'I became the perfect concoction of the human monster'
Former Rebels bikie Dan Kilian said he "became the perfect concoction of the human monster" after being recruited to the outlaw motorcycle gang as a teenager.
The former under-20s Gold Coast Titans player had debuted as a year 11 student in 2011 and signed a contract at Newcastle Knights in 2012.
However, the rising league star suffered from anxiety and depression and at 19-years-old left the Knights and moved home to Coffs Harbour, where he was recruited by a bikie on a night out at the pub.
"19-20 was when I really went downhill, and I used drugs and alcohol to band-aid my depression, but all it did was spiral me out of control," he said.
"I ran into a bloke at a pub, that I've realised was in the Rebels, we'd actually locked eyes and it was going to be a bit of a scuffle, but before you know it we were all back at the clubhouse that night on the p*ss and whatnot.
"He said I've got a mate that runs a footy club up north, would you be interested and I just thought yes sure why not … never being in that realm of gangs before that I didn't see that this guy was actually getting me up here for his own purpose.
"Went up there and there was no job, match payments didn't come through, so the next thing was (to) make a bit of money selling drugs.
"You get your foot in that door, you're f**ked."
Mr Kilian said his time with the Rebels was riddled with parties, substance abuse and paranoia.
"There was wars going on at the time while I was in the club between my club and another club, so we were always watching our backs, someone was always getting stabbed or someone was always getting shot or bashed, house getting shot up," he said.
"You're in a continuous state of paranoia.
"Some old guys there said get out and go and play footy, this is shit … that's advice I should have taken."
Mr Kilian said he was forced to do things he didn't want to do "plenty of times" during his time as a bikie and there are incidents he will "never forget".
"I became the perfect concoction of the human monster; super greedy, manipulative, disloyal, abusive, violent," he said.
"Your only end point is to make money, to get your ego fluffed up by the other members and get that stature of not-to-be-f**ked with or whose got the most money, whose got the most gold, who can get the most women, who is moving the most gear.
"There were some aspects that were enjoyable but that's the whole glorification of the whole thing behind it."
Mr Kilian was arrested in a bikie raid in 2014 and spent two years and two months in prisons across Queensland and New South Wales.
He described prison as "absolute sh*t" and said he abused drugs during his first six months incarcerated.
While imprisoned in Bathurst, Mr Kilian went to the library and read 150 books "inside and out" and implemented positive change in his life.
"I then went to Queensland prison and did the same thing," he said.
"I trained as much as I could, three, four, times a day, sometimes more.
"I just got sick of feeling like sh*t. I got sick of my mental capacity having control over me … I'm still not perfect but I try to stay as mentally strong as I can."
Mr Kilian said once released from prison, he cut financial ties with the Rebels.
Originally published as Former bikie: 'You get your foot in that door, you're f**ked'