Earlier this year, I had a JW mother and daughter call at the
door. Although I mostly spoke to the mother,
my thought was mostly to plant some seeds in the daughter’s mind as she was about
14 which is the age where teens often start to think for themselves.
We interspersed discussing religion with some sociable small
talk and I started the conversation by asking the reasons why they believed the
JWs had the truth and then countered with explanations of why I would certainly
not want to belong to their religion even if I did believe in a god.
I was amazed that they stayed as long as they did (about
half an hour) as I was laying into JW beliefs and practices with quite a strong iron fist, but in a
very friendly and polite way. (I've never
been in a KH or studied with JWs, so it was probably unexpected on their part to
meet someone who wasn't an apostate who knew lots of details about their
On quite a few points the mum became tight lipped, agitated
and had no answer, but the daughter’s reaction was the most interesting….. she was
literally wide eyed with her mouth slightly open as she listened to the
conversation, especially about the flood and the Australian Royal Commission
(which I suggested they should google to see their governing body member being deceitful).
I guess the daughter was probably more used to her mum confidently leading the
discussion and being ready with answers to all questions rather that flailing around
on the defensive with no logical answers.
The most shocking point I left till near the end of our chat
as I thought it might terminate the discussion. I had brought the daughter into
the conversation a couple of times in general chit chat to ask about school and
her future plans.
I complimented the mum on having an intelligent and
beautiful daughter but said that I was horrified to know that if, in a few years’
time, the daughter decided she didn’t want to be part of the JW religion any
more, her parents would be expected to shun her.
I calmly said that I personally
thought that was a disgusting and inhumane practice and told her that I have a
daughter too and couldn’t comprehend how anyone could be part of a religion which
accepted this. The mum was lost for words to start with but then mumbled about
it being a loving thing to do, but I could tell by the way both were looking down
and squirming that they were both highly embarrassed.
It may have been a rather shocking and insensitive thing to
say with the daughter listening, but I wanted to get her to think about the
reality of her religion, and also surreptitiously put the thought in her mind
that leaving is an option for the future.