On February 9th, 2015, a New Jersey Superior Court judge dismissed (with prejudice) a lawsuit filed by the World Mission Society Church of God in Ridgewood against former member Michele Colón. The lawsuit filed by the WMSCOG back in July of 2012 alleged defamation among other causes of action. After over two and half years of pre-trial litigation, the Court ruled that online statements allegedly made by Ms. Colón that described the WMSCOG as a “cult” that uses “mind control” and “destroys families”, are opinions and are therefore protected by the First Amendment. The Court found that the WMSCOG is a public figure which increases First Amendment protection of WMSCOG critics. The Court also found that “whether a specific religious organization is akin to a cult, is a matter of public concern”, which raises Firs Amendment protection of critics of any cult.
In the seventeen page opinion written by the Court, the judge also cites the WMSCOG’s inability to prove damages and noncompliance with court orders to produce relevant financial documents. It was also noted by the judge that the WMSCOG’s net income increased from 1.8 Million in 2009 to over 3.6 Million in 2012, a period in which the WMSCOG claimed to have lost 5 million in revenue (See page 23 of the original complaint filed in this case).
If you are a current member of the WMSCOG, ask yourself, shouldn’t the mother god have known that this case would be thrown out by the Court?