Made Man - Induction Ceremony

Induction Ceremony

To become made, an associate would first have to be sponsored by a made man. According to Pistone's accounts in his books The Way of the Wiseguy and Donnie Brasco: Unfinished Business, the associate must now have at least two sponsors, one of whom must have known him for at least 10 to 15 years. The sponsor knows the associate and vouches for his reliability and abilities. Although a capo or other senior member(s) will determine the prospective member's credibility, ultimately the decision lies with the boss of the family into which he will be inducted.

When the crime family "opens the books" (accepts new members), an associate will get a call telling him to get ready and dressed. He will then be picked up and taken to the room where the ceremony will take place, alone or with other accepted candidates. An inductee will be required to take the oath of Omertà, the mafia code of silence. Though the ceremony varies from family to family, it usually involves the pricking of the trigger finger of the inductee, then dripping blood onto a picture of a Saint, typically St. Francis of Assisi or the Virgin Mary, which is then set alight in his hand and kept burning until the inductee has sworn the oath of loyalty to his new "family," e.g., "As this card burns, may my soul burn in Hell if I betray the oath of Omertà," or "As burns this saint, so will burn my soul. I enter alive and I will have to get out dead."

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