My mother’s grandmother (my great grandmother) was the first to “profess” 2&2ism as the ONLY way of salvation and the workers to be God’s ONLY true servants in my family on either side. She had raised her children to believe in God. She and her children were poor and not at all well educated.
In about 1907, 2&2ism’s workers came to preach in the area where my great grandmother lived. She embraced the group in a matter of just a couple of meetings as “God’s Only True Way and Servants.” Then she contacted all her children, telling each child that she had told and taught them wrong. This was the period of time when many thought that any woman’s exposed legs, ankles and arms, or any other part of the body other than clad feet, bare hands and face were sinful. She bought into the black-stocking thing hook, line and sinker which some deny as ever being part of 2&2ism.
Of her large family of children, my Grandmother then became the most devout of 2&2ers. Every time we as children chaffed at the rules imposed upon us, my Mother would tell of having to wear black stockings to school. Interestingly, one time I met someone from her home town who told me about my mother’s crazy religion. Seems when my Mother went to school, she would take off her black stockings and hide them; and before returning home, she redressed herself again at the end of her day when she thought none saw. Of course, as children we were never told such a thing, only of the shame she had to bear in being forced to wear those black stockings.
So, my Mother was also indoctrinated from birth in the 2&2 dogma. As a young woman, she went to Minneapolis to work and met my dad there. Workers heard a report of him “dating” a 14-year-old girl, a younger sister of his older brother’s future wife. It was never really a date, as my father related, but the young woman was invited along where her sister and the two brothers were going. As a result, when my Father and Mother decided to marry, workers and an overseer in particular, Nichol Jardine, were strongly opposed to the marriage.
My Father’s folks met 2&2ism when he was about 8 years old. First my Father’s Mother, then later my Grandfather professed at “convention.” Both my Father and Mother were then raised as children in 2&2ism as the Way of God (not Jesus other than the way of 2&2ism being “Jesus.”) They eloped to the west and married on the 4th of July, 1939, and have been married for nearly 70 years. My father was 21 and my mother 19, and according to them, they were very adult, much more so than any of us younger generation people at that age. Both of my parents are alive at this time, and are approaching their 90s as devout dedicated 2&2 members. As far as I last knew, they believe God used William Irvine and subsequent “workers” to restore “truth” to the world. Neither are in excellent health. We are “estranged.”
My Mother’s sister, her only sibling, professed, as did all my Father’s siblings. My parents decided when they met workers on the West Coast of the USA that they would be very devout members of the Church and my Father was appointed an elder at a very young age, though meeting was not held in his home until years later.
As a child, I was fully and completely indoctrinated. I thought everyone except some of the possessing, not just professing people was lost and going to hell. Church buildings were called “institutions for the blind,” and those who went to those services also were given derogatory labels. I was given a Bible at a very early age and became very house, even bed confined as a lad because of rheumatic fever, a popular diagnosis about that time. I was said to have a heart murmur and couldn’t run about and play.
From reading the Bible and listening at “meetings,” I believed in God completely. A very traditional older woman worker in the area where we lived for all my childhood taught in the meetings that God is a Spirit Being, not as man except while in the flesh of Jesus Christ. I learned from her that God existed as Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
I learned to fear God at a very young age…fear, not revere God. My own Father was not an affectionate man. I did not know reassuring unconditional love while growing up. There were periods of my life where I got lickings (the difference between a licking and a beating has a narrow distinction.) I was afraid of displeasing God and never knew God as a truly loving God until many years later when I truly understood Jesus to be the express image of God and as much of Him in the flesh as possible. I did sing and know, “Jesus loves me.”
My belief from what I was taught was that the only way people could know they had God’s approval was if they had workers’ approval; and children could only know they had God’s approval if they had a combination of worker and parental approval. So, I grew up loving the workers, and believing workers were to be obeyed, even if they were wrong. I was told many times by my parents that if workers were wrong, they answered to God; but if professing people obeyed the workers without questioning that they would be exempt from punishment. I had wanted God’s approval from about 7 years of age and had professed at convention when I was 11.
