Article from the Herald Sun, an Australian newspaper
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Secretive Sect Leader Dies
By TANYA GILES
AN elderly leader of a bizarre fundamentalist sect
linked to the suicide of two teens has died.
The Victorian head of the Cooneyites, John Evan Jones,
91, died of natural causes last week and is to be
buried at Narracan East Cemetery today after a private
Mr Jones was considered to be the Victorian leader of
the secretive religious group which also goes by the
titles Nameless House Sect, Go Preachers, Two-By-Two
Preachers and The Way. It is believed to have up to
70,000 Australian members.
The group hit the headlines in 1994 when Narelle
Henderson, 14, and her brother Stephen, 12, shot
themselves with a .22 rifle to avoid attending a
four-day sect convention.
Narelle's suicide note read: "To whoever finds us, we
committed suicide because all our life we were made to
go to meetings. They try to brainwash us so much and
have ruined our lives."
The fringe religious group holds the mass rallies
yearly for its "saints". It has no official church
buildings and usually conducts its meetings in small
Cult Counselling Australia director Raphael Aron said
yesterday he was concerned about the psychological
welfare of Cooneyite members due to the pressure of
the intensive four-day conventions.
"Psychologically, these types of meetings can strip
you of your personality, reframe the way you look at
the outside world and the way you look at people," he
"They take you from the shallow end and throw you in
the deep end."
Another former member told the Coroner's Court that
nervous breakdowns were not uncommon because of
enormous pressure put on members by the "fanatical
doctrines of the sect".
Mr Aron said the group banned "worldly" activities
like watching television, dancing, playing competitive
sport and listening to pop music.
Women members are expected to dress modestly,
makeup and jewellery and wear their hair long under
the group's strict regime.
A former member of the Cooneyites, who asked not to
named, told the Herald Sun yesterday the cult had
destroyed his life.
He said the damage it had done in tearing his family
apart would never be repaired.
The following books were written by people who escaped the 2x2 church!
Elizabeth was born and raised in a nameless and secretive worldwide cult that claims exclusive origin from the New Testament apostolic ministry and
blatantly describes all other churches as 'false'. A fourth generation member, she professed faith at the age of sixteen and fully intended to remain there,
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A look inside a worldwide, supposedly nameless religion that meets in homes and rented venues, yet is almost unknown even to many
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has managed to elude public attention for most of its history, this group has been known by various names, both officially taken and
nicknames, that include: Two by Twos, the Testimony of Jesus, Meetings in the home, Assemblies of Christians, Christian Conventions,
The Truth, the Workers and Friends, the No-name church, the Way, Blackstockings, Die Namelosen, Kristna i Sverige,
Non-denominational meetings, Gospel meetings, Les Anonymes, Cooneyites, etc. Revised and expanded second edition.
They meet in homes and in rented halls, presided over by itinerant preachers known as "Workers." This religious fellowship usually goes under the
names listed above, although its members vigorously deny that the group bears any name. As to its origins, the group positions itself as being a
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Reinventing the Truth
examines these issues, focusing on the historical explanations the group has offered for its origins.
This secretive group has been called by various names over the years: The Two-by-Twos, White Mice, Black Stockings, Pilgrims, The Meeting, The Workers, The Truth, the Secret Sect, Die Namenlosen, Les Anonymes and many others.
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Here is a book that exposes the origins and the unwritten traditions of the Two-by-Twos.
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These are doctrines and behaviors that have been observed and learned by an ex-member whose family has been part of the group for five generations, since the founding of the religion in the late 1890s.
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