They are beginning to realise more and more that there is something weird about the JWs that they are an eccentric group with strange ideas most ppl can sense and judge collective characters quite well. Someone told me "they are monsters" which is very true in a spiritual way.
Stay away from the Weirdos!!
I, myself, thought that JW's were very religious people who had some strange customs that I didn't understand, as there is almost no readily available information out there. People of my parent's generation used to slam the doors in the faces of the people who were knocking on doors. I never really knew why they were so against the JW's. After getting to know a JW friend (who was not very honest and forthcoming about what he really believes) I was taken in (although not interested in becoming one of them), until he started to withdraw from our friendship and I started to look into the "religion" more. Now, I have to say, I think it is a cult and I feel really sad for all of the lives that have been ruined.
I wanted to think they were God like and very good people. How very disappointed I became Yep...most of them are weirdo's including myself when I was a jw. Now I'm free from guilt, have'n fun and '' I'm not a weirdo anymore.'' Justice for all
I think you are all being a bit harsh. Although i am not a current JW i am still in touch with a lot of people who are JW and they are good people. At least they believe in something and are trying to live their lives with certain morals. When i look at all the religions out there i have to say they are by no means the weirdest and i think they deserve a bit of respect. The bible does say to go and preach gods word door to door and at the moment they are one of the only religions doing this and i believe that takes guts, belive me i know. Shane
I have friends and relatives that are not JW's.
I have discovered that when I tell them that I am no longer a JW, they feel free to tell me what they really thought all these years. I have gotten quite a few congratulations, smiles of happiness, and a bunch of questions they felt uncomfortable asking before.
What a silly cocoon I lived in.
Better read your bible again Shane, and do some research about that door to door thing.
Reply to StartingOver:
Matthew 24:14 - And the good news of the knigdom will be preached in all the enhabited earth for a witness to all the nations.
Jesus disciples preached door to door and as the bible says we should follow in Jesus footsteps i believe that the bible does therefore request door to door preaching.
Thats just my view on the matter though why what do you think??
You might check out this webpage. http://www.escapefromwatchtower.com/house.html
I think if you looked into what it was like back then, they preached in public, and if someone was interested they went to their house. But I think it's highly unlikely they went from door to door like the JW's say is biblically required.
And today it's a highly ineffective way of reaching people. Have you ever seen a calculation of how many hours it takes to make one convert?
Consider the following essay written by the famous Runningman of JWD fame: (In case you are offended early on and want to stop reading, skip down to the subheading "So, just how well does this work?"
Souls and Money
All of my stories to this point have dealt with ancient, Bible themes. I will now take a brief trip into the present day, but with an ancient link.
You may recall (from the Chapter “The Numbers of the Book”) that, if the Bible is to be believed, the temple workers must have been spectacular slackers. The amount of work accomplished in those 1.281 Million man-years of labor was paltry enough to make even the laziest Teamster blush with embarrassment. Well, those old workers have their modern productivity counterpart - Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Those smiling people who come your door with the Watchtower and Awake magazines are engaged in a very serious business - a business that uses sophisticated performance management, sales training, and measurement techniques.
In this chapter, I will give an overview of the business side of those door to door recruiters, and conclude with a rather startling analysis of their effectiveness. Here is a behind the scenes look at the business of being a Jehovah’s Witness.
Organization of the Work
In order to ensure that all residences and businesses receive a regular visit, and to prevent multiple calls from being made on a home in the same day, Jehovah’s Witnesses have divided up the world into “territories”. Each congregation has specific boundaries in which to operate. The congregation’s territory is further subdivided into individual territories that encompass only a few blocks. If you live in virtually any part of the western world, you can rest assured that your home is on a Jehovah’s Witness territory map.
These territories are signed out by individual Witnesses, who make calls on all of the homes and businesses on the map. If you are not home on the first visit, they will mark down your address for further reference. Once the territory is completed, they will return to call on all of the “not-at-homes”. This will be done as many times as necessary to get to every house.
If you are foolish enough to accept their literature, your name and address will be marked down by the individual Witness in their personal records. You are now a “return visit”. They will return regularly, usually every two weeks, until you tell them to go away. So, don’t think that you can get rid of them by taking their magazines. They consider this an invitation to return.
