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Chapter 3 -- continued

< --- Chapter 3, Section 2

My "Extraordinary Rendition" Back to the U.S.
& Subsequent Reimprisonment

Meeting With Top Ecuadorian Officials

At about the time Cathryn and I made the decision not to return to the U.S., I was approached by a good friend in Guayaquil, Andrea Fernandez-Salvador. It is a well-known axiom in Latin America that when it comes to business and legal matters, "it isn't what you know, but who you know". Therefore, I was encouraged to know that Andrea could arrange a meeting at the government building in downtown Guayaquil to discuss my legal matters with top government officials.
At the heart of my concerns was my foreknowledge that a great deal of money had been paid, as I have detailed in the previous segment, to trash my life. I was already well on my way to establishing my permanent Ecuadorian residency; however, what I wanted was more assurance that I wasn't going to be outright kidnapped for something as trifling as a supervised release violation . . . especially when the supposed violation was cooked up by a rogue FDA agent, the prosecutor's office in Lafayette, and an employee who had embezzled over $20,000 from my food company (Lumen Foods).
In the fall of 2007 a meeting was held at the "Governor's Mansion" in Guayaquil for exactly this purpose. Present at that meeting was Gustavo Larrea, then Ecuador's Minister of Internal and External Security [1]; Camilo Samán, then the Governor of Guayas -- Ecuador's wealthiest province and the hub of its commercial activities; the late Dr. Neville Solomon; and Andrea, who acted as translator.
At the onset of the meeting, I explained my circumstances, the focus of my work, my legal problems back in the U.S., and why my family moved to Ecuador to escape the nonsense. I then made it clear that my ultimate objective was to obtain political asylum in Ecuador. I told those present why I felt unsafe and why I was so concerned for the safety of myself and my family.
Mr. Larrea made it clear that asylum couldn't be arranged, but that, in his mind, the larger issue was the nature of my concern. "Do you really believe that over something this insignificant the U.S. Government is going to go to all the trouble of having you whisked away without following proper legal procedures and adherence to the law?"
"Yes," I replied. "That's exactly what I'm saying."
It was at that point that Larrea looked at me as if I was certifiably insane. I might just as well have come to him with a plea not to be executed for an overdue parking ticket.
At this point Mr. Samán interjected that residents of Ecuador had the same protection that naturalized citizens do. Any legal action on the part of the U.S. Government would be subject to an extradition hearing in the Ecuador . . . and only in the case that I had violated Ecuadorian law would there be a problem. Moreover, Samán explained, if the U.S. attempted an illegal kidnapping, the Ecuadorian military would be called in . . . at which point Samán handed me his official "business card" with a private cell number on the reverse.
"If you ever have a problem, just call me."
For readers who feel this is high talk coming from officials of a small Latin American country, keep in mind that in Larrea's case, this is the same official who would later state in commenting on Ecuador's refusal to renegotiate the lease on the U.S. naval base in Manta, "(the) United States would not accept another country's air base in its territory, we won't either . . . we are a nation and we are sovereign."
Some will say this is bold posturing. All I can say is that all of the concerns I expressed to Mr. Larrea and Samán that day would end up fully manifesting, exactly as I said they would.

The First Kidnapping Attempt

At the end of 2007 Cathryn and I went to the Pacific Coast to celebrate New Year's. I went on a ayahuasca journey on the 30th and the next day we celebrated New Year's Eve. Although we felt somewhat settled in our new home, I was still uneasy . . . as even by that time my life as an herbalist had taken me into frequent shamanic journeys, during which I found myself becoming mildly clairaudient.
I knew my adversaries would stop at nothing. I just didn't know when.
It would take another ten and a half months to find out.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, November 19, 2008, I was travelling through the Andes, headed back to my home in Guayaquil. I had spent the day working in Cuenca and was just about to "hit the Cajas" [2] and lose my cellphone signal, when I received the ominous call.
It was Dr. Neville Solomon, calling from Guayaquil. I could tell by his voice that something was urgent and terribly wrong. Our conversation went something like this.
"Greg . . . where are you?"
"I'm driving through the mountains, just outside . . . "
"Never mind," he interrupted. "Just listen . . . and whatever you do, don't drive home tonight. They're waiting for you." It was at that point that he related how he had been abducted by U.S. officials working with the police with National Migration . . . how they had thought that he was 'Greg Caton' . . . how they had also abducted and terrorized Neville's 15-year-old son, Michael . . . and then let them both go when they realized that not only had they abducted the wrong people, but that they weren't going to get any useful information from those who were close to me.
The days that followed were both terrifying and exhausting. Friends hid me as I changed residences and cellphones frequently. Whereas officials who seemed so anxious to help previously, now could not be found or wouldn't take my call. I even had a close doctor-friend call one of his own friends, a high-ranking general in the Ecuadorian army. His advice? "This involves high-level U.S. officials. Just stay out of it."
For her part, Andrea and her daughter, watched as Ecuadorian police waited outside the Caton's security fence, wearing black shorts with big white letters that read, "FBI" (wherein no such agency exists in the Ecuadorian government . . . just the U.S.).
What a contrast from Larrea's previous position: "We are a nation and we are sovereign."

In the days that followed, Dr. Solomon filed a denuncio with the prosecutor's office in Guayaquil, and used his contacts to discover that the license plate of the vehicle used to abduct him (RYA-003) belonged to the U.S. Consulate's Office in Guayaquil. In other words, the U.S. State Department. As months passed and one official after another refused to discuss my case with me, my attorneys, or my associates, we made the decision to move on.
In January, 2009, Cathryn and I moved to Cuenca.
It would be another year before we would once again encounter kidnappers, but not before seeing my name raised to "The World's Most Wanted" . . .

