From a prisoner in Illinois

“Wielding and embracing scientifically determined truth continues to be a challenging, wildly fun, and liberating experience”



Editors’ note: We at periodically publish letters from prisoners on revolutionary theory and struggle, as well as other aspects of human experience and thought, including conditions and struggle within the prisons themselves. We appreciate and learn from all correspondence from the prisons. The opinions in the letters we publish are those of the writers and not necessarily those of

“Following scientifically-determined truth wherever it leads” is an essential requirement that we all have to continue to collectively grapple with and adhere to in order to gain a deeper understanding of the intricate and dynamic world around us, as well as enabling us to be on more solid ground as we navigate and deal with the existential threat humanity and our planet now face.

Being buried alive beneath cold steel and concrete for most of my life, I was once plagued by the false sense of bravado. Drawing from my own “unsystematized experience” and “subjective sentiments,” my unnecessary suffering was my identity, my essence, my scar of honor, etc. I reveled in my ability to withstand any of the brutal and harsh conditions life in prison had to offer... both the physical and psychological aspects. I owned my suffering and no one was going to take that from me, or convince me otherwise.

It wasn’t until I was introduced to the revolutionary leadership and works of Bob Avakian—leadership and works that span over 40 years—that I began to question, think critically, and make necessary ruptures with unscientific methods and approaches in my own outlook. I still remember the deep and visceral connection I felt with Iraqi prisoners who were being tortured and murdered by the CIA and U.S. soldiers in Abu Ghraib.

Wielding and embracing scientifically determined truth continues to be a challenging, wildly fun, and liberating experience for me. I am no longer weighed down by a feeling of hopelessness.

One should read and ponder Pastor Martin Niemöller’s “First they came for the communists” statement written about the rise of Hitler and the Nazis for a sober reminder of the great deal of harm that could be done by failing to rise above and repudiate methodologically the philosophical relativism of identity politics.

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left to speak out for me.

Should the oppressed people of Syria be celebrating the fact they are now being bombed by “the most diverse cabinet” in Amerikkkan history? Should the immigrants of Mexico and Guatemala be relieved to know that they are now being detained and deported by a “child of immigrants” Mayorkas? As BA so scientifically and unapologetically put it in his New Year’s Statement:

There is no question that many of the policies of the Biden/Harris administration will be different than the blatant atrocities of the Trump/Pence regime, and things will definitely “feel different” with Biden and Harris, but the way they will try to “unite the country”—in line with the interests and requirements of this system of capitalism-imperialism—is something that no decent person should want, or be part of.

Revolution—Nothing Less!


Graphic imagePRLF is an educational literature fund that sends Revolution newspaper (, works from Bob Avakian, and other revolutionary and scientific literature to hundreds of prisoners across the U.S.

To donate to the work of the PRLF, go HERE.



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