Universal Medicine cult founder exposed as ‘charlatan’

It’s a little-known cult, founded by Serge Benhayon in northern NSW, that is taking over the globe and leaving a trail of victims in its path.

News.com, Australia/February 18, 2019

A former NSW tennis coach, posing as a religious leader, has been found to have taken millions of dollars from families and had an “indecent interest in girls as young as 10” in his “socially harmful cult”.

A NSW Supreme Court jury described the Universal Medicine cult leader, Serge Benhayon, as a “charlatan who preys on cancer patients” after returning from deliberations in a defamation lawsuit, late last year.

An investigation by Channel 7’s Sunday Night program, which spanned more than six years and several countries, heard from victims and devout followers of the Universal Medicine movement.

The focus of their discussions? The man who claims he is the closest thing to God on Earth, Serge Benhayon.

Despite the damning Supreme Court findings, Mr Benhayon is still practising his “healing work” across the world, with hundreds of new members signing up every year.

Who is Serge Benhayon?

The man at the centre of the Supreme Court case has gone from bankrupt tennis coach to living Messiah and property mogul in a few short years.

Mr Benhayon established his religion, Universal Medicine, in 1999 after allegedly receiving a spiritual epiphany while sitting on the toilet.

“I just gave myself a time to sit and feel that moment and I could feel something really, really beautiful,” he said in a video obtained by Sunday Night.

Mr Benhayon claims to be the reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci and calls himself the “Ascended Master” or “One of The Hierarchy”.

He also tells his followers that they have experienced at least 2300 lives each.

His religion now has more than 2000 followers, from a range of professions including medicine, law and academia.

Mr Benhayon has claimed his religion doesn’t “keep people in a compound” or “lock the doors”, but he does demand extreme devotion from his members in return for the “Ageless Wisdom” he imparts.

Instead, hundreds of his followers have chosen to live close to his sprawling northern NSW estate, where he lives with his family and drives Audis.

He believes Audis are the only “energetically balanced” car in the world and will not drive any other vehicle.

He has also recently established a global headquarters, in the English countryside, where he has recruited hundreds more followers.

Mr Benhayon’s family was also discussed in the Sunday Night program, including his second wife, whom he allegedly met as a 13-year-old child, when her parents enrolled her as his tennis student.

His first wife, Deborah, and his current wife are still members of the cult to this day.

Cult campaigner Esther Rockett, one of Mr Benhayon’s victims, said Mr Benhayon has had “girls stay in his home since the 90s” and the NSW Supreme Court jury found he had an “indecent interest in girls as young as 10, whom he causes to stay at his house unaccompanied”.

Mr Benhayon sued Esther for defamation, but according to Sunday Night, when the jury returned from deliberation, they found against him.

The jury concluded that the cult leader had made fraudulent healing claims and duped innocent cancer patients.

What does Universal Medicine preach?

According to Sunday Night, Universal Medicine followers believe in a wild “mishmash of religion”, combining elements of reincarnation, the occult, Christianity and science fiction.

Followers are told to be wary of extraterrestrials that smell and watch them everyday.

Esther said Mr Benhayon would teach that alien creatures, with snouts and “pointy eyes”, could smell if members had consumed alcohol.

“If you drink alcohol, supernatural entities can invade you,” Esther said.

“If you drink alcohol, your baby can be raped by the entity that’s inside you. It’s just sick stuff.”

Followers are not allowed to consume alcohol, coffee, dairy, gluten, carrots or potatoes.

They are to be in bed by 9pm every night and must wake up at 3am every morning.

“He also says that women shouldn’t play sport as it leads to thickening of the vaginal walls,” Esther said.

The bizarre diet most recently put a 10-month-old baby in Lismore Base Hospital, suffering what appeared to be severe malnutrition.

The investigation also found that followers are encouraged to participate in some extreme forms of devotion and healing.

These include activities such as esoteric breast massage, which is performed by female followers and promises to assist “serious gynaecological disorders”.

