Ravi Zacharias
Ravi Zacharias speaks to students at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, in Oxford, England, in July 2018. Photo by Hazel Thompson/True Image Media

New Source Confirms Ravi Zacharias Asked for “More Than a Massage”; Denomination Investigating

By Julie Roys

WORLD Magazine today reported that a former manager at a spa Ravi Zacharias co-owned claimed that a therapist at the spa had complained about Zacharias asking for “more than a massage.” 

According to WORLD, Anna Adesanya, a manager at Jivan Wellness—a spa that Zacharias co-owned from 2009 to 2012—said she remembered a massage therapist complaining about Zacharias. Adesanya added that the therapist said she was uncomfortable treating Zacharias because of Zacharias’ inappropriate request.

Adesanya said she and Zacharias’ spa business partner, Anurag Sharma, confronted Zacharias about the allegation. Adesanya told WORLD that Zacharias “became defensive” at the meeting, and Sharma fired the therapist afterwards.

Zacharias also went to only certain therapists and often spent more than “two hours, if not three” in therapy sessions, Adesanya said. Normally, sessions take no more than 90 minutes, “two hours top,” she added.

WORLD’s report comes on the heels of an article by Christianity Today (CT), alleging that Zacharias sexually harassed and assaulted therapists at the spas he owned. The CT article was based on unnamed sources, who claimed that Zacharias touched them without consent, masturbated in front of them, and requested explicit photos and sex.

Today’s report also follows a series of articles in The Roys Report with new evidence suggesting that Zacharias initiated a sexting relationship several years ago with a Canadian woman, Lori Anne Thompson.

WORLD confirmed several of the facts reported by The Roys Report. The magazine also noted a new development: that the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA)—the denomination that ordained Zacharias—is concerned about the new allegations and is considering “additional steps” to take as a result. 

When the allegations about the sexting relationship first came to light in 2017, the C&MA staunchly defended Zacharias after conducting what it called a “thorough inquiry” into the accusations. However, Thompson told me the denomination never contacted her in 2017. Instead, she said she reached out to the denomination after she heard it was conducting an investigation and the C&MA said there was nothing it could do because it was a “he said, she said” situation.

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) has said it is conducting an independent investigation into the new allegations. However, in a statement, RZIM called the spa accusations “false.” And WORLD said the ministry would not answer its questions about the new allegations.

To read WORLD’s full article, click here.

UPDATE: The Christian and Missionary Alliance announced on October 2 that it has contracted an independent investigative firm to research recent allegations of Zacharias’ alleged misconduct. The CM&A said it will determine an “appropriate course of action based on the investigation’s findings.”

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32 thoughts on “New Source Confirms Ravi Zacharias Asked for “More Than a Massage”; Denomination Investigating”

  1. I suppose this is evidence of my naivete, but I don’t understand the need for an NDA if neither party has anything to hide. We’re not talking about trade secrets or business dealings – this is personal, right? So why the NDA? The only reason I can come up with is that one party is paying for the silence of another – but only as long as they remain silent. That sounds a bit like extortion itself . . .

    1. Pastor Zacharias is already discredited, but we are learning more about the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). I hope they can defend themselves; if they do not have a response, it would seem they do not care about serious misbehavior by their pastors.

      1. the institutional enablers are as much the problem as the individual, if not more so… this is how corrupt leaders are allowed to continue to harm others…

    2. LM, think for a moment the implications if RZIM, CMA and others “let it go” right now.

      Ravi is dead, yes, but a whole lot of people who were involved are still living. Both they and readers like ourselves have much to learn from a thorough investigation because the truth always sets us free.

      After reading the Roys Report (Wartburg Watch and a few other blogs) for many months I learned invaluable lessons about spotting predators/abusers of spiritual power, how to confront those who cover for them and even how to run an investigation to “out” predators. As a result when someone told me of a predator in the Christian organization where I work I immediately knew what to do. I learned from Julie the importance of fact checking so I took months to meticulously gather evidence which revealed there had been years of immoral behavior on the part of a colleague. Amazingly, my leaders believed that evidence, confronted the predator and spoke to others about it. The predator refused to repent and left, but I’m happy to say my organizational leaders did what they could to bring accountability and support the victims.

      So don’t be too quick to silence such discussions. They are valuable beyond what you immediately see.

    3. LM, none of this happened in vacuum. Ravi’s enablers who heaped on abuses by covering up his sins and crimes are alive and well. They care nothing for the victims. They have much to answer for.

    4. I agree that we are reading too much detail. Yes, he should be exposed, however, there is a Bible verse we need to follow. note Ephesians 5 12. Verse 11 does say “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. However, the next verse goes on to say, ” For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.” I cannot unremember what I have read and wish to read no more sordid details.

      1. Then don’t read them. That doesn’t mean that the investigation needs to be stopped or details revealed. If we are ever to change this hiding of grave sins by leaders, it is crucial to know who helped, why, how, when, where, what.

  2. Thanks you Julie for continuing the hard work of bringing to light the “men behind the curtain” of the Christian celebrity culture. Your work is MUCH appreciated by many! We are to watchful and wise about who we learn from and follow…

  3. What’s the next domino?

    Ravi was unfaithful to his wife for decades. Surely his wife knew – or could have known?

    And what about his children? How could they not have seen evidence of this?

    How did Ravi travel so many days a year and have a good marriage with his wife?

    How can Ravi’s family keep leading the organization?

    So interesting that the board doesn’t release their names. Why are they hiding behind anonymity? Are they cowards?

    1. “How can Ravi’s family keep leading the organization?

