I'm going to be unpopular and take a contrarian view here. I hope we can have an intelligent discussion and that my post won't simply vanish.
First, let's assume that all this story is true, and the WT got caught doing something wrong, and were forced to do damage control.
What, exactly, did they gain by becoming an NGO? NGOs do not appear to have any special position as far as anything the WT would be interested in, ie expanding into other countries. This is a critical piece of information that is missing from the story.
Second, on the UN NGO information page (http://www.un.org/MoreInfo/ngolink/brochure.htm), we read the following:
"The DPI/NGO Section at United Nations Headquarters provides a number of services to its associated organizations. For example, the Section:"
"Provides ground passes which grant a main and an alternate NGO representative access to all "open" meetings of UN bodies; to DPI photo, film and audio libraries; to the Dag Hammarskjold Library; and, as observers, to the meetings of some 22 NGO committees organized by the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Status with ECOSOC (CONGO);"
So there is possibly some validity to the WT's claim that they became an NGO to gain library and research access.
Yes, I've read the letter from the UN librarian about the UN's library pass policy, and I requested independent verification of her statement.
However, her letter dealt with library pass access, not necessarily access to all libraries and media.
I think it's quite possible that the WT engaged in "theocratic warfare", bending a few rules to become an NGO. My question is, why?
I agree that the WT should never have had NGO membership, since this directly contradicts statements in the WT about the UN:
"Since the founding days of the United Nations in San Francisco, NGOs have made valuable contributions to the international community by drawing attention to issues, suggesting ideas and programmes, disseminating information and mobilizing public opinion in support of the UN and its Specialized Agencies".
As far as the WT still being listed as an NGO, I count 61 religious NGOs, and the WT is not listed. Now, what do all these groups (such as the Knights of Columbus) get from being an NGO? Are they all looking for library passes too, or are they trying to promote and support the UN, or am I missing something else here?