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Byron Shire
July 31, 2021

Universal Medicine loses defamation case

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Universal Medicine founder Serge Benhayon. Photo universalmedicinefacts.com

Universal Medicine founder Serge Benhayon has lost a defamation action against one of his greatest critics, Byron Bay blogger Esther Rockett.

Mr Benhayon took Ms Rockett to court over a series of blog postings she made that accused the organisation of being a cult and Mr Benhayon of inappropriately touching her during a healing session she dubbed a ‘sleazy ovarian reading’.

But her lawyer, Stewart O’Connell, said that a Supreme Court jury had found many of the claims were true.

Esther Rockett. Photo estherrockett.com

‘They found Mr Benhayon was the leader of a socially harmful cult, they found that [he] had intentionally indecently touched a number of his clients in treatment rooms, they found that [he] was dishonest and they found that he engaged in a healing fraud that was harmful,’ Mr O’Connell said.

AAP reported the four-person jury found he ‘engages in bizarre sexual manipulation to make money for his business… vilified people with disabilities, is dishonest and guilty of exploitative behavior’.

Other ‘substantially true’ findings included that he ‘has an indecent interest in young girls as young as 10 whom he causes to stay at his house unaccompanied’, preys on cancer patients and ‘is a charlatan who makes fraudulent medical claims’.

The jury also found ‘substantially true’ that Mr Benhayon had ‘exploited children by having them vouch for UM’s dishonest healing practices’ and ‘exploits cancer patients by targeting them to leave him bequests in their wills’, AAP reported.

The leader of the Goonellabah based group told the court he was a reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci during the trial.

In his closing address Mr Molomby SC stated to the jury that the man in the witness box was not Leonardo Da Vinci, ‘he is just a conman from Goonellabah’, and ‘not Mona Lisa anymore. Mona Liar’.

Mr Benhayon was not in court to hear the verdict but Ms Rockett was and was subsequently photographed outside in the company of one of her solicitors making a V sign.

Refused to be bullied

In a media statement issued late yesterday, Ms Rockett’s solicitor, Stewart O’Connell, described the win as ‘a comprehensive victory against a Goliath organisation by a woman who refused to be bullied.

‘It is a complete vindication of Ms Rockett, an indictment against Mr Benhayon, Universal Medicine and their various practices, and a victory for free speech,’ he added.

Ms Rockett said the jury had ‘validated my criticisms of this cult and its leader’.

‘It is vital that Australians are able to exercise their lawful right to raise concerns about people who are preying on the some of the most vulnerable members of the community,’ she said.

‘It is also a timely reminder that we need proper regulation of health care providers who take money for worthless services, carry out practices of inappropriate touching and give harmful advice.

‘Myself and my supporters would like to thank the jury for their diligent and conscientious service throughout the trial. They made the decision I had hoped for,’ Ms Rockett said.


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Is the Northern Star going to issue an apology for naming this lowlife “one of the most influential people in the Northern Rivers”?..or at least acknowledge that he is no longer on the list. Well done Esther Rockett…I wish you well

  2. I am glad the dude lost. But it is ironic that the article points out we need regulations to stop people taking money for worthless treatments when the defendant (and winner) in the case of is an acupuncturist. So she herself is selling worthless treatments.

  3. I have grave concerns for a friend who has been involved with this man who the jury accepted was the ‘leader of a socially harmful cult’ for many years.
    As in most cults they seem to completely believe all that they are told while believing anyone not part of UM is evil and unhealthy. I have seen the entire family become I’ll due to poor diet. They look skeletol and no longer have anything to do with family or friends outside of UM.
    I feel that my friend has always been searching for something and this is what she has become. So very sad.

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