If you ever Wondered why it is so HARD to Sue WT for being DFed- read this

by JT 31 Replies latest jw friends

  • JT

    I thought this example of why it is so hard to Sue the WT in the USA would be of interest, esp in cases of Dfing and DAing



    Can I Sue the Watchtower for Disfellowshipping Me?

    The following is a letter from a Watchtower attorney revealing the difficulties in the United States of:

    1. Having a friend or attorney sit in a Watchtower judicial meeting.
    2. Successfully suing the Watchtower for anything other than illegal or defamatory activity towards you.
    3. Questioning whether the ecclesiastical authorities of a church followed their own procedures strictly or not in determining matters of membership worthiness.

    These are the main barriers disaffected Jehovah’s Witnesses face in attempting to affect the actions of the legal corporations of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society in the United States. Such may not be true in Europe and other countries. Note that the words in bold red are accentuated by this review to highlight key points; such emphasis is not in the original letter.

    Legal Issues



    25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201, U.S.A. Telephone (718) 625-3600

    March 29. 1987

    Admitted To Bars Of






    Mr. Xxxx xxxx



    In re: Your status in the xxxx Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, xxxxxxxxx

    Dear Mr. xxxxxx:

    I represent Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York. Inc., the parent organization of the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses throughout the United States. I have been contacted by the xxxx Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, xxxxxxx, advising that there is some question concerning your status as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in association with the xxxx Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. xxxxxx.


    I am sure you are well aware of the judicial committee arrangement o£ Jehovah's Witnesses. However, I would like to review for you the judicial committee arrangement for the benefit of any lawyer you may elect to retain in the future.

    As you know, Jehovah's Witnesses base their beliefs on the Holy Scriptures and believe that "all Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16) Therefore, the judicial committee has a Scriptural foundation and operates in a theocratic realm in conformity with Scriptural guidance.

    The relation of a member of a congregation to the congrega­tion is consensual as to both parties. A congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses is a voluntary association. Both the member and the congregation have a right to determine if they will remain united. The member has the right to disassociate himself from the congre­gation. The congregation also has the right to separate from a member if it is determined by an ecclesiastical tribunal, which Jehovah's Witnesses call a judicial committee, that a member is not conducting his life according to the tenets of the religion.

    Mr. Xxxxxxxx

    March 29, 1987

    Page 2

    A. If a member no longer wishes to be one of J Jehovah's Wit­nesses, then the member may disassociate himself or herself from the congregation. The term "disassociation" applies to the action taken by a person who, although being a baptized member of the congregation, repudiates his or her Christian standing as such, rejecting the congregation and stating that he or she no longer wants to be recognized or known as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. A brief announcement would be made to inform the congregation that the person has voluntarily disassociated himself or herself from the congregation.

    B. If a member is charged with wrongdoing and wishes to continue to be on of Jehovah’s Witnesses, then such one should submit to the hearings of the judicial committee.

    The judicial committee is more than just a forum to determine whether a wrong has been committed as with a court of law. If charges of wrongdoing are brought to the attention of the body of elders of one's congregation, then they investigate the charges.

    If it is established that there may be substance to the charges and evidence is produced showing that a serious sin actually may have been committed, the congregation's body of elders will assign a judicial committee, consisting usually of three elders, to handle the matter.

    The judicial committee has the responsibility of protecting the congregation from the effects of a member's unscriptural con­duct as well as helping a wrongdoer to mend his or her ways. While exercising watchful care over the congregation, seeking to protect it from any elements that would be spiritually damaging, the elders will also endeavor to use their spiritual qualifications to restore or reprove any who have erred. (Jude 21-23) This would be in harmony with instructions given to Timothy by the apostle Paul. He wrote: "I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is destined to judge the living and the dead, and by his manifestation and his kingdom, preach the word, be at it urgently in favorable season, in troublesome season, reprove, reprimand, exhort, with all long-suffering and art of teaching."-2 Timothy 4:1, 2.

