February 3, 2004
TO: ALL BODIES OF ELDERS, CIRCUIT AND DISTRICT OVERSEERS
We are writing to you at this time to advise you of an upcoming adjustment to the way our territories will be covered in the future.
For years we have all rejoiced at the many new ones who have become acquainted with ?waters of truth? as a result of a first contact through our door-to-door work. This method of spreading the good news has proven itself to be effective and will continue.
Sadly, reports continue to be received about serious problems arising out of the unsupervised contact publishers are having with persons studying the Bible or otherwise showing an interest in the Kingdom message, where such person has unlimited Internet access. A typical scenario is where a publisher making a return visit finds that the householder has done quite a bit of research on the Internet and presses him with many difficult-to-answer questions, or raises questions about actions of the Society or its legal channels about which the publisher has heard nothing through the congregation. In many cases the publisher is shown documents and other proof right from the Internet. Such a one then returns to the car group and further spreads the information or questions around, leading to unnecessary further concern on the part of those hearing such talk. In case after case, experience has shown that brothers and sisters exposed to thinking and ideas outside of what is provided through the congregation are leaving the way of the truth in droves, either just walking away, or by formally Disassociating themselves from the Christian congregation, all because of having their eyes blinded through Internet research.
To counteract this insidious trend, starting in September, 2004 a thorough analysis of the congregation?s territory will be made, and for each dwelling unit, a note will be made of whether the householder has Internet access or not. Revised territory cards are being issued that will have space for such information.
Therefore, in the future, we are asking that homes with access to the Internet will only be called upon by qualified Elders, Ministerial Servants, and some Pioneers. To assist you brothers and other qualified publishers, special schools will be announced later that will provide needed training in how best to handle such calls.
The rest of the publishers in each congregation will therefore concentrate their witnessing efforts only where there is absolutely no possibility of them coming in contact with anyone who might be able to research questions on the Internet.
We know that this revised territory coverage arrangement will add an additional burden to you brothers, but we are confident that you will accept this adjustment in the same way you have accepted other outrageous changes we have sent down to you, in the spirit of humility, in the spirit that we know what?s best for you and with the knowledge that none of you ever does quite enough.
Be assured of our warm Christian love, and our firm feeling that we?re glad we?re not you.