Jehovah's Witnesses: The Asperger's Congregation?

Historically, I've always enjoyed visits from the Jehovah's Witnesses. I am always entertained by the discomfort they seem to suffer through each time I answer one of their questions. What baffles me about the JW's is how they can be so successful with such a complete lack of social aptitude. Every nut they send out seems to be either incapable of, or oblivious to, reading any kind of meaning from a social context. It's as though every one of them has Asperger's Syndrome, possible with a side-issue of metaphysical Tourette's!

I ran into my latest bunch just last Friday. I was late for work, but still had to walk the dogs before leaving. While we were out, I saw the car-full of elderly screed-bearers pull up on our block and fan out. I raced to make it back before they got to our door, but was too late. This was at about ten past nine in the morning.

SOCIAL FAIL 1 - no idea that the only thing thing giving them my attention was my unwillingness to put them in physical danger: When they saw me, they planted themselves on the garden walk between me, my dogs and the front door(and the dogs' breakfast), holding me up entirely because my (110 pound) bull mastiff would easily have knocked the one with the walker ass-over-teakettle with an idle tail-wag.

SOCIAL FAIL 2 - rudeness: After their opening spiel, I told them I'd love to talk, but I was late, upon which they just kept standing there looking at me stupidly like a pair of cows. I mentioned that we needed to get past them, and they started asking me questions about whether I was a religious person, etc.

SOCIAL FAIL 3 - inability to take multiple hints: I interrupted them with the statement that I tried to live a rational life, so religion wasn't for me. This stopped them for approximately one second, after which they started right where they left off. To make my point more forcefully, I let the mastiff bound happily forward to meet his new 'friends' (he's a much more tolerant atheist than I). I only let him get a couple of feet, just far enough to make them pull back slightly, at which point I told them (rather pointedly) "Sorry, he just likes to jump on top of anyone new. He doesn't mean anything by it. He'd never hurt anyone intentionally". The lead wacko said "Oh, that's all-right", and just kept on talking.

SOCIAL FAIL 4 - Inability to even pretend they paid attention to anything I said: They started going on about how my lack of faith was probably because of disappointment with my life, "for example, what are you doing home during the workday [at 9:10 AM!], job problems?" I answered him, "I'm actually on my way to work right now. I was held up by a pair of idiots who couldn't take a hint this morning, and they made me late". His answer? "Oh, that's too bad, I'm sorry to hear that." I couldn't even call them names and get them to knock off!

Finally, I gave up on politeness entirely, and told them to leave because I had to go and they were in my way. This finally got them to move, but amazingly, they just kept firing questions and making pronouncements about the state of my life all the way.

Am I the only one who finds this attitude offensive? How are they growing, with a recruitment technique like that? Why don't they get chased away with brooms, dogs, or whatever else is at hand every time?

Maybe somebody's looking out for them. Or maybe people are just stupid.....

About the Author

Despite a decade of Catholic school, I have never been a believer. I guess I was just born without the gene! Nevertheless, I've always tried to explore others' ideas and practices, on the theory that just because you can't use one part of a product, it doesn't mean you have to throw the whole thing away.
 
I spent over a decade traveling the world, and I've lived in both Europe and the US. I've read the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Koran. I've studied engineering, yoga, martial arts, shooting sports, and ballroom dancing. What I've discovered is that a) spirituality is just a spooky sounding word for any of a number of methods for learning about yourself and your mind, and b) whatever word you use, doing so is the single most important thing in learning to be happy.
 
My blog, The Passionate Rationalist (http://www.societyofreason.com/devoutrationalist) is dedicated to my thoughts both on gaining self-knowledge and using your mind to eliminate misunderstanding and delusion.