Religious organizations enjoy tax-exempt status when they are "open to the public", dear LWT (peace to you!). This is not so much because of the belief in "freedom of religion" but more so because many believe they contribute to the "public good" (i.e., by speaking to the "conscience" of the public they "help" the government maintain law and order). A religion CAN be private, but like private schools, cannot receive assistance from the government in such instances.
The WTBTS enjoys tax-exemption as they claim to be such a "public" religion. Hence, the "Public" Talk. However, it is not enough for ONE meeting (out of, say, 5) to be open to the public. Previously, so long as the majority of their gatherings were open to the public, they were okay. So, they go away with the Book Study (which was not "open to the public") being conducted in private homes. However, I think certain changes to the Tax Code that either went into effect in 2010... or will go into effect sometime between 2011-2014, I can't remember... put organizations like the WTBTS at risk of losing that status (and thus becoming a "for profit" entity, which would have to pay taxes on all $$ they receive, even if donations. Because it would be "taxable income")... if ALL of their meetings weren't accessible to the public.
You can't keep Caesar's money... and not use it to serve his citizens. At least, that's the premises. We all know they don't really serve Caesar's citizens, but their own... but apparently their story is that they ARE... and they're sticking to it.
I hope this helps and you're not really ignorant, per se. The Tax Code is only understood by an elite few... who pay for even more schooling to be educated as to how to read it. It is one area of law that I would LOVE to practice... along with Estate Planning (but I'm just not ready/financially able at this time). I think, however, that if there's anything on this earth that can be used against WTBTS, as a corporation, it is the U.S. (and other countries') Tax Code(s). If one knows what they're really about... and what one is looking for. [Shelby thinks... hmmmmmmm... ]
Again, peace to you!
A slave of Christ,