More Sparlock

Thursday, 26 July 2012

If you’re tired of hearing or reading stuff about the Witnesses, then you should probably just ignore this blog post altogether. If not, here we go…

First, the Humanists of Minnesota just uploaded their June episode to YouTube. That, as you may recall, was the episode in which I was the guest. Here it is:

Don’t be freaked out by the unfortunate still image. Mr. Lohman’s hands are not, in reality, smeary blurs.

Second, my wife pointed me to THIS WEBSITE TODAY. Until this morning, I’d never heard of this website, or the woman who maintains it. She’s an author, so that’s cool (wink). The blog post I link to here is her argument that the Watchtower Society is having a bad year. I agree. The first two items she discusses are nothing new. First is a well-written rehash of the Sparlock idiocy. I wrote about Sparlock back in June. However, I hadn’t realized the extent to which loyal Witnesses were proclaiming that Sparlock was merely a fake to make the Watchtower Society look bad. For examples of loyal Witnesses denying thevalidity of Sparlock, check out the screen shots at Atheist Geek News. When the Witnesses learned it was real, the cognitive dissonance, as the blog says, “was deafening.  Many rank-and-file JWs had declared the video to be a fake full of lies about their faith…and then it turned out that it was OFFICIAL JW TRAINING MATERIAL, and they didn’t know how to reverse gears and defend it without making themselves look absolutely asinine. ”

Ha. Pretty funny. For those who don’t know, the Watchtower Society generally releases two or three new books, brochures, or videos every year. They release them at their conventions, which take place worldwide over the course of a year. The conventions are held first in the US and Canada, beginning in May. Here in Minnesota, the conventions are held in mid-summer. The Witnesses don’t share the info even with fellow Witnesses. So, what happens is, a new book, brochure, or video is released at one of the first conventions, then some closet non-believer posts it online, making it available to everyone…but Witnesses (who, of course, refuse to look at such things). So, the Sparlock video has been available and talked about since mid-May, but most American Witnesses are only finding out about it now.

Friday, 27 July 2012

My wife and I finally know the answer to the question: “How long does it take for Witnesses in our area to come around and knock on our door?”

The answer is: 11 months and 1 day.

They came a-knocking this morning. I of course, was busy multi-tasking and otherwise kicking butt at work. My wife was home; she answered the door and discovered they were offering the brochure “Was Life Created?”

Oh man, I wish I had been home. That is pretty much the exact brochure I was hoping they’d offer me. My wife took the brochure…so now we have two. I, in fact, have owned a copy longer than probably anyone else in the state, having been sent a copy back in May 2010, about two months before the local-JWs got their very own (see above for an explanation on that). In fact, I even made a video about it:


 

Oh – wait! I actually made THREE videos about it. Here are the other two:

and…

When Jennifer told them she doesn’t beleive in creationism, they said, “Oh, well you might not want to show this brochure to your kids, then.” This, of course, is hilarious for two very excellent reasons, and I’ll break them down for you…

1) What sort of seriously inept Jehovah’s Witness succeeds in placing a brochure with someone, but then suggests they not share it with the others in their home? Ha!

2) Um…don’t they know we’re not Witnesses? So we don’t have this terrifying fear of exposing our kids to differing opinions and belief systems. In fact, while my wife was on the phone speaking with me about her visitors, Owen was in the other room reading the brochure. Oh my god! He’s going to become a Witness now! Aaaaaaaaaaagh!

I won’t provide an entire transcript of the conversation. I’ll leave that too my wife, if she’d like to. But I will mention one other thing: My wife asked the two Witnesses how long they thought humans had been on the earth. They two women pussyfooted around, dodging the question, and didn’t really give an answer (they said something about the “six creative days” of Genesis, which doesn’t answer the question at all).

Why didn’t they answer my wife like good Witnesses? I suppose it’s possible that, when faced with a non-believer, stating the answer would be too embarrassing. Or, it could be that they don’t agree with their religion’s doctrines on this point, in which case they should confess their “sin” of dissenting to the elders. Or maybe they just didn’t know the answer.

Here, let me help you Witnesses out with that: You believe – or at least you better say you believe – that humans have been on the earth for 6,036 years. And I’ll go ahead and back that up for you with documentation from your literature:

“According to reliable Bible chronology Adam was created in the year 4026 B.C.E., likely in the autumn of the year, at the end of the sixth day of creation.” (that’s from the April 1, 1968, Watchtower).

Anyway, congratulations to my wife on being a return visit now. I hope her friends come back and show us the truth some more. I mean, if there’s time. I know Armageddon will be here any minute.

In other Witness news, while searching for something completely different, I discovered that my acquaintance and fellow ex-Witness Anthony Mathenia is releasing a romance novel online. I’ve read exactly zero e-books, and I don’t expect that total to change anytime soon, but if it tickles your fancy, go ahead and read Happiness – How to Find It.

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9 Responses to More Sparlock

  1. Well done post!
    The Watchtower is truly an Orwellian world,except it ain’t just comical Jehovah’s Witnesses have dogmas (ban on blood transfusions) that are deadly and get followers killed.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are a fulfillment of Galatians 1:8-they ‘preach a different version of the Gospel’.Their Watchtower’s creed is that Jesus had his ‘invisible return’ aka second coming October 1914.
    The Watchtower is an authoritarian oppressive religion full of legalistic rules.

