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351 | Daemon Manx on Positive Talk Radio!

November 05, 2022

351 | Daemon Manx on Positive Talk Radio!
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Daemon Manx is an award-winning American author who writes horror, suspense, supernatural, and speculative fiction. Daemon has recently been nominated for the 2021 Splatterpunk awards for his debut, Abigail in the best short story category.

He is a member of the Horror Authors Guild (HAG) and has been featured in magazines in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Daemon lives with his sister, author Danielle Manx, and their narcoleptic cat, Sydney, where they patiently prepare for the apocalypse. There is a good chance they will runout of coffee far too soon.

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Unknown Speaker  0:02  
Welcome to positive talk radio. Our goal is simple to explore evolving ideas, one conversation at a time. So, stay with us. And right now, we present. We're gonna have a fascinating discussion today I got the feeling because we've got a gentleman who is, you know, like sitting right there. And he and he is an author. He's a publisher. But that's not exactly why we're here today because we're gonna talk about his wife's journey through addiction, which led to some incarceration which led to other issues that he's had and then how he got through that, to see the light and to become the man that he is today. And, Robert, welcome to the show. How are you and if you can pronounce your last name for me, so I got massacred for you.

Unknown Speaker  1:01  
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. My last name is pronounced. Kiyosaki, Robert Kiyosaki from,

Unknown Speaker  1:09  
is that Italian?

Unknown Speaker  1:10  
Yeah, that's Italian. That's like Mama's Sunday, Sunday gravy. That's very Italian. My middle name Romolo. So yes, I come from a strong Italian family in the northern part of New Jersey, where Italian is thick, and so was the gravy.

Unknown Speaker  1:32  
Is and I would imagine that because Italian families love to cook together and eat together that there's a an event that happens every so often where everybody in the family gets together and, and you have a lot of folks that just have a good time eaten and, and creating what you eat, and then eating what you create.

Unknown Speaker  1:52  
Yeah, definitely. And then, you know, as the generations progress, it's, it's the rains are taken up by the younger. And you know, that that's passed down, I remember when it was my grandfather, and, and then my father, you know, doing the doing the cooking and, and my mom a little bit too, you know, she was more Irish than Italians. So, but now, you know, now now I'm the one who likes to do the cooking. And so, you know, it's, it's a handed down, it's a learning process. It's, it's in our, it's in our DNA.

Unknown Speaker  2:27  
It's amazing, the how, you know, over the years, I remember, you know, and I had a family get together. And I was sitting there alone, I was a teenager, and I was sitting there with my whole family. They're all gone now. And it's like, now I am the, the older one, and all the way around the kids and that kind of stuff. So it's amazing how, you know, you are the young one, and then you're not and then you're now the the old one. So you get the full range of experiences.

Unknown Speaker  2:59  
Yeah, you know what I mean? It's, I'm the oldest of all of my cousins. And I remember, you know, I was I was in high school when, when they were just being born. And, you know, recently I went to one of the one of the youngest cousin's her wedding. You know, and I'm, like, I'm, I'm one of the older family members here sitting here. And it was, it's really weird, you know, the two? Well, you know, I mean, as opposed to not getting older, I'll take it, but it's very weird to, to, you know, because in my head, I'm still, you know, I'm 17. Or, at the very, at the very best, I'm 22 inside my head, but the body is every bit of 55

Unknown Speaker  3:48  
it has D Yeah, I get that. And I know, that's, that's hard. I have no way to wait for the next 10 years, it gets even harder. So let's talk about and I'm gonna thank you for being here, by the way, and thank you for being so open and honest about the struggles that you went through. And that really was a journey from when you were a kid and, and getting into substance abuse and, and all of that and then and then that led to a series of events. Would you want to tell us a little bit about all

