Letter to the Courier Mail: What is Going on?

by Adrienne Ryan, Fairfield, Australia

Re: “New age ‘medicine’ of Serge Benhayon leaves trail of broken families”

I was disappointed to see the slandering of Serge Benhayon and such a bias towards the disgruntled few, in light of the many MEN and women throughout the world whose lives have been deeply enriched by the simple presentations of Serge and Universal Medicine.

Ironically, it was in your paper last weekend where I read of not one, but three diets to support people to bring back their vitality, energy and quality of life – all of which recommended removing or reducing sugar, gluten, caffeine, alcohol and dairy from the diet and advocated getting regular exercise and rest.
I say ‘bring back’, because as children, for the majority, this vitality and energy is natural. What happens to us as we grow older and supposedly wiser and more intelligent, that leaves us needing fixes – caffeine, sugar, carbohydrates, alcohol, adrenalin rushes, music, TV, computer games, porn etc. – to pull us through the day, or reward us at the end of it?

In the face of a global health crisis with diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, cancer and heart conditions – not to mention anxiety and depression – is it not incredibly arrogant that we do not stop to ask, “what is going on?” To look at the quality of our own life in the simplest of ways and ask, “how do I sleep at night (including actually getting to sleep and staying asleep)” and “how does my body feel throughout the day (how often am I reaching for something to get me going or keep me going?)”.

It is confronting to ‘stock take’ our daily life using these markers, for when we do it is undeniable that we live in a society that is bankrupting itself on a personal and very physical level that continues to be unrecognised and ignored.

We have so much that seems to confirm our intelligence: phones, tall buildings, smart screens at school, yet children in prep are being treated for anxiety – what is going on?

We have newspapers reporting on people who have begun to take responsibility for their lives – to make choices regarding what they consume and how they live in the most basic ways: sleep, food, exercise, sex – and labelling them a ‘cult’. The same newspaper that reports on diets that recommend the same ‘cult practices’ of avoiding dairy, gluten, sugar and alcohol, yet does not label the author a ‘cult leader’. What is going on? The same newspaper that reports on sexual abuse, physical abuse, labels women who choose to be treated gently and with loving respect by their partners as ‘cult followers’ at the mercy of the “svengali-like sway” of Serge Benhayon. What is going on?

The disgruntled few, the 42 you report, are not to be disrespected. There is real pain in the man concerned for his seven year old daughter and for his wife who has made changes to her life in response to what she came to know about herself through Universal Medicine. Yet there is more to these 42 stories that no newspaper has yet sought to truly investigate. There is equally more to the stories of the ‘2000 mainly female followers’, not to mention the many men who the press leave invisible, whose lives have been and continue to be enriched.

It would be of great benefit to have these stories told for they offer what the medical world has been asking for (see your own paper’s story about the surgeon who is calling for licensing hours to be reduced in response to the horrific casualties he attends to, including the bashing and glassing from people under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol) that is, simply asking that people live responsibly for their own well being.

Instead, we have your paper using the word ‘cult’ to describe people who have adopted practices of self-care and self responsibility, labelling them by definition of the word ‘cult’ as abnormal or bizarre.

49 thoughts on “Letter to the Courier Mail: What is Going on?

  1. Great question Adrienne ‘what is going on’ I have always felt that the media have a responsibility to give a balanced view leaving the reader to discern for themselves what is true, the problem seems that one journalist will write a positive review about the importance of a certain kind of diet and another will write a negative review which makes it clear that there is always a bias by the journalist or organisation they write for.

  2. The sad thing is that this misrepresentation of truth is still continuing. And if one was to look more into statistics, I am sure that illness and disease is growing, what does our media actually care about, humanity or selling papers?

  3. Our lifestyles are killing us. This is as obvious for some who are ready to address this issue in truth as hard to accept for many who want to have their own way… at killing themselves. Not surprisingly there is a plethora of offers addressed to our lifestyles. While the one proposed by Universal Medicine is really life changing for it allows us to drop anything that stands in the way to recuperate our natural pattern of movement, the majority are there to invite us to adopt a new pattern that promises paradise but cannot deliver it. Paradise is not only a destination, but our movements to it. And it is our movements (and our feeling of them) which determine whether we will get there or not.

  4. Brilliantly exposed Adrienne … it makes no sense on the one hand a newspaper lauds the diet and self care ideas which are the same as those lived and practiced by many associated with Universal Medicine, yet on the other hand Universal Medicine and it’s students are a cult! You bring great balance here is asking why we condemn those who live in this way and are more healthy while all around us we see the opposite in society. Surely we need to seriously look at what works and how it can support us to live more healthy vital lives. Rather than condemn those engaged in living those more healthy vital lives why not ask how they do it and consider that maybe we could learn something from them.

