Breaking up with a cult

In “A plea to all media outlets re: ‘the Westboro cult’” Marty Duren gives us an idea how the attitude of some one who has been in a cult does not change easily.

He let his readers know on his blog mitsilancer that he has been a member of the “Westboro Baptist Church” (WBC), which is situated in Topeka, Kansas. This so called Baptist Church which has not much to do with the original Baptist Church nor with the later American Southern and other Baptist unions.

Cult-leader dies

This week the news came out about the death of Fred Waldron Phelps (1929-2012) who jJudging by the smell and decomposition of the body, officials from the coroner’s office say  Pastor Phelps’ probably died at least six months ago.  Because there wasn’t any sign of foul play this would mean that nobody of his church ever questioned why dey did not see their leader or why he did not preach to them for such a long time. It also proofs that it is or are other people who are in charge of his church and several companies. It also looks more that it is  Margie Phelps, daughter of Fred Phelps, who runs the Westboro Baptist Church.

Fred Phelps
Fred Phelps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not so surprising is that the investigators did find the pastor in front of his television still playing, and appeared to be “scrambled up 80s pornography.” From all the reactions he made and how he let his church members react on pornography and other sex related issues, we could finger out that this man was very obsessed and frustrated with sex, social and religious matters.

Davis Shields, one of the coroner officials on the scene said “I think I saw boob in there” . “But with this stuff, there’s really no way to be sure.”

Probably the members of the Westboro Baptist Church have been too busy with “all these funerals against all the fag-enablers,” like Jakob Phelps said that they were not able to take some time to visit their granddad. His grandson showed some signs of embarrassment and said “I was thinking that maybe we could sort of, prop him up and put some make-up on him to still make him look alive, like Weekend at Bernie’s.”

“Oh really? You want to put make-up on him? You must be a fag sent from hell,” said Phelps-Roper. “Get the hell out of here! God will punish you!”


Despite some disagreement, most of the members of Westboro say they will be proud to “do the Lord’s work.” But like Louis Theroux showed already in his documentary series for the BBC, life is not as rosy and clear as it looks on first site.

Westboro Baptist Church members from Topeka, K...
Westboro Baptist Church members from Topeka, Kansas protesting in front of RFK Stadium located in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Louis Theroux, who has done several series of films on, among other subjects, various fringe groups in our culture like neo-Nazis, UFO believers, survivalists, etc. He lived with and filmed the Phelps family for “The Most Hated Family in America“, a 2007 BBC documentary, shown in many countries, on the Westboro Baptist Church. Mr. Theroux wrote an article about his time with the Phelps family for the Guardian newspaper and oddly enough, describes a family somewhat like the rest of us but whose head of the household holds some very strange beliefs which he has managed to instil in the rest of his relatives.

With the years there has been not always such unity in-between the family members; let alone the church goers.

When we see all those small kids having to picket and shouting ugly words, of which they do not understand the essence and about subjects of which they have no clue. When they would become older and starting to learn certain things at school and hearing other opinions they must become torn between many pushers and pullers, having to go into the battle on all camps.

Possibility of changes

Some think the death of Fred Phelps, apparently from natural causes, means the reasoning within the church could be shifting.

“I’m putting together a sign here for when we protest the demonic Fred Phelps fag,” said daughter Eleanor Phelps. “It says ‘Thank God For You Dying In Your Sleep’.”

Church members went on to show other signs they were preparing for future protests, including “Thank God For Car Crashes”, “God Punishes Fags With Diabetes”, and “Homo Sex = Cardiovascular Disease”.

It all does not fit a Christian.

Growing up with hate language

When somebody grows up with such hate language and with feelings against one or more groups in the society you can wonder how they shall be able to become part of that society and shall be able to work in that society.

The Westboro Baptist Church began picketing funerals in 1998 and initially targeted the funerals of individuals they believed to be homosexual. But the protests later expanded to other funerals and, starting in 2005, the church started protesting at the funerals of military soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We do not know how long Marty Duren has been a member of the WBC but clearly he has not unlearned the way of talking of those people. He clearly did not yet break out of the words they use, and has learned that he could reach something with throwing mud.

