Pastor outed on Ashley Madison commits suicide

CNN reports:

John Gibson was a pastor and seminary professor. When he wasn’t teaching at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, one of his favorite pastimes was fixing cars.

He was married with two children. His daughter, Callie, was teaching in front of 250 college students when she got the call. Her father had killed himself.


In his suicide note, Gibson chronicled his demons. He also mentioned Ashley Madison.

“He talked about depression. He talked about having his name on there, and he said he was just very, very sorry,” Christi said. “What we know about him is that he poured his life into other people, and he offered grace and mercy and forgiveness to everyone else, but somehow he couldn’t extend that to himself.”

Read more on CNN.

Whatever the real reasons were for the breach and the data dump, I hope those who dumped the data read about a life – and a family – and others – devastated as a result of their actions. To those individuals, I ask:

Did you want to hurt him? Did you want to hurt his children? Do you care at all about what’s happened here?

And to those who monetized the data dumps by allowing people to search for names or email addresses: do you feel any responsibility?

On some level, we are all responsible – including journalists who pored through the data dumps to write stories about what they found. Can you imagine worrying if a journalist in your local community was going to write a story about you next?

And what about our governments who have failed to ensure adequate data protection? Have they helped create a climate or culture where big companies just focus on profits and don’t take data security and protection seriously enough?

My condolences to Pastor Gibson’s family. I hope others who worry will hang on to hope and not choose to end their lives.

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