Jump to content
  • Sky
  • Blueberry
  • Slate
  • Blackcurrant
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Emerald
  • Chocolate
  • Charcoal
umsami

Great Article on Phelps Granddaughter/Westboro Baptist Church

Recommended Posts

Callipygian

Her humility and willingness to question, learn, and grow is amazing. I, too, hope that she can be an example for others...if not to leave, to at least question what they're being taught. I hope she thrives in her newfound happiness and wisdom (and love)!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cleopatra7

I think the toxic family dynamics of the Phelps family also probably does a lot to push people out of the door in Westboro. I read Lauren Drain book about the church, and to say the Phelps are abusive and controlling would be an understatement. I wonder if maybe the family will resort to extreme sheltering to prevent more defectors, but they're so keen on excommunicating people that they probably don't care. After all, the "church" only consists of the extended Phelps family and the Drains, as far as I can tell. I think the real reason for these pickets is not to warn or convert anyone, since no one takes Westboro seriously these days, but as an act of what Max Weber would call "collective effervescence" that bonds members to the group.

Edited by Cleopatra7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pianokeeper

Thanks for the find; that is indeed a seriously great article. Is Megan's boyfriend's Twitter handle c_fj ? If so... is he a FreeJingerite? Intriguing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tired
Iamhispurity

If she would be to write a book about her life in the Westboro Baptist Church, I´d be the first to buy it. She just seems to be a very fascinating woman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NeverQuivered

Great article! Thanks for sharing. It was a fascinating read and very insightful on the mind control that goes on in these fundie families. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Howl

Fascinating that a sudden turn towards patriarchy was one of the factors that helped drive her away from the church. Incredible article.  Thanks for posting this. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jerkit

I didn't know the part about Shirley getting squashed down "in her place." I always thought their extreme version of IFB beliefs were sort of in contrast to the fact that a woman was the de facto leader.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TXGirlInAMaterialWorld

I think the fascinating thing is that the WBC came out and said in public a lot of things that fundies will only allude to or talk about behind closed doors with their families and peers.  I was raised hearing a lot of the same ideas- granted the messages were give in much more "polite" language, but the truth is that WBC was the first group I know of that doesn't hide their hateful intent.  The Phelps family is fascinating.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ennui

I think the fascinating thing is that the WBC came out and said in public a lot of things that fundies will only allude to or talk about behind closed doors with their families and peers.  I was raised hearing a lot of the same ideas- granted the messages were give in much more "polite" language, but the truth is that WBC was the first group I know of that doesn't hide their hateful intent.  The Phelps family is fascinating.  

I remember this as well. While they are very hate-filled people, and I abhor their message, at least they are open about it and not hiding it below the surface or behind closed doors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nolongerIFBx

I think the links among fundamentalist groups are interesting. While none of the IFBx churches I attended would have would claimed Fred Phelps was like-minded or agreed with much of what they said or their protests, they held John R. Rice up as one of the heroes of the faith and apparently so did Phelps. I remember when I had read another story about a Phelps that left Westboro that I had seen another link- Bob Jones University (then College).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AuLait

Really interesting article! I find the Phelps to be intriguing.

Many many years ago I read a book about the Phelps's cult and how it started. SO sad. It was only published online.... I think it was called Addicted To Hate. Its probably still out there. I think one of the Phelps boys helped write it. I found it interesting how much their view of God echoed Fred Phelps. Huge dysfunction there while also functioning at a high level. Most of them are very well educated.

Edited by AuLait

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NotALoserLikeYou

That was so interesting, thanks for sharing.

I can only imagine how hard it was for her to adjust to the real world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JoyfullyUnavailable

It's amazing how people survive the counterculture and manage to become socially acceptable functioning adults.  Thanks for sharing the article. It was fascinating. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cleopatra7

I think the fascinating thing is that the WBC came out and said in public a lot of things that fundies will only allude to or talk about behind closed doors with their families and peers.  I was raised hearing a lot of the same ideas- granted the messages were give in much more "polite" language, but the truth is that WBC was the first group I know of that doesn't hide their hateful intent.  The Phelps family is fascinating.  

I think if WBC only did the "God hates fags" protests that other fundies would have a more benign view of them, since these protests are not directed at them, and let's face it, most fundies do think god hates LGBT people even if they wouldn't use such crass language. However, by protesting at soldiers' funerals they offended the patriotic sentiments of fundies, mainstream conservatives, and even the Klan. Most people, regardless of their religious or political beliefs, think that picketing the funeral of an ordinary person is wrong, and that's where the WBC overplayed their hand.

