Spiritual healer tells court of reincarnation
By Sam McKeith
A FORMER Sydney tennis coach turned spiritual healer has been captured on tape telling his students that people with disabilities are reincarnated abusers of power.
The NSW Supreme Court was on Thursday played the audio recording of Universal Medicine founder Serge Benhayon, 54, teaching "sacred esoteric healing level one” in May 2011.
In the recording, played as part of Mr Benhayon's defamation action against his former client Esther Rockett, the Lismore-based healer suggested people with autism, Down syndrome and other disabilities were reincarnations.
Corrupt generals, officials and politicians were examples of past "authority abusers” who took incarnate form as people with disabilities, the court heard.
"Authority abusers are 'reincarnated as autistic people'?” defence barrister, Tom Molomby QC, asked.
"Yes,” Mr Benhayon replied.
Mr Benhayon is in his third day of testimony at the trial brought against Ms Rockett over alleged claims she made in blog posts and tweets starting in 2014.
Mr Benhayon, a former bankrupt, contends the material contained defamatory meanings, including that he was a sexual predator and the leader of a cult.
Ms Rockett has pleaded a range of defences, including truth and honest opinion.
On Thursday, Mr Benhayon also rejected defence suggestions that a passage in his book Esoteric Teachings & Revelation: A New Study for Mankind instructed readers against seeking advice from health professionals.
"Do not let your doctor, physician, practitioner or the like advise you on good health or clean living if they do not look and feel the whole of what they espouse,” the extract, shown in court, read.
"It's easy to take something out of context,” Mr Benhayon said of the extract.
The healer said the passage represented a "practical application” of his teachings and told the court those who didn't like the book could "dump it in the bin”.
Defending his teachings, Mr Benhayon said he had written the "strictest code of ethics and conduct in the world” and would not receive a massage from someone who "does pornography”.
Earlier, after being played a recording of comments he made at an "esoteric developers group” in October 2010, Mr Benhayon denied being against immunising children, describing himself as "pro-choice”.
"What is the choice you're talking about?” Mr Molomby asked.
"The choice whether to immunise or not,” Mr Benhayon replied, noting that his children and grandchildren were immunised.
Mr Benhayon has previously told the four-person jury trial that he felt "raped” by the social media posts allegedly written by his former client.
The trial continues before Justice Julia Lonergan.