Since I’ve been complaining about credulity in the media reporting on cancer this week, in particular the way local reporters Carol Robidoux and April Guilmet published articles that were nothing more than regurgitations of propaganda from Stanislaw Burzynski, I figured I might as well go all in and finish the week out with more of the same. Hopefully, it’ll clear the deck to move on to different topics next week. Besides, seeing this really irritated me.

I don’t live in Australia (obviously), but it seems that I’m frequently aware of things going on in Australia relevant to skeptical concerns and the defense of science-based medicine. Part of this is due to the Internet, of course, which makes it possible to have access to publications from around the world in a way that wasn’t feasible even 15 or 20 years ago. More importantly, through my blogging and visits to meetings like TAM, I’ve made contact with a lot of Australian skeptics, both online and face-to-face. In any case, that’s how I first became aware of the case of Jessica Ainscough, a young woman from Australia who was diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma of the left arm. Because her disease was rare and difficult to treat, requiring an amputation of her arm at the shoulder, she balked at surgery. Ultimately, her doctors proposed isolated limb perfusion, which involves isolating the limb from the systemic circulation and infusing it with very high doses of chemotherapy. It worked, but her tumor recurred about a year later. It’s at that point that she turned to woo and started undergoing the Gerson therapy, which is total quackery.

Because Ainscough had a slow-growing, indolent tumor, she’s done fairly well for five or six years with essentially no treatment, building quite the woo empire for herself as The Wellness Warrior promoting various dietary woo, the Gerson Therapy (complete with demonstrations of how to give oneself a coffee enema), and lots of other dubious health advice. Her mother, in contrast, was not so fortunate. She developed breast cancer and chose the same nonsensical quackery instead of effective treatment, was not so lucky and died of her disease, almost certainly unnecessarily. Despite all this, apparently the Australian media can’t help itself. It keeps giving Jessica Ainscough positive and credulous coverage, coverage like this bit of false equivalence entitled The way of the wellness warrior:

When she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, she took it as “a big, big message from my body” that she needed to do things differently.

Doctors advised that her best bet for beating the cancer was to have her arm, where the tumours were, amputated.

“[The cancer] was so stubborn, traditional treatment methods wouldn’t work,” Jess says she was told.

The doctors ended up offering Jess a less aggressive alternative to amputation. They performed a procedure called an isolated limb perfusion, which essentially means a high dose of chemotherapy is delivered to a confined area – in this case Jess’ arm.

She also began researching alternative therapies.

As a result of her research she decided to try Gerson Therapy. The controversial treatment involves, among other things, no alcohol or meat, daily juicing and up to six coffee enemas a day.

True, Sarah Berry, the author of this piece, includes a disclaimer that the National Cancer Institute that there is no evidence that the Gerson therapy works for any cancer, because it doesn’t. It’s based on long abandoned ideas of how cancer forms and the concept that somehow shooting coffee up your bum (switching to Australian/English mode) does anything whatsoever to slow or stop the progression of cancer. Despite all this, Ainscough is portrayed as a maverick bucking the system and taking a gamble that “paid off”:

Now 28, Jess has been in remission from cancer for almost six years and, to track her recovery process and journey to wellbeing, she began writing a blog, The Wellness Warrior, four years ago.

Get a load of how her detractors are described:

Despite her enviable lifestyle and snowballing success, Jess is not without detractors.

She is passionate about her path, but there are just as many who are just as passionately opposed to those who promote alternative therapies as viable options for treating life-threatening diseases such as cancer.

“These treatments don’t work for everybody,” admits Jess. Her own mum also tried Gerson therapy and died of cancer late last year.

“It’s the same thing with conventional treatments.

“It doesn’t mean alternative medicine doesn’t work and that chemotherapy doesn’t work.”

See the false equivalence? To Berry (through Ainscough), quackery like the Gerson therapy is just like chemotherapy in that it doesn’t always work. It’s such utter nonsense, because Gerson therapy doesn’t “always” work. It doesn’t work, period. Chemotherapy might not always work. It might not even work that well for some cancers. But, because of science, we know how likely it is to work, for what cancers it’s likely to work for, and what the toxicities are. With the Gerson therapy there is no reason to suspect that it will work for anything. While I am sympathetic to Ainscough’s plight in that she is a young woman with a horrible disease that is likely to grow slowly until it kills her, that does not mean she shouldn’t be called out when she promotes quackery that, if followed, will lead to the unnecessary death of cancer patients.

Patients like her mother. (Yes, I know her mother Sharyn was probably into quackery before Jessica was, but Sharyn’s faith in the Gerson therapy nonetheless likely killed her.)

