"My fianc

Before Benjamin Nathaniel Smith's killing spree got him on CNN, Rev. Matt Hale was consigned to the Jerry Springer show, where he sparred with black and Jewish viewers and defended hate as a religion.

Published July 7, 1999 12:00PM (EDT)

Until this week, when white supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel Smith's shooting spree culminated in his suicide Sunday, the world knew little about Matthew Hale, "pontifex maximus" of the World Church of the Creator, in which Smith was an active member. Hale made headlines earlier this year when the state of Illinois denied him a law license because of his racial views, but he had mostly receded from the news.

Now he's everywhere, from CNN to the New York Times, explaining the church's dogma: that whites are the world's "creators," that all non-whites and especially Jews are "mud people," and that his group's advocacy of advancing the white race by any means necessary does not mean it advocates violence. But just over two years ago, Hale was Jerry Springer fodder, appearing on a show titled "My fianci wants me to be a racist!"

In a hilarious segment reminiscent of the Springer confrontation between Dr. Evil and his son Scott in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," Hale and his minions attempted to rationalize their hate, while confronted by a multiracial cast of guests, and Jerry himself, in his second most likable appearance ever (next to his Austin Powers cameo).

Here are some excerpts from the show's transcript:

TERRA HARREN (17, recent member of the Church): I'm Terra Harren, member of the Church of the Creator, the church based for the white race, based on survival, expansion and advancement of the white race. We are against any conspiracy against the white race. We are against all enemies against the white race ... that includes all inferior races, including Jews, which are especially our enemies, and niggers ... Niggers are just stooges for the Jews to do their dirty work for them.

The white race is the most superior race as far as history goes, as far as accomplishment. We contributed everything to society. We build everything in society. The niggers are -- are destroyers of society. The Jews completely are parasitic. They suck the blood off our backs ...

JERRY SPRINGER: Hi. Welcome to the show. You know, when you hear the word "racist," images of secret rallies and hooded members come to mind. Well, today the face of racism is changing. A new breed of racists are in our cities and in our schools and they're trying to recruit our loved ones.

I'd like you to meet Stephanie. She's thinking of joining her fianci's white supremacist church.

Why would you want to do that, Stephanie?

STEPHANIE: Because I'm a racist. I hate the Jews. I hate the niggers. I hate all the non-white subhumans. I have a child of my own. I believe in the 14 words: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." I see what's happening to the country. I understand the Jewish conspiracy out to destroy the white race. And Creativity [the Church's religion] is the only white racial religion based on common sense and logic, that's based on facts ...

SPRINGER: ... You kind of got us all now. You got ... the Christians, the Jews, the blacks, everybody. Do you get along with anyone?

STEPHANIE: Yeah, I get along with ... fellow white racial comrades that understand ... the Zionist plot against the white race. I hate the niggers. I hate the Jews. I hate white trash.

SPRINGER: OK. OK. Have you hated your whole life? I mean, are you always filled with hate? Is there any love in you?

STEPHANIE: There's a lot of love in me for my race, my people.

SPRINGER: Who are your people?

STEPHANIE: The whites.

SPRINGER: Do you guys, like, have meetings? Is this what you want to teach your child?

STEPHANIE: I believe in a racial holy war ... I believe that all non-whites and white trash should be exterminated ... And I don't want my child to have to be like this. I want him to live in a society of all whites.

SPRINGER: Then why do you stay in America?

STEPHANIE: Because it's not just America; it's the whole world.

SPRINGER: You've got to find another planet, in other words?

STEPHANIE: No, we just need to take over this one. We just need to take back this one, to ...

SPRINGER: Take back? You weren't here first. What do you mean, take it back?

STEPHANIE: We need to take this country for our own and get rid of all the non-whites.

(After more sparring with Stephanie, Springer introduces a man identified only as the Rev. Lombardi, an officer in the church, and Stephanie's fianci.)

SPRINGER: So you're ... a reverend?

LOMBARDI: Yes, I am.

SPRINGER: How do you become a reverend?

LOMBARDI: Well, you have to be ordained in the Church of the Creator. You have to know our creed and credos in and out. It's a white racial religion based on eternal laws of nature, logic and common sense. Common sense, yeah, which a lot of yous lack in today.

SPRINGER: That's yous, Y-O-U-S. OK.

LOMBARDI: What was that, Jerry? What did he say? That's Ubonics for you in the second row.

SPRINGER: Were you raised like this?

