TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA – Legal proceedings before the Ontario Superior Court were initiated on September 8, 2005 by the WatchTower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (hereinafter WTBTS), the legal corporation used by Jehovah’s Witnesses for their publishing operations, against Peter Mosier, owner and operator of the website located at:
Jehovah’s Witnesses, who publicly trumpet their past legal battles to protect freedom of the press, expression, and religion, hypocritically file suit for monetary damages against a web site that does nothing more than quote interesting excerpts from their own religious literature, which they have printed and freely distributed to the public for decades.
The law suit seeks monetary punitive damages and a court ordered silencing of the aforementioned website, which does nothing more than provide a well researched and topically organized collection of interesting and esoteric quotations from more than one hundred years of religious literature published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Why would WTBTS leadership want to shut down a web site that did nothing more than quote from their own religious literature? The very nature of these quotations is embarrassing to them, as they surprisingly admit in their court filing under paragraph 31,
“The Defendant’s main purpose in operating the website is… to try to embarrass the Plaintiffs by quoting selectively from some of the Religious Works…”
From their own printed words the web site documents years of their failed prophecies, constantly changing Bible chronology, flip-flopping doctrinal changes, bizarre medical advice, and dogmatic teachings that many consider physically and emotionally harmful.
Also included are Witness quotations demonizing the Internet, the Media, the United Nations, and other non-Witness entities as ‘tools of the Devil.’ Obviously, the WTBTS would rather these embarrassing writings be quietly ignored or entirely forgotten, and they are willing to resort to legal action to make it so.
This in spite of their public sentiment expressed in the August 15, 1950 issue of The Watchtower, page 263, “The Watchtower… invites careful and critical examination of its contents in the light of the Scriptures.” In the May 15, 1957 issue of The Watchtower, on pages 313-315 the WTBTS encouraged readers thusly, “Do you dig out older publications to expand and deepen your knowledge on subjects about which questions arise? Have you really studied these earlier publications? … There is much in the way of spiritual riches and aids toward mature knowledge in these earlier publications, and their study is most certainly worth your time.”
Many of the publications quoted on the web site are no longer in print and are no longer distributed by Jehovah’s Witnesses, except in the form of digital text on a CD-ROM compilation that is produced by WTBTS and distributed free of charge to Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide. Another indication that their own past teachings are a public embarrassment to Jehovah’s Witnesses is one of the requirements of the End User License Agreement (EULA) contained on their CD-ROM, as mentioned in paragraph 20 of their filing,
“The License Agreement states that each CD-ROM is for the personal use of Jehovah’s Witnesses only, and prohibits… any dissemination of large sections of the CD-ROM to anyone who has not agreed to be bound by the terms of the License Agreement.”
Paragraph 21 states, “The content of the CD-ROMs is not readily available to the general public. Some of the content is intended only for Jehovah’s Witnesses… Accordingly, the CD-ROMs constitute confidential information.”
Why would WTBTS consider the text of their own out of print religious publications to be “confidential”, in light of the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses are well known world wide for the zealous distribution of this same religious literature (by the billions of copies) free of charge to the public? Remembering his door-to-door distribution of such literature as a former Witness himself, Mr. Mosier said, “I don’t recall it being labeled as such when I was delivering it to stranger’s homes!”
One can only assume that they do not desire the public to be able to easily document the changing nature of their teachings and the existence of past teachings that are embarrassing to them at the present time. Hence the current legal attempt to silence a website that does just that.
In conclusion, their filing claims in paragraph 34,”As a result of his activities, the Plaintiffs have suffered and will continue to suffer damages, including but not limited to loss of reputation and goodwill.”
First, it is hard to imagine that the web site is causing them any financial damage, since the WTBTS has distributed its publications publicly and free of charge for the last several decades. Secondly, it is more reasonable to believe that any “loss of reputation and goodwill” is the result of the shifting and bizarre nature of some of their teachings as found in the pages of their own publications, rather than any overt activities of Peter Mosier and his web site.
Peter Mosier, registered owner of the aforementioned domain and designer of the web site, is a former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion. After years sincerely believing the claim of the Witnesses’ leadership to be ‘God’s sole channel of communication to mankind,’ Mr. Mosier was heartbroken to find that he had not been taught the truth about the religion’s history and the development of their current beliefs. In a spirit of scholarship, research, and fairness he created the web site to accurately document the Witnesses’ own self-incriminating words.
Contact: Peter Mosier Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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