Category Archives: J. Heshima Denham

From a letter by J.

7/18/13
From a letter:
Yesterday – 9 days into fasting – they finally took my and my cellie’s weight and vitals. Because it’s the first weight they’ve taken since this began, they’ll attempt to use it as a ‘baseline’ weight to measure how much weight we’ve lost. 
The problem with that is obvious: we’ve already lost an enormous amount of weight in the first 9 days of not eating. I used my weight from the last time I went to nurses line back in May (223 Lbs) to calculate how much I lost (I weighed in at 214 Lbs – 212 Lbs minus the weight of the waist chains [2 Lbs]), so as of yesterday I lost 11 Lbs. Zah went from 178 to 164 – a loss of 14 Lbs.
According to the CCHS mass hunger strike policy (IMSP+P, Vol. 4, Chpt. 22.2) states PCP visits to record vital signs, weight, and BMI should be done 1-3 days after hunger strike participation (see for a summary: http://www.prisons.org/documents/HungerStrikeSUMMARY7-13.pdf). With those of us they gaffed up in their version of ‘extraordinary rendition’ and isolated us in this rat block [unit 4A], they waited until the 9th day. 
This exposes us to the risk of premature hunger strike complications due to this negligent medical care and deviation from the established hunger strike policy. No one can tell me this is not intentional.
Also included in the policy is the provision that an FTF visit to again assess vitals, weight, height, etc. is to take place at the 4-7 day mark, the 7-14 day mark and then every week thereafter. They’ve obviously not adhered to their own policy, but instead subordinated themselves to custody and the dictates of this warden.
In any event, I.G.I. came by yesterday and returned some of my paperwork and gave me a receipt for over 100 pages of other stuff they’re characterizing as “gang material.” To give you an example of their fundamentally contradictory thought process and the arbitrary/capricious nature of how they characterize info – one document they are now characterizing this way is a document I wrote in 2005, “Cadre Development: Usalama” [Kiswahili for “security’) [C.D.U.], for revolutionary socialist parties like the “Afrikan Socialist Party,” “New Black Panther Party,” etc. to use to protect their political activities, organizations and personnel from counter-intelligence and infiltration operations by hostile capitalist state agencies. 
The I.G.I. officer in question stated the reason it was confiscated (mind you I’ve had this document in my possession, in one form of another (typed, handwritten, etc.) since 2005 when I wrote it and this same I.G.I. c/o has reviewed it at least 10 times in subsequent searches of my property and never responded this way) was the use of the term “party,” which they considered synonymous with the “B.G.F.”
When I am faced with such an obvious contradiction, the running commentary in my mind is often: “if it is your assertion that the language, activities, and information you are attaching to a particular group of people is all political in nature, and even you (the I.G.I.) are identifying what you believe this group to be as a “political party,” why then do you continue to disrespect imprisoned political activists by referring to them, their ideas, and work-product as “gangs,” “gang activity,” or “gang material”? The answer is obvious and it is the same reason I wrote the essay in the first place: in order to de-legitimate N.A.R.N. [New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalism] / Revolutionary Scientific Socialism, the state must criminalize leftist ideologues, activity, and ideas.
In the 1900s they did it with the Haymarket Massacre; in the ‘40s and ‘50s they did it with the McCarthy Hearings and the Church Committee; in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s they used the Counter-Intelligence Program (CoIntelPro); today they’ve evolved and expanded CoIntelPro and use control units and the “gang” moniker to achieve this end.
Case in point, they also confiscated 43 pages of stuff a N.A.R.N. couple in Baltimore sent me over the course of a year. Virtually all of their communiqués discussed gaining a better scientific understanding of the ideology and economic applications of socialism to the modern world, as well as the challenges their communities were facing in combatting the criminal / gang mentality among some youth and the challenges of transforming that mentality (actually an expression of the dominant oppressor culture and the effects of class/race-based disparities) into a progressive or revolutionary mentality.
As you well know, I.G.I. monitors all my incoming and outgoing mail – and it was no different here – they allowed this political discourse to continue over the course of a year, and I knew why they did so – and told the sister and brother as much in two separate communiqués: this gave law enforcement an opportunity to gather intelligence on the political development and interactions of socialist activists in different parts of the nation.
Now apparently Maryland is also engaged in a peaceful protest action, and suddenly the I.G.I. assigned to monitor my mail is telling me – “I did not see this stuff” –  is both ludicrous and insulting – but not unforeseen. He (I.G.I.) told me I would be receiving an 115 for “gang activity” for numerous letters that they reviewed [and] then delivered to my door – not to mention my responses.
Of course none of this political discourse is “gang activity,” but that’s all academic. The state must have its narrative to repress political and socio-economic  development along the lines of scientific socialism, N.A.R.N. (New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalism), or any other leftist tendencies. There are some 2-300 different political parties and organizations who employ N.A.R.N. as their ideological base – but in every instance – be they imprisoned or in the field – the state characterizes them as “gangs” and treats us accordingly. It sets up this automatic ambiguity in the people’s minds with 2 distinct emotional and political reactions:  “gangs” are dehumanized, castigated, and treated with political disdain; “revolutionaries” are romanticized, supported and treated with political interest and consideration.
Though there is under the D.O.M. section governing “disruptive groups” a designation for “revolutionary groups,” CDCR instead chooses to characterize N.A.R.N. and Scientific Socialist prisoners as “gangs” and “gang members.” Understanding the motive force behind it does not lessen its incorrectiveness or illegitimacy. But there is always a price for progress – revolution is illegal. The state is a tool to impose the interests of one class over all others and challenges to that status quo – no matter how principled or well intentioned – are viewed as threats, attacked, vilified, and in the case of those imprisoned: confined to sensory deprivation torture units and given 115’s for someone else writing you. Perhaps in the state’s mind – this will prove a deterrent – instead it only motivates me to build even more.
As we speak I am watching an episode of Dr Oz about the profit motivation behind food fraud (false labeling of poorer quality food items: fish, spices, juices, tea, etc., etc.) and the market correlation to lax U.S. enforcement of food standards. This system is so pervasively corrupt on every level of human activity it simply cannot be “reformed.”
When we make A critical analysis of CDCR’s continued opposition to the abolition of long-term sensory deprivation confinement and characterization of our peaceful protest as “gang activity,” what we are looking at is the same antagonistic authoritarian psychosis which not only compelled George Zimmerman to profile, hung, confront, harass, and ultimately murder Trayvon Martin – but more essentially it was behind the American legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that drafted and lobbied to pass the “stand your ground laws” he relied on, and the initial, and later, failings of Sanford law enforcement in first not bringing charges, then later bungling the prosecution.
Zimmerman believed Trayvon was a criminal and a threat because he was a young New Afrikan man, the Sanford police believed he was correctly killed for the same reason, and the jury believed Trayvon did not have a right to fight back against a grown man and a stranger preventing him from going home, but Zimmerman did have a right to murder Trayvon after being on the losing end of a fight he (Zimmerman) started – for the same reason. 
Equally, CDCR feels we are “gang members” and a “threat” worthy of indefinite torture, simply because we are in prison with ideals divergent from the dominant theme, the psychosis prompts them to violate their own laws in characterizing- (and issuing 115’s based on this characterization) – this peaceful protest action as a “gang activity.” (the 1st Amendment states clearly: “Congress shall make no law… abridging … the right of the people peacibly to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”) , and to continue to resist making the necessary and humane decisions required by this circumstance, the times, and international law. Both sets of phenomena emerged from that single psychosis prevalent in U.S. white male privilege. Hold on.
Now 2 things happened today which were both positive and shocking:
  1. This morning at 6AM, the same identical I.G.I. officer responsible for most of the most inane assaults on my artistic expression and politics, went out of his way and tracked down me and my cellie’s lost laundry. He did not have to do that, and whether he was told to or did so out of pure human decency, I can only speculate  – but it was commendable and respected in either event. I actually have my thermal bottoms back 🙂 Unfortunately, over $100 worth of my books are still missing 😦
  2. They just pulled me and Zah out, took our weight and vitals again (I’m down to 210 Lbs now). We were both surprised and pleased and clearly it’s as a result of you all on the outside calling up here and checking on us – thank you.
Please relay what you can of this to my family, the comrades in the struggle across the nation.

