The Way of the Wellness Warrior: Enabled by credulous reporting

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.

More like this

I was reassured to see that the majority of the comments in the piece condemned the newspaper and the journalist for promoting quackery.

Two things did emerge of note from readers:

-The NIC "disclaimer" was apparently only added after the newspaper received a slew of negative comments

-Despite her claim to be cancer-free, she has apparently also claimed that no doctor has ever confirmed her status and she refuses be tested to have her cancer-free status confirmed.

By Woo Fighter (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

Wow - that arm looks awful....her self-delusion is bordering on a form of insanity.

The Sydney Morning Herald is from Fairfax entertainment group media so its journalists don't even have the excuse of working for Murdoch.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

I'd like to know how many of these reporters and their managers/editors (1) just don't know a damn thing about science/medicine and thus are easily duped, (2) only care about ratings, or (3) actually realize they are promoting lies but do so to keep their jobs.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

Chris @4: Your option (2) does not exclude either (1) or (3). The managers and editors almost certainly fall into category (2); there may be a few front-line reporters who don't. And most of the media people involved are in either (1) or (3).

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

Following what Eric says, I often wonder if employees of woo-meisters ( the usual suspects, esp) KNOW that they're working for charlatans but may need the pay. Not that I imagine that the pay is decent.

That would be fun- if an employee/ ex-employee for Mercola, Adams or Null who wasn't a true believer (tm) would step forth and tell us all about the inner workings of woo-topia.

These companies hire people who aren't all nutritionists but who do marketting, edit films, put up websites,

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

OF Mercola...

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

if an employee/ ex-employee for Mercola, Adams or Null who wasn’t a true believer ™ would step forth and tell us all about the inner workings of woo-topia

If Mercola, Adams, Null, et al., have even a tenth as much business sense as they appear to have, those employees will have signed non-disclosure agreements. Since anyone who is that desperate for money will find it difficult to pay a lawyer, I'm not optimistic about anybody spilling the beans, barring a subpoena. There are other ways to get around an NDA, but I'd want to have a lawyer on retainer before attempting those other methods.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

@ Eric:

There has already been a little bit circulating around the web. I'd hope to hear more. We don't want to scare them away, do we now?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

I'd expect a lot of the employees to be true believers.

At one of the Randi conventions they talked about one of the best reservoirs of skepticism on all those "ghost hunting" and "psychic" shows: the camera operators. After filming and editing hours and hours of raw footage, none of them believe any of it. For good reasons.

I have a friend who truly believes that cancer can be healed not just with a good diet, but by thinking positive thoughts. Whenever I try to point to evidence that this lovely idea just isn't true, I get stubborn repetitions of "well, this is my belief." And "I'm not telling you what you should believe."

She gives public talks on this issue, but she insists that no, she never tells anybody what they should believe. She just gives her own personal story of curing herself this way and then tells them what she believes. It's okay with her that it's not what I believe. People decide for themselves.

@Lawrence #2 - my thoughts as well. That arm looks... really not-good. her self-delusion - Sunken costs fallacy?

By Roadstergal (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

Going back to something Orac said on another post - this killed her mother; it's now her livelihood; her circle is probably believers; and she swore by it for a long time.
Climbing back down is going to be very, very hard.

Indeed, and it will be painful if she manages it. That's why, given her prognosis, I'm not sure I'd be so vocal about her quackery if she weren't selling it to Australia and the world, to the potential harm of many, many more cancer patients.

She reminds me a bit of the hiv/aids denialists who adamantly refused SBM treatment, now departed from this vale of tears...
HOWEVER they weren't profitting financially as she does.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

Whenever I try to point to evidence that this lovely idea just isn’t true, I get stubborn repetitions of “well, this is my belief.”

And if you reply "I understand you believe this, I just don't understand why you beleive. What evidence is your belief founded upon?" how does she respond?

HOWEVER they weren’t profitting financially as she does.

And that's the key difference. The HIV/AIDS denialists in question were only harming themselves. Ms. Ainscough is harming other people.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

The HIV/AIDS denialists in question were only harming themselves.

Well, Christine Maggiore managed to kill her daughter as well as herself. And there's the issue of public advocacy, not to mention the likes of Joan Shenton.

Some of the denialists who tested hiv positive also proselytised to others and one even sold a few books ( a now- deceased Greek woman) but mostly they didn't profit monetarily AFAIK.

In other hiv denialist news:
it seems that Gary Null is off Pacifica's Washington station and possibly New York's as well ( according to his PRN broadcast today ) he has a dispute concerning the 'premiums' he supplies to listener supporters through the station. He says he may not be back- he was pre-empted today for a special.

We can hope: one less venue for woo.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

@6 & 8. Time for a lawyer fund raising drive then?

Yes a few of us in Oz have been watching this horror unfold for a few years now. According to one newspaper report she is earning "6 figures" from this madness.

Even when her mother died she explained it away.

We've watched the progression of that hand to where she is now keeping it bandaged.

She is delusional.

JGC #16 wrote:

And if you reply “I understand you believe this, I just don’t understand why you beleive. What evidence is your belief founded upon?” how does she respond?

Personal experience -- along with an anecdote or two and perhaps a quote by an altie authority who believed the same thing. That was in the past though. She now responds with "I'm nondualistic; I can't answer questions like that because true and false are dualistic concepts. I'm also working at being nonconfrontational."

true and false are dualistic concepts
The Dalai Lama disagrees, but what does he know about dualism?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

I became aware of Jess - The Wellness Warrior when I stumbled upon her site in search of nutrition whilst having my chemotherapy/radiation and surgery. As time passed, I became more and more frustrated with what she is preaching. In excess of 50,000 follow her Facebook and that is frightening. I understand a fair percent are from countries other than Australia.
I don't believe Australians (assumption) are into woo in a big way and tend to be on the sceptical side more often than not, but being an ' easy going, laid back' country, we may also fail to question the media and its producers when there is definitely a flip side. Its all so fuzzy and warm to present Jess in the light that she has been. Every time I read or hear anything from Jess, the catch cry is 'the body has an innate ability to cure itself' - Um, I don't think so Herceptin in my porta cath has that ability, not coffee being pumped up the wrong end.

My initial search also led me to this site and SBM. It has been a pleasure - thank you. Now, I'm off to enjoy a good shot of espresso coffee - orally!

By Rose Taberner (not verified) on 31 Jan 2014 #permalink

Yes this is a glaring example of how complicit (or should that be duplicit) the soda-stream media has become in their quest for money over substance. I confirm the above poster's comment - the NIC disclaimer was only added some time after an avalanche of criticism from readers. That any individual should be free to choose their own treatment path is beyond dispute. That they should be able to profit from promoting non-evidenced based claptrap at the potential cost of other peoples' lives is immoral and should be criminal.

Oh, for G-d's sake:

But after being inundated with flu hysteria via NPR from 2003 to 2006, we broke down and stupidly got a few flu shots and the infections and fallout that followed were a horror show.... our twins developed gut disorders, multiple allergies and autism — not so much from the post-vaccine infections but from the same vax-triggered immune system overdrive that induced the illnesses.

We later learned that at least the post-shot infection scourge had been officially recognized and had a name. Swabs were taken at the time of infection and it wasn’t influenza: it was likely something now known as “vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease” or VAERD.

Got the time frame right? Let's make sure:

the kids haven’t had antibiotics or ear infections in 8 years while they’ve significantly recovered from autism

The vaccines were administered in 2006. What are the sine quibus non of VAERD, again?

Our leeriness doesn’t come from an “anti-vaccine” position, more an anti-specific-corporation position and an anti-repeat-experience position. Vaccines in theory are fine with me but the practice and production of shots in reality is something else entirely.

Sure thing, Adriana. Which is why you cite Miller & Goldman to demonstrate your bona fides in this respect, viz., that vaccination might be OK them thar primitives in the Third World, where there is no "middle class." Except, of course, for Chile and Argentina, where class distinctions magically cease to exist and vaccination is misguided.

I give up.

The Dalai Lama disagrees, but what does he know about dualism?

Given the endorsement of "energy-winds and the subtle minds that ride on them," I'd say about what one would expect from a syncretist who mainly promotes attachment to himself.

Man, I seem to be having quite a wrong-thread problem lately. Sorry again.

And that’s the key difference. The HIV/AIDS denialists in question were only harming themselves. Ms. Ainscough is harming other people.

I also beg to differ. maggiore sold books, and was the primary influence in persuading Thabo Mbeki that he should deny antiretrovirals to his countrymen, killing 300,000 of them in the process.
In terms of "harm", HIV denialists have outdone the cancer quacks and antivax wingnuts by an order of magnitude or two.

@ janerella:

That looks awful!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink

Thanks, janerella.
Her arm looks really bad in that video.
I'd better skip the lemon juice in warm water !?!?!?

Actually, I usually have half an orange and some blueberries with my oatmeal to start the day!

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink

I actually think her middle finger is paralyzed at this point. It is in such an unnatural position and it didn't appear to move at all even when she 'used' her left hand. It is possible that she is suffering from a severe flexion contraction due to some other reason, but as a PT I can't think what would cause that level of contraction other than paralysis.......Not a good sign I am sure......

