Before hearing about these messed up rules, just know one important thing. Not all people who ride motorcycles are in gangs. It’s also good to know that “clubs” and “gangs” are not the same. Pretty much 99% of the people who are in clubs or ride bikes are decent, good-hearted individuals. As for gangs, well, ask any ex-gang member and they will tell you that some shady stuff goes on. These kinds of people consist primarily of four gangs, known as the Big Four: the Hells Angels, the Pagans, the Outlaws, and the Bandidos.
These are the only gangs that the FBI has labeled as “outlaw motor gangs” or OMGs, and have issued a warning against them. Knowing the rules that these dangerous gangs have to follow may help you know exactly why they are so dangerous. That, and the fact that a fight broke out in 2015, which led to nine gang members losing their lives and many more were injured. It happened near Waco, Texas when five gangs broke out into a large fight involving guns. This is one of many happenings that have had these gangs headlining. But, maybe knowing the rules will help you also take it easy on them. Because being a gang member is always stressful. To find out how stressful, take a look at these fifteen rules biker gangs have to follow.
15 Keep Your Mouth Shut
The first rule in any motorcycle club or gang is that you don’t talk about motorcycle club! You breathe a word of what goes on, and that will be the last word you speak. They even have strict rules about talking on the telephone. They are very discreet when on the phone even when talking to each other. It’s very important that no one else outside of the gang knows any of the gang’s secrets: where they meet, what they talk about, or what their plans are. Even personal secrets that involve your brothers.
This is common even in clubs, but in clubs, the consequences are simply you getting kicked out from the club. In one of the Big Four gangs, well, you really don’t want to know what will happen if you let any of your brothers’ secrets go.
14 Wear Your Colors
This is one of the most important rules for any gang. In biker slang, your “colors” are your patches. Whenever you become a member of the gang, you are given a patch or patches that you must wear. Most of the time, the gang patch can be found in the middle of the back. They almost always have the logo, the gang name, and MC (motorcycle club). For local gangs, they have the state name located on the back as well. These patches do not belong to the members of the gang, but the gang itself. You must keep it with you at all times unless it is being “babysat” by another member or the Ol’ Lady (woman who has been trusted by the gang for a long time).
Generally, there is a one-piece patch for nonconformist social clubs, two-piece patch for clubs paying dues, a three-piece patch for outlaw clubs, or side patches.
13 Loyalty Is Everything
One of the most obvious rules in any biker gang is that you are not allowed to join any other gang. If you are caught fraternizing with other gangs, you will regret it. The least that will happen is that you will have your colors taken and thus exiled from the gang. The most is… of course, getting exiled from existence. But the most likely thing that will happen is that you have your colors taken away, you are kicked from the gang, and you are beaten.
Fights between gangs are a common occurrence. All four Big Four gangs are at odds and consider each other rivals. Fraternize with a smaller club, you’ll get warned. Fraternize with one of the other rivals, and you’re fraternizing with the enemy. This is considered treason and you will pay for it. And it’s going to take more than the $500 they will fine you.
12 No Women
Well, women are okay. In fact, they are encouraged. What we mean is, no woman may become a member of a biker gang. The only exception are women-only gangs, which are few and far between. It’s sickening, but the role the women play in the biker gangs is nothing more than an object. Many of them even subject themselves to this role willingly. They will wear shirts saying they are the "Property Of" a certain member or gang. Others state that they are “pass-arounds,” which you can kind of figure out yourself. It’s not pretty or honorable in the least.
Why women would actually be so okay with this is beyond human comprehension. They are treated like trash. Any ex-member will tell you this. There are few women who eventually work their way into a respected position. But it takes years, and even then, they are still below any man in the gang.
11 Whites Only
About 90% of biker gangs in North America are “white only” gangs. You will rarely see a black or hispanic biker in the serious gangs. Ex-members say that these gangs are some of the most racist people that you’ve ever met. Though they will sometimes associate with other races if they have to, they will under no circumstances allow anyone who is not white to become a member. That’s the kind of racism that is causing all of the riots and racial divisions of today. The sad part is, even law-abiding clubs will often follow this code.
If you don’t believe this is true, take a look around. Do you see any biker clubs with mixed race members? Ex-members have said that they literally sit around and put down other races, women, and religions. One man said that’s the real reason he left. He couldn’t handle the discrimination.
10 Ride A Harley
Though not every gang requires you to drive a Harley-Davidson, every gang does have rules regarding the motorcycle they allow you to ride. Most of the time, they require you to ride a motorcycle that was made in the country they reside. For example, all of the main gangs in the US require an American-made ride. However, the Big Four all generally require a Harley-Davidson before you are allowed to join. Some even make you get at least a 900cc engine.
If you can’t afford it, you’ll be asked to either come back when you can or another brother will loan the parts to you. If they do this, you will 100% be expected to pay them back within a set amount of time. This isn’t a gift, it’s a loan. But it’s worth it if you want to join, because more than likely, you'll need that Harley.
9 There's No Escape
Most of the time, the minimum number of years you have to stay in the gang is five. But more than likely, you’re either in it for life or at least until you’re old enough to be the top dog and release yourself. The Big Four gangs are not clubs like you think they are. They are harsh gangs that will not let you go. Very few are allowed to walk away. Those that are…only think they walk away. Incidents have happened where the week someone left, they were found dead, cause of death unknown.
