LLCU 214 Lecture 4: Week 4 (got A+ in course)

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Languages, Literatures and Cultures
LLCU 214
Donato Santeramo

Week 4 Lecture Notes: Godfather Part 3 portrays this: Involvement and connection to Catholic church o In the catholic church, anyone can confess a sin o Mobsters like the idea that they can have no sense of guilt through confessing sins o They are so close to churches o Mobsters were obsessed with the idea of doing something for the church (organize procession) because it allows them to be seen as people of devotion and different from what they actually are o Ex. Hells Angels They do all this bad stuff but yet on Christmas, they become like Santa Clause and give away gifts to kids Mafia sees itself, or at least portray itself, as a quasireligious institution o They think that they are a religion o They care for the people inside the criminal organization but not the people outside o There is a ritual aspect just like getting baptized o Mafia is a lifetime commitment Michael Corleone donated to the poor of Sicily o The implication is that the Mafia is an honourable and charitable organization that traces its own roots to groups of valiant men whose intention has always been to help the poor (in line with myth of Cavalleria Rusticana) Religious Symbols in Mafia Use of religious symbols and rituals in mafia initiation rites imparts a pseudospiritual authority to Mafia Joining the mafia is akin to joining a religious order (requires oaths, rituals, special symbolic practices, rules of conduct and punishments) o Omerta is like a selfstyled religious code Ritual reinforces the sense of belongingthe importance of what is being done (ex. Baptization in Catholic church) Without rituals and symbolism, criminal organizations would have a harder time maintaining the crucial emotional bonds among their members that keep them intact (ensure continuity) Mafia has many rituals and initiations o Ritual of initiation is very simple: involves godfather, and blood was drawn from trigger finger and put on photo of saint and burned (meaning if you go against group, you will burn in hell like this saint) Need a sponsor to get in (a person already in the organization will introducepresent you) Blood represent liferebirth, therefore using blood in organizations symbolizes joininglinking of relationship to be unbreakable also symbolizes mobsters death and death of those who he has to kill By uniting blood, you are creating a biological link (we belong to the same family) Fire represents purification and attainment of wisdom Also might have to do a killing prior to meeting known as making bones This ritual is taken from Masonic secret societies
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