Sunday, March 15, 2015

Please Stop Running Photos of Belle's Son

Can the media please stop using photos of Belle's son in their coverage of this story?  The latest Daily Mail article uses three pictures of her son.  The Australian also used one.  There are plenty of photos of just Belle Gibson out there, and I can think of no reason why it is necessary to use photographs of her four-year-old son.  He is just a child and he has nothing to do with any of this.

141 comments:

  1. I completely agree, BUT Belle Gibson used photos of her son herself to promote her own brand. Images of him have already been published online and in her book, so they're already in the public domain. It's not unethical for the media to reproduce those images. I blame Belle for embroiling him in her lies in the first place.

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    1. Yes, I agree that Belle started all this, but I think that the media can be bigger people than her. I do not feel comfortable seeing a photo of a preschooler in an article about a scandal. This is all completely out of his control and beyond his understanding.

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    3. I agree that it's awful for poor Oli, but I still blame his mother.

      It's unfortunate, but it's not unethical for media outlets to use an image prominently featured in a published book. Belle lied about having cancer and then linked an image of her son to that lie. The media's job is to present the facts, not to make moral decisions about how reproducing already public images might impact on the subjects.

      I seriously hope Oli's father will be able to retain custody of his son, and that he'll be shielded as much as possible from the fallout of all this.

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    4. Yeah, I just think that they can effectively present the facts without a photo of her son. I mean, they could present all the facts without any photos at all. True Belle put those photos of her son out there, but he has never had any say-so in the matter.

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    5. Agree with Violet. Lazy journalism at best. The kid has nothing to do with the issues we have with the mother. The rights of the child must be respected.

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    6. No it is not unethical of them to do it. Still, I feel sorry for him. Mainly for having Belle as his mother.

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    7. We can all agree on that. Poor little mite. I get the impression from what I've read that Oli spends most of his time with his dad, so I'm really hoping his daily life won't be impacted too much by all this, and he'll go on being loved and looked after.

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  2. Here is something that I've always wondered about. Even if we ignore all the other stuff, this part still makes be question her.

    Belle claims she is 'healing' herself of has cured herself (not sure if she ever used that word) of cancer. Now apart from the fact that this brain cancer has not yet killed her, by her own admission she's not doing all that well in terms of fighting this cancer....


    The cancer seems to be constantly spreading, neurological, gynecological, liver, spleen, etc.

    All those who are supportive of what violet calls 'fantasy based medicine' surely must see Belle as a total failure? Her case study is pretty much a disaster for diet based cancer treatment (based on her claims anyway).

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    1. Yes, that's a strange aspect of all this. I'm still wondering if she had planned to claim that she had cured the cancer AFTER it had supposedly metastasized. It would have been an extremely risky lie, but she does seem to have been taking increasing risks.

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    2. This is what worries me the most about these frauds. The cognitive dissonance of faith and how far reaching its impact. Believing on the one hand that Belle's story fits perfectly into a wellness narrative that those vulnerable to her story are already invested in, and at the same time reconciling it with the growth of the very cancer she claims to be successfully healing. If this story hadn't been exposed, I dare say Belle would have been circling the drain ad nauseum with these new scares, coupled with 'my family didn't want me to travel to the US but I feel great!'

      Post Script: What family is she talking about exactly. Her partner? Because she clearly has no other family. Another word chosen to enhance her image of wholeness. Ugh.

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    4. She talks about her partner, her son, and also the father of her son, with whom she "co-parents." I found all those details a little odd in the Elle magazine article where I first heard about Belle. Why was she telling them all these personal details? She must be one of those classic compulsive liars who just bombards people with information.

      I think part of the wellness phenomenon is that you don't ask questions, especially of beautiful young women who claim to be "dying." Someone on Facebook or somewhere said the other day "Leave Belle alone, all of you - all this negativity will exacerbate her cancer!"

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    5. I know that when she went to Bali for a 'regeneration' trip she use to post instgram/blog posts on her relationship break down with her child's father - all in fairly vague terms. Her confusion/turmoil/soul searching/following her heart etc. I think it was just so she could justify being with a new partner so suddenly, as it was clear there was some kind of infidelity. I wish we could still access her old blog posts as they detail a lot about the miscarriage (which may have been true) and relationship cross over, and different periods of illness.

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    6. It's interesting to compare her behaviour to Jess - who tried to hide the deterioration of her arm. It must have been incredibly hard for her to accept that everything she had invested in was for nothing. Although i don't agree with hiding it, as she did, I can completely understand why she did - not just having to accept you are going to die because your beliefs were wrong but also acknowledging that publicly is pretty rough.

      Compare that to Belle who seems to go out of her way to let everyone know about her deteriorating condition? That's a sign she was lying even without the other inconsistencies in my opinion.

      It also makes me think that there definitely was an element of enjoying the sympathy and attention. Some have said they think it was all just a scam to make money - but why would she continue to announce her deteriorating condition? There is no real benefit to doing that (unless she was soliciting donations for her own treatment which I don't believe he was doing). From a business perspective it would be better to just continue saying she cured herself of brain cancer (in fact those who believe a diet can cure cancer may have been dissuaded from trying her's given that her cancer was spreading all over her like white on rice).

