Growing Up in Houston, Surviving Depression, Addiction & Incarceration
I was born in the Southwest side of Houston, Texas on December 1, 1984 to Esther Sanchez and Troy Broze. I was the second child of three. My parents loved the three of us dearly, of that I am sure. However, sometimes life hands us struggles to make us stronger.
I don’t remember a lot about those early years, but what I do remember is mostly chaos. I recall moving between apartments with my parents and my grandparents on my father’s side. I remember being vaguely aware that my father was not around and that it had something to do with drugs. I remember visiting my father in prison as a young kid. I spent most of my early years being surrounded by family members who were in various stages of their own struggles with drugs and alcohol. I didn’t understand what drugs were, but I knew that whatever they were, they were keeping my father away from his family.
My father’s struggles with drug addiction brought him in and out of my awareness for the first 14 years of my life. While he was working on conquering his own personal demons he was also feeding his children and family false promises about changing his habits. For me, as a sensitive young boy, these promises affected me deeply. I spiraled into a deep depression at a young age and by the time I made it to Junior High I was practicing self-harm.
My depression, anxiety, and general anti-social behavior grew throughout my high school years, eventually escalating to suicide attempts. By the time I graduated from high school I began experimenting with alcohol and drugs. From 2003 to 2005, I went from binge drinking everywhere I went, to taking Ecstasy several times a week, to blacking out on Xanax for weeks at a time.
By January 2005, I found myself experimenting with Crystal Methamphetamine. I was hooked within a matter of months. By the Summer of 2005, I lost my apartment, my job, my relationship, several friendships, and was now living on the streets and dealing drugs. By November I would be locked up for Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Once incarcerated I began to take an honest look at myself and my actions. I had grown up surrounded by drug addicts, angry at my father for his own addictions and time in prison – How could I end up doing the same thing?
It was in this space that I began my journey of introspection and self-reflection. I spent the next year and a half writing pages and pages of notes, stream of consciousness rants and ideas on how to take my life in a better direction. A family member began sending me Buddhist literature and I started to learn about meditation. This was the beginning of a massive life change for me.
The steps taken in those days have directly led to my present space. While I wrote mountains of manifestations, I began to notice my handwriting becoming slower, more precise. As my thoughts slowed down and reflection became the norm, my physical world started to reflect the internal changes. Learning to meditate in an environment filled with false ego and posturing was not an easy task. I persisted and found many moments of peace despite being physically caged.
From November 2005 to October 2008, I went back and forth between state prisons, rehabs, probation, and parole. By the Summer of 2009 I was released from parole. I learned first hand the failures of the criminal justice system and gained an understanding of the roots of my suffering. This experience has greatly shaped my path and directly led to my desire to help others and get involved in the community around me.
The Start of My Activism
Once released from parole, I had the newfound experience of looking for a job and an apartment as a felon. I found out firsthand what it’s like for thousands of Houstonians who are treated with distrust and suspicion despite paying their “debt to society”. I would spend my time at the Houston Public Library in the Heights applying for jobs. Around this time I realized that not only had my mind become free of the clutter brought upon by constant drug use, but that my desire to learn had also returned.
While at the library I discovered a book titled, “Cannabis: a History”. This book does an amazing job at looking at the true origins of America’s failed War on Drugs and helped me understand the real reasons for medicines like Cannabis being illegal had more to do with financial motivation and racial discrimination than keeping Americans safe. This was news to me and I was astounded. I realized I had never learned this truth in my state education. I wondered, What else had I not been taught by the authorities?
This line of questioning was the beginning of my journey down the rabbit hole searching for answers about the world around me. What was the true role of the government and their laws? What role do the corporations play in our world? What role do I play in the grand scheme of things?
All this questioning lead me to starting a blog and eventually co-founded a real world activist community known as The Houston Free Thinkers. The HFT was a community alliance of concerned Houstonians who came together to raise awareness on topics ignored by the mainstream media, the government, and corporations. We placed strong emphasis and focus on solutions and community building. From 2010 to 2018 we organized protests, cop watching, marches, rallies, and civil disobedience. During that time we also hosted free “SkillShares” on a range of topics, helped build community gardens, organized documentary screenings and infojams. Overall, our goal was to focus on solutions through localization and providing a forum for discussion of radical ideas and theories.
It was also during my time with the HFT that I began to develop an interest in journalism and holding public officials accountable. In the Summer of 2011 I was offered a radio spot on Local Live Houston, an internet-based radio station. That was the beginning of Free Thinker Radio, a program I still co-host with my good friend Micah Jackson (Now on 90.1 KPFT). Around this same time I started questioning Former Mayor Annise Parker and Former Houston Police Department Chief Charles McClelland about a range of issues. This was my first taste of journalism and reporting.
You Are Powerful. You Are Beautiful. You Are Free.
