Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
One Percenter Bikers Clubs Fall 05

One Percenter Bikers Clubs Fall 05



|Views: 11,032|Likes:
Published by DamNativ13

More info:

Published by: DamNativ13 on Feb 13, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Tom Barker
This paper, through an extensive literature review of biker websites, newspaperarticles, popular books, the limited scholarly research, and court cases, as well asinterviews and associations with law enforcement officers and 1% bikers, identi-fies and describes the major 1% biker clubs. The Big 5
clubs--Hell's Angels,Bandidos, Outlaws, Pagans,
Sons of Silence--are
discussed. Their history, num-ber of chapters in the United States and overseas, and a "best guess estimate" ofmembership numbers are also provided. Similar information is provided on themajor independent 1% biker
clubs--Warlocks, Mongols
Iron Horsemen.
Thereis also a brief discussion of the role of puppet (support) clubs and the four black orinterracial 1% biker clubs. This research, describing the clubs, is the first step neededto stimulate research on this under researched topic.
Motorcycle clubs can be classified broadly as conventional and deviant (norm-violating) clubs. Conventional club members, representing all races and sexes andriding all makes of motorcycles foreign and domestic, behave according to thenorms of society and join together based on their common interest in motorcycles,riding together for pleasure and companionship. They join traditional motorcycleassociations such as the American Motorcycle Association (AMA). Deviant clubmembers engage in non-conformist behavior, including anti-social and criminalbehavior, and could not or would not join traditional associations such as the AMA.Deviant clubs, i.e., norm-violating clubs, from a sociological standpoint wouldinclude clubs not AMA sanctioned; of all one race, sex or sexual orientation; orthose labeled as one percenter (by others and themselves) and outlaw MotorcycleClubs/Gangs.There has been limited research on one percent (1%) biker clubs (see Quinn andKoch, 2003; Barker, 2004). The most widely quoted research is from anthropolo-gist Daniel Wolf's seminal ethnography of the Rebels MC in Canada (Wolf, 1999).However, the relatively benign outlaw bikers that Wolf rode with in the early 1970sno longer exist. The Rebels were patched over [assimilated in a hostile take-over]by the Hell's Angels during their expansion into Canada. Several reasons may ex-plain this lack of research. The world of the 1% biker is secretive and dangerous,101
102 Trends in Organized Crime/Voi. 9, No. 1, Fall 2005
many are involved in serious crimes and they are well known for their violence andunpredictable behavior. As with the study of deviant groups in general, usual re-search techniques are often not successful. One percent bikers are not likely to fillout a survey and return it. They rarely grant interviews and respond to questionswith "that's club business" Ottentimes, law enforcement officials are as uncoop-erative as the bikers, dismissing inquiries with "we are in the crime business notthe research business." No official statistics are kept on their activities and crimescommitted by club affiliation. Furthermore, many academic criminologists dis-miss them as criminal groups/gangs, for example, Albanese (2004: 206) states "Likethe Chinese Tongs, the motorcycle gangs are comprised of many noncriminals,making it difficult to distinguish criminal members from the others." This is anempirical question and there is reason to challenge this assumption and call formore research on these deviant groups who may be more gangs than clubs.Some of these clubs/gangs are involved in organized crime and are expandingoverseas (Barker, 2004). Law enforcement authorities at the local, state, federal,and international levels consider them serious crime threats. They are constantly atwar with each other, causing numerous deaths and injuries to other bikers andinnocent people (Lavigne, 1999). Many of these clubs/gangs have ties with tradi-tional crime groups such as street gangs, La Cosa Nostra, and drug cartels. Theyare also unique among crime groups in that many maintain websites; identify them-selves through patches and tattoos; have written constitutions and by-laws; trade-mark their club names and logos; and have publicity campaigns aimed at cleaningup their image.The first step in any research on these clubs should begin with a descriptiveanalysis of the 1% biker clubs. That is the purpose of this article. The author usedan extensive literature search of biker websites, newspaper articles, popular books,films and videos; the limited scholarly research; court documents; and interviewsand associations with law enforcement officers and 1% bikers to identify the clubs.
