Private Law Among the Juggalos

Tribal self-government at a music festival


Bill McMorris covered this year's Gathering of the Juggalos—the annual convocation of Insane Clown Posse fans—for The Washington Free Beacon. His dispatch includes this moment of legal anthropology, which I submit without comment:

Juggalo Night Court [is] a daily ceremony designed to smooth out trivial festival disputes under the jurisprudence of Judge Upchuck the Clown and bailiff/professional wrestler Mad Man Pondo.

I took my seat on the haystacks on Wednesday night. The matter at hand: Juggalo Lee had sued Juggalo Pete for groping his date.

"It was the heat of the moment," Pete said before admitting to groping at least a dozen other women. During closing arguments, the alleged victim took the stage topless and allowed Pondo and Upchuck to grope her.

The crowd sided with Pete. Lee was tarred and feathered with honey and a gutted pillow.

Lust is forgivable in Juggalo eyes. Theft is not. The Gathering program warns of "dire consequences" for stealing, and that's an understatement. Last year a man was found with pilfered goods in the trunk of his red Pontiac. Juggalos stripped his car, smashed the windshield, ran it over with a monster truck, then posted the video to YouTube under the title "Juggalo Justice."

Juggalo Justice is why I feel safe leaving my laptop in public, my car doors open, and beers unattended.

Bonus quote for conspiracy buffs: "Juggalos see themselves under constant threat—every one swears to the existence of Juggalo Holocaust, a mythical entity hell-bent on killing ICP fans." Of course, the Juggalos themselves are perceived as a conspiracy in some quarters.