back to article Westboro Baptist Church taunts Anonymous over supposed attack plan

Westboro Baptist Church, the controversial church of God Hates Fags infamy, claims that the legions of Anonymous are planning to attack its website. However, according to at least one faction of Anonymous, the supposedly threatening open letter is the work of WBC itself, which is inviting an attack in order to garner sympathy …


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  1. FailKing

    Fairy Tales

    This was clealry a setup up, some troll, trolling trolls to troll trolls.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    A suggestion...

    As this WBC crowd seem to be doing all of this to provoke law suits, maybe the answer is to reply in kind.

    If Gods legal representatives on Earth would like to take WBC to court on grounds of libel (the placards) I'm sure that a suitable class action could be won. I suggest $1 for each of Earths current living population would be a fair and appropriate settlement. The only WBC defense would be to prove that God actually said the statements on the placards. I believe that God would not need to be called as a witness...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      they are clever

      They know the legal system. They never libel a person.

      Read this interesting link:

      "Fred Phellps is a conman" :

  3. Ally J

    Not to be touched with a sh!tty stick

    WBC are seriously broke and need to get more funding. There are also a lot of lawyers in the congregation/family.

    1. Provoke attack using Low Orbit Ion Cannon by fools who don't know it doesn't hide your IP

    2. Send out letters along the model of ACS:Law and others - "We know it was you - pay us $1,000 or we sue you for lots more".

    3, Profit.

    I doubt Fred Phelps snr and his family have anything interesting in their e-mails that would provide any sort of surprises. As they mostly all live in one place, it's hardly likely they're going to have an internal mail archive of note anyway - it's a family concern, not a corporation.

    If ever an organisation was not worth hacking, it's WBC.

  4. hexx


    those bastards

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, I agree

      Teach the bigots a lesson by burning the fuckers.

      Much as I hate the Westbrough Baptists (and I _really_ do) stooping to their level is hardly the way forward.

    2. tantiboh

      What you have to understand about WBC...

      WBC isn't a bunch of nutcases, not are they particularly religious. It's a very simple scam: they provoke people until somebody gets fed up and resorts to violence. They then sue that individual and make hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's basically a business.

      They're deplorable and despicable, but here in the U.S. they can't be stopped, which in a broad sense is a good thing. The best antidote to bad free speech is more free speech.

  5. Jim Carter

    Shame really.

    Would be lovely to see those twats taken off the internet.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Internet <--> Earth

      Would love to see them taken off the Earth, in a non violent way. Maybe Marshall Applewhite can come back for them.

    2. lglethal Silver badge

      Which Ones?

      Anonymous or West Boro?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Internet <--> Earth

        West Boro that is.

  6. Admiral Grace Hopper Silver badge

    And if you want to help out at all

    Can I direct you to ?

    1. Ian McNee

      Nice one... for WBC: tiny & insignificant group of religious nutcases in vile/transparent publicity stunt? Who knew!?

      And whatever next? Illiterate hick pastors threatening to burn copies of the Koran? As if!

      1. Morely the IT Guy

        Not merely a tiny group

        In fact, the WBC consists entirely of the *(incestuous) family of Phelps, the "pastor" of the fake church.

        And Anonymous absolutely did not target WBC; the entire load of crap was a bare-faced lie by WBC in order to get some more free publicity.

        The best thing that could happen would be a tacit agreement amongst all the various news agencies to never report on anything involving the WBC.

        1. Ammaross Danan

          The Site

          The WBC website is likely offline due to the media attention. I think someone phrased it as "The Slashdot Effect"

          You should do a little bit of mental work before default-contributing it to Anonymous.

        2. Daniel 1

          The Domain's probably up for renewal

 and (I kid you not) are probably both up for renewal, and Pastor Fred is perhaps a bit strapped for cash. Just a few days to go, and these two fine websites will soon be destined for the great Google Cache In The Sky.

          "I know! I'll blame them there Heynonnynonny peepul!" he cries - and the next thing we know, we have a conspiracy on our hands.

