Geoff Leonard BA(Syd), DipLaw(SAB).
5 Rosamond Street,
Page 2: Note April 7, 1999
Page 9: Introduction
Page 12: Outline for Razorwire – A Critique of New south Wales Criminal Law and Corrections
Page 17: Chapter 1: The Marginal Person and Criminal Breakdown
Page 25: Chapter 2: The Person
Page 32: Chapter 3: The Nature of My Crime
Page 37: Note
Page 38: Chapter 4: The Law
Page 61: Chapter 5: The New South Wales Correctional System
Page 111: Chapter 6: Reform and Alternatives
Page 126: Chapter 7: Application for Parole
Page 129: Chapter 8: Contemplation of the Navel
Page 136: Chapter 9: Power
Page 142: Chapter 10: The Central Teaching of Cooma
Page 146: Chapter 11: Welcome to Old Cooma Museum
Page 148: Chapter 12: Final
Page 153: Facts Sheet, General
Page 155: Defendant’s Copy: Brief of Evidence
The text of Corrections was written in Cooma Prison mostly during the last year of my sentence in 1992. I published it under the name of Razorwire in 1996 with the ISBN of 0646279378. The published volume was simply a bound photocopy of the original typewritten manuscript, because the technology did not then exist to economically metamorphosis it into the full printed form. The enormous advance made during the last few years in computer technology has now made this possible, and what you have here is an edited version of that volume. No alterations have been made to the actual text, but some of the chapters have been dropped, as being too autobiographical. Corrections is about the criminal justice system, not about Geoffrey Leonard (the edited out bits have now been restored in their entirety - 11/5/99).
This has entailed the dropping of my complainants’ statements of evidence. My prison term was made a nightmare because the constant attempts to make me confess to rape. I conclude this volume with the publication of my Application for Parole where I managed to avoid the required confession with some quick verbal acrobatics, which depended on the Board’s not giving the document more than a cursory reading. I included the statements of evidence in Razorwire because they were proof that rape was never alleged. I have reason to believe that they had not been included in my prison file, which probably only had the charge sheet. I wanted to publish actual evidence; which, in this area of crime, rarely sees the light of day. However, the proceedings of the Wood royal commission and the well-publicized trials of Colin Fisk and Philip Bell, give a fairly clear picture of what is involved in typical paedophile crime. As I recall it, violence, in the normal sense, was never alleged. The worst that could be said was that there was some drug involvement. But drugs are a part of the culture from where the boys came. Drugs, I would imagine, are as normal a part of the northern beach scene as alcohol is of most others. And paeds in that scene would just have to fall into line if their welcome was to survive. What did come out was the moral outrage that was the real reason for the ten odd years that Fisk got, and Bell will very likely get. But the law has a problem with moral outrage.
In the text, I maintained a position where I thought that the only proper subjects for the criminal law are force and fraud. It should not be about morals. The problem is that, in general, the law agrees with me. But, instead of dropping most drug and sex offenses from the criminal law that is politically impossible, an attempt is made to made to dress up, and present, these offenses as violent. The truth of the matter is that most drug transactions would be perfectly good in the law of contract if they were not against public policy. And that most paedophile sexual transactions would be similarly good if they were not also against public policy. So, it is public policy that is the problem. A very similar position occurred in the Soviet treason trials of the 1930s. Soviet public opinion would not have accepted the righteousness of the alleged offenders being shot merely to satisfy a whim of Joseph Stalin. So they were made to confess. And the confessions were held up as proofs of their crimes. And this was acceptable. After all, Soviet justice did not want to admit, even to it, that it was not just. Similarly, the justice system of New South Wales did not want to admit, even to itself, that it was putting me into prison for three and a quarter years for an offense where the more appropriate penalty would have been a bond. Had I "confessed" everybody would have felt vindicated. Adverse community attitudes towards homosexuality made the royal commission feel that a boy needed to be of an age where he was truly able to appreciate what he was doing, instead of appreciating later, and feeling terrible guilt about it. So, the real problem is homophobia. And that is something the community and criminal justice system does not want to know. Nobody likes to admit that they, themselves, are the ones in the wrong. And, of course, powerful church forces are involved. But I must emphasize here that I am writing about a general problem, and not just one, which affected myself.
Nobody who has not been in gaol can truly appreciate what being in gaol is like. An academic can read the documents till the cows come home, but it is still not the same. I wrote in gaol from what I was experiencing at the time. But, I served most of my time in Cooma, in protective custody, for a sexual offense. Had I served my time, in say Cessnock and a prison farm - in the mainstream - for an "acceptable" offense like armed holdup, I might have had a very different experience. I would certainly not been subjected to attempts at brainwashing in the guise of "treatment". There are no treatment programs for armed hold-uppers. But, no matter who they are, everybody has his own way of doing his time. I wrote. Somebody else might do weights. So, I warn my readers against jumping to the conclusion that, because this is the way Geoffrey did his time, this is the way all prisoners do their time. There are similarities, but there are also differences. Some inmates go to enormous lengths to protest their absolute innocence. I never did this. I did break the law. Though I was not actually guilty of all of the charges I pleaded guilty to. I wanted to get the whole thing over with as quickly and as cheaply as possible, and this entailed pleading guilty to everything. The criminal justice system could well ponder how many other accused persons do the same; and especially in the sexual law area, where it is sometimes not altogether clear what the charges are about, and what they are referring to. When this happens, convictions are being obtained, but justice is not being done.
There can be no question of reforming the criminal justice system when offenders are going inside for moral crimes. And clearing the goals of most of the sex and drug offenders will leave us with a good many empty goals. At least three quarters of the inmates will be gone. With those who are left, I have suggested a very big expansion of parole and probation programs, and a great deal more help being given to released inmates in the employment area. This is positive discrimination. But employment is not a level playing field for released inmates, and employment is essential if most are to integrate properly with the ordinary lawful community. Sometimes what you do in goal works whilst you are in gaol. I was praised for my sculptors. And this was all right just as long as there was an outlet in the gaol handicraft shop. But, once released, all institutional support is gone. I wrote to the minister on the subject, and the reply was that if the government wants anything of this nature it will invite tenders, and I can submit my tender along with the rest. In other words I was given the round about with a correct bureaucratic reply. I would reckon that this is the fate of most skills learned in gaol.
But is the government serious about doing something about crime? I have, to hand, a journal called The Atlantic Monthly, December 1998. It was devoted to an account of the current gaol system in the United States, which has expanded, and is expanding, at an enormous rate. It has become an industry that has actually become hungry for more inmates; and it seems huge numbers of people have become dependent for their continued prosperity on its further expansion. This suggests why sex offenses have become so popular. Sooner or later, you will run out of murderers and robbers, but there is an almost inexhaustible supply of sex offenders. It is safe to say that there would not be too many males who have not done at least something in their lives, in this area that would earn them a custodial sentence. And if the NSW law casts its net widely, it would seem that this is nothing on the law in the United States. With the habit of our politicians to look to the States in these matters, we can expect to see the continued healthy growth in our own system. The outlook for sex offenders is bleak indeed; and the outlook for a reform of our sexual law - particularly in the area of the age-of-consent - is bleaker still.
There can be no doubt that the paedophile is the bogeyman of the nineties, just as the red was the bogeyman of the fifties. Kids are terrified into doing what they don’t want to do by the threat that otherwise paedophiles will find them and do unspeakable things to them. They are kept at home by it being pointed out them that the places they want to go to are infested with paedophiles.
In the Report of the Department of Corrective Services for the year ended 30th June 1996, which is pretty old but is the latest that the State Library has in its collection, was stated the intention to institute greatly intensified psycho-sexual education for sex offenders. A special wing at Long Bay being devoted to this end. It sounds horrible. In my opinion, these psychologists are, at best, scum bags. At the worst, they are seriously mentally ill. They play power games, where they have to be the winners. Or do they? Not if the inmate is willing to give up being granted parole. When it comes down to tintacks, parole is the sole gift in the hands of these psychologists. The Report also mentioned the intensification of after release psychosexual education programs, with the implication that they will be compulsory for parolees. So, parole does not end the nightmare. But, if an inmate serves his full time in custody, when he walks out of the gate, it is truly all over. And he has to be released on this date. This has been underlined in the Kable case. So, my advice to inmates would be to serve your full time in custody, and save yourself the entire hassle. I didn’t do this, but I know the price I paid. And what I paid is nothing to what I would be paying today were I to do the same thing. But it has long been the experience that parole can be so hung with conditions that it is not worth the bother. I was lucky in my parole officer, and on one occasion I got some positive help. But it is generally accepted that help is not what it is about; and the government would be most indignant if it were suggested that it be. It is about protecting the community. So, when the inmate, having done his full time, walks free, how is the community protected? I truly don’t know. The mind is boggled. It is an area where rationality is thin on the ground.
It is rare to get a sensible answer from the psychs when they are asked what they are on about anyway. I have never got one. Basically, their argument seems to be that sexuality carries with it such an enormous emotional burden and hazard, that only the truly mature should be exposed to it. Enormous injury is caused to children and adolescents when they are exposed to it, and most, if not all, of adult emotional problems can be sheeted home to "child sexual abuse". Is this theory the reason or the excuse? It seems to me that the theory is just too empty and insubstantial to carry the enormous weight that has been placed upon it. Obviously, in order to carry its burden, it has been greatly strengthened by hidden agendas of one kind or another, and some of which have been suggested in this book.
Since virtually all people have had at least childhood and adolescent sexual experience, it can always be adduced as the cause of emotional problems. Not logically, but the psychs are not troubled with logic. Perpetrators can also usually be found. And, if they are rich, they can be soaked for victim’s compensation; out of which the psych is paid. Oh my God how the money rolls in! Psychs also go on about unequal power in intergenerational sexuality, and how the older uses the younger to satisfy his disgusting lusts. There is no getting away from it that these psychs have enormous problems with sex; and the bottom line is that they just don’t like it. Which causes us to ask about their typical religious upbringings. In the text, incidentally, I have concentrated on analyzing the meaning of sexual offenses and attitudes in terms of property. I think it yielded valuable insights. And that maybe subsequently I concentrated a little too much on the religious aspects. The law is basically about property; and morality can be analyzed as derivative from this.
I include some up-to-date prison statistics, or as up-to-date as I can get. I find that, in 1997, 9.7 percent of inmates were in for sex offenses. Of which 0.1 were in for rape.6.0 percent were in for "serious sexual assault". 1.6 were in for "incest/carnal knowledge". 1.6 were in for "indecent assault". And 0.1 percent were in for "buggary/bestiality". These categories are much more informative than what we normally get. And which reflect the frequent changes in sexual law, which makes knowing what an offender has truly done that more difficult.
Only 0.1 percent are in for rape. This confirms my impressions that rape is a relatively rare offense. There were only 8 inmates convicted of it. These are probably serving long sentences for convictions under old laws. That the statistics covers a range of law changes adds to the difficulty of arriving at the answer to the basic question: What is the nature of the offenses that these guys are in for? 1.6 percent (121 inmates) are in for incest/carnal knowledge, which is about offenses involving underage girls (although not necessarily so with incest), serious sexual assault would be about be about sex with underage boys. Most of the 112 indecent assaults would also be for boys. And the statistics confirm my impression that this is overwhelmingly the largest category of all, 6.0 percent and 452 inmates. The message is that sex offenses are basically about boys. This should interest the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, but it is something that it would probably prefer to ignore. "Buggary/bestiality goes back to the pre-1984 homosexual law. That 10 unfortunates are in for breaking this ancient law is not good news. This was pre-Wood royal commission. We can expect that far larger numbers are coming in now. Only five women are in for sex offenses. We can take it that they all involve boys. One problem about the interpretation of these figures is that one offender will normally have a multiplicity of charges spread over the various categories. I don’t know how the statistician has dealt with this. Possibly he did this by identifying the principle charge.
During the period I was able to deal with, the total numbers of inmates in at any one day has remained relatively stable at about six and a half thousand, of which about half are in minimum security, a quarter are in maximum, with the remaining quarter in medium. There seems to be a small trend to increase the numbers in minimum. Cooma has closed. Which is a pity. But it seems that they could not get enough psychologists to go that far away to staff those oh so essential psychosexual educational programs. I have included the figures for all of the system’s gaols. Which the reader should find fascinating reading, once he has slugged through the main text. This text represents the position in 1992. It is now 1999, but Correctional Services epitomizes the old saying that no matter how things change, they remain the same. They have reopened Parra (as I predicted they would at the time it was closed), and I reckon they will be reopening Cooma. It has been closed before. It would make a nice "tracts" (intractable) gaol.
Incidentally, the news that the main reason why Cooma has shut is that it could not get enough professional staff - psychologists - to man its programs (from the 1996 Corrective Services Annual Report) perhaps is indicative that the psychs, themselves, are not all that keen on this kind of work. It was commonly felt amongst inmates of Cooma that those who did work there were the scrapping of the barrel. Certainly I would want to know where somebody, who wants to sit in judgment on my sex life and use me as a coat hanger for his hang-ups, is coming from. I don’t think I would be too impressed if I were to find that he a born-again Baptist. Nor would I be too impressed if I were to find that he has spent a number of years training in a Catholic seminary. I would be interested in the qualifications he could claim. In particular, I would be interested in reading something he has written, and would not be impressed if he has written nothing. I am aware that a clinic has only to have one registered psychologist, but he can have any number of unregistered assistants. Your friendly garage has only to have one registered mechanic, who may not even be the boss; with perhaps his sole function being to give his name. I know of one psychologist working in the sex field who has only a pass BA, but she is so politically correct, she squeaks. At least two of the psychs working in Cooma whilst I was there seem to have only had qualifications in social work, and not at the university level. It is a field that would attract some mighty strange people. The unfortunate forensic client is not in a position to ask questions or to make choices. Which is a very good reason why he should seriously consider opting out.
On the 31st January 1999, on the ABC, was broadcast what I consider a milestone TV program. It was a Compass panel discussion on the age-of-consent. So important do I consider it, that I would bracket it with the series of programs on Channel 10 in 1987, which began this whole child sexual abuse obsession. It is important, because it was a genuine discussion, and the first I have ever heard on this subject.
Child sexual abuse was erected on the foundation of the concept of private space. Private space is the mental equivalent of the real estate in which we live. It is ours. It is we. And its sanctity and inviolability is a fundamental human right. It is seen as rooms within rooms. In the outermost room, we interface with our social reality. In the innermost room, the holy of holies, is where we find our sexuality. It is the place where we are the most intimate; and it is the place where we are most vulnerable. We only allow another person into it whom we love and trust. And when somebody comes into it unbidden, he is considered as having violated us at the deepest level, and this is called rape. Any further violence is an aggravation of that rape. Women and children are vulnerable to men, and children, being the most vulnerable; this is the most serious crime. To enter a child’s holy of holies, a man has, not only to have permission from the child, he must also have permission from God, the law, and the community; and, for a child, this will be forever withheld. The injury to the child comes from the destruction of his private space at its deepest level, and is virtually the destruction of the child.
This is heavy stuff. But it was never explained in this form. In fact, this is a brand-new analysis of my own. All we got was something that sounded as if it could have come from South Park's school counselor. "Paedophilia is child sexual abuse - OK. Child sexual abuse is bad. OK. Don’t do it. OK." Basically, this was all the prison psychologists said. As the years passed, and it became obvious that virtually no paedophile crime involved rape as generally understood, the social dimension of the crime became more emphasized. The child may well have readily participated in the crime, but when he realized the social and religious implications of what he had done, he felt terrible guilt. If the first model was rape by force, the second model was rape by fraud. The child had not had a sufficiently formed mind to know what he was doing, and the adult, who was abusing his trust for carnal purposes, had misled him. The injury was derivative from the guilt. The emphasis upon sexual guilt made this model vulnerable to charges that it was really about the notorious Catholic guilt. And the mood of the times was not comfortable with the qualifications of our title to our private space. "Consent" should surely not have to depend on what the community thinks, even if we are children.
So, we come to the emotional injury model, which was the one discussed in the Compass program, and to which I have alluded to earlier in this Introduction. Sex at too earlier an age is simply to great a burden for the immature mind and emotions, which suffer injury as a result of the intolerable strain. A film clip of a young man who had been seduced by an older woman when he was twelve prefaced the program. His state was terrible. But was he genuine, or was he from Central Casting? Were they his own words, or were they written by the scriptwriters who generally write such things? The programs ask us to take a terrible lot on trust. But I remember a few years ago being taken in until I realized that the abused lady in question always looked exactly the same. In whatever series were being run about abused ladies (and they were popular), the same actress had the role. She was good. I give her that much. But the blurring between fact and fiction is deception, let’s face it.
The principle advocate for strict age-of-consent law was a stern faced lady, whom I would not have liked to have met in a dark ally; or at least in a psychology consulting room. But the panel included Germane Greer. Who came up with the obvious fact that children are not the innocent angels that they are purported to be; and that, at twelve, not only do they think about sex, they think of hardly anything but. Another panel member who instanced examples from her own childhood echoed this. Germane Greer made another very important point - which I am always making - that sex need not be about insertion, and that we seem to have a hang-up about this. When I was young, the kids used to wank, and mutually wank, and with girls they would "pet" and "heavily pet". Sex was fun. Which would have outraged the stern faced lady. How dare sex be fun! I might say that it is likely that very little paedophile sex is about insertion, or maybe orally. The gay community is hung-up about "real" sex, and this is the real problem about AIDS. But safe sex is never about mutually wanking. It is always about using a condom. This hang-up is really at the basis of the problems that the gay community has about paedophilia. The sex that the stern faced lady was talking about was sex in marriage. Nobody is suggesting that twelve-year-olds should be allowed to marry. In my church circles, boys and girls of sixteen are expected to be "steady". I don’t believe this is right. But it is the church community that is the problem. But nobody ever sits down to talk these things out, and this is where the program was such a trailblazer. There was talk from the stern-faced lady about children being deprived of their childhood. But this was the old innocence of childhood myth coming out, which the other speakers (speaking from experience) scotched.
The argument was that children should not be exposed to sexuality until they were emotionally mature enough to stand the pressure. But what is emotional maturity. I suggest that it is something like the length of a piece of string, or the substance of a puff of smoke. Whatever it is it something which could only develop with exercise and practice. You can’t put a child in a space suit, and taking it off on his eighteenth birthday, expect a fully developed and mature adult. In fact the best possible argument for an active sex life during childhood and adolescence is the expectation that, when he reaches eighteen, he will know himself sufficiently, and is emotionally mature enough, to think of a long-term relationship. The old prescription of no sex until the marriage bed, is, in this day and age, a recipe for disaster. And what is wrong with a few emotional falls during childhood and adolescence? You don’t stop a child from playing football because he might take a tumble. Or you shouldn’t. When you learn any skill, you have to be prepared to take a tumble. I took many a fall when I was learning to use this damned computer. On the other hand, I was always a timid motorcyclist, and I never really learned how to ride.
It was a good discussion, and I reckon it will not be long before this nightmare will, quite suddenly, come to an end.
I wrote Razorwire during my last year in Cooma Prison, working on it in my cell at night. It should be read in conjunction with a subsequent work, Punished for Love. - I have included a copy of the Statements of Evidence used by the prosecution against me. I have included them because I feel the reader should be fully in the picture. However, I suspect that the only item that was actually on my prison file was the charge sheet. It could even be that this was the sole information available to the parole board. The reader is reminded that the prosecution's case is the worst possible case, and the statements contain obvious police "spin" and "improvements", without being so false as to have made it worthwhile for me to have pleaded not guilty. Substantially, apart from those purportedly giving foundation for the indecent assault charges, the facts are correct. I suspect the reason why these papers got "lost" is that they do not reasonably give fount-ion for the three and a quarter year sentence. On the face of it, I would reckon that a suspended sentence, or even a bond, would have been reasonable penalty. But it was a great experience, and I learnt enormously from it; but not the things I was supposed to learn.
But oppression tends to have the opposite effect to what it is supposed to have. The enormous publicity given to paedophilia by the present Royal Commission will tend to normalize it, rather than to crush it. The publicity given to "drugs" must have been a great boost to the drug culture. Similarly, being in gaol tends to normalize crime for the inmate. Nineteenth century recognized this when they imposed their "silent treatment" regimes, which were designed to prevent social intercourse amongst inmates.
The real issue is the existence of youth and child sexuality, the so-called final taboo. As soon as these things are talked about they lose their taboo status. We have been through this in recent history with "straight" homosexuality. Taboos, as being religiously based irrational prohibitions, are bad, and their breakdown is signaled with the emergence of "cultures", with the gay culture being a prominent example. I suspect that what is happening is the emergence of a youth sex culture with a paedophile element. And it is this which is causing alarm bells to ring and the frantic attempts to contain it by attacking what is perceived to be its weakest spot, the paedophile element. The authorities cannot deny youth sex, and their attempts to do so will be even more futile than their attempts to contain the drug and homosexuality cultures.
Contrary to the above, all the signs are - at this date - that the kids have declared, not only paedophilia, but all homosexuality off limits; and have fallen for the official line like a succulent lollypop like a lead balloon. But it could also be that the kids now regard all adults as enemies, including myself; and that this is the impression I am meant to get.
Outline for Razorwire - a Critique of New South Wales Criminal Law and Corrections
Remissions were abolished in New South Wales on the 25th September 1989. They will be abolished in Victoria on the 22nd April 1992, 0n this date, also, the maximum penalty for rape in Victoria will be increased to 25 years. It seems that there is a policy to increase the length of custodial sentences in response to the belief that present sentences are not deterring crime. The reasoning is that if the same does not cure, then more should be prescribed; rather like reasoning that if -you find that a spoonful of cough mixture is ineffective, the whole bottle should be drunk. In view of the great cost and indifferent results of custodial punishment, there needs to be an in depth study and examination of fundamental questions in crime and punishment; with a view to exploring possible different and alternative approaches.
The central concept, upon which the Critique will focus, is that of the marginal person. A marginal person is one who either breaks the law, or is in danger of breaking the law. He perceives that the rules of the jurisdiction exclude him from being a fully participating member of the community; to the detriment and restriction of his quality and fulfillment of life.
We first look at the person; and take a view of what it means to have a quality and fulfilled life. I take a view on the metaphysics of the human condition and the essential nature of good and evil. I argue that the essence of consciousness is the seeking of a creative, loving and positively fulfilled life. But if our search and fulfillment are balked or actually punished, or if we simply fail to make a decision to seek, we will cease to grow and instead will regress into a state of hatred, destruction and chaos. That, if the human condition is prevented from seeking pleasure, it will unconsciously seek pain; and most importantly, this applies to our growth from the chaotic baby to the less chaotic adolescent to the more or less organized adult.
The focus of the Critique is upon the New South Wales sexual law, which, it is suggested, is now harsher and more oppressive than it has been in legal history. It is suggested that, in its denial of the sexual nature of the human condition during its period of growth, it is actually denying the organism the experience necessary for its emotional and sexual maturation. And in so doing, is fostering its regression to violence and destruction. I look at the law. I take the Austinian positivist view about its nature as my focus. The nature of the law is the command of the sovereign, enforced by sanctions. We note that, in reality, the law is the creature of politics.
I offer an analysis of politics in terms of a struggle between right wing and left-wing attitudes. I give an analysis of the essentials of these attitudes. I examine the role of psychology in the development, interpretation, and enforcement of current New South Wales criminal law. Present day psychology is not so much concerned with the 'ises' of human behavior as its 'oughts', and it seems to have its oughts fouled up. A great deal of the interpretation of our sexual law is left-wing psychology driven; particularly as it is concerned with abuse of power. But, also, a great deal is right wing, Rev Fred Nile, driven particularly the new S78 age of consent male to male provisions.
I note that the criminal law has more than one characteristic. It is concerned with keeping the Queen's Peace; basically about preventing one citizen violently interfering with another citizen's rights and person. This is the hard core of the criminal law, about which there is a general consensus as to content. Everybody agrees that theft and murder are crimes.
It is concerned with enforcing conformity to the sovereign's beliefs, and behavioral modes and 'standards'. There are fewer consensuses in this area. Over the centuries, we have won freedom of conscience as a basic freedom. But in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, heresy and dissention carried the death penalty. Today, the focus has shifted to behavior. Ten years ago the target was drug taking. Now, the focus has shifted to sexual behavior. Even though homosexuality has won a limited freedom through the 'discovery' in the common law that the sovereign should not discriminate amongst his subjects as regards their sexual preferences. Because of the lack of unanimity of social belief in these matters, it is felt that deterrence demands especially harsh penalties.
Finally, the law is concerned with the maintenance of the authority of the sovereign. In totalitarian regimes, political crime is the category that attracts the heaviest penalties. There is an element of this in the enforcement of behavioral regulation, especially in the penalties awarded to the secondary violent crime generated by this category. We should note that especially the hippies did some drug taking as a deliberate act of defiance to authority and expression of freedom, in the sixties - when the penalties really got tough.
It should be noted that, although we do have a hard won freedom of political association, much of the feeling against homosexuals in the fifties and sixties came from the perception that their presence challenged the authority of the sovereign and weakened the nation at the hand of its enemies.
I pass now to the legal process itself. The marginal person, when he breaks the law, hopes not to get caught. But, when he is, is he treated justly?
In the sexual area of his law, the modern sovereign seems uncertain of himself. There is a big element of construction in the sexual law; with transgressions of the rules being constructed into serious acts of violence; and punished accordingly. In many cases, probably most, this involves an act, springing from and expression mutual love and affection, being deemed to be an act of serious assault. At this time of writing, it is government policy to instruct the judiciary never to hand down a custodial sentence of less than two years for any sexual offence whatsoever; and this to first offenders. I submit that in declaring illegal, misrepresenting the nature of, and punishing love and affection, the sovereign's behavior is fundamentally immoral. Peace is a hollow mockery in the realm of an immoral sovereign.
The marginal person who accepts his restricted and unfulfilled life, accepts living in a half world on the fringes of society; and, in general, has to accept the fate of being a despised and rejected human being.
Throughout the discussion of the marginal person and his legal and social environment, I have referred to my own experience as a marginal person, and raised and discussed the issues that have arisen during my life. In particular, I have discussed my identity as a homosexual, and how I viewed my nature; and in general, the problems that homosexuals have faced during most of my life; and the problems that they still face. But I also suffered severe identity problems in my vocational life; which climaxed with my not being able to take my legal career beyond signing the Roll as solicitor on 19 December 1986. I see difficulties of identity as being fundamentally characteristic of the marginal person; and discuss the concept as being the personal perspective on our instinct and propensity to acquire and hold property and territory.
The marginal person who breaks the law, and is charged, convicted and sentenced, is sent into full exile, behind the high walls of a prison.
I take the reader on a conducted tour of the New South Wales prison system, from its beginning in England and America during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to how it is today. In particular, I am concerned to trace the development of penological doctrine and issues. Basically, the contemporary conception of a prison is an instrument of state violence for the purpose of punishment. Justice Nagle gave the essence of the punishment, as the deprivation of freedom.
The core intention of the punishment and pain is seen as retribution. The apt statement of this view is 'do the crime and do the time'. If more time is done than what it strictly deserves, there is said to be a deterrence factor. The justice of this deterrence factor is arguable. Especially is this doubt relevant to the heavily loaded drug and sex sentences. The present government policy towards corrections is driven by what it perceives as the public demand for retribution. The media personality Derran Hinch screams for retribution. In America, the feeling is fed by the modern TV version of public executions.
A second view of the function of the pain is seen as expiation. Whereby the prisoner has his sins washed away by a bath of agony. Penal psychologists seemingly have some such notion when they see punishment as burning away the bad personality traits.
But probably Justice Nagle was seeing punishment very much as Jeremy Bentham, the English eighteenth century lawyer/philosopher, saw it when he proposed his penitentiary. He taught the Utilitarian doctrine that the human condition always pursues pleasure and avoids pain. So behavior can be altered by the imposition of sufficient punishment to make the pain outweigh the gain. He was teaching that the Sovereign should rule by fear, and that the penitentiary should be the instrument of that fear.
We have already noted that imprisonment is a form of exile. In classic penological terms, this is performing its incapacitation function. Hanging is the form of incapacitation. There is something of the 'lock 'em up and. Throw away the key' mentality in the movement towards longer sentences.
Prison reformers normally think in terms of reformation and rehabilitation. But these thinkers also normally point out the incompatibility of these aims with that of punishment. As one English writer put it in 1962, " how can you talk of reformation and rehabilitation when, in the very same buildings, there is hanging and flogging?" Whilst the criminal legal system and thought is fundamentally anchored to the rock of punishment, the loser must be rehabilitation. The Quaker ideal of reformation by means of 'non-association' foundered upon this very rock. It was noted at the Nagle Royal Commission that chaplains in the prisons did not have the confidence of the prisoners (with reason) because they were seen as being part and parcel of the penal system; especially when they sat of classification and parole boards. It was recommended that they no longer perform these functions. Today, the function of the chaplains has been largely taken over by the psychologists. They are so much a part of the punishment process that they, in effect, retry the prisoners applying for parole; and having the option only of increasing the sentences they are seen as very harsh and moralistic taskmasters indeed. Where sexual crime is concerned, they give the strong impression of not regarding sexuality, as a desirable component of the human condition - as indeed was the impression given by the old chaplains. This is hardly any kind of positive or therapeutic attitude. But I have no doubt that, in themselves, they are not evil people; and that they entered the system with the best of intentions. I do not doubt that there are individuals who maintain«'these attitudes. I accept that the prisoners' view is also biased and distorted by the system, but this just goes to prove the point.
Jeremy Bentham was wrong in thinking that his utility principle of human behavior told the whole story. The human condition, in a state of full freedom, will pursue a happy, pleasurable fulfilled and creative life. But if stopped, it will become a prey to unconscious impulses for violence and destruction; for which it will find rationalizations and excuses; and will conduct its search with an intensity worthy of a better cause. Essentially, a modern prison throws up a wall against all growth of the human spirit and sends it into the despair of regression and infancy; and into that curious state of unconscious satisfaction in punishment that could go a long way to explaining the recidivism rate. Prisons are heavily controlled and managed places, and there is little overt violence. But under the scab is a festering sore; and few prisoners emerge better than they went in. I discuss the history and directions of remissions and parole; and that length of the chancellor's foot in the shape of the appropriate sentence. I draw heavily upon my personal experience in my description of the prison system.
A prison is seen as a cage holding wild animals. The animals are watched and controlled and held securely in their cages, and in such a state of subjection that there is peace, and no danger to either the animals or their keepers. There seems to be an implied condition in the prisoners custodial warrant that he be released- in the same condition as when he was incarcerated - or perhaps I should say in no worse condition. This accomplished the Corrections arm of the Crown is seen as having discharged its responsibilities in the criminal justice system.
Criminologists no longer like to speak of 'reformation' the word has too many religious connotations, and promotion of 'right' religion is no longer a function of the criminal justice system. The word now used is 'rehabilitation'. Consideration of the rehabilitation aim involves an invocation of ego psychology. Forensic psychologists like to speak of 'self-esteem'. Translating into the more precise terms of ego psychology, a high self esteem person has a strong ego - the ego is the executive function of the personality - and is thus in control of him. A person of low self-esteem has a weak ego, and is not able to control his impulses. What are being referred to is the violent impulses of which I wrote earlier. Not all violence is irrational. When the inmate has a good ego but whose identity involves him in seeking gain through violence, a prison as a place of growth will enable him to develop his identity to the point when he is able to take his place as a productive member of lawful society. To this end, he must come to see society as a friend and not an enemy. We are looking at turning car thieves into locksmiths. A weak ego takes us to irrational violence, epitomized in rape.
When the human spirit is turned from growth, it will regress and serve the ends of violence and destruction. This is particularly so in the sexual drive, which, prevented by punishment and threats from serving the ends of love and affection, will regress and serve the ends of violence and fear. Society, in punishing simple homosexuality, paedophilia, incest and carnal knowledge, is in danger of creating precisely the monsters which it so much fears. Most people, in our society, have had experience, during their period of growth of having their sexuality dwarfed and punished. Thus, most people have had at least part of their sexuality - usually the homosexual part - sent into the underworld of the personality. In denying part of itself, the ego is weakened, and made subject to attack by that very same part which it denies, and experiences as evil.
Prisons should not be places where relationships and sexuality are denied and prohibited. But, instead, places - no longer called prisons - where they are nurtured; albeit, initially under official encouragement and supervision. But how do we deal with objecting moralists? Moralists are usually people who fear and reject their sexuality as something violent, destructive and evil; and so foster the very things from which they seek protection.
For this vision of a place of rehabilitation to come into reality, there has to be some fundamental changes in the law - even to the level of its very character. There needs to be found a common law principle that the criminal law is about violent interference to the freedoms of belief, property and person; and that actual violence or threat of evidence has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. There needs to be a reform and change of criminal law procedure so that, particularly in its closing sentencing stages, its character becomes not so much adversarial as inquisitorial. This is to enable the judicial recommendations to be based more securely on fact.
Finally, and most importantly, the spirit of the criminal law should turn to love and forgiveness - in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ. None of my suggested reforms can possibly work if they are attempted in an atmosphere polluted by the stench of punishment and pain. I know it will be hard for people to give up the satisfactions of retribution and revenge, but basic morality was not meant to be easy. If the law is not moral, it will be neither respected nor obeyed; and bereft of the essential consensus and recognition, through which it derives its existence and life, it will collapse and die. Perhaps this is what is happening now.
0n the whole, Cooma Prison has been good to me. I will come out the stronger because my experience will enable me to take. Up my career as a lawyer; albeit as a jurist and penologist, rather than as a solicitor. Which prospect hadn't really interested me anyway. My work in the Woodcraft Workshop has helped me significantly. I regard this enterprise as the shining jewel in the New South Vales Correctional system and the nucleus of its hope for the future. It has provided the stimulus and inspiration for much of this book.
On the personal relationship side, things are not so bright; because, essentially, I have to accept defeat. I do not accept that the sexual law is right but I do have to realistically appraise that the cost of breaking it is too high; not only for myself but even more for anybody else who may be involved. Breaking the sexual law these days is rather like inviting one's friends into a petrol dump and offering around the cigarettes. Such an act would be one of criminal negligence, especially when taken in full knowledge of the probable consequences; and even more so when one is playing some kind of leadership role. The Bentham person weighed the gains against the pains, and acted in fear of the pains. In my own mind I always put love and affection above all else. But, in my behaviors, I have always sought - through argument and writing - to render the world safe before venturing forth with my affections and emotions went through my school life in fear and dread of the cane; and in my crime, I behaved with most uncharacteristic boldness. Initially, the experience of defeat is also the experience of the triumph of the forces of violence and destruction, and the weakening of the ego. Time is a healer and psychic forces are now gathering themselves together and re-appraising the situation. And the weakened and regressed spirit is seeking new directions and areas of growth. My ego will never have its former strength, and my spirit will never be as bold. But, on the other hand, I will be less vulnerable and more affective, and a sort of inner moral correction will be made.
I am the marginal person who prefers to opt out of the heat of confrontation and law breaking, and settle for a second, grade life. But is survival at such a cost worthwhile? Is it not at the behest of an unworthy cause. An ego might be strong in whatever niche it carves itself, but if the battle is not worthwhile, what's the point? An ego must not only be strong; it must also be worthwhile. This is the real meaning of the call for high self-esteem. A legal system with low self-esteem will not survive. I dedicate this book to the health of the legal system.
The Marginal Person and Criminal Breakdown
A marginal person is one who either breaks the law, or is in danger of breaking it. He perceives that is excluded by social and legal rules from being fully participating member of the community; to the detriment and restriction it quality and fulfillment of life.
A person is said to have a criminal breakdown when he uses violence, terror, breach of trust or deceit, as instruments of power in order to further his needs, ends, satisfactions, greeds, or pleasures. And/or a criminal breakdown is the simple overwhelming of the person by displays and expressions of violence, to the detriment of both the person himself and the people and environment around him.
Basically what made Geoffrey a marginal person was his homosexual sexual preference. Up to 1984, i.e. most of Geoffrey's life, the law imposed a maximum penalty of 14 years for sodomy, and lesser penalties for the associated common law offences of indecent assault and acts of indecency.
Geoffrey's first love affair was with a boy at school. Even though it was unrequited and from afar, he felt it as a beautiful experience, and a glimpse of a wonderful inner meaning to life. But its legal meaning was an attempt to seduce a younger male person into performing an illegal and unnatural act. Had even Geoffrey put his arm around the boy's shoulder, especially had the boy objected, he would have committed an act of indecent assault.
Geoffrey's actions never followed his guilty mind; but all the time, in his last couple of years at school, this shy, well-behaved, rather diffident and passive youth, stood uncomfortably close to being a serious criminal.
The boy was more aware of the true position than Geoffrey; and, a couple of years later, told him in a letter that he had been aware of Geoffrey's feelings but had felt them to be unnatural. The boy had assumed that the law of the State is equivalent to the law of God - equivalence considered erroneous by most jurists - and an act contrary to the law of God is unnatural. True, nobody seems to have described a burglary as an unnatural act. But, in people's minds, sexual law has a special status.
At this point, we need to ask a number of questions. Why was Geoffrey so unaware of the normal psychology of his times, that he spent a large part of his subsequent life trying to understand why most of his contemporaries so vehemently rejected something which he experienced as so good and beautiful? Why was he so unaware of the mounting harshness of the law to homosexuality which so characterized the fifties and sixties - and which led to the reopening of Cooma Prison in 1957 - as to feel personally unafraid?
Most of Geoffrey's contemporary gays assumed, and strongly accepted that the secular law was the natural law of God; and they simply felt themselves as possessed of that sinful nature so warned against in the Bible. Most of them rejected their unnatural impulses and married women; to spend the rest of their lives in loveless, joyless marriages begetting loveless, joyless children; and having their only pleasure in passing on their misery to others in the enforcement of the social and legal law.
It seems sad but it is a matter of choices available. Geoffrey now sees that his best option is to try and do what his gay brethren did so long ago. The choice is between a marriage which confers a degree of resemblance to normal life, and a degree of sexual satisfaction perhaps. And living a lonely existence as a social outcast. His gay brethren could have added, 'living the precarious existence of undetected criminals'. The difference is that, in those days, the law tended to see itself as confined to public order; and if gays did not liaison in public parks or toilets, they were reasonably safe. This limitation, and protection, no longer exists. In those days the police did not go out of their way to enter private lives and homes. Today, vigorously pursued government policy is that they do.
Geoffrey's attitude to authority was honed in his life as an extremely poverty stricken Depression child in the England of the 1930s, on occasions, his parents could not keep him at home, and he spent several periods in children's' institutions. In these places he absorbed the lesson that he was redundant to requirements but the State, out of its unbounded mercy, met his minimal sustenance needs. Survival meant keeping out of sight as much as possible; and authority, in the persons of the terrible women who ran these places, was to be disturbed as little as possible. His mother took him away from one of these places because, on a visit to him, she found him to be covered in sores. Geoffrey found that his parents, especially his mother, were relatively powerless in the world in which he found himself. His father had tuberculosis, and spent most of his time in sanatoriums (TB hospitals). He died in 1940 after a stint back at sea as second mate on a tanker. His parents' marriage was not a happy one, and probably would have broken up if death had not intervened.
The ideal child is brought up to identify itself with authority as loving, nurturing and caring; and obeys its rules, and fulfills its duties, out of love. Geoffrey sets the picture in the Document. Geoffrey coped by opting out, and his obedience of its rules was really a part of this opting out, because it avoided confrontation.
Opting out solved Geoffrey's immediate survival problems as a child. Even at Barker, where he did his secondary schooling, he, a homosexual, survived the harsh discipline under its then headmaster, Bill Lesley. He was well behaved; that was the main thing; and that his performance only met minimum standards, did not seem to much matter. Geoffrey's general schoolwork achievement got him through; but his participation would have been ranked not much above zero. Geoffrey was too scared to participate. Perhaps, too, he was hostile. With the hostility being implied in his feeling of being set apart. That self-acceptance of homosexuality generally implied hostility to the rest of the world was the reason why gays became caught up in the anti-Red hysteria of the late fifties/early sixties as subversives and dangers to society.
However, although he matriculated, Geoffrey finished his schooling with poor basic skills, particularly arithmetical. Children develop basic literacy skills, not so much in the classroom as in games; and he never played any games.
In his subsequent early career in the work force, as a clerk, Geoffrey's performance fell below survival level. Survival is the key concept. Society has its rules and requirements. Some are enshrined in explicit law. Some are merely implied. That a person does not meet these laws and requirements, either by commission or omission means that he has failed to survive. Prison deals with sinners by commission. Mental hospitals are the appropriate places for sinners by omission. Prisons punish. Mental hospitals treat. After a couple of disastrous years in the workforce, Geoffrey was put into Broughton Hall Psychiatric Clinic for treatment; which he got in the form of Electro-Shock-Therapy (ECT), and the extremely dangerous Insulin Shock Therapy. He left the Clinic feeling confirmed in his beliefs about authority and society. The positive thing to come out of it was his realization that survival had to depend upon himself and himself alone. Also, Geoffrey smelt danger. In those days, the socially isolated had pinned on their backs the word 'schizophrenic'. His card would have recorded his homosexuality as part of that disease. Future survival meant getting as far as possible from this scene of the doomed.
Afterwards, Geoffrey survived by getting his living in those low-level jobs that actually imposed lack of participation, and which required only obedience. He was employed in the Electricity Commission as laborer/cleaner, then as a boiler attendant, then in the British Merchant Navy as an engine-room rating.
All this seems very negative. But Geoffrey was not all negative. His intense falling in love experience came of his desire to be needed and of value to someone - and to express his inner soul. To have someone actually want him would, for him, to have been a wonderful experience. And the essential sexual chemistry was there of course. Modern psychology would focus on the fact that the boy was younger, if only by a couple of years, and therefore weaker, as the reason for the sexual attraction. In other words, they will say that it was Geoffrey's first urge to attempt child abuse. More likely, it involved him not being a member of that older world of hostile authority and forbidden sexual relationships (to which his mother belonged). His youth brought him into Geoffrey's own world; or at least Geoffrey thought. In fact, the last thing the boy wanted was to enter Geoffrey's world.
Had Geoffrey had his love accepted, he would have felt that what he had to give was of value, and that he was a valuable person. It was his isolation which made his need so passionate, and its denial so searing; a pattern which was to repeat itself in the events which led to his imprisonment.
Modern psychologists believe that a person should not enter sexual relationships before he is mature. He should not enter them before his s values are sufficiently solid not to depend upon the relationship for their validation. A person, on reaching his maturity at the end of adolescence, should have had his self-validation honed and solidified with reference to his relationship to the State. His values and attitudes should be those he has received through his training by the State, and its agents, his parents and persons standing in the relation parentus locus. A sexual relationship is a concession and privilege in the gift of the State, given according to its terms and conditions. The boy understood these things and rejected his probable feelings of sexual affinity as being contrary to his higher priorities and values. Actually seeing him as a lonely looking new boy, and feeling that here was a person like himself probably triggered Geoffrey's feelings. That the boy became Geoffrey's senior in all departments of school life was also a factor in his rejection of Geoffrey; he had made the grade in the eyes of the State (in the person of the school), Geoffrey had not. But in Geoffrey's eyes this made him even more desirable; because he then became the link to the external social world that he needed and craved. Fundamental to the survival of the injured human condition is its characteristic of self-healing. The first love of the emotionally injured Geoffrey was the attempt by Nature (read God if you like) to heal that injury. It failed.
Geoffrey's mother was, herself, an extremely socially isolated person, and lived for her work in the Commonwealth Public Service. Geoffrey's adolescence was, likewise, spent in social isolation, and his life contained no personal role models.
But these were the early days of parliamentary broadcasts, and Geoffrey strongly identified with the Labor Party as representing the underdogs. He became interested in economics, and carried this interest forward to his first year part-time studies at Sydney University. He was interested in religion. But the fact that his first views in this area were atheistic deprived him of an available social avenue when he needed it most.
Geoffrey became interested in psychoanalysis and philosophy, and credits in psychology and philosophy kept him in the academic pipeline until 198O, when he resumed his undergraduate studies. In his role of a mixture of dropout and reformer, he predated the nineteen sixties. He was always thinking and writing. But in the fifties, his stuff was too 'way-out' to have a place to go. From time to time, he used to try and contact academic authority; but, with it not wishing to have anything to do with him - to communicate with academia, a person needs to have something called 'standing', and this Geoffrey did not have - he had no other avenues. He used to hang around with the Libertarian crowd that gathered around the reputation of Prof. John Anderson. But the social isolation, which had dogged him from his earliest days, prevented him from effectively developing.
Geoffrey was a gay activist at a time when being such a thing was more likely to attract a tag of mental illness than friends. And this was so even in the Libertarian crowd. Also, Geoffrey was beginning to outgrow his early Marxism and atheism.
Geoffrey went to England, and went to sea; where he wrote, and wrote, and wrote. His experiences at sea caused him to come to the conclusion that being gay was more than just a matter of choice, and that the true gay, who felt no attraction to the opposite sex, and who most often identified as 'feminine', belonged to a kind of third gender. Centrally, he observed that, normally, gays of this type found themselves no more attractive to each other than they found women; and that they went for precisely those men who, genuinely, found women attractive.
It was a complicated position, and found no favor with the fledgling gay movement that he became involved in after he arrived back in Australia in 1973. The Movement was political in nature and directed towards changing the law. It wanted simplicity and it wanted to disassociate itself from the old tags; and to its ears, Geoffrey's words came across as saying that gays are genetically deformed sickos. In those days, as even today, gays were extremely vulnerable to prejudicial stereotyping, and Geoffrey's views were read as limiting them. At all costs, a gay had to be seen a mentally and morally competent person responsible for his sexual preferences; in just the same way as he is responsible for his religious beliefs. Moreover, it was politically expedient that the Movement dealt with a 'straight' outside world whose straightness (heterosexuality) was as valid as its homosexuality.
Geoffrey felt that if homosexuality were understood it would be acceptable. But he did not understand that the law was central to the problem; and in this respect the gay movement was right and he was wrong. But the Movement had nothing to say about the gay condition, and, having achieved its narrow law change, its potential was exhausted; and it could do nothing to hold back that inevitable (and predicted) backlash that eventually landed Geoffrey in prison. It is an interesting speculation that if it had not been for AIDS, and the safe sex campaigns it sparked off (having the side-effect of giving gays official recognition), the common law would have simply have swept over and engulfed the reforms.
At this point, it should be noted that the big factor in getting Geoffrey into gaol was his beliefs. Geoffrey had reached a point when he had to put his beliefs into practice. To 'put up or shut up', as the saying goes; and when the opportunity presented itself, he took advantage of it. The true position is that when a person's private belief system conflicts with the interests and law of the State, the State prevails. There may be no specific legal authority for this, but it is implicit in the rule of law itself. The point is that Geoffrey went to gaol as a result of an action for which he accepts full responsibility.
In 1980, Geoffrey went back to Sydney University to complete his Arts degree. Which he did in 1982. After an unsuccessful training period as a teacher, he continued the legal component of his degree through the Solicitors Admission Board, and was admitted to practice as a Solicitor on 19th December 1986. All of this took tremendous resolve and effort on the part of a man well over fifty, and his, basic motive was to fix up that long suffered infirmity of 'standing'. He felt that, in order to communicate effectively to professionals, he needed to be a professional himself.
From this time on, Geoffrey suffered setbacks. His age made him unemployable as a brand new solicitor and his mother died in July 1988. His mother was 87, and had suffered a stroke in 1982; so her death had to be accepted as one of the inevitable events of life. But, in those last years, his life had revolved around looking after her, and her death left a yawning gap.
Geoffrey was finally 55 - nearly 56 - when he was admitted. Even in 1986, there was an over-supply of graduating solicitors, and competition for employment places was tough. For Geoffrey, entry into the profession really depended upon an invitation that never came. Geoffrey left school with nowhere to go. He went to England with nowhere to go. He came back from England with nowhere to go; and now he reached the end of his academic training facing the same problem. Always, he eventually found a place, but always by going back. In this case, in March 1989, he got a job as a filing clerk with FAI Insurance.
