Hypocrisy; Or, Reflections with Susie Simpson, Managing Chaplain, HMP/YOI ISIS

Mother Susie Simpson is the Managing (Church of England) Chaplain at HMP/YOI Isis, and she proclaimed in a publicly available sermon,

“[Where I work, these young men] At some stage in their lives, these young men have looked at this wicked and ungodly way that prospers and have been envious. Out of a desire for money, success, status or power they have been sucked in to benefiting from evil yet lucrative deeds. They go into the life of crime with their eyes lowered. No-one commits crimes thinking they are going to be caught and imprisoned. Being arrested, found guilty, sentenced and sent to prison can be the shock they needed to open their eyes and see that they have joined the ranks of evildoers.

Who can rescue them from this life of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Talking about incarceration as if it is a matter of moral failing, Susie failed to understand the structure that creates criminality. However, this sermon is from 2015, and by the time I met Susie, she was beginning to deeply question the prison-industrial complex. I gave her my copy of Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. Not wanting to read through my notes, she bought her own copy – she was hooked after 20 pages! She began to carry it around instead of the Bible. She discussed structural causes of oppression in her Wednesday Bible studies, and she even began to call herself a prison abolitionist.

Dream Chaser.jpg.gallery
Mother Susie Simpson, Managing Chaplain at HMP/YOI ISIS, London, UK

Developing a good relationship with Susie, we began having weekly discussions in my cell. Every Sunday she’d come to visit me, vent and tell me about her frustrations. I would express my anguish and dread, and we’d have a good tragic laugh at the Kafka-esque situation called prison. She admitted to being petrified at the idea of being behind a locked door, and when the wind blew my cell door closed while we were talking, she jumped in sheer panic. Afterwards, she said, “my heart sank when that door closed.” I asked her, then how can you lock people in cells? She couldn’t clearly answer; I remember it was something like, “I am not a guard.” She attempted to distance herself from the punishing aspect of the prison, but I reminded her that there are times when she has to lock prisoners in a cell.

She said one day, “The hardest thing  I have done is locked the door after telling someone they had a loss, a bereavement, to close that door because it is the end of my working day, at 5pm, that hurts.” I suspect it hurts more for the person being locked in the cage. So I asked her explicitly, why doesn’t an Oxford educated middle-class person, who could find work elsewhere, withdraw their labor and speak out publicly? Laughingly she remarked to me later in the week, “My husband says that if I quit, you have to pay the mortgage;” I replied: I am paying your mortgage right now. Prisoners create jobs. Her job is directly based on the exploitation of the incarcerated. I was AO915DV. She was Mother Susie. Power differences matter.

After being released, we engaged in an email correspondence; she has asked me not to release these emails. Yet given that they are in the public interest, and that they reveal essential truths (prison as cruelty, etc.), hypocrisies and divisions within the British penal system, I am publishing them in full. (According to legal counsel, I am protected under the public use exceptions.)

It is important to note that although Susie is a kind person, a decent person, this does not make her actions as an agent of the prison-industrial complex any less odious. She is mandated to report on prisoners, to occasionally lock them in their cells, to lock the gates so that the State can keep them hostage, and this is her role in the Structure. One’s personal feelings of empathy or compassion mean nothing when their very chosen role is inherently and directly oppressive.

Perhaps the “evildoers” she mentions above, those prisoners’ souls she wishes to save, are not the problem? Perhaps they are not there because of what they did, but rather because of who they are within the Structure? We all know that war criminals like George Bush and Tony Blair aren’t facing jail time, nor are Financial Terrorists like Christine Lagarde, who avoided prison and kept her position as head of the International Monetary Fund, after “Judges said her failures [to contest fraud of] about €400 million ($417 million) was negligent and led to a misuse of public funds.

Regarding saving souls, I am reminded of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, end of chapter 1, where he states,

Has not the surplus power exercised on the subjected body of the condemned man given rise to another type of duplication? That of the ‘non-corporeal’, a ‘soul’, as Malby called it.  The history of ‘micro-physics’ of the punitive power would then be a genealogy … of the modern ‘soul’ … This is the historical reality of this soul, which unlike the soul represented by Christian theology, is not born out of sin and subject to punishment, but is born rather out of methods of punishment, supervision and constraint … The soul is the effect and instrument of a political anatomy; the soul is the prison of the body.

