery workshops in Dallas, Texas – four-day workshops.  People would fly in from all around the country.  They were in serious pain, and their lives were falling apart.  Since it’s a big ordeal to get [to Dallas], I started thinking:  "Hey, there’s a real opportunity here to get more people into recovery if we could do it in a way that was less expensive, and could be done online.  It could also be done anonymously."  So that was sort of the genesis of it.

CW:  Why is it so important that Pure Online is private and confidential?

Cotter:  It’s important because this is such a gross problem, and nobody wants to talk about it.  Let’s face it:  sin is a gross problem.  Pornography addiction, sex addiction, etc. is a disgusting thing.  People don’t want to talk about it, and so that causes it to be something that’s very hard to bring into the light.  Nobody wants to admit that they’re struggling, so nobody ends up admitting [it] and getting help.

CW:  What all is involved in the Pure Online program and how does it actually work?

Cotter:  It’s an online recovery workshop. The way it works is when someone comes to PureOnline.com, he signs up and he has a user name and a password.  From that day forward – for the next 30 days – he spends about 15 to 20 minutes a day going through either a streaming video lesson or something that’s in the workbook.  There are15 videos and 15 workbook lessons, and that’s what makes up the 30 days.  Participants are going to get teaching, ideas and practical tools.  It’s not [just] saying "don’t look at porn or porn’s bad." It’s real, practical help and answers about what you can do, how you can deal with this problem and why it impacts the way that it does, etc.  

CW:  Why is it important to have the content available for access for up to 12 months after a participant begins the program?

Cotter:  A very small percentage of people finish the program in 30 days. It gets put off, people go on a trip, something comes up at work and for whatever reason people don’t end up completing it in exactly a month.  So we wanted to give people some leeway.  In the married Men's Edition, we also want the wife to be able to go through it and see and hear what her husband’s being told about this problem so that maybe she can understand more about it.

In the case of a young man going through the program, we want him to be able to go back and review it six months later and say:  "These are the kinds of things that I learned and oh, yeah, I totally forgot to put that one thing in place."

CW:   Who are some of the teachers who instruct in the Pure Online recovery programs? 

Cotter:  The first program that we created was our married Men’s Edition, and that was entirely led by Joe Dallas.  He's a teacher, author, and speaker, and he started the "Everyman’s Battle" workshop for New Life Clinics.  He also started the Pure Restoration workshop series with us. 

In the Singles Edition, we have a number of different teachers.  Liz Casteel is a counselor and therapist in Dallas, Texas.  She works almost exclusively with younger women – high school and college-age girls.  A lot of them are dealing with multiple addiction issues; many of them are sex-related and some of them are eating-disorder related.  So she really has a strong grasp on working with women. 

We also have Craig Gross, the XXXChurch.com founder.  Craig, is arguably in front of more youth and college kids than just about anybody in terms of dealing with this topic.  Jake Larson and Jason Carwell are also two other pastors who are dealing with this issue on a daily basis.  There's also Kenny Luck.  He’s just a great communicator and again, someone who is a pastor and equipped to train theologically and knows and understands men’s issues.

And then we have Clay Crosse, someone who has had a tremendous influence in Christian music over the years, and yet pornography [addiction] is a big part of his testimony.  So he really has had a big impact in being able to speak out on this topic.

CW:  How does the Singles Edition of Pure Online differ from the Men's Edition?

Cotter:  The Men’s Edition is really designed for a married guy.  The language is more centered around a guy who is married.  For a single guy, it’s different, so your motivation may be around getting this under control so that you don’t someday bring it into a marriage.  The teaching is structurally similar.  In fact, Joe Dallas’ teaching is really threaded through both programs, but it is delivered very differently and tailored for each of those audiences.  The Singles Edition also is for both men and women.  So women struggling with any kind of sexual sin – can be same sex issues or whatever – are going to be as comfortable as men going through the Singles Edition.

CW:   Would you say that singles struggle with pornography and sex addiction more, less or just as much as married individuals?

