Category Archives: Sean

The Transfer Saga Continues…

Don’t get us wrong, Sean isn’t black bagged again, he’s just  in a sort of limbo, back at the super duper uber mega ultra maxi-max in Youngstown. He had his hearing, gave his statement (recorded here for your listening pleasure) and the committee hearing his plea recommended against his return to exile. This means, for the moment, he’ll be in the same state as his lawyer and his spouse, Lauren! But the fight isn’t over.

Sean was transferred from the supermax in 2019 to Virginia where he had no serious rule infractions at a much lower security facility. So, why is he back at a supermax in Ohio if not for retributive reasons? Sean dared to tell PREA, ODRC and the world about the assault he suffered at the hands of former ODRC inspector Trevor Clark and has a case pending in the Inter-American Court on Human Rights on his torture in Ohio prisons. He’s even written a book undermining the legitimacy of the existence of Ohio!

If you’re concerned about Sean’s ability and are willing to tell the officials in Ohio to not transfer him, you can contact the following officials to let them know that Sean deserves a fair shake:

Earlena Shepherd
Interstate Compact Coordinator
ODRC
4545 Fisher Road, Suite D
Columbus, OH 43228

Sean Is Back at OSP Youngstown

OSP Youngstown from aboveThe ODRC has decided to recall it’s favorite guest to the supermax at Youngstown (Ohio State Penitentiary). This seems to be procedural as a way of assessing his threat level and what sort of facility he should be relegated to for his time back in Ohio. Since Sean was about to graduate down to a Medium facility before his out-of-state transfer to Virginia a little over 2 years ago and he’s been held at a Medium facility in VA, it stands to reason Sean’ll be moving to a Medium unless they’re being punitive in their placement. Only time will tell, this is the new ODRC!

Meanwhile, it seems that it takes a week for new arrivals to recieve a JPay setup, so he may not be calling or emailing out his friends and supporters for a bit. You should be able to write him snail-mail at. We’re sure he’d appreciate some loving-kindness:

Sean Swain #A243205
OSP Youngstown
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd
Youngstown, OH 44505

Statement to the Parole Board

middle

I write this statement for consideration by the parole board in advance of the re-scheduled hearing to occur in December 2016, after having refused to appear on July 28, 2016. I write this statement to set forth the reasons I believe I should be given a parole.

IN both of my previous hearings, held in 2005 and 2011 respectively, I provided a description of the events in my case. In both hearings, despite my claims of innocence and despite the uncontroverted evidence that proves conclusively that events occurred just as I have always described, the parole board gave me seventy-some months and sixty months respectively. It is my experience that the parole board has no regard for the truth and I have no reason to believe that the parole board has somehow magically obtained any greater regard for it. So, related to the death of Andrew Crouch and the circumstances surrounding it, I will suffice to say that the events of 1991 have no changed since my last appearance and I remain as innocent of the crime for which I was falsely imprisoned as I was in 1991.

If the parole board seeks an admission from me that I did something that I did not do, I suggest they get some chips and beer. They will be waiting a while. Continue reading

Letter to C.I.I.C. Director Joanna Saul

David Lyle--Wrongfully accused

Joanna Saul, Director
Corrections Institution Inspection Committee
Riffe Center, 15th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

April 1, 2016

Dear Director Saul:

My communications mediums have been suspended since September 1 of last year without explanation, warning, notice, or justification. The ODRC is essentially murdering my social existence beyond prison fences. I have violated no prison rules to justify this suspension and no disciplinary action taken against me has imposed a communications restriction to justify what I experience.

I have contacted the parole board because I have a parole hearing scheduled for July that I cannot attend. I have not had communication with my attorney because of this communications suspension and he has been unable to prepare for my hearing. I am unaware if he still intends to represent me, and if he is, what he needs from me. If he is not going to represent me, I need to contact other attorneys. I currently have a legal fund for gaining counsel if only I could communicate with the outside world. But, I cannot.

Continue reading

I’m Still Alive

boxingWell, I’m still alive. This is really awkward. I didn’t plan on this.

The current suspension of my communications started at the end of August. The fascists simply cut off all of my outgoing communication the equivalent to putting duct tape on my face.

This is part of a pattern. Fascists suspended my communications in January to stop me from producing video talking about my innocence in my criminal case. They shut down my communications again in May when I wrote a statement in opposition to the international crime of torture. No good deed goes unpunished. Continue reading

An Open Letter to Ohio Adult Parole Authority Member Jose Torres on the Mythology of Political Prisoner Status

November 19, 2013

Dear Mr. Torres,

You may recall my parole hearing in September of 2011 when you confronted me in a particularly hostile manner because I had claimed to be a political prisoner. But chances are you won’t recall that hearing. You won’t recall that hearing from hundreds or thousands of others, any more than the executioner on a corporate cattle farm would recall one or another cow that he brained in the course of his career. So, let me refresh your memory.

I was convicted of Aggravated Murder in the self-defense killing of the nephew of the Clerk of Courts, in my own home. My false conviction was reversed, but the trial court refused to abide by the court of appeals’ decision and did not provide me the fair trial ordered. I remain confined without a legal conviction or sentence.

I have consistently maintained my innocence.

I have consistently maintained that my case is politically motivated and that I was sacrificed for the proposition that the ruling elite and their loved ones are not governed by the same laws as the rest of us, that the courts are a tool and a weapon to serve the privileged and entitled.

I have contended that I am, de facto, a political prisoner, that I remain confined not for any crime (because no one truly believed me to be guilty except possibly the jury who was manipulated with selective information), but confined instead for the political benefit that sacrificing me would fain for the officials who orchestrated this deliberate injustice.

During my parole hearing, you read to me Amnesty International’s very narrow and reformist definition of political prisoner status. I admitted to you that their definition does not apply in my case. However, their definition really only can apply in States without elected governments, and does not contemplate a situation such as mine. In fact, by Amnesty’s narrow definition, the United States holds no political prisoners–not even Leonard Peltier or Mumia Abu-Jamal, none of the Black Panthers or Black Liberation Army prisoners from the 1960s and 1970s.

It seems to me very self-serving that in all the various definitions of political prisoner status, you selected the only one that effectively cancels out the political prisoner status of every prisoner in North America. Very self-serving.

You then asked me if any “reputable” organizations have recognized me as a political prisoner. As point of fact, I had never solicited recognition of any organization, reputable or otherwise. And when I told you I was not recognized as a political prisoner by any reputable organizations, you seemed quite proud of the points you scored.

Of course, Andrew Crouch is still dead, all of your high-fives notwithstanding. And I am still held captive for a provable non-crime, despite your touchdown dances.