Gregory James Caton:
"World's Most Wanted Criminal"

Less than three months after the first kidnapping attempt, I received a somewhat frantic call from an Alpha Omega Labs' customer, who asked me if I had seen the morning's Parade Magazine, dated Sunday, February 8, 2009. [ See related internet article or if deleted from the web, click here (taken 12/12/11).]
I said I hadn't and asked why it was important.
"It's important," came the reply, "because it says here that you're on Interpol Red Alert . . . a status reserved by Interpol for only the world's most serious, sought-after criminals; that you're among the world's most wanted; that you're a high-value target fugitive . . . hell . . . it's even got you in here with Osama bin Laden.."
"You're making this up," I replied in complete astonishment.
"No, I'm not . . . for real . . . Listen, I have your email address here . . . Let me scan the cover plus the article and send it to you."

Not less than a couple hours later, I got the email, showing me what was being represented by Parade Magazine.
When I was able to find the internet article that Parade had put out on me, I was even more amazed. I was the first in a lineup of persons listed on their "World's Most Wanted," giving readers the distinct impression that I was probably the most dangerous of them all.
Even Osama bin Laden had nothing on a probation violator, like me . . . except that this was not what was being represented. Instead, under CRIME, what was stated was that I was "convicted of selling fake, harmful cancer drugs and other meds to duped consumers," which is not at all what my coerced plea agreement stated. Additionally, the unmistakeable impression that was transmitted was that this was the CRIME for which I was being sought, which wasn't the case at all.
Even more apparent was that somebody at the FDA had written this information, and Parade Magazine -- in the ignoble spirit of what Paul Craig Roberts now calls "the press-titutes" -- dutifully published this information without asking any questions, doing any research . . . and certainly not bothering to contact me or anyone representing me.
This wasn't news.
It was a U.S. Government-sponsored slander piece . . . another hit job.
Here was yet more "PM" -- Perception Management -- the term that U.S. Government policy wonks use to describe the art of circulating ridiculous, provably false information, which is supposed to gather an air of truthfulness if only because it has the stamp of officialdom.
That the pending charge simply wasn't true, nor did it exist, didn't appear to embarrass anyone in the U.S. Government.

The Second Kidnapping Attempt
& My Subsequent Rendition After
A Successful Extradition Hearing

As we proceeded through 2009, I found myself doing more and more shamanic work. Although Cathryn found no benefits from taking entheogens -- even lamenting that besides vomiting and seeing bright lights and geometric patterns she experienced nothing of lasting value -- my response was entirely different. [3] I was able to consciously explore subtle layers of the universe, meet and speak with plant spirits, and, on occasion and without volition, peer into possible future events. For those who have not studied the range of possible experiences using entheogenic substances, these statements may seem fantastical. I myself initially explored entheogens are a legitimate branch of herbalism, not expecting much. Since the 1970's, I had been a practitioner of transcendental meditation and a student of Patanjali's yoga sutras -- all of which I found to be consistent with my Christian upbringing and beliefs. I can state definitively, however, that I never experienced the real fruits that these spiritual practices are said to produce. The practice of the Siddhis -- in particular -- are said to produce very specific "powers" and abilities over time . . . levitating . . . seeing through objects . . . highly developed states of intuition, etc.; however, I never experienced them to any significant degree. Perhaps such lack of performance can be attributable to my own lack of spiritual development. Then, again, perhaps forty years of practice isn't long enough to experience these abilities . . . after all, Vedic scholars and knowledgeable yogis will tell you that it can take "lifetimes" of ditiful practice.
In any event, that changed with my introduction to ayahuasca. It was as if I had reconnected to an ancient part of my past. Despite the fact that the bitterness of the finished preparation is such that I get nauseated at the very thought of its taste [4], I could not deny that I felt a kinship with ayahuasca and the plant spirits to whom I was subsequently introduced.

On the evening of Saturday, November 21, 2009 -- a year after the first kidnapping attempt -- I decided to take a shamanic journey in the cloud forest near my home in Cuenca, at a place about 10,000 feet elevation. I had an intuition that "something was trying to communicate," so I asked Cathryn to come with me with pen and paper, so she could take notes.
It was close to midnight when I began getting thought impressions of a most disturbing nature. Among other things, I was told in clear detail that:
(1) Another kidnapping attempt would happen soon; (2) That someone close to me (who I won't name here) had provided extensive contact information about me, my daily habits, travel plans, etc. in exchange for money; (3) That, again (as if I really needed to be told this) corrupt elements within the U.S. State Dept. were behind it, along with bribe-taking local police; and (4) That as in the case of my initial arrest on Sept. 17, 2003, and the first kidnapping attempt on November 19, 2008, it would all happen on a Wednesday.
The revelations were so disturbing that I ended the entheogenic session and spent the rest of the night talking to Cathryn.
Was it true? Was this something we should rely or act upon? Or were these thoughts generated, like dreams so often are, by my own hidden fears and concerns? If these were just my own fears coming through, why were these communications so specific?
For the next week, I stayed very close to our apartment in the city. Cathryn made all the errands required by our household. When November 25th (2009 -- the following Wednesday) came and went, we began to feel that whatever I had been "picking up" was without validity. We were still vigilant, but not as disturbed as before.
Another week went by . . . it was December 2nd (the following Wednesday), and we went about our work, though I stayed home. At about 4 p.m. we finished up, and I told Cathryn that maybe it was okay to head back to the mountains.
For reasons I am uncertain, there are junctures in our lives where fate takes hold . . . for no matter what preparations you have made and what events preceed these critical junctures, the inevitable still happens. That very morning, Cathryn had been on our mountain road . . . she had been pulled over at a "partida" [5] at a place where we never see one . . . in fact, as I think back, there were all kinds of ominous signs that day that something awful was looming, and, still, I ignored the warnings, even though I had even been told what day of the week it would occur. It was as if entire sections of the brain had been turned off . . . for me and for Cathryn.

