знаю, что на английском, но статейка крайне полезная! если кто переведет - отдельный респект и уважуха
материал посвящен конкретно MC-клубам, их идее, структуре.
From time to time, there is found to be some confusion about the reasons for prospecting, and, what prospecting is supposed to accomplish. In some cases this "purpose" may not even be clear to the Prospect himself.
This text was, therefore, put together to give you a clearer understanding of where you stand in the eyes of the Club and what will be expected of you. It will also give you a sense of the level of commitment that will be required for you to earn and to keep your Patch.
Once you understand the scope of the task you are undertaking, you should examine your feelings and question your motivations for wanting to become a part of this Brotherhood.
Be certain that you are both willing and able to commit yourself to the level that will be required.
Be certain that your family understands the demands that the Club will make on your time, AND, that those demands will continue to an even greater extent once you become a Patch Holder. There are many veteran's organizations, touring clubs, and motorcycle associations that expect, and receive, only casual participation - This Club is not one of them.
If after reading these remaining pages you have any doubt about being able to meet the responsibilities outlined, it would be better not to consider moving forward at this time. Instead, continue your association with the Club in your present status until you feel you are ready and are confident of your success. Such a decision would be respected and would be to your credit.
WHAT IS AN M/C --
The intention of this section is to give you an overview of the structure and philosophy of the traditional motorcycle club (M/C). In some cases, this does not necessarily describe all MC's, as all motorcycle clubs differ on some points. It will be left to your sponsor to explain those particular differences where they may apply to our Club. This section is given considerable space as it is important that you understand the perspectives of some of the other clubs that you will be associating with from time to time.
If your life-style is influenced by motorcycles, you are part of the motorcycle community. Of all the types of organizations found within that community, the motorcycle club stands apart and ranks highest in stature. A serious M/C commands respect for one, or both, of two reasons:
1. Those who are informed recognize the deep level of personal commitment and self-discipline that a man has to demonstrate and sustain in order to wear a Patch. So much so that it is akin to being a full-time profession for the individual. They realize that a club's Colors are closely guarded and the membership process is long and difficult. All else put aside, you have to respect the man for what he has accomplished by being able to earn and keep the Patch he wears.
2. Those who are less informed see only the surface of things. They see the vigilance of mutual support - the potential danger of invoking a response from a well-organized unit that travels in numbers and are always prepared for confrontation. They know that no one can provoke one club member without being answerable to the entire club, and that such an answer is a point of honor that must come, to the last man. The type of respect that this generates is one that is born out of fear.
The serious motorcycle club will conduct itself publicly in a highly professional manner. They will not go out of their way to cause trouble or to present themselves as an intimidating force, without purpose or provocation. Their respect is gained from both of the items cited above.
There are many lesser clubs whose membership is made up of equally lesser individuals. These clubs, without a continual show of strength, would have no respect at all. The majority of these types of clubs are short lived, however. The general public does not draw a distinction between different club colors. If one club causes a problem that touches the public sector, the offending club's identity is either confused or ignored, and heat comes down to suppress all clubs. As a result of this, within a given community, motorcycle clubs will tend to police themselves.
There is also a natural hierarchy that is recognized between motorcycle clubs themselves. The strongest and most established club will assume charge of the particular State in which they ride. This dominant club will, for reasons that are beneficial to all, authorize the establishment of new clubs within the state; will disband clubs that cause continual problems; will act as mediators to resolve problems between existing clubs; will step in and enforce their own solution if the feuding clubs cannot come to terms on their own; will provide communication links and coordinate inter club events; will call on the clubs within a state for additional support if needed when dealing with a threatening external force.
It is also not uncommon for the major club of an area to select some of their prospects from the best of the ranks of the other clubs. In fact, some clubs have been established with this sole purpose in mind. If it were not for the major club of a State taking this leadership position, clubs would not enjoy the luxury of putting their time and resources to the benefit of their individual brotherhoods. Nor would they enjoy the mobility and freedom of movement that comes with peace and order.
