January 17, 2016 at 1:32 pm #92834
This is a follow up to a post from last summer…
I think Anita especially can relate, so if you want to reply, I am looking really forward to it!! 🙂
My neighbors have become Jehovah’s Witness students and we kept our son very busy on the weekends after they basically took him to Kingdom Hall without telling us (!)… Meanwhile, one of the Witnesses would occasionally come to my door. As the months progressed, she became more and more snarky with me (the lay religious scholar here). One day she came with someone and asked me about my views on Jesus Christ. I said that I was Born Again and had written down my conversion experience. Here I took a Journal off the shelf and started reading what happened to me. The other witness was totally transfixed onto what I was saying. (The elder one didn’t look happy! LOL)
Then, instead of dropping by once a month, the elder Witness started stopping by every week. I wouldn’t answer the door. I felt a little insulted and oppressed that she would come back so soon to clearly change my mind. A month later she pulled up in a car filled with Witness ladies. My DH works in his barn office and looked down at them from upstairs. Another lady he said glared up at him. He would not avert his eyes but continued to stare back at her. After a full minute she broke her angry gaze and they drove off.
After this she would stop by but when I didn’t answer the door she would wait in my driveway for five minutes. Another time she would wait in the shared easement for ten! Another car passed her. She didn’t move. Then she moved up a few feet and stopped again for five more minutes and then sped off.
By now I feel thoroughly paranoid and feel like I’m in the middle of a Lifetime Original Movie!
Of course my friends and family are all, “Just tell her to get lost!” and I’m all, “But our neighbors are so into them that if I tell them off they won’t talk to us anymore!” and they’re all, “They were already trying to convert your son to the cult and you’re already avoiding them! Aaarrrgh!”
So it finally came to a head this AM. The doorbell rang. I was already expecting someone and saw it was her. I opened the door. The lady obviously had a whole speech planned. “Can I just ask you one question?” At this point my son skips up. She can’t tell me off in front of the kid. “Come on in,” I say.
“Oh no, I’ll just stay out here.” Son is not going away. She paused. “I just have one question.”
“Come on in, you’re letting the cold air in!” She comes in but is next to the door. “I just have one question,” she says for the third time. I give her a hug. She does not reciprocate. She awkwardly waits for son to skip away.
“So I know you’ve left literature and my DH told me you stopped by once! Let me tell you what’s been going on! I have been so busy with (list three things).” (I wasn’t showing my hand that I was at home and didn’t answer the door.)
“Oh, for the town?”
“No, for the church!” I reply.
“Are we done here?”
“Yes, I think we are. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”
“Oh, you could never offend me/hurt my feelings!”
“Well, some people’s feelings could get hurt.”
In a hurt/offended voice she says she didn’t want me to think she was stalking me (“you were” I wanted to say) but that I could call her, she wasn’t going to stop by any more.
Now worried/anxious about my friends of ten years not talking to me anymore now that I’ve officially rejected the JW’s. I know it sounds crazy and that I sound paranoid and was so afraid of confrontation!!
Anita, what was your JW’s reaction when you finally said “No”? Any fallout? Residual feelings?
Thank You for Reading All,
January 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm #92836
- This topic was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by Inky.
Oh and the first thing she said was “Jehovah’s Witnesses also stop by on THE WEEKENDS!!!” (BOO!) LOLJanuary 17, 2016 at 2:47 pm #92843
When the JW told you: ““Oh, you could never offend me/hurt my feelings!” she had a good point: no other religion micro manages the individual more than the JW’s headquarter in Brooklyn, as far as I know. They are very organized. Every Sunday “sermon” is the same, word by word (translation to different languages approved and selected by headquarters) in every part of the world, every single Sunday. JW’s feelings, individual feelings, exist, I have no doubt, but these too are highly micro managed, instructions are printed out regarding everything. Good religion for anyone who wants to be micro managed in every single way.
Whatever issue you have with your neighbors, Inky, you might as well contact headquarters to figure out what to do: they are the authority. If your neighbors behave in any way that scares you or distress you, check with Brooklyn and if Brooklyn says your neighbors are wrong, tell your neighbors what Brooklyn said.
I don’t know what scares you about your neighbors. Let’s say you are afraid they will… try to get your boy to enter their home by offering him cookies. Ask Brooklyn if this is allowed, find the pamphlet that addresses the topic of offering cookies to children, and YOU, Inky, with a JW pamphlet in YOUR hand, approach your neighbors’ door and introduce the pamphlet to them!
You, Inky, got no say with JW… so get Brooklyn on your side… what says you, Inky?
anitaJanuary 17, 2016 at 2:55 pm #92845
* Correction: anyone visited by JWs and is not interested in that visit or future visit, needs to refuse to take any literature and tell the visitors not to return. According to regulations they are supposed to take notes and not to return.January 17, 2016 at 8:47 pm #92871AislynnParticipant
Wow. I was actually thinking about Jehovah Witnesses earlier.
There was a time, about a year or two ago that they would come to my house almost every other weekend or so. They would be in the parking lots of the grocery store, across the street waiting for students to get out of class, etc.
It bothers me that they try to push their beliefs on you, all the time. Why can they not understand when you say you already have a certain religion/belief? Do they think you’ll magically change your mind?
I feel like a prisoner in my own house sometimes. If I’m driving up to my house, and I see them walking down the street I basically run into the house. If I’m at home when they knock I just turn off all the lights and turn down the volume on the TV and go into the back room till I think they’re gone.
Now, I know I could just politely refuse, but they don’t seem to handle refusal well at all. They keep insisting. They have someone else come and knock. They all try to ask the same questions. It angers me that they don’t seem to understand that I don’t want anything to do with them. So instead of facing them, and probably having a bad encounter, I just hide it out. It also has to do with the fact that I don’t open the door to strangers, too much of a risk these days.