That punishment in general and the prison in particular belong to a political technology of the the body is a lesson that I have learned not so much from history as from the present. In recent years, prison revolts have occurred throughout the world. There was certainly something paradoxical about their aims, their slogans and the way they took place. They were revolts against the entire state of physical misery that is over a century old: against cold, suffocation and overcrowding, against decrepit walls, hunger, physical maltreatment. But they were also revolts against model prisons, tranquilizers, isolation, the medical and educational services. Were they revolts whose aims were merely material? Or contradictory revolts: against the obsolete, but also against comfort; against the warders, but also against the psychiatrists? In fact, all these movements – and the innumerable discourses that the prison has given rise to since the early nineteenth century – have been about the body and material things. What has sustained these discourses, these memories and invectives are indeed those minute material details … They were revolts, at the level of the body, against the very body of the prison. What was at issue … is the whole technology of power over the body that the technology of the ‘soul’ – that of the educationalists, psychologists and psychiatrists – fails to either conceal or to compensate, for the simple reasons (the soul) is one of its tools.

Lastly, after I wrote a damning article about Kissie Goodwin, “Smile at the Void & It Will Smile Back; Or the Little Eichmanns At HMP ISIS,” Susie implicitly concurred stating in May 8th email: “I haven’t managed to see Kissie yet because obviously she is too busy, but I did enjoy your wicked piece about her!” If Susie knows that her work involves sadism,  and mental gymnastics of hypocrisy, then why does she still engage in it?

Perhaps the emails below will provide some elucidation. Withdrawing from work in the prison-industrial complex is essential, and anyone – regardless of whether they are a guard, a psychiatrist or a chaplain, who directly work for Structures of mass, racist incarceration is simply complicit with the torture, control and oppression that comes with “just doing the job.”


 

The first email was in response to a political email I sent her from Warsaw, and it is what began the debate and discussion, which is now publicly available in full here.

from: Simpson, Susie [HMPS] <Susie.Simpson@*********>
to: Tony Cochran <tcochran.prisonaspower@gmail.com>

Dear Tony,

It is tough, but after prisoners have left Isis I can only have very limited and neutral communication. These rules are of course set down to protect staff from disgruntled prisoners, but it does mean that it would be inappropriate to have any correspondence about prison policy or indeed anything political, because we have to acknowledge that I am part of the system, a civil servant, and have to abide by those rules. The only legitimate purpose of giving out my work email is for you to let me know that you are still OK; at least I am not worried that you will be back inside.

I have reflected on this and your possible reaction to my email, but I have to face facts, that while I am in this post I have to abide by the rules. So best not to send me any further pictures or links, but do keep me informed of how you both are, and you can certainly post any material to me that you think I would be interested to read, and obviously a copy of your book when it is published.

Whilst I can let you know that Jamie and Andrew are fine, I can’t pass things on to them, but I think you are already in touch with them via email a prisoner.

Having got that out of the way, I am envious of you having time to write; for some reason I am imagining you huddled over a typewriter in a little garret, looking out at grey, snow dusted streets in a ghetto in Warsaw. I hope that is not true.

My very best wishes to Alex,

Mother Susie


To which I responded,

 TO: “Simpson, Susie [HMPS]” <Susie.Simpson@*********>
date: Thu, May 11, 2017 at 11:16 AM

“The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.”
― Hannah Arendt

“Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.”
― Hannah Arendt

“Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence.”
― Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind


 From: Simpson, Susie [HMPS] <Susie.Simpson@*********>
to: Tony Cochran <tcochran.prisonaspower@gmail.com>
date: Thu, May 11, 2017 at 1:11 PM

[Tony]

I thought you might say that.

However, you always knew that; Foucault identifies chaplains as part of the attempt to make imprisonment seem humane and justifiable; I know that we are lipstick on a pig. I am not as much of a hero as you would like me to be.


from: Tony Cochran <tcochran.prisonaspower@gmail.com>
to: “Simpson, Susie [HMPS]” <Susie.Simpson@*********>

Sat, May 13, 2017 at 3:34 PM

Dear Susie, 

I hope you are well.

