How did it go Amelia?
"Mentally Diseased" are confirmed as offensive words of hate crime. Help needed, please.
US definition: Hate crime is the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or disability. The purveyors of hate use explosives, arson, weapons, vandalism, physical violence, and verbal threats of violence to instill fear in their victims, leaving them vulnerable to more attacks and feeling alienated, helpless, suspicious and fearful. [source: DOJ]
There is also a UN Human Rights Declaration which prohibits shunning, but they have never responded to my correspondence on the matter.
NY State definition: A person commits a hate crime when he or she commits a specified
offense and either:
(a) intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is
committed ... religion, religious practice, age, disability
or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or
perception is correct, or
(b) intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense in
whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding
the ...religion, religious practice...regardless
of whether the belief or perception is correct...
The "specified offenses" are things like assault, criminal mischief, kidnapping, arson, sexual abuse, menacing, murder, etc. Stalking, criminal trespass, harassment and coercion are on the list which has happened to some ex-dubs, but there would need to be proof a person violated those laws due to the victim's religious belief. [source: NYS]
I do wonder if someone would be able to address this in civil court via a slander charge, if the "mentally diseased" label was specifically applied to a named individual, but that would be expensive and a long shot (given the fact that Barbara Anderson's case was similar and she did not prevail).
Freedom of religion rules in the US--hopefully victims in other countries will have better luck.
Here is an update on what happened today. We were visited by a policeman who had a copy of Amelia's query and wanted more detail. He agreed that the words in article were offensive and if applied to any other minority group such as homosexuals or ethnic groups could be considered criminal in their own right. However apostates are not considered a minority group under the terms of the law and therefore are not protected in the same way. He acknowledged that the words in the article could be seen as insightful only if there was a subsequent criminal act such as an assault. In any other setting the behaviour would be reprehensible and bullying but in religion the burden of proof is higher.
The query now has a crime number and the article will be referenced on the police crime database. It lays the foundation for any further action. If witnesses move away from shunning to assault, stalking or intimidation then the words are on record and add additional credibility to any subsequent case. but it is not enough on it's own to bring about a prosecution. What I would say to anyone who experiences any intimidation or stalking by members of the congregation, report it. It is when they step over into the criminal that we can take legal action. We tend to endure it and report it too late.
If you look at the magazine as a whole the first article relates to their victory in the European Court where they were being charged with insighting hatred. It is arrogant in the extreme that after successfully defending themselves from this charge they then print a magazine whose main articles are full of hate talk against their own ex members. It is almost as if they are saying they are indestructable and can say anything they like. I would be inclined to send the magazine to the court that aquited them and see what they make of it. It would be priceless if they could be held in contempt.
Amelia did an excellent job explaining the levels of control and how the words are applied by the people studying the magazine. At the end of it all the watchtower is run by lawyers so it is no surprise that things are always more complicated. Well done Amelia today you have done us proud.
So it's okay to say in the U.S. that the Watchtower Governing Body are "mentally diseased?" For me, though, that sounds like that would only be a compliment for them. Their condition is much worse.
Nugget / cantleave / amelia - thanks so much for the update, sounds like you all did an excellent job! Like you said, if nothing else this article has now been "flagged" on the police database, and any abuse or stalking (I'm thinking shepherding visits!) that are meted out on those who oppose the organization can be referenced back to this article, as basically what the police are saying is that this article COULD incite people to religious hatred, but until it actually DOES their hands are tied. Correct?
It's a step forward and I think you have ALL done a fantastic job, but especially Amelia for having the bravery to contact the police in the first place. We NEED to keep tabs on this people! If any elders, servants or even regular publishers step out of line and do anything that could be considered abusive simply because we don't see eye to eye with the Governing Body, we need to report it.
The line has been drawn, for those of us in the UK at the very least....
He acknowledged that the words in the article could be seen as insightful only if there was a subsequent criminal act such as an assault.
In any other setting the behaviour would be reprehensible and bullying but in religion the burden of proof is higher.
Would this Help?..
Nov 15, 1952 Watchtower pp.703-704
We are not living today among theocratic nations where such members of our fleshly family relationship could be exterminated for apostasy from God and his theocratic organization, as was possible and was ordered in the nation of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and in the land of Palestine. "Thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him to death with stones, because he hath sought to draw thee away from Jehovah thy God, . . . And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is in the midst of thee."?Deut. 13:6-11, AS.Being limited by the laws of the worldly nation in which we live and also by the laws of God through Jesus Christ, we can take action against apostates only to a certain extent, that is, consistent with both sets of laws. The law of the land and God's law through Christ forbid us to kill apostates, even though they be members of our own flesh-and-blood family relationship.
There is war being waged against ExJWs by the WBT$..
It`s been going on for Decades
The WBT$ would have us dead..If the law allowed..
We actually pointed this out to the police officer but at the moment they are allowed to say whatever they like even that they wish we were dead and there is nothing the law can do.
Whilst it would have been awesome for dawn raids to sweep down on all the COBOEs in the land we all knew that there were limitations. Life goes on we keep trying.
Just revisiting the thread on the society's involvement with the OSCE regarding "religious intolerance." The double standard is amazing, and it does seem that you folks in Europe have a better chance of at least raising awareness about this hate speech. Good luck!
We actually pointed this out to the police officer but at the moment they are allowed to say whatever
they like even that they wish we were dead and there is nothing the law can do.
So the WBT$ could wish Catholics dead..Jews dead..The Queen dead..And..
It`s all good?..LOL!!..
First, grateful thanks to Cantleave and Nugget for coming over today and supporting me throughout my visit with the Police Officer from the Hampshire Constabulary. Also to my daughter Emma who very bravely went to our local KH and procured a copy of the offending July 15th Watchtower as it had been suggested an actual copy of the magazine would be better than a computer printout of the on-line version. Nugget underlined the most pertinent points we wanted to make. We explained there were two versions of The Watchtower magazine distributed. The one we were showing him was the one for members only but there is another toned down version available for the general public. He thought it very strange there were two versions of the same magazine and noted it down. After reading the portions Nugget had underlined and writing down some of them on a pad he told us that unless the "mentally diseased" label is used face to face and personally, no crime has been committed. On a more positive note he informed us that his report would be assigned a crime number and entered into the UK's national database. This means the information we gave would be flagged up and could be used as a foundation for any future complaints against WTBTS. Edited to say: thanks for the update Nugget, sorry to duplicate some but posting from a Blackberry is a nightmare.