“An old saying is: ‘Politics makes strange bedfellows’ …But when something threatens their way of operation… they join forces with erstwhile rivals or even enemies and distastefully work together” – Watchtower March 15, 1967—
It is true—politics does make strange bedfellows. And religion and politics makes even stranger bedfellows. Nowhere is that more evident than in the absurd political partnership between the professedly “politically neutral” Watchtower and the purported “disgusting thing”—the United Nations. It is so incredible, even when informed of the matter many of Jehovah’s Witnesses simply refuse to believe that the Watchtower could ever have made such a compromising alliance. But it did. What follows are the facts of the strange affair..
On October 8, 2001, Stephen Bates, the religious affairs correspondent for The Guardian newspaper in London, originally broke the story revealing the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society was registered with the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) as an officially recognized NGO (non-governmental organization). Unbeknownst to millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses, it turns out that the Watchtower had been secretly affiliated with the United Nations for nearly a decade.
No doubt anticipating a tsunami wave of criticism and perhaps even an official UN investigation, the Watchtower quickly requested that its NGO affiliation with the DPI be terminated. Shortly afterwards, Paul Gillies, the Watchtower’s spokesman in London, released a statement to The Guardian saying that it had been necessary to register the organization as an NGO so that Bethel’s research staff could have access to the Dag Hammarskjöld library at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, and that was all there was to it. However, following the anticipated flood of inquiry from Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world—many of whom read the story on the Internet—a few weeks later the Governing Body also issued a more detailed “explanation” to inquiring Watchtower field offices. The official branch letter implied that the Watchtower’s NGO relationship was not secret at all. In the opening sentence the Watchtower states: “Because of published allegations by opposers that we have secret links to the United Nations, a number of branches have inquired about the matter and we have replied.” (click here for WT document. Click on it to enlarge in lightbox)
In view of the fact the Watchtower has never publicized its NGO connection to the UN in any of its publications, prior to the Guardian exposé none of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the field were aware of the relationship—not even numerous branch overseers of the Watchtower, who themselves inquired about the matter. Surely, then, it is disingenuous for the Governing Body to causally dismiss the matter as being mere “allegations by opposers that we have secret links to the United Nations.” Even to this day the vast majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses are still unaware of the NGO affair.
Contrary to their carefully crafted press release, the Watchtower’s connection to the United Nations was, and in many respects still is, secretive.
“IT BECAME NECESSARY TO REGISTER AS AN NGO”
The letter to the branches reiterates the Watchtower’s original claim that they sought membership as an NGO solely to gain access to the United Nation’s library. Specifically, the Governing Body stated:
“Our purpose in registering with the Department of Public Information as a non-a governmental organization (NGO) in 1991 was to have access to research material available on health, ecological and social problems available at the United Nations library facilities. We had been using the library for many years prior to 1991, but in that year it became necessary to register as an NGO to have continued access.”
Bethel has assuredly made extensive use of the UN library. The Watchtower and Awake! Magazines are loaded with hundreds of statistics and facts drawn from dozens of UN agencies and officials. (see PDF below) Also, there are many photos published in the magazines that are accredited to the UN/DPI archives. So, there is no question that the Watchtower has been making use of the UN archives for many years—as they state. But, upon investigation it turns out that admittance to the United Nations’ library was not restricted to NGOs at all, as the Watchtower claims—at least not before September 11, 2001.
According to a direct e-mail response from the head librarian’s office at the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, temporary passes were originally granted to qualified scholars and researchers without their being representatives of an organization with associate NGO status. Only recently, as a result of increased security in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City has the UN disallowed all but UN officials from accessing the facility—NGO representatives are the exception. Of course, the Watchtower was associated with the United Nations as an NGO long before 9-11, and only disassociated itself one month afterwards.
Besides the fact that the Dag Hammarskjöld Library was not restricted to NGOs, there are numerous other ways that individuals and organizations can gather information about the United Nations. One way is through the provision of over 400 UN-sponsored depository libraries around the world. Depository libraries are typically university libraries with a small section devoted to archiving UN materials. In addition to depository libraries the UN also maintains a network of Information Centers (UNICs) around the world; these serve as field offices for the DPI. Their purpose is to make information available to journalists and researchers who do not have access to the Dag Hammarskjöld Library. Not only that, but in recent years the United Nations has made an enormous amount of documents available online. There are also numerous UN publications available for purchase. The assertion that in 1991 “it became necessary to register as an NGO” is verifiably not true. The Governing Body’s letter to the branches goes on to state:
“Registration papers filed with the United Nations that we have on file contain no statements that conflict with our Christian beliefs.”
The branch overseers have been led to believe that becoming an associate NGO is simply a matter of filling out a few registration papers and that there should be nothing objectionable about it to the Christian consciences of Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, there is much more to becoming an approved NGO than merely signing a few registration forms. This writer directly contacted the DPI by email and was informed by that office that it was standard procedure in 1992 (the year the Watchtower was accepted as a NGO) for the DPI to send new members a brochure and welcome letter restating exactly what was expected of NGOs. Among other things the letter stated:
“The principle purpose of association of non-governmental organizations with the United Nations Department of Public Information is the redissemination of information in order to increase public understanding of the principles, activities and achievements of the United Nations and its Agencies. Consequently, it is important that you should keep us informed about your organization’s information programme as it relates to the United Nations, including sending us issues of your relevant publications. We are enclosing a brochure on the ‘The United Nations and Non-Governmental Organizations,’ which will give you some information regarding the NGO relationship.”
Contrary to the Watchtower’s offhand denial, the information provided to them by the DPI clearly does contain statements that “conflict with our Christian beliefs”! Are Jehovah’s Witnesses expected to believe that the Watchtower’s Legal Department failed to scrutinize these documents or that the two required signers of the registration application committed the entire organization to a political alliance with the United Nations without any consideration or discussion of the ramifications?
Even more unsettling, the Watchtower implies that the United Nations changed the criteria of association and the language of the application without their knowledge, after the Watchtower had originally applied to become an NGO; so that the registration papers they had on file were not up to date. The branch letter states:
“Still, the Criteria for Association of NGOs—at least in their latest version—contain language that we cannot subscribe to. When we realized this, we immediately withdrew our registration. We are grateful this matter was brought to our attention.”
This statement also appears to be false. If not, then let the Watchtower produce the original documents they have on file that supposedly do not contain language that conflicts with the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses. According to the Department of Public Information, the criterion for NGOs was originally established back in 1968. Under the subheading, “When did the DPI Relationship with NGOs begin?” it states:
“In 1968, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), by resolution 1297 (XLIV) of 27 May, called on DPI to associate NGOs, bearing in mind the letter and spirit of its resolution 1296 (XLIV) of 23 May 1968, which stated that an NGO “…shall undertake to support the work of the UN and to promote knowledge of its principles and activities, in accordance with its own aims and purposes and the nature and scope of its competence and activities.”
