The Moonies, Serge Benhayon & Universal Medicine: My Cult Experience

by Anne Scott, Auckland, New Zealand

My stomach and bowels were heaving: I felt completely devoid of energy. I was feeling pretty desperate. I had what backpackers in 1980 called ‘Montezuma’s revenge’. I arrived thus at what I thought was the youth hostel in Denver, having come straight from the airport and a flight from Mexico.

Except it was no longer a youth hostel. Unbeknownst to me, the building had been purchased by the Denver branch of the Reunification Church, known to many as the “Moonies” because it was founded, and was headed at that time, by a Korean man, Ken Moon (who has only very recently died). I had inadvertently placed myself into the hands of an organisation that I would now, without question, describe as a cult, as a result of the attempt to ‘convert’, ‘control’ and ‘brainwash’ me.

My time with the Moonies was short, and it was a long time ago, but it has stayed indelibly in my mind. I felt it might be interesting for readers if I shared my experiences with the Moonies, which according to my experiences is what I would describe as a  brainwashing ‘cult’, with those of Universal Medicine (UniMed) which I know and feel to be the very antithesis of a cult.

So, what happened to me in Denver in the ‘youth hostel’?

My time there (a few days) was quite vague, as I was still very sick. I remember the young people there were working on the house – cleaning, painting and decorating. I stayed in a bedroom on the top floor and mainly slept. I ate very little, but the people there looked after me – mainly by giving me water to drink, from memory. Once I began to recover, one of the women who, with hindsight, may possibly have been delegated to ‘convert’ me, questioned me about my life and my aspirations. I was a qualified lawyer, although I hadn’t practised law yet, and they seemed very interested in that. They told me there was another New Zealander in Denver who was a member of the organisation. He was a mechanic and looked after the Denver group’s cars. I remember being told that he was discouraged from contacting his family in New Zealand because they did not ‘understand’ him and were trying to get him to come home.

By this time I was starting to recover from my illness and all this rang alarm bells in my head. However, I was watched the whole time and I began to feel afraid that I would not get away from them. This feeling was exacerbated when they asked me to travel with a group of them into the Rockies for a course of some sort. Although I felt uncomfortable with this, I decided to agree to go as I felt it was better to play along at this stage. I duly travelled into the mountains, but it turned out not to be with ‘a group of people’, just one woman came – the woman I mentioned earlier. I was very surprised to discover, on arriving at a quite fancy lodge, that there was no ‘group’. I was in fact the only ‘guest’ there… so there was only the woman who drove me, myself, and a man who seemed to be based there.

That man then proceeded to do what I can only describe as ‘brainwash’ me. He sat me down and spoke to me at length (for two or three days). I remember he had a chart that compared the life of Jesus to the life of Ken Moon, with dates that he said correlated, implying clearly that Ken was Jesus. By this stage I had completely recovered from my illness and I knew this was brainwashing and nonsense, and that I was caught up in some sort of weird ‘religious’ cult. It was very scary. I could feel the immense power of the man talking to me and he felt quite yucky. However, I remember I had decided to play along and pretend that I agreed with what was being presented, as I felt this was the best way to stay safe and get away from him.

At the end of the few days, the woman and I returned to Denver and I devised a way to get away. I told them that I had two weeks left on my ‘chickenfeed pass’ (which was a pass I did indeed have, which allowed me to travel anywhere that Continental Airlines flew in USA and Mexico for a month), that I would complete the 2 weeks and then return to them to work as a lawyer for the organisation. They drove me to the airport, checking that I did indeed leave on a Continental Airlines flight, and I said I would see them in two weeks time.

Of course, I never went back. I had written to my family about who was looking after me when I was still sick, and from my description, they recognised the group as the Moonies. The group had featured in the newspapers in New Zealand since I had been away, with stories about members not being allowed to ever contact their families and other awful things, such as members being obliged to hand over all their money and goods to the organisation. They were therefore extremely concerned for me.

Compare this real life cult experience to my alleged (according to the media) cult experience with Universal Medicine over the last 18 months.

My first Universal Medicine event was a retreat in April 2011 at Lennox Head in Australia. I must admit that before going I was a little nervous about it as I would know very few people, and everyone I had spoken to in New Zealand about Universal Medicine seemed to hold the founder, Serge Benhayon in such high esteem. However, as soon as I saw Serge, and when he was on stage ready to present the retreat, I knew he was what my parents would call ‘the genuine article’. At no time did I feel, or at any time since then when I have been to courses and events run by UniMed and presented by Serge, afraid – as I had felt with the Moonies. Indeed, I felt exactly the opposite of fear when I was at these events: I felt huge LOVE. I felt this love just being in the same room as Serge, let alone when I actually met him, which was the most amazing experience. I could feel not only his love for me and everyone in the room, but his sincerity, his dedication to the wisdom he was presenting, that he actually lived this wisdom, and on a personal level I could feel his genuine interest in me, such that I felt I deserved to be loved and that I was equal to not just him, but everyone in the room.

At no stage has Serge Benhayon ever compared himself to Jesus, or indeed to anyone else. He presents himself as being no different to any of us – no more ‘enlightened’, no more ‘special’.

