Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups

By Stephen E. Atkins | Go to book overview

H

Hale, Matthew “Matt” (1971-)

Matt Hale, the head of the white supremacist World Church of the Creator, was born on July 27, 1971, and raised in East Peoria, Illinois. His father is a former policeman in the East Peoria Police Department. Hale, the youngest of four brothers, was raised by his father after his parents divorced. From an early age, Nazism fascinated Hale, and he formed a neo-Nazi racist group, the New Reich club, in junior high school. After graduation from East Peoria High School, he attended Bradley University where he was almost expelled for distributing racist literature. Hale nearly went to jail in 1992 for obstruction of justice for lying about his brother's possession of a gun. The court imposed a six-month home confinement on Hale. In 1995 he ran for an East Peoria City Council seat, but his candidacy was overwhelmingly rejected. After this defeat, he studied law at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. During these years, he was briefly married.

Hale resurrected the ideas of Ben Klassen and his Church of the Creator by forming the World Church of the Creator in 1996 in East Peoria, Illinois. Hale assumed the title of “pontifex maximus” formerly held by Klassen. This church is unique because its doctrine is based on white supremacy and rejects traditional Christianity. Hale has expanded Klassen's teachings to a philosophy close to that of Christian Identity by classifying Blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Catholics, and Christians as subhuman. The minority races are “mud races.” He believes that his church should be a leader in the Rahowa (racial holy war), in which the white race must conquer the other races or itself be destroyed. After graduating from law school, Hale passed the state bar examination only to have the Illinois regulatory panel turn down his application. On June 30, 1999, Hale's final appeal was denied. A member of his congregation, Benjamin Smith, went on a three-day rampage, starting on July 3, 1999, killing two individuals and wounding several others. Smith died after shooting himself at the end of a lengthy police chase. Hale has denied responsibility for Smith's actions, but he has never expressed remorse. Despite nationwide negative publicity, Hale continues to preach his brand of racial hatred at his church in East Peoria. See also Church of the Creator; Klassen, Ben; World Church of the Creator.

Suggested readings: Pam Belluck, “Avowed White Racist Is Denied Illinois Law License, ” Times-Picayune [New Orleans] (February 14, 1999), p. A6; Tom Cruze, Erin G. Bradley, and Ellen Domke, “Heat Turned Up on Supremacist Church, ” Chicago Sun-Times (July 11, 1999), p. 6; Amy Pagnozzi, “Matthew Hale's Comely

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Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chronology of Events vii
  • Introduction xxi
  • A 1
  • B 26
  • C 57
  • D 80
  • E 89
  • F 96
  • G 110
  • H 123
  • I 137
  • J 142
  • K 149
  • L 166
  • M 184
  • N 215
  • O 230
  • P 238
  • Q 252
  • R 253
  • S 267
  • T 291
  • U 301
  • V 304
  • W 306
  • Y 326
  • Z 328
  • Selected Bibliography 331
  • Index 339
  • About the Author 375
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