||This article may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, controversies or matters relative to the article subject as a whole. (October 2011)|
||This article improperly uses one or more religious texts as primary sources without referring to secondary sources that critically analyze them. (October 2011)|
The Creativity flag.
The red field symbolizes Creators' "struggle for the survival, expansion, and advancement of the White race," and the white triangle on the right represents the coming of a "Whiter and Brighter World." The W stands for the White race, the crown represents that Creators are the elite, and the halo is a symbol of race being "unique and sacred above all other values."
|Nature's Eternal Religion, The White Man's Bible, Salubrious Living|
Creativity is a nontheistic, ethnocentric religion founded in Lighthouse Point, Florida in 1973 by Ben Klassen upon publishing his racial manifesto Nature's Eternal Religion. He further expounded his religious ideology in books such as The White Man's Bible, and Salubrious Living.
Creativity is known for being "antisemitic, racist and... anti-Christian." Ben Klassen described the organizational structure of the Church of the Creator as "monolithic and... authoritarian", although the Anti-Defamation League noted an apparent hierarchy in the religion. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies its ideology as Neo-Nazi.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Beliefs
- 3 Calendar
- 4 Holidays
- 5 Religious ceremonies
- 6 Ordained ministers
- 7 Religious texts
- 8 Early years
- 9 Key people
- 10 Notable organizations
- 11 Federal recognition
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The adherents of this religion are individually known as Creators and as a group are known historically as the Church of the Creator, although this name was lost in a trademark infringement case against the World Church of the Creator. The names "Creativity" and "Creator" are derived from the foreword of the first edition of Nature's Eternal Religion, which states, "We call our religion Creativity, and members thereof, Creators, because, we believe these words, in essence, best describe the characteristic soul of the White Race." The term "creator" does not refer to any deity.
Moral conduct and behavior
Creativity has the Sixteen Commandments that deal primarily with adherents' conduct and the Five Fundamental Beliefs of Creativity that sum up the religion. Creators are encouraged to recite those five fundamentals daily. There are also the recommended 14 Points of Salubrious Living which deal with a Creator's diet and a healthy lifestyle, although Salubrious Living is not mandatory. The What We Believe In affirmation is simply an extended edition of what is contained in the Five Fundamental Beliefs of Creativity read at church meetings, and there are also two lists of what a Creator is and is not, titled Essence of a Creator and What a Creator is Not, which serve as basic guidelines for certain behavior as a Creator and ideals to be striven towards. Some of the ideals include to be "responsible, productive and constructive" and to "place a high value on honor and self-respect" and also to be "eager and optimistic" and to keep physically fit and your body in the best of health at all times. Creators are encouraged to be "inquisitive and adventurous" and to have a "cheerful zest for living" all while placing a high value on attitude, and striving to continually maintain a "healthy, positive and dynamic attitude" towards life. Furthermore, being an achiever and a producer is taught as being a good thing in Creativity as well as being a problem-solver.
Race is the supreme value of the religion and their Golden Rule teaches that what is good for the White Race is the highest virtue, and what is bad for the White Race is the ultimate sin. In the majority of one's actions, adherents are to ask themselves "how will this accrue to the benefit of the White Race?" If an action does not harm themselves and is not harmful to their people, then it basically is all right, whereas if an action is harmful to either themselves or their people, it is a bad decision and they are therefore not encouraged to partake in it.
Heaven, hell and the supernatural
Creativity fundamentally rejects the supernatural world. According to Klassen, "A Creator is not superstitious and disdains belief in the supernatural. He will waste no time giving credence to, or playing silly games with imaginary spooks, spirits, gods and demons." As such, Creators do not believe in a hereafter. They believe that a person only lives one time and that this is it. Their only true "immortality" is genetic and memorial. Creators reject the notions of a "heaven" or "hell" and believe that it is their purpose to look at life and death in a "rational, fearless manner". In doing so, they believe they will then be more capable of concentrating on the positive aspects of living the "good life".
