By Dr Kacie Crisp
“It never turns out to look like you think it’s going to look,” Dr. Dain Heer frequently reminds his clients and colleagues who are asking for something they think they would like.
I recently found this to be so true, in a surprise way I had not expected.
The 18-month adventure started when Simone Milasas, worldwide coordinator of Access Consciousness®, asked me to make contact with a woman who had recently been sentenced to 18 months in prison at the Federal Detention Center in Seattle, WA.
Australians Wendy Mulder and Marg Braunack had recently pioneered “Bars behind bars,” teaching Access Bars® classes to inmates at a prison in Brisbane, Australia. We thought this might be another opportunity to spread the tools of Access Consciousness® to a population that might not find out about them otherwise and who might be able to benefit greatly.
The first hint that this expedition might not be totally ease joy and glory came with my first encounters with the prison bureaucracy. I had to get my email approved to be able to email our friend. Every time I received or sent an email, I had to deal with those annoying pictures to determine I was not a spambot trying to break into jail. Messages could only have so many characters, so many words, and no attachments were allowed. So much for sending her the Bars manual she requested.
Braving this bureaucracy, I continued in my quest by also applying as an approved visitor—the first step in being able to offer the Access Bars® class I fantasized about. Little did I know quite how fantastical it was at this point.
Our friend let me know that her daughter got approved in under a week, so I proceeded to book a visit to Seattle in conjunction with a 3-Day Body Class I was facilitating in Portland. I booked a return flight from Seattle, a mere three hour drive from Portland, but the drop off fee was so high for the rental car that I ended up booking a last minute flight from Portland to Seattle. On arriving in Seattle, it was quite easy to find the detention center. You can actually watch the planes descending to land at SeaTac, Seattle’s international airport.
A day in Seattle, and the sun was shining. I decided to check in with the prison to be sure I’d been approved so I could plan the rest of my day around the 2:00 visiting hours. Bad luck. I was not approved, and there was nothing I could do about it. I went to Pike St. Market and an antique store that I like in the neighborhood.
Our friend and I continued our correspondence, interrupted only when she got sent to some kind of lockdown. Her sin? While she was talking to one approved phone caller, another called in. She said hello, thus breaking the prison’s rule against talking to two people at once. She got sent to a more restrictive facility, losing 17 days of “credit” for her sentence as well as all email and mail privileges.
Our friend was interested in Access Consciousness® and requested some books on the subject. She told me she’d asked for some from the Access shop but they hadn’t arrived. On checking, I found out that everything Mary had sent from Access was returned. Prisoners are only allowed to receive books shipped directly from the retailer—i.e. amazon or Barnes and Noble.
This put us in the position of having to purchase our own books at retail in order to provide them to her in a way the prison allowed her to receive them. I sent the books a few at a time, as it seemed the number she was allowed to receive was limited.
She asked for more information on Access Bars®, so I sent her a Bars manual. Since she was only allowed to receive 12 pages of mail at one time, it had to be divided into pieces. She started running Bars on her roommate in the new more restricted facility when she was there “because it seemed she needed it.” This was a small miracle in itself, because she had never received Bars herself or taken a single Access class.
When I did speak with her by phone, she had some interesting questions that would have been answered had she done an Access Bars® class. How long should she hold each point? Can you run all the Bars at once?
Already experienced in some other energy healing modalities, she was able to take the Talk to the Animals book I sent her and try the body processes out on people in jail. There were a lot of physical ailments in prison, she noticed. “Sore ankles, sore knees, sore backs.” There was a 2-week waiting list to see a medical doctor in prison and she started to notice that by the time people she worked on got to see a doctor, their complaints had mysteriously disappeared.
Periodically I received updates in her flowery handwriting, giving me glimpses of prison life. Nothing I read improved my opinion of its complete lack of desirability as a destination. Every so often, I sent her more books, keeping track of what I’d already sent and hoping she’d donate the surplus ones to the prison library for other inmates to discover.
Time passed in the usual blur that it becomes when you’re immersed in Access, and she was nearing the end of her sentence without my having found a time to visit her. I could have visited her once she was deported back to her home in Vancouver, Canada, but I had set visiting her in prison as my goal (not my smartest move ever) so I picked about the only Monday that was available in my travel schedule to make my visit.
Visiting hours start at 2:30, she informed me, and suggested I come at 2:00 to handle the paperwork. I was first in line at the window where visitors check in at 2:00 that Monday.
Behind me were the regulars, most of them young women with young children, chatting and dressed to the 9s in skintight pants, glittery low cut tee shirts, and heels. The guard behind the glass, who was perhaps the most uncaring person I have ever encountered in my life, looked at me and said, “We have a dress code for prison visits.” I was wearing a long sleeveless dress and sandals, since it was close to 80 degrees in Seattle that day.
“I flew up here from San Francisco to visit her. I’m an approved visitor; she’s already gotten permission for a 4-hour visit. I don’t have any other clothes with me,” I protested. He couldn’t have cared less.
The prison was in one of those no-man’s lands that surround airports. Businesses along the main road were mostly car parking lots and rental car places. I’d looked earlier for a Starbucks and had to drive miles to find one. WHERE was I going to find clothes to satisfy the dress code in this neighborhood? Signs were posted warning motorists not to pick up hitchhikers or prostitutes. I remembered reading about this neighborhood in a true crime book I read on the Green River killer years ago.
