Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pastor Sues For Defamation Over Critical Blog Posting

KTAU News reported last week on a defamation lawsuit filed by Beaverton, Oregon Grace Bible Church Pastor Charles O'Neal against a former congregant and her daughter over postings on the former congregant's blog. Three commenters on the blog were also named as defendants.  When Julie Anne Smith and her family left the church, she says that other church members were told to end all contact with her.  So Smith started a blog called Beaverton Grace Bible Church Survivors on which she criticized the church, calling it a spiritually abusive environment.  Excerpts from the complaint in the case contending that these postings were defamatory, are the subject of a more recent blog post by Smith. The lawsuit seeks $500,000 in damages.  Apparently Smith has filed an anti-SLAPP motion seeking to get the case dismissed. [Thanks to Bryan D. Wassom for the lead.]