The Lynch Report | How to bait a Jehova’s Witness
I have been spending a lot of time in airports recently. I don’t like it, but I used to love it. From 1990 to 2000, I travelled to Europe from Australasia twice a year and toured within both continents extensively. I know most European airports intimately. I enjoyed taking the earliest flight or finding the weirdest connection. I found this very exciting and it led to many great experiences.
I particularly remember Olga, a 36-year-old immigration officer, at a seemingly deserted, snowed-in Moscow Airport in January 1990. From midnight to 6am she told me of her life and taught my 24-year-old self how to drink vodka and play strip poker. As I boarded an 8am flight to Vladisvostok with stars in my eyes, I wondered if I should perhaps stay and marry the quite magnificent Olga. The fact that she was already married to a businessman, who used to be a KGB agent, made the decision easy, but to this day I cannot drink a shot of Stolichnaya Red Label without a nostalgic tear in my eye.
But that was back in the day. Now, I am at Amsterdam Airport cursing my two-hour transit time. It is a time lost forever: a time no amount of beer drinking or Angry Birds playing could satisfy – or so I thought.
Just as I had given up hope of a stimulating airport experience, a beacon of light fell upon me. As I sat attempting to kill more pigs with more exploding birds, I received a tap on the shoulder.
“Can I talk to you about Jesus?” a voice asked.
I turned to see a red-faced, overweight American clutching a bible framed against a huge Hawaiian-shirt-covered belly. What had I done to deserve such a magnificent gift? I knew then that my time at Amsterdam Airport would be a joyful one, spent participating in one of my favourite sports, ‘Jehova’s Witness Baiting’.
“Oh yes, please do,” I said.
“It’s about the good news of our Lord God Jehova and his Kingdom on Earth,” he began in a gorgeous Texan drawl.
“Wonderful,” I prompted.
“And how it will be governed by his reigning priest, the Lord Jesus”.
“Oh, do continue.”
And he did, happy in the knowledge that he’d found a possible convert. His enthusiasm was unbridled.
Generating enthusiasm in the Jehova is a vital factor in the baiting process. If you are to deliver the semantic coup de grâce that gets them to question themselves and their bigoted beliefs, you must get them up to full steam before you strike. To do this, I suggest the follow guidelines:
- Engage the fanatic with innocent enthusiasm. This will allow him or her to drop their guard.
- Avoid truth or logic. Nothing creates defensiveness in a religious fanatic faster than these two elements.
- Timing. The moment you deliver the punchline is of the utmost importance. If one strikes too early, his or her confusion will be hardly visible, and therefore no fun at all; strike too late and you will be met only with a wall of passive aggression. One must pick one’s spots. My rule of thumb is to go for somewhere just past what you think is the middle of the monologue.
Follow these simple steps and you should be able to deliver the final punchline in such a way as to rock their core beliefs. Bear in mind, however, that Jehova’s Witnesses can be particularly difficult. I would recommend that before you attempt the baiting of a Jehova, you should rehearse a couple of times on some Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons and Scientologists.
Back to my American: “…and the righteous shall ascend to heaven”.
“Great,” I said. “So your God created the earth, the moon and universe?”
“Making your God an alien?”
Pointing out that the God they describe is an alien will, in my experience, throw the psychological cat amongst the bigoted pigeons. It is my favourite punchline. Somewhat shaken he continued – my timing was good. From that point on, every time he said God, I interjected cheerily with the word ‘alien’. Watching his confused breakdown was priceless. This particular baiting session ended perfectly.
“You are the son of Satan,” he said as he walked dejectedly away.
“Yeah, I get that a lot.”