So, how were you rated? – Elders rate pioneers from A to E for metropolitan witnessing

A Jehovah's Witness in Warrington, UK engaging in metropolitan witnessing

A Jehovah’s Witness in Warrington, UK engaging in metropolitan witnessing

The sight of Jehovah’s Witnesses standing next to eye-catching wheeled carts brimming with books and magazines is fast becoming a familiar sight throughout the developed world as “special metropolitan public witnessing” is embraced as a new way to spread Watchtower’s message.

When you pass these displays on the sidewalks of city centers you would be forgiven for assuming that ANY Witness can engage in this form of public preaching without having to meet any special criteria.

After all, ALL witnesses can participate in door-to-door witnessing. Surely standing next to a colorful cart isn’t too different, right?


A concerned active Witness has sent us a copy of the S-73 form “Application for Special Metropolitan Public Witnessing Program,” which pioneers are required to fill in if they are interested in pursuing the ‘privilege’ of getting involved in this work.

A PDF copy of the form is temporarily available on this link

***PLEASE NOTE: There is a difference between “Special Metropolitan Witnessing Public Witnessing,” which is carried out in densely populated urban areas between (or outside of) congregation boundaries, and “Public Witnessing That Is Organized locally,” which is organized by bodies of elders and may involve normal publishers (not pioneers). This article and the accompanying video discusses the former, not the latter. For more information, see pages 4 to 6 of the July 2013 Our Kingdom Ministry.***

A not-so-complete forgiveness

The form for special metropolitan public witnessing asks basic questions of the applicants before probing them as follows…

  • Have you been reproved by a judicial committee within the last three years? If so, when?
  • Have you been reinstated by a judicial committee within the last five years? If so, when?
  • Are you now of good moral standing and habits?
  • Are you willing and able to follow theocratic direction on public witnessing?

Bear in mind, the above questions are generally being asked of pioneers, who must already be of “good moral standing and habits” and be “willing and able to follow theocratic direction” to hold their positions in the first place.

Then there is the curious probing of how recently the pioneer has been reproved or reinstated. According to Watchtower literature, those who are reinstated after being disfellowshipped for wrongdoing are forgiven “completely and permanently.” They are to be considered as “full-fledged members of the family” for whom Jehovah has “wipe[d] the slate clean.” (w13 6/15 p.19 par.12; w98 10/1 p.17 par.16; w12 11/15 p.27 par.5)

But according to this form, the forgiveness extended through the judicial process isn’t quite so complete and permanent. Even if you’re deemed repentant by a judicial committee and thus reproved, you will still need to endure the humiliation of confessing to this in writing for the next three years if you want to participate in this form of public witnessing.

Rated from A to E

But it doesn’t end there. Once you have navigated the applicant’s part of the form, your elders then have to fill in the other side, and place your conduct under further scrutiny.

The following 10 questions are first asked…

  1. Is the applicant a zealous Kingdom publisher?
  2. Does he care well for his responsibilities?
  3. Does he enjoy and promote good relations with others?
  4. Does he demonstrate a proper view toward people of other cultures?
  5. Does he cooperate with the body of elders?
  6. (a) Does he demonstrate a willingness to approach people in different public settings in order to share the good news? (b) Does he demonstrate discernment when doing so?
  7. (a) If the applicant has been disfellowshipped or disassociated in the past, was he reinstated within the past five years? (b) If so, when?
  8. Has he been reproved by a judicial committee in the last three years? When? Date restrictions lifted:…
  9. Is he now of good moral standing and habits?
  10. Do you recommend that he be trained for this special public witnessing program?
Witnesses who want to stand beside literature carts need to admit to any judicial action taken against them in the recent past

Witnesses who want to stand beside literature carts need to admit to any judicial action taken against them in the recent past

As you can see, the issue of past sin, whether the individual was deemed repentant or not, is regarded as being of pressing urgency in whether or not he or she qualifies to stand next to a literature cart!

The bottom of the form even includes instructions that it is to be “kept on file,” meaning that the fact that the person has sinned will remain on record for an indefinite period. How does this demonstrate true forgiveness?

But the elders are still not done with you, the applicant, yet.

Each member of the service committee, followed by the circuit overseer (provided they are not close relatives of you) must finally rate your worthiness from A to E on the following table…

elder-ratingIt is as though the Governing Body, who will be ultimately responsible for this ridiculous form, are completely oblivious to the fact that witnessing of any kind is a voluntary activity for which Witnesses receive no payment.

They should feel fortunate to have anyone interested in standing on a street corner publicly promoting their propaganda to begin with. Instead they make Witnesses go through this potentially humiliating application process in order to give of their time freely.

Not surprisingly, the person who sent me this document told me that he knows of it deterring at least one applicant from pursuing the metropolitan witnessing work. I can only say how proud I am of this unknown individual for having some self-respect rather than yielding to such invasive and pedantic questioning.

