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