    C. Invitation, attendance and default. When elders of a judicial committee invite an individual to meet with the committee, an advance invitation is given. Information is given in the invitation as to the time and place of the hearing, the reason for it, and what the person's course of action is alleged to have been. If the person wishes to bring witnesses who can speak in his or her defense regarding the matter, the person may do so. If the person repeatedly fails to come to the hearing, the committee will go ahead with the hearing, but will not make a decision until evidence

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    and testimony are considered. The committee will not take action against the person unless the evidence clearly proves this neces­sary.

    D. In every situation where guilt of a wrongdoer is established, a primary endeavor of the judicial committee is to restore the wrongdoer. It is the hope of the judicial committee that the wrongdoer will manifest genuine repentance, as indicated, for example, by producing "works that befit repentance." (Acts 26:20) Thus, the wrongdoer may be helped to 'make straight paths for his feet' thereafter.-Hebrews 12:13.

    However, though the wrongdoer may wish to remain in the congregation, the wrongdoer may have become hardened in his or her course of wrong conduct and fail to respond to the efforts of the a elders who are acting in the capacity of a judicial committee to help this individual. Works befitting repentance may not be in evidence, nor may genuine repentance be apparent at the time of the hearing. In such cases it would be necessary for, the responsible elders to expel the unrepentant wrongdoer from the congregation, thus denying him or her fellowship with Jehovah's clean congrega­tion. This would be done to protect other members of the congre­gation from the spiritually bad influence of the wrongdoer, safe­guarding the moral and spiritual cleanness of the congregation and protecting its good name.-1 Corinthians 5:11-13.

    E. When a judicial committee handling a case of wrongdoing reaches the conclusion that the unrepentant person would be disfellowshipped, then the committee will speak with the person and let the individual know of their decision to disfellowship him or her from the congregation. They clearly state the Scriptural reason(s) for the disfellowshipping action.

    F. Appeal. When informing the wrongdoer of their decision, the judicial committee would tell the person that if he or she believes that a serious error in judgment has been made and wishes to appeal the decision of the committee, the person may do so by writing a letter clearly stating his or her reasons for the ap­peal. The person usually will be allowed seven (7) days for doing this.

    If a member wishes an appeal hearing, then the member should make an application to the judicial committee that heard the case. If such written appeal is received, the body of elders will usually arrange for an appeal committee to rehear the case. Every effort is made to conduct the appeal within one week after the written appeal is received, but this is not a binding time limit require­ment on the congregation. On occasion appeals have been granted

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    much later than the seven (7) days usually allowed for such action. If there is an appeal, announcement of the disfellowshipping will be held in abeyance. In the meantime, the accused person is asked to refrain from commenting and praying at meetings. He will not be assigned special privileges of service.

    If the member that has been disfellowshipped does not indicate a desire to appeal, the judicial committee will then explain to the ex-member the need for repentance and what steps he or she can take toward being reinstated in due time. This is both helpful and kind, with the hope that the ex-member will change his or her ways, and in time qualify to return to good standing in Jehovah's organi­zation.-2 Corinthians 2:6, 7.

    G. Announcement of disfellowshipping, When it becomes necessary to disfellowship one from the congregation, a brief announce­ment is made, simply stating that the person has been disfellow­shipped.

    H. Reinstatement. A disfellowshipped person may be rein­stated in the congregation when giving clear' evidence of repen­tance, demonstrating that he or she has abandoned the sinful course of conduct, and is desirous of having a good relationship with Jeho­vah and his organization. The elders are careful to allow suffi­cient time, perhaps many months, a year or even longer, for the disfellowshipped person to prove the genuineness of his or her pro­fession of repentance. When the body of elders receives a written plea for reinstatement the original judicial committee that dis­fellowshipped the person would, if possible, be the committee that speaks with that individual, evaluating the evidence and works of godly repentance on the person's part, and decides whether to reinstate the person at that time or not.

    When the judicial committee is convinced that the disfellow­shipped person is genuinely repentant and should be reinstated, an announcement of the reinstatement is made. This is the course that a disfellowshipped person can take to regain a good standing in the congregation.


    A word about the congregation's legal rights is appropriate. You may wish to hire an attorney to legally research this matter for you and independently advise you of the applicable law and of your legal rights.

