Friday, April 23, 2010

How do Jehovah's Witnesses respond to accusations of the Watchtower's involvement with the United Nations?

In my opinion, the United Nations issue is one of the most powerful things you can bring up to a Jehovah's Witness in providing evidence that the Watchtower is not a reliable guide for truth. Here is one way you can present this information:

Many JW's will not know how to respond to this information when shown. The usual reaction will consist of immediate denial and will never want to discuss this issue again. In fact, many JW's will end all contact with you at this point as they will suspect that you have been looking at "apostate literature," or worse, talking to apostates themselves. But the honest JW will take this information and investigate it. However, their search will very quickly end in vain when they realize that there is nothing in the Watchtower's literature (in particular, the CD Library) that addresses the accusation. Thus, in an act of desperation they will use the trusty google search engine to find out if any JW's online know anything about this. Here is what a google search of "Watchtower United Nations" will pull up:

(Click picture to enlarge)

If the JW is looking carefully, he will immediately disregard the first hit as an "apostate website," as the first thing one sees is the Watchtower riding the scarlet beast. However, if the JW is open minded, he will notice that the "Randy TV" website is filled with full documentation on the issue including official U.N. letters and scans.

The second hit contains the U.N. public letter in addressing the extent of the WT's involvement. The third hit is another "apostate" website that the JW will avoid. The fourth hit is a Wikipedia article that contains a basic overview of the Watchtower's history of views with the U.N. And if the JW hasn't given up already, he will find the final answer; the be-all-end-all to this "silly accusation" that will set "opposers" straight once-and-for-all. It is the Jehovah's Judgment Website. No one knows exactly who authored this website, which is unsurprising since the Watchtower discourages JW's from creating unofficial websites like these. But the JW can now rest at ease, because there is an "answer" to the accusation. It doesn't really matter to the JW if the answer is legitimate; he just cares that it is in depth and "addresses" the full scope of the issue.

The interesting thing is, JW's on the internet will immediately point you to this website. But JW's in person will almost never do this. The reason being, JW's on the internet are anonymous 99 percent of the time. And there will be no way for the elders to find out that they are using non-WT literature or websites in answering questions about the organization. In my experience, JW's who you meet in person will very rarely even bring this issue up again and will especially not point you to this website for the reason mentioned above. The website will simply set their mind at ease and they will likely never ponder the issue ever again.

But what if they do point you to this website? How do you respond? In my experience, it has done no good to provide any sort of "refutation" of the issue. To them, its already settled and the website has fully refuted the accusation. And unfortunately, this website contains the latest argument of the issue. That is, practically all websites, like Randy TV, which address this issue were written before the Jehovah's Judgment website. Thus, there are no specific refutations of the website (though the actual documentation of the issue speaks for itself). But now, someone has finally taken this website to task:

I haven't yet checked out all of the information on this website (I plan on doing so in time), so it is not recommended that you show this to JW's until you have ensured that the information and arguments are solid (though I have no reason to doubt that they are, as I personally know the author). The website can be found HERE. So, the next time a JW tells you to check out THIS WEBSITE to find out all the "answers," you can tell him, "Thanks for the link, but that website has already been debunked by THIS ONE. But we can go all day in passing websites back and forth. So why don't we just look at the documents themselves and discuss them?"

As of right now, I am in the process (actually, in the final editing stages) of an in-depth paper on the subject. Though there are more than enough websites that address this issue, I believe that my paper will provide a fresh look at the issue and will be written with the Jehovah's Judgment website in mind so that the arguments are as solid as possible and based on the best available reasons.


Mark Hunter (former Jehovah's Witness) said...

The "Jehovah's Judgment" site seems to sate any doubting JWs who learn about the UN/NGO situation. But that's to be expected as the JW will be looking to shore up the dam of their doubts and will settle for any sort of explanation of the UN "scandal".

My own father pointed to that website as a way of explaining the situation to me. Here, in part, is my reply; (PART 1)

"1. was it necessary to become an NGO of the UN's DPI in order to get a card to the Dag Hammarskjold library in the 1990s?

Answer; "The issuance of a library pass is independent of NGO status or any other status". Quote from Maureen Anderson, one of the administrators at the Dag Hammarskjold library. So at no point did the Organisation need to register as an NGO to get access to the library.

