Resisting the Mafia

Have you ever wondered what the rules of the mob are? Well, former Lucchese crime family member, John Pennisi, revealed the full rulebook in a video interview.

Pennisi told Insider he was an associate of the Gambino crime family from the age of 15 and became a Lucchese family made member in 2013.

In 2018, Pennisi decided to leave the family after five years as a member. Now, the former mobster has a podcast and writes about organized crime so others can better understand how the once mysterious families worked.

In the video, Pennisi explains some of the rules he had to follow as a made member of the mob

1. "You are not to put your hand on another made member"

In order to establish trust, the families had a rule that you could not hurt or kill another made member.

2. Do not get involved with other member's romantic partners

"You are not to go with another made member's wife or even girl for that matter," Pennisi explains. This was another rule enacted to prevent emotions from distracting the purpose of the organization and maintain respect among members.

3. You must be Italian

Pennisi said the mob once required all members to "be fully blooded Italian," meaning your mother and father had to be Italian. This also meant members were not supposed to marry or reproduce with non-Italian people. "But with every rule, there is an exception and there has been people who slip through the cracks so to speak."

4. "You shouldn't get involved in lawsuits"

In order to keep a low profile, members were not supposed to sue people and do their best to not get sued.

The ex-mob member told 'Insider' that the rule set in place do not seem to apply anymore Insider

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5. Do not get involved in stocks and bonds

"I'm not 100% sure if that's still in effect today," Pennisi said. But similar to the lawsuit rule, this was to maintain a low profile and not give federal police a reason to investigate.

6. Do not kill women and children

Pennisi says this was a rule specific to New York City families. It was made very clear that members were "not to kill women and children of family members in the mob".

7. No explosive devices

Also a rule specific to New York, Pennisi said, "you're not allowed to use explosive devices such as bombs". Since New York is an extremely compact city with a traumatic history of bombs, mobsters steered clear of using explosive devices as often as possible.

8. "No drug dealing"

"The no drug dealing rule applies to all Five Families, but all the Five Families have drug dealing activities going on," Pennisi said. The rule was known to be broken because drug dealing was a major source of income for the families. In order to maintain order, everyone turned a blind eye to each other's dealings.

Former made Mafia member explains how the New York mob actually

The ex-mobster told Insider that the rules once put into place for mob members do not seem to apply anymore, "Cosa Nostra members today have no problem breaking the rules on a daily basis whereas, in Carlo's Gambino era, you couldn't break the rules. Breaking the rules meant getting yourself killed."

Pennisi cites his reason for leaving as feeling betrayed by other members. He feels that the organizations are not as strong as they once were because they lack trust and respect now due to members breaking the rules.

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