I couldn't bear to watch that video all the way through. How could anyone possibly think that that arm is healthy?

If you do an internet search "epithelial sarcoma arm photos", you will see actual photographs of lower arm epithelial sarcomas in advanced stages with contractures of the middle finger.

(Just ignore the pictures of "The Wellness Warrior")

This is starting to become hard to watch. I don't think it will be long before even her fans slowly start to step away as her cancer becomes more and more noticeable. My feelings about The Wellness warrior have turned from outrage to helpless sympathy. That poor girl lost her mum and will lose her life because she is trapped by her persona her beliefs and enabled by everyone around her. Does no one care about her enough to point at the elephant in the room - the fact that her arm is getting worse? What is wrong with the media can not one journalist dig into this story and tell the truth. The real villain here is the gerson clinic yet they have positioned themselves beyond the reach of the law, wonder why that is....I just feel so so sorry for her.

I fear her trajectory from this point on will follow that of this fellow.…
One blog post, a swag of conventional treatment, then he reaches for the multiple woo-treatments, and then, most telling of all in the comments section, some encouraging comments, a 12 month silence then the RIP comments. Is this what she is hiding under the bandage? Jessie, I despair at this playing out publicly.

And I came across another ES sufferer who was on the verge of starting treatment at the Burzynski clinic (mercifully he passed away before actually starting the treatment regime). The blog gives an insight into the "specialized" pre-treatment pseudo-babble the cllinic subjects their clients to.…
"They have some great treatments for cancer but not sure what Robi will respond to. They decided to collect blood and test it in order to find out what formula they should use. It will take about 3-4 weeks to those results"
The poor guy died the week after this visit.

By janerella (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink

You are 100% correct. Jess is a beautiful but misled young woman who needs to be rescued from her posse of also misled supporters

Freedom of choice to choose your own treatment??? – a big fat YES but the fact remains that nobody should give cancer healing advice unless they are prepared to be responsible for the person they are advising. I wish Charlotte Gerson would be held accountable and that Jess could understand this.
The Australian media really do need to step up and campaign to 'Save Jess'.

By Rose Taberner (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink

Heh, "Wellness", one of the favorite nonsensical buzzwords of woo-meisters.

By The Typical Ph… (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink

Another article promoting jessica and gerson "therapy". Read down it's the second article. This is really getting dangerous now gerson is being attributed to saving her life when in fact her cancer is progressing. We should all start emailing the news paper or "media watch" which is a show in Australia that critiques poor reporting.…

“I’m nondualistic; I can’t answer questions like that because true and false are dualistic concepts. I’m also working at being nonconfrontational.”

True or false....are you alive or dead. Answer.... dead.

There you go, you are now non-confrontational.

By Kelly M. Bray (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink

There are some parts of your post that I would like to comment on because you make statements as if they are facts in a way that is misleading your readers.
You state ‘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.
I would suggest that this is not based on any factual information and is nothing more than jumping to conclusions.
This is the first time I have seen this video – so happy that you presented your ‘evidence’ of Ms Ainscough’s imminent demise – so we could all look at the possibilities and known facts of the matter.
The camera is angled to show both the interviewers and the interviewee – who happens to be right handed. There is no evidence that I can see of attempts to hide her arm bandage and all….since it is clearly visible.
By your own admission you are not in Australia. You wouldn’t therefore know the weather conditions in various states at the time of this video.
Ms Ainscough lives in Queensland – in a sub-tropical climate where the seasons are barely noticeable and the temperatures are usually around a balmy humid 20 – 32 (Celsius scale)
With daytime averages of 28 degrees - that is why you frequently see Jess go sleeveless on her instagram photo pages.
Last week though when she did this TV interview and promoted her new book she had travelled to NSW a southern state: where last week the high summer temperatures in the southern states were breaking all records –ranging from 42-46. Now the best medical and weather advice given to every one of us who has to endure these conditions – is stay indoors, keep the sun out, and if you have to go out – cover up.
Is it therefore within the realms of likelihood that the heavy bandage is are covering up the most sensitive area of her body that has already been cancer affected and therefore she deems most needing protection from sun damage? Since she also is known to avoid other form of radiation like the plague – microwaves and electronic radiation (using a headset to avoid direct contact with her mobile phone) I would suggest also that this ‘cover up’ relates to her concerns of exposures in a modern electronic TV studio.
The effects of modern electronics on the human body are still a fledgling science after all.
Whatever you and your readers think about such precautions –they are every bit as feasible alternative to your suggestion that her tumours are getting worse. She certainly made no attempt to disguise the effect of her cancer in this shot –taken the day after this TV appearance -

By Risk Averse (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink

Also this blog consistently suggests that Ms Ainscough is ‘promoting’ Gerson quackery – when the primary focus of her blog is a healthy eating. None of her guests on her web page are Gerson participants – they are individuals actively promoting all manner of health food and lifestyle changes. The recipe she is promoting in this video is certainly not Gerson approved. (Packaged preserved food of any kind is banned)
Her book does the same – she mentions briefly her experience with Gerson certainly – but it is by no means the focus of her book – which again is promoting healthier food and different lifestyle choices from the recreational drug/ alcohol/packaged microwave food of her pre cancer diagnosis lifestyle.
You have an number of supporters whose comments are nothing short of bigoted intolerance in this regard.
You describe Gerson as ‘quackery’ whilst knowing that there is no clinical evidence either way to determine its efficacy in controlled studies. Is that not also a false equivalent?
I know that clinical testing involves limiting variables and numerous controls – which even if drug companies were interested in funding such trials on Gerson participants (highly unlikely since they have yet to patent non GM modified fruit and vegetables and coffee beans) – it would at the very least require subjects and controls to be quarantined for 2 years to ensure correct, controlled adherence to the protocol.
The essence of the term quackery is that someone is spruiking and making a lot of money – hardly the case for Max Gerson who has been dead for almost 60 years, his daughter 92 years old (and still working) the only organisation soliciting donations being the Gerson Institute which I read somewhere made a paltry S20, 000 in donations last year…
Jess is certainly spruiking healthy eating – no-one would deny that. But that is almost a trending culture amongst educated Australians. It is big business in Australia – a nation that prides itself on a healthy outdoor lifestyle. But still micro-peanuts compared to the spruiking of drug companies….and far less controversial than the known facts on fast food, obesity and localised research shows that prescription drugs make up to 80% of all drug related deaths in Australia.
Feeling the need to denigrate the life of a cancer sufferer seems a bit over the top to me.
The first time you attacked her was just a day or so after her mother died of cancer – spreading your criticism in the online community as the worse kind of obituary for a woman who did you and your devotees no harm whatsoever - and then here again when Jess makes her first tentative public online appearance. It all seems much more like a latter day witch hunt – than an erudite approach to discredit a dangerous quack.

By Risk Averse (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink


So, where are the studies confirming the efficacy of gerson treatment? Because there are none that I can see.

Also, since there is no actual scientific proof that gerson treatment works, why should she promote something that is not supported by science?


So, you agree she is a dangerous quack?

By Kelly M. Bray (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink

its simple jess should put up evidence that she has healed herself or shut up and stop promoting something as non evidence based as gerson therapy.

yes she promotes healthy lifestyles however a lot of her claims - eating alkaline foods, her claims about the benifits of organic etc are not based on solid evidence. The real issue with her is that the basis of her entire persona as the wellness warrior is that she used gerson therapy to overcome her cancer and the claim that she is in remission. Her arm is telling the world the truth. This is not a witch hunt its a desperate attempt to counter the miss information being spread by a very media savvy person which may endanger the lives of desperate cancer patients.

risk averse some of the things you said in you post are just stupid, wearing long sleeves to counter the effects of radiation in a tv studio, how would that work exactly?

@Risk Averse #42 & #43 - I happen to live in southern Australia & as you point out there has been a heat-wave in the southern states over the past week coinciding with Ms Ainscough's book tour.

Personally, I have been struck by the fact that in almost all of the footage & photos taken over the past week, she has been wearing long sleeves given as on her blog she encourages Australians to "get more sun exposure to prevent/treat cancer". Admittedly I paraphrased this but it is still astonishing advice given that Australians now have the 3rd highest frequency of skin cancers worldwide*. [After a protracted public health campaign managed to convince Australians that having the First World's highest incidence of skin cancers was nothing to be proud of...]

Your "non UV radiation related" theories as to why Jess Ainscough is now covering her affected arm whilst on the publicity trail are patently ridiculous and I suggest you are no doubt well aware of this. How, pray tell, do you honestly think that wearing what appears to be a pressure bandage over one's arm would "protect" it from non-ionizing radiation such as one may encounter in a "modern electronic TV station"? For that matter: if Jess is genuinely in remission, wouldn't this "precaution" be obviated anyway?

You said yourself "The effects of modern electronics on the human body are still a fledgling science after all".
This may well be the case, however, given that if you live anywhere near a major population centre, you simply cannot escape radio waves from radio stations, mobile phone towers, etc, etc. If Jess Ainscough, as you assert is so concerned about this, why then cover the area affected while courting media attention (which isn't going to protect it anyway) - only to uncover the area on an Instagram shot meant for a more "personal" audience?


