A new low? Jehovah’s Witness counts time by mailing grieving families via the obituaries

A grieving father speaks to a reporter after being preached to via the obituaries
A grieving father speaks to a reporter after being preached to via the obituaries

A man who endured the death of his daughter recently received an unwelcome letter. Sent by one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the letter expressed sympathy for his loss.

How did this Jehovah’s Witness learn about the man’s tragic loss? Apparently by scouring the obituary section of a Jacksonville, Florida newspaper.

According to a news report, a second letter was sent to the man’s church.

A news reporter from the local station reached out to Eva Robinson, the Jehovah’s Witness who sent the letter. Robinson explained that she couldn’t understand why the man was so upset.

This was not the first time she had scoured the obituaries. No other people had expressed disgust at receiving letters from her in their moment of grief, she added.

The man who received the letter explained to the reporter that, during times of grief, it is understandable that one would want to be surrounded by family and friends. However, he said it was not appropriate for a random stranger to send a grieving person a letter with an enclosed tract in an effort to proselytize (or ‘witness’) to you.

Robinson said she was sorry and meant no harm.

McKee asked Robinson why she would send a pamphlet to someone who belongs to a Presbyterian Church. To a non-Jehovah’s Witness, it seems to defy logic and serve no purpose. To one familiar with Jehovah’s Witness culture, it is a way to count hours toward field service.

Witnessing to people who are grieving and emotionally vulnerable is a cruel way to recruit potential converts. It reminds me of ambulance chasers, the phenomenon of lawyers following a road accident victim to hospital in the hopes of drumming up business.

Reading the obituary section for the sole purpose of evangelizing to grieving families to count time for a field service report is reprehensible, and a sad indictment of the extremes to which Witness indoctrination can lead.

 

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Further reading…

112 thoughts on “A new low? Jehovah’s Witness counts time by mailing grieving families via the obituaries

  • September 26, 2015 at 12:56 am
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    Sad… What will the family destroying morons come up with next…

  • September 26, 2015 at 1:23 am
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    There used to be an elderly sister in my old congregation who did that too. Ghoulish thing to do, especially as they’re more concerned in putting in a report than helping the actual people they intrude upon at their time of grief.

  • September 26, 2015 at 3:19 am
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    That practice goes back as far as I can remember. If I recall, it was suggested in the Kingdom Ministry and when a person can’t get out in service that month or for shut-ins, that has always been the practice. I have done it myself and never gave it a thought.

    • September 26, 2015 at 12:37 pm
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      @anonymous – yes, it is an old, sanctioned process, and as the Witness indicated, most people don’t give it a second thought or toss literature. Some persons return “thank you” notes but express “not interested” replies. ABW–always be witnessing.. Sounds familiar? It should, the sales industry uses “ABC” – always be closing to put emphasis on converting interest into a final sale. While it can be bemoaned that one is indoctrinated to follow Watchtower suggestions without thought, the real outrage is that a corporation is masquerading as a religion and uses high-pressure sales tactics to fatten its coffers.

      This goes beyond the typical “trapped-in-a-plane-seat” beside the typical “have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior” opening because while both are annoying tactics, the presented tactic is clearly designed to garner additional adherents and their time and resources.

    • September 28, 2015 at 3:20 am
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      Yes, anonymous, I remember it too in the Kingdom Ministry. It was for the old and infirm. They were encouraged to scour the newspaper classifieds and find out who the people were who were grieving. I remember thinking it was kind of sick at the time.

      One sister used to put gladwrap plastic on selected tracts and leave them on graves and if there was someone in the cemetary she would give them a tract too. I was zealous but not that zealous. I couldn’t help thinking how opportunistic and cruel a practice it was.

  • September 26, 2015 at 3:32 am
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    How about if the JW who was counting time from the death of someone who is mentioned in the Obituaries
    contacted them and offered or brought some food or did a loving errand to help the grieving person and not mention anything about Religion or try to “WITNESS” to them?

    That would show some true concern and love. Oh that is right..JW’s don’t do that bc they have to forefront the religion of the WT at all times.