          However, since the 'global village' of the Internet appears primarily to serve as a means for a globe, full of village idiots, to get together and believe irational things, I suspect the Good Pastor is merely continuing a fine tradition - while his own church demonstrates that some belief systems are simply too irational, even for the Internet!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't like Anonymous, don't like the Westboro Baptist Church...

    ... and I don't even see too much difference between them. Both are dogmatic and unwilling to engage with anyone that disagrees with them, the difference being that Anonymous are far more effective as bullys. From a subjective point of view I also generally consider them to be promoting things I consider beneficial, but I don't for a second agree with their tactics.

    AC not intended to show affiliation, obviously.

    1. Chad H.


      Anonymous actually target soneoneobe/thing that's doing something wrong. Westboro do anything it takes, including targeting bystanders and innocents, to get on TV.

      There's a clear moral divide between the two.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        doing something wrong?

        in whose opinion? I'm sure they both feel equally justified in their opinions.

        However I have to agree with the original poster about anonymous' tactics. You can beat bullies by out-bullying them, but that just makes you a bigger bully.

        And at least Westboro aren't hiding who they are. If Anonymous are so convinced they are correct why do they need to hide behind anonymity?

        (Caveat: I personally think god loves fags as much as he loves anyone else. He made them, after all!)

        1. Chad H.

          @ Sabroni

          Perhaps I should reword that... Anonyous goes after the "Cause" of their ire - those that try to crush free speech by not processing payments for groups dedicated to free speech and accountability for example.

          As to why they're anonymous, it has to go to their long standing anti-Scientology campaign. The COS plays very dirty, 5mins of web surfing on sites like will explain it better than I can. The COS come after you and your family.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            DDOS attacks are no different than sit ins were. We name national holidays after MLK, but for some reason we demonize the modern day equivalent.

            1. sabroni Silver badge

              in what way?

              were the sit ins anonymous? The people in the sit-ins put themselves in the front line and faced down the state and it's bully boys. Anonymous stay and home and attack remotely with minimal exposure of themselves. Can you see the difference?

          2. sabroni Silver badge

            if it's only relevant to COS..

            ..then why stay anonymous when dealing with Westboro, or anyone else? Not having to take responsibility for your actions is a dangerous precedent and I've no reason to trust that anonymous will always make the right choice. Who do I complain to when they get if wrong?

        2. Youngone Silver badge


          Anonymous are anonymous because of the fear of being targeted by Tom Cruise's friends. Any other campaign they run is an offshoot of their original purpose.

          I don't think God hates fags either. I don't think God exists actually, but I'd love to see some evidence proving otherwise. Got any? No? Thought not.

          1. Chad H.

            @ Youngone

            Oddly the WBC has convinced me either God doesn't exist, or isn't worthy of my worship as he's either not good, or omnipotent.

          2. sabroni Silver badge


            it's all around you. See it? No? Thought not. Doesn't mean it's not there....

            1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: evidence?

              Yep, that get-out will be used until the end of time, and will be met with "yeah but doesn't mean it is there either" forever and ever amen.

              1. sabroni Silver badge

                I have no problem..

                ...if we can agree to differ. But, to be fair, he started it!!!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Char H

        What, like HBGary who were going to do the immense wrong of attempting to use statistics to determine who some of the members of Anonymous are?

        Anonymous are, literally, a vigilante group in the uninflected dictionary definition sense of the word. So whether you support them cuts to your opinions on vigilante justice.

        1. Chad H.

          @ AC 21 Feb 15:08 GMT

          How is a DDOS at the end of the day any moraly different to what UK Uncut are doing "Shutting down" banks and shops?

          Sometimes the law simply doesn't work. The law is protecting Westboro at the cost of everyone else.

  8. Danny 5


    obvious troll is obvious!

    Anonymous has responded in the way i expected, by doing nothing and letting westboro know that they're not going to fall for their trolling and wont help them gain media coverage.

    offline hassling has been put forward as a means to pick up the glove, a far more effective way to stay anonymous :)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We're not going to rise to your challenge, honest... surprise, should have expected us!