As I drove down our mountain road near Cuenca after business hours, I noticed a "partida" along a straight-away, which -- even then -- I took to be checkpoint for paperwork. In fact, as I pulled up to the stop, I casually rolled down my window, and handed the officer my cedula, matricula, and registration. [6] Even then I had no thought that there was trouble brewing.
As soon as the attending officer read my cedula, "all hell broke loose." Other officers swarmed my vehicle and I was told to get out. Stunned by the events moving quickly around me, I caught the word "Interpol" by one of officers as another pulled out handcuffs . . . and then I knew.
"Wednesday," Cathryn muttered -- in a state of near shock.
As I was shoved into a police car and whisked away, I held one prevailing thought -- a question, really -- about the events that were unfolding . . . "Would I ever see my family again?"

That night I was driven to Guayaquil and imprisoned, without being told what my charges in Ecuador were, without access to a translator or legal counsel -- all of which are required by Ecuadorian law . . . and without access to a phone so I could tell Cathryn what was happening.
In the days that followed, from my illegal abduction on December 2nd to my actual rendition on an American Airlines Flight on Friday, December 11th (2009), the number of laws that were broken in the name of applying justice in my case only mounted. Even the customary medical examination to new inmates in my case was completely fake. (Dated on December 2, 2009 -- the day I was abducted -- the document is signed by the attendant physician, Dr. José Velasco, a man I have never met.)
In one letter from my associate in Guayaquil to Cathryn, dated Dec. 15th, there were already a potpourri of Ecuadorian laws broken, all of which was equally puzzling to my defense attorney in Guayaquil, Dr. Dorlandig Humberto Toala Quijije. The cruelest violation of all was the revocation of my visa and cedula -- meaning, the complete and unlawful revocation of my Ecuadorian residency. To this very day (Mar. 10, 2012) I cannot get an explanation as to the legal basis for what is for me -- equivalent to taking away my natural citizenship. Under "deportation" my migration report with the Ecuadorian government is empty . . . further indication that what officials did was illegal and they are now trying to cover their tracks.
The trendline, which pointed to no end to law-breaking as it pertained to my case manifested early. [7] The arresting officer, Capt. Wilson Reyes Pabon, of the Ecuadorian National Police, who works inside the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil, filed a barrage of suspicious reports within 24 hours of my arrest. Most startling was the stated purpose of my arrest: to support an arrest warrant issued the previous October, which placed my criminal charge as "investigation."
That's right . . . investigation.
Despite the fact that a criminal background investigation was issued the very same day I was arresting by the Ecuadorian National Police, indicating that there was NO VIOLATION of Ecuadorian law on record, it was still necessary to arrest me under the presumable pretense that I needed to be investigated.
The next day, on December 3th, a hearing was held -- (I was not in attendance) -- wherein Ecuadorian Judge Angel Rubio of the First Court of Constitutional Guarantees, the same judge who issued the initial arrest "order" or warrant -- ordered my release. His legal reasoning? There was no evidence of any violation of Ecuadorian law, therefore there was no basis for extradition . . . . deportation, perhaps.
This ruling didn't please Capt. Wilson Reyes and his overlords at the U.S. Consulate.
A hearing was held the next day, on December 4th, wherein the release order was acknowledged but ignored. The prosecutor's office had my Ecuadorian visa illegally revoked and the order itself was countermanded.
In response to this lawlessness, my attorney filed an appellate brief on the same day (Dec. 4th), followed by an even more strongly worded brief on December 7th, following a negative ruling by the Eighth District Court, favoring deportation. A appellate hearing was set for December 14th.
By this time, the level of lawlessness and complete avoidance of any adherence to proper criminal procedure on the part of those working on behalf of the U.S. Consulate had reached such a fever pitch, that my attorney, Mr. Quijije, filed an Action of Protection, wherein he made the unusual claim that it appears that a "Black Hand" was guiding the process, neutering any efforts to have the rule of law applied in the case.
Mr. Quijije's fears were realized, for on the very next morning, I was released from the Provincial Prison in Guayaquil by Capt. Wilson Reyes under the pretense that I had an immediate hearing with the judge.
As in the case of all other consequential areas of the case, this turned out to be a complete lie . . . I was, instead, immediately taken to the international airport in Guayaquil and placed on an American Airlines flight.
My deportation was acknowledged in an internal memo, drafted within an hour of my deportation . . . though subsequent to this, any mention of deportation was removed from my Ecuadorian immigration records.

My Additional 2-Year Prison Sentence in the U.S.

Upon arriving in Miami, Florida, I was personally delivered to the in-airport office of the U.S. Marshal's Office. While awaiting my next journey -- to the FDC (Federal Detention Center) in Miami -- Capt. Wilson Reyes took time to have a party with U.S. Marshals, complete with drinks and a photo opportunity. There is something almost surrealistic about being treated like a big game prize at the conclusion of an African Safari. At no moment to that point was it more clear that the "fix was in" from the moment I was kidnapped. That -- as I experienced in Judge Melancon's court in 2004 -- any semblance of truth, an application of law, simply had no bearing. What I had been dealing with all along was the Mafia . . . Mafia with badges.
I spent the next month in Miami, at which point I was shipped off to a prison in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana by way of Oklahoma City. Why Breaux Bridge? Because it's only a stone's throw from Judge Melancon's courtroom in Lafayette. Surely, U.S. authorities would not have gone through all this trouble to have me illegally extradited if they couldn't place me in close proximity to my tormenter . . .
The legal nonsense that lead to Judge Melancon's assignment of yet ANOTHER prison sentence -- this time more two years -- yields official transcripts so voluminous that a separate link table has been created, making the transcripts available to those brave souls who would care to peruse them.
From June 10, 2010 to the end of March, 2011, I was housed at the Federal Correction Center in Beaumont, Texas -- the same facility I had spent over 18 months from 2004 to 2006. On March 31, 2011, I was picked up from Beaumont by a good friend of my wife, Cathryn, and brought to the halfway house in Lake Charles, where I served another five months of administrative hell.
Concurrent with my legal entanglements in the States -- and thousands of miles away -- Cathryn was continuing to have my case reviewed by legal experts in Ecuador. She was able to get notarized affidavits of three people who personally witnessed the events leading up to the illegal deportation, and an attorney in Quito indicated that the violation of law was so massive that he recommended a lawsuit filed with the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C., which he drafted. (A separate SUMMARY document is enclosed which details the many laws that were violated by those who perpetrated the kidnapping and deportation.)

