These days, you don’t have to be a would-be cheater to have heard of AshleyMadison. The name reminds me of a New England prep school or a line of women’s purses. But go to the site, and you will read their motto: “Life is short; have an affair.”
Thanks to some outraged hackers who wanted to close down this affair dating site, the names of all 36 million users of the site was leaked online.
At this moment, reporters and divorce lawyers are digging through the massive files for career gain. Several websites, have even made searchable databases where you can type in an email address and see if it was listed on AshleyMadison.com. If a cheater was smart enough to create a throwaway email account, they’re safe for a few days more. But the names and addresses on the credit card used to pay for the affair account were also hacked. So it’s only a matter of time until that database becomes searchable too.
Here are my takeaways from the situation.
1. Your Sin Will Find You Out.
Even those who would rather eats live insects than crack a Bible, have been quoting Moses command to the Israelites. Numbers 32:23 “But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.“ (Num 32:23) Or in an American boxer’s immortal words: “You can run, but you can’t hide.” Anyone who’s planning something dastardly right now, should probably think about that.
2. The Internet Is Not Your Journal.
Remember back in the day when a teenage girl’s worst nightmare was that her little brother might sneak into her room and open up her journal? I bet all the cheaters and would-be cheaters on AshleyMadison are wishing they’d tried paper valentines or a homing-pigeon to communicate with their one-night-stand.
Word to the wise, be careful what you put online.
3. If You Want to Preach, Listen First.
I won’t say that Josh Duggar’s “family values ministry” was ruined by AshleyMadison. That one already lay in tatters thanks to the sibling molestation scandal. But Sam Rader, a Christian vlogger whose pregnancy announcement to his wife (and her later miscarriage) went viral, was just outed as an AshleyMadison user. If you’re cheating on your wife (or doing other horrible things to people in your life), the proper place for you is the counselor’s office, not the pulpit.
4. It’s Okay To Be Gleeful.
Many publications are criticizing how gleeful everyone is about this data dump. The hackers broke the law and may yet spend time behind bars for it. (Vigilante hacker-wannabes beware.) Thirty-six, well actually seventy-two including the unwitting spouses, million people have been living a lie for numerous years now. Here’s hoping this revelation allows each cheater and his or her spouse to re-examine their lives and think about how they want to live out their remaining years.
5. Presidential Candidates Beware.
There are what, twenty, fifty, seventy-five candidates running for the highest office of the land? And we already know some of them enjoy having an affair. (*cough* The Donald’s second wife. *cough*). If you’re running for president and have ever used AshleyMadison.com, I would suggest telling your teleprompters to get started on that resignation speech.
What lessons would you draw from this scandal?