Another cancer cure charlatan

Stuff reports:

Elle called her ‘The most inspiring woman you’ve met this year’. She also won Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Female award for social media.


Single mother Belle Gibson supposedly beat a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, shunning conventional medicine and focussing on a healthy diet. She then published a book and developed an app that told her story and showed others how to be healthy. 

The story of her health battle is one that we now know was at best embellished and at worst was an outright lie.

Elle and Cosmo have written insider accounts of their experience with the young Brisbane mother… both admit to being thoroughly duped.

The question is why did they not verify her claims? If you’re going to promote someone who claims they have miraculously beaten cancer, shouldn’t you at least ask to see their medical records to verify they ever had it?

Of their feature, Elle wrote

“When the December issue came out, we had a ton of positive feedback from both long-time and new supporters of Gibson. And then we got this anonymous email:

It has come to my attention that you have published a story about a girl I have known my whole life. Her name is Belle Gibson, creator of The Whole Pantry app + book. And a so called “Terminal cancer patient”. Unfortunately, there are a few things you might need to know before you consider publishing more about this woman. She’s a compulsive liar. In fact, she got so tangled in her own web of lies living in Brisbane, she moved to Melbourne to start a new life of lies – “the cancer lie” this time. For one – This girl isn’t 26 years old.

She was born in 1991, class of 08, Wynnum High School in Queensland. My younger brother was in her form class. Secondly, she never had/nor does she have currently any form of cancer (Where’s the proof?). I’ve known Belle since her childhood (and am close with her mother) and she has always had a problem with fabricating stories from nothing on a regular basis. It’s one thing to act as if she can cure “her cancer” by eating organic (which simply isn’t true) but to give false hope to people who are ACTUALLY fighting cancer is nothing short of evil. You MUST be aware of this before you publish stories about this woman. She is selling her fake sob story in order to profit from her app + book sales. She is a wolf in sheep’s clothing & a master manipulator.

Sincerely, Sick of seeing her lies published 🙂

Editorial staff at Elle and Cosmo (which was passed the email by fellow Bauer publishing colleagues from Elle) both say they attempted to verify details of the email to no avail and so wrote it off. Staff at Elle believed it was “a bunch of lies”.

The awful thing is that people who actually have cancer may have been duped, given false hope, or worse decided not to have conventional treatments. This short of charlatan can kill people.

Maybe the two magazines should have not ignored the e-mail, but instead decided to try and verify Belle’s claims, rather than the e-mail’s claims.

Her story of beating the odds and becoming empowered again through her health transformation touched people in much the same way that many of us were touched by The Wellness Warrior, Jessica Ainscough.

Ainscough gained a huge following and a book deal by sharing her personal journey towards health.

When I spoke to her one year ago, the 29-year-old, I was told, was in “recovery mode”. 

Her story and determination were inspiring, but it soon emerged that her cancer had in fact not diminished but become more aggressive. Like her mother who took a similar alternative therapies route and died of cancer in 2013, after seven years battling the disease, Jess tragically lost her battle and died on February 26 this year.

If you think organic fruit can cure cancer, good on you. But don’t do it as a substitute for conventional treatment. Do it as a supplement. Surgery and radiation therapy can remove cancer or give you more years.


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