In the Spring of 2012 I was regularly blogging on The Houston Free Thinkers website and using social media to broadcast news stories that I considered valuable for Houstonians and the world in general. In 2013, I decided it was time to create a media outlet that could be a home for my news reports, analysis, political rants, interviews, and whatever else I felt like producing. I also wanted a place that could not only explore politics and activism, but talk about the need for interpersonal healing, meditation, non-violent communication, and solutions for the many problems I was often reporting on. This was the beginning of The Conscious Resistance Network.
The Conscious Resistance Network is an independent media organization focused on empowering individuals through education, philosophy, health, and community organizing. We work to create a world where corporate and state power does not rule over the lives of free human beings. TCRN aims to provide entertaining internet broadcasts featuring discussions on current events, interviews with interesting guests raising awareness on crimes of government and corporations, talks on community organizing, and many other ideas.
However, The Conscious Resistance is more than just a media group. It’s a philosophy. I often describe TCR as the moment you recognize that being free goes deeper than just seeing the problems in the political arena. Consciously Resisting means being willing to engage in self-reflection, and pursuing knowledge of the self. Without knowing our own doubts, hopes, fears, dreams, insecurities and strengths we can not truly know what freedom means to us as an individual. To become conscious, and aware of ones actions is one of the most important steps towards claiming your own freedom.
Shining light into the darkness with my words
I was eventually offered a few paid writing gigs that helped me further develop my newfound love for research, asking questions, and writing. It was also around this time that I started to travel more extensively to report on stories taking place beyond the borders of Houston. From Ferguson, Missouri to Standing Rock in North Dakota, I was now being funded by a variety of independent and alternative media outlets to share stories from the frontlines of activism.
My journalistic work has allowed me to work with a range of activists and journalists from across the political spectrum. My focus on exposing Stingray surveillance in the City of Houston helped me partner with different groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union in Houston. My livestreams from the frontlines of the Standing Rock standoff were viewed more than 1 million times, helping broadcast the truth about police brutality to viewers at home. My work was featured all across the independent and alternative media, as well as Al-Jazeera, RT, Fox News, and all of Houston’s local media.
I have also worked on a number of mini-documentary style films working to expose indigenous struggles at the San Carlos Apache Reservation, the resistance to the Yucca Mountain Waste Repository, the ongoing pursuit of justice against convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and the little known story of the Finders cult, among other important and under reported stories.
In 2015, I began co-authoring The Conscious Resistance trilogy of books which further explore the intersection of spiritual practices and the search for a more free world. I released Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality in 2015, Finding Freedom In An Age of Confusion in 2016, Manifesto of the Free Humans in 2017, and The Holistic Self-Assessment in 2018. I plan to release my latest book, Counter-Economics: How to Opt Out of The Coming Social Credit State in Summer 2019.
I am regularly asked to speak at conferences and festivals across the United States and abroad. As of 2019, I have been invited to speak in Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, Portugal, and Australia. I have successfully completed two U.S. speaking tours, involving presentations, guided meditations, and volunteer work in every city.
While my journalism focuses on exposing corruption and highlighting the struggles of activist movements, my books and talks focus on the philosophical side of my work. I promote the philosophy known as Agorism, and what I call Holistic Activism or Anarchism. It is my belief that human beings do not need central authorities to rule over our lives – including governments. All of my “work” is focused on empowering individuals to recognize their own power and give up the false belief that government is necessary to organize the lives of humanity.
See where I am now
In February 2019 I released my first full length documentary, Who Will Find What The Finders Hide?, investigating The Finders cult. In May 2019 I chose to run for Mayor of Houston to see if I could inject real issues that Houstonians care about and real solutions that are never discussed in the political arena. I successfully spread my ideas and was able to increase dialogue around weakening the position of Mayor of Houston.
2020- And here I am now. I am releasing a new documentary (The 5g Trojan Horse) and a new book (How to Opt Out Of The Technocratic State) in January. I will continue my public speaking, writing, and journalism. However, this is the year I move further towards building the community vision I have in my mind. I plan to find land, build my vision, and use it as a place for education, growth, and creating independence.
For the moment, I spend my days creating videos, writing articles, networking with other changemakers and solutionaries who seek to empower the world. It does not pay well and it is sometimes frustrating to the point of wanting to throw my hands up and say, “Enough! I can’t take it!”.
But then, just when I want to quit, someone reaches out and tells me that something I have written, said, or done, affected their life in a positive manner. They say that I helped lift them up, or that my experiences with drugs and alcohol gave them hope that they might be able to quit their own vices.
And just like that I decide to carry on. I push forward and keep working towards a day when the self-ownership and liberty of all individuals is respected. I work towards a time when all humans understand the value of working through their own trauma, and seek to find solutions in a decentralized, non-violent manner that does not involve the force of state or corporate power.
This might seem like a lofty, idealistic, utopian goal, but to me the real fairy tale idea is that humanity can continue down the same path we have been on and expect to see real change. The only way forward is to radically alter the way we live our lives.