Townsend, Leigh


When I was seventeen, and somewhat innocent at the time, James Grant came to Montreal for Special Meetings in 1949. He was a visiting worker from Scotland who had come with two other workers, Jim and Nan Ross, who were brother and sister. They were lovely people, but Jim Grant was a creep.

One evening, Margaret Delamere, an ex-worker, who was doing housework in Montreal, had invited all the workers to dinner at The Chicken Coop, a local restaurant downtown, and she had invited me to go along as well. James Grant ended up sitting beside me. Probably not by accident. During most of the meal, he tried to hold my hand, play with my fingers and put his hand on my leg. When I moved his hand away, it always came back – always a little further up. I was glad when the meal ended and I could go home.

Two nights later our Sunday morning elder invited me for dinner. All the visiting workers were there including James Grant. Once again he ended up sitting at the table beside me, and after the meal he was again sitting beside me in the living room.

The whole night was a repetition of The Chicken Coop. The following night, the night before the special meeting, he stayed at our home and slept in my room. I will not go into details. Suffice to say that during the night I awoke with his arm around me. I moved away and went back to sleep. Sometime later I felt his hand on my genitals and told him to stop. He said it would be good for my personal development and I should hug and kiss him. I was totally shocked and told him that if he did not stop I would tell my parents. He did stop, but I did not go back to sleep.

At ten o’clock the next morning he was in charge of the Special Meeting and gave out the first hymn. Later, he spoke very well from the 119th Psalm, just as though nothing had ever happened. I could not believe it.

When I left the Two-by-Two’s in 1997 I revealed this episode in an open letter to the Sunday morning meeting where I went, with copies to several Workers and friends. The reaction was almost unanimous. “You should not have revealed this because it will hurt the church.” The desire was so strong to keep everything under cover that even my sister went as far as to say that she did not believe it, and said I had never slept in that bedroom. She had forgotten that her future husband and I had shared that bedroom for several months when he was boarding with us.

A few months later, an ex-worker who had seen my letter, phoned me and said it was well known in Europe that James Grant was a homosexual and that such episodes were common. The senior worker had decided to send him on a trip to Canada as a “therapeutic visit” to see if he might improve! Shortly thereafter he left the work and left the Two-by-Two’s as well. He is now deceased.

This is an excerpt from my yet unpublished biography in which a chapter is devoted to corruption in the two-by-two religion, commonly and erroneously called “The Truth”.

Leigh Townsend
Montreal, Canada
March 1998

NOTE:  Leigh passed away June 24, 2012, from cancer.

Click Here to read Leigh’s Rules for Canadian 2x2s on this website

Click Here to read Leigh’s life story