I can dream, can't I?
I Just had a CLOSE ENCOUNTER of the Dub kind
I just frightened a Jehovah’s Witness lady half out of her wits!______________I just frightened a sweet Jehovah’s Witness lady half out of her wits...She took off like a sprinter at the sound of a starter pistol!I heard her engine rev as she threw the shift in reverse and dashed out of Starbuck’s parking lot like she was an Apollo rocket headed into a Mars orbit.The people sitting nearby glanced at me suspiciously. What had I done? What kind of beast had been unleashed on the patio?I gave a big cheesy grin, lifted my eyebrows and mimicked Alfred E. Newman’s WHAT ME WORRY? face.___________Let me back up to the beginning . . .Today, I’m sitting outside the Starbucks on Hulen St. in Fort Worth, writing as usual.The temperature is only 93 but I’m in the shade. . . where it is 91.An Asian lady of indeterminate age (35) walked up to me and handed me a tract:How do you view the Bible?My spidey senses on full alert, I instantly knew what was up.This lovely Asian benefactor was taking the opportunity to engage in “casual witnessing.”For the non-JW, I’ll explain.You know when a car pulls up alongside your children when they’re on their way home and a stranger offers them candy?Well, it’s exactly like that.My vibe--my sense of her was that of a Newbie.She was not a seasoned JW or she would know not to approach a man.She was a single woman. Every good JW lady knows that worldly men are Satanic tarpits of unspeakable and odious evil.Heck, anybody who’s been around me five minutes could have told her that.Never-the-less, she opened the petals on the Venus Flytrap and the lure of a Bible study glistened like dewy honey before my eyes.She struck me as the kind of person who makes you smile because--well because she is so feathery and glittering with Watchtower unicorn poison. Yet, a pure soul--a true believer.Her English was almost manageable, so I let her get through her presentation.I tried to shut off my rebuttal engine and simply LISTEN.The gist of her speech was that the Bible has all the answers to all my questions.As a matter of fact, the Bible--if properly explained by agents of the Watchtower cult--could guarantee life eternal in paradise. Sigh. Swoon.She finished and asked me if I was a Bible reader.The spooky thing was this. I had just compiled four or five quotes from the Watchtower magazines over the years which clearly asserted that NOBODY could understand the Bible except the official Organization Jehovah had chosen--which just happened to be Jehovah’s Witnesses.I thought about showing it to her--but--I knew there would be no foundation laid for her to absorb the irony.I smiled and said, “I used to be a Jehovah’s Witness.”She blinked, not fully comprehending what I’d said.She offered versions of what I might have said back at me, to which I shook my head and repeated.“No, I was baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness in 1963.”(Remember, there is a language barrier making this parlay problematic.)“Oh--you go to Kingdom Hall?”“No--I have not been in a Kingdom Hall for 36 years.”Her mind was sorting. . . sorting . . . through the spaghetti strands of possible meaning. . .“Oh--you got to church?”“No. I don’t attend any church.”More sorting . . .“Oh--you can return to Jehovah, you know. We welcome everybody--”“No, you don’t understand. I’m trying to tell you I spend my time as an activist . . .”“Activist?”“. . .yes, I write about the Watchtower Organization. . .”Big smile--yes, Jehovah’s organization. . . nodding. . .(Note: I suddenly felt like I was in the middle of the LIttle Red Riding Hood story. “Grandma, what big eyes you have!” “All the better to see you with, my dear . . .”)I groped for an easy path. Baby steps leading a step at a time to the gallows.“I used to be a Pioneer, witnessing door to door 100 hours a month.”A burst of bright sunlight flooded the terrain of her face as she temporarily began to see me as a stray sheep worth rescuing.“What I’m trying to say is this. Everything I learned has changed. Everything I taught has changed. What was TRUTH back then is no longer true. It was all for nothing. . .”A maternal expression of, “Oh you silly boy. . “ was there as she explained.“Brighter light now. We see better. What you saw was only shadows and shapes.”I rather liked her explanation because it was thoughtful, even though it was detached from reality.“No, I mean everything I spent my early life believing would be totally wrong today--not because it has improved--but because it has been replaced with opposite views.”“Oh, you used to have the Cross of Jesus--I know, I know and you saluted the flag and. . .”“No--I’m not THAT old! I’m saying we use to believe things just because the Organization said it was True and they used the Bible to prove it was true. Now they say it is different and changed it using the Bible to ‘prove’ that as well. But--none of it is true. I spend my time trying to help Jehovah’s Witnesses. . .”A cloud passed over her expression momentarily. She wanted to sit down and talk to me, but I deliberately did not invite her to do so. Why? Because I knew when the time came for her to run for her life, she would feel twice as bad abruptly breaking off and dashing for cover.