Ainscough’s support of quackery doesn’t stop her form scoring gigs on popular Australian morning shows, either:

Notice how carefully Ainscough hides her left arm. The camera angles are carefully chosen not to show her arm, and when her arm is shown it’s heavily bandaged. Clearly, she is not doing as well as she tries to make her audience believe. Worse, the producers of this TV segment have let her completely promote her propaganda that falsely conflates healthy eating which she tries to demonstrate in the segment with her embrace of the Gerson therapy, as though they fit together like, if you’ll excuse the simile, a hand in a glove. They don’t. Eating a healthy diet does not mean that you have to embrace quackery like the Gerson therapy—or any other alternative treatment, for that matter—and accept it as valid and necessarily part of a “healthy lifestyle.”

As for Ainscough’s arm, its function appears to be significantly impaired, as some of my commenters have noticed. She has significant fixed flexion of her left index and middle fingers, and her arm is never shown. There are photos of her to be found that show how bad her arm is. One is from two years ago, which shows sores and the flexed left middle finger. This photo on Facebook from December shows sores and large tumors on her arm. This photo, from yesterday, shows her hiding her arm as she is being made up for an appearance. This photo from November shows her at a book signing shows a left arm that doesn’t look very good at all, as does this photo. What’s clearly happening, despite her claims otherwise, is that her tumors in her arm are slowly growing. That is the natural history of this particular form of sarcoma. It is indolent and slow growing. Unfortunately, this type of tumor is as relentless as it is indolent, and all the wishful thinking in the world won’t stop its progress any more than the Gerson therapy will. I don’t know if it’s too late to save Jessica Ainscough’s life with an amputation, but I hope that it isn’t.

As much as I hate what Ainscough is doing promoting quackery, I can’t help but feel some sympathy for her. It was a horrible choice she faced: amputation versus the inevitable growth of her tumor until it causes her death. And amputation might not have even saved her. She’s been fortunate to have done so well for so long, given how poor the ten year survival is without surgery, but approximately a third of patients will survive ten years without surgery. In that respect, then, Ainscough’s survival for six years treating herself with quackery is not particularly surprising. Worse, the Australian media is enabling her. No one asks inconvenient questions, such as why her arm is so bandaged in the segment. Producers cooperate with her to hide just how bad her arm is through the use of clever camera angles. Her delusion is fed, and never is heard a discouraging word. In the meantime, she reaps great rewards, charging $99AUD for tickets to see her speak.

Yes, the Australian media is quite culpable and deserves to be called out for its role in enabling Ainscough, just as she needs to be called out for her promotion of the quackery that is the Gerson therapy.

Comments

  1. #1 Lawrence
    February 28, 2014

    @Jan – that typifies delusional thinking right there….

  2. #2 janerella
    February 28, 2014

    Perth tour
    http://serenholisticlifestyles.com/2014/02/18/the-wellness-warrior-on-tour/

    In person Jess was super glam. Sporting an angelic white cotton dress & sky-high heels. She was open, funny, cursed a little & above all was down to earth normal. The damage to her left arm was visible. Her left wrist was strapped up; I could see a few scars & she had minimal mobility in her left fingers. Still, she had her arm. Jess to me is a ‘glowing & radiant’ picture of health. “A cancer thriver” Jess calls herself.
    An example Jess gave regarding processed food vs real food was an experiment she set up at home. Jess put three different types of food out on her kitchen bench to see how long each lasted till they perished.
    1. A homemade salad sandwich using all fresh organic produce.
    2. A shop bought packaged salad sandwich.
    3. A McDonalds cheeseburger.
    The organic sandwich didn’t last more than a day before the creatures moved in to chow down on it & the vegetables perished. The shop sandwich lasted a little longer but not much. The Macca’s cheeseburger sat there for SIX MONTHS! Nothing would touch it & it didn’t even go moldy. Hmm something very wrong there. Bugs & insects are not stupid. They know what good food is; they are part of nature too & want to eat well. They did not recognize the cheeseburger as food. Who wants a cheeseburger now?

    Adelaide tour
    http://www.myhealthmyhappiness.com.au/wellness-warrior-tour/
    Referring to Wes Carr, the musician and guest on all legs of the tour.
    Wes shared his background dealing with anxiety and depression and the important step of discovering (through his Kinesiologist) that he had Pyrolles disorder (or nicer put, Pyrolles imbalance). He gratefully discussed how simple supplementation accordingly of vitamins and minerals, has since cleared him of any symptoms. Wes also told us the incredible transformation of his son’s health, through fuelling him with nutrients dense, organic foods, such as homemade breast milk bone broths, cod liver oil, coconut oil, following the likes of Weston A Price and the MIND foundation. Now 15 months, Wes describes his son as healthy and thriving.