By innuendo the Watchtower seeks to give the impression that only the “latest version” of the UN’s “Criteria of Association of NGOs” is objectionable. But the facts show otherwise. For an organization that seemingly doted on the UN’s every utterance in recent years to claim to be ignorant of the basic relationship between NGOs and the DPI is simply incredible.
The Watchtower is also neglecting to acknowledge that every NGO must choose at least one category of NGOs with which they wish to be associated, and NGOs are also regularly required to update their NGO application and state their particular field of interest. And in so doing, in 1997 the Watchtower changed the scope of their interest in the UN to include human rights issues. What is the significance of that? This indicates that Bethel knew that their association with the DPI meant that the UN and numerous other NGOs would recognize the Watchtower as having an interest in promoting specific UN-related issues. And the facts show that the Watchtower did exactly that.
It stretches credulity beyond limit to believe that key officers of the Watchtower innocently registered the organization with the United Nations as an NGO not realizing it was a violation of their political neutrality. The Watchtower considers it an act of apostasy for any of Jehovah’s Witnesses to even join the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in order to simply use the exercise facilities. Here is how a Question From Readers was answered in the January 1, 1979, issue of the Watchtower concerning membership in the YMCA:
“In joining the YMCA as a member a person accepts or endorses the general objectives and principles of the organization. He is not simply paying for something he receives, such as when buying things being sold to the public at a store. Nor is his membership merely an entry pass, as when a person buys a theater ticket. Membership means that one has become an integral part of this organization founded with definite religious objectives, including the promotion of interfaith. Hence, for one of Jehovah’s Witnesses to become a member of such a so-called “Christian” association would amount to apostasy.”
If becoming a member of the YMCA means that the joiner “accepts or endorses the general objectives and principles of the organization,” as the Watchtower states, and their “membership means that one has become an integral part of [that] organization,” amounting to apostasy, should not the Watchtower hold itself to the same exacting standard when it comes to becoming political partners with the United Nations—even if it was supposedly just for the purpose of using their library facilities?
On one hand, the Watchtower insists that an individual’s membership at the YMCA is not merely an entry pass but constitutes a general acceptance and endorsement of that organization’s religious principles. But when it comes to the Watchtower itself, Bethel dismisses its membership with the UN/DPI as nothing more than acquiring a library pass.
But did the Watchtower actually engage in a political partnership with the United Nations? To answer that question it is necessary to establish what an NGO is. So, what exactly is an NGO anyway?
“NGOS HAVE BEEN PARTNERS OF DPI SINCE…1947”
There are literally tens of thousands of non-governmental organizations in the world. However, most of them do not have NGO status with the United Nations. Some NGO’s are highly influential—enjoying what is called “consultative status” with the upper echelon of the United Nations. Another category of NGOs is less influential—they are given what is called “associate status” with the UN’s Department of Public Information. There are only about 1,400 NGOs that are associated with the DPI. By the UN’s own definition, an NGO associated with the DPI is a non-governmental organization that works in partnership with the United Nations. As an example, on the United Nations DPI-NGO website the then-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, states concerning the purpose of NGOs: “If the UN’s global agenda is to be properly addressed, a partnership with civil society at large is not an option, it is a necessity.”
NGOs are intended to facilitate that partnership between the United Nations and civil society. The DPI/NGO Section of the United Nations’ website explains in greater detail the vital role NGOs play:
“NGOs have been partners of DPI since its establishment in1947. The NGO Section of DPI is part of DPI’s Outreach Division, and acts as its liaison to the UN. It provides a range of information services to civil society and other partners, including the academic community, educational institutions and the public at large.”
The Department of Public Information is a division of the vast UN bureaucracy and is responsible for disseminating information in behalf of the United Nations. To that end the DPI has enlisted the help of a wide variety of non-profit citizens groups that have an interest in supporting the United Nations’ global agenda. According to the DPI, qualified organizations serve in a political partnership with the United Nations. How do NGOs and the DPI cooperate? The DPI asks and answers that very question:
“The DPI/NGO Section oversees partnerships with associated NGOs to better support the work of the UN. NGOs that have the commitment and the means to conduct effective information programmes with their constituents and to a broader audience about UN activities may apply for association with DPI. NGOs may disseminate information through newsletters, bulletins and pamphlets, radio or television programmes, or through public activities such as conferences, lectures, seminars or workshops.”
According to the statements taken directly from the United Nations website, all accredited NGOs are expected to cooperate with the Department of Public Information by using their own resources “to conduct effective information programmes with their constituents and to a broader audience about UN activities.” In other words, to put it bluntly: NGOs are required to propagandize in behalf of the United Nations. The Watchtower’s letter to the branch offices even quotes from the very same UN document cited above, which outlines the purpose of NGOs. However, the Watchtower only selectively quotes from a footnote, saying: “Moreover, NGOs are informed by the United Nations that association of NGOs with DPI does not constitute their incorporation into the United Nations system…”
Of course, it is true that NGOs are not incorporated into the United Nations governmental system. NGOs, as the name implies, are non-governmental organizations. If they were “incorporated into the United Nations system” they would become governmental organizations. The Watchtower is merely obfuscating the issue. The issue is not whether NGOs have a grant of governmental authority from the United Nations. The crucial point is that all NGOs associated with the DPI are considered to be in a political partnership with the United Nations.
Seeing that the Watchtower quoted from the very document that outlined the criteria for NGOs to become partners with the UN, it is inconceivable that Watchtower officials were unaware that the DPI considers all NGOs to be in partnership with the UN.
Is it possible, perhaps, that the DPI would have granted the Watchtower associate NGO status simply because the applicant wanted to use the UN library and did not also require them to live up to their contractual obligation? No, that is not reasonable. For one thing, as previously stated, access to the library was not restricted to NGOs. According to the DPI, the reason NGOs are encouraged to use the library and given access to other facilities and briefings and so forth, is so that those organizations can be more effective in educating the public about the activities of the UN. That is also why the DPI closely scrutinizes all applicants so that only a small fraction of those that apply are actually accepted.
The suggestion that the United Nations knowingly granted the Watchtower an exemption from the obligations of their partnership is pure fiction. Here is a contextual quote attributed to Paul Hoeffel, the head of the DPI, taken from Insight on the News website, which sheds light upon the review process:
“The DPI status is under the authority of the U.N. Department of Public Information (UNDPI), which controls U.N. archives and research facilities. To obtain it, according to Paul Hoeffel, chief of the DPI/NGO Section at the United Nations, an organization must have been in existence for at least three years and provide evidence of having worked with the United Nations in some cooperative way. The financial records of the organization must be turned over to the UNDPI for review, and the ideals and philosophy of the organization must not conflict with broad U.N. missions and policy. “We have to be careful who we accept,” Hoeffel says. The benefit of this status, he says, is that NGOs gain access to all U.N. facilities and conferences and may gather information on their areas of interest at the U.N. library. Currently, he says, about 250 organizations apply for DPI status a year, with 40 to 50 of these being accepted. There now are 1,400 NGOs with DPI status.”
Not only does the DPI carefully screen all initial NGO applicants, there is also an annual accreditation process. DPI disassociates NGOs that no longer qualify. Below is a quote from a UN official stating that NGOs undergo “rigorous examining” and those that no longer meet the criteria are disassociated.
