by Bianca Barban, Registered Nurse, Melbourne, Australia
I find it absolutely ridiculous that sections of the media are calling Universal Medicine a cult and Serge Benhayon a cult leader – how far away are they from the reality of who Serge is, and how Universal Medicine contributes to society?
When I was nine years old my family joined a cult my uncle started. My uncle (the cult leader) was a well known and respected medical doctor practising in Melbourne who decided his time would be better spent inciting fear, intimidation and paranoia amongst a group of people who were lost and searching for an escape from life. When I reflect on this time it brings up such feelings of paralysing fear, debilitating confusion and total lack of self – this is true abuse. I remember my uncle used to say he was higher up than Jesus.
Through my nine year-old eyes I remember observing this fat, white-haired man, who felt so angry and intimidating, and thinking – Jesus represents LOVE and this man is so far from LOVE, so what is he really representing? Unfortunately, I felt my parents would not listen to my view so I never expressed it, but with hindsight I know now I felt the truth while my parents did not.
I spent my weeknights and weekends going to these strange meetings with my parents and younger brothers where we observed chanting, meditation and the channelling of energy. My brothers and I were encouraged to join in the meditation and I clearly remember feeling it was bizarre. I was meant to stare into the light of a candle and go into the ‘white light’, and while my uncle chanted something, I was meant to lose myself. I watched a lady go into a trance and become a totally different person – it was truly frightening and felt so unnatural. I knew I did not want to experience that ever, but I lived in paralysing fear that it would happen. This is when the nightmares started, and an eerie feeling of spirits being around while I went to sleep.
Along with the paralysing fear, there was the harsh judgment of the outside world and exclusion from people I had known. Although I was still allowed to live at home and go to my Catholic school, I was told everyone else was evil and to stay away or I would be influenced and become evil too. The tragic thing was that when I looked outside the cult group there were so many people in the real world who I truly loved, and I felt loved me. I remember not being allowed to see my grandmother, who I loved dearly, because she was “absolute evil” and an “energy sucker” and I had to protect myself from her. This was devastating.
There were also predictions that the world was going to end and some people, i.e. the cult members, would get to move on to another world, and everyone else would just cease to exist because they were like robots – he called them “non-permanent atom beings” – catchy, isn’t it? The most hilarious thing was that every time my uncle predicted a date, nothing would happen. He would then say it was because we weren’t ready, then move it to another date in the future. I can laugh at it now but at the time I was anxious and absolutely terrified: I was too young to die and so confused about why God would want to kill so many people. The thing is, this energy wasn’t from God – it was just the ravings of an empty man. Other people in the group felt this tension also, and I remember a couple in their 70s drove their car off a bridge and died so they didn’t have to wait for the end of the world.
My body began to react to this state of constant terror and unknowing. I started having stomach issues, sleeplessness, and I created bizarre rituals to ensure I was good and got to move on to the new world. I became so controlling of myself and my behaviour – perfection was my new name. I lost my innocence, my freedom to be a child and the feeling that I was good, un-harming and safe. I totally lost the real me.
When I was nearly 11 my uncle moved to America to continue his work, and without his dominating influence my father decided this cult stuff was just too far away from Catholicism for him, so back we went to the Catholic church. We spent the rest of my childhood being devout Catholics – we had so much to repent for in my father’s eyes. I guess he felt like he could sweep away all the harm that was done by going to church every Sunday and having a friendship with our local priest.
So, my reason for expressing the above (apart from it feeling amazing to be so open and exposed), is to illustrate the differences between a real cult and its cult leader, and to critically discern what Universal Medicine is and what Serge Benhayon represents. The following points illustrate the key differences between what I experience now, and what I experienced as a child:
- Serge Benhayon has never said he is above anyone. It is actually the exact opposite: he always talks about how we are all equal and we are all equally the sons of God. This makes sense to me.
- There is no fear, no predictions of the world going to end, no channelling or bizarre occurrences – just presentations that are easily applicable to real life and are about being committed to living in the world and fully part of society.
- There is no judgment of other people’s choices, but an allowing for everyone to choose how their life is for themselves.
- There is no mandate to avoid people in society, and absolutely no segregation – there is actually the exact opposite.
- Serge’s presentations are about reconnecting to the love that we all naturally are, healing your stuff and bringing more love, self-nurturing, harmony, stillness and commitment to your life.
- There are no rules, only the freedom to discern whether or not what Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine present feels true and makes sense to you.
- If you decide what Serge presents doesn’t make sense to you, there is no judgment; no one follows up on your decisions or intimidates you to conform.
At 37 years of age I am now choosing to be more open to love and to take responsibility for healing all the hurts and patterns I created in my childhood. I have re-connected to my essence, live more simply than ever before, and connect to people with an openness and love that I have not experienced for a long time – and I do all these things without perfection. The most confirming thing for me, is that to reconnect to the love I naturally am, feels like absolute truth in my body.
In a real cult, like the one I experienced as a child, your natural connection with your essence is lost, and there is an enforced mandate to use practices to ensure this disconnection continues; neither are you asked to find your own truth and live it in full. Universal Medicine presents the exact opposite.