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Creativity (religion)

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Creativity
Creativity Movement Logo.png
Creativity flag; the red field symbolizes the struggle for the survival, expansion, and advancement of the white race, and the white triangle on the right represents a "whiter and brighter world."[1]
Founder
Ben Klassen
Regions with significant populations
Midwestern United States, Texas, Eastern Europe, Australia, Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Scriptures
Nature's Eternal Religion, The White Man's Bible, Salubrious Living, "Expanding Creativity", "Building a Whiter and Brighter World", "RAHOWA! This Planet Is All Ours", "Klassen Letters, Volumes One and Two", "A Revolution Of Values Through Religion", "Against The Evil Tide", "On The Brink Of A Bloody Racial War", "Trials, Tribulations And Triumphs" and "Little White Book"
Languages
English, Spanish, French, Serbian, Croatian, Ruthenian, Icelandic, German and Polish

Creativity is a pantheistic white separatist new religious movement which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.[2] It was founded in Lighthouse Point, Florida by Ben Klassen as the Church of the Creator in 1973. The church's worldview is based on the veneration of the white race and the supposed safeguarding of its survival.

The Church of the Creator is promoted by two organizations: the Creativity Movement (TCM) and the Creativity Alliance (also known as the Church of Creativity). The groups have common origins.[3]

Etymology

Adherents of Creativity are known as Creators. The church was founded as the Church of the Creator, and was then known as the World Church of the Creator (and now legally The Creativity Movement).[4] Use of the name "Church of the Creator" was lost in the United States to the Church of the Creator, an unaffiliated religious organization based in Ashland, Oregon, in a trademark-infringement case.[5][6] Membership in the Creativity movement is restricted to persons whose genetic heritage is "wholly or predominantly" from Europe or members of the white race, regardless of where they reside.[7] The word "Creator" does not refer to a supernatural deity, but to adherents of Creativity and the white race (which is credited with the creation of civilization). According to Matt Hale, different organizations can exist and are regarded as part of the "church", including the Creativity Movement.[8] In early 2017, the "Guardians of the Faith" of the Creativity Movement elected James Costello of England as their "Pontifex Maximus" and successor of Mathew F. Hale.[9]

Beliefs

The movement, as formulated by Ben Klassen, exists for the "survival, expansion and advancement of the White Race."[citation needed] Creativity has sixteen commandments which primarily address conduct and five fundamental beliefs, which deal with race. These include the belief that "race is their Religion", Creativity is based on the "external laws of nature, the experience of history, on logic and common sense", that the white race is "nature's finest", and that which helps the biological continuance of the white race on Earth is the "highest good".[10] They believe that American culture is becoming "more decadent," evidenced by "black crimes, growing acceptance of homosexuality, interracial marriage, increasing drug use, and lack of racial identity among white people".[11] Creators are encouraged to recite the "five fundamentals" daily. Creativity promotes a religious diet and health doctrine, 14 Points of Salubrious Living (a form of raw-food veganism), although it is not a religious requirement.[12]

"What We Believe In" is stated in two extensive lists: Essence of a Creator and What a Creator is Not, which are core guidelines for general behavior and ideas to exemplify. What We Believe In is an extension of the Five Fundamental Beliefs of Creativity.[citation needed]

Ideals

Ideals outlined by Klassen in both White Man's Bible and the Little White Book for Creators include being "responsible, productive and constructive", to "place a high value on honor and self-respect", being "eager and optimistic", "inquisitive and adventurous", a "cheerful zest for living", a "healthy, a positive and dynamic attitude" towards life, maintaining physical fitness, working towards personal achievement, problem-solving, placing racial loyalty before other loyalties, defending family honor, and directing love and hate in the "proper channels".[13]

Creators refer to Black people as "niggers" and Creativity as a "natural religion", endeavor to convert other white people to Creativity and avoid social interaction with non-whites. During the early 2000s, they were encouraged to move to central Illinois to establish a Creativity bastion.[7]

Flaws

Creators are taught to hate their enemies and non-whites (according to Klassen, "Jews, niggers and mud races"), to avoid being gullible or superstitious, to shun "sexual deviation" (including homosexuality), miscegenation, whining or complaining, and social interaction with non-whites.[14]

