Monday, 2 July 2007

Chapter 35 - Wacol Work Release

“The shaman not only survives the ordeal of a debilitating sickness or an accident, but is healed in the process. Illness then becomes the vehicle to a higher plane of consciousness. The evolution from the state of psychic and physical disintegration to shamanising is effected through the experience of self-cure. The shaman – and only the shaman – is a healer who has healed himself." (17)

This is the lowest security unit in which I have been confined. The compound is surrounded by a four metre electric fence, but it is not turned on and the gates are always open. It’s a casual gaol without many of the formalities of the more professional establishments. There are no guard dogs, sniper towers, armoured cars, moats, spike or acid filled pits, machine gun nests or Apache gun ships as you might find at many other correctional facilities. This is where you come when they trust you not to run away or do anything nasty. If you do play up its back to R&R where you can be locked down.

Within the compound are 4 houses and about 30 “dongas” as well as a kitchen and dining room building and the screw’s offices. Dongas are small self contained units that look like small cargo containers. They are built for one person.

The four houses in the compound used to be the accommodation for prison guards at the old Moreton B unit at Wacol. This now deserted gaol lies silent behind the work release compound. The houses are spacious brick highset three bedroom family homes built in the fifties.

This facility is designed to house inmates who are in the final stage of their sentence. They come to Wacol and are required to find work in the surrounding suburbs but to live at the gaol. There are also about 7 fine defaulters but we are confined to the compound and the park out the front.

Prisoners in the work release compound are not required to where browns, so I rang mum and got her to bring up a bag of my clothes.

On the first day that I arrived I walked up the steps of the house and found Gary, Glen and Damien watching Neighbours and I thought this has got to change. Roy, Bob and myself have come from Pallen Creek.

Bob a Maori fellow mellow of spirit but earnest and well meaning. He has come from with me from Pallen Creek. We play scrabble together, do crosswords and play euchre. Bod has thick black dreadlocks intense eyes I would not like to cross him, he has an aggressive side, but generally very mellow and obliging.

Then there was Glen, he was from NZ origninally a farm boy and he still had the down home country bumpkin style, naïve, friendly and chatty. He had also worked as a 'chippy' and recently had been on a number of trips to Europe, the US and Asia. “When I get out I’m goin on a cruise, I mean I could pay my fines now but what the fuck, let them put me up for a few months for free and instead of paying them I will go on a Carribean cruise, cool hey.”

Damien was a Murri bloke who worked as a panel beater, likes to read People magazine and watch Neighbours. He also likes his ganga and is good for a laugh. He has seven kids on the outside, so being in here is bit of break for him. He gets one his mate to drop some pot off to us every week and we all chip in a few bucks so we can have a smoke. Its easy to conceal from the Screws, we wait until the last rounds are done and then light up.

Gary is a Pom and quite the joker, always ready with a wise crack and a jibe. He is a big Soccer fan and proudly sports a Manchester United tattoo on his shoulder. He is in gaol because of his failure to pay a bike helmet and seatbelt fine from ’91, nearly ten years ago. He was working as a chef at the time when he was pulled up for a routine traffic stop and they checked his records only to discover the unpaid fine. Gary had no money to pay so it was off to gaol for him.

Roy is a young Inala boy, poor education always trying to ‘one up’ everyone but ends up back firing on him and making him appear more stupid than he would if kept mouth shut. “lettuce has THC in it”

Ray we call the rapist, he is very insensitive, and widely despised. Everyone wanted him out of our house, makes lewd remarks about young girls. Tried to move him into 3 other houses and they all don’t want him. Asked me about scar and clear sign of insensitivity. Damien wants to bash him. 40 bald and podgy smart ass.

(MY SCAR – So Ray after only having known me for a few minutes asks me about my scar, if you look at the photo in the book you will see that it is very prominent. Some people never ask me about it others do, I use the way they ask and how long it takes after meeting me as a gauge of their sensitivity. I also have feint scars on my face from my child hood accident with the window.)

Other characters included;

  • Giuseppe – fat little Italian in for 8000 mull plants
  • Alex – the Romanian in for dealing harry caught with 1.5lbs of harry.

