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stonefruit

Another Phelps leaves WBC

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Satisfied
Jilli

4th out of 11 Phelps-Ropers. Out of all of them I was most surprised about Megan leaving. She drank so much of the Kool-Aid publicly.

I'm really happy with Zacharias' decision and what he has to say about unconditional love and empathy.

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Howl

Wow! So powerful. He sounds like an amazing guy. I'm glad there were so many people to meet him at the gate to freedom.

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Finduilas

Free Zach !

That is really amazing, especially as most of the people who leave seem to change their mind/ideology (unconditional love etc.) pretty quickly.

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laura oz

After reading the article I had tears in my eyes. I'm so happy for him :D

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ILoveJellybeans

Brilliant news! Go Zach! :)

Even from the most hateful families, there comes hope that some brave souls will rise up from the evil they were raised in and use their experiences to do good.

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Waffle Time
Mela99

I hope he gets to fulfill his dream and go to medical school

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Talitha Cumi
After 20 years of hate-filled preaching and picketing, 23-year-old Zach Phelps-Roper moved out of the WBC compound on Feb. 20.

So they've been dragging him out for this since he was three. It's heartbreaking.

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SPHASH
After 20 years of hate-filled preaching and picketing, 23-year-old Zach Phelps-Roper moved out of the WBC compound on Feb. 20.

And on my birthday too!

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tigerchild

I too am glad that he left.

However, I have to say, there is something that pings me as worrisome from his statements in the article and behavior. It seems almost manic? Especially "“Most problems come from a lack of understanding of how we affect other people and things around us. I feel like I have found the holy grail, the overarching solution to solving all of our society’s problems, and I want to learn more. I want to do more.†and "He has fallen in love and had his heart broken, only to rise up more determined and confident than ever."

I don't mean to be a downer, but having been a walkaway and an outcast from groups FAR less clannish and cultish than this one, and connected with others with the same experiences, there are a lot of people that crash and burn *hard* once the euphoria from the first taste of freedom ends. There's other statements in the article that make me very worried for this young man.

I'm glad there's so many real, also-left family members to support and love him though. That's a safety net. I hope I'm wrong about the harsh crash and burn part. But I've seen it so many times, and felt a mild version of it. Even when you realized how fucked up your life has been, and leave, it's nothing IME like the many years of experiencing some pretty painful new awakenings of how fucked up you were and still are and might always be as a result. I hope that he's also getting good counseling.

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DifferentGurl

It reminds me of how the old saying goes. "Like rats leaving a sinking ship." While the church may not act like it, there may still be some stuff going on the church that may lead to its doom.

Anyways, glad Zach was able to get away.

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theologygeek

I don't mean to be a downer, but having been a walkaway and an outcast from groups FAR less clannish and cultish than this one, and connected with others with the same experiences, there are a lot of people that crash and burn *hard* once the euphoria from the first taste of freedom ends. There's other statements in the article that make me very worried for this young man.

It will take him a very long time to work through the fucked up life he had. I think he'll be okay though.

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Vivi_music

I'm glad for him. I hope he finds good support to adjust to life outside the cult.

I am surprised though that such hateful people have children that turned out to be so normal and opened minded in the end. I understand they had to go through horrible things to finally ''see the light'' but I saw Megan and Grace in Montreal, I couldn't help but be impress by their resilience to carry on with life despite the fact that they clearly missed their siblings and family. It was still uplifting to hear them talk, despite it all.

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Tesseract

Good for you Zach! Grab life by the b*lls and go :)

Thankfully, there is a lot of support from other family members who have left. How different from when the oldest Phelps kids were leaving. It is a miracle that any of that first generation made it out with any measure of sanity.

I look at Shirley and Jael and see this disconnected state. Shirley is a picture of broken. I have no idea how they (any still there) can form real, healthy attachments to people, including their own children, when those relationships can be ripped away from them so easily.

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thoughtful

Good for him!

I hope he can find a calm and truly happy mindset, and catch up on everything he has missed due to being raised in filth.

