Print Story Scared some Jehova's Witnesses Today...
By 606 (Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:18:16 PM EST) blasphemy (all tags)
Just a bit after noon I hear the doorbell ring its single ding (the dong never happens because the bolt that hits the bell gets stuck in gross goop built up from years of WD-40 sprays instead of proper repairs). I head to the door and peep through to see two men in suits. Well, we all know what this is about.

I open the door and say hello, and the Jehova's witnesses begin their practiced speil, haltingly somewhat. It was only later I realized why their patter was off-kilter. I was standing there with my Satanic long hair still half-wet from the shower which makes it look a bit slick. Like I'd been headbanging with my buddy the Dark Lord. I was standing in the doorway which gave me an extra five inches on these guys who were short as it is. And I was wearing my weird Threadless tee which I think illustrates a particular programming pattern but to the uninitiated probably looks like a ghastly pagan symbol with leering happy faces.

The Jehova's Witnesses are prepared to deal with little old biddies and lonely housewives who think inviting well-dressed men clutching Bibles will get them one step closer to heaven or at least give them some blessed company... (pun intended). The J-dubs are ready to hear about how it's never been the same since Mittens the kitty passed away, and they have a practiced speech about how in the great hereafter beyond the apocalypse the lion shall lie with the lamb and the lamb will be nuzzling Mittens and you'll hang with all the peeps of the animal kingdom in a multicultural, multispecies eternity.

No really, you can see pictures of this on the back of The Watchtower (the free magazine they give you). It's worth asking for a copy just for the illustrations (though the J-Dubs will return weeks later if you do and ask you how you liked it so you'd better have a speech practiced (something blasphemous and hilarious if possible)).


The Jehova's Witnesses are NOT prepared to deal with a six foot tall (well, 5 feet 11 and a half inches but you'll grant me artistic liberty, right?) hulking dude with a mane of rock star hair, jacked up on coffee and wondering why these suited squares have dragged him away from The Internet which he was perusing.

"We're hosting an event in celebration of the life of the Greatest Man. It's on March 22 at Kingdom Hall." mumbled the one clutching the Bible.

"Yup," I say. I get the feeling the J-Dubs would have preferred that I just bellowed "GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN, FREAKS" instead of talking to them because that's a response they could easily rationalize, and I wonder myself why I didn't say "thanks, but no thanks" a long time ago. But now we're both committed to our conversational paths so we have to ride this crazy train to the end of the line. Choo choo!

The J-Dubs' script probably suggests the next question the tenant, will ask is "who is the greatest man?" but I'm not dense. I know they're talking about good old Jesus Christ. I really have nothing against Jesus, just those who would parade him as a symbol for a restrictive and controlling sect. Sadly this includes most Christian religions but I'm sure someday I'll find one that does it right. (One particular story I was told in a bar once suggested a particular Christian sect that has a good thing going but I don't think I'm allowed to tell you what I've heard about them lest someone gets arrested... but the words "let's all get naked" were involved at one point).

Eager to hasten the end of this encounter I say "well thanks for letting me know, I'll take that flyer you got there," and I see that actually the guy doesn't really want to give it to me. Everyone is welcome in the afterlife but not everyone is welcome at Kingdom Hall in this life. There are standards. The J-Dubs have always had a problem dealing with their disciples' kids who are eager to rebel. They haven't struck upon a youth movement to channel that energy as the Baptists have with Christian Rock.

But eventually the guy gives me the flyer and I wish them a good day and close the door.

I sort of worry that those guys are back at home now lying awake in their respective beds staring at the ceiling envisioning ways to prevent the big, weird guy from coming to their open house. I hope I haven't perturbed them too much.

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Scared some Jehova's Witnesses Today... | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden)
Should have made them promise by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 4) #1 Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:14:09 PM EST

to come back before the thing and give you a ride, then insist on running "a few short errands" before-hand...

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
jehovas by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #2 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:00:42 AM EST
My mother once insisted on keeping the JWs on the doorstep for over an hour while she debated the bible with them. Methodist Sunday School ensured she had a ready command of necessary counter-quotes. They didn't come back for at least a decade.

My father in law did that by marvin (4.00 / 1) #9 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:30:06 AM EST
I think they used him as an apologetics training tool for a few years, learning to defend their beliefs. They would come over for an hour every Saturday for months on end, according to my wife. Usually it was the same older JW, with a different younger one every so often.

[ Parent ]
URA CRASEE MAD DAWG!!!! by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 02:02:13 AM EST
Can't they celebrate the Greatest Man in Hi Def like the rest of us?

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
No way, hi-def Star Trek?! by 606 (4.00 / 1) #7 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:02:53 AM EST
Man, the film grain will look amazing!

imagine dancing banana here
[ Parent ]
In HD-DVD by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:49:54 AM EST
Can you believe that Blueray won?

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
Bah, "won" by 606 (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:21:35 AM EST
HD-DVD and Blu-ray were both sitting around waiting for their opponent to starve, meanwhile consumers are gorging themselves on x264 satellite rips available for "free" on The Pirate Bay. If I actually cared enough to buy an HDTV I'd buy myself a tvix before a Blu-ray player.

Blu-ray: official king of an outmoded medium. At least it'll get PS3 sales out of the dumps.

imagine dancing banana here

[ Parent ]
Life of the Greatest Man .. by me0w (4.00 / 2) #4 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 02:16:28 AM EST
You should have said ... "OMG! A PARTY FOR ME?!?!! You shouldn't have!! Dudes, I will SOOOO be there!"

