Members and supporters of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club have been flaming this site for the last two weeks.
It isn’t the first time this has happened. The Aging Rebel’s coverage of the murders of John Lindeman and Brad Lutzow in Phoenix in February 2009 infuriated members of the Sober Riders Motorcycle Club as well. Although the tenor of the Iron Order complaints this time around has made the Sober Riders look like a convention of professional diplomats.
Many of the Iron Order comments have trashed Zach Tipton’s memory. One particularly memorable argument was that Tipton should have brought more than his fists to a gunfight. Over and over commenters have protested this page’s description of the homicide as a “murder.” The Iron Order supporters have replied that Tipton was shot by the still unidentified Iron Order prospect in the side of the head in “self-defense.” Multiple commenters have editorialized that the members of the American Outlaws Association will do nothing about Tipton’s murder beause there is nothing they can do. There have been numerous attacks on the quality of the journalism displayed here. The Iron Order as a group seems to think this page is written by an amateur ape who for some inexplicable reason has decided to attack their club.
All this trash talk abruptly stopped yesterday when, apparently, the Iron Order leadership became the last people in the world to know that an Iron Order “Member Directory” has been circulating for about two weeks. The roster lists the name, road name, chapter, address, phone number, email address and region of virtually all 3,816 Iron Order members and prospects from “Beer” Robinson to “ZZ Top” Carwhile. This page has used a copy of the directory to identify commenters.
Curiously, the member directory also notices which of its members are authorized to carry a firearm. For example, Ray “Izod” Lubesky, an International Officer of the club who lives in Valrico, Florida is authorized to carry. It strikes this page that this is a curious thing for a “law abiding motorcycle club” to catalog. Especially a law abiding club that actively provokes conflicts with all the “criminal” clubs. At the least, that suggests premeditated self defense. Which tortures the concept of self defense as Bill Clinton once tortured the concept of “is.”
The Iron Order Is An OMG
A lot of the Iron Order membership’s ire directed at this page has swirled around this page’s reporting of a fairly brief passage from an ATF report dated July 1, 2014. The lede to that story read, “Although the Iron Order Motorcycle Club continues to advertise itself as a ‘law abiding motorcycle club’ the ATF is now categorizing it as an ‘outlaw motorcycle gang.’”
The exact passage quoted in the report follows:
“In southern and central Maryland, the Iron Horsemen MC is furious that the Iron Order continues to don a three-piece patch. In the past 2 months, there have been several bloody confrontations between the two. On February 28, 2014, both were involved in a melee at a strip club in Baltimore. Iron Horsemen members were equipped with bats, knives, MagLite flashlights and hammers. Even though nobody was killed, both OMGs suffered major injuries. One week later, as three Iron Order members were idling at a red light in Prince George’s County, they were viciously attacked by several car loads of suspected Iron Horsemen members. Two of the three Iron Order members were severely beaten with bats, ax handles and crow bars. The assailants were not wearing colors or indicia that depicted they were Iron Horsemen members, supporters or associates.
“The Iron Order is one of the fastest growing motorcycle clubs in the United States. Members wear a traditional three-piece patch with a State bottom rocker. The fact that they wear the State bottom rocker has infuriated the HAMC, Outlaws, Iron Horsemen, Pagans and Bandidos. More importantly, many of their members are police and corrections officers, active-duty military and/or government employees and contractors.
“Over the past 4 years, the Iron Order has had several violent confrontations with each of the aforementioned OMGs. Per the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), in 2013, an Iron Order member was run off the road by a Bandidos member. In Clarksville, Kentucky, the Iron Order and Outlaws have been involved in several violent altercations. On May 14, 2011, HAMC South Carolina Nomads member William Sosebee stabbed an Iron Order member outside a bar in South Carolina. Despite the violence, they continue to move into territory controlled by one of the Dominant Seven.”
The passage was quoted accurately and the sentences that substantiate the lede are:
“Even though nobody was killed, both OMGs suffered major injuries.”
“More importantly, many of their members are police and corrections officers, active-duty military and/or government employees and contractors.”
Belt Drive Betty
Mostly, the criticism of this page has demanded that The Aging Rebel prove that the Iron Order is an OMG or outlaw motorcycle gang. Which is how a biker blogger (photo above) named “Belt Drive Betty” entered this information war yesterday.
Betty had previously written an undated Valentine to the Iron Order. You can read that blog entry here.
Yesterday, Betty published an entry titled “Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs & OMGs, attempting to get at the truth” in which she remarks, “The Iron Order MC has been on the receiving end of much wrath on the Aging Rebel blog.”
The Aging Rebel thinks Betty should at least identify this site correctly. Belt Drive Betty writes a blog on a blog site called “blogspot.com.” The Aging Rebel is a news site published from two independent servers.
Betty sniffs, “There have been articles written by the Aging Rebel (sic) that make claims that this situation was somehow a murder.”
Belt Drive Betty and others should also note that the indefinite article “The” is part of the name of this site. It is The Aging Rebel, like it is The Associated Press.
Betty then attacks the journalism on this page as follows:
“Because of one of his recent articles Feds Talk About The Iron Order, where in the Aging Rebel claims that the Iron Order are (sic) now labeled (sic) an OMG by the ATF, I made a number of calls to the ATF and finally got through to a representative at the Public Affairs Office to have the referenced report verified.
“The gentleman I spoke to spent several days looking into this report and the veracity of the information on the Aging Rebel Blog (sic) with regards to this report.
“Here is what this spokesperson told me: The report that the Aging Rebel refers to and quotes from is a 40 page unclassified report.
“The spokesperson is not sure how the Aging Rebel came to be in possession of an emailed report that is meant for law enforcement personnel only. It is not meant for public consumption.
“The spokesperson also told me that the snippet that appeared on the Aging Rebel Blog was taken out of context in terms of the greater report and that the writer of the report made a small mistake in how the 2 groups were designated in his description of an altercation between an OMG and the OMC.
“He also expressed that the ATF does not designate who is an OMG and who is not, they simply deal with the violence that erupts as a result of the presence of any gang be they motorcycle related or street.
“He verified with other agencies that the Iron Order MC is NOT deemed to be an OMG.
“If you want to verify what I am writing here, you can do exactly as I did, call the Office of Public Affairs for the ATF at (202) 648-8500.”
You can read Belt Drive Betty’s most recent blog entry here.
The Aging Rebel stands by its coverage of the Tipton murder.