We concluded Part Two with an explanation of how the Hells Angels had expanded to their current membership numbers during the last fifty years. There are estimated to be between two and two and half thousand full members worldwide, which may not sound like a great number. However this only takes into account the full members; the list of requirements and initiation procedures is lengthy and means that many more would be members are constantly in the queue for membership.
Basic requirements are simple: a motorbike license, be male, have a working bike, must not be a child molester and must not have applied for jobs in the police or the prison service.
The process for membership then begins and the prospective Hells Angels must first be a Hang Around, during this phase he will attend the occasional club event and be admitted to known hangouts.
The next phase is that of Associate and during this period the prospect and the relevant Hells Angels club will agree that both parties want him to become a member. He will spend the next year or two participating in some events while building friendships and trust among members.
This is followed by a stage where he becomes a Prospect, a length of time during which he continues to attend selected events while his suitability for full membership is evaluated by the club. During this phase he will still not have voting privileges.
The final stage is of course that of Full Member, also known as Full Patch which refers to the complete set of badges a member is given as a Full Member. This level of membership is usually only conferred after the prospect as visited all the charters in the region to introduce himself to the members there. This level of membership can be hard to obtain as even a single dissenting vote among current members can mean rejection. If a Full Member ever leaves, the badges will be returned to the club.
Part Four follows….