Many years ago... by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:27:37 AM EST
Can't remember if it was JW or Seventh Day Adventists who came down our street that day. The retired General who lived across the street was cleaning his rifle, a war trophy he picked up in Germany when he was a tanker with Patton. The missionaries rang his bell, he opened the door.
Missionary: "Have you heard the Word of God today?" (Or something similar.)
General, while pointing rifle at missionary:"No".

It was several years before they came back by our street.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Blacklisted by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:28:31 AM EST

Once upon a time I worked in broadcast TV. For a while we ran two feature films after the News at Ten finished on a friday night, 15 minutes of local news and weather meant the first one kicked off at 22:45, then we had two lots of 90 minutes of film with 15 minutes of comms and links each and 10 minutes for a potted vicar and closedown let us run away at 2:30. Half an hour to get home, half an hour to wind down and I'd be getting to sleep at about 3:30.

I lived in a bungalow, and would draw all the front curtains when I got home, neighbours knew I worked odd hours and would refrain from doing anything noisy outside until there were signs of activity. 9:30 one saturday morning and there's ringing of the door bell, knocking at the door, over and over. Two weeks earlier my neighbours daughter had been in a serious accident abroad and the police had been round looking for them to let them know, so with the amount of persistence I thought it might be them again.


I opened the door and there was an elderly couple who started their JW spiel and I completely lost it with them. I've no idea of what I said, just that it was loud, but a year later I answered the door at a more sensible time to find the same couple there again. They saw me, their faces fell, and they went away without saying a word. I was never bothered again for the several years I lived there.

Shortly after my first daughter was born ... by lm (4.00 / 1) #11 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:05:05 AM EST
... some Jehovah's Witnesses came by our apartment complex. I had a lively discussion with the two middle-aged women. The next week they came back with a bright young man we had another lively discussion. I've yet to be visited by any else toting publications of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

I do see Mormon missionaries traipsing all over our neighborhood. I've never had any come to the door while I'm at home. This may be due to me being at work during the business day. Although, at one past job I spent a couple years working from home every Monday. They didn't knock at the door then either. Maybe the missionaries are really going down to the local park to play on the swing sets instead of going door to door.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
those swing sets are doing god's work by discordia (4.00 / 1) #12 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:23:08 AM EST

[ Parent ]
I welcomed them into the shrine room by Alan Crowe (4.00 / 2) #13 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:47:54 AM EST
Back in 1993 the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order met in my flat. I had a large room set up as a shrine room, with a Buddha Rupa, bells, vajras, etc.

When the Jehova's witnesses called I invited them in and tried to convert them. I failed, and assume that they continue to suffer, all chance of enlightenment blocked by their faith in a personal creator god.

I'm not usually such an arsehole. One of my friends is a Jehova's witness, and we observe a truce, neither proseletysing the other.

Well, in Photoshop by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #17 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:00:52 PM EST
Enlightenment by Alan Crowe (4.00 / 1) #19 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:25:40 AM EST

In signal processing the state of the world, x is measured, obtaining y = ax+b+e, where a is the scale factor, b is the offset and e, the random error, annoys by varying between measurements.

The signal processing engineer tries to sweet talk a computer into calculating f, a function contrived with the goal that z=f(y) should be close to x. The philosophic and metaphoric importance of the signal processing perspective is the clarity with which it exposes the engineer's problem. We only get to see z. We are trying to infer x. There are some special cases. Short the inputs and x=0. Generally though we are stuck with various f's and make inferences by comparisions amongst them.

Buddhism throws an extra ingredient into the mix. We have emotional needs, and things we want from the world to meet our needs. This gives rise to u, the state the world "ought" to be in. When Buddhism says that "the world" is an illusion it is not commenting on the discrepancy between x and z, but noticing that within our heads there are our desires, represented by u and "the world" u+z/2. Whoops!

The idea is to use techniques such as meditation to cultivate positive emotions states and mental clarity. Cultivating positive emotions, independent of situation, helps to calm the relentness gnawing of our emotional needs. With an inward looking mental clarity we start to see the mind's tricks, the subtle self-deceptions, always pushing to adjust our internal world model to two-thirds u and one-third z. Enlightenment is when we see things "as they really are", z instead of u+z/2.

Here is an example of how this works in practise. There is a religion called Buddhism, which it fucking useless. However, I'm hurting real bad. I've got to have something to believe in, a crutch to help me limp through life. I need Buddhism to be wonderful, a 100% solution to my problems. So I compromise and tell myself that I want it to be 100% perfect and that unfortunately it is only 50% perfect, that will have to do.

If I became enlightened I would see Buddhism as a waste of time and be free of it.

Mumon's comment Those who understand the parable of the raft do not build themselves a raft. Lacking buoyancy they perish in mid-stream.

Zen's patriachs build a gate out of paradox
And padlock it shut
The key to the padlock
Is not seeing the gate

[ Parent ]
why would they be scared? by garlic (4.00 / 1) #14 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:53:09 AM EST
JWs are used to rejection. They get it all the time. You're no different than 90% of the doors they knock on.

I know... by 606 (2.00 / 0) #15 Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:10:09 PM EST
That's what was so weird about the whole thing. The conversation existed in this nether world where I wasn't saying no to them but clearly not saying yes. I wasn't actually trying to be threatening.

imagine dancing banana here
[ Parent ]
the closest by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 01:41:52 PM EST
thing i've ever found to a Christian religion that gets it right is UCC.
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
Scared some Jehova's Witnesses Today... | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden)