This is now the 77th year of my life. Three quarters of a century with little to nothing to show for it. I pray this will change with this writing.
The decision to write this has been far less difficult than the hundreds of hours spent putting it into words, anticipatory for the world to read.
The decades I’ve suffered, including the eleven years spent behind prison walls, pales beside the last two-plus years of my writing and re-writing this account of my life, of the countless hours of introspection and self-examination, of the tears, anguish and prayers, my crying out to the Lord, the guilt and depression and the years of suicidal thoughts. There just seems to be no end…
For about thirty-five years of my life, I was a peeping tom. I violated the privacy of tens of hundreds of women. I spent more time pursuing this obsession than many spent working for a living. Though it has been twenty-five years since I last peeped upon a woman, the weight of this perversity still haunts me.
It occurs to me that in all of the years of my obsessions, I not only violated the rights of women I didn’t know, but all of the women in my family as well: my Wife, my Mom and my Grandmothers and all of my Aunts, not to mention all of their women friends, including all the women on my wife’s side of the family.
I was an offense to all of these women, and all of womankind, just as though I had deliberately sought them out to gawk at them as well…
Much of my life has been one of turning my back on taking a good long look in a mirror, particularly when the image staring back is evil and a clear reminder of the people whose lives I transgressed.
Earlier in my life, had I developed a working penchant for any endeavor chosen at any particular time, displaying a talent even remotely comparable to my genius of avoiding introspection, perhaps this end of my life would not have been nearly as tragic.
Of singular importance, I would not have spent the greater portion of my life turning my back on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Salvation aside, had I chosen the study of the Bible, two commandments from His Book might not now be haunting me. Rather, the pursuit of them may have led me down an entirely different path…
They are: John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
My early childhood years, especially those spent in Middle River, Maryland, were an absolute delight. They are years of precious memories for me, memories that always bring a smile of warmth to my heart.
The road that led to our home was about a mile in length, surrounded on either side by grand tall oaks. Its name was Weber Avenue, so named because of the family that had owned all of the property and the homes, including ours. They were the Weber family.
Their magnificent two-story home sat as the focal point of the estate. It was nestled near the center of the property, surrounded by plush green rolling grass, magnificent trees and carefully maintained shrubs and flowers.
Middle River itself was only a hundred feet or so from their home, giving the illusion that it was only there to accommodate their 70-foot ocean-going sail yacht docked at their pier.
The only dark memories of that time in my life began when I was seven years old. I had been born without a right ear and eardrum. Mom and Dad thought it best that I have re-constructive surgery. 1947 was the year it all began.
One of the downsides of the surgeries was my not being able to play with my friends for about a month or so afterward. Another downside of these surgeries was the sheer number of them – thirteen! It is my understanding that they had to be done slowly, over a long span of time, to allow the new grafts time to grow and heal.
This all ended when I was about 14 years of age. Dad, Mom and I agreed there would be no more surgeries. I had quite enough and was not then concerned with how I appeared to others. It was finally over! No more interrupted summer vacations from school!
The year of my second surgery, I was also to undergo a tonsillectomy. This was done on my Grandmother’s kitchen table! Apparently, there was no room in the hospital. No room in the hospital?
There was much to do for a child my age during those early years in Middle River. I rode my bicycle every day. I would make at least one trip up and back on Weber Avenue. It was just right. Not too curvy nor too hilly, and with very little traffic. Oh how I loved that place! I still do.
I had a really neat red wagon with wooden sides resembling three-tiered fencing. I remember my Grams siting in it while I proudly gave her a tour of our “estate.” I think she enjoyed that as much as I did.
During the winter months our home was heated with pot-bellied cast-iron wood-burning stoves. There was a small one in my bedroom. I still remember lying there at night while dozing off, my senses alive with the wondrous sounds and smells of crackling wood as it gave off its warmth. A night light was unnecessary; the cast iron stove glowed cherry-red in the otherwise dark room.
