Benhayon vs Rockett case updates early 2016Posted: January 21, 2016
March 2: Defence filed. Standby for further updates
February 20: Reschedule – extension
February 17: Yes, we’re running late, but we will get there.
January 22: *Contribute now or soon please!* I have to pay lawyers or they stop work.
January 21 2016: defence and funding update (short written summary below if you don’t want to watch the video.)
Contact me if you are able to make a loan
March 2: defence filed, please stand by
Hang in there duckies. I’ve been busy. Defence was filed on the 29th. I’m happy with it and am looking forward to having it put before the court. Stand by, I’m preparing an update video and I’m using the defence document to undertake more lobbying and fundraising. Thanks for your patience and support.
February 20: Reschedule
Yesterday the court granted me an extension for filing my defence. The schedule has been bumped ahead. I have about a week to file, and I’m still very busy assisting my legal team.
I’ll update everything in the next week or so.
It’s regrettable in the sense that the extension will cost financially, however, in spite of a lot of hard work we simply ran out of time and we’d rather file the best defence possible than a rushed job.
Please hang in there everyone. The defence is shaping very well – the work I’m doing now will save time and money later, and you’ll hear about it as soon as it’s finalized and filed.
Now remember to donate! Or offer me a nice generous loan so I can keep my lawyers on board until the trial.
In the meantime, Universal Law have been up to the usual monkey business – now demanding I take down certain statements and stop expressing my opinion the claim is a SLAPP.
Here’s news for Benhayon and his briefs – whether or not my statements are defamatory, what publications get taken down, and what I’m permitted to publicly state are matters for the court to decide.
I will only censor my publications in line with the law. Not to the whims of a tinpot messiah and his small town solicitor devotees whose daughter married into the Benhayon firm.
February 17: LATE!!
Thank you for your continued patience. Yes, I am quite late with my defence. Three things have worked against us.
One, my lawyers being away most of January and returning later than expected.
Two, an unexpected spanner thrown at us from Team Benhayon, which had us down tools for a week. Then once the schedule was out we had the problem of recoordinating the team to be able to confer properly.
Three – a truckload of evidence to work through – too much, so we’ve had to renovate and downsize the planned defence in order to stay within a manageable budget.
So if you watch the video below, there might be a couple of changes to the defence I was proposing, but we’re still confident!
Stand by. I believe we’ve asked the court for an extension, but I’ll keep you all updated when I know more.
I heard UM are saying I’m trying to make it a media circus, lol. Look, I won’t have to. The public and media interest in this case will be massive. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets legislation changed.
January 22: Bills!
Hi all, some have pledged loans but aren’t able to pay right away. I’m being billed as my lawyers do the work, so please don’t delay if you are considering donating or offering a loan, I need to raise money quickly. My lawyers will stop work if they’re not paid. Thanks.
January 21 defence and funding update
See the video above for explanations. Click and drag the red dot at the bottom of the YouTube video if you want to skip any sections
- Serge Benhayon has claimed I’ve damaged his reputation and business in one blog, three comments and one tweet. He’s seeking to hold me liable for damages.
- He’s claiming his reputation has been damaged by statements I made regarding his conduct with women and children.
National & international significance (if I can fund it to trial)
- The court will establish whether a member of the public can legally raise justifiable concerns over the welfare of women and children, or whether doing so is defamatory of the claimant.
- The case will publicly raise the question over whether it’s legitimate defamation claim or a wealthy individual using his financial resources to censor public interest information exposed by someone with few resources.
- Unprecedented scrutiny of a cult leader’s reputation, behaviour and background, and scrutiny of a secretive and dishonest group.
- Of intense interest to the press, the legal profession, welfare and human rights groups – as well as public and those directly affected by UM.
Defamation is legal provided the person making the statements has legal defences for making them. I only need one of the defences to succeed for Benhayon’s case to FAIL. I will take at least four, including:
- Justification – the statements I made were substantially true
- Context and reputation – I made many other statements in the publications regarding Benhayon’s aberrant behaviour and character which were true. He is not suing me for those. Benhayon already had a poor reputation due to prior media coverage and other blogs and online discussions. He will need to prove the claimed imputations concerning women and children were the specific cause of damage to his reputation, and not the many other statements made about him (liar, cult leader, delusional etc.) and the fact there was so much other adverse material about him online and elsewhere.
- Interests of readers (Qualified Privilege) – the publications were of interest to my readers. My readers are potential clients of UM, or others who may be potentially exposed to these people via their front organizations and the like, plus a number of readers who are parents of children caught up in the cult, related to followers or have been adversely affected themselves.
- We file our defence at the end of this month.
- First hearing March 11 will hear some objections to our defence and set a date for trial.
- Trial likely in third quarter of 2016. It’s likely to last for four to eight weeks.
- A jury trial will deliver a judgement almost immediately. A judge only trial may take three to six months after the trial to hand down a judgement.
Universal Law of Mullumbimby
Benhayon hasn’t been receiving advice from his senior counsel. Rather, his son’s parents in law, Universal Law solicitors, who normally deal with family law, bequests and petty crime, have handled the claim so far. Benhayon can afford better legal advice and he very obviously isn’t getting it. See video – 14:36 minutes.
- Target is $110-120K total.
- A successful litigant is commonly awarded 70-75% of costs.
- I’m seeking to fund 70% of my defence via loans, so that I can repay loans in full if and when I’m awarded costs.
- Loan agreements are made in writing.
- If costs awarded do not cover all the loans, I will repay each lender in proportion to the total costs awarded.
- I hope to raise the remainder via donations and what’s left of my personal funds.
- The progress of raising loans won’t be made public because Benhayon appears to be holding out with his claim in the hope I won’t raise the funds. Let him sweat.
THANK YOU to all who’ve lent and donated so far.
Loans and donations can be made confidentially.
Finally, the response from all quarters to Benhayon’s success in the McIntyre will case was universal disgust and condemnation for taking funds from people who need them a lot more than he does. It made news in Australia, the UK and US. His defamation claim is also already damaging his reputation as evidenced by the flurry of damage control propaganda coming out of cult HQ.
I strongly believe I can win based on my strong legal defences. I believe the only way my defence will not succeed is if I can’t fund it.
The blog & comments I’m being sued for: Universal Medicine’s sexual abuse apologism hits a crescendo