Watchtower Lawyer Fills in the Baptism Blank

by Marvin Shilmer 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • sd-7

    So they are acknowledging that they are a government in and of themselves. And going so far as to say that the laws of the U.S. government regarding the use of your information do not apply to them. Even credit card companies give you a privacy policy; the Watchtower Society doesn't even do that. What information they keep about you isn't even available to you, presumably. Nah, I just don't see that holding up in court. I'm no legal expert, but it just sounds shady to me. If you really fought it, I don't see how they could simply keep that from you.

    But hey, that's impressive. They told Jesus when he started to rule, and even when he appointed them as governors of a sort. Sounds like they're essentially God on earth, in their own minds.


  • donuthole

    I know that some of have tried to argue that a contract could not exist because they were baptized as a minor and as such couldn't legally enter a contract. In turn the Watchtower has argued that by acting in accordance with the original contract after becoming adult (e.g. continuing to participate in JW activities, attend meetings, go out in service, etc.) that the person is binding themselves to it the original agreement. The agreement is, "Do you understand that your baptism identifies you as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in connection with God's Spirit Directed Organization?" Of course, if the person persists that the contract is null the Watchtower may simply say that they are disassociating themselves, "are no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses", and they will suffer the same consequences as someone who was disfellowshipped.

  • LongHairGal


    I was baptized before 1985 and certainly never dedicated myself to any organization. Never did and never will. How sneaky of them to change those questions and the poor baptismal candidates don't even realize it until they are about to be dunked! Maybe they figure that nobody would back out at the last minute when they have their friends and family watching them.

    I am sure if these questions were reviewed long before people got baptized it would be a different story entirely! I am sure quite a few would back out.


    I got the same impression you did. You have heard the expression: "Who died and made you boss?" Well, that is my question to them. Did Armageddon already happen and maybe I just didn't notice?

  • ziddina

    What particularly struck me was all that emphasis on secrecy - er, "confidentiality"...

    No wonder the pedophiles find the Watchtower Society to be such a paradise...

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I can't research every little issue. Something strikes me as rotten. Lawyers write memos and briefs all the time. The bottom line is that the lawyer's work is not the law. The law is what a trial judge rules and appellate courts will uphold. Posting lengthy legal memos does not mean they are correct. It is their view of the law. Note how many U.S. Supreme Court decisions are 5-4. These are the most brilliant lawyers of a large country. They don't agree on law.

    Every state and territory has its own contract law. There is federal contract law. I doubt there is one uniform researched answer. There is craft to reporting the law. It is the law from their lawyer's perspective. Your lawyer may have a very different approach. They are relying on their large status to squash individuals b/c individual's are not in an equal bargaining position with them. The Society is always in court and has many lawyers. They know they will be sued. Who joins a church believing they will be engaged in a future legal battle? Their lawyers practice nothing but JW law. JW law is not a course in law school. Your lawyer will not have the same experience, already collected materials, etc.

    I felt justice existed when I saw one multinational giant go against another multinational giant. The more I saw the more I believed justice does not exist between a well-financed giant and the average Joe.

    Perhaps the hardest part is accepting that you were screwed not by your wife or husband but by God or what you believed was God. Fighting them only empowers them in most cases. Living well is the best revenge. An easy statement but difficult to do when you so isolated for so long.

  • factfinder

    I was baptized in 1978. I dedicated my life to Jehovah, not to any organization, religion, corporation or cult! The wts has no hold on me.

  • cameo-d

    sd-7 "So they are acknowledging that they are a government in and of themselves. And going so far as to say that the laws of the U.S. government regarding the use of your information do not apply to them."

    Yes, that is a power and property of being corporation sole.

    sd-7: "Sounds like they're essentially God on earth, in their own minds. "

    Actually, that privilege belongs to the Papacy.

    And btw....A theory had to be developed to justify the corporate sole existence of the "ancient church". Canon corporate sole extends from the Papal Empire and other types of corporation sole extend from the Roman Curia. Maybe these new legal terms came about sometime around, shall we say...1914?

    I'll bet if you dig deep enough you will find that this organization is under Papal jurisdiction.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    The letter mentions that the Freedom of Information Act doesn't apply to the Borg. Is there any similar law that does? Do people have a legal right to the files the organization or local congregation keep about them? I know of instances in other countries where it has been enforced (jwfacts got his Borg files sent to him after applying legal pressure) but I've never heard of an American pushing the issue.

  • Borgia

    hmmm ... what has not been adressed is that the babtismal vow has dramatically changed as of 1985. Pre 85's have no such pledge of adherence but that a person will be guided by his conscience and holy spirit. . And declaring " by extension" hardly suffices, I think. So ... I believe Marvin that there is more to it than meets the eye.

    Congratulations on the find.



  • wobble

    Here in the U.K it is possible to get them to send you what they say they have on you, they will send you innocuous stuff and you are supposed to believe that is it, but we all know they hold files on the outcome of J.C's etc.

    They never send this information, because they know you cannot prove they have it, and no body investigates to see if they are disclosing all the info. they hold on you.

    Data Protection Laws do not have real teeth.

    They are as crafty as a cart load of monkeys, and never let new recruits know the full horror of their control over you once you are dunked.

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