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Dr. Kishore Encounters the Dedication of the State (10)

This is the tenth in a series of articles about addiction pioneer Dr. Punyamurtula S. Kishore and his battles with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. otherwise.

Martin G. Selbrede
  • Martin G. Selbrede,
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This is the tenth in a series of articles about addiction pioneer Dr. Punyamurtula S. Kishore and his battles with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The state has shown itself to be dedicated to the destruction of his clinically proven treatment regimen, which is vastly superior to so-called orthodox “addiction medicine.” We shall see how the grinding power of the state’s machinery has sought to not only exterminate Dr. Kishore’s fifty-two clinics and to cast his patients back on inferior (and statistically death-increasing) treatments, but to insure his clinics never come back to life to threaten Big Pharma. Even the possible existence of an article reporting on these facts cuts across the grain of a system that, as has been documented, is intent on burying an actual solution to the drug crisis while pretending otherwise.

Again, space forbids repeating the story developed in the first nine articles in this series, and the reader new to this story is urged to catch up to this point in the narrative before reading this. Once you grasp this physician’s achievement with the quarter-million patients who have passed through his clinics (achieving success rates 7.5 to 30 times better than the existing treatment programs, based on hard testing data), you will better understand the enormity of the situation Massachusetts has inflicted on Dr. Kishore and its own people.

Articles eight and nine detailed the coerced plea-bargain and incarceration of Dr. Kishore that began in early April, 2015. After multiple unconscionable delays, the doctor was remanded to a halfway house in August, 2015. I was finally able to piece together a composite picture of this sordid process from various sources. This is a story you were not meant to read, which was not supposed to see the light of day. Dr. Kishore will get to speak in his own voice throughout, as this permits the light to shine more brightly out of the surrounding darkness.

The Halfway House

We’ll elaborate on what steps were taken to delay Dr. Kishore’s arrival at the halfway house below. But it is important to set the scene for our discussion as vividly as words will allow.

This halfway house has six floors and is controlled by only two people, both civilians. There are drug dealers among the thirty-eight residents. The system’s deficiencies invite exploitation by the residents, many of whom have come to accept a revolving-door existence (moving in and out of such facilities) as a way of life. This situation lets a dealer sock away enough micro-capital to reignite a booming drug business upon release. He may only earn three dollars a day at Suffolk County, but with free rent and free food, that grows to $1,500 after sixteen months. This is invested to purchase heroin at $200/kilo (“key”), which nets the dealer up to $10,000 after being cut and sold. Capitalism has found its dark, opportunistic counterpart here.

Dr. Kishore pointed out,

In many ways this place is a house of potential booby traps awaiting an innocent footstep to fall in the wrong place at the wrong time. The steps required to maintain your virtue against the rise of false charges defy description.

Indeed, the room next door to where we’re conversing is lined, floor-to-ceiling, with urinalysis cups, while the breathalyzer was kept at the front desk. The trappings of control are here (I was not allowed to bring a computer or cell phone or camera into the building), but the reality seems to oppose the appearances. The breathalyzer is supposed to be calibrated daily—but it’s not clear what protocols are being observed for it. Even if it is properly calibrated, it lacks the usual recording medium for storing results. The government requires that these halfway houses (sober houses) be inspected by an accrediting agency every three years, but this house’s certificate lapsed in 2013 with no new certificate on display. The outlook is grim.

In the meantime, drug dealing is being visibly conducted in the open just outside the building. This is an institution built on irony. Not surprisingly, many residents have no intention of stopping: this is just a temporary drop-off place, a mere glitch in a dealer’s fixed trajectory that the state cannot alter but feels itself obligated to whitewash at all costs. Not only is the resident population transient, there is continual flux amongst the employees. The day I met Dr. Kishore happened to be the last day for his caseworker. The only parts of this system that are stable are its bad parts.

How did Dr. Kishore end up at this halfway house? What did it take for him to make this “partial step back into freedom” out of the Suffolk County facility to this facility?

