Skip to main content

Inside The Land Of The Free


My name is Greg. 

I have a lot of time to think. Too much time. Sometimes I think about my life - why I am sitting in prison. I wonder what I could have done different - my life plays before my eyes.

"If only..."

But even I know that no amount of good works would have stopped tyranny from finding fault with me.

It is cold.

My clothes are thin.

My stomach is empty - occasionally filled with food of no sustenance. 

I hide my face in my knees - as if that will somehow protect me from the horrors of this dark cold dungeon. 

They keep it cold to freeze me, this I know.

It is a part of their game - to drive a lesson into me.

As if I have a lesson to learn solely because I was convicted.

Convicted, but not  guilty.


68 years for standing against injustice.

How many years have I sat in here?

I have forgot.

All I know is this question, "Was I fated for this? Did God grant my birth just so I could spend life as if dead?"

I cry out to God - does He hear me?

I do not know. I can not feel Him in this lonely dark hole.

The loneliness is heavy. 

Solitary confinement is nerve-wracking. 

But it is better than waiting to be raped by the guards. Or even my inmates. 

Or having my food, toothbrush, or even clothes stolen from me.

Or my letters - when is the last time I received a letter?

My body is not my own. Like a Jew being tossed  around by a Nazi. That is my life.

And no-one believes me. 

No-one believes the land of the free would support such horrors in it's very belly.

No-one will believe that the majority of  us do not deserve to be here - and that forever more we are destined to rot away in torment in the name of freedom.

When I was in Nevada, I went to visit a prison with my dad. It was a privately owned prison - who would have thought that possible? - called Pahrump. They have a whole two stars on facebook :0 

They keep the temperature at 65 degrees. 

A lot of people (when it's hot) yearn for such a cool temperature. I'd like to say to them sometime, "You'd fit right in prison."

Of course, not having enough nutritional food, or warm clothes would affect how the temperature feels...

I met this middle aged man there, by the name of  Greg Burleson. I talked to him through this black and white t.v. box. It was very small - I had an old fashioned phone connected to a curly cord. I could barely hear him.

And he couldn't see me - because he'd gone blind shortly after being put in jail. 

He was sentenced to 68 years - simply for being involved in a protest, one in which never resulted in any violence of any sort.

Needless to say, it was a little hard to speak to him. I'm not speaking to the facts I didn't know him, or that he was blind, or that it was hard to see or hear him through the low-tech prison equipment.

No, it was hard to speak to him because this man was very bitter.

He had been wronged, constantly.

His wife left him for someone else. His 21-year old daughter hasn't spoken to him in years. His eyesight was taken away from him. His life was taken away from him. And he can do nothing but sit in a prison and remember how unjustly the world has treated and continues to treat him.

And remember he does as everyone says how great our country is and how our prisons are soooooooo much better than any one else's.

"Giving you 68 years in prison is much kinder than giving you life in prison," says the judge to an already old man. After she is responsible for his eyesight vanishing.

People - stop saying we are privileged. Stop saying injustices only exist in certain areas or toward certain people.

Stop saying our country is the land of the free.

Because it's not.

It's a lie - and we are embracing this lie to feel better.

A man is no longer free - but privileged. And because of that privilege he can do nothing but fight for every ounce of his life. 

Sound free?

We no longer have choices - but options. 

I know I'm not the only one that sees this injustice. 

I also realize that embracing bitterness like Greg isn't the way to cope.

In fact - I decided to use my time with him to cheer him up as best as possible.

We talked about the little good he could experience - radio (limited channels, true) and audio books. And I recommended some books to him. But even as he started sounding happy, I knew that I don't want to spend 68 years doing nothing but listening to a staticky radio and audio books.

That's not living. That's killing time.
Time that will end only by death.

People, we can change this world. Don't just accept the world as awful. And don't embrace bitterness.

It's not naive to have hope. 

It's not naive to stand strong and act joyful in tribulation.

It is naive to say our prison system is just fine, or better than others, or that our government is doing their best.

Greed and pride is not best.

Our forefathers fought, not so we could put our own selves in bondage once more, but so we could live in true freedom.

Stop saying things are OK - and start making them so! 