  • September 26, 2015 at 4:00 am
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    I am ashamed to say that as far back as 1965 when I was fresh out of high school and had just signed up to regular pioneer, the Watchtower encouraged such activity as a way to “witness” to people who otherwise who might not be reachable. So, I did it for an hour before we met for field service, thus counting my time all the way through the car group arrangements, etc., Sure I felt yucky about it, but after all a girl’s gotta get her time in one way or the other. Now I still feel ashamed after all of these years have past. I’m so glad I finally found my way out of that group of disgusting people.

    • September 26, 2015 at 10:15 am
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      Joanna, I was a pioneer around that time period as well, and I can remember doing the same thing when the weather was too bad to go door to door. It was something that the WTS encouraged, and when you need to get those 100 hours per month, you couldn’t just wait out a rainy or snowy day. You had to do something to get that time in.

  • September 26, 2015 at 4:15 am
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    This has been going on for years. Particularly older or disabled publishers would use this to get their time in. Now they can report just 15 mins a month maybe it is not as widespread. I can certainly understand how a grieving relative would not want to receive a letter or phone call from a completely unknown person.

    • September 27, 2015 at 9:28 am
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      Wow 15 minutes now that’s a real devoted adherent. Just need to fluff the numbers. I wonder how many publishers write down 15 min. Even though they really didn’t go out in some sort of service. Would thinking about it at least qualify? What a JOKE!

  • September 26, 2015 at 4:23 am
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    What happened in my last but one congo is the Pioneers used to walk through the local cemetery and approach people who were visiting and tending the graves.

  • September 26, 2015 at 4:57 am
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    I never heard about doing this kind of thing and happily I never did anything like this.
    I can tell you though, when you believe that you have The Truth and you are sure that these people will see their dead loved ones pop up out of the ground and run into their arms, you FEEL like telling anyone grieving about that great hope. I’m glad that I had enough sense to not preach to anyone while I was aware of them grieving. (Who knows what the people were going through when we went to their homes?!?)
    The really horrible things related to this article are: that the Watchtower Society has convinced it’s Jehovah’s Witnesses members that people love it when you tell them about the hope you have and secondly, that these JW’s are ‘counting their time’ and therefore doing things that people wouldn’t normally do.
    Being brainwashed for many years myself, I was under the belief that most of the people out there were thrilled to have us preach to them and that I needed to simply work harder because I was the problem in not reaching people in the right way. These were outright lies from the Governing Body and its programs and publications! Telling us how everyone else if finding “success” in the ministry and we should be able to as well. Stories like this one about people being very perturbed by JW’s are never discussed, and in fact are knowingly swept under the carpet. I had to slowly figure it out for myself that the vast majority of people find the JW message irritating, to say the least! If the ‘brothers and sisters’ would ever hear what people really feel about them, I’m sure it would be a shock and a splash of cold water.
    Finally, by making JW’s ‘count their time’ in the preaching work, they are being forced to do things they would never do normally. The higher-up guys have access to easier forms of field ministry where they count their hours doing things they enjoy. (My fat and useless father in law loves going to the local jail. I don’t know how it works exactly but I imagine some of the prisoners love visiting with him just to get out of their cells for a bit of a break. My father in law ‘hogs’ this ‘privledge’ and any other easy one, for himself and his friends, thereby forcing the less connected JW’s into doing whatever they can to reach people)
    These poor duped JW’s are anxious to have some good experiences to relate at the meetings or to tell the Circut Overseer when he comes around.
    It is only when the complaints escalate into legal threats that the leaders of the congregation will warn the local JW’s to lay off in doing something. I heard about not calling people in the early mornings trying to reach them before they went to work.

    • September 26, 2015 at 6:04 am
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      Of course I would prefer to not to get anything from JWs when a member of my family passes away, but I’ll be dam to live in a country when laws are passed that would limit the freedom of speech to such an extent.

      My prime problem with JWs is that they limit the freedom of speech WITHIN their group. If laws are to be passed, they should be on advocating “hate” through shunning.

    • September 26, 2015 at 6:16 am
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      I used to do “prison witnessing” for years. Characteristically, inmates would be either members of witness families, or those wishing to enhance their status at parole hearings by engaging in a Bible education program. I even attended a parole hearing where a release date was granted to the inmate … that was the last day I saw him. It was largely ineffectual as a proselytising avenue. I was just happy to count the (considerable) time and provide assistance for their release. I’m pleased to say I left the religion 13 years ago, but retained my interest in volunteer inmate support which I still engage in a far more meaningful way to this day.

