Benhayon vs Rockett defamation defence updates May 2016Posted: May 20, 2016
End of August – still delayed
May 29 – objections judgement delayed until June 3
May 20 – *Objections judgement delayed again *Killing time with Universal Law
May 14 – objections judgement delayed plus Serge detracts from his Ageless Wisdom
May 11 – unofficial objections update with video
May 7 – yesterday’s hearing outcome
May 4 – corrections, objections & trial by jury
May 1 – directions hearing preparations & delays
In the next little while I’ll be making some very promising announcements so watch this post for updates.
A summary of the defence I filed in February is found in the March update.
July 4 – still delayed
The objections judgement appears to be still delayed. I have no idea when we’ll get it – defamation list matters usually run on Fridays. I will announce as soon as we get it, but I suggest we all give up on it for a while. Carry on.
May 29 – Judgement now expected Friday June 3
Justice McCallum had a packed day last Friday – 3 arguments in the defamation court plus the closing arguments for a criminal case in the afternoon, which ran over time. Let’s hope we receive it this Friday. No one hold your breath.
In the meantime, take a look at star witness Sergio’s video defence of Esoteric Breast Massage, and then dare come back and say there’s nothing to worry about there.
If you’re still looking for something to do, go and watch my YouTube channel, with lots of talks on UM etc.
May 20 – objections judgement delayed, Universal Law censorship punts
We received apologies this morning from Justice McCallum’s assistant that the judgement on Benhayon’s submission to strike out my contextual truth defence won’t be handed down until next Friday, May 27. There are some positive signs it will receive media coverage.
In the meantime, I shall be busying myself with lots more UM exposure, some here on the blogs and some new projects.
But for now I thought readers (who may not have heard before) might be interested in Universal Law’s pseudolegal demands from a few months ago which my team and I have duly ignored.
Both letters came on February 19:
It has been brought to our attention that on 24 January 2016 your client published a video on one of her blogs in which she provides explicit details of the early settlement offer made by your client by your letter of 21 December 2015 and our client’s response by our letter of 24 December 2015.
Publication of details with regard to settlement negotiations is clearly inappropriate. Please confirm that this material will be immediately removed.
Those details were Universal Law claiming my contextual truth defence is ‘designed to distract attention from’ and does ‘not address the issues raised by the amended statement of claim.’ Contextual truth is a legal defence. It makes sure Benhayon’s claimed imputations are not tried out of context of a wide range of very serious misconduct I covered in the same publications. His behaviour with women and kids, and his sleazebag practices are all the more concerning given his delusions, dishonesty, predatory and exploitative behaviour. It could, on its own, without the other four legal defences I’ve filed, win this case.
They also claimed my Calderbank settlement offer was ‘premature’, when the law allows me to make it at any point in proceedings.
They went on to demand that the only way they’d settle is if I ‘admit to fabricating allegations’ – many of which I never made, some of which are amply evident from material we’ve all seen, and the remainder of which were my own experience and others’ first hand experience of Benhayon.
For the record, duckies, I will not be bullied by a cult into making false confessions. I’m more motivated than ever to get to trial to clear my name and expose the Benhayon fraud once and for all.
Lawyers are supposed to provide representation with regard to the law, not what they reckon is convenient for their client’s perverse agenda. The only legal restriction on publication with regard to settlement negotiations is ‘without prejudice’ admissions of misconduct, or alternatively, settlement conditions agreed by both parties.
Pfft x 2.
Our client’s attention has been drawn to an advertisement that we understand was placed by your client in the Byron Echo on 17 February 2016, making a public appeal for donations to assist her fund her defence of our client’s defamation action. A copy of the advertisement is attached.
We are instructed that the advertisement carries the imputation that there are grounds for believing that our client’s action against your client is a SLAPP suit. We consider that that imputation is defamatory of our client and is not honest opinion or fair comment in the circumstances of the publication.
Our client does not, nor could he, object to your client appealing for donations to fund her defence. However our client requests your assurances in writing that having drawn this matter to your attention your client will not further publish the same or similar imputations in future advertisements or elsewhere, online or otherwise.
Serge SAYS SO.
