Anonymous renews attack on Westboro Baptist for Newtown picketing

Anonymous renews attack on Westboro Baptist for Newtown picketing

Summary: Anonymous has vowed to renew its attack on the Westboro Baptist Church after the religious group praised the actions of the shooter responsible for the Newtown, Connecticut massacre last week and announced plans to picket the school.

TOPICS: Security

Anonymous has renewed its campaign against the Westboro Baptist Church after the church said that it would picket the funerals of the victims of a recent shooting at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

The church's spokesperson, Shirley Phelps-Roper, announced on Friday that it would picket the school to "sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment [sic]."

A blog post from the church on Thursday also praised the actions of the shooter and said that the deaths of children compared to adults was a "good ratio"; 26 people died in the shooting, 20 have been confirmed to be children aged 6 and 7.

In response, hacktivist group Anonymous have renewed their attack on the church, starting OpWestboro; it has released a video threatening the church with further action and has released the personal details of its members.

In the video (you may wish to turn your speakers down for the last 20 seconds), Anonymous tells the church that it will "progressively dismantle your institution of deceitful pretext and extreme bias, and cease when your zealotry runs dry."


It doesn't expect it to achieve this overnight, stating that it will draw out the issue for as long as needed.

"Attrition is our weapon, and we will waste no time, money, effort, and enjoyment in tearing your resolve into pieces, as with exposing the incongruity of your distorted faith."

"From the time you have received this message, our attack protocol has past been executed and your downfall is underway."

At the time of writing, the church's main website is down, along with a number of its other sites, such as those stating that God hates homosexuality and that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus.

However, the church has been using the negativity to fuel the awareness of its existence. Shirley Phelps-Roper has been re-tweeting messages of hate against the church, highlighting that it considers any publicity to be of value.

In Anonymous' previous attack on the church last year, Westboro Baptist responded by calling the hacktist group "coward crybaby 'hackers'," and telling them to "bring it."

Shirley Phelps-Roper's daughter and Westboro Baptist member, Megan Phelps-Roper tweeted at the time: "Thanks, Anonymous! Your efforts to shut up God's word only serve to publish it further. God did that! Our response to you? Bring it, cowards."

The church has previously picketed US soldiers' funerals and the funeral of Steve Jobs. The church announced the picketing of Jobs' funeral via an iPhone.

Petition site We the People, set up as part of the US Whitehouse, Washington, already has a submission to ask the Obama administration to legally recognise Westboro Baptist as a hate group. At the time of writing, it has attracted over 55,500 signatures; more than double the minimum number of signatures required to prompt the US government to respond.

Two other petitions are requesting that Westboro Baptist have its tax-exempt status removed on the basis that the group does not engage in charitable behaviour and that by granting it a tax exemption, US taxpayers are funding its actions.

Topic: Security

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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  • Pure evil

    It is amazing how evil the loonatics at the WBC really are... They aren't even just doing it for attention, these idiots actually think that their voodoo believes are the truth! They need to be stopped.
    • I like that anonymous is going to cause WBC some hurt....

      But I am also very happy I live in a country where people have enough freedom to be a-holes like the whackos of the WBC.

      However, I know we would all suffer if we lost our freedom as a result of trying to legally stomp out all the whackos in the USA. I agree that the WBC should be recognized as a hate group and should lose their tax exempt status. I feel that this should apply to any group that spreads hate or tries to impose their beliefs upon others and tries to limit the common sense freedom of others.

      Churches that protest at abortion clinics should lose their tax exempt status and be labeled as hate groups.

      It's real simple people.. This is America, where freedom from any and all religious oppression is a priority. People should be free to choose for themselves based on what they believe and not based on what any church believes. And people are free to change their minds or adopt partial beliefs of various religions... This is the reason that ALL health coverage should include contraception care and abortion care. American should be free to choose what they believe is best for them and not have anyone make that choice for them regardless of whom they work for, or what they believe this minute versus a minute from now.

      This is also a reason that the whackos at the WBC should be allowed to do what they want provided they do not break the law.

      I'm not saying I like what WBC does and I sincerely wish some whacko gun person would go join that church and blow them all away during a Sunday service. I hope the local police are slow to respond because they all ate some bad donuts and are all stuck on various toilets all over town. Something like that might make me think there is a god. But until then, I hope Anonymous has their utilities turned off and hacks some government computers and gives them all a million parking tickets, has them listed as deceased, set them all up for IRS tax audits, etc. Because while I am all for the freedoms of Americans to do this kind of BS stuff, I am also all for Karma and I hope it rains down upon them.
      • Sorry, but you are just propigating the hate

        Any move by the government to restrict religious freedom (even seriously idiotic religious freedom) will result in no religious freedom for anyone in the long run.
        • Wacko's still need to pay the price for their actions.

          When someone intentionally causes harm to another they need to pay the price.
          WBC should be chased by angry crowds with torches and pitchforks, the puritans were kicked out of Europe for a reason. They were just too stupid to put up with. WBC falls under that same category, they are inherently ignorant evil people right down to the core.
          WBC are the same hateful primitive apes as the white supremacy cretins and any other primates that care about race, creed or color.
          Reality Bites
  • I hate even responding to point this out...

