Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Thursday, July 30, 2009

FCC Complaint filed against Rush Limbaugh

Filed: By Eddie Griffin, BASG

Mr. Limbaugh is generating racial hatred by mischaracterizing the President of the United States as a "black militant" and Judge Sotomayor as a "racist". This language is aimed at creating hostilities among the races for the purpose of political gain. He gives aid and comfort to right wing terrorism by his extreme rhetoric, and thereby inflames negative sentiments and arouses public fears. [Complaint #09-C00140612]

Anyone who promotes himself as “the All-Knowing, All-Sensing, All-Everything Maha Rushie” is essentially declaring himself to be a deity. This is pathologically sick.

Ask any doctor: A brain damaged by drugs is never the same again. Thinking yourself to be an All-Everything god, may be fodder for your worshippers and followers, but it is a typical psychosis of a man on drugs.

Lest you forget your own hypocritical words about drug use and punishment:

"There's nothing good about drug use. We know it. It destroys individuals. It destroys families. Drug use destroys societies. Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And the laws are good because we know what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods which become consumed by them. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up.

"What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we're not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too."
-- Rush Limbaugh show, Oct. 5, 1995

Even as you condemned others, calling for their arrest and incarceration, you yourself were using drugs. You were busted, not once, but repeatedly as the record shows.

(CNN) -- Rush Limbaugh announced on his radio program Friday that he is addicted to pain medication and that he is checking himself into a treatment center immediately.
"You know I have always tried to be honest with you and open about my life," the conservative commentator said in a statement on his nationally syndicated radio show.

"I need to tell you today that part of what you have heard and read is correct. I am addicted to prescription pain medication."

Law enforcement sources said last week that Limbaugh's name had come up during an investigation into a black market drug ring in Palm Beach County, Florida. The sources said that authorities were looking into the illegal sale of the prescription drugs OxyContin and hydrocodone.

And, again in 2006:

MIAMI, April 28 -- Talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh surrendered to authorities Friday on a charge of committing fraud to obtain prescription drugs, concluding an investigation that for more than two years has hovered over the law-and-order conservative…

The charge will be dropped in 18 months, said his attorney, Roy Black, provided that Limbaugh continues treatment for drug addiction, as he has for 2 1/2 years.

According to the story, Limbaugh’s housekeeper ratted on him. The charges would be dropped in 18 months, and Limbaugh would continue treatment for 2 1/2 years.

The question never asked is how much brain damage Rush Limbaugh might have suffered from drug usage. As any addict will admit: “Once an addict, always an addict.” The talk show host has been treated for drugs, because the psychological damage is evident.


Who do you think we are? Henny Penny, Cocky Lockey and Goosey Loosey? We know who Foxy Loxy is? But do you expect us to believe the sky is falling, Chicken Little?

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Peacemaker in this Gates-Crowley Affair

I am a peacemaker in this Gates-Crowley Affair, with President Barack Obama caught in the middle. Let me say that, in terms of public opinion, I would rate it a 50-50 situation. There was a basis and rationale for every action and reaction taken by each party. There were justifications on both sides of the issue, though neither side can ever seem to see the other. And, you can bet your boots, somebody is going to exploit the difference.

We are peacemakers. We take a mess like that above and turn it into a golden opportunity to learn better, to do better.

Of course, I know impartiality rubs some people the wrong way. Sorry, but bring it. Eddie Griffin can handle it.

I was once a peacemaker better warden and inmates, while in prison, according to my massive FBI files. I was a flash point inmate who could promise the warden peace and no riots if the guards acted civilized. The warden and I were equals. Making peace does not necessarily mean not using strong-arm tactics. Quite the contrary, peace is offered always by the stronger and superior force.

I could always offer peace without loss of ego, manhood, dignity, or respect, not because I was the weaker party. On the contrary, I made peace first with death. My adversary is aware that in this mindset I am not afraid of dying.

The seed of peace is sown in the hearts of those who make peace. If peace is what they truly desire, then it will be easy for them to find peace. Gates, Crowley, and Obama should be able to walk away as friends, in the spirit of fraternal brotherhood. That would be the ideal.

Of course, some will do everything within their power to keep the breach open and the controversy alive. The condition of peace is predicated upon our ability to keep the peace-breakers at bay, from creating hostile opposing camps, and dividing the nation along polar color lines.

President Barack Obama has the opportunity to address the important issue of mass incarceration of minorities. But we must be willing to hear, rather than run off at the mouth with our narrow-minded opinions.

