His followers call him The One. They say he’s the reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci. He claims massaging women’s breasts can prevent cancer. And his growing business empire, built on spiritual healing, is being funded in part by Medicare.
Serge Benhayon, a former tennis coach from Maroubra, has up to 1000, mainly female, devotees to his movement, Universal Medicine, based in the hills outside Lismore on the north coast of NSW.
Mr Benhayon told The Sun-Herald he had no medical qualifications but stood by the effectiveness of his treatments, including ”esoteric breast massage” – administered only by women – and ”chakra-puncture”. His daughter, Natalie, 22, claims to be able to talk to women’s ovaries – for $70 an hour.
Credit: @skepticZone on Twitter
There are some really off the wall treatments there… none of which have any scientific backing. Since they show no efficacy, and Benhayon is not a doctor, there is a big problem with government-funded payments.
It may just be me, but the news from Australia seems rather encouraging when it comes to calling out these alternative practitioners and their treatments as pseudoscience that has no merit. This story is beyond that of treatments and goes into allegations of a cult led by a man with a “god complex”. It’s pretty strange.
The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) of NSW has been asked to investigate.
UPDATE (26-Jul-2012) The founder denies it’s a cult.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration is urgently investigating supplements being sold by the group which have not been properly evaluated.
But founder Serge Benhayon says he offers treatments which complement mainstream medicine.
“If everything that is mainstream is working, why is breast cancer, cancers and diabetes through the roof?” he said.
“We are in an age where science and medicine are at their highest, and I’m very pro-science and pro-medicine, but surely there is something missing.
“Einstein said or proved that everything is energy.
“All I’ve said was everything is because of energy… and every choice that we make brings an energy with it.
Oh, wow. Pseudoscientific red flags a-flying!!! With added EXTREMELY faulty reasoning and illogic. If it’s not a cult, it’s still scary.