Ravi Zacharias

Documents Show Ravi’s Personal Massage Therapist was Employed by RZIM & Directed Dubious Ministry

By Julie Roys

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) has been rocked by allegations  that its late founder, Ravi Zacharias, sexually abused numerous massage therapists at spas he co-owned. Now, there’s evidence that RZIM employed a personal massage therapist for Zacharias, and that as late as November 2020—six months after Zacharias died—the therapist was still on the payroll.

Also, according to RZIM organizational charts leaked to The Roys Report, the therapist was project manager for “Touch of Hope.”

Yet Touch of Hope does not appear anywhere on RZIM’s website.

I spoke with two former directors at RZIM who wanted to remain anonymous, and both said they had never heard of Touch of Hope. I also verified both men’s employment at RZIM.

One of the former directors added that for eight years, he had reviewed all the press releases and board reports for RZIM, and not once had he seen a mention of Touch of Hope.   

However, according to a 2011 article in The Hindu, RZIM’s “Touch of Hope” program provided scholarships for 25 Indian children in need. 

When sent the organizational charts and asked about Touch of Hope and the massage therapist by name, RZIM CEO Sarah Davis declined to comment. (The Roys Report decided to withhold the therapist’s name to protect her privacy.)

Referring to an ongoing investigation commissioned by RZIM, Davis said: “Consistent with the board’s statement, RZIM does not plan to comment or respond to questions that may or may not pertain to the investigation itself prior to its conclusion.”

The Roys Report received the organizational charts from an RZIM employee who wanted to remain anonymous. (The authenticity of the charts was also verified by someone else from RZIM with knowledge of the organization’s structure.)

The first RZIM chart, which reportedly was from early 2020, listed the therapist as project manager for “Touch of Hope” and showed her reporting to Ravi Zacharias.

According to Anurag Sharma, who co-owned two spas with Zacharias, the woman on the organizational chart was a masseuse trained in Ayurvedic therapy whom Zacharias brought to the U.S. from northeast India.

Sharma said the therapist was not employed by Jivan Wellness, the spa Sharma and Zacharias owned. But he added that sometimes Zacharias would receive massages from the therapist at Jivan.

Sharma said the therapist would travel with Zacharias, and once accompanied him and Zacharias on a trip to India.

He said he also saw the therapist at several RZIM Founders’ Weekends. This is an annual event for large RZIM donors, often featuring big names like Tim Tebow or Fernando Ortega.

Sharma shared this information directly with The Roys Report in an interview last month. He also re-iterated these facts in more than five hours of recordings with investigators that Sharma released exclusively to The Roys Report.

A second RZIM organizational chart from October 2020 was also sent to The Roys Report. This chart, issued five months after Ravi Zacharias’ death, showed the therapist reporting to Zacharias’ daughter, RZIM CEO Sarah Davis.

A third RZIM chart sent to The Roys Report from November 2020 showed the massage therapist reporting to RZIM Global CFO Jeanette Chaquiure.

I reached out to the massage therapist for comment through social media—the only contact I could find—but she did not respond.

Former Directors confirm Massage Therapist’s Role

Both of the former RZIM directors who spoke to The Roys Report said they met the massage therapist named on RZIM’s organizational chart at an RZIM Founders’ Weekend.

One of them said he met the therapist at a 2011 Founders’ Weekend at the J.W. Marriott in San Antonio. He said he noticed the woman because she was young and attractive and had entered a room with Ravi Zacharias.

He said when he asked other staff who the woman was, they told him that she was Zacharias’ personal masseuse who traveled with him.

The former director said he thought the arrangement was odd. But since Zacharias was known for having a bad back and needing regular massage therapy, he shrugged it off.

He added that massages were offered to Founders’ guests during the event, presumably by Zacharias’ massage therapist, but said he never inquired about it.

Similarly, the other former RZIM director said he remembered meeting the massage therapist at two or more Founders’ Weekends.

He added that there was a separate area at the events with a massage chair where the therapist offered massages to Founders’ Weekend guests. He said the events were characterized by a “fundraising family atmosphere . . . so a lot of us didn’t think another thing about it.”

Given the credible evidence that Zacharias abused multiple therapists over a span of several years, the former director said he now felt quite differently about the therapist accompanying Zacharias.

The former director said he also occasionally saw the therapist at RZIM headquarters and remembers her offering free massages there.

He said he didn’t know whether the therapist was an RZIM employee at the time, but only that she was helping Zacharias with back treatments.

UPDATE: This article has been updated to include information on Touch of Hope money going to fund scholarships.

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39 thoughts on “Documents Show Ravi’s Personal Massage Therapist was Employed by RZIM & Directed Dubious Ministry”

    1. Completely agree Steve!
      It is plausible to think that this young, attractive female personal massage therapist is being paid off. Please keep digging for more information Julie. You’re doing an excellent job uncovering these dubious practices.

