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March 5th, 2013
02:32 PM ET

Former Westboro Baptist Church member Lauren Drain speaks out: "They control what you believe, what you say, what you do"

On Monday evening, "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed "Banished" author Lauren Drain to the program for a candid and revealing live interview.

A former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, Drain opened up about the place of worship most infamously know for its for anti-gay and anti-Semitic messages, and protests at national events, including memorial services for fallen soldiers:

"It's very controlling," said Drain, regarding her experience as a church member. "They control what you believe, what you say, what you do, what friends you have. They say everyone on the outside's evil. And they don't allow any outside influence at all."

Now 27, Drain spent her formative years – from 2001 through 2008 – within the WBC, before being banished for not adhering exclusively to the church's ways of worship:

"It's unfortunate and it's atrocity, the things that they do and say - horrible things they do and say. But yeah, they claim that they're speaking for God."

In response to Drain's book and appearance on the program, the Westboro Baptist Church issued the following statement:

"The scripture is clear:
At Matt. 10:34-39, the Lord Jesus Christ said: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother…and a man’s foes will be they of his own household.

Though making a profession of faith early on, Lauren, as a grown woman, chose to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season rather than to endure afflictions with the people of God. She simply doesn’t believe the things we believe.

We don’t care how many books you write – Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t allow fornication.

As to the veracity of the book, her parents have read several excerpts. It is so filled with lies, the book shops that carry it should offer their customers a little truth in advertising and display it on the fiction shelf. In one easily verifiable but ignored example, Lauren writes:
'I overheard (my Dad) tell (my Mom) that he was pawning my baseball card collection to help pay for the move. I had a signed Babe Ruth card in there that was very valuable.'

Just Google ‘autographed Babe Ruth card’! Depending on the year, such a card could command hundreds of thousands of dollars. Her dad is a man of modest means, and would never have had such a thing. Every page that her parents have read contains such lies.

We have spoken with the show’s producers, and it is our position that a balanced reporting of this book should include a fair and proper platform for response – Lauren’s adult sister, Taylor, is now the same age that Lauren was when she left the church, and is a member in good standing at Westboro Baptist Church. She can offer a unique and compelling perspective to what Lauren claims in her book. Taylor, and other members, have offered to appear on Piers Morgan’s show to provide such a full and proper response."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as Drain explains to Piers Morgan that the church "did brainwash me."
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soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    The brain washing description, fits very well with the things that President Obama does.

    When she says "they control everyting in your life", that is exactly what Obama wants to do in America.

    March 5, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • George

      What!!???, ....

      March 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply

        “What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it."

        March 5, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |

    Piers knows all about brianwashing, he is part of the campaign: has uncovered video from 1995 of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder announcing a public campaign to "really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way."

    He had also approached local newspapers and television stations, he said, asking them to devote prime space and time, respectively, to his anti-gun campaign.

    "What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that's not cool, that it's not acceptable, it's not hip to carry a gun anymore,...."
    ....he had asked the local school board to make the anti-gun message a part of "every day, every school, and every level." eric holder

    March 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Wake up

    Wake up America

    March 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. E.

    Can someone PLEASE TELL is it, that the Supreme Court PROTECTS ALL REVOLTING PROTESTS by this sick "church"...but OTHER protesters are either maced, ambushed or arrested by police?
    Did anyone see the viral pictures of the UC Davis students who got PEPPER SPRAYED in the face, body & eyes...while SITTING down???
    And THEIR protests were PEACEFUL !
    What about the Occupy protesters who were also ambushed, sprayed with pepper spray and / or arrested???
    WHY ARE THESE SICK, HATE FILLED, ALMOST "TERRORIST" LIKE church protesters NOT treated the SAME way as PEACEFUL protestors?

    If our free speech is SO PROTECTED, than why are peaceful protestors treated like criminals but these HATEFUL protests by the WBC can go on & on without EVER being interrupted by the police?


    March 6, 2013 at 5:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mel Maguire

      Their rights are protected by the First Amendment just as your right to tell them they are wrong is protected. We flirt with tearing down our own freedom when we suggest that they should be restricted from picketing. I don't like them, but chasing them and trying to change the laws just because of them only does exactly what they claim will happen: they're being persecuted. It's best to focus on those who have left and not give those who remain a minute of your time and energy.

      March 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tips For Teen Girls

      It's because the Phelps' are lawyers and have sued and won many cases. Police feel ok about pepper spraying a bunch of "occupy" protestors because there are so many of them at once. WBC video records the majority of their protests so if they are "mistreated" they have evidence. None of it is fair; but the WBC is certainly organized.

      March 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. TNCrow

    Rev. Phelps is only the messenger. All I've ever heard from him was the truth. I dont condone him for picketing funerals of fallen solders, but his message is from the Bible, not him. Dont hate the man for being honest.

    March 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Tips For Teen Girls

    Steve Drain's response (WBC's response to Lauren's book) is purely self-serving. I'm sure his family's standing with the church is in crisis due to his daughter's book. The fact that they are willing to put Taylor (Lauren's sister) on the show to "correct" Lauren's "lies" is very telling.

    March 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Mel Maguire

    Their answer is to Google "autographed Babe Ruth card"? Seriously? Everyone knows how valuable such a thing would be, and if Drain took a collection to a pawn shop he wouldn't get nearly as much for it as he would taking it to a sports memorabilia collector. Plus, it depends on the condition of the card – every minute wear and bend devalues it. I cannot believe Margie would really think that everyone would believe such an asinine statement. They try to say everyone who has left the church is lying...when you say that every time someone leaves, people stop caring about what you claim.

    March 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tips For Teen Girls

      That's exactly what I said! The Babe Ruth baseball card is such a big lie, really? If the card collection was Lauren's, Steve probably didn't even know that the Babe Ruth card was even in there. It was just so ridiculous. Like I said in my other comment, the Drains are probably in the hot seat now with the church. Anything they can do to discredit Lauren they'll do it.

      March 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Birdie

    The signed Babe Ruth card being the crux by which Mr.Drain tries to undermine the facts as hs daughter presents thm s laughable. It's kind of telling as to how weak their rebuttal is, when they focus on something minute. The item would have been pawned at least a decade ago, and he took it to a pawn shop, not a reputable auction house. From the facts presented in the book, it was sold to get some money to finance a move very quickly. As a result, the Tim wouldn't have received the maximum dollar amount. Added to the fact that it was sold at least ten years ago, and even a "man of modest means, would have quite easily spent the proceeds, which, in case you are curious, hovers at well under $200,000, and that is for a rookie card in very good condition-at auction. A regular card in decent condition with an authenticated signature is probably going to go for under $10,000. So even a "man of modest means" will have blown through that long before ten years have elapsed. I have found that when people say "Google it," or "Look it up," they are generally passing the buck on a weak argument.
    The real point here is that this is an incredibly courageous woman and she deserves all the respect in the world.

    March 18, 2013 at 11:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ani

    If you go back and research the cult leader "Jim Jones" and his tactics of keeping his "sheep" in line, it seems as if history is repeating itself in a way. The style of the WBC is totally "legalistic" and not to mention, they offer no "grace" whatsoever.

    December 14, 2013 at 12:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
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