Letter to Myself

Introduction: I once decided to write a letter to myself while incarcerated, so that I could better explain to myself what factors got me where I was. The following 18 Chapters are the letter in its entirety and please note that I am not a professional writer but I did try to make my story clear and holistically interesting. (My sister says that I write like I speak… maybe this will help while you read.)


Chapter I – Breach of Higher Duty

In 1986 I decided it would be a good idea to take the skills and knowledge that I had been using for many years, repairing and installing electronic equipment, on to the next level of professionalism by going to a trade school and focus on a degree in electronics.

I completed two years at a private institute in Phoenix, Arizona and graduated with an Associates of Arts degree in Computer Electronics. This field was an ideal choice as a career for me, mostly because I had in extensive background of expertise in electronics, prior to attending school. At the time of my graduation I had heard many positive and exciting things about the new and upcoming computer industry. It was then reported to be the wave of the future: the new business technology that would change the way we worker and lived. Not just business but everything we do as consumers, educators and information enthusiasts.

It was an ideal choice. Things could not have been better for me in any other type of career. I was constantly learning and studying every new technology or hardware and software product that came on the market. Changes were rapid, innovative and plentiful. A person like myself with a strong appetite for technology could not have been in a better place and time to get in on the ground level of the biggest opportunity-based occupation ever. The timing was perfect. I received job offers immediately after graduating and found my hometown of Phoenix to be teeming with technology employers.

Once I took on employment, in 1989, the learning and education escalated so abundantly that many of my employers sent me to specialized training programs to become certified, and authorized, in major manufactures’ computer equipment. Companies such as IBM, Hewlett Packard, Compaq, Toshiba, Wyse, Tatung, Data General, Xerox, Sony, Apple and many other up-and-coming “Blue Chip” corporations.

The constant input of information and the opportunities for learning kept me socially active and vigilant. Most of my training and certification was sponsored by the manufactures and I was sent to many major cities around the United States to participate in these specialized classes. The people I met and the corporate contacts I made—along with the bright technicians, like myself, who came from many parts of the world—gave me an ever-growing sense of community pride. A sense of purpose and entitlement, which has stayed with me, even during my trying time of incarceration.

Along with the commitment to education and technology came the responsibility of adapting to many diverse life styles and corporate principles. I found myself working hand in hand; side by side with some of the most prestigious and advanced-thinking workers in Arizona. Not to mention the constant telephonic correspondence with manufactures’ representatives, which on a daily basis kept me in touch with the prolific dialogue to the rest of the advance-thinking world. Doctors, lawyers, architects, electronic and mechanical engineers, airline operation technicians, construction companies, universities, community colleges, schools, hospitals, financial corporations, casinos, government facilities, municipalities and countless other businesses and organizations depended, continually, on my skill-sets and my personal integrity. At times customers would refer to me as their “life-line” or their “hero.” I gave my best effort to the smallest companies just I would for the largest corporations.

As in my youth, I had a constant determination to be around others who possessed a propensity to excel. This innate characteristic made me work harder each day to become an essential component within the collective community of the corporate computer world. I have always held a firm purpose to prove my worthiness as a technician; and everyone I have worked with has recognized this drive. This attribute typically put me first on the list of preferred service engineers that organizations depended upon to keep their computers and printers running efficiently. I could not count the number of times my boss would call me on a weekend or late at night to aid a customer who would not accept anyone else except [Me].

The level of trust was overwhelming and I welcomed the chance to develop that trust amongst my peers.

I have worked in places such as banks and police departments where Federal Bureau of Investigation and statewide background checks were required. I have held a City of Phoenix and a Transportation Security Administration security clearance to work at Sky Harbor International Airport. With that particular job I was required to drive my own vehicle across several airplane cross-ways and runway tarmac areas which very few people were allowed entry into. In 2004 I was designated to work on a job that was ten feet away from the U. S. Presidential Motorcade while working at Sky Harbor.

In 1999, I personally loaded and initiated the “Y2K” virus patch for over three hundred individual systems at a major Phoenix hospital. The Information technology Department officers would not have trusted anyone else other than myself to get the job done correctly.

The list of accolades in my trade is endless… I could provide many impressive examples of how much trust and faith thousands of people had in me. Not just in my work, but also in my leisure life I had kept that determinate drive to grow and prosper as an individual.

Here is a good example of that social drive I possessed. In 1996 I acquired a Federal Communications Commission license to operate amateur band radios. Taking that “hobby” a step further by becoming part of a search and rescue team for Maricopa and Yavapia counties, which offered support for the Arizona Department of Public Safety officers in efforts to span large areas with radios acting as ears and eyes in assistance. Originally I piloted a club for citizen-band radio enthusiasts, which over time grew into a rather large club in the Phoenix area. We went from a small group of men and women chatting about radios to organizing Fox and Hound rallies and various fund raising events for local charities. I enjoyed keeping busy all the time and it felt great contributing to my community: being a greater part of an even greater city.

The loss or all these wonderful things makes me feel deeply regretful. I was morally weakened by the improper use of my computer, which led up to my arrest. That prior behavior was capricious, dishonest and above all indecent behavior for a person whom strives to live by moral and civil values. My actions were inappropriate and unmistakably out of character for me. I had breached my higher duty of obligation.

* * *

The computer and the Internet are major positive contributions to the world we live in. I feel that now our society and our judicial system are in its infancy with respect to the information highway, were we are beginning to discover the necessity to scrutinize its ever-growing benefits. As more people become familiar with the Internet and its uses, I think our communities will seek to maintain order and respect by applying new laws that will help to monitor and regulate the exchange of information that currently, so freely passes from one household or business to another. I as a conscientious law abiding citizen I should have possessed the ability to self-regulate the use of my computer, especially with my vast knowledge of, and considerable experience in the computer industry.

This errant and aberrant crime I committed surely disheveled my life. It brought discord to me and in those around me. I have lived fifty-two years of my life as a moralistic, community-oriented individual. Only time, now, will allow me the opportunity to put the pieces or my life back together again.


Chapter II – It Happened To Me

Our identity is located not in the impulse of “selfhood” but in deliberately maintained connections [to others] — “Wisdom In Words” – Burt Hornbach

On April 27th, 2005 a federal agent (U.S. Postal Inspector) dressed as a postal carrier delivered a certified-mail package containing a VHS videocassette containing child pornographic material. After I signed for the package the agent went to his vehicle and feigned starter problems where, as I approached his vehicle to assist, found my self immediately sequestered by a single Postal Inspector while about eight other officers—to included U.S. Marshal, U.S. Customs and Postal agents, along with a Child Protective Services woman—inspected my house and determined it was safe to enter where and then they began a thorough search and seizure along with an interview between U.S.P.I. Luis Baladran and myself.

After the interview the agents took one computer and several disks. I was free to go and was not arrested until eight months later on December 22nd, 2005 at seven o’clock in the morning, three days before Christmas.

* * *

Around or about February of 2005, I received an invitation through my Yahoo e-mail service, asking me to join a Yahoo based “community” (groups, online, that are open to the public). Since the invitation was from a preёstablished, free Yahoo based group I did not hesitate to join. I received several updated news bulletins from this group one of which included an advertisement for “school girl videos.”

After several correspondences through e-mails, I went ahead and requested what I expected to be a video of a fifteen-year old female and an adult male having sex. The video sent to me was sent by a federal agent based out of Cleveland, Ohio; the video contained several much younger children and an adolescent—a thirteen-year old female, a nine-year and an eight-year old female, and a ten-year old boy—which later on in the sentencing process, led to enhancements to included several points for prepubescent and masochistic material.

Note: This type of sentencing entrapment is common within the federal court system. There is no such thing as entrapment to a federal prosecutor, so the courts call this type of sentencing snafu, sentencing manipulation. Many drug dealers get caught up in this type of scenario where an undercover agent will sale the drug dealer more narcotics than the dealer was prepared to buy at the point of exchange; and with a discount price so the dealer can not pass up the “deal.” In the end the dealer gets way more time added on to his incarceration because he had over a particular limit to make his crime heinous.

The person online I was communicating with was a sting operative agent posing as an elderly gentleman from Canada who had spent time in parts of Europe videotaping and collecting material involving minors. I believed who he said he was and trusted that it would be safe to trade some images of what I had collected on the Internet in exchange for the video he had to offer. His story was that he was just an old man that wanted to expand his collection of pictures of young girls, so he accepted, in exchange for his video, a disc that I had which contained many pictures of teen-age girls in plain clothes and a handful of three to ninety second video clips that were indeed explicit. Most of, if not all of, the pictures were collected by way of public domain or peer-to-peer file exchange web sites. I was somewhat surprised that he found my meager collection of images adequate enough to warrant a fair exchange, wanting no money just my disc of pics in exchange for his video. The agent whose screen name was Sacupuntas (Spanish for “pencil sharpener”) sent me an e-mail containing a list of various video choices. I picked the one with a gal and a man that took about two weeks to receive.

