Jane Hansen and Junk Food Journalism – My Meal with the Media

Liane Mandalis
by Liane Mandalis

I first met Jane Hansen when she approached my daughter and I in a shopping mall in 2013 to take part in a story she was compiling for the Sunday Telegraph on babies. We appeared in the feature: ‘100 babies born in 100 days’ not long after.

A year later her colleague Claire Harvey interviewed me as part of a follow up feature looking at the first year of life for this group of babies and their families. I was told that these responses would appear in a similar format to the original article, again in the Sunday Telegraph. Jane Hansen then called wanting some more details regarding what I had said to Claire about vaccination.

Confused by her piqued interest, I explained it was nothing more than a change of heart from what was initially an extremely anti vaccination stance to a more open one. I explained that I had come to the awareness that immunisation was not the ‘big, bad thing’ that I originally thought it to be and that there was a lot of fear mongering and misinformation in our community from both sides.

My thoughts I shared with Jane on vaccination were, in my understanding and from what I was led to believe, part of the babies feature for the Sunday Telegraph. At no point did Jane indicate that they were to be used separately and in the Daily Telegraph. When I started to ask Jane what this story was for, she thanked me for my time and hurriedly got off the phone. Something didn’t feel right (in hindsight, I smelt a rat and didn’t act quickly enough) so I decided to call her back first thing the next morning to clarify how the story was to be used.

Too late. The story ran that very next day under the headline ‘Byron Backlash as Parents Vaccinate’ in which my words were twisted to suit Jane’s extremely biased angle of the story beneath a year old photo of my family (taken for the original babies feature) with the caption that my baby was ‘newly immunised’ (she wasn’t, nor was she still a baby). My stomach lurched. I’d been played.

Noting that there was no respect or care given to myself or to the truth in how she chose to report my story, I promptly emailed Jane Hansen (and cc’d her editor) explaining how misrepresented I felt:

“….What you have quoted me on (except [my daughter’s] immunisation status) is accurate. What you have not quoted me on ie. left out, does injustice to my stance. To clarify: I am not pro immunisation or anti immunisation but rather pro choice. It is up to each individual to come to their OWN decision in regards to whether to immunise or not without being bullied by fear tactics.

We need clear, factual, unbiased information in the medical community as well as truth in media in order to have the discussion that needs to be had in our greater community regarding immunisation. There is already so much misinformation out there…… If we are going to be used as spokespersons for this community, best to report all the facts in their complete form.” 

Jane quickly sent me an apologetic response explaining that it was a mistake and wrong in that there had been no backlash as the immunisation rates haven’t changed. She told me she had no control over the headlines and that she was upset about it also and that she would follow it up (to the best of my knowledge, she didn’t). I believed her but also sent a letter to her editor explaining how misrepresented I felt:

“…I’m happy for my views to be shared when they are my views in their complete form. With some clever editing, the point I was making in regards to immunisation being a choice each parent needs to make for themselves became what sounded like a rah-rah for pro immunisation.

I understand that these views are not conducive to the headline “Byron backlash as parents vaccinate” but feel they need to be expressed as part of the growing concern over vaccination or lack of, in our community. Subscribing to any set of rigid ideals and beliefs helps no one, in a true sense, in the long term. Let’s have an open discussion in our community about how we have come to this divide and where to go next. After all, we all want the same thing, what is best for our children and harmonious for our community. Making decisions fuelled by fear, from both sides, is to our greatest detriment in achieving this.

There is a good story here. Immunisation is a hot topic in our community at large. What is needed is a forum to discuss openly and without bias or prejudice what peoples’ concerns are. This article could have been that. It fell disastrously short.”

I never heard back from the editor of the Daily Telegraph. It would appear that the responsibility to portray the truth in media that I had addressed him on fell on deaf ears and does not meet with their agenda.

When the follow up story on the babies finally ran on the 22nd June 2014, it appeared in the same edition of the Sunday Telegraph as the completely damning and one-sided stories on Universal Medicine that had both the name and the scent of Jane Hansen all over them. My immediate and perhaps naïve response was that she could not know the full picture and so I sent an email alerting her to the facts and including links to the UM Facts blogs that corrected the lies.

