September 4, 1997
Dear Nameless Neighbor,
I visited your place yesterday, (9/03/97), yet did not knock on your door, nor in anyway disturb your peace. The various signs displayed all over the front made me pause, and wonder if it would be advisable to continue. Then I read the explanation on your door, and became even more confused as to whether I should continue.
In your proclamation, you state that if I feel it is important, then I will be taking a chance on whether you feel it is important enough to call you to the door.
Well, the purpose of my visit is very important. It has changed my life, as well as the lives of millions world wide, and there is no way that it could not alter your life, too. Everyone who listens to this message, who give it a fair shake, who approach with an open mind, whoever is reasonable . . . all are touched profoundly. Even those who hate the message I (and others) bring, are nevertheless affected deeply by this message. In fact, whether you or others choose to listen or not, the reality of it will certainly change your future.
The message is largely one of peace. So, if I plunged ahead in the face of your warnings, and you didn't feel it was important enough at this time, then peace would be disrupted, and my message of peace would have been a failure just by the attempt.
Interesting paradox, don't you think?
Then you declared in writing that you especially would resist a "religious pitch" (to quote). I have no religious pitch, but that is exactly what many people consider the message to be.
If you are still reading at this point, then you may not be after the next statement: I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses. We are viewed by many as a cult, though our overwhelming public ministry, our public meetings, our refusal to follow any man's ideology, our strict adherence to the Bible and not traditions or rituals -- all these are exactly contrary to the nature of cults. In fact, name a religion that doesn't meet at least one of the standards of a cult . . . the only one I have found that qualifies to be a serious religion are Jehovah's Witnesses. All the rest follow a man (the Pope, or Joseph Smith, etc.), or rely on traditions that have little or no bearing on real life, or have mysterious teachings that no one was meant to understand ("just believe!" as if faith and credulity were the same thing) and are not to be found in the Bible, and/or -- by their embarrassed silence -- keep their faith a secret from everyone else around them. (Technically speaking, the typical definitions of a cult could include League Bowling, anyway. They are rather vague.)
[. . . Religious pitch deleted . . .]
There, that the point. No angle for you, just right to the target.
[. . . No such luck--more pitch deleted . . .]
Anyway, I'm Done Rambling Now . . .
. . . so please give your attention (if you are still with me) to the following excerpt from one of our official documents that state clearly what we believe, and how it will inexorably affect you, whether you like it or not. Should you want more information, feel free to call me, write me, or just alter the signs in your home and we'll be around.
Or you can read this instead.