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.
79 thoughts on “David Millikan: I Could Have Stayed At Home And Had Pizza!”
Its true Simon. I was filmed recently without my permission in the safe place of my work place. It was very intrusive and later posted on social media where I was abused out of sight. These people did not even know me and I was called everything that I am not. Its a similar situation here. The media is used to carry a ‘story’ with no truth or facts just an agenda driven sensational repeat. My lesson was to observe and know in my heart who I really am. I thank Universal Medicine for the trust I now have in being Me and not standing for online or offline abuse.
This is religious vilification. The fact that the media are getting so caught up in something that is personal choice is pretty awful and shows where humanity is at.
Thanks for writing of your experiences here, Simon. What I see more on hearing accounts such as these and there are many worldwide in various situations … the media is like a hungry monster, all about the drama and the story no matter what, and if the story isn’t dramatic enough you work at creating it, but it’s then presented as factual news, rather than the set-up it is. The question for all of us is how we consume that media, for without us as consumers the media would die, so rather than wait for it to be our friends who are attacked and set up, why not take a stand against this for all of us. So looks like I will need to review and see media in a new way if at all.
He should have stayed home and have a pizza with extra salami, lots of bacon and mushrooms.
Someone who represents a religious company that has the word Uniting in the name and behaves as Millikan did, conveys a message regarding that word: do like me and not believe in it. We do not belong together.
I loved reading your blog Simon, the part about someone doing the same at your mum’s church made me laugh, because it highlights how ridiculous the whole thing was.
“‘Exposing’ anyone that doesn’t agree with his life philosophy” – this really stood out for me. Wow. What right would that give anyone to attack others just because they might see others to be in the ‘wrong’? Through Universal Medicine, I became more aware of the lies I had been accepting and living all along – from the personal level to the worldly level, there has been much that has been exposed. This phrase triggered in me a question – does my ‘exposing’ come with judgment? I became aware of lies as what they were when I became aware of truth. No one has ever imposed anything on me, truth was simply presented and felt in what I saw, and the lies are gradually falling away. I can still feel in me that idea of right/wrong playing out at times and how deeply ingrained it is, and what you have described here, Simon, feels like just a more extreme and physical manifestation of what I am allowing.
I was there that night and what I saw take place when this man David Millikan started throwing accusations far and wide for the takings of the media that were there at the ready and lapping it up, was how corrupt the world remains today – and how in the developed world we are no less free today in truth than we were a few hundred years ago. We have the illusion of freedom, in that we can generally do what we want within the parameters of the law, travel where we want to, vote, etc etc. But how free are we when we look more honestly and that bit deeper? We live in a world where the media will engineer and massage stories to extremes – personified perfectly in the travesty that took place the night David Millikan ambushed the Universal Medicine talk that evening. And what’s worse is that we champion this so-called freedom that we have, while all along we are being fed with lies that then shape our behaviours and attitudes, so that we plant ourselves deeper into this illusionary freedom we hold so proud.
Well said Simon, your article makes perfect sense. What happened on the night you describe is a disgrace to humanity.
A great expose of how media works, I’ve often seen those shocked faces and footage of those in other groups and wondered what was going on with them. It’s only now on hearing it affecting people I know and getting details of what actually went on in this case with Universal Medicine that I have a greater understanding of how our media operates (and we all supposedly live in democracies UK and Australia being consider ones) … it’s not about truly hearing what people have to say, it’s about having an agenda, a ‘story’ you the media want to tell and then manipulating others to fall into line with that and dismissing them if they don’t. This is not about truth, and providing an insight into how others live in a way that works for them, a genuine questioning of others, it’s about confirming the media’s agenda and feeding this back to society. Right now there is little to no truth in media and we are merely considered it’s convenient puppets and props to facilitate it’s agenda. Thank you for sharing this Simon and giving a real insight into how media operates and what really happened.
It was a complete setup and sham Simon. It did align to the normal regular presentation we choose to receive from Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine – unimposing ancient wisdom in a simple modern day context. Each event I cherish with all my body and embrace what is next to the best of my ability taught and lead by a man who is living the future. This is far different to what I felt that night from David Millikan and crew.