Number and Size (membership) of Clubs
There is no accurate count of the number of 1% biker clubs and their chapters inthe United States or the world. However, the National Alliance of Gang Investiga-tors estimates that there are 300 plus 1% biker clubs in the United States (http://www.nagia.org/NGTASection_11.htm). The clubs themselves can be a source formaking an estimate on number. Some clubs have websites that include a listing ofchapters, but this is subject to their control and many chapters are not listed. Theauthor will use these websites to identify club chapters even though he is skepticalof the accuracy of this "best" available source. Membership is an even more debat-able statistic. Law enforcement authorities have made membership estimates onsome clubs. These official estimates appear accurate for some clubs and not oth-ers. The clubs' websites do not provide membership figures. Furthermore, it isdifficult for an academic criminologist to estimate the number of chapters and
Bikers Clubs 103
members because of the limited contact and scholarly research on these deviantand often criminal groups. One can make a "best guess" estimate of membershipby using the numbers 6 as a minimum (necessary for resisting other clubs andmentioned in several club by-laws as minimum) and 25 maximum (most chapterssplit when membership goes over 25) for a chapter. The author will use this "flawed"method to provide an estimate of club membership. There may not be agreementon club and membership numbers, however, there is general agreement among lawenforcement authorities and biker experts that five
clubs--Hell 'sAngels, Bandidos,Outlaws, Pagans, Sons of Silence--are
the largest in membership and chapters.
The Big Five One Percent Biker Clubs
Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club
(HAMC)The HAMC is by all accounts the most prominent and numerous internationalmotorcycle club. Law enforcement estimates put their membership at 2000 world-wide and 700 in the United States (interviews with Federal Special Agents). Theclub is also known as Local 81 after the placement of the letters H (8) andA (1) inthe alphabet, They are also known as the Big Red Machine, and the Red and Whiteafter the color of their patches. Supporters and Known Associates are allowed towear Local 81, Big Red Machine, and Red and White patches and other supportgear but not the Hell's Angels (without the apostrophe) which is a registered nameworn only by patched members. Their puppet clubs (discussed later) are the only1% biker clubs that are allowed to wear red and white patches in their territory,anyone else wearing the same color patch is subject to losing it after a stomping.The club's logo, the winged Death's Head, is also protected by copyright and canonly be worn by patch holders. The HAMC will and have sued to protect theircopyrights.The first
Hell's Angels
chapter was formed in San Bernardino, California onMarch 17, 1948 by World War II veterans who were former members of the
PissedOff Bastards of Bloomington.
The present day Hell's Angels were formed in Oak-land, California in 1957 by Ralph "Sonny" Barger and his gang of young toughswithout them knowing that other HA chapters existed (Barger, 2000). Within thenext ten years the Oakland chapter became the mother chapter, disbanding or tak-ing in the other Hell's Angels chapters. In 1966, the Hell's Angels incorporated asa club "dedicated to the promotion and advancement of motorcycle riding, motor-cycle clubs, motorcycle highway safety and all phases of motorcycling and motor-cycle driving (Lavigne, 1996: 1)." After their incorporation, the HAMC beganmoving out of California. Today, they are considered to be the largest 1% bikerclub in the world.The actual number of Angel charters [chapters] is unknown and probably un-knowable by outside sources. The official HAMC website lists 30 charters in theUnited States and says that not all the charters are listed (the author is aware of

Activity (7)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
Tommy 'Roxx' Douthat added this note
http://www.prodigalsonsmc.org The PRODIGAL SONS MC is a Motorcycle Club for Christian Bikers, especially those who are or were 1%ers at heart. We are 100% for Jesus. We have many contacts throughout the motorcycle club circles and with the 1%ers nationwide. Our vision and main purpose is to be a place of fellowship, love, and acceptance. A place where Born Again Bikers can be welcomed home.......
Huw Stewart liked this
Bill Barrett liked this
Marsbonfire liked this
keenanj liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->