Will the Real Animals Please Stand Up
An Interim to Save the Day?

The Devil Attends a Convention!

We were in a top secret meeting reviewing brainwashing techniques when in burst Tom Pearlsenswine, so excited. He'd just come across a blog entry: Church Wars! A group of Jehovah's Witnesses and a group of church evangelizers crossed swords on a public street - almost a brawl! giving residents great (and free) entertainment. It ended when the street spokesman yelled at both the JW leader and the church leader, but she yelled at the JW leader less! What a great experience! Pearlsenswine ventured. He wanted to post a comment. It would be a great witness for the Lord, he said. Of course, we all dropped everything to go online.

"Pearlsenswine, you idiot!" we remonstrated gently. "This is not a serious post. This guy is being creative. He's having fun. You go on there with your super-sober piety, and you'll make us all a laughingstock." But there's no reasoning with Pearlsenswine when he gets something into his head. His own website says it all: "He puts the dog into dogmatic!"

So off he goes commenting and, predictably, the writer returns with ".....um, I just made this up. 90% of it, anyway." What a bullet-headed lout our boy is!

But I got to chatting with this fellow on the real event that inspired his post, and it turns out that he's not particularly down on Jehovah's Witnesses. They are harmless and inoffensive enough, he opines. But the other group he can't stand.  "I like to be persuaded . . . not told by some righteous person that I am a lowlife that will burn in hell. That lot deserve to be parodied, especially the guy outside the tube (this fellow's British, just like Queen Elizabeth) station who is basically just a nasty bastard," he said. The group in his story paraded in around in public with a bloodied "Jesus" on a cross who twitched! Twitched! That's not a little sick? he suggests. (notwithstanding Mel Gibson's movie, which is required viewing for this bunch) "What a great piece of exaggeration!" I congratulated him. But no, he assured me, that part really happened. He had pictures.

This strikes a chord with me because we just finished up our district convention, this year themed Follow the Christ. Now, these firebrand groups can't stand JWs, mainly because we don't line up with their favorite doctrines: trinity and hellfire. So they always picket our conventions. One guy is dressed up in a "devil" suit, gesticulating. What on earth is he doing? He's waving his disciples into the auditorium!

Look, I realize that not everyone welcomes JW visits. Furthermore, I admit we are not always "smooth." It depends on the person, their experience & comfort level, the circumstances, and so forth. But I do pledge that we will never come to anyone's door in a devil suit.

The Devil's been showing up for several years now. Is it my imagination or was he 10 feet tall the first year (probably due to drywall stilts) whereas now he's just regular height? If it turns out he was never on stilts, his head will grow so big it will topple him off the stilts he was never on. It means he loomed larger than life in my imagination! It means he's getting under my skin!

Well, yeah, maybe a little. These guys are pretty obnoxious. Our people must form a human "corridor" so that conventioneers  can enter the building unmolested. It's not as if we couldn't find a better use for our time. Even the cops are fed up with them and threaten them with arrest when they try to physically obstruct entrance. After all, being assigned district convention duty is, for a cop, an easy gig. They simply direct traffic. Nothing more. Our people don't even stray outside the crosswalk! They're on their best behavior, imagining this gives "a good witness." The policeman stands there with a donut and exchanges pleasantries with our people as we cross this or that street.  What could be easier? But now they have to put up with these religious bigmouths who, this year, for the first time (I think) in Rochester, came with sound equipment, which they used to blast everyone's eardrums, reminding them about hellfire.

All this is sort of an annual joke. Those entering the auditorium rarely so much as look at these people. The general thought is that this will only encourage them, and so that's the word-of-mouth policy that we usually follow. Of course, following policy doesn't cut it with this bunch, who do anything they damn well like anytime they like. If our people decline to speak to them, they interpret it as "brainwashing," as if every conventioneer would just love to engage them in stimulating conversation, but the mean Watchtower won't let them.



