wilderness path

a significant inner journey

"One who sees he is not a victim, one who has accepted the

responsibility for his actions, is an honest man. 

Yet the society that punishes an honest man

only imposes tragedy upon itself."


Desert Spirit


Tuesday, November 07, 2017


Bernard L. Madoff, Inmate #61727054

Butner Medium FCI,

PO Box 1000,

Butner, NC 27509


Dear Mr. Madoff, 

     Thank you for receiving my mail. My name is David Salas. I reside in Dunnellon, Florida. I found myself drawn to writing to you, although you would be the first inmate to whom I have ever extended a written correspondence. So it is a bit peculiar to me because I truly have no idea WHY I feel compelled to do so. Perhaps it has been stimulated by the recent movie, THE WIZARD OF LIES I recently viewed from the local RED BOX rental kiosk with Robert De Niro playing the character of Bernard Madoff. 

     In my perception, Mr. De Niro does not take on a project unless he finds it deeply interesting, and the fact that he attempted to portray you in the movie was fascinating to me. Still further, the context of the material was extremely interesting, assuming any of it closely relates to actual events. Like most individuals, I had no investment in your companies or with you. Certainly I have not aspired to look to make myself financially secure in this world. My upbringing did not afford me with that kind of desire.      Perhaps that is good or not. In my youth I worked for many individuals and companies, yet never felt deeply attached to any of them. I later became known as “a jack of all trades and master of none”. My work ethics were sound, but often I felt mismatched. 

     I found the idea of working for others, for corporations or what not repulsed me, as it never made sense to me why it always seemed like slave labor. Certainly we would have to work for pay to acquire the things we needed as participants in the society man has designed for himself. Certainly we needed money. However, these days I find myself questioning why; why do we need money. 

     It never appealed to me the idea of working for others while the others reaped the profits. Eventually I found I could only tolerate this existence on the earth by working for myself. 

     I do feel that our time on the earth is designated by Laws that exceed man’s present day understanding, as well as man-made laws and rules, although we are not related to Them. And that it is FOR THIS REASON we have man-made “laws”. I feel deeply that our time on this rock has nothing to do with these man-made rules and dogma, and I feel there is something inherent in each of us that knows this and repels against society and what is considered to be “the norm”, to a greater or lesser degree.

      And so I only heard OF you through the various news agencies that reported on the events that led up to your dilemma. I do not follow the news as I feel it is extremely biased, and so although the public heard of Bernie Madoff’s “ponzi scheme,” like everything else we are fed, hardly anyone knew or knows the back story that led to such an event, or who Bernard Madoff truly is. 

     The scene in the movie in which Diane Henriques interviews you and the exchange you had with her is the subject of my correspondence, assuming the dialogue is accurate. And I feel there is a hidden language contained in your correspondence with her that we, as viewers of that interview, can only deduce based on our individual perceptions of who WE are, and not necessarily who YOU are. 

     In my estimation, you were mirroring, FOR EACH OF THEM who invested in you, who THEY were. That is who you are. There is a Writing that suggests this: “Others are the mirror in which you see the reflection of yourself, as long as perceptions last”. It suggests we mirror for each other what we deny and refuse to see in ourselves. 

     The Special Features contained in the rental movie included a short interview with Ms. Henriques. She was reiterating her conversation with you in the Special Features interview. They asked her about her meeting with you. She said, “When I asked him, ‘When exactly did you realize that your Ponzi scheme was failing?’ he immediately corrected me and said "It didn't fail." I fell off my chair. 

     OF COURSE it did not fail. 

    In fact, I later wrote to her about this very thing. I said to her,

 “Ms. Henriques, he certainly DID correct you. The scheme did not fail because a scheme CANNOT FAIL IF IT IS A SCHEME. You even stated this yourself in this interview by saying, ‘It was the longest, largest and global Ponzi scheme...’ If it was the LARGEST, LONGEST and a GLOBAL scheme, then how could you say it failed? It was designed TO FAIL PEOPLE. How could a Ponzi scheme be successful? It was successful in doing just what it was designed to do. The Ponzi scheme did not fail. PEOPLE FAILED THEMSELVES. People failed to see what their own motives were with regard to their need for MORE.”

