Preach the gospel, and if you must, use words. - St. Francis of Assisi
Clearly from My Heart The words of
THE SKULLZ PRESS 2014
First published in the United States of America in 2010 by The Skullz Press San Francisco, CA www.skullzpress.com Essay and photographs copyright 2010 Michael LeSage Printed in the USA as cheaply as possible per the authorâ€™s request. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior consent of the publisher. Designed by Eddie Worden, Phil Guy and Michael LeSage. Cover lettering by Mike Giant.
Timeline November 20, 1945 Born in Freeport, IL, son of Harry and Lillian Schrader. October 26, 1959 Maternal grandmother died of cancer. 1961 – 1996, 1969, 1971-1988 Worked part-time as a farm laborer on his family farm in Illinois. 1963 – 1970 Summer camp counselor in Illinois, Colorado and Arizona. 1964 Graduated valedictorian from Dakota High School. 1964-1966 Attended Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, VI as a Bible major. 1965-1966 Assistant Pastor of the Mount Olive Brethren Church in Pineville, Virginia. 1966-1968 Pastor at the West Sterling Mennonite Church in Sterling, IL. 1969-1970 Began Non-Military Community Service in Surprise, AZ as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. Also drove a kindergarten van and conducted boys’ clubs. Early 1970s Stopped eating most meat and junk food. 1970-1971 Moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to complete Non-Military Community Service. 1970 – 1974 Radio programmer for New Mexico Interchurch Agency. 1971 – 1988 Worked part-time transporting cattle and hogs for his parents’ livestock business. June 25 , 1976 Paternal grandparents, Lloyd and Anna Schrader were murdered in their Illinois home. December, 1976 First sexual encounter with another man. 1979 Stopped paying federal income tax in protest to American involvement in war. 1979 Sold only car he’s ever owned to a junkyard. Early 1980s Stopped eating most dairy. February 22, 1982 Mother and “all-time closest friend” died. June 14, 1982 Arrested during a protest of nuclear weapons in New York, NY. 1983 Arrested during a protest on behalf of the homeless at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC. 1984 Taken into custody at the Strategic Command Air Force Base in Omaha, NE. October 13, 1987 Arrested outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC during a protest of the criminalization of sex between men.
1988 Began working as an art model for the University of New Mexico and various other artists. April 5, 1988 Moved into 12x14’ apartment at 1810 Silver Street SE in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Last known residence. August 5, 1988 Began protesting nuclear weapons outside the 4 main gates of Kirtland Air Force Base and Sandia National Labratories. June 4, 1989 Don G., a man Schrader was in love with, died. 1990 Stopped paying medical insurance. August 28, 1990 Switches from a bank to a credit union. 1990s Commentaries featured on KUNM radio. July 19, 1991 Ended protesting outside Kirtland Air Force Base and Sandia National Laboratories (304 total protests). May 20, 1992 Weekly cable television show debuted. February, 1994 Father dies. 1994 -1997 Hosted naked conversations for men at his home (120+ meetings). 1998 – 2000 Worked as a presiding judge over many New Mexico elections. March 25, 1998 Began protesting on Central Avenue near campus of the University of New Mexico. August 28, 1998 Started washing all clothes by hand at home and hanging them up to dry. December 12, 1998 Stopped eating cooked food. November 10, 1999 Started drinking his own urine daily. January 1, 2000 Began writing down details of every penny spent. December 20, 2000 Allowed drivers license to expire and does not renew it. April 7, 2001 Last ride in a car. July 28, 2001 Removed refrigerator from his apartment. September 10, 2001 Ended protesting on Central Avenue (641 total protests). 2001 Stopped wearing glasses after 44+ years of using them. 2007 Stopped working as an art model. 2011 Currently living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Frugal Lifestyle Ethically Responsible I enjoy living simply and healthy at less than half the U.S. poverty level, for me as a single person. I lived WELL for all of 2007 on $3,542 for my total expenses – rent, food, etc. I have no right to more than I need while others in this world have less than they need. I would not trade my 12’ by 14’ apartment home for the world’s most luxurious mansion. My rent is $210 per month. I have owned no car since 1979. I have ridden in no car since April 7, 2001. I enjoy walking most places I go. Sometimes I ride the city bus. I am glad I have no refrigerator, no TV, no cell phone, no VCR, no DVD or CD player, no computer, no credit or debit cards, no business suit, no airplane travel, no microwave, no cooking stove… I have washed my clothes by hand since 1998 and I hang them up to dry. I receive $365 per month from retirement social security. I have never received food stamps. I enjoy having a food garden. I eat no meat, no dairy, no cooked food, no junk food. I eat only raw plant foods – seeds, greens, fruits, vegetables, grains. I exercise vigorously every morning at home. I have had no medical insurance since 1990. I have no doctor and no dentist. I sunbathe most days all year round. Now at 62 I am in better health than I was at 21. I consume no booze, no cigarettes, no prescription drugs, no illegal drugs, no coffee, no pop. I eat no meals in restaurants. I re-use envelopes. I send postcards for short messages. Instead of toilet paper, I use a wet cloth. It feels better and cleans better. I save, money, paper and trees. I buy used clothes etc. at yard sales, thrift stores, and the flea market. I buy nothing at McDonalds, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or large shopping malls. I write down every penny I spend every day. Most of the money most Americans spend goes for crap no one needs! Last winter was my third winter I did not turn on my apartment’s gas heater – not even the pilot light, although the fuel cost is included in my monthly rent. I am committed to saving energy and reducing catastrophic global climate change. My part is a drop in the world’s bucket, but I am responsible for my drop. The temperature inside was usually 50 to 60 degrees. I dressed warmly and slept under many blankets. I have never used a swamp cooler or air conditioner to cool my home since I moved in 20 years ago. I open the door and three windows at night for cross-ventilation. I use small fans. I live naked inside when I am warm enough. The U.S. is 5% of the world’s people but steals and hogs 25% of the worlds resources. I refuse to live that way! We can change our stupid, selfish, greedy addictions.
