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.

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

  • May 17, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Do you need to be a pioneer to “metropolitan witness”? I’m sure I’ve seen ordinary Witnesses doing it. Maybe they were auxiliary pioneering at the time.

    This is just yet another way to divide the congregation, making certain ones feel “special”, and the rest that they need to “strive” more so they can be special too.

    • May 17, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Apparently so. I have to say, it was news to me too. I just assumed any Witness could stand by a literature cart. But my source for this information told me it was pretty much just for pioneers, and indeed the July 2013 KM says the following when first announcing the new approach…

      “In view of the initiative’s success, it is now being expanded worldwide to other densely populated metropolitan areas… Regular and special pioneers are generally used, although in some places auxiliary pioneers also have a share in the work.”

  • May 17, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Is it possible I wonders if a person might qualify to be baptised as a Dedicated, Minister of God and a Disciple of Jesus Christ and yet NOT be qualified to act as a Voluntary, Unpaid, Non-Representative Publisher for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society??

  • May 17, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Well obviously they’re following the scriptural principle found right in the bible in the book of absolutely nowhere. This one will warrant a blog post from myself in the near future as well. Thanks John, and thanks to that anonymous person who sent it in. They are obviously crumbling from the inside, little by little.

  • May 17, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Reminds me of a role playing game where characters have stats attached to them. This is so weird! What’s so special about standing next to a cart and to people about your religion? How is it any different than the door to door preaching work? Leave to the Watchtower to create a false sense of specialness in their members. Oy vey!

  • May 17, 2014 at 9:11 am

    I am still waiting for these carts to appear in our city. Thanks for this interesting inside information.

    I look forward to meeting some of these who are approved for this urgent work (of standing silently by, waiting for Watchtower propaganda to speak for God). There are not even any bibles displayed on the rack!

  • May 17, 2014 at 9:24 am

    I guess Jesus forgot to ban Peter from addressing the crowd at Pentecost. He deserved at least a 6 month ban and a year of restrictions.
    No wonder JWs are so depressed. Even when when you are repentant, you are not forgiven. You still have it held over your head 3-5 years later.

  • May 17, 2014 at 9:32 am

    P.S. If anyone sees these carts and wants some anti-Witness info to hand out, visit jwvictims.org and click on flyers & publications at the top. There’s one to give to Witnesses and one for non-JWs. I’d love to see more people standing right next to the carts and sharing the truth about the truth. (Hope it’s okay to share that page.)

  • May 17, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I wonder what they call this? It used to be going on the doors. Is this doing the Met? It is a farce. Has anyone (other than exJW’s) approached these stalls and spoken to any of the A-D’s? I wonder how they are keeping this data and whether they have notified Data Protection Agency about what they are documenting?

  • May 17, 2014 at 10:57 am

    how many of you had elders who know that much about
    you in the first place? none of the ones where i ever went would know how to answer those questions since none of them even knew where i lives let alone what i did.
    so for me it would be yes for all, 7 is no, [but my publisher record went Missing] now if i was not very attractive, how would they rate me to keep me off he street?
    and really guys, we all know who you want standing by the carts, pretty young women. admit it. so how do they get out of letting poor little grandma bag lady with the perfect record, stand out on the street gawking and squinting at every passer by dressed in her belly enhansing skirt and bare vein ridden legs? oh PLEASE ,pants for all!!!!

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:06 am

    ◾Are you now of good moral standing and habits?
    “Well I DID molest little Sally in the back room last week… but nobody will beleive her anyway! So, I think I’m good.” *Writes yes*

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I know exactly why this scrutiny of applicants is done. They are worried about Watchtower image. If someone was disfellowshipped for something scandalous such as, paying for prostitutes or dealing drugs, this would publicly display the “sinner” to more people, thus perhaps damaging the image. Of course there could care less about the damage done to many children in the sexual abuse scandals. Make no sense to me….

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Maybe nobody in your area has yet received an “A” rating, LOL!

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Once again only special people are given privileges. Wow Jesus Christ wash the feet of his Disciples. But yet only special ones can do this type of preaching work. Since I have heard all of the wonderful experiences from this type of work, shouldn’t even the lowly publisher be allow to do this type of work. It would be encouraging to these one correct? As far as sins Mark 3:28 “I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are.” I keep thinking of King David when I see these things, I mean he suffered the consequence for his sins, but no were do we see Jehovah, constantly bringing up David past sins. After all of the sins he committed the only reason he could not build God’s house was because he was a warrior not because of his past sins. People sins are always called to mine when a person is a JW. I wonder why these same questions are not ask when it comes to cleaning the Halls, going regular door to door, mowing the grass or other so called lowly task. Yelp there is most definitely a class system in the org. If you are not an Elder, Pioneer, MS, CO, Missionary or some other title but publisher you are in the lower class.

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I live in Las Vegas and I never see the witnesses here. Maybe they will be down on the Las Vegas strip with this standing next to the people handing out adult entertainment magazines and cards with scantily clad women on them.

