Defamation claim or censorship – Universal Medicine’s complaints to Google

SHUT-THE-INTERNETJust over a year ago, Universal Law solicitors of Mullumbimby, on behalf of Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and 56 UM ‘students’ managed to exploit a loophole in Australian law to have this and our sister blog’s Australian and UK URLs removed from the Google Blogger platform without a court order. When we moved the blogs to US based WordPress platform where freedom of speech is taken seriously, the cult succeeded in having several URLs removed from Google search results. In spite of the cult’s continuing onslaught of complaints, all such removals ceased mid last year when Google realized the defamation claims were baseless. Extracts from the original complaints also reveal the group’s collective delusions.

Complaints timeline

It’s a long post, so the highlights to look for:

October 4, 2012 – Complaints about allegedly ‘actionable’ defamatory ‘imputations’, with a statement that ‘our clients intend to take action against the authors of the Blogs’. To date, no legal action has ever been taken and we’ve never been contacted by UM’s masterful legal team at Universal Law. The cult’s action has consisted of collecting money from followers for a legal fund, baseless complaints to Google, WordPress, AHPRA and the ACCC, a few pseudo-legal demands from the Brides of Serge, and a lot of ineffectual whingeing.

Recent complaints to AHPRA and the ACCC will be blogged soon.

October 26, 2012 – In supplying a list of offending URLs to Google, Universal Law claims they haven’t taken action against us ‘due to the anonymity provided to the authors by Google’.

December 7, 2012 – Universal Law whinges over a few points of defamation law with a laughable reference to the successful Trkulja case against Google.

December 12, 2012 – Universal Law adds to the list of ‘false imputations’ and claims that ‘There has never been a modality called an “ovarian reading”. It appears that this term was first coined by a journalist in July 2012.’ The term, however, is found in Esoteric student notes in 2011.

February 5, 2013 – Universal Law complains that removing URLs is not enough and asks Google to shut down the blog and cancel my Google account, due to ‘ongoing defamatory material’.

‘We request that Google disclose to our client the names, email addresses, IP addresses and postal addresses of the blogger of both sites such that legal action may be taken against the blogger for the defamatory posts.’

Except UM already knew our identities, thanks to bent journalist and cult member, Hamish Broome.

March 13, 2013 – Gold Coast security firm, Phoenix Global applies to have our blog URLs removed from Google searches, claiming UM has never operated a cult and is not involved in criminal activity and has never been charged or convicted of a ‘dishonesty offence’.

May 28, 2013 – Phoenix Global has 10 more URLs removed based on the same claims, but substituting Serge Benhayon for Universal Medicine.

To be clear, by definition, a defamation action will not succeed if the imputations are true or substantially true. Statements can only be found to be defamatory if they are proven false. 

In other words, if Universal Medicine fits all definitions of a cult and a harmful group, and Serge Benhayon fits all definitions of a cult leader, the statements are not defamatory. If therapies are untested, ineffectual and marketed with misleading claims, they are bogus. If practitioners publicly promote and associate themselves with UM and Benhayon on the internet or elsewhere, organizing their names and credentials on the naming names page is not defamatory – it’s stating a fact.

The complaints have been abridged. Complete copies of the original complaints as forwarded by Google can be viewed at the following links:

Universal Law complaints

4 October 2012

Google Australia Pty Ltd…

Dear Sirs,
RE: Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine: Offending Blogs

We represent Serge Benhayon and his company, Universal Medicine Pty Ltd ACN (141 943 302) (“UM”) (a company registered in Australia), both of Goonellabah, NSW, Australia.

Our clients’ attention has been drawn to, and they have downloaded in NSW, Australia, two blogsites titled: • “Words from the Families of Universal Medicine Students” at http://wordsonsergebenhayon.blogspot.com.au;; and • “Universal Medicine Accountability” at http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au, (together, the “Blogs”), which we understand that you administer.

We have advised our clients that the Blogs contain or convey statements that constitute actionable defamation under the general law in Australia as modified by provisions of the Defamation Act 2005 (NSW), as well as the tort of injurious falsehood and misleading and deceptive conduct proscribed by section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law in schedule 2 of the Australian Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth).

Among those are the following imputations:

At http://wordsonsergebenhayon.blogspot.com.au:

  1. Universal Medicine is a Cult.
  2. Serge Benhayon is a cult leader.
  3. Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine cause families to breakdown.
  4. Serge Benhayon “has a sexual pathology of a groomer and quite possibly a predator”.
  5. Serge Benhayon “is fascinated with sex particularly underage sex”.
  6. Serge Benhayon “discounts all other males as loveless and abusive”.
  7. Serge Benhayon is a sexual predator.
  8. “Universal Medicine is really about Serge’s narcissistic and dysfunctional sexualised world-view.”

At http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au:

  1. Universal Medicine is a propaganda machine.
  2. Universal medicine engages in emotional blackmail.
  3. Universal Medicine students suffer adverse health effects.
  4. Universal Medicine destroys personal autonomy, health and relationships.
  5. Universal Medicine’s students are idiots.
  6. Serge Benhayon intimidates people, and he annihilates objections via manipulation and distortion.
  7. Serge Benhayon is untrained with a shady past.
  8. Serge Benhayon is aggressive and predatory, and uses knowledge of women’s sexual past to dominate and control, if not assault and molest. 
  9. Serge Benhayon is a fraudulent spiritual master.
  10. Serge Benhayon wreaks havoc on people’s relationships, family, health, dignity and finances.
  11. Serge Benhayon is unethical and causes harm in the name of healing.
  12. Serge Benhayon is a cult leader and a guru and induces hysteria.
  13. Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine cause families to breakdown.