Recognition by authority is an important part of our property. It slots into our psyche as that personal property called identity. Identity is that something which Geoffrey spent most of his life looking for. He kept his soul; that quality which tells the difference between right and wrong at their inner, most basic level. We have found in this study that he kept his soul because he never found identity. His first love sacrificed his soul, with reference to Geoffrey, for the sake of identity. Had Geoffrey been received substantially into the legal profession as a practicing member, he would have ended his days as a moderately successful solicitor; forgetting his soul, and never thinking of putting into jeopardy his hard-earned and prized reputation. But authority effectively treated Geoffrey as it had always treated him, by ignoring him. Geoffrey had gained little, and had lost a great deal, and had little further to lose. Geoffrey was a very angry man, but he had kept his soul. Which he expressed in his thoughts and writing. That he failed to communicate to the outside world, and in other respects actually live his soul, was a drag on his self-esteem.
So, we approach the end of our story. Geoffrey had lost his mother, his last remaining close link with the world. He lost his dreams of identity. He had his soul; but souls are cold bedmates on the cold winter nights of life. The situation of his late boyhood was repeating itself. He passionately wanted love and acceptance, both for himself and his soul. He saw his emotional affection and his sexuality as being what he most had to offer; and he saw love and acceptance substantially in the form of emotional warmth and sexuality from another. He, once again, looked to finding his being in a warm, loving and good world. For most of his life, he had dealt with his sexuality by masturbation; basically, by opting out. Once again, his sexuality became linked up with his total being.
Geoffrey found his loved one; and, more or less, what happened at the beginning happened at the end. A Court Order prohibits publication of any matter that might cause the identity of the participants of this little drama to be revealed (except the 'perpetrator'). So, this is where we will have to leave it.
Throughout his life, Authority had dealt with Geoffrey by ignoring him, in the hope that attrition and death would be the long run solution to the problem of him and his soul. But now that Geoffrey had acted, his soul threatened to live on, and the matter had to be dealt with. Effectively, on the lst March 1990, when he was charged, Geoffrey came face to face with authority for the first time in his life. The paradoxical result of his imprisonment was his gain of identity. For the first time in his life, Geoffrey became a person of importance in the eyes of the State. This is not the first time that comment has been made on crime paying in a way quite contrary to that that is intended. The bad boy of the class gets his not inconsiderable reward from being the constant subject of his teacher's attention. When Geoffrey left home, he was a nobody. He returns home as the subject and object of everybody's attention.
But, in Geoffrey's case, this will make him, rather than more, prone to crime. An important factor in his crime was his loss of identity through the having to give up his professional aspirations. A person's maturity is his identity. As Geoffrey pointed out in his Document, the State prohibits boys having sex because of the immaturity of their identity. It was the identification of Geoffrey with the boys who caused them to be so attractive to him, and it was the mutual identification that enabled that degree of physical and emotional closeness that provided the occasion for the crime. Gaol's maturation of Geoffrey's identity will render it far less likely that this situation can reoccur.
A person craves social recognition and being a part of the scheme of things. In a word, he craves to be important. Normally, this means social approval, but it can also come from being a part of the social opposition; or the black sheep of the family; as has been discussed above. But the price is continual punishment, for which, in the end, the person seems actually to seek.
However, generally lack of social approval means merely Geoffrey's fate of never being allowed inside the doors of society; but being forced to live a lonely, basically functionless, life in the wilderness outside. Identity is the property of social membership. The soul is the seat of our innermost values. But the soul cannot live and function except through identity. We become important and vital members of society through the vital functioning of our souls. The functioning of Geoffrey's soul conflicted with the law. Geoffrey chose the option of not being a law-breaker by dropping out, and ceasing to be a functioning human being. In the end, he broke the law, and suffered the penalty of coming to prison. For most of his life, Geoffrey was a pitiable object of contempt. In the end, he became a criminal. These things are the mark of a marginal person.
A person can hold an identity, but only at the expense of acting contrary to his soul. A homosexual policeman arresting and charging a man for a homosexual offence would be an extreme example of this. Many a gay has obtained a measure of respectability and social acceptance through the persecution of other gays.
A person, who has a soul but does not act according to it, is really betraying it, even by doing nothing; 'he who is not with me is against me. The degree of supporting or betraying the soul, is the measure of personal self-esteem. The sexual instinct is at the service of the good, the loving, the positive, and creative. When a person betrays himself, the drive will turn against him to destroy him. So, when a person's self-esteem is low, he tends to become possessed of urges of a destructive and ungovernable nature.
There was an interval of some months between the discovery of Geoffrey's relationship with the boys and his charging. Geoffrey did not know of the discovery, but the relationship had come to an end. Geoffrey's self-esteem plummeted, and various manifestations of irrational violence, directed to himself but felt by others as directed to them, resulted in him being considered a nuisance. This was Geoffrey's breakdown under the second leg of criminal breakdown.
Geoffrey had fallen victim of another powerful influence in the human psyche, the need to have the approval of persons he perceives to be in authority. When the State wanted to punish Geoffrey. When the boys' father wanted to kill Geoffrey, Geoffrey felt an almost irresistible urge to oblige. In gaol, Geoffrey quickly learned to distance himself from psychologists and religious groups. These tended to arouse this destructive guilt which he always felt when put on a direct collision course with authority, It helps to think of the human brain (and other social animals) as being programmed to perceive authority as being good.
Ideally, and in the case of persons, who live within the margin, there is harmony between authority and soul, and the soul expresses itself within, and is fully a part, of its social environment. Geoffrey's future, after release, probably lies in a course that he had already started on before his charging; even before his offences. His loneliness had led him to join very nearly the only Hornsby social center open to him, the Anglican Church. He had been brought up and educated as an Anglican. He had been for some years a member of the Sydney Unitarian Church, and even its Secretary for a number of years. It reflected, and still reflects his religious attitudes, but it was too small to satisfy his social needs.
To some extent, Geoffrey felt his involvement with the Hornsby church to be a betrayal. He became accepted into a small Hornsby social set connected with the church, but at the expense of his soul. The Hornsby Anglican Church is strongly anti-gay. It was a compromise that came at great cost to his self-esteem, but in preference to the far greater cost of non-involvement at all. So persuasive is the power of authority that, for a long time, for the first time in his life, he worried about his gayness as against the authority of the Bible. What differed about this period of Geoffrey's life, as against all other periods, was the loss of his mother. Always before, he had his mother and her love to cushion and limit the fall of his self-esteem. Inherent in this whole situation is destruction, regardless of its precise causes and nature, regardless of where it lands. And with destruction comes pain, and with pain comes the urge to use pain deadeners, like drugs and alcohol. Geoffrey never got as far as this. Geoffrey came to prison.
Compromise was the life strategy that Geoffrey was starting to use before he came to prison. It is the strategy that he plans to use when he is released; because it is the only way open to him if he is to survive and live any kind of reasonable life. He plans to go further than before his imprisonment, because he plans to marry a woman. All that we know about the gay condition, as it applies to people like Geoffrey, is that such a marriage is doomed to be bedded in very thin soil. But it could just happen that this conclusion is wrong; and because Geoffrey is gay merely because he has never been awakened to the charms of a woman, he will find marriage the great liberating experience of his life. This is possible; just possible. In any case, Geoffrey's life is now a salvage job, and it is a matter of doing one's best in a bad situation. ,
The psychologists who examined Geoffrey after his charging, for the purposes of supplying the Court with facts about him and his life prior to his charging, came to the conclusion that he was a person of immature and inadequate personality. In this context, it is presumed that what was being pointed out was his judged need for counseling and supervision in the decision making activity of ordinary life; because, like a child, he lacks capacity for responsible conduct due to inadequate emotional growth and development.
There is some ground for this judgment. Geoffrey’s life history reveals a lack of that experience of intimate, even close, personal relationships which is ordinarily considered necessary for a mature person making the responsible interpersonal decisions that are a part of living in the normal lawful community.
Geoffrey’s lack came of being a homosexual living in a homophobic society. Putting it bluntly, Geoffrey had a choice of either keeping to himself or being charged with a criminal act either committed or attempted. Geoffrey’s fault was that he insufficiently appreciated the effect of the illegality of conduct had upon the feelings and perceptions of the responsible law abiding citizens of the time. Had he sufficiently appreciated the situation, he would have made more strenuous efforts to restrain, retrain, and redirect his sexual preferences and behaviors.
Geoffrey is the product of the revulsion and horror of his contemporaries. But he is also the result of the social isolation of his upbringing, and the negative attitudes directed towards him in the children’s homes that formed such a large part of his early childhood. As we have seen in the last chapter, it was Geoffrey’s social isolation that insulated him from the blowtorch of his contemporary’s feelings.
It should be kept in mind that the psychologists’ reports submitted at the Geoffrey’s sentencing hearing were on his behalf (as opposed to being submitted on behalf of the Crown). In an adversarial legal process, evidence is either for or against the accused. Geoffrey’s expert witnesses saw themselves as appearing on his behalf by tendering evidence which tended to show he is an irresponsible person. In theory at least, this diminishes the guilty mind element of his crime; the legal principle is that the mind must be with the deed. Since O’Conner’s case, accused persons have sought to plead being alcohol or drug affected at the time of the crime. In the advent, Geoffrey got the tariff sentence; so it is unlikely that this part of his mitigation plea, or any part at all, effected the result. But a trouble with all pleas of this nature, is that, whilst their influence upon the trial judge may be minimal, they may well have an adverse effect upon the granting of parole. As a result of his mitigation plea, Geoffrey may well find himself saddled with a parole condition that he is under the care and supervision of a psychiatrist or psychologist; effectively keeping him in the position of a child, and his self-esteem low. Similarly, a greatly dreaded condition is to keep away from licensed premises; a condition more appreciated when it is considered how many social venues, where adults ordinarily congregate are not licensed. A lone single man, saddled with this condition, may actually be better off in gaol.
Geoffrey’s imprisonment brought him, for the first time in his life, into direct contact and confrontation with the State; and, effectively he was punished for his values and interpretation and view of the human condition; since his crime was a direct result of these matters. Geoffrey did not offend against his beliefs; he had acted in accordance with them. Throughout his imprisonment, this produced acute mental conflict and anxiety. But he understood that where private beliefs and the wishes and beliefs of the State conflict, the latter prevail. This appreciation came as a direct result of his punishment.
Geoffrey had to come to grips with the heavily inferred fact that the State no longer fully accepts sexual activity as a desirable part of the human condition and ordinary behavior of its citizens, if ever it did.
Geoffrey had to come to appreciate that he would not have got such a harsh sentence for merely breaking the regulations governing what is otherwise regarded by the State as a desirable and welcomed activity. On the contrary, sex is looked at in the same way as a private and lowly citizen owning a car in the old Soviet Union. That is, not as something which is outright forbidden, but subject to heavy regulation, and harsh punishments for the slightest infringement thereof. The State regarded the granting of the privilege of car ownership as pandering to an undesirable weakness in its citizens, and saw any abuse of this privilege as a serious crime meriting the most severe denunciation and penalty. Similarly the State of New South Wales regards the granting of the privilege of sexual activity as a concession given on terms and conditions; and so it echoes the views of the Apostle St Paul. The policy of the old Soviet Union was to discourage private car ownership. The policy of the State of New South Wales looks very much as if it is to discourage sexual activity and sexually based emotions.
Speaking of St Paul, it seems to have been a common belief in his time that fleshly desires are what separate Man and God, so that the overcoming of those desires reunites him with God. This reunification is seen as conferring great power; which was the gift sought by celibate holy men of the time, and even today. Christ spoke of remaining unmarried for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The holy people of today, in New South Wales, are the psychologists. These people, like the holy men of old, are seekers of personal power. It is suggested that some of them, at least, regard an early sex experience as contaminating them, and denying them that power; so that their campaign against ‘child abusers’ becomes something extremely personal, and evangelical in its fervor. All of this is speculation; because, being in positions of power, psychologists do not have to explain themselves. But there is a general impression that most of them have had a Roman Catholic upbringing; so that their early power role-models would have been celibate priests and nuns.
Geoffrey had great difficulties in coming to grips with this point of view because it was so alien to his own. But his time in prison gave him plenty of time. Consonant with the rest of his outlook and experience, he was inclined to dismiss the claims of the authority of religion in his life. His first experience of love was felt by him to be good because it was beautiful. He was so wrong. Many experiences of life are beautiful, but they are not good, e.g. the taking of heroin. Traditionally, Christianity has equated beautiful experiences with the temptations Of the Devil. In our Society, the law of the State is considered equivalent to the natural law of God, Geoffrey was told, over and over again, that his love was unnatural, and he took no notice. In disregarding the State, he put himself above it. In those days, psychiatrists judged such people as suffering from ‘paranoia’, delusions of grandeur and incarcerated in mental hospitals as dangers to society, the State. Geoffrey escaped from this fate, because he did not attempt to put his attitudes into practice. These days, psychiatrists have a reporting obligation; and since most people like Geoffrey have broken the sexual law somewhere along the line, they are put into prison.
Geoffrey fancied himself a student of Freud, but misunderstood him completely. Geoffrey thought that Freud was advocating the release and full expression of the sexual drive. He was not alone in this view; and, at the time Freud gained a lot of false popularity from it.
Freud divided the human psyche into three parts, the id, the ego, and the super-ego. The id contains our fleshly and emotional drives. The ego is the executive. The super-ego is our learned collection of duties and obligations to the State; and at a lesser level, the customs and mores of our tribe.
Freud wrote of the pleasure and reality principles. Untrained and unsocialised children are motivated by the pleasure principle. They put their self-indulgences at the top of their priorities. A mature socialized and trained adult is fully in touch with his State and social reality, and puts his duties to them at the top of his priorities. Reality behavior involves pain and deprivation. An adult who is driven primarily from the reality principle must have developed both a toleration to accept pain, and to give it. An immature person rejects all sensations that are not pleasurable from his consciousness. A mature person accepts and welcomes pain as a part of his experience.
The list of topics handed out to inmates by the Cooma psychologist illustrates this point well. They are (I) behavior, (2) belief, (3) body, (4) emotions, and (5) fantasy. The correct responses are as interpreted by Geoffrey. Because an important role of a prison psychologist it to sit in judgment – assess – inmates, they avoid leading them by direct feedback. Behavior must be mature, that is cognoscente of the law must at all times govern it. ‘What is the legal effect of my action’. If the effect is forbidden, the answer must be no action. Behavior must be adequate. There must be sufficient strength of character to say no, and to act upon it. Beliefs refer to religion, but in a very wide sense.
This chapter is about Geoffrey’s beliefs. Where they conflict with the beliefs and values of the State, the beliefs and values of the State have priority. Depriving the body of its demanded sexual and other satisfactions produces pain. A mark of maturity is the acceptance and toleration of this pain. Depriving the emotions of their satisfactions induces feelings of frustration and, commonly, loneliness. A mature person is able to live with loneliness and lack of love.
But the fantasy heading brings us to the crux of the teachings of Freud. An immature person is aware that he will be punished for sexual transgressions but, driven by the pleasure principle, he cannot stand the pain of his frustrated sexuality, so he denies its existence. This is the inadequate response of a neurotic person. The mature and adequate response is to know and accept the existence of the sexuality, made known by fantasy. But to stand the pain of the rejection if it runs contrary to the wishes of the State and society. Instead, Freud’s patients resorted to substitute indulges and satisfactions of an infantile sexual nature; whose sexuality was not readily recognized by the patient himself, or the world at large, as being sexuality at all. But whose true nature was apparent to the discerning eyes of Freud and his psychoanalytic followers. Modern psychology rejects the existence of infantile sexuality because of what is seen as its false origins in Freud’s refusal to accept his patients’ stories of parental rape at their face value; but the ghosts of psychoanalysis continue to stalk its corridors.
Freud’s neurotic patients accepted the duties and obligations imposed by the super-ego as part of themselves. The super-ego was their super-ego. But their response was childish and inadequate. On the other hand Freud’s psychotic patients, rejected upon diagnosis, did not have a super-ego at all; but remained fixated at a state of maturity prior to its development. These people never developed beyond the pleasure principle; and, if they were aware of authority at all, viewed it with unadulterated hostility. Geoffrey comes into this category. He was aware of authority but was afraid of it as something alien and hostile. This gives some explanation why his erotic impulses tended to be directed to persons younger than he does. Simply, those older persons were more likely to be seen as authority. The legal presumption is that older persons are senior and in a position of authority over younger persons.
Over the past thirty years, there has been a shift in psychiatric attitudes in this matter. Geoffrey’s beliefs and values came to the fore in the sixties in the flower children and hippie movements; and the end of the decade saw the start of the gay movement. The New South Wales Mental Health Act 1983, specifically says that people should not be put into mental hospitals solely by virtue of their political or religious beliefs. Psychiatry still refers to psychosis. But for the diagnosis to stick there needs to be a substantial element of perceptual, memory and thinking process impairment. In other words, a psychosis is now considered as a brain rather than as an attitude and emotional developmental disorder. The reports submitted to the Court specifically stated that Geoffrey did not suffer from such impairments. The State still regards the Geoffrey’s of this world as a threat to its security and being, but they are now put into prison.
Geoffrey did observe his own sexual development, and the sexual development of what few boys he had close contact with in his childhood and adolescent years. In the light of these observations, he considered the Freudian theory of infantile sexuality and its development as a growth process in line with all the other growth processes involved as being entirely reasonable. That is why he actually saw his stimulation of the boys’ sex experience as being a beneficial maturation event.
He now appreciates how mistaken he was. The whole purpose of social training is to ensure that, when boys become men, their behavior is governed by the reality principle. That, when they become men, they should have developed sufficient toleration to both receive and give pain, that they are able, and willing to put the State first in their lives. Only when their priorities have become fixed and right is it safe for them to be allowed to indulge their sexuality. The State considers sexual activity as a privilege to be granted and earned on its terms, and out of its love and beneficence.
Geoffrey, in giving his boys sexual stimulation and experience, short-circuited their maturation process, and fixated it at the pleasure principle. In so doing, he is conscious of causing both them and the State great harm. That is why he was put into prison for such a long time. Geoffrey has caused the boys harm because he has damaged their chances of survival in the world in which they live. Yet, neglecting the proximate effect of Geoffrey’s actions, is there not also a cost in meeting the State’s interests-and desires?
If these matters had been put to Geoffrey before his imprisonment, he could reasonably have replied that putting the boys’ sexuality upon ice until maturity would surely have the effect of fixating it at the stage and time of its being frozen. Or even worse, even whilst frozen it could have grown to a certain extent but taken on a stunted and distorted form.
At this stage, the reader is urged to read the two papers written in prison,- and included at the end of this chapter. They describe his beliefs and values as directed to the issue of the growth and maturation of human sexuality. Enough to say here that the boys’ sexuality would have been subjected to regression forces and very likely have taken on overtones of violence and aggression. Precisely the very characteristics which modern psychology sees itself as fighting, and from which it seeks to protect society.
Moreover, the factor of the soul is involved. Geoffrey believes that, buried within each and every one of us, is an inherent sense of right and wrong, which has nothing to do with our training and upbringing; which forms a sort of base line of our morality. This is the soul. The health of our soul is the health of our self-esteem. It has been noted in the last chapter that it is the pain of low self-esteem that motivates excess excessive alcohol and drug taking behaviors. Acceptance of pain and destruction, through its contradiction of the very nature of the soul, degrades and destroys it.
Geoffrey believes that the human condition is subject to a kind of disease; which, down the ages, has been identified by religion as evil. Evil is a part of the human condition that tends to destroy the soul, and the human condition itself. Its expression gives a kind of horrible pleasure that motives its nurturing under cover of subterfuge and excuse, and outside the direct control of the conscious mind (the ego). There is an association with phony righteousness with this sort of thing. Geoffrey believes that these evil impulses make up the true nature of the unconscious mind; and that a form of madness consists of a person recognizing them and accepting them, and acting upon them. The horrible person of Dr Hannibal Lecti, the mad psychiatrist serial killer in the 1991 film, The Silence of the Lambs, comes to mind. Is this an occupational hazard of those who make it their profession to punish love, affection and sexual behavior in others? In killing another’s soul, you will kill your own.
A critical reader must now be asking some questions about the state. What is it trying to achieve? It is not a law-abiding population in the ordinary sense of the term. Geoffrey abided by the ordinary law almost to the point of punctiliousness. Rather, it would seem, the object is the power and glory of the State. The low self-esteem of the general population is an asset because it then becomes dependent upon the State for its sense of self-worth. No matter how downtrodden the population of Britain was, it gloried in the Empire. Also, the low self-esteem engenders the required spirit of violence and aggression for such an ambition. The spirit of pre-nineteen fourteen Britain and Germany comes to mind; also the notorious puritanism of that age. But one wonders what relevance this has to the New South Wales of 1992. Perhaps the answer lies the necessary characteristic of a strong state as having a strong and rigid social hierarchy. Our social instincts direct us towards tending to equate goodness and virtue with rank; providing opportunity and legitimatization for the oppression and exploitation of the weak, lowly and defenseless. Geoffrey often observed the association of right wing and dishonest property attitudes with sexual puritanism; -most notably under the late-Nationalist government of Queensland. The rise of right-wing governments in the New South Wales of the ‘80s has culminated in the harshness of the sexual law of 1992. Already, the year has seen one premier deposed for corruption. And so the eventual fate of the State is to collapse under the weight of its rottenness.
Finally, in this chapter on beliefs and values, as they are relevant to Geoffrey’s crime, how did he eventually come to cope with the religious problems that came from his close association with the Anglican Church and his nemesis family?
Geoffrey sees the story of Adam and Eve and the Fall as the key to the understanding of Judaism and Christianity. With the Fall, the act of disobedience to God coming from the yielding to the temptation of Satan, came sin, sex and death into the world.
The Jews made a pact with God that, if they carried out various religious duties, made sacrifices, and obeyed numerous rules of conduct, they would be spared the penalty of death for Adam’s sin. Hundreds of years passed, till eventually the increasing corruptness and. Literalness of the religion triggered the person of Christ, who preached the spirit and not the Law. Jesus wanted the Jews to get into touch with intrinsic soul, away from a religion whose rules gave priority to the interests of the State. But only God could discharge the pact he made with the Jews, so Christ had to be God. And the penalty for disobedience to the Law was death; which had to be paid before the old covenant could be brought to an end; and the penalty was paid by Christ himself dying on the Cross.
Humanity, through the ages, has constantly battled to come to grips with the soul, against the corruption of evil. Judaism was badly corrupted by the interests of the State. Christianity, far less so.
It should be noted that Christianity promises a new pact with God, in place of the old Judaic pact. Christians can be saved – defeat death – by believing that Christ was God, that Christ’s death on the Cross atoned for the sin of disobedience to the old pact, and brought it to an end; and finally, a Christian has to live by the new rule of Christ. The first two beliefs are central to Christianity, so a Christian is said to have Salvation by faith; as opposed to the salvation by good works that is the mark of Judaism. Basically, the old Jew paid for his salvation by pain.
However corruption by the State still enters Christianity through the rules of conduct laid down by St Paul. No homosexuality and no priestesses, both of these rules being taken from the old pact, and both serving various interests of the old Jewish State; particularly as regards its exclusive identity, rendering it distinct from the paganism which surrounded it. This is speculation. Once a. law becomes identified with the will of God by calling it ‘natural’, this becomes its foundational nature; and Paul saw his rules about homosexuality and women as natural. So, their speculative origin is interesting but unimportant.
For Geoffrey, a consideration of these matters put him back into the driving seat of his beliefs and moral quest. Literal Christianity is particular to its origins and times. Its relevance to this present age is in terms of concern with the essentials of good attitudes and conduct. The present age has to come to grips with its soul in terms of its own worldview, which is what Geoffrey has tried to do in his metaphysics. His membership of the Sydney Unitarian Church is extremely relevant; because this view is the view of this church.
But the collective unconscious of society and the law is badly contaminated with putrefying morsels from the old religion; such matters as belief in the innocence of childhood. Blind adherence to the authority of tradition should not bind us to them, and cause us to ignore their true nature. Geoffrey majored in philosophy; and the task of a philosopher, as taught by the British School of Russell and Wittgenstein, is to expose and purge thought of its irrational contamination. The soul is expressible in many ways. This way is, at least, still open to Geoffrey.
The Nature of My Crime
We distinguish between law, morality, and psychology. Psychology enters the law when consideration is given to whether the mind has followed the unlawful action. This determines the level of guilt, or responsibility. The law is always assumed to be the embodiment of the absolute good. The law is the command of the sovereign, and the Sovereign knows no fault.
My crime was one of sexual involvement and conduct with male minors. To understand the nature of this crime, and why it is considered to be so serious, we need to look at the assumptions and policies that lie behind the raw commands of the NSW Crimes Act 1902. These commands go from S.61 to S.78.
The proposition at the back of this area of the law is that the State owns the child; and a child is a child until he has attained his majority, i.e. 18 years of age. The parents, more particularly the male parent, hold the child in trust for the state. Their duties are to nurture him, and bring him up to a full appreciation and acceptance of his prime duties to love, respect and obey the state. There are other duties as, for example, seeing to his education.
The state sees a person as having a hierarchy of priorities. The first priority is to itself, the state. The second priority is to other people. The third and last priority is to him.
Whilst the person remains a child, and controlled under trusteeship, his behavior must be solely devoted to his duty of learning to be a good citizen. It is the duty of the his parents to the state to hold him to this duty, and to make sure that nothing interferes with it. Nothing must be allowed to interfere with the message given to the child that his first loyalty is to the state and to respect and obey its laws absolutely.
Learning to be a good loyal and law abiding citizen is seen as a process excluding sexual behavior. Sexual behavior stimulates the second priority, relationships with other people, which, before maturity is reached and good citizenship fully attained, could permanently injure the child's relationship with the State. Moreover, too early sexual experience will so stimulate those habits and attitudes of self-indulgence and self-assertiveness as to injure and erode the child's acceptance of his absolute duty to obey the state, and anybody placed in authority over him. Immature sexual experience and the habit of obedience do not lie well together.
Assertive self-indulgence as a predominant trait of its citizens is not in the interests of the state. The fall of the Roman Empire is usually cited as an example of a case where a state was destroyed because its citizens, depraved by vice, were not willing to fight and sacrifice themselves for its defense. The State might prefer that its citizens practice abstinence throughout their lives. But it is constrained by two considerations. The first is that its continued existence depends on a supply of new citizens; and secondly, abstinence is easier to enforce for a limited period in a person's life than forever. The Catholic Church recognizes that celibacy - voluntary abstinence requires a "vocation". Forced abstinence during adulthood is likely to result in widespread disobedience; to the considerable net disadvantage of the state. So, the state grants and establishes the privileged status of marriage. Marriage is not as exalted as celibacy. But, for the majority of people, as St Paul said, "It is better to be married than to burn". It is better for the state to establish the sexual discipline of marriage, and, at the same time, establish an institution whereby children can properly be brought up in a trusteeship, than to insist upon an ideal to which few people can aspire. But, because there can be no children resulting from the union, a homosexual relationship can never perform a state function, and it must be forever condemned as a dangerously assertive self-indulgence. The present position is that, whilst homosexuality is, in itself, not a crime, it is a crime to induce or encourage it. This is the particular meaning of the present S.78 Crimes Act provisions.
So, the State seeks to train the child in habits of obedience and loyalty. It also seeks to protect it, particularly as regards its sexual virtue. Broadly, the state looks to the human condition before the Fall of Adam and Eve; and sees sex as entering the world with disobedience to God (to the state) and death. Children are seen as having the innocence of the time before the Fall; and with the first sexual experience re-enacting the Temptation of Satan and the Fall from Grace.
The state grants adults the privilege of consent but protects children with the full power and severity of the law. Psychologists are cognoscenti of the feelings of guilt and loss of self-worth, which are felt by consensual adults, but at an endurable level due to the inner strength of maturity. The psychologists are concerned by the enormous trauma and injury done to immature children, and women who have with-held their consent; and have persuaded the state to give no mercy to men who cause such damage for the sake of satisfying their lusts and selfish emotions. Basically, the state sees all sexual activity as having the nature of assault and having the connotations of the male power. The state extends its invitation of protection but accepts the defense of consent where both parties are adults. Very reluctantly, in 1984, this defense was granted to adult homosexuals.
The law seems to be assuming that pleasure must be taken at the expense of something or somebody. A man (sexual offenders are always men) in taking his pleasure from a woman, or another man, or a child, is subjecting that person to humiliation and depravity. The only exception is a woman in the state institution of marriage. Otherwise, a woman or adult man can give consent. Formerly, the state withheld the privilege of consent from a man because it could not contemplate men, in whose hands were held its defense and reputation, sinking to such depths.
Modern psychologists are tending to see love, in the sense of strong, sexually driven relationships with other people, as being equivalent to a drug addition. With there being some belief that, if a person is never awakened sexually, he will never be sexual; and will never be subject to drives which sap and burden his will. Be this as it may, they are certain that a person needs to be mature to be able to safely handle sexual drives and desires without a breakdown of his prior obligations to the state. Before a person can handle sexual desire, he must be strong and fully grown enough not to be subject it handling him. To awaken sexual desire in a child is to expose it to the risk of it being destroyed by its own drives and desires. The law and modern psychology assume that children instinctively know the terrible risks and consequences to which sexual activity exposes them. They will always refuse such activity unless they are either persuaded by threats of physical or mental violence by adults, or seduced and misled by the adults in whom they put their trust.
When I did my crime, I was aware of its criminal nature but was inclined to dismiss it as 'technical', and felt that all I was having was a bit of harmless fun, albeit, a trifle naughty. The analysis of the previous pages, lessons from my punishment and Cooma Prison's sex offenders' program, as well as the circumstances of my charging, the attitudes of the police, and the remarks of the trial judge, have indicated how far from the case this was.
I broke my duty to respect and obey the law - there is no such thing as a technical offence. I subjected the law to disrespect and disobedience. This is my fundamental crime. I encouraged and seduced others, not being legally competent persons, to being involved in an unlawful act.
My closeness to the boys put me in a position of having, regarding them, a duty of trust to the state. It was my duty to encourage and guide the boys in the way of love, loyalty and obedience to the state and its law. Instead, I breached my trust and took advantage of the situation for my personal gain. This is a corrupt behavior that falls far short of the standards expected and required of an ordinary adult, and legally competent member of the community. In my breach of trust, I also interfered in the lawful exercise of the trust given to the parents. It was in defense of this trust that the father supplied information to the police, which laid the ground for the charges, made against me.
I am seen as having corrupted the boys because I have exposed them, at an impressionable age, and when they were learning their duty of correct conduct and attitudes from the adults in their social environment, to corrupt and disgraceful conduct. This corruption of the boys is seen as an injury to them. I have induced in them traumatic levels of guilt. I have destroyed that innocence, which is the birthright of all children in our state; and which, is destroyed, even on the attainment of adulthood, at the cost of some guilt and self-esteem. I acquainted and introduced the boys to drives and desires which perhaps they would have been better off never knowing, but certainly not till they reached an age and strength of maturity such as would have enabled them to keep the drives and desires in their proper and controlled place. As it is, I have exposed the boys to the probability that they will forever be subject to that degree of immaturity whereby they will be at the mercy of their lusts, self-indulgences and emotions. As a consequence, they will always be in danger of forgetting their duties of loyalty and obedience to the State. Thus, have I caused both injuries to the boys and to the state, which, if I were to continue in this behavior, would constitute me as a continual danger to the community. I subjected the boys to depravity, degradation, and vice to satisfy my selfish lusts and emotions, and this is my worst injury.
There is also the matter of the homosexual nature of my contact being seen as eroding and interfering with the boys' growth of male sex identity, with the possible future effect of perverting sexual preference, and adversely effecting capacity for normal married life.
So, far from being a harmless piece of innocent amusement, my crime was very serious indeed, and fully deserved the two and a half years minimum custodial sentence that I received. The nature of my crime was basically one breach of trust but also of criminal negligence in so far as I behaved in reckless disregard of the consequences to the boys. I acted as a person with full capacity of mind, memory and understanding; and I accept full responsibility for my actions. But it remains to be answered why, I, a person who is firmly committed to a belief in the rule of law, did what I did. We should note that what I am offering is an explanation, not an excuse.
The explanation is that my private morality was in direct conflict with most of the propositions and assumptions expressed in this paper. This explains why, at the time, I only felt that I loved the boys, and was actually giving them a growth experience. Earlier in this paper, I have said that, at most, I felt that-I was doing something a little naughty, but even this concession was going too far. I put the individual on a pedestal above the state; and I saw love and affection as having the highest priority, and in warm personal emotional germs, rather than, as duties owed primarily to the state. In short, I thought of life in terms of pleasure rather than duty. I suppose that my ideal was something called the authentic man; and I did not realize that such a thing is incompatible with the existence and safety of a stable, ordered, disciplined society. I did not realize that these values are not compatible with survival in such a society; something which I know now very well.
Psychologists normally judged my attitudes and values as "immature". Normally immaturity running free outside the restraints of an authoritarian institution like a prison runs to criminality. This is not true in my case, except in the single set of circumstances of my crime, because I have always been aware, in a remote way, of the nature and requirements of the state. "Remote", because, until my crime, I never came close enough to test my perceptions. I was a timid, frightened, lonely child; and I was a timid, frightened, lonely adult. I confined my rebelliousness to fantasy. The options I took in conduct were non-involvement, dropping-out, and running away. I suppose that, in a sense, my crime can be interpreted as 'testing the waters'. By gaining my professional qualifications, I felt that I had become eligible to join the society, which before I had never felt a part. But the eligibility had to be joined by invitation for the status change to become completed. So, whilst my eligibility dramatically increased my self-confidence, the membership which could have changed my basic attitudes, remained inchoate. But, though this was as far as I got, it was enough to attain the somewhat marginal position of trust and acceptance; which I so grossly abused by 'testing the waters'.
I need to review my operational attitudes and future course of conduct. My painful experience has taught me that legal homosexuality normally involves playing dangerously near a cliff, created by the law to guarantee a long fall and a hard landing. The state's clear intention is to discourage the use of this playground.
A preferable option, granted that I do have a conscious, functioning sex drive, is marriage. For me, this involves making an intentional change of behavior, equivalent to a left-handed person making an effort to behaving as a right handed person. The adjustment cannot be made without some cost. A dog can be. Taught to dance, but never to dance well. Nevertheless, the advantages of functioning in a mode for which all social institutions and attitudes are designed are enormous. Had I been brought up in a disciplined, duty directed, goal direct manner, with strong personal role models, I would probably have achieved this change by the time I had entered adulthood, and married; as did most gays of my generation.
But I am cognoscente that, over the past decade, the state's attitude to sexuality has hardened and, even in marriage, its standards and tests of consent have considerably tightened. For my behavioral mode, as a married man, I should be seeking guidance from modern psychologist's ideal and model of the self-sufficient and high self-esteem person.
For me, the adoption of this model means the acceptance of my uninvolved emotional state as a personal ideal. The model is of an emotionally detached and truly independent person whose will is not limited by the need for drugs, sexual expression, or emotional relationships to trigger the release of that happiness which is within us all. Modern psychology condemns that expression of extreme emotional involvement designated by the term 'romantic love' as being one primarily of power abuse, and inducing the same category of dependency, as does the use of illegal drugs. At the very least, it denotes immaturity and inadequacy.
When I was eighteen, I fell in love with a sixteen-year-old boy. Had the relationship been consummated, the act would have been illegal, and it would be even more illegal today. But it remained love from afar, with the boy concerned dismissing it as 'unnatural'. I should have done the same; but instead, I let the thing possess and obsess me to the point where it corroded and undermined my attitudes to the state and its law. I never actually broke the law, but my lack of discipline caused me a great deal of unhappiness and frustrated emotional dependency.
With this model in mind, I accept and embrace the need to be a mature and adequate person. A mature person thinks before he acts. He accepts his sexual drive and desires as his own; but he also accepts the need to look at them in the light of his duty to the state to respect and obey its laws. If no is the answer, he should adequate strength of character to act on this judgment. I do not reject love, but I see it as involving sufficient emotional detachment and self-control, and lack of self-interest, to look at, and assess, the effects of a possible relationship upon the total welfare of that other person. If I approach an intended marriage from this base position, and indeed all of my behaviors and actions, I should be able to meet the high standards of conduct demanded by the modern state.
Finally, I accept that the values of the state prevail and have priority over those of the individual where there is conflict. I accept my duty to behave in accordance with values, standards, interests, and laws of the State; or suffer the consequences.
I affirm my acceptance and appreciation of my duty to respect and obey the laws of New South Wales whilst within this jurisdiction; and I accept that this duty is absolute. I confess that I have I been guilty of disrespect and disobedience. I am sorry for what I have done. I undertake to be a good, law-abiding citizen in the future.
Modern law and psychology are greatly concerned with protection. A child is seen as a delicate plant at risk from the winds and hazards of life. The law and modern psychology see sex as appetite. Modern psychology especially dislikes it as being violent, primitive, and sub-human, and conducive to the depraving of the free violation and cognitive, which are the marks of a mature person. It is something which the strong satisfy at the expense of the weak; and in the same category as the craving of a carnivore for meat. Women and children are attractive to depraved men because they are weak and defenseless at their hands. Children especially need protection as their fundamental human right; and, as regards them, the law sees all sexual activity as acts of violence which cannot be mitigated by any plea whatsoever; and to be visited with punishment of the uttermost severity, and uncontaminated with compassion. The law, and modern psychology, will accept no excuses for the sexual abuse of children. Any taking advantage of the weakness of children for the satisfaction of an adult's violent lusts is a terrible thing; and adult male sexuality is always a violent lust. Incidentally, protection of children as their fundamental human right is enshrined in one of the United Nations charters to which Australia is a signatory. If New South Wales's law neglected its duty, Australia would hive to legislate under its external affairs power. An adult with a child has a duty of protection to the state for that child who is almost sacred in its intensity; and for him to abuse that trust for the satisfaction of his violent lusts is a corruption of the worst kind.
Due to my defective training, upbringing, and education, I erroneously saw sex as being an expression of love and affection. This is not an excuse for breaking the law, and merely underlines the need for the corrective training and punishment which I have received. It also underlines the need for the training now given to children from their primary school years in tile correct and required attitudes.
The law regards all sexual activity as aggressive, violent, and basically criminal in nature. Up to 1984, it listened to defenses of consent only where an adult female was concerned. In 1984, it accepted the defense of consent of an adult male; but emphasis is put upon the necessity of the activity being in private because it is regarded as contrary to public policy and morality.
Marriage, Australian law incidentally, does not fit easily into the mainstream context of New South Wales's law, because it enters from the ecclesiastic, rather than the common law, of England. The general position used to be that the condition of wedlock in itself implied consent. But this is no longer so; and in marriage, as out of it, consent has to be ongoing, and particular to the individual sexual act. In a sense, marriage is a foreign body in New South Wales law; and, effectively, it has now suffered expulsion.
The law assumes sexual activity is characteristic of male aggression and dominance. Adult women and weak "effeminate" men have their active roles confined to giving consent. The law regards any persons who consent to having acts of violence performed upon them as decadent and corrupted by vice. The law has little respect for sexual women, and none whatsoever for homosexual men, whom it regards as betraying, and not living up to, their masculine gender. A woman with child is respected because she is seen as holding the child in trust for its owner the State. It avoids being cognoscente of any implied sexual behavior.
Basically, the state assumes that all pleasure is obtained at the expense of the pain, misery, and degradation of someone weaker. Basically, the law assumes that everybody is in combat with everybody else, and that pleasure, including sexual pleasure, is the fruit of victory.
The law protects the weak and exacts a penalty of a quantum of pain from those who take unlawful pleasure from others. Ordinary assault yields just ordinary pleasure, and gets a moderate gaol sentence, even though a broken bottle was pushed into someone's face, resulting in intense pain and permanent disfigurement. But sexual assault results in orgasmic pleasure, and normally gets a penalty of many years in prison; even though the pain and injury occasioned to the victim may not be immediately apparent; in a situation where there has been apparent consent. This is the problem that Geoffrey faced when the time came for him to come to grips with the nature of his crime.
The core of legal penalty is a quantum of pain demanded as a retribution, or price, for the unlawful pleasure obtained by the perpetrator against his victim. Added to this price is a specific deterrence loading; which has the purpose of deterring the perpetrator from repeating his crime. Which otherwise he might do if he is merely paying the bare cost, or just penalty. Criminals take pride in their acceptance that when they do their crime, they may have to do the time. To this may be added a general deterrence loading to deter any potential perpetrator. Such punishments are termed exemplary, meaning that the perpetrator is being made an example of. Exemplary penalties are never just; and any further loading is likely to result in them becoming so unjust and removed from the crime that the perpetrator is left with wondering what are the real purposes of his punishment. The tariff penalties for sex offenses in New South Wales are now so high that most offenders in prison are convinced, that the real purpose of their penalties is to gain the "blood" vote for the government, and to provide certain media personalities with sensational copy. Thus, beyond a certain point, penalties tend to become counter productive; and convert perpetrators into victims who are released from prison very angry and dangerous people. A tariff penalty is one that can be imposed by a judge in confidence that he will not be subject to appeal by either the defense or the prosecution. A tariff penalty can be extremely unjust, depending upon government policy, asserted through the demands of the prosecution.
The law sees sexual activity as having the basic character of rape; but allowing, in exceptional circumstances, the defense of consent. Because the pleasure involved in sexual activity is direct, animal and lustful and intense, its appropriate just penalty is extremely heavy as compared to say that imposed for common assault. There are basically three levels of sex crime, sexual assault, which must contain the element of penetration, by the mouth, or a penis, or an instrument. There is indecent assault, which must contain the element of touching of the victim's body for erotic purposes. And there act of indecency. An act of indecency might be an act of masturbation in view of somebody else, or maybe "flashing". The offenses are aggravated by the victim being under the age of consent, by actual bodily harm or threats of it either to victim or bystanders by their being a number of perpetrators, or if the victim is mentally or physically handicapped. In this last case, and in the case of incest, there is no defense of consent in any circumstances.
When homosexual activity between consenting adults in private was decriminalized in 1986, there was inserted into the Crimes Act a number of sections effectively duplicating all of the other sex offense provisions but for males under the age of 18. This fact plus carnal knowledge sections duplicating open age aggravated sexual assault sections, which overlap with sections about incest, means that a single sexual act can attract a number of serious charges. In these cases, the judge will impose a sentence for each charge but run them concurrently. Just think of the huge number of charges a single night of love can attract. Geoffrey had about 23 charges served concurrently, with the longest sentence being the length of the sentence served. Where a number of short sentences are involved, say for single acts of indecency, they are more likely to be ordered to be served cumulatively.
In effect, the judge is looking at the substance of the crime as a whole, rather than the legal form it takes in the Crimes Act. Geoffrey received the tariff for a first offender committing his category of crime. If he were to re-offend, he could expect to find the specific deterrent element in his sentence increased, so that he would be given a much longer sentence. As a repeat offender, he could also expect to find a containment, or incapacitation factor in his sentence; where he is put into prison for a very long time to serve the purpose of the protection of society. And over and above all other factors, a sentence has the purpose of expressing the community's disgust, abhorrence, and denunciation of the offender's crime. Geoffrey was put into prison because it was disgusted, affronted, and nauseated by his behavior. The injury that the community suffered was the dragging down of its standards of behavior by Geoffrey's conduct; giving it no choice but to resurrect itself by the imposition of a heavy penalty of pain upon him.
The basic sexual crime of sexual assault requires no other element than bare lack of consent. An example would be the crime being performed upon a person who was mentally incapacitated by drugs or alcohol; especially if these states were purposely induced in order to enable the offense to be committed. The law requires nothing more, in the way of evidence to enable the trial to go ahead, than the fact of the charge having been brought. Again, it needs to be emphasized that the law regards the sexual act as being, in its very character, an assault; and the relevant equation is pleasure = real pain and injury= retribution pain and injury. There is some suggestion that the pleasure does injury to even the offender himself in that it depraves and corrupts his character. In this light the punishment is seen as having a cleansing and strengthening action; and this is the expiate function of the sentence. It seems that expiation is the nearest that legal thinking comes to the rehabilitation which looms so large in penological thinking once the offender is behind the prison doors.
It is suggested that only a very small percentage of sex offenders now in New South Wales prisons have committed crimes that would have come within the old category of rape. Most have simply been unable to plead the defense of consent because the victim was not an at-arms-length adult. In other words, the consent has to conform to the same basic rules as it does in the law of contract. But we should note that this law has exceptions that apply in ordinary life. A shopkeeper can sell lollops to even very small children. Macdonald's can employ a 15 year-old boy. It is submitted that, only in a tiny minority of cases, is the victim unwilling within the scope of the meaning that the man on the Clapham omnibus would give this word. Note the word victim. Reflect on the semantics of a word that is always used to refer to the complainant in this area of the law. The semantics of the word survivor, now coming into use, are even more ominous. It is becoming more and more emphasized that the act of sex is, itself, regarded as a serious act of violence committed by the strong against the defenseless and weak survivor suggests that the normal injury is a form of spiritual and emotional death.
Geoffrey, for the purposes of his grant of parole, was required to understand and appreciate the nature of his crime. As we have seen in the Document, he has had to depart very considerably from the norms of ordinary thinking, as he understood them to be to be able to see his crime as fitting his time. It is difficult, because the assumptions, which are lying behind the law, are nowhere clearly stated, but have to be inferred from its working; in particular, as Geoffrey has personally experienced it.
The same belief and motives as its war against sex can explain the state's war against drugs. The ingestion of "drugs" is thought to give great pleasure, which must be at the cost of great injury. In part, this injury is seen as being done to the standards of the community, but also to the drug users own self. This where the expiation function of the operation of the law is especially appropriate in that the offender's decadent, self-indulgent character needs to be cleansed and strengthened by being washed in a bath of pain. It is the same idea as "mankind's sins being washed away by the blood of Jesus".
The category of thought is the same as that involved in the old term for masturbation, self-abuse. In the seventies, the community was made aware, through much state run campaigns, of drug abuse. The eighties saw the emergence of the awareness of sexual child abuse, which is seen as even worse than drug abuse, because it involves the offender taking advantage of the weakness of another human being to satisfy his disgusting lusts. The state is seeking to protect children through massive police operations. It is mounting intensive media campaigns and facilitates the laying of information through measures developed during the drug crisis such as phone-ins. It is imposing heavier and heavier prison sentences; and it is compensating victims by the award of very large sums of money. Which is also a great encouragement to the lifting of the veil of sham, and the laying of information.
We can define the nature of the criminal law as the command of the sovereign, backed and enforced by violence and terror. The second leg might be better put as "backed by the sanction of punishment"; there being a pejorative quality about the words "violence" and "terror", which may imply that the writer is not according the law its proper respect. Note inserted 17/1/99: During a cell search, the manuscript was confiscated. And, whilst I got most of it back, the original of the section following somehow got "lost", and was rewritten from memory after release.
But, in fact, this is merely expressive of the true nature of authoritarian law; the law of the authoritarian state, whose basic ethic is might is right. The sovereign is the personification of the center of power in such a society. Opposed to the authoritarian society is the libertarian society where which is centered upon the individual, and the sole function of the state is to protect his liberties, basically to enjoy property, against individuals stronger than himself. The ethic of a libertarian society might be that might is wrong. The sole function of the state is to recognize the right, and give it protection. Property in an authoritarian society is derived from the sovereign, who is the ultimate owner. It is held and enjoyed at his pleasure; and, when he is displeased, he may take it away. The paradigm is feudal land law. All law is made for the purpose of his pleasure. Authoritarian societies are hierarchical societies, where privileges of rank qualify the law. Our law started out from an authoritarian base, and is developing in the direction of libertarianism.