Hi Jane,

I couldn’t help but notice (front page news) that you are reporting the stories in regards to Universal Medicine as told by Lance Martin and Esther Rockett. There is always another side to the coin and should you be interested in a more complete view of what you are dealing with, I include these links for you:

From Lance’s ex-wife Anna Douglass:

Lane Martin unveiled the man behind the Universal Medicine cult story 

In reference to Lance’s credibility and integrity:

Lance Martin; Business man or business scam?

Threats made by Esther Rockett:

Threats from Esther Rockett Health Care Activist’s bunker; Robert Macindoe and Esther Rockett – a loss of Reason

There are also other articles on the blog site you may or may not be interested in reading. I just felt to draw your attention to the reality of what is going on. As members of the community we deserve and have a right to hear ‘truth’ as presented by all who claim to speak it and then discern for ourselves where the true ‘truth’ lies.

Kind Regards

Her response was a curt and polite and assured me that she had indeed read the blogs and was aware of both sides. I was dumbfounded. Unable to let this lie, I felt to write to Jane one final time offering her a different perspective:

Hi Jane

I wonder if I can perhaps offer a different reflection for you on Universal Medicine. I am not trying to encourage you to take sides as that very notion is what keeps us segregated and is of no benefit to anyone. I simply offer my own experiences for your consideration and compassion.

I have been attending the workshops and presentations on offer via Universal Medicine for a few years now. I have, from my own personal experience, found that not once have I been treated with anything less than the highest amount of integrity and love from Serge Benhayon and the other practitioners. These people are real, no nonsense, down to earth types that share a common passion for life and health, for themselves and everyone else. Their commitment to help others achieve the level of vitality and presence that they have made a reality for themselves is indeed commendable. The work they do is purely selfless and in complete contrast to the self indulgence offered via the modalities of the New Age. To say it is otherwise would be a great injustice.

It is not to everyone’s taste and that’s fine, no one is here to convert as it is always a personal journey and thus everyone is different in that respect.  Serge NEVER tells people what to do, say, eat, think, be, act. I can vouch for this first hand. If others have had this experience with Unimed then I would say that perhaps some of the students can, at times, become a bit righteous and militant in their delivery of what is presented. But that is them and not Serge nor Universal Medicine. I am guilty of this in the past and I have felt the error of my ways. No one wants to be imposed upon and reacting to this imposition is indeed valid.

This community have been the most amazing support for our family these last few years. I remember you feeling how incredible [my daughter’s] birth was, which it was! It was the culmination of me letting go of everything I had held onto in fear, judgment and desperation in the past. I was able to move through this with the love and guidance of a wonderful doula, a very skilled physiotherapist and a very wise counsellor. Each of them a student of Universal Medicine. Their love and support was like nothing I have ever experience before. And remember, [my daughter] was a ‘screamer’ at night, all night, for 6 months. It was AWFUL and it very nearly broke us. But with the help these people, we got through it. In fact, the Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy was such an immense support for her little body, that even our friends and family were noticing the change in her. Without the love and support of these practitioners, I would have just become another post natal depression statistic.

Could I be brainwashed, groomed, dictated to or taken advantage of? These words make me shudder as that is what they are designed to do and there is not an ounce of truth in them. That Esther found Serge ‘sleazy’ perhaps says more of where she is at than where Serge is at. And while it is fine for her to have an opinion of the treatments she received, to go about it with such an utter lack of integrity and professionalism is very revealing as to what her true agenda is. Lance and Esther, along with a few others, are embarking on a very personal crusade to ‘bring down Serge’ (their words) and Universal Medicine. Their story and subsequent allegations have no substance and their vitriol and hate are not even worth subjecting the general public to. Why feed the fire? It serves no one.

It feels to me like a modern day witch hunt, not dissimilar to antics of the past where the persecution orders came through churches and dictators. Our history is littered with vile and oppressive acts which none of us care to revisit. Only today the bloody weapons have been traded in for slander and ridicule via words designed to cut deep and uttered behind a cloak of anonymity without a shred of credible evidence. A sorry state indeed.

My point is Jane, you know me and you know my family, especially the lovely light that is [my daughter]. You’ve been to our house, you have seen how we live. You have yourself described me as ‘wise and considered’. And so I ask you, would who you know me to be, be in any way involved with a group that were not walking and talking with the same integrity and truth? I am no easy person to fool.

