How many of the public go to the Public Talk?

by truthseeker 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • truthseeker

    If you're still going to meetings, how many of the public actually go to the Public Talk? Or do you see the same old tired worn faces?

    In my hall, you never see a member of the public just come in and say, I'd like to stay and hear this talk.

    Was there ever a time when complete strangers would just come in, sit down and actually listen?

    If not, why is it called a Public Talk?

  • blondie

    In days gone by, the WTS actually did focus on inviting the public. My grandparents told me about handing out invitations to the public talk to people as they left church on Sunday. The talks were held Sunday afternoon or evening so that people could go to both. They also would wear placards with the public talk title, date/time, location, and sometimes speaker on it. JWs would routinely hand out handbills to everyone they contacted that week with the same information. Bible students and families were targeted.

    Now most public talks are routinely scheduled during the prime church time with the assumption that few people go to church any more or that people who would go to the KH don't go to church.

    Talks were more focused on subjects that would appeal to the public; now they are designed more for the rank and file. In spite of the official counsel from the WTS to leave out terms like Babylon the Great, new system, etc., most speakers use terms that only baptized JWs comprehend.

    There was a time that there was neither a prayer or a song before the public talk in deference to non-JWs; this included the talk at the assemblies/conventions. I think that changed in the early 70's.

    So the talk was once more focused on appealing to the public.

    Now the only non-JWs are unbaptized, minor children, the occasional visit by a non-JW spouse or Bible student.


  • Bonnie_Clyde

    I remember when our congregation would spend a week preaching in outlying areas, rent a room, for example, one time it was a room above a police station, and we would invite the public to the talk. Yes, we handed out lots of handbills and made special invitations. And we did get people to come to the talk. That was in the days when buildings didn't matter. We felt it was the people who mattered not a fancy structure (like the churches).

  • Jodo

    I only ever saw one member of the public at the public talk. It was about 1990 and the guy (about 20 yrs old, new age looking) was walking past the hall as we were turning to walk up the drive. He must have noted our cool threads, because he asked where we were going, and when my mum told him he asked if he could come along. He explained that he was on his way to church (Latter-day Saints, I think it was).
    Well, he sat through the public talk, (can't remember the subject) and then the Watchtower meeting, received the requisite love bombing and walked towards home with us. I left him at the corner of our house with mum trying to answer his questions on certain matters from the NWT (and struggling, I think). I was about 14 at the time and just wanted to get out of my meeting garb, but I wish now that I'd stayed and listened to them.

    The guy can't have found much to interest him anyway, cause we never saw him again.

  • LittleToe

    I remember three occasions when a member of the public invaded our hall:

    • One was a drunk, who had to be directed to the restroom, before he soiled the carpet.
    • One turned tail and fled, after he experienced something akin to "Village of the Damned", with all the turning heads.
    • One turned up to investigate, after having been called on the week before in Field Service, and afterwards declared that he hadn't realised how wacky our beliefs were (he never came again, and was later seen with the Salvation Army). I think there were some 1914 comments in the Watchtower study.
  • donald

    back in the 60's...we used to on saturdays hand out leaflets with the speakers name an talk topic......on sunday there was the aformetiond talk and the we would take a 20 minute break before the watchtower,,,so the talk was its own was kinda of cool that way the last time i saw a talk and WT study handled that way was in 1972 down tennessee........there alot of things the WTBS USED to do that were cool....donald

  • swiftbreeze

    I remember a man came in off the street he looked like he had been through alot (drugs etc) and i guess he was tired of it all and wanted to find god. so he came in and sat an elder came over to my husband and whispered in his ear "keep an eye on him" that really pissed me off because 1. they refuse to even let my husband carry the privledged mic even though he was in good standing. 2. that acted as if he wasnt good enough to do contribute anything.

    3. but when some rough looking street person stumbles in the hall then they want to call on my husband just in case anything should go down.

  • Dismembered

    Greetings Truthseeker,

    If you're still going to meetings, how many of the public actually go to the Public Talk? Or do you see the same old tired worn faces?

    We haven't gone in about a year or so now either. One thing I'd say is taht there is a steady decline of the same ole worn out tired faces that go there. It is astounding/music to my ears, as to how many have moved away, and/or lost interest


    "our pets heads are falling off"

  • Sunspot
    Now the only non-JWs are unbaptized, minor children, the occasional visit by a non-JW spouse or Bible student.

    So true!

    Folks are not exactly clamoring at the doors are they?

    Funy, I never thought about it---but those of us who were not considered "the general public"---why did we really have to be there? Weren't all the other meetings and the "study" before taking baptismal questions enough? Sheesh!

    Annie......who had eough!

  • HoChiMin

    "Public Talk"? What a title for a charade of lies. The WT hates the "Public" they want all robotic uniform characters parading around "saying" they like the public and totting "See! We love the Public why we even have a Public Talk" it's all phony superficial bullshit.


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