The Evolution of a Toxic Culture

Those who observed Dr. Kishore’s course through the trials of incarceration from the inside told him that “he was the only person who exited the system the same way he entered it,” namely, without any deterioration in moral character. An eight-fold regimen1 that he rigorously followed kept him on the straight and narrow path through this false purgatory. The mission became moral and spiritual survival. As he pointed out,

Prison2 should be a monastic place, a place for self-reflection. But everywhere in prison there’s laughter. Unhealthy laughter.3

In contrast to the pastoral input Dr. Kishore received on the matter of “love of family,” the “prevailing mindset here is that a woman is just a sex object.” The residents share girlfriends, and as the women become pregnant, says Dr. Kishore, “fatherless children are overflowing the universe.” The favorite television program among residents was Who’s Your Daddy?, the runner-up being The Real. This last program was of keen interest to residents, as Dr. Kishore explains:

This program focuses on feminine psychology—women talking about themselves in an open way. This provides a window into a woman’s mind. The ticket for exploiting women essentially writes itself.
The favorite news program here in prison? Fox News, because it is all crime-based:
Crime, crime, crime. The residents use what they learn from Fox to adjust their modus operandi. Sensational crimes boost viewership. Nasty equals good ratings. The chase for higher ratings ends in the sewer.

Pursuing constructive kinds of work allowed Dr. Kishore to contribute to the community without adding to its toxicity. He also catalogued the entire library of 250 books, doing so on his own volition. His experience in founding the National Library of Addictions (see Article 3 in this series) thus came into play.

Avoiding Preprogrammed Missteps While Incarcerated

Navigating incarceration means avoiding temptations offered by the authorities that look like good deals at first glance, but are not. This process began the very first day in jail, when Dr. Kishore was offered protective custody. He provides compelling reasons for refusing each “sponge soaked with gall” (Matt. 27:34) that the jailers put to his lips:

I declined protective custody because it denotes that you’re fearful and cowardly, and that creates a host of new problems, starting with the fact that you’ll be in protective custody forever. You’re shut off from the mainstream of life and don’t know what’s going on “out in the world.”

According to Dr. Kishore, such invitations like the offer of protective custody are all traps. They are designed to route you into various byways, backwaters, and blind alleys. You can’t network when in protective custody, and therefore you can’t learn about the institution you’re in from others who’ve already learned it.4

My second day in Suffolk, I was offered to visit the infirmary, to be classified as mentally ill, depressed, or suicidal—and I declined. Had I gone to the infirmary, the resulting label would stick with me for the rest of my life. They’d issue a press release saying Kishore Was Admitted to Infirmary as Suicidal, which inflames the presumption of guilt. I had to navigate a very narrow path here.

He thus ended up in the general population at Suffolk County House of Corrections. And he observed the system from the inside.

As a medical director5 I had a sense of how bad the system is, but not how bad it really was. I gained firsthand awareness of its pathologies.

Navigating the first two traps (protective custody and the infirmary), other tactics were deployed to keep Dr. Kishore in Suffolk as long as possible. Failure to obey provides a pretext to block transfer to the halfway house. No matter how arbitrary the command being issued by a staff member may be, it must be followed to avoid being charged with “disobeying an order.”

They told me to clean the staff bathrooms. I did it as often as asked. If I didn’t, disobedience is an offense. I didn’t collude with anyone either. I did whatever they asked so that they would have nothing on me.

The facility needed a speaker for a re-entry conference and asked Dr. Kishore to speak there. As was his practice inside the facility, he avoided answering any questions about medicine. Had he done so, he could have been accused of practicing medicine without a license inside the jail—a particularly egregious offense. He was told specifically, “You can’t practice medicine here. Don’t advocate for Vivitrol® here.”

He then faced slanderous attempts to depict him as a “malingerer,” one who fails to pull his weight on the community work crews. The patent falsity of this charge came to light when Dr. Kishore asked to see the documented proof of his goldbricking, and the documents and state witnesses all testified that not only did he work, he had put in two work details, one without pay. We’ll come back to these work details later in showing the part they were to play in postponing Dr. Kishore’s transfer to the halfway house.

