Former Westboro Baptist Church member Lauren Drain says she was brainwashed

Wed. March 6, 2013 10:12 AM by

Lauren Drain, a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, the anti-gay church helmed by Fred Phelps, believes the church brainwashed her and her siblings.

The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, infamous for coining the phrase "God Hates Fags," has said its members protest the funerals of fallen American soldiers because they died protecting a nation which supports homosexuality.

Now 27, Drain has said she was cast out of the church for challenging many of its beliefs.

In her new book BANISHED: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church, Drain talks about her experience in the church.

"I thought people who challenged us deserved honest, straightforward answers," Drain wrote. "One of my biggest problems was trying to reconcile the scripture with our message, especially when it came to death. A lot of people at the pickets wanted to know how we could make definitive statements such as 'Thank God for September 11' and 'Thank God for dead soldiers.' I wondered, too, how we could say these things with such authority when Ezekiel 18:32 says, 'For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth' and Ezekiel 33:11, where he says, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?' People at the pickets would ask me, 'God wants us to go to hell?' I really didn't feel like I knew the answer."

In an appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Drain told host Piers Morgan that she believes the church brainwashed her and her three siblings who remain the congregation.

"They did brainwash me," Drain said.

"They manipulated the children into believing that that's the right thing to do for God. That they are being good Christians to go out and protest all these different things. And it's very hypocritical. They don't even hold themselves to the hight standard they hold everyone else to," she added.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine