Opinion: A letter written to bullies and gossips


Dear Taos:

I am writing to add my voice to the #MeToo movement.

My name is William Beeson, I am 67 years old and I am autistic; I carry the diagnosis of Asberger’s syndrome.

Some people know me by the name, Will, and more know of me because of my white Akita service dog, Mary Sugarbear. But many, many more recognize me through the rumors that have been spread about me. I would like to set the record straight.

I am aware that some people get derailed on the word, “autistic.” In their ignorance, they interpret “autistic,” as “retarded,” and that, of course, equals “stupid,” and that is all the permission they need to bully. Honestly, I have seen it all my life. I am not stupid, and anyone who has researched Asberger’s knows that high IQ is one of the first flags in the spectrum.

I am socially retarded. I become anxious in crowds or with loud noise and music; I have my service dog so that I can go out in public. I get totally disharmonious watching movies. and I do not like touching people I don’t know, which is relevant to the rumors I wish to dispel.

I like silence; it helps my meditation. I prefer a hike in the woods to going to town. I like conversation with one person or a small group if they are discussing a relevant topic. But these traits don’t fit in our go-go progressive society. Henry David (Thoreau) would be so depressed at what our society has become.

Now, I would like to address the two most grievous lies about me. The foundational rumor that supports all of the other nonsense is that I am anti-Semitic.

I have heard that I am so anti-Jewish that I am almost a Nazi. The people who spread this lie know nothing of the Holocaust. To use that horror to smear a person is insensitive to the victims of that crime.

So to the Jewish community of Taos, please let me assure you, I am not anti-Semitic. I have great respect for the Jewish people and their sense of community. Many of my cultural heroes are Jewish. From Albert (Einstein) to Lenny (Bruce), they have made life easier to understand. To the Jewish community of Taos, I say this prayer:

I am sorry for any pain these lies may have caused you. Please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

The second rumor, which is not a single lie but a many-headed Hydra, is that I am a sexual deviant. A sexual deviant of the worst and darkest manner, I have heard that, “he (I) had his way with a two-year-old boy…” The ambiguity of the accusation should indicate its vacuous nature.

As an autistic person, having my way with a two-year-old boy would be to get as far away from him as possible. Children are great producers of all the energies that make me anxious and I avoid them. I believe that pedophilia is the darkest of sins. I think a person who preys on children, in any form, hates life and the future itself.

And it is these who hate their own lives that have to spread the rumors that I, Will Beeson, am a sexual predator. I am not, and the woman who started the rumors knows I am not. To her I wish to say, I am sorry for any hurt I caused you. I tried to be your friend. Please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

To the young males who go about UNM-Taos spreading these stories, I would like to suggest that they get out of this beautiful valley and see more of the world before you pass judgment on anyone. You may discover how uncool you really are. All of these stories are lies and slander, and your participation in spreading them makes you bullies.

But, please, I am sorry. Please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

And to every person in Taos who may not understand this letter, people I thought were my friends have viciously slandered me and I am tired of it. There is nothing in my life that I am ashamed of. If you think you know something about me, come and talk to me. I will answer your questions.

I come in peace and I have no anger toward others.

I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Peace and love,

William Beeson and Mary Sugarbear