  1. “If leadership is governed by truth and not by deception, then they will seek and speak truth no matter the cost, and if that cost entails lawsuits, falling attendance, or even shuttering the doors of the institution, then it is worth the cost, because the establishment of truth will always matter more than our establishments.” Wade Mullen, Something’s Not Right, page 182

  2. Jeffrey Cole, CPA

    Where is ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability)? Is there really any credible function of trust and integrity they provide anymore? As a CPA, pastor, and missionary for over 26 years, auditor of many member ECFA NPO’s since the early ’90’s, including some of the Who’s Who of the evangelical church and para-church communities, ECFA needs to be dissolved and a new function of integrity accountability needs to be created. Is ECFA even aware of how many of its own distinctives and standards they themselves violated to maintain them as a continuing ECFA member? Does space permit a list of those like RZIM that ECFA maintains even now? They are irrelevant at this point. the seal has no value.

  3. With every new nauseating detail the credibility of the entire organization wanes. It would seem the point of no return is fast approaching where only two choices remain. ALL the highly-paid “family” and entitled/empowered others remove themselves immediately, or the ministry needs to shut down and give its assets to other ministries that are morally and financially responsible, which RZIM clearly is NOT.

    1. Thank you, Cynthia. I think I’ve shed all the tears I can over this unbelievable mess. I laughed out loud when I read “Touch of Hope.” Are you kidding me?!?! Surreal!! “ Touch of Hope” indeed!!

      1. “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane,” as the sage Jimmy Buffett says.

        We should laugh at people who self-identify as Big Cheeses as often as possible, and remember to laugh at ourselves plenty, too. And the platypus.

  4. The ministry *cannot* shutdown without the approval of Ravi’s family members. As of 2018, they had enough votes on the board to block any dissolution, even if (big if) the remaining directors were unified.

  5. “For by GRACE are we saved through faith and that NOT of ourselves but is the GIFT of God NOT OF works for fear ANYONE should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    Thank God He keeps us (1 Pet 1:4).

  6. I was reading Psalm 51 this morning and these very words I see (in my minds eye) pouring out of the mouth of our Brother Ravi.

    Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. 18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

    P.S. Ravi may not have gotten totally right here, but I guarantee he’s 💯 today.

    1. It is extremely difficult to read these kinds of things about one who proclaimed truth so eloquently. It is extremely sad and it is tempting to allow us to be disillusioned. That said, we must know the truth and face it with courage and not allow the fall of a man or the revelation of what a man was to shake our own faith. It seems to me that it does not help to say with certainty the eternal state of Ravi. God alone is the judge of such things isn’t he? Can anyone truly guarantee that they know the judgment of God, especially if there is no evidence that Ravi repented? Together let’s repeat the words of Abraham when he expressed his confidence that the judge of all the earth will do right.

    2. Are you 100% in hell? Or are you in the lake of fire & completely forever dead? I think what he did, he’s either one place or the other. I’m no an apologist or a Christian scholar, but I think that is what is written about pastors who abuse there position and abuse people this way, all in HIS name. I’m glad atleast partial truth is known.

    3. I can’t agree with that. David repented, but RZ continued in this awful sin. I question whether or not he was truly a Christian. At the least, he has received a more severe judgment because he was a teacher. “Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1) I am angry because we stupidly donated to this awful ministry and my husband purchased 11 of RZ’s books. They are going in the trash, just as RZ’s reputation has.

  7. Intriguing that RZIM felt a need to redo the organizational chart again last November and move Ravi’s former personal, traveling masseuse around on the chart again as the spa abuse was coming to light, after initially outright denying the abuse reports.

    1. I know they were moving business assets & communications as well as personal assets and communications around as fast possible. Hide devil, hide!

  8. Indian_Christian

    Just thinking out loud here… Perhaps Ravi wanted to bring the Indian woman to the US for his deviant acts, but it is exceedingly hard for Indians to get a visa to come to the US for a low-skilled job such as a massage therapist. However, if the woman were to be employed at RZIM then she’d have qualified for a religious worker visa which is easier to get. This indeed makes sense, otherwise on what other visa would the massage therapist have come to the US?

    1. Umm…you know that a massage therapist is not a “low skilled” job right? Legitimate massage therapists have a course of study.

      Of course, Ravi sadly wanted more than a massage according to the testimony.

    2. I am a licensed therapeutic massage therapist. I have had over 4 years of education in the field of neuromuscular and sports therapy massage. I am licensed and certified under the medical board for both athletic (ie: sports teams) and hospital (Johns Hopkins regularly uses massage therapists), employment. I do not in anyway consider myself “low skilled”.
      It is my understanding the therapist at this day spa were also highly trained.