Firstly, let me say how appreciative I am of all that you did – emotionally and otherwise – to help me get through my sentence. I considered you an ally. Your email does not make me angry, rather it makes me profoundly sad. You exist in a strange moral universe whereby you can countenance watching people being ‘bent up,’ placed in cages, psychologically tortured, medically and nutritionally neglected – you can even bring yourself to lock someone in a cage. Yet you cannot countenance a few political emails as it might jeopardise your job. I wasn’t asking for heroism; I simply thought a conscience – from someone who is well-educated and middle class, and could get employment outside of the prison-industrial complex – would produce itself at some point (at least after reading Foucault) to speak out against a daily functioning atrocity.

 

I wish you a good – and reflective – day.


What follows is a particularly frank and damning indictment of the prison-industrial complex, yet she is still locking people in cages.

From: Simpson, Susie [HMPS] <Susie.Simpson@*********>
to: Tony Cochran <tcochran.prisonaspower@gmail.com>
date: Sun, May 14, 2017 at 2:50 PM

Dear Tony,

The fruit of my fairly reflective day; it was quite active also. I hesitate to debate with a philosopher; I took a paper on the philosophy of religion as part of my degree, which convinced me that I do not have the right sort of mind for philosophy; my thinking is far too vague and illogical.

I do speak out against the daily functioning atrocity, and I am not convinced that getting myself summarily dismissed would put me in a better position to do so. I know of three Anglican chaplains who were dismissed, one who was convinced that it was precisely because he had spoken out, but it was all shrouded under the mists of security and nothing could be proven. It is a very real fear. In the wider church, prison chaplains at present have little influence or voice. A sacked chaplain is a sad and friendless cleric; I think we are looked down on by parish clergy as being not quite proper. They end up having to move to take up some unwanted backwater parish that no-one else wants to serve. I could do that, but I wouldn’t want to drag my family along with me.

What I am doing is setting up a new group of chaplains working in London which has a remit to speak to bishops and get them to speak up on the behalf of prisoners. The bishop for prisons is a Lord bishop, for goodness’ sake, why is he not speaking out? Anyway, we have our first meeting in June. Of course I have not just read Foucault and then carried on as normal!

I am not sure that it is fair to compare prison chaplains with Eichmann, but I do think it fair to ask whether we are colluding with cruelty and whether the church should withdraw chaplaincy from prisons. One argument against that is that we enable people to practise their faith, and that most religious people find that practice to be a source of hope within an otherwise hopeless institution. We ought to be in the prison but not part of it, which is difficult to achieve; in some prisons, chaplains of certain faiths are not trusted by the prisoners, who assume that they are there to spy on them. I am encouraged by the fact that we are so universally unpopular with uniformed staff, who, as you know, look on us with varying degrees of contempt. They do not see us as part of the system, but as people actively working against it.

Another thing that occurred to me as I was reflecting, was the problem of what to do with people who have committed violent or persistent crimes. I totally agree that the majority of people in prison should not be incarcerated for all the reasons Foucault enumerates. However, I still think imprisonment is cruel and unusual even for people who are a danger to the public. Yet what are the alternatives? I think Norway is working towards a much more effective and humane justice system, and that is one of the campaigning points I would like my group to take up; there is an international group of prison chaplains so we may be able to contact them and find out more.

When I think of walking away from the job, I would be fooling myself if I thought I would do so for high principles; I would do so because I am drained from sharing people’s misery, from listening to hopeless stories about chaotic lives, of trying to imagine what it must be like to be grieving for a relative whilst banged up, from hearing people’s frustration at the hundred daily humiliations of being in this place and being unable to do very much about it.

I don’t know. What do you think?

Mother Susie


In my last email to her, before informing her of this publication, I wrote:

from: Tony Cochran <tcochran.prisonaspower@gmail.com>
to: “Simpson, Susie [HMPS]” <Susie.Simpson@*********>
date: Sun, May 14, 2017 at 6:17 PM

Susie,

Thank you for your in-depth email, one that I consider an opening.
I wanted to repeat my appreciation for everything you did to help me whilst I was in custody, and I want you to understand that my critique is that of a critical friend. 

Eichmann’s complicity is serious, yet it is one that haunts us all (please watch Donna Haraway’s latest lecture on this: https://vimeo.com/97663518). How we respond to the Eichmann Syndrome defines what are motives are. To be summarily dismissed differs rather significantly from resigning (publicly) in protest. Aside from your fears of working in a backwater parish, there is nothing compelling you to give your labour to a torture machine. You would be a powerful voice, especially if you publicly (with press conference) resigned and began writing about what you witnessed. (Also you would still have important contacts who could keep a steady leak of information out to you.) Newspapers, the BBC, etc. all need – especially at this time in the UK – a prison ‘expert.’ Who would be better? Not to mention the work you could do with prison abolitionists outside.

