Letter to the SMH: Sophisticated attempt at sensationalism

by Rebecca Poole, Clayfield, Australia

I am a woman who is also a wife and a mother.  I work, change nappies, buy groceries, laugh, have fun, get tired, feel hurt, love my husband and occasionally clean the toilet. I am also one of the many beneficiaries of the courses and workshops held by Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon.  Your article “The Da Vinci mode”, published August 25 in the Good Weekend, purports to be an unbiased expose on Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine however in my view it is merely a sophisticated attempt at sensationalism whose intention is to alienate readers from the everyday hardworking decent people that attend Universal Medicine courses.

The journalist seeks to highlight the more intangible energetic teachings whilst the more simple, practical and common sense philosophies are denied.   This story uses the relationship breakdown of a handful of people to misrepresent the character of Serge Benhayon giving no voice to the hundreds of relationships that have benefited by this work.  Relationships break down all of the time and too often work, friends, children, in-laws even modern society are blamed or caught in the cross fire.  In this far it doesn’t surprise me that there are people who blame Universal Medicine for the breakdown of their relationships.  However it is sad that these critics cannot feel the true integrity of Universal Medicine and in such are not willing to TRULY take responsibility for their own relationships.

111 thoughts on “Letter to the SMH: Sophisticated attempt at sensationalism

  1. My feeling is that the critics do feel the integrity of what Universal Medicine (re)presents and that is the very reason why they remain as such. Shame really, learning to take self-responsibility is such a liberating and empowering journey in itself.

  2. The media are well known for sensationalising their stories, their aim is maximum readership, and sadly not maximum responsibility for delivering the truth.

  3. It is for us as readers to read beyond what has been said in the news, verifying the source of information and listening first hand to the people exposed in the news to have a balanced and true version of the facts exposed, which in this case have been clearly misrepresented. I can say this, because after attending Universal Medicine events for some years now, I haven’t seen anything strange in them. In fact, they have been very supportive for my life, which is quite the opposite of what is said in some media… so being critical with the media is a good way of finding truth.

  4. What Serge Benhayon presents cannot be faulted. Yet, what people do with the teachings, how they use them in their own lives, it is something that it is up to them. Serge can only be responsible for what he delivers and what he delivers does not ever go against anyone and is never to encourage loveless behaviours and thoughts. It is up to us students not to misuse the teachings and hence not to expose the work for reasons that have nothing to do with it. If we misuse the work we open a door for the work to be attacked unfairly.

  5. A sophisticated piece of sensationalism that gives no consideration to the hundreds of relationships that have benefitted from Universal Medicine or to the everyday, common sense, livable wisdom it presents. Yes Rebecca, you’ve hit the nail on the head as to what was so wrong with this article and what is so, so right about this much and falsely maligned organisation.

  6. Taking responsibility for the relationships I have is just one of the many responsibilities that become apparent through the teachings that Serge Benhayon shares. We are innately responsible for our lives and embracing this becomes a joy-full work in progress.

  7. Sensationalism sells newspapers, but sooner or later the truth comes out, and here we are years after this article was published still living a joyful purposeful loving life. That was the real story, and one the world desperately wants to hear.

  8. You took the words out of my mouth Rebecca. Blame is a game played by people who do seek to avoid responsibility for their lives. Responsibility is a beautiful way to live and the true foundation of any relationship. Every relationship I have is vastly improved because of my involvement with Universal Medicine – and this is because it teaches me about the true value of the relationship with myself first and how this is the foundation of all that I am and do in life.

  9. Absolutely agree – all the people I have met through Universal Medicine are normal everyday people, who have normal jobs, laugh, cry, take the rubbish out and change nappies, any picture painted by the media that suggests something sensationalised and different to this is this is simply a lie.

  10. There are more and more common sayings going around these days, “I would trust the media as far as I could kick them”, “Don’t believe everything you read in the paper”, are just a couple. More and more people realise the current print media have lost their way and yet we are still buying the papers. A lot of people have boycotted them but are still hit by a headline here or there. The papers used to be a place to go not that long ago to actually hear the truth of what had happened, I’ve said in other comments it was like reading a facts report. Now with financial pressure everywhere, deadlines etc we don’t see the quality we used to and in fact it seems to be getting worse and worse. Just because it’s in the paper isn’t any longer a reason to trust any of what they are saying and it would seem the only way to have these style of people listen is to hit them where it will hurt most, turn off buying and reading their material.

  11. When a relationship breaks up, if one party (or both) are not wiling to look at their part and take responsibility, the easiest next step is blame.

  12. One of the outcomes of the lies the media generates is divisions between people. The lies generate fear, fear generates xenophobia and instead of people learning from one another we view each other with suspicion (if not hatred). We then separate people into groups. If this isn’t a form of war mongering without the weapons I don’t know what is. It’s done with refugees, religions like Islam, and even groups like the Universal Medicine student body. Real stories based on the truth could promote a true sense of connection amongst humanity, where we not only learn from one another but are aware of our commonalities and can feel inspired by what’s truly going on in others lives. There is no healing for humanity with the lies and agendas put forth by the media, opportunities to heal though will come from the truth.

