Fake cancer therapist exposed
BBC Wales' X-Ray programme has exposed the illegal activities of an alternative therapist from Carmarthenshire, who claims he can cure cancer using a bizarre combination of treatments and pills including a high frequency ozone machine, foot spa and laxatives - despite the fact he was prosecuted for selling cancer therapies in the past.
76 year old Reginald Gill lives in the village of Cwmduad with his wife Leila. They run Reg and Leila's Health Shop from their home. Publicly they advertise a variety of herbal and vitamin supplements, but a telephone call reveals that Mr Gill also offers to treat people for cancer, which is illegal under the Cancer Act.
An X-Ray researcher contacted Gill with a cover story about a woman concerned she may have bowel cancer. Gill advised her, "Do not have a biopsy, it will just spread it." Claiming cancer was "easily dealt with" Gill invited the researcher to be treated at his home which would cost £120 a day for three days.
X-Ray secretly filmed a consultation at Gill's home, where he began treatment on the researcher using a machine called an Ifas machine, which is not licensed to treat any illnesses and doesn't carry European safety marks.
Undercover footage of Reginald Gill
Gill also used a foot spa claiming, "People have actually used this machine, detoxed, and detoxed and actually have detoxed bowel cancer, just with that machine. I'm not allowed to tell you that so I didn't tell you that did I?" He also provided laxative tablets which he called colon caps, saying "I normally send people colon caps to start off [the detox]."
Gill was imprisoned for similar activities in 2004 following a prosecution by Poole Trading Standards. 43 year old Stephen Hall from Flintshire had been diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer. He'd heard about the therapies offered by Gill and paid him around £3,000 for an Ifas machine and various pills which Gill claimed would cure his cancer.
Stephen's mother Sheila Cracknell, who'd taken the case to Trading Standards, is shocked that Gill is back in business. She told X-Ray, "Here is a man who preyed on the sick and the vulnerable, who had no scruples whatsoever really, not as a normal human being would have, and he knows that his little machine is a bag of tricks yet he's still pushing it and making sick people believe he's their godsend, he will cure them. No, I'm not happy about it at all."
X-Ray showed their secret footage and an Ifas machine to one of Wales' top cancer specialists.
Part of an Ifas machine
Professor Roger E Taylor from the South West Wales Cancer Centre said, "I was very alarmed when it was suggested that someone who might have cancer should avoid a biopsy and have this treatment instead. It concerns me there are people around who would try to cash in on people's distress by offering them false hopes like this."
Reginald Gill has refused to comment on the allegations that he illegally treats people for cancer.
X-Ray is broadcast on BBC One Wales at 7.30pm on Monday 14th March 2011.