Defining Deviancy Downwards: FBI Identifies Insane Clown Posse Fans as Criminal Gang


For years, the ardent and unembarassable face-painting fans of the music group the Insane Clown Posse have been known as Juggalos.

According to the FBI's 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, they should also be known as a criminal gang.

From the report:

Juggalos' disorganization and lack of structure within their groups, coupled with their transient nature, makes it difficult to classify them and identify their members and migration patterns. many criminal Juggalo subsets are comprised of transient or homeless individuals, according to law enforcement reporting. most Juggalo criminal groups are not motivated to migrate based upon traditional needs of a gang. however, law enforcement reporting suggests that Juggalo criminal activity has increased over the past several years and has expanded to several other states. transient, criminal Juggalo groups pose a threat to communities due to the potential for violence, drug use/sales, and their general destructive and violent nature.

In years past, such people might have been called concert-goers.

It's true that the co-founder of the band, Joseph Bruce (a.k.a. Violent J) has a past involving gangs, jail, and professional wrestling. But ICP is not taking the current gang designation of their fans lying down.

Rolling Stone reports

Rappers Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope announced in August at the [annual event] Gathering of the Juggalos that they intended to sue. "We are not a gang!" the group's statement reads. "We are a family! We come together for our luv of the Insane Clown Posse, Psychopathic Records and our Juggalo pride. Can we take a fuckin' second to note that Jimmy Buffett's Parrot Heads, Lady Gaga's Little Monsters, Justin Bieber's Beliebers, the Grateful Dead's Deadheads and many more haven't been labeled as a gang?"

Insane Clown Posse has also established a website, Juggalos Fight Back, where fans who have experienced "any negative consequence with a governmental representative" can ask ICP's legal team to review their situations, at no cost, by filling out a questionnaire.

Years ago, in a far more troubled yet innocent age, the folk singer Phil Ochs improbably printed eight poems by Mao Tse-Tung on the back of his 1996 LP, Phil Ochs in Concert, asking listeners whether these were the words of the enemy.

If the FBI had not already embarrassed itself countless times in the past (a personal favorite is the unsuccessful attempt to determine the lyrics to "Louie, Louie"), it would be tempting to say this is the moment when the organization has officially jumped the shark. (

But we may ask now, in an age that seems to be equally post-ironic and post-constitutional: Is the music of the enemy?

Listen briefly to ICP's best-known song, Miracles, in which Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope ask the foul-mouthed and haunting musical question,

Water, fire, air and dirt
Fucking magnets, how do they work?
And I don't wanna talk to a scientist
Y'all motherfuckers lying, and getting me pissed
Solar eclipse, and vicious weather
Fifteen thousand Juggalos together
And I love my mom for giving me this

Past ICP news at Reason.

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  1. Fucking Juggalos – how do they work?

    1. They work?

  2. Juggalos’ disorganization and lack of structure within their groups, coupled with their transient nature, makes it difficult to classify them and identify their members and migration patterns them easily identifiable as an organized crime gang.

  3. Nice to see what absolute chickenshits the FBI have become! Apparently after smiting the Goth menace they had to find another “enemy”!

    Oh yeah…Fuck you T o n y!

    1. Next up – The emo threat and how it can be contained, by the DoJ. I bet it says ‘give more money and power to us. Love and Kisses, the FBI.’

  4. however, law enforcement reporting suggests that Juggalo criminal activity has increased over the past several years

    Defining criminality down.

    And down, and down, and down…

  5. I think we just found the plot of the next X-Files movie.

  6. Cotton Candy: great rap song or greatest rap song?

    1. Nookie would like a word with you.

    2. “Fat Sweaty Betty” would like a word as well.

    3. I call the lightning from Grand Master Flash upon thee!

  7. Has there been any traction with the alliance between the Juggalos and the more militant wing of the KISS Army?

    But really, when one of the few bastions of anti-tyrannical action in that dumb country is composed of Shaggy 2 Dope, Violent J, and their family that comes together for ‘luv’ we’re already too far gone.

