UQ researchers accused of promoting ‘harmful cult’

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April Sixteen, 2018 10:26:03

Researchers who promoted an alleged cult and showcased its peculiar healing claims in printed compare maintain embroiled undoubtedly one of Australia’s high universities in an tutorial misconduct probe.

Key capabilities:

  • UQ school members promote unproven treatments linked to alleged cult
  • Worldwide journals livid by pulling compare
  • College launches warfare-of-curiosity investigation

The College of Queensland (UQ) and two world scientific journals are investigating alleged ethical violations in compare around Universal Medicine (UM), an organisation basically based mostly in Lismore in Fresh South Wales, which touts the healing energy of “esoteric breast rub down” and various unproven treatments.

Basically based by Serge Benhayon — a used bankrupt tennis coach with no scientific qualifications who claims to be the reincarnation of Leonardo Da Vinci — UM is a multi-million-buck endeavor with seven hundred largely ladies followers in 15 worldwide locations.

UM practitioners are furthermore taught by Mr Benhayon to attain esoteric ovary rub all the absolute best map down to “assist ladies join assist to their physique”.

An ABC investigation can unusual three members of UQ’s school of remedy maintain publicly advocated for the controversial personnel.

Neatly-known scientific educator John Dwyer, the used head of immunology at Yale College, mentioned the researchers had “an not likely warfare of curiosity” as “apostles for Universal Medicine, heavily desirous in regards to the organisation and the teachings of the personnel”.

UM is linked to Mr Benhayon’s Manner of the Livingness faith, with UM followers entreated to note his strict everyday life instructions from food map and sleep to sex.

Mr Benhayon’s acolytes comprise Christoph Schnelle, a UQ school of remedy researcher who changed into once the lead creator of three articles on UM well being practices.

He and eight co-authors are now below scrutiny for an alleged failure to expose their roles in what has been described as “a harmful cult” by Professor Dwyer, who’s now basically based mostly on the College of Fresh South Wales.

The ABC has bought video of Four of the researchers publicly advocating UM practices, including two doctors.

Two more researchers are presenters on the Benhayon-founded College of Universal Medicine.

The others are a naturopath and a psychologist who practice at UM’s Brisbane clinic, and a director of its UK-basically based mostly charity.

‘Exceptional warfare of curiosity’

Professor Dwyer mentioned UM treatments dispute a “pre-scientific potential to how the physique works”.

“[The researchers] maintain let the university down badly in their fervour for promoting the advantages of Universal Medicine’s potential to treatments, which wouldn’t maintain any basis in science, couldn’t presumably be tremendous,” he mentioned.

A second public recommend of UM internal UQ’s school of remedy is an accomplice lecturer, Amelia Stephens.

The Clayfield-basically based mostly GP is listed in a compare crew with Mr Schnelle to behavior future clinical trials of UM assist danger treatments.

They are running a public attract pick $40,000 for proposed trials in Australia and the UK.

Nonetheless, undoubtedly one of many compare last yr mentioned “the dearth of excessive-quality proof” for the effectiveness of the UM cure supposed it changed into once no longer likely to behavior the rigors in Australian hospitals.

The researchers map to urge trials in two hospitals in Vietnam, the set up the personnel last month held a retreat.

Professor Dwyer mentioned it changed into once “intelligent true to gape the variety of participants who would possibly per chance well maybe merely furthermore be drawn to cults and this invent of pondering and clearly this would possibly per chance likely maintain an affect on a desire of registered well being professionals”.

He mentioned they were registered on a “promise to practise proof-basically based mostly remedy” and “to barren set up that and promote this cultish behaviour is extremely reprehensible”.

UM denies it’s a cult, saying online that “curiously, professionals from the well being industry dispute a disproportionately bigger component of [its] student physique”.

‘Wishy-washy’ penalties imposed

Neatly being authorities maintain reprimanded some UM-linked doctors, including one more used UQ accomplice, scientific lecturer Sam Kim, and allied well being professionals “nevertheless they’ve been very decide-washy form penalties,” Professor Dwyer mentioned.

“These participants are in a bunch up of giving undeserved credibility to the nonsense that’s popping out of Universal Medicine,” he mentioned.

He mentioned there changed into once “completely no proof” to assist the so-called “esoteric” tactics devised by Mr Benhayon, “which he claims can also assist participants with a myriad of various conditions”.

“To set up yourself in the arms of this personnel is to actually risk your well being and wellbeing,” Professor Dwyer mentioned.

Mr Schnelle changed into once furthermore named in a court case as a monetary planner to a terminally sick UM follower who gave $1.Four million to Mr Benhayon.

Her adolescents unsuccessfully challenged her will.

Journal appears at withdrawing academic articles

The Canadian-basically based mostly Journal of Medical Net Research (JMIR) is livid by the mistaken step of withdrawing the UM-associated articles from publication.

JMIR’s editorial director told UQ’s set up of job of compare integrity on March 6 that “the omission of this warfare of curiosity, which appears to be highly necessary in this case, is a clear violation of our policies”.

“There changed into once clearly some warfare of curiosity which must were declared nevertheless wasn’t,” the editorial director mentioned on March 9.

The editor pressed for an update on the UQ investigation on March 22.

“We feel that if the paper wants to be retracted it wants to be executed soon and we’d maybe ideally love to maintain the backing of UQ if we expend that action,” he wrote.

UK-basically based mostly BioMed Central is furthermore investigating an editorial it ran the set up seven of the researchers mentioned they were “insiders in that they assist Universal Medicine events” nevertheless didn’t derive “any funding, repayment, instruction or direction of any form from Universal Medicine or its associates”.

UQ ethics committees authorised the compare nevertheless researchers need to completely present conflicts of curiosity.

UQ confirms investigation into alleged ‘conflicts of curiosity’

UQ legit vice-chancellor of compare Professor Imprint Blows confirmed the university changed into once investigating alleged “undeclared conflicts of curiosity by some researchers”.

He mentioned the university changed into once “recognised as a compare institution of world standing that takes compare integrity extraordinarily critically”.

“When investigations into allegations of errors or compare misconduct are substantiated, the university notifies relevant academic journals, funding agencies and problems public statements as acceptable,” Professor Blows mentioned.

Mr Schnelle denied a requirement for an interview, while Mr Benhayon, Dr Stephens and the assorted researchers didn’t retort to requests for divulge by the ABC.

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First posted

April Sixteen, 2018 05:forty six:27

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