|HOW TO GET Jehovah's Witnesses TO LISTEN
by ex-JW David A. Reed
Not just indoctrinated, but also trained, drilled and rehearsed
Whether they are relatives, workmates, or strangers visiting your doorstep, Jehovah's Witnesses are difficult to talk to.
And this is no accident. They are thoroughly indoctrinated.
Following the complete program of congregation meetings and personal study, a JW who does all the assigned homework ends up reading approximately 3,000 pages each year from Watchtower Society publications. That includes 24 semimonthly Watchtower magazines of 32 pages each, an equal number of Awake! magazines, 12 monthly Our Kingdom Ministry internal publications of 4 or 8 pages each, plus one or more books, brochures and/or booklets -- the typical year's output from the organization's printing factories.
|It also includes
re-reading "study" material a second time when
underlining answers in each paragraph in preparation for
meetings, and re-reading that material a third and
perhaps even a fourth time during the course of those
meetings. There are usually two or three "study
articles" in each issue of The
that receive such close close attention and repetitive
reading in preparation for Sunday morning Watchtower
Study meetings. There is also a book studied
paragraph-by-paragraph at Congregation Book Study
meetings typically held every Tuesday evening. And there
are other books used in preparing assignments for the
Theocratic Ministry School on Thursday or Friday
Even Witnesses who don't do much or any of the assigned reading do find themselves sitting through nearly five hours of meetings each week. Besides question-and-answer coverage of "study" materials, these meetings consist mostly of lectures and staged discussions.
Both the aforementioned "School" and the Service Meeting feature many role-playing demonstrations, with one JW playing the part of YOU and another playing himself or herself calling at your door or speaking to you in less formal circumstances.
These demonstrations on the platform in front of the Kingdom Hall audience show Jehovah's Witnesses how to present their message effectively. They learn how to handle, not just their prepared message of the week, but also the objections, questions, and arguments that YOU are most likely to bring up.
By rotation, nearly all active JWs take turns acting one part or another in these demonstrations, actually trying out the various approaches and learning to overcome objections and defeat arguments raised by non-Witnesses.
In addition to the sessions at Kingdom Hall meetings, similar practice sessions are held when groups meet for door-to-door work and even in homes when families prepare for this activity.
So, the chances are that a clever argument you have thought of to share with the next JW who calls, may well be an argument he or she has already heard, practiced, and learned how to defeat.
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