Letter from USA Friends to Workers and Elders – August 2013

The email below was sent to 43 overseers and several elders on 12th August 2013

Subject: To workers and elders 12 August 2013
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013

Dear workers and elders,

In January of this year we became aware of problems in the church regarding Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and the lack of appropriate spiritual and legal response to it. Learning of these things came as a great shock and disappointment to us, and we wrote to our overseer to ask how these things will be dealt with in the future. Since then, however, we have also learned of the related and wider problem of sexual immorality and abuse being tolerated in the ministry with offending workers continuing on in the work. Since we haven’t received a direct reply to our first letter, since the scope of our concerns has widened, and since we realize that one overseer cannot answer for the whole church, we are sending this letter to senior workers all over the world and to friends and workers who know of our concerns. We will also ask that it be posted on the Wings for Truth website which seeks to expose CSA in the church and to support its victims.

Our concerns are the following:

1)            accounts of CSA and sexual immorality and abuse among friends and workers that have not been dealt with appropriately spiritually and/or legally;

2)            those in places of authority have not always understood the spiritual, moral, and legal implications of such behavior and have tolerated it in the ministry and in the church;

3)            workers who committed such deeds have been allowed to remain in the ministry;

4)            the secrecy and lack of transparency with which CSA and sexual immorality and abuse have been dealt; this makes our fellowship and the ministry in particular a safe haven for the immoral and abusers, protects the perpetrators, allows the sin and abuse to continue, silences the victims, and undermines efforts of those who wish to promote purity and righteousness;

5)            offenders have often been moved to another area of the country or world where they were free to keep offending as nobody was suspecting of their past offences;

6)            the church is not always notified of these offenses – there is often no public rebuke so that “all may fear” and there is no due warning on the danger somebody presents;

7)            that concerned friends and workers have been punished for bringing reports of CSA and sexual immorality and abuse to overseers and for demanding righteous resolution;

8)            sexual immorality and CSA have been excused as “sins of the flesh” as opposed to “sins of the spirit,” or sins that can happen to anyone without them meaning to commit them in their heart;

9)            not all in place of authority understand that CSA offenders are not likely to be rehabilitated, that they will keep posing threat for the rest of their lives, and that they need to have restricted and supervised access to children;

10)          not all in place of authority understand the effect of CSA on the victims – that they face life-long trauma and need long-term therapy;

11)          victims, whether of CSA or sexual harassment or abuse, have often not been taken seriously when they reported abuse to senior workers;

12)          some parents of victimized children, adult victims, and concerned individuals have been discouraged from reporting allegations to authorities;

13)          some workers still fail to see that CSA is a criminal activity which needs to be reported to authorities, or they think that the church is above the law and has the competence and authority to deal with criminal activities internally;

14)          some senior workers have taken it on themselves to decide whether a CSA allegation is true or false, instead of encouraging the victim to report it to authorities and thus allowing trained officers to investigate;

15)          some victims have been told to “forgive and forget” and to not talk about the abuse they have suffered, and even to “heal in silence”;

16)          even when workers have been removed from the ministry for sexual immorality or abuse or CSA, or when friends have been found in sexual immorality or abuse or CSA, they have been allowed to remain in full fellowship without even a temporary removal of privileges that could lead them to acknowledge the seriousness of their sin and be brought to repentance;

17)          cases of CSA have happened on convention grounds, and known CSA offenders are still allowed to attend conventions where they have access to children;

18)          CSA offenders have been placed in meetings without members being notified of their offences so members can exercise due vigilance with their children;

19)          the doctrine of “covering-up each other’s sin” being used as a justification to not expose evils in the fellowship, and thus allowing them to continue;

20)          the practice to not interfere in another field which ultimately protects the immoral and abusers, and prevents those who would seek a righteous resolution.

