Letter to the Editor and Journalists at The Courier Mail

by Jane, United Kingdom

I write with utter amazement at the tone, and also the irresponsibility of the article “New age ‘medicine’ of Serge Benhayon leaves trail of broken families”. I am a woman aged 50 who has been married and divorced twice – once in the 1980′s and once in the 1990′s, and I work as a highly respected manager, and a university academic.

Point 1: Irresponsible journalism (1) – the cause of marriage breakdowns

The Courier Mail is a local media publication that will likely be read by many women, including young women, and possibly girls (as well as the men who read it). One irresponsible angle you take is that firstly you suggest marriage breakdowns are because of Universal Medicine, but you do not get to the truth of this by saying that actually marriages break down because of something that goes wrong between two people. Yes, there can be many outside pressures e.g. over work, finances, pressures from raising children, illness etc, but in the end, marriages founder because of two people whose relationship either breaks down – or who never actually had a relationship to build upon, and they then ‘call it a day’, as it is not working. Of course it is much more complicated than that, but, overall it is about two people.

My first marriage broke up because I married very young with many ideals – and in reality the two of us had very different expectations of the future and it became unsustainable, so we divorced amicably. My second marriage broke up because on the rebound I married a man who had an alcohol problem, who was deeply threatening, psychologically abusive, and on a couple of occasions physically abusive. I filed for divorce as I refused to be treated in such a denigrating way by my partner.

What you do not question is: what was the quality of the marriages/relationships in question prior to them breaking up, and what was truly going on in those relationships? It is all too easy to blame something outside of the marriage, whatever that may be. In the end, it will be because of something that was not right within the relationship. Your irresponsibility is that you do not mention that a marriage is about two people, and it is that which breaks down (for whatever reason), so anyone reading your piece, particularly young women/girls, do not get a real account of why marriages do break up. Instead they get an account that blames Universal Medicine, which just doesn’t make sense and is misleading.

Point 2: Irresponsible journalism (2) – creams and domestic violence

You mention a bullet point in your ‘beliefs’ section that states that after a breast massage clients were told to ‘use a cream to deter bad energy’ and to ‘not allow their partners to touch them without permission’. First of all, the ‘using a cream to deter bad energy’ sounds like complete mumbo jumbo… in my eight years of experience and treatments with Universal Medicine I have never ever heard anyone who was told to ‘use a cream to deter bad energy’. How on earth could a cream deter bad energy? However, the creams are specific preparations, and in particular the esoteric breast massage cream acts as a support for a woman to connect to and nurture this area of the body.

More irresponsible is your statement about women not allowing their partners to touch them without permission. Are you living in another time? Why on earth would women (or men) not ask their partners (or anyone else for that matter) not to touch them without their permission? You make it sound so formal. If someone touches me inappropriately, with disregard or abusively, of course I would ask them not to touch me – why would I or any woman want to be touched disrespectfully? Would you like your own wife, sister, mother or daughter to be touched disrespectfully by their partner or anyone else? I initiated my second divorce for exactly that – I would not live with someone who would abuse me (and that was many years before I ever encountered Universal Medicine). The statistics for domestic abuse are startling. For example:

  1. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime [1].
  2. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year [2].
  3. 85% of domestic violence victims are women [3].
  4. Historically, females have been most often victimised by someone they knew [4].
  5. Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of non-fatal intimate partner violence [5[.
  6. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police [6].

Your level of irresponsibility here is tragic. It is tragic because the way you write this piece could mean that a young girl, or young woman, may feel after reading your piece that she has to give her permission to any man or husband regardless of the way she was treated. Wake up, this is the 21st century, we need media and articles to highlight the rise in domestic violence statistics so that they come down, not used to denigrate women by saying they cannot speak up to their partners when they feel they are being mistreated.

