Dr. Olson Huff MD, FAAP
"John Van Arnam is a friend and a colleague. He has spearheaded a very important effort to protect children from pornography. Early exposure to this content has several negative effects for children early in their development and later in their lives. I have watched as John has unflinchingly advocated for parents, teachers and all grown-ups to enter into thoughtful communication with their children, pupils and charges. John is a kind person, who genuinely cares about kids and is offering an important piece of the solution to a challenge that affects every parent and every child in Buncombe County."
Karen Fairly, North Carolina Center for Safer Schools
"I have met and worked with John on the training we provide at our R.I.S.E seminar series here in North Carolina since 2016. He is addressing a difficult and prolific problem in our State and around the country. I know him to be thoughtful, careful, professional and even funny. His lectures at our trainings routinely receive the highest marks from the participating SRO’s, Administrators and counselors and we look forward to his upcoming teachings this summer 2020. He has opened my eyes to a challenge in our country for our young people that I was not fully aware of, and solving it with grace and care. I recommend John’s approach to online pornography and the harm it can cause our young children."
Major Robert Ramirez - Investigations Commander, Fayetteville Police Department
"I have worked in law enforcement for over 24 years and have seen all kinds of bravery. Standing up in a room full of people to address a topic that has been mostly ignored is brave, especially a topic as provocative as online viewing of pornography by young people. John is brave. John has put his name and reputation on the line publicly, to assist our parents and their children defend against a huge and mostly silent challenge for our children; namely the volume of pornography kids see at very early ages. When I first went to see John’s presentation, I did not know what to expect. However his delivery and command of the facts and statistics surrounding this challenge were well presented and easy to hear. He immediately took all the fear and trepidation out of the room, and was very easy to listen to. I would encourage administrators, teachers, SRO's and especially parents, to reach out to John and have him speak to their young people and the parents. His talk is not accusatory or scary, on the contrary it is insightful and thought-provoking. I believe in John and his bravery, and that is exactly what we need in order to address this topic. On a personal note, I have found John to be personable, warm and funny, and genuinely interested in others. I would recommend him and his talk to everyone interested in protecting children and preventing harm. I highly endorse him and I am constantly recommending anyone who is interested or even those who are apprehensive about this topic to come and listen to John’s presentation."
Kelley Johnson, PhD
“I support John Van Arnam and his program called The Third Talk™. It is a smart and compelling approach to address a challenge that affects all middle schoolers and high schoolers. Online pornography is more prevalent than most people understand, and exposure can have lasting negative effects on the mind and behavior of students, especially boys. I have known John for many years, I have worked with him on other projects, and I recommend his services highly. I encourage John’s approach. John removes the challenge and awkwardness immediately and allows for family communication to take place."
Kriya Lendzion, MA, NCC, LPC, LCAS
"John did a presentation at Evergreen last year that was such a big hit, parents personally funded him repeating it a couple of months later so even more could hear his crucial message. He has a way of handling a tough and anxiety-producing topic with grace, authenticity and even humor, making us appropriately concerned for how important this issue is, while also empowering us with tools and confidence to address it with our kids. The real talent is engaging the teens themselves that are also invited to attend. As one said afterwards, "Honestly, it was the last thing in the universe I wanted to go to with my parents, and I'm actually really glad I did. We would've never talked about it otherwise...and we really need to." I highly recommend him!"
Lisa Jayne - Operation Ceasefire Coordinator
"I met John Van Arnam, Founder of The Third Talk Inc. in November 2017 at an R.I.S.E. (Resiliency, Information. Support. Empowerment.) Conference, presented by NC Center for Safer Schools/Department of Public Instruction. We also presented together in 2018 and 2019. John is addressing a very difficult topic, namely a child’s exposure to online pornography. I am not aware of any other program that speaks on this taboo subject in a way that is straightforward and real-world. I especially like his approach to families and tips on communicating with their children; it’s not real, it’s not healthy, and it’s not fun. Parents can use this to assist their children in avoiding the content altogether.
