/ Xeni Jardin / 10 am Wed, Apr 22 2015
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  • 'Wellness Guru' Belle Gibson lied about having brain cancer, profited from lying about bogus cancer cures

    'Wellness Guru' Belle Gibson lied about having brain cancer, profited from lying about bogus cancer cures

    As disgusting as that may be, she's not the only one who should be ashamed: the enablers who promote this crap deserve condemnation, too.

    After journalists dug into her questionable cancer cure claims, "natural healing" huckster Belle Gibson has admitted she lied to her followers, her friends, her family, and vulnerable cancer patients about having cancer, and curing her cancer with food and woo.

    The 23-year-old Australian bullshitted the entire world about having terminal brain cancer, and profited from her completely fictional story via her "natural wellness" app, The Whole Pantry. On her blog, she claims she cured her terminal brain cancer by avoiding gluten and sugar. Shocking, I know, but: this is not how cancer works. You know what stopped the progression of my cancer? Chemo (derived from exotic plants and fungi, for real!), surgery, drugs, and a shitload of all-natural radiation, delivered via a linear particle accelerator that is even more powerful than my beloved kale juicer.

    Last month, Gibson failed to donate the $300K she promised from sales of her app to charity. Friends had (jesus, finally?) begun to question whether her cancer story might be made up. Police in Victoria said they would not pursue criminal charges against Gibson, but the internet seems ready to pursue its own version of justice: The Great Moment of Mass Shaming.

    Belle Gibson, liar.


    Belle Gibson, liar.

    Gibson gave an exclusive confession to The Australian Women’s Weekly. They asked the obvious: do you have, or have you ever had, cancer?

    “No. None of it’s true,” she replied.

    “I am still jumping between what I think I know and what is reality. I have lived it and I’m not really there yet,” she said.

    OK.

    But cancer patients don't have that option. The reality of living with cancer whomps us over the head every day. And the make-believe thinking that liars like Gibson promote does real harm to real people. Especially those of us who really do have cancer.

    Belle Gibson won Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Fun Fearless Female award for social media. Source: News Corp Australia


    Belle Gibson won Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Fun Fearless Female award for social media. Source: News Corp Australia

    “I think my life has just got so many complexities around it and within it, that it’s just easier to assume [I’m lying],” she told the magazine.

    “If I don’t have an answer, then I will sort of theorise it myself and come up with one. I think that’s an easy thing to often revert to if you don’t know what the answer is.”

    "I don't want forgiveness. I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, 'Okay, she's human.'"

    Got it. You're human. Barely.

    The Australian Women's Weekly cover featuring Gibson's confession. She still gets to look glamorous and be the center of attention, and not be dying, so there's that.


    The Australian Women's Weekly cover featuring Gibson's confession. She still gets to look glamorous and be the center of attention, and not be dying, so there's that.

    She may not have cancer, but as a cancer patient, I will say this: she is definitely very, very sick. Maybe, as The Australian Women’s Weekly proposes, she has factitious disorder or Munchausen syndrome, which causes people to lie compulsively about being sick. I am not a psychiatrist. I do not know. I don't diagnose people or tell them how to cure their illness, because I'm not an internet fake medicine huckster.

    Belle Gibson deserves professional help.

    But here's what the rest of us deserve: an end to the "cancer hero" mythos that allows people like Gibson and others before her to exploit ignorance about evidence-based cancer treatments. An end to the exploitation and profiteering of bogus "cures."

    From cannabis oil to vitamin C megadosing to juice fasts, there's far more bullshit info out there about how to part with your money and line the pockets of fraudsters like Gibson (and Mercola, and Oz, and Burzynski, all sonofabitches and murderers in my opinion) than there is free and science-based info about how cancer works, how treatment works, and how to get affordable and effective care.

    So yeah. Fuck Belle Gibson.

    But fuck the culture of magical thinking and hero idolization that built her myth into a profitable business, ignoring decades of real science, and placing vulnerable people with cancer at real risk of death.

    Fuck everyone who enabled her, and profited along with her, knowing she was lying. Fuck everyone who forwarded her dumb bullshit lying articles around to people like me who actually did have cancer.

    And fuck cancer.

    / / 108 COMMENTS

    Notable Replies

    1. Exactly why is she not being prosecuted for fraud? It seems like a slam dunk case.

    2. Abso-fucking-lutely. I love you for writing this. The worst thing these assholes peddle is false hope to patients and families.

    3. In the comments section of one of the earlier Australian articles about her a man talks about how his wife died of bowel cancer, and how she might well have lived had she chosen to conventional (or "actual") medicine rather than using "natural" cures. That's the real crime here - not the lying or the misuse of money given for charity, but the leading people away from those who might actually help them.

    4. STOP THE HATE! Yes, it does not make me happy that she lied ... however ...

      Here is a story worth reading ... and a true exercise in forgiveness and facing the reality that in some horrendous acts comes more good than bad! So this woman lied about having cancer, and being cured by eating the proper food ... big deal! She gave hope to people that had none ... she got people to eat healthier ... and those two things outweigh any lie she told! The end justifies the means! Now, before anyone goes into a rampage on me, for standing up for this woman ... understand this ... the power of the human mind is the most powerful thing on earth! It can move mountains ... literally! And, if you truly believe that you can be cured, and I mean without a doubt, you will be! This woman gave people the power to believe they could be cured ... and, she gave wellness recipes that absolutely work to boost up the immune system ... this is a good thing! Would I believe anything else she has to say in the future ... with reservations, but I would not knock her completely out of the park because, though her methods are dishonest, her results are filled with good intentions. Don't condemn anyone that gives you hope, even false hope is a measure of HOPE! Lying was wrong. no doubt about it ... however, her lie did miracles in making people feel healthier, and give people what they had very little of anymore ... HOPE! That, alone, is good enough reason for forgiving a lie such as she told.

      Billie Love

    Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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