As I said, bring it on!

I have taken on cops like Sgt. Crowley and little bourgeois wimps like Gates. Crowley could not have tricked me into an arrest. If he did indeed arrest me, it would have been under false pretenses. I am conscious of where the line of the law is etched in the sand and I never cross it. I do not cross into enemy territory sober, and I do not drink. If a cop arrests me, then be it known that he would have to work overtime, and end the day stressed out, and ready to quit. My motto used to be: Wear ‘em down, wear ‘em down, wear ‘em out, wear ‘em out the front door. If you are not Eddie Griffin, don’t try it.

And, if the jailer had put Gates in the same cell with me, I would have rolled up his bunk and tossed it out on the tier. Whatever he had to say when he hit the cell door, I wouldn’t want to hear it. Enter my cell as a man, and stand like a man.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
(Matthew 5:9)

Eddie Griffin

Thursday, July 23, 2009

ALERT: In Defense of Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr.:

Did a rogue cop intentionally provoke the professor in order to entice him into an arrest? Can rogue cops be behind the negative image of some police departments? Are they why some people charge racism and discrimination?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Now that President Barack Obama has weighed in on the debate in the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., it takes national attention. The response against the heavy-handed handling of the arrest has drawn spotlight on the Cambridge Police force.

CNN Soledad O’Brien interviewed the professor, after President Obama stated that the police acted stupid.

When the commander-in-chief makes a statement like that, we can rest assured that he has a Justice Department file on the case, and knows more than the average public.

"I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played," Obama said Wednesday night while taking questions after a White House news conference.

Cambridge authorities dropped disorderly conduct charges against Henry Louis Gates Jr. on Tuesday.

Obama defended Gates on Wednesday night, while admitting that he may be "a little biased," because Gates is a friend.

"But I think it's fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry; No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, No. 3 ... that there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately."

It’s as simple as 1-2-3. Even a caveman can understand it.

Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons talks with American Morning about the arrest of Henry Louis Gates.

Eddie Griffin

Monday, July 20, 2009

Drugs and Gun Violence: Two Peas in the Same Pod

By Eddie Griffin

Monday, July 20, 2009

During the revolution, it was our business to know all the ins and outs of the drug trade. We were an intelligence unit known as The Collective, an underground revolutionary think tank that some people comely identify as “The Black Panthers”. We were the first to engage in, what became know as, “The War on Drugs”.

We were the good guys, but we were not perfect. We had serious vulnerabilities, and we were susceptible to the very problem we were trying to eliminate.

Inside the think tank, we developed strategies for breaking the Supply and Demand side of the drug trafficking equation, with the help and blessings of the betrayed kingpins that were sent to prison for life.

The irony of learning the insides of Organized Crime arises from strange bedfellows in prison. To keep from killing each other off behind bars, the Panthers had to establish a peace pact with old nemesis. They had to coexist with their former enemies, such as drug lords and white supremacists, so as not to continually kill each other off in gladiator combat. It was an unholy alliance of dialectical exchanges.

We learned much from them, especially from the big wig masterminds of the trade. The drug lords were peons in the distribution chain. Inside the think tank, we knew that the U.S. government was engaged in drug trafficking in the early stages.

Subversive wars, like the Iran-Contra Affair, were secretly financed by drug money. But this was only one component of a complex situation. There was also the distribution chain comprised of financiers and importers and distributors. In the middle of the food chain was the Organized Syndicate, commonly called the Mafia.

When the CIA is on one end and the Mafia on the other end, the illegal drugs wound up in the black community. CIA concocted LSD drugs wound up in the white radical community, all at a time when the Nixon administration was under siege.

In 1969, President Richard Nixon announced that the Attorney General, John N. Mitchell, was preparing a comprehensive new measure to more effectively meet the narcotic and dangerous drug problems at the federal level by combining all existing federal laws into a single new statute.

Also during this time, Nixon commissioned the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse—known as the Shafer Commission after its chairman, Raymond P. Shafer—to study marijuana abuse in the United States. During his presentation of the commission's findings to Congress, Shafer recommended the decriminalization of marijuana in small amounts, saying, "[T]he criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only 'with the greatest reluctance." Nixon buried this commission's findings and went on to sign the Controlled Substances Act.

Illegal drugs began showing up in our communities around 1963. In some parts of the country, it broke out earlier. But generally, as late as 1959, drug addiction was an anomaly. One of the old timers told me the story of how he simply walked into a hospital to be treated of his addiction only to find the doctors and nurses dumbfounded by ignorance. Later, they made addiction a crime.

