Steve and I were traveling through South Dakota late at night, driving a "Rolls Canhardly." It rolled down one hill and could hardly get up the next one. We were rolling down one hill in excess of the posted speed limit and the sheriff's deputy pulled us over. I offered him my Kingdom of Heaven license.
He was quite taken with it and asked a lot of questions.
"How many of these are there out there?"
"Oh, there are many, many of them," I said.
"And are these licenses valid in the State of Oregon?"
"Yes, they are." I know now that is the wrong answer. They are only valid in the Kingdom of Heaven. Anyway, the officer turned us loose after less than 15 minutes.
We went five miles across the county line and we were again pulled over. This time Steve was driving and a State patrolman stopped us. I believe the sheriff's department was there again. I was amazed when I found out later that we were not in the same county and it was not the same sheriff.
They hauled us both to jail. They put me in a cold cell, oh was it cold. They put Steve in a hot cell. He cannot stand the heat.
I would not answer any of their questions so they just threw me in a cell by myself. Steve was thrown in a general population cell.
The next morning about 7:30 a.m., they woke me up to ask what size shoes I wore. I just ignored them and rolled over and went back to sleep. About 10 or 15 minutes later, another guy came in and said, "What size shoes do you wear? We have to take you to court."
"Before I can answer your question, I have to ask you a question, Are you a brother in Christ?"
The guard said nothing and turned around and walked off. Pretty soon another guard came in with a wheelchair, chains, shackles, and handcuffs - the whole shooting match. They were determined to take me to court.
"I understand you are refusing to go to court."
"Before I can answer your question, I have a question to ask you, Are you a brother in Christ?"
The guard said, "Yes, I am."
"Well, what is the wheelchair for?"
"We are going to haul you to court since you are refusing to go voluntarily."
"I have not refused to go to court."
"Does that means you will walk to court?"
"If I have to go to court, that is probably the best way for me to go."
They did let me walk. But first they threaded a chain like a belt through my waist and shackled my hands and feet. The chain was loose enough around my feet for me to take steps, but I certainly could not run. I asked, "Is this the way you take everybody to court?"
"Yes it is."
I knew they were lying, because they take everybody to court chained together on a long chain. But I let it ride. And they asked other questions and threatened, "If you don't answer the questions, you can't go upstairs."
"Well, why would I want to go upstairs? What is going on upstairs? I don't want to go upstairs, I don't belong upstairs. I belong outside this jail. I belong out the door."
I had done nothing wrong. I wasn't even the one driving. They had treated me separately from everyone else because I would not answer their questions.
I asked them what they were going to charge me with. They said, "Giving false information to an officer."
"How did you determine that I was giving false information?"
"We called the State of Oregon and they said everybody that belongs to the Embassy of Heaven changes their name when they get a license."
I do not know what brought it up, but then they asked, "Are you going to get violent?"
"Have I been violent to this point? Have you heard me raise my voice? Have you heard me do anything that would cause you to think that I would be violent?"
Then I looked over as they brought in some women and put them in the chain gang and took them off to court. I was the last one to go to court.
When I arrived in the courtroom, all the prisoners were sitting in their chairs, handcuffed. I am standing, bound up and chained. I look at the guard and say, "I thought you told me you were a brother in Christ?"
He looked at me and started to turn red. "You lied to me," I said. "You lied to me."
The courtroom is packed and everybody can hear me. I keep talking in a normal voice and repeated, "You lied to me. You told me everybody comes into the courtroom bound with shackles like I am. It is obvious the other prisoners are not chained this way. And I don't even know what I am being charged with."
By now, the whole courtroom is listening to me. The guard goes over to the prosecuting attorney. When he comes back I am taken out of the courtroom and thrown back in a jail cell. "Are you going to give me a pillow and blanket?" I asked.
"Yes, I will give you a pillow and blanket." I had not had a pillow and blanket all night and was still cold.
But the officer told another lie. Fifteen minutes later he came back to the cell without a pillow and blanket. "You lied to me again. You said you were going to bring me a blanket and pillow."
"You're getting out of here," he said.
Then they turned me loose. They just got rid of me. I was never fingerprinted. I never signed anything.
Steve went to court and it took him a while longer to be released. It cost us $125 to bail out our rig. They would not let us drive the car out of the tow yard because they claimed we were not properly licensed. We finally found a kind Indian who helped us retrieve the Heaven vehicle and we were on our way.
The next time you have trouble with the tow yard not allowing you to drive the car away, just ask them to put the vehicle on the street. Then the tow yard will not witness who drives the car away. P.R. +++