    Anyone else get the feeling that the WBC website is discovering what a botnet is right about now?

    1. Elmer Phud


      I'd prefer a site hack and something about WBC supporting gay rights, AIDs research, free condoms - you know, all those things that they say God hates.

      And keep doing it.

      WBC is founded on taunting people they see as legitimate targets with the excuse that God hates them. They thrive on reaction as they see that as proof what they are doing is right. WBC is a family business where the kids are out there waving placards at dead soldiers and chanting that they deserved it. Legs blown off with an IED? God laughs like Nelson.

      WBC is so screwed up they would do a 'Day One' job on us if they could. They most likely think the Tea Party are a bunch of radical Communists.

      God hates us all.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Hey kettle, you know what you are...

    "Anonymous warned that the supposed call to arms was a trap set up by "attention-whoring idiots"."

  11. g e

    Bring it on

    Sounds like they just gave their permission for 3rd party penetration testing to me. No point being a crybaby when you go offline when you literally asked for it.

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      WBC: '3rd party penetration testing'

      [childish snigger]

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    When you play with fire... you get burned...

    Now do you think that those Church members are technically savvy enough to hack Anonymous which is filled with hackers?

    Or do you think that there is some other 'tech savvy' organization that Anonymous has pissed off enough that they would want to start this mess?

  13. The Beer Monster


    There's a Marlboro Baptist Church that must love fags...

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Two countries, divided by a common language...

      <happy sigh & chuckle>

    2. Ian McNee


      Almost funny enough to make a barbarian atheist like me wanna go to that church!

    3. Hardcastle
      Thumb Up


      That wasn't a Marlboro!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Westboro Baptist Church

    Don't feed the trolls.

    Offensive != noteworthy.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cripplefight... the only way to describe WBC vs Anonymous.

  16. Just Thinking

    What's the big deal?

    99% of people on this forum are atheists, why does it bother you so much that some church group or other hates homosexuals?

    If you try to crowbar a 2000 year old religious text into the reality of modern life, you are unlikely to come up with a coherent moral framework. You either equivocate about the text, or spout frothing mouthed bigotry, or more often some combination of the two.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @What's the big deal?

      Ah, you just fell into the trap.

      WBC is no more a "real" church group than the Hitler Youth was about healthy camping and outdoor sports.

      They are a money making scheme based on (barely) legal entrapment.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      @just thinking

      You are seriously suggesting that one should ignore bigotry if it is perpetrated by a group of which one is not a member? Should that be only if the bigotry is perpetrated against a group of which you are also not a member, or does it include any bigotry that group indulges in?

      How remarkably self-centred of you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I love people who cry foul about bigotry, because every last one of them is a hypocrite.

        Tolerance means tolerating bigots, racists, hate speakers and anyone else you disagree with.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Anti-Fascist protesters

          have always been a favourite of mine.

          "You don't have my beliefs, Fascist, so you should just piss off and die!"

    3. Chad H.

      @ Just Thinking

      My issues with the Wesboro Baptist church are less their disgusting beliefs, but the indefensable methods of which they express their views.

    4. EvilGav 1

      Are you seriously . . .

      . . . suggesting that homosexuality is a new thing, given that it was massively prevalent amongst the greeks and the romans (you know, pre-dating the alleged date Christ was around).

      Of course wars are new, we never had wars before, especially not ones about exerting control based on your own beliefs (well, except for the crusades, the roman expansion, Alexander the greats conquests, the creation of Mesopotamia blah blah).

      Lets also not forget that the religious text in question is also not 2000 years old.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      99% Athiests?

      Do you have a source for that number, or did you just make it up?

      I'm guessing the latter.

  17. Juan Inamillion


    Keyboard covered in lunch.....

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Put them on the naughty step

    As much as I'd like to see these bigots removed off the (pla)net it's pointless giving the sad rednecks the publicity they obviously crave to make them sound soooo important. Get them to go and stand on the naughty step and stop trying to rile people in the name of their Gawd.

