This is a guest post by regular contributor Madeline.
In a previous comment on this site, Soe, who is a regular contributor, responded to a comment about Paul talking about judgement in 1 Corinthians 5 v12.
“You should know that paul was referring to an abominable act the church itself was aware was committed,[not unverifiable allegations] “in their fellowship” ie the corinthian church, not the fellowship of another church!”
I am also a regular contributor and asked Soe some questions.
Hi Soe – I have two questions for you.
Currently you are saying that what has been said about the actions of TB Joshua are “unverifiable allegations.” However these “allegations” are about abominable acts that have occurred within the church.
Question 1) What do you require as verification that these acts have occurred?
Question 2) What will you do when you receive that verification?
And Soe responded:
in answer to your [question1]
now i wouldn’t ask for “video evidence” as one commenter on this site asked, as that wouldn’t be plausible, but we know what is, at least bisola &emma are adults&were not held captive or forced to remain in the church; hence, my answers on what would be convincing verification;
i.taking steps right away at the moment, if the they’ve been sexually assaulted.
ii.Getting away from their “supposed attacker” to a safe place as fast as they could after the moment?
iii.not washing, combing, or cleaning any part of their bodies and even not changing clothes if possible, to enable any hospital staff or police officer to collect evidence.
iv.going to the nearest hospital emergency room as soon as possible to be examined, treated for any injuries, and screened for possible pregnancy or evidence of fibers, hairs, saliva, and other body fluids, on their clothing that may have been left behind.
v.They [emma and bisola] or the hospital staff at their wish could have called the police from the hospital’s emergency room to file a report.
vi.To crown it all, knowing the seriousness and implication of their allegations they should have given room for “intelligent questioning” by availing themselves to journalists and pressmen, not just selling out some “recorded testimony” that completely removes any chance of questioning what’s being said so that the public would swallow their words hook, line & sinker.
But not even ONE of the above was done! Yet they expect a 21st century civillised,and technologically advanced world to wholeheartedly believe.Its also very easy to notice the low quality of their verbal evidence in the video which clearly nullifies the effectiveness of their testimony. Not to mention that no “two or three witnesses” ever witnessed the same case which the bible says must be before allegations are even entertained – what we have are allegations from different sources. Yet no other witness to their individual stories.
[Question 2] if proven by the methods above, then my doubts would fly as regards their allegations as there would be sufficient grounds for me to believe them.
I felt that this was a very important conversation to have on this site as it starts to address some of the very serious and key issues that are the reason for the existence of this site.
To set the scene just a little about where I am coming from. I have heard first hand about the experience of two former disciples of TB Joshua. It is not for me to repeat what they have said because that would be second hand. I can respond from my own knowledge concerning abusive situations and express that what I have been told by these people very closely matches the descriptions of other victims of proven abuse.
Soe has described the process that could ultimately lead to an incontrovertible proof that a sexual act had occurred between two people if there is a DNA match. Ensuring that bodily fluids and clothing are kept could increase the chance of a rapist being convicted of the crime of rape. The abuse that I have been told about is a far more complicated and subtle and prolonged process.
However, I will respond about the process that has been described with further questions, to Soe or to any one who knows first hand about the life of a disciple within SCOAN.
Can you tell me what would happen to a disciple who said that they needed to leave the SCOAN to go to the hospital and also to go to the police? Would that be permitted? The time that I visited it was very clear that I was not allowed out of the gate. Is this the same for the disciples? Could you walk out of the compound and go to the hospital?
If disciples are not free to leave at any time and go to the hospital then I would dispute Soe’s statement about people being forced to remain in the church.
Can you tell me what would happen to a disciple who was told that they must not speak about certain events to anyone, but they talked to hospital staff and police?
So now I have one more question. If a disciple walked out of the campus at SCOAN and went to the hospital and called the police to say that abuse had happened to them within SCOAN and the person was TB Joshua. Would the police arrive at SCOAN to test the DNA of TB Joshua? Would he be prepared to accept this and act with grace and humility?
The people who I have spoken to have now removed themselves from the situation. Admittedly this was not immediately after any individual event, but they are now in safer places.
If a person were able to go directly to the local hospital and the police and were believed by them they should not be talking to press or journalists as that could jeopardise the legal process. It seems to me that the people who have spoken out have been very courageous and used any way that they could.
Regarding the number of witnesses as far as I can see there are more than two or three witnesses who are talking about what has happened within SCOAN.
I have directly observed on this site that when Emma wrote, the immediate response used words such as “cursed” and the “wrath of God will come upon you.” If this is the reaction to talking about things that have happened I am not surprised that it is difficult to do so.
If Soe’s criteria for “verification” are not possible to undertake then how can you decide on the allegations?
My belief in what I have been told comes because I believe the people; they spoke with courage and sincerity. Everything about what I was told fitted with what I already knew about abusive situations.
Ultimately it will always come down to “My word against yours” and that would also happen if the full process were followed and there was DNA proof.
There is no doubt that TB Joshua is a man of power and that any individual disciple who speaks against him is a single vulnerable person. For me that makes it more certain that they are telling the truth because of what they lost in the process. You would not give up your position and reputation for something that was not true.
I look forward to seeing the comments and answers and continuing this discussion.