So last weekend, the JW's ring the bell and my wife answers. We live in a heavily Spanish neighborhood but don't really speak Spanish. I thought my wife was quite clear that she is a "sister" to them, but maybe the one in charge of the group didn't get the message. So they apparently do the same thing the English speakers do in our city when they encounter someone of a different language- they write it down for someone of that language to come back.
So Sunday, I am shoveling the light snow in front. I am doing my sidewalk and both my neighbors. Whoever gets out there tends to do everybody's walk, so that is a normal thing. I am wearing a hat and even from my avatar, you might think I am Mexican, but really- I speak English and no Spanish. So I am in front of my neighbor's house when two older men, clearly JW's to me, stand there and check their little address book or whatever and look at the housese. They are about 4 or 5 feet from me doing that. Finally, they walk by and say "Hola" and go straight to my front door.
I was debating whether to ignore them or say something. I decided to say something. Here's the general conversation-
(and JW1 did all the talking, JW2 kept a straight face and barely said a word.)
OTWO: I am the only one home there, can I help you?
JW1: We were looking for the English speaking householder here.
OTWO: That's me.
JW1: We are Jehovah's Witnesses and were out today encouraging people with a positive message. Many people think about Jesus during this holiday season, but they don't often think about what he accomplished for mankind. YADDA YADDA YADDA!!!! (I let him finish)
OTWO: Thanks, but I am not interested in your message. Have a nice day.
(That could be the end of it, but no.)
JW1: Many people say that about Jehovah's Witnesses. Perhaps they don't know much about us. I assure you that we are really just trying to share the good news from the Bible as Christians.
(Okay, So I gave him a way to just leave. he didn't take it. Now, I can go in many different directions. I choose to go down a path that might just cause him to leave still.)
OTWO: Your people are fine. Many good people like any other group. I have nothing against your people and I have relatives who are Jehovah's Witnesses. But I am not interested because I have problems with your organization.
JW1: I have never heard that before. What about our organization bothers you? Perhaps I can answer your questions.
(So he wants to talk and not leave. I will hit him hard.)
OTWO: Your organization has called the United Nations the wild beast of Revelation. Yet they joined the U.N. after doing that and were a non-governmental member for a decade or so in the 1990's. When it was discovered, they said it was to have access to the United Nations Library. Yet they had blasted the organization so hard prior to that, and when it was discovered and revealed through the press, they removed themselves as a member. Look back at many 1990's AWAKE articles that highlighted efforts of the World Health Organization and other U.N. efforts and were not condemning that organization anymore.
JW1: That's something I never heard. What is your source of information?
OTWO: I don't carry around papers that state my source. Look it up, it will be easy to find.
JW1: Well, there are government and private sources that are against us and don't tell the truth.
OTWO: It will be easy enough for you to examine a preponderance of evidence that this is the truth. It was some British newspaper that broke the story.
JW1: There are people who will go so far as to produce lies about Jehovah's Witnesses. They are called apostates. They want people to follow them and stop following Jehovah God.
OTWO: Yeah, I have heard of that term before. All that means is that you will stop reading or listening to anything about your religion no matter who is saying it if it is not WATCHTOWER. That just causes you to stop learning any truths about your religion. Don't you suppose the Mormons or the Jim Jones people also used terms like "apostate" to cause their members to not listen to any outsider information? That's another problem. As a matter of fact, Jehovah's Witnesses changed the rules about disfellowshipped people around 1980 when a Governing Body member was kicked out. They started totally shunning former members so that current members could not hear what they had to say.
JW1: That was a protection.
OTWO: I am sure you think so. So there really isn't anything I could say to you, because you will automatically dismiss it unless it comes from WATCHTOWER directly.
JW1: No, I really am interested in answering your questions.
OTWO: Alright. You were a member in the 1990's, weren't you? (He nods) But you never knew about the United Nations membership. You would think your own organization would say something. More recently, have they said anything about the Australian Royal Commission's investigation of the Jehovah's Witnesses?
JW1: What's that?
OTWO: Yeah, neither of you knows anything about that. But your own WATCHTOWER should tell you these things. It's what is happening in the world that effects you. (They don't know what I am talking about.)
OTWO: About 2 years ago, Australia appointed a committee to look into allegations that Watchtower did not report a thousand cases of possible child sexual abuse to authorities and kept the matters quiet to avoid making the organization look bad.
JW1 went on about how he personally has had to deal with some cases alledging sexual abuse and how "they" do not let known offenders go out in the ministry. I tried to say how they still don't tell the congregation about the person in their midst. Of course he was sure I was wrong and that they are wonderful and these things in Australia were about greedy individuals and apostates. It was just a stupid bunch of YADDA YADDA.
OTWO: I knew that no matter what I said, you would deny that such problems exist or that there are bad people in a good organization. But I tell you these things because they are easy to look into. Get over your paranoia and look for the facts and you will see. I imagine that both you and JW2 here may one day be brave enough to overcome your fear of looking into reputable sources for yourselves and you will probably say that crazy guy on "Main" Street was right.
They were looking for an out now. My cell phone rang and they took that as time to leave.