trespass at your own risk--so sayeth the governing body

by wannaexit 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • blondie

    rebel8, do you remember where that is in the KM? I have tried using trespass* and found nothing. I'd like to add it to my best quotes.

  • Oubliette

    Actually that's been the official policy for at least the last 10-ish years.

    There have been BOE letters on this subject which we read in the congregations since at least the early 2000s if not even the late '90s.

  • KateWild

    Blondie- thats why you can't find stuff on the CD ROM, its in secret letters to elders.

    Oub- I have a question, what is the motive behind putting something in a letter to the BOE, but not in the KM? Esp if its read out to the cong?-Kate xx

  • RubaDub

    Actually that's been the official policy for at least the last 10-ish years.

    Oubliette is correct ...

    I would even say 15 years or more. When there is a No Tresspassing Sign, you are entering at your own risk. However, if there is a No Solicitation sign, tell the person we are not solicitating if they ask and just give a very brief witness and hand them a track or magazine and wish them a good day (or something close to that).

    Rub a Dub


    It all depends on the KH, IMO. The official policy is that a dub trespasses at their own risk. MOTHER takes zero responsibility for her children. There will always be those JW " Bible Heroes " who trespass and come out unscathed. I say be shrewed, and conceal yourself from the calamity of finding that MOTHER does not have your back.

    You will hear all about Sister Zealous, who trespassed and brought Andre' into " THE TRUTH." You won't hear about Sister Faithful who was attacked by dogs because she ignored a " No Trespassing " sign.

    It won't belong before all JWs sign a waiver, stipulating that they are involved in a "personal ministry" with no legal ties to the WTBTS. It will be a refinement, an adjusted view. The ground work has already been laid. It could be that in the near, child abuse/news/persectution future, that ONLY Elders will be " ordained ministers." The tried it before. This is a flip-flop that many are unaware of.


  • AlphaMan

    Sad that these fools cannot see that the Watchtower is a legalistic cult that is run by lawyers who will throw them under the bus at the first opportunity.

  • blondie

    Woman Wins Trespassing Judgment Against Jehovah's Witness
    Miscellaneous News
    Source: Foxnews
    Published: Thursday, May 03, 2001
    Posted on 05/03/2001 14:15:10 PDT by Buffalo Bob

    CLEONA, Pa. — A woman who said she repeatedly told Jehovah's Witnesses to stay off her property won a $632 judgment against one of them who showed up at her door and woke her up anyway.

    Jennie Basiago was awarded the money by a local district justice after filing a civil trespassing complaint against Bernadine DiStefano, a member of the Palmyra Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Basiago said followers of the religion came to her home every few months for 12 years and she called two Kingdom Halls in October and threatened legal action if the visits continued.

    But two Jehovah's Witnesses awakened the late-shift worker in February after driving down a 300-foot lane past eight no-trespassing signs and three dog-warning signs, Basiago said.

    "I just reached my limit," Basiago said.

    DiStefano said the visit was an accident. Basiago was on a list of homeowners who had requested no visits, but officials in East Hanover Township assigned new addresses in the area and the list was not updated.

    The defendant told District Justice Michael Smith she was driving and did not see the no-trespassing signs until Basiago pointed them out. She said Basiago was "enraged" at her and a woman accompanying her, and cursed at them.

    DiStefano said she and other Jehovah's Witnesses go door-to-door to discuss the Bible with people and "give them hope for the future."

    "That is our purpose -- not to harass her," DiStefano said.

    Basiago had sought $8,000 in damages, but Smith awarded her $40 for each of the two days she spent researching DiStefano's identity and a day for lost sleep, then added that to the $395 penalty for trespass under criminal statutes, plus court costs. DiStefano said she had not decided if she would appeal.

    Post 28121 of 35614
    Joined 5/28/2001

    Ram butts Bible man

    23-Jan-03 AFTER a day of doorknocking the last thing Jehovah's Witness Kenneth Hawthorn expected was to be attacked by one of God's creatures.

    But that is exactly what happened.
    Despite a gate marked 'private - keep out', Mr Hawthorn entered a farm only to be confronted by a four-year-old ram.

    He attempted to shoo it away with a briefcase containing Bibles but was knocked to the ground and suffered a broken shin.

    In the South Australian District Court, Mr Hawthorn and his wife Pamela, of Tea Tree Gully, reached a confidential settlement with the ram's owners for loss of earnings after the incident in July 2001.

