Cult parallels – Christian Assemblies International and Universal Medicine

CAI-gatescoumgateThis week Australian current affairs program, 4 Corners ran a shocking report on abusive Pentecostalist sect, Christian Assemblies International. CAI has numerous similarities to New Age cult, Universal Medicine – including secrecy, exorcistic practices, sexual abuse and tax exempt charity fronts.

The abuse within CAI is horrendous, and the report included interviews with a number of ex cult members who’d been recruited as children and subjected to sexual and psychological abuse for decades. Yet, the group and its leader, Scott Williams, have evaded prosecution.

Cult characteristics

Harmful groups earn the label of cult when they focus around a central personality; they use thought reform or mind control techniques to manipulate followers, and the leader or hierarchy exploits followers financially, sexually or otherwise. They are hostile to questions and criticism, censorious, develop an ‘us versus them’ mindset, seek to isolate followers from outside sources of support and claim access to an exclusive ‘truth’. They induce fear to maintain a hold on followers, are secretive and often operate outside the law.

Similarities with Universal Medicine

Beginnings – sporting coach turned guru

Scott Williams was a charismatic pool attendant at a military school turned self-styled Pentecostal preacher, prophet and healer. His victim, Gunther, recounts he was recruited by Williams as a 12 year old with numerous other young men. Sexual abuse of Gunther commenced soon after and continued for nearly 25 years.

Serge Benhayon was a big talking tennis coach turned self-styled messiah, prophet and healer, who persuaded the parents of pupil, 13 year old Miranda Smith, and others to move into his home so they could receive his ‘elite’ coaching program. Miranda entered an intimate relationship with Benhayon at some point and is now Benhayon’s wife.

Targeting youth

Williams recruited many youths who’d had little or no previous exposure to the Bible. He groomed some boys born into the cult for sexual abuse from birth. CAI includes special children’s and teen groups. Williams worked at Gunther’s school but began to spend time after hours with victims grooming them for abuse.

Universal Medicine also has dedicated teen and children’s groups led by Serge’s adult children, most notably daughter, Natalie Benhayon. Little girls have been regular houseguests of Benhayon at least since his time as a tennis coach in the early to mid nineties. The cult publicly excuses this behaviour as Serge taking an interest in youth, and helping to support them financially.

Healing powers and exorcisms

Williams styled himself as a healer, and the CAI website features testimonials claiming ‘miraculous healing’ of disorders like cancer and schizophrenia. A follower claims her drug use was caused by demonic possession. Her full immersion baptism served as an exorcism.

Benhayon styled himself as a healer, and the UM websites feature testimonials, many from health professionals, claiming ‘miraculous healing’ of an array of disorders. Benhayon teaches that disease and recalcitrant behaviour is caused by entity possession and his workshops feature entity insertion and removal performances (exorcisms) – including on children.

CAI holds camp retreats, and UM holds workshops and retreats where intense thought reform processes are employed while recruits are isolated from outsiders.

Both groups combine body work, such as massage, with spiritual practices and inappropriate touching. Body work intensifies interpersonal bonding within the group, breaks down personal boundaries and reinforces thought reform indoctrination.

Fear and guilt as control

Scott Williams and CAI seek control over every aspect of followers lives, down to their family interactions, intimacy, manner of dress, diet and access to information. Such controls enable and maintain thought reform, or mind control. Followers are told that Williams is ‘the anointed one’ with special authorisation from God. He prophesied cataclysmic events including the end of the world.  They are told  failure to adhere to Williams’ commandments will result in ‘eternal damnation’ or that they could be ‘attacked by Satan’ if they leave. Williams alternated friendliness, affection and charm with an explosive temper and instilled fear into followers with tirades of verbal abuse and threats of punishment from God. Outsiders are described as ‘heathen dogs’ who will ‘burn in hell’ unless they are converted. Followers also believed they were intrinsically evil.

