The Broadcasting Standards Authority had not upheld complaints against Close Up regarding a piece on the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
The March 2012 item focussed on a former member of the church, X, who said that she had made several large donations to the church that left her in a position of financial hardship.
Complaints were made by the church and two viewers who believed the item to be unfair and unbalanced. They also argued that the story breached the privacy of the church’s members, including X.
The BSA decided that the public interest in the information clearly outweighed the competing privacy rights of the Bishop and Pastor.
They also said that the item was X’s opinion and that the use of the terms ‘sect’, ‘cult’ and ‘brainwashed’ were framed as questions and opinion.