Into The Abyss:
A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs

by Mike Carlie, Ph.D.        
Michael K. Carlie
Continually updated.

~ Table of Contents ~
Home | Foreword | Preface | Orientation

What I Learned | Conclusions
End Note |
| Appendix
Site Map / Contents
| New Research

Up-To-Date Gang-Related News

Motorcycle Gangs
Permission to post the information below was graciously given by the 
Southeastern Connecticut Gang Activities Group

Please note: The information below was taken from the website of the Southeastern Connecticut Gang Activities Group. I know very little about motorcycle/biker gangs, so I am relying upon that group to provide accurate information. I can not testify to the accuracy of the material myself. If you know of an Internet site that provides more accurate information, please let me know about it.


With the war over in 1945, thousands of veterans drifted back home trying to take up their lives. However, many missed the excitement of the war. One of the ways to look for the type of excitement they searched for was riding a high-powered Harley Davidson or Indian motorcycle. Hollywood has also multiplied the effect of motorcycle gangs. Movies like "Easy Rider", "Hell's Angels on Wheels" and "The Wild One" have a large following.

Bike gangs which started in the 50's as loosely knit rowdy groups, began to gain popularity and status in the 60's and are now reorganized as a dangerous organized criminal group. According to the American Motorcycle Assn. (A.M.A.) these outlaw bikers represent about 1% of the nation's bikers. 

The outlaw bikers are involved in murder, rape, assault, burglary, narcotics, theft, prostitution, weapons offenses and intimidation of the public and witnesses. They pose a threat to society in general and law enforcement because of their possession of and expertise in sophisticated weapons and their intricate intelligence network.

Not all outlaw gangs are sophisticated criminal organizations. Only four appear to have a large national impact which would warrant an investigation for violation of the Title 18 United States Code 1962, the Federal "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations" (RICO) stature. They are: The Hell's Angels, Outlaws, Pagans and Bandidos. They are often referred to as the "Big Four". All four motorcycle clubs have chapters in several states. The Hell's Angels have chapters in Canada, throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The Pagan's have a chapter in Australia.

The History

The Hollister, California, Incident: On July 4th weekend in 1946 the American Motorcycle Assn. (A.M.A.) was sponsoring the Annual Motorcycle Dirt Hill Climb Races.  It was held in the small town of Hollister, California. Hollister had a police force of seven.

The town filled with bikers. Two of the larger motorcycle groups to attend were the "Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington" (P.O.B.O.B.) and the "Market Street Commandoes". During the evenings drag races and bar and street fights were common. One member of the P.O.B.O.B. was arrested and jailed. A large mob gathered and demanded his release. When local authorities refused, the estimated mob of 750 literally tore the small community apart.

The Hollister incident contributed three very important biker traditions that survive to this day: the 4th of July run, the one per center image, and calling anyone not part of the sub-cult, "Citizen".  After Hollister, the P.O.B.O.B.'s membership started increasing and the new blood came in with new ideas. After much consideration one idea was a name change. The new identity they chose was "Hell's Angels.

Organization Structure of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang

There are numerous motorcycle gangs that have chapters in various cities and states around the nation. Some have chapters in several countries.

National President

Many times the founder of the club. He will usually be located at or near the national headquarters. He will be surrounded by bodyguards and organizational enforcers.

Territorial or Regional Representatives

In some cases called the national vice president in charge of a specific region or state.

National Secretary / Treasurer

He is responsible for the club's money and collecting dues from local chapters. He also records any by-law changes and record any minutes.

National Enforcer

This person answers directly to the national president. He acts as a body guard and gives out punishment for club violations. He has also been known to locate former members and retrieve colors or remove the club's tattoo from them.

Chapter President

This person has either claimed the position or has been voted in. He has final authority over all chapter business and members.

Chapter Vice President

This person is second in command. He presides over club affairs in the absence of the president. Normally, he is hand picked by the chapter president.

Chapter Secretary / Treasurer

This is usually the member with the best writing skills and probably the most education. He will maintain the chapter roster and maintain a crude accounting system. He is also responsible for collecting dues, keeping minutes and paying for any bills the chapter accumulates.

Chapter Sergeant at Arms

This person is in charge of maintaining order at club meetings. Because of the violent nature of outlaw gangs this person is normally the strongest member physically and is loyal to the chapter president. He may administer beatings to fellow members for violations of club rules. He is the club enforcer.

Road Captain

This person fulfills the role of a logistician and security chief for club sponsored runs or outings. The Road Captain maps out routes to be taken during runs, arranges the refueling, food and maintenance stops. He will carry the club's money and use it for bail if necessary.


The rank and file, fully accepted and dues paying members of the gang. They are the individuals who carry out the president's orders and have sworn to live by the club's by-laws

Probate or prospective Member

These are the club's hopefuls who spend from one month to one year in a probationary status. They must prove during that time if they are worthy of becoming members. Some clubs have the probate commit a felony with fellow members observing in an effort to weed out the weak and stop infiltration by law enforcement. Probates must be nominated by a regular member and receive a unanimous vote for acceptance. They are known to carry weapons for other club members and stand guard at club functions. The probate wears no colors and has no voting rights.

Associates or Honorary Members

An individual who has proved his value or usefulness to the gang. These individuals may be professional people who have in some manner helped the club. Some of the more noted are attorneys, bail bondsmen, motorcycle chop owners and auto wrecking yard owners. These people are allowed to party with the gang, either in town or on their runs; however, they do not have a voting status or wear colors.