In addition, his advice to Administrators, SRO’s Teachers and counselors has been engaging and informative. I have worked with John on a resource guide he helped to create for the NC Center for Safer Schools and have found him polite and professional. He is a Dad, a coach and a genuinely kind person. It has been a pleasure working with John and I look forward to further collaboration in the future."
Jordan Foltz - Director, Journeymen Asheville
"Discussing the topic of internet porn with our teenage mentees has always been foreboding and challenging for our mentors. It's a topic that is generally awkward and that we are ill-equipped to discuss with the teenage boys in both a transparent and informative way. John has a unique and valuable ability to broach the topic with teenage boys in a way that does not make them or the mentors feel uncomfortable while also keeping the conversation candid, direct and emotionally-honest. Our mentees clearly related to him, looked up to him and were genuinely interested in hearing what he had to say—it was obvious that they respected how forthright and unembarrassed he was about discussing the subject. Many of the boys actually voiced their gratitude for an adult who was "finally" willing to talk about this topic with them. Some wished they'd had the opportunity for this conversation years ago. We've rarely had mentoring groups around ANY subject with such a high level of investment and engagement from the boys, and I know it was a valuable conversation and mentorship experience that they'll remember."
Tiffany Mead - LCSW, LCAS School Counselor ArtSpace Charter School
"The research-based talk that John presented shed unexpected light on the pervasiveness, developmental implications, and critical need to talk directly about the subject in a way that was accessible and enjoyable to youth, parents, and professionals. John reveals the likely inevitable experiences that youth may encounter through peer or other social interactions and he gave tangible tools for parents to develop confidence in communicating with their student about strategies to stay safe. Parents and youth were particularly moved to conversation and action following John's follow-up workshop where a young woman shared her first hand account of her exposure to unsafe content and long-term impacts. By hosting the events, students reported a benefit of being able to talk more openly about their personal experiences and their increased confidence setting boundaries with peers engaged in viewing harmful content. As a school counselor and mental health professional, I look forward to inviting John to ongoing events to guide our community."
Jeff Litel - Director of Special Projects, State and Ferderal Programs
"As a 25-year K-12 educator, I fully endorse The Third Talk and John Van Arnam’s work on unfettered access to pornography and inappropriate internet content. John’s dogged focus on pornography/inappropriate internet content as the “root cause” of most of the social challenges of our middle and high school students is so very important to everyone who works on raising our youth, parents, educators and clergy alike. Bullying, Aggression (physical and psychological), Shaming, Fear, Personal and Sexual Devaluation, are the outward symptoms we see that can be directly connected to pornography and inappropriate internet content. The term “root cause” denotes the deepest, lowest, earliest, most basic cause for a given behavior, most often a problematic behavior. The issue at hand is that most of our current educational programs focus on the symptoms because the root cause, pornography requires a terribly uncomfortable conversation most of us can’t bring ourselves to have, and a level of self-reflection that can bring into question our morals and values. To connect the root cause analogy, it is like using a weed-eater to make the yard look good and then wondering why the weeds grow back within a few days. We all know that until we dig up the roots, the yard will remain full of weeds. Getting the hand implements, or sometimes just using our hands to dig the weeds out by the roots, and eradicating them is much harder work, but if we want the yard to look permanently good, we have to do that work. John is doing that work. If we want our kids to be healthy, we have to be willing to take on the root cause of the problem directly, and that is why I fully endorse John’s program.
The GREAT news is that John and the Third Talk Team are here make it as easy as possible. I am very excited about doing everything I can to make sure that as many schools, students, parents and educators as possible across the country have the tools, training, and assistance they need to do this work, and offering them The Third Talk™ is the way to do that!"
Lindsey Foster, LCSW - Middle School Counselor, Franklin School of Innovation
"We appreciate you coming and sharing your expertise with us. Your presentation was well received by parents and students.It was shared in a non-judgemental way and provided parents with tools needed to help support their children. Parents appeared to be appreciative of learning more about a topic that is often taboo. I left the presentation feeling hopeful that parents would start having conversations with their children at home about Pornography around the dangers and risks to watching online pornography. I am thankful for you and the work you are doing. I hope that your message continues to be heard by parents in our local community and across the country."
