A Jehovah’s Witness With A New Technique For Proselytizing: “Coffin Chasing”

by Bangalore 21 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Bangalore

    A Jehovah's Witness With a New Technique For Proselytizing: "Coffin Chasing".


    If you've ever been in an accident, you have experienced your sudden rise in popularity. Letters pour into your mailbox from Attorneys offering their services for your lawsuit (the one you had no intention of making). Worse yet, they use all manner of persuasion to get you to call them. Some Attorneys will call you at home, usually at the most inconvenient times, to solicit your business. This might explain the apt nickname such Attorneys have garnered, "ambulance chasers."

    I don't have a name for the level of abuse to which some Insurance companies will resort to. Several years ago, my husband was hit by an uninsured driver who initially lied to the police (who arrived at the scene of the accident) by showing an insurance card for insurance she no longer had. The police determined, and all witnesses on the scene concurred in their statements, that the driver who hit my husband was at fault.

    Shortly after returning home from surgery, because of an injury sustained in the accident, our insurance company called to tell us the other driver was at fault but uninsured, and our uninsured driver policy would kick in to cover all costs related to the accident. However, a couple of days later, my husband (groggy from the pain medication he had to take) received a call from our insurance company's Claims Adjuster. I got on the other phone to listen, when my husband's responses made it clear that he was being harassed. The Adjuster was trying to force my husband to say the accident was his fault. I intervened and said the police report and all witnesses said otherwise. The Adjuster told me, forcefully and insultingly, that the police report was not admissible in a court of law. He also said that he had spoken with all the witnesses and they recanted their original statements and now say the accident was my husband's fault. I said that if he was as nasty and as aggressive in pressuring them, as he was to my husband, I'm sure they did. Then I informed him that he left us no alternative but to hire an "ambulance chaser" (not the title I used in my conversation with him). We did, and had to sue our own insurance company.

    Neither my husband or I have ever sued anyone before, despite having had just cause to do so. We don't like the idea of suing, and prefer other means to attempting justice. If I had been the one in the accident, I probably still would not have sued. However, when someone I care about is treated unjustly, or abused in any way, I turn into a roaring mother bear protecting her own.

    As distasteful as the entire affair was to us, I understand the competition for business that Attorneys face, which inspires aggressive (if in poor taste) advertising methods. I almost understand the desire of insurance companies to do what ever it takes, however unethical and immoral, to pay less money out in claims. What I received in the mail recently, however, I consider not only unethical and immoral, it is appalling in its poor taste and insensitivity.

    A few weeks ago my brother-in-law died. We received several cards, calls, and notes of sympathy and condolences from other family, friends, and acquaintances. These helped us to feel cared about, even when some clearly mentioned ideology, beliefs, and religious persuasions that differ from our own. There was no attempt, in these, to proselytize us. People who know and care about us simply poured out their love and support in whatever ways they were able, and we were grateful.

    Two days ago, I received a letter that has put the afore mentioned Attorneys, and perhaps even our insurance company, to shame and taken "ambulance chasing" to heights before unknown. I call it "coffin chasing."

    It arrived in a hand addressed envelope, written by someone in our town (who used a Post Office box address, and whose name - first initial and last name - I shall not mention). Neither of us know this person. Inside the envelope was a rather prettily designed sheet of stationary and a pamphlet from the Jehovah's Witnesses. The letter is computer generated and in a handwriting type of font. It begins without any salutation to us, nor is our name mentioned anywhere in the letter. At the bottom of the letter, in smaller block print, is the following: "For Additional Information: www.watchtower.org."

    The letter begins: "I'm writing to express sympathy to you on your loss as reported in the newspaper." It doesn't mention the name of our "loss," or his relationship to us. It then continues with three paragraphs outlining the writers beliefs, in a clear effort to proselytize us to convert to his or (most likely, judging from the floral stationary) her religion. It reads like, and looks like, a "form letter," the kind most often received from businesses regarding far less sensitive issues.

    Sensitive being the key word, I found the letter writer to be highly insensitive, insulting, intolerant of others religious beliefs, and clearly lacking in the social skills necessary to function well in a community of diversity.

    I am most incensed by the writer taking advantage of our grief, to push her or his religion on us at a time when we are vulnerable emotionally. Clearly, we are not the first to be subjected to such egregious tactics. I worry how this may affect others, who are perhaps less discriminating and more vulnerable - for example, the elderly.

    On my front door is posted a sign, "NO SOLICITATIONS." It is designed to keep door-to-door sales persons of all types (commercial and religious) from disturbing me in my haven of peace, which also happens to be my job site (I work from home as a freelance writer and communications consultant). Do I now need to post one on my mailbox?

    I hope the writer of the letter is just one person among the Jehovah's Witnesses who is acting so unethically and immorally. Somehow I doubt it. The letter smacks of company endorsed advertising and marketing tactics. Having heard their schpiel before, since Jehovah's Witnesses must earn their salvation through proselytizing every last "heathen" on earth, I want to scream: "Enough already! I am beyond your salvation. You did your best, now go to Hell and leave me alone!" And I would scream it, if they believed in Hell.

