The Republic of T.

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“Doctor,” Heal Thy Family

Actually, I shouldn’t use the word “physician” here, because she’s not an M.D., but it appears that Laura Schlessinger has some work to do on her family if reports of her son Deryk Schlessinger’s MySpace page is any indication.

The soldier son of talk radio relationship counselor Laura Schlessinger is under investigation for a graphic personal Web page that one Army official has called “repulsive.”

The MySpace page, publicly available until Friday when it disappeared from the Internet, included cartoon depictions of rape, murder, torture and child molestation; photographs of soldiers with guns in their mouths; a photograph of a bound and blindfolded detainee captioned “My Sweet Little Habib”; accounts of illicit drug use; and a blog entry headlined by a series of obscenities and racial epithets.

The site is credited to and includes many photographs of Deryk Schlessinger, the 21-year-old son of the talk radio personality known simply as Dr. Laura. Broadcast locally on 570 KNRS, “Family Values Talk Radio,” the former family counselor spends three hours daily taking calls and offering advice on morals, ethics and values. She broadcast a show from Fort Douglas, in Salt Lake City, last week.

…”Yes . . . F—ING Yes!!!” said one blog entry on the Schlessinger site. “I LOVE MY JOB, it takes everything reckless and deviant and heathenistic and just overall bad about me and hyper focuses these traits into my job of running around this horrid place doing nasty things to people that deserve it . . . and some that don’t.”

…The site indicated Schlessinger’s team has survived numerous mortar, rocket and roadside bomb attacks. It also included several graphic cartoons. In one of the stick drawings, a top-hatted man laughs as he rapes a bound and bleeding woman in front of her family. In another depiction, a man forces a boy to perform oral sex at knifepoint as the child’s mother pleads for her son’s life.

It’s unclear who created the cartoons, but Army spokesman Robert Tallman said the drawings “are repulsive and not anywhere near being acceptable,” for a soldier’s personal Web page.

The Tribune learned of the Web page earlier this week from a former schoolmate of Deryk Schlessinger. Army officials said they were unaware of the site until alerted to its presence by the newspaper Thursday.

For someone who hands out family advice like she does, Laura Schlessinger seems to have some pretty twisted familial relationships.

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Back in 2002 her mother was found dead in her apartment, having expired some two months prior to being found by police after a neighbor called out of concern over not having seen the 77 year old woman for weeks. Laura issued a rather terse response to news of her mother’s death that spoke volumes in spite of its brevity.

I am horrified by the tragic circumstances of my mother’s death, and so sad to learn that she died as she chose to live — alone and isolated. My mother shut all her family out of her life over the years, though we made several futile attempts to stay connected. May God rest her soul.

That just scratches the surface on the family issues of this “family values” maven.

On her radio show, she advocates the basic “family values” — no sex outside of marriage, moms shouldn’t work, divorce is wrong, abortion is wrong, living together without marriage is wrong, getting married too young is wrong and foolish, a marriage without children is hardly a marriage at all, homosexuality is destructive and “a biological error”, gay marriage is wrong, girls should not dress like “sluts”, and the family unit is of paramount importance.

Her own “family unit” has been dysfunctional at best. She describes her childhood as “difficult,” due to the rocky, “unloving” marriage between her father, a Jewish US citizen, and her mother, an Italian Catholic war bride. They later divorced. Schlessenger never got along with her father, and she and her mother had been estranged for at least 14 years before her mother’s odd death in 2002. (Her partially decomposed corpse had been on the floor of her apartment for several weeks before being discovered, and police initially suspected foul play.) Schlessinger has also been estranged from her sister since the mid-1970s, and has reportedly told friends she is an only child. She says it was her family that shunned her, not the other way around. “My door is open”, Schlessinger has said, on those rare occasions when she mentions her sister. On her show, however, she has often advised listeners to break off contact with troublesome family members. “I love shunning”, she says. “It reminds people they have an obligation to others”.

Dysfunctional would be an understatement, but that wouldn’t make her much different than, say, Tom Delay or Newt Gingrich.

When it comes to her son, you can’t help but wonder how well Laura did at passing on her “values” to him. Back in 2004, he was going into business opening a hookah bar. And here he is at the 2004 Republican convention, making mom proud, kicking some young woman in the head.

Hmm. DIstant relationship with mother, raised an apparently disturbed son. This from a woman whose many famous quotes inlcude:

“The people and circumstances around me do not make me what I am, they reveal who I am” *

“Children are our second chance to have a great parent-child relationship” *

Boys are slobs… One reason is that mothers let them get away with it. Mothers are notorious for spoiling male children. **

Decent responsible parents are a royal pain: that’s how you know when you have them [such parents]. **

Men are very easy: You treat them well, and they behave right. You don’t treat them well, and they don’t behave right. **

The worst thing is the world is a defensive my-kid-can’t-do-anything-wrong parent. **

That last quote may be the kicker, because Schlessinger has yet to speak about her son’s MySpace page. And, according to all she’s said about parenting she probably should speak up. Because, after all, first and foremost she is her kid’s mom.

