I wonder too if the leadership has become aware that door to door preaching was not specifically practiced or even recommended by the Jesus Christ or His apostles.
The Reasons for Cart Witnessing
I was in the City a few weeks ago with a non JW friend whom I had shared my JW past with. At one point, I even explained to him what cognitive dissonnance is and how it comes in to play with the JW's.
We passed a literature cart on the busy sidewalk and I explained to him what it was. He thought it was odd and said, " I would NEVER intentionally go up to anyone peddling religious literature".
A few blocks later we passed 2 other carts side by side on the sidewalk near the elevated train station and they were manned by four Sisters and there was a Brother standing nearby. The Brother (Joe) recognized me and came dashing over. He was an old friend who attends the same congregation I did, out in the suburbs about 30 miles away. Joe gave me a hug and seemed glad to see me even though he knows I'm not a JW anymore. I introduced him to my friend and the Joe began telling us excitedly about how successfull the cart work has been and how much positiveresponse they've been getting.
Me: " Remember back in the day when we did street witnessing in the city and we actually had to have a presentation prepared and had to seek people out? I remember we used to place stacks of magazines".
Joe: ( wistfully said ) "Yeah....I used to bring all of my old magazines and by the end of the morning they'd all be gone. Now we rarely have anyone take anything. I remember one time back in the 80's we were working on the sidewalk and there was a gay bath house nearby. One of them came out and said something derogatory like " You guys are wasting your time, no one wants to hear about your religion ".
Joe: (looking at my friend) " JW's don't look down on Gays or hold anything against them so instead of disagreeing I told him to have a nice day" .
Me: ( looking at my friend, said jokingly) "They don't have anything against Gay people unless of course the Gay person is their own kid or someone in their congregation " Ha Ha !. The sisters who were listening in, looked away when I glanced at them and smiled.
Joe: (chuckled and continued nervously) "Anyway, a few minutes later, this gay guy came back and appologized for being so rude to me. We made a good Witness just by being there".
After a bit more chit chat with Joe, my friend and I went on on our way. Once we were out of earshod my friend said:
Friend: " So did I hear correctly? First Joe said that they were having a lot of success with the literature carts, then he said that they rarely have anyone take a piece of literature.
Me: You've just seen an example of the cognitive dissonannce JW's have to employ to keep themselves going. On some level he knows he's wasting his time. but his first reaction is to deny what he really feels and say what he's expected to say. Also,If JW's didn't have a problem with Gay people, he wouldn't have felt it necessary to mention this to you but he knows that they really do have a problem with it and the cognitive dissonnance forced him to cover it up.
Great observation by your friend!
I believe that cart witnessing is being forced on them by the authorities - door knocking is invasive/annoying but cart witnessing in a public space is a public service and thus enables watchtower to get charity money.
I'm grasping at straws a little but I wouldn't at all be surprised if I'm close to the truth ...
Lol yep your grasping on that one uni.
I don’t know, yeah easier ways for the elderly to het hours maybe but the cult is really interested in getting new suckers. So I think as they were toying with new ideas they decided to go back to the old days and bring back the plaguereds.
Same with showing videos at the door and at the carts, it’s a throw back to the record player days.
yeah the whole thing is a big joke. I remember listening to an interview of an exjw who was a pioneer at the time these carts first got going. He said they had a big gathering to celebrate the first years success. It came out in that meeting that in the entire US this being only a city campaign at the time that a whole whopping 8 people came into the truth via the cart witnessing.
Being such a huge success the program went nationwide and is done now even in small communities.
Carts also seem to be another control tactic. There are only some who are permitted to do cart work whereas other 'publishers' must go D2D to get their time. Not sure what a JW must do to qualify for cart work.
It seems the carts also make it easier to extend the day in ministry. Since JWs can sit and drink coffee, eat and talk to each other close to where the cart is set up, there then is no need to take a break elsewhere such as a coffee shop or restaurant.
I've observed JWs with carts outside ice arenas and other public venues, late in the afternoon, beyond the time when publishers would usually be out knocking on doors. What I found odd though, just as increasing numbers of parents were arriving with their children to skate or play hockey, the JWs would quickly pack up and depart.
The only flaw with the OP argument is that cart witnessing is a "privilege" only the chosen can do. So if you hate door to door preaching, you're still screwed because you'd probably not be allowed to do it anyways.
I know people who work in the medical arena -- hospitals, medical facilities, doctors'/dentists' offices, etc., who grab up and throw all cult WT literature in the trash bin the minute they can. I used to think that was evil of them -- let readers decide on their own. Thank goodness these independent trash collectors are saving lives and protecting families.
The real “genius” is the Dub who owns the cart factory....