The history of the Gangster Disciples begins with Larry Hoover, who entered and rose through the ranks of the Chicago gang circuit in the 1960’s and took control of the gang in 1974 by leading a series of increasingly powerful alliances. He ended up running the gang from prison until he was transferred to a higher security wing in the 1990s. Hoover was born in Jackson, Mississippi on November, 30, 1950. He moved to Chicago with his family in 1955. At the age of 16, Hoover joined a gang of 50 older youths called the Supreme Gangsters. Hoover and his Supreme Gangsters hung around their neighborhood at the corner of 68th and Green Street in impoverished Englewood on the South Side of Chicago. Hoover was kicked out of high school on the first day of his sophomore year, in 1965, after being shot in the thigh by a rival gang member.
The gang is estimated to have over 50,000 members in the Chicago-city area, and 200,000 members in the country, and even 600,000 members world-wide. Although the gang has a lot of Wanna-be’s the gang considers them gonna-Be’s which is why the gangs membership is so high. The gang has also been seen in the game Video game -Saints Row- the 3rd street saints (one of the street gangs in the game) are supposedly based off of the GD’s but this is still unknown. The gang has a very strong presence on the eastern coast of the USA.
The gang’s graffiti has been reportedly seen in US military bases in Iraq. Chicago chief of police has talked with President Bush concerning this, he is worried that while over there the gang is getting urban warfare training and will bring it back to the US and train the other members, he said “the last thing we need in Chicago are disciples with military tactics walking the streets”.
The gang is considered a criminal organization and is one of the most violent gangs in the USA. It is the strongest gang in the Folk Nation. Gangster Disciples are one of the most violent of four African-American gangs that hang out on the south side of Chicago. They are known for their violence and the distribution of crack cocaine. The Vice Lord Nation is the oldest street gang in Chicago followed by the Black Gangster Disciple Nation, also known as the Gangster Disciples.
1960s: David Barksdale creates the Disciple Nation David Barksdale, another South Side-based gang leader Jerome King Shorty Freeman and Don Charles Jones created the Disciple Nation consisting of his Devil’s Disciples street gang (the main branch of the ‘nation’), the Falcon Disciples and others. During this time, Barksdale also controlled three other lesser gang’s one being known today as the most silent but deadliest Disciple Nation Gangs in Tacoma Washington, Southside Villain Folks. Today, Georgia is one of the biggest disciple houses in the United States with its prisons containing one of the most important folk members who ever lived, Earl Porter, aka King Porter from middle Georgia.
Porter had been raised in Chicago on the South Side, but due to murder charges from Don Jones, King Porter was moved to Georgia to get away from the gang violence in 1987. David and Hoover tried to get King Porter to come back to Chicago but he never came back. None of the King Disciples heard from Earl ever since. His disciple branch was never complete. His brother Mike a.k.a. Mike Mayor was found dead after a three million dollar drug deal gone bad. King Earl should have been the Nation’s president but he left Chicago. The last time any of the leading head family members heard from King Porter was when he served a four year sentence in prison for drug trafficking charges in Atlanta GA.
In 1974, after the death of David Barksdale, Hoover was appointed the new leader of the Black Gangster Disciple Nation. Two years later, Jerome “Shorty” Freeman (who was a candidate for the Nation’s presidency) left the BGDN, making the Black Disciples and the Black Gangster Disciples separate gang organizations. Even in prison, Hoover gave orders to his gang members and directed their illegal drug trade. On July 22, 1978, an inmate riot at the Pontiac Correctional Center in Illinois resulted in the death of three corrections officers. This uprising was rumored to have been ordered by Hoover. 18 inmates were indicted; ten were acquitted after an 11-week trial. Charges against Hoover and seven others were eventually dropped.
