Letters from Jehovah’s Witnesses

Apr 16, 2013 by

mailEver get a letter from a Jehovah’s Witness you didn’t know?

Read the following exchange from a lady that did!

I recently lost my Mother. Several months later our family put an obituary in the newspaper.

 

Within a few days I received a letter from a Jehovah’s witness I have never met, who lives in my city saying she’s sorry for the loss, Quoting scripture & inviting me. Is this seriously a recruitment process from them? Is this practiced to read obituaries & then send out letters like this?

 

I am so offended by this & want to know more about this. Weird.

 

Melissa

 

My response:

Sadly (and morbidly) that is the case.

 

Many of the Jehovah’s Witnesses read the obituaries religiously (excuse the pun) and then do a Google search to get the addresses of extended family. They will then write individual letters to each person. This is usually done ostensibly to comfort them in their recent loss but the hidden agenda is that they are recruiting.

 

They know that at times of extreme loss, people are more susceptible to their message than at other times of their lives. I’m reminded of movies like “Wedding Crashers” and “Cadillac Man” where the actors attended a funeral to pick up women or sell a used car. Both carry pretty much the same motive: Targeting emotionally vulnerable people in order to manipulate them.

 

I witnessed this tactic on many occasions while growing up in the cult.

 

The reason they write these letters is that they get to “count their time” while composing and writing them. This activity is extremely popular with Jehovahs Witness shut-ins and those who can’t get around very well. It is also employed by those who are full time pioneers (those who put in 80+ hours per month in the preaching work) and are having trouble getting all of their “time in”.

 

Counting time is what Jehovahs Witnesses do. They do this because they have to report (honestly and on the honor system) the amount of time that they spend each month in preaching to others. This time report is of tremendous importance to individual Jehovahs Witnesses as well as their leaders. It is one of the most important factors in the “pecking order” i.e. how much influence and popularity they have with the group and whether or not they or their children or other family members can “qualify” for “privileges” like being appointed as an elder or ministerial servant in the congregation.

 

I hope this explanation has helped you to understand the Jehovahs Witness mentality and why they engage in this questionable activity.

 

Yours in Christ,

 

Doug Shields

This was Melissa’s recent response:

Here’s what I sent tonight:

 

Dear Nancy,

 

I might be able to appreciate that you were trying to offer comfort in time of grief. But that is NOT what you were doing. You were proselytizing during my grief. And yes, I am DEEPLY offended with the tract you sent.

 

Firstly, because you sent it to a church, where clearly, there are comforting words of Scripture that I happen to believe in my OWN faith.

 

Secondly, because said church has now spent TWO DOLLARS in postage to forward your letter and another annoying JW letter to me! I suggest you pay them back. Actually, I INSIST that you pay them back.

 

Thirdly, because the pamphlet you sent contradicts MY beliefs and tells me my mother is NOT in a spirit world with her Lord. And you think that should give me comfort? (Yes, I did read every word of it—including its laughable dated sexism about how “mothers grieve especially for the loss of a child”).

 

What is the matter with you? OH, that’s right. You’re in that miserable cult that has caused misery to SO many, including my best friend in high school. No team sports, no celebrations, no singing liturgical music, no studying the great stories of Greek mythology….just endless, mind-numbing, anti-intellectual, anti-educational time-wasting as you bide your time, don’t reach your potential (because Armageddon is any day now) and churn out little obedient automatron children who are kept busy at your nightly meetings by being told to “count the number of times you hear the word ‘Jesus’”—now that’s a great way to stimulate young minds, isn’t it? You sent a letter to a church…a place that you would not even set foot in, because you believe it to be of the devil and it has all those evil symbols all over the place, like crosses.

 

Good luck trying to be one of those 144,000 saved Witnesses some day. In the mean time, stay away from other grieving TRUE Christians! How would you like it if I sent you a tract that basically told you that you would go to hell if you didn’t believe as I do? I would never do that. I have more compassion for you and I believe that our loving Lord will make room for all of us. So does my denomination. Yours, not so!

