Prisons Without Walls: We're All Inmates In The American Police State

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free—to be under no physical constraint and yet be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national state, or of some private interest within the nation wants him to think, feel and act. . . . To him the walls of his prison are invisible and he believes himself to be free.”—Aldous Huxley, A Brave New World Revisited

Free worlders” is prison slang for those who are not incarcerated behind prison walls.  Supposedly, those fortunate souls live in the “free world.” However, appearances can be deceiving.

“As I got closer to retiring from the Federal Bureau of Prisons,” writes former prison employee Marlon Brock, “it began to dawn on me that the security practices we used in the prison system were being implemented outside those walls.” In fact, if Brock is right, then we “free worlders” do live in a prison—albeit, one without visible walls.

In federal prisons, cameras are everywhere in order to maintain “security” and keep track of the prisoners. Likewise, the “free world” is populated with video surveillance and tracking devices. From surveillance cameras in stores and street corners to license plate readers (with the ability to log some 1,800 license plates per hour) on police cars, our movements are being tracked virtually everywhere. With this increasing use of iris scanners and facial recognition software—which drones are equipped with—there would seem to be nowhere to hide.

Detection and confiscation of weapons (or whatever the warden deems “dangerous”) in prison is routine. The inmates must be disarmed. Pat downs, checkpoints, and random searches are second nature in ferreting out contraband.

Sound familiar?

Metal detectors are now in virtually all government buildings. There are the TSA scanning devices and metal detectors we all have to go through in airports. Police road blocks and checkpoints are used to perform warrantless searches for contraband. Those searched at road blocks can be searched for contraband regardless of their objections—just like in prison. And there are federal road blocks on American roads in the southwestern United States. Many of them are permanent and located up to 100 miles from the border.

Stop and frisk searches are taking place daily across the country. Some of them even involve anal and/or vaginal searches. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has approved strip searches even if you are arrested for a misdemeanor—such as a traffic stop. Just like a prison inmate.

Prison officials open, search and read every piece of mail sent to inmates. This is true of those who reside outside prison walls, as well. In fact, “the United States Postal Service uses a ‘Mail Isolation Control and Tracking Program’ to create a permanent record of who is corresponding with each other via snail mail.” Believe it or not, each piece of physical mail received by the Postal Service is photographed and stored in a database. Approximately 160 billion pieces of mail sent out by average Americans are recorded each year and the police and other government agents have access to this information.

Prison officials also monitor outgoing phone calls made by inmates. This is similar to what the NSA, the telecommunication corporation, and various government agencies do continually to American citizens. The NSA also downloads our text messages, emails, Facebook posts, and so on while watching everything we do.

Then there are the crowd control tactics: helmets, face shields, batons, knee guards, tear gas, wedge formations, half steps, full steps, pinning tactics, armored vehicles, and assault weapons. Most of these phrases are associated with prison crowd control because they were perfected by prisons.

Finally, when a prison has its daily operations disturbed, often times it results in a lockdown. What we saw with the “free world” lockdowns following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the melees in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland, mirror a federal prison lockdown.

These are just some of the similarities between the worlds inhabited by locked-up inmates and those of us who roam about in the so-called “free world.”

Is there any real difference?

To those of us who see the prison that’s being erected around us, it’s a bit easier to realize what’s coming up ahead, and it’s not pretty. However, and this must be emphasized, what most Americans perceive as life in the United States of America is a far cry from reality. Real agendas and real power are always hidden.

As Author Frantz Fanon notes, “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”

This state of denial and rejection of reality is the essential plot of John Carpenter’s 1988 film They Live, where a group of down-and-out homeless men discover that people have been, in effect, so hypnotized by media distractions that they do not see their prison environment and the real nature of those who control them—that is, an oligarchic elite.

Caught up in subliminal messages such as “obey” and “conform,” among others, beamed out of television and various electronic devices, billboards, and the like, people are unaware of the elite controlling their lives. As such, they exist, as media analyst Marshall McLuhan once wrote, in “prisons without walls.” And of course, any resistance is met with police aggression.

A key moment in the film occurs when John Nada, a homeless drifter, notices something strange about people hanging about a church near the homeless settlement where he lives. Nada decides to investigate. Entering the church, he sees graffiti on a door: They live, We sleep. Nada overhears two men, obviously resisters, talking about “robbing banks” and “manufacturing Hoffman lenses until we’re blue in the face.” Moments later, one of the resisters catches Nada fumbling in the church and tells him “it’s the revolution.” When Nada nervously backs off, the resister assures him, “You’ll be back.”

Rummaging through a box, Nada discovers a handful of cheap-looking sunglasses, referred to earlier as Hoffman lenses. Grabbing a pair and exiting the church, he starts walking down a busy urban street.

