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Foreword
Chapter 1
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The Thread of Gold
Feedback: From Those Never in the Local Church
responders, their names and locations are not shown.]

Hi Jane, this is ______, ______’s roomate. Sorry, I:m using a japanese computer and don:t
know where certain keys are- like the apostrophe.

I saw that ______ had your book, so I picked it up about a week and a half ago and finished
reading it in about 2 days. I’m just now at a place where I can e-mail you and say THANKS!

There was a certain part of your testimony when you had just given birth to your second son
… he was in serious condition. But in that situation the Lord told you that you would help
other children breathe better. I thank Him for using your walk to do just that in my heart. I:ve
been praying about legalities I:ve been building in my walk with Him. Also, I was truly
blessed with your honest heart to the Lord when you were going through those confusing
times. I:m encouraged to be totally open and honest with Him.

I thank you again for being faithful to the Lord in writing this book. It ministered to me more
than I am truly able to express. I will keep you and your family in my prayers as the Lord has
been putting you on my heart with how you have blessed me.

R. P.

_______________


Dear Jane,

I FINALLY finished reading your book yesterday!!

I really admire your honesty in the way you displayed yourself as a follower of Jesus. The
book has a real authentic note to it that I personally believe people will benefit from.

It was enjoyable to me to hear the way you prayed to the Lord. I know many people who are
all about the words and not the relationship. It was refreshing to me to hear of someone
else, besides me, who has a very similar way of praying. When ____ and I were out with
______ the other evening, ______ asked me what has stood out the most to me in the
book. My response was, “Just the way Jane prayed and responded to God. The Lord never
intended it to be difficult for us to come to Him.”

The book is also very practical in the sense that everyone can relate somehow to any
number of the situations you and John went through. If they cannot relate to the church
environment, there will be some aspect of Jesus in the book that will be applicable to their
own life. This book is a wonderful offering to the Lord and the church body.

What an amazing testament of what the Lord has done for you, John, Todd, and Matt.
Speaking of offerings, I am now reminded of a song by Nichole Nordeman called “My
Offering”. In it she speaks of people being likened to grass, a cloud, even a mountain
strong and steep. She sings about the Lord giving the rocks and the stones voices of their
own. Each one of these was created by God, but each also has its own offering. The grass
becomes a place for sheep to graze and bare feet to play in, and the cloud is one of many in
the sky that make a beautiful sunset where God can show His colors.

I just felt it upon my heart to write you and tell you my thoughts. We love and miss you both.

Love,
D. A.

_______________


From a dear Christian who told me she believed I would one day publish my story and
asked me to find her wherever she was and send her a copy. I found her in another state by
an Internet search about eight years after her request.

Jane,

Thank you again for sending me your book. It has been such a blessing. Since I knew
much of your story, I started with the back with The Ax Laid to the Root and About Deception.
Praise the Lord for your courage and boldness to tell the truth, and expose lies. Then I
started at the first, and although I remember much of it, it has been wonderful to see God’s
faithfulness in continuing to make Himself known, regardless of what lies we are believing.
Your book is a marvelous testimony to God’s mercy, love and restoration. I was thankful to
read that your relationship with Matt was totally restored. Thanks again for sharing it.

And now I am rejoicing in being a normal Christian!!!!

Blessings,
F. S.


And another email from her:

Hi,

We have a young friend, ______, who is a missionary to ______. She returned this week for
a visit. Part of her goal on her visit is to find resources regarding cults in ______, and one
she mentioned was Living Stream. I told her about The Thread of Gold, and will loan it to
her while she is here. She was interested in talking to you or at least e-mailing you. I am
assuming this is the correct e-mail. We both felt like the timing of your book and her inquiry
was God.

Blessings,
F. S.

_______________


Dear Jane,

I Just finished reading your book and found it most interesting. I taught Comparative
Religions to a high school SS class back in the 80's but couldn't find any info re. The Local
Church - probably because Witness Lee hadn't yet contaminated the doctrines with
legalism.
I'm not surprised that it took you so long to write it. The amount of research that it required is
mind boggling.
May the Lord open many blinded eyes through reading it. And may He continue to bless and
guide you and protect you from Satan's fiery darts for he hates your book.

Love and prayers,

L. P.

_______________


A Christian friend took it upon himself to help me find my long lost high school friend, Alysa,
whom I treated so very poorly when I was in the Local Church. He found her address, and I
was able to send her a letter and a copy of the book. When she received the package and
opened it, she decided it was mailed to her by mistake because she had not ordered it. As
she was putting in the mail to return it, all of a sudden it hit her that the author was me. She
then found the letter! She called me, and we had a long visit! What a blessing.

