16 Jan 01 Thanks for your post _____. It lifted me up and reminded me of how very fortunate I am. I too remember those Bible studies where you flounder around trying to fit the scripture into the 2x2 box. I got so weary of doing that I finally bought an NIV Study Bible and began to read it "outside the box". What a scary thing! I kept finding scripture that contradicted what I had been taught all my life in the 2x2 church which led me to a place of honesty with myself and with God. It all boils down to this: Are you going to believe the workers or are you going to believe what it says in the Bible because they are not the same. (I once asked this question of a professing family member and they unhesitatingly chose the workers.) I am not suggesting that nothing the workers say is true but I am saying that what they teach about salvation, who Christ is, and the structure of the New Testament church is not even close to what the Bible teaches. I love to read scripture now, it seems new and refreshing when I can just believe His word and not work so hard to get it to make sense in the 2x2 context. Joyfully, _______
If you've grasped the concept of Salvation by God's Grace you no doubt have a relationship with Jesus Christ. On the other hand, if you are struggling to be "good enough" you are missing an important ingredient!
If you are following the rules (even the unwritten, silent rules) and you are still feeling sick at heart, heavy in spirit, it is no wonder! January 7, 2001
Having opened my eyes to the reality of grace vs. legalism, I have left behind years of closed-mindedness. This process has created tension, I won't deny that, but equally it has brought a quality of Christian peace within that I never experienced while attending 2x2 meetings. We may live free BECAUSE of the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, not in order TO EARN any merit before God's eyes. That is the difference between GRACE and LEGALISM. (Legalism is the little rules and requirements set forth by men in order to appear "more professing.") Ask yourself if you are saved by the blood of the Lamb. If the answer is "I don't know yet," then you are living under legalism. Christ has already died for the sins of the world. If that is not enough to save you, then His death on the cross has become of no effect for you. January 14, 2001
There is a myth among the 2x2 that ex's think they are free to go live lives of sin. But that's not true. Romans 6:14-15. "for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, becuse we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."
When we are out from under the law (rules) and instead under God's Grace we are bound to Christ, He is our Master, and He gives us power to do good rather than evil. Janurary 19, 2001
There is no definitive gospel of the workers. From my experience, the majority of workers preached the necessity of the meetings in the home and the workers' ministry. True, some have preached things about Jesus, such as the virgin birth, the crucifixion, and the resurrection. Yet, any of these things is at best equal to the importance of the ministry and the meetings. Such things as the grace of God and who Jesus was and is really are not important in the professing experience, yet they too are brought into some workers' preaching. Again, though, there is no definitive workers' position on these things. The most important thing is "go to meeting". Dec 31/00 Greg Lee
I'm sick of sitting through meeting after meeting of self-righteous boasting ("we're the only church with unity". . .ever hear that before? Or how about this one: "No other church has a spirit of unity within it.") It's so interesting that the "friends" are so knowledgeable about all other churches yet when you ask them what they believe they start to stutter. 31 Dec 00
God has given us the path to Heaven. It is Jesus Christ, who said "I am the way. No man cometh unto the Father, but through me." Jesus did NOT say "No man cometh unto the Father, but through me and the workers." 31 Dec 00
Nov 27/00 God does not, and never will, belong to a specific group of people. No one group has the power to claim sole ownership of God. No one church can handicap God's desire to work with ALL of mankind. No one person can claim that God will never perform His work within the heart of anyone not attending 2x2 meetings. The 2x2 workers think they are the sole mediators between God and mankind. Think upon that conceited notion and ponder the meaning. Does God even want to be restricted by 2x2 ministers from performing His works in those who attend other churches? Does God even need the 2x2 ministry, or any specific ministry, to do His work? Will the 2x2 ministers ever learn that God loves ALL the world, and that whosoever believeth on Christ shall have everlasting life. Pardon me while I quietly suggest to the workers that they do not control God, contrary to their holier-than-thou beliefs. There can be no monopoly on the power of God. His power extends beyond the realm of human understanding. To suggest that only one group of ministers is capable of bringing God to the world rings of pure boasting, conceit, self-righteous speech-making, and malice. So, workers, it would be very Christian of you to deny all claims to your self-indulgent God monopoly and let God be as He will be (Before Abraham was, I am). There is no mandate listed within the New Testament for the apostles to eschew others who seek the Gospel. Did Christ not rebuke his disciples when they heard another exclaiming the truth? On the contrary, He told them to let well enough alone, for if others are not against God, they are for God. However, the workers have sadly taken the other path. For 103 years, they have denied the Christianity taking place around them in abundance! Instead they refer to that as "worldly churches led by false preachers leading their blind flocks into the ditch." Well, I suppose it takes one to know one. The "God monopoly" will expire. The question that remains is, when will the workers realize they do not have a monopoly on God? When, or how, will it be brought to their attention? Will they finally realize it after attrition shrinks their already dwindling congregations? Or will they reverse course and declare a non-monopoly based upon a national overseer's latest whim? Any worker who claims non-monopoly will lose face with his peers and therefore lose position and consequently power. Any worker who questions the status quo will certainly face demotion within the non-hierarchical hierarchy. How sad for them. The Quiet Lurker
I was in the work for over 10 years. When I left I was given $200! I was no longer "worthy" of association by the people that had held me in such high esteem. Needless to say, I have not been in a meeting for over 8 years..I am now happily married with two children. I still struggle with anger over having given myself to something that I had felt was "truth"..and then to have the very thing turn its back on me when I needed help.. I have been glad to read so much on this board that is helping me to know that it is okay to feel anger about these things. - Karen September 2000 (Please feel free to post my response anywhere you would like.)
