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Seven-Stage Hate Model: The Psychopathology of Hate Groups

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 72 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2003 Pages: 1-8
John R. Schafer M.A.; Joe Navarro M.A.
Date Published
March 2003
8 pages
This article proposes a seven stage hate model that will help facilitate an understanding of the etiology of the hate process.
Previous research has failed to focus on the hate process itself. However, is essential to understand the hate process so that appropriate and effective intervention programs can be developed. The authors propose a hate model consisting of seven stages: (1) the Haters Gather; (2) the Hate Group Defines Itself; (3) the Hate Group Disparages the Target; (4) the Hate Group Taunts the Target; (5) the Hate Group Attacks the Target Without Weapons; (6) the Hate Group Attacks the Target With Weapons; and (7) the Hate Group Destroys the Target. In the first stage, the “haters” feel compelled to gather among other people who hate the same or similar targets. In the second stage, the haters form an identity by using symbols, rituals, and mythology. During the third stage, the haters begin to verbally degrade the object of their hatred, thereby bolstering their self-image as a group. In the fourth stage, in order to maintain high levels of agitation and avoid introspection, the group begins to taunt its target, usually through the use of offensive gestures and racial slurs. The fifth stage marks a crucial step in the hate process; the haters move on from verbal assaults to physically abusive assaults, although without the use of weapons. In the sixth stage, the haters physically attack their target with weapons. Weapons of choice are generally broken bottles, screwdrivers, and other objects that require the haters to be close to the victim, demonstrating their intense level of hatred. Finally, in the seventh stage, the haters seek to reach their ultimate goal of physically destroying the target of their hatred. The authors note that in order to fully understand hate groups, it is imperative to identify and define their symbols, rituals, and mythology. Interviewing techniques and intervention strategies are outlined in order to help the law enforcement community understand and deal with hate groups. 25 Endnotes