Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Genevieve Flight of Shambhallah Healing Centre found guilty at Gloucester Crown Court

Genevieve Flight is or was the director of the Shambhallah Healing Center/Centre and she and her centre made a variety of misleading claims about being able to cure Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease, as well as asthma, cancer and diabetes. 

She maintained that there is no disease that doesn't also have a cure, and she was reported to Trading Standards after she infiltrated a closed cancer patient Facebook group and tried to tout her cures there. This resulted in a court case and a jury at Gloucester Crown Court found her guilty in her absence (apparently she's fled to Nigeria and was tried in absentia) and there is an arrest warrant for her, for her to attend court for sentencing.

"She was convicted of six charges of falsely claiming a product can cure illness, and six of engaging in a misleading practice." (BBC News)

The Shambhallah Healing Centre has previously had two Advertising Standards Authority adjudications upheld against it, in 2018, for similar misleading claims. I had wondered if she might be being prosecuted under the Cancer Act 1939 but it's more to do with misleading practice. 

A transcript of her Trading Standards interview was read out in court (copies are in a couple of papers below, eg Metro) and she suggested that TS send her someone suffering from an ailment and she'd cure them. This was a spectacularly unwise move on her part, removing the misleading claims and agreeing not to repeat them could possibly have averted any further court action.

I wish I'd been in court to hear a medical expert explain that her Brain Tonic couldn't cure Alzheimer's. 

According to the First Gazette notice* (of 1 Dec 2020) on the Companies House website the company will be struck off the register after the accounts were made up for the dormant company in August 2019. From looking at the previous accounts / filings it seems that the company began with £2 and ended with £2. That's two pounds. Not sure I really understand that!

*Note that these Gazette Notices to strike companies off registers can happen for fairly non-sinister reasons - sometimes this is triggered by a default on filing, and may be later reversed, though if the company is dormant this is probably correct in this case.

Further reading
Advertising Standards Authority

ASA Ruling on Shambhallah Healing Center Ltd
(3 January 2018)

- which includes this absolute gem in response to a request from the ASA for info and evidence "Shambhallah Healing Center did not believe that they needed to provide documentary evidence to support their claims because it was their policy that complainants must undergo their treatment in order to declare that it did not work. They invited the ASA to select a candidate to undergo their treatment. They further stated that they had been using these methods to treat patients since the second century BCE.".

ASA Ruling on Shambhallah Healing Center Ltd (2 May 2018)

Courts 'causelist'
Summary of her case T20190281 which began on took place on several dates over 17 October 2019, 11 May 2020 and 3-4 December 2020 concluding on 4 Dec.

News articles
Police issue arrest warrant for 'holistic healer', 43, after she was found guilty of advertising fake 'Brain Tonic' she claimed could cure Alzheimer's, Huntington's disease and cancer (4 December 2020) Daily Mail

Woman who sold bogus ‘brain tonic’ cure is on the run (4 December 2020) Gloucestershire Live

Hunt for ‘holistic healer’ who claimed she had cure for Alzheimer’s and cancer (4 December 2020) Metro

Gloucester 'brain tonic' seller guilty of false claims (4 December 2020) BBC News 

Quedgeley woman claimed she had Alzheimer’s and cancer cure (5 December 2020) Stroud News & Journal

BBC Points West news clips
4 December 2020 - from 3m33s
(clip no longer available)
3 December 2020 - from 17min
(clip no longer available)





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