Sunday, December 25, 2005

A culture wars interlude (volley 3)

[The following information was sent to me by one of my favorite readers, himself a former JW, if I'm not mistaken.]

The Watchtower Society (parent organization for Jehovah's Witnesses) this week has shut down the whistle-blowing website http://quotes.watchtower.ca as part of the settlement of a lawsuit against it's previous owner, Mr. Peter Mosier. The "Quotes" site contained quotes from Watchtower Society publications which they said were posted to "try to embarrass" them. (Initial details and commentary on the lawsuit and a radio interview with Mr. Mosier can be read at the following links:

http://www.theopenpress.com/index.php?a=press&id=4153
http://romancatholicblog.typepad.com/roman_catholic_blog/
2005/10/jehovahs_witnes.html
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/relrpt/stories/s1501367.htm )

As part of the settlement to the lawsuit Mr. Mosier turned over all control of the website to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. The site apparently was taken down by them on December 22nd. Mr. Mosier explained his understanding of the settlement on an ex-Jehovah's Witness discussion board:

http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/11/104279/1.ashx

The actual legal settlement can be read here:

http://peter.mosier.ca/2005_Watchtower_Mosier_
Settlement_EXECUTED.pdf

A mirror of the old "Quotes" site on the Internet Archive can still be seen here:

http://web.archive.org/web/20041012012555/
quotes.watchtower.ca/

In his comment on the ex-Jehovah's Witness discussion board, Mr. Mosier says:

"I am truly sorry that I have been forced to remove this resource due to [the] Watch Tower's persecution. But the world turned before my site came along, and I'm certain that it will continue to rotate now that "Quotes" is dark.

I have long felt that the most damaging, most effective tool against [the] Watch Tower (or any other High Control Group) is to carefully and rationally study the group's words and works. [The Watchtower Society] thrives on information control, including controlling access to their own information -- not too much, not too soon. Clearly my site struck a nerve with the old men that control [the Watchtower Society.] Their Statement of Claim plainly stated that they feel that a collection of their own words can only have one purpose: to embarrass them. (BTW, I've never figured how they felt that, even if such a ridiculous claim were true, how it is relevant to a case of alleged copyright infringement! I didn't see any "embarrassment" clauses in the Copyright laws.)

Perhaps one day another young Jedi Paduan, or old Jedi Master, will pick up the torch. The funny thing about squishing Cockroaches is they seem to be able to reproduce faster than you can squish them. You don't have to worry about the one you just squished, you have to worry about the 10,000 offspring hatching under the cupboard."

1 comment:

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