Unknown Speaker  4:20  
Yeah, well, you know, I'll just go you know, I think kid you know, growing up, I man I knew there was something different about me because, you know, while everybody does, you know, they drink or they start smoking weed or whatever they do, you know, most kids will experiment with me it was more than an experiment like I I was immediately that guy who had to go to extremes with everything that I with everything that I did. You know, the first time I went into my parents refrigerator and took a beer out and Didn't sip it, I didn't taste it. I chugged it as fast as I could to get that effect from it. And once I got that effect, I went in and I got another one. You know, I think the first time I got really drunk, you know, I got to the point where I almost gave myself alcohol poisoning. So, there's always been something in me, that's a, you know, I've got that addictive gene, that personality that just wants to chase it and cannot distinguish when enough is enough. Because there is no such thing is enough for me. Now, I throughout my life, I guess, you know, I didn't find the, the substance right away that was going to take me down. You know, I dabbled with little more gateway harmless substances, that, you know, I managed to skate by without really getting into, you know, the trouble that was certainly coming my way. I was smoking smoking weed for a really long time, I was drinking for a long time. And I kept pushing the limits and, and pushing the variance adding more concoctions to that mix. I got married, I held down a job, I opened up a business and you know, even had a nice house. And we were living in Florida, in a beautiful house on a lake. But you know, there was something missing. You know, I was unsatisfied and, and that was in me, you know, the thing that was missing was was something within myself. And I didn't know it at the time, and I ran into opiates at that point. This was the early 2000s. Right when the opioid addiction was about to happen. And when I first did oxy cotton it triggered something in me like, like this. Oh, so this is what was missing. It was this. This switch had been turned on. And then there was no turning back at that point. I was just off to the races. I won't say I was immediately hooked on it. But I was immediately drawn to it. In fact, situated with that feeling and ready to go. Full speed ahead with that.

Unknown Speaker  7:45  
I got a question for you. Because I interviewed a young lady recently, she lost her son when he was 32. But when he was like 18 or 19, it's right when oxycontin came out. And he had to have his large intestine removed because he had some sort of colitis or some major problem. And so when they left the hospital, everybody had been told the doctor had been told, Oxycontin is non habit forming, according to her and they gave him 180 pills. And he never looked back. He was hooked by the time he finished that first prescription. Is that is oxycontin that pervasive that it can do that to you that quickly?

Unknown Speaker  8:30  
Yeah, so essentially, it's synthetic heroin. Oh, that's, that's what it is. It's, you know, every pathway that that drug takes is the same thing that that heroin does, which is it, it saturates your brain receptors. So essentially, you know, your cells in your brain, they're not connected, and they communicate to each other through sending electrical impulses to them. Now the pain receptors in their figure, you know, figure like a mass here with a lot of holes in it being your pain receptors. And when an opiate like OxyContin, or heroin saturates the brain, it fills those pain receptors. And what the cell does is now produces hundreds and 1000s of more pain receptors. So now you're starving for the drug. And also, you know, if you don't do the drug, you feel like you are in severe pain. So there's a whole physiological thing that goes on with the brain of an addict when they're hooked on opiates. And, you know, not to mention this psychological okay, because now heroin or oxycontin supersedes your survival instincts and everything. that, you know, getting the drug now becomes more important than then eating, then then bathing then then relationships. So, essentially, your survival instinct is now focused on the use and acquiring more of the drug

Unknown Speaker  10:21  
is expensive, isn't it?

Unknown Speaker  10:23  
Yeah, it's, it's, it'll take you down financially, for sure. You know, back in the day, when I was first getting started, there were these give the pill mills and doctors writing out, you know, false, fake, big prescriptions, and it was at its cheapest point back then. Which still ended up you know, taking everything I had. And it of course, it rose, because you know, the more you use, the more you need to use. So that keeps escalating. So it really doesn't matter how much you got, you're always going to need more than what you have. At least that was the case with me, and I've heard it, heard it from a lot of other addicts, too, can testify to that as well.

Unknown Speaker  11:20  
Now, did that lead you? Or does that lead people to like fentanyl and some of those things? Because or because fentanyl is a fairly new synthetic drug, isn't it?

Unknown Speaker  11:33  
Yeah, you know, my only It's fortunate for me, I had gotten in trouble and gotten locked up before fentanyl was actually making its presence known when I was in the prison system was when they were using fentanyl to cut heroin. And occasionally, bags of heroin would come into the prison system. And you would know because guys were dropping dead from it. Because, you know, you're essentially your people in prison are usually removed from using drugs like they did on the streets. Usually, some people can carry on like they did prior. But you know, when that stuff comes in through the system, however it comes in, guys, guys will fall out and and and a lot of them passed away a lot of guys i i lived with their passed away during their time, you know, because they still weren't over the using of it.

Unknown Speaker  12:44  
You know, you don't hear a lot about that in like the media and, and that sort of thing, the number of number of people that are that are dying from that in in actual, I suppose they don't want to tell us that because the the wardens and the end the prison, people don't want it to be known that that drugs are still in the prison system.

