An Italian attorney and priest published accusations that Jehovah's Witnesses are a pseudoreligious sect and among secret societies that entrap people. Jehovah's Witnesses in Italy took legal action due to the nature of the defamatory statements. The Venice Court of Appeals, 17 July 1997, having overruled an earlier court decision favorable to the defendants, found said defendants guilty: Both of the published articles in question contain expressions and phrases that are certainly capable of damaging the reputation of the followers of the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. It seems evident that the intention of the articles is to expose its followers to public contempt ... [the articles] do not constitute legitimate exercise of the right of reporting and criticism. [...] Only by balancing and safeguarding all the rights guaranteed by the [Italian] Constitution is it possible to prevent forms of intolerance and religious fanaticism ... To classify the Witnesses among secret societies does not even respect the criterion of historic truth, since the professed religion is present in many cities and the widespread proselytizing activity that is carried out by its members, particularly on Sundays and holidays, is well-known and cannot fail to arouse respect for the efforts made, whatever one might think of the doctrine preached. The two "defamers" [term used in The Watchtower] were ordered by the court to pay all legal and court expenses. THE WATCHTOWER - AUGUST 15, 1998, page 31.
Public Contempt of JWs Not Tolerated
Thanks for posting this CoCo, it is a salutary reminder to us all that we need to keep our exposing of what the WT/JW religion is to strictly factual matters that we can verify,if necessary, in Court.
We could easily get carried away, as some have in the past, by the excitement of the press and media exposure XJW's are getting at present, thanks to Cedars an Co and the Independant article, and we could start making unverifiable accusations, or ones which are easy for the WT to latch on to, and divert attention from the real issue.
The JW's are masters of this. Call them a cult, and you will be diverted in to discussing the definition of the word, not all the cult like features they display.
Say they are wrong to call us "mentally diseased" and the spokesman will discuss DFing, not the words in question. (see the Indy article)
Say something factually wrong and in Court they will prove it to be so, thus not discussing what they are, just what they are not.
We must not give them an easy get out.
Thank you, wobble, for your insight and good advice.
"Just the facts Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday
A wise and timely reminder CoCo . . .
The high ground is not ours by decree . . . cool heads are needed to hold it.
It is difficult to take on this organization because they have had at least a hundred yrs of practice in twisting and manipulating people and information. The amount of literature produced has developed a very tricky writing style and they are in the business of a strange persuation. They also have pretty deep pockets and are prepared to fight.
When you realize you've been deceived you get angry and you want to lash out they know that and count on it to paint you in a bad light. Sometimes you think you have healed and a witness surprises you out in a parking lot of a grocery store and your blood boils and you feel crazy.
i personally think the best move is to however painful immediately cut off all support by not attending another meeting if everyone who disagreed did that and took the hit it would register big time on all the congregations. i know this isn't something most want to do but I think it would be effective. The wtbs uses that trick on people at the door they tell them to leave their friends and family and join the witnesses even if you love your family and they get upset saying that's the only way you'll save them. They know that game and they play it on both ends.
I would be interested in seeing exactly what they wrote about the Borg.
Wobble is exactly right. This is a typical WT "lawyering" tactic, respond by changing the subject.
It's very telling that Mr. Fenton chose to comment on the right of an individual to leave --which was never the issue--rather than on whether or not the WT's treatment of those exercising their individual rights should be shunned and libeled as "mentally diseased."
Using this same logic, JW apostates in Italy should be able to sue the Society for calling them mentally diseased.