“Raymond Sommereyns, Chair of the DPI Committee on NGOs and Director of DPI’s Outreach Division, noted that the semi-annual meeting welcomes a new group of highly qualified NGOs to work with the United Nations. ‘At the same time’, he said, ‘we are rigorously examining those NGOs that no longer meet the criteria for association with DPI.’ A list of disassociated NGOs will be available in February 2003.”
Had the Watchtower not actually abided by the terms of the agreement, they would have probably been disassociated by the DPI. However, the Watchtower served as an NGO from 1992-2001 and was only disassociated upon their request, not because they failed to meet the requirements of association.
“AGREED TO MEET CRITERIA FOR ASSOCIATION”
According to Paul Hoeffel, the Watchtower was granted associate DPI status because they agreed to meet the established requirements for NGOs. Below is an excerpt from the United Nations’ official response to inquires on the matter. It is posted specifically for Jehovah’s Witnesses on the United Nations’ DPI website:
“Recently the NGO Section has been receiving numerous inquiries regarding the association of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York with the Department of Public Information (DPI). This organization applied for association in 1991 and was granted association in 1992. By accepting association with DPI, the organization agreed to meet criteria for association, including support and respect for the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and commitment and means to conduct effective information programmes with its constituents and to a broader audience about UN activities.” (Click here for document – click to enlarge into lighbox)
Contrary to the Watchtower’s assertion, the application process for NGOs requires much more than a mere signature on an application form. Provided that an organization meets the criteria—having the means to reach a broader audience and a commitment to the political ideals of the United Nations—each prospective NGO is required to follow the procedure below, as prescribed on the DPI/NGO website:
The required application materials include:
•A completed Application Form for Non-Governmental Organizations
•A completed Summary of Application
•A copy of the organization’s constitution/charter or by-laws
•Official proof of not-for-profit status, issued by public authorities, and tax exemption
•A copy of the organization’s most recent audited annual budget or financial statement, conducted by a qualified and independent accountant.
•Evidence of an active information programme relevant to the UN: at least six (6) different types of samples of the organization’s most recent information materials (e.g. newsletter, periodicals, tapes of radio or television programmes, conference reports, web site, news clippings)
•Two (2) letters of recommendation from organizations (UN or others)
•References (see question 21 in the application form)
In view of all the above, the evidence is incontrovertible that the Watchtower had to demonstrate their ability and ongoing commitment to conduct an information campaign in behalf of the UN. There is no other conclusion to draw except that the Watchtower’s explanation of the NGO affair is a total fabrication.
“THE UN IS A BLASPHEMOUS COUNTERFEIT”
There can be no question that the Watchtower was required to follow the same procedure as all other NGO applicants. That being the case, Bethel would have had to submit “evidence of an active information programme relevant to the UN.”In order to fully comply, each prospective NGO must submit “at least six (6) different types of samples of the organization’s most recent information materials.”That unavoidably means the Watchtower would have had to present samples from the Watchtower and Awake! Magazines. But, here is where the relationship of the Watchtower and the United Nations truly becomes a case of strange bedfellows. For instance, the following is a selection of comments taken from various Watchtower publications in recent decades dealing with the United Nations:
“Rather, that divine Kingdom will destroy the United Nations, no matter how many heavenly angels may be needed to do this!”— Watchtower 2-1-1985
“Then, in 1945, the United Nations organization emerged, to be praised and adored by the clergy of Christendom as mankind’s hope for peace…Today few people believe that the UN has the ability to prevent wars and conflicts from erupting. Its existence does little to allay the fear of a third world war or a nuclear holocaust.” – Watchtower 2-15-1985
“Originally it was the League of Nations. Now it is the United Nations. In effect it is a conspiracy against God’s Kingdom. It aims to do what only God’s Kingdom can do—establish permanent peace…. What does this graphic language forebode? That political elements, represented in the United Nations, will turn against the world empire of false religion to destroy it. But this means they will also eventually turn against the true representatives of God’s Kingdom by Christ, namely, Jehovah’s Witnesses. What will be the result?”— Awake! 4-8-1985
“As a successor to the League, the United Nations came into being on October 24, 1945. Later, the popes of Rome hailed the United Nations as “the ultimate hope for harmony and peace” and “the supreme forum of peace and justice.” Yes, the League of Nations, along with its successor, the United Nations, truly became an idol, a “disgusting thing” in the sight of God and of his people.” –- Watchtower 6-15-1996
“In the major fulfillment of the sign, the disgusting thing is the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. This world peace organization is viewed by Christendom as a substitute for God’s Kingdom. How disgusting! In time, therefore, the political powers associated with the UN will turn on Christendom (antitypical Jerusalem) and will desolate her.” – Watchtower 3-15-1990
“At first, great hopes were expressed for the UN…Earth’s dwellers have admired this new colossus, operating from its imposing headquarters on New York’s East River. But true peace and security have eluded the UN…The UN does not have the answers. And why? Because the Giver of life to all mankind is not the UN’s life-giver. Its life span will be short, for according to God’s decree, “it is to go off into destruction.” The UN’s founders and admirers do not have their names recorded in God’s scroll of life…The UN is actually a blasphemous counterfeit of God’s Messianic Kingdom by his Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ…”—Revelation Grand Climax, page 250
It is no secret that according to the Watchtower’s interpretation of Bible prophecy, the United Nations is the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation and a “disgusting thing” in God’s sight. Jehovah’s Witnesses have distributed millions of copies of Watchtower publications around the world expressing the view that the United Nations is a counterfeit of God’s kingdom, and that eventually the UN will take the lead in destroying all organized religion throughout the earth, before it is finally destroyed by God’s incoming kingdom.
Clearly, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not support the principles of the United Nations. Needless to say, the Watchtower did not submit any of the cited articles as samples of their sharing the same ideals as the UN. Strangely, though, apparently the DPI was not even aware of the Watchtower’s view of the United Nations. Or maybe they were. That remains to be seen. Nevertheless, what is apparent is that in order to qualify as an NGO the Watchtower was compelled to take a more accommodative position towards the UN, and at least write some positive articles about the United Nations in order to be able to submit them to the DPI as a sampling of their commitment to the principles of the United Nations.
Since NGOs are evidently required to also periodically submit samples of their work to the DPI as proof of their ongoing commitment to the UN—if not annually, at least quadrennially—this necessitated the use of a very subtle pen on the part of Watchtower writers; so as not to arouse the suspicions of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who, as grassroots ministers, were unwittingly duped into distributing literature that subtly praised the UN as a worthy institution, while alternatingly condemning it as a satanic fraud.
“WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE UNITED NATIONS?”
It seems that the first detectable shift in attitude towards the UN came in 1985. That is when the Watchtower began to call attention to the United Nations’ upcoming “International Year of Peace” in 1986. Jehovah’s Witnesses naturally took an interest in the International Year of Peace because we felt it may lead into the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. So, at the time it did not seem out of place when the Watchtower praised the United Nations’ noble (but futile) efforts to bring peace. Needless to say, the International Year of Peace passed uneventfully.
