by Sandhya Mistry, manager, mother, partner, daughter, sister, woman, Brisbane, Australia
I am writing in response to your article published September 8th, pages 6-7: “New age ‘medicine’ of Serge Benhayon leaves trail of broken families”.
I was disappointed that the story your reporters decided to tell was nothing but a re-hash of what other papers have already reported, with a few extra points to add to the sensationalism of the piece. The story was full of mistruths – such as suggesting that Universal Medicine practitioners offer treatments to ward off cancer, that ‘followers’ (of which there are none) avoid certain foods, alcohol, drugs and modern music as it has negative energy etc. The report is full of ‘allegations’ and ‘claims’, but has no hard facts to support what has been written.
Why is it that your reporters aren’t asking more questions and investigating the truth for themselves?
For example: it states in the piece that the Brisbane Universal Medicine clinic receives referrals via eye and lung specialists, rheumatologists and GPs; why is that? Surely these health care professionals have confidence in what these practitioners have to offer their clients, as they would not refer if this was not the case.
Have they seen a difference in their patients since referring for treatment?
Has there been any improvement to their health and wellbeing? If so, how has this impacted on their lives?
Surely the answers to these questions are what your readers need to hear.
I am also appalled at the way in which you have depicted women in this article. Not only do you state that Universal Medicine “has 2000 mainly female followers”, as though it is only women who actually attend these events and that they cannot think for themselves, but you compound it by labelling Dr Rachel Hall a “follower”, when nothing could be further from the truth. There are many women from all walks of life who attend Universal Medicine events; doctors, lawyers, accountants, nurses, solicitors, CEO’s, managers, teachers and mothers; women who are single, married and widowed, young women, to women in their 80’s. They are intelligent, confident, vibrant no-nonsense women who are far from followers. As for Dr. Hall, I have known her for 30 years and never in those years have I ever known her to “follow” anything – in fact the complete opposite is true – I have seen school rules change due to her questioning ‘why?’; I’ve seen her challenge University protocols, and never seen her follow anyone else’s idea of what is the latest fashion, music or trend. She is and has always been a free thinking, intelligent, strong and caring individual who takes that into everything she does.
I was party to the interview conducted by Josh Robertson in which I heard Dr Hall give a detailed one hour interview about dentistry, health and self-care supported by much research and statistics – he never asked once what her involvement with Universal Medicine was, he just made an assumption based on the fact that she knew Serge Benhayon “personally and professionally”. Instead of using the wealth of knowledge, proven facts and figures, he decided to use less than 1% of this interview to label her with a word that he could not substantiate.
If, as your article claims, 42 relationships have ended due to Universal Medicine, then why have you only talked to one man about his marriage breakdown? Would you not speak to several of these people to see if there were similarities in their experiences?
And what of the women… why is it that you have only spoken to the men when there are two people in a relationship?
Why have the women’s stories not been told? Or would this reveal that the men might have to take responsibility for their part in this breakup, and thus have no third party to blame?
Do journalists no longer have the responsibility to provide the facts for their readers by presenting an unbiased article that provides more than one point of view? Do they not have a responsibility to portray women as strong, educated and independent individuals, able to think for themselves – rather than as submissive, feeble minded, “followers”, which is insulting to all women everywhere.
You had the opportunity and still do have the possibility to report some great stories here. You could choose to use some of the amazing information you have already been given – and maybe investigate even further into what Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine, the health professionals like Dr Rachel Hall and all those associated with them represent.