Visits from Jehovah's Witnesses - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 60 Old 08-17-2002, 02:38 PM
 
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I just have to say that by the Merriam-Webster's definition of cult it is: "1. A formal religious veneration 2. A system of religious beliefs and ritual" So by definition all religions are cults. Just thought you'd like to know . I know that's not how it's interpreted though and the 3rd definition is one that has evolved into it's usage today as being "A religion regarded as being unorthodox" which is I know what others mean. O.K. slightly off topic but I had to say that b/c I don't think that most people actually know what cult means when they use it.

What I really wanted to say is please don't lump JW and LDS together when you talk about missionaries. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a former missionary myself and a) our messages are quite different and 99.9% of all missionaries I know would never stand there and quiz you if you know the books of the Bible _or_ tell you that you're going to go to hell if you don't let them in and listen. And if you tell them that you really are not interested then they will leave you alone. My sister who is not a practicing member has had dozens of missionaries over to feed them dinner or have them help her family out with something (eg move a couch, etc) and when she says she's not interested in hearing their discussions they still offer service without forcing them to listen to the discussions. So again, please don't lump JWs and LDS missionaries together, I think you'll find that if you can differentiate the two (yes we both proselytize but LDS missionaries always wear nametags) you'll find that their response to telling them to go away is quite different.
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#32 of 60 Old 08-17-2002, 09:22 PM
 
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My experience with the teenaged LDS "elders" has not been like this at all. They keep coming no matter how many times I tell them I wish not to be harrassed.

Obviously whether a group constitutes a cult is somewhat subjective. For guidelines that some folks find helpful see http://www.factnet.org/rancho5.htm?FACTNet

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#33 of 60 Old 08-18-2002, 12:44 PM
 
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I couldnt count the times I have said I am not interested!! They still come back, some times the very next week. I dont take the pamphlet, I dont beat around the bush.... but yes, when they come back after that, I am a little perturbed and yes, a little rude. How many times and how many ways does one have to say they are not interested? If I were interested, I would go to a hall or church or wherever and seek them out. Im not going to magically convert because they come to my door with some idea or belief I havent heard before.
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#34 of 60 Old 08-18-2002, 03:01 PM
 
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Carrie, I am so sorry to have offended you.

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#35 of 60 Old 08-18-2002, 03:04 PM
 
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This most recent series of posts is reminding me that I can't assume whoever is coming to my door is one of the people who won't leave politely. As I said earlier, I have had no problems if I say politely that I have a church already, etc. but I do believe others here who say they have had problems. I think being polite the first time is good practice and then if that same person shows up again, a more firm approach may be needed.
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#36 of 60 Old 08-18-2002, 10:55 PM
 
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For many of us it seems, asking not to be contacted simply doesn't do the trick. They keep coming, and coming, and comming...

As for being rude, well that's not my first line of defense, but eventually, given multiple harrassments, I get around to it. As I see it, the person who is trying to force their religion down my throat in the first place by bothering me in my home has started the rudeness.
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#37 of 60 Old 08-18-2002, 11:32 PM
 
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Amen to that EFMom!

(no pun intended)
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#38 of 60 Old 08-19-2002, 05:29 AM
 
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Oh you mean like the folks at D******* Carpet Cleaners that consistently call to ask if I want my carpets cleaned? I don't have carpets!!!!!

<edited to add that "D*******" isn't some kinda funky cuss word but the actual name of the company and I didn't want to write it. But I have been asking for about six years for them to remove my name cuz I don't have any carpets!>
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#39 of 60 Old 08-19-2002, 09:10 AM
 
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CarrieBeary77, this is specifically why I simply say I don't have time, but I take the literature: I AM interested in others' faiths--but, as OTHERS' faiths. I have found mine, and I am happy with it, and using it to better myself, and always working on it. I also understand that a large part of faith for some people is proselytizing. Like everyone else, I have had experiences with people (JWs) who, when I allowed a conversation, didn't respect my time (this was living on a farm, which is pretty much all work all the time)...I have not, however, had people speak impolitely or disrespectfully, so I don't see the point of doing that myself.
I am still interested in what you think--I just don't have the hours' time to hear it, at that moment.
I hope you were not offended by my posts.
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#40 of 60 Old 08-19-2002, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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WOW! I didn't mean to cause so much commotion! I only came to the boards with a question but didn't realize how emotionally charged we all seem to be!

Part of the problem is I should be strong enough to tell them I'm not interested but I try to be nice. It's just that they seem to catch me at the most inconvenient time, yet I still try to be polite.