  13. It is almost criminal that the voices of those who have first hand lived experience are silenced and the truth is not told as it deserves to be heard.

  14. When relationships end, it’s easier to blame others for the breakdown than to actually take responsibility for our own part in it. Yet when the media join in and try and blame Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine they are also excusing the need for taking responsibility.

  15. There is a big difference between something being sensational and being sensationalist. Universal Medicine is sensational and the press making up a case against it is sensationalist. Almost the same word but a sea of difference between them.

  16. Rebecca,
    Responsibility is a word that many of us believe we are living by. We are responsible for children, husbands, family, friends. We do things to prove how responsible we are. Yet we miss the point until we are responsible for our selves. In how we live, respond and behave in our lives. How we hold and value ourselves is ultimately the responsibility that is required to bring true care and integrity back to a world that has almost forgotten what this feels and looks like, yet is the one thing we yearn for.

  17. Agree. It’s really quite astonishing how easily we believe those that present a negative spin on anything. it’s like we’re so addicted to drama, largely stimulated by the entertainment business, that we just give all our power away to anything that sounds a bit scandalous. Unfortunately – Universal Medicine will never win a ‘best movie’ award, because actually – in truth, if we were to compare it to what we call entertainment – it’s very boring.
    I personally don’t find it boring in any way shape or form. I’m constantly learning something about myself and others, real, tangible and truthful knowledge that isn’t found in a text book but found through lived experience. Our perception of normal has been off for a very long time, and thank god Universal Medicine is here to ruffle a few feathers and get people feeling again.

  18. What I find most interesting about sensationalism is that it will focus on one spot and melodramatically exploit it to the max while ignoring the majority. Its rather like having a whole book in front of you and focusing on just one sentence and from that you really do not get the whole story.

  19. Many people accept relationships that lack a true depth of love, many people blame others as you say, and many people just pretend everything is ok. It takes real self worth to recognise when to leave, and self-responsibility to accept your own part in it. Many people have accepted that two people can evolve at different rates and amicably go their separate ways without blame. The strange thing really is that we think we can marry young and expect to grow at the same rate all our lives together, when the reality for most people if they are honest is that we have chapters in our lives as we do jobs and careers, friends that come and go, and the art is often not in the holding on but the knowing when to let go.

  20. For the record: I’ve been attending Universal Medicine Courses since over 10 years now WITH my husband. Our relationship has and is flowering up with the inspirations we’ve got and every challenge we face because we are always evolving and so our relationship has to ‘follow up’ and evolve as well – we grow and deepen in fact our connection.

  21. Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon stand for responsibility. To blame someone else for a broken relationship is easy and low. But it reflects exactly what UM stands for, because it is exactly their own responsibility these people are fighting, not this Organisation or Serge Benhayon himself. To make a sensational story out of nearly nothing we could call an art – or we call it how it is: miserable, shabby and irresponsible.

  22. I recently attended a relationship workshop presented by Serge and I can say for myself, that the quality of my relationships as a result will and already have increased significantly. I’ve learned that it is what I bring to each and every relationship and how much I base this on us truly growing together and supporting each other rather than staying comfortable in an arrangement where we don’t challenge each other to be more. I would not want my relationships to be any other way and I am deeply appreciative of all I have learned from Serge and Universal Medicine.

  23. It is grossly irresponsible to blame anyone for your relationship breakdown. As a society we are masters at passing the buck and not taking responsibility for our choices. But avoiding and blaming can only go on for so long before it all catches up with you. Serge Benhayon and the teachings of Universal Medicine hold an integrity that extends way beyond what is currently lived by society. So no amount of blame will even touch the sides because of what is lived and breathed by Serge.

  24. If David Leser is trying to purport that he is doing an unbiased written article I think he needs to read it again. I read the first few lines and could feel straight away that it was put there to make someone look weird. It’s all about energies and we can all feel it. Have you ever walked into a room where there’s been an argument? Or felt that someone is not telling you the whole story, saying they are fine when you can feel they are not? All this is just us feeling energies. Very simple and easy to use especially when we read things like the article by David which is biased to the hilt.

  25. If the media had merely resorted to reporting the actual facts about Universal Medicine, there would have been no story. Wow, so they came across an organisation with a different religious viewpoint to mainstream religion. Welcome to the real world, where there are over 4000 differing religions worldwide. To have an alternative religious stance is actually not as unusual as one might think.

  26. As you say Rebecca relationships break down all the time and media report such as these ones seek to sensationalise and blame when really this helps know one, only the pockets of those selling the papers.

  27. Blaming others seems to have reached epidemic proportions in this world where people want someone else to take responsibility for any hurt or distress they are feeling. Surely that alone is enough to cause a journalist with integrity and capacity for discernment to pause before sinking headlong into collaborating with a few people who blame Universal Medicine for their relationship breakdown. As you say Rebecca – what about all the other stories of very positive relationships that people attending Universal Medicine events are readily willing to share?