Point 3: Irresponsible journalism (3) – illness and disease are soaring

You write in a totally denigrating way about supposed beliefs with avoiding dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, as well as sleeping from 9 pm til 3 am. Have you any idea of the global ill-health statistics? Let me remind you:

“Worldwide there were estimated to be around 12.7 million new cases of cancer in 2008 and over half of these were in developing countries. Add to this the fact that 346 million people worldwide have diabetes. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with at least 2.8 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese. Depression is common, affecting about 121 million people worldwide, and is among the leading causes of disability worldwide.”

Is it not a media responsibility to support the world/local communities in eradicating such enormous levels of illness and disease? Why mock a serious issue we have in society with lifestyle choices? We know that alcohol, drugs, and certainly some foods have a huge impact on the population’s health. We also know much of society is exhausted and sleep deprived, or doesn’t have a supportive sleep rhythm. Where is your responsibility in this? Are you advocating that everyone simply continues to eat all the foods that likely lead to diabetes and obesity, and continue to drink or take drugs so as to fall into decay and ill-health?

What Universal Medicine presents is purely common sense: that certain foods, and substances such as alcohol and drugs affect our health and wellbeing. Universal Medicine never ever tells anyone what to do (I have never ever heard anyone being told what to do, how to live, how to eat etc); it merely presents facts, and truths about these issues. In fact, if you ask Serge Benhayon whether you should drink alcohol or eat cheese he would say – it’s up to you, your choice. But what you say in your article could mislead some members of the population into thinking that drugs, alcohol and certain foods are okay, when maybe these things need to at least be raised as questions, and where appropriate, connected to the statistics on illness and disease.

Can I suggest that before you write articles like this you check how responsible or irresponsible you are being? Yes of course investigate… I know Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine are completely open to be interviewed, and explored. But may I suggest you report the facts, and not write a sensationalist article that is based on hearsay, and that denigrates women? For the record, in the eight years I have known Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and indeed Rachel Hall, I have known them to have the utmost integrity. I would far rather be treated by a dentist or a practitioner who didn’t have a drink or drug-fuelled social life than one who did. I would far rather be treated by a dentist or practitioner who took care of their own health and wellbeing – and offered me an inspirational role model – than one who didn’t.

References:

  1. Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy. National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).
  2. Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA.
  3. Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.
  4. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Criminal Victimization, 2005,” September 2006.
  5. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Intimate Partner Violence in the United States,” December 2006.
  6. Frieze, I.H., Browne, A. (1989) Violence in Marriage. In L.E. Ohlin & M. H. Tonry (eds.) Family Violence. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

48 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor and Journalists at The Courier Mail

  1. Jane you make some very powerful points, thank you for bring some common sense to the hyped up mistruths that have been published recently.

    1. Exactly tonisteenson… Common sense!!! Surely something so simple as common sense would be a key ingredient in journalism, however it seems much of this is sadly missing in today’s reporting. When we add truth to being an ingredient, the reporting in this Courier Mail newspaper article doesn’t even come close to the mark!

  2. What an excellent well researched account you present here Jane for the reader to feel the facts and get the true whole picture.
    This is well worth printing and re-reading for me as there is so much.
    There is much I can comment on but for now the bit where you say “your level of irresponsibility here is tragic”. That sums it up as the media are behaving and acting in a way that is adding to the harm – the high rise in illness and disease is a clear example. As a university academic you are saying in your professional opinion lifestyle choices that you and I are making – thanks to Universal Medicine do work.
    Serge Benhayon and his teachings is why my marriage actually survived as we were about to divorce and then I met this amazing human being who gave me an understanding. These are the stories that need to be out there as they are real and truly inspirational.

  3. Great letter Jane, it shows that the facts are there. The information is available – the journalists do know this. Some choose however to write what they want in order to sensationalise and create a wildfire of fear – regardless for truth or even being close to reality. Their goal – their own byline, fame and ego at any cost.

  4. Great article Jane. Comprehensive and well researched. You highlight the irresponsibility shown by journalists in not only reporting on issues that matter but also in misrepresenting a story and making it as sensational as possible. This ‘sensationalism over facts’ type of journalism does a disservice to everyone and just perpetuates the fact that journalists cannot be trusted.

