A brief history about controlling cults: JW in France during 1998
I was reading a Master degree thesis from a student from Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, regarding religious associations taxation in Mexico On it there is a note/citation from a open letter that the Watchtower sent to the president of France, and paid The New Your Times to publish it, regarding the attack and violation of human rights by imposing a taxation of 60% of the donations given in a period of 4 years. I don't know if you had heard about it, but for me it is the first time I know about this letter. Here is the link of the letter:
Besides, in the thesis the student adds information regarding a report given in Bethel about the France taxation issue during July '98, and there it is explained why France government imposed the taxation:
"As you remember in 1994 and 1995, a cult called "The Solar Temple" appeared in the newsletters headlines with homicides and suicides occurred in Canada, Switzerland, and France. This resulted in many "vigilant cults" groups grow throughout France. The government formed a commission to analyze cults and give recommendations. This is the moment when apostates "jumped in the car", and they claimed that JW have the highest rate of suicides that the rest of the population. In January, 1996, the Gest-Guyard Report established that in France exist 173 "Dangerous Cults", and in the list was included the JW.
This commission recommended the government to exert control in these cults, within the framework of "tax laws". Immediately, the JW Association was audited by the Government. The audit that lasted one year revealed that it was a non-profit organization, and it is not engaged in commercial activities (!!!!). But the government considered that printing bibles, and distribution of religious magazines were not appropriate activities for Christian worship." (Pag. 31 and 32). (When did the government determine which activities are appropriate for Christians?).
"Actually, it is very probable that soon apostates will notice this, will filtrate to the media and make the Society like law offenders, whose disastrous acts have been finally discovered by Officials. So, the Governing Body decided that it will be prudent to take action in an anticipated form, to approach to the media first, in order to give a positive impression." (Pag.33).
What do you think? Do you think that JW will act like this now that there is negative information in some countries about the child abuse, in case that governments act against them (taxation, ban)?
Here is the master thesis:
Definitely interesting, but unfortunately for me, it is all in Spanish.