Serge Benhayon’s magical thinking – developing disease is a moral choice

Universal Medicine’s specialists in pseudoscience take the meaningless premise that ‘everything is energy’ and extrapolate it into an Esoteric theory of disease causation where the human body reflects a person’s moral indiscretions, disease results from incorrect thoughts and behaviour, cancer is a blessing and the prevention of disease is secured by the ‘choice’ to join Serge Benhayon’s cult and pay big bucks to toe his puritanically perverse Livingness line.

The magical thinking menace

Serge Benhayon didn’t invent the concept of disease as punishment for one’s sins, or magical thinking as the cure, and he isn’t the first New Age guru to cash in on those tropes either. A few years ago, self help book ‘The Secret’ was an international best seller, promising customers that if they merely ‘ask’ the universe and ‘believe’, they will ‘receive’ anything they wish for. Its sales plummeted with the advent of the global financial crisis. The ubiquitous Louise Hay of ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ fame has sold 35 million books based on preposterous notions that disease is caused by faulty thinking, and that patients can fix their serious illnesses by shutting out negative thoughts and reciting affirmations.

While disease is preventable to an extent and positive thinking and motivation can help people cope with adversity, what is clear to those of us who work in the therapy professions is that New Age magical thinking has made our jobs harder and done immense harm. We’ve seen patients decide not to comply with medications or therapies, believing they can cure themselves of cancer or autoimmune disorders by thinking the ‘right’ thoughts. I’ve recently seen a patient despairing and tearful because she believed she should be able to cure herself of endometriosis, having foregone any form of treatment. Magical thinking has also kept my psychologist friends busy treating people who become depressed when they find themselves unable to manifest their desires.

Moral judgement of the ailing

In an era where the appearance of slim good health is associated with virtue, while obesity, substandard physical attractiveness and poor health are demonized as a kind of moral laxity, magical thinking appeals because it promises to reward feel-good behaviour with health and good fortune. By extension, New Age gurus punish less comfortable human responses, such as anger, grief and fear with disease and misfortune. When the logic inevitably fails – for instance, when babies die from leukaemia, or children are victims of abuse – the New Agers blame misdeeds from past lives. The problem with the New Age primacy of self is the assumption that individuals control events to such an extent they are responsible for the entirety of their circumstances, including their genetic predisposition, birth circumstances or the lousy behaviour of others. The other problem is the impossibility of psychologically coping with the belief in one’s omnipotence. Meanwhile, the peddlers of this trash rake in the dollars whilst acquitting themselves of responsibility for assisting the wellbeing of their clients. The gurus and healers use a convenient set of blaming clichés when customers fail to make their wishes manifest, or fail to respond to incompetent or bogus therapy. Errant customers don’t have clear enough intent to get well, or they’re more emotionally fucked up than they are aware of, or they were a sociopath in their past lives.

The dark puritanism of the New Age Fundamentalist

At least The Secret and Louise Hay offer rewards of health and prosperity for the rigours of self interest, but Universal Medicine cult leader, Serge Benhayon, places rewards for his self-loving choices in the realm of the abstract. He promises improved conditions in future lifetimes, but on the condition subscribers don’t come back burdened by a carnal body, and sells the idea that if we lived in our ‘truth’, we’d discard our repulsive flesh for a purer existence as a ‘body of light’. For anyone lower than the discarnate level six on his initiation scale (he is at the highest level available on Earth at five), life in a human body is a mistake, the body is nothing but a barometer of lifetimes of wrongs, and we are only here, alive, in our pranic bodies to be ‘cleansed.’

The 55 page chapter on Esoteric medicine from Esoteric Teachings and Revelations (Benhayon, 2011), features those messages repeated at intervals, leading to the notion that cancer and other misfortunes are a blessing. The chapter is a confusional, indoctrinating diatribe designed to work subscribers up to Benhayon’s Livingness death drive, where Esoteric healing is not aimed at improving health, and practitioners take zero responsibility for helping anyone get well, because their clients’ disease causing lovelessness is their ‘choice’ not to surrender to his toxic brainwashing.

