International alternative medicine and commercial religious, organization Universal Medicine is in the press again. According to scores of dedicated webpages on UM’s 28+ websites, myself and other complainants who’ve publicly questioned their secretive unethical behaviour are criminals, liars, trolls, cyber bullies and mentally ill. Instead of answers to questions, journalists like News Ltd’s Jane Hansen receive accusations of bias and ad hominem attacks. So why won’t UM and its Glorious leader, Serge Benhayon, answer the questions? And does anyone outside the cult believe a handful of private individuals could bully a multi million dollar conglomerate, their hundreds of religious investors and their legal team? What’s all the fuss about and who’s bullying who?
From the Daily Telegraph- Jane Hansen: How Universal Medicine bullied me
The group, based in the northern NSW town of Goonellabah, closely guards its reputation, employing an internet reputation manager to have some critical blogs and media stories wiped from the internet and mount personal attacks on others who report on or complain about the group.
Byron Bay woman Esther Rockett has blogged about Universal Medicine since she had early dealings with group, including treatments by Benhayon where she felt uncomfortable.
With a degree in theology, she alleges the clean living, lifestyle-based teachings are mixed with reincarnation and occult practices.
Followers are told to avoid foods with bad energy and even music is off the menu except for Benhayon-approved music by either Chris James, a business partner, or Serge’s son Michael. Classical music like Mozart and Beethoven are not approved.
When Ms Rockett — an acupuncturist — moved to Byron Bay late last year, an unnamed registrant bought the domain name acupuncturebyronbay.com.
When you Google for an acupuncturist in Byron, up comes the site, which warns people to avoid Esther Rockett.
“Byron Bay Locals Be Warned” the site says above a big picture of Rockett, whom it describes as ‘a cyber-bully’.
The signed names at the bottom of the site include several Universal Medicine members, but this is not disclosed.
They’re all UM followers, and most don’t live in Byron Bay. The web host of that site gave me the name of Serge’s business partner, Desiree Delaloye as the site registrant, saying if I had a complaint about the content I should contact her. I refrained from doing so because last time I emailed a UMer, she tried to have me charged with stalking.
“It’s an attack on my livelihood, I’m an individual with legitimate complaints and they are (part of) a multi-million dollar corporation,” Ms Rockett said, adding she could not afford to take defamation action.
Unlike Serge Benhayon, I don’t have a legal team on my payroll. Perhaps because I’m not preying on my patients for donations and bequests.
The group has managed to have her Facebook shut down and Ms Rockett believes they may also have been responsible for her Twitter account being suspended.
She has received 150 notifications from Twitter that her account “may be suspended” for “abusive behaviour”.
She alleges UM members are bombarding twitter with complaints. Ms Rockett says she has only ever defended herself against tweets directed at her from UM.
The Tweets are never directed at me. UMers don’t have the courage to Tweet to me, they Tweet about me en masse. The Facebook page closures were the work of Phoenix Global who refused to disclose the grounds of the complaints – as did Facebook.
Serge Benhayon and UM have also hired Internet Reputation Australia, associated with private investigator group Phoenix Global, to have critical blogs and posts about Universal Medicine removed from the net…
In spite of UM selling clean living and premium priced ‘energetic integrity’, they hired an organized crime figure to provide them with security services. Head of Phoenix Global, Mick Featherstone, is the subject of an ongoing Queensland Crime Commission investigation into corruption and fraud, and has been charged with kidnapping and attempting to pervert the cause of justice. Other Phoenix Global clients include various extortionists and fraudsters, and a convicted child rapist.
Lance Martin, a Bangalow-based businessman, has also been labelled a cyber-bully for airing his story where he alleged his marriage failed as a result of the group’s interference.
He has since been accused of being an abusive partner, which he vehemently denies, and his former business, an online hotel booking site, suffered after online publications repeating the allegation became associated with the name of the business.
“By keyword loading on the business name they attached these blogs about me and they do a lot of link sharing on Twitter and Facebook, whoever they are attacking and then Google starts ranking them higher and higher until it’s the first thing that came up when you googled my business.
“The blogs intimated I was an abusive husband, which is contrary to the facts.”
He had to close down the business.
The Parliamentary Committee on the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) conducted an Inquiry into “The Promotion of False And Misleading Health-Related Information and Practices” last year. Universal Medicine was given a stinging critique by Professor John Dwyer from the Friends of Science in Medicine…
Universal Medicine has been lobbying the local member Don Page to have this page from the report removed.
Mr Benhayon was offered an interview but chose to not answer the questions in favour of berating me for posing them…
After the article went to print, “The Facts” team turned their attention to me…
They even used the death of my eight-month-old son in 2004 as ammunition against me.
“But would this life-changing moment signify fundamental change in how she works? Would it mean that she would take action to arrest harm if it would get in the way of a good story?”
