A Spiritual Fraud Exposed by Doug Parker, 1954
Brief Biography of Douglas Stephen Parker 1930-2014
April, 2000 Transcript of Talk by Doug Parker to Group of Ex2x2s
in Canberra, Australia
June, 1995 Transcript of Doug's talk at Los Angeles, California USA
The Chronicle,Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, May 17, 1983
Secret Sect Thread to Person's Rights - Doug Parker
Canberra Times, December 28, 1983
Book seeks to lift veil of secrecy - Doug Parker
Rebuttal to Spiritual Fraud by Alfred Magowan
Having completed a world-wide investigation of a religious sect that claimed amongst its victims myself and family, I now feel it my duty after discovering what has been so cunningly concealed, to circulate this challenging exposure.
Thousands of people the world over are being deliberately mislead by this bogus religious sect that is hidden under the cloak of "The Truth," and where origin can be traced to an unbalanced Evangelist, William Irvine. The endless pathway of destructed lives, caused by the activities and misinterpretations of this man, who classed his spiritual enterprise as an experiment in Christianity, is most certainly a pathetic tragedy.
Here we now find ruthless men who have gained his mantle, setting themselves up as rulers; separating wives from husbands, ex-communicating many of their junior preachers if such should happen to become in disfavour of their elders. Mental torture and persecution has been unmercifully resorted to, in order that "this way" may be preserved. The undue, mental worry has not only resulted with asylum cases, and paralytic strokes, but also pre-mature loss of life.
No Godly end justifies cruel means, and persecution is always wrong no matter how "Holy" the cause may seem to be in which it is used as a weapon. Any belief that requires domination, cruelty, deliberate lies and fraud in order that it may be preserved, IS NOT OF GOD, and the sooner it is dissolved the better.
These men have circulated that my money was too big a sacrifice to relinquish, and was the consequent reason for my severance from their company. This is just another lie, and I challenge Mr. John Hardie (the Australian leader) or any other person to prove otherwise.
Because of the amazing response to this exposure, with letters of appreciation from so many people who have suffered through this tyranny, I now take pleasure in going to press once again.
After being approached by John Hardie as to whether I ever thought of becoming a "preacher," and being imbued with the thought that he and his fellow-workers were a continuation of those First Disciples (as they had lead me to believe) I decided to become actively associated with them, and so offered my life and my all.
As I was immediately accepted, I sold my business and finalised all activities connected with it. It was then that John Hardie called me over to his Guildford headquarters and made it clear that all my wealth had to be given to the "THE POOR" who, in this instance, was POOR OLD JOHN, HIMSELF, or the workers.
My faith in Mr. Hardie was such that I offered him:--
(a) The capital return from the sale and disposal of all my assets;
(b) My signing over of all assets into a trust, whereby the income from rents, etc., would be paid, and then circulated amongst the "workers."
The latter appealed to Mr. Hardie, and as it was going to take some time to legally prepare, it was decided between Mr. Hardie and myself that my going out into the work could stand over until after the conventions of 1954.
Feeling indebted to my parents for what I had attained to in life, I was prompted to give them a holiday abroad, and this is where destiny changed for the better, thank God. This is where I saw Godly, saintly men, turn into raving devils, in their endeavour to flog us into submission.
Gordon McNabb threatened my father by saying, "If you don't stop Douglas from going to England, I'll have to take the church out of the home!" John Hardie warned me with, "And if you do go to England, I'll have to seriously reconsider your acceptance into the work." He reprimanded my father with, "You know our idea about the Trust, and you had no right to think of such a trip without first consulting me."
Gordon McNabb brought so much pressure to bear on my mother, by demanding that she stop speaking in all further meetings and mentally persecuting her at every opportunity, that her nerves broke under the strain, and my father ordered both Gordon McNabb and Harry Ellem from the home.
So-called "friends" automatically shunned us, and all channels and connections with workers abroad were closed.
One thing was certain and that was that this belief wasn't everything that I thought it was, and so what was originally decided upon as a holiday was destined to be an investigation. An investigation which has dug down to the very foundation of this so-called only true family of God. An investigation of months of exhaustive enquiries, weeks of searching through halve a century of newspaper records and files. Countless stories taken from ex-communicated "workers," heart-breaking stories of family divisions, persecutions and so on, and not one skerrick of a doubt that this whole belief was founded in 1899 by an unbalanced evangelist, William Irvine.
Founded by William Irvine in 1899
Astounding revelations found in North Ireland
William Irvine was the sole foundation and was entirely responsible for the creation of this whole movement. Astounding facts concerning the character of this outstanding evangelist reveal that there was much lacking mentally, morally and in honesty.
Another well-known identity, Edward Cooney, was recognised as Irvine's deputy, and from here originated the name Cooneyites.
No wonder John Hardie did everything possible to stop this trip abroad. No wonder these men disclaimed any connections with the Cooneyites, or with William Irvine and Edward Cooney, as their's was a history that no one would be proud to be connected with. A history that had fetched repeated headlines in many a newspaper, and its activities on one occasion even stirring the House of Commons. Headlines such as "Irish Tramp Preachers," "The Pilgrims," "With the Saints," "The Cooneyites, "The Go Preachers" were all in connection with the Christian Conventions, The United Christian Conventions of Australia and New Zealand, or The Testimony of Jesus of Great Britain, as they are called today.
Individual editorials, letters to the editor, Court cases, disturbances, scandalous stories, became so numerous in one instance, that it was necessary to enlist some help to copy this information. Here were character sketches from both within and without the Sect, records of meetings where there were thousands of persons in attendance, instances of arguments and divisions, and no question of a doubt that this belief was originated by this powerful evangelist, William Irvine.
London, July, 1912.
Rural Suffolk is in a ferment caused by the singular doing of the Tramp Preachers, who had established themselves in the county.
Huge Following in its Infancy
The great convention of the Tramp Preachers is still in progress at Crocknacrieve, and as anticipated has surpassed in extent all previous gatherings. There were some thousands of persons in attendance. The speakers at the meeting were the two leaders of the movement, Mr. William Irvine and Mr. Edward Cooney. Both speakers denounced the various churches and the clergy in no unmeasured terms. As usual, the call for volunteers for work in distant lands met with a response, a large number offering their services for America, South Africa, and Australia.
Crippled Churches in Infancy
There was no doubt to the extent of the following of this belief once it got a footing and in its infancy. The Rev. Sloan, from Enniskillen, stated: "When this belief got a footing here in the early 1900's, it nearly split some of the churches from top to bottom, but to-day it is a small sect with practically no influence. One very seldom sees a second generation follow it, and I have never witnessed a third. They have practically become non-existent, as they spend so much time fighting among themselves."
Edward Cooney in the Box
On the 18th December, 1913, in the King's Bench Division, London, Mr. Justice Darling in cross-examination of Mr. Edward Cooney:--
Mr. Justice Darling: "Were you the founder of this sect?"
Mr. Edward Cooney: "No, William Irvine was the first, about 16 years ago."
Judge Exposes Mistake of Tenets
I would say that one of the most interesting of these court cases was one held at Bristol Assizes:--
Mr. Justice Ridley, who heard the action with a jury, made enquiry as to the tenets of the sect, and Frederick Carter, one of the plaintiffs, replied, "We believe in Jesus Christ and his command to go out into the world and preach."
"But stop," exclaimed the Judge, "That command was to go out and preach to the lost tribes of the House of Israel."
Witness: "Jesus said go out into the world,"
His Worship: "If you believe in a literal interpretation of the New Testament you are wrong. Do you take that text from Matthew?"
The Judge: "Let us read it."
The passage was read, and the Judge then asked Carter if his contention was that "we were the lost tribes?"
Carter replied that he could not answer that.
The Judge: "I don't think that anyone can."
"Money Pours in Through Conventions
The Tramps say they have no collections. In strict parlance this may be correct, but it is not the whole truth. They may not "collect," but they receive donations. So that while Messrs, Irvine and Co. do not collect, they receive, and the receipts are sufficient to send the preachers to American, Scotland, anywhere else, and to take Mr. Irvine to South Africa and other places abroad. The regular clergy could not afford those trips. The tramps can afford it, but they go another way about.
THEY OBTAIN THE MONEY.
As I studied these extracts there was no doubt that this sect was the same as what I had become connected with, as continually names were cropping up that I had heard of and knew in some instances.
"And while the Tramps denounce John and Charles Wesley as having gone to hell, they sing the very "Devilry," written by Charles Wesley in some of his immortal hymns. On Sunday last a new hymn book entitled Hymns--Old and New, made its appearance. This book, compiled by Edward Cooney and William Carrolll, consists entirely of hymns taken from such collections as "Songs of Victory," Redemption Songs," and "Songs and Solos." The Go Preacher's Hymn book is no longer used."
Even to this day, there are hymns compiled by Edward Cooney still in this book. I mention this article for two reasons,
(1) The connection of the Head "worker" in Victoria (now deceased) William Carrolll.
(2) To prove these men as strangers to the Truth when they deny their associations with Edward Cooney.
Edward Cooney first met William Irvine in Bonnosakane [Borrisokane] Co., Tipperary, Eire, while travelling for his father, who was a wealthy draper from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.
At this time, Irvine was still connected with the Faith Mission and was know as Pilgrim Irvine, having been converted through hearing the Rev. John McNeil, a Presbyterian Minister preach the Gospel in Motherwell Town Hall, Scotland.
When he later set forth on this spiritual enterprise, Edward Cooney offered to help him financially. No doubt Irvine told him that "God does not want your money," but, of course, that didn't mean that he didn't. It is now understood that Cooney's distribution of wealth reached the pocket of Poor Mr. Irvine, who was £1400 better off. This was a small fortune 50 years ago.
Irvine warned at an evening convention meeting that any talking at night after retiring would result with those persons being publicly mentioned, and arrangements made for their departure. One preacher that wouldn't condemn Wesley was ex-communicated at this meeting. Mr. Cooney advised every man and woman to do what he did -- forget their father, their mother, their sisters, their clerical and individual training, and try and get at the truth.
During the course of conversation with one of many ex-communicated preachers, I acquired first hand information of the mentality of this powerful evangelist, William Irvine, during the latter days of his life. This man had visited Irvine in Jerusalem, and while speaking to him, William Irvine said, "Well, it was a great experiment."
"What," I said (sitting back amazed) "do you mean to say that the man responsible for the whole of this sect and movement, had the hide to say such a thing?"
"Yes," he said.
This man's whole story and many others were taken on a tape recorder, as I long had visions of this astounding evidence being referred to as lies.
William Irvine and John Hardie's Conversion
There was no avoiding a trip to Scotland, as Kilsyth was the home-town of John Hardie as well as William Irvine.
Out of hundreds that used to follow Edward Cooney down the main street of this town singing hymns, there was only one old lady left.
The divisions and arguments had left their toll, as there was no possibility of them covering up their past over here like they had done in the Colonies. John Hardie had held meetings in her home on one occasion when he had returned to England, and she well remembered those early days when she had marched with Eddie Cooney down the main street singing hymns, and the crowd that would follow. Here I was to find several of William Irvine's own relatives, as he still had one sister alive. William died in 1947, and as a homeless poor preacher left thousands of pounds. Here were taken definite statements. (£500 left to one niece, and a Miss Freebrian received £500 which wasn't in the will. He sent £500 to the Old Kilsyth Cottage Hospital, and his sisters received £200 each, and so on.
A Mr. Clelland stated:
"I have known John Hardie since I was knee high to a duck. I can remember John as a young man, and I remember well when John was converted. The reason I remember this is because I had a brother and a sister and my own mother who professed in the same meeting. John was converted in a meeting which was fully connected with the churches, THE FAITH MISSION. This meeting was conducted by two women workers, one of whom was Miss Smellie, and the other a Miss Harris. John was a fitter and learned his trade at Twetcher [Twechar] Engineering Shop, and became an engineer repairing locomotives. This belief was wholly and solely founded by William Irvine, and if John Hardie says otherwise, he is lying."
"William Irvine was converted by the Rev. John McNeil, who was a Presbyterian Minister connected with the Faith Mission."
Irvine's own son was educated to become a minister of the clergy, so don't these facts reveal and ridicule their doctrine that they are the only Christians.
I left Kilsyth with all the evidence concerning the mentality, immorality and honesty of this homeless, poor preacher, William Irvine.
Information was acquired through the help of Scotland Yard, concerning their taking of the name, The Testimony of Jesus, and so seriously did the Commonwealth Bank in London deem the matter, that an immediate dollar allowance was granted, and so continued the investigation on to the United States and Canada.
Amazing Evidence in U.S.A.