Because so many people who attended that night have spoken out and presented the truth of what happened, the attempt to demean and ridicule a group of people because of a few choices they are making including that of attending a Universal Medicine presentation, failed. Here we see the power of true expression and the expression of truth – nothing can stand in it’s way or stop it.
It is sad that people that do not have anything to deliver get paid by TV companies and then have the power to take stage and impose their views on others. And then there is a man like Serge Benhayon, who has so much to deliver that people travel from all over the world to hear what he has to say – now that should be on television!
We have all walked different steps to get us to where we are today and this has resulted in us all having differing beliefs about what is true and what is not which in turn affects the choices we make. Why don’t we simply appreciate these differences and learn from each other rather than wasting our time comparing or competing.
There are few things more arrogant than projecting your beliefs onto another… especially in such an aggressive fashion that is in complete disregard of the fact that everyone has the right to use their own heart and mind to determine what they can listen to or not. If you don’t like what somebody says, walk away and don’t listen but don’t attack and abuse… that is not okay.
A totally cogent and thorough explanation about an abusive, hostile set-up contrived merely to create a sensational story. This is the stuff that segregation and persecution are made of and your point about an abuse of human rights is well founded.
“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.” Shame on anyone who inveigles their way into a meeting and then harangues the audience. As you say Simon, “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”. Since when was it so terrible to show love and care for one’s fellow man?
There is no excuse for this behaviour time to smell the roses.
It’s a complete violation of human rights to so deceitfully and cunningly create this situation, and impose so forcefully and aggressively, all for the sake of grubby TV ratings. This is a huge expose of the media and the lengths they will go to create sensation and the media’s complete disregard to the truth and utter disrespect to people. This was staged, scripted, and performed with a military like precision.
Violation and abuse need not to be accepted, this is asking the readers of newspapers and consumers of TV to be responsible. I either stop buying the paper or write to the media, whenever I witness something, that is of a bullying nature. It’s like witnessing a crime and we would be affected and go to the police if we witnessed a murder, wouldn’t we?
I’m with you all the way Simon, David Millikan was a complete sham and bully, there should be laws against the kind of harassment and ambush techniques from the press.
It’s quite shocking Thomas to realise that their are no laws in place to protect the public from the media. Once upon a time it was the media protecting the public, making sure they had the whole truth, now it’s the public needing protection from the media as they are no more interested in the truth, only making money at anyones expense.
Great blog Simon of how the world is fooled by the media. This set up was not a first and sadly will not be the last. Read this blog and remember it the next time you watch your TV shows that bring the ‘news’ and realize that what you say is most likely twisted, changed around, cut and pasted to suit the dramatic picture they want to paint. David Millikan is obviously sold out to this way of making money. Calling yourself a minister of God does not give you a Leigh way to violate other peoples rights and to bring aggression and damage to a very loving and tender community.
David Millikan is completely sold out, he has sold out from the truth and from love, all of which are major pillars of religion. Calling himself a Minister of the Uniting Church is a label only, because true religion is lived in each moment. The label is not a permission slip to not be accountable in every way, one cannot tick the box of religion by position or label and then sweep all that is truly religious aside. When one is truly religious there is a dedication to love that will not waver, no matter how imperfect we are in life. Serge Benhayon has no such labels but he is certainly living love. I know which religion I want to be part of, it’s not one that is spoken or taught or labeled, but is embodied and taken out to life through what is lived. That to me is real. This is why I am a part of The Way of the Livingness – it is love lived in life in every way.
Hear hear Melinda, For to many centuries there have been loveless acts ranging from imposition and oppression to murder and annihilation placed under the arrogant mask of being a servant of God. God is love and nothing but love, anything that is not, is against God and therefor against true religion. Serge Benhayon may not agree with everything but he will never ambush, attack or persecute any one in this world.
Thank you Simon for describing so clearly what it felt like to be ambushed that night and David Millikan’s total lack of integrity. That the TV channel chose not to air the story makes me wonder how many other groups have been invaded in this way and the damage that has been done to so many innocent individuals in the name of ‘free speech’ with no redress currently available. This needs addressing so that individuals are not free to impose their agendas on others for their own personal gain.
