Flasher Exposed: Thomas 2

Revealing All to the Woman He || Loves

Before coming to the show, Thomas told his girlfriend, Tasha, he was appearing to talk about overcoming his compulsive behaviors and share his journey with others. "There is a message that I want to get out," he says to Dr. Phil. "This type of exhibitionism is very, very difficult to overcome, especially when you have situations where the behavior is rewarded with a payoff of consensual sex. When you have tha

t many times … it's very difficult to break the cycle of addiction and stop the behavior." He became so desperate to stop the behavior, he even tried to commit suicide. He explains that he wants to be honest with his girlfriend so that their relationship can move to the next level.

 

"How did you get this far in the relationship and yet withhold this from her?" Dr. Phil asks.

 

"I feel like, to give someone too much information too soon is just not appropriate," he says. "I don't feel that I'm obligated to tell every woman who wants to go out with me or whom I want to go out with, everything about my whole past. I think it would be premature, and I think that you have to establish some trust with the person whom you give this kind of information to."


"Do you think there's a reason that the woman whom you're in love with, that you chose someone who's just 18 years old?" Dr. Phil asks.

"We chose each other," Thomas says. "I didn't know how old she was when I first met her."

"Do you think her parents are going to have a problem?" Dr. Phil asks, referring to Thomas' past behavior.

"I'll talk to them and tell them anything they want to know," he says. "There are other people out there right now, who are actively doing what I used to do. There are many of those people who do not believe that there is any hope for them to ever overcome that problem. I am here to say that you can overcome that problem. My past is my past, and I do not apologize for my past. I do not regret the past."

 

"You actually seem to be kind of arrogantly angry about it with a chip on your shoulder," Dr. Phil says.



"I can appreciate that," Thomas says. "For me this is difficult. I did not wake up one day as a child and say, ‘I want to be an exhibitionist, and I want to expose myself to women more than anybody else on the planet.' I did not choose this thing. This thing chose me." He does concede that his prior behavior was inappropriate.

"You say you don't apologize for any of that. You don't have any remorse," Dr. Phil says.

"I didn't say I don't have remorse. I said I don't regret," Thomas says.


"That's semantics," Dr. Phil says.

"To you, it's semantics. To me, it means something," Thomas says. "Of course, I have remorse for anyone whom I may have hurt. I feel bad about that. But do I regret what I went through? No, because I believe that God has a plan for everybody, and had I not gone through what I've gone through, I would not be useful to anyone else who was going through these same types of problems." He points out that unless a person has suffered from this disorder, he or she can't understand it.

Dr. Phil asks Thomas if he would like to go backstage together and tell his girlfriend. "I'm happy to help you do it, if you want to do that," Dr. Phil says.

Thomas accepts the help.

Before going backstage, Thomas expresses to Dr. Phil that he feels he hasn't been given the chance to tell his side of the story. "It seems like I'm being

convicted for what I did in the past, again," he says. "I've already been convicted for what I did in the past."

"By whom?" Dr. Phil questions.

"By you," Thomas says.

"When you come on here, you don't get to tell me what to say. You don't get to tell me what to think," an agitated Dr. Phil says, reminding Thomas that he has been practicing psychology for over 30 years, and Thomas isn't the first person he has talked to with this disorder. "It may be that I know some things about this that you don't know, from a clinical standpoint," he says. "I don't know whether I believe you or I don't. I haven't endorsed your position. I haven't endorsed your beliefs. I have some serious disagreements with some of the things you've said, but I let you say them. I didn't take you to task on them … Don't tell me that I'm sitting in judgment and convicting you for what you have done."

"The past is the past. It is what it is. I can't change what I've done," Thomas says. "I came on the show to give hope to people who are going through a desperate situation."

Thomas' bickering with Dr. Phil grows heated, but he eventually requests his help in breaking the news to his girlfriend.

Dr. Phil and Thomas head backstage where Thomas' girlfriend, Tasha, is waiting. She has not heard or seen any of the show up until this point. "Any particular way you want to do this?" Dr. Phil asks Thomas before they enter the green room.