There were many things I had to obey that I could never understand. I was frequently disobedient; and as a result, received a licking for every act of disobedience and anything untrue I was thought to have said. I had an older sister who made my life a living hell. She forced me to do things that were very wrong, saying if I said she made me do it, that she would tell our parents I was lying and I would get another licking (and she would hit me if I did not do what she wanted.)
On my own, I had a sense of humor as a kid. From the example of family, I learned to be very sarcastic at an early age. Often my sarcasm was taken as something far different and my face constantly got corrected. Once when I was about 8 years old, as I began to recover from the rheumatic fever confinement, our parents brought a brand new car, but “last years model,” a 1950 Oldsmobile 98 four-door sedan.
Our parents made a trip to San Diego taking us children along. Usually we stayed in a camp ground, in a tent, though I slept in the car. One day my father said something like, “Well, let’s stay in a motel tonight, like rich bugs, and get cleaned up for the coming day’s visit to distant relations. As the car was being unloaded by my father and mother, my 10-year-old sister said, “Let’s play ‘rich bugs.’ ” I asked, “How do we do that?”
She said, “we run and jump and sing ‘we’re rich bugs, we’re rich bugs.’ ” So boisterously I joined in, and my dad heard me. I was drug into the motel room, my dad took a wet wash rag and repeatedly slapped my face with it. As usual, my sister went free. For the next day and a half, I had huge embarrassing welts on my face.
Later, when I was about 16, my sister came to me, begging me not to take my report card home that weekend. She had a very low grade in her math course, and I had a poor deportment mark in one class, (talks too much!) We both knew that even though all our other grades and reports were way above average that we would be very disciplined for those two things. That weekend, my sister had gotten permission to go with a girlfriend for the weekend, providing I went along.
It was one of my first such experiences at growing up. My sister said, “If I take my report card home, we will not be allowed to go.” SO, I agreed. That night at dinner, my father asked, “When do you get your report cards?” My sister said nothing and I could not stand the silence. So I replied, “We will bring them home next week.” Everything was fine, and we were allowed to go, and that was the first time I ever ate pizza!
The next Monday evening (Mother and Father were leaving to go back to help with accounting procedures for my uncle’s farm/ranch Tuesday morning, and my sister had planned for us to bring our report cards to the elder lady who would be staying with us to review and sign. Anyway, at dinner, my father said, “When did you say you will get your report cards?” Now I was very gullible, naive and stupid. My sister kept silent, and once again, I could not stand the silence!
So I said, “We bring them home tomorrow.” Then all retribution and horror broke out. I was drug from the table, whipped, laying on my side in fetal position was kicked repeatedly. I remember thinking, “This is the last time I am ever going to allow this. Never again. I will fight him and beat him.” But I knew I had deceived him and so endured that beating. The next morning my Mother came to my bedroom door wanting to know if I was too bruised to go to school. I was, but I said “no,” and got out of there as quickly as I could, and wore those bruises for the next 10 days or so. By the way, my sister received no punishment (that I knew of anyway).
Why do I write these things as part of my testimony? I simply want to illustrate the 2&2 upbringing I had at home. I was indeed afraid of GOD. I graduated from High School, fully indoctrinated that I could not even date anyone who did not go to meeting. I could not participate in many things of interest to me. I became a believer, wanting to love and be loved. No, I’m not angry, bitter, distressed or carrying grudges, I am relating my testimony as a child with “devout 2&2 parents” as the basis for what will follow.
Decades later my younger sister told me that she was told by our Mother, “I told your dad that the first two were raised HIS way, but the next two would be raised MY way.” And that if she “held her mouth straight, she would get everything she wanted.” So should my two younger siblings make claims that I am not relating my childhood truthfully, they are simply ignorant of MY childhood and youth.
ENTERING COLLEGE: In the early 1960’s it was my purpose to get a degree in AeroSpace Dynamics. I found work with Boeing the day after graduation from High School. I got accepted at the UW College of Aeronautical Engineering. My parents found a “nice” professing boy a couple of years older than myself to be my roommate. He was homosexual (later choosing to represent a homosexual community in Seattle.) Naive and gullible, I discovered I was considered homosexual by association. I tried to escape the roommate and to explain why in a visit with my parents. It was totally rejected and accused of “making things up” by my parents. With parental financial aid came parental control. I couldn’t escape the roommate.