I think that a more interesting story and more important story to tell would be that David Millikan, A Minister from the Uniting Church abused his position and ignored other peoples human rights. It is also very worrying that he is in a position of trust and displayed no common decency or consideration for others. There are many so called religious figures who abuse their power, now and through out the ages, so from David Millikans behaviour he is a man I would sincerely suggest needed investigating.
Great exposé, Simon!
I too was present in the audience that evening Simon and feel the only thing David Millikan exposed was his lack of integrity. Your analogy of the same thing happening at your Mums church was very interesting indeed ….imagine if the tables were turned and a group of paid representatives including the media came into the place David Millikan himself was presenting a sermon and did the same to him. I wonder how he would feel and react? Great blog.
Thanks Simon , for exposing the scammer and cheat that David Mililkan exposed himself to be from his actions that night. Whilst working for TV stations to provide a sensationalised story to so call enthral the viewers. Well it looks like David failed to produce a story as all he created was abuse and damage to a community and no story ever went to air . My take on that was it could have led to a large court case for damages by the trauma and abuse to basic civil rights caused to the innocent members of the community that night.
well said Simon. He had no right to come in and make a situation like that. Behaviour like that is not on. Its clear that he shows no integrity for his profession, and admitted himself that he was paid by a television station to come and do what he did. That is just not a representation of anything that could possibly help humanity in any way at all.
That night was a true expose into the inner workings of the gossip driven section of the media that has no interest in truth, rather only an interest in creating sensationalism where there is none. It is an unfortunate fact, but our media these days is more entertainer than informer, and it seems that as a society we like it that way – if ratings are anything to go by. Our propensity for drama and gossip feeds the machine that is the media, and as long as it is not our side of the picket fence that is disturbed we seem content to leave the media to its own devices.
In this case, the story did not go to air, as the television station supporting the filming came their senses. This however does nothing to take away from the impact that night had on me as to the veracity the media will go to to extract the story of its own making. David Millikan is indeed an unscrupulous character, and his treatment of Universal Medicine that nights leads me to suspect the authenticity of the rest of his so called investigative reporting into cults and cult activity – some of which I sure had some basis in truth. Unfortunately I will never know, for I have no faith in his ability to remain impartial.
What David Millikan does not reveal to the world is that he appears determined to ensure that the only form of religion is that which belongs to the mainstream religions by ensuring that any competing form of ideology or search for truth is crushed under the banner of being a cult, and therefore losing any credibility when it comes to contributing to the philosophical and religious debate that belongs in truth not to any one individual or group, but society as a whole. That night there was only one zealot, and is was not the cult figure that David Millikan was purporting Serge Benhayon to be, but rather that mirrored to him by his own wayward actions.
So well said Simon! you are so right with this and all the points you’ve made.. absolutely awesome!
This attack by David Millikan was a blatant invasion on the attendees civil rights. Entering a group meeting purporting to be one thing, but having a totally different intent and motive is deception. Provoking the audience to get a premeditated reaction is extraordinarily manipulative …… if David Millikan was questioning whether Universal Medicine was a cult or not, why couldn’t he just observe in the meeting and make his own mind up based on what he saw, heard and felt as a fellow human being? Maybe because he wasn’t interested in the truth, he just wanted to write his version of the truth.
If this behaviour did occur in any other organised group it would be considered outrageous. We are a group of people who come together because we want to, because we have found that the way the world is at present and how we feel just doesn’t feel right or very loving – something most people would agree with. We come together because we have found we have to make the changes we want to see in the world, in ourselves first.
It seems extraordinary that this kind of behaviour is not illegal, and you would think that there is the right to express our religious inclinations freely. However, the upsurge from it all has been to strengthen the resolve of the Student Body, who have started to tackle this kind of abuse head on.
Although there is no need to justify why do we attend Universal Medicine presentations and to show our credentials (good people, not abusing anyone, well intended, loving, law abiding, respectful, etc. etc) (which are all true) to justify ourselves, it is important to note that it is not just for us but for all as we stand offering a reflection of something different but innately known to be true.