Constitution or By-Laws

All outlaw motorcycle clubs have by-laws or a constitution
that sets an acceptable standard of conduct and administrative
procedures for the club. The by-laws cover matters such as membership requirement, penalties for misconduct, and acceptable behavior during runs or meetings. While by-laws differ from club to club the following are examples of common by- laws.

All members must be male and at least 18 years of age. All prospective new members much be sponsored by a current member. All prospective new members must complete a probation period. All members pay monthly dues and all new members will pay initiation fees to the national headquarters. No member shall transfer from one chapter to another without the permission of both presidents and will pay a transfer fee to the national treasure. When a member is in another jurisdiction, he will abide by their by-laws and president.

Any member caught using the needle will lose his colors and everything that goes with them. Members may only ride Harley Davidson or Indian motorcycles

Women and the Outlaw Biker

Outlaw motorcycle gangs are male dominated and highly chauvinistic. Women are treated as playthings and property. Women are generally victimized by forcing them into prostitution or street level drug traffickers, and quite often physically and sexually abused. In the outlaw biker's society women are bought, sold, traded or given away within the club.

Selling drugs in the mid 1960's teaches the outlaw biker the basics of supply and demand. When they learn men pay to rent the empty space between a woman's leg, they put their women to work. In the violent, profit-oriented society inhabited by the outlaw biker, that's all a woman is - a hole, a piece of property to rent or trade.

Women take up with outlaw bikers for different reasons: some are hungry, some need a warm place to stay, and others feel safe in a crowd. While outlaw bikers abduct and rape many women, most attach themselves voluntarily to the club and everything it stands for - drugs, alcohol, parties, fast bikes and cars, cheap thrills and sex. Horny women want endless sex every way it comes, the club becomes their outlet. Rebellious teenagers who strike back at their parents numb their minds with drugs and screw their brains out on the clubhouse floor. Bored business women take a walk on the wild side with macho men who lead dangerous, exiting lives. Women without education become somebody when they attach themselves to respected and feared outlaw bikers. Shiftless girls like the freedom from responsibility. The unloved and homeless confuse sex with affection and cherish the arms that hold them.

A woman's main value to an outlaw biker, aside from sexual
gratification is daily income. She must give all her money to her old man. Bikers put their women to work in massage parlors, topless bars, cocktail lounges and strip clubs. Most are covers for prostitution. Prostitution is the bikers' most lucrative source of income after drugs.

Another area where the women are used effectively is intelligence gathering. They will go into the community and take jobs at city, county and state offices where they have access to blank birth certificates, drivers licenses and other useful documentations. Other areas of employment the women will seek is that of police records clerk, telephone operators, employees in welfare offices and position within prison institutions. They will even sleep with cops to compromise them or gather intelligence. Women of motorcycle gangs mainly fall into three categories:

Mama or Sheep
A mama is the sexual equivalent of a public well. Anyone can dip into her, at any time, as often as he wants. These are woman who belong to the club at large. They belong to every member and are expected to consent to the sexual desires of anyone at anytime. They perform menial task around the clubhouse, however do not attend club meetings. Some clubs permit these women to wear .. colors" with the inscription "Property of (club name)", embroidered on the back.

Old Lady

These are the wives or steady girlfriends of club members. An old lady is the property of one biker and can't be used or abused by other club members. An old lady is not a club member and like sheep are not permitted to attend club meetings. They also will in some clubs wear "Property of" colors; however, with the name of the biker she belongs to on the bottom rocker.

A female who's sole use is being used as a sexual object. This would be similar to the way most men view one night stands. A common method of bikers is to pick up a female hitchhiker, gang rapes her and then toss her aside.

Women are always helping the outlaw biker to get ahead. An example - several Hell's Angels have their old ladies turn tricks in topless bars in North and South Carolina. The bars are near military bases and the old ladies get all the weapons the club needs. The Cleveland Chapter got three light antitank weapons (LAW) rockets through their old ladies. Other chapters have gotten .45 caliber pistols and hand grenades from their women

The Big Four

The Big Four outlaw gangs claim to be the one percent of motorcyclists who won't conform to society's laws and morals ethics. They are the Hell's Angels, the Outlaws, the Pagans and the Bandidos. All of them are U.S. based and have international chapters with the exception of the Pagans.

The Big Four are guided by their own code of terror. They strive to maintain their reputation as outlaws by instilling in people a fear they interpret as respect. The gangs keep members in line and eliminate the opposition with squads of killers: the Hell's Angels Filthy Few, the Outlaws' SS, the Pagans' Black T- shirt squad, and the Bandidos' Nomad Chapter.

The Big Four earn most of their money making and selling drugs. They control 75% of the North American Methamphetamine market. Prostitution, extortion, theft, arson, robbery, bombings and contact murders are among the crimes that bring in millions more. The Big Four are paramilitary operations fueled by greed and run on fear. Members are armed with the latest in military technology and protected by the best lawyers.

Two of the Big Four motorcycles are locked in a death battle since 1974. The Hell's Angels and Outlaws kill each other's members at every opportunity. They also encourage smaller clubs to expand their territory and bolster their strength. Gangs that resist takeovers don't last long; their drug supplies dry up or they are destroyed.

Copyright 2000-2001, all rights reserved. Duplication of this pages in any form without the express permission of the owner is strictly prohibited.  Reproduced on this site with permission.


Note: I have received emails in which the writers indicated that some of the information provided by the Southeastern Connecticut Gang Activities Group above is not accurate. I can not testify to that, but I can provide links to sites that provide a different view on motorcycle gangs and their activities. I can not testify to their accuracy, either, but others do. If you wish to visit those sites, they are:

Terminology used by Dangerous Motorcycle Gangs

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