Reynolds, Marge (Calder)

Someone Who Knows and Has Been There

I was born into this cult and taken to my first meeting when I was 10 days old. My grandparents on my mother’s side came to a small town in Eastern Canada in 1910, from England. Shortly after that (I believe in 1914, but my dates might not be accurate), two sister workers came and held meetings and my grandparents on both sides of my family professed, as well as several other relatives and people in the town. My mother was six years old when she came from England. The workers were Maude Slater and Lizzy Jackson and were among the first workers in Canada.

By the time I came on the scene, in 1934 the 2X2s were well established in that particular town and surrounding area. It is very hard for me to relate my story because it is like talking about a person that I no longer know. My life, attitudes, and understanding are so different that it is hard for me to put into words the agony of those years. Every time I receive a copy of Forward Press, with all the letters regarding experiences, I feel I can relate to every single story.

I believe that fate sealed my life when I was three and a half years old and my father died. My mother was pregnant with my brother at the time. They had a store in a small town of twenty people and because of the depression my mother was in a sorry state. I had been the apple of my dad’s eye and, of course, have no idea what my life would have been like had he lived, but I can only surmise that it may have been better. I have several very vivid memories of him although I was very young. My mother married my dad’s brother about 14 months after my father’s death and he had an entirely different nature than my father. He was a no-nonsense type of person, very rigid and controlling. My father, on the other hand, was very easy-going and compassionate. My uncle thought I was very spoiled.

There are conflicting stories regarding why my mother married her brother-in-law. I was told by her, that he had offered for the work, but the workers advised him when my father died that his place was to look after his brother’s widow. A friend of the families told me in later years that my mother chased him to death and that was how they got together. Whatever the facts, the one thing I know for sure is that he resented me and my brother that was born four months after my father’s death, and we were always told among other things how lucky we were that he had married my mother or we would have been orphans.

My father’s parents and my mother’s parents never got along and my mother detested her mother-in-law even though everyone professed. To be fair to my mother there was a lot of mental illness on my father’s side of the family and my grandmother and aunt were in and out of mental institutes many times. Combine that, with the legalistic bondage they were all in and it is not surprising there were conflicts. At one point my mother refused to have my grandmother and aunt in her home. There was also a lot of jealousy because my mother and father were fairly well off in later years and that did not sit well with the poorer relations. Anyone that had anything was considered to be very proud in those days. A sign of poverty was apparently a sign of righteousness. The family feud continued for as long as I can remember and even today the ones remaining although professing, are far from friends.

Years later, about ten years into my marriage, my mother left my father and came to live with me. He did not know she did not intend to come back when she left to visit me. She got a job, but after numerous phone calls and letters, a guilt trip was laid on us all in such proportions that she went back to him. It was all covered up of course and no one ever knew that my mother had tried to escape. He was also very mentally unbalanced and even more so when he returned from the war.

When my father died I was old enough to know that something was very wrong and I missed him very much. I deeply resented my uncle taking over my life, bossing me around and in general disciplining me and straightening me out. I refused to call him dad and this was not being obedient. When I was six we moved to Vancouver for a year. We stayed with my great aunt who was very English and correct. She had done much better than my grandmother and had married money.

They were very prim and proper, and one thing that did not sit well was that I called my uncle, uncle. She was embarrassed by the situation. The one thing I wanted most in this world was an Eaton Beauty doll. They were the rage at the time and it was all I wanted in this world. One day I was called into the den of my aunt’s home and there on the sofa sat an Eaton Beauty doll. I was overjoyed and ran to pick it up. I was told that I could have the doll, but it was on the condition that I call my uncle, dad. How well I remember the struggle of my little heart. I wanted the doll more than anything, but to me, I felt that I was betraying my real dad and also giving into another form of power and control. I can remember my hackles rising and the power struggle that was going on within me. Previous to this devious plan I had been corrected every time I said uncle, but I had persisted in doing it. The pattern of power and control was to be a ruling factor for nearly half a century. I really believe that subconsciously I probably knew that, and it affected my resistance. I took the doll and I never did like it. I was always reminded every time I played with it that I had replaced my father with that doll and I grew to hate it.

My dad (I will now be referring to my uncle as dad for the rest of this letter) was the Elder of the church in our home. Our home was a model saints’ home and he was the power and control behind the scenes. My mother and he fought like cat and dog. Mom was always in the middle but did not dare stick up for us kids or the war would be on. My mother mourned the loss of her first husband all her life and knew also that she had made a mistake. When my stepfather died years later, although it was nothing but a relief to my mother she acted out the sorrowing widow, and as a matter of fact, still does it. As far as marrying him in the first place, as far as I am concerned she had very little choice. It was a way out for her, or so she thought. She of course would have to marry inside the way.

My dad was like a policeman, and I hated it when he was around, which was all the time except when he was at work. I never ever got any affection from him. I was NEVER hugged or kissed or sat on his knee. Never was there a reward for good behaviour. A constant nagging and put down were the order of every day. My hair, dress and behaviour had to be exactly what the workers would approve of. I was labeled the ugly duckling at school.

Long brown stockings, dresses about 4 inches longer than any other kid wore, my hair pulled straight back in braids and I could not participate in any school activities. The workers stayed at our place most of the time and if dad was not on my case, they were. I was told the place of a child, was to be seen and not heard and they were all out to enforce that rule. One time when I was sixteen I was reprimanded severely for having on a pair of black pumps. The head worker that took me to task, told me I was the world’s best flirt. I said, “Even better than Marilyn Monroe?” How I knew about Marilyn Monroe is beyond me now, but at least I figured I was good at something. That answer did nothing to enhance my popularity.

Oxfords were the name of the game but by the time I was sixteen I was so rebellious and such a hypocrite that I can hardly believe now that I wasn’t put in a reform school. I believe the only thing that saved me from that concept is that it would not have been right for an elder to admit that he could not control his children. As I think back now a reform school may have gotten me away from the cult influence. How different my life would have been if I had of had approval, acceptance and love; three things that were totally missing from so many people’s lives. When I see some of the professing teenagers today, I wonder what would have happened to me, had I decided to dress and act like some of them do now.

I learned very early in life to be a liar and very deceitful. It was my only form of survival. Dad joined the army when I was twelve and was overseas for two years. The workers made good and sure that they took over the discipline in our home and they were always there. I never could figure out how they knew so much about children and marriage when they had never had either.

When my dad returned from war, my mother got pregnant with my half-brother and I became a maid and baby-sitter. They always had a huge home and took in boarders and I was very handy to have around. Of course, I was reminded when I dared to complain that I owed my life to my dad, so complaining did me no good. I remember one time in particular when it was a Saturday and the circus was in town. We had to wash the storm windows and there were a lot of them in a thirteen-room house. Dad said that we could go to the circus when we were finished. We worked like little beavers and when we were finished he gave us each a dime and told us that was all we were worth!! We went crying to our mother and she gave us each a dollar and got into trouble for it, but we got to go to the circus which was a red-letter day for us. Why it was alright to go to a circus but not alright to participate in sports, etc; at school, I have no idea. If it had not been for our mother we would never have survived. By the time I was 14, I had severe bowel ulcers, and psoriasis and was an emotional wreck. My mother today has no problem telling a lie. She absolutely thinks nothing of it. Considering the years of practise she had, it is not surprising.