Cotter:  I think it’s different, I think there’s probably a higher percentage of 18 year-olds than there are 50 year-olds, just because of the Internet.  A higher percentage of 18 year-olds spend more than an hour a day online than 50 year-olds or 60 year-olds.  The damage for a single is mostly to himself and his relationship with God, his own integrity, his feelings of self worth, his psyche, his emotional health.  He may be disconnecting himself from parents and from other relationships, may be messing up relationships with women, may be getting girls pregnant and may be doing whatever that impacts other people.  But for the most part he’s impacting himself as he begins to move towards marriage age.  For those who are married ... they're having a huge impact on [their spouses] and now they're breaking vows, breaking commitments, lying to those they care about and love – but they're basically communicating the exact opposite with their actions. So that’s where the dynamics are different.

CW:   Do you see Pure Online as a replacement program for group therapy? How does it work with other types of recovery?

Cotter:  I think of Pure Online more of like a jump start, so when individuals get into Pure Online, they’re going to hear about accountability, counseling, group therapy – all that stuff.  They’re going to hear that those methods are vital.  It’s almost like an Indy car that has to have a whole team push it to get it out of the pit.  It has to have that help to get started.  But it’s an Indy car, and it can go 200-some miles per hour.  However, that first step is hard.  We want to be in that spot to help people start the recovery process, and then hopefully we can give them the handoff to a great counselor or group recovery program.

CW:   Do you think pornography and sex addiction is greater than we know? Is it greater among Christians?

Cotter:  I think it’s definitely greater than we know.  We really have no idea.  Every time I talk to a college pastor and ask how big is this problem, they tell me that it’s 100 percent of their guys who are struggling with porn. So, it's not a matter of "if," but a matter of "to what degree."  Internet access is so prevalent.  The material is kind of thrust in our faces, and so, it’s just the obvious outcome.

The question is this:  As the church, how do we deal with it?  The problem is, quite frankly, bigger than the church, because now you take the problem and you add secrecy and shame and guilt on top of it and you sort of cement it in place.  It is happening inside the church, but that doesn’t make it better.  It makes the problem worse.

CW:  Are you thinking of creating editions designed for educating and helping younger boys and girls and their parents?

Cotter:  We will most definitely have a parents’ program and a program for younger kids.  I think that parents are not doing nearly enough.  They don’t know what they need to do.  They feel ill equipped.  They feel that their kids knows more than they do about a computer anyway, so they might as well just give up.  That's nonsense!  There’s no reason for a parent not to take basic, simple steps to deal with the problem.  It prevents their kid from struggling, or in those cases where their kids are already struggling, they can help them.

CW:  What kinds of comments do you receive from participants who have gone through the Pure Online program?

Cotter:  One of the neatest ones was from a wife who talking about the men’s program where Joe Dallas was teaching.  She said:  "Joe said things to my husband that I have been afraid to say.  Joe said things to my husband that he needed to hear and that I didn’t know how to say."

It was a real comfort to her ... to know that we weren’t sugar-coating it.  We weren’t saying "it’s okay that everyone struggles, and it’s all right."  There are a lot of people who do struggle but "no, it's not all right."  I think that she was comforted to hear that and that there was something her husband could do to begin the recovery process.

Some other great comments we’ve had are from guys who are not even struggling with pornography.  They're guys who have gone through it and said that it was great for them to be reminded of what they need to do to make sure they don’t struggle with this.  We never even thought about Pure Online being a prevention tool, but it has been a great thing to hear!


Pure Online was founded to help shrink the "recovery gap," the huge gap between the number of people who are struggling with purity-related issues and the relatively small number who are actually getting help.  Pure Online workshops are delivered confidentially, allowing the user to cover the expense using "PayPal," a secure and anonymous way to pay for merchandise online.  Credit cards are also accepted.

For more information about Pure Online's online recovery workshops for pornography addiction, please visit www.pureonline.com.