"You're Not Getting Your Passport Back" :
My Struggle To Return to My Family in Ecuador

For the last four months of my stay at the Lake Charles halfway house (called "CINC II"), I was able to work at a job where I had steady access to internet communications with Cathryn.
Even by mid-2011 it was becoming increasingly apparent that a distinct, fascist, "martial law" atmosphere was being created. We still had to wonder: "Would I be able to get back to Ecuador?" Already, one of our friends who is an expert in the 'free energy' movement was on a "No Fly List" and could not leave the U.S.
Would I now find myself on a "No Fly List"?
With our attention focussed on my August 30th release date, we now had to wait to see how my efforts faired in getting my U.S. passport renewed.
Aug. 30 --- At 9 a.m. on the morning of Tuesday, August 30, 2011, I signed out of the halfway house and drove a rental car directly to the Passport Center in Houston. On this day and for the next three days that followed I would be commuting back and forth between Lake Charles and Houston, 150 miles -- all in an effort to get my U.S. passport renewed. When I got to Houston that Tuesday morning, I paid for the State Department's "expedite service," and was told to return the next day for my passport.
Aug. 31 --- The next day I dutifully returned to Houston at the pre-arranged time only to be told that my passport "had been held up by officials in Washington." So I then drove back to Lake Charles and called the National Passport Information Center (NPIC), and what followed was a conversation between myself and a NPIC representative I will never forget . . . the most critical moment of which went something like this:

---> NPIC Rep: "Let's see . . . oh, wait a minute . . . (long pause) . . . My God, I've never seen a file like this . . . "

---> Greg: "I really need to know if I'm going to get my passport this week. I have a flight scheduled for Friday, so it's very important that I know what's going on . . . "

---> NPIC Rep: "Well, it says here that you're passport is being held up by officials in Washington. I can't tell you if or when you'll get your passport . . . (another long pause ensued) . . . I'm not really sure we should be talking about this . . . (yet another long pause)"

---> Greg: "Would you mind if I spoke to a supervisor? . . . You have a supervisor, right? . . . Is there a person there I can talk to, to find out more about what's happening with my case?" . . .

---> NPIC Rep: "Hold on a moment. I'll transfer you." (another pause, after which a woman answered the line)

---> NPIC Supervisor: "Hello, this is _________ , can I help you?" . . . (at which point I summarized the conversation that I had had with the NPIC rep) . . . "The rep should not have told you that . . . what was his name?" . . . (at which point I discussed the name of the rep I had spoken with) . . . "Well, everything is fine. Your passport is being processed and you should get it soon."

Given everything I had been through, I knew the astonishing level of dishonesty that resides at all levels of the U.S. federal government. So at the conclusion of this phone conversation I had every reason to believe that the renewal of my U.S. passport was going to be an extended affair. How could it be otherwise? Throughout this entire ordeal, which from the day of my kidnapping to that present moment -- a span of 21 months -- I had seen nothing but skullduggery. What would possess me to believe that a man who could be placed in the public press on par with Osama bin Laden could waltz into a government office and be treated like any other citizen?
That evening I called Cathryn in Ecuador. Frustrated and nearly exhausted to the point of tears, I told her that I would prepare the rest of my meager belongings in Lake Charles and mail them off to Ecuador in the morning before driving back to Houston. (It had been my intention to simply bring them back with me on the plane.) It was truly apparent to me at that point that I had no basis for hope and no way to know at what point in the future I would be returned to my family -- despite there being no legal basis for denying me the right to fly back to Ecuador -- to my home, my family, my friends, my property, my animals, and my gardens.

Sept. 1 -- The following morning, for the third morning in a row, I headed off to Houston yet again. This time, however, I was not headed for the Houston Passport Center. Instead, I drove directly to the Consulate General of Ecuador in Houston to try to unearth my current status with the Ecuadorian government and find out if there could be another avenue to returning home.
Eventually, I was able to meet with the Consul General herself, Ms. Susana Alvear. Although my semi-functional Spanish became an impediment to understanding everything that was said and was occurring, the "take away" was that there was little that could be done. It was apparent to me that officials in Quito whom Ms. Alvear spoke with were familiar with my case, but there was an unmistakeable sense that no one wanted to get their hands dirty by addressing it.
At the very moment a stopping point arrived where I truly didn't know what more to think, do, or say, I got a call on my cell phone while still sitting in front of Ms. Alvear.
It was the Houston Passport Center.
"Mr. Caton, your passport will be here at 3 p.m. tomorrow for pickup . . . " I paused, and then I must have asked at least three times in three different ways, "Are you sure?"
Astonished and relieved, I gracefully exited the Consulate and headed back to Lake Charles to collect the few belongings I had which had not yet been shipped off my mail. Then I made a most unexpected call to Cathryn.
"Tomorrow is going to be very dicey. I have to pick up my passport at 3 p.m. I still have a flight ticket that leaves Houston a little before 6 p.m. I can only hope I'll be able to make it on time."
Since I still had my rental car from Lake Charles, I had to make arrangements to bring a friend who would drive back after dropping me off at the airport. And I had to hope for a miracle, because the timeline before me was unbelieveably tight.
Sept. 2 -- The following morning I spent a tearful breakfast with Fred [8], who had provided me a job and a place to stay during my halfway house time. Then I prepared to make my fourth trip to Houston in four days with my "return trip" companion.
At 2 p.m. I showed up at the Houston Passport Center, one hour early, attempting to make the case that I needed to get my passport as soon as possible if I was to make my flight. As it turned out, I was able to get my passport at 2:30 p.m., race to the airport on time, and fly to Quito. Although friends had warned me about the possibility of not being allowed back into Ecuador, I was able to pass through immigration without incident. As a tourist.
It was, of course, a joyful reunion at Quito's international airport where I met up with Cathryn shortly after midnight after going on two years of separation.
From there would begin the long, arduous process of attempting to get my visa, my permanent residency, reestablished . . . a process that continues to this day.