  28. It is not possible to heal any relationship when all the blame is placed on someone or something outside of it and they are not willing to look at the part they played in regard to the breaking down of it. But to then go further and use the media for their revengeful campaign. The media, which unfortunately it seems are only to willing to go along with a story that they think will sell without investigating for themselves the facts, or even look into what the hidden agenda that the informer may have, is misleading and totally irresponsible.

  29. Yes, I had a very good relationship with my wife before Universal Medicine and now it is considerably better.

  30. “However it is sad that these critics cannot feel the true integrity of Universal Medicine and in such are not willing to TRULY take responsibility for their own relationships.” Very true Rebecca. Because of Universal Medicine I now actually have a loving relationship with myself and because of this my relationships with all others are more harmonious and loving.

  31. It appears the journalists may not feel the true integrity of Universal Medicine however that does not ignore the reality of its presence but more so exposes the lack of it in their own foundation that does not allow them to recognise it when presented.

  32. Could it be that the relationships that have broken up were because they didnt have a foundation of love in the first place

    1. Could there also be an element of looking for someone else to blame, so they didn’t have to take responsibility for their part in the marriage breakdown. After all it’s so easy to blame someone else I know I used to do this all the time. Thinking the mess my life was in was not my problem but because I was a victim of circumstances.

  33. “This story uses the relationship breakdown of a handful of people to misrepresent the character of Serge Benhayon giving no voice to the hundreds of relationships that have benefited by this work” So true Rebecca – and hundreds more have benefitted since you wrote this piece., including myself. People can always look outside themselves to blame – and thus avoid taking any responsibility for themselves. Along with many others I know Serge to be a man of true integrity – who walks his talk – and has inspired me to be more loving in my ways – which so obviously impacts others in beneficial ways.

  34. The journalists purporting to represent the facts about Universal Medicine, and have obviously instead represented lies and biased perspectives, seem to also be subscribed to the same belief system that someone else has the responsibility for a marriage breakup. It’s a load of rubbish – all of my relationships have improved because of Universal Medicine.

  35. While yes there are some parts of what is presented by Universal Medicine that are seen as ‘out there’ by the current accepted facts of life (for now) as you say Rebecca the media missed out on so much. All the very basic and practical everyday tools that are presented by Universal Medicine that have drastically if not given a complete 180 turn around in people’s lives. These are the things that need to be reported on rather than the tired and old blame games that have gotten us nowhere. How ‘out there’ would it be if on the front page there were headlines such as ‘People who practice self-love are more able to love others’ or in the fashion pages ‘Gentleness: the new black’ or in the sport section ‘Why is competition championed? What character are we building that is based on the defeat of others?’ – Why not? The blaming, naming and shaming hasn’t gotten us anywhere but spread and create more bad news, what if true news started to spread?

  36. Beautifully said Rebecca, this line really stood out for me -‘ it is sad that these critics cannot feel the true integrity of Universal Medicine and in such are not willing to TRULY take responsibility for their own relationships.’ – Very true.

  37. Great points Rebecca, there are so many myself included who have benefited from the practical and simple presentations of Universal Medicine. Publications such as the Sydney Morning Herald are missing a great opportunity to print the real story; that of so many being inspired to take true responsibility for their choices and way of living and now choosing to live in a more loving, vital and community oriented way.

  38. Everyone who decides to give a go to what Serge Benhayon presents can choose to what extent they do so. The teachings always have two parts: the truth about something and its practical applications. No one can deny that the practical applications work amazingly well. Some people struggle with the truth that is behind but this is alright. No one asks anybody to align to it. The truth about something has to be felt deeply as truth. Otherwise it just does not work. There are many truths about life that are simply different from what we are accustomed to. The point is that the depictions of reality we are accustomed to have also a corresponding practical aspect and this shows clearly that there is something that does not work. It is far too easy for someone coming from the outside, without having had any contact with what Serge presents (at either level) and simply dismiss or mock about what sounds different. What good does this bring though?

  39. I am a woman and a mother, I am a colleague, I am a friend, I am a sister, I am an aunt, I work, I sleep, I eat, I travel, I laugh, I cry, I am an everyday woman, I attend courses by Universal Medicine and The Way of the Livingness is my religion. This is the life I live, it is full and it is a whole and it can’t be dissected by a journalist pursuing nothing but his own recognition and fame.

    1. I stand along side what has been written as I too am all of those attributes listed. It is a life I live and I love the life I live. Thanks to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine and their unwavering support I can honestly say this. 9 years ago it was a different matter all together I had withdrawn from life and was miserable. With the help of the Universal practitioners I have completely re built my life. And the opportunity is there for everyone to do the same.

  40. Thank you Rebecca for your article, Serge Benhayon is a man who walks the talk , and hundreds of people have been inspired by him to live a much more loving and responsible life. Shouldn’t these people be interviewed to give a true account of the love this man holds for all humanity.

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