Universal Medicine legal update and we know where you live December 2017Posted: December 15, 2017
Bad news I’m sorry. Donors to my defence fund have been outed to Universal Medicine. December 5th I was summoned to a hearing before a registrar at Qld District Court in Brisbane and to produce my financial documents. It was UM’s in house barrister, Charles Wilson’s first punt at cross examining the ‘troll’. It was a hearing to ‘obtain information to facilitate the enforcement of a money order’. UM wanted to know if I had financial means to pay a costs order from the February hearing. But that wasn’t all they wanted. They brought a few spectators this time too. On December 13 they dragged me back to court for more of the same. This time without my lawyer present. I dealt with it myself. With success.
The bad news
Donors to my legal defence have been outed if they put their names to the deposits. I estimate about 100 people made donations and some of those used pseudonyms.
UM wanted to know the sources of my funding. Apparently they think I can pay a $20,000 costs order out of it when I’m barely covering my living expenses and fighting overblown litigation in two states for the past two years.
On 5 December, UM’s legal lightning rod, Charles Wilson, successfully argued for an order that I turn over all my bank and Paypal statements unredacted. It means I had to surrender all statements in which donors are named.
UM were itching to get identities and anything else they could get about you. I was ordered to comply with a summons to produce the documents. Naturally my QC and I objected. We argued the identities of my donors make no difference to whether or not I can pay the order. I can’t pay. We didn’t succeed.
I am truly sorry. I apologize to all of you who donated in confidence. I don’t have time to do a proper count, but I believe it’s around 100 people, pseudonyms notwithstanding. We argued that supporters had donated confidentially and not given their permission to be exposed to these people. The registrar did not know the background of the case and it was not within the scope of the hearing to find out. Naturally I feel terrible about that. Please contact me if you have concerns.
There are rules – implied undertakings, about the use of information gathered for the purpose of legal proceeding. It is not to be used for any other purpose than those proceedings. Unfortunately, if the names are mentioned in open court or tendered in evidence, which they were, and there was nothing I could do about it, they become public. Anyone who would publish those names out of a hearing that was merely to obtain information about my financial circumstances, just because those people have supported my defence – privately and confidentially – is unconscionable beyond redemption. But that’s UM. If anyone approaches you and questions you about donating, ask them why they are asking. Make a note of their responses and contact me if you experience retaliation. I will report the lawyers for professional misconduct, again, and I will add it to the evidence of UM’s disreputable conduct that we will use at the trials.
Team UM were pleased with themselves. They’ve wanted to know who my supporters are for years. Like they can’t guess. The donors are a small fraction of people who have a grievance or concerns about UM.
UM’s pretext for calling the hearing was flimsy. They claimed they weren’t satisfied with a sworn statement on my financial position, about four affidavits I filed this year, and financial statements I provided showing all the money coming in and even more going out over the past year. All my personal funds and assets are gone and I have bugger all donated funds left, two years into defending escalating defamation litigation. It’s clear from my accounts. Team UM were supposed to give reason why they were not satisfied with the sworn statement I’d provided. Their reason – they had confused suspicions. They had no evidence I have any other financial means. There is none. After five hours of hearing, including three hours of cross examination they found none other than what I had already declared under oath.
I filed for bankruptcy on 11 December. The alternative is having UM drag me back to court every time they feel to – seeking further costs orders for the hearings. They sought costs this time even though the hearings achieved nothing. It was an attempt to increase my debt. Bankruptcy halts all legal proceedings to recover debts.
You’ll notice I’ve suspended the fundraising campaign until I get a bit more legal advice. I’m not eligible for Jobstart benefits because defending two legal claims makes it impossible to seek employment to the satisfaction of Centrelink. It would be easier to get some casual work.
If you have some casual work for me, please get in touch.
Litigation UM style
A hearing that should have taken 30 minutes dragged on for nearly five hours over two weeks.
