Dec 29, 2015

Esoteric “Messiah” figure inherits bulk of woman’s million-dollar estate

December 29, 2015


Founder of the Australian-based esoteric healing group Universal Medicine, Serge Benhayon, will inherit the bulk of a female devotee’s million-dollar estate after her adult children failed in a challenge to her will. Judith McIntyre died in June 2014 at 66 from breast cancer. A month before she died, she made a will leaving AU$250,000 ($181,590) each to her daughter Sarah, 34, and son Seth, 41, with the remainder of her AU$1.1 million estate bequeathed to Benhayon. She also gave him AU$800,000 three days after executing her will, to create a teaching hall on a rural property he owns.

Sarah and Seth told the New South Wales Supreme Court they each needed AU$550,000, as they were on low incomes, wished to buy homes in Sydney and each had dependents. During a December hearing, the court heard that Judith had a long history of devotion to various gurus and that her children had understood her intention to leave money to Benhayon, and had promised not to challenge her will. However, they had not understood how much her estate was worth.

Justice James Stevenson said he had watched a video Judith made two months before she died. “No one watching that video could fail to see the state of peace and serenity with which the deceased faced her passing,” he said in a judgment handed down on Christmas Eve. “The evidence points strongly to the conclusion that the deceased attributed that state of being to the teachings of Mr Benhayon.”

Sarah described the judgment as “devastating.”

Universal Medicine reportedly offers a range of unconventional treatments including “esoteric breast massage,” “ovarian readings” and “chakra puncture,” based on the occult teachings of early 20th-century theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Adherents claim that esoteric breast massage — administered, the group says, by women — can heal a range of maladies, including breast cancer, but the practice has been roundly dismissed by the medical community. Benhayon is called the “new Messiah” by his students.

No comments: