Organized crime is a phenomena that transcends borders and cultures; a universal, nefarious practice that's as diverse as it is common. Gangs exist all around the world, often violently at odds with one another over turf and money. They're so interesting that they're the subject of movies, music, and television shows, and pop culture does a good job of illustrating what gangs are willing to do to their rivals. From offing the competition in a drive-by shooting, to putting their heads in a vice until they talk, the details of what gang members do can be extremely shocking.
What is underrepresented, however, is what people do to get into gangs. These young recruits are willing to do whatever it takes to show their loyalty, which often means subjecting themselves to injury and humiliation. These gang rituals are frequently just as horrifying as the transgressions they commit on their rivals. As this list shows, often times these brutal gang initiations are more violent and f*cked up than you could imagine.
To Become A Knights Templar You Have To Eat A Human Heart
The Knights Templar are one of Mexico's most gruesome drug cartels. The criminal organization is one of the more violent participants in the nation's ongoing drug war, and is known for its affinity of public decapitations and boiling its enemies alive. While the atrocities committed against this cartel's adversaries are quite horrifying, it's the initiation process for its own members that is truly on another psychopathic plane.
The initiation process of the Knights Templar has evolved from simply murdering and dismembering rivals a culinary cannibalistic experience. New recruits to the Knights Templar are required to digest an entire human heart in front of their peers, a gastronomic gesture that symbolizes their boundless loyalty.
The Hell's Angels Make You Bathe In Poop
The Hell's Angels are a household name when it comes to organized crime. The legendary motorcycle club boasts some 2,500 members in 26 countries, and has a reputation of racketeering, money laundering, drug trafficking, and murder. Though the club steadfastly denies any criminal ties, entrance to the motorcycle gang is not easy, and involves a ritual that implies a future involving some dirty work.
New members of the Hell's Angels are required to engage in an incredibly unhygienic baptism. Existing club members put fecal matter and urine into a bucket, and said bucket is poured on the new Angel's head.The newly soiled soldier cannot wash or change clothes for the duration of the evening.
New Chinese Triads Members Drink Blood - Sometimes Their Own
The Chinese Triads is a umbrella organization responsible for a number of secret Chinese criminal enterprises, dating back some 3,000 years. Operating in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, as well as mainland China, the Triads are known for their work in prostitution, gambling, extortion, and money laundering.
Joining this clandestine criminal group requires a very visceral commitment. New members are expected to drink from a goblet containing animal or human blood (sometimes their own, sometimes not), and recite the following blood oath:
"If a member of this society finds himself in difficulty, all will rush to his aid. If I, as a future member of this association, break this oath, the swords will descend and kill me."
The Aryan Brotherhood Requires You Kill A Rival Gang Member
The Aryan Brotherhood is the US's oldest white supremacist prison gang. Originating in the mid-1960s by bikers looking to protect themselves in a newly desegregated prison system, the Aryan Brotherhood - also known as A.B. or Alice Baker - is still going strong today with an estimated 20,000 members.
The Aryan Brotherhood requires a bloody rite of passage to attain membership known as "making your bones." To make ones bones is pretty simple: it means murdering a rival gang member or corrections officer, and, somewhat poetically, making them into bones. The A.B.'s motto is "blood in, blood out," and making your bones satisfies the first part of that - the second part comes to be when you leave the gang, which only comes by death.