In my letter, I had asked her to forgive me for my terrible behavior that day many years ago.
She told me over the phone, “There is no forgiveness needed. I understood that your life
had gone a different way.” I said, “But I am sure I hurt you that day.” She responded, “Yes, it
hurt.” I was so very thankful to be able to repent to her after all these years. We plan to meet
sometime in the future! What a meeting that will be.

_______________


A relative of my husband’s, whom we have never met, but only have corresponded with via
email, wrote to us. We discovered that her church’s roots went back to the early Brethren
movement. She was familiar with the Plymouth Brethren.

Jane,

There is no doubt that I feel a kindred spirit with you. You have a good concept of the early
Brethren movement. There is another group who call themselves the Church of the
Brethren, but not the same as our group. We believe all who have trusted the Lord Jesus for
salvation are saved and automatically become part of the universal church. The church
being the body of Christ. You can imagine what a change it must have been to leave the
Church of England and meet simply in the name of the Lord. I know the P.B.s are the main
ones who emphasize the pre-tribulation. I love the study of prophecy about the Lord's return.
I think it is wonderful that you are meeting in homes for where two or three are gathered...
He is in the midst.

It is sad to say that even the best of Christian groups have splits, disagreements and the
flesh enters in no matter what. Also, whenever we have our eyes on a man as the leader,
almost putting him in the place of God, things can really go downhill fast. I know the
beginning of 1 Corinthians stresses not to be of Paul, Apollos or any man on earth. They
can all fall and we should never put anyone but the Lord Jesus on a pedestal. At the chapel,
we do not have a one man ministry so we do not have any one leader to elevate. Also, you
will see the word pastors but not just pastor in the Bible. By the way, we do wear makeup.
Heavens, I would scare folks if I didn't. We have the Lord's Supper at 9 a.m., then Sunday
School and regular service after that which would be very similar to most churches. A very
sweet warm group--not perfect, of course.  

The present hierarchy in Christianity has gotten a long way from the first principles.
However, God has still used whatever group is true to His name no matter what name they
meet in. We do not have a closed meeting and I am sure that it is quite different from
meetings of long ago. It is interesting to get to know folks from around the world. At our
Bible conferences, there will often be folks from England, Scotland, Canada and other far
off places. It is fun to talk with them. Especially love their accents.

Many of the great preachers have been associated with the P.B.s. One of the most recent
was Jim Elliot, who was speared to death by the Auca Indians on January 8, 1956. The
reason I know that date so well is because that happened on my 16th birthday. Two of the
first books I read after accepting the Lord were by Elisabeth Elliot about her husband, Jim,
THROUGH GATES OF SPLENDOR and later THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY. I had the
delightful opportunity to interview Elisabeth in February of 1987 and the article was
accepted by the Back to the Bible magazine, CONFIDENT LIVING. I have about twenty of the
books she has written, several autographed. One of Jim's quotes: "He is no fool who gives
what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

I would love for you and John to come visit us. We have a whole house available because
we live in our backyard cottage. It is so cozy. Tonight the fireplace is blazing. Christmas
decorations are up. The four parakeets are chirping. I have to cover them shortly so they will
go to sleep. The fish in the aquariums have lights already turned off and the three dogs are
resting nearby. G. is working at his desk--waiting for me to get Matlock on. I tape Matlock
from the Hallmark Channel. Have almost all of them now. That's his favorite show. He is the
correspondent for the chapel. Presently is lining a speaker up, Lee Lohre of the Christian
Servicemen's Center. He just asked Lee what did he know about Watchman Nee. He told
Gene that Nee was in a closed assembly--one of four most well known Christian leaders in
China.

G. wanted to know what your boys are doing now. Have a great weekend and Lord's Day!  


She also wrote later:

Just want you to know that G. hardly puts your book down once he gets home from work,
eats supper, etc. He is on page 228 Chapter 16 he just told me. He just turned the TV off to
start reading again. I managed to get hold of the book for a while and still need to go back
again when he finishes. It makes me sad that you and John had to go through so much
heartache, but sometimes our deepest valleys can be used to reach the highest heights for
Him. We can't identify well with someone who has it made and hardly ever had any trials.
Glory be. I don't know who that would be. Delighted to hear your sons and families are
doing well.

_______________


Dear Jane and John,

I am almost through your book and have found it so interesting. I feel any one who needs
help to remove themselves from the Local Church will find your book most helpful. I have
found your original verses beautiful, you should publish a book on verses. We should
always sing songs to God. You have such a kind heart, I know how much work and stress
this has been on you; but like always you were thinking of others. Thank you Jane for being
there for me when I need you, too. I always feel you have powerful prayers.

