There are a lot of different types of gangs. All over the world, gangs are a part of society. Gangs will take vulnerable youth that often do not have stable family situations and present them with an opportunity to belong to a family of sorts that will watch out for them and care about them as a brother or sister. That all sounds wonderful, but most gangs bring in these young people and get them involved in a life of crime. The higher ranking members of the organization tend to exploit these young newcomers, often letting them take the fall if law enforcement becomes involved as a means of “taking one for the team.”
Each gang has a somewhat different concept or theme and each is involved with illegal activity. The initiation process to join gangs often involves severe hazing and physical abuse, but in some instances, the initiation is just too much to handle! It’s not as simple as college fraternity hazing. In some cases, gang initiations involve murder, among other things! With all the gangs of the world, we found 15 that have initiation rituals for their new members that may keep you up at night, or at least sleeping with one eye open!
15 Knights Templar
Officially known as the Guard of Michoacán, the common name for this gang is the “Knights Templar.” They are a Mexican based drug cartel that takes loyalty of the membership to a whole other level. In order to become a member of the Knights Templar, one must eat the heart of a human being in front of the other members! Certainly this could be considered one of the most extreme “Fear Factor-ish” things a person could possibly do to gain acceptance into a gang. Interestingly enough, they have a respect for the Pope, as it is said that when Pope Benedict XVI was scheduled to visit Mexico, they hung several banners claiming that they would halt acts of violence during his visit. How considerate of you fellas to be so thoughtful.
14 Aryan Brotherhood
The Aryan Brotherhood is a well-established white supremacist gang that is found in many of the prisons across the United States. Their membership is in the tens of thousands and they have been around now for decades! In order to join the Aryan Brotherhood, you have to prove your loyalty by actually killing a rival gang member, or even worse, a correctional officer! This process of killing for the purposes of initiation is referred to as “making your bones” and is the first rite of passage for the organization. Membership in the gang is obviously extremely dangerous (making every single member a murderer), but for those in the prison system, they feel like it is far better to be a part of a larger group than out on your own...even if they are hate mongering, psychopathic murderers.
13 Bloods of New York
The Bloods are among the most well known gangs in the world. Having been around for many decades now, the Bloods are known across the United States by people young and old. They are famous for wearing all red and are among the most popular criminal gang organizations in the world. Each area is a little different with how they initiate new members and New York has made their initiation something particularly horrific. They require new members to cut a person (who is often a complete stranger) with a box cutter to the point of requiring at least 150 stitches! The practice is calling giving someone a “buck fifty.” While this practice doesn’t necessarily kill anyone (although it certainly could), it leaves them both physically and emotionally damaged for the rest of their lives.
12 Numbers Gang
Have you ever heard of the Numbers gang? It is probably great if you have not. They are a prison gang out of South Africa that is known for requiring violent acts to be committed by new recruits. In order to gain initiation into the gang however, new members are asked “the question.” They are asked what they would do if they were in the rain holding an umbrella, while another gang member was there "without an umbrella.” If the recruit says they would share their umbrella, they will be forced into sexual slavery. If they say they will stand in the rain with the other member, they move on either attacking a guard or taking a beating themselves. This is not exactly college fraternity pranks we’re talking about here.
11 Hells Angels
The Hells Angels are a biker gang that is pretty well known throughout the United States. They have also been around for several decades and are understood to be extremely violent and not just a bunch of cuddly teddy bears. For instance, the initiation practices for new members into the gang is the furthest thing from cuddly or teddy bear-ish you can possibly imagine. As a baptism of sorts into the gang, new members must essentially bathe in human poop and urine by having a bucket of this filth (usually provided by the veteran members) dumped upon them! Beyond the disgusting concept of having this done, what member would even want to contribute to supplying the bucket full of waste?! Nevertheless, they do not seem to be hurting for membership.
10 Elite Boys
You may recall the movie The Skulls, that was loosely based upon the Skull and Bones Society of Yale University. Well, secret societies like this are a very real thing. In the case of the “Elite Boys” which is an organization found on some of the world’s most prestigious universities, there is a pretty disgusting and even downright dangerous practice for new member initiation. The Elite Boys aren’t exactly an organized crime organization like other gangs, but their initiations are indeed criminal. They require new members to sit as veteran members funnel urine into the mouths of the new member, forcing them to drink! They’ve also been known to require them to eat live goldfish, raw meat, etc. This practice is on the edge of torture and could cause medical harm.
9 Roto Gang
Another South African gang that has a lot of notoriety is the Roto Gang. They are known for their burglary of wealthy individuals, as well as their horrific treatment of rival gang members and even members of the Roto Gang that have committed some type of offense. Part of the initiation process is participating in these burglaries, but also the beating, killing and even mutilating of offending Roto Gang members! The gang is very strong in Johannesburg, South Africa and they are responsible for a great deal of the robberies of the affluent homes in the community. They believe that they are fulfilling the Robin Hood mission of “robbing the rich to give to the poor.” They are a little more violent and misguided than in the tale of Robin Hood, considering that they are giving to themselves.