It’s a cult…I was abused and I didn’t understand it. For me I just thought maybe it’s me, it’s me? I just don’t understand why is this happening? Gunther Frantz on CAI

Benhayon seeks control over every aspect of followers’ lives – teaching that emotion is the cause of all disease,  that ‘maleness’ is the cause of the world’s troubles and that prana (life energy) is stopping us from reuniting with God, and needs to be ‘cleared’. Followers restrict their diet, change their manner of dress and speech, and attempt to cut their emotional connections with loved ones. Reason and intellect are derided and followers are told to mistrust facts. They’re told not to read our blogs, or to listen to pranic music or read pranic literature. They are told failure to adhere to Benhayon’s commandments will result in disease and damnation for many lifetimes, and that they and their children can be entered or raped by supernatural entities. Benhayon alternates friendliness and humour with denigration of followers who are ‘contracted’ or ‘detracting from the work‘. He predicted the ‘new era’ would bring increases in disease and natural disasters, and the human body would be the ‘new battlefield’ for the war between the soul and ‘Astral’ forces. Outsiders are described as ‘Astral cult members‘ and detractors, who are ‘loveless and in pain’.

Sexist division & men’s groups

CAI paints women as inferior beings, sexually wanton and in need of control by men. Ex member, Katja recounts they are expected to be ‘humble and subdued’. Williams established a system of male bonding, choosing male partners for the men of the group under a pretence of spiritual purpose, and organized secret men’s meetings where men were expected to disclose their sexual behaviours and participate in naked massage sessions.

Universal Medicine portrays both men and women as inferior beings if they are living in ‘male energy‘. Ideal women are ‘lovely and gentle’ and ‘should not lift heavy things’, ask questions or participate in sport. Benhayon established a system of female bonding under the auspices of ‘women’s health’ where groups of women inappropriately touch each other and disclose sexual and gynaecological experiences. Benhayon has also organized men’s groups where men are encouraged to ‘connect’ with their femaleness, including by ‘energetically’ experiencing a menstrual cycle. Two male commenters have reported they were inappropriately touched at a healing workshops without their consent. One was touched by one of the Benhayon sons.

Sexual manipulation and abuse

Scott Williams and CAI sought to control every aspect of followers’ sex lives. Men were expected to report on their sexual activities, and sex talks were held giving specific instructions. Williams only allows missionary position intercourse limited to 3 times per week, telling men they would be controlled by women otherwise. The men’s groups included massage sessions that led to homosexual acts, where, as Gunther put it, men believed it was ‘the only way into the kingdom of God’. They feared ‘the wrath of God’ if they did not participate.

Serge Benhayon has arranged numerous intimate partnerships, usually telling disinterested parties they were ‘connected’ in a past life. UniMed followers disclose their sexual histories to the group and online, and have made the private histories of non cult partners the knowledge of the group. Benhayon gives specific instructions on lovemaking, only allowing ‘gentle’ emotionless sex with women on top. Women are portrayed as asexual and that they only agree to sex to please men, who do it ‘for relief’. Men are not allowed in the marital bed if they have consumed alcohol or come home with ‘pub energy’. Inappropriate touching and sexual or indecent assault is portrayed as ‘healing, and is often carried out on survivors of previous sexual abuse – sometimes in group situations.

Risks to children

Williams originally recruited youth to his group, and as those young people grew older and had their own families, he began to groom their children for the same abuses meted out to their parents, including sexual abuse. The group imposes unreasonable discipline on children, forcing them to be friendly and act happy, and disproportionately punishes minor transgressions by removing them from their families. In some cases, as with 14 year old Emily, children are sent overseas. Children are led to believe they were born evil. Corporal punishment is used.

UniMed followers take children to events where sexually explicit content, including sexual violence is discussed, and where past life regression and exorcistic practices take place. Young girls are sent to stay in Benhayon’s home unaccompanied, and the group grooms more young women via the sinister ‘Girl to Woman Project‘. UM cult children are pressured to look happy and smiling and are reprimanded when play is boisterous or active. They are subjected to a dangerous, non nutritionally based diet, and forced into potentially damaging sleep regimes. Although they are not removed from family as punishment, they are commonly neglected, with parents tied up in cult events and instructed not to love children emotionally, and that normal parental guidance inhibits children’s ‘true expression’. If children act out, or fall sick or suffer a disability, they are told they are possessed by entities or were evil abusers in a past life. Benhayon has taught that boys who are active should have the ‘pack energy’ smacked out of them.

