We never thought the day would come. Ravi Zacharias International Ministry has issued a formal apology to Lori Anne Thompson, the woman who kickstarted the revelation about Ravi Zacharias’ sexual predations back in 2017. (More on that here.)
With the release of the investigative report confirming once and for all that Zacharias engaged in a pattern of texting and sexting with hundreds of women, along with molesting massage therapists, and even one allegation of rape, RZIM explains in an open letter accompanying it that:
We believe not only the women who made their allegations public but also additional women who had not previously made public allegations against Ravi but whose identities and stories were uncovered during the investigation. Tragically, witnesses described encounters including sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape. We are devastated by what the investigation has shown and are filled with sorrow for the women who were hurt by this terrible abuse.
RZIM thanked the journalist who brought it to their attention (special shoutout from us to Steve Baughman of www.raviwatch.com, who tirelessly led the way – RZIM should have mentioned him) because “their efforts paved the way for us to recognize the truth and to have the opportunity to respond to the truth.” Thankfully, they carved out several paragraphs to mention Thompson specifically by name. This was surprising as up to this point they have all but ignored her, with their last word on it being a slanderous public statement in 2017 and a message a few weeks ago saying they would not release her from her NDA. Now, however, they write:
The investigation’s conclusions have caused us to think very differently about the allegations Mrs. Lori Anne Thompson made against Ravi in 2017. We were wrong. Our trust in Ravi’s denial of moral wrongdoing and in his deceptive explanations of emails and other records that became public was severely misplaced, and our failures in 2017, including our failure to commission an independent investigation at that time, allowed tremendous pain to continue to be caused in the Thompsons’ lives.
We believe Lori Anne Thompson has told the truth about the nature of her relationship with Ravi Zacharias. It is with profound grief that we recognize that because we did not believe the Thompsons and both privately and publicly perpetuated a false narrative, they were slandered for years and their suffering was greatly prolonged and intensified. This leaves us heartbroken and ashamed. We are deeply grateful for their longstanding commitment to making the truth known and admire their strength to carry on even when they were not believed. It is our hope to seek a redemptive way forward with Mrs. and Mr. Thompson and seek their forgiveness, while recognizing that we have no right to this and wanting to be led by them in terms of what might be most helpful.
It must have been deeply painful for the victims of Ravi’s abuse and misconduct to tell their stories and to relive their terrible experiences as they participated in this investigation. To you we say directly: Words cannot come close to expressing the sorrow that we feel for what you have been through or the gratitude we feel for the bravery with which you have responded. We are so thankful to you, and we are so sorry.
Thompson, for her part, has not released a statement yet in response to the report, but did write on Twitter that she was overwhelmed and one would be forthcoming.