The Fourteen Words (also abbreviated 14 or 14/88) are two fourteen-word white separatist slogans originating with David Eden Lane, one of nine founding members of the defunct American domestic terrorist group The Order. The slogans have served as a rallying cry for militant white nationalists across the globe.
The two slogans were coined while Lane was serving a 190-year sentence in federal prison for violating the civil rights of the Jewish talk show host Alan Berg, who was murdered by another member of the group in June 1984. The slogans were publicized through now-defunct 14 Word Press, founded in 1995 by Lane’s wife to disseminate her husband’s writings.
Lane used the coding extensively in his writings, including the “14 points” in his “white genocide” manifesto, and further in his 88 Precepts essay, stressing his support for racial and ethnic religions, opposition to multiracialism and miscegenation, and support for racial separatism. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Fourteen Words slogan “are derived from a passage in Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical book Mein Kampf“; the Fourteen Words are prominently used by neo-Nazis, white power skinheads and certain white nationalists and the alt-right.
Lane’s ideology was anti-American; he considered loyalty to the United States to be “racial treason” and upheld a secondary slogan entitled “Our Race Is Our Nation” (“ORION”), viewing the United States as committing genocide against white people and as having been founded as a New World Order to finalize a global Zionist government.
Being bitterly opposed to the continued existence of the United States as a political entity, and labelling it the “murderer of the White race”, Lane further advocated domestic terrorism as a tool to carve out a “white homeland” in the Northern Mountain States. To that end, Lane issued a declaration called “Moral Authority” published through now-defunct 14 Word Press and shared through the publications of Aryan Nations, World Church of the Creator, and other white separatist groups, referring to the United States as a “Red, White and Blue traveling mass murder machine”, while asserting that “true moral authority belongs to those who resist genocide”.
After Lane’s publication of the Fourteen Words, they were adopted by white supremacists and neo-Nazis, white nationalists, identitarians, and members of the far-right and alt-right. The most widely used variation is “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”; a less commonly used variation is “Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth”. They are sometimes combined with the number 88 to form the abbreviations “14/88” or “1488”. The 8s represent the eighth letter of the alphabet, H, with “HH” standing for Heil Hitler, according to Neo-Nazis who use the code. The number 88 was used by Lane as a reference to his 88 Precepts, along with a secondary reference to his “88 Lines and 14 Words”. “88”, when combined with “14”, refers to numerology in Lane’s white supremacist neo-pagan religion, Wotanism (the absolute value of 14 minus 88 being the number 74).
The slogan has been used in acts of white supremacist terrorism and violence. It was central to the symbolism of 2008’s Barack Obama assassination plot, which 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. Skinhead Curtis Allgier notably tattooed the words on to his body after he murdered corrections officer Stephen Anderson, and Dylann Roof’s race war-inspired Charleston church shooting was influenced by the slogan.
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.
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.
— Mein Kampf, Vol. I, Chapter 8
According to scholar Mattias Gardell, David Lane taught something he called the “Pyramid Prophecy 666”, which included the concept that a Bible code was inserted by “Aryan adepts” within the King James Version of the Christian Bible. Gardell’s book Gods of the Blood states “The number 1776 appears in the numeric square of Mars in which is found the Star of David and its 741 formula, 741 also being the value of the 14 Words in simple English gematria.” Lane claimed both 14 word slogans came to him while asleep, and that the sentences each contained 61 letters, 20 syllables, 74 characters and the 741 value. Elaborating, he described himself in the “Pyramid Prophecy” as the “666 Sun Man” trying to “save white people” with America being the “Beast system” bent on “destroying white people” – views that were censored by Ron McVan and others who found the messianic claims counterproductive by “turning off potential converts”.
- Nick Griffin, a British politician, former British National Party leader and MEP, has stated his political ideology can be summed up by the 14 Words. He has claimed “everything I do is related to building a nationalist movement through which […] those 14 words can be carried out.”
- Colin Jordan (1923–2009), a leading figure in post-war neo-Nazism in Great Britain and longtime supporter of the 14 Words; contributed to Lane’s book Deceived, Damned & Defiant.
- Millennial Woes, a Scottish alt-right, neoreactionary political activist and YouTube personality, supports the slogan and has stated in 2017 that the “14 words used to be more controversial than they are nowadays”. Faith Goldy has claimed that he had encouraged her to recite the slogan in an interview.
- John Tyndall (1934–2005) was a British fascist political activist who supported the 14 Words along with his party, the National Front, which he was chairman of from 1972 to 1974.
- Andrew Anglin, an American white supremacist and founder of The Daily Stormer website, frequently uses, references, and supports the slogan, and has claimed, “We care not for our own egos or lives. We care only about the agenda, which is: We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
- Baked Alaska, an American alt-right/far-right social media personality, supports the words but not their creator, and has stated that there’s “nothing wrong” with the slogan. Distancing himself from its creator, he claimed, “Just because others have used them doesn’t change the meaning.” He has frequently promoted the slogan on social media including with monetary receipts, polls, questions and memes.
- Craig Cobb, an American white nationalist and separatist, created the video sharing website Podblanc and started a business named after the 14 Words, as well as tried to start a church named after Trump which later burned to the ground.
- Harold Covington (14 September 1953 – July, 2018), was an American white separatist leader and founder of the Northwest Front organization, based on the 14 Words.
- Nathan Damigo, an American white supremacist, leader of Identity Evropa and former US Marine, supports and promotes the slogan with his organization.
- April Gaede, an American white nationalist and neo-Nazi stage mom, whose daughters (Prussian Blue) used to sing under Resistance Records; distributed David Lane’s cremated remains in “14 pyramids” to signify the 14 Words.