I hope no one has been offended but I've really enjoyed reading all of the responses!
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#41 of 60 Old 08-19-2002, 03:32 PM
 
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VisionQuest:

Are you sure they were JW's? You wrote:

"For about six months, there has been a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses that keep showing up to my home, typically between 8 and 9 a.m. on Friday mornings."

I was under the impression that they wouldn't come out that early because of their own rules.

Maybe a person can clear things up with a phone call to the contact person under the Kingdom Hall listing in the phone book or a note in the mail to that address?

I can't even imagine how nervous some of the proselytizers are whether they be LDS or JW's or whatever. Besides being able to speak door to door and gauge someone's response cannot be easy.

*Commotion* can be good if you can find a solution that works for you. In college we called it *brainstorming*.
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#42 of 60 Old 08-19-2002, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, looking through the literature, it is from JW.

I could have misjudged the time; all I know is it would be after my children got on the school bus, which was 8:20. It was always not too soon after that.

I will let them know how I feel if they come again. Not in a mean way; I will be polite. Each religion has different ways of doing things and I try to respect that. I am a member of Community of Christ (formerly known as RLDS) and in our church, I don't know of too many people going door-to-door to spread the word.

I do have to say, though, that it does show commitment to their chosen faith by going door-to-door. As dangerous as it is to answer the door and find a stranger, it must also be kind of scary to walk up to a stranger's door and knock.
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#43 of 60 Old 08-20-2002, 12:59 PM
 
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I regret that the last time the JWs came by I was not as friendly/pleasant as I wish I'd been. I told them never to set foot on my property again or I would prosecute them for trespassing. I didn't yell or act rude or anything, but I was very cold. I was very frustrated with other stuff in my life where I was being taken advantage of and pushed around at work and was in a very firm-limit-setting space in my life, but still, I wish I could have just said "Thank you but I'm not interested since I have my own faith and I try to be a good person and live according to my belief system. And also, I'd like my house to be taken off your list -- I would like not to receive any more visits in the future. Thanks!" As Carrie pointed out, they're just doing what they feel they have to do, even though it is disrespectful to assume that they have a monopoly on the truth.
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#44 of 60 Old 08-21-2002, 03:40 PM
 
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i have the same 'problem'; inevitably i am busy when they show up, too busy to listen to stuff that doesnt interest me.
i am polite though, i like the lady who comes regularly, she usual brings someone different w her every time, i figure they r learning. i dont want to get in the way of their studies!
but i was looking forward to moving, hoping it was a non confrontational way to end it, but she found me! i cannot bring myself to tell her to stop, but i never open my door all the way, and try to make it clear i am doing other things. she usually makes it brief, but not always. i find the scripture she quotes is always quite vague. i tried reading a coupla things she's left, but now they all go straight to recycle. i feel bad cause she's wasting her time, but i would feel worse telling her to stop! i mean, its been a coupla years now, i never ask questions or encourage them, can't they take the hint?
when she first started we were so in debt i was just happy to see someone at the door who wasnt wanting money.
i often try to figure out when they'll come but they never stick to a scheldule.
if at all possible i pretend i'm not home. but then i feel guilty.
this is a small town and i see her other places.
the best i can do is keep tolerating it, i guess. maybe next time i'll try the 'can u put me on your 'do not call' list'....
but somehow i doubt i will.
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#45 of 60 Old 08-21-2002, 04:22 PM
 
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I even have a JW who harrasses me in my place of employment. I'm an academic librarian, with hours on a very busy reference desk. There's one JW woman who likes to (usually on my shift, sigh) queue up in line, make her way to the desk, and when it's her turn she wants to try to convert the librarian. We must look like a particularly sinful and/or gullible bunch. If she wasn't so annoying, it might almost be funny.

I'm wising up. The last time I saw her, when she got to me she asked, "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?" I turned to my computer, pulled up the library catalog, and typed in "personal relationship with Jesus." "No," I said, "we don't have that title.... may I help who's next!!!"
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#46 of 60 Old 08-21-2002, 07:27 PM
 
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After a person from another church - not JW - rang my doorbell twice today and woke DD (oh, she screamed and screamed!), I put up a small, handwritten sign next to my doorbell: "No Solicitors: Thank You For Not Waking My Baby." If someone is brave enough to ring, I'll just smile, point to the sign, wave goodbye, and close the door. On another note, the JWs who have stopped by my house have always been kind and non-instrusive, and I've enjoyed chatting with them. Just remember that all kinds of people join all kinds of groups and religions; there are pushy Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, etc., too.
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#47 of 60 Old 08-21-2002, 07:56 PM
 
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SueZVudu, thanks for the tip on the door sign. So obvious! I had a small one up years ago but it didn't stop anyone, esp, the kids selling raffle tickets. Putting something about not waking a baby might just do the trick!

