''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....
''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.''
Part of a statement that CBS News says has been released by ANONYMOUS, a network of computer users who are frequently talked about in the media. This statement is said to be an open letter to the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, also known as the "God Hates Fags" church. (CBS News)
The actions of ANONYMOUS are frequently connected to freedom of speech issues, particularly with regard to Wikileaks.
Westboro is run by the family of Fred Phelps, and last year his daughters went before the US Supreme Court to defend their right to protest at the funerals of soldiers. But while the results of that case are still pending, the family threatened to protest the funeral of a 9-year-old girl, Christina Taylor Green, who was killed during a mass shooting in Tucson, AZ. Two media companies offered the Phelps clan air time on the radio if they would not engage in that particularly heinous action.
David Pakman reported yesterday that the alleged note from ANONYMOUS may have been a hoax. But he also said that the website was not reachable. He spoke with Shirley Phelps-Roper, the chief spokesperson for the church, who claimed that their site had not been affected. She added that the media attention has greatly increased their web traffic.