Continued from previous post on Recruitment
After several well spaced treatments, I’d been feeling better, partly due to the treatment, but mostly because I’d taken long overdue holidays and done some soul searching (out of reach of Universal Medicine). However, it wasn’t my gradual return to health that prompted me to drop the treatments but Serge’s unexpected and intrusively sleazy behaviour.
During my final session, Serge asked if I wanted the ‘ovarian reading’. When I asked what it was, I wasn’t given an explanation, just some vague mumbling about how he thought it would be helpful. He said he would lay his hands on my lower abdomen and ‘read’ my ovaries. I told him I didn’t think I needed it, but he was persistent. I asked if he meant he would psychically read them, but again wasn’t given a straight answer. He is not qualified or trained to treat gyne or sexual problems, and if I did have such problems, I would not be seeking assistance from an unqualified person. To be clear, Serge is not qualified or trained in ANYTHING. Still he told me he thought it would be a good idea and I found myself persuaded. In fact, I didn’t so much agree to the reading, but give in. It could not be called informed consent, as Benhayon didn’t tell me what it involved beforehand, but insisted it would be ‘all right’ and it wouldn’t be invasive.
He told me I was welcome to comment during the reading, but also said I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to. In spite of having previous treatments where there was no sleazy behaviour, I now suspected the exercise was an attempt at sexual manipulation, which I’d unfortunately experienced from a healer before. I didn’t comment. I was wondering what he would try and by then I suspected he had guru aspirations and was trying to recruit me to his organization.
With his hands on my belly, he began to talk about my history of relationships with men beginning at age four or so, suggesting how men had behaved toward me at certain ages. For example, according to Serge, at five years old, a significant man in my life had let me down, at seven a man had presented himself not as he seemed, at twelve a man had not been there for me, at seventeen a man in my life had wounded me etc. The statements were, without exception, vague, general, highly interpretable and in spite of their breadth utterly inaccurate. For example, his psychic powers didn’t pick up that I have five brothers. The technique is an example of cold reading.
I endured the ‘reading’ with a blank expression and did not comment. As it wore on Serge became visibly frustrated with my lack of response and asked me, ‘so, am I right?’
My suspicions confirmed, I kept my response low key. I shrugged and said. ‘Uh, no, not really.’
So much for respecting my privacy and my right to confidentiality. The reading confirmed to me Serge Benhayon is not a man to be trusted.
On the ethics of that therapy, its sole purpose was to prompt me to make disclosures about my sexual history. When you’re fishing for a woman to comment on her experiences with men from childhood, through puberty into adulthood, what else are you looking for? I’ve not heard of him using a similar technique for deducing women’s relationships with other women. I also guess he has some similar method for getting disclosures out of his male patients, and his fishing is bound to get him what he’s looking for seeing one in three women have experienced sexual assault or abuse, and one in five men.
The other thing I know, is that it’s not necessary for any therapist under any circumstances to scrutinize anyone’s sexual history, or the history of a woman’s relationships with men. Let alone Serge, who has no qualifications. A qualified therapist doesn’t need to know every minutiae of someone’s life in order to help them. The disclosure of sexual matters or the revisiting of trauma renders patients emotionally and psychologically vulnerable, which unethical practitioners may exploit. An ethical therapist will never pressure a patient into making personal disclosures. Many therapists go so far as discouraging patients from making disclosures unless the patient feels it’s absolutely necessary to their healing process. It should only occur if the patient is ready, once a trusting relationship is established, and only in the context of the therapist assisting the patient in coming to terms with their experiences. It is not a job for untrained or self styled healers. Particularly with shady pasts.
However, Serge doesn’t belong to any professional association, nor is he claiming to practice any of the registered therapeutic modalities. So where the ovarian reading could be grounds for a complaint in any registered profession, at that time in NSW, there was nowhere for patients to go if they felt their privacy was invaded. Or worse. Even if he molested me or anyone else, in the setting of a private treatment room without witnesses it would be our word against his. I also shudder to think he now has a squadron of women staff and apologists who clamour to defend him. A woman victimized by this man is less likely to be believed. This is why there are therapeutic guidelines to protect patients, as well as protecting practitioners from incidents that may end their careers.
(NSW has had laws in place to protect patients from unregistered healthcare practitioners since 2008, so if patients have experienced unethical treatment, they may make a complaint to the NSW HCCC. More information in this post.)
Another consideration, which chills me, is if I’d been more naive, taken his suggested leads and told him details of my past, what would he have done with that knowledge? For instance, if I’d told him of some bad sexual experience, would he have offered me a ‘sexual purification’ or ‘sexual healing’ that involved endowing me with his ‘divine essence’? Unfortunately, this is one of the oldest guru tricks in the book, and I wouldn’t put it past him. We’re talking about an individual who regards himself as an all seeing, all knowing being — a kind of god. I have no evidence he does that, but I would like to hear from you via my contact form if this has happened to you. Either way, it was best I disclosed nothing.
Regardless of whether he would have used knowledge of my sexual or reproductive history as an excuse to seduce or molest me, he has no right to that knowledge, and the fact that he undoubtedly has such knowledge of significant numbers of his patients, puts them in a highly vulnerable position. Such intrusiveness is aggressive and predatory, an overt attempt to dominate and control, if not actually assault or molest.
Yet, Universal Medicine’s professional apologists continue to defend the man who tried this on me. These same individuals are for the most part profiting from his booming cottage industry in fleecing students of well earned money for a false system of spiritual development that does nothing but hack at the foundations of selfhood and dignity. Hence, our public campaign to call these practitioners to account. Take heed, Universal Medicine apologists, during your next propaganda posts on your sanitized websites, if you’re going to get defensive, at least answer the charges.
Better still, get Serge to do it himself. And then explain his rationale for conceiving of Esoteric Breast Massage.
Calling me a liar won’t cut it either. If he tried it on me, he tried it on others. I know there are others who will confirm my account, and I’ve heard rumours of extreme misconduct occurring in Serge’s treatment room from sources who are reluctant to make their accounts public. I’m appealing to anyone who has had such an experience to come forward, even anonymously in the comments, or via the form on the contact page. Or at least read this post. With enough evidence we might put an end to this perverse exploitation and harm.
In the next post, I discuss my reasoning for briefly continuing my tenuous association with Serge Benhayon and describe the weekend workshop in Sacred Esoteric Healing.