Hoover and the leaders of other gang organizations in Chicago came together to form the Folks alliance, a pact meant to settle disputes and instill a more peaceful environment behind prison walls and on the streets. Hoover may not have been totally responsible for its creation as some suggest; at the time the largest gang in the alliance was the Simon City Royals, a white gang. Hoover is the leader of the GD’s, not all Folks. However in the present year the GD’s are now the largest gang in the Folk Nation having over an estimated 600,000 members world-wide.
Gangster Disciples say the most with their tattoos. It is very east to identify several things from just one tattoo. Below you will find a list of common identifiers that Gangster Disciples use for identification.
Six Pointed Star - Yes, the Star of David is one of the most common ways for a Gangster Disciple to identify them. The reason they use this star is because GD’s fall under the Folk Nation, which reps the number 6. In no way is this suggestion that the Star of David is gang related but it is used by GD’s for a totally different reason.
Pitchforks - You will see a pitchfork or two facing upward. They use a pitchfork for identification and at times you will see the pitchfork crossing out the letter B or the number 5, showing disrespect to the Bloods and People Nation Gangs.
Three Dots - Common with many gangs but each gang has its own meaning. These dots will be in the shape of a triangle.
Dice with the Six showing - Another example of using the number 6 for identification.
The letter G - Clearly represents Gangster
Upside Down Cane - Shows disrespect to the Vice Lords, which is one of the biggest rivals of GD’s. GD’s will also refer to Vice Lords and Vickie Lou’s.
Heart with Wings - This is very common among all Folk Nation gangs
Eight Ball - This shows an alliance between Crips and GD’s.
The letters below have a meaning and are not just random letters. Keep in mind that we are dealing with hardcore criminals and they do not tattoo numbers and letters on them for the fun of it. THEY HAVE A MEANING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- MMM - Money Mac Maintain
- KWU - Knowledge Wisdom Understanding
- LLL - Love Life Loyalty
- 974 - These are the ninth, seventh and fourth letters of the alphabet, which are IGD. This represents Insane Gangster Disciple
- 74 - Gangster Disciple
- 274 - Black Gangster Disciple
- 211 - Represents Blood Killa
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What Are the Identifying Tattoos of the "Gangster Disciples"?
By Staff WriterLast Updated March 26, 2020
Identifying tattoos for the "Gangster Disciples" include a six-pointed star, an eight ball, three dots in the shape of a triangle, pitchforks, a die showing the number six, a heart with wings and an upside down cane. Tattooed numbers and letters also have meaning.
Specific tattoos symbolize membership in the Gangster Disciples gang. They may also represent a belief system or be used to record violent acts. The gang uses the six-pointed star because its members associate with the number six, which is also the reason for the die showing a six. Six is supposed to represent life, love, loyalty, knowledge, respect and understanding. Gang members also get tattoos of the number six alone. Pitchforks and upside down canes show disrespect to rival gangs. An eight ball shows an alliance with another gang, the Crips.
The Gangster Disciples also get the initials for the gang, GD, tattooed on their bodies. Alternatively, they use numbers to represent the alphabet, 7 for G and 4 for D. The initials BOS and BOSS in a tattoo stand for "Brothers of the Struggle" and "Brothers of the Strong Struggle."
The Gangster Disciples are part of the Folk Nation, an alliance of street gangs originating in Chicago. The heart with wings is common to all the Folk Nation sets, and tattoos may incorporate other symbols, numbers and letters.
American alliance of street gangs
|Founded||1978; 43 years ago (1978)|
|Founding location||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|Ethnicity||African-American, Latino, White|
|Criminal activities||Drug trafficking, auto theft, burglary, extortion, homicide|
The Folk Nation (commonly referred to as Folk or Folks) is an alliance of street gangs originating in Chicago, established in 1978. The alliance has since spread throughout the United States, particularly the Midwest region of the United States. They are rivals of the People Nation.
The Folk Nation was formed on November 11, 1978, within the confines of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Larry Hoover, the chairman of the Gangster Disciple Nation, created the idea for the alliance and persuaded many leaders of large Black, White, and Latino gangs from Chicago to join. Soon after its formation, the People Nation was formed to counter the Folks alliance.