So next time you see Jehovah’s Witnesses standing proudly beside their literature carts in some bustling metropolis, spare a thought for the indignity they likely suffered to do so.









I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the individual who made this information available.

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77 Responses to So, how were you rated? – Elders rate pioneers from A to E for metropolitan witnessing

  1. gary says:

    Perhaps righteousness is earned.
    Don’t know one woman/man who is without sin.
    I always thought that what pleased God the most was faith. No. It’s got to be a clean record we us and hey don’t argue because we are in authority even over and controlling your sin.

  2. isabella botticelli says:

    And since when does a pioneer, MS or elder fall under “D – Poor (may not qualify), and E – Does not qualify”? Aren’t these people already supposed to have excellent preaching and people skills? Ugh….

  3. imacountrygirl says:

    isabella, It requires more than personality and intelligence, it also requires physical stamina. I think they have to stand instead of sit down. I didn’t see a chair.

    I reckon they are looking for the “salesmanship” in one who can draw people in. That magnetic personality thing. After all, they are counting their time, right? And they must have something to show for it, like placements of literature.

  4. gary says:

    Conscience is a gift of God. Those who control conscience own you.
    CON- science. . Just a thought.x

  5. SDL says:

    Other (more legitimately) “volunteer” organizations frequently require even more stringent filtering processes such as criminal background checks, particularly for people placed in positions of trust.

    Of course instead of making use of these sorts of commonly practised methods of keeping say, children and others in vulnerable positions by being subject to those in power, instead, the WT organization prefers to keep a policy of only raking the low level rank n file through this rather than those promoted to eldership and other high level positions of “power”.

    In my opinion, the form you share is a joke that further ignores the real legal systems in various countries, and just puts on a giant “show” of having taken reasonable steps to appear to have ensured they have good people doing their work.

    Non-checked elders are the ones playing these political games of rating the “large army of women” who are usually the ones doing their “advertising” work.

  6. SDL says:

    Oops, I meant to say instead of using all methods available for keeping children and others safe when vulnerable to those in positions of power…they do their hokey pokey putting only the pioneers through their paces.

    Hopefully ya’ll got the point despite my distracted typing.

  7. SDL says:

    I watched a gaggle of them gather around a literature stand recently. They’re such deviants in a way, hey.

  8. SDL says:

    Joe Blow – Love your point about Peter.

  9. SDL says:

    Gary – I’ve had similar thoughts. And have to agree, if it looks, walks, talks, acts, and quacks, like a con, it’s most likely a con.

  10. Art Fern says:

    Think about it, if anyone could do the rack, who would want to keep knocking on doors? Working the rack has to be the easiest way to “rack” up your hours.

  11. Art Fern says:

    I bet Richard Dawkins would donate a bunch of his paperback books and the Skeptics society might send you other literature if you told him you were going to set up a rack alongside a JW street promotion.

  12. Art Fern says:

    John you have(had) a super head on your shoulders, excellent ideas.

  13. Art Fern says:

    Tiger, I appreciate it

  14. Art Fern says:

    Do you seen the word JW anywhere on the rack? I smell some Amway-type heavenly deception, in avoiding identification until you get a few licks in.

  15. Art Fern says:

    2 million a year?

  16. Art Fern says:

    If conscience is a gift, certainly guilt is our greatest curse.

  17. gary says:

    Conscience is a useful tool for all of us. However controlling guilt is another.

  18. Art Fern says:

    I’ll put my sarcasm on hold for a moment, I am very concerned about pedophiles engaged in this activity. Its like the candy store for perverts parading in front of their face. Of note, someone mentioned background checks, I was a Boy Scout leader maybe 6 years ago and the background check they did involved the standard FBI Clearance procedure White House appointees and other Fed employees are given. I filled out a 10 page form with all the personal info, drug use, criminal arrests and convictions, job history, you can imagine. Had I been arrested/convicted of something, fired from a job and not given all the details I would have been disqualified off the bat and if I had used drugs or committed anything more than a traffic offense, I would have also been dropped. If someone who knew me way back had made any comment implying I had done any of these things or something “kinky” that the police had no clue about the results would have D’Qed me too. And it was a rule you could not be alone with a child, another adult had to be presence, for everything a car ride home etc. The BSA has done this why? Because of lawsuits, the Tower will have to do the same or pay a hell of a lot of cash. By doing the check, the organization can defend itself from those pesky child sex abuse claims because they acted with due diligence.

    • SDL says:

      Art Fern,

      I agree. But real checks, like what you describe, and for those men in power, not just fake checks for mostly female pioneers.

      Yes, pedophiles can be female too, but the vast majority are male so again I underscore the thought that the men need to be rated by more than a boys club calling their heartburn a leaning of holy spirit saying a person is or is not approved for xyz.

  19. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    @Art Fern,
    I feel your words should be written a Holier book than those we currently take as HOLY! (Jeremiah 5:8)!
    Your comment has really inspired me! What wise words “If conscience is a gift, certainly guilt is our greatest curse.”!