  • Rick – gets out in a couple of days and he has bought a car and plans to drive it unregistered no plates to Harvey Bay. Been in for 2 years but risks his freedom just because he wants to drive home, stupid fool.

Scotty is a Gold Coast boy only 5’4” tall, is a go-ee (speed) head and knows Steve. He is familiar with the story from the Musos club where the chick lost her thumb, the stolen Harley and the Uhlans contract on Steve $30,000. Scotty says, "Yeah they call Steve ‘bob’, cause hes gunna be bobbing in the river, once they finish with him. Scotty also knows Ray Rifle and lived in Tambourine, his brother Matt committed suicide (guitarist)

John is fat, bald, short (5ft 6in) four eyed and equipped with a borderline personality disorder. He wears unflattering spectacles and from a distance looks like ‘humpty dumpty”. When he speaks he has one volume level and that is too fucking loud, with every word that comes from his mouth it sounds like he is a sergeant major screaming orders to a bunch of new recruits. The master of the kitchen, I have regular quarrels with him. When I arrived at Wacol I had to make another request for vegetarian food. I was taken into the kitchen and introduced to John, he was surly from the start. John got sent to prison for presenting $680,000 in forged cheques.

The highlight of every day seems to revolve around the Olympics being held in Sydney. We are doing well plenty of medals rolling in and the commentary from Roy and HG about the “Dutch wink” during the gymnastics produces hysterical laughter.

Euchre is a big attraction in our house and we spend hours drinking coffee smoking cigarettes and playing cards and reading People magazine.

I am reading Orwell’s down and out in London and Paris. The plungers of Paris working their asses off for fuck all and the Spikes of London where the homeless and indigent go for shelter. Sounds a bit more hardcore than the modern gaols, Orwell was quite a bloke, to think he lived as a tramp for months to research this book.

We are paid $8 a day to do very little, mowing, kitchen hand, emu-bob etc.

The regular crosswords from Picture magazine, and pictures of tight asses and girls in tight fitting panties their pussies jutting out like a sacred mound, I take the magazine to the toilet and put it to good use. Ah thats better, we all take turns wanking over the babes in the privacy of the toilet.


It seems that no-one ever really knows who you are and vice versa. Was I a victim of abuse? Was my mother? Is it right to apply the term abuse to what I experienced or was it just false memories created by a man desperate for someone to blame for his fucked up life.

Whatever the label that is applied there is no doubt the experience has had an impact on my emotional and sexual development. Whether this is positive or negative is all matter of focus and interpretation. By that I meant do I choose to focus on all the pain it has brought me or the insight it has given me.

All of my intimate relationships have been characterised by a fear of rejection and a lack of trust. Rita my first real close relationship was one in which I was always worried she would cheat on me. I felt that if given the opportunity she would go off with someone else, and feel no guilt or regret in such an act.

As a child I watched as my mother went from relationship to relationship seemingly without concern for the impact this would have on her children. The word slut comes to mind when thinking how to describe her sexual conduct. Indeed the women I have chosen as girlfriends have been similarly characterised. Michelle, Rita, Linda, and Julia all very flirtatious women who used sex as a weapon, means to power and a way to reward and punish.

My way of dealing with the parasitic nature of sexual relations has been to withdraw from them. Yet this is a high price for we all yearn to feel love and intimacy but often we get a whole lot more.

Conflict, pain, abuse, rejection, revenge, and turmoil. While peace and love were sought pain and suffering are wrought and those who once loved become the bitterest of enemies. Betrayal is prominent and redemption far away, so dark clouds of derision blight the fertile fields.

People label you in their poor attempts at understanding. They label to control and restrict and ironically to understand. But their labels never really fit their ideas often wrong and confusion reigns.

Pete “I tested positive to THC on the piss test”

Roy “How high was the result?”

Pete “Just a tiny bit over”

Roy “Have you been eating a lot of lettuce?”

Pete “Why?”

Roy “Lettuce has THC in it”

“You sure man?

“Oh for fuck sake Roy, there is no fucking THC in lettuce.”