    • September 26, 2015 at 11:07 pm
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      I agree with what you are saying. I was a zealous witness for 45 years. Did I want to count time? No. To think that all witnesses just want to count time is not exactly correct. I personally loved the Bible and loved the hope.
      When I would read about someone losing a mate, child, or friend, it would bring tears to my eyes. When I seen rescuers pull a five year old girl who drowned and her mother screaming, I wanted so bad to comfort her with the Bible. I felt a sense of emergency to seek them out. My heart was broken. It is not the individuals that should be blamed. It is the scum that sits around a table in New York that need to be blamed. Whose soul purpose is to entrap and take advantage monetarily of it’s members. They are a machination of Satan.

      • September 27, 2015 at 3:13 am
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        @Vincent . YOU SUMMED it up WELL,Vince!
        IT IS the 7 SCUM who sit around the Table in Brooklyn,NEW YORK who constantly CHANGE & DECIDED these CRUEL POLICIES & TELL YOU to CUT OFF Your FAMILY if they Change their Mind … VERY UN-CHRISTLIKE!!

  • September 26, 2015 at 5:03 am
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    That was not uncommon at all in the U.S.
    I think my mother did it as well.

  • September 26, 2015 at 5:09 am
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    This is a tried and true method of JW indoctrination, catching people at emotionally vulnerable points in their life. Whether it was the special preaching campaign after 9/11 or Witnesses patrolling cemeteries and hospital waiting areas…the more distraught the better. Most of us if we look back at our first encounter with Witnesses could see that the door was opened by some major life event.. Death, divorce, job change, geographic relocation, some trigger that left us or our parents open targets to the emotional pleas of this organization. One common scenario was the stressed out newly housebound mother, stuck at home without a career or spousal support in the home eager for any adult interaction that might come knocking on the door. No doubt many of us could trace our family’s spiritual heritage to emotional opportunism.

    • September 26, 2015 at 6:01 am
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      That’s true. Even Jesus said he came to heal the sick, not help does who were doing fine. In that line of idea, after some serious events in my life, it is than that I have decided to leave the JW! So, sometimes, such events make you take the right decisions!

    • September 26, 2015 at 7:32 am
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      Yes its pretty obvious that in that they get people interested in them at major lows in their life. I remember once I was snapped up,thinking I do hope this is all genuine I really do ! I was single and was very vulnerable and guess what? I was a target and found the whole experience a nightmare. How could the cultish clan do that to ordinary loving folk. I got out! Never again. May God forgive them.

      • September 27, 2015 at 3:07 am
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        @Anna . WELL DONE for REALIZING the TRICKS the JW Organisation use to ENTRAP People & having the GUTS to GET OUT!

    • September 27, 2015 at 3:04 am
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      @Ready4toFade. EXCELLENT ANALYSIS & COMMENTS of HOW & WHY Most of us Became JWs !

  • September 26, 2015 at 5:23 am
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    Hell, I used to visit graveyards and look for the most recent burial plot and leave “When someone you love dies” brochure and the “Comfort for the depressed” tract along with a meeting invite! My God, how awful is that!!! I’m so glad I’m now free and enjoying life after 23 years of servitude to the .ORG!

  • September 26, 2015 at 5:34 am
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    mmm What can I say .A relative of mine Specifically targetted families who’s children went missing. she told me that in passing one time. I said nothing at the time but it seemed a bit off i thought.Now i think it is perverted morbid and very sick indeed.So ashamed to know this was done. She is still alive now and i suppose still does this.rl

  • September 26, 2015 at 5:56 am
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    For once, I don’t agree with an article on this website. When I was a JW, I thought of doing exactly the same thing. The only reason I did not is that most obituaries do not include the address of the family.

    If you are 100% convinced that you have the ultimate truth, you will take every possible routes to get your life saving message accross.

    JWs can complain about the exact same thing from other religious groups like the catholics. A lot of flyers from these religions are available in salons and even provided in public hospitals in Canada.

