Update, October 12, 2014
BROKE and faced with having to represent herself in a defamation lawsuit against some of Australia’s most powerful media organisations, the leader of alleged Burringbar-based cult Universal Knowledge opted to settle out of court.
Natasha Lakaev took to task Fairfax-owned newspaper The Age and News Ltd publication the Gold Coast Bulletin over articles allegedly stating she had led a cult which used mind control techniques to coerce financial gain from vulnerable members.
In ruling in their favour, Justice Jean Dalton accepted the evidence former cult members Carli McConkey and Michael Greene had given.
She said Ms Lakaev’s evidence was “deliberately prevaricating and at times demonstrably untrue” in rejecting her application for adjournment so she could muster the funds to hire legal representation.
Ms Lakaev, who gave her occupation as “clinical psychologist”, could only afford to secure barrister Peter Travis to seek an adjournment to the case – one Justice Dalton said would likely have lasted up to 18 months.
– Source: Chris Calcino, Alleged cult leader to settle defamation claims out of court, The Advocate, October 11, 2014
(Article continues below this ad)
A woman accused of being a ”cult leader” and claiming she was from the ”bloodline of Jesus Christ” is working as a government-employed psychologist on the Gold Coast [Australia].
Natasha Lakaev, founder of northern NSW new age ”company” Universal Knowledge, is working for Queensland Health as a supervised psychologist at the Ashmore Community Mental Health Service.
Michael Greene, who was a member of Universal Knowledge for eight years and whom, along with his wife, allegedly ”handed over $75,000 in course fees and over $140,000 directly to Ms Lakaev”, described Universal Knowledge as a cult and identified its leader as Ms Lakaev, though she is no longer the company’s director.
Despite numerous attempts to contact Ms Lakaev, including visits to her luxurious Burringbar home, Omaroo, and calls to her various businesses, she did not respond to the Bulletin’s requests for comment.
Queensland Health would not comment on the terms of Ms Lakaev’s employment. However, a spokesman said the claims would be investigated.
Ms Lakaev’s controversial Universal Knowledge company, formerly known as Life Integration Programmes, has been the subject of intense media scrutiny for more than a decade.
Her courses are based on ”cellular memory” which, according to Universal Knowledge director Anita Carroll, allows participants to access memories from their descendants dating back thousands of years.
The company offers 20 courses ranging in price from $275 to $16,500. Activities include participants stripping naked in front of a group and having their bodies scrutinised; following a strict vegan diet and ”accessing” their cellular memory. No courses have run this year.
It is also claimed the courses cure people from illnesses such as HIV and prepare participants for ”when the world shifts from the third to the fourth dimension”.
Though no longer Universal Knowledge’s director, Ms Lakaev and her children still own about 75 per cent of the company.
Senator Nick Xenophon described Queensland Health’s failure to respond to questions regarding alleged ‘cult’ leader, Natasha Lakaev, as ‘pathetic’.
Mr Xenophon has been actively lobbying the Federal Government for several years to introduce legislative protection for cult victims and believes French-style anti-cult laws need to be introduced in Australia.
He said he was aware of allegations against Ms Lakaev and Universal Knowledge.
”I have very serious concerns about the group’s behaviour, which appears cult-like,” Mr Xenophon said.
”I think Queensland Health’s failure to respond to allegations about Natasha Lakaev is pathetic, especially since she is treating vulnerable mentally ill clients.”
Note: Michael Greene and other former Universal Knowledge members tell of their experience, in today’s edition of the Gold Coast Bulletin.