Below we feature a testimony from a young lady we’ll refer to as Kate who claims to have been sexually abused by the Pastor entrusted by TB Joshua to lead SCOAN Athens. As well as revealing horrifying details about life at SCOAN Athens, the story also shows a pattern of sexual abuse and coverup throughout SCOAN, coming from TB Joshua himself. Before writing off this story as false, readers should be aware that statistics show false rape claims are incredibly rare (between 2% and 8%). Considering the fact there are numerous women who allege TB Joshua or the Athens pastor have sexually abused them, the probability of them all being false is almost inconceivable. If you take the side of the alleged victim rather than the alleged perpetrator, statistically speaking you are far more likely to be on the right side.
Kate’s story part 1
I’m writing this article because I want to share my experience of SCOAN. I am yet another person who has seen the truth behind this organization and it’s necessary that I put my story out there. I know that SCOAN are going to respond by humiliating me as they always do to ex members (via the Watch TB Joshua Blog) but if I can share this story and help even one person see the truth about this church, it’s worth it.
As you have most likely heard, on June 1st 2014, the Greek branch was shut down. Wise man Harry paid a visit and told the members of the congregation that it was never a branch in the first place. It was opened without the permission of TB Joshua by the disciple Andreas and his wife. To our astonishment, he said that if one were to look at the legal documents, TB Joshua’s name would not be found anywhere. Andreas opened the branch on his own accord, with a lot of anger and disrespect towards TB Joshua. In fact, he said, TB Joshua does not have any branches anywhere in the world. You can listen to a live recording of this attached in another article.
This was very confusing for the members of the Athens Branch, myself included. I had been an active member of both the London Branch and the Athens Branch for over three years and now their existence was being denied. TB Joshua was completely disassociating himself from the events that led to the closure of the branch. I am now going to explain what those exact events were.
The Athens Branch was in fact a fully functioning official branch of SCOAN. Wise man Harry had been given instructions by TB Joshua to lie. I was amongst the youth that worked full time in the church and was very close to Andreas (who had been running the branch for eight years). I was also one of the 11 girls who had been sexually and emotionally abused and manipulated by Andreas. The previous article referring to the closure of the branch states it was only 4 girls, however now we have discovered that at least eleven girls in the youth have been harassed sexually by Andreas. Before it began, he spent months creating a close relationship of trust with me and gave himself the place of a mentor in my life. He used the title ‘man of God’ to force people into doing what they didn’t want to do.
Looking back on it now, it’s as if his tactics were learnt from TB Joshua. After listening to Bisola Johnson on Deception of the Age documentary describe the ways that TB Joshua sexually abused her, I was shocked to find that it is exactly the same as my own and other girls’ experience. In fact, one of the first things Andreas told me was that TB Joshua slept with a girl and she left the ministry for something that was actually a blessing to her. He said ‘any contact you have with an anointed man of God is a blessing’. He also once told me ‘sex is not bad, it’s the love of sex that is bad’. He actually used the Bible to justify his actions and read from Songs of Solomon.
And while this was going on, I wasn’t the only girl. A few years prior to this, [———details removed due to ongoing investigation———].
He would very frequently have girls in his office for hours. While my own abuse was taking place, I had no idea other girls were undergoing the same terrible situation. It was sick how he could do what he was doing with young women right before service, and then come out and preach to the congregation about holiness and putting God first. Bisola Johnson describes that TB Joshua would abuse her before service and then come out and preach as well. It’s as if it was a tactic that Andreas picked up from TB Joshua. Anytime his wife was around he would be cold and distant with us, ignoring us. The moment she left he would become a different person. His ways were manipulative. With me he would often be very warm and welcoming or extremely cruel and condescending- never in between. We all spent a lot of time wondering what we had done wrong. Before workers’ meetings took place, he would prepare untrue accusations and make one worker to publicly falsely accuse another. A disciple later told me that this is a common practice used in SCOAN to test people’s characters and faith. Nobody in the church trusted each other. We were all afraid of being reported- another characteristic of SCOAN. Andreas would also discourage me from having a close relationship with any of the other girls and say that he was the only one that should know my secrets. I now realise that this was a tactic to avoid us talking to each other about the things he was doing.
I have heard the stories of three different women who will remain anonymous that have been sexually abused by TB Joshua. Like Andreas, he also used strange excuses to justify his actions. In some instances, he has said that having sexual relations with him will purify a woman. As someone who has been through it myself by his disciple Andreas, I know that you do not wake up one morning and make something up like that. To go from being someone that has given their life to the church to turning against the church, something must have happened. SCOAN call it ‘blasphemy’ and that you are demon possessed if you speak against the ministry. This is a way of keeping the members brainwashed and in fear. In fact, a few members of the ministry who I told my story to, although they believed me, have now shut me out of their lives. They are so afraid of turning against a ‘man of God’ that they would rather live a lie than face reality. This is one of the key characteristics of cults.
I asked Andreas to stop this sick relationship twice and he would always start it again. It’s as if he was convinced it was the right thing to do. When I eventually took this issue to Nigeria, TB Joshua’s inability to deal with the situation made me realize that it was because he couldn’t deal with his own urges and lack of control. I will move on to this later.