Scammer artists, they lie, cheat, and steal in the name of God. Scammers are working religiously to defraud thousands of Kenyans out of hundreds of millions of shillings by exploiting God’s name as an endorsement for investment schemes.
We have all definitely been exposed to the swarm of modern-day religious scammers who boast an essential holiness via late-night television at some point.
The prosperity gospel is making headlines again in Kenya, this time due to the actions of one of its prophetesses cum scammer. The prosperity gospel is a religious movement that has grown in popularity and notoriety in Kenya during the last two decades but has sparked debate worldwide for more than 40 years.
These “Scammers” promise followers medical miracles, solutions to familial and financial problems, and divine intervention — for a fee. For many of us, these “holy” men and women who demand a monthly fee in exchange for prayers are clearly scam artists, and it seems absurd that anyone could fall for it.
However, some of the most well-known con artists make millions of dollars each year through their deception.
Since Kenya’s transition to democracy, preachers from all over the continent have poured into the country’s suburbs, converting enormous numbers to this new gospel.
It is now Kenya’s fastest growing religious movement. While precise data are lacking, researchers agree that prosperity gospel followers outnumber, if not exceed, so-called mainline churches.
One component of the gospel of prosperity that makes each scammer so rich is that the money they receive is tax-free, and there is little to no oversight by KRA or any third party over how the money is used.
These con artists and televangelist organizations disguise themselves as churches, which means that their revenues are kept absolutely confidential. The criminals disappear, leaving their victims reeling.
The gospel of prosperity is nothing more than a business that offers intangible goods like “salvation” and “healing.” These con artists should be held accountable and supervised in the same way that any other business is.
‘Reverend’ Lucy Natasha
Until today, hardly many Kenyans had paid much attention to Prophetess Lucy Natasha. However, after a Facebook user named Martha exposed her as a scammer, the “self-proclaimed prophetess” received widespread media attention.
In February 2021, a member of her church exposed her assistant pastor Malombe for sending nudes to members of the congregation in order to solicit sex.
Another instance was when she had to refute claims of a snake that allegedly slithered onto the pulpit during a prayer crusade.
The reverend said the assorted paraphernalia included a small snake that left the congregation in shock.
“She rose up and confessed that she had some witchcraft items including a snake in the form of a jini. After praying for her, we burnt the snake and she was delivered,” recounted Natasha.
Natasha’s supporters also drew media focus when they gathered in large numbers outside the church, brandishing banners and praying about the situation.
Many lay flat on the grass, tears running down their cheeks as they talked in tongues or called out for their “mum,” “mom,” or “Major One.”
Pastor Malombe, a scammer preacher from her church, gave emotional and spiritual assistance to Natasha’s “children,” who had been traumatized by the accusations towards their “spiritual mother.”
Many Kenyans were puzzled by these incidents and wondered who Natasha’s followers were. Were they members of a cult? Or were they simply tools in the hands of a woman who used their vulnerabilities for her own financial gain?
Christian commentators called for immediate government intervention to protect poor people fooled by impossible claims made by what they dubbed “scam” churches and “false prophets.”
The issue here is not religion, but a growing number of scammers who cynically exploit christian religion in order to swindle naïve flock members.
Scam victims come from all walks of life.
For nearly a decade, I’ve been examining prosperity gospel churches in Kenya as a journalist.
I’ve been to hundreds of daily services, watched dozens of broadcast services, analysed websites and chat rooms, and interviewed hundreds of prosperity gospel followers.
And, unlike theologians who discuss the legitimacy of Biblical readings and dogma, We’ve been fascinated by the types of people who profess unwavering support for scammers like Natasha.
The Prosperity Gospel’s Ideals (Scammers Playbook)
Poverty and illness, according to the prosperity gospel, are the result of crimes against God, notably the failure to pay tithes.
It also attributes such “poor luck” to demons engaged in a spiritual battle against God’s dominion.
Believers generally reject their previous lives and churches.
They believe in spiritual “technologies” that claim to secure miraculous health and wealth straight from God, such as giving in church, paying tithes, praying fervently, and exorcising demons.
They also believe in preacher-prophets (religious scammers) who have particular powers to combat the “spirit of poverty.”
The constant testimony of those who have been “blessed” with jobs, houses, automobiles, and healing in church have encouraged many believers in their religion.
These testimonials are given in church pulpits and in person, and they are endlessly repeated in church publications, radio, television, and the internet.
