British Not for Profit Sector Journal, ‘Third Sector’, has reported that the Commission is monitoring the Sound Foundation Charitable Trust and has given the trustees a deadline of May next year to comply with a plan to manage conflicts of interest and issues regarding public benefit.
The regulator received a complaint about the Sound Foundation’s use of charitable property and its relationship with a company that practices ‘esoteric medicine’.
Excerpts from the article are followed by a Who is Who of Universal Medicine UK. (Updated Feb 20, 2014)
Reiterating previous posts, in 2011, Universal Medicine’s ‘Way of the Livingness’ was denied charity status as a religion in the UK. Student notes from a lecture by Serge Benhayon state that Benhayon’s business partner, long time associate and accomplice on their musical projects, Chris James, allowed Universal Medicine to adopt his already established but inactive charity as their tax exempt fundraising front.
Over the next two years, public records show the charity raised over £1.8M to construct a conference and clinic facility, and a swim centre now rented to Benhayon’s stepdaughter, Simone, on the Lighthouse property in Somerset. The facility has been used for little more than Universal Medicine’s commerce in workshops, retreats and Esoteric healing services.
According to the UK Charity Commission website, the Sound Foundation’s activities are the ‘promotion of wellbeing through sound’. Sound Foundation founder, musician, Chris James, advertises himself as a student of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, and a collaborator on music CDs sold relentlessly at UM events and online. Benhayon’s teachings which are accepted unquestioningly as the ‘one unified truth’ by his followers include denigration of both charity and music, with the exceptions of charities operated by the UniMed cult, and music produced by Benhayon and selected cult members.
As shown previously, The Sound Foundation name was used by Universal Medicine, who described it as their UK charity arm, until officials from the Charity Commission began to ask questions.
From the Third Sector article (full article available at the link):
Third Sector Online, 25 November 2013
…A spokeswoman for the commission said its action came after a complaint was made about the charity in May 2013 over the “the extent to which the trustees were using charity property for charitable purposes”.
She said that the complaint also “referred to relationships between the Sound Foundation and other organisations, one of which was Universal Medicine”.
Universal Medicine UK is a company based in Frome, Somerset, which practises “esoteric medicine”, according to its website. Universal Medicine also works in Australia and Vietnam, the website says.
The commission spokeswoman said that after receiving the complaint it contacted the trustees of the Sound Foundation to find out to what extent they operated the charity in accordance with its governing documents and for public benefit, and to what extent they managed conflicts of interest…
“We issued the trustees with an action plan in October and intend to monitor their progress against the plan. The trustees will need to satisfy the commission that they have complied with their action plan by 1 May 2014.”…
Esoteric Breast Massager and Universal Medicine UK company director, Sara Williams, has the hide to question the integrity of the Commission’s operations.
Sara Williams, a trustee of the Sound Foundation, said: “The board of trustees understand and accept in full that it is a matter of due process that any organisation receiving a complaint is obliged to act on receipt of said complaint. In accordance and in honour of this, we have and will continue to lay the Sound Foundation’s operations open to a fair, unbiased and proportionate enquiry that is evidence-based and meets the standard required of public bodies.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the Sound Foundation fares at going straight under UKCC monitoring and acting to benefit the public, rather than UM’s commercial interests.
In the meantime, word from the UK is that UM is raising funds to establish an aged care facility – a dire prospect in the light of Benhayon’s death drive and its endorsement by the cult doctors. We imagine this is being undertaken through the Sound Foundation and we’d appreciate any more information via the comments section below or use the contact tab at the top of the page.
Our UK contacts have also suggested that should the Sound Foundation fail to satisfy the Commission’s action plan, the UKCC has the powers to reallocate the Sound Foundation’s assets to a legitimate charity.
Universal Medicine’s student investors need to consider whether they wish to donate more ££ to a charity under investigation for serious compliance issues, only for those funds to be reallocated to an organization infinitely more worthy and definitely not Esoteric.
Universal Medicine UK Who’s Who
Sound Foundation Trustees
Chris James (Christopher Requa James) of Goonellabah NSW.
- Founded the Sound Foundation in 1993
- Musician, Sounds Wonderful Pty Ltd. ABN 78 076 306 155
- Long time associate and co-collaborator with Serge Benhayon on music compositions
- Conducts voice and music workshops in schools, and for GPs and other government and corporate groups, and recruits to UM via these events.
- Possible recipient of controversial federal funding to YWCA Goonellabah NSW. His publicity places him there at the time the funding was received.
- Daughter of Deborah Benhayon and stepdaughter of Serge
- Head of UM’s UK operations
- Operates private swim school Creative Aquatic and Esoteric healing practice at the Lighthouse, rented from the Sound Foundation.
- Director of Universal Medicine UK
- Director of EPA (Esoteric Practitioners Association) UK Europe
- Proprietor of Spherical Living Esoteric Healing clinic, London
- Esoteric Breast Massage & Esoteric Chakra-puncture practitioner
- Director of Universal Medicine UK
- Director of EPA EU/UK
- Father in law of Simone Benhayon
- Financial advisor and chartered accountant
- Director of Abacus Solutions – financial services
- Owner of Upper Vobster Farm – provides additional accommodation for UM events held at the Lighthouse – caused some controversy in getting planning permission.
- We have no information on Michael Wood. Information is welcome, but will need to be verifiable.
- UPDATE: Michael Wood, if he ever existed, has been replace by Jane Keep (see below) and D-grade wannabe celeb ‘food writer’ and anti free speech, Huff Post blogger and long time UM apologist, Dragana Brown.
Update Feb 20, 2014: Universal Medicine UK, described as UM’s UK non profit unit of service or whatever has shed three directors – incoming Sound Foundation trustee, Jane Keep, Sound Foundation trustee, Sara Williams, and Lighthouse proprietor, Simon Williams as of November 26,2013 – a few weeks after the charity commission hit the trust with the compliance plan, and I wrote up my exposure of the Sound Foundation’s lack of charitable activities.
Simone Benhayon is still hanging in there as UM UK’s sole director. And not that the departures mean anything. UM UK was small potatoes compared with the millions of GBP flowing through the tax exempt charitable trust – which is front for UM’s commercial activities anyway.
Other UK associates
Simon Williams (no relation to Sara)
- Chartered Accountant
- Proprietor of The Lighthouse B&B
- Director of Lighthouse Property Estates Ltd which houses The Sound Foundation and Simone Benhayon’s swim school.
- Company Director of Universal Medicine UK
Janet Williams (wife of Simon)
- Co-proprietor & director of The Lighthouse
- Former Company Director of Universal Medicine UK
- Defends poor reviews of the Lighthouse B&B with typical Esoteric transparency, denying the premises has anything ‘to do with “religion”. Universal Medicine is a client of ours who makes use of the conference facilities on the premises and with whom we have had a wonderful working relationship for many years.’
- Company Director of Universal Medicine UK
- Trained as Esoteric Breast Massager
Jonathan & Rowena Stewart
- Directors of Esoteric Practitioners Association UK/EU
- Esoteric healing practitioners at the Lighthouse