My short bio: Between 1978 & 2003, I spent 25 years in Federal Prison for 3 counts of armed robbery, 3 counts of weapons offence, 4 counts of assault on police, escaped custody, and possession of narcotics.

During this time, I completed an apprenticeship and earned my license as a Class A mechanic. In 1993, after breaking free from drug addictions, I began to reform my life. I earned a B.A. in Psychology from Queen's University and continued my studies at McMaster University completing an Addiction Careworker Diploma.

Today I am a motivational speaker working alongside law enforcement, in particular 'gang' units and speaking in schools. I started a registered charity, Truth For Teens in 2005 to deliver a motorcycle or muscle car build program to work interactively with agency identified/interested youth within their own communities.

My Proof: It's me, x-post to website, latest in the news

Edit: Thanks for all the questions! Sorry I couldn't get to all of you, if you would like to hear me talk about my story more, please leave a comment on my latest video on DEBOSS GARAGE on YouTube, I'll be making regular content there. As well, if you are in Canada (I can't enter the U.S. sorry!), and would like me to come to your school or event, please contact us at [email protected]. And if you want to donate to my charity, you can do so through my hugged to death website, or directly through Canada Helps. Thanks!

Edit 2: If anyone would like to buy a copy of my book, that helps my charity as well. Thanks!

Comments: 2167 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

orangejulius1254 karma

How did your family cope with you using? What finally made you stop after 19 years?

truthforteens2282 karma

It was 1970 and nobody in my family knew anything about addiction. My dad went down to Reston Virginia to talk to Vietnam vets that were heroin addicts. That was his knowledge base. They told him to help me survive, and to keep me separate from the family.

Came to the end of myself, in a prison cell in maximum security, I was just tired. I tried everything, so I cried out to God. Instead of committing suicide with the last bit of heroin I had, I flushed it down the toilet.

macguyvers_dad1177 karma

Do you have any advice for felons reintegrating into society? My younger brother served 3 years for a string of miscellaneous felonies including various possession of narcotics/firearms charges, among other things. He has a GED only and no certified trade skills and has been working fast food for 3 years now, unable to find other employment (even Hardee's wouldn't hire a felon).

truthforteens1907 karma

My first job out of prison was tile grout aisle in Home Depot. I was hired by a guy in my church support group that cared about me. We don't do well without support.

Rhinocalypse1090 karma

After spending so much time in prison how long did it take to get used to life outside again?

truthforteens1910 karma

Not there yet haha! I'd say about 5 years, still wake up "in prison" sometimes. You can view it as post-traumatic stress, or post-traumatic growth. I look at my prison time as the reason I'm alive today.

snietzsche678 karma

Do you think the world is a better or worse place than before you went to prison? I always think of prison as being like a really shit time machine.

truthforteens286 karma

lol I think it's worse, personally.

jielshunta570 karma

What's the worst thing you ever did?

truthforteens1488 karma

Take down style bank robberies, because of the psychological impact. One of the things that bothered me the most was a guy telling me about his mom that worked for a bank that I robbed, she couldn't go into work anymore. That was me that did that to her.

delgadoalex95348 karma

Holy Cow man.

Did you ever talk to her mom again and apologize?

truthforteens957 karma

You know what I didn't. I wouldn't have known how to. I met her son in prison but I still remember her name. Sorry Mrs. Skinner from Alberta.

icantmakethisup514 karma

What was exiting the club like? Is there a sort of "honorable discharge", or do you still have to look over your shoulder?

truthforteens674 karma

There is a discharge available, time had to take place, I didn't snitch, didn't patch over, I let the personal affronts fade.

dank_memeologist_420501 karma

How old were you when you started using?

truthforteens794 karma

The week I turned 15.

nogoodusername69450 karma

I'm sure a lot of people will ask you serious questions, but mine is: Did you have a sick beard when you were an Outlaw? If so, why did you get rid of it?

Also, do you still ride?

truthforteens744 karma

Always had a mustache & soul patch. But I can't grow a good beard so I never did that. Ponytail down to by ass, mom cut it off while I was sleeping, on a pass from prison. Didn't ride for the first 5 years out of prison, it was still a trigger for me. Now I ride every chance I get. Rocker


Are you Danny trejo?

truthforteens158 karma

Pretty close! He's also a drug counselor.

orangejulius381 karma

What inspired you to start a charity? What's been the most difficult part of running a nonprofit?

truthforteens655 karma

Spoke in schools for 3 years, met an accountant who asked me why I'm not running a charity, he helped me start one.

Most difficult part? Fundraising!

mukmin96319 karma

To have a frame of reference,how accurate are shows like "Sons of Anarchy" in portraying the violence and crimes involves in the motorcycle gang and the general lifestyle?This is speaking from someone who has never had any contact with this kind of thing so I hope I'm hope I'm not offending you or anything.

truthforteens547 karma

Not very. Only 2 semi-accurate characters are Gemma and Juice. Never seen a biker wear sneakers yet (achilles tendon).