Within the motorcycle club itself, officers are elected to the traditional posts of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Sergeant-of-Arms, etc. In addition, you will find the less traditional posts of Road Captain, Enforcer, and War Lord. The Road Captain is responsible for the logistics of effectively moving the club from point "A" to point "B". The Enforcer answers only to the President and sees that the President's orders are carried out. He will also be the one who travels if a problem has to be addressed at a distance. The War Lord is in charge of tactics and strategies in time of stress.. In some instances he is also responsible for the club's security issues. In most clubs the positions of War Lord and Enforcer are combined and may carry the name of either.
Given this limited background information, let us now turn our attention to the individual Patch Holder and how he views his club.
In most cases the Patch Holder was a Hang Around for the club for at least a year. Before that he was a long standing acquaintance and his attitude and overall conduct was well known. He then Prospected for the club for one to two years before he was awarded his Patch.
Of all things in this man's life his loyalty and commitment to the well being of his club comes first - above family, friends, job, personal possessions, and personal safety. There is never, ever, any doubt or time spent on even considering which comes first. The only thing that approaches his commitment to the club, is his commitment to his brothers. But even here, the interests of the club always come before that of the individual. He knows that his family can walk out on him without a seconds notice; he can lose his job overnight; and even good, close friends come and go with time. But, his club and his brothers will always be there for him. It is one of the few, if not the only thing that can be counted on. He knows this because he, himself, is committed to always being there for them.
To, be certain that this ethic and standard of attitude is carried by new members, he participates in conditioning, educating, and at times testing, the club's Prospects. The term Prospect comes from "prospective member". As such, before he allows another man to wear his Colors, as a symbol of their mutual commitment, he will feel certain that the new member brings with him the same loyalty and dedication that he himself displays.
He has the attitude that there are two types of people in the world: His brothers, and, those who are a potential threat to the club. For this reason he will not discuss club-related business, membership numbers, the club's movements, or personal information about his brothers, with anyone outside the club.
Anything that could possibly be used by anyone to piece together an informative picture of the club is a very serious security issue. For this reason he will choose carefully the subject and content of casual conversation. He will be aware of how loudly he speaks in public when discussing club business and will view with suspicion anyone that appears to move within ear-shot.
He understands that he is a Patch Holder 24 hours a day. If he is wearing his colors or not is of no consequence. The day that he accepted his patch, he surrendered the luxury of having a personal public opinion. Everything that he does and says in public is taken to be the entire club's position or attitude. He can no longer settle personal differences without involving his club.
Regardless of his personal feelings, he will agree with and fully support his brother's actions and words in public. If a hand is raised to his brother he is committed to participating in neutralizing the threat without delay; whether the odds are 10-to-1 or 1-to-10. He accepts the fact that wearing a patch carries responsibilities that effect the lives of a lot of people in and outside of his club. He also accepts the fact that if he, himself, gets out of line in the club's eyes, that he is subject to being counseled by his brothers, for his own good and for the good of the club.
Wearing a patch is more than getting together for good times. It is also getting together in bad times. It constitutes a lot of work. It is committing yourself to a lifestyle in which you do not look for how your brothers might help you, but, for ways in which you can be of help to your brothers. You always look to give, but never expect to receive.
Now all of this may sound very idealistic to you, and in some cases it is just that. But, it is an ideal that all clubs profess and are always striving to achieve in principle and practice.
In closing, you should be aware of a "Golden Rule" of conduct that you should bear in mind while traveling in club circles:
"If you give respect, you will get respect. --
If you act like an :cus:, you will be treated like an :cus:."
It is important that you understand that it is the Patch Holders that run the Club, not the Club's Officers. This may seem a moot point to some but it cannot be overstressed.
Officers are elected to act as the central spokesmen of the Club and to perform various logistical tasks. But, they do not run the Club. When they speak or act on Club matters, it is in a manner that they believe the majority of the membership would agree upon if a quick spot vote were to be taken. If an Officer cannot second-guess the membership's consensus in various matters, then he is out of touch with his brothers' feelings and will step down; voluntarily or by force.