At no stage did I feel any pressure to do any of the courses offered by Universal Medicine, or to have any esoteric healing. I have been to several practitioners at the Universal Medicine clinic in Goonellabah and they have all been completely professional, loving and indeed absolutely amazing.

I have never been expected to work for Universal Medicine, for free or otherwise, and have never felt pressured to give any money or possessions to Universal Medicine. Indeed, neither of those things is ever mentioned. I pay for the courses I attend and for personal sessions with Universal Medicine practitioners, and both of these give me excellent value for money. Indeed, I could not put a value on what I have got out of attending the events and having the sessions. They are priceless in terms of what I have learnt, and the difference they have made in my life.

From my (brief) real taste of a Moonie cult experience, I can state with certainty: Universal Medicine is definitely NOT a cult, and Serge Benhayon is definitely NOT a cult leader. Nor is he a guru, as the word is commonly known now. He is indeed the ‘genuine article’ my parents recognise and love. Serge Benhayon will forever be an inspiration to me and I thank him profusely for all the hard work he does for ALL of us.

242 thoughts on “The Moonies, Serge Benhayon & Universal Medicine: My Cult Experience

  1. I was sitting with some work colleagues recently and they were all drinking and they asked me why I had stopped drinking I explained how one day the wine I had ordered tasted like vinegar and even when another type of wine was brought to the table and poured for me to drink my experience was the same. I just could not drink a drop of alcohol again. If they wanted to drink alcohol that’s fine I really don’t mind at all as they could sense I am not bothered as the greater majority drinks alcohol. What was so loving about the interaction was that they didn’t feel they had to stop doing something they wanted to do but at the same time there was no coercion from them to get me to drink we accepted each other’s choices? It’s the same I feel with Universal Medicine I have decided that attending the courses and workshops works for me in so many different ways; my life is beyond anything I could have imagined. But if someone is of a different persuasion then that’s fine too; so to me it’s about learning to play in the sand pit with everyone else and not throw sand at people just because they seem different, if we were all the same wouldn’t the world be boring?

    1. So true Mary. I have also been around a lot of alcohol this festive season. I have found that if i simply observe, without judgement, not only am I not affected, but i notice people around me drink a lot less alcohol!

  2. From the Moonies to the Sonies…. couldn’t resist a Son of God joke!

    Yes, the absence of rhe soul is deeply felt when anyone is treated in such a threatening, coercive and imposing manner, we know it’s not true and not from God, however for some coming from their deep hurts and perhaps with abuse in their backgrounds, as well as a desire for the truth and to belong, such a group such as the Moonies could be accepted.

  3. I have never been told what to do by serge Benhayon ever. Serge Benhayon has always asked everyone to discern for themselves and make their own decisions. He lives in a certain way and it works for him because he knows the energy he has aligned to. Before meeting Serge Benhayon I was in a very abusive relationship with myself only I couldn’t see this at the time. I have attended many workshops and courses of Universal Medicine and had sessions with the Universal Medicine practitioners this has supported me to pick apart my abusive relationship with myself and to bring understanding and self respect into focus. This to me isn’t brainwashing but people who at the time were more caring towards me than I was towards myself. I deeply appreciate Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for actually supporting me to lead a joyful life as to be honest there are not many people who can claim this in their lives.

    1. Thank you Mary for your comments, I’m always so deeply touched by what you share. Judgement is so deeply entrenched in society, so is xenophobia or ‘stranger danger’, so we can tend to lash out against anything that is different by labelling it very negatively. The media is complicit in this with Muslims a prime example and also refugees especially here in Australia. The media also prefers to report on negatives and extremes. We have forgotten what it’s like to live open to other human beings, to see the sameness, to embrace each other as fellow brothers. and meet one another with care and understanding.

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience of what a cult is like, which is clearly very opposite from anything Universal Medicine offers.

  5. I completely agree with you here that at every Universal Medicine event I have ever been to there has never been any pressure to join anything or subscribe to anything. They are amazing workshops and presentations that are always a take or leave it affair and you are left completely free to walk away and accept the content or not as being of value or not.

  6. Anne thank you for sharing your story about your unfortunate time in a real cult and how what Serge Benhayon presents is the exact opposite as I feel the same as we are never told what to do or held to ransom in any way we are free to come and go as we like. Life from day one at Universal Medicine has felt so comfortable and like coming home to a deep place of Love that has always been a feeling I have had that feels True and have been searching for.

  7. From my experience with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine this is the complete antithesis of a cult. My understanding of a cult is that one is coerced in some form to conform to certain rules and regulations and that it is usually very difficult to leave if one so chose. With Universal Medicine there are no rules, regulations or need to conform to certain ways of being. Instead one is constantly reminded to discern for oneself what is true or not, in fact given tools to aid one to do this, and can come and go as one chooses.

