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 What is MAFIA? (Credit back to Jeffrey Tuck)

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Burke F Lucchese
Family Leader & Forum Administrator
Family Leader &    Forum Administrator

Posts : 28
Join date : 2012-04-19

PostSubject: What is MAFIA? (Credit back to Jeffrey Tuck)   Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:52 am

Here, I’ve been introduced to wonderful mafia role-play, and full of use of the mafia’s traditions and rules. Though, I feel like we’re pretty alone about it. There have been many mafia families on NGRP, and almost every single one I’ve seen has lacked basic mafia structure, or the leaders lack basic mafia knowledge. This is basically a little read with information and tips about mafia role-play. This includes;
-Cosa Nostra & structure
-The Commision
-The Godfather mentality
-The ten commandments
-The made man ceremony

Cosa Nostra
Cosa Nostra, or as it is said in English, “Our Thing/This thing of ours”, is what is more commonly known as the Sicilian/the American mafia. Mafiosi simply means “beautiful”, but the real meaning of the word is more or less shadowed by Cosa Nostra.

The Cosa Nostra is a secret society, a society which you can’t leave if you join. The vow of silence – Omerta – is the most sacred rule the mafia hold. It simply means shut up, don’t rat your friends (friends being members of the mafia) to the feds. As Bill Bonanno said it; “Our culture taught us to act like men. Acting like men means keeping your mouth shut. A man doesn’t get another man into trouble. A man doesn’t say ‘John did it’. ‘Who hit you in the face?’ ‘John hit me in the face’. No, a man would make sure that John gets hit in the face.”
That’s the ground rule of the mafia’s discipline – the discipline that made them powerful. If the vow of silence was broken, the punishment was death. By many, the mafia was viewed as a secret society with their own laws. A system where you did as told, or you died. The mafia isn’t just a secret society – it’s a criminal tradition. The Cosa Nostra is organized crime. The “gangs” are separated into families. Each family named after its boss (when a new boss comes in, it will still be called what it was called after the first boss. Though there are exceptions). To join the mafia, the basic requirement is that you are Italian, and that you have proven yourself a good earner and a man who can handle the life.

Along with the discipline and rules, the mafia has a sacred structure of ranks.
Here’s a picture that will give you the basic idea of how it looks;

- Boss is the head of the family, he is the boss. He is also called ‘Don’ or ‘Godfather’. The boss is in charge of everything, and a low ranked member can’t question his decisions. This is a rank that is very self-explained. He is the boss; he is a dictator of the family – controlling everything. Some bosses are out there doing crimes themselves, and some are very hidden – only giving commands and having meetings. Bosses are always at high risk of being jailed, and must hide their criminal activity in every way they can.

- Consigliere; as seen in the picture is an indirect link. The Consiglieri can be an outsider, a close friend of the boss. It’s a role that can be possessed by a man who isn’t even Italian. It can often be an ordinary soldier (I will get to soldiers further down), who’s in position of being a Consiglieri. The Consiglieri is a trusted person, who is working side to side with the boss and the underboss. Though it is quite dodgy what a Consiglieri does – the word itself simply means advisor. Though, in Joe Bonanno’s book it is described as a voice, or rep for the lower ranks of the family. And helps solving disputes for them. A Consiglieri is still a crooked man though, and wouldn’t have a problem twisting the voice that they’re supposed to speak to fit their own needs. On occasions, an “outsider” Consiglieri has run personal business on side of family business – giving cuts of it to the boss. (this part isn’t 100% sure from my side, about personal business)

-Underboss (Capo Bastone). The underboss is number two in the ranking system, right under the boss. The underboss can be defined in many ways – but is more like a second boss in command, a trusted person. On occasions, he can often be a real bloodline family member of the don; like a son or a brother. The underboss can have many different assignments – though his prime one would be making decisions along with the boss and consiglieri. Traditionally, he runs day to day affairs for the family. The underboss can often have stakes in family fronts, or he can have his own crew of soldiers, doing ordinary earning. If the boss goes to prison, the underboss will step in as an acting boss, or a street boss, until he is released. In reality, the underboss consults the boss, though his rank doesn’t directly means consular or advisor. Underbosses power can vary from little to a lot. This rank, or role, is very open and can be role-played on many different levels; kind of like the boss.