Destruction of families

Gunther reports that Williams split relationships and families if a member wavered in their commitment or didn’t obey commands to the letter. Wives were criticized and beaten if their manner of dress, cleanliness of their homes and cooking didn’t meet the cult’s standards.

Benhayon tells followers their partners and families hold them back from their light if they question the cult’s teachings or practices. Questions and criticism are portrayed as bullying and abuse. Benhayon secures bequests and the proceeds of property settlements by persuading followers that giving or leaving money to non cult loved ones keeps them ‘in contraction’ and will harm the reincarnations of all involved, whereas donations and bequests to his cause gives health benefits and improves their chances of an Esoteric reincarnation.

Charities and regulatory inaction

Williams operated an unregistered charity in Germany, collecting tithes and donations which he used to acquire properties. German authorities expelled him from the country and he moved his flock to Scotland and registered a charity which was investigated by the Scottish regulator in the nineties and again in 2008. CAI currently operates tax exempt as a religious charity in Australia, with 6 full time paid staff. The CAI flock is expected to donate regardless of their means and to undertake a large amount of unpaid work maintaining the organization’s properties. A complaint to the ATO in 2006 that the charity does not operate for charitable purposes was not acted upon.

Benhayon collected anonymous donations without a fundraising licence until the College of Universal Medicine was registered in Australia and the Sound Foundation was adopted in the UK in 2011. Donations were used to acquire and renovate properties. Followers perform volunteer work at events and maintaining the properties, and are known to pay for workshops and make donations beyond their means, including via direct debit. The Sound Foundation was investigated by the UK Charity Commission in 2013 and issued with a compliance plan. An investigation is currently underway into breaches of the College of UM’s Charitable Fundraising Authority in NSW. The College was also reported to the ACNC in 2013 but the status of that investigation is unknown. Commissioner Susan Pascoe stated in the 4 Corners report that the ACNC has powers to deregister charities that are harming members of the public and not operating with charitable purposes. Our question to the ACNC is what is the status of the investigation and why have they not acted to deregister the College of UM that operates to benefit the UM commercial enterprise?

Secrecy

The assembly members are given limited information on the CAI’s financial activities and the destination of charitable funds. Gates to the Cedar Creek compound are kept locked and the group and Williams avoid questions and refused to be interviewed by Four Corners.

UM followers are given no information on UM’s financial structure and the destination of donated funds. The windows of the Lennox Head Community centre are covered in black plastic for events and the group’s sites and communications are closed or have stratified access depending on levels of investment. Benhayon and UM serial company director Serryn O’Regan refuse media interviews and avoid answering questions. The cult’s standard response to questions is to accuse those questioning or criticizing of conspiracy, an agenda, media bias or of being cyber-bullies.

Extremes

Violence was carried out on CAI followers at Williams’ command, including beating children, which was a specialty of David Koresh, and public beatings of women – a practice which also took place in Jonestown. While we have not heard of such overt violence from UM, we know of former followers who’ve been threatened with violence, and threats of violence directed at Lance and Richard, as well as eggs thrown at Miranda’s mother’s car. Benhayon’s teachings condone violence against children.

The extent of violence, corruption and abuse within CAI is extreme, possibly more extreme than UM. However, CAI had nearly 20 years head start on Benhayon. The group operated almost 20 years before receiving negative press in 1998, and another eight before victims organized and brought in NSW police.

Given the level of bullying, intimidation and secrecy within UM it’s difficult to know the extent of abuses. With the numerous disturbing similarities to the heinous CAI cult it’s essential we continue to scrutinize, question and expose Universal Medicine, and to compel our governments to provide better public protections from cults.

*

ABC Four Corners report on Christian Assemblies International – includes video with extended interviews, and links to background information

Accompanying ABC News report on CAI

News Reports on Universal Medicine

Warning signs of harmful groups – Rick Ross Cult Education

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23 thoughts on “Cult parallels – Christian Assemblies International and Universal Medicine

  1. Hello to CAI survivors. I’d like to say how shocked I was by the report at the horrendous abuse and to congratulate you on your courage in coming forward. I’m sure it will help many many others. Best wishes for your continued healing and I hope you all find peace.

    I think I was particularly shocked at how he preyed on children and very young people.