What I Discovered
According to our research, prosperity gospel churches draw people from all walks of life and all educational levels.
While the majority of members, like the majority of Kenyans, are poor and rely on social assistance, these churches also include a sizable number of professionals, businesspeople, and, increasingly, politicians among their ranks.
We also discovered that followers of the Prosperity Gospel are not enslaved by so-called cult leaders. In fact, they frequently switch churches in quest of more effective “technologies” and “stronger prophets.”
As Natasha’s reputation deteriorates, more of her followers are likely to abandon her in favor of prophets like Pastor Kanyari or Pastor Nganga.
We frequently struggle to persuade people that those who follow this gospel are not simply dupes.
The character of the obscenely rich scammer prophetess, such as Natasha, is frequently invoked by critics as proof that the prosperity gospel is fraudulent and that its followers are idiots.
There is a long-held Western Christian conviction that money is a corrupting power that corrodes sacred social relationships and corrupts proper spiritual motives.
This tradition, which dates back to the 16th century Revolution, has been particularly sceptical of any combination of God and money, believing that the material world is a dangerous diversion from pure spiritual belief.
According to reports, self-proclaimed prophetess Reverend Lucy Natasha of the Prophetic Latter Glory Ministry International has denied organizing a threesome session for a Nigerian guest preacher with her aide.
On Tuesday, June 29, a Facebook user identifying as Martha Mwihaki Hinga claimed that Rev. Natasha invited her to dinner with a Nigerian guest speaker, her mother, brother, and her assistance with a secret intent.
She goes on to claim that there were delays, and before she knew it, scammer Rev. Natasha, her mother, and her brother had all left, leaving her alone with her aide and the Nigerian guest preacher.
” Within 20 minutes I realized that Lucy had left together with her brother and mom, and I in the company of the pastor and the aide were left, little did I know that the girl was part of the script for a Threesome. Hahaha, yes I said a threesome,” part of her statement read.
Martha was however not given heads up, unlike the preacher and reverend’s assistance. The preacher asked them to pray together but instead, they allegedly sandwiched her, a move she thought aimed to kill her.
“I knew this was not a prayer but something else, perhaps a plan to kill me, because the thought of a sexual encounter was far-fetched. How now?”she added.
The alleged expose’ spread like bush fire on the social app prompting Reverend Natasha to issue a statement on the same.
This Is What Martha Wrote;
“I met Reverend Lucy Natasha after a friend of mine introduced me to her church in early 2014, just about when she officially began to house most of her services, mid-week and Sunday Services at Six-Eighty Hotel.
I used to see her on social media but that was it, nothing much, apart from her usual contextualization of prosperity gospel to excite his fanatic congregation, because those are usually not Christians in pursuit of the true gospel.
Just like Now, she still had a palatial state of the art office setting marked with weird arts, Portraits of popular Nigerian Televangelists, I remember that of the Late TB Joshua, a 6-inch red carpet and very fine men frequenting his office, I later learnt that they were his protocol and handlers.
I was a little bit shocked because I am not a big fan of Nigerian pastors, I actually don’t trust them. My friend who took me there was constantly gazing at me because I appeared sceptical over everything, especially the portrait of a known controversial pastor TB. She loves calling people daughter, so she stretched her hand and reached out to me, “Good afternoon my beautiful daughter, Of course my age not withstanding I agreed and responded.
I am way older than her, I dubiously smiled and responded “Good afternoon my spiritual mom, although physically I may be your mom. “She has a very good voice, so she smiled and the exchange of pleasantries was done. I partly introduced myself and expressed part of the reason why I was there, I however, insisted that it is my friend who persuaded me to see her because she felt that I would fit into her ministry as a deacon taking into account my passion for God’s work and at the time I needed a place to worship and initiate my ministry work.
She looked elated and clumsily said that I was at the best place. Now, there’s this brother of him, who has some slippery hair, that guy was then the P.A.
She called him and in he came with a 3-page form for registration. I was then requested to follow Rev in a small private extension for sort of some grilling or up-close, a very small extension that could only fit two persons. She asked me to get off my shoes and enter. I think that was now the beginning of my indoctrination to a “cult”.
I started filling details on the sheet she handed to me. I was putting on my details as I popped my eyes on and off to her just to monitor things. My friends mimi hata mwanaume hajaniangalia na macho nikablush.
