Highwood Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses v. Randy Wall

by TerryWalstrom 56 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Fisherman
    Fisherman

    It did appear that the Court had a problem with Mr Wall's concept and explanation of the word contract from the referenced, relevant case laws as he applied it to this case but the attorney did a magnificent attempt in showing that there is a relationship between church and congregant and that the church should not terminate that relationship (contractual) without applying due process and natural justice besides Religious Process. I think that Mr Wall's attorney was very persuasive in his attempt to get the Court to take a look at JW Judicial Proceedings.

    WT attorney argues that WT process in terminating or expulsion of a member is religious process and religious practice and that the standard used in such process and adjudication is righteousness and he equates substance of a case to the process itself. He argues that the termination process of JW member is pastoral in nature and doctrinal and that secular Courts should not impose a standard of natural justice to church doctrine without violating the church's autonomy or self definition. I think that wt religious process is vulnerable to judicial intervention after the Conti case. All the Hall attorney had to do in this case is to take part of the the Conti verdict requiring wt to obey its own rules and apply it here -no legal genius required. But getting back to wt argument that JC ( which is what this case is about) are religious practice in nature and therefore out of bounds for judicial intervention, the Court can say that although there is a spiritual definition of JC's adjudication of sin, there is also a factorable element that cannot be arbitrated with a cannon of righteousness requring natural justice to be used because of the tangible effects members experience when expelled from the group, and because of the relationship itself between church and member forms a contract requiring performance not only from its members but also from the church, in this case involving termination of membership it is not only a spiritual matter but also within the realms of natural justice.

  • Fisherman
    Fisherman

    Thanks OC for the links.

  • Fisherman
    Fisherman

    As it applies to this case: Ought Caesar's secular standards stand on religious grounds?

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    It's an interesting case, the law does allow you to pursue legal action in secular court for the application of rules established within a 'social club' or any organization you're part of according to their charter even though it is very rarely used. Especially non-profits have their status dependent on proper application of all the rules in place.

    Given the legalistic nature of the rules within the JW social club though and lack of competent leadership, there are various reasons this could turn out bad for the organization.

  • Fisherman
    Fisherman
    there are various reasons this could turn out bad for the organization.

    Hi AM! A lot more is at stake here. It is religious grounds that the Courts have never explored. Also, it affects all Religions more than it does the JW.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    It affects religions that want to benefit from the tax-free status the government gives them. Even in the US, but especially in the EU the tax-man has some pre-requisites in order to benefit from untaxed income, one of these is that they have a charter, usually by publishing articles of incorporation and membership requirements, primarily to stop them from doing political organizing and the sorts. So it should be that those rules are known by and applied to its members even though the courts won't decide as to whether they are 'good' or 'moral' or 'just', just whether or not they're consistently applied.

    In this case it seems the lawyer is arguing that because the congregation is following some 'hidden rules', they can't apply to the member of the congregation in the current status. They are completely free to apply hidden rules if they pay taxes, thus if they aren't (in the US at least) a 501c3 and I assume in Canada the same applies.

    In the US for example you can enforce rules that apply within an organization through courts, again, it is hardly ever used but it usually comes to the court when a church splits up over some internal issue and then there is property that has to be divided up between the warring factions. Courts then decide not whether or not a particular rule is "legal" from a government perspective but whatever rules apply within the church itself. It seems to me the lawyer is going a similar route to apply the disfellowshipping rules.

  • wannaexit
    wannaexit

    As a side this Gnam character is a pupil of the great Glen Howe-- I can still hear him in my head how the legal victories were from jehovah. If Mr. Gnam and company relies on Jehovah for the victory why in hell did they have to align themselves with all members of other religions. Couldn't they fight on their own?

    So watchtower had to sign an Amicus curaie with "false religion". Isn't this grand!!
  • Fisherman
    Fisherman

    how the legal victories were from Jehovah.

    Very modest of him to say that because listening to him, he is very talented,

    So watchtower had to sign an Amicus curaie with "false religion". Isn't this grand!!

    There is an expression that I learned from the Porto Ricans and other Spanish friends ; "Juntos per no revueletos."

  • wannaexit
    wannaexit

    @Fisherman I was talking about Glen Howe and he has been dead for several years. Mr. Gnam jet sets all over the world on the backs of the poor rank and file. He may be talented but modest he is not. From watching him in front of the justices, I found him arrogant with a sense of superiority and he lied too.

  • John Davis
    John Davis

    The appellant didn't decide what parties filed factums in the case. The parties filed them with the court and the court decided what factums they would consi

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