We apologize that our email earlier this week came as a shock to many. Since then, many have been asking why we made such a drastic decision after 10 years of total commitment to SCOAN. We pray that as you read, you will examine all we say in the light of God’s Word. Its so important to have independent minds – to go to God to seek for the truth.
First of all we would like to sincerely apologize for misleading you. We have deceived you in that we kept silent about many of things that take place at SCOAN in Lagos. We have also misled you by justifying and making excuses for many inexcusable things that take place at SCOAN and on Emmanuel TV. No matter our good intentions, before God we are responsible for this, and therefore ask for your forgiveness.
Over the last few years, Angie has suffered with depression and suicidal thoughts. She made sure she was strong for the team and in public, but it was a continual battle. In private, she would say things like, “I wish I was never born”, or “Its so difficult to continue with life, I’m praying for God to kill me”, or “If not for you and Loveth, I would kill myself.” I mentioned this to TB Joshua on the phone and he spoke to her and told her not to say things like that. I also mentioned it to him months later when I was in Lagos and he said he would speak to her.
Last week, things became really bad and I sat her down in desperation to try and find out what was happening .On the outside her behaviour didn’t make sense. My parents paid for a nice flat for us, we had a beautiful child, a great team and a growing church. She eventually broke down and said that she feels extremely guilty. She explained that TB Joshua used to call her to his room, make her take her clothes off (although not her underwear), and basically either masturbate himself on her, or tell her to masturbate him. On one occasion he told her to remove her underwear and had sexual intercourse with her. TB Joshua told her that he was doing these things because he loved her, because she was his daughter, and to help her because of the problems that she had. These occasions took place between 2001 and 2005. She felt that talking about this would betray TB Joshua and God. But within her, she could not forgive herself and felt that God could not forgive her.
Angie has been living in condemnation about these acts for the last 10 years. She felt she couldn’t tell anyone because she didn’t want to betray TB Joshua. This may sound ridiculous, but as a former disciple of TB Joshua I fully understand. As disciples we are conditioned to basically consider TB Joshua as infallible (he even has a teaching about this). Disciples will say he has weaknesses, but no disciple will tell you a weakness that he has. We basically consider him above correction, above wrong. We justify everything he does. Anyone who speaks against him is labelled as a Blasphemer. Questioning him is said to be questioning the Holy Spirit. As a disciple you are taught to be loyal to TB Joshua in all things.
So on the one hand Angie thought that these acts were OK because it was the “man of God” that was involved, but on the other hand she had huge amounts of condemnation. This secret was destroying her but she felt that to speak about it would be betraying TB Joshua and therefore working against the Holy Spirit. It took 3 years of marriage for her to get to a place that she felt she could trust me enough to tell me.
When Angie told me, it shocked me and caused some deep reflection. I believe her, for the following reasons:
1. There are 3 other foreign disciples (2 of them Pastors anointed by TB Joshua to pray for people) who have made similar allegations (not to mention the Nigerian allegations)
2. She has nothing to gain by making this up, in fact, her saying this is causing us to lose so much.
3. She doesn’t exhibit any signs of a lying spirit (and neither did the other disciples who made allegations previously, none of them went to the press or wrote articles on the Internet, or exhibited other negative behaviour)
4. In my years as a disciple I have seen female disciples lovingly stroking TB Joshua’s legs, and he has not done anything to stop it.
5. I have seen female disciples go to his bedroom alone at night on multiple occasions. I have been called to his room at night, to find him alone with a female disciple (I am not suggesting that something bad is happening on all those occasions, but just that it is unwise)
6. I have witnessed times that TB Joshua has instructed the disciples to put an unmarried couple in the same bedroom.
7. TB Joshua often refers to people as prostitutes and uses sexual language often and without shame (i.e. publicly talking about the male sexual organ), also referring to masturbation in strange ways. (e.g. telling the female disciples that when they are preaching on Emmanuel TV men will be masturbating as they look at them)
8. TB Joshua does not live with his wife. She has her apartment, and he has his apartment.
9. TB Joshua walked unannounced into the girls room in Johannesburg and one of the disciples was topless, he didn’t leave or apologize, and she didn’t cover up.
In the few days after Angie told me, its like a veil was removed from my eyes. I realized that although I have seen wonderful miracles at SCOAN and received some great messages from TB Joshua, at the end of the day he is not perfect and is just a man. In what I am about to say now, I am not saying that I am perfect and above mistake, I do not want to judge TB Joshua, that is for God. I simply want to examine some of TB Joshua’s actions in the light of God’s Word.