However, in 1991, the very year the Watchtower originally applied to become an associate NGO, the Awake! magazine published a baffling piece that seemed intended to give the unwary reader the impression that Jehovah’s Witnesses actually endorsed the political objectives of the United Nations. The September 8, 1991, Awake!, article was entitled: “What is happening at the United Nations?” The opening sentence stated: “Something is happening at the United Nations. Startling developments are taking place that are going to affect your future. World leaders are very optimistic about them.”
To what “startling developments” was the Awake! referring? The article went on to cite how the nations began to promote the UN after the end of the Cold War in the optimistic belief that it might finally live up to its own ideals. Indeed, the Awake! seemed to lend credibility to the notion that the reason the UN had failed to bring world peace was because individual nations had not fully cooperated with the United Nations. The Awake! also seemed to echo the call for the UN to be given more power in order to enforce its edicts.
What was noticeably missing from the three-part series, however, was any reference to the United Nations being the symbolic scarlet-colored wild beast of Revelation or the “disgusting thing that causes desolation.” Absent, too, was any mention of the UN being a modern idol or a counterfeit of Christ’s kingdom. In fact, there was not even a single word about how God’s kingdom is going to replace all existing kingdoms on earth. Instead, praising their “noble aims” and sincere efforts, the Awake! spoke hopefully of the possibility that a retooled UN might actually succeed in bringing a measure of peace and security to a war-weary world.
Unquestionably, the September 8, 1991, Awake! was a noticeable departure from the Watchtower’s previous writings on the UN. The concluding paragraph on page 10 typifies the ambiguous double-speak, which was obviously cleverly crafted to leave uninformed readers with the impression that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, perhaps like the UN-promoting Bahai faith, that the United Nations is an instrumentality of God to bring peace. Carefully note in the following quotation how the unfamiliar reader could easily form the impression that the United Nations might accomplish political objectives other than what Jehovah’s Witnesses have come to expect.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses firmly believe that the United Nations is going to play a major role in world events in the very near future. No doubt these developments will be very exciting. And the results will have a far-reaching impact on your life. We urge you to ask Jehovah’s Witnesses in your neighborhood for more details on this matter. The Bible clearly paints a picture showing that the United Nations will very shortly be given power and authority. The UN will then do some very astonishing things that may well amaze you. And you will be thrilled to learn that there is yet a better way near at hand that will surely bring eternal peace and security!”
If the reader were to actually follow the Awake! magazine’s suggestion and ask one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in their neighborhood “for more details on this matter,” surely they would find out that the exciting developments Jehovah’s Witnesses are anticipating have to do with the United Nations fulfilling its role as the prophetic eighth king of Revelation the 17th and 18th chapters. The Watchtower has in the past written reams about how the UN will soon be empowered by the nations to become a militarized tyrant, and thereafter, it will initiate a horrific holocaust that will annihilate all organized religion from the earth—including Christendom.
Those are the “astonishing things” Jehovah’s Witnesses are anticipating in the future! But why did not the Awake! writers simply say that?
The Awake! article is only comprehensible in light of the necessity for applying NGOs to submit samples of their commitment to the ideals of the United Nations. In that knowledge it becomes abundantly clear why the concluding paragraph was ambiguously worded to appear to Jehovah’s Witnesses one way, while adroitly giving unfamiliar readers (such as DPI reviewers) an entirely different impression.
In view of the Watchtower’s shameful legerdemain, instead of considering the question “What is happening at the United Nations?” the more relevant question for thinking Jehovah’s Witnesses to ponder is—What is happening at Bethel?
“FIFTY YEARS OF FRUSTRATED EFFORTS”
After being accepted as an associate NGO in 1992, the staff writers for both the Watchtower and Awake! apparently wrote a number of articles that were specifically intended to demonstrate to the DPI that Jehovah’s Witnesses share the same political ideals as the United Nations.
As an example of how the Watchtower Society further carried out its obligation towards the DPI, on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, in 1995, the October 1 issue of the Watchtower carried an article entitled: “Fifty Years of Frustrated Efforts.”The following quotation is a sampling of the high praise the Watchtower magazine lavished upon the “disgusting thing”:
“For 50 years the United Nations organization has made notable efforts to bring about world peace and security. Arguably, it may have prevented a third world war, and the wholesale destruction of human life through the use of nuclear bombs has not been repeated. The United Nations has provided millions of children with food and medicine. It has contributed to improved health standards in many countries, providing, among other things, safer drinking water and immunization against dangerous diseases. Millions of refugees have received humanitarian assistance.”
For an institution that claims to be politically neutral, it certainly seems as though the Watchtower was biased in their tribute to the United Nations. Ask yourself: When has the Society commemorated the birth of an individual nation on the anniversary of its inception? Why not, for instance, celebrate the birth of the United States on the Fourth of July?
And why single out the humanitarian aid provided through the United Nations, as though it was doing something unique in the world? As evidence of their partiality, according to the Global Policy Forumthe United Nations total expenditures for 1995 were over $13 billion. Of that amount, about seven billion dollars is listed as “voluntary spending,” which was presumably used for humanitarian purposes. However, in 1995 the Japanese government, alone, contributed over 14 billion dollars to overseas development causes—more than double the contribution of the United Nations—yet, the Watchtower praises the generous humanitarian efforts of the UN, while omitting any commendation of individual nations or organizations for their charitable works.
The Peace Corps, for instance, is certainly an outstanding example of a praiseworthy humanitarian organization. It has trained and deployed thousands of volunteers from the United States to assist in the development of Third World countries. Why is it, though, that the Watchtower has not so much as once even acknowledged the laudable contributions of the American Peace Corp to the betterment of mankind? There are literally hundreds of references in Awake! and Watchtower magazines informing the public of United Nations programs and not one word of commendation for the Peace Corps. Why is that? How can the Watchtower claim to be politically neutral when it has gone to such lengths to extol the virtues the United Nations, lauding the efforts and accomplishments of its myriad agencies and programs, while completely ignoring other organizations that do similar things?
But, it goes even deeper than that. While seemingly criticizing the United Nations for thus far failing to unite the world in peace, the Watchtower actually echoes the “criticisms” of the UN’s most ardent supporters! In what way?
The primary architects of the United Nations originally intended that the UN should eventually replace the nation-state system with a non-democratic, socialistic world government. For instance, the British author, H.G. Wells, wrote a book back in 1932 called The Open Conspiracy, in which, Wells calls for the abolition of traditional religions, as well as nation states. Here is a quote from the book:
“The fundamental organization of contemporary states is plainly still military, and that is exactly what a world organization cannot be. Flags, uniforms, national anthems, patriotism sedulously cultivated in church and school, the brag, blare, and bluster of our competing sovereignties, belong to the phase of development the Open Conspiracy will supersede. We have to get clear of that clutter.”