56-year-old Schlessinger says her passion for children and their welfare was ushered in by the birth of her son Deryk in 1985. Parenthood vastly changed Schlessinger’s political and personal perspectives, she says. The quiet reverence with which she addresses this subject leaves few questions about her dedication to her own child. She says becoming a parent is a pivotal event for most.

“It’s probably the first and foremost thing, outside of marriage, to learn to be unselfish. To learn to live for something outside of yourself and your own gratification.”

Schlessinger daily identifies her show’s staff by name and job description and then finishes by saying, “I’m Laura Schlessinger, and I am my kid’s mom.”

This self-defined role has caught on with many American parents and the Web site sells a slew of “I am my kid’s mom” and “I am my kid’s dad” T-shirts and coffee mugs. And Schlessinger emphasizes the most important part of truly being your kid’s parent is simply in showing up.

“(The most important thing is) that parents be there,” she says emphatically. “Really. More important than where they live or what car they have or how much the bank account is or how happy the parents are, the kids just want their parents there.”

Actually, given the kind of verbal bullying she dishes out on her radio show, maybe the fruit didn’t fall far from the tree at all.

* ThinkExist.Com

** Harley Hahn – Quotable Women


  1. Pingback: Progressive Gold » Blog Archive » Dr Laura Psycho Hellspawn Watch Update Thing

  2. I find the story marginally interesting considering her position, but no matter how many times I have tried, I cannot locate this mysterious myspace page. Things do not just “disappear” from the Internet, even if you pull them offline- wayback machine, among other programs make the recall of deleted pages a snap, but not for this one.Odd, indeed. And seeing as how much has already been written about this “repulsive” page (and just who is this illusive and unnamed “Army officer” one wonders?), it seems a bit strange that not one person bothered to cache a copy before it went- as one would expect- into hiatus, despite being certain to write eloquent expostualtions on the contents in graphic detail.

    So what’s the skinny?

    No linky, you stinky.

  3. You want a link? Here’s the link. He’s on the left.

    WARNING: Graphic

    The original link:

  4. I linked to your story. I picked up on this some time ago, and I think it’s important that the story not be swept under the rug, or killed off. Given his mama’s vicious homophobia and bullying ways, this story should be revived every few days for maximum impact.

  5. Dear Mr. Parker,

    Please read what Wonkette wrote on 5-21-07. The last paragraph is pertinent. I would like to hear more about what that means to this so-called investigation. Will the Army be able to prove who the enemy is?

  6. I have been trying to a screen cap of the original myspace site with no luck. There seems to be quite the coverup. From reading the details over and over, I would tend to believe the stuff was indeed from the real Deryk. Apparently the site had all kinds of personal photos, and links to friends with other photos (of Deryk). A scam would have to be pretty extensive to have tied together all those media elements. The thing I can’t figure is that the orignal reporter at the Salt Lake Tribune must have known the explosive nature of what he stumbled upon (remember that friends of Deryk contacted him). I can only imagine that he must have saved the data knowing that the first thing detractors would claim is that it was all fake. I haven’t contacted the reporter, but I bet he is laying low with all the evidence. That way when the military white-washes all this, he will still have the proof.

  7. I agree with Frank. Why isn’t a copy of this available? Okay, I’ve got one picture of Derek with a gun in his mouth…….I’ve heard lots of stories about people putting guns in their mouths…..NEXT: Dr. Laura made a comment about the investigation and wants to know who framed her son. Interesting, Dr. Laura does not seemed fazed about the FACT that her son had this stuff on his my-space file……I’m not saying he didn’t, but the people that are attacking her seem just as bad as she is.

  8. OK. Once and for all. Why isn't there a copy available?

    First, from the article.

    The Tribune learned of the Web page earlier this week from a former schoolmate of Deryk Schlessinger. Army officials said they were unaware of the site until alerted to its presence by the newspaper Thursday.

    David Accetta, public affairs director for the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, said the Army "will investigate thoroughly and impartially."

    In an e-mail to 82nd commanders, Accetta asked to see "how the site is being administered and if we can shut it down." By Friday morning the site was offline, but officials didn't immediately respond to questions about who took it down.

    So, first, the site was most likely deleted from MySpace. If so, then it was either deleted by Deryk under orders from his superiors, or deleted by officials after receiving the login information from Deryk. It's not hard to figure out that the army, especially given that Deryk is the son of a celebrity, would want the site to disappear as soon as possible.

    If no one grabbed a screenshot of it before it was taken down, then it's gone. Not everyone knows how easy it is to copy a website. If I'd seen it before it was taken down, I'd have taken a screenshot instantly. I know of at least two or three easy ways to do it.

    So, if the site was deleted and nobody grabbed a screenshot, the only way anyone would be able to get a copy of it is if it was cached,say, by Google.

    Google takes a snapshot of each page it examines and caches (stores) that version as a back-up. The cached version is what Google uses to judge if a page is a good match for your query.

    Practically every search result includes a Cached link. Clicking on that link takes you to the Google cached version of that web page, instead of the current version of the page. This is useful if the original page is unavailable because of:

    * Internet congestion
    * A down, overloaded, or just slow website
    * The owner’s recently removing the page from the Web

    But, you can get your content deleted from Google's cache.

