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Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

The Dark Legacy of Hugh Hefner

Sep 28, 2017

If you ever thought that being a hyper-sexed playboy, surrounded by kazillions of hot babes who drool all over you your whole life, while living in an unending self-centred adolescence was the way to go, well, you had no better recent example of this than Hugh Hefner, who has just passed away.

The 91-year-old has no more chicky babes hanging on his arms. He has no more fake blonds with boob jobs swarming all over him pretending they are mad about him. He has no more fancy mansions and lifestyle of the rich and famous. All of that is now gone.

And compared to eternity, his 70 or so years of decadence and dalliance, sleaze and smut were but a puff of smoke. Here one day, gone the next. What seemed like such a long time is now little more than a blink of an eye. Even Hef was not invincible.

The details of his life are well-enough known not to linger much over here. He was born in Chicago in 1926, and his parents were strict Methodists. It seems that this spiritual heritage did not last very long with him. (And we have to ask how strict they were, given the fact that his mother loaned him $1,000 to establish his magazine!)

While he was away in the army, his wife cheated on him. Hefner said that it was “the most devastating moment of my life.” It was in 1953 that what he is now so famous – or infamous – for began: the first Playboy magazine, including nude photos of Marilyn Monroe. He was of course greatly influenced by another sexual radical and libertine, Alfred Kinsey.

As Dr Judith Reisman reminds us, “Hugh Hefner has described in the first issue of Playboy how he drew inspiration from Kinsey’s sex research…. He was particularly dazzled by Kinsey.” I have written about this rather despicable individual elsewhere:

billmuehlenberg.com/2009/05/10/in-praise-of-perverts/
billmuehlenberg.com/2005/01/15/kinsey-con-job/

So for the next half century plus he declared war on religion, on morality, on family, on all that has made the West great. Sensuality, sleaze and sexual licence were his passions, as well as agitating for various left-wing causes. He claims he slept with over 2000 women. Calling him a dirty old man would not be amiss.

And he was deliberate and defiant in his push to sexualise society and destroy moral values. As he cheerily said in 1992: “[I’m most proud] that I changed attitudes towards sex. That nice people can live together now. That I decontaminated the notion of premarital sex. That gives me great satisfaction.”

Simply speaking about the man and what he was so proud of his whole life borders on the salacious and the sensational. But the simple point is this: his long life of lust, licence and libertarianism has now come to an abrupt end. As mentioned, all the blondes and breasts and playthings and parties are no more.

Now he has all of eternity to face. I do not know what his last days were like. Unless some sort of death-bed conversion took place, he will spend eternity apart from the God who created him, who loved him, and died on the cross for him. What a wasted life.

At this point let me pre-empt a small handful of critics who will accuse me of speaking ill of the dead, or not allowing proper time before I write about the guy. Nonsense. Already there are many hundreds of obituaries and eulogies out on him, with many thousands more to come in the days and weeks ahead.

And already – as expected – far too many of these are hagiographies. They are painting him as some sort of hero, trailblazer, liberator, and even a saint. They will praise him and the sexual revolution he helped to create. They will glamourise him and idolise him, just as they did Kinsey.

I will not do so. In my books what he did was to cause incalculable damage. He has helped to corrupt and destroy millions of lives, and lead countless souls into a lost eternity. That is no small thing. Of course had Hef not done all this, others would have done so. Thus he was not alone in this, but he was one of the major players in it.

But his negative impact will sadly extend for years on end beyond his death. And again, the critics – even of the Christian variety – can ease up here. The truth is, while he was still alive I often would pray for him. My prayers were rather simple, as they are for others who are so powerful and influential like him.

I prayed that God would either improve him or remove him. Either he needed to become a Christian by turning from his sins and coming to Christ in faith and repentance, or he needed to somehow be taken out of the way – figuratively or literally. Well, he has now been removed by his Maker and his Judge.

Many concerned folks may well have asked why this did not happen sooner. Why was he allowed to live for so long and cause so much damage? I do not know the answer to that question. His nefarious legacy lives on, but he does not – at least on this earth. As I say, he now has to face the music.

His “dream” life is well and truly over. Now he has to face the harsh music of reality, after living for so many decades in a fantasy world and a land of make-believe. Few people have been able to live a life such as he did. And it is a good thing too. It is a one-way ticket to a lost eternity.

As mentioned, if he had some sort of conversion in his final days, I for one am not aware of it. So a life of hedonism, selfishness and unbridled sexuality is now over. Now the real deal begins. All these years of decadence and defiance to the living God are over. Now the real part of life begins.