Unknown Speaker  13:08  
Yeah, well, you know, it comes in multiple ways. But you know, honestly, drugs come in most of the time through people who are walking in and out of the doors if the prison so those are the people who work in prisons, and you know, that there wouldn't be a reason why they wouldn't want that to widely known.

Unknown Speaker  13:31  
I can understand so. So to to take us through it a little bit. You You got hooked on this stuff, and then you had to find a way to finance it. And was that through illegal means is that how you were still financing the habit?

Unknown Speaker  13:47  
Originally, I you know, I lied, I begged and I borrowed to get the money to support myself and when that did not happen I went to illegal means to fund my addiction. And, you know, one point I walked into a convenience store with a paper bag and put it on the table and said fill it up. And you know, they they did and I went to prison for that. And you know, definitely not a proud moment in my life. But it was a wake up call. It was 10 years ago actually on on October 29. I was brought into the town holding cell where I did the robbery and you know I'm looking at I'm in this little tiny cell and there's a poster on the wall and it shows a girl who was in high school and and she's really good looking and she looked Seems like she's very well put together. And then there's a picture of the same girl, like two years later, and she's ravaged by the drug use that she's been doing and, and I'll never forget it, the title on the poster was heroin, it does a body good. I will never forget that. So I, you know, I got locked up that day. And you know, because I had multiple things hanging over me, I had the potential of a lot, well, a lot of years facing me in prison, I ended up doing eight years in the prison system. And I consider October 30 2012, the first day that I was totally without any substance in my body, but I celebrated on Halloween for just because it, you know, it's a little more easy of a day to remember. And so this Halloween, I celebrated 10 years without having had a drink, or a drug, or a cigarette, or any substance in my body other than coffee.

Unknown Speaker  16:15  
Congratulations is the first thing that I want to say,

Unknown Speaker  16:18  
Oh, thank you, I, I'm not looking for a cake. I'm just I say it, because, you know, when we talk about our clean time, and we talk about our struggles, how we get there, it, it offers hope to people who are out there also struggling. And honestly, like, if I could do it, you know, I mean, I had to go to prison to to, to get clean. But like, if you're out there, and you're listening, man, you don't have to go to prison to get clean, because there are a lot of ways to go about this. And, you know, really, I didn't get clean until I knew I needed to and I wanted to, you know, because I could have still been doing the wrong thing when I was there. It's it's an inside job. And it takes change. And, and Change is never comfortable. You know, we we fight that every every ounce of our beings. But yes, we do. Yeah, it's not comfortable. But you've got to want it, you've got to want to work for it. Because it's if it came in a pill, everybody would take it, you know?

Unknown Speaker  17:31  
So I gotta ask you when you were arrested? And did they recognize that you had an addiction? And so they put you into some sort of a rehab or detox or something like that, to get you through it? Or do they just throw you in a cell and say, deal with it?

Unknown Speaker  17:48  
Yeah, so you know, when the police officers are arresting you, they'll say, they'll say that they're going to and, you know, so they told me? Yeah, well, we'll get you the help you need, we'll get you into a place and they'll, they'll, you know, they'll fix you up. And I was over it. I was over. I so you know, so I pretty much I told him everything I ratted on myself. Like I was the best witness against myself. And yeah, that wasn't that wasn't good. But yeah, just, I don't know. I didn't you know, I just gave them everything they needed. And they sent me to the county jail, and I did not even get an aspirin. I go to the there was a nurse the first day and I walked up to the male nurse and I said, you know, I'm I'm really sick. I'm kicking heroin. Do you have anything that can help me? And he looks me in the eye and he says, we like to bring you down like a spaceship. Hard, hot and fast. Oh, God. I wanted to kill him. But that's how I came down hard, hot and fast. And

Unknown Speaker  19:10  
isn't that dangerous? Can Can people actually in that process of the withdrawals and stuff can't people die from that?

Unknown Speaker  19:21  
You know, heroin withdrawals are really uncomfortable, and they're really memorable. Generally. Alcohol withdrawals will kill you though. Heroin withdrawals usually don't kill you unless you have some other complications with that. You just wish the you are dead. Yeah, you which is good because you know what I remember every miserable moment of that, which is probably a memory I needed to. It was an experience I needed to have and I'm not going to I don't forget that. You know, I forget what it was like to enjoy the drug. But I don't I forget how miserable it made me feel.

