Elizabeth Smart’s abduction from her Salt Lake City bedroom in 2002 will go down in history as the realization of every American’s darkest nightmare. Now, at age 28, a healthy and happy Smart recalls the locus of at least some of her misery: Her captor’s obsession with porn.
The above video was posted on Friday by the anti-porn group Fight the New Drug. Whether porn is systematically destroying the moral fabric of America is a conversation for a different day, but one thing is certain: Hearing Smart talk about her hellish ordeal is every bit as bone-chilling now as it was 14 years ago.
Smart says that although she was regularly raped by her kidnapper, the former street preacher and current life prisoner Brian David Mitchell, his discovery of pornography added an extra dollop of torture to her already horrifying predicament:
“My captor was really excited and really kind of amped up about something, and he said, ‘Oh, you know, I have something and I’m going to show it to you, and you have to look at it.”
And then I remember he pulled out this magazine full of hardcore pornography. And I remember he would just sit and look at it and stare at it...and then when he was done, he would turn and he’d look at me, and he’d be like ‘Now we’re going to do this.’”
Despite all this, Smart says she has gone on to live a productive and fulfilling life, having become an advocate for abuse-prevention and an anti-porn spokesperson.
“When I take a step back and I look at my life as a whole, I have had a pretty incredible, wonderful life,” she said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m happy now.”