U.S. News – Oregon mom sued by church over online criticism
An Oregon mother of seven is being sued for defamation by her former church over critical comments she made online.
Julie Anne Smith, a stay-at-home mom who home-schools her children, said church members began shunning her and her family after they left Beaverton Grace Bible Church almost four years ago.
She took to the Web in October 2009 to air her concerns about the church’s practices on Google reviews, but said her comments kept being pushed down by other church members’ more recent reviews. So in February of this year, Smith launched a blog called Beaverton Grace Bible Church Survivors to counteract what she called the “cat and mouse game” on Google.
“My primary issue was to discuss spiritual abuse in the church,” Smith told msnbc.com. “In essence, the legal suit is [O'Neal's] attempt of continuing that spiritual abuse.”