About face

by Marshall Chang

I would actually like to speak up to give a perspective of a husband who nearly lost his wife to Universal Medicine (UniMed). The story starts about five years ago. My wife and I have a beautiful healthy baby, we are paying off our home mortgage, we both are young professionals in our careers, and our life seems perfect viewed from the outside.

One day my wife started receiving Esoteric Breast Massages (EBMs) from a woman practitioner (there are no male Esoteric Breast Massage practitioners despite what the media has portrayed). This was a little shocking to me but I thought hey, we just moved to the Byron area, so it’s just part of the course. After a while my wife also starting attending workshops and talks by some guy named Serge Benhayon. She would come home and be really excited and tell me that ‘Serge said this and Serge said that’, and of course I started wondering who is this Serge guy that my wife is so impressed with?

As time went on, she started changing her diet and changing some of her habits, all because of what she had heard at the Universal Medicine events. None of this really challenged me directly so I just ignored it. But as time went on she starting talking to me about our relationship and how she wanted to change things in our relationship. Now it got personal. I had to see for myself how this Serge guy was brainwashing my wife. So I went to one of the talks and heard words like ‘entities’, ‘energy’, ‘esoteric’, ‘self-love’, ‘healing’, etc. My first reaction was wow, my wife is in a Byron Bay cult and it’s only a matter of time until she shaves her head and changes her name to Mookti or something.

Our relationship and marriage was on the rocks and it seemed like every time we spoke to each other it got really emotional and I was left feeling drained and hopeless. So I agreed to see a relationship counsellor with my wife. She suggested we see a UniMed relationship counsellor and at first I thought “no way, the counsellor will just take the side of my wife”. My wife insisted, so I agreed to give it one chance only, and if I even got a sniff of the counsellor taking my wife’s side we would find a different person.

What I experienced with the counsellor was very surprising. She was very real, didn’t use any wishy-washy, new age terminology, and didn’t take sides. In fact it felt like she was actually being a bit tougher on my wife! Of course I agreed to go back, and again the counsellor was professional, personable and straight to the point. She gave us some invaluable tools to help us communicate truthfully with each other when discussions got a bit heated and emotional. The counsellor presented ideas about relationships that I completely agreed with and helped my wife and I begin repairing our relationship. These ideas came from Universal Medicine and not only did I agree with them, but they helped my relationship with my wife! From there, things just got better and more weird …

About face’ is the military term for turning your direction of march 180 degrees. It took me another year or so after this to swallow my pride and preconceived ideas and ‘about face’ to where I was at before. I actually voluntarily went to another UniMed workshop without my wife’s prompting!

I have three science-related degrees and work as an environmental manager and planner, so you could say that I have a very rational and scientific mind. What I have come to realise is that most of society interprets science as ‘it isn’t true unless it is scientifically tested, peer reviewed, and published in a prestigious journal’. However, what I have come to realise is that science actually says ‘everything is a possibility unless it is proven false’. Science is like one of our senses, like our sense of smell. Our sense of smell can prove that odours exist but there are many things it cannot even detect much less prove. There are a vast number of things that are real and do exist, but science cannot prove or even detect them. This does not mean that I take everything on face value – on the contrary, I test their validity in my life and find what works and what doesn’t work. Things that don’t work for me I put in a ‘test again later’ bin and things that work I apply in my life. Things that I feel are just plain false, I ditch entirely.

I have been attending Universal Medicine events, talks, etc for about two years now and so far I have not come across a single false statement in what Serge Benhayon has presented. Much of what he presents goes quite against what society currently advocates which makes him unpopular with a lot of people. Initially I misinterpreted some of the things he said as being egotistical or just plain crazy, but as time went on, I incorporated bits and pieces of what he presented into my life and found that it helped me and my relationships in more ways than I can express.

There are still many things that Serge Benhayon presents that I cannot say are true at this point and statements that sound crazy, but not a single statement have I ever proved to be false or even inconsistent with what I have come to know as truth. As time goes by, more and more of the ideas that I had put in the ‘crazy bin’ have now been incorporated in my life. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that you were labelled crazy for believing the world was round instead of flat.

Serge presents with a consistency, dedication and realness (if that is a word) in a way that I have never experienced from any other person before. His entire family also exhibits these qualities and there is not a single inconsistency or lack of integrity in his or his family’s very public life. He never, not even once, has given advice or told people what to do. He simply relates what his truth is and what works in his life. It is up to you to take it or leave it or interpret it as you will.

So in short, I absolutely understand the perspective of the media and naysayers in making preconceived, uneducated and biased statements about Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, because I was standing on that side of the fence two years ago. So I admit it, yes I accused my wife of being in a cult, yes I accused Serge of all sorts of nasty things, yes I labelled and prejudged people in an ignorant and biased way. What I realise now is that all of these things came from my investment in needing my wife to act in a certain way towards me. When she realised that these things were false, she stopped doing them and I blamed Serge. Things like not having sex with me or even sleeping in the same bed with me when I had ‘only’ one beer were very hard for me to fathom. Being an Australian male, I found it quite threatening when I was denied sex and beer. I felt very angry and threatened and needed someone to blame, namely Serge.

I have changed in the last two years to become and express more of who I truly am. Many of these things include how I choose to hang out with my friends and family. For instance, I don’t drink alcohol anymore. Besides trying to escape my life, why would I want to do something that takes me away from myself? I had friends that were kind of drinking buddies, and that’s what we did together. When I stopped drinking, this made our friendship a bit awkward. A lot of these things can push buttons for them and of course, they blame Serge. But that’s OK – after all, I did it too. Some of my friends have stopped contacting me but most of my friends I still hang out with in a much more real way. Instead of relying on drinking to be our means of relating, we are able to relate on so many more levels.

I can also say that over the last two years my relationship with my wife has turned into something that I never knew could exist between the two of us. We are so much more supportive, loving, caring and our relationship has so much more laughter as well. Sure, we have our rough spots still, but even during these times we are able to communicate with each other in such a more supportive, understanding and feeling way instead of blaming and being nasty to each other.

Two years ago, my definition of giving affection to my son would have been a pat on the back or a handshake. This was the example I had because this is how my father related and still relates to me. My relationship with my son has just blossomed into something beautiful now. I am so much more tender, caring and warm towards him than ever before and I have Serge and UniMed to thank for it.

As for all of the accusations against UniMed and Serge, it seems like enough has been said about how all of the negative publicity were the lies and misinterpretations of a few individuals. I don’t feel the need to defend Serge or UniMed – I just want people to know about my experience with UniMed, and to know that I can relate to a lot of the people who have issues with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, especially with couples where one person attends UniMed events and the other does not.

I suppose that the best way to summarise and relate everything I have said is: be open to any possibility no matter how crazy it might seem. If they feel right, try these possibilities in your life, even if they make others uncomfortable or society says it’s strange. And above all, listen more to your heart than your head – you might be surprised at what a difference it makes in your life and to those around you.

252 thoughts on “About face

  1. It’s really great to read the perspective from someone who was in reaction to Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon, and also acknowledge your openness to do an ‘about face’ to consider that there was more to see and understand. We are so imprisoned by our reactions and judgements, it really is a blinkered way of being. Thank you Marshall.

  2. I loved reading about how your life was in the early days of your wife attending talks by Serge Benhayon through the ‘change’ to whereby now you willingly choose to attend the talks and presentations.

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