I brew another Americano for the occasion and drag myself to my sacred space. There is an aversion that I feel, amidst a rising revulsion that threatens to obliterate any and all objectivity about this issue. The price of reality is great – I am paying it. The price of unreality is much greater – I am paying that too.
I have returned to you Wicked Man…
I have returned to you, not because you are worthy – the urge to run from you is nearly as violent as you are. Nay, I have returned to you because she is worthy, he is worthy, they are worthy. They must understand that when and if they survive you – what happened to them is not their fault. I have returned to you because your abuses, your annihilation of her, him or us – is a shame that you should rightly bear.
You think not like the rest of us, yet you know it not – sadly neither do we. We (your victims) have no cognitive framework to understand you – we can only blame ourselves. If we have never personally been hunted by you – we may be content to blame your victims; heaping blame upon unspeakable shame. We think you to be a righteous man, and you gloat with the fatness of your soul, cushioned by the double life that you cull, you craft, and you ingratiate.
“There are specific techniques sex offenders and other predators use to fool people. First and most important is setting up a double life. Many offenders will deliberately establish themselves as the kind of person who wouldn’t do that kind of thing.”
– A Salter
The coffee cup is empty and quite frankly so am I.
It was Tolkien who rightly said that nothing is evil in the beginning, and so it was with you. There is some evidence to suggest that you may have incurred your own trauma as a child that you now gleefully spread around like carcinogenic confetti. Regardless of your original soul wounds, or lack there of, when temptation comes to you with all of its mystery, it has no fear of God to temper it, thus you yield. Theologian George Adam Smith says, “temptation, when we yeild, leads to self-delusion.”
That, Wicked Man, is where I now find you, in the midst of your self-delusion. We pick up where we left off with Psalm 36:3:
“The words from his mouth are malicious and deceptive; he has stopped acting wisely and doing good.” – Christian Standard Bible
It takes all the effort I can muster to dig through the Hebrew on this… Your words, the things you say that come out of your mouth, your lips, are full of trouble and treachery. Your words no longer match your heart; you are not as you once were or professed to be. You are deceptive now Sir, and the problem with deception is that is so darn believable. You mix just enough truth with your lies to strengthen them (Lewis, 1956) And God help us, foolish people that we are, we want to believe you…
A. Salter: Why are people easy to fool?
Rapist: “They want hope. And they want to believe. They want to, there’s something inside of people that makes them want to believe the best in things and the best in others. Because the alternative is not very nice.”
A. Salter: “True enough. The alternative is not very nice.”
As I research you, I feel the deep furrows in my forehead, the tilt of my head, and find more than once I have to physically remove my hand from my mouth. My eyes leak without weeping as I wince from the pain that reality brings. You have left off considering wisdom of the God you no longer fear – you have literally walked away from it. You have become “presumptuous and obstinate.” In short, you have become audacious (Smith, 1942).
I swallow hard as I read on… my head turns sharply to the right as one looking at a horror film, in a vain attempt not to see the massacre before my very eyes. I move on to Psalm 36:4:
“Even on his bed he makes malicious plans. He sets himself on a path that is not good, and he does not reject evil.” – Christian Standard Bible
It is here that I close my eyes as visceral chills run from the base of my neck, down my back and into the top of my neatly crossed legs. I have a cognitive framework that included the following structures when dealing with the likes of you:
“Everyone makes mistakes…”
“Ought we not extend forgiveness and restore this man?”
“I would wish to be forgiven for my wrongs, ought we not follow the Golden Rule…”
Shattered… The timbers in my mind are splintered, obliterated, annihilated.
You deliberated it. You planned it. You meant too.
“It’s seems impossible to convince people that private behaviour cannot be predicted from public behaviour. Kind, non-violent individuals behave well in public, but so do many people who are brutal behind the scenes. The growing sexual abuse crisis in the church just underlines that fact the offenders can recognize ideal settings for child molesters even if the rest of us can’t.”
– Anna Salter
Ms. Salter, thank-you for paying the price of reality so that some might not have to pay the staggering and limitless price of unreality. When scripture says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge,” it was dead on (Hosea 6:4). Devastatingly that means all who are vulnerable will continue to be hunted and then haunted by Wicked Men, in the name of all that is Holy – unless the rest of us come into reality too.
Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders, by Anna Salter. New York: Basic Books, 2003.
Four Psalms XXIII. XXXVI. LII. CXXI.: Interpreted for Practical Use, by George Adam Smith. Circa 1942. New York City, Scriputura Press, 2015.
Christian Standard Bible