LOMBARDI: No, I wasn't ... It's extreme love for my race is why I feel this way. And I see, you know, what the Jews are doing to overthrow the United States. They run their Federal Reserve and so on and so forth, our school systems, banking. You guys are all being brainwashed by the Jews and you don't even realize it ... As yourself, you're a kike and you know it. You just want ... to get America, you know, up against us, up in arms. It's not going to happen. We're recruiting right now. We're getting all the young kids. We're getting them in your neighborhoods.


LOMBARDI: We're recruiting them. We're teaching them how to survive, how to be pure. We're teaching them facts, Jerry, OK? Not mythology, not stuff like your Jewish book, the Talmud, who degrades the white race.

SPRINGER: Let me try and understand your religion.

LOMBARDI: You'll never understand it. You're a Jew.

(After more argument, Hale, leader of the World Church of the Creator, joins the group.)

SPRINGER: Your group -- you put an ad ... in a college newspaper, as I understand it. Would you tell me about that?

HALE: Oh, yes. We put an ad in the Daily Egyptian Newspaper of Southern Illinois University. And we had a lot of responses. We have provoked some thoughts, which is unusual for -- in these days of suppressed thoughts and suppressed speech. We're trying to get white people unified for themselves. White people have been bending over backwards for minorities and so forth for too long. We need white people to look out for their own people for a change. We are a religious movement. You were ... insinuating that we weren't. Our race is our religion. We are proud of our people.

SPRINGER: So it has nothing to do with God?

HALE: No, we don't believe in a God, Gods or whatever you want to call it.

SPRINGER: You have, what? -- 16 commandments.

HALE: Yes.

SPRINGER: Why don't ... you read us some of them, OK? Go to No. 3. That's the one that intrigued me.

HALE: Destroy and banish all Jewish influence from society. Do your part to bring about a white world as soon as possible. Certainly, we want this.

SPRINGER: Now most of us don't raise our ... children to hate other people ... What we teach our children is to judge a human being based on what he or she does, not based on what he or she is. So ...

HALE: Let -- let me ask you this, Jerry. OK. Let's -- let's ask this. Just ask yourself this. If you could snap your fingers and the niggers and the non-whites of this world would disappear, white people, 90 percent of them would snap those fingers. They may not do it out in the public. They ... may have to do it in the closet ... because of their own screwed-up thinking.

SPRINGER: I'll be honest. You need counseling, sir.

HALE: But they would snap those fingers.

SPRINGER: That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life.

HALE: You know it's true.

SPRINGER: ... [You're] the leader of the church, do you believe in exterminating ...

HALE: Let them wither on the vine is our position.

SPRINGER: So you -- it's OK if I just wither. You won't come out advertently and try to exterminate me.

HALE: Of course not.

SPRINGER: Well, that's good. At least I've got some withering time left.

HALE: We need to withdraw all of our support from the non-white racists. Nature's law is the first law. If -- if -- nature's law says if you cannot feed your people, you -- you will not survive.


HALE: If you cannot make it in a society, you deserve to perish.

SPRINGER: Well, so far, we're doing pretty good. We -- you know, we're eating well ... Terra, you -- you want to belong to this organization.

TERRA: I do. I am a member of the Church of the Creator.

SPRINGER: Yeah. Well, is there any part of that that kind of bothers you that, you know, maybe your visit on this planet Earth, like all of ours, should be a little more positive rather than building your ...

TERRA: We are positive towards our race.

SPRINGER: But what about just the people in general?

TERRA: Well, the inferior races are definitely not of our concern, except for their threat to us. We do -- we do not feel compassionate for them ...

SPRINGER: Why not?

TERRA: ... or feel sympathy for them because they're enemies of our race and they actually hate us.

SPRINGER: OK. But -- so if there is a white person sitting next to you who mistreats you and a black person sitting on the other side to you -- of you who is very nice, you would rather be with the white person who mistreats you than the black person who is very nice?

TERRA: Actually, if I'm not being treated well, I will not hang out with either -- you know, I would not put myself around them ... I hang out with my comrades and ...

SPRINGER: OK. So you are prepared to say -- so you're prepared to say that you are willing to judge a person based on what he or she does, not on the color of their skin.

HALE: We don't judge them on the color of their skin.

TERRA: Well, the color of their skin's only a fraction of the problem I have. You know, there's many differences between whites and blacks and all of the inferior races of our race.

HALE: They have a smaller brain size.


HALE: They have a smaller genetic potential.

(Springer brings out more of Hale's recruits, including Viktor. He also introduces a black woman named Melody, vice president of the NAACP at Southern Illinois University, where Hale attended law school.)

MELODY: Hello to Rev. "Little Man" Hale.