Donâ€™s Diet Ingredients: 4 tablespoons organic hard red winter wheat kernels 1 tablespoon organic sunflower seeds in the shell 1 tablespoon organic flaxseed 2-3 apricot kernels 1/6 teaspoon of dried puncture vine In winter: Add a fistful of dried lambsquarter In spring: Add a fistful of dried lambsquarter and alfalfa. Mix ingredients and add to one pint of purified water, then let it sit for 24-28 hours. Just before eating, blend at high speed for 2 and 3 minutes. Eat 5 to 10 pints daily with fresh fruit such as apricots, peaches, avocadoes, mangos, bananas, apples, oranges, melons, figs, mulberries, and papayas.
Cooling Off Most humans today are the only animals on Earth who feel ashamed of their naked bodies and feel compelled to cover their genitals. Why? Why be more ashamed of our genitals than of our noses? Why be more ashamed of our ass cheeks than of our face cheeks? I am a humble agnostic aiming to live the truth as best I see it. But I ask those who believe God created our bodies—how can any inch of our bodies be indecent or obscene? Most religious people suffer from severe body shame and clothes addiction. Most religious people act as if God created the head, arms and hands, but the devil slapped on the genitals and possibly even the torso and legs. Many native people worldwide for thousands of years had the good sense to take off most or all clothes in warm weather. Most U.S. jobs require covering most of the body even in summer—business suits, uniforms, etc. Most U.S. jobs enforce rigid conformity and reject body freedom, natural comfort and environmental sanity. Consider the horrendous consequences of wearing clothes not needed in warm weather—massive electricity squandered on indoor cooling resulting in more global climate change and more poisoned air from electric power plants, the vast farmlands and toxic pesticide used to grow more cotton, the petrochemicals for synthetic fabrics, grueling sweatshop labor, tons of deodorant, billions of dollars wasted, etc., etc. The U.S. uses more electricity for air cooling the India uses for all purposes! India has more than one billion people, more than three times the U.S. population. I strongly support equal rights for a woman to be top-free in public as I am—if she wants to be. I enjoy living as naked as the law and weather allow. I love living naked at home and mostly naked elsewhere when I am warm enough. I would never want to spend summers imprisoned in sweaty clothes covering most of my skin. Since I moved into my pleasant 12x14 apartment home here 19 years ago, I have never used a swap cooler or air conditioner.
Top 5 Things Don Would Like to be Remembered For:
War Tax Refusal Simple Living Natural Health Gay Liberation Naked Body Freedom
Crap No One Needs Marching for peace while paying for war is like praying for health while hogging out on junk food! Soldiers risk their bodies and their lives to wage war, but, sadly, most U.S. peace activists do not break their addiction of buying what no one needs in order to live simply below the federal income taxable level to stop paying for war! As long as you spend like crazy for crap no one needs, you will insist on having an income larger than the taxable level. Your buying addiction keeps you paying year from every paycheck for U.S. atrocities all over the world. Would you pay to have your pet cats and dogs tortured and bombed? Would you pay to cripple, make homeless and murder neighborhood children on your street? The children of Iraq, Lebanon and the West Bank are no less precious than the children on your street. Your federal income tax pays to burn babies, to paralyze parents, to blind grandparentsâ€Ś I refused to be a soldier in 1969 during the Vietnam War. For me, as a conscientious objector to all wars, to pay federal income tax to train other Americans, laregely the poor and people of color, to become professional hired killers to murder on command with no conscience would be more evil than beinga soldier myself. Many U.S. progressives spend endless energy and hours analyzing, measuring, protesting and cursing the best (the U.S. Empire) while they keep on feeding it with their federal income tax dollars and their consumer dollars: Many U.S. progressives are addicted to the loot of this empire while they damn the blood! The loot always is drenched in blood. I have no right to pay tax to do to other people what I do not want them to do to me. Nothing in life is more important than refusing to pay federal income tax for war â€“ no matter who is president. The best way to refuse to pay federal income tax for war, with no fines and no threats from the IRS, is to live simply, below the federal income taxable level. The federal income taxable level for 2006 for a single person under 65 who is not blind is $8,450, for a married couple filing together - $16,900. I lived well all of 2005 on $3.885 â€“ less than half the taxable level. I have paid no federal income tax for war for 27 years. I pledge never to pay the rest of my life.
