Door-to-door preaching as surveillance

by john.prestor 33 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • truth_b_known

    The door-to-door ministry was a business model to sell publications of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. That is why members of the cult are referred to as "publishers". What changed?

    The fear of losing their tax exempt status cause the WBTS to go to the donation program. This had an immediate economic impact on the WBTS. Members would purchase literature for cash from the WBTS. Then they would sell it to the public for the same price. Many members would then donate that money to the WBTS instead of using it to purchase additional literature. So, that Watchtower Joe Q. Publisher purchased for $0.25 made the WBTS $0.50. It probable cost the WBTS $0.05 to manufacture it.

    I know for a fact that most publishers did not make sufficient donations to cover the cost of the literature. I donated $0.00 whenever I picked up magazines and books. This is what lead to the diminishing size and frequency of magazines, softcover books, and eventually download-only literature.

    However, because the door-to-door ministry is the trademark of Witness activity they couldn't cease it. So, they switched over to showing videos on self-purchased tablets. In addition, cart Witnessing began.

    I am sure that more than once Witnesses saw some inactive members house while out in the ministry and discovered holiday decorations. Of course the dry snitched on the inactive member. Yes, that member was probably disfellowshipped. This is not the purpose of door-to-door witnessing.

  • john.prestor

    I'm not claiming it is, truth_b_known. And thanks to this site and members like you I'm aware of the process by which door-to-door preaching transformed from selling books into hint-hint giving away books for "free" (a donation).

  • LV101

    "giving away books" - LOL and that was a concerted effort! Only people who want the trash are the JWs and some of their worldly associates that are going through life's ordinary difficulties like death of loved ones, forgiveness - sugar-coated nonsense.

    Back to your topic -- the cult clearly has its bases covered, and then some. Apparently, many folks like and need this toxic-family, structure.

  • john.prestor

    Exactly. The organization's literature is, as far as I'm concerned, designed to tug on people's heart strings when they're at their most vulnerable. I remember a Jehovah's Witness telling me that he came to the door of someone who was leaving for a funeral and he gave her the Where are the Dead? tract. I found that really unpleasant.

    I agree LV101: it is a family-like structure with "Big Brother" watching over you, not to mention the Elders being permitted to more or less stalk you and watch you from their cars if they suspect you of an affair, for instance.

  • Vidiot
    truth_b_known - "...This is not the purpose of door-to-door witnessing..."

    ...But every little bit helps.

  • john.prestor

    Exactly, Vidiot. When you put all these kind of practices together you get pretty damn efficient surveillance.

  • careful

    Two thoughts: 1. Most Witnesses who believe it all would not want to celebrate holidays.

    2. "surveillance of the congregants," as you put it, is so imbued into the Witness life that it permeates everything Witnesses do, the field service/ministry included. The last should not be singled out as something special in this regard.

  • vienne

    We will include a chapter on the development of personal evangelism in the Russell era in vol. 2. of Separate Identity. It is a work in progress, but I've posted the first part of that chapter in rough draft on our history blog:

  • LV101

    Re - elders stalking -- one could have a lot of fun with that/lololol! They lie -- I'd left the cult for good and received message on phone asking that I return call -- said he'd been at my doorstep that morning -- the idiot didn't realize my security would be in big trouble if they let someone in without approval plus he'd have to know how to get in gate at my house once cleared thru entrance gates -- I laughed so hard because he was no where to be seen on the exterior surveillance cameras or at my door. My security confirmed no one was allowed in that AM. He'd always been really sweet -- don't know what that was all about - maybe just an assertive-type kindness call. I wouldn't put up with their crazy one minute and they knew I paid no attention to them.

  • steve2

    Door to door work seen as a way to keep an eye on JWs, including inactive ones? What a lumbering way to achieve that goal!And how would JWs know who inactive ones are or who disassociated and disfellowshipped ones are? We live in a highly mobile world in which people can have frequent changes of addresses. People often do not stay in the same district or region.

    I live in the relatively small country of New Zealand - and even though it’s got a high ratio of JWs to population - have met JWs a few times in their door-to-door work and they have not known me (and I have no divulged my identity).

    Keep in mind also that JWs in general are not so active in recent years in the door to door work ( it’s a few years since I’ve seen them out witnessing in my neighbourhood). The emphasis now is on their (passive) cart work.

Share this