The use of Esoteric Healing is not for one to live to a ‘ripe old age’, and nor is it about survival or getting better or curing diseases etc. It is an ongoing process of becoming more love until you are back to the full you = Soul. And hence the process of releasing all that which is not…that which we have chosen to lovelessly let in. This may take several if not many, many lifetimes…the choice is totally yours. (Benhayon, 2011, p.615)

Your body reveals your sins

Benhayon simplistically attributes the deterioration of the body to poor moral choices and in so doing avoids confronting the reality that causes of disease are complex and highly variable, and include the natural degeneration associated with mortality. He has nothing to contribute to discussions on achieving longevity, or living out this life meaningfully, as opposed to writing oneself off in order to fixate on a hypothetical reincarnation as an Esoteric non entity.

The body is the marker of all truth…The truth of your life runs throughout your body. (Benhayon, 2011, p.569)

It’s the choices you make in life and about life that will bring you the good medicine or the bad. (Ibid. p.571)

Illness and disease are only markers. They are but mere reflections of our many choices. p.586

Science is passé because Serge has exclusive access to the truth™

The choices you make, make the body you live with — you are the master of your chemistry. p.593

Let’s put the genetic story into true perspective: Our choices are what makes us be what we are, and they will determine our health. (p.618)

We are expecting someone or science to come up with a cure for our ills, but there will never be one: This is because we are not changing the ill way we are. (p.587)

The difference between breast and colon cancer, a brain tumour and any other cancer is the way you have individualised the use of prana in your body. Why waste so much on cancer research when we can teach these energetic truths to all for a small fraction of the billions we waste and still have no cure. (p.624)

Pseudoscience – everything is energy

The following quote leaps from ‘everything is energy’, to the nebulous moral judgement that energy must be either good or bad, and bad energy causes cancer. It infers patients have wronged according to Benhayon’s list of Esoteric sins. In an unsurpassed feat of morbidity marketing, patients are persuaded to pay up for perpetual Esoteric workshops and healings to have their loveless karma cleared, otherwise they deserve damnation to adversity and cancer for many lifetimes. And that’s the truth™.

If everything is energy, then there is an energetic harm and an energetic true good. If we have disease, then there has to be an energy that caused that disease. So, what has occurred? What have I done? What have I been involved in, what emotions do I allow, how do I walk, sit speak and interact with everybody from an energetic point of view that allows some form of energy to enter that is not good for me to come into my body and create what we call a cancerous cell or a cancerous tumour? Is the world ready for this simple truth? (p.619)

Universal Medicine’s pet platitude, the simplistic statement that ‘everything is energy’ is a meaningless pseudo-physics generalization that’s utterly irrelevant to scientific experimentation or discussion. It establishes no verifiable causation between phenomena that would make it scientifically useful. So while cult surgeon, Eunice Minford, might say that a homeopathic dose of Scotch whisky can render a person loveless and cancer ridden, she might as well say a Giraffe farting in Kenya caused a drop in the price of real estate in Wollongong. Add Benhayon’s extra-terrestrial reincarnation scam and the Giraffe could be an inter-dimensional time traveller influencing the property market on Arcturus. It makes about as much sense.

If we wake up with a cancerous tumour, or diabetes, or with arthritis, or even just exhaustion, with a sneeze, a cough, a runny nose – then there has been a way that we have been living that has caused it. Because everything is energy, the way you have been living energetically has allowed your body to operate with an ill energy that then manifests the ills you physically, physiologically, emotionally and psychologically will have. Death is always a healing – and not part of the failure. (p.599)

Healing is discarding what you are not – prana (life energy)

Puritanism, characterized by rigid austerity, hostility to pleasure and with an emphasis on purging or cleansing oneself of sin, is not a new concept either. In Universal Medicine, the worst Esoteric sins are being alive in a physical body, and all the emotional, idealistic, intellectual, sexual and active functions involved, as well as the need for food and meaningful social interaction.