 

Yes, you are complicit – you do not simply listen and imagine; you do lock people in a cages, I would never lock a person in a cage, nor would I stand by as people are humiliated, mangled and otherwise tortured. In many ways you are worse than the guards you condemn because you know what you are doing is wrong, whereas they sadistically engage in unthinking power-trips. This is why Arendt says the hypocrite is rotten to the core. I know you are struggling with this, but you know – deep inside – that all the rationalisations in the world will obscure that voice inside screaming against the daily anguish, nihilism and torture you witness. Withdrawal of labour is the only ethical decision to make for anyone working in the prison-industrial complex.

 

If you walked away from caging people, you would be doing it because you are tired and it is the right thing to do.

 

If you are still ambiguous about my critique – a critique from a critical friend – the next time you lock someone in a cage, ask yourself: if this is a part of my job, then why I am working here?

8 comments

  1. I was once an Inmate at HMP Bedford. After spending 17 years of my 49 years on this planet I believe I have knowledge and have seen the best and worst of the system. I’ve done it all and if you ever want to ask me anything about the British prison system please feel free.

    Like

    • I deeply respect, Harper, but his final analysis, or allusion to one, is incorrect.

      Firstly, I posited to Susie that the ultimate goal of our conversations would be her withdrawing her labor from the prison-industrial complex. This was in October 2016, at a time when she was already disillusioned with the system. Ergo she knew this was my organizing intention from the start.

      Secondly, as anyone who has ever been to prison knows, these emails are not ‘personal.’ Being sent from her work email, ALL emails are scanned and read, scrutinized. So she would have known that the prison establishment was reading them. She even mentions this in one of her emails, BUT then continues to write emails that would place her job in jeopardy. As a former psychoanalyst, I would aver she is self-sabotaging, waiting to be dismissed, because a resignation wouldn’t allow her to play the victim.

      I do think that she is playing the ersatz victim. Her current position allows her full access to the prison, a great deal of respect from prisoners because she can get things for them, she has a degree of influence, and she is hated almost universally by the guards. She hates the job because of the suffering she witnesses and partakes in, and as a Civil Servant she is unable to speak out. This is the perfect place for the masochistic liberal. The ever-suffering Christian, who is just trying to ‘do good.’ I do care about her psychological state, however I care MORE about what she does – which is physically lock up prisoners, watch them get ‘crunched’ or ‘bent up’ – and she does nothing. She does more than nothing. She locks the doors and cries about it. Hypocrisy.

      Her reason for leaving is based on a lack any real moral compass or creativity. She could be a great asset to the prison reform/abolition movement, and given her experience and Oxford education would almost be guaranteed a position writing for the Guardian, working with the Howard League or teaching. (She has teaching experience). Her fears of being relegated to “a backwater parish” don’t match with her social class.

      Finally, I based my final – yet still developing – assessment of Susie on two categories: Awareness and Ability to Leave. She has both. She is fully aware of her complicity and she is a much better position to leave than many of the working-class guards who are leaving the prison service in droves in the UK. This makes her collusion with the system even more insidious.

      Like

  2. I have shown the following exchange to susie Simpson and she says it is utterly fictitious.

    Oh Tony, why are you such a pathological liar who uses people for your own ends?

    Like

    • Here is the conversation in full, with her complete email address details, which I wasn’t going to release, however you have compelled me to release them for verification. Please confirm your conversation with Susie Simpson in writing and send to me, as at this point I have no idea who you are.

      Tony Cochran

      AttachmentsMay 5

      to Susie
      Dear Susie,

      I thought you’d enjoy this political graffiti from central Warsaw.

      Please let me know how Andrew and Jamie are doing.

      All the best,
      2 Attachments
      Tony Cochran

      May 5

      to Susie
      Also I sent Andrew £50 — need to make sure he’s received (knowing how HMP is!)
      Simpson, Susie [HMPS]

      May 8

      to me

      Dear Tony,

      I have scampered round and spread the news that you are both OK, and everyone sends their warmest good wishes back, including the library ladies and the education lady with the clipboard, Jamie and Andrew. I haven’t managed to see Kissie yet because obviously she is too busy, but I did enjoy your wicked piece about her! I have stopped smiling at work now.

