Ann's Story

Written by "Ann"

I grew up in a non-denominational secret sect church with no name. Sometimes the church members, or ministers, would refer to it as "The Truth". Being raised without a name, former members refer to it sometimes as "The 2x2’s". They hold Sunday meetings in homes. They also have gospel meetings and a yearly meeting called a "convention", which is held most often at one of the church members residence in buildings they have provided.

I am sad to share that people who divorced and remarried were shunned and often encouraged to leave the person they married even if they had been remarried many years.

A few years ago I went to a church convention in another state and before doing so, I called the ministers to see if someone could pick me up. They wanted my ancestry history. I didn’t think anything of it. I was told when I landed they would pick me up at 10pm but once I arrived I was told they researched my ancestry and because I was a descendent of someone who divorced and remarried they would not help. I would have to get a hotel or figure something else out because I had to suffer. The divorce took place way back in the late 1940’s!

I ended up getting a taxi to take me not realizing it was a limo and arriving at midnight. This is how strict the church is.

When i was a little girl, I was sexually abused by someone who was also a church member. It began when I was 9 and it lasted until my teen years. I never told anyone because he threatened to kill my family.

Later on in my twenties, he came back to church and I felt moved and finally mustered up the courage to warn the church members, elders, and ministers about the person who abused me, but they ALL blew me off. I was told I needed to give him a second chance. By this time I had learned that he had also sexually abused other family members.

He was allowed to live on church convention grounds, which would have given him access to at least several hundred people, including small children, if not nearly a thousand as the gatherings are held yearly for church-goers. He was eventually kicked out of the church, but it was for other reasons unrelated to my abuse.

Growing up, we were raised as women to dress extremely modestly. We had no televisions. Car antennas were ripped off as that was the devils work. We were not allowed to wear pants, makeup, jewelry, earrings, and long hair was necessary to meet approval. I guess you could say we were encouraged to dress similar to the Amish. Women were encouraged to stay home especially in rural areas. In fact, that was your goal. Women were expected to stay home and raise a family while your husband worked.

The ministers are homeless and make a point to preach. They go out in pairs (thus the reasons for "2x2’s" label). The ministers are supposed to never marry or have sex and get rid of everything they own to join the ministries. What most people from the outside don't know is that followers are encouraged to donate their estate to the ministry to support it, even though they claim to be homeless.

I followed your page as I discovered some similarities between the Mormons and The 2x2’s.

I chose to leave the church after being warned that my choices didn’t fall in line with what the ministers believed was God's will for my life. They wanted me to date a member but he did not find me sexually attractive and wanted me to agree to breast reduction surgery along with liposuction, as he felt my body shape would attract other men. I saw that as a red flag. If I want reduction surgery, it’s my choice. I was warned they would break my soul. I didn’t understand exactly what that meant until I was given examples. When they started following through with their threats, I left.

I share my story because I hope no other person deals with child sexual abuse and churches take more accountability to protect those who have been abused and hold the abuser accountable.

I also had a second offender who was raised in the church. He fondled me. It felt so strange to have him constantly touch me and send me money. It was hard bypassing him because he too was a family member.

My hope in sharing my story is just to warn people to watch your kids. You may think you are extremely vigilant but they could be sexually abused in front of your very eyes. This is what happened to me and my family was hyper vigilant.

In telling my story, I feel like I did my best to present it in a way I don’t come across as bitter as that is not my motive. My wish is that all parents would be warned. Be aware of your children and where they are.