    For other readers, the extended interviews on the 4 Corners page are very much worth a look.
    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2014/07/28/4052971.htm

    I think 4 Corners did a great job. Yes, I have spoken with them directly a couple of times, but to run a story on UM they would need victims to be interviewed on camera. We’re sincerely hoping something can be done about UM before things get any worse or any more people suffer, but please, we need help. A lot of people assume stuff is being done, but it will take a lot of effort from a lot of us to put a stop to the harm.

  2. I watched ABC’s cult program, saddened and appalled that anyone could be so deceived and severely abused.

    A key to this psychopath’s web / hold over people, is that he’d distorted “scripture” to somehow “justify” sexual abuse of men and boys, as well as violence towards women and children.

    I don’t want to judge anyone, but if these deceived “Christian” cult members had access to read the Bible, they’d have found MAJOR indicators that that this “pastor” is not who he’d portrayed him self to be. (A gut reaction to his creepiness / coldness might have also done it!):

    A leader is “ … not greedy for money… not lording it over those entrusted to him…” (1 Peter 5: 2-4).

    A leader must “not be a lover of money, nor violent …” (1 Tim 3:2-4).

    Jesus command for ALL followers “to love one another..“ (John 13:34).

    “Love is patient … kind …. always protects … “ (1 Cor 13: 4-7).

    “Love must be sincere … share with people in need …” (Rom 12:9).

    There is “no fear in love … “ 2 John 4:18.

    There’s “no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus…” (Rom 8:1).

    “Love with actions and in truth … “ (1 John 3:16).

    The “Fruit (evidence) of Jesus Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and SELF CONTROL”… (Gal 5:22).

    “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom to commit / conceal evil…” (1 Pet 2:2).

    “Flee sexual immorality … “ (1 Cor 6:18).

    Husbands are to “lay down their lives” for their wives and not treat them, or their children, harshly. Married couples are to submit TO ONE ANOTHER (reciprocal love and attentiveness)… (Eph 5: 21-30).

    Father’s are to “encourage, comfort and urge children to live holy lives…” (1Thes 2:11-12).

    “Marriage should be kept pure … “ (Heb 13:18).

    Jesus was also very respectful towards women and advocated for justice / care of the vulnerable.

    Watch out for “false apostles ….who masquerade as a servant of righteousness … … as Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light …” (2 Cor 11:13).

    “God cannot be mocked … a man reaps what he sows …” (Gal 6:7).

    (Sooner or later there will be major consequences for “pastor” Scott, though he may yet be saved if he sincerely repents and attempts to make amends …).

    God’s eternal, relevant words provides ample guidelines to help evaluate whether a church / group / leader / family / individual has Jesus Spirit of love and truth (ie whether spiritually and psychologically healthy) .

    The more imposed rules, or legalistic, controlling, harsh, intrusive, manipulative the behaviour / teaching, the more likely God’s “scripture” is distorted to deceive, exploit and / or abuse: ultimately very damaging to all.

    Jesus sacrificial free gift of grace, love, peace, joy and truth heals, setting all who accept free.

    I understand it’s easy to assume all Christian groups / churches are similarly duped / insane, but please don’t tar all with the same brush as there are genuine and good ones out there …

    (Above quotes are from the New International Version Bible. See Lawyer’s detailed analysis “New Evidence That Demands a Verdict” re: authenticity).

  3. The parallels are there for sure it is a sickening thought that this is going on in the Northern Rivers right under our noses.

    I viewed the Four Corners report. Four years research went into that report.
    I thought of UM all the way through that report.

    UM’s tax free status (as with all cults, charity etc) must be removed.

    Below are a few excerpts from the original UM site that have just gone on that site –
    I couldn’t resist, in this article SB or whoever it is that is speaking for him contradicts? lies? or both?
    If it wasn’t so sickening and serious it is laughable. SB is running scared maybe – this again proves UM to be a cult.

    ATTENTION: UM followers some/if not all of us in the astral world have lodged complaints without the help or even knowing of Lance Martin or Esther Rockett. Our complaints are based on our own ugly unpleasant experiences. Wake up you are the ones controlled not us.