On the Correlation Between the Willie Lynch Method and the Debriefing Process

This is a Zine or Pamphlet written by J. Heshima Denham, a member of the N.C.T.T.-Cor-SHU, in 2005. It was also published in: Prison Art Newsletter  Vol, 5 (2005) nr 5 (where we found it, link is gone).


By J. Heshima Denham, with an introduction by Ed Mead

The cause of progressive social change is the guiding ideological force behind the Party’s works, policies, and programs and it’s in fact the very reason for its existence.

For purposes of this essay, “The Party”, encompasses all imprisoned revolutionaries, including all politically aligned units and organizations, as well as individual revolutionary activists. Yet, in recent decades, the Party’s functional ability and influence have been drastically curtailed due primarily to its leadership’s inability to truly trust the functional apparatus of the Party’s membership following devastating instances of betrayal and compromisation by Party personnel who have “debriefed.”

Debriefing  is a process which entails revealing Party and operational secrets, doctrine, self-incrimination, and the implication of other Party personnel in revolutionary activity. It is the contention of this piece that the origins of this functional blight on our glorious Party lie in the Willie Lynch Method of slave making—man breaking; and it is the correlation between the William Lynch Method and the debriefing process which is the single most insidious evil plaguing the Party’s functional ability.

Throughout the history of New Afrikaans resistance to slavery, cultural annihilation, brutality, racism, and second class citizenship there has also existed a seldom spoken about, but all too often attested to, Legacy of Mistrust amongst the truly committed elements carrying forth that resistance.

Following many decades of retribution, escape, sabotage, and outright rebellion by Afrikaans slaves in the New World, many white slave owners sought to develop methods of control to secure their economic interests in those slaves. This delving into the process of psychologically bonding and bowing a people to the yoke of servitude reached its loathsome heights in 1712 with the William Lynch Method of slave control. The Willie Lynch Method of slave making and man breaking is perhaps the greatest psychological bane to the cause of revolution that has ever plagued the New Afrikaans collective.

The great abolitionist Frederick Douglas observed of this phenomena: “conscious of the injustice and wrong they were every hour perpetuating and knowing what they themselves would do were they the victims of such wrongs, they were constantly looking for the rst signs of the dreaded retribution. They watched therefore, with skilled and practiced eyes, and learned to read, with great accuracy, the state of mind and heart of the slave, through his sable face. Unusual sobriety, apparent abstraction, sullenness, and indifference—indeed, any mood out of the common way afforded grounds for suspicion and inquiry.”

The William Lynch Method was developed specifically to thwart that “dreaded retribution” before it was ever allowed to blossom into the fertile hearts and minds of the oppressed by thoroughly stamping out the DESIRE for such retribution, let alone the cognitive and emotive faculties to carry it out. As stated by Willie Lynch himself: “I have a full proof method of controlling … slaves. I guarantee that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at least 300 years … I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes.”

No self-respecting professional revolutionary or political historian can deny the fact that the bane of every major revolutionary political movement by Afrikans in Amerikkka has been to a greater or lesser degree hampered, halted, or destroyed by fear amongst the uncommitted, distrust by one faction of another, or envy of this leader or group by another or its own subordinates.

The historic examples of this methods effect on Afrikan Revolutionary Movements in this nation are legion, but I will attempt to shed light on a few of the more glaring examples in hopes that you will grasp the crux of this new perspective on an old problem. Nat Turner, himself a chattel slave, led a successful rebellion that had the potential to become a much larger resistance movement had slaves from the Jones plantation not taken up arms against Nat and his forces in defense of their “master.” These slaves feared freedom and retribution, more than harsh bondage and the whip: they trusted the man who beat and humiliated them, while distrusting a fellow slave come to free them. Willie Lynch’s admonition that, “you must also have your white servants and overseers distrust all Blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us.
They must love, respect, and trust only us…” Each time I examine the failure of Turners slave rebellion, these words ring tauntingly through my mind.

Denmark Vesey, in 1800, developed a plan to seize a military outpost / port town in Charlotte, North Carolina but was betrayed by one of his own lieutenants who, it is said, did not appreciate the “lofty manner in which Denmark Vesey spoke down to him.” Discovering the enormity of the conspiracy, and the alarming certainty of its success, Denmark Versey and 16 of his inner circle where discovered and summarily hanged without getting off a single shot.

In the early 1900s through the 1920s Marcus Garvey, and his United Negro Improvement  Association, were one of the most dynamic forces in the cause of Pan-Afrikan Liberation and self-determination the world has ever known. With his rousing oratory and the comparative success of his Black Star Line, Garvey sparked the imaginations, stirred the spirits, and raised the hopes of countless millions of Afrikans the world over. However, it was primarily the relentless attacks of W.E.B. DuBoise and his NAACP which led to the Federal investigations that resulted in the Honorable Marcus Garvey’s incarceration, disgrace, and failure. This, of course, coupled with the embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars (unbeknown to Garvey) by his own accountants, tolled the death knoll of perhaps the greatest Black Power movement of the 20th Century. Garvey was the victim of DuBoises’ envy, and an inability to trust his own financial agents.

However, it was the launching of the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTEL PRO), and CDC’s accompanying validation and debriefing process which first staggered, then stalled, the Black Liberation Movement of the 60s and 70s and now decay the Party and its revolutionary apparatus under an insidious mold of mistrust. As revolutionary activists and political dissidents were arrested, imprisoned, and maltreated in the sweep of COINTELPRO, some uncommitted elements rather than make the necessary sacrifices for the cause, chose instead to compromise Party and organizational secrets. Not only becoming informants, but giving the tools of reaction the necessary ability to infiltrate the Party and other progressive organizations.

This process, coined “debriefing” by FBI handlers, became the crux of mistrust and rifts, not only amongst the various progressive political organizations but within the Party itself. Some claim such functional mistrust was the reason comrade Jonathan Jackson failed to have the necessary operational support present, allegedly promised by other Party personnel, which resulted in the death of this beautiful warrior and five other comrades that fateful day at the Marin County courthouse. Others contend this is also the reason comrade Fred Hamptons’ security detachment was conspicuously absent the morning he was assassinated. 

With so much “rattery” and betrayal occurring, no one knew who could or could not be trusted. In the wake of the Black Liberation Movement, and on through the transition to the New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalist Movement, as more of the Party’s functional apparatus in California was imprisoned and they turned to  revolutionizing the criminal mentalities of those Afrikans who also found themselves in the concentration camp environment—seeing the success the Party was having—the California Department of Corrections turned to the same, seemingly effective tool as the FBI began, first validating progressives and revolutionary activists, and then offering them the option of debriefing—of further compromising the Party in return for their freedom and a role as a continuing informant.

Naturally, with the William Lynch Method still prevalent in the psyche of the uncommitted, they were successful in penetrating Party security with the aid of those willing to comprise their principles for a cell in a different party of the concentration camp. This was the beginning of mistrust in the imprisoned Party.

There exists a direct link between the William Lynch Method and mistrust in the Party, so profound, that it is eroding our functional ability as surely as the Colorado River continues to carve away at the Grand Canyon.
It is my contention that the origins of uncommitted personnel and their subsequent actions (such as debriefing and informing) lay in the unevolved slave mentalities they yet possess despite their political indoctrination. If one ever wishes to find the origins of his circumstances and reality he need search nor further than his own thoughts.

