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In this podcast interview, Christianity Today reporter Daniel Silliman explains how he investigated this story.
Several evangelicals who followed Ravi Zacharias were upset with me today for blogging about this story. Here is how the Christianity Today editors are responding to similar criticism.
Emily Belz of World Magazine has done her own reporting and has uncovered new details. Here is a taste of her piece:
WORLD spoke to an additional source, longtime spa manager Anna Adesanya, who worked at Jivan Wellness from 2009 until ownership changed in 2012. Adesanya told me Zacharias would come in regularly, maybe once a month. She remembered an incident around 2009 in which a massage therapist came to her and said she was uncomfortable treating Zacharias anymore because he had asked her for “more than a massage.”
Adesanya, who was unfamiliar with Zacharias’ apologetics ministry, said she took the information to Zacharias’ spa business partner, Anurag Sharma, and asked that they talk to Zacharias. She said the two met him at his office at RZIM, where Zacharias showed them his back X-rays as a way of explaining his need for therapy. Zacharias had spoken publicly about his chronic back problems from an injury decades earlier.
“He did not admit it—he became defensive,” said Adesanya. “He said, ‘Who is this girl, what is she trying to do to me?’”
After the meeting, Adesanya said, Sharma fired the therapist who had complained. Zacharias continued coming for regular spa appointments. (Sharma did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)
Adesanya said no other therapists complained to her about Zacharias during her tenure. But she said Zacharias only went to certain therapists and often brought his own massage therapist, an Indian woman, and they would occupy one of the rooms for therapy sessions. “I would often have to wonder, because they would be in that room for hours. At most you’re going to have a therapy session that’s going to last an hour and half , maybe two hours top,” Adesanya said. “It would exceed two hours, if not three. … But it was never anything that was spoken of.”
Read the rest here.