    Universal Medicine founder Serge Benhayon “certain complaint will soon be dismissed”

    “One month after a complaint about the independent student-run charity, College of Universal Medicine, was lodged by Bangalow resident Lance Martin, Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine founder, yesterday stated that he was “certain the complaint will soon be dismissed.”

    ““No doubt the contents of the current complaint against the College of Universal Medicine is without merit ”

    “Serge Benhayon’s integrity in fully and openly cooperating with any investigation scurrilously thrown at him will no doubt again yield the same result – a dismissal. It is perhaps time for official processes to be initiated to halt this waste of government time and money,” she continued.
    —-

    It is my wish that this well researched 4 Corners report adds weight and enlightenment to this UM
    dangerous scam.

    Please add your voice to this readers by telling your experience as more and more of you are. Bullies only respect one thing and that is strength. These bullies do not like strength but it is the only thing that will have this dangerous sugar coated scam stopped.

    Lance Martin and Esther Rockett and others have set a stalwart lead even in the face of persistent defamation and bullying by exposing this ugly scam. Thank you so much Esther and Lance.

  4. In other words they’re repeating themselves. And after the histrionics that Serge has nothing to do with the charity, Serge makes a statement he’s confident they’ll be cleared of wrongdoing.

    I don’t read their stuff anymore.

    Expressing the truth, there are a heap of organisations within the Christian community active against Christian cults, and assisting people with getting out of them. Some links here: http://cifs.org.au/links.php And the Rick Ross site has a lot of discussion: http://forum.culteducation.com/list.php?14 and this long list of links to info about ‘Bible based’ groups http://www.culteducation.com/bible-based.html CAI isn’t there, which is worrying because it means they’ve done a good job of maintaining their secret culture of abuse.

  5. When the show was on Monday night my phone was popping with messages from people going “Wow, UM!” While the similarities are striking this is normal cult M.O.

    Serge has been going around 15 years. Like others, he’s avoided scrutiny. Beliefs create confusion and grey areas. To exploit that, and other benefits, Serge has taken members from being “students” to parishioners in his new religion. So fluid is their non-brainwashed thinking, they’ve accepted this about face with open arms.

    Think of how bizarre that really is. Members have bleated for two years about how it is just a group of people interested in health. Now it is a ‘religion’ based on the writings of Serge and his ‘impress’. The claim that he has exclusive knowledge and contact with god or other planes.

    Serge insisted not too long ago to be only operating a business, and that there were no members. Now the students are members of his religion. By definition. Nothing in UM makes any sense.

    The reality is, the whole show revolves around Serge. If he wasn’t there making those grandiose claims, espousing his half-baked doctrines, and working the group into an emotional contagion against the common enemy- us and the astral cult- these people would either be in some other cult or at home with their families behaving like normal people.

    Now they tend to live around Goonellebah, share houses together, socialise together, go to all the UM events, wear the same sort of clothes, walk the same way, use the same words, arguments and rebuttals, wear the same jewelry and refuse to look at any evidence that proves Serge is not who he says.

    No brainwashing? Not a cult? I expect we’ll be seeing a similar four-corners report around 2022 about our mate and his shenanigans. Some of the members will be on saying “I just couldn’t see it….now I wonder why..” It’s certainly not for want of us trying to tell them.

  6. It was the hypocrisy between the words and the actions, that first made me question being a member of Universal Medicine.
    When I asked questions about ‘beliefs’ within Universal Medicine, the behaviours of some members didn’t match the ‘loving’ characteristics, which is the face painted for recruiting.
    I heard over and over again, how bad/pranic/the source of illness,etc,etc ’emotions’ are. Emotions run very high within the members of Universal Medicine, especially if you question their motives.
    Hostility towards non-believers runs high.
    News today made me really angry and yet happily free at the same time.
    When Serge talked about the evils of the Catholic Church, I had reservations.
    Angry- because today I heard that Real Media Real Change sent emails out to a high number of schools in the local area, inviting them to the anti-bullying rally.
    Emails were sent to the Catholic schools- yet another very hypocritical act on the part of the members of the church of Universal Medicine.
    A Nun from one of the Catholic schools in Lismore, escorted some children to the RMRC anti-bulling rally. Done in good faith with the best intentions for young people.
    At no time did any member of RMRC disclose either in the email or on the day, their affiliation with Universal Medicine. Nor did they announce to the Catholics in the audience Serge’s scathing views on the Catholic Church.
    So it’s OK to use the Catholics for a head count in the fight against shedding a light on the dark side of Universal Medicine, and it’s also OK to denigrate them behind closed doors…or is that now gates?
    NOT very love-ly, just very hypocritical.
    Today I FEEL so happy that I made the right choice and left the group/church or is that University?

