Jehovah's Witnesses Weirdness

barfing_pumpkin

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I was so glad that our ill-mannered and slobbery black lab was there barking like a hound of hell at them. He is huge - 120 lbs -- and I had ahold of his collar standing there at the door, and he was jerking me around.

Reminds of the time when some mormons came knocking at the door (fully looking pair an' all. Two tubby Americans, with moe haircuts, glasses, and knee length shorts). Just as they were about to start with their 'good news' spiel, my dog bolted out of the door and made straight for the crotch of the one on the right. What was undeniably amusing was the incredibly camp way in the mormon tried to fend the dog off - it was remniscent of that Russell Harty moment, when he got on the wrong side of Grace Jones. Even more amusing was that fact that my dog was a greyhound - so even the option of trying to run away from the thing was out of the question.

Ho ho. Needless to say, I wasn't troubled by Mormons anymore.

The JWs on the other hands...

Tip: whatever you do, don't tell them that you're agnostic, like I did. Though I'm perfectly content to be an agnostic, to the JW it means that you have a god shaped hole in your life that only they can fill. However...when the JWs tried talking to me about it, I embarked upon a cod-philosophical symposium that - in a peculiar reversal of the situation - left them wanting to get away while I rambled on and on. I took complete advantage of it, of course; it was a boring afternoon anyway, and they deserved it. They never bothered me again while I was living at that address.

To be honest, if was in your situation jandzmom, I'd quite happily give those JWs who keep hassling you a beating. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's uncivilised and all that - and liable to get you arrested as well. But...these people don't have either you or your son's best interests at heart. Sure, they might think they do, but to quote the old cliche, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. After all, a stalker might think that he is she is the only one who can make the stalkee happy - and look where that leads. I suspect that the only reason these purported JWs have such an interest in your son is because that in being deaf, they think he is 'vulnerable' and 'in need', or something. They only want him because they think he - and by extension, his family - will make a good and easy convert. Anyways, if you don't feel like giving them a slap or two (which, on reflection, is probably not a very good idea), why not try threatening them with anti-harassment legislation, or anti-stalking laws. Okay, the law may not be entirely applicable in this case...but the JWs aren't likely to know that, are they?
 

jandzmom

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Yes, it's friggin' stalking!

Hi Folks,
Thanks for your posts and emails, I really appreciate it.

I called the local police until I got someone who would give me some actionable steps to deal with this. (A police woman, who is also a mom, and who realized how friggin' creepy this all is.)

She said that what has happened does fall under our anti-stalking laws. So here's what she told me to do:

_Send a certified and registered letter to their national office (the Watchtower in NY), warning them that this is stalking and tell them that I'll call the police and have them arrested if they come again.
_Send copies of the letter to my local police department and their local church.
_Keep another copy with me, and ready at the door should they come again.
_ Call the police if they come again, show the policeman the letter and they will be arrested.

She said that they could be charged for multiple stalking charges, due to their pursuing our child through us.

JandZmom
 

flutterbyeye

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Hi JandZmom,
I was born with a physical disability, and I have often experienced this kind of harassment, although in my case it's more from born-again types than JW's. Barely a week seems to go by when I or one of my disabled friends isn't pounced on by some over-zealous Christian trying to convince us that if we only accepted their brand of religion we would be miraculously healed of our 'affliction' and 'suffering' and become 'normal', and 'whole' people. Hallelujah! When we attempt to explain that we already consider ourselves to be normal and whole, and quite happy as we are thankyou very much, we get met with blank looks, and than an assertion that that couldn't possibly be true. Apparently it never crosses their minds that it is possible to be disabled and live a happy and fulfilling life, and that by deeming us to be something other than normal and whole they are being offensive and perpetuating damaging stereotypes.

And it's getting worse. A few months ago a born again woman moved into my street, only a few doors down. So far she has harassed friends of mine as they were leaving my house, even turning up armed with printed handouts. She was actually watching my place to see when my friends came to visit.
:shock: Creepy, huh?
Apparently she has been instructed to do this by the pastor of her church.

