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“Big Money” wants me to return to work for them. I’m not interested. Thus, we are “negotiating”. Currently, our negotiations take the following form:

• “Big Money” pays people to do dirty tricks to me and my family;
• I write exposés based upon my knowledge of “Big Money’s” activities.

However, at the beginning, “Big Money’s” tactics were not so innocuous.

Let’s wind back the clock…

When I first notified the “kmotr” (it’s a Czech word—look it up) over the telephone that I was quitting, he said, “I’ll fly to the Czech Republic in a couple of weeks to meet with you.”

Upon his arrival, the “kmotr” telephoned to me to arrange a meeting place. I wanted the busiest place possible, so I told him, “Meet me in the lobby of Brno’s main train station”.

As the meeting time approached, I started to consider my situation. I didn’t want to negotiate with this guy. He’s not normal. I wouldn’t stand a chance against him. Thus, when I got to the train station, I simply handed an envelope to him (it contained money that I owed to the “kmotr” —paid in full—). Then, I left. He was stunned. He simply said, “You’re not going to say anything?” I turned and replied, “Nothing to say”.

Starting the next day, the phone would ring at my apartment, but when anyone in my family answered it, the person on the other end hung up. These juvenile antics continued for a couple of months. I didn’t know what to think. (Later, I assumed that the hang-up calls were some strange signal from the “kmotr” that he wanted me to telephone to him to beg for my job back. Like Hell I would.)

One day, our pediatrician told us that our youngest son (then age 1 1/2) needed a throat culture. We took him to the doctor’s office. That night, our son awoke around midnight, and he couldn’t breathe. It was serious. We called for the city’s emergency doctor / ambulance. When they arrived, they took our son to the hospital where he stayed in intensive care for two weeks. We almost lost him.

Yup, our pediatrician from Hell had made a deal with “Big Money” to put something into our son’s throat, not take a culture, which caused his esophagus to swell closed so he couldn’t breathe.

[Lesson #1: The Mafia plays by a new set of rules nowadays. They **do** kill women and children. They don’t care how many innocent people get hurt as long as the right person gets the message.]

Still I refused to “cooperate” with my former employer.

After some passage of time, the phone rang in our apartment. The “kmotr” actually talked this time. His final words were “I deal with problems like you all the time”.

Although I wasn’t scared (yet), I didn’t sleep well that night. I awoke often, and my skin had a strange sensation.

In the morning, I took the garbage out front. Some guy whom I had never seen before was walking past the front of our apartment building. My conscience—you know, that usually still quiet voice—started to SCREAM, “If that guy turns back to look at you, you’ve got problems”. He turned back.

Then, I looked at one end of the street. I saw four people standing there who did not belong in our neighborhood. I looked at the other end of the street—four more people. I quickly returned to my apartment.

About ten minutes later, the doorbell rang. I looked through the peephole and saw a man maybe 25 years old. Hey, I live on the sixth floor, and this guy didn’t use the intercom system at the front door to the building.

[Lesson #2: Are you the kind of person who jumps out of the shower when the telephone rings? If yes, you’ll make an easy target. To me, the phone and the doorbell are invitations—I can accept the invitation, or I can refuse it. I am **NOT** a Pavlov’s dog who must respond whenever a bell rings!!]

I didn’t answer the door. Instead, I looked out the window and saw several cars whose occupants thought my window was particularly interesting. “Big Money” had sent a small army to take care of me and my family.

[Why didn’t I call the police? Are you serious? In this case, do you think the police work for me?]

Eventually, the goons got tired of waiting, so they left. We called my wife’s parents and asked them to take our sons away.

The next day, we didn’t see any goons outside, so my wife went to work. A few minutes after my wife left (remember—I live on the sixth floor), somebody knocked on the front door of our apartment. I looked out of the peephole. This time, I thought that I saw my wife bundled up in her winter coat. However, again, my conscience started to SCREAM—“Look again!!” I did. It wasn’t my wife. It was the post lady.

Interesting—right after I quit working for “Big Money”, Czech Post changed our mail carrier. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Now, I did. What the Hell was the post lady doing on the sixth floor when the post boxes are on the ground floor? Again, I simply did not answer the door.

After my wife returned from work in the evening, I told her the story. She said, “When I went out this morning, I saw the post lady. I asked her if she had anything for us, and she said ‘No’.”

[Lesson #3: The “kmotr” usually orders a hit when he is having a temper tantrum. If you can survive until he calms down, apparently he revokes the order. Of course, most people don’t make it that far….]

I never left my apartment for 2-3 weeks. Seriously. At some point, I thought the boredom would kill me before the Mafia, so I eventually went out. They never tried to whack me or my family again. Instead, the Mafia has shifted to performing dirty tricks against my family

…and I write exposés.
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