The BBC three part documentary titled “Disciples: The Cult of TB Joshua”, dropped at the beginning of the second week in January 2024 and the reception it received was as the sands in the desert gulping up rain water if it were possible.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the name TB Joshua was gaining ground around our communities. Some for the tremendous miracles done in his church and some who feared that these miracles he performed were powered by something strange. We were later introduced to the TV channel “Emmanuel TV” where we could see first-hand the works of TB Joshua. Demons had conversations with Mr. TB Joshua through human lips, the crippled walked, the blind saw and every other promise we were given in the bible.
There were also times allotted on this channel for him to give huge sums of money to the less privileged. You see the Bible expressly warned us not to do our good deeds in public to be admired by others or you lose the reward from your Father in heaven. Yet here this man was, a “follower of the Word” blatantly stepping all over that scripture EVERY day, but we digress. TB Joshua died in June 2021 and after 2 years of investigation, BBC have released their findings. Brace yourself because this may be a bumpy ride.
DISCIPLES: The Cult of TB Joshua, Ep 1 - Miracle Maker - BBC
In the first episode we were introduced to Rae and Anneka, former “Disciples” of TB Joshua who having left family, friends and home sacrificed many long, arduous, sleepless, penniless years to the ministry of TB Joshua. We were also introduced to Bisola Johnson and Agomoh Paul who were Nigerian disciples who had also previously done everything in their power to make sure that TB Joshua’s commands were brought to fruition. Angelique, Chloe, Loulita and an unnamed lady all gave accounts each echoing what others had recounted though they were not in the same space at once. They told of how they were attracted to and came to the ministry of SCOAN (Synagogue Church Of All Nations) which we found out was through a calculative ploy of sending out recordings of powerful “healings” and “deliverance” through South Africa and to the Western world at large.
When the target audience of oyinbos (foreigners) arrived on the grounds of SCOAN they were then sifted and the younger, more vulnerable females mostly were coerced heavily to stay back and do the “lord’s work”. Watch the first part of full documentary here:
DISCIPLES: The Cult of TB Joshua, Ep 2 - Unmasking Our Father - BBC
The second episode opened up with new witnesses and victims such as Jessica, detailing their ordeals. We were then taken behind the curtains into the mind of TB Joshua and why he had numerous media productions. According to Agomoh, TB Joshua basically thought himself to be as God and just as the Bible contained the works of Our Lord Jesus Christ, his TV station, Books and other media had to contain his works and even serve as law in some cases. We learnt that he lived in seclusion (even from his wife and children) in a very lavish space on the fifth floor of the church building often referred to as five storey.
This “five storey” was the prime and main location for the perpetuation of many of TB Joshua’s crimes against his own disciples. Five storey was described as a space fit for presidents with its luxurious curtains, furniture and carpets that your feet could just sink into. It was serviced by the “Five storey boys” who would ensure, food, clean clothes and even the pulling down of TB Joshua’s pants when he needed to relieve himself in the convenience. At the end of a day’s work, the boys had the floor of the bathroom to call their bed till TB Joshua no longer had need for them and would show them out of his room into another room and lock them in. Having done this, he would phone downstairs to the dormitories where the Disciples stayed and would send for one of the female disciples to perhaps come up with her Bible and take down some notes he HAD to give out only at night. He would instruct them to use one of the many exits or entrances and make sure they were not seen. When the ladies would get up, he would sexually assault them claiming that that was how he was going to deliver them (since most of his discernment towards the female church goers was that they had the spirit of lust or were prostitutes) and that they were now truly his children. He did this for most of the days of the week and one witness stated that in her fourteen years of being there, the ladies probably totaled up to thousands. Although almost every female disciple had encountered this, none could talk to the other because they were constantly being put against one another or to stand against anyone that would castigate the man of TB Joshua. I believe that this was how the secret stayed hidden for years. He kept the people in fear and also wouldn’t allow them the luxury of sleep. For all the years they served there, most got roughly four hours of sleep every night!