It’s okay, Paula and Cameron, my solicitor lets me use the internet as long as I bring a note from home.
Whether or not my characterisation of the Benhayon SLAPP driven parody of legal process is honest or fair or, um, TRUE, is a matter for the court to decide. Not Benhayon’s invested believers at Universal Law solicitors Mullumbimby – who sent their teen daughter to live at Serge’s place, and are now awfully quiet about the end of her marriage to their client’s son. I’m not sure about the Ageless Wisdom of buying property from Benhayon as well. Complicates matters somewhat, yes?
And aggravated damages? First the claim would need to succeed, and given the dishonest, anti-social behaviour of the plaintiff and his ‘student-body’ of dangerous dimwits – who are currently preying on cancer patients and infiltrating schools – the court would need to be satisfied that there is no public interest in drawing attention to the bullying of these mercenary aggressors.
That’s a fair and honest opinion highly likely to be shared by the court.
And we follow the rules of law, not bullying orders from deluded little despots.
May 14- delays and the disposable Ageless Wisdom
If you haven’t heard, the objections judgement has been delayed. I’ll post the new date as soon as I have it. The judgement should also be published online at some point, which will make for fine reading.
While we wait, I’ve posted a couple of statements from our submissions to the court below. It’s important to remember our barristers act under client’s instructions. They won’t say anything unless we okay it. I received Team Benhayon’s objections a few weeks ago and had a good old chortle about the punt they took to have my contextual truth defence thrown out. The weakest submission they made was that the particulars I’d provided about Benhayon’s dishonest and harmful conduct – quotes from the ‘Esoteric Teachings & Revelations’ of ‘Ageless Wisdom’ – were too far in the past. It was so weak they conceded before the hearing.
The fact they tried it at all speaks volumes for Benhayon’s dishonesty and disregard for the faithful followers scrupulously adhering to his doctrines and keeping him and his underachieving tribe cashed up in glamour, recognition and first class luxury.
What a disgusting human being.
But we knew that.
From Benhayon’s SC’s submission to the court:
D. Deficient Particulars
68. In relation to contextual imputation (i) (‘the plaintiff engages in misleading conduct in promoting the healing services offered by Universal Medicine’):
(a) the particulars provided at (a) to (d) relate to events years before the publication of the first matter complained of. Such particulars are incapable of providing a justification for contextual imputation (i): see for example, Ange v Fairfax Media Publications… NSWSC 204, -. The particulars are liable to be struck off accordingly;
69. In relation to the contextual imputation (ii) (‘the plaintiff makes false claims about healing that cause harm to others’):
(a) the same timing issue arises as with contextual imputation (i);
My barrister’s response:
25. Criticism is made, that the particulars at 1(a)-1(d) of Schedule A, which include allegations about things the plaintiff said in the period 2010-12 are too old to support the truth of contextual imputations published in November 2014. The submission is misconceived. The temporal difference is slight. Furthermore when the Court has regard to the nature of the statements particularized – to the repetitive and complementary themes, it is apparent that these statements are at least arguably articles of faith or affirmations of core beliefs. The notion that such statements are disqualified as particulars because they were made just two to four years before publication seems with respect to have no merit…
27. The only authority cited by the plaintiff in support of this submission is Ange v Fairfax…
I looked up Ange v Fairfax, a defamation case where a pornographer took issue to some incorrect factual details of stories about police raids on his sex shops. Fairfax argued the contextual substance of the story was true, that Ange was a criminal selling prohibited materials, but they wanted to use particulars of raids that occurred at different locations to those identified in the article, four years before. The judge refused on the grounds the correct dates and indentification of raided shops were necessary to argue the truth of the imputation.
It’s a very different situation to establishing a case that Benhayon is a fraud using his own statements. Whether he made the statements five minutes or five years ago is of no relevance. A fraud is a fraud. At trial perhaps we’ll ask why the Esoteric Breast Massage site was online for four years before he had it erased in 2012 – coinciding with the first media scrutiny. If the media hadn’t questioned it, all that bullshit would still be live.
