For over two years too few of us have been exposing the Universal Medicine religion and complementary medicine racket; its bogus therapies, anti-social doctrines, secrecy and dangerous activities. This past year has seen the cult launch new fronts and initiatives targeting the vulnerable, renewed media interest in UM’s activities, and an all new display of aggression and bullying.
September 2013, I celebrated one year of UM accountability with frustration. I focussed on the cult running two tax exempt charities to the detriment of the public, the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission turning a blind eye to a public health risk, and the fact that those aggrieved by UM are reluctant to come forward with official complaints.
At that point, investigations were underway by the Charity Commissions in Australia and the UK. The cult was continuing a series of censorship attempts of critical websites and attempts to personally harass and intimidate me, and we’d had very little media interest for most of 2013.
New initiatives new prey
UM lacked the creativity to come up with any new products this year. Instead, we saw newly intensified marketing of their old rubbish, with particular honing in on very vulnerable targets.
Late last year it was selling ‘self-care‘ to health professionals in a bid to recruit new recruiters. At the beginning of this year we became aware that Serge Benhayon and his family of cashed up underachievers are in possession of Working With Children Checks, in spite the Department of Family and Community Services being aware of evidence of predatory grooming behaviours, including a procession of juvenile female houseguests at Chez Serge. It turns out anyone can get a WWC check as long as they’ve not been convicted of an offence against a child. The check does not protect children from unapprehended predators, even if they’ve been reported for grooming behaviours.
Mid year, UM launched the Teachers are Gold project for infiltrating schools, pitching self-care and cult recruitment to teachers. At the same time, they launched their ridiculous occult exercise regime True Movement – a substitute for sport and dance, both of which Benhayon deems evil and carcinogenic. Our readers took exception to UM targeting children and responded by complaining to their local principals and public representatives. The True Movement site removed its misleading ‘schools gallery’ page, and Curtis Benhayon had to grovel to principals with Esoteric apologies.
UM also infiltrated breast cancer support groups, and launched Breast Cancer Care retreats – a bequest harvesting exercise to relieve cancer patients and their families of their assets and estates. The key promoters are religious adherent health professionals, including GP Dr Jane Barker. It works like this. The retreats promote Esoteric healing. Cancer patients then go to Esoteric healers who tell them they wrecked their health by choosing to ‘live lovelessly’ in this lifetime. They sell them a guarantee of good health and an improved initiation in their next reincarnation if they pay up to join the religion. Some cop ‘free’ healings from Benhayon in exchange for some donations to him or his building funds – if they feel to.
In the meantime, Esoteric Women’s Health released their first Women in Livingness Magazine in Australia, the UK and Germany – with 80+ pages commodifying breasts – and a series of overpriced marketing and recruitment events – luring women into a therapy dependency based on cleansing their bodies of cancer causing prana and ‘male energy‘.
Finally, Esoteric Women’s Health launched their grubby Girl to Woman Project Festival – a commercialized predatory grooming and brainwashing event to be held in Lennox Head in January targeting girls as young as eight and their cult struck mothers.
Accountability in action
The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission continued to prove that it’s nothing more than a glorified, publicly funded filing cabinet. And it’s not only me that thinks so. The past year saw a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into false and misleading health related information and practices. The cult responded to calls for public submissions and put in several false and misleading advertorials. The parliamentary committee were not fooled, and Universal Medicine was singled out in the inquiry report for ‘practices of concern’, thank you very much to the contribution of Professor John Dwyer of Friends of Science in Medicine. The inquiry report also confirmed the EPA’s practitioner ‘accreditation’ is bogus. The EPA is not a registered training organization and cannot lawfully provide accreditation.
The NSW Office of Fair Trading has been made aware of UM’s deceptive and misleading advertising and business practices, including false practitioner accreditation. If you were misled into paying for courses under the apprehension it would result in accreditation, please ask UM for a refund and make a complaint to NSW Fair Trading 13 32 20. Likewise if you paid for treatments like chakra-puncture ‘chemowash’ under an impression Esoteric modalities can benefit health, or made donations to UM building funds under an impression the student body would own the building, please make a complaint. Same if you donated before the charity was established having been told you would receive tax or other investment benefits.
