What is the biblical literature?


However, due to the lack of significant legal issues, the plaintiffs' ordinary appeal for an appeal is inadmissible.

The question of whether the first plaintiff or the other plaintiffs were affected, which the appellate court regards as decisive, does not need to be discussed further, because the first court did not deviate from the constant case law of the Supreme Court on the question of the truthfulness of allegations of fact and the propensity to make a statement about damage to reputation, and to that extent there is no blatant misjudgment of this individual case.

The lower courts accepted the following facts referring to the text passages of the brochure "SOS" cited in the claim for action and in the security request:

Jehovah's Witnesses do not engage in disputes about social issues or about what they believe the world is doing to eradicate injustices. Rather, their conversations focus on God's Kingdom as the only lasting solution to all human problems. The Jehovah's Witnesses follow the Bible in all their beliefs, but have a self-interpreted version of the Bible. They reject a creed based on human tradition, they reject political activities as not following the example of Jesus and they do not participate in party political disputes or in the "wars of nations". They do not follow any human leader, but only consider Jesus Christ as their leader. They obey the biblical commandment that husbands love their wives, wives respect their husbands and children obey their parents, do not allow abortions or transfusions with foreign blood, and reject extramarital sexual relations.

In the self-portrayal of the Jehovah's Witnesses it is explicitly stated with reference to Bible passages that no Christian, to be equated with the Jehovah's Witnesses, may participate in interdenominational movements, must keep himself separate from the world, all human laws that are not in accordance with the divine law Must stand in contradiction and obey the biblical moral laws and publicly testify to biblical truth. It is also stated that the children are to be brought up on the basis of the biblical moral laws, that the state and human government were not provided for in God's original plan and that human forms of rule are a consequence of the fall of sin.

Regarding the individual points of the claim for action and the application for security:

To a): The Trinity doctrine represented in the other Christian religions, namely that God are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who are all equally great, omnipotent, uncreated and equally eternal, is used by the Jehovah's Witnesses as with the Prophets, Jesus, the apostles and the first Christians in contradiction. They do not accept the Holy Spirit as a person, but only as God's effective force, arguing that someone who is "with" another person cannot be that person at the same time.

Regarding b): With regard to the meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses, the SOS brochure states that these take place three times a week and also on weekends, which members can also attend. The text of this brochure does not indicate that non-members can only participate on weekends. The wording in question is, however, interpreted by Jehovah's Witnesses to mean that it is intended to express that something mysterious takes place at the meetings during the week. To ensure these meetings, Jehovah's Witnesses are required, in order to remain spiritually healthy, to avoid wasting excessive time on activities and enjoyments that are not strictly necessary. Meetings are considered a privilege and take precedence over other activities not contrary to the purpose of the Bible. Because the world of Satan is approaching its destruction, the meetings are not to be given up by Jehovah's Witnesses. The Jehovah's Witness event on Sunday is called the "public gathering". Non-members are also invited to this. The presence of non-members during the week is less desirable. A visitor is not "thrown out".

To d): Since 1991 the magazines "Der Wachtturm" and "Erwacht!" no longer asked for a fee. In the so-called "rich countries" such as the USA, Canada, Germany and Austria, these magazines are now distributed free of charge. However, they are still being sold in developing countries. In the years 1992/93, however, it could still be observed in Austria how a Jehovah's Witness received literature from the book servant and threw the price, which was usual until the end of the sale in 1991, into a donation box in the Kingdom Hall.

Regarding e): In a self-published publication by the first plaintiff, it is stated with regard to the manners and customs that displease God that Satan tries to pull people away from true worship in order to guide them into a path that displeases Jehovah God. To this end, he uses, among other things, popular customs and traditions that violate the teachings of the Bible. The Bible therefore warns against the worship of creatures, which is why holidays that amount to human worship are not in accordance with God's will. This includes All Souls' Day, holidays and festivals, by which secular institutions of the nations are honored and praised, which is why, because true Christians are no part of the world, Easter and Christmas as pagan origins are not to be celebrated, nor are birthdays.

Regarding e) and f): In the publication "Jehovah's Witnesses and School" published by W ***** Gesellschaft Deutschland, to promote better cooperation between the parents of students who are Jehovah's Witnesses and the teachers, why the children of Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to participate in certain things, especially most school celebrations and celebrations and school programs. It should be noted that in accordance with the principle of no part of the world, parents are concerned about the adverse effects that the influence of the world may have on their children. The world, including school, often glorifies a lifestyle that Jehovah's Witnesses consider harmful, which is why Jehovah's Witnesses want their children to stay away from such influences as much as possible. This would not only include patriotic ceremonies carried out in schools, but also customs associated with holidays that had a non-Christian background. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, All Saints' Day and All Souls Day, New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, May holiday and Mother's Day are given, in which festivals the children of Jehovah's Witnesses did not participate in any way for reasons of conscience. Jehovah's Witnesses also refuse to participate in national holidays.

