Firstly, I must say that "Telling The Truth" is the most non-judgemental, non-bitter site I have come across as far as "the Truth" is concerned. I have given the first page of this website and the details of the website to many now.
I have only in the past few years, 6 years to be exact, left "the Truth" as we knew it. I can say today, that I, along with my family are closer to God than we have ever been. Many, along with my siblings, struggled with the "thought" was the meetings the only way and was it right??? So Telling The Truth has laid to rest a lot of doubts and fears. We were never given the privilege of reading other material as "knowledge is power".
The meeting morals were good. But now, we have found heartfelt JOY. I feel Jesus' arms around me and God is giving us strength and his wonderful grace everyday. Isn't it so, you just wish you could give many this insight and this joy in serving our loving God with gladness and thankfulness for having opened our eyes. Thank you for your good work
Christine - 8/22/12
My early years were in this church. My grandparents both professed in Washington state, and took me to church with them for years. I eventually professed myself, although it never really "took." I later became - and still am - a Christian, attending more contemporary style churches.
When I was growing up, occasionally my Gramma would say interesting things about the church, but wouldn't talk about it in any detail. Through the years, I would ask and dig and never really get any kind of history or information from her. So when I really started to "google" a few years ago, I was surprised to find your website. I wanted to say thanks for the information--and so much of it. It really did help me piece together a bit of the story and a really interesting part of my heritage.
A long time ago I saw a picture of my Grandma's mother sitting with her sister on some steps wearing black stockings. They stood out to me because her sister didn't have them on (so I knew it wasn't seasonal). When I discovered the "black stocking religion" connection to my grandparents' church, it was exciting--like another key to figuring it out.
It's strange to think that someday there won't be "Gramma's house" with the closets full of folding chairs for Union meeting, the piano with the extra copies of Hymns Old & New and the doily with the framed picture of two dozen conservatively dressed people kneeling on a convention grounds with a big green tent in the backgroud...but I guess when all else fails, I can always find it on your website. I guess it's true - you can find anything on the internet! Best to you,
Mina - 8/22/12
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
The other day I typed in "not ordained, women servants, women wear hair in buns" and I landed on your website. I have gone through the whole site and am amazed at all the info on it. I am 61 years old and I have been trying for years to find info on this religion. My parents joined this religion in about 1970 when I was 20 years old. My three younger brothers all joined, but I refused to because it sounded like a cult, with all the rules they had to follow, such as no TV, hair in buns, no movies, not being able to associate with friends and relatives and so on. I was the black sheep in the family and was put down and shunned. This eventually led to the split up of our farming operation, with me having to leave and go on my own.
It led me to study the Bible more, listen to the "Bible Answer Man/Hank Hanagrafh" and find a church based on the gospel and scripture. So that is the one thing I can thank them for. I know what I believe to be true based on scripture.
It is such a relief to know the truth about this organization. They are living a lie. I thank you once again for all the work you have put into this website so that we can have access to the truth. I will pass this info along to as many people as I can.
Darcy - 1/3/12
I wanted to thank you for all of your research and consolidation of information about the 2x2 faith. My grandmother, now 91, grew up in this faith. Thankfully, my father left the group when he was in his 20s.
I was forced as a child to attend meeting with Grandma so she could show me off and try to give me some religious foundation. I was left with a feeling of isolation in not being able to identify our religious practice with a name and in the realization that as a child with bangs, who wore pants the other six days of the week, whose mother wore makeup and had short hair that I was out of place with the Friends. When my friends were taking ballet and gymnastics, I was forced to take piano lessons, as that was deemed more appropriate.
Eventually I was allowed to attend Vacation Bible School with my friends (small F), much to my Grandmother's dismay. We did not have a television in our home until I was 8 years old in order to not upset my Grandmother.
Over the years, I've come to the realization that my Grandmother, as well as my Aunts, Uncles and cousins who were part of "the Truth" were lacking in their knowledge of the Bible and seemed to have no knowledge of the history of organizational structure of their sect. I was shamed for asking questions that they could not answer, or they changed the subject or sidestepped the questions. Eventually as a teen and young adult, I attended real churches with other friends. I think my grandmother would have rather thought of me as a whore than a Baptist.
Now, at the age of 42, I am married and still struggle to describe my religious upbringing to my husband or to anyone throughout my adult life. When I describe it, people wanted to identify us as Quaker or have even suggested that I was on the fringe of a cult.