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SoybeanQueen

The "elders" did the world a huge favor by stepping up against Fred before he died and forcing Shirley out of her role as a leader. I think if she remained in a position of relative power, their group might have stayed in the spotlight for a while longer. Now that the other men told her to sit down and shut up, reality will probably set in for others in the group, too. I think more will leave soon and the whole sordid group will fade into obscurity.

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Katydid

Good for him. I hope he does well and that he can rebuild his life.

The one mildly positive thing that can be said about this particular group is that at least they made sure their children were educated. He and the others who have left have a far better chance at success than the "Lost Boys" who have left Warren Jeff's group.

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curlytoes79

Nice! The more who successfully get out, the easier it will be for others to get out, I think, because they will have family members in the real world who are waiting to give them a hand.

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SoybeanQueen

Yes, the guys (and several of the ladies) are well educated. I knew one of the Phelps grandkids when I was in college. Not sure if I've mentioned it here before or not. He was surprisingly normal as long as you weren't discussing the Bible.

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ThisOlGirl
The "elders" did the world a huge favor by stepping up against Fred before he died and forcing Shirley out of her role as a leader. I think if she remained in a position of relative power, their group might have stayed in the spotlight for a while longer. Now that the other men told her to sit down and shut up, reality will probably set in for others in the group, too. I think more will leave soon and the whole sordid group will fade into obscurity.

Where did you get the info about Shirley being told to have a seat, so to speak? I'd love to read that--bet it went over like a lead balloon!

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Satisfied
Jilli

Where did you get the info about Shirley being told to have a seat, so to speak? I'd love to read that--bet it went over like a lead balloon!

Here's an article about it, she was voted out as spokesperson in favor of Steve Drain.

examiner.com/article/westboro-baptist-church-fred-phelps-changes-mind-margie-phelps-roper-is-out

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stonefruit

Here's an article about it, she was voted out as spokesperson in favor of Steve Drain.

examiner.com/article/westboro-baptist-church-fred-phelps-changes-mind-margie-phelps-roper-is-out

Ooooh! That's really interesting, I read Megan Drain's memoir last year and her dad sounds like a real piece of work. What a strange little world they have.

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AllisonWndrland

It's always a thrill to see the kids escape. I like to think that is one less cult member I will see holding a disgustingly offensive sign as I go about my business. Unfortunately, it is really tough to escape hearing their rhetoric elsewhere, particularly if you work in the legal field. One can only hope the rest of the group slowly falls apart. Just as a commenter on the CJ article said, there has been a noticeable difference in the number of WBC members picketing recently. Far fewer, thankfully.

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Howl
I too am glad that he left.

However, I have to say, there is something that pings me as worrisome from his statements in the article and behavior. It seems almost manic? Especially "“Most problems come from a lack of understanding of how we affect other people and things around us. I feel like I have found the holy grail, the overarching solution to solving all of our society’s problems, and I want to learn more. I want to do more.†and "He has fallen in love and had his heart broken, only to rise up more determined and confident than ever."

I don't mean to be a downer, but having been a walkaway and an outcast from groups FAR less clannish and cultish than this one, and connected with others with the same experiences, there are a lot of people that crash and burn *hard* once the euphoria from the first taste of freedom ends. There's other statements in the article that make me very worried for this young man.

I'm glad there's so many real, also-left family members to support and love him though. That's a safety net. I hope I'm wrong about the harsh crash and burn part. But I've seen it so many times, and felt a mild version of it. Even when you realized how fucked up your life has been, and leave, it's nothing IME like the many years of experiencing some pretty painful new awakenings of how fucked up you were and still are and might always be as a result. I hope that he's also getting good counseling.

yes, I was wondering about this. it is almost like he is channeling jesus or in some type of transcendent state -- and I don't say that with cynicism -- there is a deep sweetness there that makes it seem as though his heart center has burst open and is just pouring out love, truth and clarity. But yes, the intensity is concerning.

Many best wishes for him as his new life of freedom unfolds.

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