Monday, February 6, 2012

Charles Sobhraj and Elitism in the Prison System

There is elitism even in the prison system. Charles Sobhraj is a great example of an elite in the prison system. He is currently in a prison in Nepal. This guy was part of the elite prisoners in Tihar jail, along with Sunil Batra and Vippin Jaggi. We will refer to these three as 'The Trio' for the rest of this article.

In corporate America, there are the executives. Then there is middle management. Then there are the workers. When Charles Sobhraj, Vippin Jaggi and Sunil Batra were in charge, The Tihar "corporate" structure also had three layers.
The top layer was the Prison Warden, the guards and the Prison officials. The middle layer was The Trio. The Trio served as "middle management" in many ways.
These three directed and controlled how the other inmates in Tihar jail acted. They intimidated the Tihar Jail executives (the jail officials) with legal threats. And they intimidated the workers (the other inmates) with physical violence.

In many ways, Charles Sobhraj's Trio used many of tactics
in Tihar jail adopted by members of the Aryan Brotherhood (The AB).
The AB is less than .01 percent of the prison system in the United States.
Yet it is responsible for more than 20 percent of the murders in prison. 

In this way, The Trio had a monopoly on power in Tihar jail. They enjoyed all kinds of advantages that came from this power. The below paragraph describes Charles Sobhraj very well.

"People achieve leadership positions because they have above-average political skill (see charismatic authority). As they advance in their careers, their power and prestige increases. Leaders control the information that flows down the channels of communication, censoring what they do not want the rank-and-file to know. Leaders will also dedicate significant resources to persuade the rank-and-file of the rightness of their views. This is compatible with most societies: people are taught to obey those in positions of authority. Therefore the rank and file show little initiative, and wait for the leaders to exercise their judgment and issue directives to follow."

What were Charles Sobhraj's source of power in the prison system?

Charles Sobhraj used to use diamonds concealed in his body to bribe prison officials.

Charles Sobhraj was known as a man of culture. He could speak French as well as numerous other languages. He had studied psychology. He was well-traveled and exposed to many different countries. This man knew the law books in whatever nation he was in imprisoned in. He used to use this knowledge to intimidate the members of the legal profession and prison officials by threatening to file official complaints against him. Charles Sobhraj also had detailed knowledge of pharmacology. He used drugs and medicines on his victims to knock-them out while he robbed them. He also used drugs to keep his victims sick. He used different drugs on himself to fake a heart-attack to escape from prison.

Charles Sobhraj had such a status and respect in Tihar jail that he was addressed with a dignified title: 'Sir Charles.'

Skills of Leadership and ability to Communicate
He was known to be able to talk with any and many and charm them with his suave personality. This is not someone that you were initially afraid of. Rather, you would be charmed by them and want to be their friend. You would want to be in good graces with him. Such was the hypnotic charm of his personality that you would forget that he was a cold-blooded murderer that would kill you when it was most convenient for him.

Knowledge of Political Processes and ability to organize
Charles Sobhraj had his finger on the pulse of Tihar Jail. He knew who to befriend and how. He had everybody in his pocket. He knew what people wanted and needed and knew how to feed their vices. That is why he was able to very quickly rise in the power structure there and be part of The Trio.

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