Louis Theroux, Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church


phelps.jpgLouis Theroux made a welcome return to our screens this week, with another show documenting his ingratiation into yet another extremist cult.

This time up it was the turn of the most amusing Westboro Baptist Church - the all-screaming, all-roaring, homo-hating, fire and brimstone preaching brain-child of the apocalyptically angry Reverend Fred Phelps.

And yet, despite the church's best attempts to stoke up as much hatred and venom as they could, you couldn't help notice just how embarrassingly funny they were.

'God Hates Fags' is probably the catchphrase and website that they're most famous for, but recently the church has been attempting to take their fight to the American Army by protesting outside the funerals of deceased American soldiers.


It was amusing watching the church trying to stoke up as much hate as they could with almost anyone that they could. It was also profoundly amusing watching the Pastor bang out a Sunday sermon which made the younger Reverend Ian Paisley look like a normal, balanced man. And indeed, more than anything else, Phelps and the assorted basket-cases in his congregation reminded me of the Unionists in their hey-day - a gathering of foaming-at-the-mouth mad mullahs who abruptly end the conversation with the assertion that you're too stupid to talk to as soon as you start to make sense or reason with them.

It doesn't take a genius to work out what the subject of the sermon was of course: homosexuality. It was notable how much this one issue seemed to pervade almost every waking thought of the community's members. As usual, I couldn't help but think of Bill Hicks' prescient observation that 'anyone that far to the right, has something very, very dark to hide' themselves.


I was baffled as to why this one issue seems to obsess Phelps so much. I'd go as far as to wager that Phelps thinks about gay sex around about thirty times more a day than any gay man does himself. Why can't he stop talking about gays? Is he trying to tell us something? Is his irrational obsession with 'fags' born of a fascination that he can't kick? Is he unable to shut up about it because he can't stop thinking about it? Is the Reverend Phelps secretly in the grip of the same 'disease' (as he would characterise it) as those whom he so vehemently speaks out against?

Sadly, Louis never got the time to ask Phelps these questions. Which is a shame - aside from how amusing it may have been to see Phelps and his followers go completely jihad, it may have revealed more about the Westboro Baptist Church than three weeks of fly-on-the-wall cooking sequences.


Full marks to Theroux as usual - he handled the provocation and ignorance in the most fitting way he could: by exposing the community for the profoundly risible joke that it is and allowing them the space to make total fools of themselves.

And perhaps that's what we should all remember: that the best way to defeat an organisation that thrives on hate is by denying them the aggression that they so badly crave and laughing right in their faces. So thank you Louis and thanks to Fred and his cavalcade of in-bred loonies: you were the funniest thing I've seen in years.

PS: Oh and Fred? Your daughter is fit.



Google: "Loving God's Hate", a scathing expose of Phelps and his family, by the Topeka Capitol-Journal, Phelps' hometown newspaper.

Some of the many items exposed are: several of Phelps' estranged children publicly assert they were severely and frequently abused, both physically and emotional for years by Phelps; the details of Phelps' disbarrment by the Kansas Supreme Court and the Federal Courts for unethical behavior; the extensive electronic harrassment of disliked government officials; the successful lawsuit against Phelps by a candy vendor who was owed thousands of dollars for candy. The report states the Phelps children were forced to sell candy door-to-door until late in the evening and in bad weather while Phelps was unemployed.

Even though this expose has been published in print and been on the Capitol-Journal website for years, neither Phelps nor his attorney- children have sued the C-J for libel.

You are sick and disgusting people. I do not even believe in the bible. It is bullshit. If it tells the truth you are going to Hell. You are the filth, scum, shit of this planet. The only reason you preach what you do is for publicity. Just please die quickly!

Ive thought something similar for some time. Phelps is obviously over compensating for something he hates within himself. However, denial is one thing, but utter, utter sillyness is another. Just check out Phelps' other pet hate here http://www.godhatessweden.com/ for the outrage of tomorrow. Oh what ever shall we do without the furniture?!?

"Your daughter is fit."

You either mean his granddaughter, or your Global Eyes need a checkup.

Quite right Nick. I'm managed to stop vomiting long enough to post this comment and correct myself. I'll be in the bathroom, flagellating myself.

It doesn't take a genius to work out what the subject of the sermon was of course: homosexuality. It was notable how much this one issue seemed to pervade almost every waking thought of the community's members - strange man!

This Phelps creature is dark and deluded. It seems to me he's in hell himself. He's a virus and at 81 years of age, he is running out of time. Good. Because once he's gone, whatever it is that churns away at him will go. He's probably the closest thing to pure evil we've got on this planet. And I don't say this lightly.
Most people, however screwed, have some good in them. Not this guy. To frighten your kids that they're going to hell if they don't toe the party line is obscene. To further insist that off-spring who can't take the regime are cut off for good and will 'burn for all eternity' is deeply abnormal. There's a space waiting in the ground for Fred Phelps. The sooner he fills it, the better.

---Westboro's been done to death and Theroux's
one note Harry Potter pose really is getting

If Theroux ever expects to get to the next level
he'll leave the state-run, EUGENICS programming
BBC and turn his cameras on the belief systems of his 'hidden masters' (Social Darwinism and
Luciferian EUGENICS). TRUE.

Check out ALAN WATT online, and get beyond
the usual set-ups once and for all.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by birdbath published on April 5, 2007 3:02 PM.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.