Ex affiliata alla Westboro Baptist Church racconta come venne manipolata psicologicamente

7/03/2013

Former Westboro Baptist Church member who fled hate-organization tells how  she was ‘brainwashed’ by controversial group

  • Lauren Drain, 27,  left the church in 2008 and has written a book about the ‘manipulative’ Kansas  group
  • Founded by Fred  Phelps in 1955, members of Westboro Baptist Church picket funerals of U.S.  personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • In February, his  granddaughters, Megan Phelps-Roper, 27,  and her sister Grace, 19, left the church

By Alex Ward and James Nye

The anti-gay and anti-Semitic Westboro Baptist Church is ‘manipulative’ and ‘brainwashes’ its members into following  its message according to one former member who has written a book about her  experience.

Lauren Drain, 27, spent her teens as a member  of the small, independent, Kansas-based church which pickets the funerals of  fallen American soldiers because they died protecting a nation which defends  homosexuality.

‘Absolutely, yes, they did, they did  brainwash me,’ said Drain to CNN‘s Piers  Morgan on Monday. ‘It’s very controlling,’ she added. ‘They control what you  believe, what you say, what you do, what friends you have. They say everyone on  the outside’s evil. And they don’t allow any outside influence at  all.’

Drain has written ‘Banished: Surviving My  Years in the Westboro Baptist Church’ which recounts how her father began a  documentary investigation to expose the church and ultimately ended up joining  the hate-group along with his whole family in 2001.

‘They manipulated the children into believing  that is the right thing to do for God. They are being good Christians,’ said  Drain about the methods of the church which is headed by Fred Phelps and founded  in 1955, in Topeka.

‘They claim to speak for God. And it’s  unfortunate and it’s an atrocity the things that they do and say, horrible  things they do and say, but they claim they are speaking for  God.’

Now cut off from the rest of her family and  disowned by her father, Drain spoke of her hurt at the time and how she fears  for her siblings still in the church.

‘It was very traumatic, when it first  happened. I wasn’t ready for it or expected it,’ said Drain.

‘Mostly because of my siblings who are still  stuck there.’

‘When I left they were three, five, 16 and  now its five years later – so they are growing older, they have no opportunity  to see any type of outside influence or any type of other perspective on God,  any other type of knowledge of good life or good people, they have no idea that  there is a happiness on the outside.’

Previously, Drain has discussed how the  church brainwashes its members with constant sermons of hate, daily emails and  countless studies of their interpretation of the Bible.

Drain revealed that the Bible group leaders  skip over the verses that discuss God’s love, forgiveness and  hope.

In fact, the infamous picketing that the  Westboro Church is notorious for is paid for by the members themselves and not  the church – including its younger members.

As a teenager, she got job. ‘All of my  paycheck went to paying for picket trips,’ she told MyNorthWest.Com.

Speaking on CNN, Drain said that she began to  question what the church was saying, believing it to be hypocritical and plain  wrong.

Since leaving the WBC, Drain has worked to  distance herself from the group’s stigma. She’s appeared in a NOH8 campaign ad  and participated in candid Reddit Ask Me Anything.

And in February, two grandchildren of Fred  Phelps left the church apologizing for the ‘hurt’ they caused after leaving the  family church to start a new life.

Megan Phelps-Roper, 27, and her sister Grace,  19, left the controversial Westboro Baptist Church founded by their grandfather,  which saw them holding placards with the words ‘God Hates Fags,’ ‘Fags Doom  Nations’ and ‘Thank God for Dead Soldiers’, at the funerals of U.S. personnel  killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and publicly celebrating when a stranger  contracts cancer.

Miss Phelps-Roper, who was once called as the ‘future leader’ of the church, confirmed that after 27 years she has made the  decision to leave, effectively being cut off from her family.

 She wrote on blog platform medium.com in  February: ‘Up until now, our names have been synonymous with “God Hates  Fags”.

‘We know that we’ve done and said things that  hurt people. Inflicting pain on others wasn’t the goal, but it was one of the  outcomes. We wish it weren’t so, and regret that hurt.

‘We know that we dearly love our family. They  now consider us betrayers, and we are cut off from their lives, but we know they  are well-intentioned. We will never not love them.’

Miss Phelps-Roper ran the church’s social  media presence, posting on Twitter up to 150 times a day from her phone, and her  mother, Shirley, had called her her ‘right-hand man’.

Synonymous with hate: Ms Phelps-Roper wrote that she regrets the hurt she caused while being part of spreading the Westboro message which included picketing funerals of U.S. personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan (pictured Fred Phelps Jr.)She acted as a spokesperson for the group and  did hundreds of interviews with journalists from all around the  world.

She said: ‘Until very recently, this is what  I lived, breathed, studied,  believed, preached – loudly, daily, and for nearly  27 years.

‘I never thought it would change. I never  wanted it to. Then suddenly: it did. And I left.’

Church member Margie Phelps took to Twitter  today as news broke of Ms Phelps-Roper’s departure from the church.

She posted: ‘Some day  @washingtonpost will  get it-standard of God doesn’t change for anyone,  including #NotOfUs  @meganphelps.’

Westboro Baptist Church has made  international news many times for its strong views against homosexuality.

Made up mostly by the Kansas-based  Phelps  family, the religious group blames most tragedies – from the  death of American  soldiers to the recent massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook  Elementary School – on what they call a ‘pro-gay’  agenda in America.

Recently, Margie Phelps said in a video-taped  interview that God sent  the 20-year-old Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, to  kill 20 people in Connecticut in December last year  because the state legalized  same-sex marriage.

‘Connecticut was one of the first states to  come out with same-sex marriage,’ Phelps said as she sat beside a  blood-red-stained sign that read: ‘God sent  the shooter.’

Former member Libby Phelps Alvarez, 29,  recently spoke about her departure from the church and finding peace in her new  life which did not restrict her from having a haircut, traveling and being  confined to the borders of the U.S.

She decided to leave after church members  confronted her about a bikini she had worn during a family vacation that she  decided to follow her brother’s lead, who had left two years earlier.

Estranged from her family, Mrs Phelps Alvarez  now lives in Lawrence not far from the University of Kansas campus with her  newlywed husband, Logan.

Documentary maker Louis Theroux has made two  documentaries, in 2007 and 2011, about the Phelps family, interviewing founder  Reverend Fred Phelps, Ms Phelps-Roper’s mother and Megan herself. He made the  second documentary, with the title ‘America’s Most Hated Family in Crisis’ after  two other young members of the church decided to leave.

He said at the time: ‘I’ve always been  fascinated by this organisation. They operate as a cult, but are pretty unique  in that they have allowed the media, and me, in. Yet after our first programme,  two of the children of the family left the church, and contacted  me.

‘I’m not claiming they left because of the  programme, but it was obviously a factor. I was curious to go back, to see  why.’

 

Fonte: Daily mail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2289453/Former-Westboro-Baptist-Church-member-fled-hate-organization-tells-brainwashed-controversial-group.html

 

 

 

 

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