Apart from that, UM’s own websites – blogs and testimonials, show that those ‘core beliefs’ are currently held and promoted by UM’s investors. The particulars in question – five pages of quotes, but I could have provided many many more – include doctrinal statements from his ‘Esoteric Medicine’ lectures and his book, ‘Esoteric Teachings & Revelations’, about emotions being the ’cause of all disease’, cancer as a ‘cleansing’ – and the result of a person’s ‘choices’, and breast cancer resulting from ‘women who don’t self nurture’.
In other words, that attempt to have the particulars struck out was fundamentally dishonest. He was prepared to try and hoodwink the Supreme court the ‘articles of faith’ central to his ‘Ageless Wisdom’ have a use by date. That little punt also indicates the level of contempt he has for his religious investors.
May 13 – objections judgment delayed
We just received word there’s been a delay with Reporting Services Branch in providing the transcript for last week’s hearing, so the judgment can’t be given today. We’ll be given a new date instead. SergeProp will be heaving a gentle breath sigh of relief – temporarily. It will spare them some explaining at the UK RETREAT that kicks off today at the Lighthouse in Frome. Serge gives less of a stuff than you all think, by the way. We’re talking about a bloke willing to chuck his whole religious doctrine when ‘he feels to’, and to hell with his investors. He despises them. None of them ever ‘get it’.
May 11 – Objections
Righto duckies, below is an unofficial update on video about the case and the hoo ha in court last Friday arguing the objections to my defence. If you don’t feel like sitting through nearly an hour (!) of me rabbitting on about the case and associated gossip, including a few chuckles about Benhayon’s performance in courtrooms, the short version is:
Team Benhayon’s Special Counsel moved in court to have my contextual truth defence struck out. The one where I will argue that I made strong defamatory imputations, in the publications that Benhayon is suing me for, that he is a delusional predatory fraud. He is not suing me for those imputations but rather attempting to convince the court his reputation was only damaged by statements I made about his conduct with women and children. In other words, he wants the court to find me liable for imputations he is claiming out of context to a range of grave concerns.
After all, my concerns about his behaviour with women and kids is seriously compounded by his other dishonest, megalomanic and predatory behaviours.
Benhayon’s SC made a valiant effort to have my defence thrown out.
His basic argument:
- *The contextual imputations don’t arise from what I wrote because I allegedly didn’t attribute them clearly to Benhayon. He said although I was clear in making defamatory imputations about Benhayon’s behaviour with women and kids, the contextual imputations were made toward the UM community in general, and certain members.
- *Some of the imputations we’ve included are not precise enough to warrant hearing in the trial – particularly the ‘delusional’ imputation, which the SC reckons I didn’t properly articulate.
- *Some of the factual particulars (evidence) provided for the imputation of false healing claims and misleading advertising are ‘too far in the past’ (2010-2012 lol!), and therefore can’t sustain our claims he engages in those behaviours.
My barrister opposed all of the above.
- *He argued I had made very clear UM is cult and I referred to Benhayon as its leader, guru, messiah etc. and made other specific statements abundantly attributing the imputations to him. (‘Self styled messiah’, ‘investors in the Benhayon scam’…etc.)
- *He said that cults are well understood to be characterized by delusion in every sense of the word, and I had included plenty of qualifying statements – self-styled messiah, exorcistic practices, idiotic Esoteric diets, demented, megalomania, bizarre, loony…etc.
*Finally, their attempt to strike out our particulars of claims Benhayon made two and three years prior because they were ‘too far in the past’ didn’t make it to the hearing it was so feeble. Team Benhayon conceded that argument had no merit. However, UM’s investor students need to know Benhayon was willing to dump the ‘Ageless Wisdom’ and his ‘One Unified Truth’ in order to save his tail. The ‘too far in the past’ argument implied Benhayon no longer makes the claims – all of which are his key teachings/beliefs/money spinners. To hell with the faith-full volunteers working around the clock providing online content to promote his business. To hell with investors who leave everything in their wills, break relationships with loved ones, believe any old bullshit he spouts, surrender their daughters, starve themselves and spend copious amounts of money, time and energy in devotion to the little turncoat’s Way of the Livingness, so that he can continue to propagate ‘the Work’. He is willing to jettison the lot the second it looks like it might be questioned in court.