After the initial investigation at my home, the postal inspector, Balandran, told me I would not be arrested and that if I felt I wanted any “help” to call him at the phone number on his card he handed to me. The following day, April 28th, I felt so regretful for my actions that I could not keep from crying. I called Balandran and got the number of a local, Phoenix based, psychiatrist who was a specialist in sex crime psychology.

I spoke with the doctor a few days later for about forty-five minutes. He appropriately conveyed to me that he was obligated to report any crime I admitted to during our conversation. He did not recommend anything specific as to my concerns of “why I did what I did.” He told me it could be a number of things… I was looking for something more than a real relationship or that I was locked in to a gruesome habit that could be stopped with therapy; or that there was a source to which this evil emanated that I would eventually find a way to come to terms with. He did give me the numbers of two lawyers and recommended that I start a group therapy class that he taught.

After the psychiatrist recommendation to get a lawyer, I decided against any further therapy so as to not infringe upon anything I would say in treatment that could be used against me in a court of law. I truly wanted to begin a regime of treatment but feared the possible repercussions by not having legal representation at the time.

On the day of my arrest I was processed and then went in front of a judge at the Arizona District Court building. Bail was refused on that day—danger to society (kind of strange how they let me run free and easy for eight months being a “danger to society”—and I reappeared the following week in front of a magistrate judge to try for another release on bond and of course was refused bond for the same reason.

I remained in custody at a federal detention center in Florence, Arizona. This place was massive and held about 2000 inmates where ninety percent were undocumented Hispanics waiting to see a judge. I had very little correspondence with my court appointed attorney during my pretrial detention. At one point I went without any contact from him for as long as eight-months. My family researched other lawyers and I ended up selling my Phoenix home so to prepare for hiring a new attorney. After speaking to several well qualified, but expensive attorneys, I found the consensus was that they would provide me with the best possible sentence or judgment they could, yet did not propose that my case was winnable or worth going to trial over.

For lack of funding I kept the public defender, Michael B. Berneys, and hoped for the best. I feared a long term of prison because I could not see any positive outcome by having Mr. Berneys as an attorney. So for that reason I began to search thoroughly for resources. I scoured the central Arizona detention center law library to learn any and everything about possession of child pornography cases. Unfortunately resources were slim to none, so I began to isolate my studies to sentencing. Mostly the sentencing guidelines and federal procedural rules to sentencing of federal cases.

I did come across two applications that I felt were crucial as part of my sentencing process. The first was the practice of using a sex offender risk assessment evaluation report as a proponent to proving a defendant’s likelihood to recidivate. The second factor was the application of disparity consideration at the time of sentencing.

It took me over a year of correspondence to convince my lawyer to schedule a risk assessment. He refused my phone calls, partially because he was never in his office, but I did get a few quick visits from him at the detention center. He may not have agreed to the assessment had it not been for the fact that I learned about the advantage of an assessment for use in court by way of one of his colleagues. After mentioning the other attorneys name and only then, knowing that this attorney had represented clients with sex offenses, did my attorney decide an assessment might be in order.

It took much pleading on my part to get my attorney’s head wrapped around the issue of disparity, the fairness of sentencing lengths between criminals with similar crimes. I pressed the issue of disparity for quite some time longer than a year. My. Berneys never agreed to implement a disparity consideration with regards to my sentencing until my sister spoke in front of the judge. My sister spoke of what sentencing factors are to be used in a court of law. Her oratorical must have sparked some concern to the judge. The judge excused herself and spent a considerable amount of time in chamber. When the judge returned there was an immediate request for both the prosecutor and the defense to come up with a list of relative offenses and the sentences issued for those crimes. The honorable judge made a point that she (female judge) had only heard nine cases in her thirteen years at bench and prosecution (also female) had experience with seven similar sentencing judgments in her career. In admission to the number of cases heard between the judge and the prosecutor I believe they showed good intention towards applying the most reasonable judgment for my crime by requiring disparity clarification. However, I do not ever recall any of the sentences listed in the final report which prescribed lifetime supervised release. This was a type of probation tacked on to my sentence. At the time of sentencing the weight of a life time of supervised release did not occur to me, nor did I have time to research the viability and affect of such a judgment.

On November 2nd, 2007 a sentence of forty-eight months with a lifetime supervised release was issued. Just shortly before the judge’s reading of the judgment she asked me to declare if I was satisfied with the competence of my counsel. My response was: no, I was not assured that I received effective assistance. The judge then asked me to explain why I felt Mr. Berneys did not represent me so well. I believe her reply was “why… can you explain… tell me why you feel this.”

As I recall I gave her three general conclusions. Even though she caught me off guard, so to say, it was easy to place logic to the facts that kept me in turmoil and anxiety for twenty-three months of incarceration. Had I been prepared to answer her request I could have provided more.

First the case took an incredibly long time to finish… I felt that everything done in the last three months, to include the sentencing hearings, could have been completed in, let’s say, the first six months. I suffered many consequences brought on by a long time in pretrial detention.

Second: I felt my lawyer did not provide the experience to apply to a case of this type… he balked on many defense strategies. Like, for instance, the use of my risk assessment to verify my psychological characteristics.

Third: I had presented the advantage of facing up to disparity mitigation consideration as a necessary argument to sentencing almost a year before the hearings. There were four hearings where disparity should have been the first item on the docket for discussion. My lawyer never looked into this ruling after all the years I kept riding him about the advantages of a disparity maxim.

In response; as best as I can remember, the judge’s reply was as such, 1) in regards to the length of the case, she purported that, “this is just how the system works;” 2) in respect to the use of the risk assessment being an integral part of the sentencing hearing her response was, “I typically do not read the defendants’ risk assessment because most of the time it is to the disadvantage of the defendant—as a matter of fact, Mr. [Me], I never looked at yours;” 3) She may have not been completely sure of what I was referring to in regards to use of disparity in cases. I say this because her response was, “…and disparity factors were never even an option in this case until a few months ago.” I think she was referring to her request for the two parties to collaborate on a list of cases, and not my alluding to Mr. Berneys utilizing disparity variances at the time I had pointed out the use of it, more than a year prior.

So in that, Judge Silver stated that my reasons were not sufficient to warrant ineffective representation of counsel.

November 2nd, 2007 was the sentencing date. My mother, who was power of attorney, paid the two thousand dollar fine and a one hundred dollar assessment fee shortly thereafter. I remained in detention at the central Arizona detention center until May of 2008.


Chapter III – Letter to Myself

Don’t look backwards in anger, or forward in fear. Just look around you in awareness.

J. Thurber

When we are injured, physically or emotionally, or made to feel lesser about ourselves, as a child, we are not always able to confront those who have hurt us: to have the chance to expose them and hold them accountable for the damage they have done to us. Our persecutors are possessed with be a surrogate personality created by fears and insecurities that fed their cruel demeanor and fueled the self-pity that drove them to hurt the innocent. This surrogate personality consumes them and leaves them filled with misery, a sense of grief, and a bitterness, which dissolves all empathy for the victim.

The same consumption that dismantles these persecutors can also resound hollow grievances within the conscience of the victim, allowing a similar surrogate personality to become our replacement characterization of a world we try not to look back upon. A trade off of sorts, the belittlement of the tormentor, for the empowerment of the self.

The victim finds within his or her self a temporary solace, of sorts, one that suffices long enough, throughout our youthful years, pretending to protect the soul in as long as the empowerment maintains weight. Yet there becomes a time when the dormant debasement of our past, emerges from its box. The hidden feelings we worked so self-protectively at to make us free from the pain gradually find their way back to the surface and manifest another portion or version of the surrogate character, the proverbial “Laws of Relativity” at play in the brain. A reenactment of the mental defenses that once by way of genetics had erased the memories, now offers a subtle reappearance of the past. One that may not accurately play out the truth from what we saw as a child. But one that gives us just enough indistinguishable recall to cause our mental system to force present an embellishment of the world we once experienced, yet never believed in holding on to as truth of what may really have happened at the time.

We, as victims, experience what could be called a backfire from the human time machine. An ambiguous haunting or triggering of the mind, making some cognitive confessional out of a bewildered event that was given permission to come out of its cage. Who is the gatekeeper? Where did we find the key for its opening? How long does it take to alter ones mental cosmos before we open the gate to beckon the beast?

This part of my behaviorism I would like to survey. The ‘triggering device.’ The gatekeeper and the key he holds to open up elemental secrets, which led me down a path of immoral acts, unlike any I would have ever wanted to reveal. A surge of immorality I could have kept locked away forever hoping that in any logarithmic chance the gatekeeper would never had found the key to beckon my persecutor’s aggravation, revealed in the form of a felony and lived with as agony. To find being abused as a child led to punishment as an adult.