We realize that CSA is a much more serious trespass than sexual immorality or even abuse perpetrated against adults, and that CSA devastates lives due to horrific consequences on victims. Though consensual sexual immorality should “not be once named” among God’s people – let alone in the ministry, it is not a criminal offence. There could be an argument that we should address CSA separately. Nevertheless, these are reasons why we find it hard to separate these issues: we feel that the all of these behaviors have been tolerated and have lacked appropriate response for the same reason; CSA has been mishandled and minimized under the label of sexual immorality; sometimes the age of the victim or consensual partner doesn’t allow for clear distinction between the two issues; the claim of consensuality can itself be subjective and problematic particularly given a difference in age or status; when a person is given to sexual immorality they are on a slippery slope to become sexually abusive, especially toward the age group which could be hard to categorize as either children or adults – teenagers and young adolescents; toleration of consensual sexual immorality gives implicit license and cover to perpetrators of CSA and abuse against adults, and compromises the ministry in its ability to cleanse itself. For these reasons we have chosen to address both problems in the same letter.

To understand the full seriousness of allowing immoral and/or criminal behavior in the ministry, we must consider that homeless ministry is one of the marks of our fellowship. The fact that our ministers stay in our homes raises the level of urgency that moral integrity of ministers be required. We have been shocked and disappointed to find out that we ourselves have been sent workers who are known to be child molesters or sexually immoral, and that we have been lead to extend hospitality to them as if they were true shepherds. We are saddened that in the fellowship where we share our homes and family lives with our ministers, we are left wondering whether a worker who may pose danger to our family’s wellbeing will be sent to us. Even more so, we are left wondering whether those in authority are willing to risk harm to the sheep for the sake of protecting false shepherds.

Additionally, we do not understand the inconsistency of how sexual immorality has been dealt with in the fellowship at large. The sin of sexual immorality appears to fall into two different categories depending on who committed it: when a young woman is “caught in adultery” by way of physical signs of pregnancy, she receives public rebuke and punishment through not being allowed to take part in meeting; yet, when a man is “caught in adultery,” there are no outward consequences. Even worse, when a worker has committed fornication, he is not only allowed to remain in full fellowship, but even allowed to remain in position of spiritual leadership and authority. If someone is carrying the evidence of their sin outwardly, they will be punished; but if there is no outward evidence, there is no punishment. And yet the sin is the same! And not even the same, for the sin of the one in the place of spiritual leadership is much graver compared to the sin of one who doesn’t claim to be the Gospel bearer!

Most friends and workers realize the danger that sexual immorality and CSA present to individuals and to the church in general. Most workers realize that the Word they preach has to be accompanied by truth and purity in their lives, and that those who don’t follow these guidelines are a stain on the ministry and a danger to the flock. However, we are left wondering how many there are who understand the seriousness of these things and who are in positions of senior authority. We are aware of some, but their sphere of influence and authority extends only to the limits of their assigned field. They cannot oversee what happens in all the corners of the church, nor do they have authority to do so. Consequently, there needs to be a uniform church-wide understanding of the seriousness of these offenses, as well as a firm and clear commitment to deal with them in such a way that promotes purity in the ministry and confidence in the ministry and the church.

Our church is a world-wide fellowship, and we are all connected through workers traveling to conventions and being sent to preach in different parts of the world. What happens on one continent affects those on another as well. When we lived in Europe, we had workers from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, as well as various European countries in our home. Here in the US, we have had workers from Asia and South America as well. Further, there is extensive travel among workers and friends to conventions in different countries and continents. Therefore, for us to have liberty in receiving workers whether we are in the US or in Europe, we need to have assurance of a world-wide church policy on how to deal with sexual immorality and CSA in the ministry and in the church.

We have attempted to explain why it is important to us personally to be assured of the purity of ministry world-wide. Yet, we realize there is a point of view that we should not concern ourselves with what is happening in another field, or even outside of our meeting. There also seems to be a rule against seeking help outside of one’s field when those in authority are not making righteous judgments. We have been informed of these rules as well-meaning friends and workers warned us not to concern ourselves with what is happening in the wider fellowship. These rules are very troubling, as in the examples known to us they have been used to cover up sin, protect offenders, and silence victims.

