Canadian Appeal Court decision made the news: Judges can overturn unfair church edicts
The shunning practice or DFing of individuals within the JW religion causes traumatic personal grief, anxiety, depression and social disorder, which has even driven some people to commit suicide, does bring up the question of civil liability against the WTS organization for its conduct and orchestration of this problematic social behavior.
I think OrphanCrow's nailed it (along with Fink, because people are dying unnecessarily)...
...that this is about forcing transparency...
...and thusly exposing just how unfair (and even - arguably - unBiblical) the WTS's "judicial" process actually is, simply because - just like with their child-abuse-related policies - any attempt to defend said "judicial" policies (to the wider world) is virtually impossible without looking like stupid assholes.
After all, there's no publicity like bad publicity.
Even if the state can't completely prevent high-control religions from shunning, I believe that the degree of shunning can still be mitigated with the threat of revoking tax-exempt status.
And the less-restricted still-in JWs are from contact with XJW friends and family members, the better the chances they'll hear why said XJW friends and family are leaving.
(Which is the real reason the WTS instituted shunning in the first place.)
This case will have less to do with the shunning that arose from the JC and more to do with whether or not Mr. Wall's civil rights were upheld in the elders' judicial process itself. The elders will be held responsible for the consequences of their action of disfellowshipping based on whether or not their process to arrive at that decision followed natural justice rules.
I can see the WT, if they haven't already done this, getting elders to sign some sort of release saying that any decisions made by a local JC be held solely libel and the WT is off the hook. In other words if anyone is ever sued would be the local JC, leaving the WT off the hook.
I can see the WT, if they haven't already done this, getting elders to sign some sort of release
Doesn't change anything. It is the Shepherding book that contains the rules (and lack thereof).
william: I can see the WT, if they haven't already done this, getting elders to sign some sort of release saying that any decisions made by a local JC be held solely libel and the WT is off the hook. In other words if anyone is ever sued would be the local JC, leaving the WT off the hook.
The WT is not named as an appellant in this case. This case is solely against the elders involved in the judicial hearing.
berrygerry: Doesn't change anything. It is the Shepherding book that contains the rules (and lack thereof).
That is true. The Shepherding book does come from the WTS. However, for the purposes of this trial, the fact that the elders are under the command and control of the WTS, only comes into play if the elders are found at fault and have to pay compensation to Randy in some way. Saying "oh, but we were only following orders" will likely be insufficient to alleviate them of guilt. Ignorance does not equal innocence
Then, it will be up to the elders to sue the WTS for giving them faulty instruction. The onus will be on them to find fault with the WTS' shepherding book that they so faithfully followed.
I don't think that the courts will have the power to pursue the WTS in this particular case. I could be wrong...but I don't think so. The WTS is not named in the court documents
vidiot: Even if the state can't completely prevent high-control religions from shunning, I believe that the degree of shunning can still be mitigated with the threat of revoking tax-exempt status
What is going to mitigate the shunning in this case is the elders being held accountable for their unjust action and Randy being levied a form of compensation. If this case holds (and I think that Randy has an excellent chance of making it stick) it should make the elders re-evaluate whether or not they should be following the edicts that come down to them from above.
Which is a really good thing...the elders being held accountable for the consequences of their judicial decisions is where the shunning edict could start to unravel.
And one more thing. The 15 year old child that was shunned and the parents being pressured by the elders to kick her out of the home - depriving a child of shelter and home is a violation of the International Rights of the Child. That could become an issue as well in this case, or, at least...I hope it is brought up in some way at the trial.
Thank you for the information. It has potential to be very significant. Elders will be hung out to dry by the organisation again.
Why would anybody be an elder now?
It really does not matter if official DF was banned.
I know from experience that even though I am not DF or DA, the witness gossip and slander mill has gone into overdrive, and I am treated like an outcast. They even walk right past me!
So official DF makes no difference amongst cult-influenced people.
I am still thinking about the one judge's comment that likened the congregation of JWs to a bridge club. I think he is way off base with that analogy. The congregation is not like a bridge club unless you draw an analogy between the congregation and an ACBL sanctioned bridge club. The congregation is not a private club - they are more like an ACBL club.
And, in the case of an ACBL sanctioned bridge club, they do have procedural judicial hearings that do follow natural justice principles. If, for example, a member is found to be cheating, a judicial process is embarked upon that holds the member accountable for their actions. But...the ACBL's procedure is nothing at all like the JWs' kangaroo court. The one accused of cheating is entitled to a fair trial to determine his/her guilt or innocence and if a member has been expelled inappropriately, they have recourse to remedy the wrong. The one accused is entitled to representation and to full disclosure - the same as in a court of law.
Yes, a bridge club member can be shunned by their club - no question about that - the difference is that a sanctioned club must follow administrative law and natural justice principles in enforcing their rules. The JW congregation does not do that.
Elders will be hung out to dry by the organisation again.
Why stop with the elders? They didn't write the procedures manual.