Sliding the sunglasses on his face, Nada is shocked to see a society bombarded and controlled on every side by subliminal messages beamed at them from every direction. Billboards are transformed into authoritative messages: a bikini-clad woman in one ad is replaced with the words “MARRY AND REPRODUCE.” Magazine racks scream “CONSUME” and “OBEY.” A wad of dollar bills in a vendor’s hand proclaims, “THIS IS YOUR GOD.”

What’s even more disturbing than the hidden messages, however, are the ghoulish-looking creatures—the elite—who appear human until viewed them through the lens of truth.

This is the subtle message of They Live, an apt analogy of our own distorted vision of life in the American police state. These things are in plain sight, but from the time we are born until the time we die, we are indoctrinated into believing that those who rule us do it for our good. The truth, far different, is that those who rule us don’t really see us as human beings with dignity and worth. They see us as if “we’re livestock.”

It’s only once Nada’s eyes have been opened that he is able to see the truth: “Maybe they’ve always been with us,” he says. “Maybe they love it—seeing us hate each other, watching us kill each other, feeding on our own cold f**in’ hearts.” Nada, disillusioned and fed up with the lies and distortions, is finally ready to fight back. “I got news for them. Gonna be hell to pay. Cause I ain’t daddy’s little boy no more.”

What about you?

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the warning signs have been cautioning us for decades. Oblivious to what lies ahead, most have ignored the obvious. We’ve been manipulated into believing that if we continue to consume, obey, and have faith, things will work out. But that’s never been true of emerging regimes. And by the time we feel the hammer coming down upon us, it will be too late.

As Rod Serling warned:

All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwalds, the Auschwitzes—all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the earth into a graveyard, into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance. Then we become the grave diggers.

The message: stay alert.

Take the warning signs seriously. And take action because the paths to destruction are well disguised by those in control.

This is the lesson of history.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Uncle Sugar's picture

I was looking forward to the Reset, but I think TPTB will go cashless, SDR or eDollar route and I will be in the ground before it comes.  Prison is better than a Fema Camp.


God Bless Texas

TeamDepends's picture

Let 'em!!! They are in panic mode right now. If they go cashless it will prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that fiat is worthless/doesn't exist. The black market will flourish and people will learn to barter again. It's over, Jamie and Lloyd!

0b1knob's picture

Sublimnal messages in 1960s national anthem public service announcements?


MonetaryApostate's picture

I think the TSA treats people worse than prisoners, imho....

You get shaked down at every departure, they continually steal anything left behind, and these airlines are run by the most corrupt people in the world....

Amish FinEng's picture

The Amish people are free people. No cameras, no cellphones, no Internets, no crude oil dependency, no fluoride, no banks, NO JEWS.

Well fed/nourished, living purposeful lives close to the earth with high quality relationships.

gwar5's picture

Sometimes I think the oligarchs and central planners read Huxley, Orwell and Rand so they can get ideas from them. 

One And Only's picture

I've thought the same thing. I read Atlas Shrugged for the second time recently (it's been 10 years since the last time I read it) and I was like...holy shit, this is actually happening. It was a startling realization that the words I was reading were no longer fictional...they were real.

Motasaurus's picture

Why would they not? Huxley, Orwell and Rand were all parts of think tanks contracted by the oligarchs. 

Hitler published Mein Kampf, only to be given the opportunity by the oligarchs to carry it out. Why should BNW, 1984, Animal Farm or whatever nonsense Rand wrote not be treated the same? 

Ignatius's picture

The 9/11-anthrax fraud is the key event for Americans.  If Whitehead is just gonna detail the post 9/11 crimes and stir up the fear for profit, and not unveil the provable fraud behind it, then he's just wankin' it.

Ignatius's picture

An explosion(s) has been hypothesized though I've not studied WTC 6 in detail.  What's notable is that it was more directly under the towers and took heavy debri hits yet it didn't totally collapse like WTC 7 supposedly did.

Usurious's picture
Usurious (not verified) Jun 16, 2015 8:44 PM

more british/american empire malfeasance......Diego expires in 2016

'First, they tried to shoot the dogs. Next, they tried to poison them with strychnine. When both failed as efficient killing methods, British government agents and U.S. Navy personnel used raw meat to lure the pets into a sealed shed. Locking them inside, they gassed the howling animals with exhaust piped in from U.S. military vehicles. Then, setting coconut husks ablaze, they burned the dogs’ carcasses as their owners were left to watch and ponder their own fate.'

nmewn's picture

Its awful, just awful...

...for the useful idiots, check the dateline.

suteibu's picture

Somebody is getting the pizza kickback.

Surveyor4Pres's picture

Excellent article.  Well done.

The Federalizing of all water in the USA by the EPA

should have been a wake up call to every American.

