‘Healing’ at SCOAN: Are people encouraged to stop taking medication?

TB Joshua was in the news recently when the BBC named the London branch of SCOAN in connection with the deaths of three women who were told by their pastor to stop taking their medication after being declared ‘healed’ of their HIV/AIDS.

It is clear that the claim of healing, including that of HIV/AIDS and cancer, is a key selling point of TB Joshua’s churches. However, SCOAN London firmly denied that they had ever instructed people to stop taking their medication.

So is there any truth behind the suggestion that SCOAN has  encouraged people to stop taking life-saving medication? We have talked to several former SCOAN insiders and visitors who say that this is the case. We will present the story of a women who went into a coma after being directly told by a SCOAN disciple to stop taking insulin for her diabetes. We will also tell the story of a woman who died after turning down chemotherapy for her breast cancer because she had been declared ‘healed’ by TB Joshua.

While some report being told to stop taking medication, others say that there was a strong implication that stopping medication was an important part of the healing process, even if they didn’t receive explicit instruction. All speak of the same teaching that SCOAN visitor Hattie describes in her account, which can be summarized as follows:

  • God wants to heal you, but this can only happen if you have complete faith that he can and will.
  • Any reliance on medication or medical treatment constitutes a ‘lack of faith’ in the ability of God to heal, and this show of ‘doubt’ may stop the healing from taking place.

The testimonies we are publishing will show how damaging this teaching can be, often to the most vulnerable and desperate people. What follows is the story of one woman who nearly died because of this teaching.

Judith’s story

Judith went out to SCOAN Lagos several years ago, hoping to be healed of her diabetes.“I had suffered from Type 2 diabetes since I was about 12.” said Judith. “I heard about SCOAN because an old friend of ours was a disciple. My husband and I decided to go and visit.”

Her husband Patrick describes their arrival at SCOAN. “When you get to SCOAN, everything is built up to the healing services. We must have watched five videos a day- all these dramatic healings, deliverances. You see all this incredible sights, and it makes you think that amazing things must happen there.”

The prayerline

As a foreigner and contact of a disciple, Judith was given a place in the prayerline. “Everyone is asked to write their illnesses and problems on a board,” said Patrick. “Judith did this and waited in the prayerline. She wrote the two things she wanted healing for- diabetes and depression. TB Joshua came down the prayer line, laid his hands on her, and proclaimed her healed. Afterwards she asked a female disciple if she had been healed of her diabetes. The disciple said ‘if it’s on the card, it’s covered.’”

Judith was excited but needed reassurance. “I found the disciple again and I explained to her my situation. I came for healing, I said, and you say I’ve been healed. So should I continue taking my insulin?”. Judith says that the disciple was very clear in her response. “She told me to stop taking it. She said that the process of healing was taking place but it would only happen if I had faith. If I was taking medication, it would mean I didn’t have faith for healing,” said Judith. “She gave an analogy, saying “When a farmer plants a seed, he doesn’t dig it up each day to see how much it is growing. Faith is unseen.” I could see what she was saying, but it still made me nervous.’

Talking to TB Joshua

She had one more chance to clarify if this was the right thing to do. “When we were about to leave the church, we had the chance to see TB Joshua in his office. I asked him the same question. He just laughed, and said “Do I have to tell you again? Where’s your faith?””. “I was surprised at his response.” said Judith. “To be honest it made me feel inadequate. I felt that by even asking the question, I didn’t have enough faith. But also, it hurt that he had just laughed at me. This was incredibly important for me but he acted as if it was a stupid question.”

Judith decided to take the leap of faith and stopped taking her medication. When she left Lagos on Friday morning, she was already in bad shape. “On the plane back, I was very ill. I started vomiting and got really dehydrated,” she said. “But I kept praying and kept believing that I’d be healed.”

From bad to worse

Judith says that after Friday night, she doesn’t remember anything that happened. Her husband takes up the story. “I’ve seen Judith through lots of difficult times with her diabetes, but this time was worse than any of the others.” he said. With Judith’s symptoms getting worse, Patrick began to have doubts that the healing was taking place. “I had doubts, of course. For a while I tried to banish them, because I felt we needed to stay faithful for healing. But I started to realise that it was getting serious.” said Patrick.

By Saturday she was critically ill. “I took her blood sugar levels and it was over 30. It was actually off the scale. I gave her insulin then. But it didn’t have any effect, it was too little too late.” said Patrick. “By this stage she was barely conscious and she couldn’t walk or do anything for herself. That evening I called an ambulance, and she was taken to hospital.”