We recall the Old Testament example of the tribe of Dan when they refused to punish perpetrators of a heinous crime. The other tribes did not look the other way and say: “This doesn’t concern us, it didn’t happen in our area, and it didn’t happen to someone in our family.” They took the plight of the victim seriously as if it was a member of their own family, and they all rose up as one man and took action. They wanted to root out evil from Israel so that it wouldn’t grow and spread. They did it for the victim and they did it for the whole congregation of Israel. Likewise Saul was moved to help Jabesh Gilead, even risking his own life for the cause. The plight of Jabesh Gilead wasn’t only its own, but of the whole congregation of Israel. How can we not have the same feelings and concerns for our brethren?

We understand that all are subject to temptation and that all have fallen short. We ourselves fall into that category too. And we believe that when there is true repentance there can and should be true forgiveness and restoration to fellowship. True godly repentance comes from godly sorrow and involves fully admitting one’s sin and taking full responsibility for the harm done. It can only take place in an atmosphere of truth, transparency, and accountability. “Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another that ye may be healed.”  However, notwithstanding these hopes and desires for repentance and healing, we can never lower the bar of trust and responsibility imparted to the ministry touching the sanctity of the home and home life of God’s people.

For the sake of our being able to have trust in the ministry, for the sake of our children’s safety, and for the sake of being able to tell others about our fellowship freely, we need to have the following questions answered:

1)            Can we have assurance that NO known child molester, regardless of how long ago or how far away he committed CSA, will be sent to our or anybody else’s home under the cloak of ministry? Can we have assurance that NO known child molester is allowed to enter or remain in the work?

2)            Can we have assurance that all senior workers will work to effect a change in the fellowship culture for the purpose of creating a safer environment for children? Considering the history of inappropriate handling of CSA allegations in the fellowship and the risk that workers staying in homes with children along with convention environment present, all workers and friends need to be informed that: CSA is a crime that has happened and can still happen in the fellowship, that protective measures need to be put in place, and that allegations and indications of CSA need to be taken seriously and reported to authorities. One part of this effort can be to give all members of the fellowship the link to CSA Code of Conduct created by concerned friends and found at http://www.csainfo.info/ or https://sites.google.com/site/csacodeofconduct/.

3)            Can we have assurance that in cases of alleged CSA, parents of victims, adult victims, and other concerned individuals will be encouraged to report allegations to authorities, and that workers will not try to judge whether an allegation is true or false, but will allow trained and authorized professionals to investigate?

4)            Can we have assurance that if a known child molester is placed in a meeting, people in the meeting will be notified, so that they can exercise due vigilance with their children?

5)            Can we have assurance that NO known child molester will be allowed to attend conventions? There is too much unacceptable risk involved in allowing known child molesters to attend conventions. Such persons can be accommodated by letting them listen to convention speakers by phone, as is done for those who cannot attend for health reasons.

6)            Can we have assurance that NO ONE who committed sexual immorality or abuse against adults will be sent to our or anybody else’s home under the cloak of ministry? Can we have assurance that NO ONE who has committed sexual immorality (regardless of whether it’s consensual or abusive in nature) is allowed to remain in the work?

7)            Can we have assurance that there will be ONE standard on how to deal with those who have committed sins of sexual immorality regardless of their place and position in the church, and regardless of the presence or lack of an outward evidence of their sin?

8)            Can we have assurance that those who have abused the trust given to them because of their place in the ministry through sexual immorality and abuse will not be eased out of work in a secretive way, but will be openly rebuked before the church? This is especially important in order to provide transparency and accountability and to change the culture of secrecy around this issue, a culture of minimizing victims’ accounts or blaming the victims, and of protecting fornicators and abusers. This would help break the silence of victims who fear they would not be believed and prevent their re-victimization.

We are aware that among friends and workers there is talk about “enemies of the way” as the ones causing trouble and shining light on wrongs within the fellowship. Let us remember Nehemiah, who when he learned of mistreatment of the poor and downtrodden said: “It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?” Nehemiah’s response wasn’t to ignore the problem and blame enemies for the reproach, but to address and correct the problem in order to take away the reproach. When a mistake is corrected, “enemies” have no cause for reproach. Let us do the same.

