June 29, 2010
Eldredge Denounces Drug Cartel
"Wild At Heart" author renounces the Michoacán-based group's use of his book as a motivational tool.
Christian author John Eldredge has commented on a Mexican drug cartel’s use of his teachings in their indoctrination procedures, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported Friday.
The 50-year-old author of Wild at Heart and other books, known for his emphasis on “masculine Christianity,” was responding to reports that the group La Familia Michoacána, which some say is the most dangerous drug cartel in Mexico, uses his writings to “instruct and motivate their recruits.”
“People have used the Bible to justify a lot of evil actions,” Eldredge said. ”It brings me sorrow and anger to know they are doing this, and I renounce their use of my words in this way.”
A CT report late last year mentioned La Familia’s use of Eldredge. The Spanish-language weekly Milenio reported in May 2009 that “during the raids and arrests made in recent months by the military and federal forces in the state, the authorities have found a common denominator that, along with high-powered rifles, grenades and drugs, usually appears: copies of the book Wild at Heart, the most recent Eldredge title published in Spanish.”
“In the heart of every man is a desperate desire for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue," Eldredge writes in Wild at Heart, and the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s report on La Familia references this line when discussing Eldredge.
Leopoldo Cervantes-Ortiz, a Presbyterian pastor and chair of the ecumenical Basilea Center of Research and Support in Mexico City, spoke with CT back in October. He said that La Familia is "an example of how a neo-evangelical mentality permeates some drug trafficking groups today.”
"It is very striking that a work of this type is influencing negatively,” Cervantes-Ortiz said of Wild at Heart, “considering that its original purpose is to train men with a new way to live masculinity."
La Familia is known for emphasizing spirituality in its members. According to the Guardian, “advancement within the organization depends as much on regular attendance at prayer meetings as on target practice.”
The leader of La Familia, Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, is a “pious” man who wrote a booklet which discusses “personal empowerment, Christian living and proper deportment,” McClatchy Newspapers reports.
"If you want to say 'I love you!' to those who surround you and to your friends, say it today," Moreno writes.
They also purport to believe strongly in “divine justice.”
“La Familia doesn’t kill for money, doesn’t kill women, doesn’t kill innocent people. It only kills those who deserve to die,” read a 2006 note accompanying five severed heads thrown into the Sol y Sombra nightclub in Uruapan, Michoacán, according to the FPRI report.
La Familia “purportedly [had] concluded that the five men were involved in the rape and murder of a waitress/prostitute who worked in the bar and had been impregnated by a member of La Familia,” the report relates, adding that the group has claimed to administer such “divine justice” to everyone from rapists to graffiti artists.
John Eldredge seems to doubt that La Familia members are taking his message in context.
“If they'd actually read the book, they would know that submission to Jesus is central to the entire message,” he said. “They seemed to have missed the central point which gives context to everything else.”
(Photo of John Eldredge courtesy Ransomed Heart Ministries.)