  7. Feel compassion & respect for those strong & courageous enough to not only break away, but to also speak out against dodgy, dangerous & hypocritical cults …

    1. I agree with you Just saying.., it is very courageous and strong of these ones to leave and then speak out. We feel for you and respect you.

      UM and $B perhaps invited private religious schools, because these are not answerable to the Education System and there is more money in Private religious schools. Hypocri$y and greed all the way. So deceitful of them not saying who they truly are – as usual.

    2. Bless the people that have spoken up. I know there’s many more out there. Please speak up whether
      it be about CAI or Universal Medicine.

  8. Sorry, just re-read your insightful cult comparison.
    Wouldn’t you say that it was violent and abusive to knock/hit/smack the ‘maleness’ out of young boys who came home from school a bit hyper?

    1. You’re right. Thank you. Serge teaches that. I’ve added it to the post.

      As for Sarah Davis and Rebecca Baldwin spruiking the cult to schools – they have a hide.

      I spoke once with someone from the state school district admin and she got on her high horse and insisted UM couldn’t infiltrate schools in the area and was very unhelpful. Frankly I don’t believe her.

  9. Creepy video of a Christian Assemblies International celebration given the comprehensive abuses. (click youtube icon to watch)

    Reminds me of this from The Family – David Berg’s cult, where sexual abuse was also the norm. (Thx for link pranabunny)

    1. Notice how all the men seem so physically close in the CAI. Just seems odd no one dances with the opposite sex. I guess under the watch of Williams people are afraid.

  10. I have just been reading the 4 Corners Web page and the 4 Corners Facebook page. The comments from the Public about last Monday night’s aired program made for an interesting read. Here is a sampling of them.

    https://www.facebook.com/abc4corners
    http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/four-corners/NC1404H026S00

    “Good program it is sad to see that we have governments which ban motorcycle riders to meet in groups but can not stop this cult despite all the evidence and witness statements!”

    “This man and his Cult should be brought to Justice and ALL assets claimed by the Government. Then it can be used for Education, Health and those in need”

    “Scott Williams has narcissistic personality disorder: grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
    Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
    Requires excessive admiration
    Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
    Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
    Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
    Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
    Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes….”

    “As an athiest it just makes me cringe the things people fall for. All science classes have been cancelled today kids, your parents have decided to believe in magic instead.”

    “The cult in this program is eerily similar to the one I experienced….they are platforms for pedophiles and extreme money laundering (they have huge palatial compounds, travel on gold cards, have the best of everything, make people in the congregation work for them, dish out favours for their own relatives, make you marry who they deem suitable….thousands of dollars filtered into the bank accounts of the ‘elect’.)..these people are master manipulators, abusers both physical and emotional and need to be brought to account! Criminal!!! It takes ‘years’ for these people to resume normal life…it is WRONG!”

    “So glad to be free…Being in a cult can feel deceptively comforting to begin with, but it’s a bit like jumping into a pot of tepid water…before you know it you’re being boiled alive!! The safety of science allows you the freedom to think feel and discover with the support of observable and tested information which is continually updated as new technology uncovers ever more about our awesome world/universe!!”

    “Something doesn’t quite add up here. You mean to say no one knows right from wrong and questioned this nutbar? Especially when children are involved? not convinced it was all brain wash.”

    “No religious institutions should be tax-exempt. Crazy that they are. That’s the power of cults in action right there.”

    “After this revelation of how corrupt religion can be and how he has not even been charged!!! The tax free status for religious groups has to come into question. Surely churches can be subject to tax and help with the LNP urgent need to cut debt??? $150 million for Chaplins in schools by LNP is an insult to our intelligence, and just Tonys money for mates.Otherwise we can all be in a church of “Atheism for Charity Church” and get tax free status. Where is the justice for the abused?? Too sick to be charged, we saw Alan Bond fool us with his ploy to feign sickness, wake up and see that the public needs to see justice being done.”

