To the Appalling Treatment of Women by the Media

by Brendan Mooney, Registered Psychologist BPsySci (Hons) AmusA, Australia

In recent weeks, there have been a number of articles written by the media in relation to women and Universal Medicine. These have contained misinformation and uninformed opinion. It is clear that little research was undertaken in their production. As a man reading these articles, the treatment of women has been no less than absolutely appalling. 

Universal Medicine has been described as a ‘cult’ with ‘up to 1000, mainly female’ ‘brainwashed’ ‘devotees’. Although the term ‘cult’ is used, the articles do not provide any evidence to the claim. There are no interviews of the women themselves, or printing of their stories. Instead, the information contained in these articles comes from a very small number of disgruntled members of the public, mainly men. Is it possible that this is a smear campaign and these opinions do not represent the majority who have attended the courses presented by Universal Medicine?

Working as a Psychologist, the term ‘cult’ carries heavy stigma for those involved and this term should never be used carelessly or when there is no evidence to justify this claim. Can you imagine how you would feel if you were labeled a ‘brainwashed’ ‘devotee’ to a ‘cult’ without any evidence being offered? These types of unsubstantiated claims can have extensive negative ramifications not only for the women but for their families too. Many women have young children who will now go to school amidst accusations that their mothers (and fathers) are involved in a ‘cult’. The treatment of women by the media in this way is utterly irresponsible to the truth they are otherwise supposed to report, as outlined in their journalist Code of Ethics.

Most media journalists belong to the Australian Journalists Association (AJA), and members are required to follow the AJA Code of Ethics. This code states a ‘respect for truth’ outlining that ‘members engaged in journalism commit themselves to honesty, fairness, independence and respect for the rights of others’. Specifically, the code states ‘report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis. Do your utmost to give a fair opportunity for reply’. The articles from the media have clearly breached this code, as fairness in the disclosure of all essential facts, namely information from the women themselves, has not been included. Even though it is a core responsibility of all journalists, a fair opportunity for reply has been rejected despite requests from the women themselves to be interviewed. As a result, what the reader receives is a completely distorted story denigrating women everywhere from all walks of life. Where is the common decency of the media here?

In attending a Universal Medicine event, an attendee enrols in a course and pays for it in the same way as other educational institutions. There are no recruiting methods used by Universal Medicine, no recurring fees, and no requirement to commit to attend all or even some of the events. However, none of this information has been reported in the media articles which would otherwise allow a reader to be more informed in making up their own mind.

If these women were interviewed and their stories told, society would have the opportunity to see how gentle, loving and deeply considerate these women are to themselves and others. These women honour what they truly feel and do not put up with abuse from others, whether within a relationship or in general. They go to bed early, exercise, eat a healthy diet and do not abuse their bodies with alcohol or drugs. You do not need any qualifications to know that going to bed early is good for you, and yet how many women in society actually do this consistently?

It is worth noting that some women who attend courses by Universal Medicine do not choose to change their lifestyle, and they are free to do so. Many women who attend courses are also well educated and successful in their respective chosen fields, including doctors, lawyers, school teachers, and allied health professionals. These women are intelligent and able to discern what naturally makes sense and what does not. In essence these women have decided for themselves to make loving choices in their lives to truly feel empowered and to support those around them. Is this not what we would encourage for all women? Rather than label these women as ‘devotees’ to a ‘cult’, we should be inspired by them as they have found a way to truly feel an inner strength and confidence within themselves. Women are naturally very nurturing and it would only be a blessing to society if we had more women living like this.

One of the questions we need to ask is ‘why do men feel uncomfortable when women start to truly honour themselves?’ In other words, when women start claiming what they feel is true, why do men feel threatened by this? This phenomenon needs to be honestly discussed in full, as the reaction that women are in a ‘cult’ may reflect more about men’s insecurities than having anything to do with the women. Are women to be accepted in society as long as they play by men’s rules? The fact is that we need more women like this because otherwise men would have no way of knowing just how far off they can be.

