Could Jehovah's Witnesses Be the Most ANNOYING Religious Group in the World ?

How 'Jehovah's Witnesses' Shamefully Target the Lonely...

"It has always been true that those who think that they have total knowledge on a subject and who then close their minds to any possibility of expanding their knowledge (on that particular subject) are the very hardest people of all to argue with: this is very true of Jehovah's Witnesses!"

While nobody can claim that the 'Jehovah's Witnesses' are the most physically dangerous religious group in the world (I have never heard of a Jehovah's Witness suicide bomber!), is it not possible that they are the most annoying religious group in the world?

A Recent Encounter...

It was a sunny spring morning and I was all set to wash, wax and polish my car.

But, in the corner of my vision, I soon noticed two people, a middle aged man and a somewhat younger woman. The pair had wandered into the cul-de-sac in which we live. It was soon obvious that they were going from house to house, even though at that time of the morning (around 10AM), almost nobody is at home. That meant that within minutes they would be upon me. Of course, by this stage there was no doubt in my mind that they were JWs, as we call them (officially called 'Jehovah's Witnesses,' of course).

To my wife and myself, this is possibly the most annoying religious group in the entire world! Why annoying? Because they always seem to show up when you least want them, and when they do so, one knows that one will soon be presented with a challenge as to how best to handle these distinctly aggravating religionists. Lets face it: None of us (yes, even including a Christian Apologetics and Countercult writer like myself!), can always be in the mood or frame of mind for a religious debate! Frankly, sometimes one would just prefer to have a peaceful hour or two - yet isn't that always when these people seem to show up?

I have tried various approaches with these people over the years, including: a. willingly debating with them, b. not answering the door when they ring the bell, c. answering the door but then firmly telling them that - as Christians - Tina and I do not want any of their misplaced propaganda, and then politely but certainly promptly closing the door, and - my present preferred tactic - d. using a somewhat aggressive approach of asking them why they insist on going around and causing religious confusion when not a single one of them, in my experience, has even the slightest knowledge of New Testament Greek!

Now, a knowledge of New Testament Greek is not always the be-all and end-all by any means but - think about this - if these people are going to go around telling people (who never invited them to come to their homes in order to state their opinion) that established Christianity has got the message of the Bible all wrong, surely such presumption should be equipped with at least some basic knowledge? Since the message of the Gospel is written in the New Testament and that is written in Greek, then surely the onus is entirely on these people to be fully conversant with New Testament Greek in order to convincingly thwart the doctrinal claims of established Christianity? (which, after all, has had a long line of Hebrew and Greek experts). But I have never yet found a JW - not even a JW Elder - with even the slightest knowledge of Common Greek.
After all, if a message is stated in a written language and the substance of that message has been widely accepted for many hundreds of years, but then certain 'Johnny-come-latelys' suddenly arise (in the 19th century) and say, 'The message has been given incorrectly!' then the onus must surely be on these objectors to use human oral and written language in order to argue their case?
After all, we human beings communicate by language and the substance of the Bible and of the Gospel are delivered in human language! While JWs are adept at 'always having an answer' their actual knowledge of the Bible is utterly abysmal, however, they are full of a misplaced confidence that they have complete Bible knowledge! It has always been true that those who think that they have total knowledge on a subject and who then close their minds to any possibility of expanding their knowledge (on that particular subject) are the very hardest people of all to argue with! They simply don't know how much they don't know nor are they even prepared to contemplate that their knowledge on a subject might be very limited, and that such knowledge as they actually have may well be completely distorted, like one of those long mirrors which make your body look a distorted shape! (As one gets older, such mirrors become ineffective!)

In the case of the cults and sects, the problem is compounded and magnified because they have been craftily taught that those who challenge them are simply doing the work of the devil! So the cult/sect member experiences a huge and immediate prejudice toward anybody who attempts to show them where they are wrong.