Our thoughts dictate our actions; our actions dictate our circumstances; our circumstances dictate our reality. If we could bring forth the collective uncommitted elements who have compromised the Party from its inception on, and analyze their psychology individually, we would invariably discover that they each, to a greater or lesser degree, still cling to ideas and behaviors reminiscent of the slave mentality. Liberal sentimentalities; envy and back biting of the truly committed; a willingness to still engage in unethical or criminal activity; intransigence; trepidation or outright cowardice in the face of sacrifice; ignorance; greed; selfishness; all remnants of the slave mentality, all the fruit of the Willie Lynch Method. Such Party personnel were never truly committed to the cause nor the Party, only to what they themselves could wrest from the People, Party and Revolution.

It is within our inability to foster ‘Internal Revolution’ (that process by which one’s psychology and very being are changed) first, in all Party personnel prior to their indoctrination where lies the reason these uncommitted elements have even been able to infiltrate our ranks. What must be understood is not that uncommitted elements exist in the Party, but why they are uncommitted elements; and the answer is because their minds have yet to be liberated. They are still for all intents and purposes slaves; and thus their actions are those of slaves.

As William Lynch states …”I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust, and envy is stronger than adulation, respect or admiration. The Black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands.”

These words are an ominous portent comrades, 287 years later and the slave mentality still plagues us and our efforts at collective liberation. But what is more damaging to the functional apparatus of the Party, the truly committed, is not merely the presence of the uncommitted in our ranks, it is CDC’s ability to sew dissension and mistrust within our functional ranks through the debriefing process.

The manner in which they accomplish this end is two-fold, and I will attempt to illustrate those with correlates from the Willie Lynch Method in hopes they illuminate my points more vividly, though macabely. In the Willie Lynch Method of slave breaking the Afrikan female is made to watch the strongest, most rebellious male beaten to bloody ribbons, tied between two horses, tarred, feathered, and set on re before the two horses tear him apart. As Willie Lynch states: “the next step is to…beat the remaining (slave) male to the point of death in front of the female and the infant… We have (now) reversed the relationships. In her natural uncivilized state she would have a strong dependency on the… (slave) male, and would have a limited protective tendency toward her independent male offspring, and would raise females…to be dependent like her… we reverse nature by burning and pulling one… apart… and whipping the other to the point of death—all in her presence. By being left alone, unprotected … the ordeal caused her to move from her psychological dependent state to a frozen independent state…what have you got? You’ve got the (slave) woman out front and the (slave) man behind and scared. This is a perfect situation for sound sleep and economics.”

Similarly, after witnessing supposedly solid comrades, debriefing and informing and in many instances being debriefed and informed on, truly committed personnel begin (and understandably so) to mistrust all Party personnel to a greater of lesser degree, who aren’t in their similar set of circumstances and standing rm. They are thrust into a quasi “frozen independent state”, fiercely guarding those few Party secrets and resources from all but a few, because they feel they can no longer depend on those who haven’t “gone bad yet.”

This is a perfect situation to ensure the political progress and operational range of the Party is curtailed by the Party itself. And as Willie Lynch states, “Before the breaking process, we had to be alertly on guard at all times. Now we can sleep soundly, for out of frozen fear, his woman stands guard for us. He can not get past her early infant slave molding process. He is (now) a good tool…”; and comrades, unfortunately this too is relatively true—before the inception of the debriefing process the forces of reaction “had to be alertly on guard at all times”, now they sleep soundly because we stand guard for them against our own great potential.
And comrades, potential unused is as good as having none at all. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

The second is even more insidious, because it is more self-destructive than it is passively degrading. In our attempts to weed out uncommitted and philistine elements from our functional ranks, truly committed personnel are finding any fault, even those perceived and not necessarily existent, within other truly committed personnel resulting in further fear and mistrust.

A subtle, but constant organizational self-mutilation is occurring within our ranks; like a rabid dog which gnaws off his own foot in an attempt to separate the infection from his healthy form, yet only serving to increase his injury. And here in lies another correlate from our nemesis Willie Lynch, as he states:

“Don’t forget you must pitch the old Black male vs. the young Black male, and the young…vs. the old… you must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skinned slaves… and the female vs. the male… if used intensely… the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful…” 

Though the Parties’ own internal rivalries often flow along the lines of young or new comrades vs. old or veteran comrades; differing ideological branches; different sectors; and conflicting personalities, the correlate is none the less relevant. It is the ever present specter of the debriefer, the rat, the  betrayer which causes us to seize on the most minor or middling infraction and raise them to the level of major breaches in Party discipline, protocol, or procedure. Even I have found myself in an instance, too quick to condemn another comrade to the ranks of phillistia and uncommittedness; and I berated myself and asked the forgiveness of the comrade in question and the Party as a whole for such rashness in the throes of my zeal because, most importantly, it was wrong. I see in it, not the vigilance of the truly committed to Party security, but instead the subtle influence of our enemies in their attempts to foster dissention in our ranks. I say thee nay, comrades! We can not allow them to manipulate us into slowly devouring ourselves. Strict adherence to doctrine, discipline, and security are paramount, but this descent into organizational mutilation and mistrust of Party personnel is nothing less than slow suicide for our glorious Party and the Cause of Revolution as a whole.

The effects of this mistrust are crippling not only the Party’s ability to function, but our ability to evolve, grow, and develop. The primary purpose of all professional revolutionaries is fighting to build the Party, but I have seen firsthand comrades, this is a fight we are losing. Our ranks are dwindling. Though the masses cry out for progressive leadership there are too few truly committed, or even willing voices to answer. I have traveled the State of California for the last year, and what I have witnessed is truly disturbing. The Party’sinfluence, once deep rooted and far reaching, is now virtually symbolic alone. Though always assuming a leadership role, and gaining deference from the various Afrikan tribes, units, and organizations I encountered—that deference is almost that which is rendered to an honored elder who’s day has passed. When speaking of the Party, though with the utmost respect and admiration, the masses speak, as if referring to a great and awe inspiring warrior who fought valiantly to the death, but is dead none the less. There are those who actually believe the Party no more! This alone should alarm the entire New Afrikaans Revolutionary Nationalist Movement, all those who love freedom, justice, and equality, and most of all, every Party member alive, man and woman. Is our strategic and tactical expertise so awed that we can not evolve to the point where we can balance Party security with our need to grow and our ability to influence the People? I know this is not true, because I know this Party—I know my comrades—and our ranks boast some of the greatest social, political, military, economic, and cultural minds of our time, so I can only conclude that it is this insidious phenomena of perpetual mistrust which is crippling our personnel, crippling our Party, crippling our cause.
Revolution, radical progressive social change, is illegal in the oppressor nation in which it takes place; therefore imprisoned Party members are a natural outgrowth of pursuing the cause of righteousness in this Evil Empire. But for the truly committed revolutionary agent, imprisonment does not stop the forward progression of the Cause; and so the forces of reaction developed “validation” and adopted the debriefing process and its Willie Lynch Method correlations have served to do great damage to the Party’s functional ability, thus gravely harming the Cause, weakening its proponents, and degrading the Revolution.

If the Party is to continue to exist as an organizational entity and more importantly if The Cause is to continue to be carried forth, the party must resist and overcome this phenomenon.

When a thing’s small, at its beginnings, it is easily uprooted or destroyed… A seed is much more easily uprooted than a tree. But this evil that plagues us is centuries old; a gnarled tree with thick canopy, many branches, and deep roots—but if we are to remove this “tree” so the “sun” of organizational success can reach us again—we must wrest this vile tree up by its roots, we must strike at its origins. Acknowledging the William Lynch Method as the true origins of the debriefing process is the key to halting its affects upon imprisoned revolutionaries. By being aware of the subtle psychological effects of the William Lynch Method that vibrate through the undercurrents of the decisions being made by imprisoned revolutionaries which are hampering our collective efforts, we can begin to devise and implement successful psychological counter measures and operational procedures which will forestall this vile evils’ effects on our Cause and finally sever this centuries-long link with the slave mentality.

