.:THE WATCHTOWER AND THE UNITED NATIONS – The Watchtower Severs Its Ten-Year Association With The United Nations After Public Exposure
For many years, the Watchtower Society has taught that the United Nations is “the present form of the ‘image of the wild beast’” of Revelation. The Society’s 1963 publication, “Babylon the Great Has Fallen!” God’s Kingdom Rules!, states on pages 593-594:
“The Seventh World Power is the main promoter and supporter of the United Nations, the present form of the ‘image of the wild beast.’ … Destruction is what God’s angel predicted for this scarlet-colored wild beast by saying: ‘The wild beast that was but is not, it is also itself an eighth king, but springs form the seven, and it goes off into destruction’ (Revelation 17:11). The United Nations of today contains as members the Seventh World Power and the national remnants of all the previous world powers. So it owes its existence to those seven world powers; it springs from them. As this modern scarlet-colored beast is an image of the leopard-spotted wild beast from the sea, which is a summation of all seven world powers, the beastly ‘image’ is also in itself a world power or ‘king,’ hence ‘an eighth king.’ It has put its own military police force into the field of action. Now that it has ascended out of the abyss and been out since 1945, the Bible shows that what next it will do is to go off into destruction.”
However, for ten years, from 1991 until October of 2001, the Watchtower Organization was associated with the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). Proof of the Watchtower’s association with the United Nations as an NGO can be found in the following documents:
The first document is a letter from the United Nations dated 11 October 2001 describing the association of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society with the Department of Public Information (DPI) of the United Nations. It states:
“To Whom It May Concern:
“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 with DPI 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 of 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.
“In October 2001, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York requested termination of its association with DPI. Following this request, the DPI has made a decision to disassociate the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York as 9 October 2001.
“We appreciate your interest in the work of the United Nations.
Department of Public Information” **
The second document is a PDF file of page 334 of the UN’s NGO List where the Watchtower was listed as “associated” with the U.N.’s “DPI” (Department of Public Information):
The third source is a list of news reports from the United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper:
This news was shocking to individual Jehovah’s Witnesses who discovered the Society’s involvement with what they viewed as the “image of the wild beast.” They immediately began to question the Watchtower Society’s intentions concerning the United Nations. In response, the Watchtower Society quickly disassociated itself from the U.N. in October of 2001. This action was significant because it demonstrated the hypocrisy of the Watchtower organization to teach one thing to its followers, while negotiating for other interests with the very form of “Satan’s system” that it consistently denounced. This condemnation of the U.N. as the “image of the wild beast” continued throughout its ten-year association with the U.N. as even just a year prior the Society’s official disassociation from the U.N., the Watchtower claimed:
“The wild beast represents the United Nations organization … Thus the modern-day Assyrian (nations associated with the UN) will deal Christendom a mighty blow and will crush her out of her existence.” (Isaiah’s Prophecy – Light for All Mankind vol. 1, 2000, p. 153)
Some may be wondering why an association with the U.N.’s DPI as an NGO would warrant the accusation of hypocrisy and compromise. Such concerns can be answered by reading the definition of an NGO given on the official website of the United Nations. It states:
“What is an NGO? A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a not-for-profit, voluntary citizens’ group, which is organized on a local, national or international level to address issues in support of the public good. … About 1,500 NGOs with strong information programmes on issues of concern to the UN are associated with the Department of Public Information (DPI), giving the UN valuable links to people around the world. DPI helps these NGOs gain access to and disseminate information about the issues in which the United Nations is involved so that the public can better understand the aims and objectives of the world Organization and support its work.” (http://www.un.org/dpi/ngosection/brochure.htm)
As is clearly stated, in order for the Watchtower Society to have been associated with the U.N. as an NGO, the organization would have been required to disseminate information about the U.N.’s objectives in a way that would indicate “support” for its work. As is clearly seen, the Society violated these terms by its disdainful statements made about the U.N. to the Jehovah’s Witnesses inside the organization. Yet, publicly, the Society attempted to comply with the U.N.’s policy of “support” by publishing positive articles about the United Nation’s activities and promoting its agenda in its Awake! magazine that was distributed to the general public as late as July of 2001. This positive article stated:
“International Year of Volunteers … On November 20, 1997, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed the year 2001 to be the ‘International Year of Volunteers,’ (IYV 2001). According to the UN, there are four objectives to be achieved during the year. … The UN hopes that IYV 2001 will result in more requests for the services of volunteers. … A total of 123 governments have joined in sponsoring the objectives of this UN resolution. … The box ‘International Year of Volunteers’ describes some of the goals the UN hopes to reach. … there are still numerous individuals around the world who are willing to make a difference. What motivates to them to do so? What do they accomplish? And how may they affect your life?” (Awake! July 22, 2001, p. 5)
Clearly, promoting the U.N.’s goals to the general public outside the Watchtower organization while denouncing the U.N. as the “image of the wild beast” inside the organization was a far cry from “supporting” its work. Yet, the Society saw no problem with this compromise. In a letter dated August 29, 2002 to a concerned Jehovah’s Witness, the Watchtower Society offered two excuses for its association. This letter stated:
“Our purpose for registering with the Department of Public Information as an NGO in 1991 was to have access to research material available on health, ecological, and social problems 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. Registration papers filed with the United Nations that we have on file contain no statements that conflict with our Christian beliefs … Still the Criteria for Association of NGOs—at least in their latest version—contain some language that we cannot subscribe to. When we realised this, we immediately withdrew our registration. We are grateful that this matter was brought to our attention.”
