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

by Bad_Wolf 224 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • TD

    Thankyou, JC323

    First TD: every court has recognized Watchtower as a Hierarchical religion.

    Do you have an example I could refer to? (Other than the recent child abuse cases)

    I'm honestly curious for a number of reasons.

    In a hierarchical polity, the organizational units are all legal entities. A see or diocese is an entity that can be held legally liable for complaints that occur in the smaller organizational units below it. In the JW denomination, "Circuits" and "Districts" seem to be purely organizational entities without any legal status.

    In a hierarchical polity, appointments are generally universal throughout the denomination. A priest is a priest pretty much anywhere he goes. In the JW denomination, "Elders" are not elders throughout the entire denomination. In other word, if he moves to another congregation, he reverts back to a "Publisher."

    In a congregational polity, ownership of real estate is determined on the basis of nondoctrinal provisions in the deed. In a hierarchical polity ownership of the property is always retained by the national organization inasmuch as individual parishes and congregations are simply agents of that organization.

    Has this all changed?
  • JC323

    What a religion policy is very important in the law but the law defines things as it sees it too. In the Paul case, the court references the Serbian Orthodox case when referring to a hierarchical judicial tribunal.

    In this case, it would be that a DF'ed person could appeal a decision to the body, the body would then inform the CO, the CO would then be the one who forms an appeal committee, then if the person doesn't like the appeal committee they can appeal to the service department. The service department would then be considered the highest hierarchal tribunal within the normal discipline of the church.

  • JC323


    Also Rasmussen v Bennett

    Supreme Court of Montana 228 Mont. 106

    In the present case, this Court would be violating defendants' right to free exercise of religion if we were to find defendants' statements actionable under state defamation law. The record is clear that the hierarchical church, the Watchtower Society, determined that Ray Rasmussen was not scripturally free to remarry in 1969. It is not within this Court's power to question the Watchtower Society's determination.

  • Incognito

    WT play matters both ways to its benefit. Just as WT often claims clergy privilege in court, the required actions of its representatives do not support those claims which the courts have now started to recognize.

    While elders may need to be re-appointed as such when they change congregations, a person who is DF'd in one congregation remains such if they relocate or even visit any other congregation regardless of location.

    Actually, WT will sometimes assign an elder(s) from other congregations to a congregation that is experiencing problems. As such, those assigned elders remain such and do not need to be re-appointed.

    If the organization was truly organized congregationally, each would choose its own elders without further approval from WT, and each congregation's elder body would be free to make decisions without authorization or fear of penalty from WT.

    Congregation elders are not free to make decisions but are mandated to follow the policies and procedures of the WT organization (or other corporate entity ie: CC), thereby acting as that organization's agent. If elders do not do so, they risk censure, removal from their position or being removed from the religion through DF'ing.

  • poopie

    Can you say class action?

  • JC323

    You can not sue in the US. It would literally be impossible. You wouldn't survive summary judgment.

  • TD


    If the organization was truly organized congregationally, each would choose its own elders without further approval from WT, and each congregation's elder body would be free to make decisions without authorization or fear of penalty from WT.

    Legal hierarchy and eccliesiastical hierarchy are not exactly the same thing. And this is especially confusing when it comes to the JW's.

    Legally, the JW faith is a congregational church as I believe the charters and filings of the various corporations show. The individual congregations exercise their autonomy under this arrangement by voluntarily choosing to participate in the JW eccliesiastical hierarchy

    In other words, although It is legally possible for local congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses to vote to break away from the Watchtower system, it would be the congregational equivalent of disassociation do so.

    This gives the leaders and policy makers within the faith the best of worlds. On one hand they exercise the religious authority of a hierarchical church. but on the other hand, they can still claim that the misdeeds of an individual elder or even an entire body of elders are the actions of an errant congregation for which they are not legally responsible.

    They also (And more to the point of this thread) can (And do) claim that your relationship as an individual is with your local congregation and only with your local congregation. You have no relationship whatsoever with the WTB&TS, CCoJW, etc.

  • Brokeback Watchtower
    Brokeback Watchtower

    I think if this women can get $21,000,000 then there should be hope for getting a case against the Watchtower Corporation for it's disfellowshipping policies. You just need a creative intelligent Lawyer to find out the right way to approach this in the courts. A failed case might be a deterrent but to a real legal eagle it might make them just work harder to find a chink in the WT corp. legal armor.

  • JC323

    Again TD watchtower is considered a hierarchical faith. It has been ruled by courts and is the definition from Black's dictionary.

  • JC323

    Broken watchtower. If you read the article she would be awarded in actuality about 800k. And that is because the employer violated an actual law.

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