  5. It’s always interesting to see how many ways you can spin the same story. I mean these days you can virtually do what you want with anything, how does anyone know the true truth of what is happening? I see this newspaper article that has reported part of a story for it’s own purpose and then there are many people responding giving us another view. The thing is people walk away from reading the newspaper re-sharing an already part story so that makes another part on the part story. Put it all together and you have so many parts, that someone would struggle to actually see the true story. It’s important we write, we document and record what we see is true and sure few may get to read it comparable to a newspaper but it won’t always be like this. Given the history and the direction of newspapers and alike, their time is always limited.

  6. It is terrible how the papers are not accountable and responsible for what they publish. This is a great story, many stories in fact. There has been no followup since the original story nearly five years ago. To me that is equating to an agenda by the media of fabrication and lies.

  7. Is taking responsibility for the way you live so unusual and outside the normal parameters of life that it is called a cult? No wonder the world is in such a mess.

  8. Great questions you pose here in this blog Ariana and these should be the questions that the media is investigating rather than taking pot shots at those who are actually choosing to live in a way that is answering and reversing some of the shocking trends that we are seeing in our societies everywhere.

  9. Journalism has a tendency to take the most sellable and sensational parts of a story whether true or bastardised and ignore a massive amount of information in the process that has the power to sway opinion one way or another depending on their agenda. I find this really disturbing and an enormous disservice to people who look to them for the truth. We deserve so much more than we are getting let alone the harm that so many people are subjected to due to their lack of integrity.

  10. Well said Adrienne, simply because journalist should have no right to produce empty lies and conceal them over the floor and spread them as if they are the hot line truth stories of the world. Hello? There are real people suffering everyday, we should treat cases of abuse very very seriously , and this article by the Courier Mail shows nothing else but contributing to the abuse in the world instead of exposing it and truly making a change! Now that that is being said, we can come back to true matters in life : Serge Benhayon is a fantastic practitioner, leader, presenter, father, grandfather, friend, husband, colleague and so much more. So let’s not twist things around, here, Courier Mail lets be honest.

  11. It’s quite sad really that the journalists who wrote these articles did not take the opportunity to see the real story under the story that was presented. As a nurse I know that there is much more going on in someone’s life than the presentation of a physical condition. This is the same in any relationship, what is presented on the surface is never the whole story. A good journalist sees this and asks questions to find out more. Sometimes when someone is making changes in their own life it brings up stuff in our own lives that we are not choosing to address and because we do not want to see this for ourselves we blame them in some way, or have an issue with them. But it’s not about them it’s about us and our lack of responsibility. Therefore it is the responsibility of any journalist to ask these questions and find the true story underneath what is being presented on the surface. This turns the role of a journalist from simply a story teller to one that is about delivering the truth to the community, no matter what…and this is deeply healing.

  12. With so many newsworthy stories out there the mind could boggle that the media chose to focus on demonising people taking good care of themselves and then one realises just how threatening taking responsibility is for most of the population who are much more comfortable blaming outside influences and other people for what is not going well in their lives.

  13. The bias and witch hunt is very clear here as you say, that two people appearing in the same paper about healthy eating get treated so differently. There isn’t even any consistency, just sensationalism in the moment to sell papers. I don’t buy any, and I haven’t for many years.

  14. I totally agree Adrienne, there was far more going on in the marriage breakdowns than the journalists were willing to see, preferring to paint a picture of all the women as gullible and brainwashed that have been seduced by a manipulative cult leader. These are such ridiculous lies and twisted stories written by journalists without truly researching the facts in anyway, they place more importance on their own agendas and in the search for a story that arouses readers to buy newspapers without an regard or decency towards those they are harming with their outright lies.

  15. It seems like the news paper you are referring to here, The Courier Mail, has become some form of “open forum” for whoever to air their discontent without any form of supervised moderating. It’s a sad thing if a marriage breaks down but at the same time there has to be respect taking place as well and if not I have to say that to leave might be the healthiest thing for both. And if we are going to play the game of blaming then we could easily blame the liquor store, the sports channel, the video/computer game, the incessant hobbies there for those that want to escape talking about things in their marriage. But as we know these are not the reasons for marriages or partnership break ups, these are things we do to escape addressing the issues that is there to talk about. So you can’t blame anyone for anything but be responsible for your bit in the puzzle.

  16. We are in a global health crisis with international health systems crumbing and not going to be able to support the lifestyles the majority have accepted as normal and acceptable. They are however far from natural, and our bodies are showing this globally, Serge Benhayon offers simple suggestions based on an understanding of energy and a massive wake up call to stop the disregard of ourselves and each other.