And by wake up call, I'm talking armed marches in the streets, demanding the resignation of ALL the traitors in

every Federal agency, including those in the White House.

22winmag's picture

Millions of heavily-armed Americans remain on standby. Have you observed your local shooting range lately? Thousands upon thousands of Americans practicing combat shooting and sniper shooting skills on their own dime. Don't fuck with the people. Armed Americans possess the power to crush any paid fighting force, foreign or domestic, period end of story.


When the spice stops flowing and shit breaks down, a new power will emerge overnight. The largest army on Earth (armed Americans) will rule the roost with rifles and vigilance, as good men must outnumber bad men in a restored Republic.

Motasaurus's picture

So long as your "good men" sit around letting unarmed, uneducated, hopeless and destitute black teenagers fight your battles for you they cease to be either "good" or "men".  

beaglebog's picture




All the guns in the world ... and not an ounce of "will-to-fight".


"They" don't actually need to disarm you.


That's how it looks, to me.


If just one man in 10,000 had the will to resist, then there would be dead cops everywhere.



Cabreado's picture

These are just some of the similarities between the worlds inhabited by locked-up inmates and those of us who roam about in the so-called “free world.” "Is there any real difference?"

Of course there's a difference.

This is the lesson of history.

No, the lesson of history is that a critical mass cannot discern the actual threat; and relegates itself into near melodrama leaving the real threat to thrive.

No credit for piling on, and missing the boat, and being a part of that critical mass.

rejected's picture

'They Live' had one of the best fight scenes I ever saw. And the music was great.

The message Carpenter put out is even more applicable today.

We have been warned so many times, yet we still choose to ignore.

Crawdaddy's picture

I am a big fan too but once I noticed the stupid music background loop its all I notice anymore

Makes it hard to watch. They Live, The Thing, Escape from xx, BTILC. Love the shows but now I have a hard time not noticing the repetition

SixIsNinE's picture

yes , and to point out the obvious for those who haven't had the Experience, the Hoffman lenses referred to in the movie is but a thinly veiled reference to the insights appreciated during the LSD experience, which was discovered by the dignified Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann. 

Following the JFK assassination coverup, the authorities had to make LSD illegal AND stage numerous false flags (MANSON ) (Chicago '68 convention) & killings & killings, otherwise the momentum of the people would have toppled the coup planners & executors quite easily.  T

Grok for a moment the behind the scenes panic & paranoia that they, the JFK plotters & Vietnam planners must have been feeling, they would be exposed for it all.... no, whatever it took, they would do it to prevent that......sickening.   


Goldilocks's picture

"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." - John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

Lostinfortwalton's picture

He did say a lot in only 1,000 days. America died on November 22, 1963.

shaxov's picture

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

Money Boo Boo's picture

he described the USSA



Northern Lights's picture

I was talking to my dad over the weekend.  He's 73.  He was reading a couple of newspapers on Sunday and looked at me and just shook his head saying "You know, I used to stick up for American's, but after all the crap that's been going on over the past 15 year's in that country, I just can't justify it anymore". 

bunnyswanson's picture

Oh A Canadian who thinks Americans should be abandoned. Ca na dah - the cuntry where boycotting a rogue military state covered in blood and baby tears is against the law. 

Oh yes, Canadians ... selling off resources in the name (scam) of GLOBALIZATION, bringing in the Chinese who know ~how to work~ unlike Canadians (word has it).  Ca na dah where a nondescript bungalow is a million dollars in the middle of nowhere.

The men who tried to stop this met an early grave.  The people doing this are Master Thieves and Canada has the door wide-fucking-open to them.  I suppose your dad voted for Harper.

FrankDrakman's picture

No idea where you're from, dipshit, but please stay there. 

22winmag's picture

The largest army on Earth (by far) has not really weighed in on this topic. This wannabe police state charade wouldn't last two goddamn minutes in a combat environment. Millions of heavily-armed pissed-off Americans have it within them to bring the entire country and indeed the world to a grinding halt.


Have you observed your local shooting range lately? Thousands upon thousands of Americans practicing combat shooting and sniper shooting skills on their own dime. Don't fuck with the people. Armed Americans possess the power to crush any paid fighting force, foreign or domestic, period end of story.


When the spice stops flowing and shit breaks down, a new power will emerge overnight. The largest army on Earth will rule the roost with rifles and vigilance, as good men must outnumber bad men in a restored Republic.

basho's picture

it's not an army by any definition of the word.

it's a mass of scared shitless rambos that will never pull it together as a fighting force.

your organizations are infiltrated with informers

because there is no trust, no cohesive society.

you have no leaders.

you can't even agree on a cause.

your masters know this.

think about it.


DLux's picture

Don't be so sure about that. There are countless ex (and current) police and military who still love this country. They have leadership and tactical skills (much more so than homeland security and government agencies).

