Universal Medicine is so NOT A CULT! says cult psychologist Brendan MooneyPosted: July 9, 2013
We can’t resist resurrecting this piece of classic denial from a member of the Universal Medicine brains trust and cartel. Except we’ve helped Brendan by supplementing his Esoteric ‘true facts’ with real world evidence.
September 17, 2012 — 31 Comments
by Brendan Mooney, Registered Psychologist BPsySci (Hons) AmusA
In recent weeks, there have been a number of articles written by the media stating that Universal Medicine may be a cult organisation. However, these articles have not provided any evidence to this claim, and obvious facts about Universal Medicine have not been published. The intention of this article is to address these ‘Universal Medicine cult’ accusations and to outline the true facts. In doing so, the reader will have an opportunity to be more informed in making up his or her own mind.
The facts about Universal Medicine are:
All Universal Medicine events are publicly open to all, and there is no pre-qualification to attend entry-level events of any kind.
Except for having cash and a susceptibility to bullshit. Although the cult isn’t fussy whose cash it is, or who does without so followers can pay.
There are no recruitment methods used by Universal Medicine. This is in contrast to cults, as world-renowned cult-expert Dr Margaret Thaler Singer states ‘contrary to the myth that those who join cults are seekers, it is the cults that go out and actively and aggressively find followers’ (Singer, 1995, p. XXIII).
You might want to read the rest of Margaret Singer’s book, Brendan. Or was it chucked on the pyre at cult lawyer Cameron Bell’s book burning? Everyone in the UM pyramid scheme from the surgeons down refer vulnerable patients to Esoteric healers, who then refer them to more Esoteric healers and then workshops and then retreats…the UniMed cartel recruitment drive into the UniMed ‘healing’ mousewheel. Dr Elizabeth Skinner refers patients for breast massages, who are then referred for chakrapuncture and so on. Dr Sam Kim refers patients to his unqualified wife, Jasna, the Benhayon underachievers, Kate Greenaway, Danielle Pirera, Neil Ringe, and even you or Caroline Raphael to really have their heads unglued. Patients seek qualified professionals under the impression they can trust them to adhere to their codes of conduct and provide ethical care. I’d call exploiting unsuspecting and vulnerable patients aggressive, Brendan.
The remainder of the quote, from Singer’s work is as follows:
Eventually, those groups subject their followers to mind-numbing treatments that block critical and evaluative thinking and subjugate independent choice in a context of a strictly enforced hierarchy.
The wisdom of the ages is that most manipulation is subtle and covert. (Singer, 1995, p. XXIII)
Before we read any more of Brendan’s thesis, we ought to look at Singer’s definition of cults, which Brendan avoided. In fact, we may follow this post with a set of quotes from Singer’s book, which Brendan conveniently overlooked. (The date and page number discrepancy is because I’m using a later edition, but with the same preface.)
…the term cult is not perjorative but simply descriptive. It denotes a group that forms around a person who claims he or she has a special mission or knowledge, which will be shared with those who turn over most of their decision making to that self-appointed leader…
Cults are truly personality cults. Because cult structure is basically authoritarian, the personality of the leader is all important. Cults come to reflect the ideas, style, and whims of the leader and become extensions of the leader. (Singer, 2003, p.XXIV)
People who attend Universal Medicine events are clearly informed of what the organisation is that they are becoming involved with. For example, extensive information can be gained from the public website, which states key messages presented by Universal Medicine. Instead, cults typically use deceptive recruiting methods and often exhibit secret stages within the organisation (Singer, 1995).
‘Extensive’ information amounting to the messages Universal Medicine wants the public to see. Whereas here on the FACTS and Accountability sites we expose the material the cult omits from its publicity. The inappropriate touching of sexual abuse victims, the personal boundary transgressions, the hostility to outsiders, the obsession with underaged sex and paedophilia, the glorification of death, the out and out wackjobbery, the privacy invasions – click on any page and you’ll see the ‘key messages’ the cult won’t show on its sites.
People are free to attend none, some or all of the events presented by Universal Medicine. To attend an event, each person is required to individually register for every event they wish to attend. For example, some people attend only the Friday evening lectures, held once per month, at $5 per person. In contrast, cults have an expectation if not a requirement that attendees at cult events become members of the cult (Singer, 1995; Singer, 1996).
Do you have page numbers for those references, Brendan?
Yah, Rebecca Baldwin spun the $5 line too. What about Serge’s appeals for anonymous donations ‘if you feel to’ that amounted to £2.5 million in renovations to the Lighthouse in the UK (that we know about), and him buying a $2.3 million dollar cold storage facility in Wollongbar as part of a $7 million dollar property portfolio? That’s lots of $5.