The winter months left me smack in the middle of another surgery behind me, and that of the one yet ahead. It was a reprieve, and when the weather cooperated, as I recall it did just once, the river froze over. This meant ice skating, a passion of mine in those wonderful years. I loved this as much as riding my bike during the warmer months.
That winter we kids got together and created an ice ramp from the top of the bank down to the river. We nurtured it with water and packed snow in such an ingenious way as would have made the Olympians proud!
We each took our turns belly-flopping down that ramp on our sleds, often finding ourselves gliding all the way to the other side of the river, a considerable half-mile venture! Oh, if it were only possible to return to those joyous times.
I recall a proud possession of my Dad, a beautiful black 1927 Chrysler Coupe. I particularly remember a trip that we took to my gram’s house in Guilford, a highly residential neighborhood in Northern Baltimore City.
On that day it had decided to snow. It was heavy and wet, making driving conditions a bit challenging. Not for ol’ “Betsy,” though. That’s what Dad had affectionately nick-named his car.
We had crossed Falls Road, traveling on West Cold Spring Lane toward Roland Avenue. At that time the road was quite steep. Because of the snow and ice, as we made our way to the top of the grade, the other cars were spinning off to the side of the road. Ol’ Betsy? Why, she just kept putt-putt-putting along, passing all the disabled, much newer and expensive automobiles!
This prompted Dad to toot the horn proudly as we made our way up the steep grade. O-o-o-o-ga! was the distinctive sound of Betsy’s classic personality. People shook their fists at her as she continued on unabashed by her critics.
It was around this time in my life when events took a turn on a one-way street, and I was heading in a direction opposite the flow of traffic. I am ashamed to say that has been true of nearly all my life.
My early years brought me in much contact with my Aunt Joyce. We were six months apart in age, Joyce being the younger. We were really close and enjoyed much of our growing-up years together.
Much of our times together were spent engaged in an activity usually only found among adults: Cunnilingus. We were about seven years of age when this began and it continued all the way to the age of 17.
To this day, I still find it a mystery as to where we had learned of such a thing during those innocent years of the 1940’s.
Joyce got married when she was 17 and she put a stop to this activity. It was during all of these early years that I became more and more preoccupied and obsessed with masturbation. This then led to peeping at women. I had even peeped at my own mother and grandmother!
I recall having gone with my mom when she went to see a doctor at the Medical Arts Building in downtown Baltimore City. I was about 7 or 8 years of age. As we were leaving the doctor’s office, I told mom that I needed to go to the bathroom. She took me to a bathroom marked for women.
I distinctly remember being in a cubicle when I heard a woman’s distinctive “musical” tinkling to my left, a sound that still excites me even to this day. There were slats in the cubicle door that enabled me to see the women as they walked by, washing their hands and chatting. They were unable to see me. This, too, excited me.
I could hear them talking and laughing, and I could hear the sounds of one or more of them peeing. I was so excited! I found myself not wanting to leave, all the while engaged in heated masturbation!
This was the beginning of a life-long, ugly, downhill obsession that only ended because I became physically incapable of sneaking into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. I wonder to this very day if I would still be peeping, were I physically capable…
For about three and a half decades I spent hours, days, weeks, months, years and thousands of miles desperately seeking ways to peep. I also often satisfied my evil perversions while peeping into the windows of people’s homes.
So obsessed was I that I literally spent more time invading the privacy of innocent women than most people spend working for a living.
It was around the age of 12 when we moved to Cook’s Lane in Ellicott City, Maryland. My Mom had been hired to work for Mr. Cook as a floral arranger. We shared a huge two-story home with the Cook family. This was part of Mom’s pay. It was an ideal job for Mom, for she loved flowers.
Cooks Lane was a great place to live. The property was huge and was a wonderful place for a twelve-year-old boy to play. There were lots of kids my age. Cook’s Lane was much like Weber Avenue, in that it was about a mile in length, with very little traffic.
