Law suits

by flying under the radar 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • flying under the radar
    flying under the radar

    Just wondering wether anyone has tried to sue the WBTS for emotional suffering,

    loss of income or anything else... And would such a law suit hold up in court?

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I am an American lawyer. Without going into the specific elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress, these cases, in general, are extraordinary. They shock the conscience.

    Without researching the issue, I see several problems with the WTS from my law school research. It was my first research topic. As a member, you assented to such treatment. They can assert religious freedom. I never realized it before but since reading shares here from European apostates, the United States concept of religious freedom flows in only one direction - to the benefit of religion. Bastions of religious freedom in Europe view it bilaterally - it flows to the church but the member is also protected from the church.

    Altho it is very difficult for most to leave, it is physically possible. The elders and the WTS have no legal power over you. Any Witness can simply walk away. This is not a real life scenario but the courts, whose judges are not likely to have JW experience, will view it this way.

    I can only give some vague legal info, never advice. The state you live in determines tort elements. Facts may not be listed here that would dictate a result. I can only practice in my state of admission. My human advice would be that lawsuits are ugly creatures. They make a hot situation torrid. I fantasize about some sort of payback. The WT is an impersonal corporation. They don't care about you the way you are hurt by their actions. Living well is the best revenge.

    I try to dedicate my life to screwing them by doing everything they forbid consistent with my value system. It is messy sometimes but, overall, it is wonderful. Decades later I will be doing something that is now routine and stop. I realize that as a child/teenager I had no hope. It takes my breath away with its majesty. I feel coherent throughout my existence now. Cognitive dissonance always confused me with the Witnesses.

  • N.drew

    I am not for sueing but I disagree with your comment BOTR "to leave it is physically possible" because

    even though being there might bore someone to death, leaving it is what hurts.

    It hurts for the same reason leaving synagogue did in Jesus day; loss of family and loss of some

    business. If a witness is dependent on his friends for income, he will lose it. They will say

    "Jehovah provides" but I think that would not hold up in court.

    They use 1 Crinthians 15:33 as their good excuse to shun, but it can easily be discredited.

    Look at a thousand posts of them who are loyal to the Governing Body, where ever they say

    "God's will", "Society" can be substituted. To have been baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses

    means faith in God. They turned it into faith in man, which is a detestable thing. But a Bible Student

    knows Ecclesiastes 5:6 So their membership in the organization

    becomes a type of slavery of conscience and heart. The reason why it is so is because both the "leaders"

    and the followers let it happen. But not all. So if she who's conscience believes this; 2 Timothy 3:5 and she loses her grandchildren because obeying what the

    Bible says is important to her conscience, how is that not kid-napping?

    Because it is not the mother and father that the child was taken from, that's all.

    I believe it takes a "village" to raise a child, now the village has become the world.

    The detestable thing is grieving the Holy Spirit. It is bad for the whole world.

  • N.drew

    I have a question that I feel I can "waste" a post on (I have two more, one more after this one)

    OK, I might say that it is not only here, but also my blog, Bible Discussion Forum

    Religious- Science Forum, Interfaith Forum, I think there is more that I don't remember.

    I am being ignored. So I am pondering why? I am coming up with not much. But it makes me

    feel like I talking from out-of-space or on the other hand, from the grave. (No I don't

    believe it). Who is not ignoring me? Nobody. You think I'm kidding? OK it's funny, but I think

    I don't like it.

  • yalbmert99

    If I had millions of dollars to spend, I would sue the Watchtower and its leaders for human rights violations. It would go up to the supreme court and I think I would win. But, I have no money.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    The point I tried to make is I know what my fears of total family rejection were. It is very hard. They don't hold you against your will with a gun to your head. You are always able to walk out the door. The psychological reality may be different but the physical reality is what a judge will consider. Few, very few judges have been Jehovah's Witnesses. They will just hear testimony or read legal papers. Leaving is easy on paper.

    If there were a strong anticult movement in this country, they might become more education as to just how extremely difficult leaving is. Even within the Supreme Court, having justices from a variety of settings has proved important. They will consider something in conference. Eight justices will react based on the written briefs. One justice will have experience from real life (not just on paper or a book) and educate the others about reality. It changes votes frequently.