By AntipodeanChic (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink

I would suggest also that this ‘cover up’ relates to her concerns of exposures in a modern electronic TV studio.
The effects of modern electronics on the human body are still a fledgling science after all.

The ability of a layer of clothes to block radio transmissions -- i.e. NONE -- is not such a fledgling science. For that you need the aluminium foil helmet.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink

@ Risk & AntipodeanChic:

Why are you defending "The Wellness Warrior" who is not a doctor, nor a researcher, and who has made a career of selling snake oil to credulous people?

She is not wearing a bandage to protect her arm from UV Rays or radio transmission. She is bandaging her arm to disguise the relentless progression of epithelial sarcoma and the resulting Depuyten Contracture.…

She also touts Gerson Therapy for her supposed remission/cure of epithelial sarcoma.

The Gerson Therapy has not been tested?

@Risk Averse - Someone's certainly made a fairly significant attempt to disguise the effect of the cancer in that photo you linked to - by removing it...

By Rebecca Fisher (not verified) on 01 Feb 2014 #permalink

@ Risk:

"....Her book does the same – she mentions briefly her experience with Gerson certainly – but it is by no means the focus of her book – which again is promoting healthier food and different lifestyle choices from the recreational drug/ alcohol/packaged microwave food of her pre cancer diagnosis lifestyle...."

I'm calling bullsh!t on that statement. Jess Ainsbough actively promotes Gerson Therapy and, according to these "testimonials" she's convinced other cancer patients to use Gerson Therapy to cure their lieu of treatment prescribed by oncologists:…

@herr doktor: clearly, I couldn't have put it better nor more succinctly myself!

@lilady: I'm no fan of those who promote bullsh!t - especially when they attempt to frame their agenda behind the "promotion of healthy eating". Who in their right mind would object to that? Not I.

I do, however, object to people making money off a quack-based "wellness" business juggernaut - which is precisely what appears to have happened re the "Wellness Warrior". I actually pity the poor woman, because I get the impression that Jess Ainscough couldn't back-pedal her way out of the woo-based mess she's in even if she wanted to - quite a few people must be making money from the quack empire that has been built. This is certainly not to say that I excuse her admittedly central role in it, and am increasingly perplexed by the psychological gymnastics it must take to continue to believe that she is "healing herself" rather than having the good fortune to be an outlier.

I'm afraid sarcasm probably doesn't drip from my last comment as intended ;)

By AntipodeanChic (not verified) on 02 Feb 2014 #permalink

She is not wearing a bandage to protect her arm from UV Rays or radio transmission. She is bandaging her arm to disguise the relentless progression of epithelial sarcoma and the resulting Depuyten Contracture.

I also suspect she's developing skin ulcers from the tumors eroding through her skin.

janerella @37: A few years back, I was directed to a woo health forum by a 'friend'. It was divided into sections for each major illness - cancer, MS etc - and was full of posts from people who were trying out this or that sCAM. I left it very quickly and deleted the 'friend' from my contacts.
A couple of years later, I remembered the forum and paid a brief revisit, to see what was happening; I chose to look at the Breast cancer forum. At the time of my first visit, there had been five women posting about the woo treatments they were trying out. At my second visit four of these had disappeared, having not posted for a year or more.
The fifth woman, unfortunately, was still posting about her cancer. Which was still advancing. Worse, she was blaming it on herself for having a "negative attitude".
Damm those damm damm woomeisters to hell and back....

By Mrs Grimble (not verified) on 02 Feb 2014 #permalink

I was curious about one part of the original treatment. She received "isolated limb perfusion" which put the cancer in remission for a while. When the cancer recurred, could that treatment have been repeated? It seems like that would have been a way to save the arm -- and her life -- for a longer period.

I tried to find the information online, but I'm afraid my google-fu is not up to the task.

I wonder if shooting coffee up you ass as is done in Gerson therapy enhances the ability to rectally source facts and statistics, something RiskAverse seems to be particularly adept at. Unless the WWs long sleeves have a Faraday cage woven into them, they are not going to block the deadly electromagnetic radiation in a television studio.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 02 Feb 2014 #permalink

I'm waiting for the day that she blames all the problems with her arm (if she ever admits to any) on the chemotherapy. "If I'd only done Gersen first!" sort of thing.

Sorry AntipodeanChic....Your sarcasm is fine, my ability to detect sarcasm at 6 AM my time, after a very long day, is askew.

Don't ever trust your senses to detect sarcasm and post on a blog....and don't ever email a friend at the hour.

@ MI Dawn
I don't think that is too far fetched. If she doesn't, I'm affraid her supporters will support that line of thinking, after her death.

@ MI Dawn - oh yes, chemotherapy is definitely going to be painted as the bad guy in this scenario. From July 2012:
"As many of you know, I had a super high dose of chemotherapy drugs pumped through my left arm just after my first cancer diagnosis. The radical poisoning didn’t work, hence why I was led to take control of my health via all natural means. What the chemo did do, however, is leave my body with high amounts of heavy metals – which are incredibly difficult to eliminate, and make healing a very slow process. Four years since my conventional “treatment”, I am still dealing with the ramifications and I’m now introducing several detoxification tactics to chelate the toxins from my tissues. One of these tactics is taking the superfood chlorella."
Because ALGAE y'all.

By janerella (not verified) on 02 Feb 2014 #permalink

@lilady - holey-moley....he died one month after that last story was posted. Those pictures look absolutely horrible & I can only imagine the pain he must has been in.

Given the condition of his arm at the time & what we are seeing now with the "Wellness Warrior" I am beginning to wonder how much time she has left?

@ Lawrence: There is a video of Rob Grimshaw and his wife on the internet, when they were looking for donations for "alternative medicine" care reimbursement.

I'm leaving now to visit my "other son". Catch you later.

Risk Averse,

You describe Gerson as ‘quackery’ whilst knowing that there is no clinical evidence either way to determine its efficacy in controlled studies. Is that not also a false equivalent?

Firstly, the Gerson Clinic has published its data, as far as they have managed to collect any. Dr. Peter Moran has taken a close look at their results treating melanoma. His conclusions:

No convincing effect, and certainly none on more advanced cases. A small beneficial effect not excluded but these are extremely disappointing results for the cancer thought to be most responsive to this very intense and life-consuming treatment method.

There is also the clinical trial of the Gonzalez protocol, almost identical to Gerson, for pancreatic cancer. Gonzalez claimed his treatment was superior to conventional treatment, but in a controlled clinical trial of the Gonzalez protocol his patients died three times sooner than those on chemotherapy and reported a much worse quality of life.

I know that clinical testing involves limiting variables and numerous controls – which even if drug companies were interested in funding such trials on Gerson participants (highly unlikely since they have yet to patent non GM modified fruit and vegetables and coffee beans) – it would at the very least require subjects and controls to be quarantined for 2 years to ensure correct, controlled adherence to the protocol.

If the clinic's own results show no effect of their treatments on the cancer they claim the greatest success for (melanoma), and the Gonzalez protocol was found to be worse than useless, why would anyone believe that better results would be achieved with better "adherence to the protocol"? That sounds like "blame the victim" to me.

Where this this idea that patients have to be "quarantined for two years" come from? Are you suggesting that people should eat nothing but non-GM fruits and vegetables for two years before they plan to get cancer, that they will still get cancer but it will be curable using the Gerson protocol? What about all the patients who are promised results when they haven't followed this quarantine? Like Jessica Ainscough, for example, who has described her previous unhealthy lifestyle..

Anyway, there is little evidence that eating lots of fruit and vegetables, GM or not, will prevent some cancers, much less cure them. The EPIC study of more than half a million people has found that fiber, fish, red and processed meats affect colorectal cancer risk, the first two reduce it, the second two increase it. Dairy foods also reduce colorectal cancer risk. Obesity after (but not before) menopause increases breast cancer risk, but consumption of fruit and vegetables is not associated with breast cancer risk. Prostate cancer risk does not appear to be related to fruit and vegetable consumption at all. These are the three commonest cancers, and the effect of diet seems to be surprisingly small.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 02 Feb 2014 #permalink

You describe Gerson as ‘quackery’ whilst knowing that there is no clinical evidence either way to determine its efficacy in controlled studies. Is that not also a false equivalent?

When the reason for the absence of clinical evidence is obstruction from the people selling the treatment, in their opposition to the very concept of testing their claims, 'quackery' seems fair enough.
In 1986, Charlotte Gerson Straus

said in a recent TV broadcast that statistics have not been published because the establishment would try to compare her results with theirs, which would be unfair, because the patients who come to her have mostly been declared terminal and are close to death. “Comparing my patients with those undergoing standard treatment is like comparing apples to oranges.”

As for the claimed survival rates from the Gerson protocol,

the Institute’s survival statistics are based on a combination of the doctor’s estimate that the departing patient has a “reasonable chance of surviving,” plus feelings that the Institute staff have about the status of people who call in.

– That’s according to the Institute’s Executive Vice President.