Each of the imputations is false and damaging of our clients’ personal and business reputations. Further, the Blogs represent a co-ordinated and malicious attempt intentionally to inflict harm and injury on our clients in furtherance of what is a conspiracy by unlawful means and as a matter of Anglo- American law are actionable in tort as such.

Our clients fully acknowledge the importance of, and support, freedom of speech, and endorse freedom of expression on sites such as Google. However, our clients also know that defamatory statements, and fabricated information and accusations, presented as facts, such as calling someone a sexual predator exceed the proper limits of free speech. Our clients believe that this kind of material is not what Google intended in creating a site for freedom of expression. Our clients have also instructed us that the Blogs are part of a series of blogs and websites deliberately set up to bully and attack our clients, including the Rick Ross forum, at http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,107998, hosted by Rick Ross, whom we are instructed is a convicted felon. The forum, in or around June 2012, contains express reference to a targeted campaign to take down our clients’ business. Our clients instruct us that they are the subject of a continued
and pointed hate campaign and, in these circumstances, the Blogs are clearly not about freedom of speech but the subject of targeted bullying, with the intention to harm our clients’ business.

Our clients intend to take action against the authors of the Blogs and, before taking action, they wish to notify Google that they seek Google’s support in stopping the mis-use of the forum that Google has established. Google will be aware that as a matter of recent Anglo- Australian decisional law, if a website host continues to publish material once on notice of its illegality, it will be actively receiving, storing, and disseminating the offending material. (See Silberberg v The Builders Collective of Australia Inc (2007) 164 FCR 475;; [2007] FCA 1512;; and Godfrey v Demon Internet Ltd [2001] QB 201;; [1999] 4 All ER 342;; [2000] 3 WLR 1020.) Our clients are certain that this is not Google’s intention, given the purpose for which the blog sites were set up in the first place – a purpose which our clients fully support.

We trust that Google will remove the offending material, at http://wordsonsergebenhayon.blogspot.com.au and http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au, and look forward to hearing from you.

…….

Dear Sirs,

Re Offending Blog – Universal Medicine Accountability We represent the following practitioners:

1. Dr Howard Chilton MBBS. MCRP(UK). DCH. Consultant Neonatologist, Sydney, Australia

Dr Howard Chilton is the famous paediatrician whose daughter is now married to Serge’s son, Curtis Benhayon. Dr Chilton says Serge is a man of highest integrity, in spite of being aware of Benhayon teaching that women can transfer cancer causing emotional energy to their babies via breast milk. Dr Chilton knows Benhayon performs stage exorcisms on children and has no problem with little girls staying unaccompanied in Serge’s home.

Seeing he’s top of the list here, who wants to bet BabyDoc Chilton was the highest contributor when millionaire Serge passed the plate around for the legal fund?

How much did you chip in, Howie?

And how much did the cult members contribute to the legal fund? How much did they pay Universal Law for ‘legal action’ which consisted of sending a few letters to Google?

  1. Dr Samuel Kim MBBS FRACP MPH, Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon, Brisbane
  2. Dr Anne Malatt MBBS, MS, FRANZCO, FRACS, Eye Surgeon, Bangalow, Australia
  3. Dr Maxine Szramka MBBS (hons1), B Med Sci, FRACP, FAMAC pt1, Rheumatologist, Sydney, Australia
  4. Dr Rachel Hall B.Ch.D (Uni Leeds), LDSRCS(Eng), MACNEM, Dental Surgeon, Brisbane, Australia
  5. Dr Kevin Doyle, Dental Surgeon, Bangalow, Australia
  6. Kate Greenaway BAppSc(PT), Physiotherapist, Goonellabah, Australia
  7. Brendan Mooney, Registered Psychologist BPsySci (Hons) AmusA, Goonellabah, Australia
  8. Dr Danielle Loveless, BBiomedSci, BExSci (Hons), PhD Ex Phys, Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Goonellabah, Australia
  9. Caroline Raphael, BPsych, Psychologist, Goonellabah, Australia
  10. Elizabeth Dolan RN, Goonellabah, Australia  
  11. Jenny Ellis, ND, Adv Dip Acu, Naturopath, Acupuncturist, Brisbane,Australia
  12. Robyn Jones, Counsellor, Sydney, Australia
  13. Casey Lee Lyons, Acupuncturist, Brisbane
  14. Steffen Messerschmidt Naturopathic Doctor & Physician of Health, Muscle Skeletal Therapy, Nutritional Medicine & Esoteric Healing, Brisbane, Australia
  15. Val Oliveira, Acupuncturist, Brisbane, Australia,
  16. Neil Ringe, Acupuncturist, Coorabell, Australia 
  17. Penny Scheenhouwer, Adv. Dip. Acu. Acupuncturist
  18. Nina Stabey, BHSc, Naturapath, Melbourne, Australia
  19. Darren Walsh, Chinese Medicine, Melbourne, Australia
  20. Emmalee Benhayon, Adv Dip Western Herbal Medicine, Goonellabah,Australia
  21. Curtis Benhayon, Goonellabah, Australia
  22. Michael Benhayon, Adv Dip Acupuncture, Goonellabah, Australia
  23. Natalie Benhayon, Goonellabah, Australia
  24. Simone Benhayon, Goonellabah, Australia, Somerset, UK
  25. Victoria Carter, Pottsville Beach , Australia
  26. Marika Cominos, Melbourne Australia
  27. Lucy Dahill, Sydney Australia
  28. Monika Korb, Gold Coast, Australia
  29. Kerry Lyons, Brisbane, Australia
  30. Deborah McInnes, Bangalow Australia
  31. Mary Louise Myers, Esoteric Breast Massage trainer and co-ordinator, Goonellabah, Australia
  32. Alison Pearson, Sydney Australia
  33. Heather Pope, Sydney Australia
  34. Nicole Serafin, Ballina, Australia
  35. Katie Walls, Sydney, Australia
  36. Sara Williams, Goonellabah, Australia, London, UK

Our clients’ attention has been drawn to, and they have downloaded in NSW, Australia, a blogsite titled “Universal Medicine Accountability” at http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au,
(the “Blog”), which we understand that you administer.