So I drove and drove and drove. I saw a place selling medical equipment and stopped to ask if they sold scrubs, thinking they might be quick cheap and nasty clothing that would include slacks and sleeves. No luck. They pointed me towards a Walgreen’s drugstore further down the road. I drove some more. I scored a tee shirt for $3. They had a few pairs of boat shoes for $20—all men’s size large. They looked like boats on my feet. They were massive and caused blisters in walking from the parking lot to the prison, but they did meet the dress code. The clerk at Walgreen’s directed me to another store several more miles down the road where I found some sweats which were so big I could hardly keep them from falling off, but they worked.
By the time I got back to the prison, it was 3:00 and I had to stand in line again. An older Latino man was trying to visit his son, whose lawyer had informed him he was in this facility now without letting him know he had to be approved as a visitor. The man had visited in neighboring Tacoma, the older man argued. “That’s a different system from this one,” said the guard, sending the man away in befuddlement.
By the time this argument was over, it was 3:30. No more visitors until after count, no matter how long before “count” we had been standing there. Count was at 4, come back at 4:15 and we could visit. I returned to my Starbucks and used their Internet to send a message to my friend, who had been expecting me since 2:30.
On my first foray into the prison, I had bravely taken my laptop with me, hoping to take notes on my interview with the prisoner about how she had used Access Consciousness® in prison. I noticed that the regulars showed up with only their drivers’ license, cell phone, and car keys so I left my computer in the car on my second try.
By the time I returned for a third time, in all the coming and going, I had lost my drivers’ license. I had only been in the car and Starbucks. Where was it? It had completely molecularly demanifested, or so it seemed. What was I going to use as government issued ID to get into the prison? Fortunately I had my approved global entry card (that lets you bypass the immigration lines when coming into the country). The guard took that, and I was called into the space behind the door where there was a metal detector and x-ray. I had to take my clown shoes off and put them in the x-ray unit with the keys to the locker they supplied to stash my cell phone, car keys, and even sunglasses. Then I passed through the metal detector. There was something metal around my chest area the equally humane female guard told me. I was wearing my tee shirt, sloppy sweats, and underwear. The underwire in my bra was setting off the metal detector. My protests that I had passed the airport metal detector wearing the same underwear fell on deaf ears. “You should have come prepared to pass the metal detector,” the female guard told me.
I offered to take my bra off then and there, but this was not something my guard friends could receive. Apparently the dress code in the prison also excludes going bra-less.
They told me I could still visit the prisoner, but I would have to come back suitably dressed. The “regulars” told me that the solution was a sports bra. Who knew? By then, it was after 5:00. I had booked a 7:30 plane out of Seattle, so I had to be at the airport by 6:30 at the latest. Even if I had driven to where I could purchase a sports bra and waited in line again, it would have been close to 6:00. To be honest, I could not bear the thought of standing there in line again and subjecting myself to all that I’d already gone through, for the fourth time.
Ironically, the one note of humanity (other than the regular visitors) occurred just after this. As I was walking (barefoot because the clown shoes caused blisters on my heels) to my car through the prison parking lot, a guard came up and directed me to a nearby store in the direction opposite the one I’d driven. His caring and desire to make the visit work for me was astonishingly moving after the stonewalling that had greeted me at every juncture up till then. It was a shame to have flown to Seattle, to waste the day and the airfare and the car rental, but hardest thing of all for me was to be treated like I was a worthless piece of rubbish just for wanting to visit a prisoner. It wasn’t even the “no,” but the total lack of caring that accompanied it, that was so painful.
Of course I was asking questions, but I have to say, whatever was right about all of it that I wasn’t getting was far from immediately apparent to me.
As I was navigating the maze around SeaTac airport, I received a call on my cell phone from the prison. Between the traffic noise and the stress of navigating the airport, I didn’t push the right button on my cell phone to accept the call, so I hung up on the person I would most have liked to talk to at that moment. “Call back, call back,” I sent her telepathically, but she didn’t manage to that evening.
Fast forward to the weekend, another call from a federal detention facility. If I do not wish to receive it I can hang up. It’s her! We chatted for quite a while, and she told me some stories of what it’s been like to use the Access tools in prison.
“Lots of wonderful shifting” inside the prison has been occurring, she told me. She’s been reading Being You, Changing the World out loud to her book study group. She has run Bars on 30-40 people already and she sees prisoners “giggling and laughing because things are changing.” She couldn’t be more specific than that while speaking from the prison phone, but when she’s out in September she’s going to write a book.
“Access Bars® works well with a behavior modification method taught in prison,” she observed.
The tools of Access “definitely work,” she reports. She especially loves Gary and Dain’s most recent book, Ten Keys to Total Freedom. When she encounters an ELF in prison (ELF is the acronym for Evil Little F***), “and there’s a lot of them,” she says with a straight face, she just asks, ‘What contribution can this ELF be to me?’ and things start shifting and I feel different.”
In summarizing her 18 months in detention, she says, she “hasn’t had a bad day.”
Do you suppose getting Access Bars® and Access Consciousness® into prisons doesn’t look anything like I thought it would look?
Dr. Kacie Crisp is a Certified Access Consciousness® Facilitator and a 3 Day Body Class
Facilitator. To contact Kacie or find her upcoming classes please go to KacieCrisp.AccessConsciousness.com