Immigration I oppose treating immigrants as criminals because they do not have legal papers. I oppose treating people who help these immigrants as criminals. I oppose a fence and wall between the U.S. and Mexico. I support full human rights for all immigrants. If the U.S. wants to reduce the number of immigrants coming from Mexico and other nations, the U.S. needs to work for justice for the millions of poor and working people in Mexico and other nations. Instead, the U.S. government routinely and deliberately sides with the filthy rich elite abroad to rob and to kill the poor. Most immigrants would prefer to stay in their native lands if living conditions there greatly improved. If the U.S. wants to reduce the number of immigrants from Mexico and other nations, we Americans need to change our lives to live simply and fairly in the world family of 6.7 billion people. We need to stop glamorizing U.S. greed, cars, big houses and crazy consumer crap in U.S. movies and magazines that go to Mexico and other nations. U.S. movies and magazines seduce people abroad to come here and get addicted to the stupid crap most Americans are addicted to. Immigrants who have no legal papers often take the jobs that most Americans do not want. Many U.S. employers underpay these immigrants. Some U.S. employers call the U.S. immigration officers to arrest these immigrant employees just before payday. Some U.S. employers cheat these immigrants on their paychecks. I reject the term â€œillegal aliens.â€? All immigrants are our sisters and brothers. The U.S. invaded Mexico and waged war in Mexico over 150 years ago. The U.S. stole from Mexico most of what is the U.S. Southwest today. So todayâ€™s U.S. border with Mexico is illegal and resulted from the U.S. invasion, war and massive theft from Mexico in 1848. The only people in the U.S. who are not immigrants or the descendants of immigrants are full-blooded Native Americans.
Crazy Society If a 15-year-old kills someone, many adults want him to be sentenced as an adult. But if a 15-year-old chooses to have sex with an adult, many adults consider the 15-year-old a victim not capable of responsible consent. If an adult shows a 15-year-old sex magazines and videos, the adult risks prosecution. But if an adult shows a 15-year-old magazines and movies glamorizing and justifying war or if an adult teaches a 15 –year-old how to box and bruise an opponent in the ring, the adult’s actions are both legal and acceptable to many. Crazy society! When a doctor rapes a helpless baby boy with a knife in circumcision, the government approves this child abuse and permanent mutilation. Many parents spank and beat children. Soldiers cripple and murder unarmed “enemy” youth from Vietnam to the West Bank and Iraq. These actions are never mutually consensual and affectionate. Some males under 18 want sex and romance with an adult man or woman. Many men, when they were under 18, enjoyed consensual sex with adult men or women. I men Don G. in 1980 when he was 16. He and I wanted to have sex, but I turned him down because of New Mexico state law. I have the letter he wrote me expressing his deep hurt and anger that I refused sex with him because of his age. When he was 19, we had sex. He died in a car crash at 25. Never before had I suffered the death of a man I was so in love with. I have gone many times to his grave at Fairview Cemetery. Teenagers deserve the legal right to decide “yes” or “no” to sex with an adult. No one, young or old, should ever use force, lies, threats, fear, booze or other drugs to get sex with someone of any age. Politicians and “experts” over the centuries have fanned flames of hysteria against withes, against sexually pleasuring oneself, against religious freedom, against women’s equality, against women’s sexuality, against gays, lesbians and transgendered, against all sex between adults and youth, against naked body freedom. If this were a sexually sane society, mutually consensual, affectionate sex between youth and adults would be legal and respected. But this is not a sexually sane society and as long as the stupid laws exist prohibiting sex between youth under 18 and adults, it is not wise for adults to have sex with youth under 18 no matter how mutually consensual and affectionate. The adult risks arrest, prosecution, fines, prison, loss of job, suicide…the youth risks intense pressure from parents, courts, caseworkers and psychiatrists. If the youth confesses that he wanted and enjoyed sex with the adult, he risks being judged mentally sick and being required to undergo treatment until he condemns the sex between him and the adult. If the youth lies to satisfy the authorities, he betrays his friend and destroys his own integrity.
I Want a Man Much more to a man’s body than his face and his penis. Much more to a man than his body. I want man honest and dependable, passionate and forgiving, both humble and confident. I want a lean, muscular, healthy man who smokes no cigarettes, drinks no booze and uses no illegal drugs. I want a man not addicted to money, not hooked on buying crap no one needs – a man who enjoys living simply, far below the U.S. poverty line and the federal income taxable level to boycott this empire’s greed and wars. I want a man with no shame, no hang-ups, no guilt about sex and romance with men. I want the man with whom I make love at night to have the balls to warmly hug and kiss me in public in the daytime. Why have sex with any man ashamed to be seen with me? I want a man who lives naked at home and mostly naked elsewhere when warm enough. I want a man who gardens, sunbathes, walks much and exercizes vigorously every day. I want a man not chained by what people think and say, a nonviolent man who plays def to stupid insults on the street, like “faggot” or “put on some clothes.” A man always committed to the good of all people and our Mother Earth. I want a man who converses heart-to-heart, deep, real, personal, a man who prefers silence to shallow talk, a man who freely sheds tears of sorrow and affection. I aim to be this kind of man I want. I aim to live this way myself. My strong attraction to a certain man in no way guarantees his attraction to me. I am to respect his right to turn me down romantically – with no forcing, no begging, no pouting and no chasing. I treasure mutually passionate romance with a man, but I will not, for any man on earth, surrender or compromise my war tax refusal, my living simply, my having no car, my only all-raw vegan food, my urine therapy, my much walking and vigorous daily exercises, my naked body freedom, my strong public stands of conscience. Speaking and living the truth as best I see it ranks above sex and romance with any man on Earth!