The western and southern states will be impossible to occupy if the PTB decide on a martial law lockdown scenario.

kchrisc's picture

"Prisons Without Walls: We're All Inmates In The American Police State"

America is the country of people and the land they inhabit. The US is the criminal nation that is criminally occupying and oppressing the American country and people.

Not an "American Police State," but the tyranny of the criminal occupiers of the American country, the DC US and their Zionist masters

My lawyers at AK, AR, and Glock told me this evening that I am indeed not an "inmate."

Liberty is a demand. Tyranny is submission.


"Prisons Without Walls: We're All Inmates In The DC US and Zionist Police State Only If We Choose to Be"

YHC-FTSE's picture

Considering the fact as a foreigner to the USA, all my communications are "legally" (according to US laws) being monitored by the NSA, that anyone in the world can be ripped asunder by American predator drones on the president's whims, that even though I live in the UK I am apparently under the jurisdiction of the self-appointed police (prison warden) of the entire world, I only wish the American government restricted its tyranny to its own fucking country.

DLux's picture

Yes, all nations get a turn at being an evil monster.

The US is using the UK's plan for world dominance. For centuries, the UK wrote the book on modern imperialism and genocide. Much like the UK, the US will reap what it has sown.

PS: Don't be so naive to think that MI6 has not been collecting data on it's citizens for years.

jack stephan's picture

All current leaders can drink my special brand of vitamin enriched piss, and wipe my spready sperm on your pancakes with ms butterworths.  Ill also as an added bonus stir your wifes drink with my dick.

You will always be as ridiculous and have absolutely no teeth, just like this exponentialy stupid video for lobotomy patients, ill never listen.


Wannabe_Oracle's picture

This article has so little 'reads' because of one thing - the author does not believe in God!!!

slimycorporatedickhead's picture

maybe he does.. maybe he doesn't... maybe I dont give a fuck?

basho's picture

your "God" is part of the problem, wannabe whatever. lol

GRDguy's picture

Huxley's Ultimate Revolution speech was financed by the Ford Foundation. Imagine then what is happening at the Clinton, Gates and Buffett foundations. Evil pretending to be beneficial, but to whom.

q99x2's picture

Nope I'm not in a police state. I'm in Pittsburgh. Various terms are used to describe Pittsburgh but it depends mostly on galactic vortices as to what is in vogue and considered hip.

onmail's picture

The world has come a full circle.

Earlier it was Stalin regime 

Now its America 

Thanks to Al-Queda for 9/11

America is now a nation of morons 

(btw Al-queda was a creation of Satan America)

bunnyswanson's picture

Alqueda has demolition experts, eh.  Didn't know.  Did you know before Larry Silverthief bought the WTC lease, he owned a strip bar on the sleazy side of town? 

Oh regional Indian's picture

From the knife post...exact same story....The totalitarian tip-toe!

The Absolute waltz (danced to Waaaagner of course)....

It's for the children.

Ward's of the state...

Water's getting hot people. I keep getting asked to come to the USSA (for work/family etc.) and I feel trapped.

Inside are all these great people I want to meet again, things I want to do, places I want to see (I missed the grand canyon)....

But those people at the border and a rebel like me! Trouble.....

Song: Zero One:

WillyGroper's picture

Water's getting hot people. I keep getting asked to come to the USSA (for work/family etc.) and I feel trapped.


We're all trapped on the global plantation.

DLux's picture

It's not just the US, globalization has caused a race to the bottom and global corporate governance everywhere. 

wildbad's picture

america is cooked.  there will be ANOTHER government, treasonous false flag soon to screw the fake "security lid" down even tighter.  at some point people will be doing fergussons all over the place and the militarized police will start defecting.  some will stay on and shoot their neighbors and then there will be nowhere for them to run.

all of the remaining trust in government will be lost and desperate people will be busy surviving instead of planning and working toward a better world because they woke up too late to this warming water.

prepare now. it will get much worse before these criminal psychopaths are done fulfilling their dark designs

basho's picture

what is this post is supposed to tell me.

did the writer just discover what is going on and is trying to sell us a book with his views?

the message is 'stay alert' -- what are you a clown?

it's been down hill for decades and all you've got to say is 'stay alert'. what a joke.

you, the collective you, have put yourself into slavery.

massive credit card debt, overblown loans, can't cook your own meals, no industry to speak of, poisoned your environment, constant wars.

"War on the american people"  The title of this book could be the history of the native americans you so nicely genocided some decades ago.

what comes around, goes around.

stay alert you say. i say wake up bumpkin.

tick tock


Freewheelin Franklin's picture

I've been in prison, and I can tell you, without a doubt, the only difference between being in prison and being on the outside is the nuber of rules that you are FORCED to follow.