New Orleans pastor and seminary professor John Gibson committed suicide after he was exposed in the Ashley Madison's hack. Due to the shame of being exposed as a user of the infidelity Web site Ashley Madison, Pastor Gibson would rather face death than the shame of being a member of the adultery inducing website.
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," said his wife Christi. "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."
Since hackers released troves of data on users of the controversial Web site, which promotes itself as a secure and secretive facilitator of extramarital affairs, the revelation has threatened the reputation of millions of people. It has also been linked to suicides, lost jobs and broken marriages.
The Impact Team, the group claiming responsibility for the hack, exposing Ashley Madison user data was about exposing its cheating users and the "fraud" of the company that enabled them.
"Learn your lesson and make amends," the hackers wrote in a statement directed at Ashley Madison users."Embarrassing now, but you'll get over it."
Some, like Gibson, never got over it. On Aug. 24, Gibson's wife, Christi, came home from work and immediately knew something was amiss. John would have been in the kitchen preparing supper by then. Usually, when she opened the front door, he would call out to her. Later, she found him, and emergency personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.
"My dad reached such a point of hopelessness and despair that he took his own life," his son, Trey, said during his eulogy late last month. "When he closed his eyes, he opened them and felt only the warm embrace of his savior."
In a statement, a spokesman for Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison's parent company, expressed the firm's condolences.
"Dr. Gibson's passing is a stark, heart-wrenching reminder that the criminal hack against our company and our customers has had very real consequences for a great many innocent people."