So, after the Adult Parole Authority gave me yet five more years for a non-crime absent a legal conviction, I sought and gained recognition as a political prisoner. Several organizations recognized me. I made great headway preparing for 2016 and my next parole hearing.

Of course, Andrew Crouch was still dead. And I was still held captive. And you had long ago hung the memory of my hearing on a meathook and shoved it towards the processing plant.

Then a few things occurred to me:

First, I came to realize that I could never gain the recognition of any “reputable” organization. Given that you are the self-appointed, sole authority of what “reputable” means, if every human rights organization in the world, including Amnesty International, recognized me as a political prisoner, their association with me, in your book, would only make them disreputable.

Second, I came to realize you can fuck off. Your opinion doesn’t count. You don’t know me, and it appears to me that you have suffered some kind of loss and become convinced that you should dishonor the loved one you lost by becoming completely inhuman and incapable of human empathy, a walking hole that could swallow the world.

So third, I had to question: Has any “reputable” organization recognized the legitimacy of the State of Ohio? I don’t think any “reputable” organization has. The Treaty of Greeneville in 1795 recognizes this territory as “Unceded Indian Territory” and, absent any subsequent treaty, this area remains the legal possession of those name tribes.

Have the Shawnee recognized the legitimacy of the State of Ohio? How about the Ottawa? The Huron? I don’t think so.

So by all reasonable accounts, Mr. Torres, you are employed by an entity as real as Santa Claus or the Tooth Faerie. At least according to your laws, not that anyone ever follows those.

But fourth–and this is the big point–I came to realize the absurdity of so-called “political prisoner” status, the silliness of such a designation. And that’s really what I would like to explain.

For there to be political prisoners, there would have to be non-political prisoners. That is, there would have to be captives who are genuinely held for the common good by a legitimate State who acted under proper and pure motives.

Right. We’re back to Santa Claus and the Tooth Faerie again. Is there such a thing as a legitimate State? Is there such a thing as a legitimate state that acts under proper and pure motives? Is there such a thing as a legitimate state that acts under proper and pure motives, holding captives for the common good?

If you believe there is, then you can recognize that there are such things as non-political prisoners, and so you can then draw some distinction between prisoners validly locked up by the State you worship and the prisoners not validly locked up by the State you worship.

But, if you’re an anarchist, as I am, and you recognize that no legitimate “right to rule” exists (as I argue in “Ohio,” Part III), then there can be no such thing as captives locked up for the common good by a legitimate state–because there’s no such thing as a “legitimate state.”

Once you recognize the State as a false idol, a construct, a mythological creation with no legal or logical basis, no underlying “right to rule” which it falsely assumes, then all prisoners are kidnap victims held by hierarchs sharing a mass delusion of authority. No prisoner is any different from any other.

If we begin with the analysis that the State possesses no legitimate authority, then no one has the right to pass laws that others must follow. No cop has the authority to arrest anyone.

In the mind of an Anarchist is there a legitimate lawmaker and an illegitimate one? A legitimate cop and an illegitimate one?

If the State possesses no legitimate authority, then no prosecutor has the right to prosecute, no court has the authority to pass sentence, and no warden has the right to confine nor to execute captives.

In the mind of an Anarchist, can there be a legitimate prosecutor? Or judge? Or warden?

If we begin from the essentially-anarchist position that the State has no right to exist, then all legislatures, cops, prosecutors, judges, and wardens get thrown out with the proverbial bath water. And absent legislatures, cops, prosecutors, judges, and wardens, how can there be legitimate offenders held captive for the common good…and held by whom?

I am not a political prisoner. I possess no special quality, no special designation not shared by every prisoner held by every illegitimate hierarch pathology manifested across the globe. For me to recognize a special designation even for myself, that recognition would necessarily imply that somewhere a State has a legitimate right to exist, and that legitimate State has some valid reason for holding someone against his or her will.

I am ready to make no such concession.

There exists no legitimate State.

There exists no valid law.

There can be no distinction between political and non-political prisoners when no imprisonment can ever be justified.

So that’s my thinking, Mr. Torres. Hopefully, these ideas will inspire other people and I won’t have to be assaulted with your inane questions in 2016. Hopefully the fences will be gone, the mythology of authority will be long dead, and we will vaguely remember a time when debates over words continued while human beings languished in bondage.

Here’s to a future without prisons, without parole boards, and without States. Here’s to a future without control-freaks like you running it.

Freedom or Death,

Sean Swain

Violence! Violence! Violence!

An open letter to ODRC Legal Counsel Trevor Matthew Clark, Esquire, on his favorite topic–my unapologetic advocacy of political violence (written in the hopes of inspiring others to adopt my position and engage in revolutionary action).

Dear Trevor:

In the interests of full transparency, I’d like to begin this letter by making my aims clear. I advocate political violence. I contend that political violence is absolutely necessary for the success of a revolutionary project, and I defend its morality as well as its practicality. I write this in the admitted hope that my reasonable and articulate arguments will reach rational people who will embrace the position I advocate, and that theywill take back the future from oppressors and tyrants by engaging in effective revolutionary action.

I present all of this as a letter to you for a few reasons. First, your written positions related to my prison disciplinary situation provide a pretty good representation of the State’s position, or at least can be used for extrapolating authority’s position on political violence. Second, you are an attorney, which makes you an expert at law and at argument, so if and when I can dispose of your stated positions and reduce your claims to nonsense, that will then demonstrate the superiority of my position to yours, and will prove pretty conclusively that political violence makes sense. And third, I know that once this is posted, given your emotional instability, the presence of this letter online will drive you completely bonkers for the rest of your life–which I will find personally satisfying, given your role in the State’s efforts to destroy my life; as listening to my disciplinary proceedings made you feel like “shooting [your]self in the face,” I imagine this will too. By all means, do not let me dissuade you.

I think that takes care of the disclosure ad transparency, so we should proceed to the topic of political violence. Typically, I will predicate a work like this with a few relevant quotes. I think that approach appropriate here.

So we begin.

“We are anarchists specifically because we do not water down our critique of social ills. We seek to strike the system at its roots.” –Crimethink, After the Crest III:Barcelona at Low Tide

“The revolutionary project of anarchists is to struggle along with the exploited and push them to rebel against all abuse and repression, so also against prison. What moves them is a desire for a better world, a better life with dignity ad ethic, where economy and politics have been destroyed. There can be no place for prison in that world”
“That is why anarchists scare power.”
“That is why they are locked up in prison.” –Alfredo Bonanno, “Introductory Note,” Locked Up

“Men [sic] will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last pope.” –Denis Diderot

Defining “Political Violence”

What is violence? No one can reasonably adopt a position on something before we define what it is. My dictionary gives five definitions, but the first one, I think, is more than adequate for our purposes here: “physical force exerted so as to cause damage, abuse, or injury.” By this definition, “violence” would include property damage and sabotage, though most purists would object to this definition and assert that “violence” is only “violence” when directed at living beings. I’m inclined to accept the definition that property damage is also violence because that’s more consistent with the position you’ve put forward on behalf of the State when you argued that I advocated violence against “people,” “destruction of property,” and “harassment,” and I would prefer not to quibble over the smaller details. So, for our purposes, we can accept that property damage is violence.