August 8, 2000
Has anyone ever experienced a conversation among the friends regarding spiritual matters? It seems to be a rare thing. Bible verses and so on are quoted during testimony in meeting, and prayers are said during meeting, but spiritual things seem to be rarely discussed outside meeting. Instead there is either silence after meeting, or people talk about which workers are going to be coming into the region, or which workers are traveling, or the latest medical operation so-and-so had, or who died. It is like a light switch is flipped after the last hymn and you are in a different mode. It is tough to learn anything in the truth, except how you are supposed to dress and behave, and what is off limits to professing people, and how you are going to lose out (go to hell) if you don't follow these unwritten regulations. In fact if you do try to learn anything spiritual or anything about the history of the truth, then you are immediately labeled as having a bad spirit. These are some of the symptoms of mind control. Oh yes, you're free to leave whenever you wish. But that's not quite so easy to do because it's been pounded into your head from day one that all those outside the truth are going to hell. I pity the souls who are now struggling to escape the grasp of this so-called religion that teaches everyone outside it's doors is going to hell. But you can find the courage to break free. God will give you the courage if you ask Him sincerely. You must let go of everything you now trust in, including your fears, and just trust God. And one day, you will discover the real meaning of the phrase, "The truth shall set you free." You will discover that what the workers are teaching is not the truth at all.
>>I wonder if I am alone in my experience of never having felt happy or joyous serving the Lord when I went to meetings?<<
No, you sure are not. People who leave it often comment after getting out that they were miserable while professing. Lots of exes had the mistaken impression while they were attending meetings that THEY were the only one who didn't have 'the revelation,' the peace and the whatever else everyone was supposed to have. As the years go on many people get more and more down in the dumps thinking IT IS THEIR FAULT for having these feelings even though they keep smiling on the outside; attending all the meetings and SEEMING like they are happy. They see themselves as failures even though others have no clue they feel this way. "If only I could be better. If only I were more willing." They fail to see their focus should NOT be on THEMSELVES….. Our focus needs to be on Christ. The 2x2 system has us looking at OURSELVES and the sinful people we are. To be happy we need to focus on Christ and God's Grace. Our sin has been taken care of at the cross and we will continue to feel terrible about "our service" until such time as we STOP looking at what WE are trying to do and look instead at what Christ has ALREADY done for us. Eph. 2:8,9 Sandi Aug 4/00
Friday, July 07, 2000 Subject: New to the list. Hello, I found this List two or three months ago through the VOT site. I was trying to find out a way, some information, on the workers sect to share with my professing parents. When I found VOT and started reading other ex-2x2's experiences I could almost say that I was reading my very own experience. I was elated, and shocked with unbelief, because the workers lead you to believe that they are such a small group with no associations of any kind; that they are such a small group that always meet in homes and therefore there is no record of them with the government, because of their no-name status. I had never before imagined that there would be web sites on this sect, chat rooms, even books written about it! So far, I haven't read any of them, but I'm anxious to start. My name is Gloria Sjol, from the Seattle area. I am a third generation raised in the 2x2 belief system in Mexico. My parents came to know the workers when I was 8 or 9 years old. At the time, my grandfather was the only professing member of the family, then my parents professed, then several of my mother's relatives. I professed at age 12, under the quiet, unspoken, pressure from my mother, and believing it was the right thing to do, or else I'd be damned for hell. I still have my very first King James Version Bible signed by my father, and the late Clarence Anderson. Growing up in the 2x2's was hard for me, I only came to realize in the last few years, how hard it was, by years and years of repressed emotions, low self-esteem, and depression. I don't know how hard it was for my siblings, who also professed, since we've never talked about it openly. Reading about other people's experiences was all too familiar: 'I lost my childhood to the 2x2's', 'I grew up as an unfit teenager', etc. My siblings and I as kids, then teenagers, were not allowed to have friendships outside of meetings, but there were no other kids in meeting! As a kid one pretty much wants to do what our parents tell us to do, because you assume they know best. As teenagers, you are getting a mind of your own and you start asking yourself if all this is right. Why on earth would anyone want a teenager to wear outdated fashions and old grandma's hairdos? You can't wear slacks, jeans or shorts. For me, going to movies was over at 9 years old, and with that, gone was the circus, playing with the neighborhood kids, and feeling unfit began to set in. I always was embarrassed to answer my friends questions about my favorite tv shows, I never had any, we didn't have a tv. Those of you who have grown up in the 2x2's know how restrictive that can be to the emotional developing of a child. We had meI left the 2x2's at 17 years old and never went back. A few years after that, by God's grace and mercy, I found a non-denominational church where I've grown in my Christian walk ever since. One of my siblings and two nephews attend the same church as I do now. Both of my parents are still involved in that sect. The main purpose of finding information on the workers sect for me is to show my parents, and others too, that they are being lied to, that I am not in a cult, that I am not a heathen, as my father says. I am earnestly praying that my parents will come to know the real Truth that is in Jesus not in the workers, and that salvation is for today and not to be decided at the time of death. There is enough proof to show them, and this information is something they can see and they can relate to because it is about people who have found freedom, peace, truth, mercy, love, not obeying and following the workers, but following and obeying our Lord Jesus Christ. My husband and I have talked to my parents many tiI am just so grateful for my salvation through the blood of Christ, whose death on the cross has wiped my sins away, and through whom we can have life, and life everlasting. For the last few months, I've enjoyed reading many of the postings and I have become familiar with some names in the List, but not all of them. EC, JG, DS, CJ, MR., the T's, the F's, JD, JG, I already like all of you! Maybe some day we'll all meet, that would be wonderful. I hope that by sharing my experience in the 2x2's others can come to know salvation as I do now. By the way, does anybody in the List have specific information on the sect's history in Mexico, anything would be greatly appreciated. Saved by the Blood, Gloria Sjol
>I have tried to share my love of Jesus [with my professing friend] and what He has done in my life. No condemnation and no attacks against her belief. In fact no mention of her beliefs, only my love for the Lord. But, no matter what I try to share, the Good News is always ignored and it is quite apparent where I stand in her eyes. When I told her that I would love to be considered a sister-in-Christ to her and to be able to share the things that I love about Christ and the wonderful things he is doing in my life, I was told that I love different things and believe different things.... How could I love different things if I LOVE JESUS, my Lord, with all of my heart as she herself professes to do? Isn't JESUS what Christianity is all about? - Deb 07/00 <
** YES, Deb, Christianity is about Jesus but it is bigger than just being "about Him" - it is accepting salvation by GRACE, believing (by FAITH) that you are saved by His blood that was spilled at Calvary.