Perfectly said Simon – a complete violation of yours and everyone else’s human rights. It says much about our media and the integrity or lack thereof, that is seen as acceptable in our society today.
Awesome Simon, shame on those who feel a lie is a far better tale to tell than the truth. Thank you for saying it as it is and calling out the fact that occurrences like this are not ok, they are in fact abuse.
Absolutely Simon, well said. It was a complete violation and it is awesome that you have stood up like you have to show others it is not okay.
Shocking story, what people do to get a story goes over my head.. thank you Simon for clearly writing that this is not okay.
Well written Simon
The morality of some people is, and can be, extremely twisted; for how can one sabotage such an innocent and open congregation of people choosing to be love ?
I was there with my 14 year old daughter and she was frightened by a stranger sitting next to us suddenly producing a camera and filming us – we couldn’t understand why until we discovered it was a major TV channel, then it made sense – they were after an attention grabbing controversial ‘news’ piece just as you describe Simon. After experiencing that first hand I watch the particular programme and news wondering if it’s all concocted in the same manner …
Me neither Victoria.
It was an eye opening experience. I have seen that dodgy footage on certain shows, all grainy and jittery, with cameras used like weapons to intimidate people into a defensive position…it certainly makes them look dodgy as they try to shield their face from exposure.
To be on the receiving end of it gave me a wake up call.
This is the state of our media! These were the actions of a religious man…who lied to get his big TV grab.
Well done David Millikan you discredited the church and the press in one blow.
My lesson in all of this? I had been ignoring the wretched actions of parts of the press…until it happened to me. Well no more of that. Millikan is a symptom of an endemic problem, and at last I am taking action to call for responsible press.
And Millikan calls himself a man of God – I don’t get it.
It’s pretty clear that this behaviour has nothing to do with God, and everything to do with greed, and doing whatever it takes to keep a show on the road.
The term ‘self-driven’ comes to mind, yes. And at great expense to the fundamental principles of brotherhood and true care and respect for one’s fellow man, AND the right to religious freedom. Much to answer for…
Thank you Simon, this clearly reveals that David Millikan has no interest what so ever to report in a way that brings the true story to the rest of the world. His only interest is to create a sensational story that brings him attention and fame regardless of how many people he hurts in the process.
Great blog and expose Simon of a setup – I love how you clearly without defense lay out what you experienced. Indeed what is it, when someone’s choices are ridiculed? Crazy.
Thank you Simon – great sharing. You have expressed so simply what Serge Benhayon presents. How can this be challenged when put in this way? “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”. Isn’t this what all of humanity could benefit from? I know I and many others who have.
Top blog Simon, you used the words ‘common decency’ in your blog which is something that was obviously missing from David Millikan. This was a cheap and underhand way to get sensationalist footage to boost his TV networks ratings. The fact that this was done in association with a TV network and that he is a Minister of the Uniting Church does not speak for the church’s teachings he claims to represent.
How forceful this sounds and how petty for a man who has no true understanding of Universal Medicine, to walk into a presentation and abuse the people who were attending and the speakers – that is plain out of order and disrespectful.
Religion is a choice for everyone. No one in that room shunned him for being a minister I’m sure. Also, Serge Benhayon knew who he was and still was open to his attendance. That is true humanity – to allow whoever to walk in that door.
Would what David did have been a ‘sin to seek forgiveness for’ if the tables were turned and someone walked into his church?
I also have friends who belong to many different religions including buddhists, mormans, Muslims, Christians all sorts of denominations, aethiests, spiritual (newage) etc. Their religious choices aren’t for me and I don’t like to be involved in doctrine or rigid practices.
That is why my religion is a very personal relationship that I have with God. The more I allow love to be in my voice, my breath, my touch and my smile… The more I feel God. Simple, maybe not always easy but simple. I think some very wise Jewish person over 2000 years ago said “the kingdom of god is inside of you”. Well for me this is still relavent today. What Universal Medicine presentations provide for me is a place to meet with other people who are similarly feeling and re-connecting to the part of us we ever so naturally expressed as young kids… Love. Finding our own connection to God in our own way. For me this is the support i choose for my relationship with God. I am also inspired by people not associated with Universal Medicine. This I really love.