The original peddlers were white, pretending to be part of the black jazz culture. They brought with them painkillers in capsule and tablet form. They introduced the drug as freebees, just to be accepted in the black community; next came the addiction, followed by drug overdoses. The Demand skyrocketed.

We watched how they created the drug kingpins. They gave them drugs on credit, and allowed them to buy protection from the police and the courts. We saw how they fattened the drug lords up like pigs, busting them every now and then to skim off some of the drug proceeds by bail bondsmen, lawyers, and payoffs. They gave them enough liberty to keep selling drugs. And then, when they were fat enough, they would take them down.

I listened to a plot to rob a drug kingpin. The mastermind behind the robbery was the very man who supplied the kingpin his drugs. So, he knew where and when the kingpin would make his next $50,000 purchase of drugs. He provided this secret information to the stickup boy. Sometimes, it was the unwitting Panther gangsters, who were under the illusion that they were fighting drug trafficking.

I also knew a banker who had financed drug buys, laundered money, and organized their own banks to be robbed. He was a hometown banker who went to prison after my downfall, convicted of laundering drug money.

The Black Panthers were anti-capitalist for this very reason. Black people chasing the “almighty dollar” could wound up selling the souls to the devil. In the underworld of drug trafficking, there is one way in and no way out. Some of our children were finding out the hard way that selling drugs was a fatal business. They usually find entry at the bottom of the food chain and found later with a bullet in the back of the head. We all knew what the signature killing signified.

It is a bitter pill to swallow when a man discovers that the mob is taking you on a one-way ride. Sometimes, as in my case, it is made to look like a one-way ride. Their objective was to keep a man guessing, intimidated, and in constant fear of their lives. My white contact to the underworld was forced to watch a hit. The assassins used baseball bats. He was in constant fear of his life, and he put me in constant fear of my life, just by our mere association. I learned never to ride in the same car with a gangster.

They also ran a side business that could be described as rent-a-gun. When peons on the food chain are called upon the make a hit, rob a bank, or retaliate, he is required to use a “clean gun”. They will rent him the gun if it is returned unused. If the gun is used, the peon is forced to purchase it, and told to dispose of it. Most peons keep their killer weapons.

I remember seeing guns sold from the truck of a car at night, under the streetlights. My underworld contact wanted to show us something in the truck of the car. It was a beautiful cache of weapons, still fresh in their original packaging and box, with manufacturers grease still all over it. The smell of new guns for some Black Panthers was enticing. For three times the price, a man could purchase anything.

With him was a list of black snitches, directly from the police department and FBI. He was “connected”, as they say.

He was the same man who sold guns to the drug kingpins, along with their drugs. Guns, for kingpins, were used for protection. Gun sales to the Panthers were the Robbing Hoods who would relieve them of their cash; one capitalist, the other anti-capitalist. We lost the culture war. After our downfall, everybody bought into the pimp and hustler and drug dealer image, of conspicuous wealth and lavish lifestyles.

The Nicky Barnes type drug lords, who averaged millions of dollar per month on the street level, purchase police protection by paying “shakedown”. Every crooked cop accepted shakedown money. But sometimes the bounty on the old drug kingpin is worth more than the shakedown. They fall, and they fall hard. They are given life sentences, and they will gladly share they life story with anyone that will listen.

I knew Leroy “Nicky” Barnes as well as any man in prison. I remembered his story from Times magazine before I met him face to face.

On June 5, 1977 The New York Times magazine released an article titled, Mr Untouchable with Barnes posing on the front cover. They say he averaged $5 million per month in the drug trade, and every Thanksgiving and Christmas that he would give out turkeys in the community. His swagger infuriated the Jimmy Carter administration. So, they took him down with a life sentence in 1978.

They sent Nicky Barnes to Marion shortly thereafter. Immediately, the government started playing mind games on him. First, they put him on a tier in a cellblock all by himself. We could hear his screams through the brick wall between us.

When they released him to the prison compound, I found him to be a very competent chess player, and he loved the challenge. He was a smart man, very intelligent, and cocky. He would move a chess piece, jump up from the table, shout “Chess move”, and then walk a circle around the table. I never understood what that ritual was all about, but I never let him win a game.

I pulled up Nicky Barnes on the internet several times since the 2007 release of the movie “American Ganger”. He was portrayed in the movie by Cuba Gooding Jr.