At this time, I do not attend church. However, I am delighted with the sermons I hear on radio or see on television, particularly those of David Jeremiah and Charles Stanley. I still struggle to wrap my mind around the Trinity since I'd never heard much about the Holy Spirit and couldn't really tell you if "the Truth" believes in the Virgin Birth. Nonetheless, I was never told that Jesus was God. I don't know that I ever understood Jesus to be a sacrificial lamb, but rather believed that He was a persecuted martyr and role model.
I've found some of the exit letters that you've posted just fascinating. So Cherie, again, I just want to thank you for posting all of this information. In one day I've learned more about "the Truth" than in all of the questions that the Friends have evaded over the years. In fact, I'd never heard of "Christian Conventions" or "2X2" before yesterday. I'm just grateful to have a name to put with my bizarre religious foundation. Now, with a name to go by, I'm thrilled to be able to Google the subject for more understanding.
Michelle - 10/10/11
I read with interest your letter and many items on your site. I married into a family which belonged to this group and found it very interesting, especially the indoctrination required by the members. I floated around them for 25 years and found much of what you say interesting, especially the part of asking the questions and given answers meant to side-track the asked question.
I admire you putting a website together with the information and history. I know most of them do not know the first thing about the history. They follow blindly and do not like questions from outsiders. I truly know that issue.
What amazes me is the continued blind following of the ideas and belief system, the control of the workers, (yet insist the workers are not controlling). It has destroyed my daughters' lives in many ways but yet, the righteousness of the meeting people is incomprehensible. It is hard to explain to anyone who has not lived it. It is a unforgiving force.
For that reason and others, hats off to you for separating fact from fiction, taking the time to think and stand up to them for what you believe. I do know what it is like to stand up for yourself and truly admire someone when they can.
Laura - 7/20/11
I wanted to take time tonight to thank you for your website. "The Truth" definitely is a religion that needs to be carefully explained to others. I was once a member and really agree with your efforts to expose this group for what it is: a very manipulative and dangerous group of men and women that should be avoided.
The whole idea that there is a set of rules that say "workers can and workers can't" and a different set of rules that say "the saints can and the saints can't" is just something that some man made up. It is does not represent anything that God or Angels would want to be the guide for any human being.
Thank you again for your efforts.
Eric - 10/20/13
Hello there. This is from India. I have read the TTT and found so many truthful info. It was not easy for me to know that it is not from the beginning. As you say, if this church has the age less than 200 yrs then what happened to those who followed Jesus 2000 years before. So no history of Christians for 1800 years? Anyway,
Thanks, S.P. - 1/27/14
I am so very delighted to discover your website. I was raised in this cult religion you write about here. It is called "The Truth'" in my part of the country. My parents and some extended family are still deeply involved & committed to it. I cannot begin to tell you the damage this cult has brought into my life, my lack of ability to communicate and relate with my own parents and family. Instinctively I could see the unhealthy control the church held on my parents and other members. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for creating this website and telling this truthful story.
Helen - 1/8/14
Finally the truth is being told. Thanks be to God.
Muriel - 1/11/15
I would like to thank you for the vast amount of info that you have put together for me and others to read. When I first stumbled onto your site I was devastated, yet the doubts or questions that filled my mind before now all made sense. I have also been corresponding with others that have left, I find myself in the rather awkward position of making the decision to leave and break ties. The hardest is that I have had discussions with my parents regarding this, and find it very difficult to convince them that we have all been mislead due to the very foundation of this system being founded on men's ideas instead of the truth that is only found in Jesus.
My life has taken a dramatic turn over the last 3 years. I do believe that my course in life has been altered.
I am a former member of the 2x2 church and have been out for several years. I want to thank you for all your great effort and time you put into your websites, Telling The Truth and The Liberty Connection! They have been a help to me, even so many years later.
Lately on a whim, I went to your websites and read everything I could find. It brought it all back. Floods of negative memories, but struck a real note with me, so I kept reading! Remembering about when I was having doubts, no peace, no spiritual food and literally hated the way I felt...so alone! I had no help, no one to relate to! How I wish I could have talked to anyone at the time! Anyway, now I too have complete peace and joy walking daily with my Lord!
That cult is extremely damaging and claimed most of my life! I was saddened to read about people who also grew up and lived with severe dysfunction, and in many cases, destroyed their lives and health! My family is still ripped apart because of this horrible cult, but it's OK because I have a new family! My brothers and sisters are the TRUE church, and JESUS is the way, truth and life!
The wish I had been able to fellowship with those who could relate to a lifetime of so much pain, and then ultimately coming out, losing all friends and family, to limp down a lonely road for whatever might remain of ones messed up life! Fellowship, is the one thing I have longed for, because if one has NOT been raised in this cult and has been drug through hell, forced to eat crap every day and live a miserable existence for most of your life, then one cannot possibly begin to understand the bondage and pain!
