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The Woman Who Fooled The World: Belle Gibson's cancer con, and the darkness at the heart of the wellness industry Kindle Edition
Belle Gibson convinced the world she had healed herself of terminal brain cancer by eating a healthy diet. She built a global business based on her story. There was just one problem: she never had cancer in the first place.
In 2015, journalists uncovered the truth behind Gibson’s lies. This hero of the wellness world, with over 200,000 followers, international book deals, and a best-selling mobile app, was a fraud. She had lied about having cancer — to her family and friends, to her business partners and publishers, and to the hundreds of thousands of people, including genuine cancer survivors, who were inspired by her Instagram posts.
Written by the two journalists who uncovered the details of Gibson’s deception, The Woman Who Fooled the World tracks the 23-year-old's rise to fame and fall from grace. Told through interviews with the people who know her best, it explores the lure of alternative cancer treatments, exposes the darkness at the heart of the wellness and ‘clean eating’ movements, and reveals just how easy it is to manipulate people on social media.
With the idea of ‘clean eating’ now routinely debunked by dietary experts, and growing scepticism about the authenticity of what we read online, The Woman Who Fooled the World is a timely and important book that answers not just how, but why, Gibson was able to fool so many.
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"The Woman Who Fooled the World isn't just a detonating exposé, but a forensically researched, compulsively readable and frequently staggering behind-the-scenes account of an unravelling on an operative scale. It'll also restore your faith in journalism's ability to uncover the truth and expose it to light."
--Benjamin Law, author of Gaysia and The Family Law
"It gives me great pleasure that this story has been told in such a compelling and readable way, as this surely means that it will reach the wide audience it deserves to. Not only does The Woman Who Fooled the World detail the sordid story of a young woman lying her way to fame and fortune, it also savagely exposes the wellness industry that enabled her rise. Although Belle Gibson has now been exposed, this brilliant book reveals how many others were complicit and culpable. I hope they are all thoroughly ashamed, and that this book serves as a powerful reminder, helping to ensure that this sort of deception is never allowed to happen again."
--Anthony Warner, The Angry Chef
"Meticulously researched and elegantly composed, The Woman Who Fooled The World is a journalistic detective story for the smart-phone age. Donelly and Toscano not only chart con artist Belle Gibson's rise to global acclaim and her crashing fall, they explore and explain modern society's willingness to believe in anyone, or anything, that offers hope of beating what is perhaps our greatest collective fear: cancer. For me, the book reaches its highest point when we hear from genuine cancer sufferers who believed in Gibson. Their honesty about their fears and uncertain futures counter balances the bullshit of Gibson and her profit-minded enablers. Donelly and Toscano give a master class in old-fashioned investigative journalism and a reminder of its potency and importance."
--Richard Baker, investigative journalist, The Age
"The Woman Who Fooled the World is a balanced and authoritative account of Gibson's career...essential reading for anyone seeking an understanding of how so many people could have fallen for her pernicious lies."
--Simon Caterson, Irish Independent
"A salutary tale for our social media times."
--The Sunday Times
"The Woman Who Fooled the World bracingly retells a memorable chapter in the history of human folly."
--Sunday Business Post
"The book's main lesson is how easy it is, in this age of social-media-driven "fake news", to dupe the public. It's also an excoriating attack on the charlatanism of "wellness warriors"."
-The Mail on Sunday
"[I] couldn't recommend it more. It not only forensically dissects the mind and actions of this modern fraud but cuts to the core of the growing unhealthy abuse of lifestyle and wellness by modern media and social media."
--Dr Robert O'Connor, Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society
"The Woman Who Fooled the World is a fascinating character study that will appeal to true-crime fans."
"Thoroughly researched, well written, entirely engrossing journalistic account of a badly executed fraud that took advantage of incredibly vulnerable people in a lot of pain, physically and mentally, and how it all came crumbling down, with plenty of relevant and fascinating segues into history and the cults/culture of healing."
--Rennie Sweeney, "What's Nonfiction?"
"This fascinating and thoroughly reported tale will have readers casting a gimlet eye on both the wellness industry and social media."
- ASIN : B076QKH3DG
- Publisher : Scribe (13 November 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 623 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 278 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 9,945 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Donelly and Toscano link Belle Gibson’s deception to wider consumerism and industry failings. There’s a link between a rise of access to information, the easy spread of misinformation through social media and a general distrust of science, doctors and “Big Pharma” as a result.
This book doesn't disappoint, and the investigation and stories in it flesh out the story of a disturbed woman and her appalling campaign. What frustrates me the most is that some people have no doubt paid the ultimate price for trusting Belle Gibson...
This book is a must-read for anyone who has a friend or relative with cancer or serious illness, anyone interested in wellness, or anyone working as a health professional, in health policy or consumer affairs. (I would make it compulsory reading in high schools as an exercise in understanding how critical thinking is important in evaluating social media & mainstream media). It makes for compelling reading and is highly relevant right now.
Top reviews from other countries
No one questioned her because of her beauty, youth and supposed cancer (because you don't lie about or question cancer, apparently). It's just awful - tarnishes the health and social media industries. Thank you to Beau and Nick for including and honouring the stories of real cancer patients.