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    7. Claire, it's possible that she planned to fake a dramatic recovery to boost sales of her app and book, or that she realised she was heading for trouble and used her cancer as a way of handing the company over to others to run, while still quietly collecting the profits. I don't think she ever actually had a good grasp of business herself, I think she was always just a figurehead. Maybe it all got too much for her.

      It's hard to know what her endgame was, but it's obvious that questions have been arising for months. Maybe the company even suspected what was happening and forced her to resign.

      Belle seems to have a history of "oversharing" about absolutely everything. Strangely, that strategy has worked pretty well for her thus far!

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    8. Claire, lt's very obvious Belle's cancer regression was simply another stun to keep people interested (my cancer is everywhere now! I'm so devastated! don't you feel sad for me? then go buy my new app!!) this would have been follow by another miraculous regression attributed to her fabulous anti cancer diet and more money

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    9. sorry I used the wrong word in the comment above, it was Belle's cancer spreading was another stun

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    10. I wondered about the timing of her decline in relation to Jess' health - possibly trying to wrench some attention away (me too! Look at meeeee!) or a lack of originality

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    11. *stunt?

      I'm inclined to agree, I've been saying for days that this announcement about the cancer spreading was a publicity stunt. She obviously wasn't going to die, so she only had three options:

      1. Admit that she never had cancer in the first place.

      2. Drop off the radar, and hope everyone forgot about her. (She did hand the reigns of the company over to her underlings, and apparently didn't want any photos of her in the book, although she acquiesced under pressure from Penguin).

      3. Pretend that she was curing, or keeping at bay, the cancer with which she was supposedly riddled.

      The third option would take the most moxie, but it would also be the most lucrative. And Apple did say they had an "exciting announcement" about Belle for the upcoming app launch. My theory was always that they were going to tell the public Belle's cancer was miraculously shrinking, or altogether cured.

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  3. Thank you Violet. I have a massive issue with seeing her child in the news. He shouldnt be punished anymore than he already has. Poor kid.

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    1. I agree. The poor kid has already been used as a business prop for much of his life. As Violet points out, as a pre-schooler he has no say over the degree of media exposure he has already been subjected to.

      The latest Daily Mail article in particular really published so many photos of Oli that it frankly made me feel a bit "grubby" reading it. That could of course be more a function of reading the Daily Mail (snark!)... Seriously though, by the time Oli starts Kindergarten, if not School, his face will likely be irrevocably linked to the scandal regarding his mother, which really is not fair. I think some in the media may tend to forget how cruel kids can be.

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  4. Belle has always claimed to have shared her 'journey' truthfully. She's been caught out beautifully, there's no doubt about it, however, she still has a journey worth sharing.

    I, myself, was a mixed up younger teen who used to tell what I perceived were harmless white lies for attention (albeit not to anywhere near this scale) . I can guarantee there are others out there doing the same right now - everyone knows one kid like that right?

    She likes to bandy about terms such as 'authenticy' 'honesty' and 'bravery'' . Isn't it time she walked the walk and came out of hiding with her truth? She'll never regain her reputation or right the wrongs she has caused but she could re-attain some of her and her family's loss of dignity that were caused by her selfishness and perhaps even 'authentically' help others by sharing her story.

    Her silence can only be construed as cowardice and speaks volumes to her true character.

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    1. Kids telling "white lies" for attention is not quite the same as adults telling big lies for money. She sustained those lies for years, defrauded major companies, and conned tens of thousands. I compare her to someone like Lance Armstrong. I don't think she can do anything at this point to "help others," and I'm not particularly interested in any story she has to share.

      But you're absolutely right that she needs to come clean and just tell the truth. Sell an interview to 60 Minutes or SOMETHING. I think she still thinks she can fix this, by just adding more lies to all those she's already told. She's overestimating the patience of the public.

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  5. It seems Penguin has now pulled her book from Aussie shelves. Let's hope this is just the beginning.

    "Despite our best endeavours, Penguin Books has not received sufficient explanation from Ms Gibson, author of The Whole Pantry recipe book, in response to recent allegations,' the publisher said.

    'As such, we have been left with no other option but to stop supplying the book in Australia.

    'We remain hopeful that we will receive the formal assurances we have requested in the coming days."

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2996121/Whole-Pantry-health-blogger-Belle-Gibson-hits-social-media-claims-faked-brain-cancer-survival-story-pictures-emerge-drinking-alcohol.html

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  6. Lantern/Penguin have finally made a (inadequate) statement:

    "Despite our best endeavours, we have not received sufficient explanation from Ms Gibson, author of The Whole Pantry recipe book, in response to recent allegations. As such, we have been left with no other option but to stop supplying the book in Australia. We remain hopeful that we will receive the formal assurances we have requested in the coming days."

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    1. "We remain hopeful that we will receive the formal assurances we have requested..."

      Translation: "We're still waiting for proof, Belle!"

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  7. As more and more news outlets report that Penguin has pulled her book and will no longer reprint it, Jo Conti over on the Belle Gibson Uncovered FB page pointed out:

    "All references to the book have just disappeared from the @ healingbelle insta account. 343 posts to 185 in minutes......"