    I assume all 144,000 slots in Heaven for Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) have by now been spoken for by those JWs audacious enough to self-proclaim themselves by the act of taking their once yearly communion. (Only JWs certain of their Heavenly calling as one of the 144,000 are allowed to take their communion.) The rest of the JWs, in good standing as such, will be relegated to living on earth in the JWs version of "paradise." This is, of course, after the Earth is purged of "heathens" in what JWs call "Armageddon." One wonders how much Earth could possibly be left for paradise after being deluged by fire and brimstone. JWs have been proclaiming Armageddon as imminent since their beginning as a religion. In fact, JWs have been setting (and resetting, when the targeted date passes without incidence) the date for their Armageddon as regularly as some people go to the bathroom, thanks to fiber and that new yogurt.

    Personally, I couldn't live with that much drama. I have known of JWs so devout they quit their jobs and divested themselves of everything they owned in preparation for the upcoming date of Armageddon. I wonder what they did when the date refused to produce the expected result. No doubt they filed for the "heathen's" welfare benefits, until they could rebuild what they gave away.

    I have read accounts of JWs who were proud of their assignments as Cappos in concentration camps, because they were chosen for their "honesty and good character" - which they equated with being a JW - (meaning they did whatever the Nazis told them to do, and didn't try to escape). I rather doubt the Jews they policed thought so highly of them (I know at least some of them didn't). Apparently, neither did the Nazis, since the JWs proudly proclaim that some of their own were also incinerated.

    I am also familiar with the technique of taking scriptures out of context to "prove" beliefs held, and of ignoring the interpretations and meanings of those in whose language that scripture was written, and whose religious tradition wrote it.

    So you see, I am well versed in their story and have no desire to hear it again, especially from strangers posing as caring friends.


  • carla

    Good article! True! they are coffin chasers. Failed suicide chasers too, I know of a person that tried to commit suicide was put in a mental institution and when they got out the jw's would not leave them alone until they were threatened bodily and legally. Made the person's life a new living hell and wished they had succeeded in the first attempt. jw's will take advantage of any situation, they have no shame and no sense of decency.

  • chickpea

    obituaries are a pioneer's playground...

    heard many convos about a practice
    that forever more will come to mind
    as "coffin chasing"

    while i find it repugnant, i cannot help
    but think for many JWs, they sincerely
    believe they are offering a hope, not a hype....

    still.... it is a repugnant, intrusive practice,
    especially if conducted by inept individuals

  • OnTheWayOut

    While I fully agree with you about this being a terrible thing to do, it sounds as if this JW doesn't quite get the idea.
    They are supposed to tailor the writing to your situation by including your loved one's name and your name. They are supposed to write it out themself. That way, they can count more time in "service" generating this letter.

    I knew JW's to participate in such recruiting. I remember a "Service Overseer" getting a group to go to the cemetery on Memorial Day to walk up to people. I told him "No way. I ain't going to approach mourners."

  • blondie

    It wasn't his personal idea though. It was what he saw "recommended" in the KM and other publications.

    *** km 8/98 p. 8 par. 2 Use Brochures to Appeal to Both Mind and Heart ***

    When SomeoneYouLoveDies. Many funeral directors appreciate having copies of this brochure on hand for bereaved families. Publishers who witness in cemeteries use this brochure to comfort mourners. Two sisters approached a family of seven who were praying at a grave. As a result of sharing the comforting message from the brochure, a Bible study was started with the mother the next day!

    *** km 10/94 p. 7 par. 6 Using the New Brochure Effectively ***Keep an extra copy at hand, and use it for informal witnessing. You may wish to visit local funeral homes in your territory to see if they would like to have copies on hand to comfort bereaved families. Or you might tactfully approach grieving ones in cemeteries on occasions when they return to visit the grave of a loved one.

    *** km 6/93 p. 1 par. 3 Why Tracts Are So Valuable in Our Ministry Today ***Some publishers who were witnessing on a street that led to a cemetery saw people whitewashing graves. The publishers used the opportunity to offer them tracts. The next day was a holiday on which many people visit the cemetery, so the publishers decided to stand at the entrance of the cemetery and offer tracts. Over five hundred tracts were placed, with only three persons refusing them. The next year, publishers returned and distributed more than a thousand tracts, with only six refusals. A number of individuals expressed deep appreciation. One man read the tract as he was leaving, and shortly he returned to speak with the sister who had given it to him. He said: "There is someone I would like to have read this message. May I have another one?"

    *** km 5/70 p. 7 Announcements ***The world’s "Memorial Day" holiday comes on Saturday, May 30, this year. Where appropriate, special witnessing may be arranged at cemeteries; otherwise, congregations may find it advantageous to share in regular magazine day activity.

