This isn't about the Witnesses, but I thought the similarities were really interesting:
Does a church have the right to publicly reveal a person's private sins? A Dallas court is being asked to decide whether Watermark Community Church can do exactly that to a man and a woman identified in court records as "John Doe" and "Jane Roe."
Their attorney says that the pair thought they had revealed their sins to Watermark's pastor confidentially and that their behavior should not be made public.
Church officials say they are only following a process of church discipline outlined in the Gospel of Matthew and written into the church's bylaws.
More details at http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/052606dnmetwatermark.21192740.html The Pastor's comment sounds scarily like the Witnesses:
"Basically, we're being sued because we're seeking to love 'John Doe' in accordance with the principles outlined by God's word," said the pastor, the Rev. Todd Wagner.Of course, the Witnesses are a lot more legally savvy than this church. By not publicly revealing the 'sin' for which people are disfellowshipped, they avoid legal liability. And by treating disassociation just like disfellowshipping, they attempt to keep control over people even if they resign their membership.