  5. Thank you Jane, on behalf of all those who are being or have been ridiculed by irresponsible media, or for that matter any person, speaking from their desire to be noticed, attract publicity or cause strife, simply because they have no principles of brotherhood or mutual respect.

    1. Thank you Jane and Simon, journalist irresponsibility is just like the piranha that attacks all who dare step foot in their part of the river. Attack seems like the only thing they know and this style of journalism excludes love; it appears that love does not seem to enter their frame of reference.

  6. “What Universal Medicine presents is purely common sense: that certain foods, and substances such as alcohol and drugs affect our health and wellbeing.” Absolutely. this quote has always ben my experience. Why doesn’t a journalist have a go write an article concerning the real life miracles that are occurring every day due to this ‘common sense’ shared with Universal Medicine. It would make a fantastic read. Thank you for Jane.

  7. Very well said Jane!! Blaming third parties for a marriage break up makes life easier for victim-prone people (especially if the third party is interested in having your partner as partner). Blaming third parties in situations where the third party has no interest whatsoever in your partner is also very tempting if again, there is a victim kind of personality and you feel you have something to gain there. Everyone has the right of choosing how to construct the narrative of a divorce. Yet, there are red lines no one should cross: overly manipulating the facts so to create sympathy from others who take sides in a story created ad hoc. The red lines were crossed here big time. Thou shalt not cross red lines of untruth and Thou shalt not manipulate realities to suit your agenda are not Commandments. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour is. So, both are. By publishing false stories as true ones, the press are saying yes to this way of acting.

  8. Thank you Jane for so clearly setting out the irresponsibility of this type of journalism which could potentially have tragic consequences and certainly needs to be challenged.

  9. Thanks Jane for a well stated and researched article explaining the logic and math about self care versus disregard in life . Also for exposing the poor journalism trying damage and discredit Serge Benhayon and Universal medicine with sensationalised articles printed without proper research.

  10. Thank you, Jane, for taking a stance to ask The Courier Mail to stop and take stock. The irresponsibility on their part of publishing this article without research or the checking of facts is simply that…irresponsible.

  11. I love the authority you write with and how you are saying it how it is. You have explained the lies and explained the facts. It is completely irresponsible to write an article out to the world without having all the facts. Suggesting lies or ideas of what people think Universal Medicine is about without properly investigating is nonsense.

  12. Thank you Jane, for setting the record straight. There is such an amazing opportunity for journalists to share the truth about Universal Medicine, which would be such a gift for those wishing to make different choices in their lives. Instead they choose to tell lies and twist the truth. Why, certainly not for the benefit of anyone else, but themselves, to sell their ‘story’.

  13. Jane bravo on writing a sensible and honest article challenging the ridiculous claims that have been made by the media against Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.
    I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have expressed,

  14. Jane, what a powerful message you bring for humanity in this letter to irresponsible Editors and journalists. Over two years have passed since this letter was posted yet what you write remains ever so true and due to be published and widely read as you set a standard for responsible journalism in that our world needs to hear. We all need to hear it again and again, for the next 100 years if need be, until it is understood this kind of journalism is criminal. How you say it here is worthy of that.

  15. A really powerful and truth-full blog Jane that sets out all the things we need to hear and adhere to in the way we are living our lives.

  16. I love this Jane, it is so clear to me the power of lovingly expressing the truth! Perhaps, as you invited the journalists to do, “I suggest you report the facts, and not write a sensationalist article that is based on hearsay, and that denigrates women ” – if they applied these principals the sales of their papers would rise again? This is truly what humanity is calling for.

  17. More please Jane! The media Have a lot to answer for… As do it’s readers.

    I love your call for responsibility here; an equal responsibility we also hold as recipients of media – to speak up, claim the truth and not just accept the deeply irresponsible and corrupt excuse for ‘media’ we see as ‘normal’ today.

