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  • Title:

    Amicus Brief from Cult Experts (U.S. Supreme Court)

    Summary:

    An amicus brief filed by cult experts who appealed to the United States Supreme Court to review The Local Church et al v. Harvest House et al on the grounds that Texas Court of Appeals decision set a dangerous precedent for protecting defamation by the use of the term cult when it is used in a secular sense, as the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions did.

    Amicus Brief from Cult Experts (U.S. Supreme Court)

    Three organizations and four individuals filed this amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of the appeal of The Local Church, Living Stream Ministry, et al for relief from defamation in the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions by John Ankerberg and John Weldon, published by Harvest House Publishing. The brief argued that:

    • The court of appeals’ decision that the term cult is not capable of defamatory meaning, even when criminal and abhorrent conduct is ascribed to those labeled with that term, allows religion to be used as a cloak for defamation;
    • The Supreme Court should clarify that falsely labeling a group a “cult” in a theological sense should not be actionable, but falsely labeling a group a “cult” in a secular sense should be; and
    • The Establishment Clause did not apply in the case because those labeled “cults” in ECNR were so labeled not merely in a theological sense but also in the secular sense of the term, and the plaintiffs’ claims were based on the secular usage.
    The signers of the amicus were recognized experts in the field of countercult apologetics:

    PDF of Amicus Brief from Cult Experts (U.S. Supreme Court)
    Categories:
    Court Filings, Defense, ECNR