I think it’s important, though, that we point out that the definition of violence doesn’t include any qualifiers. What I mean is, by our definition, it matters not whether I’m punching you in the face or whether you are punching me in the face; a punch in the face is “physical force exerted so as to cause damage, abuse or injury,” no matter who the actor is. Violence is violence.

I know, that’s kind of self-evident as far as observations go. Kind of a no-brainer. I just wanted to point it out though, for future reference, for when we get to the point where you want to shoot yourself in the face.

But we don’t want to talk about just any violence. Interpersonal violence isn’t our topic. I don’t think either one of us is, for instance, advocating “domestic violence.” The question before us is whether or not we advocate political violence. Again we consult a dictionary and the first definition for “political” is, “of or relating to the affairs of government, politics, or the state.” I think that’s workable for the definition of “political.” If we put that together with our definition of violence, we create our working definition of political violence: “Physical force exerted so as to cause damage, abuse, or injury…of or related to the affairs of government, politics, or the state.”

I suppose we could go further and ask what the State is, particularly in this age where the State is so inextricably linked with the management of the economy and in the affairs of large corporations, but that’s really a whole other discussion unto itself, isn’t it? Our topic here is already ambitious enough, I think. So we can forego the question of, “What is the State?,” at least for purposes of identity, and we’ll suffice to say that the State is “the government,” the incorporated entity that exercises its assumed powers and authority, by and through its agents–like you. You qualify as an agent of the State.

Belief in Political Violence, Part I

Having defined political violence, we now address the question of whether or not I “believe in it.” If by “believe in it” we mean, “do I believe that political violence is real, then I would have to say, no, I do not believe in political violence. I know that political violence is real.

Political violence–“physical force exerted so as to cause damage, abuse, or injury…of or related to the affairs of government, politics, or the state”–is a fact of reality. It is happening at all times. It is ubiquitous.

The reality of political violence cannot rationally be questioned.

Belief in Political Violence, Part II

If by “belief in political violence” you mean to ask, “Do I believe political violence is practical?,” I would again have to answer, no. I do not believe that political violence is practical. I know that it is.

The reason I know political violence is practical is, I took a sociology class with Ashland University. I read the textbook. In it, the writers pointed out that movements like the Irish Republican Army that employed violence achieved at least partial success an overwhelming majority of the time, as opposed to strictly nonviolent movements where just the opposite held true.

So, we can say objectively and without a doubt that, as a practical matter, political violence works.

And, I think I need to point out here, I’m not yet making an argument for political violence. Nothing so far related to how I “feel” about political violence or whether I “like” political violence or not. Political violence is real and it works, however we “feel” about it, the same way that the planet is round, gravity persists, and the earth goes around the sun, all independent of the question of whether we “believe” in the planet’s roundness, or gravity’s legitimacy, or the earth’s trajectory.

Gravity does not seek our consent. Neither does the efficacy of political violence.

Belief in Political Violence, Part III

If you ask, “Do you believe in political violence?” and by “believe in” you mean, “Do you think political violence should be employed?” I would answer with an emphatic yes. But if you were being honest, Trevor, you would also answer with an emphatic yes. You accept political violence as moral and legitimate, and I can prove it to you.

You work as ODRC Counsel–as an attorney for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. The ODRC is an agency of the State of Ohio, established by the Ohio Constitution of 1803. Ohio is the 17th state of the United States; the United States gained its independence from the British crown with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1787.

By calling yourself “ORDC Counsel,” you are implicitly stipulating to the truth of all of those facts. You have to be. If any one of those statements above are untrue, you aren’t ODRC Counsel. You’re just a dude in skinny jeans with a lot of college debt and the FBI on speed-dial. If the ODRC is not an agency of the State of Ohio, then you have no claim to exercise authority on behalf of the State. If the Treaty of Paris didn’t provide the United States independence from the British crown, then the United States is not a sovereign nation, Ohio isn’t part of its confederation, and Ohio is not a state. Again, that leaves you in your skinny jeans chatting with the fascists and wondering how you’ll pay off all that college debt since you don’t have a job.

So, in Trevor Clark’s world, the Treaty of Paris is valid. The revolutionaries in the colonies who engaged in open, violent rebellion against the rightful authorities–rightful authorities under existing international law–were not criminals, traitors, offenders against the peace and dignity of the British crown, but were instead signatories to a treaty, the proper representatives of a nation whose independence was gained through the means of political violence.

You’re an attorney, Trevor. Do you practice British law in British courts? Are you a member of the British bar? When you introduced yourself to me on 27 March 2013, did you refer to yourself as Counsel for the British Crown?

I guess that means you accept the legitimacy of the political violence employed by Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Patrick Henry, and the rest. I guess that means that you, like every other U.S. citizen, have to concede and stipulate to the acceptance of political violence and its validity.

So much for your categorical rejection of political violence, huh?

This is an important point because it proves that you and I have more in common in our thinking than we have uncommon. We both know that political violence exists. We both know that, as a practical matter, it works. And we both accept that recourse to political violence is legitimate. We only argue, potentially, over the questions of when political violence should be employed, by whom, to what end, and against whom.

So let’s shift gears for a moment. Let’s stop talking about my advocacy of political violence and start talking about yours.

Back to our Definition of “Political Violence”

You’ll recall that earlier I made the point that “violence” as it is defined, has no qualifiers, that it matters not whether I’m punching you in the face or whether you are punching me in the face. A punch in the face is violence no matter who the actor is. Violence is violence. And so we get to the point I foreshadowed, where you want to shoot yourself in the face.

On 19 September 2012, without any justification at all–and admittedly so, because everything I was accused of related to my apprehension was dismissed–you, the State, removed me from the prison population. You put me in cuffs. You “exerted” “physical force…so as to cause damage, abuse, or injury,” forcibly taking me into custody and putting me in a torture cell for days. That’s violence. And it’s violence “related to the affairs of…the state,” as it’s violence employed by the State in the (mis)management of its affairs. I was then subjected to conditions that the CIA described as “the simple torture situation” in its KUBARK Counterintelligence and Interrogation Manual, an insidious how-to manual for torturers and state-terrorists like yourself.

