In the congregation where I grew up, the witnesses converted this 20-something young man. He was very strange, lived in a very shady apartment, and he couldn't afford a car, so he rode his bike around the whole area, which was very strange for our rural part of the country. While he rode, he wore a dark colored hat with a red feather in it. It was quite a site! You could spot him a mile away!
His name was Larry. He spoke with sort of an accent. He said he wasn't from this country. I don't remember where he said he was from, but he had a picture of his parents in his photo album. His mother looked almost like a model, with her hair blowing in the wind. The JWs took him under their wing and threw car rides, groceries, and other charity his way, as they so often do to their newfound sheep.
According to Larry, he came from quite a wealthy family in the country he was from. We couldn't believe he lived so poorly here in the U.S.! But other countries have different standards for wealth, and so the witnesses kept taking him under their wing and showed him "the way". Larry was a very compliant new recruit. He never missed a study, came to all the meetings, and in return he got invited to all the get-togethers! And there were a lot of get-togethers!
It really started to bother the brother that was studying with him that he had so little contact with his family back where he was from. Then, he told us that his parents died in a plane crash in the mountains. He said he couldn't collect his inheritance because there was no way he could afford the trip home. Brothers stepped up and offered to help with travel expenses. Larry could pay them back later. Some genius in his wide circle of mentors finally questioned the accuracy of Larry's recent story of misfortune. They couldn't find one story about a plane crash in the mountains, but this was during the age before the internet, so some thought it still could've happened. But Larry had a hard time giving clear details about the whole event.
At the urging of others, the brother that studied with Larry pressured him for more details. Well, Larry finally fessed up. His parents didn't really die in a plane crash. And his family wasn't wealthy. He really was poor. And he wasn't really from another country either. He was a born and bred American raised in the foster care system. The accent was fake. He really sounded just like us! And the picture of his parents? It from from some magazine.
Larry was a part of our JW community for at least 6, maybe 8 months. And then he was gone. I was a pretty young kid, so I don't really know exactly how our story with Larry ended, except all of a sudden he wasn't around anymore. Not at meetings, not at get togethers. The only thing I really remember is my mom saying, "I knew he was weird."
Some time later, I remember seeing Larry riding his bike along the side of the road going somewhere, except he didn't have his hat with the red feather anymore.
Also, his name wasn't Larry.