Katherine Becker, LPCA School Counselor - High Scool Franklin School of Innovation
"With The Third Talk, John seeks to address fear, ignorance, and taboo with humor, compassion, and understandning. John's program is both thought-provoking and crucial. Our students' parents were shocked, entertained, and called to action."
Chad Hinds, Yahoo
"I have worked with John Van Arnam on many large PPC traffic campaigns and have found him a knowledgeable resource and valuable partner. His commitment to protecting children is exemplary. I look forward to working on future campaigns with John and believe that his knowledge of our system, products and filters to be a value to me as well as to children across our country."
Matthew Hubbard, Google
"John has proven himself a valuable resource to the media division of Google’s North American operations. His dogged efforts to protect children from exposure, his professionalism and his courtesy dominated his work here. We recommend his services and experience highly."
Ping Jen, Bing
"I knew John Van Arnam planning Microsoft’s Adcenter Ad release, and the original launch of bing! I found that John has a profound knowledge of the on-line ad vertical and strategies to protect kids. John is a straight talker and keen on the goals, he is personable and easy to work with. AdCenter’s product team benefits from John’s insights tremendously, and we look forward to continuing our work, with John’s input, in future releases."
Dad to 12 & 10 y/o boys
"I don’t know of anyone or have heard of anyone that has more knowledge about kids avoiding porn than John. That’s not why I wanted him to talk to my boys. I wanted him to talk with my boys because he has a calm easy manner about him that allows for open communication. I am 100% confident that I couldn’t answer the questions he did."
Dad to 8, 10 & 11 y/o boys
"I know I wasn’t having this talk with my three sons. They told me some things, but I never knew how much of this content was available to them. I know filters don’t work. I didn’t have a real plan. We do now."
Mom to 7 y/o boy and 10 & 13 y/o girls
"I want my kids to have a fun respectful and meaningful sex life. Online porn is not that, it’s the opposite. I wasn’t sure what we were going to do to address it. But Coach John sure did! It was amazing what he was able to share with my boys while making them feel at ease. That (pornography) is a conversation that we now have regularly in our home, and before it just wasn’t. We talk about safety now that is a part of it. I recommend his services highly!"
Mom to 6, 9 & 13 y/o boys
“Call him. Make yourself feel better! We all know porn is out there, but what to do about it? I sure didn’t know, but (John) did! I feel better now. I didn’t expect that part.”
12 year-old boy
"He was funny and his presentation was interesting."
Parents of a middle school boy
"John's presentation was extremely valuable. Educating ourselves with our middle school student present supported us as parents to have easier follow up conversations afterwards. It allowed us to have open dialogue as a family that was more accessible since the door was opened in a non-threatening way. John was engaging with the students present and his humor, as well as seriousness, was captivating. If more students and parents invested in educating themselves around this topic, we believe it would be monumental in tackling this epidemic and lower the risks associated with youth and porn. We highly recommend attending John's porn presentation with your child."
Parent of a 12 year-old boy
“This is bad! There is so much porn out there I had no idea. We should be teaching this in schools. I would like to have John come speak at my school, how do I book him at [Elementary School]? Can he call us, my name is [name redacted] and my number is [number redacted]. This is something everyone should hear.”
Parent of a 9 y/o son, 11 y/o daughter & 12 y/o son
"The statistics are crazy. I thought that there couldn’t be a solution to this, and now I know that there is. We saw the ’Third Talk’ as a family and I would recommend that to everyone."
Dad of a 12 y/o son
“My son just flat old told me he watched porn at the age of 12. I didn’t know what to say because I have watched online porn and I didn’t want to sound like a hypocrite. I brushed it off because I didn’t know what to say. I do now. Never again.”
Parent of 11 y/o, 13 y/o & 14 y/o sons
“I didn't know how to talk about this with my kids. I do now. Thank you.”