Authoritarian societies are closed; but within that enclosure, there is a place for everybody with rights and liabilities, however humble it may be. There is a temptation to break the law, when it does not suit. Predominantly, it does not suit subjects at the bottom, and lawbreaking is characteristic of the lower classes. Sanctity of the person is the centerpiece of libertarian law, with the laws being designed to protect against intrusion. The consequence is a tendency to lack of communication and loneliness. Women are being increasingly protected against the attentions of men; and it is now extremely dangerous for an adult, even a parent, to approach a child, either emotionally or physically. The bigger the legal barriers become, the more people, for reasons of self-actualization, prosperity, or even survival, will be forced to break them. It is difficult to survive in a libertarian world in any case. It is well nigh impossible where there is no human contact or communication. The factors in Geoffrey's crime are complex; but important, was his perceived intrusion of privacy. Geoffrey was a lonely and socially isolated person.
In this chapter, we will be looking at the law mainly from the authoritarian Austinian Positivistism. This is referring to a school of nineteenth century jurisprudence which centrally denied that law has an independent existence as specific creation of God, called Natural Law; which is "discovered" by the Sovereign, rather than created by him. At the time, this was a radical view. Judges talked of "discovering" the law. Sometimes they still do; John Austin (1790-1859). Natural law theory is most closely associated with the jurist, Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780). Libertarian legal theory is, as far as the present writer can ascertain, his own; and the present work is its first exposition; but reference should be made to John Stuart Mill, Essay on Liberty (1859).
Our law is permeated by the notion of natural law. In its narrowest meaning, it means law based on the Bible; in effect, the old Testament, because Christ's teachings against revenge and for forgiveness are normally overlooked by religious zealots. Homosexuality is visited by death. So is adultery. But the Old Testament allowed sacrifice as a means of expiration. Religious zealots tend to overlook this also. In this narrow meaning, natural law is the law of God. When homosexuality was being proclaimed as being "unnatural", what was meant was that it was against the law of God. Even the view of homosexuality as a disease was congruent; because disease was seen as evidence of sin, occasionally we meet with this view being taken of AIDS.
A wider view of natural law holds that good law has to be just; and that there is such a thing as "good" law. Law should be more than merely the caprice of the sovereign. Administrative law (a branch of civil law; civil law as opposed to criminal law; actually administrative law is a sort of halfway house) has a department called natural law. Which says that before an individual can have his rights adversely effected by administrative action, e.g. the withdrawal of a horse-trainer's license, he/she has the right to be heard by an impartial tribunal. The Constitution of the United States enshrines a list of natural rights. Natural law overrides the law of the sovereign. The Nazi war criminals convicted after the 2nd World War had behaved lawfully according to the law of Germany. Libertarian law owes more to natural law than positive law (law which is the command of the sovereign).
Positive law can be divided, for purposes of analysis, into four sections. (I) To enforce conformity to the sovereign's will regarding belief. (2) To enforce conformity to the Sovereign's will regarding behavior. (3) To enforce the Queen's peace. And (4) to enforce recognition of the sovereign. Laws about belief would not be considered good law today, because of the right to freedom of conscience. But, in the sixteenth century, heretics were burned at the stake. Laws about behavior are very important in our criminal law, and include laws against paedophilia, laws against incest, laws against illegal drugs, laws against gambling, and laws against prostitution. Laws designed to maintain the Queen's Peace are about violence; and include laws against rape, assault, robbery, and theft. The law against treason has, as its purpose, the maintenance of the Sovereign's authority against pretenders. The penalty for treason was drawing and quartering, the most extreme penalty of all. Even today, political crimes can carry the heaviest of all penalties. Democracies are not supposed to have political crimes. But, it is suggested that paedophilia is, in essence, a political crime. Which explains why penalties in this area of the law tend to be extremely high; and why the government is so constantly emphasizing that no mercy will be shown. King Charles I thought that he ruled by divine right; for which belief he paid with his head; and, with him, the belief died. But until that time (1649), the monarchs of England (and most other monarchs) believed very firmly that their authority derived directly from God; for which belief they had direct Biblical authority (Romans Chapter 13). They believed that if they did not obey God and enforce conformity of the true belief, they would be punished by the deprivation of their authority. The Tudor, Queen Mary (1553-1558), Bloody Mary, won particular notoriety for burning heretics, including most of the prominent churchmen of her day. It seems that she had cancer, which she interpreted as a punishment from God. From Charles I, till the present day, the fight for freedom of conscience has gone on. It is not over even now. Multiculturalism and anti-discrimination legislation (making it illegal to discriminate on grounds of belief in certain areas, including employment), are recent moves in this direction.
But not everybody agrees that there should be freedom of conscience. The powerful Christian fundamentalist churches do not. There is room for only one system of belief, and this is the "true word of the Lord". Other teachings are those of false prophets; and the hand of the Lord will surely destroy a community, which listens to these people. The hidden agenda is the maintenance of the power, and wealth, of these churches; which anchor these things on the rock of the infallible truth of the Bible/the infallibility of the Pope. True, the Catholic Church is not counted as fundamentalist, but its game is the same. In essence, the Churches are part of the sovereign, Who likes to tie his power, and legitimacy, to God.
These power blocs, components of the sovereign, have beliefs that are characteristic of authoritarian people. Sexual activity is not a sharing of pleasure by equals, it is the taking by the powerful from the weak. Sex is a form of torture. Paedophilia is about the torture of children. Christian fundamentalism associates homosexuality, and even more so, paedophilia, with satanic ritual torture and murder. An element in Geoffrey's case was the belief that he is demonically possessed. Bad faith is suspected; it all makes for such a good excuse.
Note inserted 19/1/99: ABC TV's Compass had a panel discussion on what to do with paedophiles; with the discussion prefaced with a film (from America, where else?) which exclusively associated paedophilia with the torture and murder of small children - even babies. This is scary stuff but it has little to do with the issue in New South Wales, which is about the minimum age where male to male consent should be legally allowed; and is the one relevant to most sex offenders in our gaols. I wrote a very angry letter to the ABC.
These people must suspect that they are talking garbage. Adult women can consent to being tortured; but children must be protected. Adult men can legally, since 1984 consent to being tortured, but this law is abominable in the eyes of the Lord. Men are created superior and powerful; and for any man to abdicate from his God given status is disgraceful.
Where belief systems and social attitudes are used as reasons for torturing, imprisoning, and killing people, there is always the suspicion of bad faith. If this sort of thing is what turns someone on, what a wonderful excuse is provided by the "Word of the Lord"! This writer believes that there is a hidden evil lurking under the whole of the subject matter described in Razorwire. He believes also that the hidden quality is provided by the rationalizations, "rational" explanations whose true purpose is to disguise the nature of the motivations, so as to render them acceptable to individual consciousness and to the community. It is probably not true to say that most of these people are consciously evil; perhaps more true to say that their morality is tatty around the edges. The rationalizations have a sort of "far-fetched" quality about them. Where projection and denial form parts of the complex, the structure of the rationalization can be elaborate. Geoffrey thinks that these comments are relevant to the contemporary "community" attitudes to persons convicted of homosexual activity with persons under the age of 18.
If the Sovereign cannot now be open about his wish to enforce conformity with his beliefs, there is no such restriction on his enforcement of conformity of behavior.
It was an unwilling State Parliament that passed the bill decriminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adult males in private. But there had to be a quid pro quo, which was contained in the provisions replacing the repealed S.78, and which refer to the situation where one or (semble) both males is not an adult. There are graduated severity of punishment; an act of indecency (where there is no actual touching of bodies; a male masturbating in front of another) which gives two years in prison. Indecent assault, where there is touching of bodies with erotic intent, which can give up to 7 years. And sexual assault, where there is genital penetration, either anal or oral, where the maximum imprisonment is 14 years if the victim is under 18, or 20 years if the victim is under 10.
We should note the word victim. In 1984, the word was not used. The Parliament saw homosexuality as a nasty thing; and, fair enough, you can't stop adults doing nasty things provided they do them decently in private. But you can stop children doing them; and you can protect them from the temptations of adults. The act may be legal between adults but the community does not approve, and it is a serious breach of trust for an adult to use his adult authority (which authoritarian law assumes he has) to mislead them otherwise. So, consent is not a defense.
But, as community attitudes have become more accepting of homosexuality, we would have expected the savage new S.78 provisions to fall into disuse. But this did not occur. Sometime around the middle of the eighties, came news of a new threat. Fathers were raping their daughters; child sexual abuse had arrived. Sex was seen as a power thing. Fathers abused (and this word abuse is used constantly) their daughters because the daughters were weaker. The anti-gay forces seized upon the idea; and gave the new S.78 provisions a new meaning, rape. The position is now that the sections are not now about homosexuality at all but rape; and rape is assumed in all breaches. The word "victim" is now used; referring to the younger participant; the one who has become overcome by the power of the older. We can see the influence of feminism in all this. A certain kind of extreme feminism holds that all sex is violent in nature and an expression of power. It reluctantly concedes the right of an adult to consent to being a party to this. But, obviously minors should be rigorously protected.
There is an element of dishonesty in all of this; almost to the point of its being a confidence trick; and has no long-term future. Perhaps it will come that the courts will come to insist that that the violent element be proved and that the section denying consent be distinguished to denying the right of consent in that situation. The distinction between belief and behavior is limited because one follows naturally, if not invariably, from the other. Crimes for gain are appropriately deterred by punishment, since the pains are likely to outweigh the gains. But behavioral crimes are more deeply rooted, and it is felt that the deterrence is likely to be ineffectual if the offender feels that he has not done anything wrong, as is normally the case with drugs and sex. Normally, on the contrary, drug and sex offenders feel that they have done right. How can liberty be wrong? How can love be wrong? How can pleasure be wrong? And if the sovereign can only reply by saying that they are wrong because he has said that they are wrong, the offender will rarely be convinced. So the Corrective Services system sets up "programs" whose real purpose is to condition belief. There are programs for drug and alcohol offenders; and there are programs for sex offenders. As has just been mentioned, the weapon is conditioning, rather than reasoning. Where the offender is made to associate his actions with the word 'victim", so that he comes to associate his actions with violence, and he is given to understand that it is violence that he is being punished for. It is a scientifically devised confidence trick. Be it noted, there are no programs for bank robbers or car thieves; or chaps who hit old ladies on the head, and snatch their handbags. It is suggested that the programs are personally destructive of the offenders; and. that this is intentional.
The protagonists of these programs cite the inadequacy theory of the cause of crime as their motivation. A person steals food because he lacks the skills to earn money to buy it. A person steals a car because lacks the money to buy it, because he lacks skills to earn. Similarly a person is driven to illegal sex because he lacks to the skills to form and maintain a legal relationship. He has to be content with the meager pleasures of illegal sex because he lacks the maturity to earn a full and satisfactory legal relationship. He may be driven to actually taking his sexual pleasures by force or intimidation; because he sees no other way open to him. The inadequacy theory of criminal behavior sees the offender as having legitimate needs, but is inadequate regarding knowledge, skills, and attitudes to satisfy them legitimately. The purpose of the remedial programs is to rectify the deficiencies. If emotional immaturity is the causative defect of the sex offender, then the relevant purpose of the program is to foster his emotional development.
It is a simple and plausible theory of criminal behavior. But it runs against the problem that some, or possibly most, prison inmates are not at all inadequate; that Cooma contains men of very considerable talent, not including yours truly. In any case; intimate relationships with youths require interpersonal relationship skills of the very highest order. But, more than anything else, the inadequacy theory avoids the hard questions about the nature and purpose of the criminal law. What was it that justified Geoffrey getting the three and quarter years for what he did? The sovereign of an authoritarian state sees his duty as being to protect and foster the moral-health of his state, even against the will of the majority of his subjects. He holds his State in trust for God; and in the exercise of God's trust has to uphold and advance his laws, or else risk retributive destruction in the manner of Sodom and Gomorra. In particular, the cities of Sodom and Gomorra are said to have been cursed by the sin of homosexuality.
The Fall marked humanity's disobedience to God. The pleasure of that disobedience caused God great pain. God sought his remedy by cursing humanity with the pain that would cleanse it of the pleasure (sin). The peoples of the ancient world sought to mollify God by subjecting themselves to symbolic pain by offering sacrifices. The modern sovereign offers human sacrifices in the operation of the criminal law. It is suggested that this is one of the functions played by the incarceration of sex and drug offenders.
Such a sovereign is enforcing what jurists call natural law, which is the concept of the law as being of the law of God, and originating from God; and transcendental. to the affairs of mere humanity. The Chinese recognized the concept in the Confucian "ways of Heaven"; and Plato used it in his theory of the forms; in particular, the form of justice. Forms are seen as a set of ideals existing in the permanent reality transcending the sensory transient world in which we live.
Natural law rests upon a concept of natural morality, a morality that is not dependent upon local social customs, and the special interests of the sovereign. Throughout this book, the contention is that the good lies in love, peace, and creativity; whilst the bad is to be found .in hate, violence, and destruction; all those things which Socrates would have counted as instances of injustice. Platonic thought is non-theistic and the concepts of natural law and morality do not depend upon a belief in a personal (or theistic) god heading an authoritarian social system.
It is suggested that criminal law has a universal core, with there being certain acts which have been proscribed in all cultures in all times, with murder being an example; and that such judgments are based upon a natural morality with the same applicability. It is suggested that this should be the entire scope of criminal law. It is suggested that acts proscribed only by particular cultures holding particular beliefs; an extreme example being something which is a crime in New South Wales but not in Queensland, e.g.. The age of homosexual consent is 18 in NSW but only 16 in Queensland. That, in NSW, offenses in the relevant age range are earning substantial gaol sentences of more than two years is making an absurdity out of the law. Law which is based solely upon the Bible is similarly particular. The Bible is not universally believed or accepted.
It is submitted that proscriptive law, which cannot fulfill the universality condition of natural law, should be categorized as regulative. Penalties for breaking a regulation should include neither prison nor a permanent stain upon character.
The confusion between natural law and regulative law is an important source of injustice. In particular, there is confusion between Judeo-Christian regularity and true natural law. New South Wales's homosexual decriminalization in 1984 is where perhaps we can mark the beginning of the history of the distinction. Regulations can be repealed, natural law cannot. The criminal law against paedophilia is getting its justification only from the deliberate misrepresentation of all such behavior as "abusive" or rapacious once the mischaracterization has been exposed, there will no longer be any excuse not to decriminalize it; or else, dramatically reduce the penalties. That paedophile behavior may be contrary to Biblical law is irrelevant; because Biblical law is the particular law of Judeo-Christian culture.
Criminal law should not be used to enforce particular standards of behavior and habit, even those of psychologists, mainly white, middle-class, and predominantly Jewish or Catholic. There is no excuse for dragging particular religious upbringings into professional practices involving prisoners. I am not a Catholic, and 1 strongly resents being subjected to Catholic expectations of behavior. I am quite sure that some of my aboriginal brethren feel the same way. Indeed some of my Catholic brethren may also be resenting being subjected to the right wing of that faith. The reader must understand that we prisoners have no choice in the matter.
I have suggested that law enforcement, particularly sex law but also "drugs", has a sacrificial function. Offenders are being seen as not so much bad as expendable. The sacrificial function, however, is subconscious, and needs to be justified in terms that the people will understand and accept. Hence the media bullshit about sex and drug offenders. It is a thought that only a tiny proportion of offenders in these categories is ever caught. But this is all that is necessary to fulfill the sacrificial purpose. The punishments need to be heavy, and out of all proportion to any possible injury; and they are indeed.
This finishes the section inserted after release to replace manuscript pages that went "missing".
The sovereign sees it as being his duty to protect and foster the moral health of his state, even against the will of the majority of his subjects. He holds his state in trust for God; and in the exercise of God's trust has to uphold and advance his laws, or else risk retributive destruction in the manner of Sodom and Gomorra. In particular, the cities of Sodom and Gomorra are related to have been cursed by the sin of homosexuality.
The Fall marks Man's disobedience to God. The pleasure of that disobedience caused God great pain. God sought his revenge by cursing Man with the pain that would cleanse it of the pleasure (sin). The people of the ancient world sought to mollify God by subjecting themselves to symbolic pain by offering sacrifices. The modern sovereign offers human sacrifices in the operation of the criminal law.
Only a very tiny proportion of sex offenders are ever charged and convicted. Drug offenses are far less common but it is conceded that only a small proportion of offenders are ever caught and gaoled. It is the symbolism that is important. The state is seen as purified and cleansed, and God appeased by the heavy punishment of those offenders who are caught, the victims of the modern version of the ancient sacrifice.
Laws against prostitution have never made any headway at all in any country. They serve as little more than a corrupt source of income for the police. Now and gain there is a "drive", and everybody is happy because something is seen as being done. In the past, most women in prison were in for crimes of "immorality". Today, the prevalent reason is "drugs", but usually prostitution related. But, until the last decade, there were rarely more than 100 women in New South Wales prisons.
Until the 1980's, and the seventies, the decade of "drugs", the major immorality crime was homosexuality. Geoffrey was often told that his sexual preference was a sickness. Yet, our bodies and souls have strong self-healing characteristics; and, given the opportunity, healing will occur. Yet, nobody ever went out of his way to provide Geoffrey with the social environment in which the healing could have occurred. If indeed it was that Geoffrey's upbringing had rendered him abnormally shy in women's company so as to make it difficult for him to build up that store of memories of positive experience which would have kick started his search for an approved heterosexual relationship. It could have been that there was an unconscious perception that the "sickness" theory was on only a smoke screen; and, had there been a genuine infirmity involved, Geoffrey would have been driven to seek his own healing experiences. But, and this is the important point, the sovereign required a sacrificial scapegoat to offer up in order to atone for the approved sexuality of his state; the sovereign needed Geoffrey as a homosexual.
Geoffrey never committed the necessary acts to render him liable to legal punishment. But plenty of other Geoffreys did, and Cooma Prison was reopened in 1957 especially to accommodate them. Yet, until the last five years, Cooma never had any more than about 80 inmates in it at any one time, and not all of them would have been sex offenders. Compare this to the number of homosexuals that must have been at large. Leaving aside closet bisexuals and occasional experimenters, one in twenty of the male population is said to be homosexual. For a population of about two million males, this would mean about 100 thousand males are fully blown homosexuals. So, what was the rational point of putting about 80 of them in gaol? Very little, that is why explanations have to be stretched to their bizarre limit.
Even more so is this today when most sex criminals have offended against carnal knowledge (age of consent), paedophile (man/boy)., find consanguinity (age of consent) laws, it is not too much to say that most of the state's two million males, at some time or another, have offended against these laws. Even if there were a couple of thousand of these offenders in New South Wales gaols, it would make little difference in the level of this category of crime.
Another problem is that few sex and drug offenders believe that they have done anything wrong. The system recognizes this, and tries to answer it with required attendance at Sex Offenders and Drug and Alcohol programs. However, the compulsion is only effective if the offender's total sentence is over three years; which may be another reason for the long sentences in the sex and drug areas.
But, it is submitted, when an offender proclaims that he has come to understand that he has done a terrible wrong because his boy was under the age of eighteen; he is normally, first of all, saying what the system wants him to say in order to get parole. But also accepting that both he and the boy have suffered profound "systems" damage as a consequence of his act, he will be regretting that he ever did it; it was just not worth it.
What the offender is doing is rationally recognizing who has the big stick, and is prepared to use it. He is behaving as the Jeremy Bentham (18th century lawyer/philosopher) person, whose life consists of pursuing pleasure and rejecting pain; and whose actions are decided by weighing up their probable pleasures against their probable pains. This is the "rational" legal man, who lies behind the policy and letter of the law on its sanctions side.
It is unlikely that the offender will have examined the crime from the point of view of his soul, and decided that he did wrong. Because its wrongs has been decided in the light of the interests and motivations of the state, which he does not share. The punishment will have behaviorally modified and retrained the offender, but it will not have reformed him. The sovereign has gained an obedient and fearful subject at the cost of getting somebody who hates him. The prison programs aim to reform, because the sovereign wants a subject who obeys him out of love; but the likely real effect is to re-enforce the effect of the punishment with social conditioning. Geoffrey has never felt a sense of singleness of purpose and wholehearted loyalty to the sovereign; because the sovereign has never fully accepted Geoffrey. Gay loyalty was a worry during the 1950s, at the height of the Cold War; and the lack of it may have helped to bring about America's defeat in the Vietnam War. Had the state been genuine in its belief that Geoffrey's homosexuality was basically a maturity problem, it would have said, "Fair enough, love homosexually, but extend and deepen your experience to include women." It did not, because it knew, and Geoffrey knew, that this was not what the issue was about. The point is that that if the state is genuinely interested in behavioral modification for positive and rational reasons, there is much better methods at hand than the use of the blunt and damaging instrument of the criminal law. Already there seems to be some agreement that this is the way to go with drug control.
What Geoffrey and the drug culture have in common is that both feel that they are victims of the sovereign's oppression in the interests of a passive, obedient, and peaceful state, closely resembling a well-run prison. Get rid of the pursuit of pleasure, and the problems of the world would disappear. But get rid of the pursuit of pleasure, and who would care about punishment anyway. We move now to a discussion of the criminal law in its function of a guarantee of freedom from violent interference with the rights of property and person.
This third function precludes behavioral crime which, by definition, is about actions, which, aside from the statutory operation of the law, would be considered good. A drug transaction, unless it is a rip-off, is a perfectly good contract of sale. And surely, on the face of it, a "smoke" is not interfering with the rights and liberties of others. Behavioral sex offenses involve acts that would be OK if it were not for consenting being excluded by operation of the law. The identity of the victim is always a problem in behavioral crime; and the term "victimless crime" is often used, particularly with gambling and prostitution. As we have seen at great length, victims of sex crime are constructed with the use of elaborate and artificial legal presumptions and psychological and moral assumptions.
There is never any doubt about the identity of the victims, and the nature of their injuries, where the third criminal category is concerned. The third category always, and must by definition, involve the element of actual violence to the rights to a person, or legal person. The law is seeking to protect rights from injury. The injury must be against the person's will. If you invite injury, nothing can protect you. You have a duty of due care and diligence to prevent injury. The well known warning caveat emptor, let the buyer beware, is a case in point. If you invite people to carry away your goods and chattels, do not expect your cries to be heeded when your invitation is accepted. You have a duty to protect your property by all reasonable means; you have a duty to lock up your car when you leave it in the street. If you want to give away your property, you can. A minor is considered not to have the capacity to exercise the duty of care, and the state assumes it for him; and likewise, he is denied the capacity to dispose of his property. An adult can dispose of his body for another's sexual pleasure. The answer is to cease to treat sex as being about property, and instead to see its true character as being about love and affection. The sexual act is the celebration of love, not about the disposal of property. This is the point of entry for the abuse of behavioral sex law by the enabling of its characterization as category 3.
The law is about property. Your person is your property. Your reputation is your property. Your house is your property. Criminal law is divided into crimes against the person, assault, and crimes against property, theft. Or a mixture of both, robbery; but this is for convenience.
Rape is a violent appropriation and use of another's body. Rape, because it is a violent appropriation and use of property, and is not a mutual celebration of love, is a violent and not a behavioral crime. It is submitted that a violent appropriation and use of property must be a proved element in all proved criminal acts; and that the criminal law should only be about violent acts. It should be noted that fraud and breach of trust should be treated as violence, but that they should be actual and not constructed by the law. There should be no place in the criminal law at all for that species of legal thinking called construction; which is the building up of a proved fact by the use and aid of presumptions.
The feature of true violent crime is the consensus about its nature. At most times, and in most places, human society clearly identifies rape, robbery and theft, and denounces them, normally by some form of punishment. When this is not so, it is a clear sign that, at this time and at this place, human society broken down and that the rule of law no longer exists. But it should be noted, that different societies treat property in different ways. Marxist societies emphasize the use of property rather than its absolute ownership, which resides in the state (which, indeed, is the case in our real property that is land, law). Persons who do not recognize the rule of law are outside of society, and are the true criminals. They are the people about whom the Correctional Services system should be about.
Contrast with this the lack of consensus about behavioral law. A homosexual act, which is legal in New South Wales, could get 14 years in Tasmania. In New South Wales, homosexual acts, which could and were getting gaol sentences in 1983, were legal after June 30th 1984. The age of consent for homosexual acts in South Australia is 16. In New South Wales it is 18. Had Geoffrey lived in South Australia, most of his offenses, and all of them which got him 2 years to be served concurrently on each charge, would not have been offenses at all. If he had lived in Holland, none of his offenses would have been offenses; and Holland is a highly organized, law abiding truth of the matter is that paedophile behavior, in most places, at most times, been an accepted, and even desired part of ordinary behavior.
But the lack of consensus is not only in time and place, it is also within a given jurisdiction itself. How can the State condemn gambling when it is so heavily involved in it itself. Gambling, prostitution, drugs, and probably paedophilia, support and nourish a huge industry of organized crime and corruption; which tends to undermine the very foundations of our society. This is not to be saying that merely because these behaviors exist, and lots of people do not think that they are morally wrong, that they are right; merely it is to say that they should not be the subjects of the criminal law. You cannot compel people to be good; and the criminal law is about morals only at the peril of its being corroded and destroyed. The proper concern of the criminal law is to protect the property of individuals from violent interference by others.
It is suggested that if only violent offenders (and truly violent, not constructively violent), were in New South Wales prisons, there would be no more than about 1500 instead of the 7000 plus inmates in the system at present, August 1992. But, then, attempted legal control of behavior has always swallowed disproportionate amounts of law enforcement effort. The writer has vivid memories of the era of 6 o'clock closing and after hours and sly grog trading. This was also the era of the SP bookmaker and the protection rackets he generated. This was in the decade following the end of the Second World War, and came to an end when hotels were allowed (after a referendum) to open to 10 o'clock. The 1960s saw the introduction of legalized off-the-course bookmaking in the TABS, which are now to be found in every shopping center, Isn't this piece of history trying to tell us something?
Within the prison system, behavioral crime is classified as dirty and violent crime is classified as clean. A violent criminal in the "mainstream" does his time easier that a behavioral offender "on protection". Normally a "mains" prisoner will finish his time in a low security camp or on work release. This is rare for a "protection" prisoner. The protection is against violent inmates, who are basically puritanical in outlook. The sovereign seems to have little problem with the violent offender. After all, the only difference between his own violent behavior and that of the offender is that his is legal because he has the power to make it legal. This is a cynical remark, but the same cynic could note that the sovereign imposes the heaviest possible sentence upon the behavioral offender, whilst letting the violent offender off as lightly as he can without seeming to condone the crime. It is suggested that there could be a hidden agenda in that society is being prepared for survival in a future harder and more violent age; that we are living in the run-up time to a replay of the First World War. It is interesting that late Victorian England was characterized by the same puritanism as we are.
Our fourth category of crime encompasses those actions, which have the destruction of the power of the sovereign as their major consequence. The category is seen in its purest and clearest form in totalitarian countries where enemies of the government are declared to be enemies of the State, and sought out and punished accordingly, as political criminals.
In his "Application for Parole", Geoffrey proclaims his acceptance of his absolute duty to respect and obey the law. He accepts that, simply because he deliberately broke the law, and thereby showed it disrespect, that he deserved some penalty. Talk about severity of penalties has about the same precision as talk about the length of a piece of string, but he suspects that, had his been a category 3 violent crime, it is unlikely that he would have been sent to prison. As a first offender, it is likely that he would have received a bond; or, at most, a suspended sentence. A component of this would have been for his bare disobedience.
The bare disobedience component of a sentence is high with behavioral crimes because the sovereign tends to see them as direct confrontations with his authority. Paedophile offenders are punished because they have corrupted their boy's habits of obedience and respect for authority; in the same way as Socrates was put to death for corrupting the youth of Athens; although it is true he corrupted them with ideas of independent thought. Paedophile behavior was apparently quite acceptable in the Athens of the time. It seems reasonable to suppose that the category 4 component of a sentence has a direct relation with the sovereign's feelings of security.
The old Soviet Union handed out its heaviest sentences for political crimes. In our system, treason is the paradigm category 4 crime. It is one of the last crimes punishable by death. The common specific category 4 crime is contempt of court. If Geoffrey publishes the names and addresses of his victims, or indeed any indications of their identity, he is in contempt of court; because there is an Order prohibiting him from doing so. Any public comment on a case in process of being decided sub Judaic is contempt, because it is an attempt to interfere with the Court process. Even in the writing of this book, Geoffrey must never lose sight of the fact that, whatever his personal beliefs and interests may be, the beliefs, interests and requirements of the State must always prevail. The sovereign is the person who decides what are the beliefs, interests and requirements of the State. But who is the sovereign? It is submitted that the sovereign is whoever holds the reins of effective power. Essentially, he must have control of the police force. In our system, his legitimacy necessitates him having control of the legislature. Most sovereigns are not so strong that they do not at least try to give the appearance of legitimacy, that is having their power and actions rooted in recognized and accepted rules. The astute reader, many times in these pages, will have noticed how the sovereign has sought to clothe tatty commands in the garments of solid respectability. Who is likely to oppose the protection of children? Who indeed! We have noticed how category 2 offenses are, with the clever use of appropriate words and terminology made to look as if they fit into the more solid category 3. When obvious devices are being used to confer an appearance of legitimacy upon the Sovereign's actions, there is a suspicion that the appearance of the Sovereign's identity may not be the reality.
The most likely candidate for the real sovereign of New South Wales is the Roman Catholic Church. Both political parties give the appearance of being solidly Catholic in their parliamentary membership. The last premier, Mr. Greinor, was active. The present premier, Mr. F goes one better, and is "devout". The present Prime Minister of Australia is active; it is not certain whether or not he qualifies as devout. Most members of the police force are Catholic. This is a tradition. The public services of both Australia and New South Wales are solidly Catholic. Again, this is a long tradition. If the sovereign can control the police force, the public service and the legislature, he is home.
This is the sort of thing which is easy to affirm but difficult to prove; particularly in these days when "equal employment opportunity" prohibits direct mention of religion in employment situations. But you can always ask where a potential employee went to school.
It is this prison inmate's impression that most of Corrective Services professional staff, including most importantly the psychologists, are either active Catholics, or have a Catholic background. It is reasonable to suppose that, like the police force, the Corrective Service Officer corps is solidly Catholic. It is little wonder that law enforcement policies fall so heavily upon that one area where the Catholic Church has never fully come to terms with, sex. All of this would be all right if Australia were a Catholic country; but this is far from being the case.
One problem with such sovereigns is the hidden agenda factor. If the sovereign is a dominant religion, then it is involved in power struggles with other religions, and will especially target small groups with perhaps different social practices to its own; just as the Israelites did in Old Testament days.
But the Sovereign problem can be treated more generally as a struggle between the political left and the political right.
The motto of the right is might is right. Virtue lies with strength; and the principle of life is survival of the fittest. The only problem that the right has with violence is defeat. Power is what the right is about; and once in power, the interests will entrench themselves to a point when they become almost impossible to dislodge. It is at this point that they become labeled as "conservative", and the principle of existence becomes "no change".
A conservative's enemy is a radical. As conservatives become entrenched in their power, so they cease to grow; and anything that ceases growth, decays. Sooner or later, they must fall prey to a predator radical right. As a recent example, the reader may recall the great company takeover battles of the 1980s; battles where the predators so gorged themselves that they choked; and where, so often, the methods were outside the law. A cynic may note that conservatives write the law.
Anarchy describes the situation where the rule of might is absolute, and where there are only individuals in constant and aggressive conflict. A time comes when there is a victor, and he allows the vanquished to live on the condition that they submit and acknowledge him is Sovereign; and the sovereign is given perpetual existence in the person of God. In whose name the earthly sovereign holds and administers His Kingdom in trust and according to His will and laws. In New South Wales the sovereign is the Crown. The legislature exists only to advise the Crown; and when a Bill becomes law, the Governor "assents" with his signature. The judiciary can be understood as having its power derived directly from God. The function of the judiciary is to decide rights and liabilities; and in criminal matters, it is to see that the king is behaving justly, i.e. that he is behaving according to God's law. In ancient times, the king was directly subject to the Church. Modern lawyers may not consciously see themselves in this way, but they should know the soil into which their roots descend. Lawyer readers can note that this writer was brought up in the juriesprudence school of Austinian Positivism, and is quite well aware of the weaves and twists that this argument can lead him.
The motto of the left is that equality is right. Whereas a right-wing society has its paradigm roots in the emergence of a victor from a violent struggle, a left society is seen as having its beginnings in de formation of an association of like-minded persons. This is for the purpose of mutual advantage.
The laws of a left society are rules for the common good. There is no room in the constitution for either God or sovereign. Every member has equal say in all matters that effect the common welfare. There is none of that hierarchy element, which is so important in rightist societies.
In rightist societies, the Queen's Peace is the prize of the ultimate victor. A person who offends against the peace is personally confronting the sovereign; as Geoffrey did in the events leading up to the case of R v Leonard. There is a element of Category 4 in all rightist crimes; and guilty persons are expected to publicly apologize to the Crown in answer to the question asked by the judge before he hands down his sentence: "Do you have anything to say?" Geoffrey will be tendering his apology to the Crown in his formal application for parole. The maintenance of the Queen's Peace is by force and threats, and examples of pain. Rightist societies are creatures of human animal instincts. Leftist societies are creations of reason. Their enemies are struggle, conflict, and violence. The personal values they most value are self-control, good behavior, a harmonious disposition, and the acceptance of the primacy of reason; in the interests and values of a left-wing society.
Peace is the leftist's highest social value, He seeks to establish and maintain it by eliminating factors that tend to disrupt it. The dynamics of a rightist society is about property; and all legal disputation can be put into the property perspective. Leftist societies seek to eliminate the problem by decreeing that all property is held or controlled in common, "So that no brother is able to exploit another".
The leftist moral code is about the control and elimination of egocentric, selfish and exploitative drives and instincts. By eliminating private property, it limits and controls greed. Leftists hate greed. Similarly, leftists seek to control, if not entirely eliminate, sexual activity, because they see sex as being about male craving for abusive, exploitative power.
Left-wing ideology is a very cerebral thing; and, giving little recognition to the world of the senses, and it finds difficulty in apprehending sexual pleasure as primarily appertaining to the senses. In the eyes of left-wing ideology, the great evils are the search for and exercise of power; which it understands as always being destructive in their effects.
Remembering that, for the right, might is right, it can be understood as the thesis for which the left is the antithesis; and of which practical societies are the synthesis.
Right-wingers do see sexual objects and property, rather than partners. The Biblical penalty for adultery was stoning, because adultery was interference with property; and to own property, a man needs power. Note the left-wing shift from power being a means to being an end. A herd of animals is right wing in that it is the most powerful male who has the cows, and the weaker, and younger, males are driven off. Our sexual law similarly equates power with age. Extreme old age brings defeat, exile from the herd, and rapid death. It is quite true that the possession of a woman gives a man a sense of domination and power as the poses in numerous socialite photographs show. Where the woman is shown smiling and demure, and the man posing over her looking stern and commanding.
That there is a tendency for weaker males to be deprived of sexual privileges and accorded low status accounts, in part, for the treatment accorded effeminate homosexuals. The Biblical law prohibiting homosexuality is also important in a social structure that is seen as hanging from the supremacy of God. Especially do right-wing societies target paedophiles who are seen as too weak and passive even to relate to women. All right-wingers feel the need to hound somebody, and paedophiles are the obvious victims; especially since they are normally involved in interfering with dominant male property rights within the context of his own family. That left-wingers also hate paedophiles as being dominant males so depraved that they prey on children becomes illustrative of the powerful effects of left and right thesis and antithesis coming into phase and reinforcing rather than opposing one another. It is only on the matter of paedophilia that the left is united with the right; because, generally, the left opposes the right-wing conception of family, and sees it as a hotbed of abuse of power and incest. The left has a tendency to encourage the separation of the wife from the husband, and the breakup of family. The left hates incest, but the law also hates it because it offends against the Word of the Lord. Again, this is a case of left and right being in phase (agreement). The penalties for incest are extremely heavy.
Homosexuality is an issue where left and right are out of phase. The left can have no quarrel with homosexuality per se. The left does not recognize gender difference, and even less, does it consider women are inferior. It does not recognize God as the supreme lawmaker and sovereign. Yet, in a different and superior context, the left is recognizing the difference of women in that they are considered intrinsically weaker and the objects of male power lust; and it has come very hard upon male minors being used as objects of older males' lusts. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the New South Wales left is close to the general damning of sex which would be in keeping with its basic attitude to urgent animal instincts and drives. Basically, the left sees "love" and "affection" as being covers for underlying power drives. When a patient informs a psychologist that he loves B, the psychologist tells him, "No, you have perceived B as weaker, and this perception has triggered off your power lust. Leave B alone!". Psychology is extremely important for the left, because it uses behavioral control as its preferred instrument of social control. The right rules by fear, and the law is the instrument of that fear. In a right-wing state, the powerful sovereign subjects his weaker transgressing subjects to so much pain, that the balance of pains and pleasures (dictates that the action is never repeated. The penalty says that the sovereign is boss and that his will must be obeyed; Category 4.
The right sees the law as the instrument of the sovereign's interest in what are basically conflict of interests. The left has the different conception that the law is reason in conflict with unreason. In the left's eyes, prisons are really mental hospitals where the patients live behind high walls and locked doors for the protection of the community. The left sees a prison term as a period of incapacitation that gives the community a breathing space during which psychology can get to work to treat and cure. It is a chilling thought that it is within the ambit of leftist thought to permanently incapacitate those inmates judged to be untreatable by "putting them to sleep". One would think that it would be most likely inclined to make this judgment with reference to sex offenders.
Razorwire's crystal ball shows a tendency to longer and longer custodial sentences, because the right's increasing insecurity and need to present a harsh, fearful and oppressive presence is in phase with the left's belief in long prison "therapies" and incapacitation. Present prisons are a synthesis of left and right.
You might ask about morality. The criminal law is not about morality but it would be hoped that a criminal law, which is immoral, would not withstand the test of time. But what is moral? In a right-wing society, the law is always the ultimate criteria of morality; because, through the sovereign, it derives from God. The left equates morality with reason; and in a leftist society, the law is always the foundation of reason. Geoffrey sees morality as being about love, posivity and creativity, and in all things that are felt as beautiful and pleasurable. He sees the immoral as the hurtful, negative, destructive and painful. Geoffrey believes that there is an evil streak in us all; which we need to control if we are to develop, grow, and become good people. Both left and right tend to develop huge and elaborate ideologies to provide excuses for evil policies and action. Especially is this true of the left, with its structures of slogans, correct thought, and right action. Government is basically right wing in nature, because it is about power; and when the left comes to power, its thought structures and ideologies become fronts for its right-wing reality. This was so in the old Soviet Union, where, for example, homosexuality was hated even more than in the West.
In the end, it comes down to good faith. Geoffrey does not believe that the present government of New South Wales is acting in good faith. But, at best, is tailoring its law n'order policies to catch the evil "blood" vote; and it is advised by social workers and psychologists, some of which are, likewise less than motivated by good faith. Communication with a sovereign (or anybody) is impossible if he is not motivated by good faith. His principle agents of power, the police, do not try to hide the fact that they get their kicks from bashing, hurting, and destroying persons in their power. There are, no doubt, good police persons, but it is a good idea not to try to find one.
Geoffrey suspects that modern psychology's implied teachings about pleasure as always being at the cost of evil violence, and of pain as a moral cleanser as being a confidence trick to fool others, and perhaps itself, into the acceptance of evil. Modern psychology hides behind "correct" thinking in a way reminiscent of the medieval Church's hiding behind warped theology. Modern psychology seems to resemble the medieval Catholic Church? But there is also a strong factor of simple material self-interest. Sex crime is fast becoming an industry, with lawyers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and police, all greedily feeding at a trough being continuously replenished from victims’ compensation.
The right also uses ideology for its own ends. Its insistence upon obedience, sacrifice of personal interests, and the acceptance of pain as moral duties is plainly to enable the acceptance of oppression and exploitation. Both left and right use the social psychology behavioral trait that people only with extreme difficulty and reluctance are able to doubt the moral goodness and good faith of persons they accept as being in positions of authority and social superiority. These persons normally seek to protect their positions with forms of censorship. But this is unnecessary if their acceptance is genuine. When a person gets on top of you, you are blinded to his faults. Geoffrey's problems with the psychologists at Cooma Prison were rooted in these factors.
Two detectives presenting themselves at his workplace as Mr. and Mrs. Nicholson arrested Geoffrey on March 15, 1990. He was arrested, cautioned, and taken to the CID. His charges were sexual in nature, but although extremely serious in terms of New South Wales's law, most of them would not have been unlawful in South Australia, and his behavior would have been completely acceptable in Holland. Therefore his offenses can be classified as Category 2, with elements of Category 4. But the charge sheet indicated a number of Category 3 (violent) charges. On the way to the station, the male and female detectives asked Geoffrey to indicate his plea. Was he guilty? Geoffrey denied his guilt. What he should have done was to indicate that he did not wish to enter a plea at all that is he wanted to say nothing.
At the station, under the pressure of threats that things would be made hard for him (would be beaten up?), Geoffrey maintained his innocence. But broke down when he was confronted with a love letter he had written to one of the boys. The evidence was so strong that he thereafter pleaded guilty to everything. He was certainly not substantially guilty of the Category 3 charges; but he may have been legally guilty; guilty by virtue of the literal wording of the sections in the Crimes Act. Had Geoffrey had the stomach, and finances, to fight his case through to the Appeals Court, guilt on these charges may well have been decided in his favor. But, apart from being instrumental in deciding a legal point, and making legal history, he would have been almost certainly worse off through being given heavier sentences for those charges of which he was unquestionably guilty.
Both "not admitting" and pleading "not guilty" carry heavy penalties in their own right. It is very likely that Geoffrey would not have got the bail on the spot with a nominal surety ($1000), as he did get. Things would have been made hard for him in that he would have been held overnight in the cells, and brought before the magistrate in the morning; with bail being granted but on very onerous terms. The police indicated that they intended to go to Geoffrey's house and give it a thorough search. In the advent, this was dropped. With the guilty plea indicated in Geoffrey's signed statement, no more evidence was needed than that given by the complainants and their parents in their statements; and this was the only evidence ever tended to the Court.
The material in these statements was not completely accurate. Under the influences of their parents and the police, it would be unreasonable to expect that the boys to have done other than make their accounts as black as possible to Geoffrey. One of them had Geoffrey saying, "And now you have had your fun, I will have mine." This is a classic instance of the infamous "verbal", a police interpolation. Geoffrey never used language like that. We may suppose that the police do; and it would be interesting to know in how many statements these police signature words appear. Apart from these factors, the statements had a resemblance to the actual events. There was one pure fantasy where the elder boy had Geoffrey enter from his bedroom dressed only in black socks. Police imagination overheated by watching too many porn movies?
Geoffrey formally entered a guilty plea in the Local Court hearing. This took just a few minutes. Which left only the referral to the District Court for sentencing. This occurred in exactly four months, with only a "mention" and a hearing for application of persistence report (refused) on the way. Geoffrey's formal District Court arrangement, where he entered guilty pleas to the charges read out by the judge, was held as an immediate preliminary to the sentencing hearing.
Had Geoffrey reserved his plea until he arrived at the District Court, he would have had a lengthy hearing in the Local Court to enable the magistrate to decide whether the Crown had sufficient evidence to sustain a conviction in the District Court. Whilst reserving his plea, could have contested the weight of the Crown's case; and this would have required the calling of the boys as witnesses; a black mark when it comes to sentencing. The Crown is able to argue lack of concern for the welfare of the victims with this demonstration of a willingness to expose them to further emotional harm and injury. The Local Court hearing will have cost Geoffrey a lot of money.
The District Court will require an arraignment hearing, where it would have received Geoffrey's non guilty plea, preliminary for listing for call-over, and then listing for trial. Again, the witnesses would have had to be called, and a further black mark for Geoffrey.
If only some of the charges had been contested, all of this procedure, and costs, would have been gone through; and the time scale might have stretched to well over two years, instead of being disposed of in exactly four months. During which time Geoffrey would have had to endure a tremendous amount of stress and anguish, instead of getting on with doing his sentence.
The major distorting factor in Geoffrey's case was the fundamental adversarial nature of the police and legal proceedings. It is submitted that a more just handling of the case would have come from it being handled by the Court as an inquisition, i.e. as an inquiry.
As it was, the case had the nature of a contest between Geoffrey and the Crown, R v Leonard. The Crown saw its role as being to put him away for as long as possible. To secure the foundations of their case, the police hit him with largest number of the heaviest charges, and then added some. Thus did the police provide itself with bargaining chips to cash in return for a guilty plea if Geoffrey had played according to the normal and expected rules of the adversarial game by entering a non-guilty plea. But, if Geoffrey pleaded guilty at all; he had to plead guilty to all. Otherwise, there would have been a trial, and any advantage would have been lost. The price is that of him having to carry a more than merited, and very misleading, burden of charges through the prison system, and for the rest of his life.
The Crimes Act provides that there shall be a reduction when a guilty plea is entered. But what would have been the reduction from? How long is a sentence? How long is a piece of string? Judge's observed behavior suggests that they possess a subjective recognition of a relative measure of going-rate, or "tariff" sentences for particular crimes. But the measure is subjective, the judge's discretion is wide. Basically, the provision has no more substance than that of being a point in the advent of an appeal against severity of sentence. And that such appeals are routinely entered, again, is an indication of the adversarial nature of the system. Geoffrey entered no appeal, because there was no question that he got more than the tariff rate for his crime.
Even at the sentencing hearing, the game went on. The Crown argues the objective, i.e. the community's view of the crime. The community denounces. The community demands retribution. The Crown demands the maximum possible sentence (set out in the Act). A major point in the Crown's evidence directly contradicted one of the witness's statements tendered to the Court for its information. The point was prejudicial but could not be counted because it had no direct legal effect. Because consent cannot be argued, there is very little that can be said in these cases on behalf of the offender. The bare facts having been proved, that is that. An inquisitional approach would allow the possibility of the actual circumstances of the crime to be investigated, and the matter put into its true context and perspective. It is submitted that had this been able to the case, Geoffrey would still have received a penalty as a mark of the community's disapproval of his conduct; given its attitudes and beliefs on these matters in 1990. But it is unlikely that he would have received anything like the two and half year with three and a quarter year top that he did receive.
Having listened to the objective case of the Crown, the judge listens to the subjective case of the offender, argued on his behalf by his counsel. Basically, the purpose is to supply the Court with information about the offender. If there is a persistence report, this will be tendered. It will be recalled, that in Geoffrey's case, a motion for an order for this to be supplied was refused. In its place, two medical reports were tendered, one from a forensic psychiatrist and one from a general practitioner specializing in sexual problems. Counsel's basic role is to mineralize or shift responsibility by arguing an excuse, "My client is a fine man, but he is addicted to drink. I submit that the most appropriate and useful remedy is to order that he undergo treatment for his condition. I ask that such an order be made. My client is deeply sorry for what he has done; and with the proper therapy for his alcoholism, it is extremely unlikely that he will re-offend. He has family responsibilities that will be adversely effected by his being sent to prison. Whilst he accepts that he fully deserves to be sent to gaol, he asks that he be given just one more chance, and that his sentence be suspended subject to the relevant orders and conditions".
Whilst Geoffrey's medical reports did not paint a particularly positive view of him, they offered little scope for the support of substantial excuses. It was perhaps fortunate that the Crown did an odd thing during the course of the hearing when it suddenly tended a file of Geoffrey's written correspondence to the complainants' family. The force of these documents was to support a strong plea of contrition. The documents written after the events of the crime, but before the institution of criminal proceedings (and so not written with this matter in mind), plainly indicated that Geoffrey was sorry for what he had done. The general practitioner was hurriedly called; and he gave evidence that, after a total of about 16 therapy hours, he could form the opinion that it was within the character of Geoffrey to write those letters.