We thank you for considering these concerns and questions. We are looking forward to receiving answers to our questions with hopeful expectation, and we are praying that you will take the necessary steps to make our fellowship a spiritually and naturally safer place for all. We are praying that willful pockets of darkness, duplicity, and deceit will be removed from our fellowship unto the edification and encouragement of all.

Yours in Christ,

A and M M.

Willis, Texas, USA

[email contact details for the authors are available from WINGS]

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22 thoughts on “Letter from USA Friends to Workers and Elders – August 2013

  1. Excellent letter. Lets hope and pray that a response from those in authority around the world is swift, moral, responsible and adheres to legal obligations. Also hoping and praying that they have the spiritual awareness, fortitude and compassion to treat victims and survivors with the care, sensitivity and Christlike love that their belief in the Gospel requires of them.
    “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” – Luke 18:16 (NIV). If the Workers and Elders fail to understand their obligations from the clear intention of this Gospel passage then their actions are spiritually and morally reprehensible.

  2. OUR 16 year old daughter was sexually molested and it certainly would have led to MUCH more if our younger daughter had not witnessed his hand slide up her sister’s leg and under her denim mini-skirt as he pleaded with her to go into his bedroom with him where he would remove his shirt so she could “GIVE ME A REAL BACK RUB”. Sobbing, she told me, “Mom, he really wanted something else rubbed!!!

    When I reported the ‘creep’s’ behaviour to [our overseer] who was accompanied by two other workers they all staunchly defended the ‘monster’. When I informed the furious ‘with me’ workers that I was prepared for legal action, [the overseer], without consulting with me, quickly made arrangements to export the ‘creep’ to Japan as though there aren’t beautiful young, molestable ladies there, our precious daughter made an almost successful suicide attempt (found just in time by the same younger sister), she was soon tragically killed in a highway wreck by a sleeping driver, and I was kicked out of the 2×2 cult.

    Our younger daughter (13 years old) was severely traumatized by what she saw ‘A WORKER’ do, but then he did or said something…likely a vicious threat…to her that had her screaming in anger about him. Whatever happened has been kept to herself. She just couldn’t talk about him, but I was keenly aware of her hatred for him. 14 1/2 months after the first death, our eldest daughter was killed in a drunken wreck.

    Oh, there is sooooo much more to the tragic story. My maternal heartache is beyond words.

      • I am one of the many excommunicated in Alberta, because we could not would support the ministry as we know of it, questions asked, no answers given.
        My granddaughter was molested by her school teacher in elementary school along with four students. He committed suicide rather then face jail term. The victims are still struggling with the traumatic experience, after 20+ years.
        I sent my nephew the update of wings that I received from some one on FB, because he has a lovely little family, and wanted him to be aware. He replied they didn’t read stuff like that.
        Makes my heart ache to think of them being unwilling to read something that could affect their children, FOREVER, because they would sooner believe the workers are perfect, than face facts.

  3. Our family was destroyed by sexual abuse against our daughter who was 14 at the time by a senior worker in the UK. No action was taken against him and he was allowed to remain in the Work. I was advised not to go to the authorities at the time, Would I do things differently today? You bet …

  4. This is WRONG and should never be found among the children of God. It should ALWAYS be punished. It should NEVER be pushed under the rug. I am heartbroken for what has happened to many, and then to have a child die….. Grief I can’t comprehend. Please accept my sincere condolences, and I wish I had magic words of comfort.

    I beg you to please not place these actions and enablers to be numbered among us. Jude mentioned some in his letter and many of these issues were mentioned. Some were handled correctly and some weren’t, even in the bible days. But, no matter…. I would NOT want to stand before the wrath of God on that day. Nothing on earth can come near the wrath of God when someone has does something to HIS child. Please, keep looking to Jesus and this is NOT what his beautiful way is about. Many Christians have stolen, but that doesn’t mean every Christian is a thief. Yes, It comes across as a cult, but it is not. It was a big problem that wasn’t addressed properly, and they will answer to our God, just as we answer to Him also. I think of Judas, who had so many privileges and was able to walk with Jesus! Talk with Him and learn. But what did he do? He, one of the first chosen ministers, sold him. Sold Him for money that wouldn’t keep him long. He realized this later, and tried to give the money back so he would be free. That’s not how it works. We (or others) will never be “free” unless 100% repentance is there. This is a circumstance between them and God, and woe, I would not want to be in their shoes. Although, I could be doing something that could cause the same wrath to come, so I must be diligent.