Esther said there was no scientific or medical basis to the “ridiculous” practice.

Another disturbing treatment, uncovered in photographs, is a type of massage around the pubic area, which Mr Benhayon claims is healing for “rape recovery”.

“The photographs show Serge with his hands unmistakably on (a woman’s) pubic area and the text with the photograph says that it’s great for cases of rape recovery,” Esther said.

“If he was a registered health professional and he touched somebody’s pubic area and called it a healing for rape recovery, he would be deregistered.”

Esther Rockett

Esther has spent years fighting to expose Universal Medicine for the dangerous cult she knows them to be.

Esther first encountered Mr Benhayon in 2005, when she booked in for a healing session with him just outside of Lismore, in northern NSW.

She said she had been feeling stressed and run-down, symptoms that Benhayon pounced on to recommend an “ovarian reading”.

“He put his hands on my lower abdomen, just only a matter of centimetres above the pubic area,” she said.

He told Esther, “When you were five years old, a man in your life let you down.”

The statements grew increasingly distressing, until he claimed he could sense that in her teenage years, “A man in your life tortured you.”

“I walked out thinking, this guy’s a predator,” Esther said.


Pina, another one of Mr Benhayon’s early clients, told Sunday Night she had visited him for a healing session some time ago.

“His hands were down on my abdomen area and he asked, ‘Can I manipulate your pubic bone?’” Pina said.

Pina said she firmly told him “No”.

“Why would someone who is there to heal, want to touch my genitalia or pubic area?” she said.

When she rejected Mr Benhayon, she claimed he was not happy at all.

What’s worse, Universal Medicine preaches that disabled children are “reincarnations of evil, authoritarian figures from the past”.

“All autistic people are incarnate of former authority abuse over others,” audio footage of Benhayon, obtained by Sunday Night, reveals.

“As are Down syndrome, as are spastic, or any other disabled child.”

Pina, the parent of a person with autism, said the teachings were incredibly offensive.

“What kind of person says that about a child with a disability that … it is because in a past life, you were evil?” Pina said.

Judith McIntyre

Cancer patient, Judith McIntyre became an instant devotee of Universal Medicine.

According to the late Judith’s daughter, Sarah, Mr Benhayon duped her out of $1.4 million on her deathbed and convinced the dying woman that her own children were trying to “destabilise” her.

“Your children are trying to destabilise you, trying to evoke your sympathy,” Benhayon wrote in an email to Judith.

“It is all an attack on the funds that will help The Hierarchy’s work on Earth”.

Sarah said as a result of the emails, her mother handed over all her money to the cult and filmed a video, weeks before her death, where she spoke about how excited she was to die thanks to the religion.

“I felt really hurt, actually, because it was really clear that Serge was trying to drive a wedge between Mum and her children,” Sarah said.

According to Sunday Night, Universal Medicine doctrine says that bequests by parents to their children “will actually harm both the follower and their kids in their next life”.

Matt Sutherland

Matt lost his partner, Sarah, and their children to Universal Medicine after she and her family became caught up in the cult several years ago.

While Matt tried to be supportive and attend healing sessions with Sarah, he said he felt extremely uncomfortable by what he heard.

“I did have a few doubts. (Benhayon) would say things like, ‘If a man orgasms inside a woman, that woman is taking on his bad energy’. It’s very toxic to the relationship,” Matt said.

Despite attending more sessions, Matt and Sarah’s relationship broke down.

Matt described Mr Benhayon as a “human wrecking ball” and an extremely manipulative person who had changed his life forever.

Sarah has since married a high-ranking lieutenant in the Universal Medicine cult, and Sunday Night obtained footage of her talking about how great the religion is.

“I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t smoke cigarettes and I don’t even drink coffee,” Sarah said.

“I’m just smiling all the time, always feel great.”

According to Sunday Night, Mr Benhayon has not accepted the offer for an interview to share his side of the story.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.