And so Geoffrey got off comparatively lightly. That his sentence is considered light is an indication of state of the legal climate of the early nineteen- nineties. He was fortunate that there was no recent Anita Coby like murder, and so no call for an element of general retribution to be added to his sentence. General retribution is the doctrine that, for the committal of a crime of more than ordinary ferocity, the community is entitled to more retribution than can be provided by the offender alone; even if he were put to death. In such an event, there is a tendency to add an extra element of retribution to all sentences handed down about the relevant time; and for all paroles to be subject to harder scrutiny. Geoffrey's parole is coming up a few months after the Ebony Simpson murder, so he can expect to be required to spend a few extra months in gaol. (Actually he got out with just 5 days over his minimum owing to an administrative error.). It can be added that proved contrition (being sorry) and cooperation (turning Queen's evidence) are factors that are taken into consideration when fixing sentences, because they mitigate the category 4 factor. The doctrine (of general retribution) is nowhere set down in writing, but recognized by most persons involved in the criminal justice system.
There is no rational answer to crimes like the rape/murder of the 9 year old Ebony Simpson. They are not committed by Bethamite men (and women), carefully and deliberately weighing up the pros and cons, the pleasures as against the probable pains, before they act. Rather should they be regarded as one-off natural disasters like Cyclone Tracy and Hurricane Andrew. They will always be with us; rare events, but always possibilities. But perhaps less rare as society moves further and further in the direction of seeing and punishing love and affection as heinous forms of violence. Should we be surprised, when we presume the equivalence of sexuality with violence, and legally act on this presumption, that sometimes the presumption becomes an actuality?
In the end, it must come down to the wishes of the sovereign. All of the signs are that he wants a more hurtful and violent society, with more legitimate outlets for urges to inflict pain and injury. He will be hitting belief, behavioral and political offenses with increasing savagery; but, at the same time, encouraging core violent and dishonest crime. Both major political parties in New South Wales are seeking electoral popularity in perceived penal harshness and cruelty. No wonder the pleasures of love, sexuality, positivity and creativity are viewed with such disfavor. Finally, let us conclude with a personal statement from Geoffrey. "I recognize that some of the values and beliefs expressed in this essay are contrary to those of the sovereign. During my term in prison, I have voluntarily undergone a course of group psychotherapy, where I have learnt to know and identify my own value and belief system. Where I have been enabled to step back from that system, and look at it objectively; and where I have learned and accepted that it is my absolute duty to the sovereign to reject it where and when it comes into conflict with his value and belief system. In any conflict between personal values and beliefs with those of the state, those of the state must always prevail. There can never be any conflict of interest between an individual and his sovereign, because such a conflict will always result in the individual's destruction; which is never in his interest",
H M Prison Coma
Note inserted 24/1/99: I had a shrewd idea that, at some time or another, the authorities would have wanted to read the manuscript. As it happened, it was confiscated and read.
The New South Wales Correctional Services System
Prison is about pain a pure pain deliberately imposed by the sovereign as a retributive cost for a disobedience to his will, and as a mark of the community's revulsion and denunciation of the criminal act. Prison, in other words, is about revenge.
The judge declares the State's right to a quantum of pure pain. He declares the offender to be in debt to this amount; to be paid by a term to be spent in Her Majesty's New South Wales Correctional Services System and in the form of deprivation of freedom.
The pain is to be pure. Like that inflicted by the lash. The Correctional Services System has a duty to release all inmates in at least as good a condition as it took delivery. The modern sovereign rejects incapacitation in the form of death, dismemberment, and injury to mind and body. The purpose of the pain is first; to satisfy the sovereign as to his finite debt, and secondary; to scourge the soul to effect its cleansing and reform. The lash is an alternative to prison, but although its sensation is sharp; its penetration is shallow, and its memory is short. The penetration of prison is deep, and its memory is long. Long enough to enable and motivate the inmate to reflect upon his crime, and so reform him.
The primary task of Corrective Services is to administer the punishment prescribed by the judiciary. But it has also the by no means wholly compatible task of releasing the inmate in good-mental and physical condition. It has to be cognoscente of its duty to exact a definite and finite debt. But, more than just having the duty to release a prisoner in as good a mental and physical condition as it received him, it has the duty to release him as a person capable of leading a law abiding life
It is recognized that, whilst some crime is motivated by greed; and, being rational, is subject to deterrence by the Benthamite weighing of the pros and cons, most is symptomatic of a sheer inability to meet the ordinary needs, drives and satisfactions of life in a lawful manner. Some is indicative of defeat in the battle of life so catastrophic, and so complete, that the only remaining possibility is violence. It is relevant to remark that the vulnerable age for such trauma is early childhood.
So, Corrective Services is not carrying out its obligations by merely locking up inmates for the duration of their sentences. This is perceived, and effort is made to provide to provide work, educational, and psychological programs designed, not only to preserve, but also to enhance their prospects of surviving and prospering in a law-abiding lifestyle. And in the most serious cases of life defeated persons, perhaps sufficient survives to be capable of stimulation and growth from positive influence and encouragement. But, how can survival skills and attitudes be taught in a situation that is a deliberately imposed limited death? How, when the will to survive has itself been defeated, can the prison system be seen as other than the victor?
How can violence be taught as wrong by a system whose primary role is to deliberately administer violence?
How can a system, whose primary purpose is to administer the deprivation of freedom, foster and encourage love, affection, positivity, true sexuality, and creativity, whose existence requires the precondition of the existence of freedom?
The thing that surprises about Corrective Services is that it manages to discharge its duties at all. Rather as in the old story of the dancing dog. But what is achieved is achieved at enormous financial and resources cost. The stated aim of Corrective Services is to release prisoners capable and willing to live the life of law-abiding citizens. The purpose of this essay is investigate whether or not there are better and cheaper ways of achieving this objective.
But there must be two conditions and limitations to this inquiry. The system must not contain conscience, behavioral and political prisoners; and there must be an acceptance that institution of freedom must leave open the possibility that some people will deliberately choose to live evil (in the sense of preferring pain and destruction) lives. And these people may need to be removed from the ordinary community in order to protect it. These people will invariably be guilty of the violent crime in the Category 3 actual violent crime, as described in the essay on the law; and what is being advocated as the only valid subject of the criminal law. With the acceptance of this proviso must come the acceptance that freedom cannot be absolutely unlimited. And with the acceptance of this proviso, must come the acceptance that there must always be prisons. It is open for us to inquire what form the residual prison might take.
Geoffrey was delivered into the New South Wales prison system on the lst August 1990. He spent the night in the Alcatraz like Surrey Hills Police Center. The description is not used lightly. The Police Centers' design was so inspired by that infamous place that it is almost a copy. The next day, Geoffrey was taken to the Central Industrial Prison, Long Bay Prison Complex. He was locked into one of the bleak, open no.1 Wing front yards; taken to the doctor for medical examination; and Reception for prison uniform; and, finally to the small One Wing strict Protection Unit. Which is a penological within a penological. So, what is this world in which Geoffrey now found himself, and in which he would be for at least the next two and a half years?
A reception prison is a temporary holding place where an inmate receives initial processing; and from where he is classified to the institution in which he is to serve the next stage of his sentence. In Sydney, the reception prisons are Parramatta and the Central Industrial Prison, CIP, at Long Bay. But some inmates do serve all of their sentences at both of these places.
The Long Bay Prison Complex is a huge, sprawling place consisting of six quite separate prisons. There is the CIP, whose basic function has already received a glance. The CIP was built around about 1910, and replaced Darlinghurst (now a trade college) as Sydney's main prison.
There is the Metropolitan Remand Prison, MRP, which was built as the 400 inmate Women's Reformatory about 1916. Right up to the 1980s, there were never more than about 100 women in the system (there are now about 400). After the 2nd World War, it was turned over to the men to serve as the place where inmates from all over the system are sent to await or receive medical treatment. There is a large hospital attached to the Complex, and Royal Prince Henry is nearby.
There is the Metropolitan Remand Center, MRC, which houses accused men before their trial; men who have had their applications for bail refused; or have been unable to meet the conditions imposed; or have elected to commence their inevitable penological terms without delay. The MRC was built in the 1950s.
There is the Malabar Training Center. The MTC was built in the 1960s to house the women after their shift from the MRP. Most of the state's women prisoners are now at Malawi Training Center in the Silverwater prison complex. The MTC is low security and is where most of the Bay's cooking is done, and which has attached to it a large nursery for the purposes of the inmates' employment. It is also the case, or was the case, that some inmates are eligible for participation in work release and study -release programs; where, under stringent conditions, they are allowed to work or attend places of study outside of the system. Then there is the Special Care Unit; where selected inmates from all over the system, and who have been perceived as having difficulties in conforming and adapting to the system, are given a course of training. The SCU is housed in one of the wings of the MRP, but fully enclosed by its own wall.
Finally, there is the newly completed Special Purposes Prison, which is special high security to house basically inmates who have turned Queen's Evidence, and who have need of a very high degree of protection from other inmates. For obvious reasons, little is known about the SPP.
Gaol historians will note the existence of the infamous Katigal, the human zoo as it was described in the Nagle Royal Commission Report. It was designed as the ultimate high tech, high security, intractable' Prison. It was too 'over the top' and was closed in the early eighties. It is interesting that it did boast a successful escape. It is now a store.
All of the prisons have distinct identities, and are headed by their own Superintendents. Passing from one prison to another can be quite a business, with full body searches at the entry and exit points. Such a journey may, for example, be occasioned by the need of an inmate to pass from the CIP to the MRP for an X-ray. On one occasion, Geoffrey made this dreary excursion. A Chief Superintendent heads the Prison Complex. It seems that, in 1992, the inmate population of the Complex is around 1,500.
There is little point in continuing our tour until something is understood about inmate and prison classification. All inmates have a security rating. Prisoners on remand, and immediately after sentencing are A2s. An A2 is ordinary maximum security, whilst Al is reserved for inmates who are seen as presenting a special security risk. Inmates who have an escape, or attempted escape, on their record are designated E2 for ordinary risks and El for those considered especially dangerous or determined. Throughout their time, and in all subsequent times, they are treated as maximum security; but at any rate, never lower than medium.
All maximum-security prisons have high outer perimeter walls, which are overseen by manned and armed guard towers, generally with walkways extending some distance on either side. In older prisons, the towers are at the corners of the wall. But modern prisons might have a single high tower set in the middle of the compound, as at Lithgow and the John Moroney Center in South Windsor.
Maximum-security inmates spend a high proportion of their time locked in their cells. The nineteenth century regime was that they were locked in their cells except for periods of exercise; and, even today, the period outside the cell is no more than about six hours. All meals are eaten in the cell. Up to comparatively recently (after 1989), most inmates had their own cell; were one-out, to use gaolspeak. At this time of writing (1992) the position in the older gaols, at least, is that most inmates are two-out; or even, at the Bay, three-out; in accommodation that was not meant to be overgenerous for one. No more than two beds can be fitted in, and the unfortunate third inmate has to sleep on the concrete floor. Nineteenth century penological thinking stressed the desirability of seclusion; and seclusion-continued to be the rule up to 1989, when it was so dramatically broken by the results of-the abolition of remissions for good conduct.
Whilst most high security prisons have workshops of some kind or another, the security routine is so tight and crowded that, except for those lucky inmates who gets sweeper (domestic) jobs, most spend their exercise times just pacing the yards. As a rule of thumb, inmates with more than four years to serve can expect to be classified maximum security. But classification committees take a variety of factors into consideration, including the management requirements of the system itself. The historical connection with the nineteenth century doctrine of seclusion, or 'non association', has been noted. The child of the nineteenth century inmate's non-association phase of his sentence is maximum security. When the time comes for the inmate's reclassification to B, medium security, there comes the end of his time of non-association.
Besides most parts of Long Bay, the maximum security prisons of New South Wales are Parramatta, which is also a reception prison; Maitland; Grafton, but not all wings; Goulburn and Bathurst, both of these have minimum security x wings. Lithgow and the John Moroney Center, Parramatta and Maitland were built in the 1840s. Goulburn and Bathurst were built in the 1880s. Grafton first saw the light of day in the 1890s. And then there is the long time interval of almost a century to the recent buildings of Lithgow and the John Moroney Center. These last two were built for 250 inmates each, whereas most high security prisons of last century were meant for about 100 inmates. This fact is of significance, as we shall presently see.
After a nineteenth century inmate had completed his initial period of isolation (prescribed in the 1867 Prisons Act to be one twelve of the sentence), he was moved to a situation where the predominant theme was work. Life in today's B security institutions reflects this emphasis. Inmates are still behind-high walls, but they are not manned. Not that this is of practical significance when they are topped with the lethal razor wire, as they all are.
Medium security prisoners spend a lot longer time out of their cells, normally a maximum of from 6.30 in the morning (compulsory rise time) to 7.00 in the evening, final lockup. They eat communally in a mess hall. There are activities rooms for games and general socializing out of the weather. But emphasis is placed upon the desirability of inmates working an ordinary working day. At Cooma, about 70 inmates work in the Tailor Shop, which meets the New South Wales public hospital system with all of its linen requirements.
However, B security prisons still have very solid security and custodial routines; and, at Cooma, inmates are never allowed to be outside the sight and sound of an officer at any time when they are not locked in their cells. In practice, this requirement imposes severe restraints and limitations upon the productive efficiency of the workshops. An enormous amount of production time is lost because 'there are not enough officers'. But, keeping this limitation in mind, it is fair to say that the greater freedom of a medium security prison allows its work, educational and reform/rehabilitative programs to function at a level inconceivable in a maximum-security institution.
The medium security prisons in New South Vales are Cessnock, built in the 1960s; Berrima, whose history as the State's first purpose built non-association penological, began in 1836, but whose modern history as Berrima Training Centre dates only as far back as 1948. Likewise, Cooma's original purpose, in 1873, was to implement solitary confinement policies, but whose modern history starts in 1957. Both Berrima and Cooma, for long periods of time, were abandoned relics of the past. But, one suspects, abandoned more on account of their small and uneconomic size than the iniquity of their regimes. The last medium security prison to be added to the system is Parklea; built as maximum security in the early 1980s but downgraded after the 'property' riots in 1990, when inmates smashing through their cell walls with bed-heads revealed the inadequacy of its construction. It is designated as a prison for young offenders. At this time of writing (1992), a 600-inmate prison at Junee is under construction. It is designated as the State's first private penological. If it is proved that gaols can be run at a profit, there will be no limit to the number that can be built; and there will be just that little more incentive to smell criminals out and incarcerate them.
Inmates with less than 18 months to run are normally classified minimum security; but again this is a ballpark figure and is subject to such considerations, as the classification committees think fit. Minimum-security terms are served in institutions without walls. Inmates are allowed outside the sight and hearing of an officer; and whilst they are locked up at night, lockup is not till 9 o'clock, and it is the unit where the inmates live, rather than individual cells, which is locked. Life in these units is lived more or less as life would be lived in a hostel; with meals being eaten there, sometimes even prepared there, and inmates holding their own keys to their cells. Up to lockup, inmates can spend their time in activities huts situated elsewhere in the compound. Geoffrey never spent any time at one of these places, but he understands that these compounds are now topped with razor wire, and are locked and patrolled at night. As well, these places are situated well into the bush, and an escapee has a long way to run before he gets anywhere. An inmate of a minimum-security prison farm lives a life not very different to a soldier in an army camp. This is even to the extent that he is entitled to liberal weekend and day-leave. When he receives visitors, he does not have to change into overalls and see them in conditions subject to constant surveillance, as he does even at Cooma. But, even more importantly, because work routines are not subject to the unusual and special restraints that they are in maximum and medium institutions, he can put in a full working day. Because of this he can earn a lot more money than he can at these other places and he can save for his release. And when he comes up for parole, the relevant question, 'can he adjust and conform to ordinary, lawful community life', can be answered with greater certainty; because he has spent a period doing very nearly that.
The minimum security prisons of New South Wales are Manus, which is a general, mixed farm, situated near Tumbarumba, in the far south of the state. There is Kirkconnell, an afforestation camp situated near Lithgow. There is Oberon, an afforestation camp near Bathurst. There is Newnes, an "adventure" camp near Lithgow, for young offenders. There is St Heliers, mixed farming, near Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley. There is Glen Innes, a timber mill; and the State's oldest prison farm, established in the time of Governor Macquarie. Otherwise, there is the Malabar Training Centre at Long Bay and the work release prison at Silverwater. There is a women's institution, the Norma Parker Centre, in Parramatta.
For the record, it needs to be said that there are also various weekend detention centres, where prisoners are prisoners for the weekend only; but a nasty punishment when the weekends stretch to two years, as they can. There are various centres for reporting where the offender is sentenced to so many hours Community Service. These places are not part of the prison system in that they do not form part of the progressive modulation of penalties program whereby a prisoner begins his sentence in high security and is released on parole from a condition of semi-liberty in a camp.
It needs also to be mentioned that all prisons need some C2s in order that they can function. In these cases being a C2 means that an inmate has an outside warrant which entitles him to go outside of the walls under supervision. Gaols need their stores to be got in. They need their perimeter gardens to be tended; and many more tasks besides. Cooma maintains a museum and shop for its woodcraft products. This is manned by C2s and C3s. C3s are participants in a sponsored day release program. The old word for C2s and C3s was trustee. Cooma has a number of minimum securities working on its attached farm, and on outside maintenance (which includes cleaning the outside offices and gatehouse area). It is unfortunate that, whilst trustees can enjoy a little more freedom whilst they are working, they still have to live in the basic security conditions of their prisons. Geoffrey enjoyed his job as tour guide in Cooma Gaol Museum, and even had some influence in choosing this spelling over 'jail', but, at the end of the day, he had to go back inside to live the life of an ordinary B Security prisoner. His prison retained Geoffrey, like most trustees, because he had found his niche and was seen as making a valuable contribution. There is a tendency to kick the more undesired inmates upstairs to the farms.
The reader might ask what happened to the Cl classification. As aforementioned, most maximum-security gaols have minimum-security 'X' wings attached. Some of these takes Cls. Kirconnel has a newly completed Cl compound. Otherwise, Cls are treated as Bs. In general, it seems that "X" wings are rather higher effective security than farms.
Inmates in the New South Wales prison system live in "wings". The word came from nineteenth century classical prison architecture, whereby cellblocks were built as radiating spokes, wings, from a central observation and administrative hub. Examples are Goulburn, Parramatta (one section), and the old Women's Reformatory at Long Bay (the present MRP). The wings are vast echoing concrete and iron halls, up to four levels high, with cells opening on to galleries running along the sides. The wings at Goulburn are three levels high, built on a grand and imposing scale, with plenty of bright work to keep the inmates occupied. The wing at Cooma is only of two levels, and is, in every way, more modest, human and friendly. The old prisons looked as if they were designed to crush the human spirit, which indeed they were. Geoffrey spent one night in Goulburn, for which he is grateful. Grateful that is because it was only one night.
The most fundamental item of classification is gender. A woman is consigned to a woman's prison, and a man to a man's prison. It seems too obvious to even state, but problems arise with transsexuals. The world is not so neatly provided with the right pigeonhole for everybody and everybody for the right pigeonhole, as psychologists would like it to be, and pretend that it is. There is a psychologist on every classification committee busily shuffling his stereotypes.
Throughout the history of classification, going back to convict days and even further(classification was a preoccupation with Victorian penologists), there has appeared the young offender. He is fresh-faced, gullible in mind and physically weak; and he is morally savable. He should not be put with hardened older criminals to be subject to their moral corruption and sexual predations; and he should be put into special institutions, where he can be trained. The present government has resurrected the theme, with all of its attendant mythology, and Parklea is now the young offenders B security correctional centre, and Newnes Camp is the finishing off school.
The word resurrection is used deliberately, because the theme goes through a regular cycle of death and rebirth. The brutal fact is that the highest represented age group amongst prisoners under custodial punishment is the 18-25 young offenders; and, far from providing the victims, it is from its ranks that come most of the heavies and would-be-if-they-could-be plastics. It is the young offenders who feel that they have something to prove, whilst the older lags are normally content just to do their time. One thing we can be sure of and that is those special young offenders' institutions are more than normally difficult to manage. And even more so when it is considered that it is from this age group that come most drug offenders; and drugs are the root cause of most security and management problems in New South Wales gaols. Nearly all of the younger offenders in Cooma were drug offenders, and they were the ones that had to be watched. Drug offenders are even less likely to agree that they are truly criminal than sex offenders are.
In the past, first offenders were segregated from recidivists, i.e. inmates who have been in prison before. This is no longer so. Possibly because such a high proportion of the penological population is recidivist that the classification is impractical. Exact figures on the proportion are not available, but it is said to be as high as two thirds. This very important topic will be discussed later in this essay. It is normal practice to put remandees in their own holding centres. We have noted the existence of such a unit at Long Bay. There is also one newly constructed at the Silverwater Complex. However, Cooma normally contains a small number from the surrounding area; and Geoffrey shared a cell with one for the first six weeks he was there.
Longtermers, those serving over ten years, serve their time in the places appropriate to their classification; and during Geoffrey's time at Cooma, there were always a number of lifers. On the whole, they were the quieter kind of prisoner. Segregation according to length of sentence was a nineteenth century policy but abandoned due to lack of practical purpose and difficulty of implementation. There is little connection between moral probity and violence of character, and length of sentence. Which, again, is a matter for thought.
Geoffrey was classified about a fortnight after arrival in the CIP at Long Bay. He received a B to be served at Cooma. It is curious that there seemed to have only been three B prisons in the system at the time, Cessnock, with about 600 inmates; Berrima, with about 80; and Cooma with 160 maximum. He was sent to Cooma, primarily because of its Sex Offenders Program. But Cooma also has a Drug and Alcohol Program and, at that time, a Young offenders Program. So, if any of these programs was seen as relevant to the inmate, he could be classified to Cooma. Another factor is availability of visits. An offender, coming from the town of Cooma, would normally be classified to that penological. Incidentally, any course of action considered beneficial to an inmate, i.e., will aid his processing to be released as a law-abiding citizen, is called a program. Visits constitute a program, because they help to maintain an inmate's contact with the outside World; that will function as his personal support system when he rejoins that world. Committees, which sit on an inmate every six months to review his classification and progress, are called Programs Review Committees. They receive wing reports about the inmate's cell tidiness, personal cleanliness, social attitudes and behavior; is he a leader, follower, loner, or stirrer? Does he involve himself in physical pursuits? They receive work reports and reports from any reformative/rehabilitative program that the inmate might be involved in. They sit him down, make relevant remarks, and decide on any action, or lack of it, as the case may be. Sitting on the Cooma PRC is the prison psychologist, the senior education officer, the welfare officer, the Superintendent's secretary, and the Deputy Superintendent. Newcomers to the penological go before a Reception Committee, with the same personnel; but which does not review classification.
The Reception Committee is concerned, first and foremost with the newly arrived inmate's employment potential. The keynote is the words spoken to one of Geoffrey's friends, at his appearance, "This is a working penological, and you are expected to work". This matter of prison employment will be returned to later.
More to the point was what the Reception Committee does not do; or, at least it did not do with Geoffrey, and we can only assume that it dealt with Geoffrey in its customary way. It did not direct him to involve himself in any of the programs. It took the view that a mature Geoffrey, himself, is responsible for the growth and fulfillment of his life.
It is recognized that there is an inevitable tendency for penological authorities to direct the inmate in all aspects of his life, so that he takes no responsibility, and can take no responsibility, for his life whatsoever. He can rebel, but rebellion invites punishment, and is inevitably destructive. So, the inmate human condition is forced to its residual condition of survival, and he does what he is told. The older lag's first principle of life is "No hassle".
Once an inmate assumes, and acts upon the belief, that the reality of his life is that there is no freedom, his growth and fulfillment of life comes to an end, because their precondition of existence is freedom. In the absence of freedom, life's only possibility is violence; and, to survive, he hides. The process is called institutionalization. An utterly defeated and institutionalized ex-inmate is forced to either a precarious life on the edges of society; or, denied even this, is forced to meet violence with what he sees as the hostile, uncaring and unfair world; and he comes back to prison.
To counter this, an inmate (at least, at Cooma) is encouraged, himself, to seek out the programs; and entering them, to be responsible for his participation and completion. In his doing this, he is encouraged to cease thinking of himself as a victim of a world over which he can have no control, and in which he can have no real participation. And in the growth he experiences in the programs, he discovers, or rediscovers, the freedom that must provide the only real basis for his reformation and rehabilitation.
But an inmate also learns that the decisions involved in taking responsibility for his life all require him to ask for, and receive, permission. Because the precondition of his own freedom is the freedom of all others. Sex offenders all have it in common that even assuming that they have the "victim's" permission in their involvement in an act which is the ultimate celebration of freedom, they have acted against some interested party's wishes, the parents, the church, the law, and the Sovereign. In an ideal world, "ask and you shall receive" is the relevant dictum. But, in the real world, we could do nothing if we had to wait for everybody's permission. In the real world, acts of growth and fulfillment may not be the interests of everybody. That is what social conflict and power struggle is all about. We can make no progress is our study of human behavior, criminology and prisons unless we recognize that we do not live in an ideal world; and that such a world cannot exist (for fundamental ontological reasons). A student in our areas cannot progress until he sets his feet solidly upon the limits of human idealism. Imposed idealism gives the worst hell of all, because it is the ultimate contradiction of freedom. As modern psychologists go about imposing their idealism, using the criminal law as a weapon, so we are entering an icy relationship living hell. The human condition is imperfect; that is what makes it human. In the end, Geoffrey began to view the psychologists as inhuman monsters, capable of committing crimes equal to the worst in human history, and committing them without a flicker of emotion or doubt.
Geoffrey is possibly suffering the irrational fears that are the natural children of long years of incarceration However it is only 67 years since the opening up of the Nazi concentration camps, and the horrors that this event revealed. And it is only 60 years since the great purges of Stalin: Both great crimes done in the name of idealism. We may not be far from the time when modern psychologists will be advocating compulsory chemical castration for all persons convicted of sex offenses; or even as prophylactic for all persons deemed capable of such behavior. The next logical step is painless mass extermination. To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, "Idealism is the last refuge of an evil person".
So, in prison, when an inmate wishes to do anything that is outside strict routine, he needs to fill in the ubiquitous blue "application" form. But it has to be admitted the purpose of an application is not so much to ask permission as to activate the bureaucratic machinery necessary to implement a decision. Permission has to be sought; say, to send money home from a personal goal account. An official decision has to be made, and then the decision has to be implemented by the penological bureaucracy. This just to do something, which a cheque does outside.
The purpose of a prison is to be a place where the pure pain debt to the community, declared by the court as a retribution for a proven crime, is administered. Much of this administration is done in the name of the magic word "security". The residual of security is concerned with the protection of inmates; which will be dealt with in the next topic. There is an immense amount of penological routine concerned with locking and unlocking. Movement from on part of the penological to the other can be a long and involved business; and taking an enormous amount of custodial manpower. In Cooma, there are four formal musters a day; where the inmates line up in the yard, and have their names called out and identified from a photo in a muster book. As well as these, there is a breakfast muster, and head-counts for "sleepers" and final lockup. The final-lock up muster is really a formal muster where a specific identification of an inmate is made from a photograph outside his cell, before his cell is finally locked for the night. Prisoners are not allowed in each other's cells; and, except for brief periods called 'wing-ups', they are not allowed in their cells except on the condition of being locked up. At times other than between final lockup and breakfast, the lockup periods are at the option of the inmate and are called "sleepers". These periods are useful for writing letters, quietly reading, and generally relaxing.
But, as already mentioned, outside in the yard, an inmate is never outside the sight and hearing of an officer. In a penological, you cannot have an argument, much less a fight, and you cannot make love, which raises the question about just how normal is the life that an inmate is allowed to live. But these limitations have, to a limited extent, been mitigated by the necessity, in the overcrowded prison system, for two-out cells. Two-out cells are not a part of deliberate policy; but their elimination would cost immense sums of money, both in capital works and in staffing. Our prison system is designed for about 4000 inmates, whereas, in these dying days of 1992, the number would be closer 8000. Two-out cells have their good and bad points, but they are murder for study and serious activity. The fact has to be faced that the Department of Corrective Services is in fundamental and schizophrenic conflict. Its primary task is punitive, and for the carrying out of this task it has a clearly demarcated staff of custodial officers. On the other hand, industrial officers, called "overseers" staff industries, and the programs are run by professional staff, education officers, psychologists, and the like. Their aim is to produce an inmate, at the end of his term, able and willing to take charge of his life and take his place as a responsible member of the ordinary lawful community. Both industries and programs look to the growth of the prisoner, and to the day when he rejoins the community. Unfortunately they have to clash head-on with custody. Custody looks to restricting freedom, they look to expanding it. So custody tends to regard industries and programs as encroaching upon its territory, and reducing its effectiveness. Custody is what it is ultimately all about, and industries and programs tend to be no more than oasis's in a desert of punishment. Which tends to reduce them to a state of ineffectual gestures.
Every inmate, serving over a few months, suffers from a degree of institutionalization. All of us have had to come to grips with the fact that we are in penological, and that penological, with all of its petty restrictions and routines, is an inevitable fact of life. We all have our own ways of coping. Geoffrey spends his nights banging his typewriter. Custody demands the deprivation of a large part of a prisoner's identity. With loss of identity goes pride, and, when Geoffrey arrived at Cooma, he had not combed his hair since arriving in the system. At his Reception Committee, he was told to get a comb from the wing-office and smarten up. It would be nice to think that this had to do with the encouragement of personal pride. But it is more likely to be a survivor from the days when vagrants and derelicts formed a major part of the prison population; and penological management required an insistence upon basic standards of personal hygiene. In the prison system, a century is but a day, and history is frozen in the regulations, which must be rigidly adhered to, to the letter.
The custodial side of the prison system is concerned with security. The major part of security has to do with the administration of the punishment ordered by the Court, the deprivation of liberty. This may be the place to discuss this matter in greater detail.
The law measures everything quantitatively; and ultimately in terms of money in the civil system, and life in the criminal system, all custodial sentences are seen as deprivation of life, whereby the inmate is reduced to the bare existence of a caged animal. The essence of living as a human being is liberty; and deprived of that liberty, real life ceases.
The capital punishment argument rages on; with its proponents saying that a life should be paid for the taking of a life. But this is the position now, because the legal length of a life is twenty-five years. A person who has spent 25 years in prison has lost his life, and paid his debt in full. It is a legal principle that all debts must be stated in definite and limited terms (this principle is rigidly adhered to in the law of bankruptcy, for example). All punishments which-involve permanent incapacitation have an indefinite and unlimited statement. Hanging is the ultimate incapacitation. But dismemberment in the form of say the Islamic law punishment of-the cutting off of a hand would also fall into this category. So would permanent castration. So would chemical castration if the measure was to have an indefinite duration.
It should be remembered that virtually all felonies in the 18th century were punishable by hanging. So, the doctrine of definite and quantifiable penalties is a recent development in the law; With, today, all crimes being graded in terms of their perceived preciousness, and with the appropriate penalty; and all ultimately referable to "life". The recent statutory amendment to the Law, giving the power to judges to impose 'natural life', offends against this doctrine, and is a step back? But, as already argued, any custodial sentence tends to leave lasting infirmity in the form of institutionalization, and the sovereign should be looking to alternative measures of enforcing his peace.
Security is about treating inmates as wild, dangerous, and untrustworthy animals; and the security routines are aimed at never allowing inmates to forget that this is how authority sees them. Security routine fills the prison day. It is not really necessary to hold four formal musters a day. The warfare is psychological, and it is deliberate. A problem is that people tend to behave as they are expected to. They tend to acquire the attitudes that are ascribed to them by authority; and these behaviors and expectations tend to exert their pressures with the force of posthypnotic suggestion; and tend to force their way into consciousness as irresistible impulses. Penology recognizes the danger, and good prison practice recognizes the principle of modulation of penalties whereby inmates are led to the gate of freedom through a series of steps of increasing liberty, trust, and privileges. We have seen how the principle is implemented in New South Wales in the progress from maximum security to parole. But we should also note that the practice is breaking down because of overcrowding. It is now more a matter of finding a slot for an inmate, any slot, than following preferred programs aiming at the amelioration of custodial damage. It is a question of priorities; and it is submitted that the lack of appreciation of social conditioning injury can have dangerous consequences for the community. Putting it simply, wild animals are being let out of their cages; because, no matter what programs are, or are not instituted, all sentences, sooner or later, come to an end. Custodial officers don't care, because they have done their job. And, if the press inquire, has not the prisoner served his sentence to the hilt?
Security has to do with keeping good order and management in the prison. The matter has been noted in regard to cleanliness. The object is complete and managed control. This object was very nearly achieved in Cooma; with even the most trivial incident being magnified almost to a "federal crime". One prisoner shouting at another will get him into "segro". Cooma Prison has three segregation cells with their own exercise yards; with the unit as a whole being enclosed, and entered by a locked gate. Alternatively, a prisoner can be "pounded", locked in his cell for a period; or pounded in the 'dry cell', a place where there is nothing but bare concrete. The worst effect is that the inmate's record will be marked, and he will lose his "good conduct", and whatever privileges this confers (virtually nothing after 1989, because the main benefit was remissions. But, perhaps for a C2, his outside warrant; and for a C3, day leaves). In extreme cases, the prisoner will be charged, and time added to his sentence. The matter has to be heard in a Court.
An important element in good management is considered the maintenance of absolute hierarchy. The Officers form a quasi-military unit. Obedience is expected and enforced from the top to the bottom; and prisoners have to obey all equally and absolutely. The reader can guess the extent that this clashes with the fundamental program objective of "taking charge of your life". Prison industries gasp for their life in this unnatural and oppressive atmosphere.
Before the Nagle Royal Commission Report in 1979, rigid rules governed the contact between Officers and inmates, such as; no inmate could look an officer in the eye, he had to look at his boots whilst addressing an Officer. Contact was to be no closer than six paces. Officers carried batons, which they used for minor infringements, like talking on muster; and mass bashing for major incidents, like as occurred in the events which led to the burning down of Bathurst Gaol in 1974; and the institution of the Nagle Royal Commission. They were a part of the ordinary routine of the notorious Grafton 'tracts' (intractable) Gaol. Nagle concluded that this conduct eroded, rather than abetted, good order and management; and to a serious degree; even to the degree of having gaols burned down and lives lost. The discipline was hardly conducive to the inculcation of that love and respect for authority that would inspire the inmate, upon his release, to be a law-abiding citizen; and especially would it not inspire him to the attitude that violence was not the ultimate, and preferred, solution to life's problems. Batons are no longer worn, and inmates are encouraged to have friendly (though respectful) relations with Officers, and look them in the eye. An interesting survivor from the old days is the Long Bay pace, whereby prisoners converse as they march up and down the yard (talking whilst pacing minimizes the chances of being overheard by either officers or other prisoners). In the old days, prisoners were not allowed to either sit, or talk, in groups of more than two; or risk being charged with conspiracy. There is no doubt that good management has benefited from the new order.
The third function of security is in furtherance of the departmental duty of releasing the inmate in as good a condition, in body, as it received him; at least, in so far as it is still intact. Quite simply, the Department has the duty of preventing those savage fights and beatings-up that often resulted in serious injury, and even death.
Cooma is a "sight and sound" prison, and fights are speedily broken up and the culprits disciplined. It is also a protection penological. What does this mean?
There is a lot of inherent animosity in penological. Persons who live by the sword tend to make lots of enemies; and the enemies are mainly those who also live by the sword; which is to say other criminals. Right-wing societies are strictly and rigidly hierarchical; and the leaders win their place by the force of the fist. Inherently, gaols are like this; and, left to their own devices, penological societies would throw up leaders, with lots of spilling of blood. Security, in large measure, controls the situation; but, there are still some prisoners who are at special risk, and they are segregated in special protection units. Of which 5 Wing at the Bay is an example. If they feel themselves to be a extra special risk, they can sign themselves into strict protection, called simply "strict". 5B Wing at the Bay, is an example. The ultimate strict protection prison is the Special Purposes Prison at Long Bay, which apparently houses inmates who have turned Queen's Evidence against other inmates; thus the ultimate "dogs".
The higher is the degree of protection, the higher is the degree of security. Prisoners in 5B Wing, where Geoffrey spent his first three weeks, spend their days locked in small yards in groups of four. The Wing is very small, but self-contained; virtually a prison within a prison. It could well have been the old death row. But there was a similar One-Wing Strict, where Geoffrey spent his first three days. But, in this case, the yards were outside the lockup section, fronting the prison. All prisons have their "front", or segro (segregation), yards for punishment. So, One Wing Strict lacks all of the ingredients for Death Row. It is interesting to note that segregation and strict are similar concepts, and are at the bottom of the pile. But the SPP is in a category of its own; and, dealing with prisoners to whom the State has a very special obligation, it is, reputedly, a place of comfort and privilege.
Ordinary prison is designated mainstream, or "main". Apart from anything else, life is rugged in the main. It is rugged because those in it tend to go by the principle of living by the sword, and dying by the sword otherwise, it is protection; and, besides just separate wings, whole gaols now come under this category. Cooma has always been protection. But, now, so is Goulburn. The greater need for protection has come because of the increasing numbers of a category of prisoner, which, up to the recent past, was comparatively rare. This category is the sex offender.
Inmates go "on" protection for any number of reasons, but the nature of the offense is the most important numerically; and that nature is sexual. Geoffrey automatically went into strict on entry to the system, because his offense was "boys".
Within the mainstream, reflecting the law and decent society, all sexual activity and desire is regarded as basically violent in character, we have already seen how sexual rights are basically property rights; and property is the spoil of the victor in the struggle of life. Moreover, we need to remember the assumption that pleasure can never be mutual. To get pleasure from that other person is to get pleasure at the expense of that other person. Having sex with another person is rather like eating a delicious chicken. Enormous enjoyment may have been had; but at the expense of the chicken's life. A woman becomes a man's wife and property at the expense of her life and identity as a separate human being. This is the meaning of marriage; she even loses her own name (unless she is a "trendoid"). But a man looks after and values his property; this is her new identity and source of life's meaning. But, taking what comfort she may in this, she essentially is her husband's property, to be used up at his pleasure. An unmarried woman is seen as being on the shelf waiting for a man to buy her. After a while, she "goes off", and nobody wants her. So, nothing is gained, and everything lost, by remaining a spinster.
The crims, reflecting and participating in the normal view of lawful society, see an adult woman as being a capable person able to grant her body and personality to a man, and becoming his property within the protective legal and religious status of marriage. Marriage says to her that she is legally his property, but in return for rights on her part, and duties and liabilities on his. Sexual rights are an incident of his enjoyment of property; but also he has the right of enjoyment of her services in looking after his home and bringing up his children.
Marriage confers exclusive property rights forever. A woman, who confers sexual favors outside the exclusivity and domain of marriage, is valueless as property; and her sexual favors are merely means of getting the man's "rocks off", and of no intrinsic merit. Rather like eating a cheap chicken that is old tough and badly cooked; and have value only as a means of appeasing basic hunger.
Men who allow themselves to be used as sexual objects by other men are even worse than the female slut. Because they have abdicated from, and shamefully debased, their noble identity as men. The slut who allows herself, and even invites herself, to be used as an object for the satisfaction of violent lusts, is bad enough. A man, who behaves likewise, is even worse and bad enough, in former times, to be treated as a person guilty of serious crime against the laws of God and the decent standards of the community. A man, who washes in these polluted pools, himself, is defiled and dirtied. A good man will bathe only the purest of running streams, and he avails himself of property of only the highest value.
Crims will make use of adult sluts, even though most of them draw the line at "poofs". But, reflecting the ordinary, lawful community, they have their rules. But being brigands, and accepting and accustomed to more violent behavior than people in the normal, lawful community, Their rules are correspondingly tougher, and even elevated to a code of chivalry and honor. The Code say, 'Do what you like with adults. They know what they are doing. But leave the kids alone. Only the very lowest of the low will take advantage of the weakness and innocence of a child for the satisfaction of his disgusting lusts and selfish emotions. This is why child molesters are excluded from normal criminal society, and have to be put into special gaols for their protection, and maybe a little bit of extra punishment. At any rate, prisoners on protection have few opportunities for finishing their sentences in camps in the normal- way; and they have no opportunities for work release. I believe these attitudes are deliberately encouraged, fostered, and indoctrinated into the prison population by the authorities.
Marriage traditionally - and crim society is extremely right wing and traditional - is seen as conferring absolute property rights on a husband over his wife. Traditional society also confers absolute rights of ownership of a father over his children (subject to the rights of the State mentioned elsewhere in these pages). In the eighties, it was realized that many fathers were using their children as sexual objects, like they were using their wives. This is the core of the present campaign-against child abuse. Because sex is seen as an inherently evil and violent thing, its existence has to be fenced by rigid rules and taboos. The strongest taboo of all is incest. Logic suggests that the property view of sexual privilege allows incest. The view is strong. It is countered by the even stronger view that it does not. Decent crim society hates the incestuous parent even more than it does the paedophile. It is this writer's view that, whilst most normal parents believe that their privileges extend to beating and "putting their children in their place", it does not extend to sexual contact. Of course, such a contact would tend to be rapacious in nature, because of the inherent fear and antagonism that characterizes the feelings of children towards their fathers. Fathers insist upon the taboos, because they reinforce and legitimize the privileges conveyed by the rights. In any case, fathers like to hand over, in marriage, pure pieces of virgin property. It is Geoffrey's view that the set of attitudes as a whole serves to hide and legitimatize evil. Husbands can degrade their wives and beat their children. It is all OK, as long as the rules are observed to the letter, and their infringements savagely punished.
Geoffrey's problem, in common with most men convicted of paedophile offenses, is that he sees sex as a fun thing, that feels good; and, at its deepest level, is the ultimate celebration of love, affection, and personal intimacy and acceptance between human beings. But this essentially childish and immature view is that which tends to be held by children, and constitutes a part of that innocence which paedophiles are seen as so shamelessly taking advantage of. Children do not know what it is all about. Geoffrey, in his immaturity, did not know what it is all about. Now he does. He now knows and understands the correct and accepted sexual attitudes of the ordinary lawful community. He may, inwardly, still prefer his childish attitudes as being closer to true morality. But he knows the will of the sovereign is not about morals; and, if it is, his views and beliefs in these matters prevail over those of the individual in a law-abiding society. Geoffrey has to obey in order to survive. This is the bottom line. To sum up, the law is about the regulation, in the name of the Queen's Peace, of antagonistic people fighting over property; and mature sexuality, and sexual law, are aspects of this reality. It is a part of Geoffrey's survival kit to know that he does not live in a very nice or good world. Gaol is a wonderful teacher. Incidentally, the mainstream does not seem have a problem with rape, provided it is of mature persons, particularly immoral persons of little property value and self-esteem. Self-esteem is one's own appreciation on one's property value. A girl with a high self-esteem does not sell herself short.
To give the mainstream its due, up to less than ten years ago, most gaolable sex offenses involving minors were of the violent rape/murder variety. Inmates (as well as most other people, including the psychologists in the system) find it difficult to believe that an act of mutual masturbation with someone under 16 will attract a charge of aggravated indecent assault; and, if any mouth contact is involved, aggravated sexual assault. Exactly the same charges that an act of violent rape will attract, and the same range of sentencing, with over five years minimum for a first offense being not uncommon. As the new generation of sex offenders flood into the system, attitudes will slowly change. A person convicted of possessing a few grams of grass no longer conjures up the image of an arch drug fiend (and sentences and incidence of charging are tapering off). Similarly, "sex offender" cease to be associated with the picture of a mad, inhuman and callous rapist of helpless little children. It is a thought that a source of the drug fiend image was the practice of violent offenders to excuse themselves by saying that they did it under the influence of drugs. This blinded the legal process to the fact that only the legal alcohol has the effect of whipping its partakers into frenzies of aggression. A just legal system must work on facts and not myths, and a basic error was the abolition of rape as a separate and identifiable offense in the 1982 amendments to the Crimes Act.
Let us conclude our tour of the prison system by a look at the Officer ranks. Basically, they proceed in groups of three. Officer 3rd grade is the lowest and probationary rank. He wears no chevrons (hooks). The ordinary Officer is 2nd grade, and wears one hook. A first grade Officer wears 2 hooks. A Senior Officer wears three. This first group corresponds to private, lance corporal, corporal and sergeant in the army. The next group is the junior executive Officers. It comprises Assistant Superintendent, Senior Assistant Superintendent, and Deputy Superintendent. They wear one pip, two pips and three pips respectively, and correspond to the ranks of junior army officers - sub-lieutenant, lieutenant, and captain. Then come three grades of Superintendent, or Governor. A third grade governor wears a crown, 2nd grade a crown and a pip, third grade a crown and two pips (corresponding to a colonel). An assistant superintendent has a single band of plain silver braid on his cap visor. A governor wears the same braid but with the addition of a silver chin strap (worn above the visor). The governor grades correspond to the ranks of senior army Officer. The highest group is that of administrative officers. A Senior Superintendent wears a laurel leaf enclosed badge, and a single row of silver laurel leaves on his cap. His is the highest rank to which a career officer can ordinarily aspire. Above him are Commissioners part-time, who add a pip. Then come Commissioners full-time, two pips. Then comes the Deputy Commissioner with a laurel leaf badge and a Crown. Finally, there is the Commissioner, who is Permanent Head of Department, and adds a pip to his shoulder straps, and a second row of laurel leaves to his cap visor. This administrative class corresponds to the generals in the army; from whose ranks they are mostly drawn as direct appointments. The Commissioner is occupying a class all of his own, and corresponds to a field marshal. One wonders what the army would say if its top officers were drawn directly from the ranks of retired Corrective Services people. Further comment is superfluous.
Prisons are a modern invention that have a history that goes no further back than about the middle of the eighteenth century. The reader may ask about the Tower of London and the Bastille. But they were not places of punishment; and this is central to the conception of the modern prison. They were places of containment for the King's enemies. Thomas Moore was not put into the Tower because he was a bad man who had done bad things. On the contrary, he was reputed to be a very good man. Indeed, it was his goodness that won him the role of the King's (Henry V111) troublesome conscience. In other words, Sir Thomas Moore was a political prisoner, who was eventually beheaded. History students will recall that Mary Queen of Scots also did a stint in the Tower, before she, too, was beheaded.
Ordinary people were put into houses of correction, or workhouses, if they were found to be vagrants without lawful means of support. In these places they were put to work, and given minimal food and clothing. Vagrants were put into New South Wale's gaols up to comparatively recently. But the purpose was not primarily punishment but to get them off the streets and stop them from thieving. In a sense, they were .a kind of primitive social security. Readers of Oliver Twist will be familiar with the idea.
Debtors were put into prison until such time as they were able to pay. But, again, the purpose was not punishment, but duress. These places were also havens where the debtor could shelter from the wrath of his creditors. A poor debtor could starve to death but if he was well off, he could live reasonably well; as did Mr. Pickwick in Fleet Prison. Up to comparatively recently (up to the sixties at least), New South Wales prisons contained a large number of debtors. Today, you can still come to penological and pay off your fines; because penological is normally stated as an alternative to a fine (the equation is $50 a day). Cooma usually contains two or three prisoners paying off fines). But, admittedly, a fine is a punishment.
The fourth major function of a pre-modern prison was to contain accused persons before their trials; and this period could be very long. The modern equivalent function is remand. There is something over a thousand prisoners on remand in New South Wales (1992). There are even occasionally some in Cooma. There are modern examples of prisons having a non-punishment function. Forensic and "Governor's Pleasure" prisoners have been found not guilty by virtue of their insanity. For them, the function is the ancient containment or incapacitation, to protect the community. The old Inebriates Act provided for the indefinite incarceration of non-criminal alcoholics. The functions seem to have been a determined and compulsory attempt at cure. The old inebriate's home was the Shaftesbury Institution on what is now the site of a naval training station at South Head.
The Inebriate Act has been repealed. Users of illegal drugs are now incarcerated. But this is punishment for the committing of an illegal act. Alcohol has never been illegal, and drinking it has never been an illegal act. So, custody under the Inebriates Act could never have been for punishment; and this is probably why it was repealed in the end. It is upon such seemingly fine points that the operation of the law turns.
