I’ve Been Targeted For Conversion By Jehovah’s WitnessesApril 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.