Painting by Leo Neufeld.
Father Forgive Them I strongly oppose the death penalty. I have stated in my will that if someone kills me, I demand that the guilty person not be executed—no matter how much I may have suffered. I ask my family and friends to offer forgiveness and friendship to my killer. Anyone can turn from evil and change! My elderly grandparents asleep in their rural Illinois home, my foster son Joe Villalobos here and two other friends were murdered within the past 26 years. In 1982, six years after he murdered my grandparents, Dale was arrested and confessed. I later wrote him offering him my forgiveness. He replied—profoundly repentant. We wrote dozens of times during more than six years before his suicide in prison. The first time I visited him, tears came to his eyes. He deeply appreciated my forgiveness and friendship. He longed to have the opportunity outside of prison to prove to people that he could live a changed life. Presidents and generals have murdered thousands, have expressed no repentance and are honored by many—even church people. Dale murdered two, demonstrated genuine repentance and would be regarded as a no-good devil by many Americans who honor presidents and generals. Moral insanity! Through war, toxic pollution and money-mad global exploitation of the poor, government and corporation officials murder far more people than have all the imprisoned individual criminals combined! Britain’s best-known hangman, Albert Pierrepoint, hanged 433 men and 17 women during his 25-year career. After retiring in 1956, he vigorously opposed execution, which Britain abolished in 1969. From his 1974 memoirs, “I do not now believe that any of these hundreds of executions I carried out has in any way acted as a deterrent against future murder. Capital punishment in my view achieved nothing except revenge.” A Delaware policeman forcefully argued to restore the death penalty because he claimed it deters crime. He killed his wife just 10 days after Delaware restored the death penalty. The main reasons people support execution is unforgiving revenge and to reinforce the dangerous life that most of us are immune to committing murder. Two months before their crimes, many people now guilty of murder would not have believed they would do such evil. Nearly 3/4 of all one-on-one murders involve family members, friends or acquaintances—often on booze or other drugs and with a gun at hand. The goal of a genuine justice system is the healing of the community, with reconciliation between the offender and the victim’s family and friends. The only son of a Korean Christian man was murdered. Before the judge passed sentence on the convicted man, the father asked the judge to allow him to take that man as his son. Revolutionary forgiveness! Jesus prayed, “Father forgive them” for his murderers. Unplugged from the love and wisdom I have received from many people and influences, I am no better than Dale, Bush, Saddam, Hitler, Stalin, the KKK, Manson, Clinton, religious fundamentalists, money addicts, anti-gay bigots, Sandia Labs’ weapons-makers, or the person in my family who hurt me the most. We all are capable of ferocious violence and of marvelous compassion. We all stand daily in need.
Voting for Any Candidate Authorizes Mass Murder There is not a dime’s worth of difference between most Republicans and Democrat politicians, including Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, on robbing and murdering multitudes of people worldwide for the U.S. empire. The most powerful submarine was built at a cost of $3.5 billion and was named the USS Jimmy Carter. At the commissioning ceremony three years ago, former President Jimmy Carter said, “The most deeply appreciated and emotional honor I’ve ever had is to have this great ship bear my name.” Carter is a professed follower of Jesus, a Baptist Sunday school teacher, a long-time volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, an acclaimed human rights advocate and a liberal Democrat. How can he celebrate having submarine named after him, a submarine prepared to murder multitudes of moms, dads and children? I would be ashamed as hell to have any weapon named after me. I wrote a strong letter to Carter about this but received no reply. Gandhi said, “The only people who do not realize Jesus was non-violent are Christians.” The author Leo Tolstoy was a spiritual father to Gandhi. After Gandhi read Tolstoy’s “The Kingdom of God is Within You,” Gandhi said, “I am shattered.” Tolstoy damned the Russian Orthodox Church’s approval of war as the worst betrayal of Jesus’ message. I urge everyone to read the book’s first and last chapters especially. I oppose all wars and all weapons of war. So, I shall vote for no candidate for president or Congress because they all support war and the weapons of war. I refuse to authorize to authorize any candidate to commit mass murder in my name. I vote my conscience every day by living simply below half the federal taxable income level to boycott this empire’s insatiable and constant wars.
The Legal Cage I have been in love with certain men. I treasure mutually passionate romance with a man, but I do not want a license from any state for my deep romantic connection with him. I want him to stay with me because he wants to stay with me窶馬ot because he feels stuck with me in a legal cage called marriage or civil union. If we part, I do not want to sue him and I do not want him to sue me. Many miserable legally married couples stay chained together for decades because they fear court battles, spending thousands of dollars for lawyers, being branded as marriage rejects if they break up. Legal marriage requires our pledging life-long romantic commitment to only each other. I aim to tell the truth and not to make foolish promises. Do I ever know myself or him or the future well enough to know for sure we both will do well with only each other until death? Like many persons, I am able to be openly, honestly and deeply in love with more than one person. Legal marriage for me? No way!