  17. I scratch my head when I read this Adrienne and was asking myself – surely the editors when they read this must be scratching their head too and going – yes great points, why are we doing these stories and labelling organisations as cults when they are actually doing what many want to do? But I am guessing you did probably did not even get a response let alone published….

  18. “What is going on” indeed, hear we are some four years after this article was published and the absolute integrity of the Students of The Livingness is still standing firm and the media are still not reporting the full picture. Could it be that what Serge Benhayon presents is so true that the media have to take a position of nothing can be that good? Things might be different if the media would at least do some real research into Universal Medicine but no they only seem interested in the emotional extravaganza, which feeds a society that needs its daily fix of excitement. Not so long ago I also was once living on this emotional rollercoaster and was in the need of my fix to hide what my body was truly feeling. Emotions only ever numb us from feeling what is truly going on. For more on Serge Benhayon or another perspective go to;

  19. It is certainly a sad state of affairs that people choosing to live responsibly are viewed as abnormal so much so they are labelled as followers in a cult. No wonder the world is in such a mess when you can’t start to live lovingly or making healthy choices without the media trying to cut you down, making out there is something wrong with that.

  20. “Instead, we have your paper using the word ‘cult’ to describe people who have adopted practices of self-care and self responsibility, labelling them by definition of the word ‘cult’ as abnormal or bizarre”. To put it mildly what is really bizarre here is the journalistic reporting, with their contradictory and dishonest way of reporting and twisting of the truth so it no longer has any semblance to the true facts. Basically they are propagating lies.

  21. A great letter Adrienne, thankyou for expressing the truth so clearly. Three years on – the study of epigenetics is being more widely publicised and life-style choices are now mentioned in papers almost daily as being one of the causes of major illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon are ahead of the game. Who was it said that a ‘prophet is without honour in his own country’?

  22. Beautifully said Adrienne. You point out the hypocrisy of the Courier Mail by promoting diets as healthful, and then labelling similar dietary choices by Universal Medicine students as “cultish”. On the one hand the Courier Mail reports on sexual assaults, and on the next page criticises women for expecting permission before having their breasts touched. Complete hypocrisy.

  23. As you say Adrienne, this is the medical sollution we are all see deeply seeking. So now that we have it, let’s give it full permission to come out in the world, supported by the media and never to take down. As if we truly support humanity and want the best, we would never take down Universal Medicine.

  24. The circumstances and momentum each one was going through at the moment each one has met Serge Benhayon was what it was. We may like it or not but this is besides the point. What is clear is that the teachings are based on truth and sooner or later what is not truth in our lives gets exposed. This does not mean at all things like: since I am more love than you are I deserve better so I am leaving you. We are equally love. What that means is: we have to work together to make our relationship about love. If someone has abused what Serge has presented it is not Serge’s responsibility as his message is pretty clear. Equally so, if someone (let’s say a partner of a Universal Medicine student) refuse to work together to make the relationship more loving so be it too. Yet, if this is the choice someone makes, Serge is not the one to blame. Why would he? Decisions belong only to oneself.

  25. This blog has proven that the newspapers will twist everything into a story that people will read. As you say Adrienne, they are doing the same things we are doing with dieting and we are labeled a cult but they are not. Is it just because we have Serge Benhayon who is guiding us in our evolution that we get called a cult.

  26. It’s crazy really that someone that is actually working hard for the benefit of the community is picked on for giving very affective education about our lifestyle choices, whereas various levels of abuse are not even questioned. One has to ask where our priorities in life are?

  27. There’s nothing abnormal or bizarre about taking responsibility and care of yourself, which is what Universal Medicine present.

  28. Well said Adrienne. This article makes a clear call to ask ‘What is going on?’ when some journalists publicly denigrate those who make their own choice to live a more healthy lifestyle.

  29. Common sense, true care for people and a lightness of being presenting truth in all simplicity – Bingo!

    1. “Bingo” maybe to simple for the media, who are obviously looking for a convoluted solution when the whole time the truth, which is “simplicity” has been staring them in the face.

  30. An absolutely awesome article Adrienne. I loved reading it and totally agree with every word. A highlight for me is your words that ‘It is confronting to ‘stock take’ our daily life,…. for when we do it is undeniable that we live in a society that is bankrupting itself on a personal and very physical level that continues to be unrecognised and ignored’. No matter how confronting it is and how much this hurts this stocktake is essential for humanity to do on both a personal and collective level in order to arrest the crippling and irresponsible way many of us are living.