“There is dude, I was talking to this bloke who was reading about it on the internet.”

“Well your mate was reading some prime fucking bullshit man, because I can assure you that is totally incorrect.”

“Yeah, whatever., just calm down dude, you know, how would you know anyway”

The gaol system makes you feel like a sausage in a great machine being pumped through a series of treatments – watch house, watch house transfer, R&R, OBS, W3, transfer, Pallen Creek, transfer Wacol.

In the end you are spewed out back into society to be consumed by the machine.

The adversarial system of justice.

A plea of guilty is seen as a provocative in the face of the law. A person found guilty who pleads not guilty will receive a more severe punishment.

“The adversarial system of justice does not promote positive values. Instead you have two sides who are hell bent on winning. Therefore, the truth (I use this word loosely, since I do not believe that there is any objective truth) is the first victim in this war. Each side is concerned with protecting their careers and reputations and thus they wish to achieve their goal regardless of the truth.

Furthermore, the justice system is an industry that employs tens of thousands of people. The lawyers, judges, police, prison guars, parole officers, cooks, cleaners, dentists, etc. Then there are the prison industries that use the slave labour to sell goods in the free economy and compete against businesses who have to pay appropriate wages, sick leave, super etc.

Money = good = innocent

Indigence = bad = guilty

Greed, money, power, corruption, abuse and betrayal.

Justice is an illusion and a lie perpetrated by the rich and the powerful.

22/9 Dreams

At Darren and Sharron’s doing work, Red haired girl from Bardot and I hit it off then a cage surrounds me.

Living in a site much like Palen Creek without the fence, Jamie from R&R brings guitar and amp has harry for me. Mum comes to visit. They confiscate harry and begin interrogation, I repeat mantras

In a squash court an old women who works there hits on meLiving in a college housing single room with very thin walls. I can hear my neighbours. Get dressed and go outside huge open field

In Afghanistan travelling through city in a cab to a restaurant. I am with a young women it is a family gathering, Christine my aunty is telling her about family history including Mum’s work she is surprised, I smoke it annoys her so I go outside. An American soldier nods to me, a group of US kids together, I try to exit through the kids door it is too small go through the adults door and have a cigarette.

I meet up with God and he says, “Let me tell you about the wisdom of the washing machine. You see my son good and evil are not the same and there is one crucial difference you must understand. Let us think of the washing. When we wish to cleanse our clothes we can use a variety of different powders.

Evil is like an old style washing powder that will only wash in hot water, where as good is like a new style powder that can wash in both hot and cold. You see evil is hot and this heat contains tremendous power and energy, but it can only burn on and is never satiated. Where as good heals, loves and cares for and when necessary the hand of the good man may be raised in anger against a threat.

Thus good is like Dynamo a versatile washing powder that works in both hot and cold, having access to the heat but also the cool healing power.

Was it all just a dream, he wished he had taken that chance, when he came to the crossroads, but he didn’t and now his lot is cast………………..”

Control - Propganda

“the media sets the agenda it does not inform”

In order for the elite to maintain control over the lower classes a system must be developed to restrict any rebellious sections. Rebellion in a capitalist society revolves around property crime. The lower classes (along with the rest of the population) are fed a diet of propaganda through the medium of television which convinces them that happiness can only be achieved through the acquisition of material goods. If this great goal is denied to you through poverty the result of unemployment, underemployment, gambling addiction, alcoholism, poor education or drug addiction then property crime is a means of overcoming the problem. Thus people commit crime and if caught enter the machine of the justice department where control is complete.

The rest of society is then convinced that in order to protect themselves from these marauding groups of criminals pervasive surveillance is necessary. Cameras are placed everywhere and people may even request them. It seems that it will not be long before Orwell’s prediction of cameras every home becomes true. Divide and conquer

Michael Moore speaks of the “culture of fear” – when people are afraid or feel threatened they will give up some freedoms to protect against danger, ie increased police powers post 911.

The illicit drug trade gives the government further chance to control any deviant groups. Once addicted the individual becomes a slave to the drug, and embark on property crime to fulfil their need. No energy is available to look at real problems.