My professing family all believes in Jesus, that he is their elder brother, the first worker, the perfect example of how we are to live. They just don't seem to grasp that HE IS GOD come in the flesh and dwelt among us. Real Christians believe He is GOD and that His Grace is sufficient and that the "works" needed for salvation were completed when He said from the cross: "It is finished." ** 07/00
Much has been said of the exiting process that we've all been through. Some of us have handled it differently of course, but exit we did. I would just like to say that those of you who are exiting and are lurking on this list to do one thing. Don't blame God for what some workers or the rank and file of the 2x2's did to you. I think that most all of us can agree that God is a God of love. He's not a God of mind control, or a God of hate. - Evan Wicks April 27, 2000
Many of the friends, when asked if they expect to be going to heaven, answer "I hope so."
This is a VERY typical answer from a 2x2 because the workers have not understood or taught GRACE. They have always stressed the ONLY WAY that all must be IN in order to go to heaven. The Truth Church is legalistic (based on laws/rules) and this creates a people who try to EARN their way into heaven. It cannot be done
It is wonderful that many 2x2s around the world are FINALLY beginning to understand that our salvation is by GRACE. This new knowledge in the 2x2 fellowship is thanks very much in part to the Internet. As a result the workers are ALSO beginning to preach about GRACE. Whether or not they fully comprehend it is another story. I suppose if they did understand it they would no longer suggest that their WAY is the ONLY way since no group affiliation will get us into heaven.
One wonders what will become of their group if and when they STRESS Grace and admit that their group is not the method by which to obtain salvation.
Whatever the workers do, it will be subtle. Their introduction of Grace will be slow so that the friends will believe they always taught GRACE. April 20, 2000
"I can honestly say that since reading VOT, TTT etc and being on the lists, I`ve studied my bible a lot more and have a deeper relationship with God." April 2000 A.F.
Many of us who have left the 2x2s have been amazed at the joy, praise and love from others that you felt when you walked into a "false" church for the first time. We can be happy people and still be Christians. We don't have to behave as if we've been baptized in lemon juice and therefore carry a sour expression the rest of our lives. I recently heard someone say that in a works-based group (which the "Truth" group is) you are running a race you can never win. That describes perfectly the way I felt while I went to meeting. I had such a tired, weary, defeated feeling most of the time. There was seldom a time when you felt rested, refreshed, encouraged and recharged emotionally. But there was the feeling of intense draining of your very life-blood. Trying to be 'good enough' always produces that kind of fruit. When we accept that we are not good enough and can only come through the blood of Jesus -- then we can rest. Love, Joetta Heiser Indiana 21 March 00
We have many wonderful people here in Australia that are still in, great friends of ours that have talked and talked over the issues of grace and exclusivity for years. Some of my dear friends are still there trying to bring "truth" into the "truth." But I came to realise that what is built on lies and deceit can never become truth. Now I do not blame young workers, all were young workers once; full of zeal, knowing nothing else as most are born and raised in the "truth" so cannot really see. And as they get older, and many would no doubt start to understand the error, but what are their options? Can they stand up and say "it is false"? No they can't, where would they go? They would be shunned, nobody would take them in. They have no skills to be able to earn a living so the older ones are stuck and by this time they have all the world trips and adoration of many people, can they throw it away? No. It is very hard for them. Some of these older workers are very well known to me and I have spoken very directly to some of them. They too are trapped in a system. Many of my relatives have been in the work in foreign counties. I know how much they put into it and would have been as young people very zealous, but how do they own up to their error when the penny drops? Yes, I have been like others, pushed for change, tried to get truth, but really, if the exclusive issue is taken out of the doctrine, why would people stay? They mostly stay because of fear; fear that "it just might be the only way." This has always been the subliminal message and it sticks with us. We pray for you and yours, With love, Geoff Schmidt 28 Feb 2000
I went into the BRG (TTT) website. I especially was interested in Eldon Tenniswood’s meeting for young people in CA. in 1982. I was one of those young people there. At the time I was 16. Maybe he held several, but the one I went to was in El Cajon at a high school. I left that night SO DEPRESSED!! Its hard to sit for two hours hearing about everything you were not supposed to do to be saved. While re-reading it from my point of view today-- I am amazed at how ridiculous it all sounds. They did not even want us socializing with each other much!!! I have to say for the hundredth time how thankful I am for the information that has made me able to break from this "un-truth" and to be free from the fear of going to hell. I will never forget the feeling I felt that night as a teenager who wondered--"what ARE we allowed to do?" 6 February 2000 Brenda Lewis
It's not the fact that the 2x2s were started by William Irvine that we are opposed to - it's the fact that we were lied to about it and told that it has gone on continually since Christ. Add to that that it just wasn't an oversight - it was a very deliberate, agreed upon cover-up. I, personally, found that offensive. 28 Jan 99 Robin Teets
The fellowship places too much emphasis on trying to "measure up", and the young especially are injured. What a luxury to be out and be able to just be me! 23 Jan 2000 Cheri Mattison
It may help you to understand why we NEED to "vent " here on the List. When my husband and I left the 2x2's , for 7 years afterwards we put up with the attitude, remarks and general unpleasantness of being exes in amongst families of staunch 2x2's. We had NO outlet for our feelings, and no where to voice them. We had NO contact with other exes because the lack of information at the time left all of us feeling that we were on our own. It was a lonely time. To discover all this (web sites, list etc) was like a breath of fresh air! Here was somewhere we COULD find like minded souls and, yes, let off some of the built up frustration of the past 7 years of silence. I do envy those here who knew about all this support before, and as, they were leaving. And most of us are only talking about our OWN experience when we get angry, annoyed, upset, and vent - it surely is our right to do that? I am now a SURVIVOR and FREE from all that bound me. With love and care for all, Karen Fletcher Jan 15, 2000
You are right about the pain of leaving _______. Being able to share the burden with others who have had the same experience is a godsend, I don't know what I would have done without that support. I have been out 18 months and while it has been the best 18 months of my life in many ways, I still have to periodically seek counselling to deal with the grief and loss of relationships that I held dear. The most awesome thing about it though, is God provides all that we need when we step out in faith. I am ever thankful to him for that. 19/01/00
Yes, there is a lot of pain in the lives of people that were raised in this cult system and have been out for a number of years and are caring a guilt bag on their shoulders because they left the workers only way to heaven system. 13 Jan 2000 Thomas V Schroeder
YOU DON'T EVER HAVE TO APOLOGIZE FOR BEING ANGRY!!! That's a guilt trip that the 2x2s use consistently. Anger is part of the process of recovery - it's a good sign. Robin Teets January 8, 2000
I'm celebrating an anniversary today! Nine years ago today, I went to the Seattle special meeting in fear and trembling and with the prayer on my heart, "Lord, am I hearing You right!?" I left the meetings that afternoon with a peace and a confidence (even while having some sense of the turmoil that would follow!) that God was indeed directing me OUT of the group. Of course, most of you can understand that the "journey" has been pretty rocky in places since that day, but I have never regretted my choice and I would NEVER go back!! The Lord is GOOD!! :-) Jan 13, 2000 Connie Jacobsen
My family and I recently broke free of that web after 20 years; I have seen the damage it causes, and have recently learned of the physical and sexual abuse fostered within and hidden from view. I pray for those yet enslaved, and thank the Lord for his help in freeing us. Jan 13, 2000 Robert Bargmeyer
I'll never forget the very first time I told anyone of the belief of my group. (I was still "in" then, but on my way "out" ) - that it is the Only Right Way. The lady (Baptist by denomination) looked genuinely puzzled, and replied, "But how can that be? When *Jesus* is the Way?" Jan 13, 2000 Jean Dudley
One of the greatest discoveries of my life revolved around dumping all the defunct beliefs of the 2x2 system. It has greatly helped me to understand a far more loving wonderful heavenly father whilst still being able to enjoy many natural things that were not allowed in the 2x2 system and looking back were clearly the precepts of men. Darryl Hand January 8, 2000
One of the most healing things I have learned since leaving the 2x2 is to realize that they are "master manipulators" (even if they don't do it consciously).
