Pagan’s MC history
Pagan’s MC, or simply the Pagans, is an outlaw motorcycle gang (OMG). The Pagans are categorized as an outlaw motorcycle club by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It is one of the big four OMGs. They are the Pagan’s MC, Hell’s Angels. Bandidos MC, and the Outlaws MC.
Founding of the club
The Pagans were founded in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in 1959 by Lou Dobkin. He became the first President of the Pagan’s motorcycle club.
Initially, the group consisted of 13 members. Unlike other OMGs, they originally wore blue denim jackets with embroidered insignia and rode Triumph motorcycles. Over the years, they shifted their motorcycle preference to Harley-Davidsons. Today, they are mostly seen to adhere to how a typical 1%er MC operates.
Pagan’s MC over the years
Initially not a very violent group, they became more “outlaw-like” around 1965. During this time, they got a lot of new members. It was around this time it adopted the outlaw motorcycle mentality, collectively known as the “one-percenters.”
It was also during the 1960s that the Pagans adopted a formal constitution and formed a governing structure. They started the practice of choosing a national president who was paid the same amount as the United States president.
The Pagans quickly became dominant in the mid-Atlantic region. They were the only large OMC in that region as well as a large portion of the northeast United States. They were tied to traditional organized crime, including La Cosa Nostra, in cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New York.
The 1970s saw even more significant growth in their numbers, especially after John “Satan” Marron became the President. John Marron was the leader of the Sons of Satan MC who went on to become the Pagans’ President.
During the 1990s, the Pagans began expanding into Florida and west, with chapters beyond the Mississippi River. Their numbers grew as they absorbed smaller OMCs or patched over from other chapters or clubs.
Today, the Pagans have a strong presence on the east coast but have expanded west as well. While there are speculations of chapters in Europe, till now, the MC is present officially only in the United States.
Possible expansion beyond the US?
The Pagans considered expanding to Canada after the Quebec Biker War. This was considered one of the deadliest biker conflicts in modern history. The conflict began in 1994 and lasted until approximately 2002.
The Quebec Biker War was primarily fought between the Hells Angels MC and The Rock Machine MC – a Canadian motorcycle club. So, the Pagans considered linking up with the Rock Machine MC but ultimately decided not to.
Club colors and patch
The official patch of the Pagans features the primordial fire-giant Surtr (or Surtur) from Norse mythology, sitting on the sun and wielding a sword. Above Surtr is the word “Pagan’s,” and below it is “MC,” both of which are written in red, white, and blue.
Unlike other One Percenter motorcycle clubs, the Pagans do not include their chapter on their insignia. It is believed that they intentionally omit this information in order to prevent law enforcement officers from knowing which chapter they belong to. Instead, they have an “East Coast” written on the insignia.
The Pagans also claim to have invented and adopted the 1%er patch, referencing the newspaper articles of the 1960s.
Reportedly, many Pagans Motorcycle Club members also wear Nazi and other white supremacist patches. In fact, the Pagans have many other patches with symbolism on their vests. Among these patches is the 1% diamond patch, the number 13, or the number 5 patch (indicating nazi affiliation).
You can see why the Pagans chose Surtr for their patch. He’s considered the one who shall end the world during Ragnarok. He is also one of two “supreme evils” of the old Scandinavian myths.
Fun fact: The image of Surtr was taken from an illustration by Jack Kirby in issue 97 of the Atlas comic book Journey into Mystery. Get it on Amazon.
If you have also watched the Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok, Surtr is the gigantic being that Thor fights and defeats at the beginning of the movie.
This is not a surprise as the movie is an homage to Jack Kirby and his style of illustration and design.
You can stream or buy the movie on Amazon. You can also stream it on Disney Plus and AppleTV.
The Pagans do not have an official motto, but they often wear the number 4 patch, which signifies the motto “Live and Die .”This is seen as the semi-official motto.
Inner workings of the club
The Pagans operate in a rigid, hierarchical group. They are always ruled by an official ruling council/mother club with structured governing regulations and presidents. It is believed that there are always 13 national leaders as well as chapter presidents.
Weekly meetings at every Pagan MC are considered a compulsory part of all memberships. Some even call them “church .”In these meetings, everyone wears NUNYA patches (short for NUN of YA Freaking Business).
Who is part of the current leadership?
Robert’ Big Bob’ Francis is believed to be the current leader of the Pagans. He was chosen by the ex-president, Keith ‘Conan’ Richter, to take over. Richter was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison in 2021 after being caught in possession of a firearm. Source
Which states and countries are they in?
From their original group of 13 members, the Pagans expanded rapidly in the 1960s. They are believed to be active in about 13 states of the United States, mostly along the east coast. You can find chapters in Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and more.
Officials believe that the MC has about 1500+ members nationally. But the number is most probably far less than the actual membership. OMGs do not give out such information lightly. And considering the notorious reputation the Pagans hold, it is highly likely that official estimates only scratch the surface.