Darshani

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#48 of 60 Old 08-22-2002, 12:33 AM
 
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LOL EFmom! i can't believe you did that! hehe
great tip, sueZVudu; i'm printing a sign for my door on the computer, tonight!!
& yep, theres lots of pushy ppl out there, not just the religious types!
it amazes me when ppl totally don't get blatant hints .
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#49 of 60 Old 08-23-2002, 02:18 AM
 
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CarrieBeary77-Thanks for posting. I am a JW too (hi, sista!).

I was thinking that mothering mama's are usually very aware of world conditions and empathetic to peoples feelings.They
are upset with injustice, and tolerant and loving towards all types of people. Wittnesses that visit them are very grateful to meet such people. (Sadly, many people aren't). They may not realize that you don't want them to return because you've had a nice chat and have similiar viewpoints on many things. Also, wittnesses enjoy talking to people of all religions and atheists and agnostics. Learning others' viewpoints helps you to understand them. The Bible teaches preaching, not harrassment or debating. Jesus didn't do it and neither should we. Ask to be put on the do not call list if you don't want anyone to return.

Unfortunately, nobody is perfect and I have witnessed some long-winded one sided conversations because the person I was with didn't realize soon enough that the householder was not interested and too polite to say so. It isn't done intentionally and isn't meant to be rude, although it may seem so.

Ironically, I don't open my door to anyone. Not because I don't want to speak to people, but because I am alone all day with 3 under 3 and its too scary. I totally understand when people don't open their door to me and I understand if they are grumpy when I come because I am arriving unexpectedly. I just apologize and leave.

It is hard to go door to door and talk about RELIGION. I am not there to show disrespect for your religion or beliefs. I am there because the Bible says this is what I should do. Sometimes knowing someones motives makes it easier to understand them.

P.S. The meat people even call back after I tell them we are vegetarian:

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#50 of 60 Old 08-23-2002, 11:39 AM
 
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i just wanted to say that i hope no one was offended(jw); and in the same way u can't group all us mothering folk into one category, i don't think you can group all the jw's as one either.
i'm sure there are some who are pushier than others; not all are as nice or astute as you who have replied here!
thank you both for your replies, it is nice to see your side of the story, and you both had great points!
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#51 of 60 Old 08-23-2002, 04:06 PM
 
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I had an interesting experience. I am LDS, so I have no problem with JW's coming over. I was nursing discreetlywhen I opened the door, so they aknowledged that it was a bad time. She shared a scripture and asked me if I was interested in learning more. I said no thank you. She then offered to leave a little pamphlet with me. I asked her if she'd swap me. I showed her a little card with a number you can call to get a free LDS video or a Book of Mormon. She very politely said that she would still be happy to leave the pamphlet, but if it had to be an "even" swap, she'd have to say no. That seemed pretty strange to me. She wouldn't even look at what I had to offer. I probably just caught her off guard. I just thought that was a good proseletyzing story!
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#52 of 60 Old 08-26-2002, 09:10 AM
 
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I have a question for those of you who are Jehovah's Witness and it ties into the question but is not directly related (so slightly off topic, sorry).

I had a co-worker/friend who was JW and we were discussing this. She told me something about it being a requirement to do a certain amount of hours/wk and then something else I've heard about "courtship" amongst JW is done during proselytizing. Can you tell me something about that? Thanks.
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#53 of 60 Old 08-29-2002, 02:18 AM
 
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Hi Drewsmom!
There are no requirements for hours spent preaching, but there are programs set up so that if a person wants to set a goal for a month or a year they can do so. When they do this, they usually break the hours down into weekly sets so its not so overwhelming. It is totally voluntary and there is no pay or special "award" or anything. When I have done it,it has just been to keep me focused because I want to be focused-not because I have to be.

Maybe this is what your friend was talking about?

Also, while the brunt of this time is spent door to door, much of it can be spent in other service type activities such as visiting elderly or ones who may be sick, hospitalized or returned from the hospital. I have received meals and company after my c-section and after the recent birth of my son. Literacy classes are conducted and building work is done-also emergency needs are met when there is a natural disaster.

Many people are unable to go door to door due to illness or perhaps they are a caretaker for a family member or any number of other situations. It would be unfair to require everyone to meet an arbitrary number of hours.

As for courting while in the service work, it is done, but not required. Many people do meet that way, but dating is not done exclusively while preaching.

I guess a common misconception is that there are a lot of rules and regulations but in my opinion things are really just up to your own conscience. I don't judge anyone else and I do what I feel is scriptural.

Hope this helps!

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#54 of 60 Old 09-02-2002, 10:34 PM
 
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Dearest Mothering Friends:

The advice that Festivus1 gave is the best in my experience. Just say that you have beliefs of your own or a church you attend that you are very happy with and that is that!

