Prison set Chuck Colson free

Handout official White House photo President Richard M. Nixon with Charles Colson, center, and Ken Clawson on May 13, 1972. … Continued


official White House photo

President Richard M. Nixon with Charles Colson, center, and Ken Clawson on May 13, 1972.

Since learning of Chuck Colson’s illness he has been in my thoughts and prayers. Chuck died Saturday from complications from a brain hemorrhage.

It is odd to say but prison proved the best thing that ever happened to Chuck, and it made him a force for good.  Prison was not real punishment for Chuck but a true education. He found a world of people he once described to me as “warehoused humans” who had been pushed out of public view. So he decided to give those people who were interested a purpose and meaning with his remarkable Prison Fellowship Ministries.

While there is little Chuck and I agreed about politically, we have had a  long had a friendship based on mutual respect.  While together in the custody of the U.S. Marshals at a safe house at Fort Holabird, Maryland, Chuck and I set aside our difference. He admitted he had tried to destroy me to defend Richard Nixon, and apologized. Begrudgingly he said that no one could have blown up the Watergate cover up better while taking his onslaught than yours truly, right down to figuring out that Nixon had taped us all. From Chuck, that was a compliment for there was a time when he was very good at destroying people.

Maybe that helps explain why he was good at the reverse, and helping broken people find a new life in the teachings of the Bible. I remember well when Chuck was first studying the Bible at Holabird, glowing with its revelations.  There is little doubt he learned well for I’ve read many of his books. And I’m sure those lessons are serving him well at the end of his life.

Godspeed Charles. We will finish our conversations on the other side, when we have an eternity.

Former White House counsel John W. Dean III was charged with obstruction of justice and spent four months in prison for his role in the Watergate cover-up. Dean currently works as a writer, lecturer, and private investment banker.


  • daverydc

    at first I was angry that such a hate-filled bigoted man as Chuck Colson was getting suck a warm eulogy, but then I saw it was written by fellow crook John Dean and realized it was a fitting tribute from another morally bankrupt man

  • laurie28

    Many a man has created much greater good in their quest for forgiveness. Forgiveness shall set you free young man. May you have a day in your life when you can say you are without sin.

  • laurie28

    The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. Thank you for posting this Mr. Dean. Chuck Colson is an inspiration for all who have made mistakes.

  • andrewcl99

    Thank you Mr. Dean, this is truly great stuff!!! How two self-proclaimed enemies like yourselves can now display Christ’s love and be friends is truly wonderful. This will not make the world news, but it should – it is truly that transcending and contrasting and ironic and paradoxical. Thank you again Mr. dean for such a story and tribute, for the transparent candor and honesty, for the love.

  • Statehoodmya

    Well said daverydc, how nice it is to be eulogized by a fellow criminal whose only regret is they got caught.

  • Counterww

    Shows you don’t understand contrition or forgiveness. Bitterness appears to be your friend. Sad.

  • DigitalQuaker

    I hope for your sake you are never in need for another’s forgiveness.

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