He calls the journalists and bloggers “cheats,” “word thieves” and “plagiarists”, and would like tht they hear to his voice and follow him. Though in the years it were many journalists and bloggers who pointed out to the dangers of this old man, they now become accused and at the same time Duren asks for their help, while they have always been on the brink of helping to open the eyes of those members of the WBC.

Having a name & Writers giving a name

He is surprised that a “Westboro Baptist Church” Google search returned thousands of stories from news outlets, but forgets that it was under that name the organisation of pastor Phelps worked and also wanted to be known as the voice of God. They always have said to be from the Old School (or, Primitive) Baptist Church. The press has always been open to listen to them and to their opponents and many have tried to give a fair picture of both parties. A lot of journalists and bloggers also kept neutrality and did not want to bring a verdict on that organisation , which presented itself as a church. several of the writers also did not want to pass sentence on one of the involved parties, but wanted to inform the public. Others gave their readers their opinion so that those could judge for themselves.

It was the WBC itself which presented, and still do, that they adhere to the teachings of the Bible, preach against all form of sin (e.g., fornication, adultery [including divorce and remarriage], sodomy), and insist that the sovereignty of God and the doctrines of grace be taught and expounded publicly to all men.  On one site there were the theological blogs and religious organisations and on the other site where those who had to inform the public of what was going on in the world. But all parties had to go on to press material given by the involved parties, and today that is also not different. We only can go on interviews, press material, and printed material given onto us by the different parties involved in the question we are looking at. All bloggers shall look at such material from their own point of vision. With bloggers it is possible you get a more subjective interpretation that by journalists for a general newspaper.

We do not understand Mr. Duren, what he want to accomplish, now he is throwing mud at the many writers who always have been wiling to spend time to research and to bring certain matters into discussion.

Lies and vile language

For this reason we also would like to ask Mr. Duden why he still considers it ‘to be Arminian lies’ that “God loves everyone” and “Jesus died for everyone”? He clearly still does not want to believe in the One and Only God, but looking at his site is even prepared to go to fight against those Arminian and other non-trinitarian Christians.

We do get the impression he is still running with the idea of that WBC which thinks to believe the Bible and to live according the Bible.

He himself has now become a member of the bloggosphere. This means he now has also become one of those writers, about whom members of groups could talk like he does. We do hope he shall find a way to get rid of his past education of hate-actions. It certainly would not be a good attitude for a real Christian to show such hatred and to use such vile language.

Putting away an accustomed attitude

But his way of writing shows how difficult it is for people who have been in such a hate-system or hate-group for a while. this also clearly shows the reason why people should act on such groups and in particular on the innocent little or young children. They are an easy prey for cultgroups and they often have no choice when their parents are part of a cult. For this reason it is the community who should take up her responsibility much more. They should protect the youngsters and the weaker ones as well the weak-minded.

He may be right in stating “Simply stated, Fred Phelps and his Topeka followers are a cult, and should always be designated as “the Westboro cult.” They should never be called a “church,” nor should they be called “Baptist,” ” (here we plagiarize – according his words- his writing on his site, though he asks as well, though he himself asks also to copy or use his text as a template “for your own post. Please share on social media as you have opportunity”.) But his continuing “and it is grossly inaccurate, as well as offensive to millions of Americans, to continue to do so.” is overdone and shows also how important he thought his group was, and how the figures of attendants of that cult group are still exaggerated in his head.

What we can see with cult groups is that often they attack others a lot, but they cannot stand when they have to receive comments or when they are attacked by others with the same weapons. For those wanting to cut loose the ties with a cult they shall need a lot of time to readjust and to get used to communicate on a normal manner. They also shall need time to readjust their mind, their way of thinking and their way of talking. We can only hope for Mr.Duren that he shall be prepared to learn that and that he shall be willing to take the time and energy to transform himself to cut himself loose from his old ties.

Able to change

It is only by willing to open up the mind that the spirit shall be able to change and that a person who was been taken in by a cult shall get himself free of that cult.

We wish him good luck on his journey in a new world for him.