Just as sure as 2 plus 2 equals 4, ladies got pregnant and let him know. He would tell them not to disgrace the man of God and do ‘something’ about it. That ‘something’ would be an abortion done in shoddy, hidden parts of the synagogue by administering a concoction or using metal pieces to get out what was there.
We were also introduced to TB Joshua’s prayer mountain which was the original site of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations with little islands each having prayer huts on them. Akewi was the leader of prayer warriors there and he told of various instances where he witnessed some strange Non Biblical acts performed by TB Joshua. How TB Joshua cut out hair from his beard and his private part and put it into the mouth of a fish caught alive and threw it back in the river and there was a lot of multiplication from that fish. He also told of how he had been instructed to open up the bark of a tree, and put people’s pictures in it and close it back up in an attempt to keep those people locked up. It was said that he was not one to forgive an offence and would follow it up diabolically.
In the midst of all of this we are introduced to Ajoke, TB Joshua’s biological daughter from another woman outside of wedlock. Ajoke seemed to be the bane of his existence and he spared no measures in distancing himself from her. From separating her from the rest of the family to live in the disciples dormitory, to telling whoever cared to listen that she had an evil spirit and that they could beat her whenever they pleased, Ajoke was set at rock bottom and could go no lower. She had heard various accounts from people who he had assaulted and was full of it. One day, Ajoke went into his office and leveled these allegations against him in front of other disciples and the hell that ensued could have been thought of as more pain than it was worth. She was beaten in the office while she still shouted the allegations at the top of her lungs and then dragged out of the office to be locked up in a room for months where the beatings never stopped. Eventually she was led out and unto the mean and fierce streets of Lagos where she had to fend for herself like an orphan with no living relatives. Watch the second part of full documentary here:
DISCIPLES: The Cult of TB Joshua, Ep 3 - The Collapse - BBC
By the third part we dove into how much influence TB Joshua had, with Heads of States endorsing his person and welcoming him into their countries with pomp and pageantry. Due to this influence, people were flying in from various countries to be healed and delivered and they needed to be housed somewhere. That brought about the Guesthouse which was situated a stone throw from the synagogue. The Guesthouse was built at top speed and outside the building plans laid out. It had more floors than the blueprint allowed for according to TB Joshua’s instruction as recounted by an eye witness. He wanted the doors open quickly and for the funds to start rolling in.
On Friday, 12th of September 2014 at about 1:30pm it all came crashing down! There were about 200 guests at the time of the incident. We would spare you details of what ensued afterwards but a good number of lives were lost. Ambulances were not allowed in initially but church workers were asked to film for TB Joshua since he didn’t visit the site initially. Dead bodies were not moved till it was dark and all the cameras and press were out of sight.
By the following Sunday TB Joshua went on live TV to suggest that a helicopter flying at low range bombed the Guesthouse in a bid to silence him permanently. He conveniently failed to mention that someone from the maintenance department had been at the Guesthouse earlier that day and had noticed that the building was shaking. He did nothing to avert the impending doom that would strike later that day.
Families of the victims waited five days or more to hear from SCOAN as to whether their loved ones made it or not. Afterwards would come bribery to get the families to stop seeking justice and if they failed to yield, then came the threats from “Prophet” TB Joshua himself. The coroner ruled that TB Joshua should be held criminally liable but he never set his foot in court and neither was he sentenced.
Slowly the blindfolds began to fall off when the female disciples realized that it wasn’t just each one of them, it was ALL of them. Some left silently while others tried to get justice by confronting him, writing letters to the church and informing the police, all to no avail. He countered these allegations by making and releasing videos to defame the character of those who stood against him. He also allegedly sent thugs to threaten and possibly silence his opposition.
It was also mentioned that all those miracles we watched on our TV screens were all fake and stage managed! Flesh wounds disguised as cancer, inconsequential disguised as consequential. Watch the third part of full documentary here:
In the end we see the person of TB Joshua stripped back and we find an adage from our parent’s time which says “all that glitters is not gold.” We learn why the Bible says to test all spirits and never put our trust in the arm of flesh for it will fail you! TB Joshua failed the thousands if not millions that trusted in him. May we or those after us never fall for such ever again!