by Oroborus21 103 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • skeeter1

    Mr. Eduardo has misrepresented the Molko case as he did not give enough detail, rather he minimized it.
    I've not read Molko in a few days...but here is Molko's story as I remember them and how they might apply to the Society.

    A fresh out of law school lawyer is standing on a street corner in California. Young lawyer is approached by an undercover Moonie(s), who invite young lawyer to a political dinner. Young lawyer attends. Dinner discussion centers around environment/politics/etc. Young lawyer's happy. The political group invites him to visit their farm. Young lawyer visits the farm for a day or so, and is always allowed to leave. Young lawyer starts to wonder about this group, and repeatedly asks, "Are you the Moonies?" They repeatedly deny it. After a few more days, one of the Moonie gals admits to young lawyer they are the Moonies. Even though they lied, young lawyer becomes a Moonie anyway. The Moonies tell young lawyer that anyone who opposes the Moonies (like his parents) are the agents of Satan. So, his parents can't persuade him away. Young lawyer "studies" with the Moonies for a few months, and is baptized and stays in for a while longer (few months). Young lawyer/Moonie gets out & decides to sue Moonies.

    At this point, this young lawyer had little established law to back up his case or to take on a strong organization with money, such as the Unification Church (nice name to cover up the Moonies, I thought). What would you have told this young lawyer, Mr. Eduardo Esq? "It's impossible you wet, behind the ears, twit?" I'm glad Mr. Eduardo Esq was not around, because Young Lawyer sued and WON! By the way, have you, Mr. Eduardo Esq, ever heard of charities that help with some of these anti-cult lawsuits....? I digress, back to the Moonie story.

    Moonies defend that their lies about their identity were religiously motivated. Court says, bullshxx! Court said basically churches can't lie to people about really important secular facts (in this case, the identity) when recruits are entering a coercive environment.
    How does this Moonie case apply to the Society? The Society's blood booklet Society has half-truths in their blood booklet. The book was "published" in 1990, but it has been printed since. The 12/2005 Kingdom Ministry tells parents to use it to train their children. So, it's current stuff even though it was published in 1990, and the Society is currently putting its stamp on it. People have been writing the Society for years about the misrepresentations in the secular sections of this booklet. Yes, the Society has more literature on blood. But CDs/DVDs are created & edited by the Society, the appearing doctors may be paid by the Society for their viewpoint, and the listener doesn't get to hear the Society's complete question or the doctor's complete response. As the blood booklet uses quotes from doctors who wrote in major medical journals, it is a better avenue to figure out if/where/how the Society misrepresented facts. You seemed to indicate that there was alot of discussion on just the booklet's misrepresentations. Isn't according to Civil Procedure Rule 9, mispresentations must be pled with "particularity" and how many misrepresentations did she list our of all the quotes from the secular sections that were adequately referenced by the Society?
    Here's an example. Housewife is greeted at door by JWs. She begins a study. After a few months, the study turns to the blood doctrine. The brothers bring out the blood pamphlet. She reads it. (It has lies in it.) The Society's been printing this booklet for years, and has had ample warnings from readers that it contains those lies. But, she doesn't know the lies and believes the blood doctrine both for religious and secular reasons. She reads in the Watchtower that people/doctors/lawyers who push blood are doing work orchestrated by Satan. She knows that if she takes blood, she will lose relationships with her family, friends, and business friends through shunning.

    What does this equal Mr. Eduardo Esq?

    = Society knowingly gives false lie that is potentially life damaging + those who oppose the blood stance are agents of Satan/shunning.
    = Misrepresentation + undue coercion.

    It's worse than the Moonies, because:
    1) the JW recruit could have died/did die/did have organ failure from lack of blood. In the Moonies, the Young Lawyer lived a year with flowers on a farm and had some pychological damages.
    2) In the Moonie case, the young lawyer did find out the lie and still became a Moonie. One could say that he "ratified" the lie (an argument that the Moonies also tried, but the court said bullshxx!) In the JW recruit, she could never have ratified the lie, because it was not admitted/discovered....but was subtle and hidden in the booklet's writing style. Plus, she's warned to not read "opposing" literature and must "avoid independent thinking" and "thinking ahead of the Society."

    Ms. L-W's essay did not include undue coercion, from what I gather from your review. You mentioned that it was about 40 pages long. Perhaps that is because the Journal of Church and State had a page limit or required she only discuss one of the many torts that might be applicable to this situation. When I get my hardcopy, I'll compare her essay's # of pages with the other.

    Ms. L-W’s reasons as to why she did or did not give any more personal information, may be completely personal. But, it sounds like it made her mad enough to start a lawsui...similar to Mr. Molko. She did disclose her relationshp, something that is usually required in academic papers. If she did not disclose anything, then her paper would REALLY be discredited.