I have not read any of the recommended books on TTT website, but would like to. My son, Zach Price, gave me your email address so I could thank you for all you've done! Would love to hear from you, if you can find the time to drop a line! Maybe some day I will get to meet you in person. That would be wonderful!
Cinda (Watkins) Price, November 23, 2018
In reading Cherie's book as I helped with proofreading, my impression of her as relentlessly persistent in pursuing details was greatly reinforced. The history of the nameless church often referred to as the "Two by Twos," has been shrouded in much generality and denial of historic events and decisions, rendering it vital for someone like Cherie to pursue numerous avenues of information in setting forth the history for those who care to know. Cherie digs out information that has both confirmed some of the stories about the group's origins and sometimes has had to leave it as "we cannot ascertain for sure." I appreciate this kind of honesty and fairness.
I am one of those, having been a member for 50 years, including 18 years as a minister. My eventual departure from the fellowship had nothing to do with this dismissal of knowledge regarding origins. I had always wondered about it, but I didn't make claims of its being "from the shores of Galilee" in the sense of an unbroken chain, and I didn't realize how many people invested their lives in the fellowship because of believing it to have descended directly from Jesus
For me, though the actual "founding date" was of interest, I was much more intrigued with decisions that have been made throughout the yearsand the early years in particular—that formed the basis of much of what we believed and taught. There was a certain point at which workers decided to essentially "purge" William Irvine's name from their talk about the "early days." This not only served to erase his name and early history, but it also tended to an aura of secrecy and to making statements such as "Those aren't the things that really matter." I was part of this, having often repeated this kind of advice, and like many, I was innocent of knowingly attempting to deceive anyone—I simply was part of it, and this was our "culture."
I later received a degree in Ethnic Studies, and this type of socio-historical analysis fascinated me, as I saw the forming of a culture within it all, which we were not only afraid to challenge, but we scarcely had the means of knowing what to challenge. I appreciate Cherie's research into the names, dates and events that formed the culture in which I grew up, giving me a framework in which to understand my experience.
Cherie's copious work on the internet and in this publication have proven of enormous value to me and many others, as we have struggled (at least initially) to sort out our own experiences. It helps immensely, when leaving a group that has engaged in "cultish" practices, to read of and from others who have endured similar experiences. These cultish practices are not overtly so—we didn't do strange rituals or anything—but the discouragement from seeking other avenues of information certainly occurred, which is a form of abuse often used to gain control, even in non-religious institutions.
Cherie's work includes many testimonials, statements, lists, photos, newspaper articles. It would be difficult to enumerate even the types of materials included, but it has proven cathartic to many to both share their experiences and to read that of others, and it also can prove very informational, to members, former members, and anyone from the general public who may be interested. Alan Vandermyden, August 2018
Dear Cherie, I can't thank you enough for opening the door to the "truth about the truth" for me. Even though I had been out of the 2x2's since I was 20 (and fence sitting long before that), I still had that veil of "truth scripture" over my eyes through the years. Then I found out through you that William Irvine started this church, and not Jesus when he sent his disciples out two by two.
That eyeopener allowed me to begin to search scripture like I had never searched it before. It allowed me to explore churches without guilt. I bought a Bible I could understand. I was scared to death when I went into that Christian bookstore to buy my Bible. Here I was, forty-something years old and had never been allowed to buy my own Bible before, had never entered a Christian bookstore, because the workers had to order them for us. It was like that veil was torn from my eyes, and I could see what I'd never seen before.
I thought about how you broke free of the legalism, through the pain of people's criticisms, gossip, etc. Like David, you didn't just ask for this freedom for yourself; others could see and hear what you were doing, and have that same freedom to worship as we were meant to, honoring God instead of man. You have brought so many through that same pain to break free.
I, for one, am thankful to you for your courage. Thanks to you, I can say today I am a Christian, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, and I can say it boldly. What a gift this is that we've been given. I never want to take it for granted.