Let his life serve as a warning to us all. And let the lessons of the destructive sexual revolution sink in. As Mark Steyn put it in After America:

The wreckage is impressive. The Sexual Revolution was well-named: it was a revolt not just against sexual norms but against the institutions and values they supported; it was part of an assault against any alternatives to government, civic or moral. Utopianism, writes the philosopher Roger Scruton, is ‘not in the business of perfecting the world’ but only of demolishing it: ‘The ideal is constructed in order to destroy the actual.’ Who needs families, or marriage, or morality? Who needs nations, especially nations with borders? We’ll take a jackhammer to the foundations of functioning society and proclaim paradise in the ruins.

That in good measure is the Hefner legacy. It is not a pretty one. It is a diabolical one – one of porn and perversion, busted marriages and busted families.

Update

Elsewhere I mentioned that I wonder if and when kiss and tell books will start to appear by his former sex objects, telling of all the bad experiences they had with him. Moments afterwards I came upon this: it seems that some have already been coming out with such books:
nypost.com/2015/06/21/holly-madison-reveals-hell-with-hef-in-playboy-mansion/ 

Hefner was one messed-up dude – big time! Let me offer just one quote from the above article:

For lack of anything better to do, Madison decided to clear out Hef’s bedroom and organize his massive collection of scrapbooks and VHS tapes. Her worst discovery at the mansion, she says, was a tape labeled “Girl and Dog.” “My stomach turned,” she says. “I was like, ‘What the hell is this?’”

[1287 words]

22 Responses to The Dark Legacy of Hugh Hefner

  • Hi Bill, according to Hebrews 9:27 Mr Hefner will now have to face judgement and give an account for all of his actions. I can only feel sorrow. The Lord Jesus Christ will certainly not take pleasure in the eternity that Mr Hefner will face. It’s a wake up call that all of us have family friends that need to hear The Gospel Message. Bill, as always, “keep dishing it out”, blessings, Kel.

  • I felt incredibly sad when I considered a life wasted. I was just as child when I first heard of this man, and the evil things he did, and could never understand how he came to be so blatantly and proudly corrupt – and no doubt taking others with him. I suppose money was a big attraction, but the sleaziness of it all, and the way he destroyed so many lives is inexcusable. I think that, along with the current SSM craziness, has really affected me. Surely the judgment of God is more than due to fall on this world. Does anyone else feel the heaviness that has descended upon us?

  • What could Hugh Hefner possibly say say to God he despised all his life. I am sure all that money and all those women he had mean zilch to him now.

  • Too bad Heff was not taken out sooner… what’s also pathetic is damage he did his kids. He would endorse closet gay Obama of course!

  • It must be remembered that it was his daughter that brought the playboy corporation into the heights of international filth via first cable & then internet pornography & the slave trade which it is; clothing & other merchandise sexualizing & making erotica ‘normal’ for children; resorts, golf clubs, graft & any perversion making a profit. She was/is a powerful corporate woman & an example for the young independant woman of today/tomorrow, young woman that through the sex that was peddled has lost any sense of family, unity, partnership, citizenship or accountability. She has been as much responsible for the decay & disease of our world as her father. May he rest in peace & be judged in Christs Mercy.

  • I realize that my father-in-law, a Lutheran pastor, is only a year younger. His health could be better, but it is good for a 90-year-old. He has enough money and physical possessions to be comfortable. This year he has suffered the tragedy of being physically separated from his wife when she was forced to move into the nursing home section of his aged care centre. They had been joined at the hip for 62 years, and they still have lunch together every day. He receives family visits twice a week. In short, he is surrounded by love wherever he goes.
    Hugh Hefner, on the other hand, had nothing except what money could buy. He had a lot of sex, but no love. Well, that was his choice. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, all is vanity.

  • Ann I agree. When I read he had died today I felt such a fear for him that he was soon to meet his maker. What would you say to God after such a life. Heaven help us all on that day, Thank God for Jesus.

  • Thanks guys. Elsewhere I mentioned that I wonder if kiss and tell books will now start to appear by his former collection of blondes, telling of their bad experiences they had with him. Moments afterwards I came upon this – so they have already been coming out with such books:

    nypost.com/2015/06/21/holly-madison-reveals-hell-with-hef-in-playboy-mansion/

    That guy was one messed-up dude – big time! Just one quote from the article:

    For lack of anything better to do, Madison decided to clear out Hef’s bedroom and organize his massive collection of scrapbooks and VHS tapes. Her worst discovery at the mansion, she says, was a tape labeled “Girl and Dog.” “My stomach turned,” she says. “I was like, ‘What the hell is this?’”

  • Cheers, Bill.