    Why didn't she sue? Perhaps the mother's will gave everything to someone else. Perhpas her mother was old/sick and wouldn't make "much money" in court (you'd understand this reason). Perhaps she'd rather write an article to change the future (rather than make money off her mother's death).

  • DIM

    I thought the big news was going to make an impact greater than the Dateline story...??? No active JW who is a true believer is going to care, sorry. They will just view it as more persecution from Satan and the world and will feel vindicated. This is quite a let down.

  • Oroborus21
  • Oroborus21

    Hi, I am having trouble posting this..for some reason the rest of this paragraph keeps getting truncated at the word "or" as was the case in the original post. I have been unable to correct it with the edit feature.

    The paragraph from the "buildup issues" section in full should read:

    In my opinion, stating that a new article would soon be released concernng the blood doctrine would have preserved both the "surprise" and any agreements she may have had with the author or Baylor University not to disclose anything before the publication was available. This latter thought is only speculative as Ms. Anderson has not yet attempted to explain either the reason for the way she conduced the pre-annoncement or disclosed that she was contrained in some way from simply relating the news. Others have attempted to reconcile the picture for her, theorizing tha perhaps the Society could have sought to stop the article's publication or that it was somehow necessary to the aftermath and distribution of the article. Both of these lines are specious as the article is not important and couldn't be prevented from publication under law and the distribution of the article's contents is something which is not readily discernable -- not too mention that given the claims of the article it bears considerable deliberation before running with it to our friends and neighbors.

  • Oroborus21

    Skeeter, it is clear that you have not read my post/analysis closely or have not appreciated the subtleties of law. Molko is clearly distinguishable for a number of reasons which I illustrate in the post. I also point out that the essay did not mention that Molko is a California Supreme Court case (denied federal cert I believe) and thus is only of limited value as precedent. You may have further failed to realize that I have contacted the lead counsel of the Molko case, Mr. Ford Greene, and am awaiting his own comments regarding the essay in question.

    Good day,


  • Cognitive_Dissident

    any legal attack of the Society itself is going to be met with the full brunt and fiscal power of a cadre of Watchtower lawyers who will bury the plaintiff’s counsel with paperwork, pre-trial motions, discovery requests, etc. Even Erin Brockovich would feel like Dorothy in the Watchtower’s tornado. - Oroborus21

    Geez, Ed, tell us how you really feel.

    Edited to add: it feels like you're trying to bury us in paperwork.

  • Oroborus21


    The answer to your question would depend upon the circumstances of course. A relgious organization that is operating a hospital for example might be held liable for misrepresentations within its hospital publications if the statements or the making of the statements are not contrued by the court to be religious but purely secular or in the least only "religiously motivated".

    A religious organization that publishes a medical related publication that has nothing to do with its beliefs may also be found to be liable (but it woudl be an extremely difficult case.)

    A religious organization that publishes a medical related publication that is integral to its belief-system is not going to be found liable.

    What people consistently fail to appreciate is that religions do not have to tell the truth or provide factual information, even on secular matters IF they are part of the religion.

    In Molko the statements which induced the plaintiffs to go to the indoctrination estate where they were subjected to days of "thought-control" were deemed by the trial court, the appelate court and the supreme court's dissenter as religious and part of the indoctrination because of the Moonies' belief in "heavenly deception." But the majority of the supreme court, disagreed and decided that these "pre-statements" which included lying about who they were, and what the purpose of the visit to the estate/farm would be were deliberate lies aka misrepresentation. The Molko case was won as to this part of the case because the court found that these advance statements were not religious and yet, the court still had to do a full constitutional analysis and insure that allowing the tort claim would be the least restrictive alternative and not solely burden the Moonies.

    Virtually any time that a religion or religious organization is implicated in the proceedings there is going to be a constitutional analysis.

    The bottom line problem for anyone wishing to challenge the blood doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses is that it is a belief (currently) and such things as Witnessing at the door or via the Literature are considered to be part of the indoctrination process. the essay even calls the blood brochure "indoctrinating literature."

    Because of this and any time that a religion is speaking about its faith, it is not required to speak the truth, even if it is speaking about secular issues. So long as it is part of its faith they are safe.

    I did not feel that another full discussion of the tort of misrepresentation was necessary, I think after this most people don't even want to hear about this topic anymore :-) so I only went into it in my post as little as necessary. But I have said before that scienter- the knowledge that what is being said is untrue, and which is part of the elements of the fraud tort, is a big problem when it comes to the Society because they will certainly assert either that they sincerely believe what has been written or said to be true, or that they were unaware that it was false. Proving otherwise is near impossible.


    PS: guys, Please understand that none of my posts are to be construed as legal advice. As a lawyer participating in a public forum, it is prudent for me to give this disclaimer when there is a potential that persons may not be mistaken into acting upon such in the event they have circumstances similar to the topic at hand. You should always consult a local attorney when you need help with your legal problems.

