Liberation by Exodus
for the Swedish Massey family 2001

Note the underlined links in the text

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Our home at the time in the Swedish countryside  There was a Sunday meeting here for 19 years.

Preface

I am making the effort to record this experience, mostly for the sake of my family as, to me, it is important family history – I hope it will never be forgotten . All my 6 children were ‘born into’ the unique culture of 2x2ism. (albeit the youngest was only 1 year old when we, as a family, were rejected from the group) Admittedly,  I was the driving force in the process – however each of the children, and most of all my dear wife, where traumatically affected by the enormous distress in our entire household at that time – and by the ensuing unpleasantness of the slander and purging campaigns that cult leadership put into force against us after the initial expulsion. A significant portion of the social community we all had trusted, consequently, in a collective and obvious demonstrative manner turned their backs on us, and haven’t shown their faces since.  I was aware that this would be the unpleasant consequence, but it came as an extreme disappointment to my family -- they experienced it as 'friendship betrayed'!

Perspective has proven the beautiful hand of God in it all, as he has gently but firmly led us – but at the time it was difficult to understand how it could ever develop into anything positive for the family. I hope that in the future my family will always be thankful for the wonderful story of this deliverance. Except for this experience, we would likely still be captives in this ‘Egypt like culture’, forcefully ‘encouraged’ by a powerful (but self appointed) leadership to produce ‘more and more bricks with less and less clay’!!     

Background

My credentials in 2x2ism were likely as impeccable as exist in the 2x2 measurement system.  I was born and raised under the full influence of the system. Grew up with wonderful parents in a  'hearty' professing family – all of the 6 of us children and families  were ‘professing’ at the time of our exit. My dad could trace the beginning of  his involvement to Edward Cooney in Ireland – There had been a Sunday meeting in our family home from the time I was born (in 1946) – to the present day, 60 years later. I ‘professed’ when I was 10 – finished my schooling and then went ‘into the work’ when I was 19.  I spent 8 years in the work in Saskatchewan – and then was sent to Sweden where I spent another 8 years in the work.  In the work, I enjoyed a rather ‘favoured status’ which earned me considerable ‘privilege and responsibility’. This means that I don’t have much for unpleasant memories of that time – I was continually immersed in the many different forms of cult indoctrination – so I sincerely believed in what I was doing.

To make a long story short, in 1981 I fell in love with a girl that came to our meetings, and decided to leave the work and get married. This caused a bit of a fuss in the group at the time – but the fuss subsided fairly quickly as we established an ‘open home’ (which are very very scarce in Sweden).  Our home quickly became a ‘grand central station’ for worker activity – and continued to be so for the next 20 years – (even through the family tragedy of the passing of the mother of my oldest girl – and my subsequent remarriage).  We had a meeting in our home (had workers living with our family a large part of the time)– went to all available gospel meetings – multiple special meetings and several conventions each year.  Looking back on it we were quite ‘high profile 2x2ers’ – and for the most part enjoyed it.

 

This picture was taken at the Carema convention in Italy just a few days after we were exed in Sweden.  We were made welcome there .. but we were a bit of a 'puzzlement', as everyone knew we had been "exed" in Sweden

Trauma involved in developing the ‘will to move on’

Being born, raised and immersed in 2x2ism, every hint of any possible wisdom in the thought of ‘moving on’ to something better (no matter what!) has been carefully and systematically eradicated. It is this intensive indoctrination that likely is the reason why so many choose to remain in a system that, to any objective bystander, is so obviously fanatic, and has so often proven dishonest and corrupt. As it was in the story of the children of Israel in Egypt, it seems that sometimes nothing short of systematic trauma can give the inspiration   necessary to create the will and courage to trust God into an unknown future outside the organization. In our story, a number of separate cult-responsible 'tragedies in misery' began the task of shaking our roots. Today we are thankful for them -- but they didn't come without a price to those involved!

(the plagues!!)
 
1- In the year 1999, senior workers approached us regarding a young girl that ‘the work’ apparently had adopted (15 years old), as her parents were regarded as ‘less than hearty’ 2x2ers (in a southern European country). Workers needed a place for her to live for a period of time and we were glad to have her, as we had a large home and lots of young children.   She lived with us and we enjoyed her – but it was hard for us to accept the fact that she shouldn’t be with her family. – although it was soon obvious that she was obsessed with the goal of going into the work --  When we started pressuring the workers for a reasonable explanation – she was moved to another central European country, to another professing family to finish her schooling (and eventually go into the work)!!   The stories she told of her escapades were amazing and heart rending – and we had more reasons to believe her, than the washy and misleading explanations the workers tried to give.  As parents ourselves, this was a major factor in weakening our trust in 2x2 leadership.