The 2x2 THING that bothers me the most is the DECEPTION that was sowed and how it has such terrible fruit to be harvested. What hurts me the most is that thousands have died never knowing the truth of all of this and thousands today do not want to hear the truth about their "truth". For many, they consciously CHOOSE to stay blind rather than have to face the truth and the decisions they have to make once their eyes are opened. They have gotten too comfortable following man instead of following God. I do believe there are some in the 2x2s who have a one-on-one relationship with God, but so many will never even know what that is. That is the real sin. - Jane 3/10/99
I felt that leaving the 2x2s was the same as leaving God. Until finding this list, I never opened my bible for nearly 36 years. Now, I also have to stop myself so I can get something done! This NIV is wonderful! I am even contemplating bible studies. The freedom is quite amazing! - June 9/99
"Anyone with exposure to the 2x2 system knows very well that the most powerful rules are the unwritten ones." 9/99
August 24, 1999 Every time I see a post [like yours] I get tears in my eyes, as I relate over and over again, to each and every experience. Feeling dead inside, and trying to prove to our selves and every one else that we had "life", was an on going experience. I can remember sitting in meetings and looking around at all the sad, discouraged, and what I now feel was so pathetic, countenances, (mine included) and thinking, IS THIS REALLY WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT ???? Never measuring up, never reaching a goal, never getting recognition, for just "being", and always feeling unworthy, disgusted with myself and vowing to try harder, and look better, and be good. About ten minutes out of the meeting the whole cycle repeated itself, and I was NOT better, did not feel worthy of anything, was down cast , rejected, and had a very heavy heart. I had a very heavy heart for over fifty years. It brings me such incredible joy, when we receive posts like yours, and people are getting their eyes opened, realizing that we are NOT lying, that there is life, and many many friends, and a great deal of love, beyond the 2X2 system. Thank you SO VERY MUCH for sharing. You have a whole army of folks behind you, that understand, are willing to listen, support and care, in LOVE. Much love, Marge
August 12, 1999 Thirty years ago the worker, Willie Bryant, decided that there would be a meeting in my home, and he wanted to see me about it. Before he and his young companion arrived I was wondering what the discussion would be like and what questions they would ask to check my qualifications. Bill asked only three questions: What do you think of TV, do you watch TV and would you ever have a TV. He said that since my wife had long hair, wore her dresses long, and "looked Godly", and since we did not have or want a TV, meetings would start there the following week. I was amazed at the superficiality. Not one thought about spirituality, doctrine, harmony in the home, honesty in business dealings, etc. Strictly the "outside of the pot". I came to realize that was what mattered most in the system! - Leigh Townsend, Quebec City, Canada
August 19, 1999 Leigh: Your post wrung a wry chuckle out of me. Nine years ago when we were being considered for the privilege of having a meeting in our home (in Connecticut then), the criteria from Charles Steffen was that we not have a radio or TV in our home. I remember feeling so disappointed that nothing had changed. Since I knew radios had been routinely accepted out west for decades, I had naively hoped that the east had at least come that far. But no. "Jesus" was "still the same" in the east, "yesterday, TODAY and forever," apparently. It never occurred to me to feel resentment at the obvious control issue involved here. So blind I was...oh my. Thank the Lord for deliverance! BTW, We're back from a fantastic trip to Ireland and England! Belated thanks to well wishers from the List before our departure. We were able to visit some wonderful exes in Ireland, and to visit the "cradle" of our infamous cult - County Fermanagh. ____, I will eventually be sending you pictures of Crocknacrieve, "The Impartial Reporter" office and its founder, Weir's store on Baggott Street in Dublin (first home meeting) and the Keswick (England) Convention Centre. We also visited the Faith Mission Bookstore in Belfast but didn't make it to their headquarters in Scotland. With love to all, Jeanie Dudley
August 3, 1999
Thank you for sharing your story. My own story is similar, I was abused as a child by a younger "brother" worker. Unlike your situation, my mother figured out what happened and after a visit from the older worker the offending party quickly left the "work". It seems I was not the only victim. My parents were very supportive and protective, for which I am grateful. As a result I escaped with no real emotional damage. I left the sect a few years later for other reasons, and my abuse is only a footnote to my bio.
Like you I became an agnostic, and remained so for about 10 years. God didn't give up on me and neither did my Baptist wife. I believed there probably was a supreme being of some sort, but I couldn't believe the concept of him I was raised to understand.
