Shunning will stop in Europe first. The u.s. is not the only court in the world.
How to sue the WT over shunning policy. It CAN happen!
JC323: I read the case again and what you said is true. However, there are somethings that are interesting here. As the judgement noted:
“the harms suffered by Paul as a result of her shunning by the Jehovah's Witnesses are clearly not of the type that would justify the imposition of tort liability for religious conduct.”
Paul was not shunned by her family and it took her 3 years to even notice that she was shunned after the September 1981 WT came to pass!
I wonder if they would have reached the same judgment with an 18 year old kid who has lost all his friends and family and contemplated suicide because of this.
Also, despite the fact that the enforcing of shunning is mention in the history of the case, I find it odd that the judgement did not address it. Instead, the judgement focused on the teaching itself:
Imposing tort liability for shunning on the Church or its members would in the long run have the same effect as prohibiting the practice and would compel the Church to abandon part of its religious teachings.
As we can see here, they were safeguarding the right of the church to keep this teaching. However, did not actually pass judgement on the right of the religion to enforce it, aka: coerce their members.
Yes you are correct that in the Paul case the court did not pass judgement. It is because as you quoted that allowing a civil suit would have the same effect as prohibiting the act. As it would be a violation to prohibit a religious activity without q compelling governmental interest would be a violation of the constitution.
While yes the case in Paul did not include family. But the case in Anderson did involve family where the court in that case came to the same conclusion and if I remember correctly referenced the Paul case.
Also you have to remember to sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress the act must be deliberate and the conduct must shock the normal senses of the community. Requiring a person not to speak to someone is not something that shocks the senses of society. People dont talk to others all the time. Even the claim that someone requires someone else not to speak to someone happens regularly even. There are cases outside of JWs that again excommunication or shunning doesnt rise to the level of intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Quite honestly, I don't believe it would be an easy win, but I do believe it is possible to bring this back to the courts under a different angle. I guess the key here would be to demonstrate the actual harm brought on by these policies, perhaps lumping together the testimony of several victims along with their medical history.
I believe you are right, that there should be a sense of shock and I do believe people greatly under estimate the impact these teachings have on their community.
You can only bring in other plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit. A class action is not easy to get certified. There has to be a significant number with similar cause and damages.
Btw Stephane please provide us with your initial filing when you sue watchtower over it.
JC323: Yeah, I'm a fadder, and not a lawyer... so, it aint going to happen shortly for me. However, I dream of one day finding the resources to make it happen. Not just for the JWs kids, but for all the kids born into these sects.
It comes back to the issue of whether the government should be involved forcing families or other members of a group to associate with each other. I can't think of anything quite so terrifying.
So you think that these families would, of their own volition and idea, shun their loved ones do you?
Or rather do they do it because Watchtower mandates it on pain of loosing their eternal life and relationship with their god.
That is the point ....no government would be interested in forcing someone who randomly decides never to talk to Aunt Mabel again.
The change will cone from europe.