We are aware, painfully so, of the myriad methods that Willie Lynch, those who employed his methods, and now the Department of Corrections have used over these many years to destroy the trust, unity, cohesiveness, and influence by which we depend on to carry forth the works, policies, and programs of the People, Party, and Revolution. Therefore we must make ourselves equally, no, more intimately familiar with those methods which will not only counter their effects but give the imprisoned revolutionary the means by which to evolve to a new and higher level of operational sophistication.

Primary among these is, and always will be, the insurance that those who claim allegiance to the Revolutionary Cause and expect to serve the people in any organized capacity must have first undergone internal Revolution before they are initiated into the secrets of the professional revolutionary Party. Internal Revolution is the process by which an individual’s psychology is so drastically changed in the direction of righteousness, progression, and willingness to sacrifice for that progress toward what is right, that he is virtually a new being. Internal Revolution is the only reliable path to true commitment, and only truly committed elements can be unfailingly relied upon to be free of the Willie Lynch Methods affects or its correlates, no matter the form they may manifest themselves (threat of validation, fear of debriefing, etc.). Lip service is one thing, but the truly committed will reveal themselves by their day to day actions and can be tested reliably in the service of the Cause. This, our ability to develop truly committed elements is the single greatest weapon we have against the debriefing process, it’s Willie Lynch correlates, and any other sinister machinations the enemies of the masses can and will throw at us.

I’m sure none would disagree with me when I say security is the preeminent concern in any clandestine political movement; and I can say with equal alacrity that it has been our strict adherence to this dictate which has been the crux of some of our own self-immolating decisions. Our fear of compromisation has bred an almost paranoid distrust amongst those in positions of responsibility and trust within our various units and organizations, of their own membership at large: and this is understandable. I myself have been informed on while promoting revolutionary sentiments and socialist mores, I myself have been validated, and uncommitted elements have compromised me in their debriefing processes. Instances of such betrayal are legion. 

But instead of succumbing to my own innate desire to put everyone in the “suspect” category, it made me more determined to build trustworthy personnel wherever I encountered revolutionary minded men and women. This is real simple: the Party must trust its membership, despite this phenomenon… or die. We must adapt already existing procedures and protocols to deal with our enemies’ evolution in intelligence capability, and develop new ones to account for future breaches in our operational security. There have been instances where legitimate revolutionary functionaries have reached out for logistical, tactical, or operational assistance from those in positions of responsibility and trust, and received only silence in reply, dooming potentially beautiful operations or sinking progressive programs by cutting their own personnel off from the well spring of functional capability. It’s killing us…slowly… but as surely as malignant cancer. But unlike cancer, there will be no outside intervention, no group of concerned individuals  to treat our organizational ills; the cure will come from one place and one place alone: ourselves.

Only we can take the necessary steps to place our functional personnel in a psychological and operational position where they all can feel comfortable trusting one another, of depending on one another, of having faith in each other and thus our cause.

Only we can wield our potential as it was meant to be wielded, and be condent that we can be relatively safe doing so. Only we can identify, develop, and encourage Internal Revolution in others, thus forging truly committed personnel. Only we can stamp out the fear, mistrust, and pettiness plaguing the imprisoned revolutionary collective. Only we can bury Willie Lynch’s vile influence, which yet haunts us like a ghost, in the impenetrable tomb of our own determination. Let us be about the business of doing so. Let us say to the forces of reaction: “Bring on your lies and false labels; bring on your SHU cells and torture; bring on your rats and informers, for we shall never surrender, never give up, never submit, never give in… and in the end we shall win.” Solidarity to all those who love freedom and fear only failure. Think on these things, they are cause for great meditation.

Prison Art Newsletter vol 5 nr 5 (2005)
And:

On Unity of Purpose Within the Protest Movement

“A Small Body of Determined Spirits Fired by an Unquenchable Faith in Their Mission Can Alter The Course of History”   Gandhi


Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

History teaches us that unity is strength; that the collective will of a people expressed toward a common goal often results in that goal being realized. This should indicate to us all the vital nature of preserving unity of purpose within the protest movement, and within the movement to abolish domestic torture units in particular (solitary connement units, SHUs, super-maxes, etc). Protest movements in the U.S. are often formed out of necessity because the U.S. state and the oppressive, exploitive methods it uses against the people who stand in opposition to, are one and the same, sharing a mutual interest in repressing a specic segment of society or reaping some material benet from their exploitation. In the case of indenite sensory deprivation connement and mass incarceration in general, we nd both an oppressive and exploitive dynamic.

The unemployed area, a necessary component of surplus labor value expropriation in the U.S. capitalist arrangement (wage slave system) is key to a process we can call underdevelopment. In the U.S. such underdevelopment is targeted and contained, for the most part, in poor and minority communities, where no viable place in the mainstream economy is available to these segments of the population. They must resort to the underground economy to survive. These survival activities, be they service based (narcotics, prostitution, illegal gambling, etc), or predatory (robbery, extortion, identity theft, etc) are all “against the law.” Exposing those forced into the underground economy to imprisonment being the predatory capitalist state that the U.S. is, corporate and political interests from across the industrial spectrum, saw an opportunity in this, reminiscent of the old southern prison bond system, only in this case it was not the prot that could be made from exploiting prisoner labor, but the prot that could be made from each prisoner representing a portion of the publics’ tax dollars which could be expropriated (taken) by a new joint venture of industry and labor aristocracy (prison guard unions and administrators) on an ever-expanding industrial scale.

With the cooperation of the politicians, who overnight created a new and powerful constituency which only required them to parrot the ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric to harness such powerful lobbying and polling resources, law enforcement and judiciaries who would, of course, see an expansion of power and privilege of their own, as legislators enacted ever more intrusive laws broadening the net and widening the gavel for potential citizens daily lives to be intruded upon by the ‘rule of law’ – and more of their tax dollars. The prison industrial complex was born, forming a sixty four billion dollar oligarchy of corporations, and the state that tendrils extend well beyond that meager dollar amount annually.

As the U.S. became the most populous prison population on earth, those subjected to those contradictions, prisoners, resisted, some becoming advanced socio-economic and political activists, who sought to actively resist the social evil of the P.I.C. The state and its corporate masters saw no distinction between these and other groups of prisoners that formed within these environments, and when pitting them against each other did not work the concept of the supermax was born, a place where those who would not submit to the prescribed role of oppressed man would be sent to, subjected to, experimental psychological torture techniques until they “paroled, debriefed or died.” These units were even more lucrative than the expanded prison yards sprouting up like mushrooms across the rural areas of the nation, their very concept and purpose requiring a more robust infusion of tax payer dollars, and giving rise to an interest to manufacture the fantasy of the “worst of the worst,” while simultaneously media access and independent oversight, but capitalism, with its imperative of “unending growth” is, as always, unsustainable, and the prison industrial complex is no different.

As contradictions of its own explosive expansion collided with the limits of U.S. socio-economic capacity, the prospect of eternal damnation in these torture units nally burned away the miasma of disunity affecting the thousands of men and women consigned to these torture units, leaving only their mutual interests behind. Finding its organizational expression within the Pelican Bay D-Short Corridor collective and its unity of purpose in the historic “Agreement To End Hostilities” the movement to these torture units which began so many years ago when the U.S. government replaced Alcatraz with Marion, has not reached its highest form with this national coalition.

But, as most may realize, the unity of our coalition and thus its very purpose is under constant assault, everything from political immaturity to cointelpro-style attacks, challenge our resolve every day. As such, we feel it important to have a discussion about the most fundamental aspects of unity and how adhering to them will not only preserve our purpose, but ensure our circuit. Unity is based on dialogue and commitment; dialogue which is egalitarian and open in its inclusion, yet productive and efcient in its outcome. We should dialogue regularly at all levels around those points which we seek to unify on and from that common ground, commit to those actions and ideas which will most effectively realize our purpose.

Unity does not require uniformity. Coalition building is all about people from different walks of life, politically, socially, sexually, culturally, economically, educationally and geographically coming together to realize a shared value. In this case, the very basic human right that we should all be allowed is to live free of torture. Unity is a broad enough concept to encompass differing opinions and perspectives without it fracturing into a factualism which can be exploited by our collective opposition.