It was also on 19 September 2012 that you, the State, “seized” my typewriter and then destroyed it in retaliation for me calling the ODRC director a “sock puppet” for the JPay corporation. You’ll recall, by our definition, when you “exert” “physical force…so as to cause damage…,” that’s violence. And in this case, the violence, destroying my typewriter, is directly “related to the affairs of…the State,” as “the State” is the entity destroying my typewriter for its own political agenda.

See the problem you have here, Trevor? It’s very, very difficult to hear your indignant and self-righteous condemnations of “political violence” because every time you try to speak, more and more corpses fall out of the mass grave we know as your mouth.

But while we’re on the topic, let’s also analyze the larger context of your political violence. In my own case, I’ve been held without a legitimate legal justification according to your own laws, for twenty-three years. That means I’m not a prisoner; I’m a kidnap victim.1

Kidnapping is a violent crime, Trevor. Violence. State violence, and State violence is, de facto, political violence.

When you continually employ political violence against someone, it seems more than a little bit irrational and hypocritical for you to assert that the victims of your political violence do not so much as have the right to “advocate” its use against you.

And, of course, the ultimate irony is, if you had not abducted me and tortured me and mounted an all-out assault on every aspect of my life in flagrant violation of your own written laws (not that anyone, particularly you, pays any attention to those), I never would have been provoked to “advocate” a politically-violent response.

You will recall that you wrote to my attorneys, “The types of violence and intimidation that are advocated for [sic] in his writings fall clearly within the legal exceptions to that right [of free speech].2 ODRC will not tolerate threats, harassment and attempts at intimidation.” That’s what you wrote.

See your problem? If the State will not tolerate “threats,” perhaps the State should get out of the “threat” business. If the State won’t tolerate “harassment,” whatever that means, perhaps it should cease its torture and state-terror operations. If the State won’t tolerate “intimidation,” maybe it should stop using its machinery of violence to silence, neutralize, and destroy its critics, whistleblowers, and political opponents.

Just an idea. Otherwise, if the State is going to be in the threat, harassment and intimidation business, as it clearly is now, then the State is going to be turning a lot of people into enemies, the same way you have made a lifelong enemy of me, and you will soon have to confront thousands of Sean Swains…all of us recognizing that we have no other recourse but political violence. Not all of us can easily be tucked away at super-duper-uber-mega-ultramax.

You’re got something like twelve million people in Ohio. And lots and lots of guns.

I read somewhere that estimated gun ownership in the U.S. is more than 200 million. That’s a lot of guns. If you divide that evenly among all 50 states, which is unrealistic since only 12 people live in Montana, the people of Ohio alone have at least 4 million guns. That’s a gun for every third person.

I suppose for the remainder of this, I can address my arguments directly to those people. The literary device of directing my arguments to you has served its purpose. So, by all means, don’t let me hold you from any important business. Feel free to shoot yourself in the face at any time.

12 million People, 4 million guns, and 1 Common Enemy Subjecting Everyone to Political Violence…Arrogantly Assuming We Won’t Do Something About It…

The Trevor Clarks who run the State of Ohio will not tolerate your “threats” or “harassment” or “intimidation.” They will, however, take your money without your consent to pay their own salaries. They tax you, supposedly for your own good. Supposedly to provide you “services,” like roads, schools, and protection.

But you’re reasonable. You’d voluntarily pay for services. You voluntarily pay for services every day. If the State really offered services, you would gladly pay for the value of those services.

The State doesn’t give you that option. Instead, the State “exerts” “force” to fund “the affairs of government,” to your loss, to your “injury.” The State engages in political violence in your every transaction. The State knows that reasonable people like you would never pay outrageous sums for shoddy services, and so it resorts to political violence to keep itself going, not for your own good, but at your expense.

The Trevor Clarks who steal your money from you make a good salary. You pay them generously, not for roads, schools, and protections, but for chuck-holes, illiteracy, and political repression. You pay for the government hackers who are reading your e-mails and listening in on your phone calls. You pay for the miseducation system that convinces a new generation that they cannot possibly handle ruling themselves, that they need the government’s “services” of chuck-holes, illiteracy, and political repression. You pay for the Apache attack helicopters the government buys to “protect” you…and then points the helicopter at you.

The State will not tolerate your “threats” or “harassment” or “intimidation.” The Trevor Clarks have spoken. You 12 million people with at least 4 million guns will do what you are told and you will pay the bill…or else.

Does that sound like “freedom”? I could be wrong, but I think real freedom doesn’t involve your government constantly employing political violence against you and intimidating you if you start talking about freedom.

Not that it matters because we have no duty to defer to the documents of the Trevor Clarks who are stickingit to us, but the Ohio Constitution expressly provides that we have the “right” to “abolish” the government. Article I, Section 2. We can do it whenever we “deem it necessary.”

I don’t know about you, but I deem it necessary. I don’t want to die at super-duper-uber-mega-ultra-max because I defended my own life and then told the truth about the prison directors’ crimes. And, more importantly, I don’t want others to die for what they believe, locked away or shot by agents of an irrational State.3 So, that means the State has to go.

We deserve better.

Something to consider. There’s us… There’s them…

We have 12 million people and at least 4 million guns.

Any questions?

Just a quick reminder to any remaining pacifists out there–your choice is not between “violence” or “peace.” If it was, we would all choose peace. But if we do not choose to engage in violence, that does not create a situation of peace; that creates a situation of unilateral violence where the State continues to “exert” its “force” to your “injury.” So, an absence of action, on your part, facilitates State violence. In fact, the longer you refrain from acting, the more lives are devastated. Objectively, anyone who is really, truly for peace will struggle–by any means necessary— to destroy the State completely and as quickly as possible so that the principle cause of State violence will cease and we will then finally have the option of choosing peace.

You can’t choose “peace” with a loaded shotgun in your face. Once you address the issue of that loaded shotgun in your face, you have the option of choosing peace.

And personally, I cannot wait to choose peace.

The State and its political violence are an obstacle to that peace. Let’s remove it. Completely. Immediately.

As someone else who confronted terrorists at the controls once said, “Let’s roll.”

We own the future.

It starts now…if only we have the will.

Freedom or Death,

Sean Swain
Ideological Prisoner
Ohio State Penitentiary
Youngstown, Ohio

End Notes

1. I was kidnapped by the State in 1991 after defending my own life in my own home. Erie County Case No. 91-CR-253. My false conviction was reversed, Sixth District Case No. E-91-80. On remand, the trial court refused to follow the mandate of the Court of Appeals. I remain imprisoned for 23 years, still awaiting the fair trial ordered in 1993. To avoid having to recognize my innocence and the illegality of my captivity, the Erie County Court of Common Pleas simply refuses to file anything I present.

