Prison Gang Name: Aryan Brotherhood 

Other Names: AB, Alice, Alice Baker, Tip, Brand

Origin and history:  The history of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang goes back to 1967.  Also known as the AB, the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang originated in the California prison system in San Quentin prison .

Originally this gang was established to provide protection for white prison inmates from Black and Hispanic groups and gangs. Some of the original members of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang had been members in a 1950's gang known as the "Bluebirds," and other names used were the "Diamond Tooth Gang" and the "Nazi Gang."

Ideology/Philosophy: The philosophical premise of the Aryan Brotherhood and its members consists of a mixture of ideologies of white supremacy and German and Irish ancestry. Over the years, the AB has moved away from the Neo-Nazi philosophy, with group members identifying more with Irish ancestry and Norse/Viking symbolism and history. The AB has a "blood in-blood out" philosophy ۩meaning that members kill to gain admission and only are released from membership by their own death. Most members are apolitical and the group's primary orientation now is drug trafficking.

Membership Characteristics: While consisting only of white members, there are documented instances where AB members, who are white supremacists, will associate with blacks (but not admit them to membership) when they are needed for drug and extortion transactions.

Before gaining membership, a recruit must prove his dedication by carrying out a murder of a person targeted for death by the AB. This ritual is called "making your bones." It is also known as "Blood in -Blood out."   Membership is considered to be for life; the only way out of the AB is by death, either by natural or by the hands of another (including an AB member).

Recruits must receive a unanimous vote from existing members. This often results in close association of numerous inmates who - while subscribing to the AB's tenets and having "made their bones" - are not actual members due to a failure to gain unanimous approval.

The AB is active in prison as well as in communities. Members released from prison are expected to dedicate themselves to supporting members who are still incarcerated.

Leadership/Organizational Structure: From all indications, key decisions and murders must be approved by a "Commission" before being implemented. Members of the Commission communicate via correspondence routed through third parties in the community or during social and attorney visits. In addition, gang members are often "writted" to a single institution from other facilities under the guise of testifying in a court case, so they can hold a gang meeting.

Geographic Locus: The AB has its origins in California, but has spread to numerous other location, primarily through the prison experiences of the members.

Associated Organizations: Mexican Mafia, Hells Angels

Antagonistic Organizations: La Nuestra Familia, Black Guerilla Family

Typical Identifiers: Although members of the AB ordinarily wear numerous and varied body tattoos. The true AB tattoo is a shamrock, the letters AB and three sixes. Only members of the AB are permitted to wear the "brand" of the gang; individuals found to be wearing the tattoo without consent of the AB are subject to being murdered.

The AB has realized that prison administrators often identify gang members by their tattoos, and on occasions has instructed members to no longer wear them. As a result, many members have removed or disguised their AB tattoos or on occasion hide AB tattoos on the hairline or underarms.

Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons

San Quentin Prison Yard

Harry Benson/Express/Getty Images - Convicts sit in the exercise yard at California’s San Quentin State Prison in 1965. The year before, the Aryan Brotherhood organized because of racial tensions in the prison.


The Aryan BrotherhoodTimeline, Oath, Photos, Lexicon, and Prison Activity

The Aryan Brotherhood began with incarcerated white supremacists who aligned themselves against Black and Mexican prisoners.

Source: Prison Gang Identification Task Force


Aryan Brotherhood members and associates


Aryan Brotherhood Videos

The following Aryan Brotherhood series of videos originated on the History Channel.

  These videos are graphic and violent

Aryan Brotherhood Part 1

Aryan Brotherhood - Part 2

Aryan Brotherhood - Part 3

Aryan Brotherhood - Part 4

Aryan Brotherhood - Part 5

Conclusion - The Aryan Brotherhood Prison Gang


The Aryan Brotherhood In The News



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Robert Walker

This page was last updated on 10/27/2013

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