Frequently, Charles Wells came to visit my roommate who was “going to be a worker.” Charles Wells constantly ridiculed me for my choice of studies, and kept giving me barbs because my parents drove a Buick “luxury” sedan. It was a pressure cooker situation that I couldn’t escape. I was not allowed to stay on campus on weekends, and I needed to in order to get my studying and assignments done. The day I woke up with my roommate in my bed, I left school, accepted the draft and went into the army.
ENTERING THE ARMY: My army experience was 26 months (1962 – 1964.) I received my complete and total discharge (no reserve duty required, highly unusual).
I was 18 and I didn’t know a thing about how to become an objector to carrying weapons and training to kill others on command while serving in the Military. Nonetheless, I filled out the forms like every 18-year-old had to do in my day or face prison, and checked a box requesting such status and wrote a short bit of explanation. I indicated that I was willing to serve in any capacity–except training to kill upon command, and subsequently killing upon command.
Answering by myself regarding my convictions at that time without help from parents or “workers,” I quickly found myself called before the Draft Board to explain. I did not then know about the name “Christian Conventions” which had been taken by “workers” and was printed on letterhead which “workers” (specifically Geo. Walker, Jack Carroll, etc.) used to make it easier for “professing boys” and for “workers” to communicate with the US Government regarding the group, military service, tax status, etc. Later, while in the “work” I learned that the name was NOT especially given to them by the US government, as some believed. Unaware of all this, I went before the Draft Board, where I was treated as some sort of subversive. I was abruptly told that I would be thoroughly investigated (the FBI did the checking out) and dismissed.
In the months that followed before I heard back from the Draft Board, I applied for and received a security clearance (necessary to work on the flying boom of the KC 135 air tankers at Boeing.) When I received that clearance, I also received word from my Draft Board to report before them once again. They told me that after a thorough investigation of me, I would receive the Conscientious Objector (C.O.) status, as well as a college deferment.
Later, when I was drafted, I was shipped to the Army Reception Center at Fort Ord, California. The other draftees came and went, yet I remained. It seemed that I had taken some test that made them think they wanted me to become an officer, so first I was offered to attend the Army OCS program. I inquired if that would require me to carry a weapon and kill upon command. I declined when I was told that it would.
Next I was given even more tests; tests which were not given to every inductee. Then I was called before a different uniformed officer. I was told there was a way I could spend a few years at “Hudson High” and become an academy graduate. Flattered, I asked the same question, and when told the same answer, I declined again. Neither of those declinations was well received! More draftees came and went. Finally I was called into the reception center CO’s office. He told me when I reported to him that a couple of men (not in uniform) wanted to talk with me. Then he got up and left the room.
These men identified themselves as MI’s. (Everyone in Military Intelligence was referred to as an “MI.”) I was told that what I was about to hear could not be related for 40 years. At my young age, 40 years was forever. They told me they wanted me to work with them. I asked the same question and was told, “No, you will never have to wear/carry/use a weapon; in fact we don’t WANT you to, but the work will be very dangerous.” And then they asked me, “Are you willing?” Without hesitation in my naïve, youthful, invincibility, I responded in the affirmative.
They told me I was to continue with medical training until they contacted me next. So I did. I didn’t work at all at becoming a spit and polish soldier (just enough to get by), but I did take pride in trying to be one with the highest grades in study courses. I was told I came in very close to the top of all students who had ever taken the same courses. As that advanced training was coming to a close, (which included considerable unarmed hand-to-hand combat training, in addition to earlier combat medical training). Again, I was summoned before two men in business suits, whereupon that Company Commander also got up and left the room.
My Army assignment was classified and I traveled all over the world. I couldn’t tell nor speak of my duty for 40 years; only my cover duty assignment could be related to others. Under the 40 year rule again, I was told I would be sent to my choice of permanent station duty assignments, but that it would be arranged that I could be sent on Temporary Duties (TDY) for MI after some specialized Military Intelligence training, first at Presidio of Monterey, CA. So having a girlfriend at the time in Northwestern USA, I chose anywhere in the State of Washington, preferably Seattle, and was assigned to Fort Lawton, Seattle. Shortly after that I was sent to Fort Bragg and Camp McCall, which are a short distance west of Fayetteville, North Carolina; also Fort Stewart, west of Savannah, Georgia, for airborne and survival training. I appreciated the kindnesses to me when I was in the military.
