The Facts About The Universal Medicine ‘Cult’ Allegations
How did Universal Medicine get called a cult?
The cyber-bullies Esther Rockett and Lance Martin have based and developed their attacks on Universal Medicine by saying it is a cult. They have repeated this anywhere and everywhere that they could get a place to troll or an ear to listen. They have brandished the term ‘Universal Medicine cult’ or that there is a ‘Serge Benhayon cult’ as if there was proof and facts to back these lies up.
There are none.
We have to ask how Esther Rockett came to use the term ‘Universal Medicine cult’. It was the press who adopted this label in 2012, but how did the media get the idea that Universal Medicine was a cult? Here we have a successful business offering healing workshops that has grown without promotion or advertising, simply by word of mouth. It has a dedicated student body who choose to make certain lifestyle choices not by force or coercion, but simply because they make sense to health and wellbeing.
The word ‘cult’ was carefully chosen to cause harm – since it has strong negative connotations. The modern perception of a cult has been made synonymous with events such as the Jonestown Massacre, WACO and Aum Shinrikyo through media coverage thriving on drama. The word cult thus evokes images of dangerous charismatic leaders with devoted followers who are brainwashed into bizarre beliefs and practices who may at any time be persuaded to end their lives at the whim of the cult leader.
This media driven approach has not presented the public with the truth of the hundreds of thousand smaller religious groups practicing peacefully and quietly in communities around the world. It also means that any organisation that is branded ‘cult’ will be viewed with mistrust, derision, fear and anyone who chooses to be associated with it will be considered a brainwashed follower. So it is a useful label if you have an agenda and want to attack an organisation you do not like.
A couple of journalists looking for a story jumped upon the ‘cult’ story when approached by a couple of disgruntled husbands whose wives had finally left them. The women concerned left what they considered to be unhappy marriages with no possibility of reconciliation.
These men had researched their approach using the Rick Ross forum, an American anti-cult site, to determine how to orchestrate this attack and then proceeded using all the clever tricks that the anti-cult movement had developed over its 50 year history and refined with the advent of the internet and the harm that can be exerted by one person and a keyboard.
It was into this scene that Lance Martin found his way via the Rick Ross forum. Lance Martin – a man whose second wife finally left him after a series of separations was incensed by his wife leaving their rocky 16 year relationship. Apparently fuelled by revenge, believing his wife had left him because of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, he became preoccupied with getting her back at all costs. This preoccupation led him to vow to ‘see Serge go down’ and ‘out of business asap’. The cult angle and the approach of the anti-cult movement fit his agenda exactly. What better approach than to make sure the object of his vengeance would be labelled a ‘cult’ and then treated with derision, mistrust and fear. It might even serve to make his wife believe him – perhaps that is what he hoped.
So Lance Martin sold his cult story to the media – he painted himself as the abandoned husband whose wife had run off and joined a cult. The media has taken an interest in the ‘cult’ angle on stories over the years – it creates an interest in a story that otherwise might be mundane. In Lance Martin’s case it was the mundane and uninteresting story of a woman leaving a dysfunctional marriage. Lance Martin was unable to accept that his wife left him, so he had to concoct, in his own mind, a story whereby his wife became the brainwashed follower who left him to follow Serge Benhayon. Interestingly his wife had participated in Universal Medicine work for many years with no apparent concerns from her husband.
What is key here is that there is no such thing as brainwashing and in this case the label ‘Universal Medicine cult’ was used to serve Lance Martin’s agenda to get his wife back.
Although it is a very odd tactic to get your wife to return by insisting that she is so mindless and subservient that she is a brainwashed follower. It is hardly likely to engender any feelings of remorse on the part of his wife. It suggests a lack of human empathy that Lance Martin would be willing to paint his wife as brainwashed, gullible and mindless. But such was his blinkered vision, he has proceeded with no apparent awareness of the consequences of his actions. On this site we will provide readers with psychological profiles of cyberbullies that indicate that many cyberbullies exhibit sociopathic tendencies.
Esther Rockett supported Lance Martin by commencing her hate blogs and found expression in her cyber-bullying escapades for her vicious alter egos that she named Venus Darkly and Pranic Princess. Her blogging gave vent to her narcissistic view of herself as a cult buster and expert on all things about cults.
What a grave misapprehension Esther Rockett is under. She is not a cult expert as any evaluation of her material she produces shows. Esther Rockett relies upon some academic material from RJ Lifton and the discredited American psychologist Margaret Singer. The latter shared some similarities to Esther Rockett in that she too believed that she knew a cult when she saw one and destroyed her own career as she tried to give her unfounded and unsupportable ideas about mind control, thought reform and brainwashing credibility. She ended up with a career in tatters as the American courts, following the trend of the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological society, distanced themselves from her unscientific and unsupportable views.
Margaret Singer was the darling of the American anti-cult movement and it is amongst these anti-cultists that Esther Rockett appears to have developed her preoccupations with mind control, thought reform and brainwashing and her approach to labelling all things Universal Medicine or Serge Benhayon related as ‘cult’.
We again state, there is no such thing as mind control, thought control or brainwashing. These are all ways that the anti-cult movement has sought to elicit fear and apprehension of religious groups that may run counter to the dominant and accepted religions on offer.
So we ask – what makes a cult?
Bouma, G. (2011). Cults are the cost of an open society, ABC Religion and Ethics, Australian Broadcasting Association.
Anthony, D. (1990). ‘Religious Movements and Brainwashing Litigation: Evaluating Key Testimony.’ In T. Robbins and D. Anthony (Ed.s), In Gods We Trust . New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction. pp 295-344
Anthony, D. ‘Psuedoscience and Minority Religions: An Evaluation of the Brainwashing Theories of Jean-Marie Abgrall.’ Social Justice Research (1999), Vol 12 Issue 4, pp 421-456