     I started thinking more of this. I started to consider that we never know the individual, but only the perceptions we weave based on assumptions we make about others. I feel there is a level of intelligence that is present in individuals who do tremendous things, regardless of whether these things are perceived to be “good” or “bad”.

     A few years back I was impelled to purchase the book written by Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf. Aside from what the world judges him to be, to read his thoughts places one’s attention into another dimension of understanding, what I call “vertical thought”, where the personality of Adolph Hitler is not present and only the energy and contents of his mind exists. I feel we all have this, yet it is untapped in most of us.

     You have demonstrated this same dimension of knowing, and that portion that would bring a profound example to the world seeped from your subconscious mind to the conscious realm where these events played out. It would be naïve to think now that Bernard Madoff is locked away, the world is a better place. It is not. And it pains me to think that so few will learn FROM the lesson with you in which they found themselves.

     In that interview with Ms. Henriques there was one other exchange I must mention. According to the exchange, when she asked you, "You seemed so trustworthy," she said you replied "Yeah, but there's a lack of honesty on their behalf, an unwillingness to take responsibility for their behavior." She later suggested it took a lot of “balls” to make such a statement, yet it behooves me to think she had no idea what you meant when you brought this simple fact to her attention.

     I cannot help but think she is just another “investor”. Perhaps in her lack of self-honesty she would fail to see herself this way. Yet, what was her motivation for contacting you? To sell a book which later becomes a movie? How is she not just another parasite?

     “An unwillingness to take responsibility for their behavior” just left me speechless as I can absolutely relate to this fact. How easy it is to cast off our responsibilities on OTHERS, who “deceived” us, who “failed” us.

     Most recently I ended a 12 year relationship when I failed to become the “husband” the woman sought. We lived together for 12 years. It took that long for her to realize I would never be and could never be the husband who previously left her. In her arrogance she was DETERMINED to mold me into the “husband” she sought. She failed to take responsibility for not only her behavior, but her motives.

     It will take great self-honestly and humility to ask, “What IS MY responsibility in this? How can I say someone victimized me unless I ALLOWED MYSELF TO BE A VICTIM?” This lack of self-honesty is WHY we find ourselves in difficult situation, why we have man designing laws to “punish” the “bad guys”. As long as we fail to come to self-honesty, we will need a “justice system” to decide our lives for us. And yet this system of justice has only made matters worse, not better.

     A society that needs a system of justice has FAILED to take responsibility for itself in which every individual must accept the fact he/she is not a victim of the world in which he/she finds themselves. Yet this is a level of wisdom that may not find its way into the collective consciousness of mankind any time soon. If it did, we would collectively change the very vibration of the planet. It would be transformative.

     I entered Alcoholics Anonymous in 1985. There one will find very quickly what IS one’s responsibility. The first impact it made on me was when a speaker offered in a meeting, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” That single sentence changed my perspective of myself, of others and the world forever.

     As I departed from the group meetings back in 1996, I was introduced to other teachings that further amplified the principles of willingness and self-honesty. And so it became my life’s work to live by the principle, “The sole responsibility of a miracle worker is to accept Atonement for himself”. A miracle worker is one who realizes he himself is his own savior, because it is he himself who has made himself in need OF saving. His access to Higher Intelligence is what provides the Guidance to make this possible.

    The need to find inner correction of one’s own errors will be the greatest work an individual will have to discover in his or her time on the earth plane. In this regard we must all become responsible for our thinking. Yet until this becomes our true motivation for life, there will always be victims. And where there are victims there a perpetrator will be needed.

     The Wise never claim victimization. They say there ARE no victims, but only volunteers. To come to self-honesty and be willing to accept responsibility for one’s life and one’s desire to be a victim must eventually lead one to discover he/she came to be the perpetrator OF his/her own victimization.

     Therefore, one who sees he is not a victim, one who has accepted the responsibility for his actions, is an honest man. And why an honest man should be punished makes no sense to me. Yet the society that punishes an honest man only imposes tragedy upon itself.