Gated Communities in Puerto Rico now required to have a Security Guard and special entrance for Jehovah's Witnesses

by Alfred 37 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Alfred

    As some of you may recall, on February 11, 2011 the United States Court of Appeals ruled that most gated communities in Puerto Rico violated the constitutional rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses by not allowing them unobstructed access to homes and thereby thwarting their right to worship freely. Not sure how the Watchtower was able to fool the US Court of Appeals, but there you have it… The next step in this judicial process is to determine how this needed to happen.

    To that end, the US Court of Appeals has recently ruled that those gated communities in Puerto Rico that didn’t have security guards (i.e.: have a “tele-entry” key pad instead) were to hire at least one security guard who would be positioned at the entrance for the purpose of allowing Jehovah’s Witnesses free access to the community. Also, if the gated community does not have a pedestrian entrance with required walkway, the community would have to build these amenities for Jehovah’s Witnesses following certain specifications.

    The problem that this presents for smaller gated communities (mostly middle-class) is that many of these can barely keep up with the maintenance required to keep everything in order (landscaping, cleaning, painting, repairs, etc.)… Now the Watchtower has managed to put additional financial pressure on these communities by forcing them to hire a guard who will do nothing but allow Jehovah’s Witnesses to enter. On top of that, they need to alter the entrance of their community specifically for Jehovah Witnesses.

    Because of this, some communities have offered alternatives to the Watchtower that would allow them free access without incurring unnecessary costs… but they refused.

    It’s clear that the Watchtower is purposely provoking a completely avoidable hostile situation in Puerto Rico that is already flaring up as can be perceived by the comments in the following article.

    Article in Puerto Rico's main Newspaper

    This is yet another attempt by the Watchtower to instigate the “Great Tribulation” and then scream: “Persecution!”

  • Phizzy

    Why don't all those in such communities claim they are a new religion that specifically does not allow discussion of faith with other religions or consideration of literature by other religions except in public places away from the home, as this infringes on their pure worship, so JW's coming in to their space is taking away their religious freedom.

  • carla

    All those people need to do is send a cease & desist letter each and every year. The entire community must send one for each address. Problem solved.

    (is the address for the wt still correct?)



    Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

    25 Columbia Heights

    Brooklyn, Ny 11201-2483


    Dear Sirs,

    Please notify all members of your congregation that consent, implied or otherwise, to visit my property at the address stated above for any purpose relating

    to the work of Jehovah's Witnesses or the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has been revoked.

    I will consider any future visits to be an act of willful trespass and may prosecute to the full extent of the law, civil or criminal.

    You must not visit on the pretense of 'updating records'. Check the electoral roll for up to date ownership information.

    Notice has also been served to my local congregation located in the area of ________________________________________________________.

    I shall hold you both severally and jointly liable for any infratction of this notice to 'cease and desist'.

    You have been warned!


  • carla

    Maybe someone who is able to translate it could send it to the newspaper?

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Not a new thing...

    the 40s and 50s were the heyday of JWs fighting for the right to annoy people without obstruction. It was their glory days and it is no doubt their favorite trip to court still.


  • Refriedtruth

    :..This is yet another attempt by the Watchtower to instigate the “Great Tribulation” and then scream: “Persecution!”

    T he JW 'Warning Message' .
    How and why Jehovah Witnesses perform like a terrorist group.
    As an impressionable child I was phobic indoctrinated with doomsday preparations about the Watchtowers coming 'warning work'. That we would some day 'soon' be required by Jehovah our God to go door to door and declare to every home with a judgemental proclamation ,'that every man,woman,child is about to die horribly' and the only salvation is the JW who are no longer allowing anyone into their 'ark of salvation'. This very inflammatory hate message would incite jealous non believers to 'attack God's anointed' and provoke his wrath to bring about Armageddon with only JW who were obedient and trusting in Jehovah permitted to survive. Note:Many apocalyptic groups they to incite and hurry up Armageddon-Robert Lifton Cult expert

  • Refriedtruth

    Discussion of Jehovah's Witnesses packing a weapon door to door

  • Phizzy

    The "Cease and Desist" letter is a good idea, but if the court says the facility for itinerant preachers must be available, a guard to let them in, or special gates etc, then surely this must be complied with,entailing much expense, even if effectively you have stopped them calling.