Also, in recent times, men could be imprisoned under maintenance orders, and compelled to support their wives and children from their penological earnings. Modern inmates will be amazed that such support from such a source was possible; given the normal level of possible penological earnings today. Like the debtors, these men were being imprisoned as a form of duress to fulfill their lawful obligations; not as a punishment for something they have done.
Repeated recidivists could be declared Habitual Criminals and imprisoned for an indefinite term. The Act was repealed, probably because it offended against the principle of definite sentences, which has already been discussed. The way habituals were treated will be discussed in detail in due course, because of its penological interest.
Up the nineteenth century, most prisoners were punished summarily, by being ordered to stand in the pillory, by flogging, or by hanging.
A pillory was contrivance set up in a public place, whereby the offender was exposed to public gaze and wrath, for so many hours, depending upon the sentence. Sydney had a pillory, somewhere near the present day Queen Victoria Building, well into the nineteenth century.
The eighteenth century is said to have been the age of flogging; with everybody, or nearly everybody, being flogged by everybody else, according to place in the social order. Particularly was flogging associated with the army and navy, and public schools. Flogging is possibly the purest form of punishment; although standing in the pillory could have been an extremely unpleasant experience, depending upon the mood and humor of the crowd.
Persons, up the first half of the nineteenth century, could be hanged for almost all of the offenses which are now punishable by custodial sentences, and many more besides. The practice went so far beyond the retributive life for a life, and so far beyond reasonable deterrence that the motive looks very much as if it could have been incapacitation. An incapacitation attempt, which took the form of exterminating what, was seen as the criminal classes. The idea that criminality was some kind of inherent character trait or innate genetic (bad blood) trait was around then, as it is around today (particularly in regard to sex offenses).
However, most sentences of death, were commuted, by the Royal prerogative of mercy, to transportation for life; and, up to 1776, transportation was to the American colonies. The problem can be got rid of by extermination. But this was too much, even for eighteenth century stomachs. It suited the conscience of the times better to get rid of the problem to far distant places, out of sight, out of mind. It did not suit the conscience of the times to see stealing a loaf of bread, not as a sign of a criminal nature, but of a social system that allowed great wealth to coexist with great poverty. Not surprising, when the law was the embodiment of the power and interests of the possessors of the wealth; who was also the "conscience of the times".
After the finish of transportation to the Americas, the government devised a scheme of holding convicts in hulks moored around the coast. Which were let off to private contractors, who sold the convicts' labor. So, the idea of the new private penological at Junee is not so new after all. It was not even new in 1776. Transportation to the Americas was in the hands of private shippers, who sold the convicts virtually as slaves. In 1812, was an inquiry whose results shocked even Jeremy Bentham. Thus ended the British use of private gaols; which, even earlier, in the middle of the previous century, had sparked off the horror of the Sheriff of Nottingham, one, John Howard.
As it happened, the First Fleet sailed for New South Wales in 1787, and the problem was shelved for a while. But earlier, in 1779, was passed an Act to build penitentiaries. The concept of a modern penitentiary has three elements; high walls, deprivation of freedom, and punishment. These matters have already been gone into at length. Strange as it may be to the modern mind, the idea of retribution was not in the forefront of the minds of the penal reformers who originated the idea of a penitentiary.
John Howard was the great eighteenth century prison reformer whose basic concern was to clear up the worst excesses of England's privatized penological system, overcrowding, starvation, filth and disease, and immorality; the morals of the lower classes deeply shocked these pious gentlemen.
But it is Jeremy Bentham who is more important in the history of the penitentiary. He was a lawyer/philosopher, who, as a philosopher, believed that the pursuit of pleasure, and the avoidance of pain fundamentally motivate people. He also believed that laws should be made in the interests of the greatest good of the greatest number. Jeremy is apparently equating pleasures with the pleasures of good people. The pleasures of bad people; or, perhaps bad pleasures, have to be associated with deliberately imposed pain to convert them into pain. The training was to be done by the state and the place and instrument of the training was to be a huge birdcage like building called a pantopticon, the mummy and daddy of all modern prisons. Possibly because of its enormous cost, the pantopticon was not built until 1917 as the St. Joliot State Penitentiary in Illinois, USA.
The pantopticon was conceived as being a circular building, three or four levels high, with each level being a circle of cells facing (through open bar grills) on to a central observation tower, where guards patrolled with rifles, loud hailers, and notebooks. The theme of this dreadful place was constant observation. Whereby numerous rules could be enforced, with the help of the lash. The contrivance was roofed over with glass.
Bentham thought of his sovereign as being a benevolent being making his laws on the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number; instead of to further his own power and interests. But, be this as it may, his basic principle of law enforcement was training in the habit of obedience. His principles of training were the same as those of modern behaviorist psychologists; associating undesired behaviour with pain, and desired behaviour with reward. Bentham hoped his inmates would emerge from his System as well trained, obedient, law abiding citizens; deterred from relapsing into the delights of his old ways and pleasures by their association with the whole horrible experience. Retribution was not a part of his program because it offends against the fundamentals of his utilitarian philosophy whereby we pursue pleasure and avoid pain. What possible positive value could a quantum of pain have? Bentham was the epitome the eighteenth century rational man; and retribution is irrational.
Geoffrey is in prison. The Benthamite program of constant observation and training in habits of obedience is still in place, albeit with some of the rough edges smoothed down a tad. How has it effected Geoffrey?
Geoffrey accepts that the game goes to he who has the biggest stick, and who is willing and anxious to hit so hard and so deep that survival is at stake. At its rawest level, this is what Benthamism is all about. But, at a more sophisticated level, Benthamism uses science as its method, albeit a behavioral science that is impregnated with the empirical philosophy of David Hume, which saw science and morals as having no deeper foundation than association and habit. If man is a creature of habit, so also is the Universe. In any case, the only reality that the Universe has is the collection of sensory data that a person perceives; and arranges according to his expectations and habits. Moral behaviour is regular, ordered behaviour; and regularity and order is the essence of the Benthamite corrective program. Bentham would have seen irregularity as being the essence of the immorality that brought the inmate to corrections. The task and will of the sovereign is to bring order to his kingdom. True pleasure lies in order (eighteenth century upper classes had a horror of the disorder, which they saw as characterizing the lives of the lower orders). In experiencing order in the correctional system, the inmate, perhaps for the first time in his life, will be experiencing true pleasure, whose pursuit he will carry forth into his life outside.
The life of a truly civilized person may be characterized by order, as opposed to the disordered and undisciplined lives of savages; but I would suspect that the perception of the order of prison life is that it is a part of the punishment. If prison routine insists upon rising at 5.30, then living is staying in bed until eleven. It would be a dull inmate who doesn't look forward to a bit of wing flapping when he gets out. Sadly for the viability of the Bethamite correctional program, order imposed from above is not at all the same thing as order pursued by a free spirit. Pain being made to outweigh the gain of the old ways. The pleasure of the new ways outweighs the pain of the old ways, and even outweighing the meagre pleasure of the old ways. Such is the training, or conditioning, program of Benthamism. Benthamism depends upon a belief in the freewill nature and redeemability of the human condition, in contrast to the belief in the existence of a fixed criminal class, which infirmity could only be remedied with extermination by mass hanging.
A belief in the redeemability of the human condition is also the keynote of the program of the contemporary Quaker penal reform movement. But which, otherwise, strongly contrasts with the ideas of Jeremy Bentham.
Bentham was an atheist, a rationalist, and an empiricist; what you see is what is. The Quakers were, and are, very, very religious. They emphasize personal experience of divine revelation; and their services are conducted in silence until someone is moved by the Spirit to speak.
Eighteenth century Quakers believed that the law of the land is identical with divine law, being declared by the legislature and judges as the spirit moves them. The Quakers believed that the sovereign literally was God (carefully distinguishing between the earthly sovereign and His Divine Presence). So, they did not distinguish between sin and crime.
The Quaker penitentiary was conceived to be places of silence and personal isolation. Which conditions made the criminal most open to Visitations by the Divine Spirit calling upon him to repent and be saved. The Quaker program was interested not just in turning out law abiding citizens but in saving souls for Eternal Life. A criminal was delivered into a Quaker penitentiary an evil and corrupted man, and released a born again Christian; having seen the badness of his ways, and mended them. If the Bentham program can be said to be about rehabilitation, then the Quaker program was about reformation. One was about efficacious behaviour, and denied the reality of good and evil. The other was about the soul, and was all about good and evil. The modern Benthamite program director in the prison system is the psychologist, whilst his "Quaker" opposite number is the chaplain.
Although a Penitentiary Act was passed through the English Parliament in 1779, cost prevented its implementation. The trouble about penitentiaries was that they were costly; and concern about cost is a dominant recurrent theme from then until about 1988, when it took a back seat to the joys of blood and revenge. It should be noted that, just as Bentham was not thinking of retribution, neither were the Quakers.
Hence, the first penitentiaries were built in the United States Walnut Street, opened in 1790, in Philadelphia, is counted as the first; and Philadelphia being a Quaker city, it was run after the Quaker separate system. In the separate system, inmates heard no voices but their gaolers, and had no contact with other inmates, and even worked in their cells, to be let out only for short periods of exercise, where they wore masks to avoid visual contact with other inmates. The first British penitentiary was built at Millbank in 1821. These places were called model prisons, because they were built to embody a penal ideal, the ideal of separate treatment. A contemporary newspaper article at the time of Cooma's opening in 1873, describes it as a model prison. From which we are able to infer that it was designed for separate treatment. Perhaps it was for special treatment, for prisoners who seriously offended in other gaols, persons designated by the modern term "intractable".
Separate treatment was seen as having more than a religious function. Nineteenth century penologists were greatly concerned with contamination. The end of the eighteenth century was a time of great social turmoil. The agrarian revolution was driving the peasant class into the towns. The industrial revolution was gathering momentum. Over in France, there was revolution. Crime was increasing. The great fear was that the lower classes would get together under a leader, and blow the system up. What would be better place than a prison for these people to get together.
People did not care to face the problem in quite these terms because it would also have meant confrontation with injustice for which they were responsible, and of which they were the beneficiaries. So there grew up the doctrine that crime was a kind of disease that spread through social contact. It was a convenient doctrine also in that large groups of prisoners do tend to acquire leaders and create subcultures which threaten the established hierarchy.
Up to 1899, prisoners who were not on the initial separate treatment part of their sentences evidently lived lives similar to B security prisoners today, with communal messing and free social intercourse in leisure and work. But in that year was introduced into the main gaols the system of restricted association whereby prisoners ate alone in their cells (all cells were one-out, this was insisted upon), and spent much longer periods locked in their cells. We have already seen that, up to comparatively recently, if more than two prisoners were seen conversing in the yards, they were liable to be charged with conspiracy; and they had to keep moving.
The last great battle for control of the gaols was Michael Yabesby's move on cell property in 1990. There has been a reversal of policy on prisoners socializing since it was noted that most recidivists were socially inadequate loners. If this was so, restricted association exacerbated the problem; and the recidivism rate is the final grand test of the effectiveness of any prison system. It would seem that this change only came as a result of the Nagle royal commission. But the essentials of restricted association still rule in maximum-security gaols, with eating in cells, long periods in cells. It is only since 1989, with the overcrowding effect of truth-in-sentencing, that two-out cells have been allowed, and become the norm.
Prisoners are now marked down on their reports if they do not socialize. Officers are encouraged to have conversations with prisoners; whereas, this had been prohibited. The latest policy is that large prisons be divided into small units of no more than 25, and that individual prisoners be case managed in that their every thought and movement is noted down on their files; in the old terminology, they are "carefully watched". The specially selected units are done so with a view to preventing the formation of prisoner subcultures and hierarchies, and power-bases for 'heavies' and assorted stand-over men, and women.
"Full-on" separate treatment ceased to be prison policy in the early part of this century. At this time prisons contained a specially classified "lunatic" class. Perhaps this was the graduate class from long periods of solitary. At least, it was thought so, and the period in separate treatment was reduced from one twelve of sentence as prescribed in the 1867 Prisons Act, to a matter of the initial few weeks of sentence, in solitary and on bread and water. This A category carried on till after the Second World War? It should be noted that "low diet" was one of the standard nineteenth century punishments that extended till after the Second World War also. It should be noted that Cooma was built too late for its purpose, and never functioned as more than a police lockup until the 1920s, when it became derelict and a playground for the town's children. It was reopened in 1957 as the homosexuals' penological. Similarly, the early history of Berrima, also built for separate treatment, closed in 1909, to be also reopened after the 2nd World War; and is now a B/C security for privileged inmates. The early prisons were not meant to be pleasant places. The keynotes were, a low diet, a hard bed, and hard labor; and a harsh discipline enforced by the lash or baton; and silence and solitude. The keynote of modern prison philosophy is the famous Nagle Dictum that "prisons are as punishment, not for punishment" Deprivation of freedom is what a modern prison is all about. Compatible with this, there is no special effort to make them any less comfortable and unpleasant than spartan but adequate. But there is not a prisoner inside that does not feel that he would be happier out, even if this meant spending a bitter night on a park-bench. Even the President's Suite at the Regent would be a nasty place if the price of sleeping in it were to be a prisoner. Harsh discomfort is seen as being additional punishment to that imposed by the Court, and is not lawful.
The judicial arm of the sovereign pronounces the sentence. The executive arm of the Sovereign, the Crown, administers it. Both are accountable to the legislative arm of the sovereign, the people. It is within the authority of the Crown to vary the sentence set by the Court. The authority is conferred by the ancient doctrine of the prerogative of mercy. This is the power under which the Queen commuted death sentences to life. The effect of the 1989 Truth-in-Sentencing legislation was to abolish this power in New South Wales. Because it was felt to be against the wishes of the people, who want the heaviest possible sentences. Any powers of mercy exercisable by the Crown could only shorten a sentence set by a judge.
It is instructive to trace the history of the Crown's administration and variation of sentences from the eighteenth century down to the present. By the end of the 18th century, most hangings were commuted to transportation. Transportation sentences seemed to have been for seven years, fourteen years, or life. But once the convicts arrived in Australia, they did not serve these sentences in full. To get them "off the stores", most were given tickets-of-leave soon after arrival. A ticket-of-leave was like parole is today. They were free to earn their own living but had to be of good behaviour, or risk having their tickets canceled, and being flogged into the bargain. After a period, they could be granted conditional pardons, which meant the end of their sentences, but they could not return to Britain. Or they could get unconditional pardons, which meant complete freedom. The primary motivation, as already intimated by the reference to stores, was cost; and the necessity, in the young, struggling colony, to make the best use of the convict's labor. In any case, the tiny town of Sydney was little different to a modern minimum-security prison. There was a bit more freedom, and alcohol was allowed, and there was female company of a sort. But the surrounding inhospitable bush, with its hostile aborigines, could just as well have been a high stone wall. There was twelve thousand miles to home.
But, as the colony became more civilized and free, and not just a large prison, so life was made tougher for the convicts, and they were allowed less and less participation in the world around them. It was one thing bringing them out to a prison camp, and allowing them free run. It was quite another, bringing them to a thriving town, and allowing them the same privileges. In the end, they were made to serve a period of separate treatment in Britain, then a period of hard labor, then transported, then made to serve in a chain gang. In the end, the colony did not want what were, in effect, slaves being brought out, to compete with the abundant free labor; and, in 1860, transportation to New South Wales ceased. The last boatload of convicts reached Western Australia in 1867, to end a penal epoch. Towards the end of transportation, there was a strong feeling in England that it was not severe enough. Often, it must have looked like as if it were little more than a free ticket to opportunity and fortune. In part, this accounts for the increasing severity towards the end. It was felt that punishment had to be more than merely a way to profit from crime; and even actually an encouragement to it.
But the problem with severe custodial punishment is that it costs a lot of money. In New South Wales today, it costs a lot more to keep a prisoner in a maximum penological than on an afforestation camp. So, the Crown is pulled between two opposite forces; the demand of the public for severe and costly sentences; and the demand of the public for cheapness. The community demands its pound of flesh. It is not so anxious to pay for it. Hence, there is a tendency for the legislature to demand that high maximum sentences be written into the penal statute law; and a tendency for the judiciary to hand down long head sentences. These things are to satisfy the community as regards retribution. Then for the Crown to sometimes dramatically reduce the sentences actually served. This is to satisfy the community's demand for low cost and taxes.
Through most of the I9th century, it seems to have been customary to remit for good conduct and industry, head sentences up to a half. Regulations under the 1899 Prisons Act allowed up to a quarter of head sentences to be remitted for first offenders, for good conduct and industry. But, by the time, it seems that head sentences (maximum sentences imposed by the Court) were falling. Perusal of the Comptroller-General of Prisons Reports indicates that head sentences of over two years were quite rare in the early 20th century.
Prisoners serving indeterminate sentences under the Inebriate and Habitual Offenders Acts were under a system of marks and graded levels of privileges. So many marks would earn them elevation to the higher grades; and eventually to the right to petition the Governor for release. 7th Category prisoners (those under 25) could also earn privileges through the accumulation of marks. Credit for this system of marks is given to a Captain Maconochie, Governor of Norfolk Island in the 1840s. It was copied throughout the world.
From the earliest days, remitted head sentences of less than 3 years earned non-conditional releases. Over 3 years, the release was conditional. This distinction survives today in Truth-in-Sentencing. Because Geoffrey's head sentence is 40 months, he can only be released by order of the Parole Board, and his parole is subject to conditions; he has to regularly report to his District Officer. He must have no contact with his victims (always great care is taken to use this term) for three months. He must have counseling (these psychs always take great care to see that their kind do not starve). Note (inserted 1999), Geoffrey was prohibited from making contact with the victims for the whole ten months of the parole, and (mercifully) he did not have to report to a psych. In fact, no personal contact with the victims has ever been attempted or made, even though they are now well into their twenties. The occasional visual contact does not disclose suffering.
Up to 1966, there was no separate parole as such. Good conduct and industry earned remissions, and most prisoners were marked as "good"; and when the system was comparatively small, gaols could employ most prisoners in some way or another, so full industry marks were normally earned. Even prisoners with over three years top earned their release by good conduct and industry. The only difference with them was that they were liable to be brought back if the conditions of their release were not observed. Remissions were calculated as a proportion of the head sentence; so, before 1966, Geoffrey would have had to earn remissions equal to a third of every month that he served to have got out in 30 months. Remission credits were across the board for all inmates, and were purely a matter of administrative decision for the Prisons Department. The purpose of remissions was to give prisoners an incentive to good behaviour and industry that was positive, and so more effective than the mere threat of punishments to ensure compliance to these ends. It is not clear how remissions effected lifers, who did not have definite sentences. But probably "record" was a factor in the success of the petition to set the "bottom" after 20 years. Perhaps the fixing of 20 years, instead of 25, took into account notional remissions.
Parole is quite a different concept, and was introduced into the system in 1966, in addition to remissions. Unlike remissions, parole periods were set by the judges at the time of sentencing in the form of a fixing of a minimum period which must be served before release on parole could be considered by the Crown. The set minimum sentence was subject to remissions.
For a long while, there seem to have been confusion and uncertainty about the basis of calculations of remissions and parole. The problem was the proportional nature of remissions. Had Geoffrey earned remissions equal to a quarter of his head sentence, he would have been released as having served his full sentence, and so absolutely free; on precisely the date he was minimally due for release on parole. The problem was solved by remissions being calculated on a daily basis, as so many days per month for conduct, so many days for industry, and so many days for education; with extra days for "excellent" reports, and a reduction for "fairs" and "poors". Extra days were awarded for inmates serving their time in camps. Essentially, it was the classic. Maconochie marks system. Assuming that Geoffrey earned his normal quota, he would have been credited with roughly one month for every two served. So that he would have reached his minimum date of release in approximately 20 months. Old hands counted on their remissions as being a third of their minimum sentences. This was the position as of 25th September 1989. At which date, all inmates were credited with the full amount of their normal remissions.
This was convenient for the Crown, because the transition to Truth-in-Sentencing was done without a murmur. No inmates lost. Some gained, because they were notionally counted as having earned their normal quota. The losers were those who were sentenced after this date. But it will be at least 1995 before the flow-through will be such that they will be in a majority in the system. So, it will be some years before the full effects of Truth-in-Sentencing will be felt. Incidentally, the reader's head, by this time, must be reeling with figures. Proficiency in arithmetic was the one undisputed benefit of the Old System; with knowledgeable prisoners spending their days calculating their sentences.
One of the effects of Truth-in-Sentencing has been the dramatic increase in the New South Vales prison population; over 7,000 at last count, as against just over half this figure in 1989. The figures, like the costs of incarceration, are rubbery. Sex offenders are taught about the sins of minimalism and mental concealment. Government accountants and PR people are also proficient in these things.
But, to give the legislature its due, it had not intended served sentences to be substantially increased. It had not understood the law and the Westminster doctrine of division of powers. When asked to reduce their head sentences, the judges refused (as argued in unreported Appeal Cases). Remissions were always a matter for the Crown only, and they were something earned by the prisoner. They were not taken into consideration, and could not be taken into consideration, when the sentence was pronounced; and similarly, their abolition could not be noted. Truth-in-Sentencing was a ploy in the Government's law n'order platform to meet the contrived electorate complaint that crims were not rendering their full pound of flesh. It had not occurred to it that judges take their role seriously and resent being reduced to being playthings in party political games.
The long-term effects on prisoner morale of the abolition of remissions have yet to be felt; because, up to now, most prisoners in the system have been Old System, and got their remissions anyway. The carrot has gone (except as a residual element in parole eligibility), and the remaining stick being only applicable to sins of commission, not omission, an important principle of the law, there will be little incentive for anybody to do anything at all; except keep out of trouble. It is probable that, in the long run, prison discipline will become harsher, and the squeeze placed upon rehabilitative programs till they disappear. An alternative may be to apply the marks system to some kind of internal regime of privileges. It could work, but the fact remains that the only privilege considered truly worthwhile by most prisoners is "getting out".
Remissions are about behaviour in penological. The grant of parole looks to behaviour after release. Parole was introduced in 1967 because this was the age when penologists were more looking towards releasing "law-abiding citizens" than administering retributive punishment. The penological population was growing, and concern was being felt about the high recidivism rate and the costs that this entailed. It was all good fun punishing people. But it was too costly in money terms if they kept on coming back for more; and, whilst heavier sentences may have some extra deterrence value, it seemed to be a measure that was not cost-effective. Something more was needed, and that something was felt to be rehabilitation. Remissions were purely an administrative matter for the Crown. On the other hand, the setting of parole periods is a matter for the judges, and is a judicial ingredient of sentences. The judge sets a minimum period to be served in custody plus and extra period to be served on parole. Truth-in-Sentencing sets a statutory period as a proportion of one fourth of the head sentence. Geoffrey got l0 months top and 30 months minimum. The judge can set any definite period of parole. But if it varies from the statutory period, he has to give reasons. The reason is probably to discourage the pre-1989 practice of setting high top sentences and very low minimums. In furtherance of the doctrine that it was a waste of money keeping an inmate in prison longer than was necessary to protect society, it was felt that it was sound practice to give the Crown a wide discretion to administer length of sentences. In those days, it would have been possible for Geoffrey to receive his 40 months top but only a 6-month minimum, which would have been reduced to 4 months by remissions. This was the cause of the outcry that prisoners were serving only a ridiculously small proportion of their "just" sentences. That the judges set "ambit" sentences was something the media did not want to know about, and could not understand anyway. It was not understood that it was not by any means automatic that Geoffrey would have got out after his 4 months, and that it was the intention that his remaining 3 years would have to have been spent under heavy supervision and conditions. Had Geoffrey not kept one or more of any of his conditions, he would have been brought back to serve his full sentence, with whatever period he served on parole not counted. Had he actually re-offended on parole, he would have been very hard hit indeed, and it would not have been so easy to get the next time it was due. First offenders were heavily the losers under the New System. Because the 01d System gave them that one extra chance and the benefit of the doubt that they were hardened criminals. Sadly, the brilliant results promised for Old System parole did not materialize. The promise was to slash recidivism by focusing attention upon the problems and deficiencies which it was felt was responsible for the offender's behaviour, and remedying them. It was a tall order but perhaps not possible because of inherent limitations in the custodial situation and perhaps not possible at all. Perhaps because the factors which bring most people to penological go beyond the individual. Whatever the reasons, the perception was that the recidivism rate remained unaltered, and the same old faces kept reappearing in the muster lines, just as they did before. New System parole seems to be being seen as a reward; so, in a sense, it has absorbed remissions, rather than replaced them. The threat is, "Do as we tell you, or you will not get parole". This penological (Cooma) presently puts out a little monthly magazine. In the October edition was an article specifying the policies and conditions of parole; from, presumably, the Parole Officer. Before examining and discussing these in turn, it should be pointed out that Geoffrey is quite firmly of the belief that, only in the most specific and unusual circumstances will parole ever be refused.
Note written 13/1/99: But there is a handwritten footnote on the original manuscript that makes it plain that I had had second thoughts, "Geoffrey was optimistic. The Sentencing Act 1989 prescribes that the onus is on the inmate to convince the Parole Board that (1) His release is in the interests of the community, and (2) he is likely to conform and adjust to the normal lawful community".
In fact, I was released five days after my minimum sentence expired; after three Board hearings; at the first two where it was found that my file was incomplete. I have a feeling that if the Board had had any excuse at all, it would have "deferred" my parole. Which, since only 10 months was involved, would have effectively meant a refusal. I have a suspicion that the incomplete file (the one that Correctional Services had) had had those documents removed which suggested that my offenses were not as horrendous as the authorities would like them to have been. And which would have justified the lengthy sentence fully served in relatively harsh conditions. There were no prison farms or work release for me. That the Board was seriously thinking of refusing my parole is indicated by, without any explanation, my "outside" privileges being withdrawn 6 weeks prior to my being released. This step effectively reduced me to B security status. It is known that Corrective Services considered a refusal of parole to be high-risk time for escape attempts. It was over the top, but it is par for the course in the administration of that area of the law concerned with the male to male age-of -consent. The authorities are willing to go to almost any lengths to make out that a terrible crime has been committed if he has not had his 18th birthday.
The most common factor leading to a refusal of parole is likely to be the Board's perception that there is the probability, or even possibility, of the offender levying 'payback' upon his witnesses and co-offenders. The Parole officer asks whether the offender is likely to conform to ordinary lawful community life. The likelihood of payback is the most common reason why he would put a tick in the no box. Geoffrey was given his recommendation. But he was cleverly probed, during the interviews, about his attitudes to the victims and witnesses. One would think that problems would make a supervised parole period between custody and full freedom even more desirable. Instead, the problem offender is released absolutely free after the expiration of his additional period. It would seem that the exercise is more about covering sensitive backsides than protecting society.
There is a threat that even automatic parolees may have their release effected by conduct, in that it may adversely affect a judgment about adaptation to normal life in society. But the same paragraph also states that the parole is court based; so an application would have to be made to the court for a knock-back. The sheer paperwork would preclude such a course, except perhaps during the laying of charges for say assaulting an officer. Even if this were not so, the relevant period is only a few months; 6 months for a two years top. So much for the huff and bluff, the gaols are seriously overcrowded (this was even acknowledged in the officially sanctioned article), and room has to be found for those coming in. In any case it seems that only a small proportion of prisoners are effected by parole. Most are under 3 years; and, of those over this limit, a high proportion is serving cumulative time, made up of a number of sentences, none of which are over the 3 years. A recent ruling is that the relevant sentence is the longest individual sentence.
The Parole Officer checked Geoffrey's citizenship status, and made a mistake because he did not get all of the facts. The Citizenship Act is complicated, and readers are advised to check their status if they were born in another country. It may not be a pleasant prospect to be sent back to a country that you left when you were a couple of days old. It is easy to acquire a prison record these days.
Note inserted 13/1/99:
Just for the record, I am an Australian citizen by virtue of having had British Nationality and being a permanent resident for a period of at least 5 years prior to the 21st December 1948. S.25 (1)(a) Australian Citizenship Act (No.83) 1948. Which ground applied to most people in Australia at that time. The stern letter from the relevant department that I had to make special application before travelling abroad, lest, as a convicted felon, and an alien, I would not be allowed back again. An inquiry via the Social Worker brought reassurance, but it was a nasty experience, but one very likely to occur in prison, because these people like to play God.
The Offenders Review Board needs to be assured that the offender has a place to live, and that his presence is acceptable. Geoffrey felt a disinclination to rent his house after it became vacant about 6 months before his minimum date. A tenant can be hard to shift. The ORB needs to be assured that the offender has given some thought to his economic future. Geoffrey is a lawyer who has used his time to good effect by becoming a specialist in criminology and penology. If you are the best in your field, there is a job, somewhere, for you. Geoffrey also discovered his talent for sculpture. A good sculptor can earn a living. You need never starve if you are the best. Geoffrey can combine the two to give his life interest and variety. Neither fields are age dependent, and Geoffrey can work till he is l00 years old.
Note, inserted 13/1/99:
In fact, I have never earned a living since. I could not get employment. The CES insisted that not only did I have to declare that I had been in prison but what I had been in prison for. I suspect that it is for such behaviour that the CES no longer exists. I have also never had sex since leaving prison. I suspect that once you allow people to get on top of you in the sexual department, you are no longer your own person. Which is not good news if you want to earn a living. As it was, having reached 60, I was granted the Mature Age Allowance, and being now over 65, I no longer have any problems in this area. But there was never any chance I could have earned a living as a sculpture, no matter how impressive my talent. But, there again, it is all a matter of networking and people, and a person who is not his own person is at an enormous disadvantage in the people department.
The ORB needs to be satisfied that the offender has tried to better himself by doing education courses. This item is worthy of a lengthy study, because it takes us to the mental roots of modern criminology.
According to this criminology, most offenders are offenders because they are so ill equipped to deal with the problems of living in the ordinary lawful community that they descend to crime. Adequate people are law abiding. Inadequate people are criminals. Criminals may be inadequate in the education department, or possess inadequate personalities, or be inadequate in both departments. Education courses will correct the educational inadequacies. Sex Offenders, Drug and Alcohol, and personal development courses generally, will correct the personality deficiencies. Correction is the function of custodial institutions, which why they are now called Correctional Centres instead of Prisons. This is being written in Cooma Correctional Centre, not H M Prison Cooma.
Geoffrey doubts the inadequacy theory of criminal etiology. Or, at least, that inadequacy is a major cause of criminal behaviour. The picture of a person unable to get a job because of educational and skill deficiencies, and, being unable to satisfy his basic needs, forced to descend to crime, does not accord with the facts of the workplace as he knows them.
We are living in a time of recession and workplace turmoil. Who knows what the position will be when the dust clears. But the inadequacy theory of criminal behaviour goes back a long way, and right back to nineteenth century Britain's criminal underworld, which, as portrayed in Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist, was illiterate, and otherwise wholly socially unconditioned. And it was alive and well during the times of workplace stability that Geoffrey has experienced for most of his life.
There was never any shortage of basic, unskilled work. During the 1950s, migrants, no matter what their professions and skills may have been, were forced to do two years directed, unskilled work. Right up to the present, the Commonwealth Employment Service and Department Of Social Security have made it known, with some force, that skilled and senior workers, who have lost their jobs, have only a limited time, no more than six weeks, to find work in their old occupations. After this they have to offer before themselves for any available work; or else, lose their benefit. A lot of moral duress was used. Nobody likes to be told, particularly skilled workers, saturated with the work ethic, that his choosiness is only an excuse to avoid work. There was a lot of talk about "lion tamers".
But skilled workers know that their skills cannot simply be wrapped up in paper and put on a shelf, to be reclaimed later, when times are better. Two years out of your trade, and you might as well accept that you have lost it. Geoffrey knows the feeling well. The work force is stratified. At the top, are senior administrators and policy makers, who sit in company boardrooms and the like. Below them are University graduate professions. Doctors and lawyers are an example. Below them are white-collar workers and skilled trades; and under these, is the great mass of unskilled and semiskilled workers. A sample would be laborers and truck-drivers.
Skills are a form of property; and, as such, jealously guarded against predators, and "dilutees" are persons who have trained otherwise than as apprentices, and felt to be predators. It is, therefore extremely difficult for workers in the unskilled/semi-skilled category to ever better themselves. Geoffrey never succeeded in rising any further than semiskilled work in electronics and boiler operating before he made the quantum leap, and went back to the university.
Just as individual skilled workers guard their skill property, and join in monopolistic guilds and trade unions. And restrict entry to rigorously regulated channels. And indulge in restrictive work practices generally. So do the upper categories seek to maintain their exclusiveness and privileged status. Geoffrey got nowhere with his BA. So, fair enough, a BA is only a preliminary qualification. So he carried on with his law. It was almost 16 months after being admitted as a solicitor - I ran into the people barrier that refused to let me in the legal club to do the training which would have completed my qualification as a solicitor. I was rather like a graduated doctor who cannot find a hospital to accept him as an intern - that he eventually landed a job with FAI Insurance as a filing clerk, a job which required no more knowledge than a reasonable proficiency in the alphabet. But Geoffrey felt that the time had arrived to be realistic; and he was settling down in the next job up, a claims officer, and establishing a reputation as a good claims officer, when he was arrested. He was already well down the track to forgetting that he was a lawyer. But, Geoffrey, underneath, was very angry. He had had his enormous investment in training destroyed. He could not blame anybody in particular. So, he blamed the sovereign. When the opportunity arose for him to indulge in illegal sexual activity, he felt he owed the sovereign little in the way of allegiance to the law. The end of his relationships increased his sense of utter and complete defeat; and, at the time of his arrest, he was very close to a catastrophic self-destructive breakdown, a final response to the perception that the only possibility in life is violence. The destruction effected his quality of work; and, in his dealing with clients, he was sometimes unnecessarily unsympathetic. Nobody, who is forced to do a job that involves the destruction of his or her skills, can be really good at that job.
We have to always keep in mind that the criminal law is about the freedom to hold property and the protection of this right from violent interference, and violence includes deceit. Sometimes an elaborate system of legal "construction" is necessary to make the illegality fit the pattern; as we shall see when we again examine the sexual law. But the pattern is the reality. And the reality is what matters for an inmate of Her Majesty's Correctional Services. Instead of accepting defeat and joining FAI, Geoffrey could have opened an illegal conveyancing business, and so openly violate a legal profession monopoly. Because Geoffrey was not entitled to an unrestricted practicing certificate, he did not have the right (and such a right is a property right because it comes from the possession of the requisite certificate), to engage in such an undertaking. He could have attempted to do the same thing under some form of cover, and deceitfully violated the same right (which is the legal profession's property). Now, Geoffrey had fulfilled all the academic requirements for his profession, and he had successfully completed the officially recognized course in conveyancing. What he had not done was his 3 years time as an employed solicitor; because the profession would not accept him as a member at this personal level.
Geoffrey accepted the pruning of his aspirations, gratifications and needs that this rejection entailed, because he was powerless to do anything else. Except break the law. But he was vulnerable in another department. Up to 1984, homosexual had the choice of either remaining celibate, or breaking the law in a serious way. It is submitted that it was the more adequate who broke the law. Geoffrey was given the same choice, and he broke the law. It is submitted that the set of occasions that made up his criminal career was the one time in Geoffrey's life where he truly took charge. It was the one time in his life when he did what he really wanted to do. To do so, he had to defy the sovereign. But he was only able to do so by the anger fueled by his defeat in the career department. As he was enjoying his illicit kisses and cuddles, he was saying, "F*ck the sovereign".
It is suggested that most persons with a criminal record are persons who have "dropped out" of the normal, lawful community because, within the restrictions of the community, they are not able to satisfy their aspirations, gratifications and needs. Most crims come from the unskilled/semi-skilled category because this is where the burden most heavily falls.
Most persons in this lowest category accept its limitations to their lives. After all, the work is usually pretty easy; certainly a lot lighter than in the higher categories; and these people are content to go through life dancing to a tune played by others. Just a few don't. Some land in prison. Some don't. But those who do, tend to form a subculture that is centred on prison as a way of life. So, the same old faces are forever being seen on the muster lines. It is suggested that the-existence of a healthy and large unskilled category is necessary for the free circulation of money which is the mark of a healthy economy. It is not necessary that the persons in this category are doing a full day's work for a full day's money. It is necessary that they are getting the full day's money to enable that degree of equitable distribution of income and circulation of money necessary to maintain an active and growing economy. So, whatever may be the present recession situation, the long-term prospects are for the situation here depicted, and for the relevance for this theory of crime. Of course, high long-term unemployment exacerbates the problem; and, instead the unskilled class being at the bottom, this pool of unemployed becomes the bottom. But, again, most unemployed does not resort to crime. Training is not the answer, because most available jobs are still unskilled. But training does keep the unemployed off the streets, and provides the excuse to give an adequate income, that membership of the unskilled category used to do.
It should be kept in mind that not all crime is of the type so lengthingly discussed above. Corporate high flyers in the eighties became so greedy to satisfy their unreasonably inflated aspirations, gratifications and needs that they became criminally reckless about the freedoms and rights of others, and indulge in violations of their positions of trust on a grand scale. These people are truly criminal. But they, most certainly, are not inadequate. Basically, they belong to the same category as the criminal we discussed; but on a bigger scale, and with much less excuse.
Then there are those people who, having the freedom to choose love, positivity, and creativity; choose, instead, hatred and destruction. These are the true evil ones. And their evil is contagious, as demonstrated in the guard's behaviour in Nazi concentration camps. Their presence cannot be ignored in assessments of 19th century penal treatments of seclusion and restricted association.
Then there are those people, who opt for remaining members of lawful society; but are so crushed by the restrictions that their vision of life is one only of the possibility of violence. If love and affection are declared off limits, what is there left? Occasionally, their behaviour breaks down into uncontrolled violence, and they are incarcerated to protect the society that destroyed their hopes. They are the true victims of life.
In none of these cases are educational courses of more than marginal value. In the case of the high level, white-collar crim, and the truly evil, they can be of no value at all.
In effectiveness, educational courses of more than basic-level are difficult to justify themselves in penological. Most inmates are now two-out. It is impossible to study effectively in a tiny cell, with somebody else, and a TV set. Geoffrey can testify to this with some feeling. He was lucky to get a one-out, and this is how this book has enabled to be written. But one-outs are now rare in the system. Then there is the problem of changing gaols in the midst of a course, although, admittedly, PRCs take these things into account. But release date is release date, even if it does come halfway through a course, and nobody is going to knock back his or her parole in order to finish. It is accepted fact that few courses are maintained after release. Most inmates take courses, not so much for self-improvement as to oil the passing of time, and to be able to satisfy the ORB's relevant heading. And doing a course or two creates a favorable impression at PRCs.
Some courses, for example forklift driving, may be of practical value. At least, there is a statutory certificate of the end of them. But, even in forklift driving, it was noticeable that there were dubious motivations. Why did an inmate with a withered hand do it? Why did another inmate with a history of serious back surgery do it? Neither could ever be considered for work in a warehouse. This is no reflection on them. Geoffrey is forever precluded from working on the railways because of his color blindness; and a roomful of train-driving certificates can make no difference. There was another inmate who is a registered nurse, who did the first-aide course. It is a bit like Geoffrey doing a basic literacy course. Yet it is a fact that these things do impress the PRCs and ORB.
Michael Yabsely threw cold water on the thriving pre-truth-in-sentencing prison education industry when he declared (allegedly) that inmates were not in prison to benefit from their crimes. But under his successor, Terry Griffith, it recovered somewhat. It is certainly a benefit to have a course or two up one's sleeve. Geoffrey was able to cite his completion of the AIDS Peer Educator Course (duration 4 days) as proof of his intention to better himself.
As it happens, Geoffrey has been able to "better" himself in a truly substantial way (a lesson that all inmates learn in penological is the importance of fronts and appearances, as distinct from substance). As the best in his field, his sheet firepower gives him a chance of blasting through that people barrier that has so dogged him in the past.
Sadly, on the sexual and relationship front, Geoffrey's best survival bet seems to be to accept society's restrictions on his aspirations etc., and marry a woman. To a degree, accepting a reality situation means the acceptance of evil. But if the stake is survival, and in this case it is, then so be it. That evil people have power over survival, and place this condition upon it, is one of the reasons, and mechanisms, of its contagious nature.
Let us, now move to the Sexual Offenders Assessment Program (SOAP) item. The recent addition of the word "assessment" to the program's title confirms Geoffrey's long held suspicion that the purpose of the program was not so much to aid the offender's personal development as to provide an opportunity and source of data for his assessment. Basically, is he likely to commit his crime again, and so be a continuing danger to the community? If he receives the diagnosis of being a "fixated paedophile", he will be forever closely watched by the police, as well has having to serve his full top sentence. Modern psychology regards the "fixated paedophile" as the ultimate danger to society; and it is not far from the position where it will be recommending the death needle to such people upon their identification. Me can only hope that the psychologists involved will have sufficient personal virtue to sustain such a terrible role.
The purpose of the program, as presented to the participating inmates, is to nurture personal development in a group therapy situation, wherein inmates openly and candidly discussed their crimes; and openly and candidly discuss the crimes of the other participants, as they reveal them. It is being assumed that all participants are mineralizing and obscuring the nastiest details of their crimes in order to avoid guilt and personal responsibility. Confront the offender with his actions, and he will accept responsibility for them, and, seeing how evil they are, he will determine never to repeat them. In legal terms, he is confronted with the nature of his acts, what he did, and their quality, their serious and criminal nature. He is confronted with the effect his actions have had upon his victims; and, if he is a man of ordinary sensitivities, he will feel sorrow for what he has done. These sessions are meant to be mutually hard hitting and brutal.
But there is a fundamental incompatibility between quasi-judicial assessment and group therapy. Once the participants are aware that they are being assessed for release, they are also aware that anything that they say may be taken down in evidence against them. They are also aware that the therapist has a reporting duty, whereupon he has to report to the police any material that comes his way, which could support the laying of fresh charges. The sessions that Geoffrey attended, and he attended about 30, tended to settle down to a polite and controlled exchange of inanities. Most participants concentrated upon getting on the right side of the therapist by agreeing with whatever views he chose to reveal, and generally being as friendly and cooperative as possible. The therapists were aware of this dog-chasing-its-tail effect, and avoided revealing their views. They were also aware of the alerting the offenders to their true intentions if they intervened in the proceedings too much. They hoped that the sessions would take on a life of their own, and all they would have to do was to sit back and take notes for their reports. In practice, most offenders avoided giving their mates a hard time and little substantial came the therapist's way. The therapeutic side of the program invokes the inadequacy doctrine of criminal behaviour. Sex offenders rape in order to compensate and overcome their feelings of inadequacy. The inadequacy consists of a feeling of lacking power to control events in their lives. When an inadequate man rapes a woman, and even more so a child, he feels an adrenaline rush and a sense of control and power. The trigger of his actions is the perceived weakness of his victims.
We should note that pre-1984 psychologists regarded the homosexual as simply an inadequate heterosexual. Today, a person guilty of a paedophile crime is seen as an inadequate homosexual. But the parallel is not perfect because the old homosexual was not seen as committing a violent crime so much as an "unnatural act" against the command of God. Whilst a paedophile is seen as being a violent man using his superior size and strength to subjugate and take anally his young screaming victim. The psychologists become very angry when it is suggested that such behaviour is no more typical of paedophile behaviour than violent rape is typical of heterosexual behaviour. If, they ask, paedophile behaviour is not characteristically violent, why is it regarded with such revulsion, and gets such high sentences? Why indeed, is one of the central questions raised in penology. Forensic psychologists work on an oversimplified understanding of the nature of-the criminal law. They think that it is about violent behaviour in the sense that the man on the Clapham omnibus understands the word "violence", basically in the sense of hitting somebody with intent to cause injury. These psychologists do not see all crime as violent, only crimes directly to the person. Crimes to his property, they see as nonviolent, and much less serious in nature. They see all sexual offenses as crimes to the person, and therefore violent and assaultive in nature.
This oversimplifies the sexual law. S.78 provisions replaced the old S.78, which declared sodomy to be an abominable and unnatural crime, or words to that effect. They were inserted in the Act as a quid pro quo by the Rev Fred Nile forces to allow the repeal of the old S.78, and were intended to protect males under the age of 18 from moral danger and perversion. In other words, they carried on the outmoded function of' the criminal law to protect public morality and deference to the law of God. Likewise the law prohibiting incest is, in origin, about morality; because incest is seen as an "unnatural act". Carnal knowledge was intended to protect unmarried females from the stigma and physical perils of pregnancy at too tender an age. In themselves, there is no reference in any of these crimes to assaultative violence. Until 1982, there was the crime of rape, and this was about violent unconsentual sex. But in that year, the rape provision was repealed, and replaced by graded assaults; sexual assault, indecent assault and act of indecency. But the essential element in all three of these was lack of consent, and, not just substantial consent, but legal consent due to lack of legal capacity or the operation of the law. So, at the stroke of the Governor's pen, all sex offenses became legally assaultative in nature. And this is the origin of the psychologist' s terrible mistake. Terrible, because they insist that all sexual offenders are rapists. They see SOAP in the context of substantial violent sexual crime. They see its purpose as treating rapists. Because of the highly suggestive nature of authority's expectations about a person's behaviour, those expectations may well tend to translate into fact. And one day, there will emerge from SOAP a monster. The psychs are playing a dangerous game; and the tragedy is that they are so completely and determinedly blind. Geoffrey protected himself from the psychs by developing a hatred for them.
We need to clarify, in our minds, the nature of the sexual law; and try to make consistent legal sense of something with three quite separate origins, ecclesiastical law, statute law, and the common law. We have touched upon the first two. The third will now be discussed, not in the strict sense of law "declared" by judges sitting in the higher courts; but as the body of assumptions and doctrines which give the law its rationale, and guide its reasoning. It is an inquiry that is taken at its philosophic bedrock, jurisprudence.
All law is about property, including the criminal law. Your bodies, your visible property, your reputation, even your aspirations and expectations in so far as value can be ascribed to them, are your property. In marriage (the law of marriage originates in ecclesiastical law), the wife becomes the property of her husband, by virtue of the marriage contract. In courtship, the man presents himself to his intended as a man of value, i.e. property. An unmarried woman is also a person of property, an important component of which is her virginity. In marriage, her property becomes her husband's property, in consideration of joining and participating in her husband's property. She takes on his name, and holds all his property as joint tenant. The principal property right, which she gives to her husband, is the use of her body for his sexual use and gratification. She carries into marriage a duty and expectation to bear and nurture his children. The ecclesiastical law took as its starting point the Epistles of St. Paul, but has been heavily modified and limited by statute law. An important ecclesiastical concept is that marriage is a contract for life. The Family Law Act 1975, and various state acts recognizing the possibility of rape in marriage limit the finality of marriage considerably. The present position is that there be an intention that the contract is for life when it is entered into.
Males derive their power as rights rooted in their property. If, for instance, you have a strong reputation, your enjoyment of this is your power. Modern feminist thought sees sexuality as a male power thing. It is certainly a male thing, and a property right. Enjoyment of property results in its consumption; the enjoyment of a chicken reduces it to a pile of bones. But a wife is a bit more like real property, land. It is consumed, but there is a duty to replenish it (to the State, which is the ultimate owner). The marriage vows contain an item whereupon the husband promises to love and look after his wife. The legal meaning of love is in the sense of "loving" your land, looking after it. That the vow is made to the State can be seen as providing the basis for the State being a party the marriage, and for marriage being a state institution. We have already looked at the concept of children being beneficially owned by the State. It will be seen that, when a woman allows herself to be sexually used outside marriage, there is no duty of "replenishment", and she is used up and spoilt as property. The concept of the spoiling, or violation of property lies at the base of the nature of all sex offenses. An adult woman has the privilege of making a limited contract with a man. Prostitution is not illegal; but the law signifies its disapproval by declaring prostitution contacts to be unenforceable in law as being contrary to public policy. An adult woman is also capable of granting a man the use of her body for no consideration whatsoever. She is liable to be judged as a low woman who places no value upon herself; a woman of low self-esteem.
