“The Lying Game,” by Joe Hagan and Sara Nelson from

“Mafia requires all the skills natural to any self-respecting New York climber: deception, treachery, guile—and a high tolerance for acute social paranoia. A Russian psychologist claims to have invented it in the 1980’s, to show how an informed minority (the ‘mafia’) power-play against an uninformed majority (the ‘village’)[…] In New York, it’s a perfect game for the moment: In a city rife with paranoia, ambitious sharpies can draw together for some good old-fashioned human contact without compromising their sense of themselves as ambitious New York sharpies. ‘You can scream at people, you can lie to them,’ raved 30-year-old Lila Bezerra[…] ‘It’s like letting the animals loose. To get people to believe you when you know you’re lying—it’s a dirty little game.'”

Posted December 31, 2002

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