From June 2017 to the present, Legal Counsel for the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society went on a witch hunt to find the leakers of secret documents and books used by the hierarchy of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Most of the ordinary members, particularly the most vulnerable and most affected by these secrets – women and children – are unaware such secrets exist.

Originally published Feb 23, 2019 09:26. Last updated Mar 13, 2020 16:25.

Here are links to a substantial collection of subpoenas issued by Philip Brumley and his legal colleagues, Mario Moreno and Paul Polidoro in less than two years. The listing is in order from first to last subpoena issued.

  1. 7-17-mc-00194 – Tom Durbridge & Friends
  2. 7-17-mc-00195 – Tom Durbridge
  3. 7-17-mc-00217 –
  4. 7-17-mc-00241 – MyFTPUpload
  5. 7-18-mc-00076 – JW Videos HD
  6. 7-18-mc-00177 – Testigos de Jehová
  7. 7-18-mc-00179 – WifiBandit & Friends
  8. 7-18-mc-00180 – WifiBandit & Friends
  9. 7-18-mc-00181 – Reactivo
  10. 7-18-mc-00268 – Kevin McFree
    1. Motion to quash
  11. 7-18-mc-00289 – Fay Dehr
  12. 1-18-mc-00301 – The UnReluctant
  13. 7-18-mc-00312 – The UnReluctant
  14. 7-18-mc-00361 – Fay Dehr
  15. 7-18-mc-00362 – JW Kevin
  16. 7-18-mc-00364 – WifiBandit
  17. 7-18-mc-00409 – Testemunhas de Jehova
  18. 7-18-mc-00432 – Javier Guardado Aquilar
  19. 7-18-mc-00471 – Gran Muchedumbre
  20. 7-18-mc-00484 – Info JW
  21. 7-18-mc-00486 – Theocratic Videos
  22. 7-18-mc-00487 – JW Meetings
  23. 7-18-mc-00505 – Andres Leonardo
  24. 7-18-mc-00506 – Pinguino Emperador
  25. 7-18-mc-00515 – Medieval HND16
  26. 7-18-mc-00516 – Dert De55
  27. 7-18-mc-00528 – Hildebrando
  28. 7-18-mc-00529 – Neo MX
  29. 7-18-mc-00530 – JW Bethelite
  30. 7-18-mc-00566 – Atalayando
  31. 3-19-mc-80005 – DarkSpilver
    1. Electronic Frontier Foundation Motion to Quash (PDF)
    2. Electronic Frontier Foundation Motion to Quash (ZIP)
    3. Watch Tower’s Opposition to Darkspilver’s Motion to Quash Subpoena to Reddit, Inc (PDF)
      1. Declaration of Paul D. Polidoro in support of Watchtower’s Opposition to Motion to Quash
      2. EXHIBIT A – Screenshot of ExJW Subreddit
      3. EXHIBIT B – EFF backs Redditor in Fight to Stay Anonymous
      4. EXHIBIT C – Screenshot of back cover of WT Magazine
      5. EXHIBIT D – Zeemap of ExJWs
      6. EXHIBIT E – Proof of Service (Subpoena)
    4. Reddit Inc Joins EFF Motion to Quash
    5. Watch Tower object to Reddit Inc’s joining Motion to Quash
    6. Order regarding Motion to Quash Subpoena
    7. EFF Motion for De Novo Determination
    8. Watch Tower’s opposition to EFF Motion for De Novo Determination
    9. EFF’s reply in response to John Doe’s motion for de novo determination
    10. March 2, 2020 Final Order
  32. 4-19-mc-80006 – Ich3b
  33. 7-19-mc-00569 – Fader Man
  34. 7-18-mc-00571 – Moises Gutierrez
  35. 7-18-mc-00572 – JW Leaks
  36. 7-19-mc-00009 – JW Stream
  37. 7-19-mc-00010 – JW Stream
  38. 7-19-mc-00059 – Arcade Random
  39. 7-19-mc-00060 – Elkatire
  40. 7-19-mc-00081 – Alpha Omega
  41. 7-19-mc-00082 – Historia Y Ayuda Teocrática JW
  42. 7-19-mc-00083 – Jorgito El Loco
  43. 7-19-mc-00084 – JW Suicides
  44. 7-19-mc-00085 – JW Victims
  45. 7-19-mc-00087 – Whatch Tower Bible and Tract of PA
  46. 7-19-mc-00143 – sirjsslut
  47. 7-19-mc-00147 – JW Broadcasting
  48. 7-19-mc-00163 – Reuniones Teocráticas
  49. 7-19-mc-00188 – Tony Xiaoyu
  50. 7-19-mc-00211 – Biblia Ensina
  51. 7-19-mc-00221 – JW Channel Theocratic Meetings
  52. 7-19-mc-00260 – Anonymous Ey4LZb
  53. 7-19-mc-00301 – – Unknown User
  54. 7:19-mc-00330 Facebook: Testigos Cristianos de Jehová.
  55. 7:19-mc-00336 YouTube: Meeting Broadcast
  56. 7:19-mc-00432 Google Drive: Formatos Teocraticos
  57. 7:19-mc-00473 YouTube: JW.ORGVIDEOS WWVIDEOS
  58. 7:19-mc-00475 exjwlibrary
  59. 7:19-mc-00476 Scribd: Marco Octavio Juarez Ortiz
  60. 7:20 mc-00119 YouTube: JW Apostate
    1. JW Apostate Motion to Quash -original pro se filing
    2. JW Apostate Motion to Quash filed March 13th, 2020
    3. Watch Tower Opposition to Motion to Quash
    4. Watch Tower Memorandum Supporting Opposition of M2Q
    5. April 1, 2020 JW Apostate Reply to Watch Tower
    6. April 1st, 2020 Response Memo from Judge Seibel
    7. Consent to Electronic Service Doc Filed April 6th, 2020
    8. JW Apostate Reply Supporting Motion to Quash April 6th, 2020
    9. JW Apostate Request for WT Brief on Bogus Takedown Requests
    10. JW Apostate Supplement to Motion to Quash 4.16.20
    11. Declaration of Paul Polidoro in Opposition to Motion to Quash 4.17.20
    12. Watch Tower Memorandum of Law in Support of MTQ 4.17.20

