Ravi Zacharias, Jivan Spa, and Sexual Abuse: It’s Time to Speak Out

First Ballot Hall-of-Famer John Smoltz.
Blue Collar Comedy Star Jeff Foxworthy.
Former governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue.
Former Southern Baptist Convention President and Current NAMB Vice President of Evangelism Johnny Hunt.

These were the local, influential celebrity Christians who spoke, circa 2009, at the grand opening of Jivan Wellness in Johns Creek, Georgia. The new spa was co-founded by an even bigger Christian celebrity, Ravi Zacharias, the most famous Christian apologist in the world.

Before it closed, Jivan Wellness offered a variety of services, including Ayurveda, Holistic Health, Wellness, and Massage Therapy. These are strange services for an international Christian apologist to be involved in, especially Ayurvdea. According to Wikipedia:

Ayurveda is ‘an alternative medicine system with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent. The theory and practice of Ayurveda is pseudoscientific.The Indian Medical Association (IMA) characterises the practice of modern medicine by Ayurvedic practitioners as quackery. The main classical Ayurveda texts begin with accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the gods to sages, and then to human physicians.[6] In Sushruta Samhita (Sushruta’s Compendium), Sushruta wrote that DhanvantariHindu god of Ayurveda, incarnated himself as a king of Varanasi and taught medicine to a group of physicians, including Sushruta.’

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayurveda

Walter Martin literally wrote the book on cults, and Ravi Zacharias edited it. It’s unimaginable that Ravi Zacharias, who hailed from India, would found a business that sells pseudoscientific Ayurveda services, which are rooted in Hindu paganism, to westerners as health treatments. Yet it happened. It’s hard to imagine that a Christian minister would open a side business selling beauty treatments. Yet, through its Twitter account, Jivan Wellness advertised an “Ancient Ayurvedic Therapeutic Beauty Secret For Winter Care” for $120. Ravi Zacharias’ spa even encouraged its customers to take part in the pagan religious practice of Yoga.

What was Ravi Zacharias thinking? He surely didn’t need the money. In addition to his earnings from book royalties, Ravi Zacharias’ salary from Ravi Zachrias International Ministries (RZIM) approached nearly $200,000 per year. According to his friend Johnny Hunt, who was recently interviewed by Steve Baughman, Ravi hoped to use the profits from the spa to spread the gospel. But does that make sense? Ravi already headed one of the biggest evangelistic ministries in the world, one which garnered millions of dollars of donations every year. Why did he need a spa? Ravi’s problems with back pain were well-documented. He was certainly a candidate for massage therapy. But what about the optics? The massage business can be a questionable one, especially for a professional minister who makes a practice not to be left alone with women. Why own a spa, where customers are often left alone half-naked with women?

According to Hunt, Ravi Zacharias would “fly women in from India” to give him treatment at Jivan. This should have raised a red flag to Hunt and any other onlookers but it apparently it did not. Now, after Ravi’s untimely death and the controversy of his previous sex scandal, Baughman has uncovered new claims of sexual impropriety against Zacharias. According to Ravi’s erstwhile business partner, Anurag Sharma (co-founder of Jivan), the business had to be closed because of the way Ravi treated the women who worked there. Baughman has communicated with masseuses who were formerly in the employ of Zacharias. These women are not willing to come forward publicly and be named, perhaps out of fear or embarrassment, but, according to Baughman, these women claim that Ravi Zacharias sexually molested the help at his spa.

It’s time for the people who know about this exploitation to come out and tell the truth about the way Ravi Zacharias treated women. If you have any information about Ravi’s behavior at the Touch of Eden and Jivan spas, please reach out (confidentially) to talkback@pulpitandpen.org. Fear no one but God. Pulpit & Pen is here to help you. I am local to Georgia and can come interview anyone who is willing to tell his or her story.

Frankly, the story needs to start with Anurag Sharma and other employees of Jivan such as Erika, April, and Jeff. Hiding Ravi’s sins (crimes?) doesn’t do service to the Kingdom.  The story needs to be perpetuated by the Christian celebrities who promoted Ravi.  RZIM, which receives millions of dollars in donations and sends speakers to churches and schools throughout the world must be called to account.  As long as sin and abuse is enabled and covered up, Christ is put to shame and the witness of his church is tarnished.  Christians must be the ones who are willing to shine a light in the darkest places, even if those places are spas owned by world-famous Christian apologists and promoted by their famous friends.

Please consider the spiritual ramifications of these claims. To non-believers, this could be just another instance of powerful, wealthy people exploiting the weak for sex. For the believer, however, there could be deeper spiritual concerns. Hindu practices (like Yoga) are demonic. Ravi Zacharais, according to Johnny Hunt, was flying practitioners of eastern treatments to his spa. Women in his employ are, at the same time, claiming sexual abuse. Frankly, these are not the first claims of sexual abuse at the highest levels of Christian industry in the Alpharetta area that Pulpit & Pen has come across. Something wicked is amiss.

Take no part in the unfruitful deeds of darkness; rather expose them.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.



A CALL TO ACTION

Bringing you discernment news and commentary from a biblical, polemical perspective means it is tough out there on social media. We’re constantly getting kneecapped and constrained by tech companies who find our fidelity to the scripture and pursuit of truth to be intolerable, resulting in our reach being severely throttled.

For this reason, we ask you please consider supporting us a few different ways. The first, by liking and following our new Facebook page, our home where we share new posts and interact with our members. The second, by following and retweeting our Twitter page. The third, by signing up for our newsletter below.

And last, through direct support. You can catch our free weekly episodes of the Polemics Report by subscribing at BTWN. If you like what you hear and desire to hear more, you can get the VIP full-length version for only $5.95 per month on Patreon. Also, you get other freebies for additional monthly pledges.

Subscribe to us on Patreon here and support our ministry.

God bless!


***
Stay informed. Subscribe Today.

When you subscribe, please add newsletter@pulpitandpen.org to your contacts to ensure that your newsletter doesn’t go into your spam folder.

Enter your email address below…



Contact Us Donate

Facebook Comments

Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant