No Soliciting signage and JW Policy

by Oubliette 32 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Oubliette

    Does anyone have a copy of the BOE letter directing publishers to NOT go into apartment complexes and/or condominium complexes with No Soliciting signs?

    I ask because yesterday and buttheaded JW (that obviously had no idea who I am or my past) was knocking on doors in our condo complex. He would have had to drive past a sign which clearly states "No Solicitation or Material Distribution."

    When I politely asked him to leave because of this policy he responded, "I'm not soliciting. I'm a volunteer." (As if the two have anything to do with each other.

    When I suggested we call the police and he could explain it to them he said, "It's ok. I'll go."

    To which I responded, "Oh, so you DO know!"

    I want to have our HOA send a letter to the local congregation and it might be nice to cite their own rules and regulations to the elders. (This particular body of elders are all real company men).

    Thanks in advance.

  • sparrowdown

    Many witnesses ignore signs, and any direction given on them.

    They will gleefully find reasons as to why the sign does not apply to them. That they are not there to do the sort of thing listed on the sign, that it doesn't apply to charities like them etc etc.

    Totally maddening people.

  • OneEyedJoe

    I don't have the letter, but I distinctly remember that the policy is only that they don't go where there's a no trespassing sign. Because they are not selling, no soliciting signs do not apply to them. They are advised, though, that should it be indicated that a no soliciting sign is considered by the owner as applying to them, they should then excuse themselves.

    Long story short, get a no trespassing sign.

  • leaving_quietly

    I don't have a letter, but I was always a stickler on this one. I suspect it depends on where you are. In the U.S., it's like this:

    - "No trespassing" on a personal residence means you're on your own if you ignore the sign.

    - "No trespassing" for a community (e.g. apartment complex) means to tread carefully, and if management asks you to leave, to so immediately. The law really does not permit management to speak for the entire community. Only if the sign is at a single resident would it really hold any legal weight.

    - "No soliciting" means nothing, really. If it says "no distribution" or "no religious groups," it's still not the same, but at least it gets the message across. There's no legal issue with this one, as far as I know.

    Now, that said, our last CO talked specifically about "No soliciting" signs, and basically said that most people think it means the same as no trespassing, so just use caution. Maybe ask the householder if the sign applies to JWs.

    I came across a door once where there was a "no soliciting" sign, but it was above me and off to the left-hand side of the door. I never saw it. The householder opened the door and pointed to the sign, at which point, I had to look up to even see it. I apologized and went on my way.

    In short, "no soliciting" is not the same as "no trespassing". Best you put up your own "no trespassing" sign on your door, if you live in an apartment complex.

    The only one that bugs me is the "no canvassing" ones. Some communities have a "no canvassing" ordinance. I talked to one of the elders about this a year or so ago and pointed out that when we go and leave our tracts, like for the convention or memorial invitations, we ARE canvassing. There's no two ways about it. We MUST obey the law. The elder didn't see it the same way I did.

  • Oubliette

    Our condo complex is private property so a No Soliciting sign DOES apply.

    About ten years ago I was on the other side of this debate with a property manager in a similar complex in the same municipality. The manager asked me to leave pointing to the "No Soliciting" sign which we were standing in front of.

    I, being the typical pig-headed, self-righteous elder that I was, insisted that this did not apply to us. So, while the property manager stood there fuming, I called the police department.

    The dispatcher informed me that I was wrong, and that if I did not leave post with they would be there shortly to arrest me.

    Discretion being the better part of valor, I decided to leave.

    Later, I shared the incident with my fellow elders. As I recall, we called Bethel, read the relevant "direction" from the Society and discovered that the police and the property manager were right and we were wrong.

    It's nice to be not the other side of the door for a change!

  • rebelfighter
    Because I work from home and spend a lot of time on the phone right next to the door bell I had a very large in big print Absolutely NO Soliciting sign. So they would knock instead. I would answer the door with Can you NOT read? Pointing to the sign. Followed by Good bye. Of course that was before I knew about the child abuse now they get questions.
  • sparrowdown
    Dangerous dog signs seem to do the trick.
  • Diogenesister

    Where I live in the UK we have something called a "no cold calling" sign up for certain areas - so whatever you are doing you cannot call without prior arrangement. It tends to be areas with high elderly ratio or in our case many half way homes for learning disabled folk - in other words to protect the vulnerable from pushy/dodgy doorstep sales.

    Should apply to cults but since it's my step dads brainchild and he helped formulate the legal side and push it through parliament I'm gonna ask when I see him boxing day.

  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut
    I never ignored "No Soliciting" signs when I saw them, even though we were pretty much told from the platform and in the literature,to do so. That being said, I guess I would have had trouble being angry with this individual seeing as how I was in the same position and mindset myself not so many years ago.
  • Oubliette
    Pete, I didn't get angry! I was adamant, especially when he started to argue the point.

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