Rules the Hells Angels Make Their Members Follow
The Hells Angels are perhaps the most widely known motorcycle club in the world. Apart from their chapters spread across the United States, the Hells Angels also have powerful charters practically everywhere around the globe, including New Zealand, Canada and England.
Due to the club’s affinity for crimes and violence, some countries like the Netherlands have banned the biker gang. Ironically, it’s actually a solid set of rules and bylaws that hold this fearsome group together.
No Hells Angels Biker Gets Left Behind
If there’s a group that exemplifies the motto "One for all and all for one," it’s the Hells Angels. Widely recognized as a group that travels in packs, it can be extremely intimidating to hail them for traffic violations. In case a courageous law enforcement official does try it, then they’ll probably be faced with the entire gang — not just the person the officer hailed to stop.
They Say “No” to Drugs
Considering that Hells Angels members are often associated with criminals and illegal activities, it’s interesting to learn that one of their rules is to stay away from substance abuse. The biker gang’s Toronto chapter explicitly states that members are forbidden from any use or even contact with substances. Using needles "for pleasure" is also a big no-no for the group.
Democracy Rules for the Angels
Hells Angels chapters are as exclusive as any motorcycle gang can get. No other group can claim a more stringent and rigid process. A person seeking membership in this notorious club will need to pass so many stages before becoming a fully recognized member. Every applicant undergoes a series of tests before being awarded full patches.
To Hells Angels, No Means No
The Hells Angels have a strict code against sexual assault. Despite their scary and intimidating reputation, this group imposes a zero-tolerance rule on any funny business. That is, members must respect women's choices, particularly when it comes to relations with them.
They Stick to a Dress Code
Although being a Hells Angel is primarily about the attitude and the lifestyle, the group’s image plays a big role in the way others perceive them. This is why every member is expected to look the part. In fact, one of the most important membership requirements is strict adherence to the dress code.
It’s an All-Boys’ Club
The majority of outlaw biker gangs don’t permit women to become fully fledged members or even join their activities. Generally, only men are allowed to join and participate in official events — and the Hells Angels are no exception to this.
Only Harleys Are Accepted
Given that the Hells Angels are a widely known motorcycle club, it goes without saying that one of their primary requirements is for the members to own a bike. However, not all bikes are accepted in this club. True to their age-old tradition, Hells Angels members can only ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
They Try to Avoid Media Exposure
One of the main reasons for the public’s fascination with the Hells Angels organization is the group’s mysterious and enigmatic aura. The whole cloak-and-dagger image is mostly thanks to the longstanding rule of limiting their interaction with the media.
They Stay in Their Lanes
Despite their reputation for being a disruptive and unruly group, many Hells Angels are actually extremely organized when it comes to their own events. If you ever get the chance to witness members riding down your block, you can immediately spot how well-structured they are.
Prison Connections Aren’t Allowed
Although not definitively proven, people often associate Hells Angels with criminal activities. This is perhaps why one of the rules is never to accept anyone who has or has had any connection with law enforcement.
They Don’t Answer Questions About How to Join
The Hells Angels reek of exclusivity, so much so that the FAQ section on their website refuses to tell any curious visitor how to become a member of the club. In fact, the biker group goes as far as telling would-be applicants that if they have to ask, then they "probably will not understand the answer."
They Live Life on Their Bikes
Given that it’s a motorcycle gang, Hells Angels members are required to spend a substantial amount of time on the road and away from their families. Some reports claim that members are expected to ride roughly 12,000 miles every year to maintain standing in the club.
No Narcs Are Allowed
No group likes a narc, and notorious biker gangs especially don’t appreciate anyone squealing about their undercover activities to the authorities. Hence, club members are required to do everything they can to protect the group's secrets.
The Patches Demand Respect
Full-fledged members are granted patches. The moment a prospect receives his patches is a significant one because it represents his full membership status in the Hells Angels organization. However, these are no ordinary patches.
