Todd Engel Undergoes Diesel Therapy
by Shari Dovale
Todd Engel was recently sentenced to 14 years in prison for his part in the Bunkerville standoff of 2014. He is currently assigned to spend that time in Lompoc prison in California, though he has requested a transfer to Sheridan Prison in Oregon.
Engel had a secondary hearing to discuss the restitution the court required of him. This hearing was originally scheduled for the first week in September, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Just before this hearing took place, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) decided he needed a couple of lessons in Diesel Therapy, so they moved him to Lompoc, from Pahrump, Nevada, just before his hearing.
This caused a delay in the hearing until September 20th, at which time he needed to be transported back to Pahrump, with a stop in Victorville, California, and then back to Lompoc afterwards.
Diesel Therapy is said to be the worst part of being incarcerated. It refers to a method by law-enforcement personnel to (allegedly) punish political prisoners, or troublemakers, by transporting them in horrendous conditions.
Prisoners can be transported to multiple destinations, around the country and back, under the guise of “destination errors”. But even a single transport can be dangerous and torturous to the prisoner.
I have talked to Engel about his treatment during these transports.
“So, the ride from Pahrump to Lompoc is a torture chamber,” Todd said. “Imagine being chained up, hands and ankles, to where you’re unable to even scratch your nose. They have this torture device known as the black box they place over your handcuffs.”
The Black Box is a handcuff cover which protects the key hole and prevents the prisoner from tampering with any parts of the lock. Although the Black Box is to ensure safe transport, if used incorrectly, it can cause serious injury.
Engel continued, “So then we were put on the bus and placed in a hard plastic seat where there is not enough knee room to sit normally. i have to sit sideways with my knees in the air and my feet off the ground, for 12 hours. My back seizes up from the stress and it took me two weeks for my knee to recover so I wasn’t limping. I have arthritis in that knee.”
George Hansen, has been referred to as “America’s most famous political prisoner”, according to the “U.S. Citizens Human Rights Commission.” The story of how Hansen ended up in prison is bad enough, and worth your time reading. However, while he was in prison, he was subjected to horrendous Diesel Therapy as well.
“The best thing you could do,” Hansen advised others, “is the Biblical act of fasting. If you don’t eat and don’t drink, you don’t have to go to the bathroom. They do this to you for four or five weeks at a time; they put you in chains about two in the morning, you get out about ten at night. And when you’re bigger than average [Rep. Hansen is 6’6”], you’re wedged in, sitting there twenty hours a day and you can’t move your legs. Because the shackles cut off the return blood flow from your lower extremities, soon your legs fill with blood, especially when you’re 63 years-old as I was then. Then you get to walk around with two barrels full of blood where your calves and lower legs should be.
Engel shared more with me about his transports through the BOP system:
“Victorville was on the way back here and they kept us in the holdover unit. They had had an incident in the main prison and they had the whole place on lockdown. We could hardly come out of our cells and were fed peanut butter and jelly for almost every meal. Also, no commissary to help with the hunger.”
Todd is an amazing person. He is serving his time, yet the courts have ruled that the prosecutors hid evidence that could have swayed the jury in his favor. The main defendants of the Bunkerville Standoff were released and their charges were dropped. Engel was not allowed the same benefits, and was even sentenced for crimes of which he was not convicted.
Engel continues to work on his appeal, and is hoping to gain the attention of President Trump.
If you would like to learn more, please visit: Support Todd Engel – political prisoner
Sources and further reading:
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