The medical miracle

By Saturday evening, Judith, who just two days ago had been told by TB Joshua that she had been healed of diabetes, was in a coma. When she arrived at the hospital, the doctor was shocked that she hadn’t been given medical attention sooner. “The consultant asked me why I had left it so long,” said Patrick. “She said that  she should have been dead.” I told her about the ‘healing’ at SCOAN. She was a Christian herself, and she said the real miracle was that Judith was still alive; she could have easily died 24 to 36 hours before.” Judith was in a coma for the whole of Sunday, regained consciousness on Monday and remained in hospital for a further week. “She would have definitely died if I had waited any longer.” said Patrick.

Questioning TB Joshua

Judith and Patrick continued to visit Scoan London after that, but they began to question aspects of the ministry. “I started to think, where’s TB Joshua’s accountability?’ It seemed like people there spoke more highly of TB Joshua than of Jesus.” said Patrick. “Disciples that we knew had ‘prayer areas’ in their house with pictures of TB Joshua. I thought ‘I don’t want a picture of TBJ when I’m praying to Jesus- I can pray anywhere I like.”’

“I began to ask questions about things that I was uncomfortable with at SCOAN UK, but I found I was sidelined by people in the church that had been really friendly to me before.” he said. “When I’d question them about TB Joshua, they would always get defensive and reply with other questions, like “don’t you believe he’s a man of God?’ After a while these people stopped talking to us at all.” This was the point that they realised something was seriously wrong with SCOAN, and they decided to stop attending.

Judith and Patrick now believe that they were the victims of brainwashing at SCOAN. Judith is very fortunate to have lived to tell the tale. In a further post, we will tell the story of someone who TB Joshua proclaimed healed of cancer, and who later died after refusing to have chemotherapy.

Judith and Patrick’s real names have been changed at their request to protect their identity.

37 thoughts on “‘Healing’ at SCOAN: Are people encouraged to stop taking medication?

  1. These inconsistencies about Joshua’s healing show they’re not of God, but of lying demons ! God does not lie, and if Joshua claims to speak for God but it’s not true, then it’s not God who is lying, but lying demons working with and through Joshua. The demons tell him to tell you that you’re healed, when you’re not ! This is not God, but Satan at work ! Satan is a liar. John 8:44.

  2. There’re so many questions on my mind. But firstly i observed this Judith was a good narrator.she said exactly everything, what the disciple told her at first and when it got to the second time she left out the quotation marks. WHY?
    If i may ask could you guys help this situation by giving us the disciples exact words? Then we can proceed. If you say some was very clear telling you to stop taking drugs then be bold to quote his/her exact words.

    • Doi, nice try but this is another red herring. Judith was absolutely clear that she was directly told to stop taking her meds by a disciple. She was just as clear that she was not directly told by TB Joshua. Whether or not it is in direct speech or reported speech is irrelevant. Since you clearly mistrust the authors of this blog, how would it convince you more if it was in speech marks?

  3. Thank you Judith and Patrick for having the courage to tell your story. After the BBC piece, SCOAN started denying all this, but many of us knew differently. It’s so important that this truth comes out.

  4. hi Judith, well done for stepping out telling your story. For them to deny they tell people this, I know they’re lying through their teeth. They are anti-medication. One of them even went into my rucksack and found headache tablets, and reported me to TB Joshua about it (I was not having faith to go to a junior prophet and get prayer)

  5. doi had a point. everyone knows that liars cannot stand the sight of quotation marks in their narration :-)

  6. I really wanted the exact quote of that disciple.
    I have every right to say Judith misquoted the disciple.except the exact words are given.

    Telling you a farmer doesn’t go to the farm to dig.to see how the seed is doing is just a parable of saying you should have faith.not telling her to stop taking med.at least the farmer never stoped watering the seed.thats his role.
    Taking and not taking medications is a personal conviction.it isn’t what you need to ask anybody to be convinced if you are totally healed.asking three people if you were truely healed shows a high level of doubt and unbelief.

    Tb Joshua always say do not say amen, am healed because you hear others say amen, am healed but because you believe. And if you believe it is unecessary to keep asking others to tell you God’s opinion about yourself.except you’re making them your god.

