Church of the Creator
Church of the Creator logo used since 1982
|Founded||July 14, 1969|
|Founder||Rev. Dr. Grace Marama URI|
|Headquarters||Ashland, Oregon, U.S.|
|Rev. Dr. Angela Magdalene URI,
Rev. Dr. James Germain URI
The Church of the Creator is a Christian-based faith organization headquartered in Ashland, Oregon. It grew from a church association established in 1969 as Grace House Prayer Ministry, Inc. The church began calling itself "Church of the Creator" in 1974, and registered the name in Oregon in 1982. The name of the underlying foundation is TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation-Family Of URI, Inc., which is a California nonprofit public-benefit corporation, chartered in 1975. The church is notable for achieving protection of its registered trademark, the name Church of the Creator, through legal proceedings, and its case is cited in intellectual property law.
The church registered the trademark for its name in 1987. After a protracted legal battle, which culminated in a denied appeal to the United States Supreme Court, the church was awarded sole usage of the name "Church of the Creator," which had also been part of the name of the white supremacist group "World Church of the Creator". That racist group is now known as the "Creativity Movement" and is not associated with the Oregon-based church. The Oregon church, on the other hand, is a "group devoted to racial tolerance".
The church is described in a dictionary of new religious movements as having a "synthesis of New Age thought, Christianity, and Jewish mystical ideas, such as kabbalah and gemiatry. Particular emphasis is given to the archangel Michael and high priest Melchizedek" and the goal of the church is unification of mankind "with the highest truth and justice for all". Chryssides describes the church as having been founded in 1969 "by Dr. Grace Marama (1932-2006) and her husband, the Rev. Dr. James Germain URI."
The Church of the Creator received U.S. Internal Revenue Service ruling of non-profit status in 1978, and GEN-Group Tax Exemption Determination in 1985. It is also known as "TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation - Family of URI Inc." and as Family of URI and Church of the Creator. As a church, it is not required to make annual financial filings.
The URI family included, of court records D'Angelica Mariam URI, James Germain URI, and Grace Marama URI.
The church holds registered trademarks for "Church of the Creator", for "Divine Right Order", for "Human Software For Being", and for "URI".
The church legally established its use of the "Church Of The Creator" name by registration with the state of Oregon in 1982. The church was most commonly known as Church of the Creator, its operating name. It acted to protect its exclusive usage of the Church of the Creator name in 2000, filing as the TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation-Family Of URI, Inc., in legal proceedings in Illinois against an Illinois-based Creativity Movement group. While the Church of the Creator was headquartered in Ashland, Oregon, by 2000 it had ministries in 20 states, not including Illinois. It reportedly "said the similar names and trademarks have left the mistaken impression that their church endorses [the Creativity Movement leader] Hale's racist messages." In 2002, the church, represented by Kirkland & Ellis, won an appeals court ruling, and further in 2003 obtained a district judge's ruling of $1,000 per day fine to be applied against the Creativity Movement group, because that group's websites still came up in Yahoo and other internet searches in violation of the trademark ruling. The substantial legal proceedings around the trademark concluded with a 7th Circuit Appeals Court in 2002; there was a routine denial of further appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.
- "Church of the Creator". World Knowledge Library.
- Registration of "Church of the Creator" as an Active Business Name is verifiable online via search at Oregon Secretary of State, at this login page, then enter "Church Of The Creator".
- Brian MacQuarrie (January 9, 2003). "Supremacist Arrested in Murder Plot". Boston Globe. p. B10.
- George D. Chryssides. Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements. (See Google books excerpt)
- Guidestar (requires free account)
- Justia Law case report
- "Church Sues Hale's Group Over Trademark". Chicago Tribune. May 3, 2000. p. 6.
- courtlistener and courtlistener 2
- Shia Kapos, Tribune staff reporter (April 25, 2003). "Hale church fined on trademark; U.S. judge sets penalty until it stops using name". Chicago Tribune. p. C3.
- "Appeals Court ruling" (PDF).
- same ruling at OpenJurist.org
- Note a U.S. Supreme Court denial of further review (certiorari) was issued in January, 2003."Supreme Court denial of certiorari)" (PDF).
- Church of the Creator, official website