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Old 09-02-2010, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,746 posts, read 16,457,197 times
Reputation: 14885

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Yesterday evening I heard a knock on my door. I looked out the window and saw a very nice, very expensive-looking van, like this:



I opened the door, and there were two girls, probably in the their late teens or early twenties. One girl said, "We're doing a survey on religion in America. Could you give us a minute of your time to answer a few questions?"

I thought this would be kind of interesting, so I gladly agreed. She first asked if I regularly attended a church, then if I ever attended church, to which I responded negatively in both cases. Then she asked something about heaven, to which I replied, "I don't believe in heaven."

Well apparently this was a total surprise to her, because she look very flustered and seemed to be searching for words. The other girl made a small "eek" type sound. The first girl was about to move on to the next question, but I never heard what it was because she said, "Well I guess this question won't apply to you if you don't believe in heaven..."

She asked something about if I had ever gone to church, and I, rather boisterously stated that yes, I used to be a Christian. This seemed to throw her even more off-kilter.

I was getting suspicious. Despite the official looking van they suddenly didn't seem very professional. Then she asked the final question, which I imagine she modified slightly for my particular case, "If you thought that heaven might be real, would you like to know more about it?"

This seemed rather an awkward question, but I told her that yes, if I saw evidence to suggest that there might be a heaven after all, that I would be curious about its nature. Then she confirmed my suspicions and handed me a little pamphlet and invited me to their church. I politely said thank you and they left. They have my address because they could see the number and the street sign, though I gave them a modified version of my actual name, but I imagine I'll be receiving some extra mail and maybe a few personal visits, which I look forward to!

But overall, I felt this was a pretty sneaky tactic. I seriously doubt they were doing a real survey, and I certainly doubt the results will be published, except maybe in their church news letter. Has anyone else here seen this tactic used before? I guess they felt it would be easier to start a conversation via fake survey, but if all they really wanted to do was invite me to church then they could have simply done so and given me the pamphlet.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:30 PM
 
2,319 posts, read 4,717,630 times
Reputation: 2107
Very interesting. I wonder if we'll be getting similar visitors.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:36 PM
 
848 posts, read 1,923,901 times
Reputation: 1373
All denominations of churches use various tactics designed to keep the door open and eliminate abuse of their members. Of course they KNOW people hate their harassing evangelism or they wouldn't try to disguise it.

Most are very neatly dressed, some with white shirt and tie, some bring women and/or children, some are only women or women with children. Depending on the religion they may be very aggressive.

Luckily, I've always had a door arrangement whereby I could see who was coming. Let's just say I made good use of my German Shepherd and never had to suffer their presence for more than a few seconds. (before anyone gets excited and leaps to conclusions - the dog was always under control and on a leash. It's just that jumping and barking GSDs tend to make a believer out of people )

If I am ever without the dog at the door I'll tell them I'm Wiccan.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,746 posts, read 16,457,197 times
Reputation: 14885
I'm always polite, but I've become a lot more bold. In the past I would simply try to cut the visit as short as possible, but I would never actually reveal my lack of beliefs. But now I'm not going to do that anymore. Seeing the look on her face was quite fun!
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 24,789,516 times
Reputation: 5215
The last time two young men in white short-sleeved shirts and ties, obviously Mormons (I live near an KDS church) came to my door, I told them flat-out that I'm an atheist. One of them wanted to get away from me ASAP, 'spawn of Satan' that I am, but the other put up an argument. I actually enjoyed it.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:11 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 12,270,358 times
Reputation: 12588
I don't know about the tactics Jehovah's Witnesses use with hearing people, but I do know the ones they use with the deaf and deaf-blind. They have entire congregations in American Sign Language (and other sign languages all over the world) so that members can learn and become fluent in ASL (or whatever other local sign language). Then they do research on the deaf and deaf-blind people in the area and show up at your door, speaking your language and knowing a bit about you already. It's not that hard because, for example, in my area, all the interpreters are JW, so they know all the Deaf people here, so it's not hard to find out more about them.

Then, when they show up at your door, they'll hand you DVD's in ASL and pamphlets, even braille pamphlets if you happen to be deaf-blind. Of course, the deaf and deaf-blind are totally not used to getting this type of attention so it's very tempting to fall for this tactic. Then once they've gotten that far, they will show you some stories of deaf and deaf-blind people who found the "answer" in becoming JW, and then they will gradually give you more stories that are less deaf/blind related and more JW-related.