Following the Open Conspiracy’s outline for world government, the globalists’ propaganda in recent decades has incessantly attacked nationalism as the scourge of mankind, what Wells called “competing sovereignties.” To that end, the Watchtower has lent its own credibility to the globalists’ cause by biblically reinforcing the call for the abolition of religion and the nation-state system and the creation of a new world order. For a certainty, the similarity of the Watchtower’s “kingdom message” and the globalists’ propaganda makes for easy counterfeiting. That is why we can discern the faint echo of H.G. Wells’ propaganda in the same Watchtower devoted to commemorating the UN’s 50th anniversary. Here is a quote:
“As powerful as the United Nations may appear to be, its efforts are often thwarted by politics and the media. The United Nations is powerless if it lacks the support of its members. But without the public’s approval, many UN members will not support the United Nations.”
So, it would appear that the Watchtower supports the argument that populism and stubborn nationalism are the real reasons the United Nations has thus far failed to create utopia. The Watchtower also apparently agrees that the United Nations is powerless if it does not have public support. And unbeknownst to it readers, the Watchtower was doing exactly what is expected of NGOs associated with the DPI.
The article indicts false religion as the fomenter of war and disunity, and while making mention of the fact that Bible prophecy foretells the destruction of babylonish religion at the hands of the beast-like eighth king, it does not directly connect the UN to prophecy, as the Watchtower had on many occasions prior to becoming an associate level NGO.
It is most telling that the 1995 Watchtower subtly shifts from their previous interpretation that the scarlet-colored wild beast specifically symbolizes the United Nations; instead, now the beast merely represents the non-specific “governments” that will turn upon religion. As an example of how the Watchtower has adulterated their own prophetic interpretations—ostensibly to assuage the UN—we read on page 6:
“These governments are depicted as “a scarlet-colored wild beast,” upon which the harlot rides in comfort. Known as “Babylon the Great,” this powerful and immoral woman is named after ancient Babylon, the cradle of idolatrous religion. Appropriately, today the harlot represents all the world’s religions, which have mingled in with the affairs of governments.”
Perhaps most disturbing, though, is that in a separate box of the same issue, the Watchtower admits that in the past they have identified the United Nations as the scarlet-colored beast; but the purpose of the auxiliary information has nothing to do with confirming Bible prophecy. Instead, the additional information is a shameless attempt to scripturally justify their own pandering to the United Nations by making a special point to remind Jehovah’s Witnesses that Christians are commanded by God to show respect to the governmental, “superior authorities”—particularly the United Nations!
It would appear as if the Governing Body used its ecclesiastical authority over Jehovah’s Witnesses to allay any suspicion that may have arisen as to the appropriateness of the Watchtower’s friendlier relationship with the United Nations. Under the heading of “The Christians View of the United Nations,” Jehovah’s Witnesses are informed:
“In Bible prophecy, human governments are often symbolized by wild beasts. Hence, for many decades the Watchtower magazine has identified the wild beasts of Revelation chapters 13 and 17 with today’s worldly governments. This includes the United Nations, which is depicted in Revelation chapter 17 as a scarlet-colored beast with seven heads and ten horns. However, this Scriptural position does not condone any form of disrespect toward governments or their officials…Jehovah’s Witnesses view the United Nations organization as they do other governmental bodies of the world. They acknowledge that the United Nations continues to exist by God’s permission. In harmony with the Bible, Jehovah’s Witnesses render due respect to all governments and obey them as long as such obedience does not require that they sin against God.”
But by making a deliberate effort to applaud the UN’s achievements and advertise its multitude of programs and agencies, the Watchtower has gone far beyond merely acknowledging and showing respect for the United Nations. Being in subjection to the governmental “superior authorities” does not require Christians to propagandize in their behalf, does it?
“THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF…”
There are other examples that give evidence that the Watchtower diligently sought to cooperate with the DPI. For instance, Bethel seemed especially keen to make mention of the UN’s special year declarations. So, in keeping with its obligation to inform the public of a broad range of UN-related issues, the July 22, 1999, Awake! featured a series of articles on aging. It just so happened that 1999 was also the UN’s “International Year of Older Persons.” Not surprisingly, the Awake! published the following announcement:
‘“Having turned 60 myself . . . I am now counted among the statistics I cited earlier,’ said UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan recently during the launching of the International Year of Older Persons…To help policymakers meet the challenges created by this ‘demographic revolution’ and to get a better appreciation of “the value of old age in society,” the UN General Assembly decided in 1992 to designate 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons.”
The WatchtowerMagazine discussing family problems conveniently drew attention to the fact that 1994 also just so happened to be the UN’s “International Year of the Family”:
“The family—the United Nations tried to make it the focus of world attention. How? By declaring 1994 the “International Year of the Family.” Although world leaders, sociologists, and family counselors have been quick to lament such things as the rise in illegitimate births and skyrocketing divorce rates, they have been slow to come up with workable, realistic solutions to such problems.” (9-15-95)
1995 was to be the “Year of Tolerance”—as declared by the United Nations, of which fact the October 1 Watchtower of that year dutifully informed their readership:
“In harmony with their declaration, the United Nations has declared 1995 to be the Year for Tolerance. Realistically speaking, though, will it ever be possible to achieve peace and security in a world divided by religion?”
The year 1998 was the UN-declared “International Year of the Ocean,” which the Awake! mentioned in two separate issues that year. The June 8, 1998, Awake! alsoinformed its readers that the UN declared 1997-2006 as the Decade for the Eradication of Poverty.”
The January 1, 2001, Watchtower belatedly announced that 2000 had been declared as “The International Year for the Culture of Peace.” The year 2001 was designated by the United Nations as the “International Year of Volunteers.” So, just a few months before the Watchtower was exposed and forced to hastily dissolve its NGO membership, the July 22 Awake! magazine was devoted to volunteerism. While not surprisingly touting the volunteer work of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world, the Awake! also gave the United Nations “International Year of Volunteers” a plug too:
“The UN hopes that IYV 2001 (International Year of Volunteers) will result in more requests for the services of volunteers, in more offers from people to serve as volunteers, and in more funding and facilities for volunteer organizations to tackle society’s growing needs. A total of 123 governments have joined in sponsoring the objectives of this UN resolution.”
But the Watchtower did not merely commemorate and publicize current UN special year crusades, such as the International Year of Volunteers; they also informed the reading public about the UN’s past initiatives as well. For example, the UN declared that 1979 was the “International Year of the Child.” More than likely the December 8, 2000, issue of the Awake! magazine was also one that Bethel sent to the DPI reviewers as proof of their ongoing support for the United Nations’ global agenda. That particular issue of the Awake! is devoted to praising UNICEF and publicizing the “International Year of the Child.” The article entitled “An Ongoing Search for Solutions” opens by enthusiastically endorsing UNICEF:
“FROM its very inception, the United Nations organization has been interested in children and their problems. At the end of 1946, it established the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as a temporary measure to care for children in areas devastated by war…
…The needs of children were given greater prominence in 1959 when the United Nations adopted a Declaration of the Rights of the Child…So in recognition of the continuing need to solve the problems of children and in accord with its declared goals, the United Nations designated 1979 the International Year of the Child. Government, civic, religious, and charitable groups all over the world were quick to respond to the search for solutions.”
