2x2 "Bible" Studies and Destructive Mind Control
2x2 "Bible Studies" are often held when the group is not having "gospel meetings". Don't let the name fool you. The 2x2 friends do not actually study the Bible at these meetings. I have attended them for over 30 years. They just find "nice" thoughts before the meeting to share during the meeting that are in accordance with the teachings of the workers.
They typically involve 2x2 members of the group meeting at a home. The Bible studies are another example of the meeting in the home doctrine established by William Irvine in about 1903.
Here is the typical WED night meeting routine:
- They arrive and are to keep quiet until the meetings start. Many assume that this quietness is actually "the spirit" descending on the group or is an indication of the "spirit" of the group. They are not familiar with the Spirit of God and don't understand mind control either.
- After the clock reaches the time they want to start, the leader of the "study" will announce a hymn to be sung from their approved hymnal. They sing it. After the hymn, the leader may announce that they are to pray next. Not like everyone doesn't already know.
- Then they pray. Prayers are not directed to God according to the scriptures. They usually pray for the workers, people who are going through "trying" times etc. They don't understand the purpose of prayer and typically aren't interested in the results of prayer.
- After praying, they sing another hymn. Often times the leader will ask people there for suggestions on which hymn to sing. They try to sing hymns related to their study topic. They sing the hymn. After this second hymn is over, then the leader will say something like "Now the meeting is open for testimony". Which is really inappropriate given that it is a study and typically what they discuss is not what they have heard nor seen, but their opinion which they've garnered from the workers or catchy worker-approved phrases.
- Each person stands or sits (depending on local preference) and tells something they think is neat from the study. Many act sincere but have no clue that they are being led down the wrong path, having their minds poisoned by the workers and their elders. Ideas or thoughts are ones that any person could get from skimming over the chapter. If you give one of these testimonies, they will nod in approval or issue a hushed "amen" in approval. Neat ideas or thoughts that conform with the group's beliefs are encouraged and praised with their admiration and respect. Whether they conform to the Bible or not is irrelevant unless its very blatant. I have watched many people nod at thoughts that are so wild that it scared me.
They are told what topics to study. Studies are limited by cult overseers to avoid letting the people think about things that would cause "rocking the ship". Taboo subjects of the study include: divorce, adultery, their founder, churches, accountability etc Their study listed of what they can talk about is distributed annualy. Their elders usually hand them their list.
Sometimes workers encourage them to read a verse, say something they are thankful for and sit down. If you speak too long, it is often the subject of the gossipy men and women.
- The leader (typically an elder) speaks last and tries to summarize all the thoughts he likes and are worker-approved. Then the leader will announce it is time for a (third) hymn.
- They sing the third hymn from their approved song book, and only until after the singing has completed are they free to talk normal.
Cult Mind Control, How It Works
As a child, I did not look forward to these meetings. They were boring and an apparent waste of time. The Bible is not discussed, the lessons the author was trying to convey were not debated and emphasized. It was just something you did when you were "professing". But now, I understand the cult's use of "Bible Studies" as a cult mind control session in disguise.
First, the name "Bible study" is a loaded phrase. The Bible is not actually studied during this hour! Pieces of it are read and coupled with "a word of thanks" or "a word of intent" as they are instructed by the workers. Bible study topics are usually "spoken on" in a previous meeting by a worker. So what the people are really doing is rehearsing what they learned from the workers previously told them.
But let's begin.
- First the people come into the room. They are to remain quiet. The goal of the quietness to prepare them for brainwashing. They are supposed to put all thoughts and doubts out of their mind and be "open" to receiving the message.
- While quiet they enter a meditative stare or trance. Eye contact is almost strictly avoided. They are to remain still. This helps them become suggestible. Amiable talk and hello's are either forbidden or restricted. Behavioural controls by the leader are used to enforce trances. Disruptions to the trance state are met with glares or the evil eye or subtle hint to remove the distraction.