We have advised our clients that the Blog contains or conveys statements that constitute actionable defamation under the general law in Australia as modified by provisions of the Defamation Act 2005 (NSW), as well as the tort of injurious falsehood and misleading and deceptive conduct proscribed by section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law in schedule 2 of the Australian Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth). Among those are the following imputations:

At http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au:

  1. Each of the medical and allied health practitioners are quacks;;
  2. Each of the medical and allied health practitioners engage in dubious referral practices and unethical behavior;
  3. Each of the practitioners is part of a Universal Medicine cartel;
  4. The so-called Universal Medicine cartel engages in unethical practices and makes bogus claims to efficacy;
  5. Each practitioner is part of a Cult;
  6. Each practitioner is part of Universal Medicine, which engages in emotional blackmail and causes its students to suffer adverse health effects;
  7. Each practitioner is an idiot, as a student of Universal Medicine;
  8. Each practitioner is associated with a cult which deliberately intimidates people, and annihilates objections via manipulation and distortion;
  9. Each practitioner is associated with and follows Serge Benhayon, who is untrained with a shady past;
  10. Each practitioner is associated with and follows Serge Benhayon, who is aggressive and predatory, and uses knowledge of women’s sexual past to dominate and control, if not assault and molest;
  11. Each practitioner is a follower of Serge Benhayon, who is unethical and causes harm in the name of healing; and
  12. Each practitioner is associated with and a follower of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, which cause families to breakdown.

Each of the imputations is false and damaging of our clients’ personal and business reputations.

Further, the Blogs represent a co-ordinated and malicious attempt intentionally to inflict harm and injury on our clients in furtherance of what is a conspiracy by unlawful means and as a matter of Anglo- American law are actionable in tort as such.

Our clients are up-standing members of the community and many of them are professional doctors, dentists, psychologists or members of other professions, with many years of experience in their field. A number of them are teachers at university level.

Whilst our clients support the need and benefit of free speech, they also know that the labeling of professional practitioners as unethical and harming, and the association of those practitioners with fabricated accusations, presented as facts, such as being idiots and blind followers of an organisation that is manipulative, dominating and intimidating, are way beyond the boundaries of free speech and therefore not what was intended by Google in setting up the site that hosts the Blog. We are instructed that the Blog is part of a bullying campaign, with the intention to harm our clients’ well earned reputations and long-standing business. Our clients are strongly of the view that the author of the Blog should not be permitted by Google to hide behind the veil of freedom of speech which, in this instance, is not what the Blog is about.

Our clients intend to take action against the author of the Blog and, before taking action, they wish to notify Google that they seek Google’s support in stopping the mis-use of the forum that Google has established…

We trust that Google will remove the offending material at http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au and look forward to hearing from you.

…..

26 October 2012
The Google Team

Dear Google Team,

RE: Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine – Offending Blogs

I refer to your email of 20 October 2012 seeking the specific urls of the offending posts where the infringing content takes place. Further posts have been added to the blog since our original letter of 4 October 2012. These further posts also contain one or more of the false imputations listed in our letter of 4 October 2012.

1. http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au.
Each page of the blog contains the words at the top of the page “Calling Universal Medicine to Account for their Unethical Practices and Bogus Claims to Efficacy”. These words contain the false imputation that our clients engage in unethical practices and make bogus claims to efficacy and as such the entire blog is in breach of Australian Law as indicated in our previous letter to you dated 4 October 2012. Additionally each of the pages in the offensive blog contains one or more of the other 13 false imputations we have listed in our letter of 4 October 2012…

Each of the posts on the blog contains one or more of the 8 false imputations listed in our letter of 4 October 2012. Further posts have been added to the blog since our original letter and these further posts also contain one or more of the 8 false imputations listed in our letter of 4 October 2012…

Both blogs are a malicious and unlawful attempt to inflict harm and injury on our clients with legal action against the authors not being instituted to date due to the anonymity provided to the authors by Google.

The behavior of the authors of the blogs should not be condoned and we trust that Google will act in the interests of the public at large and now remove the offending material.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully Universal Law

…..

26 October 2012
The Google Team

Dear Google Team,

RE: Dr Howard Chilton and 36 others – Offending Blog –Universal Medicine Accountability at http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au.

I refer to your email of 20 October 2012 seeking the specific urls of the offending posts where the infringing content takes place. Further posts have been added to the blog since our original letter to you dated 4 October 2012 and these further posts also contain one or more of the 8 false imputations listed in our letter of 4 October 2012. …

Since our letter of the 4 October 2012 the list of practitioners and others at http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au/p/naming-names-universal-medicine-cartel.html has been added to so that the original 37 people listed has grown to 55 people with the intention being to continue to list people by their association with Serge Benahyon and Universal Medicine without any evidence of wrong doing by these people or by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. In addition to the naming names page at the url above some of the partitioners have been specifically singled out and defamed within the other pages on the blog…

….

7 December 2012

Dear Google Team

RE: Benhayon -V- Google; Dr Howard Chilton & 36 Others – V- Google

Thank you for your email sent on 7 November 2012 at 9:18am (a copy of which is enclosed with this letter for your reference), in reply to our letters dated 4 and 26 October 2012 (copies of which also are enclosed).

Your email proceeds, with respect, on the mistaken understanding that by our letters we sought the removal of search engine results. We did not. What we sought and we renew our request now that Google take down offending blogsites at the URLs given in our letters.