We moved for a year to a place further East. It was a business deal involving other 2X2s and it did not work out. We returned after a year to our original home. When we arrived in this new place and went to Sunday morning meeting, everyone sat to give their testimony. My mother, father, and I stood up. We were used to kneeling in prayer, they bowed their heads. There was a huge dissension because of this. There was a really big uproar, the workers were called in and a lot of hard feelings were established because of it. I can remember getting a huge kick out of this charade. It did not matter to me if I sat or stood. I would have been quite happy to not take part at all, but I did enjoy the focus being taken off me for a change and watching the conflict of control.

There was one woman there who was a real tyrant. She was even worse than my father if that was possible. Her poor kids were in constant trouble. She was a firm believer in spare the rod and spoil the child. One of the kids was always getting beaten and there was real fear in their eyes. She was in very good favour with the workers and my mother despised her. Her husband was a little mouse of a man and I can tell you he did not control her. The workers approved of her because she ruled her children with an iron hand. Most of the people in that place that were professing were related too. There was a lot of conflict in that family and among the friends there as well.

My brother left home at the age of sixteen and joined the Navy. He never did get sucked into the system. Most of my father’s wrath was directed at me, but my brother took his fair share too. He hated dad and made no bones about it. He ran away once when he was twelve. His destination was my grandmother’s place two hundred miles away. The police picked him up and brought him home. There was a big issue over it, but no one but our family knew about it. He was more subtle and never got caught in misdemeanors as often as I did. My dad always rode his bike to work as he was as tight as the bark on a tree and for instance, we would be severely chastised for leaving a room and not turning out the lights. My brother used to take the car out of the garage at night, as my dad worked the afternoon shift, and he would go for joy rides. My dad never found out. My brother would have been locked up if he had been caught. I was a nervous wreck just thinking about it and used to beg my brother not to do it.

All the friends and workers just idolized my father and he looked after the widows and visited the sick and hated us kids. His greatest joy was to put us down in front of other people and make us look like fools. I was always told I was stupid and would never amount to anything. To defend myself was out of the question. If the quotation brain-dead had of been in vogue in those days that would have been my pet name. Meal times were a testing ground. We were not allowed to talk, or participate in conversation. Sit up straight, eat and shut up. I lived for the day when I could escape.

I had turned into quite a beauty just like the story of the ugly duckling and was becoming very aware of the opposite sex and their attraction to me. I was a walking accident looking for a place to happen because I craved affection and approval. I had to have my hair cut short because of psoriasis on my scalp, but that was not even a good enough reason although a doctor recommended it. I was outcast and put down for it. I had to stop taking the bread and wine and could not take part in meetings three or four times because of something I said or did. Of course, everyone looks at you and you feel like a speck of dirt. As long as we lived at home, we HAD to go to meeting. My dad’s greatest joy was to see me squirm.

All I ever really understood about religion was the threat of hell. I never could understand the concept, that if God created or made us with our human tendencies and nature, why he demanded that we become perfect when he could have done that in the first place. I was a hundred percent sure that I was going to be struck by lightning because I knew I was not good.

No one who even thinks or wishes that their Dad would die, could possibly get to Heaven, but that was my secret wish. I kept waiting for the ax to fall. By this time however, I was paying pretty close attention to the workers because I had enough brains to recognize the enemy. I even managed to fool some of them. I even remember reasoning that if I could pull the wool over on the workers then possibly God was as easy to fool. That seemed my only hope. The workers were more real than God and it kept me busy fooling them and trying to survive. I thought very little about God but tried my best to put on a hypocritical front for the workers. I was terrified of death and we had a couple of deaths in our family and I had nightmares for months after each one. I was not in love with this man God who had taken my Dad away and put me in this terrible situation and I can remember thinking in one of my more rebellious moods that if Heaven was anything like the mess I was in now, then I did not want any part of it. The only alternative was hell however and I did not relish burning for ever. I did not want to spend Eternity with anyone I knew at the present time so I was in between a rock and a hard spot.

I had a couple of girlfriends that were in the 2x2s and their lives were quite different than mine. In both cases, the dad did not profess and they had a lot more freedom. The workers never stayed in their homes and in fact visited them very little. I was allowed to spend time with them as long as I behaved, but of course, when I did not, separation from them was part of my punishment. I was very careful to never reveal any of our sins, like listening to the radio. In our home, the radio was kept under my father’s bed and only taken out when the workers were not around. They managed to do this when we were not around, but when I walked in unexpectedly one day, the explanation was that something was coming over the air that affected my father’s job. Of course, I was warned not to tell.

I remember one time in particular when my father bought a new car. It had a radio in it and, of course, that was forbidden, but he had not got around to taking it out yet. Joe Lewis was the star of the day and he was under great discussion at school. All the kids were talking about him and making bets on the outcome of the next game. I sneaked into our garage and listened to it on the radio. I wanted to be able to participate in the talk at school. I ran the battery down, got caught and will never forget that episode.

I was very intrigued with the Royal Family. I collected and hid pictures of Queen Elizabeth who is only nine years older than I am. She was my fantasy and I wondered so often why I could not have been born a Princess. Her beautiful clothes were just a dream to me and she was so pretty and everyone loved her and clapped when they saw her. I could not even imagine what I had done to be so unloved and unwanted. My mother who had a soft heart decided she was going to take me to see the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth at a movie theatre, Mom was also very English and I am sure wanted to see the movie as much for herself as me. She programmed me for hours on how important it was that I never, never tell anyone. I was in a dream world. I did not even know what a show was, much less ever hoped to be able to be going to one.

We got up on a Saturday and took the street car to the far end of the City from where we lived. When we stood in the line up my mother put a newspaper up to her face and pretended she was shading herself from the sun. I was directed to do likewise. She kept glancing behind her to make sure we were not recognized. I was beside myself with excitement and kept whispering to her. I cannot even imagine now, what the people around us must have thought or what would have happened if we had been recognized. We obviously looked suspicious and in this day and age, I am sure someone would think I was being molested and call the cops.

I was absolutely entranced with the theater. We watched the show twice. Mom threatened me with my life if I ever told one single person and promised she would take me to another show if I would only be good. I was so good for the next while that I am positive everyone thought I was sick. Mom finally repeated the performance and we went and saw Barbara Anne Scott LIVE. Barbara Anne Scott was the figure skating champion of that day and another idol of mine and to see the live performance was something indeed. It is amazing to me that I repeated the same performance with my own children years later and smuggled them into a theatre to see Pinocchio. They were also under dire threats not to tell a soul. My mother went with us.

