HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Church sues woman for $50...

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:20 PM

 

Church sues woman for $500,000 after negative Google review

As a side note you can add a review to the google site now, along with 347 other one star reviews.

___________________________________________________________________

A church in Beaverton, Oregon is suing a woman after she posted a negative Google review calling them a “cult.” Julie Anne Smith revealed on her blog in March that Pastor Chuck O’Neal and Beaverton Grace Bible Church had sued her for $500,000 over negative reviews on Google and DEX that claimed that she had been shunned for no reason.

--snip--

“What we had was indoctrination… That is how cult leaders work,” the suit alleges Smith wrote. “Don’t waste your precious lives and relationships being held emotionally/spiritually captive by this so-called church.” Another message claimed that the “beloved pastor knew about a sex offender in the church who had access to the nursery and children on a weekly basis and did not have any safeguards in place.”

“This is a very destructive and disturbing ‘church.’ … The exra-Biblical legalistic teaching is wrong. The gossip/slander, disclosure of what goes on in private counseling sessions, sex offenders have free reign in childrens’ areas with no disclosure to parents. … This is not a safe place.”

“DEFAMATION IS A CRIME: Pastor Chuck O’ Neal, his wife, his children, and Beaverton Grace Bible Church as a whole, have suffered JulieAnne’s hateful lying slander for well over three years,” O’Neal wrote. “After seeking counsel from a pastor on staff with Grace Community Church (under Pastor John MacArthur) and reading him several excerpts from JulieAnne’s endless defamation, he recommended that we FILE A LAWSUIT in an appeal to Caesar as the Apostle Paul did when falsely accused of crimes against God and the state.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/15/church-sues-woman-for-500000-after-negative-google-review/

______________________________

15 replies, 3612 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to Cave_Johnson (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:23 PM

1. Is this one a spinoff from the "Greater Grace World Outreach" cult?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cave_Johnson (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:26 PM

2. There are negative reviews, and then there is libel

For example, if Ms. Smith has evidence that sex offenders have free "reign" in childrens' areas, she really should report it to the authorities, rather than making a post on Google. I'm not familiar with the Grace Bible Church, but this kind of allegation can be the death of a congregation, particularly if it isn't true.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to gratuitous (Reply #2)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:41 PM

5. "in my personal opinion".. 4 very important words

Last edited Tue May 15, 2012, 10:40 PM - Edit history (1)

added to the comments could be disclaimers such as :

"although I have no photographs, recordings or proof"

"I feel"
"I think"


When you make a claim such as she did, you had better be able to back it up, or you open yourself up to all kinds of consequences.

There are web services now that scour the web and push "bad" comments to the bottom of the list so that when people google the site, they do not see them.

And of course, when they find libel, they certainly alert the website owner.

While you CAN say just about anything online, you also have to be careful that you do not open yourself up to expensive lawyers, just so you could "have your say"..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cave_Johnson (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:27 PM

3. Well the sex offender situation is easily

verified. Other than that I don't see any defamation. She is entitled to her opinions in the other areas.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cave_Johnson (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:29 PM

4. Sounds like the church decided to "turn the other cheek" -- the one with their wallet . . .

In the spirit of love and forgiveness, you'd think a retraction and an apology from this "recalcitrant sinner" would be sufficient. That is, if "love and forgiveness" were the church's stock and trade. But I guess it's true: people (and churches) pursue what's important to them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cave_Johnson (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:43 PM

6. And I ask would a legitimate church sue this woman?

Or is that something a cult would do?

Seems to me their actions prove her assertions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arbusto_baboso (Reply #6)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:50 PM

8. if she made those claims about a sex-offender

without facts to back it up...she's opened herself up to a world of hurt. this isn't even about whether it's a church or a cult...you just can't drop a bomb like that in a public forum without some evidence for your claim. if she's got evidence, she's good...otherwise, she's gonna get hammered. of course, i haven't seen the whole blog entry so there may be more to it than that. but what's here is not lookin' so good for her.

yes, a legit church would sue and would be well within its rights to seek monetary damages as assertions like that can and in many cases do kill churches. but i guess you would just turn the other cheek if someone accused you of harboring a sex-offender and giving them access to children...right?

sP

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProdigalJunkMail (Reply #8)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:55 PM

10. As someone else on this thread said....

the sex offender claim is easy to either verify or disprove.

Thing is, I've attended churches where pastors (actually "bishops", as the churches in question were mormon) knowingly let sex offenders near the children of other church members and didn't let the parents know.

It happens. A LOT more than you might think.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arbusto_baboso (Reply #10)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:56 PM

11. not disputing that at all...

all i am saying is she better be able to back it up...

sP

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProdigalJunkMail (Reply #11)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:59 PM

12. And if she can't there's a price to be paid.

Still, one would think if this "church" actually believs in the ethics it claims to, they could find a way to slap this woman down in the court of public opinion, rather than a court of law.

Any church that won't even attempt such action first, is not getting ANY respect from me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arbusto_baboso (Reply #12)

Tue May 15, 2012, 08:06 PM

13. actually, slapping her down in the court of public opinion is what they did already

and they kicked her out of the church and told the members of their congregation to 'shun' her and her family and not have anything to do with them. it was handled within the church...and then she started blogging about it (if we are to believe the timeline from the article).

if she's got no evidence, the church should not have to stand for libel and defamation. and certainly the members of the church, if they were named in the blog...even generically...should not have to stand for it.

sP

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cave_Johnson (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:49 PM

7. Is it an Independent Fundamental Baptist church?

Just asking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cave_Johnson (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 07:51 PM

9. As the victim of defamation via online review, I fully support what this church is doing.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #9)

Tue May 15, 2012, 09:18 PM

14. Only for the child molester part...

 

... or for the negative review as a whole?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cave_Johnson (Reply #14)

Tue May 15, 2012, 10:50 PM

15. For any part that is false and that harms needlessly.

 

You don't get to publish lies about people. It's actionable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread