Monday, December 06, 2004

BLOOD IN, JESUS OUT?
It seems that we periodically have to cover this issue whether we want to or not. Like going to the dentist, it seems unavoidable. The topic in question is this: Do the brothers ever give anybody a pass to leave the Mob without any repercussions?

This post is prompted by a series of emails from curious individuals and by someone who seems to have some rather privileged knowledge. For the sake of protecting identities I'm quoting from the email but snipping out self-identifiers. This is the emailer's quote.

"Wally, again, you made the mistake about "Conejo's" book, "Blood In, Blood Out." This book has nothing to do with the movie of the same name. [text snipped here]. I agree that if one is to buy into the Blood In Blood Out doctrine, then those "preachers" from Victory Outreach would be dead. Could it be that there is something out there a foot that "we" do not have the real story as yet?"

First off, I don't recall saying that ART "CONEJO" BLAJOS' book, BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT ever had the slightest resemblance to the movie -- BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT: BOUND BY HONOR. It was originally released with that title but the current video boxes put BOUND BY HONOR up top and use B.I.B.O. as the sub. You can rent the movie anywhere. Getting a copy of Blajos' book to do your own comparison, on the other hand, will set you back some serious money. It's been out of print for years and even Amazon can't seem to find used copies.

To begin with, let's turn our textbooks to the Eme commandments. As outlined in a variety of sources, including unpublished manuscripts of dropouts, court testimony of snitches, confidential informants and from LE gang intelligence here's the law of the Black Hand as laid out by HUERO BUFF FLORES, EDDIE LOERA, JESUS PEDROSA, ALEJANDRO LECHUGA and others back in 1957. I paraphrase the original wording.

• To join, you have to be sponsored by an active member.
• You have to be approved by at least three active members. In the old days, all members in a prison had to vote you in. Now with over 600 members all over the state, the requirement is down to three.
• The only way out of the Eme is death.
• The Eme comes first, before family and friends.
• No homosexual activity. Ever. Anyplace, anytime. No excuses.
• No politicking. That means you don't undermine another brother's operations or badmouth him to other brothers or the outside.
• Admitting the existence of the Eme to law enforcement or anyone not a member is punishable by death. Admitting membership is on a need to know basis. Your homies in the neighborhood, for instance.
• Don't show fear or weakness.
• Orders from brothers have to be obeyed regardless of the personal risk to the person being ordered. That means if you're in a position to hit somebody that the brothers want hit, failure to act will demonstrate weakness and violate the above law.
• If a member goes bad, it will reflect badly on his sponsor. That means the sponsor will have to clean up the books himself. Or else.

There are other regulations regarding drug addiction, paperwork, ethnic purity and others, but these are the important ones.

With regard to Art Blajos' book, he violates all the big ones. He admits to having been made. He admits the existence of the organization to the world. By his own admission, he failed to carry out a hit on direct orders. And, of course, he walked away quite alive and well.

At the end of his book, Blajos tells the tale of being redeemed by Jesus and by the counseling of Victory Outreach pastors. While on the road to becoming a pastor himself, Blajos was working at a car wash when a big Cadillac he recognized pulled up and a window rolled down. He knew the people inside and he was ready to take a bullet. But nothing happened. The car rolled off without a word. A week later he got another visit and this time the caller said, "Be for real." Blajos concluded that the Eme gave him a pass and would not greenlight him unless his conversion proved not to be genuine. Blajos doesn't specify what year this happened, but the book was published in 1996. So we assume it was a few years before that.

By 1995, the LOS ANGELES METROPOLITAN TASK FORCE ON VIOLENT CRIME was in full operation. ERNIE CASTRO, a full-blown carnal, had flipped and was wearing a wire. Shot callers were meeting regularly in a motel room which was wired for video and sound. At one of these motel meetings, RANDY "COWBOY" THERRIEN was discussing the status of DONALD "BIG D" GARCIA with ALEX "PEE WEE" AGUIRRE, CASTRO and other brothers. Garcia was an Eme member who, by his own admission in an LA TIMES article, failed to complete an order to hit another inmate while in jail. Like Blajos, Garcia dropped out and found god. Therrien said this on tape about Garcia's conversion: "People think that's the back door out of the Eme. There ain't no back door. You guys turn on us, pick up the Bible, I'm going to look for you." At the same meeting, a vote was taken to kill Garcia. Interestingly, no one was ordered to do the hit. The only opinion one can form about this is that it was a low priority greenlight, apparently to be fulfilled if and when the opportunity arose. Garcia remains unmolested and free to preach.

Other dropouts don't get anything like a pass. Even if they haven't debriefed and just want out, the greenlight goes on and they become free-fire zones.

So on one side of the equation you've got dropouts who apparently have a pass because of their religion. On the other, you've got the commandments according to HUERO BUFF FLORES, co-founder of the brotherhood.

