Appendix C

Association or Registration?

The evidence in this work has been rather damaging to those who stubbornly refuse to admit even the possibility that their conspiracy theory may be wrong. To keep the faith, they have begun to grab at straws – any straws – that they can find.

One of these straws is the argument some have made that the Watchtower Society uses the word ‘registration’ when referring to their association with the DPI as an NGO. They point to these phrases written in letters by Bethel:

“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.”

However, they argue that it was not a mere registration that took place, but rather that Bethel applied for association with the UN DPI. Thus, their claim is that the Society is attempting to play-down their relationship with the UN and mischaracterize it as a registration, rather than an association. One conspiracy theorist stated:

“They did not register, there is no such thing as a registrant/registrar relationship between NGOs and the UN DPI ... The Society outrightly lies when they mischaracterize the nature of the relationship as one of registrant to registrar.”

Is this a fair point? Is there “no such thing” as a register of DPI NGOs? Has the Society tried to down-play the situation and mislead us by mischaracterizing the nature of the relationship? Or are the accusers simply splitting hairs over the meaning of words?

Please take note of these two quotes from the Watchtower Society in letters written to explain the NGO association.

“Moreover, NGOs are informed by the United Nations that ‘association of NGOs with the DPI does not constitute their incorporation into the United Nations system’”.

If the Watchtower Society was really trying to claim that they were never associated but merely registered, then we wonder why they quote directly the UN talking of “association of NGOs with the DPI” and then apply this to their very own situation. So here the Society clearly refers to their NGO status as “association”, it’s in black and white. Now consider the next quote:

“After learning of the situation, our membership as an NGO was withdrawn and the ID card of the writer was returned.”

Here the Society talks of, not registration, but membership. There is no “mischaracterization” here at all. What if the Society had instead said something like “our registration as an NGO was withdrawn”? Would that have been correct use of terminology? Let’s see what the UN says.

In their document UN System and Civil Society – An Inventory and Analysis of Practices (available from the UN website at they say this under the heading “Accreditation with ECOSOC” comes this quote about NGO association:

“It does, however, provide a number of practical benefits, such as obtaining passes to enter UN grounds, attend meetings, and interact with governments or secretariat staff (as does being on DPI Register).”

Again, under the heading “Accreditation with the Department of Public Information” comes this quote:

“Currently about 1,400 NGOs, mostly Northern, are accredited with DPI ... The DPI NGO Section has recently been weeding out the inactive ones from its register...”

So there we have it. The UN itself refers to DPI NGOs being on a register. It is no mischaracterization by the Watchtower Society, but correct terminology used by the United Nations itself.

The only reasonable conclusion is that some apostates have been trying to make something out of absolutely nothing: the trivial use of a single word – registration. Their failure to provide hard evidence for their conspiracy theory has driven them to these sorts of hollow arguments. However, according to the UN itself, use of such a word is no big deal at all, and is in fact correct terminology. We can, quite correctly, say that the Watchtower Society “registered” as an NGO “associated” with the DPI. Then, as the Watchtower Society itself states, they later withdrew their “membership” or their “registration”.

It seems the only lies and mischaracterization of the facts are coming from the apostates.

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