- TB Joshua fan club? (Its linked from official site)
- TB Joshua’s face on all merchandise
- TB Joshua’s picture sold in photo frames at the church, those who buy his picture are allowed to have anointed water.
- Huge picture of TB Joshua in his office
- TB Joshua’s picture hung next to other “God’s Generals”
- People often kneel down when speaking to him (not just in service but in his office)
Anger? I have seen TB Joshua:
- Slap disciples, men and women, incredibly hard in the face
- Push disciples over
- Whip disciples until they bleed and urinate on the floor
- Make disciples walk around naked to disgrace them
- Make disciples kneel for 3 days as a form of punishment on numerous occasions.
- Drops the phone when he hears something he doesn’t want to.
- Throw his plate on the floor because he didn’t like the food
- Call cameramen / commentators / ushers abusive names in the live service,
- Kick the cameramen if they don’t get the “right shot” during the live service
- Call disciples together to verbally abuse a disciple he is not happy with.
Deception? Here are a few examples of many.
- In many of the healing videos, the audio of TB Joshua saying, “in the name of Jesus” is added later, although he never said it at the time.
- In TB Joshua’s personal testimony documentary, the photo of him in prison is blatantly photoshopped, yet it is claimed to be real.
- The phone receivers in the office, lie often. TB Joshua instructs them to tell callers that he is either at the mountain or resting, when he is actually in the office.
- Physically Challenged – In the live service many disciples told the world that they have made friends with the physically challenged and will phone them everyday. This didn’t happen.
- Haiti – TB Joshua said we will be in Haiti forever and that whatever money we need to give the government for land, we should give it. 2 weeks later he said that we shouldn’t spend any money on the land, and that we should leave in 2 months if they don’t give us the land for free.
- TB Joshua said to the media that we have adopted 500 orphans and that it is a 3million dollar project for Haiti. Even on Emmanuel TV they showed photos of children that it was claimed were orphans we were helping. They were not orphans, and when he spoke we hadn’t helped any orphans.
- There is department in Lagos specially set up to make positive comments about TB Joshua using false identities. They are also instructed to make negative comments about other pastors.
- Out of the 20 disciples who have been anointed as Pastors to pray for the sick, only 7 are still with the ministry and only 5 are still allowed to pray for people. One had an affair and left his wife of more than 20 years. Others left because they weren’t allowed to get married. Three left claiming sexual abuse, etc.
- Disciples often lie and many exhibit generally bad behaviour.
- Many disciples who have been there for 15 years plus and are now in their 30s and 40s are not even allowed to think about getting married.
Here are a few things out of many, which upon reflection caused me to be seriously concerned about aspects of the ministry. Angie and I went to Lagos to speak to TB Joshua about some of these things, but were unable to meet with him. Our car was held at gun point and we were stopped from leaving the church by the Nigerian police (acting under instruction from TB Joshua). We had to push past the police and get onto a motorbike to be able to leave the church premises. Our driver later called us to tell us that TB Joshua had sent a vehicle full of police to the airport to look for us. We have video evidence of this.
So this is in a nutshell why we are leaving SCOAN. I know a lot of this will come as a big surprise to many of you. Especially as we were so positive about everything to do with Lagos. I can only say that I have been deceived for the past years. I said that we should examine everything in the light of God’s Word, but actually there were certain aspects of TB Joshua and his disciple’s lifestyles and actions that I didn’t examine in the light of God’s Word. I’ve ignored and made excuses for many of those things for many many years. For this I can only apologise.
Miracles or anointing are not a sign of infallibility or perfection. This is evident from the Bible and from church history. Matthew 7 and 1 Corinthians 13 are two chapters which we have spoken about at church that clearly make a distinction between the gifts on the outside and the character on the inside. Peter was the greatest apostle in the history of the church, yet he made some serious mistakes and had to be publicly corrected by Paul (Gal 2:11). Peter was not above mistake, and neither is TB Joshua. No-one is infallible. Even those who walked with Christ and received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost made some major mistakes. If you read the book “God’s Generals” you read about many people used mightily by God who made some very serious mistakes. Grace is grace, its unmerited favour. Either God uses imperfect people, or he doesn’t, who is to say which man is better than another. Romans 9:15 says God has mercy on whom He has mercy.
I believe that by God’s grace, a lot of what we’ve been building at SCOAN UK has honestly been for the glory of God and has been built on God’s Word. The church is not the structure, the name or the Sunday meeting. It is the people. My prayer is that each of us will draw closer to God in this time and that in whichever way we all move forward, God’s glory would be reflected in each of us.
I understand that this email my provoke more questions than it answers. Angie and I are happy to speak on the phone or communicate by email about any of these issues.
Love from Dave and Angie