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 (see files below)
- 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
December 18, 2006
December 12, 2006
- Statement on the Supreme Court Decision
- Petition for Review (filed August 2, 2006), supported by the following Amicus Briefs (see below)
- Hank Hanegraaff/Christian Research Institute on the meanings of “cult” in Christian apologetics (filed 8/7/2006)
- Gretchen Passantino/Answers in Action on the meanings of “cult” in Christian apologetics (filed 8/18/2006)
- Publishers and Broadcasters on the dangers of protecting libel under the cloak of religious speech (filed 8/9/2006)
- International Experts on religious persecution and the term “cult” (filed 8/9/2006)
- Prominent Scholars on the term “cult” in society and the law (filed 8/10/2006)
- 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.
- Harvest House Publishers, John Ankerberg, and John Weldon Campaign to Paint the Local Churches as Anti-Christian: Against Christians and Against the Faith
- Harvest House Books Echo Our Criticism of Today’s Christianity
- Harvest House’s Hypocrisy Concerning Our Criticism of Christianity
- Misrepresentation in ECNR False Allegations That We “Reject” Christians and the Christian Faith
- Misrepresentations on the Harvest House Corporate Web Site
- A Response to the Accusation by Harvest House Publishers, John Ankerberg, and John Weldon That the Local Churches Are Litigious
- Harvest House, John Ankerberg, and John Weldon Misrepresent the Nature of Our Lawsuit and of Our Objections to ECNR
- Harvest House President Bob Hawkins’ Distortion of History
- Harvest House Misrepresents Their Own Definition of “Cult”