This is why dialogue is such a vital component of unity. The views and perspective of those we are waging struggle with are important, and bilateral communication is the cornerstone of conict resolution. If unity is based on its purpose, it will be difcult to encounter a dispute which cannot be resolved through dialogue. Commitment to a course of action, and to one another, is often as powerful as the unity itself.

Power concedes nothing without demand and actively seeks to destroy opposition to its authoritarian dictates. Commitment to remain unied is a form of unilateral political discourse all its own, which demands that he oppressive power bend – or break. As July 8th approaches and principled people across this nation and abroad prepare to take up this struggle with us, we should all be comforted by the victorious win underlying our unity of purpose. As we speak, hunger strikes in Guantanamo Bay have gripped international attention, yet right here on U.S. shores, over 80,000 men, women and yes children, are languishing in identical conditions, in SHUs, supermaxs and Ad Seg units, from Pelican Bay, Corcoran and Tehachapi to ADX and Oregon State Prison – solitary confinement.

There is only one force which has any hope of abolishing this inhumanity in the U.S. once and for all: The Unity of Purpose of Principled People Like You and Us. Be amazed and inspired!

N.C.T.T. – COR-SHU

Published first in: The Rock, vol. 2 (2013) nr 7 July, pp. 9-10.

Cellmate or not: Indeterminate SHU confinement is torture

Cell of Todd Ashker in PBSP
Indeterminate SHU confinement is torture, and though not all those thus situated are in cells alone (some have cellies), this makes the torture no less acute, and in some ways even more challenging.

Like all oppressed people, prisoners confined to these torture units must not only contend with seeking ways to resist the unrelenting, daily assaults on their psyche and humanity, but must also contend with the prospect of people who have never been subjected to the inexorable psychological and physical degradation of being confined to a bathroom with 2 bunks crammed into it for 23-24 hours a day, every day, trying to define ourreality.

It has recently been suggested that those confined to these sensory deprivation torture units indefinitely, but who have a cellie, are not in “solitary confinement,” as though another human occupying a space not even large enough for one will somehow mitigate the deleterious effects of this isolation. It doesn’t. The only marked difference is the number of stressors you must contend with in a day. Having a cellmate under this circumstance forces you to modify your daily life to account for the mood swings, biological activities, and other idiosyncrasies of someone who is always– no matter how far in this tiny cell you go – only 2 steps away from you. 

As men who have a collective 60+ years in these torture units, both with cellies and without, we can state definitively what constitutes “solitary confinement” is the complete and total isolation from sensory stimuli and “normalized” human social interactions which accompany the unique conditions of torture unit confinement (i.e. S.H.U.’s, S.M.U.’s, supermaxes, ad-seg’s, etc.), not whether another human has been crammed off into this tiny space with you.

The love, friendship, admiration and respect we hold for one another is genuine and abiding, but has no impact on how isolation affects the mind, and how you may perceive others or their activities. We may hold a conversation with one another, or a neighbor through the vent, then not say a word to another for 2 or 3 days save “excuse me” when sliding past or using the toilet; that anyone truly believes having a cellmate somehow lessens the effects of this isolation only reveals their ignorance of this reality. 

For someone to attempt to define our reality in these torture units, who’ve never experienced it for a month, let alone decades, is no different than U.S. government officials and policy makers attempting to define the realities of the First Nations (Native Americans) who they had massacred, forced onto reservations, and then into “boarding schools” where they raped children of their language, culture, identity and innocence. Can anyone identify the reality of the Apache child whose hair is cut to serve his tribal identity  and then beaten for speaking their native tongue, but that Apache child? No, of course not! Neither can anyone define the reality of the prisoner(s) confined in U.S. domestic torture units across the U.S. like Pelican Bay, Corcoran, and Tehachapi save those of us who have, and do, live this reality. Just as many men who have had cellies have committed suicide to escape these torture units as those without.

Solitary confinement must be defined by the effects this isolation, and the torture techniques used to break men, has on those so situated. We should know. All of us have been both with and without cellies over our periods of indefinite SHU confinement. Despite our level of development and continued advancement it would be the height of hubris for us to contend this isolation has not adversely affected our minds and bodies. For anyone to consider these conditions anything less than torture could only be a prison industrialist, or some other type of draconian public official.

In the final analysis, torture must be defined by the effects it has on its victims and no one who has been confined to these indefinite torture units for any length of time, either single or double celled, has escaped the psychological and physical devastation of the torture unit.

N.C.T.T.-Cor-SHU
May 2013

NCTTCorSHU.org

Contemplations in a Holding Tank

How much can a brother take, as I’m sitting in this holding tank.
On my way from New Folsom State, it’s pitiful to think how low we’ve sank.
I look out of the 2×4 cage, at the merciless faces of these devils
CDC’s finest are paid, to reduce men to a sub-human level.
The information age in a micro-chip, as I race this post-industrial apocalypse.
The new world order propaganda perpetrated by the same old world fascists.
Our brothers are being locked up for life, and forced to submit to D.N.A. coding.
Prisoners are free sources of labor without rights, and you wonder why the county jails are
Overflowing.

Wake the hell up ‘cause they killin’ us and they don’t wait or hesitate.
Letting the media scare you, the more genocidal laws they can legislate.
House bill 15090 paid for the creation of A.I.D.S. to further their depopulation program.
A biological weapon bought and paid, and you bought that line about a monkey in the
Motherland.

My people obviously don’t see what I see, the thought slowly dawns on me
Those folks are lying on t.v., that smiling bitch on the news is phony
Quit biting for that bullshit, capitalists are incapable of morality,
They don’t care that your child’s illiterate, they’re too concerned with urban casualties.
They talk of family values, but criminalize young New Afrikan fathers every day of the week.
The child with no male patterning often dies, seeking his examples in the street.
They talk of being tuff on crime while giving us drugs and Tek-9’s,
They don’t care about lives-not yours or mine – just ensure ‘Amerika’s Most Wanted’ gets your
Dropped dimes.

It costs over $50,000 dollars to keep you locked up a year, and that ain’t no doubt.
But it only costs $15,000 dollars a year to send you to college, now you figure it out.
Now the Secretary of Defense is stating and making economic, foreign and domestic policy.
When the Nazi’s did it in Germany it was called fascism, now how fuckin’ blind can you be?

I’m getting on the bus now I gotta go, but the solution to society’s woes is as simple as
Putting bread in a basket.

The system of capitalist exploitation is evil and everyone knows, so we must fight oppression
Until it’s buried like a skeleton in a casket.

H.

Defiance

Artwork: cop. Heshima Denham
Defiance

Defiantly I stand in the midst of adversity and persecution, like a stone golem of old I am, impervious to the storm of conviction allayed against my very soul.

Defiantly I face those whose power is greater than my own. Like a warrior who is faced with unbeatable odds I fight on without pause.

Defiantly I look evil in its deceitful face though masked by false justice and spit in the eye of the oppressor.

Defiantly I march against my enemy, its allies and all who would advocate my destruction.

I am rebellion unbound.

Defiantly I face death and stand in prison like a standard that rallies all those who will no longer tolerate unjust imprisonment and who dare not falter in their battle for true democracy.

Defiantly I speak, defiantly I stand, defiantly I fight on, and will never surrender, never submit, never give in.

I am the unimprisonable, the unkillable, the unstoppable, the unenslavable; I am he who is spurned the world over yet who holds his head hight in the light of day.

I am the seed of ham. I am the Blackman. The Afrikan.
I am defiance.
H.

Please help stop pre-emptive retaliation against hunger strikers!

Word just came in from one of the leaders and hunger strikers at Corcoran Prison and his cellmate, and others in their unit, have been subjected to a destructive raid against their living quarters, where prison personnel destroyed and ransacked personal property. All materials related to their human rights work was taken.

