Esoteric Privacy – nothing is sacred

DaliTheEye1945

Salvador Dali, ‘The Eye’

The Universal Medicine cult has a thing for consent forms. Victims of Esoteric Breast Massage are asked to sign one; cult chakrapuncturist, Neil Ringe, asks his clients to sign a consent form for Esoteric chakrapuncture and Esoteric ‘psychology’ and participants of UM workshops are asked not only for consent but to provide details of their medical histories as well. Why? What’s so dangerous or invasive about gentle breath meditation and sacred Esoteric healing that would require consent? Why would a workshop consent form request detailed medical information? What goes on at UniMed workshops that necessitates the declaration of one’s HIV status? Why are a bunch of ‘healers’ with zero qualifications collecting private medical information? How do they use it and how do they store it? Importantly, how do these extremely questionable practices align with Australian privacy laws?

Informed Consent

Consent forms are usually used for medical procedures or other activities involving a degree of invasiveness and risk. ‘Informed Consent’ is the accepted practice for obtaining consent in Australia and other first world countries.

From Wikipedia:

Informed consent is a phrase often used in law to indicate that the consent a person gives meets certain minimum standards. As a literal matter, in the absence of fraud, it is redundant. An informed consent can be said to have been given based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and future consequences of an action. In order to give informed consent, the individual concerned must have adequate reasoning faculties and be in possession of all relevant facts at the time consent is given.

As we know, Universal Medicine has serious problems with facts. Esoteric Breast Massage was initially packaged as a treatment for gynaecological disorders; claims which are no longer found in the advertising. EBM publicity was more specific about what it doesn’t do than what it does, assuring recipients Serge never touched anyone’s breast, no one ever claimed it cured cancer, it’s not really massage and there’s minimal breast contact. The cult omitted informing patients they’re consenting to indoctrination with sexist stereotypes and body negative imagery, the massages have no verifiable therapeutic affect, there’s no evidence anyone has received ‘imposts’ from male objectification, let alone had them cleared by EBM, and that they’re habit forming. Nor are recipients told the practitioners are not qualified to treat gynaecological and breast disorders, they’re not qualified as counsellors, let alone sexual abuse counsellors, and are not entitled to take gynaecological and personal histories, particularly when the purpose is targeting clients with relationship difficulties or who are victims of sexual abuse.

Similarly, Neil Ringe, doesn’t inform patients chakrapuncture was invented by an ex bankrupt from Maroubra who claims to be Da Vinci reincarnated. Nor that there is zero evidence of chakrapuncture’s existence before Serge cooked it up, the cult doesn’t bother teaching infection control, and the modality has no verifiable therapeutic affect. Esoteric psychology, we’ve surmised, is Neil’s morbid penchant for making people feel worse, usually by telling them their illness is a result of heinous deeds they committed in hypothetical past lives.

However, the piece de resistance is the Workshop Consent form, described by a friend with a medico-legal background as a ‘shocker’. It’s loaded with disclaimers and bogus consent boxes to tick, but the real cause for concern is the specific questions about medical history, including patients’ HIV and Hepatitis B status, and mental illness. The cult states on the form the Benhayon clan are not qualified to treat mental illness, but fails to state they’re not qualified to treat anything at all, and have no reason to be taking medical histories or any other private details.

If the cult was wanting to issue disclaimers about practitioners’ lack of qualifications and the mental health risks of participating in UM events and ‘healings’, they don’t need to collect private medical information to do so.

It’s important anyone who signs up for UniMed workshops, events or treatments understands their rights and understands the nature of Informed Consent. The cult disregards both, in breach of Australian Privacy laws.

The Australian Privacy Act

Australia has Privacy laws is to prevent patients being discriminated against on the basis of their medical or health conditions, and to prevent exploitation by unscrupulous operators. When I came across the workshop consent form, I made a call to the Office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner, and was told that for medical information to be taken, the health service provider is required to inform the person of the reasons they are collecting the information, how it will be used, who it may be shared with, under what circumstances it would be shared, and how it will be stored.