Then I was sent on special assignments, and never again served in a capacity less than “aide” to ranks of full colonel and above, so that I could be free to take such assignments without raising eyebrows. People laughed that I got drafted merely to be assigned in my hometown. None had any idea of my MI assignments in the early 1960s, or how much of the world I saw as I traveled.
For short periods of time, I was in what was referred to at the time as “Indian country.” My duties included a short stint locating Med Evacuation sites for the wounded in the pending invasion of Cuba. (Even then, the US was planning beforehand for the care of wounded.) But the crisis wound down, and I returned home with little except somewhat vague training stories to relate to those who knew I was sent away.
Several months later I was gone for a bit as a medical adviser to the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN), leaving without notice, and my absence wasn’t noticed by family or friends, except that they didn’t see me for a while. (Yes, I still remember some Vietnamese (transliteration by my memory): “toy ten law, Dennis Jacobsen, rat tui duic biet co” (meaning: “my name is Dennis Jacobsen, very pleased to meet you”).
Primary duties in that assignment included teaching an ARVN military battalion (that was still executing their own wounded basic) combat medical procedures, reporting the number of hostile encounters, and evaluating the effectiveness of a chemical agent referred to as QA, which later became known as Agent Orange, and is now considered the most probable cause of my advancing nerve disease. And all forbidden to be related for forty years!
What do I have to show for it? Some pieces of medal and ribbon, A little section on my DD-214 under Other Training: Mil. Intel., and a lifetime membership to the VFW. If my memory serves me correctly, one of the nation’s highest decorated soldiers with the Medal of Honor was a C.O. and a Combat Medic. There is no record of him ever being connected with “2&2ism.”
I attended as many conventions and meetings as possible when I was in the Army. Because of my MI training and knowledge and assignment as aide to ranks of Lt. Col. and higher, I discovered how to get military temporary assignments to attend conventions as essential personnel. There I worked in dishwashing, kitchen, meat cutting, and sanitation. I felt approved and accepted at conventions because of my hard work and the effort I made to make things “work.” I offered for the work.
ENTERING THE WORK: When I was discharged from the Army, I returned to work at Boeing. I took friends to meetings who never attended before and some professed. Some even went into the work. I had a beautiful new muscle car which I sold when I went in the work. Willie Jamieson, who I knew quite well from childhood, told me that I could tell Ralph Sines that Willie said to make a place for me on that year’s worker’s list.
I began in “that work” in the late summer of 1965 at Olympia Washington Convention when I was 22.5 years old. I left “that work” 5.5 years later, and married the following year. In a few short years in USA, Sweden and Finland, I had 14 companions.
I sold everything and indeed gave the money to “the poor.” I knew some friends who were very poor, and I gave the proceeds (after covering my indebtedness) to those families. One of the children of those families grew up to go into “that work,” and sadly to me is still a “worker.” I did not know it was supposed to be given to “workers,” for I did not ask and none told me so. Had they done so, despite my desire for “worker” approval, I would probably have snorted and said to myself, “I am giving to those I KNOW to be poor, and NOT to an older “worker’”!!” The “giving to the poor” was in obedience to what I believed was the Lord’s instructions in the Bible to the “rich young ruler,” for I saw myself much as he. You see, while I was not so “rich” I did have a rather good amount of possessions for one so young, and I had tried to obey the “laws” of the Lord as I understood them to be from my earliest youth. I believed it was God teaching me what to do with those proceeds, and I would have followed that conviction, even if told to do otherwise. It was not until the beginning of my fourth year in the work that I discovered “workers” were teaching those going into “that work” to sell everything and give the money to “workers.”
I was not asked to take a public vow of chastity or celibacy. However, my own vow was private and unspoken and was this: Before the Lord I purposed (vowed?) to remain unmarried in the work for as long as I found it possible to do so; and that while unmarried I would abstain from sexual activity and intercourse as long as I remained a worker. I felt I laid my life down for that cause willingly, and I could take it up again just as willingly if I could not contain myself.