    Wellness Warrior Tour in Brisbane

    http://liveblissful.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/wellness-warrior-tour-in-brisbane/

    After that she came on stage and told her story of how she got to where she is today. From her former life as a Dolly Magazine journalist in Sydney, to her cancer diagnoses and the journey she made to healing her body the natural way.

    After Jess shared her amazing story, she introduced Wes Carr on stage. I don’t follow Australian Idol, so I wasn’t sure who he was. But I have to say second to Jess, his story touched me the most. He has been struggling with the same disorder that I have, Pyroluria. He just recently found out by chance by a Kinesiologist suggesting that he got tested. Pyroluria is not something that many people know about. It is a Blood disorder that depletes the brain of Vitamin B and Zinc. It inhibits the Anti Anxiety and Anti Depression hormones in the brain from activating. I found out a few years back when I visited a fantastic nutritionist. It was the same visit that I also found out about my intolerance and leaky gut. But this was the first time I have heard anyone speak out about it.

    My spidey senses told me this Pyroluria/Pyrollies disorder smacks of woo – oh yes it does:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/pyroluria-and-orthomolecular-psychiatry/

    Another Brisbane tour-goer
    http://runningonwellness.com.au/blog/theres-something-about-jess/

    If you haven’t heard of Jess Ainscough, (aka The Wellness Warrior), you must jump over to her website. She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when she was 22 and told she would have to have her arm amputated to have a chance of living longer than a few years. By listening to her intuition, Jess did not follow her doctor’s recommendations and sought a different treatment option of Gerson Therapy. This involved a complete clean out of her body by ingesting organic juices and castor oil and doing regular coffee enemas. For two years, Jess was ‘chained to her juicer’ and followed a strict regime to give her body the best chance it had of survival. Her body thrived on the treatment and Jess has managed to outlive her life expectancy and change her life.

    Oh good GOD – turns out this is not that bloggers first real-life encounter with Jess:

    ,i>I was so fortunate to have been chosen by Jess to attend her very first retreat last September at Cabarita Ocean Retreat. It was an inspiring three days of meditation, yoga, beach walks, juices, delicious organic meals, bike riding, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and best of all –connecting with amazing people and making new friends. Oh – and doing coffee enemas! Yes, Jess wasn’t going to let us get out of sticking coffee up our rear ends! She and Melissa Ambrosini showed us how to do them (Mel had done her first one the night before) and then sent us away to our rooms to have a go ourselves. No excuse when it was all rigged up for us ready to go. I might not write any more about the actual process but if you want to find out more – click here. I still do these once a week at home. They are a great detoxifier and you truly feel amazing afterwards.

  3. #3 incitatus
    February 28, 2014

    #200 rediagnosis.

    her cancer is clearly the ravenous bugblatter beast of traal….

  4. #4 janerella
    February 28, 2014

    Clearly she needs more towels then….

  5. #5 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 28, 2014

    I feel sorry for people who actually have Pyrolles disorder; a quick Google search indicates that it’s a real disorder being co-opted by quacks and medical chuunibyou…

  6. #6 AW
    February 28, 2014

    Back when she was doing the coffee enema video.. she appeared to have quite a lot of use of her left arm, and it seemed quite functional. Now it just seems to hang limply. I haven’t looked into it, but is there anyone else that claims to have ‘cured’ themselves using Gerson therapy, that actually has decent evidence and photos to back it up? Jess is constantly talking of these miraculous recoveries she’s ‘seen’.. well show us.

  7. #7 TBruce
    February 28, 2014

    1. A homemade salad sandwich using all fresh organic produce.
    2. A shop bought packaged salad sandwich.
    3. A McDonalds cheeseburger.
    The organic sandwich didn’t last more than a day before the creatures moved in to chow down on it & the vegetables perished. The shop sandwich lasted a little longer but not much. The Macca’s cheeseburger sat there for SIX MONTHS! Nothing would touch it & it didn’t even go moldy. Hmm something very wrong there. Bugs & insects are not stupid. They know what good food is; they are part of nature too & want to eat well. They did not recognize the cheeseburger as food. Who wants a cheeseburger now?

    So what about dried beans? I bet that the results were largely a result of the high water content of salad greens vs. the low water content of cooked meat and processed cheese. A cheeseburger at room temperature will mummify and stay preserved and protected from bacteria, mold and scavengers. I certainly encountered this in the back seat of my car when my kids were young. When I discovered one of these relics, I’d ask my daughters “You going to finish this or what?” They were not impressed.

  8. #8 TBruce
    February 28, 2014

    Blockquote fail? I never do a blockquote fail!