  1. Thank you for bringing light to this darkness. I had no idea this was happening. Its awful. Unfortunately, it seems the good are punished and the evil are praised. Its dark and wrong. I pray that it ends. God will see that it fits His will, that we learn something from this. He has a plan. I pray that this man finds peace in such a dark void. <3

    1. I pray this ends too - that's why I write about it. Hopefully enough people like you will start seeing the injustice and rise up against it 🤗

  2. This post is so true. It reminds me that this world isn't our home. Thank you.

    1. So true - this world not being our home is the comforting thought 🤗

  3. profound and sad and disturbing...we ALL need to open our eyes and get with the program (and I don't mean GOVERNMENT program). This was an excellent piece, Keturah. Thank-you

    1. Yes - people need to open their eyes to reality and start acting. And thank you 🤗

  4. This is just WOW. You need to keep speaking girl, you have a powerful voice and what you just revealed is truly atrocious. I just can't believe everything that's going on in the world right now it's insane, we need to take things more seriously and PRAY like warriors...all this human injustice, earthquake in Mexico, harvey,'s non ending. But God is there and there is hope and light.

    Anyway thank you for sharing Keturah! <3

    1. Ah, thank you so much! Your comment really made my day - thanks :)

      All these things happening everywhere. And then constantly witnessing people's selfishness- it's really getting depression. Like "what's going on???"

      But as you said, God is still here. We just need to press into him and let our greed die.

  5. Thank you for sharing this, Keturah. You are a blessing to Greg. We will try to reach out to him more often to let him know that we have not forgotten him and we will be working to get him free as soon as possible. We have a mighty battle ahead of us and everything has to happen in a certain order. Our hearts break for Greg. He has and still is suffering because he came to the aid of his fellow man and to stand for everyone's constitutional rights. God bless him, you, and your family. You all are a blessing to us and to so many others.

    1. Thank you - each person doing their part is essential for change :)

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Living Like The Amish: Interviews With Three "English" Families PART I

Many people are obsessed with the Amish. I know at one time I was as well, and to a degree I still am. But my perception  has changed with experience. It started a long time ago when my family went to an Amish-held auction (no, it's not a place where you can buy Amish children, but a place where you can buy things from the Amish). I was eleven years old and enthralled to be surrounded by so many Amish. I loved the cockscomb flowers they sold everywhere. I bought a whole box for $2 and dried them for seeds so I could plant my own. But then I experienced my first reality shock concerning the Amish. I had assumed since they lived a simpler life everything about them was completely old-fashioned and natural. Imagine my horror when I saw Amish walking around with soda cans and store-bought ice cream. " Mom ," I said. "He's drinking soda!"  Left to right, back row: Jonny, Jonathan (Dad). Front row: Jacob, Keturah, Rebekah (Mom), Jonah (on Mom's

How Bad Can I Be?: Lyrics That Make You Go "Wow!"

How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just doin' what comes naturally How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just following my destiny How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just doin' what comes naturally How ba-a-a-ad can I be? How bad can I possibly be? Well, there's a principal of nature (principal of nature) That almost every creature knows Called survival of the fittest (survival of the fittest) And check it this is how it goes The animal that is has got to scratch and bite and claw and bite and punch And the animal that doesn't (well the animal that doesn't) winds up Someone else's lu-lu-lu-lu-unch! (I'm just saying') How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just doin' what comes naturally How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just following my destiny How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just doin' what comes naturally How ba-a-a-ad can I be? How bad can I possibly be? Well, there's a principal of business (principal of b

Peace During Patience

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” - Philippians 4:6 My family and I were sitting around the breakfast table several months ago. Mom had just read this verse. One of the kids laughed incredulously, “What is it saying? Be careful for nothing – live recklessly?” “No,” I answered quickly. My tone was very matter-of-fact, blunt, as if I were all-knowing. “It means do not worry.” The kids all nodded among themselves and life continued on for them. But for me life paused at my words. I had heard this verse soooooooo many times. I had always known what it meant. But now? Now it really meant something . “Do not worry.” This path I've chosen. I can not see it. I can not feel it. I do not know where I am. I have chosen to follow God, and no other. But why did He hide the light from my eyes? I must take a step forward. But I do not want to. How long w