Jehovah's Witnesses Take Action Against Opposing Views
(OPENPRESS) March 17,
2006 -- This website, www.davidgladden.com 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
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, quotes.watchtower.ca, 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 quotes.watchtower.ca 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 www.davidgladden.com 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."
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