    I seriously don’t see the point of questioning the motives of this person. It is much easier to write letters to “Not at home”s than to do what she did. Sure, I don’t agree with reporting hours, but I don’t think anyone has the right to question her motives simply because we don’t agree with her message.

    Heck, when members of my family die, people tell me: “He/she is in heaven now”. Am I going to question their motives for sharing what they believe to be a comforting message?

  • September 26, 2015 at 6:07 am
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    My parents’ congregation actually does cemetery witnessing! They drive around & look for people grieving @ gravesites & witness to them. I can’t even believe that people tolerate this!!

  • September 26, 2015 at 7:05 am
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    This comes as no surprise, jw funeralls are scripted by wtbts and they are basically told not to dwell on the person that has died, but to use the time to give a fine witness about the truth. Disgusting!

  • September 26, 2015 at 7:42 am
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    Not something I would ever do myself. I would feel I was intruding on something that was painfully private. If I met someone on the door to door I may have asked if they would welcome a brochure or tract, but that would be up to the person. To seek out these poor people, to me, is a bit macabre and would make me feel uncomfortable. I believe this sister had good intentions. I am sure she is feeling terrible now. The TMS book teaches tact. Now that is to be done away with, one can only wonder what will be allowed under ‘personal judgement’.

  • September 26, 2015 at 8:54 am
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    This is very sickening and if not,reprehensible. Taking advantage of individuals in their weakest hours of needs speak volumes about this cult group mentality.

    • September 26, 2015 at 8:59 am
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      Pascal, I really looked forward to seeing my dead loved ones again in the resurrection and to me, I thought of it as a wonderful hope to those people. That man might have gotten mad at what that “sister” did but she really thought she was giving those people a hope. I don’t believe it’s just about counting time.

      • September 26, 2015 at 10:46 am
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        That’s true no sincere witness would think they were doing anything untoward but really! If you think about it people in their time of grief do not want to be bothered about thinking about our complicated belief system. If the witnesses would just think for once then they would not impose upon strangers. The point about counting time i would almost guarantee they would not write to these ones if they could not count the time so for my twopence worth i think its well intended but heartless. If your that convinced God needs them to know then pray rather than prey.Leave it to him rl

  • September 26, 2015 at 9:05 am
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    I too have done this. I did it with the best intentions tough, I was one of those witnesses who ‘made time count instead of counting time’.

  • September 26, 2015 at 10:38 am
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    I knew a sister who used to do this (maybe she still does). Once she got a reply she told a few of use about. I don’t remember everything the man wrote, but “I find what you are doing to be very disturbing” was the jist of it.
    Also, our Kingdom Hall at the time was directly across from a cemetery, so a few sisters early in the morning would go through the cemetery to try and find anyone at a gravestone, to “get their time started”. I was usually with them, but I don’t recall ever taking part in that. I was considered a “hardcore” Witness, but even I had my boundaries, and preaching to people who were grieving was one of them (unless it was a non-Witness I knew personally, but even that I feel embarrassed about just thinking of it now).

  • September 26, 2015 at 10:41 am
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    Anoyamass, ever given a thought to all innocent children and babys that youre loving god ‘jehovah’ is going to destroy at armagedon because they didnt buy a watchtower. Best not metion all those jws that died who could of had blood fractions after god changed his mind!

    • September 26, 2015 at 3:21 pm
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      @1914 ha ha ha, Are you referring to my comment and if so, did you spell my name that way to be insulting?

  • September 26, 2015 at 11:02 am
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    The wbts have got so much blood on there hands, i just cant see anyway of defending them in anyway.Even if they are brainwashed theres still a thing called humanity.

  • September 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm
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    They are giving a new meaning to chasing after ambulances.

  • September 26, 2015 at 12:23 pm
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    I think it’s most likely that the sister, although surely counting her time, was mainly motivated by good intentions. But, then she said, “We are not trying to change anybody[‘s] religion”. And that’s just not true. It’s actually dishonest to the point of being comically ironic. Changing people’s religion is the PRIME GOAL of witnessing. So there’s no letting her off the hook for that.

