And it came to pass…

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It was to be expected when self-proclaimed prophet TB Joshua’s House of Cards came tumbling down, he would use all means possible to evade responsibility. In September last year when a guesthouse under construction on his Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) property collapsed killing over 100 people, he claimed that it was caused by a terror attack.

This week Coroner Oyetade Komolaf found that the church was culpable due to criminal negligence, and should be prosecuted.

TB Joshua off course rejected this finding, still hanging onto the ludicrous assertion that the incident was due to sabotage. But never mind Joshua’s refusal to accept liability. It is well within character for a charlatan to avoid accountability. It was to be expected. And so it came to pass.

But what about his followers and the family of those tragically killed in this titanic abuse of trust? Would they denounce him and call for his head?

Off course not! They are believers. And so it came to pass that they would rationalize this tragedy using every foul excuse in religious doctrine. Here are some of the more absurd:

One woman said the coroner’s ruling was “nonsense” concocted by “earthly experts” who know nothing about spiritual matters. The church could not be blamed for “work of the devil.” She went on to state that she does not believe in “scientific findings for spiritual matters”.

Another said the investigation was “devilish”. Yet another invoked the devil, accusing him/her/it for wanting to destroy his bishop.

The worst has to be the statement from a church spokesman who told AFP that it was “unfortunate” that the coroner ignored submissions that “having building approval is not [a] panacea for building collapse”. WTF? How insane is that?

Now that the coroner has made a finding, will TB Joshua actually be prosecuted?

That to my mind is unlikely. He is well-connected politically in Nigeria. It’s no secret how corrupt their politicians are. And he has been rather busy visiting family of the victims, palming off blood money and currying favor.

And it shall come to pass that justice will not be served.

A virus that boggles the mind

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It seems just about everyone’s going batshit crazy over Ebola right now, but a more sinister virus is the mind virus. Otherwise known as faith.

But faith can move mountains…

Er, no it can’t. Never has, never will. But it can move you to hold strange beliefs. Strange and dangerous beliefs that CAN blow up mountains (or centuries-old statues carved into mountains, at least).

Enough about mountains; here’s where I’m really going with this:

In September I wrote about the Prophet of Death, T.B. Joshua and the collapse of a structure on the site of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, in which more than a 100 people lost their lives. Nearly two months later, the remains of the South Africans who perished in that disaster, have not been repatriated back home.

Yesterday, TB (like the infectious disease) failed to show up at a coroner’s inquest into the cause of the building collapse, but his supporters see nothing wrong with this. One had the gall to say “Bringing The Man of God down to this court is not very comfortable for me.” Many others think that even questioning him is an insult, such is their faith in this fraud.

However there are scores more who still refuse to accept that TB should be held accountable, despite preliminary findings that the structure did not meet construction regulations and was not approved by authorities. They prefer to believe instead in conspiracy theories.

One idiot faithful follower by the name of Moses Onyegu who heads up an organization known as Group of Concerned Students, believes that a C-130 Hercules jet flying over the building dropped explosives onto it, or something similar. Another, Oloja Olanrewaju, who is the secretary-general (yes another one of those militaristic sounding titles so enamoured of despots) of a group called the National Association of Nigerian Students, believes that (wait for it) “shadow stakeholders who benefit indirectly from any crisis,” may be involved.

Yet another, Nasir Lawal, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, and who is the leader of a youth group in southwestern Ondo state, believes that the rag-tag bunch of Islamist degenerates known as Boko Haram have the capability of sending a plane from the jungles thousands of kilometers away, to bomb the building. Their runway in the jungles must apparently be so well hidden, that the Nigerian army has failed to spot it all these years.

The striking thing about the three people mentioned above, is that they all lead youth organizations. If they hold such idiotic beliefs, who knows what bullshit they’re cramming into the heads of their young followers.

People will always have strange beliefs. But when those beliefs are supported by religious conviction, it gets pretty hairy.

Cartoon credit: Skeptics Guide To The Universe.

Prophet Joshua’s Highrise for Profit

T B Joshua is called The Prophet and Man of God. But only by the desperate, the credulous and those who stand to benefit from his massive fraud scheme.

The organization Joshua heads know as Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan), can not be regarded as anything but a very lucrative racket that preys on the questionable beliefs of ordinary people. And it’s based in Nigeria which is arguably synonymous with fraud.

Last week a guesthouse on the Scoan property collapsed, killing over 100 worshippers, 84 of whom were South Africans. It is alleged that the building collapsed because additional floors were being added without reinforcing the foundations. The allegation appears to be credible especially since, Joshua has gone to great lengths to claim that the building was sabotaged by his enemies. This week his television network took out a full-page advertisement in a Lagos daily newspaper asking for an investigation that would “bring to book all those involved in the obvious terror attack (on) the church aimed at not only embarrassing and discrediting prophet T.B. Joshua… but the entire nation of Nigeria.”

The fraudster prophet claimed that a plane flying overhead had something to do with the collapse, with some reports stating that Joshua specifically mentioned Boko Haram, an Islamist organization that is terrorizing certain parts of Nigeria, being involved. He even released a CCTV surveillance video which supposedly shows planes flying at low altitude over the building around the time of the collapse.

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A fellow skeptic pointed out last week that the Lagos airport is just a few kilometers away from the church complex, which seems to indicate that airplane activity over the building would be quite normal. This makes a mockery of the claim that an aircraft caused the building to collapse, since it is becoming clear after rescue operations, that the addition of floors to the structure was not done in the prescribed manner. Further, it is unlikely that the savages known as Boko Haram could have access to aircraft, being well-known as a guerilla “army” more adept at slaughtering innocent civilians around the jungles on terra firma.

What is disconcerting is the absolute lack of outrage from the Nigerian government. T B Joshua it would appear is well-connected. It would not be surprising is the announced investigation clears him of all responsibility. It would be yet another blight (in an amazingly long list) on religion if he is not found culpable, not to mention an insult to those who lost their lives in this tragedy.