Thanks JV I will make sure to read it( court doc's) before I comment again.
Menlo Park Legal Advisor Tells All
I think you've summed things up nicely there Juan. Obviously you and I have discussed this case between us, and I have sensed your frustration at the total lack of cooperation on the part of the plaintiffs in helping you to get their case some exposure. Unfortunately this is a "something happened in Menlo Park, but we'll never know for sure what" case rather than a cut-and-dried "this is what happened, and here's the evidence" story - which is the type of story wavering Witnesses need in order to wake up and see the organization for what it truly is.
It's a shame.
Ok Jv this is where I call BS and have to ask why did they have to leave? Who "found himself and his family in great risk and placed in threatening situations" I have told off anyone who can listen, JW elders and all that they are false prophets. Please give them my name and please PM me anyone that is going to threaten you or other people. I just dont believe it. How about a CO name in Norther Cali and an address and phone number. I would love to be as you say placed in a threatening situation. I have money and lawyers and just so you know it aint going to happen to me. Who felt " one of the plaintiffs also felt personally threatened and had to leave the Bay area for a time due to fear for their safety" I live in the area and it would be vise versa believe me if I was in anyway approached or threatened by a weak uneducated JW or any JW lawyer. Again name names I would not let anyone threaten me or my family and I would never leave my home. It would have to be over my dead body.
I frankly don't give a damn if you want to "call BS." What you call it means nothing to me or anyone else close to the case. You obviously have not taken the time to read the documents or watch all the videos I've provided.
Take 15 minutes and go watch videos 8, 9 and 10 (especially 10!). In those videos John Steele describes how someone close to the case was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident when someone in a van ran him off the road. Listen to how that person's family was harrassed. I've spoken to that person and know that this is true and, in fact is much more involved and far worse than Steele describes in these videos.
I also know that many within the Kingdom Hall felt threatened - if not physically, then by intimidation. Many of the JWs attending the Menlo Park KH before the merger were firmly supportive of the elders and were shocked when they were accused of embezzling KH funds (this is after the plaintiffs discovered that funds had disappeared from accounts after they were removed!). I spoke to several anonymous members that they knew that these faithful elders had gotten a raw deal and had been set up. But none of these other brothers and sisters felt that they could come out and make a stand without being disfellowshipped themselves. A couple of these anonymous contacts indicated that many of the minority members of the congregation felt that they were being watched and under suspicion because two of the plaintiffs were African-American.
There is no doubt in my mind that many within that congregation felt intimidated and fearful - and still do to this day. The lawsuit may be over, but the damage done continues and still affects many who are fearful that even the slightest show of support for the former elders will result in severe punishment from the religion they have devoted their lives to.
I can see the WTS being this courrupt, but I have a hard time swallowing the idea that the WTS wields the kind of power and influence over the courts, media and banking institutions illuded to by this legal adviser (who wears dark sunglasses while being interviewed indoors). He portrays everyone but his own brave men as shaking-in-their-boots fearful of the WTS, as if the WTS actually had that kind of affect on people outside of their own mindless worshipers.
The whole presentation of those videos reeked of some low-budget, back alley conspiracy montage.
Please note that video 11 was a duplicate and has been removed from the gallery at Ex-JW.com
Go back and read my previous post. These elders just stood up for the truth. Yes, they were somewhat afraid of being harrassed and retaliated against, bu that did not stop them from doing what they felt was right. On the other hand, many in the congregation were afraid on several levels - AND STILL ARE!
You can have your own opinion, but perhaps you should first read some of the documentation before you discount "John Steele" and his story.
Read the three posts that cover the former primary overseer's (COBE) deposition and also the article about the state court case. Then share your opinion with this discussion group.
Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is the basis of life.
Is anyone really supposed to take a series of videos at face value with the word "Testmoney" in the title, and featuring a guy in sunglasses and a pimp hat? I read the previous comments and watched videos 8-10. Clearly the biggest problem the elders had was that they did not have a real lawyer, and possibly relied on this guy for advice. The clerks forged the judge's signature on a ruling? Do you have any idea how severe the consequences are for doing something like this, and how seriously any judge would take this kind of thing? If you get on the WTS shit-list you are going to get trumped-up speeding and parking tickets? WTS has the Canadian Border Patrol in their pocket? Running people off the road to intimidate them like Ralph Macchio in Karate Kid? This is a joke. Why haven't they launched rocket propelled grenades at Candace Conti's lawyer's office?