"You want me to broach the subject, or you? Let's make it as easy on her as we can."

"You tell me what you think is best," Thomas says.

Dr. Phil says that he will play it by ear and assess the situation as they move along.

Dr. Phil and Thomas enter the green room, where Tasha awaits them. "You know that Thomas is here to get some help, to have some conversation and dialogue about some things in his life," Dr. Phil says to her.

"Right," Tasha replies. 

Dr. Phil explains that Thomas doesn't want to hide things in his life, and he wants to be straight-up and completely open with Tasha. "He feels like he needs to
share with you what it is that he has wrestled with in his past and feels that he is managing effectively at this point," he says. 

Thomas addresses Tasha. "Somewhere along the line, I picked up this coping skill. It just manifested itself as a compulsive urge to expose myself to women," he says. "That is the past. I haven't had compulsive urges of that kind for over two years." 

Dr. Phil clarifies what Thomas has just said. "Thomas says that he has exposed himself to, in the neighborhood of 50,000 women across a period of 30 years," he tells Tasha, noting that Thomas has three felony convictions because he had physical contact with women, and he has been in jail 10 times. "For the last two years, he has been able to keep this in check and has not practiced the behavior."

Thomas interrupts Dr. Phil. "I'm sorry, I disagree with you," he says, getting worked up. "It's not a matter of I've been able to keep the be

havior in check. The obsession is gone. I don't even think about doing it anymore."

 

"Didn't you tell [a staff member] that you relapsed seven months ago?" Dr. Phil asks Thomas.

 

"No," Thomas says.

"Based on what he's saying, how do you feel about this?" Dr. Phil asks Tasha.

"How do I know that it's not going to happen again?" she asks.

"The only thing I can tell you is what I know," Thomas says. "I know that the obsession has been lifted. I don't even think about doing it anymore. When I do think about it, I just think, ‘My God. I did that.' I just don't have compulsive urges for it anymore at all."

 

Tasha says she's shocked by what she's heard. "But I'm still going to be with him. We're still going to stay together," she says.

 

Thomas looks at Tasha and asks, "Do you believe me when I tell you that that obsession is lifted?"

"I do," Tasha says.

 

"Do you have concerns? Do you want to know more about this? Do you want to learn what's going on?" Dr. Phil asks her.

"Absolutely," she says.

"You should be very concerned about this. You should gain all the information you can about the disorder," Dr. Phil says to Tasha,

offering to provide her with resources. "My advice would be that you talk to professionals about this to get their take and input, and I am happy to arrange that for both of you." He warns, "The failure rate for this type of addictive behavior is extremely high. Like, 85 percent of the people who experience this kind of behavior go back to that kind of behavior."

With anger in his eyes, Thomas explains his frustrations. "I think it's pretty obvious that you have your doubts as to whether I'm telling you the truth about not having done this in two years," he says to Dr. Phil. "You understand that the success rate for beating this thing is very low, yet here's a person who has done that. Here's a person who would like to help other people do that " not just to help the person who might commit the offense, but also to save anyone from being a future victim," he continues. "Hopefully from doing this, I can help some other people to overcome this thing just by giving them encouragement. Giving them tips on what I did " pray a lot. Talk about it to a lot of people. Talk, talk, talk to anyone who will listen who you can
reasonably be sure won't betray that trust. Go to the 12-step groups. Stay active. There are a lot of things that I did over a number of years." He makes it clear that he has been in recovery for 20 years.

"I acknowledge your courage for being here and talking about it, and I hope it will have a positive impact on those who are struggling with it," Dr. Phil says to Thomas. He addresses Tasha. "If you were my daughter, I would tell you to be very concerned about this history." He reiterates that she should get professional input on the situation and talk with her parents and family. "The fact that you have a relationship that is six months old doesn't mean that you need to sign up for a lifetime. It doesn't mean that you don't," he says. "He has a lot of confidence that this is in his past and not who he is or who he will be. You need to have great concerns about that and ask the questions, and take it a step at a time."