In the field of psychology and most other health disciplines, the majority of graduates are female. Do we label these women as ‘devotees’ of a ‘cult’ simply because most of the top jobs are employed by males? If the media were to print such opinions, there would be an enormous uproar from the public in response. And yet, when this occurs against a local business it is considered acceptable practice by the media. These types of unsubstantiated opinions are insulting to women across all societies, and demeaning to the general intelligence of women everywhere and their ability to make their own informed decisions.

In the scientific world, the coverage by the media in relation to women and Universal Medicine would be seen as biased and lacking in any credible evidence. It is absolutely shocking that journalists are free to claim whatever opinion they like without proof or needing to be accountable for their actions. To date there have been no media articles exploring the question of why so many intelligent, educated and well-respected women in society are attending courses run by Universal Medicine? Also why is Universal Medicine, a group with only about 2000 attendees, getting so much attention when there are many gurus or cults in society with tens of thousands of members? There are real stories to be told here by any journalist open to investigating these questions.

With the enormous rates of mental illness, substance abuse and domestic violence in society, we need more women who are prepared to go against the trend and make loving choices for themselves. In doing so, it may be unconventional or even off-putting to some, but never should we denigrate or demean women in any society when they have simply found a way to live that allows them to feel well within themselves.


92 thoughts on “To the Appalling Treatment of Women by the Media

  1. Thank you Brendan for asking the big question, ‘why do men feel uncomfortable when women start to truly honour themselves?’ From my own experience, the challenge can lead to behaviours that are completely unlike the man you met and connected with. Open and tender relationship becomes poisoned and even toxic as women begin to question the foundations upon which they stand upon and share. It becomes clear that much of what had been truly loving gets thrown out the window as women make loving choices that are honouring of ourselves first and foremost. Rather than choosing to express about how they feel about these changes, changes that are lovingly there for them to choose also, these men have shut down and turned away from maintaining the original connection. The grief of moving forward and leaving them behind however, is momentary compared to the newfound joy and harmony one has reconnected to. Allowing myself to complete these relationships has been difficult at times, as is accepting that one isn’t ready to be with the love you are….I simply trust in my connection, knowing eventually that by returning to my own love within, I am standing upon a foundation that endures for all time.

  2. I agree with you whole heartedly Brendan
    “One of the questions we need to ask is ‘why do men feel uncomfortable when women start to truly honour themselves?’ In other words, when women start claiming what they feel is true, why do men feel threatened by this? This phenomenon needs to be honestly discussed in full, as the reaction that women are in a ‘cult’ may reflect more about men’s insecurities than having anything to do with the women. Are women to be accepted in society as long as they play by men’s rules? The fact is that we need more women like this because otherwise men would have no way of knowing just how far off they can be.”
    I have a friend who is challenged because I’m offering him a possibility that he can allow his tender side to come out to play and he so wants too and I watch the internal struggle he has with him self. He is not one to go to the doctors but struggles through with what ever aliments he has. Recently though he went to the doctors which was just as well because he did need medication to get well. And that is a HUGE step in the direction of self care for him. And I noticed he is drinking less and not staying out so late. I look forward to observing other changes as he embraces these self loving acts.

  3. The total lack of care the media has is evident in the rejection of the women’s requests to set the record straight who have been tarnished by their accusations. They clearly have no interest in what the women may say, or, do not want to be exposed by the wisdom they would impart that would undoubtedly highlight the distortions, misinformation and poor tabloid parlour media games that they apparently base their journalistic ethics on.

  4. Truly awesome to have men like yourself, Brendan, who see what’s happening in our society and speaking up the truth. Which would be expected from professional journalists – but sadly not happening.

