BIG NEWS Reply: Cliff's Notes Version

by Oroborus21 26 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • YoursChelbie

    Ms. Norris:

    Can you give us an indication of how this case:

    Will apply to the Essay we're all talking about?

    Does it provide the grounds for a strong case of LEGAL misrepresentation leading to personal injury?


  • Gerard

    After careful reading and thought, it is evident to me that the "Big News" turned out to be only an article expressing one lawyer's opinion. Although interesting use of terms and legal semantics, this is not legislation. Nothing has changed and t he courts of law still won't get involved on religious doctrine and on their follower's choices to accept medical advice from a religious cult instead of from a qualified physician.

    If you allow your religious leaders to dispense you with medical advice - on any ground or pretext - it is your responsibility for the repercussions.

    Want to shake the Ivory Tower to its core?

    Want a relevant scandal that will catch the attention of the public in general and JW's?

    Follow - The - Money

  • Eyebrow2

    Well...good for you for writing this. It is a shame that the over hyping of you piece has really taken a bit of the perceived value from it.

    I know that wasn't Barbara's intention...but it is a shame anyway. I believe her heart is in the right place.

    Not all lawyers agree on legal stuff...guess that is why we have so many lawyers? I am not a lawyer, nor have I ever played one on TV (but if I did, I think I would be one of those lawyers that do all the private eye stuff too and gets to carry a gun...very cool) but I am not sure if the judges in this country are ready to let a religion to be sued over faith things yet..even if info was used incorrectly. Even after the pediaphilia lawsuits against the Catholic Church, I still don't think the country is ready for that.

    ANYHOO...I ask you this though...are you going to send copies of it to some major newspapers? Since you have it published in a legitmate law journal, perhaps someone would think it worthy of reporting.

    I think THAT would get a little of the very least, perhaps give the rank and file a little bit too think about.
    Just a thought.

  • RunningMan

    Thanks for the thoughtful analysis, Eduardo. I'm not sure that very many people around here will want to hear it, but it has to be said.

  • ColdRedRain

    But hasn't the society been proven and been confronted with their claims being proven spurious and suspicious many times, but yet they've disfellowshipped people for bringing those claims up instead of dealing with them? That's the silver bullet in this case if there ever is one.

  • Deleted

    Ourobourus, I ain't a lawyer, but from my business law days there was a lot said on the Duty of Care (Donohue v Stevens, and the decomposing snail as I recall, great name for a band!). Anyway, doesn't the WTS have a duty of care in this regard that would surpass the common sense defence of caveat emptor? As the Society is clearly in a position of control over its member-associates how can it have a legal leg to stand on IT SHOULD HAVE KNOWN what it was doing. If a vendor of a soda-pop was nailed for selling an opaque-bottle of pop with a decomposing snail in it to some unsuspecting customer surely the WTS should be nailed for misrepresenting the truth about blood transfusions. A defence of "we believed what we wrote and we aren't liable" is moral rubbish at best. Nail the bastards! Glen

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex
    What the author fails to understand is that the tort of Misrepresentation is not (like Defamation) where the issue is whether something is true or false or misleading. It is a tort designed to punish bad conduct of someone deliberately lying in order to induce you to do something to your detriment, usually to buy or to sell something.

    Isn't the argument being presented that the Society did lie and misrepresent in order that people would refuse blood transfusions? Isn't it also true that people have died as a result? I would think death would fall under the classification as being detrimental.

    I found this interesting:

    As the legal treatise “Prosser and Keeton on Torts” explains, the majority of courts hold that “misrepresentation” occurs when there are: (1) ambiguous statements made with the intent that the listener reach a false conclusion; (2) literally true statements that create a false impression; (3) words or acts which create a false impression covering up the truth; or (4) nondisclosure when “the parties stand in some confidential or fiduciary relation to each other, such as . . . old friends, . . . where special trust and confidence is reposed.”

    I would think the focus of 'misrepresentation' as it applies to the Society would be the first 3 areas.

    Now what you are alluding to is the case where the Society deliberately lies. Well that is the hard case

    Indeed. This is one reason why some are interested in this article as it presents the foundation for an an argument to be made. Nowhere in the article does it state that this is established law.

    From what I have gathered from the Anderson clips (and again I have not yet read the Essay) is that the author is pointing out all of the mistakes in the Blood brochure.

    You should read it, then you would know that the author clearly, painstakingly and accurately points out the areas where the Society misrepresentated historical facts (such as Jason Priestley's writings; Priestley actually argued that Christians could eat blood) by taking ancient writers' words out of context and then misapplying them, does the same thing with various studies it quotes to try to show blood transfusions are dangerous, fraught with deadly disease, people survive ultra low blood counts and so on and on and on.

    These are not errors as the article very clearly shows. If memory serves the Society makes the claim in the Blood booklet that the information they are about to present is factual. When you read enough instances of the Society twisting words, taking quote out of context and so on, one is not left with the impression this is error. In point of fact, quite a large section of the article is devoted to showing the depth to which the Society changed or otherwise misrepresented (" words or acts which create a false impression covering up the truth" as defined above) reams of data.

    But a court of law will be unfamiliar with the situation and sceptical of it.

    I beg to differ. An objective court, as any intelligent person would, wonder why the Society felt the need to alter so much data. The totality of the "errors" (as you call them) begin to mount to such a degree that an objective person could easily begin to view them as intentional.

    This is not the open and shut matter as you would have people believe. I encourage you to read the article without a jaundiced eye. For a skilled litigator, this is a powerful tool that can be used. That you do not recognize this article for its potential surprises me as I would have thought your legal background would make you aware of the possibilities of arguments being presented from multiple viewpoints.

