To Expose or Incite – That is the Question

by Rowena Stewart, England

The recent events in Australia at the Lennox Head Community Hall on Friday evening, 12th October 2012, have prompted me to investigate further the philosophy of one David Millikan, a Reverend of the Uniting Church in Australia. On this night, David Millikan turned up (unannounced) at a public lecture given by Serge Benhayon of Universal Medicine. The event is held on a monthly basis and is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Attendees from across Australia were present; people from all walks of life from dentists, doctors, nurses and lawyers to teachers, hairdressers, students, families and single parents. These people had gathered together that night to listen to a lecture on health, wellbeing and how to live more harmoniously whilst keeping up with the demands of life in modern society.

This event is also recorded and broadcast to a wide audience across the world; it is listened to by people interested in what Serge Benhayon has to say and who find these lectures supportive and informative.

It seems that the philosophy of Universal Medicine, one that encourages the individual to freely choose for themselves a healthy way of life, is attracting the attention of a man who spends his time investigating cults. In an interview with an Australian based news program called 60 Minutes on 21 March 2004, David Millikan responded to questions about investigating cults. He stated that he “would put three tests [to the group]. One, does the group allow internal criticism and discussion? Two, does it have a hostile relationship with the world outside and, three, has it sought to isolate its members? If those things are in place I think it’s beginning to move in extreme directions.”

It seems that his tactics for putting these tests into practice are quite extreme too, using deception, aggression and sensationalism in order to manipulate the group in question into demonstrating the behaviour that will then support his theories. To this end, David Millikan tricked his way onto the stage at Lennox Head, organised for an undercover film crew to infiltrate the audience, and then proceeded to instigate a hostile attack on the general public who were gathered to listen to Serge Benhayon speak, and accusing Universal Medicine of being a cult. As Serge Benhayon and the audience begin to respond to this attack by asking him and the camera team to stop what they are doing, i.e filming without prior consent and causing a disturbance, the cameras roll and David has captured all the material he needs to prove point number 1 and point number 2. He is now convinced that Universal Medicine does not allow internal criticism and discussion, and that it has a hostile relationship with the outside world. How wrong he is.

In 30 years exploring the field of alternative medicine and spiritual practices, I have never come across such a transparent and open organisation as Universal Medicine. When I first met Serge Benhayon I was very questioning of many of the things he presented. These questions were all welcomed, received with grace and responded to in a truthful manner, even if that truth challenged me further. There was no trying to be nice, no convincing, just a constantly patient presentation of the possibility of a truth; one which, if I really didn’t agree, I could simply walk away from… no strings attached and no pressure to convince me to agree.

In the 6 years or so of freely choosing to attend regular workshops, emailing and talking to Serge Benhayon, I have personally experienced and witnessed his continual willingness to be cross-examined and challenged by people who come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions, from working class to upper class. Serge Benhayon responds to all with the same clarity, patience and respect and never condescends to treat anyone differently as a consequence of their upbringing or status. This utmost respect is demonstrated by the fact that Serge consistently encourages the audience to discern and discover what is true for them – never does he claim to ‘bring the truth to us’– this is supported by the fact that at times some of the greatest revelations come from the attendees themselves.

David Millikan has tested out point 1 and 2 in a manner solely intended to discredit this incredible openness consistently practiced by not only Serge Benhayon, but the entire Universal Medicine team and many of the everyday people who attend UniMed events.

If UniMed (Universal Medicine) is not open to criticism and discussion, David Millikan would not have attained the permission he needed to stand on stage and engage the audience.

If UniMed is hostile to the outside world, David would not have gained access to the lecture in the first place, especially when Serge Benhayon is fully aware that David Millikan has UniMed under his ‘microscope’.

All of this brings me to wonder how David will test out his third point? How will he manipulate events so as to demonstrate that Universal Medicine “has sought to isolate its members”?

This is the one very point on which David will have to be extremely cunning. UniMed has never sought to be exclusive and isolate attendees from the outside world, in fact, quite the opposite. UniMed actively and constantly encourages attendees to participate in society. It actively encourages people to take responsibility for and work at creating honest, loving relationships; firstly with self and then with partners, children, family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, and everyone we meet on a daily basis.

Personally, this has resulted in my being able to contribute to my family that hitherto I wanted to have nothing to do with; build a close, honest and loving relationship with my husband and his daughter, and generally engage with friends and strangers in a way I have not previously been able to do. I have experienced a genuine shift in my willingness and ability to be with people, and all because I have made choices based on what feels absolutely correct for me.