From the My Privacy, My Choice Brochure

The Privacy Act 1988 now includes ten National Privacy Principles or NPPs. These principles set the minimum standard that health service providers must abide by when they collect, use, disclose and store your health information.

Your new privacy rights mean:

  • you should be told about what happens to your health information

  • you have more choice and control over your information

  • you can ask to see what is in your health record and, if you think it is wrong, you can ask for it to be corrected

  • you should be told why and when a health service provider may need to share your information, for example to ensure you get quality treatment and care.

Which health services are covered by the Privacy Act?

Any private sector organisation that assesses or records information about your health:

AND

Any organisation that maintains or improves your health or that dispenses prescription or medicinal preparations. This includes services in the private sector such as:

Doctors Pharmacists Gyms Naturopaths Dentists Masseurs Private hospitals Chiropractors Disability services Physios Osteopaths Counsellors Child care services Social Workers Nurses Psychologists

The Privacy Act does not cover your health information which is held by State or Territory public hospitals or clinics…

Consent

Usually, when a health service provider needs to collect, use or disclose your health information, they will need your consent.

To give consent you need to understand what will happen to your information, so you need clear advice from your provider about what they want to do. You must be able to make your own decisions about whether you agree…

Use and Disclosure

Your health information may be shared between health service providers involved in your treatment and care. Generally, this should only happen in ways you would reasonably expect. For example, if you agree to have a blood test or X-ray, your doctor will need to tell the pathologist or radiologist your relevant health details.

Your information may also be needed for other things, such as managing the accounts of the health service or for the health service provider seeking a refund from the Medicare or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schemes. The provider should let you know, in general terms, how they will use your information, so you know what to expect.

The devious Universal Medicine Workshop Consent Form

The form clearly shows the cult attempting to get as much private information as possible for their own devious purposes.

UMworskhopconsent1

Major life incidents – in asking customers to detail ‘major physical/emotional/mental incidents’, the cult is seeking disclosure of sexual abuse, relationship or family breakdown, addictions, mental breakdowns and the like. All of which they can use to sell habit forming Esoteric healing services.

Symptoms and illness – The cult uses all other medical information similarly, for marketing purposes, and their most common targets are people with eating disorders, gynaecological disorders and cancer. Charlatans often target cancer patients, because people with cancer and their loved ones will often try ANY alternative treatments. Benhayon is also planning on opening Esoteric aged care facilities – another captive market, which explains his targeting of people with degenerative disease.

HIV & Hepatitis status – there is no reason for the cult to be asking about HIV status at any worskhop, and it appears the Benhayons are not only oblivious to the rights of patients, but the serious regulations protecting HIV positive people. HIV positive people are only required by law to ensure they don’t transmit the disease, otherwise (depending on the state, and only with regard to sexual activity) they are not required to disclose their status to anyone, let alone an intrusive money-grubbing cult. Even if the consent form was for a chakrapuncture workshop (it isn’t) where skin penetration is taking place, the cult should be teaching and practicing infection control first and foremost, which renders the need for HIV or hepatitis status disclosure redundant. Again the cult treats people with HIV as a marketing opportunity, exploiting suffering and life threatening illness to sell the ‘Livingness’ Death Package.

If the cult doesn’t immediately desist from taking medical information from participants, I’ll consider asking the HIV lobby groups to out them as well.

Feigned medical legitimacy – in asking for a list of medications the follower has been prescribed but is not taking,  the Benhayons give (a) the impression they are pro conventional medicine, and (b) the false impression they have a right to medical information.

