A woman being sued for defamation by a spiritual healer says he proposes "alarming techniques" including how to touch a female victim of rape, despite having no formal therapy qualifications, a Sydney jury has heard.
Serge Isaac Benhayon, 54, is suing Esther Mary Rockett for defamation over a lengthy November 2014 blog post, two comments she later made on the post and subsequent tweets.
He claims she portrayed him as the leader of a socially harmful cult and a sexual predator, saying he had subjected her to "a sleazy ovarian reading" at his clinic near Lismore during a February 2005 healing session.
The bankrupt former acupuncturist is fighting the case on the defences of truth and honest opinion.
Ms Rockett testified on Thursday that Mr Benhayon purported to give her a reading she had "pretty much asserted ... she didn't want" and she was "relieved" when she was facedown on the treatment table and "not having to look at him" anymore.
"I was sort of thinking about how to get out of there," she said, labelling his behaviour "a real worry".
"I left... thinking I really should never go near this guy ever again."
Ms Rockett said there were always women at Mr Benhayon's Universal Medicine facility, founded by the former tennis coach who is now married to an ex-pupil, and some of the clinic artwork "seemed to be female-focused".
The only other session she attended with the healer was a "sacred esoteric healing level one" weekend workshop at Lennox Head in April 2005, as she'd already made a deposit.
"It wasn't until there was media coverage in August 2012 that I received any detailed information about their (Universal Medicine and Mr Benhayon's) activities," she told the NSW Supreme Court jury.
The article that drew her attention, particularly its reference to 15,000 people having attended his retreats and presentations in the past decade, was titled "The Da Vinci mode" and published in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Mr Benhayon has previously testified he is the reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci.
"Since September 2012, anything I could find about Universal Medicine, I read it," Ms Rockett said.
In early-2013 she obtained the "sacred esoteric healing level two" manual authored by Mr Benhayon, sending copies to the Health Care Complaints Commission and sharing her "deep concerns" on her blog.
"I was very alarmed by it. There were some alarming techniques in that manual," she said.
She said photographs under the heading "Deeper Femaleness" depicted a clothed woman being touched on the vulva by a man, who she said was Mr Benhayon, with the claim it was "great for cases in rape recovery in women".
"He has no formal therapy qualifications," Ms Rockett said.
"He is purporting to treat something ... in a way that is absolutely unacceptable and unprofessional.
"If a registered professional did this, they would be in all sorts of trouble."
The hearing continues.
Australian Associated Press
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