UKC

Is this Religious Spam?

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 Bojo 25 Nov 2021

We received a letter through the post today addressed to "The Occupier..." The envelope and the letter were hand written and presumably sent to numerous other addresses in the area. Goodness knows how long they all took to write. Here's the letter:

c/o Kingdom Hall,

***** Road

******

Dear Neighbour,

My name is ****** and I am writing to you to let you know of some really good news, as opposed to all the sad and depressing news in the world today at the moment.

Imagine this vision though, a world without doctors nurses and hospitals because our health is perfect. Imagine no more money worries, not having to pay bills anymore, ever again.

Imagine building a house and no one else living in it only you and your family.

Imagine growing all the food you need, and it is all yours to eat, and being really satisfied with all the work of your hands, a really good days work.

And imagine a world full of love, no pain or suffering ever again.

Would you be surprised to learn that all this is possible, how do we know?

Because all this is foretold in the different books of the bible.

Jehovah, which is the name of God Almighty has indeed promised this lovely future for mankind.

This future is only possible by your coming to know him and learning about his promises for the very near future.

In the bible book of John Chapter 17 and verse 3 it reads there, “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.

If you and your family would like to learn about the wonderful blessings ahead that Jehovah has promised, then please do not hesitate to contact me at the above address and I would be only to happy to assist you and without any charge.

Yours sincerely

*******

The writer even included a mobile number.

I'm tempted to write or text saying that I might stick with Islam so that I get the 72 virgins.

It's beyond me that anyone falls for this sort of thing.

In reply to Bojo:

It's just spam.

I got one through the door the other day which said "many people claim that 'all religions lead to God' but we disagree". And then went through 5 other religions to say why they weren't right and why Christianity was. Which frankly I thought was pretty mean spirited.

The bit that annoyed me most however was them quoting Bertrand Russell - "It is evident as a matter of logic that, since they all disagree, not more than one of the worlds religions can be true". 

I was tempted to post it back with a note quoting from Bertrand Russells essay "Why I am not a Christian" -

" The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past, or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men."

But then I decided I couldn't be arsed.

 Bojo 25 Nov 2021
In reply to MeMeMe:

As it was obviously from a Jehovahs Witness I assume they're now adopting this tactic instead of walking the streets We've not had any door knockers since the first lockdown.

 Duncan Bourne 25 Nov 2021
In reply to Bojo:

It sounds lovely but I'm more a pasta and pirates kind of a guy

 Bojo 25 Nov 2021
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> It sounds lovely but I'm more a pasta and pirates kind of a guy


I thought that sort of life would be a bit boring.

In reply to Bojo:

Cult HQ have clearly been cracking the whip - we had one too, as did a friend on the other side of the country. Ours was telling us that climate change isn’t real because God wouldn’t do such a nasty thing. I think they aren’t all handwritten though, ours looked photocopied. 

 Hooo 25 Nov 2021
In reply to Stuart Williams:

If they have the same opinion about the Holocaust that could get them into trouble.

 Duncan Bourne 25 Nov 2021
In reply to Bojo:

depends what you do with the pasta and the pirates

In reply to Bojo:

I just about remember my mother giving a couple of JW's short-shrift when they tried to claim a dog had been transfused with water and lived and that blood transfusion itself didn't work- - she was principle  scientific officer at the regional blood transfusion service at the time! 

 Clarence 25 Nov 2021
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Does a Pirate Ghost appear out of nowhere and say "Duncan Bourne, in five days time you are going to dine and you are going to have spag bol"?

 hang_about 25 Nov 2021
In reply to Bojo:

JWs in one branch of our family. The wife died and they wouldn't let her husband, as a non JW, go to the funeral. Simply grim.

My ex was a vicar. When the JWs came a'knocking and asked if I wanted to talk about Jesus it was 'no - but I know someone who does'. It was a matter of honour to debate with them until they gave up!

 ranger*goy 25 Nov 2021
In reply to Bojo:

I had something similar a few months ago from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

 Bojo 25 Nov 2021

I sometimes tell JWs that I'm a cannibalistic pagan. :0)

In reply to Bojo:

Many (many) years ago, our local climbing club had an Xmas party at someone's house. We always had the theme "come as a route name", most excellent fun. Next morning the JWs arrived at a point many were crawling out of sleeping bags in various states of dress. We invited them in, explaining we'd had a massive orgy. They looked over our shoulder at the bodies and literally ran!!

In reply to Bojo:

> Imagine building a house and no one else living in it only you and your family.

 Ummm.

 deepsoup 25 Nov 2021
In reply to Bojo:

If you want to tell them something that will really make them leave you alone, say you used to be a Jehovah's Witness yourself in a different part of the country but you moved to where you're living now after you were disfellowshipped.  You won't see them for dust and they won't be back.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40704990

There was a feature film out a few years ago that's a powerful watch, if anyone is interested.  (Not a lot of laughs though.)  Really impressive mostly quite understated performances from a strong ensemble cast, the three women at the centre of the story especially:
https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/apostasy_2017

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." - Steven Weinberg.

