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  • K. Joe Schrott's Bio

    K. Joe Schrott’s Bio

    Having gone deep into Thai culture, living and working within their economy, I have come to know the heart of the people who inhabit the country of Thailand. Living through two different military coups, it was during this period that I learned how Thais think, act, rationalize, and come to make decisions.
    Reading scholarly documentaries about Thai history, and then hearing real live accounts of similar incidents from my colleagues, friends and family members, gave me a well-rounded impression of how this oppressed society learned to tolerate political abuse while maintaining a positive outlook on life.
    I lived and worked off the Thai economy, ate Thai food, and dreamt Thai dreams. I was nearly ninety percent fluent in the Thai language when I left to work in Iran. I’ve spent thousands of hours exchanging ideas and dialogue with the common every day citizen, to include two years of my life without coming in contact with a single English speaking person.
    This was when I got the original idea for the book. From real life experiences, from real people, from years of fables and tales told sitting around in thatched roof bungalows. From dealings with wealthy merchants, corrupt politicians and narcissistic military elite, as well as poor farmers and blue collar workers, as my greater impression of a culture and its people had evolved from the insight and attitudes of the real people that I lived with. The Thais are the most fun loving people on earth, in spite of the intolerable abuses that they have grown to accept as their fate. Their light-hearted attitude and generous hospitality is to be commended.
    The author lived and worked in Esfahan, Iran for three years, during which time Khomeini, the mad Islamic cleric, took over the helm from the Shah of Iran, and locked down the entire country. Every American in-country, at that time, January 1979, was herded into hotels and held hostage. The author, along with most of his friends and colleagues, were held against their will for thirty days.
    Prior to this takeover, he witnessed a complete and devastating collapse of the Iranian economy. He lost his car and all of his material possessions. Taking these real life experiences into a story format gives the reader some idea of what the face of total anarchy and mayhem might look like when economies and governments collapse. Military coups and economic collapses happen every day around the world, and define the character of real people, who learn mighty fast to step up and fight for their right to live.

  • Author's Note about the novel

    Author’s Note

    When novels are written about real places, and the names of presidents and Kings are mentioned, it is often unclear to the reader which is fact and which is fiction. So I thought I would qualify and clarify the differences so as not to cause any confusion.
    First, Thailand is a Constitutional Monarchy, a form of government with a long history of political turmoil, converted from an Absolute Monarchy in 1932. (Fact) The King is only mentioned to give the story a since of history and authenticity. The Royal Advisory Council, RAC, is real, and is composed of noblemen, family members, trusted advisors and politicians and used to illustrate the hierarchy of power. No real names are used in this story, with the exception of long deceased kings and Prime Ministers. All references to the King, RAC and any political party’s participation in this story are fiction.
    Santiban, Special Branch of Police Power, is real. It is no secret that this coercive prebendalism form of police power operates throughout Thai society. Much has been written about this operation, and much can be surmised as to the level of oppression delivered to the people by such ruthlessness. There are plenty of scholarly books written about how this organization of thugs manipulates the people into submission. All names and references to Santiban agents are fiction.
    Young Turks, is a real term created during the coup of 1932, and consist of younger military officers fighting in the field, who had come to appreciate the needs of the people. These were reformers, idealists, and for the sake of the story I have utilized this idealism in reverse, with the fictitious group referred to as the Five Young Turks who believe they are political reformers.
    Mafia Ministry is a secret organization, another name for the Five Young Turks, and I have taken the liberty to utilize this term to create a de facto government within a government, which is fiction. It may be fact, but de facto ministries are secret, so no one really knows.
    Lese Majeste Law is real. This law prohibits anyone, Thai or foreigner, to say, write, insinuate anything negative about the King, the royal family, Buddhism, or the military. There is currently a global campaign organized by Thai nationals forced into exile to disband this law. It violates the Freedom of Speech on every level. Those who have violated it in the past have been imprisoned. There are dozens of political prisoners sitting in jail right now because they have written something about the Monarch on a website, in a book, article, or on a blog, and over 18,000 websites have currently been shut down because of this. These are facts that are reminiscent of Communist China, and they continue to oppress the people today.
    When a society is rendered to such tactics that they dare not mention the truth about their leaders, not even in close familial circles, for fear that a spy will report them to the authorities, something is drastically wrong. When a government proclaims to support democracy and publically proclaims to strive for transparency, and then imprisons its citizens for exercising the Freedom of Speech, transparency is merely a lie. This is the impetus of Thai Redemption; to expose this generational fear to the global community, and how Thai society is continually repressed by its autocratic dictatorship.
    One’s imagination does not need to work very hard to perceive the hidden fears behind the power to be in Thailand. Oppression is the rule, Freedom of Speech is non-existent, and these are the simple facts. I simply asked myself the question “What if?” The passing of the baton of power is drawing near, and the global campaign for reform is in the works. This government has all of the ingredients for an economic and political meltdown in the not too distant future. The newspapers and blogs outside of Thailand document all the facts. The underground reformers have supplied the global communities more factual information than one could digest. The emails are flying about the globe. Change is eminent.
    Thai Redemption is a fictitious story about a very real political crisis looming.