[UPDATE: 2009 Keep on the Watch Convention]

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'



I wanted to let you know that we had a tragic event here in Boise about a week ago. A group of Jr. High or High School kids (I forget which) burned down a local Kingdom Hall, located about a mile or so from my brothers house. I tried to find some online citation for this to forward to you, but was disappointed to find on my last internet search, no information available. You might try searching yourself, you might find something. About three or four years ago someone severely vandalized the local mosque in town, and about a year after that some one carved swastika’s into the walls of the local Black History Museum. All of this adds up to demonstrate my states public relations problem when it comes to hate crime (remember the Aryan Nations, the used to headquarter up in the north of the state, not far from the sight of the Randy Weaver stand-off). As a result Idaho has undertaken great efforts to recast its image, that’s part of why that’s 90+ % white state has a black history museum, and why Boise is the unlikely location of an Ann Frank memorial.

Also in regards the protesters that show up to bring their warm spirit of fun to your district conventions, I wonder if some of them make a circuit that includes the Semi-Annual LDS Church General Conferences. I don’t ever remember a guy in a Devil suit, but we get all types. Some protesting the Churches pro-life stance, others complaining that were not anti-abortion enough (rape and incest are considered acceptable grounds for an abortion within the Church, if the person thusly expecting so desires). Then there’s the “Mormonism a cult” Evangelical people, and the “LDS Church strayed when they renounced polygamy” Mormon fundamentalist people. But my favorite would have to be about three years ago, when I noticed a group of anti-fur people protesting, apparently drawn by the presence of camera’s, because I’ve never in my life heard anything preached pro-or-con about animal furs in an LDS meeting of any sort.

tom sheepandgoats

I think I came across a report somewhere of the KH (or was it another one?) In the case of the one I read, it was not considered a hate crime, just some dopey kids.

I know the term "cult" has literal meaning, but as it is used today, it just serves as a measure of how much you don't like someone.

Eric Conrad

There's a guy at the Long Beach arena in California who is always picketing. His sign says that the Watchtower kills babies because we won't take blood. He's wasting his time. I told my wife... Every single person coming into this convention is coming here with a resolution in their heart that they've already made. We've all seen the scriptures and we all agree on the blood issue. If we didn't, chances are we wouldn't be there. So, what is he accomplishing? I got a pleasant feeling as the temperature that day rose over 100... Yes, he stay all day! :)

tom sheepandgoats


Here in Rochester, picketers are much lazier. They go home once the sessions have started.

It's generally conceded among medical people that, if you can possibly avoid a transfusion, that's what you should do. Blood, even when properly matched, is a foreign tissue, and we all know the body does not like foreign tissue and tries to reject it. What is deemed recovery time after surgery is lengthened by the body "fighting" transfused blood. Many people can and do die from blood transfusions.

Largely due to the tenaciousness (stubborness?) of Jehovah's Witnesses, bloodless medicine is becoming widely available. It is reasonable to anticipate, and it may even be the case now, that the lives saved from avoided transfusion will outnumber those lost by members of a tiny religious group.

Mike Lawson

Like Eric Conrad above, I usually go to the Long Beach Convention and I and my family see this poor deluded "apostate" every year. I was impressed by his dilligence in being out there all by himself - no one else who shares his apostate thinking had the "spiritual" intestinal fortitude to assist him out there - and he did this in 100 degree heat. I was also very impressed with our Christian brotherhood - for as long as we watched him, not even one of our brothers or sisters spoke with him or took anything he had to offer. The look on this poor guy's face sometimes reflected his utter disappointment. Well, "just a little while longer" and he will not have to be disappointed any longer. ;)

tom sheepandgoats

I guess you have to respect someone who stands all day long in 100 degree heat. (unless he is crazy) After all, the auditorium is air conditioned.

Since, per your observation. he accomplishes absolutely nothing, I lean toward the "crazy" diagnosis. But I don't really know.

He certainly is opposed, however. That is for sure.

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