In reply to Bojo:

I had a similar JW one yesterday. Photocopied. Went straight in recycling.

But I have had hand-written ones in the past, which upset me a little; the thought of someone laboriously copying letters in a child-like hand, and posting them to strangers seemed rather bleak. I just hope they get some solace from it. Then I chucked it on the recycling pile with the other nonsense.

ps. You do realise you've just done their job for them, by reproducing the letter here...?

Post edited at 21:42
 Timmd 25 Nov 2021
In reply to Bojo:

I was quietly chilling by the river in my local park, and had 2 figures looming over me, and stood up nonplussed to have them talk to me about Jesus.

I told them I was a Buddhist because I wanted to be left in peace, and they looked nonplussed instead, and repeated that it was all about Jesus. 

Maybe it's about neither.

In reply to Bojo:

I find jws a challenging concept to deal with. The doctrine and methodology goes against the grain for me and like many above I am tempted to annoy, distract, time waste and take the piss.

However, I know or have known a number of jws across my life and all of them have been delightful people who are not deserving of the behaviours detailed above.

Dislike the doctrine, not the people. 

In reply to Presley Whippet:

I thank all these people, and say I'm not interested. Only if they don't take that hint do I change that approach. I have 'entertained' a couple of Mormons who wanted to chat as I walked in to town. I think they regretted it by the end, as the younger one found my arguments (honed in the UKC Holy Wars) a bit disconcerting, I think...

In reply to Bojo:

Imagine being the operative word there

In reply to Bojo:

I presume you have something  that reads handwriting? You didn't transcribe it I hope? 

To be fair it starts off sounding like John Lennon. Or that song from "My Fair Lady" : "Wouldn't it be loverly". The vision sounds great until you find out it's all in the future. A bit like Brexit really...

I agree most JWs and Mormons I've met have been delightful people, with a pre-school level theology. If it gets them through the night: fine. Just as long as they never have any power over me. 

 deepsoup 26 Nov 2021
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> However, I know or have known a number of jws across my life and all of them have been delightful people who are not deserving of the behaviours detailed above.

I've had some professional dealings with JW's who are delightful people too, and I quite agree.  If they come to your door and you want them to leave you alone you can just politely ask them to leave and they will, it isn't necessary to be rude to them, try to frighten them or take the piss.

CP, above said:

> ps. You do realise you've just done their job for them, by reproducing the letter here...?

Actually that isn't the case, because the purpose of sending people out to proselytise (and therefore presumably also of making them sit down and write letters if the door to door thing is temporarily off the menu) is not to recruit new members or to "spread the word" from the point of view of a cult (any cult).

As a means of recruitment, door to door proselytising almost never works.  (Also stopping people in the street or approaching them in a park.)  They don't get new members that way. 

What they do get is their existing membership tied more securely into the "in" group by repeatedly sending them out into the cold harsh world full of unbelievers to have a pretty miserable time, and then having them come back to the Kingdom Hall (or wherever) to feel the warm fuzzies of the unconditional love and acceptance of their fellow believers, the solidarity of a shared hardship endured together, and a big, fat, dopamine hit that makes it so much harder for them to ever leave.

If a couple of JW's come to your door and you're really mean to them, that is when you have "done their job for them".  Well, given them a helping hand anyway.  Not the ones who came to your door - the ones who have their hooks in them and never want to let them go.

> Dislike the doctrine, not the people. 

Quite.  Though I bet that ain't easy when you're talking about lovely people who are being unbelievably cruel to other lovely people, even though they're probably suffering in the process themselves.

Also, obviously, they aren't *all* lovely people.  No group of humans is, though I bet the nasty ones are better at pretending to be nice than nasty people in wider society just because it's a more important skill for them and they try harder.  Also, as with any system that sets people up in authority over others, there are some really nasty pieces of work ready to take advantage of that for their own twisted jollies.  And there's a lot of power there to be abused.  The JW's are a pretty authoritarian outfit and the disfellowshipping thing is absolutely brutal.  It would probably be less traumatic for me or you to be sent to prison than for a committed JW to be disfellowshipped.

 deepsoup 26 Nov 2021
In reply to Timmd:

> I told them I was a Buddhist because I wanted to be left in peace, and they looked nonplussed instead, and repeated that it was all about Jesus. 

Next time, maybe you could try being a bit more literal; tell them you want to be left in peace and see how they react to that.

E2A:
Mind you, people who come up to you in pairs in a park are more likely to be Mormon missionaries than JWs.  (At least when international travel is easier.)  You could do a little evangelising of your own, because if they've never tried it they should really have a go at rock climbing when they get back home to Utah!

