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The List of Power Abusers Now Include Matt Lauer and Garrison Keiller

Betrayal and Destruction

By Freddy ZaltaPublished 6 years ago 4 min read

News broke out this morning about Matt Lauer's firing. It was announced on his former program on NBC's "Today Show." Another person who was wildly popular who used his power to sexually harass others. Another wildly popular and emulated celebrity who betrayed.

Later on in the morning I received word that Lake Wobegon Days author and now former radio host, Garrison Keiller, was fired for the same inappropriate behavior. There have been a slew of celebrities, politicians and businessmen who have lost their jobs recently due to their inability to control themselves. My heart and emotional tribute goes out to anyone, male or female, who have been affected by misbehavior of any kind.

Anyone who has worked in a large office has made friends with the co-workers and have had conversations having nothing to do with work with each other.

We talk about our families, our friends, our memories and we bond with people. Its not sexual, it's a friendship.

So we hug, we shake hands, we kid each other. Its part of getting through the monotony of the days, weeks and months. When one of the parties act in a way that is not warranted or acceptable—there is a sense of betrayal whose ramifications can cause havoc on a person and even on the company they work at.

I know that most cases coming to light are based on disgusting behavior that is grounds for termination. I also know that it takes more than strength for the one that was abused to stand up and talk about the pain, the shame and the sadness caused by those actions.

As grownups we must own up to our responsibilities. Men and women of power must not use that power to demean, to destroy or trespass into another person for their own pleasure.

I have worked for people who have spoken to me as if I were a piece of trash on the floor. They called it a way to inspire another to perform. I called it destruction of a soul. Berated privately and publicly, my spirit was broken many times and I still until this day, feel the pain that was inflicted as if it were physical.

So when I hear about, mostly women, being treated as if they were property of the abuser; it pains me to imagine just how much they must be hurting and just how strong they must be to go public with this humiliation.

As admirers or fans of the accused we are betrayed. We look forward to their movies, their programs, their books or their work. We want to emulate them because we want to be more like the person they portray. What a betrayal when we find out that person we admired is in actuality a depraved and vile human being.

Think about the position to put someone whose whole life has been about taking her talent and becoming successful. She performs and then is told that she is wonderful, amazing and why dont you come up to my room so we can discuss further? Fearful, I am sure, they go up to the room hoping to be treated as a human being only to be treated as a prostitute.

"If you want to be famous, you need to perform."

All you need to do is do what I say and I will make sure you get the part you want that can make you a superstar.

They are put in the position, much like the tale of Robert Johnson; at the crossroads making a deal with the devil. All they need to do is sell their souls and they will find fortune and fame.

Harvey Weinstein was only the latest who has played the role of Satan. There have been thousands who have put others in a position where they feel they have no choice if they are to move closer to their hopes, their dreams or their needs to feed their families.

Sexual, verbal or physical abuse are debilitating. The feeling never goes away. In families, schools, workplaces or any place where people gather—these are acts that should never be tolerated or accepted.

It's easy to say that it should never be accepted or tolerated; but when you are working for a boss who is abusive and you need the money; you are going to have to accept the behavior rather than be unemployed. Abusive behavior is tolerated, all too often, within families. Siblings are hurt by siblings, parents hurt children or vice versa, physically, emotionally or sexually. Those are the pains that never go away.

I am not a psychologist but I can tell you that if the abuser is graduating from home, to school to office, then no one is stopping him along the way. In the case of Harvey Weinstein, the audience at the awards shows all stood up and applauded for him. Why?

In the case of Matt Lauer, there have been rumors for years about his behavior and now NBC is shocked?

There are many more to follow in this cavalcade of bullies, rapists and abusers. There is no excuse for them nor for the ones who watched silently as it continued to occur over and over.

I pray for the ones who were abused that they will not blame themselves for their choices but only learn and educate others from them. Educate others—the ones who witness and continue to accept the behavior and the ones who abuse—instead of standing up and applauding; learn from the courageous ones who have spoken to stand up against this betrayal of trust.


About the Creator

Freddy Zalta

Currently working with families to develop personal biographies to be handed down to future generations.

Also writing fiction and poetry.

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