Folk Nation symbols include the Star of David, horns, a die with 6 dots facing forward, the digit 6, a pointed tail, and a pitchfork.
Folk gangs also disrespect People Nation gangs and rival Folk gangs by inverting their rivals' various gang symbols.
A 1995 report from the Florida Department of Corrections' Security Threat Intelligence Unit listed Folk Nation's major sets as follows:
The art of deciphering a gang code
By Gary Klivans
Can you keep a secret? Gangs’ use of codes is one of the most fascinating and least understood aspects of gang investigation. If anything speaks to the fact that these groups are well-established and sophisticated, it is the way that they communicate using gang codes. Gangs are cultures within our Culture and societies within our Society. For example many larger, well established gangs have their own societal rules of behavior (laws), tribunals to punish rule-breakers (courts), dues collection (taxes) and even their own holidays! The way in which we try to decipher gang codes is also sometimes misunderstood.
Technicians in white lab coats monitoring blinking lights on large banks of computers, or a large room divided into cubicles filled with assistants diligently counting symbols or words to be analyzed using letter frequency or word frequency charts. That’s how most people envision the “science” of deciphering a code.
In some cases, a version of this vision may be right, but analyzing a gang code presents definite problems for science. Gang codes will sometimes use more than one symbol to represent a letter of the alphabet. This hampers the use of letter frequency charts. Gang codes use gang or prison slang. A phrase like “Send me a kite” might not make sense to the code “scientist”, and make translation difficult. Perhaps most troubling to the science of deciphering, is the fact that writers of documents written in a gang code don’t spell words correctly or use rules of grammar.
When the science of deciphering a gang code fails, it’s time to turn to art. The art of deciphering a gang code, much like being a brew master or great chef, uses both science and experience. A brew master or chef knows all the ingredients and the times and temperatures required to create a great beer or meal, but along the way, subjective analysis comes into play: “It needs another five degrees of heat” or “Add a little salt”. So too, the art of deciphering a gang code requires that the analyst knows what is important to the culture of the gang member who is writing the questioned document. History, identifiers and how a gang communicates are all components of the subjective analysis required to decipher the coded document.
In the following code samples, I will explain how I used the “art of deciphering” and the “science of code breaking” together to decipher a coded document.
The samples shown in (Illustration #1 & #2) are examples of a Black Gangster Disciple (BGD) code that I deciphered by developing the information shown in (Illustration #3). If the science of counting the frequency of symbols was used to try to decode this document it would fail because the writer used multiple symbols to represent some letters of the alphabet (Illustration #3).
I was able to begin the translation of this document because I recognized the symbols used by the BGD and then used that information to identify words and phrases that are important to the philosophy of this gang. I have found that the method of “knowing what is important to the writer” can be a valuable tool in deciphering gang codes. The document in this sample is a document produced by the Black Gangster Disciples. This gang uses very ornate and complex symbols.
The Black Gangster Disciples are associated with the Folk Nation gangs and use a lot of identifiers associated with their Gang and Nation such as a “pitchfork”, the number “6”, the number “5” placed upside down (to indicate disrespect for the rival People Nation), the six-sided “Star of David” symbol (to honor one of the Black Gangster Disciple founders, David BARKSDALE), and numbers “74” (for “GD”).
The sample pages shown (Illustration #1 through #7) is part of a fifteen page sample confiscated by law enforcement. Specifically, I was able to determine the words identified in (Illustrations #4 through #7) because I knew that these phrases were important to the members of the BGD.
The first line of this paragraph was “All Is Not Well”
The second line contained “All’s Well” (Note the punctuation).
The fourth line contained “All Is Not Well,”
The fifth line contained “All Is One,”
Sometimes a gang member wants to hide his affiliation to a specific gang and does not use recognizable identifiers to connect them to the gang. I was told by the agency that confiscated the following code sample that the document shown in (Illustration #8) was written by a member of the Bloods gang, but the document does not use commonly recognized Bloods gang identifiers like: “B’s ” or “C’s ”. None of the letter “¢’s” were crossed out, no familiar three dots in a “dog paw” pattern.
