I recently received an email message from a friend inquiring about the blogs I’ve been writing about the BBNO (Brown Berets National Organization, not to be confused with the National Brown Berets de Aztlan or any other BB group) and the La Raza Unida Party (LRUP, the faction controlled by Xenaro and Libertad Ayala, not the other groups that don’t recognize his leadership). The email I got asked if my goal was to have Xenaro Ayala “arrested.” My response was along the lines of, ‘no, doesn’t Xenaro have a logical answer for the questions I’ve been posing in my blogging?’
Afterwards I started thinking about the whole question of who would have the responsibility for punitive action taken by public authorities if in fact there is no logical answer to the questions I’ve posed publicly about whether or not the resources of LRUP have been used for crimes like wire fraud and mail fraud (which happen to be RICO “predicate acts”). Well, out of Xenaro’s own mouth is the answer: during one of his rants at a meeting of the National Chicano Moratorium Committee (NCMC) he made it clear that he doesn’t care about legalities. It was in the context of a discussion of the LRUP’s voter registration drive, urging people to use the voter registration mechanism of the State of California (and other states) to join LRUP.
Somebody said something about the whole process which was technically incorrect, so I made some points about the legalities of running political parties and running for office. I wasn’t advocating any particular course of action; all I was doing was pointing out what people could do under certain hypothetical situations. I do know what I’m talking about in this realm, given that I’ve run for everything from State Assembly to President at one time or another (State Senate 1974 and 1992, State Assembly 1976, Lieutenant Governor 1978, House of Representatives 1980 and 1990, Governor 1982, President 1996, State Treasurer 1994 and 1998, U.S. Senate, 2000).
At the NCMC meetings Xenaro had a penchant for playing a contradiction game, which is something he does in virtually every political or social situation that he finds himself in. A contradiction game is also something that spousal abusers do to their victims and its easier to illustrate in that forum. In an extreme case an abusive spouse (or significant other) contradicts every opinion or fact ever uttered by their victim in order to constantly demean them and diminish their sense of self-worth. The abuser gains control over the victim while the victim does everything they can to please the abuser, constantly worrying that they might offend him.
So the contradiction game that he pulled on me assumed the false premise that I was advocating the courses of action which I had merely pointed out were theoretical possibilities. It didn’t matter to Xenaro that no reasonable person would have interpreted what I said as advocacy; he simply went on ranting and raving about “blonde blue eyed white people” (I was the only gringo in the room and lest the implicit message be lost on the reader, my California driver license does describe me as having blonde hair and blue eyes) and how he didn’t give s–t about the legalities of running a political party. The legalities were all irrelevant to him.
Now at other times I’m told by reliable sources, he’s also claimed to be proud of not having to register LRUP with any state authorities or to rely upon the governments that he despises so much for legitimacy.
If that’s what Xenaro wants to do with his organization, far be it from me to object. The responsibility is his and his alone. However, I’m guessing that (1) he’s never talked to a lawyer or gotten legal advice about the way that he runs his operations and/or (2) that he’s never properly explained the ramifications of his refusal to other LRUP members, especially young people with little experience or knowledge about the legalities that might impact the organization and its members. If my guesses are correct then Xenaro’s responsibility is completely and utterly irresponsible.
Let’s examine what might be going on in Xenaro’s brain. If the answers to the questions I’ve been posing in my blogging about how LRUP is run are not benign, then why would Xenaro knowingly and openly expose himself and members of his organization to liability?
Saint Gennaro, a "martyr-saint" of the Catholic Church
Well, Xenaro is named after a “martyr-saint” of the Catholic Church. In spite of his militant atheism, maybe the name rubbed off on him and gave him a “martyr complex.” Wikipedia explains a martyr complex:
In psychology, a person who has a martyr complex, sometimes associated with the term victim complex, desires the feeling of being a martyr for his/her own sake, seeking out suffering or persecution because it feeds a psychological need.
In some cases, this results from the belief that the martyr has been singled out for persecution because of exceptional ability or integrity. Theologian Paul Johnson considers such beliefs a topic of concern for the mental health of clergy. Other martyr complexes involve willful suffering in the name of love or duty. This has been observed in women, especially in poor families, as well as in codependent or abusive relationships. It has also been described as a facet of Jewish-American folklore.
The desire for martyrdom is sometimes considered a form of masochism. Allan Berger, however, described it as one of several patterns of “pain/suffering seeking behavior”, including asceticism and penance.
Of those who know Xenaro Ayala, I don’t think that anybody would deny that he believes himself to have been “been singled out for persecution because of exceptional ability or integrity” not to mention suffering out of “duty.” This invites an interesting parallel with Saint Gennaro from Book Four of The Gay Science by Friedrich Nietzsche which opens with a poem entitled ‘Sanctus Januarius’ (Saint Gennaro), written in Genoa in the month of January 1882. In this work, Nietsche describes the process by which somebody becomes a ‘Yes-sayer’ to everything one is fated to.