The trending news is the trial in court of Pastor Omotoso of the Jesus Dominion International Church.
He is charged with sexually exploiting women and girls from his congregation.
Just as traumatic is the line of questioning in court that the victims are subjected to.
It is deemed to be intimidating, embarrassing, and demeaning.
Sexual exploitation is world-wide and perpetrated by so called ‘priests’ from many different faiths and religious backgrounds.
Basically it is an abuse of power, authority and trust.
The Cultic Studies Journal by J. Lalich (2015) defines sexual exploitation as the exercise of power for the purpose of controlling, using or abusing another person sexually in order to satisfy the conscious or unconscious needs of the person in power-whether these needs are sexual, financial, emotional, or physical.
The question many ask is why did the victim not report the abuse, escape or refuse to comply. There are sound psychological reasons for this.
These include guilt, self-blame, the fact that nobody will believe her, low self-esteem, the effects of post-traumatic stress, fear of isolation or fear of being harmed, the fact that the followers may believe that she instigated it, harm to her marriage or future marriage, anxiety over the type of intimidating cross-examination of South African courts, etc.
These con-men who abuse others have similar characteristics of psychopaths. These characteristics include:
Need for stimulation
Exploitation and abuse of others
Poor behavioural controls
Promiscuous sexual behavior and infidelity
Glibness and superficial charm
Grandiose sense of self
Lack of remorse, shame or guilt
Manipulation and conning
Incapacity for love
We must stop people using the guise of religion to exploit others in any way.
Followers should not blindly follow an authoritarian cult leader but question the practices. The justice system needs to be changed so that victims are not subjected to a second assault by cross-examination.