Others, though, do not share the Awake!’s assessment of the United Nations’ concern for children, and for good reason. For instance, a former UN official, Denis Halliday, called the UN-sponsored sanctions against Iraq a form of genocide, in which probably over one million Iraqis have died as a result—many being infants and children. Contrary to the Awake!’s glowing endorsement of their UN partner, apparently the UN Children’s Fund was not all that interested in the plight of starving Iraqi children.
Of course, the commentary concludes with the obligatory reference to God’s kingdom being the answer; but it is obviously ancillary to the focus on the UN and their ongoing search for a solution to the problems of children. Even at that, the article adulterates the uniqueness of the good news by shamelessly applauding the United Nations for sharing the same lofty ideals as the very Kingdom of God. In conclusion the Awake! unabashedly gushes:
“Under God’s Kingdom humans will be enabled to rear children in a balanced way. Young folks will be raised in the spirit of peace and universal brotherhood, the ideal set forth in the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Never again will there be the need for an International Year of the Child or for a Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
Perhaps the Watchtower’s most blatant propagandizing in support of the United Nations was the November 22, 1998, issue of Awake! It seems the Watchtower willingly did its part in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by writing a ten-page article to publicize the event. While the average Jehovah’s Witness attached no importance to the occasion, the Office for the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) certainly did—and so did the Watchtower. The OHCHR website promoted the 50th anniversary by publishing a list of “More than Fifty Ideas for Commemorating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” The website offered suggestions for governments, schools and youth groups, and yes, NGOs.
The following were three suggestions for NGOs:
Redefine daily life/work in human rights terms.
Educate membership and the community on how an organization’s activities relate to human rights.
Distribute information and educational materials (e.g., publicity posters, fliers, calendars showing human rights events, UN pictures) to constituencies.
It is evident that the Watchtower undertook to implement at least two of the suggestions for commemorating the Declaration. Undeniably, efforts were made to distribute information, including UN pictures, in order to educate both the “membership and the community” about the “organization’s activities” related to human rights. The Awake! even published the basic tenets of the Declaration of Human Rights as if they were the Ten Commandments. That was understandable, though, in view of the fact that the year before the Watchtower registered with the DPI as an NGO with special interests in the field of human rights.
As with other compromising articles Bethel has published, the Awake’s cleverly designed flimflammery is obviously intended to pacify Jehovah’s Witnesses by making a token reference to Jehovah, while at the same time giving the uninitiated reader the impression that Christ’s kingdom has some abstract connection with the UN. The human rights article concludes with a formulaic reference to God’s proposed solution:
“Just as the Bible shows that the Creator is the source of the faculties that underlie human rights, it also informs us that he is the source of a world government that ensures them. This heavenly government is invisible but real. In fact, millions of people, perhaps unwittingly, pray for this world government when saying in what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer: “Let your kingdom come.”
The Awake! does not inform the reader that God’s kingdom is no part of the present political establishment. Nor does it make any mention of the fact that God intends to eliminate human rights abuses and war by destroying all earthly political institutions—including the United Nations. Instead, the reader is left with some vague New Age notion that God is the source of human efforts to establish a world government.
“A VIEW FROM THE 29TH FLOOR”
In a brazen violation of Christian neutrality, Bethel went so far as to send a representative of the Watchtower to the UN headquarters in order to interview a human rights official for the special anniversary issue. Knowing that Jehovah’s Witnesses were unaware of the NGO connection at the time, the Watchtower seemingly flaunted their spiritually adulterous affair by publicizing the fact the illicit liaison took place high up on the 29th floor of the UN headquarters. The Awake! interview, entitled “A View From the 29th Floor,” is prefaced with the following remarks appearing on page six:
“When you step off the elevator onto the 29th floor of the United Nations building in New York City, a small blue sign shows the way to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). This liaison office represents the headquarters of the OHCHR in Geneva, Switzerland—the focal point for UN human rights activities. While Mary Robinson, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, heads the OHCHR in Geneva, Greek-born Elsa Stamatopoulou is chief of the New York office. Earlier this year, Mrs. Stamatopoulou graciously received an Awake! staff writer and looked back on five decades of human rights activities.”
The article fails to mention that as a representative of the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human rights, no doubt the reason Mrs. Stamatopoulou “graciously received an Awake! staff writer” in her New York office is because the Watchtower Society was an active human rights NGO at the time. And as has already established, NGOs are in a partnership with the United Nations and therefore are granted greater access to UN facilities. Had the Watchtower Society not been an accredited NGO at the time the Awake! writer likely could not even have been permitted admittance to the 29th floor of the United Nations tower. (This also indicates that Bethel knew that their associate level NGO status gave them more than just access to the United Nations’ library.)
The actual interview with Mrs. Stamatopoulou is also enlightening. When asked by the Awake! interviewer what she saw ahead in the future, she stated:
“The development of a global human rights culture. What I mean is that through education we should make people more aware of human rights. Of course, that’s a huge challenge because it involves a change of mentality. That’s why, ten years ago, the UN launched a worldwide public information campaign to educate people about their rights and countries about their responsibilities. Additionally, the UN has designated the years 1995 to 2004 as the “Decade for Human Rights Education.”
Mrs. Stamatopoulou reiterated that the goal of the United Nations is to “educate people,” particularly in regards to human rights issues. And although she does not specifically mention the vital role NGOs play in that regard, or perhaps the Awake! discreetly chose not to reprint her comments if she did, it is abundantly clear that the Awake! was serving in its role as an NGO facilitator to the United Nations on that very occasion by proudly informing and educating its readership about human rights issues.
To put things in perspective, though, as to the inappropriateness of the celebratory article on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration, and also the unseemliness of the personal interview with a UN official in the very bowels of the United Nations headquarters, we simply have to ask why Bethel has never arranged to interview, say, a US senator or congressman on the anniversary of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence; perhaps on the steps of Capitol Hill, or something of that nature. Such a thing, of course, would be offensive to the sensibilities of many of Jehovah’s Witnesses; and yet, obviously, the Watchtower did not consider commemorating the UN’s special occasion as a violation of their political neutrality.
In keeping with the spirit of the “Decade for Human Rights Education,” a few months after commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights, the January 8, 1999, Awake! Magazine published yet another series of human rights articles, this time transparently pandering to the United Nations to protect the rights of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Most offensively, the human rights segment concluded by obscenely declaring that Jesus’ so-called Golden Rule was the inspiration for “some of the values” in a proposed UN declaration.
It seems that many of the articles in the Awake! that discuss the world’s many health, social and environmental problems, only offhandedly mention the Bible’s solution to such problems, almost as an afterthought. There seem to be few social ills that the Awake! discusses that are not also used as an opportunity to quote some UN official.