There are no recurring fees or memberships at Universal Medicine.
People are free to leave an event at any time. For example, the events are held in public rented venues and the entrance door remains unlocked at all times. Events are not held in communes, and Universal Medicine publicly announces that any attendee can obtain a full refund and exit the premises at any time without penalty of any kind.
HOW GENEROUS! But we know people have asked for refunds and been refused. And what’s with the gaffer tape and black plastic covering the windows? What is UM hiding?
Universal Medicine collects standard attendee registration information. Any person can obtain full disclosure of their personal information held by Universal Medicine at any time. This is in contrast to cults whereby cult records are typically confidential and/or hidden by members and not shared (Singer, 1995).
So patients and workshop participants are allowed to see the full disclosure of their personal and medical history, including their HIV status they supplied on the UM ‘consent’ forms – information gathered in breach of the Australian Privacy act? More Esoteric generosity. Why do you need to know someone’s HIV status Brendan? For a six hour ‘Livingness’ workshop? And how about the financial transparency of the Esoteric Practitioners Association and the tax exempt Universal Medicine ‘College’? Where can the public view the annual reports?
There are no rituals, no mantras, and no exceptional practices.
No rituals? Except for all the counter clockwise bullshit – walking, massaging, stirring nutrient deprived Esoteric gruel. Then there’s the ritual clearing symbols and clearing candles, gentle breath meditation/hypnosis, listening to podcasts daily, parroting uniform Esoteric platitudes. And there’s nothing exceptional about the practices of Esoteric Breast, Uterus and Ovary massage?
Serge Benhayon is the founder of Universal Medicine. At the core of Serge’s presentations is the importance of brotherhood and living a loving life to the best of one’s ability. In other words, Serge presents that we are all equal, and that no one is more gifted, special or chosen than any other. The essence of Serge’s presentations is about choosing to live a more loving life and treating all others equally with that same level of care and love. Serge also presents that we all have an equal and innate ability to know what is true in life and what is not. On numerous occasions, Serge has also publicly announced that he does not consider himself to be perfect in any way, and that he makes mistakes like we all do.
Yep, we’re all equal, except on Serge’s Initiation scale, or when it comes to freedom of speech, or worse, dissent. And Serge does not make mistakes ‘like we all do’. Normal people don’t go around touching the genitals of sexual abuse victims, or offering unqualified vaginal examinations as ‘healing’, or inviting adolescent girls for extended sleepovers, or not bothering to pay back the people he’s owed money since the nineties, or asking for donations to a legal fund knowing you can’t win a defamation action against facts. Did he refund the money you all put in?
The first teaching of Universal Medicine is how to discern energy and the importance of discerning all presentations, including by Universal Medicine so that people can choose, for themselves, whether what is offered is true or not.
Universal Medicine publicly advocates freedom of choice. For example, people are encouraged to make up their own minds with regards to their chosen religion and political views, as well as whether they accept or reject some or all of what Universal Medicine presents.
People attending Universal Medicine events are free to choose their friends and family associations (including their selection of a partner or spouse). There is no restriction of access to information in relation to television, radio, telephone, mail or reading material. This is in contrast to cults which typically isolate their members from their loved ones, and from society in general (Singer, 1995; Singer, 1996).
Yeah, free to choose after Serge has told them everyone who isn’t committed to his Esoteric balderdash is loveless, in pain, and part of the Astral cult. No restriction of access? No, you just choose to burn books, and the cult chooses to have zero financial transparency and to disallow comments and questions from outsiders on their propaganda sites, and to be selective that only Serge’s publicly palatable ‘key messages’ are found in the propaganda.
Universal Medicine does not tell people what to eat or wear or where to work, sleep or bathe. Universal Medicine presents the importance of regular exercise and a sleep rhythm that honours the body’s natural rhythms. This is in contrast to cults that rarely encourage members to maintain good health practices or fitness (Singer, 1995). For example, Universal Medicine presents that the body functions well with an earlier bedtime (e.g. 9 or 10pm) and an earlier rise time, rather than doing things at night when we are tired. However, no bedtime is prescribed. Similarly with food, Universal Medicine presents the importance of discerning for oneself what food is right for you. Universal Medicine openly states that the food that one person eats will not necessarily be right for another. It is up to each person to feel this for themselves. If a person decides to make dietary changes, the main changes may include ceasing consumption of alcohol, gluten, and/or dairy. Alcohol has been well researched and scientifically documented as a chemical poison to the human body. There are also large numbers of people worldwide who do not eat gluten or dairy, as evidenced by the many restaurants that include gluten and/or dairy free meals in their menus.
