I also have questions about field service...

by losthobbit 22 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    - Something JW's have to do for a specific number of hours per month

    Yes. If you don't you're labeled inactive and usually you're subsequently avoided or outright shunned when it comes to other social activities as you would be 'bad association'.

    - Can be any of the following: handing out pamphlets / flyers, phoning, writing, debating, inviting to bible study

    Yes to handing out propaganda, phoning and writing. We are suggested not to debate and inviting to Watchtower Publication Study (not Bible Study, we don't actually study the Bible) is done after the target has received enough propaganda and is considered not to be combative about the brainwashing. If you're still debating say trinity, most likely you won't be invited to Watchtower Publication Study until you see their point the way they see it.

    - Does this mean that JW's don't actually have to go door to door, and could theoretically write a mass spam emailing program which they run for a specific number of hours per month.

    Unless you have a disability or other limitation, you are REQUIRED to go door to door at least once in a while (suggested once a week, getting together in a group session to discuss where you will be going as a group). Especially if you're 'reaching out' for higher status in the cult your face has to show up at least once a week. Using technology to recruit your targets is not according to the Watchtower interpretation of the first century Christians, according to Watchtower interpretation they went from 'door-to-door' during the day in an agricultural society, they also went from door-to-door with heavy, expensive papyrus scrolls and books and while in cities they also went door-to-door to Roman-style domus. Using technology could distract you and lead you to apostate Witnesses (apostate meaning 'not according to current Watchtower interpretation'), using technology to train your target is likewise ineffective and should be done in their house, face-to-face so you can point out what items in their houses are not up to snuff to get admittance in the cult.

    - Have you ever gone door to door, while not actually believing the teachings of the organization? And, if so, did you still debate with people, or did you simply avoid questions, and say "I don't know", or "Maybe"? I'm particularly curious about this, because I wonder if there's a way to tell, when a JW comes around what their actual level of belief is... like, is there a question that you would have tried to avoid?

    Yes. Nobody actually debates anything really around here. If people ask questions or want to debate topics, I give them an honest answer according to my interpretation of scriptures which does not necessarily mean that this is according to Watchtower interpretation, I personally respect other opinions and try to learn what others believe especially about things that are ambiguous in the Bible such as the trinity. If I can, I also point out that JW's are not really following the Bible when they say stuff.

    - If JW's have to do field service for a couple of hours at a time, would they welcome a non-religious chat... "So, how's this weather we're having today?"... or would they prefer... "Thank you, bye bye", so they can move on to the next door and hand out another flyer?

    There are many that actually do. Some older folks know a lot of people in the community. That is however not the goal and if the local leadership gets aware that you're doing it too much you'll be reprimanded. IF you decide to talk to them especially about religious topics you may have them back at your door step regularly as now you're a "return visit". Do yourself a favor and ask them nicely never to come to your door again.

  • jgnat

    A typical answer to a difficult question is to offer to do more "research" and get back to you. Generally this means looking up the answer in the Reasoning book. If the Reasoning book is inadequate, the publisher may look up answers in past Watchtowers on their CD, ask a more experienced Witness for help, or simply not answer.

    Few Witnesses are as persistent or as open about the more unpleasant aspects of their beliefs as djeggnog.

    I notice that someone noted that "Family Bible Study" time can be recorded. I've dared my hubby to count our debates as time, but I don't think he's ever dared.

  • jgnat

    Here's an analogy to explain the Witness use of time. Have you ever been invited out for coffee by a consultant? They'll discuss this and that and throw in a business related sentence or two, even covering the cost of coffee. Why? Because they can count it as a "business meeting" and expense the coffee.

    To count the "time" a Witness can discuss whatever, throw in a comment or two, and count it all!

  • jwfacts

    Door to door in not the only acceptable way for a JW to preach, but it remains the most important form. JWs are indoctrinated to feel that they are the only religion that preaches, because only they go door to door. Remove that focus and you remove one of the pillars of faith in belonging to the Watchtower organization.

    That concept is however, an obvious fallacy. Evangelical Christians are going quicker than JWs because their preaching focuses on more effective methods.

