Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to request physical items has been temporarily disabled. Click here to find out how to create lists of items to request later. You can still request OverDrive items from this site, and all digital resources remain available through the eLibrary site. If you need a library card, register here.

Banished : surviving my years in the Westboro Baptist Church

by Drain, Lauren.

Format: Print Book 2013
Availability: Available at 7 Libraries 7 of 7 copies
Available (7)
Location Collection Call #
Brentwood Library Nonfiction 286.5 Drain
Location  Brentwood Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  286.5 Drain
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction BX6495.D725 A3 2013
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  BX6495.D725 A3 2013
Oakmont Carnegie Library Biography B DRA
Location  Oakmont Carnegie Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B DRA
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 92 DRAIN
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  92 DRAIN
Shaler North Hills Library Biography 92 DRAIN
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  92 DRAIN
Springdale Free Public Library Adult Nonfiction 286.5 DRAI
Location  Springdale Free Public Library
Collection  Adult Nonfiction
Call Number  286.5 DRAI
Whitehall Public Library Nonfiction Collection NF 286.5 D788b
Location  Whitehall Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction Collection
Call Number  NF 286.5 D788b
You've likely heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you've seen their pickets on the news, the members holding signs with messages that are too offensive to copy here, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards, all in front of their grieving families. The WBC is fervently anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and anti- practically everything and everyone. And they aren't going anywhere: in March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the WBC's right to picket funerals.

Since no organized religion will claim affiliation with the WBC, it's perhaps more accurate to think of them as a cult. Lauren Drain was thrust into that cult at the age of 15, and then spat back out again seven years later.

Banished is the first look inside the organization, as well as a fascinating story of adaptation and perseverance.

Lauren spent her early years enjoying a normal life with her family in Florida. But when her formerly liberal and secular father set out to produce a documentary about the WBC, his detached interest gradually evolved into fascination, and he moved the entire family to Kansas to join the church and live on their compound. Over the next seven years, Lauren fully assimilated their extreme beliefs, and became a member of the church and an active and vocal picketer. But as she matured and began to challenge some of the church's tenets, she was unceremoniously cast out from the church and permanently cut off from her family and from everyone else she knew and loved.

Banished is the story of Lauren's fight to find herself amidst dramatic changes in a world of extremists and a life in exile.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "A move with her family to Topeka, Kans., in 2001 precipitated years of immersion in a virulently antigay, hate-fueled church, which Drain, now in her late 20s, depicts in this somewhat incongruously matter-of-fact, emotionally one-note memoir. The Drain family moved from Florida at the instigation of her father, a documentary filmmaker whose critical work about the notorious gay rights-picketing Westboro Baptist Church evolved into a highly admiring portrait of this small Calvinistic sect that believed in the imminent end of the world, the frightening wrath of God before the innate sin of mankind, with a slim few chosen for "election." A small, insular sect started in 1955 by the loud curbside preacher Fred Phelps, the WBC was mostly run by his dozen children and grandchildren, who all lived in a compound around the Topeka church, maintained tight control over communal behavior, and regularly picketed events such as gay pride and AIDS marches with incendiary language and signs designed to provoke outrage (e.g., "God hates fags"). Obedience and conformity were pillars of the church, and increasingly hard to swallow for the then-teenage author whose few forays into adolescent flirting got her branded a "whore." Her narrative of these horrifying pickets are detailed ("we became almost possessed") and particularly chilling in her recitation of being absolutely cast out by her own family without any compunction. Agent, Lisa Grubka, Fletcher & Co. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Drain, Lauren.
Westboro Baptist Church (Topeka, Kan.) -- Biography.
Westboro Baptist Church (Topeka, Kan.) -- History.
Baptists -- United States -- Biography.
Demonstrations -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
United States -- Church history.
Publisher New York :Grand Central Pub.,2013
Edition 1st ed.
Contributors Pulitzer, Lisa.
Language English
Description 295 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN 9781455512423 (hbk.)
1455512427 (hbk.)
Other Classic View