  8. I have known Serge Benhayon for at least 12 years and in that time he has always stressed that he is no different to anyone else as we all have a capability to tapped into the energy he uses to fuel his way of living. He has always stated too that he didn’t always live this way himself; he too was caught up in the glamor and illusion of life just like everyone else. From knowing Serge Benhayon and attending the workshops and presentations I have come to understand that there are only two types of energy Prana and Fire and depending on the choice made between the two depends on the subsequent movements that determines how we will be in life. This to me makes complete sense as I can feel the difference in my body when I choose Prana my thoughts change my whole body changes it becomes racy and anxious and I seek sugary or salty foods. When I come back to myself my body feels settled and easy and my choice of food changes. There’s a science to all of this that the health service is completely missing out on, but back to Serge Benhayon having known him for this amount of time I can say that I am not in a cult of any kind, I come and go as I please. If I compare my life before meeting Serge Benhayon I was living a lie pretending everything was okay on the surface but underneath this veneer I was an absolute mess. I relied on alcohol and starchy foods to get me through the day. I trusted no one least of all myself. My other crutch was my psychiatrist who I saw for years. Now I live a very active life I actually enjoy myself and others enjoy my company too; so for me meeting Serge Benhayon has had a positive effect on my life and I know thousands of other people who feel the same as me.

    1. Absolutely Mary I feel all my reliance on artificial props has also been eliminated and those that I had already taken away like drugs had there replacements, which were still addictive behaviours have also been seen for the falsity I was Living in and healed from a most Loving space.

  9. Simply I have never been told to do anything by Serge Benhayon or Universal Medicine. I have never attempted to recruit anyone for Universal Medicine. We come as we chose and I have attended courses because they are amazing, no where does religion, philosophy and science come together in true union, I am intelligent and sensitive, not brainwashed.

  10. That is a great way to prove UniMed is not a cult from someone who has attended events of UniMed and a real cult. You could also have someone investigate by attending events and or experience the life of a student. Not very hard to do when our doors are open and warm with acceptance.

  11. Yes Elizabeth, once I felt well again I knew I needed to get out of there pronto! Gosh, how opposite is my experience with any Universal Medicine event -i never want to leave!

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your experience Anne and to bring such clarity to the difference between what is a cult “The Moonies’ and what is not ‘Universal Medicine’. I never had such an experience as this, but the closest thing to a cult I came to was being enticed into a Scientology class where I was asked all kinds of strange and imposing questions about my life, but thankfully I saw through it straight away and made a very quick escape, depsite attempts of persuasion to make me stay. I knew that when I met Serge Benhayon this was completley different, and there was nothing about what he was saying that would have made me stay unless I knew in myself this was the real deal.

  13. I am also a student of Universal Medicine and The Way of the Livingness and it is indeed priceless what is on offer when you do that. Just this week I gained a greater understanding to a pattern of behaviour of mine that has plagued me for about 5-10 years. I saw so clearly how I had set that up, and why I had set that up and once I saw that, I could then choose differently which I have been doing this week. It is so liberating to be free of old patterns of protection and hurt.

    1. Sarah great sharing about how we set ourselves up usually to fail so we can say to ourselves see I knew that would happen. I have lost count of the times I set myself up to fail, because then I had an excuse to stay in the comfort of being stuck and playing the victim card. Such a vile way to live.

  14. A great sharing Anne, thank you for it is only those wo have truly experienced both that can make an expert statement as you have. Those who call Universal medicine a cult are all those who have none to very little experience of it themselves.

  15. The fact that many keep returning to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine and do not feel they need to go from one course to another, one presenter to the next is not a statement about a cult like organization but a statement of the quality and sincerity that is on offer. This is such a rare thing in these days that it is easier to imagine people being coerced or mislead then to actually dare to open up to the possibility of the offering of true, unconditional and amazingly consistent love and harmony. It is not Serge Benhayon or Universal Medicine that should be under scrutiny but the society that we have created to make it so.

  16. Reading about this experience with the Moonies you could see how many who are lost could get sucked into something like a cult, but there is no sense of being coerced by Universal Medicine. They don’t even advertise their courses if you’re interested you have to go on their website and check out the dates, pay and attend. This to me means the total opposite of manipulation as has been described in this blog.

  17. As others have said, its good that you share this experience… lots of misinformation, fear, and pressure. This is nothing whatsoever like the experience of attending events with Serge Benhayon, where there is a warmth and genuine love that is palpable along with some very relevant and thought provoking presentations on all aspects of life. Take it or leave it is very much the approach, but when you hear the truth you realise that you would be a mug to completely ignore it!

  18. I’ve never experienced a cult but I have been in situations with people lying or using a lot of force to get their point across so that I will agree with them. There is none of that from Serge Benhayon.

  19. Reading through this ‘cult’ section of the blog site, I am amazed how many people have had actual experiences with cults. It’s amazing how many new born Jesus’s there are in the world! Fear, isolation and separation seem to be common threads and it makes me wonder how joyless the life of a cult member must be.

  20. Yes they certainly could have done great harm, Doug. I heard of members who were not allowed to see their family at all, and had to hand over all their possessions to the ‘church’.

    1. Maybe some of the people who wrongly label Universal Medicine a ‘cult’ should experience what a real cult is, then they would clearly see how wrong they have been.