Hearbinger61 karma

I get the Juice part - he's the must human guy, with fear, flaws... but Gemma? Of all the characters, she was the one who seemed the least believable, I don't know. If you have the spare time, could you elaborate a little more on your answer? I have always been curious about the accuracy of the show, and how much of the stereotypes was true.

truthforteens244 karma

The most dangerous people in any club I've been involved with are Black Widows - they eat their men. There's always a matriarch.

ScruffyLooking7283 karma

How did fellow students react to your unique situation? Were you vocal about your experiences or was it something you tried to keep to yourself?

truthforteens416 karma

They didn't know. Everything was correspondence. At graduation, they looked at my tattooed hands and didn't want to ask.

g0ldfinga253 karma

Was it bizarre being in OMC? How bizarre was it?

truthforteens173 karma

Not bizarre at all. They were my family. Last guy in my crew died at age 31.

Schweini11239 karma

How did it all start, what were the main factors that lead you to the life of crime?

truthforteens460 karma

First year of high school, went for a ride with an older guy. Thought he was cool, didn't know he was a drug addict. Him and his drug partner liked to watch virgins get high.

AllYaNeedIsCat129 karma

Damn, that's crazy. How'd you know the guy? Was he just from the neighborhood?

truthforteens320 karma

21 year old cool looking guy that I wanted to be, working on his car under a car port. He was on my way to and from school. Was groomed for about 3 weeks by him. If somebody had told me he was a "junkie" I would have thought you meant he collected junk.

moby__dick224 karma

As a former criminal who works along side cops now, how do you react to these many reports of police abuse and violence?

truthforteens341 karma

Any organization has their issues. We don't see as much in Ontario Canada as in the U.S. I didn't like it when they branded all us bikers because of an individual.

TheGABB197 karma

If you could give your 16 y/o self an advice, what would it be?

truthforteens375 karma

Use my voice. I lost my voice being bullied. We don't do well not talking and there is help out there

visionz102 karma

Lost your voice being bullied...Was this while still in school, or during time spent in the gang?

truthforteens393 karma

Grade 6-8. I'm 60 and I still know their first and last names.

zwhenry185 karma

Hey, thanks for doing this AMA! I think it's great that you've turned your life around and are now helping others to do the same.

My question for you: what was the funniest/most fun experience you had in prison? I can't imagine how terrible prison is, but surely you would go insane if there weren't some kind of relief.

truthforteens534 karma

I started working on cars and that started a relationship with the Guards (Collins Bay). Before long they trusted me and I was paid in cigarettes. A little while in they gave me the warden's car to work on. It was a 1973 Laguna. I took the keys, pegged it and ran it into the wall at the far end of the prison. It knocked me out but it was worth it

CallMeJBug187 karma

Fuck man, I bet that stopped the flow of smokes real quick. Still worth it?!

truthforteens496 karma

90 days in solitary...worth every minute.

having_froggery173 karma

Recovering heroin addict here. Everyday can be a battle, so when things are shitty or seem hopeless how do you avoid falling into that pit of despair that ultimately leads you back to using? And what are your daily practices to continue living a happy sober life? Thanks!

truthforteens225 karma

Outside of forgiveness, we will keep sabotaging ourselves. I couldn't think my way out of my situation and it had to be something outside that saved me. please go to and we can connect on a more personal level

GodOfEnnui140 karma

Is there anything from your past life you miss? Or is it all regret for you?

truthforteens275 karma

I miss relationships with the guys. I don't miss having no control over my life because of my addictions.

indianrider154 karma

I'm in a 3 piece patch MC. You can still be in the Brotherhood without being in a violent club. We all have normal jobs and families and we have our extended biker family. I understand how you would miss it because I know I would.

truthforteens172 karma


neosinan136 karma

Why are involved with this charity?

Didn't you just wanna leave all that part of your life behind?

truthforteens551 karma

My charity exists because it's meeting a need that isn't being met in our society, i.e. people who fall through the cracks. Not a lot of people are shaped to do what I do.

I survived. It's my responsibility to say what everybody else can't.

Mynamesjd134 karma

What is one of the most effective things you can tell people to help them out of this lifestyle?

truthforteens241 karma

Change your lifestyle! Remember we are creatures of habit, don't go to the places you go on routine, find out what triggers you. Riding was a trigger for me. Strip clubs were the worst triggers.

taylor_durden118 karma

What is your opinion of the War on Drugs? What would you tell people who think legalization is the way to go?

truthforteens388 karma

The war on drugs only benefits paramilitary outfits.

Criminality doesn't exist without legality, if it's not a huge addiction problem, decriminalize it. Portugal decriminalized all drugs two years ago with positive results.

Gods__Accident103 karma

You're an epic inspiration!

TBH I'm an ex-meth addict.. I developed a drug induced psychosis and refused to seek treatment.. when under the influence I did stupid things I wouldn't have done if I was thinking properly and developed a criminal record..