      So interesting that the board doesn’t release their names. Why are they hiding behind anonymity? Are they cowards?”
      ++++++++++++++++

      yes.

      it is not possible that they have any concern for the victims. none. their actions and inactions declare their priorities.

      there is far too much money in the RZIM organization, ridiculously so.

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”–Upton Sinclair, supposedly

      this quote is mentioned frequently… with regard to christian leader after christian leader. it’s just breathtaking.

      it costs too much to do the right thing.

      they are standing on their victims’ faces.

  4. RONALD MARSHALL

    sounds like mudrakering for clicks, especially now that he is gone, all men/women have feet of clay. thank you for reminding us.

    1. I always enjoy these dismissive comments. Really gives all of us a real pulse of the people.

      You can be rich and famous and get away with anything. Just like the Bible teaches.

          1. You can be rich and famous and get away with anything. Just like the Bible teaches.

            Sarcasm? You said just like the Bible teaches and I would like to know where please instruct me.

    2. Ronald Marshall, not even a tiny thought about those whose lives have been destroyed by Ravi? Even the possibility of it? If you had a shred of concern for them, you missed your chance.

      They’re not gone. They’re consigned to live with the deep damage he did to them.

  5. C&MA has failed miserably since at least 2017 by completely inadequately investigating grave charges against Ravi, not even initiating discussion with the Thompsons or doing basic due diligence to look into the veracity of the various charges, from Ravi’s abusive sexting to bragging about bogus credentials and then using more lies to hide these sins, with C&MA instead abetting Ravi by covering for him. With their integrity now even more publicly on the line, will they do the right thing in their investigation and acknowledge/apologize for their previous failings?

      1. Where do I sign up to get a piece of the class action lawsuit pie?
        Christians are becoming more and more like the changing culture they live in.
        Too bad Ravi owned spas and not sporting goods stores.

        1. MJ. Please tell me how you know about a class action lawsuit against RZIM. I was not aware of any type of lawsuit, civil or criminal or class action.

  6. 1. Why would the business partner Anurag (who found himself involved in the dismissal of the victim) not know how to get reputable help to deal with this in a fair-handed way? I always thought Ravi’s writings and mannerisms unconvincing for a (sort of) Anglo-Indian. Why are CM&A overpromoting Billy Graham lookalikes? Isn’t a denomination i.e church supposed to have a broader model?
    2. How convenient to ensure this got stalled until Galli, cover up orchestrator, has gone to his reward at the “aesthetic” Joliet Diocese with its embedded “movement”?

    1. Whenever scandals like this one break after someone has passed away you really have to question the motives and actions of everyone involved. The business partner is as culpable as Zacharias. He admittedly knew therapists were complaining about harassment from Zacharias yet, as co-owner of the spas, he looked the other way and even removed staff who complained about the abuse. Something isn’t adding up with these stories for me. I’d like to know more about Anurag’s background and his relationship with Zacharias. How did they end up business partners in the spa business? I’d also like to know more about the accusers. There are legitimate spas but the industry overall doesn’t have a stellar reputation.

      I do think there was sexual misconduct by Zacharias but the extent of that misconduct is the question. Just because he misbehaved doesn’t mean everyone else has pure motives or are telling the truth or all of the truth. I think his business partner and the accusers’ backgrounds need to be investigated as well. I don’t think everything is as cut and dry as it’s being laid out regarding this story.

      Zacharias’ teaching and preaching seemed inauthentic to me also. I didn’t care for his ministry.

  7. Here’s my very sincere question: While I am sadden to read this information, and while it breaks my heart to think that a great man’s reputation is ruined…….even possibly due to his own doings, I would like to. ask what is the point of the information going forward now that he has been dead for a few months? What does World and CT magazines hope to accomplish? What are we to take away from this other than to remember that we are indeed fallen and sinful creatures……even the very best of us that are blessed to have had the kind of intellect that Ravi was blessed to have? Maybe someone can help me with my questions.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    Wayne

    1. Hi Wayne

      There are plenty of scriptures that remind us that Christian leaders are supposed to be above reproach. Keep in mind that Ravi had plenty of opportunities to set the record straight while he was living. Instead he chose to hide behind lawyers and NDAs. Can you tell me what the Apostle Paul says about Christians engaging in lawsuits. What does it say about an apologist whose currency is truth to deliberately engage in deceit and shadows? What does the Apostle John say about bringing sin into the light? And what would Jesus say to Ravi?

  8. I agree that Christian leaders must be held accountable. However, I have read too much detail about this already. I cannot UNremember what I have read. These two Bible verses go together: “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. FOR IT IS SHAMEFUL to speak of the things they do in secret.” Ephesian 5:11-12. Enough has been spoken and written about Ravi’s shameful deeds.

  9. What a vindictive self-righteous bunch you all are. How you bite and devour one another with your words. At least no one is claiming to be a Christian here. Yet this is the kind of talk articles like this prompt. Listen to how all of you are divisive against one another, jockeying for and defending your own opinions like it matters to any one. Not one tear shed, no words of sorrow, not one broken heart for a fallen brother; not one humble soul to confess, but for the grace of God go I. Like Eowyn said to Wormtongue, “Your words are poison”.

  10. This needs a thorough investigation so that his Board members / handlers / current ministry / etc. can be rightly assessed. Who would want to donate to RZIM without knowing more? You’d have to have really bad discernment not to want to know more before giving to them.

    It reminds of of when the President of Voice of the Martyrs killed himself right as a young girl was about to publicly accuse him of abuse. The VOTM board was not transparent at all, so I quit donating to them (yet they still send me things even though I’ve moved 2-3 times since then!).

    1. It would be nice to hear from RZIM. Something other than, this is not the man they knew. Just keep your head in the sand, I guess.

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