A Matter of Integrity

The treatment of Universal Medicine in the press of late brings up some serious questions and concerns around journalistic integrity. In the interests of disclosure let me first state that I am a long-time participant at Serge Benhayon’s courses and workshops. But while risk of bias is noted, my arguments are nonetheless solid when I point out that journalistic integrity was missing in recent articles by two press journalists about Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

Honesty, accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts along with a fair opportunity for reply are the basic foundation of the Australian Journalism Association Code of Ethics. The Journalism code, states that where a source seeks anonymity, do not agree without first considering the source’s motives and any alternative attributable source.

The articles maintained that Universal Medicine was a cult, led by ‘cult leader’ Serge Benhayon. This was an extremely damming accusation towards a man who is well regarded in the community and widely respected as a practitioner and presenter of Complementary Medicine therapies. The basis of the articles was provided by a number of anonymous people who, claimed that Universal Medicine ruined their relationships.

Yet neither journalist specifically sought out each of their partners to find out the other side of the story as to their reasons why the relationship broke up, apart from a brief mention that was buried in the latest SMH article. And therein lies the problem … the articles by both journalists were skewed to represent one side of the story, hence the many inaccuracies.

And whilst there has been doubt cast by the print journalists about esoteric modalities, perhaps some interviews with practitioners’ clients would have provided a balanced viewpoint, rather than rely on the word of people with a cross to bear. With further investigation, the journalists may then have revealed the truth that thousands of normal, everyday people have benefitted from seeing Universal Medicine accredited practitioners. Medicine and Serge Benhayon blog.

Serge does not tell people not to see a registered doctor if they are ill. He openly states he is pro-medicine and that esoteric and conventional medicine can and always should work side by side. The information is openly available on the Esoteric Medicine audio presentations on the Universal Medicine website. Why didn’t the journalists check this?

Serge presents information about the effects of various foods, drinks and self-destructive behaviours and it is up to people to make their own decisions if they wish to modify their eating or living habits. For the many that have, including myself, life is much more vibrant and healthy.

And as for the contention that Serge ‘exerts control over lovemaking behaviour’ – that is far from the truth. What is pointed out is that we live in a society where, increasingly, ‘aggressive sex’ has become the norm, and this is at the expense of ‘making love’ and enjoying the deep and connected relationships that we are capable of.

Investigative journalism is essential and can provide a service to society by uncovering unscrupulous practices. Perhaps the best example is the work done by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein from the Washington Post when they uncovered the ‘Watergate’ affair in the early seventies, ultimately bringing down Richard Nixon.

Woodward and Bernstein were meticulous in verifying truth and would not publish unless their sources’ statements had been validated. True investigative journalism is about ethics.

Unfortunately ethical reporting appears to have gone out the window with the many inaccuracies appearing in these articles about Universal Medicine. Did the journalists have a predetermined agenda to destroy or damage Universal Medicine’s reputation? If not, why did they not provide balanced articles? But then again, there’s nothing like truth to get in the way of a good story.

It’s a matter of integrity.

By Rod Harvey


105 thoughts on “A Matter of Integrity

  1. With the press abuse that has flared up again towards Universal Medicine it has come to light that Lance Martin, who has been a key source of evidence in the multitude of stories reported for the past 6 years, has himself been exposed for his business dealings that suggest a lack of trustworthiness, to say the least, by a televised report on A Current Affair https://www.universalmedicine.news/rotten-source-riley-lance-martin. Yes, lack of journalistic and investigative integrity and most likely a conflict of interest or vested interest is what drives such reporting to be a misrepresentation of what is true, but also we the public have a responsibility as to the quality of news we are asking to be supplied with, through the degree of truth we are really wanting to be presented with.

  2. Journalists are all too often now pushing the boundaries of what is morally acceptable and hide behind what they consider to be public interest, however as a body they are losing their integrity and as a result journalists need to relook at their values and live by those values that will bring back the integrity they have lost.

    1. Yes, the extremes of poor journalism are becoming worse as we see sensationalism, hype, gossip and press abuse taking precedent and are seemingly being accepted as ‘normal’. Absolutely, press media and media in general have a responsibility as to what they are supplying but so do we with what we are asking for. As the public that consumes media what is it that we are demanding and why are we being supplied with such corrupted reporting? Are we really ready to see the truth, or are we ‘happy’ with avoiding the truth that is always there to be presented and instead opting for entertainment, sensationalism and gossip instead?