* * *

Human beings vary in the degrees to which they believe that they have control over what can and will happen to them. Most of us might believe what we encounter in life, results from a mixture of luck, our own intelligence or stupidity, or possibly karma—the good or the bad we share with others. Not knowing the reasons for our powerlessness to manage our control when things go bad leaves for an exercise as this “Letter to Myself” series where the ‘surfacing of thoughts’ (reasons for events, exposed) becomes a major fore player in the way we think about those events; a constant in our daily reality.

By revealing the many facets related to my criminal behavior, I have to admit at this point and time I have come to grips in fully accepting the aggravator, which made my life a living hell. (I’m not meaning to complain so much as I am giving the affliction some character.) In acceptance I must confess there is some odd feeling I had at the time of my arrest by the feds that keeps telling me: I wanted to be caught. That I needed to stop what I was doing before it ate up my soul and spit out what was left of it.

Even though I feel I’m not stupid enough to take such malice too far as to abuse an actual person in the flesh, I have to say that for even the fewer deviant interests and disdain behaviors and thoughts I had, over time the fewer proclivities could have produced a permanent malformation of the greater. Put simply: it could have been worse. I could have done harm to someone close to me as opposed to downloading images of teenagers whose identities were shielded from me. So what is done is done. The beast is free and I am for the better.

Since I have no recall of my childhood before the sixth grade, I cannot say for sure what really happened to me. There is phenomenally high chance that if I was not directly abused, sexually, be it that my witnessing or knowledge of my sister’s abuse during an early stage of our youth, may have led to my inability to remember my role as a victim at that time of my youth. From family talk and what history I have of my relatives whom may have perpetrated the abuse, it is realistic to state that I was a victim. Knowing that my sister has verified her place as a victim, and has proof that we were both in the care of the family member—an uncle—whom molested her, only strengthens my reasoning to seek precedence on the facts leading my discovery which utilizes the child abuse template. Consequentially clinical diagnostics can verify my role as a victim or as a witness to child abuse; in circumspect I am going to correlate most of my presumptions based on that disposition.

***

When I was preoccupied with downloading images from the Internet I had no true conscious reasoning for my bemusement. I was addicted to online pornography. As most Internet addicts it was the run of the mill adult videos and images that are so rampantly and freely available on the World Wide Web. The progression of events that led to my addiction, brandish only subtle recognitions of purpose. I could not “feel” myself slipping further and further into the habit. It just consumed me on a day-by-day basis. Each day, not withstanding my cognitive knowledge of what I was doing, to myself, reinforced a subconscious acceptance, which falsely justified what I was doing; and at the same time, opened that gate further and wider to unknowingly tempt the past to reveal itself.

Most afflictions do not afford you time to allow reason or purpose to its order. One of addictions duties is to keep you attached to it. Never allowing for reasonability. Now that I am free I can start to tear away at the layers of my past and make sense of what triggered my transitory disorder, in hopes I will recognize the signs that dispatched the gatekeeper and his key. One vehicle that I use to help me reconstruct those elements of transition is a “Timetable of My Life.” My sister used this mechanism very effectively and suggested I try the same. Looking at the places we lived and the ages of family members helps me in developing my own theories based on time-and-place-based events as logical triggering factors. Here are a few of those theories.

First I thought about the possibility that because of my age, could it be at fifty years old, my mind could just not hold the secret-hidden-self at bay any longer? A recall was determined to surface by sheer fact of mental synaptic overflow, of sorts. Garbage in/garbage out, as they say. Otherwise to factor in with this age fifty theory is that regardless of other circumstances—like for example, my life was very stable and things were going just fine for fifty-years old—it is a well known fact that this is the age bracket (mid-life) that most men develop character traits which can lead to low self-esteem and psychological disorders.

My past wanting to escape, my mental subconscious running on overflow and a low self-esteem, which I never recognized, are all valid factors to classify age in itself as a logical triggering mechanism. Age based theorem also led me to investigate the possibility that my uncle—the abuser—was around this age when he perpetrated the traumas invoked upon my sister and I. For lack of a better clinical term, lets just call this belief the “uncle translation” theory. The thought that if our uncle were around about fifty at the time, then my age could have triggered my disorder by way of accepting that if my uncle acted in a way at this age, then my mind told me it was OK for me to pursue the same behavior.

I believe that our uncle was a little bit younger, maybe in his forties, so that could quash the theory somewhat. Yet as a child I may have perceived him as a much older person, as such do most children view adults; in return solidifying that image of him for all this time, holding rationale to the “uncle age” translation as a trigger.

Fifty is a very common age for men to become fixated on various self-worthiness ideals. In my case life had treated me rather well (up to a point). I had established all the basic needs in life pertinent to successfulness with the one exception; that being the quintessential marriage and the two-point-seven children. Admittently a family has always been a dream of mine, yet I cannot say whole-heartedly that I had designs for such or that this was on my immediate list as a primary life goal.

I must remain candid and open about my visions, in life. The purpose of this writing is to find answers by being honest and forthright, to and about myself. So lying about my paternal desires would not support my next set of theories for reasons being that if I had a fantastic wife and very happy children and “life was good” then I do not think the gatekeeper would had reason—an invitation—to turn that key. I must admit that I have been mostly happy living on my own and by myself. Otherwise relationships were always good for me. There were never any serious or traumatic moments in my relationships that would have injured my soul, which in turn might have branded me a “one man band” thereby giving me reason to reject family life.

Going back to my childhood, once again, may show some evidence as to why I never chose to become a family man. In tandem I will reflect on the relationship of parentage as a triggering mechanism. My first thoughts on this are the obvious ones. The fact being that I had such an abusive father, so therefore my subconscious chose to never allow anyone else to be exposed to any type of unhealthy treatment. I’m not referring to my uncle’s abusiveness, I am speaking of my step-father and his aggressive, military style, form of discipline and his addiction to alcohol which turned him into a sociopath when he drank—which was often, very often.

I never found relief from my father other than when I was away from him or when he decided to leave the family without notice, only to reappear months, weeks or years later expecting us to welcome him back as if he just ran out to the store an hour ago for a pack of smokes.

You would think in reading this that I would have been happy or better off by the absence of my stepfather. To be honest I had developed so many, possibly rejection based problems, mentally and neurologically, by the time that I hardly saw his lack of presence anything other that superficial. With the syndrome of Tourettes I acquired when I was twelve-years old my view of him was haunting. After a while I never knew when he would just magically show up. So he was sort of a thought, at times, less than a person to miss. A haunting image more than a reliable father figure. I saw him as a dark aura floating around my body. Lingering and lurking about, just waiting for the right moment to poke back into my memory. For people with Tourettes this phenomenon is clinically labeled as premonitory urges. A physical sense that someone is close to you, to the point that you can almost feel him or her touching you. But in reality they really are not anywhere close.

So one can understand or at least give me the benefit of doubt to why my theory of not deciding to raise a family could be circuitously perceived from my inner fears as to what a disaster raising a family could be, thereby leaving me open to the psychological damage that can result from a healthy middle age male without paternity. That damage could be in part a suppressed desire to reconstruct the damage my father—possibly reverting all the way back to my uncle—had inflicted on me and my sister(s). An indirect rebuilding of a circuitous image, recalling what my mind perceived could have happened or even remembrances of what actually did happen in the time of the family exploitation.

Since my lifestyle and social behavior are such that I was never in any position to have acted out on these fantasies in the physical world, my choice at hand became the computer. A secret safe island that my mind could be avidly entertained in. I felt as if there were some type of drive, an inner, unexplainable drive, propelling me to keep on looking. In a more realistic view, it was my sub consciousness, surreptitiously looking for that link to my past attempting to fill a void, a void that was created by deception.

The Internet became a tool at first, a tool that helped in the morbid reconstruction. I was not the mechanic whom had a handle on that tool. There was a greater machine controlling my destiny. If I could have only realized just what it was that I was doing to myself was improper and exploitive, it would have helped me to end this search for a surrealistic fulfillment. The big drawback is that there are millions of other people who have similar affinities, who also turn to the Information Highway as an outlet. This affinity creates a snowball effect: as more people have the need to find a subject matter, the more people will contribute to supplying that subject matter. It is shocking how much media is available online. It’s virtually endless and will consume you if you let it.

* * *

My next idea relating to the paternal disassociation theory has to do with a possible sibling/sibling correlation. To explain, it is a possibility that by my monitoring the life of a family very close in relationship to my family could have possibly provided another key for the gatekeeper. One such family just so happened to live next-door to me. The kicker is, that their sibling structure was next to identical in respect to my family structure. The neighbor’s family was comprised of four sisters and one brother; the mother and father were separated. My family also had four sisters and one brother; mother and father separated, eventually divorced.