I discovered uniformity in the 2&2 religion, but no unity in anything except the mantra “church in the home, worker without a home.” As companions, Niels Jorgensen and Charlie Krub were the finest of men. And two younger men, Paul Abenroth and Dudley Bickford, were best of friends to me. Only two companions of the 14 would share money without having to be asked, and with others I was made to feel that even asking for some money from them was wrong. There are just so very many things which prove “that work” and the “workers” are not what I was taught and led to believe in my earlier years. When I offered and went into the work, I was filled with naive idealism, even when I went overseas.
SWEDEN: Thinking workers who came home from abroad had a spirit I did not have and wanted, and frequently singing “send me forth oh blessed master,” I felt that going from field to field in the USA was not giving my “best.” And I thought those who went “overseas” WERE giving their “best.” I offered to go. I was asked if I had someplace in mind, and I replied, “No, I want that to be of the Lord’s choosing.” Asked if I would consider Sweden, I answered, “yes, of course, wherever I am needed.” A year later, I was on my way to Sweden.
WILLIAM IRVINE: I have visited with a number of workers who have not only agreed and/or admitted that William Irvine started the 2&2 fellowship, but also some who have volunteered this information. Who? Tom Lyness, Willie Jamieson, Robert Darling, Elizabeth Jamieson and Annie Lyness, just to name some of them, as there were more, but my memory is vague as to just who they were now.
Charlie Krubb was not there in the beginning of the Early Days in the “Old Country,” (as they sometimes refer to Ireland and abbreviate it as O.C.) but he related in great detail to me what he had learned over the years. These things were not something that I believed anyone would repudiate, much less workers or ex-workers.
Everett Swanson was another worker who although not there in the O.C. as a first-hand witness, he confirmed that he had been told what those first-hand old-timers had told me. He was the first person I ever heard who used the expression in meeting “we do not have, nor can we prove apostolic succession.” Charles Wells was the first to relate to me that Wm. Irvine believed he was one of the two prophets of Revelation.
While these things were never something I knew in detail before I went into the work, I did learn about them in great detail while I was in the work. Frequently I learned just by listening and not even asking any questions. Further, I have relations who were very knowledgeable of these things and spoke of them to me. While on my way to Sweden, I had a chance to visit with one who “professed” before 1910, who also knew that the “fellowship,” as it was first called began with Wm. Irvine. She was still wearing dark grey, if no longer black, stockings even at that time.
People who proclaim I have reason to lie or deceive others about these things are simply revealing to me just how ignorant they really are about them. I do not have to wait until I am in the Lord’s presence to know what is “really true” about these things. I already know it. Those who try to cloud this issue for others, to make what they believe to the contrary to appear to be true will have a great deal to answer for; because they have born, and some continue to bear, false witness.
Is it done innocently? Without knowing? Maybe it was once. Now it is done to preserve their own fiction and cunningly devised fables or myths, as many of us have born witness of what we heard from those who were there first hand. Such things are also supported by “primary evidence,” a term essential to good research. Honest people will accept honest accounts and evidence, and not constantly attempt to prove themselves “right.”
Only people who value what they believe over truth will deny what I have expressed here. There is no other reason to do so. As we became fully aware of what has transpired, and learned our first beliefs were indeed wrong about these things, some of us have had to re-evaluate what we believed. That is accepting truth over what one believes, rather than the other way around.
LEAVING THE WORK: I was seriously hurt while I was in the work in Sweden on July 4, 1970. While sitting on a camp cot chair in a private tent at convention, a six-year-old boy launched himself onto my lap. The cot ripped out and my back hit hard rock (like mountain top) with pieces of steel in between. I had compressed fracture of the 5th lumbar, broken sacrum, sacroiliac and coccyx—all terribly painful. There was no treatment, only x-rays and a powerful pain medication supply for a couple of weeks. There was no financial aid, because I did not approve of workers claiming no salary nor support, but living on retirement pensions.