What was that Sergio used to say about ‘lacking true fiery commitment‘, ‘selling out’ and the ‘measured life’ of the ‘detractor’?
I’ve stuck to my guns all the way. Yes? The conniving philistine Goonellabah guru drops his bundle the minute someone penetrates his cashed up SLAPP & stands up to his army of overheated bitches. He’s the most jumped up detractor of all. And it’s all a sleaze and aggression ridden fraud.
So, anyway, I put together an unofficial update of the case. A lot of you have shown interest in what happens offsite. The video won’t be publicly listed, it’s more for the case afficionados.
May 7 – outcome of yesterday’s second listed hearing
Byron Shire independent news service, the Echo ran a decent article previewing yesterday’s hearing, and I’d like to thank them for going to the trouble, because every time they cover UM they get spammed with Esoteric love bombing.
So, we don’t have a determination from yesterday’s hearing of objections to the defence and the judge won’t deliver it until next Friday afternoon. I will post a decent update in the next days. It would be sooner but I’ve been doing a lot of work on the case and need to attend to a heap of communications and other commitments. Please bear with me.
For now though, my team and I remain confident that our defence will hold up. We may make some minor concessions, but we are pleased with progress.
I will elaborate later in the week and give a more detailed account of what happened in court. And I expect to make some promising announcements in addition over the next weeks.
May 4 – corrections & objections & jury trial
There have been a couple of small changes to the order of things. The May 6 hearing is certainly on. Objections should be heard – that will take about an hour. Team Benhayon objected to much of the contextual truth defence and wants it thrown out, so my rep will argue that my full defence needs to be heard at trial. There will be some minor argument tweaking the contextual imputations, but not changing their substance, and I think it unlikely any of the objections will be upheld. I will explain more in next week’s full update.
Defamation cases are often heard by a judge only, but I am also able to apply for a jury trial and I did that yesterday. What that means though, is the judge may not set the date for trial until after the next phase of proceedings – discovery of documents and interrogatories. That phase is all paperwork and I’ll explain that step in due course. So, sorry, but we may not have a trial date on Friday.
Massive thank you to all of you who have donated and continue to donate! I’ll be updating when I can. Yes, I need more help with funds. One backer has been unable to access the funds and has had to withdraw, so if you’ve been thinking you might be able to help please get in touch. My defence is going from strength to strength. My opinion is Benhayon is holding out, hoping I won’t get this trial. At trial he will be humiliated. I’m confident of being able to fully repay loans at the conclusion of proceedings via an award of costs. Please give a hand if you can. Contact me or use the Paypal link at the top of the page.
To those of you who have been unable to help with funding – we will get there. I’ve put an enormous amount of work into this investigation, so I’m not about to throw all of that away. Thank you for your support.
May 1 – delays
May 6 is the directions hearing where
the judge will set a date for trial. I’ve just learned that we are unlikely to go to trial this year due to a backlog in the defamation list. We are looking at a lengthy jury trial – possibly up to 8 weeks, so that will be a slight challenge for the judge to find room in the schedule. Expect plenty more Universal Medicine exposure and analysis from me in the meantime.
The other delay is that Benhayon asked for my consent to file a further amended statement of claim. He’s reduced his claim, removing one of the publications – a blog comment. He added one imputation that is very close in meaning to the others. It doesn’t make much difference to the defence, so I consented on condition he covered the costs incurred for us to update our defence – which requires work by my legal team. Universal Law came back and said I should cover the cost for some reason or other, but gave up on that tack after a nudge about the rules from my solicitor. They then made some huffy demands for responses to their objections, even though there’s no point giving them until they file the amended claim, and we then file the amended defence, and they then respond. THEN we’ll respond to the objections…My solicitor gave them some schooling on those rules too. As of Friday they still haven’t filed the new claim…
What this tells us is what we all expected. Peculiar and pointless carry on, and no sign of advice from a defamation specialist.
Documents & links
The blog & comments I’m being sued for: Universal Medicine’s sexual abuse apologism hits a crescendo