One of the problems we B&R's [born and raised's] have is that we were not raised to know a loving, merciful God. It took me quite a while to come to know God as he is understood in most of Christendom. My church (Presbyterian) is a wonderful source of strength and comfort to me. I hope you can find a church that will nourish and protect you. It may be Methodist, Baptist or non-denominational, but there are many loving caring Christians out there. One of the sad ironies of the "truth" is that it drives so many of us so far from God. The problem is with the system, not with God. It took me a long time to figure that out.
I don't know your name, but you will be in my prayers tonight. I can imagine the struggle you are facing, and the pain, fear and confusion that remains. If you would like to visit some more PLEASE feel free to e-mail me. You are not alone!
July 25, 1999
I feel so sorry for so many who are still in the "way", with many doubts, but afraid to really question the basis for their belief. However, don't expect any changes, other than a few cosmetic adjustments to eliminate some of the more ridiculous legalisms. How can they be more honest, give intelligent answers, and work toward solutions? To do so would be admitting that the "way" was wrong from the beginning (1897), and in effect, is just another religion. It would also remove the fear which is the underpinning of the whole system. I, and myriads of others, have looked for solutions. In 20 years of trying, I met with nothing but resistance, stonewalling and innuendo. The philosophy of "destroy the questioner's reputation" is alive and well - and always will be. It can't be otherwise or the "way" could not survive - because it is built on dishonesty, "disinformation" and "de-status-quo". I wish it had been otherwise! Love, Leigh and Claire Townsend
Quebec City, Canada
July 18, 1999 I thought some of you might be interested on an update from the Pacific Northwest (USA). I was just informed that fights and disagreements among workers is nothing new. In fact there were some real "humdingers" between George Walker and Jack Carrol (overseers for the eastern and western parts of the US) in the "olden days". At this time there is a mad scramble to send workers here and there in an effort to "straighten them out" or get them with a stricter more hard-line companion, or way out in the "sticks" where they can do less damage. (As a side note here, I think it is atrocious how they toss the workers around like they were not even human at times, making them live in strange places with strangers and sometimes even have to live intimately and share beds with strangers--as they often do in our area.) This has got to be a huge psychological strain as it is so unnatural. The friends in our area are very well aware of the troubles going on in Alberta. Some just love to talk and talk about it and some of the more old-line folks think it should be shoved under the rug and that it is not of any good value to be discussing these negative things about the Truth (in fact, they are afraid that "outsiders" will get wind of this.) The friends are also aware of all the arguments and discussions about doctrine. They admittedly do not know what they believe (other than the "New Testament ministry" of the church in the home and 2x2 homeless ministers). So they have been instructed that when they are asked about doctrine, they should say "Christ is our only doctrine." Well, I'm sorry to have to tell them, but Christ is a PERSON not a DOCTRINE--and they don't know any more about him then they know about their doctrine (anyway, that is a royal cop-out in my never-to-be-humble opinion.) There is a new schism in the group--the "Ingramites". These are the loyal followers of known abuser, older worker Bob Ingram! They haven't formally separated off from the main group, but the group has given them this title!! Our area is undergoing some upheavals as more and more people are leaving the group. Some are being quite secretive about it, some are doing it openly, and more and more of the people (even if they are staying in) are openly ignoring the workers and ignoring the rules. Most of them KNOW that rules are not going to save anyone, and a lot of people don't care one whit about their social standing or "place" in the group any more, so the workers are losing their grip on them and they are trying to follow God's leading more than the workers. Love to Everyone, Rosalie in Washington
July 25, 1999
It's very scary to me to learn the REAL doctrine of the 2x2's that gets hidden from the people. The workers have a way of distorting their message to <SEEM> as though they are one-directionally focused on Jesus. Rosalie told us that in the northwest the 2x2 people, "have been instructed that when they are asked about doctrine, they should say "Christ is our only doctrine." But isn't is interesting that when the members give their testimony, they, time after time, are "so thankful for the way" and "for the workers who brought us the Gospel." This indicates how far and how much the perceptions of the 2x2 people are severely out of focus in reference to Jesus. Jesus is made <TO FIT INTO> the sermons preached by the workers to satisfy their own end. The 2x2 people therefore get the "Jesus" message and then, transfer into their thinking processes that they are following Jesus. But their testimonies, the part that comes from their hearts, is "thankful for the way and for the workers!!" And it becomes <very> difficult to get them to see the conflict! The convoluted, circuitous messages from the workers <ALL> rounds out in their mind! So we see clearly <WHY> this influence is dangerous and deadly. Joetta reminded us of her experiences with the workers 'unquestioned authority.' "Burn those letters", and "We WILL NOT write anything down because it <might> fall into the wrong hands." If one cannot rise out of the mire of the group thinking, then one has no alternative but to shut up and fall back into the influence of <the> workers and "burn the letters", so to speak. The workers <DON'T> meet the needs of the people, the people are forced into dependency of meeting the workers needs. <IF> "THE WAY" IS the truth according to the workers, then there should be NOTHING to hide and NOTHING to burn and everything to shout from the rooftops and share and rejoice in!!!! BUT.......................................... the people ........remain, sadly............ "so thankful for the workers and for the way!" Because they are made to die, die, and die some more, they are made to feel weak, needing to 'try harder this coming week.".............................and, unhappily, the results of this smothering control............................... doesn't change!!!! They get Jesus tossed into the mix, but their focal point IS, "I'm so very thankful for the workers and for THE WAY!!!!!!"