    BTW, this experiment was done in Australia, right? Perfect conditions for McD’s mummies.

  9. #9 lilady
    February 28, 2014

    If you double-click the picture of the Wellness Warrior on stage, her left lower arm and her wrist with lesions and edema, are clearly visible.

    I’ve heard of celebrities whose interviews and appearances in films are only from their “better side” (Frank Sinatra for instance, who had scars on the left side of his face and a “cauliflower ear” from forceps during a home birth), but a “better side” because of your fungating wounds from advanced cancer?

  10. #10 lindaaco
    February 28, 2014

    Wow Janarella – thanks for posting those links and quotes.

    Clearly those bloggers have all come away believing she treated her cancer with Gerson Therapy and no longer has cancer.
    These posts ALL give the lie, not only to her acolytes who say that on her recent tour she’s not claimed she no longer has cancer. And of course they directly contradict her own claims that she’s never told anyone she doesn’t have cancer.

    I would love to think some of the people who paid ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS to hear her nonsense (with crap music) and who subsequently learn about her lies will make complaints with Australian State and/or Federal consumer protection bodies… .

  11. #11 Krebiozen
    March 1, 2014

    TBruce,

    A cheeseburger at room temperature will mummify and stay preserved and protected from bacteria, mold and scavengers.

    That happens with Catholic saints too, sometimes. Back in the day it was traditional to mummify foodstuffs in this way under a scale model of the Great Pyramid, aligned with true north, while simultaneously sharpening a razor blade. It’s interesting how natural phenomena get co-opted by people for different purposes like this.

  12. #12 janerella
    March 1, 2014

    Well, geez, here’s another correction she hasn’t bothered to correct on the huge bookselling site that she made the recent video for.
    http://blog.booktopia.com.au/2013/12/04/jess-ainscough-author-of-make-peace-with-your-plate-answers-ten-terrifying-questions/?relatedposts_exclude=40917

    ” Lean Cuisine-loving magazine writer to all-out nutrition nerd was made after she was diagnosed with a rare, “incurable” cancer back in 2008. Deciding she wasn’t having a bar of that “incurable” nonsense, Jess took responsibility for her condition and healed herself with two years of Gerson Therapy.”

  13. #13 janerella
    March 1, 2014

    Plus some comments from those who have bought the book:

    “I ordered this book because I was so inspired by Jess Ainscough’s excellent recovery from cancer.
    I wanted to learn about how she made such a great recovery through diet and lifestyle
    and how I could implement these habits to improve my life.”

    and

    This book is amazing for anyone who cares about their health and wants to learn more about the foods we eat. It has some great healthy recipes toward the end and it is easy to connect with jess (author) and hear her inspiring story about how she overcame a terminal cancer at age 22 by eating well.

    Even those who don’t like the book think she’s cured herself:

    “While I was pleased that Jessica had found a solution to curing her health issues her chosen regime would not suit everybody.I found certain sections such as the details on coffee enemas too confronting.”

    Examples everywhere of how misled her followers have been, from every avenue.

  14. #14 Renate
    March 1, 2014

    Ainscough:” Yep, well, I think if I’m checking up on them its telling my body that I’m suspecting that its still thre when I’m doing everything I possible can to heal, like, there’s nothing else that I can do. So if there’s cancer cells there its because I still haven’t got to them yet, not because the cancer is growing.”

    So checking for cancer makes the cancer think you don’t to everything to get it away? Weird reasoning, or just sticking your head in the sand?

  15. #15 janerella
    March 1, 2014

    It’s a convenient out when the cancer comes back – she just didn’t think the purest enough of thoughts.

    I saw an awesome comment on her blog :
    “If you want to leave a lasting legacy that saves lives then come out strong against gerson therapy, the same way yul brynner did with smoking. Google him, he died of lung cancer but made an anti smoking ad. Make an anti gerson video and let your story be a warning and a beacon that saves lives for years to come.

    Jess – if you are so desperate to learn the lesson your cancer is trying to teach you – how do you know that this ^^^ isn’t actually IT?

  16. #16 herr doktor bimler
    March 1, 2014

    He has been struggling with the same disorder that I have, Pyroluria. He just recently found out by chance by a Kinesiologist suggesting that he got tested.

    IIRC ‘pyroluria’ is the same as ‘mauve factor’ which is the same as ‘malvaria’ which is the same as ‘kryptopyrrole’, working on the theory that lots of different names makes up for complete non-existence. But Janerella is on the case with the link to SBM.

    “Mauve Factor” sounds like a minor movement of rebellious fin-de-siècle poets; or an early-80s art-school band that once played as the warm-up at a Durutti Column concert. “Malvaria” was later used for the mute female assistant in the third Doctor Phibes movie, engendering the copyright issues and lawyering-up that are responsible for the movie remaining in legal limbo to this day.