Their “Mother Club” is never in a fixed location, but it has been generally located in the northeast.
Another aspect of the Pagans that is different from other OMGs, such as Hells Angels, is that they do not publicly showcase their chapter clubhouses. Other clubs have HQs that often have signs that proudly show which MC it belongs to. But not the Pagans.
The notoriety of the club
The Pagans are infamous for being the most vicious and violent OMG. The FBI once dubbed them “the most violent criminal organization in America.”
Unlike most other OMGs, violence is an open and explicit part of the club’s operation. For example. the OMG’s national sergeant-at-arms is responsible for choosing 13 members to serve as “Enforcers” or “Regulators.” These members use intimidation and violence to shut down all and any opposition to the Mother Club.
Many members are also known to have fascist or racist views, and some wear patches that reflect such beliefs. Even disputes among members themselves can end on a violent note.
What do law enforcement agencies say about them?
The Pagans are categorized as an outlaw motorcycle club by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). They are notorious for fighting against other motorbike communities, especially HAMC (Hells Angel Motorbike Club).
The Pagans have been accused of racketeering, dealing in narcotics, weapons trafficking, and violent crime. Officials say that the Pagans deal in the trafficking of cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine.
Officials also say that Pagan’s members nationwide have allegedly participated in bombings, shootings, felonious assaults, and homicides.
All these and more have given the Pagans a reputation as the most fierce 1 %er motorcycle club on the planet. This is despite the MC being smaller than, say, the HAMC or the Outlaws.
It is also believed that the Pagans are loosely associated with the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist organization.
Criminal activities they are associated with.
- In 2002, 73 Pagans confronted members of the Hells Angels at the Hellraiser Ball in Long Island, New York. A fight ensued, which resulted in a slew of injuries and the death of a Pagan. A member of the Hells Angels was charged with the death of the Pagans member. Police also seized 500 guns, knives, bats, ax handles, and other, more exotic weapons, along with a large amount of cocaine in this incident. Source
- In 2005, Thomas Wood, the VP of the Hells Angels Philadelphia chapter, was killed by unknown assailants. The police suspected the Pagans to be behind the crime, although it remains unsolved. Source
- On December 9, 2020, a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh indicted 30 members and associates of the Pagans Motorcycle Club with narcotics trafficking and firearm possession. Source
- In June 2021, two Pagans members, Luis Arocho, and Maurice Guzman, were charged by law enforcement in New Jersey. They were charged with aggravated assault on a member of the HAMC in April 2018. Source.
Additionally, these arrests (above) were the latest in a long-running investigation into the illegal activities of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club by law enforcement.
- In October 2022, Deric “Tuna” McGuire, the leader of the Pagans in Rhode Island, was sentenced to serve ten years in prison on illegal gun and drug charges. He was convicted after an investigation by the Rhode Island State Police in 2017 and 2018 into outlaw motorcycle gangs, known as “Operation Patched Out.” Source
- In February 2023, Christopher Lamar Baker, 49, a Raleigh-based national leader of the Pagan’s MC, was sentenced today to 900 months in prison. He was convicted in September 2022 for drug trafficking, firearm, and money laundering charges. This operation also involved other Pagan’s MC members.
Baker was a “13” in the Pagans Motorcycle Club prior to his arrest in November 2021. “13” means that he was one of only thirteen national leaders of the Pagans in the United States.
Relationships with the other 1% MCs
The Pagans are known for their fierce and often violent rivalry with the Hells Angels (HAMC). But it’s not smooth sailing with other MCs, either. Their violent reputation precedes them everywhere they go.
Who are they rivals with?
They are fierce rivals of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC). It is not known exactly when the two MCs started their feud, but it is believed it was around the late 90s that their rivalry ramped up.
They have since then had numerous violent clashes and brawls over the years. And members on both sides have gone to prison over it.
The Pagans have also clashed with other MCs, such as the Bandidos. Source. It is also rivals with the Avengers MC, Breed MC, and Demon Knights MC (a HAMC support club).
Which other MCs do they ally with?
The Pagan’s ally with the Sons of Satan MC and Thunderguards MC. Some reports indicate that they also ally with the Mongols Nation, who are also rivals of HAMC. But this is not confirmed.
What kind of members do they accept, and the kind of motorcycles do they ride?
Members of the Pagans must be at least 21 years of age. Only white males are accepted. But since Keith “Conan” Richter became President in 2018, they have been known to admit the occasional Latino member. But black people are still not allowed to join.
Members must also own a Harley Davidson motorcycle with a 900 cc engine or larger. A member’s jacket is one of his most prized possessions, and he must not lose it.
Women cannot join the MC as members. Partners, wives, or girlfriends are referred to as the “property” of the male members. However, investigations into the inner workings of the Pagans have found women were involved in trafficking drugs and essential information for the gang.
How to join?
