Another thread sparked this memory but I didn't want to hijack. My first encounter with apostates was back at a District Assembly around 1978. They were picketing outside peacefully with banners and such. It was the first time I'd seen them and I was amazed at how many there were. There were attendants shuffling any witness's that were listening away (me being one of them). I went up into the stadium down a hallway with no traffic. I leaned over the edge and I could see and hear them. About 5 minutes later a LARGE attendant told me to move on because I was encouraging them to continue. I walked away at the time but I came back later but this time I stood against a wall on the other side of the aisle. No apostates below could see me but I could hear them. Well it didn't take long for my Attendant buddy to show up. This time he was pissed. He told me I had no business listening to them and I was to leave the area and NOT come back. I resisted and he physically shoved me down the hall. He took my name off my badge and told me he was going to report me to the elders in my congo if he caught me there again.
Knowing what I know now I would have handled it a lot different. That event probably opened my eyes more than any other to really start questioning. What were the attendants so afraid of? If we had the truth why was it dangerous to hear an opposing viewpoint? What were the apostates so angry about? Why didn't I deck that attendant?
Anyway, if you were an picketing apostate circa '78 Puyallup, WA. THANK YOU for that little spark. Anyone else have an experience like that?