The World Church of the Creator, one of the nation's most notorious racist and anti-Semitic groups, has been ordered by a federal court to stop using its name, to give up its Web addresses, and to turn over all printed material bearing its name.
The injunction, issued by U.S. District Court Judge Joan H. Lefkow of the Northern District of Illinois, follows the group's defeat in a trademark lawsuit brought by the Te-Ta-Ma Truth Foundation, which successfully trademarked the name "Church of the Creator" years ago. The World Church of the Creator, presently run by Matt Hale, initially won in district court in January 2002, but lost on appeal. As a result, Hale's group no longer may legally use any form of the phrase "Church of the Creator."
The injunction, issued November 19, orders Hale's group (and anybody who might be acting for it) to refrain from using the name "Church of the Creator," or variants such as "World Church of the Creator, "WCOTC, "COTC," or even the words "Church" and "Creator" together in the same name. This includes its use in Hale's Internet domain names "churchofthecreator.com" and "wcotc.com," which Hale was ordered to transfer to the Foundation.
Additionally, the court ordered Hale's group to deliver up for destruction all publications, signs, banners, clothing, or other products that would infringe upon the Foundation's trademark (except where it is feasible to remove or obliterate the trademark from the item). Hale must furthermore contact all Internet directories and search engines in which his group appears and ask them to delete any references that might violate the trademark.
Lefkow further noted that the Foundation may be entitled to an award of damages, to be determined in the future. She gave the group 30 days to provide a report in writing that sets forth the manner and form by which the World Church has complied with the injunction.
This court order presents the World Church of the Creator with the loss of the racist brand name it so assiduously built up in recent years, and it is unclear whether Hale will voluntarily abide by the injunction.
In August, Hale proclaimed that he was "not about to quit distributing" his materials and that "should the Jewish Occupational Government attempt to use force to stop us from distributing them, we would obviously be presented with a situation by which we as free citizens would have to resist by whatever means necessary any such abridgment of our Constitutional rights."
In the summer of 1999, when the Illinois State Bar denied him a license to practice law, Hale released a statement saying that "America can only be headed for violence." That night, one of his followers, Benjamin Smith, went on a 40-hour shooting spree against racial and religious minorities that killed or injured eleven before Smith shot himself as police closed in on him. Hale later said that Smith's actions were connected to the State Bar decision.