I heard friends at meetings and conventions constantly giving workers praise belonging to GOD as Father, Son and Holy Ghost and Him alone. Unable to do hardly anything in friends’ homes, I became treated like people’s idols along with other workers. I was told that as a new worker in the country, I had been assigned “responsibility” for a “younger” companion and was being sent to pioneer where “the Gospel” (2&2ism) had never ever been preached
Then I was summoned to see Peter Svinth. There I was called on the carpet for opposing workers’ pensions. I was told by him that HE had a pension and that I was opposing HIM and other OVERSEERS by my objection to their pensions. Therefore, they could not trust me with a younger man who did not know of their pensions; and that I would be disciplined by being assigned to Rasmus Pripp as his companion.
Rasmus Pripp was a physically violent companion. I was injured and in dreadful pain with no financial support. For no reason at all, Rasmus would grab me from behind, jerk me about, frequently making me fall to the floor as my painful injured back kept me from being able to retain my balance. Depressed, I couldn’t control my weeping. I had gone to that country weighing 218 lbs in excellent physical condition, strong and able. I left weighing 163 lbs, very thin and gaunt. I began to contemplate suicide. I couldn’t speak up about anything I felt was not right. It was extremely stressful to leave “that work,” troubled, unable, depressed, alone with no one to confide in whosoever. I recognized I was deeply affected by such thoughts and wrote home about them, acknowledging I could no longer cope.
My parents sent a pick-up ticket for me to use when I knew I had to leave. Satan told me that if I merely acquiesced I would quickly get power and when I had responsibility, I could “change things.” I could foresee all the dishonor about to be heaped upon me by leaving. I experienced two-faced lying workers. Finally, I told the overseer I was leaving. Then the pressure was put on to stay–how I was letting down the workers and friends who trusted me. I was threatened as to what would happen if I returned to the USA and told Overseers there about their pensions. I was uncertain as to what course I would take, and I was inclined to never return to “that work” which was so very demanding.
GETTING MARRIED: Almost a year after I left “that work,” Ylva and I were married on October 29, 1971. Ylva was 21, but being very short and slight in those days, she looked as though she were about 13 to 15 years old. Since I was 29, rumors circulated that I married a very young teenager.
Upon my arrival in Sweden, the home of Ylva’s parents was the very first place I stayed in. At that time, Ylva was in the USA. When my folks learned she was visiting America, and knowing that I had stayed with her parents, they invited her to visit them in Oregon. After my injury, before I left Sweden and “that work,” while awaiting a flight back to the USA, I stayed in her parents’ home again. This time Ylva was living there.
Shortly after I met Ylva in Sweden, she told me about an ugly event that happened while she had been in the USA. She was wondering what she should do. There was a married man from my home state who came into her bedroom one night telling her very explicitly what he wanted to do to her. Shocked, she had talked him out of her room, and she left the next day even though she had not planned to do so.
Wanting to give wise counsel, I asked her if she had forgiven the man for his indiscretions. She said she had. I told her that since I expected to return to my home state someday, I did not want to know the man’s identity, so that I would not have such an image of him in the future.
The next year after I left Sweden, Ylva and I became more acquainted through correspondence and discovered that we liked each other a great deal. I invited Ylva to come to the USA to visit so we could court. However, she was turned down for a visa because she had visited the USA the year before. I found out that I could pay $50.00 and sign an oath that I would either marry her or send her back to Sweden three months after her arrival. So, I wrote her parents asking their permission and approval to marry her, which they readily gave me. I paid for her fiance’s visa and she arrived in America.
That year, Ylva and I both attended Miltown Convention together. Afterwards, I made plans for Ylva to visit a couple that I believed were her good friends from her earlier visit to America; not knowing that the husband was the man who had entered her bedroom the previous year (with his wife upstairs). He mistakenly thought she was coming back for him. She immediately let him know otherwise.
When I brought her to that house after convention, he attacked me verbally in a jealous rage saying outrageous things. He called me “coward,” “deceitful liar,” “dishonorable,” “two-faced,” “unmanly,” and made a number of other totally false accusations. He also said I was unfit to be a worker or a husband. It was shocking to hear all this coming from an elder who didn’t know what he was talking about in the least. It was a most unbelievable experience. The next day, I said to Ylva, “He’s that man, isn’t he?” She said “Yes.”
