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Posted at 2:19 PM ET, 02/24/2011

Westboro Church hacked by Anonymous

By Melissa Bell
westboro church
Megan Phelps Roper, 24, from Topeka, Kan., granddaughter of Pastor Fred Waldron Phelps, protests at a funeral. (AstridRiecken/The Washington Post)

Anonymous, the loosely organized group of Web "hacktivists," and the Westboro Baptist Church, known mainly for soliciting publicity through protests at funerals, have been locked in a war of words for the last few weeks. Thursday, Anonymous put those words in actions, taking down the Westboro Baptist Church Web sites. Advantage: Anonymous.

The battle began when a letter posted to, a message board for Anonymous, said the group would go after Westboro Baptist Church for their "unrelenting cascade of disparaging slurs, unfounded judgments, and prejudicial innuendos." On Sunday, Westboro responded on the church's Web site, telling the "crybaby hackers" to "bring it."

A second press release appeared on the Anonymous site implying that the Westboro Baptist Church had a hand in posting the first letter. "You thought you could play with Anonymous. You observed our rising notoriety and thought you would exploit our paradigm for your own gain."

However, just days later, Anonymous did, in fact, attack the site. During a live radio interview, a member of Anonymous challenged Westboro spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of Pastor Fred Waldron Phelps, on the origins of the first press release. Anonymous then said the group had tired of the Westboro Baptist Church's antics and broken into the site.

"Take this defacement as a simple warning: go away. The world (including Anonymous) disagrees with your hateful messages," a letter posted to the Westboro Baptist Church's Web site read.

Phelps-Roper shrugged off the attack, "You cannot shut us up."

Advantage: no one?

By Melissa Bell  | February 24, 2011; 2:19 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Wow - this is the first time I've ever rooted for a hacker! Good Job Anonymous!

Posted by: raablong | February 24, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Your information is incorrect. A hacktivist called Th3j35t3r is the one who has repeatedly brought Westboro's site offline. Even Westboro seems confused about this, really. Furthermore, Th3j35t3r and Anonymous are -not- affiliated. Please research and fact check next time before you post. It's all on Twitter:!/th3j35t3r and as well as many other blogs such as, or do a twitter search for the term th3j35t3r to see the history.

Posted by: randomobserver1 | February 24, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Whoever is taking down Westboro is fine with me. Congrats and keep up the good work.

Posted by: LarryinMD | February 24, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

If Baptists practiced what they preached they would sue this vile group for calling themselves a "Baptist Church"

Posted by: areyousaying | February 24, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, few "Christian Churches" practice what they preach. It's rare to find a Christian who walks the stony path of Jesus.

Posted by: mpmck | February 24, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I believe that these vile, reprehensible bigots are as entitled to protection from this sort of action as any American. In fact, I insist on it. It is only through the WBC's deeply offensive, ignorant, hateful (but protected) publicizing of their horrible views that anyone knows about their vileness. Makes it a lot easier to check up on them. And we all know allowing them their Constitutionally guaranteed (bleah) platform is the correct thing to do.

Posted by: carlaclaws | February 24, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh my gods! How can I make a contribution to Anonymous?

Posted by: williamhuxtan | February 24, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

WBC has brought this upon themselves, and they richly deserve whatever Anonymous has in store.

Posted by: dream_tiger | February 24, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

It's 2130 Central time and the WBC site is still not avalable! HA HA!
btw - the site name is - nice huh?

Posted by: jborst | February 24, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

STILL down!

Strong Work, Anonymous!

Posted by: T-Prop | February 24, 2011 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Anon is an hero!

Posted by: ozpunk | February 25, 2011 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Still down!

Posted by: jborst | February 25, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Still down!

Posted by: jborst | February 25, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Jehovah's Witnesses pursued court decisions to get in your face at the door steps,these same actions uphold rights of infamous hate church.
Danny Haszard
my page more on Jehovah's Witnesses harassment

Posted by: Rudy8 | March 3, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

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