  • Thai Redemption, description on back cover

    The Pro-Democracy Movement, a legitimate political party, has assembled thousands of students in a peaceful demonstration on Thammasat University campus.

    He was a student! A prisoner! A murderer! An escapee! And a hero! All in one week!

    • Little did he know that a few miles down the road, Bangkok was teeming with half a million citizens demanding his release?
    • Little did he know that the Thai people would resurrect him as their spokesperson and hero?
    • Little did he know that his paternal father had just landed in Bangkok consumed with taking up the search for him?
    • Little did he know that his girl friend of three years would soon betray him?
    • Little did he know that within the hour he’d have a $50,000 bounty on his head?
    • Little did he know that there would be nothing in his life as important as guiding his people toward Thai Redemption?

  • Freedom Fighter Writer

    Why is Freedom of Speech so important in a democratic society? The greater majority who have never traveled to a Third World country, no doubt, have never pondered this? The citizens of the western world, Europe, North and South America, Canada, enjoy varying degrees of democracy to outright autocratic dictatorships.

    Those of us who live in a free enterprising society don't realize that our Freedom of Press is being eroded on a daily basis, and by not being aware of this, is cause for this erosion to increase incrementally. It encompasses the premordial battle between good and evil. It's still going on, and will continue long after we are gone, but if we are one of the lucky citizens of the world where we enjoy freedom of speech then, I feel it is our obligation to act as literary agents or spokespersons for all those millions of Third World citizen's without a voice. Here's why . . .

    If we don't speak up, and collectively raise holy hell about the political abusive inhumane treatment of our fellow beings in Third World countries, then we have no one to blame but our selves when we lose our rights to voice our opinions. Right now across the world there are people just like you and me who are being jailed for blogging, for managing a website and denouncing the injustices of their government, of writing the truth in the paper, or a magazine, or book, about their corrupt, dishonest, and ruthless leaders.

    I have written a novel about such a situation in Thailand. Thailand is ruled by a king who happens to be the richest king in the world, and also the longest reigning king. Ironically, this king rules over one of the poorest countries in the world. Funny how that happens. But its not funny at all, because this king tolerates the abuse of his people by a sanctioned military dictator appointed by him, and his inner circles of cronies, to not only protect the throne against the people, but also to protect the throne against his own inner circle.

    The Thai government proclaims to be a Constitional Monarchy, but in reality, it is an Autocractic Dictatorship with unbelievable power to rape and pillage the poor Thai people. These people do not have a voice. There are spies within families, police forces within police forces, governments within governments, and no one trusts each other. People are afraid to whisper any negative comments about the king, the police, the military, the politicians, the Royal family for fear of retribution. The Thai Government has even locked up foreign journalists for making truthful negative comments about the king's son being a playboy. Thai professors are jailed right now for voicing their opinion.

    The novel that I wrote is the anatomy of a revolution, about what a people must do when they find themselves in a situation like the Thais are in right now. The riots have been sweeping through Bangkok for almost two months, with over 88 dead, over 1,800 wounded, and dozens of political prisoners sitting in jail. I personally lived through two military coups myself in the seventies.

    Raising awareness of the critical nature of the delicate Thai political structure is one way we can all fight back. This is the reason I wrote Thai Redemption. To raise global awareness of a dire situation in Thailand. Thai Redemption is fiction, based on the character of military leaders that I grew to know intimately during my decade long stay in that tropical paradise. I befriended real people who resemble some of the characters in my book. Those politicians and military brass are ruthless control mongers, narcissitic to the tenth degree, and care little about anything or anyone other then their own secret agendas.

    You can preview Thai Redemption at www.publishamerica.com and clickon Online Bookstore, Adventure, and scroll down to Thai Redemption and click on the book cover. An e-book will be available by the middle of June 2010, for those of you who have an ipad or Kindle.

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