ABUSE & VIOLENCE IN THE CHURCH, Clergy Misconduct, Clergy Sex Abuse, Ravi Zacharias, Religious Power and Control, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Spiritual Abuse, Spiritual Authority

Ravi Zacharias: Reports of Sexual Predation and Sexual Abuse at Health Spas

Ravi Zacharias, Serial Sexual Predator, Clergy Sexual Misconduct, RZIM

Ravi Zacharias’ spa business (screenshot from Steve Baughman’s video)

Attorney Steve Baughman has done it again. He has uncovered more about Ravi Zacharias that has not come to light before.

Yes, Ravi is dead, but his name is still highly respected in Christendom. Furthermore, his most notable victim, Lori Anne Thompson, has never received any kind of apology from the ministry Ravi founded, RZIM (please note: isn’t it “interesting” when a “humble” man names a ministry after themself? HMMMMM, maybe not so humble after all, eh?)

They (RZIM) continue to ignore the clergy sexual misconduct allegations, probably hoping Lori Anne Thompson will just drop off. Ravi was in the position of power and influence, just as a counselor, teacher, doctor is in a position of trust, and must never violate that relationship. He violated that relationship of trust and used it to fulfill his own sexual gratification.

And now, Steve Baughman has uncovered more of the same . . . Ravi has a history of seeking sexual gratification for himself, using his position of power and trust to obtain those “favors.” This is clergy sexual misconduct and spiritual abuse! Blech! Can we be done with this already?

When will the Evangelical Church at large deal with this honestly and do the right thing? I’m waiting. I’m sure Lori Anne Thompson is waiting. And you know what . . . . every survivor of clergy sexual misconduct is waiting to see someone do the right thing. Because when the rubber hits the road, that is what it’s going to take for true healing to occur. Until that happens, we will continue to see this scenario play out again and again and again. I’m so over it, people! So over the stupid facade of Evangelical Christianity with supposed integrity and upstanding character. Because as far as I am concerned, there is very little of it.

DO BETTER, CHURCH! For crying out loud, why is this so freaking difficult? I better hit publish before my panties get in a wad.

There is a good possibility that YouTube will yank this video, so be sure to take a look at it.

Screenshot from Steve Baughman’s video

56 thoughts on “Ravi Zacharias: Reports of Sexual Predation and Sexual Abuse at Health Spas”

  1. i must be getting used to it…after the Falwells, nothing surprises me at this point. I just wish people would develop more discernment so that they could sense when spiritual leaders are in trouble, and that spiritual leaders would be truer to the God they say they serve. I’ve never been a big Ravi fan, but I have friends who think he had a direct line to heaven for every word he ever said.

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  2. This is yet another reason why I don’t trust male evangelical leaders. If they don’t abuse, they support abusers.

    It is also another reason why I have a serious problem with American Evangelical Christian culture. I don’t have a problem with God. I don’t have a problem with Jesus. I have a problem with a Christian culture that is a mile wide, less than an inch deep, and throws around words like “grace” and “mercy” and “forgiveness” while refusing to demand repentance and change from people in the public eye who sin.

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  3. Please note, the three witnesses I interviewed 1. Do not want money and have no legal claim to money, 2. Do not want publicity and are actually very shy of it, especially the two women. 3. In addition to sharing their testimony with me, they each spoke directly with a “Christian leader“ with whom I was working, and who does not want their name disclosed. 4. Each witness confirmed that Ravi engaged and sexually improper conduct. 5. It is beyond dispute that Ravi invested in the health spa/massage business. 6. His partner told me that they brought women in from India and Thailand to the spa. Johnny Hunt, former president of the Southern Baptist convention, also told me that they brought women in from India.

    Those are the facts. this is the tip of the iceberg.

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  4. Like

  5. Someone from Georgia told me yesterday that The first and second spa were at the same address. But the First one was in Alpharetta and in 2006 Johns Creek was incorporated, so the second one could be said to be in John’s Creek.

    I have no idea if Ravi Z was involved in a third spa.

