They are referred to as an organized crime syndicate by the U.S. Department of Justice. This syndicate also call themselves “the one-percenters” because of their devotion to living (and riding) on the fringe of society. It a nonconformist endeavor that shuns what 99% of the world adheres to, by participating in activities the law regards as deviant and illegal – even immoral. It’s the American-motorcycle-riding organization Hells Angels. This worldwide club of criminals are known for all of the above — mostly for their association with Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
But what non-members (whom Angels refer to as “citizens”) also know about Hells Angels is that once you become an Angel, it’s sure as hell tough, if not impossible, to leave. In fact, many people believe you’re more likely to get "wacked" than kicked out. Oh, and guess how they come to the decision of throwing someone out? By voting. They practice democracy, which is exercised by the very government the Angels are against.
When someone does get thrown out, chapters participate in a horrific long-time tradition that can usually be defined as torture: they must remove the ex-Angel’s tattoo signifying their loyalty to the club. Usually, they’re burned off, and the tools range from heated spoons to blowtorches. Here are 15 ways you can get kicked out.
15 Don’t Mess With The Women
Many outsiders might think that “old ladies” — women who are married or permanently attached to a Hells Angel member — have little to no power, mostly because they are sometimes referred to as “property” and even wear vests with lettering that proclaims whom they are the property of. However, those who may think old ladies have no power are wrong. If anything, it’s really the man who’s the property, because if he takes one step out of line, his woman can get him locked up by ratting him out.
And many chapters have codes that make it completely forbidden to mess around with another Angel’s old lady. One can only imagine what happens if some fool breaks that rule.
14 Working With The Police Is The WORST Thing You Can Do
Law enforcement undoubtedly has an interminable vendetta to take down the Hells Angels once and for all. So it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that if members of the club worked in cahoots with law enforcement, they’d be kicked out so fast that it would make their Harley bikes' wheels spin.
During the trial of ex-Hells Angels John R. Savalick, it was revealed why he’d been kicked out of the club. Savalick had, after getting the boot, gotten into a fight with a man who was not only the former club’s president, but a “bigger man,” a heavier man, and a man who not only was a “trained fighter,” but was trained in jujitsu. You don’t want to mess with a bigger, heavier, guy trained in jujitsu who was the president of your club. As Savalick said during the trial, “He’d kill you in 10 seconds.”
Anyway, during his testimony, Savalick said that he and a friend were kicked out of the club on June 27, 2013 because they’d worked with police. Anton Kenny, who is pictured above, a former president of the Hells Angels' Australian Nomads chapter, was kicked out of the club in 1983 for cooperating with police.
13 Being TOO Violent Can Actually Get You In Trouble
Juel Ross Stanton was undoubtedly one of the most bada*s Hells Angel in recent history… before he was allegedly shot down by once-fellow club members in 2010. What’s intense is that before his Hells-Angel-style execution, Stanton had already been kicked out of the organization for a reason that’s profoundly surprising and almost unbelievable.
This is what biker expert Insp. Andy Richards said about Stanton joining the Angels: “We were shocked when he became a member of the club because he has been such a loose cannon for so many years and his propensity for violence is almost second to none.”
That’s right. Stanton was ostensibly kicked out because he was too violent, even for a club that’s known for its use of excessive violence. Richards continued his analysis of Stanton by saying that he was very “volatile” and therefore extremely “high-maintenance” for the Hells Angels. The gratuitous amount of violence he inflicted on others, Richards concludes, would’ve brought too much unwanted attention to the Angels.
12 If You Lose Your Colors, You Are Definitely Out
In her book Hells Angels: Three Can Keep a Secret If Two Are Dead, Yves Lavigne spoke about a particular thing all Angels treasure more than anything else. Stealing this “thing” or taking it and dragging it through the dirt are synonymous with murder. It’s more important than anything else.
We are referring to a member's “colors,” the patches on his vest that symbolizes his commitment and loyalty to the Hells Angels. If you lose your colors, you’re out. The reason why you don’t pat a Hells Angel on the back is because you’re “patting” his most prized possession. You’re going to get in major trouble for that.
11 iPhones And Androids Must Never Be Used To Make Important Calls
The Hells Angels in Berlin have some pretty strict rules that cannot be broken. This particular rule would probably drive a good deal of people insane if they decided to join: Hells Angels from the Berlin branch cannot use smartphones.