    And then as a few of them watched the total dropped to 163 and then 96 and was last at 72.

    It's almost frightening that after all of this she actually still believes that deleting something really does erase it from the Internet. Android has also dropped her app apparently so fingers crossed Apple finally follows suit.

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    1. It's down to 24 now...and everyone is commenting on the most recent image to say she should just shut down the account.

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    2. dr phil needs to get onto this story at some point. i worry that this girl will just disappear after cat fishing thousands. i wonder who will be the first to launch legal action?

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    3. I don't think she was intentionally alluding to Dr Phil the TV psychologist. She just said the first name that came to mind. I really think this is something for the authorities to investigate, not a psychologist. I'd be sorry if Belle turned this into another play for a sympathy.

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  8. she's updated the blurb on her instagram "in respect to monitoring the abuse + threats against belle, this account has been reduced to the posts which mean the most"

    what i don't get is how this even came about? how could someone of average intelligence pull this whole thing off and get so far????? is the partner guilty too?

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    1. Posts that mean the most aka a lace bra? A few quotes she didn't even write? I'm surprised she didn't delete her most recent photo that has all the comments on it.

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    2. Good question! I think she's just a really brazen liar, and people who lie as if they've got nothing to lose often succeed, at least for a while. Plus she's pretty, and people don't question you when you say you're dying. If you think about it, most of the dealings she had with people were very superficial - mostly through social media, where it's very easy to portray an image that isn't authentic.

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    3. hahaha, "abuse+threats"?? she is the victim?? this is getting so funny

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    4. Especially since she's been saying for some time that she "refuses to play the victim" (quote from the Elle magazine article). "Playing the victim" is precisely what she's been doing for some years.

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  9. I understand that the elusive Ms Giibson and an unidentified male have been in Santa Monica since earlier this week with word she has no plans to return to Oz.

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    1. how did you hear this?

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    2. The media here is reporting that she's been in Australia consulting with a lawyer in Australia. Her son is here. And they interviewed her partner at home in Elwood. Do you have more information?

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  10. She couldn't just move o/seas with her kid, what about his Dad? Equally, she couldn't just leave him behind.

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    1. If the father previously signed the passport application form, for something like an innocuous trip to Fiji, then she can take him anywhere she wants to. She'd be in violation of the International Convention on Child Abduction, but I somehow doubt that means much to her. And she can either go to ground or spin proceedings out for years.

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    2. She would still need a stat dec with his father's permission to take him out of the country.

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    3. she probably got one. she has probably been in the states all along as she was meant to make a big announcement with apple and was probably there for the watch launch.

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    4. The father is still very much in the picture apparently very close to the human virus that is Belle Gibson.

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    5. I still question how much both her current partner and Oli's father knew about these scams as I struggle to believe they were in the dark about it all. And as such, would the father really be resistant to her traveling overseas with Oli for a period of time? Then again I also don't think she would've taken Oli with her if she ran for the US. For some reason that just doesn't seem like something she'd do.

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    6. She made it quite plain in the Elle article of last December that when she travels she leaves Oli with his father. Apparently her friends "gently questioned her" about her habit of leaving Oli behind, and she said "it's just something I have to do."

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    7. If she is in the states then I would bet money she's sans enfant and the kid is back here with his dad. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if she is just skulking around Melbourne somewhere trying to give the impression she has flown the coop for more glamorous climes.

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    8. Melbournians, keep an eye out for the girl in the trench-coat and sunglasses, posing nervously behind a newspaper.

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    9. She is NOT overseas. She is in Melbourne. She was seen Saturday.

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    10. I saw she checked into flemington market on her Harry gibson Facebook page a over the weekend. But she was not there when the police went to the Elwood home so who knows where she is. She probably has millions in the bank and she's happy to wash her hands of this disappear change aliases and start up another scam in a few years time

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    11. I just find it hard to believe that if she is in Melbourne, in this age of social media and mobile phone cameras etc, NO ONE has seen her/photographed her, including the media. Given it has been in all the major Melbourne papers, surely they, at least, would be trying to get a photo ?

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  11. That might explain why no journos have been able to get photographs of her in Australia ? Would there be anything prohibiting her leaving the country or have charges not been laid yet ?

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  12. Nothing would surprise me about this girl anymore !

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  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Sorry, Violet, please delete this -- have reposted below. Thank you.

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  14. Here is an album of a special Melbourne event featuring The Whole Pantry:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/emeow/sets/72157638424147204/with/11243762673/

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    1. Wow. I'd love to know what those guests are thinking right about now.

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  15. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting"

    'Ms Gibson was called into Penguin's offices to go over her cancer story, detailed in the extensive preface to The Whole Pantry, just weeks before its release last October.

    Sources said Ms Gibson described the meeting - in which she was put in front of a video camera and repeatedly asked about her background and medical condition - as an "interrogation".'

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    1. Can you please provide a link to the report, Ella?

      Thinking aloud here: if Penguin wanted verification before publication, and then proceeded with the book's release, they must have received answers that they found satisfactory, yes? Are we to draw that conclusion?