Heaven, hell and the supernatural

Creativity is a non-supernatural religion which rejects the supernatural while affirming a pantheist[15] view of nature, asserting that "everything is in nature" and defining it as "the whole cosmos, the total universe, including its millions of natural laws through space and time."[16][17] 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." Creators do not believe in an afterlife; their only "immortality" is genetic and memorial. They believe that they should view life and death on Earth in a "rational, fearless manner," concentrating on life's positive aspects.[18]

Racial socialism

The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies Creativity's ideology as neo-Nazi,[19] According to Klassen, Creativity is not a rehash of Nazism and he listed eight differences between his political ideology and that of the Nazis.[20] He adopted the phrase "racial socialism" to describe his political ideology. Klassen was critical of democracy and advocated meritocracy, believing that effective leaders should rule. Under racial socialism, "whites would work together toward common goals but without the massive economic planning in the style of the Soviet Gosplan." [21] He supported a limited market economy, believing that social and economic activity should be in the best interests of white people. Klassen criticized "leftist proclivities" to recruit from the white working class: "All [white] members of the national or racial community ... had an important role to play."[21]

Salubrious Living

Klassen, in his book Salubrious Living, expounded on physical health for individuals and groups, based on a "sound mind in a sound body in a sound society in a sound environment."[22]

Activism

Creativity advocates proselytism. Its goal is to place 10 million copies of two books, Nature's Eternal Religion and The White Man's Bible, into the hands of white people as part of its belief in "gird[ing] up for total war ... politically, militantly, financially, morally and religiously ... Rahowa [racial holy war] is inevitable ... the ultimate and only solution".[citation needed] It teaches the White genocide conspiracy theory and is concerned about a perceived population explosion in underdeveloped nations, simultaneous population decline in Europe and other "white" countries, the mass migration of non-whites into "white" countries and forced racial integration (leading, it says, to miscegenation).[23] According to the Creator Membership Manual, "Any member of the Church who either commits crimes (other than unconstitutional violations of our right to freedom of speech, assembly, etc.) or encourages others to do so, will be subject to expulsion from the Church."[24] Creators view Rahowa as a religious war of racial self-defense within the rule of law, rather than a call for violence.[25][26] A Creator's primary missions should be to convert other white people to Creativity and practice racial loyalty.[27]

Holidays

The religion has several holidays. Creators are encouraged to observe them, spending time with their families and friends of the religion:[28]

  • South Victory Day (January 26): Commemorates the initial British landings on the Australian continent in 1788
  • Klassen Day (February 20): Anniversary of its founder’s birth in 1918
  • Founding Day (February 21): Anniversary of the publication of Nature’s Eternal Religion in 1973
  • Foundation Day, Rahowa Day (March 20): Anniversary of the foundation of the World Center in 1982 and a reminder of racial war
  • Kozel Day, Martyr's Day (September 15): Commemorates Brian Kozel, who died on this date in 1992.
  • Festum Album (December 26 – January 1): Week-long celebration of white racial pride, commemorating the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Sacraments

Creativity has four sacraments: marriage, pledging for children, confirmation, and eulogizing the dead. The Latin names (Creativity's sacred language) of these ceremonies are Carimoni Nuptiae Creatora, Carimoni Fidem Obligari, Carimoni Confirmationis and Memoria Celebritas.[29] All ceremonies are performed by church ministers. At a wedding, the bride and groom exchange vows before Nature. The pledging ceremony is ideally conducted a week after a child's birth, with both parents pledging to raise their child as a "loyal member of the White Race and faithful to the church." The confirmation ceremony may be performed on or after a child's 13th birthday.[30]

Ministers

Klassen intended every Creator to be an ordained minister in the church.[31] Prospective ministers must demonstrate worthiness and pass written and oral examinations. The written exam consists of 150 questions (requiring a one-paragraph response to each) and an essay. Applicants are encouraged to request recommendations from three established ministers, and the final requirement is the signing of an oath.[27]

