The family of Constance Marten, a United Kingdom’s citizen and journalist, has accused the late Nigerian Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua, better known as T.B. Joshua, of brainwashing her while she was in Nigeria, leaving her traumatised on return to UK.
Marten was said to have spent six months in Nigeria, during which she turned a disciple of the pastor in his sprawling evangelical church in Lagos State.
According to a family friend who spoke with DailyMail, Marten was previously brainwashed by the prophet after participating in a course on Christian life put together by the pastor in London. The friend requested the newspaper not to mention her name.
“She ended up becoming one of his disciples in Nigeria. I believe she got brainwashed while she was over there. The experience traumatised her,” she said.
“She was not the same person when she came back. She always used to be wild, but also happy, kind and buoyant. She was darker when she came back and she found things more difficult.
“She never told us what really happened. T B Joshua was a God-like figure. It was scary, and I believe it changed her. It was a huge part of her life.”
She stated further that Marten, who was fondly called Toots by her friends, “used to travel a lot from a young age but when she returned from Nigeria, there were strained relations with her family”.
“She was still exuberant in everything, but she found relationships very hard. It was like she came back totally f***ed. She was more rebellious. She thought she had recovered, but it was difficult for her,” Marten said.
The source further claimed that her friend once mooted the idea of undertaking a television expose of the late Nigerian pastor to reveal his modus operandi as part of her investigative reporting job at Al Jazeera as a senior researcher in 2012.
Marten’s Linkedin profile shows that she once “Pitched an idea for a documentary about a religious cult in Nigeria” and “Tracked down former members of the sect, in the UK, Nigeria, Ghana and S. Africa, in order to gather solid first-hand information”.
Expressing the family’s feeling over his daughter’s welfare, Napier Marten, the investigator’s father, said they were deeply concerned about the welfare of his darling daughter.
Her father, who is a former page to the late Queen, said, “Darling Constance, even though we remain estranged, I stand by, as I have always done and as the family has always done, to do whatever is necessary for your safe return to us.
“I beseech you to find a way to turn yourself and your wee one in to the police as soon as possible so you and he or she can be protected. Only then can a process of healing and recovery begin.
“I also wish you to understand you are much, much loved, whatever the circumstances. We are deeply concerned for you and your baby’s welfare. To see you so vulnerable again is testing in the extreme.”
The journalist is married to Mark Gordon, a serial rapist who completed his 20-year jail term in the United States of America in 2010 before marrying Marten. He has eloped with her for years, putting her family in great concern about the safety of their daughter.
According to the police, Marten’s life changed when she met Gordon. “At that point, the affluent, normal, social aspects of Constance’s life, they stop,’ said Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Payne. “They’re estranged from family.”
It was not yet clear the exact year Marten was in Nigeria as a follower of the Ondo-born late prophet and general overseer of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN).
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