When someone posturing as an ‘expert’ has no substantive expertise on the subject that they are asserting expertise in, it is likely that they will ultimately appear foolish or worse.
Esther Rockett has not only done just that, claiming expertise on the flimsy foundation of her ‘study’ of Universal Medicine’s publicly available books and audio recordings, from which she has made distorted claims, all the while admitting that she has no real inside knowledge, and then finding herself the defendant in defamation proceedings in two states for her pronouncements about Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine and others.
Esther Rockett’s only personal experience of Universal Medicine was 3 or 4 sessions with Serge Benhayon in 2005, an evening lecture and a two-day workshop at about the same time – she had no further personal contact with either Universal Medicine or Serge Benhayon before she began a vitriolic hate campaign in 2012 which appears to have consumed her every waking hour.
Esther Rockett’s obsession
Esther Rockett’s obsession with her target appears to have led to her being destitute, begging for financial support and declaring herself bankrupt.
We cannot provide explanation for why Esther Rockett has allowed her life to be taken over by her obsession – over the past 5 years she has been consumed by her activities to ‘bring down’ Universal Medicine and anyone associated with the organisation.
She has made countless complaints to Government authorities (with the accompanying extensive wasting of precious government resources that go with such empty complaints), with each complaint against Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine that she has made either being rejected outright for lack of evidence, or after investigations by the authorities concerned, no wrongdoing found.
Esther Rockett has pursued the targets of her obsession online, with extensive blogging canvassing all kinds of fabrications about them and social media activities designed to inflame an audience.
Many have asked: does she do anything else?
Apparently not, her registration as an Acupuncturist lapsed in 2015, she has admitted to being reduced to unemployment, has declared herself bankrupt, and is currently begging for others to support her financially, as she continues her obsession with her online and offline activities and defends legal proceedings.
She appears to use her unemployment as a badge of honour, rather than reflecting that it is perhaps an indicator of dysfunction.
Why is Esther Rockett unemployed?
In recent legal proceedings for debt recovery, Ms Rockett (under oath) admitted leaving her Acupuncture business because she ‘had enough’ of her business and had been offered a job.
It emerged from the cross-examination and evidence that was filed in the debt enforcement proceedings, that Ms Rockett has continued dispensing Chinese Herbs (although clearly not currently registered as a Chinese Herbalist) and has apparently had only one other casual job since her closing the doors on her Acupuncture practice – working as a copywriter for one of Lance Martin’s businesses, Exchange Travel. That employment was apparently not ongoing.
Perhaps she should have considered the security of the job offer before she abandoned other options – she had blithely ignored Lance Martin’s business history that was easily accessible online, even if she had chosen to ignore the summary of his business profile on this site.
Martin’s most recent business enterprise, Exchange Travel, recently staved off winding up proceedings for failing to pay a debt (for an unpaid solicitor’s bill). Martin must have found the $60,000 plus cash required to stave off the winding up proceedings which were withdrawn by the creditor on the day it was set down in court for hearing. It looks like his company will continue to limp along if Martin’s previous business record is anything to go by and if the online reviews for the business (and its trading arm ‘Travelalot’) are true.
It does not appear that Exchange Travel is going to be a good job prospect for Esther in the future.
In late November 2015, only a week or so after the first legal proceedings in defamation had commenced against her, Esther Rockett announced on Facebook that she had abandoned her Acupuncture practice of 20 years, and let her registration with AHPRA for her Acupuncture practice lapse.
In this sense, her claims to have been reduced to unemployment because of the legal case are, like much she asserts, not entirely true.
This spin appears to be part of a carefully constructed narrative to fit with her presenting as a victim of circumstance, or, as she would have her spin on it, the victim of bullying by a ‘cult’ – claims that have no foundation in fact, as the chronology of events confirms.
Esther Rockett has certainly whinged online about being put out of business by Universal Medicine, and had an outburst in court where she asserted that she and Lance Martin had both found their livelihoods dwindle due to how they had been portrayed online on this Facts site. However, barely a week later, in the same proceedings, whilst giving evidence under oath, when asked directly why she had given up her AHPRA registration and her business, she told the court she had ‘had enough’, suggesting that she had tired or lost interest in the venture and had another job offer.
