Matthew F. Hale

From Academic Kids

This page is about Matthew Hale, leader of a neo-Nazi organization. For other uses, see Matthew Hale (disambiguation).

Matthew F. Hale (born July 27, 1971) is the leader of the white supremacist group formerly known as the World Church of the Creator and now known as the Creativity Movement which was based in East Peoria, Illinois. In 1998, Hale made headlines when his application for an Illinois law license was denied for his belief in racial discrimination ("gross deficiency in moral character").[1] ( On April 6, 2005, Hale was sentenced to a 40-year prison term for soliciting an undercover FBI informant to kill federal judge Joan Lefkow. He is currently incarcerated in the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center.


Early life

Hale was raised in East Peoria, a blue-collar community on the Illinois River. According to Hale, by the age of 12 he was reading books about Nazis and had formed a "Little Reich" group at school.

At the age of 19, Hale burned an Israeli flag at a demonstration and was found guilty of violating an East Peoria ordinance against open burning. The next year, he dumped racist pamphlets at a shopping mall and was fined for littering. In May 1991, Hale and his brother allegedly threatened three blacks with a gun and he was arrested for mob action. Since he refused to tell police where his brother was, Hale was also charged with felony obstruction of justice; he was convicted of obstruction, but won a reversal on appeal. In 1992, Hale allegedly attacked a security officer at a mall and was charged with criminal trespass, resisting arrest, aggravated battery and carrying a concealed weapon. For this attack, Hale was sentenced to 30 months' probation and six months' house arrest.[2] (

In 1993, Hale attended Bradley University and received a degree in Political Science. In 1996, Hale took over the Church of the Creator, a racist, religious group that worships the white race as creators of civilization. The church believes that a "racial holy war" is necessary to attain a "white world" without Jews and non-whites and to this end they encourage their members to "populate the lands of this earth with white people exclusively". Prior to Hale's leadership, members of the church had committed violent criminal acts, including the murder of an African-American Gulf War veteran, the firebombing of an NAACP office in Washington state, and an attempted bombing of a Maryland law enforcement officer's home.

After Hale was appointed "Pontifex Maximus" (supreme leader), he changed the name of the organization to the World Church of the Creator. The name was changed again when a religious group in Oregon (the Church of the Creator) sued Hale's group for trademark infringement. Hale ran the church from an upstairs bedroom at his father's two-story house in East Peoria, where an Israeli flag served as a doormat to his office, and the walls were painted red to symbolize the blood of the white race.

In 1997, Hale married Peggy Anderson but divorced shortly thereafter. Hale graduated from Southern Illinois Law School in May 1998 and passed the bar in July of that same year. On December 16, 1998, the Illinois Bar Committee on Character and Fitness rejected Hale's application for a license to practice law. Hale appealed, and a hearing was held on April 10, 1999. On June 30, 1999, a Hearing Panel of the Committee refused to certify that Hale had the requisite moral character and fitness to practice law in Illinois.[3] (

Benjamin Smith

Two days after Hale was denied a license to practice law, a World Church of the Creator member named Benjamin Smith went on a three-day shooting spree in which he randomly targeted members of racial and ethnic minority groups in Illinois and Indiana. Beginning July 2, Smith's rampage killed two people, including former Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong, and a 26-year-old Korean graduate student named Won-Joon Yoon who was shot as he was on his way to church. Smith wounded nine others before committing suicide on July 5. Mark Potok, director of intelligence for the Southern Poverty Law Center, believes that Smith may have acted in retaliation after Hale's application to practice law was rejected.[4] (

After Smith's shooting spree, Hale appeared on television and in newspapers saying, "We do urge hatred. If you love something, you must be willing to hate that which threatens it." He also referred to non-whites as "mud races." According to Hale, America should only be occupied by whites, but he never explained to the media how he was going to achieve these goals. During a television interview that summer, Hale stated that his church didn't condone violent or illegal activities. Meanwhile, Hale was distributing thousands of copies of the "White Man's Bible," a book which encouraged a war against Jews and "inferior, colored races". In public, Hale claimed to be against violence, but his church's bibles expressed the opposite sentiment: "You have no alibi, no other way out, white man! It's fight or die!"[5] (

Hale's reactions to Smith's shooting spree were also recorded by a police informant and on the tapes Hale laughs about the murders and imitates the sound of gunfire. The tapes were used by the district attorney's office to prosecute Hale after he was arrested on January 8, 2003 for soliciting an undercover FBI informant to kill federal Judge Lefkow.

Judge Lefkow

Prior to his arrest, Hale denounced Judge Lefkow in a news conference, claiming that she was biased against him (in his copyright case) because she was married to a Jewish man and had grandchildren who were biracial.[6] ( On March 9, Hale's former attorney Glenn Greenwald, revealed that Hale's mother, Evelyn Hutcheson, asked Greenwald to pass a coded message (relayed from Hale to his mother) to one of Hale's supporters in 2004, but Greenwald refused.[7] (


We seek the advancement of white people, our people, without any apologies, any compromise, any groveling before anybody.[8] (

External links


  1. Template:AnbCommittee on Character and Fitness (
  2. Template:AnbSouthern Poverty Law Center
  3. Template:Anb(October 29, 1999). Supreme Court of Illinois Press release (
  4. Template:AnbWilgoren, Jodi (March 2, 2005). Haunted by Threats, U.S. Judge Finds New Horror ( The New York Times.
  5. Template:AnbScharnberg, Kirsten (April 27, 2004). Double talk disguises call to arms (,1,3362981.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-utl&ctrack=1&cset=true). Chicago Tribune.
  6. Template:AnbWilgoren, Jodi (January 9, 2003). White Supremacist Is Held in Ordering Judge's Death ( The New York Times.
  7. Template:AnbAssociated Press (Mar. 9, 2005). Encoded message tied to Lefkow killings? ( MSNBC.
  8. Template:AnbAssociated Press (Jan. 13, 2002). The Washington Times.

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