Unknown Speaker  20:04  
Well, I'm glad that well, I'm not glad that you had that experience. But I'm glad for the man that you are now. Coming through all of that,

Unknown Speaker  20:14  
well, thank you. I'm glad for it to which it was not easy. It was a hard lesson to to learn, I think at the point where I was at. Yeah, you know, I don't know what there was anything else that really would help me because I was pretty far gone. And, and pretty. I was at the point where I didn't care about myself anymore. So it needed to be a really life altering experience. Otherwise, I wasn't going to get what I needed out of it.

Unknown Speaker  20:51  
Did you ever consider ending your life during that period?

Unknown Speaker  20:55  
Yeah. You know, and actually, I, I tried a couple times to do that. When it came down to the nitty gritty of it. I just always couldn't fully go through with it. And you know, that that, that, that fight to hold on to your life at the end of it is really strong. I've heard, I've heard people say, oh, you know, suicide is, is the coward's way out. Man, I think it takes a lot, takes a lot to go through with it. At least, you know, I know what they're saying when they say it's the coward's way out. But you've got to be committed to that. I remember one time taking, taking a bunch of pills. And, and I was about to, I felt myself about to go down. And all of a sudden my dog jumps up on my lap. And he starts howling at me with one hand at two penname. So I start petting him. And then that wasn't enough, he starts pulling at the other hand. So he was like insisting that I pay complete attention to him and pet him with both hands. And I think he knew, you know, I think he sent something was wrong. And I think he saved me that night.

Unknown Speaker  22:24  
Dogs are amazingly perceptive and amazingly smart.

Unknown Speaker  22:30  
Yeah, I'm thoroughly convinced that's, that's what happened that night.

Unknown Speaker  22:35  
And congratulations, because you have now got a story. Because someone like me, I can't tell you know, if you're, I drove a bus for a long time. And I'm, there were guys that would get on and that were clearly under the influence. And I'd say why don't you do that to yourselves and, and you could never get through. Because I'd never been through what they've been through, didn't have know their story didn't know why they were doing or how it was the way that they were. And so but someone like you, you can genuinely make a positive impact in the world.

Unknown Speaker  23:10  
I hope so. You know, I speak out on on Tik Tok and on my Facebook reels and I speak about addiction. And I speak about the path to recovery. And I get a lot of I got a lot of feedback from the people who watch it. And it seems like you know, people are a lot of people want to hear that message. And, you know, it's, I mean, nobody can help an addict. Quite like another addict can somebody who's walked walked this path and been through it, and came out on the other side. You know, that's, that's the experience that we share and, and the hope that only another attic can bring to somebody who's struggling.

Unknown Speaker  23:59  
Well, and nowadays, and I was astounded by the stat but the same lady whose son passed away and she's now an advocate for, for getting rid of this and also helping helping people in hospitals understand what it is and the drugs that they're gonna get and that sort of thing, so that they can help keep them away from addiction and stuff. And she was telling me that the last year and 21 100,000 people passed away from overdose. And that that, to me, was like an astounding number. I mean, we are in a real tough place when it comes to drug addiction, and especially coming out of the pandemic, and a lot of hopelessness and stuff. It's really is hard for folks and for people to I've known several people that have passed away and they were young, vibrant, alive, and then they weren't So your work and what you talk about is really important. And I wanted I wanted to stress that because it you can, you can help people like nobody else can.

Unknown Speaker  25:11  
Yeah, well, that's the idea. And I, you know, I write about it, too. I'm an author, by the way, you know, whatever.

Unknown Speaker  25:21  
Let me let me go. Let's go down that. Make sure people know you're an author. You've got a publishing company. Rats Last Waltz publishing. Duck or last Walsh, publican. is is the is the website, if you want to go there. You have several authors, and you do a broad range of stuff, and you do a lot of horror stuff. And you do a lot of real life issues and stuff. So that's, that's also cool. How about now? How long have you been out of prison per se?

Unknown Speaker  25:56  
Oh, my God. Today's November, I was released on November 4, two years ago, two years ago today. I gratulations. Yeah, I didn't even realize another anniversary like, wow, that's, yeah. So I was released. I was actually released six months early. Because I was in a last year of my sentence, I was in a halfway house during COVID-19. So also, you probably didn't hear how many people were dying in the prison system, from COVID. Or you may have

Unknown Speaker  26:37  
that's not that's not public knowledge, generally speaking.