Esther Rockett had already abandoned what she admitted under oath was a none-too successful Acupuncture practice in Brisbane in 2014, moving her practice to a new location where she had no established clients and arguably no prospects of developing her business. She simply moved her unsuccessful practice to another state where she was equally unsuccessful.
It is not clear why her business faltered, she had been practising for 20 years, however it certainly appears from an objective observation that her obsession with Universal Medicine developed over 2013 to 2014 so that it consumed her whole life.
Apparently being a full-time troll was more important to her than actually earning a living.
Although Esther Rockett appears to have been less than successful in her Acupuncture business, it appears she found a taste for the recognition and the oft fawning appreciation she received in her pursuits as an Internet Troll from Lance Martin and a few other hangers on. A recognition that appears to have fuelled her ongoing obsession.
It would be worth Esther Rockett reflecting that Martin’s interest in her and her pursuits might have been fuelled by self-motivation on Martin’s part, as Esther Rockett became the front for Martin’s vendetta to ‘bring-down’ Universal Medicine, whilst Martin remained out of sight, occasionally posting comments on her blogsite, most often cloaked in anonymity and hiding behind a selection of pseudonyms.
Why is Esther Rockett bankrupt?
There is no doubt that Esther Rockett’s conduct online and offline has seen her on the end of two defamation proceedings brought by Serge Benhayon in New South Wales and Ray Karam and Caroline Raphael in Queensland. Esther Rockett borrowed upwards of $70,000 to cover her defence of the legal proceedings largely from her family and a few ‘donors’.
After taking a couple of serious hits in the courtroom in the Queensland proceedings, that resulted in over $20,000 of costs awarded against her, she was prepared to ditch her responsibilities to her funders, literally throwing her funders under a bus, to avoid paying costs to Caroline Raphael and Ray Karam.
Her funders are now left with less than a remote prospect (remote because she is not working and has suggested that historically her business never amounted to much). Certainly, her wages from Lance Martin were of little amount.
However, her egregious conduct and her full-time obsession and the fact that she allowed her life to unravel as she pursued her obsession and drifted into unemployment could also be considered to be significant contributing factors towards her current circumstances.
The life of Riley: Lance Martin AKA Riley Martin
Esther Rockett certainly appeared to ‘blossom’ in her online presence as ‘Pranic Princess’ and ‘Venus Darkly’ (later changed to Darkly Venus perhaps realising V.D. was not such a good set of initials).
Gaining attention from one Lance Martin, she jumped into what began as his crusade to bring down Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.
It certainly appears that Esther Rockett was influenced by Lance Martin, a ‘business man’ who has run a series of online accommodation marketing businesses that rely heavily on telemarketing to sell accommodation package deals using overseas call centres.
Lance Martin was the director of ‘Sales Paradigm Pty Ltd’, that traded as ‘Hotels2go’. His previous business, ‘Hotel Marketing Group Pty Ltd’, traded as both ‘Hotel Bargains’ and ‘Bargain Breaks’. Prior to that, his business was ‘Freedom Escapes Pty Ltd’ trading as ‘My Platinum Blue’.
The business name has changed frequently, although apparently still selling the same accommodation deals.
A simple search online suggests that consumers have been less than satisfied with some of the services offered, and it would appear when one business name is muddied, the shrewd operator has changed business names and proceeded to keep trading the same products.
In his latest business venture, ‘Exchange Travel’, trading as ‘Travelalot’, Martin has been followed by the same bad reviews on ‘Tripadvisor’ and another online review site. We cannot verify that all these complaints are genuine, but there are an awful lot of them, here is a small selection, that gives some sense of the operations of the business:
- Re: Travelalot
10 April 2016, 10:26
Yes. This company owes my daughter & husband $1291.00. They had to postpone a fully paid for trip after their son was diagnosed with Leukemia.