About that time, and the events related here are not necessarily in order, I had my bedroom moved to the basement. I could not figure out why my father came down every night and went into the furnace room. I decided to investigate and hid behind the hot water tank. Every night he wedged a piece of paper into the gas meter so that the meter was off during the night. If I had been caught I shudder to think what would have happened to me. I can remember sitting in meetings listening to his testimony and wondering if cheating the gas company was sinning.

We always had a very nice home and we never lacked for physical needs. At that time Christmas was still celebrated and we always got nice presents. I can remember one of the workers playing Santa Claus and handing out presents that were under the tree. We were also allowed to participate in the Christmas concert at school. Several years later all Christmas celebrations were cancelled in our home. When I had children I was determined that my kids would have Christmas. My husband was very opposed and every Christmas there was a power struggle between us.

Compared to what you hear now, regarding child abuse, etc., I guess our lives were not that bad. Emotional abuse was really the order of our day, but we did not suffer any extreme violence, etc. I can remember in later years talking to a friend of mine who was a counselor for mental health and he asked me if I realized that I had been emotionally abused all my life. That stunned me and I said no, realizing that I had accepted it as normal!! My escape was reading and I got into a lot of trouble for it. I read everything I could get my hands on which was fairly limited. Nancy Drew mysteries, The Dog of Flanders, Little Women, Heidi, etc; were my cop-out. By getting involved in fiction I could escape my real world. I was taken to task many times by my father and the workers for this bad habit, but managed to hide books, read under the porch and in bed under the covers. My Dad checked every night to make sure my light was out. I was allowed to babysit occasionally and used the money to buy batteries. I am sure the people at the store where I bought them wondered what I did with all the batteries.

Between the ages of fourteen to seventeen I had a lot of advances made towards me from professing married men and workers. I was a flirt, having discovered that power, and was prepared to do anything for attention. I had a very good professing friend that was a widow, who got pregnant by a worker and had an abortion. In one case regarding the advances of a married man, he lost all need for caution regarding his undying love for me and it was brought to the attention of my parents. I had not allowed any physical contact but this guy acted like a love sick puppy and, of course, it was all my fault. Again no one but the family knew of this. It was all covered up and smoothed over. What I went through with that ordeal would fill a chapter in a book.

For one thing this man had a camp out in the bush. His daughter was the same age as I was and he arranged that we would go with him to the camp for the weekend. There was only one bed. We all slept in it and I spent both nights trying to fight him off. He kept forcing me to touch him and would push himself up against me. I did not dare go to sleep or make any noise. His daughter was in the same bed. Again I was more upset by the presence of his daughter than in what was going on.

I went to babysit in another town for a month. He followed me there and brought flowers, records and lingerie. The name of one of the records was “The West, A Nest and You Dear.” The people where I was staying had a record player and he would come in and play it over and over to me. He would not take no for an answer. I was sixteen. At home when I babysat and was coming home, he would pop out from behind a tree. This man was a lot older than I was. I was flattered by the attention but scared stiff. That one experience alone was enough to drive anyone crazy.

When I was seventeen, a head worker started making advances toward me. His name was Clarence Hunt. He finally told me that God had told him that I had been chosen to keep him in the work. That put an entirely different perspective on the situation. If a worker was telling me this, then I did not have to be afraid. This man was very respected and a great preacher. His name was Clarence Hunt. The relationship soon developed into an affair that lasted for a year. He stayed at our house whenever possible and being the head worker that was not hard to instigate. I slipped into his room when everyone was asleep and got a great kick out of getting even with my father.

Finally, I was loved and accepted. I was very proud of my achievements, and the compliments and love that I received from this man. He told me I was beautiful and he taught me how to walk and stand and took the only interest in me that anyone ever had. I fell like a ton of bricks. He was very jealous of me and if I talked to any other male, he would lecture me. I used to sit in gospel meetings and wonder what everyone would have said and done if they knew I was sleeping with him. He was worshipped by nearly everyone, etc. and it felt so good to know that I was the most important person in his life or so I thought. He was twenty-five years older than I was and was in fact the father I had been looking for. I would have done anything for this man. I lived in a dream world of love and acceptance. The secrecy and deceit only added to the excitement.

I had the privilege of looking after his mail. I noticed that about once a week there was a letter addressed to him and somehow the handwriting always intrigued me. It was like a haunting flicker every time one came, and finally after a year, I could not resist the temptation to open one and see what these letters were. They were letters from a sister worker who he was also having an affair with. The letters were very graphic in content and the reason the handwriting intrigued me was that he had sent her self-addressed envelopes so no one would recognize HER handwriting. I cannot possibly relate my emotions at that time. To say I was angry, disillusioned, bitter, hurt, betrayed, etc. are just words and they do not justify the extent of my emotions. This man was not in town when I opened that letter so I put the opened letter in an envelope and sent it to him and wrote, thanks a lot.

My mother knew that I was having an affair with him and was more scared to death that my father would catch me than anything else. She was not about to go against a head worker’s wishes. When he died years later I received a copy of his funeral notes. He was the most faithful servant of the Lord that you can imagine!!! He had left home and family and sacrificed himself for the work of the Lord. No one except a very select few ever knew of that affair and I am sure there were more people involved in his life besides one sister worker and myself.

It was out of the question that I could tell anyone. A young man that had recently professed and moved to our City had been making advances toward me. I accepted his advances and married him sixty days after that. I did this out of spite, and if you ever wanted to see a more mismatched pair you should have seen us. I was so totally messed up and he was an alcoholic who had just professed. I was only married a very short time when I realized the mistake I had made.

My husband hated my parents which was alright as far as I was concerned regarding my father, but I did not like him to treat my mother badly, so that created a lot of hostility in our relationship. Of course, we were very poor and my father thought this man was an idiot. It took one to know one. We had gone North to his parents and got married on three days’ notice so my family was not at the wedding. My husband’s parents, a young couple that stood up with us and two brother workers were the only people present. It is ironic to me that the one worker who gave us a talk on marriage eventually got caught for molesting the friends’ children and had been doing it for twenty years.

I am finding this very difficult to write. I have been accused in later years of telling my story to get even in a vindictive way. I can assure anyone that thinks that way, that I would be quite happy to never even think of these events again as long as I live.

The ONLY reason that I am doing this is to try and expose the deceit, lies and corruption that lies within this cult. That fact is true of a lot of religions, but THE COVER-UP AND DECEIT IS THE WORST PART. Most of the people involved are as innocent as I was. By being around these people you become totally dysfunctional and your mind is completely taken over. Every single thing that happens to you, you blame yourself for.

It was the greatest shock of my life and believe me I have had plenty, to discover years later, and to read The Secret Sect. I thought I was the one that was out of whack. I was too bad to live it. I blamed myself for everything and was packing around such a load of guilt that it was like a ton of weight. Not until I read The Secret Sect did it ever even dawn on me that the way was wrong. By that time, I had been out for nearly ten years and was over fifty years old.

