Two by Twos / The Truth

Special Guest: Laura McConnell

Laura McConnell Conti left The Truth as a 19-year-old in 1999. She found herself alone and knowing little about the world outside her community. She rebuilt her life, spent 15 years working in finance, and recently co-founded social enterprise #GoKindly.

Laura is a feminist activist and storyteller, passionate about supporting women from non-mainstream backgrounds (like her own) to study, work, and have successful careers. She supports women contemplating leaving The Truth (and similar groups) by providing information and referral services at her website.

Laura lives in Melbourne, Australia – a long way from the red sands of Far Western NSW where she was raised inside The Truth. A piece of her heart was left there, in that red sand and searing heat where she was raised with no TV and no idea about the world outside her cousins, second cousins, aunts and uncles inside The Truth.

Laura writes and tells stories for indie media and is passionate about raising awareness of the lives of women inside Fundamentalist Christianity.

Special Guest: Chris Johnston

Chris Johnston is a journalist and author in Melbourne with a special interest in cults, sects and quasi-religions.


Written and Hosted by Sarah Steel

Research by Haley Gray and Sarah Steel

Music by Joe Gould

Edited by Corey Green at Transducer Audio

October 14th, 2020

1 hr 15 mins 47 secs

Season 4


Season 4 presenting partner:


Laura McConnell was born into a fundamentalist Christian sect that claims it has no name. Former member Elizabeth Coleman told reporter Nathan Jolly, “It is of utmost importance to them that they do not have an official name or headquarters or centrally identifiable presence anywhere on earth.”

From his investigative reporting in 2013, journalist Chris Johnston estimated there were 20,000 members in Australia, and hundreds of thousands around the world. Sometimes referred to as The Truth, the Two by Twos, or the Friends and Workers, the sect has seen multiple leaders face accusations of child sexual abuse, some of which are currently in court. Laura and many former members believe that this highly secretive group should certainly be considered a cult.