-Caporegime, popularized as capo, or simply captain – is a Mafiosi soldier who is appointed as the boss of a crew. A crew would exist of five-ten or more regular soldiers. The capo’s crew would have a front that they would run (a front being a legal business to cover the illegal ones), and they would run different illegal businesses to earn money. The capo is the main head of the crews that earn the money of the family. The power of a capo can vary; often depending on how trusted he is by the boss and how much money his crew is earning.

-Soldier/Made man/Wiseguy/Goodfella. These are the ordinary earners, a member of the mafia without any special powers. These men are the ones actually doing the earning – they get assigned to a job from the higher ups in the family. Some made men are more powerful than others. A made man with a special relation to, let’s say the underboss – would have a higher profile in the family than a made man who was just another soldier.

-Associates/outsiders are earners who aren’t officially made into the mafia. They are associated with the mafia, they work and earn – but aren’t made. Often, an outsider would prove himself and get accepted into the mafia. Some outsiders aren’t Italian – but get a good relation to the higher ranks, and have the status of a made man. Sometimes, leaders of other, smaller organizations are associated with the mafia; letting them have stakes in their businesses, doing jobs for them as hired guns, etc.

The Commision
The Commision is the mafia’s ruling body. The idea was set up by Charles “lucky” Luciano. Before that, the wars between mafia families were many and they got in the way of making money. The Commision is set up of the bosses of the five most powerful families in the country. If there are problems in-between the mafia families, the bosses can bring it to The Commision and discuss it. The Commision will also make sure newcomers trying to make unapproved mafia families will be destroyed.
- Capo De Tutti is a title often used, at least in the past, for the boss of the Commision. Though the Comision didn't have a set, official boss - the boss of the strongest family, and therefore the commision's strongest member - would have a status as the boss of the commision. Capo De Tutti simply means "Boss of Bosses".

Godfather mentality
Now we’re more into the NGRP part of it. The Godfather mentality is a name I have given to many of the failed attempt at role-playing Mafiosi, because many of them have tried being Mafiosi only by using knowledge earned from The Godfather movies. They are very incorrect at parts (like their mistaken re-creation of the Consiglieri), and they are made very… Hollywood, so to speak. For the most of it; The Godfather is set in the early-mid 1900’s. The modern mafia in 2012 is a lot different. They don’t dress in tuxedo and live in gigantic mansions with offices in. They dress a lot more casual, and are a lot more scum. They are scum, they’re brutal, swearing, lying, greedy scum. All they care about is money. So please, if you make a mafia – don’t run around in expensive suits, have gigantic office buildings as your “hq”, don’t drive in extremely classy cars; and don’t be a polite deuce who talks like he’s a respect politician.

The ten commandments
The bible has its own, the mafia has its own. The ten commandments are second to only the Omerta – and they are the main rules of the mafia. These are mostly to ensure their security in all fields. Punishment for these can be varied depending on the seriousness – but is often punished by death in the modern mafia.
1 These commandments are;
No one can present himself directly to another of our friends. There must be a third person to do it.
2 Never look at the wives of friends.
3 Never be seen with cops.
4 Don't go to pubs and clubs.
5 Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty - even if your wife is about to give birth.
6 Appointments must absolutely be respected.
7 Wives must be treated with respect.
8 When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth.
9 Money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others or to other families.
10 People who can't be part of Cosa Nostra: anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a two-timing relative in the family, anyone who behaves badly and doesn't hold to moral values.
(copied from the web, too lazy to write them all)

The initiation ceremony/made man ceremony
This was included, as it’s a nice family role-play scenario to do (made members of cangelosifam could agree with me on that one). It’s highly necessary to do, and is a huge importance to mafia traditions. This is almost like baptizing is your welcome into the world when you’re born in Christianity; it celebrates your entering into the mafia.
In the ceremony, the man to be made would have his finger being pricked – just enough to let a little blood drip. The blood would drip onto a picture of a saint, which would then be lit on fire for the man to hold until its burned out. While holding it, he will swear that if he betrays Cosa Nostra and his friends in it, his soul should burn in hell; just like the saint is burning in his hand. Again, only Italians (including Sicilian or anything else relating to the Italian nation) can join the mafia.