Aftermath: To this day, I feel that it was only through the intervention of some kind soul I will never meet in Washington who intervened, over the objections of those connected to a lawless FDA, so that the law would observed and my U.S. passport would be returned.
The final resolution to my case in Ecuador is far more clear cut. On April 17, 2012, an extraordinary session by Ecuador's Advisory Board of Migration Policy was held. My extraordinary rendition and deportation were ruled as having taken place without 'fundamentals' (i.e. legal foundation)." This is a diplomatic way of saying that the activities of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, as it pertains to my case, were completely illegal.
This ruling was further reinforced by the re-issuance of my permanent residency visa and "cedula" (i.e. national identification card) on September 12, 2012. Such issuances would be impossible if Ecuador had found that my deportation was legal.

It is a bittersweet victory because it doesn't address the massive violations of law, morals, and ethics that surround my case in the States. However, it is probably the best outcome one can hope for, given the massive, systemic government corruption that now guides the policies, procedures, and activities of the United States -- domestically and around the world.

  1. Gustavo Larrea was no minor official. His official position at that time could be equated to that of Secretary of State in the U.S. His influence was considerable, and, in fact, he stated publicly that it was he, who in 2005, first suggested that Rafael Correa run for the Presidency.
  2. "Cajas" is the abbreviated term used by locals around Cuenca for the area known as Cajas National Park.
  3. On more than one occasion, I have heard "ayahuasqueros" state that "you don't choose ayahuasca . . . ayahuasca chooses you." I have acquired a richer understanding of this expression over time. I have known dozens of people who have taken ayahuasca, or any number of other entheogens to be found legal in Ecuador: San Pedro, guanto (a serious, and occasionally deadly, Datura concoction that I would never take myself), not to mention mimosa tree bark or other source materials that yield "smokeable DMT." Few of those I have known -- however well-intentioned or even well-prepared -- achieve the spiritual goals (if I may use that term broadly) that they are seeking.
  4. Ayahuasca in our region of Ecuador is normally a cooked combination of "Banisteriopsis caapi" (the celebrated "vine of the soul") and "Diplopterys cabrerana, known among the Chechua-speaking people as "chaliponga." See : ayahuasca. However, even in central Ecuador, there are dozens of "effective" recipes.
  5. A "partida" is an area of the road, marked off by orange traffic cones, where the police will pull over passing cars to check vehicle registration and ownership, look for contraband, etc.

  6. A "cedula" is the national identification card that is carried by Ecuadorians, both citizens and permanent residents. Drivers are expected to keep their "matriculas" in their vehicles, which, like registration cards in the U.S., indicates who the owner of the vehicle is, their address, and that taxes have been paid on the vehicle.
  7. The links/documents that follow were only examined and properly translated in early 2012. (Again, remember that after my kidnapping and deportation, I did not return to Ecuador until September 2, 2011 . . . and it took months to get my life back in order before re-addressing my legal matters.
  8. Fred is a pseudonym to protect the public identity of the friend who acted as my benefactor, provided me with a job during my halfway house time, and a beautiful cabin on the Calcasieu River to stay at, rent-free, during this horrible ordeal.
A Pictorial of Key
Places, Events
& People

Click on pictures below to ENLARGE.

This section bookends the major points made at the beginnings of this chapter. In support, at the end of this column the reader will find a series of prison photos and brief case studies that provide further illustration. Please note that all the inmates pictured are real. Their age and release dates can be confirmed at www.bop.gov on the tab marked "Inmate Locator." Just enter the respective inmate number, which I provide below. [Photo above: FCC Beaumont Low, Texas; Fall, 2010].

Extraordinary Rendition:
December, 2009

This picture was taken in November, 2009, at my rented apartment in Cuenca, just two weeks prior to my kidnapping and illegal deportation from Ecuador. A shaman friend from Puyo had given me three parakeets -- a gift from deep inside the Amazon in Pastaza Province. These birds must feel some kind of attachment to their perceived owner, because all three managed to find a way to leave my home shortly after I was taken.

The "Jefatura Provincial de Migracion" in Guayaquil carried a central role in both the initial kidnapping attempt on November 19, 2007; the subsequent kidnapping and illegal deportation in December, 2009; and in more recent developments involving my case.

On the morning of Friday, December 11, 2011, I was escorted from Guayaquil prison by Col. Wilson Reyes of the Ecuadorian National Police. The reason given? To see the judge who would preside over my third hearing in less than nine days. It was all a cruel ruse. Instead, I was promptly and illegally taken to the international airport in Guayaquil (José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport) and illegally deported on an American Airlines flight.

