"A lonely, confused young man gets addicted to pornography. His roommates know, but they do nothing to help him," a voice intones over somber violins at the beginning of a four-minute anti-masturbation ad from Brigham Young University-Idaho that only gets weirder as it goes.
The video, "Wounded on the Battlefield," was posted to YouTube by the University's Housing and Student Living Office.
The film is narrated by the University's president. As he speaks, a young man who has fallen prey to his internet browser suddenly finds himself wounded on a battlefield. His roommate bravely rescues him from the enemy: people who mind their own business.
Later in their dorm room, the roommate finds the courage to knock on the young man's bathroom door, again rescuing him from "the enemy" — presumably his hand this time. Finally they share a moment at a party, locking eyes across the room. Fade to black.
BYU for its part, has clarified the video was meant to be about addiction.
"As such we regard addiction to pornography as a harmful and destructive vice. We also regard each other as brothers and sisters who believe we have a Christian obligation to watch out for the spiritual and physical well-being of those around us.
"The sole purpose of the video is to illustrate those principles for BYU-Idaho students as well as to encourage them to reach out in a spirit of love and concern if someone they know is struggling with any form of addiction."