EXCUSE #1: LIBRARY ACCESS
The Society claims that association with the U.N.’s DPI as an NGO has been required for library access since 1991. Although access to the physical grounds of the United Nations’ Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York is restricted to individuals possessing a valid “ground pass” by being a member of an NGO associated with the U.N. or individuals belonging to “specialized agencies” or “accredited media,” ANYONE is allowed access to the Dag Hammarskjöld Library of the United Nations through the Internet as well as through the Inter-Library loan system. The website of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library explains:
“Who may use the library? … Anyone with a valid United Nations Headquarters grounds pass, including specialized agencies, accredited media and NGO staff, is able to visit the library. Due to security constraints in place at the United Nations Headquarters complex, the library is not open to the general public. The vast majority of recent documentation is available to everyone electronically.” (The United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library FAQ – http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/libraryfaq.htm)
“Access to the United Nations Bibliographic and Information System (UNBIS) databases is freely available through UNBISnet to any Internet user. … The Library is open Monday through Friday … Access to the physical premises is available to all users with a valid United Nations Headquarters grounds pass. … Inter-Library Loans (ILL) … Material needed for official research but outside the collecting scope of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library may be borrowed temporarily (usually four weeks) from other libraries. Reference works and material published in the current year are generally not available through inter-library loan.” (“Services and Collections,” – http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/hours.htm#access)
Even though the Watchtower Society may have felt the need to associate with the U.N. as an NGO to gain access to the “reference works” section of the library that is unavailable to the general public through the Inter-Library loan system, this is hardly an excuse for the fact that they would have had to compromise their convictions by subscribing to the “Criteria for Association of NGOs” as the following evidence proves.
The Watchtower Society’s rebuttal letter implies that the “Criteria for Association of NGOs” changed in 2001. The Society states: “The Criteria for Association of NGOs–at least in their latest version–contain some language that we cannot subscribe to.” However, in response to this concern, the United Nations stated in a letter dated March 18, 2002:
“Dear Mr. –
“In reply to your letter dated 19 February 2002, please be informed of the following:
- The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., an NGO, has been associated with the DPI since 1992 and requested to terminate its association in 2001. The request was granted on 9 October 2001. According to the website www.watchtower.org, the organization is ‘a legal organization in use by Jehovah’s Witnesses.’
- The United Nations does not force or ‘trick’ any NGO to be associated with DPI.
- The criteria for association for NGOs have not been changed since 1991.
“Lyutha Al-Mughairy, Chief, Public Liaison Service, Department of Public Information”
Not only have the “Criteria for Association of NGOs” not changed since 1991, but the Society has always been required to “support” and promote the ideals of the U.N. since its association in 1991. This can be seen stated in the following quotes taken from the 1994 version of the United Nations Department of Public Information and Non-Governmental Organizations brochure, which says:
“NGO’s and the Department of Public Information (DPI): Spreading the Word
“The Charter of the United Nations, which came into force on 24 October 1945, established in its Article 71 a formal relationship between NGOs and the United Nations. … The Department and its branch offices should actively assist and encourage … non-governmental organizations of all kinds interested in spreading information about the United Nations.’ … Who is eligible for association with DPI? Non-profit organizations which: share the ideals of the UN Charter; have the means and make a commitment to spread information about the United Nations through an effective and continuing information programme; … can prove, during the initial two years of association with DPI, that they support the United Nations by featuring U.N. information in their publications and outreach activities; The application process To initiate the process, organizations should … complete the application providing information concerning membership, basic purpose and past and future information programmes, particularly as these relate to the United Nations; … provide evidence of regular information programmes …which will accommodate regular dissemination of information related to the United Nations’ programmes; establish a working relationship with the United Nations Information Centre/Service.” (United Nations Department of Public Information and Non-Governmental Organizations, May 1994, pp. 3, 6-8)
While it may be true that the registration papers that the Watchtower needed to file with the United Nations from 1991-2000 may not have listed these requirements, this is no excuse for the Society to claim ignorance of these requirements as this information was public knowledge, not only as we saw in the above quote from the 1994 U.N. brochure, but also as it is listed in the following Press Release letter from the United Nations dated August 1992:
“The NGOs officially recognized by DPI cooperate with the United Nations to help build public understanding and support for United Nations programmes and goals … To be granted association status with DPI, NGOs must … support the Charter of the United Nations … and possess the resources necessary for effective outreach.”
As the Watchtower Society had just recently associated with the U.N. as an NGO when this Press Release letter became public information, we question how the Society could have reconciled their conviction that the United Nations represents the “image of the wild beast” of Revelation while agreeing to “support” the Charter of the United Nations. The extent of this “support” of the U.N. was also specified in the UN Charter. It states:
“All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.” (Charter of the United Nations, “Chapter I: Purposes And Principles,” Article 2, point 5 – http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml)
So, effectively, the Watchtower agreed to “support” and “give assistance” to what the Society taught was the “wild beast” of Revelation 17! Given the Watchtower teaching in regard to the “whore of Babylon” that rides the “wild beast” of Revelation, how can this association not be viewed as compromise with her? How can this act not be viewed as a clear violation of the principles of neutrality that the Society claims to uphold?
** For verification of the letter’s accuracy contact: Paul Hoeffel, Chief, NGO Section, Department of Public Information, Room S-1070L, United Nations, New York, N.Y. 10017, fax (212) 963-6914, phone (212) 963-8070 or (212) 963-6842