2- The year 2000, the workers (from the European high counsel meeting in Luxemburg) approached us again about a sister worker from France that apparently couldn’t be in the work and needed a place to stay. This was fine with us, but when we met her at the airport she started crying and said that she had no idea as to why she wasn’t allowed to be in the work any more, after many years as a worker.  We could get no satisfactory answers from workers – just were asked to trust the senior workers who were ‘doing Gods will’– After a few months I finally got an explanation from another person involved that horrified us all.  A senior worker in France had been discovered in a long-term sexual relationship with one of the friends wives in France  - the situation was dealt with, but in a frantic effort to keep the story off the public press – this sister worker (who had been aware of the situation but hadn’t been listened to when she came with warnings) was asked to leave the work until she proved herself ‘dependable’ (wouldn’t spill the beans!!).  This blatant disregard for the integrity of a very sincere woman, distressed us to the degree that I wrote some very critical letters to a number of the responsible European workers.  They couldn’t deny the truth in our accusations and after 6 months or so, she was soon moved to a different country (Quebec Canada as she was French speaking) – and we haven’t heard from her since.  

3- The beginning of 2001 we got a phone call from a sister worker (in Finland at the time) we knew very well (and loved very highly).  Saying she had chosen to leave the work, wondering if she could come and be with us. She was of course welcome to come to us – although much in her story was hard to understand.  The first week she was with us she got a phone call from the folks at the Stockholm convention ground saying that she wasn’t welcome to come there anymore!! She broke into tears as she hung the phone up – We were furious, and  got onto the phone for an explanation from the workers involved, and found out that the workers had spread numerous direct lies about her.  We demanded a meeting with the workers on this which they refused to start with – but later agreed to when pressured by the elder in Stockholm. When we got to Stockholm the senior worker was forced to admit that there was no truth in what they had said about her-  We thought that the issue was over with this apology (which we and she accepted)– but within a few months both her and her sister (who was also in the work) were expelled from all the friends homes in all of Scandinavia.  There was no reasonable explanation ever given – except to preserve the reputation of ‘the work’

4- The spring of 2001 I got a phone call from my youngest brother in Canada saying that my cousin “Marg Magowan”  had been expelled from the work for no other reason than because she had visited a family (and shown kindness to) that had been excommunicated by the Alberta excommunication patrol, a few years previous.  By this time I was quite disillusioned about the absence of any moral values in 2x2 leadership policy, and  became involved in an extensive communication with workers about this --- (here is a link to records of much of that communication)

5- As can be understood I had made myself quite unpopular with the workers for questioning some of these things … It wasn’t really a surprise when they declared me bitter – and excommunicated me for this. My family were condemned because of their relationship to me.  My, at that time 10 year old daughter, stood to her feet in a tested meeting at one of the last conventions we were at, but this 'profession was never acknowledged' by workers .. because of my low standing at that time. We did go to a few meetings after we were rejected ... but the other professing children turned their backs on my children in an obvious attempt to express their disapproval for my children's father.  After this traumatic meeting, my wife refused to expose our little children to this kind of contempt -- and we never went back.  

6 – In the course of these discussions I had begun to do a little independent digging regarding this group that I was part of  --- and found in the Swedish register of religious groups that we were officially registered as “Christians in Sweden” and that my name was on the board of directors.  Although I knew nothing about it, the papers said that I was present at the first board meeting  and it was signed by the senior worker in Sweden. (here is a link to a translation of the documents registered with the Swedish government)

7 – Contrary to what I had been taught from my boyhood, I began to suspect an intricate bank account system financing the work and the enormous convention system – and with a little research these suspicions turned up to be quite true. Very large account balances-  Most of these major group capital resources were carefully concealed in other names, and in different kinds of non-traceable funds  As all are aware – in marketing 2x2 group philosophy, all forms of economic organization are denied (and ridiculed in other groups)--- but eventually  senior workers were forced to acknowledge their existence in numerous forms-- Quite dishonestly, there was blatant denial until we could put the documents on the table!!.  This made trust in senior workers rather  impossible.

