Are JW's Really Free From Superstition?

by TD 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • TD

    A couple of years ago, my wife's younger brother was moving into his first home. I've always made a point of being nice to her family, (And they to me as well) so cup of coffee in hand, I drove over there early on Saturday to help.

    Moving is always hectic, even if it is someone else's move. I stayed there most of the day and by the time I was ready to come home, I had long since forgotten about the cup of coffee. The cup got left on the kitchen counter, where some other volunteer washed it and put it away with the rest of their dishes.

    Early the next day, my brother-in-law and his wife discovered this cup that had mysteriously appeared in their cabinet. They were already jumpy because this house was directly adjacent to an unusual looking (OK --- architecturally, it's a monstrosity.) Chrstian church that some Witnesses believe is "demonized." (It's the Glass and Garden Community Church in Scottsdale, AZ. According to the local newspaper some years back, patrons of this church had reported seeing "faces" in the ceiling looking down on the congregation from time to time.)

    Before long, they had convinced themselves that the previous occupants of the house had probably attended that demonized church. Regardless, they weren't going to take any chances with phantom coffee cups that appear in cabinets out of thin air, so without wasting another minute, they took it outside and broke it with a hammer. (My wife and I were broke one year and that cup had been an anniversary present)

    Now Jehovah's Witnesses pride themselves in being "free" from the chains of superstitious ignorance, but do their actions really validate that claim? I was thinking about this again this weekend when some other members of my wife's family had a conniption over my daughter's "Have you seen this wizard?" T-shirt. (From Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

    How exactly does substituting one set of superstitions for another make you free?

    (Or have you ever stopped and thought about how much fun you could have by hiding a tiny FM receiver in a Witness home and driving by late at night with a wireless mic?)

  • kls

    Most things jws are afraid of are superstitious,going into a church, watching a R rated movie like something bad will happen to them. Attending a wordly funeral, there are so many that fit the catagory of superstition. But really those people that you moved really win the boobie prize.

  • micheal

    Of course not.

    I will not watch that "demonic" movie because if I do I will have "problems with the demons".

  • jws

    They were always superstitious to me. They always thought demons lived in items and posessed them.

    I remember warnings that you shouldn't buy things at rummage sales because the person who owned them last could have been into the occult. Same for buying used things from goodwill and such. In today's world, they probably frown on e-bay purchases. Not everyone I knew followed this advice. Good thing too because when they work a part time cleaning job, bargain shopping could really help out.

    I also know they treated anything religious (that wasn't from the JWs) as if it was posessed as well. Say, literature from other religions, religious objects like crosses, or even churches themselves. Even if they didn't think they were actually possessed, they certainly seemed to have a fear of such things.

    I know it's all silly now, but I still see it as slightly different from common superstitions. Like, breaking a mirror or walking under a ladder for fear of being the victim of some unspecified "bad luck". Fear of obtaining "demon-posessed" items was in fear of specific things (demons), not just some inspecific "bad luck". If you're going to believe in God and angels and the devil and demons, I suppose this isn't too much of a stretch. For that matter, some people might call religion itself superstition.

    I always wondered. Angels (and fallen angels) are beings that can travel to and from heaven and presumably around the universe to see it's wonders. They probably witnessed creation. They are presumably very intelligent, have seen many wonders, and have free will. So why would an intelligent being with powers to travel the universe spend it's time haunting a coffee mug that probably sits in a dark cabinet for most of it's time? Why can't the spirit go from house to house if it wants to? Why would it have to travel in a coffee mug? If it wants to be in your brother-in-law's house, what difference would the mug make? And then for what purpose? So it can scare you with faces? And what would that do? You'd end up fearing the demons and you'd turn to God and try to be more spiritual. Kind of against what demons would want, if they are opposed to God. If anybody should be doing these scare tactics, it should be angels.

  • Dogpatch

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    U rban L ore from the W atchtower W orld Dear Randy,

    I was raised a JW, baptised at fourteen, and left a few months before my
    eigtheenth birthday. And in that short amount of time as a young man capable
    of reasoning, I heard this gem:

    A sister moved into a house that was demon possessed. There was the "usual"
    of pan-throwing, book-throwing etc (why she never moved out when her own
    HOUSE was assaulting her, I don't know...).

    Then, one day, she sits in her living-room and challenges the demons,
    claiming she has God backing her up and with HIS power, she is too strong
    for them.