Documentary Particulars Through Washington
Here, again, I followed a pathway of destruction: Instances of men being shot, documentary evidence from Washington and Internal Revenue Department Report where certain "workers" were mentioned, one in particular with F.B.I. agents on his tracks. He had skipped the country and was supposedly hiding in England.
Sect's Tents Burned
Residents of Brooklyn Give Vent after Midnight, Fire Revolvers, Tents of Irvinites Burned.
September 15th, 1908
Here, again, the newspapers told their stories.
Premature Loss of Life
Nothing compared with the countless heart breaking factual stories that I witnessed. Men lying between life and death with bleeding ulcers of the stomach, which was the result of mental persecution from these so-called "servants of God."
One woman had taken a stroke through the unmerciful persecutions of one of these men, this leaving the whole of the left side of her face disfigured. I was to come in contact with stories of premature loss of life.---Part statement:--
"Mr. Boyd's life was very unhappy as he was frustrated in his mind through the persecutions. Mr. Boyd suffered much in spirit mentally, both he and his wife as they saw many that were once their friends becoming their enemies, and he died, I believe, as a result of these persecutions. There was a family who, when others forsook Mr. Boyd, still hung on and refused to give up his fellowship, continually affirming that Mr. Boyd was a true Disciple of Christ and Brother in Christ. This family, whose name was Hoogers, were persecuted to the extreme, because of being friends with Sam Boyd. Mr. Hoogers took it much to heart and became ill, with an affliction of the mind, and he died suddenly in Edmunton (sic-should be Edmonton) Hospital and, I believe, prematurely."
Poor Preacher with $1,500 in Wallet
Then there was the financial side of the story with facts concerning homeless, poor preachers with thousands of dollars in their pockets, and son to Australia, where they had big, fat bank balances.
Here in Australia it was a case of OH, what a mess. In Victoria and South Australia the purge was well under way. William Carrolll had recently passed on, and the fight to see who would be next greatest amongst them resulted in several different divisions. Hundreds of people on one side would have nothing to do with those who had taken sides with the other. An extract from a Victorian letter, written in July, 1954, told a little of the situation there:---
"When we came to Melbourne we found many of our friends under a cloud of suspicion--no one could tell us why, only that we must not visit them. We could not accept this and continued openly our friendship. Others did the same and they were brought under the same cloud of suspicion.
We were warned by the "workers" who said there was a conspiracy against the Ministry, 'subtle, satanic and secret.' As the numbers under suspicion grew, Mr. Carrolll decided on a purge, and week after week numbers were put out, whole churches, no one knew why, and appeals were sent to senior workers everywhere to come and help us and give us a hearing We were treated at our meetings as if we had some loathsome disease, and workers came and preached leprosy at us, referring to our friends a 'wolves, devils, dogs, etc. No Amen when we spoke in meetings. It was almost unbelievable and I don't know why we continued to go, our cousin almost went out of his mind."
"Workers" Warn Against Me
My home coming was now common gossip and the "workers" had circulated instructions that all doors were to be closed, with the results of people scurrying at the sight of me. I later heard that word had been spread "that the serpent had taken charge of me and I was indeed a very dangerous man."
Hardie Screams, "Get out of Here"
On Tuesday, 28th December, 1954, in the company of 2 witnesses, I drove the car into Guildford Convention Ground. Our arrival must have been anticipated, as no sooner had we left the car than our presence was detected. Several of the preachers immediately appeared at the entrance to the shed, and one of the followers who knew me, walked steadily towards us as we neared the hall. I was met with "I warn you not to cause any trouble here." And I answering said, "What makes you think that I'll cause any disturbance? Have you ever known me to cause any trouble?" I questioned where John Hardie was, and as he was on the platform we waited for the meeting to finish. Every thought of spreading the truth amongst the followers had long left me as I was well aware that my word would count but nought against these preachers' lies.
As the meeting dispersed it was pitiful to see the different ones scurrying away at the sight of me, and as my man, John Hardie, made his appearance at the entrance, I moved through the crowd towards him.
With McNabb on one side and H. Ellem on the other, I heard him say, "Where is he," so I realised that news of my arrival on the scene must have been sent through to him on the platform. Placing my hand forward I exclaimed to Mr. Hardie that I would like to speak to him in private, and he answering said, "I don't know whether I'll even speak to you, because you are one of my enemies." There was no doubt that I would have to force the issue so, beckoning my two companions forward, I answered him saying:
"Well, Mr. Hardie, seeing that I have met a few of your friends and ex-friends, such as George Beattie, Irvine Weir, Willie Clelland, and now know a little about William Irvine and the history of this movement, I'm afraid that you will have to listen to me."
John Hardie said: "And that's what you went to England for, to get to the bottom of everything."
Doug. Parker: "And what's wrong with getting to the bottom of things?"
Pulling away with Ellem and McNabb and several others he endeavoured to sidestep the whole affair and, consequently, our only resort was attack.
In a raised voice I said, "Mr. Hardie, there are several charges that I would like to face you with; are you going to listen to me?"
Taking advantage of his short pause, I handed forth this photograph which tied John Hardie with William Irvine, William Carrolll, George Walker and others.
Doug. Parker: "Do you recognise this or any of these men, Mr. Hardie?"
Mr. Hardie: "Yes."
Doug. Parker: "Well, Mr. Hardie, amongst some of the charges that I would like to confront you with is this," the following being read out to him:---
(1) That you are responsible for misleading myself, my family, dozens of people in and around my district, and thousands of people in Australia, that this belief is right from the beginning, and yet it only started at the turn of this century.
(2) You were agreeable to the formation of a trust instead of my handing all my wealth over to you. One was just as fraudulent as the other under the circumstances.
(3) You were connected with Edward Cooney and W. Irvine, and this belief that you are in charge of here in New South Wales is none other than that which was started by William Irvine in and around 1900.
(4) That this belief for many years was known as Cooneyites.
(5) That even though you must fully realise that apart from the personal background of this William Irvine with his partially unbalanced mind which can be dated back to around 1904, and the fact that as a homeless poor preacher he died a very wealthy man. Even though you must fully realise these things you are still a party to furthering this endless pathway of destructed lives as started by him.
(6) You have deliberately kept the truth of the history of this movement, past and present, from all the followers of this belief.
(7) That so influencing people to think that you and your workers are the only true servants and preachers from God you are responsible for:---
(a Spiritual Fraudery.
(b) Bringing pressure to bear upon people to the extent that they became so demented, mentally tortured and persecuted that they have, in some instances, lost their health, nerves and even premature loss of their lives by the works of many of your co-workers.
(8) Do you know that William Irvine, the founder of this movement and the sole foundation of this movement stated prior to his death that it was A GREAT EXPERIMENT?
The twelfth charge was in connection with their being registered with certain Government Departments in a name, and before finishing this, he, in a rage, screamed, "Lies, it's a lie and they are all lies. If you'll tell one lie, you'll tell a hundred of them." Throwing his arms in the air he screamed, "Get out of here, get off these grounds."
Shaking my head I turned to my two companions, and it was then that several of the "workers" closed in on us and moved in behind as we walked towards the car. Mr. Ellem and Mr. Pritchard threatened to prosecute for trespassing.
No longer could I look upon these men as Godly preachers. Any queries or questions of a disturbing nature would either be met by evasive answers or an immediate cloud of suspicion. One man from a Sydney suburb stated, "After making enquiries in connection with a certain preacher who had been ex-communicated, I was met by Con Swadling, the bishop of the church, who informed me that he was sorry to have to tell me I could no longer meet with them until I heard from John Hardie. That was in 1930, and here we are in 1955, and I still haven't heard from him."
Another stated: "During my absence, Gordon McNabb and another named Boone, worried my wife to such an extent that her nerves broke under the strain, and she had a total breakdown."
Principal of Big Sydney College warns against Cooneyites
Our Education Department was so disturbed by the activities of this deadly sect that warnings were issued to Student Teachers going out into country districts to beware of the Cooneyites and avoid all contact with them.
Edward Cooney ex-Communicated
It was a case of no wonder Mr. Hardie and his associate Overseers in other countries ex-communicated Edward Cooney. This enabled them to shake off that stigma of the name Cooneyites.
Space will only permit me to roughly explain the facts acquired through this investigation, as an unfinished report runs into several hundred pages. Included in this is the truth concerning their Living Witness Doctrine, which was instigated by Joseph Kerr.
How they originally did have halls until ex-communication necessitated exclusion of the unwanted. This could not be done in a public building or a church.
How they even thought that they were going to be gifted with the power to heal the sick and create miracles, etc.
A brief outline of history of this movement is as follows:---
After the Moody and Sanky revival in Scotland in 1881, a Scotsman named John Govan conceived the plan of sending the Gospel by pairs of preachers to the island and country districts. This mission was called the Faith Mission, and their objective was to make converts, and so turn them over to the different churches. Their message at the general meetings was truly evangelical, and as a result the local churches were enriched by their converts.
It was in the year 1895 that William Weir Irvine was added to this Faith Mission, after being converted by the Rev. John McNeil. After altering his course in life to that of evangelistical work, he spent a preparatory period in John Anderson's Bible College, at Glasgow. As the Faith Mission moved out into new fields, so his missionary work was spread over a wider area, and being gifted with a marvelous ability of speech and expression, became very well known amongst the religious people of that day.
While working a mission into the North of Ireland amongst some very well to do farmers, he came in contact with several young Irish men who were attracted to his preaching. This mission was held at Rathmolyon, which is several miles from Dublin, and included amongst these young men were William Gill, William Carrolll, George Walker, Irvine Weir and several others.
In October, 1899, William Irvine asked these young men if they would accompany him on a bicycle tour of Scotland, during which time they would visit Faith Mission people and meetings.
Here was the start of William Irvine's work outside the Faith Mission.
Prior to this, several others were attracted to his preaching and work, and as he was still a pilgrim with the Faith Mission, he advised them to join themselves to the Irish Workers' Christian Union which was conducted by an R. R. Todd. As his ideas progressed, so they were promulgated amongst all of these young men and women he had touched in his various missions, with the result that when the proper time came, and he had developed to the extent of having workers associated with himself, then the others who had joined Todd's work, came along with him also, leaving Todd holding the empty sack. Included in these that had joined Todd's work were John Hardie, Jack Jackson and Tom Turner.
William Irvine had been reading in the 10th of Matthew, where the twelve Disciples were sent forth by Jesus in that manner.
This was the foundation and this is what William Irvine imbued into the minds of these young men who were the nucleus of this movement. Bold in faith, but backward in knowledge of the Scriptures, as if they were to only thoroughly read the portion of the Scripture on which their ideals were based, they would no doubt realise that it was all a mistake. A mistake that was later referred to as an experiment by the one who made it.
Irvine then commenced a virulent attack on the clergy and publicly anathematised all churches and their ministers. All clergy, from the Archibishop to the humble curate, from the moderator to the theological student, were false prophets, and all other beliefs were wrong. Only those that followed his deals and way of life were Christians, and all other beliefs were regarded as Satanic, and their work that of 'false Prophets" and 'hirelings." They claimed that they were the only True Servants of Christ, in as much as they had complied with the Lord's commandments as set out in Matthew 10.
It was about this time that Edward Cooney gave up his business, and also threw in his lot with Irvine, and became what he termed a Tramp Preacher, hence came the new name "Cooneyites or--Tramp Preachers." A very wealthy farmer, John West, literally gave them thousands of pounds and made available the use of his property, "Crocknacrieve," for the carrying out of Conventions and large meetings. Co. Fermanagh, North Ireland was entirely a rural district with a population consisting of simple minded farmers and their families, and it was here that this belief got a footing. The whole county and, in fact, the whole country was in a state of excitement, some followers going so far as to sell their farms and properties.
VOW OF CELIBACY
Irvine Jumps out of Window
This belief can be dated back to exactly 1899, when these first workers gathered around William Irvine. The names of these men were: Willie Gill, John Long, George Walker, Irvine Weir, Albert Quinn. Then, in 1900, the list was added to by Matt Wilson, Sam Boyd, Willie Clelland, James Patrick. It was 12 months before John Hardie, Jack Jackson and Tom Turner broke away from the Irish Workers' Christian Union, and came along with William Irvine, and in 1902, Edward Cooney was added to their number.
In 1903, at a meeting held at Rathmolyon, William Irvine gathered at least 70 of his flock together. This meeting lasted three weeks, and during that time Irvine imbued into the minds of all these young men and women what was required of them. It was at this meeting that the vow of celibacy was taken. It resembled the three fold vow that was taken by the Franciscan Friars. Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.