Post edited at 10:19
In reply to Bojo:

SPAM 

Special Processed American Mormons 

 Talk to them about the machine god and his Omnissiah .

Might just do their noodle.

Post edited at 10:39
 Toby_W 26 Nov 2021
In reply to Bojo:

An ex girlfriends parents knew a really lovely window cleaner who was a Jehovah’s Witness.  One day he looked rather down in the dumps and they asked why.  He said he had to go out and spread the word the next day!

Ever since then I have always chatted to any religious types who’ve knocked on my door and been polite and nice.  I have never regretted it, had some lovely conversations and a lot of unspoken gratitude.

My favourite was chatting to two Mormon elders who were in their 20’s, we had a laugh about them not meeting my expectations in the area of long white beards and being younger than me.

Cheers

Toby

 Duncan Bourne 26 Nov 2021
In reply to Clarence:

Oh Arrrrrrrrr

 Timmd 26 Nov 2021
In reply to MeMeMe:

> It's just spam.

> I got one through the door the other day which said "many people claim that 'all religions lead to God' but we disagree". And then went through 5 other religions to say why they weren't right and why Christianity was. Which frankly I thought was pretty mean spirited.

> The bit that annoyed me most however was them quoting Bertrand Russell - "It is evident as a matter of logic that, since they all disagree, not more than one of the worlds religions can be true". 

> I was tempted to post it back with a note quoting from Bertrand Russells essay "Why I am not a Christian" -

> " The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past, or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men."

> But then I decided I couldn't be arsed.

It isn't as if living a life of self loathing (ex Catholic here), is going to do a lot to make the world a better place, too, how can people fully embrace their potential in different ways, and have any belief in their ability to affect others positively, if they're living under the impression that they're terrible sinners?

I think anybody with a conscience can spot when they've done wrong in this life, as soon as I hear a mass on the radio talking about asking for forgiveness, I seem to end up switching stations for something cheerier. To quote that cool Irish comedian, 'Jesus died for your sins' 'When did that happen?' '2000 years ago'. 

Edit: Which is before one looks into females being the downfall of humanity and men in the Abrahamic religions, the restrictions on female sexuality and on menstruating women, and homosexuality. Anything which claims to have all the answers and be about compassion and goodness, can't be as judgemental as that.

Post edited at 18:24
 Timmd 20:51 Fri
In reply to deepsoup:

> Next time, maybe you could try being a bit more literal; tell them you want to be left in peace and see how they react to that.

I could be, I guess since it was about Jesus they were peaceful, but they seemed slightly odd, I was happy enough with them going away again. Two strangely smiling people with glassy eyes, the last thing you need when you're just chilling.

> E2A:

> Mind you, people who come up to you in pairs in a park are more likely to be Mormon missionaries than JWs.  (At least when international travel is easier.)  You could do a little evangelising of your own, because if they've never tried it they should really have a go at rock climbing when they get back home to Utah!

A brother felt rather 'Go away' after some Americans asked to talk to him about Jesus, as in 'You've come all the way from America to down the road from my home, to talk to me about Jesus? '  

Post edited at 21:11
In reply to Timmd:

The remarkable thing is that the doctrine of 'original sin' is not in the bible; it was invented later by the screwed-up weirdo called St Augustine. Adam and Eve's sin was that they ate 'the fruit of the tree of knowledge', i.e. gave themselves godlike status. A third point: it had nothing to do with sex whatever.

PS. The whole thing about the tree of knowledge and Adam's relationship to it is an amazingly succinct, metaphorical encapsulation of the main problem with our 'human condition'. We have been given god-like powers of intelligence but, because we are not wise, we are continually abusing them. Politics, particularly now in the UK, continually reaffirms this sad truth.

Post edited at 21:06
 Timmd 21:03 Fri
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I know sex isn't anything to do with Adam and Eve, it was other instances in the Bible I had in mind, mainly the fellow who was seduced by his daughters.

I'd bet a lot that it's been used as an example of 'the dangers of females' by many over the years. Anyway, I didn't stop being a Catholic in my teens to start grumbling now about religion online.

Time for something else...

Post edited at 21:06
 JimR 21:12 Fri
In reply to Timmd:

Tell them you are a gnostic christian and that they should be aware that Jehovah is really Satan. 

 nastyned 23:05 Fri
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> It sounds lovely but I'm more a pasta and pirates kind of a guy

Ramen

 nastyned 23:18 Fri
In reply to Timmd:

> I know sex isn't anything to do with Adam and Eve, it was other instances in the Bible I had in mind, mainly the fellow who was seduced by his daughters.

The Brick Testament is good for that one: 

https://thebricktestament.com/genesis/the_seduction_of_lot/gn19_30.html


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