Love, B. R.

_______________


I just found your book on the web. The past two years have been a healing process for my
family after my daughter became engaged to a young man in the local church. We searched
for information on the church...but often found it difficult to find. I am thankful for your book
before I have even read it. Thank you so much for being willing to share. I am afraid for you
because they so often sue those who write about them, so I will be praying that your book
will be able to stay in print. The truth needs to be available!!!

In His Love,

Name withheld


Later this person wrote:

Jane. You have no idea how grateful I am to hear that your book has been printed. After
spending many months just trying to figure out what the teachings of this church were, we
finally realized that it was a cult. We almost lost our daughter and it was one of the most
frightening times of our lives. The young man was deceptive and finally admitted so, but he
is so enveloped in this church and so blocked by fear that he could not see his freedom in
Christ. Only through a dark, dark night of spiritual battle, was she freed and it was the Holy
Spirit that finally gave her discernment.
My son who was first friends with the young man has so much anger because of the
deception and lies of these people that he is having a very difficult time trusting any
Christians or finding fellowship. I believe that one of the most difficult things to realize is that
there is such a plan on their part to discredit anyone who wants to tell the truth about them. I
found when searching the internet that many of the sources which helped us to find the
truth are now gone and I am certain that the local church is behind that. I noticed also that
under  "critics of Witness Lee's local church" which is where I looked on Google, that all the
church's support groups have flooded the pages. I found the book just by accident on the
2nd page under the ______. At the bottom of the page someone mentions your book. I
couldn't believe it because 2 years earlier I had searched everywhere and most books were
out of print due to lawsuits. I finally found an old copy of Neil Duddy's book in another city
library and had it sent. I am so glad to have a book to recommend when people have
questions. We live in ______ and the ______ College has had questions about the local
church. I have much information but it is rather hard to explain it all, as I am sure that you
know. To be able to hand someone a book will be so helpful. I feel that it is our
responsibility to inform as it is so hard to find the information. Well, I am looking forward to
getting your book. I hesitated to tell my daughter about it because I didn't want to bring up
hard memories. But when I did, she was very excited to read it also. She is dating a great
Christian young man now, but she is being extremely cautious, which I guess is good. So
thank you again, and you are in our prayers. Let us know if there is anything else we could
do.

Name withheld


Later she wrote again:

Dear Jane,  

Both my daughter and I just finished your book. It was very helpful to both of us. I think that it
clarified areas for my daughter and validated many of her feelings. It was so informative for
me, but mostly it tied every thing together. As I read your words I was reminded of insights
we had as we tried to discern exactly what was being taught at this church. The words and
concepts were very familiar, even though our exposure to this teaching was brief. My
husband and I had searched scripture and agonized over so many of the teachings. I
remember the day that I clearly realized that it was Satan at work in the deceit and lies of
this church.

It has been difficult to separate the people from their methods. Reading your book helped
me to see that they need to be loved and prayed for...previously I was still angry at the
"tricks". I called the "Christians on Campus" office at the university, and the lady that
answered wouldn't tell me what church the group was affiliated with. The overwhelming
theme of your story seems to me to be the love and care of God the Father for you through
your experience and even though Satan was at work, God sifted you in a positive way for a
purpose. I believe the same thing about the difficult time that we went through.  "You will
know the truth and the truth will make you free." John 8:32 Often I would quote that verse to
my daughter's fiance but it didn't mean anything to him at that time. Now I have begun to
pray again for him...that he may be set free in the love of Christ.  Thank you so much for
writing your book. There is one other thing that amazed me. That you and your husband
lived through such a difficult time and remained together. That is a huge witness to others.
Many times as I read about what you both went through I could hardly imagine how John
knew what to do as a new Christian. It had to be the grace of God. I am sure that I will be
ordering more books..... We are praying for you and your husband.

In Christ,  Name withheld


Later her daughter wrote:

Jane,

You have been writing to my mother (______) and she sent me the last e-mail she recieved
from you. It sounds like you are getting some excellent support due to the forum on the
Bereans website. I hope that what I wrote helped! I would like to help you in any way
possible.

I want to thank you for writing the book. I understand that it took a lot of courage. It helped
me to understand and put together all of the pieces that I had read about concerning the
history of the Local Church. Your book is informative but also spoke to my heart.

