The Mafia is always one step ahead of the rest of us. This is how they operate. We’ve all seen it in Goodfellas, right? 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. As was testified by Anthony “Bingy” Arillotta, “fears of FBI surveillance meant clothing wasn’t an option when he became a ‘made’ member of the Genovese clan” reports the New York Post.
The rule came into play, apparently, after a 1989 ceremony was taped by the feds. But by Arillotta’s turn to get inducted in 2003, it had been figured out how to make sure no seeming inductee was wearing a wire and working for the other side.
Via the Post,
[Arillotta] and another made-man hopeful were told to leave their jewelry, beepers and cellphones at the bar, and then were driven to an apartment building.
They were met by reputed Genovese soldier Steve Alfisi, who told Arillotta to wait his turn in a tiny bathroom.
About 15 minutes later, he said, “The door opened and Stevie said, ‘Ant, it’s your turn.’
“And he told me to undress, take all my clothes off, and put on a bathrobe,” Arillotta recalled.
“Then, after I was undressed, he said I could leave my underwear on. He gave me the bathrobe.”
Like you’d expect from any mob initiation or doctor’s visit, Arillotta was then led into a room, asked if he’d commit murder for the mob boss, and had his finger pricked with a pin and the blood smeared on a piece of paper that was set on fire (signifying the way Arillotta himself would burn if he ever said a word).
At the end of the day, faced with life in prison after being busted on murder and racketeering charges, Arillotta did talk, which is how we’re all reading this. Which means the Mafia is surely already onto the next thing to prevent FBI agents and cops from knowing too much (airport security pat-downs, perhaps?).
But in the meantime, we can all chuckle inwardly at the image of a mobster in his tighty-whities.