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    2. Sorry:

      http://www.smh.com.au/national/publisher-penguin-pulls-belle-gibson-cook-book-the-whole-pantry-20150316-1m0dsc.html

      Good question! I'm thinking they didn't get satisfactory answers, but they wanted it all on record in case it went pear-shaped. Maybe they thought if she was lying, she'd just come clean before the book was released. If so, they underestimated her stupidity.

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    3. Weird. I am thinking they did the same as Elle magazine and willfully ignored the red flags. And/or she told them she'd provide them with some evidence or proof of some kind which has still not been forthcoming.

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    4. Thanks!
      Publishing contracts tend to have clauses that ask that the material the author presents not cause harm, be an original work and so on ... and also ask that the author indemnifies the publisher.
      Of course, the author in this case may have had a crack lawyer go through and red-line those clauses, especially the indemnity, but the largest publishing house in the world is not likely to do that.
      Or did it?

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  16. There's a report on this week's episode of Media Watch, too:

    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s4198886.htm

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  17. Thought provoking commentary about asking the hard questions of these people making money off the back of their illness/wellness story:

    Part 1. How personal can our questions be?

    https://www.facebook.com/australianrationalist/photos/a.887021144674979.1073741828.886888728021554/888428661200894/?type=1&permPage=1

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    1. Good stuff. I made a comment under one of my many aliases. (It's okay for me, because I'm not making money out of it). ;)

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  18. the instagram account - @healing_belle has zero posts! they have all been deleted. I am shocked

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    1. furthermore..... the instagram account for @thewholepantry is now private with only 33 posts.

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  19. Over at the Bell Gibson Uncovered Facebook page, a copy of the (public) information regarding registration of TWP domain includes reference to an office address in Cecil Street, South Melbourne. Does anyone in Melbourne know if the office has been abandoned ?

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  20. http://populagram.appspot.com/user/healing_belle/1

    WE DID IT! // I've been keeping it from you all a few too many weeks now, but I'm super excited to tell you all that The Whole Pantry is now pre-installed and featured on all in store iPads around the world!!!
    This was me, having a big emotional moment in the 5th Avenue store here in New York City where it's demo'd in English AND Chinese.

    Our mission and shared message across the TWP community is 'to inspire and encourage more people to get back to basics by eating a little better and moving their bodies a little more all whilst having the best and simplest of intentions'. With TWP now in five languages, working with over 20 charities, a book on its way and in the hands of all who wander into @Apple stores, it's an absolute honor to say our message is more accessible than ever.

    Thank you to all of you who keep the message and revolution alive - i love you all, and am grateful every single day. My team and I are currently working on a relaunch, perfecting our languages and accessibility and creating a tonne of new bonus content. Stay patient, I'll keep you all in the loop as it comes ❤️ All of my love, forever, to my gorgeous team at TWP and Apple who helped this dream come alive; TC, Luke, Clive, Brent, Lee and Alex. Special love to the Apple Retail Store in San Francisco who were there when I first found out; and dealt with the tears, squealing, jumping and excitement.
    Here's to everyone living a whole life, we've got this... ❤️�� #TheWholePantryApp #Charity #Community #Love #TWPxUSA

    : Apple Store, Fifth Avenue
    { Valencia
    ; 8 months ago

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  21. http://populagram.appspot.com/user/healing_belle/9

    OMG! ❤
    It's only a few days off until The Whole Pantry make their (that's all of you and us!!) donation to a group of charities, families in need and communities without financial support.

    This is a crazy feeling, I'm so grateful for all of you choosing to be a part of this change with us. Remember app sales = world changing.
    Part of The Whole Pantry App sales will be donated to rotating charities and organizations that support the health and wellbeing of those globally, protecting and conserving the environment and giving education to those who otherwise don’t have the opportunity.

    We feel that everyone already part of The Whole Pantry community sought us out for either support, recipes and nourishing inspiration or empowered wellness and are in a privileged position to be able to access their whole life. We feel it's important that part of their spending goes to help those who aren’t as privileged.

    Thank you for being amongst this community, together, we can create the lives we've always dreamt of, the health we've always fought for and the social impact the world needs. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ App is available on iPhone, iPad and Android platforms. Please send me an email if you know of a cause, environment, community or family we can collectively give back to.
    #thewholepantryapp #thewholelife

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  22. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:yC73aIH7WN4J:instagram.com/p/kluorWsf8H/+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

    Today I had the pleasure of mentoring another woman with multiple cancers. Something that keeps coming up and resonating when I do this is the often mention of "I feel fine... like, I feel different now that I have cancer, but I don't feel like I'm dying. They're just so negative about it!" It's no different to the power of ourselves when we set our intention for the day by saying "I feel shit, I look shit, today is shit, nothing ever goes right for me" - the power of you saying and believing those thoughts will 100% manifest a negative day (we all know this, we've all been there!) Whilst both her and I being labelled "dying, malignant cancer patient" neither of us want to accept that. Not through stubbornness or lack of reality... But WHO are they to tell me, her, you, that *this* is it? That we feel horrendous pain when we don't, that we suffer when we don't need to? You are the ONLY person responsible for where you are in your life right now. (Relationships, friendships, career, financial status, health, happiness... all of it!) If you hate it; change it. If you blame others; stop. If you have cancer; treat yourself. Big love ❤❤❤❤❤ #thewholepantry #thewholelife

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    1. Her arrogance is sickening.

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    2. Maybe she didnt "feel horrendous pain" because SHE WASN'T IN ANY PAIN. Geeeeez there is so much wrong with her post haha.

      "If you have cancer; treat yourself" - REALLY?!

      I should stop now.

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    3. Wow, Belle's comments here are just downright offensive. Even if she really WAS dying, to talk about dying people as though they're just being "negative" is cruel. "We suffer when we don't NEED to?!?" Is she KIDDING us??

      This is what I hate about all this alternative fantasy-based quackery. If you do have pain, hair loss, physical weakness, or even grief, it's because you're negative, not "powerful." It's all your fault, in other words. How does Belle's ethos apply to children dying of leukemia?

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    4. Makes me think of Kath and Kim (on childbirth) "I don't know what people go on about" lol

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  23. http://kenkokitchen.com/blog/2014/1/23/a-few-of-my-favourite-people-ice-cream-pavlova

    MY (HEALTH FOODIE) AUSTRALIANS OF THE YEAR + PAVLOVA ICE CREAM

    January 25, 2014

    #1. Belle Gibson AKA "Healing Belle". This girl is slowly starting to become a household name and for very good reasons. She is a warrior. She is a fighter. She is a survivor. She is a charity worker. She is very talented in the kitchen. She is extremely smart. She is a beautiful mother. She is a beautiful friend and she is just simply an awesome inspiring human being. I wish I was joking when I said this girl probably cares more about your health than you do yourself. She will not back down until she changes the world in every way that she can. This girl is a powerhouse who is determined to impact the health of everyone and the wellbeing of families and people across the globe. Her iPhone/iPad/Android application "The Whole Pantry" has changed the lives of many. Not for just the recipes, resources and articles on it making people healthier who download it and giving them the confidence in themselves to change their lifestyles. But also for where the money goes afterwards. This girl doesn't pocket the money to give herself luxuries but instead puts it towards charities targeted at helping families of those affected with cancer, helping girls return to school in Sierra Leone, helping restore human rights to those forced to seek asylum and helping women give birth safely in areas where this would not before be possible. And the rest goes towards her next project, all aimed at impacting people around the world. This girl also has brain cancer, and has been battling with it for years. She was told she did not have very long at all to live at the age of 20, and whilst she started chemo and radiation she then flipped these treatments the bird and decided to do it her own way. Four years on and she has the medical world amazed by still standing strong, doing what she is doing with a tumour still sitting in her brain. Oh and did I mention she is just now 24? Belle is currently working on a book which I know will be revolutionary. Let's face anything she does is. I can't give this girl enough props as she is just amazing. Anyone yet to download her application I recommend you do so. It is beautiful, filled with amazing things and very very cheap. People just don't get better than her.

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    1. Wow. This pretty much sums up the attitude to Belle until recently. Just pure adulation. Even professional journalists choose words like "love," "beautiful," "inspirational," "revolutionary," "awesome." Someone needs to write a Ph.D thesis on this.

      Also, "she has the medical world amazed by still standing strong?" I'd love the names and contact details of the medical doctors who have been "amazed" by Belle's health over the last few years.

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    2. Hi Ella - yes, used to make me sick reading this sort of stuff. There are plenty more examples out there!

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  24. Looks like the app has been pulled from the app store - hope it stays that way! Still waiting on a statement from Apple...

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    1. You would only hope so, Although her app is still shown featured for the new Watch. I lost all faith in apple after their first statement and won't be buying their products again, they can redeem themselves to me but not by much. The only reason they are pulling it now (If they are) is because the out pour of anger toward her and negative publication toward the app has probably reached greater lengths than they were expecting. They don't care about any thing but the $$$$$$$$

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  25. As a cancer patient with an aggressive cancer and young children (and a crap survival prognosis) there are many things I could say in response to the above...but I wouldn't even know where to start. SOOO angry. I hope this woman mentioned above speaks out about all of this. I'm pretty sure it's illegal to knowingly endanger another person's life...

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    1. I'm so sorry about your prognosis Charlie, and I'm angry too. I think Belle has done terrible damage. I only hope that her very public humiliation helps enlighten the public about charlatans and the dangerous lies they tell, and sell.

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  26. She hasn't been very smart about this, has she? I wonder if she even got legal advice? If she did, she certainly didn't take any of it on board... She's only accomplished making herself look worse.

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    1. I think the lawyers are scared to go near her. What if they get scammed?.

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    2. Had she not written that rambling excuse on the facebook page about the charities, then there would not have been a set place to express anger, and there would also not have been a set place where all those people started questioning Belle's cancer claim and where those people could see links to this blog. A lot of people emailed journalists asking them to look into Belle's cancer claims. She thought she could successfully lie her way out of the charity scandal. I guess I cannot say her confidence was entirely misplaced, considering what she had already gotten away with.

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    3. Another Gem from http://populagram.appspot.com/user/healing_belle/2

      "All day everyday. Don't spend your time compromising and settling for sh*t that doesn't make you thrive. You can sit there and say "if only it was that simple" - well it is - essentially it's all just a choice. Big love, gamechangers x"

      Yeah. You are a game changer indeed!!!!!