      1. Just to shine some light, in India or Thailand, anyone can be a masseuse after 1 to 2 months of training at the Spa where they work. If you have no spa working experience, they can still employ you as trainee and no special certification or education is required to work in a Spa, only your willingness to work and the job being available.In big chain hotels and resorts they train them a bit longer and after training they wear a uniform and a badge with their name followed by the word Therapist. They get higher pay if they have some sort of certification to show they completed a course such as in Ayurvedic massage, Thai massage or Swedish massage, which sometimes can take a few months to get certification but hardly a year.
        On the other hand, in India or other parts of Asia, you can study for a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy degree, which takes 3 to 4 years to complete. The courses are being offered in universities, and someone who completed their studies and passed their exam gets a legit degree and they can work in Hospitals, Rehabilitation centres and Sports clubs.

        You need no educational qualification to work in a Spa as a masseuse in India or other parts of Asia, hence it is considered a low skill job. It is not like US where you need to go through rigorous training and certification to practice legally.

        Also, to note it is very hard for Indians to get a US visa even for a very highly skilled worker like doctors, engineers or scientist etc.There is also no category for a low skilled worker visa from India, However there other Non-immigration visa categories like B1/B2 which are also equally hard to get but if you have a friend, family, company, church or an organisation inviting you then it’s not impossible to get that visa.

  9. “godliness as a means of (sexual) gain”

    While the family (the board) was protecting their 6 figure incomes, dear old dad was victimizing others.

  10. Getting a work visa for a masseuse would be difficult in the US, where there is no shortage of qualified masseuses. Religious workers have a separate carve out which is why it’s so easy for places like Hillsong to keep flooding the US with their non-US pastors (also not in short supply).

    It’s likely this “Touch of Hope” (named similarly to Ravi’s Touch of Eden massage parlor) was created to provide an immigration loophole for this particularly accommodating woman. As an RZIM employee, under the employ & direction of RZIM, the organization’s leaders might be accessories to human trafficking, as this woman traveled the globe with Ravi, specifically to provide him with that special touch of hope.

    International human trafficking charges are federal crimes and carry mandatory prison sentences.

    This masseuse will likely stay on the payroll, funded by donors, for as long as she keeps RZIM’s dirty little secrets.

  11. When I was watching RZ funeral (which kinda makes me feel a bit sick now) I remember thinking that Sanj Kalra guy just seemed a bit odd. Esp through retrospective eyes, I reckon he knows some stuff that’s just a vibe… this thing just gets worse and worse. It’s just horrendous, what a level of deceit, I don’t believe anything he said any story now tbh! “Temptation dogs me everyday”… ringing in my ears. It clearly did and he did nothing to have any self control WHAT SO EVER!

    1. Sanj seems to have left RZIM since his biography can no longer be seen on the website. We can smell a rat in his departure. Look at the three RZIM chart and you will see Sanj was more than prominent and he joined the ministry late plus he might be the one with least training of apologetics.

      1. Oh wow, now that is interesting. Yes I agree no training in apologetics, it seemed he was a friend and travelling partner but yet he’s so high up in the ranks according to this chart. He knows something and is trying to cover his back. I think anyway. He said he was RZ best friend and his confidante…

  12. This post reminds me of another older post here concerning another Indian KP Yohannan and his ministry GFA. They have a Bridge of Hope program which sounds very similar and claims to be the same kind of ministry. Yet as part of that controversy sums were raised that were huge and would have meant a very large footprint on the ground in India, but there has been no evidence of that, like most of the money never was used for that purpose. Julie has reported on that issue here: https://julieroys.com/soft-media-coverage-gospel-asias-37-million-settlement-shows-need-hard-hitting-blogs/comment-page-1/

  13. Seems like Ravi had a complicated structure in place that was well organized and thought out. If RZ had a private massage therapist why did he need a spa business? Why did he need sex from other women if he has a young thing available to him at all hours? IF he wanted variety Ravi could have hired other women to work the office or in the field and no one would have suspected. Seems like he needed a business for some front other than fufilling his needs. Who knows?

    Hard to believe that Touch of Hope only helped 25 children in India when they had all those millions. Who were these children? Where any of them related to this massage therapist or staff that worked for RZIM?? I know RZIM had a “library” in Delhi which is a small flat in a residential area. It has a small staff with limited amount of material available. Never saw where any of RZ materials were offered for free to poor Indians. Ravi was never known as acedemic when he was young in Delhi. I don’t believe he did really well in school. He spoke at a huge gathering in Chennai many, many years ago and had a translator in Hindi so he is not fluent in that language even though growing up in Delhi, India. Many Christian Westerners were in the audience. The wife was with Ravi and I think the kids…not sure if all were there. A large American foundation foot the bill for that gathering. I believe it was the Lloyd foundation..but could be wrong. Please double check me on that. They were gathering information on Indian ministries… like doing surveys.

