Daniel-P's Convention Experience

by daniel-p 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • daniel-p

    Thanks, everyone, for your encouraging comments. Yes, the ( . ) ( . ) were an occasionaly relief from the torrent of pseudo-spiritual phrases from the speakers. What was even more entertaining was when I noticed a rather buxom woman (with suspiciously round mammaries) leaning over her seat, picking something up, and watching the sex-starved glint in the eye of the elder sitting in front of me as he ogled her. I could just imagine the questions he would ask her in a judicial meeting. But I have my moral limits.

    I now realize, after all these years in the "truth," why they call them "talks." It's because the guy gets up there and just talks. He doesn't speak to you, he speaks at you. At least that's the way it is when the WTS chooses to micro-manage its speakers at conventions. For some reason, these brothers take pride in getting up there and reading their talk like they've never meant a word in their life. If they literally copied text out of a WT and pasted it into their talk, you wouldn't notice the difference. And to imagine that some people get all excited and start nodding their head and grinning when they hear words they knew were coming, like "... and that is why JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES are the only ones to successfully preach door to door. [emphatic 2 second silence]. BROTHERS! Are you happy to be one of the six million true worshipers of Jehovah who are participating in the most important work in the history of mankind?" [uproarous JW-applause, which for some reason sounds a lot like underwhelmed, murmurous shuffling of the hands together].

    Saturday afternoon they released the new book, Come Be My Follower. During the session Sunday, I spent the slow minutes flipping through it. Not once did I come across an interesting, thought-provoking statement. The Great Teacher book reads like Joyce compared to this latest 192-page pamphlet for 8th graders (or 10th grade dropout janitors). Every paragraph is packed full of scriptures - tying in some vague point to something Jesus supposedly meant when he said something similar to the thought the paragraph is trying to convey. In other words, the book paraphrases in WT-speak about 4,000 scriptures, warping them to fit their idea of what makes a "true Christian." This is nothing new - however, what struck me is how each and every sentence spells out the "point" Jesus was making, as if we were entirely incapable of interpreting anything on our own. The book is extremely repetitive, and I pity the book study conductors who will have to make their meetings interesting with that nonsense. It may be almost as bad as the Isaiah books in that way.

    I looked down on the floor sections, seeing people hunched over their notebook, feverishly writing down notes as the speakers waxed on. I could remember how I used to be one of them, usually sitting in the very front row in front of the stage, so I could have leg room and no distractions. The last few conventions before I left I took more and more notes, getting into a groove of dazed auto-ingestion - it felt how I imagined it would feel to be filled with Holy Spirit - which I now recognize as the gluttonous indulgence of mental and emotional numbness - the laziest of inactivities.

    In addition to imagining myself riding in circles around the floor sections on that nice road bike I've been thinking about buying, I kept looking up into the rafters and thinking of what it would look like if an airplane, or blimp crashed throught the roof. I thought of the apoplectic outcries of terror in the stands, people running everywhere, children standing in one place and crying for their mothers... and then I would cry out in my anguish of seeing hundreds of lives lost "Oh! The humanity!" as burning cinders of wood and metal clang down on the concrete floor, crushing hopeless families, ending them in their prime. My terrible fantasy would be cut short by some nonsensical applause for some poor bloke who got suckered into a Bible study and who is now "here with us today." I realized why I had such an unclean mind when I was a kid, struggling with such infamnias as yanking the yoink in the privacy of my own home, with nothing but the mirror in front of me and Jehovah God above to make me feel filthy. It was because so much of my life was spent in the boringest of activities: meetings, service, assemblies, and especially conventions. What's a kid to do in such mentally squalid conditions than to follow his eyes where they go the easiest, drawing upon the deepest of impulses to release the life-giving waters? Hour after hour, the Man drones on, while you, sitting in a seat with nothing to do, give in to Satanic tendencies and think of profound and fantastic situations. I sat there, not a teenage boy, but a grown man, thinking to myself how dirty a mind I had and have. But then again, at no other time is my mind filled with such sly sleaze and tepid temptation. I felt like every normally managable impulse was constantly being harped on, with balding men warning about human sexuality to the point of absurd emphasis. If this was how I felt, imagine all those burning nubile nymphos out there with their skirts ready to burst into flames! It's ironic that the mellow madness of a "house of God" would be such prime conditions for so much fiery sin just waiting to happen.

