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Louis Theroux


Louis Theroux: America's Most Hated Family

Did you watch Louis' sensational time with the Phelps family on Monday February 4? Did you think some of the daughters were having their heads turned by Louis? Was the whole thing as totally nuts as it appeared?!?! Let us know on the message board below.

America's Most Hated Family

"Thank God for dead soldiers"

"Fags die - God laughs"

With charming slogans like these in their chanting songbook, it's easy to comprehend why the Phelps have become the most hated family in America. Louis uncovers the inside story and asks if there's there more to this tight knit group than meets the eye.

These extreme eccentrics will stop at nothing to get their message across, picketing any newsworthy event year round - even soldiers' funerals.

The family, all 71 of them, live on a single block in a wealthy suburb of Topeka, Kansas and, for this documentary, Louis moved right in there with them. He uncovers the peculiar and intense dynamics of this family with their unwavering moral beliefs.

Along the way we meet; Fred, the loving grandfather and husband who leads his grandchildren on ten pickets a day; Shirley, his daughter, who enrages people by thanking the Lord for 9/11 and dead soldiers; and Margie, another daughter, who pickets furiously but then weeps about her own sin.

As the Phelps become more vocal, their enemies are becoming more violent: 3,000 people rioted against them at one funeral, their car was smashed, one family member was beaten, they received telephone threats, and have even had a bombing at their compound.

For Louis living with these people was tough; as individuals they are hard to dislike - but as a group they prove hard to stomach.

Take a look at the Centre For The Study of Hate and Extremism for more on the issue of US hate groups.

Find out a bit more about Louis' experiences with the Phelpses.

If you enjoy Louis Theroux you may also like 20/20 on TV2.