    In your deep, understandable grief, is it possible to separate what happened into it being in the same category of a Criminal? It does not have God’s name on it, nor his truth on it. He can’t not control mans actions. So, it would be heartbreaking to Him to see what his servants have done, and then to have it “blamed” on him and his simple way he suffered and died to bring to earth, would be awful to think of watching his son suffer and then be blamed.

    I understand more than I will say. And, also, what happens to those who are faithful, but have corrected in love, a young person, and they took vengeance and cried “wolf”. Finally, their stories never matched or made sense. Much had been sacrificed already for them in courts, etc… and they were lying. When they finally admitted it wasn’t true, the “offender” was not released. Many lies and assumptions made, which we all hate done to us, yet, he has borne it gracefully and has never wavered in His love for God, nor what he believed. He knew this had nothing to do with the God he served, but the one named Satan, who was doing all he could to tear down the gospel story. I can not imagine laying my head down every night, knowing my name has been terribly tainted, and cleared, yet I was not cleared in the eyes of man. I can tell you from experience of a lesser degree, but still traumatic, it is awful beyond words.

    You know the love of your daughters and that love will burn forever in your heart. What if one turned against you? Felt you had been a bad mother because you taught her about God and went to meetings. Nothing was done, it was just she was upset. What if you didn’t feel her love again. Your only sin, was you believed God. It is heartbreaking, and there are no words. The lies are almost making me lose my mind. Many see the blog, yet some have lived with us, or know us well, and know this is not true. Our son, who has come in repentance has sorrow for the end result of giving ones life to your children. So, I’ve let her go, as that is what she wanted. Because someone said wrong things, I am taking the blame and consequences. We wanted love in our family, but love isn’t very dramatic like other stories the kids at school have. I seriously felt that the best way to raise a child, was to beat them daily, to yell and scream, to treat them like dirt, as those are the children who grow up and say “I will not be like that” and give their best to their country and to their God. Those are the upstanding young people. It wasn’t about the gospel story, it was about rebellion. Yet, the blame is misplaced, and a mother who loves her child, aches and cries.

    In our heartaches that are somewhat the same, yet different,, I have to look at the churches mentioned in Revelations. And elsewhere. They were full of “human nature”, yet Paul/Peter/etc… never blamed the gospel, but put the blame where it was meant to be…. on the person/people.

    I will pray for you, tho I don’t know you. Your sorrow must be overwhelming. I beg of you to allow the peace of God into your heart, or bitterness will eat you up. I do not mean to offend, and hope you will not be offended. I only write in love and in sympathy for all your heart has gone through.

  5. This letter is really great. Unfortunately, my similar pleas rendered no result except an admonition that I could not return to the meetings until I had resolved the issue of my “hard heart”. So far, my heart is still hard against those who prey on children and those who protect them. I’ve found a lovely personal relationship with Jesus at my local church, and don’t plan on going back any time soon. May God move the hearts of the workers who receive this to right these wrongs.

  6. This monster is growing in part because so many are in denial and pretending that it doesn’t happen. The rest of us are dangerous. I don’t hold a lot of hope for the letter writers – I sent every worker on our staff and others a copy of Graham Thompson’s sermon. I heard not a word from our overseer, 3 or 4 responded from the dozens that I sent. The amazing part was that none of them had seen it until I sent it!
    I do know that if every worker in our country goes wrong, there is no excuse for me. But I cannot keep quiet when children’s lives are at stake. Unfortunately, only the experienced know the devastation that goes on.
    And so we need to continue to be open about the subject and have the courage to confront the issue. It’s hard….