    The Hawthorns sued Ronald and Julie Goldfinch, of Paracombe, in the Adelaide hills. They claimed they were forced to sell their hose-fitting business as a result of the injuries Mr Hawthorn suffered.

    They alleged the ram was a "dangerous and ferocious animal" and the Goldfinches were negligent for not keeping it confined and failing to warn visitors.

    The Hawthorns also sued the Adelaide Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses for failing to provide proper instructions about doorknocking in rural areas.

    In the Hawthorns' statement of claim, Mr Hawthorn, who was doorknocking with his daughter, said they opened a gate on the Goldfinch property and walked towards their house to "engage in biblical discussion".

    "As they did so a ram appeared and charged (Mr Hawthorn) to the ground and the ram continued the attack pushing him towards the fence," the court documents said.

    "At this time the defendants appeared and assisted (Mr Hawthorn) back into his car.

    Mr Hawthorn claims he now is able to walk only small distances and "his capacity to enjoy life has permanently diminished".

    In their defence, the Goldfinches said the Hawthorns entered their property "uninvited, unwanted and without notice".

    They said their hand-reared pet ram had never attacked anyone before nor had it shown a "violent disposition".

    In its own defence, The Adelaide congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses said doorknocking was voluntary and followers were not obliged to do it.

    Mr Goldfinch said yesterday he was glad the case was over but disappointed with the result.

    "We're just totally disappointed that they should have got anything," he said. "He walked into an area where he knew animals would have been, why should we pay."

    The ram, which was affectionately known as "Shit for brains", has since died.

    The Hawthorns declined to comment.

    This is the Australasian Legal Information Institute. They have case records. Type in Jehovahs, not witnesses, or you get a million records!

  • OnTheWayOut

    There was a time when WTS would want to "challenge" whether a NO TRESPASSING sign applied to their "vital" work.

    But the winds have changed on this thanks to terrorism. Courts won't side with them. Better to give in since they don't really believe that Jehovah will come to their rescue.

    Even at that, Watchtower no longer really cares if the distributors distribute. Literature costs money, money they are not getting from "householders." The printing corporation is now getting their money from real estate and member contributions, mostly at the summer conventions. So why not give them an out to skip a door? Why not tell them to sit at a booth and enjoy the day, counting time? The biggest problem WTS has is that they have said for 100 years that door-to-door was in the scriptures and a proof that they are "the truth." Otherwise, they would switch to other methods.

  • wannaexit

    Blondie- thanks for digging that case up.

  • Bangalore

    *** km 8/71 pp. 3-4 Defending and Legally Establishing the Good News ***

    4 Should you ignore “No Solicitors” signs? It should be remembered that our work is not commercial. Accordingly we conclude that the sign just does not have any application to our gospel preaching. We do not solicit funds. We leave with people life-giving information for which they may make free-will contributions.

    5 You may be refused entrance into an apartment building or trailer court. This is not at all unusual. Often there may be a doorman or an elevator operator blocking your entrance. If there is no way at all to make personal calls, you may be able to make a list of the tenants and apartment numbers and write to the occupants. If there is no one on duty, then go ahead with the work in the usual way. If, while you are in a place, the superintendent or manager asks you to leave, identify yourself and explain tactfully and kindly that you are in the ministry and doing good for the tenants. If he insists that you leave, comply with his request without making a ‘scene’ and try to return from time to time until the place is covered completely. There are some apartment building owners who have incorporated in their leases stipulation that allows them to determine who shall or shall not call on the tenants. If the tenants are willing to let their landlords make such important decisions for them, they place themselves under the “community responsibility” rule and we shall not insist on making calls on them; in fact, we are legally barred from doing so. Some may be contacted when we engage in street magazine activity.

    6 The courts have held that laws allowing door-to-door and street preaching by Jehovah’s witnesses, only upon permit from some official, are unconstitutional. There are still many communities, however, that insist that we comply with registration and permit ordinances. In each instance we could insist on our right and force the matter into the courts. Present world conditions being as they are, where the police are hard pressed to provide protection to citizens, we could conceivably lose such a court case. So we will agree to comply when town authorities request that we comply with such ordinances but only if there is no fee involved. However, this does not mean that we will voluntarily offer to comply with permit ordinances, because most officials agree it is not required that we do so.

    7 Occasionally the so-called “Green River” ordinance is encountered. This ordinance is designed to prevent commercial salesmen from making calls at homes of people without a previous invitation. It has no application to our work. When request is made that you comply with such an ordinance, as above indicated, write to the Watchtower Society all the details, sending a copy of the ordinance and names and addresses of the police chief and city attorney.


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