Was Anonymous Trolled By Westboro Baptist Church?

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Not sure what exactly is going on here but we are sure enjoying the confusion. First this cease and desist letter to Westboro Baptist Church of Troll appeared on Anonnews.org, an open-source news channel for anons, on February 16th. Note that at Anonnews.org, “anyone can post to the site, and moderators will approve relevant posts. No censorship takes place!”, according to the web site.

February 16, 2011

TO THE CONGREGANTS OF WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH:

We, the collective super-consciousness known as ANONYMOUS – the Voice of Free Speech & the Advocate of the People – have long heard you issue your venomous statements of hatred, and we have witnessed your flagrant and absurd displays of inimitable bigotry and intolerant fanaticism. We have always regarded you and your ilk as an assembly of graceless sociopaths and maniacal chauvinists & religious zealots, however benign, who act out for the sake of attention & in the name of religion.Being such aggressive proponents for the Freedom of Speech & Freedom of Information as we are, we have hitherto allowed you to continue preaching your benighted gospel of hatred and your theatrical exhibitions of, not only your fascist views, but your utter lack of Christ-like attributes.westboro_baptist_church_drones_church.jpg

You have condemned the men and women who serve, fight, and perish in the armed forces of your nation; you have prayed for and celebrated the deaths of young children, who are without fault; you have stood outside the United States National Holocaust Museum, condemning the men, women, and children who, despite their innocence, were annihilated by a tyrannical embodiment of fascism and unsubstantiated repugnance. Rather than allowing the deceased some degree of peace and respect, you instead choose to torment, harass, and assault those who grieve.Your demonstrations and your unrelenting cascade of disparaging slurs, unfounded judgments, and prejudicial innuendos, which apparently apply to every individual numbered amongst the race of Man – except for yourselves – has frequently crossed the line which separates Freedom of Speech from deliberately utilizing the same tactics and methods of intimidation and mental & emotional abuse that have been previously exploited and employed by tyrants and dictators, fascists and terrorist organizations throughout history

ANONYMOUS cannot abide this behavior any longer. The time for us to be idle spectators in your inhumane treatment of fellow Man has reached its apex, and we shall now be moved to action. Thus, we give you a warning: Cease & desist your protest campaign in the year 2011, return to your homes in Kansas, & close your public Web sites.  Should you ignore this warning, you will meet with the vicious retaliatory arm of ANONYMOUS: We will target your public Websites, and the propaganda & detestable doctrine that you promote will be eradicated; the damage incurred will be irreversible, and neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover. It is in your best interest to comply now, while the option to do so is still being offered, because we will not relent until you cease the conduction & promotion of all your bigoted operations & doctrines. The warning has been given. What happens from here shall be determined by you. MORE

Then Westboro Baptist Church responded with this…

A puddle of pimple-faced nerds organized under the cowardly banner of “Anonymous” claim they plan to hack Westboro’s Websites, including www.GodHatesFags.com & www.GodHatesTheMedia.com, because they hate Westboro’s Bible preachments. They mistakenly suppose because of pseudo-success with ruined-and-doomed-USA’s government or financial Websites that they can take on the servants of the Living God. Bad miscalculation, girls! MORE

Then on February 20th, this press release appeared on Anonnews.org denying the first press release

Dear Phred Phelps and WBC Phriends,

So we’ve been hearing a lot about some letter that we supposedly sent you this morning. Problem is, we’re a bit groggy and don’t anonymous_button.jpgremember sending it. Our best guess is that you heard about us on that newfangled TV of yours and thought we might be some good money for your little church. You thought you could play with Anonymous. You observed our rising notoriety and thought you would exploit our paradigm for your own gain. And then, you thought you could lure some idiots into a honeypot for more IPs to sue. This is not so foreign to us; as you may have heard, we trade in Lulz. You just do not have enough to offer right now. MORE

ANONYMOUS: To Anonymous: It’s a trap. They’ve got their ports wide open to harvest IPs to sue. Don’t DDoS, and boycott Operation Westboro. If you really want to continue messing with them, just send them a few male prostitutes and faxes of goatse. Nothing more. MORE

ANONYMOUS: So, anonymous. One idiot has decided to post a press release against Westboro? I have a bad feeling about this operation. Everyone’s watching us now, but this bullshit is taking away valuable resources that could be used, you know, actually fighting dictators, not failtrolls? Listen to me first. The Westboro Baptist Church are professional trolls. Not only are they the same level as /b/, they make all their money from suing people who fight back, so they’re just waiting for IPs to sue. I have a bad feeling that it’s all a trap, made by them so they can get some money and attention. MORE

RAW STORY: The website of the Westboro Baptist Church was down on Monday, apparently because of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. […] “This generation doesn’t talk about spanking children, in fact, they don’t,” [Westboro Baptist Church Spokesperson] Phelps-Roper explained. “That’s why we have groups like Anonymous running around. Just connect these dots.” MORE

PCWORLD: Was it the WBC just playing on the notoriety of Anonymous for some headline whoring? Was it a faction within Anonymous that really backs the initial threat and would like to take down WBC? Was it anti-Anonymous forces hoping to dare the hacking collective to take on a knife fight so it could be lure its members into some sort of honeypot designed to trap them and track them down? Based on Anonymous’ track record, WBC dodged a bullet. Had Anonymous chosen to “bring it”, I don’t believe WBC would like the outcome. The rest of us might, though. MORE

ANONYMOUS: It’s time to dig up the darkest secrets of the Westboro Baptist Church and its members. It’s time for the fight to go to the insane people who manage the church. Let’s figure out what they’re hiding and publicize the hell out of it. If we attack them because we hate their message, it will only publicize their radical views even more. Fred Phelps, be afraid. We are coming for you. We apologize that we jumped the gun earlier and without a proper motive. The next time we contact you, we will have something to talk about. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Anonymous Does Not Forgive, And Does Not Forget

MUST SEE: BBC’s Louis Theroux Interviews Westboro Baptist’s Fred Phelps

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