Letter from a Penned Pal, Harold Thompson
Tells How to Handle Staff Provocation
August 29, 1999, Sunday
Dear =====, a/k/a Jane,
I send love, smiles, friendship and warm anarchist greetings from the belly of the beast of capitalism! I got your ====== letter with a much needed money order, both which I thank you for sending this direction. Your money order came at a perfect time as I was totally busted and your letter did also as I was a bit on the depressed side so again thank you for sending both, =====. I've really missed hearing from you! When I didn't get a letter from you for so long I feared I had inadvertently offended you in some way. I'm glad it is not the case and hope this finds you in good health and spirit with things going well in your life, including your battle against the capitalist pig at your previous job. I'm in fair health and morale but exhausted beyond belief, aching all over, as recently I came close to over-doing it.
Note my new address which is the reason I'm profoundly tired due to the effort and energy expended packing property for a trip halfway across ===== in a crowded van, unloading my property requiring lifting I'm medically not supposed to do, experiencing another search with more personal property seized and carting my belonging from intake area to my unit and cell to unpack. All very exhausting experiences I would gladly endure a thousand times for the pleasure of shaking ===== gulag dust from my shoes!
I was first informed of a transfer on ====== at 5 a.m. when I was ordered to pack for =======. The man I was locked up with before I left witnessed the two racist cowards leaving my cell after my ====== attack. I thought I was hit with more than fists but could not be certain as it all happened so fast so have reason to be thankful to Celtic ancestors for my genetically inherited hard head!
Temporarily I'm in lockdown status but in a better and cleaner environment. I am in a double cell with a man close to my age, a quiet, decent sort. Four times a week there is access to outside exercise for an hour and telephones every day during mornings and afternoons. The counselor who searched my property (confiscated a lot of it) said I would likely transfer to ===== in a few months because of my minimum restricted security level. ==== is ===== Prison where in ==== I was framed into a stint in maximum security by bent staff. ===== is as wild as ===== while ===== Prison is quiet so transfer there would be good.
I lost a lot of property with my transfer, commissary items, hygiene articles and personal clothing. Seems everybody who does property searches, especially on those entering new gulags, feel they have a responsibility to seize as much as possible as a sick authority display and ego inflated power trip! I am glad to leave ===== gulag behind but property confiscations associated with transfers is maddening! However sane, intelligent prisoners soon learn when confronted with staff arrogance or ignorance not to react as expected to provocation. Any display of anger has some immediate, and often has some far reaching, consequences such as being put in punitive segregation, security level enhancements, a denial of behavior/incentive credit time designed to bring parole dates nearer, etc. I suspected some items taken was an effort at provocation but when you understand prisoncratic mentality it is easier to avoid falling in a trap but nonetheless difficult to hold anger inside. When one doesn't react their games lose their attraction so they take them to weak minded individuals prone to react to psychological pressure games. If I have learned little else in two decades "inside" it is to maintain an outwardly calm persona even while I am inwardly seething with anger.
I was sorry to read in your letter the abrasive situation at your job turned into a war zone and you have been fired at Wrox Press. It was a possibility we both knew the unprincipled bastard of a boss would eventually get around to in order to try to gain complete control over your department. I hope you prevail in your fight for a fair severance pay, ====, so please keep me updated on how it is going in future letters? I know it is distasteful for you to have to be involved with the judicial system but were I you I would be contacting attorneys now to get a lawsuit in the works as soon as possible. The pressure a lawsuit will put on them and anticipation of the expense of being forced to defend themselves in court may well make giving you a decent amount as severance as a settlement all the more attractive to that capitalist scum?
I love your strategy of putting up a web site to "Smash Wrox", legal revolution, and ==========.
It is time to close as I am racing the clock to finish this and get it to the mail box before lockdown time so it will go out with the morning's mail pickup. Please pass word to others about my situation and transfer and provide them with my new address? I hope to hear from you again soon and hopefully with a photo of you with your letter. :-) Keep a smile on your face and smile in your heart for me while knowing I am doing the same for you here, =====. Is there any chance you will ever wish to visit me? If so in the future I will send you a visitation form? Take care, stay strong and continue to struggle for a better world and to get what you deserve from Wrox Press!
In @ Struggle & Solidarity,
Your @ Comrade,
Don't let the bastards grind you down.