Parent of a 8 y/o daughter
“Our Daughter saw hardcore pornography in a tent at a sleepover when she was 8 years old. We saw John speak at our school 4 days later. After that we all spoke together for the first time honestly about what happened. We even went to see John when he came back to our school for the second time. He just opens up conversation in a way that isn’t scary.”
Parent of a 11 y/o son
“You should just go see him! John’s humor and report with the kids in the room gave us all an ease and honesty that was as easy for my husband and I as well as our son. I couldn't stress enough how easy and non-threatening this was. Go see him, you'll feel better!”
“I saw porn at my friend’s house. I wanted to talk to dad about it, but knew he’d get mad. Mr. Van Arnam helped me and my dad talk about what happened. It was cool.”
“The Third Talk has given me confidence. I want to date, but not if he’s watching porn and not interested in me as a person. I now know what to ask and what to look for. I told my friends about it.”
“I asked my mom about sex and she told me, ‘Just don’t have sex.’ Then I saw porn at a friend’s house and had more questions. Seeing (The Third Talk) with my family, brought us closer together. We talk now, and that feels a lot better. It was weird, but worth it.”
Parent of a 12 y/o girl and a 14 y/o boy
“It’s so hard knowing what to say to your kids about sex, then throw in pornography and you feel paralyzed! John was so great talking with me and my kids that he opened a door to a whole new relationship between us. I can speak plainly, and my kids will listen and even communicate back!”
“I watched porn to know what sex is. There’s a lot of it on the internet, but he (John Van Arnam) talked to me and my dad and now I know it’s not real. It wasn’t that bad really, I feel better.”
Parent of an 8 y/o boy
“My young son was showing signs of being really withdrawn. I’d ask him what was wrong, but he wouldn’t talk to me. John Van Arnam came to his school and we went and listened. My son opened up for the first time and told me a friend had shown him pornography. He was really confused about it. We are now having a conversation we might never have had, and I owe that to seeing The Third Talk. If you haven't found a way to do that go see him (John).”
“I am kinda shy, so when I saw pornography I was really just interested in learning about girls. It didn’t help me talk to girls at all. It (The Third Talk) helped me understand that I don’t need to watch porn to know about girls.”
Mom of a 13 y/o girl and a 12 y/o boy
“I did not know how to talk to my kids about pornography. It’s totally embarrassing and I didn’t want to be the reason they found out about it and maybe started watching it. John confirmed my fear that they might have already been introduced to it. They had been and much earlier than I thought. We were able to talk about it and why they shouldn’t watch it. I think the "why" was the most important part; no matter what their friends say. Thank you, John, for making this conversation significantly less painful!”
“My cousin tried to show me pornography on his computer while our parents weren’t around, and I knew I wasn’t supposed to see that. I was embarrassed to talk to my Mom, so I didn’t say anything. Mr. Van Arnam came to my school and said it’s okay to talk about it with my Mom and Dad. I finally was about to say something without them getting mad at me.”
“Sex is scary. They (The Third Talk) said that some guys have trouble performing because they are addicted to porn. I don’t want to be that guy.”
Dad of 11 y/o twin boys
“I heard about The Third Talk through a friend and went to the website. It’s really logical to talk with our kids about this, but knowing how? I thought it was going to be strange and uncomfortable, but John’s consultation made it so easy! Honestly I cannot believe that I waited as long as I did. If you have boys, and you haven't spoken to them about porn yet, you should call him (john). ”
“I’ve seen porn for a few years. I first walked in while one of my stepsister’s friends was watching it. Until he (John) talked to me and my mom, I didn’t know how to talk about it without feeling like a tattle tale. Now I know that talking about it is important.”
Mom of 12 and 13 y/o girls and 15 y/o boy
“If you have kids and you’re worried about them seeing pornography and learning about sex in the most inappropriate way, you have to schedule him (John) to talk with you and your children. It is a great investment, and it was so much more relaxed than I could have ever imagined. I worried about it for years and never did anything about it. I want to thank John for his wisdom and experience, and more importantly for doing this work with care and calm in a way that kids can hear. That was the best part, my kids heard it and understood.”