As I examined the document I saw what appeared to be the word “Bloods” as shown in (Illustration #9). Using this as a guide I placed some of these now “known” letters back into words in the document and mixed with a little more art and science, I was able to decipher the remaining portions of the coded document and develop the list of code symbols shown in (Illustration #10).
On occasion, a gang will use a recognized type of code. For example, (Illustration #11 & #12) shows the use of a “Tic Tac Toe” type code, in this case used by the Bloods gang. This code uses geometric designs, usually a square, and an “X” in combination with a “dot” to create symbols to represent letters of the alphabet. The figures shown in (Illustration #11) depict a basic form of this type of code which was initially created by Rosicrucian’s and Freemason’s.
This type of code can be identified by the type of symbols which are taken from shapes made from components of a “tic-tac-toe” symbol, also called a “pound sign” or Octothorpe and an “X” symbol. The standard configuration for this type of code uses two “tic-tac-toe” symbols (one with ‘dots’ and one without) and two letter “X’s” (one with ‘dots’ and one without). Letters of the alphabet are placed in the open portions of these symbols and then the letters are assigned that shape. This type of code is very flexible because the users can place any letter in any symbol opening.
You can see in (Illustration #12) how the symbols used in the document are formed by the shapes, which are assigned letters of the alphabet. Note the use of ‘dots’ to indicate which “tic-tac-toe” or “X” symbol is to be used.
The art of deciphering again provided a starting point. Through familiarity with the way that Bloods communicate with each other, I was able to recognize that the first line said “Peace, Blood” and from this “artful” beginning, was able to use “science” to create the symbol table shown in (Illustration #13) which identifies the geometric shape which represents a letter of the alphabet.
As I said at the beginning of this article, it’s important to know about the history, identifiers and what’s important to the gang member creating the code.
Some gangs, like the members of the Almighty Latin King Queen Nation (ALKQN), AKA the “Latin Kings”, are so rich in history, identifiers and lifestyle that the code shown below is easily identifiable as being a Latin King document and some of the clues to deciphering this code come from the art of knowing their philosophy. This document (Illustration #14 and #15) starts in English and then becomes code symbols. The author of this document was unusually kind, in that individual words are contained in parenthesis within the document.
Some of the art of deciphering this document was in knowing how important the “Crown” and the phrase “Amor de Rey” are to the Latin King gang (Illustrations #16 & #17). Note that in (Illustration #17) the term “Amor de Rey” is abbreviated as “ADR”. This phrase is so central to the Latin Kings that I knew that the three-letter symbols had to be “ADR”. There are numerous spelling errors in this document (e.g. in illustration #14 and #16, the word “first” is spelled “frist”) which would have hampered the use of science without art. The code symbols used in this document are shown in (Illustration #18).
We’ve looked at several different types of codes. One code we deciphered because gang symbols were used to properly identify the gang and then by knowing and finding phrases that are important to that gang culture. Another gang code deliberately avoided familiar symbols but was able to be deciphered because of the use of the gang name within the document. Another sample was a well-known type of code that has been adopted by gangs. This code was broken because of familiarity with the way gang members communicate with each other. Finally, we examined a code used by a gang that is rich in “culture” and “history” and this code was deciphered as a result of knowing what was important to the code writer. All of these codes were able to be deciphered by using a combination of science and “the art of deciphering a gang code”.
About the author: GS KLIVANS is a gang consultant and lecturer. He is employed as a Captain by the Westchester County (NY) DOC (Peace Officer). Captain KLIVANS is a former District Attorney Investigator (Police Officer). He served in the US Army Reserve for 30 years in Military Intelligence and CID (Federal Agent).
He can be contacted at: [email protected]
Alphabet gangster disciples
Did the Star of David get Rick Ross shot?
