Are TB Joshua’s Miracles Real?

Last week, I wrote a Facebook post doubting the veridicality of miracle claims and one guy came to my wall to make trouble. It’s a usual thing. There are folks that are ready to take you up and defend what they so much believe. And you know the beauty of it? I always welcome them. Different televangelists have their foot soldiers, those that could kill to defend their respective pastors. And those pastors have different selling points. Kumuyi’s followers will defend his asceticism more than anything else. Adeboye’s fans will focus on his prophecies and principles more than anything else. Oyedepo’s foot soldiers are for his prosperity and prosperity messages. And Oyakhilome’s protégés can die defending their father in the Lord’s ‘wordedness’ and Holy-Ghostorial manifestations. But TB Joshua? His disciples call him ‘The Prophet’ and his selling points are his supposedly clairvoyant speeches and miracles. Yeah. TB Joshua’s miracles. Interesting. TB Joshua’s miracles are some of the most popular things in Nigeria but we need to think about some of these things.

TB Joshua's miracles are fondly and aggressively marketed by his followers.

TB Joshua’s miracles are fondly and aggressively marketed by his followers.

For TB Joshua’s miracles, there’s a dedicated cable TV channel called Emmanuel TV. And they have YouTube channels too. That’s where naive people get fed with lies both within the country and all over the world. Remember I once said that those miracles were chased out of publicly funded TV stations because of their doubtful nature? Well, back to one of TB Joshua’s men. He came on my wall and dropped a couple of YouTube links. They were videos of TB Joshua’s miracles.

Let me confess to you. I’m a freaking busy person. So I picked the first one to watch. I’ve always laughed at the dramatization that happens in the videos of TB Joshua’s miracles. The artistes are usually poor amateur actors and actresses. They usually can’t even hire folks that know how to act. So I click on the link to get entertained one more time. The video is below. It’s 40 minutes long but all we need is the first 14 minutes. So don’t watch it beyond that except you’re very jobless and you have lots of free data from a friend. Let me guide you through the video.

First of all, you need to understand the video. It’s a video of the full congregation in the church auditorium watching another video on a big screen. The video they’re watching is the recording of a miracle healing session that took place sometime ago. And in the video they’re watching, TB Joshua is talking to a very small group of people (40? 50?) in another venue, a smaller room. The people probably came for healing too. And he himself is talking to this small group of people, running commentaries on the healing of a man afflicted with a skin disease, the healing he did sometime ago. So we have 3 videos on our hands: video 1 is inside video 2 which is in turn inside video 3. So our own video keeps cutting between three video footages — it’s own real-life footages ( a large congregation watching a video and listening to a testimony), footages of TB Joshua running commentaries, and footages of the video he’s running commentaries on. Are you worried? Well, such is the complex video editing that’s required to display a fake miracle.

The video opens with a change of scenes from the large auditorium to a smaller place where the diseased man is being interviewed. He’s standing carrying a placard that says ‘Skin Disease’. Young man, looks late 20’s to early 30’s. Fair-complexioned. Fine boy except that his body is covered with scaly grime all over.

The healing supposedly takes place and at 6:52, the man limps away without any sign of him being healed. Note. There’s no video footage of the healing taking place. He limps away with the skin condition unchanged. And the small group of spectators look unimpressed.

Then the scene changes, the church testimony graphic shows up, and the man reappears healed, all cleaned up. And we have the congregation’s rapturous applause. Clap for Jesus, people! And the testifiers (supposedly healed man and sister) take to the stage. What’s the interval between those frames? Hours, days? Only TB Joshua and his media crew can know. Typical of videos of TB Joshua’s miracles.

At 7:05, Mr. A's facial features are very different from Mr. B's. They're obviously not the same person. Typical of shoddy jobs that characterize the videos of TB Joshua's miracles.

At 7:05, Mr. A’s facial features are very different from Mr. B’s. They’re obviously not the same person. Typical of shoddy jobs that characterize the videos of TB Joshua’s miracles.

