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  Inside Out - South of England: Monday January 12, 2004


IFS machine
Dubious practice continues in Nuneaton

Inside Out exposes a therapist's bogus cancer treatment with the help of a patient diagnosed with prostate cancer.

For years, Reginald Gill, a self-proclaimed "wellness practitioner" from Poole, Dorset, has used a device called an IFAS High Frequency Therapy machine.

Reginald Gill
Gill advocated the IFAS machine as a cancer cure

It is an Australian manufactured device with various leads and heads that generate heat and light in a handheld glass attachment.

Gill has used the IFAS machine to treat everything from cancer through to baldness and claims it is "magic".

In 2003, Gill treated an award winning barbershop singer, Stephen Hall, who was eventually diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.

But Gill convinced Mr Hall that his cancer was curable.

Treatment fails

However, Mr Hall was told to stop taking his pain killing morphine as part of the treatment and to follow a bizarre nutritional regime which restricted when and what he could eat.

This meant he had to drink a brown concoction of various supplements including hemp seed oil.

Stephen Hall
Stephen Hall had faith in the IFAS machine until it was too late

Mr Hall was also treated with the IFAS machine at Gill's house in Poole. During his first treatment, Gill told Mr Hall's wife Rhiannon, "I have got it. I've killed the bad cells. It's just the pancreas that needs work now".

But 10 weeks after he was diagnosed and despite Mr Hall buying one of the machines, at the cost of £2,500 - Mr Hall died of his illness.

His doctors had predicted that with conventional treatment he would live between nine and 12 months.

Subsequently, Reginald Gill was found guilty of two charges under the Trade Descriptions Act at Bournemouth Crown Court and was warned by the judge to expect a jail term when he is sentenced on February 6, 2004.

Hopes dashed

Sheila Cracknell
Sheila Cracknell backed her son's trust in the IFAS machine

Speaking after the court case, Mr Hall’s mother, Sheila Cracknell, said, “The verdict today should go a long way towards protecting the sick and the terminally ill who in good faith go to bogus practitioners who make false claims.”

“People like Gill give the alternative therapy world a bad name. He saw that machine and thought he was on to a winner.

"When Stephen first told me about the treatment I was sceptical but as time went on I became more angry. We carried on using the machine because it gave Stephen hope.

"But I told Gill that once my son was dead I would be on his doorstep, and I was.”

Gill claimed that the IFAS would "heal Stephen Hall of cancer". But, experts say that the machine is of no more use to heal cancer than a hot-water bottle.

'Healing' pracitice goes on

The Inside Out team has found that Gill has trained other "practioners" how to use the IFAS machine, and using secret filming, has investigated the reality behind the bogus claims.

John Inchley
John Inchley exposed Vernon's cure for what it is

John Inchley, diagnosed with prostate cancer was the team's front man when they visited hypnotherapist John Vernon in his house in Nuneaton.

Mr Vernon rubbed the patient's head with a glass attachment that glowed purple and smelt of ozone.

When questioned, Mr Vernon claimed that oxygen was being pushed in through the patient's skull, and that the oxygen would help cure the cancer.

He also said the patient would need a positive mental attitude and a range of dietary supplements.

After treatment, John Inchley was dismissive of its effectiveness, "I wasn't impressed with the machine at all.

"I don't believe that oxygen can pass through glass then pass through my hands, into my body, in my bloodstream and I believe that as a means of assisting the curing of cancer, it's completely useless."

Other people have said that this practice is quackery of the worst kind and that it exploits people who are extremely vulnerable because of their illnesses.


John Vernon
Vernon, 'I just use the machine and people get better'

Mr Vernon charged £40 for the treatment and a further £30 for a mushroom supplement that would supposedly help fight the cancer. The pills were past their sell by date.

When the BBC challenged Mr Vernon on the effectiveness of the IFAS machine, he claimed he had never used it on a patient.

He later conceded that he had used it on this one occasion and he offered to refund the money for the out of date pills.

The manufacturers claim you can "Potentially say goodbye to crippling pain and enjoy life again" - when used for treatment of relatively mild conditions such as insomnia and hair loss - they do not claim it as a cure for cancer.

This Inside Out investigation has succeeded in highlighting, despite the Gill court case and his pending sentence, that the IFAS machine is still being used to exploit those with cancer and give them erroneous hopes for their future.

See also ...

Inside Out: South
More great stories

BBC: Accused explains cancer 'cure'
BBC: Patient 'deceived' by cancer cure

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Cancer Research UK

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