Scott A. Rauscher with Veronica, Archie and Betty

Rvector/Shutterstock Scott A. Rauscher/Facebook (Licensed)

‘I did open and followed them at times’: Leader of controversial church resigns after being caught with Archie content on Facebook

'I feel relieved and hopeful that the FBI being involved means nothing will be hidden...'


Brianna Bell


Posted on Feb 27, 2024   Updated on Feb 28, 2024, 6:44 pm CST

This story contains mature themes.

Last summer, the Daily Dot was first to reveal that a reckoning was underway in a nameless church commonly referred to as the Two by Twos or 2x2s. As we reported at the time, hundreds had come forward to claim they were abused by church members and leaders. They further alleged that church leaders allowed the accused to continue to participate in church gatherings and services. Many of the purported victims were children at the time of the alleged abuse.

Last week, news broke that the FBI is investigating the Two by Twos for what has been described as a pattern of abuse going back decades.

Also last week, a longtime leader of the Two by Twos became embroiled in a separate scandal of a sexual nature. Scott Rauscher, an “overseer” for the church, was purportedly caught liking pornographic pages on Facebook, including one that posts sexualized images of characters from the Archie comic.

In a letter published on Wings for Truth, a website that seeks accountability for people who allege they were abused by members of the Two by Twos, Rauscher reportedly wrote, “You need to know that my FB account was not hacked. But that I opened messages that came to my account that were of a pornographic nature (sometimes referred to as soft Porn). I do not know who they came from or why they showed up on my account but ‘I did open and followed them at times.’” [sic]

The church strictly forbids this. Rauscher subsequently resigned.

Rauscher did not respond to requests for comment.

“I have made the decision to step away from my responsibilities as an overseer and my active part in our Lord’s Ministry here in Montana & Wyoming…. I am terribly sorry for the distress and broken trust that this has caused each of you as well as many others,” Rauscher reportedly wrote in his resignation letter.

He also purportedly said he would seek professional help. He did not say whether he would return to his role or another position with the church.

To some, this smacks of hypocrisy.

Ex-members of the Two by Twos told the Daily Dot they have been calling for Rauscher’s ouster for mishandling allegations of abuse by members of the church. (No one has accused Rauscher of abusing anyone.) Yet his resignation was only prompted by accusations that he looked at legal adult content.

“This reprobate had to be dragged kicking and screaming and it wasn’t until faced with undeniable evidence (i.e. he was trapped), that this outcome is arrived at,” an anonymous user commented on the announcement of Rauscher’s resignation on Wings for Truth. “To other ministers, young and old, junior to senior, we can’t hear what you’re saying because your actions are speaking too loudly.”

The Two By Twos, also known as “The Truth” or “The Way,” is a home-based church founded in Ireland in the late 19th century. Estimates vary, but some say there are roughly 75,000 members worldwide—though this is difficult to verify due to the church’s secretive nature.

For over a century, the Two By Twos largely escaped media attention. Claims that the church has been turning a blind eye to sexual abuse within its ranks thrust the Two by Twos unwillingly into the limelight. The scandal stunned congregants worldwide, most of whom are in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Cynthia Liles, a private investigator who specializes in child sex abuse, set up a hotline for victims through Advocates for The Truth, an organization created in response to allegations of systemic sexual abuse within the church. Last month, the BBC reported that callers to the hotline have identified more than 700 potential perpetrators thus far.

As previously reported by Vice, the BBC, and KETV, on Feb. 20 the FBI’s Omaha, Nebraska field office released a statement asking for help identifying victims or anyone “with knowledge of abuse and/or criminal behavior that has occurred within a religious group that traditionally has not had a name.”

The release included a link to a questionnaire for anyone with information about the investigation or who “believe [their] child or other children may have been victimized by individuals affiliated with 2×2.”

The FBI did not respond to a request for comment.

News about the FBI investigation sent shockwaves through current and former members of the Two by Twos. For those who say they were victimized, the investigation feels like a reckoning that’s long overdue.

