Belief in invisible energies, spirits and entities is an integral part of Universal Medicine’s lucrative undue influence on followers. A blog by one of the firm’s employees walks us through how the UniMed leader exploited the paranoia of a depressed and anxious high school boy to convert him into a loyal propagandist. A follow up by NHS surgeon, Eunice Minford, shows how the cult’s health professionals enable the scam.
2016 sees the first public acknowledgement in 17 years that UniMed investors have bought Benhayon’s exorcism sales pitch. Until now, UM, with its 43 official websites has misled the public that the Esoteric healing conglomerate sells ‘healthy, self-loving choices’, and follows ‘no allegiance to any cult, form or belief.’
SergeProp is yet to acknowledge Benhayon is a predatory charlatan making millions per annum peddling habit forming occult snake oil and pressuring his congregation into volunteer labour, bogus ‘investments‘ and cash donations to fund his commercial overheads.
Disempowering to sell empowerment
From Jonathan Baldwin’s blog Spirits, Entities, Possession and the Wisdom of Serge Benhayon:
When I first met Serge Benhayon I was 17 years old, just going into Year 12 at high school. After much resistance to the prospect of seeing anyone for support, and particularly anyone who I considered may be a part of the spiritual new age, I went to see Serge Benhayon for an Esoteric Healing session at his Universal Medicine Clinic in Goonellabah. My mother, Kathleen Baldwin, had been attending Sacred Esoteric Healing courses presented by Serge for about a year. She recommended that I go and see him, as she had observed my emotional state deteriorating over the course of many months.
At 16, he was thinking and behaving fairly typically for a teenager at his stage of development.
…I wasn’t in a good place. I had completely lost the sense of who I was – a knowing that was very strong in my younger years…I was going along with things, listening to music, hanging out with friendship groups and getting involved in projects and initiatives at school that I would never have naturally been a part of.
UM’s marketing is packed with testimonials from customers who claim their lives were worthless before joining the cult. They were lost and suffering because they weren’t ‘claiming it’ and being who they ‘truly are’. Baldwin relates his paranoia to a sense of not being his ‘true’ self.
Soon after, at the beginning of Year 11, I reached the lowest point of not knowing myself anymore and I started to feel an unseen presence around me. It was a very dark feeling presence, and it was unmistakably there…To describe the feeling, it was like having a dark character tracing your every step. Although you cannot hear them, you can feel them trying to get in; attempting to enter your thoughts; sending you images and generally attempting to attack and destabilise you. I had the feeling of being constantly watched.
At this time the experience scared the hell out of me.
Kathleen took him – not to a GP or psychologist – but to unqualified Serge Benhayon. The whole post is worth reading in its entirety, as well as the comments, as an illustration of Benhayon’s methods of coercive persuasion. Remarkable, also, because it’s a frank admission he’s using cynical and damaging manipulation on vulnerable juveniles.
Serge heard me out with absolute matter of fact understanding and supported me to describe everything that had gone on, as he said that there was nothing he hadn’t heard before. In his steady presence I felt absolutely no judgement, just a wealth of understanding and loving support. When I was done expressing, he confirmed that I was feeling the presence of an entity, describing in detail how it had come to pass that this discarnate spirit had been able to enter and affect my day to day life.
This was 2004, around the time of my first bizarre encounters with Benhayon, and some months prior to the sleazy ovarian reading he tried on me.
Serge is a living embodiment of the fact that there is zero to fear once you know how to navigate and feel unseen forces, because we are by nature supremely more powerful than any disembodied human spirit on the Astral plane.
Yet, in spite of his supreme power, 12 years later Baldwin is still fearfully obsessed with phantoms. UniMed investors are told if they are not in their ‘truth’, which translates as failing to do as Benhayon says – down to the dress code and dietary restrictions – the imaginary entities will find openings to ‘enter’ them.
