Mafia Associates Strip During Induction Ceremony

Let's get made!

They prick your trigger finger. Make you cup your hands around a blood-smeared mass card with a picture of a saint on it, and set it afire. You take the burn like a man -- a made man -- slowly grinding your palms together, putting the flames out, the ashes blackening your singed skin. You speak the oath.

But hold it -- there was a new step added, according to new information, back when the first Bush was still President.

Since then, at some point, probably before you are asked the obligatory question "Do you know why you are here?" (And God help you if you answer, "Yeah."), you are now required to strip down almost to your bare ass so the organization can make certain you are not wired for sound and/or video.

The Mafia these days is "so paranoid about being infiltrated that would-be wiseguys can only wear underpants and a bathrobe," said an article on the U.K.'s Daily Mail website.

Anthony 'Bingy' Arillotta, 42, served this morsel up in Manhattan Federal Court, blaming it on fear of FBI surveillance, though it is not known if this new twist is exclusive to the Genovese clan or the Mafia at large.

This supposedly started happening more than 20 years ago -- after federal agents secretly taped an initiation ceremony in 1989. I don't know what's more interesting -- the stripping or the fact that they could actually keep a secret for a couple of decades.

Arillotta said he was led into a room where Genovese mobsters Arthur Nigro, former acting boss of the family, and Pasquale “Scop” DeLuca were seated at a table with a gun on it. (Isn't there supposed to be a sword there, too, though where you'd get a sword these days I have no clue.)

"And he told me to undress, take all my clothes off, and put on a bathrobe,' Arillotta said in court. "Then, after I was undressed, he said I could leave my underwear on. He gave me the bathrobe."

The reason Arillota gave is obvious enough: "Make sure there was no wire — I wasn't wearing a wire or listening devices or any type of something to record anything with."

Former mobster Sonny Girard, who operates, told us, "If they couldn't trust them to not wear a wire, why induct them at all? Were all future meetings supposed to be at Chippendale's or bath houses?"

Arillotta is testifying against gang members in exchange for leniency from a potential life sentence after he was busted last year along with Nigro on murder and racketeering charges, including the 2003 hit on the very person who proposed him for membership: former Springfield mob boss Adolfo 'Big Al' Bruno, who was not sending enough green to New York.

The Village Voice blog offered an interesting perspective on this news -- interesting because it obviously came from a reporter who knows nothing about Cosa Nostra (that means "Our Thing," Jen). Oh, how could that newspaper lose the great Tom Robbins?

"The Mafia is always one step ahead of the rest of us," the uninformed blogger wrote. "This is how they operate. We've all seen it in Goodfellas, right? [Ed. note: what did we see in Goodfellas? She must be talking in general; the only induction ceremony in the film was a ruse to blow Pesci's character's brains all over the floor. And she is using a Hollywood production --and one that depicts mob life from the '50s through the '80s and told from a rat's POV -- to explain today's Mafia? Now I love that film -- but if she knew what was going on, she'd know maybe some mobsters are one step ahead --of the law--but certainly not the mob as a whole.] Thus, when FBI agents started sneaking in and infiltrating mob ranks wearing wires and hoping to get the needed dirt to bust them, the Mafia thought of a solution: To get initiated, you have to get naked. This is not from any perversity or need to check the merchandise, but rather, from wisdom, mind you." [Ed. note: Need I even comment on that?See what I mean about this writer? And she's talking about wisdom!].

"But in the meantime, we can all chuckle inwardly at the image of a mobster in his tighty-whities." Oh, what a cute kicker!


  1. I am 99% sure not all 5 NYC families strip their new inductees. Can't go that extra percent cause I haven't been made BUT I am familiar with quite a few guys who have been and I can say with 99% certainty that the Colombo & Gambino families do not strip there guys naked. We know for a fact the Genovese have in the past and Garcia says the Bonannos do but that is uncorroborated. Depalma wouldn't have been so angry if it was something all the families were doing for 20 years!
    BTW that 1989 ceremony was actually recorded by Sonny Mercurio but it may have been a listening device rather the a wire that Sonny wore. I can't remember which.


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