Unknown Speaker  26:40  
Yeah. So. And in New Jersey, where I was, we had the most most inmates die from COVID-19. And it was it was rampid. In the halfway houses. And in the, in the prisons, where we're around in my area. Since I am a writer, I wrote to the senators, and I wrote to the, the newspapers and to new And, and I wrote to the Attorney General, and I wrote to the governor, and, you know, my middle letters that I sent probably didn't amount to a hill of beans. But the New Jersey got together under Governor Murphy, and they enacted emergency credits for prisoners, who were close to getting out. So guys who had done good time, were really close to getting out, were granted between six and eight months off of their sentences to get them out of the prison system. That was running rampid with COVID-19. So I was really six months early, and was able to take part in that great program, which allowed me to get out to my family earlier than expected. So that was, that was quite amazing. Well,

Unknown Speaker  28:19  
congratulations. Now there is somebody listening to us right now. And I think they're still listening that lost a very good friend to an overdose in the last in the last four months or so. And it was devastating for everybody around them. What advice do you have for people who are around people who may have been out I believe, in her case, she was in recovery. And apparently, this happens a lot. She was in recovery and relapsed. And the relapse was a harder fall than the initial because she thought she could pick up where she left off, which was not the case. And so it was an overdose situation. And what advice do you have for people that are surrounding those folks?

Unknown Speaker  29:12  
mean the advice for those who were around people who,

Unknown Speaker  29:17  
who, yeah, if somebody is if you're concerned about somebody, do you know of any of any help that they can get in or is that more of a thing?

Unknown Speaker  29:31  
You know? What I found you know, there were a lot of people who tried to help me when I when I was there, and you know, as addicts we become very defensive because you know, we feel like you know, you're trying to take away our our survival you know, by telling us we can't do drugs anymore. Your we feel attacked. At least I did, you know, I felt attacked and, and now I felt like okay, you're The enemy, I would say, you know, the people who can help an addict is another addict. And you can't force sobriety on someone who's specially if they're in the grips of it. But, you know, you can introduce them to someone, if it's, you know, seems benign, and it's not like, you're, you're forcing this to happen, say, Hey, this is my friend, John, and he, lets go, you should have seen him 10 years ago, this guy was using like, you wouldn't believe and, you know, I don't know, you guys have a little bit in common? Maybe you want to talk a little bit? You know, and you'd be surprised that, you know, say, oh, yeah, you used to you do this, you do that, you know, when two addicts start talking, and they, they first bond over what they done. You know, that's where it starts. You know, it's, it's in that sharing, I think, you know, somebody who hasn't used and, you know, tries to, it often doesn't work, you know, when somebody who hasn't used or a parent or a sibling, you know, intervention is, and I don't think intervention is the right way. Although it might be what we really need, we really need somebody to step in and take us out of society against our will. But, you know, it's, you've got to want it. And, and you've got to, you've got to do it for yourself. So, you know, I think it starts with, with meeting somebody who's been in it before, and, and if you wanted to help somebody who struggling, I think the way to do it would be to I'm not saying sneaky about it, but you know, be like, hey, you know, Oh, that's funny. This is John, you think you're bad, you should have met this damn guy about a year ago. I thought he was going, you know, I think that's good would do a lot more than you know, and you can find those people who are willing to help in, in a, in an A, there's smart recovery. You know, for some people, they're, you know, it's spirituality that does it, you know, clergy talking to someone like that. You know, essentially there's like, usual, usually it takes a strong spiritual connection to, to bridge that gap. Whether whether, whether the attic gravitates to that or or recoils from it is all another thing. But usually when it works, it's it's based in that.

Unknown Speaker  33:05  
So when when you were first imprisoned, and you're that rocket ship that crashed and burned, how long was it before you started feeling like yourself again?

Unknown Speaker  33:19  
A long time I'd say the first I always say it was 40 days before I actually got a full night's sleep. It was it was tossing and turning and going through withdrawals and, and feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. And and not not being right. Somewhere between three and six months. I started to feel again, you know, because that's the thing with with with opiates, and, and heroin we, we stopped feeling it. It blocked my feelings, you know, of course there's still feel depressed but that's the drugs doing it. But, you know, I started to feel again and I started to think about the people who I wronged and you know, the people who I would was missing and my family. So, you know, we say, you know, the best thing about getting off of drugs is that you get your feelings back. And the worst thing about getting off drugs is that you get your feelings back to go there. Yeah, so it was six months before I was like you know, watching watching a Hallmark Channel and crying you know, in touch with my feelings again. It took a while and then you know still that whole first year is like you're you're clean but you're crazy still, you know it took it took me yours for me too, for my brain to come back. And, you know, and my emotions too. It's not a it's it's a long road. And, and it's a difficult one.

