Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have invited me to a meeting

Somehow I’m on the radar of the local Jehovah’s Witnesses. They nabbed me outside of my house by saying (in Spanish) “You’re English right?” which I found quite interesting since I hadn’t said a single word.

I know the local Nuns now understand to keep clear after two rather unfortunate incidents when they came to visit me to discuss helping the poor and I suggested that they may find all that money they spend encouraging Africans to die from HIV might be useful to their cause. But somehow the Jehovah’s Witnesses know where I live, that I am English, and that I’m not very impressed with religion and now they want to “save” me.

They’ve invited me to come to a talk they are giving on Monday, which they describe as the anniversary of Christ’s death. It’s actually the most important day of their year and will be used to begin the brainwashing process of various fops that will also attend their cult’s event. I’ve agreed to attend on the proviso that I can ask questions. They have very foolishly agreed.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are an interesting lot. For starters they’ve firmly predicted the return of Christ and the end of the world seven times in their short history (they began as the Bible Students in 1870) and they’ve watched each and every one of these dates pass. Ripe fruit for the picking, I must say. How can they claim such certainty when their track record is 100% failure?

They also firmly believe that Heaven will be on Earth and that God will be in charge with Jesus as second in a government over the Earth. Their religion is really a political doctrine, waiting for the return of the great dictator to whom they will obligingly subjugate their every thought and right. Another ripe fruit. I wonder how clear they make it in their preliminary talks that they are anti-democratic. But it gets even better than that.

They absolutely believe that 144,000 people of all those that have ever lived will be in heaven and everyone else will just be dead. They have no belief in hell or an after life for those outside of the select group. There are currently around 6.5 million actively preaching Jehovah’s Witnesses on Earth and it is estimated that there are around 16 million in total. So what exactly is the hook to get people to join up? Well, absolutely fucking nothing if you can handle a little simple mathematics, since even if you are one of the really active, gung-ho, motivated, shout it from the hill tops, piss people off by interrupting their hangovers by knocking on their doors in the morning, Gawd-fearin’, word spreading, numbskull believers then you still only have a 2.2% chance of getting into Heaven if you are willing to ignore all the non-preaching members and all the ones that have already died. And of course, everyone before this nonsense started in 1870 is just fucked anyway. Hahaha, you’ve really got to laugh.

So I think I might take them up on their offer and head over for a chat on Monday night. I might mention the topics above or I might have chat about the morality of withholding blood transfusions from children and the fact that the incidence of death during labour within their group is 100 times as high as that from people that don’t have a hard time accepting some life giving blood. If I do I’m sure they’ll get rid of me pretty quickly since they immediately shun anyone from within their own ranks that raises any issue of doubt.

If I go I’ll record the lot and transcribe it here. Feel free to add any tips or useful arguments you might think make good ammunition between now and then.

If I go then I’ll have succeeded in making the danger list of the local Catholics, the Muslims and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. That only leaves the local Hindus but I’ve already met them (there are only about 5 of them anyway) and they don’t mind at all that I completely disagree with their religion and we get on pretty well.

UPDATE: 2007-04-02 10:28
Due to an absolute failure to sleep last night and the fact that I'm almost certainly going to have a really shitty Monday at work, I suspect that I will neither have the energy or the patience to attend the Jehovah's Witness meeting tonight. We'll see, but it's really not going to be productive if I turn up tired and pissed off as then I'll play right into their hands by appearing to be the angry, evil atheist as opposed to the pleasant, good natured, atheist. There'll be plenty of other chances.

The lack of sleep was due to an unusually severe bout of unhappiness. I usually don't suffer from it having become quite comfortable with meaninglessness. Recently however I've been realising how at most times in my life I've at least had some chance to still meet and talk with people that at least are aware of some of the things I'd like to talk about even if they don't agree with my opinions. For two years now I've not met anyone that doesn't seem utterly uninterested in their own existence and I think the angst was just another bout of feeling irretrievably isolated. Just another reason to move somewhere with more options and also time to dust off the CV and change jobs.

If you enjoyed this article please feel free to digg it down below.

9 comments:

Danny Haszard said...

I applaud your blog very good brief on JW dogma.
----
Mine:
Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs and who are they?

The Watchtower is big money,being one of the top 40 New York City Corporations making nearly one billion dollars a year. That's just from one of their many corporations.

Unlike in the case of Christians who are persecuted in other lands for talking about Jesus Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses are largely persecuted for following the teachings begun during the second presidency of the Watchtower, when Joseph F. Rutherford took over in a corporate flap and began changing doctrines quickly in the Watchtower belief system. He claimed that angels directly conveyed truth to some of those in leadership. He coined the name Jehovah's Witnesses to make them stand out from being witnesses of Jesus, a typical evangelical expression (and a Biblical one).

Rutherford dumped holidays, birthdays and the 1874 date for the invisible return on Christ, and invented an earthly class of Witnesses, since only 144,000 can go to heaven in their teaching. The rest, meaning all 99.9% of Witnesses still alive, will live forever on a cleansed earth, under the rule of the Watchtower leaders in heaven, who will keep them in line by local elders known as 'Princes'.

