Menlo Park Legal Advisor Tells All

by Juan Viejo2 37 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Balaamsass


    Interesting videos Juan. Very interesting results when you Google "Bruce Radetich". LinkedIn profile, Magazine articles on high -tech "stings", and high tech investigations from the 80s.

  • Juan Viejo2
    Juan Viejo2

    Chaserious -

    To answer your questions:

    1. I am confident that the man in the video is who he claims to be. There are several reasons for this, but I am pledged not to reveal those details. I've never had the opportunity to meet "John Steele" in person. Perhaps Balaamsass and Devil_Fish can step in here and confirm as they are familiar with this congregation and its members.

    2. You should not be too critical of the fact that these fellows did not have a lawyer. My understanding is that John Steele, while not being an attorney or paralegal, did have a great deal of experience in preparing legal filings and understood court procedures. As Balaamsass states above, they are basically " window washers and a carpenter" - which is not true in the strictest sense - but gives you a clue as to their income availability. They really crippled their case by making it clear that they never were in the fight for the money - it was all about principle and revealing the facts. Attorneys, unless they are associated with a volunteer / non-profit organization like ACLU or Americans United for Church and State, work for pay. They will often take a case as long as they can see the possibility of winning and sharing in the proceeds, but there are few that will take on an extended case with no hope of having at least their costs reimbursed.

    3. Perhaps Balaamsass can speak to the "tickets and trumped up charges" issue. Bruce Raditich is well known in the area as being a JW security consultant. The plaintiffs and John Steele (and the fellow run off the road) all had situations where at random times while away from home they would encounter elders and other JWs at unusual times and places for no apparent reason. This type of acitivity is mentioned both in these videos and in the court documents. The number of incidents became too common just to be random encounters and in most cases there were several unrelated JWs together in odd places like a drug store or shopping together at a WalMart. While this could happen on very rare occasions, the number of incidents these fellows and their families experienced are well above the norm of chance and circumstance. This is not the first time I have been told stories of WT "close surveillance." Also, several of my anonymous contacts told me that they were using "throw away" phones to call me because they were afraid that their cell phones were being tapped or they were being followed by "GPS." Paranoia? Perhaps - but very possible, especially when you have a brother down the road experienced in electronic surveillance and landline tapping.

    4. About John Steele's assertion that he was banned from Canada? This is more frequent than you might guess. Since 9/11, the Canadian border patrol has a database that flags the entry points with any claims or suspicions that someone crossing over might have a criminal history or is currently being charged with even a misdemeanor. I know individuals who tried to cross over to Vancouver and never made it because the border patrol found an old entry on the database. I believe when this happens that they do give the person a form or information packet that tells them how to get these issues resolved. I personally know of one person who flew into Canada and then was immediately turned around and sent back because of bogus information on the Canadian database that ties into the FBI criminal database. Steele mentions that his rejection was due to some old misdemeanor charges.


  • Chaserious

    Thank you for responding, Juan.

    To Datadog: As I mentioned, I only watched 4 of the videos. Personally, it didn't seem worth two hours of time to watch them all, so I can't comment on everything he said. I can't say that he came across as a liar as much as a conspiracy theorist. Although the forged judge signature seems like it would be either true or a lie, and I don't necessarily buy it - it would be so easy to prove and take down whoever did it. Of course I don't know anyone involved unlike some other posters here, but it came across that he is imputing everything bad that happens to a WT conspiracy without any proof or based on tenuous coincidences, such as the parking tickets, border patrol etc.

    You say that huge corporations will go to any length to protect themselves, and I would not be surprised by what you describe happening. However, my implication was that even if the WTS is evil enough to do these things, and has the power to pull all the strings, it would not be worth the risk over a low level lawsuit that from a legal perspective they would most likely end up winning in any event. At most, a $2 Million piece of real estate was at stake here. Billion-dollar corporations face lawsuits potentially worth a few million all the time, and it is laughable to think that any business corporation, no matter how evil would put "two bullets to the back of the head" over small potatoes like this. Your life may not be worth as much as a billion-dollar corporation, but their life is not worth throwing away over a couple million either. It's not even important as a precedent situation; even if congos could withdraw from the WTS and keep their building it would never happen because most bodies of elders would not be crazy about getting DF'd for doing it. If we are talking about some nutbag individual JW doing something crazy or elders following people around, I wouldn't doubt it. Not buying the far-reaching WTS conspiracies though.

