I am reluctant to put my name to this because I have witnessed how hostile and relentless the hate campaign has been. I am a single mother with three children and an abusive ex-husband. I don’t want to be exposed via social or mass media in any way that opens me up to being targeted by my ex. On a personal and private level my friends and work colleagues know of my interactions with Universal Medicine.
I don’t have some amazing story of Universal Medicine (UniMed) or Serge Benhayon changing my life. And that is exactly why I feel compelled to write in response to some of the ludicrous things being said about Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon.
LEAVING MY MARRIAGE
I first heard of Universal Medicine when I separated from my husband after 17 years of abuse and domestic violence, which included verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, social isolation, and brainwashing. He is a charming, charismatic man AND he is scary, dark, scheming and hurtful. He still frequently negates my experience of things and tells me my perceptions are wrong like “no, that’s not how it happened” (when I saw it for myself); or he lies “no, I didn’t say that” (even if he did say it in text or email); or his classic statement is “You will find…” and then he proceeds to tell me what I will discover as truth… when I see things from HIS way. What I believe and feel is only OK if it aligns with what he thinks I should believe and feel. He also tries to define me by telling me who I am “you are such a …XYZ…” even though I know that is not who I am.
I would often say to him, “it feels like you don’t want to be married to ‘me’, but simply any woman who can fit your idealised image of ‘wife, mother, lover’”.
I ended up in hospital in 2009 and was told emphatically by the Doctor, a Social Worker and Psychologist, that I needed to leave the marriage. I was confused because even though I was unhappy in the marriage, I thought it was my fault and that if I had been a better wife he would not be angry with me all the time. His brainwashing had thoroughly convinced me that he was always right and I was generally wrong. Because I always got it ‘wrong’, I lost the ability to make my own decisions. I needed to run things by him all the time to make sure I was thinking things through “properly” and making the best decision [i.e. the decision he wanted]. It got to the point that when I began to understand the abuse (with the support of the hospital staff) and I realised that I did need to leave, I thought I should talk to my husband first… to see what he thought about that. I thought I needed his permission to leave.
Like most cases of domestic abuse, I never reported anything to the police. All of my experiences are “unsubstantiated’ in a legal sense (as if substantiating or validating the experience of abuse can only be measured by ‘law’). My husband never did anything to me that is ‘illegal’. There was nothing to report. Even if I had been able to unravel the brainwashing to gain clarity on his responsibility in it, I was so intimidated by him there is no way I would want to report anything and risk stirring him up. A lack of legal evidence does not negate the existence of abuse. Failure to report is not evidence that there is nothing to report on. I have attended two women’s groups designed for abuse survivors (not associated with UniMed), and only one woman out of 20 of us had made a report to police.
If you met me or met him you would have no idea that our private life was like this. He is charming and delightful in public and can be that way in private, too. I am actually making it in the world – I am accomplished (according to all the usual social standards), I laugh a lot. I am warm and friendly. You would not put me in a basket of ‘battered wife’.
IT TAKES LOVE TO BREAK UP WITH INTEGRITY
One of the ways that I survived, that my soul survived, was that I always focused on what I loved about my husband, and what was good in him. This was a blessing and a curse. It kept ‘me’ intact… but also kept me in the marriage.
When I did decide to leave, I believed that I needed to hold on to my love for him because it would take love to break up with integrity. I called several lawyers who all focused on what I could get, like a battle between enemies. But to me, this was the father of my children, not an enemy. I had to be able to sustain a relationship with him for many years, and ‘going into battle’ just seemed ludicrous. Finally I found a lawyer who understood my position of love and integrity. The lawyer did express concern that I was making decisions from fear and did tell me what I could potentially get, but supported my decisions totally. Someone actually saw that I could make valid decisions! One day, while waiting in the office, I picked up a book written by Serge Benhayon and started to read. After a couple of pages I thought.. “what the heck is the Hierarchy?”.
THESE PEOPLE ‘GET ME’
I have never been a ‘seeker’ and have always been a sceptic. So, initially I thought this Serge Benhayon book was a bit ‘nutso’. AND yet, here I was exposed to two people (the lawyer and receptionist) who were students of Universal Medicine.
This was so significant because I had been told for so many years that I was ‘wrong’. That who I was, was not enough. My husband had even on numerous occasions criticised me for my integrity and for being able to love him. He’d say “f**k, I’m such a bastard to you and you can still respect and love me. You’re so sanctimonious”. But this lawyer and receptionist were saying things like “that’s great, I like that you’ve done that” or “you have such a lovely strong energy”. I felt seen.
NEVER PUSHED & NEVER SHUNNED… ALWAYS QUESTIONING
I spent about a year reading stuff and met a few more people who did the work before even thinking about attending a UniMed event. I was never pushed into going and I was never shunned for not going. What got me there was that everyone who I met who did the work understood me, my values, and the way I live my life.