    I do advertising in my company, and expect a response rate of 1% on any ad I place. If the JWs spends over one Billion hours in the ministry and places an average of a minimum of 2 pieces of literature per hour (tracts mags etc) they should expect an interest level of a minimum of 20,000,000 people contacting them and a growth or close rate of a minimum of 10% or 2,000,000 new publishers each year. They are so full of crap they are way less than that.

    Make no mistake about it, they know x amount of literature given to the public = y amount of new publishers. They are a sales organization like no other. If the question is simply one of morality, why ask how well pioneers do with people of other cultures and are they zealous? Simple, if you are a rockstar magazine placer (sales person) then likely the GB will ignore the other things. They have a new way of getting more mags out they want their best salespeople putting them in the most hands and getting people to read them.

    As for the indignity, WT sucks! always have always will! Playing with the emotions of sincere people only proves Darwins theory of survival of the fittest. It is a basic lesson in life. Never hand your powers of reason or emotions over to someone else to do with as they please. We as humanity have the power for great change, but religion has not aided us in any way toward that end. It has used guilt, labeling mistakes as sins, fear, Armagedon, God’s anger and Hell. It has not appealed to peoples powers of reason nor has it contributed to science, better health or the arts. It has sought to impede all those things. The issue is much larger than the JWs and will take a long time for governments to stop using religion as a tool to corrall the masses in a predictable pen.

    On a side note, took my son to a minor league baseball game. He was so bored by the 3rd inning we were at the snack stand for our 4th time. By the 5th inning we were on our way to the car and that’s when it hit me. The referees wouldn’t be chastising me on Sunday for leaving early nor did anyone else in the stands care that I left.

    WARNING!!! JW assemblies up ahead, everyone else around you is there to police whether or not you are in your seat on time.

    Symptoms of being a JW assembly attendee

    1. extreme boredom
    2. bloating from eating cured meats
    3. Apples from the hotel breakfast in your lunch sack
    4. Desire to go to the bathroom more than usual
    5. Finding a stinky bathroom as a good place for a conversation (during the session)
    6. The extreme urge to do menial tasks so you can get out of your seat
    7. Having a long weekend off and wishing it was Sunday afternoon on Friday morning
    8. Feelings of pride for writing down the endless dribble flowing from the platform. Notes you will never read again.
    9. Can’t wait to hear from the Bethel speaker because something important will be announced and you will give the compulsory clap to every time they pause or pretend something is important.

    Congrats to all who are Apostates, your summer is yours to take a real vacation!!!!

  • May 17, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    And yet, in the Candace Conti trial the Jehovahs Witnesses legal representative stood up in court and stated under oath:
    “it is a personal ministry, not a required congregation function or activity”; and:
    “The ministry of Jehovahs Witnesses is a personal ministry motivated by love of God and neighbour, and is not done on behalf of Watchtower or any congregation of Jehovahs Witnesses” (page 16 of the North Freemont Congregation of Jehovahs Witnesses defence).
    If it is not done on behalf of the Watchtower, and is merely a personal ministry, what right do they have to solicit applications that can be accepted or rejected against a set of Watchtower criteria?
    Surely they weren’t lying under oath in the Candace Conti case? Were they?

  • May 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Just a quickie:

    Thanks for this incredible insight, John! Amazing to what lengths they are capable of going.

    I’ve got one slight correction, though: The July 2013 KM differentiates between the metropolitan thingy and public witnessing organized locally, which according to said KM is open for publishers as well.

    Now, that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if publishers had to fill out this form, too.

    • May 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks for that correction Misha, I’ll make some edits tomorrow! :)

    • May 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Adjustments made, thanks again Misha! ;)

  • May 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    To Louise Goode

    By the way congrats to you for predicting demise of the latest GB member G.P. two months before it happened.

    Could not let that slip by without mentioning!

  • May 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    This is ridiculous! This is not Christian behaviour but perfect marketing strategy

  • May 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just ask the question: Are you a pedophile? So John, if we see a JW magazine stand we know that the folks manning it are as clean as the driven snow, while also being the pros from Dover.

  • May 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Tiger, ya gotta stop holding back, what do you really think?

  • May 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    So many leaks to ‘apostates’ from those still inside the cult. It is, hopefully, crumbling fast.

  • May 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    @ Art,

    What I really think is……..

    consider my response a facebook like to your comment

  • May 17, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I saw a couple of witnesses doing this metropolitan public witnessing in the train station a few weeks ago. Based upon what I observed, the cart didn’t seem to catch many people’s attention. Out of the many passersby in this very busy downtown train station, only one individual stopped to take a look at the mobile advertisement and was given a magazine by the pioneer. As was already mentioned, there were no Bibles to be seen on the cart and the pioneers seem to be very stingy when it comes to the Bible Teach publication. They rarely offer these to individuals.

  • May 17, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    No comment. For once, I’m speechless…

    BTW John, your eyes look pretty good to be a newborn’s dad!

  • May 17, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    So much of being a witness seems to be just about appearances. People can smell insincerity a mile away.

  • May 17, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    “People can smell insincerity a mile away.”

    You reckon because it’s airborn?

    I’m sorry….I just could not stop myself.

    Can I borrow that phrase from ya for a while?

  • May 17, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Make that “Airborne”. It sorta loses something when you misspell the main word. My bad.

