9 of the most insane gang initiation rituals
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I live by the motto "I didn't choose the thug life, the thug life chose me." However, even I have my limits.
Gangs. They're an interesting thing, aren't they? They seem to just exist as part of our everyday existence, with there being an abundance of documentaries, films and computer games that not only explore the life of these criminal communities, but also glorify them.
But, what does it take to be a gangster? Do you just need to adorn a trilby hat and a suit, or is it simply that you need to get a tattoo on your face? Well, in all honesty, the reality is much worse.
The majority of gang induction rituals involve violence and scenes of a graphic nature and, in light of this, here are nine of the worst.
1. The Knights Templar
The Knights Templar are one of the most notorious and violent cartels in Mexico. They're known as one of the key players in the Mexican drug war and are notorious for their public decapitations and boiling their enemies alive. However, while their acts of violence against their counterparts are horrifying, their initiation process is even more gruesome.
In order to gain access to the cartel, the initiation has apparently developed from 'simply' murdering and dismembering a rival gang member to a wholly cannibalistic experience. New recruits to the cartel are expected to digest an entire human heart in front of their peers.
2. The Hell's Angels
The Hell's Angels are one of the most renowned motorcycle gangs in the world, with them not only being known for their racketeering, drug trafficking and murderous tendencies, but also being immensely marketable. Quite why anyone would want to join the Angels, I'm not too sure. But, if you are considering signing up, just remember this: in order to join the gang, you reportedly have to undergo an unhygienic baptism that involves having a bucket full of faeces and urine poured over your head. Nice.
3. Chinese Triads
One of the biggest umbrella organizations of the planet, the Triads are responsible for a wide range of illegal enterprises. The gang have been going for 3,000 years and are known for their sex trafficking, gambling, extortion and money laundering.
However, if one wants to join the organization, they are purportedly expected to drink from a goblet containing animal or human blood. On top of this, they must recount the following 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."
4. Aryan Brotherhood
The oldest white supremacist prison gang was formed by bikers looking to protect themselves in a newly desegregated prison system. But, while that was back in the 1960s, the Brotherhood is still going strong and has over 20,000 members.
In order to join the gang, prospective members must apparently kill a rival gang member or correctional officer. The gang live by the motto, "blood in, blood out" meaning that when you leave, you die.
5. The Latin Kings
The Latin Kings are one of the oldest gangs in America, with their origins dating back to New York in the 1920s. They remain a violent and active gang, with there being around 25,000 members nationwide, who will all be draped in the gang's traditional black and gold colors.
The most common initiation scheme reportedly involves getting beaten up by your fellow gang members. However, some claim The Kings also have a more heinous way in: offering up your girlfriend and allowing her to be gang-raped by four or more existing members.
6. The Numbers Gang
Based in South Africa's Western Cape prison system, The Numbers Gang consists of three groups: the 26s, 27s and 28s. According to some people, the gang go back to the 1800s and have a long legacy of violence and brutality. The gang are ranked by their thirst for violence, with the 28s being the most blood-hungry.
New recruits are purportedly given two ways of climbing the ranks, with the "Gold Line" being for those who are happy to draw blood from a correctional officer. The Silver Line, however, is reserved for those who are willing to be a sex slave for higher ranking members.
One of the most infamous crime organizations in the US, the Bloods are a coast-to-coast gang that was founded in Los Angeles. Known to be clad in red, Bloods are famous for their drug dealing, racketeering and strong-armed business techniques.
Entry to the Bloods reportedly differs depending on region, but in New York, the ritual involves giving out a "Buck 50" to a rival or a stranger. The practice refers to slashing someone's cheek with a box cutter so that they require 150 stitches.
8. The Junky Funky Kids
One of many active gangs in Cape Town, South Africa, the JFKs seek supremacy in the country's drug trade and find themselves in violent and fatal confrontations with other gangs.
The initiation process for the gang apparently involves them going through a unique obstacle course. During the ritual, members stand in two parallel lines facing each other, holding belts, chains and wooden planks. Then, new members must run through the crowd and take any beatings that come their way.
9. Taitung Crime Syndicate
In order to join one of the crime syndicates in Taitung, Taiwan, you purportedly have to undergo a bizarre initiation. The syndicates may adhere to standard hierarchal bosses and subordinates that you would see in mainstream corporations, but their hiring process is obscure.
The Taitung tradition, known as "Bombarding Master Handan," involves locals throwing fireworks at a shirtless man who is trying to enter the gang. The man will be dressed in a mask, with little other protection and the ritual is seen as a way for local crime bosses to weed to weak people out.
So, if you're thinking about joining a gang, you probably shouldn't. Not only will you more than likely wind up behind bars, but you might also have to have eat a heart, drink blood, have fireworks thrown at you and, worst of all, have poop poured all over your head.