Telegraph e-paper

Briton wins legal battle with Jehovah’s Witnesses

By Steve Bird

A BRITISH man who claims to “expose the hypocrisy and lies” of Jehovah’s Witness elders “who lack concern for child abuse” has won a free speech legal battle against the religious group.

Vincent Moore set up a UK “parody website” called, claiming Jehovah’s Witnesses are “ensnared in a high-level control group” leaving them “unable to think for themselves [and] vulnerable to the manipulating demands of its leaders”.

In May, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania instructed American lawyers to try to shut down the “critical” website, claiming their “JW” trademark had been used in “bad faith”. Now, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo), a UN organisation that rules on trade name disputes, has found Mr Moore’s “criticism” of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is “genuine and non-commercial” and visitors to the site would know it is not an official site, so it was not set up in bad faith.

Mr Moore, who represented himself, told Wipo his legal fight with the Jehovah’s Witnesses was a David and Goliath battle. “I’m delighted to have won,” he said. “I believe Watchtower is a brainwashing high level control cult that uses its unkind shunning policy to victimise and destroy families. It is the antithesis of true Christianity.”

In February 2020, he launched to criticise the religious movement. It uses a series of elder characters to try to encourage debate for those thinking of “joining or leaving” the group.

A Jehovah’s Witnesses’ spokesman said the group is a “well-known and internationally recognised Christian religion” with more than 8.6 million congregants in over 240 lands.

He said: “The ECHR has issued more than 65 decisions in favour of Jehovah’s Witnesses, confirming that our religious practices comply with the law.”





Daily Telegraph