    Of course, I’m guilty of uttering that same stupid phrase a few times myself years ago. But I’m not letting myself off the hook either. It’s just one more thing to be profoundly embarrassed about…

    As for the people jumping to the JW’s defense: Remember, the biggest offense that took place in this story is that a grieving man was contacted by a cult member wanting him to become a cult member too. Don’t let your sympathy for the sister obscure the disgusting reality of what took place in this story.

    Even the sweetest little JW grandmother out there trying to push the perverse teachings of this dangerous cult on others is guilty, albeit unwittingly, of something very serious, and very wrong.

    • September 26, 2015 at 12:59 pm
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      I honestly told a door-opener once “yes, I am here to convert you because I truly believe…” It short-circuited the presentation and I got the ‘stink-eye’ from the field group lead who was with me, but I felt much better about myself rather than lying in the quest and cover of the fog of “theocratic warfare”. And, then I knew–

      • September 26, 2015 at 2:38 pm
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        Good on ya, JBob. I developed a more direct approach fairly quickly myself. Starting out though, if I used the “not here to convert anybody” line, (I realize now) it was as a cowardly way to TRY to make the householder think that I was there for a less offensive reason than I really was. Gross.

    • September 28, 2015 at 5:22 am
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      One ‘brother’ that I was friends with used to say at the doors, “We are not on a membership drive”. I thought that was so clever that I used to say it too.
      Isn’t it funny, that you oftentimes claim to not be doing the very thing that you want the most?!?
      Sure, we just wanted to place some tracts or to place the latest literature offer. But the ultimate goal was to change everyone’s religion (Jehovah was going to do that at Armaggedon anyways) and to have the biggest membership drive the world had ever seen!

  • September 26, 2015 at 12:25 pm
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    Go away.

  • September 26, 2015 at 12:31 pm
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    Having been an insider, I can affirm that Witnesses avoid “worldly” people to a great extent, unless they are witnessing to them.

    This woman did not do this merely to be kind, as she asserts, but with a view to witnessing. The proof is in the pudding, the pamphlet she enclosed, which, of course, was JW ORG-produced and would have presented JW ORG teachings about death.

    If she were truly neutral, with no agenda, why not have sent a Presbyterian tract? Or some flowers would have sufficed. It is bad form to present your own religion’s views/teachings about death to someone who already belongs to a church and may hold deep beliefs, and who you know holds different views, and who is grieving.

    This is as inappropriate as J.W.’s calling Christmas morning and interrupting people opening presents and spending time with their families. This does not show respect for others’ beliefs, nor was this J.W. showing respect for this grieving father’s religious beliefs to capitalize on such a stressful and grief-filled time to present different religious views to someone in anguish.

  • September 26, 2015 at 12:53 pm
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    1914- you summed it up exactly. Even now, the trend is toward not having a person’s casket in a KHall, but only a “memory” service with a picture, but after a brief synopsis of that person’s history and service as a JW, the “celebration of life” is not there. It is primarily a way to pound the psyche of those attending and pondering on the mystery of life and death that your time could be “up” next, so “get right with Jehovah”.

  • September 26, 2015 at 1:06 pm
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    I know many witnesses at our and surrounding halls that have done this as well as take advantage of a local hospice center with friends that work there and have access to data. Hours are spent on field trips to the local library in order to take advantage of their resident database getting names, addresses and phone numbers in order to send letters and call at dinner time with their preaching. This is more likely the method that was employed to get this grieving mans information. I applaud this man for going straight to the media with what is definitely unwanted solicitation.
    I’ve been thinking about creating a large poster board with http://www.jwsurvey.org and http://www.jwfacts.com printed on it and then standing next to publishing carts with my own preaching set up. Who would I report the hours to? Any suggestions? I desperately need someone to acknowledge my efforts in rounded off hours and occasional padded math. Just kidding, I’m the guy with the preaching cart. I really do believe that it takes a special kind of stupid to stoop to the level of Ms.Robinson. The message she was trying to share is of the most sensitive sort and definitely not something you do by mail. Shame on her for not getting her butt off her letter writing station and actually visiting this gentleman if she was so compelled. She forgets that it is supposed to be angels and Holy Spirit directing her preaching work and not the scavanging like a vulture through the local Time’s. Shame on you and every other false witness Mrs. Robinson. In Job we read where his elder buddies messed up as he was going through loss and hardship and that was the moment they opened their mouths. They couldn’t leave well enough alone, which was praying for job and crying with him. Ms. Robinson needs to realize that being a witness she is more than likely uneducated, so even if she knows what the man needs to hear, she will have no real education and manner as to how to share without offending and coming off as ignorant. (Which by definition is every last home schooled and school drop out in the entire borg. I really want to see that t-shirt JW.BORG in blue and white.