    Juan: I don't think it was impossible to put a decent fight up without a lawyer; they just had terrible advising. Perhaps "Steele" is familiar with court filings, but that is only the beginning of the battle. I seriously doubt he knows anything about trial procedure (or if he does, he didn't share what he knows) based on my reading of the transcript this morning. Cobb does not seem unintelligent - he gave some speeches in court that show he understood what was going on and can express himself in a logical way. However, it was clear that he had no idea how a trial worked and seemed to not understand hearsay and getting documents admitted at all. These are not extremely difficult concepts; as I said High School students do it all the time. As someone else said, it seemed like he expected to go into court and it would be like Judge Judy where he could just explain how he was wronged and show whatever evidence he wanted. Like I said to Datadog, I can buy the surveillance, but not the more outlandish stuff.

    On your response about the Canada Border Patrol, I don't doubt that he was held up at the border. In the video, he seems to imply that it was due to the WTS large-scale conspiracy theory he is advancing. That's the part I'm not buying.

    This is only my own opinion, but I would cringe at the thought of active JW family members seeing these videos. Regardless of how much of the material is true, I think it makes apostates look like nutbags.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    This is confusing to me. The idea of a legal advisor who is not a lawyer seems bizarre. There are reasons for bar exams and character checks. I do know from the experience of the Episcopal church that had off shoots from dissident parishes over women and gays entering the priesthood that courts grant the diocese the title.

    Does it seem to be or do all these Witness cases have a bewildering number of eccentric characters and bizarre legal theory?

    Most law involves an actual damage. Remedies where damages cannot be proven are discounted. There is not necessarily any relationship between justice and legal result. I see law as supporting property owners and the status quo.

    The larger issue in these cases may not be the legal technicality but spreading the word that the Witnesses are not just another eccentric religion. Publicity may dissuade future recruits.

    I wish elders would realize they should see their own legal counsel but I can't convince Anglicans that doing so is a good idea.

  • Devil_Fish

    I can confirm that the man in these videos is John Steel, Legal advisor to the former Coporate Executive Officers of "The Menlo Park Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, Inc."

    This coporation was a fully independant non-profit religious coporation that was set up when the WT was still congregational before the whole fiasco in Texas. This coporation had no "by-laws" brining it under the California Coporate Code.

    The WT (Aledgedly) commited Fraud When Luis Contreres Signed and dated the document that changed the name to "the English congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, Menlo Park California Inc." In this document it is stated that the board of directors has met and aqgreed to change the name.

    The fraud occured because at the time and date that this document was signed, St. Clair and the Cobbs were listed as the Board of Directors with the Sec of State, not Brede Et. Al.

    Brede's argument was that since they were no longer elders, then could not serve as the Board Of Directors. The problem is that there is no requirement in California Coporate code for the Board of Directors of a non-profit religious coporation to even be Jehovah's Witnesses. There fore they can only be removed by vote of the baptized publishers once every two years, or if they step down. Neither happend.

    What does it all mean? The Jehovah's Witnesses of Menlo Park were robbed of their property, and their corporation. That is the real tragity.

    Some other points:

    I can confirm that the day the dismissal of the federal case was signed on a day that the judge was listed in the middle of a week long vacation on the court docket.

    I can confirm that the plaintifs have been harrased by stupid and egar Ministerial Servants.

    I can confirm that the plantifs had contacted several lawyers, but non would take the case for previously stated finantial reasons.

    I can confirm that both John Steel and I have never been baptised, yet we are accused of apostacy which according to the WT is the same as calling us mentally ill. I view this as slander and defamation.

    Thanks JV for finding these. I have not yet watched them, but I've herd that they were out there.


  • Chaserious

    I do know from the experience of the Episcopal church that had off shoots from dissident parishes over women and gays entering the priesthood that courts grant the diocese the title.

    Not universally. You might be thinking of the Falls Church case that has garnered a lot of publicity (, or In re Episcopal Church Cases from the CA Supreme Court. However, in All Saints Parish Waccamaw v. Protestant Episcopal Church, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in favor of the local Episcopal congregation under almost the exact same facts as the California case. In California, the national church can unilaterally declare a trust, whereas the SC common law of trusts does not permit it; thus the different outcomes in different states.

    Devil Fish: Thanks for the clarification and additional info. Even if no by-laws were enacted to the original corporate charter, in a hierarchical church the governing body can unilaterally establish a trust, as noted above. That was my question in my previous post, and I strongly suspect that a trust was declared. California has a special part of the Corporations Code added in 1982 that only applies to religions. (It is section 9142(c)(2) if you are interested in checking. The CA Supreme Court case mentioned above also gives the current interpretation of that section). A trust means that the property is held in legal title by the congregation for the organization which the congregation is a member of, and the congregation cannot "secede" and keep the property.

