"I wouldn't join a gang if I knew the truth," said former Hells Angels bikie and decorated alleged criminal Ben Geppert, in an emotional plea to help bikies and wannabe gangsters avoid - or exit - a life of criminality.

After his 17-year-old brother Harrison Geppert was stabbed to death in a Gold Coast park in 2019, Geppert said he felt some guilt over the tragedy and later made attempts to boycott his criminal lifestyle - reconnecting with his mum and quitting the Hells Angels.

"It's sort of like an eye opener," Geppert said of learning his brother had been killed.

"You don't think about it at the time, you're always on drugs. But then you realise life's too short. I just lost my 17-year-old brother."

Geppert said it was the attractive lifestyle - money, gold and women - that drew him in, and the promise of instant friendship and brotherhood, that tragically, would never come.

Ex-bikie Ben Geppert says it was the attractive lifestyle but he now regrets every second of it. Picture: Tertius Pickard
Ex-bikie Ben Geppert says it was the attractive lifestyle but he now regrets every second of it. Picture: Tertius Pickard

"I had a lot of traumatising things happen to me and once I got deep into it, I realised it was no brotherhood," Geppert said.

"One day your best mate could be your enemy, over a female, a drug debt, anything. That's just how it is ya know. You don't really have a friendship or a brotherhood in a club.

"You're just there to make money for them. And if you don't make money you don't make sense."

Geppert's candid comments form part of a series of videos for the state government's freshly launched OMCG Exit program - the latest initiative headed by the Queensland Police Service.

The program aims to keep young men out of organised crime, and help those already in the inner grips of bikie life to get out.

Talking at the program's launch today, Detective Superintendent Roger Lowe of the Organised Crime Gangs Group said the program would help gang member's turn their life around.

Former bikie Ben Geppert. Picture: Instgram
Former bikie Ben Geppert. Picture: Instgram

"Our own Queensland Police research shows us that it is a real turning point in an individual's life when they leave a gang, there's less harm to the community, less crime in the community, less harm to themselves and their family," he said.

"Ultimately our greatest measure of success is those people who turn their back on a gang and turn their back on crime."

Det Supt Lowe urged anyone thinking of joining a gang to do the research into what gang life is really like before making a decision based on the illusion of a flash lifestyle, while Geppert detailed his own time as part of an OMCG member.

"The reality of gangs and what it's really like to be in a gang is, it's ugly," Geppert said.

"It's ugly. It's not what you see (and) until you get there, you don't realise how ugly it is. The real truth about being in a gang, in the club, (is) it was hard to sleep at night. I was always looking over my shoulder. It's a dark lifestyle and it's unpredictable.

"It's garbage. It's rubbish. There's no happy ending in it.

"You're either in a jail cell or in a grave. That's it."

Originally published as 'It's jail or the grave': Ex-bikie reveals truth about gang life


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