  21. Your ‘cult’ experience Anne may have been very brief but that was all you needed to see and feel the evil intentions from those involved as they tried to lure you in. And from what you have shared about your experience with Universal Medicine it is so clear that this organisation bears no resemblance to a cult, only, it seems to me, in the eyes of those who have been trying to damage its wonderful reputation and the lives of those who are involved.

    1. I’ve found my study with Universal Medicine has resulted in much more self love, and from that more love in all of my relationships. Far from removing myself from others, I’m now closer to everyone around me than every before, and very open and accepting of people in general. History has shown over and over being removed from the world or insular in groups doesn’t work, being out there with everyone in equality though feels amazing!

  22. It occurs to me that cult is also the root of the word ‘culture’, something we tend to celebrate in our societies.

  23. The thing that stands out for me in the description of the encounter with the Moonies is the deceit. Why the need to lie? I agree with what you state here about Universal Medicine – to me it is the antithesis of a cult. In my seven year association with Universal Medicine I have liberated myself from many unsupportive ideals and beliefs about myself and others and now feel more free to be and express who I am than ever before.

    1. Yes Richardmills363, it was the deceit that I found particularly upsetting at first-why let unsuspecting travellers think they are going to a youth hostel when they are not?

    2. If Ken Moon was indeed a reincarnation of Jesus then he would be a very loving, wise man and practising brotherhood – secrecy, deceit and imposition would have no part of what the Moonies practised. To me Ken Moon must have been very empty to need to view himself in such a grandiose and delusional manner.

  24. Your experience with the Moonies Anne was scary stuff and just goes to show we can never stop being discerning about what is going on around us and who is trying to influence us.

  25. What comes through strongly Anne in what you share is how much we have lost connection with the truth of words and how we can label something as ‘cult’ which is not and use other experiences of actual cults as a way to dismiss the first … and usually because there’s an agenda at play. Your experience here is very useful as it shows clearly the difference between the two, thank you.

    1. Yes monica2 that is so true -and I can really feel the difference in my body. When I was caught up with the Moonies I remember distinctly (even though it was a long time ago) that my body felt squirmy and abused-and still does just re-reading this blog! Conversely, when I am with Serge Benhayon, and indeed all the friends (brothers and sisters) that I have met through my study with Universal Medicine, my body feels very still and present and I am held in an exquisite love.

  26. A very disturbing experience Anne. But good that you trusted your inner radar. We do know when something feels true or not and we know when we are being hooked into something and when we are making a clear choice. Having had a very brief experience one day myself with another religion and being taken to an office, I felt very unsafe and new that I needed to leave immediately. I have never had this feeling ever attending a Universal Medicine event or the clinic.

  27. I loved the way you instinctively knew to play along with things in order not to end up being part of the Moonies cult, and wholeheartedly agree that Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine is no cult, the door is always open for people to come and go as they please.

  28. Thank you for sharing your experiences with the Moonie cult and your instant awareness of the menace. With Universal Medicine I have only ever felt love, support as I reconnect to who I am and an ever deepening LOVE in and for all.

  29. Anne, this article demonstrates your strength and ability to discern and not be brainwashed. I love how you present that Serge Benhayon is the ‘genuine article’. Indeed yes he is, and there is no need to fear any harmful false comments or accusation when we know this truth deep to our core.
    Thank you for the simple authority in which you express.

  30. It is quite disturbing that organisations like this, ‘the moonies’, exist and try and take advantage of someone when they are not 100%.

  31. Thank you for sharing Anne, as you say there is no comparison, the love and acceptance Serge Benhayon offers is amazing and as you say it is so palpable when being in a room with him, ‘I felt huge LOVE. I felt this love just being in the same room as Serge, let alone when I actually met him, which was the most amazing experience. I could feel not only his love for me and everyone in the room, but his sincerity, his dedication to the wisdom he was presenting’.

  32. One of the first principles I understood from Universal Medicine was the precise known difference between healing and harming. There is no in between like we like to think eg. the highest of good or benevolence. It is truth or not, and this goes for everything. The word ‘cult’ is used and people’s ear prick up. What about sugar? What about emotions? Both are harming if not more than the word cult. This revelation has redefined my life – I now have purpose.

  33. The day that a journalist picks up the true story of Serge Benhayon and begins the very large series of articles that will be needed to share the extraordinary life this man lives will be the day that humanity will be offered the tools and understandings to begin to unravel the living horror that many people endure and call it a normal life.

    1. There is definitely quite a story to be written… and nothing is stopping Serge from turning the pages, and writing all the Chapters that he can while available in this life.

  34. That is downright scary, your experience with the Moonies and their concerted efforts to get you to work for them; I am sure you’d be shaking your head today about pretending to go ahead and listening to this tirade for days. But then again, you were scared and in an unknown place without support or backup. It feels like it was a deliberately set up scenario to win you over, wear you down even?

    1. Yes it was very much a deliberate set up gabrieleconrad. And that’s true, I was up in the mountains with no transport, which is why I played along. I am so appreciating that I didn’t get hooked into this cult.