    Didn't their prophet say 'blessed are the peacemakers'? ... what a pity they don't take that to heart instead of provoking trouble, the sad little ******s.

    1. George of the Jungle

      I think he said

      "blessed are the cheesemakers"

      1. Snake Plissken

        It's blessed are the MEEK!

        Oh, I'm glad they're getting something, they have a hell of a time.

  19. Graham Marsden

    God hates figs!

    See Mark 11:12-14

    1. Adam Foxton

      Also, they only appear to have

      an "About Us" page rather than a whole frequently-asked-questions section.

      I guess God Hates FAQs as well.

  20. Paul Hates Handles


    Surely if they tell people to try and hack/DDOS 'em, then they may not be committing a crime... Sorta like when you tell someone to paint your house or get a locksmith to open your door... or ask removal men to take your possessions.

    If they're effectively saying "Please attack our websites" then... case closed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      lawayers anywhere?

      I'd love some lawyer here to clarify this position...

    2. Stephen McLeod Blythe
      Thumb Down

      Volenti non fit injuria

      "Volenti non fit injuria" is the maxim to which you are referring. Basically - to those that consent, no harm is done.

      Legally (at least in my own jurisdiction; it will be different from one to another) the chances of relying on such a defence by anyone who takes out the WBC website are slim to none.

      Consider the following, I invite you to "come ahead and kill me then" after a conversation on El Reg gets a bit heated. You come round to my house and do just that. You would still be charged with murder, whether I "invited" you to do the act or not. It's still illegal.

      1. Pablo

        Bad comparison

        Assisted suicide is still illegal, assisted security testing of a website is not.

        1. Stephen McLeod Blythe

          Re: Pablo

          Your reply shows a misunderstanding of the point I'm afraid.

          Saying "Please help me kill myself" and "Go on then. Come ahead and kill me" are two completely different things.

          It may come as a shock, but words do not always always take on their literal meanings. When WBC told Anonymous to "bring it on", it would take a hell of a stretch to prove that this was intended as a contract for "assisted security testing of their website".

          You may not like the comparison, but the fact remains.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge


        Thanks stephen

        p.s. when will el-reg allow us to msg contributors?

  21. David Austin

    Funny That...

    ...I don't remember anything in the Bible about hackers. They must be using the new international l33t edition.

    1. Chad H.


      You see there is... Slight mistranslation "Blessed are the *Geeks*, for they shall inherit..."

  22. LinkOfHyrule

    So God hates fags dose he?

    So God hates fags dose he? What is that meant to mean, sounds like one of the government health warnings you get on packs of 20 Bensons!

    Screw you WBC!

  23. PershingDriver

    @Put them on the naughty step

    WBC != Redneck

    No 'neck I know would protest at a soldiers funeral and most would stomp those WBC basterds into the dirt if they tried.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      So I've heard

      ...repeatedly. But so far nobody has put their stomping boots where their mouth is. As far as I know, the closest to a good stomping they've is a slashed tire.

      1. sisk


        There's a good reason why those of us who'd love to put on the boots haven't. Phelps is a lawyer and an expert at twisting the law to extract judgement money out of the people he's enraged to the point of loosing control of their actions. Basically, you hit a member of WBC and you may just as well write a six figure check to their retirement fund.

        As satisfying as it may be, it's just not worth it. It's better to deal with them some other way.

        The Patriot Guard Riders method works well for funerals. Put yourself between them and whomever they're targeting this week with a few dozen guys in leather jackets holding American flags. Show them your collective back and rev the engines on your motorcycles so no one can hear the hate spewing from behind you. Having been involved in this I can tell you that this is a pretty satisfying way to shut the bozos down. All the families hear from outside the church is what they describe as rolling thunder. Seeing the gratitude of the family when they realize that they didn't even know Phelps and crew was there is more satisfying to me than rearranging some ignorant biggots face would be.