For example, since my teenager was three years old we have gone through stages of eliminating and reducing his dairy intake: this was advised to us by a naturopath who has probably never heard of Universal Medicine. Another naturopath, also not associated with Universal Medicine, advised us to eliminate dairy and gluten from the diet of our middle child. None of my children have ‘medically diagnosed or diagnosable conditions’, but the dietary advice has been sound and beneficial. The information about diet as provided by Universal Medicine is very similar and just makes sense to me. And, I don’t always follow them and I haven’t always followed them in the company of esoteric students… and no-one cares a jot.
I don’t go to every Universal Medicine event – some things don’t interest me and I have limited finances at the moment. I freely say to friends who do attend most events that “it’s not for me”… and no-one cares a jot. I have never had Esoteric Breast Massage, and no one cares a jot. I have friends who do esoteric work and friends who don’t, and no-one cares a jot. I frequently question my friends about UniMed and esoteric stuff. Truly. I have even directly questioned a FB (Facebook) posting by Serge, and was answered respectfully. I have had differences of opinion with other women on a UniMed site and it is simply that – a difference of opinion.
No one cares a jot. They just love me anyway.
I have had a session with Natalie Benhayon – the experience for me was similar to Reiki and meditation. I have also had Chakra-puncture with Michael Benhayon. The difference between these healing sessions and sessions I have had elsewhere is that when I have gone to other practitioners, the focus is on the ‘ailment’ that prompted me to see them. Yet, during the sessions I had with Natalie and Michael the focus was on “me”. The reason I was seeing them was addressed, but it was viewed as a small part of my overall health and love for myself. In both instances I felt very held and supported… and the cost was cheaper than other acupuncture/naturopath/counselling sessions I have had elsewhere.
SERGE BENHAYON AIN’T NO GURU – CULT OR OTHERWISE!
I only just properly met Serge Benhayon last week. I have never had a personal healing session with him, though I have been to presentations where I have heard him speak. I really just had no calling to meet him, personally. I certainly respect Serge and his work, I have just never felt I needed something from him in particular, on a one to one basis. I enjoy his presentations but I certainly don’t see him as a guru… yet I certainly now feel, that I want to give to him. The attacks on him have actually drawn me to want to hold him. So last Saturday, when just by chance we ended up standing near each other and he asked me my name, I told him and reached in to embrace him and said “I just want to hold you”. Before this hate campaign, I don’t think I would have felt that need to extend love to Serge so strongly.
So, to be clear:
- Serge Benhayon didn’t ruin my marriage. It’s hard to see how a man whose life work is about love, can ruin a marriage. I left my marriage before I heard of Universal Medicine. It could be said that my husband ruined my marriage, but that implies that there was a marriage worth saving. Three professionals, totally unassociated with UniMed, emphatically told me to leave. And none of them have been reported to their professional bodies for doing so.
- Serge Benhayon hasn’t seduced me: I only just met him, briefly, after two years of being exposed to Universal Medicine.
- Serge Benhayon hasn’t brainwashed me: I know what being brainwashed is like – I still see a social worker, not associated with Universal Medicine, to deal with the brainwashing I had in my marriage.
- Serge Benhayon didn’t force me to change my diet: I already had a similar diet on advice from naturopaths unassociated with Universal Medicine.
- Serge Benhayon hasn’t forced me to go to bed early – I have always gone to bed at around 9pm as a general rule. My body naturally feels tired by then.
- I haven’t gone broke attending Universal Medicine events – I take responsibility for my finances.
- I haven’t lost any friends… actually I’ve gained friends. My friends and family who don’t attend Universal Medicine love me and support me and trust me. None of them are freaking out about my UniMed involvement. They are freaked out by the cyber-bullying though.
- But I tell you what: after two surgeries, one extremely painful, both extraordinarily emotionally confronting, to repair damage from my ‘marital relations’, I darn well wish that someone had told my husband about making love, and that it was ok for me to insist he have my permission to touch me.
I feel seen. I have come home.
So, I don’t have a grand story about how Serge Benhayon or Universal Medicine changed my life. What is true for me is that in UniMed and with the people I know who do the work, I have a sense of feeling like I have come home. Rather than radically change anything in my life – I am now surrounded by other people who have similar lifestyles, beliefs, attitudes and values to me. And the lifestyle, attitudes, beliefs and values are ones that I have held for many, many years, even well before 2000, when Serge had his awakening on the pot! (As a side note, I don’t even see that as odd… many people actually open their bowels when having a heart attack – there is some connection between the heart and the pot!!!)
BUT – heck, if this is a cult, can we please start wearing cute retro prairie bonnets? And where’s our Hollywood celebrity jumping on a couch?