      However, please be careful what you send me as this is a work email and therefore subject to scrutiny, ironically!

      Andrew hadn’t checked his balance recently so I will let you know when the money lands in his account.

      Best wishes,

      M S

      From: Tony Cochran [mailto:tcochran.prisonaspower@gmail.com]
      Sent: 05 May 2017 12:03
      To: Simpson, Susie [HMPS]
      Subject: Re: § Image

      ______________________________________________________________________
      This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
      For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
      ______________________________________________________________________
      Tony Cochran

      May 9

      to Susie
      Dear Susie,

      I hope you are well.

      I am re-starting my work as an analyst and social critic, to assist with the book-making, theory-making, etc. I have another website, tonyrobertcochran.com that you might find interesting. Could you kindly print some of the articles from my prison as power website and give them to Andrew? I do hope he is alright. And Jamie too! I am glad you enjoyed my article 😉

      https://tonyrobertcochran.com/2017/05/08/first-blog-post/

      Is there a more ‘secure’ means of communique?

      All the best,
      Simpson, Susie [HMPS]

      May 10

      to me

      Dear Tony,

      It is tough, but after prisoners have left Isis I can only have very limited and neutral communication. These rules are of course set down to protect staff from disgruntled prisoners, but it does mean that it would be inappropriate to have any correspondence about prison policy or indeed anything political, because we have to acknowledge that I am part of the system, a civil servant, and have to abide by those rules. The only legitimate purpose of giving out my work email is for you to let me know that you are still OK; at least I am not worried that you will be back inside.

      I have reflected on this and your possible reaction to my email, but I have to face facts, that while I am in this post I have to abide by the rules. So best not to send me any further pictures or links, but do keep me informed of how you both are, and you can certainly post any material to me that you think I would be interested to read, and obviously a copy of your book when it is published.

      Whilst I can let you know that Jamie and Andrew are fine, I can’t pass things on to them, but I think you are already in touch with them via email a prisoner.

      Having got that out of the way, I am envious of you having time to write; for some reason I am imagining you huddled over a typewriter in a little garret, looking out at grey, snow dusted streets in a ghetto in Warsaw. I hope that is not true.

      My very best wishes to Alex,

      Mother Susie

      From: Tony Cochran [mailto:tcochran.prisonaspower@gmail.com]
      Sent: 09 May 2017 01:01
      Tony Cochran

      May 10

      to Alexander
      Tony Cochran

      May 11

      to Susie
      “The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.”
      ― Hannah Arendt

      “Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.”
      ― Hannah Arendt

      “Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence.”
      ― Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind

      Simpson, Susie [HMPS]

      May 11

      to me

      I thought you might say that.

      However, you always knew that; Foucault identifies chaplains as part of the attempt to make imprisonment seem humane and justifiable; I know that we are lipstick on a pig. I am not as much of a hero as you would like me to be.

      From: Tony Cochran [mailto:tcochran.prisonaspower@gmail.com]
      Sent: 11 May 2017 10:16
      Tony Cochran

      May 13

      to Susie
      Dear Susie,

      I hope you are well.

      Firstly, let me say how appreciative I am of all that you did – emotionally and otherwise – to help me get through my sentence. I considered you an ally. Your email does not make me angry, rather it makes me profoundly sad. You exist in a strange moral universe whereby you can countenance watching people being ‘bent up,’ placed in cages, psychologically tortured, medically and nutritionally neglected – you can even bring yourself to lock someone in a cage. Yet you cannot countenance a few political emails as it might jeopardise your job. I wasn’t asking for heroism; I simply thought a conscience – from someone who is well-educated, white and middle class, and could get employment outside of the prison-industrial complex – would produce itself at some point (at least after reading Foucault) to speak out against a daily functioning atrocity.

      I wish you a good – and reflective – day.

      “Men have been found to resist the most powerful monarchs and to refuse to bow down before them, but few indeed have been found to resist the crowd, to stand up alone before misguided masses, to face their implacable frenzy without weapons and with folded arms to dare a no when a yes is demanded. Such a man was Zola!”
      ― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism
      Simpson, Susie [HMPS]

      May 14

      to me

      Dear Tony,

      The fruit of my fairly reflective day; it was quite active also. I hesitate to debate with a philosopher; I took a paper on the philosophy of religion as part of my degree, which convinced me that I do not have the right sort of mind for philosophy; my thinking is far too vague and illogical.

