We need to quit looking at gangs as just some neighborhood nuisance. They are a terrorist organization looking to make your child a domestic terrorist.
Gangs will teach your children how to use guns, clean them, take them apart and reassemble them. With them, your child will even learn how to make bombs; invade and rob homes; how to injure and/or kill someone using different methods; and make, smuggle and sell drugs.
When caught by law enforcement for the deeds, your child will know exactly what to say and what not to say. They are taught how to die for their mission. Their mission (entails) killing, stealing and destroying anyone who gets in their way, it does not matter who it is.
When I began recruiting kids into the Almighty Latin King Nation, I was looking for people just like me; people who wanted to kill their fathers, those who came from broken homes, those who wanted someone to love them, those full of rage, anger, bitterness, those with suicidal thoughts, those who struggled with depression — outcast kids who were told or felt they were losers.
These kids make great soldiers on the streets. They are fearless and have a great loyalty to those who are their gang "family," regardless of how dysfunctional it is.
When I began to evangelize for the Almighty Latin King Nation, I was taught to prey on those kids. To evangelize means to bring good news, and some may say that to join the ALKN was not good news, but to those who were involved, they were brainwashed into believing it was good news.
Gangs are a huge challenge for our communities. They are everywhere — and I mean everywhere.
A recent article stated that "25 Latin Kings got locked up." Many think that number is a huge success, but in the gang hierarchy, there are 25 others trained and ready to take their new positions.
Many communities that hear things about gangs often think they have nothing to worry about. But they must understand that gangs know that very mentality and prey on the unexpected.
These days, parents often do not want to be confrontational with their children and let their kids have too many choices and decisions. As a parent, you have a say in what they wear, say and write. That relationship is important because many gangs use these tactics to terrorize communities beneath their parents’ noses because many don’t know — or care.
Keeping your kids away from these terrorist groups starts at home. Every child wants to feel love, security and acceptance. It is important that parents, guardians, mentors and others provide validation.
When kids don’t feel self-worth, they can easily become prey for gang recruitment. Please do not be naive and say that won’t happen to my child or that doesn’t go on in my community. With that attitude, you may have already lost your child to this type of terrorism.
The few who actually have the opportunity to leave gangs and become parents often apply love, security and validation and show their kids a great sense of belonging. For many, it’s because they're already masters of the strategy of making people feel important.
Gangs use sophisticated, brutal techniques to control youth
When young soldiers wanted to join the Latin Kings, I used the principle I called FAM to identify which kids would be good recruits:
Family: How is their home life? What type of living condition do they have? What do their parents do for a living?
Attitude and assurance: What is his/her attitude toward their parents? Do they hate their father or mother? Do their parents offer validation, assurance and a feeling of security and confidence?
Money: Do their parents have money? Do they want to make some money?
As I would hang out with them to see what their life was really like, I would ask the FAM questions. I wanted to make sure they were going to be hard-core to be able to make it as an Almighty Latin King. When I got the information needed, I would use it to draw them into the gang. If I saw their home life was messed up, I told them that we offered family; we preyed on the vulnerable.
Once we had them, we taught them to channel their rage and anger to benefit our gang. They were encouraged to transfer that aggression and channel what they hated. In most cases, it was the father. All the rage, anger, bitterness, resentment and pain were channeled with focus to hurt someone. This mind control is called neuro-linguistic programming.
This is where character development begins.
Gangs are a lot more organized than people think. Gangs use NLP to create a terroristic method of governing their street soldiers and resisting law enforcement.
Neuro-linguistic programming refers to a stated connection between the neurological processes (neuro), language (linguistic), and behavioral patterns that have been learned through experience (programming) and can be organized to achieve specific goals in life.
Gangs use NLP to create terror, violence, threats to intimidate and especially to coerce, to create the state of fear and submission by terrorism. They deliberately target and disregard people's safety.
NLP is used treacherously; the gang gets their young members to alter their state of mind, like a trance. While in this trance, they are given suggestions that get imbedded into the mind. When the suggestions are imbedded, they know they have them under their control. All the while, the younger members know nothing of what is actually going on.
When I got into fights, I remember beating people up badly. I knew how to channel the anger I had against my father and convert it into rage using NLP.
When I would be in these fights I didn't see the person I was fighting. The image I was holding was my father's face. I would enlarge the hate and play back all his emotional and physical abuse as if it were a slideshow or movie in the front of my mind.
Rage was so rooted that I could smell the alcohol on my father — I could hear him yelling at me all over again, my heart would begin to pound out of my chest with anger; I even had the taste of blood in my mouth. All the while, he was not even near me. The anger alone that I was carrying inside caused these emotions to flare. As all these emotions would overtake me, the pounding I was giving the person’s face became more intense. I would beat them until they were knocked unconscious.