See below for H.’s description of what happened to them and others on their unit March 12, 2013. He believes this is pre-emptive retaliation for their plans to participate in the upcoming hunger strike this summer.
Please take a few minutes and either call the warden or send an email to let them know we are watching and ready to back them up in their struggle. If they are already doing this kind of pre-emptive retaliation three months before the hunger strike even starts, it is extremely important that we act now to try to put some restraints on it. And forward this email widely; let’s blast it!
TO CALL:
Please call Connie Gipson, the warden at Corcoran Prison, to demand the items be returned and that they cease from doing any further such raids! Phone calls into the prison letting them know that outside people are watching and are aware of what’s going on can make a huge difference. The number to reach the warden is (559) 992-8800.

Sample Script
“I am calling to protest the actions taken on March 12th in Unit 4B, when a raid took place for 7 hours on cells of people who were involved with the peaceful hunger strikes of 2011.

According to CDCR’s own Department Operations Manual, officers need to leave things as they are found, not destroy property, and give receipts listing in detail the property taken, and this protocol was not followed.

I expect to hear from my correspondents that their possessions have been returned in good condition and that no more raids are taking place.”

TO SEND AN EMAIL:
Send the following (or summarize in your own words) to Warden Connie Gipson, and be sure to copy Kathleen Dickinson, who is the current Deputy Director of Facility Support in Sacramento, an office which is over the wardens.
Send email to:

Connie.gipson@cdcr.ca.gov

Copy:

Kathleen.dickinson@cdcr.ca.gov

I am writing to protest the actions taken on March 12th in Unit 4B, when a raid took place for 7 hours on cells of people who were involved with the peaceful hunger strikes of 2011. The officers involved behaved in a destructive manner, destroying personal property and damaging a toilet in one cell.

According to CDCR’s own Department Operations Manuel, the officers involved broke CDCR policy in Section 52050.16, which stipulates officers need to avoid damage while searching a cell.  Section 54030.10.11 clearly says they must be given receipts listing in detail the personal and state-issued property taken, and the disposition of such property, and your officers need to immediately comply with this policy, if they haven’t already.  

I expect to hear from my correspondents that their possessions have been returned in good condition and that no more raids are taking place.

******************************************************************************
Here is what NCTTCorSHU wrote in a postcard and 3 letters received by a supporter on March 26:

We’ve been working for the past 2 days to put our cell back together after they came in here and just tore it up. It really looked like a bomb went off in our cell. Hopefully you received my postcard that I sent on the 12th, which is the day the raid occurred.
If not, here’s a quick recap:

They pulled us all out of the cells after strip-searching us – then walked us through metal detection wands – they then spent 7 hours tossing up our cells – in me and my cellmate’s case, they threw away all our canteen, my deodorant, all my Bayview newspapers and most anything they could find having to do with our Human Rights struggle.

They then walked us all up to visiting in plastic flex cuffs and walked us through another metal detector. There were boot prints on my bunk where they stood on it to tear down our antenna wire and clothes lines – tossed out most of our laundry and so much more that it’s really pointless to catalogue it all.

Someone took the extraordinary step of breaking our toilet so it won’t flush. By sheer luck, a brother officer who came on the next shift went into the pipe chases upstairs and downstairs and found what was done and fixed it. Only our toilet was done this way.

It’s clear that this entire thing was an act of pre-emptive retaliation leading up to the July 8th protests, they cut off our hot water then, and haven’t cut it back on yet. Please, if you haven’t, notify Ms Zohrabi and the coalition, as well as my family of what has/is transpiring here.”

And in a letter dated 3/18/13 Heshima writes:
…”It appears the family crest [which NCTTCorSHU designed] is gone, it was in an envelope with some of my patterns from previous art pieces and some magazine pages of models from indigenous tribal cultures in Africa and South America. “They must have tossed it out along with the rest of the stuff they trashed. We’ll only know the extent of which they’ve disrespected our property as days go by and things that were in the cell looking for continue to come up missing.”
   

Creating Broken Men, Pt 2

A Discussion on CDCR’s New Brainwashing Mandate for SHU Torture Units
By the N.C.T.T. COR-SHU [NCTT stands for NARN (New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalism) Collective Think Tank.]

“I would like you to think of brainwashing, not in terms of politics, ethics and morals, but in terms of the deliberate changing of human behavior and attitudes by a group of men who have relatively complete control over the environment in which the captive populace lives.”—Dr. Edgar Schein to U.S. wardens and social scientists, 1962


Greetings, Brothers and Sisters. We’ve had an opportunity to review the over 100 pages which constitute CDCR’s STG Pilot Program, and felt compelled to discuss provisions of §700.2 (the Step Down Program) in the wake of our last discussion on “Creating Broken Men.

There should be no doubt indefinite solitary confinement is torture. Yet in §700.2, the CDCR has devised an insidious program whereby they can leverage this torture to coerce validated SHU prisoners to submit to brainwashing in lieu of debriefing; the end result being qualitatively no different: the production of a docile, submissive, quasi-informant population who reproduces in themselves the values of the same authoritarian order responsible for mass incarceration and the domestic torture program. In other words, “broken men” will be created by a new process.

In §700.2 of the STG Pilot Program, CDCR outlines, beginning in step 3, a requirement that prisoners complete “12 months of journals… that lead to responsible thinking and behavior.” This behavior modification program (and that’s exactly what it is) is preparatory, designed to condition the minds of the targeted population to accept cognitive restructuring. This intent is clear in the themes of the journal. 

For example, “Values guides prisoners through an evaluation of the criminal values that have influenced their lives and help them weigh the consequences of living a life based on criminal values versus responsible values.” This presupposes everyone currently confined to these torture units holds true to “criminal values.” 

An absurd notion. The overwhelming majority of validated SHU prisoners have committed no criminal act(s) or rules violation(s) (a natural outgrowth of so-called “criminal values”) to be confined to SHU by CDCR’s own admission. 

Many are in SHU on purely ideological grounds: for holding revolutionary attitudes or socialist values which oppose authoritarian social control and exploitation of the underclass.

This begs the question, What are “criminal values” and who defines “responsible values”? Surely it’s “criminal” to hold a population captive under conditions of indefinite torture unless they become informants or submit to having their “values” modified. Are we to assume an entrenched industrial interest that has intentionally manufactured the legislative and physical conditions (in prisons) to perpetuate mass incarceration to establish their own labor aristocracy, while presiding over the largest domestic torture program on the planet, are now going to be the instiller of “responsible values”? The answer is: No, of course not! 

The Self-Directed (S-D) Journals component of the SDP is replete with other Orwellian themes like “thinking errors,” “social values,” “responsible thinking/healthy personality,” and “peer relationships.” These themes constitute classic “character invalidation,” an essential Schein model brainwashing technique employed to induce guilt, self-loathing, anxiety, irrational fear and suggestibility, while simultaneously providing social and emotional supports which reinforce the new subservience/ docility.

This is in fact an improvement on the original Schein behavior modification model outlined in his paper, “Man Against Man: Brainwashing,” the basis for previous SHU best practice. Up to now, torture unit administrators, IGI, and OCS have relied on staff and their specialized SHU training to observe prisoners’ behavior patterns, record them in the “daily activity log” and utilize this data to calculate a prisoner’s sensitivity to pressure, or vulnerability to the same, with a degree of precision. This is one way the IGI is able to anticipate and target specific SHU torture victims who are prepared to—or on the verge of—debriefing. They now intend to use the prisoners themselves to provide additional input data to facilitate and reinforce their own brainwashing.

Section 700.2 states, 

“Personal reinforcement check sheets … will be used by the inmate to monitor weekly/monthly program participation and progress. In addition, Individual Change Plans will be initially completed by the inmate after 6 months in the SDP…. These documents will be submitted to the Correctional Counselor II and may be used … in determining an inmate’s movement between steps.” 