We can only conclude from your email that you have failed to properly read our letters of the 4 October 2012 in which we clearly state that we act on behalf of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine and on behalf of Dr Howard Chilton and 36 others. We have at no time sought the removal of a search result concerning our company nor have we sought the removal of a search result concerning our clients.

As was made clear in our letters of 4 October 2012 and again in our letters of 26 October 2012 we are seeking Google’s assistance to remove the entire following offending blogs which are defamatory of our clients: http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au and
http://wordsonsergebenhayon.blogspot.com.au

Your email correctly points out that the uniform defamation laws in Australia are principally used to protect individuals and do not apply to companies that employ more than 10 people. Given that Serge Benhayon is an individual and given that his company employs less than 10 people the defamation laws in Australia apply to protect Mr Benhayon and Universal Medicine. Furthermore given that Dr Howard Chilton and the 38 other persons that we represent are individuals the defamation laws in Australia protect them also. We suggest that you refer back to our original letters of 4 October 2012 to understand better what our contentions are and we have enclosed copies for your assistance.

With regard to your suggestion that we resolve our complaint with the owner of the sites; as we have advised previously this is not possible nor is it an acceptable response due to the anonymity allowed the authors by Google’s general user’s policy.

What bullshit.

My blogs have always had a contact page and an open comments area where I can be contacted. Universal Law have never attempted to contact me to resolve their false defamation claims. Around December 7 is when I was first contacted by Northern Star journalist and cult informant Hamish Broome, who failed to disclose his connection to UM and passed my information to the cult. Serge then received HCCC complaints with my name on them over the next few months.

Google would be aware of the recent Australian case of Trkulja v Google Inc (No 5) [2012] VSC 553 in which the Victorian Supreme Court determined that once Google knows of a complaint of defamation it can be treated as a publisher of the material if it does not remove the material within a reasonable time. At [29] (note 41) of the decision, the Victorian Supreme Court adopted and applied statements of Hunt J (as he then was) in Urbanchich v Drummoyne Municipal Council [1988] A Def R 50-035;; [1991] Aust Torts Reports 81-127 (a case concerning the liability for defamatory matter contained in a poster glued to bus shelters under the defendant’s control).

Hunt J said, “the facts upon which the plaintiff relies here — notice of the existence of the defamatory statement, an ability to remove it [or in the present case block it] and the failure to comply within a reasonable period where the request to do so — may, if accepted by the jury (in particular, whether the period given was reasonable in the circumstances), give rise to the required inference that the defendant had in fact accepted a responsibility [which can be accepted by showing the defendant consented] for the continued publication.” This view found support in Silberberg v Builders Collective of Australia Inc (2007) 164 FCR 475, where the Federal Court of Australia (at 34]) expressed the view that in defamation cases, in Australia, the administrator of a website would be likely to attract liability in respect of materials posted on the website by others even without knowledge of their content if the administrator “chose to conduct an open anonymous forum available to the world without any system for scrutinising what was posted. The party controlling a website of such a nature is in no different position to publishers of other media.” Your contention therefore that “Google simply aggregates information already published on the web” is not an accurate statement of the position in Australia. Accordingly, as the offending material has been brought to your attention, it is our judgment that Google will be liable as a “publisher”and Google is not in a position to rely on the defence of innocent dissemination of information.

More bullshit.

The Trkulja case was an actual legal complaint of proven defamation, where he had resolved his complaint with the owner of the sites in question. Google was held liable when defamatory search results persisted in Google image searches.

Universal Law never attempted to resolve the claims with me, nor did they seek legal remedy through the justice system. Not ever. Which is why Google stopped taking their complaints seriously.

….

12/12/2012

See below a copy of a letter that we emailed to the removals team on 7 December 2012 . We also enclose prior to that letter a copy of an email from the Google Team dated 7 November 2012 along with all previous correspondence from us to Google in recent months on behalf of our clients.

You will note that our letters dated 26 October 2012 provide details of all URLS up to that date as was requested by the Google Removals Team. The URLS listed above are the offending URLs since that date.

Our clients are the subjects of an orchestrated hate campaign. No wrongdoing has been found by the various government agencies that the haters have contacted.

NOTE : The blogger at http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au continually refers to an ‘ovarian reading’ that Serge Benhayon allegedly performed on her in 2004 or 2005. A modality called ‘ovarian massage’ has only been offered since 2011. There has never been a modality called an ‘ovarian reading’. It appears that this term was first coined by a journalist in July 2012.

Except it’s mentioned in Women’s Group notes from October, 2011.

  • Natalie has found the demand for ovarian massage is huge so this women’s group is to give us all a ovarian healing session. Be aware that you may get heavy periods, hip pain, nausea etc
  • The ovarian massage is very simple, done dry over clothes
  • The technique arises the imprints you have taken on as a woman, all the choices made by you, around you, about you by others, your reactions, behaviours that then become patterns and how all that will affect your future. The ovaries reveal a lot!
  • They are very matter of fact, without emotion…
  • There is a lot of force put into dishonoring us as a woman
  • Be honest. We have allowed the dishonoring
  • All of Natalie’s come from reading women’s ovaries (sic)

NOTE: Since our original letter on 4 October 2012 additional imputations contained in further posts have included the following further false imputations;;

1. That Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine restrict people’s diets causing people to become malnourished or unwell

2. That Serge Benhayon uses ‘ hypnosis techniques’ to control people.

3. That Serge Benhayon has offered vaginal examinations to women.

…..

Re Re Serge Benhayon & Universal Medicine; Howard Chilton & 38 Others and Google

Google’s action in taking down certain material forming part of the blogsite located at http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au/, in response to our email dated 18 January 2013 and our letters dated 4 October 2012, 26 October 2012, 7 November 3012 and our online removal request dated 13 December 2012 (“Our Letters”), is appreciated. However, this does not satisfy the full request made in our Letters.