Non-Members Can’t Wear Merch
The rule against desecrating their patches runs deeply in the club’s values and is upheld at all times — even in life-or-death situations. Not only do Hells Angels members ban anyone from using the patches, but they also enforce the same rule on other official merchandise.
Absences Aren’t Allowed
Becoming a Hells Angels member is a commitment that every person in the group takes very seriously. This is why the motorcycle club is extremely strict when it comes to attendance at meetings and other gatherings.
Absolute Loyalty Is Expected
No other gang enforces strict exclusivity the way the Hells Angels organization does. So, the group also expects the same from the people they let into the exclusive club. This means no Hells Angels member should take part in the activities of another gang — be it a rival group or an ally.
Site Developers Must Ask for Permission Before Linking
While other websites revel in backlinking opportunities to boost their reputations, the Hells Angels organization does not. For this motorcycle group, their image is far more important than gaining traffic on the web. This is why you need written consent from the group before you’re allowed to link to its site.
Once Someone’s an Angel, He’s Always an Angel
Another unique thing about the Hells Angels community is the fact that no member can ever retire. That is, you’re a Hells Angels member for life, no matter how old you get. If you found the steps towards completing the membership requirement challenging and strenuous, then you’ll see any attempt to quit the Hells Angels club is even more difficult.
There’s No Apostrophe
Grammar gurus have been itching to correct the name of the group for years. Interestingly, this was intentional. The Hells Angels website says, "Missing apostrophe in Hells Angels? Yes, we know that there is an apostrophe missing but it is you who miss it. We don’t."
Membership Is a Privilege
The process of becoming a member requires years of dedication to the club and humble submission to the whims of its leaders. Aspiring candidates start as "hang-arounds," which refers to the people invited to select meetings or to hang out with some members. If it turns out well, a hang-around then becomes an "associate."
They Burn Tattoos Off Kicked-out Members
Image is a huge deal for the Hells Angels organization. Some people wonder how the group keeps everyone in line, especially given the personality types and backgrounds of various members. It’s simple. The Hells Angels follow a strict code of discipline.
Nobody Owns His Vest
Membership in this exclusive biker gang can bring many privileges. The sheer fear they get from the public alone encourages a number of people to join the group. This is why members proudly wear their merch even when they’re not out riding with the club.
They Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk
The first requirement of becoming a Hells Angels member is to have the right personality type. This is actually really important; it means sharing the same interests and hobbies as the other members of the group. Apart from the Hells Angels organization, groups like Bandidos MC and Outlaws MC also demand this attitude from their applicants.
No Child Molesters Are Allowed
Hells Angels members absolutely abhor child molesters. Despite their scary image and intimidating brand, the biker gang actually holds events and schedules rides for charity fairly regularly. In fact, children-oriented charity programs seem to hold a special spot among these tough riders.
They Say “No” to Racism
The Hells Angels organization decries racism and denies involvement in racial segregation. However, the biker group admits that it does have racist members, something that’s out of its control. Because the majority of members are white, other races tend to stay away from them and form their own gangs.
They Look Out for Each Other
When a potential candidate is considered for membership in the Hells Angels, the member associated with him is expected to vouch for his behavior throughout the screening process no matter how long it takes. This member must be aware of the candidate’s activities and connections; a mistake or a violation would reflect poorly on his standing as well.
The Name Has a Number
This isn’t really a rule or a bylaw. Instead, it's a pretty cool and interesting piece of trivia about the name of the Hells Angels organization. Among the members of this notorious biker gang, the club is called "HAMC." Aside from this name, the group is also internally referred to as "81."
They Don't Play Well With Others
Biker gangs — regardless of their size and notoriety — don’t play well with others. In fact, turf wars have become extremely bloody in some areas — so much so that the authorities feel powerless to control the damage. Needless to say, the Hells Angels are no different.
It’s Not Like the Movies
When Hollywood started taking an interest in the law-defying lifestyle of biker gangs, a lot of men thought it would be simple to become part of clubs like the Hells Angels. In particular, several would-be members imagined themselves living the life of Marlon Brando’s character in the 1953 classic The Wild One.