This meeting was presided over continuously by William Irvine, who held the constant attention of these young evangelists with his preaching and teaching. Peculiar, as it may seem, he would enter by walking through the door and down the passage that divided the men from the women and, after addressing the gathering for several hours at a time, would leave without speaking to anyone, and by also jumping out the window. His supposedly reason for this action was in order that he many keep clear of any evil spirit within the followers, and so by not coming in contact with them, he consequently wouldn't become contaminated by their influence. These acts, combined with the hypnotic power of his preaching, created a fear within the minds of all that lent an ear, and came under his spell; a fear that was transformed into a worship and idolation of Irvine himself.
By this time the movement had increased considerably and had spread over the whole of the British Isles. Irvine then decided to go further afield and, so, after this meeting it was decided to establish themselves and spread out into the colonies and America.
About this time, a Doctor Dowie, in New York, was preaching against medical doctors. If he saw one in a crowd, he labelled him a devil. Similarly, the clergymen were all devil sent. The first of these preachers to arrive in the United States, sincerely thought that this man may be the key to their God-given power to heal the sick as it speaks of in Matthew 10, and so joined himself on to him for a time, but, of course, without result.
In September, 1903, William Irvine, George Walker, and Irvine Weir, left by boat from Glasgow, Scotland, for the United States, and were again the instrument by which this movement was founded in that vast country. Weir and Irvine preached in Buffalo and the Great Lake district, and had quite a success in their labours. Irvine returned to New York where with George Walker, he met several others on their arrival from Ireland. This was in 1904, and included amongst these were Jack Carrolll, Mae Carrolll, his sister, and Willie Clelland. William Carrolll had gone to Australia, and John Hardie likewise.
Meanwhile, there were thousands following this new sect, their attacks on the clergy were almost unbelievable as they twisted and distorted the Scriptures. They lead the ignorant and credulous peasantry or labouring class into the belief that all churches and collections were of the devil. The married women were influenced to put aside the very ring which symbolised the married state, which had marked it for centuries, leaving themselves open to be admired by those that the married ring protected from unwelcome attentions.
Several of the Cooneyites, during the burial of a member of the Church of Ireland (John McDonald, of Killenasherry) in his family burial ground, endeavoured to bear away the coffin to burial without the usual burial service. In the general row at the church, the covering was torn off the coffin. However, the deceased's sympathetic friends were able, after a fierce struggle, to have the body borne into the church.
No religious craze of modern times was so unscriptural, so unnatural, so revolting and so unholy. These men were not content with pursuing their own way, as they assailed the living and the dead, divided family after family, wrecked happy married lives by separating wives and husbands, and left a pathway of destruction in nearly every country in the world.
There was continually a change in their doctrine, and the most outstanding of these was the "Living Witness Doctrine," which was instigated by Joseph Kerr, who was one of the first preachers. This doctrine briefly is as follows:--The only way you could be born again, was to be born through either William Irvine or one of his Disciples. (It's a mystery as to what happened to everyone before William Irvine arrived on the scene.)
As the years swept by there was a gradual slackening off from their condemnation to hell of all who did not follow their ideas, though this idea was held as tenaciously as before.
The year is now 1910, and the reaction after such religious excitement seems to have set in. There are rumours of a difference between the leader, Mr. Irvine, and his first lieutenant, Mr. Cooney; also some difference in the camp, in consequence of which some of the workers left; Mr. Irvine looked out of his window at the conventions and did not address one public meeting. Mr. Cooney came across the Atlantic in deference to the most urgent representations as to the danger of a "split" being talked of, and that it could only be refuted by his presence at Crocknacreive. He came, but he did not take a prominent part, leaving it to George Walker, who used to be a draper's apprentice in Mr. W. R. Cooney's employment.
They have grown rapidly. Ten years ago, they were a very small number. Now they are spread over the English-speaking world. They have conventions in most American states, in New Zealand, Australia, Sough Africa, Canada, and all over the British Isles. Last year thousands of pounds were spent on Conventions. There are hundreds of workers in the field, at every convention there are volunteers ready to forth. Also they maintain that the truth is clearer than ever, and they can do without the clergy at Births, Marriages and Deaths.
The year is now 1914, and the world is plunged into a turmoil of war. The heartbreaks and grief that is being inflicted upon families all over the world, is exemplified by the grief and injury that countless families have suffered, by sons and daughters being influenced to leave their parents' homes by Cooneyite Preachers. Efforts were constantly being made to decoy these young people away from their homes, and parents were being warned by newspapers and the clergy all over the British Isles to be on their guard, and not allow their children to go within reach of an influence of such disruptive, disobedient and heartless character.
There was pity for the believers in their 20th century folly that they could be led to accept, without any training, education, experience or capacity, that they were competent to preach the Gospel. Many an unlettered man did so. Education does not mean everything. But the assumption of these preachers and people, that because of a regeneration of heart (which no one denies), every one of them is competent to expound the Scriptures, was just as true, as that one of them could drive a steam engine. They say that the Scriptures are there for the reading. Are not the levers, cocks, handles, valves on the locomotive for the turning? And yet a time must be served to understand the bearing of each lever and cock and handle on the steam and brakes, before an engine driver is allowed to drive his locomotive; while for the study of the Scriptures which has exercised the highest minds of all ages, a man has only to leave the plough, or the girl the milk paid, and he or she is fit to preach.
This is, of course, nonsense, and does not find acceptance. It is sheer nonsense. Some of the apostles were not learned men--fishermen, but they were taught by the Divine Master himself. and it is presumption for any of these preachers to assume that they bear analogous relations to those of the Apostles, and our Lord. It was only natural that the public's wrath had been aroused, as these men were guilty of seducing and influencing young people to leave their parents and homes because they felt--That it was their duty. That they were doing God a service. That they were competent and commissioned to preach the Scriptures.
I proved their lack of education in one experience, when John Hardie avoided sincere questions that were put before him, and how he endeavoured to decoy me away from the affection of my own mother by saying, "Christ held no personal affection even for his own mother. This is revealed to us when he refers to her as woman." When I was later to find the valued and beautiful meaning that His term possessed when originally used, I naturally doubted the sincerity of this man. As far back as 1910 I found extracts from an Irish newspaper which explained the above. One reference to Mr. George Walker said, "This man made little of education from time to time, or perhaps to put it more correctly, warned people against attaching too much importance to it, and the reason was obvious. His own addresses showed the want of it, and he seemed to feel painfully conscious that he suffered for want of quality to enable him to speak as others do."
War has hampered their movements and they have given themselves a name, The Testimony of Jesus. They are listed with the Conscientious Objectors; Board in this name, which has caused quite a division amongst them. Nevertheless, this is kept strictly confidential, and is only known amongst the "servants."
William Irvine Exiled to Jerusalem
The storms of the past had left their mark on Irvine, as more than once he was found fighting for his beliefs in the Courts, and on one instance he had to swear in court (to win his law case), that the lady preachers received 5/- a week wages. This was a deliberate falsehood, and yet none of this belief said that he had done wrong, because had he not sworn so, the lady preachers would have been outlawed according to British law. These things affected him, and an oddness could be detected about his preaching, as he spoke about stars as other worlds, and held before his followers the strange possibility of going to them and doing for them the work of saviour as Jesus had done for this. Then he also came under the delusion that the day of grace ended in August, 1914, and since that date "The voice of God had not been heard in any meeting on earth." He prophesied of a world-wide famine and drought, and advised people all over Canada, U.S.A. and Australia to sell their farms and homes and invest their money in fisheries, railroads, canneries, shipping, etc. He even had people burying thousands of dollars worth of food in California.
In 1917, Jack Carrolll, James Jardine and George Walker approached Irvine while down in California, as to whether he would take second place, but without success. Already, these men had moved in and gained his place by his subsequent fall, and so it was cunningly decided to convince him that there was no doubt he was the second witness that is mentioned in Revelation, and ' Irvine, already under this delusion, feeling that this might be true, decided it would be best to be on the spot, just in case, and so he retired to Jerusalem where he spent the rest of his life. Every morning one would see him strolling out of the Holy City towards the Garden of Gethsemane. He wore a deerstalker cap, heavy jacket, shorts and suede sandals. His needs were at all times well provided for, as he kept up a large correspondence with his original converts all over the world.
Irvine's marshalls had divided his Kingdom between themselves, and these were mainly George Walker, who scooped the field of the United States; Joe Kerr that of South Africa; Wilson Reid the British Isles; Wilson McClung, New Zealand; John Hardie and William Carrolll, that of Australia. These men became the individual rulers over these territories, and so appointed "overseers" to administer under their authority. In Australia, Tom Turner became the "overseer" of Queensland, William Hughes in South Australia, and so on.
Walker's territory covered Canada, and was also divided amongst overseers, namely John T. Carroll (brother of William Carroll), James Jardine, Samuel Charlton, etc.
On the 29th June, 1920, Irvine circulated a letter, the following being that which was sent to William Carroll.
Irvine's Revealing Letter to Wm. Carroll
Box 553, Poste Restante,
29th June, 1920.
My Dear Bill,
I wrote you to Australia, which I guess you will get in due time, but I thought a note to-day wouldn't hurt you. Sinners who are blind and deceived and robbed can't hurt anybody that has the anointing of God, while people who have no anointing need all the care the rulers can give. This explains the activities of the "The Testimony." Six years ago (in April, I was rejected and despised and cast out to die according to prophecy, my birthright divided amongst my children and enemies (and I was willing), but the anointing that god gave me remained with me, and nobody seems to get my mantle though many have tried my shoes, sat in my seat, slept in my bed, ate my meals and have enjoyed the rise to power and prominence. What was wrong in me has been right in many others, others since covered by wickedness and acquiescence, in the destruction of the sinner for his sins, has brought honour for their faithfulness.
When the world and Testimony set out to bury me and forget my name, person, presence, etc., they failed. The Kaiser set out to conquer the world--he failed, although he was the strongest man in the world, and his nation and army expressed this, and certainly no man or nation, as such, could be a match for them. He failed, lost his crown and kingdom, and bur for the mercy of God, in creating worse conditions, would have lost his life as well. What he lost I have practically gained; and what the Kaiser tried to do by force, I have the hope of doing for the whole world.
Rejected of the seed in the Testimony and world, I was accepted of God for the destruction of the whole wicked seed; the prodigal becomes the heir, the fool becomes the wise; I paid out the gold -- and it was grasped greedily -- but I held the Pearl, the Jesus way was stolen, confiscated, misappropriate. I remember seeing and hearing you take it over in my presence. I guess you did not feel it; but I was there to feel it, for it was that I might get something bigger and better, after being purified, made white and tried; the jest of fools; the song of the drunkards; the victims of the heel-bruisers; the theme of the scandal-mongers; and the dirty slut sisters; the man without a parallel in history, whose back has been plowed upon, who has been vanquished -- no fear of him now. The last look I had of George Walker, the wolf said: "See if you can paralyse anybody now." And the shining white of his teeth and steely eyes told me what was inside--saying it would be settled in Heaven. The man to be forgotten in public and gloated over in private; the subject for the nightcap talk in bed; the excuse for robbing and dishonouring others; blind, bound, bruised, alone, a heretic, a blasphemer, smitten of God for his sins in his mind, and afflicted by all the afflicters. Treated unjustly without and within, despised and rejected and persecuted, while the hireling hypocrites revelled in sharing the spoils of my labours in God; but it hasn't taken one twin out of me. I sit alone, his anointed, to see the fulfilling of all the hard words I used to almost upbraid myself for speaking fulfilled on all the wicked seed.
"What fools these Mortals be," is true to-day, as I look on the world and around my table in the Testimony. To think these are the qualifications for being the ambassadors of judgment, to-day, to the earth; to rule the nations with the rod of iron; to torment the earth and be killed for it, and because for the nations rejoicing. This is my 6th rejection during these 27 years, and I wasn't counted worthy to live this time; next time I won't be counted worthy of burial, and will be left 3 ½ days lying in the street of the Holy City (Jerusalem) and, when they have all had their do and say, to stand upon my feet and be caught up into a grand finish to a life of activity such as is not common in the world's history. To have spoken words which mean death by sword, pestilence, and famine to millions now living on the earth; to change water into blood, forth to devour and etc.; in short, is there any parallel in the 2 men we read about in Rev. 11:1-16? Don't you think it takes a lot of purifying making white and trying to fit a man for that responsible position? What if I am one of them, Bill? I ask this because I don't know of any warning the Testimony gave to the world; and I marvel at it all, although I know it was weak and imperfect. But to the last word on the platform and off it, I said honestly, as far as I knew, what was the truth and kept little back, and often suffered in myself and others for it. I was prodigal of all that men cherished; God, through me, gave the last of the message of Jesus Christ; the church formed was the one spewed out of his mouth, and those who suffered with me in the rejection will surely rejoice with me some fine day very soon. Then, many whose hearts have been turned from them will find their hearts turned towards men, when the Apostle John comes back to bear witness, as to who is the Apostle anointed of God as the Prince.