By the way, if you tell a Jehovah’s Witness not to call on you anymore, they must write it down on the territory card, and avoid your house for at least two years. I bet you never thought it was that easy. Try it.
At the end of the month, every Jehovah’s Witness must fill in a service report. This is basically a time sheet, where a complete record of activity is reported. The report includes the number of hours spent in field service; the number of magazines, books, and brochures placed; the number of return visits performed; and the number of bible studies conducted. Every minute that a Witness spends in the door to door work is recorded. In fact, most Witnesses pad their numbers a little bit. As well, if you ever run into a Jehovah’s Witness in an informal setting, and the conversation begins to remotely border on religion or even world events, you can rest assured that they are counting time.
These reports are tabulated for the congregation and then sent to the national headquarters for inclusion in the world wide statistics. Within the congregation, it serves another purpose. Individuals are formally classified, based on their performance:
· Pioneer - 80 or more hours per month. This is an ongoing requirement for those in this category.
· Auxiliary Pioneer - 50 or more hours per month. Persons in this category may achieve this status on a month by month basis, or an ongoing basis.
· Publisher - Anyone reporting time fits into this category. Publishers are encouraged to spend 10 hours per month in the service.
· Irregular publisher - Anyone who reports time, but has missed at least one month out of the past six, will receive this classification. There is some stigma attached to this category.
· Inactive - Anyone who has formerly reported time, but has not reported for the last six months, is considered inactive. There is a lot of stigma attached to this category
In addition, informal classification also occurs. A person can be considered “weak” or “strong”, within each category, depending on their sales activity.
These classifications are then used to distribute rewards and punishments. Good Witnesses receive privileges, visible honors such as being asked to say public prayers or handle various jobs at the Kingdom Hall, and may be promoted to the position of Elder or Ministerial Servant. Weak Witnesses are marginalized. They receive fewer or no privileges, and are often excluded from social functions. In addition, weak Witnesses are targeted for special visits by the elders. These visits are used to encourage weak ones by pressuring them to spend more time in the sales activity.
A listing of every person in the congregation along with their summarized service record is printed and distributed to every Elder and Ministerial servant in the congregation. This enables the congregation to know who is performing better, and so the system of reward and punishment takes a further step. As well, congregation and national sales statistics are discussed regularly at their meetings.
So, participation in the door to door sales work is the basis of the social hierarchy of the entire Jehovah’s Witness society.
In addition to this sophisticated performance measurement, reward, and punishment system, there is also a system of training. Each week, Jehovah’s Witnesses attend five hours of meetings over a period of three days. One of the meetings, which is usually held on a weekday evening, consists of two sections. The first section is a one hour public speaking school, where congregation members practice delivering prepared speeches or demonstrations.
The second section is a one hour sales meeting, called a “Service Meeting”, where Witnesses receive instruction on how to sell and convert more effectively. At this meeting, sample door to door presentations are demonstrated, literature offers are reviewed, and material from a monthly newsletter is studied. The format of the meeting is much like a business sales meeting that attempts to improve sales effectiveness and motivation.
In every congregation, one of the elders will be assigned to the position of "Service Overseer". It is his job to whip up enthusiasm for the work. He will visit the smaller study groups regularly, and and give them motivational speeches. As well, each congregation is visited by a "Circuit Overseer" on a semi-annual basis.
Many years later, I have come to wonder about the term "overseer". The only other place where I have heard the expression is in relation to slavery prior to the civil war - coincidence?
As can be seen, the single most important indicator of a person’s status comes from the service report. Remember, when you are a Jehovah’s Witness, the effectiveness of your work doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is the number of hours, and to a lesser extent, placements, recorded on your time sheet. In addition, although you will never get one to admit it, most Jehovah’s Witnesses really hate doing this work. Not surprisingly, Witnesses have developed an entire subculture, which subconsciously develops sophisticated informal methods of padding their numbers, without actually breaking the specified rules.
So, Just How Well Does This Work?
With all of this organizational structure, and huge amounts of labor, you would think that they would be converting people in droves. Well, this is just not the case. For example, let’s take a look at the statistics from my home country,
Last year, there were 107,218 Jehovah’s Witnesses in . They reported 18,544,473 hours of field service. This activity resulted in 2,030 new baptisms. Now, let’s calculate their efficiency.
