What an utterly gross betrayal of trust! You mean having your Internet secrets publicly exposed by hackers? No, I mean breaking your marriage vows and cheating on your spouse. But we have both now happening big time, and it is a perfectly stunning example of Numbers 32:23: “you may be sure that your sin will find you out”.
Caught! People think they can sneak around committing all kinds of sins, and actually think they can get away with it. Sorry, but it does not work that way. What you sow you will reap. If you cheat on your spouse, sooner or later it will catch up with you.
And it seems that 38 million people just learned this the hard way. I refer to a hacking scandal on top of a marriage cheating scandal. One absolutely despicable company makes a profit by busting up marriages. I refer to the lowlife profiteers at Ashley Madison, whose motto is, “Life Is Short. Have An Affair”.
I had written about these shameless marriage busters when they first encroached into Australian territory five years ago: billmuehlenberg.com/2010/04/12/getting-rich-from-busting-up-marriages/
As I said back then:
This whole business is one ugly grubby attempt to make money off the misery of others. As [company founder Noel] Biderman admits, he’s made millions through this website. Now he wants to make more millions by busting up even more marriages here in Australia.
And what about all the children in these destroyed marriages? It is clear that he doesn’t give a rip about them either. And yet he has two of his own children. Does he love them? Would he be happy to see them become the product of a broken home?
Well, it seems all this has come back to bite him, his company and his clients big time. They have been busted. Here is how one report covers the story:
Ashley Madison, the website for people seeking extramarital affairs, has suffered a major cyber attack, with hackers threatening to expose the names of adulterers unless the site is taken offline.
The controversial online dating company, which has 37.5m users – including 1.2m Britons – carries the tagline: “Life Is Short. Have An Affair”. The service is founded on confidentiality and privacy, claiming to be a “100pc discreet service” and boasting a “Trusted Security Award” on its homepage.
The hackers, going by the name “The Impact Team”, posted a small sample of sensitive data, along with a statement demanding the takedown of Ashley Madison and Established Men, an online dating site that claims to connect “young, beautiful women with successful men”. The data and the statement have since been taken offline.
Avid Life Media, the company that owns Ashley Madison, confirmed the hack and apologised for “this unprovoked and criminal intrusion into our customers’ information”. The company’s chief executive Noel Biderman also hinted to KrebsOnSecurity that the data theft may have been an inside job.
“We have always had the confidentiality of our customers’ information foremost in our minds, and have had stringent security measures in place, including working with leading IT vendors from around the world,” the company said in a statement.
“As other companies have experienced, these security measures have unfortunately not prevented this attack to our system.”
The Impact Team said it decided to publish the information in response to alleged lies Avid Life Media told its customers about its “full delete” feature, which allows members to completely remove their profile information for a $19 fee.
According to the hackers, although Ashley Madison promises “removal of site usage history and personally identifiable information from the site,” credit card details – including real name and billing address – remain online.
“Avid Life Media has been instructed to take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms,” said The Impact Team in a statement seen by KrebsOnSecurity.
If their demands are not met, the hackers are threatening to “release all customer records, including profiles with all the customers’ secret sexual fantasies and matching credit card transactions, real names and addresses, and employee documents and emails”.
Another article speaks about how widespread all this miserable cheating is:
While an estimated 1 million Australians were presumably nervous wrecks on Tuesday in the wake of the Ashley Madison data hack, there was another concentrated cluster of cheaters wringing their hands on the other side of the world.
One in five Ottawa residents are allegedly subscribed to the cheating website, according to figures provided by the Toronto-based company, whose slogan is “Life Is Short. Have an Affair”.
In February, 189,810 Ashley Madison users were registered in the Canadian city, which has a population of about 883,000. It’s the biggest affair city in Canada and potentially the highest globally per capita, Reuters reports.
Noel Biderman, chief executive of Avid Life Media, which owns Ashley Madison, told a Canadian newspaper earlier this year that Ottawa was the marriage infidelity hotbed of the world. He claims the top postcode for Ashley Madison members is Parliament Hill, the home of Canada’s parliament.
Mr Biderman said capital cities around the world tended to have higher subscription rates, due to “power, fame and opportunity”.
Adultery is not new of course. It was condemned three and a half millennia ago in the Seventh Commandment. God always has very good reasons for his laws and commands, and it is no different here. Marriage is a sacred trust and a commitment of permanence and exclusivity between a man and a woman.
All that is destroyed of course by an adulterous act. And it is even more devastating when children are involved. Their world is torn apart by such marriage busting activities. The more wonderful and special something is, the more it will come under attack.
Marriage is the greatest and most important social institution we have, so no wonder there are so many folks bent on destroying it. Behind all these attacks is Satan himself. He hates God and everything that God loves. So he hates marriage and family, and is working overtime to destroy both.
And the biblical truth about sowing and reaping of course is always in effect, and we see it being played out here in obvious fashion. How many millions of these cheaters thought they could get away with their lying, immorality and contempt of their spouses?
Now millions of these adulterers are shaking in their boots, maybe even having second thoughts about their actions, wishing they had not been so stupid. Well, even if they are not outed now, they most certainly will be one day. As Jesus said in Luke 12:2-3:
“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.”
Come judgment day there will be nothing hidden from the judge of all the world. Every secret will be made manifest, and every sin committed under cover of darkness will be brought to the light. There will be no escaping then: all will be revealed.
So perhaps this is a small mercy of God that all this has now happened. It just might scare some of these fools (and that is exactly what they are, biblically speaking) enough to jolt them out of their slumber and their deception. Maybe some will put an end to this wretched activity, and maybe some will even confess to their spouses and start anew.
And if some of these folks are “Christians” – and I have no doubt millions may well be – then it may cause them to get a bit of the fear of God back into their lives. The sooner the better. It is far better to get right with God now while there is still a chance for repentance, forgiveness and transformation, than to wait until judgment day.
Then it will be too late.