David Lane (white supremacist)

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David Lane
Lane posing in front of a brick wall
Lane in 2007
David Eden Lane

(1938-11-02)November 2, 1938
DiedMay 28, 2007(2007-05-28) (aged 68)
Other namesWodensson
OccupationReal estate broker
Known for
Katja Maddox
(m. 1994⁠–⁠2007)

David Eden Lane (November 2, 1938 – May 28, 2007) was an American domestic terrorist, white separatist,[1] neo-Nazi,[2] and convicted felon.[3][4][5] A member of the terror organization The Order, he was convicted and sentenced to 190 years in prison for racketeering, conspiracy, and violation of civil rights of Alan Berg, a Jewish radio talk show host, who was murdered by another member of the group while Lane drove the getaway car on June 18, 1984.[6][7] He died while incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana.[8]

Lane coined the best-known slogan of the modern white supremacist movement in North America, the Fourteen Words. He has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "one of the most important ideologues of contemporary white supremacy".[3]


Lane was born as the third of four siblings in Woden, Iowa; he had a brother and two sisters. His father was an alcoholic migrant worker who was physically abusive toward his wife and children. Lane would later claim that his father forced his mother to engage in prostitution so he could obtain "booze money", and that his older brother was rendered with permanent deafness as a result of a "beating gone awry".[9] When Lane was four years old, his father abandoned his family. In 1944, his older brother was arrested after searching for food in a neighbor's trash bins, and he and his sisters were placed in foster care. Lane was soon adopted by a traveling Lutheran minister, which resulted in Lane being separated from his two sisters. Lane described his adoptive father as a "doctrinaire fundamentalist from the old school".[10] Bored with endless hours of church services, Lane rejected Christianity. Inspired by Nazi religious beliefs, Lane later favored pagan beliefs as a more authentic ancestral "white" religion, as opposed to what he viewed as Jewish influenced Christianity.[10][11] Lane claimed that he first noticed the beauty of the Caucasian race after befriending a blonde-haired girl in first grade to whom he was attracted.[9] Lane stated that while he reenacted battles with his foster brother as a child, he would portray a Nazi stormtrooper while his brother portrayed an American soldier.[9]

Travelling across the Midwestern United States with his adoptive family, Lane finally settled in Aurora, Colorado, where he attended Aurora Central High School. Originally aspiring to become a golf professional,[12] Lane worked as a real estate broker until his license was revoked because he "wouldn't sell homes to coloreds in white neighborhoods".[13]

Lane was briefly a member of the John Birch Society before joining the Ku Klux Klan, becoming the organizer of the Denver unit of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in 1979. In late 1981, Lane became Colorado State Organizer of the Aryan Nations.[13]

Lane met Robert Jay Mathews in July 1983 at the Aryan Nations world congress.[14] On September 22, 1983, Lane was among the nine founding members to be sworn into The Order, a white supremacist group which dedicated itself to delivering "our people from the Jew and bring total victory to the Aryan race."[15] The Order was accused of stealing over $4.1 million in armored car hijackings, killing three people (one of whom was Order member Walter E. West), detonating bombs, counterfeiting money, organizing militaristic training camps and carrying out numerous other crimes with the ultimate goal of overthrowing the "Zionist occupational government" they deemed in control of the United States and to "liberate the Pacific Northwest as a homeland for whites" in the process (see Northwest Territorial Imperative).[16]

Convictions and incarceration[edit]

David Lane
Known forParticipant in the homicide of Alan Berg
Criminal statusDeceased (died in prison)
AllegianceThe Order
MotiveWhite nationalism, extermination of Jews
  • Violation of civil rights
  • Racketeering
  • Conspiracy to engage in racketeering
Criminal charge
PenaltyServed consecutively:
  • 150-year federal prison term (violation of civil rights)
  • 20-year federal prison term (racketeering)
  • 20-year federal prison term (conspiracy)

