It’s the same old story….

History repeats itself, as the saying goes. This is perhaps nowhere more true than in the sexual misbehaviour of men in positions of power.

It is so common as to be unremarkable – even expected. But it’s still disappointing when you hear of the leaders of so-called religious or ‘spiritual’ outfits stooping to such tactics to get their kicks. But again, the list of such shenanigans is so long you tend to be more surprised if it doesn’t happen. It is especially distasteful, though, when simple lust is dressed up in theological trappings. ‘God told me it was okay,’ and such.

Perhaps we shouldn’t go into specific examples, not wanting to embarrass or annoy anyone.

Is it worse, though, when powerful people do it? Or is it just more interesting and newsworthy? Virtual nobodies are up to the same sort of manipulative behaviour – all the time, anywhere you care to look.

Anyway, why is this a topic for this space this week? Because the leader of an organization that has a retreat near Smith was charged a week or so ago with four counts of sexual assault. According to the Edmonton Journal, he “informed certain female group members that he was directed by a spirit to engage in sexual activity with them,” and that doing so “will provide them an opportunity to achieve a state of higher being or spiritual enlightenment.” This information is evidently from the Edmonton Police Service.

The police of course don’t know or care whether such claims of spiritual benefit are true or not. Nor do the courts, nor should they. What they must decide is if the guy misused his position to induce the complainants into having sex with him against their wishes.

The tactic is of course as old as the hills. Ones like it have been practiced forever, even by some people who may have sincerely believed they were doing great favours to people who just happened to be sexually attractive to them. It’s a shoddy old game, and apparently there’s no stopping it.

It can be discouraged, though, and it should be. We do it by way of laws against sexual exploitation. In other, more traditional societies, they do it (or attempt to), by covering women up and refusing to allow them out without a male escort who is a family member.

Take your pick. It’s a jungle out there, and this latest tawdry tale is just another example of it. Meanwhile, we keep going, hoping that something we like to call civilization will actually prevail, where everybody behaves with respect all the time.

In the meantime, history, thanks to human nature, keeps repeating itself. It’s worth noting that the well-meaning people of the organization in question should not be considered guilty by association. Also worth bearing in mind, we think, is that nobody has been found guilty yet.

Share this post

Post Comment