But the truth is that none of these sub-Christian cults and sects which challenge established Christian theology have ever succeeded in making a firm case against the established Protestant Christianity which they so despise on any satisfactory linguistic, doctrinal, intellectual or logical grounds. Therefore they are forced to deal in half-truths, plain misrepresentation of the facts and various emotional and psychological tools instead. Whilst claiming to be the only people truly representing the Bible, they are quite easily defeated by the Bible itself when Scripture is rigorously compared with Scripture, without prejudice. Emotion, fearfulness and feelings of rejection and persecution seem to be the stuff which keeps them going! They are forced to base their doctrinal authenticity on the shifting sands of such books as Hislop's 'The Two Babylons' (now widely accepted to be steeped in errors).
Not a single Jehovah's Witness writer has ever earned any academic credentials (that is, when writing on the subject of Christian theology). Is this because of prejudice against them? No - it is because such writers are too weak and too unlearned, not having a thorough knowledge of their subject, or even of the rules of just and fair academic debate. That may sound scathing, but it is simply the truth. Their "biblical understanding" can only prosper in spiritual and intellectual darkness. It is like believing - as an article of faith - that the world is really flat and then refusing to read or to consider a single book which overturns the theory because of the belief that all such books are satanically-inspired!

But the typical 'Witness' always tend to have quick and smooth answers, however illogical, emotional, prejudicial or just plain deceptive those quick and smooth answers may be! This is why my newest tactic against these people is to suddenly philosophically attack their worldview - in order to quickly remove them from their comfort zone.

On this most recent occasion, I continued my present somewhat aggressive approach of challenging their lack of understanding of Common Greek (the language which the New Testament is written in), by attacking the veracity of their woeful New World Translation of the Scriptures. I found that they were not prepared for this challenge and walked away from me rather than engaging in conversation. I told them frankly that I had studied Common Greek for several years and that, in my opinion, the NWT Bible is woefully translated. To my shock, neither the man nor the woman attempted to defend their commonly-used Bible.

The man said, "Well my mother joined the Witnesses after finding the truth in the New English Bible!" and the lady said, "I found the truth through the King James Bible!"

My response was to state, "Well it really is sad that when you and your mother studied those Bibles, nobody was apparently around to give you good advice." I continued, "The KJV is not perfect by any means, but the fact remains that your preferred NWT version is full of errors." Again, neither the man nor the woman challenged my statement. I then individually asked both the man and the younger woman if they wanted to know exactly where their teachings are wrong. But both now quickened their pace in getting away from me!

I said, "Are you not even interested in finding the truth?"

The guy retorted, "But we already have found the truth!"

"But don't you accept that your own version of truth must always be open to challenge?"

No answer. My final comment was,

"So you just prefer to live in a very small and cosy world in which nothing is challenged!"

Nothing more was said. Within two minutes the couple were seen exiting our little cul-de-sac.

Was I too aggressive? Well I have tried every approach to get through to these people in the past and at least this approach appeared to rather suddenly shake them up a little and remove them from their 'comfort zone.' I have no doubt that the approach made them think a bit. It probably won't make any difference, of course, yet it is not entirely outside the realms of possibility that one or other of them might have later noted that the guy they encountered that sunny morning was also passionate about the Bible but disagreed profoundly with their approach. They will also have noted that somebody who had studied New Testament Greek plainly told them that the NWT Bible was "full of errors." Who knows? This could just be the first of several things which could conceivably get one or the other of the pair to eventually question the teachings of a group which is undoubtedly a cult which subverts the true Christian gospel.

Targetting the Lonely?

Some while ago an ex-JW told me that there is no doubt that the JWs target the lonely, and that he had once been encouraged to do so. I was not surprised because - from their point of view - it would appear to be a good tactic. Think about this: these people will often spend hours ringing every single door bell in a particular area; it is obvious that they will occasionally encounter people who are simply desperately lonely and just need to talk. Frequently a conversation will be opened with something like,

'Don't you think that this world is in a real mess?'

Who would not agree? In the case of younger people they may proceed differently, but in the case of older people there is no doubt that a planned psychological approach is carefully followed. A typical second question seems to be,

'What do you think of the morals of today's young people?' or, 'What do you think of the moral standards portrayed on television?'

