Billy TK’s Religious Influences

November 30, 2020

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Politics, Billy TK, Advance NZ

There’s an interesting article (opens new window) published by Dr Deane Galbraithe this week about Billy Te Kakiha’s evangelical influence, and how this may explain his adoption of so many conspiracy theories in his talks. For those who don’t remember, Billy TK started a political party earlier this year, the Public Party, with a platform based on conspiracies and other unscientific nonsense. Deane has been talking in our Facebook group about his article, and, although it’s not mentioned in the article itself, on Facebook he’s talked about someone who has messaged him (opens new window) to let him know that Billy TK has a history with the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement.

This new piece of information piqued my interest. Although I’ve not personally managed to attend a Seventh Day Adventist meeting yet, I’ve listened to the Oh No Ross and Carrie podcast episodes (opens new window) about the Adventists. Ross and Carrie attended a series of lectures from the Seventh Day Adventists that focused on the coming End Times and the evils of the Catholic Church. The Reform Movement is separate to the Seventh Day Adventist church, but a quick read of their Wikipedia page (opens new window) shows that the two groups share the majority of their beliefs, including the idea that the end of the world can, and should, be hastened (opens new window). If this doomsday group is driving Billy TK’s thinking, that would be news to me, and could explain how it was so easy for him to end up believing in political conspiracies about the UN and the New World Order.

So… I figured I’d see if a quick google search would give me confirmation of this connection. I typed "Billy TK Seventh Day Adventists" into google, and sure enough the first result was a link to an article on the Seventh Day Adventist Reformed Movement’s website (opens new window) from back in 2015. The article said:

"Right after the fellowship lunch in Auckland Church, the whole band of members and friends met at Shelly Beach to witness the baptism of Brother Billy Te Kahika Jr."

Billy is quoted as saying:

"When I was 16 and with the introduction to my dad, I fell into the world of new age and mysticism, which verged on spiritualism... After starting a Christian walk, I encountered the Adventist message, which I adopted. I was baptized at the age of 21 and soon after became a famous musician which tore me from my walk with Jesus. I then had about 6 years without the Lord, and I experienced the pain that comes when you walk away from Him... I was baptised this past December as a member of the church. To do that I had to give up my music career which had been my life – but compared with what God has done for me this is a small price to pay on my part to be in God’s family.

I pray that with my recent election to help church missionary work that God will use me to bring other people home to His church in preparation for His Son’s soon return to take His children home to heaven. Amen."

Huh. It turns out that somehow this connection had flown right over my head. Looking down my google search results, there are a couple of forum posts that appear to mention this connection, but it looks that, like me, the media may well have missed Billy’s ties to this particular controversial church. This might also explain why Billy walked out of a Stuff interview (opens new window) with Paula Penfold as soon as she asked about his faith. I wonder if he figured that it was less damaging to walk out of the interview than either lie or admit that for many years he’s been a member of a fatalistic cult, and that he believes God’s Son will "soon return" to whisk his faithful followers away to heaven and dispose of the rest of us.