  18. A great article not only powerfully breaking down the mistruths reported but eloquently showing journalists how to do their job…. It’s a shame that reading truth is as rare as it is…. the question is when will humanity demand it and nothing less?

  19. Thanks Jane, I am reading this long after the original article and it still is relevant today. In fact the statistics for domestic violence have gone up so our engagement in responsible journalism is vitally important. It is by writing to editors and sharing your thoughts that papers take note and can change some of the ways of writing that they have taken as ‘normal’. The lads culture is changing already and integrity and responsibility in journalism is a hot topic. We have to be engaged and communicating to make a difference by stating things as they are without the pull for a cheap headline.

  20. Awesome response Jane. Why should anyone who is choosing to eat well, avoid alcohol and drugs and go to bed when their physiology naturally wants them to, be made to feel that they are doing something weird or unusual? The same goes for our relationships and how we treat women. Is it not just normal to be respectful and ask for respect?

    1. Absolutely Fiona, it seems as though any rational being would consider the self-loving attributes you and Jane mention as normal, and thus we ‘avoid’ any detrimental position to our health and wellbeing.

  21. Through learning to self care I am becoming much more discerning concerning who I go for treatment with, if I have a choice I would definitely see a doctor, dentist, optician who was interested in caring for themselves, “I would far rather be treated by a dentist or practitioner who took care of their own health and wellbeing – and offered me an inspirational role model – than one who didn’t.” True role models, people that walk their talk…A great article that cuts through the distorted version events as written in the Courier Mail and relates the facts beautifully.

  22. Thank you Jane for writing this. You bring common sense together which totally exposes the irresponsibility of the editor and journalist at the Courier mail. It exposes a lack of research, maybe even a willingness to write a sensational story and that there is taken no responsibility for how this article could be interpreted by people reading it. This all needs to be addressed as you did Jane, great job.

  23. I appreciate this article and feel that it speaks to all of us like equals, something that was clearly missing from the Courier Mail. These journalists have behaved like fools.

  24. The esoteric breast massage cream is a great support for women. Before having esoteric breast massages with Universal Medicine practitioners there was no relationship with my breasts and many other women can say the same. Through esoteric breast massage many women have re-claimed their breasts feeling a warmth and love for themselves through nurturing this areas of their body, as Jane has said. As a result they no longer see their breasts as insignificant or sexual objects, or there simply to feed our young. Really taking the time to find out what Universal Medicine are about is highly recommended and really worthwhile for anyone who is interested, and particularly those that chose to write articles about them – write about what you know is fact rather than fiction.

  25. You make some very good points Jane, the world has many ills and they are not stopping and yet rather than supporting an organisation who has living proof found in the thousands of people touched by the work of Universal Medicine that these ills not be in the extremes they are now, the media has chosen to peddle the distractions and sensations that allow the world to keep declining. Is it really worth it all in the end?

  26. Wow! Jane what you present in this article is bringing the truth and highlighting the responsibility all journalists have, to a level that should provide the platform for all journalism.

  27. “Can I suggest that before you write articles like this you check how responsible or irresponsible you are being? Yes of course investigate… I know Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine are completely open to be interviewed, and explored. But may I suggest you report the facts, and not write a sensationalist article that is based on hearsay, and that denigrates women?” Great suggestions Jane – and yet three years on there is no change. It would seem that once set on publishing lies it feels hard to retract – so they go on digging themselves deeper into the mire of falsehoods. Truth will out – soon.

  28. Thank you Jane for this truth-filled letter exposing the utter lack of responsibility and integrity of these journalists.

  29. In light of global statics, there is no doubt that what Universal Medicine presents on health makes absolute sense… it appears for some, that may not be able to see it or don’t want to, for they do not want to take responsibility for the choices they are making and how that is adversely affecting their bodies, but they shouldn’t dismiss and denigrate people who choose differently, for me that’s just poor journalism.

