Universal Medicines core tenets are based on an alleged “Ancient Wisdom”. Serge fans will often be heard to utter in defense their beliefs, “It is just ancient wisdom” as if it has a life of its own, and was a collection of insights that had been passed down the ages and ended up in Serge’s hands one fine day, just in time for Serge to have his nicely timed epiphany.
In the beginning Serge was reliant on the work of Alice A Bailey, an Edwardian age theosophist, occultist and plagiarist who it has been said is the mother of the new-age movement. Like Serge, her sources were largely non historical disembodied people, and re-appropriated ideas from eastern religions.
Not happy to share the limelight with Alice, or probably insulted the Lucis trust- the custodian of Alice A Balleys work- hit him with a cease and desist order, Serge decided to invent his own disembodied sources and misappropriate ideas from eastern religion himself. Shortly after their denouncement of him, he declared Alice too “intellectual” and that in the new era, it was all about ‘the heart’. To create a bit of continuity he kept the jacket of the books blue, and diagrams like they were out of an Edwardian mediums notebook.
There are six volumes of Serge’s ideas. All of them reference Serge and the Hierarchy, Serge himself, one or two entities and even Miranda Benhayon as the sources of the ancient wisdom. Ancient implies to me a time in the past. The term Ancient Wisdom invokes an images of ideas, beliefs and knowledge that has been passed down through the centuries either overtly or covertly, coming from great traditions, great minds and lives. Now while Serge does refer to Pythagoras or da Vinci and others, he does so in a name-dropping manner, leaving the reader to infer a connection, when of course none exists. At no time does Serge directly quote any person from the past as a source of the so called wisdom. Nor does he credit a tradition or movement with the same. The reason, naturally is that there is no connection and no ancient wisdom that has either been passed down the ages directly, or to be inferred from these people or traditions.
Ironically, Serge elects personalities such as Da Vinci as exponents of the Ancient Wisdom, when in fact, Leonardo’s jaw would have dropped at the mere thought of much of Serge’s woo non sense. Da Vinci is considered a father of the Age of Reason for very good reasons. He believed that anything that could not be verified by the senses was not worth debating or spending precious time in contemplation. This was a major divergence in the investigation of the order of things that had existed to then, where revealed ‘truths’ superstitions and mysticism reigned supreme for a millennium. It was a triumph of human endeavour to cast aside ones predilections, religious dogma’s and bronze-age superstitions and work with the senses rather than against them. It was the birth of modern thinking which led, good with bad, to the industrial revolution, the technological revolution and then unprecedented wealth, comfort, liberty, literacy and lifespans for this generation of humans living right now. Free of the tyranny of stupidity , even your everyday modern man or woman has expectations and rights that our forebears could not have dared dream. Our societies have liberalized, equalized, modernized and improved on unimaginable scales. Even Serge can hop on a first class flight to London and be there in a day or so. Modern thought is quite egalitarian in its fruits and doesn’t discriminate against even its most ardent enemies.
In short, the new-ageists, Serge and his followers have benefit enormously from the rational thinking, while at the same time being deeply suspicious of it. In the 19th century scientific thought was a liberating renaissance that captured the public imagination. And with good reason. It offered salvation in this world in the now. In the 21st century, living in the lap of luxury it created, increasingly the middle-class and rich pour over dark-age thinking and and prehistoric explanations of the world for a deeper meaning; the reason? It appears to offer Salvation in another world. Typical human thinking: The grass is always greener. The reward is always later. Now is not good enough. Serge and his ilk prey on that human weakness of being unable to enjoy the now for what it is, and our inbuilt desire for certainty rather than inquiry. It’s a winning formula for the cultist and a beguiling trap that the vulnerable and the well meaning seeker can fall into with ease.
However, Serge, like many new-ageists, likes to call his ideas ‘the science of’ something or another, but that is simply a facade for the very fact that there is no basis, least of all science behind his inventions. Science is based on skepticism. It is an inquiry to disprove a theory or idea. Serge’s ideas on the other hand rely on abandoning critical reasoning in order to sense the truth (in-truth/spherical) of his fictions, which as Leonardo had observed sagely 400 years ago is impossible and utterly ridiculous.
“To me it seems that those sciences are vain and full of error which are not born of experience, mother of all certainty, first-hand experience which in its origins, or means, or end has passed through one of the five senses. And if we doubt the certainty of everything which passes through the senses, how much more ought we to doubt things contrary to these senses – ribelli ad essi sensi – such as the existence of God or of the soul or similar things over which there is always dispute and contention. And in fact it happens that whenever reason is wanting men to cry out against one another, which does not happen with certainties. For this reason we shall say that where the cry of controversy is heard, there is no true science, because the truth has one single end and when this is published, argument is destroyed for ever.”
― Leonardo da Vinci, Trattato della pittura
Serge’s books are mostly a collection of well worn new age ideas repackaged as his own and given a dark twist. Generally the new age is about love, light, creating wealth and health, and at its worst, an unhealthy focus on the self to the exclusion of others. What differentiates his ideas from the mainstream is his need to be the authority. He rejects the new age, mediums. meditation and spiritualism with one hand and then redraws with his other calling it the new era, the impress, gentle breath and soulfulness, while more or less conveying the same notions. He has taken self absorption to unprecedented heights, describing any connection with other humans via empathy and compassion as evil and fraught with karmic danger. He underlines his whole package with a terrible darkness where lords of form lurk trying to trick humans into eating pranic food, having sex, enjoying music, their bodies, sports, or just simply living their lives and having relationships which according to this doctrine, will lead to bad karma and ensuing incarnations.
It is as if Serge’s primary need is to be right not happy. He is unwilling to give any quarter or credence to any other doctrine from which he has clearly lifted his own. It so happens that this attitude benefits him as the followers are attracted to the apparent exclusivity of his ideas. It makes them feel like they are on the right path, not any path.
There is nothing Ancient about the so called philosophy. Its source is Serge’s imagination, or as he puts it, an impress. His authority is dis-incarnate beings which he alone is in contact with. Of course some of them are well known religious figures and others are new age inventions. There’s nothing wrong with having philosophical ideas which emanate from the mind, but he claims they don’t, and worse still, many of the ideas make little or no sense other than to give a vague impression of being wise and esoteric. Even when he quotes real world figures, such as Einstein, he gets it wrong. His books deny hundreds of years of scientific inquiry, and appealing to the new age zeitgeist, dismiss evidence based thinking as arrogant, and instead promote airy-fairy confirmation-biased wishful thinking as ‘in-truth’. Yet, using evidence based ideas, such as the internet, the printing press, and cellular communications, Serge transmits his messianic message to his flock of faithful followers who all intone “ancient wisdom” as a defense for their irrational beliefs and unusual dedication to the former tennis coach with a hazy past; preferring to believe his tall tales than the more simple facts that keep popping up before them.
Those reasons why are complex. But the truth is, there is nothing Ancient or wise about Serge’s doctrine. It’s a pop-up religion hobbled together from various sources bereft of any moral core, with confusing and contradictory ideas, meant to muddle the minds of those that follow. Nothing else.
There exists beautiful philosophy in the world, some ancient and some modern. Much of it is well thought out, poetically presented and life changing. Some of it comes from the people Serge claims are his former incarnations. All of their work contradicts him.
For anyone considering UM and its ideas, I urge you to pause and start Googling those people to start with. Read their ideas. Check out the new age movement roots.
Best of all, ask yourself why it is you need to give your power to one man who claims to know everything. That is the seed of your own true awakening.