In a past post entitled “Why even great leaders fall into scandal,” I forgot to include celebrities. David Letterman has recently made it publicly known that he has committed several indiscretions with staff members. Somehow this information reached another person’s ears whom then decided to extort two million dollars from the popular entertainer.
This situation gave me pause for thought. Deep thought.
On the one hand, Mr. Letterman is indeed a real victim. But I do not see how his admission of guilt protects his job, his wife, or his willing female (I assume) staffers. He has made them victims of his own actions. Even though many “enlightened” modern thinkers will come to Letterman’s defense, as they did President Clinton, saying that “It was just sex” why would someone believe he could extort money just from someone having sex?
Is cheating wrong only if you get caught? Or is it spiritually evil? I personally cannot make judgments on the inner fabric of a person’s soul but it seems that Letterman’s compulsions have flourished.
We each are guilty of hiding our less-than-noble inner compulsions from the eyes of the world. But things hidden within the hearts and minds of individuals always tend towards manifestation—since this is really where we live and find our delights.
Let me share with you a quote from scientist/theologiam Emanuel Swedenborg concerning why our own evils are so elusive to us. It was the inspiration for my earlier post mentioned above.
“ . . . to the extent that evils are not banished from our outer self, their compulsions flourish, and as restraints on evil behavior are relaxed, the compulsions intensify. We cannot sense the compulsions that underlie our own evils. We are aware of their pleasures, but we give them little conscious thought because the pleasures seduce our thinking and distract our reflections. As a result, unless we discover from some other source that they are evil, we call them good and commit them freely, in accord with the reasoning of our thoughts. When we do this, we incorporate them into ourselves.” (Divine Providence, paragraphs 112-113).
In other words, whether we believe cheating is “just having sex” or something worse, committing such actions makes it a part of the real fabric of our inner being. As the Lord states in the New Testament “Be watchful!”
Even though extortion is a crime, God has wisely provided a means by which Mr. Letterman can, through such disclosures, zip his fly back up and begin to make an inventory of his dispositions.