As is the case with most OMGs, joining the Pagans is not easy. Men interested in becoming members of an MC are known as prospects. Prospects must be sponsored by a current MC member and must do everything members ask. But if a member asks a prospect to do something, that member must be willing to do the same.
You must also prove that you are trustworthy and loyal. Only once that has been proven will you get to join. And even then, initiation rites can be brutal in many ways, and they can include the classic “beatdown.”
Can you quit being a member of the Pagans?
Yes. While it is not easy, it is possible. You must remove your tattoos, pay exit fees (about $2000), and forfeit your motorbike ownership. In some scenarios, you might also have to leave town.
However, if you are quitting to join another MC, that may not be taken very kindly. Rumors have it that if an ex-Pagan joins the HAMC, death may be just around the corner!
Any famous past or present members
Wayne “Big Chuck” Bradshaw
Wayne Bradshaw has led quite an extraordinary life. He is the only outlaw biker in history to become a sworn police officer. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, Bradshaw enlisted in the US Army as a teen but returned home disillusioned. He then joined the Pagan’s MC and became the sergeant-at-arms for the Sandy Hook Pagans.
As the violence grew ever more intense, Bradshaw realized he had to get out. Despite the danger to his life, he quit the MC and joined the Middletown, New Jersey, police force. He became an undercover police officer in the fight against drugs. He was also one of the earliest volunteers at the World Trade Center during the events surrounding 9/11.
He wrote a book about his experiences called Jersey Tough: My Wild Ride from Outlaw Biker to Undercover Cop. Get the book on Amazon.
How are they perceived as compared to other 1%ers
Pagan’s MC is one of the four big Big 4 one percenter motorcycle clubs, along with the Hells Angels MC, Bandidos MC, and Outlaws MC. But they are second to none when it comes to their reputation for violence.
How do other MCs see them?
Considering their penchant for violence, the MC has made many enemies over the years. For example, the Pagans have a fierce rivalry with HAMC. It isn’t all rainbows and sunshine for the MC.
List of support clubs/auxiliary clubs
Sons of Satan MC
Known locally as The Sons, this MC is a support club for the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club. It was founded in 1949 and incorporated in 1954 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, by returning World War II veterans.
The club was eventually taken over by John’ Satan’ Marron, who later became the National President of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club. Today, the members of Sons of Satan wear a P on their vests in a show of support for the Pagans.
Another support club of the Pagans, this piece of information might come as a surprise. Why? It is an all-black outlaw motorcycle club.
The Thunderguards Motorcycle Club was founded in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1965. Today, it has chapters in Delaware, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Presence in pop culture
- Riding with Evil: Taking Down the Notorious Pagan Motorcycle Gang by Ken Croke and Dave Wedge. This is a fast-paced, high-wire act memoir from former ATF agent Ken Croke. He is the first federal agent in history to go undercover and successfully infiltrate the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club.
The memoir describes how Croke, over two years, created a fake identity, won the bikers’ confidence, secretly recorded their meetings, and witnessed their violent crimes. He even spent several days in jail on a gun arrest. His cover was never blown despite some suspicion. Get this thrilling memoir on Amazon.
- Jersey Tough: My Wild Ride from Outlaw Biker to Undercover Cop by Wayne Bradshaw and Douglas P. Love. This book is about Bradshaw, the only patch-wearing outlaw biker to become a sworn police officer ― and live to tell his tale. Get the book on Amazon.
- Prodigal Father, Pagan Son: Growing Up Inside the Dangerous World of the Pagans Motorcycle Club by Anthony “LT” Menginie and Kerrie Droban. This book explores the story of Anthony “LT” Menginie, who grew up inside the world of the Pagan’s MC. He was the son of “Mangy” Menginie, President of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, Philadelphia chapter.
Get the book on Amazon.
- The Ultimate Biker Anthology: An Introduction To Books About Motorcycle Clubs & Outlaw Bikers by Iain Parke. As the title suggests, the book talks about many OMGs, and Pagan’s MC is one of them. Amazon.
- Outlaws: Inside the Violent World of Biker Gangs by Tony Thompson. This book is the biography of ex-Outlaws MC member Daniel “Snake Dog” Boone. But it also explores the wider outlaw biker scene in the UK in the 1980s. Get it on Amazon.
The documentary series Gangland explores the different gangs and OMGs in America.Its second episode in season 4 “Devil’s Fire,” looks at the Pagan’s MC. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
Lesser known facts about the Pagan’s MC
It was reported by The Guardian that the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club is known for its strict rules regarding drug use among members. The article claimed that “the Pagans are unique among outlaw biker gangs in that they prohibit the use of hard drugs among their members.” This is not a widely known fact about the Pagan’s. (source: The Guardian)
The Pagan’s MC is definitely fascinating from an outsider’s point of view. Its violent reputation follows it wherever it goes. This reputation can also make them scary and unapproachable. Its rivalry with HAMC is also widely documented. So, if you are ever caught in the middle, just run away.