Survivors of secretive Two by Two sect waiting to access National Redress Scheme

Head Topics, Australia/May 22, 2024

Survivors of the fundamentalist Christian sect known as the Two by Twos or The Truth say they are stuck in limbo waiting for the group to join a compensation scheme for victims.The sect is holding what they call special meetings across several states this month and next where followers gather for bible study.

"I experienced grooming and abuse inside the group, and a lot of other abuses, violence, and family violence," she said. The meetings will be held outside school hours, but it has raised concerns among survivors about the possibility of having alleged perpetrators on school grounds.Ms McConnell-Conti and several other survivors to whom the ABC has spoken refer to the group as a cult because of what they say was emotional, spiritual, and physical control they experienced while a part of it.

As part of the National Redress Scheme, participating groups provide compensation, or redress, to victims. "We have been advised that we are able to join as a partially participating institution and not been informed of any impediments to joining the scheme." She said she was aware of at least four other survivors of the sect who had made applications to the redress scheme.Over May and June, sect members are gathering across Queensland, Victoria, and other states for annual special meetings.The special meetings, where followers gather for bible study and lectures, have either taken place or will take place in schools and community halls in towns including Longreach, Chinchilla, Gatton, Rockhampton, Nambour, Mount Warren Park, and Toowoomba.

They said it was an "established and successful" practice for school facilities to be hired out outside of school hours "with appropriate controls in place". They have been attended by figures linked to historic child sexual abuse in the past, including Dean Bruer.Widespread allegations of child sexual abuse committed by him came to light after his death in 2022 and led to the establishment of the group Advocates for The Truth in the US.

The sect's Australian leaders said they were "shocked and appalled" to learn of the allegations against Mr Bruer.

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