WATCH: Former Mafia Boss Reflects On Mob Life, Repentance With Jordan Peterson

WATCH: Former Mafia Boss Reflects On Mob Life, Repentance With Jordan Peterson

Former mafia boss Michael Franzese joined Jordan Peterson on his podcast this week to discuss his larger-than-life mobster past and why he decided to walk away from that life.

“Michael’s story is a modern day Damascus road experience, from his early days in the mob and rise to power, to God’s leading him to do the unthinkable, quit the mob and follow Christ,” Peterson said on his Wednesday podcast episode titled “Breaking Good.”

Franzese was once a powerful capo in the Colombo family, one of the five New York Cosa Nostra families, before serving time and renouncing the life. His father, John “Sonny” Franzese was a Colombo underboss. The younger Franzese joined the mob in 1971, four years after his father was sentenced to 50 years in prison for bank robbery. Franzese became a made man in the Colombo family on Halloween night in 1975.

Franzese and Peterson discussed the former made man’s early life, including his relationship with his father.

“One of the things that really disturbed me about my dad is that he wouldn’t take any responsibility for it,” Franzese said. “His legacy in that life meant more to him than anything else.”

Peterson remarked that the mafia seemed to have a “morality of patriarchal loyalty.” Franzese agreed.

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Franzese proved his worth to the family by excelling at sophisticated fraud schemes, and knew future Gambino boss John Gotti in the 1970s, when both were making their mafia bones. Franzese estimated he earned $8 million a week in his prime, before going to prison on conspiracy charges in 1986. He was released in 1994.

Peterson asked Franzese about his mafia glory days awash in luxury, violence, and news headlines, and about how the mafia life affected his conscience and his perception of himself.

“You know Jordan, one of the horrors of that life is that you make a mistake, your best friend walks you into a room, and you don’t walk out again,” Franzese told Peterson.

Franzese described a terrifying night when his father threw him under the bus to their mafia bosses, putting him in danger of getting killed.

“I said man, if this life can separate father and son after the bond that we had, both the blood oath that we took and father and son, I said what do we really have here?” Franzese said.

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