JWs Proselytizing on University Campus!!!

by outnfree 27 Replies latest jw friends

  • outnfree

    Imagine my horror as I walked out of my French class this morning to see someone setting up a table, covered in lovely royal blue felt, with two tiers of Watchtower literature attractively displayed. Imagine my chagrin when I realized who the "sister" was who was going to sit outdoors and chat up passersby: my former congregation's PO's wife!

    I am not sure what university policy is in general as regards proselytizing on campus (but I intend to find out). With the display so outrageously large and with the camp chair set up behind the table, I am guessing that she applied for permission to set up in a heavily traveled location outside the financial aid/career advising/registrar offices very near the student center.

    Does anyone know if there has been a recent Kingdom Ministry part on going to campuses in one's territory or if that is a new suggestion being put forth during Circuit Overseer visits?

    I've got a Spanish exam tonight to study for this afternoon, but I'm heading back to campus before my noon class to ask the administration if they realize that the Witnesses are a mind-control group and should not be considered to be just like any other religion. I've not yet seen other religious groups doing anything similar, so we shall see whether or not this is regarded as a freedom of speech/religion issue?

    I'll keep you posted, but I want SO badly to shut this down. NOW! (If I didn't have the tests I'd sit down across the way and warn passersby, "It's a cult, you know..."


  • DaCheech

    Well, if you're df'd then you can ask if you can set up your own table next to hers?

  • Emma

    On the campus where I work, witlesses set up a table in a dorm just outside the dining area one afternoon. A sister I knew pushed her way past locked doors, waving a paper, saying she had permission to be there. The next day I put flyers all over the area explaining who jw's really are. I meant to talk to the person who gave the congregation permission explaining who they are and why they shouldn't be allowed.


  • franklin J
    franklin J

    don't let their presence on the campus ruffle you. If the campus has given them permission to be there than so be it.

    We do live in a free society where everyone is allowed equal billing.

    Just continue about your business and RISE ABOVE them. We all know that they cannot harm you anymore.

  • Steve Egner
    Steve Egner

    I worked a literature table on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, in the late seventies. It was acceptable to campus authorities as long as it was student-sponsored, so the table was active as long as congregation members were still enrolled.

    We were set up in a high traffic area, near the student union, right next to a table for the communist party.

    Both displays attracted a lot of interest, but no converts to the dubs during my tenure.

    Most students would walk away after a brief examination, with more than a few commenting that we weren't "subversive" enough.

    Smart kids, huh?


  • blondie
    It was acceptable to campus authorities as long as it was student-sponsored, so the table was active as long as congregation members were still enrolled.

    That's the policy here. Isn't it amazing that they can't have a table unles some young JWs buck the policy and go to the university?



  • xjw_b12
    Well, if you're df'd then you can ask if you can set up your own table next to hers?

    I like that. University "Crossfire" episode.

  • DaCheech

    If you'r Df'd you got nothing to loose, except gain the lives of the ones you save!

    Another question on another line, but want to say is this:

    If you are ignorant to what Jehovah says about the big "A", then are we not doing people a

    disservice by preaching, and thus condemning them once they have the knowledge?

  • detective

    Well, most cult experts will tell you that high control groups love to work the college campuses. Around these parts, The Boston Church Of Christ (multiplying ministries) were extremely aggressive in their campus recruiting. This was a few years ago in particular, I'm not sure if they still are or not. However I believe Steven Hassan said he was recruited to the Moonies while in college.

  • outnfree


    I feel as you do, I want to help keep people OUT of the organization!

    So this is what I found out: Because the university I attend is a public university anyone has the right (that means me, too! ) to set up a "station" as long as it does not impede foot traffic and is a certain distance away from the building. So the university cannot prevent her from setting up her table, but they do require that she get a permit to do so from the Dean of Student Services' office as they do want to be aware of who is on campus.

    I did not think to ask whether or not she had to be a student or if a currently enrolled student had to sponsor the table a la Steve's comment.

    I did make sure to go up to her to say "Hello, G..., how are you?" and this is how it went:

    "Hello," with only mildly disguised disgust apparent on her face.

    "This is interesting! Is this a new Society initiative for informal witnessing?"


    "Then this was your idea?"


    "Very interesting..." and then I went to find out who I needed to see about whether this was permissible or not.

    The receptionist at the Dean of Student Services office said that the only other religious "group" who has done something remotely similar is some guy who rents a table in the student union and sells Gideon Bibles. He is not permitted to chat up passersby, however, he must wait for them to approach the table.

    I discussed this with another ex-JW friend and she felt the whole thing showed how desperate the congregation must be for converts: searching among university students who, once they become ensnared, would be told they are wasting their time at university. (Point taken, Blondie.)

    We shall see if she returns. I am told that I'm "scary" to my congregation because of the protests I did on behalf of silentlambs and exposing the UN debacle as well as the distribution I made to congregation members of the British elder letter regarding child abuse procedure a couple of years ago. Maybe having seen me will make her close up shop, but I wouldn't count on it. Of course, the weather here in Michigan is beginning to get quite nasty, so I don't know how much longer she'll sit outdoors (I highly doubt she'd pay for a table inside).

    Meanwhile, I shall carry sidewalk chalk in my pocket so if/when she DOES return and I am present, I can write on the sidewalk in front of her (also permitted), "It's a cult, you know." with an arrow pointing to her display. And then, if it's sunny, make myself available with a posterboard alongside me declaring myself an escapee willing to explain why joining is NOT a good idea.

    Yes, franklin, she has freedom of speech/religion, but then again, so do I. And that "religion" is a mind-control group that is destructive to its adherents and their families and thus to the fabric of American society. God Bless America!


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