She even pursued a friend into a nightclub, up the wheelchair accessible entrance, spouting bible quotes the whole way. :roll: She was recently given a VERY short shrift by the hearing partner of a deaf friend and neighbour of mine, after she invited herself into their home and started spouting the usual 'healing of the afflicted' mantra. Lets just say I doubt she'll be going back there again in a hurry.

This kind of thing reveals some deeply disturbing (and deeply stupid) attitudes towards disability, and happens because there a many, many people (not just Christians, to be fair) who are still cling to some ignorant and positively medieval ideas about disability.

Stick to your guns, and I hope the situation passes soon.

Flutterbyeye
 

Kondoru

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its times like this I was glad I was born in GB....

How can you stand these people?

If they tried anything remotley like that over here they would be arrested/beaten up, whichever is quicker
 

Bigphoot2

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The last time I had someone at my door selling religion they asked what my religion was.

I replied "Jedi am I. The force my faith is."

Then I advised them to "Trust not the dark side"

They didn't hang around too long :)
 

PeniG

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No, they wouldn't, Kondoru, because if you can't get beaten up in Texas, you can't get beaten up at all.

The thing about the proselytizing sects is that, like every sect, they're made up of awful people, decent people, wonderful people, stupid people, and clever people; but they wouldn't be in the sect if they weren't people who responded to authority. What you believe doesn't matter a bit. It's who you are and who you hang with that count.

Deaf-stalking Jehovah's Witnesses aren't the norm, any more than child-abusing priests, Satanist school-shooting Goths, insane RPGers, or the terrible true story you're always having to field about your favorite fringe activity. This stalking of disabled people is the result of bad local leadership in a specific location in combination with a police force that is being casual about complaints. Your average JW wouldn't do anything like that without being led and persuaded that it's okay, any more than your average homosexual would recruit teen-agers or your average Bigfoot hunter would fake footprints. The existence of chicken hawks and print-fakers has to be acknowledged and combatted, but shouldn't taint the whole subculture.

In order to proselytize at all, you've got to be thick-skinned and tactless. I think most Forteans would agree that these are not inherently bad traits unless combined with self-absorption and disrespect for the rights of others, as here. The only Witnesses who ever came to my door were easily turned away and the one who married my best friend has never made the slightest attempt to convert me, though she did give my husband a tract when he got sick. (Coals to Newcastle, since he's a Baptist.) If the leader at her Kingdom Hall (which is two blocks from me, so you'd think we'd be pestered all the time, but we're not) encouraged people to harrass kids against their parents' wishes, she'd find another congregation.
 

rynner2

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There's a JW church on the outskirts of town here, but I've never had them come calling.

Did get accosted by a pair of Mormons in the street in Falmouth a few years back - I gave them a good talking to, and planted (I hope!) the idea that they might recall and reconsider my words when they're older and wiser! (And this was even before I'd become acquainted with Derren Brown and his methods! 8) )
 

JamesWhitehead

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Faced by two very fetching young Mormon men soliciting on his doorstep, an acquaintance tells me he answered the door in his pinny and kissed one of them on both cheeks before realising they weren't an unrecognized gay couple in business mode dress!

I might try this but all I've ever had calling at my present address were three huge black lady Jehovas with kiddies in tow. Inviting them all in to make up the numbers at an impromptu Festival of Sodom would have been, I felt, a little reckless. :grouphug:
 

witchflame

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Jandzmom,

If your prepared to, next time they 'pop round' for a hassle, answer the door and act weird. And I mean really weird. If your son isn't in then it will be even easier to do, because there is no chance of him catching his mum behaving like a loony.

For example, have some shoes on a teatray, and offer them one as if its perfectly normal behaviour. If they hand you leaflets, have a stack of junk mail pamphlets to hand to kindly give them some in return. Remember to rock gently two and fro throughout the experience.Try and draw a moustache on their faces with a pen. Mumble about the gibbons making noise in the cellar and how it makes you itch (start scratching). The grand finale should conclude with a terrified, open mouthed stare just over their shoulders and finishing with 'its here, its here' in a petrified manner before slamming the door and scuttling away.