    The next thing she knows (I swear the person telling me this was serious),
    the sister was transported to a cave some place for several hours. Then she
    is transported back to her home, all by the demons.

    Rather an absurd one...

    James Harrison

    Dear Randy,

    I enjoy your site immensely and especially the Watchtower Urban Lore section- it is good to lighten up and have a laugh sometimes! of course way back when it was happening to us- it was not funny, but now it is hilarious!

    I have a true story to tell you first that you can include on your Lore page if you wish. This happened in a congregation in the Pacific Northwest in the early 90's. I knew a sister who, even tho she was only newly baptized, and had a history of
    pre-JW mental instability, decided she was definitely one of the anointed. Of course being menopausal and having a husband who was not a JW helped out her "proof" of persecution which just aced her claim as far as she was concerned.

    Well, one day she was having troubles and she remembered that she had not been sleeping well and had had some bad dreams, so of course it meant she had a demon problem. She identified the problem as being her vacuum cleaner. As the week progressed, the vacuum cleaner became bolder and more possessed until it would vacuum on its own without help from a human to push it or even plug it (in-musta' been a very clean demon.) Anyway she decided to keep it locked in the
    trunk of her car. (Now as I am re-telling this story that I know as first hand- I am realizing how utterly stupid it sounds, BUT when it was happening, putting the vacuum cleaner in a locked car trunk made perfect sense!) So this sister decided to take the vacuum cleaner over to an elder's house to see what he thought about it and to have a vacuum cleaner roast or something. The elder, to his credit, thought this sister was a "froot-loop" but he was very elder-ish and composed until she opened the trunk and he saw that the vacuum cleaner was...

    he told me he nearly peed his pants!
    (true story nothing has been changed to protect the innocent vaccuum cleaner.)

    In the Louisville Kentucky congregation there was a couple, the wife was a regular pioneer, the husband was an elder and they had two kids, a boy and a girl. One night when the parents were practicing clean acts of reproduction little Mike runs from the kids bedroom with a pale face - IT ... IT'S THE MOUSE!! he stutters. When the parents run to the room, little Naomi was
    crying under the bed and in the middle of the room there was a Logitech mouse clicking vigorously and angrily at her. The demonic mouse was burned in the fire, although it was still hissing and double-clicking when burned.

    A brother that had been just appointed the Accounts Servant in Charleston, Georgia, had just came to the meeting from a computer show with his new mouse that was in his briefcase. He opened it to get his accounts report that was neatly stored between the pages of "Hustler" magazine, when the mouse suddenly jumped and tied his cable tightly around servant's neck. He fell from the seat from the shock and started running out, mouse cable strangling him. Brothers helped to release the poor brother with wire-cutters just before he would have passed out. Mouse was clicking vigorously. "It was like a rattlesnake back in Texas", one servant noted with a distinguishable accent.

    (courtesy of former CC, now Stacey B.)

    1) Around 1983 or 1984 Smurfs were the all the rage among the kids my age. Somehow stories got started and spread like wildfire about how the Smurfs were demonic. At first I wasn't allowed to watch the TV show because of the characters Gargamel, who was a wizard, and Papa Smurf who practiced magic, if memory serves. Then it became known that several JWs who had overlooked this and bought Smurf items began to have demon troubles. The one I remember best is a story I related to my JW neighbor's grandmother, who was "worldly" (my mom was furious that I told her this story because she knew the grandmother would think we were all nuts; of course, my mom believed this story, so I guess we were nuts!) Supposedly, a little girl had been given Smurf curtains for her bedroom and the first night the evil Smurfs were there, she awoke to find they had jumped off the curtains and began dancing around her room, laughing demonically. 2) About the same time, Michael Jackson's Thriller album came out. Our JW neighbor had a daughter who was about two years old. The neighbor had left the channel on MTV when she left the room. She suddenly heard the baby screaming and rushed into the living room to see her daughter pointing at Michael Jackson in werewolf makeup in the Thriller video, screeching "Dirty face! Dirty face!" This was taken as proof in our congregation that this video was demonic (hello? spoof on horror movies? anyone?) as was Michael Jackson, most likely. My Thriller cassette and my neighbor's album were promptly destroyed. The King of Pop was disassociated not long after.



