Shelley Lubben: Pornstar turned Prophetess

So, lately I’ve become fascinated by “bad” women who become “good”.  More specifically, women who became “good” through religion, and trashtalk their formers lives with exaggerated drama and decorum. Last month I blogged about Kylie Bisutti, the Victoria’s Secret model who left the catwalk behind to become a modesty Evangelist. This month, I watched a documentary called the Devil and Shelley Lubben, by filmmaker Michael Whiteacre. You can conveniently watch the documentary on his Youtube channel here. It’s very entertaining and edifying, so I highly recommend it if you’re looking to kill a few minutes one day.

A very basic overview of Shelley Lubben: prostitute, drug addict, porn star, mother, attention whore turned religious evangelist who believes she is the mouthpiece of God and was put on this earth to help women get out of the porn industry. Consequently, she started the Pink Cross Foundation, which helps raise money to help “save” these pornstars from their lives of debauchery and doom.  She travels around the country to give speeches on the “harm done to her by the porn industry”, and appears at pornstar conventions.

What you learn in the documentary:

Personal Life

Shelley says she came from an abusive family, who turned her out cold at 18 because she was too wild to be handled. In fact, talking about her parents’ failures in raising her is one of her biggest selling points for her ministry. She preys on the pity of the folks who she speaks to: poor, pitiful Shelley had no where to turn, so she was forced into prostitution and porn. Recently, her own estranged brother came forward, incredulous, and demanded she retracted her statements about their parents because not only did they not abandon her; they went out of their way to help her even when they knew she was a prostitute (including but not limited to buying her a car, a trailer, clothes for her illegitimate baby, etc). Of course, Shelley attributed these statements to the devil, which according to her possesses her family and tries to disfigure the Truth she is spreading with her ministry. Her reasons for defaming her family aren’t exactly clear, but for her brother, this was the straw that broke the camel’s silence. In addition, the story of how she met her “godly” husband, involves him picking her up at the local bar where she was hooking, huffing a shit-ton of meth and reading the Bible together. How romantic (?).


After 1 year and about 17 porn flicks (some of the titillating titles include “The Cum Brothers 3: Go to traffic school”, “Used and Abused 2”, and “Bra Busters 2”.) , Shelley quit the biz and went back to hooking. Somehow, during her stint as a hooker, she had “protected sex” (never mind that her first daughter was conceived through one of her “tricks) but during her short stint as a porn star, she caught a plethora of sexually transmitted diseases. And so she realized it was her mission to help save young girls from the “slavery of porn.”
In the documentary, famous porn veterans, as well as current performers are interviewed, and it seems Shelley’s allegations come across as quite perplexing. For one, the incredible amount of health testing, documentation of pre-existing conditions and emphasis on hygiene virtually remove contracting an STD as an imminent threat in the porn industry at large. For another, the porn stars interviewed vehemently denied the maltreatment of women on the sets. According to them, the women call the shots, do what they’re comfortable with and nothing further.

On a side tangent, I personally couldn’t imagine being an actress in the porn biz. I have nothing against it; consenting adults can do as they choose and I don’t think porn is immoral or dangerous.  I just don’t think I have the stamina to have sex for hours with multiple partners. The threesomes I’ve been in have been fun, but damn. For hours? On camera? In stilettos?  Power to them, though. The only time I can think of where I’ve witnessed porn being “damaging” has been from a guy one of my friends dated who couldn’t get off from regular intercourse; only with porn. This hindered his ability to have intimate relationships without a computer monitor between him and his conquest. However, this seems to be more of a psychological problem, rather than an issue that can be directly attributed to porn. Every guy I’ve ever known has looked at porn of some sort, and its naive to assume they’ve all been tainted forever.

Also from these porn star interviews, I have developed a serious girl crush on the witty humor and blunt honesty of adult film legend Nina Hartley.

Double Agent

By far the most fascinating aspect of Lubben’s story was how she steals from Peter to pay Paul. Only, she doesn’t pay Paul either, so to speak. She bamboozles the faithful to donate money (tax free, by the way) to the cause of the porn stars she’s trying to save through her organization Pink Cross, and never actually gives it to the porn stars “on the brink of recovery.” Several “victims” of Lubben’s internet stalking came forward and said she approached them about helping to pay bills, get a new job, etc and recruited them to work at one of her booths and take pictures for her web site. Then, suddenly, she disappears, without giving them anything in return for their endorsement.

What a shady, shallow, greedy, selfish bitch. All in the name of religion.

The documentary was a edifying insight into an industry I didn’t know much about before, and I highly recommend it to my readers!



4 responses to “Shelley Lubben: Pornstar turned Prophetess

  1. Robbing Peter to pay Paul…how biblical of you. While, I do not always agree with your assertions or conclusions; Beth I continue to deeply enjoy your writing style. You are a pleasure to read for the way to put a thought together.

  2. This reminds me of all the born-again virgins in 12-step programs I was involved in in the (distant) past. Women would come in all broken & searching for a better way. They considered themselves dirty, used, cheap whores because they would fuck/suck/anything for a drink/hit/line/whatever. It was kind of an unacknowledged contest to see who had the most appalling drunk sex stories.

    Then they get sober and get Gawd and praise jeebus! It’s miracle: they’re whole & pure again! And completely against sex (outside of marriage/committed monogamy). Never mind that back when they were under the influence they rocked the bedroom (& the barroom & the backseat) now they KNOW the right way to be and it’s clean & sober & *chaste*. No icky oral/anal/non-missionary sex for those neo-puritans. The condemnation I experienced when I admitted I still liked sex whilst sober was heresy and I lost the few female sober friends I had. I had never heard of slut-shaming back then but that’s what it was. Fortunately, I had smarter sober people who wised me up (including one who honestly told me he never thought I was really a drunk/addict-turns out he was correct).

    Born again xtian, born again virgin…it’s all about condemning the “other.” At least 12-step programs aren’t actively profiting from it.

    Sometimes I wish I was immoral enough to rip off others in this way.

    • whoa, born again virgins? Who on earth would want to lose our cherry more than once? It was awkward (and for some women, painful) enough the first time around!
      Thanks for taking the time to share a very personal, and fascinating point of view. I had no idea there were such programs, and what they entailed. I’m so glad you came out without too much damage to your psyche, and I’m very sorry some loonies tried to shame you in the first place.

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