There is a David versus Goliath showdown set to play out in Spain. It seems that the Spanish branch of the multi-billion-dollar corporation that is the watchtower Bible and tract society is trying to shut down the recently formed Association called “Asociación Española de Víctimas de los Testigos de Jehová” (Spanish Association of victims of Jehovah’s Witnesses)
In a 59 page submission before the court, the watchtower Bible and tract society is playing the victim itself claiming that its honor is being besmirched by the name of this Association. This is so ridiculous, so pathetic, that it passes belief. Nevertheless, it is a fact. Let me read you some excerpts to give you an idea what they are alleging and asking the court to do.
From page 7 of the document we have this: [the underlining and boldface come from the lawsuit document itself]
Apart from these previous considerations, which we consider relevant to understand the context described below, our client has seen how since February 12, 2020, and from now on, the creation of an association called “ASOCIACIÓN ESPAÑOLA DE VÍCTIMAS DE LOS TESTIGOS DE JEHOVÁ” (SPANISH ASSOCIATION OF VICTIMS OF THE WITNESSES OF JEHOVAH). (Registered in the National Register of Associations, Group 1, Section 1, National Number 618471) has been damaging the reputation and prestige of an entire religious community, totally undermining basic fundamental rights as a result of the registration of the Statutes themselves as well as the creation of various digital platforms registered with a denigrating and insulting name, along with information lacking the slightest hint of truthfulness; a totally relevant aspect for the purposes of exercising a correct freedom of expression and information; as we will later report in detail.
Hmm, why this it would seem that they feel that no one has ever been victimized in Spain by the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses; that anyone claiming to have suffered as a victim is lying.
Okay, let’s read on.
In the aforementioned Statutes, of public access, a series of declarations against the honor of the entire religious confession and its members are included, both in the Preamble of the same and in the different Chapters that compose the same; as follows:
The lawsuit next, presumbably, makes quotes from the association’s web site to which it objects.
“The movement of people who have been harmed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization around the world stems from its very founding.”
Since the religious denomination was constituted, in the defendant’s opinion, there have been a number of persons who have been harmed by their membership in it and, specifically, for the following reasons:
“Especially during the 1950s, this religious organization developed a system of control of its followers that includes internal rules that affect any of its members. Disobedience to these rules, which function as control, leads to an internal trial parallel to the judicial one of any state and results in expulsion or internal marginalization.”
“The rules created in that religion include discrimination against women, discrimination in sexual diversity disrespectful attack on other religious options and ultimately a clear violation of fundamental rights of people.”
“The result of the application of those rules creates many victims, because it has led many people who have left that religion for one reason or another to loneliness, depression and even suicide.”
“The enforcement of these rules also victimizes many Jehovah’s Witness members who are family members of disfellowshipped or disassociated Jehovah’s Witnesses. Continuing to be under pressure to obey those rules or lose their family ends up affecting them psychologically, leading to mental illnesses such as feelings of frustration, anxiety, depression and fibriomyalgia, some also ending their lives.“
Remember, this lawsuit alleges that all these things are false, and therefore this Association has no right to exercise freedom of speech in this regard, because everything that is said here is a lie. If you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, have been one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or had a close association with that group, would you agree? Has that been your personal experience?
Here is now what the Christian witnesses of Jehovah of Spain allege:
This series of considerations are totally degrading to my client and the members that compose it, given the direct imputation from the beginning of the Preamble of the existence of a damage caused by the birth of the group CHRISTIAN WITNESSES OF JEHOVAH.
The expressions “control of its followers”, “internal marginalization”, “discrimination against women, discrimination in sexual diversity, disrespectful attack on other religious options and in short a clear violation of fundamental rights of people”, “creates many victims”, “has led many people who have left that religion for one reason or another to loneliness, depression and even suicide”, “continuing under the pressure of obeying these rules or losing their family ends up affecting them psychologically, even suffering from mental illnesses such as feelings of frustration, anxiety, depression and fibriomyalgia, some also ended their lives”, are expressions totally injurious to the group and its members insofar as they hurt their sensibilities in a notorious way, lacking all the imputations of any evidentiary support.