We had been living there for about two years when something strange happened. Mom began coming home each and every night in tears. Each night seemed worse than the night before. The tears escalated to sobbing and hysteria!
Apparently, Mr. Cook was very cruel in his approach to “working” with Mom. I don’t believe he ever laid a hand on her, though apparently he frequently attacked her with vicious name-calling, often accusing her of stupidity.
Mom was anything but stupid. But she was very sensitive to what others thought of her. This barrage went on for weeks. Dad never confronted Mr. Cook to set him straight, and so I decided to try my hand at it…
I had a b-b gun. I shot out every window in Mr. Cook’s barn. I ran a pitch fork through one of his chickens. I shot up two of his panel delivery trucks, windshields and all. And now, at age 14, I had added animal cruelty and malicious destruction of property to my growing criminal bent.
Mr. Cook did not report this to the police, but we were forced to move from their property. If memory serves me, we were given one month to get out.
We were quite blessed. Dad had found a place for us to live in Joppa, in Harford County, Maryland. The house and property was a “fixer-upper,” but livable. The house and nearly two acres of mostly wooded grounds was a God-send at $7,500 dollars! We moved there in 1954.
A new home, filled with the endless possibilities of new chances, a new life, new friends and new horizons. Right? Wrong! As the hormones raged in my body, all hell broke loose! The horribly ugly sins of sexual addictions had begun to rage.
Voyeurism, peeping at women during their most vulnerable times, while I masturbated, grew to an obsession. I became so totally consumed that I found myself taking Greyhound bus trips to places I imagined would offer new and greater opportunities for one such as I, a peeping tom.
I was without a car until around age 41, and so I either walked, rode my bike, hitch-hiked, took buses, yes, even taxicabs, so that I could prey on unsuspecting women.
This obsession became such a part of me, it was all-consuming. I loved my Mom and Dad and yet there were times when, late at night, I would actually get out of bed, get dressed and sneak out of the house and begin walking with the sole intent of finding a house with a woman inside.
Dressed, undressed, or partially dressed, it did not matter. All that mattered was that she did not know I was there to peep at her, and I would masturbate feverishly until fruition. Then I would return home.
When I stayed at my Gram’s home, I would do the same thing. In Baltimore, it was very easy to find women upon whom to peep. And then I would go back to Gram’s house and get back in bed, as if nothing had happened.
I did the same thing to my wife Joy. I did this several times. In retrospect, I just know Joy was aware of those nights when I crept out of the house. Worse yet, during our thirty one years of marriage, I got arrested twice for peeping and spent 30 days in jail each time.
What kind of man does this to the woman he professes to love? Yet Joy never once left me or turned her back on me. She even went to my court trials!
A husband should provide for his wife, or at least bring some kind of stipend into the house, making some kind of effort, at least within his capabilities. The longest I ever held a job during our thirty-one years of marriage was about two years!
As time progressed, my arrest record grew, ultimately having spent eleven years of my life behind bars. I can’t recall all the details.
I spent about a year at Baltimore City Jail. The charge eludes me. I remember having spent about a month or so at Spring Grove State Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. I was also evaluated at Clifton T. Perkins State Hospital. I was there for about a month, as well.
I spent about eight years at Patuxent Institute, Jessup, Maryland. It was an indefinite-sentence psychiatric prison. Before being sent there, you were given a definite sentence, say five years. Once there, you were then evaluated by psychiatric staff.
If found to fit the criteria of a “Defective Delinquent,” your five years was suspended and your stay there was indefinite. It could be one year, five, ten or twenty, depending on the findings of the staff and, of course, your behavior while there. I was there from 1965 to 1973, about eight years. I cannot recall my original sentence when sent there.
I hated that place and yet I eventually began to realize that they were right. Anyone who commits the same crime over and over, particularly of a sexual nature, should be held indefinitely.
