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Byron Shire
April 18, 2021

Universal Medicine college under investigation

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The property on which the Universal Medicine charity plans to build its college. Source Fiery Building Fund website.
The property on which the Universal Medicine charity plans to build its college. Source Fiery Building Fund website.

Chris Dobney

A new complaint has been lodged against Goonellabah-based alternative healthcare provider Universal Medicine, this time focusing on a charity run by the group.

A spokesperson for the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (OLGR), which also investigates complaints against charities, yesterday told Echonetdaily it had received a complaint ‘alleging contraventions of the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 by the College of Universal Medicine.’

‘OLGR has completed an initial assessment of the complaint and has commenced an investigation into allegations the College of Universal Medicine may have breached charitable fundraising laws,’ the spokesperson said.

‘The complaint also contains serious allegations in regard to conduct beyond the scope of NSW charitable fundraising laws and will be referred to NSW Police for consideration,’ he added.

The complaint was lodged by Bangalow man Lance Martin, who told Echonetdaily the basis of his complaint was ‘whether the charity is operating for the sufficiently wider public benefit.’

The Fiery Building Fund's donations barometer. Source Fiery Building Fund website.
The Fiery Building Fund’s donations barometer. Source Fiery Building Fund website.

‘Under the newly amended act it also requires charities not to act against public policy,’ he added.

‘It is my belief that Universal Medicine’s ideas are against public policy.’

Mr Martin said that charitable donations to the organisation centred on a fund to build a college on land owned by Universal Medicine founder Serge Benhayon.

The college’s Fiery Building Fund claims to have raised more than half a million dollars so far.

Director of The College of Universal Medicine, Charles Wilson, released a statement yesterday saying the college ‘is aware from media reporting that a complaint has been lodged with the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing’.

‘The college has not received notification from OLGR about the matter and is unaware of the grounds of complaint.’

‘However, the college is informed by News Ltd journalist, Jane Hansen who has seen the complaint that it was lodged by a local businessman, Lance Martin who has been conducting a “hate” campaign against Universal Medicine over the last two years.’

It describes the complaint as ‘simply the last in Mr Martin’s series of abuses of public sector agency complaints processes.’

Mr Martin responded that, ‘they are seriously misinformed as to the number and nature of complaints I have actually made. Contrary to conducting a “hate campaign” I am simply seeking that they be as accountable as any other business or member of the community.’

The college says it ‘will fully co-operate with OLGR’s investigations’ and ‘is keenly aware of and strictly abides by its charitable fundraising obligations’.

The OLGR spokesperson said it was not possible to provide a timeframe for completion of the investigation ‘at this stage’.


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9 COMMENTS

  1. As a complainant against Universal Medicine, I reject their characterisation of our public questions and official complaints as a ‘hate campaign’.

    We have strong concerns about their activities and adverse affects on members of the public.

    The OLGR would not have commenced an investigation or referred parts of the complaint for consideration by the NSW police if it didn’t regard them as serious allegations.

    I imagine UM’s followers will soon appear en masse here in the comments accusing the Echo of ‘media bias’ and ‘not getting the ‘real story’ – the same complaints they have levelled at at least ten news organisations so far. They will also accuse Lance and I of being cyber-bullies, trolls and of suffering mental pathologies – allegations which are now the subject of legal action.

    And none of them answer our questions.

  2. The assertion that the ideas of Universal Medicine are ‘against public policy’ is so totally ridiculous that one has to ask what the motivation is behind those making this complaint.

    No surprise it comes from Mr Martin ….

    Martin holds a personal axe to grind that has been forged into an attack on a legitimate Northern NSW business which promotes health and well being through self-care and connection to one’s inner-wisdom. There are hundreds of people across the world who will attest to this – and yet the hate group headed by Martin has been banging on for the last 18 months about ‘harm caused’ and ‘people effected’ who simply do not exist. If they didn’t like the healings (which Martin had many of whilst still with his wife) or workshops then they can simply walk away.
    A vile and vexatious campaign which has involved cyber-harassment, ludicrious claims and a persistent waste of tax payers money on bogus complaints submitted to government organisations is the real story that needs to be investigated. Shame Martin, shame.