  35. It sounds like quite a frightening experience to be so vulnerable and taking advantage of really the lowest of the low. As many have said before Universal Medicine is quite the opposite offering support only if requested from a diverse vibrant, transparent loving community.

  36. Anne this is a powerful account of your experience with a real ‘cult’ and how manipulative and harming they can feel and how Universal Medicine is the antithesis of a cult as it is about true care and love for humanity. Serge Benhayon is the real deal and to try and misrepresent him or judge him to be a ‘cult leader’ or ‘guru’ (such as some of the Media have done) shows how far some are willing to go because they are afraid and often jealous of his true qualities and the truth he presents.

  37. A brilliant account of being in an actual cult. To call Universal Medicine a cult smacks of absolute delusion and more – for it is clear that Universal Medicine is far from a cult. But call it that and cry wolf and people dismiss the reality of that is actually there. Calling Universal Medicine a cult is a deliberate ploy to remove people from an organisation that can bring so much to their lives and ultimately change the entire status quo of the world in which we live.

  38. It’s so interesting to read and feel the differences in your experience between the Moonies and Universal Medicine. Polar opposites.

  39. With so called cults, there is intimidation felt, I have felt this at work, at school, in peer groups, in society when we do not confirm to what is ‘expected’ or ‘wanted’ and I will say categorically I have never felt this pressure at a Universal Medicine course….so where is the cult, if such exist?

  40. This is a very descriptive article about an experience you had with the “Moonies”. When I was reading this I had a sense of what it would have been like and it was feeling like one of those thriller movies where you were wondering if the person actually will be able to leave or get away. Universal Medicine has none of those feeling and in fact not only can you come and go as you please but that isn’t even an issue. Meaning it’s just like anything else in life you can choose to go or not, it’s always your choice.

  41. Wow, what an experience with the Moonies. When it comes to Serge Benhayon there is no need to convince or “brainwash” another of the magnitude and incredibleness of what he presents. You can come along and feel it for yourself.

  42. I too would be very nervous and suspicious if I hear people holding someone in very high esteem unanimously – thinking either the people were blindly faithful or the person is very charismatic and dominating – like, it’s too good to be true and there must be something going on. But the Way of living Serge Benhayon shares and presents as his own Livingness, and the relationship he has with everyone is something that we recognise as true but yet to live for ourselves, and I hold that as my inspiration, no doubt.

  43. Thanks for the comparison Anne, as you stated you only have to meet Serge once to feel the truth of the man.

  44. The two accounts you have here of the different organisations are indeed the antithesis of each other….I have had people try and persuade me, get me to join in with things, telling me their truth is the truth….and it is imposing and often intimidating. I have never felt that in the presence Serge Benhayon, he is inspiring because of the way he lives, I want to listen to him because he walks his talk, not because he is trying to make me stay. I continue to attend presentations and workshops, because it inspires me to make changes in my life that are healing, empowering and supportive to live a fuller, more engaged and expressive life.

  45. I find it concerning that organisations like this exist that forceably coerce people to take on their belief system whilst manipulating a discarding of anything from their past that may hinder the process… learning only what you are spoon fed. It is extraordinary what people are capable of. What a blessing to come across Universal Medicine and experience the antithesis of this and of anything imposing and learn everything you could ever want about yourself.

  46. Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon have nothing of the coercive behaviour that you can find with some organisations, he does not try to hook you in, entice you, convert you or impose anything on you. You are free to take or leave what he presents and nobody comes after you to convince you otherwise if you leave.

  47. Thank you Anne for sharing your experience it is a knockout of the all the claims made by the ignorant and uninformed, of us being in a cult.

  48. When a person chooses a way of living that is unlike that of observers, it can cause a reaction. An example would be when someone with a different culture moves into a neighbourhood and perhaps has different ways like what they wear, or what they cook, or whether they drink alcohol, and what religion they choose. In this case I am now that person of the different culture, as I choose the Way of Livingness as my religion, and for that reason, there are cyber-bullies who say I am in a cult. It is no more true than calling someone from another country a person who is in a cult.

    1. Great sharing Heather, we tend to feel the need to box what is different from our own way of life so we can protect what we live and do not have to look at it honestly and openly. So the allegations of being in a cult are less about what we live and much more about protecting a way of life that would otherwise be so easily exposed for not being loving and harmonious.

  49. I remember reading about the Moonies many many years ago in their day but to hear from someone who had this experience is a fantastic way to use as a first hand comparison and clearly claim Universal Medicine is NOT a cult. Serge Benhayon is certainly genuine and most sincere in his love that he holds for himself first and absolutely everyone else equally, all at the same time! It sounds extraordinary but for him it is very ordinary and the only way to be. He is a true inspiration for All of humanity and not just a select few.

  50. With Universal Medicine you are free to choose to come and go whenever you feel like it and are always welcomed with love. Serge Benhayon presents the Ageless Wisdom and has shared with those who choose to attend the meaning and purpose of life and the Universe. I have been met with nothing but love, truth and integrity.