But besides the featured articles heralding the UN’s message, which periodically appeared in both the Watchtower and Awake! magazines, the “Watching the World” segment of the Awake! is littered with facts and trivia taken from a plethora of UN agencies. On average, each and every issue of the Awake! refers to the United Nations or some UN agency at least once. Granted, most references are innocuous, but keep in mind that the Watchtower’s primary obligation to DPI was to disseminate information about the United Nations—no matter how bland. Searching the Awake! using the CD ROM, between the years 1991-2001, the expression “United Nations” is slightly more prevalent than the exact phrase “God’s Kingdom.” Of course, there are other ways of expressing each term, but considering all the various UN acronyms that also appear in the Watchtower Society’s literature (ex: UNICEF, WHO), it appears as if Jehovah’s Kingdom has been relegated to second place in the Awake! journal, after the United Nations!
“A MISSION TO AFRICA”
Jehovah’s Witnesses should not be naïve to the fact that the Watchtower Society acquired a measure of political stature with the United Nations after becoming an associate NGO. Ostensibly, the purpose was to muster support in behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses facing difficult situations in various countries throughout the world. And evidently partnering with the UN has not gone unrewarded, which is betrayed in small ways by the organization itself, such as the following brief report that appeared in the July 22, 2001, Awake! –
“One newspaper in Congo (Kinshasa) praised the humanitarian work of Jehovah’s Witnesses as “practical rather than formal.” Officials of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have likewise expressed their support. One UNHCR official in the Democratic Republic of Congo was so pleased with the orderliness of the relief efforts carried out by the Witnesses that she put her vehicle at the disposal of the volunteers.”
To what extent has the Watchtower received help directly from the United Nations? It is hard to say. However, it turns out that it was much more than the use of a vehicle on one occasion. In trying to get to the bottom of the Watchtower’s dealings with the UN, this researcher has discovered that the Watchtower has spawned nearly a dozen subsidiary NGOs in various European nations. For instance, prior to the Watchtower gaining associate NGO status in 1992, in 1990 an NGO called Aidafrique was set up in France. What was its intended purpose? The Zambia Daily Mail of June 17, 1999, under the heading: “French NGO officials jet in to help Congo DR refugees,” reported the following:
“Two officials from the Aid Afrique are expected in the country today to provide additional humanitarian support to thousands refugees who have fled trouble-torn Congo DR… The relief supplies are being provided by congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Belgium, France and Switzerland. Aid Afrique is a European-based international humanitarian organisation founded in France in 1990 with the objective of bringing relief to critical areas of Africa. Through the UNHCR efforts in Tanzania, the organisation last year distributed over 20 tonnes of food and medicine to refugees in the Kigoma region. In 1997, Aid Afrique spent US$820,000 in humanitarian aid to the former Zaire.”
The Zambian news reveals that it was only through their cooperation with UNHCR that the Aidafrique NGO was able to accomplish its humanitarian objectives. But if the secular media in Africa openly reports on Aidafrique’s cooperative ventures with various agencies of the United Nations, why is not the Watchtower more forthright in informing Jehovah’s Witnesses about their accomplishments? If the Watchtower’s relationship with the United Nations is such an honorable arrangement, why not publicize it—as they have so many other UN-sponsored programs? Most likely the reason subsidiary NGOs like Aidafrique were set up in the first place was in order to keep the more familiar Watchtower brand name in the background and off the front page.
Interestingly, a few years ago Jehovah’s Witnesses in France independently published a brochure entitled “A Mission to Africa.” In it they explained in detail the activities of the Aidafrique NGO. On pages 9-10, the revealing comment was made:
“Our activity was often hindered by difficulties particular to the region. Distances are vast and lines of communication almost nonexistent. The best form of travel, if not the only one, is the airplane. Often we used the H.C.R.’s (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) planes. Administrative formalities also held us up”
Certainly no one is questioning the motives of Jehovah’s Witnesses in seeking to render lifesaving emergency aid to the long-suffering brothers in Africa. It was the right and Christian thing to do. But the question is—at what price? Is it worth cutting a deal with the Devil to save a soul? Jehovah’s Witnesses in Malawi did not think so. They were not even willing to buy a 25-cent political ID card, even though their not doing so unleashed a horrific pogrom against them.
The frequent use of UN aircraft is a very expensive perk and no doubt the Watchtower saw that there were benefits to be had in becoming an associate NGO and setting up auxiliary NGOs, like Aidafrique, in order to work more closely with the United Nations. At the very least it is evident that the Watchtower’s relationship with the UN is more complicated than the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has thus far been willing to admit. Indeed, the Watchtower is much more politically involved than Jehovah’s Witnesses are aware.
In October 2000, the Portuguese newspaper, Publico, interviewed the branch overseer of the Watchtower Society in Portugal. While denying that any compromise had taken place, in a moment of unguarded candor Brother Candeias inadvertently admitted that the reason the Watchtower cultivated relations with the UN was a matter of political expediency in providing humanitarian help for Jehovah’s Witnesses. He is quoted as saying: “Without the support of the UN it would not be possible to distribute humanitarian help.”
The Portuguese Branch Overseer was apparently also the correspondent who was assigned to write an article in the August 22, 1997, Awake! pertaining to the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe). The reason the Portuguese correspondent took up the topic is because the OSCE held an important political summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in December 1996. Evidently, Brother Candeias personally attended the conference, which is why the article he most likely penned oddly concluded by reporting on the weather conditions of the day of the summit from the standpoint of an observer; along with a hackneyed comment about God’s kingdom. Below is an excerpt:
“The radiant afternoon sun seemed to create a climate of general optimism at the close of the summit, despite the comments of the press regarding its nebulous results. Whatever success or failure the OSCE may realize, peace lovers everywhere can be assured that true peace and security will soon be realized earth wide under the rule of God’s Kingdom.”
While only superficially reporting on the OSCE powwow in Lisbon, the Awake! magazine did not mention that numerous NGO representatives attended the summit. However, the OSCE website carries a detailed record of the proceedings and reveals that some NGOs even participated in the conference. Most likely the Portuguese correspondent was only permitted to attend the high level political conference in the capacity of a representative of a European NGO—in this case the “Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” It is not surprising, then, that the overseer later candidly admitted the political motivation behind the Watchtower’s partnering with the UN, seeing that he had apparently been assigned to personally observe and report on the goings on of a political summit of governmental and non-governmental organizations.
For a fact, the Lisbon OSCE summit has not been the only political conference that Jehovah’s Witnesses have attended. For example, in October 2000, the Balkans Human Rights organization published a petition to the OSCE that was signed by numerous NGOs (no doubt many of the same NGOs that attended the Lisbon summit a few years prior). One of which was an NGO called the “Administrative Center for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.”
Just what is the Administrative Center for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia? It is another non-governmental organization set up to represent Jehovah’s Witnesses. Admittedly, it is not an NGO in the same way that the Watchtower was an international NGO associated with the UN-DPI, but it evidently serves a similar purpose. The OSCE petition that the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia signed stated:
“The undersigned NGOs have all valued the Human Dimension meetings, throughout the years and in their various formats, as significant for both governments and NGOs to raise human rights concerns in the participating states. Consequently, they have actively participated in them with reports and interventions, and have been encouraging other NGOs to do likewise.”