Unknown Speaker  35:14  
That's why so many people relapse isn't it?

Unknown Speaker  35:17  
Yeah, man, and you're never out of the woods, because, you know, if you're not doing what needs to be done, you know, to keep yourself maintained. It could happen at any point, you know, they say we're in recovery. And I'd say we're not cured where we're in recovery. But, you know, I, I'm thoroughly convinced that addiction is a disease. And with every disease, there is a cure. And, you know, so I mean, if you look at it from the standpoint of the criteria of disease, does it affect an organ? So yes, it does. It affects the brain. And also, you know, I mean, the liver, the lungs, whatever you're using, but addiction affects the brain that makes you not think, right is the second criteria is are there symptoms, they're definitely symptoms, when you know, you become a liar, you become untrustworthy, you start committing crime, you, you stop caring about yourself. And then the third and final criteria, is there a cure? Well, millions of people have found recovery through programs like Narcotics Anonymous, and Alcoholics Anonymous and, and smart recovery. And by talking to members of the clergy, and by living a lifestyle that's healthy. So I would say yes, there is a cure. So, you know, in that sense, this is a disease and it's curable, if you do what's necessary.

Unknown Speaker  36:56  
Looking at your life now, where you're at now having a publishing company being a published author, do you think it's kind of like a bad dream?

Unknown Speaker  37:07  
A nightmare. I didn't think I was ever going to wake up from that dream.

Unknown Speaker  37:14  
It's, you know, what, when you get out of prison, and you've been through, like addiction, and been through the trenches, a lot of it's fading, you know, it's like a memory that, like, I can't quite hold on to, I guess that's trauma. And, and stress. You know, and I'm trying to write it down and put it in a book and, and, and retell it. But, you know, it's, it's fading, like, like a bad dream, like when you wake up from a nightmare. And you want to remember that nightmare? Like it's, it's getting harder to hold on to? It because that's the brain's defensive mechanism for for trying to, to put trauma, you know, not not at the forefront.

Unknown Speaker  38:07  
Going through everything that you've gone through, do you think that there are elements of people that have been in prison for a while? And stuff like that? Is there elements of PTSD and post traumatic stress and that sort of thing? Even after they get released from prison?

Unknown Speaker  38:24  
Yeah, well, you know, I mean, sure, I guess it depends on how long the person has been in. And I guess it depends on the situations they were subjected to in prison. But yeah, definitely. There's, there's that I didn't I was never introverted, or, or I never had any kind of anxiety prior to going in, you know, coming out. Now. I'm really not very, I'm outgoing on the internet. But I, you know, being in crowds is a little uncomfortable for me. And going to social events is a little it's a little much still. And when I first got out, like I remember walking into, and it was either Target or Walmart, and I had a full blown panic attack because it was just, it was just too big. And ya know, that that stays with you, you know, people.

Unknown Speaker  39:24  
I have the opportunity. Years ago, I had the opportunity to I was an amateur boxer, and had the opportunity to go fight at a place in Washington State. It's called Monroe reformatory. Now, they call it a reformatory, but it's a prison. It's a you know, and it's got all the all the earmarks of what a prison would be like and so forth. And for me going into that place, because I've never been exposed to anything like that. And I was just visiting, and it scared the shit Anatomy. What's it like when you get sentenced to be in a place like that? And the sentence is a long time from now that you're going to be spending there.