“I feel relieved and hopeful that the FBI being involved means nothing will be hidden and nobody silenced anymore,” said ex-member Sara Knauss.

Knauss was a “worker,” or church leader, for the Two by Twos from 2010 to 2016. Workers abandon their homes, belongings, and families, and are assigned a same-gender partner and jurisdiction for approximately one year. During that time, they stay in the homes of members for a few days.

Elaine Henry is also an ex-member of the Two By Twos. Henry was relieved to learn about the FBI investigation.

“There is a possibility of accountability for abusers and those that enabled them,” Henry told the Daily Dot, adding, “It’s also sad that so many in positions of power or spiritual authority thought they were above the law.” Henry said she hopes survivors and their families feel hopeful now that they know that others are willing to listen to their stories.

The day after the FBI published its call for potential witnesses and victims to come forward and aid its investigation into the Two by Twos, Rauscher announced he was stepping down from his position as the overseer of Montana and Wyoming.

Rauscher has been the subject of criticism for his response to sexual abuse allegations within the states he oversees.

The Daily Dot obtained an email Rauscher sent in November in which he quoted over 20 Bible verses that mention silence. One verse reads, “Be silent if your words will damage someone else’s reputation.”

In another email, Rauscher allegedly wrote, “From today we will not accept any reports from the past. If there is anything illegal or criminal in any way, we are asking you to take it to the police.”

Henry, who lives in the jurisdiction where Rauscher was overseer, told the Daily Dot that Rauscher did not take claims about illegal activity occurring with the sect seriously. Henry was born and raised in the church. She left the Two by Twos around 2016.

“I believe there’s been criminal activity and cover-ups for many years. I have knowledge of multiple victims,” Henry said.

Henry said she notified Rauscher of illegal activity multiple times and claims he was unwilling to listen or act. Henry said she also repeatedly reached out to other elders and leaders in the church—all of whom refused to do anything about her accusations. Henry said she has contacted the FBI.

In recent months, the Daily Dot has spoken to multiple people who have been contacted by the FBI about its investigation into the Two By Twos. According to former members of the church, investigators contacted Darryl Doland, the overseer of Washington, North Idaho, and Alaska. There are no allegations against Doland, however, he has reportedly sent emails to members about the sexual abuse allegations and apologized for his part in covering up the same.

Wings for Truth published an email Doland allegedly wrote. It says in part, “First, I want to personally apologize for the times I have ‘tuned out’ the muted cry of a wounded, frightened person and left their plea for help unheeded. I am saddened and deeply sorry to know that my responses (or lack thereof) have hindered justice and/or healing in some way.”

Doland did not respond to requests for comment.

Kari and Kyle Hanks and Abbi and Mike Prussack are former members of the Two by Twos. The couples run the private Ex-2×2 Support Group on Facebook. The group was among the first to make claims of rampant sexual abuse within the church.

The Hanks and the Prussacks told the Daily Dot that news that the FBI is investigating has generated intense interest in their group.

“Since the FBI statement about three people per hour have requested to join our support group of almost 3,800 people,” they said in a statement. The page has added 180 members in the last week.

They said that they spoke to the FBI last year and are “thrilled” that the bureau officially announced it is investigating the Two by Twos.

“Survivors have been silenced for decades and we are grateful they are finally being heard and taken seriously at such a high level,” they said. “Amplifying survivor voices and protecting future generations of 2x2s is a priority to us. We encourage and support any survivors who would like to share their stories with the FBI.”

“The 2×2 church has historically promoted and protected those in power while taking advantage of the vulnerable. Our hope is that people in the 2×2 church would be willing to accept that these abuses are real and that this is not just a few bad apples.”

Disclosure: The reporter’s family has been involved in the Two by Twos for generations. She has never been a member, but has attended gatherings.

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*First Published: Feb 27, 2024, 4:00 am CST