This is the provincial prison in Guayaquil, known as "Penitenciaria del Litoral." This is where I resided from Dec. 4, until my illegal deportation on the morning of Dec. 11, 2011. Known for its corruption, I saw all manner of favors given to well-heeled inmates while I stayed there. For the right price, you could obtain special food, marijuana, prostitutes, cellphones, etc. as long as you knew the right guards and had the money. The U.S. Consulate knows this and plays to the police culture in Guayaquil to its own benefit. In my case there was a "right price" to having me kidnapped and illegally deported over the objections of an Ecuadorian judge, having already won my extradition hearing.

At the time of the first kidnapping attempt (Nov. 2008), Cathryn and I were living in a quaint neighborhood outside Guayaquil -- on "Via a la Costa," the road taken by city residents as they make their way to the Pacific Ocean. It is called "Torres del Salado," and it was here that we lived from the time we made our permanent move to Ecuador (Sept. 2007) until February, 2009.

Within 24 hours of the initial kidnapping attempt, Ecuadorian police donning black shirts with large white letters that read "FBI" were swarming Torres del Salado. From a nearby neighborhood named "Puerto Azul" came Andrea Fernandez-Salvador, who with her daughter, Sylvia, first observed these police machinations. Over the following days where I had to maintain an absence from my own home, Andrea was a frequent visit to our house, as she continued to console Cathryn as these dramatic events were unfolding.

Life in a U.S. prison is so far removed from Natural Law, so artificial and completely forsaken of any connection with the Earth, that I craved to have my hands back in the soil after I got to the halfway house. Within a week after arriving, in April (2011), I was able to get a job with an old friend and business associate, Fred [8], in Moss Bluff -- an affluent rural community just north of Lake Charles.
I spent nearly five months, from early April to September 2nd, living in a lovely cabin on the banks of the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles.
Although I had to have a full-time job to stay at the halfway house, Fred also knew that I needed time to heal before returning to Ecuador. At its deepest level, gardening is a spiritual practice and a therapeutic modality. It reminds us of our roots and our connection to the countless creatures that make up the universe of a healthy soil.
Speaking of healthy soil, my organic garden in Moss Bluff was a labor of love. When I started the soil was covered with drought-tolerant grasses, rock-hard, clayish, with poor tilth and horrible structure. Although a friend of Fred's did a rototill to get me started, the rest of it was done by hand. With plenty of love and a little help from horse manure, greensand, rock phosphate, and seaweed extract, I started the garden in early May and by the end of August -- in four months -- I had a healthy garden booming with hot peppers, squash, tomatoes, melons, pumpkin, cilantro, sunflowers, beans, corn, and figs. This -- despite an unusually hot summer -- even for a place like Moss Bluff, Louisiana in USDA Heat Zone 9.
The photo below as taken on July 31st -- three months after I started the garden.


Note: Files below are available in PDF format, followed by their DOCX ("Word") equivalents.

Summary of Criminal Acts -- (DOC version) -- The violations of both international and domestic (Ecuadorian) laws committed by the U.S. Consulate and its agents in the Ecuadorian National Police were so extensive that Cathryn Caton's attorneys had to compile their own summaries. The file above includes an article written by the late Ecuadorian journalist, Edgar "Patricio" Cardenas, for El Mercurio detailing particulars about the illegal deportation.

Lawsuit Filing with the Inter American Commission on Human Rights -- (DOC version) -- -- This legal document, drafted by Ecuadorian attorney, Roberto Moreno, in Quito, was composed in June, 2010, and details, relative to the laws and jurisdiction of that international body, the many violations that occurred in the "Caton case."

Denuncio of Dr. Neville Solomon -- (DOC version) -- Over a year prior to the illegal kidnapping and deportation, an initial attempt was made involving the abduction of Neville Solomon, whose identity officials mistook for that of Greg Caton. The shocking revelations made in this sworn statement provide insights into events that would follow in 2009.

Initial Ruling on Extradition -- Dec. 3, 2009 -- (DOC version) -- This legal ruling was issued only hours after Caton was brought to Guayaquil in the late hours of December 2, 2009. Its "essence"? Mr. Caton is free to go, since he hasn't violated any laws we recognize. We can't extradite him, but we can give him to the local police authority for processing and deport him, calling it something else.

Witness Affidavits Concerning the Illegal Deportation -- (DOC version) -- This document contains the sworn affidavits of three eyewitnesses to the deportation -- one by the Defendant's own legal counsel, and the other two by former associates of Herbologics, Ltd. -- the primary business interest of the Caton family.

Arrest Report & Related Correspondence by Capt. Wilson Reyes -- (DOC version) -- A member of the Ecuadorian National Police, Wilson Reyes, created several documents within 24 hours of the initial kidnapping on December 2, 2009. Taken together, these documents and the events that followed show that Wilson's allegiance at all times was to the dictates of the U.S. Consulate and not to the Ecuadorian government, its statutues, or to the rule of law in general.

Arrest Order: Oct 2009 -- (DOC version) -- An illegal arrest order was issued two months before the kidnapping. The charge? Investigation (?!?!) . . . a fact that only served to perplex legal experts who would later examine the case.

Criminal Background Check: Dec. 2, 2009 -- (DOC version) -- The supposed "investigation" was later shown to never exist and there was never one subsequently initiated. On the same day as the arrest an criminal background check on the Defendant (Caton) was made. The result? Nothing.

Visa Cancellation: Dec. 4, 2009 -- (DOC version) -- One of the most egregious and lawless acts in connection with this case was the illegal cancellation of the Defendant's visa after an unfavorable ruling (in the eyes of the U.S. Consulate) wherein the Defendant was ordered released.

Hearing Summary: Dec. 4, 2009 -- (DOC version) -- Less than 40 hours after the initial arrest, a hearing was held wherein it was made clear that since an initial ruling was made denying extradition, a different route would be executed by the prosecutor seeking deportation.

