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Prison Required My Spiritual Transformation

March 12, 2012

main_jail.jpg(left, Sacramento Jail. Many jails today are modern highrises.)

Tax resistor Al Thompson explains how he changed in order to survive five years in jail and emerge a better man.

I was put in a totally foreign environment. Much like what the world is becoming...

by Al Thompson

Being thrown in jail is a very traumatic experience. Going from a relatively free man to an inmate is a complete shock to the system. In my case, I lost my marriage of 32 years, a business that I had grown out of my garage and had grown to 30 workers, and most of my family and friends who really thought I had "lost it" by taking on the IRS.

Being put into a large building full of people I didn't want to know was very difficult. Many of the inmates were "crazy" but the staff was even worse.

I was put in a totally foreign environment. Much like what the world is becoming...

Surviving in a Hostile Environment

I was always waiting for the next thing, whether it was the next meal, a trip to the doctor's office, or to the law library, everything seemed to be an endless wait. The noise was incredible. The TV would be blaring and the inmates would shout back and forth to each other almost 24/7.

The food was an abomination. The meat was especially grotesque. In fact, I would play in my mind "Guess That Meat" mostly because half the time I couldn't identify it. I tend to get overweight quite easily so I usually try to eat a low carb diet, but in jail, the food was extremely high in carbs and I started to gain weight. The food in jail or prison is a slow kill. I used to call the mess hall "The Road Kill Cafe."

In jail, inmates are locked down for 23 out of 24 hours, with maybe one hour of recreation in the outdoors once a week. This was usually a non event for me as I didn't see the point of going out, although I did go a few times.

So here I am in a 10 x 10-foot cell, usually with another inmate and the time goes fairly slow. This is where the depression seemed to try to take hold of me. I missed my family and friends, and I was in a completely hostile environment. It is like being alive one minute, and almost dead in another.

The problem is there's no death; "life" continues, seemingly forever.


The real problem here is the fact that I had little to no contact with anyone on the outside who could help me with my case. I was left to my own devices, and I just couldn't imagine how I was going to defend myself at my trial. Everything was stacked against me and I knew I was going to get screwed in court. In fact, they tried to stick me with an attorney who had told me that I was going to get "steamrolled."

The worst part  was the trashing of my reputation. I've had my ups and downs in business, but I've never been so totally trashed as I was by the MSM, especially by the rotten and extremely putrid New York Times.

I had to accept the fact that the "Government" is completely lawless. As a former conservative middle-class Republican, I found it hard to believe. I actually witnessed the federal judge hide my exculpatory evidence from the jury. I realized that the whole system is totally evil. I wrote habeas corpus documents which were ignored. All of my filings were denied or simply thrown away.

It's one thing to read conspiracy theories on the computer, but it is another when I actually saw it in action throughout my "trial." The conspiracy theories, in my opinion, are understated. The only word that I can apply to governments as we know them is "psychotic." Their only mission in life is to make mankind miserable. But I had a problem and I needed to deal with it

thomson.jpgHow was I going to survive this?

I am of the opinion that a man's mind and soul are the last bastions of freedom, and have to be carefully guarded. While I could not do anything about my physical incarceration, I could maintain my own composure by just doing what I had to do so that I didn't loose my usual cheerful continuance.

After my "lynching", I decided that I would have to get through this or just die. I am a believer in God, so I decided to focus on my relationship with Him and get myself past this mess. I focused on scriptures that actually had some practical value, with an emphasis on Psalms and Proverbs.

I had every "right" to be angry, bitter, along with all the other evil thoughts but that wasn't going to help me... I try never to let evil thoughts in my mind because they become unproductive. By eliminating the evil from my life (the best I knew how) I figured that I would be able to get through most anything.

I simplified my thinking to the lowest common thread choosing between God and Satan, truth v. the lie, good and evil; life and death. What I found is that I could consciously steer my mind into a better state by learning to control my emotions; especially anger.

That helped me pass the time. If I was going to be down and out for the next 54 months, I may as well get something good out of it.

What I learned during all of this is that by actually taking the time to control my thoughts and emotions, I was better able to stay out of trouble. This helped me stay out of many bad situations, even to this day.

I stayed mostly to myself and I was able to get along with most anyone and the time that I lost out of my life was not wasted. I learned how to better think about what I'm going to do before I do it.

Some of us will act impulsively, but I was able to teach myself how to make even better choices.

What at first looked like a total train-wreck, turned out to be an experience that I wouldn't want to repeat, but I really did learn a lot from it.

It made me stronger on the inside and I appreciate life more. Government and religion are no longer a part of my life. I love and respect God and try to keep His commandments. Just working with that has improved my life.

Walter Allen Thompson (  is the author of The Grace of Repentance: Keeping God's Commandments

He blogs at:

Scruples - the game of moral dillemas

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at