The Peoria Journal Star picked up today on the story about “attorney” Matt Hale. They report that County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz says he is now following-up on a second complaint he received about Hale two weeks ago.

But the Peoria newspaper neglected to mention that Umholtz and the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission actually received their first complaint two months ago.

The second complaint involves an associate of Hale’s now in prison. He wrote the inmate and on the envelope listed himself as an “attorney.” Interesting, and why is it not surprising that this “attorney” has an associate in prison, rather than in a law office?

Hale claims that listings of him as a lawyer were done when he thought Illinois would let him practice law. Good cover story, maybe it’s true. But the US Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal to practice law in Illinois, so that time will never come.

The Neo-Nazi Hale then offered this analogy, “Abe Lincoln didn’t have a law license but he was an attorney.” Excuse me Mr. Hale, but you’re no “Abe Lincoln.”

Associated Press reports that once prominent “militia” leader Norman Olson has decided to pack it in and leave his home state of Michigan. Olson says, “I can’t live here any longer.” But actually Norm just can’t seem to win an election as local “militia commander” and appears to be a sore loser. Now he wants to stew in colder weather and is on his way to Alaska. Norm claims, “Alaska is a state that offers some hope.” Well, hopefully Mr. Olson will find somewhere to settle there, as remote as possible.

Another “militia” man doesn’t have travel options. Charles Pucket, former “Commander of the Kentucky State Militia,” plead guilty to two weapons charges and one count of intimidating a witness. He was then sentenced to 2.5 years in prison, reports Associated Press.

It seems “militias” have slumped since their pre-Timothy McVeigh peak in the 90s. McVeigh’s execution for the Oklahoma bombing, “militia” arrests and convictions, largely ended their fervor. And the mythology that these groups promoted about their supposed “militia” status today seems fairly ridiculous.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with some guys getting together to play army. That is, as long as no laws are broken. But for many “militia” types this seems impossible. Perhaps other disgruntled “militia” members will soon join Norm for winter war games in Alaska. As Olson says, there might be “some hope.”

According to an Illinois State’s Attorney, Matthew Hale can publicly list himself as an attorney, despite repeated court rulings that deny him the right to practice law in Illinois.

Stewart J. Umholtz, the designated County State’s Attorney responsible for Peoria spoke today by phone from his office in Pekin, Illinois. Mr. Umholtz explained why he has taken no action against Matthew Hale concerning the Neo-Nazi’s published promotion of himself as an “attorney.” Umholtz said, “If he does not charge and/or collect fees, it’s not criminal.”

However, Umholtz’s assessment seems to contradict a previous statement made by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) of the Supreme Court of Illinois. The ARDC said, “In Illinois, a person who falsely represents him or her self to be an attorney has committed a criminal offense.” When advised of the ARDC statement Mr. Umholtz replied, “I will call the ARDC and check on that.”

Mr. Umholtz acknowledged receiving a complaint about Mr. Hale some time ago regarding this matter from a Peoria resident. But he insisted that his office had more pressing and important matters to attend to, such as “burglaries.”

Matthew Hale, founder of “World Church of the Creator” was linked to Benjamin Smith. Smith murdered two people and wounded nine, during a three-day rampage of hate in 1999. He was a member of Hale’s church. Hale said that the Illinois refusal to let him practice law likely led to Smith’s rage. Whatever the reason, he was a pivotal influence in Smith’s life.

Matthew Hale continues to test the law, some might say he flaunts it. But according to State’s Attorney Umholtz he can do that.

Note: According to the Peoria resident who originally filed a complaint with County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz, he knew the ARDC stated that Hale had committed a “criminal offense” from the beginning. The Peopria resident says Umholtz received forwarded email from the ARDC, which specifically stated that opinion. This seems to contradict Umholtz inference that he somehow didn’t know what the ARDC said and/or needs to “check on that.”

Matt Hale, leader of the so-called “World Church of the Creator,” may have graduated from law school and passed the Illinois State Bar, but he seems to be ignoring its courts.