    The Wayback Machine also caches almost everything on the web.You can also get your content removed from their archives

    How can I remove my site's pages from the Wayback Machine?

    Internet Archive is not interested in preserving or offering access to
    Web sites or other Internet documents of persons who do not want their
    materials in the collection. By placing a simple robots.txt file on
    your Web server, you can exclude your site from being crawled as well
    as exclude any historical pages from the Wayback Machine.

    Internet Archive uses the exclusion policy intended for use by both
    academic and non-academic digital repositories and archivists. See our exclusion policy.

    You can find exclusion directions at exclude.php. If you cannot place the robots.txt file, opt not to, or have further questions, email us at info at archive dot org.

    So, stuff does disappear from the web. You can make it disappear if you know how. if you're persistent enough or important enough, you can get someone to remove it for you.

    Do you really think that if the Army or the Pentagon wanted all copies of the site removed from the two major web caching archives, and got on the phone to ask they they be removed, that it wouldn't happen?

    Do you really think the Army would not want all traces of that site to disappear as soon as possible? Especially after Abu Ghraib, and given public opinion about the war in Iraq right now?

    If only a few people saw it before the Army (most likely) had it removed, and none of those few knew how to preserve a copy of it, then it's no surprise that that there are no copies of it.

    Like I said, if I'd gotten a link to it that Wednesday or Thursday, I'd have copied it.  

  9. There are screenshots. They aren’t verified. The Army did tell
    TMZ “TMZ has confirmed with an Army rep that a photo of a man holding a gun in his mouth did in fact appear on the MySpace page in question. The rep would not confirm the man’s identity.”

  10. Is it attacking Laura to want the true story to come out? Only the Army can verify at this point. Salt Lake Tribune can give more info. You need to contact Army. We could post all we have, but so what? Not verified.

    Investigating his past patterns IMPORTANT to show similarities.

    For verifications: US Army
    Salt Lake Tribune


    Second person is allegedly called Chris Santory, was MySpace page in question’s Friend. NOT ON MySpace page in question. Nothing verifed. ASK above verifiers about the connection.

  11. Did anyone contact the Army about verified copies, cache, screen captures? The people who saw the web sites, have they been given sworn statements? The Army will NOT get more recruits if they look like ANOTHER PR COVERUP. Frank and Steve have you contacted Army or Tribune, or are you just empty talk? The Army knows who did the web site, why are they taking so long?

    In this case, 4 paratroopers are still in service and their names not revealed. Deryk Schlessinger? How many times has someone enabled him? Now he is into guns and use to killing.

  12. If the Army didn’t want th site seen in the first place why on earth would they admit to having caches or screenshots of the site? Why would they admit to having them removed, if they want the story to just go away? How would the PR behind that impact an increasingly unpopular war?

  13. Terrance, What will the Army do next? Will they give the public no explanation at all? So much for homeland security.

    Can anyone publish their downloads? It is too bad people can’t see what it is. The Army doesn’t take it as a serious threat. They claimed one suspect is on active duty.

    Last week Dr. Laura did reruns and she mentioned a necessary airplane trip that made her bad throat worse. We also heard Deryk’s company was on R and R. They were to return to the Middle East this week. Deryk? He looked suicidal in his TMZ photograph and the writer of webpage was homicidal. He’s not in a hospital or away from aggravating his problems?

    The military will have many troubled and some dangerous soldiers returning. They aren’t giving that enough funding or attention. The public won’t care until it effects their world or the murders are linked to PDST.

  14. So, Dr. Laura serves up spiritual food for the starving masses, and there you go criticizing because her because her son doesn’t like the way some of it tastes. I’ll bet you didn’t eat broccoli when you were a kid…well, being a vegetarian, maybe you did, but you get my point.

    Why not ignore her and focus on the things you really CAN change. When it comes to free speech and the disgusting things we are barraged with in the media, a common reply is: “You can always change the channel.”

    Criticizing in public what one finds repulsive is often a way to cover personal responsibility for our own sordid details. That’s why the National Enquirer and the Jerry Springer Show attract such a supportive audience. “See? Look what SHE did. I would NEVER do THAT.” I’ve learned that the things I am most ready to judge in others are manifestations of similar things I’m not doing to well on myself.

    Under “The Republic of T,” why not add “Modern Day Pharisee” to your list of self-descriptive nouns?

  15. HAH
    Apparently, “Frank Parker Stinky”. What is up with you posting at multiple sites declaring the site to be a hoax and not knowing you could pull content from The Wayback Machine? Did you mistake the site for some impenetrable reserve of information and not know enough to read the BOLDED FAQ on the FRONT PAGE of the site stating it would remove content at the site owner’s request? Why is that clueless idiots like you continue to top my Google results despite posting nearly identical, totally unreferenced opinions in many blogs you troll?

    And if you’re like, Schlessinger’s PR guy posing as an anonymous citizen, that “idiot” remark goes double, pal.

  16. I think it’s totally legitimate to criticize Dr. Laura.

    It would just be nice if someone would find something to criticize her about that has some validity and some relevance.