Mark Foley Scandal

Mark Foley Scandal

October 24, 2006

The news has been abuzz lately with coverage and commentary on the Mark Foley scandal.  Foley resigned from the House of Representatives last month after the release of sexually explicit messages he had sent to teenage congressional pages. After the news broke, Foley’s lawyer then announced that Foley is gay, is now in treatment for alcoholism, and had been molested by a priest when he was 13 years old. The priest, who now lives in Gozo, Malta, has admitted there were incidents of fondling and nudity between the two but says it was not sexual in nature.

Those who are abused as children often perpetuate this behavior as adults. We unwittingly recreate the wounds of childhood in an attempt to heal them. What I am concerned about though, in this situation, is whether the behavior is deemed more repugnant because Foley is homosexual. I wonder how much flack there would be if Foley had been accused of writing sexually suggestive emails to 16 to 21-year-old girls and women. I suspect it would have been a different scenario.

What I also find of concern is that Foley’s behavior went unchecked for his 12 years in Congress. He formed friendships with pages that later lead to online flirtations. His colleagues looked the other way and the pages never reported him because they did not want to make a powerful enemy. This happens far too often in life. We see something happening that we know is wrong but we don’t speak out. We are afraid of being wrong or of causing a dramatic scene or of being accused that we may have contributed to the situation. Silence seems easier. But silence is not easier in the long run. Instead, it is that desire to keep quiet that wounds our bodies and spirits in the long run.

Sometimes using your voice to speak against someone can be so difficult, especially if you deem that person to be a friend or you are afraid there may be repercussions from your actions. However, the truth always comes out. It has to, so that the healing process can begin. When you find yourself in situations when you are not certain if you should speak out or keep quiet, turn to your own inner guidance for the answer.



Jim McGreevey on Larry King Live

October 10, 2006

I recently saw Jim McGreevey, the former Governor of New Jersey, on Larry King Live and was impressed by what a difference the truth has made in his life.

McGreevey stunned the media last year when he announced that he was gay and was resigning from office. He’s now telling all—about his relationship with his gay lover, leaving his wife, and the end of his gubernatorial career—in a new book called The Confession, currently at the top of the best seller lists.

What I found so interesting about McGreevey’s appearance is how happy he seems. He radiates a profound inner contentment because he has finally come to terms with the truth in his own life. During the program, he told Larry he is at peace now that he has finally revealed he is gay. He had thought his political career was the most important thing in his life—and had done whatever it took to protect it. In the process, he not only hurt his wife and family, but made himself miserable. When the truth that he was gay could no longer be denied, at first it brought great chaos to his life. But in time, he found a way to a new life of honesty.

McGreevey’s story mirrors what I see in my practice. Sometimes the fear of the truth is so overpowering that we go to extreme lengths to nurture and foster the lie. We protect the lie, at great expense to ourselves. But facing our own truth allows us to live the life we were always meant to live.

The truth healed Jim McGreevey. I believe it can heal anyone who is willing to acknowledge it.