Remember, you can never walk away from a gang unscathed. It doesn’t happen. So as with any gang, biker gangs absolutely will not let you escape. Only few have claimed that they are ex-members, but those were very respected members who “earned their own retirement.” They are legends that appear in MC history books!
8 No Cars!
You may think that riding a bike makes you a biker, but this isn’t the case. In fact, when a member doesn’t ride their bike for more than 30 days, they have their patch and privileges revoked. So, if you want to become a member, you need to love riding. You may own a car, but driving it is not okay if you are alone, the weather is good, and your Harley is up and running. To be a real member, you must hate driving cars and walking, as driving your Harley is what will be expected of you.
At least once a week, you will go on a long drive with your gang. They rotate choosing where to go, so be ready to be called at 5:00 AM on any given day that week and get on that bike. Just hope your boss will understand.
7 Drugs... Always Drugs
There are only two ways this can go. Either the gang has a harsh rule against drugs of any kind, or they have harsh rules that force members to deal. There’s hardly any in between. The no-drug gangs usually allow marijuana or lighter drugs, but will not allow and “hard drugs” or needles. As for the drug-dealing gangs, they require you to go on runs with them at least once a week and will not allow you to put up a fight. You may not know all of these rules until after you join, so it’s best you expect it.
It’s easy to forget that this 1% is not like that 99% that are just normal people. This 1% is made up of gangs. And 99% of gangs are wrapped up in drugs, meaning there is lots of violence involved, as drugs and violence cannot be separated.
6 Attending Meetings Is Not Optional
In general, for a biker gang, there is a mandatory meeting once a month, sometimes even more often. They call these places of meeting “churches” and they are holy. All voting is majority rules. The only way you can get out of a meeting is if you are sick or your bike is not running. But even then, you are not allowed to vote. However, under no circumstances are you to miss more than two meetings. Miss three meetings, and you’re kicked out of the gang.
For those who attend meetings, you must wear your uniforms, patches, and must not be under the influence. Everyone must be sober during meetings so they can cast a solid vote. And of course, you may not talk to other members of the gang about the meeting except when you are all together and the resident is present.
5 No Lying
Yes, this is a rule, believe it or not. Generally, it means that you cannot betray your brother (another gang member). Lying to outsiders is usually acceptable, but if you are ever caught lying to or stealing from your brother, the consequences you face will not be worth it. Because as loyalty is supreme rule here, betraying your brother is seen as the ultimate sin, one that will result in immediate dismissal from the gang.
Not many gangs have rules against lying or stealing in general. In fact, many of them encourage it, going on runs together to do just that. But lying to a brother for any reason is against the rules of your membership. At least they have that bond, if nothing else. You know that no brother will hurt you for any reason intentionally after you have been accepted as one of them.
4 Obey Your Leader
Most gangs have a president and various “leaders,” but for those who have just joined, you answer to everyone. Whatever they say goes. If they say grab them a beer, you better make sure it’s cold and you pay for it out of pocket. One ex-member spoke out anonymously about it.
“It’s like pledging for a violent fraternity,” he said. “You’re basically their slaves and, depending on the biker gang, it could be four months or two years. You’re pretty much at these guys’ beck and call 24/7 – they have you hold guns or drugs, and you’re a bodyguard for the president of the chapter that you’re prospecting for. It’s a very hard process – one gang made us fight each other for their entertainment. If you worked as a bartender for them and gave them a warm beer, they’d give you a black eye. That was the punishment for most things.”
3 Fines And Admission
Being in a gang is not for the lower-class people. It’s expensive. One of the biggest gangs in America has specific rules regarding this. To become a member, you must pay a $275 entrance fee to the national treasury. If your patch is getting old, you’ll need to pay $275 for a new patch. Leave your bike sitting for more than a month, and that’s $500. This doesn’t include the monthly fees that is paid to the treasury. These were the sums for about ten years ago, however. All prices have very likely gone up since then.
Gas has gone up a substantial amount. The price of milk has nearly doubled. So it’s safe to say that it will cost you more to sustain a biker gang membership than it will to buy a used car. Hey, at least you don’t need a car to live this lifestyle.
2 No Hippie Stuff
Yep. One gang stated that anyone who has any “hippie sh**” on their vests will have their colors revoked. This is open to interpretation, but members believe it means no peace signs or anything “positive,” really. But it can also mean anything colorful or anything that isn’t a “biker” patch. However, signs like swastikas or anti-religious figures are usually welcome, so who knows about that. Each gang has its own rules, and remember, the law-abiding clubs are different. They are usually safe and more open with their dress code.
As for the illegal gangs, hippie sh** is most definitely not accepted. So throw out that old denim vest from the 70s and buy a black leather vest adorned with only the appropriate patches you can find on the gang’s list of accepted patches.
1 No Self-Harm
This seems impossible. But one of the rules of a biker gang is to not commit suicide. How can you be punished for this? Well, you will lose all respect from your brothers and you will not be given a funeral. In a standard biker funeral, the respect is unbelievable. The rules require every biker to ride his own bike alone so that their patch and colors are always showing. They give them a solid burial and hang their patch with pride or stow it away with the same.
But if you die by committing suicide, well, you’re on your own. Let the state take care of it, because no one else will. What about the family? It isn’t likely the member has any family outside the brothers. You can hardly have both, because the brothers are your new family the moment you decide to join them.