Seven hearings into defamation proceedings in two states and the first time UMers show up to spectate is a hearing about money. Arguments about defamation – not a soul, apart from Serge’s propagandist in chief, Alison Greig. Mention money, and UM’s role models tog up like undertakers and pile into the court to pore over my empty bank accounts and take notes on my personal life.
It was the fifth hearing we’d attended in Brisbane this year. Out of four, I unfortunately ended up with an order for about $20k from the first, and $875 from the second. None for the third and fourth. Team UM filed 8 applications I think and won 2¼. In other words, I brought a 150 page defence this year in Queensland and fended off six applications, including two applications to strike out major parts of the defence, on no budget, with no solicitor. And complied with my obligations in the NSW proceedings.
The way Team UM were mincing around the court last Tuesday anyone would think it was a murder trial, and they’d gotten me locked up. It was not a trial. I can’t pay a bill. It’s not an offence.
The Qld plaintiffs, ‘dear friends’ and associates of Serge Benhayon, brought the defamation action a year ago – a year into me defending the Benhayon claim. They knew I was appealing for funds to continue my defence, and that I had publicly stated I have no savings, no assets and nothing to pay costs or damages.
In the public gallery was Wilson’s wife, Alison Greig, investor Alan Johnston and his Esoteric Women’s Health presenter wife, Josephine Bell, the Mystic Dentist Rachel Hall, and reprimanded Dr Samuel Kim‘s wife, Jasna.
We know where you live
Last month Alan Johnston popped by the blog to leave a remark.
Alan parked himself in the public gallery with Greig, and they got busy taking notes on my grocery bills, my family and friends, my father’s deceased estate. My father died in August.
I expected it. Solicitor Paula Fletcher pestered me for a letter from the hospital on the day I travelled to Sydney to be at his bedside. Without it, Team UM was threatening to drag me to a hearing the following week. She sent a 30 page accusation ridden letter on the day of my father’s funeral.
Perry Mason he ain’t
When limp lettuce, Charles Wilson, UM’s in house barrister, cross examined me about my deceased father at the first hearing, there was no ‘sorry for your loss’ or anything resembling a human sentiment. It was: ‘Are you a beneficiary of your father’s will?’
My QC objected. My deceased father’s intentions have nothing to do with whether I have means to pay a bill. Wilson asserted that my father’s intentions confirm UM’s low opinion of my character and prove I’m not a reliable witness.. These are people who believe all non subscribers are controlled by evil spirits.
I wish I’d thought of it, but I should have said, ‘Maybe for the same reason Judith McIntyre’s children were overlooked for a multimillionaire.’
Reality is a lot of UMers have been left out of wills. Does it make them bad people? Seems benefactors don’t want their estates sucked into the sixth dimensional master’s investment trusts.
Perhaps my Dad was a seer. He didn’t want his hard earned to end up down the UM gurgler.
Wilson again: ‘Have you considered initiating family provision proceeding$?’
Never mind what my father wanted, or what I want, or how disruptive it is for a person to initiate proceedings against her own kin, or the expense and bullshit, and another ten minutes wasted on the stand, I cut to the money. My Dad was almost as broke as me.
‘There’s nothing to get.’
Bless my Dad. And may he RIP.
The rest was pure Esotericism. It’s a good vantage point on the stand. One of the grey faced, semi conscious ‘healthy self-loving choices’ pushers was tilted diagonal in her seat in the gallery looking as if she was about to join my poor Dad. Ali G and Alan diligently jotted down the names of my family members and friends, their businesses. Dollar values… I’m surprised we didn’t see Team UM at my Dad’s funeral, trawling the gutters for loose change and chasing the hearse.
The questioning wore on, peppered with accusations and weird suspicions. Backed by zero evidence.
‘Do you go by an alias?’
Team UM thinks Darkly Venus is an alias. That’s what we’re dealing with. He hasn’t gotten the hang of internet pseudonyms – that people justifiably avoid papering the internet with their personal details. I suggest he try opening a Westpac account under the name of Pranic Princess to help him understand the difference.
