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January 24th, 2007

Leave Shawn Hornbeck Alone

Poor Shawn Hornbeck's name is in the news every time I turn around, and the Internet is filled with articles, blog posts, comments on pieces written, and every kind of written-medium that exists online about him, his kidnapping and subsequent rescue.

What has appalled me, more than anything, is the number of articles I've seen written implying that Shawn had ample time and chance to escape that he never took; some of these ignorant pieces went so far as to suggest Shawn preferred being with Devlin because he didn't have to go to school and could play video games all day.

I've seen the same sentiment from the general public in forums and comments on such articles. There seems to be this entire idea floating around that Shawn is somehow undeserving of our pity and prayers because he didn't try to escape his captor.

The last thing Shawn needs is for ignorant people to be making sweeping judgments on him for what he did or didn't do. I'm sure it's quite easy, from the comfort of your safe home, to sit there and judge Shawn on how he reacted to an experience which you have no hope ever even beginning to comprehend. Few of us will ever have to experience such a terrifying and terrible ordeal - much less as little children.

Shawn was a mere child, taken from his home by an abusive, brutal, controlling, sociopath who abused him mentally, emotionally, and physically for four years. If Devlin hadn't beat Shawn down into numb, fearful submission do you think he would have let him go out and about all the time? Michael Devlin got into Shawn's head and had him so terrified, numbed, and brain-washed that there is no way anything he did or said during his captivity can be blamed on him. People, he was/is A CHILD! Even if he was an adult, can you imagine what he had to go through in his mind to survive the trauma he was facing on a daily - probably most likely a minute-to-minute - basis?

Bill O'Reilly says:

I think when it all comes down, what's going to happen is, there was an element here that this kid liked about the circumstances ... The situation here for this kid looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents...

Yes, because, being with someone who emotionally, mentally, and physically abuses and mind-fucks you every day for four years is just like going to Disney World; I can totally see his point. Why would Shawn want to be home, in a loving environment, involved with school and friends when he could spend his days with a restaurant employee who has no friends and collects sex toys and adolescent boys for hobbies? I mean, what's the comparison?!

Bill O'Reilly is an idiot, as is everyone else condemning or pointing their nosy, self-righteous little fingers at Shawn Hornbeck. Until you've walked four years in his shoes and survived - shut up and keep your ignorant opinions to yourself. Leave that poor boy alone and let him begin the healing process that he will be going through the rest of his life.

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