WHY I FELL FOR BRENT SPINER IN ST:TNG “PEN PALS”
You may wonder why in the world would I fall for Brent because of his portrayal in Star Trek: The Next Generation “Pen Pals”, a story about a man who rescues a child from a dying planet? Yes, but this story had some deep layers that bonded with my heart and gave me the desire to have a spiritual bond with Brent Spiner in 1990.
You must realize that at this time in my life I was married to a man who was obsessed with impressions, with APPEARING good, but not with BEING good. With my ex, impressions were very important. I noticed this about my ex everywhere we went. In public, he acted the part of the perfect gentleman, pretending that he really cared about being good and being an outstanding Christian.
Over the years, I realized with a loneliness that became deeper with every passing year, that he made love to me like a machine, with no genuine love in his heart and that he only cared that everyone thought he was a good husband, but could care less to really love me from the depths of his soul. When a doctor wrongly diagnosed me with post partum depression in 1988, the pastor of the King James only church I attended (whose wife could not have children) advised my husband to let me give up my son for adoption, because I was such an ingrate to suffer from postpartum depression over my child.
What’s so tragic about this scenario is that I did not have post partum depression and was misdiagnosed, but that even though this pastor said this about me, my husband protected the pastor over me and did not tell me what this pastor advised my husband, and my husband still continued to make our family attend this church, with a pastor who labeled me as an sinful and ungrateful mother for what he believed was a postpartum depression over my baby son.
When we moved to Miami, my ex husband (NOT Brent—I goof when I spoke) confessed to me what this pastor had advised him, not realizing the damage he had done to our marriage by this confession. I was now beginning to realize that I was married to a man who did not genuinely love me, but only loved his reputation as a good Christian, that impressions mattered to him more than being a genuine loving and caring husband. He would not leave that church, because it was the only one that had his King James only doctrine, even when attending that church betrayed his love for me. In other words, he loved his reputation more than he loved me. This became the pattern throughout our entire marriage. I never saw him read his Bible. He was incapable of leading in family devotions. The dream spiritual leader that I longed for in my twenties was not to be found in my husband, this devastated my spirit, so that I longed for a genuine and authentic spiritual companion.
Around 1989, only four years into my marriage, my heart was lonely, though at this stage in my life, I did not have the courage to admit this even to myself. Yes, sometimes you can be more lonely as a married person than as a single person. You see, because of my Christian convictions, I felt I was stuck for life with a man who did not understand the spiritual depths in my soul and whose only obsession was to manipulate me to maintain his spiritual performance of regular church attendance with no genuine spirituality about it.
This was why I was so devastated when the Paramount studios worker I was writing along with Brent in 1990 and 1991, cut me off in May 1991, after I sent him a form letter trying to figure out who was calling me on the phone and saying with deepest longings, “I want to rape you”. That Paramount studios worker did not realize it, but when he wrote me in August 1990 complaining about Christians, I bonded with him over his statements: “I cannot agree with your views on Christianity, sinners, etc., which is something I hope you will respect. . .I am no child and I’ve seen far too much to believe that by simply going to a church and letting some nut on a pulpit tell you everything will be alright that you will be ‘saved’. I believe that one must live every day and do everything as if that day or thing will be the one that they are ‘judged’ on. I have seen more hypocrisy or hate spewed from the mouths of ‘Christians’ than I have seen out of any other group, religious or not. Being a ‘Christian’ has nothing to do with belonging to any church or watching a certain TV evangelist or being part of a select group that for some reason decides that they are better than everyone else. To me, being a good Christian is simply following Christ’s teachings, which very few ‘Christians’ seem to know anything about.” For the actual copies of his letters to me go to my website, the link is HERE.