  7. What a good letter! Unfortunately, I believe it will take more arrests or law suits of workers and their overseers before real action is taken to stop the abuse. I had a worker COUNSEL my wife when we were having trouble in our relationship! Needless to say, inappropriate advise was administered and a immoral relationship took place between them. Although elders and others were aware of this suspicious relationship, nothing was done to expose and deal with this abuse. Even later, when his younger companion, who was riddled with guilt and shame for obeying orders to keep silent, and who could no longer do so, informed the overseer, who did nothing about this but continue the cover up. Fortunately, this man is no longer in the work! Yes, my now ex wife and I had problems. Yes, we went to a professing councilor. But as it turned out, it was all my fault. My wife, who had at least one other prior affair, blamed her unhappiness and infidelity on me. “If your wife isn’t happy and fulfilled, it’s because you’ve failed her.” Obviously I am no longer a member of this group. I was on my way out during the very time this was going on, and believe me, I had HELP leaving. Like is stated in this letter, the workers and overseers are not qualified to council in these situations. The victims usually are labeled as having spiritual problems or being mentally unstable. These become the scapegoats and nothing was done to lovingly bring them back to the fold, and nothing was done to correct the immorality that took place. At least, this immorality should have been exposed and some sort of punishment ministered.

  8. I was a participating member in the 2×2 group for a total of about 28 years after having been born and raised in it. I know some of you above, and welcome you back into dialogue should you wish to do so. I don’t know where this will lead, because my consternation with that misguided group, even after having finally left it in 1996, has been both exhausting and exhaustive. .
    Back in the 80s and 90s, I was a practicing psychotherapist, and in the 90s specialized in CSA mostly with adult women from all walks of life. In the 90s I would often be approached in conventions or online about people’s perplexity that their child was or had been abused, that some worker(s) and elder(s) were perpetrators, and that nothing was constructively done about it. From southern Ontario across every province to British Columbia and then down the west coast of the States into California, I was brought up short both about fresh CSA cases and the strange illegal immoral reactions (if any) from the “workers,” the “shepherds of our souls.”
    This caused me to question the ministry and when I voiced my concerns to other concerned ‘saints’ in the province, by the some workers and overseers I was more or less told to ‘mind my own business’ and question not the ‘wisdom’ of the workers. So I left what I had committed my whole life to (and had even erroneously married into) for about 6-8 months. I returned only to allow my two kids the liberty to choose the group for themselves or not.
    We subsequently moved to Edmonton AB, and it wasn’t long before I not only heard about more news about homosexuality among the clergy, uh ministry, but much more about weird financial deeds performed ‘for the gospel sake.’ As I looked further into these latter deeds, I was once again appalled, and contemplated leaving the group for good. At that time I was taking my masters degree in my profession in the Seattle area, and by chance came to know an ex-worker from Oregon who had experienced terrible abuse at the hands of the overseers in the western States. The more I heard that was definitely not the good news of the gospel, the more disillusioned I became. After a terrible tear-filled struggle within myself over possibly losing my soul after leaving the group – most of you will know that battle – I finally left that foul group until this day, and will never return (there is much more to this, but I seek to be short here).
    Let me add here that CSA is a most dreadful crime! I have had my own experience of being a rape victim while drunk at the age of 20, and have come to know that CSA existed in my own family, albeit I didn’t know of it until after 2000. As a therapist, I came to know that CSA creates dreadful consequences for the victim/survivor and often for the family, especially in religious groups. I worked with survivors of different abuses from differing cultic groups, and I had a colleague who worked with at least one CSA case from the 2x2s. Most of my CSA clients took about 2 years of weekly-sessioned intensive therapy before they gained enough personal authority and wellness to launch back into their lives a changed more integrated person.
    I applaud the letter above, but doubt anything will come of it. I wrote a similar letter to the head workers in the 90s about my legitimate concerns, but heard nothing from any of them. It’s highly unlikely that you will either, you valiant folks from Willis Texas.
    Which brings me to another question…
    The 2x2s as a group, as a religious organization, which it is, is, if looked into from a truth standpoint, is not what it seems. I would like to offer this short question that also encompasses this CSA enquiry: What, if any, are the fruits of the Spirit as seen in the 2×2 system?