  • Oroborus21

    Yeah CD,

    well that's not the half of it. I didn't even get into any potential counter-claims or even the possibility that the Society would be able to use Califronia's Anti-SLAPP laws against any parties wishing to abridge its free speech activities.

    Get a load of this:

    California Code of Civil Procedure

    Sec. 425.16. Claim Arising from Person's Exercise of Constitutional Right of Petition or Free Speech -- Special Motion to Strike.

    (a) The Legislature finds and declares that there has been a disturbing increase in lawsuits brought primarily to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for the redress of grievances. The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest to encourage continued participation in matters of public significance, and that this participation should not be chilled through abuse of the judicial process. To this end, this section shall be construed broadly.

    (b) (1) A cause of action against a person arising from any act of that person in furtherance of the person's right of petition or free speech under the United States or California Constitution in connection with a public issue shall be subject to a special motion to strike, unless the court determines that the plaintiff has established that there is a probability that the plaintiff will prevail on the claim.

    (2) In making its determination, the court shall consider the pleadings, and supporting and opposing affidavits stating the facts upon which the liability or defense is based.

    (3) If the court determines that the plaintiff has established a probability that he or she will prevail on the claim, neither that determination nor the fact of that determination shall be admissible in evidence at any later stage of the case, or in any subsequent action, and no burden of proof or degree of proof otherwise applicable shall be affected by that determination in any later stage of the case or in any subsequent proceeding.

    (c) In any action subject to subdivision (b), a prevailing defendant on a special motion to strike shall be entitled to recover his or her attorney's fees and costs. If the court finds that a special motion to strike is frivolous or is solely intended to cause unnecessary delay, the court shall award costs and reasonable attorney's fees to a plaintiff prevailing on the motion, pursuant to Section 128.5.

    (d) This section shall not apply to any enforcement action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney, acting as a public prosecutor.

    (e) As used in this section, "act in furtherance of a person's right of petition or free speech under the United States or California Constitution in connection with a public issue" includes: (1) any written or oral statement or writing made before a legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or any other official proceeding authorized by law; (2) any written or oral statement or writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body, or any other official proceeding authorized by law; (3) any written or oral statement or writing made in a place open to the public or a public forum in connection with an issue of public interest; (4) or any other conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of petition or the constitutional right of free speech in connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest.

    (f) The special motion may be filed within 60 days of the service of the complaint or, in the court's discretion, at any later time upon terms it deems proper. The motion shall be scheduled by the clerk of the court for a hearing not more than 30 days after the service of the motion unless the docket conditions of the court require a later hearing.

    (g) All discovery proceedings in the action shall be stayed upon the filing of a notice of motion made pursuant to this section. The stay of discovery shall remain in effect until notice of entry of the order ruling on the motion. The court, on noticed motion and for good cause shown, may order that specified discovery be conducted notwithstanding this subdivision.

    (h) For purposes of this section, "complaint" includes "cross-complaint" and "petition," "plaintiff" includes "cross-complainant" and "petitioner," and "defendant" includes "cross-defendant" and "respondent."

    (i) An order granting or denying a special motion to strike shall be appealable under Section 904.1.

    (j) (1) Any party who files a special motion to strike pursuant to this section, and any party who files an opposition to a special motion to strike, shall, promptly upon so filing, transmit to the Judicial Council, by e-mail or facsimile, a copy of the endorsed, filed caption page of the motion or opposition, a copy of any related notice of appeal or petition for a writ, and a conformed copy of any order issued pursuant to this section, including any order granting or denying a special motion to strike, discovery, or fees. (2) The Judicial Council shall maintain a public record of information transmitted pursuant to this subdivision for at least three years, and may store the information on microfilm or other appropriate electronic media.

  • ohiocowboy

    I think that he just doesn't want to get anybody's hopes up with all of the info.

    From experience, letdowns can be hard to take. Not in any way to mean that the info presented-(about the blood issue) isn't good, but I know that I can't get my hopes up about an entity-(Watchtower org.) that has lied since it's beginning to protect itself, and as we all know, they are good at covering their a**es.

    I think that the info can be an open door to start the process rolling of challenging the Org. but it will not be an overnight thing.

    Rome wasn't built in a day.

    I think it is good to hear all types of opinions, it seems to help balance the scales.

  • Cognitive_Dissident

    I'm definitely a proponent of hearing all sides of the issue, Ohiocowboy.

    My concern, Oroborus, is that the last eight times I've come to the JWD site, under Scandals & Coverups, one of your negative reviews or commentaries has been the featured thread.

    You obviously have a wealth of legal knowledge cached in your brain and at your fingertips. Perhaps you could spend some of the time that you have put in to posting all of it online, as an overwhelming flood of negative response to a potentially WT damning issue(with effort), in to preparing a legal brief of some sort for those who are no doubt stategizing for the months and years to come.

    Do you have some suggestions that would strengthen the case against the Organization? Or are we doomed to forever be obliterated by the Society's crack legal team and buried in paperwork?


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