Universal Knowledge founder Lakaev suing former acolyte for libel

The Examiner, Australia/October 11, 2023

By Benjamin Seeder

Natasha Lakaev founded what was to become new age group Universal Knowledge in the 1990s.

An accused cult leader beat a four year-old with a wooden spoon, and in a fit of anger, pushed another woman holding her toddler down a flight of stairs, a court has heard.

Tasmanian resident Natasha Lakaev, who founded the organisation that became new age group Universal Knowledge in the 1990s, is suing her former acolyte Carli McConkey for libel in the Supreme Court in Hobart.

Sydney-based Ms McConkey, who is representing herself in court, on Tuesday alleged that Ms Lakaev had verbally and physically abused numerous members of the NSW-based organisation between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s.

"You have said you were pro-women. I put to you that you have bashed up every woman who ever did your accounts?" Ms McConkey asked.

"No that's untrue," Ms Lakaev said.

Ms McConkey asked whether, on one occasion, Ms Lakaev had assaulted one woman, punching her and throwing her and the toddler she was holding down a flight of stairs.

Ms Lakaev denied that had happened, and said that Ms McConkey was merging different events on different days to twist the narrative.

"I put it to you that you had to have surgery on your hand because you used it repeatedly to assault me and others?" Ms McConkey asked.

"That is untrue."

Ms McConkey asked whether on one occasion, Ms Lakaev had pulled her by the hair into a small office room, thrown her to the ground, and kicked Ms McConkey's body while screaming 'liar', 'con artist' and 'b..ch' continuously.

"None of this occurred, I wasn't even there," Ms Lakaev answered, saying that she was at a family event on the day in question.

In another incident, it was claimed that Ms Lakaev had beaten Ms McConkey's four year-old son with a wooden spoon hard enough to break the utensil.

"I put it to you that you then asked for a metal spatula and asked me to hit my son with it?"

Ms Lakaev also denied this.

She later said Ms McConkey had threatened to go to the media if she wasn't paid $300,000.

She also claimed that Ms McConkey had engaged in sexual relations with an under-aged boy.

"You came up to the kitchen window and asked about contraception, you said you'd fallen in love with a 14 year-old boy but didn't want to get pregnant again.

"I told you to step back, go home and get some help."

When asked why she had not been prosecuted for statutory rape for the relationship with the boy, Ms Lakaev said it was because the boy's parents had made no complaint.

The trial continues on Thursday.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.

Educational DVDs and Videos