      I do speak out against the daily functioning atrocity, and I am not convinced that getting myself summarily dismissed would put me in a better position to do so. I know of three Anglican chaplains who were dismissed, one who was convinced that it was precisely because he had spoken out, but it was all shrouded under the mists of security and nothing could be proven. It is a very real fear. In the wider church, prison chaplains at present have little influence or voice. A sacked chaplain is a sad and friendless cleric; I think we are looked down on by parish clergy as being not quite proper. They end up having to move to take up some unwanted backwater parish that no-one else wants to serve. I could do that, but I wouldn’t want to drag my family along with me.

      What I am doing is setting up a new group of chaplains working in London which has a remit to speak to bishops and get them to speak up on the behalf of prisoners. The bishop for prisons is a Lord bishop, for goodness’ sake, why is he not speaking out? Anyway, we have our first meeting in June. Of course I have not just read Foucault and then carried on as normal!

      I am not sure that it is fair to compare prison chaplains with Eichmann, but I do think it fair to ask whether we are colluding with cruelty and whether the church should withdraw chaplaincy from prisons. One argument against that is that we enable people to practise their faith, and that most religious people find that practice to be a source of hope within an otherwise hopeless institution. We ought to be in the prison but not part of it, which is difficult to achieve; in some prisons, chaplains of certain faiths are not trusted by the prisoners, who assume that they are there to spy on them. I am encouraged by the fact that we are so universally unpopular with uniformed staff, who, as you know, look on us with varying degrees of contempt. They do not see us as part of the system, but as people actively working against it.

      Another thing that occurred to me as I was reflecting, was the problem of what to do with people who have committed violent or persistent crimes. I totally agree that the majority of people in prison should not be incarcerated for all the reasons Foucault enumerates. However, I still think imprisonment is cruel and unusual even for people who are a danger to the public. Yet what are the alternatives? I think Norway is working towards a much more effective and humane justice system, and that is one of the campaigning points I would like my group to take up; there is an international group of prison chaplains so we may be able to contact them and find out more.

      When I think of walking away from the job, I would be fooling myself if I thought I would do so for high principles; I would do so because I am drained from sharing people’s misery, from listening to hopeless stories about chaotic lives, of trying to imagine what it must be like to be grieving for a relative whilst banged up, from hearing people’s frustration at the hundred daily humiliations of being in this place and being unable to do very much about it.

      I don’t know. What do you think?

      Mother Susie

      I am not white. I’m mixed race, Anglo-Indian.

      From: Tony Cochran [mailto:tcochran.prisonaspower@gmail.com]
      Sent: 13 May 2017 14:34
      Tony Cochran

      May 14

      to Susie
      Susie,

      Thank you for your in-depth email, one that I consider an opening.

      I wanted to repeat my appreciation for everything you did to help me whilst I was in custody, and I want you to understand that my critique is that of a critical friend.

      To clarify: Whilst I understand you are not genealogically white, you are classed socially (that is relationally) with the privileges [i.e. no stop and search, etc] that comes with ‘being’ white in the UK. Whiteness is a social relation, not a race. I am 1/8th Native American, yet for all (privileged) intents and purposes am ‘white.’ I digress, yet I believe this tangent was essential as I am attempting to focus what you are helpfully relaying.

      Eichmann’s complicity is serious, yet it is one that haunts us all (please watch Donna Haraway’s latest lecture on this: https://vimeo.com/97663518). How we respond to the Eichmann Syndrome defines what are motives are. To be summarily dismissed differs rather significantly from resigning (publicly) in protest. Aside from your fears of working in a backwater parish, there is nothing compelling you to give your labour to a torture machine. You would be a powerful voice, especially if you publicly (with press conference) resigned and began writing about what you witnessed. (Also you would still have important contacts who could keep a steady leak of information out to you.) Newspapers, the BBC, etc. all need – especially at this time in the UK – a prison ‘expert.’ Who would be better? Not to mention the work you could do with prison abolitionists outside.