Sounds like a duck and looks like a duck to me.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Feb 2014 #permalink

She already is blaming her arm problems on the chemo. If you follow her Facebook page, you will see people have commented on the state of her arm which she has dismissed as being chemo damage. Since these comments she has recently been covering the arm and has gone so far as to bandage it during her current tour. I was quite an avid follower until her mother died when it dawned on me that I had seen quite a few people enquiring about her mother and she had failed to answer and ignored it. I believe people following this same therapy had a right to know that it wasn't working for her mother!! Now she is covering up the evidence that its not working for her because she's far too invested and making far too much money out of it to admit the truth! It's beyond scary!!

She hasn't had chemo in, how long?

Stop blaming it on the chemo! Guess what? The cancer is eating her arm!

It's hard to blame the chemo when the damage is consistent with what is expected from untreated epithelioid sarcoma. AW you give me hope that others might be stepping away from her blog as they realise the insanity of it all.

@Jessie I initially thought the free info she offered was great but in the last year it's become more about pushing the ebooks and various promotions. Then I started to feel like she wasn't telling her 'followers' the whole truth and more and more this is becoming apparent. The terms she uses 'tribe' and 'soul sisters' etc etc just screams 'cult' im my opinion. I hope others are going to start seeing through this nonsense

I looked over her photos on her website- including those of her 'rock star'-like entourage 'on tour':
they're heavily invested in appearances with artfully arranged, swingingly natural hair** styles, au courant male facial hair as well as painfully hip clothing choices BUT then there's her arm....
she has associates and an SO- doesn't anyone say anything to her?\
It's very disturbing and sad to imagine what's next for her.

** as wild as their (most probable) ethnic group allows...i.e not so much.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 02 Feb 2014 #permalink

I've seen pictures and videos of Jess Ainscough's left lower arm from several years ago and there were no open lesions. There was full use of her left hand, with the middle finger contracted and small areas of what appear to be scar tissue.

Now her lower arm is swollen with a large bandage...certainly not to hide the condition of her it was completely shown while she was brewing coffee for her enemas two years ago while clad in a T-shirt.

I tipped off "Media Watch", which is a media criticism show on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. They have been critical in the past of how Australian media have uncritically accepted the claims of quacks, including anti-vaxxers.

By Sebastian Jackson (not verified) on 02 Feb 2014 #permalink

She appears to have lymphoedema-type swelling of the arm (as well as the active ulcerating lesions). This arises from involvement of lymphnodes and lymphatics either from cancer spread itself; or consequent to treatment for the original cancer (usually axillary node dissection and radiotherapy, neither of which she has had, so I assume the former).

Compression type bandages (such as the one worn during this show) will be needed to be used almost constantly to prevent further swelling.

PS: at around 1.00min in the video, we can see again the extent of ulceration on the dorsum of the left hand.

Jessica's life depends on facing reality now. She must realise her arm is much much worse if she is wrapping it up and hiding it from view. She must also realise that her arm is damaged in the way epitheliod sarcoma progresses and has nothing to do with her chemo. It's a hard thing to climb down from a position where you have defended yourself against detractors and admit you were wrong but I believe she can do a lot for people by admitting she was wrong about gerson, having the amputation and becoming an advocate for healthy living. She may have her arm amputated and still blame the chemo but that is a cowards way out, a way of continuing business and avoiding the awkward truth. If she truly was the empowered wellness warrior she says she is she would admit the truth gerson didn't work for her nd it didn't work for her mum. How she can ignore the damage gerson has done to her life and still sing its praises is the most extraorid

She would gain sympathy and respect from so many more people if she would just admit she has been wrong.
But I doubt it will happen. She is too far down the rabbit hole. Notice the updates on her mother disappeared, which must have coincided with the beginning of the obviously irreversible onset of the effects of her untreated malignancy.
And yet, every time I read a blog entry like this, where she replies to someone hijacking their OWN mother's treatment by trying to Gerson-ize, I just see red. Note, the date of the reply is 8 months before her mother died.

Jess | On Feb 4, 2013
Christine » Hi Christine, my mum didn’t have a biopsy because it is a known fact that biopsies cause malignancy to spread and she didn’t want to risk this. She didn’t have a mammogram because these also cause malignancy to spread. She had an MRI and has also had a thermogram. She had opinions from two different breast cancer surgeons and has seen three different doctors. It is very clear to all of them that she has breast cancer based on her test results and the appearance of her breasts. This is all she needed to know before she decided to do what she needed to do to heal – which is heal her body on all levels. Surgery would not have dealt with the reasons why she has cancer, so she didn’t go for that. My mum understood that, for her body to truly heal, she needed to heal it as a whole. This is why she chose Gerson Therapy.....
..... The Gerson diet takes a little to get used to for some people, but I would just gently remind your mum that giving up white rice and eating Hippocrates soup (even if she doesn’t like it) is a much better option than going down the path of having your body ravaged by cancer and toxic treatments."
So, @ Risk Averse - who claims " primary focus of her blog is a healthy eating." - it doesn't take too much scratching of the surface to show no hesitation in doling out pseudo-facts, intent on influencing others to follow her frightening path when she gets the chance. Flagrant, dangerous irresponsibility.

By janerella (not verified) on 03 Feb 2014 #permalink

@Jessie @ janerella
I agree with you both 100%
I have followed her blog for some time now and yes, flagrant, dangerous irresponsibility but I cant help but feel so very sorry for her. I really hope that someone, anyone, can stand up for her and maybe even arrange an intervention.
I actually wrote to this journalist… hoping that she could contact Jess again but of course, there has been no reply from the author of that article.
I still hope and pray.

By Rose Taberner (not verified) on 03 Feb 2014 #permalink

Aussie, Canukistani or...n, the media does a piss poor job of reporting sciencey stuff.

Glowball goes out of it's way to promote miracles. CP24 had a homeopath show - the "doctor" has a 6000 ft**2 office!! - on regularly.

Ghost shows, idiot adults acting like squealing 8 year old schoolgirls. 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Challenge? Why not 10 Billion?

CP24 had a holistic veterinarian on for what amounted to a 5 minute advert for his practice. He said something very like this in regards to our pets:

“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.”

He then went into his patter pushing homeopathy, probiotics and other nostrums and tinctures as treatments for cancer, arthuritis, or what ails your pet.

Interesting how often probiotics came up as an answer to the softballs lobbed at Dr. Holism by the talking head

It is quite simple Risk Averse. If this deluded lass's arm were healed, she'd not be covering it up for any reason

By al kimeea (not verified) on 04 Feb 2014 #permalink

I'm trying to contact Dan Olmsted to start a Autisum Fatality List. Since there's no one at the Department of Health. The Genocide cover up by the Goverment and the AMA.

By Robert Wachsmuth (not verified) on 04 Feb 2014 #permalink

Selective Media Doctors .Hospitals .Drug company's Rob Millions from Medicare you'll never see it on Eye Witness News. Wouldn't Want to F--k Up a good thing.

By Robert Wachsmuth (not verified) on 04 Feb 2014 #permalink

Off topic troll is off-topic.

Doctor Sacks of Sh-t to busy robbing my son Health insurance knew what was wrong. Led to my sons Death. Chief Medical Examiner of New York Chops him up To bizzy Falsified his Autopsy. Bury Him get rid of the evidence. Have me arrested for harrasmet for wanting the right info. Legalised Murder..

By Robert Wachsmuth (not verified) on 04 Feb 2014 #permalink

Doctor Sacks of Sh-t to busy robbing my son Health insurance knew what was wrong. Led to my sons Death. Chief Medical Examiner of New York Chops him up To bizzy Falsified his Autopsy. Bury Him get rid of the evidence. Have me arrested for harrasmet for wanting the right info. Legalised Murder.. Doctors in n.y. will rob your health insurance like it was there job.

By Robert Wachsmuth (not verified) on 04 Feb 2014 #permalink

Post something here wast of time. Post something to the New York city Department of Health Total waste of time . Medical complaint board wast of time.

By Robert Wachsmuth (not verified) on 04 Feb 2014 #permalink

Perhaps if you posted coherently, on a topic that was actually relevant to your topic of interest, things would go better for you.

If I provide you with the contact information for Dan Olmsted at Age of Autism, will you go away?

"Post something here wast of time. Post something to the New York city Department of Health Total waste of time . Medical complaint board wast of time."

Trying to decipher what you wrote.......waste of time.

By Kelly M. Bray (not verified) on 04 Feb 2014 #permalink

I can't help imagining Wachsmith's comments in Doge-meme form.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 04 Feb 2014 #permalink

Mr. Wachsmith, you should never operate a keyboard while drinking.

That whole snippet is depressing. But this part jumped out at me:

Surgery would not have dealt with the reasons why she has cancer, so she didn’t go for that. My mum understood that, for her body to truly heal, she needed to heal it as a whole.

OK, let's take this claim at face value. Surgery indeed won't correct the reason why she developed cancer. Likewise, if your arm is eaten by a rabid wolverine, staunching the bleeding will not correct the cause. However, it *will* save your life. This is completely ludicrous logic, that if a thing doesn't address the root cause, it is utterly worthless. If she were really thinking this through, we could accuse her of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good (like an engineer never fixing a defect because he hasn't found the *perfect* fix yet and won't contemplate a kludge). But that's not the case at all. What's really going on is that she has decided to treat it a different way, and has constructed a tottering edifice of justifications to help herself feel confident about the decision.

