A real-life Breaking Bad For years, I manufactured illegal drugs just like Walter White. And that’s just the beginning of the story. When I was a scientist at University of Texas at Austin in 1984, a stranger appeared in the library one afternoon, and I soon found myself drawn into a street-world of BMX bikes and psychedelic drugs. I liked it and figured out how to manufacture a legal clone of the drug Ecstasy that I called Heaven. Working with a series of partners, I eventually ended up in Taos, New Mexico, where I produced a 120-pound batch worth more than $18 million. Then the DEA declared Heaven illegal, and I was caught red-handed. After five months in jail, my lawyer argued that the DEA had no right to prohibit Heaven because the Constitution says that only Congress shall make law. The judge agreed, and my case was dismissed. I was free to go. But the government appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court where my lawyer predicted that I would lose. Just before the Supreme Court ruling came down and facing fifteen years in prison, I disappeared. I fled to Central America where I assumed a new identity and worked on several excellent educational and community development projects. I was also stalked by a mountain lion, shot at by drug dealers, and lived for years in the jungle. And I learned that the key to a good life was to always try to do the right thing. In the end, I faced the ultimate test. Written in the first person, Heaven’s Tale is an unusual and inspiring book, filled with details on drug manufacturing and scientific experiments. It’s also a tale of exciting adventures and personal redemption.
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Rob Widdowson is one of those rare individuals with two birthdays; he lived as a fugitive under an assumed identity for 20 years. His new book, Heaven’s Tale, provides all the details. Rob also has published academic research papers in several fields, survived shark attacks, danced and acted on stage, lived for years in a tent in the jungle, started a small programming company, been shot at, incarcerated, starred as a television journalist, and generally lived one of the craziest lives imaginable. (It’s been a lot of fun so far.) Since 2000 he’s been writing grant proposals and planning documents as a development consultant. His work has led to more than $8 million spent in southern Belize to improve the lives of poor people. If you want to know more about Rob and his stepson, Tybren, please visit our website at http://www.robwiddowson.wordpress.com where you can sign up to receive emails and blog posts.
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