MARIJUANA I refuse to buy, sell, grow or use marijuana. I have never bought, sold or grown it in my life. About 30 years ago, I took some tokes of marijuana that were offered to me. Marijuana benefits certain health problems, but other natural, legal remedies exist for all those conditions. As to users’ behavior, I would much rather have someone high on marijuana around me than someone drinking booze, but far better than marijuana is being high on life! Cigarettes and booze harm users’ health far more than marijuana, but I reject all three! I would not smoke cigarettes, drink booze or use marijuana for all the money in the world. I refuse marijuana because I refuse to risk arrest, fine, court and jail for myself. I refuse marijuana because I refuse to increase my fear of police. I refuse to make my life more secretive. Unless I would grow it myself or know personally and trust the grower, I do not know if it is organic and not contaminated. The international trafficking of marijuana and other drugs is an extremely violent, money-crazy racket. Imported marijuana is often drenched with the blood of many people. I do not need marijuana to cope with life and to feel good. I refuse to depend on marijuana to meet and connect with other people. Marijuana can lower motivation and drive – making users feel lazy. My lungs are not made for smoke – whatever the source. Smoking marijuana can harm the lungs. I do not have money to waste. Imagine if all the money Americans spend on marijuana, cigarettes, booze and other drugs were given instead to help millions of hungry, homeless children worldwide. Marijuana causes many users to suffer memory, learning and attention difficulties. Although marijuana at the moment can make users feel more sexual, habitual use lowers testosterone, causing men to be less horny, less able to get firm erections and to orgasm readily. Cigarettes and booze also lower testosterone. Eating lots of wild edible greens like wild spinach and wild mustard plus hot red chile pepper every day can help one conquer the marijuana habit. I get high on nature, sunbathing, vigorous exercise, close friends, mutually affectionate sex, war tax refusal, gardening, heart-touching music, forgiveness, living simply, eating only raw plants foods, constantly gleaning wisdom, naked body freedom, deep conversation, nonviolence and compassion for all people.
Men Who Make Gay Jokes Are Repressing Their Desires Many males who yell “faggot” at me have sex with males or want to, but do not have the balls to say so. Some males are terrified of their own repressed desires—scared that if they tried it once with a male, they would enjoy it so much they would want to continue getting it on with men. One of America’s best-kept secrets is the multitude of bisexual men. Why hide your romantic feelings in shame and fear? Why live a lie? Why be a discreet wimp? I met a gay Anglo man who had been in the Navy. I asked him how it was being in the Navy. He said it wasn’t bad, except for a married Chicano who picked a fight with him. Later, the two of them happened to be at the same party, and as the night wore on, they had sex. As the morning approached, the married Chicano went home to his wife, but later returned for more sex. The Anglo man asked him, “If you had these feelings for me, why did you pick a fight with me?” The married bisexual man answered honestly that he could not let his friends know. If you have a male friend who gets off on telling anti-gay jokes and threatening or beating up gays and bisexuals, take him aside one-to-one and tell him, “You had better lay off putting down and persecuting gays and bisexuals. Some people will eventually wonder why you are barking so loud—what are you trying to hide? Why is this such a big deal to you?” One evil excuse the European invaders used to justify their mass murder of American Indians was how common sex between men was within some tribes. Malcolm X said, “The worst crime the white man has committed has been to teach us to hate ourselves” for being African-American. The worst crime most organized religion has committed toward us gays and bisexuals is to teach us to hate ourselves and hide our romantic love for persons of the same gender. Life is too precious to fake. Romance is too precious to hide. Come out of the shadows of shame, lies and fear into the sunlight of truth and dignity.
Honest Tears I am glad to shed tears freely from my heart for my loved ones living or dead. When a man feels ashamed and afraid to weep, his sadness can become depression. A man’s depression often explodes as rage—cursing, yelling, hitting his family and friends. Many parents stupidly tell their young sons, “Men do not cry.” That is a damn lie! A wise man is not ashamed to be seen crying—expressing his deep love and grief. A wise man enjoys both his orgasms in passionate, romantic sex and his orgasms of shedding tears. A wise man is not ashamed of his honest tears from the depths of his heart. When a man conquers his emotional constipation and releases his sorrow and love in tears, he feels better, he lives better! A man who sheds tears freely with no shame when he is sober is much less likely to curse, yell and hit his family and friends. He also is much less likely to get addicted to booze and other drugs.
Reel Men (In response to an article titled “Reel Men” published in the Albuquerque Tribune newspaper on 2/10/06.) I would not watch the writer’s 10 favorite movies if I were paid $1 million apiece. I would not watch most Hollywood movies, because they are a stupid waste of precious time, talent and money. I refuse to poison my mind and heart with movies, plays, music, books and TV programs glamorizing murder, rape, jealousy, revenge, money addiction, unnecessary possession and war. I want to be enlightened and inspired. I want to become wiser and more compassionate. I want to be moved to tears and to action. I condemn the outrageous salaries movie actors and directors receive. Most actors and directors are highly paid prostitutes – selling their talent with no conscience about how the movies they make harm people who watch. If the pay is high enough, most actors will take the role, regardless of how the movie poisons the minds and hearts of viewers. Why should movie actors make more money than farm workers, who work in the hot sun to harvest the fruit and vegetables we eat? Half of the world’s workers make less than 35 cents an hour. I live well on less than half the U.S. poverty level for a single person under 65. I very rarely pay to see any Hollywood movie in a theater. I did go to an afternoon showing of “Brokeback Mountain.” The afternoon showing was almost one-third less than the evening price. I reject this movie’s rampant booze and cigarettes and its violent scenes and by the beautiful closing song, “He Was My Brother.” When will a major movie show two cowboys openly in love who have no shame, no hang-ups and no guilt about their passionate romance? I do not want to spend too much time watching even enlightening, inspiring, deeply moving free movies. I want to concentrate primarily on living life every day. The best movies must never become safe spectator substitutes for living the truth as best I see it. I am glad to buy and wear second-hand clothes, but I choose to live firsthand on life’s stage – not just watched others from the sidelines.