Keep doing what you're doing. I'm amazed that this many years later there are still those out there who are being misled. They need to hear the truth about the history and founder of this church. They need to be able to search without guilt. It is very freeing. Thank you for being the one to free me to search for freedom in Christ. Judy Temple 8/13/18
I read the chapter by you in the book, Reflections. I am so thankful that you didn't back down on anything. You have helped many people make the exit from what we thought was the only way to be saved. I was one of them and remember vividly when I made the right step to get out and leave the convention grounds. I have forgotten lots of my past but not the most wonderful step I ever made! I just wanted to write a note and say how much I love you for going against the whole system and facing the workers the way you did. Many people have come out when reading your story or being in contact with you in person. I'm a proud mom and love you bunches! Mom (Dot Berry) 6/19/18
I want to tell you thank you once more for compiling and making available in a public manner all of your website's historical, narrative, and evaluative content. Despite not having attended meetings since I was 18, marrying "outside", and reading the bible myself, I never really felt free of the 2x2 church's social-gravitational pull injected in me since childhood.. It seemed an impossibility that I'd actually ever meet another soul who could authenticate the sense of illegitimacy I felt respecting the 2x2 church. This never ceased to put me in conflict, my 2x2 dogma/exclusivity challenging thoughts on the one hand, my emotional-familial, inertia-like loyalty on the other. I felt half-baked to overconfident, frequently unclean; in this state I was hindered from growing up, and it drained vital energy from my marriage.
In the last 3 years, through reading the thoughts and experiences of others like yourself who dared to think and dared to question, grasping for the first time the historical dinosaur of William Irvine and associates, having finally been able to trust my thoughts sufficiently to be joined by my heart, having finally been able to shed the nagging neurotic shame, I feel reborn to life, desirous of learning new things, open to the journey, whatever it entails for good or for bad I'm much more open and able to discuss the relevant with other people. For the first time, Christianity is the religion, the truth that I personally embrace instead of rejecting, through endless invalidations. I realize now I was just projecting onto Christ what I always felt towards the 2x2's.
Your historical work helped me to come to terms with the 2x2. It's helped me see it realistically, not through the idealistic lens of my parents and their peers—the primary community in which I was socialized—their interpretations, idealizations, and idolizations of their sect and the leadership. It launched me onto a quest to understand Christianity better, and to find a place within it's ideological framework. I'm still growing and learning today, thanks in large part to the dialogue your research and hard work made possible for so many of us.
Lee Fryer 8/13/18
Cherie is doing us a favor by accumulating this type of information concerning the history of the "2x2" religion. She has done the most exhaustive research that I have seen on the subject of 2x2 history—even though what she has put together only scratches the surface of this armor-plated religion. When people are implored and encouraged to burn, shred, and otherwise DESTROY any evidence that we may have that shows a traceable history to report, it must be a daunting challenge for Cherie to put together a comprehensive accounting. People also KNOW a great many things which they COULD tell, but go to their deaths never to reveal ANY of it. I admire Cherie's continual determination to attempt to document our history on a largely fair and balanced basis, in the face of much resistance and stonewalling. As Always—Keep Digging, Cherie ! Thanks! Ex-2x2. 12/22/2000
Thanks so much for your website "Telling The Truth," from which I learned about the facts regarding the church I grew up in, aka "the truth" or "the way." I also appreciate all the time, effort, energy and money you put into researching the history and providing information based on facts and not fiction. All the documents you have available on TTT are so helpful if anyone wants to double check the facts. Your website is a very useful tool for present and past members of the church. We can learn so much from the volumes of information on TTT and understand the church better in light of its history. I wish more in the church would embrace the history and learn from it rather then just ignorantly rejecting it. Truth will prevail at the end of the day, despite all the efforts to destroy, eliminate or twist it. Sincerely, Louise.
Thank you so very much for your website. It was so helpful during our exit and now we use it to equip us to answer questions of people still in fellowship. (Not that many will talk to us!) I have been into your site over and over for help and just thought it was time to tell you what a blessing it has been to me. Kathleen 5/4/99
Because I have so little time left, I have been going over my records seeing if I have failed to thank anyone who has made a great effort for my knowledge and education. I believe you are such a one, so: THANK YOU, Cherie! Wish I had known all you have helped me learn and confirm many decades ago, before being misled by workers (and intimate family.) Guess this also must serve as a "goodbye." Smile. Dennis Jacobsen 2/16/18
Hi there, I have just read that there is a hard copy of certain documents, etc. Does this mean a book, or just written documents? I was shocked when I first heard about all this, cried for three days and mourned for years. Still a 2x2 but not in heart. Thanks kindly, Doreen 4/16/17
Dear Cherie Kropp: Recently, there is someone ask us about the ex- friends in Vietnam, I show her the website Telling The Truth. In fact, it is very sufficient to understand the 2x2 in Viet Nam. Once more, thank you your effort to help the others to know clearly the 2x2 in order they are not misled by the ignorance. Your work is very careful and exact. X.H, in Vietnam 11/25/16