UMworskhopconsent2

Consent to touching – no doubt this is damage control since images of Serge Benhayon handling genitals and marketing it as ‘healing’ for sexual abuse found their way to the internet. At least now, the cult is seeking a semblance of informed consent, but to date, any number of cult followers say Serge didn’t touch them inappropriately, but they never explicitly deny he touched their genitals. They’d have to get off Planet Serge to realize his molestations aren’t an Esoteric ‘blessing’.
UMworskhopconsent3

Another Esoteric paradox. The cult is at pains to point out they aren’t offering ‘any alternative to medical treatment’ but they’re eager to gather detailed private medical information.

Mental health disclosures – Again the Benhayons have no reason to gather this sensitive information. They can’t assess or treat mental illness, but they can very well trigger it. Knowing the kind of trance induction and thought reform techniques used by UM, I’ve seen for myself how they trigger psychological breakdowns, including psychotic episodes. The gathering of this information is perhaps an attempt to screen out troublesome candidates, while the bogus consent deters those harmed from making official complaints.

False medical endorsement – any GP or medical practitioner who knows anything about UM would not clear anyone to participate in UM events. They, like me and a growing group of concerned parties, would ask why the heck the cult is gathering medical information. Another smokescreen giving an appearance of medical endorsement.

Legalese – the appearance of legality in the form is a blatant intimidation tactic, and an attempt to deceive victims into thinking they are making informed consent. Just as a patient can’t reasonably consent if they are not given the facts about how their information is used and why, It’s impossible for a participant to ask questions about information that is withheld. In addition, the cult’s deliberately difficult process for withdrawing consent is intimidating to those experiencing misgivings and who lack knowledge of their rights and the confidence to assert them. The official tone of the form gives victims a false sense of UM’s professionalism, that UM practitioners are acting in patients’ best interests and that the Benhayons have designed the form in compliance with the law.

To be clear, they have not. UMworskhopconsent4

Targeting the vulnerable and deterring complaints

Universal Medicine consent forms have two purposes. The consent itself is bogus because the forms don’t  state what participants are consenting to. Most people who sign will think they have signed away their rights, which they have not, and the whole deception is designed to deter recipients from making official complaints.

The other purpose of the form is to gather medical information, which health services are required to treat with confidentiality and only use for qualified treatment. The cult can exploit it to market their services, and worse, can use to discriminate against, stigmatize or intimidate students.

My advice to anyone presented with such a form, is to refuse to disclose medical information. Whether or not you   sign is immaterial since the consent is not informed. It’s guaranteed the cult would still allow you to pay up and attend.

Privacy Complaints

You are entitled to make a complaint if you feel Universal Medicine has misused your private information by sharing it in any way, or to intimidate, shame or persecute you, or to market their sham therapies to you. They should not have your medical information at all.

From the Office of the Australian Information Commission website:

What you can do if you think your privacy has been breached.

  1. Try to resolve the problem directly with your health service provider. Write a letter to them or send an email, explain what has happened and what you would like to see done.
  2. After 30 days, if you have had no reply, or the response you get from the provider is not satisfactory, you can complain to the Privacy Commissioner.

Sometimes, your complaint may need to be dealt with by your State or Territory’s Health Complaints Commissioner, Health Services Commissioner or State Privacy Commissioner. For instance, when your complaint involves a public hospital.                  

Office of the Privacy Commissioner Hotline: 1300 363 992 TTY: 1800 620 241

Web Site: www.privacy.gov.au

Email:privacy@privacy.gov.au

I submitted the Workshop Consent form to the office of the Privacy Commissioner, who told me they can act on it if a complainant comes forward and tells them their privacy has been breached. They also told me anyone can make a complaint on another person’s behalf. If you are concerned about repercussions from UM, you might also complain directly to the Commission. If in doubt, call them.

The penalties for privacy breaches can include an order for the respondent to cease breaches of the Act, redress damage suffered and pay compensation. Such orders can then be enforced by the Federal Court.