During the session I asked Serge how I would be able to stop entities from disturbing me in the future. He explained that every time I drank alcohol I would open myself up to entity disturbance…
When I left the session that day I felt a freedom and lightness that I had not experienced in a very long time. Serge had effortlessly removed the entity with Sacred Esoteric Healing and I no longer had the feeling of a presence following me around…
It’s the essence of the whole UM energy healing scam, Benhayon removed something that was never there in the first place, and charged for it. And it wouldn’t be Universal Medicine marketing if it didn’t diss the competition:
I have been struck by the amount of torment and ultimate ineffectiveness of the exorcism rituals performed by the Catholic Church, when with the true science and energy, the spirit or entity that has been aggrandised to be so demonic, scary and powerful could otherwise be so simply, effortlessly and calmly removed.
The Catholic Church does it cheaper as far as I know. With better production standards.
The ghoul in the room
I don’t doubt Baldwin’s anxiety was real. However, in my view, his dark and creeping unease wasn’t caused by some bored spirit. Its onset coincided with his mother joining a cult. Kathleen began attending the workshops and brought home the grotesque fairytales I heard myself from Benhayon at that time. The commercial basis of UM’s Esoteric business is convincing people they’ve been invaded by lost entities, and have bad energy assaulting them from past lives, nutritious foods and music, and from associating with people who enjoy themselves. Benhayon sells them the ‘healing’ to ‘clear’ them. He then upsells them a package to improve their initiations toward the ‘divine light of the soul’.
Entities, spirits and the ‘Four Lords of Form’ are straw men, symbolic of Benhayon’s own insidious influence and the reality of the damage he does. Baldwin was likely a sensitive and nervous child. The dark presence he felt was likely Benhayon himself and his oppressive Way of the Livingness becoming central to his family’s lives. In 2004, they were beginning a journey of cult sycophancy that has seen them line Benhayon’s pockets with hundreds of thousands of dollars they could ill afford and has cost them their emotional and intellectual growth.
And dignity. Baldwin and his sister, Rebecca Asquith, are aggressive propagandists on UM’s false and defamatory *Facts* Team. The people who made national news for online bullying, including mobbing and vilifying a HCCC complainant in poor health.
Although, publishing his testimonial for exorcisms might be considered a step up for the former face of man-struation, and his promotions of Natalie Benhayon’s Our Cycles menstrual cycle app for blokes.
The economics of infantilization
In future presentations Serge would explain that we are got at from an early age by unseen beings and forces, in an attempt to bully us into shutting down our feelings and awareness of life. Everyone remembers having nightmares as children, being scared of monsters under the bed etc…The vast majority of us shut down our feelings when we are young because we don’t know how to deal with the discarnate beings that are sent to scare us… We say that it was only a dream and that monsters don’t exist, and in doing so we encourage them to shut down their innate feelings of the energetic field that we constantly live in also.
Regressing devotees to infantile dissociative states is profitable. While they’re blissing out over gentle breath meditation, hands on trance inducing healings, and woo-wooing over non existent spooks, they’re disengaged from reality. It allows Benhayon to operate in plain sight, channelling the profits of his rorting and rip offs into his temporal property portfolio. While the flock are trying to outdo each other in their public devotionals to a multimillionaire, he’s bullying them to spend and donate more, as well as deceitfully concealing rorts and regulatory woes.
To compound the dissociation, he preaches ’emotions are the cause of all disease’. Followers are kept in a state of emotional confusion and distracted by inevitable relationship difficulties. Benhayon’s next step is to shut down their cognitive and critical functioning to limit their ability to question.
Re-connect to your inner-heart – you will then know that you know it all … and always did…Why does mankind so ignorantly continue to seek knowledge by using the mind? (Benhayon, 2011, p. 287)
All our thinking comes first from our body, Deeply lost is he who thinks it comes from one’s head. (2011, p.460)
All your thoughts and choices come from the energy that has entered you. No education in this world has ever told or taught you that. (2011, p.301.)
Mental alertness, critical thinking, healthy emotional functioning and sound relationships are the best defences against cult conversion. That’s why Benhayon demonizes them.