Since they believe that the young Jehovah's Witnesses are exposed to unfavorable treatment by participating in organized school sport, participation is also rejected, especially since sport can also be done in the community of fellow believers. Because of the unfavorable side effects such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, substance abuse and scandalous sexual behavior, Jehovah's Witnesses should also stay away from school balls and not join a school club.

Parents alone decide whether young people can actually take part in dance events or visit discos. The Jehovah's Witnesses, however, hold dance events themselves in-house.

In the case of Jehovah's Witnesses, there are practically no contradictions by children against orders from their parents. In any case, such contradictions will not be tolerated.

Regarding h): There are no rules for women among Jehovah's Witnesses, in particular there is no ban on wearing trousers and jewelry and on making-up, only action is taken against immoral clothing. However, a former Jehovah's Witness has listed rules for women of Jehovah's Witnesses in a book 59, according to which, among other things, the wearing of trousers and jewelry as well as make-up is prohibited.

The fact that trousers are not seen by women among Jehovah's Witnesses was also evident from a German talk show.

With regard to the use of make-up, it is recommended that Jehovah's Witnesses use make-up sparingly, use only subtle and no flashy colors. It is pointed out that beauty should come from within and that a negative attitude to life or superficiality cannot be suppressed by make-up. However, make-up is not generally prohibited and, in the case of young people, depends on parental consent.

Regarding i): Since Jehovah's Witnesses are not allowed to work for the Old World and are also not allowed to join associations, they are not allowed to volunteer with the Red Cross or the fire service, but only work as part of community service or as a main occupation and thus livelihood . So you are not allowed to be a member of the organizations "Red Cross" or "Voluntary Fire Brigade" as associations.

To j): According to the constitution of the Jehovah's Witnesses, a Jehovah's Witness is only admitted to baptism if he does not belong to any other church or religious community, has studied the basic teachings of the Bible and lives in accordance with the teaching and the Bible. Baptism takes place through complete immersion by an authorized Baptist. In relation to Austria, the age of baptism is around 14 years, but baptism can also take place later. There is no fixed age for baptism. Usually baptism takes place between the ages of 10 and 25.

A German author created a "moral code" under the title "Christian Responsibility" using excerpts from the brochure "Jehovah's Witnesses and School" and other watchtower publications of the German W ****** society. The following are listed as prohibitions for Jehovah's Witnesses: Conspicuous clothing, celebrating birthdays, name days, New Year's Eve, Easter, Christmas and New Year's Eve, attending parties and discos, attending school balls and school theaters, sporting activities, social engagement and Donations for aid organizations, activities in clubs, participation in sex education and religious events and in elections, the worship of pop or film stars, voting, dating without marriage intentions and doubts about the Watchtower organization and its teaching. In the literature on sects or Jehovah's Witnesses available in Germany, these text quotations are actually treated as correct. However, individual authors reject this literature as "anti-cult literature.

The conclusions drawn from these facts by the first court in the light of § 1330 ABGB do not require any special discussion because they are not inconsistent with the following principles of the case law of the Supreme Court on § 1330 ABGB and their individual relevance:

A claim for injunctive relief based on Section 1330 (2) ABGB presupposes that the person claimed has disseminated untrue facts. According to established case law, a statement is untrue if its factual core does not match reality at the time of the statement (4 Ob 213 / 99y with further references). Section 1330 (2) of the Austrian Civil Code (ABGB) covers the dissemination of credit-damaging factual allegations, the untruth of which the disseminator knew or should have known. The burden of proof for the falsehood of the allegation of fact lies with the plaintiff. Only if the credit-damaging factual allegation is also an insult to honor under Section 1330 (1) ABGB does the person concerned only have to prove the dissemination of the facts, but the defendant as the perpetrator the truth of the factual allegation and the lack of allegation, i.e. the lack of illegality. The object of the proof of truth is not only the complete proof of the correctness of the factual assertion, it is sufficient to prove the correctness of the core of the fact. An utterance is basically still to be regarded as correct if it only does not correspond to the truth in insignificant details. The illegality of the behavior in the area of ​​"need to know" consists in the fact that the incorrectness of the facts is recognizable if the objectively required care is observed and the facts are nevertheless disseminated (6 Ob 164 / 98f with further references). One and the same utterance, depending on the context in which it is placed, can fall under the concept of a factual assertion, sometimes under the concept of a pure value judgment; The decisive factor is how the utterance is understood by a not inconsiderable number of recipients (6 Ob 79 / 00m and many others). What is decisive is the understanding of the impartial average reader (1 Ob 41/91 = SZ 64/182 etc.), whereby the disseminator must always accept the most unfavorable interpretation for him (4 Ob 171/93; 6 Ob 20/95 = SZ 68 / 97 et al.). The decisive factor for the qualification of an utterance as a factual assertion is whether, according to the understanding of the addressee, its meaning can be traced back to a core fact that is accessible to evidence (4 Ob 110 / 98z).