ADDENDUM: As expected, the Universal Medicine cult removed the consent form from their website, but we’ve made it available for viewing at this link, and below is a screenshot showing the original URL (https://study.universalmedicine.com.au/system/files/public/downloads/UM-CONSENT-WORKSHOP.pdf ).

UMWorkshopConsentPage1

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17 thoughts on “Esoteric Privacy – nothing is sacred

  1. I wonder if Serge employed the legal genius of Cameron, Paula, Serryn and co when dreaming up this official sounding, but very revealing nonsense. The first thing about contracts is, your can’t simply contract your way out of liability or laws. For example, the line which asks for total indemnity for the participant OR ANYONE ELSE as a result of a workshop is legally unenforceable. Agreements like this are only as good as their first legal test, and I would say, having seen a few tested, that it would fall over very fast, accompanied by a bit of laughter from the contract lawyer.

    What this form is very good for is revealing that there is no merit to Universal Medicine ‘therapies’ by their own admission, it is potentially mentally dangerous, by their own admission; and that they don’t want to take any responsibility for the outcomes of their dodgy workshops.

    I am aware of at least one person who has had a breakdown from Universal Medicine practices and ideologies. Interesting that person is very close to one of their in-house psychologists, Brendan Moonie (wrong cult Brendan) This form is used at their workshops, where we know minors also attend. How do they contract their way out of the effects on the mental states of impressionable children and teenagers with all of their nonsense? They can’t of course. The fact is we know people who have left UM have had terrible problems with anxiety, shame, guilt, and having to try and pick up the pieces of their shattered lives due to loss of money, career, family, partners. Again, Serge and UM dodge bullets because these people are too traumatized to take anyone on. With this one shabby ‘agreement’ he is trying to contract himself out of the responsibility of the massive damage he is doing to these people, and their families in the name of “one-energetic-truth” and his bank balance. Shameful and disgusting.

  2. It reads like lawyers have had a hand in it. Lawyers with an Esoteric grip on Australian law – which sounds a lot like Universal Law solicitors, Mullumbimby.

    And how about the clause in the ‘consent to touching/partner work’ where you’ll be asked to leave if you inappropriately touch someone?

    Asked to leave??

    WHY DON’T THEY CALL THE COPS???

  3. What follows is a direct copy from the Official Universal Medicine site about EBM..tucked away
    “What does an EBM session actually involve?
    The first session is an explanation or consultation session. This means that no massage takes place. During such discussions an EBM is explained in detail along with how it relates to the overall Esoteric Women’s Health program. This program makes available to the woman additional specialised women’s health treatments and support. There are women’s presentations and developmental discussion groups, all of which are voluntary and never a mandatory part of her healing program. Consent is obtained for treatments and a history is taken including the woman’s menstrual, gynaecological and reproductive details along with major life events, other conditions and her current state of wellbeing.”

    “When a woman comes for her first session, she is given a consent form to sign, which says that EBM practitioners give a gentle nurturing massage and are not qualified to give a medical diagnosis. Under no circumstances do we, as practitioners, or have we ever provided a medical opinion or diagnosis. Nor has Serge Benhayon or any EBM practitioner ever said that the EBM could cure or prevent breast cancer.
    The training to become an EBM Practitioner is extremely thorough, and it takes a minimum of up to 4 years training to get qualified.” End of quote.

    What I would like to know is this……………………………………
    Why do they need 4 (FOUR) years of Training? For what? To learn what and perform what?
    The UM site claims I quote:” EBM practitioners give a gentle nurturing massage and are not qualified to give a medical diagnosis. Under no circumstances do we, as practitioners, or have we ever provided a medical opinion or diagnosis.”
    Then why the hell do they need consent and women’s history?
    I quote:” Consent is obtained for treatments and a history is taken including the woman’s menstrual, gynaecological and reproductive details along with major life events, other conditions and her current state of wellbeing.”
    Why??????
    It has to be for recruiting and cult indoctrination only. Scary stuff.