    Far better to show how the JW's insistence on their freedom is denying the freedom of others.

  • Amelia Ashton
    Amelia Ashton

    I live in a "no cold callers allowed" building. One sign was all it took to stop JWs from pestering my neighbours.

    Maybe in England the dubs don't have "the right" to force their extremist ideas door to door.

  • Refriedtruth

    In ten years of watching the news streams and systematic web searches I have found no cases of Jehovah's Witnesses charged with trespassing/harassment?

    There may be cases but no major media events,if I have missed them please point them out.

    What we need is precedents of JW being arrested/tried/convicted of trespassing harassment.

    JW are like bad weather everybody talks about it,no action is taken.The Police seek guidance from town attorneys and told to back off.

    There was a LOT of tension with police and citizens fed up with JW 20 years ago when I was doing it, and it is just a matter of time before somebody goes ballistic on them.We EXJW's especially have legal grounds not to be harassed,especially if you are dis-FELLOWSHIPED this is all the more compelling case against them not to be cold-calling.

    Any news of JW prosecuted for door to door harassment would be big news,and start the ball rolling.Once they are handicapped from going door to door the Watchtower lose this control mechanism this is the goal.The Watchtower cult has their dirty tricks of using minor children or sister senile & elderly as a human shield in difficult spots.This makes it harder to call the cops on them,so we would have to be prepared to point out to the police & courts that their congregation uses 'mentally challenged as defiant trespassers'.

    They ARE door to door scammers,they always say that,'we are here to encourage Bible reading and a hope for the future' this is a LIE they are there to recruit for their destructive cult and have a counterfeit Gospel of Jesus return in 1914.They do not deserve any breaks.

  • the-illuminator81

    I can't believe the courts fell for this.

  • Refriedtruth

    This is BIG on the news wires

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- A U.S. court has ordered that all gated communities in Puerto Rico find a way to grant access to Jehovah's Witnesses so they can proselytize.

    Communities with guards already had to let them in. Now those without guards manning gates must provide access by Tuesday.
    The American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement late Friday that the ruling benefits all religious, political and social groups.
    In Puerto Rico, streets inside gated communities are considered public thoroughfares

    The Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Puerto Rico estimates that its members have been barred from 587 gated communities in 57 municipalities. They say that about half of the island's gated communities have guards.
    Puerto Rico has 318 Jehovah's Witnesses congregations, with a total of about 25,000 members.

    Read more here:

    Ruling favors Jehovah's Witnesses in Puerto Rico

    Fox News - 39 minutes ago SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A US court has ordered that all gated communities in Puerto Rico find a way to grant access to Jehovah's Witnesses so they can ...

    Latin American Herald Tribune
  • Finally-Free

    Maybe the JWs should allow apostates to preach door to door in Bethel unobstructed.


  • Phizzy

    Oh Finally-Free !! What a wonderful idea ! show up the hypocrisy 100% !

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    you know how this will blow up? Someone will be raped or killed, by someone who claimed they were a JW, and were granted access.

    I have this issue in a building that my family owned. I wasn't trying to keep out religions, I was just trying to control who was accessing the property. The last thing I needed was people hanging out and the tenants assuming that someone in the building must know them.

    I wonder how the No Trespassing laws were thwarted. I know here in Cali the cong received a letter that stated if there is a no trespassing sign, don't enter.

    BTW I've read up on several no trespassing violations by JW's, but I beleieve there were for a single famliy residence

  • Refriedtruth

    Want to be heard? This is the news article comment forum to post your comments and vote at.