  3. If Sarah would care to read the article she would see my response to the hate-group allegations is: “I am simply seeking that they be as accountable as any other business or member of the community.”

    Sarah would be wise to declare her conflict of interests which involve her husband, who “interviewed” me under false pretense, and her subsequent organization, “Real Media Real Change”- which then failed to declare its connection to Universal Medicine until under pressure.

    Furthermore, Sarah appears to be incapable of understanding my real motivation and concerns, and is simply regurgitating unexamined arguments based on hearsay and group gossip.

    It should be made to clear to Ms Davis that there is no evidence that I hate anyone, nor have I made vexatious complaints or wasted tax-payers money. It is evident from the comments made that the group and Ms Davis do not have any idea of the number of complaints I have actually made, nor when. Their assertions are plainly wrong.

    Furthermore, I have not cyber-harassed anyone. This is a totally false allegation. I do not head a “hate group”- Ms Davis should be much more careful in the allegations she makes publicly.

    I am well within my rights to pose questions or lodge complaints if I have concerns. I have operated within the laws in doing so. The recent complaints I have made are well considered and legitimate and have been treated as such by that department.

    The failure of Universal Medicine to address questions directly, and their consistency in vilifying critics or complainants when questions are posed is I think the real story. At no time do Universal Medicine, its leader, or members answers questions posed- they simply ignore, discredit or attack the questioner.

    Ms Davis further asserts that there are “no people effected” (sic) – I am not sure if Ms Davis is being naive or disingenuous in this remark, However, I can assure her that the numbers are substantial and well documented and should she care to discuss them with me, I am open to illuminating her on the subject. As I have offered on innumerable occasions to other members of Universal Medicine in her acquaintance.

  4. Do you have documentation for those clearances by government bodies, Simon? Which regulatory agencies cleared UM? When?

    It’s hypocritical for Sarah or Simon to be complaining about wasting tax payers’ money on bogus complaints.

    They didn’t mention the 3 complaints made to AHPRA, and the 150 complaints made to the ACCC about me by their colleagues. The AHPRA complaints were dismissed as lacking in substance – four times. The ACCC complaints – 4,500 pages worth – didn’t make it past the assessment stage.

    The complaints were based on UM’s perception they’re being cyber-bullied when I’ve questioned them and posted information they prefer to conceal from the public online.

    Also their insistence that UM has no victims is grossly insulting to people who’ve been harmed – some of whom are on the public record – and to loved ones with questions and concerns. And particularly offensive in light of UM’s sustained efforts to falsely defame and intimidate those of us who have spoken out.

    Simon and Sarah wouldn’t know if there are victims. UM has done a thorough job of silencing them is why.

  5. The article should be commended for balance with both Charles Wilson and Lance Martin being quoted. Interestingly though, there is materially freely available in online blogs where Mr Martin has admitted that he is on a mission to ‘bring down’ Universal Medicine – clearly showing his motive — so making claims here that he is not part of a hate campaign is a bit rich.

    Other contributions on the blog he frequents, and which is written and moderated by the first commenter under this article, Esther Rockett, make highly disturbing false allegations including of a disturbing sexual nature, towards associates of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon.

    [Echonet – I trust that if you are not going to link to people’s websites in this comment thread this will include not linking to Esther Rockett’s. Esther has already been cautioned by police for cyberstalking a member of the Universal Medicine community.]

    This small group keeps insisting that their questions haven’t been answered – but how many tax-payer funded investigations that reveal absolutely no wrong-doing is taking place, will it take before they accept that their questions have been answered in full?

    It would appear that the real question here is how long will this kind of abuse government process really be allowed to run? And at what point will we collectively as a community put a stop to this kind of virulent cyber-harassment in our business culture. This is not just a youth issue, cyber-bullying and harassment is now affecting us across all ages and industries.

