Dear Prisoner: Escape from Alcatraz

Escape from Alcatraz


Dear Prisoner  (of War),

POW is traditionally a designation for those captured and retained within a military campaign of a war in the traditional sense.  But there have been no declared wars by the United States since WWII.  Yet many of our military personal have suffered, died, and have been captured in undeclared wars ever since.  I offer no disrespect to all those honored heroes.  I am acknowledging another war, the war beneath the surface from which all military campaigns emerge as well as the undeclared war waging in our streets every day.

Within this war there is a conflict of ideas and beliefs.  Within our society punishment is seen as “justice” for a “crime.”  Punishment is not justice.  It is not The Truth. Crime and punishment for a crime are but a socially accepted concept fabricated to control a ‘lesser’ people.  It is an idea and a belief given an illusion of validity and power to dominate and enslave a ‘lesser’ culture.  I am writing to you to help you break this illusion of acceptable behavior of a society that has fallen into a coma.

Punishment is not justice because we all have within our brains the neuroplastic capacity to change, grow, and realize a new reality where we feel and are eventually treated as a better person than we are now. There is a war of cultures. One is an ideology that believes in self-righteous power and domination over a “lesser people of God” and which will manipulate and twist any ideology to advance their dominion.  Their desire is to subjugate another ideology that believes in empowering and raising up all peoples of this planet because we all are children of God with the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

You are within a war of ideologies.  One ideology teaches how to love and embrace humanity so that we all may enjoy this life on this planet.  The other ideology does not care about other people and beings.  It sows hate and fear that we wage violence upon each other.  It is a belief that the spoils of this planet are only for the favored and deserving few.  You are a prisoner of an undeclared war and I honor your faith and belief in a better world. You are in a fight to the death because only one reality is triumph within your heart.  Which reality will you embrace, and which reality will you let die?

We need to stop squabbling among ourselves for that is their desire. Who are ‘they’? …. ‘They’ are the tyrants in our circle; the circle of reality we have created and are now living.  They are the ones who dominate us and plant the beliefs of violence and torture that we must suffer and die.  ‘They’ are the ones who wish us to give up and become one within their circle of aggressors.  We need to stop the squabbling within ourselves for ‘they’ are also the ideals, beliefs, and values that live inside our minds. ‘They’ are also us.   Look at those walls and bars around you. Do you see a prison, or do you see playground? These tyrants can be our greatest allies and teachers, our keys to freedom. Or, we can join them in our greatest defeat and become one of their instruments of lies and deceit.

This is guerrilla warfare…. you are on your own.  There is no society to save you, no super-hero to break down your prison walls and stamp out your oppressors.  You must be your own super-hero.  You must stop accepting the validity of ‘their’ justice and ‘their’ definition of who and what you are. You must be the creator of greater justice and no longer be a victim of unlucky circumstances.   Become the creator you were born to be.  Create your life of liberty and pursue, not your anger, not your jealousy, not your envy, but pursue your happiness and joy.   Joy is your true inheritance that exists for you.  But you must believe in it and claim it as yours.

I would like to say I’m sorry you are in here.  It’s not where you want to be. But it is where you are.  I hope these words I am writing will make your life easier for you.  When I was in El Paso County Jail, trying to make the best of a bad situation, you know, making lemonade out of lemons, my wife began telling all her friends, “he likes being in there.”  But you must make the best of a bad situation.  You must make the best of the cards you are dealt.  She came to visit me…. once….to have me sign a paper saying I was ‘mentally unstable’ and at the same time said she was getting a divorce.  A guy would like a little sympathy from his wife, but it may not come.  I came to El Paso, TX because she got a good paying job there… All the sympathy I was getting for helping out her career was a few ‘tenderizing moments’ from my friends in blue and an inmate friend of mine.

That was another lifetime, another life I was then living. It all changed when I took responsibility for my life.  My circumstances for being in jail were not my fault, but they became my responsibility.  As long as I was a victim, as long as I got angry and blamed ‘God knows who…’, as long as I looked everywhere but within my own heart and soul, I was going to remain in prison…

I am now looking out my window at a cold Wisconsin winter’s end. It is cloudy, and the leafless trees make a bleak silhouette against the gray and dark sky.  I love the freshness of the cold and the brilliant whiteness of winter’s snow and the stillness of our frozen lakes. It is a very quiet time of year, a time of hibernation, but also a time of exhilaration.  Spring will be here soon, and everything will be turning green, the leaves will be coming out and the birds will be returning with their happy songs of cheer….  I am happily married.  We met in the want ads about 18 years ago.  Life did get good for me.  I got out of jail, cured my ‘mental instability’ and I have been having some good times boating on the water, watching football and having barbecue cookouts with my friends.  I changed my life and if you listen closely, you will walk out of that cell and find your own good times with friends and family….  I will share with you a plan, a path on how you can escape from the worst of prisons, even those worse than the infamous Alcatraz…those within your mind.

Sincerely and with love and respect,

Andrew Jackson