The theology of the WBC actually is rather consistent, since the Hebrew Bible is really into the idea of collective punishments. So if you believe that homosexuality is an abomination so horrible that god would destroy Sodom and Gommorah over it (I know there are some interpretations that say it was about hospitality, but fundies tend to use the sexual immorality interpretation), then it makes sense that god would hate modern societies where homosexuality has become normalized. Since soldiers represent the hard power of any country and are the object of patriotic fervor, it also makes sense that god would hate soldiers of the nations that displease him. Fundies, particularly in the US, are so attached to the idea of American exceptionalism and the notion of "the city on a hill," that the idea that god could ever truly hate the US is offensive. They would agree that god might hate homosexuality, but the idea of god hating (presumably) heterosexual soldiers is appalling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nolongerIFBx

Really interesting article! I find the Phelps to be intriguing.

Many many years ago I read a book about the Phelps's cult and how it started. SO sad. It was only published online.... I think it was called Addicted To Hate. Its probably still out there. I think one of the Phelps boys helped write it. I found it interesting how much their view of God echoed Fred Phelps. Huge dysfunction there while also functioning at a high level. Most of them are very well educated.

I have it in a Word file if you want it. It was the one I referenced in my post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grandmadugger

Oh the Phelps family my first fundie family.  The live pretty close to me and I've counter protested them many times.  They even attempted to stop people from going to church out here.  They found out that while all the denominations might bicker with each other come to the country and try to stop them from attending services and it won't work.  Each church adjusted their schedule so that the other churches could make sure everyone got in.  The one place they screw up is they let the kids go to public school so they do have the ability to see others and realize they aren't evil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sawasdee

Interesting that it wasn't actually a Phelps who brought in the patriarchy, but Drain  - who seems to have staged something of a putsch. So the Phelps were strong and educated enough to see women as equals, but the Johnny-come-lately has to put them in their place. HATE the WBC, but this is almost a karmic judgment - I wonder how well they will do without the women's input, and they are driving some of their best brains away! :my_biggrin:

Thanks, Megan, for the insights!

Edited by sawasdee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coldwinterskies

I give her a lot of credit for finally escaping. After reading the story of the family in that notorious expose about them ("Addicted to Hate", available here if you haven't already read it: http://blank.org/addict/ ) and some of the comments from other kids who have escaped the family cult, I think the WBC is not really about trying to convert the outside world (or at least it wasn't while Fred was leading). The embarrassing, alienating spectacle of their protests really seems to me like it started as a way for Fred Phelps to inflict further abuse and control on his family. Fred was smart enough to know that most people would be appalled by the hateful scenes they were making. By making the family a target for hatred from everyone else, he left the kids feeling like they had nowhere to go except to stay with him in the nightmare he created. 

This is one example from Addicted to Hate (chapter 7) that kind of reinforces that, similar to Maxhell, Phelps was trying to keep the kids alienated from the world : 

"No sports, not even track," says Mark. "Until my senior year. "And no outside friends. No one was allowed to visit, and we weren't allowed to go anywhere. To birthday parties or anything. Then, shave our heads. My father wanted the world to reject us. It would drive us right back to him. To the Place. The world-within-a-world. The one that was Fredcentric." Spouses were not welcome in such a world-except as a last resort to hold the child. There were to be no girls for the boys. And no boys for the girls. "If my dad had his way," confesses Shirley, "none of us would have gotten married. He'd just as soon keep everyone away, thanks."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AmazonGrace

That's awesome. Who would have thought that Brittany Murphy's death would cause doubts to gather strength? 

The article sort of confirms the train of thought that many fundies have, to shut out the worldly world to protect their offspring from dangerous knowledge. Such as "people of other faiths and inclinations are just people who have fun and feel sadness and other human emotions", and "we are assholes". 

Seriously, how can anyone look at pictures of starving kids and go blog, "thank God for famine", and not think, "omg i'm such an asshole!!11!!"? 

Edited by AmazonGrace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IrishCarrie

:kitty-wink:

That's hands down the most interesting article I've read this year. Thanks for sharing!! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lilith

That was a truly excellent article - Thankyou for sharing.

Megan and Grace seem like remarkable women - to think their way out of that family/cult is a major achievement, to come out the other side as seemingly empathic and well adjusted human beings is truly amazing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×