July 3, 1999 Why did we stay in the Way? Because we were hooked by FEAR AND GUILT! The power they had over us was intense and many times, very confusing. It was impossible to see clearly!!! I only learned of their REAL doctrine upon signing onto the internet and the list. I was shocked to learn that "they" believe the Bible is a DEAD BOOK and brought to life by the workers! I was shocked to learn about Jesus and HIS GIFT OF GRACE! I was shocked to learn that the "way" had an official name! I was shocked to learn that I didn't HAVE to be a 2x2 to go to heaven! I was shocked to learn that OTHERS felt as I did!!! I was shocked to learn that Jesus loved me!!!! I was shocked at the amount of sexual and emotional abuse perpetrated by the workers and quite a few elders of meetings! People tolerate abuse because they are mind-trapped into believing 'IT IS THE <ONLY> WAY TO HEAVEN!! You put up with a lot when you fear you are going to hell. - Cheryle Winberg
July 1, 1999
Welcome to the List,
For all you "newbies " out there - I am Karen Fletcher (nee Duncan) , married to Keith and living in the NE of Scotland with two young children. Both are B&R with family members still very much in the 2x2's - including two worker Aunts of my husband, and a large extended family of 2x2's - many considered "superior saints"! We left the meetings about 9 years ago ( when young and fairly newly married ) after many disappointments and feeling complete failures !! I was also seriously sexually abused while a child growing up in the meetings by two different elders - one a close family member. We intended taking "time out" to re-evaluate the whole thing - and here we are !! Glad to be free of the mind control and lies and deceit!! We struggled along for about 7 years , feeling completely alone in our decision to walk away , absolutely convinced that we had done the right thing , but under continual pressure form the families. While living in Singapore 2 years ago we bought our computer and internet link. Due largely to the curiosity of some 2x2 family members we found the web sites , and hence the list and all here!! It has been like a breath of fresh air after years of stifling silence! There has been more healing here in the last two years than I could ever tell you!!
As far as I am aware , there is great hesitation and fear on the part of 2x2 members in this country to have computers , and even less to have access to the internet and none who admit to lurking here . Up until the last week or so , when _____ and _____ joined us, I was the only active participating Scottish member here!!
I hope your time here is happy and healthy!
With love to all
We have recently left the meetings after 'professing' for many years. We were both in the work. ***** for 10 years and myself for about 4 years (between 1988 and 1997). Our experience is that most young workers would be aware of W. Irvine, that is they would recognize the name, and know that he was a worker 'gone wrong'. However most would not understand or have much knowledge of what actually took place, and older companions (in ********* anyway) would definitely never discuss the issue with the younger ones. I did raise the issue a couple of times when I was in the work, but it was always glossed over and my older companion quickly changed the subject. As for suspecting something wrong, it is so reinforced that the 2x2s are a continuation of the early Christian church that most would not pursue the issue any further. Just our experience for what its worth.
June, 1999 As hurtful as all my family stuff is, I don't BLAME them. I get angry, and sad and sometimes even despair, but I DON'T BLAME THEM. I have been where they are, and I KNOW where they are coming from. If I blame anything, I blame the belief system, which I see as separate from the people. A belief system which was established a century ago, and has been perpetuated by ignorance and fear, and yes, by the spiritual zeal and sincerity of those who were brought up in it, believing it was all it was said to be. Janine Fraser
June, 1999 . . . . . "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7 . . . . I never saw the Love of God until I left because I was living on FEAR. I have since learned that FEAR and WORRY are not attributable to God, but to SATAN. God is not the author of fear, worry or confusion. He repeatedly says in His Word, "fear not", "cast all your cares upon me," etc. The 2x2s do NOT do that. They worry and fear all the time and have the sad face to go with it. If the "joy of the Lord is our strength" then we understand why they always talk about being so "weak" in their testimonies and public praying. Since leaving and getting to know Him I have found TRUE JOY and have His Power operating on my behalf daily. I love II Chron. 16:9 where it says "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him."
May 2, 1999
Good Morning Everyone: This is Sunday morning - now the nicest day of the week for Claire and I. A day in which we can relax, count our blessings, read, meditate, and think about our Saviour. It is a day that has taken on a completely different meaning since we left the 2x2's. Claire and I will be married two years on June 4th. It has been the happiest time of our lives, and the wonderful part has been that we have finally found how to serve God as he wants us to. We no longer are serving the legalisms propounded by William Irvine and company. We are not bitter at the 2x2's. On the contrary, we are so thankful for our deliverance and our new found joy. I find it hard to find words to express the feeling of liberty and freedom that now permeates our lives. Claire and I have been in the 2x2's for a total of 75 years. I was president of a multinational company for many years and had a fairly high profile in the "truth". Our home was a virtual hotel for workers and friends. Seldom were we without company! The workers often came to me for advice and, because of my connections, I was often asked to arrange special "favours" for them. I contributed thousands of dollars to convention grounds and to the work in foreign fields. I was privy to much of the inner-workings and the corruption of this "unorganized" truth. Eventually, the corruption started getting on my nerves. I spoke to some of the workers who were participating in these things. When it was evident that this tactic was ineffective, I went higher up the hierarchy. I was shocked to find that, rather than want to correct the various situations, their aim was to hide it. I was told that regardless of what happened, and even though I was right, the workers had to stick together. I told then that I could no longer condone these actions and that I would no longer arrange "favours". A strange thing happened. Rumours began to circulate about me. I had a wrong spirit, people should be circumspect about visiting me, etc. Nothing ever specific, just vague warnings. But within a year, very few people would speak to me. The shunning had started, and because I was well known, it was right across Canada, and down into the New England states! However, we did not leave the truth because of the shunning, the lies of both friends and workers, the sexual abuse (I was sexually assaulted by Jim Grant, a visiting worker from the UK, when I was a teenager), the financial corruption, workers having affairs with each other (including senior workers), and I could go on. These things can happen in any religion. We left the truth because of doctrine - the doctrine of William Irvine - which is based on works and legalisms, (which are not biblical) rather than on the saving grace of Jesus. We don't discount any group as not being Christian. It is not the group, but rather the heart of each individual which is important. There are true and false workers, as there are true and false people all over the world. However, I know the truth (read 2x2's) will never set us free. Jesus said "The truth will set you free", and it is Jesus that is the Truth and not some form of organized religion. Have a great week. Love in Christ, Leigh and Claire Townsend Quebec City, Canada