URINE THERAPY For at least 9,000 years in Mexico, 5,000 years in India and for centuries in other places, millions have drunk their urine for health. Writers from England, France, Germany, India, Israel, the Philippines, the Netherlands and the U.S. have praised the practice. We all began drinking our urine when we were in our mother’s womb. The womb’s amniotic fluid surrounding the baby is largely the baby’s urine. Our urine is filtered blood. As the blood circulates, the liver first removes the poisons to be cast off through the intestines and then the clean blood goes to the kidneys. The kidneys balance the blood’s good elements and remove any surplus not needed at the moment. The leaves fallen from a tree are not waste, not poison to the tree. Trees grow best when they feed on fallen leaves. Urine is not waste, not poison to our body. Our urine is our golden fountain of life – our unique perfect living medicine containing hundreds of vitamins, hormones, minerals and enzymes. Drinking our urine purifies our blood, kills bad germs, provides nutrients and signals our body how to heal and balance our whole system precisely. It is the best medicine for kidney problems. Urine therapy is the simplest, safest and more effective natural healer, and it is free. Drinking urine and massaging the body with urine have helped or healed multiple sclerosis, cancer, diabetes, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthiritis, allergies, male impotency, herpes, hyperactivity, tuberculosis, heart problems, depression, schizophrenia – almost all physical and emotional illnesses. It is a powerful natural tranquilizer. The American Indians of the Northwest Territories used urine for daily skin care, washing themselves all over with their urine each morning. Our first morning urine is richest in hormones. Urine is great for open wounds as it is usually more sterile than distilled water. For best results in urine therapy, consume no booze, no meat, no dairy, no cooked food, no junk food, no coffee, no cigarettes, no table salt, no drugs of any kind. All people who take pharmacy or illegal drugs should start off with a few drops of urine by mouth or use urine for massage and compresses in order to avoid problems from drug residue in urine. The more urine we drink, the more intensely our body detoxifies and the faster healing becomes. In severe cases, fasting on total urine passed and purfied water can work best., The healthier we eat, the better our urine tastes. I strongly recommend Golden Fountain: The Complete guide to Urine Therapy by Coen van der Kroon, The Water of Life by John W. Armstrong and Your Own Perfect Medicine by Martha Christy. I eat only raw plant foods. I have drunk my urine – one to five cups every day – since Nov. 10, 1999. I wash my body and hair with urine. At 61, I am in better health than I was at 21.
GARDENING Plant fruit trees and nut trees in your yard for food. Plant fruit trees and nut trees instead of other trees. Imagine if all the trees in Albuquerque were fruit trees and nut trees. Lots of nutritious, fresh fruit and nuts, free! Trees for shade, oxygen and beauty are great! Trees for shade, oxygen, beauty and food are much better yet! Fresh, local, tree-ripened fruit tastes better and is more nutritious than store-bought fruit picked green and shipped hundred or thousands of miles. Save much money on groceries – plant apple, peach, fig, apricot, pear, nectarine and nut trees. Get healthier – eat local fresh fruit instead of doughnuts, fry bread, pie, cake, ice cream, soda pop and candy. Long-distance shipping causes global climate change, wars for oil, poisoned air and highways smothering fertile soil. Grow a food garden in your yard. Imagine if all the gardens in Albuquerque were food gardens – vegetables, edible wild greens, healing herbs. Get rid of the grass and lawn mowers. Get exercise, connect with the earth, enjoy nature, save much money on groceries – grow a food garden! I enjoy growing wild spinach, alfalfa and puncture vine for food. I enjoy harvesting much fruit from our apricot trees and other local fruit trees. I use no poison pesticides on my garden and our trees. I sun-dried hundreds of apricots this summer for me to eat now in and into the winter. I air-dried 13 large paper bags of wild spinach. Sundrying and air-drying (below 105 degrees) are the best ways to preserve plant foods nutritionally and environmentally.
Saving Water On average, I use 10 gallons or less of water per day for all uses inside my home. As an all-raw food vegan (no meat and no dairy), I cook no food; I have few dishes to wash. I wash my clothes by hand in a five-gallon pail and in my one and only sink. Last year I disconnected my sink drain pipe. I use another five-gallon pail to catch all the sink’s waste water which I use to flush the stool…no need to flush after just pissing. Last year I removed the shower faucet handles. The vast majority of people in human history had no home showers. I use the sink and a wet cloth to wash my body. I have a purifier for my drinking water; it removes most of the poisons from the city water. I am glad I have no car to wash and no lawn to water and mow. I damn Intel for hogging water and for contaminating the environment. About 700 chemicals are used to manufacture personal computers—half of the 700 chemicals are poison! I have no personal computer. If I were offered a million-dollar yearly salary, I would not work there. If I continually squander twice the money I make, I am stupid and I will go broke. If Albuquerque continually squanders twice the amount of water that is being replenished in the aquifer, how insanely stupid! Water is far more precious than money and computers! We must treasure water. We borrow the earth from our children. We must refuse to steal and poison their water! The least sane choice is to make sure our city uses no more water than is being replenished in the aquifer. Far more sane and responsible would be to consume much less water than is being replenished in order to gradually return the aquifer level to what it was many decades ago. We all choose dally every time we turn on faucets—spoiled rotten, selfish stupidity or wise, fair sustainability. I love to live simply!