Looking at both sides of this, you can form your own opinion about the back door out of the brotherhood. But there are a few things to think about while formulating an opinion. If there is a back door then the Commandments need to be rewritten. Or at least footnoted. Being in for life is a powerful tool for maintaining commitment and cohesion. Modifying it makes the organization appear somewhat less than totally serious about what it demands from its members.

If there is no back door, then there may be other factors in play that, as my reader says, "we do not have the real story as yet."

8 comments:

Gone said...

Used copies show up on www.alibris.com every once in a while. None are cheaper than $85 or so.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the posting Al, Louis "Huero" Flores,is the one attributed for the founding of La eMe. (In the first "street" execution that came to LE atention it was written in a telephone book on the body of Alfonso "Apache" Alvarez.) One of his co-horts and fellow emeros, Alejandro "Hondo" Lechuga who grew up in Hawaiian Gardens and is currently a fugitive from justice would probably back up most of your statements. As far as homosexuals, there is a taped recording of one of the eMe assassins asking the late "Lunes" to come over to his house and put that "big" dick of his in his culo. Joe Morgan had his punks as did several "shot callers" while incarcerated. Maybe this is not considered "homosexual" activity. Tio Moco

Anonymous said...

PS...I was with two other police officers a few months bac in Phoenix, Az. "Conjeo" and his ontarage (spelling)put on a skit at one of the "Temple." It was quite good. They were "hawking" some of their B.I.B.O. caps, shirts and yes "Conejo's" book. I bought one book for "Paco" and I bought a cap for myself. When I went to S.A. Tx. and gave a presentation to some LE I bought out the fact that they should not confuse the movie with the book of the same name. Just as a side note, do you know what became of Robert Paul "Robot" Salas? I understood that he too was converting to Christianity.

Anonymous said...

The gangster lifestyle is upheld in many Latino communities for its strength. Respect and loyalty are defined in very specific ways. Real prison gangsters understand they operate outside of the system. They aren't going to be doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.. living the "American Dream" in some "Leave it to Beaver" television episode.

Respect, power, strength, survival, a way to make money above and beyond what society offers them, and sometimes the love of a brother/family is what they are striving for. They make their own way and they don't play at all. They keep it real or else. It's often violent and fast and short-lived.

Now sometimes, very rarely, out of this someone is called by the transcendent Creator of the universe to keep it real in a different way. Holding to the same ideals but in a positive way they present La Raza communities with a saner, sounder, and more long lasting option which is built on God, family, and community.

The focus so far from what I have seen on this blog seems to be on how do a very small handful continue to survive while fulfilling God's mission which He has given to them (which they keep real each and every day).

Some of us would like to see the reality presented, which is simply that many La Raza and their families lives have been and continue to be made better through the work of a very few called by God into his service. This very few then, positioned in God's perfect will, walk daily keeping it real for the rest of their lives. I have seen it and report it accurately.

Of course, I have a signed copy and have met the man and he KEEPS IT REAL 24/7! Nobody's against nobody. Factor God into the equation and then it makes sense. that's the piece of the puzzle you guys are missing as to why it works. Keeping it real. Definitely something we all need to attend to in our own lives every day. On the real, peace and God bless to the Beloved.

Anonymous said...

There and back, its your life,if you can get out and stay out, you are as strong as you need to be.Life is for the living,its not so black and white as in,dead or Jesus. I've been out over 20 years,I got stories that I don't need to tell.Jesus never did a thing for me,I am a free man.

Tony Valenzuela said...

To the Guy who said Jesus never did a thing for him!!
Theres a term called "Die Hards" this is a false term! We only have breath in us because of God. Nobodies that tuff, just protected by the divine plan of God.
John 8 "says you will know the truth and the truth will set you free!!!

Anonymous said...

Why do you keep drawing attention to the fact that these guys are still alive? Do you want to see them killed??? The statements that you made below sound disrespectful and might antagonize people. Show some responsible journalism.

"Being in for life is a powerful tool for maintaining commitment and cohesion. Modifying it makes the organization appear somewhat less than totally serious about what it demands from its members."

What kind of "brother" would kill you if you no longer wanted to kill people. You should be happy for the guys that got out.

Anonymous said...

I know Art "Conejo" Blajos and have heard him speak on many occasions. His testimony is testament to the power of God's love and His ability to reach even the most darkest of hearts. The bible says, "When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." Proverbs 16:7
I ran into some 'homies' years after I dedicated my life to Jesus and came across some hostility due to my allegiances. But when they saw the miracle that God had done in my life, they backed off and let me walk my talk. And I did. Many of them have come to faith in Jesus too since then. No man, no organization, no nation, no government institution, nothing can put God in a box and tell Him who, what, or where He can use a person who is totally committed to Him. The God of the Universe who holds the stars and the worlds in His hands, will not be intimidated by the 'EME' or any assassins. Read about Paul and the Judaizers who wanted to assasinate him after his conversion. God protected Paul and dealt with those individuals. The best thing for the EME to do is allow those who are sincere in their call to serve God to get a 'pass' and then let God handle His servants from then on.
God bless and Semper Fidelis!

"Always Faithful" to God, Country, Corps...