The Ashley Madison hack was vigilante justice by self-appointed guardians of morality 

The collective righteous indignation of Puritanical America is being unleashed on those who have dared to reclaim their sexuality from spouses who think they own it. 

Honesty time: If anything but Ashley Madison had been hacked, would you think, “Oh, well, they got what was coming to them?” What if it was your child’s school that got hacked? 

Disclaimer: I know that in most people’s opinion – stepping out on your mate is a bad thing to do. And in general, I agree.

If you have a spouse who genuinely cares about your feelings and is willing to meet you halfway, my advice lines up with the majority. Don’t sneak around on a person who listens to your concerns and does his or her part to make the relationship a happy place for both of you. That really IS a mean, rotten thing to do. 

If your problem is simply boredom with the same-old-same-old – I also agree with the conventional wisdom that you should try to improve things at home, not step out. And if this is a recurring problem for you – maybe you just aren’t meant to be monogamous (and in a conventional marriage.) Not everybody is, despite society’s attempts to force everybody into a Noah’s ark lockstep.

However – sometimes marriage can be horrible, difficult, and seem like a life sentence. Nobody knows what any individual marriage is like, except the participants. Sometimes, you Talk To Your Mate About The Relationship™ until you are blue in the face – and nothing ever changes. Sometimes you do your best to Work On The Relationship™ – and get no results at all; or worse, outright resistance.

“Just leave. Don’t cheat!” say the advice-givers (who love to talk but not listen.)

Yes, in a perfect world, mates would always be completely honest with each other. Couples would always be cleanly broken up before either of them ever even contemplated another partner.

If you live in a world where it’s that easy, good for you. Could you please post some pics of your pet unicorns on Facebook? I’d love to see them.

Sure – it’s better, when a relationship is clearly not working, to be free of it. But in the real world, there are spiteful bitchy wives who would poison children against their fathers if those men ever tried to leave. 

In the real world, there are husbands who have decided to eagerly embrace the tired-old-man lifestyle. So what if their wife isn’t ready for that yet? A good woman would follow the lead of her man and just settle down and be a nice old lady. You can’t leave a good man “just” because of sex!

In the real world, there are women who never will be self-supporting above subsistence level, because they spent years raising children full-time, and in a capitalistic society, if nobody thinks your work is worth paying for – sucks to be you. And in the real world, there are husbands who allowed their wives to stay home, and (despite marital problems) don’t want the woman to be destitute – so it’s “cheaper to keep her.”

People have problems. Life is messy. Don’t judge until you are certain that YOU could be a perfect saint, if you were living that person’s life.

Who are those hackers to sit in judgment? Who made them the police force and the judge and jury? 

If people think it’s OK for these American prudes to do a thing like this, how would they feel if ISIS did it?

My opinion: if people think the Ashley Madison hack is okay, then I don’t want to hear them complaining if somebody hacks the data of some organization they belong to, like the NRA, the ACLU, the NAACP, the Catholic Church, the local Republican or Democratic Party, or any other group that has opponents – and their data gets stolen from there.

If it’s okay to hack Ashley Madison, then is it okay to hack any other group you don’t like? And let’s not muddy the waters by bringing up NAMBLA, or groups of that ilk. Going behind your spouse’s back can be unjustified and mean, and is dishonest. Messing around with children (because they can’t give true consent) is evil; and it is illegal. Law enforcement is already hacking their data, so there is no need for vigilante justice.

And vigilante justice is what the Ashley Madison hack is really all about.

I haven’t outsourced – it’s a big step to take, and I wouldn’t do it lightly. But I refuse to rule it out. 

That said – anybody using Ashley Madison who has any intelligence at all would create a throwaway web-based email account for this purpose, and make up a fake name. A man who was too dumb to take these precautions would be much too dumb to attract me.


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Born, went to school, went to work, will die someday. Fluent in English, sarcasm, and profanity. Open-minded skeptic, INTP in the Myers-Briggs, 5-Investigator (or Observer) in the Enneagram, Sagittarius in astrology, Pitta/Kapha in the Ayurvedic system. Likes: Music, books, reading, paid time off from work. Dislikes: Authoritarians, micromanagement, illogic, and asparagus.

9 thoughts on “The Ashley Madison hack was vigilante justice by self-appointed guardians of morality ”

  1. I think if the truth be known the hack wasn’t about righteous indignation it was about turning a buck. Pay up or else…all the self righteous crap is a smokescreen to give it an air of “respectability” when they didn’t get the dollars….and there are still individuals to hit up. Spread a little panic to loosen some wallets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you, especially the bottom line:

    “That said – anybody using Ashley Madison who has any intelligence at all would create a throwaway web-based email account for this purpose, and make up a fake name. A man who was too dumb to take these precautions would be much too dumb to attract me.”

    If you don’t want something published in the front pages of the newspaper, then don’t say it / do it / use your real name … In this day and age, trusting a website admin to hold your secrets private is unjustified. Websites get hacked all the time.


  3. I find the concept of any computer hacking to be repugnant. I know that for law enforcement reasons it may be justified but only in select cases. Instead of giving hackers a few months in a country club prison they should be executed publicly.
    The AM hackers are no better than the infamous Inquisitors of Roman Catholic history who relished in inflicting pain upon those that did not agree with them.
    There was no social benefit to this action except to expose the lack of security at AM. But that security shortcoming has been noted in the past along with AM’s deciptive messaging practices using chatbots. As you say, anyone who gave them real information is not overly bright.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah yes, but apparently even the smart who use throwaway email and payment info may be compromised by IP address data and latitude and longitude coordinates AM stored on (some of? all?) their users, according to the articles at these two links:

    It’s chilling is what it is.


    1. That’s true. But how many average, everyday people will know to search by IP addresses and geographical coordinates?

      If your spouse is spying on you to the extent of doing that, I would say that marriage has huge problems, even if nobody is straying.


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