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The Bob Gurtler columns
- Fake it or Make it
- Stunted Development
- My Brother's Keeper
- Every day it's some new little thing
- Lives on Hold
- Cadre
- Better circumstance..
- At the storehouse
- Bob's Resume
- Thick Blue Funk


Bob Gurtler passed away on September 22, 2006. His life touched and healed thousands. We leave the writings he sent us here so that his words will continue to speak to the hearts and minds of our visitors. His is not only a voice of protest but one of pereverance, imagination and hope through adversity. As he has written here on many occasions, 'take care of yourselves, and each other'. May he rest in peace.

Skin of my Teeth

Bob Gurtler writes to you from prison ...

Sometimes I feel like I'm barely hanging on. There is always hope? Always, premonitions of doom seem to be taking over recently. Manditory DNA test, manditory urine test, submit pay check, curfew, aggressive liberalisation, hubris, severe psychological consequences, heroic sociopath, omnipotence, venality, moral neccessity, religous avidity, human frailty, zeitgeist. Too much Newspeak and DoubleThink.

Soon to be released from prison, I am in awe of how much the world is changing. Three and a half years in prison and now I will be labelled socially undesirable. I had never been to prison before. A moment of letting my guard down. I trusted an undercover policeman who befriended and coerced me into buying a few ten dollar bags of dope for us. False police reports, lying lawyers and a justice system run like a factory converyor belt had landed me in the system. Now I suffer under the boot heel of a seemingly ever increasing totalitarian police state.

I would not have believed that this could happen but it has. The world is in chaos. No one can hear my tiny mouse squeak of protest above the roar of war. Rendered nearly powerless, issued a number, shaved head and thrown into a world of dangerous criminality.

I have been subject to two six-month sessions of a reeducation barracks of sorts. "Refusal to attend" is met with threats of a longer prison sentence. (my sentence being three to seven years). Mostly they consisted of sleep deprivation and frequent two hour sessions of haranging speeches from "counsellors" with a constant threat hanging over the air of "removal from the program". This could be construed from talking out of turn or not making your bed properly or even your body language.

After six months or more of sleep deprivation and this intense regieme some men emerge brainwashed, some even harder and more resistant. In some the change is barely perceptible.

Ive just finished my second six month session. I'm glad it's over. I understood what they were trying to do. Ive been able to retain my sense of self. Noe, for three more years of parole, when spitting on the sidewalk could land me back in prison.

Curfew, submit my pay cheques, manditory random urine tests, human friality, wage slavery. Orwell was right.

Once again I will answer any and all correspondence. I dont have access to a computer now or the near future. This will have to be done the old fashioned way ... with stamps and envelopes. Feel free to write to me, I welcome it!

Until next time,

take care of yourselves

and each other!


Robert Gurtler

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