Adults responsible for children’s crimes Many adults get rich off poisoning kids’ bodies and minds. Many churchgoers are horrified that kids kill kids and old people, but these same churchgoers have no conscience against paying Uncle Sam tax dollars to kill kids and old people in other nations. Many kids are damned as no-good hoodlums for stealing cars and VCRs while politicians and corporation presidents are praised as fabulously successful Americans for stealing billions in natural resources and dirt cheap labor from other nations. Some kids commit atrocious crimes and they need to change their ways, but the number one responsibility for kids’ crimes is on adults. Kids do not own gun factories and gun stores. Kids do not make, sell and advertise the booze. Kids do not make he movies glamorizing war, rape, greed, guns, booze, cigarettes, revenge, robbery and money addictions. Kids do not import heroin and cocaine from abroad. Kids do not create the TV commercials brainwashing people to crave expensive crap we do not need and to do anything to get it. No kid should be spanked, cursed, bruised, beaten, or ignored. Kids do not run Hollywood, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Coors, Philip Morris, Wall Street, the Pentagon, the Vatican, the C.I.A., BaskinRobbins, Sandia Weapons Lab, General Motors, WalMart… Imagine if we adults refused to work at any job harming people and poisoning the earth. Imagine if we devoted ourselves daily to creating a world where it is easier for us all to be good and to do the right thing. Parents—if you want your children to be open and honest, are you always open and honest with them? Do you ever ask them to lie for you about anything? If you want your children to be dependable, do you keep your promises to them and to others? If you want your children to apologize and ask forgiveness when they wrong you, do you apologize and ask forgiveness when you wrong them? If you want them to be warm and affectionate, do you hug them often with deep feeling? How can you lecture your children not to use street drugs if you are hooked on booze, Valium, junk food or cigarettes? Never demand your children obey you and other authorities without questioning. When parents teach kids to follow orders and to obey authorities without questioning, those kids often become soldiers who murder on command with no conscience – in Auschwitz, the West Bank, Vietnam, Iraq, Kosovo, Chechnya…Teach your kids by your own life to question deeply everything, to follow their conscience no matter the cost to love and do good to all people—including our enemies.
No matter how hot and angry our arguments face-to-face – to others you stood your ground in defending me – you did not run me down behind my back or in front of other people. Yes, we got on each other’s nerves, we hurt each other and fought. Yes as all of us, you had your may personal faults and weaknesses. But you and I were very close and we loved each other beyond words. You were quick to forgive me and to ask my forgiveness. I opened my heart to you and you to me. Almost everything I thought or said or did I shared with you and you with me. You always wanted to be involved in life going places and doing things – You hated attempts to put you on the shelf to be a quiet tame old lady. You were young at heart and passionate.
To Lillian - My Mother and close friend, from your son, Don: You were a woman of strong determination. You fought hard to live through months and years of severe suffering and sickness which were a heavy burden for both of us. Time after time I walked with you almost to death’s door. You loved children – especially your “Sweeties”. You lavished gracious generosity on your family, friends, the poor, and groups which labor for justice and peace. Yes, your habit, yourhobby and your high was giving. From you I learned to write lists of things to be done and ask questions about everything and listen to other people’s problems. For years you gave rides to neighbor women who did not drive. How you enjoyed answering the phone and doing secretarial work long hours for the business for many years in the office and then at home. You were so conscientious to be honest and correct in your business dealings.
You liked animals – in particular, owls and kittens and ducks and snakes and birds. You were born, married and lived all your life on the same farm – but you thoroughly enjoyed taking trips and spending months in Texas and New Mexico. You faithfully encouraged my public speaking and singing. You saw that real religion means working for the poor and oppressed, seeking peace among nations, and visiting the lonely and sick. You spoke up for the underdog. I remember how you took me as a young boy with you to countless P.T.A. meetings, concerts, church services and funerals – and then these past years how I wheeled you to many events - you did not want to hibernate at home in pain. You untied my shoes when I was a small boy and you fed me – and I untied yours and fed you as you grew weak. You sat beside me and stayed with me when I was a scared boy in the dentist chair and I sat beside you and stayed with you as faced the pain and fear of your death. I would not take a billion dollars for these past years with you. The last thing I know for sure we communicated was on Sunday afternoon when I leaned over your bed and said “I love you” and you replied “I love you”.
Your mind was sharp for figures and for remembering a host of telephone numbers.
Mother, I know how much you loved me, but the aching question for me today is “Did you know – do you know how much I love you?”
You loved music – a variety music hymns, country, black Gospel, popular – special songs that touch the heart.
I pray God – Let her know this for me today, and ask her to forgive me for ways I wronged her. Convey to her the love of all of us.
You expressed your feelings intensely – love, rage, laughter and sorrow.
Oh, dear Mother, if I could only kiss you and hug you another million times in this world – here and now.
