Let me tell you what one man did when the Jehovah’s Witnesses or some such group came knocking at his door. He had just finished showering and was in his robe. So he opened the door, took his robe off, and said, “Come on in - we’re nudists!” Needless to say, they left in a hurry.
I had a girlfriend who beat that. She:
[li]Was uninhibited[/li][li]Owned a snake[/li][li]Had a basket of apples handy[/li][/ol]The JWs (including a couple kids) were greeted at the door by a nude woman with a snake wrapped around one arm and apple in her other hand, saying, “I’m a bit busy, Can you come back later?”
The classic post from Master Wang-Ka
Please note that there’s another thread about this Staff Report: Citizens Arrest for Trespassing ? - Cecil's Columns/Staff Reports - Straight Dope Message Board
Since that one deals with the general notion of citizen’s arrest for trespassing, and this one deals specifically with Witnessing, I’m gonna leave them both open. Two different topics, although related to the same staff report.
I love Master Wang-Ka’s solution, threatening Jehovah’s Witnesses with a sword. I also like the Naked Truth. Unfortunately, nakedness or threats of violence are not practical as everyday solutions.
Can I offer a simpler solution? In “Western” countries, religion touts are trained to handle objections from people of a Christian background or no religion. You cannot stop them by claiming attachment to another Christian religion, or asserting your atheism. You will encourage them to keep trying.
By far the best solution is to claim to be a practising witch. I have done this for several decades, and it stops the conversation beautifully. I have a few good lines which start “No, there is only one truth, the Old Truth …” “No, my people do not follow your new god. The knowledge of the wicca is greater. . .” If they really don’t get the point start dropping in “… what you call witchcraft…” or “… I suppose uninformed people like you would call me a warlock, but that’s not really correct …” Make vague two-horned gestures with your hands, and stare into their eyes.
At some point, early or late, they will start backing away with a forced smile. They will never return.
Once, they interrupted our seder…I remember thinking, “Dude, we opened the other door.” The hostess was furious. :o
They irritate the fuck out of me. It’s rude. To them, they’re saving my soul. But when they come to my door I wish I had an attack dog.
There’s some Mormon missionaries down the street from my new place, and they haven’t come knocking yet. Even though I’m from Utah (they used to stop by the house every 3 months or so when I lived there) they must sense evil because they haven’t darkened my door.
I lived upstairs from two LDS missionaries for two and a half years (they rotated out every so often). They never once visited.
The Witnesses were another matter, but they were usually very polite.
In the past year or so I’ve been stopped by LDS missionaries while I was walking my dog. They were a little more assertive, but when I told them I was Unitarian, they kinda shrunk away. I don’t know if it was the freaked-out sort of thing that Michael of Lucan described or if they just respected that I had a church.
For the record, I’ve had friends who were LDS, JW, and Scientologists. I’m interested in comparative religion, so we’ve discussed matters of faith, but none of them has ever tried to “convert” me–that I noticed, anyway.
1.) Pepper Mill loves when the Jay Dubs come to visit, and invites them in, and offers them treats. She wisely refrains from telling them about her own philosophical views, which is just as well. The missionaries, nice folk, leave copies of their magazines, and pet our cats. It’s a nice break in everyone’s day. I think they’ve given up on trying to convert us, but they like the snacks and the cats.
2.) In grad school, one of the other grad students told a story about how he rigged a series of events to happen during a missionary visit (like saying “I’ll get that”, just before the phone was pre-arranged to ring) in order to freak them out. It’s very possible that he was making this up. but, knowing him, it’s equally possible that he actually did it. These were LDS missionaries, not JWs, but it’s the same idea.
Moral: be creative in dealing with missionaries. Don’t just ignore them, or threaten with legal action, or with a baseball bat. Offer to put a Santeria curse on them, or show them a bottle and ask if they think it smells like Ebola, or something.
