By Wayne Litke
There has been a lot of media hype lately about the Ashley Madison website that was breached by hackers and the subsequent release of millions of members’ personal information. Although the website is devoted to people who want to cheat on their spouse, the leak of personal information has caused a public outcry, even by people who are not members and have high moral standards. The hackers have been condemned for their release of intimate emails and information that apparently contained some credit card numbers. As for me, I find the matter nauseating and humorous.
I believe the Internet site has approximately 29 million members. I went there (for the sake of this column) and briefly considered registering under an alias in order to go deeper and see how the website operates. However, I have an in-law who is a member of the site and the individual’s experience has provided a lot of insight (especially for his spouse), so such tactics were not required. Besides, it should be common knowledge that getting a person to take a second look at a product or idea is the first step in the sales or conversion process that liars, con artists, spammers and all deceivers use.
What I find funny about the Ashley Madison information breach is how its members are getting a little taste of their own medicine, and it is a bitter pill to swallow in most cases. Of course, the ones who will benefit are law firms that quickly announced legal action against the hackers. The hackers are being portrayed as the bad guys – evil in the sense that they do not care about the lives of the people whose information has been made available to the public.
However, I do not hear a public outcry regarding the rights of spouses and partners that have been violated by Ashley Madison members. While hacking and the release of personal information is terrible, isn’t the destruction of marriages and relationships far worse? I can tell you first hand that the disintegration of a family unit is very destructive to every member of that unit. I went through it in my youth and a family break-up can impact lives for decades at an emotional level and can also carry physiological or health repercussions, sometimes for a lifetime.
When I visited the Ashley Madison website, I discovered secret knowledge and learned that I have been missing out. The company’s motto is: “Life is short. Have an affair.” While life is short, following that motto is a surefire recipe for unhappiness and family failure. As mature adults, we should be building stable relationships and solid family values that give our children the best chance to succeed and build a good life. It should be common sense that lying and cheating simply is not a good foundation for a marriage or any other relationship for that matter.
It’s sad to say that company and others like it are not actually interested in their members’ real needs and the reasons why people may look for gratification in areas that should be off limits. Like all corporations, the company is truly interested in its bottom line and annual profits. Personal destruction and family ruin is never mentioned. In my opinion, Ashley Madison and its president are perpetrators of a deceitful and dysfunctional lifestyle that will eventually result in a mountain of pain and suffering for anyone who subscribes.
The president’s newsletter states: “I’m Noel Biderman, President of Ashley Madison and creator of this website. Ashley Madison is the world’s largest dating service of its kind catering to men and women who are currently in relationships but are looking for more. More than 40 million of you have joined our service, so rest assured, you are not alone.
I am so confident that our service is right for you, that if you become a full member today, I will Guarantee you an Affair to Remember! That’s right! Purchase an Affair Guarantee Package and experience an affair to remember or I will give you your money back.
For 9 years now, Ashley Madison has been connecting millions of people from all over the United States, Canada, and the UK in an effort to increase the likelihood of a successful Affair. We believe we have truly perfected what it is that you need to start on this journey.”
That load of excrement is enough to make anyone gag: “. . . you are not alone (so it’s OK to cheat on your spouse and not feel guilt?) . . . and Affair to Remember (absolutely true when your spouse leaves, a divorce suite is filed and your children hate you) . . . I will give your money back (I would like to see that). However, I believe the company has “truly perfected” what is needed to begin the journey to self destruction and family decay.
It is interesting that the website does not show any – I repeat ANY negative effects of cheating (the process of experiencing momentary pleasures from an outside sexual encounter). Furthermore, it states: “Our website is 100% secure, completely anonymous and now with the Affair Guarantee Package, absolutely risk free.”
Ashley Madison’s workings have been exposed to the world and yet it continues to propagate such misinformation. The idea that it is acceptable to lie and cheat on a spouse or loved one is a lie in itself.
It is difficult to feel empathy for such a company and the people who use its services. I feel sorry for the real victims: spouses, partners and children.