Im sure they would be thinking twice before returning after that little performance. :twisted:

witchflame
 

rynner2

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witchflame said:
Jandzmom,

If your prepared to, next time they 'pop round' for a hassle, answer the door and act weird. And I mean really weird. If your son isn't in then it will be even easier to do, because there is no chance of him catching his mum behaving like a loony.
That could backfire. They might report you for being a real loony, and clearly not a capable parent..... :shock:
 

Graylien

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A couple of weeks ago I was waiting to catch a bus when a young man approached me and said "We're asking people what they think the secret of happiness is. What do you think?"

"Um... not to think about anything too deeply, I suppose," I replied - which is about as profound as I get at half-past-eight in the morning. I suspected that he must be a student doing some kind of wacky student project.

"That's a very good answer," said the young man approvingly. Only it turned out it wasn't such a good answer after all, because the real secret of happiness can actually be found in the Bible. And would I like a couple of free copies of Watchtower to take away with me so I could find out all about it for myself?

I accepted the proffered pamphlets and wondered how I could politely extricate myself from a lengthy God debate. But to my surprise, the young man simply said "Have a great day" and went on his way.

There were loads of other people hanging around waiting for buses, but he didn't stop to speak to any of them. I can't think why he singled me out in particular. I dress very conventionally - so its not as if I would stand out as being an obvious new-ager or goth or whatever.
 

ogopogo3

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I live a block away from a JW church. Found a Watchtower stuck in my door yesterday.

I remember a few years ago a woman was arrested for barging into a JW church during services and loudly asking the congregation over and over if they'd like to buy some of her magazines. Her rationale: "If they think they have the right to bother me on my time, then I have the right to bother them on theirs."

Brilliant!
 

ghostdog19

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jandzmom said:
asked her how she had heard about "Z" and she gave me two different answers -- the first time she said that someone had told them about him and that they made a specific trip from 40 miles away to see him. The second time I asked why she was so specific about seeing "Z", she said she was driving down the street and saw the "Deaf Child" street sign (these signs are a way to get drivers to watch out for handicapped children) and asked a neighbor where the "Deaf Child" was, and that's why she came calling. However, she did know his name and asked specifically for him.

JW's are really easy targets when it comes to 'opinions' of them. This comes mostly from uninformed opinion, so don't let it cloud yours.

Take all the usual, 'they're cooky' crap out of the mix and what you're left with is two strangers asking to see your child. As a parent, I wouldn't let any person not known to me have access to my child, and I'm pretty damn certain you wouldn't either, so there's not much to puzzle over there.

I'm also pretty certain, from the concern you've expressed here that you're watchful of your own. If a polite 'no' didn't work and you saw them hanging around waiting to speak to your child when they think you're not around you are within your rights to express your concern in the form of calling the police, because the bottom line is, religion or no religion, you don't know these people.
 

ghostdog19

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ogopogo3 said:
I remember a few years ago a woman was arrested for barging into a JW church during services and loudly asking the congregation over and over if they'd like to buy some of her magazines. Her rationale: "If they think they have the right to bother me on my time, then I have the right to bother them on theirs."

That kind of rationale goes a long way. What sort of kooky stunt does she pull if her local store closes early for lunch I wonder?

Imagine living next door to her!
 

ramonmercado

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Jehovah's Witnesses Settle Abuse Cases

Friday May 11, 2007 4:16 AM


By ROSE FRENCH

Associated Press Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A victims' rights group released documents Thursday that showed the Jehovah's Witnesses recently settled civil suits with 16 people who claimed they were sexually abused by church elders or that church officials failed to act on abuse allegations.

The group, called silentlambs, held a news conference in Nashville to demand that the denomination change its policy for responding to sex abuse reports.

Settlements were reached in late February and early March, according to court records obtained by silentlambs and posted to the group's Web site. Fourteen of the cases were filed in California; the other two were in Oregon and Texas.

Details about the settlement terms could not be disclosed under confidentiality agreements negotiated between the parties, said Stephen Owens, a plaintiffs' attorney involved in the California cases. Other cases are still pending, according to silentlambs, which couldn't say how many.

The Jehovah's Witnesses, whose headquarters are in Brooklyn, N.Y., said Thursday that they were pleased to see the lawsuits resolved, declining further comment.

