Top-Secret Mafia Ritual Caught on Video

Recruits reportedly seen taking 'holy' oath, promising to commit suicide if disloyal
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2014 11:01 AM CST

A double-kiss on the cheeks. A loyalty oath to keep up your end of the "holy chain … the holy society." A reminder to always carry an extra bullet to take yourself out if you ever betray said society. Authorities in Milan say that's exactly what they saw in a secret video of mobsters from the 'ndrangheta crime syndicate as they performed what appears to be some kind of initiation rite for recruits, the AP reports. The Italian paramilitary police say two "convivial" meetings were recorded at a farmhouse in northern Italy, though they haven't said how they filmed the meetings—but it's reportedly the first time law enforcement has seen the sacrosanct ritual. Police in Italy have been investigating loans made by this Calabrian-based branch of the Mafia, involved in cocaine trafficking around the world.

After the standard cheek-kissing salutation that's now a staple in every mob movie, four of the men in the video—one said to be as young as 17—"huddle together" and recite the words that are the beginning of their official Mafia journey: "Right in this holy evening, in the silence of the night, under the light of the stars and under the splendor of the moon, I create the holy chain ... the holy society." They're also helpfully reminded that if they become traitors, they should shoot themselves with the extra bullet they're always supposed to have on hand. In a separate phone call officials also intercepted as part of the probe, a suspect can be heard threatening action on a delinquent payment, stating, "I will cut his head off." A Milan prosecutor says the video underscores "the force of tradition" that keeps organized crime strong. (This ex-mobster wants to dump all his secrets on the pope.)

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