United States Supreme Court Declines Review
At the end of June, 2007, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear and rule in our case, Local Church, et al v. Harvest House, et al concerning defamatory statements in Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions (ECNR) by John Ankerberg and John Weldon and published by Harvest House Publishers.
Contrary to claims otherwise, this case was never about religious, doctrinal or theological issues. It was about false and defamatory accusations of moral and criminal misdeeds thinly cloaked as a religious dispute and unsupported by fact in the work in question (ECNR).
It is important to note that no court ever ruled we are a cult: our case was never tried on its merits. Moreover, during the course of trial preparation, the authors of the book as well as Harvest House Publishers admitted that they had no evidence we had engaged in the conduct they had attributed to cults.
For more detailed information about the issues raised in this case, please read our petition and the amicus briefs linked below.
|June 28, 2007
||Statement on the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court not to review the case
||A letter to our friends
||A letter to the saints in the Lord’s recovery
|June 7, 2007
||Petition for Writ of Certiorari (May 16, 2007) supported by five amicus briefs:
- Hank Hanegraaff/Christian Research Institute, Gretchen Passantino/Answers in Action, John Morehead/Neighboring Faiths Project and Dr. Ruth Tucker on the meaning of “cult,” the intersection of the Establishment Clause and the law of defamation, and the misapplication of the Establishment Clause by the Appeals Court. (filed May 31, 2007)
- Publishers, Broadcasters and Religious Organizations on the legal rights of religious organizations in harmony with the Establishment Clause and the adverse effects of the Appeals Court ruling on religious freedom. (filed June 5, 2007)
- International Experts on the adverse impact of the Appeals Court decision on religious freedom in countries that rely on the secular definition of “cult.” (filed May 29, 2007)
- Prominent Scholars on the word “cult” and defamatory meaning, the secular meaning of “cult,” and the improper application of the “ecclesiastical abstention” by the Appeals Court. (filed May 29, 2007)
|February 9, 2007
||Amicus Brief Supporting Motion for Rehearing – Rodney A. Smolla
|December 18, 2006
||Motion for Rehearing – Texas Supreme Court
|December 12, 2006
||Statement on the Supreme Court Decision
Petition for Review (filed August 2, 2006), supported by the following Amicus Briefs:
Reply to Response to Petition for Review
|October 23, 2006
||A Response to Further Public Misrepresentations by John Ankerberg, John Weldon, and Robert Hawkins, Jr.
|April 14, 2006
||Watchman Nee on Christians Filing Lawsuits