Also in the intervening year, UM’s Esoteric Practitioners Association had its professional indemnity insurance cancelled by OAMPS Insurance, and had to shift to AON. The new insurer have told me they’re aware of UM’s practices of past life regression and inappropriate touching. In other words they’re insuring Esoteric practitioners, but with no indemnity for claims from people who’ve been molested or psychologically abused.
Both the College of Universal Medicine in Australia and the Sound Foundation Charitable Trust in the UK received negative attention from the Charity Commissions, and negative press.
The UKCC issued the Sound Foundation with an action plan and deadline for compliance late last year, which saw a hasty reshuffle of its trustees and their conflicts of interest. The trust reportedly complied with the mandatory order, however its financial statements reveal bizarre anomalies, including ‘£80,000 worth of swimming activities provided by Simone Benhayon’. (!) Suffice to say the fact the trust is still operating is a very poor outcome for UK tax payers.
The College of Universal Medicine’s investigation by the ACNC had a promising start, but the outcome is not clear. We know the College applied for status as a religious charity, meaning it would have less reporting obligations, and we know that status was denied. We were also told by an official that Serge Benhayon was required to sign an undertaking that he would not be profiting from the charity, seeing it is a building fund to improve property he owns.
But what of the public benefit of these two charities? Their purposes are clearly to benefit the Benhayon commercial enterprise – providing tax exempt commercial premises for reduced rent, and legitimizing tax exempt donations from cult members. The sad news is that the Australian investigation was likely severely obstructed or even killed off by regulatory dysfunction. From a report in the Australian in October last year
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, which was set up last year as a “one-stop shop” for the regulation of charities, is plagued by bureaucratic inertia and stalled investigations, according to ex-staff…
[An investigator], a former inspector with Victoria Police, said eight of the 10 investigators in the compliance section of the ACNC had quit since the agency started operations in December. He said senior management appeared reluctant to pursue charities accused of malfeasance, a claim that was supported by other former ACNC staff who declined to be named.
“We’re talking about investigations into serious allegations of fraud, not minor matters of the internal machinations of charities,” said one, adding that probes were stymied by senior managers…
…probes into serious allegations were bogged down by bureaucracy and ended in limbo.
…investigators were forbidden from taking their laptops interstate, were deprived of equipment and told not to contact charities without permission. Other former ACNC staff recalled their investigations being “blocked” and said senior management seemed intent on protecting rather than policing charities.
What I can say is the senior investigator who headed the College of UM investigation was very disturbed by UM’s activities, and like us questioned the College’s public benefit. He was not permitted to advise us of the investigation’s progress, however I know he consulted widely in the investigation because he was having trouble finding contact details for several experts and I was able to supply them. He also took a keen interest in UM’s financial and business structure. He was one of the investigators who quit abruptly before that article went to press, and at a point where it appeared the investigation was gaining traction. Following that, the ACNC was faced with abolition by the Abbott government, and the agency has been less communicative.
The fact the College of UM is still operating as a charity is another poor outcome for the Australian public, with our government effectively subsidising cult recruitment and abuses.
The ACNC Act repeal bill is due to go before the federal Senate in March, so please mark it in your new diaries to write to Labor and cross bench senators in the New Year and ask them to retain the regulator with increased powers for routing out harmful groups that abuse charitable status.
Mid year we took a pop at the College of UM by challenging its Charitable Fundraising Authority in NSW. Our complaint drew the attention of News Ltd and their formidable investigative journalist, Jane Hansen, and Universal Medicine received some overdue media attention.
The cult of utmost integrity got nervous – and wise – and withdrew their application for renewal of their fundraising authority. This means they are still recognized as a charity, however they are not permitted to undertake public fundraising. Fundraising outside their community of cash drained religious followers is now unlawful, and we’ll be watching them carefully for breaches. UPDATE: UM withdrew their application and then resubmitted it when they were cleared. The state regulator is not able to assess public benefit, and the dysfunctional ACNC somehow decided CoUM passed the criteria, however Benhayon was required to sign an undertaking that he would not proft from the charity.
UM’s public line, of course, is that they’ve come out of every investigation of ‘baseless complaints’ smelling of roses, with the regulators congratulating them on their compliance and integrity.
