Elaine Hollingsworth (1928–2022) was a snake oil peddler and self-described "health crusader" who promoted dangerous and ineffective cancer treatments, “natural” cures, conspiracy theories, and other health-related bullshit primarily through a scammy webshite. She condemned evidence-based medicine because of a "cancer mafia".
Hollingsworth promoted a cancer treatment called black salve, also known as cansema. The "treatment" was heavily criticized by real health care providers and government entities. This pissed off Hollingworth's fans and resulted in the development of a comical petition to the Australian government.
The Australian Vaccination Network got into trouble with the Therapeutic Goods Administration for advertising Elaine Hollingsworth's DVD "One Answer to Cancer", and Meryl Dorey, the head of AVN, went into caps mode. The AVN was required to publish a retraction by the TGA. It read as follows:
In the advertisement we unlawfully made claims that Black Salve is safe, and that it can be used as an effective treatment for cancers including skin cancer. We also claimed that cancer medicines are harmful and cause cancer, and are ineffectual.
A complaint about the advertisement was recently upheld by the Complaints Resolution Panel. We provided no evidence whatsoever to support the claims we made, and the Panel found that the claims were unlawful, misleading, and unverified and breached the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.
Hollingsworth's website is a woo magnet. She is vaccine denier, promoter of fluoride woo, anti-GMO advocate, advocate of alternative thyroid treatments, cancer conspiracy theorist, soy silliness, and to top it all off is a big fan of coffee enemas while at the same time being a platform for shadowy figures like Joseph Mercola, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Mark Sircus, Paul Anthony Taylor, whose background is in the music industry, and is Executive Director of the Dr. Matthias Rath's "Health" Foundation and others from whom she has probably lifted all her ideas. She is a big fan of the "Big Pharma" conspiracy and promotes chemophobia. There is so much stupid in one place that if stupidity took up volume then this site would cause everyone to suffocate. For example, she sells a homeopathic cream for pain relief, with the selling point that it worked for Elaine and "Elaine is extremely fussy".
Her epiphany came "at a lavish Hollywood dinner party, chatting with the famous movie star Gloria Swanson. As Sara was about to tuck into a chocolate mousse, Miss Swanson startled her by saying, 'You aren't going to eat that, are you?' The star explained that chocolate was bad for the liver. There followed a long conversation which changed Sara's life forever."
She was a big fan of anecdotal evidence and alarmist rhetoric instead of scientific evidence. For example, "Maryanne" complains that for a visit to a doctor she photocopied an entire chapter from Elaine's book and told him what to prescribe but was shocked when the doctor "wasn't even nice about it and wouldn't even read your chapter that I photocopied and gave him."
She was an export from the US where she was a Hollywood star, and Australia would have been happy if she and her botox went home. Skeptics in the US would like to apologize. Hollingsworth died in Australia in 2022.
Her website reads like a class on critical thinking, choking in logical fallacies:
- "She gives everyone a blueprint for overcoming all illnesses naturally, and living a long, healthy life."
- "…while teaching them to embrace childhood disease, heal if they get a disease, and build their immune systems naturally."
- Plain lies:
- "Sodium fluoride (in many water supplies) leads to osteoporosis, Alzheimer's Disease and cancer."
- "Coffee Enemas: Even Prince Charles endorses them."
- Scare tactics:
- "All soya bean products, especially soya milk, leach calcium from bones, depress the thyroid gland and create havoc in the body."
- Un-intended Irony:
- "As this photo taken in 2001 when Elaine was 73 shows, her theories work." ("Shh! Quiet about the botox.")
Even more stupid
Ironically, you will find people with sciencey titles like Oswald H. Rentsch who has an impressive "D.O., A.R.M.T. (Bach), Dip.Hom.Ion. Director, BOWTECH, The Original Bowen Technique" and appeals to science like this: "the physicians quoted are some of the most prestigious endocrinologists in the world." She doesn't explain how to decide which doctors are dangerous and
witch which doctors are safe. In her "article" on coffee enemas, she calls on another doctor:
Dr Max Gerson, whom Nobel Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer called "…one of the most eminent geniuses in medical history", incorporated this unlikely remedy into his famous cancer therapy. The purpose of these enemas is not to clean the colon, but to help detoxify the liver and bring quick relief from pain of all kinds. A headache, a hangover, a yucky feeling – you name it, a properly-administered coffee enema can bring quick relief.
She ran a mail-order business from the Gold Coast with business and former romantic partner Ronald Bradley (who is the registered owner of doctorsaredangerous.com). According to his other website, Ronald Bradley claims he is a doctor himself, which adds to the ironic fractal wrongness.
- Crank magnetism
- Water fluoridation
- Anti-vaccination movement
- Regression to the mean
- False placebo
- Dental woo
- Doctors Are Dangerous Warning: this website might bring on early-onset stupidity.
- Escape The Cancer Mafia. doctorsaredangerous.com.
- Black Salve - Buyer Beware. New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority, 3 December 2013.
- Stephen Barrett, Don’t Use Corrosive Cancer Salves (Escharotics). Quackwatch, 18 November 2017.
- Black Salve in Australia. Archived from Diluted Thinking in Australian healthcare, 8 June 2013.
- Black salve, red salve and cansema. Australian Government, Department of Health and Aged Care, Therapeutic Goods Administration, 9 December 2013.
- Australian Government: Decriminalise the use of Cansema/Black Salve on human beings. change.org.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGlTWtzKXsk One Answer To Cancer Movie — Info
- http://www.doctorsaredangerous.com/articles/mothers.htm Delicately titled 'Attack On Mothers' by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr
- "Sara Shane, Actress in 'Tarzan's Greatest Adventure' and 'The King and Four Queens,' Dies at 94". 21 September 2022.