- After everyone has arrived, the solemn meeting begins. It begins with a suggestive hymn. The hymn aids in what is known in cult mind control tactics as "unfreezing". Their normal frames of reference are melted away. They are now in "meeting" and must behave accordingly. The tones of their voice change. They must remain quiet until it is "their turn". Interaction in meetings are forbidden. Hymns are suggestive of what they are about to learn. Hymns encompass reasonable beliefs that hint at the secret beliefs. For example "The way that leads to heaven above, is narrow Jesus said, tis those who only love, God's way therein will tread" This song hints that their way, "the way" is special and few find it. And only the people who find "the way" will get to heaven and all the rest go to hell. Direct translation:
"We're among the few 2x2s that have been chosen by God to be in this way and all others who don't love this way will leave and go to hell."
- The "unfreezing" process may last one or two hymns to condition the group into their "meeting state".
- Next, the people pray. But they don't pray to God. They pray what they have learned. Prayer words are limited to cliches and things they have heard workers say. They pray for generic things. Not "worldly" things like someones illness. Prayers must be acceptable by others for them to be accepted. Because if you're not accepted, then you're not in the way and will go to hell. Phobias are built up. Things that were not sin become sin through indoctrination in trance-like states. If you don't go to their meetings, then there must be something wrong with you.
- The elder prays last. All forms of meetings are finished by the leader. The closing thoughts are important. Many people coming out of prayer will be in a near deep sleep, a very suggestible position.
- Next another song, sometimes more suggestive than the first. All songs have loaded phrases. Thought control and cult focus are key.
- Next the meeting is "opened up" for "testimonies". What was "closed before" (forbidding to speak, draw attention etc) is now freely opened up. But not really. Only people who are members of the group are allowed to "give their testimony". The testimonies are to be short: stand up, read a few verses, a word of thanks, a word of good intent and then sit down. Nothing new is to be introduced. The testimonies are to "fit it" with the meeting. I was told once not to say the word "lie" in meeting because "people looked at you when you said that". While people give their "testimonies", their body language conveys the forming cult identity of themselves. Their voice changes in pitch, cadence and volume. The bodies are rigid. Eyes are diverted to the floor to reduce stimuli. Members who are listening may stare at floor and remain quiet. Many of these things vary in severity depending on the meeting, but the overall description above is something everyone who has been in a meeting can relate to. This is the changing of their minds. Through behaviourial control and body language they are caused to change their thinking to be in "harmony" or in less discord with their leader allowed or controlled behavior and required respect for their leaders. This is totally opposite of the interactive teaching of Jesus Christ the son of God.
People who do not give their testimony (reciting beliefs, thankfulness, intent) are perceived as bad either by frowns or subtle forms of disapproval through sophisticated loaded body language. Sometimes the body language is overt. The body language is thought-stopping to those conditioned to it and incurs a phobia of what will happen to them if they "don't respect the elders" or don't "obey the workers". Of course it isn't about respect or the workers actually being of God, those are just the acceptable ways to say "conform to the cult leadership."
- Next, another song is sung, further reinforcing the lessons. This reinforces the changes that were to incur during the indoctrination of the "Bible Study". As you can see earlier, the Bible is not studied at all, merely parts of it are read and the workers beliefs recited while conforming to acceptable behaviors.
- Finally the meeting is over and people start to "refreeze" (or "freeze" again into another mindset, into a new frame of existence) or reenter reality. People start to come out of the trance like state. They sigh, a smile comes out, and children say "is it over yet?" or "is it over now". People change the tone of their voice and their new modified identity is allowed to express itself. People start to move and stand up and greet each other. They talk about a few things and they head home.
Often sports or other activities are forbidden after meetings because they don't want to "forget the word" or "disrespect the meeting" or they will twist the application of the verse 1Co 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
This is so ironic because many of the friends idolize the workers and speak and praise the workers way more than God.
Really though, interaction with "worldly people" would just make it harder for the mind control to stick and they just use the loaded phrase "forget the word" to refer to this fact.
This way of meeting is totally different than the way Jesus taught. The disciples discussed the word, reasoned with each other and respectfully took turns. Learning God's word was key. Understanding and gaining knowledge from multiple teachers was encouraged. People were free to ask questions while Jesus talked. Jesus answered questions, giving more information to aid understanding and enable people to make informed choices.
If you feel that these "Bible studies" are a destructive form of mind control, please warn others and help them learn how to avoid mind control.
Meetings - Home|
Sunday Morning Meetings
Why In Homes?
Never Go to Meetings
Not of God
2x2 Bible Studies
Dying to Yourself
Meetings in the Home