Belle Gibson, a popular Australian wellness blogger who created an app and developed a huge social media following by chronicling an alleged journey through an alternative cancer cure, has admitted she made the whole thing up.
In March, skeptics began to doubt Belle Gibson’s claims that she was diagnosed with and was cured from brain cancer thanks to a healthy, veggie-laden diet.
Belle Gibson, the 26-year-old author of The Whole Pantry, told The Independent this week that she lied about everything.
“No. None of it’s true,” Belle Gibson told The Independent.
Single-mom Belle Gibson told readers of her blog, her social media followers and in a book she penned that she refused a conventional cancer treatment plan and instead chose to fight her “cancer” with a super food diet and avoidance of dairy and gluten.
— The Independent (@Independent) April 23, 2015
Belle Gibson also told her Instagram (@healing_belle) followers, which numbered in the hundreds of thousands, and through her app, The Whole Pantry App, that she donated some $227,000 to charity, which turns out to be another fabrication.
So why did Belle Gibson fabricate a lie of this magnitude?
She told The Australian Women’s Weekly that she has trouble separating her imagination from reality.
“I am still jumping between what I think I know and what is reality. I have lived it and I’m not really there yet. … I think my life has just got so many complexities around it and within it, that it’s just easier to assume [I’m lying]. If I don’t have an answer, then I will sort of theorize it myself and come up with one. I think that’s an easy thing to often revert to if you don’t know what the answer is.”
— The Australian (@australian) April 23, 2015
Cancer-sufferers are surely highly offended by Belle Gibson’s lie, and one has to wonder how someone could get away with a lie of this magnitude.
Art Markman, a psychology professor at the University of Texas, told Yahoo Health huge lies are actually easier to pull off because no one expects anyone to lie about some things, like Belle Gibson did with her cancer claims.
“Orwell recognized that big lies often get less scrutiny than smaller ones. In general, of course, people have to do a little trusting of others or no conversation would ever get off the ground. If someone tells you that they have cancer, it would be extraordinarily impolite to question whether they are telling the truth.”
— SBS News (@SBSNews) April 23, 2015
Although Markman has never met Belle Gibson and says he can’t be sure if this applies to her, he said her actions could be attributed to “the dark triad.”
“The dark triad is a combination of high levels of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Narcissists derive their self-esteem from the accolades of other people. Psychopaths have little empathy for others and are not bound by the moral constraints that help to keep most people’s behavior in check. Machiavellians are manipulative and willing to lie to achieve their goals. People with this combination of traits are more likely to get wrapped up in extended lies in the public sphere than those who are not.”
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) April 22, 2015
What do you think of Belle Gibson’s revelation this week?
[Photo via Instagram/Belle Gibson]