Suing the tower

by Tired of the Hypocrisy 68 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Tired of the Hypocrisy
    Tired of the Hypocrisy

    In the above thread, OTWO made a comment about how someone might sue the wt based on their shunning policy. I have not seen the topic discussed here and have been unsuccessful in getting the search function of the site to gather information about it, but I wonder if we as a group could sue the washtowel society. Perhaps get a big fat class action suit going against them? We could cite being coerced by fear tactics, being cheated out of our higher educations, and mental and physical illnesses compounded by their oppressive treatment.

    I think we could get some evidence together and other documented stuff with the help of someone on the inside. If I am not mistaken, brother Fearon taped his jc. If we could get the ball rolling I would be willing to tape any meetings etc I am involved with to prove how they mistreat people and deny them any real defense. Freedom in this country is based on not infringing on the rights of others. So, I do not see how the wt can claim freedom of religion when they suppress the freedoms and civil liberties of its rank and file members.

    Let me know what you think about this. Any lawyers in the crowd wanna shed some light on this?

  • OnTheWayOut

    I am just spouting an opinion, so I would love to hear the theories.
    I think the United States is a long way off from a successful lawsuit
    against the shunning, but polygamist cults and other strange groups
    continue to bring the possibility forward.

    I would expect such lawsuits to eminate from other countries before the
    U.S. or Britain or the like. If it were to happen here, the first successful
    case would probably need a teen suicide or some totally depressed
    person whose life was severely adversely affected. Many mal-adjusted
    adults won't make for a good lawsuit. A jury would just think they should
    "get over it."

    Power to you, though. Things are changing. It could happen.
    Keep this in mind- trying to get former JW's to work together is like
    herding cats.

  • Tired of the Hypocrisy
    Tired of the Hypocrisy
    Keep this in mind- trying to get former JW's to work together is like
    herding cats.

    I heard that.

    Another reason I brought it up was that I read how in Brazil the Labor Arm of the government sued the wt branch for offenses against the labor laws by not insuring the witlesses. They lost, but I don't see how this can be ignored. This country especially (USA) is having so many problems with health insurance and the like, I can't imagine they would not want to plug this hole where so many witlesses are on medicaid because they do not work enough to get on the health plan at work. If the majority of the 2 million witlesses in this country are not gainfully employed, and are on welfare while pioneering....isn't the government subsidizing a cult?

  • sammielee24

    The theory has been around a while - I asked kind of the same question a year ago. I think it can happen but move toward the basis of suing for allienation of affection. The families, including kids, parents, siblings - are all instructed by the GB to avoid contact with df'd ones and by doing so, they remove all of the financial, emotional, physical, mental and sometimes employment related support that they may need or the affected active JW family members need. If someone goes on welfare, using tax payers dollars because they've been cut off from financial support they might otherwise have had - it might lead to action. If therapy or counselling is needed after disfellowshipping, and the cost is borne by the tax payer, there might be cause for a case. I still think there can also be a case for the baptism age and any shunning that follows because it stands to reason that if what we deem to be a child of 16, makes a life altering decision like allegiance to an organization, not fully comprehending the ramifications of that action, how can he or she be accountable to the same degree as a 40 year old adult making the same decision? Taking it a step further - there may be grounds for suit regarding the policy of reinstatement. If this is a religion and not a club, then why must anyone go before or beg with the managers of the club in order to 'get back in' to the religion in order to have the shunning absolved? Take it even one step further - oath of confidentiality and privacy.

    A disfellowshipped person is shunned out of existence. If they move and try to get the disfellowshipping lifted they have to go before the body of their local KH and plead with them to in turn plead with the old JC committee in the old hall. This has all sorts of ramifications for the suffering person because if the old body want to keep the person out, they can. They can keep a person out for as long as they want based on a personal vendetta and all that time, share information - pass it around from congregation to congregation and in other words destroy a persons reputation, their ability to reconnect or simply connect with their own family and stop them from being part of the religion.


  • Gerard

    It has been done in n the USA and failed. The reason is that shunning is considered a religious aspect of their practice and the courts are refrained to intervene in religious matters. It is this same law that the Washtowel has been trying to use to cover up child abuse, claiming it to be a "religious matter".

  • Meeting Junkie No More
    Meeting Junkie No More

    I'm no lawyer but my feeling is that a case could be made to haul the WTBTS (or whatever legal entity they're hiding behind at the present moment) before the UN Human Rights commission. There are human rights being violated imo, and the 'Society' should not be able to hide behind the 'religion' card. The ground is shifting in this area so the time may not be ripe right now, but I think it is fast approaching.

    Anyone with a LEGAL OPINION out there?

  • skeeter1

    It has been done in the USA, and won. The lynchpin is who is shunning you. If it's just your old friends at the Kingdumb Hell, you will likely not win in court. But, if it's your immediate family & you business associates, then you have a chance at winning. The case that set down this rule is Bear v. Mennonite. And, a few other cases have held it up; including the US Supreme Court. Read


    While in Paul v. Watchtower, the shunned party did not win. Why? Becuase it was just the friends that shunned. Must prove that Church meddled with your family &/or business.


  • journey-on

    I think the FLDS mess going on right now is going to open up a whole new can of worms where religious practices are concerned.

    It's time we take a serious look at religion.....including but not limited to financial and tax issues. Religion invests, owns, sells, buys,

    speculates on stock and options, and lots of other non-religious money matters. I have said before, there are winds of change a-blowin' and with all the pedophilia cover-ups,

    super-wealthy ministers (remember the air-conditioned doghouse Tammy Faye Baker had), new emphasis on mind-control and

    brainwashing cults (Scientology), the can of worms is about to explode, imo. The sooner, the better.

  • flipper

    Good luck with this one ! As has been said - it has been tried before. However I agree that winds of change are blowing in. I feel if enough " wealthy" ex- JW's who have been molested sexually by high -ups in the organization could get together and finance a class action child abuse case ( much like the Catholic suit) and keep it running in the courts over a period of time - then it might start hurting the Watchtower society really hard in the pocketbook ( costs of maintaining attorneys long term on cases) and do the other positive thing of keeping it in the news media consistently over a longer period of time as well ! But it's gonna take people with money who have the heart and courage to take down the Watchtower society. It is doable - but people have to be committed to it ! And people with the means to do it ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • milligal

    Tired of Hypocrasy:

    I'm studying to be a lawyer, ironically my inspiration came from a 7 year long custody battle with my JW ex. I have thought extensively about the question you raised. Here's my humble opinion: a lawsuit in this category would have to be filed under some form of denial of freedom of religion. This could probably be construed only if you were talking about children raised as witnesses-thus given no choice of what religion they would attest to and then being shunned for choosing a religion (or no religion) outside the JW's. Thus, their right to freedom of religion is being denied by JW's and enforced through obstruction of civil rights.

    Next it would have to be proven that civil rights were being stepped on (not hard to do in this forum : ) but you'd really have to have some attorney's that were ambitious and on board. Civil rights are some of the hardest to prove in this category-especially since wbts would try to say that their freedom of religion and the right to disfellowship were being brought into question. You'd have to start the suit out on the other foot.

    Finally, the suit would have to be filed initially within a state, and since this is a national issue -the state could be chosen according to liberal political views. Of course it would be appealed no matter what the ruling and you'd have to hope the Supreme Court would eventually hear it, because we all know how much JW's dislike negative publicity. In my opinion it would be worth it whether you won or lost just to bring some negative press their way. It would take years, and lots of money. Any further thoughts?

    P.S. your picture is scary ; )

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