Matthew Hale sees himself as the leader of a church pursuing a “racial holy war” and claims a need to reach out to his followers and disciples.
But first, he has to be able to send and receive mail.
Hale, the “Pontifex Maximus” of the World Church of the Creator serving a 40-year prison sentence, is currently in a legal battle and cat-and-mouse game with the federal Bureau of Prisons over what he can send and receive through the U.S. mail while in prison.
Attempts by Hale, 46, to send and receive mail dealing with the Creativity Movement’s philosophy and calling for a “racial holy war” have been hampered by the strict regulations about what can be contained in both.
Prison officials recently stopped a copy of the newspaper The Racial Loyalty Portfolio, Vol. One by World Church of the Creator founder Ben Klassen from being sent to Hale.
The issue with the periodical, according to an affidavit by Lt. Amy Kelly, an investigator at the SuperMax prison complex, wasn’t the content. It was the shipper.
The package had the return address of “MBookman Bookseller” with the word “Bookseller” hand written in next to the typed address of a post office box in New Jersey.
There is no “MBookman” as a verifiable bookseller.
A search by the Southern Poverty Law Center for the return address listed by “MBookman” turned up one used by Patriotic Dissent Books, a mail-order company that deals in virulently antisemitic and racist literature, including The Turner Diaries, The Nazi-Sozi: Questions and Answers for National Socialists by Dr. Joseph Goebbels and multiple other publications questioning the Holocaust.
In his federal lawsuit, Hale said stopping books from “MBookman” was illegal because booksellers don’t have to be “approved” by the Bureau of Prisons. Preventing the Klassen book from entering the prison is wrong, Hale said.
“If the book is sent by a bookstore, I’m supposed to be able to have it, plain and simple, unless it is rejected for some other reason,” Hale wrote.
Kelly noted that any book or publication sent to an inmate must have “some indicia of legitimacy” or a way for prison staff to determine that the seller is for real.
“Here, that was not the case,” Kelly wrote.
Hale has also been doing battle with the Bureau of Prisons over an essay he titled “Why Do I Want To Be Free?”
The prison system returned the essay, which Hale attempted to send to his mother, Evelyn Hutcheson, saying it couldn’t be sent because it “discusses information regarding possible safety and security concerns.”
So, instead of altering the article, Hale found a different way to get his essay out: He packaged it as legal mail and filed it publicly in court as part of the lawsuit, where anybody looking could find it.
And, some have. Multiple white supremacist sites have picked up the essay, publishing it online. The Bureau of Prisons had not filed a response to Hale’s use of the essay as a court exhibit as of February 26.
Hale stepped into the role of what was effectively a defunct organization after its initial leader and founder, Klassen, committed suicide in 1992.
Hale went to federal prison at the SuperMax complex in Florence, Colorado, after being convicted of soliciting a hit man to kill U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow, who previously ruled against Hale and World Church of the Creator in a civil lawsuit.
Since Hale’s imprisonment, the church has since been renamed the Creativity Movement and broken into small groups around the country.