    Danny Haszard FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

  2. Mike says:

    Wow, I spent a long time this morning learning more about the JW’s. Seems like there are some skeletons in their closets. Also seems a lot like the fundamentalist Mormons in regards to the abuses that have occurred. I hope the guilty are convicted. Thanks for sharing all that, and you did a nice job with the interview. I am going to share it with a few folks I know would be interested in how to handle the JW’s when they come a-knocking!

  3. Jennifer Z. says:

    They did not know how old the earth was or how old humans were according their religion. It was obvious they were searching their brains, scanning the brochure, and trying to think of the answer. One of them even corrected herself at the end of the conversation saying that she didn’t mean to make it seem as though humans could be several thousands of years old, that they are only thousands of years old, but she didn’t say specifically how many thousands. They said the material to make the earth is very old, but the earth is only as old as the 7 creative days, which she referred to as 7000 years a couple times – not what the Watchtower teaches. She never gave a time period for humans, but said around 7000 years, again not what the Watchtower teaches.

    I asked them if they believed that Genesis was literal, then moved on to Noah’s arc. I told them that if they believed Noah’s arc was a real story that they believed in a much more rapid form of evolution than I did. I asked them how many species of animals were in the arc and what those species were. One of them tried explaining it using dogs, and I explained how dogs are all the same species with a lot of variation within them, so that was a bad example. I told her I was talking about different and distinct species that could not mate with each other. I told them there were over 40,000 different species of mamals, and thousands more birds, reptiles and amphibians. They looked stumped. They said they didn’t know, but could look it up and get back to me. Then I moved on to the rain. Where did all the water come from? They said a water canopy used to cover the earth. I asked how humans were not crushed with that kind of atmospheric pressure. They said it was outside the atmosphere. I explained that then the rain would have never fell to the earth, that it had to be inside the atmosphere if it rained. Then they said, that yes, it was inside the atmosphere, but that they didn’t know how it didn’t kill people with the pressure. They said they would look that up and get back to me. Then I asked where all the water went after the flood. They said it had never rained before that time. I asked if there was no water on the earth at all, and they said that there were lakes and rivers. So I said, “if the water covered the entire earth, so it covered the top of the highest mountain on earth, where did it go after the flood?” “It dried up” was their answer. I said, “but where did it go?” I looked into the sky and said, “there is not a water canopy up there today, so where did the water go?” They didn’t know. They said they would look that up too. I asked about DNA and neanderthals. I explained how neanderthals had different DNA than humans, but that humans had some neanderthal DNA so that they did inter bread a bit. I asked who the neanderthal were according to their religion and why do humans still carry their DNA. They didn’t know. They said they would look that up and get back to me. I’m not sure what they will do when they look all those things up and don’t find the answers. I’m not counting on them coming back.

  4. Mike says:

    Jennifer, I hope they come back too, and that you or James will write about it. Maybe you could set up some sort of a recording device to capture what they say? That would be cool!!

  5. Thanks for writing this article. I am an ex-Witness, and I appreciate anything that raises awareness. The thing I keep encountering is that many people think that JWs are just regular old church people who like to knock on doors. They find them mildly annoying, but nothing more. There are real problems for those within “the truth” that should be sussed out and addressed.

    For many ex-Witnesses, Sparlock has become a symbol. Lots of ex-Witnesses changed their names on Facebook and other social media outlets to include “Sparlock” as their last or middle names. This is because, like Sparlock, many ex-Witnesses were disfellowshipped and cast aside by their own families.

    Sparlock was tossed into the trash bin. Unbelieving ex-Witnesses are shunned like lepers in their own communities by Witnesses, even their own families, just because they had a change of heart about their faith. I have never been disfellowshipped, yet after admitting I was an atheist to one of my in-laws who refused to let me be about my life choices (namely, not being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses) I have been shunned. I have literally had Witnesses stand right in front of me while urging my wife (who is still a Witness) to attend more meetings. I was only inches away, and they wouldn’t even acknowledge me after I said hello.

    Yet I never wanted to talk to my in-law about religion. I never challenged her faith. She came after me. And still, I’m treated like an apostate. Imagine if I had!

  6. Bianca says:

    i want to thank you for the pleasure of reading this great post.

  7. James says:

    Mike- Sorry you spent the beautiful Saturday morning indoors reading about JWs!

    Jennifer – I like that you looked up to the sky when they said the flood waters evaporated. It’s as if you were giving them a chance that they were right, and you were thinking, “hold on here, maybe there IS a canopy and I’ve just missed it all these years.”

    TAG – Nice comparison between Sparlock and ex-JWs. I hope there are Sparlock Xmas ornaments available this winter. Yeah, if you leave the JWs, they insist on harrassing you – they don’t let you just leave in peace.

  8. Sparlock Christmas ornaments. I’ve seen mugs, shirts, key-chains…but that is genius. I want one! :)

  9. lisa says:

    thanks for such an excellent post, i am completely impressed!

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