    1. Back in the mid 50's the story was going around that Hershey's chocolate bars were made with blood. Witnesses claimed that was what gave the chocolate the dark brown color. For a few years, not one JW that I knew would eat a Hershey's chocolate bar! Back in those day Witnesses were very paranoid about eating blood. The rumor in Michigan was that cattle and pigs were being electrocuted and therefore could not be bled properly. Witnesses for some reason seemed to accept this, but they were more paranoid about chickens and turkeys. So, instead of buying birds from the local supermarket, my parents and several other Witnesses would venture a short ways outside of Flint, Michigan and purchase their foul from a retailer that would kill and dress them on the spot... in front of you! My younger brother and I would watch in amazement as the chickens got their heads cut off, blood running out of the neck, turned over and their guts were wrenched out by hand. They were then dipped in hot water and the feathers were removed. Sure, this was much better for young kids to watch than taking a chance of getting an electrocuted chicken at the grocery store! After a few trips to the blood and guts market, they started to by foul again from the local supermarket.

    2. There was the rumor of the sister going from door to door in the preaching work. One day she knocked on a door and a man greeted her. Unknowingly to her, he was a rapist! A few minutes after she left the door, he was arrested. When asked why he did not rape the Witness woman, he said it was because of the two large men that were standing behind her. The story was the sister was working alone, and the two men were angles who were protecting her! I heard this story from several Witnesses, but none knew the woman personally.

    3. The story was a couple of sisters started a study with a woman who was into demonism. All of a sudden, during the study the table with their books on it began to shake violently. Suddenly, it rose a few inches off the floor and settled down again! The sisters left the house, never to return.

    Ty Scharrer


    I was raised JW...3rd generation. We lived in a small town in Mississippi. My older brother had a facination with magic and ventriloquism. In some of his tricks, I was his "assistant." I knew that the trunk had a false bottom, and all the other secrets. My brother was told that he was going to be demon possessed and that he was exposing me to it too, unless he stopped "courting" the devil. And, he paid another of my brothers a dime (understand that this was years ago) to let him push his face in a mud hole he (my older brother) had fixed up... then he poured plaster of paris in and made a casting. We all knew how he did this and who the model was, but he was told that the dummies he made could be possessed by demons and that they would use him for evil. He never stopped inventing magic tricks and has two "store-bought" dummies now. So far he hasn't been possessed.


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    Listen To Me You Demonized Woman!

    There was a very zealous and a bit out spoken Sister Reed. She would talk back at the JW brothers if she thought something was wrong. She never thought it out of line but important to make thing clear. Well, the local elders could never get the last word in when sitting her straight on any matter. So they thought, let's let the district overseer try to handle this one. And so finally a meeting was set up and Sister Reed sat down and with a confident smile asked "what's the matter??" "Why do you want to talk to me at this special meeting?" Well, that district overseer could see that she was bold and didn't let anyone put her in a defensive position. The words began to fly, and she was getting the best of that overseer, you could see, he clearly didn't have the words to close her mouth. She of course was smiling and he was progressively getting plan "MAD" not angry just "MAD". Well, infront of us other brothers he didn't want us to see his lack of self control get out of hand. But finally, he completely lost it and took off one shoe and waved it around above her head and said "If you don't shut up, and listen to me you demonized woman, I am going to hit you with this shoe." Pretty, serious stuff, violence was his only solution. When Sister Reed saw this, she confidently stood up and corrected the brother on his actions and walked out. Of course this Brother Anderson, finally cooled down and said she was demonized.

    Phil Benson

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    Jumping Pots and Pans

    A Bro. Bob Craig told me that when he was on missionary assignment, that the demons would scatter the pots and pans in the missionary home every night. The next day they had to clean up and set things straight before going out in their daily activities. This was on the Island of Granada.

    Demonized Clothes

    Some of the older, way back, JW brothers would never by there clothes at the Goodwill stores or any used clothing store. They new for sure you would become demonized. And so we never told them where we bought some of our clothes. Most of the pioneers and less fortunate JWs are at these Goodwill Stores everyweek nowadays. That means their all demonized.

    Phil Benson

    Demon Patrol

    When I arrived at the Philippine Branch office of WT, in 1960, they informed me that the old Spanish house and compond was brought cheap because no one wanted it. This is where the Japanese soldiers confined and killed many Filipinos during the war. At night you could hear screams, evidently the demons. Many human remains were uncovered while doing gardening. The hole that held the machine gun could easily be seen in the floor of the dining room just under the chair of the branch overseer Leone. Some of the local people around the ouside walls of this Bethel home, told stories about a glowing woman that would patrol around and around at night. I never saw her but we were often times looking over our shoulder when returning late at night.