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  6. But as coverage of this over at Wartburg Watch has pointed out, Steve Baughman blogs under the handle “Friendly Banjo ATHEIST”. Who will Real True CHRISTIANS believe — a Great ManaGAWD or an ATHEIST?

    “MATTHEW DRUMMOND — ATHEIST!!!!
    — mob scene in Inherit the Wind

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  7. 6. His partner told me that they brought women in from India and Thailand to the spa.

    Thailand as in “One Night in Bang Cock”?

    Bringing them over to staff a “Health Spa”/”Massage” business?

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  8. Ick. I’m on my church’s pulpit committee as we look for a new pastor, and what a timely reminder that a church or ministry really needs to know a little about the financial dealings of its leaders. I would at least hope that I’d be interested if someone told me a candidate was investing in a massage parlor, given how often that’s a cover for “brothel”.

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  9. Unfortunately this stuff seems horribly plausible.
    I ran into this video where he makes a claim that will likely turn on him in the near future:

    At 1mn, he criticizes “mass marketing spirituality”:
    Talks about a guy with “millions of followers all over the world, and now they are finding out under the carpet all that was messed up personally, privately, and the money has been squabbled over, bank accounts have been frozen, and everyone’s laying claim to the money. That’s all it’s become about. It’s not spirituality, it’s the mass marketing of spirituality”

    Prophetic?

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  10. And the evangelical c’hurch complex calls Ravi’s “kind of behavior” annointed?

    And would our LORD and eternal Savior, Jesus Christ, sit under Ravi’s m’inistry, calling him out as one of His sheep, or would He call out RZ as a ravenous wolf and say ” depart from Me, I never knew you (Jesus’ Words).”

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  11. Dear Steve,

    Just wanted to express my gratitude for your hard work, and my admiration for dealing with all the sanctimonious trolls on YouTube. The amount of grief you’ve been given from Christians, just over the past 24 hours, just boggles my mind. I’m amazed to see the patience and poise you’ve shown, especially in the face of all the logical fallacies and wilful, self-satisfied ignorance.

    Thank you. And if you’re in touch with them, please thank your sources for me, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, SKIJ, I had to see what you were talking about! Good grief!

    Steve…nice job responding to the whackadoos…and I cracked up at the comment about cutting your hair. But I disagree…long hair is easier – just put it in a ponytail if it’s in your way. 😆

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  13. My girlfriend is a school teacher. She says I must NEVER use the word “moron.” But the vast majority of the folks defending Ravi in the social media trenches are just freaking morons. No way around that. “Nobody’s perfect.” “Let God decide.” My evil motives and making money on all this. And the stuff about the women wanting money.

    Ouch!

    I consider it my daily Buddhist meditation practice to respond with kindness to their comments. It ain’t easy. 😂

    Pony tail was easy, but I did not like washing and especially combing after a shower. Made me Cranky. Nothing as bad as Ravi defenders, though.

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  14. @ HUG
    Mark Knopfler’s guitar licks are hard to beat.
    I remember Dire Straits vividly from my long commute days into LA from the Inland Empire.

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  15. @SKIJ, I wonder if this is some sort of new-Gnosticism. The Gnostics believed that Jesus couldn’t be God because God was perfect and matter was evil, therefore God could not be polluted by matter. It seems they held multiple planes of holiness with each plane less material and more spiritual.

    It seems it crept into the Catholic church where there was the priest, Mary, Jesus and the Father. But, I’m wondering if, in Evangelicalism, God the Father is portrayed as so holy, distant and unapproachable that people “need” someone super-spiritual like Ravi as a go-between. Problem is, if Ravi ends up being in the same spiritual plane as everyone else and not actually enlightened, then all who worshiped the ground he walked on are without hope.

    I would normally say that this is run-of-the-mill authoritarianism, but people seem so intent on dismissing any possible wrongdoing, I wonder if there is more to it.