“Witnesses before me--even before them-- each taught things they considered to be TRUTH, but it’s no longer true. So, really--we spent our lives teaching UNtruth. I feel bad for doing that. But--I woke up. I try to help JW’s wake up. But, you aren’t allowed to read or listen to what is really going on in the Organization. . .”She kept inching closer to the table, as one might approach a wild beast with its paw caught in a snare. I could see her mind cranking. If she could just rescue this slavering creature and untangle its crooked paw--she could feed it and nurse it back to health before it devoured her.“You see--there are many Jehovah’s Witnesses trapped inside the religion afraid to say anything about the disturbing things they see going on--but the fear of losing their family and friends through shunning holds them hostage inside. . .”She was now frozen in space with a quizzical demeanor that seemed halfway caught between two rooms. One room with one set of voices, and another room with weeping wailing, and the gnashing of teeth.“Witnesses don’t watch TV reports or newspaper articles explaining about the child molestation lawsuits. The JW’s aren’t allowed to know the Watchtower had joined the United Nations for over nine years. When they got caught, they made up the excuse that they became NGO’s just to have access to the U.N. library.”Was she really listening? Was there a sorting going on inside her mind? Was she too new to the religion to even have a context for my words? I suspected not.“What I’m saying is this, to make it clear. YOU are not allowed to do research on the Internet, or library or listen to people like me when we direct you to news articles that reveal the Watchtower is keeping secrets from you. . .”Now there was a frown. It was deepening. Micro Expressions of conflict broke out like temblors at the San Andreas fault. I could see, the BIG ONE was about to erupt.I decided to pull the handle on the guillotine.“My life right now is dedicated to helping Jehovah’s Witnesses overcome their fear of discovering the Truth is not really the whole truth and nothing but the Truth. I’m warning people such as YOURSELF, your religion is a CULT.”And with the word “Cult,” an electric circuit in her mind--a tripwire--jolted with ten thousand volts of sizzling barbecue power! Like a Rube Goldberg contraption, one thought triggered another, slipping, sliding, rolling, dropping, clanking and throwing switches until the final marble dropped and raised the giant red flag which read:“OH MY GOD, HE’S AN APOSTATE!”I was right there sitting not three feet from her. Jack the bleeping Ripper! The Silence of the F-ing Lambs, with my bottle of Chianti and a steaming plate of fava beans!Her pleasant face warped into a crumpled Halloween mask of terror. As I said at the top, she took off like a sprinter at the sound of a starter pistol!I heard her engine rev as she threw the shift in reverse and dashed out of Starbuck’s parking lot like she was an Apollo rocket headed into orbit around Mars.I wanted to hide my fetid leprosy sores and cry, “Unclean! Unclean,” but I knew I had done nothing wrong. In fact, the transformation from human being to satanic werewolf was all in the lady’s mind due to the insidious undue influence of her coercive Elders.I don’t know if she is trembling under her bed at home now, or if she drove to an outpatient clinic for pills. I just hope at least some little thing broke through her trance. I hope I didn’t ruin her afternoon. I hope I opened a door, somehow, to great possibilities for freedom in some not too distant tomorrow.
I can dream, can't I?________________
"............she is so feathery and glittering with Watchtower unicorn poison."
ROFLMAO! Hilarious. Sad, too, but hilarious. Well, at least you tried, Terry.
Poor lady. You knew the word cult would put her out of her misery.
I wish I could get wife wife to read this. I'll try.
Great gobs of goose shit, that was the funniest experience I've heard in a long time. Terrific writing Terry. Thanks for sharing this. I bet she went home and took a shower to wash the apostate residue off.
Poor thing....instead of a friendly open faced guy at Starbucks tapping away on his laptop, she likely had imagined her first encounter with an apostate would have involved a sweaty unshaven man driving a van with primered paint splotches all over it.
She'll undoubtedly have to reevaluate her ability judge people by their cover.
( I nominate this as the #1 post of the year)
“My life right now is dedicated to helping Jehovah’s Witnesses overcome their fear of discovering the Truth is not really the whole truth and nothing but the Truth. I’m warning people such as YOURSELF, your religion is a CULT.”
I am trying to understand what you think you accomplished. Your narration certainly does not sound like you take the above statement very seriously. Sounds more like you were just playing with her.
You covered a lot of JWism and I think your history lesson is going to wake her up at some point. She's not able to deal with truth at this point and will remain in denial but she can't erase your comments.
Great job, Terry. What an opportunity - gold star for you!
I am trying to understand what you think you accomplished. Your narration certainly does not sound like you take the above statement very seriously.Sounds more like you were just playing with her.
The tone of this--the manner in which I wrote it, is light-hearted to make it more readable. The actual encounter wasn't a laugh riot, believe me.
I try to be very aware of what it is I'm saying and attempt to 'read' the reaction it is creating. In this instance, I can only say I did the best I could and that was all I could do.