The Danish Newspaper Ekstra Bladet, December 6 – 2006
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES LOSE CASE AGAINST EKSTRA BLADET
Newspaper completely acquitted in huge court case regarding the sects perverted view of pedophilia
It is theoretically possible that our Lord may have looked with lenience on the derailed Jehovah's Witnesses. But Judge Anne Grethe Stokholm blasted the sect’s top leaders out of the court room in Copenhagen with her verdict yesterday.
The Judge acquitted Ekstra Bladet’s Chief Editor Bent Falbert on all eighteen charges in a lawsuit that was brought against him by Jehovah's Witnesses Branch Office Executive Committee in Denmark.
The Branch Committee, consisting of seven men (women not allowed as they are in submission to men), which autocratically rules the sect, demanded $350,000 kroner in compensation and that the Chief Editor should be charged with slander in accordance with the penal code.
Judge Stokholm however acquitted Bent Falbert and Ekstra Bladet – then sentenced Jehovah's Witnesses Executive Branch Committee to pay the papers legal fees of $50,000 kroner.
The court case was about a long series of articles that was published by Ekstra Bladet during the autumn of 2004, where the sect’s rather peculiar attitude towards pedophilia within their organization was exposed over several weeks.
Some of the Newspaper articles were entitled: “Jehovah-Leader Hides Child Molesting” and “Keep Quiet About Sexual Molesting”, “Jehovah-Order: Keep Quiet About Child Molesting”, “The Obscene Life Behind the Sanctimonious Façade”.
The articles described how children after having been sexually molested were forced into silence about what had happened. The sect went further too completely dismiss “repressed memories” namely adults having repressed memories about being molested during childhood.
During the trial it was shown that the Worldwide Headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses in Brooklyn, New York, keeps records of 23,000 cases of pedophilia which they choose to treat internally.
In three editorial articles under the heading “Satan’s Witnesses” 1, 2 and 3 the sects history of allowing the sexual molestation of thousands of children and the destroying of families was thoroughly attacked.
Pedophilia No Obstacle
Watchtower spokesman Erik Jorgensen admitted in court that convicted pedophiles can continue as members of the sect that routinely expels members for far less insignificant matters from both the congregation and their family.
The main question during the trial was if any of the seven Branch Committee Members could be personally injured or aggrieved by Ekstra Bladet’s harsh attacks and exposures.
Lawyer for the Watchtower Palle Melchior Jensen, who himself is an active member drew a glossy picture of these seven upstanding idealists who from their lofty positions at the Branch Office together with their staff of seventy Branch members rule the congregations with a iron hand.
But this argument was demolished by council for the defense of Ekstra Bladet, Ulrik Ibfelt.
As the main argument he pointed out that the papers sharp criticism regarding an important public matter is both appropriate and legal. The criticism was directed at all Jehovah's Witnesses not just the seven supposed aggrieved members of the Executive Branch Committee who had started the litigation with the 79 year old Erik Jorgensen as Branch Coordinator.
Judge Stokholm agreed with counsel for the defense Ibenfelt’s view and found all the statements made by the paper to be justifiable as parts of a newsworthy article and as a report about an important public matter as well as a legal criticism of the sect.
At this point it is not known whether Jehovah's Witnesses after this slap on the ear this will appeal the verdict. The sect’s homepage on the internet yesterday was silent about the verdict.