I've been living in my hilltown home for about 32 years. In that time, Jehovah's Witnesses have been coming to my door at least once every three years, usually in the spring. I suppose the reason for such frequent visits is that there is a Kingdom Hall less than half an hour's drive from here.

I'm not at all adverse to inviting them in for a discussion on religion, especially since the visitors are different people each time. Over the years, however, these discussions have gotten rather boring and offer little that's new or challenging. By and large, JW's are the most closed-minded, intellectually illiterate theists I've ever encountered. During the early 1990's I took to issuing this caveat to them before entering into any discussion: "You're not qualified to witness to an atheist because neither of you (they always come here in pairs) understands what atheism is, nor do you understand atheistic or humanistic philosophy."

My questions for atheists in this forum are: How often to Jehovah's Witnesses come to your door or canvas your neighborhood? How do you deal with them? Do you converse or correspond with them? Do you tell them to take a hike? Do they know that you're an atheist? Have they ever simply walked away upon finding out you're an atheist? Do you have any interesting anecdotes about your encounters with JW's either at your door or elsewhere?

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The JW's are great at making demands for proof for the basis of atheists' points of view, but once that proof is forthcoming, be it a history book, a science book, or a link to an internet site, they immediately dismiss it with a wave of the hand. Their questions are always merely rhetorical. I have not trouble telling them that persons who engage in this sort of behavior are intellectually dishonest and are waving their ignorance about like a flag of pride. Tsk!
Witnesses came to my door at times in the south, but out west, it's usually Mormons. I am polite and will talk to anyone if I have the time. Conversations usually run like this:

THEM: Have you read the Bible?
ME: I have.
THEM: Have you read the other book accounting the life of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon.
ME: I have.
THEM: Really?
ME: Yes, really. I ordered it off one of those cool tv commercials you guys did back in the 80s.
THEM: Oh, all right! What did you think of it?
ME: I thought it was batshit crazy. No offense but printing plates made of gold? That's just stupid. Gold would make horrible printing plates. You seem like very nice guys. I have to wonder what you're doing joining an organization that thinks blacks are cursed and didn't allow them to the priesthood or temple ceremonies until 1978?
THEM: mumbles and "gotta go" and all that.

Until new Mormons come knockin'
The Mormons never came to my door, but about thirty years ago I was given a free copy of the Book of Mormon by a Latter Day Saint who was preaching on a street corner. I read parts of it, finding it nor more inspirational and just as boring as the King James Bible. Later on, I read Joseph Smith's biography by Fawn Brodie. His whole scheme on religion was nothing but a con-artist's scam and I don't know how anybody could have possibly fallen for it. In his younger days he was a notorious fraud who claimed to be able to find treasure on farmers' land--for a reasonable fee. A few years ago I based one of the villains in my novella on Joseph Smith the con-artist.
I started to watch an On Demand video the other night about polygamy & the Latter Day Saints/Mormons in Canada. Basically some guy got caught cheating on his wife, so he proclaims that he was visited by an angel or god talked to him (or something along those lines), and POOF - the whole multiple wives thing came about. Boy, how clever/lucky he was that he got away with it AND gained a whole mess of followers - LOL.

What was the title of that movie? I'd like to see if it's available on DVD.

 

Please visit the chat room sometime. I'm usually there around 8:00 p.m., EST.

I was married to a Jehovah's Witness and it was the worst experience of my life.  When you scratch the surface, these people are insufferably arrogant and lords of the Moral High Ground.  There are a lot of doorstep anecdotes about cult members, some of them vaguely humourous; but when you have one in your life, you soon realise how dangerous these fuckers can be.  They are only loyal to the cult and if you are not one of them you are their "spirtual enemy".  No amount of tolerance on your part will satisfy them.  The last 5 years of my life was trashed by the Witnesses so I have no time for the fuckers any more.

 

Seriously, I have had them call after my marriage was wrecked and I told them to fuck off.  Let's say they got a bit excited and legged it.  That was 3 years ago.

Last fall while I was mowing my front yard 2 men in suits were walking up the sidewalk and decided to just stand on the sidewalk and watch me mow.  I ignored them as long as I could.  I kept mowing and avoiding eye contact.  As they started to try to talk to me I made motions with my head (couldn't use my hands or the mower shuts off)...they finally got the message of my non-verbal communication: NOT INTERESTED.  I would probably never actually argue with them but I don't like them coming to my door trying to sell me their ideas...any more than the lawn care sales guys.  I put them in the same category: selling toxic dreams.  True Green or True Believers, I don't want to waste my time on either of them.

Discussion with "Hovies" is somewhat like mud wrestling a pig.  You get dirty and the pig likes it. 

   There is a Kingdom Hall within staggering distance of my house.  Like you I have lived there for about 32 years.  The Hovies come by about once a year.  Mostly they are pleasant.  I don't tell them I am too busy or any of the other usual lame excusses, but I don't toy with them either.  I simply say I have my own thing and am very happy with it.  They have never pushed the issue, and merely smile and leave. 

   I find that confronting them puts me on par with them.  Argument is somewhat cruel and not good for either one of us.

   The mormons, on the other hand, are very pushy.  Back in '04 I was on crutches for a while,(motorcycle), when the LDS kids came to the door.  They tried to force their way in, promising to do my dishes for me.  I told them that I had no dirty dishes, and threatened them with a smack to the shins with my crutches.  Finally they left, never to return.

I can recall only one time when the JW's got pushy, and that was a few years ago when I was at my neighbour's house for coffee. I was just leaving when a van full of JW's pulled up alongside the highway and its occupants immediately spread out in both directions (This is a rural area). Two of them went passed me by and went to my neighbour's front door and started knocking. I told them that she was a strict Catholic and didn't want to talk to them. They looked at me in annoyance and knocked again. I told them again, politely, and was still ignored. The third time, I threatened to call the police if they didn't get off her porch. They desisted, but didn't seem too happy about it.

Richard:  I like your pig wrestling analogy.  I often wonder if the JW's think they get extra points for trying....  the fact that they put themselves out there---open to the kind of treatment they get---somehow is a badge of glory for them.  Superiority complex conquers all.

 

Being polite to JW's doesn't seem to pay off. 

I have had JWs come to my home on occasion.  I generally tell them no thank you and they go away.

 

When my husband was single he had JWs coming to his apartment regularly.  He worked nights and they liked to come to his door early in the morning.  After several times of asking them not to come by in the morning because he needed to sleep, he answered the door naked.  They didn't come back.

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