Of course, the side effect of that is that by helping her feel confident about her choice, she prevents herself recognizing that it is going to kill her. The human brain is unfortunately quite good at this.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 04 Feb 2014 #permalink

I can imagine there were some very upset people when her mother passed away after dishing out such advice in the months prior. The fact that she's still carrying on in the same manner astounds me.. Every thing looks so 'happy' all the time.. I'm wondering if eventually without any warning we will see her as an amputee which will be further passed off as chemo damage..

Is amputation still an option at this point, or has it been left too long?

By Hinterlander (not verified) on 04 Feb 2014 #permalink

It would have been easy for the journalist to look up the natural history of epithelioid sarcoma, as I did.

Here is a good paper, which says:
''More favorable behavior was observed when the tumor arose in younger individuals, in distal extremities, or in females between the ages of 10 and 49. (The last observation calls for further work with steroid receptors.) Radical excision or amputation still appears to be the initial treatment of choice, though adjunctive high-dose radiotherapy to the excision site may prove to be of additional value.''…

This young woman is well within the reported 50%-ish ten-year survival rate for her cohort.

If she rejected amputation in favour of regional chemo, that may be a rational choice for her. The issue is claiming that all the woo adds anything, and talking down the role of the chemo.

She is clearly being aided in this by the publicity machine that has surrounded her.

'Wellness warrior' Jessica Ainscough vented on her blog after eating a burger she believed was 100 per cent organic, only to later discover it was 'not totally' chemical-free.

Those pesky atoms - they're everywhere!

The other thing is.. wouldn't the worsening of the arm.. but horrendously painful?

The sarcoma itself would be a painless swelling, unless it invaded nerves or bone. To my knowledge (this is a rare tumour), it would expand along tissue planes and be relatively pain-free. The lethal outcome is metastatic spread to lymph nodes or the lungs. This may have occurred already but not have appeared symptomatically as yet.

Rob Grimshaw, referred to above, was described as suffering incapacitating pain, to the point where he would miss doctors' appointments because he couldn't get out of bed.

Jessresponds on FB to concerns on the healing progress of her arm.

"Can you show everyone the progress? You have been on the Gerson Therapy for nearly four years, it would be awesome to see the amount of healing that has happened.

There are some that say you hide your left arm in all your photos, do a side by side comparison of your arm three years ago to one now to shut them up.

Jess Ainscough I completed Gerson almost two years ago. I hide my arm subconsciously because it is very badly damaged and I'm learning to accept the way it moves and looks. This is a personal process."

By janerella (not verified) on 06 Feb 2014 #permalink

Well, isn't that extraordinary...

It didn't bother her DURING the Gerson "therapy", as we know...

By AntipodeanChic (not verified) on 06 Feb 2014 #permalink

Interesting response - and completely delusional. It is painfully obvious that the arm is getting worse.....

Hmm - this from about a year ago - maybe she's not entirely pain free:

"I’m still going to continue visualising my arm strong and pain-free, but I’m going to stop cursing at it every time it holds me back from doing things I think I should be able to do. If nothing else, the restrictions my arm imposes keep me humble, the pain keeps me present, and the scars are signs of the strength my body has shown over the past few years. The fact that my arm is still attached to my body – despite doctors telling me it had to be chopped off – is a constant reminder of my resilience".

By janerella (not verified) on 07 Feb 2014 #permalink

Or a constant reminder that it is going to kill her....

On her Facebook post she says she is working with a team of people to correct the damage that was done to ger arm, based on what she has said in the past I assume she means the damage done by the chemo. Surely this is defamatory to the doctors that treated her and easy to disprove. If she has an amputation and publicly blames the chemo then perhaps her original oncologist has grounds to sue for defamation as she would be implying they caused the damage when in fact it was the normal progression of her cancer which has been left untreated that resulted in her needing amputation.

What recourse do doctors have when ex patients make baseless and defamatory claims about their treatment ?

Unfortunately, because of Doctor-Patient confidentiality, they can say little or nothing, while the patient can say whatever they want.

I noticed that swimming in the ocean is forbidden to Gerson patients. Does anyone know why? Is it because it washes away the coffee from the enemas?

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 08 Feb 2014 #permalink

Apparently, ocean water is "too salty." I'm not seeing it explained in any greater detail offhand.

Unfortunately, because of Doctor-Patient confidentiality, they can say little or nothing, while the patient can say whatever they want.

Confidentiality doesn't prevent a defamation suit, but I doubt it would be worthwhile.

I'm not certain, but I don't think the Wellness Warrior has ever mentioned the names of her doctors, nor has she stated that she was those unnamed doctors.

she has stated that her treatment was the cause of her arms damage - i wonder if she says she had to have an amputation because of the damage her prior treatment did whether that would be crossing the line into defamation territory as it would be accusing the doctors of destroying her arm.

i am sure she believes it was the chemo as that allows her to feel more secure about her choice in gerson but given that her mum died using gerson and her arm is getting worse in a way consistent with epitheliod sarcoma then some pretty intensive post rationalization must be going on inside her head regarding her choices.

Following her on the latest book tour and her blog, to me she seems even more resolute. When asked the hard questions, she certainly comes across as obstinate. Sadly, I don't believe there is much rationalization going on. Whilst she surrounds herself with like minded 'warriors' , there is little hope that she will see the light any time soon if at all.

The culprits in all of this is of course the woo spinners that continue to tell her, all the way from Mexico that her 'live blood' reading is looking great, along with the local QLD CAM cohorts that she idolises. Surely, there is someone, anyone, that can help her to understand that Gerson simply DOES NOT work?

By Rose Taberner (not verified) on 08 Feb 2014 #permalink

There is positive thinking.. and then there is delusion. I believe she has crossed that line.

Thanks again Orac for writing these articles and giving us somewhere to vent and share photos. I'm Australian and Jess isn't actually that famous here, thank goodness. In 2011 she wrote of her tumours "I’m planning on posting a photo montage of their journey at my 2 year mark". This photo montage never materialised.

By Evidence-based (not verified) on 10 Feb 2014 #permalink

She writes, "This is a personal process." Um, no its not. Once Jess Ainscough decided to make money off of her ability to heal her cancer through Gerson therapy, it became a PUBLIC process. Ainscough has zero entitlement to privacy when it comes to her health. Once she made the decision to tell other people with cancer to follow her lead, she forfeited her right to have her battle be "personal." I do not think Ms. Ainscough respects what serious thing it is that she is doing. She is making a lot of money off telling people that she knows how to cure cancer. She using her own cancer remission as "proof" that this method works. As far as I am concerned, she can either be forthright with that proof, or she can stop doing what she is doing, but in no case is anything having to do with her health "personal" (which, btw, is a her weasel word for "private).

I started following her about 2 years ago and her followers on FB have quadrupled since then.. I thought she had some credibility as her arm did appear to look "okay" and she did seem incredibly honest (my opinion only). The fact that its clearly getting worse and she's not speaking about it is just blatant dishonesty. If she was just open about it and the possibility that gerson may not have worked for her I think her crtics would have a lot more respect for her. She blogs about being true to yourself etc etc.. what a load of BS. Don't know if its coincidence or not either.. but the worsening of her arm has suddenly coincided with her loosening up of her strict diet rules..

The newspaper at least relegates it to the entertainment section though it is still reporting rubbish like ...told AAA he first came across the former party girl, now cancer survivor.... and the Queenslander is now used to speaking to large audiences about how she battled an "incurable" form of cancer at 22 through lifestyle changes Oh,my kingdom for a comments section....

By janerella (not verified) on 12 Feb 2014 #permalink

janerellea - Yeah I too have notices that pieces of Ainscough are almost always in the "soft" section of the newspaper. This is why I think journalists feel comfortable not asking her any hard questions. Ainscough has got a nice little scam going here. Her facebook page and blog are full of "soft" things like inspirational sayings, which crystals will make you happier, etc, but then interspersed with that is the supposed cure for cancer. It is all so clever.

"Devious" (intentionally or otherwise) might be more a more accurate description of the FB page, Rose...


By Scottynuke (not verified) on 12 Feb 2014 #permalink

Yeah you're right, "devious" is the better word. I wonder how sincere she still is really since her arm just keeps getting worse and worse. She appears to be of at least average intelligence. Surely she is worried about her cancer. I cannot imagine how she could look at her arm and not feel a sickening sense of anxiety. Jeez, even she admits that Gerson did not work for her mother because all cases are "different." At what point will she at least wonder if Gerson is no longer "working" for her?

#127 Diamonds would make me happy.

She is a scam artist, but IMO the dreadful people (e.g. the 'guests' on her 'tour') who have latched onto her popularity (all long shiny hair, fake smiles and designer clothes for the women, and awful hipster facial hair and skinny jeans for the men) to sell their own organic food/intolerable music/ spiritualism/ gardening/ crystals/ magical clothing/ special juices/ superfood nonsense are just as bad as she is.