  1. Find Marty Duren his blog: mitsilancer and his plea: A plea to all media outlets re: ‘the Westboro cult’
  2. Find the mainblog of the Westbor Baptist Church: God hates fags
  3. The Most Hated Family in America
  4. Announcing picketing upcoming funeral
  5. Marty Duren’s Plea against Westboro Baptist Church
  6. Leider van meest gehate familie sterft
  7. Fred Phelps’ Death Prompts Westboro Baptist Church To Protest His Funeral


Perhaps of interest:

  1. Fred Phelps attended Bob Jones University; rape-apologist now on BJU board
    Bob Jones University is currently pretending that Fred Phelps did not go to their school. Is that FUNNY or what? I can remember when they would have been proud, but demonstrating at the funerals of Elizabeth Edwards and Steve Jobs? Even too embarrassing for BJU!
    At this time, I was borderline Opus Dei myself (saints preserve us) and was in the grip of that Old Time Religion, like really really old. I considered Protestants heretics, and the more Protestant, the more heretical. Since I live in Jesusland (see map HERE), this gave me Major Attitude. I was in the religious minority, and I enjoyed it.
    I would compare my self-righteous pseudo-Opus-Dei buzz to the same buzz I got from being a Maoist for a few scant months (nobody lasts long under the Chairman)… it’s a feeling of certitude that I often miss, now that I am not certain about so many things. Being existentially certain takes a lot of the hesitation, confusion and fear out of everyday life. Therefore, I totally understand the hypnotic draw of fundamentalism.
  2. Open Salon and God Hates Fags
    This humorous slogan, a variation of Phelps’ protest mantra, has also become a common counterprotest to Westboro. It also is accompanied by actual Bible verses.
    How far do we go in permitting Freedom of Speech? At what point does one cross a line and one starts promoting hatred and/or violence? The web site Subverted Nation by Adam Austin promotes anti-Semitism. The Ku Klux Klan promotes white racism. That stuff is kind of scary, especially when you start seeing references to Hitler and the Nazis. Show me a swastika and I get a tad apprehensive.
    However, Fred Phelps is so virulently anti-gay with such a bizarre, sometimes irrational message, I wonder if he doesn’t come across as more ridiculous than dangerous. Then again, after viewing some videos and listening to the bunch of them, I’m surprised how some counterprotesters keep their sense of humour without wanting to go over and slap Phelps silly.
  3. Westboro Baptist Church About WBC A Publicity-Hungry Group Pickets Inspire Legislation and Legal Action A History of Anti-Gay Hatred Fred Phelps Disbarred In Their Own Words: On Jews On Gays On Blacks On Christians On America Responding: Responding to the Westboro Baptist Church (.pdf 116 KB)


  • Westboro Baptist Church praises Sikh temple shooting (
    Almost immediately after the shooting at the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, leaders of the Westboro Baptist Church took to Twitter, calling the shooting a beautiful punishment from an angry God.
  • Westboro Baptist Church Attracts “Pigs,” Causes Clash (
    This post is for all those who have turned out to protect military family members of fallen warriors when members of…
  • Ever-Offensive Westboro Baptist Church Praises Sikh Shooting (
    Fred Phelps, the leader of Westboro, wrote on Twitter that the shooting was a “beautiful work of an angry God who told Wisconsin to keep their filthy hands off his people (WBC!) #godsenttheshooter.”
  • Westboro Baptist Church Threatens To ‘Super Picket’ Aurora Prayer Vigil For Batman Shooting Victims (
    Using the hashtag #ThankGodForTheShooter, reports members tweeted out their plans to “super picket” the candle lit prayer service, saying “God is at work in Colorado.”
  • Westboro Baptist Church to Picket Sage Stallone Funeral (
    The Westboro Baptist Church is known for its protests at funeral for military personnel because of its anti-gay agenda. Now, the church has decided to target Sage Stallone because of his father’s relationships.“Adulterous dad brought wrath of God on son. ‪#BloodOnDadsHands ‪#picketfuneral ‪#woe,” Phelps tweeted. She also tweeted, “Tell @TheSlyStallone to mourn for his sins, not pimp out son’s dead body to more proud sin!”
  • California Gov. Brown signs bill banning protests near funerals (
    California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday which makes it a crime to protest a funeral unless the protesters are at least 300 feet (91 meters) away, the governor’s office said. The bill is mainly in response to controversial demonstrations by the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church.

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