A month ago, this writer had a spirited exchange with Westboro Baptist's Sara Phelps (who frankly I did not enjoy at all) and Jael Phelps (who's actually kind of fun, as far as Phelpses go) on the subjects of the family's reported beatings at the hand of Fred, the recent exodus of church member Libby Phelps, and the seemingly varying standards that govern things like out-of-wedlock births. Since then, I've exchanged emails with the departed Libby, who was curious to see what her family members have to say about her now that she's left the flock. So here it is, Libby. Here it is, everyone:
(Forgive the shaky camera and quick talking. The former is due to the iphone; the latter due to the fact that I'd already chatted with Randall Terry and assorted other street preachers, and was feeling particularly rapid-fire feisty)
**SEE ALSO: Libby and Jael in more amicable days, before Jael was calling Libby "a filthy whore":
Isn't it amazing how all the Phelps women have the exact same expression and that vacant smile?
It's also like they're speaking a different language.
Posted by: Bearchewtoy75 | Nov 16, 2009 7:20:00 PM
It's weird that they can be so pleasant and almost semi normal sounding (like when you introduced yourself to Jael), but then their rhetoric is so batshit crazy.
It's sad, because I think deep down these girls are all like, desperate for a normal, non god hates fag protesting life with dates and prom and breaking curfew and being grounded, not disowned. And they all look like they could be normal on some level.
Libby gives me hope in a weird way. So does Shirley's son, Josh, who leads a ridiculously normal life with his wife and son.
I wonder if they all miss each other? I know Josh wants to be able to talk to his siblings again some day, and is hoping for some kind of reconciliation with them. I wonder if they feel the same?
PS, Jeremy, you're adorable. :)
Posted by: Stef | Nov 17, 2009 1:44:08 AM
Stef: Jael was THRILLED to finally meet me. Genuinely. Less than thirty minutes after I left them, Westboro's Megan Phelps sent out a tweet saying that "the girls had finally met Jeremy from Good As You." So I guess Jael called in a reported back as soon as we were done talking. It was bizarre, but funny.
The other girl, Sara, was just deeply unpleasant. We were chatting for about ten minutes before the clip begins. She seemed so completely devoid of joy. It was pretty sad to see, actually.
And yes, they use the exact same speech patterns. In fact, I mentioned this to Sara and she was like, "Really? People say I sound like Shirley, but I don't hear it."
Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 17, 2009 9:38:51 AM
Their logic is pretty easy to understand. One "repented" and the other didn't. In other words... you can do as much sin as you like, as long as eventually you "sincerely" show remorse for doing so... which in turn means you're accepted back into the circle of God. How nice.
Maybe they girls have a secret crush on you and are sending a message for your own repentance, so that you can finally join their family Church ;)
Posted by: Forky | Nov 17, 2009 10:41:57 AM
As far as you know, how is Libby doing? I think she deserves all of our respect for leaving. I wish her the best.
Posted by: Rachel Snyder | Nov 17, 2009 5:34:35 PM
Why not post the emails between Libby and yourself as you have the emails with Shirley and Meagan? I'd be interested to see what she has to say about why she left. Or maybe you could just post what heard from her loose lips about the weird stuff from Westboro. (really though isn't it all weird? ;)
Posted by: Bliss | Nov 18, 2009 7:45:57 PM
I agree Jeremy! You should SOO post the e-mails between you and Libby - we are all so interested in how she got out of that cult! Love you Jeremy!
Posted by: Rachel Snyder | Dec 5, 2009 11:14:49 PM
Interesting interview with Sara and Jael. I just want to point out that Sara was sooo adamant that all the talk of violence was "just lies". The mattock handle "didn't happen". Then she says you're asking her about things that happened before her time. What business does that girl have commenting on that period AT ALL if by her own admission it was before her time.
The evidence should be so clear that these poor children are nothing more then parrots of the words that their parents parrot from my father. I got pretty upset listening to this until my wife pointed out that they are just pawns. Now I just feel sorrow and pity for them.
I will say it once again for the benefit of those who have read and listened to this article...the beatings happened as I've reported. The truth, the reality, of what happened in my youth, to me and my siblings, is far worse then the words that are out there. I realize that ultimately both sides of a discussion deserve to be heard, but let me just point out the violence of what that man is doing today, not just to the world, but to his grandchildren and great grandchildren. It may not be with a mattock handle, but it is just as destructive and cruel.
Posted by: Nate Phelps | Jan 19, 2010 8:10:46 PM
Love your insight, Nate. Would love for you to share more.
Posted by: G-A-Y | Jan 19, 2010 8:36:05 PM
Nate, my heart goes out to you, and every one of your family members still trapped in this nightmare. Even the old man, because I can't even imagine the horror he could have endured to turn out this way. Monsters aren't born, they're made - some people have the tenacity to break free, and some just can't. I'm sure it's no concilation, but I'm really glad you made it out.
I can't help but love & pity every one of them - even Shirley. Those kids especially break my heart. If all that enthusiam & dedication were pointed in the right direction, there's no telling what they could do.
Posted by: Chris | Jan 25, 2010 9:10:25 PMcomments powered by Disqus