I wanted to share some thoughts about Jehovah's Witnesses and their door-to-door preaching.
Door-to-door preaching is supposedly about gathering converts, but in fact, as we frequently discuss, doesn't actually bring that many "sheep-like ones" in. I want to suggest that a second meaning (what we call the latent meaning in academia) is facilitating surveillance of the congregants who attend some congregation. Let me explain.
-Congregations go door-to-door within a specific geographic area known as their "territory." Most congregants for practical reasons and the Governing Body's instructions (as in a recent convention video) live within the territory of the congregation they attend.
-Each congregation also preaches across its entire territory ideally every 6-12 months, and most succeed at this from what I can gather. This means that congregants will drive or walk by the residences of other congregants in their territory at least once or twice per year.
-Because the Governing Body makes displaying certain objects a disfellowshipping offense, congregants would thus gather evidence for a Judicial Committee unintentionally by passing by residences with, say, Halloween decorations, say, or where many cars were parked in their driveway on Thanksgiving. On this site I've seen accounts of Elders being called on someone because they spoke briefly to a female congregant who stopped by to ask a question, for instance.
-In other words: door-to-door preaching functions as a form of surveillance, and facilitates the discipline of congregants, ensuring their compliance and complicity.