It was a good year for media coverage, with Jane Hansen and News Ltd on board, and it produced the first public statements from UM messiah Serge Benhayon since 2012, thanks to his hysterical email exchange with Jane Hansen. (Spoiler: he didn’t answer the questions.)
Otherwise, UM was honoured with a prod from UK’s Private Eye Magazine in February, also with hilarious results. In that case, Private Eye took exception to the UM cult hijacking an NHS self care initiative, and then spamming their mailbag with sycophantic nonsense.
The big flush out
But perhaps our greatest achievement this year was succeeding in having Universal Medicine out itself spectacularly as a dangerous, aggressive, bullying and predatory organization, with the unanimous vote of its religious investors.
The year began with the cult spamming the ACCC with 150 complaints about me that didn’t get past the assessment stage; followers probing my background for dirt, and cult medical professionals trying to have me deregistered from my profession. Ho hum, I kept up the complaints and the exposure.
When all of that and their attempts at censorship failed, they began defaming me online, first in the vast, password protected Debasing Evil bitch session, and then publicly mounting more than two dozen webpages, tens of thousands of words, and thousands of comments from deranged cult members all about me – calling it Universal Medicine *Facts*, and labelling me a criminal troll and cyber-bully etc.
It’s somewhat repetitive.
The courtesy was extended to colleague, Lance Martin, HCCC complainant Ira McClure, journalist Jane Hansen, and others. As usual the defamatory sites do not allow corrections, critical comments or questions – unlike our blogs, where cult members are welcome to comment, but to date have never withstood the questions.
The defamations are irritating, but they’re also a perfect demonstration of the cultic extremism that justifies our questions and concerns. It’s an improvement on the pretences of the cult’s other dozen or more websites. The ones that studiously avoid mention of UM’s occult and anti-social doctrines, and are filled with Esoteric sweetness and light.
The real gift to our exposure, though, was the blatant sexual abuse apologism of the last few weeks, with the cult putting teen girls front and centre as human shields, using their names and photo portraits in an online defence of Serge Benhayon, the predator. The same ‘role models’ exploiting those young girls are behind the disturbing ‘Girl to Woman Project Festival‘ to be held next month.
Those posts alone have validated two years of work.
Finally, it took a while but I got around to posting the web page URLs the cult had removed from Google search results for searches for ‘Serge Benhayon’ and ‘Paula Fletcher of Universal Law’ etc. When I let fellow critics of UM know they’d been censored, they were none too pleased, and their online responses went viral. Doubtful News, James Randi Educational Forum and their supporters suddenly had their interest in UM reinvigorated. A Universal Medicine Wikipedia page was established in response, the cult began vandalizing it within hours, and Wikipedia admin have banned two propagandist contributors so far.
UM’s *facts* army never learns. The more they try and shut down criticism and exposure, the more they’ll get.
And as an early Christmas gift to me, two days after posting the URLs, most of which were removed as a result of requests from Gold Coast security firm, Phoenix Global; the head of Phoenix Global, Michael Featherstone, was arrested for fraud and perverting the course of justice following a lengthy investigation by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission. Featherstone is a particularly unsavoury hoodlum, hired by Saint Sergio of the utmost integrity, with money raised by capitalizing on ‘energetic’ correctness.
Because coffee and potatoes are evil, but hiring a Gold Coast organized criminal is Esoteric.
Seeing this second anniversary post was three months late, I best wish all readers and supporters a happy Christmas and New Year now, otherwise I’ll be writing a Christmas post in March.
In a year when UM cult members were explicitly instructed not to visit our blogs, we’ve gained support, and our readership and profile is at an all time high. I’d like to thank all readers for hanging in there with us, and to make a special thank you to all who commented or sent tip offs or encouragement, or who contacted me with their stories – from across the globe. We always love to hear other voices and perspectives. We even welcome comment from UM adherents!
I’d also like to make a special thank you to our supporters who are not directly involved with UM or its followers, but who share our serious concerns and have taken the trouble to contribute.
Merry Christmas all! Stay safe and healthy, and see you all in 2015 for even more facts and accountability.