The illicit drug trade is an industry that directly supports Lawyers, judges, police, prison guards and the like and indirectly it touches all levels of society.

Divide and rule, create a threat to the group – Orwell – 911 In the computer game Deus Ex, taken from the latin phrase “Deus Ex Machina” or God in the machine, a terrorist strike on the Statue of liberty (this game was made pre 9/11) an evil group threatening to destabilise the world leads the government to adopting draconian laws to deal with this threat. The question in the game is did the government orchestrate this act so that it could gain more control.

Sources of Control

  • Family
  • School
  • Mental institutions – psychiatry / psychology
  • Prisons
  • Religion
  • TV – the media

The greatest source of discrimination in so called advanced liberal democracies is through the economy.

The potential to be gaoled for not voting, not wearing a seat belt, not wearing a bike helmet or not paying a parking fine. Here are some interesting statistics on prisons in Australia

  • 96% of al inmates in gaol are male
  • 80 % of offenders in for drug related crime – property crime
  • Many male inmates are victims of sexual assault
  • Drug addiction is a form of mental illness or mental disturbance
  • Crime rates are highest in the poorest areas
  • Most inmates are from the lower classes and most poorly educated
  • Most victims of violence are young males
  • Most perpetrators of violence are young males

Gaol is an industry that creates jobs, which requires raw materials – the crims.

There is no rehabilitation, there is just degradation, the token courses available fail to address the causes of crime which are systematic and not based merely on individual crims………………

The prison industry needs raw materials and these raw materials are the criminals themselves. The government needs to fill the prisons it wants high levels of occupancy to keep the industry moving.

We live in a society of hypocrisy, our religion says do not kill, yet we have army chaplains, and during war we pray for gods help. This is absurd.

When the Western world is desperate for babies abortion is encouraged as an option for people who want to focus on there career and extend their own child hood a little longer.

Women have embraced the fullness of their gender identity both masculine and feminine while men are still clinging to restrictive notions of gender identity which still focus exclusively on masculine pursuits. The idea of being a man is to not be a women, and if women have expanded their territory then the traditional man has had his reduced. The need is for men to expand their limited gender identity and for gender to not just be seen as a women’s issue but as an issue for everyone. Men need massive change.

Communication breakdown

Bob said , “He doesn’t realise how charismatic he is”,

“What the fuck did you say?”

Bob said , “He doesn’t realise how charismatic he is”,

“I thought you said ‘He’s running with carrots in his ears’, how fucked up is that, talk about misunderstanding.”

“Hey Bob do you have a $2 coin”

“Don’t have any corn mate, that’s a fuckin strange request if I ever ‘eard one.”

“What borrowing a couple of bucks/”

“What did you say?”

“Can I borrow 2 bucks”

“Oh fuck sorry mate I thought you said ‘Hey Bob do you have a tin of corn’, don’t know how I got that though”.


Today I did my usual walk around the park it is quite tranquil and I enjoy it. I brought some bread with me and I fed some mag pies, it gave me a tremendous sense of well being. The kangaroos come everyday to the park across the road. They in contrast to myself are free, and I watch them with a mixture of joy and envy. They come at about 4 pm and feed under a stand of trees. Today I watched as the mob bounded into view. A joey was visible its small head protruding from its mothers pouch, secure in its infantile cocoon.

As I walk around the park I chant mantras “Om mani padme hum” and “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” All the while imagining in detail what I want in my life.

We wake at 7.00am daily to the sound of a screw over the PA system saying “Wakey, waky, hands of snaky, time to get up gentlemen”, or some similar thing.

I share a room with 2 others. There are three rooms in the house with two in each of the other rooms.

After getting up I venture to the mess hall for breakfast, where a selection of five different cereals is available. Eggs and bacon is often served, and there is a ready supply of cordial, milk, bread and various condiments. (vege, p/butter,honey,jam)

After breakfast at about 8:30 am we begin our daily routine of chores. Some guys work in the kitchen, clean the toilets, but I usually just peal potatoes. If there is mowing to do I do that or pick up rubbish lying around the compound. We get paid $8.50 a day for our various chores, for about $60 per week. I would not spend more than 2 hours a day engage in such chores and frequently I spend less time. On some days I do nothing but still get paid. We must sign in at the office every morning and sign out when we finish our work. The screws don’t seem to care what times we fill in on our time sheets as long as something is filled in.

