By Eddie Griffin
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Nate Bailey was arrested, along with two other men, for attempting to rob an armored truck in broad daylight on the streets of Washington, D.C. According to news report, Bailey was captured with an AK-47 in the getaway car, a green Ford Taurus SE Station Wagon registered in his name.
Nate Bailey-el was 57 years old, too old to pull a caper like this, especially considering the fact that he had been released from prison less than two years prior after serving 22 years. According to a mutual friend Glenn Simmons, Nate barely knew how to drive, let alone drive a getaway car.
We knew that getting back into society was not going to be easy for him. People kept reminding Bailey that this is 2011. But somehow, he never bridged the time gap nor healed from the mental scares of his prior incarceration.
He was only a 20-year old youth when he first went into federal prison in 1974, sentenced to six years under the Youth Corrections Act. Along the way, he picked up more time in prison, and the “zip 6” turned into 11 years. In an email to me, dated May 12, 2010, he chronicles his journey through the federal prison system, from Petersburg, to El Reno, to Lompoc, to Lewisburg, to Terri Haute, to Marion, to Leavenworth, and finally back to Marion’s Super-max 6 Control Unit. This was where he witnessed two white supremacist inmates kill Raymond “Cadillac” Smith, the leader of the Moors.
Bailey was released on December 15, 1985, after which he describes his reentry back into society like this: “With mental scares created by the behavior modification program at Marion, I did not make it in society for more than 6 months. Longing to get back to the war and my Brothers, I was sentenced by D.C. with a 15-Life sentence on May, 1987 and did not secure my release until September, 2009, 22 years later.”
Now, after only 17-months of freedom, Nate Bailey-el may be on his way back to prison for the rest of his life. His friend and mentor, Glenn, feels that he could have done more to help Nate. I feel even worse, because I was supposed to be his guide and help him recover from the mental scares that he suffered in the Control Unit. The behavior modification program at Marion, which he describes above, was the subject of “Breaking Men’s Minds” written by me in 1977.
Nate remembered my work as a Marion Brother. In his email, he wrote:
It is truly an Honor to be among the ranks of the forgotten few who really earned the degree of MARION BROTHER...For the only few who endured actually know the true meaning of the "SOUTHERN TIP". Those who been and made it out never healed or never was the same, the behavior program laid down there touched the core of the human factor in a man... Brother, the system was a battlefield at which you can attest, we all was in the mist of the fight on a national level. I have a host of rich authentic information which lead up to the Brother’s (Cadillac) passing because I was there. The Brother (Glenn) told me you will be contacting me and I welcome it because I am still finding it hard for those who never been there… (who) fail to understand in our attempt to communicate what it was like for the designed system to suck the LIFE out of a man when he was still breathing...Yes, I do remember you...A MARION BROTHER
A movie production company contacted me in 2008 about doing a documentary on the Aryan Brotherhood, based upon two AB white supremacists, Thomas Silverstein and Clay Fountain, stabbing Raymond “Cadillac” Smith-el to death inside Marion’s notorious Control Unit in 1982. But there were no eyewitnesses for the producer to interview. All were either dead or still in prison. It was not until the release of Nate Bailey in September 2009 that a first hand account could be given. But by then, M2 Pictures had made its documentary, which aired on the Discovery Channel in November 2009. The assassination of Cadillac did not make the cut.
So, it was a project that Nate Bailey and Glenn Simmons were going to complete: The story about Cadillac, one of the toughest prison gladiators that I ever encountered. His death set off the one of bloodiest prison race wars recorded in FBI history. His legacy has been told over and over again.
His assassin, Thomas Silverstein, has been dubbed as the “most dangerous man in prison” by the BBC. Silverstein has been convicted of killing three inmates and a prison guard, though one of the inmate killings has since been overturned. In his own defense of killing Cadillac, Silverstein cites passages of “Breaking Men’s Minds”, claiming that prison officials had pitted him, man against man, against Cadillac, that prison officials wanted them to kill each other.
Nate Bailey is one of the few survivors who saw it. He was supposedly in the process of writing a book about it. But now, here I am, writing about him, in my untold memoirs.