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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You're right, they have closed minds - completely brainwashed - I gave up talking to them many years ago, complete waste of time.
I'm an ex JW...they don't come to my door, as I am apostate. They do come through my neighborhood every 4-5 weeks.

I work with several JWs, and when I found out, I told the woman who was my assistant that I was an ex JW. (not an atheist!) This could get her into hot water with the elders, working with an apostate. She went to ask her elders if it was ok, or should she transfer. After a week or so, they agreed that she could work with me as long as we didn't discuss religion. As if work isn't enough to talk about!

The reason you may find J-dubs intellectually illiterate is that reading about things that are not "approved" is discouraged. Politics, other faiths, science... if it couldn't be twisted to give a lesson as to why we needed to stay Witnesses, we didn't see it.

Pretty much anything we read usually came through the governing body of elders in a pamphlet or book. Computer use, at least when I was there, was viewed suspiciously...too easy to broaden your knowledge, although it was supposedly to keep us safe from evil influences. :o) (HEY! Look at youtube...an evil influence if I ever saw it... )

I work with mostly christians..the end times-6000 year old earth-creationist types. I'm not 'out' to them; I need my job. ;o)
Sounds like the governing bodies of some third world countries, this religion.
Hi, G. I like to ask them if they have any literature of the Catholic child abuse situation in the U.S. While they are scrabbling through their books for the latest dirt on priests, I ask what`s happening with the 25,000 child abuse claims within the Watchtower Society(see Silent Lambs website for details). They either get huffy or beat a quick retreat. I found out a long time ago that debating JWs is just a time-waster.
Saturday morning,around 11 am. Door bell rings.

I answer the door. (I'm about 14)

Chronically Catholic Dad (from another room) "Who's at the door?'

Me "Jws Dad"

Dad (loudly) "GET THE DOG OUT!!"

Today when those dropkicks knock at my door the get until I identify them as JW's.Then they get a polite "not interested thank you".Then I close the door. The transaction takes less than a minute.


I have only contempt for proselytisers of any kind.My position is that to attempt to change the world view of another who is not harming others is the height of arrogance.
I used to think we had a lot of JWs in my neighborhood. Now I'm pretty sure they're just Mormons. I've never talked to one before, but I did meet a JW in my HS counsoler's support group for troubled teens. She seemed very unhappy.
The reason you had different people show up each time is because the last batch didn't get results. When I was a child in rural Wisconsin, a car with 6 people would come around every year. Each time a different type of people or person would come out to talk to my father. If one type, like old man and woman, didn't work, the next time a different type would come out of the car. For the most part, dad would just tell them to "I'm busy, get the hell off of my property." Gee I miss dad.
One time back in the 70's when I was living in Visalia a group of three of them came to my apartment and I invited them in and after they'd sat down I told them I was an theist. They all three promptly stood up and headed for the door like they's seen Lucifer himself!! Nowadays I just them them, "No thanks" and close the door. I'm not interested in delving into the black hole of theology with anybody.
I find, "I'm not superstitious, thanks," will deal with most intrusive proselytizers, and it has the added bonus of giving them something to ponder as they walk back down our rather long driveway.
"Welcome, let me tell you all about Atheism, and why you should give up hoping your god exists..."
or
"... come in, let me REALLY test your faith!"

If you push back, they usually don't like it.

Things like "Here, I have this collection of logical reasons as to why your god doesn't exist, and why you've been wasting your life... guaranteed to mess with your head. Let me re-educate you and de-convert you" usually un-nerves them.

They don't like to actually have their faith tested.
... it's why they travel in two's.
I have frequently taken a similar tact, telling them that they can't proceed until they've first proven that their God actually exists. I don't let them even open their bible or accept their literature until they've given me proof. I think that it's part of their training not to get caught up in an argument they cannot win, however, because none of the dozens of JW's who have come to my door over the past 30 years has ever taken up the challenge.

One JW offered the accuracy of the bible as proof that God existed, but when I asked him for proof of that, all he could do was whip out copies of THE WATCH TOWER featuring articles which quoted the bible as support for the bible. When I challenged his claims using legitimate scholarly sources he stopped returning my calls.
Yes...I think this is true. Many people would rather die, than think.

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