The Long-Delayed Conclusion: Medical “Observation” in the Dark


The Long-Delayed Conclusion: Medical “Observation” in the Dark


Welcome to hell.

Of the four “medical observation” cells, I was placed in the one where the other prisoners could not see me. The other three, prisoners can strain their necks to look at one another. The cell I was in, the entrance was set back behind a sink and counter area, isolating me completely even from other prisoners.

The cell door is plexiglass. Inside, the full array of luxuries that compliment the standard torture suite: a fibergass box where prior occupants were strapped down in five-point restraints… a ragged, bare mattress (perhaps with stuffing, perhaps not)… A steel sink-and-toilet combo (perhaps with remnants of prior occupants’ DNA smeared on it, perhaps not)… A half of a roll of toilet paper… A light blasting from the ceiling, all hours of the day and night… A four-inch window that looks out onto an obstruction, allowing no sunlight… A steel shower compartment the size of a phone booth carved into one wall… A camera, high up on the back wall, behind a reflective bubble that looks like a giant insect eye staring at you…

That’s it. The environment in which you will live until further notice.

Do NOT tip the bell-hop.

The temperature is usually ten degrees below “human normal,” but that’s adjustable, depending on how much they really hate you. In September 2012, at MANCI, I could see my breath. So, entering a torture cell, the first indicator of the enemy’s true purpose is the temperature. If it’s really cold, they merely want to torture you. If it’s unbearable hypothermia cold, they really want you dead.

At the supermax, as soon as I stepped into the cell, I relaxed a bit. Fuckweasel Physician Dr. James Kline didn’t want me dead; he merely wanted to torture me.

Here’s a part of the PROCESS: You enter the torture suite and the enemy gives you a few minutes to take in the ambience, which, really, takes milliseconds. A mattress and a half a roll of toilet paper require little inspection. But the point in doing this to you is to let it sink in– the cold, the emptiness, the filth. Then, after short time, someone with INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS TRAINING, provided at fascist workshops wherever humans get crammed feet-first into blenders like Dr. Kline’s hamsters, will come to the plexiglass cell door to engage you in a relatively empathetic way, designed to provide you a glimmer of hope to balance the overwhelming dread you feel. This staffer with INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS TRAINING, typically a female staffer, will listen to your pleas and sobs and begging and special requests, but it will do no good.

You’re fucked.

You’re gonna be tortured.

You are in the torture suite for psychological disassembly, to be taken apart like a soldier breaks down his rifle for cleaning. It begins, of course, as they introduce you to an environment where you have zero control over anything and they have complete control over every aspect of your existence. Their exertion of control is key, designed to reduce you to the role of a helpless dependent, fearful and deprived.

I deliberatey fuck up their PROCESS right from the start. When the empathetic nurse arrived to engage me through the plexiglass, I made no pleas or requests, no begging or sobbing. My first words were, “These are my non-negotiable demands…”

The point, for me, is to not just project power but to exercise power over all of those things I have the power to control. So I said, “You can relate to Dr. Kline that I will let you check my blood pressure ONE TIME. If it’s below 160 over 90, which is what Nurse Practitioner Carter said it had to be for me to remain in population, you release me back to A-block and I will continue to cooperate with you. You can check my blood pressure as often as you like– in A-block.

“But, if you do not release me back to population, this will be the last time you will check my blood pressure until I am released back to A-block and given access to phone, mail, and email. That means that if you hold me down here against my will, you will have LESS information about my medical situation than if I were in population. So, if Dr. Kline’s real concern is my health, he’ll immediately release me to population where he can monitor my blood pressure rather than holding me down here where he cannot.”

The nurse left to relay my non-negotiable demands to Dr. Kline. When she returned, she said Dr. Kline insisted that I get my blood pressure checked on two different shifts and if it remained under 160 over 90, he would release me to population the following day.

I had two problems. First, if I agreed, I would be into Saturday, having cooperated, and had no guarantee they would keep their word and release me. These were the same fuckweasels who said I would stay in population in the first place. Second, I didn’t have my stash of extra meds. I had no guarantee that by the time the second blood pressure check happened, that my numbers wouldn’t be too high and justify further extending my isolation.

So, I said no. I re-iterated that she could check my blood pressure once. After that, the State and I would have no relationship until I returned to A-block.