    In matt 15:21, mark 9:25-end, john 5:1-15, mark 5:25-34,etc. When Jesus decleared them free they never went to or behind him to ask if they should continue using their walking sticks or continue their med.they simply believed and acted faith.or is there any place in the bible where Jesus healed and say don’t or continue taking drugs? It all has to do with her belief.

    • once again doi, you wouldnt believe even if there was a direct quote. anyone can see you have a closed mind. its already made up. which is fair enough, its just that im not too sure why you waste so much time on this site if you are so convinced this is the work of the devil?
      its your money doi. give as much to tb j as you wish. as long as you keep jesus christ separate in your heart, the damage is at least limited.

      • Just yesterday on the monday service TBJ told one woman to stop her injections and this was direct and live and i recorded this. I will find time and post this online.

    • One thing I would like to point out is that in the case of Jesus’ healings it was always clear that the healing had occured – a blind man could see, the lame man could walk, the woman who’d been bleeding continously stopped bleeding etc etc However now we have people being healed where it is not apparent whether the healing has happened because medication or other treatment has removed or suppressed the initial problem. So in Judith’s story, if you met her in the street you wouldn’t know she was unwell and without stopping medication she does not have the evidence she has been healed – in her case when it was clear she hadn’t been healed, her husband sought help. The BBC report talks of 3 cases of people with HIV/Aids stopping treatment – again when they were on treatment you wouldn’t have known they were ill, once the treatment stopped it became apparent they hadn’t been healed, but by then it was too late.

      Withdrawal of treatment should be done under medical supervision – if Judith had come home, seen her GP and said what had happened, there could have been a supervised withdrawal and treatment restarted the moment it became clear that she was not healed, and before there was any danger to her life.

      What is insidious to me is that it appears that SCOAN is teaching that to not stop treatment is to doubt the healing and that that doubt in itself will prevent healing. The God I believe in understands our weaknesses and doubts and would not withdraw healing simply because someone wanted to be sure. In the case of Judith and Patrick also there seems to have been the suspension of their normal logic which should have said – she’s ill, she’s not been healed. Instead they seemed to believe that the healing was a process that could involve her becoming sick. I don’t remember Jesus making someone worse before they got better.

      • I remember on my single visit which was for one week only, “believing” things that were not logical, and then coming home and wondering why I had done so. There is something about the place when you are there that encourages a way of following the teaching that seems to shut off the usual thinking process. You are completely surrounded by the words and videos and only the view of the people who are constantly talking about the healing that occurs through TB Joshua. It is not surprising that logical thinking gets a bit lost. Judith and Patrick thanks for telling your experience.

    • so well said dio! Then why is it so difficult for the so called disciples and TB joshua to make it clear to the patients? (permit me call them patients)

  7. It is true that people are encouraged to shun their medication and this is evident in SCOAN London. I have been a witness to this:some people with compromised immunity either stopped taking their medication or failed to commence treatment and their CD4 counts declined from 300 to less than 100. They were given a little bit of annointed water sprayed in bottles of mineral water. SOme of them contacted SCOAN that their conditions were worsening, however, the preachers advised them to keep prayer and trust in GOD. One person informed the Preachers that he had stopped the medication and they told him over the phone that he had done the right thing becuase HIV is spiritual. After months of immunological assault by the HIV virus, the person progressed to AIDS defining CD4 count. A good samaritan strongly advised the person to be realistic and commence medical treatment and after a long period of persuasion he was put on treatment. The preachers would not even visit the sick to see how they were doing- they did not want to know about them any more

  8. Yes Claire. In Jesus’ case it was clear that the miracle had occured.and we experience the same in SCOAN-
    The blind see, the lame walk, people with overdue pregnancy came and delivered etc.But a good example. remember 2000 years ago nobody knew about Hiv/Aids or life saving drugs for the ailment.so we shouldn’t compare those days to our days.
    In a place or heart where doubt prevail God cannot work miracles. What happened to Jesus when He got to a doubt prevailing arena? Even the saviour could not do much miracles.Mark 6:1-7 Therefore our belief is very necessary.

    • Doi, the issue is that when Jesus healed it was immediate and apparent. Not all the people who were healed had faith, although some were healed by their faith. My daughter was healed as a baby, she had no faith and I was so distressed I was in no place to have faith – but people with faith prayed and she was healed – it was immediate, it was apparent.

      The issue I have with these cases is that where the initial condition has been supressed or removed by medical intervention, healing cannot be apparent. Therefore removal of medical intervention (drugs etc) should only be done UNDER MEDICAL SUPERVISION.

