Wacky Westboro Baptist Church, sometimes called the ”Phelps family cult,” says its planning to picket the funerals of slain Virginia Tech students. Patriarch Fred Phelps treated this tragedy as another installment in his endless “God hates fags” campaign reported the Chillicothe Gazette.

The Kansas preacher can’t seem to resist the temptation to twist almost any human tragedy, from hurricanes to war dead, into some sort of proof that “God” is punishing the world for not persecuting homosexuals.

But it seems like Fred’s most immediate mission is really more about feeding his insatiable appetite for media attention reported the Metro Spirit.

Meanwhile the Church of Scientology quite literally pitched their tent on the campus of Virginia Tech, apparently hoping to scoop up or as they say “assist,” traumatized students still in mourning reported Radar Magazine.

Scientology's yellow tentAnd the controversial church, which is often called a Sci-fi “cult,” used the shooter’s troubled history of mental illness to tout its crusade against psychiatric drugs.

Right.

But isn’t it more likely that the murderer might have been stopped by more rather than less medication?

Hate groups chimed in too, using the killer’s Asian background as fodder for racist rants against the Korean community reported The Telegraph.

It seems that whenever those ubiquitous media trucks pull up, an assortment of kooks, cranks and “cults” all want to get within camera range.

Scientologists even wear bright yellow T-shirts labeled in bold black “Scientology Volunteer Minister,” seemingly looking for a little free network advertising.

But as these disparate groups vie for attention, most Americans will focus on the facts, trying to sort out how 32 students and teachers lost their lives. And whatever potentially can be done in the future to avoid such bloodshed.

The least likely outcome of this collective consideration will be the conclusions and/or solutions offered by what many Americans see as the lunatic fringe.

Nevertheless such marginal groups have used this nightmare to get what artist Andy Warhol once referred to as that “15 minutes” of fame. 

Though if the pop icon were alive today in an era of 24-hour cable news and the many platforms provided by the Internet, he perhaps would amend that allotted time to ”15 hours.”