Order Countermanded: Dec. 4, 2009 -- (DOC version) -- This document provides further evidence that it was never the intent of those secretly working for the U.S. Consulate to follow the law in this case.

Defendant's Petitions Ignored: Dec. 4, 7, 10. Counsel for the Defendant made separate petitions on December 4 -- (DOC) -- and December 7 -- (DOC), with a final Order of Protection -- (DOC) -- filed on December 10th when it finally became apparent that applicable laws were simply not going to be followed in this case. The latest of these filings expresses a particularly exasperated tone as it became clear that a "black hand" was directing events behind the scene.

Results of Extraordinary Session -- (DOC version) -- by Ecuador's Advisory Board of Migration Policy held April 17, 2012. "The deportation was without 'fundamentals' (i.e. legal foundation)."

U.S. Prison Life:
A Study in Surrealism

The effects of prison life as it is administered in the U.S. -- statistically, the world's largest incarcerating authority by far (i.e. more DoubleSpeak: "land of the free") -- is felt most severely not by the inmate, but by the inmate's family. The wife, children, other dependents . . . these are the individuals who are most deeply affected.
This isn't an accident. It was sadistically designed that way. In a criminal justice system where truth had meaning -- where prosecutors were disincentivized from presenting false evidence, forcing witnesses to say things they knew were false, destroying exculpatory evidence, crafting coerced plea agreements, etc. -- that same system would address defendants who actually commited a crime with measures that address the concerns of an actual victim. And the defendant alone would be expected to provide recompense to the victim.
The system will never reform itself in this direction because such corrections would expose the incorrigible corruption that is at the very heart of the system itself.
The photo above was taken at the visitation room of FCC Beaumont (Low), Texas on December 13, 2004.

Meet Philip Gerry (U.S. Federal Inmate #60049-019; left) and Former Louisiana Senator Michael O'Keefe, Sr. (#17048-034; right).
Gerry, an information technology specialist and amateur sailor who circumnavigated the world on a sailboat he took ten years to build, is a relative unknown. Caught up in the intrigue of another case where a "confidential informant" provided false information about Gerry in order to save himself, Gerry ended up being charged for a sex crime that never occurred. Gerry has spent years trying to have his case re-examined after he was able to unearth evidence that the testimony was completely perjured.
Unlike Gerry, O'Keefe is not an unknown. Federal agents have spent years working with the mainstream media to disgrace O'Keefe and his entire family -- with charges ranging from insurance fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, to money laundering. Basically, the kitchen sink.
All federal inmates -- even those who are guilty of the crime for which they are charged -- know that the majority of federal criminal cases exist on two levels: ( 1 ) The Overt Charge -- that is, the prosecutor's story that is presented to the public; and ( 2 ) The Actual Offense -- that is, the behind-the-scenes motivating factor(s) that caused the government to target you in the first place.
There are hundreds of pages on the internet that go on, ad nauseum, about the "fall from grace" of former Louisiana President of the Senate, Michael O'Keefe, and none that discuss what crimes were going on at the highest levels of the FBI that O'Keefe attempted to uncover that constituted "The Actual Offense." O'Keefe's real crime was not having the good sense to know that there is a Shadow Government that is above the law . . . and there is no crime more serious than attempts to uncover its machinations.
People who have to scratch their heads and wonder why U.S. Congressmen and Senators have worked so assiduously to destroy the very Constitution they have sworn to protect, have only to remember cases like those of O'Keefe. Either on the state or federal level, legislators who want to survive the game don't rule anything.
They do what they're told.
O'Keefe was writing his "tell all" memoir when I last saw him in March, 2011, but since he is 80 years old, has cancer and is being treated with conventional cancer drugs, the larger question is whether or not he will make it to his April, 2016 "out date."

Meet former U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Kevin M. Holt (#14325-045), who is doing a life sentence for having stole a trailer with three of his Marine buddies.
No, wait a minute. That's the Defendant's side of the story, and we can only trust the Prosecutor. Let's start over.
Holt was convicted in 1993 by a court-martial board for the first-degree murder of decorated Desert Storm war hero, Brent Arthurs. In 1993 at the young age of 21 years old, Holt was sentenced to life in prison, narrowly escaping the death penalty. Actually, he did way more just commit murder. He stabbed his friend 45 TIMES with a bayonet, stole his motorcycle and other possessions, then he went back to base, displayed the stolen goods while advertising and bragging about the theft and the gruesome killing in exhaustive, graphic detail. Not satisfied to have already committed a crime on par with the grossest Hollywood horror movie, he then attempts to convince his listeners to join him in committing yet another similar act . . .
Hey, stop rolling your eyes. It's totally plausible . . . I see it happen all the time.
You see, that's what we're supposed to believe.
That's the story.
That's the Overt Charge.
Did it actually happen? . . . To be honest, I have no earthly idea. I wasn't there. But what I do find curious is that the U.S. Government has repeatedly denied the admission of DNA evidence in the case.
For years, Holt's mother, Ms. Glenda Ewing, maintained a website at her own expense called militaryinjustice.com, where she attempted to bring to light the facts of the case -- the most important of which is the claim that it wasn't even possible for Holt to have been in the area where Brent Arthurs was killed. Several people testified that they saw Arthurs ALIVE after the government claims he was killed, and in February, 2013, I received a letter from a friend of Holt that recounted prosecutor fraud in connection with the case.
I didn't know Holt very well, but I found the U.S. Government's efforts to suppress evidence every bit as disturbing as the facts of the murder itself -- regardless of who did it . . . if it happened at all.

