Universal Medicine founder Serge Benhayon at the Supreme Court in Sydney.
Universal Medicine founder Serge Benhayon at the Supreme Court in Sydney. AAP

Blogger tells court of Universal Medicine 'red flags'

By Sam McKeith

A BLOGGER being sued for defamation by Universal Medicine founder Serge Benhayon has told the NSW Supreme Court of "suspicious behaviour" at the Lismore-based group.

Esther Rockett, an acupuncturist and one-time Universal Medicine client, is being sued by Mr Benhayon, a 54-year-old spiritual healer, over alleged online claims about him on a blog and in tweets in 2014.

Ms Rockett has pleaded a range of defences including truth and honest opinion at the four-person jury trial in Sydney.

On Monday, Ms Rockett stood by a blog entry from November 2014, saying there was "no basis" for Universal Medicine to use a 17-year-old girl as "an authority" in an online article titled "more lies of pedophilia and grooming".

"I just thought that was incredibly unprofessional," she told the court, alleging it was part of the group "exploiting young women" to defend its culture of "suspicious behaviour".

In her fourth day giving evidence, Ms Rockett said there were "many indications of suspicious behaviour" at the group, including the "regular practice" of "young girls" staying at the Benhayon household.

"There were so many red flags at that time," she said.

Among Ms Rockett's other concerns were the group's "bogus therapies" and sexually explicit subjects being spoken about in front of children, she told the court.

She also described it as "so problematic" that Mr Benhayon was "vigorously defended" by "zealots" who followed the former tennis coach turned spiritual healer.

Earlier, Ms Rockett said that in 2013 she contacted the NSW Department of Family and Community Services child protection helpline about Universal Medicine over her concerns about "risks to children".

By November 2014, she said she was running three blogs and had been contacted by between 60-80 people about the north coast-based group.

"They were all about Universal Medicine," she said.

A printout of an archived version of the "esoteric breast massage website" titled "Welcome to esoteric breast massage" was also tendered to the court.

Ms Rockett has previously given evidence that she never wanted to go near Mr Benhayon again after a 2005 "ovarian reading" with him.

The trial continues before Justice Julia Lonergan.