In some ways, they might be worse. They're photographed gurning at the iphone camera with her every day, helping to obscure with their own bodies her alarming-looking arm. The evidence is right in front of them that it's getting worse and that it might well kill her. But for the sake of selling their shit, apparently none of them are prepared to take her aside and say 'It didn't work and you need to see a real doctor'. Nup, just keep riding the money bandwagon til it falls apart then find some other way to sell their shit.

I don't feel sorry for her because she's endangering vulnerable people, but I would rather have a tribe of enemies than a tribe of friends like she's got.

@linda #131:

I agree with you entirely. One thing you mentioned, though, did pique my interest - "magical" clothing to go along with the intolerable music etc, eh? I'm almost* intrigued enough to have a look on either her Facebook site or her WW Bleurgh. Last time I looked at the latter, I was somewhat shocked to see Pete Evans of My Kitchen Rules fame guest starring as the Friday Foodie. Unless it was just a bad dream...

Are they (the women) still clad mainly in "pure" looking white at these exclusive speaking Events by any chance?

*I'm extremely reluctant to click on any of the websites run by this woman any more than absolutely "necessary" no matter how little each view returns advertising revenue to the scam artists' pockets. More the principal than anything, really.

By AntipodeanChic (not verified) on 12 Feb 2014 #permalink

you are right ant chic, we should not give her traffic. the magic clothing is from a post about travel, august 2013:

"I also have a jumper that I wear that is supposed to protect me from EMFs while I’m at the airport and on the plane. It was given to me as a gift and it’s super pricey, but there are other options on the market like EMF protection blankets. I’ve not used these, but I’ve heard that they help. Give them a Google to check out the options if this interests you."

The post has a link to the company website. Here, the emperors new clothes is not even a metaphor.... This IS the emperors new clothes.

In all fairness we don't know for sure that someone close to her isn't pointing out the obvious - she has a partner and her father lives close by.. Chances are if anyone's confronting her about it she's not going to tell the public! Also interesting to note is her partner owns one of the busiest bars in town.. Which serves conventional food!

I suppose people like the Wellness Warrior surround themselves with yes-people, people admiring everything they do. People who try to convince them they aren't doing what is best for them, might be banned from their lives, so in order not to loose them, they don't protest to much.
Read this story, about the former wife of a Dutch politician.

Y'know, I wonder why ESD lab equipment manufacturers haven't cottoned on to the sales opportunities. ESD drapes, when properly applied to the product, provide full Faraday protection, after all.

Oh. I guess they have. LessEMF totally sells for industrial applications and also to the general public worried about EMF. :-D They have legitimate materials for sale, but I had especial fun going through the page of project ideas. Seriously, you *must* check it out:

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 13 Feb 2014 #permalink

You know I was feeling so very very sorry for Jess as a cancer sufferer myself and even wrote to a few 'media' people to get in touch with her and maybe give her a different spin on things but after following her recent book tour, that compassion has turned to disgust.

I'm in agreement with all comments above and now after reading her post this morning and Orac's 'cult' post, I'm convinced that even though she knows she is too far down the rabbits hole, she chooses to stay there and make money from other blind sighted followers. Her promotion of a Business school (most likely a MLM business) is sickening.

Quote: "B-School has the potential to change your life as well, I want to offer you a whopping bonus so that you get the absolute most out of it. If you sign up through my link (from 19th Feb to 5th March), you'll receive the following awesome goodies for FREE"

I'm all for free enterprise, having a go etc, but this 'give away bonus' list is stomach turning.

The Wellness Warrior and her tribe should be held accountable.

By Rose Taberner (not verified) on 13 Feb 2014 #permalink

#135AW sure, it's likely that there are people close to her who are not enabling her delusions and of course we aren't privy to those interactions.

It's the Cindy O'mearas, Draphts, Wes Carrs and all the other hipster hucksters that I object to. You can bet they're all happy to help her hide the arm and continue selling a false story, because they profit from it too.

#139 Claps for Rose!…

Just looking at this picture is shocking. You can clearly see two large tumors in her arm; God only knows what the bandage is covering. My guess is that it is an ulcerating tumor that is now festering. How much longer does she have to live if it is already like this? I mean, I know it is purely speculative, but how long before metastasis to the lungs when the tumors are this big?

@Linda.. totally agree

anyone else noticed she's not really mentioning Gerson anymore since her mum passed away and the arm got worse..? Although I haven't been to one of her shows, I'm interested to know if she talks about Gerson there

yes she still mentions gerson in various interviews but not in workshops, I asked her on her forum about advice regarding cancer and she said they won't be discussing cancer at her wellness retreat so perhaps that goes for her live talks.

As far as I can see she is now a shill for hire for any alt med product imaginable. Incredible that not one journalist has called her to account.

How much longer does she have to live if it is already like this? I mean, I know it is purely speculative, but how long before metastasis to the lungs when the tumors are this big?

It doesn't look like there's enough evidence to really say much. Five-year distant metastasis rate of 40% here; survival without surgery seems to level out at five years here. This is a recurrence, which appears to predispose to distant metastasis.

The upward march is toward the radial side; hell, if she's fantastically lucky, it might not even have made it to the lymph nodes yet. No vascular infiltration? Who knows? I'm almost wondering why they wanted to take the entire arm (e.g., PMID 1842177, 22575361), but then again, I'm completely unqualified to speculate.

Narad, I don't recall Orac's earlier posts about the extent of Jess' tumor and lymph node involvement. I do seem to recall that the "doctors told her the full arm would have to be amputated"....and I believe that was the basis for Orac's first post (in the absence of doctors' notes...or the more complete information contained in the court documents that are available for Sarah Hershberger).

Should we really trust Jess' statements, when we know that her career is based on her alternative treatments? A partial amputation below the elbow is uh, less disfiguring to imagine and the prosthesis she would require would definitely have more natural movement. (If she is going for the big miraculous cure, rather than the minor miraculous cure, why not bend the truth somewhat to show just how wonderful the enemas, juicing and positive attitudes have cured her?)

Think about Suzanne Somers who most probably bent the truth about her breast cancer and who claimed that she refused chemo? and/or radiation? to go "natural". We only have her word for the extensiveness of breast cancer and the grading of the tumorous growth. There are plenty of women I know whose doctors did not recommend further treatments after a lumpectomy.

The newer pictures of her arm, provided by some commenters here, definitely show at least two tumorous growths above her wrist which we not there in earlier photos.

“I also have a jumper that I wear that is supposed to protect me from EMFs while I’m at the airport and on the plane. It was given to me as a gift and it’s super pricey, but there are other options on the market like EMF protection blankets. I’ve not used these, but I’ve heard that they help. Give them a Google to check out the options if this interests you.”

So when I was in the government department which shall not be named, where all our hardware was TEMPEST-shielded to avoid the possibility of Van Eck leakage, we could have saved the money and just thrown a blanket over every work station? How embarrassing.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Feb 2014 #permalink

I hadn't seen this article before, from Sept. 2012, which starts off talking about Jess and her mother before listing a number of horrifying tales of sCAM cancer deaths. It also mentions the 'Mums not Having Chemo' blogger, who has also monetised her mother's cancer 'journey'.

I agree with Rose, I think this B-Plan business is almost like marketing cult. You can see in Jess's friends websites similar kinds of slick photography, design, and language. Everyone looks like a model and dresses in floaty clothing. But they're all selling something. True believers or scam artists? Probably a bit of both.

Let's not overlook the possibility that (thanks to denial) she got far enough along before facing up to the situation that her best-case prognosis now is "you gonna die."

In which case, may as well make the best of the time left to rake in the money and attention, eh? And if that's going to have costs in suffering, well, denial is a defense in depth.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 14 Feb 2014 #permalink
“I also have a jumper that I wear that is supposed to protect me from EMFs while I’m at the airport and on the plane. It was given to me as a gift and it’s super pricey, but there are other options on the market like EMF protection blankets. I’ve not used these, but I’ve heard that they help. Give them a Google to check out the options if this interests you.”

So when I was in the government department which shall not be named, where all our hardware was TEMPEST-shielded to avoid the possibility of Van Eck leakage, we could have saved the money and just thrown a blanket over every work station? How embarrassing.

Sure - a screen room is just a fixed, large and very stiff RF blanket, and often a much cheaper solution to TEMPEST as opposed to making a one off system.

What I thing is an amazing accomplishment is that the people who make RF shielded clothing make cell phone shields, to protect you from the evil RF that your phone generates. How the phone is able to make and receive calls while those products are in use is a mystery to me.

What I thing is an amazing accomplishment is that the people who make RF shielded clothing make cell phone shields, to protect you from the evil RF that your phone generates. How the phone is able to make and receive calls while those products are in use is a mystery to me.

The secret lies in the shield's advanced quantum gating technology.

Each quantum is individually stopped at a nanoscopic gate in the shield to see if it's on the no-fly list. If it passes, it goes on its merry way and completes the call, otherwise it goes to Gitmo and no one ever sees it again.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 14 Feb 2014 #permalink

All about the magic jumper from yarnlight collective dot com. Oh my sides.


