Surprised, Shocked and Bewildered

on Monday, May 04, 2009

I consider myself a well-traveled and seasoned squirrel and thought that nothing much surprises or shocks me anymore. However, I stand corrected as I was just recently extremely surprised, shocked and significantly disgusted.

I refer to an agency named Ashley Madison and their services. I came across this in the papers and apparently they have run adverts on TV in the USA. Their slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair." and it hails itself as the "world's #1 married dating service specifically for attached men and women who are looking to have an extra-marital affair."

That is right. It is basically a dating service that specializes in linking those who wish to have extramaritial relationships and romps with other unfaithful married individuals. When challenged and accused of encouraging adultery and for being a "Home Wreckers Incorporated", their reply is "Ashley Madison does not encourage anyone to stray … Providing a service like ours does not make someone more likely to stray any more than increasing the availability of glassware contributes to alcoholism".

I have not included any links cause I do not want to inadvertantly encourage any of my readers to stray over there. However, I suspect if you really want to, you will find your own way there. Certainly business is good with 2.5 million members signing on for their services. Furthermore the company even boasts that their business is recession resistant and even seems to be booming in the current economic crisis.

The reason, the company claims, is that many people are trying to avoid the trauma and costs of divorce (including trying to sell the home in a depressed real estate market) during this period of recession. So instead, they hang on and take advantage of the service to have several discreet affairs.

Wow, good business model! But hang on, it is basically immoral and it is encouraging the breakdown of the family unit even if both parties remain married and have separate swinging affairs through this agency. The CEO of Ashley Madison is Noel Biderman who is married with children. I wonder how he explains his work to his children and if any of his children's friends parents make use of his company's services. Heck, would he be so philosophical if his own wife cheated on him.

I also came across another company that provides alibis. It claims that "it provides professional assistance to facilitate a private maritial affair". They can send an official invitation for you to attend a conference or trade show in the city of your choice, call your spouse to seek confirmation of your participation and hence give your alibi credibility, provide phone forwarding services, create websites of the non-existing hotel and provide all the bills, letters and documents to assist in the deception. This allows you to have your extra-maritial tyrst in complete confidence and stress free. The same service can even create false reference letters for job applications.

Isn't all this illegal? Apparently not but I think it should be. The family unit is the most important part of the fabric of our society and the marraige vows are meant to be serious and a lifetime commitment to each other. Anything that causes the breakdown of that unit is to be avoided as so many people end up being hurt when the family unit fallls apart, especially the children. Infidelity should not be encouraged, let alone facilitated. This is an immoral business.

I would never be involved in a company that promotes infidelity or gives false references. I draw the line here and will not cross it. The furthest I will go is to have a company that gives fake excuse notes (with forged parent's signature) for kids who want to skip school and can afford to pay the price.

I jest of course. Yet, in this confused world that we live in, there will probably be those who would condemn my "kid friendly" service while having no problems with using Ashley Madison.

On a totally semi-related matter, the result of the poll for "Husband of the Year" award, the winner is Ireland. Congratulations Ireland. Despite making your wife carry the heavy crate of Guiness, voters liked the fact that you were romantic enough to hold her hand while she was doing that. In the spirit of the award, the Irish husband gets a one week trip for one to the Guiness Brewery and the Irish wife gets one week free of her husband and a week free trail with Ashley Madison.


cabcree said...

oh wow...this is really sad to hear.

Joyce's Ramblings said...

AM leader was interviewed on TV. He struck me as an arrogent jerk with not too much moral fiber. It is sad that the family has gone to heck. How we survive amazes me.

xup said...

I read about this service on someone else's blog just last week. I didn't know places like this existed either, but I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. Sure, sometimes you fall out of love with your spouse or no longer want to be in that relationship for whatever reason. And sure, sometimes even if you're married, you can fall in love with someone else - but the honourable thing in both those cases is to be honest and break off the marriage before starting another relationship. BUT - to actually pay money to sign up with an agency that will hook you up with another married person so you can have a fling? Do you suppose if the other husband or wife found out their spouse had done this they would legally be allowed to shoot them?

olivia said...

LOL xup.

I've heard of AM -- think I've even seen some of their commercials on late night teevee (I'm a night owl -- or at least I was).

The longer I live, the more I realize how crappy humans are as a species ... the good ones are the outliers.

citizen of the world said...

That's an appallingservice, but I don't think it's the only one like that. How sad, really.