I know that I am not alone in experiencing such incredible shifts, and I state unequivocally that it has come about directly from my involvement with Universal Medicine. I have never been asked to make extraordinary personal sacrifices, give money, or been told how much to dedicate myself to this organisation. I have never felt robbed of my capacity to decide for myself what is best for me, in fact that is the key message that Serge keeps on expounding – discern for oneself, and do not take what he or anyone else says for gospel, or for granted. And lastly I have never, ever experienced Serge Benhayon or anyone connected with Universal Medicine causing harm or mischief to others: unlike David Millikan, who on the 12th of October 2012 at a peaceful, law-abiding event deliberately caused mischief to others in order to gratify his own ends.

107 thoughts on “To Expose or Incite – That is the Question

  1. Thank you for explaining so clearly, it is just as you say David Millikan is cunning and manipulative and it seems just after a ‘story’. To film people without consent is just not on; he also frightened and upset members of the public (including children) that came to listen to a presentation by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. It seems to me Millikan has no morals at all. And yes Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine are transparent in all they do, do have morals, integrity and do take others into consideration in all that they do.

    1. I agree Vicky, this kind of behaviour feels very wrong to me, intimidating members of the public and especially children is completely out of line, and I find it amazing that you can get away with this kind of behaviour without any form of retribution.

    2. Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine go above and beyond the transparency and integrity of any other individual or business I have ever known or been associated with, and represent a true role model for us all – individually and collectively, – and to suggest or incite otherwise, such as the tactics of David Millikan and the media did during this incident, is an absolute disgrace.

  2. Serge Benhayon is indeed a remarkable man and a remarkable presenter. He always encourages comments and questions from his audiences and is open to being challenged respectfully. You always feel you are in a conversation with him and others or just in a large group discussion when attending his workshops or courses. This is in contrast to many other presenters I have heard who basically talk at their audiences, do not accept any challenges to their opinion and certainly don’t always encourage questions.

    1. Great description Andrew, my experience is very similar. Serge Benhayon is an amazing presenter and I’ve certainly listened to a few in the pursuit of truth in this world.

    2. Andrew, this is so true. Serge Benhayon is all this and more. His ability to present and share in a way that is accessible to all is amazing. He presents with such honesty as he has, and is living what and how we live – there is no preaching or demands made and he is open to all challenges presented to him. Is this cult- I don’t think so!!

    3. The sheer fact that the bulk of all presentations and courses are littered with roaming microphones, goes to demonstrate that there’s nothing for Serge Benhayon to hide and everything for all to see or say at any time.

  3. ” These people had gathered together that night to listen to a lecture on health, wellbeing and how to live more harmoniously whilst keeping up with the demands of life in modern society.” and how needed is that!? with so many pressures in modern life it should be extremely normal to be attending these courses. I don’t agree with what David Millikan went about. His approach would set anyone up to ‘fail’ in his eyes.

  4. When I read the 3 criteria posed by David Millikan as to what defines a ‘cult’ I wondered how things would look if the that same 3 criteria were applied to his and the media’s behaviour regarding how they have handled their ‘investigation’ into Universal Medicine.

  5. This blog is very well put together. I wish that anyone wanting to brandish the word cult around in respect to Universal Medicine could read this first. There’s probably only a small handful of people who do, but this blog that’s clear and straight forward expels the very notion with ease.

  6. I have never met a presenter in any field who is as open to question and even criticism from an audience as Serge Benhayon. He actively encourages his audience to question and to determine for themselves what they feel is true.

  7. I have heard it said that what you project onto others is a reflection of how you are with yourself. And how you are with yourself is how you are with others. It feels like David Millikan’s stance is heavily invested in self protection and judgement of that outside of him and this is being reflected in his stance on organisations such as Universal Medicine which it is clear to anyone who is genuinely open to seeing it is one of the most loving and all encompassing organisations in the world today.

  8. There is a deep beauty in connecting to what you feel to be true in your innermost. This is what Universal Medicine stands for and what it supports people to do. I’d say if there was a cure to a cult – this is it!

  9. Thank you for this awesome blog Rowena, the actions of David Millikan were deplorable on the night in question. Serge Benhayon presents an open forum, complete with microphones for anyone to ask questions at any time – Serge Benhayon is completely welcoming of all discussions stemming from his presentations or from anything else for that matter.

  10. This clearly shows how when we are not willing to report on everything how the public don’t get the full picture. David Millikan and his team, filmed what they wanted, following their provocation. They didn’t show the general public how they acted beforehand as to why participants reacted as they did. That is unfair reporting. Thank God we have sites like this with people willing to write the Truth so that this wrong can be rebalanced.

  11. The points you make Rowena, make so much sense. What keeps resonating with me is the fact that: Universal Medicine opened their doors to David Millikan and his crew in the first place. This clearly demonstrates what an open organisation Universal Medicine is. This doesn’t however mean that they should be abused as a result.

  12. “In 30 years exploring the field of alternative medicine and spiritual practices, I have never come across such a transparent and open organisation as Universal Medicine. When I first met Serge Benhayon I was very questioning of many of the things he presented. These questions were all welcomed, received with grace and responded to in a truthful manner, even if that truth challenged me further. There was no trying to be nice, no convincing, just a constantly patient presentation of the possibility of a truth; one which, if I really didn’t agree, I could simply walk away from… no strings attached and no pressure to convince me to agree.” I echo your views too Rowena, as I have explored many spiritual and healing modalities for over 35 years and have never come across such an organisation as Universal Medicine that is so open and non-judgmental. Transparency and integrity are its hallmarks – together with love and truth. Millikan deeply abused the trust that was placed in him to ask questions of the audience and caused great upset to men, women and also children who attended that evening to hear Serge Benhayon speak. Freedom of speech doesn’t entitle a man to cause harm. No wonder so many distrust the media.

  13. You share some really great points Rowena in this powerful piece. To label Universal Medicine a ‘cult’ without any true evidence of this is just proof that David Millikan has no intention to present a story based on truth, he is more interested in boosting his ratings with sensationalist stories.

  14. David Millikan arrived unexpectedly and asked Serge Benhayon if he could ask us the audience a few questions to help him with the book he supposedly was writing. It makes no sense if there was any truth in what David Millikan was out to prove, which was that Universal Medicine sought to isolate its members, that Serge Benhayon would have even let him on stage. The fact was David Millikan came under the guise of asking a few questions, but his true intent was to disrupt and cause reactive behaviour to his ridiculous accusations, which actually had no foundation whatsoever, for the sake of getting a sensationalised, fabricated story to put on a well known TV show. This way of reporting has got me wondering how much truth then is there really in any of these supposedly informative current affair TV shows.

  15. I too have experienced extraordinary shifts in my life from attending Universal Medicine presentations but I have sacrificed nothing to do so, yet gained more than I could have every imagined.
    Some people may be ignorantly blinded by lies they are spoon fed and fall for David Millikan’s tactics to condemn Universal Medicine through his manipulations, but those who have attended and chosen to transform their lives, will continue to know and live the truth regardless of the false accusations.

  16. It is that easy to accuse Universal Medicine to be a cult and through false allegations and manipulation gain so called evidence on that, like what was seen by David Millikan’s behaviour on that particular presentation evening. But there are wo things, and that is manipulated evidence that tries to portray Universal Medicine is a cult, or the lived evidence of the people who’s life, health and wellbeing that have been improved because of attending these presentations and courses, not being imposed upon, but all experienced from free choice to consider that what is being presented to make part of their life. It is clear that what I would choose of the above as the lived experience that comes with the livingness of the Ageless Wisdom, something we know from the heart and is honouring to our being.

  17. Rowena I too have gradually made huge changes in my life that mean I am far more engaged with my family, people in general and my work as a result of what I have heard at Universal Medicine events and courses and then applied to my life. And when I say huge changes, some things may seem very similar – where I live and work etc, but my health, weight, sleep and attitude to myself and others has transformed.

  18. Interesting points about a cult here: “One, does the group allow internal criticism and discussion? Two, does it have a hostile relationship with the world outside and, three, has it sought to isolate its members? – as someone who has been and is an active supporter of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I can say that in my experience, over the years I have certainly learned (1) an openness and a welcoming of discussion and constrictive criticism. I specify constructive criticism because I have also learned to say no and lay a boundary with abusive criticism, which I used to accept and take on board and then wonder why I felt useless and worthless afterwards. (2) I have also (thanks to Serge and Universal Medicine) developed far more deeply my relationship with the outside world. I used to be one who wanted to escape and live out in the bush away from it all, hiding and hence not working. However, today I am in the midst of it all work wise and work 2 full time jobs and love the connection with all people. (3) I feel that Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon have helped me come back to be a part of the world and actually be an active and supportive part of it too!
    So when you look at these points and explore them as such, it is beautiful to see the outcome – a balanced and committed person who thrives in the community and is an active member of the community and an inspiration to many who are struggling. Makes you wonder who is the cult here? This thriving and open and committed person, or the person who is desperate to box people into that category?

  19. Amina I can only agree with your words on Serge Benhayon. He is an exceptional human being who shares with us all the wisdom and knowledge that we all have inside us, but have forgotten. To feel such trust in one person is rare but there is a feeling of having always known this wisdom and this man.

  20. Thank you Rowena for your accurate sharing. I wasn’t there on that night but many explained just what unfolded in such a shocking way! Universal Medicine is so far away from the David Millikan cult guide you shared with us! Universal Medicine and its founder Serge Benhayon are the most transparent organisation I have come across and helped me to gain a sense of self Love, and a love for humanity, knowing we are all equal brothers here to evolve back to where we came from.