Why is this you might ask? Well, it was only a short time after my release from there, thirty days or so, and I was right back at peeping again!
Most of my criminal behavior was that of a peeping tom. I often entered the locker rooms and bathrooms of women at various colleges and universities throughout a tristate area. This behavior also included invading the rest rooms of women in many hotels. I can’t even begin to guess how many office buildings I frequented, all with the same intent of preying on the privacy of women.
I had also stolen three cars and was arrested once for that. I was sent to The Maryland Correctional Institute, Hagerstown, Maryland. I cannot recall the length of my sentence, but I believe I was there for about two years.
I also broke into people’s homes and stole cash. I was never arrested for this. Additionally, when the opportunity presented itself, while in womens’ rest rooms, I would steal purses and take the cash. I did this several times. This is part of what led to my being sent to Patuxent Institute.
There has been little to nothing in my life of a positive contribution to anyone, certainly not that of my wife, my mom and dad, and most definitely not that of the Lord. My life has been one giant cesspool!
Now, given the circumstances of my life, there are many who would insist that “life is what you make it.” Each of us possess the capacity for change, we are told. After all, we are made in the image of God.
We are given minds with extraordinary capabilities, enabling each of us the capacity to reevaluate and recognize what has led us down a wrong path, and then do an about face.
This is “free will,” an alleged capacity which enables each of us to choose to move in a more positive direction in our lives, a direction of change, of betterment, of hope.
Oh, really. Is life indeed that simple? Then how do we explain all the horrendous things that happen to good people? What explains war? It is my understanding there has not been peace on this planet, since man began recording history, with the exception of a hundred-year span. What accounts for that?
How do we explain the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Saddam Hussein, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Leonid Brezhnev. Monsters, all.
Let’s not overlook the likes of Prescott Bush, the father of George H. W and the grandfather of George W.
Prescott had owned a bank in New York City. He was found guilty of using large sums of money from that institution for the explicit purposes of funding Adolph Hitler’s extermination of Jews! All this, while enjoying the fruits of living here in the good old U S of A!
What of someone like Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed and then ate some of his victims? Is this behavior explained and understood, exponentially, as that of “free will,” of his choosing such aberrant and inexplicable behavior?
Rather, is it conceivable that, as the Bible explains, we are all born in sin and there are those who are hard-wired for other than so-called normal behaviors?
How do we explain, in the richest nation on earth, approximately four million women, children and men desperately seeking transitional housing or an emergency shelter?
How do we explain our obsession with placing far greater value on green toilet paper, commonly referred to as “money,” than human lives?
What explains the horrors of rape, incessant murders, child molestation, and women throwing their babies in trash dumpsters? How do you explain incest?
What explains children only 8 and 10 years old shooting strangers just to watch them die? And what explains a 6-year-old boy taking his Dad’s gun to school and shooting a 4-year-old girl to death?
To what do you attribute all the alleged shootings that have occurred in schools and colleges in our most recent memories? Evening news has every atrocity imaginable, to the extent that it cannot possibly be considered news any more.
How do we explain half the world’s population, approximately three and a half billion women, children and men, in abject poverty and starvation, without running water or sewage, food or a place to live? Are we to assume that all these people choose their circumstances?
Can life be reduced to that of simple choices, “free-will choices,” devoid of any outside forces of nature, illnesses, genetics, unforeseen or unpredictable circumstances–or God’s Will?
Additionally, how do we explain a mere 13 families possessing and controlling well over half the worlds’ wealth? One family in particular, the Rothschild family, possesses over 500 trillion dollars in gold bullion!
I’m quite positive, if queried, the millionaires, billionaires and trillionaires of the world would respond with a resounding, “we have earned it!” Yeah, right. You believe that and I’ve some swamp land in Florida I’d be happy to sell you!