    For example, is hemoglobin approved or not? Does the average Witness know the answer? Watchtower articles from 1981-1995 approved it; a 1992 article disallowed it. Which is it? One could make the argument that if the Society has not properly made clear its approval of the use of hemogloblin the average Witness needing to make an informed medical decision was denied the freedom to choose within their own belief system. This is an example of misrepresentation.

    As a matter of history, courts look at the sincerity of a religion (or a religious belief). A few years ago, if I remember correctly, the use of peyote was disallowed because the court invovlved believed its use was really for recreational instead of spirtiual purposes. The fact that the Society allows its members to use blood fractions, blood machines (forgive me I don't know the correct term for them and even the use of "current" blood all fly in the face of the Society's statements that they "abstain from blood".

    To an objective, intelligent person such statements smack of Clinton's define what "is" is, legalistic mumbo jumbo.

    There is a quite a lot that can be done with this argument in a court of law. I am somewhat surprised that you fail to see the legal possibilities.


  • seven006


    Your comment about the hemoglobin being flip flopped on back and forth over a few years without openly reveling it to their followers is one of the more prominent issue the article speaks of.

    It shows how blatantly the watchtower printing executives are more concerned how their wishy washy images looks then saving the lives of their own people. It took them many months to let the average rank and file JW know that they had once again changed their minds on the acceptance of hemoglobin.

    If a drug company did this (and they have and been sued successfully) it would cost them millions. The honest ones take their drug off the market shelves immediately after their drug is proven unsafe and could cause death.

    The ones who hide facts about knowing their drugs can cause problems are not only sued but are looked at by the general public as big time corporate scum only interested in saving a buck and looking good to their share holders. This little fact sends their stock prices plummeting.

    The JW corporate management has acted in the same way the unethical drug companies have.

    They should stick to flip flopping their policy on blowjobs and be up front with the flip-flopping on life threatening issues.


  • Oroborus21

    Hmmm. Is it just me or did my post "Big News article...." just get deleted by the moderators/Administrators?

    too bad,I was going to make some replies in that thread. whoever asked me if I was making light of a serious situation, I think it was 144001, the answer is no...

    What I found to be humorous was the contrast between the article that has been provided and all the hooplah and hubbub of the buildup to it. It is like in a movie or cartoon where the shadow and monster is heard but then it is something small and harmless.

    of course the paper's supporters are hoping that this thing will be the bunny in what was it Life of Brian or Holy Grail?

    anyway, I read the paper last night and if I am allowed to post I will have two posts to make regarding the topic....

    mods I wouldn't mind an explanation of why the post was deleted? And does it mean that I have two posts today or do I have to wait until after midnight to post the second topic?

    I could say a lot to Auld Soul but it is simply isn't worth the trouble. He completely misconstrued and misrepresented :-) what I said, which actually wasn't about Lemon laws, it was about a car that is a lemon, very different and anyway my point was that Misrepresentation is designed for that situation which is why it can be successful in that situation. But trying to use it in the situation asseted by the JCS article is an entirely different matter which I will get into in my post.

    The one thing that I will say to Auld Soul and everyone else that keeps on trying to make the same mistaken point is that this article does NOTHING NEW and does not relate anything that was not known by attorneys before. It is not something that "now we have the chance" no, the chance was always there, that is to say the law and precedent (or rather lack of it) has always been there silly!!! Nothing about the article makes anything different than it was last week, last year, or ten years ago!

    Most importantly, this is not a new precedent, some genius new novel theory, some new piece of legislation, etc. this is NOT a new tool to be used....but I will touch on that in my post tonight. Again assuming the mods aren't trying to stifle and bag the discussion.


    PS: Auld Soul, it is too bad the post got deleted, I liked all the free publicity for my site and services.I don't have the money to do a lot of advertising so it was nice.

    Oh and someone else wanted to know in that thread where I stand personally. that is obviously the subject of my website. :-) you can go to

    caution the site is like only 2% built at this point but you might be interested in the pages that I do have up on Schisms, Scandals, Controversies and Conflicts among Jehovah's Witnesses, the Cult Controversy and why JWs are not a Cult, my list of WAtchtower publications, and some of the other pages that are up. In the About section you can get a feel for where I am at though this is an evolving process for me.

    As someone pointed out in the deleted thread, I used to be an ardent supporter of the Society and I was a defender of the blood policy. After reading a lot, hearing the arguments and personal bible study and research I have been convinced that the entire doctrine is in error.

    If I were to sum up myself, I would say that I believe that I might typify a significant amount of JWs in that I support many of the beliefs and facets of the religion but I also have grave reservations and disagree with some important ones too.

    For me I have the biggest problem, probably in order of importance, with:

    1. the FDS doctrine

    2. the practice of disfellowshipping/disassociation

    3. the stance on blood (can't really call it the "blood ban" anymore when a 100% of blood is allowable in fractionalized form can we?)

    these are just the biggest for me but by no means all of my disagreements or concerns.

    -Eduardo Leaton Jr., Esq.

  • seven006


    That thread may have gotten deleted because it became more about your lack of credibility than it did about your thoughts.

    It also took a look at your website and saw you were a jack of all trades and master of none when it came to your knowledge of the law as well as website design and Ukrainian dream girls.

    One sarcastic guy even said that given your specific law expertise, your opinion on this specific topic was like a proctologist giving advice on brain surgery.

    Just thought Id help.


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