I don't buy the 'she didn't mean it to get this big' angle. She actively went out and pursued her fame and business, it wasn't just a case of friends pushing her to speak out. She wrote an app, and a book. Getting a book published doesn't just fall into your lap.
I think what she did was gross.
She didn't have to tell people that her diet and lifestyle has helped treat her cancer. And she didn't have to write a book with such a ridiculous claim, convincing people at the lowest point of their lives that eating right will cure them. She didn't have to make large amounts of money tricking sick people. If she just told people she had cancer, as bad as it is, that's one thing. But to fool others into believing her lifestyle would fix them? No nononononononono.
When does mental illness stop becoming an excuse (which, by the way, I'm not 100% convinced she has)? It's not like she was having a psychotic episode. What she did was calculated, cold. It wasn't a spur of the moment thing. This lasted a LONG time, she played monopoly with people's lives. And yes, everyone who read her story had a choice, but they were desperate. She prayed on them. And there is no excuse. Not even mental illness.
Last edited by hopeful1986; 23-04-2015 at 12:56.
I have a few thoughts on this. Like many others, I have followed both Belle Gibson's and Jessica Ainscough's "I cured my cancer by drinking smoothies" claims with fascination and a little horror.
I suspect that Belle Gibson suffers from a personality disorder, possibly narcissistic personality disorder, rather than Munchausens or a mental illness such as anxiety, depression or psychosis. According to media reports her pattern of compulsive lying and creating illnesses for sympathy and attention stretches back to primary school, and it appears that she lacks empathy for the victims of her dishonesty. She is also 100% responsible and accountable for this deception, despite any personal difficulties she may have. If her "mental illness" was for example, bipolar disorder and she created her empire while manic and genuinely believing everything she wrote, ok, THEN mental illness would be to blame.
In terms of charging her with fraud, my guess is that she hasn't *legally* done anything wrong - ethically yes, clearly- otherwise the police would be charging her! Maybe there is a legal loophole where people bought the app believing her public pledge to donate, rather than Belle collecting donations intended only for charity and misappropriating them. In other words the money is hers and the public pledge to donate while misleading, was not legally binding.
Thirdly, I hope this shines a light on the dangers of believing everything you read on the internet ESPECIALLY when it comes to too-good-to-be-true cancer cure claims. Maybe Belle's deception can serve a purpose by motivating vulnerable people to question the information they read on the net a little more vigorously, no matter how convincingly happy and shiny the informer's Instagram pics look.
Lastly, although I condemn her actions, I still have empathy for Belle, and I hope that maybe one day she will be able to feel empathy for others too, fully come clean and apologise.
I guess the thing is, it was always BS. Even if she DID have cancer, a healthy diet, or coffee enemas, or bicarb soda, or all the other BS 'cures' that can be found online are all lies. You cannot cure cancer with a healthy diet - and so her lying about actually having cancer just seems like a bit more of a step in the direction she was already in. I am equally disgusted by websites online that claim cancer cures but know they are BS, like the bicarb soda one. Its sad that people believe these things.
I've just lost two hours of my life reading through the Belle Gibson Uncovered page on facey. It's well worth a read.
I'm convinced now - despicable person, con artist, and yep, I'm thinking NPD if anything at all. Addicted to attention of any kind.
So sad that there are people like this in our beautiful world :-(
Silver flute (23-04-2015)
There is mental illness, and there are personality disorders, the two are very different and should be treated as such.
It's hard to know which she has, or even if she has anything.
It's hard though, anyone who has watched someone die of cancer will probably know what I am mean. And that is, when it comes down to the line, and you know you are going to die and nothing is going to help, sometimes you try anything, anything - no matter how ridiculous, no matter how much common sense you usually have. Common sense flies out the window and you look for a miracle. My godmother, was a fantastic woman who always said she didn't want to prolong her life and die a painful death - she was all for euthanasia and always said that is how she would go if she was dying. She ended up getting breast cancer at 38, which she survived for a while, but the the secondary abdominal cancer came. She totally changed her view, she new she wouldn't make it, but she started meditating and chanting daily positive chants, she really thought it would make her better. Because she had nothing else. There was nothing she could do medically, except prolong her life for a little while in excruciating agony.
I don't think blaming the victims for believing her and following her diet is fair. No one knows how they will behave in the final months/weeks of their lives.
At only 23 she may only be at the start of a career of being a fraudstar.
I really hope this isn't the case and she gets the help she needs which clearly she must need some kind of help as I can only shake my head in disbelief at her actions.
@beebs that's exactly right. I can completely understand how you would seek comfort in feeling you had done everything you could, how you could gain hope from witnessing others triumph over this disease, how on some days hope is all you have and how you would be willing just to try anything. And I think many of us have heard anecdotal stories of people that made simple changes in their life and went into remission (I've heard at least three), so her philosophy wasn't actually all that woo woo. I mean, eating healthy food is common sense in a way.
I can sort of on a very distant level understand someone pretending to have cancer, but claiming to be able to cure it just seems a whole other level of cruel.
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