1. Request to take down entire blog

In Our Letters, our request was that the blogsite, at http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au/, as a whole be removed. We repeat our request that Google take down the entire blogsite, due to the ongoing defamatory material being published on it.

2. Request to remove replica blogsite

Since Google’s removal of certain pages on the blogsite referred to above, our clients’ attention has been drawn to the fact that the pseudonymous blogger has simply posted further material on the site, stating that all of the removed material remains on a replica Google blogsite in the UK.

Below is a copy of the link to the UK site, found at universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.co.uk

“UniMed is claiming their ‘self­loving choices’ by attacking freedom of speech in Australia, where laws are supposedly in place to protect it. For readers in Australia, the full blog is available at universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.co.uk as is our sister blog wordsonsergebenhayon.blogspot.co.uk Bookmark those pages for easiest access. And bookmark the Rick Ross Forum pages while you’re at it. “

We consider the above hyperlink to a replica of the material removed by Google is an abuse by the blogger of the service provided by Google; Google has removed the content, at our request, because of its defamatory nature, and the blogger has re­posted all that removed content at a .uk Google blogsite instead.

Accordingly, we request that the entire .uk Google blogsite be removed, at universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.co.uk

3. Request to remove hyperlink
In addition, we request that the hyperlink, at universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.co.au be removed.

We are of the opinion that the use of the hyperlink constitutes an adoption or endorsement by the blogger of defamatory content to which she links, and is a deliberate act using Google’s services that makes defamatory material readily available to third parties.

Accordingly, we are instructed that the hyperlinking in this instance constitutes a publication of defamatory material within statements by the Supreme Court of Canada in Crookes v Newton [2011] 3 SCR 269; 2011 SCC 47 at [49]­[51], [59] to which we direct you. This analysis finds support in the 19th century English decision in Hird v Wood (1894) 38 SJ 234, where evidence that a person sat by a defamatory placard beside a roadway, and pointed to it whenever anyone passed, was sufficient to constitute publication.

The blogger’s announcement clearly signals that she intends to use Google’s services to continue to publish the offending material . We are instructed that this is not a use of Google’s services that is appropriate or that Google intends, and that it constitutes a clear contravention of Google’s terms and conditions of use, warranting cancellation or suspension of the blogger’s account.

Alternatively, having now brought the defamatory character of the hyperlinking to Google’s awareness, we request that Google review the matter and after satisfying itself, intervene and immediately take down the offending hyperlinks.

4. Cancellation of blogger’s account

In accordance with our request above, we further request that Google cancel the blogger’s Google account(s), for contravention of Google’s terms and conditions and persistent use of Google’s blogsites to publish defamatory material, including after such material has been removed by Google from another of Google’s blogsites.

Further, we request that Google disclose to our client the names, email addresses, IP addresses and postal addresses of the blogger of both sites (at http://universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.com.au/, and of universalmedicineaccountability.blogspot.co.uk, such that legal action may be taken against the blogger for the defamatory posts.

I don’t know whether Google supplied our contact details to the cult, but it’s immaterial. By then the cult had my identity and no longer had an excuse not to take the legal action they falsely claimed they intended to take from October 2012 onward.

In addition, we request that Google take all necessary steps to prevent re­publication of the same material elsewhere on any Google blogsites or other Google forums.

We thank you for Google’s co­operation and await your timely response.

Yours faithfully, Universal Law

Paula Fletcher LLB (Hons) Solicitor

This letter was signed before Paula Fletcher claimed on this site she’s not on the UM payroll – ‘not on anyone’s payroll actually’. (She thought she’d signed in anonymously to troll the post about the cult doctors participating in Serge’s death drive, and I’d asked her how much she was making from UM.)

legalother_quote: We have already provided the defamatory text in our previous correspondence.

In brief each page of the entire blog contains the words,” EXPOSING THE
UNIVERSAL MEDICINE CULT AND CALLING IT TO ACCOUNT FOR UNETHICAL PRACTICES AND BOGUS THERAPEUTIC CLAIMS “

Since Google have kindly removed most posts from from the au blog (but not removed the blog in its entirity) further defamatory posts have been made.

Phoenix Global Complaints

Phoenix Global are a Gold Coast based security firm.

We are employed, and authorised to represent Universal Medicine in relation to all risk services including internet defamation.

It’s a pity they didn’t advise them on the risks of abusing people.

a. The website states: “The Universal Medicine cult”
“brainwashing, Critical faculty, cult, cult leader, EDG, Esoteric, Lords of
Form, Serge Benhayon, serge benhayon cult, the hierarchy, thought reform, Uncategorized, Universal Medicine cult” “Universal Medicine is a cult operating out of Goonellebah in Northern New South Wales” “Universal Medicine has been labelled a cult by leading experts such as the Reverend David Millikan, and Raphael Aron, they see no paradox in flocking to sites about Serge Benhayon to defend him from the charge of being a cult leader.” “the true nature of Universal Medicine, which we believe is a pernicious
cult bent on destroying families and raising funds for its leader” “the
GALL of Real Media Real Change’s relentless Esoteric women’s health scam” “The Universal Medicine cult is remarkable for the high rate of relationship and family breakdown among followers”

The site makes imputations that suggest Universal Medicine is operating a cult. These comments are untrue, and not in the public interest.

b. Universal Medicine has never operated a cult. Universal Medicine have not been charged, arrested, or convicted of any dishonesty offence. Universal Medicine would not be involved with any offences of this nature.

This content has been spread through numerous websites with the intention to defame Universal Medicine.

c. These comments are currently appearing on Google.com, Google.com.au, and Google.co.nz. The comments harm Universal Medicines reputation and cause damage to their business.