Hale tried to become a practicing attorney in Illinois, but a state panel that evaluates the character and fitness of prospective lawyers turned down the hate group leader.

Subsequently Hale appealed that decision to a state court and lost. Not deterred he appealed once more in federal court, but lost again. At Wrigley Field after three strikes you’re out. But Mr. Hale if nothing else is persistent, the ardent Neo-Nazi just couldn’t accept three adverse decisions. So despite the calls against him, Hale decided to hang out his shingle anyway. He listed himself as an attorney at Lycos, Yahoo and his own hometown Yellow Pages in Peoria.

But a concerned Peoria resident found out and in June contacted the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) of the Supreme Court of Illinois. The ARDC advised, “In Illinois, a person who falsely represents him or her self to be an attorney has committed a criminal offense. Such matters are under the jurisdiction of County State’s Attorney’s Offices.” Dutifully the Peoria resident then reported the matter to that office.

However, after more than two months and repeated contacts with the County State’s Attorney’s Office and its investigator, who said in July that he was “waiting for an opinion from the US Attorney’s Office,” nothing appears to have been effectively done.

The Peoria resident also contacted the regional counsel for the Anti-Defamation League and the Illinois Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement Division, who referred the Peoria resident back to the County State’s Attorney’s Office again.

And so what happened after this bureaucratic process? Matt Hale’s shingle is still hanging.

When contacted the State’s Attorney’s Office Investigator Dave Frank refused to comment. Stewart J. Umholtz, State’s Attorney and David Barkey, Midwest Civil Rights Counsel for the Anti-Defamation League, did not return calls.

What now compounds the situation is that Mr. Hale is running for City Commissioner of East Peoria, Illinois. Hale’s campaign platform includes the following statement; “Whether people like it or not, there is a direct link between race and criminal activity [sic].” Well, there appears to be at least a “direct link” between Matt Hale and “criminal activity,” which should exclude him from public office.

Interestingly, according to the “World Church of Creator Membership Manual, 3rd Edition,” under “Grounds for Revocation of Membership” the first cause is listed as; “Committing illegal acts or encouraging others to do the same.” Does this mean that Matt Hale may soon have his membership revoked? Something tells me an exception might be made.

Note: Hale hates Jews and has posted the video of Daniel Pearl, Wall Street Journal reporter, being murdered by terrorists at his website message board. One visitor commented, “Nothing like a dead Jew!”

A very interesting article about meditation is now featured within San Francisco Weekly. The article cites research results, which demonstrate that in some situations meditation regimes may cause serious problems.

Many groups that have been called “cults” seem to use “meditation” to make their members more suggestible and thus easier to manipulate, by inducing a hypnotic trance state. Such techniques appear common within many Neo Eastern groups, which may also use “yoga” exercises in the same manner.

Holland, Michigan police arrested a man for child molestation, reports the Holland Sentinel. The man, identified only as “Eash,” was the “counselor” or “leader” of a small group composed of former Amish. Eash himself is a former member of an Amish community. A report filed at court in Holland described the man as a “cult leader.”

Allegedly Eash used his position of authority in the group to sexually exploit a 14-year-old boy.

The small “cult” has a history of notoriety. In 1990 Ted Patrick, a well known “cult deprogrammer,” assisted an Amish family in rescuing their daughter from Eash’s control. The story of that intervention effort was reported in the LA Times. More than a decade later it now appears that the family’s fears were justified.

Tom Green has five wives and 33 children. But they will have to visit or write to the polygamist in prison for at least the next four years. A Utah judge has sent Green to prison for having sex with a minor child.

Green’s former child bride of 13 now 30, tearfully testified on her husband’s behalf. But neither her tears nor seven children fathered by Green swayed the court, as reported by Reuters.

The judge said, “We should do everything possible to protect children.” And the prosecutor added, “A 37-year-old man having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl is never justified.”