I am so grateful that, deep down, I always knew that I could not follow the teachings of the
Local Church. My family and the prayers of many others helped me to have the strength to
walk away from the man I was going to marry. I remember though how he would try to
convince me that the local church was the way and how everything in my brain just seemed
grey- I felt like a child being blindly led into submission. It gives me the chills to think about
now.

Ultimately, Christ won the battle. Now, I am actually thankful for what I went through
because of the way Jesus has been at work in my life since that time. He saved me, my
spirit would have just withered if I had been in the Local Church.

Thank you again for having the courage to write the book and for working to make it
available to those who need it. Please let me know of any needs that you may have in order
to keep the book in print.

Blessings

Name withheld

_______________


Dear Jane and John,

Thanks so much for allowing B. and me to share the many experiences of which you wrote
in The Thread of Gold. To say that we found your account to be fascinating would be an
understatement, but the lessons which flowed from them and which you are now sharing
with others are invaluable. We enjoyed the book very much, appreciate your sharing it with
us, and congratulate you both for the victories you have achieved and the monumental effort
that writing and publishing it have required. We wish you much success in getting your
book into the hands of many, many others.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and may 2006 be a wonderful year for all of you.

With love and appreciation,
R. T.

_______________


Hi John and Jane,

I’m just over half way thru (217).
M. is a little further behind.
Your short sections make it perfect for “bathroom reading” (no disrespect intended)

Thus far, it’s been and easy read.
Most vivid scene: Matt and the Hershey bar!
Best one-liner: “Vera, the green-drink sister”!

C. C.

_______________


A post from another Internet forum: livejournal.com:

I recently found a book written by an older sister in the Lord who had been in the Local
Church cult for over 20 years. Her testimony is recorded in a 411-page-long book entitled "
The Thread of Gold".

It is not a story of how evil cults are and that we need to be better or so... it is the life
testimony of a woman seeking God and finding Him, despite of her attitude towards "God's
Servants" and "The Ministry". I love this book, it is a tremendous read, written empathically,
without malice or negativism.

By reading this testimony, you see the life of a person who loved God and men exploited
this love, but eventually, God rewarded her love by letting Himself be found regardless of
what she expected….

_______________


Hello Mr. & Mrs. Anderson,

I’m D. R. If you wonder how God works … this might be a delight to you. F. S. from ______
Church recommended you folk as a possible resource. We left a bible cult about 5 months
ago. We were missionaries in ______ and met a lady there by the name of ______ who is
doing counter cult ministry in the same town where we were laboring. I think her mother
attends the ______ Church and got ______ acquainted with your book recently. To make a
long story short God used ______ to help us leave an abusive bible cult called the ______.
We (my wife and I) were members for about 13 years.

The ______ was a split off group of the ______ movements. My parents got our whole
family into this church/organization in the summer of 2002. They have left along with the rest
of my siblings except my sister. The ______ posed as small branch of a movement
referred to in our circles as the “holiness movement”. They supposedly adhere to the
______ persuasion. The ______ though has definitely become a cult under the leadership
of its current leader and founder.

Julia thinks that perhaps our church back grounds would be similar. I’m interested in doing
some research on the group you left? Could you give me any leads. We’ve met a young
family in ______ that left an aberrant ______ group, but there the only ones so far that we’
ve been able to make contact with that have a similar experience as ours.

If you know any ex-members that live in ______ we would be interested in contacting them.
We live in ______.

Thanks for your help.

Sincerely,

D. R.


Later, he wrote:

…. I’m really starting to get into your story, and feel like I’m re-living my own cult experience
again. The re-living part is painful, but I know there is healing in the end. Wow, Satan does
not care how or who he uses to deceive us. I’m glad the Lord is setting us free though. We
left our group about six months ago.

God bless and encourage you. There are so many people like us that need help and
healing and it is so wonderful to find resources like the one you have provided. I hope you
feel encouraged to know that your story is helping others.

Sincerely,

D. R.

_______________


Hi Jane,

I am very interested to find your book. I will be ordering it soon. I was a student at ______
University from 1975-1979 and was pursued diligently by some members of the ______
LC. I was already a committed Christian at this point, but you know how in college you are
interested to find out if these are the ones that have "really got it."

I remember a couple of meetings where they started closing the trap on me. One was a pot-
luck where it seems that I was the main dish -- and they were going to convince me in a big
circle in a room. Creepy! I think that my in-born rebellion was what kept me from falling into
their grip -- also the in-dwelling Holy Spirit that kept me feeling queasy about them.

I am glad that you were able to escape. It makes me wonder about some of the others.

Thanks for your boldness,
Name withheld
God's Purpose, the Cross, and Me
A True Story