Watching these neighbor children grow and being almost an auxiliary father to them may have triggered a certain memory of perhaps how my parents did not live together or did not manage the Mother/Father expectation of a stable family very well. There were times when I would give the neighbor kids food because they did not get fed very well that day. (At least that’s how they made it look—you know how kids can be.) This only reminded me more of when I was their age and my mother had to support us by means of a low paying nursing job. At that time, feeding five growing children was not very easy on the entry-level pay our mother was making as a nurse. When my sisters and I hit working age we all got jobs to help out. These relationships between the two families seem rather substantial in my eyes.

Another thought I ventured on may be more redeeming to a psychologist with reference to the same family and the sibling/sibling correlation. The reason I picked the word redeeming is because this thought involves many psychiatrists’ favorite subject matter: sexuality. This matter involves the ages of each one of the family members for my family, and then again for the neighbor family who were of similar ages. Here is the relationship in a nutshell. Some of the neighbors’ ages were identical to the ages of my sister and I at the time when we were sexually abused. You must also remember that I lived close to these kids for five years, plus. In essence, the oldest girl was seven when I first knew her and then twelve by 2005. My sister’s age during the abuse period was seven. I was five. I’m not qualified on the nomenclature to explain this scenario. I’m sure there are clinical terminologies for explaining it properly. Keeping in the spirit of my “Letter to Myself” series, here’s how I can best phrase my postulations.

What I think could have been a triggering mechanism to my interest in adolescents my have to do with seeing these neighbor girls and the boy grow up. At each stage or each age level they achieved, it would have reminded me of events within my family as we reached similar age levels. Experiencing an almost identical family unit go through their life during those correlative age periods which were so trying and complex to me. You have to keep in mind that I have a meager recall of my childhood. Having a working model, of sorts, living conveniently next-door to me for a period of five-years seems like a logical source of fodder to help rekindle the recall of these missing parts in my life. My mind attempting to fill in some lost pieces to the puzzle. Filling the mental gaps by reinforcing the curiosity of my subconscious eye becoming affixed to these parallel sibling correlations.

One last integral part to my theoretical sibling correlation I should mention is actually one that you might say could stand on its own and not necessarily be directly related to the parallel ages and family structure between the neighbor’s family and mine. It has to do with the possibility of my addiction being triggered or latently influenced by watching my neighbor’s daughters go through puberty. This in itself could be analyzed and considered with of without direct connotation to any one person that being the neighbor’s daughter in particular. Puberty and adolescence are the age at which most boys turn in to men and become preoccupied with sex. My early days of adolescence did not prove so successful when it came to being one who was lucky or quick to pick a dance partner, as they say. I had Tourettes Syndrome and never got a good handle on the disorder until after high school at which time I found nutrition and environment—the people I was around—mellowed me out enough to find good relationships. The reason I believe this theory is of value is the fact that adolescence is-what-it-is. During this stage of life there are many influential hormonal emanations acting as biological triggers that can physically alter ones behavior. There is also the visual transformation of girl-to-woman influencing any mans curious brain. Any of which make my rediscovery of puberty a candidate likely to hand over the key to the gatekeeper.

* * *

Of all these rationales, any one of them could be the relevant triggering mechanism that initiated my emotional conflicts. I anticipated my age, my paternal misfortunes, even my interactions with youth. All or none may have been that which opened up my inner channels to the past. Making these observations available to my self and anyone who reads this will hopefully provide for a much-needed momentum in the struggle to find freedom from the vices that have consumed me.

5-14-06

“The more time you spend online is the more time you spend isolating yourself.”

“Happiness is only real when shared”


Chapter IV – Face the Music

The id will not stand for a delay in gratification. It always feels the tension of the unfulfilled urge.” — Sigmund Freud

This chapter is a reproduction of a letter I wrote to my sister on May 28th, 2009, when I was still being ‘held hostage’ by the Bureau of Prisons, at a halfway house in north Tucson, Arizona. I obviously had a lot on my mind and was fearful that my destiny was unpredictable. I am the type of person that has to have an immediate grasp on where I go next, as you will find within this letter.

Note: My sister lived halfway across the country and writing letters was the best form of communication we had. It allowed me to “vent” and for her to keep up to date on all that occurred over time. So now I share this private letter with you.

* * *

5-28-‘09

Sister,

How are you? Been a while I hope you remember me: your brother I had a great meeting with my probation officer. She surprised me, actually, by being more compassionate and empathetic about ME than I was ever expecting.

There is this thing called a “stack date” or “rollover” where the probation department could demand that I stay in the halfway house for longer than my release date. I’m scheduled to be release on June the 15th, but the rollover date allows probation to keep me in a half way house if I pose a danger to society.

Since things move really slowly in the Department(s) of Justice, my P.O. does not have all the portions of my risk assessment completed. The psycho-evaluation has been compiled and now I have to finish the rest of the psyche-eval’ by taking a polygraph test on June the 9th. Once she (my P.O. is a woman) has the polygraph, she will compile the whole deal and make a determination as to whether or not I am safe to (in short) go home.

So I will be here at this halfway house for longer than what I expected. How long, I cannot say. I am guessing that she should have an answer for me—stay or go (home)— in a few weeks after the polygraph test.

She seemed positive about getting it done as quickly as possible. I feel she sensed the urgency of my “healing process,” to get home and begin my treatment.

Even though she knows I have completed 250 hours of an S.O. treatment program, she is suggesting I continue further with a more specific aspect of recovery and wants to see me in group therapy with other S.O.s and also would like to get me started on a more personal plan that would include understanding the elements behind my actions… the whys and what’s that caused my behavior. She sees the importance of my individual plight and has a deeper knowledge of psychology than I ever expected.

Her grasp on behaviorisms is directly related to her abilities to keep her clients out of trouble. It looks to me like she goes out of her way to separate the child molesters from the “confused souls,” like myself. I found that a refreshing feeling: knowing that I have been recognized and treated justifiably, and not categorically.

So here’s how it goes… I take the polygraph on the ninth; parole department processes the info. If all looks good (meaning I do not have any qualities to go out and look for trouble—touch a child for pleasure, let us say, this was P.Os. example of a malignant result/determination—then that positive assessment shall give the parole officer a green-light on getting me back home.

So the next step we discussed as follows.

She is aware of my plea to find a place I can live at, where I am not a burden to anyone related to me. I told her that the best place I could move to and be instantly accepted would be my mother’s house. Yet I conveyed to her that it would be unfair—and unrealistic—to expose her and her neighbors to the obvious: the registration and notification of a sex offender living at her address.

My parole officer agreed and was very attuned to hear me out, especially when suggested I should buy a plot of land and then put a trailer on the property until I can build a home there. It took her a few minutes to regroup her thinking and after she thought about it—she is not accustom to having clients with liquid cash to buy land so she thought the plan was reasonable—she agreed to let me start looking for land as soon as she found the risk assessment to show that I am good-to-go.

So after June the 15th I am no longer B.O.P. “property.” I become what is called Public Law Client or PLC. This is the date that my supervised release begins. Adria can have say over just about my and every thing I do. From this point on. She displayed a very positive attitude towards getting mo out of the halfway house A.S.A.P. so that I can get on with my life.

After the time that the assessment is validated I can get my truck down here to Tucson and have it at the community center fancy name for halfway house. This will allow me to commute to Casa Grande and back for up to eight hours a day to take care of my business of finding a place to settle down. Technically, if I stay overnight at mom’s the way my p.o. put it was, any overnight stays would cause me to have to register as the definition of a residence is defined as any place you reside… stay overnight. Even if I stayed a t a motel or hotel and paid by the week or month, that would technically qualify as taking up residence and thereby require registration with the authorities.

Pretty odd philosophy…. It makes sense, on one hand, to keep track of offenders, but what amount of prevention does it really provide and how often has a registered offender ever committed a[nother] crime? Answer: almost never. It is typically the unregistered or untraceable criminals that re-commit a sex offense.

The ones that are “happy”/willing to register are rarely a threat. It is just an odd paradox, but society can not grasp the depth and the diversity of a typical modern day sex offender so the department of justice (legislator/congress[men]) are somewhat forced to make a very broad definition of offenses in order to keep the public “happy.”

It is a whole lot of work trying to get everything in order so that I can “continue” my life. The burden is huge. Where do I find work? Will I be treated like an animal once people are told about my past crime? Will my parole officer approve where I can of cannot live? Will someone accuse me of something because of my offense history? Do I avoid going anywhere that there may be kids, so I and not put on the spot? I can totally understand why there are s.os. that are homeless you are molded to feel like an outcast. All the stigmata sticks to you like flies on shit. And when everything is going just-fine, you happen into a circumstance that overshadows the good times and reminds you that, oops!, everything is not, just-fine. I and isolated from the freedoms and liberties of most people have. Let’s say I am at a social event and now I have to leave the party because a child shows up.