  17. #17 Lawrence
    March 1, 2014

    I wonder if we tried an experiment – stand on a set of active railroad tracks…..if we just close our eyes, I guess the train coming would, what, miss us?

  18. #18 AW
    March 1, 2014

    @janerella – it’s crossed my mind more than once that this could be her “lesson” too. To put aside vanity and stubbornness, have the amputation (if it’s still possible) and speak out AGAINST Gerson.

  19. #19 AW
    March 1, 2014

    Clearly her own life being prolonged isn’t as important to her as having a somewhat shorter lifespan with 2 arms

  20. #20 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 1, 2014

    I feel sorry for people who actually have Pyrolles disorder; a quick Google search indicates that it’s a real disorder being co-opted by quacks and medical chuunibyou…

    Ooops. Well, for those who have been wondering whether I follow my own advice of “it’s good to admit when you’re wrong” – here I am, I was wrong. I was led astray into thinking Pyroluria was a real, recognized disease glommed onto by alt-med because on a quick Google search, most of the links were obvious crap (“it’s a biochemical imbalance brought on by emotional factors!”) but some talked soberly about the biochemistry of it, giving the chemical formula of the molecule purported to be at issue. If I had looked further, I would have seen warning signs on those links which initially looked legit.

  21. #21 janerella
    March 1, 2014

    Ah, my top tip is to prefix all suspect woo-ology with the term “science based medicine…” Saves you wading through a great percentage of the cr@p.

  22. #22 lilady
    March 1, 2014

    I remember a poster here who commented about her autistic child’s mauve factor. I googled “mauve factor autism” and came up with this, written by Dr. Novella:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/pyroluria-and-orthomolecular-psychiatry/

  23. #23 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    March 1, 2014

    “A cancer thriver” Jess calls herself.

    Why yes her cancer does seem to be thriving.
    [sigh]

  24. #24 Denice Walter
    March 1, 2014

    @ janerella:

    Since I already wade through lots of crap, I often use Quackwatch and wiki-p as a screening device.

  25. #25 Denice Walter
    March 1, 2014

    @ lilady:

    I’m glad tp hear that the mauve thing isn’t real- I was getting worried about Kelly Osbourne. ( see photo)

  26. #26 Hinterlander
    March 1, 2014

    Here’s another excellent comment left on Jess’ blog (second to last comment on this page http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2011/07/the-real-price-of-gerson-therapy/):

    To the two most recent commenters, if you read Jess’s ‘need to clear up a few things’ post of 24th February 2014 (do read it closely, and particularly read Jess’s reply to critical commenters), you’ll learn that
    a) Jess still has cancer
    b) She now says she has never claimed that Gerson Therapy treated her cancer.
    Also, Jess’s mother, whom she has posted about extensively on this blog, passed away from untreated breast cancer last year, after also undergoing Gerson Therapy.
    This is all really important information, which I hope Jess’s team has contacted you in person to pass on.
    If they haven’t my personal opinion is that if you or a loved one have cancer or any serious medical condition, don’t seek advice from blog posts like this.
    Jess says in Monday’s post that her position has changed on some things, but she hasn’t updated any old posts to reflect that. She really should do that because people like you are still taking advice from them. Obviously this post has conveyed that Gerson Therapy is worth spending money on.
    Please don’t take away the message from this post that Gerson Therapy did anything to help her cancer or that it’s worth you spending thousands of dollars on.
    Jess’s team, if you’re reading this, you’re putting real people in actual danger.

  27. #27 Shay
    March 1, 2014

    Renate@214 —

    Perhaps anthropomorphizing (sp?) cancer into some kind of scary monster that will come back if it senses fear, is a coping mechanism. Denice could explain it, I can’t.

  28. #28 lilady
    March 1, 2014

    @ Denice Walter: I found the rather long thread where (intermittent?) pyroluria related to hepatitis b vaccination, was discussed…starting at comment # 275:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/02/12/who-they-view-us/

  29. #29 Denice Walter
    March 1, 2014

    @ lilady :

    I was joking. I know it;s woo.
    And I do like her hair.

    @ Shay:

    I think that anthropomorphising is common when considering arcane and ( mostly) invisble processes. Abstract thought is not necessarily something in which everyone excells and emotional situatiions perhaps fuel the fire even more. If it harms us, it must be a beast of some sort. **
    But if we didn’t see underlying similarities despite superface diversity we wouldn’t have poetry either.