How do we explain those thirteen families zealously going about the task of reducing the world population to five hundred million people, with their sights also set on a one world government, one world money, one world religion? How do we explain their obsession for things that never seems to end?
And what of the other 97 percent of us? Do we choose a mediocre existence, usually just two to three paychecks away from living on the streets?
What explains half the population of the United States, one out of every two people, approximately 160 million souls, now living within the clutches of poverty? Do we choose these circumstances? All of this within the boundaries of what is reputed to be the freest and most wealthy nation on earth!
What explains some forty million people in “free” America without health insurance? How do we explain about 190 thousand people a year killed by “legal” drugs, even when taken as prescribed?
Additionally, with all the noise and hype about illegal drugs, how do we explain the huge chasm between those that die by “legal drugs” (approximately 190,000 yearly) and those that die by “illegal drugs” (about 10 to 20,000 a year), and the consequent silence by the “authorities” and the news media?
What explains there being more people killed by doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutics in the United States, than by Cancer and heart disease combined?
Curiously, how do we rationalize the incessant news media’s portrayal of us as perpetrators, rather than victims?
What explains two out of every three marriages ending in divorce? What explains political corruption? How do we explain rampant corporate greed, such as we see all about us, as within the pharmaceutical and so-called “health care” industries, just to mention two?
Furthermore, why are “health care and pharmaceutics” commonly referred to as “industries,” mixed in amongst the likes of Wall Street, the banking industries, auto manufacturing and septic tank fabrication?
As I see it, life is essentially one huge cesspool, with occasional pleasantries thrown in to give some semblance of sanity and forbearance. Unless, of course, you are inordinately blessed by God…
Is “free will” a reality, or is it simply an egotistical fabrication of man’s mind? I submit that the only significant will involved in all our lives is that of the LORD Jesus Christ.
Let’s stop here for a moment and examine the premise that we indeed possess “free will,” that each of us have the capacity to make choices that prevent us from taking a wrong path. Sin is mere fiction and plays no part in our lives. The Bible is just a nice book of fables.
If this is indeed the reality, then we are even more despicably evil than what the Bible has to say of us! All of the horrors of this world, the murders, rapes, child molestations, sexual assaults of women, rampant wars, can only be explained and understood in the realizations of cold-blooded, willful, calculated free-will choices. Our behaviors are devoid of any “excuses” of sin…
The following Scripture lends credence to not only my plight in this life, but to that of every human being that has ever existed, and to those yet to be born.
Because God is the author of the Bible, and not man, “free will,” in my mind is a delusion, as evidenced by the following: (2nd Thessalonians 2:11, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie“):
Romans 3:10-18 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Ecclesiastes 7:20, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”
1 John 1:8, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us,”
Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Psalm 58:3, “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”
Romans 7:15-20, “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.“
We may not like it and we may not understand it, but all of life is God’s plan, the good, the bad and the ugly. This does not mean that He always causes what we see around us, only that He allows it.
Everything began at the Garden of Eden and was set in motion, just like the weather patterns. From the Bible, let us see if what I am suggesting has any merit:
Job 1:6-12 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”
Here, God is carrying on a conversation with Satan. Moreover, Satan is impudent, disrespectful and arrogantly talking back to the LORD Jehovah Himself!
It’s apparent to me that the Bible is telling us that God allows Satan to walk about the earth and do pretty much as he pleases. It would also appear that God sets the rules and limits for Satan’s “freedoms.” Why wouldn’t the same also be true for us?
Is it conceivable that Satan might also have a hand in our daily lives? In spite of our self-inflated egos, is it remotely possible that there are other determinants for the paths we take?
There are so many factors in life of which we are unaware. How can we be so adamantly and arrogantly certain that there are always choices we can make that will produce positive changes in our lives?
Again, reconsider these specific passages: Job 1:10 “Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.” Does not this suggest occurrences in our lives that have nothing to do with any choices or decisions we make?