The conditions in the world to-day are just what I said they would be, and I see, when darkness and death seem to be everywhere this is the judgment side. Think on the other side; the Kingdom of God in power of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus to be world wide, and that by the 144,000 compared to the little I did before, and for which I got much more envy and rebuke than praise of appreciation. " Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for an inheritance, and the uttermost isles of the sea for thy possession." (Psalm 2.) Somebody is going to have a big job, not because of what they are, but because of their relationship to Him who sits on the Throne, as Creator, Redeemer, Judge and coming King.
Nothing but the training of a prodigal could ever fit him for keeping his heart and mind off the glory which shall be his -- wrought by creation and redemption, all things after the pleasure of His own will. These six years I have found many of the thoughts I had were His thoughts when I least expected it; and nothing but the unerring Spirit of God could have comforted and kept me where and as I have been in body, soul, and spirit, as I know Him to-day. I feel very much more at home with God, to-day, than I ever did, and enjoy my Father's heart, home, table, clothing, ring, shoes and fellowship, in spite of my elder brother's contempt, envy and reviling.
You can see where old Ireland is to-day, and where all the world is moving to, if you have eyes and ears; if not, the wicked are not meant to see and hear--this is part of the Judgment, they shall not understand, but the wise shall see (Daniel 2). And I could write a book, but this will be enough to go on with. Your thoughts or idle words, silence or wrath won't alter God's purpose or hurt me in any way; and would not hurt you, or any other, if I could help it. The world is going on to be heated as in the oven of Malachi 4, to consume the tares (proud and wicked.)
Yours in the best bonds and fellowship ever known,Wm. Irvine.
This was the result of an enterprise in Christianity, and no doubt should have been a warning to those who divided his Kingdom between them; but instead they were soon to be found fighting amongst themselves, arguing about territories, and areas; fighting for position and power, ex-communicating and mentally torturing all who should come into their disfavour.
This was the simple outline of Cooneyism, Irvineism, the Testimony of Jesus and all other names that they were known by, in the days of their beginning. When dominion began to appear, God's answer was the casting of it down in the person of William Irvine. That ought to have been the end of it, but it was not taken to heart by those he had exalted under him, and the same spirit that had set him above his brethren began to be seen in them, so that in a little while they had divided the earth amongst themselves and had established themselves as rulers over little kingdoms, exercising authority after the way and according to the spirit of Paganism, and doing violence to the consciences of men in the name of "The Truth" or "The Testimony."
These men were overcome by their authority, position and place, but their one constant worry was their past. The fear that someone would ask their foundation, their beginning, their Spiritual Father, their genealogy, and oh, what a past.
He had made them what they were, and except for him they may be what and where they were when he discovered them. How would they explain to the young converts.
And so started a great sifting. Those that knew too much were gradually done away with, frozen out, persecuted until they went out.
People were forbidden to visit friends, and some had been ex-communicated on that miserable ground. Letters were being intercepted and destroyed, and the persons to whom they were addressed, never saw them. Pressure had been brought to bear on struggling souls to compel them to deny the truth that was in them, even bodily violence had been done, that through pressure or pain they may be brought under their will.
Edward Cooney ex-Communicated
Cooney, not like the others, had constantly kept on the move, preaching in the cities and wherever the multitudes were. Hyde Park, London, Tower Hill, the Sydney Domain, and the heart of New York, and even to-day one can still find him or his followers preaching and singing from Hymns, Old and New, at the "Diamond Corner," Enniskillen, North Ireland, on a Saturday afternoon.
Nevertheless, on the 12th October, 1928, in the home of Andrew Knox, Clankilvoragh, Lurgon, Ireland, a meeting was held between 12 of the "Overseers".
An agreement was submitted by the summer-up, James Jardine, expressed by John T. Carroll as a "Solemn Agreement," binding all the workers not to express individual revelation, even though true, if the workers in whose field they were working had not yet seen it. Cooney spoke against this, and was subsequently ex-communicated.
Hardie by Name and Hardy by Nature
There appears no end to the stories of ex-communication. In one of several instances he commands that a preacher must abide to his will or get out. He closed the door on one who had spent years of service with this body, stating: "I'll have you know this is my show."
William Hughes (N.Z. overseer) advised this ex-communicated preacher. "You should see John Hardie and Joe Williamson and get into the ark before the door is shut, by giving them a right understanding. Get right (with them) and get in."
Decision to Bury the Past
In the year 1929, the Central Bible Truth organisation published a pamphlet headed THE COONEYITES OR GO PREACHERS AND THEIR DOCTRINE
This really exposed this movement, and was circulated in every country where the belief had been active. An endeavour was made by both John Hardie, in Australia, and Jack Carrolll, in the U.S.A., to have it put out of circulation. Hardie in the company of another since ex-communicated preacher, approached the Sydney publishers at 302 Pitt Street, in an effort to have it stopped, but without success.
His amazing admissions while under cross-examination stress the point that Christ takes second place, as redemption can only result through John Hardie or the "workers." He admitted that Matthew 10 was part of his commission and when questioned as to whether he thought that he and his fellow workers were the only "True Preachers," he answered. "He that gathereth not with is scattereth abroad."
Contained in the report which gave striking proof of the correctness of the Cooneyite Pamphlet, is the following:--"There is something very subtle about the way they speak of being saved by the blood. There is a "master mind" behind all this. When questioned more closely on this point, Mr. Hardie became most evasive."
A very lengthy account of this conversation was forwarded on to Loixeaux Bros., New York, where Dr. A. G. Gabelein, whose name is mentioned in the preface of the Schofield Bible, had become most interested in the erroneous teaching of this NEW SECT. Dr. Gabelein, the then editor of "Our Hope," published the whole of the Cooneyite tract in his magazine. This provoked the hostilities of the "Cooneyite" leader in U.S.A., Jack Carrolll, who on May 27th, 1929, wrote a very revealing letter to this man, and even resorted to lies in his efforts to have it put out of circulation.
Because of this difficulty and another involving a division between both George Walker and Jack Carroll, the two overseers in the U.S.A. as to who would be "Next Greatest Amongst Them," it was decided that a world conference would be held in England. This was held at W. Haneys (sic-should be West Hanney, England) on July 19, 20, 21, 1930. Amongst those that attended this meeting were J. Hardie, J. Jardine, W. Gill, Wm. Jamison, George Walker, John T. Carroll and several others. The most revealing resolution that was adopted at this meeting was:--
"It was unanimously agreed by all present that THE PAST SHOULD BE BURIED."
Other matters dealt with, were:--
"Travelling expenses that had to come from the 'Saints,' how these huge expenses and disagreements had been hidden from the 'Saints'."
An extract from the report states:--
(During the days we, the undersigned, were together, full opportunity was given to all to express their minds and to offer any suggestions that would be helpful.)
20-24 February, 1954.
After the recent death of William Carroll, it was decided that a meeting would be held where the many differences amongst the preachers could be ironed out. In all, eleven attended the meeting which lasted 4 days.
This covered mainly the perplexities with troublesome borders and the question of "saints" being put out of fellowship.
It was decided: "We are agreed that anything which would cause contention should be avoided. It would have been more expedient if objection to the permanent residence at Rosebud, Victoria, where William Carroll resided had been considered."
(It was a fact that HE, an Australian Oversee, had resided here at this beautiful residence at Rosebud for his last fourteen years, with a boat and car always at his disposal; two women servants and either one or two men acting as chauffeur or gardener, etc. And it was also a fact that there had never in all this time been a Gospel meeting held in this home. The only activity seemed to be the annual convention at Dandenong.)
The matter of banking accounts was denied.
Further Divisions in Victoria
The result of this meeting at Guildford was that when the Victorian "workers" returned to their associates, they were met with a wave of opposition for being a party to the rebuke of William Carroll. And so a further division. Cooney, now over 90 years of age, had returned to Australia, as some thought that he may be able to help the situation. His every move was closely watched as his was the past that was thought to be buried. Nevertheless, he only helped to confuse the issue, as it was a matter of what son of Adam could straighten this mess. Any rate, what was there to straighten out as the whole 56 years from the beginning was just one repetition of splits, quarrels, divisions, ex-communications, etc.
Urgent Call for Help Sent to United States
20th April, 1955.
The overseers of Australia and those from overseas being met together to consider the difficulties that exist concerning the work in Victoria, are agreed that the statement contained in the Guildford report reflecting on the life and ministry of our late brother, W. C. Carroll, is now unconditionally withdrawn . . .
Geo. Walker, W. J. Hughes, J. Hardie, J. Williamson, J. Forbes, T. Turner, J. Baartz, C. Williams, J. T. Carroll."
Labours in Vain
There was no possibility of these men honestly referring to "The Way" as One big happy Family, again, as the divisions had completely got out of control. The United States was split in two, with George Walker avoiding all contact with Jack Carroll, and no encroachment upon one another's territory for over 20 years. The many meetings of outcasts and breakaways were found in both divisions of this one true way. In fact, it seemed strange that Walker and Carroll could see their way clear to straighten out the Australian Mess while that of the United States had even resulted in the interference of Uncle Sam. Probably it was the change of atmosphere that prompted them to fly the Pacific and, of course, as the Aussie temperature was mighty hot, George thought that he would sail on to Europe, probably to cool down.
One would begin to wonder where the virtue comes in with being a homeless poor preacher.
Nevertheless, letters that I have received from the battle front indicate that their labours were in vain.
McNabb Misleads Pleading Woman
Recently, I had the opportunity to challenge Gordon McNabb in the company of several of the followers, one of whom pleaded with him, saying:
We're definitely not that body that was started by William Irvine, are we, Gordon?" And he answered:
"Of course we're not, don't take any notice of the lies that this fellow tells you."
I looked him straight in the face and said, "You have either been terribly misled or you are deliberately telling lies."
His repeated question was:
"What are you going to give us if you take this from us."
And I replied, "I couldn't give you anything, but I would suggest that you turn to God instead of man." And the answer would still refer him to that only hope founded on that only blood, which is precious and able to save from sin. Not the blood of William Irvine, or John Hardie, or any other son of Adam, but through our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, who in Him and Him alone we have that hope the scripture speaks of as blessed. Have not we been seemingly warned with scripture such as Tim. 11:5, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus."
I can speak with assurance as I reflect upon years of idolatry to the "servants," and realise that my mind had been handed over to the tender mercies of the "shepherds" who did the thinking and lead me hungering for I knew not what. One of the many lessons learnt by experience was that inference had accomplished its purpose just as well as incitation. Even if never a word is said or a hint given, the inference of idolatry to the "servants" works like a hidden lever. It is now not necessary to forbid marriage amongst the "workers," as the inference that singleness is much to be preferred, again accomplishes its purpose. There is no need to pass the plate around or place a box at the door, as the parading of renunciations and sacrifices and sufferings by preachers preaching about preachers has the following result. Part statement:--"Within 3 days there would have been as many as 60 letters accumulated, and as I was present while he opened them, (I witnessed that there was money in most of them.)"
Self-effacement, and not self-advertisement, ought to have been their rule and aim. There are millions of homeless men tramping the roads of the world with no thought to the "virtue" of it; content to take the hardships in their stride as the price they pay for shirking life's responsibilities. Any virtue that is in any of the thing that befall us on the road of our obedience is not what happens to us, but in what it works in us, and in what we carry in our minds and hearts out of it. What wrought effectually in Peter had no such effect in Judas Iscariot, although both were called and sent on the same errands. It is not a dreadful thing when a man's spiritual liberty is degraded into a religious bondage, and pressure is put on him to conform or take the consequences. It is now encouraging to hear of those that have resisted the claims made on them by this tyrannic monopoly, and asserted the freedom with which Christ made them free. They are the spectacle of a people slowly emerging by natural means out of the darkness of idolatry into the clear light and freedom of a spiritual liberty. An idolatry that has embittered and soured the milk of human kindness; that has warped their vision and hardened their hearts to the extent that they see only the faults in humanity and are blind to the thousand and one acts of grace and love, which are ever being done around them.
As we look at their faces we see self denial on every brow, and yet there is a heaviness about the atmosphere and a melancholy in the eye, which makes us pause for a moment. Have not these perfectly sincere people mistaken the Gospel of brightness and cheerfulness for that of gloom and depression? Are they not taking their religion sadly and themselves too seriously? Instead of using the Bible as a guide for men, these "servants" have become slaves to a misinterpretation of it.
