Unlike most members of the Westboro Baptist Church, Steve Drain is not related to the Phelpses and was not born into the cult. In the 1990s, however, he made a documentary film involving extensive interactions with the group, and upon the completion of the film he and his family joined the church. His initial role seems to have been to handle multimedia, design and website maintenance (including their usual segments “Beast Watch,” “Jews News,” and “WBC Video News,” in which Drain, Fred Phelps and his son Timothy offer their take on the latest news – “God Hates Malaysia” being a typical example), but he quickly rose to power and was, allegedly, one of the main forces behind the excommunication of Fred Phelps from his own church right before he died. Drain is, after outmaneuvering Shirley Phelps-Roper (a woman!) now apparently the de facto leader of the WBC, no less.
There is a portrait of Steve Drain, based to a large extent on the book by his estranged daughter, here. Brent Roper of the Westboro Baptist Church responded to the book’s allegations by identifying passages in the Bible that indicate that “a man’s enemies are of his own household” and that “in almost every case where you have a father or mother properly believing in Christ, they will be contradicted, opposed, or persecuted by their own son or daughter.” (He didn’t address any of the content.)
Diagnosis: Yup. It’s the heir of Fred Phelps, no less (though in fairness, the WBC seems to have lost a bit of their momentum after Fred Phelps’s demise).