Thursday, April 5, 2012

Challenging Perceptions

A boy goes to prison at the age of 14. He serves 32 years.

Let's be honest, there is a large constituency, both professional and lay, that would look at that background and have very serious doubts as to the now middle age man's ability to function in society. I chuckle - now - at the reports in my file where Governors baldly state that my ambitions to go to university and get married were "highly unrealistic". At the time I tried to explain how incredibly stupid such a view was.
Yet here we are, faced with the reality that I can bumble about in the world, sans supervision, both in the local town and at home without any discernable problem whatsoever.
Any explanation for this blatant challenge to the myth of "institutionalisation" gratefully received.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. "...would not automatically render a person incapable of living in wider society."

      Any relation to David Cameron's 'Big Society'?

    2. That was a lazy comment of mine Jimmy so I deleted it and reposted minus that line.

  2. Perhaps you should write directly to the governors concerned for an explanation Ben.

    Although I understand that the concept of institutionalisation errs on myth rather than reality, I have known someone (a neighbour) who was absolutely fine after about nine years inside, but there were times when he used to hang out of his window and from his pose you'd think there were bars there, and he'd shout, moan and complain like that; hanging out of his window. I thought it a bit strange and remarkable but no-one held it against him where he lived, we understood and, although he was a bit of cad, he was a lovely man. He was popular and helpful in the community.

    It is early days for you still Ben, too early to start an argument about how everyone was and is wrong to be cautious (although perhaps this is not what your post is saying anyway).

  3. I moved to America last year. Ben's blog gives some good examples of how bureaucracy-over-common-sense can lead to tragic personal situations, I find similarities when I think about my time in the military. But compared to what I've heard of the American system ours could do better, but isn't, at heart or by design, quite as bad.

    And it's not just about the death sentence. There was a debate before the Supreme court last month about the legality of 'Life without parole' for 14 year old murderers. Such sentences are being served in the US just now, and the teenager's lawyers are trying to claim it's 'cruel and unusual punishment'. I think it takes a month or so for the court to give it's verdict.

    But leaving aside the extreme punishments, the monetization of the prison service seems pretty outrageous to a European. Only one country in history has ever had more of it's citizens behind bars than America does right now, and that country was the USSR under Stalin. And one reason that has been suggested for this is that most of the prisons are privately run by businesses who spend money lobbying state governments on the benefits of imprisonment (not only do the companies earn money from the state government, but they can turn good profits from prison labour, 'slavery by the back door' as Jimmy Carr once called it on QI.). On the radio this morning the Colorado state budget was being discussed; there has, apparently, been a decrease in prison population in recent years, and this might allow Colorado to shut down one of its prisons. Sound good? Well, as the reporter felt it necessary to emphasise, "this has caused worry in the small communities that rely on the prisons." So economic reasons are the worry if stop locking away our fellow man...

    Anyway, I don't want to give the impression that I think Ben should stop complaining because his lot is better than it could be. I agree that we should always question unnecessary repression and stupidity, even if some others do have it worse. I just thought some people might be interested in the situation, as I read it, over here.

    1. I am not even surprised that low crime can be seen as a problem in the US because the prisons must stay open (though of course I'm not pleased.) One of the things I find the silliest thing about the way the economy functions is that so much of the work we do exists because people need work, rather than because the job needs to be done. When it's a case of doing make-work just so someone can have an excuse to pay you it's stupid, but when that make-work requires taking someone else's freedom, it becomes sick as well.

  4. Excellent points by Eddy and Anon'. So let's try to weave Ben's challenge into the modern world of 'mercenary state control', and come up with an alternative slant.

    Prison is extreme regulation on a day to day basis of all aspects of the inmates life; and since Ben has spent all of his adult life in a structured institution, he is definitely 'institutionalized'.

    Decades ago, when we had a 'society', prior to the wholesale subversion of it by Marxist-Feminism and 4,000 new 'criminal' laws, Ben's institutionalization would have been the cause of a cultural dissonance, and emotional flux. But our over-regulated society of today, actually gives Ben the upper hand in 'fitting in'. It is those of us who remember freedom and democracy, who are suffering from cultural flux.

    Ben is in the process of jumping out of the frying pan, and he wonders why things aren't all that different in his outlook!?

  5. Much of the money and wealth system, are said to be for our own good? But, if you do have a "Divine Soul" within, it would scream at you, that you are not living in a Divine reality! If we speak of truly Divine things, physical nature could never come into our thoughts ever.

    All politics, are just another wing of the Banking system, just as Pharma, and the Arms industries are! Science, rides any horse that is willing to give it a say, as well as money! With such a system as this, it's a wonder we have the nerve to show our face here in this universe?

    Those that state, "It's not my problem", or "I'm not really interested", truly keep this Hell operating. True History, shows us that nothing here works for long, "Good", or "Evil", as the real system is "Chaos"! That is why a bunch of Evil Bankers, can create the "First", and "Second" World Wars, and almost all other wars, before, and after!

    In the Divine, if you think that you want to do something for money, and wealth, you would never of got there in the first place, as those thoughts are never allowed. As "Time" does not exist in the Divine, all of your thoughts, passed, present, and in the future, would be Knowable by all others, so you would not ever enter the Divine!

    So, if you are a "low life, good for nothing, Banker, Politician, Businessman, or any of those that keep this system cosy, and warm? You will never advance from here, and quite right too! They only want us to be their slaves. So, coming soon, might be the day, when we can leave this place for good. The funny thing is, that they will not be able to keep this place in operation, as they need "Imprisoned Divine Soul's", as their own kind are useless to them, without us as slaves!


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