The Flint Hills Observer
Phelps Web Page of Hate Now Off The KSU Server
by Deb Taylor
Forget Waldo! Where is Fred Phelps?
He may be out attending more queer functions across the nation than the average queer, spewing his message of hate, but you won’t find him on the KSU server. On March 1, Kansas State’s Computing and Network Services (CNS) removed Benjamin Phelps’ account from the KSU server, and with it, the Westboro Church Home Page which Benjamin maintained for his family. Benjamin is the oldest grandson of Fred Phelps.
March 1 was the date for all student accounts to be removed from the KSU server if these students were no longer enrolled at Kansas State. According to Betsy Edwards of CNS, all students were notified after Feb 14, 1997 (which is KSU’s 20th academic day) that their user ID’s would be disabled on March 1. This was done, states Edwards, to give students a "window period" to find other internet accounts and transfer their information onto their new accounts.
Young Benjamin took the window period seriously. His first attempt at a new site resulted in a domain which he entitled "www.godhatesfags.com." His new address was discovered by Lawrence’s Mike Silverman, who noted that the Phelps site was being "virtually hosted" by Pair Networks, a large national web hosting company. Mike’s discovery was published on national queer lists and, within minutes, Net Pair was bombarded with email asking Net Pair to remove the domain name (godhatesfags). Net Pair removed the domain name AND kicked the Phelps’ site completely off its server within one hour of the email complaints.
The next stop for Grandson Phelps was Netgate Communications. New address: godhatesfags.netgate.net. Again, massive email complaints. The Phelps page lasted less than one day at Netgate.
As of March 1, the Westboro Church Page of Hate has no home. But Benjamin Phelps is working to repair this problem. In a February 12, 1997 University Daily Kansan (KU) article, Phelps stated that he is thinking of starting his own server. Phelps is now a teaching assistant at KU. Because of his new role at KU, Phelps stated he won’t use his KU email account to spread his message of hate.
"I am a T.A.," Benjamin Phelps said. "I don't want to bring my religious beliefs into the workplace because that's not appropriate. I try to make a difference between working and my own personal beliefs."
How long Benjamin Phelps honors his philosophy is unclear. His home page on KSU’s server was visited over 30,000 times in less than one year. With this lack of exposure, the younger Phelps may have to ditch the obsession to own a site called "godhatesfags" so Westboro Church can get back into cyberspace.
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