``Our loving heavenly Father makes it clear in his Word, the Bible, that he abhors child abuse,'' a statement from the denomination said.

``As an organization, we will continually strive to educate families and congregations with sound Scriptural teachings that they can use to protect their children from child molesters. And we will continue to do our utmost to protect children from this horrible crime and sin.''

William Bowen, silentlambs' founder, was a Jehovah's Witnesses elder from Kentucky who quit the denomination after he said it took no action against a molester. Bowen said the settlements were bittersweet.

``On one hand, we're glad a few victims are finally getting some financial help,'' he said. ``On the other hand, we're sad and worried because they've essentially been forced to give up their right to protect others by speaking out about their abuse to the public.''

Bowen's group has criticized the Jehovah's Witnesses' policy that if an accused abuser denies the charge, two credible witnesses are required to establish guilt - due to literal application of such Bible verses as Deuteronomy 19:15 (``only on the evidence of two witnesses, or of three witnesses, shall a charge be sustained'').

If two witnesses are lacking, the accused is deemed innocent, charges remain confidential and - silentlambs says - parents who warn others are subject to disfellowshipping for slander.

Disfellowshipping is an extreme penalty that means a total cutoff of relationships by family members, friends and business associates who are Witnesses.

There are about 1 million Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, and followers are known for distributing Awake! and Watchtower magazines door-to-door.

Bowen also said Jehovah's Witnesses have a long-standing policy of not reporting molesters to police. He claims that the denomination has a secret database of accused abusers that they have not shared with law enforcement officials.

``They keep putting innocent kids and unsuspecting families at risk of horrible crimes because they value their secrecy and reputations more than they value children's safety,'' Bowen said.

Since establishing silentlambs in 2001, Bowen says about 7,000 people who claim they were abused have contacted his group.

Angelique Taylor, 42, a silentlambs member from St. Louis, said she was molested by a Jehovah's Witnesses elder when she was about 12. Taylor said she told her father, who was also an elder, and he said she was making a big deal out of nothing.

``I want every elder, every Jehovah's Witness, whenever they suspect any abuse, they go to the police and tell them about the problems,'' Taylor said. ``The devastation of sex abuse is unbelievable.''
Jehovah's Witnesses Settle Abuse Cases

Friday May 11, 2007 4:16 AM


By ROSE FRENCH

Associated Press Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A victims' rights group released documents Thursday that showed the Jehovah's Witnesses recently settled civil suits with 16 people who claimed they were sexually abused by church elders or that church officials failed to act on abuse allegations.

The group, called silentlambs, held a news conference in Nashville to demand that the denomination change its policy for responding to sex abuse reports.

Settlements were reached in late February and early March, according to court records obtained by silentlambs and posted to the group's Web site. Fourteen of the cases were filed in California; the other two were in Oregon and Texas.

Details about the settlement terms could not be disclosed under confidentiality agreements negotiated between the parties, said Stephen Owens, a plaintiffs' attorney involved in the California cases. Other cases are still pending, according to silentlambs, which couldn't say how many.

The Jehovah's Witnesses, whose headquarters are in Brooklyn, N.Y., said Thursday that they were pleased to see the lawsuits resolved, declining further comment.

``Our loving heavenly Father makes it clear in his Word, the Bible, that he abhors child abuse,'' a statement from the denomination said.

``As an organization, we will continually strive to educate families and congregations with sound Scriptural teachings that they can use to protect their children from child molesters. And we will continue to do our utmost to protect children from this horrible crime and sin.''

William Bowen, silentlambs' founder, was a Jehovah's Witnesses elder from Kentucky who quit the denomination after he said it took no action against a molester. Bowen said the settlements were bittersweet.

``On one hand, we're glad a few victims are finally getting some financial help,'' he said. ``On the other hand, we're sad and worried because they've essentially been forced to give up their right to protect others by speaking out about their abuse to the public.''

Bowen's group has criticized the Jehovah's Witnesses' policy that if an accused abuser denies the charge, two credible witnesses are required to establish guilt - due to literal application of such Bible verses as Deuteronomy 19:15 (``only on the evidence of two witnesses, or of three witnesses, shall a charge be sustained'').

