Universal Medicine, based in Goonellabah, near Lismore NSW, Australia, is an international occult healing organization and commercial religion that has made its founder, self-styled healer, Serge Benhayon, a multimillionaire.
Benhayon claims to have received his divine calling via voices he heard while sitting on the toilet. The former bankrupt, high school drop out and junior tennis coach has claimed to be the reincarnation of Leonardo Da Vinci, Pythagoras, Imhotep and others. UniMed offers healing services and practitioner training in bogus hands on therapies, as well as personal development workshops and purportedly health related commercial activities. Healing claims are based on New Age, occult magical thinking that customers develop disease from their choice to ‘live lovelessly’ or from past life karma, or possession by supernatural entities.
Benhayon and his organization are endorsed and promoted by a team of affiliated medical professionals – doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists etc. As the image below shows, molestation of clients, including sexual abuse survivors, by unqualified ‘healers’ has been taught by Benhayon to hundreds of so called ‘students’ at Sacred Esoteric Healing workshops since at least 2004.
A harmful, high demand group
Esther Rockett has been investigating UM since late 2012. She became concerned about Benhayon and his business after her disturbing first hand experience of his practices in 2004-5. She has published her findings with audio, video and images. In 2016 she has filed a comprehensive legal defence to a defamation claim over a blog post and a Tweet discussing Benhayon’s conduct with women and children.
Her investigative findings are extensive. The following links detail the most serious concerns:
- Risks to children – corporal punishment, restrictive diet, circumcision, grooming
- Exploitation of juveniles particularly girls
- Practices of inappropriate touching
- Misleading promotions and bogus healing, including chakra-puncture & Esoteric Breast Massage
- Delusional and anti-social con artist cult leader, Serge Benhayon & his lucrative toilet epiphany
- Sham charities in Australia & the UK and tax evasion.
- Attempts to infiltrate schools
- Death worship
- Rape and murder apologism
- Sexism and sexual manipulation
- Mass grooming
- Preying on cancer patients and bequest harvesting
- Misconduct by health professionals – undue influence & promotion of occult quackery, Medicare rorts, slammed by NSW Parliamentary inquiry
- Privacy invasion
- Coercive persuasion (brainwashing)
- Bad press
- Bogus practitioner accreditation
- Pseudolegal harassment & censorship
Esther and other official complainants have been harassed, vilified and falsely defamed for speaking out against UM. The organization’s blogs make the false claim that the complaints have been baseless and vexatious and there has been no wrongdoing found. This is not the case, as shown in the list below. However, regulatory action over clear breaches has been unsatisfactory and Esther and her colleagues would like more meaningful action from the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC), the Australian Charities & Not for Profit Commission (ACNC), the Australian Tax Office (ATO), the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), FACS (child safety officials) and the Office of the Children’s Guardian.
In addition, more action would have been taken if more of those adversely affected made official complaints, however most will not speak out out of fear of the kind of retaliation dished out to Esther and others.
The following is a list of outcomes from exposure of UM and official complaints:
- Therapeutic Goods Authority compelled Benhayon and associates to change non compliant labelling on Eso-Herbs.
- Independent experts, Raphael Aron, David Millikan, Rick Ross, and Cult Information & Family Support confirmed UniMed is a cult.
- OAMPS cancelled Esoteric Practitioner Association’s professional indemnity insurance.
- UK Charity Commission issued mandatory compliance order to UK charity, the Sound Foundation Charitable Trust late 2013 for conflicts of interest and issues of public benefit as a result of complaints lodged by Esther.
- UK HM Revenue & Customs bills Sound Foundation Charitable Trust £378,000 VAT for construction of £2m conference centre, the Sound Training Centre, with donated funds for non charitable purposes. Complaint lodged by Esther.
- ACNC required Benhayon to sign an undertaking he wouldn’t use tax exempt College of UM charity funds to make improvements to property he owns. Complaint lodged by Esther.
- ATO closed College of UM charity Fiery Building Fund and cancelled the charity’s Deductible Gift Recipient status in 2015 for failing to meet the requirements of advancing education. Proceeds of the charity’s gift fund were confiscated. Complaint lodged by Lance and Esther.
- Schools, universities, conferences and community organizations, including Griffith, Bond and Southern Cross University, Lismore Women’s Health and many others ejected Universal Medicine and recruiters.
- Lismore city council action against Benhayon’s UniMed House for operating as B&B without Development Approval.
- 2014 NSW parliamentary inquiry into false and misleading health related information and practices slammed Universal Medicine.
- AHPRA disciplined cult psychologists Marianna Masiorski and Caroline Raphael over promotions of UM.
- Lung specialist at the UM clinic headquarters in Goonellabah, Dr Samuel Kim, reprimanded over referrals to Esoteric practitioners, failing to refer a very ill and vulnerable Patient A for appropriate medical care, and inappropriate prescribing.
- Media coverage
- Expansion scuttled from plans to become ‘The New World Religion’ with a claimed 2000 followers in 2012 to current mailing list of less than 590, with less than one hundred zealous financial donors.
- Contact with more than 100 families and individuals confirming adverse effects of UM. (We’ve lost count. By now it’s well over that number, could be 200 or more?)
Watch this space.
More information – Benhayon had this blog removed from the Google search index with untested pseudolegal complaints, so Esther opened two more.
Universal Medicine (cult scam) Exposed has the most up to date info and discussions.
Facebook Esther Rockett legal defence fund