This is a critical point because the strongest and most representative form of rule is one in which the leadership comes from the bottom up. The figureheads of the Club are in place to merely carry out the wishes of the membership.
If things were the other way around and the leadership was continually dictated down the chain of command, a sense of apathy and non-involvement would eventually settle in. If this were to happen the individual Patch Holder would have no intuitive sense of his Club's direction and would hesitate when he feels that he should act in the best interest of the Club. He would adopt an attitude of "wait and see" or "somebody else will do it.". Having little or no say in what is going on destroys a man's motivation to get involved, or to voice his opinion. It will also drain his feelings of unity and oneness, in thought and action, with his brothers. Without such unity a brotherhood is nothing.
Remember that the strength of a brotherhood rests with the membership at the bottom of the chain of command and is passed up. This is why aggressive participation is such a prized quality that is expected from the Patch Holder, and is looked for in the Prospect.
LEVELS OF COMMITMENT --
When a man has earned his patch it does not mean that he has reached a goal and from that point can just kick-back and coast.
Moving from Hang Around, to Prospect, to Patch Holder is not climbing from one level to the next. Instead, progressing through the Club is like moving up an ascending slope, and in time becoming a stronger and more committed brother.
A man's Prospecting rocker, and later his Patch, are merely presented in recognition of what he has demonstrated along the way. In this fashion, the more senior that a Patch Holder is in the Club, and the more that he experiences, the more of a brother he should be to all.
PURPOSE OF PROSPECTING --
Prospecting is not an initiation as you would find in a fraternity. It is instead a period of training that is sustained until the Prospect, in every sense, conducts himself as a Patch Holder.
It is a time in which:
• The man's attitude is conditioned so that he displays a sense of responsibility and respect towards the Patch Holders of the Club, without which, he will not develop a sense of brotherhood.
• He is educated in basic M/C protocol and etiquette.
• He is given the time to develop the habits that are basic to security and good communication.
• To get the man into the habit of participating.
• To give the man's family time to adjust to the demands of the Club.
• To experience and to learn an essential degree of humility.
• To become acclimated to trusting the judgement, at times blindly, of those Patch Holders who will some day be his brothers.
• To break the man of habits and attitudes that are self-centered and self-serving.
The list could go on but the point here is to demonstrate that Prospecting has definite objectives, and that a Prospect will go nowhere in the Club if he is not aware of this and does not apply himself to those ends.
It is not possible to make a checklist of what is expected from a Prospect in all cases. There is no formula for success. However, it can be said that the key ingredient is ATTITUDE. Everything else can be learned in time, but a man's attitude has to come from the heart.
The testing of a prospect may come in many ways. It may be premeditated or it may be spontaneous. In any event, when a Prospect is given a task, the Patch Holder is going to be looking for the man's attitude and at the spirit in which he carries it out. The Prospect should be alert and attentive to the needs and comforts of the Patch Holders. He should be aggressive in always looking for more to do. If he is ever in doubt of his priorities or if he cannot find something to tend to, he should ask.
The Patch Holders know which of the Prospects hustle, and those are the Prospects that are spoken of with the greatest pride and respect. It is also the vehicle by which confidence and trust are developed. These, then, are the seeds of brotherhood.
In closing, let me remind you that you will be prospecting for the Club, not just an individual Chapter. The Patch Holders of one Chapter are always held accountable for the actions of a Patch Holder in another. It is therefore only right that the Patch Holders of all Chapters have a hand in developing all Prospects, and, have a say in who wears their Patch. Although the Chapter that is closest to your place of residence is assigned the voting power over a Prospect's Patch, input to that vote will be gathered from all of the Chapters. If a brother in another Chapter has negative feelings about you, the voting Patch Holders of your home Chapter will respect and trust their brothers' judgment over any positive feelings that they may have for you. Their brother always comes first. So if you should find that a Patch Holder in another Chapter has a problem with you, it will be up to you to square things with him and keep the ball rolling.
SOME DO'S AND DON'TS --
-- As a Prospect, strive to conduct yourself as a Patch Holder at all times.
-- Always display an aggressive, positive attitude.
