The Woman Who Fooled The World by Beau Donelly and Nick Toscano

Belle Gibson‘s Cancer Con

Belle Gibson convinced the world she had healed herself from terminal brain cancer with a healthy diet.  She built a global business based upon her claims.  There was just one problem.  She’d never had cancer” – from back cover

Belle Gibson made herself into an Instagram sensation as a wellness hero, with over 200,000 followers. There was also a mobile phone app, and international book deals. She lied that she had had cancer and had cured herself with natural therapies. Unknown to everyone, including her family and friends, Belle was never a cancer sufferer.

Gibson had a wellness blog with many, many followers, who doted on her every word, taking her advice. People who were genuinely suffering from cancer, were doing exactly what Belle advised them to do to cure their cancer. Many cancer survivors gave up their traditional treatment to follow her advice.

In this book, we read about how Belle Gibson first became considered a health expert, tracking her rise to fame, and also her huge fall from grace. The authors interviewed people closest to her and her followers, to piece together the story. 

The story of Belle Gibson’s deception broke internationally, making world wide headlines. Devotees of alternative treatments and ‘the clean eating movement’ were also interviewed for the story. 

My Thoughts

So, the big question is how was Belle Gibson able to fool so many people all over the world and convince them that she had the answers to cure their cancers. I was very interested to read about what compels a person to deceive the public in such a way. I  found it so interesting and spell binding to read the evidence presented.

As a blogger, I found it really hard to believe that another blogger would be so fraudulent as to trick their readers with her lies. It’s even more unbelievable to think that they would also prey on cancer sufferers and convince them to follow her.

Equally shocking, is that so many of her friends, and people in the wellness industry enabled Gibson to commit fraud on the public. Until reading the authors evidence and following the trail of Belle Gibson that they presented, I really couldn’t imagine how someone could pull off such a huge fraud.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars  ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

About the authors

 Beau Donelly and Nick Toscano are the multi award winning journalists who originally uncovered Belle Gibson’s lies and broke the story.

Beau Donelly: Beau Donelly is a multi-award-winning journalist who covered social affairs for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. His news-breaking and investigative skills have been recognised by the United Nations and the Melbourne Press Club. Donelly has been awarded for an exposé on illegal brothels, coverage of clergy sex-abuse trials, and reporting on disability issues. He has also been a finalist for Australian journalism’s highest honour, the Walkley Award. Donelly has a Bachelor of Journalism from Monash University, and is based in Europe. – Scribe Publications

Nick Toscano: Nick Toscano is a multi-award-winning journalist based in Melbourne, who specialises in federal politics, business workplace relations, and the labour movement for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. He has been awarded the the Grant Hattam Quill for Investigative Journalism, and has twice received the highest honour in Australian journalism, the Walkley Award, for exposing the country’s biggest-ever underpayment scandal. Toscano has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Masters in Journalism from RMIT. – Scribe Publications

Published by Scribe Publications in 2017.  322 pages
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Wellmania by Brigid Delaney

Title:  Wellmania
Author: Brigid Delaney

Brigid Delaney is a journalist for The Guardian Australia and a travel writer. She has previously worked as a lawyer and was a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph in London, and CNN.
Publisher: Nero an imprint of Schwartz Publishing Pty. Ltd
Date of Publication: 2017
Genre: Health
Number of Pages: 308

Feeling overweight, unhealthy and anxious, Brigid Delaney decides to use herself as a guinea pig and try out some of the health fads, both mainstream and more alternative, that we are constantly told will transform our lives and make us happy and healthy. Some of those tried were the horrifying 101 day fast, colonics, many types of yoga, silent retreats and meditation, group psychotherapy and much more.

Brigid travelled the world to participate and gather information about these methods that are meant to improve our health and wellbeing and are touted to help us to lose weight and keep calm. It seems that everyone is trying to sell the ‘Wellness Dream’. Brigid’s experiences took her to monasteries and health farms and hiking trails, just to pick out a few.

There is also a serious side to the book, as the author presents the facts and outcomes of many of these fads. The questions asked in the book are:

  • Why do so many of us swing from indulgence to detox and back again?
  • Is it possible to integrate good habits into your daily life
  • What does our obsession with wellness say about us?
  • Why do you smell so bad when you haven’t eaten in seven days?

My Thoughts:
I experienced many emotions as I read this book. I laughed and cried, sometimes both at the same time. I felt horrifed at the thought of the 101 day fast. I wanted to shout to the author “don’t do it!” Brigid is very honest as she describes her experiences. Her honesty were the cause of my laughter and tears.

Recommendation: (who and why)
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in health and fitness, or anyone who has ever tried dieting. If you have ever tried any of the modern, crazy health fads, you will love this book.

This review has been reposted from my other blog,  Next Phase In Fitness & Life

Have you read this book. I’d love to hear your thoughts. I really appreciate the time it takes for you to comment and promise to reply to all comments.