Dr. Kishore had survived five temptations (being labeled a coward in protective custody, practicing medicine without a license, being declared mentally ill, failing to obey orders, and being a malingerer). The sixth tactic became personally dangerous to Dr. Kishore, as the goal was to have him be labeled as a snitch, which would put him in continual jeopardy given the population’s deep hatred for snitches.

Breaking the Snitch Strategy

After repeated (and technically inexplicable) postponements of his transfer to the halfway house, Dr. Kishore’s transfer date came up on the calendar, and a new strategy was formulated to trip him up and block him from getting transferred: get him to become a snitch, and use the resulting blowback to keep him “safely” incarcerated. This approach became manifest two weeks before the transfer date, about July 30 or 31, 2015:

A bisexual male and his pimp were moved into my room. They were super-bullies. For two weeks straight, all night long, they had bright lights on in our cell and turned the television and radio on super loud to prevent me from sleeping. I was the object of unrelenting, nonstop threats being screamed at me by the two.

The apparent goal was to force Dr. Kishore to ask for protective custody to block his pre-release to the halfway house. They sent one of the bullies to the halfway house just ahead of Dr. Kishore. Had Dr. Kishore snitched, the facility could block his transfer on the grounds of bad blood between him and the person he had snitched upon.6 However, the situation didn’t turn out as apparently planned:

When the boom suddenly fell on the two bullies, they claimed, “Kishore snitched on us!” but another inmate rebutted that charge by admitting that he had reported their conduct to staff. That inmate had gone to the administration and said, “Move me out!” “Why?” he was asked. “Because those two guys are giving Kishore a hard time and I can’t bear to watch it any more.” That man bore the snitch label to stop the persecution and sleep deprivation I was being subjected to.7

The embattled physician had navigated all the traps spread upon the path of his feet. They had expected him to become a “leader of the pack” while in custody:

I could easily have gone on that path, had the visiting pastors not kept my focus on the mark set before me.
I’m happy for the experience because I gained further understanding of the drug ecosystem’s dynamics. I can see how the gears mesh. Every doctor should go through three months of incarceration and six weeks in a halfway house.

So the question becomes: why was Dr. Kishore kept so long at Suffolk? The answer involves machinations at higher levels: the higher the level, the worse the outcome, reflecting a likely top-down imposition upon the people in charge. This needs to be unpacked in more detail.

The Long Journey to an Arbitrarily Longer Incarceration

Dr. Kishore originally arrived at Suffolk County House of Correction on April 7. Caseworker Kevin Fitzgerald studied his situation and, based on rational consideration of all factors, signed an individual service plan specifying that Dr. Kishore should be transferred to the halfway house on April 17—only ten days after arrival. The caseworker obviously knew that Dr. Kishore simply did not belong there.

At the initial classification hearing, Ms. Mitchell overruled the classification approved by caseworker Fitzgerald. Overlooking the reasoning applied by Fitzgerald, the new ruling was premised on the length of sentence (LOS) and the nature of the offense: Dr. Kishore would have to earn prerelease on the CWP (community work program) crews. These are five-week programs, completion of which should have triggered the transfer out of the prison to the halfway house.

When the first five weeks expired on May 31, “politics kicked in and I was reclassified to stay and work another five weeks,” which ended on July 14. Still no release: he worked another four weeks, finally being released to the halfway house on August 11. These delays are certainly consistent with an implicit concern regarding likely Boston Globe blowback for releasing Dr. Kishore that early.

For this and other reasons to be left unstated at this point, Dr. Kishore believed there was pressure to keep him in the system longer. People at Suffolk County wondered why he was even there. Drug dealers—who openly admitted to be such—were being put back out on the street before Dr. Kishore.