From there they will invite you to their services that are held entirely in sign language. If you are deaf-blind, they even provide you with your own set of tactile interpreters.

To add, a lot of JW's will go to any lengths to get across their message. I've heard stories of JW's preaching their message to deaf-blind people that have had no education or exposure to language. They will literally teach a child born deaf or deaf-blind language so that they can teach that child about Jehovah. Or, if they have to, they will patiently write out their message, letter by letter, on the palm of a deaf-blind person who doesn't know sign language or braille.

With that kind of special attention, it's all very tempting and very clever. A lot of Deaf people in my area have become JW as a result.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Pawnee Nation
7,525 posts, read 16,687,603 times
Reputation: 7103
About 40 years ago I and a group of friends were finishing up.....maybe not finishing up, but we were well into......a party we had begun early Friday evening. We had gone through copious quantities of hash, beer, scotch and wine. We had put together a really large plate of cold cuts so whenever someone was hungry they could eat (happened a lot during the smoking). It was about 10:00 AM on Saturday morning and a couple of young ladies came to the door, obviously wanting to sell us a copy of watchtower. One of the women in the house (it was a co-op with 6 bedrooms and about 11 residents that frequently had more than 20 people crashing on various couches and pillows) answered the door and asked the ladies in. As I recall (its all kind of fuzzy) we were circling joints......where two or three people would roll a joint and start them around the circle.....there was a hooka going.....lots of rose wine and beer......most of us were sitting or lounging on the floor. Barb, the woman who answered the door turned to the ladies and offered them a joint, which they declined. A few minutes later she offered them some wine, which they declined. A few minutes later she turned to hand them the stem from a hooka and they were gone.........imagine our consternation when they didn't even offer a good bye. We laughed about that for years.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Detroit/South Korea
465 posts, read 522,453 times
Reputation: 127
Haha that is very clever of them I have to admit.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:32 AM
 
146 posts, read 473,757 times
Reputation: 72
My tactic is to answer the door naked, seems to work for me.

Otherwise I tell them they were interrepting my pagan rituals.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:44 AM
 
Location: maryland
3,966 posts, read 6,768,924 times
Reputation: 1739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
Yesterday evening I heard a knock on my door. I looked out the window and saw a very nice, very expensive-looking van, like this:



I opened the door, and there were two girls, probably in the their late teens or early twenties. One girl said, "We're doing a survey on religion in America. Could you give us a minute of your time to answer a few questions?"

I thought this would be kind of interesting, so I gladly agreed. She first asked if I regularly attended a church, then if I ever attended church, to which I responded negatively in both cases. Then she asked something about heaven, to which I replied, "I don't believe in heaven."

Well apparently this was a total surprise to her, because she look very flustered and seemed to be searching for words. The other girl made a small "eek" type sound. The first girl was about to move on to the next question, but I never heard what it was because she said, "Well I guess this question won't apply to you if you don't believe in heaven..."

She asked something about if I had ever gone to church, and I, rather boisterously stated that yes, I used to be a Christian. This seemed to throw her even more off-kilter.

I was getting suspicious. Despite the official looking van they suddenly didn't seem very professional. Then she asked the final question, which I imagine she modified slightly for my particular case, "If you thought that heaven might be real, would you like to know more about it?"

This seemed rather an awkward question, but I told her that yes, if I saw evidence to suggest that there might be a heaven after all, that I would be curious about its nature. Then she confirmed my suspicions and handed me a little pamphlet and invited me to their church. I politely said thank you and they left. They have my address because they could see the number and the street sign, though I gave them a modified version of my actual name, but I imagine I'll be receiving some extra mail and maybe a few personal visits, which I look forward to!

But overall, I felt this was a pretty sneaky tactic. I seriously doubt they were doing a real survey, and I certainly doubt the results will be published, except maybe in their church news letter. Has anyone else here seen this tactic used before? I guess they felt it would be easier to start a conversation via fake survey, but if all they really wanted to do was invite me to church then they could have simply done so and given me the pamphlet.

HA i got roped into the same thing a few months ago too.
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