John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Wednesday 9th February 1966


The diary-entry for today is as follows:

No games today, we had
small circular films showing
how it’s done! Went tracking
with the lads & Aud. Not
a bad night. Had a talk
with J— H— about things.
Went to Aud’s.
Had a talk with J— H— about things: J— H— wanted a word with me, in private, and it was about “”; he was doing it a lot, was distressed by the burden of it, and needed to “confess” to someone. He was clearly thoroughly ashamed of himself, and he was confused because he did not think that if he really were a Christian he would be capable of such lurid fantasies that he told me about in some detail. “I even imagine myself getting on top of her,” he lowered his voice to tell me in his croaky Lancashire burr. I shared with him the method I had used to get free of such things.
For I had successfully resisted “” probably since before the beginning of the year; my memory, at any rate, suggests an abstinence of the order of six months’ duration. The reason for abstaining was the feeling of “conviction” that I got when I yielded to the urge to do it. My reading of the Bible had led me to scriptures like
…Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
And I found that I could not do an act of “” without having specific lustful fantasies: it was not a case of just releasing pent-up sexual tension by doing “” absent-mindedly; I always had in mind an object of my lust (or more than one) while doing it. I therefore felt that I had to give it up.
Never to do it again seemed a goal too hard to achieve, so I took my abstaining a day at a time; on the first day, I said to myself, “Well, it’s only a day not to do it; I can make it through one day without giving in to it.” On the second day, I said more or less the same thing; and then day followed day till I thought myself free of it. When J— H— had his talk with me, a month or more on, I had begun to feel safe.
But see Sunday 10th July 1966.

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