Relaunch: Unpacking Universal Medicine episode 4 – relationships versus the supernaturalPosted: May 19, 2018
Recordings of Universal Medicine’s Way of the Livingness events reveal the supernatural beliefs that pose a challenge to healthy relationships.
UPDATE: UM contractors The Co-Creative lodged a second round of groundless copyright infringement complaints to YouTube and had 3 episodes taken down.After I issued a counter notification they deliberately stalled to keep them down. The full playlist of videos has been restored, with more to come.
The Co-Creative are Jonathan Baldwin, Rebecca (Bec) and Simon Asquith, and Clayton Lloyd. They’re the audio-visual contractors responsible for recording and webcasting UM’s ‘amazing’ events.
Episode 4 – relationships v spooks – UM’s imaginary enemies
A lot of our readers know how difficult it is to reason with a person who believes anyone who disagrees with them is possessed by evil spirits. Following on from the Introduction episode to this series, this episode shows us more of UM’s occult teachings about human relationships that have become a source of conflict for its community.
It’s not mentioned in the episode but in 2016 I blogged about UM’s commercial exorcism services, and how UM’s teachings about the supernatural keep followers infantilized. Focus on imaginary spooks distracts them from facing the real sources of their problems, and the real problems with the organization they support.
More panic censorship
The first two episodes of this series (which is now a YouTube playlist) were temporarily taken down by YouTube in response to bogus copyright complaints from UM and contractors The Co-Creative, who are UM true believers, Jonathan Baldwin, Rebecca and Simon Asquith, and Deborah Benhayon’s latest husband, Clayton Lloyd. They were taken down around 12 January, within 72 hours of being published, and likely so that UM could avoid more exposure before its Girl to Woman Festival at Lennox Head on 21 January.
I blogged about that and copyright law, and the reasons why the complaints were false and made for no other reason than censorship.
But they didn’t stop there. Esoteric Breast whisperer, Alan Johnston, who came to a costs enforcement hearing to take notes on my friends, family and donors to my legal defence, was one of the Sons of God who continued with the legal threats. Including several to blog platform, WordPress. The last was on 31 January, the day before Alan showed up at the most recent Sydney hearing with Natalie Benhayon.
WordPress, of course, rejected them. There are too many problems with the complaints to list. But for a start, UM and the Co-Creative, or Alan Johnston, aren’t the copyright holders of the Unpacking Universal Medicine documentaries.
But the Sons of God went so far as to have a media lawyer send a rather spirited legal threat. It’s like he was channelling Team UM. WordPress rejected it too, and were so kind as to forward it to me.
We refer you to the details of two pieces of intellectual property protected under copyright, detailed below, owned by our client:
Details of our client’s copyright-protected material
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL: 2 VIDEOS:
Video 1: Unpacking Universal Medicine – Introduction
Video 2: Unpacking Universal Medicine Episode 1 – Mystifying Sex
COPYRIGHT JOINT OWNERS:
Universal Medicine (ABN 98 465 168 863) and
Co-Creative (ABN 91 147 446 639)…
The Embedded Videos and the Blog
Given the nature of the claims made on the Blog, quite distinct from any copyright considerations, it is clear that the claims made are defamatory, misleading and deceptive and amount to clear misrepresentations.
With respect to copyright, for the record, the Embedded Videos do not fall under the definition of fair use/fair dealing with copyright in Australia. The Embedded Videos contain a significant amount of content illegally obtained in breach of various rights of the website platforms that originally hosted the material. The material clearly violates copyright law without any applicable or legitimate defence. The material is also clearly in breach of the moral rights provisions of the Australian copyright legislation. The material is defamatory and contains various misrepresentations. All of the above negates any fair dealing defence as the publication of the material is clearly not motivated for instance by news reporting, for parody/satirical purposes or for the purpose of review or valid criticism of the content, but instead has clearly malevolent intentions.
Furthermore, we are instructed to inform you on behalf of our client that the Blog author and user that posted the Embedded Videos is a defendant in two separate proceedings currently before the Courts in the states of New South Wales and Queensland respectively, here in Australia, relating to the claims made and the content of the Embedded Videos and WordPress supported blogs including the Blog.
Oh yes Mr Lawyer Pants? Which statements did I make in my videos or the blogs that are the subject of the legal actions? Which content? Which blog?
From the look of what’s written UM mustn’t have told the lawyer that I hold the copyright for the embedded videos. He can’t have watched them. If he had he would have seen my face in them and heard my voiceover… Did they tell him I’m being sued on a blog post I wrote over three years ago, and that the Queensland proceedings are not over a blog, but an email and six tweets about two plaintiffs who told the court their claim was unrelated to the NSW proceedings?