  • I laughed when I read some comments on the internet about how ”sad” it was that this ”great” man had passed…..??? say what?? Exactly what did he do? He lived off the pictures of naked women throughout his life, changed the world? yes, he did, NOT for the better, he was a disgrace that the hollyweird people loved because they are as degenerate as him…. I agree, Holly Madison will be one of thousands who will. come forward with shocking revelations about what the smiling slime was really like.

  • I can’t throw stones as I live in a glass house but I follow our Savior and Father and I feel that Mr. H had his fun on earth. I believe the is now very hot, thirsty for ever, in a cage with some demons that will torment him forever and he will smell the burning of skin and in total darkness. I believe our Father gives us many opportunities for salvation before we die…that is his mercy and sending his son to die for us. One thing for sure is: Sin is for a season, it takes us farther than we want to go, cost us more than we want to pay and keeps us longer than we want to stay. He has many years to turn his life around and I think had he been saved he would have made it headline news. I don’t want anyone in hell, but there are special places for what he did. Sigh, I saw someone write MERCY for him, well mercy was while he was alive it is too late now. If anyone wants Salvation do not believe the lives of ha-satan {satan} that you have done too much to be forgiven YOU have not. Romans 10:8-13 you can change your life right now and get on the road of Paradise and not destruction.

  • Thank you for the insightful article and for the comments by everyone. I especially appreciate Malcolm Smith’s description of the Godly lifestyle of his father-in-law, who is a year younger than the late Mr. Hefner, and the blessing that a Godly life can be. What a contrast from the evil Mr. Hefner promoted during his lifetime! I do not believe anyone has mentioned it, but I think of the lack of respect for women that was promote by Mr. Hefner and his followers and the irreparable damage done to women and society in general that came about as a result. Thanks again, Bill.

  • A wake-up call: If women are really sick simply over Trump’s words and treatment of women, we should feel moreso insulted by the way the media (TV, Internet, theater, etc) has adopted and expanded the sexualization of our culture– treating women as nothing but sex objects, using 4-letter words and swaying our youth to a thwarted view of the treatment of women. Such sexism, like racism, denigrates the dignity of women. Our little brothers and sisters deserve better! But public sexism is protected as freedom of speech and press. It is also adopted as something good, harmless entertainment. But it is a billion dollar industry that degrades the image of women. Yet anything can be called politically incorrect and brought to a halt, with the same kind of public pressure that is being used for other discrimination. This is an opportune time for women and caring men to denounce this social injustice too. But feminism is more concerned with issues like protecting abortion rights, which make sexual exploitation more common. The safety of young children is at stake. We cannot lament the presence of sexual slavery, trafficking, and abuse, especially of girls, without attacking the basic deamon: the business of porn.

  • Thanks guys. So did Hugh Hefner undergo a death bed conversion as some folks are talking about or hoping for? See my thoughts here:

    billmuehlenberg.com/2017/09/29/death-bed-conversions/

  • Like many others throughout the world, hearing of Hugh Hefner’s passing brought back memories of the “Playboy” era of the 50s, 60s and 70s, when it was “hip” for young men and women to follow him and to be swayed into thinking and acting like him and even to wearing clothes emblazoned with his “Playboy” motif. Now he’s gone.
    My prayer is that the God of mercy will have mercy on his soul and on the souls of all those who may have been influenced in any way, by the kind of life he portrayed.

    John Ferwerda

  • Revolutions and their “men of the hour” inevitably leave behind a trail of human tragedy: Was not a certain Anna-Nicole Smith an erstwhile Playmate of the Month?

  • Just Eternal regrets, nothing that this man can do to change his reality now. I am sure the Lord has reach this man in his life time, many times but no avail. Nothing can be done no more to change his eternal situation. I hope the world will learn about this man life” Gone by the wind” Wasted life, an Eternity in Hell. He sign his eternal life file. The Lord salvation was refuse be him. Remember the rich man and the Lazarus. It is absolutely nothing that a man can do, to save his eternal life, wants he refuse his calling to come to the Lord Jesus Christ.To late. Too late…

  • I wonder what those who demonise Donald Trump for mysogony will have to say in eulogy about Hefner. Cue the hypocrisy?

  • Unfortunately there will be someone to step into his shoes very quickly and carry on the abuse of women and lure men to continue looking at porn.
    Governments pay lip service to abuse, spend millions which achieves nothing. This is what happens to society when they reject God and his teachings.
    Thank God for people like you Bill who continue to bring all these issues to the fore in truth and love.

  • Trump is an angel by comparison!
    Go Trump!!

  • This dirty man must be in hell now.

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