I imagine that sooner or later this blog will attract some all-caps outraged comments from SCOAN supporters. To save everybody time, here’s a preemptive response.
Over the past few years I have spoken to many supporters of SCOAN. Plenty are good people. Some are even open to discussion and debate. There are millions of people that are impressed by TBJ’s ministry and follow him closely. I question their judgement, but I welcome any dialogue and discussion with them.
However, there is another level of supporter. I have noticed that some, particularly people who have spent significant lengths of time as disciples living in the SCOAN compound in Lagos, seem to develop a language of their own; a collection of ready-made phrases for every occasion. I have noticed this in my old church friends who have become disciples, as well as in pro-TBJ comments online.
This language, which we’ll call SCOANese for the sake of argument, is designed to deflect and deceive. It discourages free thought and enquiry in the mind of the speaker. It is can also be useful for promptly ending an uncomfortable conversation. I suspect, judging by the identical lines I have heard parroted by many different disciples, that they are lines taught by the prophet himself.
We may explore some features of SCOANese in more depth another time, but for now here are the two most common SCOANese responses to criticism and allegations. I am not speculating- I have heard these exact lines first-hand from several different SCOAN disciples.
SCOAN RESPONSE #1: TB JOSHUA IS A MAN OF GOD. EVERY GENUINE MOVE OF GOD COMES UP AGAINST FALSE ACCUSATION AND LIES!
This is a key idea, explored more in Emmanuel TV’s ‘Beware of Blasphemers’ video. I like this one because it implies that the very fact that TB Joshua has been repeatedly accused of sexual abuse somehow proves that he is a genuine man of God. As if rape accusations and divine revelation go together like scones and jam. But here are some men of God who haven’t been accused of rape:
That’s just a few examples- I’m sure there are others. Another thing- being Godly doesn’t suddenly relieve you of a troublesome libido. Does being a genuine prophet and man of God mean that you are above any sexual sin or abuse? Of course not. What SCOAN supporters seem to be getting at is this: TB Joshua is infallible.
So a genuine question to SCOAN supporters: Do you believe TBJ is infallible? If not, could you give some examples of some of his faults and weaknesses?
SCOAN RESPONSE #2 DON’T LISTEN TO WHAT PEOPLE SAY! YOU SHOULD WATCH EMMANUEL TV AND SEE WITH YOUR OWN EYES THE WAY GOD IS WORKING AT SCOAN!
Here’s the problem: I’ve watched Emmanuel TV (TB Joshua’s satellite station, also all over youtube) till my eyes burned. I’ve seen TB Joshua casting a 300 year-old snake demon out of a nine year-old girl. I’ve watched women exposing their breasts and oozing white fluid while convulsing wildly. I’ve seen ‘former’ AIDS sufferers paraded in front of the camera. I’ve seen scared looking ‘blasphemers’ mumble apologies about the ‘false allegations’ they’ve spread about TBJ. But I don’t know. Something still doesn’t sit right with me. Am I watching the wrong videos?
So if you are a SCOAN supporter, please don’t bother with any variation of the above comments. Any response that deviates from the script, however, is welcome.