Leroy Barnes was sent to prison in 1965 for low level drug dealing. While in prison he met Colombo crime family member Joe "Crazy Joe" Gallo[5] and Lucchese crime family heroin dealer Matthew Madonna.[3] Gallo wanted to have more of a stake in the Harlem Heroin market but didn't have any personnel to deal in the mostly black Harlem. It is believed Gallo passed on his knowledge of how to run a drug trafficking organization to Barnes and asked Barnes to assemble the necessary personnel.[5] When Gallo got out of jail he provided a lawyer for Barnes. The lawyer got Barnes' conviction overturned on a technicality and he returned to New York City.

Nicky Barnes started out as one of the first black hit men used by the Mafia. He whacked a Mafia don for Crazy Joe, and rose up in the ranks.

Barnes' operation in 1976 consisted of seven lieutenants, who each controlled a dozen mid level distributors, who supplied upwards of forty street level dealers each. During this time Barnes was given the name Mr. Untouchable, after successfully beating numerous charges and arrests.

Barnes was convicted in 1978 of multiple counts of RICO violations, including drug trafficking and murder, for which he was sentenced to life in prison without eligibility for parole.

When I met him at Marion, he was still obsessed with the legalities of his case. He had accumulated law books. But something in his demeanor began to change. The Feds were whispering to him that his wife was having an affair with his lieutenant. As I recall, the lieutenant was also having an affair with Barnes underage daughter.

From Wikipedia

According to Barnes, while in prison, he discovered that his assets were not being taken care of, The Council stopped paying his attorneys' fees, and one of his fellow council members, Guy Fisher, was having an affair with his mistress/girlfriend.[7]The Council had a rule that no council member would sleep with another council member's wife/mistress. In response, Barnes became an informant. He forwarded a list of 109 names, five of which were council members, along with his wife's name, implicating them all in illegal activities related to the heroin trade. Barnes helped to indict 44 other traffickers, 16 of whom were ultimately convicted.[7] In this testimony, he implicated himself in eight murders.

In prison, Barnes turned state's evidence against his former associates in “The Council”. In exchange for his testimony, Barnes was released into the Federal Witness Protection Program in August, 1998.

While in prison, he won a national poetry contest for federal inmates, earned a college diploma with honors and taught fellow inmates math.[1]


Sometimes it is the company that an inmate keeps. Both Nicky Barnes and I were lovers of math and chess. I also taught math to my fellow inmates. I remember that he was among the writers and poets in prison. But he must have earned his college degree in Protective Custody.

The last I remember of Nicky Barnes at Marion was that he disappeared suddenly from the prison compound. I was not surprised that he double-crossed his friends. They had double-crossed him.

I remember how he set each one up. He would call outside of the prison to his wife or one of his lieutenants. He acted as if he was still in charge, still setting up drug dealers, but all the while following an FBI script.

Over a chessboard, I watched him agonize over turning into a snitch. But he wanted another life, a second chance, which was not possible with a life sentence with no parole.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Why They Will Never Legalize Drugs in U.S.

With the tragic death of musical superstar Michael Jackson and the swirling rumors about drug usages, I am drawn to the writings of Ryan Grim, senior congressional correspondent for the Huffington Post. Ryan recently appeared on CNN promoting his new book, “This Is Your Country on Drugs”, and advocating legalization of certain drugs in order to combat the violence associated with illegal drug trafficking.

It behooves the Mexican Cartels and Mafia to keep prohibited drugs illegal. Legalization would reduce the price of drugs and dry up the black market. It would reduce drug related gun violence, and hence the black market for weapons. As it stands now, automatic gun sales keep rising and ammunition sales are off the charts, and so on. Drug trafficking fuels gun sales and gun sales fuel violence.

It is a known technique to distribute drugs among competing gang factions, and then instigating retaliatory violence between them over turf, for the sole purpose of selling more guns. Therefore, it would be no surprise to see the NRA and gun rights advocates oppose legalization. Gun shows, which are legal, have always provided an avenue for gangsters to get their hands on weapons. With more drug money, the more expensive and powerful the weapons sold.

Wherever there is big money, such as that generated by the drug trade, there will always be corrupt officials and police willing to take a piece of the dirty pie. FOR EXAMPLE: There is the story of an informant, willing to testify against his drug supplier in exchange for leniency on another charge. Two police officers arrived at his home and promised to take him and put him into protective custody. He never made it. Instead, the two officers delivered him to the drug kingpin.

