TB Joshua and Sexual Abuse #2: the context

Is TB Joshua a sex criminal? In a previous post we examined several accounts from ex-disciples who argue that he is. However, despite the growing number of allegations, TB Joshua has not been convicted in a court of law. As concerned outsiders, we can read the existing accounts and attempt to discern for ourselves if they are reliable. But we can also look at the context of the allegations and ask the question: given what we know about the Synagogue Church of All Nations, are the allegations of sexual abuse plausible? Could the physical environment and culture of the place help to facilitate abuse by TB Joshua? This post will explore a few well-documented aspects of life inside TB Joshua’s church which we believe could make such abuses of power possible.


 

Cult of personality surrounding TB Joshua
Songs are sung praising the ‘Man of God’ TB Joshua (link). Holy water, apparently blessed by the man himself, is sold in the church (It cured Mr Adoge from Ondo State of both erectile dysfunction and a bedwetting problem). Disciples are fiercely protective of their prophet and see him as  near infallible. They respond to all criticism with TB Joshua’s own ‘quotable quotes’. All this adds up to one thing: within SCOAN, TB Joshua is accountable to no-one.

Atmosphere of accusation: beware of blasphemers!
Even judging by its the public face, SCOAN is obsessed with talk of blasphemy and false accusation. Emmanuel TV  regularly broadcasts confessions by ‘blasphemers’ (in other words, those who speak ill of TB Joshua). The UK-based TB Joshua Fans blog talks of false accusers and liars and temptresses. According to ex-disciples, the atmosphere inside SCOAN is even more toxic. Disciples are allegedly encouraged to report on each other, suspect each other and compete for favour with TB Joshua. This atmosphere of constant suspicion and accusation means that supporters are prepped to dismiss all kinds of accusations against TB Joshua without a second thought. So sister so and so says that TB Joshua abused her? Of course. This is to be expected. She is a liar, being used by Satan to oppose the man of God TB Joshua.

Among disciples, talking about the past or ‘negative things’ is discouraged.
“I must always say things that are lovely and just, not condemnation or pointing fingers.” So says TB Joshua. Likewise, disciples are discouraged from talking about anything negative. A good principle, perhaps, except that ‘negative’ can have a broad meaning.  Expressing discomfort about what you’ve been asked to do? That’s certainly negative talk. Talking about the past is also considered suspect; indeed, talking about anything outside of SCOAN catchphrases.

This attitude even extends to TB Joshua’s reaction to allegations against him. Rather than denying them, he responds with bland and repetitive platitudes, as shown in this same interview:“I keep doing good, choosing not to reply my accusers, even at the highest point of provocation and concerted attacks. I simply choose to pray for them.” To quote our commenter from SCOAN, “silence is the best answer for a fool”. It’s also a very convenient way of dodging legitimate criticism.

All disciples live together in a complex inside the church
Disciples, largely men and women in their 20s and 30s, sleep in large single sex dormitories inside the church complex. According to disciple’s accounts, they are prevented from marrying or having relationships, despite some staying for ten years or more. TB Joshua also has his own quarters within the complex. This physical proximity is not proof of anything untoward in itself. But it is certainly something that shapes life as a disciple in SCOAN.

TB Joshua is a Big Man in Lagos: armed guards, police control.
As well as his almost God-like status among his own disciples, TB Joshua holds considerable power in Lagos. His gargantuan church is surrounded by armed guards on his payroll, while ex-disciples claim that the local police force are loyal to him. This is an issue that we will return to.

On a related note, a recent Louis Theroux documentary about Lagos (sadly not availabe online but here’s a review) helps understand the power relations in this city. It looked at the Big Men who controlled swathes of the city, the police who collect taxes for them and the ‘area boys’; armies of unemployed youth who do their dirty work.

Conclusion
The above factors provide some powerful tools for the suppression of ugly truths. Is TB Joshua a rapist? We can’t know for sure. But we know that he is a wealthy and powerful patron in a chaotic and corrupt city, and a messianic leader of a cult-like movement where thought and speech is heavily controlled. We also know he is surrounded by fiercely loyal disciples who dismiss all criticism as satanic lies. In this context, gross abuses of power are certainly possible. For this reason, the numerous and serious allegations of sexual abuse should be taken seriously.

10 thoughts on “TB Joshua and Sexual Abuse #2: the context

  1. Why are you critizing this man of God, why can’t you face your own righteousness and leave him for his own? Bible saids, let leave the cross and the swiff till the day of judgment, why are you holding judement at your hands. As for me, he is a man of God, so far he is calling the name of Jesus and reading the Bible, I love him as a person and he is doing good not evil. Thank you.

  2. Prophet TB Joshua is indeed an anointed man of God.His enemies I believe are afred of the fire of God operating in his life.If they think his power is not from God,they should ask God to stop him.Why are they pesecuting a servant of the most high who is not even fighting them back.Watchout, most of whom that talk and planed against him, their lives always remain miserable.The bible says touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm.I blieve it is right time God will bruise the head of satan and that of his agents here on earth.They are all enemies of progress,enemies of the gospel of Jesus Christ.Take a look of what the man of God is doing in Nigeria.What is wrong with this imposters.It is evident that they are not christins but enemies of the gospel.May God bless Daddy Prophet Tb Joshua the servant of the most high God in Jesus name.

  3. Pingback: TB Joshua and SCOAN – a beginners guide « TB Joshua Watch

  4. ‘For this reason, the numerous and serious allegations of sexual abuse should be taken seriously’ – I do not see any reason at all to take them seriously….

  5. Ian…. there are ‘numerous and serious allegations of sexual abuse’ for Jesus Christ Himself in ourdays. How do you prove them wrong to this unbeliving world???? OR are you saying for Him as well…’Is Jesus a rapist? We can’t know for sure’ just because of these allegations…So can you and the owners of this site say the same for Jesus, just because He lived in a comunity of people and not in His family house, just because there were women as well among those people serving Him and following Him, just because He was surrounded by fiercely loyal disciples who dismissed and ignored all criticism against Him as satanic lies, just because He told His mom and His brothers that His real family are those who share the same faith with Him, just because, just because….
    That is why i repeat, I DO NOT SEE ANY REASON AT ALL TO TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY and I have many reasons to consider these allegations a shameful effort to excuse someone’s failure to achieve a certain purpose.

  6. Pingback: Why do the accusers of TB Joshua take so long to tell their stories? « TB Joshua Watch

  7. AT alan: Dont be fooled. Never ever compare TB Joshua and Jesus Christ,TB Joshua is AntiChrist, and you who support or follow the anti -christ shall perish and burn in hell. HELL IS REAL and it is only the almighty God that can save you and not TB Joshua. Be warned cause you have been brain washed by his teachings.
    women and men are being abused publicly and privately and YOU KNOW IT. Pls do not continue to live like that, if you choose today the almighty God will save you from him. He is a Demon in a human form. you disciples, wise men, followers and so on Pls be warned and ask for help from the Almighty God, i believe in him and God has helped me. The lord of all lords, king of all kings the almighty Jesus Christ will help you find a way out.

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