Unknown Speaker  40:13  
Yeah. You know, I knew it was going to be long. It's debilitating. It's, I remember the, you know, the place I was in the county jail I was in was kind of like a country club of, of county jails. And then from there, 18 months later, I got sent and I got sent to the reception facility where they figure out where you're going. Now, that was the first time that steel bars closed behind me. So those cells were steel bars, and it had been built in the 1800s. And there was no heat or air conditioning, and there were rats and roaches running all over and I was like at a pappy on. And and then I those steel bars shut and that claim goes through your soul. And then, you know, when they they told me I go to reception and they're like, Okay, you're going to northern state prison. Northern State Prison in New Jersey is one of the largest gang prisons in the state. And I am like, really? Are you sure? They're like, Oh, yeah, you'll be you'll be fine. I felt like they were sending me to the Thunderdome. And I'm just like, This is it, you know, this, my life is over, you know, I'm done. You know, this is they're gonna I don't know what's going to happen, you know? But you know, there's this whole thing like, you know, prison, your first day of prison is this make or break situation, and you go up to the biggest guy and you're not coming to tea, and everybody leaves you alone. You no prison is not like that. And you will do wise not to do that. If you go to prison, I got sent to my cell, my first day of prison, and I'm carrying my clothes. And the door opens and there's this huge guy would go to lay in on the bottom bunk. And I'm about to come in the room and he goes, whoa, whoa, whoa, my man. Before you come in here, what are you in here for? Like, I'm here for robbery. He's like, that's a real respectable crime come on in. They want to make sure you're not a molester or a pervert, you know, before you do that. So that's one thing that the people in prison will not tolerate, especially anybody who's hurt a child. So I got I became very good friends with that man who became my bunkie for years and years. A well respected gang member. And he taught me that you know, if you are a thorough dude, he always said a thorough dude. If you say what you mean, do what you say, Look, people in the eye, shake their hands. If you're wrong, say I'm sorry. And be a thorough dude, you will have no problems in the prison system. That might be maybe 99% of the time and that that will work. Of course, there's the randomness and depending where you get sent, but for me, I was true to who I was. I got into education, I got into my spirituality. And when I told somebody, I was going to do something, I did it. And I was honest, and I lived a honest life. And it served me well because I was surrounded by good people, and I didn't have any problems.

Unknown Speaker  44:12  
But if you do approach it the wrong way. You can get into problems and they can be pretty horrific I've heard.

Unknown Speaker  44:22  
Absolutely. You know, conversely, I saw the guys who came in and immediately started going for the drugs and started getting in debt and started running with the the gangs and you know, their prison beds turned out to be nightmares. So yeah, you you've got a pap. When you get there, what you're going to do.

Unknown Speaker  44:51  
You just said something that is I heard it I'm not sure I heard it correctly. How the hell do you get into death in prison?

Unknown Speaker  45:00  
Alright, so there's gambling, gambling, there's drugs, for whatever, you know, of course, there's, you know, there's poker tables there. So there, you've got the poker table, you can get get into it. You could borrow stuff from people, a lot of guys, they have medication in prison and people, some people, you know, get drawn to the different medications. So they buy other people's medication or, you know, the drugs that come in, you know, they buy that and a lot of times find themselves in debt. And, ya know, there's there's, there's financial commodities in prison, you know, it's, it's usually done with food or, or things you buy off of commissary, or you call up and have your people put money on another person's books. So you know, there's a there's a barter system, there's a there's a commerce in prison.

Unknown Speaker  46:09  
Our cigarettes is a you see in the old in some of the older movies, you see cigarettes and with cartons of cigarettes being given to folks and stuff as as as a compensation for and is that where they are cigarettes part of that? Or is that kind of

Unknown Speaker  46:26  
got rid of these cigarettes? A long time ago? So

Unknown Speaker  46:30  
oh, you can't smoke in prison?

Unknown Speaker  46:32  
No, no. That I don't think there's any prisons going on? I don't know for sure. But in New Jersey, they took the cigarettes out of the prison sometime in the 80s, I believe, maybe early 90s. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  46:48  
But you can still go to a poker. Don't people understand that? If you play poker, I don't care if you're in prison or not in prison. If you play poker and don't and don't pay your debts, you are liable to have an issue with somebody.

Unknown Speaker  47:04  
Yeah, no, that's, that's not good. Don't don't play poker unless you can pay your debts. That's for sure.

Unknown Speaker  47:12  
It's, it's a, it's been a pleasure talking to you. And you, you're, you're an awesome man, you have done a great deal. And come please, please continue to do what you're doing. You can help people. And that, that is so important. And I applaud you for what you're doing. And I thank you

Unknown Speaker  47:28  
for thank you so much. Thanks. Thank you for having me.

Unknown Speaker  47:31  
And would you like to talk about your publishing company, if somebody if there's a budding author out there that might like to get in touch with you?

Unknown Speaker  47:39  
Yeah, absolutely. So you know, I'm the owner of Last Waltz publishing, you can find us on the web at WWW dot Last Waltz You can email us from there. If you go to the website, you can see, you know, what we like and what we're looking for, you know, I'm very drawn to authors who have been previously silenced, know, marginalized voices, female authors, indigenous people of color. LGBTQ authors, you know, so, you know, en authors who have been previously incarcerated. People like that, you know, trying to help, you know, like, people helped me when I got out. So if you are an author, and you might be interested in seeing if we're a good fit, send me an email, or reach out via the website. And we can talk about it.

