ADL Lauds Conviction of White Supremacist Matthew Hale
Chicago, IL, April 26, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) lauded today's conviction of Matthew Hale, leader of the former World Church of the Creator (now known as the Creativity Movement), on charges he solicited the murder of a federal judge and for obstruction of justice.
"We applaud United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and F.B.I. Special Agent in Charge Thomas Kneir for having the diligence and courage to aggressively pursue the prosecution of this unrepentant racist, who has shown nothing but scorn for our nation's system of justice," said Richard S. Hirschhaut, ADL Chicago Regional Director. "We also congratulate Assistant United States Attorneys Victoria Peters and M. David Weisman for prosecuting this case with vigor and integrity. We are pleased that the jury saw through Hale's deceitful efforts to use his legal knowledge to evade responsibility for his actions."
Noting that the conviction "was five years in the making," Hirschhaut added that the verdict "stands as a measure of justice for the years of anguish suffered by so many innocent people who were victimized by Hale's exhortations to hate and violence. The souls of Ricky Byrdsong and Won-Joon Yoon may now rest in peace."
Having monitored the growth of the former World Church of the Creator for many years, ADL became increasingly concerned about the violent propensities of Hale and his group.
In 1999, one of Hale's followers, Benjamin Smith, went on a murderous shooting rampage in the Midwest, targeting Jews, African-Americans and Asian-Americans, leaving Byrdsong and Yoon dead and nine others wounded before killing himself.
Since the shootings, Hale has continued to praise Smith's deeds and has held him up as a model member of his group.
"The evidence presented at trial provided the jury a glimpse into the inner workings of an extremist group that advocated hate and bigotry in it purest form. The trial and conviction of Matt Hale sends an unmistakable message to those who propagate hate and violence in our community," said Hirschhaut.
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.