  • wha happened?
    wha happened?

    btw Refriedtruth, that is a cool name

  • Refriedtruth

    Well its been 3 days since this hit the news wires and comments are 100% against the intrusive antagonistic JW ruling (that was decided among black robes not a popular jury ruling).The ONLY pro-JW comments are of course from JW apologist and their shills.

    Typical of the WT's 'intimidation by litigation' is to go up against defendants with limited financial resources as they did in Stratton Ohio for their last big no trespassing verdict win.

    So, I figure they win in Puerto Rico a US territory and then they will move into the 50 states.

    I sure am happy that I am NOT a door to door recruiter for the Watchtower anymore.

  • Refriedtruth

    Here we go more information:

    Jehovah's Witnesses Win Access to Gated Areas

    Jehovah's Witnesses Win Access to Gated Areas

    Courthouse News/February 11, 2011
    By Alexandra D'Angelo

    Communities in Puerto Rico must revise local crime-prevention plans meant to keep out violent elements because they improperly bar Jehovah's Witnesses, the 1st Circuit ruled.

    In recent years, many Puerto Rico urbanizations have responded to a serious crime problem by getting permits under a law that allows them to fence in their communities, manned by security guards or locked gates. Drugs, violent crime and police corruption have ravaged the U.S. territory, according the ruling, which notes that the median household income in Puerto Rico is one-third of the national average and half of every other state, while the homicide rate is quadruple the national average and more than double "virtually every state."

    Two corporations that operate the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York and Congregacion de Cristiana de los Testigos de Joheva de Puerto Rico, challenged the controlled-access law in District Court. They claimed that the law has unconstitutionally kept them from their religious duty of spreading the Bible's message door to door, and subjected them to scrutinizing questions they should not have to answer. In 2004, they sued the governor of Puerto Rico and three other commonwealth-level officials, alleging unreasonable seizure and violations of their rights to the free speech, press, association, religion and travel.
    By 2008, eight urbanizations had agreed to grant the Jehovah's Witnesses access to their communities, and the court entered a default judgment against three municipalities and 12 urbanizations, ordering them to grant the Jehovah's Witnesses unfettered access.

    A year later, the court upheld the laws as constitutional and ordered the Jehovah's Witnesses to pay the attorneys' fees for the defendants. The court said it was acceptable for urbanizations with security guards to deny access to Jehovah's Witnesses without permission from a member of the community, and that locked gates were acceptable because Jehovah's Witnesses could acquire entry with permission from a resident.
    On appeal, the Jehovah's Witnesses conceded that crime control is a serious governmental interest for Puerto Rico, but that this law creates a blanket restriction on unapproved entry that muffles free speech. They also pointed out that the crime rate has actually increased since adoption of the law.

    The Boston-based federal appeals panel vacated part of that decision on Monday.
    "Puerto Rico's crime problems are unusually serious and its legislature's solution, albeit an experiment, was democratically adopted and is far from irrational," Judge Michael Boudin wrote for a three-judge panel. "A court's task is to assure breathing room for legitimate communicative activity. Although we reject the facial challenge to the statute, the precedents on access to public places require fine tuning of the statute's local administration and, for that, further proceedings are required."

    The court found that the buzzer system of entry among urbanizations that do not use security guards is not making the cut. Absent special justification, all gated urbanizations must begin to use manned gates, at least during daylight hours or on predesignated days. The security guards cannot bar Jehovah's Witnesses without just cause.
    Adopting these adjustments may take some time, but Boudin warned that unnecessary delays may result in contempt orders or a judgment of attorneys' fees against the government defendants.
    Security guards may only ask limited questions of Jehovah's Witnesses, according to the ruling.
    "Compared to an airport search, a few questions about identity and purpose for entering an urbanization seem tame indeed," Boudin wrote.

  • james_woods

    Just wait until some criminal rapes or kills a gated community resident after being allowed in while pretending to be a JW.

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