Free at Last!
We have been out of the group for 21 years. We stay as far away as possible from 2x2s, except for our own family members. I was 43 when we left and Don was 44. We left together and so did all our 3 children. We are still going to the same community church which we began attending after leaving meetings.
I am so grateful to all of you and to the numerous others around the world who have the desire to help others.
My background: Born in Bremerton, WA in 1945 at the end of World War 2. When I was in the sixth grade I had a Christian teacher who encouraged the class to read 98% nonfiction and very little fiction. I was a voracious reader and took her instruction to heart. I believe I had a quest at an early age to find out what life was about and to know God.
I professed almost against my will at the age of 12. I had not wanted to profess because I didn’t want to give testimonies and I had never liked or trusted workers from the very first memory of one. But Rosetha Newman was the new worker in town and she knew how to appeal to children. She had been a school teacher before going into the work.
She gave a sermon (that I later read in a Readers Digest magazine) that described the crucifixion of Christ and what a tortuous death it was. I began sobbing and hiccuping loudly in meeting, eyes and nose streaming. I embarrassed myself and my parents no end. But there was nothing else I could do. I had to believe in Jesus, the One who cared enough to die like that for me. So, I professed. Up until that time I had been a very happy carefree child.
The next day Mom took me to town to buy me clothes like the ones Rosetha wore, she put my hair in a bun and I began to take on the worker persona! The terror of praying in meeting and giving my testimony twice a week was constantly on my mind. I began to hate Wednesdays and Sundays with a passion. I am sure that other children must have noticed the change in me because I sure did. I was miserable but I thought this was what was pleasing to God.
The next five years of my teens were probably the most confusing and horrible time of my life. Being a professing teenager is difficult. Some have told me that they can’t even remember those years because they have blotted them from their memories. I had very loving parents, albeit a dysfunctional family and a great younger sister.
Meeting was in our home and we were treated well because we had four aunts who were workers. For some reason I developed a passion for history and in particular a passion for Jewish history. I think I identified with their legalism, their misery and their love and confusion about God.
I met Don at convention when I was 19 and he was 20. We were married less than a year later and have always had a wonderful marriage because he is funny and knows how to make me laugh when I am grumpy. Besides, he is a wonderful person. I believe that our solid marriage contributed to our being able to leave meetings eventually. So many 2×2 marriages are miserable and they can’t survive the exiting process.
We were solidly hearty 2x2s and eventually had meeting in our home…Wednesdays and Union meeting. We had 3 children and it was during the first two children’s teen years that we began to realize how little we really had learned about the Bible. By that age we thought we should know more than we knew when we first professed. Also we were concerned that our two oldest continue “faithfully to the end.”
Our oldest son was compliant but the middle daughter was more difficult to control and manipulate. And “control” was the name of the game for Mom! And of course, being a girl, she had lots more things to comply with!!! So we began listening very carefully to everything the workers taught and we began reading scripture with the intent of being able to help our children. We were trying to become better professing parents.
To make a long story short we started doubting the workers. At first, we just doubted the ones in our field, then we noticed that they were all alike….said the same things in different ways. It took us 5 years of continual conversations with our family, reading constantly, listening to Christian radio, talking to Christians, attending Christian functions before we found out the distinct differences in 2×2 doctrines and Christian doctrines.
We had been asking questions that we didn’t realize were forbidden and were shocked to hear the workers actually reject the true gospel of faith in Jesus. They said that wasn’t enough, his death wasn’t enough, we had to have the workers. They rejected the belief that Jesus is God, rejected the deity of the Holy Spirit; rejected the Trinity.
At that point our married son and daughter in law came one night and said, “We are leaving meetings this Sunday and are going to give our testimonies in meeting telling why we are leaving. I can’t stand the stress and the conflict anymore, it is ruining my health.” Our son was pale and the thinnest he had ever been. So, we said, Okay, we are leaving too.
We didn’t have the guts they did to face people at meeting. Don wrote an exit letter and I xeroxed a few Impartial Reporter articles and sent a Secret Sect book to both sets of parents. We learned later that the workers came and confiscated all the material and books from our parents so that they didn’t even have a chance to read it. We tried to talk to our parents privately but the conversation was short and their ears were shut against what we said. Bottom line we asked them, “Do you believe your salvation is in Jesus or in the workers?” They said, “in Jesus, not the workers.” So, we pray that they meant that.
That year was the happiest year we had ever had and our happiness has increased ever since. We went from darkness into light, from confusion and misery into total joy. Life had always filled me with fear and I had never understood anything about it. All of a sudden everything made sense! What a relief!
One of the men who helped us understand doctrine asked me to write down the workers’ doctrine and he said he would publish it. Thinking that it would be about a 16 page pamphlet, I readily agreed. But at about page 300 I stopped, realizing I could write for the next 5 years and never say everything I wanted to say. I am still writing about it, nearly every week.
My book, The Church Without a Name was published in 1989 under the pen name of David Stone and was only sold via word of mouth, mail order. Since then it has been revised and edited about three times and is now under my own name. Praise God that others have taken up the effort to share their own stories and the true story of Christ’s life and purpose.
Sorry to have written another book….We have 8 grandchildren ranging from age 18 years to 10 months. And we are apprehensively looking at the downhill slide of our nation into a socialist, anti Christian state. The mind control we experienced in the 2×2 system is now happening on a political level with the help of the media. I dread to see what our grandchildren will face if Jesus doesn’t return soon. Keep looking up!
By Kathy Lewis
Left meetings in 1988
Click Here to read Don & Kathy Lewis’ Exit Letter
A longer version of Kathy Lewis’ story is in the book Reflections