Supremacist Church Name Change

The Associated Press/July 26, 2002

Chicago -- The white supremacist group World Church of the Creator may have to change its name.

A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled Thursday that the name violates the trademark of another church in Oregon.

The TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation, which operates the Oregon-based Church of the Creator, sued Matthew Hale's East Peoria-based group two years ago arguing that the similar names confuse people.

The Oregon group said its message is one of love and respect.

A federal judge sided with Hale in February. But the 7th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision Thursday.

Hale said he will try to have the appellate court decision's overturned.

"We won't (change the name) under any circumstances,'' Hale said. "I would rather go to jail than forsake my religion.''

Hale's church received national attention when former member Benjamin Smith went on a shooting spree against minorities, killing two people and injuring several others in 1999.

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