It is very noticeable that "in the beginning" there were no old men amongst them, from which may be gathered they were deficient in wisdom which can only come by experience in life. It was also lamentable that they were not more intelligent. They could not help that, I suppose; but if they had been aware of their limitations their case would have been more hopeful. They would have let their minds range outward from their own small circle and given some consideration to the religious history of the world, and of Christendom in particular. And by so doing they might have noticed that the great weakness of religious men is to rule; and especially when it claims a monopoly.
It is one of the greatest pities with this belief, that young men that went forth to serve, as middle aged men aspired to rule; and as old men are driven to no ends to oppress and hold their power. And it is no wonder that nervous strain and broken health are now their portion.
There is no command about the Church in the home. Meetings were held in homes behind barred doors for the fear of Jews, as we are told in John 20:19. Later they were held in Roman catacombs. There were reasons for it in the early days, which we could not give in our time.
There was no Church in the New Testament. There were Churches; and the plural makes all the difference in the world between love and fear; and between freedom and monopoly. What difference does it make where driven and troubled men and women meet to be encouraged and strengthen one another to face torture and death.
There is not a church in Christendom in our time that would dream in its worst nightmares of posting sentries at its doors to invite in or shut out worshippers; not one, except the One True Way that meets in homes.
It is news that there ever was a man on earth except the Son of God who by any know truth or imagination or presumption could speak of himself or of any of his fellow men as The Way. "I Am The Way" settles that once and forever; and for any weak or dying creature to call himself that, is presumption bordering on blasphemy.
After this experience I would list six words as amongst the most dangerous in our tongue. We are the people of God.
A one true way that adds to the bonds and bondages of any part of the groaning creation; that blinds their minds in the name of enlightening them. That, in the destruction of their liberties breaks their hearts; and in cases unhinges their minds, that annuls or reverses the work of the Anointing Spirit, that robs them of their Christian Heritage of quiet minds and restful hearts to hold its power over them in the name of the Great Deliverer and enlightener and Healer and Peace Giver. To you who think yourself enlightened and well favoured and specially called and sent on Holy missions: do you think these contradictions in His name will escape the righteous judgment of God? And if you think so, the Scriptures of two Testaments have been written in vain.
In experiences such as mine they generally state, "He has never been born again." Isn't this rather a prideful conclusion for men to arrive at who, themselves, are still in the body.
Everything that I have written here is entirely factual and the truth, as I realise that my delusion and that of the whole of my family was only overcome by undeniable facts, and I challenge Mr. Hardie or any other worker or person to prove otherwise. I openly charge Mr. Hardie and Mr. McNabb with Falsifying the Truth and with being Home Breakers and of fraudulent intent, and I have no fear in signing my name to this. To substantiate these facts, I have evidence which I am willing to produce in any court of law.
Even though my eyes were suddenly opened, and their common incentive seen to be like carrots suspended a foot in front of a labouring donkey's nose, even thought the disappointment through this experience could be likened to that famous racehorse falling down dead when he looked back and saw himself hitched to a gravel cart. Even though I have charged these men as openly as I have, my spirit towards everyone is as sweet and wholesome as it ever was. I am grateful that God gave me the humility to overcome my pride and admit that I had been hoaxed. "Douglas Parker"
Published gratis by Douglas Parker, of 24 Ryan Street, Padstow, Sydney, and Printed by Utility Press, Padstow, N.S.W.
The United Christian Conventions
of Australia and New Zealand
'Blackwood Park', Strathalbyn,
South Australia, 20 April 1928
To Whom It May Concern
This is to certify that Mr Ronald Ian Campbell (whose signature appears in the margin hereof) is an ordained Minister of the Gospel labouring in fellowship with body of Christians assuming this name only.
He was ordained at the annual Christian Convention held at Strathablyn, South Australia, in February 1926, and has since laboured continuously as a Minister.
He goes to United States of America with the full approval and hearty fellowship of his brethren in the Ministry.
As an Overseer of this body of Christians I have great pleasure in testifying to the esteem in which Mr. Campbell is held by those to whom he has ministered, and by myself. We unite in wishing his every success in his future labours
Signed-William John Hughes
Documentary evidence can verify this name, which is listed with the Federal Investigation Department, and the Subversive Movements Branch of the Police Department, Sydney. Here is connecting evidence with their associates, "THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS OF GREAT BRITAIN" and "CHRISTIAN CONVENTIONS" of the UNITED STATES. The sigma of the name COONEYITES is even to be found in this file. The said R. J. Campbell that supplied this ordination certificate was also ex-communicated. This is a case of a young Australian who gave his all and his life, and has laboured in the United States with this international sect for many years. The wounds that he received through his experience, left neither welts nor bruises nor scars, but who would say that wounded hearts are easier to bear than torn flesh and broken bones? Let a man serve his time to any trade or profession. Let him work at it diligently and with good craftsmanship for the space of his lifetime. Then, through his ability, let the envy and jealousy of the "Overseer" result in his disfavour and eventual dismissal, and then let him wake up next morning to discover that his long apprenticeship and longer journeymanship count for less than nothing; and he has not only lost his trade, but will find it hard to get any kind of work as an unskilled labourer. That is not likely to be done by the children of this world. Note the contrast with Romans 14.
The diabolical practice of the severance from the love and friendship of all those that you have worked with in the past; what with slurs and insults, hints and insinuations, misunderstandings and prejudices, dark looks and averted faces where formerly there had been smiles and friendly greetings; letters passed from one end of the earth to the other condemning you and having your good evilly spoken of. What laws of men can take hold of and punish this religious vermin that crawl all over the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to fatten themselves off Prophets and Apostles?
Representing Assemblies of Christians
Assuming This Name Only
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
This is to certify that Peter James McKeever
is an ordained Minister of the Gospel labouring in
fellowship with body of Christians assuming this name
Mr. McKeever was ordained at the annual Christian Conventions
held at Altamont, New York, in August 1924 and since then
has devoted all his time continuously to Evangelistic,
Pastoral and other Church work.
Signed: Samuel Charlton, Minister
Documentary evidence will prove the name, "Christian Conventions," is now a religious organisation registered in Washington, D.C. As such, certain concessions were solicitated and granted by the Government. The said Peter James McKeever, through whom this document was acquired, spent years of his life preaching in Italy, was brutally persecuted, mentally tortured and ex-communicated. It took years for this man to recover after being totally incapacitated to the extent that he had to be carried around. Substantiating evidence indicates that "Christian Conventions" and "The United Christian Conventions of Australasia and New Zealand" administrators, self-appointed and without membership representation, have assumed and exercised the authority to accuse, convict, and penalise brethren without a hearing; ignoring the rights of all people to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Jesus neither delegated nor authorised any such practice. How different this all seems to the teachings of Christ when He said: "The Kings of this world exercise lordship over them but ye shall not be so." Thank God for a Bill of Rights, Trial by Jury, and the Habeas Corpus Act.
(Photo of) WILLIAM IRVINE
This photo was taken prior to his death in 1947, outside Christ's Tomb, Jerusalem, where he had spent the latter years of his life under the delusion that he was the second witness that is mentioned in Revelation. Who could have told that ONE MAN shouting in a high pitched voice with dilated and quivering nostrils; transfixing his followers by the intensity of his speech and the roaring of his voice. Who could have told that here was to be born a tyranny more dreadful and devastating than any since Pagan rule. There is a power in spoken words that is not in written ones we know. Hitler's "Mein Kamph" may have been more "enlightening to the German people; but his voice was more inflaming; and without THAT VOICE there would hardly have been a second World War. The tyranny that I have been connected with was built on the foundation of Spiritual Genealogy and that Genealogy was traced to William Irvine, as the original Progenitor. He was the Adam of this belief, from whom what is called The Family of God sprang from, according to his idolators.
(photo of) EDWARD COONEY.
A newspaper charactorises: " a sincere but misguided tragedy."
(headshot photos of) The Men That Irvine Charges With Stealing "The Way"
JOHN HARDIE - WILLIAM CARROLL - JACK CARROLL - GEORGE WALKER
(photo of 8 men with their bicycles)
I don't know how many years John Hardie's memory goes back, but as he seems to have forgotten his connections with WILLIAM IRVINE, the founder of this movement, this photo should re-adjust them. This was taken in October, 1899, just prior to Irvine setting out upon what he later referred to as "A GREAT EXPERIMENT." Here was the nucleus of this whole movement, and here are included, George Walker (3rd from left), present day "Overseer" of Easter U.S.A., John Hardie (4th from left), present-day "Overseer" of Australia, WILLIAM IRVINE (5th from left) deceased, the sole founder of this whole movement, William Carrolll (6th from left), recently deceased, Australian "Overseer."
NOTE: John Hardie born 1870 - died 1961
Note: Doug misspelled the surname Carrol as Carroll, which has been corrected in the above.
TTT Editor's Notes: Alfred Magowan wrote a rebuttal titled "Testimony of a Witness for the Defence" to Doug Parker's pamphlet "A Spiritual Fraud Exposed" in which the names, "Doug" and "Douglas" refer to Doug Parker who is also the author of the book: The Secret SectAlfred Magowan’s name does not appear in Parker's pamphlet; however, mention of a mistreated man was made, which may have been Mr. Magowan.
During a visit to Wm. Irvine in 1938 by Alfred Magowan, Ed Cooney and R. Irwin, Wm. Irvine made his famous statement to Alfred Magowan: "It was A GREAT EXPERIMENT" to which Alfred replied, "It was A GREAT EXPERIENCE."
My first recollection of the group was when I was a little boy of about 7 or 8. I can still remember one of the preachers coming to the front door of our home. My mother had met this preacher when she was a girl in her teens and had never met him since. I was the last in the family of 5, so that was quite a while. And yet they had followed her to the city where she had settled with my father and the rest of the family. That’s when we started to get involved in meetings when I was 8 years of age.
I grew up from that time in the 2x2s. I call them the 2x2s. We went to conventions and I became very much the same as many of you in this group--wholehearted. We had the preachers stay in our home. Eventually my father became the elder or the bishop in that community and he helped conduct the missions and was responsible for inviting people to missions…
As I grew up I became a businessman. I was a building contractor and I also had my own business. I was on the verge of thinking of becoming a worker. I think the seeds of that were sown very consistently at conventions. There was a certain pressure at conventions to enter the work, as many of you know, and you know what's involved with that. It is a big sacrifice, and I was prepared to make that sacrifice.
I sold my business which was a real part of my life. It was a news agency business and I gradually wound down with some of my building contracts. I had arranged with my solicitor for the sale of everything and for the money to be put in a trust and handed to the Head worker. His name in Sydney was John Hardie. He was the head of the work in NSW Australia. He was a Scot and a very likeable Scot at that, and I had a big affection and admiration for him.
And so having sold off everything, I was on the point of entering the work, and I had a holiday with my brother. He had a small farm on the south coast, south of Sydney. It just so happened that when I was heading out on holiday that I met the local minister, the Anglican minister--that's the same as your Episcopal church here in the USA. I was telling him that I was about to enter the work and to go out in what I believed was the only true church and that he was wrong. I threw no punches in those days. I was a little bit anti-anyone who wasn’t in our movement. I'd been brainwashed, as I think most of us were from a little boy. Everyone else was wrong-- We were the truth--we were the only true ones who went back to the time of Christ.
And he asked me He asked me "What's the name of this group that you're going to go out into?"
I said, "They don’t have a name."
He said, "Oh, that's interesting."
I said, "They sent their preachers out in twos and we hold annual conventions and the meetings are held I the homes.
"Oh," he said, "They're the Cooneyites."
And that was the first time I had ever heard the name "Cooneyites."
"Oh no," I said, "They're not the Cooneyites. They don’t have a name. They go right back to Christ."
He said, "That’s what the Cooneyites teach all their people, but that is not true. They are the Cooneyites."
I said, "I'm interested in what you're saying."
He said, "I've read a little pamphlet about it and I'm of the mind that pamphlet had something truthful about it."
I said, "Can you tell me anything about it?"
He said, "Oh, it’s a very small little pamphlet and it's called "The Cooneyites or Go-Preachers." You might be able to pick
So I came back from my holiday with my brother, and I was very uncertain now because I had firmly believed this was the truth…I looked everywhere for this little pamphlet. I went into bookshops and could not find it.
Than I met with John Hardie, when he came to our home, as he frequently did with the other servant in charge, Gordon McNabb. I asked him, "Would it be true that our church has some connection with the Cooneyites? There was dead silence, and then the man that I had always known to be happy, warm and friendly was very angry. I had touched some very sensitive nerve. He said "No!" But I knew from his attitude that there was something amiss. He was quite indignant that I'd asked him.
