Jehovah's Witnesses Came to My Neighborhood

by Juan Viejo2 24 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Juan Viejo2
    Juan Viejo2

    For nearly two years I have not seen any Jehovah's Witnesses going door to door in my neighborhood. That was not the case when my wife and I first moved here (north central Oregon). In fact, our neighborhood was visited at least once every 4 to 5 months - even in the coldest winter months. As far as I can tell, Jehovah's Witnesses seem to have gone out of business in our city.

    At one time there were at least four (and maybe 5) active Kingdom Halls with multiple congregations assigned to each location. The primary hall is still located in the southwest area of our city. At one time there were at least 4 congregations using that hall and there was a co-located residence used by either a circuit overseer or a district overseer (or both) located at one corner of the property.

    There were also at least three other Kingdom Halls located in the city. I attended a Memorial meeting about ten years ago when my wife was out of town visiting her ill parents. The Kingdom Hall I visited was new and located in the northwest part of town (most distant from my home). The night I visited that hall and attended the early Memorial service the hall was quite crowded (my guess is about 125-150 people). Right after that meeting the Hall was cleared because a Spanish language congregation was taking over and would celebrate the Memorial - so the parking lot had to be cleared quickly to make room. My guess is that 250-300 people attended the Memorial at that hall that night. And this was not the main hall for our city. My guess is that three Memorial meetings were held at the main Hall mentioned in the previous paragraph. Two other Halls also existed at the time - but they mostly served foreign language congregations (Spanish - Asian).

    Now there are only two Kingdom Halls left in this city. The primary one described above appears to have two English and one foreign language congregations. The Circuit overseers' house is gone and some of the property has been sold and transferred to attached neighbors. The parking lot is notably smaller. The other Kingdom Hall is still located in the northeast sector and serves an English congregation and (apparently) a south Pacific foreign language congregation (small - 25 - 40 members).

    The last time my neighborhood was visited by JWs was the spring of 2017. The only reason I know that is because my Arlo security cameras recorded a white SUV with about 5 people inside passing by at least ten times one morning around 11 AM. A couple of times the vehicle would stop across the street or a few houses down and just sit there for 5 to 10 minutes and then proceed. No one got in or out of the vehicle during that time. Then the vehicle would leave the area only to return again about 10 or 20 minutes later.

    Finally, after just sitting at the curb across the street from my home, two JWs got out and crossed over to my side of the street. About 5 minutes later a young woman in her early 20s and an older man in his 60s got out of the vehicle and crossed over to my driveway. Then they stood there talking to each other for about 10 minutes before going to my neighbor's house to the east (he is a Lutheran minister). A few minutes later they returned to my driveway and looked at my house for a few minutes. The young woman checked her notes and apparently saw that my house was marked as problematic in some way. She told the older gentleman that they should skip my house and go to the one at the end of the block next to mine.

    The older gentleman followed the young lady to my other neighbor. My camera recorded their knocking and some of the conversation (unintelligible). No one answered the door - but they remained there for about 8 minutes. Then they returned and passed by my house. The older gentleman suddenly turned to go up my driveway. The young woman immediately reminded him that they should not go to my home because it was on their list to avoid. He was clearly confused and made another attempt to come to my door. But she grabbed his coat sleeve and led him back to the waiting SUV (with three inactive JWs sitting inside). The vehicle just sat there for about 10 minutes before finally pulling away. About 15 minutes later the vehicle once again passed by my house.

    This was a classic case of current JWs putting in their time by completely wasting away the clock. Maybe Witnesses have given up on the door to door ministry in recent years as they do not seem to engage with anyone at all anymore. I have watched them downtown fold up their displays and pack their bags as soon as anyone tries to engage them in a meaningful conversation.

    My observations seem to prove the point that all of the energy and enthusiasm for the preaching work has left the members and maybe the organization. I don't even get invitations to the circuit and district assemblies that are held every year at our local fairgrounds each September.

    All in all, I find this to be a good trend. But I am also surprised that modern JWs have mostly decided to wimp-out and either avoid (or fake) any real or meaningful preaching work. And that would appear to include full and part-time "pioneers" (do they even call them that anymore?) that are supposed to be putting in 70-120 hours a month. How do they get their hours?

    I've heard rumors that many "full-time" ministers count their study hours, their Kingdom Hall meeting hours, and time spent sending letters and making phone calls during winter months. If I had been able to count all of those hours when I was a teenaged JW I would have had over 150 hours every month and still worked part-time at a job or going to school.

    Bottom line is this: The current versions of the Watchtower and Jehovah's Witnesses are in general are empty and unenthusiastic about their own religion. The whole concept is now a sham and a total waste of time.

  • sir82

    Sounds about right.

    It's hard to imagine a more colossal waste of time than JWs engaged in their "lifesaving ministry".

    How do they get their hours?

    The apathy carts are a big thing now. There are a bunch of cities around the world which have "special metropolitan public witnessing programs" - which is just a bunch of carts that are manned by shifts of 3-5 JWs over the course of 10-12 hours per day.

    In my city, for example, there are 5 "metropolitan witnessing" locations, manned 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. A shift is 2-4 hours. I.e., there are thousands of "hours" per month to be had just standing mutely at a cart watching people ignore you all day.

    There are a ton of pioneers who get, I would estimate, 30-50% of their "time" per month at these apathy carts.

  • nowwhat?

    Hey Juan where you been? You Hav'nt posted in years

  • Dagney

    This cart thing is brilliant.

    It's easy, no effort field service. They can continue to believe they are relevant in some "life saving work" with minimal personal investment, and the org can keep their numbers up.


    When I was nearing my exit from the Cult ( I knew in my heart that I could not go on.. ) service was almost unbearable. I was getting physically ill at the thought of wasting more hours on field circus..

    I can’t even imagine ever doing that again. I would rather die than waste my life like that.


  • FatFreek 2005
    FatFreek 2005

    Haiwan it's good to have you back again

    What you said about that woman nudging the man even tugging at his coat sleeve brings up a question. Where did she get that knowledge if they are no longer supposed to keep records? how did she know that your house is off limits?

  • Biahi

    DATA DOG, I’m with you, I couldnt bear field service,it made me physically ill. My last few months, I think I spent one hour a month dropping old magazines at laundromats. I didn’t want to convert anyone to become a JW and be as miserable as me.

  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    Yeah, they still call it "pioneering", but instead of 70-120 hours, now it's 30-70.

    And yes, all sorts of fudging takes place. One RP in my Hall counts time going grocery shopping with older JWs under the heading of helping them. And then there's the classic phone call method, where you call a return visit early in the morning when of course they won't answer, then count your time driving and through the service meeting. Then on breaks and lunch, pass out a tract and keep the time going.

    Bottom line: The almost 2 billion hours a year counted in 'service' is a joke, and it's no wonder that the JW's growth rate is just about the average of the general population, i.e. most getting baptized are kids who were raised as JWs, like most other religions.

  • LongHairGal


    Thanks for putting into words how I also felt about field service. I couldn’t f#cking stand it.

    Just the memory of it makes me nauseous. For those JWs who may disagree..I just hope they can pay their bills, put food on the table and save for retirement. They’ll need every nickel.
  • smiddy3

    The "apathy carts" i love that phrase sums it up perfectly.

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