  3. Each time this happens I realise I still believe that people want to tell the truth more than they want the ‘readers’ or the ‘hits’ and the only way to get that is sensational headline and salacious story which is easier to get out there and consider the consequences afterwards than to do the research and due diligence first. It saddens me, frustrates me, angers me and then I realise that I have enabled the behaviour by not speaking up and speaking out earlier. We all have a part to play when we see extremes of corruption because we have let those small things go.

  4. It is clear that when you have a one sided version of a subject that there is no true clarity of the whole, therefore we rely on journalists’ integrity to make sure they produce an article that is both balanced and fair.

  5. When we face cases of abuse by journalists, we are forced to ask: what is the problem? The lack of a clear ethics code? Its lack of enforcement? Or the fact that the code of ethics is not there to help journalists to truly serve us? The last question forces us to reflect on the fact that even when there is no an obvious case of open abuse, media is not an evolutionary agent.

  6. The sad thing is that how many of us were brought up to believe and assume that what was written in the media was true? I know I have been one who wouldn’t have dreamt to question or discern a newspaper or any news in the media but boy how I have changed! My awareness to discern not just in the news but in my every day is building and even when something doesn’t feel quite right I am learning patience!

  7. The absence of integrity in the media report seems to have become the way it is and we seem to be no longer surprised by that. We seem to have become immune to the absence of integrity as our standard keeps slipping and we now have very little decency and respect to each other on every level. Not returning a call/email seems to have become normal, making others wait or not turning up to something we said we would, or not even bothering to let others know what we would do, not keeping our promises and not doing what we said we would do – sometimes we can be so unreliable and expect others to be ‘understanding’. Are we willing to bring more decency and respect in our own day to day interactions?

    1. Fumiyo I love your point here, a lack of decency and respect has crept into all areas of our lives, perhaps this is why in general we don’t have an issue with the lies printed in the paper, until of course its related to us. I agree that the overall decency and integrity we live with need to be in question here not just the media.

  8. How often have we heard this, “there’s nothing like truth to get in the way of a good story.” It’s pretty much used anywhere these days when it comes to attempting to understand the current forms of journalism or media. It’s like we get to a certain point and knowing what we are seeing and yet can’t quite put our finger on it. We know we see a story, we know it’s not the truth and we possibly throw it away a bit by not going further to understand what we see or expose what we have seen. The more we allow this way of being or behaviour to exist the more momentum it gathers into our society. As this article is saying back in the 1970’s it wasn’t how things were reported, there was an integrity there and back them it was possible simply common sense. The allowing of any ‘story’ to go through without the truth being seen will allow more and more of the same. There was a way of living that held this up in the 1970’s that is now further eroded in the 2017’s. We don’t need to return to that era we need to live that era’s value right now.

  9. ‘The Journalism code, states that where a source seeks anonymity, do not agree without first considering the source’s motives and any alternative attributable source’ and when it comes to integrity Rod, this statement says it all.

  10. Rod, great breakdown on what true ethics and integrity in journalism are and it’s obvious how far we’ve strayed from them with regards to Universal Medicind and indeed many others who’ve been wrongly vilified. Journalism in many cases now seems to come with a predefined agenda often from the proprietors themselves in addition to the journalists themselves – it’s a huge abuse of power, corruption in other words. This needs to change and it starts with us standing up and calling out the abuse and corruption we see.

  11. Basic journalistic practice should present the facts through investigative journalism, it’s about ethics, the facts and not about hearsay, or presenting a slanted view. People want to read a fair and balanced view, they don’t want to read something that has already made a decision for them.

    1. I would say this is the foundation for any news article, even if it is letting you know what is happening next week. There are ethics, responsibilities, due diligence to be done and I keep wondering why it is one rule for some and another rule for others… quite a bizarre way to live yet there is no part of me that would consider joining them because I would much rather sleep well and not impose anything like that on another person. It is not what I choose to make my life about.

  12. Impressive blog Rod Harvey. A well written article on not only exposing journalism and its ethics today, but proven value of it if used in “meticulous in verifying truth and would not publish unless their sources’ statements had been validated.” A known site that stands to this high code of ethics and value is http://universalmedicinefacts.com

  13. It is a sad fact that a lot of people are not interested in investigating to find out truth but are just focussing on having their own ideals and beliefs confirmed in order to maintain their status quo.