And let us not forget, Job 1:12 “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”
This passage appears to be suggesting that the Lord gives Satan much leeway regarding not only our personal possessions, but our very lives as well.
These passages paint a spiritual picture of the Lord’s hand in all we do. Apparently, Satan’s hand as well. This should cause us to question the notion that free will determines our station in life. These passages strongly suggest that all of us are part and parcel of God’s Master Plan. We are all included, along with Satan himself.
But of course, if one is bent on rejecting the Bible we can always seek out the opinions of “authorities,” people who are “in the know,” the “experts.” Don’t believe me? Just ask them!
Take a look around the world at the handiwork of these “experts:” “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.” Matthew 24:6a As one renowned author and atheist, Ayn Rand, had once said, “Man Also Rises.” But of course he does… equal to that of his own ego…
We can either perceive the passages of the Bible as interesting anecdotal stories, or we can learn from them and strive to see the larger spiritual picture of God’s overall plan for man, and His Salvation plan for His Elect. Let us look further.
Job 1:13 -19 “And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and Thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”
Sounds like Murphy’s Law. If anything can go wrong, it so often will. God, however, leaves nothing to luck, fate, chance, or destiny. The previous Bible passages give us a true spiritual picture of not only what happened to Job, but again is a spiritual picture of the part we play in God’s marvelous, yet bewildering, Plan.
Is it unreasonable to consider that Job may have had other things on his mind, choices he would much rather have made? Under these givens, can we accurately, positively state that Job was truly free?
Also, let us consider the following:
Job 1:20-22 “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”
Humility, repentance, the recognition that we are nothing without the LORD, are three of the hallmarks of His chosen people. Additionally, there are his commands to always do His will:
John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
Romans 9:13-16 “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
Is man truly the master of his own life, put here to assert his will as he believes best, or is he indeed part of a Master Plan, a grander scheme of things that primarily focuses on Christ and those He was sent to save? Again, what does the Bible have to say?
Romans 9:17 “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.”
I don’t know about you, but I do not see even the slightest hint of man’s decision-making involvement in the marvelous machinations of God’s plans here on earth.
Romans 9:18 “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” Again, not exactly a resoundingly clear testimony to that of free will.
Romans 9:19-20 “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”
Romans 9:21-33 ”Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling stone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”
Ezekiel 36:21-38 “But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleanesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.”
Sure sounds like a plan to me, a plan that is curiously absent of any mention of our choosing to participate. There is nothing in the previous passages that even suggests man’s slightest willful participation in any part of God’s plan?
Now, let’s once again stop right here for a moment. Kindly indulge me. Let’s use our imaginations while we turn away from the teachings of the Bible.
Let’s imagine the Bible is just a book of fables and is not the Word of God and there is no such thing as “Original Sin,” that we are not all born “dead in sin and trespasses.” Then, what of all the obvious evils in the world; war, rape, child molestations, murder, hatred, rampant violence, angst?
If all of this ugliness is not explainable as the manifestation of sin, as the Bible explains, then the only other possible explanation is that of free-will choices, of our cold-blooded, calculated, willful choosing of all the evils so prevalent in our world today.
Don’t know about you, but that paints a picture of humanity far-and-away more evil than that given to us in the Bible…
The following Scripture, I believe, also lends credence to my argument that free will is an illusion or, rather as God puts it, a “delusion.”
2 Thessalonians 2:8-13 “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:”
Free will? Really? Then how are these passages explained?
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Romans 3:10-18 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, THERE IS NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; THERE IS NONE THAT DOETH GOOD, NO, NOT ONE. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Did God forget anyone?
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;“
James 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” In other words, when a parent tells a child not to curse, and the child obeys, this hardly means the child is incapable of ever again swearing.
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.“
“Free will” is indeed an egotistical fabrication of man’s mind. We are the kind of creatures who must believe we are in control of our destiny. The thought of one person, a person with whom we cannot converse, see, touch, or hear, yet having total control over our lives is exasperating, confounding and confusing!