My oldest son was born a year and a half after I was married. In the meantime, we had moved out of the province and taken a job looking after one of the friends’ farms and working for him. This man made my dad look like a saint. He was very rich and powerful and we were his slaves. He hated me on sight. I refused to be controlled and he was a controller. When I say jump—say, how high? was his motive. In order to get spending money, his wife had to pick up bottles from the ditches. He owned ten sections of land. They stayed in a trailer in the yard and we had the house. He marched in every day and criticized my housekeeping and just about everything else I did. My husband, concerned that we would lose our job, sided with him. I was very angry and defensive.

Two brother workers came and stayed with us and had gospel meetings in the district. The older worker sided with me and admired my spunk, which is a nicer word than rebellion, and we became confidants. Soon, we were madly in love with each other. He never criticized me and offered me the love and caring that I so desperately craved. For some reason that is hard to figure out, I was very committed to my marriage even though I knew that it was a mistake.

We talked over our predicament and decided that nothing concrete could come out of a relationship. The brother worker in question was from a very rich family but the thought of scandal, divorce or whatever was more than either of us could stomach, so to make a long story short, to this day we never even held hands. In desperation, he went to one of the older workers, confessed his love for me and asked to be sent to another country. He told this worker that he would kill my husband if he stayed in the country. His request was granted on the condition he never see me again. They do not know that he came to see me before he left for foreign parts. He came in the morning just after my husband went to work. We had moved in the meantime and my husband had a job. We spent the day together, and the agony was more than any human being should ever have to go through.

When we parted, he said he would wait for me for twenty years, I started praying the same prayer for my husband that I had prayed for my father. I prayed that he would die and release me from this terrible predicament. I have no idea how many workers knew about this, but I have a feeling there were several and my popularity did not increase. No one knew about my previous affair, but I did not have a good reputation. Of course, all the blame for this latest episode was placed squarely on my shoulders.

I decided to make a clean breast of the situation and be honest for once in my life and told my husband that I had made a mistake in marrying him; that I was in love with this other man, but I had married him for better or worse so I was going to try and make our marriage work. In this case, honesty was not the best policy. He never did believe that there had not been anything physical between us, and when I got pregnant with our second child, he accused me that this man was the father. I just found out last year that my husband had told my son that he was not his father when my boy was fifteen. My son had lived with that thought until we spoke. The fact that he looks exactly like my husband’s side of the family apparently holds no water. EXACTLY twenty years later this man left the work and got married.

I developed a martyr complex. Because of my great belief in God, I had been willing to sacrifice my one big chance at love and stay with my husband. What I did not know at the time was that my husband was a schizophrenic. All I knew was that he had terrible mood swings and it was like living with a time bomb. I was very self-righteous. My hair was properly done my skirts the right length and I developed the sanctimonious look of anyone who has ever seen the movie The Thornbirds, could get an accurate description of my life. I raised my children the way I had been raised and the situation was much the same. My husband and I did not get along and I was very strict. I developed a work syndrome, took in foster children, raised large gardens, and at different stages of my life either worked outside the home or milked cows, raised chickens, and did whatever was necessary to keep my mind occupied. Inside, I was a raging inferno. My husband told me he married me for a baby machine, and if I did not like my life, to take the road. He had many violent eruptions and has threatened me many times.

I concentrated on having a testimony on Sunday morning and listened for the familiar touch of approval or amen. In later years we had the Wednesday night meetings in our home but never managed to meet the approval of the Sunday morning meeting. Our home was an open home and I entertained visiting friends for years that avoided hotel bills. Strangers we met at convention who wanted to visit the area where we lived would show up and stay for two weeks. I believe I was a professional actress and most certainly should have got an Oscar. When my husband and I broke up after nearly twenty-two years of hell even my family was shocked. I certainly never had any intentions of letting my father know I had made a mistake. By now, we were quite well off and had one of the better homes.

For some reason that I still do not understand, my kids never managed to become as brainwashed as I was. They have suffered, however, very much from the frustration and conflict that anyone who had a mother who was as screwed up as I was and a generation of dysfunction behind them could not have been otherwise. By the time each of them left home, and some were around sixteen, one of them ever had anything to do with the religion. I figured that was my punishment for different things I had done and it only added to my guilt.

In the meantime, the elder of the church we attended, a married ex-worker made it very obvious to me that he would like nothing better than to have sex with me. I lived with this knowledge for about three years. One day in a fit of temper my husband told me, I had committed adultery with him ever since a year after my marriage to him, because of my love for this other man.

THE ONE THING I HAD HUNG ONTO WAS THE KNOWLEDGE THAT I HAD NOT HAD AN AFFAIR WITH THIS MAN AND I HAD NOT BROKEN UP MY MARRIAGE BECAUSE OF MY LOVE FOR HIM. All the pain, agony, self-righteousness and everything else that was boiling inside came gushing out. I said if it is adultery you want, then adultery you will get. I telephoned this Elder that had made advances to me, arranged a meeting, and quite frankly, and coldly committed adultery. He was more than willing to oblige. This particular man told me that when he was in the work he had sex with animals!! I was SYMPATHETIC. This man’s wife was the coldest fish I had ever known and was the cause of a lot of dissension in the church. I can tell you that now she played the poor betrayed wife to the hilt, and as far as I know is still making her husband’s life hell.

When that episode was over, and I made no bones about my motive, I went home and told my husband what I had done. I do not believe the hydrogen bomb had as lasting an effect. The war was on, and I asked that the meetings be taken out of the home and told a few people off that I had been wanting to smack for years. Some of the events that followed are still a blur.

Several months later a very dear friend of mine died. This man was not professing and he and his wife were alcoholics. He had been raised in a professing home. He was a real good friend to me and sympathized with me. It was the first man that I had gotten close to that did not try and take advantage of me. I was devastated when he was killed suddenly. After the funeral, three workers, his wife and my husband cornered me and said that the reason I was so upset was because I had been having an affair with him. No amount of talking on my part did any good, and the only person that knew the situation was dead. All the friends were told not to have anything to do with me and we soon moved to a remote island.

I was given an ultimatum by my husband that I either smarten up or divorce him. That was an easy decision and I divorced him in 1977. By “smartening up,” he meant profess again which I had tried once and had no intention of trying again. I cannot accurately describe the last couple of years before I left my husband. In the course of events, he kicked me out six times but I always went back. He would force me out one day and the next beg me to come back.

I still entertained the workers with their cold hard stares of disapproval and tried to hold my family together. I had professed again once, but found out the workers had told the elder of the church where we went to meetings, not to believe anything I said because I was a liar!! That was the last meeting I ever attended. I was coldly excommunicated over a period of about two years. Never was I asked to not attend meetings, but when I walked into a room an ice cube would have been more welcome. My husband treated me with cold hostility.

At one point he asked me if the workers could come and hold a Sunday morning meeting in our home. We had moved to an isolated area and they had followed us. My husband and this other lady whose husband did not profess were the only people professing in that area, so they did not have much choice if they wanted a meeting. I said, yes.