  21. ‘To expose or incite’, the heading of your blog says it all Rowena and the clarity of your words to follow have been beautifully written. I particularly liked the way you exposed how David Millikan’s antics ‘captured all the material he needs to prove point number 1 and point number 2’ of his theory regarding cults leaving him only number 3 to cover. But as you say Rowena he will have to be very cunning on how to do this considering Universal Medicine actively encourages community engagement and a sense of responsibility to society and humanity as a whole.

  22. It is mischievous to try to create sensation and drama where there is none. David Millikan has been dishonest in his approach and everything from there has a foundation of dishonesty. Not a great place to launch any kind of truth.

  23. Yes, mischief is a great word to use there. My sense is that when we are asked to take responsibility for our behaviour and our choices we spew, we cannot cope with the depth of the responsibility. Yet every one of us has a choice in every moment, and what is important is that every one of us will then accept the consequences of those choices. I chose to be responsible for what I was putting out into the world by looking after myself and ensuring that it was not laced with resentment, frustration, anger and choose to love, to care and to engage in areas of my life where I had withdrawn. No one forced me, not one even cajoled me, I was simply offered the awareness that there was another way.

  24. Almost four years on from this most distasteful display of disregard for those who were attending an event to improve the quality of their lives, what you have written about that night is still pertinent today. Behaviour like this is still totally unacceptable when its sole purpose is to discredit anyone, in this case, Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and its students, through inciting fear that this is a cult. And one of the most amazing outcomes is, that since that night more and more are choosing to study with Universal Medicine, and more and more students are choosing to be active in the community, volunteering their services in many ways. I feel that David Milikan may be losing any chance to prove point 3 – there is definitely no isolation of anyone connected with Universal Medicine, and that I know from my own lived experience.

  25. Rowena, what I have found amazing, from my experience of being a part of the Universal Medicine student body, is that no matter who or what attacks Serge Benhayon, he continues to live and present with the same honesty and integrity. This alone, with out the unwavering love he has for all of humanity continually impulses me to choose the very same way of living for myself. Albeit a choice to progress towards the same honesty, integrity and loving devotion I now know it is possible to live as a human being.

  26. Well-said Rowena and you beautifully debase all the lies surrounding these false statements by David Millikan. Point 3 particularly stood out for me today, the fact is since I have been attending Universal Medicine presentations and workshops my relationships have deepened and become more loving and true – absolutely no ‘isolation’ going on in any way, shape or form with any of the students of Universal Medicine.

  27. That is the difference between an agenda for self and an intention for all. Intention for all is our amicable truth. So, is Serge being exposed when he knows and thus has tested the truth by living it himself in his body first OR is David Millikan being exposed for his own self-driven ways?

  28. I think it comes down to intent. Clearly David Millikan had an agenda that night and his intent was to create a story that fitted into his already written manuscript. Therefore it was not an open dialogue. He then is the one to stand up and say ‘they don’t allow for an open dialogue’ yet the energy of attack was there and felt- which is pure abuse and when someone comes from that place it doesn’t allow for an open dialogue- it is purely bullying. He did not come open or was not upfront with his agenda (as evidenced in many other cases where he has carried out the same conduct) yet then has the audacity to say Universal Medicine does not allow an open dialogue. Quite hilarious really- and yet often a pattern of abusive behaviour- trying to point the finger of blame at someone for a behaviour that they are actually carrying out.

  29. “I have experienced a genuine shift in my willingness and ability to be with people, and all because I have made choices based on what feels absolutely correct for me.”
    This is the very same for myself. Never before in my life have I genuinely wanted to be with others, but now today it is my everyday reality. There is little to no anxiety in being amongst people now, where once the anxiety levels were so high, even though I wanted to be with others, at the same time I was terrified to do so.

  30. Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine present a way to live that respects the right of all to choose and to have an awareness of the energy in which every action and move is made. The teachings are presented with love and equalness to and for all. The underhand and aggressive tactics employed by David Millikan had no respect for any of those present at the gathering.

  31. Universal Medicine is a unique model and when you explain it to people, at first they might not understand it because it does not fit into a box. This alone does not make it a cult, as stated in this blog. It is open to the public and participants are free to come and go as they please, there is no pressure or obligation to attend any event. This particular Friday night talk was 5 dollars or free and extremely informative, had David actually sat and listened. Universal Medicine is pioneering in its field as a College and Charity, a health and wellbeing business, Universal Medicine as a Philosophy and a Religion like no other: “The Way of The Livingness”. Where is the harm in people being so inspired by the talks they are attending that they begin to live in a much healthy and more conscious way that has been shown to support their already demanding modern lives.

  32. Leaving aside the fact that Universal Medicine is not a cult and therefore does not have either of the characteristics contained in the Millikan-devised cult test, it is not without irony that those who accuse others of abusing people try to prove their point by launching a full-blown dishonest abuse.

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