Saturday, September 27, 2003

We have an avid and interested reader base and right after the MAXSON post of this morning, we received an email asking what exactly is an ASSOCIATE? Is that like a MADE MAN in the MAFIA or some lower rank?

There are three levels of involvement in the EME. The first is what the EME calls a SOUTHERN SOLDIER. That would be the rank and file street gangster who claims a particular gang like AVENUES, VARIO NUEVO ESTRADA, PRIMERA FLATS etc. If the gangster puts in enough work for the gang such as slinging drugs, and keeping the neighborhood free of incursions from other gangs, he'll be given additional responsibilities. He'll be officially put in the crew of an ASSOCIATE. That ASSOCIATE might order him to scout the neighborhood for dealers who don't pay their taxes and REGULATE them. That's another term for assaulting or intimidating them to pay taxes.

As a member of a crew, he might then be asked to collect taxes. Usually, when the SOLDIER starts handling tax money for the EME, or does anything on direct orders from an ASSOCIATE or a full-blown CARNAL, he's considered and ASSOCIATE as well. This grants him more power and respect because he's now doing the work of the MOB. ASSOCIATES attend meetings where other ASSOCIATES or CARNALS are also present.

You might consider these BOARD OF DIRECTORS meeting where high-level policy decisions are made. At these meetings, they'll discuss issues like GREENLIGHTS, TOUCH-UP LIGHTS, COLLECTIONS and the existence of PAPERWORK on individuals. Not all ASSOCIATES have equal status. Some are only collecting taxes but have yet to prove themselves in combat. And it's at these meetings that an ASSOCIATE can elevate his status by RAISING HIS HAND to take care of a miscreant or a snitch. When you raise your hand, you're volunteering to kill someone that the EME wants eliminated.

If you accomplish the mission, you receive immediate stripes. That puts you in a strong position with the EME. If you raise your hand on several occasions, then you're probably destined for full-blown BROTHER status.

To be made a CARNAL you need to have at least three brothers present and they all have to vote in the affirmative. If you've got one hold-out, you're not made. If you claim to be made, and you're not, you are then GREENLIGHTED, no matter how many stripes you earned. The EME does not tolerate misrepresentation.

The process isn't as straightforward as described however. Very often, factions are formed inside the brotherhood. Sometimes, old grudges get in the way of being made. And sometimes, an ASSOCIATE might be lulled into a false sense of security. It's happened on many occasions where an ASSOCIATE is sent on a murder mission but it's actually a suicide run. What happens is, the EME needs to have two people killed. They'll tell intended victim NUMBER ONE that he needs to earn stripes and the best way to do that is kill intended VICTIM NUMBER TWO. What NUMBER ONE doesn't know is that as soon as he does his hit, he's hit immediately afterwards. This is a SUICIDE RUN.

Nothing is ever written in stone in this world and the players and alliances are always in a state of flux. Some might say utter confusion. But at least now you know the difference between a SOLDIER, an ASSOCIATE and a CARNAL. Stay tuned for more EME stuff.