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Julian Assange

2020 Camino Guides
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Obviously have to be careful with this, I'll ask people to steer clear of all of the current affairs aspects of it, but, this part of the story does seem to be quite heartening ...


[Julian] Assange has reportedly been in poor mental health and is reportedly suffering an unnamed condition, which could be revealed in his extradition trial on Monday.

[His father, John] Shipton said the Wikileaks founder is trying to clear his mind by thinking of a brighter future.

"A couple of years ago Julian and I worked out that when he would be released we would go and do the Camino de Santiago, the Way of St James," he said.

He said that each day in his prison cell Assange has started visualising walking another stage of the famous pilgrimage trail across northern Spain.


It is humbling to realise just how much even a simple idea of and hope for the Camino can help those in even the most dire straits of enclosure.

I'm reminded of Jérôme Kerviel's reverse pilgrimage from Rome to Paris in 2014.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
The idea of walking a mental Camino when a physical journey is not possible for some reason is an interesting one. And one which may well be worth discussion here. But please do not go down the roads of debate about Mr Assange's legal case or any larger political implications or the thread will be closed.
 

WildPlace

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, 2015
Via de la Plata (2021)
When stressed or unable to sleep I nearly always visualise being on the camino, walking, looking at the scenery, listening to the birds, insects, the noise my feet make as I walk steadily on. I'm not quite sure that if my camino experiences weren't so deeply ingrained in my head that it would help as much as it does. I'm a big fan of when times are hard escaping into my mind :)
 

FSP

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 13
Portuguese & Finisterre 16
Norte & Muxia 18
Olvidado&Salvador&Primitivo(20)
Tried to respond to this and have erased several previous attempts. I can think of dozens of better examples to throw out at us to start this discussion without an admonition to ignore everything about Assange. If you are going to put people like this up there as a "heart rendering " example you can't ask us to ignore them in the same breath. How about people in hospices, those with injuries that can't do another camino, those who can't afford it but dream, or perhaps victims of sexual assault who were victimized again by a statute of limitations and may no longer feel safe to do a camino etc etc. People in jail spending time visualizing not being in jail shouldn't be a big revelation.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Honoring the wishes of the moderators, I will note that when people are asked what the Camino means to them, the word "freedom" comes up not infrequently. Also that it seems that many people walk the Camino after significant traumatic events or periods of their life and an incarceration may fit that description.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I believe he could do this in complete anonymity and learn from it. There are very few of us who recognize other forum members even after seeing our photo monikers. Do it!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Tried to respond to this and have erased several previous attempts. I can think of dozens of better examples to throw out at us to start this discussion without an admonition to ignore everything about Assange. If you are going to put people like this up there as a "heart rendering " example you can't ask us to ignore them in the same breath. How about people in hospices, those with injuries that can't do another camino, those who can't afford it but dream, or perhaps victims of sexual assault who were victimized again by a statute of limitations and may no longer feel safe to do a camino etc etc. People in jail spending time visualizing not being in jail shouldn't be a big revelation.
As someone who thought this would be an interesting thread and that people could resist the urge to comment on the personality, I am almost ready to throw in the towel and say that I was wrong. I don't see any endorsement or any approval of Julian Assange. This is a well-known personality who has been in confinement for years and who visualizes the camino. This article is all over the Australian press. Any time an article is repeatedly printed in the mainstream press and deals with the camino, it is rational to think that forum members would find it interesting. A forum member thought that this article tells a story that is consistent with many people's beliefs about the redemptive power of the camino. That's it. Any news articles or any personal stories about the undeniably much more sympathetic people you describe would be welcome. But the fact that there was a news story about this one guy doesn't mean that anyone thinks his story is more valid or more compelling or more sympathetic than anyone else's camino dreams.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Obviously have to be careful with this, I'll ask people to steer clear of all of the current affairs aspects of it, but, this part of the story does seem to be quite heartening ...


[Julian] Assange has reportedly been in poor mental health and is reportedly suffering an unnamed condition, which could be revealed in his extradition trial on Monday.

[His father, John] Shipton said the Wikileaks founder is trying to clear his mind by thinking of a brighter future.

"A couple of years ago Julian and I worked out that when he would be released we would go and do the Camino de Santiago, the Way of St James," he said.

He said that each day in his prison cell Assange has started visualising walking another stage of the famous pilgrimage trail across northern Spain.


It is humbling to realise just how much even a simple idea of and hope for the Camino can help those in even the most dire straits of enclosure.

I'm reminded of Jérôme Kerviel's reverse pilgrimage from Rome to Paris in 2014.
I have fond memories of various caminos, and anticipation of more to come - I also have days and experiences I’d rather forget, and one occurrence of plantar fasciitis which (with Tinca’s recommendation of orujo blanco) I am unable to recall. It’s not an uncommon mental passtime.

Given that some issues are sub judice and that Mr Assange is a divisive character there are many potential comments which would not be suitable on this forum- perhaps including my own.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I have a friend who makes her way through life in a wheelchair, although there are other health problems which preclude even an attempt at the chair-possible part of the Camino. After some discussion, she is trying out a Camino-by-earth-google along with readings and exercises her spiritual adviser has provided. Given that Mr Assange, like many others, might not be able to walk it, there are ways he can obtain some personal benefit, and it's a positive thing that he might be able to do so.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
There are several examples of Spanish prisoners walking the Camino and we can hope they achieve redemption. It seems to work for them. While a volunteer in the pilgrim office last October I met a really nice bloke who arranged these walks for the prisoners.

We can hope Assange seeks redemption by walking a Camino, and achieves it. One day, eventually, he'll be free. One day. He might then choose to walk a Camino and enjoy it, as we do for a variety of reasons.

Whether that is likely is another matter. We should wish him well. There is no doubt that among the many millions who have walked the Camino there must have been murderers, all sorts of bad 'uns. He'd merely be another on the walk.

I'm not without sin so I won't throw the first stone
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I have a friend who makes her way through life in a wheelchair, although there are other health problems which preclude even an attempt at the chair-possible part of the Camino. After some discussion, she is trying out a Camino-by-earth-google along with readings and exercises her spiritual adviser has provided. Given that Mr Assange, like many others, might not be able to walk it, there are ways he can obtain some personal benefit, and it's a positive thing that he might be able to do so.
About 25 years after my first Camino and two years before I walked it with my son, I spent a week following the Camino on Google Earth and looking at the photos people had attached to the various locations along the route.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
There are several examples of Spanish prisoners walking the Camino and we can hope they achieve redemption. It seems to work for them. While a volunteer in the pilgrim office last October I met a really nice bloke who arranged these walks for the prisoners.
And I'm reminded too of the ancient Camino tradition of the penitential pilgrimage, where one who for some reason needed to be removed from the community would, instead of being imprisoned or placed in house arrest, be required to go on pilgrimage to Santiago, as not just an exile but as a journey of redemption.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Him and how many others?
The only thing that makes this story newsworthy is the notariety of the protagonist.

So buen camino to him, and to the thousands of others who seek inner freedom.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
I accept I may have overstep the mark in my first post. Apologies.
As I understand it the post is focusing on our freedom to walk and enjoy the camino as pilgrims. If I recall correctly he started his confinement about the time I started my first camino (in 2015) and I have now walked a second and maybe will have completed a third before he is free. How I cherish freedom.
 
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