FBI launches sex abuse investigation into Christian cult after ex-members revealed harrowing assaults - with more than 1,500 victims reporting over 700 sexual predators

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The FBI has launched an investigation into claims of historic sex abuse inside a Christian cult after former members spoke out about harrowing assaults. 

The religious movement, which has no official name but is known by some as 'Two By Twos' is being probed over years of alleged sexual abuse.

The FBI Omaha Field Office said they are seeking help in identifying victims or individuals with knowledge of the religious group. 

In a press release, they said: 'The group has often been referred to by others outside of the group as '2x2,' 'The Way,' 'The Truth,' and 'The Church With No Name,' among others.'

The latest development comes after an investigation by the BBC last month that looked into claims of child sexual abuse. 

Known as 'Two by Twos', the movement was started by a man named William Irvine, seen here, in Ireland in the late 1800s

The outlet caught up with one ex-minister, Robert Corfield, who admitted to them that he had sexually abused a boy, Michael Havet, in Canada in the 1980s. 

Havet, now 54, told the outlet that he was abused from the age of 12, saying: 'People called me 'Bob's little companion' - I just felt dirty and still do.'

After abusing him, Havet said that Corfield would force him to kneel and pray beside him. 

He added: 'I had to work hard to get past that and find my prayer life again.'

When confronted with this, Corfield admitted the child abuse allegations, telling the BBC: 'I have to acknowledge that's true.' 

According to survivors group Advocates for the Truth (AFTT), Corfield is one of over 700 alleged perpetrators that have been identified by a hotline. 

The group said that over 1,500 survivors have called their hotline and utilized their therapy resources. 

The group was founded last year by Cynthia Liles, Lauren Rohs and Sheri Autrey who are planning to build cases against those on their list. 

According to the group, the 700 odd perpetrators are situated in 21 countries across the world, including the America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and Russia. 

The survivors group have welcomed the investigation saying in a statement: 'The FBI investigation brings validation and potential justice to survivors that have been silenced by their community for generations.

'A community that should have been wrapped around survivors with unconditional love, safety and communal care.'

Back in 2013, another one of its leaders, named Jerome Frandle pleaded no contest to 'knowingly failing to report suspected child abuse or neglect'

One man, named Jason Lennox (seen), who was an active member of the organization from 2012 to 2015, was also convicted of sexual abuse of a child in 2018

The cult is believed to have up to 100,000 members worldwide, with the majority in North America. 

Originally founded in Ireland by William Irvine in the late 1800s, William claimed that he was chosen by God to deliver a special revelation that he referred to as the 'Alpha message'.

He began to implement a series of very-strict rules for his followers, which he said were told to him by God, and he used the regulations to control almost every aspect of members' lives - including what they wore, how they acted, and what music they listened to. 

When Christian officials heard about what he was up to, they announced that they wanted nothing to do with his ridiculous teachings and kicked him out of the church - but that didn't stop William. 

The group continued to hold meetings - but moved underground - and instead of doing so publicly or in a real church setting, they had their events at members' homes. 

For over 100 years, the religious sect has continued to grow in secrecy - even after William died in 1947.

Tava Zahorka Nicholson previously told how grew up with parents who were part of the 'cult'.

Speaking to Daily Dot last year, she said that she was molested by four different male members as a child - one of whom touched her inappropriately 'over 100 times.'

 Dean Bruer, pictured here,, who passed away in June 2022, is also said to have been a 'sexual predator'

She claimed that her childhood was so traumatic she blocked most of it out, and it wasn't until she spoke to a therapist years later as an adult that she remembered what had happened to her.

'I did not and still do not remember my childhood to this day, I remember bits and pieces,' she said.

She also alleged that none of the men who touched her inappropriately were being investigated by the police or the group's leaders - despite 'multiple people' speaking out against them.

One former member, named Heather, who also spoke to the outlet, explained that every state has something known as an 'overseer' - who assigns a pair of preachers, known as 'workers,' to each area of that state.

Since they aren't allowed to own their own house, the workers usually stay in members' abodes. And because two of them always travel together, the organization is often referred to as Two by Twos.

'Conventions' are held once a year, and involve thousands of members meeting up to 'worship together' across multiple days.

Back in 2013, an overseer named Jerome Frandle pleaded no contest to 'knowingly failing to report suspected child abuse or neglect.' 

He was sentenced to four days in jail and 100 hours of community service in Michigan, where he worked for the church. 

One man, named Jason Lennox, who was an active member of the organization from 2012 to 2015, was convicted of second-degree sexual conduct with a minor and sexual abuse of a child in 2018 in Pima County, Arizona. 

He admitted to raping a 'very young child at least three times from 2007 to 2011,' a local Arizona news outlet reported at the time.

Another former overseer, named Richard Schober, told Daily Dot that he voluntarily cut ties with the group in the '60s because he 'knew he had a problem.'

'I knew I had a problem and I stepped out because it was not the place for me to be in the homes of children,' he said.

He was later convicted of indecent liberties and admitted to molesting his daughter.

Last year, a letter that was written by an overseer named Doyle Smith leaked, in which he confirmed that he had discovered that another overseer, named Dean Bruer, who passed away in June 2022, had been a 'sexual predator.'

Daily Dot reported that there's no record of criminal charges brought against Dean, but said that police confirmed there was a case file for him. They didn't divulge any other information.

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