by Simon Asquith, Byron Bay, Australia
My friends and I were ambushed tonight (Friday 12th October 2012).
Once a month I choose to attend a presentation by Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon: I choose to go because I like what he has to say. I could have gone to watch a band with some friends… I could have stayed home and had a pizza and watched a movie. But I felt like going, because I like the people there and what Serge Benhayon has to say.
Serge was asked by a man by the name of David Millikan if he could say a few words. He got on stage and told us that he is a Minister of the Uniting Church, that he has been studying Universal Medicine for a little while and wanted to ask a few questions for research in reference to a book that he claims to be writing about different ideologies and what he called ‘new religions’. He told us that he had been speaking with Serge prior, and had had several phone conversations with Serge on the topics that he wished to address to the audience. What we didn’t realise was that he had also brought some ‘friends’, who had hidden hand-held cameras. The moment the cameras came out and started filming without permission, he changed. He asked wildly leading questions, and when we started answering he instantly changed from being someone who presented himself as a person there for an open discussion, to someone who was bullying and trying to get a reaction so that he could get footage of that confused chaos I have seen so many times before on television. No actual dialogue, no presentation of equal discussion or both sides of the story.
I can see the ‘news story’ already. A few sweeping, ambiguous and outrageous accusations, made by the ‘credible’ presenter. A Minister from the Uniting Church who later freely admitted to us that he was paid by a major television company to be there, and who makes a living and a name for himself by ‘exposing’ anyone that doesn’t agree with his life philosophy. David Millikan’s expose – a cunning plan and no actual true content, just biased statements, backed up by severely edited footage of people trying to cover up cameras because we were absolutely stunned by the fact that we had been ambushed in such an awful way, with no knowing as to why or for what reason the cameras were in our faces. And why the person who was talking to us had just turned on a dime from telling us that he wanted to find out about us and what we felt, to accusing us of being in a cult? If someone pulled out a camera on your friends, housemates, on women and children and started accusing them of ridiculous things without permission, how would you react?
Millikan’s crew was asked to stop filming but they ignored the request, and so they got their footage of the cameras being covered up – as if there was something to hide. Which there is not. Anyone who has come to the presentations and actually listened, knows that.
I am in shock. I am a 38-year-old Australian male, and I am disappointed by the fact that this man and other employees of this major television station can invade my personal choices in such a horrible manner. This is Australia: I have the right by law and common decency to attend any meeting I like. I am an intelligent, healthy, and well-balanced individual who has the right to make up my own mind, and explore with my own heart and intelligence what I choose to listen to or attend on a Friday night without being harassed in any way, shape or form; let alone witness the distress of minors, the elderly, and men and women that I know and care about.
My mum is Catholic. My Dad was born into the Church of England. We have a great relationship and I love them very much. I have friends that go to yoga and meditations of all kinds: Buddhists and Muslims are also among my friends and work colleagues. Man, I live in Byron Bay! Every philosophy under the sun is abundant here, and at some point in time I have attended meetings or discussions about all of them. If I walked into my mum’s church with hidden cameras, after pretending to the priest that I was a philosophy student wanting to ask the congregation questions, and then whipped out the cameras and started aggressively telling them (while pointing my finger from the stage) that they are brainwashed fools because they believe that 2000 years ago a man walked on water and rose from the dead, how do you think that they would react!?
I don’t have any issues with anyone else’s choices. If church works for my mum, that’s great. She feels the same about Universal Medicine for me, and she can see it’s great for me in how I am in my life. I am not hurting anyone or trying to force anything onto anyone else.
I just choose to listen to what a really lovely man says once in a while, and discuss with others ways to lead a healthier, happier lifestyle. David Millikan, it is not ok that you come and sabotage and spread lies and mistruths about me, and what I choose to do. It was intrusive, aggressive, and ridiculous. It was a complete sham and a set up. And it was a complete violation of my rights as a human being and member of this society.