    A. A. Constitutional Law. Jehovah's Witnesses have considerable

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    court experience in vindicating their rights. Many court cases have been fought by Jehovah's Witnesses in the interest of preserv­ing freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly. In the United States, appeals from lower courts resulted in the Witnesses winning 43 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. They have probably fought and won more cases in the U.S. Supreme Court than any other organization in the United States. Similarly, favorable judgments have been obtained from high courts in the various states and in other lands. Concerning these court victories. Professor C. S. Braden, in his book These Also Believe, said of the Witnesses: "They have performed a signal service to democracy by their fight:, to preserve their civil rights for in their struggle they have done much to secure those rights for every minority group in America."

    American law provides that ecclesiastical tribunals, such as the judicial committee arrangement o£ Jehovah's Witnesses, and their handling of disassociated ones are in a separate realm which will not be intruded upon by the courts.

    A fundamental concept of American constitutional law is sepa­ration between church and state. This basic concept severely lim­its any inquiry by a secular court into religious matters. When dealing with matters of church administration and government -matters purely of ecclesiastical cognizance-secular courts have no power to review church decisions. In Watson v. Jones. 13 Wallace 679, 80 U.S. 679. 727 (1871), the United States Supreme Court held:

    [W]henever the questions of discipline, or of faith, or ecclesiastical rule, custom, or law have been decided by the highest of these church judicatories to which the matter has been carried, the legal tribunals must accept such decisions as final, and is binding on them, in their application to the case before them.

    The Court in Watson v- Jones reasoned that when dealing with matters o£ internal church discipline, a party having voluntarily assented to associating with a religious organization subjects himself to the existing rules and procedures of the church and cannot deny their existence.

    The right to organize voluntary religious associations to assist, in the expression and dissemination of any reli­gious doctrine, and to create tribunals for the decision of controverted questions of faith within the associa­tion, and for the ecclesiastical government of all the individual members, congregations, and officers within

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    the general association, is unquestioned. All who unite themselves to such a body do so with an implied consent to this government, and are bound to submit to it.

    Id. at 728-29.

    Decisions of some state courts began to allow limited judicial review of church disciplinary proceedings, in expulsion cases, to determine whether the church's procedural rules and regulations were properly followed in expelling a church member. See, e.g., Randolph v. First Baptist Church, 53 Ohio Op. 288, 120 N.E.2d 485:. (C.P., Hamilton Cty. 1954). However, these cases were expressly overruled by the United States Supreme Court in Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese v. Milivojevich, 426 U.S. 696 (1976). In revers­ing the Illinois Supreme Court's holding that the expulsion of a church bishop could be set aside as arbitrary because the proceed­ings against him had not been conducted in accordance with the church's constitution and penal code, the United States Supreme Court held;

    [N]o "arbitrariness" exception-in the sense of an inquiry whether the decisions of the highest ecclesiastical tri­bunal of a hierarchical church complied with the church laws and regulations-is consistent with the constitu­tional mandate that civil courts are bound to accept the decisions of the highest judicatories of a religious or­ganization of hierarchical polity on matters of disci­pline, faith, internal organization, or ecclesiastical rule, custom, or law. For civil courts to analyze wheth­er the ecclesiastical actions of a church judicatory are in that sense "arbitrary" must inherently entail inquiry into the procedures that canon or ecclesiastical law sup­posedly requires the church judicatory to follow, or else into the substantive criteria by which they are suppos­edly to decide the ecclesiastical question. But this is exactly the inquiry that the First Amendment prohibits; recognition of such an exception would undermine the general rule that religious controversies are not the proper subject of civil court inquiry, and that a civil court must accept the ecclesiastical decisions of church tribunals as it finds them.

    Id. at 713. See also Nunn v. Black, 506 F. Supp. 444 (W. D. Va. 1981), aff'd, 661 F.2d 925 (1981).

    The Supreme Court in Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese specifi­cally held that the First Amendment prohibits civil court inquiry into matters of internal church discipline. Likewise, in First

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    Baptist Church of Glen Este v. State, 591 F. Supp. 676 (S'D. Ohio 1983), the Court, citing Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese, held that church discipline is an ecclesiastical matter in a congrega­tional church, just as it is in a hierarchical church. "Unless the internal disciplinary decisions of the plaintiff Church are tainted by fraud or collusion, . . . civil court inquiry with respect to the underlying reasons for church disciplinary action is constitu­tionally impermissible." l.d. at 683.