The petition verifies that the subsidiary Russian NGO, representing the Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses, willingly participated with numerous other NGOs, including the Church of Scientology, in raising “human rights concerns in participating states.” By signing the petition the Administrative Center for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia admits to actively “encouraging other NGOs” to take up the cause of human rights interventions. And, of course, the evidence is overwhelming that the parent organization in Brooklyn used its resources to “raise human rights concerns.”
But what exactly is the OSCE? According to Wikipedia, the online user-contributed encyclopedia, the OSCE is the largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization in the world and its legal existence is founded in the charter of the United Nations. Although it has no military the OSEC is authorized to use NATO and UN military resources. It appears that the OSEC is merely a regional extension of the United Nations Organization.
So, while the Watchtower may have dissolved its secreted association with the UN directly, it is still very much involved with the OSCE, a subsidiary of the United Nations. There are, in fact, numerous ad hoc NGOs that the Watchtower has set up in order to legally represent Jehovah’s Witnesses in governmental affairs. A search of the OSEC website archives reveals there are over 150 petitions filed by the Watchtower and various NGOs representing Jehovah’s Witnesses.
For example, in May 1999, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights held their annual conference in Geneva. Among the many governmental and non-governmental organizations present were three NGOs representing Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were the aforementioned “Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses” and “Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia,” as well as a third NGO called the “European Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses for the Protection of Religious Freedom.” (Click here for PDF of attendees)
Other NGOS are: “Consistoire National des Temoins de Jehovah,” a French NGO; “Union of the Jehovah’s Witnesses” and “Representation of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in Pennsylvania”; which are NGOs functioning in the country of Georgia. And, lastly: “Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, Poland.”
The Watchtower’s political activities as an NGO are not confined to Europe either. In 1999, the Australian government held hearings with invited NGO representatives of numerous religions in order to advance cooperation and human rights. The official record lists the Watchtower’s representatives as Donald MacLean—Director of the Australian branch office—and Vincent Toole, legal counsel of the Watchtower Society. The record of the Official Committee Hansard is available online.
FRIENDSHIP WITH THE WORLD IS ENMITY WITH GOD
In view of the facts presented here as to the criteria for NGOs published by the UN itself, and the abundant evidence that the Watchtower was most assiduous in fulfilling their obligation as an associate level NGO, as well as the corroborative proof of direct participation by Watchtower officials in numerous political conferences, including partnering with other religious NGOs in the signing of a petition that urged other organizations to become more active in promoting—not awareness of God’s kingdom—but in raising awareness of human rights, the Watchtower’s deceit and hypocrisy is laid bare.Regardless of the seemingly noble motive for such political involvement, does acting in behalf of humanitarian or even theocratic objectives ever justify making friends with the world? Where is the trust and fear of God? If it is “Jehovah’s organization,” as it is purported to be, the consequences for the Watchtower’s duplicity in spiritually prostituting itself with her strange bedfellow cannot be understated. The Bible speaks very plainly to Christians on the matter at James 4:4, which reads: “Adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God.”
But was the Watchtower’s activities as an NGO really as serious as all that? Yes, at least according to the Watchtower it is! Here is what the January 1, 1978, Watchtower said about Christendom giving its support to the UN:
“Christendom’s works have included her giving support to man-made schemes for peace, whereas Jesus taught true Christians to pray for God’s kingdom as the instrument for bringing peace to this earth. Catholic and Protestant leaders alike have hailed the United Nations as ‘man’s last hope for peace.’”
As has been shown, though, all NGOs associated with the UN are required to lend their support by conducting information campaigns in behalf of the United Nations, which the Watchtower, incontrovertibly, carried out. That means that the Watchtower, and by extension all of Jehovah’s Witnesses indirectly, are guilty of supporting a manmade political scheme. Ironically, in its condemnation of Christendom, the Watchtower inadvertently condemns itself with the following statement from the November 1, 1972, Watchtower:
“Logically, then, Christendom, by belonging to the United Nations, is for human (not divine) rulership…Christendom has belied her name, and there is no excuse for it.”
If Christendom is inexcusable and has belied her claim of being Christian “by belonging to the United Nations,” how much more so is the Watchtower’s partnership with the United Nations inexcusable? At least Christendom has been open and honest about their support for the United Nations; whereas, the Watchtower is guilty of gross hypocrisy. The Watchtower has behaved just like an immoral adulteress, sneaking surreptitiously in the shadows and lying when found out. Admittedly, these are strong words. Is it really fair to accuse the Watchtower of practicing idolatry, spiritual prostitution and hypocrisy? Again, according to the Watchtower’s own words in condemnation of Christendom, the answer is yes:
“Christendom’s perpetual friendliness with the politicians, and military forces and the big business profiteers of this world is a public scandal… The religious sects of Christendom have committed spiritual adultery also “with their dungy idols.” One of the latest and biggest things to be idolized by her is the “image” of the symbolic wild beast of world politics, namely, the United Nations, to which most of the professedly Christian nations belong.”— The Nations Shall Know
Again, if Christendom’s “perpetual friendliness with the politicians” is a public scandal, the Watchtower’s secret liaison with the United Nations is more reprehensible by reason of the fact Jehovah’s Witnesses boast of being untainted by such worldliness. In what way has Christendom idolized the United Nations that the Watchtower has not?
While the Watchtower may not have blasphemously proclaimed the UN or League of Nations to be the political manifestation of the kingdom of God on earth, as some of the clergy of Christendom have done; yet, if the United Nations is really the “disgusting thing” of prophecy, as Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, does not the Watchtower’s constant attendance to its every utterance amount to glorifying a “dungy idol,” as Jehovah expressed it?
The fact is that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society became a willing political partner with an agency of Satan’s world and the evidence abounds testifying to the fact that the organization has subserviently carried out the obligation of that partnership.
Not only that, but in their service to the United Nations the Watchtower has misappropriated the use of resources— both human and material—dedicated exclusively to Jehovah God.
According to Jehovah’s judgment that amounts to spiritual prostitution, idolatry and apostasy. There are unavoidable consequences for such wickedness.
In 1951, more than a half century ago, the September 15th issue of the Watchtower boasted that Jehovah’s Witnesses were “refusing to enter partnership with the abominable League of Nations or the United Nations.”
O how things have changed!
No wonder Jehovah expresses his own disappointment and astonishment at the deplorable hypocrisy of his organized people, saying at Isaiah 1:21: “O how the faithful town has become a prostitute!”
In view of the Watchtower’s practicing the very thing they have roundly condemned Christendom for doing, it can be better understood why Jehovah long ago stated at Ezekiel 7:27: “According to their way I shall act toward them, and with their judgments I shall judge them; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.”
As a supplemental, the following PDF attachment provides an approximation of the extent to which the Watchtower went to inform the public about all of the United Nations’ programs and activities. As it turns out during the years of their NGO partnership with the UN the words “United Nations,” “UN” and all the related agencies which make up the UN, appear more frequently in the AWAKE! Magazine than do terms like “God’s kingdom” or “the kingdom of God.”