Anyway, UM’s innermost didn’t feel that the fair use exceptions of the Copyright Act apply to my intellectual property. That’s as close as the letter gets to citing any law. Never mind comment, criticism or journalism. Or the public interest of exposing an organization that reckons it delivers teachings about everyday self-loving choices to cancer patients and children. The lawyer didn’t cite any section of the crimes act that defines an offence of ‘malevolent intentions’ either. Strangely, he never lettered *me*. I wonder if he would have worded it differently if he’d realized WordPress would forward it. WordPress deals with threats like that all the time. They’re big fans of free speech. They’ve successfully sued people who’ve abused the copyright complaints process to censor blogs. They have forwarded similar pseudo-legal demands to me in the past. Bravo WordPress.
UPDATE: On 26 Feb, the same lawyer lettered me. This time he didn’t refer to UM as the owners of the copyright. He alleged I’m in breach of copyright, my use of the material is malevolent and damaging and not covered by fair dealing. He wanted to know if I have legal representation in relation to copyright infringement and asked for contact details of my lawyers. (In other words, he was running a risk assessment – would I defend a claim?) I replied that his letters were full of errors, that I’m not aware of any legitimate copyright complaints against me, that junior, senior and queen’s counsel are representing me in two states, and that solicitor’s correspondence is to come to me. He is not to trouble counsel with solicitor’s letters. Told him to view the films, that I’ll robustly defend any copyright claims with a prominent SC (at least. Mr M is certainly on board, but I wouldn’t be surprised if others volunteer if I ask), and that if UM continues with baseless complaints against me I will add the threats to my evidence of UM’s bullying.
For the lawyer, it’s a living I guess. If a client wants to make a complaint and they’re willing to pay several hundred dollars an hour for someone to listen to them whinge and then write what they want, why not? It was never going near a court.
I presume someone paid good money for that. From the correspondence, which only names Alan Johnston, we might assume it wasn’t the multimillionaire proprietor of UM, Serge Benhayon.
Now just imagine how a few thousand dollars might have been more productively spent.
UPDATE 1 March: The Co-Creative have lodged another bogus take down notice with YouTube, so episodes 2-4 were taken down. I have issued a counter-notice. It is awaiting review by YouTube and then UM will have 10 business days again to provide evidence to the platform that they have initiated a court action to keep the films down. If UM does take this to the Federal Court, I will fight it. It’s a lot less complicated that defending a defamation claim, and my work is clearly an original work of criticism and reportage, and with strong public interest component. These people are attempting to infiltrate schools and community organizations without disclosure. These copyright complaints are nothing more than an attempt at censorship.
A health warning
Loved ones of people involved in UM, particularly those with children caught up in it have been appalled by what they’ve seen in the videos.
It may be upsetting to some of you.
It’s good for others to know they’re not alone in their misgivings so please feel free to comment. I’m pretty busy with legal stuff but you can always contact me if you’re having a hard time. I think it’s time we set something up so that you can speak with others who understand what it’s like to deal with UM in your life.
We have readers who are former UM followers and many readers with loved ones involved, so I’d like commenters to remember that when they comment. The majority of UM community members are decent and well intentioned people. Unfortunately they’re ensnared in a large scale and elaborate deception.
The films prove that UM deserves a lot more criticism than it’s had. One of the most confronting things about this mess is that many of UM’s well intentioned members are participating in the organization’s deceptive, exploitative and otherwise lousy conduct. It’s heartbreaking for all involved. It causes massive problems. Please be sensitive that many readers feel a mixture of emotions about this stuff, including grief. It doesn’t help to rub their noses in it. Criticism of UM is deserved but we don’t want to alienate anyone whose been done over or deter readers from commenting either.
Using and sharing
Feel free to share the videos. They are useful for notifying community organizations, schools or other institutions about UM and its promoters.
I daresay a number of you will be able to use this material in dealing with the Family Court. The episodes include some very persuasive material for keeping kids away from this group. Contact me for assistance.
Tips for commenters
It’s helpful to me and other commenters if you identify time signatures within the videos if you want to comment on any particular statement or segment. You’ll see there’s a lot to comment on.
Comments are moderated for legal reasons. Unfortunately what reasonable people call ‘the bleeding obvious’, UM and its invested lawyers call ‘defamation’. The Australian legal system is such that taking a defence of truth to trial takes years, enormous costs, and otherwise the moving of mountains.
Team UM is now also jumping up and down about comments they say could ‘prejudice’ a jury, and threatening to charge commenters who make remarks about the plaintiff’s published comments with contempt of court. Never mind that UM have been publishing genuinely prejudicial and false allegations about the defendant that they can’t prove…
If some of your descriptions get modified, you know why.