Harvest House had been the target of a protracted lawsuit** filed by "Living Stream Ministry" and "The Local Churches," an aberrant group closely associated with the teaching of Witness Lee, and known for answering their critics with litigation.
The group's litigious tendencies have effectively silenced most of their critics. The suit against Harvest House came after a short chapter critiquing the group's teaching was included in the Ankerberg/Weldon book Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions. The four-year-long legal battle has been extremely costly to Harvest House, but they have persevered rather than settling (as some other publishers have done previously), because they were fighting for an important matter of principle.
The court's ruling Friday included this:
Because the allegedly libel statements are not defamatory, as a matter of law, we sustain the publisher and authors’ first issue on appeal. Accordingly, we need not address the remaining issues and decline to do so.
We reverse the judgment of the trial court and render judgment that the church take nothing from the publisher and authors.