  • May 17, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    This could be very positive and a great opportunity. Standing in the street, as opposed to door knocking, the JWs are much more open to anti Witnessing. Fliers from AAWA, this site, Silent Lambs, JWFacts and any ex JW exposé info. can be delivered direct to the street sales force of JW poison.

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Why a congregation publisher 75 years old,baptized 50 years ago, in good standing in the congregation has to fill an application and be approved by the elders in order to auxiliary pioneer for 30 hours next month. Is he not already approved since he is going from door to door for the last 50 years? I wonder what the elders are approving every time this individual applies to auxiliary pioneer. Is this individual using his brain at all?

  • May 18, 2014 at 1:02 am

    SO VERY TRUE..SISTER’S JUDGE OTHERS BY NAME BRAND DRESSES..SHOES..ECT..I had always thought serving God was for him.SO mutch compition in J.W org

    Yes..comp over what sister or brother has the best..so stupid..I thoight loving GOD wasn’t about money..not with JW..seen this all my life..so glad to be out

  • May 18, 2014 at 1:56 am

    I want to do trolley witnessing with the sister that is dressed in the black top and dress with the long brown hair and wearing the scarf, she is hot. Sweet heart I will fill out any form if I can work with you. Hey I’m just been honest.

  • May 18, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Thiss has everything to do with legal reasons.
    The legal department is in charge.

  • May 18, 2014 at 2:23 am

    “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” “The Gods must be crazy”!!

    As “sheep” are animals and Jehovah is a god, let us replace words with their equivalent, the result is amusing:

    “All ‘OTHER SHEEP’ are equal, but some ‘OTHER SHEEP’ are more equal than others.” “JEHOVAH must be crazy”!!

    Am I getting crazy, too? is this written on the form? “Please note that completing this application is not a guarantee that you will be approved to participate in this special public witnessing program.”!!

  • May 18, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Can we rate how the Elders how perform as human beings, they don’t deserve the title of Shepherd because most don’t care if the Sheep get eaten by the Wolf or get lost. It’s so common now, it’s a fact most JWs are more lonely, feel betrayed and lost because they are broke and no sign of the End is near.

    Is it possible to compare the Watchtower to Nigeria’s “Boko Ha-ram” insane radical Islamic Cult? “Boko-Ha-ram” means “Western Education is a Sin”, does that sound like something the Governing Body would get behind?

    The Governing Body’s member Anthony Morris and his constant attacks against Western Education make’s him a friend of Boko Haram, their goals are similar in keep their followers without a education and dependent on the views of a few crazy leaders. Think about it, how else can they get people to push those “Honey Carts” , not talk to anyone for days and feel they are putting the Master’s riches to work. Sitting in front of a cart would be like burying your “Talent” in the sand, I can’t see Jesus Christ pleased they allowed themselves to be so deceived, what does the Watchtower do besides destroy people’s families and lives?

  • May 18, 2014 at 5:18 am

    my mom claims that at her recent one day assembly they anounced that there are 5000 a day coming in.
    a ‘grand’ increase.
    she thought that was great.
    she doesnt know how many are leaving.
    do the math. from when the society started keeping track,100 years? divide by years months and days, how many per day worldwide . how many of those have been inactive for decades?
    i say, mom, there are many religions who dont ‘preach’, and their numbers dwarf the jws,[even if those are also fixed by counting baptised babies] how do they get members?
    just like in jesus day, people go to a temple[church] and listen, if they like what they hear and how they are treated, they stay, if not they move on. until they find someone whom they agree with.
    nothing has changed has it?

  • May 18, 2014 at 7:07 am

    They are becoming like pharisees! Only the best is qualified to do things. That sure helps the lowly ones be interested in the preaching work which means more depression setting in striving to be perfect.
    It is them that are ‘mentally diseased’…… not us.

  • May 18, 2014 at 9:09 am

    The watchtower society is in a frantic mode to get out all they are printing in order for one thing MONEY Period!!!!!!!
    If I lived near a town where they set one up I would obtain the necessary permits to erect a similar board with one simple thing for the folks to do, well two I would say.
    First I would make a large sign that says GOOGLE with
    The origin and history of Jehovahs witnesses highlighted in a search box window. I would smile as passer byers looked at the sign and if they wanted to engage in conversation I would simply tell them it is best to make a unbiased search of this religion before they ever got involved. I would point out it really is no different then anything else that we do with Google when researching or investigating something or someone.
    Second I would refer them to jwsurvey.org for Clear, Practical and researched subjects involving the happenings of this religion.
    And of course I would not require any donations for my information. As the bible says “You Received free so give Free”
    Thank You for providing great inside information. I love that you have a mole on the inside!!!

  • May 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Some are saying that the A-E system will be used to replaced DFing. As in, people who are C or lower will be treated as bad associates. Some seem to believe this is a way to get around problems that DFing may be causing them in other countries, but this sounded a little far fetched to me. Just wondering if you heard anything like this? The Society is getting more and more brazen in it’s creepiness, I suppose.

  • May 18, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    How much personality and intelligence must a person have to sit there like a frog on a log – and do nothing all day?

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