 

Imagine what our world would be like if Jehovah’s Witnesses had predominated over the last few thousand years? No great works of art, no profound poetry, no operas, oratorios, or other music of profound depth.

 

Heaven help the next Jehovah’s Witnesses who show up on my doorstep. Your letters have emboldened me to speak my mind.

Bravo Melissa! I have to say this was one of the most well worded retorts to Jehovah’s Witnesses that I’ve ever read!

Thank you for sharing your displeasure with all of us and please let me know if you get something back!

Doug Shields is an activist against religious oppression, control and abuse. He has a lot of experience dealing with these issues because he was an active Jehovah’s Witness himself for over twenty-three years. Doug has been privileged to help elders, ministerial servants, full time pioneers and even a circuit overseer to find the strength and determination to face the painful truth about the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society.

If you would like to have Doug speak at your church, meetup or other event you can contact him here.

 

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17 Comments

  1. Pamela

    I’ve also always thought it to be rude (and selfish) to “get in our time while comforting the grieving”. They have even recommended going to cemeteries and preaching the “good news” to those that are there or have just attended a funeral…but being very careful of course not to offend. It never sat right with me. This was a great post and a very well written letter in response to that Witness!

  2. Anonymous ex JW

    My adoptive mother is one of those JW shut ins. She writes these letters every week and expects me to take it to the mailbox. I now throw them in the trash. I also was guilty of writing these letters when younger and in the clutches of the cult. I wrote so many to the Columbine victim’s families. My deepest apologies go out to them and to anyone else I offended. What a great response that was, particularly the not reaching their full potential.

  3. Sounds like you’ve made it past the “learning curve” there K! Congratulations!

    I hope you have found some healing here. You are welcome to post anytime.

    Doug

  4. I wrote letters too when I was an Auxiliary Pioneer back in my teens.

    I remember suggesting in the field service group that we use a typewriter instead of writing the letters by hand. I met with extreme resistance.

    I asked: “Well aren’t we trying to comfort and help all that we can?”

    The retort was: “Typing letters doesn’t take enough time…”

    We weren’t after helping as many people as we could. We were after being able to report “time” in the field to the Mother Ship.

    Almost sounds like a government job doesn’t it?

  5. Anonymous ex JW

    I have found this blog to be very healing and I thank you.

  6. I’m so happy for you.

    That is the reason that I write and your words encourage me to continue.

    Thank you!

  7. Bernie

    My father-in-law died recently and the local JWs looked us up and sent the hand-written letter. I found it insulting and presumptuous. What a horrible practice to target people who are grieving. The obituary made it obvious he was a very active member of his church. I don’t understand why they target Christians. The success rate has to be pretty low.

  8. It is low Bernie. However, Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t that focused on recruiting. The conversion rate is ridiculously low around the world. Yet, because they are working for free the cost / benefit ratio is sky high for the leadership that sends them out to sell magazines and books.

    On a personal note: All the time I spent over my twenty-three years of going door to door in the Jehovah’s Witnesses never amounted to ONE SINGLE person being recruited into the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yet I sold TONS of magazines and books for the organization. Did they ever once give me a lecture because I failed to recruit anyone? No they didn’t. They were perfectly happy with me selling their magazines and working for free.

  9. Hi my name is bukurie and i want to ask you something because you ae an ex jw , i live in kosovo and lately here the number of jw is growing so they came to me a few times but now i want to get rid of them but i dont know how , they invited me to join their asably each week to hear the presentations but i never went .I always felt not ready to join is that a good behavior, they sometimes insist but i always find an excuse hahah, so far im ok but im scared if they are going to do this all the time can you please share whith me a few triks that may help

  10. Tell them you want to study the book “Crisis of Conscience” by Raymond Franz with them first before you will go to an assembly with them.

    That should do the trick. They’ll never come back.

  11. Has anyone else noticed a common theme among those who are easily manipulated by Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    They don’t like confrontation and they are unable to just come out and tell someone “NO! GO AWAY!”

  12. My family received one of these letters, and I wasn’t as diplomatic as the folks above. This is a crappy way to spend your time. I’m so glad I am a happy and fulfilled atheist.