The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies Creativity's ideology as Neo-Nazi, while Klassen stated that Creativity was not a rehash of Nazism, and listed eight fundamental differences between his religious philosophy and the Nazi political ideology. Ben Klassen adopted the phrase "racial socialism" to describe his political ideology based on Creativity's golden rule. He was highly critical of democracy, advocating for meritocracy believing that strong, effective leaders should have the ability to rule. Under racial socialism, "whites would work together toward common goals but without the massive economic planning in the style of the Soviet GOSPLAN". Klassen supported a limited version of a market economy. His main concern was that social and economic activities be directed in the best interests of white people. Criticizing the "leftist proclivities" of those who attempted to recruit solely from the white working class, Klassen believed that "all members of the national or racial community... had an important role to play."
Klassen stated that many people were "confused" about what socialism really is or what collectivism really entails. He believed that the term has been confused and abused by Jews, Christians and conservatives to the point that it "could mean anything." Klassen and the Church of the Creator's position on what they viewed socialism as is "Organized Society." Klassen's socialism does not "imply state ownership of the means of production," nor does it, in his definition, "imply confiscation of private property." The Church of the Creator is opposed to state ownership of the basic means of production, such as farms, factories, stores, etc. However they are for the ownership of private property by individuals. They believe that there is a category of functions that are best performed by organized society as a whole. In this category they place highways, airports, harbors, national defense, law enforcement and many others. However, being a religious movement, they do not talk about it much because they are "not particularly interested" in all the dogmatic political terms with which the White Race has been tearing itself apart in arguing the theoretical aspects of each.
Racial Socialism, as postulated by Ben Klassen and promoted by the church, is simply teamwork elevated to its highest perfection for the welfare of the whole race, led by its ablest leaders. It combines the best elements of both teamwork and competition. Klassen argued that if "team spirit" and rooting for the "home team" are such noble attributes, then having a whole race united in a team effort for their common good is the highest goal that can be striven for. As such, Creators believe in a blending of church and state. They are for harmonizing the goals, objectives and the philosophy of the government with that of their (Creativity) religious thinking. Creators believe that religion and politics more or less go together and therefore do not believe in the separation of church and state but instead aim for unity of the "White Racial Religion" with the "White Racial State."
Klassen, in the book Salubrious Living, expounded the facet of Creativity dealing with physical health on individual and group levels. The word "salubrious" comes from the Latin word "salubris" meaning "healthy; wholesome; sound; useful; vigorous." Salubrious Living encourages eating raw organic foods, fasting, heliotherapy, exercise, and racial hygiene (eugenics).
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Creators adhere to a naturalist philosophy and believe that Nature is governed by laws which are immutable, that is, they are "unchanging, unbending and unyielding." They theorize that one of the inexorable of the "laws of Nature" is inner-segregation of species, and that racial animosity is a natural instict... They believe that Nature is "continually striving" to upgrade each of the species by dividing them into sub-species and having each one of the sub-species compete against each other. According to the worldview, those which cannot compete fall by the wayside and forever fade into oblivion or in other words, extinction. They believe that Nature is for the inner-segregation of the species and point out that hummingbirds, for example, have been segregated into some 320 different species, sparrows have been segregated into some 263 species, wrens into over 60 species, and so on. Whether we look at the species of mice or rabbits or cats in their natural habitat, they claim, we find that they have been segregated into dozens of different species, each following its own pattern for its survival, propagation and multiplication in competition within its own sub-species and the other creatures of the earth. Each has its "peculiar means of protection, of mating, of propagation." Each has its natural enemies.
Creativity holds that spreading the faith is a religious duty of all adherents and is a highly proselytizing ideology, whose goal is to convert at least half of the White population worldwide. Their established goal is to place 10 million copies of the two books Nature's Eternal Religion and the White Man's Bible in the hands of White people. The religion places a heavy emphasis on activism. A Creator's primary mission is to convert others to Creativity. One key slogan used by Creators is White People Awake! Save the White Race!. The Creativity religion, as formulated by Ben Klassen was self-proclaimed as structured for the "survival, expansion and advancement of the White Race".
