One member of the "hate cult" Westboro Baptist Church has successfully escaped. She insists her life has completely changed for the better since leaving.
Libby Phelps Alvarez, 29, is the granddaughter of Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr., the founder and pastor of WBC. The group is known for their extreme ideologies, especially against gay and Jewish people.
It was only four years ago that Alvarez was protesting at Obama's inauguration, taking part in anti-gay and anti-semitic protests, trapped in the US, and unable to get a haircut or wear a bikini.
Now, Alvarez has found freedom. But it was difficult to leave her family behind, especially her cousin.
"That first year, there would be days it would hit me really hard," she said.
She decided to leave when the church confronted her about a bikini she wore during a family vacation. Instead of apologizing and asking for forgiveness from the church members, which is what she was "supposed" to do, she fled.
Her brother, Josh, also left the church two years before she did.
Alvarez only had a car and a little bit of money when she left. Thanks to her boss, she was able to save up money to get her own apartment as she stayed in her house for four months.
Though she lives a completely different life now, she is only 30 minutes away from where she was raised in Kansas. She lives with her husband, Logan, in Lawrence.
She has traveled the world with him and done all of the things she's always wanted to do but couldn't because of the strict church.
She had her first haircut in 25 years, got her ears pierced, and went outside the US, all things that are forbidden by WBC.
Alvarez met Logan when she ran into him while shopping. He was a former physical therapy patient and also a member of the church. Logan bought her flowers and took her on a date. She told him that if he wanted, she would run away with him.
After four months, he proposed and they started living their life of freedom.
"No one is allowed to leave the country while at WBC," Alvarez wrote on her Facebook. The two have been to England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France since leaving the church.
Once she escaped a radio host in Kansas interviewed her about her time at WBC. She said the craziest thing they made her do was "pray for people to die."
Westboro Baptist Church is known for its funeral protests and picketing at public events which are likely to get them media attention.
They also protest Judaism. Their website states: "The only true Jews are Christians. The rest of the people who claim to be Jews aren't, and they are nothing more than typical, impenitent sinners…the vast majority of Jews support fags."
Alvarez said leaving her cousin was the hardest, who was her best friend and confidante. She will never see her again unless she leaves the church.
"I would take her to Covent Garden in England for ice cream and tea in London," Alvarez imagined. "And there was a place in Germany, the Hofbrauhaus, it's really famous, thre's a brass band. And I know that Megan would love going on The Tube in England."