Google.com.au: The publishers and distributors of this material would be liable for civil damages under the Defamation Act 2005 (Qld). Due to the possible retaliation, and threat to my safety caused by that the claims that in am engaged in criminal enterprises, this violates Criminal defamation sections of Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld).

Google.co.nz: These comments are in breach of the NZ Defamation Act 1992.

The site makes imputations that suggest Serge Benhayon is operating a cult. These comments are untrue, and not in the public interest.

Serge Benhayon has never operated a cult. Serge Benhayon have not been charged, arrested, or convicted of any dishonesty offence. Serge Benhayon would not be involved with any offences of this nature.

This content has been spread through numerous websites with the intention to defame Serge Benhayon.

One more time – exposing facts is not defamation. The UM cult has gone to great lengths to censor critics, including making false allegations and baseless complaints. In spite of having ample resources, Benhayon, his followers and his legal team have never attempted to test those allegations in court – because they know they’d lose.

The Universal Medicine cult spams the ACCC

Another shot at the messenger – the cult’s complaints to AHPRA

See also: Epic Fail! – The Universal Medicine Propaganda Machine’s latest pitch against cyber bullies covering UM front Real Media Real Change’s cyber-bullying conference in December 2012

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12 thoughts on “Defamation claim or censorship – Universal Medicine’s complaints to Google

  1. I love all the key words in this post. Amazing. I wonder if Paula thinks “haters” is a legal term? It might be one of the few times that is seen in so called legal letters. A little telling PF just like all your waffly nonsensical letters.

    I guess Phoenix Global don’t give a stuff who they work for provided they are paid, but it’s a little academic saying Universal Medicine is not a cult, given most people have no idea what one is, and people in them are generally not aware they are- obviously.

    However, Serge knows quite well. He’s left his fairy tale about his past online https://www.universalmedicine.com.au/about which drones on about how great he was and how he never had to start his cult- blah blah blah, total bullshit- but he’s seen fit to change this part, which had a nice cult keyword in it. However, blind Freddy (but clearly no cult member, and especially the insight-lacking group medicos and psychos) can see what Serge is really saying:

    “Universal Medicine, as a unit of service, stands and will forever stand in the same stead
    of that which gave it its birth, and ever since, ongoing life. All that we do, present and stand for,
    comes from a knowing and not a theory, following, belief or ideal. We hold no one to
    our command, will or ways and thus, in complete and definitive contrast to any form of
    control or trickery, we wholeheartedly stand for and therefore present the basis for true energetic
    freedom, so that the ultimate free-will / free-choice can be made. You are therefore free to
    choose our services as you are free to completely refuse, disprove and or walk-away”

    Hmmm. Right. What would we normally say if someone came up and told us that? What a wacko? What a manipulator? What drivel…What a cult leader!?

    If Serge wants to prove he is not running a cult, that he is not willfully breaking up families and ripping off people, and his past is not shady (and boy is it shady. If you want to know, come to my place and look at the files…) then PROVE it. Don’t just get your mind mangled followers to whinge en masse, like a pack of…um…mindless cult members. Stand up for yourself Serge.

    But we know you won’t, because you know we know. And in due time, everyone will.

    Anyone in doubt that Serge the scourge exposes people to messages that cannot have but a deleterious effect on them, here’s a little sample of some of the wisdom the members are exposed to at their meetings and retreats:

    “Look at the reflection of why you can do what you can do and call it in its absolute honesty.

    The occult asks you to go to the truth straight away.

    I am nothing without my soul.

    The occult is there to help you become more esoteric.

    It is about love and being love, create a body of gentleness first.

    Be willing to stand in your occult and esoteric truth with family. They will either hate you more or align more.

    Even if they walk away forever, in them is the reflection of love.

    What are you doing if u calibrate and allow them to be pranic and get away with all that?

    You are loved in a pranic relationship because you allow prana. The more you allow it the more you are loved pranically.

    Sometimes you have to make tough decisions.

    If you present the occult, they like it or hate it

    If you present the esoteric truth it introduces contemplation. If you present gentleness, it is a constant bridge they never leave.

    Your gentleness is so strong, they don’t reject you, it rejects them”

    Beauti-full isn’t it.

    • I can’t resist adding some reality to this ‘fiery’ – read inflammatory – rubbish. Notice Serge’s fondness for the word ‘hate’.

      Be willing to stand in your occult and esoteric truth with family. They will either hate you more or align more.

      Ignore reason and facts and cling to the cult line with family. It will either create more conflict, or they’ll surrender to the same lies and start handing over cash.

      Even if they walk away forever, in them is the reflection of love.

      People don’t give up on their cult struck loved ones easily. They might walk away but they rarely give up on them completely. It causes them a lot of pain.

      What are you doing if u calibrate and allow them to be pranic and get away with all that?

      Start conflict by expecting them to adhere to your new found and very expensive so called ‘truth’.

      You are loved in a pranic relationship because you allow prana. The more you allow it the more you are loved pranically.

      The alternative to prana is death.

      Sometimes you have to make tough decisions.

      If you present the occult, they like it or hate it.

      Or they’re confused by it and ask a lot of questions, and are dissatisfied with vague, stupid or irrational answers. Or no answers. Notice Mr Black & White used ‘hate’ again. Confusion, bewilderment, frustration and grief are not hate.

      If you present the esoteric truth it introduces contemplation.

      The ‘spherical’ Esoteric ‘truth’ introduces confusion. If it introduced genuine contemplation, it would produce clarity, and the Esoterics would be willing to answer our questions, instead of escalating their hostilities behind password protection.

      If you present gentleness, it is a constant bridge they never leave.

      Your gentleness is so strong, they don’t reject you, it rejects them

      For gentleness read passive aggression. Passive aggression tends to make communication impossible.

