In the days following her son’s death, former KTN news anchor wrote a letter to then Citizen TV reporter Silvia Chebet where, for the first time, she opened up on the controversies surrounding the Finger of God.
I hope Janet Mbugua can forgive me – Esther Arunga’s only letter after son’s death
She opens up on her mistakes and names celebrities who had joined the church
In the letter, Arunga gave her side of the story on the motivation for joining the church and even apologised to some of the celebrities she had helped recruit to the controversial church.
She specifically mentioned Janet Mbugua, terming her “closest friend” in media circles and hoped she would be forgiven for dragging her to the controversial church.
Arunga, however, noted that Janet did not become a member after she moved to take up a job in South Africa.
Other celebrities who are mentioned to have at one time worshipped at the Finger of God included Larry Madowo, Muthoni the Drummer Queen, Isabella Kituri, Debbie Asila, Bogonko Bosire (who has since disappeared), and the late Kevin Ombanjo (Big Kev).
“Larry Madowo, Bogonko Bosire, Muthoni the Drummer Queen…all came at one point at my invitation. Janet Mbugua only escaped because she had moved to South Africa at the time. I had dragged her with me to other churches before. I hope she forgives me, she is the closest thing to a friend that I had in media circles,” Arunga wrote in part.
In the letter, she blamed Joseph Hellon, whom she referred to as Onyango, for misleading her and taking advantage of her search for spiritual guidance.
“You have to understand that my parents abandoned me to my relatives when I was 12. They went to live in another country and I was left in the hands of a clueless relative…That is why, though brought up in SDA, I became the first person in my extended family to leave the religion and become a “born again” Christian,” she narrated.
Arunga said her spiritual journey led her to join several churches to escape the moral temptations that faced prominent TV personalities. She did not find a home until she met Joseph Hellon Onyango.
“It was in this state that I spent this oily, dwarfish, hawkish curl kitted guy named Onyango going by the name Joseph Hellon. I met him at the JCC church where he had come to perform. Though his appearance was strange at first, I dismissed it because I had heard from Muthoni Bwika (Former Capital FM presenter) that he was good at interpreting dreams and I had been having strange dreams,” Arunga stated.
The former KTN news anchor accused Hellon of taking advantage of her commitment to the church to make money and engage in sexual fantasies in the name of God.
Arunga narrated that many of the female members of the church were seduced by the pastor – but said her only experience had involved Hellon touching her breast and kissing her in the lips, “but I did not proceed to sleep with him like the other girls”.
The letter ended with Arunga saying that she had discovered about Hellon’s
“manipulative ways” after meeting Quincy with whom they later moved to Australia.
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