2. was it clear on the application form what was expected of any organisation that wished to have NGO status?
Answer; yes. "Please note that the association of your Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) with the Department of Public Information (DPI) requires that you provide us with proof of your organisation's non-profit status and with an annual report on its activities related to United Nations issues." Quote from the United Nations Application Form for Non-Governmental Organisations. All NGOs understood that they'd have to report to the UN annually on what they were doing to report on UN activities. How many 'Watching the World' articles were there related to work the UN was doing from 1993 - 2001? Do a quick search on the CD Rom. Now do a quick search for similar instances from 2003 onwards.


Mark Hunter (former Jehovah's Witness) said...

(PART 2)
3. was there any doubt exactly what was expected of the Organisation if they were granted NGO status?
Answer; no. Quote; "The annual DPI/NGO Orientation Course, for newly accredited representatives of non-governmental organisations, will take place at Headquarters from 20 to 21 February [1992].....The NGOs officially recognized by the DPI cooperate with the United Nations to help build public understanding and support for United Nations programmes and goals....To be granted association with the DPI, NGOs must have national or international standing, support the Charter of the United Nations, have a broadly based membership and possess the resources necessary for effective outreach." Quote from a 14th February 1992 United Nations Press Release pertaining to the induction of new NGOs. The Watch Tower Society's representatives would have attended this induction course as they were granted NGO status in early 1992 after applying in 1991.

To further answer this question, the United Nations publishes a pamphlet for those considering applying for NGO status. In that pamphlet it is made clear what is expected of NGOs of the DPI. Quote; "Provide a channel through which information concerning the United Nations reaches the public, play a crucial role in mobilizing public opinion and building understanding for the United Nations, its related agencies and programmes." Again, search the CD Rom for references to the United Nations during the time period it was an NGO of the DPI.


Mark Hunter (former Jehovah's Witness) said...

PART 3 there any defense for the Society's decision to register as an NGO in view of the foregoing information (which I can provide to you in printed form)?

5. what is the Organisation's policy for brothers or sisters who affiliate themselves with groups or organisations at odds with Jehovah's Witness' beliefs?
In the 'Organized to do Jehovah's Will' book, page 155, subheading 'Disassociation', paragraph 2 it states "For example, a person might renounce his place in the Christian congregation by his actions, such as by becoming part of a secular organisation that has objectives contrary to the Bible and, hence, is under judgement by Jehovah God." Does the United Nations have objectives contrary to the Bible?
Real-life example; I know of a sister who joined the local YWCA to have access to the swimming pool and gym. After counsel from the elders it was announced that she was no longer one of Jehovah's Witnesses because of her having a card that allowed her access to the YWCA's facilities. By the Society's own policy, they should now be viewed as disassociated from Jehovah. Have they ever publicly said sorry and repented for their 9 year affiliation with the United Nations? Can they expect Jehovah's continued blessing and support?

Mark Hunter (former Jehovah's Witness) said...

6. what was the stance of the brothers and sisters in Malawi?

I wonder how they felt when they learned of the Watch Tower Society's procurement of a library card. Remember, in Malawi it was a one-party political state and the law of that land required the purchase of a party card (subjection to the superior authorities?); there were no other political parties, there was one, ruling party. But the official policy from the Headquarters was the these brothers and sisters should not purchase the card. We both know the horrific results. Did you know that at the same time as the atrocities in Malawi were taking place, the brothers in Mexico were officially allowed to bribe army officials in order to buy 'marching papers' which stated they'd fulfilled their military training? These brothers were then added to the list of trained service men, ready to fight in the Mexican army. The Organisation knew about this because the brothers in Mexico had troubled consciences and wrote to Headquarters about it; how could it be deemed acceptable for them to bribe the military to purchase 'marching papers' when their Christian brothers in Malawi were being murdered, raped and persecuted for not purchasing a political card, as required by the law of the land?

The issue was raised with the Governing Body and the decision made was that it was up to the consciences of the brothers in Mexico what they should do. At the same time the brothers in Malawi were prohibited from exercising their own consciences; buy a party card and be disfellowshipped/be viewed as disassociated, lose all contact with your friends and family and be destroyed at Armageddon.

Don't buy a political card and watch your home be burned to the ground before witnessing the slaughter of your children and the rape of your wife. Meanwhile your brethren in Mexico can bribe officials to avoid doing military service. All officially sanctioned by the Governing Body (whom you are required to follow and obey as per recent Watchtower articles).

7. would you, in good conscience, become affiliated with the United Nations in order to get a library card knowing what you know about the brothers in Malawi?"

Anonymous said...

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