How to sue the WT over shunning policy. It CAN happen!

by Bad_Wolf 224 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • poopie

    Not about money.

  • JC323


    Well if you feel that the practice of shunning is an actionable cause and you feel that you are being coerced to stay within religion because of that fear of the effects of Disfellowshipping then why don't you sue? And yes you are not a lawyer but if you think there is a case there why don't you go and hire one and show us all your initial filed complaint.

  • JC323

    poopie: Ok it is not about money, and not sue for money. Then what would you sue for. A court is there to provide you with relief what relief will you seek either in the US or in Europe.

  • Giordano

    The question that needs to be asked either in a survey or questionnaire is: If you had the right to visit and talk with a DF Family member or DF close friend without any JW consequences ..............would you?

    The disfellowship or DA announcement indicates to members to begin shunning that person. If they don’t and this becomes known......... and they persist, they too risk being disfellowshipped. So this simple announcement carries a threat with it.

    Is this an act of coercion? Coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.

    In this case the threat is very real.

    Is coercion a crime? In law, coercion is codified as a duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in a way contrary to their own interests.

    I can see the crime of duress being explored in a court case where much harm , illness, trauma came about because family members were separated from one another solely because of the fear of being DFed.

    The Society in my opinion made it very clear in their little cheesy film that they showed at the Assemblies a while back that when the families DFed daughter called........... her JW parents refused to answer the phone. What family does that? Suppose she was in an accident and needed help....or calling from a hospital, or a police station because she was mugged?

    But no a JW parent doesn't offer any help unless she comes crawling back to the Elder's.

    Let's face it......... the WTBTS has been getting away with crimes of one sought or another since their start.

  • JC323

    on the question of coercion again the Scientology case heighlights this. The California Supreme Court states:

    To better understand why we conclude voluntary auditing may be entitled to immunity from liability for the emotional injuries it causes, consider some analogies.   Assume Wollersheim were not a former Scientologist, but a former follower of one of the scores of Christian denominations.   Further assume he sued on grounds a preacher's sermons filled him with such feelings of inferiority and guilt his manic-depressive condition was aggravated to the same degree Wollersheim contends auditing aggravated his mental illness in this case.   Or assume another Wollersheim sued another church for a similar emotional injury on grounds his mental illness had been triggered by what a cleric told him about his sins during a confession—or series of confessions.   It is one of the functions of many religions to “afflict the comfortable”—to deliberately generate deep psychological discomfort as a means of motivating “sinners” to stop “sinning.”   Whether by “hell fire and damnation” preaching, “speaking in tongues,” private chastising, or a host of subtle and not so subtle techniques religion seeks to make us better people.

    Many of these techniques are capable of inflicting emotional distress severe enough that it is foreseeable some with psychiatric problems will “crack” or be driven into a deep depression.   But the Constitution values the good religion does for the many more than the psychological injury it may inflict on the few.   Thus, it cannot tolerate lawsuits which might chill religious practices—such as auditing, “hell fire and damnation” preaching,  confessions, and the like—where the only harm which occurs is emotional injury to the psychologically weak.

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower


    It's kind of nice to have you on this thread, I take no offence if you shoot down any idea or angle of getting them to court I have,, in fact you save me a lot of time, so thank you.

    So who will have the first idea that JC3something can't shoot down and that's what I'm hoping for, call it wishful thinking which it is, but who knows? And don't forget wishful thinking has its honeymoon stage,,, before reality sets in and the whole thing comes to a screeching halt. Hey any of you out of the box thinkers willing to put it to the test before JC, and get him to I don't know, stop his nay saying?

  • JC323

    Hey if anyone has the money to sue them or find a lawyer, which I think would be even harder, who would take it on contingency then go for it. I would love to read the complaint that is filed.

  • poopie

    So sharia law is part of religion why does the govt not allow sharia law. Sharia law seeks to take freedoms away from citizens of governments that do not recognize sharia law thus practices that violate a citizens constitutional rights must be discarded. Dec 20 article in the economist magazine gives you more detail.

  • JC323

    A family can practice sharia law. Even a mosque can practice sharia law. Such as the calls to prayer or certain dietary restrictions. The goverment can stop people from killing people because it is a neutral law, regardless if you intend to do it over a religious reason or not.

    Even in the scientology case the court talked about, that even if the practice of systematically attempting to destroy a person's business is a religious belief the neutral application of law would prevent that from happening.

  • StephaneLaliberte

    JC323: You keep citing the Scientology case as if it knocks down the possibility of suing the WT over their enforcing the shunning policy, when, in fact, it does not. Quite the contrary. This case demonstrated that a religion can, in fact, be sued successfully for compensatory damages and punitive damages due to it taking deliberate actions against someone in particular (2.5 millions).

    As we have seen in previous comments of this thread, courts have upheld the right for any religion to teach about shunning, and would not interfere in the right for individuals to make that choice. Shunning, in itself, is not illegal.

    However, the courts were never asked to consider how religions, such as JWs, actively enforce the shunning policy. That is, they punish people who do not respect their decree. In addition, they were visibly not presented with strong evidence of just how serious the consequences can be on someone loosing contact with their entire social circle. And finally, the judgement was rendered about 40 years ago, at a time where emotional bullying was not as well recognised and understood as it is today.

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