You are not only expected to submit to brainwashing in order to escape indefinite torture, but you must actively participate in your own cognitive restructuring or be trapped indefinitely in thetorture unit’s “steps.” This is “Skinnerian operant conditioning,” the rewarding of submission to the character restructuring encompassing the brainwashing objectives by easing the pressure on the subject in this by moving them along to the next “step.” But in truth, this is no “reward” at all. As previously stated, the S-D Journals are only preparing the subjects’ minds for complete restructuring, while weakening (or removing completely) any psychological resistance to the more intense behavior modification techniques to come.

These are introduced in step 4, and as if aware of the pliancy (in this context, easily influenced) and desperation of those prisoners willing to submit to these techniques, the state makes no attempt to conceal their intent. The text states clearly, “Step 4 will include an integrated, cognitive behavior change program that will include cognitive restructuring…” For those of you not familiar with this language, this means brainwashing. The exact nature and composition of the step 4 “cognitive restructuring program” has been intentionally left vague and ambiguous. It is designed for “small groups” of subjects, and will no doubt be a modification of techniques already tested in other SuperMax torture units which include Synanon attack therapy (a form of character invalidation for a group setting), transactional analysis, and encounter group sensitivity sessions.

This progressive step-based approach ensures maximum control for therapeutic administrators to prevent subjects having contact with anyone not sympathetic to the reconditioning methodology, disorganizing group standards among prisoners which are not pro-conformist, all within the confines of an environment that is prohibitive/restrictive towards any activities or ideas which are not supportive of the brainwashing objectives. In the end, the conditioned subject is psychologically no different than the debriefer: a broken man/woman.
What must be understood is participation in such a system of behavior modification on any level exposes any mind to the prospect of restructuring, primarily because most of these techniques target the subconscious mind. 

We do not want to get overly technical, but we believe it is important and we will simplify it as briefly as possible with a single example. The conscious mind makes judgments on what is real and correct or illusory and incorrect. But the subconscious mind accepts all information introduced into it as fact. The conscious mind, unfortunately, only functions when you are “conscious” of a thing or are aware; the unconscious mind always functions—it never sleeps. The conscious mind is simply “the computer;” the unconscious mind is “the computer programmer.” If one can bypass or circumvent the conscious mind and go directly to the subconscious, the conscious mind can be made to believe whatever has been introduced into the subconscious. For example, recall our explanation that the self-directed journal models in step 3 require you to complete a theme on “values” which presupposes you function from “criminal values” and need to [acquire] “responsible values.” Your conscious mind, of course, would disagree that your values are “criminal.” However, by participating in this exercise, you expose your mind to contextual adaptation to carry out the exercise (“contextual” referring to a set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.). Your subconscious mind will not make any distinction in the validity of the presupposition, only that some of your values may contradict those defined as “responsible” and thus by relational context, must be “criminal.” The thought divergence (separation) will manifest itself subconsciously as “character invalidation,” though you’ll not note this consciously.

It will manifest itself in contradictions in your thinking, speech, and conduct too subtle for you to note overtly until the thought divergence progresses. Yes, they are truly insidious. The only sure method of resistance (outside of contra-conditioning techniques) is not to expose yourself to brainwashing therapy in the first place. But some will, and some of those who do will become tools of the state, entering the general population or their communities and reproducing these attitudes in others. 

From the perspective of the state, if some of these have influence, all the better for the prison industry. It’s the reason these techniques were included as mandatory aspects of the pilot program. Following the hunger strikes, CDCR did not see victimized prisoners united to end their collective torture, but instead an opportunity to transform the most advanced and influential into broken men and creators of the same; an environment where the orderly extraction of taxpayer dollars in proportion to prisoner commodities is inflated by SHU confinement but uninterrupted by pesky concerns like human rights, international law, or the Constitution. That they will fail is not of import—that they are trying this is.

Which leads us to the core of the matter. There exists no moral or legal basis for compulsory brainwashing in civilized society. With all of the self-inflicted behavior modification in the capitalist consumer culture from Weight Watchers to anti-smoking products like Nicoderm, US society has become acclimated to being brainwashed, to say nothing of social automation. 

But camouflaging Dr. Schein’s abhorrent techniques under misleading language that not only conceals its meaning and intent from prisoners, but the public as well, does not make them any less illegal. The very assertion by the state that one’s political ideology and cultural values are “criminal,” or are somehow a legitimate pretext for indefinite solitary confinement torture, violates the First Amendment, just as holding the threat of indefinite SHU torture over a prisoner’s head unless they become an informant violates the Eighth Amendment. 

But coercing a population into submitting to a brainwashing program that most don’t even understand, and passing it off as a “social good,” is not simply illegal, it’s evil . These provisions laid out in §700.2 not only violate the First and Eighth Amendments, but also the UN Convention Against Torture [original text is not available right now], the UN Standard Minimum Rules forTreatment of Prisoners, and most disturbing of all, the Nuremberg Code.

The first principle of the Nuremberg Code states:

“Voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; … able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of … the subject matter involved … to make an understanding and enlightened decision….” (In this instance, indeterminate SHUs, indeed SHUs themselves, are torture units).


CDCR has made it clear that no one is going to escape these torture units unless they submit to the techniques. Their new mantra is thus, “Parole, debrief, submit to brainwashing, or die.” Most prisoners, and for that matter most citizens in the US, have little to no understanding of the Schein, Levinson, Skinnerian cognitive restructuring model, or its intent. This should outrage us all.

The best, the clearest proof of the CDCR’s intention can be found by reviewing a document issued by the CDCR entitled, “Security Threat Group Pilot Program Information.”
[This is a pamphlet that was handed out to some or all SHU prisoners. –Ed.] 
Page 4 of this document states, under “Reporting STG Involvement,” in the first paragraph, 

“You have the responsibility to report STG or criminal activity when known or observed by you.” 

It goes on to state that: 

“this process is not intended to compromise your safety, but to enhance your safety through the identification and removal of those involved in STG or criminal activity.” 

Of course, you would have to be brainwashed/broken to believe and subordinate yourself to this. If it was true that snitching does not compromise the informant’s safety, it would not be necessary to separate (known) informants from the non-SNY/PC general population. Once a person debriefs, that person is automatically assigned to SNY [special needs yard].
It has been demonstrated time and time again that the abuse of your tax dollars by the CDCR is based upon the lawlessness of the CDCR. A lawlessness that includes a complete disregard for those of us housed in these madhouses. And in particular for those who would dare oppose the disrespecting of our humanity. The humanity of us all.

The Agreement to End Hostilities by the Pelican Bay representatives is a crucial step in our reclaiming our humanity and creating opportunities to put an end to the efforts to destroy us all. We must take advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate to the world that we are willing and capable of being the history makers that this opportunity now provides us all.

That the state has actually created a whole new bureaucracy to manage this brainwashing program within an already existing domestic torture program designed to grow under this policy should compel us all to act, as this new bureaucracy will be funded by your tax dollars. 

Are we as a society going to stand idly by and listen to our politicians stride the world stage criticizing other nations for human rights abuses while this Orwellian, pseudo-scientific torture initiative is carried out in your name within your national borders?

We need each other if we are to be free. We can all reclaim our humanity by demanding that the humanity of all be respected. Let us reclaim it together.

Love and struggle, N.C.T.T. COR-SHU,
Michael (Zaharibu) Dorrough #D83611
CSP-Corcoran 4B-1L-43
PO Box 3481
Corcoran, CA 93212
Heshima Denham #J38283
CSP-Corcoran 4B-1L-43
PO Box 3481
Corcoran, CA 93212
Kambui Robinson #C82830
CSP-Corcoran 4B-1L-49
PO Box 3481
Corcoran, CA 93212
Jabari Scott #H30356
CSP-Corcoran 4B-1L-63
PO Box 3481
Corcoran, CA 93212
Published in: p. 2 of California Prison Focus #39 (Spring 2013)

Occupy or Decolonize?

The NCTT-Cor-SHU has always been a supporter of and participant in the Occupy Movement, by offering 10 Core Objectives (earlier called “demands'”) and by trying to engage in discussions and support for the movement.  

