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

by Bad_Wolf 224 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • JC323

    Yes certainly a church can be sued. But the bar for intentional infliction of emotional distress is so high. Also I have previously listed another 30 cases or so that shows the same thing.

    If you would like recent cases please let me know.

  • Giordano

    It is obvious to me that many of our laws favor religions even if they pursue harmful practices. However rules change. Does any Christian or Jewish religion get to stone sinners? No.... they would be locked up immediately.

    Do we burn witches at the stake or apostates? Do we burn those at the stake who proclaimed that the earth revolved around the Sun? No we don't.

    These were all cherished beliefs and acted upon with vigor. Now no longer.

    The JW's are slowly being forced to make changes related to their rules about who, why and how child sexual abuse is to be dealt with or protected. Having known to harbor systematic abusers of children they now face the courts with their pitiful excuses as to why the abuse was never reported.

    What Christian church still shuns? A handful.............. mostly quirky ones....... the rest no longer practice shunning.

    Religion changes because to survive it must. Neither God nor Jesus has shared a word with mankind to date, god's silence provides bad translations of that silence.

  • StephaneLaliberte
    Yes certainly a church can be sued. But the bar for intentional infliction of emotional distress is so high.

    You are right. The bar is high. However, i do not believe it to be unattainable. If the case presented is made simple, such standard should be reached:

    JWs coerce their members to shun by threatening them of loosing contact with their entire social and family circle if they don't. This practice is clearly cruel and infringes on the right to freedom of association.

  • poopie

    Freedom of religion why no sharia law.

  • poopie

    Its not about forcing its about universal law. Would you be ok sharia law.

  • JC323

    More recent cases:

    Hubbard v J Message Group Corp.


    Background: Former member of purported religious organization brought action against organization, seeking damages and injunctive relief for defamation, false light invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress under New Mexico law after her expulsion from organization. Organization moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
    Holdings: The District Court, Kirtan Khalsa, United States Magistrate Judge, held that:
    1 under First Amendment, organization's beliefs qualified as religious;
    2 First Amendment barred defamation and false light invasion of privacy claims; and
    3 First Amendment barred intentional infliction of emotional distress claim.

  • JC323

    Again I go back to the Scientology case because that is one of the few that a church was held liable. In it the court wrote this:

    Substantial evidence supports the conclusion Scientology encouraged Wollersheim to “disconnect” from family members, including his wife and parents. Furthermore, substantial evidence supports the conclusion Scientology has a general policy of encouraging members to “disconnect” from non-Scientologists who oppose Scientology or express reservations about its teachings.

    The first question is whether the “disconnect” policy qualifies as a “religious practice” of Scientology. The trial court did not grant summary adjudication on this factual issue. Nonetheless, we find the evidence supported the conclusion disconnect is a “religious practice.” “Disconnect” is similar in purpose and effect to the “shunning” practiced by Jehovah's Witnesses and Mennonites, among others. It also shares some attributes with the remote monasteries common to many other religions. All of these practices serve to isolate members from those, including family members, who might weaken their adherence to the religion. Courts have held these policies qualify as “religious practices” of other religions. (See, e.g., Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York, supra, 819 F.2d 875, 879–880; Rasmussen v. Bennett (Mont.1987) 741 P.2d 755 [church statements condemning plaintiffs' conduct and calling for shunning were privileged under the First Amendment].) We see no justification for treating Scientology's “disconnect” policy differently and thus hold it is a “religious practice.”

    We recognize the “shunning” cases have involved claims brought by former church members whom other family members were ordered to shun. The instant case, in contrast, involves a cause of action brought by a former church member ordered to shun the rest of his family not the other way around. In the circumstances of this case this is a distinction without a difference. Here appellant caused Wollersheim to isolate himself from his parents, wife and other family members even though appellant had reason to know it would inflict serious emotional injury on him. The injury to him and to the family was just as severe as if his family had “shunned” him.

    And again speaking on coercion. Everyone experiences coercion. Governments coerce people to obey laws and pay taxes with the fear of being put into prison or being levied a fine. Parents coerce children in requiring them to obey their parents lest they get punished. An employer coerces an employee to do their job or they won't be paid and fired. Coercion is a normal part of everyday life.

    But the distinction that the California court in the Scientology case found was not just that one would be shunned but that the Church of Scientology went a step further. The emotional pain suffered by shunning of a disfellowshipped person within JWs is certainly severe but it is a byproduct of the shunning. The Scientology church intentionally goes after the person, they purposefully use every means to destroy a person, politically, psychologically and financially, that is their intent to do so. The court recognized that a byproduct of shunning of people not conducting business with an establishment owned by a former member may be a byproduct of shunning, but the intentional enforcement of the church telling people that they must quit working for them, stop shopping with them and not honoring legal contracts is not the same thing. The church also heard that the church would have people go to the police and make false police reports against their former member. Again the court made a distinction between a byproduct of the shunning and the intentional destruction of someone's means of life and psychological wellbeing.

  • poopie

    We're talking class action

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower

    In my case about 18 years ago 2001 I was summoned to a committee meeting at my place of business, I went to the regular meetings a few day before and they wanted to meet with me in the backroom to which I refused and said what ever you wish to talk to me about talk to me right here in front of your members to which ended the conversation that day and led them to come to my place of work.

    During that meeting at my place of self employment they simply invited me to attend a judicial meeting to which I asked them "what is the charge"? They said : "Speaking Against The Organization". As A former elder I never heard of such a charge and so asked them to put the summons in writing to which they refused so I then took out a piece of paper and wrote the charge of speaking against the Watchtower Organization and dated it and asked them to sign it,, which they of course refused. I then said I would like to bring my lawyer to this meeting, and they refused that request as well.

    When I went to their secret kangaroo court I was asked if I had any recording device,, as these were not allowed in this behind closed doors meeting. I made some snide remark about it being a kangaroo secret trial and was told the the privacy request was for my protection/privacy benefits and not theirs.

    Any way as with any kangaroo court the cards were stacked against me.

    Surely I'm thinking that such proceedings must violate some laws in the US because of it whole phony nature.

    Can the fact that they call these "Judicial" meeting lead to lawsuits over the way they carry out their unfair "judical' practices?

  • poopie

    So the real question is does a religion that benefits from the states tax exemption laws have the right to cause by demanding its members to shun have the right to cause psychological harm and torture to a group of citizens as a result of its policies. Freedom of association is also violated.

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