It got to the stage where my mother tricked me and took me to her home country where there is an involuntary submission process for drug addicts based on the parents concerns.. I did 10 months in rehab and my auditory hallucinations and paranoia left after about the 3rd to 4th month..

I'm still in that country till legal problems can be sorted and I can go home, but when I go home I may go to jail.. I got a full time job in a major international corporation and within 2 months have been number 1 out of 100 plus people and first in line for a promotion.. I have also started studying again through the university back home and have finished the first semester of my degree..

I haven't seen my kids in over a year and a half..

I've have a beer or 2 once a week or so..

But I still to this day can't stop thinking about taking drugs and am scared that even now after 1.5 years without sticking a needle in my arm I'll go back to it when I get back.. I don't know what to do, I saw a big psychiatrist here and he was useless.. I try to go to NA meeting but haven't been in a couple months due to excessive work load..

what should I do?

truthforteens121 karma

You know what, every day you're stronger. Everything takes time. If anybody asks me how long it takes for the "stinking thinking" to leave your brain, it's about 5 years. Surround yourself with good people and focus on the positives. Keep adding to your positives every day. It was important for me personally to write down the positives every day. At one point I realized it had been about 5 weeks since I'd written last, because I was past it being important.

Daguvry95 karma

Tell us about some of your successes in your charity work? Anyone in particular stand out?

truthforteens195 karma

Can't talk about individuals, but successes include people being bailed instead of being in jail, getting guys out of street gangs, off of drugs, my wife works with women who are having babies now instead of abortions, we feed 100 people every week in a high risk area, etc. We advocate at street level in the Niagara region with everything that involves.

Asprinkle69 karma

You went to prison in 78' but didn't get sober till 93'? Can you explain the drug system in prison?

truthforteens127 karma

Guards are people too, they have problems just like everybody else, sometimes they were sources of drugs. Mostly we created mules by having guys owe us for drugs and then smuggle drugs in to pay back debt.

Egg45640 karma

  1. Do you think that taking the money spent on the 'war on drugs' and using it to fund rehabs and education programs would do more to minimise drug abuse than the current system?

  2. Do you think de-criminalizing drugs and thereby removing some of the attraction because of the thrill of doing something illegal would help reduce the number of new teenage users?

  3. Do you think de-criminalizing drugs and taking their distribution and production away from gangs in the process would help?

truthforteens57 karma

1-yes 2-Yes 3-Yes

Legalization doesn't solve anything. Decriminalization takes the monetary value out of it. Drugs are the oxygen of street level gangs. If you want to ask more, go to (might have the hug of death right now, check later) and I can explain more

Trollcifer39 karma

Which club were you with? If you can/want to tell us?

It's a trip to see your early "biker" photo, looking clean cut, and knowing the path you took after that.

truthforteens62 karma

I was black and white.

drkpie34 karma

Holy shit, I saw McMaster and Queen's and knew it was something very familiar, and then I saw the yearbook that confirms you're in Ontario. That's pretty neat.

Anyway, glad you got clean and off the hard stuff. Are you clean of everything now, or just the bad and nasty stuff?

truthforteens66 karma

Up to a few years ago I had the occasional beer but with everyone I work with now, I quit everything. Just coffee now

RecoveryBookPress25 karma

Rick, I wanted to talk to someone at your charity about a possible donation but the contact page gave an error saying "Sorry, email message could not be delivered." You might want to ask someone to have a look at that.

So I guess for now my question is ... is there any other way to get in touch with you? lol

truthforteens23 karma

Our donate page goes to Canada Helps, and you can contact us at [email protected]

regeg18 karma

Hi Rick, you came to my high school about 8 years ago and your story never left me. I bought your book a couple years ago (would have bought it earlier had i been able to remember your name) and really enjoyed it. Any plans on adding to it? I would love to hear more stories.

Edit: since you didn't promote it I'll promote it for you:

truthforteens11 karma

Hey! Keep an eye on DEBOSS GARAGE for more stories! Writing another book right now, called White Noise: Redemption.

weare138weare16 karma

You were a member of Outlaws MC, and possible their predecessor in Canada, Satan's Choice MC, both groups notorious for gang rape. Did you participate in sexual assault, and if so, what steps have you taken to atone for it?

truthforteens28 karma

You were a member of Outlaws MC, and possible their predecessor in Canada, Satan's Choice MC, both groups notorious for gang rape.

I'd argue against those groups being notorious for sexual assault... they weren't. I think you might be confusing rape with consensual sexual deviance. I did 25 years watching who came in with what charges. Rape happened, but rarely.

I was raped twice before age 16, I would never allow that to happen anywhere near me.

GetItOnTheLo14 karma

How did you cope with spending 25 years in prison? How did that time in jail change you?

truthforteens20 karma

Every 7 years I self-actualized. The last time took hold because I had a man (professor) who believed in me.