This is mostly information about certain thing. As a tip, I would suggest using a lot of mafia slang, and to follow up the mafia behavior as close as possible. Don’t promote who you are in ANY way. This means NEVER using the family name. Usually, the names are given by the FBI or somebody else looking to get rid of the mafia. Such as Colombo Crime Family, or La Famiglia Cangelosi. Other mafia families could probably just call them “the Cangelosis”, or “the Bonannos”. As for the rank structure, made man ceremony and Omerta – these are ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY if you’re creating a mafia family. Without them, you’re not much of a mafia anymore. Along with that – it’s important that you make the structure work, and not just use the names – but keep their meaning important too. Do your business wisely. And please, please remember you’re in 2012; not in The Godfather era – act like it’s 2012. Be a mafia gangster, be rude, be angry, be greedy, and don’t be constantly polite and dressed in an expensive suit with a hat.

Mafia slang & Lingo - by Alfredo Cangelosi;
administration: the upper-level power structure of an organized crime Family, composed of the boss, underboss, and consigliere.associate: an almost-there; someone who works with and for wiseguys, but who hasn't been sworn in as a member of the Family.
babania: Heroin, as in dealing. Lucrative but risky for mob insiders because if they're busted, long prison terms might compel them to cut a deal and squeal. Usage: "These babania guys. They go, they get 848, 150 years (in prison). They're in there."--Gotti.
babbo: A dope, idiot, useless underling.
beef: a complaint or disagreement within the organization, usually discussed during a sit-down with higher-ups in the Family.
big earner: someone who makes a lot of money for the Family. A lot of money.
books, the: euphemism for membership in the Family, since nothing is ever written down. When there is an availability (when someone dies), the books are "opened." When no one is being "made," the books are "closed."
borgata: a crime Family; brugad.
boss: the head of the crime Family; he is the only one who gives permission to "whack" or "make" someone, and he makes money from all Family operations; synonyms: don, chairman.
Boss of Bosses; Capo di tutti capi: While no one proclaims himself the Boss of Bosses anymore, the press awards this title to whomever they feel is the boss of the strongest of the five Families of New York, who is also said to preside over Commission meetings.
broken: demoted in rank; "knocked down."
brugad: a crime family; borgata.
burn: to murder; synonyms: break an egg, clip, do a piece of work, hit, ice, pop, put out a contract on, whack.
button: a "made" member of the Mafia; soldier, wiseguy, goodfella, Man of Honor.
cafone: a phony or embarrassment to himself and others; "gavone" (slang pronunciation)
capo: ranking member of a Family who heads a crew (or group) of soldiers; a skipper, short for capodecina.
Capo di tutti capi: see Boss of Bosses
chased: to be banished from the Mafia and barred from associating or doing business with any made members. The punishment is merciful in that the offender is spared death.
cleaning: taking the necessary steps (driving around, stopping in various locations) to avoid being followed.
clip: to murder; see burn
clock: to keep track of someone's movements and activities.
comare: a Mafia mistress; "goumada" (slang pronunciation).
come in: To go see the boss when summoned. Usage:
•Gravano: "There were complaints he wasn't coming in."
Gleeson: "So what did you do?"
Gravano: "We killed him."
Commission, The: the Mafia "ruling body", typically a panel made up of the bosses of the five New York Families, Gambino, Genovese, Lucchese, Colombo, and Bonanno sometimes with representatives from other U.S. Families, such as Chicago.
compare: crony, close pal, buddy. Literally, "godfather" in Italian.
consigliere: the counselor in a crime Family; advises boss and handles disputes within the ranks.
