"I can't understand by what authority the government is holding you here," Alex told Thomas in the visiting room of Pentonville Prison.

"Could be illegal," Thomas opined.

"If you like, I'll send some letters off to a few MP's who might look into the matter."

Thomas had no objection.

Coincidentally, perhaps, several days later the door of his cell opened. "You're for the outs," the turnkey said.

Thomas was led through the release process, into a car with three prison officers, and driven back to Heathrow.

At the desk where tickets were checked Thomas told the ticket checker that he had no desire to board the assigned flight.

"He's with us," one of the officers said, flashing an I.D. card under the checker's nose. They hustled Thomas through the checkpoint.

"I refuse to enter this plane, and if forced to do so I will not be held responsible for my actions," Thomas informed the steward checking tickets at the door of the BOAC jet.

"He's with us," one of the officers said, flashing his I.D. to the steward. Thomas was whisked onto the plane and into a seat, with a prison officer taking a seat on each side of him.

During the flight across the Atlantic a friendly rapport was established as Thomas regaled his captors with tales of adventure in foreign lands.

"Doesn't it seem rather strange," he asked, "that I want to travel to the east, yet the two world governments which profess the greatest love of freedom are using force of arms to make me travel to the west?"

"It does seem rather strange," one officer assented. "I really can't fathom it. Nothing personal, you understand, I'm just doing me job."

At JFK airport in New York the BOAC liner taxied to a stop at the terminal, and all the passengers, except Thomas and his escorts, deplaned.

"Well, Mr. Thomas we're here. It's time to get off," an officer said hopefully.

"Right from the beginning I've told you that I didn't want to come here. I have no intention of getting off this plane."

British authorities on American soil had no legal jurisdiction to use force against Thomas, and they appeared somewhat puzzled. One of them disappeared, returning moments later with the captain of the aircraft.

"Good afternoon, sir. What is it? Why haven't you left the plane?"

"As I explained to these gentlemen, and anyone else who would listen before we left England, I had a specific destination. I was traveling east. Now I've been taken four thousand miles out of my way, across a very large body of water, and I just want to be back where I was before the British government interfered with what I was doing."

The captain turned to the prison officer. "That sounds perfectly reasonable to me. I don't see why he should get off the plane." He turned and left the plane.

Again one of the prison officers left. This time he returned with a contingent of airport security police.

"Why don't ya wanna get off, buddy?" one burly security officer asked. "This is a nice country. We've got Disneyland here and everything."

"Don't take it personally," Thomas suggested. "It's nothing against you or your country. I just had my own agenda. There was a certain place that I wanted to be, and this isn't it."

"I don't know nuttin' about dat, but you're getting the fuck offa dis plane," the New Yorker said, without good humor.

Airport officers grabbed Thomas under either arm. He was dragged from the plane and propelled to an immigration counter, where Thomas, surrounded by a large contingent of security officers, told the female immigration official on duty that he did not want to enter the country. Oblivious, the official began firing questions at him.

"When were you born?"


"What's your mother's maiden name?"


"Is that the only word you know, 'Why'?" asked the immigration official.

"No, I know lots of words. But I'm not in the habit of answering unreasonable questions. So, unless you can give me some reason for wanting to know the answer to these questions, I might decide not to answer them."

Her patience seemed to be wearing thin as the immigration official slapped a card on the counter in front of him. "You want to sign this?"

Printed on the card was a statement:

"I realize that, since I do not have a United States passport, I cannot be allowed to enter the United States without paying $50.00 to the U.S. State Department."

"I don't think you understand what I've been saying to you. I have absolutely no desire to enter your country. Certainly I'm not going to sign this card."

The official snatched the card and began waving it wildly above her head. "Get him out of here. Get him out of here," she yelled. The contingent of security personnel shoved Thomas through customs, pushed him through a door, and one of them said, "You're in the United States. You're free to go where you want."

Thomas regained his balance. He walked back to the line of security officers, each holding a billy club in front of him. "Do you realize that you just forced me to enter this country against my will?" He asked.

"We didn't do nothin' like that." Said the same officer who had mentioned Disneyland.

For an instant he wondered if he had entered the Twilight Zone. Here he was, a harmless pilgrim headed for the Holy Land, kidnapped through a conspiracy of agents from the world's leading bastions of liberty, and held prisoner in the Land of the Free.

Confronted by a wall of heavily armed police, the only obstacle between him and the Holy Land, Hellanback thought that he might be experiencing a revelation. Here's a gang of freedom loving thugs. What makes them any different than the gang of Commie thugs who would perform the same function if Hellanback were trying to exercise freedom of movement at the Moscow International Airport?

What's the difference? With the proper papers any government allows you to move wherever you want to move. If you don't have the papers, you stay where the government puts you.

Is it realistic to accept freedom as a condition dependant on money, national boundaries, and ideological constructs? Is it sane to believe in a "freedom" which imprisons?

IN SANITY ================>>