I wasn’t at the American Atheists’ Convention so I really hope AA releases video of this.
Here is an excellent writeup about Nate Phelps‘ talk at the AA Convention. Phelps is the son of Fred “God Hates Fags” Phelps — but Nate managed to escape from the family’s craziness.
Nate’s speech, which lasted for around forty minutes, was sometimes painful to listen to. He spoke of horrible, despicable acts of abuse, both physical and mental, and of the tyrannical, sociopathic dictator of a father who literally made the lives of his wife and thirteen children a living hell. He read his speech, rather nervously, and it was obvious that he is still living with the mental scars of his upbringing. At one point, he showed us the kind of handle Fred used to beat his children — a four or five foot long piece of wood not unlike an axe-handle. He explained how his father learned the most effective ways of causing excruciating pain; for instance, he would hit his children in one particular spot enough that a bruise would raise up and blood would accumulate over the course of ten or fifteen minutes, and then he would hit them again in the same spot, causing the skin to break, and inflicting terrible pain. When he was particularly irate, he would hit them behind the knee, or on the small of the back, where the pain would be the most searing and brutal.
The rest of his writeup is just as emotionally gripping — especially considering hambydammit had his own scarring religious upbringing and had to relive it throughout the speech.