Ravi Zacharias, RZIM, Clergy Sexual Misconduct
NOTE: This post is updated. The earlier version is at the bottom of this post.
When I began blogging, I did so to tell my own spiritual abuse experiences. There were no rules. I followed my heart. I still do the same today. I probably do things that make trained journalists cringe. Oh well. But, I must stay true to myself, true to victims, and true to my God. And sometimes that gets complicated.
This week, I published two articles which included private e-mails which were sent to me by the victim in Ravi Zacharias’ alleged sexual misconduct case. (As was noted in the now-deleted post, these emails were sent to me long before any demand letter was sent, lawsuit filed, or settlement was reached.) I posted them because it was my understanding that the victim wanted the world to know what happened, how it happened, and as a warning to others because we were both convinced that this was predatory behavior and could likely have happened to others, and could happen again. I also published them because there was a lawsuit against this victim in which Ravi Zacharias’ narrative was shared in public court documents, but no one was able to see the other side before the case was settled out of court (and sources have told me there was a payout).
Because the case is a Federal lawsuit and available to the public, people will only be allowed to read Ravi Zacharias’ side. The victim’s side remains silent – which is exactly what all perpetrators want: silence.
I want to be clear. What I read and heard from the victim via phone and email testimony (including personal e-mails between the victim and Ravi Zacharias) showed a clear pattern of sexual grooming. I believe Ravi Zacharias took advantage of this woman as she shared her personal struggles with him. I believe that he took advantage of her vulnerabilities. I believe he shared with her personal information about himself which made her feel very special in his life. But this was all a ploy so he could then get sexual favors from her (nude photos). This is how the grooming process works.
This morning, I woke up to find an email in my inbox from the victim. The note asked me to remove the private emails. Out of respect for the victim, I have done so.
I do not know if the victim was pressured to ask this by anyone from RZIM or by Ravi Zacharias himself, or if this was of her own initiative. Regardless, I need to honor the victim’s request first and foremost.
Does it change my opinion of the victim? Absolutely not. Does it change my opinion of Ravi Zacharias as a possible predator? Absolutely not. Does it change the validity of her testimony and e-mails? Absolutely not.
Thousands of people saw the e-mails. I believe that Ravi Zacharias and this case should be fully investigated. It is not acceptable to pay people off and silence them when there is sexual misconduct – and it is my opinion that this is what happened in this situation.
Once again, I will mention that Ravi Zacharias is a person of public interest and import. I have shared my personal opinions and beliefs based on my years of studying patterns of abuse and sexual misconduct. What I have shared, I believe to be true, and I have shared it with the intent to help and protect others from harm. I have no malicious intent whatsoever .
This is what was posted earlier today 12/2/17.
I think this is only the second time I have done this in my nearly 6 yrs of blogging. I was requested by the victim to remove the posts containing personal emails between Ravi Zacharias and the victim, and have done so.
I will be following up with a statement shortly about this and will add it to this post.