Dr. Kishore had satisfied the work requirements but no prerelease was in sight. This amounted not merely to a demand to “bring back the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West,” but to the kind of mission creep associated with a project death march, whereby the goalposts keep being moved (Gen. 29:25). The longer Dr. Kishore’s stay, the greater risk of breaking one of the rules, written and unwritten:

They tried very hard to make me stumble, to keep me there longer. I sailed through very well, and for that I have to thank the pastors who came in to see me. Nobody else was allowed to see me. A food-server and repeat offender at Suffolk told me, “They couldn’t break you. They tried to marinate you [in the prison culture] and couldn’t.”

Dr. Kishore showed me a check, drawn on Century Bank, made out to him for the amount of $25.99—his pay for August 1 through 11, 2015. “Don’t spend it all in one place,” I said, but there was more to the story behind the $3/day rates paid to prisoners in a system where no minimum wage prevails. In the doctor’s view, the prisoners are being exploited to clean up the highways. Dr. Kishore had worked in groups of five picking up trash: forced labor based on the contract between the House of Corrections and the City of Boston, which uses federal highway funds for this purpose. “I’m allowed a savings account, but no checking account,” he explained. “You cash it.”

From Frying Pan Into The Fire

But at last the system could hold Dr. Kishore no longer, as he failed to supply the keepers with sufficient rationale to hold him any longer. As Solzhenitsyn said of having been in the dragon’s belly: “It was unable to digest me and threw me up.” Like Solzhenitsyn, Dr. Kishore has become a witness of what it’s like in the dragon’s belly: a remarkable journey for one whose life’s work was to keep people from ending up there.

But as stated at the outset of this article, the halfway house itself has its own pathologies. When I asked Dr. Kishore directly, “How does this place compare to Suffolk?” he replied:

At least at Suffolk there was method to the madness. Here it’s all loosey-goosey. The people in charge are all untrained civilians, lacking professionalism.

The halfway house is not without its own traps (which can’t be discussed here). And a significant amount of the mail Dr. Kishore received from our readership was destroyed during the transfer, being classified as “excess property” that was thrown away by the facility.8 But like the jail proper, it has its own works-based religion, with a self-contained jobs program that is perhaps even more dysfunctional than the one at Suffolk (where there was method to the madness).

Having a job is an important element for going home. Dishwashing is the ticket. Most residents here take up dishwashing. But once you go home, you can’t quit the job. You’ll be violating the terms of your release.

Enter CORI. CORI refers to the Criminal Offender Record Information industry, which subsidizes jobs through tax breaks, etc. These subsidized jobs are “allegedly productive,” but the truth is often very different. As Dr. Kishore noted:

Realistically, nobody can live as a dishwasher. But even if the person leaves that job after one month, the employer keeps the tax break, which I regard as a kickback.

Remarkably, you don’t even have to be incarcerated for your employer to get the tax break. You just have to show that you have a record.

The companies need to keep hiring ex-offenders to keep the federal cash flowing. Massachusetts is number one in the nation in the number of CORI-friendly companies.

CORI-friendly means friendly to ex-offenders. But the reality is that these companies are CORI-exploiting: they exploit a person’s record for the tax break, then fire them while continuing to get the promised cash.

What you have here, in effect, is another entire industry that has grown around a sector of the work force that creates an incentive to maintain a portion of the population revolving through the criminal justice system. Many other such industries have been identified in the earlier articles in this series, but this was new in Dr. Kishore’s experience.

To Parole or Not to Parole

September 14, 2015, was the projected day for Dr. Kishore’s parole hearing. The prospects look grim to Dr. Kishore in respect to this process (“They’re not going to give me any breaks here; I’ll be going the whole nine yards.”). But that’s not relevant because Dr. Kishore is taking a surprisingly different approach to the matter of parole.

I will likely refuse parole because they want you to grovel and say you’re sorry. I can fight better with an unbroken spirit, not having groveled for parole.

Parole entails an extra month of supervision, of scrutiny. In short, parole has strings attached, but Dr. Kishore wants freedom, not intrusions upon his family. Under parole, his family gets dragged into the entire matter, and he is very protective of his family. In fact, in his view, the unsung hero of this entire story is his wife:

She has been holding the fort. Once a spouse is incarcerated, marital breakup is often inevitable. The stress on a marriage is immense.