With a team of international experts, we have developed a highly innovative knitting yarn spun from carbon, bamboo and cashmere. This exceptional yarn offers dual sources of vitality for the wearer, acting not only as a natural shield providing protection from harmful electromagnetic pollution but also as a source of renewed and balanced energy which in turn can reduce stress levels.
The truly groundbreaking aspect of this patented innovation is the pure imprint of healing energy encapsulated in the yarn by professional energy healers from around the world. Through the Yarnlight Collective, these specialists united in Paris and imprinted energy into the yarn using a very specific process combining intuitive healing and quantum physics.
Adam Jones, former designer for Dior and Kenzo, then conceived a beautiful cocoon sweater to bring out the best of this yarn which for the first time enhances the wearer not just aesthetically, but also energetically.
An ultimate exquisite touch has been added with a sophisticated concealed detail in yarn
made from 24 carat gold.
The sweaters have been tested by international scientists including notably Dr W. Tiller of Stanford University, T.E.S Lab in Italy and Lutz Rabe of the Bioelectrophonics institute in Germany. The tests demonstrate conclusive evidence of imprinted energy and a capacity to balance the human energy field."

"a highly innovative knitting yarn spun from carbon, bamboo and cashmere"

that sounds extraordinarily uncomfortable.

I've known people to spin highly innovative yarns out of any available materials. Usually the yarns began, "So there I was at 30,000 feet..."

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 15 Feb 2014 #permalink

LW -- actually, I've used bamboo yarns, and they can be every bit as comfortable as cotton. Blended with cashmere would actually be very soft; I worked with a bamboo-silk blend on one occasion, and the bamboo was great for adding bulk and texture compared to other silk blend yarns. The carbon, meanwhile, is probably embedded like a dye. That's how ESD-shielded cardboard boxes work.

Regarding the shielding blanket....

While this won't be sufficient for protecting from RF, they're probably confused by ESD blankets, which can be simply draped across the product and provide full ESD protection. I would not expect someone afraid of evil R/F to understand the difference.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 16 Feb 2014 #permalink

"LW — actually, I’ve used bamboo yarns, and they can be every bit as comfortable as cotton. "

I suppose if you use the right parts of the plant it would be comfortable. Cotton plants have woody parts too that wouldn't be comfortable if used in yarn. I just had this image of chopped-up bamboo mixed in with the wool.

Patons makes a lovely bamboo-silk blend., very soft to the touch, even nicer than cotton, imho. A bit on the pricey side, though.

I don't remember any claims on the label that wearing a garment knitted with it would do anything for RF protection -- Patons is missing a trick.

Gerson therapy rears it's ugly head again -…

Instead of following doctors' orders, the Maryland artist decided to change his lifestyle and live more cleanly via Gerson Therapy, which substitutes chemical cancer treatment with a natural, organic diet.

Halo is now celebrating 11 months of being cancer-free.

And having had surgery didn't contribute to now being cancer-free?...........Um, that's the most likely reason.

Ugly head?.... I can think of a few more adjectives!

By Rose Taberner (not verified) on 18 Feb 2014 #permalink

I won't link to it, but the photos from Perth on her public facebook page showing dark lesions on her arm are pretty alarming to me as a layperson. A commentator expresses concern about it and she airily replies that it's swelled up because of all the flying and she is seeing 2 doctors and a naturopath about it.

I dunno, does flying when you have lymphodema cause black indentations in the skin? Any experts care to comment?

@ linda

I saw the post and pictures as well.

After lymph removal, I have lymphedema on and off and when I fly, I have a specially fitted sleeve from my OT. There is some swelling but definitely no lesions, indentations or lumps, coloured or otherwise.

By Rose Taberner (not verified) on 19 Feb 2014 #permalink

It will be endless excuses, it's getting ridiculous. If she were that convinced of her health she would surely be throwing scans and biopsy results in everyone's faces! I actually don't know how she sleeps at night. How do all her entourage seem to automatically stand on her left in photos to cover the arm? Do they sign a disclaimer stating they must stand on her left!? I'm interested to see how this all plays out in the next few years..

@AW - I don't think it will be years....based on those pictures, when compared to similar situations where the person has reached that stage, it may be a lot sooner (unfortunately).


I actually don’t know how she sleeps at night.

On the other arm or on her back, I'd guess. Other than that, rather well I expect. She is getting a lot of validation from her groupies, after all. That's like a drug -- not the kind that heals you, but the kind people get addicted to for the rush. There's probably a closed feedback loop of denial as they reassure one another that it's not serious.

It's really quite staggering how bad something can get without people accepting it. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, and it's stronger when it's shared.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 20 Feb 2014 #permalink

This whole story has a sort of ghoulish fascination for me...I can't look away.

I know very little about lymphedema, is Ainscough at the point where she's needing medication to manage the pain, or to sleep?

@ Shay

My lymph removal is very recent but the couple of episodes I have had of lymphedema have been uncomfortable but fairly painless. Its more like a heaviness of the arm, but then I don't have the same cancer as Jess.

Medication + Wellness Warrior = Gotta be kidding!

By Rose Taberner (not verified) on 20 Feb 2014 #permalink

I see she has deleted uncomfortable questions now.
Also, I think some photos have been removed. Yesterday there were fifty-something, now there are 38.

She's definitely removed the more obvious "bad" pics of the arm from that particular post - I was surprised they made it there in the first place.

By janerella (not verified) on 20 Feb 2014 #permalink

One of her comments on the photos in reply to someone "... I live with cancer and I manage it to the best of my ability.." I think this is the first time she's actually said this

Ah - Jess finally responds..

"However, at the same time I have faith that my body will completely heal once I’ve completely learnt the lesson that my cancer is here to teach me."

Hmm, bit like that faith in God story where the guy is drowning at sea, and is certain God will save him so waves away the two ships and helicopters that come along, certain in his faith in the Great Holy One - dies, goes to heaven, puzzled - only to have God yell "Idiot! I sent two boats and a helicopter!!!!!"

Faith/God/Providence/Karma sent you a surgeon some years back to advise you, ready to provide the best chance of an're going to find cancer a heartless tutor, teaching you a nasty b!tch of a lesson....

By janerella (not verified) on 23 Feb 2014 #permalink

Oh please.
This woman is a former journalist on one of the biggest magazines in Australian and a marketing expert. She spins her message to journos, and they print the message she wishes to convey. "I've been misquoted" is total bullshit.
Her message all along has been "I healed cancer by drinking juices and putting coffee in my arse", and that's still her message. Read between the lines of that post and it's clear the message has now morphed to "I'm healing cancer by living with it and listening to its message to me, while drinking juices and putting coffee in my arse and making shitloads of money while doing so, and give me some of your money so I can tell you how to do the same!".

Would she really be anything to write home about for her followers if her message was "I've got terminal cancer that will kill me sooner or later but I'm determined to live healthily and enjoy life"?

I have faith that my body will completely heal once I’ve completely learnt the lesson that my cancer is here to teach me.

Something something dining out something.

However, at the same time I have faith that my body will completely heal once I’ve completely learnt the lesson that my cancer is here to teach me.

This gave me a creepy jive. It sounds a bit too similar to the sorts of rationalization someone in a unhealthy relationship will do to excuse her/his abuser.
"Once I have completely learnt my lessons and I behave, he will stop beating me."

By Helianthus (not verified) on 23 Feb 2014 #permalink

Positive affirmation: I replace judgement with kindness and compassion.

Implicit insinuation: "Unlike those big, mean bullies who ask for the truth & may well upset the Gravy Train Positive Energy Flow I've spent years building, I still profess to believe I have some kind of moral high-ground."

By AntipodeanChic (not verified) on 23 Feb 2014 #permalink

I suppose the lesson her cancer is trying to teach her, is to go and see a good oncologist and take his or her advises at heart and don't dabble with all kinds of quackery.

Alas I'm affraid it's to late for her to learn this lesson and have any effect.

Oh, hell. That's not a good sign at all. I wonder how she hid that for so long.

If the tumor has made it that far, it's now unlikely that even an amputation at the shoulder would do her any good any more.

Perhaps she could send some of her largesse Abraham Cherrix's way. He doesn't seem to be doing as well in promoting himself.

There are some excellent comments on her latest blog post. Obviously the pressure from Orac and the people who were commenting on her FB and website got through to her, or to her PR team, or her lawyers. Anyway, she has the potential to do some good with this new message; let's see where she takes it.

@Fiona - I find it interesting that a number (and not just a few, but a lot) of posts in support of her seem to be written in the same format, with the same types of platitudes - some being almost identical to each other.

I wonder how many are "ghost-written" vs. real posts....the pointed questions that are being asked (and in some cases answered, though it seems that Jess is playing word games in some of them) should have been asked a long time ago.

The Onion had a mock-interview with a man "who had beaten cancer naturally". Spoiler: he was very obviously dying of cancer, and keeled over at the end of the interview.

It was a satire when The Onion did it. I never expected to see it play out in real life, complete with television interviews.

It is sad to see that she is still so out of touch (and her fans as well). She is going to die a very painful and agonizing death...the last months of her life are going to be awful....but I'm sure that won't make it into the blogs.

Last night, I was watching the old John Candy movie Delirious, which also starred Raymond Burr, who of course is best known for his role as Perry Mason.