Sure, they could hold my physical body in a cage and make demands of me, using their torture suite as leverage; but I had information they needed. Without blood pressure readings, their “medical observation” rationale was unsustainable; Dr. Kline with his hamsters whipping around in his blender could not justify his “medical” pretext if he was holding me in isolation where he got LESS medical information on me.

I controlled that information.

I held leverage.

Leverage is power.

They brought me out of the cell in shackles and chains, on video, and took my blood pressure. 150 over 70. Below the threshhold for remaining in population.

PROCESS: Over the course of the next couple hours, security staff bring an assortment of things to the cell and deliver them through the food slot. They COULD bring it all and drop it off when you first enter the torture suite– but that would defeat the purpose. With a delivery first of bedding, then hygiene products like soap, then food, they reinforce your dependent role and reinforce their position of power. In each exchange, they decide what to give you and when, and they set the terms of the relationship, reinforcing your powerlessness.

The guard came to ask me if I have regular diet or a special diet. I continued pacing around the fiberglass box with the ragged mattress on it. I made no eye-contact. I didn’t so much as acknowledge his existence. He repeated his question. He waited. He tapped the fiberglass door with his big brass key.

I gave him nothing.

He walked away.

Next, two guards came with bedding. They announced, “We have some BEDDING here for you…”

I kept pacing. I didn’t look up, didn’t acknowledge them. They opened the food slot. Tapped on the door. After a moment, they closed the food slot and left with the bedding.

Note that, if they really wanted me to have the bedding, they could have simply dropped it into my cell. The food slot was open; the bedding was right there. But, they left with it. They left with it because the bedding was a TOOL to establish INTERACTION to reinforce my DEPENDENCE. Since I did not participate in the desired power dynamics, they took the tool with them.

After bedding, came chow. They opened the food slot and shoved the styrofoam container in it. When I didn’t acknowledge them, they withdrew the meal and left.

I kept pacing.

Next came hygiene. In a super-friendly voice, the guard said, “Hey Swain, we got some hygiene articles here for you! We have soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, towel, wash cloth…” It was like he was trying to sell me a new car. I kept pacing.

They left the meal and hygiene on the counter next to the sink just outside my cell where I could see it. They left it as a temptation. I smiled. Then I paced.

By the non-interaction when they brought hygiene, I was driving them bonkers. The psychological element of enforcing a specific power dynamic was out the window. Far from being rendered dependent and helpless, reduced to the position of a child, I exercised my own unilateral power to terminate the relationship between myself and the State. We were in a state of nonrecognition, a state that I had dictated.

I had sacrificed creature comforts– bedding, hygiene, food –but I wasn’t willing to pay the price for them: relinquishing power to the enemy.

I paced, knowing prisoners had alerted Ben as to where I was and that a battle plan was already going into effect. The State would be under full assault by thousands of angry anarchists within hours, and then the fuckweasels would be asking themselves a difficult question to answer: Now that they had me where they wanted me, how could they get me OUT of there and make the conflict end?

As I paced, I spelled out messages into the video camera up on the back wall under the bug eye. I knew that camera feed went to an office where an overpaid asshole wasn’t paying attention. And, even if he was, he likely didn’t know what I was spelling out. So, my messages would be digitally stored until my attorney subpoenaed the video footage.

I paced.


I paced.


And paced.


A few more laps.


At what I guessed was sundown, the cell got considerably colder. I laid down on the mat to get some sleep, knowing I’d be up during the coldest part of the night, pacing to get warm.

At breakfast, I would have 48 empty hours to endure. And I had to survive it without access to my stash of blood pressure meds. The irony, of course, is that if fuckweasel physician Dr. Kline had left me alone, I’d have been fine; but his “medical intervention” for provably nonmedical reasons could possibly kill me.

As I laid down, the phone in the hall rang. I heard the guard speaking in hushed tones. He mentioned the “security camera” and asked, “What is it that he’s saying…?” He was obviously speaking to someone who had noticed my sign language communications.

The guard came to the cell, knowing I wouldn’t acknowledge him, and asked me, “Do you want this light on or off?”

He then shut off the light, plunging me into total darkness for the next twenty-four hours. The camera could no longer pick up my messages, and I would be under “observation” in complete darkness, unseen by anyone. I would be in an “observation cell” in pitch black conditions.

I awoke shivering in the cold and tucked my arms inside the T-shirt. I crossed them and clutched at the insides of the sleeves to hold them shut. I then breathed exhaust down the front of my shirt. I drifted off to sleep again on that bare mattress, only to wake up shivering again.