I have been OK with the concepts of how and what I can or cannot do. But when it gets right down to it I feel half empty, not half full. I got this far in life—fifty years—and it seems like such a waste of a perfectly good person, that is having to recede and hide from society and civilization (as we know it) just to please the views of the public—whom really do not understand the diversity of the crime (of the “criminal”).

I guess I just need to work with the treatment program counselors as much as it takes so that I feel better about my behaviorisms and myself. And also work to get the counselors, doctors and parole officers to feel good about loosening the reins far enough to allow me more freedom… ultimately there seems like no real freedoms they would ever give me: philosophy in point states “once a pervert, always a pervert.” So I had a bad time/experience with my thinking errors; I made some very poor decisions and acted immorally. But does anyone believe I am capable of a) doing it ever again; or, b) harming ANYONE, after knowing what I know about myself now.

As you can tell, I have my adversities when it comes to the way I have been sentence. It would seem logical enough that 250 hours of treatment ad several psychosexual evaluation processes would be adequate factors to deem me safe-to-society. Heck! There are violent money hungry, thieving, lying thugs out there that get to run free, the day they are released from prison. No, I am not justifying or minimizing OR compartmentalizing, I am mostly speaking of my own assessment o myself… I cannot speak for other offenders who still have deviant desires. It is so backwards; when you look at the data and it shows that low to moderate level sex offenders do not commit a crime of the same type and often as another type criminal.

You can’t blame the world for wanting to protect their childr4en from harm, so in a sense, I can understand the concern. My gripe is that, from what I gather—and I have done lots of gathering—there is no leeway ot no relief for an offender once they are convicted. You are screwed for life. No mercy. No quarter. No forgiveness. No understanding. Maybe a little empathy. Maybe a bit of concern for all that has happened to me in the past (what led to the criminal behavior). But never will there be shelter, peace; open fields of daisies and breathes of fresh air. It sucks and I hate thinking about what is, can, would and may be as time goes on.

One day at a time, as they say. Keep on truckin’. Maybe I will get lucky. But I doubt if I will ever get what I deserve: normality and pursuit of happiness.

In my heart I know who I am. I know what I did wrong and I stand accountable. So where is the justice…. It does not matter what I do from here on out, (the Department of) [J]ustice will make sure I am proclaimed a subhuman citizen. Hmmm at least they let me stay in the country maybe that is next: extradite all mental disheveled deviant behaviorists.

I completely understand the precautions that are being put in place to protect the weak and the young. I get that (part). But to condemn me for life…. I spent four years incarcerated and am now willing to give up the better part of my future in order to complete the rehabilitation and transformation of my soul and my mind and my social adaptability to make sure my cognitive behavior is forever rational. Once I am convinced of my ability to function on a perfectly harmless level, I can say, “yahoo! Let’s get on with it.” Yet, how do I “get on with it” to lead a unimpeded life (style) when the other party—the ones with the guns and the badges and the voters to please—has no alternative but to permanently label me as bad produce, the rotten apple in the basket. There is nowhere for me to rest my head or anyway to ever be satisfied that I can go about my daily chores thus to find a little gremlin (more like a goblin) staring up at me when I turn that unexpecting corner to find his beg grimacing smirk leering at me in contempt, “remember what you did?; remember what you did?; remember what you did?” the little bugger would be chattering.

Enough already, bugger. I get it; I am over my psychodisconbobulation. Give me solace. That is all I ask. “Nooo,” says the gremlin, “we still need you as a statistical asset.” “Our numbers are important if we want to continue receiving endless sums of green dollars from the great goblin on the hill.” (Get it: the hill… Capital Hill)

This disparity in “sentencing”—the lump-summing or the grouping of all sex offenders into one category—is what makes me so mad…. Where is the sensibility in classifying offenders by what they really did? What I really did was a huge mistake that might have been extremely hard to avoid. I was not malingering at the hearing, when I was sentenced. The judge had the assessment and the data on disparity was available to her, at that time. So where (was) the justification to incarceration…? I will tell you where it (was): it was in the ‘lump-sum-put-‘em-all-in-the-same-pot-to-boil’ justification indignation. Even if the higher courts remand the lifetime period of supervision there will still be the conviction. The felony. You know: that thing that sticks with you like a sore thumb and that keeps you from ever getting employment to the par of what I had been making the better part of my life.

Yes, I am mad (bitter); yes I believe justice could gave been served in a variety of many other ways. So be it. Due process is a sneaky little monster. It has bitten me once and has bitten me hard—not to mention the rabies for life {I guess that would make it more like herpes instead of rabies—at least rabies has an antiviral pharmacology}—and it hurts. I am smart enough and morally driven to the point where I will not get bitten twice. Yet every day I can look at the wound and say to myself, “Self… where’s the Constitutionality of justice, can it be found and recognized for what it is sometime soon, sometime real soon.” Let’s see how it goes. I’m OK with venting… and I thank you ahead of time for being my sounding board. So now all I can do is to hope for other convict5ed persons to follow my suit and file their declaratory judgment with the Attorney General. It took Ralph Nader (the automobile industry) sixty years, form 1903 to 1963, to have seat belts installed in cars to insure our safety. How long should it take this techno-savvy world to put filters on the Internet (yah, yah, I know, what about the First Amendment?) to protect us all from that which is unsafe?

Love, Your Brother

* * *

The very term “sex offender” echoes the traditional approach, according to which the sexual deviate has been regarded as a criminal offender, subject to the sanctions upon which the criminal law so utterly relies, punishment. The criminal law traditionally recognized no middle ground between “sanity,” which meant full responsibility for one’s acts, and “insanity,” constituting a complete defense. And since most sex offenders are not insane within the legal test, but are, at most, suffering from serious neurotic character disorders, the law took no cognizance of their mental condition. (This can be applied, for the most part, to the U.S, sentencing Guidelines commission that historically has a record of “ratcheting up” enhancements for sex offenses.) So now punishment was the panacea, even for cases where it was medically clear that punishment would and could have no beneficial effect. To state that all sex offenders should receive the same penalties is overly broad in circumspect. Where is there equity in disparity?

{equity – 1. Fairness; impartiality; evenhanded dealing. 2. the body of principles constituting what is fair and right; natural law} The American Heritage Dictionary


Chapter V – Obsessive Corrections Disorder

Have you ever found yourself standing in a line at the grocery store and there is an old lady three or four customers ahead of you at the check-out counter and she is slow to get her wallet out yet doesn’t even consider prewriting out the check to prepare for when her groceries are all rang up, then all she has to do is fill in the amount. To top it off she is watching everything that passes by her on the conveyor belt as the cashier rings it up. She seems to be making sure the items have not magically altered themselves or multiplied between the times she so cautiously laid them on the counter to the time they make it past the cashier. Oh yeah, and of course she saves the coupons for last. You know that immense overstuffed coupon wallet with a discount slip for every item she purchased. You stand there in line watching her report to the bagger, instructions on how to do his job because, of course she is 88 years old and she knows how to do everything better than the well trained 19 year old.

Here’s my point. Take this scenario and imagine your feelings deeply as if you were there. Remember you are in a hurry and you left the beans simmering on the stove and the ball game starts in five minutes. Now, multiply the frustration, the anxiety and the helpless feelings, mixed with the anger of course; multiply these times well, pick a number—let’s say eight hundred. This is the type of feeling you get when you are locked up in a detention center, as it is called, waiting for your day to go to court.

The place I am currently in is so deemed a Correctional Center. Believe you me it is far from anything that could even begin to alter ones behavior or correct an individual’s way of behaving. Take for example my friend James who I recently met. Kind of cool that he was from my old neighborhood, the barrio in central Phoenix. Go figure he hung out at all the same art galleries and happening hangouts that I did, back in the 80’s. Turns out that he was robbing banks back then and living out his cool, fun life as if it was no biggy pilfering from the prestigious. His beliefs system apparently was based on the fact that he got “high” robbing banks. No guns, just the stern verbal request of, “Give me your money, now.” It was a way of life for James and he kept on doing it until he landed in the good ole slammer. Boom and everything stopped. You know, like that little old lady in the checkout line. Now what do you think James did when he got out of the correctional facility? You guessed it. He went right back to robbing banks. His heroine. His adrenalin induced prescription. The rush of your blood running through your veins as you watch all that free money being stuffed into your get-away bag.