And, that made me wish that Jess would have the courage to do what William Talman did, as noted in his IMDB biography:

William Talman is best known for his role as Hamilton Burger, the district attorney who perpetually lost to Perry Mason in the long-running series Perry Mason (1957). Talman was an accomplished screenwriter and stage and screen actor, and appeared in numerous roles on television as a character actor from the mid-'50s until his death from lung cancer in August of 1968.

Near the end of his life, Talman did something that, while common nowadays, was an extraordinarily courageous thing for an actor to do at that time. A heavy smoker for most of his life, he was angered by a newspaper article he read about actors being afraid to make anti-smoking messages for fear of losing opportunities to make lucrative cigarette commercials. He decided to do something about it. Talman volunteered to make a short film for the American Cancer Society, part of which was shown in late 1968 and 1969 as a television anti-smoking commercial. He was the first actor to ever make such a commercial. When the message was being filmed, Talman knew he was dying, was in a great deal of pain and was in fact under heavy sedation for it. The short film begins, "Before I die I want to do what I can to leave a world free of cancer for my six children . . . ",

William Talman died of cardiac arrest due to complications from lung cancer at West Valley Community Hospital in Encino, California, on August 30, 1968, at the age of 53. Although his life was short, he left an enduring legacy through his writing, his acting, his heroism and his never-ending championing of the underdog.

I wish Jess could have that kind of courage.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 25 Feb 2014 #permalink

This post had advised women to not go for mammograms, etc. I posted about it in Orac's Sharyn Ainscough post, and posted under Jess' blog post as well.…

Has since been set to "private"... she's backpedaling. Fine. Great she is admitting she still has cancer, but it really bugs me she's doing it so sneakily. She stated her mother never had a mammogram so she didn't subject herself to the harmful radiation. Radiation is certainly harmful, but so is untreated breast cancer. So sad she had to learn the hard way, and still clinging to her old beliefs as much as possible, instead of advocating against Gerson, etc.

More credulous reporting by the Australian media. a very interesting 20 minute podcast from the Mediaweek site from 14th January, where she is interviewed in the flesh.
A very shrewd businesswoman it seems, lots of talk about how she gears her site to make money money money. And another example of the Australian media treating her with kid gloves – very soft reporting – no mention of her mother –
“How’s your health these days?”
Jess ”My health is great”
Can't claim the quotes are being taken out of context when they are straight out of the horse's mouth.

By janerella (not verified) on 26 Feb 2014 #permalink

I see that the Sydney Morning Herald article has been amended from this : "Jess, now 28, has been in remission from cancer for six years and, to track her recovery process and journey to wellbeing, she began writing a blog, The Wellness Warrior, four years ago."

To this: "Now 28, Jess has been in "recovery mode" 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."

(my emphasis)

She claims on her blog that she was misquoted and has contacted the SMH to edit the article.

The original article was reproduced here in New Zealand, and has not been amended.…

I would be interested to know how she (or her PR team) defines “recovery mode”. Her arm is clearly deteriorating.

By Hinterlander (not verified) on 27 Feb 2014 #permalink

Occasionally I feel sorry for her, but not right now. She is a lying liar. I subscribe to her newsletter, and in the one that just arrived she says she's scaling back the blog temporarily because her arm's 'swollen' and 'flaring up' due to overwork and stress and she's trying some 'experimental treatments'.

Her followers praise her for honesty and authenticity, but she can't put the word 'cancer' in her newsletter because it's something they all actually read, unlike her blog posts and comments. She is a deeply, profoundly unethical person and it disturbs me that so many think she's a wise teller of truth.

#193 - interesting that it was amended. 'Recovery' is so slippery. Not surprising that this journo would interpret it as 'remission'. (Of course a proper journo would ask a follow up question like 'what does recovery mean, and do you still have cancer or not?', but we're talking a yoga writer).

@ linda #194 - She can't be scaring off her 'tribe' with the (other) C word, now can she?

I have conflicting feelings about her as well. I honestly think that she believed in what she was doing at first. She was only 22 when diagnosed. But I agree that she has become disingenuous at best, recently evidenced by that revisionist - I mean clarifying - post on her blog. The amount of resulting contradictions on her blog now must make her head spin. Yet, it probably seems easier to her than standing up and admitting that Gerson and the other methods have not treated/cured/healed/whatever her cancer at all. After all, by admitting this she would also have to acknowledge that she has some responsibility for all those who followed her advice.

By Hinterlander (not verified) on 27 Feb 2014 #permalink

what does "experimental treatments" mean to someone who thought shoving coffee up her bum was legitimate treatment ?

Maybe it means radiation, chemo or surgery or something strange like that. Bet she doesn't blog about that.

I think the delete key is the best thing for the blog, delete it and just go and enjoy whats left of her life with her family.

The arm began to look bad months before her mum passed away. She is back peddling big time. She's taking time off to rehaul all her old blog posts no doubt. Already her website has been completely re written. I love it how she bends the truth to suit herself and paints such a pretty picture of everything. Its frustrating that people are so blind to it. No doubt, these new treatments are only going to get shown to everyone if they are a success (which they won't be)

"Look, I may be dying of Cancer, but gosh-darnit, I look FABULOUS while doing it!"

Such a hypocrite.....

From about 18 months ago, a half hour interview with Ms Ainscough, conducted by some Valley boy dude - who I warn you like, can barely like, y'know string a coherent sentence together - It gives some idea of the screwy basis to her philosophy.

My favourite part : Shortly after tellign the interviewer how she "cut her doctors loose" 2 years beforehand, the question is asked:
"How long has it been since you had cancerous cells in your arm?"
Jess : "I don't monitor them"..."I don't have scans"
Interviewer: "Can you talk about why you don't do that"
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 thats it. She's been trying really really hard to wish her cancer away.

And now 18 months later, we're seeing the futility of that.

Some reports of the content of her recent talks during her tour have popped up on various crunchy sites, makes for interesting reading. I'll post them in a separate post, as the number of links will probably send the post to the moderation bin for a bit.

By janerella (not verified) on 28 Feb 2014 #permalink

@Jan - that typifies delusional thinking right there....

Perth 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
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…

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:…

Another Brisbane tour-goer

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.

By janerella (not verified) on 28 Feb 2014 #permalink

#200 rediagnosis.

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

By incitatus (not verified) on 28 Feb 2014 #permalink

Clearly she needs more towels then....

By janerella (not verified) on 28 Feb 2014 #permalink

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...

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 28 Feb 2014 #permalink

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.

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.

Blockquote fail? I never do a blockquote fail!

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

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?

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... .


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.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 28 Feb 2014 #permalink

Well, geez, here's another correction she hasn't bothered to correct on the huge bookselling site that she made the recent video for.…

" 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."

By janerella (not verified) on 28 Feb 2014 #permalink

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."


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.

By janerella (not verified) on 28 Feb 2014 #permalink

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?

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?

By janerella (not verified) on 28 Feb 2014 #permalink

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.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

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?

@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.

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

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.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

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.

By janerella (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

“A cancer thriver” Jess calls herself.

Why yes her cancer does seem to be thriving.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

@ janerella:

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

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

@ lilady:

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

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

Here's another excellent comment left on Jess' blog (second to last comment on this page…):

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.

By Hinterlander (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

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.

@ 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.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

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

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

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.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

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

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

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.

I meant Kelly Osbourne's hair.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink
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...

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

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.

should have been "regenerated as rayon"

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. "

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

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...

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.…

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.

By janerella (not verified) on 01 Mar 2014 #permalink

#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.

By Incitatus (not verified) on 02 Mar 2014 #permalink

I wonder - is "soul-searching" woo-code for "preparing for death?"

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".

By janerella (not verified) on 02 Mar 2014 #permalink

@ #238 - Meleese - I think we are about to get a "taste" of her new physical therapies:

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

By janerella (not verified) on 02 Mar 2014 #permalink

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

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

I'm glad I wasn't alone in finding that facial expression rather creepy...

By AntipodeanChic (not verified) on 03 Mar 2014 #permalink

@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.

By RetroPastiche (not verified) on 05 Mar 2014 #permalink

Renate @248, Antipodian Chic @249

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

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 05 Mar 2014 #permalink

@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?

By Peter Dugdale (not verified) on 05 Mar 2014 #permalink

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.

By janerella (not verified) on 05 Mar 2014 #permalink

@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.

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

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 06 Mar 2014 #permalink

A rare glimpse of her arm recently sans bandage.


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

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

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

By janerella (not verified) on 09 Mar 2014 #permalink

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

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 ;)

By AntipodeanChic (not verified) on 13 Mar 2014 #permalink

P.S. @Millitant Agnostic #253:

I'm damned sure you're right.

By AntipodeanChic (not verified) on 13 Mar 2014 #permalink

@ janerella:

- 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.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 13 Mar 2014 #permalink

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.

She's determined to mislead. Read the last comment on her "guys I never said I was cured" blog post
Michelle Cahill | On Mar 10, 2014
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: 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 :

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.

By janerella (not verified) on 19 Mar 2014 #permalink

Ainscough has changed her old wellnesswarrior URL, which also had an appropriate RED WoT rating to - quick responses have reinstated rbutr references, but WoT rating needs many nudges.

By janerella (not verified) on 30 Mar 2014 #permalink