- Matthew Heimbach, an American white supremacist of the Traditionalist Workers Party, has based part of his party-platform on the “14 Words” and affirmed them at various speechings including one before the Council of Conservative Citizens.
- William Daniel Johnson, an American white nationalist, attorney, and chairman of the American Freedom Party, is an advocate of the 14 word slogan. He has stated that he and his organization “embrace principles that will secure the existence of our people and a future for our children”. He has claimed that Ron Paul withdrew his endorsement of him for a judgeship in California, after media reported that he was an advocate of the 14 Words.
- David Lane (1938–2007), was an American white supremacist leader and key member of the terrorist organization The Order. He is credited with creating and popularizing the 14 Words. The ADL have described Lane’s slogan as reflecting “the primary white supremacist worldview in the late 20th and early 21st centuries”.
- Stephen McNallen, American neo-pagan leader and founder of the Asatru Folk Assembly, quoted the 14 Words verbatim through National Vanguard magazine declaring: “The mainstream media, the left establishment, and all the usual suspects have declared that this statement is ‘racist.’ It is not racist, it is not White supremacist, it is not bigoted, it is in no way expressing hostility toward any racial group” and based his own personal slogan “The existence of my people is not negotiable” as a simplified 14 Words.
- Tom Metzger, an American white separatist leader, founder of White Aryan Resistance and hosted the 14 Word writings of imprisoned David Lane; accused the United States government of murdering Lane at his death in 2007.
- Jack Posobiec, an American alt-right conspiracy theorist and former naval intelligence officer, has repeatedly published information related to “1488” and has been reported as a supporter of the slogan.
- Billy Roper, an American white supremacist who corresponded with David Lane and founded a White power group called “White Revolution” based on the 14 Words.
- Richard B. Spencer, an American white supremacist and president of the National Policy Institute, supports the 14-worded slogan.
- Vox Day, an American writer, video game designer, and alt-right activist, supports the 14 Words, promoting the slogan in his Sixteen points of the Alt-Right, which placed the sentence “we must secure the existence of white people and a future for white children” as the 14th point.
- weev, an American computer hacker and Internet troll, has shown his support for the slogan, referencing “1488” numerously in computer transactions, as well as more explicitly discussing the topic on social media.
- Faith Goldy, a Canadian right-wing writer and commentator, has recited and supported the 14 Words, saying “I don’t see that as controversial… We want to survive.” After being banned by Patreon for her advocacy of the slogan, Goldy defended her views, and gathered petition signatures in public on a document which replaced “white children” with “aboriginal children”, to supposedly prove the slogan was not hate speech.
- Marian Kotleba, a Slovak politician and leader of the far-right Kotleba – People’s Party Our Slovakia political party, has been accused of demonstrating support for the slogan, with reference to the 14 Words by making a €1,488 donation to three families. The donations were used as an evidence in the court in which he was found guilty of supporting and propagating sympathies towards movements oppressing fundamental human rights and was sentenced to four years and four months in prison. The ruling is not valid yet and may be appealed.
References related to terrorism and violence
The slogans and the numerology of “14” and “88” have been used by many white supremacists, both before and after they have committed acts of violence (such as in manifestos), as well as in symbols which have been left at the scenes of criminal acts. These include Order-member David Lane, assassination attempters Paul Schlesselman and Daniel Cowart, and murderers Dylann Roof and Curtis Allgier. 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.
Murder of Alan Berg
The assassination of Jewish talk show host Alan Berg in June 1984 is considered as The Order’s most infamous act of terrorism. Order member Bruce Pierce served as the gunman in the murder and Lane served as the getaway driver. During Lane’s imprisonment on separate convictions (some relating to violating Alan Berg’s civil rights) he created the Fourteen Words slogan. The number 14 continues to symbolize allegiance to the Aryan Nations’ vision of a white homeland.
Barack Obama assassination plot
“14/88” numerology was symbolically included in the Barack Obama assassination plot in October 2008. Both Neo-Nazis, Schlesselman and Cowart were introduced to each other online by a mutual friend who shared their white supremacist beliefs. Within a month of meeting, they had planned to kill the Democratic Party nominee by driving at their target and shooting from their vehicle. This was to be followed by a killing spree in which the men planned to kill 88 African Americans, 14 of whom were to be beheaded. They were targeting mostly children at an unidentified, predominantly black school. Shortly after their arrest, their vehicle was discovered to have “14” and “88” written onto it.
Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting
Mass-shooter Wade Michael Page, who killed six and wounded four members of the Sikh community in August 2012, had been a supporter of the Fourteen Words, and was found with “14” onto a Celtic Cross tattooed on his arm, after committing suicide at the scene of the crime. About a year before the shooting, Page wrote on the Internet regarding the slogan, “Passive submission is indirect support to the oppressors. Stand up for yourself and live the 14 words.”
Charleston church shooting
After the Charleston mass-murder shooting in June 2015, Dylann Roof’s ideology and apparent manifesto emerged in the media with multiple references to “1488”; these included several photos of Roof pictured alongside the numbers. He symbolically brought 88 bullets to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church to carry out the shooting, in which nine African Americans were killed.
Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
Robert Bowers, the gunman suspected of killing 11 people and wounding 6 at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, included the numeric code “1488” in the header image of his Gab social media account. Bowers also expressed Christian Identity rhetoric declaring “the lord jesus christ is come in the flesh” while espousing anti-Semitic views that “jews are children of satan”.
Christchurch mosque shootings
Brenton Harrison Tarrant, the shooter responsible for the attacks, posted images on Twitter of firearms and published his manifesto “The Great Replacement” which both had the neo-Nazi symbol Black Sun and the slogan (as “14” or “14 Words”) written on the weapons and also in the manifesto. The firearms were used in the shooting.