By Lewis Panther
THE News of the World exposes the bullying culture of Britain's elite armed forces with a secret video documenting a sickening catalogue of abuse.
A young Royal Marine is FORCED into a barbaric naked fight with another recruit and then KICKED unconscious by a superior in a brutal booze-fuelled initiation ceremony.
And the shocking ritual—covertly filmed by a commando—is alleged to be one of many imposed on recruits.
Now the film is being investigated by Ministry of Defence top brass who have confirmed it is genuine.
Our source claims the culprit holds senior rank. The Marines would not confirm his position but an MoD source said: "He's not an officer but he is an NCO."
They identified the 42 Commando marine—dressed in a blue surgeon's outfit—who carried out the attack and he is being disciplined.
But our whistleblower reveals the beating that could have KILLED the young recruit in this video is one of many chilling secret initiation ordeals he has witnessed as a marine.
A veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, he said: "This is the worst thing I've seen happen—that's why I filmed it—but it's the tip of an iceberg.
"The guy laid out was inches away from being dead. Stuff like this goes on all the time—but when drink becomes involved it gets worse."
The whistleblower went on to reveal how marine recruits were:
TORTURED with shocks through electrodes attached to their genitals
FORCED to crawl naked through thorn bushes
ORDERED to jump out of bedroom windows, even though some broke their legs, and URGED to fight each other with one hand tied behind their backs.
"The top boys in the Royal Marines know this all goes on but they turn a blind eye to it," said our marine.
The violent initiation ceremony he filmed took place in May at Bickleigh Barracks, near Plymouth, home to the elite 42 Commando.
"They call them Joining Runs—or Sprog Olympics—because sprog is slang for baby and these were new recruits," said the marine.
"12 of them were taken to a barbecue on the top field with about 40 other marines watching.
"Their superior was getting them to do stranger and stranger things, while getting them p***** and picking on any who didn't do what he wanted.
"He was getting more and more menacing, swearing and threatening. He ordered them to take their clothes off and run round the field giving each other naked piggy backs.
"Then the fighting started. The bloke disappeared and came back with the surgeon's outfit, mask and cap on and things really turned nasty when he ordered them to start laying into each other. You can see it on their faces in the film that they're scared."
Naked fellow marines surrounding them can be heard baying for blood as the man in the surgeon's outfit and another in a St Trinian's uniform, complete with wig and short skirt, supervise the cruel contest.
First the hapless pair have rubber mats strapped to their arms and start slugging away.
Then they are told to remove their mats and square up with bare fists before being ordered on to their knees to wrestle.
Then the ‘surgeon' lashes out and hits him in the head with a martial arts kick practised by marines as part of their unarmed combat techniques.
"He used his shin which is what you're taught to do in kick boxing. Your shin is as hard as a baseball bat," said our marine.
"He could have killed the guy. If that kick caught him on the temple, that would have been it. Lights out for good.
The guy on the floor was unconscious for a couple of minutes—and was sick when he came round. He had to be helped away. His boss just stood there with a can of wifebeater (the marines' name for Stella Artois lager) while the guy was out cold, goading the others to have a go at him if they dared. But we knew we couldn't."
This attack was hushed up. But there are many other ordeals awaiting new recruits, said our marine.
"I've seen new recruits have electronic pads from massage machines attached to their testicles and heads," he said.
"I've known of recruits who have broken their legs jumping out of windows. I had to jump out of a window into a thorn bush. I've seen others thrown naked into thorn bushes and have to crawl through them. Recruits are also made to fight each other with a giant boxing glove on one hand and the other tied behind their back."
After seeing the video, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "The Royal Marines take these allegations extremely seriously. The Service Police have launched an investigation."
The men dressed as a surgeon and a St Trinian's schoolgirl are being disciplined and new orders have been issued banning ‘Joining Runs'—and threatening to prosecute anyone who takes part.
"Marines need to be tough and training should be tough. You don't want wimps," said our source.
"But what happened on the film doesn't help anyone."