      Yes, you are complicit – you do not simply listen and imagine; you do lock people in a cages, I would never lock a person in a cage, nor would I stand by as people are humiliated, mangled and otherwise tortured. In many ways you are worse than the guards you condemn because you know what you are doing is wrong, whereas they sadistically engage in unthinking power-trips. This is why Arendt says the hypocrite is rotten to the core. I know you are struggling with this, but you know – deep inside – that all the rationalisations in the world will obscure that voice inside screaming against the daily anguish, nihilism and torture you witness. Withdrawal of labour is the only ethical decision to make for anyone working in the prison-industrial complex.

      If you walked away from caging people, you would be doing it because you are tired and it is the right thing to do.

      If you are still ambiguous about my critique – a critique from a critical friend – the next time you lock someone in a cage, ask yourself: if this is a part of my job, then why I am working here?

      All the best,
      Tony Cochran

      May 14

      to Alexander
      Tony Cochran

      Jun 3

      to Susie
      Dear Susie,

      I hope you are well.

      How are you? I am off to the Equality March in Warsaw today.

      Thinking is essential.

      All the best,

      Tony Cochran
      Tony Cochran

      Jul 17 (4 days ago)

      to Alexander
      Alexander – please note this: “I haven’t managed to see Kissie yet because obviously she is too busy, but I did enjoy your wicked piece about her! I have stopped smiling at work now.”


      Tony Cochran

      Jul 17 (4 days ago)

      to Susie
      Dear Susie,

      I have consulted with my Solicitor, an international IP attorney in the United Kingdom. These emails, considering the elucidation of political analysis regarding the work I am doing, are publishable under “public use exceptions.” If you have any complaint, I can refer you to him.

      Therefore they will be published in full.

      Sincerely,

      Tony Cochran
      Tony Cochran

      Jul 17 (4 days ago)

      to Susie, bcc: Alexander
      Slight clerical correction: He is licensed in England and Wales, but is based in DC. Otherwise, the above email stands. Sincerely, Tony Cochran

      Like

    • Additionally, I do not believe you even work in the prison service, as you would have referred to her as Mother Susie and not Susie. So your allegations are spurious at best. Here is the last exchange I had with Susie Simpson.

      Tony Cochran

      Jul 15 (6 days ago)

      to Susie
      Dear Susie,

      I hope this finds you well.

      As you may know, today is the anniversary of my imprisonment. I wanted to inform you that I will be publishing all the email correspondence between us in my next article.

      All the best,

      Tony Cochran
      Simpson, Susie [HMPS]

      Jul 16 (5 days ago)

      to me

      Dear Tony,

      I do not give you permission to publish my emails to you.

      Mother Susie

      Mother Susie Simpson

      Managing Chaplain

      HMP/YOI Isis

      Western Way

      SE28 0NZ

      0203 356 4322

      From: Tony Cochran [mailto:tcochran.prisonaspower@gmail.com]
      Sent: 15 July 2017 20:10
      To: Simpson, Susie [HMPS]
      Subject: § Last email

      ______________________________________________________________________
      This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
      For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
      ______________________________________________________________________
      Tony Cochran

      Jul 16 (5 days ago)

      to Susie
      I will be consulting an attorney about this, but given that this falls into the category of being within the public interest, publication is likely.

      Tony Cochran

      Jul 17 (4 days ago)

      to Susie
      Out of respect, I am sending you the link:

      https://tonyrobertcochran.com/2017/07/17/reflections-with-susie-simpson-managing-chaplain-hmpyoi-isis/
      Simpson, Susie [HMPS]

      Jul 17 (4 days ago)

      to me

      Dear Tony,

      I am sorry that you have published this, after I had expressly asked you not to.

      I would be grateful therefore if you did not contact me again by email or any other means.

      Mother Susie

      Mother Susie Simpson

      Managing Chaplain

      HMP/YOI Isis

      Western Way

      SE28 0NZ

      0203 356 4322

      From: Tony Cochran [mailto:tcochran.prisonaspower@gmail.com]
      Sent: 17 July 2017 15:47
      To: Simpson, Susie [HMPS]
      Subject: § Publication in Public Interest

      Out of respect, I am sending you the link:

      https://tonyrobertcochran.com/2017/07/17/reflections-with-susie-simpson-managing-chaplain-hmpyoi-isis/

      ______________________________________________________________________
      This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
      For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
      ______________________________________________________________________

      Like

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