Anonymous Hacks Westboro Baptist Leader, Files Death Certificate

anonymousIn one of the creepiest but raddest examples of cyber-vengeance we’ve heard of, the hacker group Anonymous has claimed it filed a death certificate for Westboro Baptist Church leader Shirley Phelps-Roper.

According to Forbes.com, the group also hacked Phelps-Roper’s computer and changed her desktop image to gay porn.

Earlier this week Anonymous members issued a video warning to the WBC, and posted personal details of church members online, after the cult promised to picket Sandy Hook Elementary, site of last week’s horrible massacre.

“We have decided to execute an agenda which will progressively dismantle your institution of deceitful pretext and extreme bias,” the group announced in a video clip (below). “We will waste no time, money, effort and enjoyment in tearing your resolves into pieces.”

On Monday Phelps-Roper’s Twitter account was taken over by someone claiming to be a hacker named Cosmo The God,  a 15-year-old on probation for prior misdeeds.

What do you think? Is fighting fire with fire the way to take down the WBC—or will threats and intimidation only add fuel to the Phelps clan’s paranoia?


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  • evdanker

    I doubt you could add to their hate and paranoia.

  • viveutvivas

    Anonymous do a lot of good work.

  • 2eo

    I don’t see the legal difference between destroying WBC and attacking the Taliban, they are the same, groups that revel in death at the expense of people in the west.

    Anonymous should have complete immunity for absolutely anything that is done by them to WBC, complete immunity.

  • Dakotahgeo

    ROFLMBO!!! Oh Sweet Jesus! Innocent revenge is soooo sweet! Shirley Pffips has been dead for years based on reality. I can’t wait for the next hoodwinking!!! Good going, Anonymous! Bring it on! Ohhhhhh, Baby!

  • Charles175

    Since the only UN-winnable argument is an argument with a moron, meeting their fire with fire may be the only way to forceably stop their BS.

  • gaym50ish

    Anything that can be done to counter this group has my blessing. About six years ago at one of their protests I interviewed Fred Phelps’s daughter Margie Phelps, a lawyer who later successfully argued a landmark free-speech case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

    When I met her she was carrying a sign that read, “America is doomed” — presumably the same America that has granted her the freedom to engage in hate speech. There was a little girl with her who looked to be no older than 9, and she appeared scared and confused as drivers and passengers shouted obscenities at her family from their car windows.

    It was sad, and I have often wondered what “Christian” values that child has learned from all this. Wasn’t it Maya Angelou who said children must be TAUGHT to hate?

  • BringItAlready

    The WBC needs to be taken down. They are allowed to run wild and spread their word of hate. I fully support Anonymous in their efforts to protect people from the likes of WBC. Twitter suspends accounts all the time for stupid stuff but they allow WBC to run wild, FaceBook is the same way. If you post to much to fast on FaceBook your account gets suspended but yet WBC can have pages coming out their ears spreading their hate. Maybe twitter will soon take notice and listen to us and shut down ALL of the WBC accounts, same goes for FaceBook. Rock On Anonymous!

  • Maruchi

    I think it would take quite a lot to make me sympathise with the WBC, but I do wonder where we are going by offering legitimacy to groups like Anonymous. While they are generally fighting for what we see to be “good causes”, it is easy to rally behind them. But what about when they take their radical action elsewhere? Read the article again. Cosmo the God is 15 years old. What is there to stop him having a rough day at school and taking revenge against his teacher for giving him detention? What about if he gets his Anonymous compatriots to help, and ratchets up the retribution? I do not know about you, but I probably was not the most stable member of society when I was going through puberty. I am not asserting that their entire membership is made of adolescents, but there are enough there to do serious, chaotic damage to those who, under the official law of the land, have done no wrong.

    What you have to remember about Anonymous is there is no moderation, there is no accountability, and they have among their members, kids.

    Just to emphasise, I am NOT siding with the WBC, but Anonymous are vigilantes, and we need to be very careful when we raise that sort of action above conventional means of justice, even when those means are perceived ineffective.

  • 2eo

    @Maruchi: Conventional means have failed the people. The government will take no action against WBC because they are a christian group. If WBC was an islamic group they’d be in Guantanamo Bay already.

    The sad fact is that this statement is not said for ironic or to make a point, it simply is fact.

  • Maruchi

    @2eo: Oh, I completely agree. I am not saying that something should not be done about the WBC. Certainly, the amount of pain they have caused warrants some rather severe punishment [though, somewhat ironically, I think the WBC have turned more people toward being liberal, tolerant and moderate through not wanting parallels to be drawn between themselves and the WBC].

    I just think we need to be careful.

    Hypothetically, what punishment would you deem too severe? They certainly do not deserve to be killed, so we can discount that immediately. Conventional justice does no condone like-for-like punishment as means of retribution either [though, as you mentioned, conventional justice has not cut the mustard], as picketing their homes and church. Whether that would simply rally and vindicate them though is anyone’s guess. As far as I am aware they have not physically hurt anyone [we can argue the toss about the relative damage of physical and psychological attacks, but the law would generally deem a physical attack more grave], so what news of Anonymous action would make you think they had gone too far? When the WBC children start to get affected?

