MYTH: So-called "mafia" leaders controlled prostitution, waste management, gambling, and shipping in major urban areas during large parts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
FACT: Those businesses were run by ordinary people, like all other businesses. Sometimes union officials were corrupt, or a disgruntled former employee would claim that his own actions were the fault of someone named "Don." When a few people were arrested and jailed for unfair trade practices, they often tried to defend themselves with wild testimony about a "shadow government" that had been operating for decades in their city/state.
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MYTH: Private citizens and small businessmen were often murdered by criminal organizations for failing to show proper respect to the organizations' members, for refusing to pay licensing fees to local thugs, or for stumbling across a revealing secret about the criminal organization. Everyone "knew" that the mafia was out there, that it was connected to influential government agents, and that they had better keep quiet about it. Citizens who complained too loudly, or who took action against the so-called "mob," were beaten, set up to be convicted of crimes which they had not committed, or killed under suspicious circumstances.
FACT: A few whining, unprofessional conspiracy theorists complained that business had been "fixed" by someone else, but no one listened to these people, then or now. Any assaults and murders that happened were committed by either greedy people for a few bucks, or by mentally ill people for no particular reason, and convicts who claimed that their lives had been destroyed and their reputations ruined by "trumped up charges" were just making up stories about so-called racketeering organizations to try to save their own skin.
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MYTH: When "mafia leaders" began to refuse to play along with their organizations, their associates in the mafia-government alliance would murder them to keep information about the organization's methodology from coming out to the general public. The killers would then receive generous retirement packages, and occasionally, celebrity status.
FACT: When heroic government agents have investigated long and thoroughly enough, they are sometimes able to find evidence of a person having committed a crime, despite the highly unfair and immoral constitutional restrictions imposed upon the government by radical interpretations of the Constitution. Because law enforcement agents always follow these restrictions when investigating crime, and because law enforcement agents are immediately and seriously punished whenever they use force against someone who has not been constitutionally convicted of a crime, it is sometimes very, very hard to search or arrest so-called "mafia" members. Nonetheless, decades-long investigations occasionally turn up a witness who is willing to speak out about a small criminal enterprise, and those individuals deserve to be rewarded for their assistance to law enforcement.
MYTH: The mafia's power was greatest in the immediate aftermath of World War II, when government black-budget projects across the western world began requiring taxpaying citizens to pay for the very same secretive commercial and propaganda organizations that were meant to make them less critical of the government, and less able to develop business power that could rival established interests. Elites designed these types of criminal enterprises with a deliberate racial component, so that paid factions of a certain ethnicity could exercise violent control over the neighborhoods and peoples they dominated, while appearing--to outsiders--to be the paladins of their culture. In actuality, the mafia murdered more people of Italian descent than it did of other backgrounds, just as sanctioned black drug-lords of the 1980s and 1990s did more harm to black communities than to white ones.
FACT: Western governments' propaganda funds and techniques are only used to free the minds of citizens of other parts of the world, many of whom actually live under totalitarian regimes which attempt to both subtly and openly influence how their citizens feel about history and politics. Criminal enterprises such as "La Cosa Nostra"
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MYTH: The Post-WW2 Senate hearings on organized crime were a farce, only meant to trick the gullible public into thinking that the "mafia" was vanishing, while in fact, these hearings and arrests marked the point at which the relationship between wealthy elites' public and private faces became even stronger, so that criminal cartels could directly employ policies of government secrecy to carry out their monopolies on trade and violence without being at risk for occasional arrests by local law enforcement. If some small-time city cop busts one of their soldiers on a job, they have to bring in the FBI and use jurisdiction to protect the soldier. It's cheaper if regulations allow him to make collections without running afoul of any small-timers.
FACT: Any "organized crime" that may have been "occurring" prior to that point was entirely eliminated by the Senate hearings. Any organizations that may have been "breaking laws" or "killing people" prior to this time have completely vanished. The only exception is erotically enticing white-sex-slavers, dirty Mexican immigrant-smugglers, and evil South American cocaine-lords.
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MYTH: The entertainment business operates as an extension of the same deep government that runs political parties, racketeering organizations, and commerce. As such, it endlessly lionizes both its formal and informal soldiers, presenting them as generally fair, good-hearted heroes who follow a code of honor, rather than as greedy murderers who harm the rest of society.
FACT: Some newspapers, magazines, TV shows and films have spent the past century presenting heroic images of military members, domestic law enforcement officers, and members of so-called "mafia families," but this was done only in response to popular demand.
MYTH: Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear.
FACT: What we tell you can explain everything you think you see.