Time to pace. Hours, shivering, breathing into my shirt, lap after lap in the darkness. Then breakfast came. Again, I didn’t acknowledge the guard. Another victory.

When going without food, you have to monitor hydration by paying attention to your urine. You want it clear and virtually odorless. The darker and more pungent, the more dehydrated you are.

My strategy was to drink every time I took a piss. I had to drink water from the sink out of my hand, slurping it one palmful at a time. Then pace and shiver.

With no light, signing messages was out of the question. So, I imagined everyone who was with me in that cell. Family, friends, people from across the country and around the world. The cell was quite crowded.

Every half an hour, the guard came to the plexiglass door and peered into the cell, squinting, unable to see me, and then walked away. Every so often the nurse did the same.

As far as they knew, I was several days without blood pressure meds. I was subject to spikes in blood pressure that could cause heart attacks, strokes, or aneurysms at any minute. And I was held in the medical dungeon for my own good, contrary to my own medical wishes, in order to save me from those heart attacks and strokes and aneurysms.

But they didn’t know my vitals, and therefore didn’t know how likely some serious medical emergency was, and they had to assume that it was imminent. They also couldn’t see me, and therefore couldn’t see whether or not I was exhibiting symptoms of serious medical emergencies– the same emergencies that being in the dungeon was to save me from.

So that’s when I decided to fake the signs of a stroke.

I think I did an awesome job of it too, but we won’t know for certain until my attorney gets the digital recordings. With the lights off, you’ll only be able to see my silhouette as I pass the cell door. At first, I limped a bit and appeared to lose my balance, disoriented. Then, as I continued pacing, the drag of the left foot became more pronounced. My left arm began to dangle, the hand atrophied, the thumb between the curled up fingers. As I continued, the left arm swung limp and I had to hold it with the right. My left eye was almost completely closed, the muscles of my face contracted into a grimace on that side. Then, I stumbled and fell slumped across the end of the bed closest to the door. I sat, arm dangling, face twisted, as the guard came for rounds.

He couldn’t see me having a stroke and he left.

The shift captain came. He couldn’t see me having a stroke either.

Then the male nurse came. I leaned into the light, arm dangling, face drawn down on one side, and I muttered incoherently out of the right side of my mouth.

He left. He could see nothing.

Why was I in that cell again? Clearly not for “medical observation.”

So, just in case the camera could pick me up, I faked symptoms of a stroke for about two hours until I got bored. Obviously, the asshole on the other end of that camera feed was more concerned about sign language messages I had sent to my counsel than he was about whether I survived.

My survival chances would be better if I were selected as a candidate for the hunger games than being under “medical observation.” I sure felt safe in the hands of fuckweasel Dr. James Kline and friends.

When I got tired of having a fake stroke, I paced until lunch. I sang my own lyrics to an ’80s hit by Springsteen.

“…Even if we’re just dying in the dark…”

Empty time is slow, torturous, seemingly moving in reverse, and I wondered what James Kline was up to, with his German helmet and his hamster chunks and his frogs pinned to the basement wall. Perhaps he had even hooked electrodes into the brains of cute little puppies.

His experiments on humans certainly weren’t very exciting.

What a fuckweasel.

I contemplated, as I paced, how James Kline would feel if people handed out flyers at the hospital where he bumbled around, or at his practice, or at his local synagogue… Flyers that announced, “DR. JAMES KLINE IS A MONSTER,” and then described how he abused his medical authority on behalf of the Nazis to try to break my med strike and thereby silence my video postings forever.

That picked up my spirits.

I also thought about how insurance companies raise malpractice rates if a doctor gets sued, regardless of whether he loses the lawsuit or not. I considered how I could fashion a fill-in-the-blank civil action and post it, and people who wanted to file it could print it and get it filed, and with the magic of the interweb, we could locate his insurance provider and notify them of yet another lawsuit, and another, and another…

Fuckweasel Dr. James Kline’s insurance payments would get more and more expensive. There goes the kids’ college. There goes cable. Before you know it, he’d have to pawn even the helmet and the blender. He’d be sporting a stocking cap, hacking up piles of earth worms with a Ginsu knife. Without funds for lubricant, he’d have to dry-stroke just like in his intern days.

I paced, I plotted, I refused to acknowledge lunch. I refused to acknowledge dinner.