A prostitute is seen as a woman of low personal value, because she is willing to sell herself in a limited contract. Morality is seen as being equated with personal property value. A person of high value has a high morality. A person of low value is a person of low morality. Lawyers talk of value. Moralists talk of morality. Psychologists talk of self-esteem. Ladies are females of high value. Women are females of low value. All females are ladies until otherwise proved. Feminists dislike the reference, in ordinary conversation, to a female's moral standing; pointing out that males are free from such scrutiny.
Likewise, passive homosexuals are persons of low moral standing because they grant the use of their bodies with either limited, or no consideration. The law does not give men the capacity to marry their own sex. Persons who associate and make use of other persons of low morality are seen as willfully lowering their own standards, and those of the community to which they have been granted the privilege of membership. Geoffrey, as a known homosexual, was a person of low moral standing in his community. A stated extra legal motive for his charging was to remove him from his community. His parole conditions make it clear that he is being allowed back only on sufferance.
Children and immature adults do not appreciate the true nature of sexual conduct. They tend to look upon it as a fun activity between people who love one another in the warm, emotive, supportive, accepting, sense of the word. The pleasurable quality of such behaviour is described by moralists as lustful and leading to further immoral behaviour; and by modern psychologists as relationship addictive (they refer to codependent relationships). This by its force is destructive of a person's autonomy and ability to choose conduct conducive to high personal worth and self-esteem.
Hence our sovereign makes unlawful any conduct on the part of a male who "takes" a female carnally before the prescribed age. Before which age a female is considered to be incapable of understanding the true nature and effects of her sexual conduct. In particular, she does not know that the taking of her virginity takes the bloom off the property value which is her most valuable asset for striking the best possible marriage bargain in adult life. The sovereign is now taking a harsher view of this conduct than ever before in legal history, and is seeing it as only a little less in degree than "actual" rape of the most serious kind. The sovereign, advised by his lawyers and psychologists, is treating carnal knowledge as a rapacious destruction of the most valuable kind of property of a11, a female's own self.
The modern sovereign takes a similarly serious view of incest. Modern law insists that all contracts be negotiated on an at-arms-length basis. The position of power and authority is imposed by law upon a parent, or a person in a position of parentus locus, as his duty to the sovereign as his trustee. This is seen as being incompatible with the arm's length relationship required of the parties for the concluding of the marriage contract. Even when the child has become an adult, the substantial effect of the father's relationship is seen as enduring; even though the bare legal effect is emptied. Where the girl is below the age of consent, an incestuous act is treated as an aggravation of carnal knowledge.
A man/boy paedophile relationship violates property rights in a number of ways. Boys, like women, are sexually attractive to men because of their weakness and fragility. But, unlike with an adult woman, the boy's welfare cannot be protected by the man's duties implicit in marriage. He cannot marry because he is a male. He cannot marry because he is below the age of discretion. Bereft of the benefits and protections of marriage, a boy is used up and destroyed by his lover. And note that this destruction is implicit in the nature of the relationship. Elements of actual violence and duress are aggravations of the basic situation.
The second heading of the injuries of abuse, is moral decay. A boy, used and abused by a man, develops a taste for behaving as a woman, and is ruined for life as a man. The seeds of destruction sown in boyhood develop their fruits in inevitable total destruction, which is the fate of the passive homosexual. Adult males have a duty to the sovereign to marry, beget, and nurture the children in the interest of the sovereign. To destroy a young male's capacity to develop into a mature, and adequate adult male able to fulfill his duties, is to destroy a precious property belonging directly to the sovereign, and to merit that person's most savage wrath.
The third heading covers the same ground as incest. Adult males have a parentus locus relationship to boys, and this applies wherever there is a relationship between any boy and any male. Either the man uses his power and authority over the boy to force him to give his body to satisfy the man's lusts; and this is a situation of aggravated sexual assault, Or rape; and aggravated breach of trust. Or, there can be a situation of ordinary breach of trust where the males take advantage of the boy's natural admiration and trust to induce him to "have a bit of fun". The breach of trust is to the sovereign, to who is owed the duty to respect, obey and fear authority. There is a duty to bring the boy up to fulfill his proper male role; a matter already discussed. And his breach of trust is to the boy, the helpless victim of his greedy lusts and selfish emotions.
Where a boy is able to relate sexually to a person in authority, and "person" includes all adult persons, there is a strong suspicion on the part of modern psychologists that he has been subject to prior abuse by his parents. If his parents have stopped short of their duty of putting a limit on his being able to express his love, both in giving and receiving it, by denying him his sexuality, he will not be regarding their authority with its proper and natural fear. And he would not have the perception that it and sexual activity do not, and should not, mix. A child's base experience should be to associate his parents' love and his sexuality with punishment and rejection. A boy who is able to relate sexually to adult males seems, therefore, not to have had this experience.
The first rejection is in the interests of the parents' recognizing their trusteeship to the sovereign. To the parents, this may also be a sacrifice, but it is a sacrifice made in recognition of their liability in favor of the large residual right of the Sovereign in the child. The love denied to the child by his parents, and the love in the child available, therefore, for redirection is directed to the sovereign as his right. The sovereign has property in all of his people, and can call upon them to sacrifice their individual lives on his behalf, if called upon to do so, paedophiles and incestuous parents take for themselves the rights of the sovereign, and are hated and punished by him. They deny the child the inherent advantages of truly belonging and being loved by the sovereign; and, in this denial, they are causing him great injury.
But the sovereign, in turn, is only holding his property in trust for God (or, in a Democracy, the "people"). In any allowing of activities that degrade that property, he is degrading his trust. The quality of the property as a whole is called the standard of the community. Sexual misbehavior degrades the standard of the community, and, this in its own right, is a serious crime. A child has to learn that there is a higher expression of love than sex, and that this is the nature of the love which is due to the Sovereign, and ultimately to God; and that he should be prepared to fulfill this liability, even with his own life. Pre-adult training has the object of making the child aware of his adult liabilities, and preparing him to meet-them if called upon to do so. It is contended that the time of the Sexual offenders Assessment Program should-be devoted largely to teaching these legal doctrines.
It is contended that offenders are normally inadequate only the sense that their life's experience has been such that they have not absorbed the doctrines through the pores of their skin. Most offenders enter the program wondering what they have done wrong. A fundamental object of the program is to impress upon them that they have done something very seriously wrong, and are not just in penological through some fluke or accident. The program has to direct itself to a fundamental question: Fred is asking what was so terribly wrong with his relationship with Franky, the 12-year-old next door. They went to football matches together, and Franky's own father was too busy to take him. They went to fun parks together, and Franky's father would not have gone to such places in a blue fit. Fred gave Franky lots of goodies, and Franky seemed to have enjoyed the physical part of the relationship as much as Fred. So why was Franky taken away, and grilled for days on end by a team of detectives? And why was Fred sentenced to 5 years penological minimum?
The first task of the Program must be to tell Fred the answers to his questions; otherwise the only barrier to his again committing his crime when released is the deterrent effect of his raw fear of the law. The sheer length of the program is effective in impressing offenders that it is no accident that they are in penological, and that the law is deadly serious. The effect on Geoffrey from the constant association of sexual activity with punishment was to make it seem nasty and unpleasant. So, the program has a raw function of negative conditioning. When Fred sets his eyes on Franky like persons, he will feel anxiety and dread. But the mind needs to be engaged, and the answer is training in the relevant law. It is contended that lawyers rather than psychologists run the program. Geoffrey is not entirely convinced that the law is right in some of its basic assumptions; but reformation at this depth is neither necessary, nor probably truly attainable. What is necessary is that Geoffrey knows and understand the law as it is; and accept that he either has to obey it, or accept the penalties. He is free to contemplate what it should be at his leisure.
There are two other high barriers to the effective working of the groups, the participation of not guilties and religious fundamentalists. A high percentage of the participants in the groups that Geoffrey attended were not guilties, 5 out of 7 in the last. It seemed that about two thirds of Cooma penological pleaded not guilty, and maintained that plea. It would be saying little for the effectiveness of legal process if this were to be true, even with the relaxed standards applying to sex convictions. The legal process is not perfect, and some prisoners are in custody not guilty of the offenses for which they have- been convicted. The system has to accept the verdict of the courts; and, officially, every sentenced prisoner in custody is guilty. But, on a personal level, who is to say? We weren't present in court. Still less, were we present at the scene at the alleged crime. So, on a personal level, both the system, and the inmate's fellow prisoners are inclined to inclined to lean in favor of taking him at his face value.
There are obvious advantages for the not guilty who is guilty. At no time is he forced to confront the fact of his crime and conviction. He is not even forced to confront the fact that he is in prison. He is in the prison but not of it. He is aware of the element of doubt, and he makes full use of it to camouflage his reputation, and to deceive. In a sense, his is a salvage operation.
Yet, if the guilty not guilty deceives, he, himself, is being deceived; because he is subjecting himself to constant retrial. Whatever the public utterances of his fellow inmates may be, their private thoughts, may be, and probably are, running along different lines. Nobody likes people who attempt to deceive him or her, and nobody likes the holier than the attitudes commonly assumed by the not guilty. In Geoffrey's programs, the not guilties included those who said that they did not know whether they were guilty or not, by reason of the alcohol. Lawyers learn to be suspicious of the client who pleads not guilty but is excessively vague about details, and in his general manner. A lawyer is not there to try his client, but such things do not stand up well in court. But, in the program, the ethos that inmates are not in a position to try their fellows prevailed, and even the psychologists gave them the benefit of the doubt, (seemingly).
Whatever advantages and benefits could have been conferred by SOAP, were largely denied by the enormous amount of time taken up by the not guilties arguing their cases, and denying their guilt. There are benefits in the guilties discussing their cases, but who wants to discuss intimate details of their lives in front of persons who deny that they should even be in the penological, let alone in the program. Guilties distrust not guilties, and this is the price that not guilties have to pay. In the end, the psychs recognized these things, and formed a policy of assessing them on an individual basis. But a psych has to assume that not guilties are guilty, or else he is not carrying out his job according to law. After all, they are not superior courts of appeal. The same considerations apply to parole officers. And, not only is the price of not being guilty the distrust of fellow inmates, but also problems at parole time. Which they cannot understand because their own lack of candor is returned by the relevant officers in kind, and nasty reports are made which are not fully stated and explained to the offender.
The other problem people in SOAP were the God-squaders, the gaol's Christian fundamentalists. These people wasted a huge amount of the group's time because they were more interested in rebuilding phony reputations and preaching the Word than engaging in candid and rational discussion. Outside, these men had acquired reputations of great godliness and moral unrighteousness, and had used these reputations to attract their victims to their lairs. Reputations are an important part of sexual attractiveness to persons brought up on the straight and narrow and the way of making an immediate association between sex and property. Fundamentalist communities teach a strict sexual code similar to the legal position described above. Children are taught to revere, trust, love and obey their elders, especially the elders of the community. So, when the elders use their power to induce the kids to come to bed with them, they are directly contradicting the substance of their teachings which is the source of that power. They probably argue that their power and reputation gives them the ability to override particular teachings in particular circumstances, when it suits them. But it is hard to avoid the conclusion that they have committed a substantial and serious breach of trust, and the children are left with a sense that they have done something wrong. When charges are laid, the elders are revealed as having little power, and the guilt hits the children like an avalanche. It may not hit the elders in quite the same way if they have been using their reputations in the hypocritical spirit of weapons to get their victims and shields to hide their actions from the outside world.
Note inserted 14/1/99:
These inmates took up the time of the sessions telling their listeners that they have admitted they have sinned but they have repented and are now totally reformed and rehabilitated. They explain they erred because Satan tempted them. But some of them had been in before but always they have fallen in the face of irresistible temptation by Satan. They are what the Wood royal commission identified as fixated paedophiles as believing what they did was wrong. And distinguished them from preferential paedophiles who deny, sometimes with heat, that what they do is wrong.
Reputations make wonderful smoke screens, because they are so hard to see through. People see what they expect to see; and when a person has a particular reputation, they expect that his actions will accord with that property. When a God-squader puts his arm around the shoulders of a 12-year-old boy, what is seen is a fatherly protective hug. Were Geoffrey to do the same thing, it would be seen as dripping with lustful, paedophile implications. The power of reputation cuts both ways.
The God-squaders' reputations allow them to get away almost with murder, until, perchance, somebody blows the whistle (probably the jealous action of another God-squader who has been shouldered out of the way), and they end up in SOAP. In SOAP, they howl and cry their guilt. But, confident that they will be forgiven by the shedding of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, their reputations rise newborn like Phoenixes from the ashes, and they spend the group's precious time exhorting it to "go the way of the Lord".
In its own way, SOAP inherits the mantle of the Quaker's separate treatment in it quest for reformation. It is suggested that where reformation is claimed, it should be regarded with the uttermost suspicion. It is suggested that the whole complex of child sexual abuse have its core and reality in the God-squad situation. An added and very serious factor comes from human drives acquiring their character from the labels that they are tagged with. So, when sex is tagged as sin, it acquires the character of sin and violence; and instead of its being a tool of love and consciousness, it becomes something rejected and horrible. But, still retaining its strength, it seeks to break through into consciousness, and control it, as a compulsion. It is difficult not to get the impression that this is the situation into which the psychs are pouring all sex offenses. Perhaps it is that they, too, tend to come from strict church backgrounds, and this is their natural understanding.
We can couple the Drug and Alcohol program with SOAP. But it, too, is based on the assumption that its task is to rectify the inadequacy of its participants.
In recent weeks (September 1992) there appeared, in The Sydney Morning Herald Agenda section, a review of a book which argued that drug taking is a natural human drive, strengthening Geoffrey's long held suspicion that this is so. American Indians have been smoking tobacco and chewing cocoa leaves long before the decadent capitalistic west came along. Christ appears to have enjoyed wine as a normal part of his life. Most people do not become alcoholics. It now seems probable that most people would not become addicted even to heroin if exposed to its use. Most people have been exposed to marijuana without becoming addicted. It seems that most of the government-sponsored campaigns against drug abuse are about as factual and rational as the campaigns against child sexual abuse.
Sex problems are rooted in the belief that it is wrong. When sex is labeled as evil, it takes on this characteristic and is irrational, violent and compulsively destructive. When drugs are similarly labeled, they take on this similar characteristic, and become destructive addictions. It is suggested that the one thing that rapists and alcoholics have in common is an upbringing that condemns sensorial pleasure. Punishing a child with pain and punishment for its simply wanting to be loved would have the same effect as explicit stern religious teaching. Punishing a child for masturbating is a terrible thing to do.
The point is that both SOAP and a D&A Program have it in common that, by characterizing their subject matters as evil, they are encouraging and breeding the very evils that they seek to combat. It may not be the conscious intention of the psychs to condition SOAP's participants into the belief that sexual activity is wrong, but its total context makes this powerfully inevitable. SOAP's participants have had their sexual activity and affections punished and rendered extremely unpleasant experiences; and this is rubbed in continually in the SOAP experience itself. Geoffrey found the experience so disturbing that, at its end, he could take no more; and actively became uncooperative with the psyche. One motive for his taking control of his "reformation" was to take it out of control of the psychs, and to avoid the necessity of ever seeing any of them again. It is suggested that, similarly, the D&A program is merely reinforcing its participants' beliefs that the ingestion of chemical substances is inherently wrong, and so merely exacerbating the original problem.
It is suggested that this is inevitable in a punitive environment. Both SOAP and D&A work on the principle that participating offenders are inadequate people unable to control and subjugate destructive and evil impulses. It is strongly suggested that there should be a radical reorientation in favor of encouraging and fostering acceptance and expression. Instead of the accent being on repression, it should be on growth and positive attitudes to things which are a part of the human condition, and which can enrich life and make it a worthwhile wonderful experience. A start can be made by seeing that personal inadequacy is not where the problems lie; and that sex offenders, in particular, are far from being inadequate persons. Was a homosexual, who broke the law and loved, less adequate than one who accepted society's repressive attitudes, and remained celibate? If you tell a person, from a position of authority, that he is inadequate enough times, he will believe you, and act on it. But, where is the gain in that?
Finally, let us take warning that the present programs are in grave danger of producing monsters. This point needs no further emphasis.
The next item on the Parole Officer's checklist "good behaviour in prison?" It is accepted wisdom that behaviour in penological is no indicator to expected behaviour outside. This is why parole, as distinct from remissions, came into being. Remissions looked to behaviour inside, whilst parole was directed to behaviors outside. But, with the abolition of remissions, it looks as if parole is be in pressed into doing their work. Few prisoners are affected by parole, and long-termers, looking "down the tube" to be doing 4 or 5 years before even getting even their Cls, will feel it to be too remote. Good reports, bad reports; what do they matter?
The last item looks to "new philosophies of life"; and that the offender regrets what he has done, and will not do it again. Geoffrey fulfilled the formal requirement, and made the required statement. Indeed, he does not intent to re-offend again, but not because he is overcome with guilt and remorse. The people involved in his case have got their pound of flesh, and more, and he owes them nothing. He has struck an extremely bad bargain with his sovereign and does not intend to do business again. Geoffrey will be keeping to the straight and narrow because he doesn't want to involve himself in such deals again. But what if anybody, like say the sovereign, in the future, should want something from Geoffrey? True repentance suggests an element of forgiveness, and there has been none of that here. The ORB is talking rubbish when it invokes the religious elements of repentance and reformation, when the sentence has been about punishment and retribution. When Geoffrey walks out of the gate, he has paid the price, and owes nobody anything. It is a thought that the longer and harder the time, the easier is the burden on the conscience. But in spite of ORB, it is accepted penological wisdom that prisons don't reform people; at most, they administer a lesson in the facts of life. And, if the offender absorbs the lesson that is the most that can be expected. All of this is a fortiori when the effects of Victim's Compensation are taken into consideration.
So, having dealt with the vexed questions of parole and remissions, let us continue our tour of the operational part of the New South Wales prison system. The next stop is activities. Activities covers all leisure pastimes and sports. There is an item on the wing report that broadly covers it, "participation in sports?" Activities in the prison regime is the item which specifically covers the Department's duty to take steps to preserve mind and body, so that the inmate is released in same condition, subject to normal wear and tear, as when he was delivered. Except in so far as participation goes to "good conduct", it is not forced upon inmates. Rather is advantage taken to counter institutionalization (an injury), and it is left as a matter of "taking responsibility and charge of life", and to the individual's personal initiative to take advantage of the opportunities offered.
Cooma is a cramped prison where somewhere near 160 inmates live in an area originally meant for 30. Even less, because of the extra building; and the early penological built to the ungenerous standards of 120 years ago. Most gaols have an oval. Even Long Bay has an oval. Goulburn has an oval. Cooma's B security prisoners may spend up to five years never going outside its small, inner yard and the relevant work areas. In one corner, a few dedicated inmates seek to develop their bodies by doing weights. Cooma's weight gear is old, well used, and elementary. The squash-players use the wall of the segro block. Sometimes a net is erected, and half the yard given over to netball. For a while, they tried cricket, but the balls tended to get lodged in the roofs, and there was the wacking potential of that bat. Balls getting lodged in the roofs are also a problem with squash. There are also a couple of hoops for basketball.
When the new workshop was built for the tailor shop in 1989 (built outside the original walls, but at their level of security). Its work area was taken over for use as a mess hall, and the original mess hall turned into the activities room. This little account indicates the high premium space has at Cooma.
The activities area houses three snooker tables, some tables for playing cards, and area for carpet-bowls. It is open for an hour or so in the afternoon and, in the evenings, from 5.15pm to 7.00pm lockup time. In view of its size, it is fortunate that most of the penological goes into "sleepers" after tea. Activities includes the use of the library. The pride of Cooma is its excellent library, reputedly the best in the system. But, like the rest of Cooma, it is cramped, and is housed in the old kitchen at the back of the activities room.
Activities is presided over by the activities officer, who has his office in the activities area, and supervises it. Every week- there is a buy-up, on which such items as extra coffee, condensed milk and tobacco can be bought from inmates' personal accounts. Every month there is an activities buy-up where more substantial items can be purchased, such as socks, joggers, and TV sets. There is, incidentally, a limited number of black and white TVs available for hire at a dollar a week. It should be kept in mind that it is an inflexible rule that all inmates' personal property has to be bought for him by the activities officer out of the inmate's personal account. Personal property brought into penological by the inmate, such as his street clothing, is kept locked away by in the property room until release. A limited number of books and magazines (3 each) are an exception to the rule.
Some activities overlapped with education such as computer and music classes run by inmates. Towards the end of Geoffrey's time, inmates were putting on concerts, but only very tentatively. The Greiner Government had stopped all of these things in pursuance of its get-tough policy. Weekly walks in the moat are now held. These last for about 5 minutes; and are a gesture of recognition of the loss of physical condition and weight gain suffered by most of the inmates of Cooma. Illustrative of the problems is the regulation that an officer has to be stationed at each corner so those inmates are never out of sight and sound.
A former activities officer, now the Corcraft Overseer, started a woodcraft hobbies section on the lines of Berrima. But in this guise it had little future because of lack of space and money. But it came at a time when Cooma was desperately looking for new avenues to employ its recently doubled numbers, and a workshop was built for Woodcraft, on condition that it became an industry. Which is a good place to start our discussion of that most important prison institution, Corrective Services Industries.
Corrective Services Industries is an independent statutory corporation. That is to say, it is a separate legal person that can sue and be sued in its own name, and has a registered office. It is very similar to an ordinary company except that, rather than having the Companies Code as its legal foundation, it has its own Act. It is important to note that CSI is not the Crown; and is, therefore, quite separate from the Department of Corrective Services, except as specifically provided for in its Act. CSI cannot act in the name of the Crown and so lacks the authority of the Crown.
Cor is the trademark of CSI (short for Corrective). So, what was originally called the Woodcraft Workshop is now called Corcraft. Corcraft, as an enterprise of CSI, receives from it an annual budget, whereby expenditure is authorized under various headings, such as "materials". A sales target is set, which not only covers current and capital expenditure and overheads, but also provides for a profit. CSI prides itself upon being totally commercial in its orientation and attitudes. Corcraft has to show a profit to justify its existence; and as far as CSI is concerned, profit is its sole justification. CSI, besides Corcraft, operates a large number of industries within the system (each called Cor something). The sole owner of CSI is the Crown; and CSI is expected to return to the Crown a profit as a result of its total activities.
The profit returned to the Crown is seen as defraying the cost of the prison system. Ideally (from the Crown's point of view), the operations of CSI will cover the total cost of Corrective Services, and even return a surplus. Whilst it does not appear to have been the Government's primary aim to dramatically increase the prison population by its enactment of Truth-in-Sentencing, it was not unduly worried by the prospect because it was hoped with, "every prison a workshop, and every prisoner a worker" (as the slogan went), that the larger the population, the larger the potential surplus. It could even have been that the was a secret hope that not only would the costs of Corrective Services be covered, but all the other costs of government as well. So that, with zero taxation, the people of New South Wales would have no reason or desire to ever change their government. It was a glorious vision. So glorious, that the Labor opposition felt that its only counter could be adoption. There, therefore, there has been no public debate; in common with most of the other prison policy initiatives since 1988. But there are problems, big problems, and sooner or later they will have to surface. The most basic is that, if CSI is to deliver the goods, it will have to operate on a scale which will make it a serious and formidable competitor to ordinary private industry. The heartland of the Liberal Party, whose child CSI is. All prison inmates are there, no matter how employed, or whether employed at all. So, any valuable production from them, no matter how small, is, in a sense, profit. All that has to be subtracted to make the net profit, is the cost of making use of that labor, machinery and tools, materials, and supervision and management. A small pocket money grant is made to employed inmates. Corcraft employed inmates in Cooma got about $17.00 a week. Later, about December 1992, a three tier system was introduced, with about $30.00 a week maximum.
Note inserted 14/1/99:
Because Geoffrey had had his outside warrant withdrawn, he was not eligible for the full amount. Which was felt as a bit of a blow on release day on the 3rd February 1993. Over a couple of months the amount added up.
Corrective Services does not provide postage or telephone calls. Yet, outside contact goes towards "good conduct", a reversal of traditional policy, where outside contact was severely limited. There is an allowance of a packet of tobacco a week (White Ox is the goal tobacco), or $4.50. So, for nonsmokers, there is this rather bad bargain (the value of a packet of White Ox is about $8.00). The allowance is not given to non-workers, inmates who have actually refused work. Domestic workers (sweepers) get from $9.00 to $12.00. According to policy, when an inmate persistently refuses work, he can be sent to Tamworth for "correction", but the truth is that work is in bad under supply in New South Wales gaols (as it is outside). Even Cooma has a waiting list of as long as 20 waiting job placement. Remandees are not offered jobs. It is possible that there are some inmates who don't want to work, but this writer has not met any. There are lots who want better jobs, but that is a different story.
Unless the judge otherwise provides it, all prison inmates have been sentenced to hard labor. From the judicial point of view, therefore, work is a part of the sentence (which is why an inmate is marked on industry). The type and quality of work does not interest the judges. In particular, they are not concerned about productive value. For them work is a punishment, and the treadmill found in some of the earlier gaols served-the purpose as well, or better, than work in Corcraft.
Good, easy, and effective management requires that inmates be doing something. A bored inmate is an unhappy inmate, and an unhappy inmate is more likely to "fire-up" than a happy-inmate, or at least one usefully employed. A prison is a place of suppressed violence at the best of times, and lack of occupation makes it more so. Inmates do argue as they go about and interact in their jobs, but it is a different sort of thing.
So, not only does prison labor cost CSI little, there is actually a negative cost, where its involvement helps prison management etc. In a sense, merely by being there, CSI is producing something by reducing custodial costs. By virtue of its custodial functions, those functions are subsidizing CSI. This bears directly on costs. The Officers in charge of industries are called overseers. Oversees, first and foremost, are prison officers, and can be called upon at any time to perform custodial duties, in a relieving capacity etc. It seems that CSI does not pay its overseers, but pays part of their cost to the Department of Corrective Services, who is their basic employer.
An important custodial task performed by industry overseers is the Corrective Services Department's duty of preserving mind. Industry preserves an inmate's skills and capacity to perform useful work. But time does not stand still, and there must be actual growth, if there is not to be regression into negativity and violence. So, to be standing on the same spot, as it were, we need to be learning and growing. Geoffrey was fortunate in his job in Corcraft that he was able to do this. Most Prisoners, Cooma, were employed in the tailors shop (Cortex), but it has to be admitted that few left that shop better equipped with workplace skills than when they went in. The bald fact is that there is no employment for men in the textile industry at the machine level.
Considerable effort was made to justify Corcraft by appeal to the inadequacy theory of crime. That the basic reasons why most inmates come to prison is that they lack the social and workplace skills necessary to minimally perform at the lawful level. So, they sink, or remain, below this level, and can only survive by virtue of unlawful activities. Perhaps a better way of putting this is to say that survival is functioning at the lawful level. Lack of survival is sinking below this to unlawful conduct and penological. We have already discussed a custodial sentence as being a kind of death.
So, an inadequate inmate coming into the Corcraft industry is able to learn sufficient skills and work habits and attitudes to enable him to function on the outside at the lawful level, and so to survive as a law-abiding citizen. Producing law-abiding citizens is stated as the ultimate aim of Corrective Services.
Already, in these pages, Geoffrey has doubted the inadequacy theory. As far as Corcraft in Geoffrey's time is concerned, it didn't fit the facts. Of the 17 inmates employed there, at the most, only one or two had not held good jobs before they were brought in. Indeed, a couple had been running substantial and profitable businesses. Even Geoffrey, whilst his job was below his qualification level at the time of his arrest, was on the long haul up. He was certainly fully capable of earning his living at the job he was holding. Criminal behaviour is a complex thing, as we have been discovering. If you are looking for inadequacy, you will be finding it at the level of petty property crime like shoplifting; for which custodial sentences, if handed down at all, are very short and of the order of a few weeks. Normally, these people are just left to sit in the yard.
Gaols are not good places to learn substantial skills. Mainly because they are normally places of very temporary abode, and nobody's sentences are synchronized so as to provide a reasonably stable workplace. Corcraft was fortunate in this regard, because most of its inmates were serving substantial sentences of over the 2 years mark. Nevertheless, it employed mostly men who had done this kind of work on the outside. Again, Geoffrey is a case in point. Sadly, for example, it seems to be the pattern that, when welding needs to be done, there is nearly always a welder somewhere in the penological, so that the closed world of the skilled trades outside tends to be preserved inside as well. It is nice to be able to learn a substantial brand new skill in penological, but not if you have to earn a life sentence to get the opportunity.
Geoffrey did learn to sculpture busts. But he had to do this in his spare time. Primarily he was the clerk; and, as the industry expanded, that spare time became less and less. Busts are like portraits in that they are of primary interest only to their sitters; so most of Geoffrey's work was not salable off the shelf in the shop. The point is that, even in the Corcraft workshop, the pressure was on to take commercial attitudes to production, to the detriment of development of skills. The attitude was that time spent on technical exercises was time wasted. Yet, in view of the temporary nature of the work force, a very considerable proportion of prison workshop time must be spent in the development of skills, especially since inmates can't go to school outside, if worthwhile levels are to be attained.
Sadly, these factors will probably mean that most prison industries will evolve in the direction of mentally handicapped sheltered workshops, with only very low levels of skill being demanded. The new privatized penitentiary at Junee, to house 500 B security and 100 c security inmates, will probably be attracting the assembly line type of work. This, in the last decade, has been wandering around the world looking for the cheap, obedient, docile, work force that will be found at Junee.
There is probably not a great deal of difference in principle between assembling TVs in Junee Correctional Centre using prison labor to assembling them in Taiwan using cheap female Asian labor. But, somehow, the quaintness of naughty men atoning for their sins by making, say, beautiful clock mountings or sturdy wooden toys, does not quite transfer to lines of prisoners assembling TVs in a no nonsense factory setting. True, Cooma's Taylor Shop is very nearly this in that it is a modern textile factory producing all New South Wales public hospital linen.
So, Australia's manufacturing industry, in the early 80s, took to wandering offshore looking for cheap docile labor; and now comes wandering back when it finds that it can down-anchor in the world's most rapidly expanding prison system. Cooma's Tailor Shop gets away with it because it does not open tender, and it doesn't deal directly with the public. Maybe whistles will start to be blown when Sydney's retail shops are flooded with cheap TVs and other electronic gear made by New South Wales prison labor. This is especially with over a million Australians tramping the streets looking for work, and looking over fences at the ruins of the abandoned remnants of Australian manufacturing industry.
One of the reasons for the cessation of transportation in 1840 (in New South Wales), was the perceived competition of free labor with convict labor; but, allied with this was the feeling that convict labor was slave labor, and slavery was immoral. There apparently is a article in the United Nations Charter of Human Rights prohibiting the use of prison labor in commercial enterprises unless it is paid at market rates. Since Australia is a signatory to this Charter, the external affairs power in the Constitution should give the Australian Government powers in this area. In practice, this may not mean a great deal, since all that CSI need do is to pay the market rate but deduct costs of incarceration and living, with the Federal income tax taking its share. The result might be that the inmate would end up with about what he would have had he been paid under the present scheme.
It seems strange to us for prisoners to be paid a market rate of wage. But, in bygone days, maintenance detainees could earn enough to support their families, and the old Reports indicate that, quite often, prisoners could be released with reasonable sums in their pockets; which caused some resentment (1915). A lot is talked about rehabilitation. Surely the biggest problem a prisoner on release has is earning a living. In the old days, a sum of money would enable him to buy a set of tools. Today, the most pressing need is likely to be a motor vehicle. But the press would bay that such a thing would be the case of a convicted person profiting from his crime. The nearest thing that we have to this is work release, which arouses unease, and occasionally indignation in the media, when a "dangerous criminal" goes missing.
A management problem arises from the dual identity of overseers as both employees of CSI and Corrective Services, the persons who run business enterprises cannot afford, if they are to be successful, to be carrying the burden of a nine to five mentality. Business management has to be approached in the spirit of "open-at-all-hours" if it is to be successful. But Corrective Services officers are paid by the hour, and great resentment is felt is it is perceived that someone is working unpaid hours. Craft industries, which involve a lot of selling, are particularly vulnerable to this limitation. A certain sense of the freedom, and interest, of proprietorship is a great help for business success.
On the subject of attitude handicaps, prison industries also labor under the fact that their labor is not free. Again, the basic problem is lack of proprietorship. Most prisoners, in the inherent nature of the situation, lack a feeling that their job is truly theirs. And, it has to be admitted, the efficiency of labor at Cooma was, across the spectrum, extremely inefficient. But, when this sense was present, the inmate could work as well, and as enthusiastically, as anybody outside. Geoffrey was in this happy position. Also, inmates in this position, would guard and foster their jobs just as diligently as anybody on the outside. So, it is not so much freedom that is the key to productivity as proprietorship; although proprietorship does imply freedom as a secondary characteristic. Every prisoner looks forward to getting out, but Geoffrey did cast a backward look at his job.
It was no accident that his replacement was installed fully 3 months before his release. Perhaps this is a good place to discuss recidivism, the tendency of prisoners to come back; in direct proportion to the number and length of sentences served. But is this not a direct contradiction to the deterrence factor in sentencing?
It is suggested that proprietorship is the key to these apparently irrational phenomena. The longer an inmate is in prison, the more likely it is that he will find his niche, which is a form of property. The human spirit is a great survivor, and, sooner or later, in some form or another, property will be acquired. Geoffrey had his job. Geoffrey even felt he had an interest in the Woodcraft Workshop. He developed a personality that won him friends amongst the other inmates; and, in penological, one need never be lonely.
If, on release, the former inmate is left to wander the world like a lost soul, with a feeling that he has left everything behind him in the penological which he has left, the chances are that his wanderings will eventually take him back through those heavy wooden gates. Prisoners with family ties have a better chance of remaining outside. But, here again, we have the incompatibility between imprisonment and "rehabilitation", in that imprisonment, more particularly long imprisonment, is not compatible with the maintenance of strong roots in the outside world. But, at least there is progress that outside ties are given a favorable rating on the inmate's record; whereas, in former times, they were deliberately restricted to make the punishment more severe.
There seems to be no answer to long sentences making prison attractive to the inmate. No matter how hard the conditions, there is always that something that is common to all prisons, that is the constant attention of authority. In the end, this attention becomes a kind of property. Contrast this with being outside, where nobody notices any more, and nobody cares a damn. In penological everyone has a "place". Outside, most likely there is no "place".
Geoffrey, in his tour through Cooma Old Gaol Museum uses the theme, "the history of work in New South Wales's gaols". He starts his history with the Victorian age precept of prison being a place of hard labor, a hard bed, and hard fare; with, even today, all offenders being sentenced to hard labor unless the judge otherwise directs. The earliest prisons, in the mid-nineteenth century, were equipped with treadmills, as was Darlinghurst (built 1842). The Victorians were very keen on the idea that everyone should work; at least everyone who lacked "quality". But work conflicted with separate association, because, in most work situations, people need to associate. The treadmill solved this problem, but its function was punishment only.
Prisons, in the Victorian Age were expensive to run and maintain, then as now. So it soon occurred to the powers-that-be that the enormous productive potential of prison labor could be put to good use in reducing those costs, even without directly competing in the marketplace. So, prisons became self-sufficient communities. All had their farms, with cows, pigs, chooks, and a vegetable garden. They had tinsmith shops, for the manufacture of galvanized iron furniture like buckets, jugs, eating utensils, baths. They had their blacksmith's shop, in the days of horses. They had bookmaker's shops, for all leatherwork; and the carpenter's shop for all woodwork. They all had their tailor shop; and they had their bakery. Perhaps some of the goods made would be supplied to other institutions like orphanages.
But, in 1992, self-sufficiency is a TV sitcom fantasy. Even before the Second Word War, not all prisoners were involved in productive activity. In those days, most prisoners were serving less than a month; and then, as today, no attempt was made to give such short-termers work. They were just left to pace the yards. Today, there are many more long termers. In those days, a served sentence of over two years was uncommon. Today, sentences of less than two years are extremely uncommon for any sex offense. Even a couple of "flashings", act of indecency, will get this. Desperate criminals are hard to find in Cooma, but most offenders are serving over three-year's minimum. Some work or occupation has to be found for these people.
Yet, penological is not a promising environment for efficient work. It is intensely labor rich, but skill poor. It is capital poor, and it is natural recourses poor; although prison farms are better off in this latter respect. And, over and above this, prisons are for purposes of punishment, not work. Whereas most workplaces and factories have as their sole function, work. It is a fact of life in prisons that work has to fill the odd corners not occupied by punishment and security. Maximum-security prisoners are allowed only plastic knives and forks to eat with. Imagine the restrictions on the tools that they are allowed to use. Yet, truth-in-sentencing, and longer sentences generally, mean that there are more maximum-security prisoners in the system than ever before. Even at Cooma, a quite amazing amount of productive time was lost through the higher priority demands of security and routine. Ramps are thorough searches of all cells in a wing. On ramp days - in Cooma, once a month - all inmates are locked in their cells, and work suspended. And then there are not enough officers. Then there are work-space searches; you name it.
Every prison a workshop, every prisoner a worker, with the profit so high that the costs of government are substantially met, is an impossible dream. Which is just as well, otherwise New South Wales would rapidly be turned into a slave state. But the creation of a separate industrial prison corporation inevitably has to be seen as having precisely this objective. Prisons are costly to run, but industry is not the answer. Industry has many functions in prison life and management, but making a profit is not one. In Cooma, it was often remarked that the penological would save a considerable sum of money if had simply shut down all of its industry, sacked the overseers, and kept the inmates herded in the yard. Even the work done in the much vaunted tailor shop would probably have been done cheaper somewhere in Asia. Privatized gaols can well be run at a profit, but only with heavy, hidden subsidies to their operators. It is suggested that privatized gaols are little more than cynical public relations exercises; that may well misfire. Cooma's Corcraft workshop manages to cover its costs, but only when those costs do not include the wages paid to its overseer, who, as well as being foreman, is its manager and salesman. This is a quite unrealistic and deceptive piece of accounting. Incidentally, a major problem with prison labor is that it cannot be graded into a hierarchy. No prisoner can be put above another, and no prisoner will take orders from another, at least, in a formal sense - although every wing does have its head sweeper. So, even the lowest level of management has to be done by highly paid prison officers. So, what is saved by paying prisoners little, is compensated for by huge management costs. If the profit function of prison industries is illusionary, what about their repair-of-inadequacy function? We have already studied the adequacy argument and found it wanting, except as an excuse and justification for imprisonment in a world, which might not want to buy the retribution motive. So it comes down to a question whether it is possible to learn a useful trade and skill in penological, as part of Corrective Service's duty of preserving mind and body. Most inmates suffer a great deal of direct damage in their capacity to earn a living as a result of imprisonment. Most have lost their jobs permanently, and their desirability in the employment market is greatly impaired. Most have suffered serious financial damage, which compounds with the length of the sentence, and consequent non-earning period.
Geoffrey is leaving prison with no debt but with no remaining financial fat, and he is leaving prison at the time of Australia's worst recession since the 1930s. He is leaving the prison with a salable commodity, his book, and he is confident that his busts are of merchantable quality. He is lucky, because his legal qualification gave him a flying start in the prison employment market, and he was able to get a job in Corcraft that was of some use to him. There were a few others who left Corcraft with marketable ceramic handicraft skills. But commercial pressure meant that only inmates who demonstrated prior carpentry or ceramic/painting skills were chosen to work in the workshop. Skills were widened, developed and maintained. Very few were imparted from scratch. But Corcraft is Cooma's shining jewel. It is difficult to pick what employment skills are imparted in the tailor's shop, useful work though it does. An inmate might learn something about cooking in the kitchen; but there again, inmates were handpicked for their prior skills and experience. These workers could attend a cooking course held in the kitchen. But Geoffrey was at Cooma for two and a half years, and this only came into being at the end of his time, when the blight of the Yabsley years was starting to lift. Let us recall that the slogan of these years was, "every prison and workshop, and every prisoner a worker", coupled with "no prisoner should profit from his crime". So, what was the kind of work being contemplated? Obviously it was nil skill, hard punishing grind.
Otherwise, Cooma, as most other gaols, offered mostly work of the general useful kind, basically sweeping and cleaning up generally. There is a TAFE course held on the farm, but its problem is the temporary nature of the stay of the students. Mostly the farm employs short-termers and those at the end of their sentences, or on their way to one of the camps.
This discussion will finish with a positive suggestion that all inmates, serving over two years, spend their last six months on work release. All inmates, including sex offenders, and not just including those guilty of "clean" crimes like granny bashing, should be given the strong presumption that they qualify for this opportunity. In these recession days, employment, in the ordinary way, is hard to find. It is suggested that CSI can find a useful role in filling the gap, employing these inmates in real jobs at market rates of pay. This would help to solve that most pressing of all recently released inmates' problems, having no money to start up again. And it would effectively rectify the mistake of abolishing remissions.
Life in prison is slowly reviving. Activities now includes a number of opportunities for inmates to assume a measure of self-responsibility and taking charge of their lives, in the AIDS, magazine and entertainment committees. A week before the writing of this, the first ever concert since Geoffrey's arrival was staged at Cooma. It was a roaring success.
Reform and Alternatives
An important, perhaps unpalatable, truth has to be put to the sovereign, "Unless what you have done has brought the lawbreaker to truly love you, and want to please you, you have failed".
If the criminal justice system is to succeed in its aim to produce law-abiding citizens, it has to do more than cause the lawbreaker to fear the sovereign. Geoffrey leaves the prison system a person determined never to break the law again, but not because he has come to love the sovereign. Rather, because he knows who holds the biggest stick, because he knows the pain that a hit with that stick will bring, and because he knows that the forearm, which uses that, stick is determined and strong. It is said that it is not the pain that deters, but the certainty of its infliction. Geoffrey is aware that the chances of his getting away with a repeat of his crime are extremely small and remote.
But, as long as the measures that adopt work, why should the sovereign be worried? There are several reasons. A sovereign, who is the servant of his people, and holds his position by virtue of its love, has an easier and cheaper position than a tyrant who rules by fear. And, who instead of giving to his people, and enriching its lives, deprives and impoverishes it, in his own direct interests. A tyrant has to always be looking that he has indeed got the biggest stick, and that his arm is strong. For his power is holding back a lot of water and the slightest weakening of the dam wall will cause its collapse and his being drowned in the ensuring flood of uncontrolled hatred.
A sovereign who rules by fear is basically behaving in a criminal and immoral manner because he is violently interfering with his subjects' right to live happy, fulfilled lives to the limit of their potential. It does not matter that he is doing it to further an ideological or religious position. These things are forms of property; and, ultimately, what he is doing is for the sake of his own property aggrandizement. The reader is strongly advised to read George Orwell's Animal Farm on this topic. A Sovereign who rules by force to further his interests is, thereby, setting his moral seal of approval upon his subject's doing the same; and, in the end, he is brought down by the very same lawless society which he himself has created.
There are strong signs that the present New South Wales Government is using its prison system as an instrument of terror. It is not concerned over much with its cost, hiding its expenditure in Justice, an item of budgetary expenditure that also includes the police and courts. It seems to be unconcerned that its increase in population is getting close to being twice what it was when it came to office; indeed boasting that this is an indicator of the success of its law n'order policy. On the lst August 1990, Geoffrey received his Min.189674. At this time of writing (25/10/92) Mins (the inmates' prison number - which remains with him for the rest of his life; and which he resumes if ever he comes back - are over the 140,000 mark. An intake of about 40,000 inmates into the system in less than 2 ˝ years is not chicken feed.
The policy is popular also with the State Labor Opposition, which, indeed, is crying "not enough". There is a strong perception that the electorate is after "blood", which, in penological terms, is called retributive punishment. In simple terms, this means that government policies are powered with the desire to get even. The powerful media figure of the Australian Broadcasting Commission has thrown itself solidly behind this policy in its programs on rape, "Without Consent". A prison system meant primarily to serve the ends of terror and retribution is not rational (or at least not rational in any positive sense of the word) and is incapable of reform. At most, reforms are merely bits of window dressing. The word "prison" has been abolished from the government's lexicon, because it has fouled its nest. The "correct" term is now "correctional center" which will last till it also, has fouled its nest. Governments, like persons, like to put the best possible appearance upon their actions and motives.
The Government's prison policy inspires little credibility; and there is no possibility of genuine reform within the foreseeable future. The wonder is, not that the system is so bad, but that it is so good, and it is a testimony of the survival of the human spirit, even under the most adverse conditions.
But, nevertheless, it is the duty of anybody who has had the privilege of being able to study the criminal justice system to suggest reforms and alternatives, especially the latter. Prisons have only been with us, as a primary means of punishment, for about 200 years, and they were meant to replace hanging, flogging, the pillory, and, above all, transportation. They are extremely expensive in terms of financial cost and human misery; and they are ineffective in terms of influence on the crime rate. Instead of New South Wales' crime rate halving in the years since the election of the present government, it has actually increased. Apparently the recidivism rate of between one third and two thirds remains steady.
Geoffrey believes that the human condition is subject to a disease which can ultimately destroy its rationality, self-interest, and even its survival instinct, when "blood", for its own sake, becomes its positive, and, at the end, its only goal, even its own blood. The moral part of us fights these regressive, self-destructive impulses as the good fighting the bad. Power generally means the power to control and restrain. So, power, which may start out as serving self-interest, being evil in its essence, eventually consumes and destroys its possessor. Power may start out with the purest possible motive, to protect something we hold dear from other evil power. The present sexual law started in the mid-eighties from the perceived need to protect women and children from male sexual predators. The Russian Revolution, at the beginning, was a wonderful thing. Democracies recognize that holders of power, in time, become debauched and degraded, and, from time to time, need replacement. Earlier, it was remarked that ideologies and religions could be seen as properties and interests. In the end, even this thread of rationality disappears, and actions taken in their name become purely destructive and evil. It is possible to perceive a contemporary desire of modern psychology to purify society of violence and irrationality; and is prepared to use violence of the most extreme kind, heavily disguised as "treatment", to achieve its ends. It overlooks that loving, rational behavior can only be, when there is the freedom to be unloving and irrational; that a person can only be good if he has the freedom to be bad. Yet badness destroys freedom. There is no easy answer, and every particular person has to live his particular life in his own unique set of particular circumstances.
Evil is contagious, and it spreads by fear, and generally psychologists are feared in the prison system because of their power to impose and intensify punishment by bad reports. They are rather like bad schoolteachers using a cane upon a pupil. Why does the hapless kid just stand there and take it? Because he knows he will get a lot worse if he doesn't. In a sense, it sums up the prison experience to say that it is a matter of lying down and taking it.
Evil is contagious because of the peculiar pleasure that evil brings. Lying down and taking it brings with it a weird kind of pleasure. The psychologists forcing inmates to grovel and accept the judgment of evil, are destroying their capacity to exercise freedom and be good (by fear), also giving them a kind of pleasure which becomes compulsive and purely destructive. It is suggested that recidivist behavior is an example. Evil is contagious, just as nineteenth century penologists believed, and the answer to the contagion is isolation, just as they thought. So, there will always be a residual need for prisons. But they would be places of containment, rather than punishment. Punishment means nothing to the truly evil person; and more than this, feeds his evil impulses and satisfactions.
People who call for retribution should ask themselves why they get pleasure from someone's pain, even if "deserved". Consideration of the above analysis will show that it is an evil pleasure the indulgence of which will corrode their moral being, their soul, and destroy it. Whatever may have been the original fault, its effects can only be compounded by retribution or, as the saying puts it, "two wrongs do not make a right". Christ commanded us against taking vengeance and retribution. It is contained in the less widely read and observed of the Biblical passages, and they appear to be censored altogether from fundamentalist texts, but he was making an important point. It is a point that a large amount of crime is private "payback", and for the sovereign to be seen as encouraging this sort of thing by example, is for him not to be achieving a great deal. It is not the purpose of this text to give a blanket approval to all behaviors, and the first on the hit list is that occasioned by the drive for retribution. It is a thought that a lot of recidivism can probably be attributed to payback, where prisoners are discharged into the community burning to exact retribution; which exacted, constitutes a new crime, and back they come.
