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Thread: Cancer Hoaxer Who Developed App Fined $320,000

  1. #1
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Cancer Hoaxer Who Developed App Fined $320,000



    After Belle Gibson was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013 she went on to cure herself, and released a popular smartphone app focused on healthy eating. Gibson even donated a small fortune to charity with the proceeds. At least that was her story. Both Gibson’s cancer and her “cure” were lies. And now a court has ordered her to pay a hefty fine.

    Gibson, a 25-year-old Australian woman, built a health and wellness empire by not only pretending to have brain cancer, but then claiming to have cured her cancer with what she claimed were all-natural remedies. Gibson said that much of the proceeds from her cookbook and app, The Whole Pantry, would go to various charities. But that didn’t happen.

    “No. None of it’s true,” Gibson finally confessed in April 2015 after questions were raised about her story. “I don’t want forgiveness. I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do.”

    Before she shut down her Facebook and Instagram accounts, Gibson had amassed quite a following, and kept everyone up to date on how she was “curing” her cancer. How did she cure it? By cutting out gluten, dairy, and coffee, among other things.

    Gibson made over $420,000 ($322,000 US) during the course of her elaborate hoax. She was found guilty back in April but the fine of $410,000 ($320,000 US) was just issued today. The court found that Gibson made just over $10,000 in donations to charities during her venture, far short of what she claimed.

    Previously magazines had hailed her diet as a miracle and they touted her award-winning app as essential to a healthy lifestyle. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Gibson even flew to the US to help work on the Apple Watch before it was released.

    “She’s fun and fearless ‘cos: she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, but instead of giving in, it became the impetus for her dedication to health and wellbeing,” Cosmopolitan magazine’s Australian edition wrote about Gibson back in 2014. “Oh, and her app was named runner-up for the Best iPhone App of 2013 by Apple. Not bad, hey?”

    Except that it was all bullshit. And the app was quietly pulled from the App Store after it was revealed in March of 2015 that she was a charlatan. Gibson’s app, The Whole Pantry, was so popular that it was even featured in online promotions for the Apple Watch.

    According to Australia’s ABC News, the fine issued to Gibson was broken down by the various infractions, which included everything from failing to donate money from the proceeds of her wellness app, to her personally promising $150,000 to a young boy named Joshua with a brain tumor. She never gave Joshua the money that she pledged.

    “Ms Gibson expressly compared the terrible circumstances of young Joshua to her own, asserting she had the same kind of tumor as he did; a statement which was completely false, “ the judge said in her ruling.

    *Snip*

    Gibson faced $1.1 million in fines, but has been ordered to pay just $420,000 because the court found that there’s no sense in issuing such a large sum if she has no ability to pay it. She didn’t even show up for the court proceedings.

    “She has chosen not to explain her conduct. She has chosen not to apologize for it,” the judge said this morning. “It appears she has put her own interests before those of anyone else.”


    After the ruling, the prosecutors in the case and public health advocates warned the public that there are a lot of scams out there when it comes to health and wellness. But Gibson was certainly a special case.

    “Our advice is to be wary of anyone who encourages you to eliminate many types of food or whole food groups from your diet,” head of the local Cancer Council, Todd Harper, told ABC News. “Always seek information from reputable sources and consult your doctor or dietitian first.”
    https://gizmodo.com/health-app-devel...-32-1818874174

    It's amazing how virulent the human desire is to reject Western medicine after receiving a terrible diagnosis.

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member John T Ford's Avatar
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    Well first of all I'm not sure this is a story about people rejecting western medicine.

    I think this is either a story of greed, someone seeking to have financial gains from desperate people who are suffering or this woman has some other complex where she needed the attention of being sick and miraculously curing herself and becoming wealthy as a side note.
    Thanks from Madeline

  3. #3
    ~Standing My Ground~ Sassy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T Ford View Post
    Well first of all I'm not sure this is a story about people rejecting western medicine.

    I think this is either a story of greed, someone seeking to have financial gains from desperate people who are suffering or this woman has some other complex where she needed the attention of being sick and miraculously curing herself and becoming wealthy as a side note.
    Right.
    Thanks from Madeline

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