Using 'success keys' to change one's life
The process of change starts when you come to a place of being sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I had to disconnect myself from my Latin King family and get connected to a life source. When I say to disconnect, you got to get away from the negative influences in your life — whether that is to move away, cut them off, or change your contact information. You may have grown up with them or they may be family, but for a season you have to let them go. This is what I did.
I had to get positive mentors in my life who were going to get in my face, love me and help me get to where I needed to go. I went through a mind-cleansing process getting all the garbage out of my mind and afterward, filling it with positive things that would set me up to where I wanted to go in life.
It does not matter where you live, the color of your skin, or who your family is. You have believed other people’s opinions of you. You have accepted the labels placed on you, such as you have a learning disability, phobias, depression, anxiety, behavior problems, etc.; these are just a few of them. I'm here to let you know you can overcome it, you can win back your mind.
The same method of neuro-linguistic programming the gang used for negative results, I teach to get positive results. As long as you think differently, you will feel differently. The truth is that most problems are just manifestations of bad habits repeated over and over again.
One of the techniques to win back your mind is learning how to turn your negative experience into a positive experience. Think about somebody who annoys, intimidates or irritates you, in my case, my father. I make an image of my father and see him looking at me in the way he would to intimidate me. Now I hear him saying the negative words he would say. At this point I notice the bad feelings that arise in my body.
I take the image I made of my father: I make it black and white, move it far off into the distance and make it smaller, at least an eighth its size. Then I give him a funny nose.
I would hear him say mean things — but in a voice of chipmunks. You can use whatever character you would like.
Achieving personal freedom is about developing new mental habits, skills and getting used to mentally running your brain the way you want it to run. Your brain runs all the time; it's either going to run the way you want it to go, or it can run wild. I have given you one of many principles I used to get me to the place of success in my life.
As I was studying the Good Book another success key stood out to me, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
As I began to meet people who were confident, positive and purpose-filled, I held on to them. We would get together and within time I knew I finally found a true family. A family I did not have to get beat in, to know I belonged. I did not have to do a violent crime to be accepted. They accepted me for who I was. Being part of this new family taught me what love truly was. They gave me a success key I still live by: to love my neighbor as I love myself.
When I was in the Almighty Latin King Nation they talked about love, but when you turned your back, someone was always out to stab you. I saw that the love the ALKN talked about was not real.
The ALKN also talked about honor but did not show it; it was every man for himself. It was not about helping one another, although that is what they would say; they always wanted something in return for helping. The way my new family taught about honor is to honor others above myself. They taught me to help those that don’t have anything, to reach out to them and meet their need.
I learned that doing things right and helping people brought fulfillment, joy and peace. What I was doing with the ALKN was the complete opposite; I was leading people down a path of darkness and death.
Forgiveness is the most challenging yet most liberating key. This is the key I used to finally forgive the person I hated most: my father. When I forgave him, I felt such a weight lifted off my back. I began to walk differently and even think differently at this point.
Parents, communities can create change
Instead of focusing on terrorism in other nations, we need to focus on the terrorism in our own nation. We are focusing on protecting our borders from foreign terrorists, yet we have allowed domestic terrorism to invade our nation.
Ignorance on our behalf has allowed the development of a network of thousands of soldiers to run our streets with their terrorist acts. The worst part is this is being done day in and day out all over the United States. It is time we focus on the domestic terrorism plaguing our nation.
The process of change is even more effective when fathers rise up and take their role in the home as protector, provider and keeper. I cannot stress the importance of validating your children. Give your children approval, love, security. Let them know they are a part of the family. When we don’t do this there is always someone out there who will.
The Almighty Latin King Nation gave me validation, and that is what kept me with them. I challenge you to rise up and do your job so you don’t lose your kids to this terrorism.
Sometimes (validation) is offered, and the child still joins a gang; there is a small percentage who will venture into that gang life out of pure rebellion. Providing a strong foundation will bring them back eventually.
What's wrong with many people is they turn a blind eye to the crime that happens around them yet are the first to complain about it. They will say it is not a concern of mine; that's not my child who got shoot, that's not my house they are breaking into. Just like you closed your eyes to that happening to someone else, know that when that happens to you those around will be closing their eyes.
Spending quality time with your children is an investment into their lives and yours. Becoming that positive influence and showing them direction means everything. It is very important to know their friends and the friends’ families. By celebrating and encouraging your children's passions and dreams, you help them to grow and dream. Getting involved in their activities and seeking out positive things in your community give them an opportunity to see the positive things in their life.
There is a success key that I live by: what you sow, you shall reap. So let's love and treat our neighbors the way we want to be treated. Let's set our fears aside; speak up when you see bad happening to someone else, because that is what it is going to take to stop these terrorist groups running our neighborhoods.