Badges for Conventions

by ThomasCovenant 50 Replies latest jw experiences

  • ThomasCovenant


    Each year name badges are handed out at the Kingdom Halls for those attending the upcoming District Convention. I have always refused to wear one but this was not a major issue as I would say only about 50% wore them anyway. However I noticed that as the years went by more and more 'brothers' were wearing them including during the lunch break in the city centre concerned. You may have noticed at least here in Britain that it seemed eventually everyone was wearing them.

    Anyway l stopped attending meetings about January 2005 for reasons I will eventually go into another time. I decided I would attend the 2005 summer convention with my still attending wife. I would only go for half days though, either mornings or afternoons. Of course I had no badge and my wife who has gradually become more militant in these issues decided not to wear hers either.

    I was stopped at the entrance by one of the attendants who asked nicely where my badge was.

    " I haven't got one"

    "Which congregation are you with brother?"

    " I'm with her over there " (my wife who was also briefly being detained by another brother)

    "Oh, OK then"

    "But she hasn't got one either" I added and I continued walking in.

    No big deal really but the first time in 30 years of attending a convention without a badge that I was stopped and asked for my badge.

    After one morning in attendance I left at lunchtime and told my wife I couldn't take another minute of it and so didn't bother with the remaining two mornings.

    Fast forward to summer 2006 and this time I was only dropping my still attending (for her parents sake but not very often) wife to the Convention. She again refused to wear her badge and walked in with her sister-in-law (who still attends also but no longer believes but again her parents and immediate family are still in).

    Walking up the ramp to the entrance they were both stopped by different brothers and asked for their badges. Unlike last year however this particular brother was quite aggressive in his attitude but they were both 'allowed' in. Wifey thought she wouldn't cause a scene but just bit her lip and continued on.

    The sister-in-law however who is not one to complain commented how aggressive he was and what sort of attitude was that to show two sisters. Well that was enough for the wife to decide yes she's going back to confront him about his attitude.

    She tapped him on his shoulder and said

    "Am I correct in saying this is a public event?"


    "So why are you stopping me and asking for my badge?"

    Rather than checking whether she was a member of the general public he immediately asked what congregation she was from.

    She refused to tell him saying that had nothing to do with it.

    "Yes but you've been told to wear one at the meetings"

    "Well I'm using my own freewill in choosing not to wear one"

    Again "Tell me what congregation you are from"

    "No. I'm not telling you"

    Brother is now getting red faced and more aggressive and says " You're just a trouble maker. What congregation are you from?"

    Why do you want to know? Just so you can run to my Presiding Overseer and tell him he's got a troublemaker? I want you to respect the fact I've chosen not to wear my badge"

    "We've been told to ask everyone where their badges are"

    "Who told you?"

    "The Society. And we do this for your benefit because last year we had some 'born agains' in here trying to convert our brothers. Also it's for safety reasons"

    "Well I'm not wearing one so what are you going to do? Follow me around keeping an eye on me because I must look like a real threat. (She's 5 foot tall). And anyway I'll take my chances on it being for my own safety. I take full responsibility as its supposed to be a public event and I come in of my own free choice"

    By now the other attendants at the gate are getting a bit concerned and my wife can tell they are starting to form a little circle around her. Then a much milder mannered brother started to come over and asked what was the problem.

    The first (aggressive) brother introduced my wife as "She's a trouble maker who's refusing to wear her badge"

    The mild brother said nicely "Can I ask what congregation are you from?"

    "No. I just told him I'm not telling you. I just want to be shown some respect and courtesy in my decision not to wear a badge"

    Mild brother "Well we do have to ask"

    Aggressive brother in nasty voice " I've already told her that"

    Wife in response, patting him on shoulder, "You need to calm down.You're supposed to be a mild mannered humble christian brother"

    He then walked off and wifey walked into convention saying out loud "Calls himself a Christian?"

    I know of some other faders who experienced the same aggressive attitude at the same convention.

    A work colleague taught me years ago

    "Give a man a gate and the power goes to his head"

    Do they have no sense?

    Thank you

    Thomas Covenant

  • purplesofa

    I would have thought a better reason to know why a person is not wearing a badge is if that person was invited from the campaign to invite all people from the community to the convention , and a nice welcome to them for showing up.


  • stillajwexelder

    great post - thanks for sharing

  • Gopher

    Have you never read this in the book of Deuteronomy??

    "Gather together all your men, women, and little ones. Make sure they have their ID badges, to make sure they are sons and daughters of Jacob. THEN instruct them in the laws of Jehovah."

    See, the WT Society once again is following the fine example set by those who carried out Jah's commands in the days of ancient Israel.

    Have a nice day.

  • Legolas
    He then walked off and wifey walked into convention saying out loud "Calls himself a Christian?"

    LMAO.....Give your wife a high five for me!

  • Honesty
    "We've been told to ask everyone where their badges are"

    "Who told you?"

    "The Society. And we do this for your benefit because last year we had some 'born agains' in here trying to convert our brothers."

    Wasn't me. I can't afford airfare to the U.K.

  • kid-A

    A similar thing happened to me years ago. They always claim the DCs are "open" to the public, then post these little "attendant" dweebs

    at the doors to interrogate anyone not wearing the "badge". Not surprising at all for a Totalitarian regime like the borg.

  • lovelylil

    OMG - that was just unbelievable. Good for the two sisters for sticking up for themselves. It just goes to show that although they "invite" people in the community to show up at the convention, the public is really not welcomed at all to attend.

    The last few years that I went to the conventions I also did not wear my badge so I guess I would have been stopped this year too.

    It seems like the society is wising up to us apostates and is trying to keep us out of the conventions were we can gather information against them. That is the whole reason the behind the badges anyway, not so you can meet others in the "truth" as we used to be told or so that the public knows we are JWs, but to keep anyone who will not be easily indoctrinate OUT! The make complete asses out of themselves don't they?

    BTW: I once got into an arguement with a so called Christian "brother" who held a keep moving sign right up into my face when I stopped a moment to tie my little boy's shoe. I called him a Jerk and he also asked for my congregation - I yelled at him "it is none of your business and I stand by the fact that you are a complete JERK on a power trip with your little sign! LOL - Aah, the fond memories of the Christian brotherhood. Lilly

  • Seeker4

    I really wondered what was going on with these campaigns this year to invite people to the DC. Did they expect no one to show up?
    How can you invite the public at random to the DC, then give people coming in an attitude because they're not wearing congregation ID badges? I figured this would be an easy year for apostates to get in to the DC because of the widespread public invitation.
    Too weird, and your wife did a great job.

  • lisavegas420

    This totally blows me away.

    What if it was someone that just drove a couple hundred miles to attend because of a tract that was left in their door? How did they know she was even a sister? If she had looked like a non-JW, would she had been stopped or followed?


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