However, despite how much their persistence annoys me, I must admit…. To some degree I admire their dedication to what they are doing. Trying to get others involved. I say this because they’re usually dressed modestly, in their Sunday best. They also usually have the whole family come along with them. I’ve seen several with their children, and instead of watching TV or going to the mall or park, etc. They’re out and about trying to enlighten others on their view. That is not something everyone could do, so for that, I admire their dedication to a certain extent.
Inky, wow the persistence. I don’t think I would have been too happy if I had a son and my neighbors took him somewhere I didn’t know about. So in terms of that, I side with your family and friends. It’s good that you were finally able to clear the air and make the JW lady understand. I’d say not to worry about your neighbors, they don’t have a right to be offended. After all, you are allowed to believe whatever you want. Just like you wouldn’t push your beliefs on them,they have to understand to back away in terms of the whole religious conversion.
Anita, good note to remember for if I ever decide to open the door to them. I’ve always thought I’d just tell them, “I’m Catholic, thank you very much and that will not be changing anytime soon, goodbye”. Yeah, I’d be lying but I think that if I said oh I’m spiritual not religious they’d just keep insisting.
You know, some JW are very nice people. My sister had a best friend who was JW and she never tried to push her views or even mentioned it. I was shocked that they didn’t celebrate holidays or birthday parties and were forbidden from attending any sort of celebration pertaining to those events. They also can only marry within their religion. I feel like they are very opressed, but who am I to judge.
However, some of the rudest most spiteful people I’ve ever met have also happened to be JW. Very untrusting and suspicious of others. Too snobby as well. Of course this doesn’t apply to all of them.January 18, 2016 at 4:53 am #92878
I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic about me contacting Brooklyn, but I know what you mean. If the Watchtower told their Kingdom Hall to jump off a cliff, I’m sure my neighbors would be first in line!! They did steal my friends on an emotional/spiritual level. It will never be the same. Next time (if there is a next time) they invite me over I’m going to bring my own beer. And every time they mention JW, or Kingdom Hall I’m going to drink. If I have to hear about it I might as well enjoy it!!!
And yes, Aislynn,
I got stuck with the snotty one! My neighbors got the nice happy shiny young ones!! My view is they are lucky I even opened my door at all, so who are they to be aggressively snarky?? I tried the religious discourse/questioning, but it wasn’t an exchange at all, it was a hard sell! I’m not going to apologize for being independent and having a brain!
If anyone else has advice, insight or experience, please chime in too!!January 18, 2016 at 8:03 am #92879
If I had JW neighbors that did things that bothered me I would call the police, I suppose, if those things are illegal. But next thing I would do is call Brooklyn to ask if they permit this or that behavior and then I would type the answer and person I spoke with (stating that this particular behavior is not okay with Brooklyn) and take that typed paper to the neighbor. So I wasn’t kidding about my answer. I know that the pamphlets they have do not address these issues, by headquarters do have clear instructions printed somewhere about anything and everything under the sun… or the moon. I never called their headquarters myself so I don’t know what kind of response I’d get, but if I was in a conflict situation, I would call! Or email. And I would walk to their home with a pamphlet looking paper in my hand. That sounds like fun to me, that last part
anitaJanuary 19, 2016 at 3:55 pm #93053SnailsParticipant
I’m a bit late finding this thread.
I feel, you like your neighbours a lot and don’t want to lose them. I don’t know what the best thing to do is as I’m not there experiencing this.
How would you feel in asking your neighbours for help? I don’t know how you would feel about this but if they were my friends I’d probably explain how the other JW’s are coming over and that you’d really don’t want visits by them (as in you’re 100% sure) because you feel that you have your own ways of practising your spirituality. And that you had let the visits go on more than you found comfortable because of your friendship with them and you didn’t want to sadden your friends by rejecting the other JW ???…or something along those lines??
Perhaps you could ask them for advise? on how you could ask them not to come over without hurting the other JW’s feelings?? maybe you could talk to her on how she handles rejections from the public when she door knocks? and which way she prefers to be told? I could imagine she’d have some very harsh door knocking experiences.
I remember you writing about your son’s friendship with your neighbor’s child and concerns in relation to JW…I hope this part is all clear now?
January 19, 2016 at 6:30 pm #93065
- This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by Snails.
Well, I posted something totally unrelated on FB and the wife Liked it and Commented in a positive way. So either they heard about the fallout from the JW lady and want the friendship to continue as usual, OR they haven’t heard about it yet!
If the JW lady makes a stink about me to the neighbors, or says I’m a “bad association” or whatever, maybe it will snap them out of it. They are in so deep I think they’d be embarrassed to bail on it now. But maybe it will plant a seed that it’s OK not to like it!! Or if they ask me what happened and I’m all, “Look, I gave it a chance but it’s not for me” or even, “Hunh, the JW lady kept coming by and I never could see her or I wasn’t there, and they’re disappointed? Oh well! What are you gonna do?”
My neighbors are not what they call Unbaptized Publishers, meaning they don’t go door to door.
With the JW lady, I feel like the fish that she thought she could (eventually) reel in that got away! LOLJanuary 19, 2016 at 11:16 pm #93097Fiona CorbettParticipant
You might want to direct your friends neighbours to the JWfacts.com site on the internet which will let them know all the stuff those studying with them aren’t telling them. Be subtle about it as they are already having their minds primed by the regular visits to reject anything that goes against what the watchtower society is currently teaching. Also the Royal Australian Commission has just exposed some of the issues with the policies they have in regards to handling child abuse. Before studying with people of this religion it is very important people know all about the back history of the Watchtower Society and what is entailed in being a member of that religion.