‘Breakshot: A Life in the 21st Century American Mafia’

I’m over 200 pages into this book. It is densely packed, filled with action, reflection, and wisdom. Buy it if you want to get inside a criminal mind who lived the life most of us only dream about in our most demented moments.

From page 171: "I always thought the recruitment and brainwashing techniques porn uses to convince girls to do unthinkable things on camera paralleled the tactics the military uses to recruit and train people to do the unthinkable. The scam is the same: a talent scout zeroes in on a generally ill-educated civilian from a broken home; caters to their longing for stability and approval; blitzes them with a Hell Week of work to establish a brutal, unthinking routine; alienates them from reality by giving them a new identity and disassociates them from their gruesome work using jargon; and keeps them going with meaningless trophies and awards that glamorize the day-to-day realities of their profession."

This also sounds like the methods used on vulnerable girls by such as Orthodox rabbis as Abner Weiss and Yaakov "Kenny the Shark" Menken. They find vulnerable young women, separate them from friends and family, and then f— them.

From page 186 about Mafia associate, con artist and pornographer Jerry Zimmerman: "I always wondered if Jerry ingratiated himself with the Italians by playing up his Jewishness to cartoonish levels. Jerry acted like the classic stereotype of a New York Jewish racketeer: the charmer who peppers his ever sentence with Yiddish, gets a tension headache whenever he has to pay for anything, considers it an epic triumph whenever he scams his way into free merchandise or services — and, of course, dies of old age an exponentially richer and freer man than his imprisoned Italian "bosses.""

From page 196: "Since I no longer dealt with cutthroat drug dealers, Jerry painstakingly recalibrated my moral compass. "You don’t got to be like that, bubeleh," was his admonition whenever I thought with my primitive , ultraviolent mind-set. His point was not just that violence was counterproductive but also that it was morally and spiritually damaging to me.

"…The code of honor among old-school carnies, grifters, scammers, confidence men, and bunko artists was that, while it was kosher to "work" a mark out of his money, a real con should refrain from stealing his dignity."

From page 225: "That is one of the great structural evils of the porn business: girls who get used to making money and getting everything they want thanks to their looks become obsolete by the age of thirty. With no other professional skills, they turn to full-time prostitution… Those revenue streams rely on novelty and run dry quickly, usually leaving the porn girls spoiled, deepy in credit-card debt, too surgically altered to mix with normal society, and progressively reliant on alcohol and narcotics to cope."

On page 257, Kenny writes that the feds must’ve laughed when they caught Mafia capo Louie Gelfuso crying "at a tender scene in his favorite soap opera."

Kenny says he got threatening calls from some thug who threatened him if he ever referred to Peter North as anything less than entirely masculine and heterosexual.

Because they rarely killed people, the Los Angeles Mafia was known as faggy.

Kenny tells about the time he was sent to beat up the dwarf actor who played R2-DS in Star Wars.

I played an unscrupulous writer for Shawn Ricks in his 1997 movie The Trickle Effect. I made $250.

Seven years later, I dated an ex-actress Hayley Rivers who said that Shawn was her worst experience in the industry.

Kenny writes: "Shawn was completely incapable of performing without following a set diet and routine: before every scene, Shawn had to smoke a joint, drink a cap of "date-rape drug" GHB, and listen to "I’ve Got the Power" by Snap! and "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent while shadow-boxing and psyching himself up, and then taking another hit of pot." (Pg. 269)

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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