“Feeling insecure makes me depressed. I used to just lock myself in my room and then started watching porn to feel better, but it made me more depressed. I wanted to talk to someone but its so weird. It (The Third Talk) helped me talk about my feelings and I’m no longer all that depressed!”
Mom of an 8 y/o, 10 y/o boy and 11 y/o boy
“John brought my children and I closer together with real talk about a real problem for our young people; my young people! They are likely going to see it, but armed with the right knowledge, they can reject it.”
Dad of a 15 y/o boy and 17 y/o boy
“My kids and I talk about everything now. Someone tries to watch pornography around my kids, they shut it down and they tell me. Thank you, John, for making us aware of this growing problem! My kids are going to be much healthier adults now that they have the right information to choose what is and what is not good for them on their own. He shared 'why' kids shouldn't want to see it and that was the most valuable for them and for me.”
Mom of a 14 y/o boy
“Go to www.TheThirdTalk.com. Just read the studies, resources and testimonials. Then call John and schedule an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!”
“I’ve never seen pornography and now that I know what it is, I don’t ever want to.”
Parent of a 13 y/o boy and a 16 y/o girl
“Not long after seeing John speak at my son’s school, my son came home and told me about his friend whose mom let him use her computer when she’s not around. I now know that an innocent search can produce some really damaging content. We talked about it and he’s not allowed to hang out with his friend unless the computer isn’t around. Period.”
“I wish The Third Talk could visit every school so kids and parents will know how to avoid it! Especially the boys.”
Mom of three boys 7, 12 and 14
“John makes this really difficult conversation easy, and dare I say, fun! He’s funny and calm and just understands that good parenting means not overreacting. It’s not our kid’s fault that this stuff is out there, but we have to talk about it because it is out there.”
“Now that I know what pornography is, I don’t want to talk to boys who watch it. I will talk to them, though, if they want to know why they shouldn’t watch it.”
“I have four kids and my husband and I work. John is an indispensable resource for this conversation. Finding the time is hard but finding the right way to talk about it had proved impossible; at least we never has the conversation ourselves. He made it painless, truly easy, and we are all the better for it.”
“I don’t want to grow up too fast, but I do want to date and have fun. It (The Third Talk) has given me the confidence to talk about the sex things. I don’t want boys treating me like the girls in the porn movies.”
Dad to a 12 year old boy
“It really is all about communication. I attended John's talk at our school and I'm glad I did. This is something we can now talk about at home. I had no idea what to expect, and I also knew I had no idea how to talk to my kids about it. I'm glad I went!”
“It was weird at first talking about porn with a grown up, but he was funny and it wasn't so bad.”
Mom to an 11 year old girl, a 14 year old boy and a 15 year old boy
“Thank you! Having Hannah there was amazing!!!We need to have this be a mandatory part of Sex-Ed in Schools so all kids can hear it!”
“Porn can mess you up. I kinda knew that but listening to Mr. Van Arnam made me think about it differently. I don't want my younger brother or sisters watching it.”
Dad to a 11 year old girl
“Thank you for giving my kid, all kids, the language they can use to avoid this topic in schools. This has to be a part of all healthy relationship conversations, and any discussion surrounding that. Thank you!"
“In some ways its really gross to just watch porn and think thats what girls are like. I'm not like that, and boys who think I am can just stay away. My Mom and Dad made me go to hear this thing (The Third Talk) but I am really glad I went.”
“Thank you so much for your time and experience. Hearing your talk, I now wonder why we haven't heard about this before now. It's not scary for me anymore, it is a part of our children's life, like drinking and smoking will be. Parents need to talk about this altogether. You should have a talk for 11 and under, 12-15y/o and over 15! Do you have that already? I think you should have 3 separate talks so everyone can hear this.”
“Its so weird to hear a grown up talk about it (porn), cause no one ever did. He says all the words but it didn't seem too bad.”