VIKTOR: I don't speak Ebonics, I'm sorry.

HALE: Excellent example of devolution.

MELODY: And first of all, I want to say to the men in the audience, this little Rev. Matt Hale says that ... black men don't like black women because we look like monkeys. Do I look like a monkey to you?

TERRA: Yes, you do.

MELODY: See, the problem is, see, little Rev. Matt Hale, when he was a kindergartner ... he liked black women and we didn't like him.

HALE: "Good Times" wants you. "Good Times" wants you.

MELODY: (Censored). He has a 2.4 GPA in law school. You won't go anywhere with that GPA.

HALE: This just goes to show ...

MELODY: Little Matt Hale -- Little Matt -- Little Matt -- it's OK, Little Matt.

SPRINGER: All right. One at a time ... What do you want to say to the two young women? Terra here is only 17 years of age. What do you want to say to her because she wants to join this group?

MELODY: You're too mature to join this group that follows kindergarten ethics.

HALE: You proved us right in what you just said ... because a nigger is an emotional creature.

MELODY: OK. Shh. Shh. Little Matt Hale can't get calmed down today. I think he suffers from a behavior disorder.

HALE: You just proved our point. This is the only race that ... practices cannibalism.

MELODY: Oh, really? Cannibalism. Come on.

SPRINGER: Yeah, Jeffrey Dahmer, boy.

MELODY: Jeffrey Dahmer.

SPRINGER: Jeffrey Dahmer was black as the ace of spades ...

TERRA: The Spanish language ... the Mexicans ... inherited from Hernando Cortes ... He was a Spanish explorer ...

VIKTOR: From Spain ...

HALE: A white man with red hair ...

VIKTOR: So Mexicans are mongrels. It's not a race.

SPRINGER: Oh, yeah, they'll be pleased to hear that.

TERRA: Hernando Cortes gave the Mexicans that Spanish by conquering their land.

(Toward the end of the show, Hale accuses Jerry of sensationalism.)

HALE: This audience wants to get whipped up into a frenzy, no matter how much you rile this audience up of fools ... no matter what you do, we will get letters, we will get responses and we will ... continue to build our movement. So no matter what you say, it doesn't affect us. It doesn't bother us.

SPRINGER: We also want to bring out another student from the campus Hillel Foundation. Here is Michael.

HALE: Wonderful.

SPRINGER: OK. What do you want to say to them?

MICHAEL : Well, Jerry, first of all ...

VIKTOR: How many Jews can you get onstage?

MICHAEL: How can you even call this a religion? This is an ideology, which comes ...

HALE: It is a religion ...

MICHAEL: Religion teaches you to respect life. Life is above all in any religion ... Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, you name it. You are not respecting life.

HALE: We have our own commandments. We have our own affirmations. We have our own Sunday services ... I perform marriages.

(Nikki, a former classmate of Hale's, joins the group.)

NIKKI: Well ... I'm involved in campus. I'm an undergraduate, [in] student government. Is that enough to get into your organization? Or ...

HALE: Are ... you going to repudiate the Talmud in front of all these viewers? ....

NIKKI: What if they're like me? What if they're a Jew like me?

TERRA: Well, they're not accepted in our church ... We are exclusively for the white race.

HALE: Look at your skull.

TERRA: The Jews are our enemies.

HALE: Just look at your skull. It's sickening.

(Finally, Hale tries to get philosophical.)

HALE: Christianity basically says to hate your friends and love your enemies. We say to love our friends and hate our enemies ... Everyone hates. I mean, obviously people in this audience hate us. We have wanted ... an intelligent dialogue. Unfortunately, we haven't had it ...

SPRINGER: We hate you for what you do, not for what you are. Do you understand the difference?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Hi. First of all ... I think it's important that you are here to defend your beliefs ... But there are some important things being left out ... Personally, I'm not proud of ... nukes, chemical, biological weapons. Those were invented by the white race ...

HALE: Can I answer that? We have never said that every white person wears a halo. We know that full well. There are bad apples on our tree.

WOMAN: Right.

HALE: But they're still our tree. We don't worry about the neighbor's tree; we worry about our tree.

WOMAN: OK. My question really is ... why did you decide to divide your struggle along racial lines? Why didn't you choose economic? Why didn't some of the women choose maybe to ... involve themselves in a feminist movement?

HALE: I'll tell you why. Because race is natural. Race is a natural divide. Everywhere you go, you see segregation. Everywhere you go, you see separation. Blacks like to be with blacks; whites like to be with whites. There's nothing wrong with that.

By Anthony York

Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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