May 1999 I have been off the list for some time now, but have recently come back. I first discovered the website and consequently this wonderful list in August of 97. Thereafter ensued the process that was very much like a divorce - the disbelief, the anger, the sense of betrayal, and finally, the return of self. I was one of those who had left the 2x2s and felt absolutely condemned. It was not until that August day that I discovered that the church indeed was man-founded. I signed off the list after several months because I needed time to process and move on to the next stage. I think I am at that stage now and as I have been reading the recent posts, I feel that they have been a real answer and help to me. I felt that the 2x2s had taken God from my life and I have yearned for the spiritual part of me that I used to have. I decided several months ago that I wanted to go to a church, but I didn't know what to do. And I literally couldn't get up the nerve to go. I decided to return to the church I had known as a child - the Methodist - and the church I was in when I professed. I chose Easter Sunday simply because there were 4 services that morning and it gave me 4 times to get my courage up. I made it on the 4th time. It was so hard to keep the 2x2 voice out of my head. How shocking it was to wear a necklace, to see short hair. I felt so out of place. I have gone back each Sunday and have tried to keep the 2x2 voice neutral. And it's actually working. But like someone said earlier, I missed the focus on the scripture and the active role that the friends played. But I would never never go back. And like someone else said - it was mind control still. I think, for me, now the important thing is that I have taken another step forward. I have a peace in my heart that I have not had since 1972. When I got back from that Easter service and my husband greeted me anxiously because he knew what all this meant to me, I fell into his arms and cried saying "I did it". Thank you for what you do and say on this list and for even having it to begin with. ____________
April 1999 >>>We were taught that this way existed since NT times; we were taught that the gospel had to be heard through the workers; we were taught that there was no salvation but through the 2x2 way, we were taught that meetings had to be in the home... workers in pairs ... only the friends "knew" God...no church buildings.... other preachers were hirelings in "false" churches etc........ And yet, the workers and friends now deny that these basics were ever taught. They deny their belief in these assertions. We are now told we "must have misunderstood", that this was never taught; or worse, that we are spreading these lies about the fellowship in an attempt to justify our own failure of spirit. - Ply <<< **Brian was REALLY bothered when he finally realized the line we'd been fed about "from the time of Jesus without any man for a founder." He said to some of those who, from the time he was a young child, had led him to believe that was the truth about the beginning, "But that's what I was taught. Because I trusted the people who told me and I believed them, I've also told other people the same thing. Now I find out it's not even true!?" Of course, the response he got at that time was that we had just misunderstood what they and others had been saying. "Of course God used Irvine at the turn of the century and we've always known that," they said. I told them I didn't find it very honorable, either, for people to choose to use language that was known to mislead people... so, I was no more satisfied with the "misunderstanding" explanation than I was at the thought of an out-and-out lie. Not to mention how tiresome that, "You must have just misunderstood, let me tell you how it REALLY is" line gets, anyway! We were born and raised in the group. We attended 100's of meetings. Most of our family and friends were in the group. Most of our "social" life revolved around the group. We loved the people and we believed "the way" was truly God's way... it was, in fact, pretty much my entire life for the first 36 years of my life. But, we were so dense, that we only misunderstood everything that we thought we knew about the group????? And, isn't it amazing that many others (from all over the world) also have densely misunderstood in precisely the same way??? - Connie Jacobsen**
How often we went to Chugwater, Wyoming convention! We NEVER missed being there for 30 years!! How our lives and focus have changed since then!!!!! NOW, we know that salvation does NOT come only by hearing it from a "homeless minister of the gospel". We know that salvation does not come only as a result of words spoken to us by any man, but because of God's calling and the teaching of the HOLY SPIRIT, the third PERSON of the ONE CREATOR GOD. We no longer can be satisfied to be associated with ANY system containing only man's ideas of what is the "right way". Our hearts are filled with praise to God this morning for TRUTH that sets us free, and for an understanding of WHO that "man of Galilee" really was, and IS. NOW we can proclaim the gospel (which we never knew, nor ever heard from the platform at Chugwater) as defined so clearly in the first four verses of I. Cor. 15. Our salvation today is from ALMIGHTY GOD alone, who came HIMSELF in human flesh (not in the flesh of the workers), but in the flesh of HIS own human temporal body (just as ours). This is precious revelation and comes from THE COMFORTER who has come to this earth as a result of Jesus' promise to send the same. Today we see "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance "at every turn and in the very places we ridiculed and defined as "false" and of "the devil". God is faithful to forgive--we were deceived, and He understands. We have so MUCH peace and joy, and fellowship with others of "like, precious faith". We are very very thankful and PRAISE AND HONOR GOD THIS MORNING. December 9, 1998 Love to all, Bob and Mary Jane Sundin
My sister dropped out of the 2x2 way 25 years ago and she told me you could have knocked her over with a feather when I gave her the web site addresses and mailed her the information packet on the history of the 2x2s a couple of years ago. She said it helped her immensely. She still wore her hair in the 2x2 mode all those years. Got it cut within a few weeks of reading the web sites. Seems much more at ease now. 12/98
(Yeah, better leave my name off. My dad reads all this Internet 2X2 stuff & just gets so depressed if he reads stuff with my name on it. Someday maybe I'll confront him more directly, but so far, he gets too emotional if I bring anything up. I think he would not be able to stand the feelings he would have if he ever allowed himself to realize what he put his family through for the 2x2 way.)