If two witnesses are lacking, the accused is deemed innocent, charges remain confidential and - silentlambs says - parents who warn others are subject to disfellowshipping for slander.

Disfellowshipping is an extreme penalty that means a total cutoff of relationships by family members, friends and business associates who are Witnesses.

There are about 1 million Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, and followers are known for distributing Awake! and Watchtower magazines door-to-door.

Bowen also said Jehovah's Witnesses have a long-standing policy of not reporting molesters to police. He claims that the denomination has a secret database of accused abusers that they have not shared with law enforcement officials.

``They keep putting innocent kids and unsuspecting families at risk of horrible crimes because they value their secrecy and reputations more than they value children's safety,'' Bowen said.

Since establishing silentlambs in 2001, Bowen says about 7,000 people who claim they were abused have contacted his group.

Angelique Taylor, 42, a silentlambs member from St. Louis, said she was molested by a Jehovah's Witnesses elder when she was about 12. Taylor said she told her father, who was also an elder, and he said she was making a big deal out of nothing.

``I want every elder, every Jehovah's Witness, whenever they suspect any abuse, they go to the police and tell them about the problems,'' Taylor said. ``The devastation of sex abuse is unbelievable.''

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/stor ... 44,00.html
 

many_angled_one

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I usually get JW's round my door every few months. Usually I just dont open the door as you can see them coming a mile off as they arrive in squads and only ever move about in pairs.
If caught unawares and answer the door it's normally not a problem, they just ask if it would be ok to leave a copy of the Watchtower and ask me to read it and then move on. Which is absolutely fine, sometimes it can have an interesting bit in it. It just ends up in the bin though.
I don't mind that really, and only once have I been cornered at the door and had them being so insistant and refusing to take the hint that I ended up more or less closing the door in their face GRR.

I have more issuses with PAID "charity collectors" haranging me on the street and then looking down their noses at me when I say no. Sometimes there is the sactimonious hard-sell secondary comment of "Don't you care about the little children?" or something. Of course that solicits a reply of something sarky like "If you cared you would do this for free" or "Not really". The Buddhist Monk people we get up here in Glasgow are more harassing as well, following you up the road trying to get you to donate money for terrible rock cd's and books of literature. I bought one once. It was unreadable.
 

BeatrixKiddo

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I worked with someone who was jewish who had 2 JW's come to the door, he told them he was jewish and wasn't interested in the brand of religion, that didn't faze them. They we're quite persistant that he admit he was a "secular" jew rather than a "religious" one...like it made them feel better that he wasn't really serious about his faith. :roll: I've also had people on the bus ask me what i think of the state of the world and invite me to meetings... Go away please.
 

barfing_pumpkin

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I had some JWs knock on my door only yesterday - as per my usual routine, I kept asking them questions for ages, leaving them visibly agitated and desperate to leave.

But I wouldn't let them go. No way.

In the process, I did manage to find out a few interesting things. For example, JWs don't eat black pudding, though they will eat meat (a difference between 'life's blood' and any old blood, apparently.) Also, believe it or not, if you are in a serious accident and need an emergency blood transfusion, you don't actually need any blood at all, because - to quote the two ladies who visited me - 'there is no situation so serious that you require an immediate blood tranfusion.'

In fact, there are numerous alternatives to the process, it seems. Which led to me interrogate them at some length as to why money is therefore being wasted on maintaining blood banks and being needlessly spent on blood donation drives.

'You can get nasty diseases from blood transfusions anyway' said the more irritated of the two ladies.

My logic failed utterly to penetrate them. It was like thwacking a locked chastity belt with a rubber dildo.

But I still didn't give up. No way.

Not until I received the satisfaction of having one of them admit openly to me that I wouldn't be welcome in their organisation.

TA-DAA!
 

BeatrixKiddo

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i wonder just how many people actually "convert" to JW after having someone come to their door :?:
 

theredmeanie

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I had a pair come round last Saturday morning. I invited them in, made them a cup of tea and told them that I found them both very sexy. That seemed to do the trick.
 

ihatethatmonkee3

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barfing_pumpkin said:
I had some JWs knock on my door only yesterday - as per my usual routine, I kept asking them questions for ages, leaving them visibly agitated and desperate to leave.