Healing is the process of discarding what you are not. Therefore, to heal is a person’s ability to discard what they are not. (p.593)

True healing is the discarding of what you are not. The esoteric purpose of the brain is to co-ordinate the impresses of energy and of life and not to think itself intelligent at the expense of the harmony of the body. (p.575)

Fact — all illness and disease are the body’s way of clearing itself. Esoterically, it can be said that it is the Soul clearing the ill choices and the ill ways of being of the spirit. (p.576)

Prana, life energy, equates with lovelessness.

The enormous amount of lovelessness (prana in expression) we constantly put into our bodies has to eventually be cleared and or cleansed out of the spirit who will one day leave the body and re-incarnate with all the accumulated energy to do it all over again. In the temporal mind we call such clearing sickness, accidents, illness and disease and the long term cleansing program we call birth and death. (p.620)

Esoteric punishment – adversity is a ‘correcting blessing’

We ought to learn and accept that the physical body adheres to the impulses of harmonious love and therefore, when it is needed, it will clear, discard and arrest how one has energetically ill driven the body in arrogant ignorance of the Universal Laws we are part of. We call these correcting blessings – a cold, a cough, sneezing, influenza, illness, disease, accidents and incidents. (p.610)

Thank the Energetic Laws of Harmony and Love for illness, disease, accidents and incidents. We may not always be willing to see the grace offered in these, but the grace is nevertheless always there. When we are responsible enough to ask about the Energetic Laws and how and why illness, disease, accidents and incidents are there, the grace offered will be collectively welcomed and not ever complained about. (p.610)

Toward the end of the chapter, cancer is revealed as a correcting blessing for having Esoterically incorrect emotions and failing to become a discarnate body of light.

Cancer is created by the excessive build up of a particular emotion we do not move on from, hence why we have so many differing cancers. Before the ailment, sickness, the cancer or whatever the complaint is that you have, you need to heal the root ill energy that caused you not to be you. (p.622)

Death is the ultimate healing goal.

Death is always a healing – and not part of the failure. (p.599)

In an upcoming post we’ll look at how these negative attitudes cause moral confusion and inappropriate responses to disease and death among Benhayon’s followers.

Also see:

Esoteric Healing® – health is out, death is in

Universal Insults – Serge Benhayon’s degradation of the ailing

Benhayon, S. Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, UniMed Publishing, Goonellabah, 2011

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4 thoughts on “Serge Benhayon’s magical thinking – developing disease is a moral choice

  1. Oh boy, I clearly got paranoias from these quotes. Everything disharmonious I did or absorbed could lead to a major disease. Reign of fear over the naive.

    • It’s poisonous stuff, and it seems ex followers struggle to shake off that paranoia for some time. I know you ended up in hospital in spite of a lot of Esoteric healing sessions, Y. Did you have trouble getting Serge’s teachings out of your head?

      Health consciousness is one thing – taking care of oneself in a healthy way, but this stuff, where followers are taught to fear their own emotions, perfectly good foods, social gatherings where pranic food or alcohol is consumed, music, family or friends who aren’t doing the work keeps them in state of constant fear, paranoia and guilt. It’s so oppressive and so damaging.

      I heard that ex followers feel humiliated, demoralized and sometimes very angry that they were deceived, however, I would say to ex followers that Benhayon’s deceptions are comprehensive. He has perfected his manipulations for decades by making a study of what it takes to get what he wants – which is power over people. Most people don’t like to believe that someone can be that calculatingly damaging and dishonest, but unfortunately that leaves them open to deception. In UM’s case, the deception – that Serge’s way is the only answer – is the gateway to dread of disease and misfortune, and not only in this lifetime, but for lifetimes to come. The fear keeps followers dependent on his life and money sucking Livingness.

  2. I think it’s worth quoting the article on Louise Hay from the link above. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/04/magazine/04Hay-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Hay, the New Age icon, preaches primacy of self, and the power of thought to cause illness as well as inspecifically ‘heal’ it. But it all gets a bit out of hand when put through the reality tester.