The law invoked in these subpoenas is 17 USC §512 (DMCA). This law is antiquated as it was passed in 1998 to try to deal with online piracy. It was passed when no one in US Congress really understood what “online” meant. It’s purpose is solely to demand service providers (Google, Facebook, Reddit etc) to hand over any identifying information of users who are allegedly infringing on copyrights.

When it comes to such subpoenas, the only thing a judge looks at is whether there is a DMCA notice. A subpoena form is submitted and a lawyer signs a declaration saying a particular entity has info about an alleged infringer and the only reason they need the info is to protect their rights. As long as those three things are included with the filing, the judge has the court clerk issue the subpoena. The judge doesn’t really look at the particulars of the case. And for the most part, Watch Tower are happy that the Court has little or no interest in looking at the particulars of the subpoena because often times, they are looking for the identity of an individual who has posted a thumbnail.

The law is specific to service providers, which is defined as “a provider of online services or network access, or the operator of facilities therefor, and includes an entity described in subparagraph (A).”

It’s a law that Philip Brumley, Paul Polidoro, Mario F Moreno and Steven Simonis are exploiting in an attempt to root out whistleblowers within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization.

The language over subpoenas is really problematic, and it’s usually a tool to threaten people and try to make settlements happen. However, it’s worth noting that there is no case law to support what happens if the likes of Facebook or Google ignore the subpoenas.

The Grand Finale? Watch Tower v Truth and Transparency Foundation

On April 30th, 2020, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania filed a civil lawsuit against the Truth and Transparency Foundation, a non-profit organization accused of hosting and posting 74 copyrighted motion pictures created by amateur and volunteer Jehovah’s Witnesses. While Truth and Transparency does not sell Watch Tower material nor solicits money for downloading any content, Watch Tower attorney Paul Polidoro claims that the site sells merchandise and solicits donations.

Watch Tower retained the New York copyright law firm Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman as attorneys of record in the copyright infringment suit.

On July 17th, 2020, the Truth and Transparency Foundation settled with Watch Tower.