Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day Fifty-five - Response

On Tuesday, December 2, 2003 Jack responded to Michele's email.

Hi, again, Michele...I received a mail from Janet saying that she does not want to have direct communication with me, so I will not re-answer her questions, unless you would like me to do so and send them to you. I answered them quickly the last time, responding in a kind of panic to Janet's angry letter. Believe me when I say that I understand her anger. I searched thoroughly last night for the addresses you requested. Please understand that I am living in a small, ancient apartment in the Akabane area of Tokyo, evacuated from Miyake, which is still erupting and unlivable. I have little space and live in a six mat room. I was unable to find one has been 2-3 years since we communicated. For the other, I wrote her a Christmas letter last year, but I cannot find her address. I have a broken computer that does not send or receive mail anymore, but I was able to retrieve her e-mail on the screen. It is as follows: ________________ I assume she still uses that address. This computer is in the office at OWS, an NPO of which I act as president (Oceanic Wildlife Society).

I forgot to say that, yes, you have my permission to contact anyone I mentioned. I ask you to please, however, refrain from doing what Janet is doing; i.e. presuming me guilty before innocent, which is not, in my opinion, fair. To say, "I do not presume to know your heart", and then to say that I am still abusing children is unfair. Janet should not make assumptions based on her own very unfortunate experiences of 30 years ago. I have taken responsibility for my actions of the 1970s by doing everything possible to make myself of value to society. I do not live in the kind of bi-cultural community the ASIJ people (you and Janet, for example) know. I have absolutely no American friends or contacts (except one editor of the Japan Times, when I write an article for them), and I go weeks without speaking English except during my evening telephone calls (every evening) to my wife. I have done well in Japanese society. My programs are in environmental awareness, and 95% of them are for adults. The ones for kids are in summer, and all, except for 2, are run by local governments, school boards, etc. I am "honorary principal", making a welcoming address, a lecture, and a final statement about the program in front of the kids, but not taking part in the actual program. The two other programs are descendants of a program I started in 1987 for Japanese kids, in cooperation with Dr. K. Nakamura, then of Waseda University. It was a heavy environmental program, designed to produce scientists. Nakamura Sensei and I went our separate ways because I felt that the environment and the problems facing the environment were everybody's responsibility, regardless of academic capacity of the students. I teamed with Y. Unno, a former junior college teacher, and we continued the schools, but after my heart attack in 1997, I discontinued teaching. Our group "Ocean Family" is made up almost exclusively of adults, but our summer schools are for kids grade 5-12. Again, I make the opening speech and one or two other short talks on the reef environment and lead the final evening Wrap-up. I have only been in the water 3 times in the past two years, all for posed photographs for our publicity. My name attracts participants and so programs that use me want my photos with kids. Honestly, I have only been in the water with kids 3 times in the past two years...and only very rarely otherwise, for a TV show or a commercial.

I never sleep in the same room with anybody during any of my or staff. My heart attack in 1997 caused an irregular heartbeat that gets serious when (1) I don't get enough sleep, (2) the temperature gets above 32 degrees Celsius (I don't think in Fahrenheit anymore), (3) when I am under immense stress (such as over the past few days). I have private rooms in hotels or minshukus (hostels) near the location of the school or, in one case, in an isolated room in the same building. The photos on internet that Janet mentioned where, in absolute truth, posed. I am definitely not the Jack you knew in the 1970s. I have done my best to be a productive, good citizen, and I have succeeded. I have had deep psychological problems over the past year, leading me to visit a psychologist. The Miyake volcano caused a $50,000 per year drop in my income. Before the eruption, I spent 6 months with my family in the Philippines, and six months at the Miyake-jima Nature Center at Miyake. The eruption changed that. Now, I rarely get to visit my beloved family. Our evening telephone conversations only give me the relief that they are safe, but my loneliness is immense, my economic problems are immense (in addition to the $40,000 debt my wife has run up by signing for supplies, etc., to repair the house (which was badly damaged by termites in 2001), I have run up a $90,000 debt, borrowing from various trusted Japanese friends to cover the rebuilding plan and the beach house.. My immense loneliness plus my anguish over large debts and decreased job offers, due to Japan's failing economy, have led me to seek psychological help again. My references to suicide are not, as Janet presumed, threats to make people feel guilty or to pity me, but, rather, sincere concerns about the suicide history in my family and my sometimes absolutely hopeless feelings about the future. As I said in one of my letters, I only want to be able to be with my family and die with my family nearby. That is not happening now, and it is getting increasingly economically difficult to image how it is going to happen.

I have greatly hurt people...Janet, xxxx, xxxxxx, etc. What can I do? You don't think I should contact them directly at this time. All I really can do is do what I have been doing for the past 20 years...lead a good life, be a positive, constructive and respected member of the community. I have been doing that (see the Marquis Who's Who in the World every year since 1999). I have written 25 books, all in Japanese, I have produced one CD (Victor Entertainment, Japan), with songs I wrote, especially a lullaby for my daughter.

I do not know what to do to take away the pain I have caused people. I can only do what I can, and what I have been doing to make up for it by doing my best to live a good life (as I have said above). Of course, I feel pain when I think bout the pain I caused kids I really liked. How do I show that? How to I prove it? Janet wants proof. This crisis has led me to seek psychological help again. Incidentally, my December 10 meeting with Dr. Y has been moved up to December 5.

Incidentally,my wife's date of birth was November 14, 1964. She is almost as old as Janet, and was 22 when we were married. It really hurt when Janet said I abused her...I asked my wife, and she got furious. As I said before, she is the deepest love I have even known, and we share it. She does not see my love and my deep care for our family as "abuse". Neither do I.

I am very, very, very sorry about all of this, Michele. I should have, obviously, not tried to run away from it, like I did in the 1980s, only coming back to face it as a result of Janet's letter. I should have faced it years ago, but I did not. I am sorry. But, anyone who knows the Jack of the 1990s and early 21st Century knows that I am no threat to any segment of society as I am today. In addition to apologizing sincerely and painfully, and in leading a good, respectable life (as I have done for 20 years), the only other thing I can do is be as honest and as open as possible with you. I am doing that, and I will continue to do that. Jack


  1. absolute narcissitic sociopath. it's maddening that he will never comprehend how wrong he is. it's all lost on him. no capacity

  2. I agree with the comments that he is narcissistic, but is there ANY comment from J that people would accept? What could he have said that would be the correct response?

  3. I agree totally! What would have been an appropriate response that people would have accepted?