Nature's Eternal Religion

Nature's Eternal Religion, Creativity's founding text, is divided into two sections (each of which may be considered a separate book): "The Unavenged Outrage" and "The Salvation". The first chapter examines nature and what Klassen sees as natural law. The second chapter calls the white race "Nature's finest."[32] The first book critiques Christianity, including the Christian Bible. Many biblical stories, including Adam and Eve, Jonah and the whale and the resurrection of Jesus, are considered historically unlikely. The historicity of Jesus is also questioned, with Klassen saying that he can find no independent evidence of his existence.[33] According to Creativity, Christianity is a violent religion which has killed 1,000 fellow Christians for every Christian killed by the Romans.[11] Adherents do not believe in the existence of Jesus, rejecting Christian teachings as "suicidal poison" created by Jews and foisted on the white race. They reject the exhortation to love one's enemies, believing that enemies should be hated. Creators also reject the Golden Rule, saying that it does not make "good sense" and at a "closer look" s a "completely unworkable principle.".[11]

In Nature's Eternal Religion, Nature is anthropomorphized as female and essentially identified as a divinity. The white race, called the real creators of the Aztec, Egyptian and Chinese civilizations, need to expunge the "black plague"; Jews are "parasites", a critique of the Old and New Testaments. Klassen writes, "What is good for the Jews is good and what is bad for the Jews is bad." He reprints the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, critiques Marxism and calls the Book of Revelation "a Jewish nightmare in Technicolor."[citation needed]

The second part, "The Salvation", begins with Creativity's foundation and says the need for religion is inherent in humanity. Klassen is unconcerned about the survival of non-white races, caring only about the survival of the white race. He calls loyalty a "sacred trust", draws inspiration from Islam, calls Mormonism a "better fraud" than mainstream Christianity because of its (then) exclusion of African Americans from its priesthood and calls the average Mormon "more industrious, more law-abiding, and more responsible than the average American".[citation needed] Isabella I of Castile is praised for expelling the Jews from Spain. Klassen urges Creators to "work feverishly and aggressively to organize politically, to distribute literature on behalf of the White Race, to promote and foster White solidarity, and to get control of the government and the political machinery of the state by legal means if possible. If this is not possible by legal means, then we must resort to the same means as our forefathers used two hundred years ago to defend their liberty, their property, their homes and their families." He calls Christianity and Communism "Jewish twins," praises Latin as a sacred language and urges that an updated form be used as an international auxiliary language (such as the Occidental language).[citation needed]

History

Creativity was formed in 1973, when Klassen self-published Nature's Eternal Religion. He attempted to recruit neo-Nazis into the church because, apart from disagreements over religion, there was no fundamental conflict between church doctrine and National Socialism. Klassen developed a rapport with National Alliance leader William Luther Pierce;[34] he met Pierce twice in 1975, and they maintained a relationship "on and off" for at least 18 years. According to Klassen, he "never did understand the logic of what [Pierce] called his Cosmotheism religion ... it has not been of any significance as far as our common goal of promoting White racial solidarity was concerned."[citation needed] In Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs, Klassen called Pierce "a great man and an outstanding intellectual thinker, and ... one of us."[35]

In 1982 Klassen established a Creativity headquarters in Otto, North Carolina. Although his family expected resistance from local residents, Klassen wrote: "We were not quite prepared for the viciousness of the onslaught by the local paper." Opposition grew, and a May 13, 1982 Franklin Press headline read: "Pro-Hitler, anti-Christ Leader Headquarters Here".[36][page needed]

Figures

Gaede family

April Harrington (Gaede), mother of Lynx and Lamb Lingelser (Gaede) of the band Prussian Blue, was a longtime supporter of Creativity and a member of the World Church of the Creator before joining the National Alliance.[37] Prussian Blue's song "Stand Up," written for David Lane [38] (author of the Fourteen Words), was part of the unreleased Free Matt Hale CD intended to support the incarcerated Matthew F. Hale. Lamb and Lynx Gaede have distanced themselves from racial politics, saying that they are now more liberal.[39]

Craig Cobb

Cobb, who operated the video-sharing website Podblanc, has attempted to take over small towns in the Midwestern United States.[40] He tried to establish an enclave in North Dakota and rename it "Trump Creativity" or "Creativity Trump" for Donald Trump.[41]

George Burdi

Also known as George Eric Hawthorne, Burdi was lead singer of the Canadian metal band Rahowa, leader of the Toronto branch of the Church of the Creator, and founder of Resistance Records.[42] He was convicted of assault, and renounced racism after serving time in prison.[43] Burdi has been credited with a role in Creativity's survival after the death of Ben Klassen.[33]