    1. God help us if they get curved swords.

    2. It is a terrible day when I have to support ICP. For anything. Thanks a lot, FBI, you fucking idiots.

      1. I could swear I’m from an alternative earth where the band died in a fiery plane crash in ’03. I remember when it became unnews which no one else seems to recall. Remember when the juggalos celebrated the crash as an homage to Lynard Skynard that time they raided and took over Burning Man? Nobody?

        1. Honestly, that’s happened to me a couple times.

          Things that I swear were true, or happened, actually didn’t happen.

          Spooky as hell.

      2. It is a terrible day when I have to support ICP. For anything.

        It’s come to this, hasn’t it? Next thing we’ll be doing is hiding Juggalos in our basements and attics to avoid capture by the anti-ICP Strike Teams.

        Then our pets will turn up missing and purse and medicine cabinets rooted through for valuables. Thanks a lot, FBI shitheads!

  8. For years, the ardent and unembarassable face-painting fans of the music group the Insane Clown Posse have been known as Juggalos the dregs of society.

    That’s a bit more accurate.

    1. I always wondered how many Juggaloes were really hipsters acting like white trash ironically.

      1. I don’t think even the most ardent hipster could listen to more than three ICP songs in an ironic fashion. But I think you may have inadvertantly come up with a good hipster midichlorian test.

        1. I bet they have some test to identify and eliminate ironic hipsters at shows, like when Chris and Snoop ask that cat about a local Baltimore radio show before shooting him in The Wire.

          1. Chris was The Man in my estimation. Fuck Omar, Chris had the jump on him any time he wanted.

            1. +1

              Partlow was a bad ass

        2. The question is whether ICP meets the “it’s so bad, it’s good” criteria. On second thought, definitely not.

      2. Nathan Rabin:

        I became interested in Insane Clown Posse as a sociological and cultural phenomenon, but I eventually developed a deep, unironic affection for the group’s music, The Gathering, and Juggalos, which my friends, family, and colleagues seem to find puzzling at best and troubling evidence of a total disconnect from reality at worst. (Hell, at this point even I am beginning to find my affection for Insane Clown Posse puzzling at best and troubling evidence of a total disconnect from reality at worst.)


  9. The author of the report never learned to capitalize the first letter at the beginning of a sentence. Good enough for gubmint work.

      1. NEAITRTBD

    1. Word is supposed to be setup to do that for him automatically, but the IT guy has been on on disability for 6months and he needs Admin rights to change the preferences…if he was allowed to access google to get that idea in the 1st place.

      Now shutup and put $5 in his pension-contributions jar.

  10. If I were in an actual gang, I would take offense.

    1. This is actually the FBI’s cunningly devious, masterfully nefarious and artfully convoluted plan.

      Get real gangs pissed off at juggalos until the two groups are locked in lethal combat (kinetic action, if you prefer), thereby ridding America of a good portion of the most wretched villainous scum this side of Mos Eisly while simultaneously justifying the FBI’s existence proving the FBI’s worth to the Nation’s revenue sources cherished citizenry.

  11. Also, isn’t this report basically the LE equivalent of saying ? is exactly 3?

    I mean, if I read that as a serious statement in a math book, I would ignore everything else in that book. There may be some correct conclusions in the book, but it’s just from chance, not from sound science or reasoning (drink!).

    1. * Or ? is exactly 6 for you heathen swine.

  12. So, I guess this means the FBI has all the real gangs under control now?

    1. Last I heard they surrendered to MS3.

    2. Ken Shultz, if that is your real name, have you no respect for Officer Saftey.

      You, Sir, make me sick.

  13. “I’m just a Juggalo
    and everywhere I go
    FBI knows I’m bangin”

  14. Fucking gangs, how do they work? It looks like the FBI doesn’t know.

    1. Fucking reality, how does it work? On second thought, it doesn’t have to because fuck you; that’s why.

      1. Next, the FBI will be classifying libertarians as threats…oh wait.

        1. Great, now you’ve done it…wiretaps in place, drones in the air!

  15. Next up: a crackdown on the drug cartel known as Phish fans.

    1. They’ve already started drum circles here, here and here.

      1. “In my professional opinion, we’re looking at a full-blown hippie jamfest the size of which we’ve never seen.”

