How Did the FBI Determine the Juggalos Were a Gang?
American Juggalo Screengrab
For those among you who are "down" and perhaps for those who are not, you know that much brouhaha was made by the FBI's inclusion of Juggalos -- ie fans of Insane Clown Posse -- in their 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment. This, of course, put them in the same category as well-organized Mexican-helmed narco machines, Bloods, Crips, meticulously tiered Russian mafia syndicates, and the intricately ordered, centuries-old Chinese Triads and Japanese Yakuza.
But why? For what reason would a motley family of painted fans be considered a national menace? Well, thanks to the recently-fulfilled Freedom of Information Act filing made on behalf of ICP and lawsuits related to the FBI's assessment, we now know the truth. And it will shock you.
A fine glass of Faygo
Ok. It probably won't. In point of fact, what the FBI has on Juggalo Nation amounts to nothing more than a warm dish of flat diet Shasta. Behold their summary it in all its toothlessness.
While much of the document is redacted, the organization's conclusions and hard evidence comes in the form of externally produced news bits from around the country about various juggalo-perpetrated crimes.
Starting out with grand intentions -- promising the use of, "traditional and sophisticated techniques and working in partnership with local, state and federal investigators" -- the FBI agent then sent a mass email. To everyone he or she knew in national law enforcement.
The results are high comedy. One particularly enlightening section comes from the "Northeast Wisconsin Gang Assessment" which is about as amusing as having a "Central Saharan Ice Hockey Assessment." It talks about Juggalos and their menacing behavior in Sheboygan, which may or may not include (gasp) marijuana cigarettes. Sheboygan, for the record, hosts the country's largest bratwurst eating contest. Seems like synergy more than anything else.
Many of the articles cited as sources rely on hearsay and blind conjecture. Hilariously, and apropos of nothing, hand-written in the margins are the words "child porn / murder." The report even includes a printout of the article's online comments section -- clearly the font of not only intelligent discourse but rational, empirical evidence, right?
An article from the Seattle Times contends that, "Sheriff's Detective Jake Pavlovich wrote in his report that Juggalo gang members typically wear suits and fedora-style hats to identify themselves as members." Uh, guys, I think you're confusing this assailant with the long-since squashed Chicago Outfit.
The preponderance of weasel words in these small-town news articles is flabbergasting. In an undated article there's another phenomenal quote, "While the majority of ICP fans, who call themselves Juggalos, are in gangs, some criminal sects have formed." There is no evidence provided to back-up this statement.
Juggalos of Yore Were Also Oppressed By the State
Sure, there's a good list of dumbass dudes who have done dumbass things while wearing ICP logos, including the well-reported trial of two homeless Seattle men (apparently ICP fans) who murdered another over a wrestling match. Left out of the report was the murder suicide case of Jacob D. Robida, another ICP fan.
Interesting to note: Juggalos in California are apparently at war with the massive MS-13, one of the the world's most dangerous and feared gangs. The FBI suspects that the Juggalos are "holding their own against them." Hmmmm.
American Juggalo Screengrab
We would love to see what the FBI has on rabid fans of other media juggernauts. We're certain that Glee fans could be accused of a crime or two. Shit, we're willing to bet that Twilight fans have stolen a candy bar or some Manic Panic. Don't get us started on Bronies. Can the government please check those guys out? We've got a hunch they're into something far more sinister than combing plastic equine hair.
To the 'lo's and 'lettes, now that the truth is out, you can stand proud, homies. Turns out you're not a national threat -- the investigation ended in May. And remember, "the Gathering doesn't stop, you do."
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