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Hate Groups: Step One Haters Gather…

February 11, 2010

Hate Groups: Step One Haters Gather…

The FBI in the USA do a lot work tracking and putting a stop to hate groups. Some of these are gangs, others domestic terrorists like the KKK, others cults and others dangerous political extremists. One of the main things about an organization the size of the FBI is that they do a lot of research into the motivation of these groups. They look hard at the process of how a hate group forms and how it grows and finally how it manifests itself.

They have identified seven major stages in the formation of hate group based upon the study of thousands. This was compiled as a report some years ago and was called the seven stage hate model by John R Schafer. The seven stages are listed as:

Step 1 Haters Gather

There is an almost instinctive desire for people who hate to find others of the same mind set. When in a new environment they try to advertise that they hate someone. The gathering of haters together increases a feeling of self worth in insecure people.

Step 2 The Hate Group Defines itself

Some hate groups use symbols and artefacts to identify themselves, haircuts and clothing are just two. They can also portray themselves as being on a quest to save the world or to purify society.

Step 3 The Hate Group Disparages the Target

Debasing the object of their hate enhances the hater’s sense of self worth. The hater thinks in disparaging terms toward the target which increases their likelihood of lashing out violently. The hater is desensitizing themself to the point of rationalizing any bad behaviour.

Step 4 The Hate Group Taunts the Target

Hate is incremental by nature. Meaning that a person consumed by hate needs to increase their level of hostility to offset their increasing sense of insecurity. To avoid looking inward the hater increases the frequency and level of rhetoric. Taunts and jibes are also designed to bait a target to justify further taunts. Many hate groups try to claim turf and patrol it for their Targets.

Step 5 The Hate Group Attacks the Target without Weapons

This is seen as the critical stage between a vocal hate group and a violent one. The Haters patrol their turf seeking out targets. By resorting to violence and threats of violence the hate group alienates itself and members further from society. Anger builds upon anger until even a minor infraction is responded to with severe punishment.

Step 6 The Hate Group Attacks the Target with Weapons

The more intense the hate, the more personal the weapon. Some hate groups prefer to get in close with knives rather than guns so that they can attack eye-to-eye. Hate becomes very personal.

Step 7 Hate Groups Destroy the Target

The final goal of a hate group is to have the godlike power of life or death over another human. They want their Target destroyed both physically and symbolically. It becomes a self destructive ugliness where the perpetrator is also psychologically destroyed in the process.

What does it all mean?

Hate Groups do not always follow all the stages of this model but many do and some progress to the ultimate stage where killing is seen as the only possible answer. Hate comes from internal feelings of insecurity and a lack of self worth. By attacking an external Target the Hate Group they elevate a new delusion of status because they see themselves as better than those that they attack.

It is also true that Hate Groups can be very rational in their approach despite the fact that Hate itself emotionally irrational. Some Groups resort to hate as a tactic, knowing that it stirs emotions in crowds and feeds the mob mentality for a feeding frenzy.


The report does give some clear pointers on the nature and behaviour of hate groups. It also shows how people can congregate and validate each other’s hate to the point that they cannot see anything else. There are really two losers of hate one is the Target of the Hate and the other perpetrators.

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