  • September 26, 2015 at 1:37 pm
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    I don’t blame the sister, she’s a victim of brain washing.
    They’re all intimidated into believing their salvation rests
    on being free of blood guilt.

    Even the sick and incapacitated feel guilty of not doing
    their share in the witnessing work, I have a relative who
    feels that way, and the org, doesn’t let up on them, but
    points out alternate ways such as letter writing. The
    F,S,report is important to the bro,or sis, in feeling part
    of the cong, and their elder will be looking for it.

    Like all cults, members are tasked with recruitment and
    that is the orgs, only concern, numerical growth, cold
    hard figures. They’d never leave the 99 just to save one.

    • September 26, 2015 at 3:29 pm
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      @Ted, I don’t blame that sister either. We all know the pressure to get time in service each month and Witnesses are victims, not predators. It’s the Watchtower Organization who are the predators. It costs a lot of money to have a car and pay for that car and the gas and insurance and upkeep etc. and take it in service and writing letters is a lot cheaper. We thought we were saving their lives. We didn’t do it because we liked bothering people.

  • September 26, 2015 at 2:50 pm
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    I can relate to why she did what she did to a point. Having lost a child & truly hanging on to the belief of the resurrection, I thought that I could help others through their grief.

    I would watch the news & if a story came up where someone had lost their child, I instantly thought of wanting to contact them to reassure them. I even thought of sending them a tract or something to help because I felt their pain. But this is where I would stop at it being just a thought because I knew that somewhere in there it would be inappropriate to do this.

    My only criticism to those that did this sort of thing is that it is not good form to sit there & use this as a way to get your time in. I was never big on field service so I couldn’t even relate to doing cold calling, door to door was bad enough for me.

  • September 26, 2015 at 3:12 pm
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    The hole set up from the wbts makes me sick. Get as many converts as you can, regardless of inappropiate timing or fealings others may have cause we want there cash.Guess what its true,i just found out from my uber elder dad, the world wide construction work has stopped.An elder for 40 years is dumbfounded!

    • September 26, 2015 at 4:43 pm
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      1914 do you have tangible proof of this? I’ve heard and seen reports of the construction work stopping but has a letter actually gone out to elders? can you get a copy of it and send it to Lloyd?

  • September 26, 2015 at 3:21 pm
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    LOL, you are obviously feeling incredibly hurt by life. I don’t know what else to say, other than I hope that life gets less painful for you, more loving.

  • September 26, 2015 at 3:43 pm
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    It’s just so impersonal.
    I have faded out, my mother, was never baptised but believed it was the ‘truth’ and many in the two local congos knew her well.
    It’s a small city. It would be very easy for them to call in to the house and express their condolences when she passed away before christmas last year. But no, the few cards received from the jw’s were having a quiet dig at me for no longer ‘serving Jehovah’, and made clear that if I wanted to welcome my mum back from the dead, I should really return to Jehovah.
    These cards were of NO comfort to myself, my dad nor my brothers.
    Yes, it is something they are encouraged to do, and many will think they are passing on some great hope, but, come on, it’s 2015 now, they need to get their heads into some fresh air and see that really, their preaching work is ineffective.

  • September 26, 2015 at 4:58 pm
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    Anoymous, i never ment no personal dissrespect,i have watched my mum and dad cling to this crazy cult for over 30 years.I watched my brother get runover when he was 4 years old,and still to this day i get ”why dont you come back to the truth so you can see your brother in the new world order”I pity jws,but i cannot condone there behavour in the slightist, or make any excusses for what they do. Counting time as you know is one of them.