2. You have asserted that the First Amendment does not protect speech that “advocates violence.” If that’s the case, it was illegal to support the bombing of Iraq or the invasion of Afghanistan. Bombs are violence, Trevor. It would also be illegal to advocate the executions of the Lucasville Uprising leaders.

Killing people is violence, Trevor.

So, clearly, the question of whether speech advocates or does not advocate violence is perfectly irrelevant to whether it enjoys First Amendment protections. In fact, if you read all of the U.S. Supreme Court cases that delineate prisoner free speech rights, the question of “advocating violence” is no part of the calculus. The question isn’t related to content, but to the forum and the purpose–in this case, a public forum, and the purpose is political speech; so, the speech in question is afforded the most protection according to your highest court’s decisions. See, Jones v. NCPLU, 433 US119 (1977); Pell v. Procunier, 417 US 817 (1974; Thornburgh v. Abbott, 490 US 401 (1989); Turner v. Safley, 482 US 78 (1987); Procunier v. Martinez, 416 US 396 (1974; and Simon & Schuster Inc v. Members of the New York State Crime Victims Board, et. al, 502 US 105 (1991). Simon & Schuster stands for the proposition that the State cannot create a “disincentive” for prisoner speech in a public forum…like, say, sending me to super-duper-uber-mega-ultra-max for my communicated ideas to a website.

3. The Cleveland Police reserve the right to shoot unarmed people 137 times. “To Protect and Serve” looks a lot like “To Enslave and Oppress.”

4. Some excellent resources:

Computer Security: crypto.com anonymizer.com colt.org/crypto c4m.net fbi.gov/hq/lab/carnivore/carnivore.htm netsol.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois

Special Training: nasta.ws operationaltactics.org bad-boys.net swattraining.com specialoperations.com

Ohio Militia: oomaac.com

I have no idea about the politics of any of these groups, but I suspect they are armed. That’s a start. Whatever your politics, they can teach you how to shoot. That’s a start.

Or, apart from firearms, you could descend on the Ohio Statehouse in ski masks with cans of gasoline and books of matches. That’s a start too.

Article I, Section 2 of the Ohio Constitution affirms your right to do it.

—————————

Sean Swain is a prisoner in Ohio State penitentiary and a regular contributor to Fubar. He does not have computer access and cannot receive email. Sean’s website http://seanswain.org is maintained by his supporters.

Sean’s address is:

Sean Swain 243205
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd.
Youngstown OH 44505

Introduction to The Colonizer’s Corpse

Introduction to The Colonizer’s Corpse:

Open response to CIIC Director Joanna Saul’s invitation to present advice on maintaining mental health in 23-hour lockdown.

I received a letter from Joanna Saul, Director of the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC), which oversees the prison complex the the Ohio General Assembly. She wrote, in part, “…CIIC is currently working on a resource for inmates in segregation or maximum security. We would very much appreciate hearing from you and other inmates regarding your segregation experience and, in particular, how you stayed emotionally and mentally strong in segregation? [Bold type in original.] Our hope is to provide suggestions to inmates in segregation for how to cope with being locked down for 23 hours a day. What advice would you give an inmate who is going to segregation?”

Below is my response to this invitation:

The colonizer’s Corpse: A Liberatory Approach to Maintaining Mental Health While Subject to the Fascists’ Torture Machine.

“…For the colonized, liberation springs only from the corpse of the colonizer.” –Frantz Fanon, Wretched of the Earth

Segregation is a traumatic experience. To stay sane, to stay mentally organized, you have to first be sane and mentally organized. That is, a “crazy” person can’t stay sane because a crazy person isn’t sane to begin with. So this is key: You have to think in a way that makes sense; you have to care about yourself and you have to be committed to acting in such a way that serves you best. That’s kind of a working definition of sanity–thinking, and then, as a result, acting, in a way that makes sense.

Thinking is key. You have to use your head for something other than a hat rack. Especially if you are spending a long time in segregation or isolation, since you’ll be spending a lot of time inside your own head. Any place you spend that much time you have to pay attention to the furniture, so to speak, the stuff that fills up your space, what you’re putting in it. What do you put in your head space? This is important because what goes on inside your head is more critical than what’s going on in the world around you.

People caring about themselves have to make sure they see the world clearly. You can’t react in a way that makes sense if you don’t understand what’s really happening to you. So sane people–people who think and act in ways that serve their interests best–have to first face the reality that confronts them. This means not running away from painful truths. This means being honest with yourself. If you want to stay sane you can’t run away from your experience or try to hide from it. You have to face it. But you face it with clear understanding. You use your mind and you look deeply at the experience so you can understand what it is that is happening and why it is happening, and then you can develop for yourself a plan or an approach for acting sane, for acting in your own best interests, and maybe even using this experience to gain some wisdom, an opportunity to grow.

The place to start is by understanding the situation you are facing, how you got there, and why it is happening to you.

“Rehabilitation never offered mental health, just the reverse. It involves communication only with staff who are not worth any contact at all. To listen to their philosophy, or accept their outlook will destroy you…” –Huey P. Newton, Revolutionary Suicide

Segregation and isolation are trauma. It hurts. This is the reality of it. What you are experiencing is designed to be painful. The State, the authorities, the ones who keep you locked up, have designed a system, and have perfected that system, for causing you trauma. In fact, the government has written books and manuals on it. These manuals were written in order to teach the people who keep you locked up so they can use, “the principle coercive techniques”* of “arrest, detention, deprivation of sensory stimuli through solitary confinement…, threats and fear…” What this means is, the ones who keep you locked up will use a combination of these things in order to cause a response from you. The response they want to cause is “debility, dependence, and dread.” “Debility” means the opposite of “ability.” Debility is, in a sense, making someone worse, breaking them in some way. “Dependence” is the opposite of “independence.” Dependence is where you can’t do for yourself any more, and you must count on someone else to do for you. “Dread” is like fear, only it also means to lose hope.

So the reality of your situation is, the people in charge have figured out the method for turning you into someone less able, broken, and hopeless, all by putting you through conditions that are very painful. As the process continues, “day after day if necessary, the subject begins to try to make sense of the situation, which becomes mentally intolerable.” “Intolerable” means you can’t stand it. Your situation is designed to cause “the maximum amount of discomfort…” In this “mentally intolerable” situation you face, a situation designed to cause “the mximum amount of discomfort,” it deprives your mind of “contact with an outer world and thus forcing it in on itself…” The trauma you experience “after weeks or months of imprisonment in an ordinary cell can be duplicated in hours or days” in isolation. As the CIA manual concludes, describing the conditions of confinement you will experience in segregation and maximum security, “…in the simple torture situation, the contest is one between the individual and his tormentor…”

This is not presented to shock you or to scare you. It is presented so that you can have a clear idea of what you face. Only by seeing reality as it is can you react to it in a way that makes the most sense for you. You have to see what you face and what it is designed to do to you, and when you know that, when you can see it for what it is, you are better equipped to respond to it.