The document goes on, as I said for a total of 59 pages. I will provide a link to both the Spanish original and English auto-translation in the description field of this video. The organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses wants monetary compensation for the supposed harm that this Association of alleged victims has done to their religion. Their claim is that there is no evidence for any of the allegations made and that indeed they are the victims here. Let’s be clear. They believe they don’t victimize anyone, but rather they are the victims, they are the ones being persecuted unjustly. This reminds me of that outrageous statement made before the Australia Royal commission when challenged about their shunning policy. Counsel for the organization stated “we don’t shun them, they shun us”.
Who is right and who is wrong? I draw your attention to the name that Jehovah’s Witnesses have registered for themselves with the Government of Spain: Christian Witnesses of Jehovah.
Now what does the Bible tell you, as a Christian, to do when someone feels they have been wronged by you.
“If, then, you are bringing your gift to the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, and go away. First make your peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23, 24)
Has the Branch office in Spain done this? Indeed, have Jehovah’s Witnesses in any country where people are suing them because they feel victimized—countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Belgium, and Holland—have Jehovah’s Witnesses ever left their gift at the altar and run to the aggrieved one, the little one who feels victimized, and made peace? Have they ever done this?
The organization now wants to put their grievances before the judicial system of Spain. This means they will have to answer questions under oath. This means they will have to open up their books to show the alleged financial harm they have suffered. This means their words and actions will be exposed to the world in a public forum. This hardly seems like a smart move for them. After telling us to make peace with those who have a case against us, the very next words from Jesus relate to legal matters.
“Be quick to settle matters with your legal opponent, while you are with him on the way there, so that somehow the opponent may not turn you over to the judge, and the judge to the court attendant, and you get thrown into prison. I say to you for a fact, you will certainly not come out of there until you have paid over your last small coin.” (Matthew 5:25, 26)
God is not one to be mocked. Neither is our Lord Jesus one to be mocked. His words can only be ignored at our peril. It seems the organization has chosen to ignore the words of our Lord Jesus. But one cannot avoid the consequences of ignoring those words.
The organization’s claim is that there is no evidence for any of the allegations made by this Spanish Association of victims of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Association has 21 days to respond. My purpose in sharing this information with you as to make you aware that you may be able to help. You do not have to be a resident of Spain to assist them. If you have had personal experiences that would provide evidence supporting their claim that many people have been victimized by Jehovah’s Witnesses, then I urge you to please contact them and share that information with them. Do not let a major corporation like the Watchtower Bible and Tract society silence the voice of the little ones. We know how Jesus feels about those who abuse the little ones. He said that anyone guilty of that would be better off with a millstone tied to round their neck while being cast into the sea. We need to feel as Jesus feels and stand up for the little ones. Feel free to provide whatever evidence you may have, and if you are a resident of Spain, even more so. Please go to the description field of this video for links to the website.
Thank you for your consideration.
I guess the Organisation has to fight on principle. Let us hope justice abounds.
Eric, that was an excellent summary. I am moved to send some personal experiences, but despite your best effort I could not find the details to send them to.
Love to all here.
The email address for the Spain Victims group is email@example.com
Several Scriptures have come to mind, one of them being 1 Pe 3:16 that says “Maintain a good conscience, so that in whatever way you are spoken against, those who speak against you may be put to shame because of your good conduct as followers of Christ“. As a member of the organisation, the first reaction that comes up in my mind is that which a child often asks: Why? From the organisation I perceive little in these cases that aims to seek and acknowledge any wrongs that might have been done, so that these may be corrected. Surely, as… Read more »
You only react in this manner when there is fire attached to the smoke. I think they are taking major pain now ~ A useful point someone made was that by taking it to the courts it can shoot themselves in the feet –
I hope the lawsuit by WT backfires on them mightily.
Well done Eric
Here in Australia I read this news clipping and it is interesting regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses.
it is also interesting how Jehovah’s Witnesses have been registered in Spain as: Christian witnesses of Jehovah.
Awhile ago I introduced myself as a Christian witness of Jehovah and the CO reprimanded me for not introducing myself as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Talk about name “unity” around the world.
Different name, same horse.