In asking this question, they already know that 95% of older people would condemn the moral standards of modern society. They will then converse warmly for a few minutes without any sign of reaching for their Watchtower magazine, thereby encouraging older people to think, 'Well here are some sincere people who really care about the things which I care about.' They will focus on building rapport and warmth before there is any talk of their specific religious approach. By the time it becomes obvious who they are and what they represent, the typical older person may well be thinking, 'Well, these Jehovah's Witnesses don't seem so bad after all; they really seem to care about the things which I also care about.'

Soon there is talk of a private in-house Bible study specifically arranged for that person, which tends to make lonely people feel rather important and special and, if its private, they can ask any Bible questions they like, right? Such sincere but naive people will be unaware that the JWs already know full well all the typical questions which will come up and they will have carefully arranged 'answers' - answers which artfully conceal a lack of true in-depth Bible knowledge - the "answers" will be all ready for them - even before the questions are even asked!

The guy I knew who was originally a Jehovah's Witness told me that - through sheer experience - they already knew the typical top 40 or 50 questions which would come up during the private "Bible study" - after all, this is always a carefully orchestrated and doctrinally highly-selective study. The Witness knows which areas the study will be guided into. I was informed that an experienced 'Witness caller' would have set answers prepared for the top questions most likely to be raised, and even secondary answers for the most likely 'come back questions.' They are rarely caught out because the person they are 'teaching' will almost never have studied the Bible at any depth whatsoever. In this manner the experienced 'witness' will carry around the 'answers' to as many as 50-100 typical Bible questions and the more typical challenges to the Witnesses themselves, in their heads. The 'answers' will sound smooth, convincing and 'knowledgeable' because the caller is specially trained to appear sincere, reassuring and convincing.

I heard a rather naive person say, "You got to hand it to those Jehovah's Witnesses, they really know their Bible!" When I heard this comment, it really 'hit home' how the JWs have really thought through their psychology (of course, they would not call it that), and truly can appear biblically knowledgeable simply because they are prepared to freely talk about the Bible with the free use of comments prefaced by, "Of course, the Bible says that..." The naive and biblically untutored can really fall for, and be deceived by, such a religiously-confident approach. Of course, the truth is that while these people can be expert at expounding their own doctrines with a free use of highly selective Scriptures which appear to back up their teachings, it is actually quite easy to throw other Scriptures at them which they have - evidently - never even heard before! So while they can appear rather good at a certain level of religious debate among the biblically unknowledgeable, among biblically knowledgeable evangelicals who have thought through their Christian Apologetics, philosophy and countercult at a deeper academic level, accompanied by a knowledge of the original Bible languages, they are forced to run for cover.

Of the older and more lonely types of people which the JWs love to find, the 'Witness' especially loves to find people who used to go to church but stopped going after some (real or imagined) 'bad experience.' Such people (I am informed) are 'meat and drink' to the JWs and when they discover people in this category, they feel that, with careful grooming, they have a high percentage chance of turning such an individual into another 'Witness.'

My ex-JW friend told me,
"Looking back, I think most people joined us because they were lonely, or because they hated today's moral standards; they also joined us because we made them feel very special and important, and especially important in God's sight. Some of them were so lonely that they had not enjoyed real stimulating conversations for years. A few also joined us after going through family tragedies. They liked the fact that we encouraged them, and gave them positive answers when many others were avoiding them."

The targetting of the lonely is not the only obvious, odious and devious tactic of the Jehovah's Witnesses - they use others too, but I hope that just picking out this one example will give us all just a bit more information and ammunition in dealing with these sincere - but deceiving religionists.

Are the JWs especially active in your area? Why not get your church to do a leaflet drop to a few hundred homes in your area which unashamedly preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ and warns about the devious tactics of the cults and maybe especially the 'Witnesses?' There is no reason on earth why this cannot be done, and yet, in my experience, most churches are not prepared to match the aggression of the 'evangelism' of the cults. That is sad.

Robin A. Brace, 2007.

You may also wish to read:
Witnessing to the Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses; Locusts From the Abyss?

A Critical Look at the Jehovah's Witnesses Bible

UK APOLOGETICS