Home Christian News The Story Behind the Ravi Zacharias Allegations (Part 2): ‘Cursory’ Investigations and...

The Story Behind the Ravi Zacharias Allegations (Part 2): ‘Cursory’ Investigations and More Accusations

Zacharias’ business partner, Anurag Sharma, has not yet gone on record stating his experience with Zacharias. However, text messages ChurchLeaders obtained between our contact and Sharma show that he also had knowledge Zacharias was making sexual advances toward spa employees. “After he misbehaved with 2 therapists I wanted to close it,” Sharma wrote. He also said he “loved Ravi to a point where I won’t say anything or ask anything…that was wrong on my part.” 

Both Sharma and our contact believe Zacharias “misbehaved” with more than the three former spa employees who have come forward to date. 

Potential Evidence of Predatory Behavior

There are a few striking similarities between some of the spa workers’ accounts and Thompson’s account. Our spa worker contact told us she had a history of sexual abuse, as did Thompson. The two believe Zacharias used this fact and their resulting trauma to his advantage. The spa worker said, “He knew how to prey on weaknesses…He was brilliant and clever, giving gifts, attentions and praises, making sure you thought of him as slightly above human; of a Holy nature. Terrific power for confused or previously abused women.”

Indeed, Thompson believes Zacharias was able to lure her into a sexual relationship because she saw him as a father figure she was longing for and trusted him “implicitly.” A letter Thompson wrote in 2016 and published on the Roys Report describes how Zacharias’ attention affected her:

One of the things that Ravi did for me, was that he helped to shape my floundering identity. I met him when I was just finishing a post secondary degree as a mature student and starting back into the workforce after rearing small children. These are vulnerable times [in] a woman’s life, and I was vulnerable to begin with from unprocessed childhood sexual, physical and emotional abuse. I know now that I had not formed my identity in a God given way through healthy validation from my parents and normal developmental processes. As such, someone like me with early and protracted abuse and neglect has no identity of their own, looking to others to define who she is.

Secondly, Thompson and the spa employee both mentioned that Zacharias told them he was lonely and dissatisfied in both his marriage and his ministry. In an account she wrote of her contact with Zacharias, Thompson says: 

He shared that ministry has had a cost much higher than he ever expected, that he has sacrificed extensively, and how marriage was more of a business partnership. He shared that after he poured out his heart speaking, and went back to his hotel room he was profoundly alone. That my emails were a connection and a kindness that he enjoyed immensely and I was a “faithful companion along the way.”

Another similarity between the accounts lies in how Zacharias allegedly responded when confronted with his behavior. The spa worker we spoke to confronted Zacharias after she learned that other women were complaining about his advances. She appealed to him to confess and seek help from his “brothers at RZIM.” She says Zacharias responded aggressively, apparently shouting “How can you do this to me?” Later, he cut off all contact with her. 

Another person connected to the spas has a similar account of Zacharias’ alleged reaction to being confronted. Speaking to World Magazine, former spa manager Anna Adesanya says she confronted Zacharias about his behavior in 2009 with the help of Sharma. Sharma confirmed this in the text message thread with our spa worker contact. Adesanya and Sharma spoke to Zacharias at his RZIM office and brought to his attention a complaint one of the spa workers voiced, specifically that Zacharias had asked for “more than a massage.” According to Adesanya, when confronted, Zacharias said “Who is this girl, what is she trying to do to me?”

In a similar way, when Thompson told Zacharias she planned on telling her husband about their private contact, he threatened suicide. This threat was captured in an email thread, the validity of which Zacharias did not refute in his 2017 lawsuit against the Thompsons (for more on those details, read Part 1). In the lawsuit, Zacharias accused the couple of exploiting him and “tarnishing” his reputation. The lawsuit gives some context as to why Zacharias reacted so vehemently against the accusations: “Plaintiff’s success, as well as RZIM’s success, is due to Plaintiff’s reputation as an astute and articulate defender of Christianity, and as a person of great spiritual and intellectual integrity.”

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Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for churchleaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.