Thursday, June 2, 2011


There is an untold story behind the last year, one that may never be told. A part of it involved a Devils Bargain - that if I withdrew from certain political activities, then my release would be more reasonably assured.
This was extremely tempting, though selfish. But now, given my current circumstances, I have to revisit an old question - am I more likely to affect positive change from inside, or from outside?


  1. I think Darby hit the nail on the head in one of his comments when he said that you should think of yourself now. Think about what is good for you.

    You've rolled the ball, and good on you for that, now consider your own needs.

    Whatever you decide, many of us will support you still. All the best, and may God bless and keep you always xx

  2. I agree with Sophie, you've done 30 years, and hero that you no doubt are, you're limited by the 3 score and 10, so yeah, consider your own needs, give yourself a chance to see the sunshine. Honestly mate, you've done a really good thing in being a fully paid up member of the arkward squad, but you've been Prisoner Ben for far too long now.

    That's my opinion anyway, all the best whatever you decide.

  3. And reading back over that, Merciful Heavens, it sounds pathetically glib and worthless - But I really can't express it any better, I wish I could get words to do what I want them to. But nah, Ben, I wouldn't see it as treachery, I think Ben could do a lot more than Prisoner Ben.

  4. Funny, you have done exactly what your family said you would do on your blog 12 months ago...

    Come close to release, had an opportunity but blowed it like last time, imploded ineffect and gone back to square one, deep down you know you want to be in prison Ben!

  5. Think about it anon, the guy's been inside for 30-odd years, clearly the prospect of release will be traumatic for him and yeah, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that he'd (conciously or not) sabotage his chance of release.

    Doesn't mean he actually wants to be in prison though.

  6. Anon/Kevin, You've got that about right I reckon. Before his blog Ben was unknown. Now he has lots of people following him. It's a lot to give up. He probably can't imagine living on the outside much more than most people can imagine what prison is like. It was so long ago for him. Its not that he actually wants to be inside but he is prepared to take big risks so he can't be that keen to be out.

  7. I think it has got more to do with the fact that Ben has never forgiven himself for what he did all those years ago. Maybe deep down he still feels he doesn't deserve to be free?. Whatever the reason, he will be able to make much more of an impact in helping prisoners, their families and their rights if he was 'out'. He at least deserves to be given that chance. Whether or not he ever will is largely up to Ben.

  8. You are right, Queenie, he has not forgiven himself and never will. Ben feels he has a debt to humanity. No news from him about today's hearing yet, which may mean Ben is "down the block."

  9. @prisonerben, Ben really should forgive himself, he would probably find life easier if he did, and it would have a knock on effect on the rest of his life and on other people who he meets and interacts with.

    As for the debt to humanity, that is an admirable stance, one that we should all make.

    It would make the world a better place too if we all acted for the needs of the greater good, for humanity rather than just being out for ourselves.

  10. @ Sophie

    Easier on him emotionally, maybe, but I think a lot of people probably respect him the more for not doing so. The fact that he can't just forgive himself and move on after killing someone is probably the biggest part of why I think he shouldn't be in prison.

    On more of a nuisance-y, grammar-nazi type note...that should be effect with an E. (sorry. the grammar nazi's shutting up now, she promises.)

  11. Queenie, You might be right. Some cons don't ever face why they did their crime and can't forgive themselves. Going back and working out what made them do it is the only way but some are just too scared of what they might find out about themselves. Best to face it and try and move on. The burden of a debt to humanity is too much to bear for anyone. The debt is to the victim and family no one else.

  12. To feel a debt to humanity is not necessarily a burden Eric, it is a spiritual path and one that people make.

    In Christianity, followers are encouraged to 'follow Jesus' who died for our sins, that is not to say that all Christians take a righteous path, some do and so do some from other faiths and some people who have no faith also follow a path that puts others first. It really is not an impossibility.

    There is a time for everything, and it is time now for Ben to forgive himself as others have forgiven him.

    I wish him all the best, that he and the family of his victim may find peace.

  13. That might help if your are religious Sophie but not many are these days. Peace is not a realistic aim even for religious people. Actually its usually more difficult for them. Best just to deal with it and move on really. Each to their own though.

  14. It's not just a debt to the victim and his family, Eric. It's a debt to the whole of society. When X kills Y, he hasn't just damaged Y, he's damaged the whole alphabet. If you kill just one person, you offend against every person on the planet.

    The burden of a debt to humanity is NOT too much to bear for anyone as the size of the debt is no larger than if he only owed it to his victim and his family. The difference in size lies not in the size of the debt itself but in the number of people the debtor has offended and who have a right to expect him to repay that debt firstly by serving a jail sentence and secondly by behaving well when released.

    The only proof you need that the offender owes a debt to the whole of society and not just his victim is that his punishment is inflicted by the state (i.e. by all 60 million of us) and not by the victim's family.

    Every one of us lives our lives owing a responsibility to the rest of humanity as to how we behave and that's not too great a burden for most of us.

  15. @ Eric

    The debt may well be to the victim and family, in this case I don't think Ben has ever said otherwise. I certainly don't agree with your comment about "cons" not going back to face their crimes, Ben has always been open about that terrible day. The fact is loss of liberty is the punishment, not revenge!! After serving over 30 years and regardless of his ability to forgive himself, he deserves a second chance.


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