This is certainly a bold move: staying longer to be free of the state’s burdensome yoke. But Dr. Kishore has gone a big step further, filing a motion that defied the expectation of the gatekeepers.

To Revise and Revoke

In Massachusetts law, a Motion to Revise and Revoke asks the judge to “revise or revoke such sentence if it appears that justice may not have been done.” This is a major undertaking. You must file such a motion within sixty days of your plea for the courts to act upon it.

Dr. Kishore filed this motion within the sixty-day statutory timeframe. He did this in the face of pressure of his law firm, who begged him not to reopen the case and seek a change in the sentence. Dr. Kishore, in effect, would be finishing out his sentence under the plea deal, and then asking the judge to revoke the sentence. This re-involves the attorneys who had thought they’d finally seen the last of this case (see previous articles in this series to understand why they would oppose getting back in the saddle).

In doing this, Dr. Kishore is doing more than merely stirring the pot: he’s beating a hornets’ nest with a club. Legal and procedural issues that were safely dead and buried now walk the earth again. The state’s authorities have done everything they can to insure that Dr. Kishore’s clinics will never reopen, assuming he would roll over and submit. Why would anyone jeopardize his future with new guilty verdicts on the horizon after the “safety” of a plea deal had been negotiated?

Only a highly principled person would make such a move. And he has.

Let’s consider some of the legal and procedural questions that will be reopened, questions that will become problematic if Dr. Kishore makes headway with them. We will unpack the details in the next article in this series, but understanding their existence is useful.

The Attorney That Didn’t Deliver. Dr. Kishore had filed a civil complaint against one of his attorneys for failure to properly defend him against the standing charges. The court ruled, in writing, that it would not consider the civil case as the evidence shows that the breach involved criminal conduct on the part of Dr. Kishore’s attorneys. One would think this meant that proceeding against the attorney with criminal charges would be straightforward, with a court already pronouncing upon the gravamen of the charges. But no, a technicality was invoked: Dr. Kishore requested that he be provided the time needed to get out of state custody so he can prepare the case against the attorney, but the court decided that the attorney’s right to a swift resolution trumped Dr. Kishore’s right to relief for a criminal offense inflicted by his own defense attorney. This issue will doubtless fester as an example of the syndrome of injustice being directed against the world’s top drug addiction specialist.

The Amazing Disappearing Medical License. The Board of Review for medicine in Massachusetts continues its pogrom against Dr. Kishore, having lobbied for Dr. Kishore to voluntarily surrender his medical license rather than let it lapse. The reason given for the Board’s continued actions are (1) the sentence and (2) the medical records issue. You’ve just read that the sentence is being rescinded by way of the filed Revise and Revoke motion, and the fallacy behind the medical records pretext had been exploded in an earlier article in this series. (In effect, there were no lost records, and in one case the statute of limitations had run out for the request and Dr. Kishore still met the requirement.)

But why the urgency of getting Dr. Kishore to sign paperwork showing that he had resigned his medical license? Mr. John Costello perhaps needs to explain why he contacted Dr. Kishore’s attorney, Harold Jacobi, in writing, stating that Dr. Kishore could reacquire his license after consummating the resignation, while a press release received by Cape Cod Online claims that the resignation is permanent and cannot be reversed—ever. On the face of it, it appears that somebody deceived Dr. Kishore into signing the resignation, because it’s impossible for both statements to be simultaneously true. Either the resignation can be undone, or it cannot. The resignation was signed with the assurance there was a route for license restoration, but the press release denies it.

Asymmetric Justice. The irregularities surrounding the cases pursued against Dr. Kishore will be brought back front-and-center. The bribe allegations, as pursued by the state, make no sense, where identical contracts were treated differently by the state (some sober houses were indicted, others were not).

How is it, Dr. Kishore asks, that four out of four halfway house owners received no jail time and two years probation, while he was indicted for four cases where no halfway house owner was indicted?

