Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.Matthew 7:15
It was a neighborhood sandwiched between a residential and a semi-industrial zone. People in the community were in the middle and lower middle class, mostly small business owners and wage earners. Its vicinity is usually quiet and peaceful with neighbors not talking much to each other. They go to work and back home, keeping to themselves and minding their own affairs.
And to everyone’s intrigue, the church sprouted out of nowhere, here on an industrial land next to a T-junction. It was well furnished from the looks outside. Secured by high walls and with its caps and posts cemented with shards made with broken glass from unused bottles. If not for the church’s signboard, the property could have been easily mistaken for another manufacturing factory owned by someone wealthy.
On weekends, the place is packed with people. Cars and motorcycles were parked everywhere along the streets leading to the church. Its activities are usually hive and never ceases to raise eyebrows. But to onlookers, whatever goes inside, stays inside. No singing, sermon or preaching could be heard from outside the perimeter of its walls. And the words “Tabernacle Of Glory” is displayed at its entrance. Christians in the neighborhood will immediately recognize this is a house of worship and prayer, but to the rest in the community, it took a while for them to figure out what this place is all about.
The church had its own large compound, its own basketball court and badminton courts. They had all the space and facility that would make believers want to go to church. But with all the thriving weekend commotion that is going on, little did anyone would have thought, that out of this seemingly exemplary and legitimate Christian church in its community, there lived the dark secrets that were once exposed, of an atrocious leader who had been accused of some most heinous crimes ever imaginable to the common man.
Peter Tan, was a senior pastor of the Tabernacle Of Glory during its heydays. He was suspended on allegations of committing incest with his adopted daughter in the early 1990s. He is also accused by his own church members of embezzling church funds and misusing money not belonging to him for his own gratification.
Members of the Tabernacle Of Glory, then formed an investigation committee to probe the allegations hurled at their own pastor. And shockingly, other than embezzlement and incest, they found out that their pastor was also practicing “silva mind control”, a type of self-help and meditation program developed by José Silva, that claims to increase an individual’s abilities through relaxation, development of higher brain functions, and psychic abilities such as clairvoyance. Peter Tan was also accused of attempting to induce or cause his wife to divorce him and trying to brainwash her into committing suicide.
As a result of the findings, Peter Tan has been suspended from all ministerial duties at Tabernacle Of Glory, effective November 24th, 1996. The church itself disintegrated with remnant members founding other churches elsewhere in the country to escape the shame and public disgust. Some members were even known to have left the faith completely, because of the inconsistencies demonstrated by a church leader they once placed so much trust in.
This and the followup articles that are forthcoming, is about the history and life of a notorious false prophet from Malaysia. More on Peter Tan on this blog in coming days, stay tuned.