But I wouldn't let them go. No way.

In the process, I did manage to find out a few interesting things. For example, JWs don't eat black pudding, though they will eat meat (a difference between 'life's blood' and any old blood, apparently.) Also, believe it or not, if you are in a serious accident and need an emergency blood transfusion, you don't actually need any blood at all, because - to quote the two ladies who visited me - 'there is no situation so serious that you require an immediate blood tranfusion.'

In fact, there are numerous alternatives to the process, it seems. Which led to me interrogate them at some length as to why money is therefore being wasted on maintaining blood banks and being needlessly spent on blood donation drives.

'You can get nasty diseases from blood transfusions anyway' said the more irritated of the two ladies.

My logic failed utterly to penetrate them. It was like thwacking a locked chastity belt with a rubber dildo.

But I still didn't give up. No way.

Not until I received the satisfaction of having one of them admit openly to me that I wouldn't be welcome in their organisation.

TA-DAA!

i think it would have been more fun thwacking them with a rubber dildo.

"no need to panic mavis, the blood loss doesn't matter, we'll just use the other ways"
 

OneWingedBird

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I had a pair come round last Saturday morning. I invited them in, made them a cup of tea and told them that I found them both very sexy. That seemed to do the trick.

a woman i knew way back complained that the jw's who came to her door and promised to come back the next day for a chat didn't.... she was so peeved she'd set up the alter to satan for nothing!
 

ihatethatmonkee3

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thing is, i used to live around the corner from a JW temple (i think that's what they're called ain't they?) and we never had a visit from them, and i lived there for over ten years.

might hav been because if they came round our way, they'd have got shot or stabbed or beaten, but you know, spreading the word of the lord an' all....
 
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ive had jw once were i use to live i just slamd the door in there faces before they evun got to finish what they were saying.
 

stu neville

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...freedom of speech... censorship....

Anyway, we had one around on Sunday morning, slightly wild-eyed and rapidly jabbering about financial turmoil and the approaching meltdown of civilised society. At which point it abruptly started peeing down, and he apologetically scampered off having neither umbrella nor coat.

There's some sort of moral in there, I'm sure.
 

escargot

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I heard last night* that in the USA, or at least in the state where the case occurred, that Jehovah's Witnesses can't be compelled to give DNA samples if suspected of a crime.

First I've heard of that, have I missed something?

*on one of those pop true crime/forensic science TV programmes that I love so much: the case went cold... da da dan
 

feen5

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...freedom of speech... censorship....

While i might not normally agree with being rude, and JW's have the right to call on whoever they want. Megadeth 16 also does have the right to close (slam) his door in whoever's face he wants. Sometimes it is the only way to get them to stop calling around to the house.

I've had to do it myself on occasion. I let them in once listened to them, made them tea and talked to them. I pretty much disagreed with everything they said and i told them so but they left on good terms and i asked them not to call again as i wasn't really interested.

A month later they were back so i politely told them again that i wasn't interested. Two months later they knocked on the door again, this time i wasn't so polite and i let them know in no uncertain terms that i wasn't happy. I have not seen them since.
 

ramonmercado

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My mother indulges them to some extent, buys their paper and listens to them on the doorstep. Doesn't let them in though. Its a bit odd seeing that basically shes a liberation theology catholic. I must get her to try and convert them!
 

stu neville

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feen5 said:
...freedom of speech... censorship....

While i might not normally agree with being rude, and JW's have the right to call on whoever they want. Megadeth 16 also does have the right to close (slam) his door in whoever's face he wants.
I just found it a tad wry that someone who expends so much energy railing against perceived curtailments of vocal freedom should have "just slamd the door in there faces before they evun got to finish what they were saying.(sic)"

Funny old world.
 

feen5

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True, i wouldn't have done it like that myself, but i suppose they expect it to happen sometimes. If your calling around to houses every day your going to run into people who are happy to talk to you and others who won't be. Say you interupt a man and woman fighting, your not going to expect them to (a) be in a very good mood and (b) drop everything to listen to how they are going to be saved by the lord. But you are right that on another thread Meagdeth16 has been arguing from the other side of the fence.
 
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