I know little to nothing of Jonathan Welton, but I LOVED this letter!!! What a great example of Grace!! JWM
AN OPEN LETTER TO BREE OLSON, (FORMER PORNSTAR)
Normally, “open letters” are reserved for people picking fights or debating; that is not why I am writing to you today. As you know, it can be quite difficult to get emails through to celebrities. The layers of email filtering and boundaries can be very hard to pass.
In your case, this especially makes sense as I would guess that much of the mail you receive is very rude, insensitive, gross, or judgmental. This letter is very different.
I was heartbroken while watching your recent interview about how you are being treated since you left the Porn Industry. But let me start with telling you a little about me.
I am 33 years old and President of a large Christian college. I have been married for 12 years, and have two beautiful daughters (3 years old and 6 months old). Yet I lived with a slavish addiction to Internet pornography for a large portion of my life. I did a lot of really bad things, which led to almost losing my marriage 6 years ago. It was at that point that God removed a spiritual cancer from my heart. The pain in my heart, that had driven me to choose porn as a self-medication, was finally healed and the shame that came from the porn was washed away permanently.
That is a big story to cover in one paragraph but I believe that God treats us according to our destiny, not according to our history. You are not a porn-star, that is your history, you are your destiny and your destiny is still ahead of you in the future.
I hear the pain in your interview and as a father; I would never want my daughters to feel like you are feeling. You should not be treated this way, it is wrong and I am sorry. No matter what my daughters ever do, they will always feel loved, safe, clean and cherished in my presence. You deserve to feel the same and I am sorry that you are not able to feel that way right now. I want you to know there is hope. Please do not give up. Do not give into the dark thoughts, I have been there too, ending everything will not make your life feel better, it will simply end your hope of a good future, and there is hope for a good future, push through and keep going.
As a man, I apologize to you, please forgive us. Men were designed by God to be protectors, but many of us have become predators. What I can tell you is that men can become transformed into healthy safe protectors that you would feel clean and shame-free around. I know this because I have become that. Not only do my daughters have a loving father, but my wife has a husband that she can totally trust.
I don’t know if you have any church background, I would guess that you might, considering that 89% of strippers (I know you aren’t a stripper) have a church background (Statistics from “Stripped” by Bernadette Barton). So maybe you have heard the story of the son that took his father’s inheritance and ran away from home to do evil. Then when the son returned to his father, he threw his arms around his son and cried because his son had returned. The son must have thought his dad would be angry with him, maybe he would be punished, or maybe he would have to be ashamed of what he had done. But the father loved him in such a way that the past was washed away and relationship was restored (read the full story here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/…).
I know God as a Father in heaven that loves and cleanses us of our past. I believe that He has me writing to you today to tell you that He is calling for your heart. He loves you and wants to put the shattered parts of your heart back together. He wants to wash you clean from the shame, to stop the dark thoughts, to remove the bad dreams, and to put joy back in your heart. I see the happy little girl that you used to be, He wants to restore what was stolen from you. I believe that if you are honest and close your eyes and ask God to cleanse you and hold you close, you will be able to begin the same kind of relationship with Him.
Even if you aren’t ready for that loving relationship today, I want to extend an offer to you. My college, Welton Academy, we will give you a full scholarship. We have 1300 students in 30 countries and what I constantly hear every single day is how each student has been profoundly impacted. Lives have been transformed, shame removed, pain healed, marriages restored, insecurity and fear replaced with peace and confidence.
There is literally no other school like us. I believe that I could put you in front of any of the 1300 students and you would feel loved, accepted, valued, safe and treated with respect. We are not just a school, we are a family, and as a healthy family we have certain values, these lead us to love those that are down and out, the broken and hurting.
We have many celebrities that are a part of the school, but we keep their identity secret because we are not trying to use them for advertising. We do have Brian Head Welch of the band Korn, and he agreed to go public and help us advertise. But that is the exception. If you take me up on the full scholarship, we won’t tell anyone outside of our staff, you will be able to safely and anonymously take your courses (it’s 100% online).
Regardless of how you take this letter, know that we love you, you have value, there is hope, you have a destiny to fulfill, and please don’t live life looking over your shoulder.
Dr. Jonathan Welton Best-selling author and Founder of Welton Academy
- Bree, if you want to contact me, send me a PM at: https://www.facebook.com/Jonathan-Welton-155606377891031/
PPS. I could have tried really hard to get this to you privately, but I think it is better that others see an example of how you should be treated and talked to, so I am willing to put myself out here and throw myself under the bus with you. Much love, JW