Was there anything that had been corrected or any correction involved in his term of detainment? Not really. Maybe the system failed to offer James and the millions of other visitors to these types of facilities the valid vehicle needed to change the way they deal with life. My true feelings are that these State, Federal and privately ran correctional facilities are designed to keep you coming back so that they can make their pocket books fatter. You know like that old lady’s coupon wallet.

For every person in one of these places the system brings in anywhere from three hundred to six hundred dollars a day. For every Hispanic that comes across the border and is captured, they can put a price on that person. You can see why Arizona and Texas are the only states that mandate serving time in a Federal Corrections annex for a re-entry charge on a second offense. California has no such law. These people trying to better their life by coming to America end up spending three to eight months inside, locked-up, before being sent back across the border. You do the math. No wonder there is very little effort to open up the borders of Arizona and Texas.

They make more laws so they can arrest more people. You do not even have to be guilty, just willing to become a cash cow for good ole Uncle Sam—second cousin of the old grandma in the checkout line. Granted, there is a bit of social good that the Feds expect to achieve by incarcerating people. You know, keeping the bad guys off the streets. It just seems odd yet, at the same time obvious that there is so much money to be made from people who are doing no less than to create a better life for their families by coming across the border. It should be obvious how much the stability of a good paying job means to these people when you see them more than willing to do time in jail over and over again in hopes of stealthing their way into the country.

Who is to blame? U.S.A? Mexico? Big corporations? Mexican citizens come here to work the jobs, which from what most people believe, nobody wants. They pay taxes every time they buy food and gas and clothing. They are contributing to the welfare of our country. At the same time you find large corporations sending our jobs to Mexico to build cars, electronics and such. These large corporations mostly sponsor the jobs that “nobody wants,” good old hard labor. Who is winning this game? Why isn’t Mexico negotiating with the U.S. to open our border? I think you can surmise the answer with one simple symbol, which would be the letter “S” with a slash down the middle. In a word someone has found it is more profitable to market confinement than it is to promote freedom.

United States is less than 250 years out of the cradle. I think it would be safe to say (if Homeland Security will let me) that this country has neglected to do their homework when it comes to observing humanity and thus making laws. Many countries like Europe, Asia and even South America have modeled their laws from observing the needs of the people and not the wants of the monetary minority. Consider this example of drug and alcohol laws in the U.S. We condition our youth to shy from alcohol until they are twenty-one years of age. Why? Because “that is the law.” Most of the European countries have been, for thousands of years, allowing a growing person the option to drink wine or any of the libations they choose. This practice starts from early childhood. There is less alcoholism in these counties. These young men and women do not have the fascination or curiosity that American kids would have. Mostly because these other nations’ people have an understanding of what to expect—or better said, what to respect— as they grow up. Another good example of how backwardly progressive Americans are can be best described as the one hundred miles per gallon axiom. Put simply the average American drives a vehicle that gets an average of twenty miles per gallon. We all could get 100 miles on the gallon if we changed the way we drive. You will find on the Internet several examples of this type of performance. It is actually a behavior of performing more than it is a mechanical wherewithal. Americans would get peak mileage if they only changed their driving habits. I tried it with my six-cylinder SUV and achieved over 40 miles per gallon. Fortunately I live in a small town and did not get ran over or flipped off by those whom felt my impeded acceleration vigilance was unacceptable in a society that drives as fast as it can to get home to their favorite brain-numbing television show.

The culture of older, well-established countries posits a stronger family-oriented history. They learn what their parents-parents grandparents have known and passed on through the generations. We, on the other hand, as Americans grow up learning whatever it is that our parents let us watch on TV or neglect to teach us because out society allows ignorance to dominate, not common sense or wisdom. It makes you wonder that if these countries have base their laws around common sense and order, how do you think the U.S. will end up one hundred to two hundred years from now if they keep on making more laws to incarcerate more people, as opposed to promoting common sense elements, which can bring us closer to a more traditional civil order.

Just the very way our forefathers rudely came in to this country and had no respect or forethought as to the indigenous people that were living here before them. This in itself should tell you that the ‘Big Plan’ or the Independence of the People, as it was called, had a bigger broader plan to neglect anyone or anything that got in its way. Now, do not get me wrong because I love the original patriots of the good ole U.S. of A. and not all of them were in it for the greed and power lust. Our forefathers may have had a heartfelt credence in place to separate themselves from the Great Kingdom that was overtaxing them. The good intentions were there, I’m sure, yet somewhere along the time line of the building of America there was some well thought out evil and greed which had very little consideration for anyone other than the power hungry who would stop at nothing to make this country their country.

Here is a case example and point well made. Let’s go back to the beginning of our country’s pilgrimage and the first footsteps on to western soil. What was the first thing they did? They stepped on the native people and gave them presents. Not the kind of presents that bring a smile to your face but the kind that toppled entire tribes. The diseases these natives contracted were the least of the natives’ worries. After we killed all their buffalo we took as much of their land as we could possibly find. With only one tribe untouched by our border lust, that being the Yalapai tribes in Arizona. The only reason our forefathers missed that tribes is because these Native Americans live so deep into the Grand Canyon that the cavalries could not get to these peoples’ homeland due to the remoteness of the geography.

Sure we have turned a stone, so to say, and tried our best to patch things up with the Indian tribes. That is only the right thing to do—seeing as most American citizens believe that their country cares about all people living here. Yet, we still do not really have a true model or existing answer as to how to keep the tribal nations running fairly and responsibly. Taken the way the criminal codes are handled in most of the tribal nations are like most all the other laws across our great land. You break a law and typically you get arrested and then punished. In a large percentage of tribal lands there are not enough well trained or even available candidates to police these towns and borders. Since these tribal lands are separate nations apart from the United States jurisdiction the U.S. District Courts treats them as such. Now the kicker is that since most of the tribal nations can not come up with enough of their own citizens to keep order, what the American government does is treat any crime as a federal crime since these nations and reservations are separate from states laws. If you are on Indian land and assault someone then that crime becomes a federal offense. If you commit any crime that a Justice of Peace or Tribal Police cannot handle then in goes directly to the U.S. Marshals. At this point anyone caught by the marshals are sent to a federal detention center and not to what should be a separate tribal facility that deals with their own peoples laws and their own peoples court system.

The “farming out of justice” to the United States government is a huge moneymaker for the District Court system. Why our tax payers put up with this is but a sure sign that someone is keeping a lot of doors closed to keep most Americans from knowing how corrupt the federal corrections system really is.

I will cut to the chase scene on this topic. Canada. There is a separate nation of people in Canada called The First Nation’s People. Go ahead and Internet search this one, chances are that you are going to get your wake up call, Americans. The Canadian government has nothing but respect for the indigenous people that were in the North Americas before the pioneers of Canada ever set foot on its soil. The First Nations People are all the natives in the country who are treated as such, the first nation’s people. They have their own justice system, their own tax system. Laws and overall ways of life are completely separate from the Parliament of Canada. As a matter of fact the First Nation’s People have more power and rights than the new world citizens of the north.

The Canadian government went out of their way to make these laws and what I like to call articles of faith for the northern natives just because it was the right thing to do. Why couldn’t or why wouldn’t our country do such a fair thing as to recognize these type of indoctrinations? Call an apple and apple. Be fair and forthright. Don’t call an apple an orange. Once again the answer is money. Some of us have it or have given it to the government via the taxes we pay. Others want it and will stop at nothing to get it.

The place I am currently staying at is a privately funded facility that the U.S. Courts pay big money to for temporarily hold people that are arrested and waiting to go to trial. When sentenced the inmate will be transferred to a federal facility for the remainder of their sentence. There are people in here that have been waiting more than three years just to go to court for their fair and speedy trial. Things happen that extenuate your pretrial incarceration. The feds will lose evidence and have to find a solution to prosecute; or witnesses that are part of the crime are not available so you have to sit in this poorly ran stink hole until someone decides you should be processed.

As far as I know most corporations are in business to make money. At the time of writing (January of 2006) the Corrections Corp of America—whose stock indices is CXW—is worth $43.00 a share. This outfit has correction centers all over the country. Our tax money is spent feeding this corporation a steady flow of cash by keeping clients locked up as long as possible and as many as possible. It is not uncommon to see guards bring in two extra bunks to crowd in an eight and a half by fifteen-foot room to fit two more men in a two-man cell. The effort of course is to make every little space available to clients, which of course adds up to more money per square feet. Most criminal cases have almost a 95% conviction rate. State and County rates are nowhere near this extremity. Accordingly U.S. Marshals and their annexed crime fighting partners spend a ton of money processing cases. Most government entities have a cap on how much they can spend on court trials and prosecutorial judgments. Not the feds. You may have heard of the proverbial one thousand dollar hammer. They need to be sure they get a conviction for every case possible so they can request a bigger budget for the following year. In turn they get to reinvest taxpayers money on other services such as paying for private detention centers. There is a money game proffered from one government agency paying another agency for corollary services. This is a vicious circle that has ran out of control ever since The Law Reform Act of 1984.