    Matters of internal church discipline are wholly ecclesiasti­cal in nature, and the First Amendment to the United States Consti­tution bars judicial review, of decisions of the judicial committee of Jehovah's Witnesses, even if proper church procedures are not followed. Therefore, secular courts are without authority to re­view the decisions of church judicial authorities relating to the ., status of a church member and must maintain a "hands off" policy with regard to those decisions. Kral v. Sisters of the Third Order, 746 F.2d 450 (8th Cir. 1984); Kaufmann v. Sheehan, 707 F.2d 355 (8th Cir. 1983). See also Catholic Bishop of Chicago v. N.L.R.B., 559 F.2d 1112, 1120 (7th Cir. 1977),. aff'd., 440 U.S. 490 (1979).

    B. Congregational Announcements. An ex-member may object to any congregational announcement about his or her disfellowshipped or disassociated congregational status if such, an announcement be comes necessary. There are a variety of legal defenses that the congregation could raise if it is charged with uttering a defama­tory statement while announcing or investigating a matter related to a member's congregational status. Among them are the following:

    1. Truth. The maxim that "truth is an absolute de­fense" to defamation is correct in most states. This defense is most commonly justified on the ground that the dissemination of truth should not be impeded by the fear of a lawsuit.

    2. Qualified privilege. Communications uttered between members of the congregations and relating to theocratic matters of mutual concern will not be considered defamatory if legal malice is absent. The following are some examples of cases that have oc­curred in other religious organizations:

    a. Charges made by an officer of a church against the church's minister.-Browning v Gomez, 332 S.W.2d 588 (Tex. 1960).

    b. Reading a sentence of excommunication of a church member in the presence o£ a church's congregation and charges made against a church member during a church investigation

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    into his character. This is similar to a Kingdom Hall announcement regarding one's congregational status.-Cimijotti v. Paulsen, 219 F. Supp. 621 (1963).

    c. Communications between members of a religious organization concerning the conduct of other members or officers. -Willenbucher v. McCormick, 229 F. Supp. 659 (1964).

    d. A communication made between officers of a church or denomination on any subject in which they both have an interest.-Church of Scientology v. Green, 354 F. Supp. 800 (1973).

    Prior to the 1964 decision in the United States Supreme Court case, New York Times Company v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), defamation law in the United States was controlled by common law principles developed in the state courts.

    The common law imposed strict liability for defamation. Prosser's Restatement (Second) of Torts, Section 559 (1971) at page 739, defines the defamatory communication as' one which "tends so to harm the reputation of another as to lower him in the estimation of the community or to deter third persons from associating or dealing with him." One authority quoted by Prosser categorized statements as qualifiedly privileged if "fairly made by a person in the dis­charge of some public or private duty, whether legal or moral, or in the conduct of his own affairs, in matters where his interest is concerned." (Underline supplied.)

    Since 1964 the United States Supreme Court has staked out an area of First Amendment privilege in defamation cases, which lim­ited the states' power to permit recovery in defamation actions brought by public officials. (New York Times, supra) The Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974), case returned to the states a measure of the autonomy which had been lost in the wake of the New York Times case. Hutchinson v. Proxmier, 443 U.S. 111 (1979), and Wolston v. Reader's Digest Association, 443 U.S. 157 (1979), are the more recent steps in the Supreme Court's continuing redefinition of the scope of constitutional privilege in defama­tion cases. These cases tend to limit a plaintiff's rights in defamation actions and appear to have little favorable impact on your rights.

    C. Relation between the Congregation and Its Members. It is axiomatic that the essence of the relationship of a religious soci­ety with its members is held by the courts to be the agreement of the parties and, generally, a profession of faith, adherence to the doctrine of the religious society and a submission to its govern-

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    ment. (76 C.J.S. 755, section 11) A party having voluntarily as­sented to becoming a member of a congregation thereby subjects him­self or herself to the existing rules and procedures of said con­gregation and cannot deny their existence. All who unite them­selves to such a voluntary religious organization do so with the implied consent to this government and are bound to submit to it. State ex rel. Morrow v. Hill , 364 N.E.2d 1156 (Ohio 1977), Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. 679, 729 (1871), 13 Wallace 679.