    Phil Benson

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    Smurf story:

    Paul's Uncle Mark, who is an elder, told him about an occasion that apparently happened in his congregation involving a smurf doll. As the story goes, a new family who had just started studying, were attending the Saturday meeting with their young son. Half way through the meeting , the smurf doll apparentley stood up and declared, " I have had enough of this shit!" and walked out of the meeting on it's lonesome. So it seems even smurfs can detect crap when they hear it ! LOL!

    Big guy angel story:

    This story is so popular amongst JW land ! The story goes that two sisters were out witnessing , knocked on some guy's door that had just killed his wife. Later on when the police finally got the dude, he was asked why he didn't kill the two sisters, to which he replied, " Because they had two big blokes standing behind them'. OOhh freaky! We live in Australia, it was funny for me to read a similiar story on the net about the guy who had just killed the Avon lady, but left the lone sister alone for basically the same reason !

    Throwing away demonised objects:

    Paul's father bought his mother a geisha doll back from Japan. After recieving this doll, things started to go wrong within the marriage, and eventually they went their separate ways. Mother blamed the doll for the start of the marital problems. Mother started smoking the day father left , and had been DF. Mother started a new relationship with her now-elder-husband, and the day she threw the doll away, she gave up smoking.


    During a Sunday talk, an elder related this urban legend:

    A group of JW teens attended a big worldly beer bash without their parents? knowledge. At the party some kids were playing with a Ouija board, and dared the JW kids to participate. One of them asked the board if it feared the name of Jehovah?s Witnesses. It replied, ?No, we have their children.? This scared the miscreants so badly that they ran home and told their parents what they had done.

    Another Smurf tale:

    A JW family decorated their son?s room with Smurf wallpaper. Shortly afterward they noticed that the kid was covered with tiny red marks one morning. Mom asked if he had felt any bugs in his bed. He said, ?No, the smurfs come out of the wallpaper and bite me at night. In the daylight they?re cute and smiling but at night they have sharp teeth.? Those tricky blue devils! So Mom and Dad had to rip down the wallpaper and redo the room. And naturally the wallpaper wouldn?t burn without lots of gasoline.

    Hi Randy,

    There was a story going around years ago about a Sister who lived in Tennessee, worked the night shift, and walked through a cemetery as a short cut to work. One night, she encountered a "worldly" woman who approached her and asked the sister if she'd escort her through the cemetery, since she was afraid of walking through it alone after dark. The sister replied "Why yes, I'll be happy to walk with you. You know, I used to be afraid of cemeteries too, when I was a part of the world." Whereupon the "worldly" woman fainted unconscious to the ground.


    Cereal Demons

    As kids, my friends and i went through the "cereal conspiracy." Anybody remember "boo berry", "count chocula", or the antichrist of cereals, "lucky charms"? My mom let us have them all but boy did she get grief from all the other moms and even an elder approached and talked to her about having satanic types of cereal in the house and what would it do
    to us kids, Satan would get ahold of us and we would be out of the truth!... Well, maybe he was right!!


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    Hi Randy,

    Here's some true "smurf" stories (i myself witnessed):

    Smurf Story 1: One fellow Witness woman I knew was very paranoid about the "demonic" nature of the Smurfs. Occasionally, she'd babysit for her neighbors (who were "worldly") and who often played with their kids in a "smurf" kiddie pool. The Witness woman never allowed the kids in the pool while she watched them, always feeling as if the pool might make the toddlers slip and fall or try to drown them.

    Smurf Story #2: One Witness mother brought her 3 year old to the supermarket, where the baby always fussed, stuck sitting in the shopping cart. The woman left her child for a few seconds to grab things off the shelf. When she returned, her child had a 3 inch Smurf bendy toy. The good Witness mother immediately took the doll and put it aside, thinking her child grabbed it from somewhere. The taking of toy made the child cry of course, but the mother would not relent. However, over the course of the shopping trip, the child somehow gained access to the toy two more times. The third time, the mother realized that the doll was following her and her baby and that demonic forces were trying to possess the child. The mother grabbed her kid, left the cart and practically ran from the store. Later, I who was employed at the supermarket, discovered one the employees who was stocking shelves kept giving the child the toy so it wouldn't fuss so bad.