    We may be wired to see life or intent in the environment as as self-protection- false alarms will of course abound – the electircal outlet doesn’t really have a face and – as my cat discovered- a loose page flapping in the breeze created by a ceiling fan isn’t alive and a possible threat. He occasionally beats up inanimate objects that he mistakenly believes are alive. Mostly if they move.

    ** maybe Grendel? Or what Reuben calls ‘ monsters under the bed; feared by an anti-vax student.

  30. #30 Denice Walter
    March 1, 2014

    That should be either SUPERFICIAL or SURFACE- I forget which.

  31. #31 herr doktor bimler
    March 1, 2014

    Perhaps anthropomorphizing (sp?) cancer into some kind of scary monster that will come back if it senses fear, is a coping mechanism.

    There is the strategy of anthropomorphising cancer as a gang of bikers, but that has its problems too.

    I was led astray into thinking Pyroluria was a real, recognized disease glommed onto by alt-med

    Evidently it can be diagnosed by a Kinesthesiologist.

  32. #32 herr doktor bimler
    March 1, 2014

    medical chuunibyou
    I had to go to Urban Dictionary to get that explained.

  33. #33 Narad
    March 1, 2014

    And I do like her hair

    I had to go through the whole photo set to convince myself that the upper arm wasn’t an artifact from a product-laden flyaway.

  34. #34 Denice Walter
    March 1, 2014

    I meant Kelly Osbourne’s hair.

  35. #35 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 1, 2014
    medical chuunibyou

    I had to go to Urban Dictionary to get that explained.

    Sorry! I guess “wanna-be” would be the closest English phrase, but it doesn’t seem to quite fit with medical conditions… that is, some people do want the role of “sufferer from something exotic that makes you interesting”, but it’s harder to explain why that would be…

  36. #36 doug
    March 1, 2014

    Just noticed something way up-thread about bamboo.
    The bamboo used to make clothing is actually rayon made using bamboo as the feed stock of cellulose. The bamboo is dissolved in a chemical soup and regenerated as bamboo. Modern “closed” processes aren’t bad, older rayon processes are environmentally horrible.

  37. #37 doug
    March 1, 2014

    should have been “regenerated as rayon”

  38. #38 Meleese
    March 1, 2014

    I know you wrote this blog a month ago but I thought you might be interested in her latest email – email only, no blog link. The wheels are falling off so she’s shoring up the parapets. Surely she knows she’s in trouble.

    ” Awesome friend,

    It’s no secret that my arm has been flaring up lately. You only have to look at photos from the last stop on my tour to see how swollen it was after three weeks of flying around the country. Plus, after all of stress I was under last year, it hasn’t been faring too well. Last year was pretty much focused on my mum and doing everything in my power to try and get her well. After she passed, I was both physically and emotionally exhausted. When I’m exhausted, the first place it shows up is in my arm. My arm is like my body’s communication tool with me, and I’m hearing it loud and clear.

    So, I’m listening. I’m scaling things right back to give my body, mind and soul what they need. Particularly my soul. I feel like I’ve done so much work physically and that it’s time to pay more attention to what my soul needs. It’s time for less work and more soul medicine. Less doing, more being. 

    I’m also experimenting with some new physical treatments that I can’t wait to share with you. I just want to have sufficient time to experience their benefits before I write about them. Stay tuned for a series on that though!

    In the meantime, I ask that you are patient with me. I’m not disappearing from the blog again, but I am going to honour myself and not push myself too much. Some weeks I may post five days, some weeks it may just be one. I don’t want to lock myself into anything at the moment. I know that you will understand, being the incredible, loving tribe member that you are. I’m so grateful for you!

    Have a wonderful, restful, soul nurturing weekend. “

  39. #39 Lawrence
    March 1, 2014

    Sounds like someone has heard the train coming, and realizes she can’t get off the track…….

  40. #40 Shay
    March 2, 2014

    I think Bill Mauldin wrote something about being in Italy in 1944 and feeling about the Italians the way he did about a dog that gets hit while chasing cars. He was sorry for the dog but dammit, the critter shouldn’t have tried to run out to bite the tires.

    Probably not the best analogy, but hell…

  41. #41 janerella
    March 2, 2014

    She should do as Polly Noble did. Come clean, admit natural methods have failed, dive head first into evidence based treatments – she had both radiotherapy and chemo.
    http://pollynoble.com/2012/07/the-truth-about-why-i-havent-blogged-in-a-month/
    http://pollynoble.com/2012/12/ive-been-keeping-a-secret/

    She still wrongly attributes the alt med path as having a lot to do with her survival, but at least she has this to say:
    If I died because I was too stubborn or proud to do something I’d said I wasn’t going to do, then more fool me.

