The Whole Pantry, Not The Whole Story
Sometimes when there is a screen and a world in between you and your audience, it can become easy to exaggerate the truth. But at what point does that exaggeration become total fiction?
Belle Gibson, a twenty three year old from Australia, is known for her wellness blog, health food cookbook and popular wellness app called The Whole Pantry. However, now, that isn’t the only thing she’s famous for. Gibson created an intricate web of deceit including: a brother with autism, a “troubled upbringing” as well as multiple cancers and alternative treatments for those cancers. While these lies may leave people shaking their heads, there’s more to her story that was revealed. Belle used charities as the foundation for her marketing. But those charities were left empty handed despite the fundraising she supposedly arranged and the donations she claimed to make.
Belle’s LinkedIn profile shows that she is a self proclaimed philanthropist. She claims to have donated, in total, over $300,000 to different causes. Yet, the organizations whose names she used to solicit the money haven’t seen the bulk of those proceeds! Fairfax Media conducted the investigations revealing that of the $300,000 she stated she raised, approximately $7,000 of that had been actually donated – and $1000 of that was only after Gibson caught wind of the investigation.
In April 2015 Belle gave an interview being open about her false claims regarding her medical history. As a result of her deception and manipulation of fans, her cookbooks have been withdrawn from publication, her app has been withdrawn from Apple Watch, and the fans that once stood behind her are opening their eyes to see the person she really is.
Her family is beyond embarrassed. Gibson blamed her deception on her hard childhood to which her mother replied is “rubbish”. Belle had made claims of looking after her disabled brother, maintaining the home since she was five years old and taking care of her sick mother who had multiple sclerosis.
Her estranged mother, Natalie, told Australian Women’s Weekly that while she does, in fact, have multiple sclerosis…Belle was never in want of anything as a child and didn’t have a disabled brother in her care. She hopes her daughter will take this as an opportunity to do some soul searching. The Gibson family apologized on her behalf and sincerely wish that Belle will take up some volunteer work and give back to the charities she has taken from.
You can only spin a web so large before you, yourself, get caught in it.