The Ceremony

The following was taken from actual FBI recordings of an actual induction ceremony involving actual members of an actual crime family also known as "La Cosa Nostra" (literally"You pluck my nose hairs and I will pluck yours")

July 26, 1995 in the basement of a residence at 1267 Cherry Hill Drive in Bensonhurst, New York. FBI Agent Ercole "Can you hear me? Is this thing on?" Guiadosi secretly set up a public address system as well as 120 chairs but only 5 men showed up. Disquised as Sal Minella's Deli the FBI set up surveillance and also catered the affair. Agent Ercole's swedish meatballs were a hit as well as Agent Nino's crab cakes.

Agent Nino prepares for Operation Miracle Ear "Is this On?"

Agent Echo contemplating his recipe for Swedish Meatballs "Gosh, I hope I made enough!"

In the beginning of the tape you hear a sound check. "testing testing" and footsteps leading to the microphone.

CARMINE: Today we are all here to bring in new members into our family, this thing of ours. Start a new beginning and hopefully your Clam Sauce will taste better, Capisce?

Clams from Umbertos

JOSEPH "Paper Cut" Ronzoni: I apologize. My high blood pressure and blood sugar and neuropathy and this isn't gonna hurt is it?

CARMINE: Philly? Youse wanna say somethin'?

PHIL: In Onore della famiglia la famiglia e' aperta. (in honor of the family the family is open and later on my wife has coffee and pizzelles she made as well Sal Minella's Deli on Mulberry Street.

CARMINE: Thank youse Fat Philly. Today we induct into our family and open the books to Antonio Arturo Francis Alberto Sinatra Anthony Peter Mary Mother Joseph Ronzoni and also we open the books to Cicco Ciccolini. By the way, nice work Cicco on the Union negotiations and local 289. Sally Balls said youse got a mean swing.

PHIL: In order to belong to us to be a part of this, you must have truth and trust. Do you each have that?


CARMINE: Have you seen "Goodfellas", "Casino", and every movie starring Pacino, DeNiro and Pesci?



CARMINE: If called upon by a member to defend the acting talents of Sylvester Stallone, would you do so?


PHIL: Joseph, do you have any brothers?


PHIL: Cicco do you have any brothers?

CICCO: No. But I have a half-brother who lives in OakGrove. He is Auti-, you know that thing that Dustin Hoffman had in Rainman...

CARMINE: Autistic!

CICCO: Yeah, that there. Only you don't want him in this thing of ours, he'd have a hard time fittin' in.

PHIL: Joseph, if I told you your brother was wrong, he's a rat, he's gonna do one of us harm, you'd have to kill him. Would you do that for me, Joseph?


CICCO: Yes. (muffled noises) Hey didn't youse guys see "Rainman"? My brother's a pain in the ass and that OakGrove Institution don't come cheap.

PHIL: Joseph and Cicco, you are aware of the severity of this thing of ours?

BOTH: Yes.

PHIL: Do you want it badly? Desperately? Your mother's dying in bed and you have to leave her because we called on you.

CICCO: Hey, uh not for nothin' but you know my mother's dead. I mean you was at the funeral Phil.

JOSEPH: Yeah, and my mother hasn't been feeling too well lately. She's always complaining about the gout and blood pressure and ..

PHIL: (getting impatient) OK OK! Let's say someone you are very close to is dying, your child or your wife, and we call you. It's an emergency. You have to leave. Could you do that, Joseph?

CICCO: How about Joe's sister? She's a nun, I mean is that what you mean?

Silence. Then a fight seems to break out between Joseph and Cicco with muffled sounds and a few audibles such as "My sister is a Holy Catholic Nun, youse wanna whack out nuns?" "I was tryin' to be helpful here!" "I got cher helpful right here pal!".

Joe's sister, Sister Pugnatious, St. Paul's Cathedral, Boston

PHIL: Are you two Gafoones finished?

JOSEPH: Could it be my wife Theresa? I mean no disrespect but she's as big as a house now and you know how Theresa's always axing questions and Madron with that temper of hers........

(At this time you can hear Phil hollering in Italian, very muffled, It sounds as if he is swearing, alot of "Madre's" and "Padre's".)