The night before my husband and I attended a Christmas party that was put on where he was employed. He started to drink wine and got very drunk. We were living in a little cabin at that time and it did not have any running water or electricity. I had a hard time getting him home in the pitch black and we had to cross a creek. When we went to bed he sat up and threw up all over me. Of course, my hair was very long and I had to get up in the cold and go and wash my hair in the creek. I also had to clean up all the mess he made. I had not had anything to drink and do not drink. The next morning I got up to get ready for the meeting. My husband could not get out of bed he was so sick. The whole place which was very small reeked of booze. The workers came and the other lady who professed. Of course, I did not take part and lied and told them my husband had the flu. That was the last time the workers were ever in our home. Shortly after that, I was kicked out for the fourth or fifth time and when I returned my husband wanted sex. After the act, he apologised for stooping so low as to have anything to do with me. He said he just had a moment of weakness.

The second last discussion I had ever had with the workers, I started to ask questions again. The older worker spoke up and said we are not going to answer any more of your questions. I stood up and said the reason you are not going to answer my questions is because you don’t know the answers and I got up and walked out. Although that statement was made in frustration and rebellion, I realized in later years just how true it was. I would welcome a debate now I can tell you, but none of them will talk to me much less get into a discussion!! When I made it clear that I did not want to be a part of their group, all my friends were threatened to not have anything to do with me.

One lady in particular and I had been close friends for ten years. She was far from happy too. The way she heard about the truth in the first place was by having an affair with a professing married man!!! He told her about the truth and she went to meetings and professed. She also had a great deal of fear of hell and to this day is still struggling on and although I have told her she still insists it is my wrong spirit that is responsible for me being where I am today.

Another friend of mine that has now become an ex-2X2 has a mother that lives in our area. I made up my mind to befriend her. I have put myself out many times for her. She is still a 2X2 and told her daughter one day that I am a very evil person. They have been very good friends of my husband down through the years. She does not mind me doing things for her though.

My last discussion with a worker was years later. I had met some people who were looking for religion. I was living in the North at the time and was anything but professing, I told them a minister was in town and they should go and see him. (I still believed that if there was a right way the 2X2s were it.) They asked me to go and talk to the worker who was there and have him come and call on them. This worker was very cold towards me and ended the conversation by telling me that God often uses people, but does not bless them!!! I do not know if he ever called on the people or not, or what they did about it, because I left that area soon after.

Shortly after my final break up from my husband (he was still in town) my father was dying of cancer. My mother called and asked me to come home and help her nurse him. My husband was very opposed to this and said I was the biggest hypocrite that had ever been born. I did not feel my mother who was a lot older than my father should be alone, so I went. It was ironic that no one could do anything for my father, but me. He asked for me around the clock and I was his constant companion.

One day shortly before he died he asked me if I could ever forgive him. I assured him that if I could not forgive him, I would not be there. You would have had to have a heart of stone to not feel compassion for him the way he suffered. He told me that day that he did not feel he had a reward to go on to. He said that he felt he had missed the mark. He was a very, bitter, morbid man and I could not understand at that time why he felt that way and had no joy or peace. His whole life had been spent in the 2X2s. I thought that all that was required for salvation was to keep plodding on in the religion even though you were pretty sure you would never make it!! Of course, at that time I had absolutely no knowledge of anything else and did not understand his position.

Everyone I knew in the 2X2s was dull, morbid, sad and I had never ever seen any joy expressed. A grim determination was a much more suitable description, so it never crossed my mind that a person could have joy or peace. There were over four hundred people at the funeral. We had to get a police escort. The workers were very sure of his salvation and preached him right into Heaven. I could not help but think that he should have asked them about his doubts and they could have reassured him!! It was not until years later that I started to question my father’s uncertainty regarding where he was going to end up. He gave a lot of money to the work which probably had some bearing on being preached into Heaven.

When I finally got rid of my husband, I was very bitter and angry. I went on a ten-year self-destruction course and did everything that I thought that God would hate, if in fact, he did exist. I did not believe there was a God, but if there was and there was a hell I was at least going to deserve for once what I got. I was nothing but an unpaid prostitute, partied and swore and went nuts if anyone mentioned God or religion. I had two common-in-law relationships during that time and many more that were not for any duration.

My children were scattered to the four winds with the exception of my youngest who I had with me. Can you imagine what they went through? Here was their mother who was doing every single thing she had always preached against, making a complete idiot of herself and even I did not understand my deep bitterness and anger. Never once in this whole time did I ever question the WAY. I could not understand why I had to go to a lost Eternity just because I could not go to meetings. I knew that they would never let me back in even if I wanted to and I would have sooner faced hell than go back anyway.

Being forgiven and saved by Grace was something I had never even heard of. If they do preach that, like they claim they do, I do not know where I was, because I attended meetings and Conventions for over forty years. When I first heard about the Trinity I thought the people were mad. All I ever knew was you had to be in THAT way and follow the WORKERS example and I do not remember hearing much about Jesus Christ. It was the WORKERS sacrifice that I heard all about, and if that is not a crock, I do not know what is. They stayed in the best homes, drove the best cars, ate the best food, wore the best clothes, never had or paid any bills and lived like Queens and Kings including the worship aspect.

Somewhere along the line, in fact, it was 1981, my only Grandson died of crib death at the age of six months. My daughter was not married to the man who was the baby’s father and so my husband had refused to go to their home or see the baby. The first time he saw him was in his coffin. I totally idolized this child and spent a great deal of time with him. When he died I flipped out and came very close to going over the edge. I was really mad at God now and tried my best to assure my family that it did not matter what they did because God did not exist. I was also sure on the other hand that he was punishing me for leaving the truth. There were some workers and friends at the funeral and most of them stared at me like I had two heads. I hated anyone who even resembled a two by two. The events that took place during this time led to my first common-in-law relationship being over and I soon was in another relationship.

In the meantime, about five years into my destructive mode, my brother got Born Again. Maybe you do not think I was in a panic then. He was an atheist and alcoholic and the only difference between us was that I had tried to be religious for over forty years. The one thing that I knew for sure was that if he was stupid enough to be religious at least he had to be in the RIGHT WAY, and I made it my business to save him from another disaster, like walking from the frying pan into the fire. My Brother never really did know anything about what the Bible said according to the 2X2s, but I can tell you he did know what it said according to God. I, of course, was an authority on the scriptures and you should have heard us. After blasting him initially and trying to straighten him out, I refused to discuss it with him at all.

About three years after he was converted, I was in his city and he asked me to Church on Sunday morning. I was in my glory that I finally had a chance to knock some sense into his head and I agreed to go. When I walked into that place and heard all those people worshipping and praising God I could not believe my ears. Can you imagine doing THAT in a 2X2 meeting? Everyone was so open and free and it made an impression that I never forgot. After Church, I argued again the legalistic versus the real truth and then did not see my brother again for another two years.