Their son has now stabilized and they have been trying through countless phone calls and emails to rebook this holiday. Plenty of promises that someone will be in touch but no one will return their calls. They are distraught not knowing what to do.
- Re: Travelalot
11 April 2016, 15:57
They are a rip off so-called travel company. We have paid a $600 deposit & then they started altering the initial agreement. Impossible over the phone conversations. Office Of Fare Trading tried to retrieve our deposit and found the phone conversations impossible or not answered at all. They have some sort of address in QLD. STAY AWAY FROM THEM. . .
- Re: Travelalot
12 April 2016, 12:06
… have been trying to re-book since last September.The outstanding amount was confirmed but the standard excuse is they have to check with the Accounts Dept. Then nothing. They will not confirm anything by email. No one will.return calls.
They just want to have a well deserved break. . .
- Re: Travelalot
21 April 2016, 17:04
I’m not getting anywhere with this dodgy company. I put a disputed transaction through my credit card provider and Travelalot have blatantly lied to my cc provider to say the payment was authorised by me!! Lies!! Now my bank has told me to go back to the company and request a refund to my bank account. I have been advised by my bank not to give them my new cc number (I cancelled the old one after Travelalot took the unauthorised payment) as they may try and put more charges on my new card!!
I have also been told by Travelalot to remove my negative comments from various travel sites and Facebook. If I don’t they won’t refund me!! I’m going straight to the ACCC and consumer affairs. This company is a total scam operating under several business names. Their company is registered at a Queensland address but in reality the call centre is located in India.
Not sure I’ll ever get my money back but I’ll be posting the truth about these scam artists wherever I can. Ripping off a paraplegic is a new low. . . Stay well away!!!
- Re: Travelalot
23 May 2016, 13:17
I recently went on a holiday booked with them and I don’t recommend them at all. Neither would the three other couples that we met who shared their stories with us.
They take your deposit and then won’t return your call for months. Then you finally get them to respond and they find excuses to extort additional fees from you. On top of that some of the conditions to entice you like “complimentary dinner” and “vouchers for spa treatments” which are in the booking confirmation are not honoured by the resorts who incidentally blame the travel agent (careful Travelalot also change their name a lot) for the problems. Have I mentioned that there will be lengthy waits between connecting flights via Singapore which can be more than 24hours and in some cases they try to get you to fly (at your cost) out of an alternative airport (like Gold Coast for Sydney residents).
At least on Fawlty Towers the cast were just idiots not seemingly deliberately stuffing you around unlike these people do, perhaps in an attempt to make you give up on your voucher that you paid for or if you do get to the next stage the failure to deliver on promises of services that never existed will exhaust most. Then they try to extorte for money from you once your committing to a booking. Now they might have a registered office in Australia perhaps, but I’m sure their call centre is situated in India.
Arrange your travel instead through a local bricks and mortar travel agent. You’ll pay more but you’ll then have a holiday that doesn’t leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
Of course I’m sure they will deny all of this to the bitter end but do a Google search and you’ll find more horror stories.
Oh and one more thing. Check your credit card statement on a daily basis once you’ve handed over your details. . .
And finally, one of the latest reviews from January 2018 from ‘Tripadvisor’:
One week before our trip, sorry clitch (sic) with flight, we were given 3 options, one full refund which I agreed to, that was 10 months ago. Been to VCAT, they have been ordered to pay. Yeah right nothing yet. That was a couple of months ago. Now off to magistrates court to get our money back. They shouldn’t be allowed to advertise what they don’t deliver.
We cannot confirm if all the negative reviews are legitimate, or how many complaints have been made to the ACCC or Consumer Affairs about ‘Exchange Travel’, ‘Travelalot’ or Lance Dudley Martin AKA Riley Lance Martin, however there are a lot of negative reviews online and the presence of these suggests that there will be diminishing returns for Lance Martin’s business.
Perhaps not content with changes of business names to cover his tracks, Lance Martin has recently changed his name to Riley Lance Martin. This became apparent from an ASIC search done when researching this story.
Changing names in the circumstances, with a long line of company name changes behind him, raises the question: why the name change?