    It is something interesting to think about.

  • 2eo

    @Maruchi: I don’t consider any punishment prohibited, hacking their accounts is fine, if someone wishes to take their children away then bomb them, I’m perfectly okay with that too.

    I’ve already said that I condone their murder. Not the kids though, they’re just the victime of systematic abuse, they need caring for.

  • Maruchi

    @2eo: I am not entirely sure how to respond to that.

  • Michael

    These aren’t people with whom one can sit and have a rational conversation, so fighting fire with fire is the ONLY way to go. I’ve never quite understood the constitutional rationale for what they do. There comes a point when freedom of speech interferes with the well-being of others and I can’t imagine burying my child with these lunatics spewing hate 500 yards away.

  • Chris-MI

    @Maruchi: Maruchi, it wouldn’t work. Many, many Anonymous kids have tried to get the hive to punish their least favorite teacher and the hive always slaps them down. There’s a very strong sense of morality in that group and they have oft-discussed and very well developed codes of behavior, even though they can seem bizarre to outsiders.

    It’s an odd thing, because many of us would say that ruining someone’s Twitter, even the most offensive Twitter on the planet, is immoral. Anonymous would probably tell you that the web is public property and if your Twitter is vile, the public have the right to hack it. None of this applies to school teachers.

  • Maruchi

    @Chris-MI: I was just using school teachers as an extreme example, but I understand what you are saying.

    I appreciate that they may have a chiselled in stone “10 Commandments”, if you will. That still does not give me the confidence I imagine it gives some people who have posted above. For me, it still comes down to an issue of accountability. The cloak and dagger nature of their organisation [if you can even call it that by the traditional definition] makes me very uneasy.

    I do not know…maybe that is exactly how they need to operate to achieve their ends.

    I would feel a lot better if I could talk to someone. Maybe they have an AGM?

  • 2eo

    @Maruchi: They, like everyone else are human, they have chosen to inflict pain and suffering on the families of brave soldiers, blaming a group not responsible for any of the atrocities, they revel in death.

    They have given up what it is to be human, they have lost [pardon the theism, cough] their souls, they deserve no recognition, no praise, only condemnation and complete removal.

    Some people make the world brighter by existing. Some people make the world worse by existing. Phelps is the latter, the world will be better when he and his cohorts are in the ground.

  • rand503

    When old man Phelps dies, there will be mass picketing of his funeral, with signs saying THank God he is finally dead! We’ll see if they enjoy the same hurt they throw around.

  • Maruchi

    @2eo: But would it not be even better if they could be brought round to a more compassionate point of view? In the same way that they have inadvertently pushed others away from extreme opinions about gay people.

    It is so much harder, but so much more rewarding [for society as a whole], to change someone’s mind rather than discounting them altogether.

    To give up on all the people who may never come round to a gentler way of dealing with things they disagree with, or to spend your life fighting a losing battle against people who will never change. I do not know which way would lead you to madness quicker, but I have to believe that there is something in everyone that can be appealed to.

    Can you at least entertain this notion without necessarily accepting it?

  • Maruchi

    @rand503: You have no idea how much I hope that does not happen. If anything is going to harden their hearts against every other human being and deepen their sense of righteousness, that is it.

    I hope people show them the quiet sympathy they have denied too many. It might be the one thing that makes the WBC children question their parents and escape one day. With no children to continue raising the flag the WBC will die quietly and slowly with a whimper, just like it should.

  • Anonymous_Nuke

    @Maruchi: Maruchi, I can see your concerns with what you first said above about Cosmo. But let me assure you that will not happen. We talk all the time that not matter what, Anonymous is not anybody’s personal army or anything like that. If you’d like please feel free to contact me via twitter, @Anonymous_Nuke or via email [email protected] I will be more than happy to discuss Anonymous with you.

  • 2eo

    @Maruchi: Indeed, it’s admirable, but I’ve come to an agreement with my amorality and ambivalence, it isn’t that what you say isn’t valid, because it’s rational and well worded. It is solely that I genuinely believe that removing the worst people on the planet will alleviate the suffering of billions.

    Every battle matters, every single win matters. In a rather musing way just posting about being gay is an enormous victory against these, especially religious organisations. I’m quite careful to attack the organisations and only the individuals who choose to attack me first.

    They are losing, every day they lose more ground and they get more and more desperate, they attack like cornered animals because that is what they are. The march of progress and our evolution is counting on us winning, the people who are poison to this endeavour I am ambivalent towards, remove them or bring them around. Either way is fine in my books.

  • Joel J

    The Westboro Baptist Church serve a useful purpose: they show the world what the face of hatred looks like and they demonstrate the irrationality of homophobia. Bull Connor with his dogs and fire hoses did more to schock the conscience of the nation than all the civil rights marches.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @2eo: Your comments re: “cornered animals” brings to mind the Jonestown Massacre many years ago. The Westburro (sic) Baptist (anything but) Church (again, anything but) shows many of the same traits as those who followed Jim Jones to their deaths. They are certainly unbalanced enough to be able to pull such an event off, but I doubt if they have the intestinal fortitude to do anything that drastic. Still… wouldn’t it be nice……….

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