      Who knew being a special and equal Son of God would end up being so difficult and causing so much conflict and pain? It kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

      • Having been a recipient of the “gentleness” and “standing in truth” I can confirm it is actually abuse of the worst form. Abuse of trust, truthfulness, communication, and the emotional well being of the relationship. With the added benefit to the member that they are so infuriating, you end up looking like the villain when you can’t tolerate their blind obedience any longer.

        Serge’s invidious edicts on lovemaking (I am not interested in sex anymore, only lovemaking) , communication (I don’t want to speak to you in that tone. You are being abusive) Eating (we’re not eating dairy anymore…) Music (that noise is too race-y) are guaranteed to white-ant any relationship and ensure that there is no recourse by way of rational, fair and considered communications. It is fingers in the ears, passive aggressive, hand on heart ‘esoteric-ness’ that is sure to inflame any relationship into breakdown and beyond.

        We know it’s happened exactly the same in many households. How can it not? Serge has been dipping them all in this shit for years, and reminding them that men are hard, aggressive, abusive. His books are full of it ( I am bemused at how the members advise reading the books to critics. I think, like a lot of Christians with the bible, reading them is something they have avoided, because if they understood what it was really saying they would not be involved. I’ve actually read them; they’re a loved up version of Mein Kampf)

        Those few lines are repeated countless times in EDG notes and recordings. And Serge has the hide to tell the media he has nothing to do with family breakdowns. What a detestable little creep Serge Benhayon is. To me, this is the most unforgivable thing he does in a very long list.

        • And women who question Esoteric nonsense are ‘in male energy’.

          But nope, I’ve questioned UM’s abuses and still don’t have testicles. And I would rather grow a beard than be a prissy harpie that thinks it’s okay to abuse kids.

          While I’m here, Deborah McInnes also made her own complaint to Google claiming that being on the Naming Names page was damaging her ability to make money out of inflicting people with Esoteric Chakra-puncture and loud burping. I didn’t bother putting it up because of the effort required in blacking out her phone number in the original complaint.

          So Deborah, which level of Esoteric Chakra-puncture accreditation did you reach? (Not that it means anything.) Do you have that certificate of completion for the 120 hours of health sciences training at a government approved training organization to get that bogus accreditation? Would you like to show it to us?

          Nuh?

          Didn’t think so.

    • ‘Be willing to stand in your occult and esoteric truth with family.They will either hate you more or align more.’

      That’s just sick. Hate you more? It’s extremely rare for families to hate each other.

      We’ve been contacted by a lot of loved ones of UM followers – but they don’t contact us out of hate.

      There’s no love for UM or Serge, I can tell you that. Like us, they hate what’s being done to people – to families – by this pathologically divisive doctrine, and the stupefying, abusive practices.

      When family members and other loved ones of UMers contact us, it’s not out of hate, but out of concern and despair. They don’t know what to do, and how to maintain relationships with someone they deeply care about when it becomes conditional on everyone going along with SERGE SAYS SO, without question and without complaint.

      That little passage above says it all. Loved ones want to know how they can penetrate that denial, unreasonableness and passive aggression. In many cases it’s impossible. It does take a lot for loved ones to walk away. No one does that lightly.

      • “Hate” is Serge speak for anyone who doesn’t believe his stinking bullshit. He uses the word often in his audio recordings when referring to anyone who rejects his ideas. I’ve heard him say (in recorded form and in person) several times that “I am hated for the truth I present”. No, Serge. Most people who realize that you’re a conman and full of shit just think that you’re a conman and full of shit. If you found their critical questions uncomfortable and they weren’t satisfied with your nonsensical “answers” that does not equal hate. There are, however, a lot of people whose lives and families you have disrupted or destroyed. I think it’s a safe bet that many of them despise you for your deceptive conduct and the impact it has had on the lives and minds of their loved ones. But none of us hate the people we have lost to your toxic bullshit. We love them (even if we know they will never be the people they once were), that’s why we keep fighting you and exposing your endless lies and corruption.

  2. The UM ‘one-unified-truth’ legal defence campaign: redundant propaganda blogs and black plastic sheeting to block out the windows (because they have nothing to hide). Absolutely pathetic.

  3. As an afternote, add to the above timeline the cult’s cyber-bullying conference flop in December 2012. One of only two speakers from the original schedule to show up was top notch defamation lawyer, Chris Dibb, who successfully sued Google in the Trkujla case. We assumed he had been hired by the cult to come after us, but no. He was roped into giving poor little multi millionaire Serge some free legal advice at a dinner the night before the conference, but that’s it. Unfortunately the NBN interview with him has been taken offline, but his advice to Serge would have been no different than advice to any other client. A defamation action cannot succeed if the imputations are true, or substantially true, (as in factually true, not Esoterically ‘true’).

    For the cult to argue that they don’t like our statements or don’t agree or that they’ve had their feelings or reputations hurt doesn’t cut it. If you attach your livelihood and your reputation to someone of proven dubious character, and insist on publicly promoting him and his enterprise, we are perfectly within our rights to point that out. Just as we are within our rights and acting in the public interest in exposing the cult’s deceptive and misleading claims.

  4. Our alleged ‘imputation’ that ‘Universal Medicine’s students are idiots’ cracks me up.

    Back in October 2012 I don’t believe we had ‘imputed’ any such thing. Again that’s the cult’s interpretation of being questioned about anything. Paula Fletcher’s projection, not ours.

    I must say, I’ve changed my tune somewhat, knowing what we now know. Most of the cult’s followers are victims of a terrible deception. However, some are genuine, stand out, idiots. The closer they get to the top of the pyramid, the more idiotic they ‘truly are’.

    Any sober and sane magistrate would tend to agree.

    Oh, and Paula, just a point of law – holding an opinion is not defamatory. Defamation can only occur if a falsehood is presented as fact.

    Where’d you get your law degree again?