  30. Journalists hold such an important position within our communities – the finding of truth, especially when it is hidden. There are many fine examples of quality work that journalists undertake to uncover the truth, often putting themselves in great danger. But it’s not just about telling us what’s going on, it’s also about creating understanding and asking why. In this particular example neither has happened for if they actually found out the truth the sensation would not be there. So these journalists added some artistic licence to their story and essentially made it up and didn’t bother finding out the truth. This is not journalism.

  31. I think the level of irresponsibility and arrogance of the media is well underestimated. It seems like they believe that they have their own rules and can write whatever they like and get away with it. Sadly so there are those that are ready to ingest the lies they so carelessly pour out and that’s why they can keep doing what they do. If we stop buying the paper or stop watching their news then they would not exist any longer.

  32. Well written Jane, simple foundational facts that are true. It is the future, not only in journalism but in all fields and industry – how responsible are you being with the service your offering others? In the future, our services will bring awareness and responsibility, exactly what Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon presents and offer – the future.

  33. Jane, I also remember being gob-smacked by the complete irresponsibility of the journalists and editors at the Courier Mail in regards to the article you reference here. Gob-smacked and also ‘blinkers off’ as to the sheer arrogance and disregard for truth and responsibility in reporting – something that goes on far further than this single case alone. Thank-you for calling them to account so clearly and powerfully.

  34. Reading this, I am again reminded of how the irresponsibility in particular regards to the representation of women, and women’s rights, in this Courier Mail article is COMPLETELY off-the-richter… carrying connotations of the days where women were considered the lawful property of their husband (and yes, these days are not that far back in our history)…
    What this in itself exposes in its authors and the culture that feeds off such purely sensationalist fodder is that we yet have a looooong way to go before true respect and decency are considered our standard ‘normal’ between the sexes, let alone equalness to be fully understood, appreciated and lived – as it rightly deserves to be. A long, long way.
    Our voices in the meantime, and the quality in which we live our own lives and relationships, become all the more paramount.

  35. Many journalists would do well to ponder on the clarity and powerful message of this article. Integrity and responsibility are essential in true journalism if it is to serve humanity.

  36. You raise a great point, we are in a global crisis with our overall health yet the media would rather slander an organisation that is living and educating the public on great health and new standards… than actually report on the outrageous statistics of poor health and the possibility of how as a society, something has has to give if we don’t want to destroy the current health care system model we are running.

  37. Nothing appears to have changed in the media since your response to this irresponsible and misinformed article, except the state of health overall has become even worse with there being even higher statistics of diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease etc, leaving, even more, stress on the health system. When will the media start to tell the true facts and not the accusing and sensationalised way of reporting that is so irresponsible and rife within this profession? Universal Medicine is exposing the fact that the way we are choosing to live is having a harmful effect on us all and that by taking responsibility for our choices for what we choose to put into our bodies and the way we are living, it is possible that our physical and mental health can improve. It’s time we stopped playing the blame game by us all being willing to take responsibility for our actions including the media for it sure isn’t working the way it is.

  38. It’s a sad state we live in as a society when it seems outrageous that a woman has the right to permit her partner to touch her. Do we really think it is his right to do what he wants without her permission?

  39. Those who have been through real life divorces know that getting there is the result of a lot of issues that could not be resolved satisfactorily. Personal issues of each of the partners and partnership issues. The way and reasons why people get to divorce vary. There is always a catalyst but it can be of very different nature and become part of the equation in a different way. It is not the same to have an affair with someone else, to have a major realisation about life, to experience an event that made you stop on your tracks. By and large there is someone that wants the divorce and another that may not want it. And, we all know how easy is for those left to come up with a narrative of the ‘failure’ that suits them in how they want to be seen by others and him/herself as well. The truth is that they incur in a lot of manipulation based on the fact that one sees what wants to see and accepts only what suits to accept. What is said is not all the truth and nothing but the truth.

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