In the next conversation we had, he asked me who Jesus was? I said that was the stupidest question I had ever been asked and proceeded to tell him my version. He was a man, I explained who was the son of God who died and rose again to prove that fact!!! When my brother pointed out that when Jesus died on the cross that He had taken our sins on Himself and we were saved by Grace I thought he had inherited his grandmother’s mental imbalance!!! For anyone to accept me the way I was, forgive me unconditionally and forever, much less have it be Jesus Christ, was like trying to understand another language. I had never heard anything so far out even in fairy tales much less reality. The concept that I didn’t have to DO anything was too ridiculous to even consider.

I believe possibly that at that point the unrealistic fact that the way might be wrong may have started to penetrate my subconscious. I do remember vaguely the thought would penetrate my mind, but it was far too painful to consider for any length of time. I also can remember when I was on that train of thought thinking, that if that was a possibility, then my own father would have been wrong and he wouldn’t have been in anything that was not right so it was immediately dismissed. IT JUST COULD NOT BE. For years as a 2X2, I had called out to God and asked him where is the love. My brother’s suggestion regarding the sacrifice and love of Jesus Christ was in every aspect contrary to what I had been taught. I simply could not comprehend that type of doctrine.

Around that time I was involved in my second common-in-law relationship and we had purchased a restaurant in another province. Some of our clientele called themselves Christians. I used to sit and watch these people and think, if you are Christians then I am a monkey’s uncle!!

One of the women, in particular, SMOKED and so did I; in fact, I do so to this day. How could anyone even think for one moment they were a Christian and SMOKE. As it eventually turned out, this particular lady had a great deal to do with bringing me to the Lord and we are still friends today even though we are miles apart. Because I have not been able to break this filthy habit I have to think of Rahab, what she was and how God used her, and to remember that she is listed in Hebrews 11 as part of the faithful. I still have a great deal of trouble believing that I am saved. I accept 100% the concept, except when I apply it to myself!!!

My brother phoned that he was coming for a visit. I told him he was welcome, but if he mentioned God then he would be out the door. He came, never said anything and that almost annoyed me as much as if he had of preached. I could not ignore the change in their lives and attitudes. I did a lot of watching that weekend but said nothing. I could not get over the fact that they would visit me in my home when I was living with someone. One day about three years before this I was browsing through the paper and found an advertisement for the book, The Secret Sect. I was very curious about it and cut out the ad and put it in my wallet. It fell out of my wallet about four years after I put it there, but that is another story.

The Holy Spirit was working in my life. For some reason that I could not explain I started to feel a warmth instead of a cold fury when I thought about God. The seeds that my Brother had sown were starting to take root. My relationship was starting to fall apart and all of a sudden I was terribly unhappy. The conviction was not a stabbing pain but a gentle urging. I resisted for a long time. One night I was laying in bed and I very haltingly promised God that if he would get me out of the mess I was in, that I would never mess up again. He did what I asked, but I did not keep my promise.

One night when things were particularly bad in my relationship, I was crying and fighting with my partner and the telephone rang. It was my brother and they were coming the next day. When they arrived I was ready for them. I wanted to know and understand EVERYTHING he knew about the Scriptures. The next day, I made the very shakiest commitment, packed full of doubts and fears, that I am sure anyone has ever made. Talk about a little child!! I was a new baby with the worst case of colic known to man. I cried, screamed, balked and rebelled against everything and everybody. I argued scripture until I was blue in the face. NO ONE EVER SAID, THIS IS ENOUGH QUESTIONS AND NO ONE CRITICIZED MY UNCHRISTIAN-LIKE BEHAVIOUR. FINALLY, I WAS LEARNING ABOUT LOVE.

My mother has often told me that I cried the first year of my life. She said the doctor did not believe in feeding me any more than once every four hours. She said I was a terrible child and nearly drove them crazy. She realizes now that I was being starved to death. She would not have wanted to be around my rebirth either!!! All the bitterness, hate, anger and revenge were built up inside to enormous proportions. I still did not believe the 2X2s were wrong even though I was facing proof every day of my life. To walk into a FALSE church and listen to a FALSE preacher in a BUILDING, was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I thought, if you think God hated you before, you are really going to get it now. These people were so free and happy and that was a very foreign thing to me. How could you be HAPPY and have ANYTHING to do with God.

My partner was an atheist and not at all happy with my decision. Our relationship ended shortly after and I moved back to the town where my daughter and three sons were living. My kids thought I had flipped my lid and most of them still do. I made and make so many mistakes every day of my life that it is no wonder they are confused. I want what I have, so much for them that I often use very little wisdom to get my point across. I do not blame them that they have very little respect for me and my efforts. What a joy to have a Father like we have that gently reaches down and puts us back on our feet. I really have a problem accepting His wondrous Grace and Mercy, and still cannot figure out why He would want to be bothered with ME. Paul said he was the chief of sinners. That was hundreds of years before I was born!! I now can claim that title.

My ex-husband, the children’s father who is still a 2X2 of sorts (they have disowned him in actual fact, but he does go to Gospel meetings sometimes) lives in the same town and will under no circumstances speak to me. This man hates me and lives with my son in the summertime and goes South in the winter. When he is here, I am not allowed on my son’s property. He considers himself a religious man and does these things in the name of Jesus. If there had been nothing else on the face of this earth to convince me that the 2X2s are a cult, his behaviour and actions should have accomplished that certainty years ago. When my daughter got married two years ago he would not go to the wedding although he was in the same town. If I went he would not. I went and he didn’t. It is very hard to explain these circumstances to my grandchildren.

Because of the events of the past six years being more recent, I find them even harder to relate than the previous writing. Some of the pain of these recent years will NEVER go away. When I returned to this town where I presently reside, although I was away from here for three years in the middle of all this, I started to attend church. The Pastor and his wife were wonderful people and I received a lot of help from fellow Christians. Some of the doctrine was far out to me, but in the condition I was in, I was so confused anyway that a lot of it went over my head. As I have mentioned, it was a big struggle for me to go to ANY Church and to try and explain to my children where I was at was almost impossible. The events of the next six years were to be the very worst time of my life and that was saying a mouthful. I am so thankful that our Father in His wisdom only asks us to trust Him one day at a time.

Three months after I left my common-law husband, my youngest son of twenty-three years old was drowned. How I am going to describe the events of that tragedy I have no idea. Upon hearing the news the very first conscious thought I had was, how much family are you going to lose before you will understand that you are being punished for leaving the 2X2s? All I can say is that Jesus carried me when I could not walk, spoke for me when I could not speak, functioned for me when I could not function and slowly, gently let me try it on my own, off and on for the past six years. His body was not found till the following evening and I was going to say that was the worst part. There is no way to measure the worst parts, they were all a terrible painful tragedy. He was not a Christian.

I INSISTED that my Pastor take the funeral. I finally compromised to allow the workers to take the service at the graveyard. By that time, they were so shook up that all they did was quote some psalm. My other kids were total basket cases. My one son and his wife had been with him when he drowned and she was pregnant. My oldest son and his wife are alcoholics, a trait that has captured them all. He threatened to commit suicide on a regular basis. We had a viewing and it was for family ONLY. The workers managed to come although they were not invited. The one worker sat in a chair next to the coffin, put his head between his hands and muttered what a waste, what a waste. Only my perception and control over my one son kept him from killing him. My ex-husband was there and, of course, if I came into a room he left. It was like watching some kind of a show on T.V. The kind where I cannot stand the agony of the moment and leave the room until a less emotionally charged part comes into play.