-- Participate more than what you think is the minimum.
-- If you should see a Patch Holder that you have not met, take the initiative to introduce yourself.
-- At a gathering, make it a point to circulate and greet every Patch Holder that is there.
-- Don't wait to be told; anticipate the Brother's needs and offer to supply them.
-- Don't get overly friendly with someone that is not a regular acquaintance of the Club. If someone has questions about the Club, refer them to a Patch Holder.
-- Never give out a Patch Holder's name, phone number, address, or any other personal information to anyone outside the Club.
-- Be security minded. Look around and see what is going on around you in public places and report anything that seems suspicious.
-- In public places, never, ever, let a Patch Holder walk off unescorted. If he is going to the men's room, to make a phone call, across a crowded bar, out to his bike or car, etc., Go with him, keep him in sight, and always be watching his back.
--If you are at an open function and pick up on some negative attitudes, especially from another club, report it immediately to a Patch Holder.
-- Keep your ears open and feed any information that you may pick up to a Patch Holder, especially information regarding other clubs.
-- Remember that you are a prospect for the Club 24 hours a day. Your association with the club does not go on and off with your vest.
-- Remember that you are every Patch Holder's Prospect, not just your sponsor's, or your Chapter's, or your State's.
-- If two or more Patch Holders are having a private discussion do not approach them within ear-shot, especially if they are engaged in discussion with a Patch Holder of another club. If you need to interrupt, put yourself in a line of visibility and
wait to be acknowledged. If it is important that you interrupt, ask another Patch Holder to break in for you.
-- Never, ever, use the term "outlaw club" when speaking to a member of another club.
-- Never, ever, lie to a member of another club about anything. If you are in a situation that you are asked something about the Club or its membership, it is totally acceptable to say that the subject touches on Club business and you really can't talk about it. If that doesn't put it to rest make the offer to find a Patch Holder for him to speak with.
-- Always show respect to the Patch Holders of other clubs. In the M/C community a Patch Holder is a Patch Holder, and a Prospect is a Prospect. Even if a man is in another club he has earned his patch, you haven't.
-- Never, ever, establish what you think is a personal friendship with a member or associate of another club. Don't be naive and believe that you can separate your personal life from your Club life, nor that such a move on their part is not without purpose. Their club and their brothers come first, as should yours. Be on your guard as this sort of positioning occurs frequently.
-- Always carry a note pad and pen.
-- Frequently ask the Patch Holders how you are doing and if you should be doing anything differently.
-- Never, ask when you may be getting your patch.
-- Never, ever, call a Patch Holder "brother".
-- Never, ever call a Patch Holder of another club "brother".
-- Your patch is earned. It is not "given" to you.
-- Never bring a personal friend or a stranger into the presence of Patch Holders without getting permission to do so first.
-- At an open function, never turn your back to a Patch Holder of another club. This is not so much for reasons of personal safety, but it is a method for showing a lack of respect for the Patch Holder and his Club.
-- Show respect and courtesy to Patch Holders of other clubs but don't (please) come across like you want to be buddy-buddy. Be professional about such encounters; keep it short-and-sweet, then move along.
-- Keep away from women that you have seen associating with other clubs.
--Never, ever, be quick to walk up and greet a Patch Holder of another club in a public setting. Even if you have met the man before or your clubs are on friendly terms. If you want to greet the man approach him slowly and wait for him to give an indication that he wants such a public display to take place. He may be on club business or may not want to give the general public the impression that the two clubs are on such friendly terms. So if it looks like he is going to ignore you, ignore him and keep your distance. The best approach though is to always wait for them to come to you, and to let everyone else see that.
-- Understand what the different parts of our patch represent and what the various color combinations represent.
-- If you are out riding with some friends, do not wear your Prospecting rocker unless you fully intend to ride in the position of honor at the front of the pack.
In closing, refer to this paper from time to time. As you gain experience with the Club you will begin to see the importance of some of the points it is intended to make.
Although no amount of writing can convey all that you will need to know it is hoped that this will at least help you get off on the right foot.