My best neighbors have been LDSs and JWs. And that is in every neighborhood I have ever lived. They have remained my friends even after I or they moved.

Maybe they are still thinking of converting me? - I don't think so, because they have been guests at my children's bar/bat mitzvahs, and I at their simchas. I think these are genuine friendships.
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#55 of 60 Old 09-03-2002, 11:52 PM
 
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For those of you who are still having problems with the Jehovah's Witnesses coming by after you informed them you were not interested and asked not to be called, how about installing a private gate? That way, you are able to control who comes to the door.

My parent's friends just moved into a new house, and they installed a private gate. They also own two dogs. Now, I believe the reason they installed a gate was the husband's attitude: he is an environmental attorney, and he has sort of a do-not-want-to-be-bothered personality. :
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#56 of 60 Old 09-04-2002, 09:45 PM
 
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My experience is that unless the private gate has a watchtower with an armed guard, the "missionaries" will be pounding at the door regardless.

One shouldn't have to erect a fortess to keep obnoxious, unwanted zealots from trying to force their high demand religion down your throat.
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#57 of 60 Old 09-04-2002, 10:12 PM
 
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I believe that most private gates have an intercom where the guest buzzes, and the owner asks who it is and can then decide whether or not to open the gate. My apartment building has this, except the door button does not work.
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#58 of 60 Old 09-05-2002, 08:17 PM
 
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We put up an "Absolutely NO Soliciting" sign on our door and we still get people. I don't necessarily disagree w/JW, salespeople, etc. going door to door (though I don't get it either as that and telemarketing usually turn people off more than on IMO), but I just don't want to be bothered in my private home by ANYONE unless they're delivering mail or have been specifically invited. One of the main reasons being, often people would wake my kids (and I mean we'd get solicitors sometimes 2-3 x/day).

So, I changed the sign to "Absolutely NO Soliciting. All other please knock, do NOT ring the bell, small children may be sleeping" STILL, I get people coming to the door (though a reduced amount). This population includes people who I'm guessing don't understand the word "soliciting" b/c they are uneducated or are children and the JW crowd. Again, I don't think I have a particular prejudice against JW, but 2-3 times they came back and insisted they were not "soliciting" b/c they weren't selling anything. Ugh, it's *still* soliciting.

So, the final, edited version of our sign reads...

"Absolutely NO Soliciting - products or OPINIONS! All others please knock before you ring the bell as small children may be sleeping."

This has been up about 3 months and so far, so good. Though during the election someone actually had the nerve to knock w/literature. I was sitting right in plain view behind our bay window on the couch and just kept playing w/the kids, I think they got the point b/c they left a brochure and went on their merry way. Sheesh!

So - just my advice for those of you going for the option of posting a sign - be VERY specific.

WOHM married to SAHD, living the dream w/our: 3 girls (14,12,10) and 3 boys (7,5,3) and tie-breaker due Jan 2014

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#59 of 60 Old 09-06-2002, 03:16 PM
 
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This is the most interesting thread to me. It happens to all of us. I am atheist - dh is Catholic. You cannot say you don't believe as then it is like inviting them to convert you. I get a better response if I just say "we're Catholic - have a good day" and close the door.
I feel very strongly that it is inappropriate to come to my HOME with this. If I was interested in a new or different religion, I would be coming to them. I understand that some believe it is what their religion tells them they should do so that is a rock and hard spot kind of thing.
I had a close friend in high school who is LDS (went by Elder first name last name so that is LDS, right?) I never knew of him or any member of his family going door to door in our town then but he did go on a mission to South America after high school and before college. He is the sweetest guy in the world and it makes me sad that he probably experienced a lot of rudeness while doing what his parents/church told him was expected.
My worst door to door religion experience was a mom and little girl about 5 coming to my door. I open it and the kid says "can I read to you?" Of course I say "sure". She starts in reading some religious info. I was furious that that mother was using her kid to get to me. She knows people won't be short, rude (unfortunately that is usually what is required in my experience) to a sweet little kid smiling up at me. I told her she was a very good reader and have a good day and closed the door. But I was ready when they returned a week or two later! I put a Dr. Suess book by the door and when they were on my porch again with the little girl asking if she could read to me, I say "sure!" and hand her the Dr. Suess book. She looks up at her mom, I tell her to go ahead - I want to hear it - it is my favorite book. She reads me a few pages and the mother hands it back to me. We (the mom and me) look each other in the eye and I know she understands without me having to be short with her in front of her child. They never came back.
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#60 of 60 Old 09-08-2002, 08:30 PM
 
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dear Kristen,


You handled that just perfectly.

Excellent!
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