My Meeting Notes, Week of 2/18/24–Psalms 8-10, Acts 6
Psalm 13 & 14. Correcting Oneself

The Question that Blew up in My Face: Part 1

Q: How much credit do PIMO Jehovah’s Witnesses owe to Zoom for freeing them from attending boring meetings at the Kingdom Hall?

Probably quite a bit, though simply fading would accomplish the same goal, minus the certain element of hypocrisy. Fading works fine for those who wish to leave. As long as one doesn’t go publicly reviling, robbing banks, or killing people, one is fine.

A consistent blackened screen without any participation always suggests to me PIMO as a possibility, save for obvious cases of infirmity, distance, hardship, etc. Nor is anyone fooled in the long run. Witnesses bond so readily with their fellow believers, even from around the world, because 2/3 of what they have in common is their spirituality/love of God. Begin to indicate that 2/3 is not very important to you, and in time relationships, even friendships, will shift.

I mean, I don’t think those meetings are boring at all, but if I did, I not only wouldn’t go but I also wouldn’t use Zoom in an attempt to deceive others into thinking I was.


I got into some trouble with this post on FB. Several who use Zoom a lot were indignant, thinking I was calling them luke-warm Christians or worse. One, who has always been a pal, proceeded to tell me off on no uncertain terms. It’s my own fault, as so many things are. Had I made clear from the beginning that the opening question was not mine, it would not have happened. I told this brother that 

“I wasn’t speaking at all about you or any of the situations you mention. I should have stated—and would have were I to do it again—that the Question about ‘boring meetings’ is not mine, but was taken off a social media site (Quora) that pitches out questions for anyone to answer. I decided to answer it, and so the next three paragraphs are mine, but not the question itself. It may be the question was not written by a current Witness at all, but a former one. There are some in that population that openly boast of being PIMO, with the eventual ‘goal’ of being POMO (physically out/mentally out). Many of the friends have never even heard of that terminology, but it is sort of a modern-day ‘Demas has forsaken me because he loved the present system of things.’ It is among the reason that our numbers have been stuck around 8 million for many years now, barely growing at all. I wasn’t in any way speaking of ones like you.”

upon which, he made a graceful reply and all is well again.

On the one hand, I was heartened that so many black screens chewed me out, taking umbrage that I should think them PIMO. On the other hand, I was disheartened that so many had never even heard of the term—not the term itself, really, but the phenomenon. Alas, it does kind of smack (in the case of those who are shepherds) of not knowing the appearance of the flock.

***Then there was one wiseacre who suggested our meetings would not be boring if we had a little more of this:

It’s not bad. And, say—Isn’t that Howard Hoodwinkel 8 rows back, 4th from the left? 

I hope the brothers don’t harrumph too much over it. It’s not like they could endorse it, but it is possible to say, ‘You know, there’s a place to learn more about this Jehovah.’ What to one person is not being swept along by the fads and vagaries of men is to another just being a bunch of fuddy-duddies.

But, i had to walk that praise back in view of the following comment from someone who “attended 2 mega churches for several years, this type of music is nice to listen to but being in that concert type environment week after week gets old. Knowing what goes on behind the music also makes it out as just a show. Followed up by a regurgitated topical teaching that may use a scripture. And I found most people who go to mega churches are biblically illiterate. Even a pastor once said they were there to entertain people.”

This is like when Mike.e used to drive me bonkers week after week with his attack on the organizational structure of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I responded with some biblical things that they didn’t seem to know about and he replied as above. ‘You must understand that many Christians are biblically illiterate,” he told me. “Well, whose fault is that?” I replied. “We manage to keep our people familiar with the menu.”

Then—back to the PIMO theme—someone told the anecdote of where a teacher was asked how he knew a student was looking at his phone when they were being so stealth about it. He said: no one smiles at their crotch. 

It is not an answer that would work today because they have discovered a few genders in recent years where people do just that. 

Another brother told of riding around with teens in the backseat and he wasn’t sure their conversation, to put it mildly, was firmly in line with the program. But they had volunteered to help on a move, he didn’t want to lose his free labor, so he did nothing but say how he appreciated their help. 

This reminded me of Al Kapp, the cartoonist, who stuck to traditional ‘follow the flag’ values. He didn’t think much of his generation’s young people protesting, and lampooned them, inventing the group, S.W.I.N.E. (Students Wildly Indignant about Nearly Everything)  He would appear on campus and tell them off. One of the protesting youths asked the pugnacious fellow whether he thought young people were better than older ones at anything. ‘Yes, they’re better at carrying luggage,’ he replied.


******  The bookstore

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'


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