Jehovah's Witnesses Take Action Against Opposing Views

(OPENPRESS) March 17, 2006 -- This website, has existed for several years providing quotes and supplemental scans of publications and secret internal documents to demonstrate the dubious and morally questionable activities of the Watchtower Society.

For several years the Watchtower Society never took issue with the quotes and scans; however something new was recently added to the web site. The owner of the site posted an internal document from within Watchtower Society that details how they run their branch operations around the world, who writes their anonymous publications, how they control and transfer finances between countries, deal with decent in the organization, and many other revealing topics such as how they hide information in order to avoid liability. In addition to this a standards manual that describes how they write their publications was also make public.

Several months ago after another website,, in Canada was sued for making available many direct quotes from Watchtower publications. The function of the website was very simple: Provide readers with a topical index of the beliefs and teachings of the Watchtower Society using nothing but verifiable direct quotes from the Watchtower Society's own publications.

Apparently "Fair Use" is not a concept understood by Jehovah's Witnesses. Peter Mosier, the owner of this website, was not able to afford the legal fees required to fight the lawsuit, so he was forced to settle out of court. The settlement required him to destroy all copies of his website and enforced a gag order against him. The Watchtower Society also took possession of the domain name as part of this settlement.

Apparently the Watchtower Society is trying to crush all organized dissenting views on the Internet. Perhaps we are seeing the beginnings of an aggressive new campaign similar to the one seen with the Church of Scientology: No public dissenting views will not be tolerated. It seems this time, with the website, the Watchtower Society used Copyright law to eliminate the embarrassing quotes from their publications in addition to embarrassing and potentially incriminating internal documents that were leaked.

Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 the Watchtower society is required to provide the web hosting company with a letter that details all of the alleged copyright violations. This letter is to be written under penalty of perjury. After repeated requests the owner of the website has yet to receive this letter, yet his website was still taken down by the web hosting company. "I believe this was an unlawful take-down action", said David Gladden, the owner of the website. David Gladden added, "I don't understand how the Watchtower Society can claim any monetary losses on their part since Jehovah's Witnesses routinely distribute their copyrighted publications free of charge to the public."

Jehovah's loses comp case

Church may be forced to pay millions


A 46-year-old woman who devoted her life to the Jehovah's Witnesses said she was forced to move from their Brooklyn compound after she was seriously injured while serving the church.

But a judge's ruling this week that she is entitled to worker's compensation payments could end up costing the church millions of dollars.

Brenda Upton and her husband, Michael, took a vow of poverty and moved to the Witnesses' Brooklyn headquarters in 1998 to work as chiropractors for other church members.

She injured her spine while running to catch a bus at an upstate church compound later that year.

"They take wonderful care of you up to a point, and then you're on your own," Upton said. "That's why we wound up going to court."

She said she suffered debilitating nerve injuries that have left her barely able to carry a laundry basket. The church took care of her medical care until 2001, when she and her husband were asked to leave and were given a $79,000 stipend.

But Workers' Compensation Law Judge Stephen Goldstein ruled Wednesday that Upton is entitled to $400 a week in workers' compensation payments.

"I'm finding they were not religious volunteers," Goldstein said. "They were engaged, particularly Dr. Brenda Upton, in a number of work-like activities."

The Witnesses vowed to appeal the ruling, saying Upton and the other 5,800 Witnesses who live and work in the church's New York operations are volunteers, not employees.

But if the decision stands, the Witnesses - and other religious organizations - could potentially face millions of dollars in workers' compensation insurance premiums and payments, said church lawyer John Miller.

"It'll pretty much put religious orders out of business," Miller said. "It would certainly impact whether we would ever want to continue operations" in New York.

The church owns about 40 properties in downtown Brooklyn and has plans to build a huge new structure on a vacant lot.