    If anything comes of this latest round of vexatious complaints and the subsequent media coverage it has attracted, it may just be to bring much needed focus to this issue — an issue that the College of Universal Medicine has already planned to cover in an upcoming forum. I commend all the people at the College of Universal Medicine who are working hard towards community focussed initiatives such as this and look forward to seeing the public benefit that such much needed forums promise to bring.

    • That is correct. I will not post any comments containing links or remarks that I consider to be of a potentially defamatory or personal attacks.

  6. As an Honours student researching ‘ars erotica’ (sacred erotic arts of the Eleusinian Mysteries) and its demise from contemporary society, this article/controversy is completely fascinating to me right now!

    Esther Rockett: you are indeed a blast. I’ve just been reading your blogs. Wow. As well as highlighting the extreme measures some will go to in order to discourage consensual healing of adults in a sanctuary clearly designed for such work, this drama demonstrates your resistance to even questioning constructed cultural discourses.

    As the theory of cellular memory is now scientific fact, it leaves me to wonder whether such overt fear of sexual expression comes from a memory of being tortured for daring to express sexuality in times of strict religious rule. The author of The History of Sexuality, Prof. Michel Foucault, wrote in depth about how human sexuality and “private” body parts have, over centuries, been completely denigrated by leaders of religious, scientific and political institutions who sort to control the masses through fear. Such memories clearly reside in some of us more than others.

    With a national government inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse now underway, surely we (as a civilisation) must concede that there is an epidemic of severely traumatised adults on the planet; adults who have become so disconnected from their feeling centre, which conveniently makes them very compliant to authority and mainstream social norms, and helps them to justify their radical perspectives and intense desire to undermine anyone who dares to transgress.

    My thesis also analyses a six month pilot project that operated in 2004 called Eleusis; this rural Sexual Health & Healing Centre was clear in its intentions to provide intimate human services and a safe sanctuary for sexually vulnerable adults. The team of 4 women and 2 men (all with alternative health qualifications and 2 with nursing degrees) were to collaborate with conventional services and professionals in the region in order to provide a truly holistic sexual healing service.

    Having captured 30 hours of footage for a documentary to highlight the challenges faced when confronting deeply ingrained cultural norms around sex, Eleusis was labelled a ‘brothel’ and denied a DA outside of an industrial zone. No Mayor or councillor in the region would even discuss this very legitimate project. Imagine the Gaia Retreat being situated in an industrial zone? Questioning this completely nonsensical social ‘standard’ is vital in these times of mass disclosure of sexual abuse.

    Unlike other health and healing retreats and centres, Eleusis was created with a clear objective to provide sexual services to sexually vulnerable people. Too often, abuse survivors don’t have a partner and don’t feel comfortable going to a brothel; they require a compassionate, caring adult who understands the importance of sex as a healing modality; they require an establishment specifically catering to this more sentient service – after all, a person doesn’t go to a counsellor after a knee operation; they go to a physiotherapist who will help to heal the affected body part by actually touching it (God forbid).

    Many on the planet are seeking to recover from a dark history of mass sexual abuse by those in positions of power; for those not abused on a physical level, beliefs and feelings around sex have still been grossly tampered with. Why? My research is leading me to believe that it’s because sex is a gateway to spiritual realms that would lead humanity to true freedom – the Eleusinian Mysteries weren’t abandoned by accident, they were abandoned by force by the power-hungry rulers of the day.

    Universal Medicine: I applaud your efforts to construct an alternative service to conventional medical centres. It’s clear that humanity and Earth are struggling; as traditional institutions crumble and our ‘leaders’ are exposed as the corrupt sociopaths on corporate payrolls that so many are, it’s obviously time to question everything we’ve been lead to believe. Having seen what the team at Eleusis both accomplished and endured, my advice would be to establish a branch of your organisation that specialises in sexual therapies only … but just be prepared to be directed to a shed in an industrial zone while our society continues to slowly recover and evolve in sexual maturity.

    Melanie

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