Fourteen Words

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Curtis Allgier's numerous tattoos include references to "14" and "88" above and to the sides of "SKIN" and "HEAD", above his eyes[1]

Fourteen Words, 14, or 14/88, is a reference to slogans coined by white supremacist David Lane,[2] a leader of the terrorist organization The Order.[3] The terms were coined while he was serving a 190-year sentence in federal prison for his role in several armed robberies and the murder of Jewish talk show host Alan Berg,[4] and publicized through the efforts of the now-defunct Fourteen Word Press, which helped popularize it and other writings of Lane.[5] Lane also used the phrasing in his manifesto the 88 Precepts. It stressed what he saw as the importance of ethnic religions and opposition to universalizing religions such as Christianity, the rejection of miscegenation, and support for racial segregation.[3][6][7] The terms were later adopted by white supremacists[3] and neo-Nazis,[3] the most common variation being:

We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.[8][9][10]

Another commonly used variation is another 14-word slogan: "Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth."[11] It is often combined with 88, as in "14/88" or "1488" with the 8s representing the eighth letter of the alphabet (H), with "HH" standing for "Heil Hitler."[12]

The slogan has been commonly used in acts of terrorism and violence.[3] In 2008, the slogan was used in the Barack Obama assassination plot in Tennessee.[13] The plot was intended to kill 88 African Americans, including future President Barack Obama (at that time the Democratic Party nominee), 14 of whom were to be beheaded.[14][15][16] Curtis Allgier notably tattooed the words on to his body after his murder of corrections officer Stephen Anderson.[17]

Inspiration[edit]

A strong resemblance of the first definition to a statement in Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf has been pointed out, albeit not by Lane or by Fourteen Word Press. Scholars such as Barry Balleck have stated that Lane was almost certainly influenced by Hitler, specifically the following statement in Mein Kampf.[3]

What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe. Every thought and every idea, every doctrine and all knowledge, must serve this purpose. And everything must be examined from this point of view and used or rejected according to its utility. (Vol. I, Chapter 8)[3]

Other uses[edit]

The pairing of "14" and "88" has since been used by other white supremacists, including murderers Dylann Roof[18] and Curtis Allgier.[1] Allgier has "14" and "88" tattooed on his forehead above and to the sides of the words "skin" and "head" above his eyes in his mugshot (right).[1]

"14/88" numerology was symbolically included in the Barack Obama assassination plot in Tennessee.[13] Both Neo-Nazis, Schlesselman and Cowart were introduced to each other via the Internet in September 2008 by a mutual friend who shared their white supremacist beliefs.[19] Within a month they began planning to kill Obama by driving their vehicle toward him as fast as they could and shooting at him from the windows. The murder was planned as the final act of violence of a killing spree in which the men planned to kill 88 African Americans by gunfire, mostly children at an unidentified, predominantly black school.[14][20]

The convicted assassination plotters in the 2008 plot, Paul Schlesselman (left) and Daniel Cowart

Schlesselman and Cowart chatted on the Internet about how to carry out the operation. Schlesselman suggested using a sawed-off shotgun because it would be easy to maneuver; he also said he planned to steal a gun from his father.[21] Prior to their arrest, the men decorated their car with a swastika and drew the numbers 88 and 14 on their hood using window chalk.[22] Authorities believe the men may have planned to move from state to state to choose their victims. They also planned to wear white tuxedos and top hats during the assassination attempt.[23] On October 22, Schlesselman and Cowart shot at a glass window on the front door of the Allen Baptist Church in Brownsville, Tennessee.[24] The two men bragged to a female friend about the shooting; the friend told her mother, who notified the Haywood County Sheriff's Department. Investigators traced the shell casings to Schlesselman and Cowart, and notified the Crockett County Sheriff's Department, who took the pair into custody after spotting the Swastikas, slurs and 88 and 14 numbers on their car.[25][26]

Police seized a rifle, a sawed-off shotgun and three pistols from the men at the time of the arrest. They were detained in Bells, Tennessee for a few days before being moved to another facility.[27] During interrogation, the men told authorities of their plan to kill Obama.[28] The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives handled the initial federal investigation of the case.[29] The United States Secret Service became involved in the investigation once the assassination plot was discovered.[27] The Federal Bureau of Investigation was also involved in the investigation.[30] Both men were charged with illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun, conspiracy to rob a firearms dealer and making threats against a presidential candidate; a superseding indictment additionally charged the pair with civil rights conspiracy and conspiracy, and charged Cowart with destruction of religious property and a related firearms charge.[30] Authorities have found no evidence that anyone besides the two men were involved in the plot, but as of October 2008 authorities were said to be investigating the possibility.[28]

