The Westboro Baptist Church: Show me the money

| April 3, 2010

First of all, let me apologize for my lack of posts lately. My good friend James was on R&R from Afghanistan and we both determined that the supply of PBR and Coors Lite in the Phoenix area was unacceptably high so we have been doing our part to reduce it.

The story of Albert Synder and his legal battles with the Westboro Baptist Church have been well documented on this blog and many others. I’m not going to go into that travesty of justice in this post.

Sometime ago I watched a documentary about the WBC called The Most Hated Family in America. It was made by this British documentarian named Louie Theroux, who lived with the Phelps family for a few months. For that, he is obviously just as crazy as the Phelps or he is one tough SOB. If you got the time, it is posted on YouTube, and it is at least worth watching a few minutes of.

The one thing that struck me the most about the Phelps is how comfortably they live. They live on a compound with several large houses in Topeka, Kansas with a couple of other families who are supportive of the church. They all drive vehicles that look new and it is widely reported that the family spends several hundred thousand dollars a year on travel (plane tickets, rental cars, hotels, etc.). Not to mention that they have a lot of  high quality computer, video, and printing equipment to maintain their website, church, and protest activities.

So the next question for me was: Where does all the money come from to pay for these activities and their lifestyle? Well it would appears that the SPLC and the WBC have shared an income source in the past.

Fred Phelps was a lawyer until he was disbarred and in the past had participated in civil rights cases in Kanasas. However, his family still runs a chartered law firm and most of the family go to law school or become paralegals once they graduate from high school (which adds to the list of expensive activities that they need to pay for). According to the WBC’s Wiki and links provided in its endnotes, the WBC has been able to collect money under a law called the Civil Right’s Attorney Fees Award Act of 1976. This act basically allows a court to award certain parties legal fees and other monies in “Civil Rights cases”. I am pretty sure that this is the law that allowed that federal court in the Synder case to force Albert Synder to pay the WBC’s filing fees. Ironically, this law was designed to help groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center fund their “Civil Rights” court cases.

That doesn’t account for all their money though. A good friend of mine is convinced that the SPLC, Human Rights Campaign, and other progressive groups are giving the WBC cash so they can use them to attack the Christian right. The evidence for this is that Fred Phelps was a Civil Rights attorney that had some links to groups like the NAACP (apparently Fred even got some awards from them).  I wouldn’t put it past a piece of crap like Morris Dees or Mark Potok to try a stunt like that but in the end I don’t think they are that stupid. Something like that, were it to come out, would destroy them. I think that they do some non-religious/non-civil rights business through their law firm and that is able to generate some cash for them. Or they are all FBI informants like Hal Turner.

I still have to wonder if they really believe in the stuff they preach. I think it is obvious that they have found a pretty good racket going by being complete and utter assholes. Plenty of other people do it, just look at Hollywood. And just like with the freaks in Hollywood, you know every single one of them is getting off on the publicity.

Category: Politics

Comments (11)

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  1. AW1 Tim says:

    As I commented earlier, the WBC must be using their status as a church to avoid taxes. Since churches will lose the non-profit status if they engage in direct political actions, it stands to reason that someone ought to sic the IRS on the WBC for fraud, and level some biblical-sized fines and penalties upon their asses and strip them all of their non-profit status.

    After that, prosecute them all for fraud as a corrupt enterprise under the RICCO act, since they knowingly conspired to defraud the government by falsely using the church non-profit status for personal gain.

    Anyway, that’s how I see it.

  2. Toothless Dawg says:

    In answer to your question, do they believe in the stuff they preach … I would have to say ‘Yes’. I also watched the documentary you spoke about and it was disgusting the brain-washing they put their children through. To stoop to those levels you have to believe you have something to gain. For them it is the continued support for their family for decades. Another item I received from the documentary was how much of a whack job ol’ phred was … that dickbreath is a raving lunatic!!!

    When I faced them at ANC in March, while face to face with them I asked several times if ‘phred was a phag’… never did get a reply.

  3. Dave says:

    I am glad I have never ran into these chuckleheads at the funerals I have attended. I am a US Army retiree and my son is an active duty SNCO and if he were to fall on the field and these jagoffs showed up I am not sure I could contain myself. I fought in RVN and went through the same shit or worse when I cam home. Just my humble opinion and I know that confrontation is what they want but it would make me feel better as I was being sentenced to jail time, but then again I live in Virginia and we take shit like this seriously along with the local redneck sherrif

  4. Toothless Dawg says:


    I’m in Virginia also. The biggest laugh I got was a couple of years ago when I was in DC for the Veterans Day parade. WBC had a permit for the corner where the parade would make the turn onto Constitution Avenue. They were there in force, probably 10 with signs and at least 3 with cameras. The police would let us to within 6′ of the scum but no closer and would usually shut us down with, ‘Hey I’m a vet too, their not worth it’.

    Anyway, then along comes a Vet group in formation to the intersection (probably 30-50 strong) … ‘Half left march … detail halt … hand salute’ and every one in the detail raised a one-fingered hand salute to WBC. It was priceless and I was laughing and cheering so hard I missed the picture!!!

  5. JonP says:

    Hey Dawg, I thought you were in Alabama

  6. Toothless Dawg says:

    No Sir, not this dawg … I’m here in beautiful downtown Dumfries (Quantico)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Toothless Dawg, I live in Stafford just south of Range 6 off of 610. I guess Jonn gave give you my e-mail. I keep trying to register for the site but as I am an old fart and tech challenged I may not be doing something right

  8. Toothless Dawg says:

    Anonymous, I haven’t received your email addy yet. I know exactly where you are though … I’m just a tad north on 234 near Montclair. You can email me at oldmedicare at earthlink dot net

  9. Toothless Dawg says:

    BTW, put something in the subject line so it doesn’t go directly to the spam box … ‘tah’ or something like that

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