1973 was the date of the first publishing of one of the main texts, Nature's Eternal Religion and the official year in which the Church of the Creator was founded by Ben Klassen. Several religions have their own calendars, and Creativity is one of them. Creativity does not follow the Gregorian calendar for religious purposes. 1973 is considered the Incepto de Creativitat (Inception of Creativity), or I.C. Years following are called Anno de Creativitat. Thus 1974 CE is called 1 AC. The years before PC are called Prius Creativitat (Before Creativity). Thus 1972 CE is called 1 PC, and 2013 would be 40 AC.
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Creativity has numerous holy days that are celebrated and held sacred by Creators. Creators are encouraged to take the time to acknowledge these holidays, and to set them aside as a time to spend with their families and with friends of the religion.
- South Victory Day, January 26: Commemorates the English landings on the Australian continent in 1788 CE.
- Klassen Day, February 20: The anniversary of their Founder’s birth which occurred in 1918 CE.
- Founding Day, February 21: Anniversary of the publication of Nature’s Eternal Religion in 1973 CE.
- Foundation Day/Rahowa Day, March 20: Anniversary of the foundation of the old World Center in 1982 CE.
- Kozel Day (Martyrs Day), September 15: Remembrance day for Reverend Brian Kozel, Creator 'martyr' who died in a fight in 1992 CE.
- Festum Album is a week-long celebration based on White Racial Pride that runs from December 26 to January 1.
- West Victory Day, December 29: Commemorates the White victory over the last organized Native American resistance in 1890 CE (83 PC).
Creativity has four religious ceremonies, or sacraments, including a wedding ceremony, a pledging ceremony for children, a confirmation ceremony and a eulogy ceremony for the deceased. The names of these ceremonies in Latin, the language that Creativity promotes use of are Carimoni Nuptiae Creatora (Wedding Ceremony), Carimoni Fidem Obligari (Pledging Ceremony), Carimoni Confimationis (Confirmation Ceremony) and Memoria Celebritas (Sayings of Goodbye to Departed Brethren Ceremony). All ceremonies are performed by church ministers. For the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom exchange their vows before Nature. The pledging ceremony is conducted ideally within the first week after the birth of a child. Both parents pledge to raise their child as a "loyal member of the White Race and faithful to the church." The confirmation ceremony can be performed by a minister on or after a child's 13th birthday.
While it was Klassen's intention that every worthy Creator be an ordained minister in the church, not everybody is a leader and some have more experience than others. Ordained ministers in Creativity are those who have proven themselves to be the right material, and have passed the Minister's Exam, written or vocally. The written Minister's Exam consists of 150 questions, in which a written paragraph response is written for each question. Follow up is done vocally, and potential Reverends are to write a several page essay as to why they wish to be ordained a minister in the religion. Having recommendations of three other already established Reverends is recommended as well. It is required that the person pass a written test and sign an oath. Both men and women can be ordained as ministers in Creativity.
Nature's Eternal Religion
Nature's Eternal Religion is the founding text of Creativity. It is divided into two sub-sections, which can be considered books in their own right: Book I — The Unavenged Outrage and Book II — The Salvation. The first chapter discusses nature, and what Klassen sees as nature's laws. The second chapter states the religious belief that the White race is "Nature's Finest." The first book goes on to critique Christianity, including the Christian Bible. A large number of biblical stories, including the story of Adam and Eve, Jonah and the whale and the Resurrection, are ruled to be historically unlikely. The historicity of Jesus is also questioned, with the author concluding that he can find no independent evidence for the existence of the man.
The second book in Nature's Eternal Religion, Book II — The Salvation, explains the religion of Creativity. It has a chapter entitled "Sixteen Commandments" which includes the basic idea to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with White people, and that it is the duty of every species, and race to aid and abet their own kind. It looks at the concept of racial socialism and also has a chapter titled "Foundations of our White Society." Klassen also offers advice and guidance to White teens, teaching that self-employment is a something worth looking into. A goal of the Church of the Creator is stated to be to make a form of Classical Latin the primary language between White people who speak different languages. The book ends with a chapter about their future which contains Klassen's view on the Whiter and brighter world that adherents wish to attain.