      Delete
    4. "Essentially it's all just a choice."

      Has anyone told this to the people dying of Ebola?

      Delete
    5. Reminds me of a girl I went to school with who was a born again christian. She once told me that real christians don't get sick - that all they have to do is pray for god to make them well and he will cure them. She said people just didn't realise this and that's why they get sick and die.

      I have to say, I feel pretty confident that praying has likely been tried already by those who are dying of an illness (christian or otherwise).

      Delete
    6. I'm an evangelical Christian, and also severely ill. I do encounter people like this from time to time, although I question whether they are actually "born again Christians," because this view is totally insupportable from the Bible. Additionally, if Christians didn't get sick, then statistics would reflect that. Church groups would be significantly healthier than the rest of the population.

      It's exactly the same delusion as that of the "wellness" phenomenon. A fundamental refusal to accept the basic fact of illness, and the wonder of modern medicine (which, after all, is awesome).

      Most of the Christians I know, I'm happy to report, do not believe that Christians should expect miraculous healing.

      Delete
    7. Exactly! Yes luckily they are a minority (though a somewhat loud one).

      In the end it's just a another form of victim shaming. "What's that? She has cancer? Hmm I guess she wasn't a proper christian or God would not have allowed that." a horrible and tragic attitude.

      I'm sorry to hear about your illness but glad those around you are supportive :)

      Delete
    8. Thank you! Yes, that's exactly what it is. Victim-shaming, however you dice it. Just to add a hefty dose of guilt to the misery and pain you're already experiencing.

      Delete
  27. Good on you, Violet, for asking the question in the first place, and for your work in piecing this shabby con together. The media are playing catch-up and will now over-compensate in their pursuit of her for what they stuffed up in the first place by promoting her.

    Those whose lives are touched by cancer draw on survivor stories for strength and comfort. That she abused the compact and pulled a long con from which she drew great financial gain just renders me speechless in its audacity. How does she sleep at night?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. She sleeps at night because liars hold the world in contempt. Most of us would not take issue with lying to someone we loathe, right? Well, liars just loathe everyone.

      I still cannot believe that no one in the media questioned this either. Have we really become such suckers?

      Delete
    2. Political correctness gone mad? The media/publishers/Apple have a lot to answer for regarding fact checking or the lack thereof.

      Delete
    3. "Long con" is exactly the right choice of words.

      *tips hat*

      Delete
  28. We have lost a lot of acumen, that's for sure.

    Media resources are so scarce, and so many journos have been retrenched, there's little scope for investigative work any more. Fact-checking is expensive and time-consuming, as you'd know from pulling this together, and it takes a certain skepticism and audacity to ask that first question: is she really sick? The stories that ran came from the fluffier sections of the papers/mags, where they are less likely to run stringent checks.

    Plus it's so much easier to run a feel-good story about a pretty blonde with a small child, a terminal illness and a book of recipes with artfully styled pix and health-enhancing recipes. I remember raising an eyebrow when I saw her story last year (the over-reach), but told myself off for my skepticism, wished her well, and let it go.

    So, good for you for following up where so many of us wimped it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I must say that I get to hide behind a nom de blog here, which obviously makes it a little easier. However, I must have let the original blog post here sit on my computer for more than an hour before I clicked on the little "post" button. It is not easy to question a person's cancer story, and I have an agenda that I am passionate about.

      Delete
    2. Definitely not easy.
      And any long cons that involve quackery and woo-woo you want to go after is plenty fine by me. Losing money is one thing; to dice with people's lives is a whole new league of criminal callousness.

      Delete
  29. Good ON you. Excuse bad typing.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Does anyone have the screenshot of her promise to build a school in Africa? It was in the very beginning.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I interviewed Belle around two years ago for a magazine and I know you say that the media ‘stuffed up’ by promoting her in the first place, but it’s not exactly commonplace to ask interviewees for medical records to prove they have health issues. Yes, maybe it should be, but when it comes to fact checking dates of birth and medical conditions you usually rely in the interviewee to confirm that stuff themselves. You don’t say, ‘could you get your doctor to fax me your records.’ Even the Australian expose must have been going on a tip off.

    Yes, there were most definitely holes in Belle’s story but we chose to omit anything that sounded weird and focused on her business. Naively, I know. But also, she was incredibly difficult to get hold of and wouldn’t reply to follow up emails, calls etc I asked her if she could provide so more insight into what it felt like to live with cancer and she eventually wrote back with a curt ‘I have brain cancer. I don’t what else you want me to say.’

    It’s hard to push someone on that. You feel like an asshole for pushing it. She clearly was relying on that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So does the media fact check anything any more? Or just rely on people telling the truth and what they read online? I can understand not wanting to feel like an arsehole but isn't that the media's job?

      Delete
    2. I do not mean for this to sound too harsh, but here it goes: if you cannot do the work required of a journalist for a story, then you should not run the story. And I do not think people were saying you should check for medical records, but Belle told you something we know is so highly implausible and to be practically impossible. That right there was the evidence that you needed to dig a little deeper. And the problem with focusing on her business was that it was too entwined with her cancer story to separate in any reasonable way.