The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (P.L. No. 98-473, 98 Stat. 1987) marked a fundamental change in federal criminal sentencing policy and practice. Part of the broader Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, the Sentencing Reform Act abolished parole in the federal system (although it did not affect the many state criminal justice systems that continued to use parole) and created the United States Sentencing Commission. This administrative body was given the task of crafting guidelines governing criminal sentencing in federal courts.

Somewhere along the line a giant lobby group sprang up to support spending tax money on prisons, correction facilities and high security penitentiaries. The entire wheel of misfortune is driven by the math of populous. The government puts more people in prison and in return gets more money allocated for the “industry.”

There is very little rehabilitation associated with released felons. The money is spent foolishly on procuring contracts to house inmates long before any type of treatment and therapy is can be set in place. Ask anyone who has been locked up fro any amount of time. The answer about how the penal system works will more than surprise you.


Chapter VI, Emotions are Meant to be Shared

Emotions are meant to be shared. They do not have much value if you keep them inside. Yet some thoughts certainly are better off kept inside, in most cases to protect you from exposing secrets of true feelings that could have negative repercussions. In the same, it is also true with certain emotions. You may have an emotional feeling about someone or some thing, yet it may be wiser to hide that emotion and mask it with a more civil or mature reaction to what you are really feeling. The actual emotion attached to what you are thinking may be much harder to hide than the initial thought. You may feel one thing about someone, but say another to protect both people from discourse. At times it is wiser to keep the emotion masked—if the person you are dealing with is not a close friend or spouse who may understand how you feel about them. In most cases the emotional reaction to a situation is typically the first reaction and should be dealt with by revealing how you feel at heart.

Controlling my impulses by curbing the reaction to the emotional attachment was never easy for me. The impulse to react became muffled, or falsified, by a falsely crafted fixation where a misfired nerve response was the result of my actions. My brain sees a beautiful sunset and the positive response should have no faulty reaction. My mind registers the sunset as a good thing while the nervous system will have no reason or rhyme to react other than the normal positive “Ahh” or “Isn’t that lovely.” Then while I am peering at the beautiful horizon there appears a mangy, sickly, torn up cat that walks in front of me. My immediate reaction is to clam up and clinch my muscles; enraged by its presence. Why could I not continue to enjoy the sunset and just all but ignore the ratty cat? This is an ongoing posture common to Tourettes Syndrome. A feeling one can not put into words recognizable to most.

It could be that I do not or have not “trained” my brain as to how to properly respond to a particular emotional presence. Response is a learned emotion. Some people “learn” to hate a person because of what someone may have taught them early on in life. An uncivil reaction could be a white man hating a black man. Or perhaps a person who prefers Fords to Chevys, the latter being a less emotional trait but a learned response, nonetheless. The learning mechanism can be tooled to create a closed mindset or it can be trained to see life in a broader more mature outlook of life. Most people rely on their parents or a close friend or group or friends, even family to help shape the opinions and feelings that stick with them for most of their life. The building of the learning mechanism can be most effective during childhood. Yet as we grow the learning we never experienced or understood, when younger, becomes second nature to understanding as an adult.

Having the proper tools to build the emotional machine with is the key element needed for shaping our learning process. If you learn from what you see, then my childhood was filled with some of the most brutal tools available. That improper molding of the mind came back to my way of thinking later in my adulthood. Why it manifests itself at this mid-life point in life may be due to not having the tools to correct those errors in the machine. The possibility of never having someone close to me that I could trust who would bring understanding to what I feel. Even not having a person available to verbally express my feelings to, can be very heartbreaking. If those feelings get trapped or locked up inside my mind I need somehow to be able to see what I was dealing with. You can look at yourself all day in a mirror. If there is nothing to compare yourself to then you may never know what it is like to change. Even the good emotions would not have as much meaning if you had no one present to support your feelings.

I did not have a caring father who could have taught me more about empathy and respect. Maybe this is why I didn’t open up earlier in life. Not being able to express my feelings to someone else has left many unpredictable implications. Not having the ability to share my thoughts has hurt me. Even sharing the good emotions with someone may have made the bad ones less important or less significant. Maybe I could have retrained my mind to be more open or agreeable to everything by having a better understanding of the vastness and broadness there is in life, not the closed set of morals I received early on in life.

Note that I used the word ‘maybe’ quite often. This Letter to Myself is all too much a seemingly endless array of questions without sound pathological answers. All I can rely on is my quest and the desire to find answers that will make sense to me and maybe not make as much etiological sense to a trained psychologist or even a neurologist. Sometimes you cannot get a valuable answer without having a viable question.

Having someone to bounce those questions off of is a concern, which could have provided an integral part to the tools needed to help remold or correct the broken cog in the machine. Most people are happier in general when they have people around them that support the way they feel. Happy couples live longer and have more good times together. They may not have been happy all their life yet being together and developing love and understanding between each other may have changed everything around them. The most important change would be their mindset. This change is one of the things I could have missed out on during my life. This change could have been the needed positive adjustment to my emotion mechanism. Love is a powerful tool. I’m sure its abilities are endless, enduring and true.

Lacking the “love tool” as a device to improve my make-up, has had a negative affect overall, on my personality. Sure I had a close relationship with my sisters and my mother. It was a whole different story when it comes to my father though. Possibly the most important piece to the upbringing of a young man would be the father component. My dad was sporadic in his philosophies, to say the least. Never really doing what he says. Telling us to be true to thy self then leaving us high and dry when we needed him the most.


When pain strikes, we often ask the wrong questions, such as why me? The right questions are, what can I learn from this? What can I do about it? What can I accomplish in spite of it. — Norman Vincent Peale

 


Epilogue – Eyes Wide Open

No one really knows what it is like to lose those freedoms we are born with as an American. Those liberties that we wake up in the morning with, choosing what we eat, where we venture each day and then at night where we go to be entertained; finally at the end of the day we sleep in our nice big comfy beds, refueling our spirits to face another adventurous day.

Yet the average, normally law-abiding, citizen could never begin to imagine the restrictions and restraints that are imposed upon him or her when they have been convicted of a crime that sends them to prison. If you have never been there, you can never really reach deep enough into your creative mind to picture or feel, or pretend what it would be like to have these freedoms taken away from you. You do not make the choice of what you eat. You cannot decide what kind of wardrobe you wear. You have non-stop chaos and indignation thrown at you every minute of the day—and night. The smells. The complaints. The bad food the unruly guards who enjoy taunting as a game. You feel like you are walking on glass and the air is filled with caustic attitudes everywhere you (are allowed to) go.

Believe it or not, there are actually people who, when incarcerated, believe they are better off of are at least more comfortable in prison than they are in society. It took a while for me to understand what on earth those inmates were talking about, but when you get a better picture of their background—the disheveled and broken world they came from—you eventually see their point: better food, a place to sleep, clean clothes, free utilities, a bit of camaraderie among their newly established peers. A world much better than the one they came from before being sentenced to a term of incarceration.

Yet, most of those whom embrace the “lifestyle” of incarceration, have a history of criminal activities or were homeless and on drugs. But for a person with a relatively decent lifestyle, a person that can afford to put food on the table and keep the bills paid should never experience, for any reason, the agony and defeat of being locked-up.

The paradigm for loss of freedoms is a tough model to describe to the average American. At present there are over two-and a half-million Anericans (and immigrants) in our federal and state correctional institutions. Some of these places are reasonably facilitated, and with enough basic amenities to, more or less, keep an inmate from becoming the mental equivalent of a manic-depressive. Other prisons, such as state ran and private correction facilities are a total train wreck and you will experience pain and suffrage from the time you wake up each day until the time the lights go out at night.

One of the few examples that could be used to describe what this misery of detainment and control over your life is like, would be to recall what you were feeling when you lost a person close to you, or a pet that was dear to you. I do not want to bring out sad emotions by asking you to remember these tearful and disheartening feelings you had when you lost a family member of lost a major part of your life—and knew that was gone forever, but those mournful disassociations and condolences are very comparative feelings associated with what the majority of prison time ultimately does to you. And the pain reinforces its self when you realize it is you that has passed on into another world that you must endure for the duration.

Yes, granted that you are eventually released from your tern of incarceration. Unlike losing a loved one at least you get back your freedoms…what remains of the concept. You will ultimately have to sort out your life, finding your new liberties are distorted and restricted; damaging the quality of life you had in the pre-conviction days.

Some of that post-incarceration misery you have collected and carried with you converts itself into depression or anxieties, which may take a lifetime for you to sort out. Feeling bitter and angry at the world—and your self—after you are released; and the criminal history you are branded with follows you forever like a dark, ugly shadow. So the ill effects of committing a crime can prove a much greater toll on your emotional health than almost any other aspect of you social and/or material world.