Recently another ex-2x2 asked if I could point to ONE SINGLE issue that helped us make the decision to step out of the system. What we understand NOW is so different from what we understood THEN (2 years ago) that I had to think a bit. When we look back, I would have to say in our case it was the exclusivity (The Only Way) factor. Once we realized that this was just Another Manmade Religion, we began to evaluate for ourselves what we should be doing. What DID we really believe. We had believed so many things that didn't hold up to the scripture. We did so many things just to conform, things we did not in our hearts believe. We pretended to believe things that we really did not live out. It was hypocrisy. It came between us and God and we realized that THIS WAS NOT TRUTH. When the FORM of a religion comes in between us and God,then it is time for serious evaluation of our beliefs.- Van and Karen Brown, 12/98
In retrospect it's easy for me to recall how confused, frustrated and totally ignorant I felt when I realized that I had been worshipping God through a 'system'. I realized the workers weren't taking scripture in context but were twisting and turning it every which way to try to make IT fit THEM. Also when I learned the history of the group -- I was very hurt that I had been lied to, my parents had been lied to, and my grandparents who are all deceased – had also been lied to about the origin of the group. I came to realize that I would not be as upset and confused if it was God I was worshipping – because He is everywhere and I wouldn't have to be IN the group to worship Him. Our whole world seemed to be turning upside down when we started seeing so many of the flaws in the 'perfect way'. I don't believe there was a facet of our life that wasn't affected by our leaving the group. I pondered over my spiritual journey and remembered how as a child I had known God was in control of everything. In an intense thunderstorm with the lightening crackling, the thunder rolling, the wind blowing things every which way, and the rain coming down in torrents – I would remember the verse where Jesus calmed the storm by saying "peace be still". I knew as a child that God was in control. I knew that my parents could not do that, though I felt they could handle most situations. When I got to my teenage years, I felt I just HAD to profess and I really didn't want to. My childhood was different from many B&R I'm sure, because I did have some outside Christian influences; however the meetings I'd sat through all my life had had their effect on my thinking. I feared dying if I didn’t profess -- so that fear greatly motivated me to profess at 15 years of age. I believe that I actually came to a saving knowledge of my Savior as a child -- yet it was a weak knowledge at best. I honestly think that the 2x2 system hindered me spiritually much more than it helped me. We kept God in a box. I know I surely did. I learned to become self righteous and hypocritical – yet that never seemed right to me and when I saw those same things in others – I didn't have a doubt that it was wrong. I too, saw the double standard of doing one thing when the workers and friends were around, and another when they weren’t. I could never rationalize or justify knowing that God sees everything I do -- and that I was hiding nothing from Him. When I came to realize that there were so many of man's rules and man's controls -- I could no longer equate it with the Bible. I was aware that God was the One I worshipped and I had to put my complete and total faith in Him and trust Him like I'd never done before. I prayed so earnestly and pleaded that He wouldn't allow me to be deceived again. I knew God wasn't the one who was wrong -- but that the wrong lay in the system. As to why God allows those things to happen to us -- I don't have those answers. I know I am a better person because of what I experienced. I'm not sure that I feel I needed to go through all those things; but I trust God with that too. I've done my best to help others who are struggling through the leaving process because I know how very deeply sorrowful and hurt I was -- so maybe that's part of the reason I want to help others so much. I'm also much stronger as a result and I WILL stand my ground now for things I believe in -- which is a total opposite of what I once was. It wasn't easy to go to a church when I left the 2x2s but I didn’t go to "find" God because I knew He was in my heart. I went for fellowship, to worship, and to learn. God did not deceive me -- man did. My trust is not in a group, the church building, or man's doctrine -- my trust, confidence and faith is in God. There is life after 2x2s. Someone said once of us exes -- that our problem is that we are just too honest. I wholeheartedly agree. I want to know the whys and wherefores of things and I think God gave me a brain to use. He doesn't want us to be ignorant and He doesn't mind our questions and He always has time for us. Love and prayers, Joetta Heiser, Indiana 12/98
I'm rereading, "In the Grip of Grace" and so thoroughly enjoying it this time around. As I was reading, it was profoundly real to me how much we exer's were and present 2x2ers are in the Grip of Mind Control. It gets set in your mind and discerning facts is no longer an option. When fear of hell is centered in your brain IF you are NOT a 2x2, you are in the grip of the monster of mind control, and it devours you! Cheryle Winberg 11/98
You know, folks, so much has been written on this List of negative experiences in the group. Now I certainly don't mean to minimize that at all, nor the authenticity of the awful things many of you experienced. I have been dismayed and appalled at your heart-breaking stories. I empathize deeply with you. But I have to say that my experience in the group (can't call it "the Truth," any more, either!) was really mostly positive. In my youth, most of my peers were truly "consecrated youth," even "noble" in some ways. And I know personally some young ones like that yet today. Absolutely sincerely trying to walk in "the Truth" and hold up its impossible "standards." It's those young ones, and yes, their parents, that I just ache for. So wrapped up in the "Way." Some may even *have* a relationship with God, although it must be a very constricted one - IN SPITE of the system. They are truly dear people, with a great deal of personal integrity - but their Savior comes wrapped in a "package" called "the Truth" - one layer the ministry, another layer the church in the home. I love them so much, and they need our prayers so much. (The irony about this is that I'm quite sure they are also praying for us! : >) Jean Dudley 9/98 ~ ~ ~ ~ Thank you for the note about appreciating those "honest young ones." It is easy to forget their commitment to what they understand. God will share with them his vision and we can hope they will respond to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Phil Boyte 9/98
More and more people are contacting us for information! The general feeling, even amongst those we know who are still in the meetings, is that the information has to be available, and that the workers cannot keep burying themselves in the sand and hoping that their "internet is evil" message will hold any weight. People WANT to know, and WANT to be able to discuss important issues. - Karen Fletcher July '98
"I have been subscribed to the list for about a year now and even though I only rarely post I follow the list discussions every day. The list has really helped me to sort out a few things in my own mind that I had little or no chance of doing while in the"Truth"." 4/98 Dale Carn
Everyone on this list is at a different place. Some have found peace and are ready to move on and share their new experiences and discoveries. Some have a lot of anger at the deception and lies they have discovered and need to vent that frustration. Some are depressed and need uplifting messages. Some are stressed out and react rashly to comments and issues which would otherwise be benign. But, what we all have in common is this shared background that NOBODYexcept exes understand. We need each other or we wouldn't be on this list. Those at higher levels of recovery need to help those of us not quite there. We are here to share. It must be hard for those who have found peace to listen and respond to new pleas of frustration and offer encouragement, but you do it. I have never read one new post to which several did not reach out and welcome and offer words of hope and understanding and encouragement. That is help. That is love. That is evidence of the bond we have. March 4, 1998
I have been kept very busy this past week reading all of the e-mail by the subscribers to the List. It has certainly been validating. Even more interesting is the information I found through the search in the web about Cooneyites and then the site referring to "The Church Without A Name." I can't begin to tell all of you of the healing that it has and continues to have for me. Everything I have read so far is "right on the money." It is perspectives and logic that I have thought for years, but thought there was something wrong with me because I couldn't and didn't accept everything I was told "just because that's the way it is". "Don't question...just have faith." Reading quotes from "workers" I grew up with has been an eye opening experience. My sisters and I are in a "state of shock" to be reading all of this stuff now....when for years we have lived in a state of condemnation. We are very excited to be able to have conversations with others and receive validation for our thoughts years past. October 1997