“Here, here” Simon. Well said. I also share your sentiments about the violation of our rights, and the correlation with attending a religious/spiritual event – and just how aggressive and ridiculous the whole intrusion was.
I feel a deeply personal religious relationship with Universal Medicine – all it presents and all it stands for, for every area of my life, including my relationship with God, is touched here. ‘This’ was the deepest violation personally felt that evening for me, and the hardest thing to witness, was the distress caused to so many deeply considerate and caring people. Thank you for your words.
I just saw the excellent ‘Argo’ at the movies. In it was the very telling line: “If you want to spread a lie, get the press to sell it for you”. It certainly applies to what we saw that night with David Millikan, and to the nonsense reported elsewhere in the media.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Simon, on a shocker of a night!
I LOVED reading your blog – thanks Simon. The scene at your mum’s church got me a big laughter – so light-hearted yet so true.
Simon – thanks for sharing this. It gave me an even deeper feeling on how it must have been to be in that room, on that night. Simply horrendous. It most definitely is a complete violation of your rights as human beings.
Simon, I feel your closing comments sum up this ambush by David Millikan perfectly… “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.” Well said!
Spot on Simon. You said you could have stayed home and had a pizza and watched a movie. Sounds like you not only watched a horror movie but were actually in it – just the pizza was missing!
True Nicola, but your comment did make me laugh 🙂
Great article Simon, nothing but the truth told.
I had a smile on my face reading this one – Well said Simon
Simon this is so on the money… Well said.
How it is possible for David Millikans’ behaviour to be ‘normal’ or acceptable? And how is it that people can be treated this way with no accountability? This you have so clearly presented. Thanks Simon.
Simone,thank you for your great blog entry on David’s behavior that night. I too have lived in Byron and now on the Gold Coast and have seen and been to many different talks, modalities, types of spiritual groups and religions over the years and yet they don’t get harassed the way we did that night and yet Serge’s talks are the straightest speaking, non-cult following of the lot that I have seen. Love the way you expressed what I was feeling. 🙂
your post: ” 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!?”… good question!!!
This article makes a whole lot of sense to me. I hate the way the media just does what they want without respecting people’s legal and moral rights. Surely people are sick of this? Media rubbish is just so main stream these days that it’s accepted as normal. That’s pretty sad…
Great piece Simon – you really convey the chaos that was created at the presentation that night. You really highlight how Millikan brought and magnified total chaos into a room of harmony and goodwill. That in itself was evil apart from the rest of it. I also love the way you bring in the subject of the mutual respect that we could all have towards each other – including respect for people to be able go to the churches and meetings that they choose. Bullying begets more hurt – only Love works.
A great article, Simon. ‘Live and let live’ is the mainstream philosophy in Australia.
David Millikan and his film crew flew in the face of that and as you state ‘it was a complete violation of my rights as a human being and member of this society’
It was an appalling night’s work on the part of all concerned and the television channel behind it all. It also shows what depths will they sink to in their efforts to get ratings.
Well said, Simon. Thank you.
Well said Simon. I too have parents who I love very much and with whom I have a great relationship. They have no interest in attending Universal Medicine events themselves but have no issue with me doing so, just as they had no issue with my brother converting to Catholicism when he married. The fact is they accept that as we are adults we are free to choose and they can see that our choices have been positive for us. I described to my father how during his ‘show’ Millikan yelled at the audience, “Your families do not want you to be here!” and we laughed together at the ridiculousness of this statement.
What you have shared makes perfect sense.
Everyone has a right to choose what right for them without judgement or accusations from another. Thanks for taking the time to write about experience.
Thank you Simon !
David Millikan does have a lot to answer for, the sad thing is if he chooses to go ahead and broadcast the lies he wildly accused the audience of, he will be putting a doubt and fear in peoples minds who know nothing of Universal Medicine except for his bloated TV segment of lies. Many people have GREATLY benefited from the simplistic and common sense presentations of Universal Medicine and this shows in the way they live and it is sad that one mans influence may hinder others in finding this same joy.
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