Tucker Max: Hell On Earth
“Early in my beginning of doing time I witnessed a man being beaten because someone scuffed the guy’s shoes by not watching where he was going. Then I saw a man get his throat cut because he stepped in front of another man; in here that is very disrespectful unless one says “Excuse me.”Tad, One Of The Featured Prisoners In Saint Badass
“When should I concede that they are going to take my eyesight by not providing me with the prescribed medications? I have almost decided that at my next post-op visit I will tell ole Dr. Stater or Dr. Morshedi (my ophthalmologist) to just pluck my eyes out and send them to CCS [Correct Care Solutions] on a silver platter. “Steven, One Of The Featured Prisoners In Saint Badass
“There are guys who have more than a thousand days in the hole. Curtis Pittman has been “in” the Hole since 2000 and still has five years to go in there. He is very seriously mentally ill but he could have gone home in 2010. (Mentally ill prisoners usually get sent to the hole for acts caused by their mental illness. Some of them spend much of their waking hours screaming.)”Roy, One Of The Featured Prisoners In Saint Badass
How It Started
At first, Roy Tester was writing one of Doug Carnine’s daughters Then Roy asked her if she knew anyone he could ask about meditation. She referred him to Doug which led to a blossoming friendship that began in 2009 and is continuing today.
As Doug and Roy hit it off, Doug sent numerous support materials on mindfulness and meditation that created a flood of materials within Arkansas based Tucker Maximum Security. The inspiration of witnessing Roy’s personal transcendent qualities led three other prisoners to seek guidance and pen-pal connection with Doug.
One of the prisoners featured in Saint Badass is a talented artist. Due to limited supplies, he initially made art on envelopes and mailed out one piece at a time to Doug. Initially his limited access to supplies necessitated using M&M and Skittles candy for color.
Roy’s Transformation With Doug’s Support
Roy was curious about mindfulness and meditation practices and was told that Doug had been practicing for nearly four decades. Their mutual friendship over a shared affinity for mindfulness and kindness has grown over six years of correspondence.
“Much as I used to hate child molesters [chomos], one time the folks [guards] put one in with us. When I realized what was up, everything went deathly quiet. Psycho Mike and Hatchet Jack were getting their shanks off the top of the ductwork in the bathroom and I knew they were fixing to pop more holes than a sieve in this little geeky nerd-looking dude and slice him up, so I got off my bed, and went straight at the dude. When I got in his face I said, “You sick chomomaggot piece of shit I’m gonna kill your m-f-ing ass,” and slapped him, but cupped my hand right before it connected so it would pop loud and sound like I really hit him harder than what I did and said under my breath, “Run for the door or they’re gonna kill you!” And he did just that. I acted like I tripped and couldn’t grab him fast enough.
“Run for the door or they’re gonna kill you!”
They locked me up for assault but I didn’t care because those two killers would have killed him. As much as I hated child molesters, I still didn’t want him to die. I even looked proper in the other inmates’ eyes because I attacked a chomo. The dude’s mom wrote to me and said her son told her what I did. I thought she was going to cuss me out for slapping her son, but she said, “My son said you saved his life.” And he explained how I did it. She sent me $50 and a box full of novels. Ain’t that something? The dude went to Protective Custody. I didn’t want to harm the dude, but that was the only option I could see.”
“We bought a used pair of shoes for $7 and after I cleaned them up and traded a dollar for a pair of insoles for them, we gave them to ol man Cornbread. Old man, about 65, been here 29 years, has no one, no family that cares enough to send a mere post card. He loves to walk. The shoes the state furnishes—canvas slip-ons (cheap China made) wear out QUICK and if you walk as much as Ol Cornbread they are trash even quicker. To get another pair is such a hassle but anyway, when we gave the sneakers to Ol Cornbread I thought he was gonna cry. He put em on right then and was like he was walking on air. BIG SMILE all over his face, bouncing with every step—he doesn’t talk much, just walks around. To see him zooming around during our floor time is kool—once a week we get an hour and ½ of outside yard time and his first yard time with his “new” sneakers was very kool. He was ZOOMING and smiling.”
Story Outline & Key Characters
How the structure of the story flows and what order of details follows.
PART 1: The Beginning Of Letting Go And Kindness Partnership
The initial letters exchanged, Roy’s background, and reflections about practicing mindfulness, meditation & kindness as a spiritual practice.
PART 2: Roy Expands The Kindness Partnership
Introductions to other inspired prisoners’ John Bruno, Tad (Roger Price), and Cody Griffin.
PART 3: Roy On The Brink Of Destruction
Roy struggles with chronic pain, and endures ridicule and betrayal.
PART 4: Back On The Path Of Trancendence
Individual stories from each prisoner regarding their personal development and deepening commitment.
PART 5: What I Did And What I Learned
The kindness partnership with John, Tad and Cody continue to grow while Roy’s journey transitions inward in the face of devastating pain and other health issues.
“This kindness has many origins only some of which are Buddhist. It just happens that Buddhism is serving as the organizing force for our partnership to be mindful and spread kindness. There are many other pathways for expanding kindness.”Doug Carnine, Author of Saint Badass
An Awe Invoking Story
Insider's View Of Prison Life
Roy's Background & Exploration Of Kindness Through Buddhism
Inspired Prisoners Join Roy's Cause & Their Stories
Random Acts Of Kindness & Spiritual Journey Reflections
A Story of Transcendence YOu Can't Unsee
Ways To Hear The Story
Audiobook coming soon!
Est. Average Price: TBD
Now available through Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.
The paperback is now available through Amazon. You can also request your local bookstore or library order it from IngramSpark.