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5 Ways To Stop Jehovah’s Witnesses From Knocking On Your Door

You don’t have to look hard to find lots of stories on the web about people trying to scare Jehovah’s Witnesses away so the Witnesses won’t come knocking again. One classic example is the guy who greets them dressed as a Satanist. Another is the guy carrying a scary animal that’s supposed to freak out visiting Witnesses. Kyria Abrahams described such an experience in her book, I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed: Tales of a Jehovah’s Witness Upbringing. Note that in Kyria’s book, the Witness who knocked on the snake owner’s door didn’t run away. She merely asked if she could pet the snake and make nice with it, much to the householder’s disappointment.

Tricks like these usually don’t work. Aside from the fact that they’re really obvious attempts to scare Jehovah’s Witnesses away, they also present Witnesses with a challenge to their faith that must be accepted and conquered. If the Witness fails to meet the challenge, then he is putting his fear ahead of his faith, which just won’t cut it in his world. Like many evangelists, most Witnesses relish the thought of proving their loyalty to God and will do so with gusto if given the chance. That’s exactly what stunts like these help them do.

Many people – including many former Jehovah’s Witnesses – think that all you have to do is tell a Witness you’re an apostate and the Witness will magically vanish in a puff of smoke and tears. I have met a few Witnesses who are paranoid enough to simply run away at the words, “I’m an apostate,” but in many cases, it won’t be that simple. Darn it all. In fact, you’re just as likely to get a visit from the elders as you are to run them away for good if you try that one.

Most congregations won’t let you get away with the old “put me on your Do Not Call List” line, either. You can try it (it’s on the list below) but many congregations won’t let you off the hook that easily.

So what can you do? Here are a few things you can try that might stop them from knocking on your door forever…or at least for a little while.

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Michigan Atheist Convention (12/01) in Ann Arbor

On December 1st, the annual Michigan Atheists convention will be held at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, in Ann Arbor.  There will be a series of speakers/presentations starting at 10am and ending at 5pm.  Registration is $30, plus $16.50 for a private lunch.  However, the registration is only $5 for students, and it’s free for any organizers and student members of high school, college and university on site campus secular organizations.

You can register by printing out this form (pdf) and mail it in with your fee.  There is also a free reception on Friday evening from 7pm to 10pm for those who register.

The Clarion Hotel and Conference Center is located at 2900 Jackson Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

The Michigan Atheists are a group that fights for the separation of church and state.  When policy-makers overstep, the Michigan Atheists try to inform the secular community so that an appropriate reaction can take place.

The MISkeptics November Get Together: Evolution Is As Complicated As 1-2-3

Zachary BlountOur next Get Together will be Saturday, November 10th, at 1:00 PM. This month we will have a special guest. Joining us will be Dr. Zachary Blount.

Dr. Blount is a post-doctoral researcher at the Beacon Center for the Study of Evolution in Action. He is also the lead author on a new paper in the latest edition of Nature.

His paper details how he and his team documented the step-by-step process in which organisms evolve new functions. Blount and his teammates analyzed 29 genomes from different generations to find the mutational pieces of the puzzle. They uncovered a three-step process in which the bacteria developed new abilities.

“It’s pretty nifty to see a new biological function evolve,” said Zachary Blount, postdoctoral researcher in MSU’s BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action. “The first citrate-eaters were just barely able to grow on the citrate, but they got much better over time. We wanted to understand the changes that allowed the bacteria to evolve this new ability. We were lucky to have a system that allowed us to do so.”

Dr. Blount will join us for food, drinks and discussion in what will be a very entertaining and informative event.

I have a feeling this will fill up fast so the sooner you RSVP the better your chance to attend. You can RSVP at our Meetup event, our Facebook event or our Google Plus event.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and take part.

I hope to see you all there!

This Saturday: A guided tour of The Henry Ford

Museum clock tower, at night.

Museum clock tower, at night. The building is a replica of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

-UPDATE- I neglected to mention the tour was for the Benson Ford Research Center located at Henry Ford.

We’ve got a little treat lined up.  Our very own Diane has managed to score us a guided tour of the Benson Ford Research Center at The Henry Ford Museum.

This two hour event also includes the archives that are normally off-limits to normal visitors, including the giant refrigerated area designed to preserve artifacts and items. Bring a jacket, it will probably get chilly in there!

This event has a limit of 15 people so be sure to RSVP as soon as you can. This will fill up quickly.

If for any reason you wish to go but cannot use the pay form on Meetup, contact us and we will make arrangements for getting the payment to us.

Tickets for the event will cost $20 to cover the cost of the tour. The ticket price is refundable is you need to cancel. See the refund section below.