Okay. That’s not completely true. They can use smartphones, just not for important conversations. Unfortunately, we don’t know what constitutes an “important” conversation but we can definitely speculate that this includes pretty much anything that has to do with the Hells Angels. The ex-Hells Angel who revealed this information said that it’s “strictly forbidden at all times” to mention the names of members as well as any sort of information about the club to citizens.
But, unlike other broken rules, the consequences are much less dire: a €500 fine, loss of jacket and T-shirt, and the notification of every member of the organization.
10 No Travelling By Bus Or Train
We get that it’s crucial for Hells Angels members to not just own an American-made bike, but to ride one. However, to actually have strict laws forbidding members from traveling by certain means is something completely different. Some branches forbid Angels from traveling by bus or train.
Okay, maybe this rule makes sense when you interpret bus and train as meaning public transportation. But if that’s the case, then why not planes? Last time we checked, that mode of transportation was also public. So what makes buses and trains so bad and so much worse than planes?
It was also revealed that members of the Hells Angels Berlin branch are not allowed to drink alcohol. But there’s ostensibly no rule banning them from drug use. The only exception to this prohibition-style regulation is during the club’s annual party.
One thing’s for sure. Those parties are probably off the hook. Just think of it: They’re not used to consuming alcohol (i.e. their tolerance levels are going to be way down).
9 Snitching Will End You
It should come as no surprise that a Hells Angel who rats out the club will be treated like, well, a rat. Ex-Ventura County Hells Angels President George Christie Jr., a national spokesman for the motorcycle gang, has spoken about rats on many occasions.
During one interview, he made sure to point out that, to him, an ATF agent or FBI agent who infiltrates the Angels is not a rat, his reasoning being that it’s their job and that they get paid to do it. Regardless of whether or not a person who snitches on the Angels to the police is thought of by Christie as a rat, those who are found out will most likely face a very severe punishment.
The late Clifford Mallory was one of those people who met such a demise. He was an informant who was discovered by the Angels and then coincidentally got into a motorcycle “accident,” which killed him. Whether Christie thought of him as a rat is not known. What we do know, however, is that Christie never liked him.
8 Stealing From Other Members Will End Badly For You
In the book The Rebels: A Brotherhood of Outlaw Bikers, author Daniel R. Wolf was kind enough to include the bylaws of the Hells Angels chapter in Oakland, California. What you’re about to read may shock you, just because it seems as though getting booted out of this chapter may seem very easy. But they’re not fooling. This rule is on the first page of their laws, in the top ten, in unambiguous language.
It straight-up says that there cannot be any form of stealing among members. “Anyone caught will be kicked out of the club.” Keep in mind, this particular chapter seems pretty strict. To enforce their rules, they threaten fines — sure, they may be relatively minor — but still, they could rack up over time. You can lose $2 if you don’t have a valid reason for missing a meeting and if there’s any form of in-fighting, everyone who participates is slapped with a $5 fine.
7 Don’t Get High On The Supply
Any book by an ex-Hells Angel is going to be a thrilling read, inundated with violence, adventure, suffering and all of the other great things that today’s voracious society soaks up without a second thought. Joe Calendino is just such a person. He wrote about his escapades during and after his time in the illustrious biker gang in his aptly titled memoir To Hell And Back.
From Joe’s experiences, it’s clear that the Hells Angels condones and facilitates illegal activities in its quest to perpetually be in the one percent, the fringe of society. However, it will not tolerate those who become overwhelmed in those illicit activities.
Their particular rule is very similar to a motto we’ve all heard in films that revolve around narcotics: “Don’t get high on the supply.” According to Joe’s accounts, he became inexorably caught in this world of drugs and debt and was soon ruled by addiction. This didn’t fly with the Hells Angels, which later led to them stripping Joe of his membership after having grown too impatient with his recklessness.
6 Getting Caught Dealing Will Get You Thrown Out
Law enforcement is undeniably against the Hells Angels and will do pretty much anything to get every single member in jail and off the streets. Robert Maganza, president of the Hells Angels New York City chapter, has said in interviews that police and federal agents “are pumping [the Hells Angels] up as a threat to win bigger budgets” even though, according to Maganza, the Angels are not a criminal organization. The term he’s used instead is “a motorcycle club.”
