I’ve Been Targeted For Conversion By Jehovah’s Witnesses

April 1, 2007

I’ll admit, owning a townhouse has it’s disadvantages.  I’ve lived in one for almost 3 years now and there are a few lame aspects about it that I kind of expected (like the inability to crank my 3000 watt stereo at 2 AM), but there are definitely a few I didn’t think of before taking the plunge.  Topping the list in the latter category would be unusually high volume of solicitors I can get in the warmer months here. 

I understand the reason.  Tightly packed townhouses in semi-affluent suburban neighborhoods present a very high-efficiency target for those who travel door to door.  Sometimes I can be out walking Indy and see a half a dozen of them scattered around at various houses in the neighborhood.  Some of them are college kids trying to sell you a magazine subscription or two to pay for some class or journey abroad.  Others are just reps from local businesses trying to build a customer base.  I eventually got a bit tired of answering the door and having to politely refuse an offer for something I would have never thought of buying anyway, so I put a “NO SOLICITORS” sign on my door (like the “do not disturb” door sign in a hotel).  That seemed to stop everybody.  Everybody except the Jehovah’s Witnesses, that is.

Now, I’m not a religious person.  I look up at the sky and marvel at our existence every once and awhile like most people, but I’m not the type of guy who thinks about crosses, burning bushes or making sacrifices during lent.  That doesn’t mean that I’m an asshole to random religious folks, however.  As far as I’m concerned, any unprovable belief is about as crazy as the next, so who am I to judge?  If someone out there wants to worship dolls, I have no problem as long as it isn’t hurting anyone. 

That said, I really do get uncomfortable when the JW’s come to the door.  Since I’ve moved in, they’ve rung my doorbell at least 6 times (that I know of), and I’ve noticed there’s always 2 of them (the same guy with a different ‘tag along’).  Whenever I answer,  I get torn between my instinct to remain polite and my desire to do something to make sure they never come back.  So far, politeness has won, due to the fact that their own politeness makes telling them to ‘shove it’ somewhat harder to justify.  Instead, I’ll make up some plausible excuse (I blame it on the dog a lot; Indy plays his role well) to force them to make their comments as brief as possible.  This will get them to cut to the chase and just get down to leaving me with the latest issues of The Watchtower and Awake! so they can be on their way.  Maybe this was my mistake.

The other day I was sitting here on the computer and through the window I noticed this big Lincoln Continental pull up to the end of my driveway.  I sat there dumbfounded as I watched the JW’s get out of the car and make their way toward my front door.  It had finally dawned on me.  These guys weren’t going “house to house”, they had made a trip to see me specifically!  I suddenly reflected on how being nice and semi-graciously accepting their literature those other times had apparently put me on their list of potential followers.  Luckily, I had to leave for work in a few minutes, so I had a legitimate excuse prepared when they rang the doorbell.  With Indy doing his usual barking in the background, I opened the door.  “Hey _____, you’re a hard guy to get a hold of!”  This was even creepier.   I don’t remember giving them my name, or vise versa.  That, and the obvious implication that they’ve been to my house an unspecified number of times since the last time we spoke, looking for me.  They proceeded to tell me about the importance of attending some event at their church, while I tried to keep the dog from getting past me and biting them on their overly friendly asses.  I deployed the excuse, accepted another piece of literature and watched them get back into their Lincoln and drive away.

So, what’s the M.O. here?  Do these people canvass a neighborhood and systematically narrow the field of prospects by some method?  If so, what is it about me that they like?  What criteria did I meet?  I’m kinda hoping that some JW’s will eventually see this post and let me know.  Or, maybe someone else has had this problem and found a way to have them leave me alone without any repercussions.  I’m just not sure of what these people might be capable of.  After all, they’re strangers who know my name and where I live, and have a penchant for making unannounced visits.  One might call that a stalker.

BTW-  This is not an April fools post. (I’ve never really liked April fools anyway)

Also, I do realize that I may have answered my own question with this post (i.e. I’m a target because I’m not religious), but that would be assuming that the JW’s a sense for that sort of thing, because I didn’t tell them explicitly.   


  1. They are just people, that’s all. People with a message they believe is important. And people who have come to imagine that you have some interest in the spiritual things they speak of and are ready to hear more.

    The questions you ask about whether they are coming specifically to visit you, and if so, how did that come to be? you should ask them. Put to them the same questions you put in this post. That Lincoln burns a lot of gas. They won’t burn it just to visit someone who wishes they wouldn’t come. They obviously don’t know how you feel. Show them your post, if you like. That ought to do it, though they’re likely to probe how you came to feel the way you do, how you acquired your religious outlook (of lack thereof) and so forth. If you are firm that’s none of their business, tell them so.

    They think along the lines of this scripture in Acts: “Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica [where the disciples were run out of town], for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.” (17:11) They’re not looking for gullible people. They’re looking for those who will “carefully examine” to “see if these things are so.” If you are not one of them or if this type of examination doesn’t interest you, you’ve only to tell them.

    Their knowledge of scripture gives them confidence to tackle such questions as why there is suffering and evil, and why we grow old and die, among other questions. Their answers may not be your answers. But they are the answers they are most familiar with, they make sense to them, they are coherent and explainable, and so they come to discuss it with you.

    It’s a model as old as time. If you have something to say, you must go to people to say it. They seldom come to you.

    It’s easy to find your name on the mailbox, or maybe you mentioned it or maybe a neighbor did or who knows. It’s not a big deal. It’s just an attempt to personalize what they say.

    There! Does that answer your question? I am a JW and I believe in what they are saying, but I also “feel your pain.” There’s some miscommunicating going on, that’s all. No more excuses like ‘just leaving for work.’ Clear the air with them. Tactfully if you can. Adamantly if you cannot. Most likely you can muster tactfulness, realizing their motives are good.

  2. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. That helps a lot.

  3. Here’s what you say: “I will listen to what you have to say for ten minutes, provided you first pay me $100 in cash.” Like turning the light on the roaches.

  4. Ask why they call themselves “jevhovas'” witnesses, rather than Yahovas’ witnesses. No “j”, remember? Therefore, name is incorrect,(and after all the trouble and research they went to…) You can also google questions that will, (politely), drive them off…. No J….. Jerusalem, Jesus, Joseph. Never happened. Some religions specify the: (insert Robin Williams voice here) Name of Jesus..Oh well. Nice site. Love the temple. Does not look like a townhouse. If I had to choose a religion based on logic, it would probably be Buddhist.If I were an atheist, I would spend all my time at the casinos; random chance worked once……Reguarding your caracature of LeTrole? PURE GENIUS! You should do political cartoons.

  5. swamprat-

    I can’t take credit for the artwork; all the art on the my blog is from Mike Reed’s flame warriors site. Lots of funny caricatures on there.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you like the site.

  6. “”they had made a trip to see me specifically!
    You bet. It is called Systematic Harassment.

    See my post on the issue


    I know that these people are not bad, just a little messed up. But I am not a pyscologist or a doctor.

    I have had over 100 visits in 13 years.
    I live in a city. and we are all lined up like ducks here. It only takes them 20 seconds to go to the next house.

    Try that in the country, where there is 1/2 miles between houses.

    Bottom line is this. They use my street as a training ground.

    If they bug me again I will call the police.

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