July 28, 2011
I don’t know Travis Masse or any of his victims. My knowledge of the case is based on what I read in the paper – a source of information wholly inadequate to the task of peering into another person’s soul, so I won’t try. I hope all those involved find peace and healing eventually, but I fear the scars will never fade away completely. Mr. Masse’s consequences are self-inflicted. He must own them. The harm he caused his innocent victims earned a harsh punishment. Society has wisely determined that such conduct is reprehensible, and a jury of his peers determined that Mr. Masse did it. Case closed.
In human affairs, it has been my experience that evil is often manifested by inward selfishness and outward deception. Evil can destroy our human spirit. Sexual predation by those who are in a position of trust is imbued with these characteristics. The criminal is in thrall to his or her own basest instincts, feeding primitive urges that must be controlled to co-exist in a civilized society.
In 1983, M. Scott Peck, M.D., wrote the book People of the Lie, in which he explored the nature of human evil in hopes that we might one day develop the ability to diagnose and treat it in its many forms. We’re not there yet, by a long shot. Lies told to manipulate others and obtain sexual gratification often destroy the love, trust and innocence thus ripped from the victims – sometimes forever. Hopefully, not this time.