After he went away that evening, he changed completely. I thought to myself now I'm in a dilemma. I had sold everything and I was about to have my solicitor sign everything over to this man, and that was a considerable amount in those days. I was quite a successful businessman as a businessman in Australia would be at that time.
By the way, when I was a young man, I was a seaman. As a seaman, I had visited some of my relatives in Scotland and Ireland, an uncle of mine, and I'd stayed with him when I was on leave.
I said, "Mr. Hardie, I've been working very hard for years since I left school and I think before I enter the work I'd like to have a holiday with my parents I Ireland."
And he said, "You cannot! Once you enter the work, your parents can have a holiday, but YOU cannot go to Ireland."
And I said, "Why?"
He said, "There is no need for you to go to Ireland. Now is the time for you to enter the work."
I said, "But I need a holiday. I've worked hard all these years and I owe it to my parents. They're getting old now and I want to be with them and I also want to visit my relatives again."
He said then to my parents, "If you allow Doug to go on this holiday, I'll have to take the meeting out of your home."
This was a blow to my father because he and my mother had been wrapped up in this for years since I was a little boy. And it was a dreadful blow, and immediately my mother started to suffer nervous stress. He hounded her and said you better stop him from going to Ireland. She said, "I can't do that." They were harassed her and I think she almost suffered a nervous breakdown from this whole experience. Eventually my father said to them, "You have to go. I won't have you coming here harassing my wife. I don’t want you to come back here." And that was it.
From that day everyone that we knew would not even speak to us. We would walk up the street in our small community, and they would walk to the other side of the road. I'd been a businessman and I knew them all well and I'd even built a home for one of them as a builder and I'd been heavily involved with many of them And I couldn’t imagine that absolute vilifying effect and none of them would have anything to do with us.
On our way to Ireland by ship I had written ahead to one of the workers I knew in Indonesia and when we got to Jakarta, he wasn’t there to meet us. So I had his address and I got a taxi and I went out and he was as cold as could be. He'd already received a letter not to have anything to do with us. It was the same when I got to England.
When I got to England, it took weeks and weeks of searching for this little pamphlet and eventually I found one of them in a bookshop in London and it mentioned that William Irvine and the Cooneyites, but that was all.
Fortunately the uncle I was staying with in Scotland who had a minister who was very knowledgeable. His name was Dr. Norman Snaith and I refer to him in my acknowledgements in the book. I met him in Glasgow when he came up to conduct a weekend church service.
I thought I wouldn’t tell him the name "Cooneyites." I'd just tell him what I was involved in Australia. So I said, "My family and I have been involved in a group in Australia where we meet in homes, and the preachers are sent out in twos and they have these large conventions."
And he said, "They're the Cooneyites." Just like that!
I said, "Can you tell me anything about them?"
"Yes," he said, "they started in the north of Ireland."
I said, "I'd like to get some more information because I'm afraid I've been misled and my family and many people in Australia. And they say they are not the Cooneyites."
"Oh," he said, "they're definitely the Cooneyites."
So he sent me to Enniskillen and when I got to Enniskillen, I stopped off at the newspaper. I thought to myself, surely if there is any history going back, there will be something in the local press. There I met Mervyn Dane. He's now the editor of the Impartial Reporter, but then he was just a copy boy at that paper, but a nice little fellow. He said I could just sit up in that room there where all the old papers were going back to the last century. I sat there and eventually when I reached about 1903 the paper was full of them.
And there was a wonderful old Editor then and his name was Mr. Trimble. The name is still connected with the paper. And he had the perception--he knew what would happen with this movement. He went to the convention meetings. They were enormous, and this movement started in the north of Ireland. It affected the church tremendously.
There were thousands of Christians in the different churches who left their churches. Many were Methodist especially. It had a tremendous appeal to the young people. There were hundreds of young people left their homes and they were the nucleus of those who came to the USA, Australia, Europe, South Africa, etc. I believe they were so persuaded through the charisma of Wm. Irvine and Edward Cooney and they just accepted this teaching of Matthew 10. You had to just sell off everything you had and give it away and go out on complete faith with nothing-- without even a change of clothes. They were criticized for smelling because they didn’t have a change of clothing. They just went with what they had. They just lived from day to day. A lot of those young people just left their families and this was recorded in many newspapers as the movement spread in Scotland and Ireland.
And many of them were still living in Enniskillen. And there I found the Divisions--how they'd broken up. I saw where the conventions were held on the property at Crocknacrieve, and I met Ida West and her mother and they told me Edward Cooney was still alive. That was a tremendous shock!
So I wrote to Edward Cooney and he replied to me. He was in Australia and I was in Ireland at that time! It was a tremendous thrill to hear from him and he wanted to meet me and to hear my story. We never met…I was so amazed that this man who was so important in their movement and gave them the nickname Cooneyites was still alive.
I was absolutely astounded seeing the name Jack Carrolll, William Carrolll, George Walker and different names in the newspapers. Actually I was quite emotional and I remember being so overwhelmed with thanks to God that I had found out what the truth of the origin of this whole movement was. It broke my heart. Inwardly I was grieving and I was also tremendously angry that I had been conned and was on the verge of losing everything and giving my whole life into something I now believe was spiritual darkness because the Sect took the names that Christ alone can have. He alone is the way to God….and for the sect to be saying they are the way and the truth - they are robbing Christ. I never discovered the deity of Christ until after I came out of the Sect. And I find that this is one of the sad parts of the Sect because on occasion when I meet members of this movement and I talk to them of the deity of Christ, they do not believe that He is God…
After I discovered all these things in Ireland, I then went on to Scotland and met Wm. Irvine's relatives. I met an uncle who used to correspond with him when he was living in Jerusalem and he gave me copies of his letters. Wm. Irvine gradually developed this delusion that he was a divine person. He called himself the Alpha and the Omega--the last two names that Christ gives to himself. He believed he was something extra special, that he was one of the witnesses in the book of Revelation who was to be there in Jerusalem when Christ returned. He had started something which was the way he called the "Alpha," and then his second Adventism was the "Omega." He went to Jerusalem and there he died.
There is no doubt he was the founder. And those people told me he had a son and gave me a letter from his son named Archie Irvine born out of wedlock. He became a Methodist minister and lived most of his lifetime in New Zealand…I have a letter he wrote at the time of William Irvine's death. I have many letters that Wm. Irvine wrote. He wrote letters all over the world, especially to Australia and California and he had lots of people who he corresponded with.
When I came home from Britain, I stopped over here in the United States and I met numerous people like Irvine Weir in Boston who was one of the first preachers who was put out because he kept up a friendship with Wm. Irvine. I met Willie Clelland who wrote to me for a number of years til he died, a dear old man who lived in Portland who was one of the first preachers. He was absolutely shocked when I told him that they had given me the impression that this went back to the time of Christ. That grieved him. He broke down when he heard that because he was a boyhood friend of John Hardie and of Wm. Irvine. He said they just got to be too top heavy--for them to have given you the impression that it went back to Christ. I've known them since I was knee high to a duck and I think they were a bit too top heavy and it got too much for them. He said when he broke both his legs and he became a cripple (he had been a worker), they just had nothing to do with me. He too had to leave the Sect.
I came home to Australia and I had all this information; all these newspaper reports and everything, and I was so upset. I made up my mind that I would go see John Hardie and the preachers at the convention. And my brother in law who loved history and could never believe it went back to the time of Christ, he decided he would come with me and also a newspaper reporter came with me and we went to the convention.
After Mr. Hardie had been speaking on the platform and I expect there were 600 people in the area in the shed, I could see a message went through to him on the platform. I was sitting on the edge and he looked over towards me, and as he came out he wasn’t going to speak and so I had to walk across to him with my brother in law and this newspaper reporter.
I said, "Mr. Hardie, I want to speak to you."
He said, "I don’t want to speak to you."
I said, "Mr. Hardie, I've just come back from Ireland and there are a few questions I have to put to you." I had to do it quickly because he wasn’t going to stop.
I said, "You have deliberately misled me and my family I believe and hundreds if not thousands of people in this country that this church goes right back to Christ. I have discovered it only went back to Wm. Irvine. Do you recognize yourself in this photograph? I showed him that photograph that’s in the book of the men on their bicycles. Is that you?"
He said, "Yes, it is me." He immediately got so angry.
I said, "Wasn’t this your first mission to Scotland?"
He said, "Get out." I recall very vividly he had along side of him Gordon McNabb who is still the head of NSW and he said to me there in front of me and Mr. Hardie and my brother in law and this reporter, "Well, it is still the true way, isn't it?"
John Hardie ordered us off the grounds, and the workers surrounded us and the reporter, my brother in law and I got in the car and away we went. And that was the last I ever had to do with the movement. I have never heard from any of those workers in that movement from that day til this. And that was in 1954.
I had a sense of responsibility to make clear what I had discovered because they had vilified me and said I wouldn’t go into the work because it would cost me too much. I wasn’t concerned about handing over all of my money if it were true this sect gone back to Christ, but I had now met men who had lost everything in this thing and I referred to them in the book.
I met men like Arthur McCoy who broke down as he recalled the whole dreadful experience. He had handed them everything he had and he had nearly starved to death. They had all his money and they would never send him anything. He nearly died in the north of NSW from starvation. Eventually he was put out of the work.
I met Ron Campbell who was a worker in this country and he got so angry because the Head Worker in that state in Australia had tried to have sex with his sister. And when Ron Campbell, who was a worker who had gone out and had given over a lot of his wealth to this worker, came back and challenged this man for trying to have sex with his sister , then he was put out too.
One of the people I met in Canada at that time told of the story of how they had put a ban on Edward Cooney and having the freezing weather in Canada, they weren’t allowed to admit him into their homes.
I sat down and talked with Fred Wood in Belfast. He broke down and cried as he remembered how he'd gone to South America as a worker and Edward Cooney had come back from Australia and they had met in London. And because Fred was friendly with Edward Cooney, when they went around to the friends in London, they couldn’t find any place that would let them in, out of hundreds of the sect in London! They would knock on the door, but no one would let them in. And it was late one night and they had no money--they had nothing--they lived strictly by the tenets of this belief that you should carry no purse--just the clothes you wore and they kept to that…Fred broke down and cried and said eventually someone let them stay in the woodshed. Edward Cooney and he had to rub themselves through the night to stop freezing. This isn’t a movement from God when you can have people who can change like that and these people had changed so much.
I put this all together in a pamphlet. That was the first pamphlet that went out. I called it A Spiritual Fraud Exposed. It was just a newspaper sheet but it had the photographs and the documents from Olga Hawkins. I had met Olga and her husband Edgar in Detroit and she had these documents that a worker had written to the Selective Service Bureau, where he had traced the history and given the record that they go back to 1903 when the first workers arrived from Britain. She was the one who wrote to the Selective Service Bureau and got a copy of the letter Walker had written. They had a tragic experience with the sect. They too were victimized, vilified and put out, as anyone will be if they ask questions.
So Olga, Kay Arvig, myself and different ones, we realized there was only one way to deal with this, and I don’t think there was anything wrong with it. I think even our dear Lord when he was going to have his last supper, he took precautions because he knew there were forces ready to kill him; and so he had to make it very secret where he was going to have his last supper. We had hundreds of names and addresses of workers and people we knew and we just did a block posting of the pamphlet to them all. We sent them out en mass. And that was the beginning of people hearing about the truth of the origin of this Sect.
I think it is a secret sect. It's true that the reason for the secrecy is, as Ron Campbell told one of his fellow workers once: if they knew the truth about what goes on in our movement and how it all began, they wouldn’t join it. And that's why they kept it secret. It's as simple as that.
And all the trouble they're in and the dreadful things that you can see are now coming out in some of these tremendous stories. I do commend those of you who have written stores in the book Reflections, and I recommend the book. I have a copy. It tells about 55 people I believe who have left the sect and written their stories.
I ran out of those pamphlets and a number of people kept asking me to write the history. Helen had never been in the Sect and I had trained for the Anglican ministry. I didn’t begin by deciding to be a minister. I was looking for truth. I was looking for a better understanding. Looking back, I know they would have accepted me to be a worker; yet I knew nothing about the Bible. Talking about the blind leading the blind. That’s what it would have been. One of the men who helped me put together that first pamphlet was an Irish minister living in Sydney and he knew the Sect in Ireland. He encouraged me to go to a Bible college.
