After my recent encounter at my door when I was declared by a self-described elder from the local cong as an 'apostate', I was surprised to get a visit this morning. I would have thought that the records would have noted, but presumably not (or they hadn't been checked).
My callers were two middle-aged men. The younger one said during the conversation that he was an elder in the local cong and had been baptised 45 years ago (obviously a born-in): the older one said he had been in for five months. The younger one tried to monopolise the conversation and wasn't keen when I spoke to the newbie - he was even less keen when the newbie answered me. If looks could kill ... No doubt there was some 'on the job training' given when they left my door. Both had fixed smiles and reminded me of Uriah Heap.
I really had no intention of having a conversation with them, and the younger Elder (IYSWIM) was holding out a 32 page flimsy 'Good News From God!'. I took it, said 'thank you' and was going to close the door when the YE said something to start a conversation (I can't remember what, it was something banal). Reader, I succumbed to temptation and I was glad I did when I found out that the newbie was a newbie. His smile remained fixed but his eyes were going from me to the YE as the conversation developed. His brain seemed to be fizzing a bit. The YE's smile turned into more of a rictus and I would have loved to have been able to read his mind. I would guess that he was more concerned about the effects of all this on the newbie than saving me from Armageddon and planning his exit strategy. I would also guess that - as JWs are at best a minor irrelevance in the bigger scheme of things and very few people have the slightest interest in them - the newbie (and possibly the YE) are not used to talking to anyone who knows much about them.
YE mentioned 'New Light' and D2D work. (He wasn't sure of the number of hours per convert but didn't disagree when I suggested 'thousands' - I couldn't remember the number). He claimed not to know about a lot of stuff. I commented that that couldn't be right - if he was an elder and had been baptised for 45 years he would have lived through the 1975 debacle, for example, and had access to the elders' manuals denied to the R&F.
YE got more and more strained, newbie got a bit more wild-eyed. Finally YE asked me if I thought there was anything good about the JWs. (Is this in the Ministry manual?). I considered the question honestly and told him that whilst I was sure that some individual JWs were good people I could find nothing to respect about the org. That was his cue to depart, trailing the newbie behind him. I noticed that they didn't knock on the doors next to mine.
I noticed that two middle-aged women were working the other side of my street. They called at four houses where I know for certain that people were at home but got no answer. A case of the 'pioneer knock'?
It wasn't my intention to have this conversation (what's the point - you can't argue with blind faith) and it would have been clear that I just wanted to take the mag and close the door. I wonder if YE was showing off to newbie a bit ('This how we do it'). Maybe I have provided some teaching points for the next TMS. Interestingly they both had tablets (not used) but both claimed to be computer illiterate. The best to be hoped for, I suppose, is that newbie goes home and uses google - but it's probably a vain hope.
Will this have been my last visit? Who knows. Lucky I had nothing better to do, and it's a bit like when you engage with scammers - at least when they're engaged with you they're not scamming innocent victims.