      Look, my guess is that journalists, like every single person here, has "political" issues they must deal with in the workplace alongside their actual work. I assume that many of you who covered Belle were given it as an assignment and had tight deadlines, and that perhaps telling your boss that you did not have a printable story for him/her was unacceptable. I get it. Indeed, I am not wanting to single out any one for journalist for this. I believe that this is an industry-wide problem right now.

      Delete
    3. It's hard to ask, but as Violet said, 'Belle told you something we know is so highly implausible and to be practically impossible.'

      There are workarounds: a call to a neurologist or two would almost certainly have sent up a flare. As Andrew Kaye said last week, survival rates of five years at grade 4 is so rare he'd want to see the pathology report and the pathology itself. That would have surely led to more digging?

      Delete
    4. Yes she was selling a story that is hard to believe, but I think the thing is that people wanted to believe it. That was the whole reason so many media outlets were running her story is because it looked good. When you have other people like Jessica Ainscough who was alive and treating herself with non-convential treatment (regardless of whether this was why she was helping or not, she was alive at the time and that was her treatment) why would you second guess someone like Belle who you would just look at the same way? Also, a lot of people may have realised there was something off about Belle and her story but when your boss comes to you and asks you to look at something in a positive light, you're not really going to be sitting there looking for the flaws (well some people might.. depends on your boss haha).

      I guess what I am trying to say is that Belle was spinning along these journalists the same as she was to all her "followers" and that "doing the work required for a journalist" is not always going to be investigative. Doing a simple interview or writing about someone's app doesn't mean you are always going to dig into their background. And no media outlet wants to be the first to be the "cancer basher".

      I'm sure what I am writing is not going to be popular here but it's the truth. I wish everyone had a critical mind like a lot of you here who noticed her holes before this boiled over, but sadly that's just not the case.

      Delete
    5. I think what Violet's saying is not that journalists should have demanded to see Belle's pathology reports to confirm that she actually had cancer, but that the whole idea of a healthy-looking woman with terminal cancer curing that cancer with diet and a positive attitude should have instantly set off alarm bells in the mind of any rational professional journalist. Especially because you're dealing with what amounts to medical advice that could lead vulnerable readers to delay life-saving treatments in favour of green juice and "healing holidays."

      Journalists, in other words, ought to be more suspicious and less mindlessly sycophantic when it comes to alternative medicine.

      Delete
    6. I also contacted Belle for an interview. Probably the worst individual I've had to deal with. At first she replied immediately agreeing. But when actually attempting to get her to agree to a date or even content we would cover, she went cold. Multiple emails went unanswered and we then moved on. Just as well we did.

      Delete
    7. Funny, in Cosmopolitan magazine's "apology" they also said she was very slow to respond to emails, and so did one of the "wellness" bloggers who was deceived by her.

      Yeah, you dodged a bullet there.

      Delete
  32. Holy moly - Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/thewholepantryapp) of The Whole Pantry Gone. Twitter Account (https://twitter.com/TheWholePantry/) still there but new Tweets gone. Healing_bell on INstagram now has zero posts (https://instagram.com/healing_belle/) And the Cancer is gone too Belle?.

    Come and tell us a new story Belle. Can't wait for Alice in Wonderland of the healing world!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even the website got updated. Links to Book and App all removed.

      Before: on 14 March : http://web.archive.org/web/20150314032024/http://thewholepantryapp.com/

      Now: http://thewholepantryapp.com/

      Delete
  33. Now the FB page busted her for plagiarising a recipe from Martha Stewart, right down to using the exact same pic. "Her" Chocolate Nutbutter Cups were actually Martha's Easy Peanut Butter Cups.

    I suspect if someone starts reverse image searching her recipe pics there'll be more where that came from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cue the lawsuits. It just keeps getting worse doesn't it! But why am I not surprised?

      The whole pantry facebook page has disappeared now too.

      Delete
    2. I have notified MarthaStewart.com giving them link to the images. Will keep you updated when they come back

      Delete
    3. I know the horse has bolted on most of the TWP saga but there are a lot of wild accusations about aledged copyright infringement (i stress aledged copyright infrigement). This could very well be a stock image used by many graphic designers/web designers.

      Delete
    4. I don't think Martha Stewart would be using stock images for anything but regardless it's more than just the pic, it's the actual recipe that was copied.

      Delete
    5. The recipe is not the same. Completely different.

      Delete
  34. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2998310/Whole-Pantry-founder-Belle-Gibson-breaks-silence-reveals-fears-family-s-safety-malicious-threats-claims-angry-critics-posted-details-son-s-childcare-online.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Can't believe she's trying to throw people off the scent by "playing the victim."

      Delete
  35. WOW. Just WOW:

    EXCLUSIVE: 'I understand everyone's anger, but this is not OK': Whole Pantry founder Belle Gibson breaks her silence to condemn 'malicious' campaign against her over 'fake' cancer claims

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2998310/Whole-Pantry-founder-Belle-Gibson-breaks-silence-reveals-fears-family-s-safety-malicious-threats-claims-angry-critics-posted-details-son-s-childcare-online.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She should never have posted his childcare centre info on Instagram in the first place. Again it's like she believes if she deletes something it's gone for good. SHE put that info out there and yet here she is trying to play the victim as though someone went out and dug that info up.

