Giles left SCOAN after facing ostracism and rejection from TB Joshua and his disciples. But when two disciples left SCOAN accusing of sexual abuse and violence, SCOAN disciples were suddenly keen to get in touch with him. They urged him to ignore the allegations and come back to Lagos. By this time, however, Giles had other things on his mind. He was serving in the army on the front-line in Afghanistan, and had recently lost his mother to cancer. Giles tells the story and includes the bizarre email exchange with a disciple:
TB Joshua prophecies that your mother will not die, and says she is healed. So she refuses chemo. Then you’re sent away to war while she’s still sick, still not healed and have to listen to her sounding worse and worse on the phone. But relax, SCOAN has your back. TB Joshua even knows her name, and he said she’s going to live. He’s sent her anointing water which you’ve sprayed on her body and had her drink and you’ve prayed about, and you gave her his framed picture. Then she dies.
Then you learn that not only is she dead, but your whole family has been trying to get hold of TBJ for a couple of weeks for a visit, or even prayer, but had got nothing but phones hanging up on them. Then, months later, when you finally DO get to talk with TB Joshua and tell him she is dead, he hangs up on you too.
No sorry. No “don’t worry, she is with Jesus… etc etc”.
Then one of your mates are killed (anointed water obviously isn’t IED-proof).
Then your pastor, his wife, the worship team and bunch of others back home leave the church accusing TBJ of the obvious, and suddenly you get disciples eager to get in contact to defend him.
Suddenly you’re told by several different people that even TB Joshua is personally waiting for your call, and that they’re looking forward to you visiting sometime, when can you come? Then you get email after email from some American disciple in Colorado urging you to not believe these stories, that we should stay true to SCOAN and that “Emma” is a demon-possessed liar and you should not have anything to do with her…but none of this really matters to you cos another one of your mates are killed (anointing water definitely isn’t IED-proof). So you reply, remind her what what you’re facing, hoping that she also understands that you don’t know if you’ll live out the week….and yet, still you get emails.
From: Emmanuel TV Colorado <————>
Sent: Wed, 24 March, 2010 20:02:58
Subject: HELLO GILES
“Calvary greetings from The SCOAN! This is A—–, writing from Haiti. Lagos contacted me that the prophet has been unable to reach you by phone so I contacted your brother for your number…..he told me you can only be contacted by email but that I should not allow anyone to disturb you now as your assignment is very difficult.. I disregarded O—’s request because I wanted to give you the prophet’s phone numbers so that you can call him when you have the availability. The numbers are:
“I also later learned that you had received an email from “Emma” and _________, falsely accusing the ministry and the prophet of certain things. I am aware of the full contents of the email and I just want to tell you that the allegations are all false – there is no truth in them. You should not allow it to disturb you but treat it as the rubbish it is and discard it. They wanted to leave the ministry and that is fine but telling lies about the ministry after you have left is not fine.”
To: Emmanuel TV Colorado <———>
Hello A_______, thanks for your email
Yes, I am studying everything in the light of God’s Word, cleaning out my closet so to speak of all the questions that have built up over the years. The problem is no one seems to want to talk about anything and none of my questions have been answered. The way I see these allegations is
1) I do not intend to pass judgement (i.e. yes I believe it, or no I don’t). It’s also too distressing for me to even go there. Besides, the things I have done in my private life are too many.
2) My indecision to be part of the ministry anymore doesn’t really have anything to do with what “Emma” said.
I know I keep harping on about this, but i still don’t know why my opinion is so important, and no one has explained anything to me. I mean, I’ve been told to leave when I was a disciple, and ostracised until i did leave, and on two other occasions I was forgotten about and denied invitation letters to get back. No one was interested in contacting me or my brother when my mom was dying and we were trying to get through. No one seems to be really interested in the fact that I have just spent the last 6 months fighting in Helmand, have lost two friends, and now trying to adjust to normal life (got back 3 days ago). No one seems to be interested in “Emma” and ______’s welfare either. All the phone calls and emails I’ve been getting are to do with defending the ministry’s honour and winning people back to SCOAN, and it doesn’t really matter whats going on in their private lives.
From: Emmanuel TV Colorado <——–>
Sent: Wed, 7 April, 2010 3:11:12
Subject: Re: HELLO GILES
The internet here is a bit crazy and not consistent at all! Hope things are going well on your end.
Just wanted to encourage you to examine all things in the light of God’s Word. Remember, we all came to Lagos because we wanted to learn God’s lifestyle – not that we live it already. If we behaved perfectly, acted perfectly, reacted perfectly, why would we want to go to Lagos to study God’s Word and character?
We are all coming from somewhere – but by God’s grace we will become who God says we are.
Stay in faith,
From: Emmanuel TV Colorado ———–>
Sent: Wed, 8 April, 2010 3:11:12
Subject: Re: HELLO GILES
I’m afraid I found your email really vague and I don’t know what you’re trying to say, nor did you reply my other email with my questions.
Lets be frank here. We don’t know each other, and I am most definitely not important to you at all. So why you’re suddenly so interested in convincing me is beyond me. My decision to leave SCOAN has absolutely nothing to do with —-‘s claims, and everything to do with the disciples. They really have no idea whats been going on in my life, mainly because disciples are not interested in other people apart from what they can do to contribute to the ministry. I’ve been on tour for the last six months and just got back. My brother asked you to leave me alone, and now I’m going to have to as well.”
It would have been nice to have received so much attention when your mom was dying. But it dawns on you – back then, they didn’t need you as much as they do now. But again, this realisation doesnt matter so much at the time cos after months of fearing for your life, you’re a nervous wreck even though you’re safely back in the UK, still jumping at every bang, still getting nightmares, still have to visit your mate’s parents and answer some difficult questions, and yes! Still getting disciples wanting to “have a chat” about what Emma had said. “Sooner rather than later”.
They were just unbelievable. Just one SCOAN person kept in regular contact (she knows who she is)(I really appreciated that by the way, if you ever read this). Not once did any of these disciples ask about how you’re doing. Not once. No one mentions your mother, or even gave any condolences. She is brushed under the carpet. These are the actions of a church that is supposed to have the fruits of the Holy Spirit like no other church. I hope emails like these serve to get the point across when I say disciples care only about defending their leader.
In stark contrast to their behaviour, you get Jesus. Some nights I would wake up finding myself reciting Psalm 23. Once I dreamt about Romans 9, and when I woke, I looked that up – “The word is near you, it is in your mouth and in your heart”. Twice the Lord rescued me. Psalm 91. Psalm 121. And when I saw my mother’s body, immediately I had the thought “why are you searching for the living among the dead?” , and later, Rev 2:10 – “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life”. Jesus really does take the sting out of death. Even now when I’m writing this, I’m smiling.
When I looked back at the end of my tour, and looked at the disciple’s behaviour, looked at TB Joshua’s behaviour and compared it with the Lord Jesus, I began to see things very differently. Compared with other people, visitors and ex-disciples, I got off lightly. SCOAN can go on and on and on about power, but I don’t think they’re getting it. They lack love. It didn’t surprise me that my old pastor and his wife and child had lost their home. Like I mentioned in the comments (from which this has mainly been taken), pro-SCOAN people can defend TB Joshua as passionately as I did. But the second you turn against TBJ, it doesn’t matter that you still love and believe in Jesus. You’re now a blasphemer. They’ll turn on you in a heart beat, even if they’re your own family.