  5. Thank-you Brendan for telling it how it truly is. Why is it that those who attend Universal Medicine are accused of being in a cult and/or brainwashed when the women and men who are from all walks of life and attend the Universal Medicine presentations and workshops are just normal people who are simply choosing to be more lovingly responsible for their health and way of living. And why is there no reprimand when journalists don’t adhere to their own Code of Ethics, indeed what is the point of even having a Code of Ethics if there is no redress when it is so blatantly disregarded?

  6. Very well expressed Brendan Mooney. The careless use of a word like ‘cult’ reveals the irresponsibility at the heart of such stories. When we label people we don’t know, en masse, depersonalising them, we create a dangerous consciousness that breeds quickly playing off the fears and ignorance of others. History shows the potential results of such actions. It is lazy journalism and as a society we have a responsibility to say no to it.

  7. It’s true Brendan, women are naturally nurturing. Just shows how far we have come from this as a society for it to be seen as abnormal cult like behaviour to be looking after yourself.

  8. I choose to study with Universal Medicine, as a woman, because of how much I have grown as a woman since I began attending. What I have learned for myself I have learned no where else and I have studied with many organisations presenting on health before. Interestingly none of them really presented on self care, or if they did it was a quick subject on the side, paying lip service essentially. Self care is foundational to what Universal Medicine presents, but not in a functional way. In a way that is deeply nurturing and honouring of what our body is communicating. The other thing about beginning to live this way as that you realise that it is completely natural to live this way and that it is our natural way to treat ourselves. In my experience no one else ever presents this and I have never heard anyone else present this. Working in a caring profession to me this is essential.

  9. Here here, beautifully expressed Brendan Mooney. Thank you for printing those exact quotations from the codes of journalism – I imagined such things existed but to see in print just how far such articles have violated their own codes is interesting and very revealing. So corrupt to be laughing in the face of your own professional codes without choosing to see how awful it is that things have declined so since they were written.

  10. I’ve never really thought about it but even the journalists’ choice of who they interview can put a completely different slant on their story which can make the final version fiction instead of fact.

  11. ‘Why do men feel uncomfortable when women start to truly honour themselves?’ – what a challenging and good question! And not just men start to feel uncomfortable – women as well. When we get presented that there is another way to live that is not just successful but healthy, joyful and rich in a deep meaning of being connected – what are we doing? Do we rejoice and celebrate that someone did find the way out of our mess and take them as an inspiration? Or do we blame them as stupid and make them look certifiable to bring down the reflection we’ve got. The reflection of ‘taking responsibility’ does work and brings in fact the change we are all longing for but don’t have the courage to bring into action.

  12. Funny this world of ours with brainwashed that have never been brainwashed and accusers totally tainted by false images of themselves and the allegedly brainwashed. Their words carry no true value.

  13. When a woman begins to live in a way that is true for her it undoubtedly can cause reactions in others. I have noticed and felt reactions from women and from men as I make changes to support and care for myself but interestingly I am realising it has been the reactions from men that I have not been so willing to address and often have reacted to their reactions. It makes total sense to me as to why some men react and reading Brendan’s blog has supported me to take this deeper in order to have a better understanding in order to live observing and not absorbing another’s reaction.

  14. This is a very educated and informed read. I appreciate the background of the author a psychologist.
    To also note, because of the author’s educational status or ‘class’ it will maybe be more accepted by the reader. Not only the media use this ploy but so do we as a society. We tend to take sides with education as it is today or the ‘latest research’ and back the what I would call it ‘common knowledge’ which in truth is just being repeated and said a different way..
    Here we have a challenge to this status quo “Universal Medicine”.
    The media represent the status quo of our society by repeating and claiming a new story. Is it a new story though or is it just a balancing of people’s choices as most news items are and seen as a great despair and devastation. Where is a story about evolution? Another claiming back their truth within – a truth that is already there laying dormant waiting for the rediscovery.
    I wonder and deeply ponder on what as a society we have built ourselves on?
    Is it possible we will find other sources to seek our truth than the media barons we seek out of bad habit now?
    Like Facebook for instance and the internet where amongst the degrading filth of porn, femicide, cyber bullying, SPAM and trickery we will find harmony, evolution and true love or, do we just need to look within?