  42. #42 janerella
    March 2, 2014

    However, Noble’s blog is still saturated with the nutrition/wellness garbage – still wade through all that to find the odd health update : http://pollynoble.com/2013/11/lastest-health-update-and-shop-sale/

  43. #43 Incitatus
    cheeseland
    March 2, 2014

    #235 sufferer from something exotic that makes you interesting

    Speaking as someone who does suffer from something exotic I would willingly give it up to these wannabes in exchange for the ability to scratch my butt without injury.

  44. #44 Lawrence
    March 2, 2014

    I wonder – is “soul-searching” woo-code for “preparing for death?”

  45. #45 janerella
    March 2, 2014

    And so this has got me thinking to the, celebrity wellness bloggers, OMeara, Kringoudis, Ambrosini – all so happy until now to be featured on her tour, her blog, happy to draw traffic to their own by mentioning Ainscough’s name, up til now gushing and singing her praises…, and what about all the tour hangers-on, the juice suppliers, the woo-jewellery makers, the bamboo magic sweater company – where is their public support for her on their own sites regarding her very important revelations these past few weeks?
    Where is their public faith in her?
    It is perhaps that they full well know they will be targeted for their own involvement in this sorry mess, god forbid their own crunchy money supply is interrupted. The fragile house of cards takes but one or two falling and down go the rest of them. From here it smacks of distancing themselves from the controversy. How nice of them to publicly lend support to their “soul sister”.

  46. #46 janerella
    March 3, 2014

    @ #238 – Meleese – I think we are about to get a “taste” of her new physical therapies: http://instagram.com/p/lD9myAo0Rg/

    Not enough for the green stuff to go in only one end…..

  47. #47 Snowdrop
    March 3, 2014

    It would be funny if it all wasn’t so tragic. Shoving wheatgrass up your bottom instead of medical treatment, absolute insanity.

  48. #48 Renate
    March 3, 2014

    @janerella
    If I see the smile on that guys face, I want to run away from him.

  49. #49 AntipodeanChic
    March 3, 2014

    @Renate:
    I’m glad I wasn’t alone in finding that facial expression rather creepy…

  50. #50 janerella
    March 5, 2014

    Soooo, as well as shoot green juice up her backside she is now embarking on an extremely limiting diet for 30 days. Where will it end – will she hook herself up to a green juice drip and infuse the wretched stuff directly into her vein????

    https://www.facebook.com/thewellnesswarrior/photos/a.260439150658274.57360.138260996209424/649058821796303/?type=1&stream_ref=10

  51. #51 Brook
    March 5, 2014
  52. #52 RetroPastiche
    Stunned, and not in a good way
    March 5, 2014

    @Brook #251

    I checked out the link, and watched the trailer. Looks like there’s a mother who is giving her toddler child Gerson rather than chemo. I can’t imagine any jurisdiction where this not be seen as negligent. I’m appalled and disgusted, and wish for these quacks to be hounded out of existence.

  53. #53 Militant Agnostic
    March 6, 2014

    Renate @248, Antipodian Chic @249

    I think we are definitely looking at a case of paraphilia there.

  54. #54 Peter Dugdale
    March 6, 2014

    @Brook #251
    Wish you hadn’t linked to that trailer: -it’s quite spoilt the start to my day. These ghoulish loathsome exploiters of suffering are certainly experts at one thing: slick PR. Their main therapeutic agent is saccharine – good-looking people in wholesome settings, colourful snippets of food oh-so tastefully plated, the glossy sheen, nowhere the sights and smells of sickness…
    Have they never reflected that they are in fact increasing the sum of human suffering?

  55. #55 janerella
    March 6, 2014

    After seeing her comment on Ainscough’s blog, I actually fired off a stern email to one of the doco-makers, and sent her links to this and other critical blogs. This was her politically correct reply:
    Thank your for your message and for your concern. For one thing, the idea of a miracle cure for cancer is, in my mind, a preposterous notion and does not apply to anything I have witnessed, either in conventional or in alternative medicine. As you state quite rightly, I am an independent journalist and filmmaker. Jess Ainscough is one of several dozen patients, former patients, scientists, and medical experts I interviewed for my film. This does not mean that I share each of my interviewees highly diverging opinions. My film deals in the first place with the experiences of six cancer patients in different countries, who choose to undergo a controversial nutritional therapy, and it offers audiences the possibility to hear the contrasting opinions of a number of people on this fascinating subject.

    I sure hope she balances the woo-anecdotes with evidence-based research.

  56. #56 Brook
    March 6, 2014

    @Peter 254 – I’m sorry. I didn’t bother watching the trailer because I knew it would be dreck. Sad that it raised so much $$$ so quickly. And yet another way in which Ainscough implies “cured” and misleads her followers.