Kind regards

Jane Hanson (Journalist)
Jane Hansen (Journalist)

Again, Jane Hansen’s response was curt and polite. She thanked me and told me that she respected my wishes and my involvement with Universal Medicine noting that it was indeed an interesting group.

It was at this stage that I did my own research on Jane Hansen that brought to light her penchant for tabloid style journalism; a method of reporting that has everything to do with fiction (creating a story that sells) and nothing to do with the truth. Little, if any effort is taken to understand the people involved; on the contrary the subjects seem to be used as bait and the readers are left to fall for it hook, line and sinker. Not a lot of respect on the journalists’ part for either party there.

I spoke to a work colleague of Jane’s regarding her treatment of me who revealed that this sort of ruthless and irresponsible behaviour was typical of Jane Hansen and that she had a bit of a reputation in the industry.

I then shared my experiences with Alison Greig for her article on Universal Medicine Facts: Jane Hansen a Seasoned Journalist with a Murky Past which dissects this style of journalism and the methods employed by Jane Hansen, revealing the tendency to exclude any alternative viewpoint that does not meet with the already determined angle of the story, so that what we end up with is a completely biased and purely manipulative style of journalism that dresses up lies as ‘truth’ and attempts to sell it to an unwitting public. Precisely what I had experienced personally at Jane Hansen’s hand.

Clearly, this was deeply upsetting for Jane to feel because in February 2015, six months after it went to print, she sent me a personal email condemning me for my contribution to UM Facts, making reference to it as a hate blog. It was apparent that she had misread the material presented and took it as a personal attack in which she thought that previous tragic circumstances in her life were being used against her and she was simply a victim to bullying of the highest degree. She reiterated that what she reported of me was absolutely correct and that my issue was with material that she was not responsible for.
My response to her was this:

Hi Jane,

I have only shared what I experienced with you reporting my truth and how it was not my truth that was reported but someone’s else’s version of a truth that was bent to suit an angle that I didn’t agree with. 

Your extreme pro-vaccination view is on public record (on-line) and so it is fair of me to say that you had a hidden agenda when interviewing me. And, while I initially accepted your reasons of ‘it’s not my fault’, on further reflection, it was YOUR story and you are responsible for what you put your name to whether it gets changed down the line or not.

I wrote a letter to your editor who didn’t even have the courtesy to respond, such must be the frequency of such objections. As the paper printed no correction, the truth was not served. Then, watching the completely biased and unfair way you treated Universal Medicine and its students by not having the respect or professionalism to even enquire or report their side of the story, nor report the background of cyber bullying that you were aware that your sources (Lance Martin and Esther Rockett) had along with Martin’s personal agenda to destroy Universal Medicine and the string of baseless and dismissed complaints they both made against UM to government bodies, further confirmed that what I felt in my treatment by you to be true. That hurt. It hurt because I trusted you. I trusted you to report the truth.

It is by no means a personal attack, simply a platform to be made accountable for what you have chosen to play ball with here – favouring lies over the truth because it makes for a better story. Where is the responsibility in that?

No one here is bullying you Jane. It was stated very clearly in Alison Greig’s article: “Jane Hansen was featured on Australian Story in 2007 about the loss of her prematurely born child. This is a tragic story and one of course that commands compassion and respect.” As a mother, I cannot fathom what this felt like for you but as your husband said, after this tragedy, you became ‘more compassionate’ and you even share that you felt a greater empathy towards others. Alison simply poses the question: “But would this life-changing moment signify fundamental change in how she works? Would it mean that she would take action to arrest harm if it would get in the way of a good story?”

Your remorse with the Mendoza story is evident, so why choose to harm all over again with a different group of people? I understand that you were just ‘doing your job’ but we all get caught in the mess of the world and there is a way to say no to this and you didn’t make that choice.

I’m not sure you understand the extent of the damage you helped to create when choosing to report your stories in this way. It’s unfair and unbalanced reporting and it wins, the lies win if no one stands up and says: ‘hey this isn’t true!’ As a reporter, you are in the rather privileged position of being able to call out all that doesn’t serve us as a society and speak the truth so that others can hear it. But you didn’t make that choice.