There can be no doubt that the allegations, the omission of which is requested, are to be understood as assertions of fact within the meaning of this case law. The plaintiffs themselves did not even claim that this would also be seen as an insulting valuation - let alone in the sense of an excess of valuation. Apart from the question of the burden of proof, the question arises, on the one hand, of the truthfulness of the allegations in terms of a true core of facts and, on the other hand, of their suitability for damage to reputation. In the view of the first court that the existence of the facts of § 1330 Abs 2 ABGB is to be denied because these statements are partly true, partly not damaging to reputation, a misunderstanding of the legal situation cannot be seen, whereby the following should be emphasized:

Regarding a) (domestic religious practice): This is simply an incorrect legal opinion that does not comply with the legal situation, does not specifically concern the Jehovah's Witnesses or the first plaintiff association and from which neither the Jehovah's Witnesses nor the plaintiff association or the other plaintiffs in the Can derive particular adverse consequences.

Regarding b) (Rejection of the Holy Spirit): There is nothing wrong with the fact that a religious community does not believe in the Holy Spirit in the sense of Catholic teaching. To what extent this claim should have an impact on "the credit, acquisition and advancement" of the Jehovah's Witnesses and (or) the plaintiff, the plausible could not justify plausibly understandable.

Regarding c): The fact that "SOS" was not correctly quoted from the brochure because the not insignificant word "only" was not found there was already correctly stated by the first court. From his findings, however, it also emerges that although the Sunday meetings are not considered, the meetings on other weekdays for visitors who do not belong to Jehovah's Witnesses are not considered and that such persons are not forcibly removed from the meetings during the week , but are not welcome here either. The truthfulness of the allegations in question can therefore not be doubtful at least if one focuses on the "core of the facts" in the sense of the case law.

Re d) (sale of the magazines): The truth of this claim is based on the stated findings that the mentioned magazines are still being sold at least in the so-called third world countries and that a corresponding donation is also expected in the so-called rich countries, proven.

Regarding e) (celebrations of Christian festivals) f) (class excursions and dance events) and g) (school festivals): The first court also made extensive findings on this, from which the tendency towards rejection of such festivals and events emerges without a doubt, even if not in the doctrines disseminated by Jehovah's Witnesses and in their "moral code" in this strict and clear form as formulated in the brochure "SOS". The view of the first court that the core of the facts was thereby hit does not give reason to qualify as a misjudgment.

Regarding h) (women's clothing, jewelry and make-up; 59 fixed rules): The first judgment also explains that the Jehovah's Witnesses use the catchphrase "Beauty comes from within" and the recommendation to use make-up only discreetly, discreetly and sparingly not to wear provocative clothing, which can also include jewelry, obviously to exclude sexual irritation, within the framework of the case law indicated. Even if this assertion does not apply in the stated severity of the prohibition, a blatant deviation from the bandwidth that is given in relation to the question of the true core of the facts cannot be seen. This applies in particular to the negation of the credit-damaging effect of such a claim, whether it be true or not, whereby reference can also be made to the statements of the first court that clothing, make-up and behavior rules in social interaction between people and one another exist in different cultures and religions without these "regulations" being viewed as fundamentally questionable by the population.A restrictive attitude of the Jehovah's Witnesses in these matters, which does not necessarily correspond with today's fashionable preferences, cannot be seriously denied by the plaintiffs. Whether or how many such rules are "fixed" is irrelevant here.

Regarding i) (cooperation with the Red Cross or the fire brigade): As can be seen from the findings of the first court on this subject, this passage is also essentially true. Here, too, there is no blatant misjudgment by the first court.

To j) (baptism at the age of 14): Whether and at what age baptism is indicated relates to a religious question about which one can definitely be divided. In the rendering of the view that baptism should only take place from the age of 14 and thus at an age at which people are mature enough to set their own religious course and seriously deal with religious questions, reputational damage is in no way possible detect.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the question of whether the core of the facts, which must be true, should be narrowed or drawn further in individual cases, is not a significant legal question within the meaning of Section 502 (1) ZPO. The fact that individual allegations were denied their suitability for damage to reputation does not contradict the legal situation.

For this reason, the appeal had to be rejected.

The revision response is late because a copy of the revision appeal was sent to the defendant association on November 3, 1999, but the response to an appeal was not sent until November 25, 1999 and thus at a point in time at which the 14-day deadline of Section 402, Paragraph 1 last sentence EO had already expired, was handed over at the first court.