The blog’s comments [I’ve put some in the comments area below] echo Baldwin’s infantile statements. A number of fellow investors recount their childhood fears of monsters lurking under the bed – as if that’s proof Benhayon’s entities exist. However, it’s normal, in childhood, to fear the unknown. Children have limited capability to cognitively process abstract concepts. The things they don’t understand take the form of characters in fairy stories. Fear of the unknown dissipates as children become adults and develop the intellectual and psychological competence and maturity to deal with the real world. Certainly, many adults don’t quite reach that level. Scientific studies show that belief in the paranormal serves as a ‘protective shield‘. People are more likely to see illusory forces at work when they spend time in chaotic environments and feel a loss of control.
In Universal Medicine, cult members are sold ‘unseen beings and forces’ to divert their focus to the imaginary. The entity performances distract them from examining Benhayon’s questionable behaviour and pernicious dominance. Those illusions are a critical factor in instilling obedience and subservience. For many it becomes a long standing dependency founded on a fear that failing to adhere to the Livingness will result in bad karma, misfortune and disease, as well as entity possession and rape.
The prospect of an entity entering my body, or being spooked and scared at night is now a distant memory. Absolutely, if I were to drink alcohol, or take drugs I would open the door back up quicker than I could think…
Without Serge Benhayon’s solid and practical understanding that spirits are simply human beings not in physical incarnation – that they are not to be thought of as lesser, or grander, or scarier than any person walking down the street – and that their only perceived power lies in our choice to not be aware of their existence and the way they affect and influence human life, I would have lived tormented. Spirits, Entities, Possession and the Wisdom of Serge Benhayon
Alternatively, he might have grown up.
Channelling antipathy & converting it to cash
Supernatural beings are also scapegoats for Benhayon’s personal insecurities. The Unpacking Serge Benhayon video talk examined his conspiracy theories that medical science, educational institutions and other sources of authority are controlled by ‘lost spirits’, the demonic Four Lords of Form. These are projections of Benhayon’s inability to reconcile his grandiose delusions with the reality that he’s not intellectually sophisticated enough to compete with authentic sources of knowledge and expertise.
Sexually voracious entities and the clever, sportsmanly Four Lords of Form symbolize Benhayon’s competition – the human objects of his loathing who legitimately gained the public prestige he craved, or the more attractive males who got the girls.
The commercial New Age model, built on ‘channelled’ knowledge enables narcissistic shysters to claim expertise, even omniscience via their alleged intuitive gifts. They concoct unsophisticated systems of ‘wisdom’ by mashing together mythic deities, magical thinking and cold egomania. It takes no intellectual refinement or educational achievements. Rather, the claim to supernatural knowledge and ability is a philistine’s revenge against the establishment.
With a hungry market for saviours pedalling ‘truth’, the New Age business model is also an avenue for underachievers to gain wealth and authority. In Benhayon’s case he’s heard in audio of his Esoteric Medicine lectures claiming Professors of medicine should ask him to tell them everything he knows, in case there’s things they’ve missed.
Benhayon claims he’s being ‘impulsed’ with the ‘Ageless Wisdom’ direct from the ‘Ascended Masters of the Hierarchy’. In attributing the channelled information to allegedly higher powers he’s relieved of responsibility for its authoritarian nature.
In thinking they’re being blessed with some higher knowledge from the fifth dimension, Benhayon’s followers come to believe they’ve been chosen to be part of a spiritual elite. They confuse their infantile dependency on him with personal empowerment. It accounts for the aggressive defensiveness and immature groupthink in their responses to questions and criticisms – harnessed by Benhayon for his propaganda smokescreen.
Psychological risks – arrested development and psychosis
Commenters on Baldwin’s blog discuss drilling their own children with the entity myth. Restricting children’s psychological and emotional development ensures the kids inherit their parents’ dependency on the paternalistic guru. Testimonials from Benhayon’s juvenile female houseguests show how little confidence the youngsters have in their own judgement, their upbringing, or outside sources of guidance. They claim they would be out of control on drugs and alcohol if they hadn’t been ‘properly educated’ in the cult, and they’re pressured with alarmism about sexual violence among youth, and the dangers and evils of the world at large. Their dependency no doubt reinforced by fears of supernatural rape.