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  16. I’m sure others here have seen this already, but many of the texts from the earlier scandal with the Thompsons in Ontario have been released by Julie Roys, as the original accuser is now working with Boz Tchividjian, who appears to be seeing the earlier NDA as non-operative in light of the CT interview Zacharias had.

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  17. I’m sure others here have seen this already, but many of the texts from the earlier scandal with the Thompsons in Ontario have been released by Julie Roys…

    I’ve seen it, all right. And I thought Steve Baughman’s latest contribution had brought out the blind devotees.

    Boy, oh boy, oh boy. The comment threads on Julie Roys’ Facebook page have simply ex-PLOH-ded! Ravi acolytes are practically coming out of the woodwork, saying things like, “How dare you say this after he’s dead!” and “He can’t defend himself!” They’re even bringing up the lawsuit that Lori Anne and her husband filed years ago, to get relief from the pastor that defrauded them — accepting Ravi’s rationale that they must be nothing but grifters.

    I’ve tried to set the record straight and encourage critical thinking there, as my time allows. It’s just too much to keep up with. Just what kind of hold did Zacharias have over some people?

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  18. I appreciate that this article calls it what it is. I’ve seen several other articles that focus on his “sexual immorality” and “sexting” and breeze right past the fact this was abuse. Even when they do the bare minimum of holding someone accountable, they still do it wrong.

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  19. Who knows the truth? GOD does. He has stood before him as we all will. Live right die right receive a reward. Live wrong die wrong receive damnation.

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  20. This is a good, related article: https://jay-stringer.com/ravi-zacharias-and-the-sexual-binge-purge-cycle-of-evangelical-men/

    The point, which is beautifully stated, is that our (men’s) psychological defense mechanisms for our sexual sins involve externalizing them rather than doing the hard work of repentance and restoration. The nature of these defense mechanisms repeatedly victimizes women, even in such ways as the “Billy Graham rule” – where women are pushed away because they might cause men to stumble.

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  21. I most recently read the article over at Christianity Today regarding three women who bravely came forward into naming the sexual perversions/sins of Zacharias. My prayers go out to these courageous souls who are suffering due to the actions of a c’hristian l’eader. These women give Lori Thompson credibility in her testimony that indeed, RZ was in fact a sexual predator, targeting and victimizing women for his own personal fulfilment, aggrandizement, and glorification.

    It is my understanding that Jesus Christ is the only Spiritual Leader that we, His sheep, should be following. He, Jesus, is the only One that I trust as my Pastor…..and He has not lied to me once!

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  22. Precisely Steven! I have been accused by a philandering assembly of god (the g’od, being himself) of being a flatterer, meanwhile he’s propositioning married women whom he is “counseling,” for sexual favors due to his insatiable sexual desires. I believe he was “offended” as I was one of the few women who consciously chose not to worship him or allow his words or influence on my family to ” put me in my place” so to speak. he gave me the creeps from the first moment I set foot in h’is baptist c’hurch, bragging about his assembly of god degree.

    With that truthful testimony revealed, I will go out on a limb here, lest I be accused of flattery once again by a religios wolf predator, that you, Steve have the courage and willful tenacity in shedding light on the truth, more so, than all of the blind theologians put together!

    And I Thank-You sir, for all of your hard work and a yearning for knowing the truth.

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  23. Katy. There has been so much vitriol thrown at me the past five years for just posting factual material about Ravi Zacharias, and it means a lot to me to hear kind words like you just offered.

    Thank you.

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  24. You are most welcome Mr. Vaughan. It is most refreshing to review works such as yours for truth is revealed, whether individuals like it or not.

    After hearing my former assembly of god p’astor m’an’ s sermon on the ” jezebel” spirit (while in his secret chambers, propositioning married women), I bolted out of that baptist c’hurch faster than lightening for I already sensed that the sh_t was going to hit the fan with the redistribution of stench foist upon the lower laity. After all, c’hurch p’astors and religious l’eaders within those institutions rarely, if ever, admit guilt or take personal responsibility for their own actions/sin. I personally have never witnessed Biblical repentance within the american 501c 3 c’hurch structure.

    Never.

