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The Mess in Norway

Another mess is taking place. This time in Norway. A mother and her child are on the receiving end of a custody battle. The workers in the area are endorsing the separation of the child from his mother. Read on:

May 6, 2002

Quite a number have asked for a short description of our recent worries here, regarding the unhuman and extremely unchristian (to say the least), treatment of our dear friends Astrid (Katle) and Grant Barnato have been subjected to in Norway. I will try and give a little account as to how it seems to me.

Even before the present mess, Astrid, as a single unmarried mother in a major professing family, as some could understand, faced condemnation by many in the fellowship - but kept true to God in spite of it all. This last December, when she fell in love with Grant, who after considerable number of years in the work (in South America), was rejected, expelled and defined by workers internationally, as unfit to be amongst the "worthy people," her family really blew their top. Strangely enough, in the ensuing tumult, the family (including a sister in the work) seemed to gather together the political clout to have her committed to a mental hospital for a short period of time - until the legal system caught up with it, and forced her release. Unfortunately this period in a closed mental institution gave her "tormenters" the basis to apply for, and arrange temporary custody of her 2 year old child, and now they all refuse her access to him. They feel she is a "bad influence!!"

Seems like the workers in Scandinavia seem to support her family in these ugly things. I can't understand it. The propaganda flow is extreme. Even we, who are "out of the fellowship," hear it from every direction, 90% is complete untruth, the other 10% is professional contortion of truth. Lily called us on the phone a while back and asked us to regard Grant as insane!!

Ordinary legal procedures traditionally work slowly in these countries, so the present legal battle is to declare the previous custody decision (which revoked her legal parental rights), as illegal. If this goes through, she will gain immediate access to her son again. Her lawyers seem to believe that her case is extremely strong in this regard. (The time frame for a decision now is a matter of weeks). As most know legal battles are messy things, but it is the only option open for Astrid to regain access to her son. Fortunately, she has very good lawyers and they seem to enjoy working on a case they really believe in.

In this, it is important to remember she is not a little girl - she is in her late 30's and with a respected profession (dentist) as well as her own home and business (which is being sold to cover legal costs). There is nothing wrong with her mental health or her thinking capacity - she does have some rather frayed nerves - but who wouldn't in this situation? Fortunately, since she married Grant (which she did directly after release from the hospital) they have their mutual love for each other, to give them strength.

I have briefly given the story as I understand it - you will understand that the emotional tumult, on both sides, has not been less. I would like to ask those who are parents, to try and imagine the feeling we would have, if we were subjected to this kind of situation with our little children. What would you think if it was you? We have appreciated having both Grant and Astrid in our vicinity and can guarantee that we value them both very much and have great admiration for, especially Astrid's, emotional strength, as she goes through some of the most inhuman treatment possible, instigated by her family and justified by the man-made religious ideas that she had previously put her trust in.

We were told yesterday in a visit with Astrid, that her sister in the work has asked her to divorce her husband and commit herself to a mental institution as conditions for regaining custody of her 2-year-old child. Is it a wonder her nerves are frayed? Fortunately, Grant has recently been granted a residence visa in Sweden so has been able to dodge the efforts of Astrid's family and their political influence to get him expelled from the country. Grant has apparently been declared by the workers (with Lily as their mouthpiece) as unwelcome in all the friends' homes in all of Norway. Amazing, isn't it, in a fellowship that has the gall to profess love for their fellow man! The other Barnatos here in Sweden have also been told to not come to meetings!! Talk about ugliness!

Edgar Massey

The following books were written by people who escaped the 2x2 church!
Elizabeth was born and raised in a nameless and secretive worldwide cult that claims exclusive origin from the New Testament apostolic ministry and blatantly describes all other churches as 'false'. A fourth generation member, she professed faith at the age of sixteen and fully intended to remain there, even when she discovered that the system she believed in was based on a lie. A love story both human and divine, a journey from spiritual bondage to freedom in Christ; this confronting and deeply personal account gives an inside perspective into the mindset of cult members, and reveals the fear and trauma associated with being forced to investigate your own beliefs even if it could mean destroying the very foundations of everything you believe.

The author, Elizabeth Coleman, is one of our moderators at the TLC Forum!
A look inside a worldwide, supposedly nameless religion that meets in homes and rented venues, yet is almost unknown even to many friends and relatives of its members. This book collects accounts of the varied experiences from many former members. Although it has managed to elude public attention for most of its history, this group has been known by various names, both officially taken and nicknames, that include: Two by Twos, the Testimony of Jesus, Meetings in the home, Assemblies of Christians, Christian Conventions, The Truth, the Workers and Friends, the No-name church, the Way, Blackstockings, Die Namelosen, Kristna i Sverige, Non-denominational meetings, Gospel meetings, Les Anonymes, Cooneyites, etc. Revised and expanded second edition.
They meet in homes and in rented halls, presided over by itinerant preachers known as "Workers." This religious fellowship usually goes under the names listed above, although its members vigorously deny that the group bears any name. As to its origins, the group positions itself as being a direct continuation of "the New Testament Church." And even though they deny having any organizational structure, the activities of this nameless sect are world-wide in scope.

It is often very difficult for the outsider to gain any concrete knowledge of this group's doctrine, structure, or history. Reinventing the Truth examines these issues, focusing on the historical explanations the group has offered for its origins.
This secretive group has been called by various names over the years: The Two-by-Twos, White Mice, Black Stockings, Pilgrims, The Meeting, The Workers, The Truth, the Secret Sect, Die Namenlosen, Les Anonymes and many others. But they claim no name of their own. Outside of the group, little has been known of the ways and the diverse belief found among believers in this homespun religion. Here is a book that exposes the origins and the unwritten traditions of the Two-by-Twos. The purpose of this book is to summarize the teachings of this religious group in order to encourage people to draw nearer to and obey God. It is an attempt to bring to light what the workers have tried to hide from the public for over a century. These are doctrines and behaviors that have been observed and learned by an ex-member whose family has been part of the group for five generations, since the founding of the religion in the late 1890s.
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Any church which bases its origin on a LIE — or conceals its history in a cover-up — has no business calling itself the "TRUTH."