In Shooting Aftermath, ADL Calls for Full-Scale Federal Probe into Violent Hate Group World Church of the Creator
New York, New York, July 6, 1999
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called
on the U.S. Department of Justice to launch an immediate, full-scale investigation of the
violent hate group World Church of the Creator.
In a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, the League said the link between Benjamin
Nathaniel Smith, his suicidal weekend killing spree across Illinois and Indiana and the
World Churchs top leadership was enough to trigger a "full field
investigation" as defined by the1989 Attorney General Guidelines for Domestic
"This past weekends horrific crime spree by Benjamin Nathaniel Smith,
identified as a World Church of the Creator member with close ties to that groups
leader, Matt Hale, is but the most recent in a series of violent crimes linked to this
group," said Howard P. Berkowitz, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL
National Director. "We believe a national investigation would be appropriate in light
of the fact that the groups membership, including many neo-Nazi skinheads, has grown
noticeably in recent years. There is a disturbing pattern of nationwide activity by this
group that warrants law enforcement attention at the national level."
Mr. Berkowitz and Mr. Foxman pointed to a series of recent crimes and leafleting
connected to the World Church, a violent hate group that ADL has monitored for nearly a
decade. According to the ADL Backgrounder World Church of the Creator, one of the
three Sacramento synagogues struck last month by arsonists had been targeted with
anti-Semitic World Church leaflets as recently as April. An assault and armed robbery in
Hollywood, Fla. in 1998 and an assault at a rock concert in Miami in 1997 involved
adherents of the World Church, which previously has been identified as "Church of the
Creator." World Church members in California were linked to a skinhead attempt to
foment a "race war" on the West Coast in 1993. The group conducted aggressive
leafleting and recruitment campaigns in various U.S. cities and remains a virulent
presence on the World Wide Web with at least 22 hate sites linked to the group.
EDITORS NOTE: ADL experts are available to discuss Matt Hale and World Church of
the Creator. To arrange an interview, contact ADL Media Relations at (212) 885-7749. The
ADL Backgrounder World Church of the Creator and more information may be found on
the Leagues Web site at www.adl.org.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.