    And we have the fall, and the pride and arrogance/combined with ignorance to persecute those who “institutional c’hurches” label as dangerous unbelievers…..calling ourselves as followers of Christ?

    In truth, after leaving that last baptist c’hurch system where many a man abuse their wives, I actually listened via the internet, many podcasts searching for answers because I did not grow up in an abusive c’hurch. RZ was one of the many individuals I listened to for a couple of years trying to find answers to the volumes of questions I had with respect to my born again faith in Jesus Christ.

    Therein lies the problem ..I was seeking out answers from mankind rather than sprinting to Jesus and His Words. After feeling like a proverbial fool for several years for following the garbage of visible religion, it is now an honor and a calling to follow the voice and leading of The Holy Spirit for myself.

    Because of His Leading, I can regard you, Mr. Baughman, with great respect and autonomy for the truth you have presented.

    You are truly an amazing human being, Steven, and I am thankful for courageous people like you.

    Thank-You again.

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  25. I knew I would mess up as my fingers are challenged on these small type pads.

    Mr. Baughman, I apologize for miss typing your name. You deserve great respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Ha! I prefer “Vaughan.” If that were my name I wouldn’t of spent so much time over the past 60 years telling people how to pronounce my name. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Serving Kids – Just what kind of hold did Zacharias have over some people?

    He only had as much power as they chose to give him.

    The first time anyone said this to me, in the context of the old shepherding/discipleship error, I reacted quite strongly against it. Over the years the more I have thought about it the more I see it as essentially correct. My own experience of shepherding which was not particularly ‘heavy’ was my responsibility inasmuch as I had an open bible and hopefully working brain and I ought to have known better. We have the duty and responsibility to think for ourselves.

    I know in real life there are complicating factors, but online this is more or less an absolute. You can simply walk away from it at any time.

    I would also suggest that in a world of harsh, hard-hitting, legalistic, pharisaical, OCD evangelical preaching and apologetics Ravi seemed to be a breath of fresh air with his gentle demeanor, and that is why so many are clinging to him.

    A nice man like that wouldn’t abuse anybody …

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  28. Not defending anyone, but as a John Doe, if someone scrutinized me, one would find much worse than this accusations against RZ. My dark side, hopefully only God knows.
    Don’t deceit yourself , there is just one perfect men: Jesus. Knowing myself, it’s not so hard to believe all this accusations true. Even though, what a tremendous men, by accomplishing what he did. As for you, I’ve never heard of you before reading this blog…
    I don’t know as for your country, but here where I live, people are considered guilty as proved in court, suspicion and accusations anyone can do – so easy!
    Ok, probably you’ll say 5 years of
    investigation bears lots of proofs, however starting point being atheism, not a good premisse in the first place, because of course you will find plenty to fill in…
    Consider devoting such kind of effort on dismantle the case for Christ, and maybe you’ll find the answer for all the true questions you have, and not if RZ is guilty or not. Because he is, I am sure! If not for this, then for some other reason.
    Once again, not defending RZ. But is it fair, accusing someone who can’t defend himself anymore?

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  29. Esther. Really? You sexually assault employees and then fire them if they complain? You sexually groom vulnerable people and then publicly accuse them of “extortion” when they take legal action? And do you lie extensively about your credentials, and the lie some more to cover it up?

    Then, yes, you are a horrible person.

    But even so, surely you are not so horrible that you travel the world making huge $$$ telling people you “will leave no stone unturned in defense of the truth.”

    All have sinned. But very few people are THAT horrible.

    Ravi Zacharias was.

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  30. Dear Steven, I don’t disagree with you!
    But those people (the employees) should have done things properly: take the case into courts. Now the men is dead, and can not defend himself!
    I bet you would like the same treatment, in case you die, and someone after, accusing you of something that you may or may not have done. For me that’s not right.
    Let’s say that your totally right, and RZ has done all the things you say he did, that doesn’t jeopardize any of the claims he made about truth, or God. Which, in my opinion you’re trying to blend, and that is intellectually dishonest.