In referring to the psychological condition or the mental stress and social scars associated with a felony conviction, the one thing I can not emphasize enough is what happens to your psyche while in prison: the unknown conceptualization of prisonization. This concept is not a common, every day distinguishable terminology for anyone who has not been incarcerated. You do not know nor will you be able to appreciate, if I can use that word, even the meaning of prisonization. You must live with the disconnect; the mental and physical loss of commonalities instilled unto you by the deprivation of life and liberties. Prisonization is a unique term coined by many in the business of justice, which describes the condition that is embedded in your brain after serving any amount of time behind bars. This is typically termed by some as institutionalization. A condition you develop by being told what to do, when to do it and how often you will. You can only reach for what is handed to you, leaving very few options to keep healthy and grow, mentally.

Try thinking of the worst possible situation you may have ever been in, at any time of your life; then amplify that by any given amount, (pick a number, it does not matter how big or small) then picture yourself reliving that horror or agony over and over and over again for the next three, four or fifteen years of your life. Waking in the morning to tell yourself how idiotic you were to let yourself go downhill the way you did when you were behaving like a criminal. Reminding yourself at chow time, how sad it is to have to eat non-nutritional, expired/out-dated, low grade poorly cooked meals when you could be at home with wonderful people in a wonderful environment, having a wonderful dinner.

It’s not a pretty picture. Prison is hell, that’s all there is to it. The fact that anyone has not been to prison precludes that person from any cognitive or relative understanding of how being locked-up can effect his or her life—drastically. The fact that anyone has not experience the pain and suffering associated with a stint-behind-bars, leaves me to talk until I’m blue in the face in an effort to make dimensional what I have experienced. Point being, is that the experience is not anything a person with deviant desires or distorted compulsions need to welcome into their life. I say welcome because, if you keep committing the acts of immorality you are now involved with, you will be guaranteed the life of disheartening humiliation and deterioration of character the day you arrive at the gates of the correctional facility, with a number on your shirt. Or should we call that number a Scarlet Letter. Branded forever with the hopelessness of returning to your old hometown or your past community as a whole person. Never the same as it ever was.

So if you are putting your self in harm’s way by acting compulsively or in a manner that will ultimately send you to prison, stop now. Let it be known: I never even dreamt of possessing materials of innocent children which ultimately sent me to serving forty-eight months in a federal correctional facility. My life style was middle-class and better. I had a boat, a truck, a house, and a great job. But the one thing I did not have was a stable psychological day-to-day interdependency. Had I made a better effort to escape the distortion that was bring my life to a stand still (or grasp the ability to understand that distortion) I would have not been exposed to all the punishment and cruel torment bestowed upon me by the Department of Justice for my actions. I would be on my boat, out on the lake pulling in a three-pound bass while my buddy pops open another beer.

If you are involved in any type of addictive or uncontrollable Internet activity, please assess yourself deeply…. Believe me it is easy to feel safe and comfy sitting there in your private, laid-back ergonomic chair with the, albeit false, expectation that no one at no time can or will come through your door and break down your secret fantasy world you are living by way of the internet. Do not mislead yourself. Do not feel safe/warm/fuzzy/protected. They have guns. They have warrants. They have handcuffs and they have the right to hold you in custody without bail, because you are a danger to society. So therefore you can be taken from your happy home one day, never to ever see it again. No warning, no compassion; no breaks because you are “just looking at pictures.” Note that your life can and will be messed up badly from downloading those pictures. Even if you do not ever go to jail—which is highly unlikely—you life cannot and will not ever be moral and good as long as you are under the false impression that nothing will happen to you for what you are doing now. If you think about it, your life is already messed up if you are secretly abusing the public domain of the Internet. STOP; REFORMAT YOUR HARD DRIVE, WRITE ZEROS ON YOUR DRIVE. NOT JUST ERASE DATA. GO FIND A SEX ADDICTION GROUP, AND PRIVATE COUNSEL – NOW! BEFORE YOU END UP LOSING EVERYTHING YOU WORKED FOR.

* * *

“… the Internet [is like] the ‘crack cocaine’ of sexual addiction: it moves people into areas that they would not otherwise go into.” —- Patrick Carnes, “In the Shadow of the Net: Breaking Free from Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior

In 1996 there were 113 cases investigated, involving child pornography and of those cases, there were 68 arrests made that year by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 2005 FBI investigated 2402 cases involving exploitive child pornography, of those cases a larger ratio of arrest were made of 1649.

In 2002 the Innocent Images National Initiative Unit (FBI-IINIU) assayed the number of illegal images of children on the Internet to be 3,600. By 2005 the Unit

counted over 6.5 million, publicly accessible images of child exploitation running rampantly over the world-wide-web.


The Power to Resee* – (The Future’s Present-Past)

Past—

Present—

Future—

We are born within a family, that reflects how we grow,

We grow from these reflections, yet question how we know.

We them LIVE by the knowledge, in hope of what to believe,

Once we HAVE some of the answers, what happens next is power: the power to resee.

To know of this personal power, brings change; so you may find,

When you FIND this power has strength, you stand up to those memories that never left your mind.

The PAST can be permanent, only for a short time,

The PRESENT can be benevolent, as so ever you are inclined,

The FUTURE may be feared, yet fear is a state of mind.

We are BORN, we GROW, and then we LIVE

Once we HAVE the KNOWledge to FIND;

By all that we desire, to be simply a matter of fact,

All the consequences of your memories are the FUTURE’S PRESENT-PAST.

* The word resee is not in the English dictionary nor is it accepted by most as a grammatically correct usage of a compound. The author use a poetic license in validation of this word.


Grammar on Capital Hill – Grammatically Incorrect

The wording “Sex offender” used when referring to people with sex offenses is by all virtue and academically incorrect. Who Congress let this one slip through annoys me.

Think about it, if you WERE a farmer—you had a farm and drove the tractor that tilled the land—then you retired or plain changed your station in life, then you are no longer a farmer.

We can guess why lawmakers let the wording of SORNA (and other states registry names) stay the way they are. It sounds more vile and scarier to have a national registry titled “sex offender…” Fact of the matter is that (I) no longer am a sex offender. I AM A PERSON with a sex offense.

When we put labels on people it makes the “labeled” less likely to change. Therapy and treatment are now required for all people whom have been convicted of a sex related offense. The person that wants to heal him/her self has that opportunity and will make progress at changing as long as they remain true to the ideals of treatment.

So why do highly educated* people such as congressmen and state representatives—including the yahoos that edit and publish state and federal statutes into the books—allow grammar to become published incorrectly?

The correct term is: “A Person With a Sex Offense.” I committed an act of indiscretion and have served my time for that immoral action. I am in treatment and feel I am the type of person who would never take advantage of a child or force myself on any aged person with the intention of violating their sanctity. I downloaded images of adolescences, that was my offense.

So I now have an offense that I must come to terms with by living my life out as a moral and productive member of my community. I am not an offender. I was already arrested for offending. So ask congressmen and those whom “write” the rules of our land to at least get their grammar right. Tell them it’s “a person with an offense” not “an offender.”


Why Are There Shadows?

When you are sad, do not sit under a happy tree,

Or the leaves will rain on you and bare the listening branches of concern.

If you dance alone, in joy and in vim,

The moon will smile at you and whistle along.

For all the light that hails from the sky,

Can only shine on those whom open their eyes.

To shut out the world and pass through life in the dark,

Leaves the imagination numb, never contending: the life of fire is borne of the spark

A dove can be winged to fly high above,

Yet as she sails, those wings reflect no light,

Other than the shadows that cast off her own wings,

There are no other elements that may interfere with her journey.

For man is addled in a legend [be] known worldwide,

Telling us that the sun rises, each day, to meet our eyes.

Though that appears simple and looks obviously true,

Alas! The sun does not rise in the morn,

Truth be it, our mother turns into his light to offer life’s blessing,

When the day says it’s due.

For so many colors, and moods, the sky has to offer—unlimited at that,

From crimson reds to the palest of greens but never a neutral—any hue between;

Brightness from the sun, darkness from the storm—then,

When the cloud passes, the illumination ignites upon us.

Here in, the meekest trickery of plant life does spring into action,

Casting a shadow from affront, calmly taming the power of the sun.

More over, more outright, the gray always conquers the beaming fair glint,

An ambivalent reflection of nothing[ness], had anything brought it about,

Light to dark from Olympic burst of heat to subtle pools of pallid coolness,

The shadows appear, and overwhelm that which was born to rule us.

Keep me in comfort,

Keep me covered from contempt,

The spirit reflected from cast’s shadows,

Harry reasons where once laid dissent.

Written 8/5-11/08