Matthew F. Hale

Several years after Klassen's 1993 death, white supremacist Matthew Hale founded the New Church of the Creator (later the 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.[44] On November 12, 1999 the Illinois Supreme Court refused to further consider the denial of Hale's law license, continuing "a decision by its Committee on Character and Fitness that said Hale lacked the moral character to practice law."[45] According to Hale, the committee's denial of his law license may have provoked Benjamin Nathaniel Smith's drive-by shootings.[46]

On January 9, 2003, Hale was arrested and charged with attempting to direct security chief Anthony Evola to murder judge Joan Lefkow.[47] Hale was found guilty of four of 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.[48]

Johannes Grobbelaar and Jurgen White

Johannes Grobbelaar and Jurgen White, Afrikaner Creators and members of the National Socialist Partisans (the paramilitary branch of the Blanke Bevrydingsbeweging), were killed in a November 1991 gun battle with South African police near Upington while attempting to smuggle weapons and explosives into a survivalist compound in Namibia. They 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 they detonated a smoke bomb and attempted to escape. Police discovered their abandoned vehicle five miles away; Grobbelaar and White ambushed them. Two officers were shot, one fatally.[49]

Ron McVan

Ron McVan, co-founder of the Wotansvolk neo-völkisch pagan group, was once affiliated with the Church of the Creator for two years as its second-in-command;[50] McVan contributed articles and artwork to its periodical, Racial Loyalty, and was a martial-arts instructor for the church. Although Klassen and McVan shared anti-Christian beliefs, McVan sought a more spiritual approach and felt that Creativity needed spirituality. He moved to the Pacific Northwest and founded Wotansvolk in Portland, Oregon in 1992, saying that the group was rooted in the "genetic character and collective identity" of the white race.[51][52][53]

William Christopher Gibbs

William Christopher Gibbs, a Creativity adherent in Georgia, was arrested for possession of the chemical ricin. Gibbs went to a hospital after he accidentally got the ricin on his hands while experimenting with it.[54]

Legal problems and reorganization

In 1992, faced with financial and legal problems (including a civil lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center) and the death of his wife, the aging Klassen looked for a successor. Although Rudolph G. ("Butch") Stanko was favored for the position, he was imprisoned at the time.[55][56] Klassen selected Charles Edward Altvater, but replaced him before he could assume leadership (possibly due to recurrent criminal charges;[failed verification][57][58][59] he was later convicted of attempted murder and other crimes).[failed verification][60] Klassen then chose Milwaukee neo-Nazi Mark Wilson, who ran the church from July 1992 to January 1993. Klassen abruptly replaced Wilson with Richard McCarty, working to establish McCarty in the Creativity community, before selling most of the church's property to the National Alliance's William Luther Pierce for $100,000. Pierce quickly sold the property to an unaffiliated third party for $185,000.[citation needed]

Shortly before and during McCarty's leadership, Creativity was plagued with legal problems; members were arrested for conspiracy, unlawful firearms possession and their association with the July 1993 firebombing of an NAACP building in Tacoma, Washington.[61] McCarty struggled to keep the group unified. The lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), seeking damages related to the May 1991 murder of Harold Mansfield, Jr. by Creator George Loeb, finally led to a March 1994 court ruling which fined the Church of the Creator $1,000,000.[62] The court also ruled that Klassen's property sale to Pierce shortly before his suicide was collusion to deny payment to Mansfield's family, ordering Pierce to return his $85,000 profit from the resale of the property. With the church unable to pay the outstanding balance, the SPLC sued for its dissolution to settle the remaining damages and McCarty readily agreed.[63]

Creativity Movement

Letter W, crown and halo inside a black circle
Creativity Movement logo

Matthew F. Hale founded the New Church of the Creator in 1996 as the last Pontifex Maximus of the defunct Church of the Creator. Headquartered in Zion, Illinois, there is a heavy concentration of Creators in Montana,[64] 24 regional and local branches and members "all over the world."[65]

In 2000 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", since the Oregon group had trademarked and registered the name in 1982.[66] U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lefkow ruled for the World Church of the Creator.[67][68] In December 2002, the World Church of the Creator was fined $1,000 for each day it continued using the old name.[69][70] Further appeals were denied by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.[71][72][73] Hale was charged with contempt of court and soliciting the murder of judge Joan Lefkow,[67] and was sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment on April 6, 2005.[24][74] Bill White was convicted of threatening a juror in the Matthew Hale case and sentenced to 42 months in prison.[75]

