A letter to Carl E. Olsen

August 8, 1994

A pleasant day to you, Carl, dear friend and colleague,

As always, I appreciate and look forward to your correspondence, both personal and your various newsletters and declarations of your feelings as an herbman scourged by a morally sick and decadent society. As you know, it is not difficult for me to empathize with you and untold multitudes who are being denied the inherent birthright of using nature's most precious seed bearing herb in the manner our forefathers found so pleasurable and worthwhile. Ah, how I long for a puff at the sweet smelling incense no longer available to societal scum such as me!

Our mutual friend, Robert Lawrence, who never fails to uplift me, either in person or through letters, told me that he sent you a copy of the newspaper account of my sentencing. You, of course, know the coverage from the "fourth estate" is not always completely accurate, since the motivation of these storytellers is inclined more to the commercial acceptance rather than the actual truth. At no time, neither before, nor during, nor after the trial, did I ever claim to be a priest in the Coptic Church. I had told my attorney, Mr. Roderick Vereen, of my association with and my endeavors in the Coptic Church. You, in fact, were subpoenaed by Mr. Vereen to verify the sacramental use of ganja by church members, though the judge did not allow you to present what I am sure would have been an eloquent chronology of your experience with the Coptics. I must say, I never considered my defense in this case to have anything to do with Coptic beliefs or practices. Your testimony would simply have verified that portion of my life which was temporarily affiliated with the organization known as the "Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church." Though I do not consider myself any better or any worse than any present or former members of that organization, I am not, and precisely stated to my attorney on numerous occasions, a priest in the Coptic Church. As you must recall, I wore the robes of the Coptics and participated in the various ritual gatherings during the late 1970s on the island of Jamaica that were organized by Keith Gordon and Walter Wells. In my mind, at least, there may have been some Coptics as dedicated as I was to the spiritual liberation of man's and woman's soul, but, in my mind, I know that no one was more dedicated to the cause than I. Because I realized that the focus of the Coptics was no longer on the upliftment of the human spirit, I no longer consider being "a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek" the same as being a priest in the Coptic Church. I disassociated myself from that malicious hierarchy in the early 1980s. Though I remain adrift and estranged from my brothers and sisters of the spirit, and though my corruption is as singly detestable as anything to me, my hope for spiritual unity and the sound of one praise is as unshakable as the day of my awakening. I also must tell you that my consciousness of the herb as the sacramental healer of the soul of mankind came from George Ivy and preceded what later evolved into the "Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church." No organization, nor any church, nor any individual has a monopoly on the Creator's intentions or purposes and we must all search our conscience to become more attuned to the ultimate goal of being a vessel of thanksgiving and praise.

Though the chronicler of my sentencing may have been unable to keep up with my lucid ravings, I also told the judge that America was morally corrupt as well as "spiritually sick" and that when they "fight against creation" that all of creation will turn against them. These statements, naturally, are unsubstantiated except, of course, in my own mind. I can not recall every thing I said, but I must say, I had a wonderful time. Though my attorney stated to the reporter that he felt 35 years was better than a life sentence, I assure you that this is not my feeling. As demented as this may seem, I was looking forward to the judge saying out of his own mouth, "life" forevermore! Tee Hee. Thank you for bearing with me. I felt I had to give you a more in-depth perception than the sweet young girl was able to glean for the "Gleanor." I remain, your friend, your admirer, and your co-conspirator in this seemingly impossible task of spiritual awakening.

Jim Tranmer
Bay County Jail
314 1/2 Harmon Avenue, #4A9
Panama City, Florida 32401

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