Former Church Member Sued for $500K in Defamation for Blogging About Church
Originally posted May 25, 2012. An UPDATE posted below.
An Oregon woman, Julie Anne Smith, her daughter and three other former church members may be sued for blogging about their criticisms of their former church at the possible amount of $500,000.
“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 told KATU. “All we did was ask questions. We just raised concerns. There’s no sin in that.”
“The story of spiritual abuse needs to be told,”she wrote. “People are being hurt emotionally and spiritually by pastors who use bully tactics and we need a place to learn, to talk freely, and to heal. I will not be silenced.”
Their attorney, Linda K. Williams, said the church practices “Old Testament shunning” and her clients were all eventually ostracized by the church. Their negative comments, which they published online, were protected free speech, she said.