      Delete
    2. Her address was online anyway, among her business information.

      As usual, she's deflecting anger onto other people instead of shouldering the blame for the wrong she has done. Not to mention using her son as a shield. It sounds more like a letter written by a savvy lawyer to try and cool the situation down.

      Delete
    3. So she published her kid's daycare info online and then chose to blame others?. Mmmm Belle would never do that would she?. What's next. Blame Martha Stewart for coming up with recipes which she copied.

      I have never come across a joker like this one in my life. Utterly exhausting to read about her continuing lies.

      Delete
    4. The interesting thing is that despite all her talk of "positivity," she calms across as very angry. Even her lies about curing cancer with positive lifestyle changes involved cutting her mother out of her life (and presumably her brother), blaming "the government" for her disease, and frequently calling out the "haters" who tried to bring her down.

      This is just more of the same. She seems to be under the impression that there's a sinister cabal of conniving opponents trying to sabotage the miraculous things she is doing and bully her "to her death."

      She still hasn't realised that - if she has any supporters left at all - they're a rapidly dwindling minority.

      Delete
    5. "I understand everyone's anger..." Okay, we need to get this out in the open: people who are telling the truth NEVER understand everyone's anger. A truthful person cannot understand when people are angry at them for telling the truth. It makes no sense to them. Only a liar can understand why people are angry.

      Delete
  36. Ella, I would think if this lawyer is as savvy as we think he should have come up with something by now. This women has built a life around falsehoods and she believes that she could fight through the current issue the same way.

    As for her child being subjected to media exposure I am totally opposed to it. If Belle wishes to cool things down she can just come forward and spill the beans. I am of the view that this will happen in via a paid tell-all via a media outlet. It could even be DailyMail since Oprah is not here to help (as in the case of Lance Armstrong)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe not "savvy." Maybe "wily." ;)

      You're right, of course. But I noticed in the most recent Daily Mail articles, a number of readers are starting to say "hey, this is just bullying now" or "leave the poor girl alone." A "wily" lawyer would recognise that there wasn't a whole lot they could do to actually salvage Belle's reputation, and might decide the best tactic is to go into "victim" mode and plead with the same blog-reading public that bought her BS to "PLEASE, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!" (to quote Helen Lovejoy from 'The Simpsons').

      We could use Oprah right about now, couldn't we. Doesn't she magically appear if you click your heels three times and say "there's no place like Oprah?"

      I actually haven't seen anyone threatening her or her son online. In fact, much if the response has been quite above-board. Most people are simply calling for an explanation, and it hasn't been forthcoming. Frankly, a very honest mea culpa at this point would do more to defuse the media storm than anything else. But I doubt we'll get that.

      Delete
    2. *much OF the response.

      Delete
  37. Someone kindly already posted this link in the comments of Violet's last post, but just in case anyone missed it (I did) here is the link to Cosmo's comment on the whole debacle:

    http://www.cosmopolitan.com.au/health-lifestyle/lifestyle/2015/3/an-honest-account-of-our-experience-with-belle-gibson/#_

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Emma. I posted a comment under that article pointing out that there are accusations of copyright infringement and plagiarism in relation to her recipes. And added a link to some examples. But the comment got the chop from the moderators!

      Delete
    2. Oh yeah, you can't go offending Cosmo, what with all their ethics and journalistic standards! How COULD you?!? It's practically treasonous.

      (I notice they deleted my comment, too. If I had a subscription to Cosmo, I'd totally be cancelling it right about now).

      Delete
    3. Oh it happened to you too. Now doesn't that show why these mags go after people like Belle. They don't like to hear the truth. Hype and fad is what they are after. Shameful. Glad we have people like Violet who created this blog for us to freely share our views. Thank you Emma. Good Night.

      Delete
  38. hi violet could you plz start another thread ! its taking me forever to scroll down the comments to get to the latest ones! thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. apparently she's a philanthropist

    http://au.linkedin.com/pub/belle-gibson/85/a97/686

    is anyone a member and could post the full profile?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I took a look at it but nothing stands out. Except for her claiming "creative disruption" as one of her top skills. I'm sure that has some meaning as a buzzword a la mode, but it's still pretty funny.

      Delete
  40. http://web.archive.org/web/20131029192259/http://thewholepantryapp.com/

    ENVIRONMENT & GIVING

    We really care about the Earth, its communities and their local environments.

    Part of The Whole Pantry App sales will be donated to rotating charities and organizations that support the health and wellbeing of those globally, protecting and conserving the environment and giving education to those who otherwise don’t have the opportunity.

    We feel that everyone already part of The Whole Pantry community sought us out for either support, recipes and nourishing inspiration or empowered wellness and are in a privileged position to be able to access their whole life. We feel it's important that part of their spending goes to help those who aren’t as privileged.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Nourishing inspiration or empowered wellness?"

      THIS WORDS DON'T MEAN ANYTHING.

      Delete
    2. I meant "these words." My computer keyboard is very upset by this whole Belle Gibson drama.

      Delete
    3. No, nothing these people say has any real meaning.

      Delete