UM will have it I’ve deceived all of you for years by pseudonymously posting as Darkly Venus and Pranic Princess. All of you commenting are really me, and/or you’re all criminals or supporters of the criminal enterprise that is my five year investigation. You’re probably carrying fake passports under your comment names.
The other accusation is that I’ve misled donors that the legal defence funds all went to pay fees to overfed lawyers. Never mind that I have defended two claims in two states for two years, the past nine months doing the work of a solicitor’s office myself. And kept myself fed and housed each week for less than what Wilson earns in two hours of litigious pissing about. Or what the humble Mystic Dentist spends on petrol a fortnight.
Or is it a week?
Never mind also that I’m living on a pittance and defending legal claims in which the total legal fees alone are likely to exceed $2m.
Not counting the obscene waste of public resources on these ill founded proceedings.
The second hearing on the 13th was the same, instigated on a far flung speculation that I hadn’t produced all the documents required in the summons. Without a lawyer this time, I submitted at the start that I’d produced everything required, the hearing was a waste of time and would not glean any further information ‘to facilitate the enforcement of a money order’. An hour and a half later I argued the same in closing. Confirmed. The registrar agreed.
Near the end of the hearing Wilson, having failed at manipulating the court, and me, started ranting that I’m a liar and a perjurer. An accusation is not evidence. He’d been told that before by a judge. It didn’t fly.
In the end, Team UM got my list of donors, which is a million times more than what twas warranted. It appears that they think they’re winning. But these are people who deny the biological theory of evolution and reckon volcanic eruptions are caused by porn.
Wilson’s cross examination on the 13th went for donors individually. People who had made one donation. Two. Who is so and so? Have I communicated with them? How long have I known them? Where are they? Why do they donate to my legal defence? That irrelevant line of bullshit got shut down by my objections, but not until four names made it into open court.
Wilson might be genuinely unaware of why people dislike UM and want my defences to get to trial. UM tries to censor and sue anyone who tries to tell him.
He named donors at the hearing because once evidence is tendered it becomes public and publishable. It’s pre-emptive payback for what will happen when I tender documents we have about Serge et al. They tendered my bank and Paypal statements containing donors’ names. They will now consider those and their contents to be fair game.
Now imagine when my team tender Serge’s bank statements, and other evidence of his assets. The media and general public will be much more interested in those. Yes?
A commenter asked if I would be compensated for my troubles from that waste of time. The answer is no. It doesn’t work like that.
In Queensland the plaintiffs are entitled to take measures to enforce the debt. In NSW, the rules are different. In NSW I’ve been awarded costs and costs thrown away several times, amounting to tens of thousands of dollars worth, but the rules for defamation proceedings in NSW are that those costs are not recovered until the conclusion of proceedings. The rules are like that, because the enforcement of a costs order can disrupt proceedings that are on foot. NSW tightened up the rules because defo proceedings were being dragged out and abused.
Despite the rules in Queensland, it’s an odd thing to move to enforce a costs order when you’re incurring a costs order against yourselves. On November 6, around the time they called the enforcement hearing, the Queensland plaintiffs filed a further amended statement of claim, adopting the contextual imputations they’d spent six months trying to have struck out. They added a few more. It’s a pointless amendment that will do nothing but lengthen the trial. It makes no difference to the substance of my defence. However, it means I have to file an amended defence to accommodate the changes. It involves redrafting and supplementing a 150 page legal document, rearranging hundreds of paragraphs and amending hundreds of cross references, at least. It’s about two full days work for a barrister. Problem for the plaintiffs is that the rule is that they have to pay my costs of amending, which we estimate is more than half what I owe them.
They’re also risking massive costs of continuing if they lose any further hearings and lose at trial. They are approaching the same position as Benhayon in NSW, where I will pursue them if they don’t comply with their obligations. Mr Anderson QC has been working pro bono so far. He hasn’t gotten around to drawing up his fee agreement. As a seasoned defamation lawyer, who counts the Prime Minister of Australia as a client, as well as national media identities and organizations, he does not come cheap. Take Wilson’s fee and multiply it. Ditto for Mr Molomby SC who is not acting pro bono. He drafted the Qld defence and has provided a lot of advice under his usual fee agreement. He will issue his bill at the conclusion.