Lunch is about 11:30 when we collect sandwiches form the office that are made the previous evening. We must write on a brown paper bag our order for that day, requesting the number and type of sandwiches, 3 maximum and 2 pieces of fruit.

I had a run in with John the head cook, because I failed to fill in my lunch bag for that day. John only has one tone and volume of voice and that is loud and grating. I asked if he might make something up as I had forgotten to fill out an order.

“John I forgot to fill out my lunch order, do you reckon you could make something up for me?”

“Look you know the bloody rules no order, no lunch, so learn you lesson and be off with ya.”

“Ah for fuck sake John, all I wants a fuckin sandwitch”

“Don’t you fuckin sandwich me, I wont take this mate, I told you how it works…..”


He was loud and angry and was clear that he refused to help me out. He began pointing at me. I became very angry and felt like punching him, but did not for the consequences would be great for no gain (back to R&R immediately).

Recent laws make it illegal for prisoners to talk with reporters or the media and it has been suggested to me that it is illegal for prisoners to publish reports of their experiences in gaol.

This seems to be highly suspicious for it allows the state to keep secret the goings on in side prisons. In Queensland s100 of The Corrective Services Act 2000 is explicit when it forbids media access to the state’s tax-payer-funded prison system

Time rolls and the revelations become more vivid as the mind expands and the awareness develops. With every passing day my resolve and determination grows, I believe I can achieve and I know that what I wish for and what I believe can become a tangible reality.

I am proud of the way I have handled myself and I feel sure that I can take responsibility for my destiny. From great trials come great opportunities and I view my experiences as gifts to be treasured for the path to success is wide open and the light is shining.

Many mysteries confound the confined soul, but the soul freed to explore the great tribulations of life.


Urine test this morning. I was tested 2 weeks ago when I arrived here at Wacol and of course tested positive to THC. The cage is where they leave you if you can’t do a piss. They give you a cup of water and wait until you can piss. Then an officer takes you into a toilet and gives you a pair of gloves to put on (so you can’t contaminate the sample) turns on the tap in the sink, and watches you take a piss into a small sample jar. Some inmates will put a bit of soap under their finger nail which they drop into the sample thereby contaminating it.

Luckily for us pot stays in your system for several months, and therefore the pot we had been smoking since being in gaol would not make any difference.


A Hero has to have a fatal flaw, a weakness that makes them vulnerable. When otherwise they are powerful and dominant, when faced with their weakness they can be overcome. Superman could be brought low by exposure to kryptonite, and so the hero in my story alternates between periods of crusading justice fighting tyranny and oppression defending the weak and vulnerable to periods of self indulgent drug abuse, a junkie fixated on personal pleasure pathetic weak and hopeless.

Steve hates the needle because he fears it he fears that it might take him down he knows that he’s a junkie but he transfers that self loathing onto others.

“Yes boss, no boss.”


Released from custody.

I bought a copy of the Courier mail and my attention was drawn to a picture on the page 3. It was a picture of Lee my old heroin dealer he had been busted. It seems that Lee had been caught in the act, busted by an undercover cop who went by the code name of Dave Hawkins, funny coincidence I thought. Kind of like that bloke in Scanner Darkly the PK Dick Novel.

Lee had a clever plan when it came to hiding his heroin. He would pack several kilos of heroin into a car and take it to a workshop to have a new component fitted, a turbo for instance. He would pay half of the cost upfront but would leave the car there and come back to get it when he needed the supplies which might be weeks or months. In the meantime the mechanic would be chasing him for the money and eventually he would come to collect the car. However, instead of collecting it he would ask for some more modifications to be done, a new gearbox, and pay them in cash for the work done so far and some more for the work they were about to do.

He had several cars all over Brisbane in workshops be modified that were loaded with uncut heroin.

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