  51. Anne you couldn’t be more spot on about Universa[ Medicine and Serge Benhayon! There is NO WAY that I or anyone else connected to Universal Medicine is in a cult or that Serge is or would call himself a guru! Having been fortunate to be part of this wonderful group for almost 10years without being pressured into anything at all or asked for money or restricted in any way. I feel so fortunate to have met this wonderful man and the wonderful Practitioners of Universal Medicine that have opened up my life in so many ways especially to the fact of our being all equal Brothers in this world and that we are Love and come from Love. This world can only be a better place because of this Love.

  52. “Indeed, I could not put a value on what I have got out of attending the events and having the sessions. They are priceless in terms of what I have learnt, and the difference they have made in my life.” I so agree Anne. The books, courses and retreats are indeed priceless – and you make the contrast between the dark and the light very clear.

    1. I love your comment Cathy -so playful! Yep it certainly is amazing to be able to experience the difference between a cult and something so far away from a cult.

  53. Your experience with the moonies sounds quite scary Anne, especially so far from home and unwell. It is unfortunate that people throw around the cult label whenever they want to discredit something. Universal Medicine is an amazing organisation and far from being a cult. There is no coercion, no pressure to stay anywhere, no assigning anyone to watch over anyone. It seems mad to even need to have these conversations. We know in our hearts what is truth and what we feel. We recognise what is threatening and what is not.

  54. Thank you for presenting your account of the Moonies. We get an insight into what a real cult is like. I could feel its imposition and control just reading about it. It’s great to have your comparison with Universal Medicine as a testimony for the record, to confirm that Serge Benhayon is indeed the genuine article and yet equal to everyone else, inspirational and yet completely accessible. Not a cult leader in sight.

  55. Thanks Anne – you have given a vivid description of the difference between organisations such as the Moonies and Universal Medicine. I think most people who have attended Universal Medicine presentations and met Serge Benhayon were apprehensive and guarded at first due to the fact that so many people around the world head up cults which have very dubious and scary ways of brainwashing their followers. Yet the growing number of students with Universal Medicine demonstrate that people find that this organisation and those connected with it are the complete opposite of a cult and that what they are being offered is a chance to connect deeply with themselves and humanity with love.

  56. Thank you Anne for sharing your experience with the Moonies which is in complete contrast to Universal Medicine where everyone is held as equal and encouraged to discern for themselves everything that is presented. I was approached by the Moonies as a teenager travelling in Germany when I was briefly separated from the group I was travelling with and could instantly feel how they were trying to hook me in by questioning me about whether I was dissatisfied with my life and wanting me to go with them and have a meal. I could feel that they were looking for an opening to get to me and it felt really yucky and unsafe but superficially it could come across that they were being caring if a young person was feeling lost. This is the antithesis of my experience with Universal Medicine where I have always felt held in love and encouraged to discern for myself the truth of what is being presented.

  57. Wow Anne, thank you for sharing your description here of the Moonies! I felt a bit sick just reading about it – I can only imagine how sick you must have felt in actually being there!
    There are many false leaders out there, and groups devoted to such. All can purport to be about love, humanity or returning to God, but our feeling or knowing as to whether this is true or not is what it comes down to. Since I first saw Serge Benhayon present, I knew what he was presenting was the truth, and all made sense in what I had felt in life until that point. I have questioned, discerned and pondered all teachings for myself, and applied what I have felt to at the time. He has chosen to be a teacher, and lead by inspiration. Some may have a problem with this, but that is their problem, and should be addressed accordingly.

    1. You are spot on, Amelia. There are many false leaders out there…luckily, despite my many years of studying, practising and teaching yoga, I never subscribed to the ‘guru’ thing. And, yes, I certainly did feel sick being amongst people who were trying their best to brainwash me. The memory is still vivid after all these years! Thank goodness I saw it for what it was …and, as you say, so different from what Serge Benhayon presents and lives.

  58. Thank you Anne for your account of your time with the ‘Moonies’ which sounds pretty scary to me, your description of this cult sure is the opposite of what Universal Medicine represents. Instead of the force and control of the Moonies, Universal Medicine offers true support for all from a foundation built on love and integrity leaving everyone free to choose for themselves every step of the way.

  59. Never for a moment have I questioned the integrity of Serge Benhayon. From the moment I heard his name I attempted several times over a period of 3 years to book an appointment with him which did not eventuate until 12 years later, when that opportunity finally returned. It was confirmed in the moment I met him, that the impulse to book in for a healing session when I’d first heard his name, exceeded every idea or expectation I could ever have had of what is possible when the choice to heal is made.

  60. Wow Anne thank you for describing what I real cult is actually like, lucky you had enough sense of self to not fall victim to that craziness and I’m actually surprised anyone did! Universal Medicine is the opposite of this, they are about love not control. They are about what everybody not just themselves, this is certainly what the world needs more of in every organisation.

    1. The Moonies and other groups like them are specifically searching for people who are feeling lost and do their manipulative best to seem like they are providing the answer. The last thing they want is people to have a solid sense of self in case they start questioning which is in complete contrast to Serge Benhayon who encourages questions and is always open to entering into true dialogue.