The rules for barristers
Another of Wilson’s whinges was that I behaved inappropriately in court by objecting to irrelevant and intrusive questions. When I left the courtroom he was tut tutting to the congregation huddled in the foyer. He made sure he was heard. ‘I wonder what Senior Counsel makes of that kind of behaviour.’ As if my lawyers are going to smack my bottom for speaking up for myself in court.
I was whingeing to one of my reps a few months ago that I really need a solicitor.
‘No you don’t,’ was the reply.
Anyone with their feet on terra firma thinks Wilson is out of his depth. Compromised. His strike out arguments collapsed at hearing and this week a penniless, unrepresented rural nobody stood up to him in his professional arena. He got nowhere. Him and ‘The Team’.
I won’t be lectured on propriety by Wilson. He ought to study the barrister’s rules – the code of conduct.
12. A barrister must not engage in conduct which is:
(a) dishonest or otherwise discreditable to a barrister;
(b) prejudicial to the administration of justice;
or (c) likely to diminish public confidence in the legal profession or the administration of justice or otherwise bring the legal profession into disrepute.
95. A barrister must refuse to accept or retain a brief or instructions to appear before a court if:
…(d) the barrister has reasonable grounds to believe that the barrister may, as a real possibility, be a witness in the case;
…(f) the barrister has reasonable grounds to believe that the barrister’s own personal or professional conduct may be attacked in the case;..
I only found out a few months ago, Wilson has also been retained in the NSW proceedings. He’s a witness to numerous aspects of UM’s controversial conduct. He’s on the board of directors of the College of UM, which is going under the microscope. He’s a member of the UM Facts Team that has publicly attacked complainants. He should have returned the briefs.
So while Wilson was quibbling my grocery bills, the real question is what became of $600k in proceeds of the College’s charitable gift fund after its Deductible Gift Recipient endorsement was revoked by the Australian Tax Office? And what of the rest of the money thrown at Serge? We’ve never had an answer to those public interest questions.
Esoteric boundaries – short adjournment circus
UM brought the posse on the 5th. Only Jasna occupied the gallery with Ali G on the 13th.
During the short adjournment on the 5th, when I was shuffling my mound of papers, Rob nudged me to turn around and look. ‘A bit of back rub action going on over there’ he chuckled. ‘Group hug!’ Team UM were in circle. They can’t keep their hands off each other. Next thing they break up and they’re milling around the court room, hanging around looking over our shoulders while we conferred on the summons. Complexions as dull as gluten free pikelets.
Next, Wilson is conferring with Rob and I about narrowing the summons documents and whether or not it’s relevant to my ability to pay a bill while unemployed, from an empty bank account. Who should pipe in but Alan ‘we know where you live’ Johnston. Addresses my barrister. Tells him that my bank statements should be unredacted.
‘They’re very vague,’ he says, slouching against a bench, chewing gum. He looks like a character from West Side Story, but sixty years older. Same garb.
I asked Alan why he was studying my personal documents. Alan’s the UM investor and a part time lieutenant of the UM Facts corps.
‘I’m on the legal team,’ he says.
Like Alison Greig.
‘Are you a lawyer?’ I ask. ‘Are you the plaintiffs’ retained legal representative?’
I’ve written to the solicitor Fletcher several times stating I do not give permission for my documents to be used or disclosed beyond the parties to Qld proceedings and their retained lawyers. But Alan’s been all over them. Revelling in his forensic expertise. Where’s your practicing certificate Alan? Alison?
Next thing Charlie wants his private conference with my counsel. He does this. Gets my lawyers aside and tells them what he thinks of me. I suggest that he say what he wants to say in front of me. I say it in front of a row of Heckle and Jeckle Esos. Charlie swivels and lurches pointy head first out of the courtroom followed by my QC.