    It is very important to pace yourself as an aposta-fader while reluctantly attending a convention. Too much dub-speak through the loudspeakers at any one stretch can render you a lifeless heap of sweaty limbs, no longer caring about your JW posture. Getting up during every other song seemed to be just about right. That way you don't trip while attempting to place your foot into a 4-inch square space between coolers, bookbags, and babies, flailing your hands about, brushing up against things you ought not to, balancing on three toes at a time, until you stumble out into the aisle and make your way to the restroom. (I get a kick out of calling people "brother" and "sister" as I'm excusing myself through the row of seats, since it usually necessitates an immediate and obligatory overlooking of whatever minor infraction it may have been.) Restrooms at the conventions are a mild hoot. There's always the sign that beckons faithful bothers to only use one towel, at which I chuckle as a whole bundle of towels come loose out of the dispenser into my hand. Another fun fact is how at any given time 9 out of 10 of the activites are urinary, with 1 being defacatory. There's something awkwardly hilarious as everyone goes about their silent business, flinging their manliness in the most utilitarian direction, then flushing and sauntering over to the sink, as that one guy just completely lets loose and drops bombs like a trooper. And of course, the restrooms are usually absent of dividers between the urinals, so if you're not used to draining the main vein where it may be glanced at by one of those many JW closet-gays, it may be an awkward and long wait in front of the stalls. Of course, that can afford you the opportunity to scribble an obsenity or three, with some sort of Russelite overtone only an annointed one would understand. After emptying the tank, I find it advantageous to do at least two laps around the arena, stopping for a brief respite at the water fountains, and of course, taking in the sights. The hallways are more likely to contain rambunctious teens and therefore any manner of shenaningins. One kid - obviously the child of a fringe witness - had those little hidden skates in his shoes. Off in a corner, he thought no one else was looking when he skated for his friends and into a concrete pillar whereupon his skull made a satisfying little *smack*.

    As we drove home, I thought to myself how this should be my last convention. But who was I to say? Next time around, I may just be up for all the rediculousness of the whole thing; the cheap motels, dangerous parking lots, the general assembly of stupidity in one building, the irritating closeness of the faux-Christian love - it's all enough to make you think you're a part of something. The final words of the last talk sealed it for me: the visiting Bethel speaker spoke of "advancements of the Kingdom" in other parts of the globe, and of random and likely temporary legal victories in Eastern Europe, as if all that really mattered to these people. They all think it does, but when it comes down to it, they just want to feel like they're a pat of something on many levels: at home in the local congregation, at the convention with 10,000 others who have the same look in their eye as them, and on a global scale, as if God really was managing things to an obvious conclusion. On a non-thinking level I'm attracted to it, but ultimately repelled by the grotesque unnaturalness of it all.

    Well, those are my concluding thoughts... it'll take me several weeks to recuperate and regenerate the brain cells I lost. If you are unfortunate enough to go to a convention this summer, you can use these thoughts as a sort of handbook to survive the ordeal. May Jehovah be with you. Heh.

  • choosing life
    choosing life

    Very amusing! I have often wanted to scream out at conventions. They are mind numbing. The last assembly I attended, I counted the ceiling tiles. There were 144,000! Think that was a coincidence or not? Kept me distracted for a while.

  • daniel-p


    I can not believe you wrote this great post and did not one time cite the THEME of the convention. If I ever hear that phrase again!!!!! So overdone.


    "Follow the Christ!" That is, "Follow the Christ/Annointed/Faithful Slave/Governing Body!"

  • daniel-p
    VM44: Did you see the "attendants" come out just before the Song and prayer? I have noticed at previous conventions that men are positioned at these times so that they can scan the crowds. I suppose they are looking for people who might cause a disturbance.

    Whenever I was an attendant we never bowed our heads during the prayer just in case. Last time I was on "internal watchman" we didn't do the four guys on corners of the stage, but there were plenty around in the front rows to jump up if anything happened. This convention (a different location) I didn't notice any internal watchmen. At first I thought they might have removed their insignias on their badges so you didn't know, but I watched several "suspicious" characters and didn't notice anyone trailing them. I think they may have got rid of the internal watchmen and just instructed every regular attendant to be on the lookout, which I think is the smarter thing to to do - that way you don't have regular attendants thinking they arn't needed when they're off duty. However, based on the setting (as compared to my previous convention location) there didn't seem to be a huge threat.

    No apostates outside either - kind of disapointing, but not at the same time. Usually they're the rabid types who've converted to some other fundamentalist religion.

  • Arthur


    This thread just reminded me of your Convention recap from last year. I haven't read this thread, but I remember some of the antics you pulled last year - sitting in the bathroom stall and yelling out "Praise Jerhover" in an old man voice. That was pretty funny; and gave me a good laugh.

  • moshe

    What a waste of time, money and resources. The convention promises so much and delivers so little to a JW. Back in the olden days of outdoor assemblies of 7-8 days they had elderly JW's and even babies die of heat stroke every summer at assemblies. It was OK, the elders said, as they would come back in the ressurection. Can you imagine a mother taking a week old baby and sitting in the 90 degree sun for a week? And then the baby dies from the heat. I sometimes wonder, if those parents are still JW's and have accepted the personal responsibility for their little baby girls preventable death. What a rotten, evil organization that kills and molests it's little children, all in the name of the truth.

    added: I have absolutely no postive or good memories from about 15 years worth of assemblies.

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