    I understand that you have stated that you are not part of the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses and no longer an active Witness because you do not believe we are living in the "last days." This amounts to an expression of your resignation from the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses as a matter of law.

    Since membership questions are handled by a committee of elders in the local congregation, the elders will meet to consider your statements. If they find that you are no longer associated with Jehovah's Witnesses, as you say, then a determination that you have severed your ties with the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses is likely. An announcement would then be made to the congregation that you are no longer associated with the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    If at some time in the future you would wish to regain a good standing in the congregation, the congregation would encourage you to take advantage of the reinstatement procedure described above in section I. THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE ARRANGEMENT, paragraph H.

    If you would disagree with any such factual findings of the elders concerning your status in relation to the congregation, you would be able to request a review of the elders' determination by writing a letter to the body of elders within 30 days of their informing you of their determination, clearly stating your reasons for requesting a review and stating your willingness to submit to the congregational arrangement, including the judicial committee process.

    If you feel that you have a legal case, then you may engage an attorney to advise you of your rights and prosecute your case. if that is your choice, then you or your attorney may be interested in the enclosed decisions as the issues are similar to those in your situation: Janice Paul (Perez) v Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., et al., decision rendered June 16, 1985, by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of

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    Washington in Spokane; Howard Bates v Kingdom Hall, et al., decision rendered July 24, 1985, by the Common Pleas Court of Montgomery County, Ohio; dismissal of theocratic issues affirmed by Court of Appeals of Montgomery County, Ohio, on March 6, 1986; Timothy Tauvar v Bar Harbor Congregation, et al,, 633 F. Supp. 741 (D.Me. 1985), dismissal affirmed, 787 F.2d 579 (1st Cir. 1986), cert. denied, January 12, 1987, by Supreme Court of the United States; Joseph E. Maes and Veta Maes v. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, et al., decision rendered May 1, 1985, by the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento; Ray Rasmussen and Pauline Rasmssen n v. Larry C. Bennett, et al decision rendered September 9, 1986, by the District Court of the Ninth Judicial District of the State of Montana, in and for the County of Toole; and Maurice E. Cassels v. Elders of the Sunnyslope Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, et al , decision rendered April 19, 1983, by the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

    Yours truly,

  • JT

    Be sure to notice that it was not sent on WT Letterhead- even though he works and lives at Bethel=

    you got to love it

  • Makena1

    JT - interesting albeit frustrating info. I took time to read a bit from one of the court cases sited: Paul vs WTBS.

    The conclusion:

    Providing the Church with a defense to tort is particularly appropriate here because Paul is a former Church member. Courts generally do not scrutinize closely the relationship among members (or former members) of a church. Churches are afforded great latitude when they impose discipline on members or former members. We agree with Justice Jackson's view that "[r]eligious activities which concern only members of the faith are and ought to be free--as nearly absolutely free as anything can be." Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 177, 64 S.Ct. 438, 445, 88 L.Ed. 645 (1944) (concurring).

    The members of the Church Paul decided to abandon have concluded that they no longer want to associate with her. We hold that they are free to make that choice. The Jehovah's Witnesses' practice of shunning is protected under the first amendment of the United States Constitution and therefore under the provisions of the Washington state constitution.

    IV. Conclusion

    We affirm the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, Watchtower Bible Societies of New York and Philadelphia. Although we recognize that the harms suffered by Janice Paul are real and not insubstantial, permitting her to recover for intangible or emotional injuries would unconstitutionally restrict the Jehovah's Witnesses free exercise of religion. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution and therefore the protections of the Washington Constitution provide the Jehovah's Witnesses' with a defense to the plaintiff's *884. cause of action--the defense of privilege. The constitutional guarantee of the free exercise of religion requires that society tolerate the type of harms suffered by Paul as a price well worth paying to safeguard the right of religious difference that all citizens enjoy. (end)

    Score one for the cheese & cracker men.