    If anyone would like to consult with me about CSA or any other topic related to that cult, please feel free to do so… I am now pushing 70, and therefore some of my contribution may be somewhat dated, but if anyone can do well in interdependent or private practice as did I for many years, it’s quite likely they were effective at what they did. So ask anything of me and I will attempt to assist you.

    With love in our dear Lord,
    Bruce

    • Hello, Bruce! I left the 2x2s in 1996. My father said that I am going to hell on skies and taking my children with me. Although I have found far more fruit of the spirit in folks who attend “worldly” churches, I still battle with losing my soul. Afraid to trust what scripture really says instead of what the workers said it means. Almost never line up. I wish there was a way to squelch those voices in my head that says “what if they’re right? what if this is the only way?” How do I feel certain of my salvation?

      I’ve moved about 1300 miles from my family. My father is now in his 90s and wishing to see me, but, I know it would be the same old story…..”you need to come back to meeting”. My sister was a worker until her health failed. My other sister had convention at their place for a number of years. We had Wednesday bible study and union Sunday at our house. Workers were almost constantly there. I had a real fear of some of the brother workers and had one in particular that was allowed to hold me on his lap while he whiskered me in front of my parents. Go figure. I surely would never have allowed anyone to touch my child in that way. It was painful and humiliating.

      Thank you for allowing me to air this…….any suggestions would be more than welcome!

    • Bruce, I would very much like to be in touch with you. I’ve uncovered two weird financial deeds myself so far. They interest me because although CSA is the worst of the problems in this faith group, financial misdeeds are easier to uncover. Most abuse victims understandably don’t want to come forward. But if the financial problems are sorted out (which by themselves can wreck people’s lives) then the CSA may also be brought more into the light. I hope you’ll consider contacting me; search for Cave of Programming and that’s me, if my contact details don’t show here.

  9. “CSA is nothing compared to the doctrine of devils taught as the gospel by the 2×2 overseers and workers. While overseers have perpetuated sexual abuse for dozens of years, they have also lied to children about salvation (a greater offense) and taught them lies to keep them from putting faith in Jesus Christ. It is true, CSA hurts people’s feelings and body and wounds them horribly, but even worse, the 2×2 cult gospel of “We are the way” leads people to hell and keeps them from the healing arms of my loving Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. CSA is important, but more important is the true gospel. “Repent and put faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ.” (Brad Lewis)

    I agree with much of what you say, Brad, but I am curious about what lies behind the strident-sounding tone or vibe in your words. I do not belief that that system leads people to hell. Not at all. Some of what we enjoyed in that fellowship is comforting, warming. We had decent fellowship, albeit with people from many walks of life, and most often very (too) different from us at a human level. Like all things in life, that fellowship was nor is all bad.

    We all know that CSA is a worst of fleshly behaviors, but that soul-rape or spiritual salvation tied to any given religion is worse, horrendously worse, because it relates to the salvation of the soul, and the loss thereof, that is not akin to the flesh in this our human condition.

    I want to suggest that in any group, cult or otherwise, there are souls who are Christ’s. I have worked closely as a therapeutic facilitator with spiritually-abused people from the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostals, Uniteds, et al. They all have a similar story re. CSA, shunning, and excommunication. Their stories overlap so much that they all could have come from the same church, sect or cult. Only the details differ.

    Again, I strongly suggest that there are Jesus’ own in every religious Christian group in the world. What our heart condition as an individual before God in his Son is the key, is it not? Hence Paul’s words, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

    And Jesus said that it is best to let the tares grow among the wheat, lest in separating them are uprooted also his little ones.

    So no matter what happened to us and others in spiritually-abusive cultish groups or cults, we stand alone before the Lord on that day.

    Is this not paramount?