    • I am starting to agree with you on this. There are those that understandably might not know as they are just the rank and file. These guys, like everyone else on the planet, are victims of the information problem. That is, we tend to accept information as being more important and more true if it comes from someone we know not well (even if we don’t generally trust them), but strangely, less likely that from someone we know well. (yes, familiarity does breed contempt)

      Some telling stories involves a friend of mine meeting a newish UM member who told him the only reason for the negative press one was one guy in Bangalow who abused his wife for years getting the media whipped up. Remember the game, Chinese whispers? I’ve also been told by a guy on a beach that he knew Serge personally from 10 years ago and the stories were all bullshit. When I pressed him how well he knew Serge, it was about as well as we know any acquaintance. Of course, many people will take these anecdotal stories as factual, the same way we accept most information. It becomes a mosaic of bits of information which form our views.

      The alternative is to always treat incoming information as unverified until it can be accepted or discarded. This is not something the vast majority of us are very good at all. primarily due to the effects of powerful cognitive and social forces. In addition, if what we hear seems to support our predisposition, we’re inclined to accept it as not only true, but proof of our belief. AKA confirmation bias. (Rebecca Baldwin is a stand out star at this) This would describe most of the members of UM.

      However, there are many people in the group that should be more considered. They have put their reputations and businesses on the line to support Serge and UM. I realise they are under the spell of his fantasy world, and that in itself is a very powerful, however their executive functions are working well enough for them to do other things in their lives for themselves and their businesses, so why wouldn’t they spend a little time- for themselves- verifying information?

      It took me about two hours when I first read Serge’s grandiose bio towards the end of 2011 to find out he’d been bankrupt, amongst other things. No one else in the group seemed to be aware of that. I guessed there was something amiss because of the way he exaggerated his history. It was an OBVIOUS clue that something was amiss. I am still amazed that lawyers, accountants, doctors etc did not bother to check the man they have banked on beforehand, or twig when they read that page. It may have taken me another week to work out and confirm his history with Miranda.

      Now this is something you think the top 120 would be interested in. Rather than just denying it with stupid letters saying how AMAZING he is. This would be to their benefit to check if their source of life changing information is coming from an honest person or not. In this case, they say he is the most honest man in history, and he is a man of “principles and integrity” par excellence. This is his and now their narrative.

      The facts however tell a very different story. I am not going to spell it out here yet, but suffice to say there’s many things that have been done in the past that are the antithesis of integrity. We have it in black and white. There are also many things being done now directly under members noses that are clearly questionable, and rather than doing just that, the members remain complicit by supporting him and UM’s mission either directly, or by maintaining their steadfast ignorance.

      Those very close to him in the group SHOULD know better. I understand there is investment of time, money, and loyalty but if truth is a primary motivator as claimed, the ends should not justify the means. Taking the time to check if our claims are true is how you test truth. Not simple blindly accepting Serge’s words, or the euphimazations of facts coming from the inner-core. Serge and the family have a lot at stake to protect- this is a fact, I am looking at the information! Without that however, much of the contradictions are clearly evident. And some supporting information can be found online quite easily.

      The rest will come out in due time. When it does, members and perhaps casual observers will be shocked, especially if clinging to the fantasy of Serge’s principles and integrity like it is an immutable truth. If that’s so, start readying yourself for the fact that he is just flesh and blood like everyone else except as it turns out, with far less principles than you can imagine.

      Given what I’ve said above, you may not actually be stupid (just an average person), but you are certainly acting as if you are (because we keep trying to give you the facts). And if you do ride this thing down with Serge, I agree you will deserve that label. But please, don’t be Dumb and Dumber like some of the members have already, and run off and join another group! Try some real introspection and figure out why you were attracted to the ideas and UM to start with to save yourself from repeating those terrible mistakes.

      However, I will say some members are not just complicit, they are enablers. You know who you are. I agree that you will deserve whatever negative consequence awaits. It is probably the only way of snapping you out of your conceits and self-deceptions so for once in your life you can start being honest to yourself and perhaps those around you.

      The sad thing about all of this is the calculus of people multiplied by years invested amounts to centuries of wasted cumulative life. All because of one hustler which big ideas about himself, a co-opted story, a charming manner and a bag full of tricks.

      Now that is stupid.

  5. I have dear family and friends deeply enmeshed in UM…

    They have met other lovely truth seekers, bonded through deep sharing, experienced beneficial lifestyle, psychological and self care principles, but also sadly and gullibly accepted disturbing “truths”, teaching and principles…

    Most concerning is that to gently and respectfully present a different point of view on UM blogs seems futile, as anything mildly challenging / confronting disappears into the internet abyss! (i.e. is deleted by the invisible gate keeper … a form of mind control possibly stemming from insecurity, fear and paranoia?)

    Due to their commitment and loyalty to each other, it would be difficult to self extricate from UM, even when the cognitive and emotional dissonance and consequences are undeniable, harmful and and overwhelming… it would take tremendous strength of character and courage to walk away.

    I would like to think that Serge is well intentioned and genuine, not just out to exploit people’s psychological needs and desire to belong in a caring community …

    Truth will prevail…

    Thank you for your unwavering perseverance to pursue and expose the truth, so that UM followers, and would be followers, openly and critically evaluate all …

    • And thank you.

      Funny, I was just beginning the next post, and writing about how many of our readers have attempted gentle and reasonable communication with the UM blogs since their inception with the same response. It was something I considered when I started blogging – that the gentle approach might not get us far and it would require sustained assertiveness to stay online. I was aware not everyone would be comfortable with my strident approach.

      However, I think I can speak for all readers in saying we do love to read different voices here and different takes on the experience of UM and Eso students. Not just the same small number of us all the time. So thanks for commenting, and I’d like to remind everyone the invitation is always open to submit your own blog post on any UM related topic.

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