We cannot know if Lance changed his name due to a personally held dislike of his given name, Dudley Lance Martin, or whether there is a bit of a joke upon his unhappy customers, that whilst they are left on hold awaiting a response to their calls for refunds, he is set up to literally go about ‘living the life of Riley’.
Rockett came up with the ridiculous fiction that she and Lance ended up struggling in business because they had been targeted by Universal Medicine – she said as much in court when trying to put forward an argument about why she should not answer a question put to her about which of Martin’s companies she had been employed by.
By any account, it is a perception that is blinkered to her own and Martin’s choices.
It was certainly a stretch of the truth, since it was evident, from any objective view, that her and Lance’s fortunes (or misfortunes) appear to be as a result of their own conduct and nothing else, successfully digging themselves towards their own financial ruin.
Riley Martin however, appears to have been able to keep quite comfortable for himself, since we have been informed of the overseas trips included in his own itinerary, regardless of what his ex-customers are suffering.
Notably, in spite of the bravado that Esther Rockett presents in her blogging, she was ordered in court to answer the questions put to her on various matters, in particular about her employment with Lance Martin, her investors and other matters.
In the first hearing, apparently frustrated with her Counsel not objecting to a line of questioning, she took over her own ‘defence’. Her blustering appeared not so much the heroic action figure as she perceives herself, but simply objectionable. Some of her mutterings will no doubt be found on the court record.
Would you trust Lance Martin AKA Riley Martin?
Esther Rockett may not be the greatest judge of character if her devotion to Lance (AKA Riley) is any indication.
She has fawned in a blog that she could not wish for a dearer ‘friend or colleague’ than Lance, and apparently trusted him to provide much of the material on which she has based her blogging and complaints.
Esther Rockett early on admitted that the source for ‘much of her information’ on Universal Medicine was Lance Martin. In an early document the pair published for public consumption, she asserted that:
‘Esther has received much of her information from Lance Martin, who has liaised with journalists from the outset of media exposure of UM, and has single handedly uncovered most of the evidence of UM’s harms.’
The crazy thing is that there was no evidence of harms, as the results of the numerous complaints made to the HCCC and other agencies would have informed the pair.
Most sensible people look at the motives of their sources.
It is not insignificant that Lance Martin had laid blame for the demise of an already rocky 16-year relationship with Anna Douglass, at the feet of Serge Benhayon, refusing to listen to his wife’s contrasting account of feeling miserable in a marriage marked by money issues, emotional manipulation and controlling behaviour.
He became a man set on revenge for the loss of his beautiful and graceful ‘trophy wife’.
Esther Rockett trusted Lance Martin’s scandalous and often lurid accounts alleging suspicious deaths, sexual relationships with underage girls, charity rorts and tax fraud, and molestation; yet all the complaints that she and Martin have made against Serge Benhayon that were based upon Martin’s allegations have come to nothing.
Esther Rockett basically took up Martin’s cause and perpetuated such stories, either in government complaints or online, and spread a net of lies with which she intended to smother the reputation of her target.
Yet, if such serious allegations were true, a perpetrator, who had actually committed any one of these serious offences would be in prison.
Serge Benhayon is not. For there is nothing in the despicable allegations made against him. With each failed attempt at smearing their target, Martin and Rockett have tried another concoction of made up offences and sought to widen the scope of whom they could send complaints to.
Esther Rockett was only too willing to accept Martin’s strange accounts of the litany of allegations against Serge Benhayon. Whilst Lance Martin (AKA Riley Lance Martin) continues to take overseas holidays and live comfortably, Rockett is reduced to bankruptcy defending the fabrications she was fed by Martin.
Lance Martin AKA Riley Martin has been a notable absence in support of Esther Rockett in the courtroom thus far.
We wait to see if Lance Martin AKA Riley Martin fronts up as a witness for the defendant in the legal proceedings in Queensland and New South Wales. Perhaps he will find that September offers a great opportunity to travel overseas on one of his ‘Travelalot’ holidays.
After all, it is Esther who will take the fall.