Retribution enters the justice system through the back door, as was made clear from the remarks of the retired New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal justice on the ABC TV program, Couchman, on 28/10/92. The judges take into retribution into their sentencing considerations in the excuse part of the subjective factor. He cited the example of a 12-year-old boy who was physically abused by his father. But, on the other hand, the case could also have been used to exemplify provocation or self-defense, or even diminished responsibility.
Yet, Geoffrey may think what he likes, and have what system of morals that he will, yet it is the sovereign who is the ultimate authority. In any conflict between the sovereign's beliefs and those of Geoffrey, those of the sovereign must prevail. Geoffrey has to take cognizance that, at times, the sovereign appears to be acting from a quite different moral system to that of Geoffrey.
The sovereign seems to be saying that the essence of the moral good is contained in pain. That sensual pleasure, particularly sexual pleasure and its incidents of emotional pleasure, degrades, corrupts, corrodes and debauches the soul. Whilst pain is like the waters of an icy, pure mountain stream, which cleanses and strengthens the soul. That Man's Disobedience caused him to be ejected from heaven, and only his presentation of a quantum of retributive pain will allow him reentry; and that the true purpose of life is to endure and seek the suffering necessary to accumulate the necessary quantum.
The doctrine is called "salvation by good works"; and, whilst not Christianity, it is open to the sovereign to accept it as his system of belief. The doctrine of salvation by good works makes it explicable why the Sovereign regards sexual misconduct as the "vilest of all crimes", as The Sydney Morning Herald put it in a front page article on 28th October l992. Murder is basically something arising out of a disputation with sovereign about who is boss. But sexual offenses go to the heart of the matter, and by exposing the kingdom to the wrath of God, threaten its very existence.
Within the context of such a system of belief, talk about reform of the penal system misses the point. The sovereign's assertion that the purpose of the system is to produce law-abiding citizens is merely sugar coating on his real purpose. The real purpose is to provide a legitimate avenue for his real purpose, which is the infliction of pain as an end in itself; and which underlies all of its other purposes, such as being an instrument of terror.
"Good works" explains the psychs' hatred of sex. They believe that all human ills stem from the sexual stimulation and arousal in childhood by adults. That this abuse gives rise to the disease of sexuality, and the abused child will develop into an adult who, inevitably, will, in turn, be consumed with the lust to abuse children. There can be no cure; and the psychs are now proclaiming that even prison will not cure. Psychs', therefore, do not regard prisons as satisfactory places, because, eventually, the inmate is released to the community; to corrupt, corrode, and debauch it again. A child abuser is a person suffering from an incurable, and highly contagious, disease, and must be permanently separated from the community for its protection.
An alternative might be a prison which does not release its inmates, like an old time mental hospital; and where child abusers are not regarded as criminals but sick, very sick, and incurably sick individuals to be locked up for the rest of their lives. This kind of prison would not be primarily for punishment (although the underlying "good works" doctrine makes a virtue out of suffering) but for incapacitation and containment, for the purposes of the protection and welfare of the community.
But the extent of child abuse is believed to be enormous. One in four girls are said to be in incestuous relationships with their fathers. And when one considers the number of boys who have had paedophile experiences, we might be considering at least a quarter of the population of adult males. The cost of imprisoning these forever would be astronomical, even though strenuous efforts would be made to make them "pay their way". All child abusers and potential child abusers would have to be pulled in, because what is at issue is a contagious disease; rather as Geoffrey had to get at every tiny piece of "wandering jew", to master his garden's infestation with this weed. Incidentally, in spite of enormous sentences and active police initiatives like Operation Paradox, there is still no more than 500 child abusers in New South Wales gaols. This is a drop in the ocean; and the sovereign's success rate against them is about on par with his success rate against homosexuals before 1984. The reader is left to have his own thoughts, and draw his own conclusions. It was the unlucky homosexual who was charged in those days, and it is the unlucky paedophile who is charged today. Normally, kids will not be induced to get into the witness box and testify against the person who has shown them love. Somewhere, somehow, there has had to be a weak spot in the relationship. Every man charged with a paedophile offense has to ask himself, as the central issue in his case, why was the kid prepared to go into the witness box against him? Perhaps if sex offenders programs started from this point, they might serve a useful purpose. But this would mean that the psychs would have to accept the unthinkable, which is that good paedophile relationships are a part of normal reality. And that the offender is in gaol, not because he broke the law but because the law was able to target a weak spot in the relationship - normally jealousy.
But we are getting away from our subject, which is what alternatives to the ordinary prison system are open to psychologists in their endeavors to purify and cleanse society of sensual sexual pleasure seeking activities.
We have just found that natural life detention is out, because of cost. There is partial incapacitation in the shape of Depo-Provera. Injections of this are supposed to kill the sexual urge because the offender is unable to get an erection. Which merely indicates the psych's profound misunderstanding of what the thing is normally about, which is love and affection. The easiest and most effective way of getting rid of any sexual heat is a few swift jerks with the right hand. Few paedophile offenders will have had anal contact with their victims, and the focus will have been the victim's sexual pleasure, not the offender's. The psychologists are probably thinking in terms of cutting off the offender's penis in like manner to that of an Arab's having his hands cut off for theft. A lot of general harm will be done to the offender's health, and the psych's will have had their fun, but their main objective will not be achieved.
Finally, it is open to the psychs to persuade the sovereign to implement an extermination program, whereby offenders and potential offenders will be put to death. The proposal might seem to be quite "over the top", but it must be remembered that it is only about fifty years ago that Stalin and Hitler exterminated many millions of people to fulfill their dreams of perfect societies. In this case, many millions of men will be destroyed, but this will not be worrying those of the psychs who are women.
All in all, we have not made a good start in our endeavors to find alternatives to the present prison system. It has been suggested that psychs immerse offenders in pain "baths", whereby nerve irritants are induced into the offender by injection, and his soul is washed clean, expiated, by an hour or two of excruciating agony. This course has the advantages of being cheap and not causing permanent physical damage. But there is a more than even chance that the offender will be converted, not into a law-abiding citizen, but a raving lunatic.
It would be nice to be able to realistically suggest that the sovereign scrap all moral misbehaviors from his list of criminal offenses. But sovereigns have always need scapegoats to take off their own shoulders the blame for not having established the utopias that they have promised their peoples. The traditional scapegoat was the homosexual. His perversions were seen as corrupting and corroding the core of society, and responsible for the wrath of God which was the cause of all of its tribulations and misfortunes. For a while after 1984, the sovereign lost someone to blame and the psychs had to strike the poofs off their patient lists. But, by 1987, the good times had returned with the discovery of the child molester. The sovereign and the psychs are not going to let this one go; and those patient lists are fatter than ever.
By making an effort and seeing the sovereign and psychs as acting in good faith, we can see that they are trying out a possible alternative to prison system in the form of social engineering. The sovereign and the psychs want a peaceful society, free of violence, and sexual frustration is a primary and important cause of violent behavior. The Strathfield Massacre was fueled by sexual frustration, so was the recent (October 1992) Terrigal Massacre. The psychs reason that, if the sexual drive can be so dampened down that it is allowed to exist only as a concession and on sufferance in marriage, the community will be so much more law abiding and easy to manage. This argument is used in the armed forces and British Merchant Navy to justify continuations of the ban on homosexuality. The psychs know that, if they can catch the sexual drive as early as possible in childhood, and so stunt and inhibit its growth that it can never again pose a problem in life, they have solved their problem. Their enemies are the child molesters, whose actions in fanning the early desire, makes them the worst enemies of society, and it greatest danger, and from whom society must be protected. Even in primary school, children are now being taught to associate sex with danger, hurt and violence; and severe punishment, never love.
Social engineering is associated with the name of Joseph Stalin in his quest for a perfect society. The Marxist quest was to eliminate individual greed from the human condition. A certain amount of success was achieved, but only at enormous cost, to the point when the experiment is now considered to be the great failure of history. Sadly, it seems likely that the same fate awaits the present effort to eliminate sexuality from the human condition. The psychs still have this idea that humanity is a machine, and that it can be tinkered with like a machine; and that they are society's mechanics. May the great gurgle hole be large enough to let them pass through. But enough of this, let us assume that we have a sovereign who, in good faith, seeks a peaceful, prosperous and healthy society; that is truly strong, and not merely give this appearance through fear and oppression. And through which his writ runs for the welfare and good of all.
First of all, the law has to serve the common good, and not to discriminate. The law against homosexuality was bad because it was discriminatory, and forced a substantial minority to either break it, or suffers injury and hurt. Such laws undermine the authority of the sovereign by showing him as an oppressor, and lacking in legitimacy; and the authority of all of the law is eroded. Remember the statement at the beginning of this essay that those citizens that are truly law abiding must love their sovereign, and not merely obey his laws through fear and intimidation.
The principle of fairness must also apply to the prison system. Most sex offenders serve the whole of their substantial sentences in maximum and medium security institutions; with little chance of getting either to the minimum-security farms or to work release institutions. After delivery to the system, all prisoners must be treated equally, or, at least, according to conduct; and have equal access, according to conduct, to privileges. There should be no policy of stirring up one group of prisoners against another.
It should be recognized that it is not a part of the sovereign's role to compel his subjects to be good, and that he should not use the criminal law as a weapon for this object. All people have the right of moral autonomy; and that it is a part of a child's right of growth and development to his fullest potential that he exercises this autonomy. It is not good enough to make up a child's mind on all things great and small, and, suddenly inform him, on his eighteenth birthday, that he is free. It is one thing to offer a child information and guidance. It is quite another to dictate to him under the threat of punishment.
A person who lacks moral autonomy, that is who depends upon external authority to tell him what is right and wrong, and who does not take responsibility for his own actions, is hardly helped by being put into prison. It is rather, as it is often put, like locking up drunkards in a brewery. People whose source of right and wrong is external authority are really responding the urgings of their social instincts that put them into a pecking order hierarchy. But, when the boss is not looking, they become the creatures of what, for the moment is the strongest urging. If they see a pile of money which is not theirs but is on the counter before them, greed becomes their god, and they take it. There is nothing inside them saying that this is wrong; although they are extremely sorry when the boss finds out, and chastises them. It is suggested that every person has moral autonomy lurking within him, and only driven out of sight by inhibitory childhood training. It is the task of a reformed prison, or prison alternative, to provide the experiences which will re-stimulate its natural growth and development; with personal freedom and responsibility being the keynotes, with moral autonomy lacking, there are no natural defenses against a takeover by regressive and evil impulses. It is especially noticeable amongst "god-squaders", that they are quite willing to do the most diabolical things when they can claim the authority of the Bible. That it is the most perfectly behaved inmates in prison who lack moral autonomy, is one explanation for the accepted fact that behavior in prison is not an indicator for behavior outside it.
So, the use of the force and weaponry of the law to compel moral behavior can be counterproductive. An excellent way of exemplifying this is to compare Holland, which is a country whose culture strongly encourages moral autonomy, and which has very liberal moral laws about drugs and sex (the age of consent is 12); and the United States of America, which does not encourage moral autonomy, and which has the most illiberal moral laws. There is no question that Holland is the more peaceful and law-abiding country.
It is suggested that the sovereign should withdraw from the business of compelling people to be good and no longer to give custodial sentences for drug and sex offenses except rape. It is suggested that rape be introduced into the law as a separate and identifiable offense for which the elements of actual bodily harm or actual threats of it have to be proved.
The law is a contract between the sovereign and his people whereby the Sovereign recognizes and protects his people's rights to hold property, in consideration of that people's giving their recognition of him as their sovereign. A lawbreaker is someone who withholds that recognition and violates the rights of lawful persons. A rapist is someone who violates a woman's right of property over her own body; and, in so doing, comes into conflict with the sovereign who is according the woman his protection. It is the sovereign, who is the party, with which the offender is having his dispute with, because the sovereign is the source of all property rights, including those pertaining to one's own body. It is important that the victim be not brought into the matter as a party. This is because it would threaten the nature of the criminal law as referring to rights under the direct protection of the sovereign, and as having, therefore, a fundamental and basic quality, and which serve as the foundation of all other rights. Oppose this by the situation where basic rights and freedoms are merely matters between private people and you a situation where there is no rule of law, and you do not have a sovereign. There could be only one rule and this is, "might is right".
The sovereign responds to the offender by depriving him of his most basic property right of all, his freedom. The action is not about retribution but is about the re-establishment and assertion of the sovereign's authority. The offender is reminded of who is boss, and to whom he owes all things.
So, the offender is put into prison. But, this having been done, the next step is to release him on such terms and conditions that will give him a real opportunity for him to become a law-abiding citizen. Prison should be short and sharp, and used only as measure of last resort for the most serious crimes. Nobody, who has been granted bail after indicating a plea of guilty, should be put into prison. Such a grant is an indication that the person is not considered a danger to society; and proof of this danger should be a necessary element for the imposition of a custodial sentence.
This is not to say that the initial stage of a sentence should not be deprivation of liberty. There is an important point to be made here, which is that locking a person up is the measure of last and ultimate resort. To use it in any other way is to cheapen its impact; and gives rise to the suspicion that the sovereign is acting in less than full good faith.
The initial part of the assessment should be devoted to the assessment which today is compressed into the less than an hour of the sentencing hearing, with perhaps a perfunctory pre-sentence report thrown in. Reports tendered on behalf of the offender are usually not given the full due because they are seen as partisan and biased. This is an inevitable result of the adversarial legal procedure. In the system being advocated, the full procedure will be inquisitional, with an emphasis upon bipartisan ship.
It would have been found, for instance, that Geoffrey was very angry at the time of his crime. Because he had been forced to take a job which involved the destruction of most of his professional investment and identity. The sovereign was certainly not protective of his property rights; and, indeed, was active in their loss. In a sense, Geoffrey was being severely punished for his crime, even before he committed it. Geoffrey felt alienated from the society in which he lived, and alienation is probably an enormously important factor in the causation of crime. It is not just a matter of the offender rejecting the sovereign. It is also a matter of the sovereign rejecting him.
Modern political theorists talk about the importance of governments withdrawing from the business of government, in the sense of denying any duties to their peoples. America is a case in point, and where the result has been a rapidly increasing crime rate. Upon which lengthening prison sentences have had little effect, because the causes of the crimes have only a marginal nexus with deterrence by fear.
Employment costs money. The gaol experience exemplifies that employment costs money. It is far cheaper to run a prison with all of its inmates kept unemployed, and unoccupied, and locked up, than otherwise. Whilst there may be isolated pockets of industry which do show a positive return; taken overall, prison industries will never make a profit in the true sense of the word. The community will have to pay for full employment by taxation, as with the case in Sweden. A prison where inmates are kept permanently in their cells or yards, would be an extremely unhealthy place, and it would be seething with repressed, or even overt, violence and discontent; so also is an economy run with a substantial number of its people unemployed. Economies and prisons with full employment policies may cost more to run in raw financial terms, but their costs are very, very negative.
During this sentencing inquiry, attention should be given to certain aspects of the crime. Was it premeditated? Corporate crime, with its strong premeditated breach of trust aspects, may well be treated with greater severity than at present. At the very least, the privileges that gave the opportunity, and were abused, would need to be withdrawn. A solicitor convicted of such behavior should never again be allowed to practice, or not would be barred for life; or, at least, for a considerable time. The law has always taken premeditation into consideration in crimes of personal violence at the sentencing stage. Poisoners were hanged long after most murderers were reprieved. Robbery is normally a premeditated crime, and robbery normally attracts long sentences. But the element needs much more explicit attention that it gets at present.
If alienation, rather than raw greed and lust for power are the predominant element in the crime, the thrust of the remedial measures taken should be towards correcting this condition.
The whole of the present day legal justice system seems to be directed at the object of destroying the offender's self-respect. Nineteenth century penal practice was directed at destroying the spirit of offenders so that they could not offend again. It was a form of incapacitation. Self- respect is the most basic of all properties, and a person dispossessed of it will be incapable and unwilling to give his allegiance to the sovereign. Without self-respect, there cannot be any kind of consideration for a Social Contract. Such a person cannot love the sovereign; and, although through fear, he may act as a law-abiding citizen, he cannot truly love the sovereign. There are also paradoxes in the situation. With self-respect gone, there is nothing further to fear, because there is nothing to lose. So, there is no more fear of gaol. More, because of the survival qualities of the human spirit, his spirit may have a rebirth within the context of the prison environment, and nurtured by it; and prison becomes the true home to which he will always return. In any case, to a destitute man, alone in the world, even the hardest prison life offers attractions over life outside.
Almost all forensic psychology reports tend to be derogatory to the offender because they aim at painting a picture of him as an inadequate person unable to meet the demands of ordinary lawful community life. Such reports are tendered on behalf of the offender because they show him as not disputing the sovereign's right to rule and to assert his will; but instead is a person who could not help doing what he did. And, although technically guilty in law, is not guilty in terms of what could be called "criminal equity". Inside prison, the task then becomes that of raising his adequacy level to a point when he will be able to argue to the parole board that he is able to "conform and adjust to ordinary lawful community life".
The inadequacy plea is popular with the sovereign because he is absolved from any sort of involvement and blame. It is popular with Corrective Services because it is able to sell its institutions as "correctional centers" for the inadequate. They are not prisons at all; and only the incorrigible could possibly suggest such nasty things as closing them.
True, Geoffrey had only a mediocre job. But, just previously, he had spent 6 years passing some of the reputedly most difficult exams in the academic world. When he was well over 50 years old. So, he was not mentally inadequate, and he was not inadequate in terms of motivation.
Ha! But wasn't he emotionally inadequate? There is a popular theory that homosexuals are that way because they are not up to relating to a woman. As if relating to a man is so much easier. Now that gays are accepted, Geoffrey is seen as relating to his boys because he is not up to relating to a man. As if relating to adolescent boys is something that you do if you fail at everything else. It is quite evident that either these psychs have never tried to relate to adolescent boys, or they are judging in bad faith.
Had Geoffrey been truly mentally and motivationally inadequate, he would have been content with his fill-in job as hospital maintenance man. Had he been emotionally inadequate, he would never have reached the relationship level where he was able to seduce them; and it is exceedingly unlikely that he would even have tried, But, am I not forgetting something? Yes! According to the psychs, who know everything, he raped them. Which means that he satisfied his sexual urges without being able to relate to them at all.
The system is exceedingly determined to believe that its inmates are inadequate, even if it has to falsify the facts. Me have just noted this being done in a big way. In a small way, visitors to the Cooma Old Gaol Museum are told that the inmates employed in Corcraft are poor unfortunates who have been taught from the ground up how to use tools and be creative. In fact, most held good jobs, and most of the woodworkers are tradesmen carpenters, and had been specially selected, for this reason, to work in the industry. Geoffrey was virtually unique in developing a skill from the ground up, and this only because he was productively employed in an otherwise capacity. It is just as well that the inadequacy theory is inadequate, because gaols are exceeding poor places to train people in either vocational or relationship skills.
At this point of the analysis, Geoffrey had to pull back into gear, and remind himself that he was in prison for a violent crime. And that his plea of inadequacy had implied an assertion that he was unable to control his drives and passions to the degree that he was unable to control and direct them in the interests, desires, and morality of the ordinary lawful community. A mature, adequate person does so control and direct his behavior. A mature, adequate person does not commit crimes of passion. But, one suspects he is well capable of crimes of cruelty, greed, and cold premeditation. These crimes attract neither the interest nor concern of psychologists.
There is a suggestion that Geoffrey was driven to his crime as a penniless person is driven to theft to satisfy his hunger. Geoffrey just did not have any of the relationship skill currency necessary to buy property in another person's body; so he was driven to take that property by violence and force.
Or, looking at the matter from yet another perspective, Geoffrey's inadequacy feelings made him prey to the compensatory power drive of sexual violence.
All of this is the ideologically correct stuff insisted upon by the psychs on pain that Geoffrey will be refused his parole. Authority says that it is correct. It is in Geoffrey's interest to believe it is correct; so, Geoffrey is under powerful pressure to accept it. All good, well tried, brainwashing stuff, but, nevertheless, quite contrary to the facts.
The reason that Geoffrey's victims are held not to have given their consent is that the consent was rendered a nullity by reason of lack of legal capacity, by virtue of their age. This is the legal reality, and needed no dressing up.
Geoffrey deliberately opposed the sovereign. He was not forced into his crimes because of some sort of inadequacy. Geoffrey deliberately opposed the sovereign because he thought the relevant law was immoral and wrong. In no sense is Geoffrey poor Geoffrey. And he is guiltier than what he was judged.
Not that Geoffrey is without his inadequacies; but their effect is in the direction of his obeying the law, not breaking it. He tended, and tends, to meet life's problems and conflicts by avoidance and self-denial. Geoffrey does not have to be taught to say no, no, no in the interests, desires and morality of the ordinary lawful community. He is prone to do this at the cost of great personal lifestyle impoverishment; and further social conditioning in this direction is like seeking to cut off the remaining leg of a one-legged man. Like most wimps, Geoffrey is prone to temper tantrums. Because he still has his spirit, which hat nowhere to go.
Geoffrey's academic successes gave him sufficient confidence to pursue the satisfaction of his erotic drives, rather than denying them. It was, therefore, Geoffrey's adequacy that was the immediate cause of his crime. His boys were available. Had he been even more adequate, he might have been successful in winning over somebody else. Who was rather less available, but lawful. On the other hand, had he been more adequate, he might have been able to win sufficient love and respect from the boys for them to be determined not to testify against him. A jurist will notice the operation of an inbuilt mechanism to give a just result, even though the letter is denied. Adequacy is a legal two-sided sword. In fact, Geoffrey's occasional temper tantrums gave them the impression of a person of insufficient control of himself, and a wimp; and a person not worth the cost of support. So, although it was adequacy that was the cause of the crime, it was inadequacy that led to him being charged and vulnerable to conviction. Indeed, so vulnerable, that he gave up the struggle (perhaps characteristically), and pleaded guilty.
Breaking an offender's spirit will sufficiently incapacitate him to render him incapable of re-offending. Rather as Winston was made harmless in George 0rwell's 1984, there is no rational reason in the offenders Review Board refusing to release an inmate on parole other than to indulge in the hope that a further term of imprisonment, to the limit allowed by law, will break his spirit. All of this brain washing has its reason in the breaking of spirits. Once you have reached a point when you can no longer distinguish fact from fiction, and where you are able to describe your positives as negatives, you are done as a human being.
This may work; but like pursuing unemployment and permanently locking prisoners in their cells as cost saving policies, it is unhealthy and immoral. If the price of a crime free society is breaking persons' spirits, the price is too high.
The alternative answer, and the only one morally open, it to build and strengthen the human spirit. After being found guilty of a crime, Geoffrey would have his freedom severely curtailed in a bail situation; rather than being completely taken away in a prison situation. This being held in reserve as a last resort measure, if bail is broken. During this period, Geoffrey would be assessed for his potential use to the sovereign. The question would be a positive one, "What is it that Geoffrey has to offer the community?" There would be no room for a general negative answer. We are not interested in what Geoffrey has not got to offer, and what he cannot do, and has no interest in doing. We live in a complex specialized world, and its most successful inhabitants are specialized. The more Geoffrey is specialized in doing something well, the more things he cannot do. In sculpture, he concentrated on doing heads. He may later extend his range, but as an indulgence. Specialization is important for the acquiring of a known and intensified reputation, a valuable capital (income generating) property.
It will be found that Geoffrey is a lawyer, but whose capital property in this area has not been substantiated by the production of income, and therefore has a kind of inchoate (incomplete) status. Previous to his becoming legally qualified, Geoffrey had spent almost his entire life pursuing philosophical and psychological interests. Geoffrey's crime essentially was a disputation with the sovereign, for which he felt he had solid grounds. The appropriate order would be for him to produce and substantial work, arguing his case. The sovereign would have to make the hard decision to treat Geoffrey as a person acting in good faith. A healthy society is one that is changing, dynamic, progressive, and creative. In ordering Geoffrey to produce his work, the sovereign will be according him the opportunity to acquire a reputation as a positive part of this society.
Geoffrey should be paid money for what he has been ordered to do. Because it is important that the sovereign should invest rights and properties in him that, he, in turn, shall acquire substantial duties and obligations. We are how we earn our living, and unpaid work has about it an illusionary, or pseudo, quality about it. That is why Geoffrey's professional properties were being destroyed by his work as a clerk in FAI. As long as Geoffrey's sculptural skills are unpaid, they are not really a part of his capital reputation. When he receives his first solid cheque is when he becomes a sculptor.
Is not Geoffrey profiting from his crime? Yes! The failed penal policies of the past can only be surmounted if we are willing to crack and destroy the maxims that encase them. There are precedents, some ancient, some comparatively modern.
In medieval times, when the king defeated enemies of rank, he either put them to death, or gave them lands, and made them his vassals. In this way, he insured that they were not simply put out of sight, to reemerge and fight another day, which was the case with Germany after the First World War, and is the case today with most released prisoners. After the Second World War, the mistake was not repeated, and Germany was aided and enabled to become the prosperous and law abiding power that she is today. And the penny should be dropping with the appearance of the same old faces, over and over again, on the prison muster lines.
The comparatively modern example is transportation to New South Wales. After receiving their pardons, convicts were normally granted lands in their new country, and transportation is generally accorded the judgment of being the most successful penal measure of all time. Convicts were normally men of energy and enterprise. They just needed the opportunities to bring these qualities out. The women should not be forgotten.
If the sovereign shows Geoffrey love and generosity, there is a good chance that Geoffrey will respond in like manner. But, if he is shunned, and pushed to the edges of the community; then, although he may never again actually break the law, he will be the sovereign's enemy. Loving somebody who doesn't love you is a dangerous thing. If Geoffrey has not learnt this, he has learnt nothing.
A great virtue of all of this is its cheapness. To be generous to Geoffrey in the manner suggested is a lot cheaper than paying out the 50,000 odd dollars it costs to keep an inmate in New South Wales gaols per year. Gaols are costly; and, with the best will in the world, they are destructive.
But there is a fundamental reason why gaols, as they presently constituted, cannot work. Violence within the community cannot be counted by the community, itself, using violence. Because, for it to use violence, is to sanction and legitimatize it. It is a fair statement that everybody who has been in gaol has been brutalized, and desensitized to both receiving and giving pain. And the community becomes a victim of the paradox that the more punishment is given, the less it is effective. Us older hands will well remember our schooldays when the same boys, day after day, fronted for the cane, and they didn't seem to mind at all.
To arouse and nurture disinterested devotion in his subjects, a sovereign must love them and serve their interests. A sovereign who rules only in his own interests, and oppresses his subjects, can expect no devotion from the people who, following the example set before them, think only of their interests. A sovereign can only reap the crops from the seeds he sows. A sovereign who plunders his subjects, instead of nurturing and protecting them, must reap the crop of hate and fear, and will only be able to assert his rule by fear. His will not-be a law-abiding community, even though, outwardly, it is peaceful. A sovereign must respect his people if he is to receive respect in return. And if the sovereign is to influence his people's behavior for the better, he must be respected, and set a good example. A brutal prison system breeds brutality and lawlessness. Many reforms were made after 1979, on the recommendation of the Nagle Royal Commission; and, by common consensus, the system is a vast improvement over what it was before that time. Horrors like the Grafton baton walk have been abolished, as has the wearing and use of batons generally. Cooma is a friendly sociable place, and Geoffrey found the experience, in this respect, to be beneficial. If Geoffrey leaves gaol able to make friends more easily, he, and the community, will be the gainer, because an active ingredient in the causation of Geoffrey's criminal behavior was his loneliness. And contributing to his loneliness was his lack of social skills and confidence. Had Geoffrey had a wider social circle, he would have been able to fish in a bigger pool for his lovers; and better able to select for quality and lawful size. His victims' lack of moral autonomy alone would have put them out of the running in any selection race; their immaturity being a function of their characters and circumstances, and not necessarily of their ages.
Anything, which fosters the suspicion that the sovereign is acting in bad faith, will destroy his authority. The suspicion that the sovereign's law n'order policy is motivated by the perception that 'blood" is popular is the electorate, destroys both the credibility of that policy and the prison system which follows upon it. Once the suspicion is aroused that is acting for "kicks", there is no hope for his credibility at all. When psychologists are able to inflict great pain on a belief as patently absurd as that no healthy person under the age of 18 can actively desire sexual experience, there must be a suspicion that they are not acting in good faith. And that they are really using their positions as covers either for "kicks" or monstrous social policies whose fulfillment would give the same satisfaction. Like the Nazi policy of the purification of the Aryan race.
Alternatively, the sovereign may be pursuing seemingly irrational policies based on irrational beliefs in the interest of some hidden agenda. That the agenda is kept hidden is a sure sign that it is not in the best interests of his people. It may be even unconscious to the sovereign himself, which is a sure sign of its essentially evil nature. It could have been that the hidden agenda for the puritanical sexual morality of the high Victorian age was the fostering of the collective aggression necessary for the fighting of the First World War.
It will be noticed that, in the reforms and alternatives suggested, "freedom" has been used in a qualified way. True freedom can only come with the acquiring of property; that is, freedom can only come with acquiring of rights, liabilities and duties. Freedom without these is the freedom of the park bum, whose only freedom is that of destruction. Most criminals lack rights, duties and liabilities. This is the root of the problem. To rectify the problem, they break the criminal law. This is what Geoffrey did. Geoffrey did what he did because he hoped to acquire a family; and all of the rights, duties and liabilities associated with this property.
On to a more practical note: The first reform measure should be the closure of all minimum-security institutions as serving no useful purpose. If a prisoner is judged fit to be trusted in one of these places, he is being judged safe to be let into the ordinary community. Especially is this true of work release. Minimum-security gaols neither protect the community from dangerous persons nor are sufficiently harsh and derivative of freedom to serve as places of deterrence and punishment. In fact, with their weekend leaves and generous conditions generally, they seem more like holiday camps, and good enough places to live for some inmates to consider a viable option. These things were not intended. The great virtue of prison farms, in the eyes of the Department of Corrective Services is that they are cheap to run.
So, let it be that all C2 inmates be released forthwith. Since C2s are normally given when one third of the minimum sentence has elapsed, this would get rid of something near two thirds of the prison population.
Next on the close scrutiny list will be the B security institutions. How many prisoners in these places really need to be locked up? Judging by Cooma, very few, and these people should still be in maximum. These measures would leave only the maximum-security institutions, with perhaps 1200 inmates left. Careful culling could probably halve this number; leaving roughly the same number of males as at present there are females, which maybe is how it should be. Why are there so many more men in prison than women, to the ratio of something like 1:14? Because more men than women do things that are, at present, punished by custodial sentences. Not because men are inherently more evil and dangerous to society (and these amount to the same thing) than women. It is more likely that there are just as many evil women as men. Only evil people should be locked up or at least locked up for more than very short periods of time. And they should be locked up, not just because they are evil, but because their evilness is contagious and they are a danger to the ordinary community. The sovereign would be now looking at only two institutions, which would have to be the two latest high security additions to the system, Lithgow and the John Moroney Centre, one for men and one for women.
In these places there will be instituted regimes of reform, not by punishment (which cannot work because evil people actually welcome this sort of thing) but love and care. Amongst other things, sex should be encouraged rather than prohibited. Maybe that it could be that the places be co-sexed, if only to counter allegations that some sort of homosexual and lesbian plot is afoot. Every possible opportunity and encouragement should be given inmates to be loving, positive and creative individuals. And once reformed, which state will be demonstrated in action, which is possible only in places just described, they will be released.
Prisons, as we know them, represents, and express the violence of the sovereign. They, therefore, legitimatize, and by example, breed it.
Because our criminal justice is about forcing people to give pleasure through their agony, in retribution for the pleasures unlawfully taken (taken against the will of the sovereign), it is about fear and destruction, which it thereby legitimatize. The instruments of this naked and negative power are prisons. The use of this power is only accepted just so long as the sovereign is accepted and respected.
Prisons are costly in terms of primary money costs. They are costly in terms of secondary loss of productivity. They are costly in terms of the misery caused to the inmates, but also to their families. There has to be a better alternative
Application for Parole
20th October 1992
To the Offenders Review Board
I, Geoffrey William LEONARD, MIN 189676, request that I be granted parole at the expiration of my minimum term of imprisonment, being the 31st January 1993.
MY imprisonment has succeeded in its aim of persuading and enabling me to be a law-abiding citizen.
In particular, I draw your attention to the following matters:
I. I understand that my paramount duty to lawful authority is to render respect and absolute obedience.
2. Understand the nature and quality of my offenses to be:
3. I accept full responsibility for what I have done, and offer no excuses. I have willfully derided and disobeyed the law. I accept that my punishment is just and deserved.
4. I am sorry for what I have done.
5. I promise that, in future, I will respect and obey the law. And I promise to conform to the standards of the ordinary lawful community as regards the conduct and behaviors of its members.
6. I accept that I have fallen low in the estimation and esteem of all decent people, and have sought to rehabilitate my self-respect and the respect of the community I am seeking to rejoin, by using my professional liberal arts and legal education to write an academic book which will provide interested persons in New South Wales with a fair, accurate, and up-to-date account of our criminal law and correctional system, particularly as it applies to me. I feel that this will fill a gap, and satisfy a need. By adding a specialized dimension to my professional knowledge, I hope to have rendered it a marketable and valuable commodity, even though I am precluded from the direct practice of the law. I have taken advantage of my work in Cooma Corcraft Industry to develop my business and professional social skills; and also, a certain flair for sculpture, which I am confident has the potential for generating value.
7. Generally, I accept that it is my duty to pursue all lawful avenues and opportunities for gainful and productive employment.
8. Whilst in prison, I attended and took advantage of various available programs and opportunities to rectify those character, personality, and vocational deficiencies which contributed to my disgraceful and unlawful conduct. In particular, these were the Sex Offenders Assessment Program and AIDS Peer Educator course (stressing care and responsibility to others in sexual behavior).
9. I intend to reside at *****
10. The Parole Officer, Mr. David ******* has conveyed to me his satisfaction regarding my housing and acceptability in the district in which I intend to live. He has conveyed to me his satisfaction regarding relevant matters generally; and has conveyed to me his intention to recommend my release from custody.
11. I promise to faithfully observe all conditions and duties imposed upon me contingent to the granting of my parole.
It is awful crap, and has little relationship to any realities at all. The debauched and degraded sexual activities referred actually involved a bit of anal intercourse - where I was the passive partner, a bit of oral sex - where I was the one who played the Monica Lewinsky part. And involved a bit of masturbation - also where I played the role of the lovely Monica. All in all, it was hardly mind-blowing stuff. But there is a story behind it. (This is a recent insertion 14/5/99)
At my final Programs Review Committee, I was informed that I had had an unfavorable psych report, and that I would have to submit to further treatment if I was to have a chance for parole. I had to do some quick thinking. I just felt that I could not take any more "treatment". So submitted what was in effect the draft for the above application to the head psychologist. I knew that I was expected to admit (falsely) to violence - in effect to rape. So what I did was to admit to just about everything but rape; hoping that in the verbiage, this fact would not be noticed. The ploy seems to have worked, in so far as I was not asked to submit to further treatment. And, in fact, the matter was never again mentioned. It was the sort of stuff the parole board wanted to read. But this matter of what amounts to an attempt at forcing a false confession smacks of the great Soviet political trials, and is far more immoral than anything I did, even with the worst possible spin put on it.
Contemplation of the Navel
Anybody who writes about crime and-punishment needs to be frank and open about his own personal values. And a degree of self-awareness of their sources is a part of his credibility equipment.
Around about the age of 16, Geoffrey informed the world of his conclusion that the human condition is a self-perpetuating chemical reaction. Geoffrey did not long hold to this view, but it was a good starting point. It is the foundation position of mechanism; that a human being is basically a wind-up doll. Moral values are expressions of the functionality of behaviors relative to the survival and prosperity of the species. It is this functionality which determines the law of the land.
The belief that human beings belong to the same class of objects as machines is inherent to the nature of psychology. What is the starting point for a psychologist's study and understanding of a person? He assumes he is a machine; albeit a sophisticated machine, like a computer. How does he judge a person? he judges him as he would a machine. He presents to him a range of selected tasks, and evaluates the performance. The tasks are related to the person's survival efficacy in a complex community, and to the demands of that community relating to its survival efficacy. Psychologists are community orientated because they see the demands of the community as fundamental. If living in that community demands a high degree of arithmetical skill, their evaluation of a person will be relative to his arithmetical skill. A person found lacking in this area would be judged as dysfunctional.
Psychs do not see prison inmates as being bad people but rather as persons who are dysfunctional to the demands of normal community life. They see prisons, not as places of punishment, but as places for the correction of that dysfunction. This should be compared to the law, which sees a prisoner as a person being punished for disobedience to the sovereign. Legally speaking, a bad person is a person who disobeys the sovereign. A religious fundamentalist is a person who believes that badness consists in disobedience of the word of the Lord. Geoffrey believes that persons have an intuitive feeling of the difference between right and wrong. Intuitively, we can know what is beautiful, and we can know what is horrible and ugly. Geoffrey became convinced that homosexuality was good when he glimpsed at the world of beautiful experiences it could have opened the door to. After he had experienced falling in love (albeit unrequited), nothing could have convinced him that those feelings were wrong. In believing this, Geoffrey was following in the footsteps of G E Moore, the famous late nineteenth century Oxford moral philosopher.
The law, the Church, and Geoffrey all have in common the belief that people have free-will, and are free to choose their conduct. They believe, in other words, that the human condition is intrinsically moral, and has a choice between good and evil.
Because psychs (this word includes psychiatrists) believe that the human condition is of the same nature as a machine, they do not believe it has freedom of conduct according to its value judgments. Rather they believe that a person is merely a doll programmed to a certain mode of behaviour by his training, and perhaps a wee bit of genetic predisposition thrown in. A criminal is a person whose training, especially his social disciplining, has been inadequate; and see prisons, with their highly regulated life geared to the requirements of the institution (the community in microcosm) as ideal for the task of correcting the deficiency. Prisons, especially, are great places for learning frustration tolerance. Psychiatrists tend to see a person in terms of a physically healthy organism, and the community as a physically healthy macro-organism, with healthily functioning persons necessary for a healthily functioning community. They would prefer to treat dysfunctional persons with drugs and surgery, But they have to be removed from the community as a kind of surgical operation upon the community; and there are mental hospitals and prisons for those so surgically removed by the scalpel of the law. The person who had Geoffrey charged has given indications that his mind runs along these lines. Psychologists see the position more in terms of reprogramming and reconditioning by the community, in the interests of the community. Both of these varieties of technocratic psychs suffer from severe myopia caused by their narrow technical training. Incidentally, Bentham could probably be included in their company because he seems, have believed that persons automatically choose their conduct in accordance with its association with pleasure, or not choose it in accordance with its association with pain. In contrast, a moralist believes that a person can deliberately make the evil choice of pain, and get a kind of pleasure from it. Which is why prisons can only deter good people.
To sum up, moralists believe that the human condition is ultimately responsible for its thoughts and actions, whilst the mechanists see it as being how it is made, and carries no responsibility. Geoffrey considers that the mechanists are subtracting what is human from the human condition; and, thereby, are making an enormous and terrible mistake.
Geoffrey believes that the psychs are making this mistake. One aspect of which is the present operation of the sexual law. There is a choice as to whether it is believed that psychs are making their mistake in bad faith, or in good faith. It is probably best to assume the latter even though the obduracy to which they cling to it may suggest that self-preservation counsels behaving as if the former is true, as Geoffrey did in his dealings with them in prison. Which is to say that he avoided them, even at the cost of reflecting their ideas back at them. The reader is asked to refer to Geoffrey's self-report to the Offenders Review Board. In this report, Geoffrey's tactic was to bend the truth in the direction of the psychs' preconceptions, without actually breaking it. Survivors from Stalin's purges will have known the feeling. This reference is made deliberately because Stalin and Marxists generally, were making the same mistake when they treated human society as a mechanical toy to be tinkered and played with. The psychs have got great power, the lever to which is their concept of sexual-child abuse. Great power is needed to be able to treat human society as a mechanical toy to be tinkered and played with.
In their treatment of prisoners, the psychs cannot look beyond their belief that anybody who comes into conflict with the law must be inadequate to meet the demands of living in ordinary lawful society. Which since we are all very susceptible to the expectations and judgments of authority, tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is one of the factors that the reform suggestions of the last chapter are designed to counter. We all hate the world that puts us down; and to do this to a prison inmate is to ensure that he comes back.
When he fell in love in his late teens, Geoffrey guessed correctly that intuition is the surest guide to what is beautiful and good. But his first love was unrequited and his epistemology (theory of knowledge) was not sufficiently sophisticated to enable him to see that mistakes are basic to the nature of existence, i.e. was mistaken about his loved one. His intuition had made a mistake. More likely, his intuition had been right but his loved one had made the mistake. Geoffrey found it hard to come to come to grips with the fact that a mistake had been made; which, in the sexual area, is dangerous. What he should have done was move quickly on. And, perhaps many attempts later, he would probably have found what he was searching for.
Instead, he searched for an infallible system of knowledge, which would eliminate the possibility of a mistake. Like most of his generation, he saw the universe as a gigantic wind-up clock. We knew a lot about its laws. What we did not know was the final equation that would tie the whole thing together and give us a body of absolute and perfect knowledge, and no more mistakes. Geoffrey can be forgiven for searching for this thing. For Einstein searched for it; and, in our own day, Stephen Hawkins is searching for it. See A Brief History of Time, Bantam Books, Sydney 1988. And Prof. Hawkins is perhaps the most famous physicist of our time. In physics, it is called the unified field theory.
Geoffrey's system, once he found it, was to play the same role as a punter's system. That is to say, it was to put him onto a sure thing. As a side benefit, he dreamed of the fame that would come to him as a result of the discovery of this thing.
But, as he searched, he started to realize that a state of being that was perfect and certain could only be attainable in one condition, zero. Existence, by its nature, had to be imperfect and basically unpredictable, and illogical. This was in the 1950s, when Geoffrey was still only a young man. But there was some echo and precedent of these ideas in the Existentialism of Jean Paul Sartre; who described existence as a nauseous and superfluous addition to the basic perfect reality of zero, or something like that. Even further back, Plato thought of the imperfect and transient world of the senses as being superimposed upon a hidden perfect and permanent reality. Geoffrey advocated the acceptance of the world of the senses as being what is real; in direct opposition to Plato. Sartre saw us as having to accept the sensory world, but be always filled with a longing for the "reality" of the perfect and permanent. See Nausea, one of his novels. It seems that Sartre thought that hatred of its own existence is intrinsic to the human condition. In the end, Geoffrey's position very close to that of Sartre. The longing for the absolute ideal goes to the heart of what it means to be conscious. But it is a longing that can never be fulfilled, and the human condition can never be finally happy and satisfied. But it can experience moments of happiness in the sexual orgasm. And it can obtain a kind of intellectual equivalent when it solves problems, but only in the achievement of the ultimate and final intellectual triumph of the unified field theory. This grand dream must always be frustrated but small partial experiences in art, science and mathematics give us some idea of what the ultimate experience would be like. That it is considered desirable that children should be forced to get their orgiastic pleasures from sources other than the senses in order to prepare them to meet the demands of adult life, is possibly the reason why the sovereign is so adamant that they should not be allowed access to those sensory sexual pleasures. Sporting and skill activities could also be added to the list; anything which it is considered healthy for youngsters to do. Freud called it sublimating the sexual instinct.
The origin of this ideal is possibly the old belief that savages indulged in sensory pleasure but higher civilized people were above such things; and, instead, sought the satisfactions of the spirit. In fact, there is no reason to believe that there is any conflict between non-sexual and sexual pleasures at all. Perhaps the contrary is true and sensory deprived children tend to lack motivation in all departments of life. Is celibacy necessary for achievement» on the sporting field? It is the opposite impression that sexually virile men do better at sport and through the whole range of human endeavor. Is it possible that society's culturally transmitted belief that there is an incompatibility between intellectual attainments and sensory indulgences comes from as far back as medieval times when literacy was confined to the ranks of clerics. Hence, our word "clerk". These clerics were, or were supposed to be, celibate. Because psychs take the attitudes and beliefs of the community as foundational to their craft, they are greatly influenced, albeit unconsciously, by culturally transmitted ideas, beliefs, and mistakes. Carl Jung called this thing the collective unconscious.
During the sixties, when he was at sea, Geoffrey made the connection between sexual and intellectual orgasm in his concept of resolution. There is an energy release when an intellectual problem is solved, or resolved the nature and pleasure of a sexual orgasm seems similarly to be an energy release. But it was not until the eighties, with its advances in cosmology, that Geoffrey was able to glimpse at what might be basically involved. What is the physical problem that the sexual orgasm solves? Differences between a loving couple in a sexual union disappear at the moment of orgasm, if only for that moment. But the orgasms of masturbation are of the same nature; so the thing must go deeper.
Geoffrey obtained what he felt to be a reasonably satisfactory answer from the big-bang theory of the origin or the Universe. A theory now so well verified that it has to be accepted as being basically true. It is also a theory so well known that it is assumed that the reader is familiar with it. In earlier expositions, Geoffrey also made this assumption, but mistakenly. Some readers, in fact, thought it was Geoffrey's own theory, and had nothing further to do with him. This is a good illustration that, in life, mistakes are normally foundational and uncorrectable; with the only course open being to make a fresh start; or else risk breaking the law and being put into prison. Even the Bible recommends that when a person is rejected, that he shakes the dust off his feet, and depart. The law protects the basic right to reject with vigor; although exceptional circumstances are defined in anti-discrimination legislation. The Bible also commands love, and not rejection. Which sounds good, but the law is not about morals. It occurs to this writer that justice, which does allow rejection for due cause, is an inferior kind of morality. Justice is about an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
The reforms and alternate proposals suggested in this book are mostly not just. But nobody seems to have examined this perspective on justice, and is merely assumed to be a good thing. Again, we need to examine our collective unconscious.
The big bang confirms Sartre's view that existence is an illogicality, because the big bang is the first event, and therefore has no cause. All logical events have causes. If the logic is inductive, the cause is insufficient and imperfect. If it is deductive, it is sufficient and perfect. The first event, having no cause at all, was purely random and fortuitous. Geoffrey interprets the first event as the first resolution, or problem solved. It is not possible .to refer to a state of affairs before the first event. But, at that moment, the first moment in time, a perfectly random collection of + and - radicals became limited and defined by one + radical being added to one - radical giving zero. Note that the resolution event is being theorized as an addition, not a multiplication. The creation of zero gives situation where existence, an imperfect (imperfect now, because of the resolution event) collection of random irrational radicals limited and bounded by zero. The zero has a perfect cause, and is perfectly logical. When all of the radicals are resolved, rendered into zero, there will be no more existence, and the end of time will have been reached. This is the absolute end.
The chances of a resolution event succeeding are governed by its history of successes. The first event succeeded purely fortuitously. From then on there was more chances of success than failure. As the end is approached the chances of failure become smaller and smaller the limit is reached when the chance of success of the last event is absolutely certain. At its beginning existence was not governed by any laws whatsoever. At its end, it will be governed absolutely by law. So, since we are a long way from the end, physical laws have a very definite limited applicability; and knowledge must be limited and imperfect. The dream of perfect knowledge can ably be realized at the absolute end.
When a resolution event fails, a mistake is made. Geoffrey suggests that a mistake marks the creation of a new set of positive and negative radicals, which are identifiable sub-sets of the original universe. It is suggested that 'one of these sub-sets is life; and that the various categories and genie of life are sub-sets of subsets. The creation of a mistake created the possibility of a resolution event, or a set of resolution events, one of which (the first) is fortuitously successful. The first successful resolution event defines the sub-set. Human beings are one sub-set. Dogs are another.