    The WBC are trolls who don't believe a word they spew. Trolls feed on attention, positive or negative does not matter. They want to be assaulted so they can sue, they want to be discussed so they can get assaulted, they want to generate outrage so they can be discussed.

    Don't feed the trolls.
    • Don't feed the trolls is not appropriate in this case

      I think you are wrong about the WBC. They will continue to troll funerals whether you discuss them or not. The phrase, "Don't feed the trolls," is somewhat deceptive. There are often steps that can be taken to reduce the effectiveness of trolls, and drawing attention to the trolls can indeed be part of the steps if done correctly.

      As Anti-troll website says, "When common people will be given the arms to fight against trollers, these trollers do not stand a chance against them. It is only the will to survive that gives people a reason to fight, and attacking trollers is probably one of the most fun things to do when it really gets personal." By attacking trollers correctly, they can be dissuaded from damaging the community.

      In this case, it is the feelings of the community where the shooting occurred and the praise of illegal activities that should be drawn attention to, and the fight against the WBC could mitigate some psychological damage that could be incurred as a result of their planned protest.
    • Not about the Trolls

      I agree, they are trolls, and they enjoy the attention. But it's not about them, it's about their victims. The WBC needs to be muzzled, and if they happen to get their jollies in the process, that really shouldn't be our concern.
      • a minor disagreement

        I don't think they should be muzzled per se. That would fly in the face of the 1st Amendment.

        However, I do think they should be marginalized and sued into oblivion for bringing distress to the families. I like the idea of officially labeling them a hate group. That would empower the cops to arrest them whenever they turn up at a funeral with their vile crappola.

        There's an old saw about the First Amendment: You have the right to say pretty much anything you like. On the other hand you do NOT have a right to be heard. Works for me.
        • Oh, I don't like them at all...

          I am completely behind removing their tax exempt status as well, they don't believe their spiel, trolling isn't a religion, but they do this stuff to get assaulted and sue.

          Muffling them opens legal doors for them to claim damages.

          Attacking them opens legal doors for them to claim damages.

          They're not ordinary trolls, they're lawyer-trolls, ignoring them is by far the best route.

          As for the families, yes, it's tragic, let me know when the news coverage of all the little kids killed by drone strikes overseas shows up, as it is I'm disgusted by the whole spectacle. Feeding the types of people who do this stuff is not the right response.

          I'm sure whatever his name was didn't want to be ignored for what he did, we're all complicit in a way for feeding the media monster attention, aren't we?
    • They just haven't received the right attention yet.

      They need a baseball bat applied to their seat of reasoning.
      I assure you, one contact counselling session and they would be cured.
      Reality Bites
  • Judgment

    Judgment is not misspelled.
    • The jury is out on this one

      This was tricky. There's a lot of disagreement on which should be used (and I am an Australian writer, which makes things all the more confusing), so I felt it best to indicate the original spelling with sic erat scriptum as a disclaimer that it appears as I found it in the source for anyone that might take issue with it.


      Michael Lee (Mukimu)
      • Unwarranted sic imo

        On the one hand, I think the spelling of judgment here is not an issue, so shouldn't have the sic note. But on the other hand, I thought that the sentence was strangely formed, so I was going to reply to noneshallpass to say that the sic could equally well apply to the strange wording of the sentence. Anonymous itself used a strangely malformed phrasing, in saying "our attack protocol has past been executed" that could benefit more from the tag.

        However, if the notation is indeed for the correctly spelled "judgment", this could be a case of editorialising. Although the WBC is a hate group and does nothing productive, it is not necessarily the place of the news press to "discredit a quoted statement". Not sure about zdnet's style manual, but I'd suggest that [sic] can be used more light-handedly.
  • Member details

    Looks like a lot of in-breeding.
    • Ditto

      I saw it as you read it. Could have even been funny had they not included the family tree status.
    • Inbreeding is common among Far Wingers

      > Looks like a lot of in-breeding.

      Have you seen these two Palins??? (brother and sister)
    • Nope, its cloning, there are things that even inbred clowns won't mate with

      They found a mutant ignorant gene and have cloned it into perfection.
      Look at their DNA under the microscope and all you see is lots of little loose spirals, they have more than one screw loose. :-)
      Reality Bites
  • I support Anonymous in this case

    The fact that Westboro Baptist Church continues to exist and disseminate their vile hatred across the country makes me think there must not be a god after all. What righteous god would allow these hateful people to continue to exist while allowing innocent children to be slaughtered in school. While I haven't always agreed with all that Anonymous does, in this instance I support them 100%. The government can't stop these horrible people, then maybe Anonymous can work to stifle their hateful, bigoted voices. I generally support the 1st amendment and have problems with people trying to silence people, but in the case of these horrible, bigoted, hate-filled people I'll make an exception.
    • Don't be conned

      This particular "church" so-called does not hold to any Christian belief. It is a fraud. Be careful not to attribute to God the beliefs of such people.
  • Westboro Baptist

    These people are the antithesis of Christian belief, and certainly deserve any, and all action to prevent them from making this situation worse than it already is. Their uncharitable actions toward people in grief, and stress will come back on them 10 fold, and when they stand before judgement, they will get their chance to meet with Adam Lanza.