The Henry Ford Museum began as a simple yet bold idea to document the genius of ordinary people by recognizing and preserving the objects they used in the course of their everyday lives. It grew into the ultimate place to explore what Americans past and present have imagined and invented — a remarkable destination that brings American ideas and innovations to life. The sheer scope and design of Henry Ford Museum is as grand as the vision that inspired it. It’s impossible not to feel a sense of awe as your mind adjusts to a different sense of scale — more vast, more expansive and more diverse— by far— than anything you’ll encounter in everyday life. The sweeping, single-floor space with its soaring 40-foot ceilings covers nine acres dedicated to showcasing the finest collection of its kind ever assembled.

The MISkeptics September Get Together: 9/11

9/11 Memorial Fountain

Family members line the perimeter of the 9/11 Memorial South Pool during the tenth anniversary ceremonies of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site on Sept. 11, 2011 in New York City. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

This September 11th will mark the 11th anniversary of one of the most devastating attacks on American soil. The 9/11 attacks by terrorists ran two fully loaded and manned passenger aircraft into the two main World Trade Center Buildings. Causing their collapse and the resulting damage spread to other buildings as well.

A total of 2752 people lost their lives that day, including hundreds of rescue workers rushing to save civilians.

This Sept 8th, at 1:00 PM, we’re going to talk about the facts of that day as well as some of the more popular conspiracy theories about it.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

Please be sure to RSVP so I know how many are coming. You can RSVP at our Meetup site, on Facebook, or on Google Plus.

I hope to see you all there!

Fun Facts about the Preaching Work of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Witnesses at the door

Suckers!

The one thing Jehovah’s Witnesses are best known for is their door to door preaching work. But have you ever wondered what it’s like knocking on doors and telling some poor householder that his religion of choice is nothing more than demon inspired lies? People don’t give you as many hugs for this as you might think.

For those of you whose knuckles aren’t covered in thick calluses from knocking on doors, here’s the inside scoop on what goes on behind the scenes. I’ll tell you what they do, how they do it, and why.

Helpful Hint: Check that peephole before you answer that knock at your door. Especially on a Saturday or a Sunday. You’ll be glad you did.

Trust me.

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An Evening with “Brother Sam” creator Roger Scott Jackson. RSVP now!

Publicity shot for Brother Sam Singleton

Brother Sam singleton is putting on a show in Maumee, OH on the 1st. But on the 31st he will be meeting with us.

Roger Scott “RoSco” Jackson, the creator and actor behind Brother Sam Singleton will be visiting Michigan for one evening only. Michigan Skeptics has the honor of hosting a dinner with the famous “Atheist Evangelist”. On the 1sy he will be putting on a show in Maumee, OH, but on the 31st he will be having dinner with us.

This is a last-minute event so if you can, please try to make it out. It’s a rare event to meet a national entertainer so intimately. This will be a casual, informal event to gather and meet RoSco in a way that not many else can.

If you are not familiar with RoSco Jackson or Brother Sam, check out our post about him from June.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and take part.

Please be sure to RSVP so I know how many are coming. You can RSVP at our Meetup Event or our Facebook Event.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

The Ethics of Banning Circumcision at our August Get Together

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the emergency Session of Parliment

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the emergency Session of Parliament. They recently, by act of Parliament, overturned a court ruling that effectively banned circumcision for the city of Cologne.

On May 7th, Cologne, Germany completely banned circumcision in the entire city for patients not old enough to decide for themselves. As of July 21st, that ban was overturned.

For our Get Together on August 11th,  we’re going to look at the practice of circumcision. Our guest will be Norm Cohen, State Director of NOCIRC, the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers.

NOCIRC of Michigan is the state chapter of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers. Founded in 1986, NOCIRC states that they are the center of expertise on circumcision.  They are a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization of health care professionals and children’s health activists

Norm Cohen has been active in the anti-circumcision movement at the state, national, and international levels as the Director of NOCIRC of Michigan since its founding in 1994.  He appeared in the 1996 documentary on male circumcision, “Whose Body, Whose Rights?”.  He has spoken before many groups and been interviewed by local and national newspapers, radio, and television.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and take part.

You can RSVP for the Get Together at our Meetup page, at our Facebook event or our Google Plus event.

I hope to see you all there!

The Token Skeptic Wishes Us a Happy Birthday

Kylie Sturgess is a friend of the group and the host of the Token Skeptic podcast. She works with the Perth Skeptics in Australia and also writes for CSICOP’s Curiouser and Curiouser online column. She took the time to send us a birthday message that I had to share. Check out her blog. She also posted a birthday message for us there.

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