No knowledge is perfect, and nobody can have such control that he can eliminate the possibility of mistakes. Yet, this is what psychologists try to-do. It is probable that modern psychs are concerned, not so much with eliminating sexual activity, as with eliminating the emotional and relationship hurt and mistakes associated with that activity. In other words, what they are seeking is the perfect relationship. We have examined at length the legal view of sexual offences; as offences against property. The psychs view the offences as pernicious because they are emotional hurtful and injurious to the victims. That most of the injury and hurt comes normally from the operation of the law is something they do not want to know about; and is perhaps something that should not be mentioned. The psychs like to postpone sexual and relationship activity to as far as possible into adulthood in orders to minimalise the possibility of mistakes and failures.
Geoffrey thinks that the psychs are seriously wrong in their view of sexuality and childhood and adolescence. He suggests that our development is made up of stages each of which is marked by the development of some skill or characteristic. A child learns to walk. He learns to talk. He learns to read and write. If he misses learning the appropriate skill and developing the appropriate instinct at the appropriate stage, his later stages of development are retarded and distorted; because One builds on the one before it. Also, once the appropriate stage for learning something passes, it becomes much harder later. We all know how difficult it is to learn a second language later in life; and how much less mastery we achieve over it than over the one we learnt as an infant. Some of us have experienced how difficult it is to learn to drive a car late in life. Motor skills are most easily developed before we become adult. It is suggested that this also applies to sexual and relationship skills. And, moreover, a level of mistake making is tolerated in adolescence that would not be tolerated in adults. Geoffrey's lack of sexual and relationship experience during his child-hood and adolescence seriously handicapped him for the rest of his life. In other words, the psychs' prescription for ideal child rearing is really a prescription for disaster. The psychs are mistaken about child sexual abuse. If a person can clearly recall only one or two sexual incidents during the course of his childhood and adolescence, he did not have enough experience to develop him; and it is not so much the sexual experience that is his problem as its denial. This was definitely Geoffrey's problem.
Psychs should also be aware of the mistakes that can come from consulting-room and prison experience. Most homosexuals who ended up in gaol in the old days were problem people. Most (but not all) sexual offenders today are problem people; and, if they are not problem people in the beginning, they are by the time their sentences are finished. There was also a deliberate effort to label homosexuals as sick and inadequate people in order to destroy them. This is still very much a part of the Cooma scene
Geoffrey suggested that the nature of the sexual act is a resolution event; where the annihilation effect of the addition of the positive and negative radicals turned their mass into energy. Like a miniature nuclear explosion. For suggesting this, Geoffrey was rubbished as a nihilist. But, in fact, every resolution event creates a whole string of mistakes; and Geoffrey is creative if he accepts these mistakes with love. If he rejects and destroys them, as do the psychs, he would, indeed, have been negative and nihilistic.
The Bible puts it well, when it points out that it is easy enough to accept a person who is perfect; but it is accepting one who is imperfect which is love, it is also not love to accept that person only on the condition that he reform himself. Since we can only normally be perfect people if we do not do anything, thereby eliminating the possibility of mistakes, the effective insistence is that person be deprived of his personhood and identity as a price of his presence being suffered. After release, Geoffrey is being allowed back to live in his house in Hornsby on precisely this condition. It is a condition that the psychs wholeheartedly endorse. Geoffrey anticipates that his feelings will be that he was freer in gaol.
It is suggested that a person loves another person because of his faults, rather than in spite of them. If love has to be earned, it is not love. Geoffrey loved his first love, not because he was an ideal person, but because he wasn't.
Perfect people usually present as negative, rejecting, and judgmental, and are hated. Geoffrey loved x because he is an ****. Geoffrey hates. psychs because they are so good. Geoffrey's personal relationship problem is not his badness, but his perceived goodness, with its resultant inaction and negativity. Geoffrey's approach to social relations is mirrored in his approach to the psychs. He avoids exposing himself to the possibility, or probability, of rejection and hurt. Geoffrey's idea of a perfect social evening was to go right through without saying or doing anything that might cause the slightest upset or excuse to reject. Which normally meant that he had to go through the evening denying his real feelings, needs and desires, and whatever there was of the real Geoffrey. He would go home feeling that he had spent the evening with a bunch of ******s. He had behaved perfectly, outwardly, but his inner judgment would have been heartily reciprocated by all present. Generally, Geoffrey presented as too careful, too lacking in spontaneity, too secretive as to his inner thoughts and feelings, too polite and well-behaved, too self-denying, for people to feel easy in his presence. Self-denying people tend to give out the message that they expect others to be likewise, and are essentially nihilistic and destructive in their attitudes and behaviors. Geoffrey quite often admits that he is self-denying in order to satisfy the destructive and evil urges of others. Thereby, by his behaviour, he is subjecting those people to the ultimate condemnation; and what follows is the Biblical injunction, "Be thou judged as thou judgeth others".
But Geoffrey can have these thoughts but he has to go out and live in the real world after spending two and half years in prison for offences which would not have been considered as such by persons who were truly loving, accepting and forgiving. When Geoffrey enters the Hornsby Anglican Church on release, the urgings of personal safety must ensure that he assumes that he is mixing with persons whose love, acceptance and forgiveness only extend to matters which cost them little, and which is little more than a pose. The Bible commands faith. In today's world, faith is extremely dangerous. But perhaps this is as it has always been, and why being truly Christian (If I may use this debased and ill-used word) is so hard.
And Geoffrey did long labor under a mistake. He thought that, indeed, the meaning of reality was destruction, and that ideas to the contrary were delusionary. He believed that it was no good striving, because it could only lead to disappointment and hurt. He gave the impression to other people that he also saw sexuality as being essentially destructive, and should be accepted as a part of life on this basis. It was no wonder that he was thought by his emphasis family to be corrosive of all of the moral values that they held so dear. But, again all of this is not quite true and is a mistake.
Geoffrey spent many years, most of his life in fact, on his theory of knowledge, and was greatly pleased when, in the mid-eighties, he was able to come to an understanding of how energy would be released in his theory of the orgasm.
Who is the sovereign? Obviously it is not Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. Yet, in a sense she is. For she is the head and person of the executive arm of government which is the Crown. The Crown is advised, in its actions, by the people, which is the Legislature. Between the People and Crown stands the Judiciary or, the Rule of Law. The role of the Judiciary is to stand sentinel over the legitimacy of the actions of the Crown; both in its lawmaking and law enforcement activities. Under the first leg, the High Court of Australia will very often strike a law made by the Legislature as unconstitutional. The subject is complicated, but the basic principle is that there shall not be "repugnancy", or inconsistency between laws.
The second leg is illustrated by the case of Crown against Leonard, R v Leonard, At the sentencing hearing, the judge declared the legitimate debt that Leonard owed the Crown. The Crown wanted to deprive Geoffrey of his liberty for about ten years. Geoffrey argued that the appropriate sentence was weekend detention. The judge made his decision, and ordered him to be locked up for a minimum of 30 months and a maximum of 40 months. At this time of writing, it is still unclear how much the Crown is clinging to its original desire to make Geoffrey serve the maximum penalty, and make him do his additional period. In civil cases, the Judiciary declares what rights that the Crown should enforce and protect in private disputes that are put before it for determination. Were these private disputes to be privately determined by force of arms, there would be a breach of the Queen's Peace, and the criminal law.
This is the formal statement of the nature of the sovereign under the Westminster Doctrine of the Division of Powers. But, informally, the sovereign is the reality of public power that a citizen exercises, and is subject to. So Australia would still have a sovereign, even if it should become a republic.
Amongst the chief interest groups that exercise power are the organized churches. Recently, in the form of modern psychology, organized fundamentalist humanism has become a force to be reckoned with. All of these powers have it in common that they tend to be puritan, in that they implicitly or explicitly preach the moral efficacy of pain. This has always been so with the churches, and the world has learnt to live with them. In time, it will come to live with modern psychology.
Pain is seen as being good in its own right, even as being the essence of the good. In legal terms, pain means the paying of debts and the discharging of liabilities. At a deeper level (including the sexual), it means the giving of the fruits of property, as against the taking of the fruits of property that is the nature of pleasure. In the theory of the state being now described, all citizens are expected to give the fruits of himself or herself to the sovereign, i.e., to render pain. The sovereign owns all capital property, including us. This is the origin of the duty to nurture oneself in the spirit of "self-esteem". Pleasure detracts from the total value of the pain rendered to the sovereign; and, basically, is only allowed, as a concession, in the capital generating function of the production of children in legal marriage. In a humanist republican state, the ultimate titular sovereign is the president. On the other hand, a theocracy would be acknowledging God as its head.
Why should anybody, or interest group, want power? Perhaps it is to satisfy a basic urge for destruction. It is suggested that this is a common element. But is to be seen as a kind of disease, and is normally well disguised and hidden. The doctrine of the morality of pain is of obvious utility in this context.
But the rational purpose of power springs from the basic economic reality of life where unlimited ends have to be satisfied from limited resources. Power confers the ability to corner the scarce resources by whoever possesses it. Eighteenth century English aristocracy exercised the power of the sovereign, and the law of the day is characterized by being heavily weighted in favor of its interest. The proper function of the law is to be a shield, but it makes an admirable weapon of terror. When somebody can force or con another person to suffer pain and deprivation, that person has power over that other person and is seen as being higher up in the social hierarchy. Being higher up, he can make use of the social instinct within us all to defer to superiors and accept that they have entitlement to a larger share of the cake than we have. And this acceptance is the whole purpose of the exercise.
A normal element in this infliction of pain is the forbidding of sexual activity. If you want power over the young, you stop them having sex. If you want power over men, you prevent them having sex; hence the feminist power theory of sexuality - canvassed at a number of places in this text. If you can exert power of a person when he is young, you will probably have power over him for all of his life. So paedophiles, who sabotage this effort, are seen as serious threats to society.
Hence, all power people and groups tend to have puritanical attitudes. The curtain of power shields them from the scrutiny of their inferiors. So, behind it, their private morality and behaviour is quite often suspected to be contrary to the morality that they inflict upon those inferiors. One recalls the Revivalist scandals in America; and going farther back, the behaviour of late nineteenth century British aristocrats in the teeth of the Victorian morality which everybody else was expected to conform to. The amazing thing is that it seemed to be public knowledge, and quite acceptable.
If the power people are able to use the law for purposes of terror, they are effectively the sovereign. Conning people into submission is more difficult. It is much more difficult to persuade people to willingly forgo the pleasures of life than to force them to do so. But this is the aim of most Christian churches.
Basically, people are persuaded that pain goes to accumulate merit points for Salvation. Salvation is a state of infinite bliss forever. So, a bit of pain is a small price to pay. Not only do you suffer the pain of the deprivation of sin, but also you are under a duty to force, or persuade others to do likewise; for Christ of course. The whole exercise is sold as for the establishment of the power of Christ; and if you look after Christ, he will look after you. The "work of the Lord" costs a lot of money though, and you will be expected to contribute substantially. This is a part of the pain. Not only are you expected to refrain from sinful sex, but also many of the other pleasures of the world as well. That little of this is Christianity is an academic point.
At this point of writing, it is still unclear about Geoffrey's parole fate. It may be that he will have to face the Offenders Review Board in person. His basic task will be to convince them that he intends, and is capable of forgoing the pleasures of breaking the sexual law. He will have to do the bit about never behaving impulsively but always with forethought and planning; with the forethought always being to the issue of the legal consequences of the contemplated action. Geoffrey has to convince the Board that he willing and able to suffer the pain of the frustration of his desires, drives, and even needs, if the answer is no. Has he got the personal inner resources to be capable of saying no, no, no?
Geoffrey will go on to his living within his means bit. It is not a question of what he wants to do, but what he can afford to do, and fulfil all of the duties and liabilities that the action entails. Breaking the law, from this perspective, is deceiving and cheating the sovereign. If Geoffrey fancies a boy, let him go out and get one, provided he is willing to pay the price of, say, ten years in gaol; and is not-willing to dishonestly seek to avoid paying, through deception or other means. Geoffrey will have to make it quite clear to the Board that he realizes that the only relationship which is within his means is that involving a middle-aged or older woman. It is either that, or nothing. Geoffrey will have to convince the Board that he is determined to behave lawfully and is willing to suffer the pain and frustration of the gap between what he wants and what he is allowed, and can afford, to have.
The Board will be asking Geoffrey about what he has learned in the Sexual 0ffenders Assessment Programs that he attended. He will tell it that he learned the absolute necessity to obey the law, and the above two points. But the sovereign, in the person of the Board will not be satisfied with this. Geoffrey has learned of the weight of the stick, and the resolve of the arm that uses it. But he needs to be positively willing. The sovereign will like it better if the obedience is out of love, rather than just fear. The purpose of SOAP was to have reformed Geoffrey, not just to make him fear.
Geoffrey will inform the Board of his understanding of the doctrine of co-dependency, and how it effects him. The resource of perfect happiness is within us all. It does not depend upon the satisfaction of aspirations, desires and drives. The paradigm of co-dependency is drug addiction and alcoholism, but more especially relationships where one partner is paying a greater part of the cost than the other. That we need other people and things and poisonous substances for our happiness is an illusion born of a faulty upbringing, probable abuse, and bad behavioral habits. It is an illusion that binds us like a thousand coils of a thick rope. The coils can only be cut through long hours of counseling. One bit at a time, the illusion will cut and eliminated. Illusions, by their nature, can never be successfully tackled by the self alone. The retraining and liberating process will be costly but, at the end, there will be perfect liberty and the true happiness, which knows no bounds and is dependent upon nothing. Geoffrey understands that any attempt to form a relationship will be an attempt at avoiding and denying the real task before him. And any relationship formed will be to the detriment of the other person, because he is not ready for it. One day, Geoffrey will be a truly liberated and happy person, open, and in tune, with infinite spirit of the universe. Geoffrey, as a particularity, shut in by the illusion of his lustful and dependent nature, will be a memory of the past.
Geoffrey will tell this to the Board or something very similar; but he is aware that it is metaphysical nonsense. He is quite well aware that the Grim Reaper will intervene before he is ever ready for that magic relationship at the end of the rainbow. He knows that the only result of his acquiescence is never ending pain for himself and a source of bountiful profit for his counselor. Who, because of the Grim Reaper, will never have to cash his chips?
All this stuff about being bound by the lusts of the flesh sounds so dreadfully familiar. Basically, it is the same as what Christian fundamentalism teaches, but differently and more trendily packaged. In fact, the source of much of modern psychology appears to be Buddhism. Which in the Heinemann Australian Dictionary is defined as "A religion stressing that human existence is pain, caused by desire, which may be overcome by contemplation and the right way of life". What a bonanza for counselors! And what a terrible child for the sixties hippie movement to have brought into the Western world. Geoffrey will be obeying the law, but because of the stick, not because he is persuaded by any of this garbage.
But if the Board asks Geoffrey about the quality and nature of the harm that he has done his victims, he will probably have to answer in its terms. He will have to demonstrate his knowledge that the modern psychological view of growth requires that sexual and relationship experience is delayed as long as possible, because the state of maturity which should be aimed at is summed up in the word enlightenment. Which means, inner knowledge, being in contact with one's inner happiness, being totally free of all dependencies. Immature sexual experience and relationships are extremely injurious and destructive because they become the masters, and short-circuit the possibility of maturity and enlightenment. A sexually abused child is, for the rest of its life, is a prey to its lusts and desires, and is an unhappy, immature and inadequate human being. Geoffrey believes that precisely the opposite. Of all this is true and that a denied, deprived child becomes condemned to immaturity and inadequacy because he remains "hung-up" at the emotional growth stage of his denial; and just spends the rest of his life endlessly repeating himself, like a cracked record. Geoffrey thinks that a sexually abused child is one whose experience is denied beyond masturbation. But modern psychology thinks differently; and the force of law backs it.
Finally, Geoffrey has to convince the Board that he is dutifully aware that he cannot invade the rights of other people in his own pursuit of fulfillment. And these rights include beliefs and required standards and modes of behaviour. Geoffrey knows that the more powerful you are, the more rights you have; and that little people like himself can expect little more from life than survival.
But it seems that it is not necessary for power to have an objective. Once it gets going and achieves, it appears that it tends to take on an independent existence of its own as an end in itself. Since, it is sourced in negative prohibition and pain, such a disembodied drive is a terrible social disease, which, fortunately, tends to turn in on itself; like the power of Nazi Germany. Perhaps this is what occurs at the peak of economic trade cycles; when immensely profitable and successful firms like Bond Corporation seemed to run away with themselves.
The element in the Sovereign that most contributed to Geoffrey's fate is New Age religion, the program of therapy and reform recommended to Geoffrey originates in the Buddhist view of reality, rather than in science. Buddhism believes that the sensory world is illusionary; and that desire and sensory gratification are rooted in that illusion, which is the source of all the pain and hurt which the Buddhists believe is inherent to the human condition. Buddhism is fundamentally life denying and believe that love and affection are no more than lusts that bind the human condition to the illusionary world of the senses. But they do, it is true, accept a kind of sanitized, abstracted, love and affection which are parts of higher conscious states.
To a Buddhist, a sexual offence involving a minor is especially heinous because it induces illusionary appetites and bad habits at an age when he is most eager to learn and has the least resistance. Such sensory stimulation is therefore a serious injury; and pleasure at the experience, and eagerness to repeat it, are merely symptoms of the resultant injury and desire. Lusts bind us to this and future lives, so that the injury penetrates to the ultimate depths of our being. That is one reason why our society, strongly influenced by New Age, believes sex offences to be the ultimate crimes. As it happens, New Age view of sex is consonant with that of the law; which the New Age uses as its stick. Just to recapitulate the legal view: All life is about property. The acceptance of pain is giving. The feeling and pursuance of pleasure is taking. But, it was Geoffrey's boys who had the pleasure, whilst Geoffrey played a role similar to that of a prostitute. Surely he gave, and they received? Yes, but the sovereign demands that minors give, and that they give to him; and, in return he grants them a value and identity. The time will come when they are of age and sufficient value to have their pleasure, in his name, from a woman. Geoffrey tempted them with the apple of immediate pleasure, and seriously damaged their chances of obtaining that mature value necessary for them to be able to act in the sovereign's name. The general name given to the value and identity obtained by the giving of pain to the sovereign is "self-esteem". Geoffrey seriously injured and diminished the boy's self-esteem. Had Geoffrey taken his pleasure from the boys, he would have been taking something that belongs to the sovereign. Either way, Geoffrey committed a serious crime. Generally, there is no place in the law for women and children to experience pleasure. They are inferiors, and their place is to suffer. Were New Age and legal conservatives to sit down together, they would violently clash. But they are each aware of this, and do no sit down together. But make what use each can of each other.
The cure for Geoffrey, and "reformation" means cure, is for him to cut the chain of his illusions, stemming from faulty training and injurious experiences, abuses, during his formative years. New Age does not see pain as an end in itself, but as a necessary obstacle to surmount and over come on the path to enlightenment. An enlightened Geoffrey, cut free from his illusions, and no longer a plaything of sensory lusts and desires, and whose eyes have been opened to behold the blinding light of wondrous reality, is no longer a danger to society. More to the point, neither is Geoffrey, on the path; provided he does not deviate, and entrusts himself to the guiding hands of his counselors and teachers. Geoffrey will be guided along the path through instruction in relaxation and meditation techniques; through which he will learn to distance and deny his senses and ascend to higher states of consciousness and power. Disembodied power is the pot at the end of the rainbow that is where we came in.
It is a thought that drugs help progress along the path all the way from Depro Provero, which dulls the sexual drive, to heroin which does the same in a more dramatic manner. The West "freaked out" on drugs, with the invasion of New Age from the East in the 1960s. We cannot escape from life, and we cannot defeat nature. All that we normally succeed in doing is replacing one addiction with one even more compelling. Drug taking is strongly associated with New Age attitudes and beliefs.
What is involved is the usual metaphysical denial of the senses, which, in Christianity, is represented by the heresy of the flesh being of Satan. It is a disease of the human condition and thought, and has its first written form in Plato. Where the real is the universal and unchanging. But where the limited and changing sensory world is merely an illusion.
It is not possible to give a unified logical account of existence. For, to do so would be to treat it as an illusion and to deny and resolve it out of existence; and, since we are a part of it, this would be to deny ourselves. Which is the ultimate effect of Buddhism anyway. Geoffrey has spent his life chasing the metaphysical ideal but, in the end, has had to conclude that the process of problem solving which is the direction of our mental processes and that of the universe creates only more problems to solve. In the 1960s, New Age was a liberating force. It is now an oppressive evil; and a new good will oppose it, destroy it, and become the new evil. But this is in the future. The present task to recognize that whilst Rev Age destroyed the certainties of its day, the time has come to destroy the certainties of the era of the New Age. Otherwise, most people will be in gaol.
The Central Teaching of Cooma
The true nature of the sexual act is a duty to the state to propagate children. The first act of sex should be as an act of marriage, and, experienced in its true context, it will have its true character as a duty. The woman will feel pain. The man will give it. But the pleasure he will feel in trust, or on behalf, of the state. The true nature of marriage is that a woman marries the state. A husband is a person in the shoes of the State, its trustee. A husband should not take advantage of, and abuse, his trust. A woman is always owned by the state, and she has the right to remain virginal in direct relationship with it. The state is a person, and is God. The modern doctrine that a woman has the right to refute the marital relationship, even whilst married, is a strengthening of this right. A celibate woman is the highest state of womanhood, because the sexual act carries with it the taint of the sin of Adam. A nun is the highest state of womanhood. An adult is one whose years are presumed to be sufficient to confer the ability to tell the difference between right and wrong. Pleasure is the moral disease of sexuality. A child introduced to sex outside marriage is being introduced to it in a situation that strongly predisposes it to catching this disease. It cannot tell the difference between right aid wrong, and has no resistance. Therefore to expose a child to sexual experience is to cause it serious moral injury, and to endanger its immortal soul.
A child is owned by the State - God - and an adult relates to it as trustee for God. To abuse that trust by the introduction of sex is to abuse the child and to abuse God. The child has been permanently injured because the virus of self-indulgence and pleasure has infected it. It will not be long before God will be visiting such a breach of trust to Him by the penalty of earthly death.
Adults do have the ability to tell right from wrong, and the state gives them the choice. But an adult who chooses personal indulgence and pleasure is destroying himself, because he is destroying his value in the eyes of the State. A sexually abused child in adulthood has had this choice taken away from him by the virus of pleasure that is feeding upon his soul. He is a prey to his internal lusts, and, in turn, he infects others. It is possible that the State will be forced to removing him by death. The virus of sexual pleasure is a terrible germ that corrupts and corrodes the state, and renders it impotent at the hands of its enemies.
Pleasure corrupts and corrodes the soul, our duty to the State is to suffer on its behalf, and to fulfil our obligations. It is through our sufferings that we get our value and identity. Self-indigent pleasure corrodes and decays these things.
Modern feminist women are very good women. They are women of such moral strength that the virus of pleasure cannot survive within them. They hate men who seek to use their bodies to satisfy their disgusting and selfish lusts. And not only use women's bodies but a child’s also, also handicapped people, old people, anybody who is weaker than them. This is what happens to a man when the pleasure virus infects him. He uses his brute physical power. He uses his economic power; and he uses deception and the passing on of the corroding pleasure virus. Bad women are the women who have become infected by the pleasure virus in circumstances when they could have resisted. Abused women are women who have become infected by it when children. These women are not really bad. They are sick. Good healthy women are seeking a situation when they will be able to destroy all men carrying the sexual pleasure virus.
These are the teachings of K*****of Cooma Correctional Centre. K is, without doubt, the greatest psychologist that has ever lived. K believes that the sexual pleasure virus is the biggest scourge of the present day world. K teaches that all pleasure has its price in pain. Pain is giving. If there is no legal consent to the pain, as in consenting sexual behaviour between adults, a very serious crime of assault has been committed; a kind of theft on a massive scale, as reflected in the intensity of the sexual pleasure. Pleasure is taking. No person has the right to take except the State - God himself. We have already examined the situation when the consenting situation has been outside marriage. Sexual activity may be allowed but it is only approved of in situations where is uninfected by the sexual pleasure virus. K is treating the virus with a new and wonderful drug called depo provero. He disagrees with the women who are calling for mass extermination. He believes that depo provero is the answer. Basically, it is chemical castration. A man, who has been given the power to castrate other men, has been given a fundamental power. Not only has K got messianic personality, he is also one of the most powerful men in Australia.
K believes all sexual activity is basically violent in nature. The act of inserting a penis in another person's body is a violent act. Getting pleasure from somebody else's body - thereby causing them great pain - is a act of violence. It also is an act of the imposition of power, since nobody will submit to pain for the pleasure of another without force. The act of marriage is legitimate violence, because the imposing party is the state. In submitting to her husband, a wife is submitting to the State, and the pleasure belongs to the state. The force is the force of obligation to the state. The power is the power of the state. K accepts and uses violence as an instrument of the power of the state. His use of depo provero is a legitimate act of violence; as also is prison. Women and homosexuals who willingly consent to being subjected to acts of violence, of having their weaknesses exploited, are people who are sick through having been infected by the sexual pleasure virus, a virus which corrupts and corrodes their souls, and renders them worthless and pitiable people.
I find these teachings hard and unpalatable. But I accept them in their entirety. I confess to having caught and been infected by the sexual pleasure virus. I am confident that the treatment that has been given to me, association with intense and prolonged pain - imprisonment - has destroyed the virus within me. I will never again allow it to motivate me to commit an unlawful and immoral act. I am sorry for having passed on the virus to victims too young to understand the enormity and seriousness of the acts which I tempted and persuaded them to indulge with me. I breached the trust that they placed in me to lead them to character development and virtue. I am an evil and despicable man.
K is very concerned that since the sexual act is essentially brutal in nature, and whose pleasure derives from the infliction and experiencing of pain in an unequal relationship, that it is one which society should be devoting all of its recourses to protecting the weak and innocent from. That it is an act whose ultimate expression must be killing of the weaker partner is one of the uttermost concerns. His function is the protection of children. K considers that the paradigm of the sexual act is that involving spiders.
Prisoners at Cooma were never told all this stuff explicitly, rather they were led to it as the only possible explanation of what was happening to them. The sex offenders' assessment program is an exercise in conditioning. There is none of the freedom of true group therapy for personal expression. The inmate learns what it is expected of him to say, and he says it; or suffers the penalty of a bad report which will result in the refusal of his parole.
The overwhelming proportion of inmates find it extremely difficult to make the required association of violence to their acts. The reason is simple; they weren't violent. But the punishment is for violence; and if the association of sex with violence is successfully accomplished, they will never behave sexually again; probably not all, certainly not in the prohibited way which is the subject of their crimes. The psychs then take the next step and see their job as protecting children from the violence that the prisoners are, by this time, confessing to. They have to confess to anything that they are told because they have been totally defeated, and are totally helpless. By which time the psychs have quite forgotten what they are protecting children from, and are believing that the inmates are all potential child killers. It is a nightmare.
Certainly, it seems that the nature of the sexual pleasure virus is disparity of power. The only situation when there is no pleasure, the only situation where sexual pleasure is legitimate, is where there is a parity of power. From the belief that sexual pleasure comes from disparity of power springs the belief that sexual pleasure is essentially the pleasure of torture and pain - its peculiar, but that is what the belief is. Essentially the message that the psychs at Cooma are giving out is that sexual pleasure is sado/masochistic in nature.
All of this is nonsense of course. It is possible to write this even though I seem to under some compulsion to act as if it were true. But what is the exercise all about? I think it is about the control of the young. The attempt is to control them by fear. The psychs are on their side and protecting them from being killed by child killers. And being under this protection, they are deprived of self-determination; which is what it is all about. The adults, which want to release them, are designated rock-spiders and child-molesters. Don't have anything to do with people like that!
And the message on homosexuality to the under 18s rings loud and clear. It is illegal and it is wrong. It is tolerated for the over 18s but do not let any of those evil and sick people come near you, and prey upon you. If they do, go to the police, and they will be put away for a very long time. We think that you are decent young Australians. We aim to protect you and make sure you stay that way.
It is an interesting observation that that the media bogeyman is now the child-molester, replacing the drug-pusher, who seems to have become almost respectable. They have it in common that they both appeal, and profit in their own way, from the rebellion of youth. Youth is interested in sex, and it is interested in sex with its own sex. It seems to have lost some of its interest in drugs. Drugs were yesterday's symbol of liberty. Times have moved on and sex is now that symbol.
True paediphiles are quite explicit in the role that they aim to play in the rebellion of youth. It is a thought that older people almost never were part of the drug scene. It was a youth thing.
But somewhere along the line, the psychs have got it terribly and horribly wrong. Relationships are about sharing. Power and sharing are almost contradictory concepts. Sexual pleasure comes from personal release. It need not be shared. But sharing enhances and gives it meaning. That someone accepts and wants your sexuality enormously enhances the liberation aspect. Love is about sharing. Love is about liberty; for it is only with liberty that there is anything to share. Love is about acceptance; because it is only with acceptance that there can be anything to share. The element of power in a relationship is a great turn-off.
Welcome to Cooma Old Gaol Museum
A prisoner delivered to the gatehouse of Cooma Goal towards the end of the nineteenth century faced a bleak future. For period of years, he was to be enclosed by high, stone walls; and the even more oppressive walls of silence: and anonymity -imposed by the punitive ideas of the time. He looked forward to few of life's comforts. He was to live in a cell with undressed stone walls and a stone floor. There was an opening about two and half metres up, far to high for him to look out of. Because it was small and narrow, and blocked by two thick horizontal iron bars, little light was able to enter; but, with no glass, there existed no barrier against copious quantities of freezing cold Cooma air. A tin bucket, emptied first thing in the morning, met his toilet necessities. There was also a tin jug of cold water. He slept on a rough, plank platform. His mattress was a rush mat. We hope that he had plenty of blankets (some of which he could have stuffed into the so-called window; but, sadly, the issue was probably no more than two. He had a wooden table and chair. He had a small wooden cupboard for his meagre belongings. He had a Bible. He was locked in this dreadful place by a heavy iron door, bolted from the outside.
Hard bed, hard fare, and hard labor were the prescription for a prison inmate of the latter part of the 19th century. But the worst part was the loneliness and silence. Alone and in silence, he worked in his cell. He might have picked oakum, or did a bit of bookmaking. For an hour or so, he exercised in the yard, wearing a mask to hide his face. In the silence he repented, and only his fitful sleep provided relief from the memories of his crimes. The wind howled around the walls. It still does.
Early in the new century, for reasons that are not altogether clear, the prison was derelict. An old resident, now over eighty, recalls playing in the old cellblock around about 1920. She recalls being locked into what was known as the dark cell, where inmates had been held in total blackness for breaches of discipline. Her playmates locked her in, and she remembers the extreme terror until they let her out; of such an intensity that the experience haunted her nightmares for years after. She remembers a cat-o'-nine-tails and batons hanging, on the rear wall; out of reach. There was a stain on the stone floor, which tradition had been blood. The prison was reopened as a fully functioning part of the Corrective Services system in 1957. It is not certain which of the cells in the old part of the wing was the notorious dark cell. But it may well be the bare punishment Cell100.
Corrections Officers and trustee inmates from the gaol staff the Old Gaol Museum, which is just across the road. Either an officer or an inmate, who will give you a guided tour and answer your questions, will greet you. We are especially interested in your comments. You are informed about Cooma Correctional Centre as it was. You are shown a variety of artifacts; contemporaneous newspaper articles at the time of its opening in 1873, a coir mattress, a variety of tin ware, a facemask, and a fine collection of old photographs.
You are informed about the institution as it is now. You are shown a collection of weapons, drug user implements, escape devices, and various other objects; seized in the searches which form such a large part of ordinary gaol life and routine. On one of the walls is displayed a sample of the lethal razor wire, which now tops the full length of the outer perimeter wall.
The Corrective Services industries; farm, tailor shop, and Woodcraft Workshop are described. You are shown some of the produce from the farm, which you are invited to buy. Some of the products from the tailor shop are on display. Finally, you are introduced to a very large collection of products from the Woodcraft Workshop, from which you are invited to select a purchase.
The museum is open from 1.00pm to 3.00pm Mondays to Fridays, and other times by appointment. Entry is free, and visitors should feel no obligation to buy any of the items for sale.
12th August 1992.
This last chapter was originally written as a letter explaining to somebody, whose friendliness is doubt, what I need to understand in order to win parole. It seemed such a good rejoinder to the central thesis of Razorwire, that I changed my mind about sending it. Instead, I have included it in Razorwire on the basis that I will be released on parole early in the New Year. However this is not certain since my hearing before Offenders Review Board was "stood over" to 12/1/93 pending receipt of Judges Remarks, which was missing from my file.
I think I can say that my attitudes on sexuality have now completely changed. I used to think that sexual activity was a pleasurable and deep expression of love. I now realize that this view is childish and immature; and that, basically, it is about power and property. Before I came to prison, I would have protested that this is like declaring that night is day and black is white. Today, I am not so sure. Certainty, I now accept that sexual activity is a lot less pleasant than I thought it was. In fact, I now have to accept that life itself is a lot nastier, and has a lot less to it, than I thought it had.
Let us look at the property angle, and the nature of the pain and injury that I caused x and y. We are all owned by the State. We owe an allegiance, which involves the giving of our lives if called upon to do so. A minor is owned by the State but the legal ownership is entrusted to his parents; his parents make all decisions about him, as a piece of property, and its his property. The trusteeship is for the benefit of the state. Certain duties are imposed upon the parents, and all of age persons (especially males) having dealings with the minors. Being an older male, I had a trustee relationship to x and y. But subordinate to their father.
The state imposes upon everybody the duty of the giving of pain. Pain is giving. Pleasure is taking. We have the same relation to the pain that we give as a sum of money has to the interest that it yields. When we talk about pain, we are referring to the interest. When we refer to injury, we are talking about the sum of money capital. The state imposes a duty of pain upon all persons until they are of age, with the pain going towards the growth and maturity of the person; rather as we add interest to the initial sum of money. It is the duty of their trustees to impose pain upon the minors. Pain adds to the minors' value. All value is sourced in the state, so one's value is really a recognition of the pain which is suffered in the name of the state for its benefit. Pain goes towards personal identity and self-appreciation of value - self-esteem.
On the coming of age, a boy becomes a man and takes over responsibility for managing himself and his affairs. If he has attained sufficient value, he is granted the privilege of marriage, wherein, he obtains the trusteeship of a woman. Basically, the position is that a man owns his wife in the name of the state. During sexual intercourse, he obtains pleasure from her in the name of the state. During the act, she gives pain in the name of the state. Basically, marriage is a duty, which sooner or later involves the trusteeship of children. The nature of marriage is a trust arrangement between state and man about the property of the wife and children. The marriage certificate is really a deed of trust between the state and the husband. Statute has enlarged a woman's rights, but the underlying common-law position remains unchanged. A woman has the duty of obeying her husband.
Geoffrey gave y and x pleasure. He gave, and suffered pain (in a situation similar to that of a prostitute); but he gave it in a spirit of malicious intend to the sovereign. The sovereign imposed pain upon the boys to strengthen their worth and character (pain includes training, denial and frustration). But also it was imposed upon them to give them an appreciation of his power and superiority. When any of us forces another person to suffer pain, we are showing them who is boss. We are programmed by our social instincts to accord our superiors respect and humility, but giving the boys pleasure, Geoffrey subverted the power of the state; and in various ways caused the boys injury.
The boys will no longer love the state as they should but will be rebellious in spirit. The pleasure, that they have experienced, has eroded their value as human beings, and has damaged their chances and inclination to make a successful marriage. In other words, their worth in the eyes of the state, and their worth in their own eyes, Their self-esteem, has suffered erosion; basically, their property value has been diminished. Geoffrey had a position of trust, and he abused it in furtherance of his own ends. Geoffrey may not have perceived his motives to be malicious at the time, but the law imputes consequences as being what is intended. So, Geoffrey was punished because he deliberately destroyed the property of the state whilst in a position of trust over it. At bottom, all crime is about violence to property rights.
Any self-indulgent pleasure during our lives will diminish our value; and make us more open to temptation. Because the less we are, the less we have to defend. A pleasure seeking woman sinks further and further into the mire of degradation. This is the fate of Princess Di. The continuing injury that I have inflicted upon x and y is the erosion of their character, begun at a susceptible and vulnerable age.
But modern psychology and the feminist movement are now taking an even harder line against sexual activity. They are seeing sexual desire as exclusively an expression of adult male power. Women only willingly indulge in activity as wives in pursuance of their duty to the state. Other women, and minors, may pretend to like it but their real motives are either fear or economic or other advantage. Vanity hides men from the truth.0n this view, Geoffrey deceives himself when he believes that his victims obtained any kind of pleasure from the crimes. The state put him into a position of trust, and he abused and betrayed that trust by taking the property, which was entrusted to him, and subjecting it to injury. The victims were y. and x, whilst the parties to the action were the Crown and Leonard. On this more severe view, Geoffrey is a straight out predator devouring what is not his.
It is a doleful view of life but, unfortunately corresponds more closely to what I have actually experienced that the immature view of it being a matter of pleasure and joy. I intend to marry but I think it unlikely, as a low-status male, that my wife will yield to me as her lord and master. The psychs believe that x and y yielded to me only because they perceived me as a higher status male. This was a deception. My deception is a further element in my guilt.
I believe now that I understand my crime. Men have felt in their bones that these things are true. My contribution is that I have "coded" the understanding in a way that will eventually be taught in the schools and churches.
Modern psychologists see romantic love as a cloak for undesirable "co-dependency" relationships; relationships to which the parties have a self-indulgent addiction. Unless I can convince the Offenders Review Board that I accept that the only party I am allowed to relate to be the state, it will return me to gaol for further punishment and social conditioning.
A rapist extracts pain from his prey but such pain, because it is not inflicted in the name of the state, and goes to the satisfaction of the state and consumes and destroys the victim. Rape renders its victim an utterly worthless human being. And, in so doing, directly affronts the state, and deprives it of its property. That is why rape is punished as murder. Pain is a clean sensation; like as from the spray off an icy cold mountain stream. Pleasure is dirty and decaying like stinking feces. My victims, in so far as they felt pleasure, felt dirtied and defiled.
Prison, being violent and hurtful at the instigation of the state is an atoning, expiating and cleansing and morally strengthening experience. If the Board does not think that I have been cleansed enough, it will give more prison, to the limit allowed by law; which is the serving of my full top sentence.
At the very least, my crime was one of criminal negligence. I satisfied my lusts and selfish emotions regardless of the foreseeable outcomes of my actions. I may not have purposely meant that my victims are hurt, but I should have reflected that hurt was probable by virtue of the surrounding circumstances and context. There may not be a great deal wrong with having a smoke, but it is wrong to smoke in a petrol dump and especially to hand around the packet to others. Especially those whose youth and susceptibility renders them open to the suggestion that the situation is natural, safe and good; especially if you are a person in authority to them. At the very least, this is what I did; and the dump blew up and savagely injured us all. All of our actions have to be measured and judged in terms of their probable and foreseeable effects; and if those effects are injurious, we are responsible for them.
It is remarkable how all of the psychologists and others in this case readily and immediately associate pain, injury and violence with sex. I can make this association only with great difficulty, and under duress. By the same taken, they seem to find it just as hard to associate sex with love and affection. Perhaps this is telling us something about them.
Pain inflicted in the name of the sovereign by a trustee, goes to the credit of that trustee. The Sovereign commands that only in marriage can sexual defilement be done in his name. Both partners must come to the marriage bed intact and pure. Basically, sexual pleasure is for God alone. God, the ultimate sovereign, prohibits incest, fornication and adultery, and homosexuality. God, as the supreme sovereign, is a jealous ruler, and lays down the law.
A rapist extracts pain from his prey. But such pain, because it does not go to the state, the source of all value, reduces and destroys the victim. Pain is a clean sensation, like the spray from an icy cold mountain stream. Pleasure gives a feeling of dirt and decay, My victims, in so far as they felt pleasure, would have felt dirtied and defiled.
Prison, being a violent and hurtful place at the instigation of the state is a cleansing and strengthening experience. But most of the pain, goes not to the credit of the assailant, who otherwise would be benefiting from his crime, but to the satisfaction and value of the victims. My victims, from my paying the price of my crime, gained greatly in personal value and self-esteem; that not perhaps to the extent that the injury has been completely healed.
That, then, is the case for prisons and the present state and philosophy of the law. It is a case that I have to understand and appreciate; yet, I am greatly troubled. Is God a lawyer? Did he create the world in the image of a sole trader? Is Christ his chief accountant, and his angels bookkeepers? Or is it that the lawyers have tried to create God, but have ended up with Satan, who they worship with a zeal worthy of a better cause.
If my reader is a normal ordinary person, he must have wondered at the morality, or lack of it, in the forgoing account. True, the law is not about morality; yet it is something that cannot be altogether ignored.
Most people would say that, if life is about credits and debits, it is not about love. Most people would winch at the thought that the source of all pleasure is other persons' pain. Most people would say that if pleasure is not mutual, it is not at all. Most people would deny the moral validity of a marriage contracted for money. To most people, the ideas at the basis of sexual law; that pleasures always involve pains, and that pain is good, and the source of all value, and that pain, being taking reduces value, and pain being giving increases value, are repugnant in the extreme. Life is not a bookkeeping exercise where a business entity is reduced to nothingness. And such a philosophy, when applied to life, must be destructive and evil in the extreme.
All the thought of Razorwire enables a rule to be inferred; that the sexual drive power s whatever the person, and society, thinks is good. If they think that pain is good, then it powers pain. If you get your feeling of goodness from your own pain, and the pain that you inflict upon others, you are into sado/masochism. The power relationships, which the psychs say are what sexual attraction is about, lie at the heart of sado/masochism. Ordinary people would say that this is precisely what sexual love is not about. But it is what the law is about. And it is what politics is about; and it is what the media is about - the media is not interested in loving relationships.
This is the stuff of the true sex murder (not sex murders done in a moment of fear and panic). This is the stuff of sexual perversion and violence. Which the law says it is about punishing and preventing. But how do you punish sado/masochism? Certainly not by imposing pain!
The real enemy is a legal fundamentalism that views the law, not as a shield, but as a weapon; and which is championing the cause of Satan, and not God.
And finally, a thought about consent: As I journeyed through Razorwire, I had to change my view about the place of consent in the sexual law. I used to think that the issue is consent; as indeed do most of the bewildered inmates of Cooma Correctional Centre, who plaintively wail, "Yes, but he/she did consent, willingly, even eagerly". But the psychologists frown. The judges frown. And the sentences are long. So, what is the problem?
The problem is that the law is not about consent at all, but the rights of the sovereign. Only a single adult woman has the real right of consent; and this is because she can be seen as the sovereign's direct property, and speaks and acts in his name. When she does not consent, it is the same thing as his not consenting. And this applies to all of those cases; where the sovereign does not allow consent. Sex, more than other crime, is a direct violation of the rights of the sovereign. Is this as it should be, or is it just a relic of history, that has no stronger nexus to reality than that?
With this point, Razorwire is finished.
FACTS SHEET _ GENERAL
(On Line Charging)
ARREST -Date 7/3/90 Time: 1.15 P.M.
OFFENDER - Surname: *********
Given Names: ******** ********
Address: ******************* Postcode: ******
OCCUPATION: clerk D.O.B **/*/** Height: 170 c.m.
Dr.Lic. No: Nationality: Australian Citizen
CHARGES 1) Homosexual Intercourse - 12 counts Code: 040510 Act/Sec: 78K/1900
2) Attempt Homosexual Intercourse Code: 040520 Act/Sec: 78L/1900
3) Sexual Ass. Cat. 4. - 2 counts Code: 040370 Act/Sec: 61E(1)/1900
INFORMANT *** ***********
Rank: Det Sen Const Station: R.C.S.N. CHATSWOOD Duty: C1
I) ARRESTED BY: Det ***********
RANK: Det Sen Con Station: R.C.S.N. CHATSWOOD Duty: C1
2) ARRESTED BY: Det ******* Station: R.C.S.N. Duty: CI
BAIL; Granted - on $1000 surety.
On the 2.3.90 the victims, two young brothers 13 and 16 old made a statement of complaint to Police in which they both alleged that they had been sexually assaulted by the defendant on numerous occasions during 1989 involving masturbation, oral and anal intercourse. On the 7.3.90 the defendant was arrested and interviewed at the R.C.S.N, office and two signed records of interviews obtained from him fully admitting the allegations. Subsequently charged with 12 counts of Homosexual Intercourse upon a male above 10 and under 18 years of age, one count of attempted Homosexual Intercourse upon a male above 10 and under 18 years of age and 2 counts of Sexual Assault Cat.4 and 3 counts of Sexual Assault Cat. 4. Upon child under 16 years of age.
4) Sexual Assault Cat. 4. - 3 counts Code: 04038 Act/Sec: 61E(2)
BRIEF OF EVIDENCE
OFFENDER ************* - **********
*Homosexual Intercourse with a male over 10 and under 18 years of age. (Eleven counts against victim x and one count against victim y).
*Attempt Homosexual Intercourse with a male over 10 and under 18 years of age. (One count against victim x).
*Sexual Assault Category 4. (Two counts against victim x).
*Sexual Assault Category 4 upon a child under 16 years of age. (Three counts against victim y).
Detective Senior Constable: **********
Detective Constable I/c *********
R. C. S. N. CHATSWOOD - Ph. 4 l10 914
North Sydney Local Court on the 2.4.9
Committed to District Court.
New South Wales Police
Y's Statement of Evidence
X's Statement of Evidence
I This statement made by me accurately sets out the evidence which I would be prepared, if necessary, to give in court as a witness.
2 The statement is true to the best of' my knowledge and belief and I make it knowing that, if it is tendered in evidence, I shall be liable to prosecution if I have stated in it anything which I know to be false or do not believe to be true.
3. I am a sixteen year old boy and I live at the above address with my parents, and two brothers, who is***** and y who is thirteen. I was born on the ******* 1973. I am in year 11 at the ****
4. During 1988 my older brother, ******* became friendly with Geoffrey ******* who lives at ** ********* Street, Hornsby. I didn't really associate with Geoffrey until about February 1989 when he asked me if I could fix up his car. I am always fixing my dad's car and Geoffrey just offered me $50.00 if I could do some panel beating on his car. From then on I became friendly with Geoffrey.
5. On occasions Geoffrey would talk of masturbation and talk dirty to me. I didn't like these conversations but there wasn't much I could do about it. Geoffrey wasn't one of those blokes you could tell to go away, he wouldn't take any notice of you. I would see Geoffrey most days, either he would to my place or I would go to his. He would help me with my schoolwork and that.
6. The first time I remember Geoffrey doing something wrong to me was in August 1989. I remember this date because I had just got my L-plates. One night about 9pm I left home after I was supposed to go to bed and went up to Geoffrey's place. Geoffrey had told me that he would take me for a drive in his car and that he would let me have a drive since I had my L-plates. We went for a drive with me behind the steering wheel and we went out Parramatta way. I am not sure where we were but it was an open area with very few houses and I pulled the car up, as I wanted to go to the toilet. When I came back to the car and sat down Geoffrey said something to me like; "You've had your fun, now let me have mine. He then undid my trousers and began to fondle my penis. Then he masturbated me and undid his own trousers and began to masturbate himself. After a while he leant over and began to suck my penis with his mouth. He did this till I ejaculated. Geoffrey tried to get me to play with his penis but I didn't want to. After this I started up the car and drove home.
The wallet is on the table. Please accept that you have the right to enter my house at any time & use it as your own. From our modern knowledge on these matters it is very probable that your genes have entered my bloodstream & become a part of me, so that I am now your flesh, which is okay what we did is considered to be the ultimate act of intimacy. God has joined us in an act which at the time seemed a little clumsy & painful but in retrospect was like entering the gates of heaven. Tomorrow I'm going to BSF so keep on beeping till I return - other nights I will be home about 7.00 - I long to hear your call.
I love you
I have not put the wallet in the letterbox in order to make my point. Let us keep Satan at bay. Satan does not like this affair at all & is busy producing 1,000 reasons why it should end if anybody is evil enough to listen.
Well, Satan produced his 1,000 reasons, and he got plenty of listeners.