Nigerian preacher and televangelist T.B Joshua has been exposed for the hideous life he lived before he died on June 5, 2021. Temitope Balogun Joshua leader of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) sexually exploited members of his church and staged miracles that lasted for decades.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is poised to release a three-part investigative documentary outlining the alleged atrocities and sexual crimes committed by the late Pastor. 30 former members were interviewed, and the first segment of the documentary is slated for release on January 8.
Survivors of TB Joshua’s sexual exploitation recounted how they were manipulated and silenced, even when aware that the relationship they had with “daddy” was abusive. These women were part of TB Joshua’s discipleship. Multiple women shared their experiences of being molested and raped by him. Some women who initially resisted his assault were threatened into submission, as revealed by one of the women in an interview with the BBC.
According to all the women, TB Joshua justified his sexual assaults by claiming it was for their salvation. These women joined the synagogue as teenagers and endured years of abuse before finally leaving. Abisola, a woman who spent 14 years in the church, disclosed that she was raped throughout her stay. Additionally, when these women became pregnant from the assaults, they were coerced into having abortions at a squalid clinic within the synagogue.
“We went into his room and I stood there. He said ‘off your clothes’ so I removed my clothes he just pointed so I lay down and then he raped me. He broke my virginity. I was screaming and he was whispering in my ears that I should stop acting like a baby. I was 17 years old. I was underage,” one of the women said.
One of the survivors confronted TB Joshua after she managed to escape. She recorded the encounter in videos she shared with the BBC. In the video, a security officer was heard threatening to shoot at the lady. Survivors said they were targeted, beaten, and shot at by thugs suspected of working for the pastor.
The BBC’s documentary revealed how the church staged managed and exaggerated miracles that were televised. People were told to exaggerate their problems so they could be healed, likewise, their healing so it could be “perfected by God”, a source who worked at the miracle department told the BBC.
“You’ve got this man who positioned himself as a father with many children and went on to rape, abuse, and molest all these people who call him daddy. How is somebody like that permitted to walk free,” Rae asked. Rachel joined the church when she was 17 because she hoped to be cured of homosexuality.”
Another part of the investigation delved into how TB Joshua maltreated and ostracised the daughter he had out of wedlock. Ajoke, now 28 years old, told the BBC how she confronted her father, about allegations of sexual abuse and, was subsequently thrown out of the church. She narrated how she was isolated and indoctrinated. Ajoke said she contemplated suicide.
“The disciples dragged me out of the office,” she said, narrating the day she confronted her father. “Put me in a room and isolated me from the rest of the church. I wonder how I lived through that time because they were hitting me with belts, chains… I couldn’t take a shower for days. He was trying so hard to stop people from listening to me. He felt threatened by the fact that I knew what was happening.”
A part of the documentary revealed how SCOAN shielded its congregation from the truth about the collapse of one of the church’s guesthouses in 2014. A video that was shown multiple times to members on Emmanuel TV showed a short clip of the structure with something that seemed like an aircraft flying over it.
“On television, they were showing us the building had been bombed,” one of the sources who lost her daughter in the collapsed building told the BBC.
SCOAN is located at Ikotun-Egbe area of Lagos State. The church grew from a local evangelical into a multimillion-dollar church with worshipers from all around the world.
The aircraft story fed to the members was all a lie, Emmanuel, one of the young men who served TB Joshua told the BBC. Emmanuel claimed the church had a structural defect.
The foundation of the building was inadequate for the floors built on it, Rae, a Brit who attended the church and was a disciple, corroborated. She added that Joshua insisted that the building be raised despite professional opinions.
SCOAN later paid the families of the victims cash as compensation which they interpreted to be “hush money”. A church worker who was part of those who handed the money to victims’ families in South Africa said TB Joshua asked that she instruct the grieving families not to speak to the media. Then, Joshua personally threatened families who refused the money, sources told the BBC.