Game, Set, Cult: The Uncanny Tale of a Tennis Coach Turned Cult Leader

Serge Benhayon and his wife Natalie in 2015. Natalie Benhayon via Wikimedia Commons.

There are some life transitions that truly boggle the mind, and Serge Benhayon’s leap from bankrupt tennis coach to spiritual leader of Universal Medicine is one that has us saying, “New balls, please!”

Claiming to be a reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci (yes, you read that right), Benhayon must’ve been hitting some fierce backhands in a past life, given his current profession’s distance from the art world.

Now, the inception of every great cult…err, organization, has its origin story. For Benhayon, it all started in 1999 when he experienced an “energetic impress” while visiting the porcelain throne. We’ve all had good ideas in the bathroom, but this is next-level stuff!

Following his toilet-time enlightenment, Benhayon swung his racquet into the realm of alternative healing, offering unconventional methods like esoteric healing, esoteric breast massage, chakra-puncture, and ovarian readings. If you’re wondering whether these techniques have any scientific backing, they don’t. Even the eyebrows of the Sphinx would be raised at this point.

Just like any good Wimbledon match, Benhayon’s teachings come with their fair share of controversy. He seems to have a racket for reincarnation and supernatural entities. The wilder his serves, the stranger his claims become: individuals sexually abused due to past-life antics and autism resulting from a previous dictator-like existence. Talk about a double fault!

Despite Benhayon’s off-court antics, he’s managed to attract a crowd worthy of a Grand Slam final, boasting a following of 2,000 devotees, including professionals like doctors, lawyers, and academics. Critics, though, argue his spiritual tournament is breaking up families faster than a McEnroe tantrum.

Benhayon’s main court is in New South Wales, Australia, with a European base named, rather ominously, “The Lighthouse.” His organization, dubbed UniMed, dishes out a wide range of products, from music to workshops and even publications.

However, much like an umpire calling out an illegal serve, the New South Wales Supreme Court delivered a hefty blow to Benhayon’s operations. The jury ruled that he “intentionally indecently touched” clients and was a “charlatan who makes fraudulent medical claims.” Talk about a match point!

And yet, despite controversies and legal disputes, Universal Medicine continues to operate. It’s a stark reminder of how powerful a charismatic leader can be, no matter how out-of-bounds their teachings and practices.

In the end, it seems that the tennis coach turned Da Vinci reincarnate still has some matches to play in the court of public opinion and law. Stay tuned for more updates from this peculiar spiritual Grand Slam!

Written by Editorial Team

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