Universal Medicine publically encourages medical treatment. For example, many people who attend events are themselves medical and allied health professionals. The Practitioners Committee of the Esoteric Practitioners Association consists mainly of medically-trained professionals, such as General Practitioners, Dentists, and Surgeons. This is in contrast to cults which typically discourage or forbid medical treatment (Singer, 1995).
Large numbers of people worldwide don’t eat gluten or dairy because they have legitimate, professionally diagnosed allergies or sensitivities. Cult members don’t eat them because Serge says those foods have too much pranic life energy. Cult members have also cut tomatoes, coconut milk, all grains, including rice, root vegetables, beef, vinegar, legumes – not for any nutritional reason but because Serge SAYS SO. The small number of medical professionals associated with the cult, including you, are in breach of your professional codes of conduct, including by exploiting patients’ lack of specialist knowledge and failing to declare your personal and financial conflicts of interest. You are all, without exception, a disgrace to your professions. And furthermore, you’re a bunch of callous, entitled bastards.
Although some of what Universal Medicine presents is unconventional, people are not asked to believe it, and there is much evidence showing that people are encouraged to question what is presented. Furthermore, unconventional statements made by any group in society do not necessarily constitute a cult. For example, there are many well-established religions that advocate a variety of beliefs, values and ideals related to reincarnation, Heaven and Hell, spirit and soul, and miracles. In fact, these beliefs are considered part of conventional society in both western and eastern cultures.
If questions are encouraged, why don’t followers don’t ask any? We have 8 hours of lecture audio of Serge’s monologues in which not only does he talk non stop horseshit, but not one question is asked. The group is harangued with the evil, loveless, cancer causing properties of food, sex, music, sport, emotions, ideals, beliefs, intellect and life itself, and all lectures are preceded by a session of trance inducing ‘meditation’, also known as hypnosis.
People from varying locations around the world attend events by Universal Medicine, such as Australia, New Zealand, Holland, England, Germany, and many other parts of the world. This is in contrast to cults that typically isolate their members geographically from society (Singer, 1995; Singer, 1996)…
Serge doesn’t have to isolate people geographically, he isolates them by shutting down their emotions and critical minds, and making it impossible for them to sustain relationships with anyone outside the cult.
Universal Medicine presents that if needed people can perform a ‘gentle breath meditation’. This is a brief meditation (publicly recommended to perform in less than 10 minutes) in a comfortable seated position, in order to allow people to feel their own gentleness. The emphasis behind this is that if a person is feeling gentle, thus at ease and more calm, they are able to make clear and informed decisions for themselves. In contrast, when people are feeling emotional they are reactive to life and thus tainted by their experience. For example, a person feeling stressed is likely to make decisions that will be influenced by this stress.
And a person who has been gradually manipulated into not suspecting they are being conned, molested and robbed, will continue to be conned, molested and robbed.
Universal Medicine presents that it is not a sovereign entity receiving any exceptions to the law or to any legal proceedings. In contrast, cults often consider themselves to be above the law and accountable to no-one (Singer, 1995)…
Except for UniMed and its practitioners’ indecent assaults, breaches of professional codes of conduct, the privacy act, the Trade Practices act and Australian tax law.
And apparently you’re too Esoterically advanced to provide page numbers for your references.
Whilst unconventional or even unpopular statements may be made by Universal Medicine, no organisation in society should ever be labeled a cult when there is absolutely no evidence to justify this claim. The term ‘cult’ carries heavy stigma for those involved and should never be used carelessly or irresponsibly. To do so would severely denigrate and demean the thousands of people who have been inspired to make truly loving changes in their lives and to support those around them. The real stories about Universal Medicine will be found here, in the countless numbers of individuals who now bring a sense of wellness to family life, to the workplace, and to all of society. So I leave it to you the reader to determine. Universal Medicine: Cult or the Antithesis?
Brendan Mooney works as a fully-registered Psychologist. He has studied up to the level of a PhD in Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Queensland. Brendan works as a Psychologist both privately and in the rehabilitation sector.
Brendan works at SergeCentral – the Universal Medicine clinic in Goonellabah.
Singer, M.T. (1995). Cults in our midst: The hidden menace in our everyday lives. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Singer, M.T. (1996). Crazy therapies. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Singer, M. T. Cults In Our Midst, Jossey Bass, San Francisco, 2003.