  16. Totally OT: From women for BarackObama.com

    “Dear Mom,” the card reads. “Mitt Romney says he would repeal the Affordable Care Act. So here’s a quick question: Can I borrow $18,000 to help pay for my birth control? Thanks!”

    It would seem the point of the eCard is to get daughters to encourage their mothers to vote for Obama. (Would any daughter really send this card to her mother?)

    And as John McCormack reported after the Sandra Fluke controversy earlier this year, the numbers don’t add up. “Birth control pills can be purchased for as low as $9 per month at a pharmacy near Georgetown’s campus. According to an employee at the pharmacy in Washington, D.C.’s Target store, the pharmacy sells birth control pills–the generic versions of Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Ortho-Cyclen–for $9 per month. ‘That’s the price without insurance,’ the Target employee said. Nine dollars is less than the price of two beers at a Georgetown bar.”

    NIne dollars is less than the cost of coaxing Sandra soon to be in government middle management Fluke into the sack!

    1. What kind of beers are we talking about here.

      1. Good enough to get her drunk and give you beer goggles.

        1. It’s gonna take way more than 9 dollars of beer for those goggles.

          1. It’s gonna take way more than 9 dollars gallons of beer for those goggles.

        2. If by beer goggles you mean sodium pentothal, then yeah.

    2. But … but … freedom of choice doesn’t count unless (i) it’s hideously overpriced and (ii) I can force someone else to pay for it.

    3. “Dear Mom,” the card reads. “Mitt Romney says he would repeal the Affordable Care Act. So here’s a quick question: Can I borrow $18,000 to help pay for my birth control? Thanks!”

      “Dearest Daughter, can I borrow a time machine so I can spend that 18grand on my own birth control? (Legally Obligated) Love, Mom.”

    4. That’s for real? It’s instinguishable from an act of parody by a fifth columnist.

    5. $18000? Just be yourself and no man will want to sleep with you.

    6. I still don’t understand. Who in the hell would fuck Ms. Fluke? I just don’t get it.

    7. I seem to recall my parents did pay for my birth control. Isn’t that what parents are for?

    8. This is what happens when you make Rainman the Birth Control Czar.

      Mmm… ’bout forty-seven thousand dollars… forty-seven thousand dollars…

    9. I like how it’s “help” pay for the birth control, like 18k wouldn’t cover it.

  17. Next on the FBI’s list: tractor pull fans, noodlers and anyone who’s ever appeard on The Jerry Springer Show.

  18. Can I borrow $18,000 to help pay for my birth control? Thanks!”

    “No. But here’s three buck for a tube of super glue.”

    1. I had a similar thought. I know a guy in the BDSM community who makes custom chastity belts out of stainless steel. They cost around a grand though, so super-glue is way more cost effective.

  19. I suppose that if your job is to identify potential threats, if you don’t identify some threats then you can’t justify your employment.

    Same reason why regulators make these asinine rules. It’s their job to make rules. Even if they suck. Because the alternative is to say “Hey, we’ve got enough rules already. What do you mean you don’t need my services anymore?”

  20. I’d love to see the FBI file on the KISS Army.

    1. You mean the Chapter 5, subchapter 3, section 5 “Anti-authority, disguise wearing, paramilitary organization known as the KISS Army”?

  21. gangs, jail, and professional wrestling

    Excellent use of the “murder, arson and jaywalking” trope, Nick.

  22. The FBI and ICP, who can doubt that they are star crossed lovers.

  23. Violent J responded to the FBI reports by saying he has grenades for balls and would invite the FBI to suck on them and get they mouf exploded before he axes them in their gay boners.

  24. Simply terrifying

    Do you mean the fact that they’re responsible for a child, Nick, or just that they’re procreating?

  25. …identify their members and migration patterns…

    That is fucking hilarious. I had a vision of a “Mutual of Omaha” special about the migratory Juggaloes, being followed by a Marlin Perkins-ish narrator. “We now see the Juggaloes in their natural habitat, getting three 2-liter bottles of Faygo at the Dollar General. They will mix this favored drink of theirs with 4-Loko and cough syrup, in what we believe is a religious ritual.”

    1. And then Marlin sends Jim in when there is some sort of fight. Marlin was always throwing poor Jim into the dangerous spots.