        Or, in non-funeral situations, get a bunch of people together, make some nonsense signs ("I've got a sign", "Stik + Bored=Badly Spelled Pikit"), and stand in among their protest shouting things like "GOD HATES MISMATCHED SOCKS!" That seems to be particularly effective to, though I've never had that pleasue. At least from the stories I've heard it worked really well in San Fransisco.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          @Actually ...

          Wasn't there a Brit who said how to handle lawyers?

          That said I really liked the idea of the "GOD HATES MISMATCHED SOCKS!" shouts

          WBC == We Bed Cows.

      2. LateNightLarry

        So I've heard

        Actually, I think all four tires on their van were slashed at a soldier's funeral in Oklahoma... and from what I heard, none of the locally-owned tire shops would sell them tires. Word got around rather quickly... they finally had to go to the local Wal-Mart to get a new set of tires. I believe they also had a police escort to Wal-Mart, and after the tires were installed, an escort to the county line.

        I don't know if WBC still has a tax-exempt status as a church, but if they do, that should be revoked retroactively as far back as the IRS can reach, AND "pastor" Phelps and his accountant should be jailed for income tax fraud.

        I also read that one of the teenage daughters asked one of the parents a question that Phelps felt was challenging his authority and the "teachings" of the church, and said daughter was ordered out of the house and none of the other children were even allowed to say goodbye to her... WBC is a CULT.

        Fail, because Phelps and family are failures as people and parents.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    as a catholic

    i'd just like to point out that the views of the WBC do not apply to all Christians. love, forgiveness and acceptance are what Christianity teaches.

    fail because some people just fail to see the point.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You must think someone cares

      So you're worse than WBC? How many innocents have been KILLED by your church?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "You must think someone cares"

        whether someone care's or not, is besides the point. religion is something that should be never imposed on anyone. do you have something against love, forgiveness and acceptance?

        there are elements even within the church who do not abide by the teachings of Christ. but to slag of the entire catholic church would be akin to slagging of each and every British citizen for the killings of millions of people in their past colonies. fuck that, how many innocent people have died in Iraq just because someone needed an excuse to get to their oil?

        pot, meet kettle.

  25. tom 24

    God knows, WBC could use some good PR, any good PR...

    When you want to be a martyr that badly, it's just sad.

    "It's just sad" pretty much sums up everything about Westboro. Actually.

  26. Framitz

    "inviting an attack in order to garner sympathy"

    I can not imagine anyone having sympathy for the WBC. Even if they were all blown to hell I don't think there would be sympathy, maybe celebration, but no sympathy.

  27. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    God hates all fags ?

    Or just gay fags ?

    He obviously hates Harley riders, thats why he made them fat and ugly - or in the UK made them all solicitors and dentists during the week.

    But what about those that are just bike-curious ?

  28. War Monger

    WBC and Anonymous should settle their differences

    with a battle to the death. I hope they both win.

  29. revdjenk

    biblical hackers ... and other titles

    Oh, there were hackers in the bible...

    Malachi 3:10 NRSV ...says the LORD of hosts... I will not you...

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Well the BBC seems to have (almost) fallen for it...


  31. Syntax Error


    I've always found them entertaining and harmless. Makes me laugh the way people get so worked up about them. God hates fags - Who cares.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    This means WAR!

    Xenu has his eye on the Westboro Wankers!

  33. Anonymous Coward

    I did a whois on and its registered to WBC with the email address is registered to a law firm LOL

  34. Fred 18
    Thumb Down


    These people are the scum of the earth. God don't even know them. they have turned their back on him.

    Bulseyed is right but only if they stop their trashing, They can;t keep on doing the same thing.They have the right to speak in America but that doesn't make them right. I am not perfect by any means but I don't trash our service people or their families at funerals.


  35. Paul 172
    Thumb Up

    So either....

    Westboro failed to properly secure their infrastructure before "asking" for a pentest.... Or anonymous have some tasty 0-days to hand..... would be interesting to find out....

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