Book: Not Our Brother's Keeper - The True Adventures of an Extraordinary Man by Melker Steccategories: Book, Religion, Crime, Loyalty, Betrayal, Cult, Abuse, Survival, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Memoir
Melker Stecabout this book: Melker Stec's Not Our Brother's Keeper is a memoir about betrayal, crime, loyalty, religion, abuse, and survival.
Melker Stec's Not Our Brother's Keeper: The True Adventures of an Extraordinary Man, is a real "keeper" in many ways. It is my pleasure to write this foreword to help share widely my enthusiasm for this special book.
I have been a research psychologist and educator since graduating from Yale University, Ph.D., 1959. I have taught in many universities over the past fifty years; including New York University and Columbia University.
When Melker Stec gave me his manuscript to read, I found it tremendously compelling from the beginning to the end. I was especially interested in Melker's story, being that I was the creator of the classic 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. Melker gives a complete real-life understanding, involvement, and experiences first from a prison correctional counselor's perspective with peace officer status, to the complete opposite—that of a prison inmate perspective with no status. Melker's remarkable ability to survive throughout these numerous ongoing lifelong trials is remarkable. Had I not seen Melker's documentation and further confirmation of his remarkable story, I would find this melodramatic piece of work fiction rather than documentary nonfiction. Melker's book literally appears to be written about numerous people living completely separate lives, but it's solely Melker living his life from one scene and one character, to the next.
Beginning from the early age of five, after his father slammed the back of Melker and his eight-year-old brother Abaddon's heads together, knocking Melker unconscious, Melker remembers subsequent struggles with visual and auditory hallucinations that resulted in his mother rushing him to the naval hospital emergency room time after time. He also survived being raised in a very dictatorship-like church. Melker's ability to survive and to conceal his struggles is simply amazing!
Melker lead a conservative and law-abiding lifestyle up until his "crime of passion" that resulted in an overnight dramatic change with unpredictable, spontaneous and riveting events, one after another. Prior to his arrest, Melker managed a successful career working for the Georgia State Government in several capacities, including correctional counselor, and governmental analyst. Melker writes of the corruption he observed from his peers - other correctional employees, including his supervisor. He became a heroic rescuer following his struggle and defiance against unjust authorities by refusing to comply with direct orders to allow a sixteen-year old minor ward to remain in a cell with adult aged men, who had been repeatedly sexually abusing him.
And after Melker was arrested and posted bail - while on the lam, he managed to sustain employment in influential positions, including the Georgia Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Georgia Department of Corrections in a specialized position. I find it rather amazing that while law enforcement, including the FBI, was actively searching for Melker, he was traveling to several prisons throughout Georgia and meeting with prison authorities. He also maintained friends who worked in law enforcement, including a workout partner who was on his way to the FBI academy to search for fugitives! His story continues in even more remarkable ways!
Melker writes about his betrayal by his significant other, his friend of over thirty years, and his older siblings. After his initial arrest, while Melker was out on bail, he describes his family reunion that included dancing with his cousin, Stedman Graham's, lady friend, Oprah Winfrey, to her favorite song "The Margarita!" Melker successfully transitioned into several different identities - living throughout Europe, Puerto Rico, and the United States. His ability to easily conform to the identity he was living included acquiring valid licenses, passing background checks, and acquiring respectable jobs.
Melker had to deal with his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and hallucinations untreated throughout his life. He was not correctly diagnosed or given correct medication until Dr. Ram Smyth, chief psychiatrist at the Georgia Prison Systems, diagnosed and treated him after his parole in early 2015.
So I hope from my brief overview of what is coming to readers of Not Our Brother's Keeper: The True Adventures of an Extraordinary Man, you will be transfixed by the unique twists and turns in the life story of this one of a kind delightful man.
Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo
Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Stanford University
President & Founder, Heroic Imagination Project
March 10, 2018
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