Meet former Danish assemblyman and United Nations delegate from Denmark, Uwe Jensen (#15926-179, left); and his "cellie," arms maker and military contractor, Robert Stewart (#04650-081, right). Actually, the charges of both men have to do with arms.
They seem like very nice guys, but no citizen should ever forget that they're terrorists. In fact, Uwe -- despite his illustrious reputation and career back in Denmark -- is regarded as such a threat that he is not allowed to receive mail unless it has been translated, read, and analyzed PRIOR to receipt. So if you write him today, it could be many weeks before he reads it. He's a serious threat.
Yup. That's the story.
That's what we're supposed to believe.
I'm sure that Uwe's charges have nothing to do with the fact that Eric Holder, currently head of the U.S. Dept. of Justice and a never-to-be-indicted architect in the Operation Fast & Furious arms scandal in Mexico, was -- at that time -- representing an arms dealer in Colombia that was a competitor to Uwe's company. (Hear 57 Congressional calls for Holder's never-to-be-seen resignation).
A mere coincidence . . . I'm sure . . . because we can trust that the motives of prosecutors and their handlers are pure.

Meet Canadian physician, James T. Hill, M.D. (#13040-035), 64, a practitioner who emphasized natural healing, vitamin and mineral supplementation, prescribed herbs, and considerable care before recommending pharmaceutical drugs to his patients. In fact, Dr. Hill offered courses in natural medicine and nutrition at FCC Beaumont Low that were approved by prison authorities! (I know -- because I took two of his courses while at that prison.)
That's his Actual Offense.
Paradoxically, his Overt Charge was making prescriptions to some of his desperate patients by phone, without seeing them in person.
His current release date is in August, 2020.

Meet Douglas B. Spink (#35132-086), 40, amateur marijuana grower. His Covert Offense? Doug is a world-class programmer and cryptologist who founded www.CryptoCloud.com, an VPN service that provides its clients a level of cryptologic protection well above that currently available from comparable services. He is not well-liked among the intelligence agencies.

Meet Ralph Anthony Knox (#34441-044), 43, small-time methamphetamine producer. I knew about "Tony's" case fairly well because he was my cellmate ("cellie"), and I had a chance to review his transcripts. Tony never attempted to argue -- to anyone -- that he didn't violate the law by making certain things in his own home that aren't legal.
His problem was the complete abandonment of the 4th Amendment as it applied to his case. Tony was able to show the court that the local sheriff had used a judge's signature stamp without their approval. Apparently, no one in authority in Lincoln County, Missouri has a problem with unreasonable search and seizure. This, of course, is consistent with the U.S. federal government's current posture that, "We can violate any law or constitutional principle we want if we think that a citizen of this country has committed a crime."
Speaking of "drugs" that are not legal. It is well-known in the federal prison system, where over 50% of all inmates are there because of convictions that, in some way, involved drugs, that the system is rigged. According to former U.S. assistant secretary of HUD, Catherine Austin Fitts, the CIA's international cocaine trade exceeds $600 billion a year in gross receipts.
If you're in a U.S. prison for dealing in illegal drugs, it isn't because the U.S. government has a moral or ethical problem with the distribution of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, marijuana, or any other "controlled substance."
It's because they didn't get their cut.

Meet Kevin Felts(#45128-079), a professional pilot, who used his private jet to fly wealthy clients to far-flung locations with very short notice. One of the side effects of having an "Office of Asset Forfeiture" at the U.S. Dept. of (In)Justice, whose job it is to shake down each and every defendant for whatever assets they can find, is that collateral damage is inevitable.
Had Kevin taken the time to examine the contents of everything his clients carried, he wouldn't be in prison today. With that level of "TSA style" invasiveness, it is doubtful that he would have had happy clients, but then he wouldn't be in prison.
Of all the inmates I knew at Beaumont, Kevin was among the most bitter. He had invested all of his faith in what he thought was a just system . . . played by the rules . . . paid all his taxes, etc. It is a hard lesson to learn that the world is nothing at all like you think.
Kevin's current out date is February 23, 2023.

Meet Walter Velez (#83306-180), formerly a reseller of marijuana, but currently imprisoned for having a gun in his home.
Few Americans appreciate the degree to which the 2nd Amendment -- that simple, basic, civil liberty that allows one to protect one's family -- has been emasculated to the point of obscurity. The Amendment itself -- just one sentence long -- is simple and to the point: ""A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
People like Walter Velez, who number in the many thousands, are a living testament to the fact that this right is currently being massively infringed.
Opposition to civil liberties is not new. Even the Federalist Papers, published in 1788, took a generally negative view of what would come to be known as "The Bill of Rights." Nonetheless, after its passage, the Bill of Rights was -- for generations -- regarded as quintessentially American. Indisputable and indefilable. Its absence would constitute nothing more definably UN-American.
Not today.
Acting on the orders of a virulent Shadow Government, that expansive coast-to-coast brothel known as the federal court system has seen to it that, piece-by-piece, the U.S. Constitution is completely dismantled. True and faithful constitutionalists, like former Judge Joseph Napolitano, author of Constitutional Chaos: When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws and Its Dangerous to Be Right When the Government is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom, has been railing against these dangerous developments for years -- to little effect. (He was recently fired from Fox News for a brilliantly oblique, poignant diatribe.)
This issue is particularly close to me, because at the time of my initial arrest on September 17, 2003, the initial charge was going to be the same as Walter Velez. Back in 1999, my wife legally obtained registered firearms, and as a result of concerns about the possibility of civil unrest over the Y2K phenomenon, she stocked up and kept everything in a private locker. We were not private about this. In fact, many of the firearms were purchased by a Lake Charles Police Lieutenant and gun store owner, named Keith Holland. All were proper registered with the U.S. Government.
Not good enough -- said the Lafayette prosecutor, who later dropped the gun charges against me because the FDA was insistent on pressing their charges, which at that time appeared to present the prosecution with a heftier prison sentence against me.