Concerted Efforts That Shouldn’t Have Been. On the same day that the criminal charges against Dr. Kishore were filed, precipitating his arrest and first incarceration in September, 2011, Precision Labs filed a civil case against Dr. Kishore and his clinics that attached all the bank accounts and real estate, blocking Dr. Kishore from defending himself against the criminal charges. The simultaneous filing of the civil case by the private laboratory with the criminal charges defunded Dr. Kishore’s defense.

This could plausibly be pure coincidence and simple bad luck—if it weren’t for the bizarre fact that both the criminal motions by the state and the civil motions by the private lab have remarkably similar wording. Dr. Kishore is certain that the same hand wrote both motions. How is that possible?

Paper Towns Meets Federal Guidelines: Dr. Kishore received a particularly ominous note from the government, which I have in my files, which makes clear that he may no longer work anywhere, in any capacity (including clerical), where federal medical funds are accepted. The document represents a total blackballing of the person that is arguably the world’s expert on treating drug addiction.

You might be interested to know exactly how Dr. Kishore received this letter. There is a peculiarity in how the letter is addressed that is very telling. The letter uses the prisoner identification number that permits the prison to route the letter to the right inmate. But in this instance, there was a paper town involved.

A paper town is a fictional city inserted on a map by cartographers to prove that somebody had plagiarized their map: if the fictional city is on the other company’s map, it was obviously duplicated because the town was arbitrarily inserted to prove provenance of the map.

And it so happened that when this magazine published the contact information for Dr. Kishore (for those interested in writing him while imprisoned), a minor typographical error was introduced into his prisoner identification number. This faulty number is, in effect, a paper town. If somebody duplicates it, it is because they used the information from this publication as their source for information.9

Yet, lo and behold, the version of the prisoner identification number used by the government to inform Dr. Kishore that he could no longer work at places receiving federal medical funding is the number that only appears in this publication. The government didn’t seek out the information from other government sources, but from this magazine. As averred before, the government knows full well exactly what they are doing to Dr. Kishore and why they want his program destroyed. The letter makes clear that the Massachusetts Model will never be resurrected: not one federal dime will ever be permitted for expensing against this treatment regimen.

Dr. Kishore versus the Silos

Dr. Kishore is nothing if not a big-picture man. He provided me a hand-drawn graphic showing interlocked gears illustrating the different silos (vertical industries) that interlink together in a self-reinforcing loop that keeps the present system fatally vested in its own failures. The silos (individual industries, like the homeless industry, the addiction treatment industry, the rehab silo, detox silo, halfway house silo, etc.) are run by oligarchs who have no communication one with the other. We will revisit this powerful concept in the next article: what is important for the moment is to understand what Dr. Kishore’s approach means in terms of this silo ecosystem:

For this existing silo infrastructure to survive, you have to convert an acute problem into a chronic issue, requiring lifelong treatment. You must never get off the bus.

But Dr. Kishore was graduating people from his program, which is unacceptable: it doesn’t fit the silo requirement of keeping people on treatment all their lives (as methadone,10 etc., are geared for). As Dr. Kishore candidly observed,

I did not play ball the way they want me to play.

The reason he didn’t play ball was because of the radiating social costs of drug abuse, including family breakup. This was a situation requiring a solution. To this day, the government continues to pour insane amounts of money into non-solutions it parades as good medicine. Because Dr. Kishore has de-siloized the system successfully, his methods had to be buried with violence. In the meantime, we see news reports daily that document the worsening crisis in Massachusetts (just this week it was learned that the previous numbers of drug deaths were underreported). But the madness never stops because the watchdog was put on ice, allowing the nation’s drug czar to blithely suppress the truth to support deadly non-answers to our crises.

At the end of our discussion, Dr. Kishore waved his hand at his handwritten graphic showing the interlocked gears of the drug crisis silos. Fixing his mind upon the growing number of victims of the status quo policy, the modern equivalent of bloodletting, he asks me with unexpected passion,

Who is standing against this? Only my pastors! Nobody else!

We will elaborate on these last several points in our next article, including the requisite documentation, and report on the reopening of Dr. Kishore’s case: a case being reopened at his own request and at his own peril, for the sake of the victims of his state’s benighted medical policies.