  31. It is so interesting that self-abuse, in the form of over-eating, alcohol & drug use, extreme stress & checking out of life, are now such commonplace that they are considered ‘normal’. People who choose to eat what & when their bodies require, to not use drugs & alcohol, choose to be consciously present in all that they do, & take responsibility for everything, including the stress in their lives, are labeled a ‘cult’. Should their story not be shared with everyone, so that others too may have an opportunity to re-evaluate their lives & know their is another way? Your article reveals that the newspapers do not print what they feel is true, but rather anything to sell newspapers even if one article totally contradicts another.

  32. Amazing article Adrienne, thank you. We indeed ‘live in a society that is bankrupting itself on a personal and very physical level that continues to be unrecognised and ignored’ and so it is beyond ridiculous that those who are addressing this are labelled as cult or followers of one. It just defies logic.

  33. This is a letter calling for integrity, impartiality and accountability in journalism. We would think that we can always expect these qualities in journalism (or from journalists) but sadly, it appears to be not the way any longer. Powerfully written, Adrienne, thank you for writing this.

  34. Thank you Adrienne for this highlighting blog on the blatant hypocrisy of the Courier Mail. Its obvious that they choose their words to suit their own agenda. Do they just flip a coin to decide whether they will tell the true story, the facts, or decide to write whatever will sell the most copies?

  35. There are so many fad diets, healthy eating plans and nutritional studies out there, why is it giving up gluten, dairy, alcohol, smoking, drugs, sugar and other irritants to the body is such a big deal?

  36. Interesting the irony you brought up Adrienne about various articles on diets which exclude sugar, dairy, gluten etc. It makes me question how much of it journalists actually read – their own papers that is! As you say, why would one journalist slander something which then gets supported by another the next day or soon after? Makes no common sense, does it?

    1. It makes no sense to me that the journalists who write articles on health issues such as eating too much sugar is known to be incredibly bad for you, exercising helps keep the heart healthy, getting a good night sleep helps us all feel more vital. And then in the same breath so to say they slam Serge Benhayon as some sort of cult leader when he is virtually questioning the same health issues they are writing about? As you say Dragana where is their common sense in all this? It makes no sense to me at all and I feel certain I’m not alone scratching my head over this.

  37. Adrienne – I love the way you have spotted and nominated the inconsistencies even within their own newspaper (e.g. on the one hand denigrating dietary or lifestyle changes, and on the other advocating them) – what I love about this is that it exposes that one arm doesn’t know what the other arm is doing – and that the journalism/way the newspaper is put together isn’t read through for consistency, but that they merely report on/print any old story that may be of so called ‘interest’ or sensationalism for their readers or the accolades of journalism… no wonder the public get confused about what is truly going on in society – when in one single issue of a newspaper there are so many inconsistencies. We have free will and it is up to us to choose/feel what is true amongst this – imagine if newspapers were read and those who read them asked ‘does this make sense?’

  38. This is awesome Adrienne – in calling such a ‘report’ to account, and also in calling such a publication to take full responsibility for ALL that it puts out there. They have enormous ‘power’ in their hands – and our voices DO matter in the applauding of what is truly supporting humanity, and in the exposure of what serves no ‘true good’ whatsoever. Thank you.

  39. So true Adrienne, how have our priorities become so skewed? It really begs those questions… really what is going on? And what needs to change?…

  40. Absolutely brilliant Adrienne, it so baffles me that these reports are portraying us, the students of Universal Medicine, as cult members, and followers of a man who obviously has enormous power due to the ‘fact’ that he can control what we do and how we live from so far afield (as we live all over the world, and he lives in Northern NSW, and sometimes in England); and yet the world and the health of its’ people are in crisis; this is no secret, as even doctors are scratching their heads saying, “what is going on?”. We (students) have all made and continue to make choices that may well lead us not to be part of the dreadful statistics, yet the media portray us, the students, Serge, and the entire organisation of Universal Medicine as people who are bringing harm to society, by choosing to not participate in food, substances and activities that indeed contribute to the cause of the ever-increasing, very distressing statistics.

    Yes the papers do shed light on these things, such as which foods to avoid etc. etc., but they are always so lame as they inevitably complete these stories with some kind of reference such as “all in moderation” or “a glass of red wine a night is ok” or “chocolate twice a week is fine”, “blah blah blah”, which is so supportive of the irresponsible way we as human beings have been enjoying to live, and we wouldn’t want to upset that would we!

    I love your piece, you tell it how it is!

  41. Adrienne, this is awesome thank you. You have so clearly showed how we can go through life fragmented and not knowing on the left what was done on the right. By bringing it all together in such a clear and simple way is asking us to look at the whole picture.

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