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The Creativity Movement (formerly known as the World Church Of The Creator), is a white separatist organization that advocates the whites-only religion, Creativity.[1] It was also a descriptive phrase used by Ben Klassen, that included all adherents of the religion. The use of the term creator does not refer to a deity, but rather to themselves (white people).[2] Despite the former use of the word Church in its name, the movement is atheistic.[3] The Creativity Movement is not affiliated with the Creativity Alliance.

History

Creativity is a White Separatist religion that was founded by Ben Klassen in early 1973 under the name Church of the Creator. After Klassen's death in 1993, Creativity almost died out as a religion until the New Church of the Creator was established three years later by Matthew F. Hale as its Pontifex Maximus (high priest), until his incarceration in January 2003 for plotting with the movement's head of security, Anthony Evola (an FBI informant), to murder a federal judge.

Soon after its establishment in 1996, the New Church of the Creator was renamed the World Church of the Creator (WCOTC). Hale prefixed the name with World in an effort to symbolize the organization's global mission of attaining a "Whiter and Brighter World." The group was not a direct follow-on from Klassen's Church of the Creator. This meant that prior use was not a defense when the World Church of the Creator lost a lawsuit in 2002 brought on by an unrelated Christian organization named TE-TA-MA "Truth" Foundation which had previously trademarked the name Church of the Creator. This forced yet another name change to The Creativity Movement (TCM).

Legal Issues

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Creativity Movement's members have been charged and convicted in over 17 acts of racial violence.[4]

Brian Kozel, 18, a White Racial Loyalist - Creator - White Beret (security group of the movement) was killed on September 15, 1990, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After a conflict on the street with a Hispanic gang, he was shot in the back and died on the scene. The murderer was never found. Kozel is hailed as a martyr by the group.

In 1991, Harold Mansfield Jr., an African-American and decorated veteran of the Gulf War, was killed in a parking lot in Neptune Beach, Florida by Reverend George Loeb, a Church of the Creator reverend.[5] George Loeb was convicted of first-degree murder on July 29, 1992, and received a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. His wife Barbara Loeb was sentenced to one year in jail on weapons possession charges. The organization has repeatedly argued that Loeb was acting in self-defense when he committed the act.

Subsequently, the dead man's family successfully sued the organization, winning an award of $1 million in damages in March 1994.[5] Prior to the lawsuit, Klassen sold the organization's North Carolina compound, which housed its headquarters, to Dr. William Pierce, head of the National Alliance. The SPLC filed suit against Pierce for his role in what it claims was a fraudulent scheme, and won an $85,000 judgment in 1995.[6] The amount was upheld on appeal and the money was collected prior to Pierce's death in 2002.[6] Klassen then chose former telemarketer Richard McCarty as his successor, who moved the organization to Niceville, Florida. Soon after appointing McCarty in the summer of 1993, Klassen committed suicide.[7] In 1996 Hale established a new group which he led until 2003.[8].

During the weekend of July 4, 1999, group member and fellow law student Benjamin Nathaniel Smith went on a shooting spree after Matthew F. Hale was denied a law license.[9] Smith is viewed as a martyr by Creators.

In 2000, the Oregon-based TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation filed a lawsuit against the World Church of the Creator for using the name Church of the Creator, which the Oregon group had registered as a trademark.[10] Early in 2002 U.S. District Court Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow ruled in favor of the World Church of the Creator. However, this decision was appealed by TE-TA-MA, and in November 2002, in a reversal of the previous ruling, a panel of three judges in the appeals court overturned the previous decision. District Judge Lefkow then enforced the appeals court injunction in favor of TE-TA-MA; barring the use of the name by Hale's organization.[11] In December 2002, the World Church of the Creator announced it was moving its headquarters to Riverton, Wyoming, in what the Anti-Defamation League claimed was an effort to avoid the court injunction barring use of the name.[12]

On January 9, 2003 Hale was arrested and charged with attempting to direct his security chief Anthony Evola to murder Judge Lefkow.[13][14] Hale was found guilty of four of the five counts (one count of solicitation of murder and three counts of obstruction of justice) on April 26, 2004 and in April 2005 was sentenced to 40 years in a Federal penitentiary.[15]

On July 22, 2002, two followers of the organization were found guilty in federal court of plotting to blow up Jewish and black landmarks around Boston, in what prosecutors said was a scheme to spark a "racial holy war."[16] A federal jury deliberated for seven hours over a period of two days before convicting Leo Felton (the 31-year-old mixed-race son of civil rights activists) and his 22-year-old girlfriend, Erica Chase.

In August 2004, former Creator Hardy Lloyd killed his girlfriend whom he had met on an internet dating service in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. [17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24] The act was ruled a case of self-defense by a jury on November 3, 2006.[25] Based in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Lloyd founded his own Church of Creativity in 2003, and declared himself Pontifex Maximus. Lloyd left Creativity in 2007.

Present Day: Due to the loss of the trademark suit by TE-TA-MA "Truth" Foundation, The Creativity Movement currently owes $450,747 in court costs, attorney's fees and fines.[26]

Salubrious living

While not a mandatory part of church doctrine, salubrious living is greatly encouraged within the Church. The basic doctrine is laid down by Ben Klassen and Arnold DeVries in the book Salubrious Living. The program emphasises living in accord with the "Laws of Nature", with personal cleanliness and self-mastery, with avoiding medications or drugs, and with promoting white eugenics.[27]

Current: breakup and factionalism

Since Hale's conviction, there have been ongoing schisms within the organization, amounting to what was at one time eight independent groups. The Church of the RaHoWa (the religious arm of the White Crusaders of the RaHoWa—itself a break-away group from the Creativity Movement; the word RaHoWa is a contraction of "Racial Holy War" and a battle cry for church members) was one such group.[28] After police raids on the homes of several of the leading members, the group broke up and the bulk of the adherents of The Church and the White Crusaders of the RaHoWa then left to either join other groups or form newer and smaller independent groups of their own.