I’ve found little with which to agree while listening to Dr. James Dobson‘s radio broadcasts years earlier. However, he once said something I have never forgotten.
He described two different types of personalities that come into the world. One is a very compliant and docile baby that quickly develops into a personality whose sole intent and purpose in life seems bent on pleasing his parents and those around him. This child grows up with no apparent contentions or disagreements with his parents, and gives all evidence of being at peace with the world.
The second child, however, enters the world in fits of rage, as evidenced by his incessant caterwauling, his little face all twisted and contorted from the physical and emotional turmoil of having just been thrust into this world. How dare anyone interrupt his peaceful and tranquil slumber within those warm, soft folds of his mother’s womb!
This is a child that gives everyone grief, particularly his parents, for they are always around and they symbolize the very thing he hates most, authority.
Biologically, he passes into “adulthood” with all the earmarks of a hellion, a rebel indeed with a cause and that of immediate self-gratification. He is defiant toward anyone in particular and everyone in general.
Psalms 58:3-5 “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent:”
No matter how we enter this world, in fits of rage or quiet, tranquil calm, we all are born “estranged from the womb…speaking lies.” This estrangement has nothing to do with our separation one from another. Indeed, we are separated from the LORD Jehovah Himself.
There was another point that Dr. Dobson once made with which I find agreeable: he said for those who disagree with the concept of “Original Sin,” simply watch a two-year-old child!
Mom had once told me that I was a quiet kid, “a good child,” much unlike that of the child just described. My childhood memories are happy ones.
In retrospect, I had gone from childhood to adulthood, my life having begun quietly, normally, and then exponentially deteriorating over the passage of time…
To many, this all no doubt smacks of rationalizing, an elaborate attempt to explain away my perverted and criminal life. There are those of you who are highly offended, for it would appear that I am using God as a scape-goat, a way of placing blame for my life on Him.
According to His Scriptures, I do not believe so. I am my own worst critic. I hate myself for my life. I hate my life. I can find absolutely no redeeming value for my existence. I cannot understand why God has me still here. I cannot understand why He placed me on this planet in the first place. But, as the Lord reminds, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8
The realization has occurred to me that perhaps this, my life’s story, is the only reason for my being here. There is no way for me to substantiate this claim, of course. I can only trust in the Lord and pray that it is His Will to use this story of my life for the purposes of helping others, perhaps who are now going through what I’ve suffered.
Mine is not the only addiction or sin. There are untold millions of others who are suffering with sexual, alcohol, drug and gambling addictions. God help us, even serial rape and murder are addictions!!!
I cannot explain away my abhorrent life by casting aspersions at God. That has not been the focal point of this writing. This is not intended as an elaborate way of again avoiding that long hard look in the mirror. I still do not like what I see there.
At 77, I am still addicted to porn and masturbation, and have been for about the last twenty years. It has been, and is, an incessant and arduous struggle.
I have replaced the activity of physically seeking out unsuspecting women to satisfy my masturbatory proclivities with that of pornography. Innocent, unsuspecting women are replaced with women who are willing to expose themselves for money!
My fascination with porn, it would appear, has replaced my propensity for peeping. I praise God that I am no longer a criminal bent on the violation and invasion of the rights of women to their privacy.
Where, however, is there any progress? I am yet a criminal! I am still violating God’s laws! I cite the following:
Matthew 5:28 “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
James 1:15 “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
I’m hardly in good stead with the Lord and am far from finding any peace, either with Him or myself. I’m not certain I ever will. All I can do is trust in the Lord.
Our lives are filled with choices and ultimatums. They are sometimes achieved through a labyrinth of complex inductive and deductive reasoning, though more often through simplistic snap decisions, based on little more than “gut feelings and instinct.”
Ultimately, all that goes into the making up of our lives, the good and bad decisions and in-decisions, fall within the parameters of God’s overall plan for humanity in general, as well as His specific plans for His Elect, His Predestined.