  14. “True investigative journalism is about ethics.” There is an investigative report to be written about why so many in journalism and the media disregard the ethics of their trade and have no respect for integrity.

  15. Let’s face it, the fact that the press can publish blatant lies and get away with this, shows very clearly that industry regulation does not always protect the public against dishonest choices, and behaviours. The truth is that industry self-regulatory schemes work only if there is the threat of state intervention in case of abuse. The press does not suffer from such distant threat. So they publish what they want even if it has not an ounce of truth.

  16. Ethical journalism does appear to be sorely lacking as a norm and not just regarding Serge. As such, what is offered to humanity is no longer a true service but a manipulation and misinterpretation of the facts for the purpose of greed or recognition. However it is our apathy in the face of this that allows a lot of the media today to continue to spoon feed us what it is without calling it to account on what it is truly up to.

    1. So true Samantha. For years I simply stopped reading the newspapers or watch the news because I could not stand the bias and often very one sided reports. But this is just trying to ignore what is going on and is not really addressing it either, much more important to actually start to speak up about it as is happening on this blog, which is why I value this site and appreciate the people involved with Universal Medicine, because they have the guts to open their mouth.

  17. Thank you Rod for a great article about the lack of integrity in the media whose practices are definitely against their own code of ethics. “Honesty, accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts along with a fair opportunity for reply are the basic foundation of the Australian Journalism Association Code of Ethics. ” After reading the lack of truth in their reporting about Serge I now ask myself the question is there any truth in what is being presented anytime in the media.

  18. I agree Rod there is very little perspective offered by sections of the media today. I read an article recently on how sex has changed for young people today, the influence that pornography has had on young boys and men and how this has skewed their view on the physical act itself and girls are also being exposed to the same thing altering their views. Resulting in more aggressive actions and requests. Now this is not necessarily in the popular media and not published consistently. I can say that exploring sex as a young person was not like this for me or my friends, so what is changing? The fact that is it changing is a terrible blight on what it says about how we are in relationships and how men and women are with each other and of course ourselves. Then we have Serge Benhayon who talks about this, not to criticise in any way, but to bring awareness to so that we know what is going on, so we don’t continue to bury our heads in the sand. He also talks about our relationships and that it is very possible to live in a way where there is not an ounce of abuse and only a way of living that comes from love, because that is our natural way of being. So the question I have is why is a man like Serge Benhayon being highlighted in the media for this and we are not making the big deal of the abuse that is going on everyday in our communities. Our priorities are all screwed up.

  19. Spot on Rod, journalistic integrity was buried very deep when these articles were written about Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. I was interviewed for the Brisbane articles and not a word of what I said made it to print. The journalist, Josh Robinson, clearly had the story written already, and did not let the facts get in the way.

  20. Brilliantly written Rod. And how on earth have these reporters not been penalised for breaching the apparent journalism code of conduct. That’s the most outrageous part of it, that society accepts that we are lied to daily. How many times have we had a conversation with someone and laughed at the rubbish we’ve been fed by the media? We don’t take it seriously, why is that? How can such a powerful industry be so ignorant and arrogant, but more importantly how and why do we, the listeners, the consumers, allow it?

  21. A story that only tells one side or version without considering the whole from all angles is always going to be inaccurate.

  22. Just to focus on this part alone for now, “And as for the contention that Serge ‘exerts control over lovemaking behaviour’ – that is far from the truth. What is pointed out is that we live in a society where, increasingly, ‘aggressive sex’ has become the norm, and this is at the expense of ‘making love’ and enjoying the deep and connected relationships that we are capable of.” We all know this if we are honest, but no-one has been brave enough to say these things and ask humanity to stop and reconsider. What an amazing man that he loves us all so much that he is prepared to put up with all these lies rather than stop saying what needs to be said. I thank you Serge Benhayon with all my heart.

  23. It seems to me like almost all of journalism begins with a predetermined agenda, even if it’s just to paint the bleakest picture possible, there’s no balance or truth in this style of reporting, and as you say absolutely zero integrity. We need to actually know the facts and the truth of what’s going on, not a paper’s predetermined agenda, or someone’s un-researched opinion.

