Lifestyles of the rich and heinous – cult leader Serge Benhayon’s Tregeagle residence for salePosted: August 20, 2022
Two combined rural allotments, three houses and a caretaker’s cottage, the Universal Medicine cult leader’s former residential compound hit the market for a staggering $24 million – following an Esoteric series of real estate dealings. Despite being proven a charlatan by the Supreme Court, the wealth Benhayon acquired through his ‘healing fraud that harms people’ continues to grow.
Readers may remember that in 2015, Serge and Miranda Benhayon bought a lovely old ridgetop homestead at Tregeagle on over 50 acres for $800k. That was shortly before the trial of McIntyre versus O’Regan, at which the surviving children of a deceased cancer patient challenged their mother’s oversized bequest. Judith McIntyre had gifted him $800k just weeks before she died, a few days after Benhayon’s management helped her change her will to leave him the majority of her estate. UM’s already wealthy leader got over $1.4 million out of her, while her own working-class children received less than half a million dollars between them. The McIntyres’ court challenge was unsuccessful, but at the trial of Benhayon versus Rockett, I proved, among other serious allegations, that Benhayon was the leader of socially harmful cult and he’d unduly influenced Judith to get her assets. Serge constructed his sprawling Esoteric McMansion on the Tregeagle property soon after winning the McIntyre Family Provision case, and DAs indicate the home’s construction costs were at least $1 million. At that point, he held five other real estate titles that I could identify (2 business premises in Goonellabah, the Wollongbar event centre, half of Unimed Brisbane, and a half share of another residence in Goonellabah).
Come 2021, Benhayon sold the Tregeagle property to Jaye Laura Scanlon for $3.8 million. Scanlon, by then, was involved in a series of real estate dealings with the UM leader and his associates. She quickly procured the neighbouring residence for another $1.25 million, and in June 2022 put the amalgamated property, ‘Trismegistus Farm’ on the market for a fantastically optimistic $24 million. Within weeks that had dropped to $18 million, and it was abruptly withdrawn from sale after the Sydney Morning Herald drew attention to the sale and its vendor.
At home with a cult leader
Although Serge and Miranda Benhayon relocated to Alstonvale a year ago, having purchased a 2.5 acre property there for $2.7 million, the Tregeagle compound offers a glimpse of the lifestyle of a career egomaniac who zealously preaches against all forms of earthly enjoyment, unless it involves the systematic exploitation of acolytes and his relentless pursuit of money. Secreted among the nut plantations on the outskirts of Lismore, ‘Trismegistus Farm’, is named after the mythical sage and original Ascended Master of the Hierarchy, Hermes Thrice Rolling in His Grave. By the time he built the thing, Serge already had more cash than his mediocre tastes could handle, and tedious old recluse that he is, he’s had nothing to spend it on but a series of vanity projects. He’d never dream of giving a cent to help Northern Rivers residents displaced and impoverished by natural disasters and incompetent governments, for example. The founder of the bogus College of Universal Medicine charity has openly preached that philanthropy, and in fact, benevolence itself, is ‘evil’, and that poverty is a ‘consciousness… a form of inactivity founded by a victim mentality’.
Anyway, whether a clump of pecan trees qualifies the Tregeagle spread as a ‘farm’, who knows, but the advertised 14 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and accommodation for 8 cars is dispersed over three separate homes: the old homestead with four bedrooms, the former neighbour’s ordinary brick and tile home and outbuilding, and Serge’s 2016 six bedroom build.
The real estate blurb for the ‘Elegant And Majestic Rural Estate’ is as over-egged as the asking price, unless ‘elegant’ is SergeSpeak for drab, and I had to laugh at the shots of surfers in the promo video. The nearest beach is 35 km away. Despite the home’s location in one of Australia’s most fertile regions, it has no garden to speak of, which is unsurprising, when cutting down and sucking the life out of everything is another of the former owner’s preferred past times. Similarly, the ‘chef’s kitchen’, supposedly ‘designed for entertaining’ is bloody big for a bloke who doesn’t believe in food. ‘With more love, we need less food’, he said in 2011, and his loved-up faith-full have been hospitalised for illnesses associated with severe malnutrition since.
And a bloke who builds his own television studio is hardly the average homeowner, no matter how dismal his ratings.
The property also features pens and fences of all descriptions: dog enclosures, a stable with horse arena, and a row of aviaries. A collection of industrial looking eyesores plonked in front of the original home’s veranda is another classy selling point.
Jaye Scanlon, a family member of Melbourne billionaire Peter Scanlon, may have bought Serge’s Esoteric farm as an investment, and bully for her if she achieves a record price on the sale, but there are also reasonable grounds to suspect she’s a Way of The Livingness convert. She’s been spied knocking around with some of Serge’s Esoteric Breast Massage sorority, and it’s also possible that she has been acting as a front for Benhayon to acquire and offload property.
Jaye is sole shareholder and sole director of the Esoterically named ‘True Fire Pty Ltd’, immediately indicating a link with Universal Medicine. (Eg. Benhayon preaches that fire is the energy of the soul. His company and trading names include Fiery Impulses Pty Ltd, Fiery Investments Pty Ltd, Fiery Innovations Pty Ltd, Fiery Activity Pty Ltd, True Movement etc. He also dubbed his Way of the Livingness, ‘the One Unified Truth’.) She has also constellated other business and trading names with that characteristic deep and meaningless ring to them.