‘Mr Wilson to you,’ says sneery Alan, resuming the chewing of his gum.
He didn’t answer the question.
So then Alan starts doing the Esoteric Walking Therapies between the bar table and the bench – blessing the court room with Serge’s sacred energetic ritual – $30 per head. I described it on Facebook. Serge skools the Esos to walk as though they have advanced arthritis in both hips, believe they’re about to be anointed as Pope AND they’re trying to hold in a fart.
Turning Esoteric. Legal developments
The closer we get to getting Serge to the next hearing and then trial, the more Team UM show who they truly are, and what this is really about.
I’ve fulfilled the majority of my discovery obligations in both states. I’m not satisfied Serge has fulfilled his and I expect we’ll have the same issue in Queensland.
The Queensland plaintiffs decided to call me to the costs hearing at exactly the time I gave notice to Team UM I would be listing a hearing in NSW to seek orders against Serge. Serge stalled. Effectively delaying his hearing until February 1.
With all this going on, five months after I produced my discovered documents for the NSW proceedings, and a few weeks after I’ve give notice I’d be listing for argument in Sydney, Fletcher sends me a ten page list of what she claims are ‘deficiencies’ in my discovered documents for the NSW show. Reckons documents are missing, or have been tampered with etc. etc. and demands I unredact some emails. Gives no reason for me to unredact documents that are not relevant to proving anything in the claim.
I check through about 40 points on the list and find the majority of the documents she reckons are missing are not missing at all. I had produced them. Listed them. She’ll get my reply soon with the long inventory of documents she’s overlooked. Yes it’s a waste of my time, but I will submit it to the court to demonstrate her demands and accusations are unfounded.
And finally the attached letter says it all. In Queensland we were supposed to serve our lists of disclosed (discovery) documents on 22 November. The rule is simple: list and produce to the other side all documents in your possession or control that are directly relevant to allegations in issue in the case. A document is directly relevant if it tends to prove or disprove the truth of an allegation in dispute.
This is the stage where Serge told me he deleted all his emails, and all his staff’s emails from his private server. Yes? Related to his business, to his profits, to donations to him personally and his business interests, to UM’s unpaid labour force, to attack blogs registered in his name. Etc. etc.
Queensland’s process is simple, but despite all their demands earlier this year that I comply with impossibly excessive tasks on short deadlines, the Queensland plaintiffs were 2½ weeks late serving their disclosure list. In my opinion, they’re not close to complying with the rules to disclose all the directly relevant documents. So I begin the process of notifying them. If they don’t get it together, I will seek orders like those I’m seeking in NSW.
And two days before the final day our disclosure lists were due to be served, I get an eight page demand from Fletcher – a wish list of documents UM wants me to disclose. See the attached. The allegations in issue are about the plaintiffs’ reputations and whether I defamed the plaintiffs with one email and six tweets. Those relate to their conduct in promoting UM and their relationships with NSW police. Yet their wish list goes galaxies beyond relevance. Basically they want everything I or any of you who have commented here have ever written or communicated about UM. Or anything for that matter.
They want to find out who my supporters are. Irrelevant to proving or disproving allegations about the plaintiffs’ conduct and reputations, or proving or disproving I published an email and six tweets.
Item 1 is an extraordinary breach of the rules – as I noted above. Documents gathered for use in a proceeding cannot be used for any other purpose other than that which they are given – including use in other proceedings. UM would have to get leave of the NSW court to make that demand. It won’t happen.
They’ve also demanded masses of information about people who’ve commented on my blogs. I’m not being sued for blogs in the Queensland case. Blog comments have nothing to do with anything in dispute in either proceeding. They prove nothing in issue.
It’s impossible to get a court order if a demand isn’t in accordance with any valid rule or law. Bad sign, Paula, when you can’t find any rule in any jurisdiction on earth that warrants a demand that broad.