It was after about a year or more of Bible college that one night--I've never forgotten this--I discovered in reading the first chapter of John - the excitement of reading that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and that without him was nothing ever made and in him is life and the life was the light of men. And I read on that The word became flesh and lived among us. And it dawned on me that Jesus is God. God the Son. I was so excited, I went around the corridor of the school telling these fellows what I'd discovered. They thought I was balmy, I think, that I knew so little about the scripture. To me that was the greatest joy, to discover that Jesus is God…
Tape #1 ran out…
Tape #2 was not transcribed - contains questions and answers and is difficult to hear.
This talk was facilitated by Chester Ehrig and took place in a hotel in Los Angeles, California June, 1995.
Transcribed by Cherie Kropp.
Transcript Audio (part 1)
Thank you, Fred and Ruth. It’s really very kind, what you have said. Certainly I agree. The second time when we went to Britain to really do the research carefully, and Helen and I, would go to the British Museum Newspaper Library where they had all the records of the Impartial Reporter there in London, instead of having to go to Ireland, we could do that in London. At the same time, we could then go up to Oxford where Bryan Wilson (who wrote that section in our book) would assist us. And also we would go across and visit Jim Packer, who would read what we were doing, and those two men assisted us a lot. But Helen, being a Librarian, she was able to have the full run of things and knew in detail how to go about so much of it. And her orderly thinking was a vital contributing factor with the book.
So, we might just ask God to help us, and we could just bow in prayer and ask Him to assist us.
Our Lord, we do thank you that you are never far away from us and that we meet and move in your near presence. And we thank you for that presence. And be with me, I pray, as I speak. May the words of my lips, and the thoughts of all of our minds be acceptable to you. And we ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Well, thank you so much for inviting me to be here this evening. As some of you know, I’m on leave. For the last ten years, I’ve been a Chaplain in a hospital or in a number of hospitals. It’s in the Illawarra district, which is south of Sydney, and I’m a Chaplain to four hospitals. And I’m coming up sixty five this year, which is our retiring age and I have some leave. Before reaching 65, I thought, well, we’ll use that leave. And we’ve had some friends in Alaska for years. Actually, they’re the daughters of the Hawkins, Olga Hawkins who had wrote to us over the years and Edgar Hawkins. We had met them many, many years ago and when Helen and I were coming home from Britain after doing that research, we stayed with them in Detroit. And so, we’re going to Alaska, and we’ll be having a holiday there. And I didn’t really give you much notice. I wrote only weeks ago, and mentioned this to Fred and Ruth and they very kindly were able to contact some of you. I said I’d be quite happy to speak to some if they wanted to meet. And here I am.
And so, I come from a background now of many years being a Chaplain. I suppose most of your hospitals would have Chaplains. And a Chaplain is involved in just ministry to all the sick in the hospital, as well as the staff. And so that has been my work for many years. And as a Chaplain, you just go patient to patient. You aren’t concerned so much for the religion. You’re concerned with just visiting people and listening to them and entering into their particular need at that time. And so that just gives you an idea of what I've been doing. I've been a minister in different churches and in my last parish I used to do a fair amount of chaplaincy in a big prison where I would just visit the prisoners in their cells and minister to them.
Ruth has suggested that I fill you in a little bit on my experience first before actually talking to you…My first recollections of becoming involved in the Sect was when I was a little boy of…no more than six or seven years of age, when a knock came to our door and there was a bearded man who had been a preacher in the Sect for many years. And his name was Jack Craig. And he had been a preacher in the country town where my mother grew up…
I didn’t really decide to enter the ministry until after I had done some study, and it was then that I then decided to go into the ministry.
But, that was my first recollection, and this man, he said to my mother, he said, “Do you remember me?” And she said, “I could never forget you.” He’d left such an impression on her when she was just a teenager, and had held a mission, this chap, Jack Craig and another Worker called Jack Annand. And Jack Craig became one of the Workers in Europe, and so did Jack Annand. And that was our beginning in the Sect. I was a little boy at that time. We’d grown up in what you call the Episcopalian church--it’s the Anglican church in Australia. And that’s where I used to go as a little fellow to Sunday School. My sister used to play the piano in the Sunday School and was a teacher, and my parents were fairly actively involved in the Anglican church.
When these Workers came and they invited us to one of the nearby meetings, and so we started to get involved. Eventually we left the Anglican Church and became fully involved in the Sect in Australia. And eventually my parents (we had a large home) and my father became the elder in that area. There would be meeting in our living room, and it wouldn’t be quite as large as this but almost, I would think. It was a large room, and we would have the meetings there.
And eventually, as a young man, I decided to enter the Work. And I think the seeds of that were sown at conventions. You just sort of felt the need to go out into the Work as a full time Worker. And I decided to go into the Work.
At that stage, I was a building contractor. I also had a business, a newspaper business. It was a “news agency,” they called it in Australia. When I offered for the Work and they accepted me, I then sold my business and gradually wound down the building contracting that I was involved in, and I arranged with my solicitor to sell off everything and to give the funds, as it had to be, to the Head Worker. That was the overseer of Australia, in New South Wales, rather. His name was John Hardie.
I was on the point of doing this, when I decided to have a holiday with my brother. He had a small farm, and he’d never entered the Sect. He and my elder brother wouldn’t get involved in the Sect. They had still continued to be Anglicans. Whereas, one other brother and my sister and, of course, my parents and myself, we were all in it. We often longed, you know, for the others to come into the Sect with us, and would preach to them, which possibly drove them away more and more.
Nevertheless, I was staying with my brother, and his minister was visiting him, and I told his minister that I was going into the ministry of this way: “The Way.” I explained to him what it was. That we had our meetings in homes and the preachers went out in twos. “Oh,” he said, “You’re the Cooneyites.” I had never even heard that name. I said, “No, we don’t have a name,” I said, “We go right back to Christ.” “Oh,” he said, “That’s what the Cooneyites tell all their people.”
I was somewhat shocked because I had always believed that everything outside this Sect was false. And that this was the Only Way; that we never had a founder; that we went back to the beginning. And this really disturbed me because here I’d sold my business and I must admit, looking back, I loved that business. It was a happy business--good staff and all the rest of it and to sacrifice it was a real sacrifice. And I was on the verge of going out into the Work.
When I came back from my brother’s, and the meetings, of course, were still being held in our family home, and when the Head Worker was visiting us with another Worker at the time - his name was Gordon McNabb - and when they were visiting us I said to the Head Worker, “I’ve been staying with my brother and I’m wondering was our Sect ever called the Cooneyites?”
He got so angry, and it was so evident that I had touched on something that was so sensitive. He said, “NEVER!” And he was so angry, and he cut me off so short. One thing led to another, but I’ve never forgotten that he was always a happy man, and he was a lovely man in every way until all of a sudden I saw another side to him. And he was a real Scot and a good orator and could hold the crowds at the annual conventions with a lot of wit and good humor. And here was something that disturbed him.
Well, one thing led to another, I decided there was something amiss here, and I said to my parents, “Look, before I enter the Work, I think we should have a holiday.” And I know they’d been so kind to me, and I said, “It’s on me. We’ll have this holiday. We’ll visit my father’s relatives in Ireland and in Britain. My father hadn’t met them since the first World War when he was wounded in France and on Gallipoli, and he’d got to know them and corresponded with them over the years.
So I said to John Hardie, “Look, before I really start in the Work. I’m going to have a holiday and I’m going to have a break with my parents and we’re going to Ireland.” He said, “You CANNOT go to Ireland. I don’t mind if your mother and father go, but you can’t go.” And I said, “Why?”
He said “I don’t care. Once you put your hand to the plow, you can never turn back. And you cannot go to Ireland.” I said, “What’s the reason? I know these relatives.” I used to be a young seaman in my teens, and on leave, I used to visit them in Scotland and in Ireland. And I said, “Well, I feel I need a break before I go straight out into the Work, and I’m going.” “Well,” he said, “If you go, I’ll have to review whether you can enter the Work.” I knew there was something wrong. He said, “And I think I’ll have to take the meetings out of the home.”
This was such a shock to my father, who was so devoted. My mother almost had a nervous break down. She used to weep her heart out, you know, when all of this pressure was on by these Workers. And he said, “If you don’t stop him from going to Ireland, we’ll have to take the meetings out of your home.” My father-- I can still remember him walking to the door with John Hardie and Gordon McNabb--saying, “I don’t want to see you here again. I don’t want to see you in this house again.”
And all those friends that we had were never then allowed to speak to us. We would walk up the street--and there were many of them--I’d even built a home for one of them--and they would walk to the other side of the road. We’d try to talk to them, and you could never get even near them. Go to their doors, and they wouldn’t let you in their houses.
We had booked our passage and so on, (and we knew the names of people in Britain and in different places on the way) and as we called on them, we weren’t allowed to see them. They had written letters ahead.
Now, when I got to Britain, I had nothing to go on except the name “Cooneyites.” And I looked and looked in libraries. I’d searched in the Mitchell Library in Sydney for the name Cooney. I couldn’t find a thing about the Sect, the “Cooneyites.” When I got to Britain, I did the same. I went to the libraries and eventually in London, I came across a little booklet called “The Cooneyites or Go-Preachers.” It was only a very small little booklet.
And I was fortunate an uncle of mine in Glasgow (tape went blank)… was involved in a religion which meets in homes and the preachers go out in twos, and they have these regional conventions. I never used the name “Cooneyites." And this minister said, “They’re the Cooneyites.” And this was in Britain where they knew them more. And I said, “I’d like to find out more about them.” And he said, “I know they started in Ireland. I’ll write to a friend of mine in Ireland and see if I can get some information.” And so, of course, I got the information to go to Enniskillen.
Now, I did this on my own because my parents were still in heart, I think, a part of the Sect, although they were disturbed. My sister was still going to the meetings and my brother and his wife and all of that family. They were all still going to the meetings. So I knew that it would be important for me to act quietly because it was hard enough to get information as it was.
When I went to Enniskillen, I started to search the newspapers. I thought, if there’s anything about the origin of this Sect, surely there’ll be something in this newspaper. It was called the Impartial Reporter. And it was a Farmers’ Journal that had a wide circulation in County Fermanagh. Enniskillen is a big country town in County Fermanagh…
When I got back to all the pages and pages, a young journalist was there and his name was Mervyn Dane. And he said to me, “Well look, Doug, you can sit up in that room, and just go back over all those volumes.” And there were volumes of the Impartial Reporter right back to the beginning. And so, I just sat there. It took me hours. But all of a sudden, I came across the name Edward Cooney, and William Irvine, and then the stories of the conventions. The old editor of that paper, his name was Mr. Trimble, and he was a marvelous man. He would go to the conventions, and he would write verbatim what was said in the conventions. He knew where they were going wrong and he wrote about that. He knew where they were going away from the truth of Christ. This really wasn’t the way to God.
But apart from that, the big shock was when all of a sudden I read names that were familiar to me in Australia. Like William Carrolll, and George Walker who I’d heard of in this country. And I thought, this is the same movement--there was no doubt. And I can still remember the shock - I was overwhelmed. And I wept because I realized we had been conned. We had been taken in. That this movement didn’t go back to Christ. That this movement went back to the beginning of this century, when these conventions just took on like wildfire, and there were thousands of people going to them. It might have had just a small beginning with a few missions here and there, but out of those missions, they brought them from all over Ireland and from Scotland and Britain and Crocknacrieve for many, many years. The property was called Crocknacrieve. It was the home of the Wests, John West and his wife, and their daughter, Ida still lived on a big property near Crocknacrieve.
All these conventions were reported for years. How they went out to Australia. How they went to America. How you had records of even red Indians coming back from America and being at Crocknacrieve, and things like that. They brought them all back there in those early years--Workers that were recruited in this country. And it became the real Mecca of the movement.
Now, while I was there, having visited with my cousins in Ireland, I met a lot of these people who were put out of the Sect. And I heard then of the division. And I met the Wests then and different people, quite a few. I then met Fred Wood and his wife and their children in Belfast and he was a devoted companion of Edward Cooney. He was excommunicated. I refer to his story in the book--how they were nearly frozen to death in London. How they would of, I think, you know rather have seen them die.
It’s an awful thing. It’s something like our Lord you know saying to the Jews when they were stressing that they were the children of Israel and that they were the heirs of Abraham, and he said, “Your father is not God. He is of the devil because I know you’re planning to kill me.” And he said, “The devil was a murderer from the beginning, and a liar.” And here were religious people who could hate everything outside the Sect. And if you were in the Sect, and you asked any questions, you were hated. And there was not the Spirit of Christ in that.