Creativity Alliance

According to a Southern Poverty Law Center report, in 2015 the Creativity Alliance had groups in Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and Vermont.[76] Members of the Creativity Alliance do not associate with Creativity Movement members. Unlike other white-supremacist groups, the Creativity Alliance claims a policy of "non-participation in the White Power social scene." The group is currently led by former World Church of the Creator member Cailen Cambeul, formerly known as Colin Campbell.[citation needed] Cambeul's title is Church Administrator. The current Pontifex Maximus of Creativity Alliance is Joseph Esposito. The Creativity Alliance was for a short period known as the White Crusaders of the Rahowa (WCOTR), which was founded by former Church Members after Hale's arrest in 2003.[77][78][79]

Creativity Alliance members include former Klassen supporters George Loeb and Joseph Esposito, each serving extended prison sentences in Florida. The Alliance has distanced itself from Hale, and no longer actively supports him.[failed verification][80]

Randolph Dilloway, former Hasta Primus of the Creativity Alliance[81] and founder of the defunct Smoky Mountains Church of Creativity,[82][83] was an accountant[84] for the revived National Alliance (an unaffiliated Neo-Nazi group formerly led by William Luther Pierce author of the Turner Diaries) and assessed financial damage under past leadership. Fearing for his life after discovering (and discussing) the errors, Dilloway contacted police and the SPLC and furnished documents alleging fraud and embezzlement by organization members.[85][86]

The Creativity Alliance has distributed flyers in Australia,[87] and New Zealand.[88][89][90] and in 2015 it distributed flyers in Inverbervie (Scotland) and Liverpool. [91][92] James Mac of the Church of Creativity Britain said in a letter to the editor that the leaflets were legal and called for racial separation, not supremacy. The South Australian Attorney-General and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs have made a number of attempts to close the website of the South Australian representative and Pontifex Maximus of the Creativity Alliance and outlaw the organization.[93][94] Cailen Cambeul filed a complaint with the Australian Press Council that describing the Creativity Alliance as a white-supremacist organization (rather than a religion) and characterizing its members as "a few loners looking for something to do with all their hate" was unfair. His complaint was dismissed on the basis that the journalist's assessment was not a news article but an opinion piece.[95] Creativity Alliance web pages and published books stress that they make no attempt to assume or supersede the registered trademark "Church of the Creator", owned by the TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation.[96][not in citation given]

Other legal cases

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).[97][98] The American Civil Liberties Union intervened on behalf of the World Church of the Creator.[99]

California federal judge Maxine M. Chesney ruled against an imprisoned Creator who brought a suit against Pelican Bay State Prison based on an alleged violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act in Conner v. Tilton, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111892 (ND CA, Dec. 2, 2009),[100] in which Creativity and several other organizations and belief systems (including MOVE, veganism[101] and the Church of Marijuana) were declared to not constitute "religions" but moral or secular philosophies under the definition of religion based on addressing of "fundamental and ultimate questions having to do with deep and imponderable matters"[102] as part of a three-point test for determining religion developed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The court concluded that the plaintiff had failed to raise a genuine issue about whether Creativity is a religion; it found that to the extent Creativity deals with a "fundamental concern", the concern is with secular matters and not with what the court considered to be religious principles. Creativity is not "comprehensive" in nature because it was presented as confined to one question (or moral teaching), and that the structural characteristics of Creativity "do not serve to transform what are otherwise secular teachings and ideals into a religious ideology."[103] In Hale v. Federal Bureau of Prisons (2015),[104][105] the court found that Creativity may qualify as a religion under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (with potential tax exemption by the IRS) and may be practiced in prison.[106]

UK leafletting

In March 2015, leaflets were posted on doors in southern Liverpool saying: "The white race is nature’s finest". Cailen Cambeul, Creativity minister and then Pontifex Maximus, said that he was responsible for their distribution. Complaints were made to the police by local councilors. Sarah Jennings of the local Green Party denounced Creativity as a "fringe group of blatant racists".[107] According to Cambeul, "Any politician claiming disgust at our flyers and seeking to make political gains via our 100-percent-legal message is partaking in an opportunistic abuse of power at the expense of innocent people exercising their rights to speak out against the injustices of a politically correct world."[107]

See also

References

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