  • losthobbit

    Thanks for all the comments guys...

    I like djeggnog's phrase: "unknowingly walk about blindly in religious dungeons of ignorance."

    I once "unknowingly walked about blindly in religious dungeons of ignorance."

    I suppose it helps to indoctrinate people by using lots of metaphors like these, because you can't argue with a scary metaphor!

    My favourite scary metaphor that I've heard about people who leave the cult is, "Those who enter the world of Satan and become part of the Antichrist." ...that's one hell of a scary phrase :)

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    another aspect of door to door work is the rural or country witnessing. Some congregations in country areas have large territory where few people live, often farms many kilometres away. It is not uncommon for many to start counting time from before they leave for the remote area.

    for example, when i was a regular pioneer commited to 90 hours per month, it was not uncommon to start the day at 9am with knocking on the doors of some 'not at homes' from a previous day. Then after doing a few of these where it was plainly obvious that nobody would be home again we would in good conscience drive 2 hours away to the furthest edge of our territory to conduct a bible study for a couple of hours before returning to town and finishing off with some more not at homes or perhaps a return visit.

    Or with the same start to the day, an entire 'big' hour day could be had with 4 or 5 people in one car calling on farm to farm, taking it in turns whether a person was met or not. Thus it was possible to clock as much as 8 hours and not speak to a single person!

    ah, those were good times! I hated the door to door work!


  • losthobbit

    :) 90 hours... all I can say is whoa!!

  • Mary
    djeggnog said: We do not seek folks out with whom we might posit arguments to score points in debating these with them, but our endeavor is to provide relief and comfort to those poor in spirit, and to release those held captive to the false religious systems of worship

    Translation: We don't discuss the bible with anyone who has a better understanding of the bible than what JWs do, because that might start the braincells working and even if the person at the door can prove from the bible that the WTS's interpretation is wrong, a Witness cannot accept that and will hightail it out of there in record time.

    their entering a "city or village" to search out who in the city or village was deserving clearly required visiting people at their homes, which is the primary approach that Jehovah's Witnesses take in searching out deserving ones, just as the apostle Paul points out at Acts 20:20 that in addition to engaging in publicly teaching fellow Christians, he also engaged in doing so "from house to house" as Jesus had instructed his followers to do.

    This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Did Jesus and his followers preach? Absolutely they did or Christianity would have never gotten off the ground. However, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that either Jesus or his followers preached door to door like Witnesses do today. I did a thread on this subject a few years ago debunking the WT's ridiculous and non-scriptural idea that Jesus and his followers went knocking on strangers' doors. If you're interested, here is the link: http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/bible/165144/1/COMMENTS-YOU-WILL-NOT-HEAR-AT-THE-WT-STUDY-09-07-08-HOUSE-TO-HOUSE-MINISTR

  • snakeface

    losthobbit, in many cases, participating in a conversation with the witnesses when they come to your door might lead them to believe there is some degree of interest on your part. In other words, they'll make a point to come back again and again. However, this may not be so bad if you do enjoy conversing with them.

    It also depends on the individual witnesses. For example after going door to door for an hour and either finding no one home, or having a few homes where people were nasty and told me to get lost or to go to hell, if I came across a friendly person, I would welcome the little "break" and not want to ruin it by being too pushy. I know of other witneses who would do this too. If the householder had a classic car, we'd chat about that. I'm a dog lover and naturally would chat about dogs if there was a dog there. Some people would just want to ask us about our beliefs, but are not interested in the literature. I figure, we are neighbors, we see each other in the grocery store and around town, why not be friendly and interested in others in the community?

    Other witnesses I knew would only want to get to their point, and if you didn't want the literature they would leave. They're on a "mission". Maybe that type is not worth talking to anyway.

  • losthobbit

    Thanks Mary and Snakeface.

    Mary's article has given me an idea... next time a JW comes around I'll invite them in for a meal... "and see, I have prepared beds for you that you may rest your weary feet, and we'll read scriptures through the night, and in the morning I'll pack a little lunch for you to continue on your journey through Israel. But do not preach to my neighbour for she is a Gentile, who merely looks Jewish."

Share this