I was 24 hours without meds and my blood pressure was really creeping on me. I could feel it. I drank water, breathed deeply. It was only Saturday night and I had to make it to Monday morning. Monday morning was the goal. Kline would be in, as would the warden, getting bombarded with calls and emails about this most-recent illegality. The attorney, Richard Kerger, would undoubtedly be pounding his shoe on the table and demanding access to me.

Just 36 more hours.

But that’s also the window for a blood pressure spike, one that could cause a real stroke, and then I’d really be dying in the dark. Just 36 hours, but that empty time extended outward in front of me to an unseen horizon, seemingly forever. Every hour was a lifetime.

As I paced, I heard the guard and nurse talking. The nurse mentioned that Monday was a holiday. I stopped in my tracks.

Sixty hours. Sixty hours without meds, with blood pressure already creeping up. Sixty hours without the med stash I had squirreled away in my cell on A-block. And I would be incommunicado, possibly until I fell over dead and no one would know it, including the clowns who were “observing” me.

I paced. Drank water. Tried to find some way around the math.

If only I had stashed a few blood pressure pills in my sock. If I had done that, I could get through. But I hadn’t. I had expected to be stripped out before getting tossed in the dungeon, and hadn’t wanted them to find the blood pressure pills.

Sixty hours. Sixty.

I had to change plans. I was better off getting back to population and getting to the phone and getting the story out to the rest of the world, and to the attorney. The usefulness of a med strike or a hunger strike was no greater if I extended them to Monday than if I quit them on Saturday night.

I had already gotten all the mileage I would get, and had provoked them to obvious and illegal repression, and the remaining question was whether I would suffer real harm and even death, and for what? To go an extra, unnecessary 60 hours?

So, as I paced, I decided I would go for as long as I could, but if my blood pressure kept climbing, I’d have to take a pill and give up the med strike. And that’s when the lieutenant came in.

He and the guard were talking. The guard voiced concern about my non responses. I heard the lieutenant say something about transfer.


He then said, “Monday, he’s somebody else’s problem,” in hushed tones.

Where was I going on Monday?

I recalled at Toledo they had packed me up and put me in the hole before sending me to the nuthouse. They had done that to isolate me and prevent my communication. It was possible that OSP planned to transfer me from the facility. If that was the case, they would keep me locked in the dungeon until the day of the transfer, no matter what.

I had a plan. I had to get out to the hospital. If I were hospitalized, that would delay the transfer. So, when the lieutenant came to the cell, I spoke with him about my ordeal. He responded cordially, as dictated by his INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS TRAINING. He told me that my situation would be addressed on Monday.

A captain came through next and I engaged him. His responses were almost word-for-word what the lieutenant had said. Fishy. Something was up. So, I called for the guard, had the light turned on. Asked for the bedding and hygiene and the meal sitting out on the counter.

I made the bed, never intending to sleep in it. I ate the food, including the salt, knowing that my blood pressure would go up drastically when digesting my first meal in weeks. I then took a hot shower with the hygiene amenities they provided, knowing a hot shower would raise my blood pressure even higher.

The plan was to elevate my blood pressure to a serious level for a short window of time when the nurse was checking it. It would be so high that, along with my complaint of chest pains, they would send me out to the hospital. From there, I would have communication with counsel and no transfer could occur until I was released.

I would postpone “diesel therapy.”

When the third shift nurse came in, I submitted to a medical assessment. My heart rate was 121 beats per minute. Jack-rabbit fast. My blood pressure was 130 over 100. So, on the back end, I was 10 points OVER the standard of 160 over 90.

The nurse called Dr. Kline.

He gave me the blood pressure pill and told me that if I took it, Dr. Kline would release me back to population in just a few hours. I took it.

Having eaten and taken the pill, my hunger and med strikes were over. Central Office fuckweasels could continue banning my video visits indefinitely. So, even though my blood pressure numbers were far and away worse than when Kline had me dragged away, his real mission had been achieved and I could return to population. So, provably, nothing that had occurred was related to my health but was, instead, related to crushing my protected protest activities.

Sherlock Paulie SuperGenius could pull the plug on my video forever. THAT was the outcome that Dr. Kline had really served.

What a fuckweasel.

I returned to population, wrote up the narrative of my misadventures, contacted legal counsel and breathed a sigh of relief that I wasn’t being transferred on Monday after all.

Turns out, the transfer would begin Tuesday night…

* * *