    It is slightly off-topic but I had a dispute with Verizon. The customer service assured me I had no hope b/c their contract is written by a team of Verizon lawyers. 1. Verizon lawyers are not writing a neutral document. Verizon is their client. Everything is skewed towards Verizon. 2. I know that I can find areas to contest. 3. In the end, it does not matter what Verizon's lawyers assert or what I assert. The judge's take is the final word. They don't tell customers this information. They are not lying but they are not candid, either. NonWitness lawyers will find it hard to truly understand how crippling and enmeshing a cult is.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    It is a rough ride in the States. Such a lawsuit for lost wages, etc. would end JW culture as we know it. It may happen in Europe.

  • Violia

    I can tell you what I was told once " you do not give up your rights as a US citizen just b/c you walk into the Kingdom hall" . I agree.

  • journey-on

    BOTR...Thanks for your insight, but consider this scenario and give me your opinion: (I have highlighted some words that might find legal relevance.)

    What about the born-in witness indoctrinated since birth, programmed to react, to accept, to cling to, every word and mandate coming out of the mouths of the men in New York. Any deviation results in loss of privileges, public reproof (humiliation), parental shame, guilt-laden lectures (judicial committees), etc.

    That child gets baptized at the age of 10 or 12 with the encouragement (coercion) of his/her parents and congregation. That is a contract. Just read the baptismal questions and explanations. It is a contract making you a JW and accepting that you recognize your end of the contract as being under their rules and regulations. In my day, we didn't have that 'little addition', thank goodness. I was a mere 12 years old. My contract was between me and God. Now the organization is brought into the act of baptism. Isn't there some law that states children cannot enter into legal and binding contracts?

    Now, fast forward that 10 or 12 year old five years. He/she gets a little excited and looses control and commits fornication with the opposite sex. We all know that once a teen starts having sex, it will continue. There is generally no turning back the call of nature once you've started the activity. So, mom and dad find out. The sh*t hits the fan. Elders are brought in. JC is convened. Kid promises to work at overcoming his/her "evil desires". No such luck. It happens again and again. Now he/she is disfellowshipped. It is announced before the whole world (his congregation and circle of friends).

    His parents kick him out of the house because he grows hurt, angry, rebellious. He has no where to turn. He has lost the safety net of his friends, his social circle, his family, and especially his parents. He may spiral downward, get depressed, turn to drugs or alcohol, drop out of school (or not), but I have known someone that the above happened to. IMO, there should be legal redress.

    Let me add: I, for one, am sick and damn tired of things that are done to kids and teens mentally, emotionally, and psychologically in the name of this religion. THERE SHOULD BE A LAW!

  • rebel8

    TY Band on the Run!

    We get these threads every so often and it's a phenomenon I really haven't figured out yet.

    People seem to think because they were treated unfairly that means they can sue. Well if you want vindication or validation you were treated unfairly, write a book, blog, etc. Those can be therapeutic for you and can help prevent others from suffering your fate. No lawsuit necessary to get validation.

    Judges allow or don't allow you to sue--it's their decision, not the plaintiff's. Even if it were allowed to proceed that does not mean you're going to win, even if you're right.

    And justice costs money. Lawyers make a few hundred $ per hour. There is a myth in America that most lawsuits are done on contingencies (attorneys not getting paid unless you win). I don't think that applies to a long shot such as suing a church in America.

    The other thing I can't comprehend is why the focus on lawsuits. Why not on criminal law instead? Trespassing laws are violated by dubs all the time in the US and I have only ever been able to find 2 individuals who have ever involved authorities in that lawbreaking--one an ex jw and one not. Or child abuse laws, stalking laws, theft, etc.? Lots of opportunities there. Few utilize them.

    I am speaking as a person who has a much stronger case to sue the dubs on than most people. I've been through all the meanness and shunning, plus physical abuse, severe child neglect and the tort of misrepresentation of medical facts (I was affected much more severely from the blood issue than 99% of the population). The latter caused me lasting physical damage, and even I can't find an attorney stupid enough to file a suit for me, let alone on a contingency, because it's a long shot.

    The only other theory I have to explain this phenomenon is it's cathartic to imagine revenge and winning loads of cash. Not many actually look into filing a suit. I remember one poster who kept posting about it, asking others to file a suit and "I will help," while doing ZERO to research and file it herself. She just wanted to stir things up and imagine revenge. When it came time to taking action, she disappeared.

    Not that I have any idea what the OP here intended...

    journey-on, I have researched the contract thing and determined baptism is not a contract according to the law. Your state law should have a definition of "contract", or try your attorney general's website.

Share this