Whatever you did to come to prison (or didn’t do), and whatever you did to go to segregation or level 4 (or didn’t do), you are in the custody of people who want to make your life “mentally intolerable,” and they are putting you through “the simple torture situation.”

They know that what they are doing to you will not make you a better person. They are not doing this to you to help” you or to “reform” you. This is designed to destroy you. This is very important to know, because it can guide your approach to this trauma, this “simple torture situation,” if you recognize that you are not being “corrected,” i.e., made better, but you are being debilitated, i.e., made worse.

It is a necessary and healthy thing to call something what it really is. The words we use have an influence on how we see things. When you use words, even in your head, like “corrections officer,” and “inmate,” you create a picture of “correcting,” a picture of an offender who has offended; but when you use the same words, even if just in your head, that are used by the very same people who wrote the manuals and designed this system, you see a “tormentor” and a “subject,” you see a “simple torture situation” that involves a torturer and a victim.

Why is this important? Because you can’t expect ice cream to come out of a toaster. A toaster is a machine that is designed to do one thing. So if you hold your cone under the toaster and expect ice cream to come out, you are going to be very disappointed. The same is true for the prison’s isolation unit. This is a machine that is designed to do one thing.

Don’t expect this machine to do anything else. You are in the “simple torture situation.” It is a simple fact that you cannot expect those who subject you to this simple torture situation” to offer you any real assistance. People who torture are not nice people.

If you expect them to be kind and caring and good, you are expecting ice cream to fall out of a toaster.

It may be that you have met staff who seem like they are shocked and saddened by the conditions they witness. They may talk about how things are unfair and how the situation needs to change. They may even try to address some conditions that they think are too much. They take no personal joy from the suffering they see and they make it clear that they are “only doing their jobs.”

And that is the point, isn’t it? They do their jobs. They work, they keep it going, and they receive their pay-checks for doing “their jobs.” Their jobs include keeping you in “debility, dependence, and dread.” So “their jobs” are to serve the “tormentor” and they do those jobs, despite the harm it will cause you.

We must also consider that everyone working for this machine knows what it does to you. Hundreds of studies have shown again and again how isolation causes mental illness in humans. But more than that, by the manuals that were written, we know that’s what it’s designed to do. This is no mistake. This is no accidental result that happens again and again and again, any more than a Toyota Camry “accidentally” comes off the end of the assembly line at the factory over and over and over again.

The factory makes cars. It’s designed to. The isolation unit makes broken minds. It’s designed to.

And beyond that, think about it: Why is this “resource” being written? It’s being written because staff at the CIIC recognize that the brutal, harsh conditions of isolation are causing prisoners to become mentally ill so, rather than end the practice of driving prisoners insane, they opt to give you advice from prisoners who have survived a process designed to drive them insane. That speaks loudly. Would “kind,” “caring,” “concerned,” “nice” people work with every ounce of their beings to shut down a torture machine, or would they hand its victims a well-produced brochure?

So, for our purposes of staying sane and seeing the situation as it is, recognizing reality so we can act in our own best interests, we have to set aside false ideas that really do not fit, that do not serve us honestly. We have to use words that paint an accurate picture.

You have an enemy. Your enemy is evil–evil personified, and it takes someone evil to engage in torture. Your evil enemy intends to torture you for a long, long time, until your mind is broken. The best you can hope for is for the most sympathetic people to hand you advice on how to survive their “simple torture situation.” You can only count on you at this point.

“The State has never any object but to limit the individual, to tame him, to subordinate him, to subject him to something general; it lasts only so long as the individual is not all in all, and is only the clearcut limitation of me, my limitedness, my slavery.” –Max Stirner

You may ask, “Why do I want to face this? It feels very hopeless.” What we’ve done so far is simply an inventory of your reality. You have some serious forces stacked against you. But you aren’t better off if you don’t see it or if you ignore it. You aren’t in a better place if you convince yourself of some fairie tale, some myth that your enemy feeds you to keep you asleep and “under control.” If you buy into those lies and let them guide you, the damage you will experience will be the same; the only difference will be that your actions will be more predictable and more of a benefit for the torture machine to keep going and going and going.

If you buy into the false idea that your “tormenters” (the government’s word, remember) are the “good guys,” and you “put yourself here,” and you “deserve” this (whatever “this” is), and this trauma is to “correct” you or make you “better” or “teach you a (pro-social) lesson,” you will experience the same trauma as everyone who has the courage to face the truth. The only differences will be that (1) you won’t know why this is happening, (2) you won’t be able to figure out how to prevent your enemy from succeeding because you won’t see what your enemy is really trying to do to you, and (3) you won’t be able to act in your own best interests because you misunderstand your reality.

So, by facing this reality, you will be establishing a principle that’s absolutely crucial for maintaining your sanity. It’s this: Always seek the truth, no matter how bad it is.

One way to think of this is a scene from the movie, “The Matrix.” The main character, Neo, meets Morpheus, who offers Neo the chance to know the truth. If Neo chooses the red pill, he wakes up to reality. If he chooses the blue pill, he remains asleep.

If you want to get through “the simple torture situation” and survive what your “tormentor” does to you, choose the red pill.

Always choose the red pill.

Once your eyes are open, it gives you things to think about. You can look at every experience, every single element of your situation, and you can ask yourself, “Why is the enemy doing this to me? How is this supposed to make me feel? How is this supposed to impact my mind and my health and my struggle? How can I respond to this in a way that serves my survival and my long-term success?

For instance: Have you ever noticed that most segregation units are freezing cold all year around? Why is that? Why does the enemy keep you intolerably cold? First, there’s the discomfort so, on the most basic level, your enemy simply wants you to suffer. But second, cold people will seek to get warm and the only feasible strategy for that in segregation is to get under your covers; you remain inactive in bed. This serves the enemy in several ways:

1. Inactive people burn fewer calories, so the enemy can cut your food portions and you won’t lose weight. Your enemy saves money on food.

2. If you’re laying in bed, you’re not doing something else. You’re not writing letters or building muscles or sharing ideas or building unity or writing an inspiring poem.

