Four Facing Jehovah Ouster

New York Post/May 9, 2002
By Dan Mangan

Jehovah's Witnesses leaders are moving to excommunicate four people who have spoken to a television show about child molestation within the church, the four say.

If that happens, they claim, other Jehovah's Witnesses will be barred - also under the threat of excommunication - from watching the upcoming NBC "Dateline" episode detailing alleged abuse in the church and criticism of how the church handles such cases.

A spokesman for the Brooklyn-based religion called that claim "absurd."

Both sides agree that all Witnesses - including relatives of the four - would risk excommunication by having contact with any excommunicated person, except under certain circumstances.

While the four believe the show's impending broadcast has spurred the church's actions, church spokesman J.R. Brown said that before Tuesday, church headquarters had no idea that these people would be on the show.

He also said local congregations decided to charge them with various spiritual violations.

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