Iglesia seeks TRO vs publication of ‘blasphemous’ book
The Philippine Star 05/24/2005

Honorable Judge Ofelia Marquez to hear TRO June 10th
Quezon City, Regional Trial Court Branch 216

INC Lawyer says book WILL cause violence in the Philippines
Philippine Star reports Court battle
Read the Motion to Dismiss by Ross Tipon
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Read Opposition to TRO and Motion to Dismiss (Requires Adobe Reader)

COURT UPDATE 5-30-2005

Injunction on publication of book by the Defendant "The Power and the Cult of Manalo". There was an illegal hearing by the Judge on June 8, 2005. The hearing for motion to dismiss will definitely take place on June 10 at two p.m. This is definite as the Defendant has filed a Motion to Dismiss on grounds of the constitutional grounds (curtailment of freedom of speech) and many other defects of the INC pleadings and had set the hearing for this date and time.


One of the things a Bible based religion does not do and that is stir up its people to violence. And, any people who claim they are the people of God and there is none other upon the earth, would not get out into the streets and start killing and burning down the nation because someone made them mad.  A religion that boasts it is the restored Kingdom of God would show itself humble in the face of persecution and quiet when false accusations are hurled against it. Such would send any Godly people to their knees in the house of God to seek divine aid in deliverance from foes.  But did any of this happen or was it threatened to happen by attorney Abraham Espejo when he went before the honorable Judge Ofelia Marquez to seek a temporary restraining order (RTO) on a soon to be published book POWER AND THE GLORY: THE CULT OF MANALO?"

Here is the gist of what has taken place: free lance writer Ross Tipon has researched the history of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) religion in the Philippines and specifically the life, influence, and power of Felix Manalo and his church.  INC through its attorney threatened the Philippine government that if this book is published under the freedom of expression rights of the constitution, the members of the Church "WILL" go into the streets of the nation and start a lot of violence in protest.  We cannot dare to think what this threat implies also against the health and safety of the author.  We would assume he would either be marked for crucifixion on one of the properties of INC or at least he would receive forty strips save one.  We believe the life of Ross Tipon is in great danger at this moment and some member of INC to make a historical figure of himself, just might try to purge the holy INC Church of Mr. Tipon by bodily harm.  While the INC would no doubt wash its hands Pilate style of any complicity in any hurt or harm, it can take credit that it did incite and inflame the possible event by putting it into the minds of the faithful.

Here is what attorney Espejo told the Judge:

"The publication of the criminal manuscript will trigger social unrest," he said. "Millions of people may come out in the streets and this may lead to violence. ...The book contains allegations based on hearsay and insinuations against the INC that could trigger protest among millions of church members nationwide."

Espejo did not say it "MIGHT" trigger social unrest.  He said "IT WILL TRIGGER SOCIAL UNREST." This is a threat.  Now it will remain if the Judge is scared of this threat and makes a decision accordingly out of duress and coercion.  Or will she grant the defendant his constitutional right and allow President Arroyo and the military the decision to guarantee Constitutional rights and protection of citizens?  If the Judge sides with INC we can be sure INC is in control of the freedom of the press in the Philippines when ever it wants to exert its shadow government powers in the open.  Will the honorable Judge allow INC to be the censor of written works of authors in the Philippines?  

Tipon said "Power and the Glory: The Cult of Manalo" was a product of painstaking research, and that the allegations raised by INC lawyers were based on speculation and hearsay.

"We will print thousands of copies of the book depending on the demand," he said.

To help stop the publication of this book, INC has pulled the old Judas trick of tacking on some money.  So they want ONE MILLION pesos damage award from Tipon and the book's publisher to stop them.  One million pesos equates to about $18,628 US Dollars.  INC don't need this pittance of cash to help pay mortgages or attorney fees. This is all about token punishment for dare defying the shadow Philippine government.

If ever there was a time the INC needs to put on a true Christian face and get out of the government and into the streets and start praising God it is now!  Any other response to this book would prove it is anything but a Bible based Christian movement.

Now if attorney Espejo had told the judge the members would turn out in the millions to their churches and pray, sing, and shout until divine help came, this would have merited some respect.  If he had told the Judge the members would not be VIOLENT but would do peaceful protest where ever the book was sold, this might have earned some respect.  But when he shook the Philippines and planted into the minds of the members VIOLENCE, REVOLT, KILLING, BURNING, and WAR, this could not earn respect not in a million years.  

This response to a 186 page book shows INC and its members need a Holy Ghost revival. They need the kind of salvation the Bible teaches would make them like Jesus Christ.  Now where did Jesus threaten that his followers would go into the streets and stir up violence if they nailed him to the Cross?  Where did he say his Church would be killers seeking to avenge themselves against adversaries?  There is something satanically wrong with the attitude of INC leaders and members.  This threat to start burning down the Philippines and VIOLENCE shows the INC needs Jesus Christ in its midst.

"Behold ,I stand at the door, an knock, if any man hear my voice, and open this door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me" (Rev 3:20).

Is there a man in the INC who can get Jesus inside?  Is there a man there who can hear his voice and come open up the doors and let him in?  The proof of such will not be threats of violence and killing, but a divine lunch with God! OOPS: I had memory relapse; INC does not believe Jesus is God so they could only have lunch with a man who needed salvation himself! But hey, ain't it about time INC can boast they had lunch with Jesus and stop all this mess about violence and killing over a book that would likely have not been noticed anywhere in the Philippines.  I mean after all, when the per captia income of the Philippines is a miserable $1,300 USD (69,380 pesos): who would spend the 500 pesos to buy the book?

The way I see it, it is either lunch with Jesus or violence and killing in the streets.  Let he who is without sin in the INC cast the first stone!

With love toward all and malice toward none,

Pastor G. Reckart