The gaze was very very veeery suggestive, Well I ignored because I assumed that was her nature, well she’s pretty and that’s not a far-fetched habit by beautiful girls. I filled the form while still throwing my eyes randomly on her, to signal either I needed to consult on something but that was in guise of trying to angalia vile kunaenda.
Suddenly, I felt something chilling down my body. Have you felt cold, then a petrifying thing runs down your spine? That is what I felt and the next thing was Rev asking me to get close to her for prayer. I actually hadn’t completed the form, but I was on my feet moving towards Lucy after that wave on my body.
I then immediately closed my eyes and opened them, Alas the person next to me was not her, this was her mother (You know how close they are with the mother), Reverend was not there. I have NEVER ever seen that. I remember trying to scream but the voice wouldn’t be audible, you have tried to scream in your dreams and the only thing that comes out is a distant feeling of shouting but the actual shout not being projected, that was it.
The person now next to me (the mother) started speaking in weird voices asking me to “Tulia Tulia,Kuna Roho anasema wewe ni mtumishi” As she was saying that, weirdly I was being caressed and fondled by someone I couldn’t see. The feeling was so strong that I actually started getting too close to the mom praying for me.
For now handle that I will be back.”
That was weird because in my entire years of allegiance to Christ I have never felt that. I have never seen that. Let’s just say the feeling was way too ungodly as a happenstance between a prayer session.
When I partially began to realize I was in between something not so nice, I began to battle out the grip with aggression.
I tried pulling myself away from her scammer activities until she could no longer control me. I finally was off the hook but totally scared. Rev was then back and we were now the three of us, myself Lucy and her mother.
There were only two seats, so Rev was on her feet with an iPad. Things were now a little bit calm and I was at ease though overwhelmed by events. I think they managed to capture my inner person and my spiritual responsiveness as afterwards I no longer treated them with hostility.
She then introduced what was typed on the Tablet as a “Report” from the Lord concerning me on her ministry. I remember her telling me that the Lord had spoken and that I would be appropriated as deacon in the assembly. First I was hesitant but then there appeared to be a spiritual capture, so I sort of nodded as a sign of affirmation.
I am woman who puts on long dresses, the first thing I was guided to do was put on relatively shorter dresses, the logic behind that was mysterious but obviously that was a sexual connotation for seduction, which is a pillar for scammer Lucy’s church.
FACT. The lady giving me instructions was a young lady scammer, slightly above her twenties, same thing, seductive looks with extraordinary disagreeable attraction.
One thing, never in your walk of faith ignore any red flag, if there are funny theatrics right from the word go, disappear and run for your dear life. I got embraced in the church and that was it. I was a “daughter” in the ministry.
Days turned into weeks and months and so on. My first encounter with the “Liberalism” concept was when Lucy openly tried to fix me in a sexual escapade with a guest Nigerian Evangelist scammer accompanied with one of her aide’s in 2015.
After the usual Oracle services, as a deacon (senior church member) you have the prerogative of having an after service meeting to evaluate a few things as well as take time with a guest in case of any. After that particular service we walked out of Lucy’s Office and went to a private guest lounge, just within Six-eighty.
We were 5 of us, Myself, the Nigerian scammer Evangelist, one of her aides, her mom and the brother. As it were, we had dinner and it was time to leave because I am a mom and wife. There was some form of resistance on any attempt to leave, any aim that suggested that I was leaving was met with some forms of tushughuli that did not make sense.
Mara sijui “wait a minute for us to clear the bill”, OH “Hold on Mum is changing” among others. Within say 20 or so minutes I realized that Lucy had left together with her bro and mom, and I in the company of the scammer pastor and the aide were left, little did I know that the girl was part of script for a Threesome. Hahaha, Yes I said a Threesome.
The Nigerian scammer (Sexual predator) requested to have me get close to him so that we could have a prayer benediction and then leave as the rest had already left. I obliged because I was in a hurry to leave.
Suddenly, From behind, the lady aide softly held my waist, we were a bit close in terms of acquaintanceship so I did not take offence. However, the moment I was sandwiched between them, I knew this was not a prayer but something else, perhaps a plan to kill me, because the thought of a sexual encounter was far-fetched.
How now? I became very aggressive, and threatened to scream if they did not get out of my way. The moment both of them, each scammer realized that I was not in the business of entertaining that nonsense, they simultaneously let go their arms and retreated to the seats. I uttered no word and left immediately traumatized.
The final part and my redemption journey coming your way.