White Man's Bible
The White Man's Bible was the second book to be published by Ben Klassen and the Church of the Creator. First printed in 1981, it consists of 73 chapters (called "Credos") and adds and expounds on Nature's Eternal Religion.
Its "Dedication" reads: "Dedicated towards developing the tremendous potential of Nature’s Finest – the WHITE RACE. May this book give our great race a religion of its own that will unite, organize and propel it forward towards a Whiter and Brighter World."
Creativity was officially formed in 1973 when Klassen self-published the book Nature's Eternal Religion. Initially, Klassen attempted to recruit Neo-Nazis into the church because, aside from disagreements over religion, there was no fundamental conflict between the church's doctrine and National Socialism. Klassen eventually established a rapport with National Alliance leader William Luther Pierce. Klassen met Pierce twice in 1975 and they maintained a relationship "on and off" for at least 18 more years. Klassen noted that although he "never did understand the logic of what he called his Cosmotheism religion... it has not been of any significance as far as our common goal of promoting White racial solidarity was concerned." In Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs, Klassen describes Pierce as "a great man and an outstanding intellectual thinker, and as one of us." Although Pierce never became a Creator, he went on to create his own racial religion, Cosmotheism which is similar to Creativity although it has more in common with Pantheism.
In 1982, Klassen established the headquarters of his church at Otto, North Carolina. Although the Klassen family expected resistance to their beliefs from the local people, Klassen states that "we were not quite prepared for the viciousness of the onslaught by the local paper..." The opposition grew to the point that in the Franklin Press on May 13, 1982, the headlines said "Pro-Hitler, anti-Christ Leader Headquarters Here".[page needed]
School for Gifted Boys
On October 14, 1983, bulldozers started clearing and leveling the site that would become the School for Gifted Boys, and on October 25, the foundations were poured for the building itself. The school measures 2,460 square feet. There is a 400 yard long foot path between the school and the church building. Klassen stated that the purpose of this school, and future such schools, would be "for orienting and educating our children... to start first with our gifted — the most precious — and finally all our children in our own White schools where they will be oriented first and foremost to respect and cherish the value of their own race."
The original curriculum consisted of a two-week summer program that included activities such as "hiking. camping, training in handling of firearms, archery, tennis, white water rafting and other healthy outdoor activities" as well as instruction on "the goals and doctrines of Creativity and how they could best serve their own race in various capacities of leadership."
April Gaede, the mother of Lynx and Lamb Gaede who sang under the band name Prussian Blue, is a longtime supporter of the doctrines of the Creativity religion and was once a member of the World Church of the Creator. Prussian Blue's song "Stand Up" was written and sung for the unreleased Free Matt Hale CD, intended to be released in support of currently incarcerated, former Pontifex Maximus of the World Church of the Creator, Matthew F. Hale. Lamb and Lynx Gaede, both of the duo have stepped away from racial politics citing that they are more "liberal" now.
Also known as Reverend George Eric Hawthorne, Burdi was the lead singer of the Canadian metal band RaHoWa, leader of the Toronto branch of the Church of the Creator, and founder of Resistance Records. He was convicted of assault and renounced racism after serving time in prison, yet according to the SPLC, appears to be supportive of the White Racialist movement. Burdi has been credited by some with playing a role in ensuring the survival of Creativity after the death of Ben Klassen.
Matthew F. Hale
Several years after Klassen's death in 1993, Hale founded the New Church of the Creator which, after Hale was appointed Pontifex Maximus, was changed to World Church of the Creator. Hale made national news when he was denied admission to the Illinois State bar three times due to his racist beliefs. On November 12, 1999, the Illinois Supreme Court refused to further consider the denial of Hale's law license. Instead, the court decided to "let stand a decision by its Committee on Character and Fitness that said Hale lacked the moral character to practice law." The committee's denial of Hale's law license may have provoked the actions of Benjamin Nathaniel Smith.
On January 9, 2003 Hale was arrested and charged with attempting to direct his security chief Anthony Evola to murder Judge Lefkow. Judge Lefkow's husband and mother were later murdered by Bart Ross who had no known connections to Hale or the Creativity religion. 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. In April 2005 he was sentenced to 40 years in a Federal penitentiary.
Johannes Jurgens Grobbelaar and Jurgen Matthews White
Two Afrikaner Creators and members of the National Socialist Partisans (the paramilitary branch of the Blanke Bevrydingsbeweging) were killed in a gun battle with South African police, while they were allegedly attempting to smuggle weapons and explosives into a survivalist compound in Namibia. The two Creators were stopped by police who were suspicious that their vehicle had been stolen. According to the report, while being escorted to a nearby police station, the two detonated a smoke bomb and attempted to escape. After coming across their abandoned vehicle five miles away, police came under fire from the two suspects, who lay in ambush. Two officers were shot, one fatally, before law enforcement agents returned fire.
Creativity Movement, former "World Church of the Creator"
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The Creativity Movement, formerly known as the World Church of the Creator, is regarded as the successor organization to the original Church of the Creator, founded in 1996 by Matthew F. Hale. As the chosen successor of Ben Klassen and the final Pontifex Maximus of the original Church of the Creator, Dr. Rick McCarty, had filed for that organization's dissolution on February 22, 1994, although power to elect a new Pontifex Maximus of Creativity was held by the Guardians of the Faith Committee which elected Matt Hale several years after Dr. McCarty's dissolution of the original Church of the Creator (COTC). They have 24 regional and local branches and members "all over the world."
The end of the World Church of the Creator and the beginnings of The Creativity Movement began in the year 2000, when 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 recently registered as a trademark. U.S. District Court Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow ruled in favor of the World Church of the Creator, per prior usage. 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. 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. Following the resignation of the World Church of the Creator's remaining officers, the skinhead only section of the World Church of the Creator going by the name Skinheads of the Racial Holy War, renamed themselves "The Creativity Movement" and took control of what remained of the by then defunct, World Church of the Creator.
Creativity Alliance (Church of Creativity)
The Creativity Alliance is an amalgam of many formerly independent Church of Creativity groups and individuals under the one umbrella. The regional groups of the Creativity Alliance are known as the Church of Creativity followed by their regional designation, such as the Church of Creativity Italy. The group has its own Guardians of the Faith Committee and an elected Pontifex Maximus. Members of the Creativity Alliance do not associate with those of the Creativity Movement. Unlike other White Supremacist groups, the Creativity Alliance claims a policy of "non-participation in the White Power social scene." According to the SPLC, the Creativity Alliance’s declaration of non-participation in the movement shows that more active Creators are showing definite signs of life. The SPLC also lists the Creativity Alliance as a "spin off" from The Creativity Movement, which the group denies. The group is currently led by former World Church of the Creator member Cailen Cambeul, formerly known as Colin Campbell. The Creativity Alliance was formerly known as the White Crusaders of the Rahowa (WCOTR), which was founded by former Church Members after the breakdown of the World Church of the Creator following Hale's arrest in 2003. A number of older pre-established Church Primary Groups within the Creativity Alliance cite their origins on their regionally based web sites. An example is the Church of Creativity Queensland, which "was formerly known as the World Church of the Creator-WCOTC Rockhampton."
Two notable examples of membership in the Creativity Alliance are former Klassen stalwarts George Loeb and Joseph Esposito. Both members are currently serving extended prison sentences in Florida penal institutions. Although the Creativity Alliance maintained a web site for several years known as the Reverend Matt Hale Archive, the Creativity Alliance claims that it does not support Hale.
The South Australian Attorney General and Minister for Multicultural Affairs have made numerous attempts to close the website of the South Australian representative and current Pontifex Maximus for the Creativity Alliance and to have Creativity declared an outlawed organization. Cailen Cambeul lodged a complaint with the Australian Press Council arguing that description of the Creativity Alliance as a white supremacist organization, not as a recognised religion, and characterization of the members of the organisation as “a few loners looking for something to do with all their hate” was unfair. The complaint was dismissed on the basis that in this instance the bylined journalist's opinions were derived from fact.
Creativity was recognized as a religion by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Peterson v. Wilmur Communications (205 F.Supp.2d 1014) (2002). The American Civil Liberties Union intervened on behalf of the World Church of the Creator.
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