I have read the Bible from cover to cover several times in several English translations. I have read many commentaries on the Bible. I am aware of how Jews and Christians have debated various passages.
I have never talked to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I would like to. I have often talked to Mormon missionaries. We have civil conversations, and part as friends.
Has anyone here had a Jehovah’s Witness not desist politely after being told that you weren’t interested? If anyone has been actually harrassed by a Witness, they aren’t witnessing correctly, and you can complain to your local Kingdom Hall. I assure you they will find the person, and have a talk.
Otherwise, these folks honestly believe they are doing good. It costs you nothing to be polite. Just say you’re not interested. They’ll leave.
Telling Jehovah’s Witnesses that your stepdad is a Vietnam vet, your brother served 23 years in the Air Force, you’re a cop, and they’ve just woken you up after a 12 hour graveyard shift that ended three hours ago works, too.
They didn’t even try to leave a pamphlet.
Sounds like what some people say about telemarketers.
I have trouble getting 'em to stay around as much as I’d like. I’m sure some LDS & JWs can be rude. I’ve met a few snotty young LDS ‘elders’- only one snotty elder one, and that was a while ago. The most recent ones I’ve met are much more polite. I’ve never had rude JWs.
I think the biggest complaint is not how they behave while they are talking to you, but rather that they disturb you in the first place.
When I talk to Mormon missionaries they are the ones who break off the communication, remember a previously scheduled engagement, and leave. This is because I know more about their sacred writings than they know. In particular, I know more about The Book of Abraham.
Joseph Smith claimed to translate The Book of Abraham from an ancient Egyptian manuscript that he bought. For nearly a century that manuscript was believed lost. It was rediscovered in 1967. It has been translated by people who really can read ancient Egyptian writing. Naturally, Joseph Smith’s presumed “translation” has nothing to do with what it really says.
When I mention this to Mormon missionaries they smile politely without indicating that they understand what I am talking about. I have discussed The Book of Abraham with a few intelligent Mormons. They look disturbed. I get the feeling that this is something that they have thought about, but they try not to think about it.
For many people Mormonism is an appealing religion. I wanted to become a Mormon myself. When I discovered The Book of Abraham, and figured out by myself what it was, I did not. Needless to say, the Mormon missionaries who were proselytizing me could not answer my objections.
Yes, this is true. An unwanted call can be annoying.
The Witnesses truly believe that most of humanity is going to be destroyed by God and soon. It’s just that it’s God’s idea of soon, and not mankind’s idea of soon. That’s why they’ve been waiting patiently since 1914.
But see, this is where I give Witnesses some leeway. Instead of holing up in some fortress with a bunch of guns, or committing mass suicide in anticipation of going to heaven, they are here going door to door, or making phone calls, hoping to bring around all the people they can to what they believe God requires to survive Armaggedon. They are trying to save their neighbors. And being as polite as possible doing it.
They are a dedicated people. In Nazi Germany, they went to death camps rather than renounce their faith. And they distributed literature denouncing Hitler while other religious types fell over backwards to please Der Fuerer.
Sure, okay, they’re wrong about the end of the world. But if you were convinced that a cataclysm was imminent, would you spend all your free time trying to warn people about it? No matter how many doors are slammed in your face, or people chasing you down the streets with swords, or being arrested and tortured if you happened to live under a dictatorship?
They may be dead wrong in their beliefs, but they have a courage I’m not sure I would have if I were one of them again.
In my anecdotal experience, you are absolutely correct. My journey out of the LDS church began when I decided to research whether Joseph Smith really had a God-given ability to translate ancient Egyptian scripture.
Concur. Although it’s lots of fun to dream up ways in which to slap them down at the door, it’s easier just to say “no thanks!” - and they’ll just leave - I reserve my ire for the pushy folks (usually salesmen that saw my sign that says I will not buy stuff at the door, and tell me that they thought I’d make an exception, because this is the offer of a lifetime!)