I was reading another thread about WBC on ATS and somebody had posted a link to a very in-depth investigative article done on this family/church by a
reporter. It all really has almost nothing to do with religion or even fighting homosexuals (really, there are far more effective methods of
oppressing homosexuals than picketing the funerals of heterosexuals, duh!) and all traces back to something (nobody really knows exactly what) going
awry in the mind of founder Fred Phelps. Some time when he was a young man he abruptly abandoned plans to join the military and instead became really
intense about religion. Mind you, not the form of Christianity either I or most Christians seem to follow--not the love thy neighbor kind. His brand
was very judgmental, fire and brimstone and a very rare form of Calvinistic predestination brand of Christianity.
I say it doesn't seem to be about religion for him because it seems the focus of his life turned to extreme, and I do mean extreme forms of
"discipline" on his wife and children. When I say discipline, I mean his two grown sons who are estranged from him admit to being partially disabled
from it. They have joint problems in their legs and scarring and limited mobility. It's extremely heartbreaking when you read this document and read
what his estranged children claim was done to them. They say they were held up by their arms as young as age seven and repeatedly kneed in the
stomach and genitals. That allegedly happened to the sons and daughters. One of the sons alleges some horrific forms of abuse visited upon the
mother as well.
According to this report, the matriarch of the family was herself the terrorized daughter of a raging alcoholic. It was speculated in the report this
may be why she seemed resigned to the continued terror said to be inflicted on herself and her children.
This style of raising kids may be continuing today, as one of the non-estranged sons gave a very odd and stilted response in the positive when asked
if he practices similar "discipline" on his kids. This son was himself the subject of an investigation instigated by his school when he kept showing
up physically unable to sit down due to severe damage to his legs and backside.
I am sorry I don't have the link on hand. It is buried here somewhere on ATS and if I can find it again I'll post it. And I am not mentioning this
to excuse what these people are doing. I'm just saying, it all started with the patriarch. Since even one of his sons who was reported by school
officials to be severely abused, is still in his father's service and at his beck and call, it's speculated that there may be severe dysfunction and
some kind of undue control only a professional could explain at work in the family's dynamics. If religion plays any role at all, perhaps it was just
that the patriarch at one time felt religion required some form of control over...something...from him, and as he struggled to control whatever, he
became very controlling over other aspects of his life as well.
Just think about closets, deep ones, and what one might find in one besides mothballs and old clothes.
Hating oneself is a powerful force and if that negative energy becomes turned outwards, can be directed at not just one's family but an entire
community and heck, apparently the whole country.
As a Christian myself it pains me to think that someone possibly found in this loving and affirmative faith something that possibly drove the person
to hate not only himself, but become so consumed with negative feeling that it could consume multiple generations along with it and entire
communities. I do denounce anyone who uses the faith to wield hate when Christ says we are to love one another as we love ourselves. So we are
supposed to love ourselves, too. If we sin, we are to work toward reconciliation and forgiveness. Not whack ourselves or each other with a hate
stick, either figuratively or...literally.
At any rate, family psychology aside, they definitely are in the lawyer biz these days so anyone thinking to taking them on, be careful. I read they
spend somewhere between 200-400K per year on their activities. They have deep pockets and all of them have a minimum of at least a law degree and
most have other credentials in addition. According to one of the things I read--can't remember if it was that report or something in Wikipedia, they
have hobnobbed with the likes of the Clintons. I was surprised about that. I would have expected them to be conservatives and associate with
Republican candidates, not liberal Democrats. Strange.
edit on 12-3-2011 by SheeplFlavoredAgain because: typos