An ABC investigation has revealed that several members of the University of Queensland’s medical faculty have links to Universal Medicine, a suspiciously cult-like experimental healing organisation fronted by a man who claims to be the reincarnation of Leonardo Da Vinci.
Three University of Queensland researchers are now being investigated for publishing research in prestigious international academic journals promoting medically unproven Universal Medicine healing methods like “esoteric breast massage”. The academics who wrote about these methods did not declare their affiliations with the controversial group at time of publication and are accused of being biased towards them.
Two medical journals, the Canada-based Journal of Medical Internet Research and UK-based BioMed Central, are now considering whether or not to withdraw articles written about Universal Medicine by University of Queensland faculty members.
You've got to admit that Universal Medicine ticks a lot of cult boxes. Its charismatic founder Serge Benhayon, who has no medical training, sees himself as a religious leader. Members pay large amounts of money for dubious-sounding “health” services with no proven benefits (an “esoteric breast massage” is exactly what it sounds like). And there’s an entire website, Facts About Universal Medicine, dedicated to debunking the claims of its leadership group.
For its part, Universal Medicine denies all accusations of cult-like behaviour—it has even dedicated a website of its own, Universal Medicine Facts, to answering critics who have targeted Benhayon and his followers with their “lies, malicious innuendos and disgusting false allegations”.
The organisation has also employed the services of private internet firms to prevent negative articles about its practices from appearing on Google searches.
Make up your own mind, I guess!