You stated as to who may have library access privileges:
(1) UN staff members, (2) institutions whose applications documented a legitimate research interest, and (3) organizations which became affiliated with the Department of Public Information.So you have noted that there are 3 options - (1) become a UN staff member, (2) be an institution whose application documents a legitimate research interest and (3) be an organization that affiliates as an NGO.
# (1) is out
# (2) would be for institutions that needed to do research for whatever their own ends were - that is they simply wanted access to the library without taking on any of the obligations of an NGO. This link outlines what those research needs might include: http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/services.htm#service
Clearly, WTS writers fall under the category of authors. Certainly they could be considered members of the press. Finally, the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead could qualify as an "institution" if one wanted to quibble about the difference between an institution and an organization. However, this letter from the Head Librarian demonstrates that there is no real distinction in the UN's eyes: http://www.thetruthhurts.freeservers.com/dag.htm
# (3) this option would be, as the UN rules make clear, for organizations that wanted to further the goals that they held in common with the UN. Since the WTS chose this instead of option (2) then clearly, as the Portuguese branch stated, they had primary reasons going beyond getting a library card. At least that is the only conclusion that can be legitimately drawn based on the available facts.
In view of this your comment:
Thus, it evidently became “necessary” in 1991 for any organization to qualify in one of these three ways if it wished to have continued access to the main library. Thus, when the Watchtower says that it became "necessary" to affiliate itself with the DPI, it seems to be the truth, not a lie.is not accurate. Your last sentence implies that the WTS had only a single option when, based on your own words it had two. Option 2 was available to them if they merely wanted access to research materials as opposed to wanting to further the humanitarian goals which they shared with the UN. Subsequent Awake! articles show that they did a good job of publicizing the goals which they claim to share with the UN. In other words, they took their obligations seriously in promoting UN principles. Option (2) would have not required that they do this.
Obviously, a researcher with access to the library need not necessarily share UN goals, or want to promote them, which is presumably why Option (2) exists. Or are you saying that one must support the UN in order for them to let you use their library?
There is no doubt that WTS writers could obtain access to the UN librray without affiliating as an NGO. It may have been more convenient for them to affiliate but that is not quite the same thing as saying that it was necessary to affiliate. Is it?
Let me make several more points:
(i) How did you, Joseph, get a copy of Gillies' letter? Presumably it was from the internet. So why do you attach so much credibility to that letter and apparently so little to the letter from the Head Librarian when both have similar sources, i.e., the internet? It is probably a lot more easy to verify the Librarian's letter than Gillies' since the WTS tries to avoid talking about this matter. Email Gillies at email@example.com and report back what he tells you.
(ii) Why did the Portuguese branch issue a statement that is very much in line with what would be expected from an NGO and in total contradiction of Gillies' letter and the Nov. letter from WTS headquarters? The Portuguese letter did not mention the library card at all and, further, stated that the sole reason for affiliating was for humanitarian - which could involve political - reasons. There's that "sole" word again!
(iii) When Gillies said that the "sole purpose was ...." he was being misleading. Whatever the private reasons the WTS may have had for affiliating, the reason they gave for affiliating does not exist. That is, one cannot become an NGO simply to get a library card. One becomes an NGO in order to further shared goals with access to the UN being one of attendant benefits. Gillies' letter was written cleverly and was designed to give the impression that they were merely applying for a library card. They were not. That is deceit because the impression conveyed was not accurate, even if Gillies statement was technically true inthe sense that the WTS had a hidden agenda that it did not inform the UN of in its application. That is the WTS's way. Fortunately their later letter clarified the matter.
(iv) The requirements have not changed for NGO affiliates in any substantive way since the 1968 UN Resolutios 1296/97. When the WTS claims the rules have changed they are being dishonest. In itself that is enough to cast the WTS's explanation into serious doubt.
As I noted, the onus is on the WTS to explain their voluntary decision to affiliate. JWs around the world are saying "it was nothing, they just wanted a library card!" The effectiveness of this bit of duplicty by the WTS demonstrates how good they are at their craft. JWs have little interest in the propriety of the matter so long as they have a buzz phrase to stop them thinking - "stopthink" in Orwellian terms.
I have a suggestion: why don't you call up Harry Peloyan, the editor of the Awake! magazine and identify yourself as an academic researcher interested in the UN affair. Ask him for copies of the original application, etc. Ask him about the Portuguese branch's letter and, finally, you might suggest to him that an informative, documented article in Awake! with copies of those materials would go a long way to resolving this matter.
I can't really do it since I'm an apostate but I think you could.
No one, I think, argues with the possibility that the WTS sold out for the conevenience of getting access to the library. If that is the case it looks even worse for them I believe. But there is not a shred of credible evidence that they affiliated solely to get a library card. To present even legitimate speculation as if it were a fact is unhelpful and misleading.
ps: you stated that the WTS's claims are not extraordinary. Of course they are! Why else would they have been the subject of so news articles in the Guardian and the Tablet and so much discussion here. The affiliation with the UN is extraordinary precisley because of the 80 years of vitriloic hatred hurled at the UN - ergo the WTS should go to extraordinary lengths to clear the matter up. Once again, Joseph, you sem to have things upside down - you're looking at the inverse problem.