Each Witness averaged 173 hours in field service during the year. Every baptism came as a result of 9,135 hours of reported activity. Another way of stating this is that it took 53 JW person-years of activity to generate one baptism. This does not seem terribly efficient, but it is really just the tip of the iceberg.
If you attend a Jehovah’s Witness convention, you will find that the majority of their newly baptized members are not converts from outside the organization. Approximately 90% of them are children of their own members. It is not necessary to canvass from door to door in order to contact your own children. So, of those 2,030 baptisms last year, only about 200 of them represent actual converts.
Now let’s rerun the calculation, using more realistic numbers. Each convert came as a result of 91,352 hours of field service activity, or 529 person-years. This seems to be a grossly inefficient use of labor.
How many doors must JW’s knock on, in order to make a convert? Well, that depends on the type of activity. If a Witness is conducting a Bible study, then one call could take a full hour, or possibly even more. If that same person is canvassing new territory, then 20 or 30 calls could be made in an hour. If we make the assumption that each hour of field service generates five house calls, then 456,760 doors must be approached to find one convert. Since the average Canadian household contains 2.6 persons, then a total population of almost 1.2 million must be contacted in order to make one Jehovah’s Witness convert.
But, it gets even worse than this. I have given them the benefit of the doubt and assumed that all 200 of these converts came as a result of the door to door work. Really, many of them came into contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses through informal methods, such as friends, relatives, and coworkers.
Souls and Money
So, really, the door to door work of Jehovah’s Witnesses is virtually useless when it comes to converting people. But, if they’re not going to get your soul, why do they do it? Well, primarily there are three reasons.
In certain markets, the door to door work produces adequate results. For example, in post World War II North America, as well as in contemporary third world countries, this work has managed to bring in a sufficient number of souls. However, the market has long since been saturated, and the geriatric leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses (the President is usually in his 90’s), is extremely slow at reacting to change.
Secondly, this activity provides busy work for their members. People feel good when they volunteer. This activity provides satisfaction and an outlet for energy. It also contributes to the bonding of members, and doctrinal debates with outsiders reinforce their belief system. Eventually, the measurement of this activity becomes an end in itself. The service report is the prime tool for monitoring and controlling the slaves (oops, members).
Thirdly, and most importantly, is the reason that all Jehovah’s Witnesses will deny, and in fact, most outsiders dismiss as ridiculous - money. Now, you will not find Witnesses shamelessly begging for donations, nor will you find them selling overpriced products. Their magazines are inexpensive and appear to have little profit margin in them. In fact, in many countries, the magazines are given away freely, with only a small donation being suggested.
However, the magazines are a little deceptive. They are produced in large quantities by volunteer labour; the paper, illustrations, and writing are low quality; and they receive free distribution by volunteers. These magazines would probably cost less than ten cents to produce commercially, and even less in their own printing factories.
Back in the days when magazines were sold for a fixed price, their price was 35 cents (Canadian). All magazines were purchased by the individual Witness, then sold to the public at cost. So, there would be a profit margin of 25 cents or more per copy, with no copies wasted. Every year 1.2 Billion Watchtowers and Awakes are printed, along with millions of books. The worldwide net profit on printed materials runs well over $500 million per year. As well, like any other religion, donations are also accepted.
This massive profit can only be achieved if slave (oops, volunteer) labour is used every step of the way. Last year, Jehovah’s Witnesses reported 1.15 Billion hours in field service, and this does not count the volunteer time spent in their factories, or the seemingly endless meetings and conventions. In other words, the average Jehovah’s Witness works for around 30 cents per hour. It’s beginning to look like the Jehovah’s Witness religion is the Indonesian sneaker factory of the religious world. This hardly seems like a profit generating activity, but when you multiply really small numbers by really big numbers, significant wealth is generated.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are constantly looking for modern fulfillment of Bible events. For example, because of their prophesying work, they consider themselves to be the modern “Elijah” class. They also consider their governing body to be the “faithful and wise servant” from one of Jesus’ illustrations.
Based on the efficiency of their preaching work, I would like to add one more comparison to their list. They could be the modern “temple worker” class. Certainly, the productivity of these two groups is without rival.
Only 18 do your research son if you think you can take on someone like starting over. Funny funny stuff.
Back to topic. Damn straight there deemed weirdos. The whole door knocking, condescending attitude, moving in packs, makes me want to head for the hills.