  61. Thank you Anne for presenting what is and what isn’t a cult through your personal experiences. Universal Medicine is the genuine article for me as well. I have always been supported and loved by all who attend UniMed events and the Universal Medicine team.

  62. The word cult is a powerful word but can be quite sinister in intention if used inappropriately. It gives off the connotations of people being brainwashed, having their mind and lives controlled by others and them being owned and segregated from their loved ones- all of which you definitely did experience with your Moonie experience Anne. Labeling Universal Medicine a cult cannot but suggest the same connotations about cults that we have all read and heard about in the media to induce absolute suspicion and fear of it as an organisation.

  63. Anne- your unemotional and factual account of the short time you had with the Moonies is sickening. What you describe is creepy and controlling behaviour. It is so far from what Universal Medicine is about and the Universal Medicine experiences I have had. Thank you for the clear and factual statement of both experiences – no embellishment needed, simply the power of truth.

  64. It becomes very clear, very quickly the difference between Universal Medicine and a Cult. Your first hand experience is invaluable – thank you for sharing.

  65. It is great to hear from someone who has had experience with a ‘cult’. Definitely the opposite of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon! Thanks Anne.

  66. Your experience with the Moonies sounds very frightening, and worlds apart from the loving, unimposing and supportive organisation that Universal Medicine is.

  67. Wow. What a contrast.. It always shocks me a bit to find out that groups like the moonies actually exist ! It’s like the kind of cults you see on the TV.

  68. It sounds to me like when you met the Moonies you felt an imposing energy that wanted something from you. The most remarkable things about Serge Benhayon is he does not impose at all. I wrote a short blog about that here Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine simply OFFER love, truth and healing without any need whatsoever for someone to accept that offering. If you want that or not is absolutely your choice.

  69. Thank you Anne for sharing your experience with a cult, sounds very scary. I just love what you have written about Serge and Universal Medicine, so beautiful, so true, my experience also.

  70. ‘Serge Benhayon will forever be an inspiration to me and I thank him profusely for all the hard work he does for ALL of us.’ Thank you for showing so clearly there is nothing in Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine that could be called a guru, cult etc. Just like you I am so grateful to know Serge and his family and all the students. I cannot imagine my life without the beholding love I experience every day since I have met Serge.

  71. Gosh Anne, I feel so relieved that they were not able to manipulate you whilst you were so sick. Here is an opportunity to play the game, when you have your wits about you. Thanks for getting out of there and being able to further explain what a real cult looks like. Calling Universal Medicine a cult is such a funny joke…It could not be further from the truth.

  72. Great Anne, how you gave the example of that part in your life where you were almost caught in a cult. And how you describe the difference between this cult and Universal Medicine. It makes it very clear.

    I can add that for a long time I was looking everywhere around me for solutions to feel better: I met gurus, I joined their meetings and I did workshops with well known gurus from all over the world who had been around for a long time. But guess what? I never saw people writing about them. Then, finally waking up in life, I came to this great organization, Universal Medicine, and I felt this very clear energy, this true support of love, this equality from all, including Serge Benhayon, its founder. He is the man who presented to me to always stay true to what I feel in my body. I learned that my body is never lying ….she is my lying detector. I can tell you , no-one can ever fool me! That is what I learned from Serge Benhayon: to trust my feelings; and now what clarity I bring to what is true and what is not true. Thank you to Serge Benhayon for all he brings with his amazing presentations of wisdom.

    1. Great point Sylvia yes I completely agree I have also learned that my body is my greatest lie detector and if we listen to our bodies nobody can fool us with any clever words because we can feel the actual energy and intention behind everything that is said and done.

  73. Thank you Anne for your very powerful and inspirational testimonial. I can also attest to the fact that from Serge Benhayon’s presentations I have only experienced the immense love within that I truly am, that this is love equally grand in everyone else, and I am inspired to live this love with my family, friends, work and life in general.

  74. Love this Anne, and the Moonies on one hand wanting to ‘own’ you, and Universal Medicine on the other inspiring us to reconnect back to who we are, to the love that is within us. How can anyone in their right mind equate Universal Medicine to being a cult? If someone does this what they’re doing is dismissing the possibility for themselves and others that love and joy can be absolutely normal ways of living every day.

    1. “How can anyone in their right mind equate Universal Medicine to being a cult?” – not forgetting, Katerina, that the one person who gave Universal Medicine a “Cult” stamp is the one who claims to bring Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon down. This person will create all sorts of lies to make his mission successful.

      At the beginning of my study with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine I did take the presentations from Serge as information I could use as rules to better my life. For example, Serge neither told me what to eat nor what not to eat – but I found myself judging my husband or friends for eating something I had felt was not good for me and had decided to not eat anymore. Neither did Serge tell me when to go to bed – he presents just the truth about rhythm and so on. Yet here I am standing behind my husband (who is sitting on the computer) and telling him he has to go to bed now because it is late! And maybe I am right (I am sure I am) – but it is not for me to tell him what to do. And this, to accept others and their choices, to hold others in love whatever the circumstances, this is something I have learned with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

      In time I came to realize that there are no rules – just me, my body, energetic laws and my feelings. And then I had to open up to the real and true teachings of Universal Medicine: to be love and to present it – no controlling, no manipulation, no creation of whatever. It is time to be who I am, taking joyful responsibility for all my expressions, radiating and trusting in truth.