At 7:05, we see a ‘before and after’ juxtaposition and I’m ashamed! On the left is the young, fair-complexioned guy we saw earlier. On the right is a far older, dark-complexioned man. The man on the right is supposed to be the healed version of the man on the left. But no, he’s not! Even a blind man can see that. Allegorically, you know. Pause the video at that point. 7:05. See the facial features. Mr. A is a fair-complexioned young guy with fairly mongoloid eyebrow slants (like the Chinese) and wide upper eyelids. Mr. B is the direct opposite: a dark-complexioned middle-aged man with anti-mongoloid eyebrow slants (like typical Negroids) and narrow upper eyelids.

Then let it run further till 7:11. Here the right sides of the heads are shown for a ‘before and after’ effect. Look at both ears. Compare the arrowed parts in the picture below: Mr. A has a proportionately thicker ear helix while Mr. B has a proportionately thinner one.

At 7:11, focus on the ear helices (arrowed). See the obvious differences in thickness. More multimedia professionalism could make TB Joshua's miracles look more real than they do right now.

At 7:11, focus on the ear helices (arrowed). See the obvious differences in thickness. More multimedia professionalism could make TB Joshua’s miracles look more real than they do right now.

I need someone to help me here. How did mongoloid eyebrow slants become anti-mongoloid? How did wide eyebrows become narrow? How did thick helices become thin? Ok. How did a light complexion become dark? And how did a young man age with about 15-20 years suddenly? Are these parts of the miracle too?

Look at Mr. A’s face. He appears like a happy, smiling guy. On the other hand, Mr. B looks confused and lost throughout the whole video. He looks exactly like someone that’s not used to acting and he’s wondering what he has just gotten himself into. Someone who has just experienced a personal miracle of this monumental proportion can’t be looking this sober, reflective and melancholy…except that one is a miracle too. You know with TB Joshua’s miracles, you can’t limit your expectations!

Mr. TB (not tuberculosis), if you must insult our stupidity and gullibility, you can as well just put some respek on it. At least, some respek. This is too disgraceful. I know the hustle is real and you must bleed your mugus but at least, you and your media crew (more like ‘crooks’) should be professional about it. Next time, make things look more real, ok? Just use the same guy. You can clean up whatever you rub on his body and then present him again to the camera.

Ooh…you might not have rubbed anything on him. My exposure in dermatology is limited and so this might be a real disease. Ichthyosis is congenital. So it couldn’t have just started 6 years ago in an adult. Steven-Johnson syndrome? Can that stay for 6 years without having killed the sufferer? Well, as I said, let the dermatologists answer that but let’s give it to you that it was real. The guy really had the disease. Then cover the face as much as possible and make him the ‘before’ guy. Then look for a similarly light-complexioned fella to act as the ‘after’ guy and you’re home and dry. But this one? Mr. TB, if you were smart, you should be sacking your media experts as we speak!

But you’re not and so aren’t your followers like the one that came to make trouble on my Facebook wall. The gullible exist for the sake of the swindlers. Mr. TB Joshua, enjoy yourself while it lasts. You TB Joshua’s militant, continue defending TB Joshua’s miracles like he pays you a part of his proceeds. By the way, has Mr. TB Joshua cleared himself with the murder of almost 200 people that died in his church building that collapsed? And has he told us why he has the power to heal this terrible skin disease but he couldn’t foresee the collapse of his building?

I’m happy that during the ebola virus crisis in 2014, the Lagos state government told him to keep his supposed healing power to himself as any ignorant behaviour from the prophet could make the virus spread more devastatingly. These pastors are comedians. I believe every right-thinking person should agree with me that the politicians can’t be doing their evil and the clerics will be doing theirs too. Not too healthy for the nation.

If you want to know more about miracle claims, click here to read my article titled ‘8 Questions to Ask About Miracle Claims.’

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