You showed me how tears and hugs and kisses and memories make us warm and human.
But one day I shall… again…
After my mother Lillian’s death 12 years and 3 days before your own, you were in certain ways the living person closest to me in this whole world – despite our oceans of differences, tensions and fights. You thanked and complimented me many times on work I did. During the almost 6 years since I returned to Albuquerque to live, we phoned each other hundreds of times. Most every week -- 250 times – you sent me an envelope with your check and other mail. Mother would compliment and thank you for being so faithful to me. Harry, I hope you realized how your money gifts enabled me to do so much important work I was not paid for. Since Mother died, who else but you has been so generous and dependable in this way? Why do we seldom fully appreciate our loved ones until they are gone? If I live to be 81, I hope I work as hard in my work you still did in yours.
To Harry – My Father and close friend, from your son, Don: Sixty springtimes you lived on the same farm. Forty-eight years ago you started the sale barn -- how you enjoyed being a showman in the auction every Tuesday! You and I rode many truck trips together. Often you went in among the boars and told me to watch the door. You were concerned for my safety. Years ago you scooped and sweated alongside your hired men.
Dad, I ached for you to understand why I choose to live simply – what right do I have to have more than I need while hundreds of millions have much less than they need? I ached for you to understand why for 15 years I have refused to pay war taxes for the U.S. to rob, torture and murder millions of poor people abroad. I ached for you to understand why I have no shame about my whole nude body. I ached for you to understand my romantic attraction to other men. I ached for you to understand why I left and reject Bible Fundamentalism. I ached for you to understand why I am compelled to live and speak and write the truth as best I see it – no matter how controversial and offensive… but you severely feared rejection by society… Harry, I mourn for the intimate bond you and I had. I mourn for those depths we never reached and never will in this world. Last December in the hospital you asked me to trim your toenails and I did. You told me to bring your corn popper, and you popped corn and feasted!
You wanted to be on time. You liked to get your mail at the village post office. You liked western shirts with snaps. You insisted on keeping fuel tanks full. You wanted to fix right away what was broken. You kept in touch by telephone. You started the day’s work early. You wanted to hear clearly when people spoke. How much you enjoyed taking Susie many places.
January 8 was the last time I saw you alive. You kissed me in our old farmhouse kitchen and I cried as I hugged you goodbye before I left on the bus.
Orgasms of grief roll through me. I see your affectionate dog, Blackie, waiting alone. I see your lovable cats. I see the weather radio you listened to so often for the forecast. I see your small trampoline where you exercised. I see the plastic bread wrappers you rolled up in the kitchen drawer.
The day before you died as you lay in agony, you told Susie, “Now I know what Lillian went through – when we are up and doing things and places we do not know what it is to suffer this way.”
Deep grief is a sweet and exquisite agony to be reveled in. Deep grief shows us how much we are capable of loving another person. One thing worse than enduring such grief would be never becoming close enough to anyone else in life to such pain in parting. You had no high school education, but you wanted me to have both high school and college. For many years your body suffered much; you were often at death’s door. Like most men in this culture, you found it easier to talk about your asthma than your buried fears and feelings, easier to talk about your headaches and chest pains than your heartaches, easier to talk about your broken bones than your family alienation. Why keep secret what is precious or painful inside? Your last long trip you flew alone to see me in New Mexico when you were 76.
Some weeks later you told grandson David to feed the wild rabbits you saw outside.
Harry, now for you no more pain, no more snow to shovel, no more bitter cold, no more needles, no more pills, no more gasping for breath, no more broken bones, no more hospitals… Now you are loved enough. Now you no longer have to prove yourself. You are at home… Dad, I love you! Many thanks, warm hugs and kisses – until we meet again…
Why make more babies? The world population. In 1850, it was 1 billion; in 1960, 3 billion; in 1974, 4 billion; in 1986, 5 billion; and in 1999, 6 billion. More than 6 billion of us are alive today—six times as many people now as were living less than 200 years ago—twice as many are alive now as were alive less than 50 years ago. So why make more babies? If you already have biological children, love them, treasure them, care for them and teach them by your won example to enjoy living simply, consuming no more than their fair share in our world family of more than 6 billion sisters and brothers, plus the many billions to follow us if human beings survive. Billions more people consuming more resources, billions more people poisoning the Earth with more waste and pollution—where does it end? In massive disasters, suffering, wars, famine, starvation. The worst population problem on Earth is not in India, not in China and not in Africa. It is in the United States, because most people here consume and pollute many times more per person than most people in India, China or Africa. No American child has the right to live in luxury with a room full of toys and a closet packed with clothes, while a child in India dies of hunger. You have no right to spoil your child rotten, while a child in China suffers in the cold with no home. I have no right to more than I need, while others in this world have less than they need. Your child is no more precious than a child in Africa, Haiti, Iraq or anywhere else on Earth. If you have no biological children, and if you are committed to fairness for all people now and in the future, how can you justify having more than one biological child? Far better yet, have none. If you love children and want to help them, help the millions of children worldwide who desperately need love, care, food and shelter. Adopt a child or become foster parents. Give money to children’s organizations that stretch every dollar to do the most good, with no fancy offices and no highly paid staff. For many reasons, I am glad I have to biological children. Why make more babies?
The lifestyle and ideas of Don Shrader, Albuquerque's famous "Naked Man", in his own words.