Happy birthday; I hope the day is excellent. You deserve celebration and enjoyment above all else. You are an extraordinary human being.
You have helped a great number people. I do not just mean in terms of saving lives, adhering to principles, or undermining the dark side of the drug war. You certainly contributed in those ways, but there is another potentially unrecognized contribution you have made. You have had tremendous emotional influence. You helped people like me, people who have been jeopardized by similar situations, cope and deal with the suffocating experience of self-hatred.
Your story has inspired me to forgive myself, to grant myself permission to heal and come to terms with the past. You imbued me enough insight to spur self-reconciliation. Your actions that taught me how to mend.
Only a few years ago, I was apprehended by State goons on various charges. I was swept through the corrupt system and brought before a magistrate. I had to kneel before the alter of power and beg for mercy. I also had to confront family and friends. I had to demonstrate self-pity and harbor reverence toward the “law” and everyone. I wept on many occasions and believed I was going away for many years.
For a long time, after being relinquished of those charges, I continued to believe I had to feel repentance for my actions. I thought that I was a bad kid, like I was lower than shit. I thought I was nothing but vermin that needed to wallow in self-disgust. I believed I had to sell people the fraudulent story that I made a mistake and was sorry.
It was only through learning of your story and realizing what unfathomable hand you been dealt that I was able to redeem myself in my own eyes, and realize that I did not make any mistakes. It was through spending time reading about your case, speaking with your mother, and knowing what happened to you that made me a believer in my own truth. I realized that being called a criminal was a falsehood. It was only a narrative the State spoon fed everyone about “lawbreakers.” It was this breakthrough that reinvigorated me with self-esteem and self-love.
This is why I hope you can celebrate your birthday with pride. I believe you are innocent of any wrongdoing. I know you might have been made to feel responsible, evil, and vile. You may even have to live under that damning spell, while agents of the State chastise and humiliate you. But like you allowed me to believe, I also know that you are a brilliant and beautiful. I know that you are good, and regardless of the fact that you are sealed off from most of humanity, the contents of your soul are pure and unalterable. The bars and walls do not reflect your character.
Your mom spoke at length about this to me and to others, but I didn’t need to hear a word. Her eyes mirrored your soul and echoed your suffering. I knew that what you did was not intended to harm anyone.
I really hope that you can be well with this knowledge, and know that your actions have given other people epiphanies into their own situation and the nature of this hellish culture we live within. For this, you deserve recognition and praise well beyond what I can offer in this letter.
I don’t not necessarily believe in karma, but if a person has been able to touch so many lives as positively as you have, I would like to believe that you will be rewarded with eventual freedom rather than perpetual imprisonment. As I said before, I believe you will be released from your unrighteous confinement. But no matter what happens, just remember the profound ability to influence people’s emotions and how they feel about themselves.
In this regard, you have helped me help myself in ways that I cannot even fully appreciate yet or comprehend. And for that, I owe you a debt of gratitude.
In celebration of Ross Ulbricht’s birthday, March 27, the Bitcoin.com will be posting their personal letters showing their support for Ross. If you would like to help Ross, feel free to donate to his appeal fund at FreeRoss.org.
Featured image courtesy of Wired.