  20. JBob says:

    @micha-el–easy, “yes”. part of the elitist ‘tude found throughout “Oz” or “Wonderland”. Someone fresh out of ‘splash down’ would not be eligible for “fulltime” rep, and would still be on probation basis (escorted in field). Likewise, if you faded or got d/f and reinstated to “active”. At one point in history of JW, d/f or discipline actions, disqualified individuals for life from certain roles, but now, in desperation hours, any old libertine can jet off to China missions.

  21. ThePenthouseExperience says:

    If she were wearing a tee-shirt with “JW” on it, that would…

  22. SE says:

    The society know that these people will end up on youtube in the worlds big metropolitan cities.

    These forms are surely a screening program and nothing more. Wow the PR department really has some sway nowadays. I stopped going about 10 years ago and it has become more like a business than I would ever have believed.

  23. Les Hoy says:

    …has anyone wondered why they are now using book stalls into the town streets…. isn’t it obvious that the door to door is not effective now …. and what about Acts which Watchtower badly confuse to mean go door to door is this now not applicable to them ….. or is this new light ?

    well anyway this gives me more opportunity in Love to witness to JW’S as they are sadly lost.

    • Rowland Nelken says:

      Too right, Les Hoy; the JWs are now wide open to being deluged with leaflets and fliers from JWFacts, AAWA, Silent Lambs and individual ex JWs, spreading the truth about JW TRUTH.

  24. KateWild says:

    I have approached the trolleys 3 times so far. I asked them about the Dfing policy and if they though it was scriptural. I spoke to JWs I didn’t know and in time revealed I was Df’d but they all carried on the conversation.

    I also spoke to a JW I did know, he was very kind and happy to enter into a convo with me. I told him I had lost faith in the fact that HS guided my JC.

    He told me about this Metro witnessing. They have to be regular pioneers and have two hours of trolley training, it was news to me that they had to be approved though.

    In their training they are told not to approach anyone, they must wait to be approached. I suppose this is good for the public, but there may be a legal angle too.

    If you want to see an account of one of my visits to the trolley click on the link.

    Thanks Cedars for this article
    Kate xx

  25. Holy Connoli says:

    Thinking of leaving.

    I agree that Sister is Hot. I might have to start doing Metro work and try to work with her!! lol

  26. Holy Connoli says:

    to Chatpal

    Your mom is WAY off in her numbers? If she claims there are 5000 a day coming in and there are 3654 days a year that would mean there are approximately 1,351,000 per year getting baptized?

    I think there are around 7,000,000 Witnesses Worldwide so that would be over a 19% increase per year. Which means they would double every 3.7 years ( the power of 72 ) We all know that is not happening. Maybe she said or meant 500 per day were coming in which would give them a growth of 1.9% per year? That could be possible of course there could be 250 per day leaving or getting DF’s for thinking out loud also!!

  27. Davey Smithy says:

    Hi Cedars!

    It looks like many JW’s are slowly waking up thanks to your website and others similar to your own.


  28. Bad Penny says:

    Physical stamina needed??
    When the pioneers have been used to walking from door to door for some years, it must be very difficult on the old tootsies to stand in the same place for any length of time. I, for one, found it hard to stand at one door for too long!
    They can’t approach people to talk to them either, they must wait for someone to take some sort of initial interest before a conversation can ensue. It must be like waiting for a bus that never comes.
    Jesus said that he came that they might have life and might have it in abundance!
    I can’t think of a worse waste of precious time and precious life than this sad occupation. What poor, misguided people they are to go through these indignities in order to please seven men. Seven MEN who never have to prove their credentials to anyone because they are so squeaky clean and who have appointed themselves as representatives of the Most High.
    Jesus words again say “Whoever exalts himself WILL be humbled. Amen to that!

  29. label licker says:

    Wow! You can be guaranteed that there will be no annointed ones allowed to do the tables since they are “mentally and emotionally unbalanced” in the head according to their watchtower 8/11.

    • Holy Connoli says:

      My wife is still a Pioneer and I asked her about the rating system and she claims she has never heard of it ?
      Is this a “secret” rating that the elders do or the Society does thru the C.O? Is it something they do everywhere
      or they just rate them in the USA? I know a JW in Sweden and he says he does the Metro work and he is not a pioneer? BTW, I call it pushing the apple cart. I remember years ago when I was a JW a C.O. used to tell us that we need to approach people and offer them the literature bc we don’t want to look like a cigar store Indian and just stand there? Now they say they should not approach people but let the people approach them? Sounds like another Flip Flop Idea.

  30. Excelsior says:

    Kate Wild,

    Nice to have a post from you, dear lady.

    I have listened to your RI meeting on YouTube and that idiot with the Liverpudlian accent still haunts my memory. What a bunch of gits they are.

    I hope that the process to rescue your son from your ex husband is professing in your favour.

    I am not religious anymore, so I won’t pray for you, but you and many other decent, lovely people like you are in my thoughts.

    Peace be with you


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