No doubt, crooked cops and crooked politicians are probably as prevalent in Mexico today as once in the United States. As long as drugs are kept illegal, they will continue to get a slice of the action. Therefore, opposition to legalization from police associations and politicians may be tainted by the influence of those who now benefit from the trade.

The pharmaceutical industry, like the weapons industry, has a vested interest in seeing illegal drugs remaining a banded “controlled substance”. But most illegal drugs began with the pharmaceutical companies.

Heroin (Diacetylmorphine) was synthesized from morphine in 1874 and brought to market by Bayer in 1898. Coca-Cola was invented in a drugstore by John Pemberton and originally intended as a patent medicine. The formula called for five ounces of coca leaf per gallon of syrup in 1891. Coca-Cola did once contain an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass, but in 1903 it was removed.

Did cocaine and heroin disappear from market demand? Or, did it seek out a new, more lucrative underground market after becoming a “controlled substance”?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Changing the Balance of Power

To: The Next Generation of Leadership
From: Eddie Griffin (BASG)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Consider the Balance of Powers and the imbalances. This was a lesson taught to a prison warden, because people with police authority on the front line sometimes get besides themselves.

I remember a lieutenant in particular who liked to call black prisoners the N-word. He, and the men under him, feasted on hostilities and combat. It seemed like they loved putting on the black jack boots, black riot vests, and black German bucket helmets, and go charging into an inmate's cell. They were a pretty sight for machismo image making, but a facade when confronting a balance of power crisis.

In the latter days, after many battles, I could sit in the warden’s office and chit-chat over coffee, and talk old time sakes. I always believed that one faithful man, plus God, constitutes an absolute invincible majority. Thus, the Balance of Power is never in question in the mind of a man of faith.

I remember the day I hand delivered a list of prisoners’ grievances to the warden. It was July 4, 1976. I remember the day so well because the country was celebrating its Bicentennial 200th Birthday, and Gerald Ford was President, after Nixon’s fall from grace. That day, the prison population initiated a hunger strike.

Prison administrators consider such strikes as an attempt on the part of the inmates to takeover the prison. They usually responded with brutal force. The Balance of Power always appeared to be in the hands of those in authority.

Passive resistance by hunger strike should have been met with the least force possible. Whenever there is a legitimate grievance, it is best between parties to negotiate. But prison authority abhorred the thought of negotiating with inmates.

Since I was the one who collected the inmates’ list of grievance and drafted the press release, I was made official spokesman for the other prisoners in super-max. It was the reason the warden summoned me to his office on the morning the strike kicked off.

The grievances were designed to embarrass the administration. The first demand was “for the administration to hire more minority prison guards”. The insinuated rationale was this: Black prisoners were tired of being called the N-word and being beaten by an all-white goon squad. We needed eyewitnesses and referees.

The second grievance demanded an end to using prisoners in involuntary mind control experiments. We had documented the entire history of the CIA and FBI secret program to use Chinese brainwashing techniques against incarcerated political dissidents.

On the morning of that Fourth of July, the warden received a phone call from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, inquiring about the prison hunger strike. The element of complete surprise hit the warden. The fact that no inmate came to breakfast never struck any of the guards as strange. Thus, the warden was uninformed. Even more important, no inmate betrayed the plan.

The warden’s first reaction was to throw me in the dungeon known as the Control Unit. The prison was locked down and the guards put on high alert. Their job was to isolate and segregate all the suspected ringleaders.

Every inmate had been instructed to put up as much passive resistance as possible without catching an assault charge. The inmates burned toilet paper, bed sheets, paper, mattresses, and everything else ignitable. They clogged commodes and flooded their cells and barricaded the doors. One by one, they were dragged out and sent to segregation, where the same scenario erupted again.

The guards found themselves fighting on every front. They fogged the cellblocks with Big Bertha, the teargas machine, and went after inmates without regard to excessive force. In brutal combat terms, it was a fair fight, but it gave us grounds for more grievances. The list grew longer. And, every inmate’s grievance was rubber stamped DENIED.

Here was a flaw in the system, recognized later by the courts. Instead of rubber stamping inmates complaints as baseless, the courts instituted an Informal Resolution process, whereby inmates and staff could work out their difference. But the prison administration would have none of that. It was an insult to communicate as equals.

We appealed to regional authorities, and again rubberstamped denied, until our grievances reached the national Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C. This was the exhaustion level of the legal process, before going to court. Rubberstamped rejections had to have legal basis and foundation. Otherwise, an institution’s arbitrary actions could open the doors of the court.