Serge Benhayon tweeted this particular blog on the morning of the 10th anniversary of my son’s death – an incredibly painful day despite the years.
Anything but answer the questions.
They accuse everyone one else of cyber bullying while embarking on a systematic, online pack hunt says Ira McClure who went public last year with her dealing with UM.
She has been vilified since with numerous comments from members…has seen her medical conditions discussed openly in the blogs by members she has never met.
Mr Benhayon said to his knowledge Ira McClure had never received any Universal Medicine treatments, yet The Sunday Telegraph has viewed her receipts from the practitioner she saw. She has taken her complaint to the Health Care Complaints Commission.
Although Serge Benhayon denies he directs his ‘Facts Team’ on what to write, the Sunday Telegraph’s email sent directly to his address on Thursday March 5 was posted on “The Facts” site shortly after with six more blogs including “Jane Hansen Revenge Trail” and “Jane Hansen and Junk Food Journalism” complete with over 600 comments on my lack of integrity and professionalism. Daily Telegraph
Serge denies directing his followers, and the Facts Team describes that site as a ‘student initiative’, but Benhayon is listed as owner of the domain.
Who’s bullying who?
I believe readers are intelligent enough to make up their own minds.
My blogs exposing UM:
Their main site defaming us (repetition of the same is strewn across a couple of dozen others) – closed to outside comments or corrections:
Universal Medicine has built its sordid empire by marketing occult, Esoteric snake oil to the vulnerable – people with gynaecological conditions and eating disorders; cancer patients, and most recently, adolescent girls – primarily via Esoteric Women’s Health and its abusive modalities including Esoteric Breast Massage. They’ve worked to monopolize the financial expenditure of their faithful by cleaving relationships and families apart and demanding exclusive loyalty to Benhayon’s Way of the Livingness religion and his One Unified Truth.
For two and half years a small number of us have submitted official complaints about UniMed’s operations and practices, and blogged material they studiously avoid making public. I’ve named their recruiters on our Naming Names page and listed their front orgs. During that time, UM have escalated their efforts to intimidate and silence us, and publicly labelled a growing number of us liars. In spite of their dogged in house legal team, and the wealth to sue us and shut my sites down permanently, we’ve never received a single legal notice. Rather than test our claims in court, the ‘new world religion’ has opted to harass us instead.
Those who haven’t experienced the wall of bullshit that is UM’s marketing behemoth might sample the highly Esoteric Universal Medicine Facts site, or the attempt they’re making to drive me and my livelihood out of Byron Bay and into a ditch. Those with doubts about the veracity of any of the hundreds of thousands of words written on them, should try posting a correction, a question, or a critical comment. Those are not allowed, and until UM behaves reasonably and accountably, I don’t see how anyone could believe a word of it.
I should feel flattered that a wealthy organization with hundreds of investors regards me as having superior strength.
Universal Medicine accountability
We ask UM to drop the smokescreen and immediately halt their harmful practices:
- Hands off erogenous zones in so called ‘healing’ practices, especially of minors and sexual abuse survivors
- Halt covert hypnosis without informed consent
- Halt exorcistic practices, especially performed on children or other vulnerable people
- Quit exposing children to age inappropriate presentations, including Serge’s public rants on sex and violence
- Stop exploiting juvenile girls to promote UM and its sleazy practices
- Stop sending juvenile girls to stay at Serge’s house!
- Stop harassing HCCC complainant Ira McClure
- Health and other professionals (doctors, dentists, lawyers, teachers) affiliated with UM must halt exerting undue influence on patients and members of the public in promoting UM
- Stop marketing UM’s anti-social ‘humanity is rot’ and ‘male energy’ causes women’s cancers teachings as ‘healing’ or ‘self-loving choices’
- Stop marketing death worship and the denigration of the human body as ‘complementary medicine’
Apart from that, we’ve only asked for what any member of the public has the right to expect from any healthcare or religious organization.
- Transparency in business and charity practices
- Accountability & proactive measures to eliminate misconduct, abuse and dishonesty
- Honesty in advertising (i.e. disclose the nature of supernatural/occult beliefs in publicity, publicly advertise all events, healing sessions and course structures, full disclosure of fees and charges, stop advertising false accreditation, minimize claims of efficacy for sham therapies like chakra-puncture and Esoteric breast massage.)
- Honesty in applications for government grants and use of public funds via Medicare etc.
- Declaration of conflicts of interest and recognizing and refraining from exerting undue influence on the vulnerable for personal or financial gain.
- Transparency in addressing questions and criticism (not attacks and defamation)
- Respect for legal and regulatory complaints processes (rather than abusing such processes to intimidate and censor)
- Honest & civilized responses to questions and concerns
- Tolerance and respect for alternative philosophies and viewpoints
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