    • It’s weird isn’t it. They train for four years to be able to do nothing. They can’t diagnose, cure or heal but ask people to tell everything about themselves in very personal detail. They’re rubbing a private part of your body for no particular reason. It was invented by a man “who never touched a woman” and invented it on his ‘wife’ (or not- at that stage looking at the genesis of it- she would have been about 23/23 when he was dreaming it up. He was 40-41)

      Venus summed it up well when she said the whole thing is a personal boundary transgression designed to get members more involved with the cult by being part of a cycle which effectively simply amounts to abuse. They participate in something they would not ever have allowed elsewhere (like having an osteopath check your spine in your underwear??? ) and call it ‘integrity’ and ‘nurturing’. It is the exact same reversals Serge has going on everywhere else in his mad mad world of subversion’s.

      And of course they are going to charge you for the pleasure. C’mon now… It’s only $70. And on the way out, grab some snake-oil for a few dollars more, and an esoteric eye pillow and a few symbols to keep the pranic at bay. Remember y’all….CASH preferred. And if you can’t pay now, Serge will SPONSOR you. That’s right. Pay later! He’s such a nice guy.

  4. I’m not so sure that they have had a hand in it. It is quite mickey-mouse and tad ill conceived. My guess is that its been inspired by other disclaimers seen elsewhere and made into something to fit at the Pineapple Express editors desk. I think if a contracting lawyer had taken a look at this it would be tighter, more legalese, and it wouldn’t be a blatant attempt to contract out of laws. Or if they did have a hand, they are useless, which of course is a still a possibility….ummmm…okay, who knows. They’re all nuts. Those guys believe Serge is a master and didn’t bother to check his background before calling their legal practice “Universal Law” (LOL) “integrity and light” (ho ho ho), so who knows what they are capable of. Maybe when the “truth” comes out they will have to rename it “Universal Flaw”..

    • I vote they had a hand in it and are useless. Remember, Paula not on the payroll Fletcher commented on the Death Drive Part 3 post as an anonymous troll, but logged in with her email address and gravatar ID, lol.

      Feline, yes, 4 years to learn how to rub a breast, when they could have trained to do something that actually helps people, and without the privacy invasions and nasty indoctrinations. Four years training, SERGE NEVER TOUCHED A BREAST, and utmost ‘energetic integrity’ is filed under hyperbole – EBM Part 2.

      By the way, the nice officer at the Commission told me I could file a complaint on someone else’s behalf. So if anyone wants to act against the cult and are feeling nervous about it and need some help, I don’t mind sending the cult the cease and desist letter, and if they don’t respond satisfactorily, I’ll help submit a complaint to the Commission.

  5. Over on the FACTS blog we dismantle a reprehensible blog post by cult psychologist (LOL), Marianna Masiorski from the Medicine & Serge Benhayon site, where she preys upon clients suffering from depression.

    In other words, the cult gets private information out of clients/workshop participants and the registered practitioners then use their supposed professional credibility to hone in with habit forming cult recruitment prescriptions. From there clients are then referred to other Esoteric ‘healers’ and aggressively sold into the endless workshop cycle, and it’s goodbye psychological autonomy.

    Sold into psychological slavery by a qualified psychologist/cult pimp.

  6. Now for today’s horror from the Women in Livingness site, Healing Breast Cancer by cult scientist, Nykole Sargent, recruiting cancer patients. Her reasoning? Conventional medicine doesn’t have all the answers, but Serge Benhayon does and everything is energy and trust me I’m a scientist.

    More irresponsible flogging of pseudoscience.

