From Focus On The Family to La Familia Michoacana
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Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 04:29:51 PM EST
I didn't think my work on the religous right would converge with what I'm doing on the narcoguerra in Mexico...but here it is: the Faith-Based Cartel.
"La Familia doesn't kill for money, doesn't kill women, doesn't kill innocent people. It only kills those who deserve to die. Everyone should know this: Divine justice."--
message left with five severed heads on the dance floor of the Sol y Sombra nightclub in Uruapan, Michoacan, September 6, 2006
.

The drug cartel La Familia Michoacana is, as one Mexican intelligence analyst put it, "unique."

From all available information so far, it appears that La Familia has developed into a faith-based right-wing populist social movement emanating from and orchestrated by an organization that happens to be a well-armed, well-financed violent criminal enterprise.

La Familia has branched out from the production and transport of drugs, diversifying into counterfeiting, extortion, kidnapping, armed robbery, prostitution and car dealerships. They've gone so far beyond bribery that people in Michoacan are paying mony to La Familia in lieu of taxes to the government. According to the recent Mexican federal police report on La Familia, there are 9,000 members of the La Familia "sect."

The federales are now viewing La Familia as more of a guerrilla group than a straight-foward drug cartel. Unlike other cartels, La Familia goes beyond the production and distribution of marijuana, meth, cocaine and heroin and into the political realm. The report goes on to say that La Familia has "created  a cult-like mystique and developed pseudo-evangelical recruitment techniques that are unique in Mexico."

On May 31 an internal intelligence report on La Familia from the Mexican justice department surfaced , bringing the news that the faith-based cartel grounds its indoctrination program on the writings of macho Christian author and veteran Focus On The Family senior fellow John Eldredge, who  now heads Ransomed Hearts Ministries in Colorado Springs.

There are four separate references to Eldredge in  the Mexican  intelligence memo on La Familia. The cartel has conducted a three-year  recruitment and PR campaign across Michoacan featuring thousands of billboards and banderas carrying their evangelical message and warnings.  La Familia is known for tagging its executions and other mayhem as "la divina  justica"--divine justice.

 According to his bio:

John was a member of the staff at Focus on the Family for 12 years. Most recently he served as Senior Fellow for Christian Worldview Studies at the Focus on the Family Institute--a one-semester program for college students located at the Focus campus in Colorado Springs. There he began showing a new generation of Christians what writers like C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and George MacDonald knew so well: "Christianity is not an invitation to become a moral person. It is not a program for getting us in line or for reforming society. At its core, Christianity begins with an invitation to desire."

At FOTF, Eldredge led Dobson's anti-gay crusade.  Here is Rev. Mel White's account of a May 1994 meeting in Colorado in a letter White sent to Dobson:

John Eldredge, the first, key-note speaker. "The gay agenda, " he claimed quite falsely, has all the elements of that which is truly evil. It is deceptive at every turn...It deceives those who are drawn into it, who embrace it. It presents an extraordinary deceptive face to the public at large."

John was one of the three delegates to that conference from Focus on the Family. ...Mr. Eldredge made his goals for gays and lesbians completely clear: "..to roll back the militant gay agenda wherever it manifests itself...whether in domestic partnership ordinances...school curriculum issues...pursuit of minority status...marriage and adoption privileges, so on and so forth."

Eldrege has been repeatedly taken to task by Christian critics on theological grounds, including  his mixing of "neo-pagan"  philosphy with the Gospel and aggressive of 'Muscular Christianity".

Federal intelligence officers in Mexico described La Familia leader, Nazario Gonzalez Moreno--El Mas Loco (The Crazy One)--as a "religious zealot" who totes around his self-published book of "aphorisms" based on the Bible and Eldredge's writings.

In the searches and arrests targeting La Familia across Michoacan, the one common denominator federal forces found, along with assault rifles, grenades and drugs, were copies of Eldredge's Wild At Heart. (Salvaje de Corazon).

La Familia is strongly pro-family (and all that that implies) and requires its members to abstain from alcohol and drugs. There is an indoctrination program all La Familia recruits must go through that inculcates " personal values, ethical and morlal principles consistent with the purposes of the organization."  Last year La Familia brought in  two motivational speakers to lecture its members. The group is hierarchic and maintains a strict top-down emotional control of its members.

Think of Jim Jones' People's Temple, only with more money and firepower and you get the idea.

For more details...Read all three parts at my blog, July Dogs




Display:
that just when I think things can't get any weirder, life will surprise me.
Thanks for posting this.

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