'Dangerous cult' promoted by UQ academics, misconduct probe launched - 2018-04-16
Researchers who promoted an alleged cult and showcased its bizarre healing claims in published studies have embroiled one of Australia's top universities in an academic misconduct probe.
Key points: •UQ faculty members promote unproven treatments linked to alleged cult •International journals considering pulling research •University launches conflict-of-interest investigation
The University of Queensland (UQ) and two international medical journals are investigating alleged ethical violations in research around Universal Medicine (UM), an organisation based in Lismore in New South Wales, which touts the healing power of "esoteric breast massage" and other unproven treatments.
Founded by Serge Benhayon — a former bankrupt tennis coach with no medical qualifications who claims to be the reincarnation of Leonardo Da Vinci — UM is a multi-million-dollar enterprise with 700 mostly female followers in 15 countries.