I am extremely doubtful that this man has experience even as a paralegal, or is in any way qualified to provide legal assistance of any sort. Cobb was not prepared in the least to respond to hearsay objections or get documents admitted. He thought he could question the WTS attorney after he was cross-examined. I have coached high school kids in mock trial who could have done a far better job with evidentiary issues. The Supreme Court case that Cobb cited in his closing argument on the Corporations Code issue is entirely irrelevant to this case. Not to take anything away from Cobb and the other plaintiffs; they just obviously had no one knowledgeable helping.
Juan, have you been able to confirm that the person appearing in this video was actually the same person giving legal advice to the Menlo Park elders?
I think that what the WT did was underhanded, but in California as long as a religion is hierarchical it will prove very difficult to take property away from the parent organization. In other states the result could be differnt, but it seems like it would have been difficult to get around the California Supreme Court rule from In re Episcipal Church Cases in 2009. In my mind there is no question the WTS is hierarchical. I certainly haven't followed this case as carefully as you, Juan. Do you know of a legal argument that has been advanced as to why the elder plaintiffs should have won, that you could link to? One thing I am interested in knowing is whether the WTS had declared a trust prior to the lawsuit. I imagine this is standard practice after the fiasco they had in Texas a while back, but I don't think the court ever reached that point, or at least not in the documents I read on your site. I tend to think this whole episode was valuable, not because the elders should have won, but because it raised awareness about the extent to which the WTS steamrolls internal dissent and any inclination not to do exactly as they say.
Thanks for the update Juan.
I hope some of the posters here realise the "proof" they seek is impossible to provide without breaking site JWN "T.O.S.", (Libel), or "outing" any Silicon Valley JW "heritics".
The case is also interesting in that it casts a light on the thought process of many mentally still "in" JWs, even after being disfellowshipped. The plaintiffs BELIEVE god will help them. They BELIEVE WTBTS is simply off course now, and they BELIEVE THEY are loyal JWs and they will not talk to any "APOSTATES". They also refuse to talk to current JWs because they are "Disfellowshipped". Total mind control.
The plaintiffs are simple uneducated men (window washers and a carpenter) who believed WTBTS is the channel for God. From what I was told by nearby JWs, it appears they BEGAN the lawsuit because they assumed the one Elder E.B. ( with a scandalous past) had gone "Rogue".
As far as the "tailing" etc., there are a few kooky JWs nearby who BELIEVE they are doing GODs bidding. (more cult mind control).
my 2 cents.
Chase and Balaamsass Ditto. Not that I dont think there was an injustice but as was pointed out above this is rookie league lawyer wanta be stuff. If you are going to go up against a multi-billion dollar corp you better have at least 50-100K for lawyer fee's or it just aint going to happen. Conti had a great lawyer this guy sorry to say is well ah let's just say he is more suited for Judge Judy. Also I feel so sorry for these brothers I hope they wake up and realize the WT doesn't give a sh*& about them or their lives.
This is a case where we will never know the real story. Still I do not think we should call BS just because we cannot confirm everything in the video. If you watch all of them, there are some very interesting points. If nothing else the character of the WTBTS representatives is shown. The guy being interviewed is not a JW, never has been, yet he is been accused of apostasy. How many more examples of lying on camera, or in court do we need to see before we will believe the character of the WTBTS? If you have had any dealings with a JC or pre-JC meeting then you do not have any reason to doubt the mentality this man describes.
As far as the WTBTS having far reaching power, well who knows? Follow the money. All you have to do is grease the right palms, or have a brainwashed follower who will do anything because they think you speak for God. We all know that the WTBTS encourages lying and calls it theocratic warfare. If the IRS and the Governments went after any other corporation who made billions, what would that corporation do to survive? Does anyone think that whistleblowers have never been silenced by various means? Sadly there are many people out there who would not think twice about putting 2 shots in the back of your head for money. Your life is not worth more than a Billion dollar empire. If you think it is then you are living in a fantasy.
I can't logically believe everything this man says because he can't show me hard evidence. Still I have no reason to doubt that the WTBTS would do anything to keep such a story from the public. How many JW's still don't know about Candice Conti or Melo Park, or the Working with Children Act? Many are in congregations with child molester and don't even know it! There is so much that we do know about their character, that I think it is unfair to call BS. On the other hand I cannot honestly say it is true because of lack of evidence at this point. My intuition is telling me that this man in the interview is not lying, for whatever that is worth..