Speaking ill of a dead cancer quack — Louise Hay

September 12, 2017

Louise Hay, unlike some other cancer quacks, probably did not die of cancer. At least there is no evidence she died of cancer…. No evidence, in fact that she ever even had cancer at any time in her life.

Louise Hay said she had cancer in 1977 or 1978 — she can’t remember which. She said her doctors thought it would kill her. And she said she cured it herself. But she can’t remember the doctors’ names, and can’t remember what stage the cancer was at when she “cured” it.

But Louise Hay had already published her first book, You Can Heal Your Life, in 1976. So she published a book listing a hundred or more diseases from leprosy to cancer, listed a “metaphysical cause” and a “healing affirmation” for each, and then a year or two later, “got cancer” herself. She promptly “cured” it — the perfect vindication of her book — but didn’t keep any documents and can’t remember even the most basic details about it.

Or none of that happened, and she was lying.

Lying, and believed by her customers because people don’t usually lie about that kind of thing. And then watched as millions of customers bought her “cancer cure” and tested it on themselves.

The husband of one such customer left a comment here earlier this year:

Thanks to her unshakable belief in the teachings of this lady, and her refusal to follow a real treatment, which repeatedly drove a wedge into our happy married life, my beloved wife died last month, age 47. I miss her tremendously.

What Hay certainly knew is that cancer sufferers make great customers. They are already emotionally invested in the product’s success, and better still, they need a great deal of support and reassurance from others around them — so they will be promoting the product to these people too. If their cancer by chance goes into remission, then that’s  a success story for Louise Hay.

And if they die, it means they’re not hanging around anymore to warn people that the product doesn’t work. And, if they die, chances are they would not end their life blaming Louise Hay and warning others, but die instead condemning themselves for their failure to rid themselves of negativity as Louise Hay said she did.

Or their death is blamed on something else. As in the case of the cancer quack Bill Henderson who got cancer, and was foolish enough to test his quackery on himself rather than on his customers. And the quackery worked — it was said, but…

The problem was that Bill also had thrombophlebitis, which resulted in blood clots in his legs. According to the physician who was treating Bill, it was a combination of heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism in the wake of a blood transfusion which took his life. It was not due to cancer.

Or, as the oncologist David Gorski explains:

Um, no.

Bill Henderson died of cancer. If he didn’t have cancer, he wouldn’t have needed a blood transfusion, and wouldn’t have had the heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism….When cancer kills, it is usually not the cancer itself that kills, but rather complications caused by the growth of the cancer.

Another deceased cancer quack is Hulda Clark. She got rich off her string of bestsellers, The Cure for All Diseases, The Cure for All Cancers, and, (in case the latter didn’t work), The Cure for All Advanced Cancers. And then she died of an advanced cancer, but not before killing an unknown number of her customers. (Read about one such victim here.)

Another was Jerry Hicks, husband of Esther Hicks, the originator of the “Abraham” channeling and law of attraction scam. He made a career out of telling people that illness is the result of negative thoughts and emotions. A former follower quotes his wife as saying “You could have every deadly disease known to man, within you, today, and if you chose different feeling thoughts tomorrow, they would all leave your body.”

So how did Jerry Hicks react when he discovered he had “manifested” leukemia for himself? He “started immediately with aggressive chemotherapy treatments. Something they have always claimed is that modern medicine of any kind is something that you don’t need.” He explained his hair loss with a convoluted story about a spider bite. Eventually they admitted it was chemo, and spun a spiritual yarn about how going along with the doctor’s recommendation was “the path of least resistance”.

Fear suddenly smells different, when it’s your own.



  1. Thank you for writing this. These quacks cause such pain and it’s maddening that they get away with not helping people and destroying relationships. The things you write about need to be said.

  2. Thanks for commenting!

    I would like people to think twice before they defend or promote stuff like this.

  3. I hope the influence of Hay House’s brand of ‘blame the victim’ so called ‘positive thought’ decreases in the future. It’s influence has often been pernicious.

  4. Indeed, Yakaru.
    Claims which cause people to ignore conventional treatment consisting of shown remedies are claims which are so damn dangerous..
    From cancer cures to homeopathy to acupuncture to faith-healing to ‘the secret’ to homeopathic vaccinations and a multitude of others.
    They’re wasting time, money, hope and slowing the progress of real medical advance.
    It makes me sick.


  5. @Lucinda,
    indeed — it’s absurd and dangerous though it is to see everything in terms of positive and negative, I would have to count every single publication from Hay House as 100%. All of it should be pulped.

    Hay House is also Bruce Lipton’s publisher.

  6. Thank you SO much for writing this post. I’ve always found Hay to be the source of much distress for many people. She’s been nothing but a blame shifter, and I have nothing but disdain for her. Apparently I have Cystic Fibrosis – a genetic disease – because I’m angry. I think Louise died because she was an old hag who had too much plastic surgery. Her appearance screamed ‘I love who I am’ 🙄

  7. Yes — “I lovingly accept my body and its ageing processes” does not seem to have been one of her affirmations.

  8. I went down that rabbit hole, years ago. Not only do you have a disease to handle, but you also have to carry the guilt… Absurd and barbaric.

    Hi Yakaru, has been a long time. I hope you are fine.

  9. Hi Caroline, nice to hear from you… Yes, I’m doing fine. Moved from Berlin to Cologne recently, where the change is doing me good.

    I also tried out Louise Hay’s ideas many years ago — just using what worked “worked” and not even realizing how dangerous and (frankly) stupid so much of it was. Spirituality seems to give us a very high pain threshold in the common sense department!

    Hope you’re fine!

  10. I am fine thank you. Still alive ;)

    Maybe Yakaru, this could be of interest to you :

  11. Thanks — hadn’t heard about that book from him….

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