He immediately called Clarence Nelson telling him lies about me, that I was crazy, and immoral, which Clarence believed because that man was an elder and a convention ground owner, and I was just an “ex-worker.” I had not said anything to anyone. I immediately found Ylva an apartment of her own and moved her that very day. In turn, Clarence Nelson called Hugo Johnson (the Swedish overseer) telling him that I was crazy and immoral.
In turn, Hugo called Ylva’s parents in the middle of the night telling them they needed to get their daughter back to Sweden immediately because I was a crazy, immoral person. Her parents called Ylva. When they told her what Hugo Johnson had told them, she immediately told them the entire story.
With both our parents approval and even my grandmother’s, Ylva and I eloped right away. That was thirty-six years ago this October 29th. Maybe we didn’t have much romance before we married but we have had considerable since!! Our daughter, Jennica, arrived 3.5 years later, and a few years after that our son, Jeff, was born. Ylva and Jeff were both injured in a childbirth accident where Jeff was in the birth canal for 4.5 minutes without blood pressure for either of them. They have both learned to compensate for the injuries sustained at that time and few people have known this.
I also spent 10 years with the US Coast Guard Family as an Auxiliary Officer. I was a Flotilla Public Affairs Officer, Flotilla Operations Officer, Flotilla Publications Officer, Flotilla Vice Commander, Flotilla Commander, Division Public Affairs Officer and Publications Officer, and District Public Affairs Officer, as well as a Master Instructor for the U. S. Coast Guard for over half of those years.
During that time I earned the rating of Coxswain (Captain of vessels to 100 ton or 65′) and a host of lesser qualifications. I routinely patrolled at Cape Disappointment in some of the most dangerous waters of the North American Continent, as well as patrolling the Lower Columbia River. One year I was in Command of the USCG presence on the river from just north of Portland Oregon to a few miles east of Astoria, Oregon.
For that service I received a special award (and a number of others) from the USCG. I was also recognized for giving over 10,000 hours of total service before my health failed completely. Those were unpaid hours from 1990 to 2000 which I worked into a very active schedule while raising a family and working with computers.
MY EXCOMMUNICATION: Tharold Sylvester was an enigma. He had told me that he had been put out of the work; that due to his mannerisms and/or personality while there, he was unwanted by those in authority at that time. Having no place to go, he went to some who professed in His meetings who lived in the Shelton, Washington area. When he came to the State of Washington, he found there was no forward Overseer in Washington, and so he just stepped into the Overseer position. Friends and other workers thought that he had the approval of Willie Jamieson and Eldon Tenniswood at that time, when they actually had nothing to do with his presumption and takeover.
Tharold knew he had told me those things and he later became afraid I might begin talking about them, so he looked for a way to force me from the 2&2 scene. Another worker also had some run-ins with Tharold. Reports of this worker’s homosexuality eventually came to light. He is still a worker to this day. However, when I was falsely accused, he also knew I was aware of his orientation (I slept on the floor when I was his companion) and he joined up with Tharold Sylvester in their kangaroo court against me.
I did everything I possibly could to make things right. Having false accusations lodged against me in court, I defended myself with no attorney. The Judge discovered the entire situation and dismissed all charges against me with prejudice, (meaning it could NEVER be brought up against me again). One of those making false accusations confessed to the judge that he had his attorney add me to the defendants because he knew I was innocent, but thought I would not even defend myself and then he could get a default judgment, which if he could not collect, he could write off on his taxes. Another attorney of a false accuser told me that professing elder was the greediest man he had ever met. The judge told me to immediately sue these men for all the injury they caused me, but I simply declined thinking that I would be restored to that fellowship. WRONG. Workers work on accusations and judge after appearances as proclaimed to them by their hardiest “saints.”
I realize the little that I have written here about this matter will leave the reader with many questions. However, I simply do not wish to explore nor relate this matter any further than I have here. I have forgiven them, knowing just how deceived they really are.
Months previously Tharold Sylvester had told me that I could not take part in meetings. Tharold told me this and then went straight from our home to my parent’s home and lied to them. When I first called my parents to tell them that I was informed that I could no longer have a part in meeting, they did not believe me. They said Thaarold told them that I was NOT told that I could not take part–when that was exactly what he had just told me hours before. This was further borne out by the fact that when I did take part, after being called “brother,” I was given a letter of excommunication. In my last contact with the two older workers, I was told that if I did everything possible to make everyone happy, they would call me “brother” then. They left my home with those words.