  11. I agree that all Christian churches / sects and other religions need to be closely scrutinized (re: benefits to the community) and fairly taxed (especially the obscenely wealthy).

    Jesus teachings emphasised the need to love all (even “enemies”), care and advocate for the poor and vulnerable. (He strongly reprimanded religious and political leaders re their hypocrisy and abuse of power).

    I hope that those deceived in the Coff’s Harbour and other sects have the support and resources required for recovery and justice to prevail.

  12. This article is so well written it succinctly reveals the comparisons (really frightening and enlightening.)
    I think a copy of this should be sent to 4 Corners, Commissioner Pascoe and the
    Schools in the Lismore area that were invited to the Conference unaware that it was a UM event, or was that a COUM event because apparently they are SO different!? Another tax dodge.

  13. A staff lunch room question from today:
    Given that newspapers worldwide are always looking for ‘human interest’ stories. Given that dozens, if not hundreds of members of Universal Medicine make contact (love bomb) the newspapers to tell ‘the truth’ about Serge Benhayon and the ‘awesome’ benefits of belonging to Universal Medicine.
    Why hasn’t there been a single story written in any newspaper, that doesn’t imply weird and cult like behaviours by members?
    Also Esther maybe you could clarify this piece of news I heard today?
    An email was sent out to EPA members to comment on the ‘Truth’ site. These are mainly newer OS members quite distanced from the old guard.
    Other than the regular daily party faithful, new ‘members’ are commenting on the unreliable stories they are fed by the party faithful.
    Is this true?

  14. Hmm. I don’t have that email. Sergi-leaks has dried up lately, but it sounds correct. We have emails from the fruity facts team telling them not to read my blogs, and I’ve been told by readers cult members are sent reminders to comment on every bit of propaganda that arises – Facebook, YouTube, the blogs etc.

    Makes sense new members are told what to believe and to add their voices to the lynch mob.

    We’ve also been told that because we get relatively few commenters on the blogs, that there are only a few people reading and supporting us. They’re still trying to portray us as a ‘few disgruntled males’.

    But even with all their new and AMAZING sites, and after culties are told not to visit us, we’re still at the top of Google searches.

    The question why no newspapers write up Esoteric healing’s glorious benefits is because the only claim they’re game to make under scrutiny is that UM helps people to ‘self-care’ – which anyone and their budgerigar can learn how to do for free without joining a cult. The biggest non story of the New Era.

    Thanks for that, and we’re always happy to receive any of the cult’s communiques to the paying subscribers. Old ones are also good, and if anyone has any from around 2007 or before we’d be interested. Also any emails advertising the chakra-puncture courses or private or group healing sessions. Thx.

  15. Oh the pic of those majestic pearly gates at no.37.

    One wonders if when he works behind those gates whether Lismore Cr Isaac Smith also abides by ‘The Way of the Livingness’?

  16. April 30th, 2016 10:00 AM through 4:00 PM
    Location
    HALL OF AGELESS WISDOM
    37 Converys Lane, off Bruxner Highway

    A forum for discussion with a panel will be held following the Sermon.

    The focus of this presentation is for group discussion to cover the topic of religion and its application with regard to its real meaning and its unavoidable activity. Attendees will be able to ask questions and raise challenges as well as offer input towards the development of the needed livingness, a religious way.

    This is an opportunity to bring your thoughts on the matter and or to quell your reserves or challenges. The open forum will provide a platform for equal say.

    https://study.universalmedicine.com.au/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=454

    1. Clicked on the link, got this message:

      “EVENT INFORMATION

      Sorry. A non-recoverable error has occurred.
      The page you requested is currently unavailable.
      Return to home page.”

      I guess the opportunity to “bring your thoughts on the matter and or to quell your reserves or challenges” no longer exists. And that’s a shame as I know a whole load of people who would like to attend and have an awful lot of questions to ask. Yet again it would seem the one who declared he would debate anyone on anything and knows more than anyone else in the universe is hiding away from any sort of real dialogue.

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