    It is for this reason that I believe the plaintiffs would have lost even if they had an attorney, and the WTS didn't need a fraudulent dismissal. Especially in the Federal Case. I can't imagine there are grounds for federal court jurisdiction anyway, regardless of the merits. Also, federal dismissals come with a written opinion. If you believe the dismissal was fraudulent, who would have written the opinion?

  • Devil_Fish

    John Steele belives (alledges) that Smith or an att. working with smith wrote it, and smith got Brenda Tolbert to Stamp it with the Judges Sig. Wile the Judge was on Vaca.

    Back to the court case:

    Jason's case had merrit. The Identity Theft and the set up of the 60K in the account with Jason's name was the main issue. Jason found the money accidently when he walked into chase and asked if they had any accounts with his name on them. Turned out they did and it had 60K in it. Jason asked to put a freeze on the account, and reported it to MPPD. A few days later, Brede reports to MPPD that he found an account with Jason's name on it and that jason had been embezzeling from the MPJW's. MPPD drops the ball on the investigation. perhaps their hands were buisy catching somthing green. (Aledgedly)

    You know how the WT got this case shut down really? Do you really want to know?? Well I'll tell you.

    They turned Jason's wife against him. They told her that Jason was against Jehovah, and that she needed to divorce him. She did, and took the kids. But not before she sabotaged Jason's computer hard drive which had court documents on it by placing it in a microwave on high for an hour right as she took the kids and split. Aledgidly.

    Later on she would get Jason thrown in jail by pretending to get pushed out of a trailer by Jason. Clasic he said she said with two wittnesses one saying he pushed her the other saying she threw her self on the ground as Jason walked by, Long Story Short: She had a bruse, Jason went to jail.

    It was after that that Jason withdrew his name from the case, and the I. D. Theft was no longer an issue, there by killing the whole case. Now Jason is trying to get his family back together, and hopes to one day again be an elder.

    Disclaimer: I don't know for a fact that all of this is true, however These are the events as best I can recall them.


  • Chaserious

    DF: That is a sad situation about the elder's wife doing those things to him, and the alleged ID theft not being able to get heard.

    There are a number of legitimate reasons for an opinion to be dated while a judge is on vacation. Is there any other evidence?

    Also, if you think the opinion was forged, why not bring it up to the court or go see an attorney? If true, this would literally be one of the biggest legal scandals of the year and be covered in lots of national legal publications. They could probably find some attorney who would look into it for free for the publicity if there is actual evidence.

    You got me curious so I checked out the federal case. It appears that the dismissal order was dated 1/6/12, and then a motion for reconsideration was filed and was denied by the same judge on 1/20/12. Why would the judge deny reconsideration if she never wrote the opinion in the first place? Do you think any federal judge would take lightly someone else writing an opinion for her without her knowledge and signing it for her?


    Saying that the WTBTS may have a hit put on you was dramatic, perhaps. When people are religious zealots and are trying to protect an image, and money with the power it gives, then I would not be shocked by too much. I think the R&F are good people, just decieved. I am really working on not judging people, but the WTBTS lawyers are Elders if I am not mistaken. If that is the case then you have Elders lying in court for the Governing Body. That means that the GB approves of the behavior and condones it. The Organization is corrupt from the top down. I still have a hard time accepting that because the local people that I know are genuinely good. That makes me want to believe that there is another explanation for what I see going on. I want to be wrong.

    When you take Menlo Park and all the child abuse cases that were settled out of court, then Candice Conti's case combined with The Child Protection Act, all these things add up. Throw in the increasing controlling attitude, all the crazy convention talks about not studying Hebrew and Greek, your Spiritual Mother, don't study the bible in small groups because you cannot understand it without the WT. If you associate with DF'd family then you will be DF'd yourself, the increasing partakers and the new light promoting the GB... It all fits. They are desperately trying to keep Pandora's box closed. I believe in my heart that they are fighting for survival. That makes them dangerous and unpredictable. Plus they honestly feel that any who oppose them are deserving of death. Who knows what fanatical religious people will do when backed into a corner, especially those at the top of the hierarchy?

  • flipper

    JUAN- Thanks for putting this information out there. It needs to be known. I will be bumping this thread up as well as the Anonymous thread which is sharing this story via youtube as well. Thanks for your concern about exposing these injustices. Peace out, Mr. flipper

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