My job in the dungeon was to keep the grievance paperwork flowing upstream. Any failed legal response on the part of the administration could make its way into court. Therefore, they kept a team of lawyers on hand just to respond to our complaints.

As the grievances kept coming, and the paperwork flowing up the inverted pyramidal hierarchy, inevitably the system would become paper jammed. Responding to each and every inmate’s complaint was time consuming from staff, with each personnel having to provide an interview and written report, justifying their action. And having to use lawyers to properly word the administration’s response was also costly. Besides, having to respond to media inquiries was demoralizing within itself.

The Balance of Power shifts to the side of the one with the psychological edge. Some prison guards began feeling guilty and started testifying against their cohorts. We lost the battle, but won the war. Within a few weeks, there were new minority and women guards throughout the federal system.

This alone, however, did not change the Balance of Power in this situation.

A lesson I learned is that a man is confronted by two enemies: The enemy within, and the enemy without. Subduing the first is instrumental in subduing the second. Self-restraint is the key to conquering the enemy within. Keeping my mouth close and saying only what I meant was a source of empowerment, because then my few chosen words would have greater worth in appreciation.

A man must say what he means and means what he says without mincing words.

Locking up a quiet, passive inmate for refusing to eat simply because he has grievances was not good PR for the prison administration. This is the image I gave to the media when interviewed scores of times during this period, including an interview with a Russian magazine. It never failed, however, that the warden had the final rebuttal.

It was a propaganda war that we were able to escalate to the national and international level. At this level, the warden was not so big and not so bad.

Instead of complaining about cold food and brutal guards, as inmates did traditionally, I drew a wider battle circle to encompass the whole issue of human rights. The warden found himself thinking at the micro-management level to an international arena. He told the media that the prison was used to control "revolutionary attitudes". The fight was bigger than his eyes could see.

In the struggle over the Balance of Power, it would be better to widen the circle to include a larger arena. It changes the agenda of the superior force by changing the enemy’s focus.

Here was a principal: Tell the CIA what you plan to do, and they will change their plans to counter you. Then, who is manipulating whom?

Recognize when the Balance of Power has shifted. Some leaders continue to fight on, fighting the same battle, the same tired way, endlessly uphill, because they do not recognize when there is a shift.

Here is an analogous anecdote.

Once my enemy within is conquered, the enemy without can do no harm. The only way my enemy can harm me is only by being allowed to.

A certain prison guard, a lieutenant, liked using the N-word and making threats to black inmates. On the contrary, I was trained and conditioned for close quarter combat, and not to be concerned about my adversary until his punch was six inches from my face. Only then would I feel justified in responding.

It is well known to those who guard jails and prisons how vulnerable they are around potentially violent inmates. Back in history, guards carried guns on the premise, but these weapons could easily be taken by inmates during an uprising. Therefore, guards today walkabout on the inside, unarmed, knowing that they could be attacked and killed at any time, by any inmate.

On the line, the Balance of Power favors the inmates.

When I was finally segregated from other inmates and eventually isolated and held incommunicado, cut off from the outside world and lawyers, the Balance of Power appeared to favor the lieutenant when he and another guard came to pay me a midnight visit.

The lieutenant strode around the hospital cell, where they had confined me on suicide watch. Hunger strikes were construed as a suicide attempt, the lieutenant explained.

It was a mistake on my part, to be manipulated into a position where I would be isolated and alone.

I remember the tall lanky cowboy boot-wearing lieutenant pacing the floor, looking around the ceiling, while another guard stood watch at the door. When I asked him what he was looking for, he was frank.

“A place where you might hang yourself,” he replied.

He was all smiles. I was all smiles also, but for a different reason. My closest enemy was not the one within, but the one within my reach. In a one-on-one, the lieutenant was no match for me. So, I let him know, in no uncertain terms.

“You’re mine, if anything happens,” I replied.

All I am required to do is defeat the enemy closet to me, to take him out because he represents the greatest immediate threat to my own life. And even in prison, I was not planning to just lie down and let these hooters kill me. If I were going to leave this world, the lieutenant was going out with me.

I nodded. “You first.”

There was something I realized about when a man is in doubt of a life-death win-lose situation, and have a reasonable fear for his life, he will usually respect his adversary if it appears that the adversary is going to fight to the death.

Therefore, the Balance of Power favors both a man with a good bluff and a man with God on his side. And if a man should bluff on his life, he should be prepared to back it up.