Every Wednesday night I sit in on a “Live video show” put on by Big Pete, former Regional Vice President and Chapter President of the Outlaws M/C in Chicago and author of “The Last Chicago Boss”. If your an old school type of scooter tramp, his words speak volumes to those who know what it was like in the early days of club life. His show last night was on “Why Perception of your club, and perception of those you let into your club, matter so much on the streets”.
Insane Throttle will be releasing part 1 of the video later this evening so be on the lookout. Insane Throttle is actually thinking about asking Big Pete to do a show “LIVE” on Insane Throttles Facebook. I think the readers of our Rag would have a hell of a time listening in on that show.
So, let’s get into the meat of this article. Perception is huge in the Motorcycle Club world, it kind of goes back to our primal instincts of who is the king of the mountain if you really think about it. Let’s take a couple of examples of perceptions concerning clubs out there right now. The top 5 1%er clubs in the United States Who are the top 5? Hells Angels, Outlaws, Bandidos, Mongols, and Vagos. These Top 5 have a range of support clubs as well. Now, whats the perception of the clubs in the Top 5? Bikers who wish to get into a club would love nothing better than getting a patch from one of the Top 5 clubs because of the perception they have in the Biker World. What’s that perception that drives people to prospect for them? It comes down to the way they built their organizations over the many of years. All the Top 5 have a couple of things in common.
1. Members of their club have bled to ensure their reputation is respected on the streets.
2. Members of these clubs are an extremely tight-knit organization offering a true family to those who want to join their ranks.
3. These clubs spent decades building their ranks with members who believe in what the club stands for, they didn’t get out there overnight and spread across the globe.
4. They all religiously stood by the by-laws that the clubs were founded on. Without the by-laws of those clubs, we would’ve never heard of them because most clubs fail without strict enforcement of bylaws.
5. Prospect Period, again, Prospect Period. This is the most important time for any club who is looking for members. The new members can make or break a clubs reputation and perception.
Insane Throttle has done a series of articles on the Iron Legacy, the club ran by Ass-Monkey Ray “Izod” Lubeski. Now, with perception in mind, what do most of you think when you hear Iron Legacy’s name? Here’s what comes to my mind.
1. They are a pop-up mail order club who freely gives a patch away for a determined amount of money. It’s the greatest pyramid scheme in the biker world, you have ass-monkeys like iPod and Playboy who were kicked out on bad by their former club Iron Order by club vote, so they are hurt ass-monkeys and try to get out there and start another club that benefits their pockets.
2. They freely claim to open chapters all over the country, most of the time with only 1 or 2 members. They charge them the money and send them off on the streets with no back up what so ever.
3. Cop Club, plain and simple. They currently have cops in positions of administrative authority of so-called regions. With that in mind, Insane Throttle is still waiting for an answer from the “Alliance of Law Abiding Clubs” a so-called alternative to the National Confederation of Clubs. Let’s face it, they are a bunch of openly stated cop clubs. Insane Throttle forwarded the email to them where iPod called for action to be taken against a civilian. Well nothing yet folks on their reaction, personally I think they are a bunch of punks who don’t have the balls to correct the situation.
4. I see a club that has it’s members punked, these are people who wanted to join something and become apart of a brotherhood. What those members do not realize, what they joined because of perception, can haunt them either in getting a good ass-whooping or being looked upon as half a man by other clubs.
Perception is something that will eventually undo Iron Legacy, during our reporting, we heard from the many that read our articles and threw in the towel. Insane Throttle applauds their choice to get away from such a club. I asked many of them to look in the mirror and ask themselves a serious of questions, many of them did so and woke up to the scam that is Iron Legacy and iPod. Many agreed, they didn’t want to follow a man who gave orders over the internet instead of getting out there with his brothers to put in the work.
We here at Insane Throttle have stated time and time again, if you want to get out there and form a club, be prepared to back up the patch on your back. Individuals or clubs cannot expect other clubs to just throw away generations of codes they lived by because you want to start your own thing, that’s something that you have to keep in the back of your head. This “Free Country” crap that is pushed by these people is truly wishful thinking. Why? Because what you are intending to do by putting on a patch, is to go out there on the street and claim your presence. Now, I know most of you middle age men, who have no experience on the streets, want to get out there and play Jax from Sons of Anarchy. The problem with that, the streets are not a movie, the streets are a place where rules do not apply, and it’s truly not a place where “This is a free Country crap” is listened to.
On the streets, perception is going to be the life or death of your club. Perception is going to regulate how much other clubs mess with you, how many are going to allow you around biker rallies and functions, and most important, the quality of those who want to join your club. I guess that’s why I get confused so.metime about why clubs want to grow so fast, why they think that they can duplicate clubs that have been around decades. If you are going to have that attitude then you’re going to fail, simply because your club won’t be recruiting the best of the best. Instead, your club is going to recruit a bunch of ass-monkeys who will do nothing but damage your clubs reputation and perception. Case in point, Iron Legacy.
When I was in a club, we were a huge support club of the Outlaws M/C. Our chapter was tight, we loved getting together, hanging together, and getting into all kinds of shit together. I loved being around those in my chapter, but I always hated going to the regional or national events. Why? Because in such a large organization, you really couldn’t remember all those who wore the same patch as you. My famous saying was ” What’s up bud” when I said hello to another member who was wearing the same patch as me. For one, I couldn’t remember their name, and two, I refused to call anyone brother I didn’t know, even if they wore the same patch as me.
This is why I really don’t understand clubs needs to spread out all over the place when they first start. Logic would dictate that if your a brand new club, and you want to one day become a large club like the Top 5, you would put in the tedious work of making sure your club will have a reputation and perception from the other clubs. This is not saying that you have to go around circle jerking the other clubs into liking you. What I’m saying is, you have to go out onto that street and back up who you are, plain and simple. If you show heart, discipline, and desire to make sure you are always thinking in the back of your mind of your club’s perception, the club will be successful. If you think you can go out there and pull an Iron Legacy, selling patches online, or patching in people you don’t know, your club is going to fail.
Iron Legacy and clubs like it, will eventually fail, they always do. As I was doing Insane Throttles new “Motorcycle Club Index”, I found that most of the clubs websites no longer existed. That is a tall tale sign that they have failed, most do in the first 5 years. Why did they fail? Because the brotherhood and the perception on the streets were not there. So when you are out there, thinking about starting up a club, or even if your a member of a chapter in a larger club, keep perception in the back of your mind, if you do, your club will be long-lasting and successful.