We all know that gangs are often responsible for some of the most gruesome and shocking acts of violence against their rivals, but the initiations they force their own members to complete before joining the ranks are often just as cruel. Really makes you think why anyone would even want to join up to be honest.
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Do you have what it takes to be a gangster? Well check out the worst we’ve found below and see if you’d fancy signing up for any of them – I know I wouldn’t.
1. Hells Angels: Covered In Poop And Urine
Let’s ease in with a more tame initiation compared to some of the rest on this list. The Hell’s Angels are notorious worldwide for their involvement in racketeering, drug trafficking and murder. To join the ranks of the leather-clad biker club, firstly you’ll need to serve as a ‘prospect’ which is basically the dogsbody for the rest of the group. You’ve seen that on Sons Of Anarchy though right?
Perhaps a symbolic gesture to the dirty work involved with being a member of the club, the main initiation into the Hell’s Angels involves having faeces and urine poured over the new member’s head. Be prepared to then stew in this filth as the new Angel is forbidden from washing or changing his clothes for the rest of the evening. Lovely.
2. Knights Templar: Eat A Human Heart
This next one’s pretty hardcore. Emerging in 2011, the Knights Templar cartel’s main exploits lie in the drug trade but they also have a keen interest in organ trafficking. In 2014, it was reported that children were rescued from a refrigerated van, supposedly on their way to be harvested for their organs.
If you fancy joining this wholesome bunch, you’ll need to be prepared to dine on the heart of a child. Total savagery.
3. Aryan Brotherhood: Kill A Rival Gang Member Or Corrections Officer
Primarily based out of the federal prison system in the USA, the white supremacist gang is often referred to as the ‘deadliest prison gang’. Their fearsome reputation is partly attributed to their brutal initiation for new members.
To join the 10,000 member Aryan Brotherhood (other than being white and a massive racist), you’ll have to kill two people. Whether that be prison guards or rival gang members, the decision is often made by a member in leadership. Those not willing, need not apply.
4. The Latin Kings: Gang Rape
Founded in 1950’s Chicago, the Latin King’s boast 50,000-100,000 members across America and have a colourful array of different initiations for newbies. You could be required to undergo the traditional ‘jumping in’ where you take a beating from existing gang members. Or perhaps, you’ll be tasked with murdering a fellow gang member who has fallen out of favour with the gang.
One of the most barbaric rituals though, is where a new recruit offers his girlfriend to the group who is then gang raped by four or more members. Aspiring Latin Kings added to the no-date list then.
5. Numbers: Sharing The Umbrella
The South African Numbers gang operates inside and outside the prison system but their most ruthless activities occur within prison walls. To join this gang, all you need to do is answer a simple question. Sounds easy enough, right? The question is “If it is raining, and you have an umbrella but I do not, what would you do?”.
If you answer that you will share the umbrella, you are deemed unworthy and become a sex slave. If you say you will put the umbrella down and stand together in the rain, you have signified your willingness to share the burden and way of life and thus deemed fit to join the gang. But before you go skipping off to get your gang tattoos, you will be tasked with stabbing a prisoner or guard to complete the on-boarding process.
6. The Bloods: The Buck-50
The United Blood Nation emerged out of Los Angeles in the early 1970s and today are one of the USA’s largest and well organised gangs, prominent in drug trafficking and racketeering. The method of joining this red-clad gang depends on the region but New York is particularly gruesome with one initiation: The ‘buck-50’ involves slashing the face of a rival gang member that requires at least 150 stitches.
Alternative initiations to join the Bloods include enduring a vicious 31-second beating and for female members, they are ‘sexed-in’ by other male members. That’s some mad dedication.
7. The Crips: Beaten Or Take Out A Rival
Also originating from Los Angeles, the Crips formed in 1969, a few years before their notorious rivals the Bloods. Formed by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams, the gang has more than 30,000 members.
If this is the gang you’ve always dreamed of joining, you will be ‘squared in’ and savagely beaten by other members. Sometimes they mix it up a bit and you can find yourself being handed a shotgun and told to take out a rival.
8. The Junky Funky Kids: Gauntlet Of Pain
Back to South Africa again and we have the Junky Funky Kids or less cool sounding, JFK’s. Predominantly active in the Lavender Hill neighbourhood of Cape Town, the JFK’s seek supremacy over the area’s drug trade which often leads to violent clashes with rival gangs over turf. The initiation rite for the Junky Funky Kids aims to prepare rookies for this endless turf war.
New members must tackle an obstacle course made up of existing members standing in two parallel lines facing inward. They are armed with various weapons including wooden planks, chains, belts and other crude melee items and the new member must run through this gauntlet and take whatever beating they get along the way. And they’re not calling themselves kids fictitiously as most members are initiated between the ages of 15-17.
9. MS-13: Instructed To Attack Strangers
Donald Trump has specifically mentioned this gang as one he has pledged to eradicate. The presence of MS-13 has crept out of Los Angeles and spread across the United States and Canada, with a now estimated 70,000 members across the board.
The main initiation for hopeful members involves killing a rival gang member and when the kill has been confirmed, being brutally beaten by other members whilst a leader counts to 13 piss-takingly slowly. Other members have been instructed to attack cops and most terrifyingly, some are instructed to attack total strangers. And much like the Bloods, female members can offer themselves to multiple members as a way to join. Gender equality hasn’t quite made it into the gang world.
10. 18th Street Gang: 18 Second Beating
Rivals to MS-13, the 18th Street Gang is yet another gang originating out of Los Angeles. The 18th Street Gang has their fingers in the usual criminal pies; drugs, racketeering, theft and murder. However, they have also been linked to human trafficking and illegal immigration initiatives.
Continuing the theme of membership-by-beating, newbies will be assaulted by 5-6 larger men in a ruthless 18-second beating. As long as the recruit fights back, they will be welcomed into the gang upon completion. The 18-second beating is also reserved for disciplinary measures so it may not be the last you see of that one.
I guess out of all of those, if I had to choose one, I’d go for the Hells Angels initiation as it’s literally the only one that doesn’t involve pain or death. I guess these initiations are just a tiny percentage of the violence and carnage that will follow for the new recruit and if they can’t hack the initiation, then they definitely won’t be able to hack being a full-blown gang member. That’s me out then.
For more gang initiations, some scumbag recently stabbed a retired donkey as part of a gang initiation in London.