    *** yb00 pp. 55-56 Worldwide Report ***A sister in Chile, while witnessing in a cemetery, spoke to a woman who had lost her 12-year-old son in an accident. This grieving mother visited her son’s tomb twice a day. The Witness shared with her the resurrection hope, and a Bible study was started. The woman spoke to her neighbor who had also lost a young son in death and who made daily trips to her son’s tomb. She too began to study. This woman’s mother, while visiting the cemetery, asked her priest to conduct a service for her deceased grandson. Because of the priest’s unpleasant reply, she stopped attending church and began studying the Bible. Now these three women share their newfound hope with others in the cemetery.

    *** yb07 p. 198 Latvia ***When Yurii first arrived in Latvia, he spoke to a woman who was tidying up a grave. He recalls: "When I asked her why life seems so short, she took a few steps toward me, and we talked. Minutes later, a large branch broke off a tree and crashed to the ground right where she had been working. Had she stayed there, she would have been crushed. She gave me her address, and I arranged for a sister to visit her. In 1987 the woman, her son, and her daughter-in-law were baptized."

    *** w58 10/15 p. 624 Comforting All That Mourn ***

    TO BE faithful to his commission a Christian must "comfort all that mourn." (Isa. 61:2, AS) In the United States it is a custom for mourners to decorate the graves of loved ones on what is known as "Decoration Day," May 30 each year. So Jehovah’s witnesses made it a point to visit cemeteries on that day with the comfort of God’s resurrection hope, as contained in special issues of TheWatchtower and Awake! That they succeeded in comforting mourners is apparent from the following experiences:

    "I saw a man standing alone, looking into space. As I began to speak to him his face lighted up. He told me that his wife had died two years ago, took me close to her grave and then said he would like to ask me a question: ‘My wife was ten years younger than I and very well educated; I’m not educated. Why did God take her instead of me?’ I answered his question from the Scriptures, using among other texts Hebrews 2:14. He readily accepted the magazines and was glad to have me call at his home to comfort him further."

    "When we asked the caretaker about witnessing to the people in his cemetery, he replied: ‘Why certainly you can—I’d like to see more preachers doing that, but it seems they’re just too busy.’"

    "After I told a family group about the Scriptural resurrection hope, the wife proved so interested that she desired and obtained a copy of the NewWorldTranslationoftheChristianGreekScriptures, the Bible-study aid "LetGodBeTrue" (both of which I happened to have with me), two magazines and a booklet. I was also able to arrange to call at their home for the purpose of starting a Bible study with them."

    "One young woman had just placed some flowers on a grave and turned back with tears in her eyes. I told her my name and that I was a minister bringing comfort to mourners by means of two magazines that contained the articles ‘The Memorial Day for Rejoicing’ and ‘Where Are the Dead?’ She eagerly accepted the magazines, smiling through her tears. Later, in passing by the same place, I saw her reading TheWatchtower with two young men, one on each side of her, to whom she was pointing out things in the magazines."

    "A group of six persons were putting flowers upon a grave as I approached and asked for a moment of their time. After we had introduced ourselves to each other I commented on the beautiful day and that, while it was a day to be thankful for, there could be no real joy so long as death was in view for all mankind. However, I continued, we could be truly joyful for the promised ‘Memorial Day’ of rejoicing close at hand. I offered the magazines telling about this hope, which they gladly accepted. As I was preparing to leave, one of the men, with tears in his eyes, told me that he was very grateful for the message of hope he had received and that it made what had begun as a day of sadness a day of hope in God’s promises."

    "I approached and struck up a conversation with a caretaker to sound him out about witnessing in his cemetery. He proved to be a Unitarian and told me that he was a social outcast among his friends because of his occupation, as if they were afraid death would rub off onto them. I told him, among other things, that Jehovah’s witnesses did not fear death of the body but only the second death and that to them he was no outcast. Upon asking him if we could destroy the fact of his being a social outcast by calling at his home with this message, he fairly jumped for joy. He also readily agreed to my suggestion that I speak to others in the cemetery."

    Among the various other comments heard by those witnesses who visited cemeteries on that Decoration Day were:

    "I think it’s wonderful that you came out to the cemetery today. Our people ought to do that."

    "This thing proves you people are Christians. . . . I think people don’t appreciate Jehovah’s witnesses as they should."

    "If my departed loved one had known you he surely would have wanted you to come here today and say what you did to me."

    "God must have sent you here today, because you brought me real comfort from the Bible."

    *** dx30-85 Preaching ***

    cemeteries: yb65 124, 256; yb64 280; g62 5/8 21-3; g60 5/22 5

  • Luo bou to
    Luo bou to

    You talk about insensitive try attending a JW funeral service

  • digderidoo

    I have seen it.

    An overenthuistic JW follow a lady out of a library who mentioned to the staff that she was sorry about being late with the return of books , but she had lost her son recently. This JW stopped her at the door, gave her a witness, then a couple of days later went to the families home to witness to the Father too.


  • DaCheech

    piosneer do anything possible to produce.

    they have the pressure of doing stage experiences

  • kurtbethel

    Carrion Eaters!

  • jeanniebeanz

    Sick... really, I mean that... sick...

    And, sad...


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