by Anne McRitchie, Chilcotts Grass, NSW Australia
On Friday 12th October, the monthly Universal Medicine lecture on Esoteric Medicine at Lennox Head Community Centre commenced with Serge Benhayon introducing a guest speaker, David Millikan, who had turned up unexpectedly and had asked if he could chat with the audience. Serge allowed the intrusion as in previous discussions David had accurately described the media’s misrepresentation of us as a group, and had been building a polite and respectful relationship with Serge during the four weeks since they first met. He had also twice mentioned that Universal Medicine did not fit the ‘cult’ tag and had given strong evidence as to why not. I mention this to demonstrate the level of deception and deceit that this man, and the media generally, are capable of.Serge introduced him by saying that David was writing a book which included a chapter on Serge, and that he had asked to chat with us. David began by saying that he was a Uniting Church Minister, had studied some sort of philosophy and wanted to ask us a few questions. I felt ‘Great! Someone who will truly listen to our experience and represent us with integrity’.
The moment he said the next few words, something about “Serge gathering a family”, alarm bells rang, and I remember feeling that as soon as we had an opportunity to speak I would set him straight.
The next moment everything changed. David turned on us and started to attack us at the same time as three women in the audience jumped up with hand-held video cameras. While this was happening, several men with TV cameras and recording equipment tried to burst in through the door, but someone had seen them outside and had barred their way.
Then it slowly became obvious that we had been set up. David did not want to hear, only to get enough footage that could be edited and twisted into the version he wanted to present and which would get maximum public attention for the TV network he was working for – which he later acknowledged. Universal Medicine students have already had several experiences of media manipulation and it is horrible. There is no, absolutely no, interest in reporting the truth, just getting a ‘news-worthy story’. The truth of a few hundred, maybe 2,000 people worldwide choosing to live a more loving and healthy lifestyle is not news!
I can’t explain how much one feels denigrated, betrayed and powerless when you invite someone to chat with you and you are ambushed. Both the ferocity and the scope of the attack took the audience by surprise. We were all looking forward to talking and setting the record straight, but some reporters can be very cunning. They ask loaded questions which are untruths and then they attack you if you do not answer the lie, or they edit so that they get the answer they want. Worse still, they won’t allow you to speak, and then chide you for not answering the question – all to get enough footage to edit for the story they want! After we realised the ambush, they still hung around filming whatever they could until we called the police.
Meanwhile it was obvious that the intensity of the ambush had shocked many people, and one under-age girl who had been filmed cried on my shoulder as she felt that she would be ostracised at school if she were shown on TV.
As a member of the audience who practises law commented to me, the events were “absolutely diabolical”.