Sexual exploitation is a hallmark of cults, and cult leader Serge Benhayon’s aberrant teachings and practices are integral to the profitability of Universal Medicine and its main recruitment arm, Esoteric Women’s Health Pty Ltd. Disturbing teachings on the disease causing ‘energy’ of normal sexuality, the karma of sexual violence and puritanical prescriptions for emotionless love making sit uneasily with in house assessments of ‘sexiness’. A culture of personal boundary transgressions, including inappropriate touching highlights the sexual confusion among devotees. The manipulation is essential to UniMed’s lucrative death drive; psychologically destabilizing followers, fracturing intimate relationships with non followers, and inducing dependency on dubious occult therapies
Cult leader, Serge Benhayon, is a fairly ordinary, not so clever bloke who can only establish himself as Universal Medicine’s alpha male by disparaging competing men via thought reform indoctrination. Based on derogatory stereotypes, his ‘occult philosophy’ demonizes so called ‘male’ traits of sexual desire, intellect and physical activity to encourage followers to reject anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the cult. Followers are then sold the remedy of ‘femaleness’ to make them more compliant and keep them dishing out the cash. In this final instalment in the Esoteric manhood series, we look at how Benhayon exploits the trope of male emotional inferiority to disempower cult men and turn women against his competitors.
Universal Medicine followers uncritically accept cult leader, Serge Benhayon’s polarized views on gender where violence, corruption and disorder are conflated with masculinity. ‘Femaleness’, as in gentleness, stillness and submission, is presented as the antidote and simplistically tied to virtue and Esoteric charades of ‘nurturing’, ‘healing’ and ‘love’. As many readers know, those who fail to conform to Benhayon’s standard of castrated manhood are tarred as bullies, abusers and perverts, placing a strain on relationships already under pressure from the demands of loved ones adhering to the cult. In this first post of three on Esoteric Manhood, Benhayon’s writings reveal his divisive views on gender that have contributed to relationship discord among Universal Medicine cultists.