    Question: haven't there been cases where DF'd ones have sued because they have been cut off from seeing grandchildren, JW parents have slandered DF'd ones before their children etc.?

    Wondering if these cases were decided any differently?


  • JT

    your points are excellent ones, i have heard of such cases going to court, but not the outcome

    here in the USA the curtain between church and state, esp in cases like wt are well rooted in case law, that is why the cases with child molestation are so important , and the wt is very concern since CASE LAW has been est, with the catholic church losing $$$$$$$

    the church and state curtain that has protected wt for years, can't be used in child molestation cases and the lawyers have case law on thier side as they head into court and wt knows it

    ck this out man, i spoke to a buddy of mine the other day and this turkey i used to work with in bethel in the factory is over in England-

    they sent him to law school for INTERNATIONAL LAW, when this guy gets back to NY he will take the Bar and be an attorney at WT EXPENSE

    you got to love it, we used to work in the bindery together now he is a lawyer and i'm struggling to get a degree grabing a class here and a class there when i got the time

    ain't life a trip

  • rocketman

    Interesting post, and of course, not surprising that the Courts would not want to intervene in decisions made in a chruch setting. The whole crux is really the "voluntary association" thing.

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex
    other than illegal or defamatory activity towards you

    I noticed the small exception "defamatory". Forgive an ignorant question
    but does this mean if one is "disassociated" as in blood transfusion, or
    joining the military? Or is this more in line with the classic slander as in
    accusing someone of adultery when they are innocent? What exactly would
    "illegal or defamatory" activity mean?

    Just curious, so I'll know when the time comes.


    Thanks JT. As always you always offer some incredible information.

    It was a long read, and sometimes my poor eyes went crossed, but the good thing is, it's here, and we can view it for what it is worth.

    Good to have a heads-up and know what someone could be up against in regards to legal matters.

    Thanks JT.

  • MacHislopp

    Hello JT,

    thanks for posting...all the material. It will useful for

    all those who whish to have a ' legal ' answer to the

    WTBS Inc. tactics. As it has been commented, the

    only ' field ' of action...actually a mine field, is every case

    of " child molesting . Already many churches have paid

    billions of dollars in compensations and ...very soon I do

    hope it'll be the turn of the mighty WTBS Inc.!!!

    Thanks again for the excellent and informative research

    which will go ...directly in the files.

    Greetings, J.C.MacHislopp

    P.S. At the moment the situation is quite the same

    in Europe.

  • JT

    Forgive an ignorant question
    but does this mean if one is "disassociated" as in blood transfusion, or
    joining the military?


    when i was at bethel and as well as since i have left and spoken to folks still in like my old roomate who works the service desk, the Concept of "DAing" is an excellent move on the part of the Legal Desk-

    it is this RE-DEFINITION of kicking one out of the church that is key

    this is why i tell folks never to DA themselves- i know i will not, and the reason is simple

    you see the goal of the wt is to legally show that YOU MADE THE CHOICE and with a typical full blown judical case it involves completely the action on the part of THE WT AND ITS REPRESENTIVES- AKA ELDERS, CO AND ANY APPEAL COMMITTEES

    BY literally shifting the blame from them to the publisher they get 2 for the price of one-

    1. the get you out and shut down from family and friends

    2 NO LEGAL RESPONISBILTY since it was YOU who took the action

    and they get all of that by merely redefining the legal terms-

    sorta like playing a game of basketball and they other team has 98 and you have 62- then with 1 min left in the game YOU CHANGE THE RULES TO SAY " the team with the lowest score wins"

    you got to love it when you can make and change the rules in the middle of the game like wt does all the time

  • JT
    It will useful for

    all those who whish to have a ' legal ' answer to the

    WTBS Inc. tactics

    yes the "legal" answer- smile

    i think--- but i could be mistaken - Old Long is the attorney who travels down from Conn each day, if it is the same guy, this guy's wife was not a jw when i was at bethel and he could not enter bethel . so they paid a reg salarie since he maintained and outside residence-

    he used to travel some 2hours each way to do work for the wonderful world of Teddy

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