Living with a Universal Medicine cult memberPosted: June 2, 2015
Late 2012, HDIH, the devoted partner of a UniMed student posted on his struggle to support the ‘self-loving choices’ of the love of his life. He wrote an open letter to New Age messiah, Serge Benhayon, of the impact of his habit forming practices on his family. I’m reposting it as an important reminder of the grim reality beyond the copious quantities of feel good propaganda the cult generates, and as a timely discussion point for those living with UM’s unisex Sons of God on how to maintain or retrieve relationships.
*Note to commenters – please keep to the topic on this post and confine your comments to the subject of personal relationships with cult members. Comments on the latest propaganda etc. can go on the gossip posts.
An advantage of UM’s social media campaign to trash critics is that it’s brought me a lot of new readers and supporters. Many have become aware of me because their loved ones have linked to defamatory nonsense from their Facebook pages. When they seek me out, they uniformly express frustration with Esoteric students gullibility and irrational defence of the UM scam. They tell of personality changes and tense discussions where reasonable questions are met with stonewalling, obfuscation, fibs and absurdities. They express dismay and grief at the loss of the person they knew, and they seek direction and hope.
Biting one’s tongue – dealing with cult members
Many reading will be aware that confronting UMers is futile, and any amount of facts will not sway their religious devotion to Benhayon Corp. On my blogs I’ve made many criticisms of UM, however, the purpose was to gain public attention for the secrecy, hypocrisy and anti-social behaviour at the core of this dangerous organization. From the outset I had grave concerns about Benhayon’s perverted behaviour and his death worship, and cult expert David Millikan told me groups are most dangerous when no one is scrutinizing them. My purpose in blogging was to out their vile behaviour. It was not an effort to persuade cult members. That requires a whole set of different skills.
Cult members might leave cults for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the revelation of facts is enough, but when it isn’t they usually don’t leave until they wake up to the dishonesty and harm, or the demands of the group and its leader become unbearable. Until then, communicating with true believers is like walking on eggshells
Some tips for dealing with ex followers:
These were developed through discussions with people who often counsel ex cult members and their loved ones.
*Criticism of UM will only put you at loggerheads with followers. Keep discussions open ended. Don’t expect to make progress, or expect it to be very slow.
*Ask what was missing from their lives or relationships that made them attracted to UM.
*Ask how they might have gotten those needs met without joining a group that makes such high demands of their time, money and relationships.
*Be gentle with your rejoinders. They will deny there are high demands so perhaps observe that you’ve noticed they go to a lot of UM events and have lots of healings, and it must cost a lot. Remark that they don’t spend much time with family and their pre-UM friends and they always seem to be occupied with UM activities.
*Only question controversial subject matter if the person is behaving reasonably, and try to do it without being confrontational.
*Leaving the cult is difficult, particularly if they’ve rejected family and old friends and don’t feel they have anything to return to. If they try to leave they will either be love-bombed/emotionally blackmailed into staying, or they will have asked too many questions and will be shunned and harassed. Others will leave when they suffer some illness or misfortune and find their ‘non-pandering’ ‘friends’ are either unsupportive or outright rejecting. Whichever the case, they will need people in their lives who can support them emotionally and non judgementally. Most UM followers are good people who’ve been misled into participating in evil. Only a small proportion are true sociopaths or anti-social opportunists, and those generally find their way to the upper rungs of the hierarchy, or leave when they fall out with others in grappling for positions of power.
*It may be too late for some cult members to rebuild relationships, particularly if they show no remorse. However, it’s best to try to keep lines of communication open for those who develop insight and want out. Let the person know you care for them, but you can remain uncompromising on the subject of UM.
It’s worth watching the Margaret Singer talk on leaving cults if you haven’t already.
A contributor on the Rick Ross Forum, Knowledge is King, wrote an excellent post on how he communicated with his brother, a UM student, who has since left the cult. The page includes a valuable discussion from several contributors on the experience of partners and spouses.
An open letter to Serge Benhayon from HDIH
An important element that’s lacking from my exposure of Universal Medicine has been first hand accounts from those with experience of day to day life in the Esoteric bell jar. It’s lacking because of the reluctance of former followers and their loved ones to open up about it, yet it’s these experiences, like that of HDIH, that are most helpful to readers trying to keep their sanity and their relationships together. Readers need to know that it’s not just them suffering – that it’s a common theme among the UM faith-full that the more they’re drawn into the Esoteric habit, the more they change for the worse. They become enamoured of nonsense, disengaged, aggressive or passive aggressive, lacking in empathy, paranoid, dishonest and disdainful of their pre-cult life and the people in it. For the love of Serge.
Last I heard from HDIH, his partner had lost interest in UM and was making a welcome return to her pre-cult self. He wasn’t sure what had brought about her decision.
How Does It Happen writes
HDIH post on the Rick Ross cult education forum:
Have Your Say Posts on the Universal Medicine Accountability