Popular Pastor Eric Thomas Blames Women for Being Murdered

BuzzFeed News recently exposed motivational speaker Tony Robbins for berating female victims of sexual assault and rape (as well as alleged sexual harassment). But he’s not the only popular motivational speaker who thinks women should be blamed for falling victim to violence…

Pastor Eric Thomas, who bills himself as “the number one motivational speaker in the world” and who has worked with both the NBA and the NFL, and starred in YouTube videos garnering many millions of views, blamed two women for being murdered in one of his YouTube videos {“Eric Thomas | You Have No Discipline ( Eric Thomas Motivation)”} earlier this month.

Man…listen to me very closely. A lot of you could be millionaires, but because you’re not disciplined…cuz you’re not sexually disciplined, you’ve had people take stuff from you and you’ve been in places and relationships…I just saw two young women that lost their lives that was on some dating thing and went to some man’s crib. I was like, ‘Yo, where they do that at?’ Where do you just trust somebody online that you don’t even know? What was it about you that you…had such low self-esteem? They was twins, it was sisters. They just gonna go to some man’s house you don’t even know? C’mon!

Not a word of condemnation for the actual murderer in this video with 303,995 views and over 10,000 likes…

Like Robbins, I believe Thomas has positive intentions and genuinely wants to help people. He frequently speaks at prisons and to young and disadvantaged minorities. I started out as a fan who was motivated by some of Thomas’ inspirational videos and his compelling life story (he was homeless in his early years). Unfortunately, Thomas also pushes a problematic “prosperity theology” approach: if you just work (and pray) hard enough, and you’re a good person, millions of dollars are sure to follow. For instance, he claims a person must “assign” “a hundred thousand dollars” to come to his/her bank account:

Of course, the recurring message is that to truly access this wealth, a person must purchase Thomas’ books and courses, and join his groups.

Because of his positive impact and popularity, Thomas has completely escaped critical scrutiny by the press (try to find even a single negative article). It’s not even necessary to speak to Thomas’ inner circle to find issues (as BuzzFeed did with Robbins). Thomas’ podcast and YouTube videos contain more than a few problematic statements and viewpoints, such as his adulation of Floyd Mayweather, a boxer with a history of domestic violence. But in Thomas’ world, money ultimately trumps morality and the violence that women experience in today’s society aren’t as compelling as “assigning” one’s next hundred thousand dollars…

About the Author
Eric Danis lives in Modi'in, Israel with his wife and three cute kids. Whenever possible, he tries to dispel misconceptions and stereotypes about Israel and Judaism.