SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a small polygamist group in Canada that recently changed its name to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Inc.
Winston Blackmore, the leader of a 500-member polygamist sect in British Columbia, Canada, registered the name in May 2010 after changing it from The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 2008 and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Fundamentalists Inc. in January 2010. Now, the LDS Church is suing the leader, demanding he stop using the name and destroy materials on which it appears, the Vancouver Sun reported.
“The lawsuit filed this afternoon asks that a small polygamous group change its name to avoid confusion,” the LDS Church said in a statement to KSL. “The group recently changed its name to ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Inc.’ —a name that is far too similar to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes known as the Mormon Church), which is a worldwide faith with more than 15 million members across the globe. The name change is misleading and has caused confusion. There is no affiliation between the Church and the polygamist group.”
The LDS Church discovered the similarly named sect when it attempted to register its name in British Columbia this year and was blocked, the Sun reported.
Blackmore’s sect is comprised mostly of his large, extended family, the Sun reported, including those in Idaho, Utah and Arizona. He was a bishop in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before being excommunicated by Warren Jeffs.