    • The problem is that Nykole is NOT a scientist. She is a lab technician. Lab technicians may be amazing at what they do and some of them are very knowledgeable but they are not scientists. Lab technicians do not conduct research because they have not been trained to do so. They have not been trained to design experiments and test hypotheses, most of them don’t even read the primary literature on ‘their’ topic. For lack of a better example, a lab technician is to a scientific researcher, what a shelf stacker is to a supermarket manager.
      So basically, there’s a 26 year old lab technician/shelf stacker who is telling people that breast cancer (or any cancer) is their own fault and science/western medicine got it wrong. Well, she’s a ‘scientist’ so she must know, right?
      I have also heard from UM students that if you have a mastectomy then the cancer will go somewhere else… as if ‘the cancer’ is a ghostlike entity that flies around in your body and if you deprive it of its intended target (boobs) then it will opt for your ovaries instead. F*ck me! The problem is that most people don’t even have the most basic knowledge about the human body and how things work, so when some science/medical ‘authority’ spouts esoteric nonsense, they lap it up, no questions asked.

      • THANK YOU for this, pranabunny. I got the impression she was a scientist.

        One of our spies sent me that link this morning and I went from bleary eyed to code red furious in seconds flat. It may get its own exposure post soon, or I might do an expose of the cult’s targeting of breast cancer patients.

        Either way, I know where Nykole works, and I’m reporting that post and a few other little surprises to her employers. It’s a disgrace.

        Believe what you want Nykole, but don’t use your position to exploit people’s lack of scientific knowledge to recruit to a sexually abusive death cult. The same goes for the doctors, especially bloody EUNICE.

  7. Glad I could be of service 😉

    I don’t know Nykole personally but when I read her blog post I got curious and so I googled her name. Some lab techs are PhDs (and work as techs for lack of job offers) but given Nykole’s age (26) that’s highly unlikely. And if she actually held a PhD in a relevant subject then it would be even more worrying that she’s spouting this nonsense.
    The quote about the 5% colorectal cancer is lifted from a paper she co-authored, which is kind of hilarious.
    If you want to contact someone regarding her blogpost I would get in touch with her supervisor (Randall Burt) rather than the University of Utah. Just be careful, because this isn’t about getting her fired, it’s about informing her supervisor that one of his ‘scientists’ is potentially tainting his and his lab’s reputation (if word gets out that Nykole is an esoteric nutcase, the science community won’t be gentle on her or her boss – scientists are very quick to judge and once you have a dubious reputation, there goes your career).

    • Thank you again, and for the contact. Prof Burt shall be receiving some information, including an email distributed to UM students where Nykole claims Serge’s unqualified bullshitting about colon cancer is backed by science.

      And this is the worrying thing about the cult. Nykole would place her irrational allegiance to Serge ahead of her career prospects and the reputations of her co-workers, her supervisor and the institution which employs her.

      In the post linked to above, Nykole makes some highly irresponsible claims about breast cancer. We might leave them for another post, but the worst is possibly this:

      I feel that having a double mastectomy only takes away the chance for the body to develop cancer in the breast tissue this lifetime. It does not heal the momentum of choices that allowed the possibility of breast cancer in. In fact it pushes away the healing that such a disease could bring.

      That’s following a preamble where she introduces her science background and then talks about the role of genetics in cancer science.

      Nykole, if you want to avoid deceiving people without a science background, you need to flag when you depart from the evidence base to expound on your beliefs and Esoteric ‘feelings’.

      • ‘It pushes away the healing that such a disease could bring’ ???

        ???

        I gather when she refers to ‘healing’, she’s talking about DEATH. So you can be born into an Esoteric reincarnation where you won’t get cancer because you’re born back into the cult of wishful thinking – where self loving choices guarantee nothing painful will ever happen and you’ll never get sick.

    • The full quote is a piece of classic Serge double-speak. That one quote alone tells you the whole story- Woman should be a certain way. And rather than being who they are, they should be the way he says woman should be. I would say exactly like he has done with Miranda. After 18 years of practice, he uses the same techniques on his flock. According to the quote, these women will then become naturally nurturing, which is highly ironic because it is exactly the opposite to what they become, which is self-obsessed, myopic, and blissfully empathy free.

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