For his role in The Order's crimes, Lane was sentenced to consecutive sentences totaling 190 years, including 20 years for racketeering, 20 years for conspiracy, both under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and 150 years for violating the civil rights of Alan Berg, a Jewish radio talk show host, who was murdered on June 18, 1984.[6][7][8][17] Berg was shot and killed in the driveway of his Denver home by three members of The Order.[18] Lane was arrested on the evening of March 30, 1985 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.[19] While he did not pull the trigger, prosecutors said Lane drove the getaway car and played a large role in the planning of Berg's assassination.[20][21]

Lane was also among 14 men prosecuted for seditious conspiracy in Fort Smith, Arkansas, but he was acquitted. Lane was considered extremely dangerous by the American justice system and was incarcerated at various times after his conviction in the United States Penitentiary, Marion, the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado, and the Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute.[citation needed]

While incarcerated, he had the Federal Bureau of Prisons ID # 12873–057.[22] Lane wrote books and articles about gematria and the demographic and sociopolitical status of the white race for white nationalist periodicals and websites. With his wife and Ron McVan, he ran a publishing company called 14 Word Press in Idaho to disseminate his writings.[23]

He was featured in Nazi Pop Twins, a documentary aired on July 19, 2007, on Channel 4 in the UK.[24] In it he was shown speaking by phone with Prussian Blue (the music act from the documentary) and termed them "fantasy sweethearts" and that he viewed them like daughters.[25]

Lane's earliest possible release date from prison would have been on March 29, 2035 (at age 96). He died on May 28, 2007, in FCC Terre Haute due to an epileptic seizure.[5] On June 30, 2007, white supremacists held memorial demonstrations for Lane in cities across the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine.[26]


Racial beliefs[edit]

Lane stated that his beliefs can be best summarized by a slogan called the "Fourteen Words", a term that he coined: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children." He also coined a second 14-word slogan: "because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth."[9]

Lane authored the 88 Precepts, a collection of statements on natural law, which are abbreviated "14-88," "14/88 or 14 words" in white supremacist shorthand.[27] In white nationalism, 88 is also a reference to "Heil Hitler".[28]


Lane was one of the founders of the Wotansvolk movement, a racist, neo-völkisch[29] form of Odinism (or Heathenry) which he formed with his wife Katja in 1995 in order to promote his ideology[3] which pursued a program of concerted outreach to prisoners.[30] Wotansvolk combines an "Aryan call to arms" with an esoteric teaching, based in part on Jungian psychology, völkish philosophy, and National Socialism.[31] Lane distanced himself from universalist Odinists (including "folkish Asatru") who did not embrace "survival of the Aryan race" as a core part of the movement.[32] Lane argued with Stephen McNallen, then leader of the Asatru Folk Assembly when Lane was alive.[33] By 2017, McNallen came out with support for Lane's 14 Words, quoting them verbatim.[29]

Aiming at a white revolution, Wotansvolk endorsed "leaderless resistance," a strategy which was popularized by Louis Beam, a Klan veteran and a longtime friend of the Lane family.[31] However, 14 Word Press and Temple of Wotan are defunct organizations and as a result, they no longer have mailing addresses or websites, although Wotanism is still practiced by independent kindreds.

Identifying Sir Francis Bacon with Shakespeare as being "adept in ancient divine wisdom" and believing that the pyramids were built by "Aryan architects", Lane taught a belief called the "Pyramid Prophecy 666",[30] which included the concept that a Bible code was inserted by "Aryan adepts" within the King James Version of the Christian Bible. Lane's alleged deciphered code described him as being the "man" who is described in the Book of Revelation, with America being the Beast, but that belief was censored by Ron McVan and other strategists who believed that Lane's Messianic / Anti-Christ claims would be counterproductive by "turning off potential converts".[34] Lane also issued a declaration called "Moral Authority", which calls the United States a "Red, White, and Blue travelling mass murder machine" which is intent on committing genocide against white people. According to the declaration, "true moral authority belongs to those who resist" this purported genocide.[9]