There are thousands of polygamists living in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Most are gathered in cult-like submission beneath patriarchal leaders, such as Rulon Jeffs. But it is unlikely someone like Jeffs, who has 19 wives and fathered more than 60 children will ever find himself in a courtroom. It seems Mr. Green has become the designated “poster boy” for polygamy.

Green, unlike most polygamists, is not historically tied to the practice. Instead, he is a self-styled practitioner and seemingly as much a sexual predator as a religionist.

But many polygamists are carrying on family traditions that go back more than a century. They consider themselves “Mormon fundamentalists,” which means they believe that their lifestyle expresses the original and fundamental teachings of their faith first established by Joseph Smith and carried forward by Brigham Young. Both men were polygamists. Smith allegedly had 42 wives and it is said Young had 50. The Mormon Church did not officially end polygamy until 1890, as a prerequisite for Utah to achieve statehood.

This history leaves many Mormons ambivalent about polygamy, though persistent polygamists are an embarrassment to the church that is very image conscious. However, women and children often suffer through polygamy and it’s taxpayers who frequently pick up the bill to support their large families and essentially subsidize the practice, through public welfare and assistance programs.

It is doubtful polygamy will end abruptly anytime soon. The prosecution of polygamist gadfly Tom Green, though justified, seems more like a “show trial” than the beginning of the end for polygamist abuses. But it is good to know that there is one less pedophile on the streets.

Wal-Mart shoppers in Muscle Shoals, Alabama found more than they bargained for at their local discount store. Some customers were shocked to find promotional material left by the Ku Klux Klan within books they browsed, reported Associated Press. Inserted cards from the Klan said they were a “message of hope and deliverance to America” and solicited donations to help white people, “America’s new minority.”

But Southern hospitality today does not include the Klan. A Wal-Mart spokesperson stated, “It’s definitely not something we want in our store.”

Historically the Klan was once a strong political and social force within the South. Its faithful members would frequently rally for a cross burning, or when angered, burn one on someone’s front lawn. But now it seems the Klan has been forced to sneak around a more popular venue in Dixie—Wal-Mart.

Groups called “sects” or “cults” are an increasing problem in Eastern Europe reports the Slovak Spectator. One official in Slovokia explained, “They control people through psychological terror.” He stated that 20 to 50 religious groups in the country are considered “dangerous” and compared involvement with them to “drug dependency.”

Describing the mindset of some sects the official said, “A person identifies the organization with God, and to disobey the organization is to disobey God,”

One group that has caused serious concern in Slovokia is”Jehovah’s Witnesses.” There are 20,000 members within the small country.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that their organization alone is the exclusive channel used by God to communicate with the world and that all other faiths are false. Members reject blood transfusion due to the group’s interpretation of the bible and many have died rather than accept blood in a medical emergency. Witnesses also focus intensely upon the end of the world and believe that God in Armageddon will murder all those who don’t share their beliefs. They also reject the Christian belief of the trinity and see Jesus as an angel rather than the Son of God, according to orthodox Christian tradition.

A Slovak official described those vulnerable to sect recruitment frequently “feared the future.” And it seems within Eastern Europe as countries struggle to emerge from the Cold War and Communism, such a fear may be quite common. Many destructive groups and movements have historically fed on such fear by promising supposed certainty. Ironically, this was part of the promise made by both Fascists and Communism.

It seems like the Goth craze never really goes away, but instead persists as a popular style statement for the young. In a recent report for The Independent in London, Ryan Gilbey detoured for a “journey on the dark side.”

Dressed in black, pale, often gaunt and almost always pierced, the cult following of Goth eerily marches on within its own strange subculture.

Goth trendsetters include “Addams Family” star Christina Ricci, the director of “Edward Scissorhands” Tim Burton, and vampire storyteller Anne Rice. But perhaps its most disturbing icon is murderer Charles Manson. However, Manson’s face on patches seems to be as close as Goth enthusiasts come to destructive cult status.

Their desire to shock and/or mock mainstream society is perhaps the one most important feature that explains Goth’s enduring appeal. Typically teenagers want to individuate, but it’s ironic that so many do it in exactly the same way.