      If Judith had spoken to her doctor and stopped the insulin under his or her supervision, then the moment it became apparent that she hadn’t been healed, she would have been able to go back on it before she became really sick. Jesus never said ‘even if there is no evidence that you have been healed, even if you are getting increasingly sick, pretend you are well and you will be’.

      This is not a game, this is real life – people have died, their families and friends are left grieving – that does nothing for the gospel of Jesus.

  9. Thats what they teach you at SCOAN, and they do have a case for it. However, like everything else, theres another side to the story.
    The Aramean general who visited Elisha (or Elijah?) was healed, even though he didn’t believe. The cripple in Acts was healed when Peter and John prayed for him…he was just expecting money. Neither had faith, and both were healed.

  10. for people been told or not to take their medication does’nt turn scoan into bad place,or tb josua into an evil man.remember after john and peter
    instructed that criple to stand up an go by the name of jesus in the temple,themoment he heard that he did’nt ask why are you telling me to go by the name of someone who came and saw me like this and he did’nt command me to do such?the bibble say’s the cripple just took his things and go.compared to judith shr asked more than 2 tyms if she could have fait or not.so on my understanding i don’t think she have had faith that she’s healed.so guys learn to have faith and not having faith that been told this by whom i’ll be diliverd but by saying in jesus name i’ll be healed.

    • saying to a woman who chose to stop.life giving treatment that she didnt have enough faith is unbelievable. if you could hear the reaction of non believers with me who just read what you wrote, you would want the earth to swallow you.

    • “shr asked more than 2 tyms if she could have fait or not.so on my understanding i don’t think she have had faith that she’s healed”

      Even if that were true (which it isn’t, biblically speaking), then it would be grossly irresponsible for TBJ to encourage her that she had been healed when she hadn’t.

      “He just laughed, and said “Do I have to tell you again? Where’s your faith?”” – he should have said ‘You don’t sound like you have faith, so you probably haven’t been healed.’

      Or are you suggesting that she was healed originally but that the healing was taken away from her after questioning it?

  11. A small but disturbing detail in this article which has been overlooked in the discussion is this:

    “Disciples that we knew had ‘prayer areas’ in their house with pictures of TB Joshua. I thought ‘I don’t want a picture of TBJ when I’m praying to Jesus- I can pray anywhere I like.”’

    Doi, Radicalised, Visser et al. Do you have pictures of TB Joshua up in your home? Do you have a prayer area in your home? Does it involved pictures of TB Joshua? If not, what do you think of these disciples who do?

  12. @ Nm. Who knows, what other doubt she must have had after leaving the church premises if she could exercise such high level of doubt while there. We can’t actually tell the exact action that deprived her the miracle cos we’re not God.but Lets admit it.she played greater role here.

    Claire 1.did you go after them asking if your child was actually healed? Or rather it was imediate. Ask Judith and she will tell you at that point she felt imediately free and healed but wanted to be more convinced.i believe she missed the point.2.Were you told to continue the medication after the healing? Did you even ask?

    Ian how does this relate to the topic.healing at Scoan; are people encouraged to stop taking medications?
    Pls Try not to go off topic.

    @Tb Joshua watch. if you guys aren’t going to post a coment let me know and tell me why. then i would agree if you’re truely right. I think thats the right thing to do. How do you expect us feel just rejecting our coments?

    • It is part of the original article, therefore it relates to the discussion! Do I detect you dodging the issue? ;-)

      Regarding the faith of Judith, I find it quite indedulous what you are saying. Do you not realise that coming off insulin is a life or death decision for someone with her condition? The fact that she did it show’s incredible faith, it’s just a shame this faith was misplaced. Anyway, regardless of how you judge her faith, all you (and Godfrey) are doing with your comments is proving that SCOAN do in fact tell people to come off their medication, something that after the BBC article was denied. Establishing that fact seems to have been the main aim of the article, something you have helped it acheive.