  1. ^ "White separatist Gary Lee Yarbrough, one-time security chief for The Order, dies in federal prison". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "Neo-Nazi Diaspora", The Beast Reawakens, Routledge, pp. 135–168, October 23, 2013, doi:10.4324/9780203950296-12, ISBN 978-0-203-95029-6, retrieved January 4, 2021
  3. ^ a b c "David Lane". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  4. ^ Kleg, Milton (1993). Hate Prejudice and Racism. SUNY Press. pp. 194–195.
  5. ^ a b Flynn, Kevin (May 29, 2007). "White supremacist, talk show host killer dies in prison". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on July 3, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2007.
  6. ^ a b "The murder of Alan Berg in Denver: 25 years later". The Denver Post. June 17, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2019. Federal authorities tried four suspects in 1987, and the two found guilty were convicted of violating Berg’s civil rights. Lane, then 49, was sentenced to 150 years.
  7. ^ a b "David Lane". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved November 18, 2019. In 1987, Lane was additionally accused of violating Berg’s civil rights by helping to assassinate him, a federal charge. While Lane did not pull the trigger, prosecutors said he drove the getaway car and played a large role in the planning of Berg’s murder. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison.
  8. ^ a b Boniface, Dan; Herdy, Amy (May 29, 2007). "Getaway driver in radio talk show host murder dies in prison". KUSA. Terre Haute, Indiana: Gannett Company. Archived from the original on July 3, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2018. The getaway driver for the white supremacist group who murdered liberal Denver radio talk show host Alan Berg died in a Terre Haute, Indiana federal prison Monday. David Lane, a member of The Order, was 68.
  9. ^ a b c d e "David Lane". Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on November 3, 2008.
  10. ^ a b Deceived, Damned & Defiant, pp. 7–12 (online "here". Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2007. and "here". Archived from the original on May 28, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2007.). Also recounted in Goodrick-Clarke, p. 270.
  11. ^ "David Lane". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  12. ^ Flynn & Gerhardt (1990), p. 259.
  13. ^ a b Schwartz (1996), p. 64.
  14. ^ Goodrick-Clarke (2003), p. 270.
  15. ^ Gardell (2003), p. 193.
  16. ^ "Jury Told of Plan to Kill Radio Host". The New York Times. November 8, 1987. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  17. ^ Turner, Wallace (February 7, 1986). "5 Neo-Nazis Get Stiff Sentences For Crime Spree". The New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  18. ^ "Witness in Racist Trial Identifies Gunman in Slaying of Radio Host". The New York Times. September 21, 1985. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  19. ^ "Another Suspect Held In Radio Host's Death". The New York Times. April 1, 1985. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
  20. ^ "David Lane". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  21. ^ Simpson, Kevin; Blevins, Jason; Auge, Karen (June 17, 2009). "The murder of Alan Berg in Denver: 25 years later". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  22. ^ "David Eden Lane". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  23. ^ Gardell 2004, pp. 205–206
  24. ^ "Nazi Pop Twins". Channel 4. 2007. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2007.
  25. ^ "The Gaede Bunch: 'A is for Aryan'". Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. August 8, 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2007.
  26. ^ "Terrorist, '14 Words' Author, Dies in Prison". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center (Fall 2007). October 1, 2007. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  27. ^ "14/88". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved August 12, 2018. 1488 is a combination of two popular white supremacist numeric symbols. The first symbol is 14, which is shorthand for the "14 Words" slogan. The second is 88, which stands for "Heil Hitler".
  28. ^ "Racist Skinhead Glossary | Southern Poverty Law Center". Southern Poverty Law Center. 2006. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  29. ^ a b "Neo-Volkisch". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  30. ^ a b Gardell (2003), p. 381.
  31. ^ a b Lewis, James R.; Petersen, Jesper Aa. (July 16, 2014). Controversial New Religions. Oxford University Press. p. 456. ISBN 978-0-19-939436-4.
  32. ^ "What Are the '14 Words' Everyone's Been Freaking Out About?". Haaretz. August 12, 2018. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  33. ^ Gardell 2003, p. 280.
  34. ^ Gardell (2003), p. 382.


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