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According to Lane, his father was an abusive drunkard, and his mother worked as a prostitute to pay for his father's alcohol. He claims that since childhood he had found Christianity distasteful, preferring the Norse gods Wotan and Thor. When playing soldiers as a boy, he says, he preferred to play a Nazi.
By 1978, Lane came to the conclusion that "[t]he Western nations were ruled by a Zionist conspiracy...the Zionist conspiracy above all things wants to exterminate the White Aryan race." He joined David Duke's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and also became involved with Aryan Nations and Tom Metzger's White American Political Association (now White Aryan Resistance).
In the eighties he was one of the founding members of The Order (at one point named Bruder Schweigen, the Silent Brotherhood), inspired by the plot of William Luther Pierce's Neo-Nazi novel The Turner Diaries. Members of The Order were responsible for numerous crimes, including the murder of Alan Berg, a Jewish radio host who insulted Lane on-air.
In 1984 Lane aided members of The Order in the robbery of $3.6 million from an armoured truck, and was arrested the following year following a clampdown on far-right groups. He was put on trial three times between 1985 and 1989 for various crimes, and was sentenced to a total of 190 years in prison.
Life and death in prison
He continued to write propaganda while in prison. His writings coined the "Fourteen Words": "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." In 1995 he and his wife Katja founded 14 Words Press, a publishing company for white nationalist and Asatru material that came to be managed by Katja Lane with the aid of Ron McVan.
Lane died in prison (unsurprisingly) in 2007, aged 68. According to Neo-Nazi activist April Gaede, who was given custody of his body, his ashes were to have been interred inside the capstone of a pyramid monument erected in a "white homeland", but instead settled on having his ashes placed in 14 smaller pyramids (the same number from his "14 Words") and entrusted to selected people.
- Anti-Defamation League: David Lane
- Anti-Defamation League: David Lane, white supremacist terrorist and ideologue, dies in prison
- Southern Poverty Law Center: Terrorist, '14 Words' Author, Dies in Prison
- Southern Poverty Law Center: David Lane