If you are looking to find more information about some of the scariest gangs in the world today, look no further than MS-13. This gang began as a group of refugees from El Salvador and has grown into one of the strongest gangs in the United States today. They participate in a wide variety of criminal activities, but beyond this, they are known for their Satanic rituals! Members of the gang actively participate in rituals that revere Satan as the dark master. This information is relatively new about the gang, including news that they sacrifice young women to Satan. The horned hand signal has long been known as affiliated with MS-13 as well. Sadly, the organization has gained strength and increased membership through the years and is no longer simply an organization of Salvadoran refugees trying to protect themselves from other gangs.
One of the worldwide gang syndicates that has been around the longest is known as the Triad. The Triad began in communist China and now has a worldwide membership of over 50,000 in Asia, Europe and even the United States. They are deeply involved with high end criminal activity and joining the group is not just for anyone. An animal is sacrificed and later, its blood (or often the blood of the initiate) is combined with wine and must be drank by the prospective member! This is only a part of the process, but definitely the most difficult, requiring an intense commitment by the new member. This practice is not only sickening, it is very dangerous! The Triad has been around for a long time and are highly organized in the world of gang activity.
Also not a gang, but a notorious society known for its very long history and secretive ceremonies and rituals, the Freemasons began hundreds of years ago. It is said that about a third of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Masons and we’ve had over a dozen Presidents that were also members. No organization can be around that long without developing a few odd initiation rituals. The initiate lays down pretending to be dead while other members hit him with a bag of hair. There are certainly reasons for all of this I’m sure, but let’s agree that it’s weird. It is no wonder that they keep the whole thing as secretive as possible. If you knew this is what happened before you did it, you may not join!
5 Latin Kings
The problem with gangs is not the concept of bringing people to a group and making them part of a family, or providing them with a sense of belonging and loyalty. This is about the only thing gangs do that most people would agree is a worthwhile endeavor. The problem is with the criminal activity and lack of any moral or ethical fiber whatsoever! Gang rivalry keeps murder rate and violent activity high in many cities across the world. The Latin Kings for instance are a gang that not only keeps their rivalries stirred up, but they require new members to do a drive-by shooting of rival gangs! Creating killers is part of the goal I suppose of the Latin Kings gang, among others that have a similar initiation requirement.
4 U.S. Navy
The United States Navy is by no means a criminal gang, but they have a somewhat secretive initiation process to become what is known as a “shellback.” This has actually been a maritime tradition for a very long time and is still going strong even today. While it has been deemed as hazing and as such has been dialed back a bit, it’s still pretty crazy to think what they have the poor “pollywogs” do to earn the esteemed “shellback” status. This is a multi-step process involving lots of sun baked garbage and obtaining a cherry from the navel of the heaviest shellback on the ship! Weird isn’t quite a strong enough word to describe this initiation process. While not exactly a gang and not at all illegal activity, it’s hard to imagine any young United States Navy enlistee as looking forward to this process.
Wicca is also known more commonly as the practice of witchcraft. Witchcraft is often seen as something very contrary to modern day religion...particularly Christianity. Nevertheless, while not a gang and while certainly not an illegal organization by any means, the initiation process is something that would make most of us raise an eyebrow. In Wicca, new initiates to the coven are bound and scourged! This is something that symbolizes the willingness to suffer for further knowledge. Nevermind that the practice seems like something more related to what you may see in 50 Shades of Grey, the practice does not exactly help those that have the wrong idea about the practice of Wicca. Something tells me that they do not put this whole binding and scourging thing in the brochure.
2 UK Gangs
Believe it or not, the gang life is very strong in the United Kingdom. These gangs, like their counterparts in other parts of the world commit lots of violent and obviously criminal acts. In the United Kingdom, sexual abuse is a real problem and a very common part of many of the gangs as an initiation practice for young women. Many of these young women willingly submit to being r*ped and passed around to male members of the gang as part of their acceptance of the gang. Sadly, this is considered normal for many of these young girls, merely wanting to get a higher status within the gang. These girls are made to think that they can’t do any better and that acceptance in the gang, is the best they can hope for in life.
1 Bohemian Grove
Bohemian Grove is a real life location of a large campground used by the Bohemian Club and located in Monte Rio, California. It is another one of those secret societies that have been around for well over a century and has some of the most powerful men in the world as members. So it’s not exactly a gang, but ritualistic ceremonies conducted by this semi-secret gathering of men are definitely on the freaky side. The membership of the club includes some of the most powerful people in business and politics. Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clint Eastwood are just a few of the big names you may recognize as members of this organization. And they all participated in the freakishly disturbing rituals held at Bohemian Grove like the semi-frightening “Cremation of Care” ceremony held at the beginning of the summer.