But it was not to be. Soon my excommunication was complete. I was excommunicated by a typed letter given to me by two women as Therold’s couriers.
LIFE GOES ON: We took a vacation to try and relieve the stress. I attended meetings in other parts, but I soon found that doors that were open to me one week were closed the next week, as libel and slander spread across the USA, Canada and northern Europe. I disobeyed Therold and attended meeting and took part, and that action was used to confirm that I was too wicked to attend ANY meeting or have ANY fellowship with the friends. That injunction stands to this very day, and I’ve never been invited to meetings or to participate by workers again.
Now when I’m asked to give my testimony about my experience and do so, people sometimes jump me for even relating anything about it. I do not want those who have caused my family and me so much anguish to be punished. I pray for them constantly. Vengeance is indeed the Lords, and I’ve prayed over and over that He will forgive these people who understand so little of what Christ came to finish.
Before Ylva was finally set free, I would escort her and our two children to meetings. Then I would go to a nearby state park to read and pray. Friends took them to conventions. A female worker called Ylva to tell her she should get away from me because she was just too close to me to see just how wicked I really was. After that, (of her own free will and without any encouragement from me to do so) Ylva chose to quit going to meetings, as did our daughter Jennica.
Personally I believe the religious system of 2&2ism is indeed a caste system. “Workers” are at the top, followed by “convention place owners.” Next are those who are so devout and loyal to the workers it is as if THE WORKERS are their “Christ.” These are those who run to the workers to gossip and henpeck and become favored for their relationship (sometimes financial) with the workers.
When my daughter finally began to get her eyes open, I could see she was unable to break free, even though she no longer considered herself one of their group. I perceived she was leaving for the wrong reason, injustice. So, I gave her the keys to our car, told her to drive to the convention with her bed roll and clothes. I made sure she had a notebook along. I told her to make a hatchmark on one side for every time friends and workers expressed thankfulness for workers and “the way.” Then I told her to make a hatchmark for every time the Blood of Christ was mentioned or when Jesus was praised for His sacrifice and the salvation found in HIM rather than in the 2&2 way/method. She came home with the one side filled with hatch marks, and the report that of all the workers, only one, Gary Paul, had spoken of His Blood and thankfulness for HIM. Further, not one of the friends had expressed such thankfulness for our Lord. Each time there was thankfulness, it was for “the way,” a reference to their church group and not to the LORD Himself.
Currently, Jennica is the mother of two children, Megan, 5 and Thomas, soon three (in 2007); a housewife and part-time retail store manager at the present. Our son, Jeffry is married, (no children) and studying Computer Science at the present.
I was born in 1943. I’ve known every aspect of 2&2ism. This is an honest account of my experiences among them. I spent nearly 50 years of devout service to the Lord in that group and gave my very best of health strength and youth. When I was falsely accused, I quickly experienced the most vile behavior imaginable by people thinking themselves to be among the only ones “right” on this earth.
As long as glorious accounts are published by those who believe 2&2ism is the truth, or the Truth, whether capitalized or not, I will present truth as I now know it to be. Do I ever expect an apology from workers or their devout friends? Absolutely not. Do I hate them? Of course not. I love them still. Hundreds of my relatives are still devout believers in that group.
However, I am very disappointed in most every 2&2er, as I experience very conditional love, if any at all, and most often nothing except reserved acknowledgment. There is absolutely nothing except wind and weather that they wish to talk about when I happen to meet one of them. There are a very few who are an exception to this who are warm and friendly when alone, but if another 2&2 appears on the scene, the atmosphere immediately becomes cold and foreboding. Why? I don’t know and have never been able to figure that out, because I don’t want to think of them as two-faced. One niece is consistently kind and loving.
From experience I believe that the work itself is a cult. I’ve never known them as a whole to be able to show unconditional love, nor extend grace freely. I am finding out that there are those whoa re beginning to see such things and are working for the better. I pray for them every day. I want us to be all one and together with the Lord in eternity.
Kindest regards to everyone,
October 16, 2007
Deceased February 18, 2020