"Social media entrepreneur Belle Gibson, developer of The Whole Pantry “health, wellness and lifestyle” app, is now the first to be accused of fabricating a miraculous recovery from metastasised cancer" in a literary hoax or deception. Michelle Smith, Research fellow in English Literature at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia asks "What is the responsibility of a major publishing house, then, to check the credentials and claims of its authors’ biographies? Or even the validity of particular health claims, such as alternative therapies for cancer or fad diets?"
And here's a popular press article on the same story:
"She always had her doubters. Gibson two years ago posted on Instagram that someone was trying to discredit her natural healing path. “As always, with everything, this is my journey and I encourage you to do what is best for your body and situation with love and an open mind. I have been healing a severe and malignant brain cancer for the past few years with natural medicine, Gerson therapy (organic, plant-based raw food theory that is supposed to activate the body’s healing powers) and foods. It’s working for me and I am grateful to be sharing this journey with over 70,000 people worldwide.”
As her reputation splinters, so do the dreams of the genuinely sick who saw in Belle Gibson a glimmer of hope for themselves. Her most ardent followers included those were genuinely sick and grasped in desperation for their own miracle.
The Australian Natural Therapists Association confirms what we all know to be true; that there is no magic cure for cancer, particularly when the diagnosis is terminal.
“If there was, that would be fantastic,” says executive officer, Brian Coleman. “We have not seen any evidence it happens.”
Surely a cautionary tale.
Photo: Mallee Bush Pea or Common Eutaxia (Eutaxia microphylla). Thanks as usual to Jay for identifying this scrub shrub.