  • September 26, 2015 at 5:14 pm
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    Tara,all i know is my dad is the secutary here in the uk and he deals with other elders who were working on construction.The plug just pulled and there running around like headless chickens!

    • September 26, 2015 at 5:31 pm
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      This is crazy. All this happening within a week… something major must have happened at Borg control. I spoke with one MS very ‘discreetly’ and he said we are going to have trouble keeping up with the chariot. Well I think the chariot has left the station and the GB missed it.

  • September 26, 2015 at 5:31 pm
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    For any JW apologetics lurking here, this example of writing to the bereaved from obituaries isn’t an isolated practice:

    *** g95 6/22 p. 23 How I Benefited From God’s Care ***
    “There I began to share in the ministry by writing letters to people whom the Witnesses had difficulty contacting in the house-to-house ministry. I also read the obituary columns and wrote to relatives of those who had recently died, enclosing comforting scriptures from the Bible.”

    *** km 1/70 p. 8 par. 3 Presenting the Good News—By Letter ***
    “Many in the congregation know that this sister has had good success in witnessing by mail… Some names she gets from the obituary column. Or if there is information in the local paper about new mothers, or engaged individuals, she writes them, sharing good news from the Scriptures to encourage them as they embark upon their new responsibilities.”

    *** w67 6/1 p. 345 Letters—Not Outdated ***
    “He had received a letter from a Witness who obtained his name and address from the obituary column in the newspaper. Though the man was a stranger to her, she had written a kind letter explaining the Bible’s glorious hope of a resurrection. The man concluded that surely he ought to look into an organization that would take the time to go from door to door and to write letters of comfort to people.”

    *** w56 11/15 p. 688 Preaching by Writing Letters ***
    “At one of the Society’s Bethel homes a brother, close to eighty years old, unable to climb stairs because of heart trouble, sends letters of comfort together with literature to those whose addresses appear in the obituary column because of having lost a loved one.”

    • September 27, 2015 at 10:22 am
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      Preaching time could add up quickly if a witness stands near a cemetery gate on weekends handing out tracts to visitors.

  • September 26, 2015 at 5:32 pm
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    I asked an elder about counting time. The elder explained counting time is like a heart beat for the society to check so it can see how it’s members are doing spiritually as a whole. I answered I feel it’s an inaccurate way to tell. I feel witnesses are victims because listening to idiots turns people into morons. The JW religion is very manipulative and it lacks common sense. I say hate the sin without hating the sinner. Be understanding. Many people are here on this website looking for help and common sense. Waking up takes a while because of fear. Being helpful means using a little more self control sometimes. Be positive. Bullying doesn’t help, it causes a lot of damage. John Cedars is doing a good job at preventing cyber bullying on this site.

  • September 26, 2015 at 5:45 pm
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    anoyamouse, no dissrespect intended,but please dont forget,if jws dont count time,there considered inactive or weak.They will do whatever it takes as we all know.

    • September 26, 2015 at 5:48 pm
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      @1914 ha ha ha, I know all about it. I was an “active” Witness from 1964 right up until last year, with 50 years under my belt in that cult.

  • September 26, 2015 at 6:27 pm
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    My wife used to write to the funeral homes asking them to forward the letter to the grieving family. This was mostly done to get her “hours in”. This worked for a while until the families started to complain. The funeral homes are no longer forwarding the letters because of privacy issues. What a strange organization!!

  • September 26, 2015 at 7:25 pm
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    Anoymous,i lost brother when he was 4 years old, and still to this day, 40 years on i still get ”why dont you come back to the truth, so you can see your brother again in the new order”. Crazy cult.

    • September 27, 2015 at 5:23 am
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      1914, it is so easy to see how brainwashed they are when we see the whole truth about the truth and nothing but the whole truth about the truth but when we were still believers, we really did believe it.

      It takes something major that opens up the crack in their belief system for the crack to open up and get wider and wider. Even when I realized that the Society joined with the United Nations for ten years, it still took me months of intensive research to realize that I would not give the Governing Body the benefit of a doubt anymore. I was one of those brainwashed for fifty years. I know how they feel and I know how hard it is to convince them.