    Massage therapists from RZ spa complained to the wife to no avail. Now this massage therapist is reporting to the daughter so it seems to me they know about his activities. Could be this woman is telling the family she will spill the beans if they don’t keep her money flowing? Does this masage therapist work for any other organization? Does she attend church? Where? What exactly is her visa status? If she an NRi or OCI? Does Touch of Hope have a bank account in India? Was Ravi’s wife at these “founder’s weekends”? Why didn’t it raise red flags with others when a cute young thing was going in Ravi’s room and then offerind “free” massages to other guys? If your husband was getting free massages at a Christian retreat wouldn’t you sorta question this? I would like to know if these hotels, where the founder’s retreats were, had spas connected to the hotel. If so, why did RZIM undercut a business in the hotel to bring in their own massage therapist? Who knows what the story is here?? I think this all brings about more questions than answers at this point!

    1. Seems to me that this person was where he preferred to get his happy endings. Kept her readily available for his “needs”.

  14. Yes Sanj looked very fishy to me too. Me being an Indian, I would say catch all the Indians in RZIM including the Naga private massage therapist travel companion – you will know the truth. I wonder where they met.

    Looks like Indians with no qualifications were kept on top of the ladder !

    And loyal blind ‘leaders’ !!??

    Did anyone resign from rzim usa?

    I’ve never heard of a Christian minister traveling with a massage therapist !? Is this the first?

    And Christian ministry offering free massage for donations?!!

    It seems impossible to not smell something rotten a long time ago !!!

    His clip ridiculing the exposed cover-up after some of the Indian sadhus died is trending now.

    Is it possible to cap organisations’ and churches’ expenditure to 1 million dollars per year ? If the organisation is growing, split them. Have each individual org capped at a certain upper limit. Will this idea save future organisations ? Do what you can with 1 million. Why should money flow to only few of them. Some of the more sincere ones are not getting much.

    What kind of accountability structure can save future organisations from money-sex-fame scandals.

  15. Touch of Hope, I had to laugh at that one, but how disgusting and awful. Seems to me a “bad back” would be a great excuse and cover-up for sex on the go. Kind of like me hiding my cash stash in the bottom zipper of my cosmetics bag where I keep my feminine products so the mister won’t ever look past them. You have to admit, Mr. Zacharias was diabolically clever to fool so many for so long. Kudos to all those responsible for outing this fiend.

  16. So he was yet another pervert in the pulpit. How disgusting. Hopefully RZIM is shut down for misappropriating donation monies. He had more than enough money to pay for his own private sex worker without charging it to his “ministry.”

    1. I had to cringe also when I saw Naomi Z latest Instagram post like she is now struggling with her faith so badly now… I mean even if she genuinely had no idea 1 your Dad wasn’t God… and two why would you post that publicly expect to get sympathy for yourself (her account isn’t a private one only for friends and family in that context I would maybe understand)

      What about the victims… what about those lower down in the organisation who genuinely had no idea about this stuff whose careers have now potentially been ruined… it just felt very insensitive and attention seeking, to me anyway.

      It seemed to me RZ surrounded himself with genuinely talented young apologists and speakers who had credibility in order to make himself look good. It was his team to me that made the man himself seem more credible, as they are many of them are genuinely very gifted and kind people. How sad.

      Thank you to Steve who tirelessly fought to expose the truth in spite of the lack of open ears in the evangelically world. My (American) dad has always warmed me of the evangelical church in the USA, as a Brit I thought I was above getting caught up in that stuff, but this situation has taught me otherwise, A painful lesson learned for me. But worse for his victims…

      1. Interesting to see the Instagram feed of Naomi Zacharias. I noticed a video there on “Unity in Christ” from a “Life Today interview with James and Betty Robison” — dated October 2020, so well after the allegations of her father’s abuse of spa workers was made public in several reputable media outlets. In it she talks about internal division in the church, and how by attacking an individual you can silence them. This is a clear reference to her father, and most likely also to those inside RZIM who at that time were pushing against the family’s attempts to bury the story, and who were being accused of disunity.

        The creepy thing is that the interview then goes into some detail on trafficked women, including a clip of men with them in what looks like Thailand see here:
        https://youtu.be/QBy5t1Mm5A0?t=1272
        which was a regular haunt of Mr. Zacharias.

        While I have sympathy for the wife and daughters finding it hard to accept that their father was a sexual abuser, for that very reason of bias, I don’t see how the leaders of RZIM could allow family members to go on a public show about their faither. It is very damaging.

        Of course, as the org chart shows, the family were the leaders! They turned what would have been mainly a sad story about one man, into a sad story about RZIM as a whole. In this way have damaged the futures of many of the talented young apologists who work for them, and tainted the reputation of apologetics and of the gospel.

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