    • Hi Doi. My daughter was in hospital and it was one of the doctors who first noticed she had improved – they continued to monitor her and withdrew the oxygen she was on gradually (over two days) so as to ensure that she was able to cope without it. They waited overnight before withdrawing her feeding tube (this had all happened in the evening). Withdrawal of treatment was done carefully by the medical staff and she was kept under supervision while it was done. That is what I am saying people should do. To do things carefully is not about not having faith in God’s power and his ability to heal, it is about using the brains he has given us.
      In terms of Judith, she states that once she came off the insulin she became ill pretty quickly. It’s not about how you feel when someone prays for you, it’s about what happens in the long term. My daughter remains completely healed of her illness, Judith clearly was never healed as she became sick shortly afterwards.
      My view is that if you cannot see or experience that you are healed you need to seek medical advice before stopping treatment.
      I have seen someone die because she believed she was healed when it was not possible to judge that this was so. It is up to you Doi, but if you develop a life threatening illness and you receive healing – I would urge you to get it checked out by a medically qualified doctor before you stop treatment – you only get one chance at life here and your friends and family should not be deprived of you before your allotted time.

  13. Lets forget about the faith in not taking medications.
    The question is; did she stop because she believed? If she did she wouldn’t go around asking if she was truely healed.
    Left to me, those questions seem to be more of a tempting than of a genuine one.

    Today When our answers aren’t forth coming we never see ourselves play any role. We keep raining accusations on the prophet. But people get healed of thesame problems everyday.

  14. I want to repeat this again. I am convinced 100% some of the “miracles” are staged. Investigate that. Send people to observe it and start asking questions.

  15. judith when jesus heals you and you believe you are healed it is done. but asking questions of doubt from disciple to tb joshua shows your lack of faith that affected you adversely. remember if you are declered healed asking doubful questions defiles your faith and jesus works by your faith. in the bible one jesus disciple saw jesus standing and walking on top of a river, jesus called him and he also began to walk on top of the ocean, immediately he remembers he is walking on the ocean(lack of faith like that of judith), he immediately began to sink, this is the same person walking on the ocean when jesus saw him he said YOU MEN OF LITTLE FAITH STAND. the woman with an issue of blood believes that if she can touch the garment of jesus she will be healed, BEHOLD JESUS SAID WOMAN YOUR FAITH HAS SET YOU FREE. after going through judith beautiful and lovely naration it sounds intresting, but judith your lack of faith landed you in comma while the faith of the woman withthe issue of blood sets her free says JESUS. JUDITH BUILD YOUR FAITH AND COME BACK TO JESUS

    • TB Joshua claims to heal by the power of Jesus right? In that case it should match up with the accounts of healing in the gospels. You’ve named instances in the gospels where it says that people were healed through their faith – but in none of these examples was their healing incomplete, or did it require maintaining in anyway. Their faith brought about healing that was instant and complete. What you imply by your comment (which is a point that has been raised countless times) is that the healing itself is not the end, you have to “maintain” your healing through faith. If this is true about TB Joshua’s healings, then it is not healing by the power of Jesus. There are no examples in scripture where this was the case. Sure, Jesus in one account says to the man he healed “Stop sinning, or something worse might happen to you”, but this is not the same as what Judith’s account describes. “Something worse” implies something different, e.g. not the condition they’ve been healed from. That’s not coming back because they’ve been healed of it!

      Besides, I find it absurd that you call Judith lacking in faith when she had enough faith to stop taking life preserving drugs. I’d be interested to see what you’d do in the same situation.

      All comments like yours do is make it more obvious to those who know their bibles that TB Joshua is not healing by the power of Jesus.

      • emens is an example of how tbjs false teaching about “maintaining your healing” effects day to day thinking.
        if someone is healed, great! Man of God strikes again. If you die…ITS YOUR FAULT!
        My mom had fiath til the end…yet she still died. but of course, no proscoaner will accept that.

  16. Its actually a sort of advert for scoan, the article didn’t at all link those deaths to scoan, it probably mentioned scoan because only the synagogue openely advertises Hiv healings that do occur there on the internet, having read the article, its clear that it was nothing more than a suspicion the AHPN nursed, SCOAN definitely had nothing to do with it anyway, if they did we would be hearing countless of reports not just one.

    • We would be hearing countless reports, not just one? Except the SCOAN has a bit of a reputation for dealing with any critics with slander, intimidation, and worse. If you’ve lost a relative to AIDS or cancer after you’ve been told they are healed, the last thing you need is to make an enemy of one of the most powerful men in Lagos. That’s presumably why the two women on the report specifically requested that the church in question not be named, leaving the BBC to hint at this by filming outside SCOAN premises and mentioning it in relation to the AHPN.

      And btw, if we inadvertently post an ‘advert for scoan’, that’s fine by me, because you guys at watchtbjoshua, watchprophettbjoshua etc are doing a great job of showing the world the true face of SCOAN, in a way that we could only dream of. Keep it up..

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