  13. Thanks for weighing in on this Robin.

    While your choice is quite popular, I wouldn’t ever use the thoughtless actions of religious zealots as an excuse to choose not to believe in God. I respect your choice, don’t get me wrong. However for me that isn’t an option. I also don’t believe in “bashing” those who choose to believe anymore than “bashing” those that don’t.

    The stupidity and idiotic actions of religious zealots and their charlatan leaders sickens me every time I observe it. However for every “insane” and unreasonable Christian I have met, I’ve been able to connect with others who are totally sane and reasonable.

    People are people after all, and religion doesn’t really change that. I DO avoid organized religion like the plague that it is.

    Doug

  14. Doug, I congratulate you on the work you have done and hopefully continue to do. I too was a JW for many years, my wife remains blind. In short.. I was out knocking on doors about 35 years ago, with a Pioneer Brother who is now a Bethelite. His Dad now deceased, an Elder, his mom a FT Pioneer. He has spent his entire adult life at Bethel. While out in service, we met a man named Steve. We battled with him hour hours regarding Trinity.. Etc.. I felt defeated when we left. I continued to be a somewhat good JW. Had some responsibilities, mics.. etc. never became Servant or Elder.
    Many years and many tragedies later, loss of my beautiful, sweet Melissa, my 19 year old daughter. I battled Cancer, loss of long term job and income, my baby daughter diagnosed w/breast Cancer, my son an alcoholic. I began to question basic doctrines and “founding fathers.” I met with local Elders a few times, wrote to WTBTS and received very poor answers. I stopped attending KH. After many years of associating with “dear” Friends and Brothers, not one ever came by to see me. If they truly believed my life was in jeopardy for not attending KH, why didn’t they come by to “save” me?! As you know, I lost ALL my Friends.

    Remember Steve? He is now my Pastor! I have been attending a local Church, North County Christian Fellowship. I never forgot him! I remembered his name, looked him up and told him my story. We are now very dear Friends. He is a true Christian who loves me regardless of my faults. Although I am doing my best to live as a Christian, there is friction in my home since my Wife is a very stubborn, blind JW. I pray my daughter, her husband, my precious Grandkids will not drink the WT cool aide. They attend the KH, I believe to appease my wife. My daughter is an intelligent, university grad. Yet she will not listen to me. I remind her of how miserable her children will be. No birthdays, holidays, higher education (fortunately she attended Cal Poly) what’s the point the end is near!

    I have much more to tell you. Keep in touch my Friend!

    Ed

  15. Wow! Your story is fascinating and sadly not typical of those JW’s who have run ins with people who actually KNOW their Bible. When you meet someone like that they begin telling you a completely different story. A story of redemption. A story of love. A story of freedom. Most JW’s will walk away and claim that the guy is “reading apostate material” or “has a hard heart” or “is just another goat.”

    That story of redemption that Jerry Hunsinger shared with me rings true in my heart to this day. It is the story of God’s true love for all of us and for what He did for all mankind on the cross at Calvary.

    That story makes me get chill bumps just thinking about how great God truly is and how tragic it is that so many are deceived. Of course Christ foretold this. He knew that there would be groups like the JW’s that would seek to mislead and enslave those who seek God. I was one. Yes I was pretty much a poster child for the JW’s. I was extremely knowledgeable and articulate being taught from the age of three. I made the same “mistake” you did. I started a dialogue with a seminary student and he was sincere, kind and knew the Bible like I know myself. I didn’t make my decision for Christ for a very long time after that but what he showed me that the Bible really says versus what the Watchtower leadership SAYS that it says haunted me for years.

    Guess what? Not only is your friend a true Christian who loves you in spite of all your faults but guess Who else does? You can’t earn it. You can’t be good enough for it. It just IS! God’s love for you and I just IS!

    I’m so happy for you Ed and I’m so glad that you found this blog. Yes please stay in touch.

    Doug

  16. Margaret

    My mother just died and we got a letter too. Just despicable.

  17. “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

    Doug

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