Head of Christian Charity admits to Embezzling almost $500,000 to pay for his Sex Addiction
Leader of Christian charity, World Ambassadors, Jon Petersen has been accused of stealing almost half a million dollars from his own charity to support his sex addiction. Find out more about this addiction and how it can be treated before it is too late.
Jon S. Petersen has recently been indicted in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for embezzlement of 475,000 USD from a non-profit organization he headed, World Ambassadors Ltd., between 2010 and 2014.
The organization was created in 1993 to provide Christian outreach to international students on college campuses, and although officially registered as a non-profit organization, information on the actual charity and its work is hard to find. After failing to report $114,000 transferred to his personal account as taxable income in 2013, Petersen pleaded guilty to moving $475,000 worth of donations from the organization’s account to his personal account between 2010 and 2014, apparently to help fund his self-proclaimed sex addiction. The exact way in which the funds were used has not been released.
Petersen told authorities that he was suffering from sex addiction from 2005 to 2015 and it became quite costly. He began to rack up debt on credit cards and took out loans, but it was not enough. That is when he began paying for his addiction with donations that had been made to the charity.
What is Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction has made a lot of headlines in recent years. Golfer Tiger Woods was labeled a sex addict back in 2010, one of the first times sex addiction made headlines around the globe. And more recently, of course, Charlie Sheen admitted to his own addiction to sex and his contraction of HIV. But many people still prefer to believe that sex addiction is just a ‘lame excuse’ to cheat and be sexually promiscuous instead of an actual mental health issue.
That, however, is not the case. Although not yet included in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), there has been significant proof through scientific studies that sexual behaviours can affect the brain in similar ways to drugs and alcohol, leading to addiction.
Sexual addiction is best described as compulsive sexual acts or thoughts that a person is unable to control despite negative consequences on their life. This type of addiction can be broken down into 10 main types, including voyeuristic sex, exhibitionist sex, anonymous sex and even exploitive sex. Another common type of sexual addiction is paying for sex.
The High Cost of Being Addicted to Sex
Sex addicts spend most of their time engaging in sexual acts, thinking about sexual acts or figuring out when and how they can engage in their next sexual act. For someone suffering from this addiction, very rarely are they able to feel satisfied from any one sexual encounter and thus immediately begin searching for their next one.
This often leads sex addicts to pay for sex, as finding enough willing partners can be difficult. As well, many addicts like to engage in sexual behaviour that is more risque than your average romp in the hay, and thus again may lead to the addict having to pay for sex. Those who fulfill their sexual fantasies through pornography can quickly rack up credit card debt on their favourite sites.
But losing physical money is not the only cost of this addiction. Being addicted to sexual thoughts and behaviours can have damaging effects on many other parts of life, including the following:
- Strain on relationships, especially romantic ones
- Feelings of guilt, shame, remorse, hopelessness, despair and more which can often lead to depression, low self-esteem and suicidal tendencies
- Loss of job due to inability to focus
- Financial troubles due to paying for sexual acts and pornography
- Contraction of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, Hepatitis and more
- Risk of jail time for certain addictions and behaviours
- Increased risk of substance abuse and addiction to drugs and alcohol
Why It Is Important to Break the Stigma of Addiction
Addiction of all types – whether to drugs, alcohol, gambling or sex – does not discriminate. Just as heart disease or cancer can take hold of anyone from any background, so too can addiction. Great strides have been made over the last decade to understand addiction as a disease rather than a moral failing, but for many it is still incredibly difficult to admit that they have no control over their actions and that they need help.
In the case of Christian charity leader Jon Petersen, he claims that he was aware of his addiction for almost ten years prior to being caught for embezzlement. If he had felt comfortable asking for help for what is now known to be a disease rather than a moral failing, it is likely that his actions never would have taken him so far as to steal almost half a million dollars from generous donors to fund his addiction.
Effective Treatment for Sex Addicts
Effective addiction treatment is available for those who suffer from compulsive sexual thoughts and behaviours. However, when choosing an addiction treatment centre it is important to remember that treatment for sex addiction differs from most widely accepted addiction treatment methods for drugs and alcohol which is why it is important to seek out a rehab facility that has experience treating this particular type of addiction.
Most addiction treatment methods revolve around abstinence. However, complete abstinence is not realistic when it comes to sex, as the act is a natural part of human existence. At The Cabin, we offer a unique addiction treatment method called Recovery Zones which has been specifically designed to treat addictions in which complete abstinence is not possible.
Especially when treated early, recovery from sex addiction through this type of treatment method is highly probable, and can help addicts avoid many of the negative effects associated with the addiction.
As for Jon Petersen, we hope that he receives the treatment necessary to begin a fulfilling life in recovery.
If you or someone you know is suffering from uncontrollable sexual thoughts or behaviours, ask for help! Contact us today for a free, no-obligations consultation to see how we can help you or your loved one get your life back on track!