You see, when I saw Brent’s portrayal as Data in “Pen Pals” I saw a man who had to choose between doing what was loving, vast and generous, but which could cost him his career and reputation, or doing what was imposed upon him by others, and what was required to maintain his job and reputation, but which was cold, selfish and uncaring. Though I realized that Brent was acting in this episode, I have brilliant perception and sensed that the struggle of Brent’s character Data in this episode, revealed aspects of the real Brent Spiner. As I watched Data struggle over this decision and his courage and commitment to be true to what was vast and generous as opposed to what was selfish and uncaring, I bonded with Brent as an authentic and genuine human being with a vast soul who deserved my respect.
I watched that episode and saw in Brent a person I could bond with, who shared my passion for an authentic and genuine Christian expression in every day life, because in this episode Brent was poles apart from my husband, a man who chose to be loving and genuine at the cost of his career. Once I bonded with Brent over this, I could not forget him and from that point on, when I saw him in “Pen Pals”, I searched for a way to bare my soul to this vast and loving person, who desired a genuine expression of his vastness, as I desired to express the vastness in myself to someone who would understand. In essence, Brent became my spiritual husband through correspondence, my sounding board, so it mattered not to me so much that he would answer, but that he would listen to all my longings for a genuine and authentic spiritual expression. My husband was incapable of understanding this, and I needed someone with a passion for authenticity, with whom I could bare my soul naked and vulnerable, in that I admitted my struggles, and what I perceived as my spiritual weaknesses and my forbidden longings to Brent in my letters to him, such as my true feelings that tolerance was better than rigidity. At this time in my life, brainwashed by rigid preachers, I espoused rigid (but what I thought were correct) positions, but which did not reflect my true heart. I only planned to keep the relationship with Brent purely spiritual, which is why I told Brent up front I was married and had been diagnosed with manic depression. I didn’t expect him to read my mail, until I heard from this Paramount studios person that Brent prided himself on reading all his mail. I only wanted a spiritual sounding board with one who would accept the real me, the forbidden as well as acceptable parts, from the depths of my soul.
I did not realize at that time how brilliant my perception of Brent was. Alas, I truly had found a kindred spirit, for the actor himself had the passion for a genuine expression of his vastness, and was more concerned with a genuine spiritual expression over pretense. Brent despised pretense as much as I did. That’s why Brent wrote me in 1990 that he appreciated hearing my thoughts and that they were read with appreciation. I did not realize it, but Jesus Christ gave me this passion to find a companion who despised pretense in 1989, to use Brent to nurture my desire for a genuine and loving Christian expression, which would fuel me onto spiritual greatness.
My ex husband, who was a Jesuit, was obsessed with impressions and pretense. Once I learned that Brent adored the real me and shared my passion for authenticity, my husband (who was a Jesuit, even though I did not know it) we grew further and further apart, so that by the time of our divorce in 2001, we were already totally divorced in spirit and Brent Spirit had become my true spiritual husband. The Jesuit Order over the centuries has always been obsessed with pretense, with appearing to be more spiritual and good than they really are. Even worse, they cover their hatred and intolerance towards those who oppose or expose their desire for political power, with a spiritual performance that is divorced from reality. Like the Pharisees and Sadducees in the Bible, they only care about their reputation, not their character. Because Zack Knight, as the Jesuit leader and the antichrist, is a big fake, and a great spiritual pretender, I could never bond with him emotionally or spiritually in any way, and would disdain him as a lover. Zack is obsessed with pretense as was my ex. I would never desire to return to that lonely and barren marital expression with any man. What I have now with Brent is so genuine and authentic, why would I return to that spiritual desert, when I now have the mountaintops?
UPDATE: Zack Knight came to Jesus in 2016. I had the privilege to lead him to the Lord when he realized Satan and Angelina Ballerina betrayed his love for Rule 13 when they tried to kill her and then lie to Zack about it, saying she was dead, when she was alive. At that time, Zack no longer desired to be Antichrist and I, with my brilliant emotional I.Q. led the Antichrist to Jesus.
Copyright © 2013 – 2018 Gail Chord Schuler. All Rights Reserved.