PHIL: Cicco, would you leave, could you do that?


CICCO: Do what? (silence) You know, I don't mean to be rude, but you kinda lost me back there, could you repeat the question?

PHIL: If you were asked by us to sleep with Kaye Ballard, my old flame, whom I love and adore would you do so?


PHIL: Can you name every Frank Sinatra song?


PHIL: Do the Yankees stand a chance at winning the World Series next year?


PHIL: If you were called upon to commit a crime, no matter how dangerous would you do so?


PHIL: If you were a contestant on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and used up all your lifelines, would you give Regis a beatin' 'till he told youse the right answer?


PHIL: And that is your final answer?


PHIL: Alright! This is what you want. We're the best people. I'm gonna make you part of this thing. Carmine?

CARMINE: Joseph and Cicco, We're gonna baptize you again. You were baptized when you were a baby. Your parents did that. But now this time we gonna baptize you. Repeat after me. I Joseph/Cicco want to enter into this organization. To protect my family. Regardless of how much Doubleday or Crown books would advance me, I swear not to divulge this secret. And to obey with love. And omerta . Cicco, which finger do you pull the trigger with?

CICCO: My left....wait a second, my right...No that's not right...left, right.....Ok Ok, I got right. I think.

(Carmine pricks Cicco finger several times, he just couldn't seem to draw enough blood. Finally managing to drip blood on a holy picture card, St. Francis of Assisi, a rare and more expensive card in the Catholic Saint series. Very popular with collectors and Trade Shows. He then sets the card on fire and directs him to shift the paper from hand to hand as it burns.)

CARMINE: Put your hands like me. As burns the saint so will burn my soul. I enter live into this organization. And I will have to get out dead. That's the Don Capodecina Vito Gambino. Pete is Capodecina. Philly is apodecina. Tito is capodecina. Madron! Philly get me the bactine, ouch! That burns.

Vito Gambino

Congratulations. Now youse can kiss everybody.. you do not reveal any secrets of this organization. To the rest of the world this does not exist. No matter how many movies Martin Scorsese makes. Everybody fights this thing. They call it Cosa Nostra,"I trim your nosehairs and you trim mine", or Mafia, meaning "You left the water on stupid", this started in Sicily. They all got together because there was alot of abuse to the family, the wives and children, and it provided a cheap excuse to be away from the Mother-In-Laws.

The old timers, the mustache Pete's said let's make an organization in America. That was how we were able to recognize one another. By the mustache. Especially the older women. In fact my grandfather was inducted by the Smith Brothers, the lozenge tycoons. Their real names were Vito and Franco Smittiliano.

PHIL: That's true. And my grandfather was a meager violin builder from the old country. The infamous ZZ Topiterrelli. If it hadn't of been for this thing of ours the Philharmonic would've driven him out of the city.

DON PROGRESSO: (aka "Sauce Man"; "The Tomato" "Killer Progresso" "Mr. P" ; Salvatore "how does this taste to you" Progresso. Notorious Organized Crime leader. Head of the Progresso Family from Brooklyn/Queens Astoria.): Fat Philly is right. If it hadn't of been for our forefathers we'd have been sent back to the old country. This is very sacred, "La Cosa Nostra". Here, Carmine taste this mayonnaise. Does it taste right to you?

CARMINE: Madon! No offense Don Progresso, I'm a little bit insulted you would bring your own sandwich to an event as this.

DON PROGRESSO: Taste this, before I whack you myself. Cicco we welcome you into the family. Arrividerci roma! ay mambo Italiano et tu caesar bono natale! Ah Salud!

(At this time all the men stand in a circle and practice the Italian Salute. Out stretching one arm and placing the opposite arm horizontal on top of forearm with a quick movement saying over and over "Salud! Salud! Salud!")

CARMINE: Let's do the right thing. You make a mistake, you gotta pay.

PHIL: "All over the world!"

(The latter part of the ceremony was never completed for Joseph Ronzoni, who subsequently suffered a nervous breakdown and is reportedly living in a Maytag appliance box off 132nd and Roxbury. Convinced he is Connie Francis he spends his time serenading pedestrians.)

Joe Ronzoni before his breakdown



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