If you have been witnessed to by Jehovah's Witnesses and you reject their message, you will likely die shortly at Armageddon with all the other non-Witnesses, since theirs is the only true religion, and (if they can live up to all the rules) they are the only ones to inhabit this new earth. If you believe Witnesses seem rigid now, any non-conformist during the future cleansed earth will be directly destroyed by Jehovah. Even now a Witness will be disfellowshipped for any one of many gaffs, such as smoking, taking a blood transfusion, or even voting.

To even vocally question the teachings of the Watchtower will result in complete cutting off, with family and friends usually being forbidden to talk to them. The Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world.

My hope is that there will be a day in each of their lives when the Watchtower magazine is no longer needed, and they can go to college, vote for office, and contribute money and time to other, more vital causes in their community. More than likely they will then cease to be persecuted, except in a few societies more authoritarian than their own.

Sincerely,
Danny Haszard
References:

http://www.freeminds.org (Watchtower watchers dissident site)

http://www.silentlambs.org (latest news on the pedophile child abuse lawsuits against the Watchtower)

chooseDoubt said...

Thank you Danny for your excellent response and the links. You've strengthened my intention to attend their meeting.

If I do, I've got no intention of being rude to them or aggressive. I just want to raise difficult questions to counter their efforts to trap new members. I was also thinking of preparing a printout to hand out to other attendees as they leave with some key info and some references they can check, so your info is much appreciated.

Thanks.

Lexcen said...

Many years ago I agreed to attend a Jehovah's informal meeting. I was clever enough to attend with friend because their strategy was to bombard me with arguments until I submitted to their point of view. In fact I was too inquisitive and too skeptical of their belief systems and asked too many questions. They were generous enough to give up on me as a lost cause. The friend was very helpful in fending off attacks against my arguments and questions.

Stew said...

"having become quite comfortable with meaninglessness" and your previous day's blog said "the round hole left in their minds by the utter meaninglessness of their lives"
Ironic no? I'm sure however, that the meaninglessness that you have become comfortable is related to our insignificance universe-wise, and the round hole meaninglessness refers to the shallowness of 21stC western consumerism.
Or something.
Anyway, it gets me down seeing bright people like you getting blue because of isolation and "meaninglessness" So I was just after encouraging you a bit. You write a damn fine blog. Hey, maybe you should change bars! Find the local watering hole for smart people!
I'm sure you don't really feel life is meaningless, most atheists don't. Sometimes, like Hamlet, I feel down for absolutely no good reason at all. A few days later and everything is tickety boo.
Take care, chin up!
Stew

MothandRust said...

"they describe as the anniversary of Christ’s death"

Gosh, I thought they hated special days. I don't think I could physically make it through one of their meetings. I would rather eat a raw toad I think.

I've been reading about a remnant of the JW church who are trying to reform the churches blood laws before more blood is spilt in the name of their holy translation.

chooseDoubt said...

Lexcen, I didn't go to the meeting. I was just too tired to go out into teh rain, get there, sit through their nonsense and then attempt to be kind and patient and I was thinkin I'd like to prepare more - have something to hand out to the people to give them more info and sites they could explore.


Stew, I think the 21C is an improvement on previous ones and the absolute meaninglessness of existence is something we just have to accept and instead focus on personal meaning. For me the personal meaning would be the constant satisfaction of surprise and I can get that from travelling and finding oddities for at least some years.

I apprecaite your encouragment and my mood also goes up and down, sometimes without any apparent cause. I'm not so down. I'm just not as up as I know I would be if I didn't know that tomorrow meant sitting in front some screens all day asnwering calls from idiots about things that really don't matter to me with my only option for a social life being more idiots with even less questions. I don't mean to sound down on people because really I quite like them. It's just that I found life more interesting when tomorrow might mean a surprise dance with an elephant or two or a walk through the jungle to get stoned under a water fall looking out for the tiger that had been spotted there the day before. Life had surprises and it seemed a much more personally rewarding way to spend my life than spending hours making someone happy about the colour of a button in some software they will never even understand.

Take care too :)

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Dude awesome post, there are so many contradictions of their religion. I was handed a Jehovahs Witness "Who really rules the earth" brochure at the train station and they stated that the dead remain dead (non-conscience("god clearly states)) they do this by backing it up with quotes from the bible, their bible the "new world bible" or something like that where they can make up anything. I had a look in a NORMAL cross-Christian bible (from Protestant, catholisism, baptist) standard translation, and looked at the references to these quotes and they weren't "clearly stated" at all, in fact most references were talking about the physical body "going back to the earth from whence it came" not the spiritual body. Also Jesus is actually the archangel Michael and isn't to be worshipped, & and god apparently is no omniscient and all knowing but is lounging back is some solar system "in a galaxy far far away." I give this religion the marking of 2/100, 1 for almost attempting to be Christian, but is actually anti- Christian in a sense and 1 for tainting 7 million gullable people with lies that waste lives and rules that deny blood transfusions, (thousands have died) and I love "only 144,000 go to heaven. This religion is as stupid as mormon but slightly less stupid than scientology (don't let me get started on Scientology!) so yeh, if you are think of becoming a JW or are one then as a person, your an idiot. PS hope I haven't offended anyone