Founder of “cult-like” alt-med cancer charity Johannes Fisslinger took donations from Clint Eastwood and other celebrities to fund breast cancer research. But now Fisslinger says the money wasn’t used to research breast cancer.
Another celebrity says Fisslinger used her name and image without her consent to promote a high-profile breast cancer research fundraising gala in LA: “If someone misleads once, they will do it again. We won’t be used.”
Johannes Fisslinger is an LA-based proponent/teacher of complementary and alternative therapies, and the founder of the Lifestyle Prescriptions Foundation (LPF) medical programme, recently the subject of a report by BuzzFeed UK (click here to read).
According to a recent e-mail sent to subscribers of that programme, Fisslinger once received a donation from renowned actor Clint Eastwood intended for Fisslinger’s now-defunct breast cancer research charity, the Heal Breast Cancer Foundation (HBCF).
What Fisslinger doesn’t mention in his e-mail is that money supposedly given to him by Eastwood and other celebrities wasn’t used to research breast cancer, and might even have been used to fund a “cult-like” alternative medicine programme whose members were later blamed for causing the deaths of three cancer patients.
Another celebrity, whom it was claimed had a major role in a high-profile charity fundraising gala organised by the HBCF, now says Fisslinger misrepresented her involvement and used her name and image without her consent.
Johannes Fisslinger (source)
HBCF was founded in 2004 as the research arm of the International Meta-Medicine Association (IMMA), a California-based alternative medicine non-profit that teaches the discredited theories of the late German doctor and virulent anti-Semite Ryke Geerd Hamer, who lost his medical licence in 1986 after a number of patients in his care died.
Hamer claimed that all diseases are caused by sudden or prolonged emotional trauma, and argued that conventional medicine, which he believed was a Jewish conspiracy, should be rejected in favour of non-pharmacological – or “natural” – treatment methods, including talking therapy.
Ryke Geerd Hamer (source)
In 2007, IMMA held a charity fundraising and awards gala in Beverly Hills to raise money “to research the cause and natural healing mechanism of cancer” and “to honor six of the leading proponents in integrative medicine.”
The gala, which was promoted by the TODAY show and lampooned by the Washington Post, featured an all-star cast of big names and famous faces, with tickets costing up to $30,000 to attend.
The money was supposed to fund the following research projects:
• Brain Relay Diagnostics – confirming the Organ-Brain Connection
• Traumatic Life Events causing breast cancer
• Pre-tumor breast cancer diagnosis and prevention
However, Fisslinger now says he did not carry out any research with the funds raised at the gala, except for a small study that was never published in any medical journal.
“Our intention was to do research,” said Fisslinger. “But then we found out quickly that it is very, very difficult to do preventive research into breast cancer and that the needed funds are very difficult to get.”
While Fisslinger didn’t say how much money was raised at the gala, public records show that for the financial year 2006-2007, IMMA grossed over $135,000 – significantly more than the organisation has made in any one year before or since.
So where did the money go? According to Fisslinger: “We did a small research project with Prof. Reiff from Cairo University but it was actually never published in a medical journal – then we basically decided to focus on teaching/training and helping clients.”
That’s when the bodies began to pile up.
In 2009, a Norwegian television station reported that at least three cancer patients died after they were advised by high-ranking members of IMMA’s Advisory Council, Dagfrid Kolås and Bent Madsen, to stop conventional treatments.
TV 2 headline, April 17, 2009 (source)
Last year another prominent IMMA practitioner from Mumbai, Anu Mehta, wrote that a severely ill cancer patient she had treated for depression using “crayon drawing analysis” committed suicide by jumping in front of a train.
Fisslinger insists that IMMA practitioners follow a strict code of practice. However, he was unable to provide any research to verify Hamer’s theory that diseases are caused by emotional trauma.
“At this point we just don’t have double-blind studies and research to verify that specific life experiences, emotions, stresses affect specific organs,” said Fisslinger.
He added: “The reality is that over 1,000 health professionals [use] this knowledge daily in their work with clients. They wouldn’t do that if it [didn’t] help them in their analysis and in helping clients heal.”
I also spoke with some of those said to have been involved in the 2007 gala.
Dr. Dean Ornish, best-selling author/former White House public health advisor under the Clinton and Obama administrations, said he had “no relationship” with HBCF or IMMA.
Centre: Dr. Dean Ornish at the HBCF Awards & Gala (source)
Dr. Robert M. Goodman, professor of Applied Science at Indiana-Bloomington University, said he had “very limited contact from the Foundation and did not contact them” or do any breast cancer research while on HBCF’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Robert M. Goodman (source)
Marc Neveu, PhD, an honorary fellow at the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health, said he only had “a minor role on the advisory board and was not able to attend the event.”
Mark Neveu, PhD (source)
One famous actress whom it was claimed had a major role in the gala and whose name I’ve agreed to withhold, said Fisslinger misrepresented her involvement and later used her name and image, without her consent, in a 2015 promotional video for an event in Hawaii.
Here’s what her agent told me:
[Fisslinger] misstated and admitted to [redacted] NOT being involved with the breast cancer event.
He used her name in the Hawaii conference without approval in order to generate business.
He used her name/image (unauthorized) for the video.
I’ve told him that if he removes [redacted]’s name from any and all references to him, his company, mission, etc, I will be still.
He said he would do it.
I don’t like misrepresentations at all.
Clearly those who do it use [redacted] to enrich themselves and in so doing, they are misrepresenting her name, goal, intents, etc.
I don’t want to be further involved and will never have anything to do with this man/org. moving forward.
I know many of those with whom he deals.
If someone misleads once, they will do it again. We won’t be used.
Fisslinger didn’t reply when asked to clarify if he used other celebrities’ names and images without their consent, but here’s a list of those who were said to have been involved:
Tommy Lee Jones
Sir Ben Kingsley
Antonio Sabbato Jr.
Dr. Dean Ornish
Susan Ryan Jordan
Dr. Christian Northrup
Dr. O. Carl Simonton
Dr. Raj Kanodia
Scientific Advisory Board
Robert M. Goodman, PhD, MPH, MA
Friedemann Schaub MD, PhD
Andrew S. Baum, PhD
Bruce Lipton, PhD
John C. Pan, MD
John Gray, PhD
Gerhard Schwenk, MD
Richard Flook, PhD
Ruediger Dahlke, MD
Mark Neveu, PhD
Nicki Monti, PhD
HP Christa Uricher
Board of Directors
Anton Bader, MD
Johannes R. Fisslinger, PhD
Danijela Haric, MA
HP Jutta M. Fisslinger