This isn’t even about ‘choosing sides’. The world is sick of sides and sick of competition with each other. Omit the bias. Print the facts. Report BOTH sides. Credit the people of the world with enough intelligence to discern the truth for themselves without having biased reporters trying to shape what we are fed from a ‘pen’ that has no regard for all that is fair and true and loving in our world.

If your past mistakes haunt you then perhaps you have not grasped the lessons therein. That is yours to feel and if you feel it when the past is mentioned then maybe that is an indication of what remains unresolved within you. No one wishes you harm and there is no ill intent here, only examples of you choosing to run with a style of journalism (printing lies without checking facts) that has let you and everyone else down before. Deep down you know that what you say is not true and people will be hurt, so why keep choosing to do it?

Universal Medicine has been under attack from this gang of cyber bullies for nearly 3 years now. Standing up to bullies is not being a bully, wanting to set the record straight is not bullying and neither is it tit for tat. The UM Facts site simply presents the truth of the matter at hand, in all its horribleness. If you have read the sick allegations that Esther Rockett, Lance Martin and the others have made against anyone associated with Universal Medicine, allegations that Esther has made sure the world will see by printing them on her blog and getting the media on board, then you will know that you have, perhaps unwittingly, colluded with the real bullies here.

Each one of our actions carries a consequence and that is what you are left to feel now Jane. It feels horrible to sidestep truth and love and push people out of the way, for the sake of something that sells. You don’t need me to tell you that.

Yes, there is bullying of the highest order here Jane, but it is not from me or Alison Greig or Universal Medicine. It is through a system that allows malicious lies to be printed as ‘truth’ with no regard to the people involved. I am simply one voice in many saying ‘I’m sick of being treated like this. We are ALL worth more than this’ and I have no doubt in my mind that you are too Jane.

with love,

In response, Jane sent a barrage of emails in which her anger, fury and outrage towards myself and Universal Medicine was clearly marked by her words.

By this stage her correspondence did not even show the courtesy of addressing me or signing off. They were simply expressions of hurt and hate hurled directly at me while making reference to Serge Benhayon and the wider body of Universal Medicine students. Bizarrely she also took the time to further reinforce her militant stance on pro immunisation and her condemnation of those who choose counter to this (further confirmation of her biased and manipulative style of reporting). She rued the day she met me and then signed off with a refusal to be silenced telling me, in less eloquent terms, to accept or say nothing about the hate.

But I am not really one to say nothing, particularly when a journalist is personally harassing me.

I find it fascinating that when a bully is exposed, such as Jane Hansen, Esther Rockett or Lance Martin, their immediate response is to cry victim to those that have a hand in exposing the truth. Just because your lies are exposed, doesn’t make the ones who helped to expose them ‘liars’. Furthermore, if you have done nothing ‘wrong’ then there is nothing to expose. These cries of ‘victimisation’ are nothing more than desperate attempts to alleviate the discomfort that arises when left with the accountability of their bullying actions. It is simply an outright refusal to take responsibility for their deliberate distortions of truth and so they continue to hurl abuse, blame and lies in a last ditch attempt to shift the focus away from the real perpetrators of harm (them) – accusing others of what they are guilty of themselves. These people are victims to the liar that they allow to run them and nothing else.

I have nothing against Jane Hansen as a person; it is how she chooses to conduct herself and what she chooses to engage with that I take issue with.

In my opinion, this style of accusatory journalism where lies are touted as fact with no thought or feeling for the human being behind the story and the complete disregard and disinterest for the truth, is cruel and heartless and lacks the very natural human qualities of compassion and understanding. The subjects are treated more as targets than as real people as if they are mere pawns used in a cruel game played out amongst irresponsible journalists who appear to have no morals, no integrity and certainly no love at the fore. The winner is the one who creates the most publicity no matter there is not an ounce of truth in it or the harm it creates for the people involved.
It is for each of us to choose for ourselves whether this style of journalism is something we want to support (by buying the papers) or not, but the journalists, editors and media have a responsibility for what they are dishing up.

This brand of junk food journalism, designed for mass appeal and lacking any true substance, nourishment or care is not only imposing and insulting to our intelligence and love, it is poison to all those who are unfortunate enough to consume it.

Read the Full Story regarding Jane Hansen’s recent coverage of Universal Medicine at the Universal Medicine Facts website.

by Liane Mandalis