Baldwin doesn’t mention either that physical contact with Benhayon is a method of entity removal. Just as Benhayon offers hands on healing to the crotch to clear the ‘energy of rape’.
Furthermore, UM’s leader teaches that supernatural possession is the cause of mental illness, a notion made redundant centuries ago.
Which authorised and certified intelligence is going to breach the peer ill generated etiquette and standards and thus break the mould and speak from the inner heart? For example, when will psychiatrist finally understand and then actually publicly claim that all schizophrenia is caused by spiritual possession. (Benhayon, 2009, p.175)
…these pranic based energetic modalities will be seen as the cause of the more insidious depth of metamorphosed new forms of illness and disease…such as the condition known as bipolar, which is heightened pranic energy in the pituitary gland and psychosis, which is a heightened pranic activity in the nervous system and schizophrenia, which is possessive spiritual activity that begins in and throughout the nervous system and then from there goes to the endocrine system resulting in deep chemical imbalances in the brain. (2009, p.414-5)
Eunice Minford’s demented undue influence
Universal Medicine has a couple of dozen health professionals avidly promoting and endorsing Benhayon. Six are psychologists. Not one has the competence to identify an occult scam. A couple of weeks ago, NHS surgeon, Eunice Minford, joined the sales pitch, claiming beliefs are ‘facts’ and pushing the lunatic fiction that peddling the notion mental illness is caused by spirit possession does no harm.
In her blog: Entities, Spirits and Ghosts: Serge Benhayon offers a core religious understanding, Minford confuses beliefs with facts.
The existence of the Soul, incorporeal spirits, entities and ghosts is a fact in many of the world’s religions.
The fact is that Serge Benhayon has been presenting on the reality of entities, their effects and how to remove them in a way that makes them a normal part of life; there is no fear mongering, no emotionality and certainly no induction of any form of altered state or consciousness as may be seen in some religions.
That’s not what I witnessed in 2005, when I saw people experiencing intense emotional breakdowns – crying, screaming and vomiting.
[Esther Rockett’s] recent forays have attempted to suggest that Serge Benhayon’s beliefs and attitudes about entities and mental illness are dangerous.
Serge Benhayon has made general observations about the possible impact of entities upon mental health, including schizophrenia, depression and suicide. Although Rockett has tried to use these understandings to create a sense of danger and potential risk of harm (even attempting to use these presentations to suggest that the proponent is ‘delusional’ (her assertion)), there is no harm, no danger and certainly no ‘delusion’. Universal Medicine Facts
It’s not what Olga experienced either, when her diligent adherence to the oppressive Way of the Livingness ended in a psychiatric clinic with life threatening psychosis.
Universal Medicine’s consent forms and ALL CAPS site disclaimers show the proprietor and his lawyers are less deluded than Minford. They’re fully cognisant of the mental health risks of such rot, and having cult struck health professionals endorse it. UM seeks detailed mental health information for attendance at even brief events.
If they don’t deter customers at risk of psychosis from attending, the consent forms deter them from pursuing damages claims.
Baldwin and the rest of the propaganda team’s effort to present Benhayon’s exorcism racket as respectable is noble, but typically scatterbrained. Eunice Minford, on the other hand, is shamelessly exerting undue influence on vulnerable people to sell a nasty, exploitative scam.
Perhaps we ought to be grateful they’re more forthcoming about their beliefs. A couple of years ago, public admissions like this would have been unthinkable. Seeing I published exposure and stood up to harassment and censorship, UM are now scrambling to gain control of their dubious message, but they can’t hope to salvage credibility when they have none left.
Benhayon, S. The Living Sutras of the Hierarchy, UniMed Publishing, Goonellabah, 2009
Benhayon, S. Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, UniMed Publishing, Goonellabah, 2011