The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is set to publish a 3-part investigative documentary detailing the atrocities and sexual crimes committed by Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua, famously known as TB. Joshua.
Joshua died on June 5, 2021. As part of the investigation, the BBC interviewed at least 30 former members and workers of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN). The first installment of the documentary is scheduled to be released on January 8.
The 3-part documentary revealed the clandestine lifestyle of the now-deceased founder of SCOAN. It detailed stories of abuse, harassment, rape, manipulation, and staged miracles. Sources told the BBC that the church knew about all the allegations but never investigated them. They alleged the sexual crime spanned over two decades.
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.
“They told us don’t tell what you know,” Emmanuel, another worker at SCOAN said in the film. “They knew something was wrong with the building but they were managing it.”
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.
“The building collapse is a good example of everyday life under TB Joshua. It is just a series of cover-ups. It is just this was so big it was almost impossible for him to make it go away,” Rae said
The BBC found that people were dismembered under the rubble and dead bodies were transferred in SCOAN ambulances to shield the reality of the disaster from the press to protect both the image of the church and TB Joshua.
Survivors of TB Joshua’s sexual exploitation narrated how they were manipulated and silenced even when they knew the relationship they had with “daddy” was abusive. These women were part of TB Joshua’s discipleship. Multiple women narrated how he molested and raped them. A few women who resisted his assault at first were threatened into submission, one of the women told the BBC.
TB Joshua told the women he was sexually assaulting them for their salvation, all the women said. These women joined the synagogue when they were teenagers and spent years before finally leaving. A woman identified as Abisola said she was in the church for 14 years and was raped throughout her stay. When the women get pregnant as a result of being raped many times, they were forced to get an abortion in a dingy clinic inside the synagogue.