3. People laying in bed will sleep, and sleeping people’s behavior is predictable.

4. Constant cold has a psychological impact, as it wears on your morale and makes you feel hopeless. It contributes to the assault on your mind.

Once you recognize this and see the truth of it, what can you do? Well, for a start, simply knowing what is being done to you (and knowing why) makes the intolerable a bit more tolerable. The cold is a tactic being used on you. And when you know your enemy’s designs, you can use your head to prevent his success.

How? Two ways. There are actions you can take to “adjust to the conditions,” and actions you can take to “change the conditions.”

Actions you can take to adjust to the conditions would be to find alternatives for staying warm. If you have 3 pairs of socks, wear 2 of them and use the third pair as mittens so you can stay up, stay awake, read and write. You can wrap blankets around you while you pace the floor. You can write a poem or a rap and between verses you do push ups–this keeps you in shape and keeps you warm. You can pace and think and get a good understanding of the situation you face, and then share your insight with other prisoners so they too have the tools to effectively struggle and maintain. You can read literature from others who share your perspective and write to them, finding ways to cooperate and build relationships and start projects.

Which leads to actions that “change the conditions.” You may decide that adjusting to conditions isn’t good enough; you want the conditions to change. Rather than wrapping yourself in blankets, you want to make the enemy’s torture machine turn the heat up. This is a very different approach from “adjusting.”

What can you do to make the torture machine turn up the heat? And, at the same time, within that question is another question: What can you do to stand up for your dignity and affirm your human value and combat the forces that work toward your destruction? And still another question: What can you do to take a healthy and affirmative approach to exercise your own personal power in order to change the world for the better and give yourself something to seel a sense of accomplishment?

There exists a prison grievance process, but this is an open joke among prisoners and staff alike. The grievance process serves to misdirect prisoners from engaging in any effective response to wrongs and serves as a kind of gauntlet where prison officials can identify future possible lawsuits and employ a harassment campaign to coerce potential prisoner litigants to give up. At its best, the grievance process represents an effort to get a career prisoncrat to declare that other career prisoncrats wronged a convicted felon no one cares about.

Being able to see the grievance process as a tool of your enemy’s program liberates you to think of other ways to exercise your personal power to change conditions. What else can you do?

Individual actions are very limited. The enemy has a vast machine. So, it is a good idea to build a working group, a collective of prisoners who cooperate in struggle. The larger the number of prisoners willing to struggle, the more collective power you can bring against the enemy.

Mention must be made here that your enemy may appeal to “rules” that the enemy imposes in order to keep you powerless while trapped in the torture machine. In reality, these rules do not exist. The enemy appeals to “rules” as part of his false mythology that he is “the good guy” and you are “the bad guy,” that he is “correcting” you because you are “maladjusted,” that all of this is for “your own good” and you “did this to yourself” and these “rules are necessary.”

Reality is quite the opposite. Your enemy tortures human beings. Your enemy is evil personified. Anyone who tortures has no respect for laws or rules or morals or the basic foundations of human relations, so any appeal to “rules” is really a trick, a manipulation to get you to abandon any strategy that would be effective for forcing real, substantive change. In reality, it is not “moral” or “right” to abide by the enemy’s “rules” and abandon efforts to stop his evil agenda. In fact, it can easily be argued that you have a moral duty, an ethical responsibility to stop torturers by what Malcolm X referred to as “any means necessary.” Your inaction, your following the “rules,” guarantees that others will be tortured and destroyed, perhaps generation after generation, their minds mangled by a machine designed to tear apart human beings from the inside out.

It is both immoral and psychologically unhealthy not to resist evil.

So, from this view, it becomes necessary to engage the enemy in the most effective way to save the most lives. To do that, you must bring pressure, leverage upon your enemy. To borrow from his own playbook, you must make his situation “intolerable,” and creat the situation where torturing you (or continuing those conditions you most wish to change) becomes more costly, more painful, and more troublesome than meeting your demands.

From a lockdown isolation unit there is little that can be done. However, those tactics that can be engaged can be very effective.

For instance, prisoners can simultaneously flush toilets and break pipes. Plumbing is designed to hold only a certain amount of water flow. Repeatedly breaking the pipes becomes costly, time-consuming, and disruptive for the enemy.

Also, prisoners can block cell door windows and barricade cells, requiring the enemy to summon cell-extraction teams. This becomes costly, time-consuming and disruptive.

These kinds of tactics are most effective if sustained by large numbers of prisoners over a duration of time.

From a superficial analysis, this kind of approach could be seen as “self-defeating” or “maladjusted,” particularly if someone sees the torturer’s system as legitimate. Persons under this kind of delusion would be horrified by this advice and would instead urge prisoners to go along with the program, to be the proverbial “good Germans,” little Adolf Eichmanns following orders and keeping the program going. Their position is built upon the false belief that “good behavior,” i.e., conduct that does not disrupt the torture machine’s efficiency, is rewarded, while “bad behavior,” i.e., conduct that disrupts the torture machine’s efficiency is punished appropriately.

This myth is so provably absurd it does not even merit a response.

However it must be pointed out that there is what seems to be a contradiction–since resistance will provoke a state response, is it not fair to say that engaging in struggle is not acting in one’s own best interests? This is a valid question, and the answer depends upo whether you look at your short-term, immediate interests, or whether you look at your long-term, larger interests. Do you care more about your immediate situation, your immediate personal comfort? If so, then you serve those interests better by going along with the enemy’s torture program and helping his evil agenda continue. But if you care about your sanity–which is really the important prioty, the true topic of all of this–then you must act in a way that preserves your dignity, your principles, and your sense of justice by exercising personal power and contributing to a greater good, even at the expense of your immediate well-being.

To give an example of this conflict of interests, consider a hunger-striker who suffers hunger and diminished health in order to force the enemy to meet important demands related to human dignity. One may argue that it is “insane” for the hunger-striker to harm self, that long-term sanity cannot be served if the hunger-striker starves to death. But from another view, the hunger-striker sees the “harm” of hunger and health effects far outweighed by the greater “harm” caused by the conditions that the hunger-striker struggles to change.

This is a far more valid conception from a mental health perspective, though an uneasy and uncomfortable one for apologists of state power since, by this conception, “suicide bombers” can be understood as engaging in a perfectly healthy response, from a psychological perspective, if the so-called “suicide bombers” are acting under a firm belief that their actions will result in changes that will benefit their children or future generations. In that way, a suicide bomber, psychologically speaking, would be no different from a soldier jumping onto a grenade to save his platoon, except one is a bit more assertive and proactive.

Concusion: Psychological Necessity of Revolutionary Violence

As a final note, those who defend the torture machine may object that the approach advocated here “promotes violence.” Again, this analysis proceeds from the delusion that the torturers are “good” and “valid” and “right.”