The First Nine Articles in This Series:

Article One: “Massachusetts Protects Medical-Industrial Complex, Derails Pioneering Revolution in Addiction Medicine.”

Article Two: “Massachusetts Derails Revolution In Addiction Medicine While Drug Abuse Soars.”

Article Three: “The Pioneer Who Cut New Paths in Addiction Medicine Before Being Cut Down.”

Article Four: “The Addiction Crisis Worsens after Massachusetts Pulls Plug on Dr. Kishore’s Sobriety-Based Solution.”

Article Five: “Why Did They Do It? Christian Physician with a 37% Success Rate for Recovering Addicts Gets Shut Down by the State.”

Article Six: “Martha Coakley and Her Tree of Hate”

Article Seven: “Keeping Big Pharma in Seventh Heaven is Keeping Addicts in Hell”

Article Eight: “Massachusetts Completes Its Takedown of Addiction Pioneer Dr. Punyamurtula S. Kishore”

Article Nine: “A Brief Update on Dr. Punyamurtula S. Kishore”

1. He lists the eight steps thus: (1) self-examination from awaking at 4 a.m. until 5 a.m.; (2) reference, meaning study of pertinent Biblical verses; (3) prayer (in contrast, the residents were narcissistic and regarded self-love as their mantra); (4) fasting—Dr. Kishore missed one meal every day and gave his breakfast to the young kids in residence; (5) self-denial, whereby he resisted ostentation and refused to collect offered memorabilia, like reject Reebok shoes, that would serve to remind him of his stay here; (6) reading the Word—the pastors guided him, focusing on sins, repentance, patience, and love for family (see main text for the residents’ alternative approach to this); (7) meditating on the Word the entire day; (8) discipline—he was ready for the day by 6 a.m., having arisen before anyone else.

2. Dr. Kishore is well aware of the fact that the modern prison system is un-Biblical. He is commenting here on the reality that exists and how time should be redeemed under such a system. The system actually amplifies the very behaviors it seeks to remediate.

3. For some inmates, such laughter is a coping mechanism. For others, its function is far less benign.

4. For instance, ramen (the food) is a vehicle of barter (actually a medium of exchange) in the facility. This reflects the toxic culture behind bars, as there is no true currency inside prison, so one must be invented by the inmates.

5. Dr. Kishore served as the Associate Medical Director for the Department of Correction in Massachusetts from 1980 to 1991.

6. Dr. Kishore remarked that while everybody talks about the Thieves’ Code of Honor in the prison, which motivates resistance to snitching, such talk about a code of honor is “kind of funny, because nobody is keeping it.”

7. In a peculiar turn of fate, the bully who had been transferred to the halfway house ahead of Dr. Kishore turned around 180 degrees once there and had no interest in persecuting him further. Dr. Kishore believes the behavior change is explicable in light of the absence of the man’s partner and apparent enabler/provocateur.

8. Dr. Kishore did save as much as he could: a stack of correspondence eight inches high from his supporters around the country. He gave the stack to me to protect these precious notes of encouragement from subsequent loss. He was not allowed to save the ones declared to be “excess property,” but he could save those remaining from further attrition, whether by state policy or encounters with untrustworthy residents.

9. It could be a wild coincidence, but the exact position of the error in that location in the character string has astronomical odds of occurring. So the far greater likelihood is, the government is reading these articles.

10. It is ironic that the residents here are technically eligible, upon walking out of the halfway house, to receive a methadone dose once a day for life, fully prepaid by the government!


Martin G. Selbrede
  • Martin G. Selbrede

Martin is the senior researcher for Chalcedon’s ongoing work of Christian scholarship, along with being the senior editor for Chalcedon’s publications, Arise & Build and The Chalcedon Report. He is considered a foremost expert in the thinking of R.J. Rushdoony. A sought-after speaker, Martin travels extensively and lectures on behalf of Christian Reconstruction and the Chalcedon Foundation. He is also an accomplished musician and composer.

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