Topeca, Kansas – The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) announced today that their leader, Fred Phelps, has been diagnosed with incurable depression and Acute Attention Deficit Disorder. The announcement came soon after WBC said they were planning on picketing the funeral of ‘Fast and Furious’ star Paul Walker who died in a car crash last weekend. In a tweet, the WBC said, “Paul Walker taught a nation to be fast and furious. He died that same way.”
Church members, 100% of whom are family members of Phelps, said that their leader has become so depressed because he was not getting the right amount of attention he wanted from the group’s public pickets.
The WBC is an American unaffiliated Baptist church known for its extreme ideologies and has been involved in actions against gay people since at least 1991, when it sought a crackdown on homosexual activity at Gage Park, six blocks northwest of the church. In addition to conducting anti-gay protests at military funerals, the organization pickets other celebrity funerals and public events that are likely to get media attention. Protests have also been held against Jews and some protests have included WBC members stomping on the American flag.
It is not known whether Phelps will continue in his position as head of the WBC. In the last week, he has reportedly locked himself in his bedroom, watching a video of the 1950 film, Sunset Boulevard, over and over. Family members have heard him constantly uttering the line from the film: “Alright Mr. DeMille, I am ready for my close-up.” It is a famous line by the film’s crazed attention-driven actress character Norma Desmond (played by Gloria Swanson).