Church sues mother and kids for criticizing it

harleysportster
atheist
harleysportster's picture
Posts: 3312
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is offlineOffline
Church sues mother and kids for criticizing it

http://www.katu.com/news/local/Beaveton-Grace-Bible-Church-lawsuit-charles-oneal-julie-anne-smith-151227055.html

Beaverton church sues family after they criticize it online

by

Anita Kissee / Katu NewsBEAVERTON, Ore. - A church pastor is suing a mother and daughter for $500,000 because they gave the church bad reviews online.

The family being sued left the church a few years ago and Julie Anne Smith says she and her family were shunned and couldn't understand why. So she went online and wrote Google and DEX reviews of the church and then started a blog.

"I thought, I'm just going to post a review," Smith said. "We do it with restaurants and hotels and whatnot, and I thought, why not do it with this church?"

Never did she think Beaverton Grace Bible Church and Pastor Charles O'Neal would slap her with the lawsuit.

"I'm a stay-at-home mom. I teach my kids at home, and this is just not the amount of money that normal moms have."

When the family left the church, Smith says friends were told to end all contact with her.

"If I went to Costco or any place in town, if I ran into somebody, they would turn their heads and walk the other way," she said. "All we did was asked questions. We just raised concerns. There's no sin in that."

Dissatisfied, she went online to write reviews. Other church members counteracted them with church praise. So Smith started a blog called "Beaverton Grace Bible Church Survivors."

But the pastor claims in the lawsuit he filed that her words, "creepy," "cult," "control tactics," and "spiritual abuse," are defamation.

"What somebody does in the church is one thing, but when you get out into society we have the right to free speech, and it may not be what people want to hear, but we absolutely have that right," Smith said.

The lawsuit didn’t just target Smith. Her daughter and three other commenters are also being sued.
 

"He can say what he wants in the church and say, don't talk about this or don't talk about that, or don't talk to this person, but when you're out in the civil world, you don't do that anymore," Smith said. "And he's not my pastor anymore. He does not have that right to keep people from talking."

The Smiths filed a special free speech motion to dismiss the lawsuit. It goes before a judge later this month.

KATU News called the church, went there, went to the pastor's home and spoke to his wife. KATU News also called the pastor's attorney. All of them declined to give their side of the story.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10688
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
So the scientology strategy

So the scientology strategy is spreading. Wonderful.

/sarcasm

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


harleysportster
atheist
harleysportster's picture
Posts: 3312
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is offlineOffline
I wonder how

 I wonder how the crook ( um, I meant pastor) came up with the figure of 500,000 ? Don't you have to prove some sort of loss in income to sue for monetary damages ? Can he PROVE that he lost 500 grand because of a mother's online critique ?  Sounds like  BUNCH OF BULLSHIT to me. Even if he won ( which he probably won't)  I doubt he'll ever see a penny of it. Like the old adage says " You can not squeeze blood from a turnip." 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10688
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Goes to show that

Goes to show that scientology has better lawyers and more experience. But now that it's started, it'll almost certainly keep happening. And they'll get better at it in time.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1235
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
If it's anything like

If it's anything like Scientology, the church isn't actually expecting any money from the mother, but chose an arbitrarily large figure to be a nuisance.  As L. Ron Hubbard said, "The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than win."   The likely intent is that the mother will be persuaded to retract her negative comments, rather than proceed with an exhausting lawsuit.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3718
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
harleysportster wrote: I

harleysportster wrote:

 I wonder how the crook ( um, I meant pastor) came up with the figure of 500,000 ? Don't you have to prove some sort of loss in income to sue for monetary damages ? Can he PROVE that he lost 500 grand because of a mother's online critique ? 

Hey, if even one follower turns away from the lord, that's an infinite amount of loss, lol. You can't cover that with 500k.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
The church will lose

 

 

As well they should...

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


digitalbeachbum
atheistRational VIP!
digitalbeachbum's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-10-15
User is offlineOffline
 I'm not shocked by this

 I'm not shocked by this story. Religion is very childish and so is this pastor, so it goes hand in hand.

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams


Sockra Tease
Posts: 90
Joined: 2012-05-13
User is offlineOffline
I hope "separation of Church

I hope "separation of Church and State" can come to the rescue of this woman.

I mean, wouldn't the Court have to make a judgement, a definition, on what a religion versus cult is? On what a religious practice is or isn't? Is it a religious ritual or an abuse?

I would hope the Court would say, "we can't make these determinations in law, so the case is thrown out."

Would be deliciously ironic if the Constitution that protects churches from the state also protects the citizens from the churches!

 


TonyZXT
atheist
TonyZXT's picture
Posts: 174
Joined: 2007-09-30
User is offlineOffline
 It would be a crying shame

 It would be a crying shame if this got the church lots of attention from people online.  Just saying.

"They always say the same thing; 'But evolution is only a theory!!' Which is true, I guess, and it's good they say that I think, it gives you hope that they feel the same about the theory of Gravity and they might just float the f**k away."


HumanVuvuzela
atheistSilver Member
HumanVuvuzela's picture
Posts: 93
Joined: 2011-04-24
User is offlineOffline
harleysportster wrote:But

harleysportster wrote:

But the pastor claims in the lawsuit he filed that her words, "creepy," "cult," "control tactics," and "spiritual abuse," are defamation.

By filing a lawsuit, isn't he behaving in a creepy and cultish manner, and using control tactics and spiritual abuse.... 

 

Can you use the filing of the lawsuit to provide evidence to dismiss the lawsuit???

 

I had a quick look at the reviews of the church on google maps earlier - when I went there, it was up to 877 reviews, and averaging a 1 star rating.