7th Sep 2012 3:53pm | By Petter Larsson
An Aussie 'cult leader' claiming to be a reincarnated Leonardo da Vinci has become a millionaire on his clinic after patients rush there recommended by real doctors.
Serge Benhayon, who isn’t more doctor than Dr Bombay, treats cancer with ‘esoteric breast massage’ and gets customers via referrals from eye and lung surgeons, rheumatologists and GPs.
From having gone bankrupt in 1998 after he couldn’t pay the lease on a tennis centre in Sydney, Benhayon now owns property worth £4,8m, making at least £1.3m each year on Universal Medicine.
The company, advising its patients to avoid the ‘negative energy’ in things like cheese, alcohol and sleeping late, has sparked fury in a lot of its clients’ family members who blame Banhayon for controlling diets, sleep, exercise, music taste and sexual life.
Universal Medicine, which offers relationship workshops for £23k per session, is said to have caused the breakup of 42 couples.
A Brisbane father whose marriage broke down after the company changed his wife’s behaviour radically, told news.com.au that he was worried about his daughter, 7.
He said: "There is absolutely no question it's a cult.
"She used to come home from the workshops like she was on drugs."
Raphael Aron, Cult Councelling Australia’s director, told news.com.au about the amount of breakups: “That’s an absolutely devastating figure, catastrophic.
“We have parents, husbande, coming to us concerned about the wellbeing of their wives, and certainly about the wellbeing of their children.”
Benhayon told the Courier-Mail the accusations of his company to have caused break-ups were absurd and, if accurate, ‘terribly disappointing’, before ensuring his company was not to blame.
He said: “I'm not causing the divide, the divide is being caused by the situation (which) as far as I know, factually, has always been there.”
Rachel Hall, a dentist and Benhayon supporter, said there were ‘no grounds for saying it’s a cult’ and that it felt ‘like a witch hunt.’
Image via Thinkstock.
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