A more accurate assessment is to say that the stat itself is violence. Its every component is violence, from its means for maintaining itself to every project the state undertakes.

The state maintains itself through taxation: Pay, or else. It compels obedience: Obey the laws, or else. It defends the economic status quo and its ruling elite: Work, or else. It has now intruded into our mental lives, dictating what we can think and believe (or else). So, in this context, even the state’s most “benevolent” “service,” at base, rests upon a billy-club, a shot-gun, or an Apache attack helicopter.

In light of this, there is never an absence of violence so long as the state exists. The state makes violence inevitable. The only question is whether the state will be unilaterally punching the subjects in the frace, as it has for centuries, or whether the subjects will be punching the state back.

If peace, the absence of violence, can only be achieved in the absence of the state, which is itself violence, then with any action undertaken to limit or diminish the state, no matter how “violent” the action, the cause of peace is better served. This is not really an opinion, but is an objective observation of fact that really isn’t disputable.

If someone wants peace and not violence, it’s necessary to tear down the state’s torture machine. This is not just a matter of social justice, morality, or political theory, but is an indispensible approach for the maintenance of individual mental health for those trapped in the “simple torture situation.”

***

*All quotes in text taken from the KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency.
———————–

Sean Swain is a prisoner in Ohio State penitentiary and a regular contributor to Fubar. He does not have computer access and cannot receive email. Sean’s website http://seanswain.org is maintained by his supporters.

Sean’s address is:

Sean Swain 243205
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd.
Youngstown OH 44505

Letter About Migs

From: http://oppenpal.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/an-open-letter-from-sean-swain/

The following is a letter Rachel Allshiny recently received from Sean Swain, an anarchist prisoner who is behind bars indefinitely, after she sent him a copy of her Suicide Girls blog post on prisoner support work.

11 SEP 13
You-can’t-kill-500,000-children-under-
the-age-of-6-in-10-years-of-sanctions-
without-suffering-the-blowback-day

Allshiny + Everyone –

I got your 28 AUG letter.

As you’ll note from my address, I’m now at Ohio’s super-duper-über-mega-ultra-max. It’s a program for scientifically disassembling human personalities.

I seem to be getting my mail. It seems to be timely too. Here, I’m getting zines and other reading materials. I’ve been here 2 weeks, however, and still do not have a large box of my legal documents + addresses + writings, etc.

Having read your article again just now, I see a pattern. The fascists fear ideas. Ideas on paper. Mark’s. Mine. That speaks to the poverty of their own dysfunctional ideology and the unsustainable system it creates.

Rehabilitation: They kick us in the head until we get dumber. :)

Another pattern I see. You mentioned that Mark looked skinnier. A year ago, I weighed 215 pounds. I now weigh 151. I’ve lost 14 pounds in the last 2 weeks here at the super-duper-über-mega-ultra-max. I’ve been hungry since August. :)

Something I really don’t understand about what’s going on with Mark (and also with my situation). An anarchist is one who rejects hierarchy. It is a belief. Really, it’s an acceptance of provable, demonstrable data that hierarchy doesn’t work.

Anarchist literature + symbols are expressions of those who accept the truth that hierarchy doesn’t work as advertised.

What interest do the fascists have in punishing a community of people for knowing something that’s true?

Mark and I do not like hierarchy. Do the hierarchs imagine we’ll like them better after they torture us??? And I imagine this again speaks to the poverty of hierarchy. Hierarchs only know how to punch, bomb, torture, kick, punish, tame, train, deprive, tear-gas, bludgeon, starve… “Act like you like us…OR ELSE…” :) Like an all-powerful, petulant child.

You 23 AUG 13 article is a masterpiece. Really awesome. You feel the pain you witness, and you convey that pain + your sense of urgency very well. It’s really a moving piece. So I want to thank you for sending that, and for all that you’re doing for Mark.

I too hope Mark focuses on documenting his experiences. Something I’ve been thinking about for seanswain.org is a series of telephone interviews. That may be an option for Mark too. Audio files.

Not everyone writes. Not everyone reads.

Having read your article, there’s an observation I want to share with you. It takes a lot of courage to be so connected in the suffering of others. It takes a real fearlessness. The natural instinct is to close off oneself and erect barriers for self-protection. It is a real gift to feel as deeply as you do. But it is also a very difficult way to go. Don’t let it destroy you.

Some of what the fascists do, they create a situation as you aptly observed where every moment is a crisis. They create a situation of long-term intolerable trauma + keep changing the conditions, making it impossible for you to stay on top of it – every update is outdated, every effort addresses events already changed. They do this as much wear you down as to wear down Mark.

They don’t fear Mark or me or any prisoner. They fear us as members of a larger struggle. They fear us working with you. In my situation, when they found out about the website, they subjected me to torture + even now hold me hostage in an effort to get supporters to shut the site down. If I have anything to say about it, that will never happen.

There’s a line by Thoreau in Civil Disobedience where he describes the state as children who have a grudge against someone so, unable to reach him, they kick his dog. :) That’s what the state does. The state has no grudge against my body. Its principle annoyance is my mind. But they can’t get to that, so they feebly attack what they can reach. It serves no good end for them. Even as they subject the body to more + more deprivations, my ideas follow out behind them and drift above the concertina wire + get posted on-line, and end up in the hands of others.

Even if we accept the state’s story, that it actually believes that I was a creator of the Army of the 12 Monkeys, their manuals are on-line + can be accessed thru anarchistnews.org. Hundreds of people have printed off copies of their training manuals. How does it serve the state’s interests to lock me in a shoebox when I’ve never been on-line in the first place?

The state kicks the dog.

So, what I recognize is that we’re dealing with an enemy that is irrational, not very bright, and in control of Apache helicopters. :) It’s like being locked in a room with a cannibal. You don’t really have a hell of a lot of options. :)

But that’s not to say that it’s hopeless. It’s not. We only live once, as far as we know, so we have to make that life count for something. We also only die once, so we also have to make that death count for something. If we can live with purpose and die with purpose, what more could we ask for?

The enemy loses. But the enemy is doomed to lose because the enemy can only kill the body. It can only defeat the carcass. And in every conflict, the enemy reveals its true character.

Do you know what a dent you kicked in the system by humanizing Mark? Or the value of my friends’ work in documenting what happened to me? The enemy loses control of the narrative. Others recognize who the real bad guy is. Then you have another dozen Mark Neiweems being inspired.

A great tide is turning.

Don’t lose hope.

We own the future.

Thank you for writing. I hope to hear back from you.

Stay dangerous.

Freedom,
Sean