  75. The joy in your description of Serge and Universal Medicine Anne is so easy to feel. He is indeed “the genuine article” and this love that anyone can share and know is absolutely the ‘real deal’.

  76. Thank you Anne, for sharing your experience of being caught up in a cult – the Moonies and of being part of an amazing organisation that is the other end of the spectrum and definitely not a cult – Universal Medicine. I agree with what you have written here about Universal Medicine, ‘ I could not put a value on what I have got out of attending the events and having the sessions. They are priceless in terms of what I have learnt, and the difference they have made in my life.’ I feel the same, my life has changed immeasurably- my relationship with myself, my family, work all have changed not because i was told to change them but because I have felt inspired by Serge Benhayon to live differently, in a more loving and respectful and honest way.

  77. Thank you Anne for sharing your experience of what it is like to be drawn into a cult. Quite clever how they took over what was once a Youth Hostel so they could find new recruits for their ‘organisation’.Universal Medicine is the total and absolute antithesis of what a cult is, there are no hooks, no pressure, no underhanded dealings, no membership. Serge Benhayon presents a way to live that offers true responsibility, a true love of humanity and a true understanding of what life is all about, I have never once felt scared or felt pressurised to attend anything, ever.

  78. Thanks for sharing your experience Anne. It confirms that there is no way Universal Medicine can be described as a cult, and that Serge Benhayon is in fact the ‘genuine article’.

    1. Very true Peter. By no stretch of the imagination is Universal Medicine a cult. It is the only organisation that has ever offered me an understanding of true responsibility and then left me to make my own choices.

      1. I can absolutely second that. Until I came across Universal Medicine I was in a cult! Every choice I made was one I was influenced to make not knowing who I really was. Certainly not the case now.

      2. True Vicky, it is more that they say..stay on your own feet, take lovingly responsibility about your life, on ALL aspects,, for anything that comes around.

  79. Quite a scary experience to have had but it has allowed you to truly know the difference between an actual cult and Universal Medicine who present workshops and do not entice anyone or any such behaviour. Their integrity is of the highest I have ever come across.

  80. What an experience, but it is wonderful that Anne has shared it with us giving us first hand what it was like to be in a cult and clearly expressing that Universal Medicine is not a cult and that Serge Benhayon is definitely not a cult leader…I have to say, I can vouch for that too.

  81. I love the signs and communication from God that we get, and that you observed back then with the Moonies, to be on guard, as well as today with Serge Benhayon when you recognised the true connection to God.

  82. What an awesome personal account of the difference between what these days we refer to as a “cult” and Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon. Thanks Anne!

    1. It always feels strange to write about comparing Universal Medicine against something else. It is really simple. If there is an event you can go or you may not. Many people take long breaks between events, other people come to many events and everything in between and people switch from one group to another. This is all very ordinary and simple.

  83. Great blog Anne, a real insight into what people will let themselves believe and what people will do to force those beliefs on others. As you say, nothing like this is happening with Serge Benhayon or Universal Medicine.

  84. Thank you for describing how a real cult operates Anne, your first hand experience is invaluable. I make note that you feel Universal Medicine is the opposite of a cult leaving everyone free of imposition to choose for themselves. And that Serge Benhayon is no cult leader and you felt only love from this genuine man and I must say I feel the same.

  85. Anne, a truly lucky escape you share here with us, This experience has been something you can compare Universal Medicine and other organisations against in terms of what is a cult or not . Universal Medicine is definitely NOT a cult but a truly wonderful organisation that provides so much Loving support and encouragement for our growth self development and Love. Thank you Anne.

  86. Your Moonie experience seems to have been part of Montezuma’s revenge!! Any organisation that limits in any way, shape or form your freedom or which dictates what is to be done by you, is one that does not support a person at all. Universal Medicine has none of these features. It is a true blessing for humanity and the real deal.

    1. Universal Medicine has a door that is always open. Come and go as you please. Never does your absence get chased, scrutinised or even questioned with mild curiosity! Slightly disconcerting for the needy person, but assurance of the foundation of Free Will upon which Universal medicine is built.

      1. Not everyone is ready to look at their issues and conditions they have on life and that’s fine, because I have found it actually takes courage to honestly look at what holds me back and the biggest lesson to learn is not to be hard on myself. This is an ongoing lesson as I unearth all the ideals, beliefs, pictures but most of all the stubbornness that I use to hang onto something I think I need to get through life. When I finally grasp the fact that whatever I have been holding onto so tightly is a hinderance it’s such a relief to let it go and move on and my body actually feels lighter for the letting go.

  87. It is so powerful reading you express with such authority that Universal Medicine is not a cult after the experience you have had. Thank you so much for sharing this, it was fascinating to read comparable facts. it is also gorgeous to feel the deep respect and appreciation you have for Serge Benhayon and everything he is and has shared with us all, it is indeed priceless and endlessly inspiring.

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