Unknown Speaker  48:41  
And just in case, they missed the website one more time.

Unknown Speaker  48:44  
Yeah, that's WWW dot Last Waltz.

Unknown Speaker  48:51  
And your, your episode is going to be on YouTube, it is now it'll stay on YouTube, and it'll go to positive talk radio dotnet and all the all the sites as they say, wherever you get your podcasts, you'll be able to find it there. Fantastic. And I really appreciate you taking the time and and thank you so much for what you're doing and if you if you and I can do this and somebody listens to it, and they're helped by it then you and I've done our job

Unknown Speaker  49:23  
you know that and I'll just end it with this you know, when I got sentenced i i stood up before the judge and I told him you know, I know I did wrong but I've been doing this to change my life and you know I I've got a message that I can deliver to people now and and I know you're gonna send me to to a maximum sentence and he goes, you know, he goes unfortunately I do have to send it to you he goes but you know if while you're down or when you get out you can help just one person. Maybe this will have all been worth it. So, you know if I can help just one then and it'll be worth it.

Unknown Speaker  50:01  
Well, I'm glad that you're out and you're free, and you're free from addiction, and you're doing the right thing. And you're taking care of yourself and your family and those around you. And that's, you know, you've done well. Thank you so much. And then thank you, will you come back? And we talked again?

Unknown Speaker  50:22  
Absolutely. I look forward to that. It'd be great.

Unknown Speaker  50:25  
I will invite you back again, because those are also a radio show that I do on on KK and W in Seattle. And I would love to have you on that as well. Because that show goes out who knows who's gonna listen to it? But I know that you're a spiritual man these days, as am I and I believe that whoever needs to hear the message, the powers that be will put that in front of them?

Unknown Speaker  50:50  
Absolutely. That's the way it works. Definitely,

Unknown Speaker  50:53  
I think so as well. So we've been talking to Robert and your last name again,

Unknown Speaker  50:58  
Yossi. And I go by the pen name Damon banks as an author. But that's the real name. That's the one I got locked up with Robert Kiyosaki.

Unknown Speaker  51:08  
And that's, that's, it's a great Italian name, I think, you know, so that's, and I thank you for being here. And is there anything else that you'd like to say to our audience, before we go?

Unknown Speaker  51:22  
Well, you know, I mean, I would just like to, you know, reach out to the attitudes still struggling and say, you know, there's something we say in prison is a closed mouth doesn't get fed. So if you are struggling with addiction, and you don't see a way out of it, it starts by talking to somebody. So reach out to somebody. You can call people from Na, you can call people from AAA, you can stop in a church and talk to, to the clergy there. There's people out there who are willing to help. And anyone who's been through what you do talk to a fellow addict. They're the ones who are going to give you the best insight and point you in the right direction. You know, go to Las Vegas publishing and give me an email. I'll, I'll steer you in the right direction.

Unknown Speaker  52:15  
You're an outstanding human being and that's probably the best compliment I can give you. Thank you so much. And I thank you for being here. Thank you. You're an awesome dude. Wait right there, and I'll be right back. Hey, thanks for enjoying this episode. All the way to the end. Please give us a like and subscribe to this channel. This has been a production of positive talk radio dotnet please visit our website oddly named positive talk radio dotnet for more details about us and our mission, which is to provide great positive programming designed to inspire us all. I'm Kevin McDonald and I'm proud of these shows and I'm truly hope that you'll like them and share them with friends and family. So on behalf of our entire team, remember, be kind to one another because each other's all we got to

Unknown Speaker  53:03  

Kevin McDonaldProfile Photo

Kevin McDonald


Creator and Host of Positive Talk Radio and its Parent Company

Robert Chiossi (Daemon Manx)Profile Photo

Robert Chiossi (Daemon Manx)

Daemon Manx

Robert Chiossi is an author of fiction and nonfiction who has a story to tell. After an ongoing battle with addiction, Robert found himself facing an even greater struggle, a decade long prison sentence. It was behind the walls in one of the darkest places imaginable, where Robert found inspiration, hope, and the strength to turn his life around.
There were mentors along the journey, men who would teach and inspire, and there were a great many hurdles as well. Robert focused his energies on spirituality and education, earning himself a college education and a renewed faith.
Today, Robert is an author and has opened his own publishing company: Last Waltz Publishing. he speaks out about addiction and prison to offer his experience, strength and hope so he might be able to help others.
He writes nonfictional memoirs under his own name and fiction under the pen, Daemon Manx.