    @Janerella 255. Thank you. Good idea.

  57. #57 Calli Arcale
    March 6, 2014

    RetroPastiche — a *toddler* getting Gerson??? Oh lord.

  58. #59 Narad
    March 9, 2014

    A rare glimpse of her arm recently sans bandage.

    Jeezums.

  59. #60 AW
    March 9, 2014

    maybe its my crappy computer screen, but this pic it looks like the bandage is on?

  60. #61 AW
    March 9, 2014

    and if its not the lumpy bandage then geez that looks bad!

  61. #62 janerella
    March 9, 2014

    In previous pics her standard bandage has been very bandage- looking and hasn’t matched her skin tone at all.

  62. #63 Brook
    March 9, 2014

    Yeah, no bandage. Sad. And an amazing example of just how good we are at fooling ourselves.

  63. #64 janerella
    March 13, 2014

    I think she’s well and truly jumped the shark. If you can stomach it, bask in the glow that is half and hour between Jess and her ‘Medical Intuitive”

    http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2014/03/wellness-warrior-tv-belinda-davidson-talk-soul-medicine/

  64. #65 AntipodeanChic
    March 13, 2014

    Oh, my…

    I tried to watch – but it just felt wrong that I felt tempted to howl with laughter from about the 0.45 second mark onwards.

    I had wanted to comment sooner on the shilling of the “documentary” which includes the poor toddler being force-fed Gerson stuff but it made me about a dozen types of furious. I too shot a brief yet indignant email to the producers of said drivel. I haven’t personally heard back, though.
    Perhaps they’ve been inundated?

    Also, @janerella re your comment on the 5th concerning the “restricted diet” I have to wonder: (assuming Ms Ainscough is really following this ridiculous diet) is the woman actually galloping towards the high-jump now? “Addicted to carbs”! Funny that, given that complex carbohydrates are probably* the human body’s preferred energy source…

    *You never know – it’s late here now and I just woke up on the couch. I could be mistaken 😉

  65. #66 AntipodeanChic
    March 13, 2014

    P.S. @Millitant Agnostic #253:

    I’m damned sure you’re right.

  66. #67 Denice Walter
    March 13, 2014

    @ janerella:

    OMFG.
    – btw- I’ve counselled people with serious dx .
    Let me just say, Belinda lead Jess farther down the garden path ‘going deeper’ into denial and wishful thinking, whistling merrily past the graveyard. Totally disturbing.

    I wonder what kind of dreams she has? Her voice tells me that on some level she knows she is doomed.

  67. #68 Brook
    March 15, 2014

    Oh man, just listened to the interview w/davidson. It made me sad. I heard Ainscough wondering why if she’s done everything “right” isn’t she better and davidson telling her “look, you’re going to die so make the most of the time you have.”

    Doesn’t excuse any of the behavior. (and I truly wonder how folks like davidson can do what they do with a straight face. I’m acquainted with a woman who couldn’t make a living doing energy homeopathy – whatever that is – in the rural farming town where we both lived. However, when she moved 100 miles down the road to a town where there’s a small, prestigious liberal arts college, voila, her practice took off. Dunning kruger in action).

    I’ve written Ainscough asking her to elucidate on what her GP’s are recommending and the director’s of that awful film.

  68. #69 janerella
    March 19, 2014

    She’s determined to mislead. Read the last comment on her “guys I never said I was cured” blog post http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2014/02/want-clear-few-things/
    Michelle Cahill | On Mar 10, 2014
    Hi,
    Make this short and sweet. Feel as you do about cancer. I had stage 4, read the book “Outsmart your cancer” and started taking Protocel. That was in 2009. Am cancer free and healthy today. Please for your sake read the book and all 3 chapters on Protocel and at least give it a try.

    Protocel is the latest name for some woo originally called Can-cell: http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/cancer.html The Can-cell entry notes:
    “Laboratory tests conducted between 1978 and 1991 by the NCI found no evidence that CanCell was effective against cancer. The FDA has obtained an injunction forbidding its distribution to patients”

    This book , Outsmart Your Cancer is a doozie : http://www.cancerdefeated.com/OYC/index.php?SC=CDHOME

    There was another post immediately after “Michelles” criticising and pointing out and linking to all of the above, and suggesting that Jess’ views and website will attract such snake oil sellers, misleading vulnerable audience.

    That post was deleted within hours and the snake oil claim remains.

  69. #70 janerella
    March 31, 2014

    Ainscough has changed her old wellnesswarrior URL, which also had an appropriate RED WoT rating to http://www.jessainscough.com – quick responses have reinstated rbutr references, but WoT rating needs many nudges.

  70. #71 janerella
    March 31, 2014

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