I cannot believe, after all these years of painful introspection and self examination and guilt, of the hundreds of times of crying out to the Lord, asking and begging Him for help, even Salvation, that it was ever possible for me to do an about-face, to achieve an epiphany without God’s aid.
I don’t believe, had my mom or dad caught my aunt Joyce and I in the act of Cunnilingus, and severely punished me, that it would have changed one iota of a thing, and that I would then have continued on to enjoy a happy, normal and fulfilled life.
Again, it was just thirty days after my release from an eight-year stint at Patuxent Institute, with “therapy” twice weekly, and I was right back at it again, peeping, doing the very same things that got me arrested in the first place!
Confoundedly, how am I to understand how it is that I was unable to peep for eight years? Where, in all this, is the idea of “free will?”
Very often while actually in the throes of peeping, of masturbating, I experienced very intense feelings of dread, fear, shame, self-hatred and guilt, and yet I did it irregardless! All during those times I knew full well that what I was doing was wrong. I also dreaded and feared apprehension and incarceration, and yet I still did it!
My very worst fear now, however, is that of knowing I could quite possibly die and my life had all been for naught. I would leave this life knowing I had not left anything to the honor of my wife, mom and dad and, most importantly, the LORD.
Hell to me is the knowledge that I could quite possibly die unsaved and never know the joys of being with the LORD, knowing at that instant that I had achieved nothing more than an offense and disgrace to Him and everyone, my wife, my mom and dad.
All of the crimes I had committed, all of the tens of hundreds of times I was violating the privacy of women, all of this became a huge ball of self-hate and dread and fear and stress and guilt and shame. I was causing my wife, my mom and dad and other family members great shame, as well as just not being able to understand why my life has been as it has.
For those cumulative individual moments of peeping and masturbating over the decades, I had traded a normal life for a lifetime of anger, bitterness, self-hatred, deceit, lying and imprisonment.
I had missed the very real joys of friendships, of relationships, an honest, open, loving and healthy relationship with the only woman in this world that God was gracious to give me, my wife Joy.
As said previously, my life has been one huge cesspool. Given this, if it were indeed possible for me to trade all of this, is it not even remotely conceivable that I would have jumped at the opportunity years ago?
Incidentally, for those who believe this writing to be a kind of catharsis, it is indeed not! I still feel just as horrible about myself. Dredging all of this up has certainly not improved the image of myself.
My Wife’s Passing
On the evening of October 13, 2013, I was at our computer. I can’t recall, but I suspect that I was doing what I so often did at the computer, porn.
My wife, Joy, was in bed. Had I had any kind of decency as a husband, I would’ve been at my wife’s side seeing to her care and needs. Being in bed at such an early time in the evening would have been sufficient alarm to any caring husband that something was wrong.
Joy came into our office and said, “Bill, I am having the worst headache I have ever had.” It was then that I realized she was going to need me to help her back to her bed. She could hardly walk on her own. I helped her back to her bed.
I asked if she wanted me to call 911. Two or three different times she responded by saying no, she did not want to go to the hospital. In retrospect, I should not have listened to her and called that number anyhow. I did not. Instead, I said that if she needed me, to holler. I would be at the computer. I then went back to the computer, leaving her alone in her bed.
About a half hour later I went back to see how she was doing. She did not respond. It was then that I called 911. It was too late. She had slipped into a coma and remained in that state until she went to be with the Lord eight days later, October 21, 2013. She had suffered a brain aneurysm as well as a stroke.
She had died alone. Other than medical staff at the University of Maryland Medical Center, I again had not been where a decent husband should have been, at the side of his wife.
This, too, is part of a very long list of indictments that condemn me. Other than this writing of my story, I again can find no redeeming value in my life. It is my prayer that the Lord will use this story to help others…
Thank you for taking your time to read.