America's thirst for an inside look at an outlaw motorcycle gang was temporarily quenched by the Sons of Anarchy series, which aired on FX. Riding that tide of popularity in everything motorcycle, a new mini-series is set to air on the History Channel on February 24, 10PM Eastern Time. Unlike the documentary style exposé series that use archival news footage of motorcycle clubs, this new series is based on a book about ATF undercover agent, Charles Falco, entitled "Vagos, Mongols, and Outlaws: My Infiltration of America's Deadliest rider Gangs."
After reading the reviews posted by the History Channel, one gets the feeling they are about to enter the dark and mysterious world of rider gangs as told by an agent of the ATF, Charles Falco, one of the good guys. Ashley Charles Wyatt, aka Charles Falco, the undercover agent, is anything but a good guy say some. A convicted drug dealer and meth cooker, he auctioned himself off to various law enforcement agencies, in an effort to atone for his sins, until he got a bite. He eventually became a protegé of none other than ATF agent Darrin Kozlowski, who some club members consider a psychopath and accuse him of criminal activities while wearing a badge. Kozlowski was a central figure in Operation Black Diamond, an undercover operation that was aimed at the Outlaws MC in Virginia.
Anyway, what is it that makes these programs so undeniably attractive to a multitude of viewers across the country? Sons of Anarchy ratings were through the roof. Pure fiction to anyone who is involved in the true sub-culture of motorcycle clubs, and admittingly so by most of the other people who publicly owned up to watching the series. Yet week after week, they tuned in. Unfortunately, some people actually believed that the program accurately depicted motorcycle clubs, or gangs, as law enforcement and the media would label any group with a patch on their back.
That affection and facination over motorcycle clubs and their members was best described by the Aging Rebel, as he stated, "No one wants to defend them, no one wants to know them, no one in his right mind even wants to stand next to one of them lest they get blown up, but very many men want to be them." Be them, or at least dress like them and pretend to be them on weekends.
In his book, Still Life with Woodpecker, Tom Robbins romanticized the outlaw when he said, "The trite mythos of the outlaw; the self-conscious romanticism of the outlaw; the black wardrobe of the outlaw; the fey smile of the outlaw; the tequila of the outlaw and the beans of the outlaw; respectable men sneer and say 'outlaw'; young women palpitate and say 'outlaw'."
So what can we expect from the History Channel's Gangland Undercover series in February? I suspect more Hollywood hyperbole with a law enforcement slant toward perpetuating the evilness of these domestic terrorists, brought to you through the eyes of a meth dealer, gone Christian, and now looking for another payout after book sales have dwindled.
If you care to read a hardcore critique of Falco's book, albeit slanted on the side of riders, check out the link below to the Aging Rebel's review. His writing is so much more entertaining and believeble than the ramblings of a felonious undercover ATF agent.