My son had been engaged at the time of his death. We were invited to her Mother’s place for lunch after the viewing. The workers also came and watched me as I puffed away on a cigarette. My husband was plastered and continued to drink wine. The one worker is no longer in the work, and I really believe that funeral may have had something to do with it. I had my testimony printed up, to be handed out at the service. I chose “Amazing Grace” at the service and insisted on the hymn, “I’ve a Friend That Meets My Every Need,” being sung at the graveside. At last, I could mouth those words in perfect honesty. Many friends stayed over to visit and I got my eyes opened a little farther at the woebegone expressions and conversations. One girl came that was now married and who was a GREAT friend of my husband. They used to go on picnics and be gone for hours at a time. They were very CLOSE. I suffered through that three hours of conversation.

One professing lady said, “I do not understand you, you are not ACTING normal” I told her it was probably because it was the first time in her life she had ever seen me when I was NOT ACTING !! One couple took two hours to tell me about the loss of their son-in-law five years before. Their faces were so full of pain and anguish that I could not believe it. My former sister-in-law attacked me verbally to find out what had really happened between her brother and me. She got her ears full that day. She did not of course believe one word I told her. My nephew by marriage asked me what I was trying to prove. I only know I got through those days by the Grace of Christ. Through them, but by no means over them!! For a long time, I kept waiting to get over the loss, and then one day I realized I never would, but would have to learn how to live with it. When my son died I felt I could not part with his hair, he had such a beautiful head of curly hair. I asked the funeral director to cut off a lock and give it to me. To this day I have been unable to look at it or touch it, the pain is still too unbearable.

Four months after this tragedy my daughter-in-law had her baby. After the second day, it was obvious that something was wrong. It was discovered that the mother had contacted salmonella and the baby got meningitis. For ten days he was in grave danger. I felt I just could not go through another death so soon. Thankfully they saved him and now he is a very healthy bright little five-and-a-half-year-old. My girlfriend was not so fortunate. Her daughter had a baby and she had the same thing as my daughter-in-law. Both the baby and the mother died. I could not go to the funeral. They are also ex-2X2s.

Just a short time after the mother and baby came home I was rushed to the hospital for major surgery. I got an infection and internal bleeding and very nearly died. I was on morphine for a week and in the hospital for a month. I came home just in time to face the first Christmas without our boy. In the six months that followed Christmas, my grandchild got molested at school, my son had an accident on his bike and my grandchild got his heel severed with a broken bottle out in the yard. Another big blow came when it was found that my oldest son’s wife had terminal cancer with a six months prognosis. They are both alcoholics. I can not possibly describe the stress and tension at that time.

Two other incidents happened about the same time. I found out (that is another story) that the church I had been attending was teaching New Age. We were in fact ALL little Gods etc; and etc. Imagine my children’s reaction when I told them I was wrong again!!! One day I was cleaning out my purse and the advertisement for The Secret Sect fell out on the table. I sent for the book.

Two weeks later I got a call from the bar from my second oldest son who had been under heavy conviction since the death of his brother. His dad had been putting the pressure on for him to profess and telling him I was right out to lunch. My son was crying and drunk. He said, “Mom how do you know the 2X2s are wrong?” I said, “I will come down there and you and I will sit in the car and talk.” I told him I did not KNOW for sure about anything, but that we would pray that God would show us once and for all, living proof of some kind that the 2X2s were wrong. I did not know it at the time but that book was sitting in my mailbox. When I got it and read it, I do not think I have ever been so upset. I was devastated to learn that the whole religion had been founded on a lie. Part of me was relieved by loads of guilt and the other half angrier than I had ever been.

I telephoned my mother and when I found out that she had not only heard of William Irvine, but been aware of the starting of the church, I was totally devastated. I gave the book to my son to read and, if possible he was more upset than I was. He gave it to his father, who threw it on the floor and declared it a pack of lies. All my life I had been told that the 2X2s had no earthly founder. They did not take a name and it was the only true church passed down from Jesus’ time. When I thought of what I had suffered at the hands of these people and how it had affected my whole life I was physically sick. If William Irvine had not been dead I swore I would have killed him.

At that time I had pretty well given up on religion. I only knew what was not right but had little idea of what was. I did feel however a closeness with Jesus and talked and prayed to Him all the time. We were all surrounded by such grief and pain and there seemed to be no end in sight. I moved in with my eldest son and his wife and tried to make some order in our shattered lives. My son threatened suicide every day and his wife was in no better shape. She started on chemo and was deathly sick. The children who had already been through so much because of their dysfunctional parents and grandparents were trying to cope with the thought of losing their mother. I prayed that the Lord would provide a means for escape as promised in the scripture. As it turned out it was the devil that provided the means, but I really believed at the time the Lord had a hand in it. A family friend who was not a Christian asked me to marry him and I accepted. He was from another province. My daughter-in-law’s family also lived in the province where I was going. She was devastated at the thought of me leaving, so we managed through different channels to relocate them. We would still be several hundred miles apart, but at least we were closer than we would have been had they not moved.

I could write pages to try and explain the frame of mind I was in when I made the decision to marry my second husband. In the first place, I did not trust any religious group or person. My emotions were shattered almost to the breaking point and I simply did not know where to turn. My children were in as bad a shape as I was, if not worse. I used this as a means of escape.

My husband was very good to me and I was happier than I had ever been in my life which does not say too much. I met a Christian lady who was a friend of my husband shortly after arriving at my new home. I had been married four months when my daughter-in-law phoned that she had to start radiation and she wanted me there. My husband encouraged me to go and be with her. I was away three weeks and very glad to get home. I did not make any attempt to go to church because I did not know where to go. I trusted no one.

Shortly after I returned from helping my kids I attended a Tupperware party. One of the ladies started talking about cults and said she had been raised in one. I asked her which one and she replied, Oh, they do not take a name but some people call them 2X2s. I was flabbergasted and informed her that I also had been in the cult for over forty years. We became good friends and if I thought I was messed up I had nothing on her. Her life was a disaster and she was currently involved with the Mormons. Through this lady, I not only found out a great deal I did not know, but she put me in contact with Kathy Lewis in the States. I immediately wrote Kathy a very disjointed story of my life and although I have never met her, we became great friends. I started to become involved in correspondence with other ex-2X2s.

Two other areas really interested me as well, and that was spiritual warfare and the New Age Movement. I read everything I could get my hands on and studied the scriptures every time I had a chance. I was very happy. My husband treated me well and we got along good. We made a couple of more trips to visit my children. So far my daughter-in-law seemed to be holding her own, and at the time of this writing, she has just had a clean bill of health. As far as I am concerned that was the direct result of hours of prayer.