This is a discussion-working-piece written by Heshima and Zaharibu after discussions on whether an Occupy Movement is still active or existing, in California at least. They learned about “Decolonize” fairly late and found it an interesting and important development. As it seems now, Decolonize Oakland seems no longer to exist online (or only on Facebook?). There is Decolonize Portland, Occupy/Decolonize Vancouver. This last mentioned group still has a more active website) and maybe more Decolonize groups we are unaware of. 

Jan. 24, 2013
On “Occupy” and ‘Decolonize” – after reviewing everything – what you see here is the inevitable and inherent contradictions of a movement in its infancy; and these types of discussions are essential and necessary if the movement is to develop the degree of political maturity to attain the aims we’ve set for ourselves.

The sister who drafted the “decolonize” piece [on the now disappeared website Decolonizeoakland.org] articulated an inescapable truth of virtually every progressive movement that has sought to transform the nature and structure of capitalist society in the U.S.: opposition to inequality in one segment of social activity does not negate the preservation of oppressive and authoritarian attitudes of those waging that struggle. Most everyone (New Africans, Latino’s, Natives, women and L.G.B.T.Q.’s included) in Occupy was developed in the same capitalist, patriarchal authoritarian U.S. society and its values were instilled in them (classism, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, religious intolerance, etc.).

That they’ve joined a movement to combat and eradicate socio-economic inequality does not automatically translate into them having confronted, struggled against, and eradicated those unprogressive tendencies within themselves.

This discourse is necessary to ensure that process is completed. But that’s only one aspect. In the course of that process, some greater realizations may be gained by sisters and brothers in both “Decolonize” and “Occupy.” For example, U.S. market capitalism is not simply composed of an integrated system of expropriation of surplus value of labor and enforced debt accrual, but is maintained through the systematic, and antagonistic, stratification of society via the economic class and race caste systems – which are both further stratified by gender & sexuality with white hetero-sexual males maintaining a decided social privilege.
Racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and other manifestations of U.S. patriarchal authoritarian culture are not simple social phenomena unique to these particular social ills- they are fundamental, institutional aspects of capitalism.

Acknowledging and confronting these contradictions, and their continued preservation in the movement, is not “divisionary” or “negative”, quite the contrary, they are necessary and progressive, imperative if we are to purge the very contradictions we all claim to be in opposition to. When this process reaches its logical conclusion, we’ll be left with a strong, politically mature, and effective movement truly representative of those who are, and historically have been, the most adversely affected by the global capitalist construct and system of white supremacy.

The only question is, will occupiers, particularly those who responded so negatively and reactionary to the legitimate, and for the most part accurate (there were some incorrect points), analysis of “Decolonize,” have the requisite maturity, courage, and psychological composure to engage – seriously – in that process?
NCTT-Cor-SHU
Ncttcorshu.org

Anti-misogyny and sexism

The N.C.T.T.-Cor-SHU stands in diametric opposition to the oppression of man/woman by man/woman. In the face of unprecedented violence against women in the near and middle east, a direct outgrowth of imperialist expansion and patriarchal authoritarian religious fundamentalism, it is necessary that we criticize the maintenance of cultural misogyny and institutional sexism. From Pakistani schoolgirls and teachers being brutalized and killed by misogynists besmirching the sacred name of Islam, to Christian fundamentalist G.O.P. Senate candidate Todd Akin’ comments about “legitimate rape,” this cultural sexism finds its origins in the establishments of the monogamous patrilineal family unit and the patriarchal authoritarian psychological structure which has gained cultural hegemony across much of the world.

Sexism and misogyny are both cultural and socio-economic phenomena. As Frederick Engels explained in The origin of the family, private property, and the state, the patriarchal authoritarian social structure was established “to make man supreme in the family and to propagate, as the future heirs to his wealth, children indisputably his own.”
This could not be accomplished without complete control over a woman’s sexual life, which required nothing short of their total economic, social, political, and psychological subjugation of women to the dictates of men. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, despite their history(s) of brutal conflict and war, share a common cultural and socio-religious ethic of justification for brutal colonialism, economic exploitation, and violence against women. Traditional and contemporary judeo-christian and Islamic fundamentalism have been exceptional vehicles for genocide, slavery, sexism, territorial expansion, misogyny, and imperialism. As stated by Max Weber:

“One must go to the ethics of ascetic Protestantism to find any ethical sanction for economic rationalism, and for the entrepreneur.”

No matter if it’s India (where a woman was recently raped to death by 6 men on a public bus) or the U.S.A. (where in February 2012 House Republicans held a hearing on contraception and intentionally did not invite women to testify, but instead 5 male clergy to offer their “expertise” on the subject of women’s sexual health rights), societies based on competition and private expropriation of social production, employ the patriarchal family unit. Such family units have proven perfect incubators for labor submission and socialization, and in order to perpetuate the economic order of capitalism found it practicle to establish the intimate oppression of women.

This sexist repression has been reflective of domestic slavery; women have been used and exploited as servants, sexual pleasure tools, social companions, child bearers, child teachers, and child correctors. Legislation is incapable of altering cultural mores which are rooted in the productive system itself. Suffrage and the “Lily Ledbetter Act” have done little to alter sexists’ social attitudes in the U.S., or the misogyny it has exported around the globe via imperialist economic penetration.

This is because, like the economic class and race-caste systems, institutional sexism is a structural component of monopoly capitalism. The middle class is so vital to the maintenance of the capitalist culture because it is the mainstay of patriarchal marriage and the authoritarian family unit, which are primary logs in service to the 1%’s interest in material profit. As Wilhelm Reich states in The Mass Psychology of Fascism [The Autoritarian Ideology],

“It is the class that preserves nothing less than several thousand years of patriarchy and keeps it alive with its contradictions… The social position of the middle class is determined by 1) its position in the capitalist production process, 2) its position in the authoritarian state apparatus, 3) its special family situation, which is directly determined by its position in the production process… There are indeed differences in the economic situation (of middle class families) but the basic nature of the family situation is the same.”

Therefore there can be no serious discussion of the abolition of sexism and misogyny in the U.S. and abroad without it taking place within the framework of the abolition of global capitalism through scientific socialist revolution. With that in mind, the totality of women’s oppression is not located in the profit system, nor will the overthrow of capitalism guarantee complete freedom for our sisters. No. Even more central to this aim is the abolition of the puritanical and patriarchal authoritarian culture of conservatism upon which the economic exploitation of gender inequality is based and sustained. This can not be accomplished via bourgeoisie democracy or attempts to reform that which can not be reformed. As Emma Goldman stated:

“The history of the political activities of man proves that they have given him absolutely nothing that he could not have achieved in a more direct, less costly, and more lasting manner… There is no reason whatever to assume that woman, in her climb to emancipation, has been, or will be, helped by the ballot… Her development, her freedom, her independence, must come from and through herself. First by asserting herself as a personality. Second, by refusing the right to anyone over her body; by refusing to bear children, unless she wants them; by refusing to be a servant to god, the state, society, the husband, the family, etc. By making her life simpler, but deeper and richer… only that, and not the ballot, will set woman free…”

We concur. Our sisters must first conquer their rights, by self-defense and force of arms where need arises. Ideologies are indigenous, and feminism is an ideology of liberation which finds its origins with our sisters. It is our sisters which must take the lead within the scientific socialist revolution to indoctrinate their brothers in feminist ideology and the abolition of these sexist, chauvinistic, and misogynistic tendencies which remain in us all.

In the final analysis, it is this commitment to destroying the capitalist values and mores within ourselves – removing the artificial divisions between us all of race, gender, class, and culture which will prove the death knew for monopoly capitalist exploitation. Our solidarity is the ruling 1%’s worst nightmare. We must all commit ourselves to destroying sexism and violence against women wherever it rears its head.

Until we win or don’t lose.

N.C.T.T.-Cor. SHU
January 2013