  24. Integrity is something that is sadly missing from so much media these days. In fact it would be great if it was taught in schools. It is vital as a society that we maintain value in integrity. This thirst for ratings and click bait seems to be trampling on some values that need to remain dear to us.

  25. For matter of a certain persons privacy for now I will remain anonymous, even though no such right was afforded to me by this certain person. I will share that my previous partner is a person that has unresolved issues with our past relationship. Instead of taking any responsibility for the reason things broke down between the two of us, this person has jumped on a bandwagon and given themselves a get out of jail free card. This ‘bandwagon’ was taken to the internet and to other media outlets by others that also have unresolved issues, they all have a common goal and that is to blame others for their personal issues.
    After many years of a toxic relationship I thought we were finally heading into a good place. I had put up with years of abuse for a blind commitment to a picture I had of a ‘perfect family’. After going to see someone to help with our relationship all appeared to be improving or had it? All the right things were being said to me and I thought the picture was back on track. At the time I was paying for all the living expenses we shared while this person was spending their spare time going behind my back trying to get media attention. I was disgusted and when confronted with what I found out this person freely admitted they just enjoyed the attention that this was bringing to them and it wasn’t personal to me.
    When questioned this person directly about the lies his reply was ‘ that he knows that Unimed had nothing to do with our break up.”
    The media thrive on anything that sounds scandalous, even if its source is a couple of unhinged revenge filled ex-partner that are willing to lie for a story.
    In one of these stories my full name and photo were used, without being interviewed, consulted or even made aware that the article was being published. This is truly a disgrace and shock to be on the receiving end of, there is zero integrity included in the process.

  26. We are all responsible for our choices in life and in my experience Universal Medicine has always presented this fact very clearly. If relationships have broken up then the responsibility for this lies with those who made that choice and not with an organisation that supports people to be more self-aware and self-loving – or would we rather remain unaware and have relationships that have no true foundation? Through embracing this self-awareness my relationships have flourished, because I find what I need within me and have no need for others to be anything other than who they are.

  27. Well said Rod, the lack of integrity these journalists have displayed has completely destroyed any trust in the media whatsoever.. After reading these blatant lies and gross inaccuracies I can no longer read a newspaper. It has opened my eyes to just how manipulated our news is. I knew it was bad but this really brought it home. It is not news at all. It is worse than the usual sensationalise rubbish that titillates and entertains a bored audience; it is designed to destroy and debase but all it has truly managed to destroy in the end is any trust in the media.

  28. I agree – it is a matter of integrity. We desperately need to bring integrity back into our daily lives and not accept the gross lack of integrity that has seeped into every area of life as we know it.

  29. There’s a few things to comment on in what you write Rod and the first is that relationships break up because there are two people that cannot seem to communicate enough. Blaming someone or something else is just choosing to not take self responsibility. Relationships are like bridges – they have two holding points and need those two to be solid and contributing otherwise the bridge will not hold.

  30. There are comedy shows about unscrupulous journalists throwing together a story and not caring to check their sources and just hungry for ratings. These media people seem to have taken their ethics from such shows.

  31. Thanks Rod for your common sense blog which exposes a gaping hole in the integrity of the journalists involved in writing the articles criticizing Serge Benhayon. Checking all the facts would seem to me to be a very basic starting point for journalists when writing any articles and certainly not an optional aspect. What I also find alarming is that editors have then approved such stories to go to print which shows that there are layers here within the one industry that are lacking any form of integrity. Yet the media is generally so influential in daily life around the world. What is interesting is that more and more people are finding their way to presentations by Serge Benhayon and finding that what he is saying makes sense and are gradually changing their lives as a result. The truth does come through in the end.

  32. Great article Rod, yes it is a matter of integrity. The truth always reveals itself because that is its true nature and one day the truth will be held higher than the need to emotionally influence, persuade or hold back others for personal gain, recognition or success for the evolvement of humanity equally.

  33. Thank you Rod, what an amazing blog. Could it be the ethics of the journalist involved in the lies against Universal Medicine align to and assist in not wanting the truth exposed?

  34. I’d love the word ‘Integrity’ to be reinstated globally as a word of top importance and a quality everyone aims to live by. We can see the result of there being so little integrity, it’s especially obvious in careers like journalism, and the result is ugly and results in many people losing trust in mankind.

    1. Me too, and great idea Meg! In this regard, it’s important to note that it’s not just about using the word per se, but that this quality is truly and actually lived and practised.

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