      1. I never understood why Jim didn’t murder Marlin before the helicopter took off.

  26. Do juggalos go south for the winter?

  27. I’m a little concerned. My favorite band is Cradle of Filth. Does this mean that fans like me might one day be classified as a gang (or cult, or British militia member)? I’m a 50 year old librarian for fuck’s sake. I can’t have this on my record.

  28. I’m a historical re-enactor. We actually DO have an army. Scans skies for drones….

    1. Do you attend Pennsic?

      1. Yes, I have attended every year since XXV.

  29. So having shitty taste in music and acting like a retard now makes you a member of a criminal organization. Yay, I just LOVE this country! /more sarcastaball

  30. “ardent and unembarassable”

    I don’t know much about insane clowns and their posse of juggalos, but “ardent and unembarassable” seems to be an apt description of the FBI.

  31. It’s that satanic Rock Music. We’ve got to stop it!

  32. I always wondered what would happen if you held the Gathering of the Juggalos adjacent to Jamboree in the Hills.

  33. F.B.I. = Fools Being Idiots

  34. reasonoids believe the feds when subjective fed assessments lead to conclusions that reasonoids LIKE:

    e.g. feds claim that SPD has an institutional excessive force program. that is instantly accepted here as credible. even though, it’s based on subjective analysis, and i am not aware of any reasonoid having actually read the report. i’ve looked for it, and have been unable to find it online. the two examples FROM the report i saw, one involving swarm technique were incredibly subjective and far from clear as to excessive force

    but again, if the feds subjectively assess: cops using excessive force. feds MUST be right. evidence not neeeded

    here, the feds are doing the same thing. subjective analysis of another group. no, not SPD. juggalos. here, the assessment is questioned, because it’s not a metanarrative reasonoids want to accept (contrast with the former).

    in BOTH cases, it’s an example of the feds wanting to increase power and control. by declaring the juggalos a criminal gang, all sorts of legislation, much of it federal , can be used against juggalo members in what otherwise would be purely local prosecution

    1. in the case of SPD, the feds will fight for and probably get oversight power, again , – more fed power, expanding to make them overseers of local law enforcement agencies. talk about creeping federal control.

      personally, from the EVIDENCE i have seen, both assessments are incorrect. i’ve cited studies that show that SPD has lower UOF per capita than other similar sized cities. i have seen no evidence to support FBI’s claim. i think SPD is a mediocre police dept, but the evidence they have an institutional excessive force problem? not there. and the best way to assess said claim is to look at aggregate stats. if SPD has X officers with a service population of Y, and they have LESS uses of force than similar sized agencies do ON AVERAGE in the US, the FBI argument already has a tough burden to overcome. have they? no. but if they will release the evidence i’d love to see it

      i’ve dealt with juggalos on dozens of occasions. i also know the stats about their behavior. and just like the SPD, i come to the same conclusion. the feds are full of shit. the juggalos are not a criminal gang. the evidence is not there.

      evidence should matter, whether it supports or goes against what you want to believe. imo, and looking AT THE EVIDENCE, the feds are just doing what the feds do – trying to extend their powe

      1. btw, this is not to say that the feds (various agencies) are not excellent sources of data. they are. if you want to look at crime demographics (victimization rates between different ages of white males for homicides for instance)… that’s where you go.

        they are a great resource for very detailed crime statistics. the NCVS, which is largely ignored because it casts doubts on many racial profiling claims, is there. the homicide stats which support RKBA theories (by showing a strong downtrend in part I and homicides while firearms rights have expanded) is there, etc. don’t for a second think i am maligning them as data queens.

        i am maligning them in their capacity and skill to perform subjective analysis on that data and various other data to come to conclusions , ESPECIALLY when coming down with one conclusion leads to them getting substantially more power (SPD and Juggalos) and another leads to them having less power.

        you cannot expect objectivity and fairness when they are assessing a subject that will determine the scope of their (ever increasing) power.

        reasonoids would do well to ALWAYS apply scrutiny to such analysis, vs. accepting at face value such analysis (SPD) when it agrees with metanarrative.

        just because somebody tells you what you want to hear, doesn’t make what they are telling you right

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