As of 2007 Creators have divided into two ideologically opposed factions. The first has adopted the name The Creativity Movement (also known as "Skinheads of the Racial Holy War"), and it follows the rigid organizational structure set up by Hale. It includes local, state and national leaders under the leadership of its own Pontifex Maximus. This group has adopted the uncompromising stance that for one to be a Creator, one must be a member of that group. Adherence to Creativity by those outside the group is not permissible.[29] Group membership consists of two former members of Hale's Church with some new recruits. It has an outlook that is more in line with the stereotypical skinhead gangs as portrayed in Hollywood films such as American History X and Romper Stomper. The group still owes thousands of dollars in fines and court costs incurred as a result of its trademark dispute with TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation.

The second of the two ideologically opposed factions is known as the "Creativity Alliance". It follows the loose organizational structure first proposed by Ben Klassen. This group does not consider itself an organization. It maintains that it is a group of individuals and numerous smaller groups (some of whom label themselves as local variants of the Church of Creativity) that have banded together in an alliance to promote Creativity. The group also has a policy of non-participation in the White Power social construct. It espouses the belief that for Creativity to survive as a religion, it must become accepted by mainstream society as a viable religion. In short, as opposed to The Creativity Movement, the Creativity Alliance promotes the adherence of Creativity outside the confines of the group.[30] The group as such has no formal membership or leaders. It consists of its founder and other adherents of Creativity - various individuals and groups, who sometimes refer to themselves as "independent Creators." The predominant makeup of the alliance is of former members of both Klassen's and Hale's churches along with new adherents. The group does not owe money in fines or court costs. As a legal precaution its web pages and published books stress the fact that it makes no attempt to assume or supersede the US registered trademark now owned by TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation.[31]

Due to The Creativity Movement's rigid stance that adherence to Creativity is restricted to members of its own group, neither of the two factions appears willing to reconcile.

See also

References

  1. Hedda Rosner Kopf, "Understanding Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl: A Student Casebook" (1997) Greenwood Publishing Group at p. 189.
  2. Expert: Hatreds rooted in poverty don't thrive here, the Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA), July 9, 1999
  3. Creativity Movement (formerly known as World Church of the Creator)
  4. "Church of the Creator: A History". Southern Poverty Law Center. Summer 1999. http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?sid=219. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Supremacist Told to Pay Black Family". New York Times. 1996-05-20. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60D12FF3B5D0C738EDDAC0894DE494D81. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Mansfield v. Pierce". Southern Poverty Law Center. 03/07/1994. http://www.splcenter.org/legal/docket/files.jsp?cdrID=27. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  7. "Hate Groups Seeking Broader Reach". New York Times. 1999-07-07. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F2061FF934590C748CDDAE0894D1494D81. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  8. Creativity Movement (formerly World Church of the Creator)UPDATE: Matt Hale receives 40-year prison sentence. (4/6/05) - Extremism in America
  9. "White Supremacists Rally in York, Pa.". New York Times. 2002-01-13. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70912FA3C5C0C708DDDA80894DA404482. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  10. "What's in a Name?". Southern Poverty Law Center. Winter 2002. http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?sid=64. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  11. "Creator Crack-Up". Southern Poverty Law Center. Winter 2002. http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?pid=60. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  12. "White Supremacist Group Fined $1,000 a Day" by The Anti-Defamation League, May 1, 2003
  13. "Race extremist jailed in plot to kill judge". CNN. 2003-01-09. http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/Midwest/01/08/white.supremacist/index.html. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  14. United States v. Matt Hale grand jury indictment, 2002.
  15. "White supremacist found guilty". ABC7Chicago.com. 2004-04-26. http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=News&id=1510781. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  16. "Hate, American Style". New York Times. 2002-08-30. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40810F73F5B0C738FDDA10894DA404482. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  17. "About Hardy Lloyd". Post-Gazette. 2004-08-08. http://www.postgazette.com/pg/04221/357934.stm. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  18. "Squirrel Hill man claims self-defense in fatal shooting". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 2006-11-02. http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/rss/s_477778.html. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  19. WTAE-TV Channel 4 News, PA Self-Defense Claimed In Squirrel Hill Girlfriend-Shooting
  20. Pittsburgh Tribune Family of slain woman says goodbye
  21. SPLC Former racist leader charged in woman's murder
  22. SPLC Acquitted of Murder, a Killer Boasts of His Deed
  23. ADL White Supremacist Arrested in Pittsburgh Shooting
  24. SPLC Acquitted of Murder, Neo-Nazi Killer Taunts Victim’s Family
  25. "The Blotter". Southern Poverty Law Center. 2006-11-03. http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=738. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  26. Trademark Litigation - Church of the Creator
  27. Klassen, Ben; Church of the Creator, Church of the Creator (1982). Salubrious Living. pp. 247. http://www.creativitymovement.com/eBook-BenKlassen&ArnoldDeVries-SalubriousLiving.pdf. 
  28. "SA Attorney-General wants racist website closed down". ABC Australia. 2006-01-31. http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1559149.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  29. Group calling themselves The Creativity Movement want no rivals The Creativity Movement Forum
  30. The Creativity Alliance is not an organization About the Creativity Alliance
  31. The Creativity Alliance makes no attempt to assume or supersede trademark Legal disclaimer used by the Creativity Alliance

External links

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