CBSN

Church Of Hate

There was hardly a news program he didn't appear on, and hardly anyone he didn't insult, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart.

"You're the bigot! Let's talk about your religion," screamed Matthew Hale at the Anti-Defamation LeagueÂ's Harlan Loeb on CBS This Morning.

But it wasn't his insults that caught the ear of investigators and critics Tuesday, it was Hale's repeated assertion that his World Church of the Creator is nonviolent and that gunman Benjamin Smith acted outside of what the church teaches.

"We don't condone his action, no. We do not promote violence,Â" he said. Â"It's better for a white cause to be legal, to be peaceful, to be nonviolent."

But in fact, recent events suggest just the opposite. The FBI now considers Hale's group as suspects in the torching last month of three Sacramento synagogues.

While in three Florida cities -- Sunrise, Hollywood and Davies -- church members have been charged in a series of hate crimes ranging from pistol whipping a Jewish clerk to robbery and assault on an African American.

While Hale says his group does not incite violence, it does urge hatred.

"If you love something, you must be willing to hate something that threatens it," he says. "We believe a life without hatred is like a bird trying to fly with one wing."

Of non-whites, Hale says: "We don't want anything do with the non-white races. They're not our concern. We are tired of subsidizing them, tired of feeding them, tired of apologizing to them for wanting a society of our own."

Hale, who knew Smith "very well," says he was an active participant in the World Church.

"I was very proud of him for his activism, for his commitment to our cause many bringing the news of creativity, our religion to our white people," he adds.

And it's all taught right here, critics say, in the so-called "White Man's Bible," the church's creed which urges a war on all non-whites.

The book was written by Ben Klassen, the church's original founder, who first gained attention for inventing the electric can opener and calling for Latin to be the official language of the United States.

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center says, Â"They mince no words in their writings: Â'We are in a war, a war that is a militant war in order to make the planet a home for white people and no others.Â'"

How many people actually belong to the World Church of the Creator is also in dispute. The church claims 30,000 members. Critics claim it's more likely in the dozens or hundreds. Investigators say the scary thing is, they really don't know.