  10. I am so glad that csa is being exposed in every part of every church, in every group and family in the world.
    I see this as a universal issue that needs to be uncovered and addressed.
    It can happen to any person, anywhere, anytime. I does not happen to every person, everywhere, every time. I enjoy the fellowship and spiritual guidance.I get from the friends and preachers. I would speak up if I found one bad apple in the box. I would not throw out the rest of the box if it had one bad apple in it. Although I am a victim from a family member, I do not discard the rest of the family.
    I wish the victims courage to speak out and take control of their lives and their own recovery.

  11. I suppose that you are a supporter of the 2×2 group. As well, it seems that you are new to it. If so, so be it. As is standard in life, we are left to our own choices, and yet is not the most important choice often left til last? That of course is the one that the Master makes vis a vis our souls, that transcends what any human system declares as truth. Might we all allow the Lord to prevail in our lives, if He so wills.

  12. omg i would have sworn this would never have happened in that religion .I WAS ASKED TO EITHER GIVE UP MY UNPROFESSING BOYFRIEND OR THE CHURCH. i ENDED UP DOING BOTH. THIS HAS LITERALLY MADE ME ILL TO MY STOMACH. THAT RELIGION IS NO BETTER THAN THE CATHOLIC PRIESTS . WE WERE TOLD WE WERE GOING TO HELL. WHERE DO THESE GUILTY WORKERS THINK THEY.RE GOING THEN???50 YEARS I WAS TO FEEL LIKE AN OUTCAST. MY FATHER WOULD TURN OVER IN HIS GRAVE IF HE EVER READ ANY OF THIS. THEY BETTER BE MADE ACCOUNTABLE+REPORTED TO THE AUTHORITIES..MAYBE SOME OF US CAN BE FREE AT LAST+CHOOSE TO WORSHIP AS WE PLEASE!!!!

  13. I was a victim of CSA for four years while living in a professing home. My mother grew up in a professing home; she left “the truth” and met my father who she married and then four kids later came back to this religion. We are a large family from Wisconsin and we had workers coming and going from our house all the time. While not victimized by the workers, I had two older brothers i was prey to. When I finally told the police at my high school as a sophomore (the abuse happened from age 8-12), my mother called me a liar (my parents had been invited to a meeting that I didn’t know about). After getting off the bus that day and anxiously walking up the suddenly-too-short sidewalk, I was greeted by my mother opening the door and whispering threateningly to me “You will never mention this again.”
    Years later I discussed this with my dad who said he had no memory of that meeting. My dad had been an elder in the religion since shortly after his own professing; we grew up with the Sunday morning meeting in our home as well as having Union Meeting every other month. Talking to my dad all those years later, he stated that although he couldn’t remember that meeting way back in my high school years my telling him now of all the abuse certainly allowed him to understand why i have two older brothers who “would act the way they do whenever I talk about you”. My dad apologized to me that day, giving me a big hug. I remember him saying he was so sorry for everything I went through. A few years later he told me to forgive the boys those transgressions; it’s hurting you a whole lot more than it’s hurting them.
    Unfortunately it wasn’t until my Dad’s unexpected death that I texted my brothers and told them I forgave them. Forgiving, I have learned, does not erase memories.

    To all the children in this world: God bless you and watch over you. To all who help watch over children: bless you and always still vigilant.

    • Yes Julie. How we can hurt at times, but if the Lord has given us the new life, we can rejoice without fail because He’s given us what our souls need, and can cut away the rest.

  14. Hi Bruce! I am nearly 80. Was brought up in this way of life. I think standards have dropped a lot since I was born, but a lot do still try to keep to what they feel Jesus asks of them. I agree with your last words. ‘Might we all allow the Lord to prevail in our lives, if He so wills’

    • The 2x2s is a mess just like most ‘christian’ groups throughout the world. And in many quarters there are no standards left. The works of Satan are being felt on all fronts of the battleline, and we are to beg the Lord for the new life if we don’t have it, and to rejoice even through tears if we do. I am 70 now, and life never gives up on beating on us: our flesh, the world and the devil, but the triune God, the word and our brethren’s testimonies in Him keep us. Might we cling to our beloved Lord even when we are too tired and weak to raise our bible off a bedside table.

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