I started finally to attend a church in our village. There were a lot of things going on there and conflicts with the Pastor. He did not believe the devil was a threat, and by this time I was fairly certain he was and that he had been on my tail since birth. A lot of weird goings-on confirmed my suspicions regarding the need for spiritual warfare. I was kept very busy with one thing and another. When I had been married for three and one half years, my friend came and told me she had been having an affair with my husband since four months after I was married. The affair had started when I went to help my daughter-in-law. The lady in question had been asking my husband to get a divorce and when he kept putting her off with broken promises she came and told me, hoping I would throw him out.

Up to this time in my life, I thought I had experienced every emotion known to man. I was wrong. All the emotions in this world flooded over me and I was, to say the least, very upset. I was actually beside myself and could not function. I wandered around in a daze. I alternated between forgiving my husband and wanting to kill him. I did not trust myself to be anywhere near this woman because I was not sure what I would do. I received lots of conflicting help from Pastors and Christian friends. One Pastor said that if his wife ever did that he would never forgive her. Another one advised me to forgive him and stay with him, and yet another said I must leave him because adultery was “just cause.”

I could not eat, sleep or read my Bible or even start to pray. I guess, in a way, I was praying because all I could say over and over again was, God help me. To make a very long agonizing, painful story short my husband said he loved me and wanted me to stay with him and I agreed to do so. Six months later I found out the affair was still going on and I finally got together enough funds to leave and returned to my present address. Somehow I believe that the pain would not have been so bad if this woman had not professed to be a Christian.

I SAID I would never divorce him and that when he straightened out he would know where to find me. I said that because I made a vow for better or for worse and until death do us part. It took me over a year to begin to recover from the emotional roller coaster I had again been on. My mind seemed to be working fairly rationally, but my body simply said, this is enough. I have not seen my husband since I left and have only spoken to him twice. I keep praying for his salvation and repentance, but so far nothing has happened. I have been informed by leaders that it was my own fault for marrying an unsaved man. I have been told it is my duty to divorce him. I have been told I could never marry again while he is alive and I have been told I could. I have been attending church again, off and on, since a month or two after I returned here. Very often I withdraw because I cannot stand the conflict.

I have been asked on several occasions what the difference is between the 2X2s and any church that rules with power and control, has legalistic tendencies, and does not stick to the simple good news of the gospel. In ANY cult the teaching is that you MUST be in that way to get to Heaven. If you are not in THAT WAY you are automatically going to hell. Once you have made a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I think it is the FREEDOM that makes all the difference. NO MAN can separate me from the love of God.

When I found out the church I was attending was New Age, all I had to do was walk out and go to another church. It did not affect my salvation. I am absolutely positive if the 2X2s recognized salvation in any other organization there would only be a very small handful of people that would EVER go to another meeting. I also believe that the fear of being thrown out of the way is more real to most people than the reality of hell. ANY CHURCH that will not be accountable for finances, cannot tell you when and how they were founded, and has an organization of rules, and power is not a true church. Many organizations that I know of are united in the bond of peace and love.

I still have many problems that are a direct result of the way I was raised, I recognize some of them at least and that is a step in the right direction. I am very distrustful and especially since my last experience. I have to be in control. Simply no one on the face of this earth has the power to control me. There are no shades of grey in my life. It has to be either black or white. I am very opinionated. I have very little patience with people that hurt or offend me. I am very sensitive and EASILY offended. I am like a porcupine that will throw its quills at the slightest sign of danger.

I ENJOY probably more than anything the freedom to voice my opinion even though my outspokenness is not often appreciated. I cannot handle being falsely accused. I recently got fired from a job. I was railroaded because of jealousy, and a great many accusations and lies were hurled at me. I was physically sick for a week. It simply knocked me off my feet. All the bitterness, resentment, and anger of a lifetime resurfaced during that time. My son said a short time ago that I still have a lot of legalism in me. I find it very hard to accept any type of criticism. With a great deal of control, I tried to analyze his statement and found out it was more true than false. I find myself LABOURING to be perfect and carry around huge guilt for the things I cannot seem to change. It is very very hard for me to let go and let God.

We have all been stunned in recent weeks to hear about the Waco Texas cult. Does anyone recognize the similarities? Every worker thinks they are EQUAL with Jesus Christ. THEY ARE HIS EXAMPLE. The dictionary quotes the word example as follows: “a representative SAMPLE.” No true pastor that I know even pretends to be a representative sample of Christ. Notice the cult member portrayed himself as Christ. Also, take note for anyone that saw the cult movie that the leader TOLD the women and children that the LAMB had told him to have sex with them. In my case, I had also been convinced it was the will of God, and God had told this worker that I had been chosen to keep him in the work. Immorality, child abuse, homosexuality, sodomy, adultery, molestation, and every other conceivable thing is much more prevalent in the 2X2s than anyone would really care to admit.

You must stay in the 2X2s to be saved. The threat of hell is always hanging over your head. You must be separate from the world. Child discipline is very important. Women are treated like dirt in a lot of cases. Obey the workers, is the number one rule. As far as I am concerned the similarities caused me to have goosebumps. Actually, I believe this cult leader was more honest than the workers. Everybody knew that he was having sex with a lot of people. WE may care to remember that in the Alaska scandal each sister worker thought they were the only ones. Just for the record, I do not think that the leader of the Waco Texas cult is dead!!! He was much too smart and devious to let that happen to himself.

At the time of this writing, I have been hit with two more rather major crises in my life, but I will refrain from adding any more at this time. I wish to extend my heartfelt best wishes to anyone reading this and if I can be a help to anyone, that is my greatest desire. Please excuse all errors and omissions. There is much more I could relate—this is just really the tip of the iceberg. When I start writing about these things many more happenings come to mind, but as I have stated it would take several books to contain it all. The hardest thing to do when writing this was to be perfectly honest. To think about these experiences is one thing, but to tell the world is quite another. There was no point as far as I was concerned to attempt this without honesty. To any that finds this too graphic or offensive, I apologize. It is poorly written and jumps around a lot, but a few of my experiences are at least conveyed. One thing this has accomplished as I read it over and over is the realization that if Christ can love me, he can love ANYONE.

I must also say in closing that any experience anyone has to go through to get out of this cult is well worth the pain. How very easily I could still be floundering around in it. I do not and cannot blame any individual. They are ALL victims of Satan’s lies and deceit. Does it not say the very elect are in danger of being deceived? If the elect are in danger where do you suppose that leaves these poor people? They have no concept of the gospel. We must forgive and love them. That was why it was so hard to write this letter in the past tense. My feelings then, towards those people are in no way relevant to my compassion now.

I am so happy that I made the Lord Jesus Christ my personal friend and Saviour. He has much yet to teach me and I have much to learn. It is the greatest joy of my life to be in His presence without condemnation. He is my only reason for living.

Take heart, there is a forgiving Saviour and He is alive, and THERE IS A LIFE AFTER THE 2x2s. THIS STORY IS ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICE BERG!!!

By Marge (Calder) Reynolds
Calgary, Alberta, 1993

Marge Reynolds passed away October 5, 2014