 

8 - The greatest disappointment for me was the complete lack of interest in the truth on these things that all the less involved 'established' workers, and all the 'faithful' and 'stable' friends showed when confronted with this documentation.  I had falsely thought that some of the friends or workers would be willing to put their reputations on the line to stand for honesty --- but absolutely no one did!! Some expressed discomfort with the truth as it was presented -- but even these folks obviously choose to close their eyes, and  remain with their illusions.  Most continue with this open denial and disregard for quite obvious truth even to today.

   

This is the Stockholm convention building 
– The workers met me outside the right garage door (to the dinning room) after the last meeting and informed me of their decision to reject me and my family – (Eldon Knudson, Larry Stevens, Steve Sorenson, Dean Johnsson) I gathered my family together so the workers could tell them as well. When my children understood the 'verdict' they burst into tears and scattered -- so after I managed to get them into the car, we started our 6 hour trip home.

  

The closing of the sea behind us

The miracle of the Red sea has been a tremendous comfort to me.. First, the door of escape for us  was  presented by the workers themselves. I am doubtful if I could have found my way out of the 2x2 culture on my own – but the door of banishment gave us a passage out that only gave us the ‘one option’.  Looking back on it, we are convinced it was arranged by God himself.

 

Then equally marvellous was the closing of the sea behind us – There was an enormous campaign by the workers to discredit us, slander us, and to ‘wipe us off the map’ – but shortly after our rejection we experienced the wonderful beauty of the complete ‘sealing off’ of this disconcerting influence of the cult from our lives.  Once the initial ‘bubbles in the pot’ had subsided, we haven’t had a visit from a single worker in our home   five years have gone by now. Very, very few of our former 2x2 friends have even answered our phone calls – Our exit through the sea seems to have consumed them all!! .. from our perspective at least. A few ‘borderline’ friends have dared to call on us – In the 5 years, we have been to 3 or 4 funerals where workers are involved – but that is it!

 

This is a more recent picture of us taken in Canada 2005 at my mom and dads 60th wedding anniversary.

 

 

The fulfilment of promise

The road we have travelled since then hasn’t always been an easy one – we haven’t always been sure as to which way we should turn – but none of us in the family have the slightest desire to return to where we have been. There are few days that go by without a feeling of thankfulness for the privileges of the day – most often we are aware of the fact that they are privileges and blessings that are the direct result of our deliverance. 

One of the greatest blessings this deliverance has given us, is the privilege of  admiration and respect for the folks we work and live amongst – This is a fruitful spirit in developing our personal fulfilment.  As 2x2 supporters we were indoctrinated to regard these same folks as lost and ‘outside’ the realm of spiritual respect .. we were taught to keep ourselves clean from the influence of these folks -  This is the kind of attitude destroys the possibility of fruitful relationship with ‘outsiders’ – it is the kind of attitude that breeds self-righteousness with all the vices this entails.

 The holiness of  the 'Sunday morning meeting in the home' is  deeply entrenched in 2x2 ritual – It took a few years to 'shake off this dust'.  We continued with our own little meetings for a while until we began to realise that it was something that Jesus never ever taught or practiced. Today I often spend the same time other activities aimed at appreciating the good in folks around me. 

Shortly after our exit, we moved to a new home in our little town large enough to accomodate our own biological family, as well as a number of other children and youth, who for different reasons need a place to live. These folks are an important part of our lives today.   My wife went back to studies for 5 years, and now works full time as a social worker at a correctional institution for young girls (13-18 years). I am involved in a Swedish organization that is commited to helping the category of people that find themselves excluded and rejected from the more wholesome social structures of our communities. (for ex. because of alcohol and drug abuse, criminality, refugee background, mentally instability, personal ecconomic disasters, etc.). I find working in these  housing shelters, food centers, and social involvement facilities enriches my life, and the lives of my family, (far more than our previous 2x2 task of heralding a membership  amongst the "most righteous folks on the earth".)      

 

 

 This picture of our present day home  was taken from a balloon ride Mireille arranged for my 60th birthday.
  It has been a larger country store in its day -- but now we have renovated it to house our household,

Written by Edgar Massey 2006


 

Note: If anyone seriously should have the slightest doubts as to the accuracy in any of the facts presented in this story, I would be glad to present the source material and extensive documentation that we have carefully prepared for this end.  I am available at the following email address. (To date 2011, not one identifiable source has cared to contest any of the facts presented here, and I have choosen not to respond to anonymous (non-identifiable)  inquiries)

 

Our family 2010

Our kids 2011    Us 2013  Us2014

A collection of writings since then

Our family 2022