But I hope you aren't saying that it should be illegal to end a marriage.

Jo said...

Omygawd, now I have heard everything. It's a really sad commentary on the 21st Century, isn't it? What kind of people would even start a company like that? It's disgusting, and very, very sad. Think of all the people -- including children -- who will be hurt.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I'm shocked but not really surprised. There is always someone ready to capitalize on the weaknesses of others.

It's quite appalling, all of it. There is a very fine line between encouraging adultery and facilitating it, and it's also perfectly horrible that false reference letters are readily available. Sadly, we seem to live in an instant gratification world in which few are willing to work for what they want, or to stand by their commitments.

If things don't change immediately, we are all doomed.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Indeed it is. Sad and really dashes my hope for human society.

I don't think we will survive without major repercussions. Society is going to become that much less trustworthy and damaged.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

"Do you suppose if the other husband or wife found out their spouse had done this they would legally be allowed to shoot them?" XUP, that sounds like the premise for setting up another company for knocking off unfaithful partners. If one set up both types of companies, one could earn a lot from other people's misery.

"outliers"? I am unfamiliar with this term. What might it mean?

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I am definitely not for divorce and I am definitely not for failed marriages. I weep for every failed marriage.

However, I accept that it does happen and sometimes divorce may seem to be the path of less damage. I do not judge people who get divorced for there but by the grace of God go I. But even in the most cordial of splits, people are still hurt.

I do feel that with agencies like AM, we are trivializing the sanctity of marriage and increasingly making infidelity and divorce as easy as ordering pizza.

Society should be helping marriages to stay together and not facilitating them to fall apart.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I try to be accepting of people of all different strokes but I can only say that people who set up Home Wreckers Incorporated type companies are idiots and jerks.

If it is a fine line between encouraging adultery and facilitating it, I believe these guys have long crossed that line. I think you have hit the nail on the head by observing that today many people are not willing to stand by their commitments.......not even to their spouses.....their love of their lives, once upon a time.

geewits said...

I've known about this for a long time because unfortunately when you watch TV very late at night, you get commercials like that and for "Girls Gone Wild!" I was so surprised when I saw the TV ad, I recorded the show the next night just so I could show my husband. I think I was watching "Star Trek: Voyager." I haven't seen the TV ad in a very long time so I guess it was yanked. And what sort of people do they think watch Star Trek anyway?

Chi Leong said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I would have thought that this is the sort of thing you WOULDN"T show your husband! LOL. Just joking. In my opinion, when we encounter people like AM, we should not set phasers on stun! I hope the new Star Trek will not disappoint.

kat said...

gosh-- live long enough and you will see it all.

I am for love and marriage... long may that institution
thrive and expand... yes expand to include same sex couples whose love is as deep and enduring as anyone else's...

olivia said...

Outliers - not part of the pack/group/average. :)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Well, I think you are more liberal than I. Now how do I say this? I can accept same sex couples as friends and even support their love but I would not vote to legalise same sex marriages. Fundamentally, I do not believe homosexuality is right just as I do not believe polygamy is right but I can respect that there is genuine love in such relationships. I suspect this will make me unpopular with many readers but there it is.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks for the lesson. Isn't blogging educational?! I really haven't heard that term before.

the walking man said...

And this is where the lines are being redrawn between right and wrong...look ahead fifty years and speculate on what changes the attitudes that support AshMad evolve into...

evalinn said...

LGS, thank u for participation in this week´s competition. U got the second place! :-)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

History shows that civilizations follow a pattern and even the great empire of Rome became decadent and immoral which led to their decline. So perhaps, it is not a new thing to see the line between right and wrong sliding down a slippery slope but then so does the strength and vitality of the civilization.

Why thank you. It is always fun taking part in your competitions. Will come over to celebrate.

Dr.John said...

Believe me I don't need any more evidence of the moral decline of this society.

Chi Leong said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Dr. John,
Sadly, I know what you mean.

kat said...

LGS- I can understand the difficulty people have with this.... but 'true civilization making progress' means more tolerance and understanding and sharing...... appreciating all our similarities while respecting all our differences.

Anonymous said...

The Ashley Madison website makes me sick. I cannot believe what this world is coming to. Why in the hell would you get married in the name of God just to get on that site and mess around? People make me sick. The pathetic saying "Life is short, have an affair"...what the hell!?! Life is short, enjoy your family...have MORALS!

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