    But while Hay may have hedged about whether positive thinking could cure AIDS, in her writings she was adamant that thoughts — not just sexual behavior — could help cause it…
    In person and in print, Hay mentions these causes only to play them down: “In no way am I trying to create guilt for anyone”; “this is a time for healing, for making whole, not for condemnation.” But she cannot escape her own logic: if our thoughts create our circumstances, then we are always, in the end, to blame. When I asked her if, since people’s thoughts are responsible for their conditions, victims of genocide might be to blame for their own deaths, she said: “I probably wouldn’t say it to them. I don’t go around making people feel bad. That’s not what I’m after.” I pressed harder: Did she believe they are to blame? “Yes, I think there’s a lot of karmic stuff that goes on, past lives.” So, I asked, with a situation like the Holocaust, the victims might have been an unfortunate group of souls who deserved what they got because of their behavior in past lives? “Yes, it can work that way,” Hay said. “But that’s just my opinion.”

    ‘I don’t go around making people feel bad. That’s not what I’m after.’

    No Louise, get their money first, and let them live with that shitty blaming logic long after you’ve sold another million books.

    And let’s not kid ourselves. Serge latched right on to that market.

  3. Magical thinking was a term first coined describing an attribute of animal behavior. I think it was pigeons who in an experiment began to ‘believe’ that flapping their wings, or looking a certain way before another action resulted int he food appearing, when in fact there was no relationship. It describes a propensity for the mind to attribute non related events as inter-related.

    Humans are great at this. It’s the basis of a lot of superstition and irrational beliefs. It is a by-product of our ability to infer cause and then effect- usually correctly based on small amounts of sensory evidence. For example, an unusual noise beside us which leads us to infer without analyzing the data, that we might be under attack and take evasive action. Or to take a step to the left if a shadow suddenly appears all around us and grows rapidly. It’s a necessary first stage mind function that allows us to make quick judgements and avoid accidents, attack, a piano falling on us from a great height. However, like anything that goes unexamined, left unchecked it can start to connect all sorts of dots that don’t exist.

    Serge’s ( and the new age milieu in general ) doctrines connect dots well outside of the sphere of rationality. It is built on the irrational. It relies on the idea that rational (that is the measurable, testable, knowable, verifiable) is to be denied and an ‘illusion’ in favour of the ‘super-sensible’- an unknown, untestable, speculative, improvable realm, with its own set of laws known only to Serge, guru’s and ancient seers who at least couldn’t have known better. So basically it is insane. It is saying- “forget what is before your eyes and accept what I put in your mind as the ‘truth’ instead”

    In order to subscribe to this, you need to be in a state of perpetual magical thinking. And Serge not only relies on this, he promotes it at every turn. Like all new age nutjobs, he is able to get away with it with a simply sleight of hand. He simply says that anyone who denies it is not in touch with their ‘deeper’ knowing, thereby implying both a superiority and a state to be attained by the confused aspirant all at once. It also has the added benefit of allowing the enchanted follower to believe that those that criticize do so out of ‘illusion’- when in fact, they do so based on ‘testable, observable, facts’- I give you us with our documents, statements and evidence that is of little interest to the army of magical thinking students all flapping their wings and waiting for the next crumb to appear from Serge’s mouth.

    What is most worrying about Serge’s dark doctrines though is it promises only death. There is nothing life affirming about it. His view is that life is rot and that it is waste of time being here. It is rank, nasty, off, dark and evil. At least the rest of the new age phalanx that abound in northern NSW are manifesting money, long lives and plenty of sex. Serge’s crew are just counting the days till they kick of to the fifth dimension, avoiding food, life, some wild sex and puff pastry like an alcoholic avoids a bar. And walking around with a glazed look in their eyes being in the “living-ness”- a misnomer, intended, I am sure.

    ** members if in doubt, just read his books. I have endured their stupidity. You should too***

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