I’ve never forgotten how Fred Wood just wept in front of me. How he recalled the night that Eddie Cooney and he--Of course, they, in those days, were real tramp preachers. They had nothing apart from the clothes they wore. They had a reputation for smelling, because they only had one suit of clothes. And they had no money. They lived just from day to day. And if there wasn’t a home for them to stay in, they had nowhere to live. And they would have been frozen. And eventually that night, one of them let them live in the wood-shed. It had no lining--nothing. And he said, “We had to rub each other through the night to keep alive.” They would have killed them--virtually, murdered them. Because they dared to question the way the Sect was going.
Transcript Audio (part 2)
And so I heard about all of that division there. And the people who wouldn’t bow to this in the Sect, and who befriended Edward Cooney. Those that supported him, they were ostracized from the movement.
I then went on to Scotland, and I visited Kilsyth. And at that time, William Irvine’s relatives were still living. And so I was able to visit his cousin, Peter Comrie, and another one of his cousins, who furnished me with some of the letters of William Irvine and also, William Irvine’s son, who had become a minister. I have a photograph of his son, Archie Irvine--he was a Methodist minister - married man, with two daughters, and they lived in New Zealand--that’s where they lived. And he went out there many, many years. He never seems to have kept in contact with his father, because one of the letters that I have of Archie Irvine’s is to his cousin in Enniskillen, and he’d heard of the death of his father in Jerusalem, and he mentions that in his letter.
Now, having gathered all this information, I then came home to Australia. But I came home through the United States. And I visited Irvine Weir in Boston, and he was one of the original preachers. He knew Joe Kerr. I refer to that in the book. Then having come on from Boston, I stayed in New York with Mae and Earl Hammond. Mae Hammond’s brother was Peter McIver, who’d gone out into the work and suffered dreadfully--nearly starved to death in Italy as one of the Workers because he fell into disfavor with George Walker and Jack Carrolll--I think they were at that stage--the overseeing Workers…
And Earl Hammond was a court reporter. He could type as quick as you could talk on a shorthand machine. And he had gathered all the Workers together when they had nearly killed Mae’s brother, Peter, by starving him to death and stopping people from supporting him in Italy. And he gave me a transcript of all of that, and I have that amongst my many other papers.
And I came on from there to Detroit, and met the Hawkins, Edgar and Olga Hawkins. As you know, Olga had these letters that she wrote to the Selective Service Bureau and I have referred to them in the book where George Walker gave the story of the origin of it, and how the movement came here in 1903; and how the first conventions were held in New York and in different places.
And then I came on down here to Los Angeles, where I visited Kay and Ted Arvig. They supported so much of the investigation. I stayed with her three days and went down to San Diego. On my way home, I called in at Portland and met one of the original Workers then, a dear old man, Willie Clelland, and I refer to him in the book. He was present right from the beginning. He was shocked--absolutely shocked--that the Sect had given to its worldwide membership a feeling that it went back to Christ. He could never get over that. I sat with him in Portland in the YMCA building, and when he knocked off work this night, I picked him up. I hired a car and I picked him up from his work where he was a watchman at a gate of this factory. I took him and tape recorded our conversation.
When I told him my story, he just couldn’t believe it. He’d been frozen out of the work when he broke both of his legs and became a cripple. He was involved in a car accident and they just deserted him. He nearly died and he became a cripple. He said, “I’ve never heard from them. I spent all those years in the work. But for them to have given you the idea that it went right back to Christ, that’s an absolute lie. It went back to Bill Irvine.” And he grew up in Kilsyth. He knew John Hardie personally, and he knew William Irvine personally, and he was one of the original Workers.
Then I came on to Seattle and Ralph Derkland and different ones. And I met - we went up to White Rock in Canada and met quite a few different ones. And then I came home to Australia. And met Ron Campbell in Australia. I’d never met Ron Campbell until then. I went down to South Australia and met him and another Worker who had been put out of the work. His name was Arthur McCoy.
Ron Campbell had been put out of the work because he had stood up against the Head Worker in South Australia, who wanted to have sex with his sister. And when Ron Campbell stood up to the Head Worker for wanting to have sex with his sister, he was told by the Head Worker, “Well, you know that when you go back to the United States, things will be different.“ And he had a dreadful experience. He came back here and the doors were closed against him and friends were poisoned against him. So eventually, he had to leave the work.
All these different people I knew over the years who were excommunicated. That first man who had helped my mother as a Worker in those early years, Jack Annand, he was put out of the work and suffered a nervous break down. Arthur McCoy was the same. He nearly starved to death, and then discovered that all the money that he’d given to the Sect to the Overseer was in a bank account that the Overseer was using, but when he was starving, they never sent him anything. When he was in Armadale Hospital where he nearly died, the doctor said to the sister, and he heard him say, “This man is dying because he is starving to death.” And his clothes had almost fallen off him.
So I met these people and they had long left the Sect. And then I met the people who had corresponded for years with William Irvine. And I have at home lots of actual letters that William Irvine wrote from Jerusalem to people all over Australia because he visited Australia. Edward Cooney had preached at the conventions, and John Hardie had introduced him. John Hardie knew that they were called the “Cooneyites.”
By this time, I was pretty angry. I was angry. I was sad too. I grieved because I had been absolutely misled. And my family were misled. And so my brother-in-law and my sister were still very much attached to the movement, but my brother-in-law--no he could never swallow this belief that they went back to Christ, and that they were the only true church because, when he’d ask questions, he couldn’t find anything about them more than just going back a generation.
I said to my brother-in-law, “Would you mind coming with me to the convention? I want to go to the convention and I want to confront John Hardie and these Workers.” And my brother-in-law said, “Yes, I’ll come with you, Doug.”
And I said, “I think we’ll take a newspaper reporter with us.” And I took a newspaper reporter with me.
The three of us arrived at the convention and they were all in the big convention shed with tents and everything all outside. John Hardie was on the platform. We arrived at the door and a message went straight through to the platform. I saw someone walk up onto the platform and they looked across and I sat down with the reporter and my brother-in-law, and we just sat there until they finished that meeting. Then as John Hardie came out, he wasn’t going to come over and talk and I walked over to him.
I said, “I’d like to speak with you for a few minutes Mr. Hardie.”
He said, “I don’t want to speak to you!”
I said, “Well I would like to speak to you Mr. Hardie. I have ten questions here, and there are also things I would like to state in the presence of these people. I want you to listen to me.”
He was so angry!
I said, “You have misled me and my family that this movement went right back to Christ. And that it had no founder other than Christ. You have also told me that this was never called the “Cooneyites.
I want you to tell me, do you recognize this photograph?” And I had that photograph that is in the book of William Irvine and George Walker and the Carrollls and the different ones--the original ones. I didn’t know the names of one person I think. And I said, “Do you recognize this photograph?”
And he said, “Yes.”
I said, “Is that you along side of William Irvine?”
He said, “Yes.”
I said, “Thank you.”
And then I read one out after the other of these things - I couldn’t get to the end.
When he said, “Lies! They’re all lies!”
And I refer to that in the book. But he knew then that it didn’t go back to the beginning, but they would never admit that to their people.
It was after that, that I decided I’d put all the information together and do that expose' called “A Spiritual Fraud Exposed.” Some of you may have seen a copy of it. When that was all completed, and you know I was just a young man, and I didn’t have the expertise of Helen. I just had to do it largely myself, with copies from the newspapers and statements, and quite a few things that Alfred Magowan had said to me. And I just put it all together to try and defend myself largely at the beginning because, immediately all these wretched rumors went out, “Oh, he never entered the work because he wasn’t prepared to make the sacrifice,” and all these sort of things. They vilified me immediately. Before I had even started to ask questions about it, I was vilified. And, of course, that’s the way they do these sort of things.
And so, that went out, and that virtually was the end of the chapter. I had lots and lots of letters come back from people, especially in the United States. There were thousands of those went out in the beginning, all over Australia. We did a mass posting. Olga Hawkins helped me a lot, Kay Arvig and different ones, and we had carefully planned it.
I believe we were against the forces of evil. I didn’t see anything wrong with that. Our Lord knew He was against the forces of evil. And He was doing battle with the devil. He had to make precautions for His last supper. He couldn’t make that public, even amongst His own disciples. He had to select a room and have it as a secret place with two of His disciples, picturing a man with a pitcher on their shoulder and to follow them. He knew He had to be careful because there were forces that would destroy Him.
And I knew that if this was to ever get out, we’d have to do it quickly and at least sow some seeds of the truth. I couldn’t keep that information to myself--it was truth. There wasn’t a lie on the part of any of those people. They were emotionally saddened when I told them what had happened. How the Sect had gone. And they didn’t know what had happened across the world. A lot of them didn’t know that they had gone into this complete disguise and misleading people, and having this enormous power over their followers.
So I had to get it out. We had hundreds of names in this country, and in Australia. And we decided that it’d be a block posting in Australia and United States all in the same week. So hundreds of those went out. And that was how that expose' got out.
Now, after that I was finished with it. I thought, it’s no good dwelling on this. I’ve got to go on enjoying my Christian faith and try to understand it more. That would have been 1954-55.
The man who’d helped me was an Irishman who knew the Sect in Ireland and his name was Hammond. He was a wonderful man. He suggested to me that I go to one of our colleges and that I learned a little bit about it. He had read my pamphlet and he knew the Sect in Ireland and in Australia. And I said, “Look, I want to learn more about Christianity. I still feel that I want to serve Christ.” And he said, “Well, you can go to a college--a Bible college.” So I went to a Bible college, but only with a view of learning more about the Bible.
And I’ll never forget one night in Bible college, I was studying John, Chapter 1. And I had the most exciting experience in all my life! And that is true. I discovered who Christ was! And I was just so excited! I discovered that He was God in human flesh, who was with His Father before time began! Who was the same as His Father! And who could speak about being with God, and being the same as God, through whom everything was made. I discovered, I think, a real sense of there being more than one. You know, that there being a Father, and that His dear Son at a point in history, had become flesh through a woman. But Who was God!
I got so excited. I went out and told some of the fellows in that college and they’d known it for years! But I’d never known it! I never had a clue. I never even really knew the Bible! I even bought myself a children’s Bible book, comic type of book, to get a grasp of the scriptures because (and here’s me) I was going to go out as a Worker! The blind leading the blind it would have been well and true. That’s what I felt at that time when I discovered, in a beautiful way, the true person of Jesus Christ.
I don’t think they ever really knew that. Somehow, for years and years in this Sect, their whole perceptions had been clouded with The Way, and the church, and it had become focused on this, and whether they ever knew that, I think they lost it and never mentioned it. I don’t think they ever knew it. Not until later on.
And so, of course, I decided then, after a couple years in Bible college, that I would become a minister in the Anglican church. And that’s what I did and have done ever since those late fifties when I entered the Anglican ministry, and went out in different little country towns. And Helen and I were married, and we worked in country areas. Everywhere we worked, there was the Sect. There were the house churches. There were the conventions. We would meet the people. You knew them, but they would shun us…They knew about Doug Parker.
I lost touch with them altogether, until some years later. Different letters would come to me, from Fred and Ruth (Miller) and different ones, and people would say, “Look, you should put that all together. You should make that into a proper book.”
And once when Helen and I were in Sydney, we met Jim Packer and I told him about this. He said, “Doug, you must write that book. A lot of people will need that history. You must write it. I’ll help you.”
And I said, “Look, if we came to Britain, would you help us? We’ll get the records better.”
“Yes,” he said, “I’ll help you.”
Then I got some leave from my parish and with our children, we went to Britain and we rented a house in London, and we worked very hard, I must say. We had to document this carefully, because we knew that this had to be something that was to assist people and benefit people, and release them from the sort of bondage that I was in myself. It was only the truth that could release me. I found that because I was devoted in the Sect. I was as bigoted as anyone in the Sect. I used to look down on everyone outside the Sect, and do all I could to get people into the Sect. I was like that.
And so we had to document it very, very carefully, and that’s where Helen was such a tower of strength. We would interview people and take verbatim down and record their statements and went to a lot of trouble. We wrote the book eventually with the help of Jim Packer and Brian Wilson. He would correspond with me, even when we came home, we hadn’t finished it, but he would correspond. I would send him a copy, and he’d write back and he’d say, “Well, your chapters are too long,” or “that chapter’s a bit too short,” and he directed it. And eventually, we got it into shape.
Those present at the meeting were:
Doug & Helen Parker and son Dave
Fred & Ruth Miller
Bob & Joan Daniel
Brian & Connie Jacobsen
Fred & Corrine Kamp
Larry & Bonnie Lindemann and a brother
This talk took place in the home of Fred and Corrine Kamp and was facilitated by Fred and Ruth Miller.
Transcribed by Cherie Kropp