Both Schlesselman and Cowart acknowledged that they would be killed as a result of the murders and insisted they were willing to die.[31] Authorities said the pair planned to break into a gun shop to steal more weapons for their attack, and also bought nylon rope and ski masks at Walmart to use in a robbery or home invasion to fund the spree.[31] Schlesselman and Cowart asked a friend to drive them to a house they planned to rob, but they cancelled the robbery after getting scared by a dog and two vehicles in the driveway.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Reavy, Pat (June 28, 2007). "Tattoos tell a tale of intimidation". Deseret News. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Michael, George (2009). "David Lane and the Fourteen Words". Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions. 10 (1): 43–61. doi:10.1080/14690760903067986. ISSN 1469-0764. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Balleck, Barry (2018). Modern American Extremism and Domestic Terrorism: An Encyclopedia of Extremists and Extremist Groups. United States: ABC-CLIO. p. 4. ISBN 978-1440852749. 
  4. ^ Thompson, A.C. (19 October 2017). "Racist, Violent, Unpunished: A White Hate Group's Campaign of Menace". propublica.org. Retrieved 20 October 2017. 
  5. ^ Brian Palmer (2008-10-29). "White Supremacists by the Numbers". Slate. Retrieved 2015-09-11. 
  6. ^ Biddiscombe, Perry (1998). Werwolf!: The History of the National Socialist Guerrilla Movement, 1944–1946. note 58. ISBN 978-0-8020-0862-6. 
  7. ^ "The Truth about 88: New Book Reveals Secret Meaning of Neo-Nazi Codes". Spiegel Online. June 27, 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Dunbar, Edward; Blanco, Amalio; CrËvecoeur-MacPhail, Desirée A. (2016-11-21). The Psychology of Hate Crimes as Domestic Terrorism: U.S. and Global Issues. ABC-CLIO. pp. 91–. ISBN 9781440839078. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  9. ^ "Hate on Display: 14 words". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  10. ^ Carmichael, Cathie; Maguire, Richard C. (2015-05-01). The Routledge History of Genocide. Routledge. pp. 211–. ISBN 9781317514848. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  11. ^ Gardell, Mattias. Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism. p. 69. 
  12. ^ Ruiz, Stephen (January 11, 2017). "A Complete Dictionary of White Supremacist Slang and Symbols". Complex (magazine). Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  13. ^ a b Lichtblau, Eric (October 27, 2008). "Arrests in Plan to Kill Obama and Black Schoolchildren". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  14. ^ a b Date, Jack (2008-10-27). "Feds thwart alleged Obama assassination plot". ABC News. Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  15. ^ Haberman, Maggie (2008-10-27). "ATF stops plot to kill Barack Obama". New York Post. Archived from the original on 2008-10-28. 
  16. ^ Date, Jack (2008-10-27). "Feds thwart alleged Obama assassination plot". ABC News. Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  17. ^ Sanchez, Casey (August 23, 2007). "Face of Hate: Curtis Allgier". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved May 30, 2018. 
  18. ^ Siemaszko, Corky (December 9, 2016). "Dylann Roof's Videotaped Confession Stuns Courtroom". NBCNews.com. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  19. ^ Baird, Woody; DeMillo, Andrew (2008-10-30). "Authorities say skinhead plot wasn't fully formed". Associated Press. Retrieved 2017-11-29. 
  20. ^ Lichtblau, Eric (2008-10-27). "Arrests in plan to kill Obama and black schoolchildren". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  21. ^ Baird, Woody; DeMillo, Andrew (2008-10-30). "Authorities say skinhead plot wasn't fully formed". Associated Press. Retrieved 2017-11-29. 
  22. ^ Date, Jack (2008-10-27). "Feds thwart alleged Obama assassination plot". ABC News. Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  23. ^ Jordan, Lara Jakes (2008-10-27). "Feds disrupt skinhead plot to assassinate Obama". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2008-10-28. According to an arrest affidavit, the two men planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama, firing from the windows with high-powered rifles. The affidavit said the two men planned to wear white tuxedos and top hats during the assassination attempt. 
  24. ^ "Tennessee Man Sentenced for Conspiring to Commit Murders of African-Americans". 2010 Press Release. FBI. October 22, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2012. Cowart admitted that he and Schlesselman also conspired to burglarize a federally licensed firearms dealer to obtain additional weapons for their scheme. He also admitted to transporting a sawed-off shotgun from Arkansas to Tennessee for the purpose of committing felonies. Cowart additionally admitted to shooting the window of the Allen Baptist Church in Brownsville, Tenn. 
  25. ^ Baird, Woody; DeMillo, Andrew (2008-10-30). "Authorities say skinhead plot wasn't fully formed". Associated Press. Retrieved 2017-11-29. 
  26. ^ Date, Jack (2008-10-27). "Feds thwart alleged Obama assassination plot". ABC News. Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  27. ^ a b Jordan, Lara Jakes (2008-10-27). "Feds disrupt skinhead plot to assassinate Obama". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2008-10-28. According to an arrest affidavit, the two men planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama, firing from the windows with high-powered rifles. The affidavit said the two men planned to wear white tuxedos and top hats during the assassination attempt. 
  28. ^ a b Lichtblau, Eric (2008-10-27). "Arrests in plan to kill Obama and black schoolchildren". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  29. ^ Haberman, Maggie (2008-10-27). "ATF stops plot to kill Barack Obama". New York Post. Archived from the original on 2008-10-28. 
  30. ^ a b Federal Bureau of Investigation – Memphis Field Division – Press Release – Department of Justice
  31. ^ a b Jordan, Lara Jakes (2008-10-27). "Feds disrupt skinhead plot to assassinate Obama". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2008-10-28. According to an arrest affidavit, the two men planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama, firing from the windows with high-powered rifles. The affidavit said the two men planned to wear white tuxedos and top hats during the assassination attempt. 
  32. ^ Baird, Woody; DeMillo, Andrew (2008-10-30). "Authorities say skinhead plot wasn't fully formed". Associated Press. Retrieved 2017-11-29.