Just over a month ago I submitted photographic images from an Esoteric Healing workshop manual of Serge Benhayon with his hand on a woman’s genitals accompanied by text describing it as a healing for ‘rape recovery’ to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission. The Universal Medicine cult is undoubtedly overjoyed to know that the HCCC won’t be taking action and they can go on deceiving patients and molesting as usual.
From the HCCC’s decision letter:
With regards to your concerns about Mr Benhayon’s Esoteric Healing, there does not appear to be any sexual misconduct evident or likely to be proven. While I understand your concerns, without specific patient details or incidents, there is insufficient basis on which to take further action…
Except, to anyone who takes one look at those photos, sexual misconduct is more than evident. No professional on earth who deals with sexual abuse victims would advocate touching genitals as therapy. Unqualified healers only touch genitals if they’re perverts. NOBODY thinks those photos are okay. Even the cult is trying to tell the flock they’re fake, and we don’t see Dr Eunice Minford of Antrim General Hospital, Northern Ireland, pasting her Esoteric ‘mein kampf’ all over the internet in defence of Serge pawing at crotches. (UPDATE: Yes we do)
Should you have concerns that Mr Benhayon is misrepresenting his qualifications or providing treatment that is restricted to that of a registered health provider, you can discuss it with AHPRA as they are the appropriate body to deal with such issues.
No. AHPRA is not. We’ve been through this when there was a complaint about Esoteric Chakra-puncture. AHPRA protects job titles. It does not protect patients. They’ll only act against Serge if he tells people he’s a registered health professional or uses a professional title. Again, registered health practitioners don’t treat rape victims by fondling their genitals. If they did, they’d be deregistered. The way the law stands, Serge could have a crack at brain surgery and that would be fine if he got ‘consent’ and as long as he didn’t call himself a doctor.
Grazie per niente.
I can imagine our pretties giving each other gentle backslaps with a bit of gentle breast stroking thinking they’ve dodged a bullet, but they need to know that legislation is currently working its way through NSW state parliament, with bipartisan support, giving the HCCC new powers.
As it stands, the dysfunctional Health Care Complaints Act has limited the HCCC to investigating complaints that show the health service in question affects the clinical management or care of an individual client. In other words, they only act on complaints from individual patients. I was an individual patient, but they wouldn’t act on my complaint because Serge tried that slimy ovarian reading on me before the code for unregistered practitioners was introduced in 2008, and it can’t be applied retroactively.
In the last five months the HCCC received a number of complaints regarding Universal Medicine’s anti-health practices including molesting patients and calling it healing, a non-nutritionally based, pathology inducing diet, a medically endorsed death drive, and doctors with conflicts of interest pushing untested modalities and aiding cult recruitment. None of these were acted upon because no specific patient details were provided to show that individuals were affected.
In effect, the legislation as it stands is giving a green light to unethical practitioners to destroy lives. They may rip off, deceive, molest, starve, covertly hypnotize and otherwise abuse unwary patients as long as they do a good job of demoralizing, intimidating and bullying them into not making complaints. The regulators assist with the abuse by ensuring the complaints system is minimally amenable to victims, and plainly prohibitive to whistleblowers.
However, the new powers will mean that the HCCC will be able to initiate an investigation into a problem practitioner or service if their activities are ‘likely’ to affect an individual. The legislation will be passed in the very near future and I daresay Universal Medicine will be a test case for its effectiveness, and also the effectiveness of the Commission’s investigatory competence.
Given their attitude on what constitutes evidence and sexual misconduct (and I’m asking for a review of that decision with an explanation of what does), who knows if they’ll act on the information given so far? But the second that legislation is passed, we’ll make sure the previous complaints are reactivated, and I promise, there will be some very interested parties observing the Commission’s response.
UPDATE: The legislation has made no difference. A workshop participant made a complaint he was inappropriately touched at the direction of Benhayon, Serge denied it, and case was closed.
The difference one complaint can make
In the meantime, one person adversely affected who comes forward could completely break open this process. One recent victim – since 2008 – could get Benhayon and possibly the UM organization prohibited from practice. It’s already overdue. One complaint to the HCCC, the police or the NSW Department of Family and Community Services could ease a world of suffering for hundreds of affected families.
Not only that, we’re communicating with journalists from six different media organizations – including two of the nation’s most respected television current affairs programs. All ask if we know of a recent victim willing to go on camera. One of the nation’s largest circulating newspapers is willing to talk with victims who’d prefer to remain anonymous. They know I’m willing to go on the record, and go on camera – I already have – but to sell the story, they need newer news. The rubbish I endured with Serge happened in 2005, and for all anyone knows, he might have cleaned up his act. In the last 12 months a lot of frighteningly persuasive facts have been posted on the internet, but exposure in itself is not enough to properly bring Universal Medicine to account. It’ll require decisive regulatory action and/or a comprehensive investigation by the news media to stop the harm.
How you can help
Take another look at the Official Complaints posts. If you, your family or a loved one have been adversely affected by Universal Medicine, including being sold bullshit and told it was therapy (eg. physiotherapist Kate Greenaway clinging to your big toes for half an hour to ‘heal’ a problem with your jaw, then charging it to Medicare??) please consider making a complaint to the regulators or law enforcement bodies listed in those posts.
I also provided a list of public representatives in the post on Prohibiting Serge Benhayon, so please consider telling your story or voicing your concerns to your local parliamentarian, and CC-ing it to health ministers and attorney generals. Those not directly affected can write and ask that they act to improve legislation for protecting the public from problem healthcare services and cults. As dysfunctional as the law is in NSW, it’s the only state in Australia that has any regulation of unregistered practitioners.