Scanlon is the current owner of the Tregeagle digs, having purchased the property in June 2021, and the neighbouring property, through True Fire Pty Ltd, the following month. Prior to those purchases, her company bought an Alstonvale acreage for $2.5 million in April 2021, and onsold it to current resident, Serge, in June 2021 for $2.7 million, in the same month she bought the Tregeagle estate from him. Benhayon now makes sure his property holdings appear in real estate searches as ‘name withheld’.
The marketing of Trismegistus has retained its Esoteric whimsy, including the farm’s oddball name, and a few Benhayon relics featured in the photographs — the sad SB TV studio, the treatment room, Chris James’ piano, and Curtis Benhayon’s abandoned drum kit.
Another giveaway is Scanlon’s, through True Fire Pty Ltd, purchase of a Richmond Hill property in 2020 previously batted between a couple of UM promoters, which she onsold to a couple more, at a tidy profit, without an agent.
It makes sense that Benhayon would use a proxy for his real estate dealings seeing locals are reluctant to sell to a bloke who was proven in court to have an ‘indecent interest in girls as young as ten’. Rattled locals fear his presence could drive down property values too. ‘Name withheld’ is also keen to conceal his whereabouts, given the levels of animosity he attracts. However, the involvement of a billionaire’s immediate family, and the publicity that goes with it, risks inflating the value of the Tregeagle estate. With Benhayon’s proven record for extracting money from his associates, it’s fair to question whether he’ll benefit from any ensuing sale, and how much of a gain that might mean. Any profit to him is a grotesque outcome for those already harmed by UM. The fact that he’s still operating his occult quackery corporation at all says everything about the uselessness of Australia’s consumer protection authorities. He should have been shut down years ago.
Another individual with his name all over UM’s real estate transactions is agent Oliver Hallock of Century 21 Alstonville, although his name was removed from that agency’s website in the past few weeks. Universal Medicine has had a very active real estate trade within its ‘student body’ over the years, and many of the transactions between cultists bypassed local agents. Hallock, however, has brokered a bunch of deals among UM community members during his tenure at C21 in the last couple of years, including those recent exchanges involving Jaye Scanlon on Benhayon’s latest residence at Alstonvale.
Hallock is a long term Benhayon devotee, and another of the group’s recycled husbands, formerly married to Jess Gamble. He apparently made the conjugal hop to True Sexy Natalie Benhayon in the past year or so, and perhaps the prospect of Serge’s endorsement and the increased commissions was part of the deal.
However, his sales ambitions don’t necessarily succeed. Serge’s business partners in Evolve College (formerly the Australian College of Massage) Rob and Deborah Wild, recently sold their glorified home office, ‘Hercules’, at Coopers Shoot, overlooking Byron Bay, for $22 million (under contract at time of writing). Unlike Tregeagle, the sale price is not surprising given its location and features. While Oliver was the original agent, listing it through Century 21 Alstonville, a $22 million sale fell through late last year before the Wilds took it to the same Gold Coast agency that listed the Tregeagle farm.
Oliver also listed the Dalwood property of Sam and Katie Walls for a whopping $16 million in October last year, another price difficult to justify at that location. Katie is an Esoteric Breast Massager and long-term UM promoter formerly based in Warrawee, Sydney. Some may remember that in 2018, Sam and Katie’s company, Walls Machinery, won a $1.5 million dollar grant to open the Adaptapack robotics factory in Lismore. That was after Sam had taken business advice from Serge, and a bunch of ardent UMers joined his company’s staff. Walls Machinery went into liquidation later that year.
Nevertheless, Sam and Katie had bought a Cooks Road property in 2017 for $1.7 million, and given it a makeover, resulting in an estate dubbed ‘Ulysses’ that looks very much like Serge’s Trismegistus – down to the interior finishes. The asking price on Ulysses, however, dropped to $13 million after a month, before it was withdrawn from the market in February 2022.
Having said that, True Fire Pty Ltd did manage to pick up a discount Dalwood acreage not far from the Walls for $900k, which has been subdivided. One lot sold for $1.6 million, and it appears Jaye sold the remaining lot to herself (from True Fire Pty Ltd to her own name) for $4.4 million, with zoning approved for further subdivision. The two sales, again, were brokered by Oliver Hallock.
Trismegistus and Ulysses are unlikely to achieve their stratospheric asking prices – and let’s face it, the quality just isn’t there. Anyone who pays even close to $18 million for Serge’s old place needs their head examined. But it already has, and is still likely to, turn a large profit.
And speaking of recycled husbands, Old Etonian, Simon Williams, has just wed Winston Churchill (more recently known as Simone Benhayon) in the UK. Old money Simon owns UM’s UK centre, The Lighthouse property near Frome, so the nuptials are another financial coup for the bogan messiah and his family. While Serge Benhayon might be more of a pariah than ever before, successive governments have geared the property market to benefit investors, making him the wealthiest he’s ever been and guaranteed to get wealthier. Home ownership is now impossible for the majority of Australians, and voters might want to ponder the fact that tens of thousands of Northern Rivers residents were priced out of the region in recent years, and displaced by catastrophic floods, while scammers like Serge lounged around getting richer.
Further, three separate courts found Universal Medicine to be a harmful cult — The Supreme Court of NSW, the UK Family Court, and the UK High Court. Those findings are now permanently on the public record, yet Benhayon’s associates still refuse to accept them. Some have attempted to mislead others about the trial outcome, denying my successful defence of truth. Benhayon spent five contemptible days in the witness box substantiating my defence, proving 36 serious allegations about his character, conduct, and group, were true. Nevertheless, UM continues to recruit. It’s staggering that anyone informed of the court’s ruling would reject those forensic findings of fact, and knowingly choose to associate with a proven liar, who’s grown obscenely rich on his predatory industry of misery.