contract: a murder assignment.
Cosa Nostra: Italian for "this thing of ours," "our thing," a mob family, the Mafia.
crew: a group of soldiers that takes orders from a capo.
cugine: a young toughguy looking to be made.
Cyborgata(tm): A word coined by a reader of the John Gotti Tribute Page.Cyberspace + borgata = Online Crime Family.
do a piece of work: to murder; see burn.
earner: someone whose expertise is making money for the Family.
empty suit: someone with nothing to offer who tries to hang around with mobsters.
enforcer: a person who threatens, maims, or kills someone who doesn't cooperate with Family rules or deals.
fence: someone with worldwide outlets to liquidate swag.
friend of mine: introduction of a third person who is not a member of the Family but who can be vouched for by a Family member.
friend of ours: introduction of one made member to another.
gavone: see cafone.
get a place ready: To find a burial site.
gift: A bribe, sometimes for a juror. Jurors in two previous trials of Gambino family members (supposedly) received these, resulting in the inability of both juries to reach a guilty verdict.
give a pass: To grant a reprieve from being whacked. Usage: "Stay in Staten Island, lay low, and I will give you a pass."--Gravano.
going: About to be whacked. Usage: "Right after the trial, he was going."--Salvatore Gravano.
going south: stealing, passing money under the table, going on the lam.
goombah, goomba, gumba: Sicilian slang forthe Italiancompare; plural: goombata
goumada: see comare.
hard-on with a suitcase: mob lawyer; feminine: half a hard-on with a suitcase.
hot place: a location suspected of being the target of law enforcement or surveillance.
ice: to murder; see burn.
joint, the: prison; synonyms: the can, the pen, go away to college.
loanshark: someone who lends mob money at an exorbitant interest rate; a shylock.
made: to be sworn into La Cosa Nostra; synonyms: to be "straightened out," to get your button.
make a marriage: to bring two parties together for legitimate or illegitimate Family issues.
mattresses, hitting the, taking to the: going to war with a rival Family or gang.
meat eater: a corrupt cop (not exclusively mobspeak).
Mustache Petes: old-fashioned or older generation Mafiosi.
nut, the: mobspeak for "the bottom line"; also the gross profit figure.
Omertà: the code of silence and one of the premier vows taken when being sworn into the Family. Violation is punishable by death.
off the record: an action taken without the knowledge or approval of the Family.
on the record: an action sanctioned by the Family.
piece: a gun.
pinched: arrested.
pop: to murder; see burn
problem: A liability, someone likely to be whacked. Usage, from the trial:
•Gravano: "He started taking drugs and became a problem."
Prosecutor John Gleeson: "Did you do anything once you perceived this problem?"
Gravano: "Yes."
Gleeson: "What did you do?"
Gravano: "We killed him."
rat: a member who violates Omertà; synonyms: squealer, canary, snitch, stool pigeon, yellow dog.
shylock: seeloanshark
sit-down: a meeting with the Family administration to settle disputes.
skim: Tax-free gambling profits, as in the money taken that is not reported to the IRS.
skipper: a capo.
stand-up guy: someone who refuses to rat out the Family no matter what the pressure, offer, or threat.
swag: stolen goods.
vig: the interest payment on a loan from a loanshark (short for "vigorish"). Synonym: juice.
vouch for: to personally guarantee -- with one's life -- the reputation of someone dealing with the Family.
walk talk, take a walk: to conduct a sensitive discussion while striding up and down the block to avoid being overheard on those pesky eavesdropping devices. Usage: "Sammy tells me you and him took a walk about a concrete plant in New Jersey."--Gotti.
whack: to murder; see burn.
Young Turks: Younger, less traditional generation of Mafiosi. Less likely to live by the old rules.
Zips: American Mafiosi's derogatory term for Sicilian Mafiosi.
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