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  31. Do you know what happened last time a Ravi victim tried to take him to court?

    For all we know that happened lots of times.

    And I think you are being somewhat disrespectful to victims for saying that the only right way is to go to court.

    Also, why do you say these people waited until after he died to come forward? Nonsense. With one exception they were not contacted by anyone until late summer of 2020. I know that for a fact.

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  32. Dear Steve,
    Besides the fact you didn’t answer directly to the questions I’ve made, instead you chose to say that I’m disrespectful to the supposedly victims, I rest my case. You prefer attack people, rather than have a exchange of ideas.
    The same pattern with RZ.
    Anyway, thanks for making that clear for anyone to see what kind of person you are, and your true motivation.
    Best Regards

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  33. Ester. I am sorry. I did not mean to be dismissive of your question about Ravi’s misconduct not undermining Christianity.

    But, yes, I did ignore it. It bothers me A LOT to have people turn from the victims to make a theological point.

    “Yeah, too bad about all those little children Fred tortured and sexually abused, but he still preached truth at the pulpit.”

    I hear that stuff too often.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Ester, perhaps a good way to see things is that people who are abused don’t always speak up, and the courts are not always willing to take up their cause. For example, veteran police officers and teachers apologized in person to my mother because when her abuse was ongoing, they knew it was wrong, but didn’t know how to deal with it at the time. Similarly, I realized I’d been abused about 20 years after the fact–my babysitter exposed himself and gave my brother and I an impromptu sex ed lesson when I was about 11, and I realized that qualified only when I was going through a course in how to prevent child sexual abuse at church. (and since he was being abused physically in a way that I never was, I would not ever want my babysitter to be prosecuted…his abuser, yes, but not him)

    Other victims are in groups that simply don’t get respected–and massage therapists are among them due to the sad reality that massage parlors are often fronts for brothels. So yes, it is a shame that this didn’t come out while Ravi was alive and capable of repenting, but please understand what’s going on here.

    Another point of reference, and probably far better than what I’ve mentioned above, is that periodically, when abuse is mishandled and becomes public, Rachael Denhollander will comment on it very simply on her Twitter feed: #WhyWeDon’tReport. Imagine your heart is breaking because of what has happened to you, but fearing the “blanket party” that will come if you go public with your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. About “massage parlors”. A family member of mine is a massage therapist. In their training, we learned the difference. That if you are getting actual therapeutic massages according to their training, it is called a “massage clinic”. A “massage parlor” is just what you said, a brothel in disguise. And I fear that Ravi, or any men like him, may cover stuff up by calling it a clinic. But, at least here in Canada, he may need different kinds of paperwork. As a widow, I shudder at what Margie may be going through, no matter what her role was in all this.

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  36. JPU, that’s quite interesting; here in MN, there are regulations that actually require massage therapists to train for a certain number of hours, and that seems to a degree to hinder the “covert prostitutes”. It’s heartening to know as well that legitimate players in the field are taking the ugly (and hopefully overstated) stereotypes seriously enough to take steps to differentiate themselves from the “covert prostitutes”.

    It also strikes me that if Ravi’s spas were hiring people from overseas, it’s not entirely clear how they would satisfy training requirements. I have to wonder if those “in the business” would quickly find a number of “suspect” kinds of issues with how Ravi’s spas were run. That’s the kind of oversight that perhaps churches and ministries need to start to attempt.

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  37. What CT has revealed about him is very disturbing.
    Ravi came to our church in NJ in either 1988 or 1989.
    My mother and myself heard him. My mother is the greatest Christian I have known. She walks with the Lord everyday. The most unselfish, most forgiving, most giving of herself to other people I have ever known.
    She told me this after hearing him speak. I detect he has a lot pride. That’s all she told me. That hit her hard to make that comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I met the girl from Thailand once in 2009, I’ll never forget our conversations and the feeling I had. I was only 19 at the time but I knew something wasn’t right. I’ve thought of her many times in the last 10 years. No, one could see what was right in front of us.

    Like

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