  15. I’m surprised to read that there is a Code of Ethics for journalists. Based on what I’ve read in the media I presumed they could just print what ever they wanted as that is what they seem to do. As far as I can see it is profit, as it is what stories sell, that takes priority and ethics doesn’t come into the equation.

  16. It is such an important question to ask: “why do men feel uncomfortable when women start to truly honour themselves?” It is so often in reaction to women stepping up their game that men react. I feel it is about the fact that men don’t like the reflection as it is for us to then also honor our own deep tenderness and love. This is the big question that is asked from men, are we willing to make the step and let go of our giant shields?

  17. I love that Universal Medicine has empowered women to make responsible and loving choices for themselves and inspired them to embrace their authority and power in expressing themselves confidently in all their glory. The world desperately needs reflections such as this. To attack this in any form is indeed appalling.

  18. Beautifully expressed Brendan, Universal Medicine has definitely encouraged and inspired both women and men to make more loving choices, and as a result many of our lives have been transformed, if the media think that we are ‘brainwashed’ they have it totally wrong, there is no pressure or persuasion, just the freedom to choose.

  19. Our media is in a mess, completely corrupt and not fit for purpose. I don’t buy newspapers and haven’t done so for a few years and I mostly avoid all Radio and TV news. And you know what, I feel much happier without that stream of misery washing over me every day. The media will not change so long as what we want to read is lies about celebrities etc. It is up to us to demand a media that delivers truth, otherwise we will continue to have one that delivers lies.

  20. Thank you Brendan, it is very beautiful to read these lines and feel how much you honour women in their true expression, quite to the contrary of many journalists and men of other professions in the world today.

  21. A very clear article that makes a lot of sense and not only that supplies us with some concrete facts, a lesson for any budding journalists out there. It’s great to see an article exposing something, giving us a great story and delivering with it the truth of what is really happening. Perhaps this is the way to bring the current media back? Not only show them where they are gone wayward in respect to their very own code but also write articles that give them a framework, an outline on how to do it next time. I am not suggesting they will take any notice but at the very least there is something for them and us all to consider.

  22. ‘To date there have been no media articles exploring the question of why so many intelligent, educated and well-respected women in society are attending courses run by Universal Medicine?’ Interesting, and as far as I know this statement is still true. Are not the media responsible to present unbiased truthful writings that considers all angles of the story?

  23. The women “followers” almost need to be labelled as brainwashed as otherwise the contrived story would not make sense. If it was reported that they were strong, considerate and aware women, it just wouldn’t work with the pre-decided angle of the story.

  24. At the end of this month I will be doing my last payment for a course I did by a popular new age presenter. It’s given me nothing but a big hole in my wallet. The courses by Universal Medicine are ridiculously cheap in comparison and bring you a million times more of value in return. Over and out.

  25. It is still surprising to feel that looking after ourselves, be it women or men causes disturbance in others to the point where they react openly. Why doesn’t harming ourselves with substances and food cause the same response?

  26. The grip of ‘photoshopping’ life on people working in mass media is high. Photoshop is a program that is capable of altering the truth of what is out there to something else. It is usually done through images but words are equally capable of creating images in the mind of the reader. Photoshopping is always about delivering a package that works as such. It is about the whole as much as about the details. The way it works is to start with something that is true and work on it to distort its features and end up with something that is a false ad-hoc created image aimed at provoking an emotional reaction in the reader/viewer. The stories about Universal Medicine are mere examples of this.

  27. Thank you Brendan for your blog, It brings clarity and order there where the media have brought lack of transparency.

  28. Having attended courses presented by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine I can honestly say I am treated with the utmost respect and integrity, as I am when I see any one of their practitioners, and I have made many loving changes to my life, when women are labelled as ‘followers’ it makes out that they are not capable to discern for themselves which is a long way from the truth.

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