      Believe me, they really think they are going to die at Armageddon if they don’t go in service every month and if they have a hard time making their time going to the Kingdom Hall, they will do it by writing letters. They think God is backing the Organization and as long as the Society says to do it, they will do it, thinking it is what God wants them to do.

  • September 26, 2015 at 7:32 pm
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    Every day, millions of active Jehovah’s Witnesses walk out into a world that SCREAMS OUT to them with an abundance of clearly-visible evidence that their worldview is wrong, and that they are in a cult. But they don’t hear it. Brainwashing is, of course, a real thing. And people who are brainwashed are rightly called “victims”. I was brainwashed for 9/10 of my life.

    But it’s one thing to say that we don’t “blame” an indoctrinated JW for doing something they’ve been conditioned to do, but to go all the way to the point of feeling that they bear NO RESPONSIBILITY for what they do seems to be going a bit too far. I personally can’t go so far as to completely unburden myself of ALL responsibility for the cultish behavior and actions in my JW past, writing it all off as just a short-circuit in my brain. There were many specific occasions when I, quite simply, “should’ve known better”.

    This story LITERALLY hits “close to home” for me, as this sister lives in a town that is less than a day’s drive away. The voice you hear from behind that door is EXACTLY the same, down-home, southern accent of DOZENS of active, older sisters who I STILL love, though I rarely encounter them anymore.

    So no, the honest-hearted ones among these victims shouldn’t be personally vilified–which I haven’t done, nor would I do–but maybe neither should we see a story about a father having his period of mourning be interrupted by the attempt of a cult to capitalize on his intense pain, and our reaction to it mainly be overwhelming feelings of sympathy for the sister who got embarrassed by it a little.

    Who knows? Maybe the sting of this experience could be for that sister the kind of thing that adds to a case possibly building in her mind against the cult. I hope so.

    Anyway, I’m a lover, not a fighter. Not tryin’ to start no mess. I don’t have a mean bone in my body. I’m just holding active Witnesses to the same standards of accountability that I’m determined to hold myself to.

    • September 26, 2015 at 10:47 pm
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      JB Reezner. GOOD COMMENTS & ALL on this Site can see you haven’t a MEAN Bone in your Body. You are a Genuinely DECENT & KIND Person which is I must say is the Case for MOST who Comment on this SITE. … & That is WHY WE HAVE SEEN through the SMOKESCREEN & FACADE of these 7 CHARLATANS in BROOKLYN!! WE ALL COULDNT STOMACH the ILLOGICAL LIES & REASONINGS of this ‘GENERATION?? Of GB MEMBERS ‘
      The AWFUL SHUNNING I Experience when I make a REASONED ARGUMENT in my Watchtower comments about some of the Doctrinal Reasoning of the GB is Bordering on CRUEL & FANATICAL!!

      • September 27, 2015 at 7:37 am
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        PB, I wish I could get a recording of those comments, lol. How do you even get them to STILL call on you!? Do you wave your WT in the air until they finally give in?

        • September 27, 2015 at 9:15 am
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          @JB Reezner. One Elder will hardly ever take my hand. Another has mildly counselled me,BUT Another who went to University is more Lenient with me & Another who is a Really Kind & Warm individual that my Wife& I have treated to Meals at Expensive Restaurants & given Monetary Gifts to , he always takes my hand at least once in a meeting . Also I mingle HUMOUR with my comments which normally gets a Laugh which helps to mitigate any serious problems I might face. But I will be careful as I am treading a fine line !

          • September 27, 2015 at 9:57 am
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            Ahhh, nice! Very interesting, PB. Maybe if we get a forum, there can be page for “Sneaky Things We Said At the WT Study”. I’m sure there would be a few more on here who could add to it too. That would be great!

      • September 28, 2015 at 3:49 am
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        Pickled Brain I can recall answering up like that at the Book Study and watching the elder taking it, looking very disturbed. I knew he hated my comments but I felt like a lion caged. You are brave. I do understand how you feel.

        • September 28, 2015 at 9:18 am
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          @Meredith J. Thank you for your KIND COMMENTS. Much Appreciated. MY GUESS is that many of these Elder Bodies are not United as I have seen a LOT over the years ARGUE Amongst themselves & Many cannot agree on anything so my MOTTO is … DIVIDE & CONQUER’ !!

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