    "Demonized artifact" story: One young couple reported they were having a problem with things "disappearing" around the house. Car keys, money, etc... They began to feel paranoid, unsafe, as if a "presence" were in the house with them, oppressing them. Finally they dug around in the attic and found... (dramatic pause)... a rolled up American Flag. As soon as the flag was put in the garbage... both man and woman felt as if Jehovah had indeed saved the day by leading them to the "evil demonized artifact."


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    Hi Randy,

    1) an elders wife told me that when her 2 boys were little they had a neighbor who was into "spiritism"( I believe it was astrology) they helped this neighbor with some sort of building project one day. This neighbor was also a camera buff and took a picture of her younger son as he was hammering in a nail and gave her a copy as a gift. She claimed that the little boy started acting differently when she brought it into the house (he was behaving too well). She was immediately suspicious, and tore the picture up. She claims the child went into convulsions and blames the "demonized" picture for trying to possess him. And no, he was not seen by a doctor, I was made to feel silly for asking!

    2) an elderly couple related a tale of buying a beautiful stained glass lamp (described in mind-numbing detail) from a woman who was into tarot cards. Unspecified "strange things" started to happen and they destoyed the very valuable, hand-crafted lamp.

    3) a woman told me a story of buying a rocking chair at an antique shop which she claimed gave her children horrible, gory nightmares so she returned it to the shop. She claimed the owner wasn't suprised, said three other people had bought and returned it for the same reason. Well, I hope they help, I've got many more. I was told never to buy anything at a tag sale because it could be demonized. Never to buy origional artwork for the same reason. I did hear about the smurfs but in the past tense.

    Blessed be,

    I used to have nightmares. It was this:

    I would be in bed, the room was pitch dark. I could not move, speak, and barely breath. I would have to say "Jehovah" aloud before the demons would release me. I would wake my husband trying to cry out. He would sometimes try to wake me, but could not. There were times it even scared him. I would be moaning in pain and fear, until I finally said "Jehovah", then I was released. These dreams all quit when I quit putting my trust in the organization. I pray that they continue to leave me alone.

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    Randy Watters

    Net Soup!

  • Gerard

    I can see this happening...:

    Panic at 'killer calls'

    Nigerian JW mobile phone users have been anxiously checking who is calling them before answering them in recent days. A rumour has spread rapidly in the commercial capital Behtel, that if one answers calls from certain "killer numbers" then one will die immediately.

    A BBC reporter says experts and mobile phone operators have been reassuring the public via the media that death cannot result from receiving a call.

    He says that in such a superstitious country cult unfounded rumours are common.

    A list of alleged killer numbers has been circulated but no-one is reported to have died from answering the phone.

    The BBC's reporter says that the current scare story is reminiscent of a rumour that spread a few years ago that a handshake could cause sexual organs to disappear.

    That rumour turned to tragedy as mobs rounded on people accused of making organs disappear.

    Despite the massive public interest, no-one was found to have lost their organs.

  • shamus

    Don't buy used clothing... demons attach themselves to it. It happens all the time. When I was a witness a tie nearly choked me until I cried out to jehover.... (I heard that one)

    One witness took a job at a nursing home. Problem was it was mainly pentacostal people in there... and she had 'troubles attending meetings'. She quit, because she thought that jeehovers spirit was not with her anymore.

    After she quit, she made a speedy spiritual 'recovery', and had no problems attending meetings.

    Of course, she ended up on welfare.

    Even when I was in, I thought "what an absolute ass she is!", but what do you say when everyone thinks that she is right? What do you say when everything she says is crap?

    Tons of superstition. Those stories posted above are hilarious. I read every one of them about 6 months ago.

    Just for the record, I am not at all superstitious.

  • Maverick

    Great Stories! I have found that many Nit-witnesses are very stupid-stitious! Mav

  • Carmel

    I believe I've shared this story here in the past, but will do so again. About three years after I was Df'd I was driving along and spotted one of my older brothers along the highway with a flat tire. Since my Merc spare would fit his Ford I stopped and lent him my spare. A few days later I saw my tire leaning against a guard rail near my parents home. Not wanting it to be stolen, I stopped, threw it in the trunk and went on to work. Many years later I found out my mother had insisted he get the spare off is car and put it off their property as it was inhabited by the devil and his minions..

    Are the JUU's superstitious, yeah, just like 99% of Christians who believe in a personified "bad god" and I don't mean Jarhover.


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