The curious case of the Gangster Disciples, Jewish swag and shooting rap's biggest rapper
The Dutch artists Pinar & Viola’s practice is concerned with radical surface and new totalitarian decadence. Under this Blog, they report on the emerging digital folklore from the wilds of the net.
In the recent months, we have all been entertained with shivers down our spines by the worst kept secret in the rap world, the dispute between Rick Ross and the Chicago-based gang the Gangster Disciples. On October 29th, GD released a YouTube threat for Rick Ross, concerning the Star of David on his mixtape. After that, on 28th January 2013, Mr. Ross crashed his Rolls Royce after another vehicle fired shots at him as he drove home from his birthday party at the famed Miami nightclub LIV. As expected, this shooting alluded to Hebrew-fanatic gang Gangster Disciples, flaunting their sense of humour by shooting him on his birthday. On the other hand, according to reports allegedly “dozens” of rounds were fired at Ross’s car in the drive-by which made 50 Cent speculate that Rick Ross staged his own shooting. Meanwhile, we were bewildered by this Jewish swag which has been the centre of this gangster gossip.
Hip hop and occult visual imagery is like caviar and vodka: a classic. Especially the speculative masonic Illuminati looks of our favourite Givenchy boys, Jay-Z & Mr. West. Writing an opinion about a subject which is a combination of Jewish symbolism, street gangs, African-Americans and hip hop, while not having a background in any of them and getting away with it is not easy, but the question remains... Why on earth would a street gang associate itself with Judaism? And why is the Star of David the go-to rap symbol of choice?
Folk Nation is an alliance of street gangs based in Chicago and Gangster Disciples is its strongest sub-gang - also one of the most violent gangs in the USA. It is estimated to have over 600,000 members worldwide. The gang uses the Star of David, a pitchfork, 360, GD (their initials) and number 74 (the places of their initials G and D in the alphabet) as their symbol and they are known for carrying a black flag (bandana). Allegedly, the Star of David in the GD pays respect to David 'King David' Barksdale who was the original leader of multiple Folk Nation gangs among Gangster Disciples. The letters on the points of the star stand for Love, Life, Loyalty, Understanding, Knowledge and Wisdom.
The gang is adamant about their silence and secrecy yet we know that Trick Daddy, and Lil Scrappy are from GD. We believe in the context of hip hop and street gangs, the star of David and Judaism are more used as a socio-political status, rather than religion. We were quite surprised to observe that the reasons for joining a street gang has overlapping motives with what the Jewish people have been longtime associated with in the popular, often anti-Semetic, imagination: identity, recognition, status, belonging, discipline, love, money and power.
We should also take it into consideration that Gangster Disciples, a street gang, is a minority, yet a very strong one. They grew up in the housing projects of Chicago, the criminal podium of USA. When society did not want to count them in, they created their own economy. Also, let's take the respect and survival factors into account and make an unexpected comparison. Jews have long been a minority in a big nation, working hard to survive and to keep the respect alive. We think that the combination of these factors is the reason why the impossible made possible, a non-Jewish street gang wanted to be associated with Jewish symbolism in their visual representation.
The video that Gangster Disciples uploaded on Youtube showing their feelingstowards Rick Ross about the Star of David on the cover of his mixtape, The Black Bar Mitzvah, has a history. It has been said that Rick Ross disrespected GD for dropping the name of their leader Larry Hoover in the song “B.M.F.” as a street swag booster which made him millions, as well as for using the Star of David (which is the gang’s major symbol) on the cover of his mixtape, The Black Bar Mitzvah.
The gangster gossip surrounding Rick Ross' marketing strategies stretches to world-renowned cocaine king-pin Freeway Ricky Ross. First named 'Teflon', the Miami MC Rick Ross is currently being sued by Freeway Ricky Ross for using his name.
After the shooting in January, the ex-correction officer Rick Ross is currently being protected by actual police force. It can't be fun to be Rick Ross right now.
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