Maganza continues, saying that outside of wanting to win bigger budgets, law enforcement is also trying to “make a name for themselves by taking us down.” For that reason, Maganza said that any member who is caught dealing drugs is “thrown out of the chapter,” seeing as drugs are an easy way to get arrested, which will, in turn, implicate the Hells Angels. His wording implies that you can sell drugs, but you just can’t get caught doing it.
5 Failing To Stand Up For A Brother Is As Bad As Snitching
Fighting is synonymous with the Hells Angels. This is especially the case if a member of the gang becomes the victim of a fight. If anybody jumps an Angel, you are meant to protect him at all costs.
These words shouldn’t be used or thought of lightly. In Hell’s Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell’s Angel’s Motorcycle Club, a book by Hells Angel Member Sonny Barger, Sonny describes such a scenario as a “One on All and All on One” sort of situation.
In other words, resorting to violence is highly encouraged if a fellow member is in trouble. That said, there are serious ramifications if you fail to do anything else besides “standing up for your brother.” As Sonny says, not doing so “immediately gets you kicked out of the club.”
By his wording, we’re guessing that it’s not even up for a vote. Right then and there, you’re done.
4 If You Can No Longer Be Trusted Or Replied Upon, You Are Out
As we’ve said numerous times, it’s difficult to ascertain how or why particular members of Hells Angels are kicked out. Most ex-Angels don’t want to discuss why (or anything else involved with their organization).
In 2013, a local newspaper asked full-patch Hells Angel Mike Robatzek, a sergeant-at-arms who was kicked out of the biker gang’s White Rock chapter, about his expulsion. He reportedly hung up on them.
Police Inspector Andy Richards, a bike gang expert, commented that full-patch Hells Angels are forced out when “chapter members unanimously believe that they can no longer be trusted or relied upon.”Yes, we’re aware that his ambiguous answer doesn’t really tell us exactly why Robatzek was kicked out. However, it shows us that being trustworthy and dependable is an important part of being a member of the Hells Angels.
3 If You Cost Too Much Money, You Will Be Dropped
Regardless of your title, the moment you’re no longer useful to Hells Angels, that’s the moment when you find yourself on the curb. That’s what happened to Maurice “Mom” Boucher. He may have been a chapter leader and may have been known as “one of Canada’s most infamous criminals,” but it did not matter.
Boucher’s ousting occurred at an East Coast meeting, whose purposes are to deal with conflict resolution between various chapters. The Hells Angels said they removed him because he’d “exhausted all legal resources.” This made him no longer useful to the Hells Angels.
One source said that—even though “Mom” had been a member for nearly three decades—his “star had faded significantly over the past several years.” That same source also went on to say that the way in which he ran Hells Angel when they were at war with other gangs didn’t sit well with the “younger members.”
The main force behind his expulsion was undoubtedly because he was kicked out of Hells Angels while serving a 25-year sentence in a maximums security prison for murdering two prison guards.
2 You Might Be Kicked Out For Committing Other Crimes
There are many plausible reasons as to why David Girardin may have been ousted from the Hells Angels. To just name a few of his transgressions, Girardin has been convicted of s*xual assault and abuse of a minor. Having participated in such despicable behavior seems to ostensibly be just as egregious to Hells Angels as it is to the rest of the world, seeing as Girardin was originally the vice president of his local chapter, Ventura, but was still voted out.
But Girardin is also regarded by some as a traitor for other reasons, as revealed by Ex-Ventura County Hells Angels President George Christie Jr., a national spokesman for the motorcycle gang. As Christie pointed out, Girardin has faced three felony charges because he failed to register as a s*x offender, but prosecutors had dropped the charges “in the interest of justice.” Christie went on to say that he feels as though Girardin has turned against them and was therefore a traitor because “he is using any means possible to get himself out of a situation he created for himself.”
1 Betrayal Might End Up Like "The Lennoxville Purge"
Probably one of the most infamous incidents involving the Hells Angels occurred over 30 years ago. This illustrious moment in history is now referred to as the Lennoxville Purge.
The chapter which was involved in this purge — Laval in Quebec, Canada — has since been disbanded. And its remaining members who weren’t deemed as elite material were killed, while others were distributed into other chapters.
Before its disbandment, the then-still-active Laval chapter initiated what would be later known as the Lennoxville Purge by summoning five Angels into a quiet town in Quebec. The chapter then purged themselves of those five by attacking them. Their bodies were dumped into the river.